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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Laws of Nature” Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, SO after a long waiting period, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back with its third season and it has promised more Inhumans, conflict and drama for not only returning characters but new ones too. So last night things kicked off with “Laws of Nature“, so has AoS continued to get better or not? Well read on and find out.

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As usual in these reviews I’m just gonna present the plot and then say what I liked and what I didn’t like. Cool? Okay let’s keep going.

The Plot

Director Phil Coulson and Agent Daisy Johnson leading the charge as S.H.I.E.L.D. searches the world for more powered people in the aftermath of their epic battle with Jiaying and her army of Inhumans. However, Coulson and the team soon find out that they are not the only group looking for these new Inhumans.

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What I Liked

Well this was certainly a great start to the season. Like the start of season 2, AoS has once again upgraded and transformed itself because of the events of the previous season. The world is a very different place from where we left it before. Now it is all about the Inhumans. Who are they and how many of them existence? Are they dangerous and/or can they be trusted? These are the questions I feel have been presented in this first episode and will be constant throughout this season. This episode felt swift, suspenseful, action-packed and full of new information that  clarified some information about what’s happened since last season, but also presented a whole new set of things to theorize over in the future. I love how Coulson and Daisy are now at the forefront of finding and helping Inhumans, but also trying to figure out who’s trying to take them out at the same time. It was also interesting to see how Inhumans have basically gotten the mutant treatment from X-Men, where they’re basically being discovered and are being seen as a threat to the public, possibly exterminated by other parties or being protected by being protected by the good guys. And that ending with Simmons, damn! All I want to know is where the hell she is and what is she running from? I loved that scenery and colour scheme from that scene, it looked so cool.

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When it comes to the cast, Clark Gregg was once again great as Phil Coulson with these great one-liners and a tenacious attitude. Also Chloe Bennet has improved as Daisy Johnson, this girl now has a been hold of her powers and is more confident in the way she approaches the Inhuman situation. Iain De Caestecker has the best material this week Leo Fitz as he goes on the hunt for something to help get Simmons back, and I just found his fairly emotional, dramatic and unexpectedly action-packed. Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood were good as Bobbi and Lance, both were great separately, but together I wasn’t as engaged with their relationship stuff. It was good to see Luke Mitchell again as Lincoln, I liked seeing how he was affected by the events of last season and how he’s trying to move on. Was also nice to see Henry Simmons as Mack, he’s still the same as ever, tough, funny and cautious. Also Juan Pablo Raba did a great job as Joey Gutierrez, acting as a character who is scared, troubled and new to this whole Inhuman thing and how audience members can connect with him, and his potential to be part of the good guys team. Constance Zimmer as Rosalind was quite an interesting character, she has an interesting backstory, plus her personality is great, she’s confident, firm and sneaky. Her and the organisation bring an interesting flavour to this show and I’ll be curious to see how they fit into this season’s grand design. And finally Matthew Willig as Lash (you know the huge spiky headed dude), what beastly and crazy-looking character, he didn’t say much however he certainly left an impact and after he left I wanted to see more.

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It feels like the production values have upgraded a bit more from last season with the visual effects looking a pretty good. I liked the depiction of Joey, Lash, Daisy and Lincoln’s powers, all of them were pretty interesting to see in action and the look of Coulson’s new ship is really nice and sleek in design. And the ties to the MCU films were good, they weren’t too heavy-handed and were mainly tied to the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, I liked the Ant-Man reference better because it was a little more logical and interesting they way it was handled. Also the appearance of William Sadler as President Matthew Ellis from Iron Man 3 was nice, but what was more interesting was the speech he have which really felt like foreshadowing for the political issues that surround Captain America: Civil War next year.

What I Disliked

In truth there wasn’t much I did like. I think my only issue was with Lash, I wish he was a little bigger in size with his physique and height so he could look a little more intimidating. That being said I know this is network TV and an adaptation of a comic book character so change was bound to take place.

Conclusion

In conclusion “Laws of Nature” is a strong start to season 3. It deals with the events of the last season while presenting a whole new set of issues for the good guys to take on. The pace was quick, the action was great and the characters were awesome. I have a lot of hope for this season and pray that there will be a lot more of this kind of quality that follows for the rest of the season.

Rating: 8.5/10

So what did you think of “Laws of Nature“? Did you enjoy it or were you unimpressed? Whatever your thoughts are, be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see you on the next episode review! 😀

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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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LATE REVIEW: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and today I’m finally gonna be talking about Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, I was meant to see this opening weekend at the latest, but working and timing with my sister had prevented me from seeing it sooner. I really liked The Maze Runner last year, it was a much better film than I expected and even though a sequel was laid out for us at the end of that film, I was curious to see where the next chapter in this series would go. So fast forward a year and now we have The Scorch Trials, so is the film good or bad, well read on and find out!

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The story can be described as the following:

“After having escaped the Maze, the Gladers now face a new set of challenges on the open roads of a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles.”

I thought the story was good. Scorch Trials isn’t a rehash of the last film, instead it expands into the larger world with these special facilities and remnants of former cities where society have chosen to live. This film expands the mythology of the world, gives more context on the Flare virus and what’s needed to cure it and explores the history of Thomas and his involvement with WCKD. There was a lot of drama, tension and trust issues between not only the Glade people, but also amongst themselves. That being said there wasn’t too much that was significant or amazing about this story, and those who weren’t into the first film probably won’t care for this entry in the series either.

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As for the cast let’s start with Dylan O’Brien who was good as Thomas, in this film Thomas is still the main source of a lot of the drama, mystery and danger that goes on in these films, but he’s also dubious of people trying to help him, wants answers to his past and wants to help people affected by WCKD’s schemes. I also liked Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt and Ki Hong Lee as Min Ho, both of them had some good moments to shine and be important, especially when it comes to Min Ho (my boy). I also enjoyed Dexter Darden as Frypan, and Alexander Flores as Winston. Kaya Scodelario did well as Teresa Agnes, her character was a little quiet and insignificant at first but then she became much more interesting later on. Also Jacob Lofland as Aris Jones was my favourite new character to come out of this film because of his resourceful nature and slightly odd interactions with people.

Then there’s Rosa Salazar and Giancarlo Esposito who were great as Brenda and Jorge, these two have a history together and I liked how they factored into the story and their interactions with Thomas were great too. Aidan Gillen as Janson, wow, this guy is charming, relaxed and full of info, but he’s also an undercover douche and you can tell from the beginning that something’s off with him. Gillen is just great at playing the bad guy and he does that very well in this film. Patricia Clarkson returns as Ava Paige and she’s just as cold-hearted and into her work as ever, and I enjoyed Lili Taylor’s performance as Mary Cooper, this character helped give more information about the world and connected more pieces about Thomas’ past. Alan Tudyk makes an appearance as Marcus and his character is pretty strange but very funny and enjoyable, Tudyk is just a guy that makes me smile and I love it when he has a memorable appearance in a film. And when it comes to the presentation, its good. Visually the film is good with some nice scenery, visual effects and action sequences too.

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In conclusion Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is different kind of film from the last one, however it is different in the right kind of way. The story is interesting, the performances are good and the action is pretty good. While it won’t convert people who were’nt fans beforehand, I believe that this is another solid film in this series and I hope that it’ll get a solid conclusion with the next film.

Rating: 7.5/10

So what did you think of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and let me know. Until the next time, see ya later! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Martian Review (SPOILER FREE)

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about The Martian. This is another film that’s been on my 2015 anticipated list, even when there was no footage, I had hope for the film considering that it had an interesting premise, Ridley Scott was directing and it featured Matt Damon. And after the trailers and early positive word of mouth I was excited to see this. So after seeing an early screening at Cineworld yesterday I’m ready to pass judgement!

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The story can be described as the following:

“When a mission to Mars goes wrong for a group of team of astronauts, they escape, however one of their members, Mark Watney is left behind and presumed dead. With limited resources and a harsh environment to live in, Watney must fight for survival while communicating with NASA, other scientists and his crewmates on a rescue plan.”

I thought the story was really good. This is another film that focuses on survival, human ingenuity, endurance and spirit. I like how there was moral, ethical and logical dilemma’s for not only Mark, but his crewmates and the people at NASA as well, there wasn’t an easy way of doing things and for a lot of the choices that some of these characters made, there’d be sacrifices or negative consequences involved. I also appreciated the realism, the scientific talk and unpredictable nature of space, the Mars environment and spacecraft equipment. The film was also a lot funnier than I expected and I think it really helped ease the loneliness and dread. While this isn’t a brilliant or unique adventure, it is a solid and well-made film from director Ridley Scott, there is a sense of confidence and intelligence with Scott’s direction and I liked that aspect a lot.

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The cast did such great work with their performances, but the main star is Matt Damon as Mark Watney. This is a character who is smart and courageous, but also has to deal with the fact that death is constantly present and could take him at any moment. Damon is a really great actor and I think a lot of people forget that, but here is allowed to be dramatic, charming, funny, frustrated and so much more, and a lot of the time he has to act alone, yet pretend like there is someone is watching and he pulls that off fairly well.

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As for the people down on Earth I really liked Jeff Daniels as Teddy Sanders, he was an interesting character because he is a good person, but he also has to think of things from a business perspective and his decisions puts him at odds with his other staff members. Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose did pretty well and I think I think I liked her performance a lot mainly because it was the first time I’ve seen her in a serious role. Chiwetel Ejiofor as usual turns in a great performance Vincent Kapoor and Sean Bean was good as Mitch Henderson too.  Mackenzie Davis was cute and good in her role as Mindy Park, Benedict Wong was quite good as Bruce Ng and Donald Glover’s appearance as Rich Purnell was strange, humourous and entertaining for sure. As for the space-based characters, Jessica Chastain did well with her material as Melissa Lewis, she’s the most developed and important of the crew and has a lot of important decisions to make too. Michael Peña as Rick Martinez was also good, he had some humourous moments and good banter with Mark. Kate Mara was also good as Beth Johanssen, I also liked my man Sebastian Stan as Chris Beck and Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel was good but a little forgettable. Together these characters had good chemistry and felt like a good team of individuals who cared about their mission but also for each other and Mark.

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When it comes to the presentation it was really good. Visually this was a great experience. Spaced-based sci-fi films have been getting better with their special effects over the last few years with Prometheus, Guardians of the Galaxy and Gravity showing more and more impressive their art direction, realism and level of detail, and this film is no different. The Martian has wonderful cinematography, editing and sound design too. I was just stunned by the scenery of Mars, all the shots on the planet were gorgeous and the scenes in space were also very beautiful with great lighting and clarity. The film score by Harry Gregson-Williams was also quite good, William’s soundtracks tend to be a little hit and miss for me, but here he did a good job creating music that really amplified the action on-screen and it had many great moments elevating the emotional scenes.

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In conclusion The Martian is a return to form for Ridley Scott, offering up a thrilling and dramatic story, great performances and brilliant production value. While I wouldn’t say it blew me away, it is definitely on the higher end of films I’ve seen post-summer season and in 2015 in general.

Rating: 8/10

So what did you think of The Martian? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and let me know. Until the next time, see ya later! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #5

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to post #5 on What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. In this edition, while I’m still watching Alpha House and Justice League, I’m focusing on more of the newer stuff I’ve been watching. With that out of the way let’s go!

South Park (Season 19)

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It feels crazy that South Park is back on the air, it feels like ages since last season, but I guess because of the development of Stick of Truth it was gonna take a while for Matt Stone and Trey Parker to get  the wheels turning back in the TV department. Anyways I’m just glad that it is back and so far I’m liking it. “Stunning and Brave” and “Where Have My Country Gone?” have been funny and insightful, SP feels just as funny as ever with all of its pop culture references, violence, and the crude and blunt nature of the show is intact. I like how these first two episodes are directly linked and seem to be embracing change when it comes to the characters and scenarios they are tackling. Sure there has been continuity between episodes before and it may just be a while before they switch things back to normal like they’ve done before, but beyond the standard SP codes and conventions, it has been interesting and refreshing to see immediate cause and effect between episodes. And while the episodes weren’t instant classics or made me laugh so hard, I’m just glad to have one of my favourite shows back.

Castle (Season 8)

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This week Castle returned with its first episode of its 8th season and I have to say I was really into it. It does feel like what the people behind the show have done is turned what happened to Richard on its head and made Kate Beckett out to be enemy of the state with her disappearance, the secrets and lies and everyone left wondering just what Beckett is up to. There’s drama, tension and that trademark humour too. There’s a scene involving spiders which I can imagine was pretty hard to watch for certain viewers and even though I’m fine with those critters even I felt a tiny bit squeamish. So far I’m liking the direction of this 8th season, there are ties to previous season material, new characters in play and new scenarios to encounter.

Moonbeam City

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I think the name alone for this show got me on board haha. No but seriously, after I saw the trailer on IGN’s Fall TV preview I knew I had to put this on my watch list. Moonbeam City feels like a throwback to the 1980’s with its parody or cop shows from that era, the visual style and choice of music, both of which are awesome. And I had to say that the visual style of this show is incredible, its vivid in colour, has a unique art style that feels like it belongs in a comic book and the animation is smooth. It reminds me of really great Flash animated movie you’d find on Newgrounds, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. The animation isn’t super fluid and the movements are limited, as is some of the background art, but it seems to balance the line between detail and simplicity. As for the first two episodes “Mall Hath No Fury” and “Lights! Camera! Reenaction!” I like them, while they’re not completely hilarious, they have their moments and I think I liked episode two more because it was more ridiculous. I think Rob Lowe is great as Dazzle Novak, Lowe’s charisma and charm help elevate the character beyond some of his less charming qualities. Now this show will immediately get compared to Archer and to be fair they do share some similarities especially in the art and animation department, though this is a slightly different beast. I do think it needs a few more episodes to prove whether it has any staying power or not but so far I’m liking it and I can’t wait to see more.

Gotham (Season 2)

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So Gotham‘s back, the second season which promises to be better, more serialised and focused… So how’s it doing with episode 1? Not bad. Like before, when it comes to some of the larger-than-life/weirder characters in Arkham or Edward Nigma, the acting can get a little silly and you can’t take the show too seriously especially with the music feeding into that too. However I did like path they’ve put Gordon on and how’s he’s had to get his hands dirty to get what he wants, and I liked Penguin’s use in this episode, he’s powerful, charismatic and charming. The stuff with Bruce, it was interesting, but still my least favourite material. That Zaardon guy, what a weirdo, but at the same time he was quite humourous too.

Hand of God

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Besides Alpha House and Extant, this is the other Amazon show I’ve taken a look into and even though I’ve seen the first episode I’m super curious to see more. I saw adverts for this show on TV around 2 or 3 weeks ago, and while the concept sounded interesting, it wasn’t enough to bring me to watch it. However, after really getting stuck into this TV business over the summer I decided to give the first episode a watch and I have to say it was pretty impressive. For those not in the know, the show focuses on a judge who’s suffered a tragic loss, has been born again and believes he’s been contacted by God to seek justice. However his actions to everyone around are seen as crazy delusions and put him at odds with a lot of people, especially those close to him. Like I said before the show’s concept is interesting, but I love how it justifies the potential presence of God through the judge’s visions and actions with situations that look like they could genuinely be supernatural or pure madness from an outsiders point of view. I will say that there are some points where it gets hard to watch, when dealing with subjects like life or death or dealing/reliving traumatic experiences, it can never be easy to deal with and that drama is real and uncomfortable at times. While Ron Perlman’s character isn’t the most likeable guy you do sympathise with the guy and want him to succeed and it helps that Perlman is so good in the main role. I’m also loving the appearances of The Wire and Fringe actor Andre Royoand my man Maximiliano Hernández from the Marvel Cinematic Universe too. I’m curious to see where this show goes in future episodes.

Blindspot

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So this was another show that I had to watch after I saw it on IGN’s TV preview. The premise sounded good and it had Jaimie Alexander in it. That was reason enough to give it a try. After watching the first episode I am intrigued to see more. The show basically revolves around Jane Doe, a tattooed woman who has no memory of her past or her own identity, so she ends up with the FBI and using her tattoos as clues they fight crime. This first episode slowly peels away the mystery of the Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander), giving us pieces of she can do and what her presence life was like, but doesn’t give away too much and keeps the questions coming when it comes to her connections with certain characters. She seems like a very interesting character with a lot of potential depth to her if the show is handled in the right way. I like the way the show is shot and the action was handled well, there is a decent amount of tension and mystery and I love Alexander in the main role and Sullivan Stapleton did well in his role too.

Well that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen or plan to watch any of these shows? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching  too. Until next time people, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2015 in Life, Media, Television

 

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My 4th Year On WordPress! Anniversary Times!

Howdy people of the internet, just wanted to do a quick post today in celebration of my 4th year with this jolly old blog of mine. Today marks the day I started this WordPress blog back in September 2011 and it still feels good!

60369434I just had to use this because it made me grin.

Every time I think about it I still feel surprised that this blog is alive and running. While I’ve never wanted to give up on it, there have been times where I just haven’t been too motivated to make content. But then after a while I feel the need to come back and write something because I have an opinion and love to spread it around and see who hollers back. 🙂

My blog has and always will be used for the purpose of fun and discussions, I tend not to get lost in the analytical stuff, though I do pay attention if I’m having a good day/week/month. It should be noted that this blog is at its lowest point when it comes to viewership and blog posts though. I used to be a little more active and the amount of people that used to come by were at least a little more significant than they are now. That being said, things change and at the end of the day I still have some loyal followers and dare I say friends who still swing by and comment on my stuff and to them I say thank you very much, you know who you are and you’re appreciated tenfold.

So what’s next for this blog? Well the film season is gearing up and well as the return of some of my favourite TV so expect a tone of review from October through to Christmas. They may not be consistent or frequent but they’ll be there. Plus I have some cinema-based films from the summer I need to catch up on too so expect some of those over the next month or so.

In conclusion, thanks to all my supporters and anyone who’s read this blog over the last four years and here’s to the future! Until next time, peace out! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2015 in Life

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Sicario

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for another recent film review and today I’m finally gonna be talking about Sicario. Now this was a film I really wanted to see after seeing the trailers online and in the cinema, I love a good thriller and the cast just made me want to see it more. Well thanks to Cineworld I got to see the film last night two weeks before its actual UK release, and now I’m gonna talk about it.

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The story can be described as the following:

“At the border between the United States and Mexico, idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is enlisted by a government official to aid in a joint task force tracking down an anonymous drug lord.”

I thought the story was pretty interesting. I feel like the trailers painted the film as a crime thriller with a more familiar plot device in place for the Americans involved, instead you get a lot of good lies and deceit, tension, moral shades of grey and drama, however the plot never unfolds the way you’d expect. Plus it doesn’t help that the pacing felt slow and for a little while you’re left wondering where this film will go plot-wise. That being said, a little ways into the film there’s a revelation revealed and the focus switches up and then the film becomes WAY more interesting than it was before. I will not state when or why, but when you see it you’ll know and that singlehandedly made the film better to watch. It feels wrong to fault a film for not turning out the way that you wanted it to, but at the same time, you like what you like and if a film doesn’t give it to you, then that has to be noted.

The cast was impressive, but the best performances came from Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro. Firstly Emily Blunt as Kate Macer was great, she was this strong, smart and capable FBI agent who had a good moral compass and wanted justice for the all the wrong-doings that took place. However she realises that something’s wrong and is part of something that she didn’t sign up for and searches for answers with varying consequences. Blunt is such a great actress, she’s beautiful, yet badass, confident and vulnerable, headstrong but also naive and she does so very well with her material. But someone who may be even more impressive is Benicio del Toro as Alejandro, this character comes across as the strong, silent type or maybe silent but deadly type, either way he only speaks when its relevant and you’re not quite sure of his position in the story even though he’s working with the US government, but when this guy gets his time to shine, he’s unforgettable. This film reminds me of how intimidating and scary del Toro can be and why he is such a great actor, he genuinely blew me away and I loved his character.

Josh Brolin as Matt Graver was great, he’s a character who was charming and funny, but also had priorities and knew to assert himself in an authoritative when needed or when he wanted to, this was a side of Brolin I hadn’t seen for a while and I enjoyed him performance. Jon Bernthal as Ted was also good, I liked how fun and aggressive he was and always Bernthal turned in a good performance. Maximiliano Hernández was good as Silvio, offering a character I hadn’t seen from him before, but was interesting to watch. Victor Garber (an actor I’ve always remembered from 1997’s Cinderella) was good as Jennings, I also liked Daniel Kaluuya as Reggie Wayne and Jeffrey Donovan as Steve Forsing.

In conclusion Sicario was a good film with moments of brilliance, however it was not nearly as good as I was hoping for. It had a strong subject matter, great performances from Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro and some lovely cinematography and well-filmed action scenes, though the story just didn’t engage me like I thought it would. I may be in the minority of people that didn’t love Sicario and I think this film will do well with most movie-goers and critics, but for me it was good but not great.

Rating: 7.5/10

So what did you think of Sicario? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and let me know. Until the next time, see ya later! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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My Quick Thoughts on Castle Season 7

Howdy people of the internet, how’s it going? Since Castle, one of my favourite TV shows is back on-air with the first episode of season 8 currently out, I thought I’d given my quick review/thoughts on season 7 since there was no official review written beforehand.

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For my previous reviews check them out below:

  1. Season 1
  2. Season 2
  3. Season 3
  4. Season 4
  5. Season 5
  6. Season 6

With Castle season 7 it was a lot of fun, it was all the usual fun you’d get from the show with thrilling cases and character-driven stories. I have to admit, going into this season I hyped to see more Castle and find out what happened after the season 6 finale, though over the course of this season I found myself getting a little fatigued with the show and that’s not to say that it was boring, but that it had gone on for 7 seasons and really needed to finish strong before it got dull or less engaging.

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The quality of this season was good with some interesting revelations about Castle’s disappearance and the progression of Beckett’s career, but the highlight was certainly the return of the 3XK storyline (“Resurrection” and “Reckoning“) which was satisfying for sure. I also loved the episode that focused on Richard’s reason becoming a mystery writer, “Hollander’s Woods“, the Ryan and Esposito-focused episodes (“Kill Switch” and “At Close Range“) were also good and episodes like “Last Action Hero” and “The Wrong Stuff” were fun. What bugged me was the initial treatment of Richard’s disappearance and return, because of his lack of memory and questionable evidence surrounding him, it painted him as the enemy of his own show and put him at odds with not only Kate but his friends and family too. It wasn’t handled the best way, then was swept under the carpet for a while only to be explored fully a while later in “Sleeper“, and while it’s impressive, it’s a little far-fetched too.

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At the end of the day what mattered was the relationship between Richard and Kate, and that was still on top form thanks to great work from Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. Honestly season 7 ended on such a great and strong note, it felt like series finale and I feel like the show should have ended right there and then… But NOPE! This show’s too popular to get rid of so ABC will continue to milk it for as long as it takes, I just hope season 8 is worth it and the show runners have some good material up their sleeve to keep us fans invested.

So have you seen season 7 of Castle and if so what do you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 7 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another TV review, today I’ll be reviewing the 7th and final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So after this crazy ride of going through seasons 12, 3, 4, 5 and 6 I am ready to finish this thing. It is ridiculous that it has taken me this long to finally finish this show and review, I mean I’ve been watching this show for practically TWO YEARS! I think it is about time I get it done. 😛 Minor spoilers follow…

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As usual, we follow the life of Buffy Summers; young lady by day, vampire slayer by night. As part of the “Scooby Gang” they take on the supernatural happenings that go on in Sunnydale.

The show continues to have episodic stories, but also has story arches that continue over the course of the season that relate to things that have happened in the past, but have are also currently happening too.

Story-wise this season deals with the destructive fallout from season six, but also presents a whole new form of obstacles for Buffy and company to tackle. I read online that season 7 was about bringing the show back to its roots and that’s definitely felt with the reintroduction of Sunnydale High School, Buffy being the center of attention as the Slayer, the focus on the Hellmouth, the First finally coming into play and a focus on the core group (Buffy, Willow and Xander). It feels incredibly nostalgic, but also new a fresh because of the new characters and scenarios which inhabit this season. A lot of sacrifices and death and you can’t help but feel for everyone involved, and that’s especially true for Buffy who carries the fate of everyone on her shoulders, most make all the decisions and live with the consequences whether they are be good or bad. There’s a genuine feeling of dread and despair thanks to all the talk and mind games of the First, death and overwhelming situations that Buffy and company have to overcome whether it be successful or otherwise. Its like there’s a cloud of depression hanging over the characters, more so than anything that’s come before and while there are moments humour, it isn’t as frequent as it was before. Everything feels like its come full circle with certain questions finally getting answers or story elements that took place several seasons back finally getting coming to pass now.

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My issues with this season are minor but notable. The overall tone is a little on the dark side and desolate side and while that is necessary because of what was happening, it just wasn’t as fun to watch. There isn’t as much humour as before and some of the stories weren’t as impressive as previous seasons. And finally the inclusion of certain new characters just pissed me off, they weren’t Riley levels of bad, but they got close.

Episode highlights include:

  • Lessons
  • Beneath You
  • Same Time, Same Place
  • Selfless
  • Him (personal favourite)
  • Sleeper
  • Showtime
  • Bring on the Night
  • The Killer in Me
  • Get It Done (personal favourite)
  • Storyteller
  • The Lies My Parents Told Me
  • Dirty Girls (personal favourite)
  • Empty Places
  • End of Days (personal favourite)
  • Chosen (personal favourite)

When it comes to the cast, the once the main original cast members do such great jobs and some deliver some of their best work in the series and because of the First, there are opportunities to certain characters current and old in really interesting lights. Also is all about giving speeches, Buffy gives an awesome speech, so does Xander, and Anya, and good few other people and they are really well-written and well-acted too.

So let’s start with Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers. This season presents us with a much more seasoned and matured individual who is brave and smart, but also slightly more tough and is aware of the dangers that lie ahead. SMG again does a wonderful job in this role adding layers to an already great character by still giving us all the light-hearted and humourous material we’ve come to expect from Buffy, but also giving us different shades of the character whether they are more aggressive or assertive. Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg once again does a lovely job in her role, while Willow’s not nearly as significant as she was last season, she has plenty to do and her moments with Buffy and Xander, and taking on magical-based activity are good too. Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris still does a great job, Xander is once again highlighted as the heart of the group and is a character full of courage, heart and commitment to his friends and the cause that Buffy is fighting for. Brendon really does well and has some really powerful scenes. Also Xander gives a great pep talk to Dawn about being special/important even when you’re not the main protagonist, it was one of the most beautiful and memorable moment of the series for me.

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Michelle Trachtenberg was also pretty good as Dawn Summers, as I stated beforehand, I haven’t always been Dawn’s biggest fan, however I have been warming up to her and this season her character wasn’t in the spotlight as much and I preferred that, she has her moments of importance but overall doesn’t take up too much time in the main stories. James Marsters as Spike, was and always will be a badass. Spike is still humourous, charming and mean, but he’s also caring, troubled and tragic. There are so many layers to this man, he has more courage and heart then most of the characters will ever know and only a handful of people see it. Marsters just excels at his material and proves time after time why he is one of the quintessential characters of this show. Emma Caulfield as also does a good job as Anya, still sarcastic, blunt and funny, but also useful and she has good moments of heroism and drama with Xander. And even though he’s not around as much, Anthony Stewart Head is still the man as Rupert Giles, even though his character was a little at odds with Buffy, he still provides moments of insight, humour and awesomeness.

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Now let’s talk about everyone else. Firstly there’s Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells, I did enjoy Andrew for his pop culture references and silly behaviour, but at the same time the guy was such a wimp and had no respect from the others that it made me dislike him a lot too. D. B. Woodside as Principal Robin Wood, at first I thought he was too nice to not be suspicious, but is turns out that he was a good guy after all with an interesting backstory and a few cool moments to make him a likeable character. As for the Potentials, there’s only a few I choose to acknowledge; Iyari Limon as Kennedy who was the most developed of the new girls and while I liked her headstrong nature, it also annoyed me on occasions and I’m kind of in two minds about her relationship with Willow as well. Sarah Hagan was my favourite as Amanda, she was cute and delightful, and I also liked seeing Felicia Day as Vi too. I have to give this season major props for not only bringing back Eliza Dushku as Faith, she was one of my favourite characters from this show and to see her sassy, sexy and laid back personality being brought back into the fold was much appreciated and Dushku was lovely. But, having NATHAN FILLION as Caleb, that just rocked my world. Anyone who knows me knows how much of fanboy I am when it comes to Fillion, and since I watched Joss Whedon’s shows backwards I had no idea that he was in this, so to see him show up was like the best thing ever. Caleb has such a way with words, he’s calm and collected and full of style, but he’s also crazy, absurdly powerful and scary, and Fillion does such a great job, he’s a likeable douchebag that does really evil things haha.

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So to conclude season 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a great send off to a great TV show. It is like a culmination of everything that has transpired coming together in an epic, drama and emotional manner. The characters have never been stronger or more engaging, the themes have impact, the loss hurts and the triumphs are wonderful. In the final episode there’s a sense of nostalgia, humour and heartbreak during and after the show ends, but I think that’s how you’re supposed to feel, and while this season wasn’t my favourite, it definitely ends on a high.

Rating: 8/10

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Everest

Howdy people of the internet, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about Everest. This was one of the films I highlighted in my films to look out for in 2015, but at the time there was no footage on show, but after I saw the trailer last month I knew it’d be something I had to see in the cinema. So after seeing it last night I’m ready to pass judgement!

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The plot can be summed up as the following:

“On the morning of May 10, 1996, climbers from two expeditions start their final ascent toward the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. With little warning, a violent storm strikes the mountain, engulfing the adventurers in one of the fiercest blizzards ever encountered by man. Challenged by the harshest conditions imaginable, the teams must endure blistering winds and freezing temperatures in an epic battle to survive against nearly impossible odds.”

The story was pretty good. The film basically deals with man vs. nature, death, fighting against overwhelming odds and the power of the human spirit. I thought that the film did a great job at highlighting how difficult of an undertaking it was to scale the famous mountain and showing of Everest as a character itself, a force of nature of that could not be taken lightly. I liked how there was the inclusion of humour and banter between the characters, but I also liked how the film didn’t shy away from the darker side of thing with the elements of danger, fear and despair, and man when the shit hits the fan it hits hard. There were a lot of scenes that are hard to watch with some of these characters, and it also didn’t help that I have fear of falling off of cliffs (yeah, I’m serious), and just Gravity and All Is Lost beforehand, this film perfectly realises one of my main fears of death in a realistic and scary manner.

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The cast did a pretty good job in their roles, though some stood out more than others. Jason Clarke was really good as Rob Hall, his character his confident, heroic and has to deal with so much drama and chaos, and Clarke really sold me on his material. Josh Brolin was one of my favourites as Beck Weathers, he was a character I got attached to and Brolin did a great job with his material. Jake Gyllenhaal was awesome as Scott Fischer, I liked his charisma and energy. Also John Hawkes was really good as Doug Hansen, Michael Kelly gave strong performance as Jon Krakauer and Sam Worthington did well as Guy Cotter and this was the first film of his in a while or maybe ever where I liked his performance. I also enjoyed Emily Watson’s performance as Helen Wilton, Keira Knightley as Jan Arnold, Robin Wright as Peach, Elizabeth Debicki as Dr. Caroline Mackenzie and Naoko Mori who was just so cute and lovely as Yasuko Namba.

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When it comes to the presentation it is truly the highlight of the film. Not to detract from the characters or story, but this is the area of the film that you’ll remember the most after it ends. Visually the film is incredible, the cinematography is great offering various shots and angles of the mountains so that when these characters are climbing and moving at these high altitudes, you can see and feel it. Also the visual effects are stunning and very realistic, the depiction of the mountains are done with just the right amount of scale, detail and clarity, and when the action is going down its pretty hardcore and in 3D the experience is enhanced just that bit more with the extra depth of field too. The sound design is also good with the all of the emphasis on the wind, thunderstorms, movement through the snow or crunch of movement when freezing over being felt throughout. Also the film score by Dario Marianelli is very good giving us a strong, powerful and emotive soundtrack that hit all the right beats and there is one great moment in the film where the music just swells and gives off this incredible sense of determination and satisfaction.

In conclusion Everest is definitely more effective with the spectacle than anything else. While I did enjoy the characters and the story, there are a few familiar narrative elements that hold this film back from being more. That being said, I believe that this film should be watched just for the visual experience on the biggest screen possible.

Rating: 7.5/10

So have you seen Everest and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to leave your comments below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: X-Men: Days of Future Past – Rogue Cut

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen of the world, its time for another film review and today I’m gonna be talking about X-Men: Days of Future Past – Rogue. Now I loved Days of Future Past last year, it was a wonderful experience in the cinema and when I heard about the extended cut that was going to be released with Rogue included, I was hyped! So I eventually got it on Blu-ray recently and now I’m ready to pass judgement! Oh and before I do this review, I won’t repeat myself by talking about the same aspects of the film, instead I’ll talk mainly about the differences. Minor spoilers to follow for people who haven’t seen Days of Future Past

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So the story goes something like this:

In the future the machines known as Sentinels have taken over the Earth and enslaved mutants and humans alike, and many have lost their lives fighting for justice. Now Professor X, Magneto and group of other mutants are the only survivors and the only way for them to save the future is to change the past. So Wolverine is sent back in time to the 1970’s to get the younger versions of Professor X and Magneto to band together and stop the Sentinel programme from coming into existence.

The plot for the film is essentially the same as the theatrical release, with one major change; the inclusion of Rogue. Now Rogue was absent from theatrical version of this film besides a quick cameo, but here in the future she has a more significant presence as her whereabouts are disclosed and she actually gets to contribute to the main mission. It was definitely nice to see Anna Paquin again as Rogue, however, I don’t feel like she added much to the film, more like her appearance offered an alternative take on some of the future timeline. What I did appreciate was the additional scenes in the future, while they were mainly scenes of additional dialogue, it really added to the plot, developed some of the characters a little more and felt like a positive inclusion. I loved the additional scenes with older Professor X and Magneto, the small yet important scenes with Bobby and Kitty and the extra scenes for the new mutants like Bishop, Sunspot, Blink and Warpath. In the past, the plot doesn’t change, rather there are a few variations on certain scenes or some additional scenes added, but these don’t really add anything to the plot and feel unnecessary. Even one additional scene with Beast and Mystique/Raven, as good as it is, again doesn’t really feel entirely needed.

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Beyond the changes, everything that you liked about the original version of the film is intact and awesome. I still love the action, drama and the performances from the cast involved. And on Blu-ray everything looks very sharp, clean and pretty. Some of my issues with the film haven’t been ironed out like the use of the 70’s Sentinels and the lack of really badass screen time for Storm still bothers me.

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In conclusion X-Men: Days of Future Past is a great alternative to the theatrical version and if it is your first experience of the film then it should be a good time regardless. That being said I believe that some of the changes and additions to this extended cut aren’t necessary or superior to the original and some of the additional scenes actually ruin the pacing of the film too. It really depends on how much you love the X-Men film universe and whether the new stuff adds or detracts for you personally, I’d say its good version, but not a better one.

Rating: 8/10

So what do you lot think of the X-Men: Days of Future Past? Have you seen it and if so which version do you prefer, the Rogue Cut or the theatrical version? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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