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Monthly Archives: February 2018

PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 48 – Black Panther Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, last year I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And the latest episode is a review of the latest Marvel film, Black Panther.

Anyway here’s the episode 48:

I’ve done already done my written review for Black Panther, however, though like most of my written reviews I forgot certain things or wanted to elaborate on certain aspects of the film and that’s where the podcast comes into play. This was one of my favourite reviews to record in recent times due to the fact that I found myself getting more excited about talking about the film as the episode went on and you can really tell how much I liked Black Panther in this review… Even if I do sound a little crazy haha. 😛 So if you don’t like reading, prefer the sound of audio-based reviews then check out my review. 🙂

As I mentioned before I’ll cover a different topic or review in each episode and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if they are fans of film discussion. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining in future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

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Posted by on February 16, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Black Panther

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another review and today I’m finally talking about a film I’ve been waiting to watch for almost 2 YEARS! I am of course talking about Black Panther. Since watching Captain America: Civil War in the cinema, I have been ready for this film and the wait has been AGONISING, but luckily time passed along quickly and I finally got to see the film last night. So is this film a good watch or not? Well read on and find out! 😀

The plot can be summed up as the following: “T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.”

I enjoyed the story quite a lot, and while a lot happens in several locations and at certain points, the stakes have potential global ramifications, they felt suitably scaled and revolved the key characters in the right way. Since Phase Two, the MCU has changed its approach to tone, genre and story elements and this film has had the most significant change in terms of tone, character-driven nature and culture. The story dealt with family issues, revenge, power and control, secrets and lies, and the trials and tribulations that come with being a king, and all of these issues and others were handled with care and attention and I also appreciated the film’s commentary black history and current topics as it was relevant yet not overbearing. But what I really loved was how much of a character-driven drama this film was, everything that happened had a purpose and affected the main characters as the story progressed, so when the drama and emotional moments kicked in, it had SO much impact. And I also believe this is one of the most intense superhero films I’ve seen in a while, because of the story and the way it affected the characters, after the film ended I felt like I needed to take some time just to breathe and process what I just watched as I was emotionally gripped the whole way through. Oh and one more thing, even though I only have a minor amount of knowledge when it comes to the Black Panther source material, I was surprised and delighted with the way the source material was adapted into live-action.

As for the characters I really loved everyone in this film as they all had a role to play that fit into the overall narrative, they were all useful, memorable and fun. Firstly Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther killed it, he was already a great character in Civil War, but in this film were got to see more of his personality, more his strengths and weaknesses and see trying to accept his new responsibilities as a king and Black Panther. Boseman was likeable, funny, powerful and badass. And then there’s Michael B. Jordan as Eric Killmonger… Damn, this dude was awesome, Killmonger has an interesting backstory with solid villainous motivations and you can understand and to some degree agree with some of the stuff that he says and all of those elements definitely put him in the better MCU villain category for sure. And Jordan was excellent in this role, the guy oozes charisma and coolness, has a great screen presence and can be scary as hell at times. Danai Gurira as Okoye was frigging badass, absolutely awesome. When Gurira signed on to this film I knew the people at Marvel were gonna make good use of her combat skills from The Walking Dead, but my god she got so many scene-stealing moments not only on the battlefield but also off of it while interacting with T-Challa and other key characters. Okoye was a no-nonsense and proud warrior and I loved what Gurira brought to this role. Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia was quite good, at first I wondered how’d she’d factor into the film, but I really enjoyed her character, she had a great rapport with the other main characters and I liked what she brought to the story.

Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross got involved in the story far more than I expected, and I loved it. We only got a little bit of his character in Civil War, but in this film we learnt more about him as a person, he had some great interaction with several of the main characters and Freeman was delightful in the role. Letitia Wright as Shuri was quite good, at first I thought her attitude and cocky nature would annoy me, but she ended up being one of my favourite characters because of her smarts but also because of how she was integrated into the main story beats. Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi was really good, this character has a rough backstory and seeing his character progress through the film was interesting to watch. Winston Duke as M’Baku was really good with a powerful and intimidating screen presence, Angela Bassett as Ramonda was great as always, adding that dramatic flair that only Bassett can, Forest Whitaker as Zuri was really good, he had some great moments with T’Challa and I enjoyed learning about the significance of his character, and Sterling K. Brown was solid as N’Jobu too. And finally, there’s Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue, man I loved this dude! Serkis left a good impression in Age of Ultron, but here we got to see more of the character’s unhinged, tactical and funny nature, he’s a bit of a nutter, but is whenever he’s on-screen it is a good time.

When it comes to the presentation it was great. Visually the film looked great, the filmmakers did a great job at not only bringing the world of Wakanda to life but also presenting a great mixture of futuristic and old school/tradition African material whether it be through the technology, costumes, city landscape, etc. The use of CGI was also solid, though at times wasn’t as solid, and the cool action scenes were really good, there was a lot of creativity, style and power that came with some of these scenes whether you were talking about car chases or fight scenes, it was all handled so well. And just to elaborate on those fight scenes, I loved how the combat scenes shot with a lot of long shots and not too unnecessary cuts, the fights had the right amount of realism, acrobatics and dramatic weight because of what was at stake, and T-Challa’s bodyguards, the Dora Milaje was frigging awesome, these female warriors kicked ass! Also the soundtrack was awesome, the use of certain music was nice and Ludwig Göransson’s film score has a varied sound that incorporates African instrumentation and vocals, a traditional orchestrated sound and a hip-hop kind of style, sometimes these sounds mix and on paper it feels like it shouldn’t work, but in the film these different styles work well together and separately.

In conclusion, Black Panther was everything I wanted it to be and then some, it was thrilling, dramatic, intense and fun. Everyone involved should be proud of the film they’ve created as this is the Black Panther film the character deserved, and while it doesn’t change the superhero game, it was a wonderfully unique experience that I think everyone should check out. 🙂

So have you seen Black Panther and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Best of Film Focus

Good day to you ladies and gents, today I just wanted to talk about my podcast, Film Focus and share with you some of the best episodes I have produced since I started back in 2016. And while I did highlight some of my favourite episodes in my first-anniversary post, I believe I have produced some better work since then and highlight my better work.

So without further ado here is a selection of some of my favourite/best episodes that I’ve done so far from the earliest to the latest:

Triple Review: Split, XXX: Return of Xander Cage & T2 Trainspotting

Even though I highlighted this episode before, it is still one my favourite and most unique episodes. Before this point, I had never thought of doing three mini reviews in one episode, the thought was a little mad to me and I thought it could be a mistake because I wasn’t giving each film a dedicated episode. However, it worked out in my favour because I was able to say enough about each film without going on too long, and it has gone on to be my second most played episode on Soundcloud which is awesome.

The Fate of the Furious Review

Even though I don’t talk about it too much, I did enjoy the last Fast and Furious film, it was fun, not my favourite of the franchise but still worth watching. And while I liked making this episode, for some reason, towards the latter half of the year it just picked up steam and became the most played episode on Soundcloud, its closing in on 500 plays which is insane to me, but hey I am not complaining in the slightest. 😛

Spider-Man: Homecoming Review

I make it no secret that Spider-Man: Homecoming was one of my favourite films of last year and while it wasn’t the best film, it just gave me a great sense of fun, youthful energy and difference from the Sony Spidey films of the past. And I think you can tell in this episode that I really enjoyed my time watching the film and it was a fun one to record.

Theme Songs in Superhero Films

This is the first episode where I truly got to talk about my love for the music that comes with superhero films and why I believe they are important aspects of these films. I enjoyed creating this episode a lot and putting it out there into the world.

2017 Summer Movie Recap

This is one of the most notable episodes of the podcast as it featured my first guest in the form of Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews, and he was a lovely gentlemen who helped me go through most of the major films from of last summer from films we both saw and some that we saw individually. It is one of the longer episodes but it was hella fun.

Film Scores and Composers

Besides a few other episodes, this was the passion project that I really wanted to make an episode about since I started the podcast. Music in film is SO important to me and while I’m not well-versed in the proper descriptive terms to analyse film scores and composers, I am very passionate and I can tell you how film scores makes me feel and how I believe it enhances a film or works being the confines of the films they belong to.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

And so Drew thankfully returned to join me for my review of the latest Star Wars films and that was certainly an interesting episode for sure. We both had different opinions about the film, there were elements we agreed on, but there were also a few times where we were on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to how certain elements of the story, characterisation and evolution of the overall SW canon.

2017 Superhero Film Discussion

And finally, we have the episode where I had my second guest on the podcast, Eddie from Jaccendo to help me talk about the superhero films of 2017. With such a variety of films adapted from comic books last year there was a good deal of stuff to talk about, both good and bad, and what I enjoyed about recording this episode was having another person to bounce off of and offer a different opinion from my own. It is my longest episode but it was just a very casual, fun and nerdy conversation of the best kind. 🙂

Well, that is everything that I wanted to share, if you haven’t checked out my podcast yet I would appreciate if you subscribed on Soundcloud or iTunes and if you could sort me some comments or reviews that would be awesome! 🙂 Anyway until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2018 in Films, Media

 

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