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QUICK THOUGHTS: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Teaser Trailer

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So yesterday something of significance happened as we finally got to see the first trailer for Star Wars Episode VIII also known as Star Wars: The Last Jedi. So let’s waste no time and talk about that trailer!

Check out the trailer below:

So my initial impressions were this, “I am intrigued, wasn’t blown away, but so far so good.” Now I’ve seen from some people online that they’ve found the teaser disappointing or underwhelming and to a degree I can understand considering that 1) It’s the next Star Wars film we’re talking about, so people have high expectations and want to see something special. And 2) Some studios have become a little more open to revealing material for their teaser trailers with results varying from a decent amount to too much. With The Last Jedi trailer it did what a proper teaser should; it gave you a vague yet interesting idea of the story and tone, a look at the actors involved and had some cool visuals and music without giving away any spoilers. This trailer was very in line with the first teaser for The Force Awakens where you got glimpses into the film with various scenes of characters, scenery and action scenes, this teaser was pretty similar, but had a little more weight and drama to it considering that it is not only a sequel to The Force Awakens but also has our first story material for Luke Skywalker since Return of the Jedi.

What I liked about this teaser was the tone, it was very dark, very ominous and mysterious with the use of music and visuals. It feels in line with what’s come with the last film, but things feel a little more dire, aggressive and uncertain and I love it! This feels like the First Order are coming back in full force to mess up the New Republic with the space battles, the explosion of Poe’s ship inside that hanger area, the cool shot of Kylo Ren and the quick scene of Captain Phasma and her troops. What’s even more captivating is Rey and seeing her feel the force and being trained by Luke with saber combat and so on. It seems like her training will be extensive, physical and psychological. But I’m also hyped to hear Luke speak, just hearing him say lines like “Breathe.” and “What do you feel?” Was nice, but what was very curious was that final line about the Jedi needing to end. What does that mean? Does he mean he’s giving up being a Jedi himself or is he suggesting that the idea of the Jedi needs to be disbanded or reimagined? Or does it mean Luke’s going dark like some fans have feared? I doubt it’s the last one but its fun to speculate.

In the end I’m very intrigued and encouraged by the first footage of The Last Jedi, it looks like it will be a good time. December is too far away dammit and I need this film now!

So have you seen The Last Jedi trailer and if so what did you think of it? Are you hyped, curious or underwhelmed? Let me know in comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2017 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Jamiroquai – Automaton

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? Today I’m doing a music review, yes, one of those! Its been almost 2 years since I reviewed Jack White’s Lazaretto album in 2015, but I knew I had to come back and talk about this album in particular. For those not aware, Jamiroquai are my favourite band of all time, I’ve been listening to their music since childhood and the wait for their 8th album, Automaton, has been the longest and most painful wait of any album in recent memory (other than Red Hot Chili Peppers’ The Getaway). So after listening to the album 3 times and finally getting free to blog I’m ready to review it!

Like I mentioned above, I’ve been jamming to Jamiroquai since childhood, probably around 1996 with the sounds of “Virtual Insanity“, “Cosmic Girl” and “Space Cowboy (Classic Radio Mix)” being my video into their sound. After that I had all of their main singles until 2004 and 2005 when I got The Return of the Space Cowboy and Dynamite and that’s when I really dove deep into their song and became a fan for life. Back in 2010 I really liked Rock Dust Light Star, I will admit it did take a few listens to truly appreciate some of the songs, but on the whole I thought it was solid. But after a while of hearing little to no updates as to when the next album would drop, especially after 2015, I thought I’d be waiting forever for something new. But thankfully 2017 was the year when Jamiroquai reemerged and I couldn’t be happier.

Now before we continue I just want to say as I always do, I’m no music buff, I just like the sound of music and like many people in the world I have an opinion. So don’t kill me if I don’t use the right technical jargon when I’m describing the music okay? Good, let’s continue.

So to start things off, Automaton is a damn good album, there’s no two ways about it. Jamiroquai have come back with a sound that is familiar, yet fresh and it has one hell of a presence. The best way to describe the sound of this album would be if Jamiroquai took the funk, disco and electronic sounds they’ve done in the past and mixed it in with some Daft Punk and this album would be the end result. It is not like the band have completely abandoned their acid jazz flare completely as there are increments that can be found throughout the album, but this album feels more like a follow-up to A Funk Odyssey with elements taken from Rock Dust Light Star too. Automaton has an eclectic set of songs and yet they all work in cohesion with each to create a wonderful listening experience which is fun, upbeat, heartfelt and groovy as hell.

The album begins with “Shake It On“, and it is good way to open the album with an upbeat and groovy song with a lovely chorus and has a mixture of electronic, funk and disco sounds. And then we have “Automaton“, the first single released from this album and I don’t care what some fans say, I love this song. Upon first listen it was a little strange with the flow of the music, distorted sound effects and modulated vocals of Jay during the verses, but once that chorus kicked in, the song had me. And since then the songs only become more addictive with its futuristic electronic sound with a bit of that classic sound sprinkled in around 3:25. “Cloud 9” was the next single released from the album and good gravy is it a good one, unlike “Automaton” which rubbed some fans the wrong way, this song feels more in line with the sound that the band’s done before. It is a chilled out and very groovy kind of song that gets better with every listen, and part of the reason I like so much is it feels a little like a combination of Daft Punk and Justice. “Superfresh” is another nice track that has a marvelously crafted disco-like sound that opens well and has a lovely chorus too.

And there’s “Hot Property“, good gravy that song is awesome. The way the song starts up with that bass and main melody, it reminded me of “Supersonic“, from there you have a song with a catchy chorus, a lovely breakdown around 2.27  which switches perfectly back into the normal sound around 3.10, the song is great especially for dancing. Something About You” is an enchanting little song that’s chilled out and not as flashy as some of the other songs on the album, but it has a feel-good vibe, its relaxed and has the lovely Jay Kay vocals too. This was when I was really getting those Daft Punk vibes where I was reminded of songs like “Something About Us” and “Fragments in Time“, very different songs but sort of similar in feel. I also really enjoyed around 2.41 where the guitarist is definitely channelling that Nile Rodgers style of work, and the final minute or so of the song with whimsical music and wonderful vocals, its magical to me. Then there’s “Summer Girl“, on my first listen this became my favourite song on the album. It feels like a spiritual successor to the band’s free song “Smile” from 2011. It’s GORGEOUS, the way it flows, and perfectly captures not only the vibe of summer and that feeling of elation when you’re in a relationship, but also channels that perfect Jamiroquai song it is insane. This song  is pretty much perfection to my ears with the groovy music, incredible chorus and the blend of Jay Kay and the female backing vocalists works perfectly together. “Nights Out in the Jungle” is a song on my first listen I kind of liked, but on subsequent listens I’ve dug it more and more. I like the beat, the chorus is addictive and it has a subdued yet playful nature to it.

Dr Buzz” stood out a lot on my first listen just because it felt more story-driven, dramatic and atmospheric, and yet it is still incredible. There’s a melancholy and somber tone that I get from this song and yet there’s so much beauty to be found from the musical composition (shout outs to the saxophone and guitar work towards the end of the song), but there’s also the vocals which are amazing especially with the verses, and chorus. Then there’s “We Can Do It” which has a nice sound and vocals, but it is my least favourite song on the album just because it doesn’t really grab me like other tracks. “Vitamin” is a song that caught me off-guard with its crazy upbeat tempo, ferocity and intensely groovy sounds, and yet it got its hooks into me and I feel in love. It feels like a true transformation/transition of the Jamiroquai sound from the late 90’s to now with the new beats and classic instrumentation. And the album ends with “Carla“, a track that’s wonderful in its music composition, and has great vocals, but what makes the song so special is the fact that its tribute to Jay Kay’s daughter which can clearly be heard in the lyrics and its beautiful.

My favourite songs for this album is tough as the whole album is pretty much amazing, but if I had to narrow it down these would be my choices:

  • Automaton
  • Cloud 9
  • Superfresh
  • Hot Property (personal favourite)
  • Something About You (personal favourite)
  • Summer Girl (personal favourite)
  • Dr Buzz (personal favourite)
  • Vitamin (personal favourite)

In conclusion Jamiroquai’s Automaton is a fabulous album that gives you what you want as a fan of this band, but at the same time they deliver new sounds which you didn’t know you wanted until I hear them. The album is great to listen to if you want to dance or chill out, it’s just delightful and I’m SO happy that Jamiroquai are bringing the funk back. If you’re a fan you owe it to yourself to check this album out if you haven’t already, it is one delicious session! 😀

Rating: 9/10 (This is the sound you need in your system)

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 29 – Double Review: Power Rangers & Ghost in the Shell

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. The latest episode (which was out last week) features a double review for Power Rangers and Ghost in the Shell.

Anyway here’s the episode 29:

Now I’ve already done reviews for Power Rangers and Ghost in the Shell but I had to do a podcast episode to allow my thoughts to be fully formed, plus I also have a mini review on Get Out included in there too so I would recommend this episode highly because it was another really fun episode to record.

Here’s the time codes for the specific reviews:

  1. Mini Get Out discussion 01:34
  2. Power Rangers 03:30
  3. Ghost in the Shell 19:36

As I mentioned before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic 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 you can. Also you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Marvel’s Iron Fist Season 1 Review (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, it is time for another one of those big reviews that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, I am talking about the final Netflix show before Defenders comes out later on this year, I am of course talking about Marvel’s Iron Fist season 1. Now this show’s had one hell of an interesting ride before and during its release with early episodes getting pretty negative press from critics and then having fans slamming critics for their opinions because they think the show’s great. Either way my hype for Iron Fist super high, but the early reviews did make me worry. However, I finished the show yesterday, I’ve had some time to think about it and I’m ready to share my thoughts.

So what’s the story for this show? It can be described as the following: “Danny Rand returns to New York City after being missing for years, trying to reconnect with his past and his family legacy. He fights against the criminal element corrupting his world around him with his incredible kung-fu mastery and ability to summon the awesome power of the fiery Iron Fist.”

Okay, so Iron Fist’s story. The words that immediately come to mind especially for the first half of the series would be dull, frustrating, repetitious, contrived and convenient. Those are words I never expected to associate with this show. Now none of the previous Marvel Netflix shows have been able to fully escape moments of bordem or tedious material, but show has them from the beginning. Unlike previous shows where I was on board within three episodes, this show took until episode six for me to start to get into it which was crazy. On paper this story sound like all sorts of fun and with Danny’s backstory and how it ties into what’s happening in New York with the criminals running around, it should be captivating, and yet we spend too much time on small/unimportant things, take too much time on plotlines that spread over several episodes instead of one or two or set or mention certain things that have no pay off (like the mysticism and backstory with K’un-Lun). I think it the script that does the most damage to this show with dialogue and scenarios that felt unoriginal, weird and silly. The show felt incredibly slow and it honestly felt like a chore to get through, sometimes I stopped completely paying attention to mess with my phone or play some video games. By the time the show ended I was curious as to why things unfolded in the way in which they did and if the writers had shortened, changed or simplified the story from what we had gotten, the show would have benefited from it immensely. That being said, there’s still some redeeming qualities in the story, mythology and characters especially from episode six onwards, while not consistently good there’s still elements to appreciate.

Episode highlights include:

  • Immortal Emerges from Cave
  • Felling Tree with Roots
  • Black Tiger Steals Heart
  • Dragon Plays with Fire

When it comes to the cast, I think they did their best considering the material they were given and some actors/actresses were good while other didn’t fare as well. Firstly there’s Finn Jones as Danny Rand/Iron Fist, here’s the thing, I like Jones as an actor and I thought he did the best that he could, that being said I didn’t like Danny Rand that much. He was a well-meaning guy with some cool martial arts talents and a sense of justice, but my god he was such an annoying, naive and frustrating person to follow. I understand the he’s endured a lot with the loss of his parents and the years he spent in K’un-Lun isolated away from the normal world, but he came across as a very childish, irrational and illogical individual. Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing fared a heck of a lot better, she had an interesting personality, code of conduct and her initial story and character moments felt far more engaging than Danny. Unfortunately because of the writing I felt like she ended up doing a few things that made her less engaging to watch but otherwise she was solid.

Tom Pelphrey and Jessica Stroup as Ward and Joy Meachum really fluctuated in terms of how much I liked them. At first they were both incredibly dull, surface level characters with no interesting qualities and I wondered why they took up so much screen time besides the fact that they were tied to Danny’s childhood. It wasn’t until later when Ward’s story started to get interesting and I was curious to see where his character went and Joy, well I liked her, but she seemed to change her motivations and moral code a few too many times for me to like her on a long-term basis. David Wenham as Harold Meachum was a lot of fun at times, but then other times he was a little generic and plain, Wenham committed to his material hundred percent and I thought he did well in his role. Ramón Rodríguez was really effective as Bakuto, he had a very cool and intimidating presence, and seeing the return of Wai Ching Ho as Gao was great though not utilised to her fullest. Sacha Dhawan as Davos was awesome, he was a stern, aggressive and badass warrior who stole a lot of shine from Danny and was one of my favourite parts of the show. And finally Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, man I love this girl. While her integration in this show wasn’t as natural as the previous shows, she did have some of the best charisma, humour and logic of all of the characters, at this point she needs her own show or at least a more meaty role going ahead.

As for the presentation, well, it was significantly less impressive than I had hoped. Like the previous Marvel Netflix shows it is shot well for the most part and the style and presentation of New York is lovely. What was a little hit or miss was the action scenes, anyone who has read this blog knows that I LOVE me some well choreographed martial arts and considering who Iron Fist is and his comic book source material I was expecting something on another level. However, what we got at best was some interesting and fun fight sequences that borrowed from some classic and more recent films, but then were times when the fights looked okay to really dull lacking a sense of urgency, style, flair, impact and speed that was really required for characters so closely associated with martial arts. As for the soundtrack by Trevor Morris wasn’t all that impressive, unlike previous Marvel shows (especially Luke Cage) the score has no presence or does little to elevate what’s happening on-screen. The most memorable piece of music is the opening theme and that’s all because it reminds me of “The Game Has Changed” from Tron Legacy.

In conclusion season 1 of Marvel’s Iron Fist is a disappointment. The show is not complete garbage as a lot of critics have made it out to be and there is some fun to be had once you get into the latter half of the season, but as it stands, I feel like the bad outweigh the good with a lot of issues relating to the dialogue, pacing, characters and most importantly the martial arts. It isn’t fun, there’s no real sense of personality or flair and compared to the comics and the shows that preceded it, it should have been much better. If you love the show, more power to you, but I can only recommend this show if you’re curious or a completest of MCU material.

So have you seen season 1 of Marvel’s Iron Fist and is so what do you think of it? And how would you compare it to Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episodes 27 & 28: Logan & Kong: Skull Island

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. Since I never made a post about episode 27, I decided to release both episodes in the same post with the topics relating to reviews for Logan and Kong: Skull Island.

Anyway here’s the episode 27:

And here is episode 28:

I’ve already written about Logan and Kong: Skull Island, however if you’re not into reading then I believe you’ll find my audio commentary to be a little more comprehensive, entertaining and possibly funny. 🙂

As I mentioned before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic 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 you can. Also you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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My Thoughts on the Passing of Bill Paxton

Howdy people of the internet, this is a blog post I didn’t expect to write any time soon. So yesterday the world was made away about the passing of Bill Paxton and there’s been a lot of condolences and beautiful thoughts shared about him from celebrities and fans alike, so I just wanted to share my own thoughts.

So after I left work yesterday evening and was waiting for some fast food I decided to check the internet for some superhero news and then I saw on Comic Book Movie and saw a headline about Bill Paxton passing away at 61 years old. Honestly I thought it was a joke, so I had to check Google straight after and it was confirmed on multiple sites and honestly I got so frigging sad. Now a number people state that getting sad about celebrities that you don’t know is silly/unnecessary, but screw it I can’t help it. Paxton is one of those actors I’ve been aware since I my childhood and while I never really knew who he was specifically until I was a teenager, he’s always been one of those guys you not only knew by face, but also knew he’d deliver a solid performance as well.

I don’t know if I saw him in Aliens or Twister first, but Twister was the film that put him on my radar, I saw that film a good few times when I was younger and as I got older whenever I watched a film with him in it, I’d be like “Hey it’s that dude from Twister, I like that guy.” It wasn’t until 204 when he made a good few appearances in films and TV that he really started to ascend in my favourite actors. And even now going through his filmography, I’ve seen him in a good number of films that I never even knew he was there, and that doesn’t mean he’s invisible, but it just shows how much work he’s done over the decades. We got films like Weird Science, Predator 2, Titanic, Might Joe Young, and even 2 Guns, a film I enjoyed at the time I forgot about his appearance there too.

edge-of-tomorrow-recensione-anteprima-bill-paxton-sergente-istruttore

But my favourite roles were the punk dude from The Terminator, Bill Harding, the leading man from Twister, the stringer Joe Loder from Nightcrawler and one of my favourites, Master Sergeant Farell from Edge of Tomorrow. And then of course you had his appearance as John Garrett from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., say what you want about the Marvel show especially in season 1 but he brought a lot of fun, humour and badassery to Hydra and the show in general.

What really stung about the news of his passing was the fact that I met him. I got to meet him at London Film & Comic-Con in July 2015 a few years ago and he was the nicest dude ever, so kind, welcoming and funny, and getting my picture taken with him was honestly one of the highlights of my life. I look forward to checking out my of his filmography, and though he’s gone he’ll never be forgotten because he was 100% badass.

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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Films, Life, Media, Television

 

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BRIEF THOUGHTS: Oscars 2017 Results

Howdy people of the world, today is the day after the Oscars and like previous years I’m gonna share my thoughts on it.

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Now for the last few years I have made a habit of watching the Oscars because as a film fan I naturally gravitate towards award shows especially one as notable as the Annual Academy Awards. But in recent years it has become apparent that a lot of film fans aren’t as invested in the award show or films/people that get nominated whether its down to generic/obvious Oscar bait films or the voters of the academy being too being blind too old or unaware of specific smaller films that deserve attention. Whatever the case is, there’s a been a decrease in the care relating to this award show from what I’ve noticed online. With all that being said, I was in two minds about watching the Oscars, on one hand I’ve been doing it for years so it felt right to continue, but on the other hand I just wasn’t feeling too good after work to try and stay up. In the end I attempted to start watching, but gave up and watched some anime and YouTube stuff instead. I kept up to date with some of the early winners and then fell asleep around 3am.

So unlike previous years I can’t talk about the show as a whole or know how well Jimmy Kimmel did as a host, but what I will do is talk about some of the wins for this year that stood out to me. So here we go:

  • Mahershala Ali Winning Best Supporting Actor: Of the people who were nominated for awards of the night, this was not only the one that I saw but also the one that I wast he most happy with. While I haven’t seen Moonlight, I’ve seen the strength of Ali’s acting talents elsewhere and when you take into account Moonlight in addition to Luke Cage and Hidden Figures, the guy had one hell of a year. He’s been around, has done great work and I’m glad he’s being recognised for it. His speech was beautiful and just like his interviews, he’s as humble and cool as ever.
  • Zootopia Winning Best Animated Feature: This was something I expected but the same time didn’t. With two Disney films nominated in the same category I knew the outcome would probably come down to these two films, and while I enjoyed Moana a lot, Zootopia was different and was unexpected so I’m happy for its win. However, I REALLY wanted Kubo and the Two Strings to get it, I really loved that film and it would have been great for Laika to get a win for their incredible work.
  • Jungle Book Wins Visual Effects: This was almost a given considering how masterfully that film was put together, though I thought it would be tough considering what Deepwater Horizon and Rogue One. But I am happy for the filmmakers, Jungle Book was a technical masterpiece and it deserves the win.
  • La La Land and it’s awards: Now for me, La La Land was a really fun time in the cinema, but not this amazing masterpiece that some have made it out to be. So while some of the awards I can understand, some of them I’m not too sure about. Firstly when it comes to Best Cinematography and Best Production Design I can get down with those awards because La La Land was shot so well and some of the set design was really great too. And with Best Original Score and Best Original Song anyone had seen the film knew that this film would clean up, I do like “City of Stars” so I’m happy for that win, but if “You’re Welcome” from Moana had been nominated I would have loved that instead. And there’s Damien Chazelle who I thought a great job with this film so I’m okay with Best Director and with Best Leading Actress I’m happy for Emma Stone, she did really well in the film, however, I unfortunately haven’t seen any of the other leading actress film besides Emma Stone so I’m happy for her win also,

Now I can’t really comment on many of the other departments because I’m not all that interested or haven’t seen the films myself, at this point Moonlight, Fences, Manchester By the Sea, Loving, Hacksaw Ridge and Lion are still on the watch list, so I’ve still got research to do.

The full list of winners can be found here:

Best Picture

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Moonlight (winner)

Best Director

  • Denis Villeneuve – Arrival
  • Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
  • Damien Chazelle – La La Land (winner)
  • Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By The Sea
  • Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • Casey Affleck – Manchester By The Sea (winner)
  • Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
  • Ryan Gosling – La La Land
  • Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
  • Denzel Washington – Fences

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Isabelle Huppert – Elle
  • Ruth Negga – Loving
  • Natalie Portman – Jackie
  • Emma Stone – La La Land (winner)
  • Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actor

  • Mahershala Ali – Moonlight (winner)
  • Jeff Bridges – Hell Or High Water
  • Lucas Hedges – Manchester By The Sea
  • Dev Patel – Lion
  • Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress

  • Viola Davis – Fences (winner)
  • Naomie Harris – Moonlight
  • Nicole Kidman – Lion
  • Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
  • Michelle Williams – Manchester By The Sea

Best Original Screenplay

  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • The Lobster
  • Manchester By The Sea (winner)
  • 20th Century Women

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hidden Figures
  • Lion
  • Moonlight (winner)

Best Film Editing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge (winner)
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Moonlight

Best Foreign Language Film

  • A Man Called Ove – Sweden
  • Land Of Mine – Denmark
  • The Salesman – Iran
  • Tanna – Australia
  • Toni Erdmann – Germany

Best Animated Feature

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life As A Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia (winner)

Best Cinematography

  • Arrival
  • La La Land (winner)
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Silence

Best Production Design

  • Arrival
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Hail, Caesar!
  • La La Land (winner)
  • Passengers

Best Visual Effects

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book (winner)
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Make-Up and Hairstyling

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Suicide Squad (winner)

Best Sound Mixing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge (winner)
  • La La Land
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Best Sound Editing

  • Arrival (winner)
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Sully

Best Costume Design

  • Allied
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (winner)
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jackie
  • La La Land

Best Original Score

  • Jackie
  • La La Land (winner)
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Passengers

Best Original Song

  • La La Land – Audition
  • La La Land – City of Stars (winner)
  • Moana – How Far I’ll Go
  • Jim: The James Foley Story – The Empty Chair
  • Trolls – Can’t Stop the Feeling

Best Documentary Feature

  • Fire At Sea
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • O.J: Made in America (winner)
  • 13th

Best Documentary Short

  • Extremis
  • 4.1 Miles
  • Joe’s Violin
  • Watani: My Homeland
  • The White Helmets (winner)

Best Live-Action Short

  • Ennemis Intérieurs
  • La Femme et le TGV
  • Silent Nights
  • Sing (winner)
  • Timecode
Best Animated Short
  • Blind Vaysha
  • Borrowed Time
  • Pear Cider and Cigarettes
  • Pearl
  • Piper (winner)

In conclusion the 2017 Oscars wins were partly expected but also not as satisfying as previous years bar a few specific films.

So what do you think of this year’s Oscars? Did these films deserve to win or not? If you watched it this year did it live up to your expectations or were you disappointed? Leave your comments below and I’ll catch ya later. 😀

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Films, Media

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 26 – Double Review: John Wick: Chapter 2 & The Lego Batman Movie

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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. The latest episode of the podcast features a double review for John Wick: Chapter 2 and The Lego Batman Movie. And in case you wondering where episode 25 is, it exists and you can listen to it here.

Anyway here’s the episode 26:

Now I really wanted to do a podcast episode about both of these films because not only did I have a little more to say about John Wick: Chapter 2 beyond my written review, but also because I didn’t do a review for The Lego Batman Movie and I knew I had to share my thoughts somehow so I included both reviews together because I wouldn’t have much of an episode if I talked about each film individually.

Here’s the time codes for the specific reviews:

  1. John Wick: Chapter 2 02:49
  2. The Lego Batman Movie: 15:10

As I mentioned before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic 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 you can. Also you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Saying Goodbye To Regular Show

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? I know its been a little while since I wrote any film or TV reviews, but today I return with a topic that just needed to be talked about. The other day I finally got around to watching the three-part finale for season 8 of Regular Show, and the fact that one of my favourite cartoons has come to end has me feeling a lot of emotions. And I don’t think I could let this blog continue without addressing the show’s 8th and final season, the finale and my feelings on the show overall. MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD…

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Now some of you may already know about my love for Regular Show as I did a blog post a about it a while ago, but season 7 and more recently season 8 has done a fair amount to reinforce that love not with only the quality of their storytelling and character development, but their ability to change up the basic formula by creating new and interesting scenarios, adding to the existing mythology of the world, and building off of the foundations of previous seasons. And yet it still contains not the humour us fans have come to love but also some of the more relatable/dramatic material.

I will admit, for all the love I’ve had for this cartoon over the years, its consistency in overall seasons hasn’t always been on point. I remember I think after season 4, some ways into season 5 things started to slow down for me, and while there were certainly moments in season 6, again, I didn’t feel like I was having as many great episodes as had come in the show before. That being said, it was during these later seasons that there was more continuity and on-going storylines taking place from what I recall. Season 7 was when things really picked up with the humour and crazy material that made me fall in love with the show, but also bringing up plot points from previous seasons, having character-driven stories and a greater focus on Rigby and his journey to get a high school diploma. And the way that season ended, bloody hell, it totally took me by surprise (SPOILERS with the dome leaving Earth taking the main primary cast into space). And season 8 has featured a lot of really random and bizarre material for the characters to deal with stuff like being homesick, understanding the different rules of space, making new allies and enemies, learning about the history of the space dome and dealing Pops’ key storyline. I had a lot of fun watching this season with all the inventive ways the people behind this show were able to give us more of the same in the simplest/normal of ways, but at the same time was able to provide larger than life circumstances in various ways, some of my favourite episodes include:

  • Space Creds
  • Ugly Moons
  • The Brain of Evil
  • Fries Night (one of my absolute favourites)
  • Stuck in an Elevator
  • The Space Race
  • The Ice Tape
  • The Key to the Universe
  • No Train No Gain
  • Christmas in Space (one of my absolute favourites)
  • Kill ‘Em with Kindness
  • Meet the Seer

But then you have that finale, “A Regular Epic Final Battle” where we got a lot of information from learning about the planet Pops came from to the history of the many battles between Pops and Anti-Pops to the all-out battle between good and evil and how everything got resolved. Good gravy it was a lot to take in, but it was one hell of a ride. The humour was on-point from the dialogue to the visual material, but it also brought in so many characters and elements from previous seasons together for this absolutely fun and action-packed session. It felt like a mini event, like Regular Show had tapped into Captain America: Civil War‘s style of taking most of the best elements from what’s come before and put it all in one place and made it work. But then there was two major surprises: 1) The way Mordecai, Rigby and ultimately Pops finally dealt with Anti-Pops was unexpected, yet natural and quite sad. And 2) That ending montage… Good gravy, I know that there have been shows that have ended like this; with a montage of future events, but to see how long the characters were in space and more importantly where their lives went after they went their separate ways, it was some heavy stuff, but it felt natural, cute, beautiful and most importantly relatable. And the fact that it was set to “Heroes” by David Bowie, damn, that brought the feels on a whole new level. I love that song, and with it being the final music in the Regular Show finale, it meant so much more to me and felt so perfect. While I wish I had seen what had happened to Margret and CJ, and possibly even Thomas, I feel like the conclusion to this show was very appropriate.

regularshow-1200 regular-show-8-season-pops-antipops

It has been like two days since I finished Regular Show and I honestly felt a little empty after I finished the episode. Regular show has been part of my life for around 5 years and for it to be over, it does make me feel sad. Not since Parks and Recreation ended in 2015 have I felt such a loss in the world of TV (check out my thoughts here), funnily enough both shows share a lot of similarities in terms of its characters, humour and emotional material too. Even at the time of writing this, it feels surreal talking about Regular Show in past tense, but I’m glad the show ended on a high with the show having a satisfying conclusion.

regular-show-rigby-mordecai

It sucks that one of my favourite TV shows has left the airwaves, but I am so thankful for the memories and the fact that it ended on a good note. Regular Show is one of the best shows Cartoon Network has released and I will miss it greatly. So now I ask you ladies and gents, if you’re a fan of this cartoon did you watch the finale and if so what did you think of it? Drop me a comment below! And if you’re not on this hype already, sort your life out watch some Regular Show, it’s damn good! 😀 😀

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2017 in Media, Television

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 24 – Triple Review: Split, XXX: Return of Xander Cage & T2: Trainspotting

film-focus-logo-s-roxc-t2

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. The latest episode of the podcast was a special one as I decided to try something tricky and interesting with a triple review for Split, xXx: Return of Xander Cage and T2: Trainspotting.

Anyway here’s the episode 24:

This is the first episode for a while where I didn’t have a written review done beforehand, so what you’re hearing is my thoughts in their freshest form, though as I stated in the episode the reviews are condensed versions of what I’d normally deliver, so I may still do written thoughts for all of these films, depends on the timing. Anyways please be sure to check out the reviews for any or all of the films I cover as they’re spoiler-free and fun to listen to (I assume haha).

Here’s the time codes for the specific reviews:

  1. Split 03:38
  2. XXX: Return of Xander Cage 11:17
  3. T2 Trainspotting 16:45

As I mentioned before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic 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 you can. Also you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 29, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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