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End of Year Review 2019

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Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to my annual End of Year Review where I look back on the year and highlight certain things that were interesting to me. In my eyes, 2019 has been a year that’s been both fun and dull at the same time. There’s been some stuff that’s worth celebrating and some worth forgetting. So as per usual, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. So without further ado let’s begin.

Video Games

2019 has been a good year for gaming, amidst all the controversy and BS from certain developers and publishers, we’ve had a solid set of games from AAA to indies. And while there haven’t been as many standout games as previous years, it has been more consistent than last year for sure for all console platforms.

Alas, I haven’t played nearly as many new games as I would have liked. Since I had to leave my PS4 with my sister back home I’ve primarily been playing on my Nintendo Switch which has served me well for the most part. But due to timing, lack of funds and no PS4, I missed out on a ton of games this year which makes me sad. So no Resident Evil 2 Remake, no Devil May Cry 5, no Jedi Fallen Order, no Fire Emblem, no Astral Chain, no Super Mario Maker 2 and so on. I briefly got to play Kingdom Hearts 3 when I went home in the summer but not enough to have a proper opinion on it. So I ended up playing some older games like the wonderful Celeste, the fun yet tricky Valkyria Chronicles and of course Smash Ultimate with all those awesome DLC characters which were fun especially with Piranha Plant, Joker and Terry.

So what new games did I purchase this year? Well, I did get to play Blaster Master Zero 2. Now I know the first game was largely ignored during the early days of Switch since everyone was playing Breath of the Wild, but I really enjoyed the original with the additional DLC characters as well. But the sequel just did so much more by refining the controls, giving you new ways to attack enemies, adding more exploration and new planets and the presentation was really good too. I also had a lot of fun with Tetris 99, that game came out of nowhere and became one of the most addictive games I’ve played in a while. Sure it’s essentially a battle royale against 98 other players, but man when you’re in the thick of it competing and making crazy comebacks when other players are trying to take you out. There’s no better feeling. There’s a rush, sense of danger and satisfaction that comes from this style of gameplay. And then there’s Untitled Goose Game, the game that blew up 2019. This game is worth playing just for the funny, foolish, bizarre and chaotic things you can unleash on people as a goose. And while the initial charm did wear off for me after the first few hours, it’s still a fun game to mess with just to see what you can get up to. And finally, there’s Dragon Quest Builders 2, while I didn’t play the full game, I played both demos collectively close to 10 hours and man that game is just as addictive as ever and I really need to get the full game to get lost in it. 😀

Top 10 Games

  1. Blaster Master Zero 2
  2. Tetris 99
  3. Untitled Goose Game

Films

 

 

When it comes to films I would say that even though there were plenty of solid films, this year felt a little lacking compared to previous years (feel like I’ve been saying that every year since 2010 or 2011 haha). That being said there was plenty to enjoy, but there was also a lot of trash, most of which I avoided haha. I saw as many as I could though it was really tough to get out between October to December.

Top 10 Films of 2019

  1. Parasite
  2. Avengers: Endgame
  3. One Piece Stampede
  4. Ip Man 4
  5. How to Train Your Dragon 3
  6. Ford v Ferrari
  7. Doctor Sleep
  8. El Camino
  9. John Wick Chapter 3
  10. Knives Out

I’m sure I’m gonna get shit for my list missing a number of the critically acclaimed films of this year but I’ve only gotten to see a certain amount of films in the last couple months, plus films like Joker and The Irishman, I enjoyed for sure, but they didn’t do it for me like ones listed above.

For me, Parasite was just the best and such a lovely surprise. I’d heard rumblings about how good it was through certain areas of the internet and on numerous occasions its over-hyped BS. But Parasite was a unique, hilarious and unexpected film with twists and turns in many forms. Beyond that I just had a blast with Avengers: Endgame, as it was just an event-based film that wrapped up everything pretty well despite some minor, nitpicks here and there. Talking of event-based films, One Piece Stampede was a session and a half featuring some of the best references, character interaction, action, art and animation and humour the series has seen so far.

While I didn’t love Knives Out as much as everyone else did, it was a really well-made film with a terrific cast and a plot full of humour and neat twists and turns. Ford v Ferrari was better than I expected with great performances from the two leads and Doctor Sleep, a film not on my radar ended up being way more captivating than I expected with great performances, a good story and good references to The Shining.

Also, John Wick 3 was hella fun, just cool hand to hand combat and the expanding nature of that world continues to entertain me. How To Train Your Dragon 3 was a beautiful end to the trilogy, while El Camino was an intense and dramatic continuation for Jesse Pinkman following the events of Breaking Bad and finally Dolemite is My Name was really funny, engaging and it was great to see Eddie Murphy back on top form again.

Honourable Mentions

  • Joker
  • Dolemite is My Name
  • The Irishman
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Promare

Television

With TV there’s been SO many to keep track of this year that keeping up with them all is impossible. There are many I’ve yet to watch or finish like Watchmen, Jack Ryan, Succession, Good Omens, Bojack Horseman, Swamp Thing, all the CW shows and so on. But luckily I’ve got to see some really fun, familiar, new, exciting and crazy stuff this year that’s kept things interesting. I also want to say thank god for the streaming services, now I know there’s too many of them emerging left, right and center, but I love them because their episode counts are much smaller and easier to manage and/or binge. So I’ve found myself really enjoying the new and returning stuff on Netflix, Amazon and Disney Plus.

Top 10 TV

  1. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
  2. The Mandalorian Season 1
  3. Stranger Things Season 3
  4. The Boys Season 1
  5. Love, Death & Robots
  6. Lucifer Season 4
  7. The Witcher Season 1
  8. Umbrella Academy Season 1
  9. Big Mouth Season 3
  10. South Park Season 23

I’ve really enjoyed returning TV shows like Lucifer season 4 which was so fun and emotional, the third season of Stranger Things had some really interesting, dark and crazy stuff going down and Big Mouth‘s third season continued to be crude, weird, funny and true to life. And South Park‘s 23rd season was alright, but it certainly had its fun moments. With new TV stuff I had so much fun with Umbrella Academy‘s first season, The Boys on Amazon was one of the craziest rollercoasters I’ve ever been on with so much immoral, dark, hilarious and engaging stuff and Love, Death & Robots was one of the most strange, intriguing, beautiful, violent and visually unique things I’ve ever seen. And even though I’m a couple episodes away from finishing The Witcher, I’ve enjoyed that show ever much for its world, mythology, gritty and dirty look, catchy music and the beautiful Henry Cavill. 😀

And as much as I LOVE The Mandalorian for its story, characters, references and amazing music, The Dark Crystal show was incredible and has to take the top spot. I thought it would be good, but it was far better than I or anyone else could have expected. The way it expanded upon the original film with new characters, mythology and references were very impressive. The presentation was brilliant with awesome practical effects and a wonderful voice cast and I only gush about this show because barely anyone watched it and I want people to check it out damn it!

 

Music

With music, I have barely listened to any new music from this year. I have mainly been going back in time to check out music in the ’80s or going through the discographies of artists I know or have discovered over the course of the year. That being said there has been some 2019 music I wanted to highlight. Friendly Fires finally came out of hiding and released their new album, Inflorescent and I really liked it, was a very feel-good and dancy kind of sound (which I will review on here at some point). Also, SG Lewis, who is one of my favourite artists of the last 3 years I got to see twice in London and Vancouver and even got to meet him which was the best thing ever! I also got to see Jamiroquai live for the third time and they were amazing and I even made some new mates in the process!

But my favourite music from this year comes from the brilliant Ludwig Göransson, his work on The Mandalorian had been nothing short of amazing. From the first episode, he created new, enchanting, hopeful, dramatic and new sounds for us to experience in the Star Wars universe. And it all starts with that theme song… It’s SO GOOD! For me its the best and most recognisable piece of music that Star Wars has had since the Prequel Trilogy, yeah I said it and I’m not afraid. 😀

Favourite Songs

  1. Ludwig Göransson – The Mandalorian
  2. Coldplay – Orphans
  3. Friendly Fires – Silhouettes
  4. SG Lewis – Blue

My Experience

2019 has been one hell of a ride for me, full of all sorts of adventures, life-changing experiences and lessons. It’s honestly been one of the best years of my life and yet there’s also been a fair bit of struggle. I know I left this blog pretty vacant over the course of this year as I focused on my podcast and went off and tried new things, but hopefully, I’ll have a better focus on it next year as I still have numerous things I would like to share on here. 🙂

So this year I did numerous things but I’ll highlight the main stuff below:

  • I moved to Canada
  • Slowly got back into exercising
  • Went to Bulgaria and met some homies in real life for the first time
  • Experienced my first conventions outside of the UK in Vancouver and Seattle
  • I started networking and collaborating with some people on personal projects
  • I volunteered at a film festival and made some new mates
  • Really got into the groove with my artwork

I’ve just been in an extremely good mood trying new food, going to new places, going to events I’ve never tried and forging new connections with wonderful people. At the same time, I’ve dealt with some depression, a little loneliness, had to deal with some questionable individuals and confront some of my many faults that’s caused me problems this year. But I’ve also learnt a lot and I believe I’ll be much better and focused in the future.

Conclusion

In conclusion, 2019 has honestly been one of the best years of my life and while it wasn’t a perfect year and there were some downs, I’ve just learnt so much and been grinning almost all the time so the pros definitely have outweighed the cons for sure. So 2019, its been fun but you can go away now and let’s say hello to 2020!

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2019? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again in 2020. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2019 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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End of Year Review 2018

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Good day to you ladies and gents, so 2018 has come to an end and it is once again time for my annual END OF YEAR REVIEW! Now I think the year has been pretty good all things considered, I’ve had an interesting rollercoaster of highs and lows, but the pros have definitely outweighed the cons. As with previous entries, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. You ready? Cool, let’s go!

Video Games

2018 was a great year for gaming and looking back on everything that was released this year and comparing it to last year, it really is hard to say which year had the better selection of games to play. The games industry has had a lot of dodgy and questionable stuff going on with the ongoing issues related to gambling and microtransactions to the poor PlayStation Classic to Nintendo’s bad online service to Metal Gear Survive to Bethesda and the never-ending dramas of Fallout 76. But I will say that my overall gaming experiences were better last year because I played a lot more, however, the 2018 games that I did will stay with me for a good while. This year I finally gave into the hype and tried out Fortnight and I dabbled for a little while and gave up because I just wasn’t into it haha. I also restarted Zelda: Breath of the Wild and got lost in that world again and good god that game is SO much fun, the exploration and traversal just put me in a good mood especially when you end up playing for a good few hours. Another game  I also bought Rocket League and discovered the joys and frustrations that come with that game, I also played a fair amount of Fallout Shelter and discovered the addictive nature that comes with micromanagement and expansion, and Pokemon Quest was another one of those games that ended up getting way more of my attention than I expected, like 10 plus! 😛 But here’s my top 4 games:

  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  2. Spider-Man PS4
  3. Sonic Mania Plus
  4. Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu
  5. Dragon Ball FighterZ

Oh look Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is my game of the year, who would have guessed? Haha! 😛 But in all seriousness Smash is my everything, it is my favourite gaming franchise and after the E3 reveal I was all in and the game is pretty much everything I wanted. The game mechanics are as fun as ever, the music selection is AMAZING, the amount of characters to mess with is fabulous and World of Light and Classic Mode are very unique and lengthy, though the former gets a little tedious after a while and the CPU difficulty is a hell of a lot harder than before. When it comes to Spider-Man I think it would have been my game of the year if Smash hadn’t come out, I REALLY had a great time playing that game and I’m still annoyed I never reviewed it back in September. The game is best Spidey game so far with its incredible web-slinging and overall movement, the versatile combat, wonderful selection of suits and a story that takes so many wonderful aspects of Spidey’s source material and adaptations and crafts its own unique and beautiful story that’s up there will the best of the Spidey material. Thanks to the Plus DLC, I ended up revisiting Sonic Mania and fell in love again. And while I still haven’t played Encore mode yet to my shame, I did love messing around with Ray and Mighty’s new game mechanics. As for Pokemon Let’s Go I was surprised by how captivated I was for the first few days. After seeing some of the videos and positive word of mouth around the game when it released I caved in and bought the game. I loved the nostalgic feelings the game gave me from seeing the enhanced visuals to the wonderful soundtrack, and on top of that, the seeing Pokemon in the overworld was cool and the new catching mechanics being easy to do for the most part. Alas, the changes to some of the core mechanics of battling and level grinding and a lack of features from later generations meant that my engagement waned. And finally Dragon Ball FighterZ I only played for a little while but it left a really good impression on me, while I wasn’t very good at it due to its technical aspects similar to the Marvel Vs. Capcom games, but I loved the visuals, the attempt at a story mode and attention to detail when it comes to the voice acting and specific finishing attacks.

Films

For me, 2018 was a good time for films and while I didn’t watch as many films as last year, I feel like I saw most of the films that I wanted/needed to. I had a lot of fun, interesting and surprising experiences in the cinema this year but definitely tried to watch more films at home. Also for those who aren’t aware, I’m only counting films released in 2018, films originally released in 2017 that got a UK release this year DOESN’T COUNT! And with that out of the way, these are my favourite films of 2018:

Top 11 Films of 2018

  1. Searching
  2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  3. Avengers: Infinity War
  4. A Star Is Born
  5. Annihilation
  6. Crazy Rich Asians
  7. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  8. Bumblebee
  9. Whitney
  10. Widows
  11. A Silent Place

Honourable Mentions

  • Bird Box 
  • Incredibles 2
  • Bad Times at the El Royale
  • Overlord
  • Creed 2
  • Sorry To Bother You
  • Blackkklasman
  • First Man
  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Ready Player One

Top 4 Worst/Disappointing Films of 2018

  1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  2. The Predator
  3. Tomb Raider
  4. Den of Thieves

Top 5 Surprising Films of 2018

  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • A Star Is Born
  • Bumblebee
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Deadpool 2

Television

Man, my TV viewing experience for 2018 was a far cry from last year and it’s not because I’m getting bored or not interested in what’s available and more to do with the fact that I just haven’t had the bloody time to watch everything like I used to haha. 😛 That being said I was able to check out a good few shows here and there and I will say that most of them were worth watching. From finishing the super fun Tournament of Power arc in Dragon Ball Super to enjoying the second season of The Tick to really liking the direction of the first half of season 3 of Into the Badlands (which I hope comes back at some point). When it comes to new shows I liked Disenchantment with its weird sense of humour, world and ongoing storyline, I also liked Altered Carbon for its visual design, an interesting cast, and on Amazon, you had Jack Ryan which was quite captivating with its plot, cast and the concise number of episodes. Daredevil season 3 and Bojack Horseman season 5 have been my favourite TV from this year giving just wanted while also providing me with content I didn’t know that I’d love as well. And finally Lucifer‘s season 3 got really good towards the end, and for a little while my show was cancelled, but then Netflix gave us a miracle and picked it up for season 4, sweet!

Top 10 TV Shows

  1. Daredevil (season 3)
  2. Bojack Horseman (season 5)
  3. Altered Carbon (season 1)
  4. Lucifer (season 3)
  5. Jack Ryan (season 1)
  6. Into the Badlands (season 3)
  7. The Tick (season 2)
  8. Disenchantment (season 1)

Music

In 2018 I wasn’t as overly fussed about music as much as last year, there wasn’t much new music that caught my ears, however, there have a been a few new songs that have caught my ears from new and established artists which have made my year quite enjoyable. Interestingly enough a lot my favourite music hasn’t been from mainstream radio but more so from films in the cinema and other places. There have been a good few films with nice film scores from Avengers: Infinity War to Solo to Annihilation to Incredibles 2 and son. But it’s Ludwig Göransson’s score for Black Panther that I’ve remembered with “Wakanda” being my absolute favourite! Firstly there’s the return of Justin Timberlake with his Man of the Woods which was a nice album with a good variety of tracks and a catchy first single with “Filthy“. I’ve also been continuing to listen to SG Lewis and his EP, Dusk has been one of my favourite listening experiences this year with “Aura” being one of my favourite songs of the year. AFI came back with The Missing Man and I really liked that EP especially with the songs “Get Dark” and “Trash Bat“. Also, there’s the Eurovision Song Contest, I haven’t followed this event since 2010 or 2011, but this year had a good number of really good songs, but my favourite was “Dance You Off” by Benjamin Ingrosso, that song was SO catchy! And finally there’s Tee Lopes, crafter of the brilliant Sonic Mania soundtrack who released his debut album Youinverse which is wonderful, but my favourite song is awesome “Gray City Day“.

Favourite Songs

  1. Ludwig Göransson – Wakanda
  2. SG Lewis – Aura
  3. Justin Timberlake – Filthy
  4. AFI – Get Dark
  5. Benjamin Ingrosso – Dance You Off
  6. Tee Lopes – Gray City Day

My Experience

All things considered, 2018 was a pretty decent year and in a lot of ways has been my best year in quite some time just because, looking back on the year as a whole, I dealt with a fair amount of bullshit, but it wasn’t nearly as troublesome or time-consuming as previous years. As for the stuff I got up to, there weren’t as many crazy adventures but I did have some fun here and there and experienced some things for the first time. Firstly there was my trip to the MCM London Expo with my best friend for our 10 year anniversary since we went in 2008, I also gave blood for the first time after talking about doing it for around 5 years haha, I also attended my first hen do and first baby shower which were surreal and delightful experiences. And I also did my annual volunteering for the 5th year and it was just as fun as ever. But on top of that, I feel like I’ve started to find my creative side again with all the drawing and animation stuff I’ve been doing which has been way more than previous years. Plus my mental state of mind I think has gotten to a place where I’m stable and can live with myself and have a good outlook on life which has been great especially in the last few months.

There’s also a lot of stuff that happened in the world, too much to mention, from the ongoing fears and dramas surrounding Brexit to Theresa May and her weir “dancing skills” to the absurd amount of memes we went through from Ugandan Knuckles to Bowsette to the recent Bird Box film. And then there was the death of certain celebrities this year as well, but the main two that hurt me the most was the passing of Jon Schnepp and Stan Lee. Schnepp has been one of my favourite people to watch on AMC and then Collider because he was such a passionate nerd and taught me so much, also her Superman documentary was great and even met him 2015. So his passing just sucked. But then there was Stan Lee’s passing, that felt so surreal and unnatural. I always thought the guy would live forever and it still feels weird to talk about him in the past tense, but I sort of knew he would pass on at some point but I was not prepared at all. I am forever grateful for not only being able to meet him but for all of his creations that made me the person I am today.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this year was a good time, had some good and bad experiences, learnt some life lessons and yeah I don’t have nearly as much to complain about which can only be a good thing right? Well 2018, its been fun but its time to say goodbye, and hello to 2019 because it will be a year of big changes for me which I can’t wait to share in due time. 🙂

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2018? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again in 2019. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2018 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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RIP Stan Lee

Good day to you ladies and gents, today I am writing a blog post that I hoped I wouldn’t have to write any time soon, but alas, Stan Lee, a legend in the world of comics and entertainment and beloved nerd and creator for many fans across the world unfortunately died yesterday and even now it feels so surreal. So today I just wanted to share my thoughts on what he meant to me and share my respects.

So every once in a while in life, there emerges an individual who goes on to become someone special and Stan’s one of those individuals. To have such an interesting life journey and career from being in the army to writing comic books and then having what you created reach so many people, and have those properties be taken on by new writers and artists for decades to come, and then, of course, have those creations get adapted into various animated and live-action TV shows and films… All that from one guy and his collaborators. It is truly incredible.

Stan Lee is a man who has fascinated me since childhood, and as I’ve gotten older and learnt more about him through research, written and video interviews and so on, I’ve only appreciated him more and more. I’ve always loved hearing the stories about how he created some of his most notable characters like the Fantastic Four or Spider-Man or the X-Men, how he had the knowledge and guts to tell stories about flawed/troubled individuals that made them relatable to the readers. It just shows that this guy was on the ball and perceptive.

But beyond the wonderful characters, stories and worlds he’s given us over the years, he had such a wonderful personality. Stan Lee always looked like he was having the time of his life in a lot of his old photos working at Marvel, he’s always smiling, and through articles and interviews he’s always come across as a sweet, cool and kind man who had time to pass on his knowledge and had great stories to tell. The guy was fantastic and every time I saw him in an interview he’d always make me smile and laugh because he was also quite funny.

But I think where a lot of people have gotten to know Stan from in recent times is through his cameo work in the Marvel Studios films. Now Stan is no stranger to being part of the properties he’s created. He’s narrated for TV shows and video games, made numerous appearances in live-action films going back to the first X-Men film from 2001, he’s made appearances in the cartoons and has been a playable character in games like Amazing Spider-Man 2 or Lego Marvel Superheroes. He’s been all over the place and I’ve always seen him pop up as it always brought joy to my soul.

And now I would like to share some of my favourites that aren’t from the MCU and probably aren’t as well known.

Spider-Man: The Animated Series

This Stan Lee appearance will always hold a special place in my heart. It was probably the first time I sort of got an idea of who Stan was as a kid. I remember being maybe 8, 9 or 10 years old when I first saw this episode and I thought it was hella cool that Stan Lee, the creator of Spider-Man, made an appearance in the 90’s cartoon show. And every time I saw it since it made me so happy. It is a short yet wonderful moment filled with fun, reflection and humour, and seeing Stan get left on the roof without any way to get down and hoping the Fantastic Four would give him a lift, priceless.

Spectacular Spider-Man

This is a small and probably insignificant cameo for most, but I remember watching Spectacular Spider-Man’s second season and just loving this cameo. Here Stan’s just a guy who states the stuff he hates and I think we can relate to that. But it is the line “Are we being punked? I hate that.” Haha. I’ve always loved it.

Spider-Man 3

This one has always stuck out for a number of people and I’d be inclined to agree, it is such a simple yet beautiful bit of dialogue that perfectly sums up Stan’s positivity and then work that Peter had done up to that point. And it is probably the highlight of that entire film really.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I almost forgot about this cameo until I saw it on my YouTube search. I remember watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. during season 1 and thought this was the greatest cameo just because it came out of nowhere and made me laugh so hard. It wasn’t enough that Simmons was giving Coulson a hard time with this fictional story that everyone on the train cart was paying attention to, but for Stan to step in, sympathise with her and then scold Coulson so hard was an incredible moment in time that I’ll never forget. 😛

But of course there are the Stan Lee cameos from the MCU and there are many to pick from, and while a lot of them were just minor appearances, some of them were quite funny and significant. So here are some my favourites:

  • Thor: When he tried to pull Mjolnir out of the ground with his truck and failed.
  • Avengers: “Superheroes in New York? Gimme a break.” Love that line.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Seeing him hanging out with the Watchers was one of the best nerdiest things I’ve ever seen. 😀
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming: When Spider-Man gets scolded by a bunch of people and Stan shouts at him from a window, great moment! 😀
  • Avengers: Infinity War: “What’s the matter with you kids? You never seen a spaceship before?” I frigging loved that line, such a casual thing for an old bus drive to say. 😀 😛

Here’s an epic compilation to check out below:

Anyway, to conclude, Stan Lee, all I can say is thank you for everything that you’ve given me and many fans young and old throughout the many decades that you were with us. And like many I’d like to thank you and Ditko for Spider-Man, he’s one of my favourite characters in fiction and I’ve learnt so much from him and have loved all the heroes, villains and stories that you’ve given Spidey over the years and my life wouldn’t be the same without that character. And also it was an honour to be in your presence in for a moment in time, but meeting you in 2014 was one of my life goals that I never thought I’d get to do and it was one of the best experiences of my life that I will cherish forever.

RIP Stan Lee and thanks for everything. Excelsior!

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2018 in Films, Life, Media, Television

 

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My Favourite Trailers From San Diego Comic-Con 2018

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Good day to you ladies and gents, so San Diego Comic-Con has once again come and gone, and even though I’ve been interested in this convention  each year it’s come around, this year, in particular, I actually found myself way more hyped than before even though I wasn’t entirely sure of what was going to appear. And this year had a lot of really cool, fun and interesting reveals. A good chunk of which we have gotten to see, and some that we haven’t unfortunately. But anyway, I just wanted to make a quick post about my favourite trailers releases from this year’s Comic-Con. 😀

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Trailer

Now if you’ve followed this blog for a while then you know I was a big fan of Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla from 2014, I know the film has it’s fair share of issues, but I still believe it had a great sense of atmosphere, tension, distinctive visuals, a great film score and brought Godzilla back into the public consciousness in a good way. And while I thought last year’s Kong: Skull Island was fine, a lot of people really liked it and the film teased the larger universe where all these characters exist, and it feeds into this trailer. Good gravy I loved it. The sense of dread and chaos going on throughout this trailer is excellent. I like the choice of that classic piece of music (though I can’t remember what it’s called), I also love the visuals, there’s a love of striking colours from the skies to the creatures, and speaking of the creatures, we’ve got good old Godzilla back but we also see brief shots of Mothra, Rodan and frigging King Ghidorah! I’m also curious to see how this new family fit into the film, Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown are great talents and clearly, their family has gone throw some stuff due to Farmiga’s pursuit of the monsters, and it looks like their drama will only get worse. I just hope this human element will be stronger than the last film.

Shazam! Trailer

So we finally, FINALLY got a trailer for Shazam! and it looks good. Now I’ve never been a massive fan of Shazam, but I have really liked him in the animated stuff like Young Justice and Justice League Action, and from what I know of him, the film feels pretty accurate to the source material. This trailer really gives off a fun kind of vibe, the tone and overall presentation are brighter than most of DC’s previous films except for Wonder Woman and there’s a relatable factor that comes with Billy Batson becoming a superhero. Oh and the costume definitely looks better in motion than the recent images suggested. However, some of that humour was a bit hit and miss, and that stupid floss dance made it into a frigging superhero film and that just irks me. Otherwise, bring on April 2019!

Aquaman Trailer

And then there’s Aquaman, I liked this. What really impressed me was the visual style of this film, it feels like a combination of the Zack Snyder style with what was done with Wonder Woman when it comes to the scenes in darkness and scenes in the daytime with muted and vivid colours. I’m liking the sense of scale, the underwater world of Atlantis looks cool and some of the sea creatures look great. And while I know a lot of this material has to be in CGI, it looks a little inconsistent, but I know there will be time to fix it up before release. Right now I’m a little less excited for the film than before because I was hoping for something with a little more of James Wan’s style, but whatever I’m still gonna see it.

Young Justice: Outsiders Trailer

Hooray for Young Justice‘s return! I don’t know if I mentioned it on the blog before, but I LOVE Young Justice, it was one of my favourite TV experiences while I was at uni around 6 years ago, and for the longest time, I thought there was no hope of a third season, but for it to exist and for there to be a trailer, I couldn’t be happier. While I would have liked a fully new trailer without the mini recap of season 2, at the same time it was great to see the crazy and emotional highlights from the last season, and then transition into this new material with all the new and familiar faces, new locations, Darkseid and a whole load of other stuff. I’m just happy to know that it exists and I can’t wait to see it next year!

Disenchantment Trailer

Once I heard about this new project from Matt Groening I was intrigued, but seeing it in action only enhances my excitement for this new show. As much as I’ve loved the classic episodes of The Simpsons and certain elements of Futurama, it is refreshing to see Groening on another project that is different, but feels like it has his style all of it. And that’s the best thing about it to me; the fact that it is different yet familiar, and the fantasy setting mixed in with the humour feels like a nice and strange mix.

Glass Trailer

I quite liked this trailer, so much so that I recently rewatched Unbreakable and Split, and it got me super excited to see what Shyamalan comes up with in this new film. It looks cool, unique and strange. I like how Mr Glass, the Beast and David Dunn have somehow ended up in a mental institution and are being interviewed by Sarah Paulson’s character. When she says that she’s looking at people who believe they are superheroes it does make me wonder how many people she’s come across and if there will be more seen in this film. Either way, it is great to see Samuel L. Jackson back after so many years along with Bruce Willis, I’m very curious to see how their lives have changed and what brings them back together, There’s a lot of possibilities with Glass and that’s the most exciting part for me.

Christopher Sabat and Sean Schemmel Yelp Reviews

This is something I had to include, it was just too good not to. Now while this brief IGN interview was in relation to the upcoming Dragon Ball Super film and the dubbing process of the film and Super tv series. But the main thing that I took away from the interview was Chris Sabat and Sean Schemmel reading angry Yelp reviews as Vegeta and Goku. These are such silly, silly reviews, and hearing Chris and Sean bring their energy to these Yelp reviews really helps sell you on Vegeta and Goku in these scenarios and makes you wish these moments would be animated. 😀

And so that’s my highlights from this year’s SDCC, what was your favourite trailer or announcement from this year’s Comic-Con? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2018 in Films, Media, Reviews, Television

 

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Check Out The Impressions In Motion Podcast!

Howdy ladies and gents how’s it going? As some of you may be aware I have my own podcast, Film Focus which I have promoted via this blog since I started it almost two years now. But that is not the only podcast I have been part of. Back in September my best homie Chris and I started a podcast entitled Impressions In Motion; a podcast dedicated to the discussion of film, tv and video games.

I still haven’t made up a proper logo for the podcast yet because I haven’t come up with a fancy enough, but hopefully, I’ll be able to sort something out soon. We’re currently on Soundcloud and YouTube and while we’re getting some views on YouTube, Soundcloud is a little lacking at the moment. So I thought I’d spread the word on here and ask you, my blogging homies to help me out and check out my material.

Here are some of the best episodes:

 

 

 

And here’s the latest episode where my friend and I did our top 10 films of 2017:

 

Doing this podcast is a lot of fun for me and my mate, not only because we like to joke around and say a lot of stupid stuff. But also because we’re lovers of film and anime especially, but our interests are so different, so it is fun to hear my friend’s opinion as it informs me on films or something else I wasn’t previously aware of.

Anyway, if you have some free time and enjoy casual yet in-depth conversation about film, tv, video games and stuff of that nature then please check out our podcast, it is fun little time for sure. 😀

Podcast on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/impressionsinmotion

Podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1BOjv8CkxiZlJzvgeHHyQw/videos

Podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/impressions-in-motion/id1323236990?mt=2

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2018 in Anime, Films, Life, Media, Reviews, Television

 

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Late End of Year Review 2017

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Howdy ladies and gents, so 2017 is over but there’s no way I can go on without doing my annual END OF YEAR REVIEW! I didn’t have much time to prepare because of awkward work hours and the small window of time I had to record two episodes for my podcast, so forgive me if there is a lack of polish to my material. 😛 Man 2017 had been a pretty crazy adventure filled with highs and lows and once again it is weird that everything has come and gone so quickly haha. As with previous entries, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. You ready? Cool, let’s go!

Video Games

2017 really was the year I became a gamer again. While in previous years I’ve had my moments here and there, it was mainly thanks to Nintendo and their new games console that I got back into playing games in a big way. As a long-term Nintendo fan, to see the Switch come out and pretty much deliver on its promise of being a portable/home console hybrid was a lot of fun, playing games on there has been addictive as hell and while I miss certain OS features I have on the 3DS and PS4, it is still a good piece of hardware. And the games, bloody hell! At the launch of the Switch we had a handful of games to play, but now we have far too much to play and it is awesome! And just in general, 2017 has been an insane year for gaming just in terms of the releases of quality games and not having the time to play them all. Sure we had some dodgy games here and there and the rise of microtransactions was awful, but overall things worked out for the best in a lot of cases. I wish I had played more PS4 games but what I played on Switch was definitely fun. ARMS was a fun little time, I also got some good nostalgic fun with Ultra Street Fighter 2, that Project Octopath Traveler demo was the best thing ever and I also really liked Blaster Master Zero. But here’s my top 5 games:

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  2. Sonic Mania
  3. Super Mario Odyssey
  4. Steamworld Dig 2
  5. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

I think it is no surprise to people who know that Zelda came out on top, that game made me fall in love with gaming all over again. The sense of joy, discovery, mystery, surprise, the vastness of the world, fun combat, breaking of the usual formula, boss battles and shrines, music, visuals and atmosphere, it just worked for me. Also Sonic Mania, damn, what a fun session. I haven’t played a platforming game that much for a while, it was everything I wanted and more, and while having more new stages would have been great. Going through the game and discovering each of the nostalgic stages along with the new ones with the incredible music, visuals and references to older games was hella fun despite some of the tricky parts. Mario Odyssey was SO MUCH FUN. Much like Zelda, there was a sense of discovery and fun that changed things up from previous games, finding moons, checking out the varied kingdoms and experiencing the crazy gameplay thanks to the hat capturing mechanic was great. Steamworld Dig 2 is a great follow-up to one of my favourite 3DS games, it built on the original game’s mechanics, has a better soundtrack and more noteworthy story too. And Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a lot of fun, taking in the wonderful art direction and music, going through the vast world and getting good at combat and levelling up is delightful even if the game can feel a tad overwhelming with some of the game mechanics.

Films

For me 2017 was a good year for films, it was a lot more consistent than last year especially in regards to the summer film season, and while there were certainly some stinkers here and there, I did appreciate how many quality films there were in different genres at different points throughout the year. There were some nice experiences to be found in the cinema, and even some extra films to watch on Netflix, and while I missed a good few films I missed, I tried my best to catch up on a few in December. On top of that, I got around to watching a good few films at home for the first time like Ip Man 2 & 3, Gladiator, Mission: Impossible 1-3, Spaceballs, Airplane and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm to name a few. Like last year I was strategic in avoiding most bad films, though I did, unfortunately, catch a few dodgy ones here and there. Anyway, I technically did a top 10 film post already, but for those who haven’t seen it I will list it below and as usual, I’m only counting films released in 2017, films originally released in 2016 that got UK release last year DOESN’T COUNT! And with that out of the way, these are my favourite films of 2017:

Top 10 Films of 2017

  1. Blade Runner 2049
  2. Baby Driver
  3. War For the Planet of the Apes
  4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  5. The Big Sick
  6. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  7. Logan
  8. The Villainess
  9. Okja
  10. Detroit

Special Mentions

  • Trainspotting 2
  • Split
  • Get Out
  • John Wick Chapter 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Molly’s Game
  • Gifted
  • Life

Top 5 Worst/Disappointing Films of 2017

  1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
  2. Alien: Covenant
  3. Power Rangers
  4. Ghost in the Shell
  5. The Dark Tower
  6. The Circle

Television

TV last year has been a lot of fun as I’ve continued to watch a lot of my favourite on-going shows while also discovering new ones along the way. That being said, with the number of films and video games coming out at certain points in the year, it was difficult to keep up with everything. So what I’ll do is briefly mention a few shows here and there that I have enjoyed. Let’s start with those superhero shows. The latter half Agents of SHIELD‘s 4th season with the LMD, virtual world and Ghost Rider storylines came to a close last year in really fun and interesting ways, and by the end of it, I was very curious to see where the show would end. With the 5th season, I’ve only seen the first two episodes but it is certainly an intriguing plot so far. Amazon’s first six episodes of The Tick was surprisingly fun, quirky, weird and awesome and I’m hyped to see more of it next year. With Arrow, it was on an upwards trajectory since season 5 and so far season 6 has been my favourite of the DC CW material because of the references to the past, the higher stakes and an overall sense of drama and un I haven’t felt since season 2. The Flash has been good, not consistently good, but solid during season 4 and the Crisis on Earth-X crossover was the best Arrowverse episode so far. There was also the Netflix side of the Marvel shows where we got one and a half good shows out of three. Iron Fist was one of the most disappointing and boring shows I’ve ever watched, with a story and characters that were annoying and inconsistent. Also, The Defenders had good chemistry between the characters and some cool ideas, but a weak villain and story that got worse after episode 5. But The Punisher, that was my shit. I knew the show would be good, but what we got was something dark, aggressive, super violent and thought-provoking, they did the character justice and I loved the show… Oh and Inhumans, simply put, it was a waste of time, they done messed up with that one.

After waiting for AGES Master of None season 2 came out and it certainly didn’t disappoint, it offered more exciting, insightful and emotional stories with Dev and his adventures in Italy and America. Game of Thrones came back with the first of its last two seasons and season 7 for me was a hell of a lot of fun, it was swift in pace, had a lot of great moments from glorious action sequences to nice reunions to cool reveals and character exchanges. Lucifer for a little while became my favourite show because of humorous and intriguing plots, great character development and chemistry between the cast, and the ongoing fantastical storylines both in seasons 2 & 3. I also binged season 1 & 2 of Into the Badlands and it was really fun seeing how the show’s come with the world, plot, locations and the delicious/well-choreographed action scenes. Samurai Jack season 5 was dark and unsettling, yet fun and full of nostalgia, and to that show return, last year after so many years meant so much to me.  I also enjoyed Big Mouth, the first season of Lost and having fun watching Star Wars Rebels, Rick and Morty and Dragon Ball Super. And finally Bojack Horseman, a show I dismissed for ages because of the weird art and hype, I gave it a watch it changed my world. That show has so many layers and themes that only got darker, more engaging and uncomfortable as I watched each season, and by the end of season 4, I was an emotional mess.

Top 10 TV Shows

  1. Bojack Horseman (season 4)
  2. Punisher (season 1)
  3. Samurai Jack (season 5)
  4. Master of None (season 2)
  5. Game of Thrones (season 7)
  6. Into the Badlands (season 2)
  7. Lucifer (season 2/3)
  8. Arrow (season 6)
  9. The Tick (season 1)
  10. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (season 4)

Music

Music last year has been a little better than 2016. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have heard some absolutely crap stuff via the radio at work or when I went on nights out with my mates. But there has been a surprising amount of catchy music that’s caught my ears. I did get the return of three of my favourite artists; Jamiroquai, AFI and more recently N*E*R*D*, each of them brought a yet familiar sound with their new albums. My favourite had to be Jamiroquai, that Automaton album had my heart and soul for ages, while AFI’s In the Blood album felt like a continuation of Burials, but with echoes of their sound from the mid-2000’s and N*E*R*D*s’ NO ONE EVER REALLY DIES was interesting as it felt like something new, familiar and very Pharrell (in terms of his recent music), I liked it. The other major surprise was Calvin Harris’ Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1, an album that was different yet felt very much like Harris, I liked the funky and varied jams his crafted with a collection of people he worked with on the album, the best stuff he’s done for years. And finally, somehow Zedd and Alessia Cara came out of nowhere with “Stay” one of the most played songs I heard on the radio last year and eventually became one of my unexpected favourite new songs of last year. So bloody catchy! 😛

Favourite Songs

  1. Jamiroquai – Automaton
  2. Calvin Harris – Feels
  3. Zedd, Alessia Cara – Stay

My Experience

2017 was pretty decent overall and while there was certainly hardships to overcome, I also feel like it was one of my better years. I don’t if that’s just due to me adjusting to the crapper aspects of my life or if I’ve made some changes in life that have made the experience easier. Whatever the case is I feel at ease. And I have a lot to look back on and smile, whether it was my volunteering at the Children’s Media Conference for the fourth year in a row, or hooking up with old friends and discussing potential animation projects or returning to both the London Film & Comic-Con and London MCM Expo for some cool convention shenanigans, or the fact that I got to attend the Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall and check several great musicians including my all-time favourites Jamiroquai! But one of the key things that went down that raised last year to another level was going back to Vancouver, Canada with my sister and cousin for 2 weeks. As someone who has been trying to get back there since 2007, I thought it would be a lot longer before I went back, but luckily I went back and got to catch up with some old faces and meeting some new people, refamiliarising myself with Vancouver’s sights and sounds, eating so much food and trying out all that alcohol haha. It was a wonderful adventure that was over far too soon. Other than that I’ve just been at work, facing the highs and lows of that stuff, enjoying the hang time with my workmates on nights out especially that all-day session in Camden, I had a nice 10 year reunion session with my best friends from college and I also doubled down on my commitment to my podcast, illustration work and ideas behind certain animations I want to make. I’ve also made a number of mistakes, some more painful than others, but I think last year is the first time I’m really looking at my issues and trying to rectify them.

There’s also a lot of stuff that happened in the world in regards to the news and media, from royal wedding plans to dangerous hurricanes to sexual harassment cases all over Hollywood and so much more. Talking about any of these things or more would take too long, but what I did want to mention was the loss of certain celebrities last year that affected me personally. Right near the start of the year wast he passing of Bill Paxton, that took a while to settle in. He was one of my favourite actors from childhood, from Twister to Aliens to more recent appearances in End of Tomorrow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the guy was everywhere. So funny and charismatic and the fact that I met him at a convention a few years ago really hit home. also, Bruce Forsyth, he’s one of those guys you thought would live forever considering how long he’s been on TV and the number of shows he’s hosted, and yet when I heard of his passing it saddened me. Charlie Murphy’s death got me good, I had only really started to get into his work in recent years after watching Chappell Show and Black Jesus, The passing of Roger Moore and Adam West, two actors great associated with massive franchises James Bond and Batman, was again really sad and was just a shock. But the most painful for me was the passing of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. Cornell I’ve loved since I found Audioslave in 2008 and his music has been part of me for years, the same can be said for Chester’s incredible work with Linkin Park, without his passionate vocals, my music world wouldn’t be same. Their contributions to music and my life are hard to put into words and even thinking about it now, it hurts. So let’s just show some love for those we lost in 2017.

Conclusion

In conclusion, 2017 was a good year, not perfect, but still a solid experience. I learned a lot, gained some new connections, had some fun experiences that may make for good stories in the future, and I feel like a lot of my experiences this year have prepared me for whatever happens next year. So goodbye 2017 and hello 2018!

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2017? Please be sure to comment below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again 2018. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2018 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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SUPER LATE REVIEW: Marvel’s The Defenders

Howdy ladies and gents, it is time for a review and this is a review I should have done at the end of August. But it’s been chilling in my draft section for ages so I thought I’d finally finish it. I am of course talking about Marvel’s The Defenders. Now this was a show I was eagerly anticipating for ages up until Iron Fist came out and that brought down my hype by a considerable amount (review available here). But with some solid trailers I was ready to love the show. But now the show’s been out since August and before I review The Punisher (which I’ve already seen but will give another watch), I wanted to share my thoughts on this show. So if you’re still interested in my thoughts on this show read on and find out. 🙂

So the story can be described as the following: “Set a few months after the events of the second season of Daredevil, and a month after the events of the first season of Iron Fist, the vigilantes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist team up in New York City to fight a common enemy: the Hand.”

The Defenders primarily furthers the plot and characters of the Daredevil and Iron Fist shows, however you don’t have to have seen the previous shows in order to understand whats going on here as it is a self-contained like The Avengers, that being said watching the previous shows helps you care about the characters and the significance of the stakes involved. The story starts off a big slow re-establishing the characters and storylines from the previous shows, but by the latter half of episode 3 things really pick up and start to become fun and from there you feel like you’re getting the show you were promised with fun crossover character interactions and cool fight scenes. There’s also some good action, drama, mystery and revelations. However, by the time the show ends, I feel like things could have played out in a far more captivating manner. The plot takes time to set up certain elements that will have pay off later on, the only issue is that once everything is laid out on the table it feels rather lacklustre and unsurprising.

Episode highlights include:

  • The H Word
  • Worst Behavior
  • Royal Dragon
  • Take Shelter

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 others didn’t fare as well. The Defenders themselves were quite good. Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil was one of the most effective characters besides Jessica Jones. He probably had most character development and it was cool to see how he evolved from the end of DD season 2 to this show and see how he interacted with the team. Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones was great, all of her wonderfully bad and good character traits were on display, she didn’t like to play with others and was very rude, but did do some investing and showed up when it counted. Mike Colter as Luke Cage was good, still the strong and smooth dude from his own show, he was good though I wasn’t keen on what they did with him and Claire’s relationship. Finn Jones as Danny Rand/Iron Fist was weird, it was almost like they did a bit of a course correction for the character as he comes across smarter and more confident not only in his personality but his fighting skills too. Alas, it doesn’t take long for the character to fall back into his childish and foolish ways, he’s such a weak link it is painful. The Defenders have the same sort of group dynamic that makes team formations so much fun to watch like the Avengers of Guardians of the Galaxy, they have that different personalities and ideologies and seeing them but heads and team up was great especially with Matt and Jessica. Oh and Elodie Yung as Elektra, part of me likes her, but at the same time considering how her character was handled it was just messy, a tad confusing and annoying.

Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra Reid has some moments of interest but ultimately adds up to a forgettable/boring villain. She makes a lot of sinister speeches but rarely does anything that directly impacts the heroes and the way her story arc concludes is one I not only saw coming but also felt like a slap in the face to anyone who had invested time her character. As for Scott Glenn as Stick, e was one of the best parts of Daredevil, but here he was less compelling and a little more annoying, just talking about how bad the enemy was. Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple is still the same likeable character from before, she’s good. Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing was good too, she had some decent action scenes, nice interactions with some other characters and some story stuff that carried over from Iron Fist. Simone Missick as Misty Knight was cool, sassy and proactive and while she wasn’t always on the right side of the heroes, she had some solid moments in the show, though I wish she was utilized a little better. Seeing Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse, Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page was nice as they brought a nice bit of flavour from their respective shows

As for the presentation, it was good for the most part. Visually the show was solid. One of the things the show did well was the action, I feel like the fight choreographers brought back the flair and intensity that was sorely lacking from not only Iron Fist but also Luke Cage and Jessica Jones to a degree as well.The fight scenes here were faster, better in choreography, sometimes reaching that Daredevil quality. Alas, the action isn’t always consistently good with some fight scenes looking unrealistic, slow and silly, and it also doesn’t help that some of the sequences are shot and edited in a strange way to be stylised when in fact they’re less interesting than they should be. As for the soundtrack by John Paesano, it was good. I think it was a smart choice to bring him back considering the solid work he brought to Daredevil. In this show, Paesano brings a more bombastic, intense and dramatic sound that I think the show needed especially when it comes to the opening theme. There were points where it felt a little overly dramatic but for the most part, it was really nice.

In conclusion season 1 of Marvel’s The Defenders is a decent show that has some great moments but didn’t live up to its potential. I really did enjoy the character crossover not only from the main heroes but also the secondary cast, and when the action, dialogue and soundtrack were on-point it was a fun show to watch. However, this team up series didn’t give me the compelling story that I wanted, there were some bad decisions made with the use of the villains and Iron Fist, the action scenes weren’t consistently good and there was a lack of payoff/satisfaction that I felt once the show was over. The Defenders wasn’t terrible and was easily the best material Marvel and Netflix have done since the first half of Luke Cage, but as it stands, Marvel and Netflix are really gonna have to step up their game if they want to keep the fans coming back for more.

So have you seen Marvel’s The Defenders and is so what do you think of it? Did it live up to your expectations or were you disappointed? Also, how would you compare it to Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2017 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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London Film & Comic Con 2017 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen how’s it going? Well, today I’m doing another review, not of a film review (even though I really should have seen Dunkirk by now haha) but an event review as over the weekend I had the opportunity to revisit London Film & Comic Con for the first time in two years and I just had to talk about it on this blog. And while I was only at the convention for one day I have a fair amount to cover to so let’s get going!

Now for those unaware, this convention is to do with films, TV, comics and video games. But the big focus is primarily on the special guests who attend, most people who go are normally coming to meet the celebrities who are there for talks, photo sessions and autographs signings. Otherwise, you can buy a range of merchandise including, clothes, toys, anime and manga, DVDs, comics, artwork, posters and so on. In addition to that, you can play video games new and old, see writers and artists of comic books or take pictures of cosplayers. So now I shall talk about my experience.

Video Games

Firstly let me cover the games that I played which wasn’t much but it’s still worth mentioning. Can I just say that I was gutted to see how little representation the games side of things got at this convention, not to say that this convention has had a strong gaming presence, however, since 2014 it is like the people who have run the convention have made this element of the convention smaller with each passing year. And that sucks. I did appreciate the variety of games they had on display whether it was the Minecraft stuff, the retro side with stuff like Mario 3, Sonic 2, Mario Kart 64, Super Bomberman 2 and a few others, and they even had a section dedicated to virtual reality games which were cool too. I only played two games though, firstly there was Smash Bros for Wii U and you know I had to play it, so I got into a match with three exceptional players who all gave me a run for my money as we played on random stages with all the stage hazards which made for some proper tense and fun matches. I don’t get to play Smash in a competitive manner much since university so it was cool to do some local multiplayer and get that rush of excitement/adrenaline in my system again even if I won only one out of the four matches I played. So then there was the tournament which I signed up for just for jokes, and though there were only around 10 players, I somehow fought my way to the final and won. It was so surreal and wonderful to win a competition with a game I’m actually good at. 😛 Other than that I played Super Mario World and realised how out of touch I am with the game mechanics and the feel of a Super Nintendo controller haha, I still really love that game but good gravy I suck at it these days. Oh and I have to give mention to the Bomberman tournament, that was so intense stuff man! I have never seen such speed and strategy applied to Bomberman before and it was awesome to watch.

The Cosplayers

Now I LOVE cosplayers mainly because they are dedicated fans who dress up and show their fandom in an upfront manner and if they are the hardcore types then they normally create their costumes themselves and they look so accurate to the source material that it boggles the mind. Since about 2015 I’ve stopped taking pictures of cosplayers because I’m too lazy, that being said, this time around I made a conscious effort to take pictures as some of the costumes were so elaborate, creative and accurate to the source material that it was mental. From all of the Rey and Kylo Ren people to the Rick and Morty’s, I also saw numerous women dressed as Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn. There were plenty of Spider-Men and Deadpools and so much more. The one person that I wish I’d taken a picture of was a guy dressed as Spidey from Spider-Man: Homecoming and his stark Spidey suit were so accurate to the film that it almost hurt my eyes! 😛 Anyway check out my pictures below:

The People I Met

So yeah the main reason I came to this convention was to meet some famous people, like a lot of other people haha. But seriously some of these people are individuals I’ve hoped to see in the flesh for years. So firstly there were two people from the Power Rangers: Time Force series and they were Kevin Kleinberg and Michael Copon who played Trip and Lucas. They are two of my favourite rangers of any PR series and I got to meet them, get their autographs and talk to them too, and they were so nice and kind especially Kleinberg. But then right next door to them was Selwyn Ward who played T.J. in Power Rangers: Turbo and In Space, he’s one of my all-time favourites and getting to talk to him was the best!

Here’s me with Kevin Kleinberg and Selwyn Ward, such amazing dudes!

Next up I met Phil LaMarr and got his autograph and also got to gush about how much I loved his worth and also got to thank him for coming back for Samurai Jack season 5, and he was SO cool and nice and he even shouted “AKUUU!” for me as well which was the best. So much happiness. And later on after standing in many lines I got photos with not only Tricia Helfer but also the Benedict Cumberbatch!

I know I looked silly but I couldn’t help it, I was so happy. 😛

With Tricia Helfer, most people know of her from Battlestar Galactica, but I’ve come to love her from Lucifer and she was SO nice and kind, and I told her that I loved her work on Lucifer, ad she said they have a lot of fun on the show. Ahhhhh! I was so giddy. And then there’s Cumberbatch, my man, I’ve been such a big fan since 2012 when I watched Sherlock, then the second Hobbit film and obviously most recently Doctor Strange, he’s just amazing and getting to meet him in the flesh was a moment in time I’ll treasure forever. “Hey there buddy.” That’s what he said to me and I’ll never forget it. 😛 😀

My Overall Experience

My experience was solid, the lines to get into the building didn’t take nearly as long as they did in 2015, I was in line around 8.30am and was inside the main hall from around 9.15am and I was able to get a feel for the are, learn where certain people and stalls were set up. I also ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen for two years since the last convention we attended so that was great. I also had some cool conversation with some artists who were selling their comics and later on, I ran into two other friends later on who I had seen for ages, was such a nice surprise! For a lot of the day, I was just watching around trying to waste time until my photo sessions later on, whether I was playing games, talking to artists or taking pictures of cosplayers. I would say that the organisation of LFCC was far more efficient that the previous years that I went, lines and places for entry, autographs and photo sessions were much better than before. And the general placement of stuff was solid. That being said, like before I wish there was a better presence of video games with the variety of the games, consoles and bigger and better location for them. It also felt like the illustrators and authors got the short end of the stick as their location felt so separated from the action in the main halls both upstairs and downstairs, I wish there had been more people and a better location for them to stand out. And even though the lines were better than previous years, there was still some confusion and lack of organisation or help when it came to queues and knowing which batches you fell into.

 

In conclusion, London Film & Comic Con was pretty good. After two years it was good to be back in this convention, it has a different feel and vibe to it and thankfully there was so much more room to breathe and chill when compared to this year’s MCM London Expo. While there were certain things I would have changed, it was a solid convention for the one day that I attended, this is certainly a convention that needs a full weekend in order to experience everything on offer and I probably will be back next year hopefully. 🙂

So if you attended London Film & Comic Con this year what did you think? Did you go for one day or the full weekend? And if you didn’t go would you consider going next year? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! 😀

 
 

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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. RamĂłn RodrĂ­guez 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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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.

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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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