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My reviews anything film, game, television related or anyhing I feel like reviewing.

ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Hidden Figures

Howdy ladies and gents, its time for my first review for a while in form of Hidden Figures, a film I’ve wanted to watch for months mainly because of the involvement of my girl Janelle Monáe.

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The plot can be summed up as the following: “The story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program.” What I appreciated about this film firstly was the story, the fact that these events actually happened at NASA was really fascinating, and regardless of how true to life this film was, I found the story to be quite captivating and engaging with all of the drama and segregation the main women faced, but also because of America’s efforts to beat the Russians in the Space Race. And while some of plot points and scenes play out in ways you’ve seen before if you’ve seen a drama based on true events, tis film was still very effective in its direction and execution of its themes and emotional content. As for the performances they were all really impressive. Firstly you have Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe who played Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Each of these characters were smart, had very specific skills and had an uphill battle trying to follow their dreams, while Johnson was the primary focus of the film, I was also very intrigued and interest in the lives of Vaughan and Jackson too. Henson was really good especially during one specific speech, Spencer was as great as she always is and Moná, she was lovely and acted with such flair and conviction. I also really loved Kevin Costner in this film, Kirsten Dunst showed a different side to her than I’ve seen in the past which I liked, Jim Parsons who I don’t like in The Big Band Theory was actually tolerable/pretty good here, also Glen Powell was likeable and Mahershala Ali was really charismatic and charming too. Oh and the soundtrack crafted by Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams and Benjamin Wallfisch was really good, the original songs were super catchy and film score was also solid. In conclusion Hidden Figures was a really lovely film, it was very insightful, emotional and humourous with great performances, awesome music and an uplifting tone. I was so glad I got to see the film in my local cinema and I would highly recommend it.

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

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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

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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 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! 😀

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

 

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Jamiroquai – Automaton (Single) Review

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? Normally I would be here to give you a film review, however that is not the case today as the first single from Jamiroquai’s upcoming 8th album has been released and I just have to talk about it!

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Let me just start by saying if you didn’t know already I am a MASSIVE Jamiroquai fan, have loved them since childhood and just behind the Red Hot Chili Peppers they are my all-time favourite band. It was also a life goal to see them live and I got to live that dream in summer 2013. And so their last album Rock Dust Light Star came out in 2010 and I have been waiting for what feels like an eternity for some new material, following every tiny bit of information about the band, their studio time and what not, and I knew something would be going down this year, but I had no clue the info would drop so soon. In the last week we got info on the name of the album, track listing, tour dates and locations, a teaser for the music video of the first single, and when the first single would get its first play.

Yesterday I saw on Twitter that the song would drop on Jo Whiley’s show on BBC Radio 2 so I downloaded the app just to hear it and unfortunately I didn’t catch the whole thing because I got lost in a game demo, but I caught the last half of it and what I heard, I liked. 🙂 Then I found out the song, “Automaton” would be officially released today and now that I’ve heard the song in full and seen the video I’m ready to give my thoughts on it.

Here’s the song:

Firstly let me talk about the song itself, wow, what a jam, it sounds so good. The cool thing is, it is different and familiar and I’m really feeling the style of music. The best way to describe the song is that it feels primarily electronic with disco mixed in. I felt shades of A Funk Odyssey and Rock Dust Light Star but with a Daft Punk edge from the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. During the first verse the difference in sound did take a little adjusting, but once that chorus kicks in with Jay Kay’s gorgeous vocals, everything slots into place. But then towards the latter side of the song there’s a lovely breakdown where the song taps into the more familiar Jamiroquai sound with the funky disco sounds and it feels so nice! I feel like this song is an evolution of the sound from “White Knuckle Ride” but on another level. This sound is bold, in your face and just oozing with flair and personality.

As for the music video, I really liked it. I watched it around an hour ago so I may miss some details, but I thought it was very sci-fi/otherworldly with Jay Kay playing some kind of man who was either: 1) A cyborg. 2) A human with robotic tendencies. Or 3) An alien. Either way it was an interesting video to watch this character move through the underground train stations, abandoned trains, out in the fields and in the room with that other guy watching all those monitors among other places. And that ending when he found the hat (which I believe is the same one from the cover of the High Times compilation album from 2006) I got so giddy, but then UFO’s showed up with a spotlight on him and that was a crazy, the way I interpreted the video was that this character was an alien sent to earth to learn and somehow contact his people to get picked up. I liked the colour scheme of the video, from the outdoor locations, to the glowing robot hat to the cool mirror room Jay was moving around in, plus this was the first video in ages to see Jay Kay dancing again and it was hella fun to see him busting some moves on the underground.

So that’s my quick thoughts on “Automaton“, I think it’s a really cool song which will grow on me and I will bleed the hell out of for weeks to come. And while I can see old school fans of the acid jazz days of the first 3 albums not being too captivated by this material, I think that this is a sign of good things to come. Anyway, for you Jamiroquai fans what did you think of this new song? Drop me your thoughts in the comments below so I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #31

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. This is the 31st week, and today I’ll be talking about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Lucifer, Grimm and Star Wars Rebels. With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀 Oh and careful for spoilers especially for Star Wars Rebels

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 4) “The Patriot”

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Now this was a good episode and probably my favourite since the origin of Ghost Rider in “The Good Samaritan” last year. Sometimes AoS fluctuates with the amount of engaging material in the overall story arcs with some episodes being really good, average or dull, but this episode was on the better end of the spectrum and had a lot of the key aspects that make this show worth watching. Straight from the beginning with Mace holding the press conference for Daisy I loved it, the way it was set up and framed with Coulson and Mac undercover, you knew something would go down, you just weren’t shure as to how it’d happen. It felt like a spy thriller set up from a film and more in line with the kind of material I wish this show would do more. Anyway, I enjoyed pretty much everything about this episode, it had action, suspense, mystery, cool reveals and moved at swift pace. There was a lot of really good material in this episode, but the main plot point with Mace and Colonel Talbot was great. Learning about the origin of Mace’s abilities and how Talbot not only had a hand in it, but also that the serum was a modified version of what Daisy’s dad used back in season 2? That was a crazy callback! I liked Talbot’s reasoning for why he did what he did even if his actions resulted in deception, being discovered and heated exchanges with FitzSimmons and Coulson. Plus it was great to get some insight into who Mace is, how he is good guy and has a moral code, but stumbled into a situation which he couldn’t escape from, this episode made me more relatable and human for sure. It was also great to learn more about Dr. Radcliffe and his plans for LMD May, Aida and normal May, oh and seeing Fitz still wanting to fix the other Aida was intriguing but bad as his secret will surely spell the end of the relationship with Simmons, I’m calling it right now (though I hate to). Also the humour was great, AoS has sometimes been hit and miss with its humour, though season 4 has been solid and this episode had some great one-liners from Coulson, Mace, Fitz and Simmons, and of course Colonel Talbot who had some great lines especially with the coffee.

Lucifer (Season 2) “Stewardess Interruptus”

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So Lucifer returned this week and it was another really good episode, I’m continuously surprised by how much love this show and its ability to create depth and development for all of the key characters while still offering fun and interesting episodic cases. This episode dealt with some really interesting things like: 1) The people that Lucifer’s slept with: It was funny and interesting to learn of the people that Lucifer bedded and their varying experiences of pleasure but also see that it was just sex for them and witness Lucifer’s happiness turn to sadness because their lack of emotional attachment to him. 2) The killer may return: I found it interesting that the victims were used for drug smuggling and when we were finally introduced to the bad guy, we never see their face and they were able to get away. I’m sure this can’t be over. 3) Seeing Lucifer’s mum and Amenadiel actively try help Lucifer and Chloe’s relationship was fun especially the conversation between Chloe and Lucifer’s mum. And 4) Lucifer and Chloe’s relationship: We almost had a kiss at the end of last episode/this episode yet it was offset by an unexpected guest, and from there Lucifer and Chloe had hilarious/troubled conversations about their “moment” and the state of their relationship. Towards the end of the episode it looked like the people behind this show was gonna put a reset on the Chloe and Lucifer’s relationship, even though these two cared for each other but just weren’t emotionally sure about committing to it. But after Lucifer’s heartfelt speech on the beach Chloe went for the kill, and man it felt nice! I’m curious to see where their relationship goes from next week onwards. Oh and the humour, so much of it was great including stuff with Maze, Dan and of course Lucifer, that “Booties call me” line was frigging awesome! 😄

Grimm (Season 6) “Oh Captain, My Captain”

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So this is my first Grimm review for a while it feels and it feels good to finally be talking about the show again even though this is the final season 😦 But anyway let’s talk about episode 3 and man it was a doozy. Grimm always finds ways to create interesting storylines, and some of the creative and impossible tasks the creators find for our heroes to try and overcome is fascinating and fun to watch. So this episode dealt with the manhunt for Nick and any of his associates while our heroes tried to come up with a way to stop him and good gravy they came up with a dangerous plan; to turn Nick into Renard with magic and make a public announcement to renounce his candidacy as Mayor and clear Nick as a uncover agent. That was a crazy plan with a lot of humourous and dangerous moments not only with the media attention, but also with the real Renard once he found out as well. Doppelganger episodes are always tricky to pull off because of the stakes and story involved, but I think this was done well and Sasha Roiz did a great job playing himself and Nick. Also I knew that once Nick got stuck in Renard’s body, it would somehow fall to Diana to be the one to turn him back to normal, the moment she saw Nick (as Renard) I knew she’d probably see through it, so yeah Nick’s back to normal again, yay! But that look on Diana’s face was worrisome, she’s had no reason to mistrust Nick before but she does now, oh dear. But that was not the only surprise of this episode, as soon as Renard got home we saw Meisner again, now clearly this must be one of Renard’s visions, however, if that’s not the case then how is he still alive?

Star Wars Rebels (Season 3) “Trials of the Darksaber”

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Well I’m calling it now, this might be the best episode of Rebels to date, talk about drama! This kind of emotional depth has been missing from this show for a while now, and when I go on about how great this show is I am talking about episodes like this, where the stories transcend just kid-friendly material, and dive deep into mythology but also present you with character-driven material that older audiences can appreciate as well. Straight from the beginning of the episode this episode felt different with a more somber and serious atmosphere, and that carried on through to the end of the episode. It was fascinating learning about the history of the Darksaber and how it tied into Mandalorian history and the significance/weight it put on Sabine. Since season 2 Sabine became one of my top 3 characters, but this episode really gave us our best look at her when it comes to inner conflict, combat abilities and backstory with the Empire and the Mandalorians. Seeing her train and get frustrated with not only her technique, but also with Kanan’s training methods and dealing with Ezra as a training partner/teacher was interesting and showed her at her most vulnerable. I loved seeing Kanan as the stern master and Sabine as his capable yet unbalanced student, it was handled wonderfully with the dialogue and sword fighting, and it felt like the kind of material you’d see in a classic film (like a martial arts film).

The visual material was superb with great sword stances, fight choreography, rich colours and wonderfully framed shots. I also loved the music as it had such a great sense of presence, drama and had an oriental feel during the training moments. I also liked seeing how everyone reacted to Sabine’s situation with Kanan being frustrated with her because of her Mandalorian tendencies and inner conflict, how Hera could relate to Sabine because of the family issues, and how Ezra, even though he was quite annoying, had a moment to remind Sabine that she at least had family to go back to. And of course I can’t talk about this episode without mentioning Sabine’s heartfelt speech while fighting Kanan, I love how Kana pushed her to the point of an emotional outburst which was raw and intense, and I got flashbacks to Return of the Jedi (Luke vs. Vader). Just hearing Sabine’s lament about how she was responsible for what happened to her people and tried to speak out, but was abandoned by the people she wanted to protect, its gut-punching stuff. And finally to see Fen Rau, Ezra and Kanan kneeling and saying they’d follow Sabine as a leader was beautiful, I really want know where this storyline goes.

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

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2017 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episodes 22 & 23: Assassin’s Creed & La La Land

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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. Since I never made a post about episode 20, I decided to release both episodes in the same post with the first about Assassin’s Creed and La La Land.

Anyway here’s the episode 22:

And here is episode 23:

I’ve already written about Assassin’s Creed and La La Land, 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 January 16, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #30

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. This is the 30th week, and the first set of TV reviews for 2017. I’m hoping I’ll be able to do these reviews a lot more as opposed to last year where things got a little too complicated/busy towards Christmas. Today I’ll be talking about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Star Wars Rebels. With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀 Oh and careful for minor spoilers…

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 4) “Broken Promises”

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So AoS returned last week and after a fairly entertaining first few episodes with Ghost Rider and some interesting developments with the story and characters, the show is moving in the direction I expected it to from the time Aida came to the forefront of season 4, and that is focus on robots turning evil and having Life Model Decoys becoming the next phase of the show. I knew that Aida wouldn’t stay on the side of our heroes for long and I was hoping Mac’s rightful skepticism wouldn’t come to pass, but of course it did as we learnt that Aida has become self-aware, wants the Darkhold and has caused issues for our team. But what I didn’t fully expect was after Aida was beheaded, that it was Dr. Radcliffe behind everything, that he sent that Aida model to retrieve the book for him as a test, but had the May LMD as a back-up to get close to Coulson to eventually get the book later on. I had a feeling that might have some questionable motives, but for him to be lying to the team in quest for ultimate knowledge was pretty intriguing. The other key element of this episode that I enjoyed was seeing Senator Nadeer, I knew she’d be a character to look out for and she’s become more and more intriguing as time has progressed, but this material with her brother has given her the most depth and development so far. It was great to see Vijay out his cocoon and interacting with his sister in a nostalgic manner, but it was also interesting to see her betray him and get the Watchdogs to kill him. I thought it was cool to see him convince her to keep him alive, but once he started showing off those powers I knew his days were numbered. But to see Nadeer shoot her brother and through him from that helicopter really reinforced her resolve about taking out Inhumans even with her brother. Now I’m curious to see how 1) Things play out with Vijay now that he’s in his cocoon again in the ocean. 2) What’ll happen between Coulson and LMD May (I have a feeling and I’m troubled). And 3) How Nadeer and the Watchdogs will advance with their Inhuman plans.

Star Wars Rebels (Season 3) “Ghosts of Geonosis Part 1 & 2”

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This was pretty solid two-parter and was more in line with what I expect from Rebels on a weekly basis; here we had a story that was unique and intriguing, tied into the live-action films and Clone Wars and but also stood on its own. These episodes had a good balance of adventure, seriousness and humour, darker moments and laid the foundation for interesting things to come in the future. As someone who doesn’t know much about Saw Gerrera beyond what I saw in Rogue One, it was cool get some additional info on him when comes to the people he’s lost, his tactics and the kind of person he was before the events of Rogue One. Saw was a much more interesting and layered character than he was in Rogue One, he’s got not a bad guy, but his life experiences have shaped into being quite ruthless and unpredictable which I liked. Oh and I loved Sabine’s line about sand, I’m sure that must be a reference to Anakin’s now infamous dialogue from Attack of the Clones haha.

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

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2017 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: La La Land

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So La La Land, the film that everyone has been buzzing about since critics it got released recently during in America and while the film isn’t out here in the UK officially until Friday I think, I got to see it at a Cineworld unlimited screening last night and I’m gonna tell you right now, I really liked this film and I’m gonna tell you why in this review. 🙂

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The story can be described as the following:

“This film tells the story of Mia and Sebastian, an aspiring actress and a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts, and so this musical explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.”

I really enjoyed this story, it had a really classic feel to it in its tone, narrative and when some critics say that this film is a love letter to old Hollywood films you can really feel it while you’re watching. The story had a lot of familiar elements and some parts you can predict, but it was handled with style, passion and care so when the drama, love, joy and etc go down its engaging and endearing. But what I didn’t expect was how deep, emotional and thought-provoking the film would be, this film covers a lot of themes when it comes to success and failure, compromise, having aspirations, following your dreams, and the trials and tribulations that can come with breaking into music and film industry. It was realistic and I think will not only resonate with people who are dreamers but also make people thinking about their own career paths especially if you’re a creative individual trying to get into the media industry.

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The cast was wonderful, but the main people you’ll remember is Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone who killed it! Firstly there’s Emma Stone as Mia Dolan, a girl who has great love for the film industry and had dreams of becoming a famous actress, and what I loved about her was playfulness and determination, and Stone was incredible, easily my favourite performance from her so far. Ryan Gosling was great as Sebastian Wilder, I loved his admiration for jazz and the fact that he continued to follow his dreams in spite of set backs and compromises he’s had to make, and Gosling is one of those guys I’m liking more and more with every film I see him in. Stone and Gosling had great chemistry and their characters’ love story was beautiful, engaging and felt natural. John Legend also did well as Keith, as did Rosemarie DeWitt as Laura Wilder and J. K. Simmons’ contribution as Bill was small yet unforgettable and hilarious.

The presentation was off the charts, visually and musically the film was stunning. Visually this film does some really impressive, surprising and fascinating work with the cinematography, colour scheme, lighting, set design and use of visual effects. I loved the amount of continuous shots this film was able to pull off, it looked like an insane amount of tracking shots. Oh and that dance choreography, LOVED IT! I’m a massive fan of dance choreography and this film had some pretty cool footwork especially in the extravagant dance numbers with numerous people all moving at the same time. Oh and the music was so nice, I wasn’t sure if I would like it considering the trailers, but it not only worked for the film, but it was pretty catchy, diverse and had a lot of jazz influences which I really appreciated. Justin Hurwitz’s score was magical, dramatic and infectious.

In conclusion La La Land made me think, made me feel and left a strong impression me long after I left the cinema. I had such a good time with this film and I highly recommend it, and that means a lot coming from a man who isn’t keen on musicals to begin with.

So have you seen La La Land and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to drop me your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review 😀

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Collateral Beauty

Now this was a film I was super excited about way back when the first set pictures were released with Will Smith and Helen Mirren, I was just giddy and intrigued to see another dramatic film with Smith and the incredible cast… However, I saw the trailer, and I wasn’t impressed, in fact I was underwhelmed. And then, when I found out the actual premise of the film online and how it was different from what the trailers was selling you, I was quite annoyed. So I felt like I was going to skip the film after the mixed reception I saw from the US release, but I thought “Screw it, let’s give it a shot.”

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The plot can be summed up as the following: “Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.” Now I heard this film was either underwhelming or just downright bad (especially from what I’ve recently read online), so I expected the worst, but I walked out of the film liking it more than I expected. I feel like this film had some interesting elements with the story and characters, but the execution was messy and questionable. Mourning the death of a loved one is something we all deal with in different ways, some harder than others, and I felt for Howard played by Will Smith, and could understand the difficult situation that he put his co-workers/friends in. However what Whit (Edward Norton), Claire (Kate Winslet) and Simon (Michael Peña) do in this film to their supposed friend is some of the most crafty and terrible things you could do to someone who is grieving. I would have liked more a focus on Howard and less on his coworkers lives because I feel like they took the focus away from Howard which was the most interesting part of the film. At several points I questioned the moral and ethical integrity of the people in this film, and while the film tries to present both sides of the argument for why certain plot elements transpire in the way that they do, and some people do present some logic as to how and why what these people are doing to Howard is wrong, its like the characters just give in and you as the audience still don’t buy into it because at the end of the day what Howard and his coworkers did was still wrong. I feel like the performances from the cast ranged from good to questionable, I liked Kate Winslet as Claire and Michael Peña as Simon I tought was good with the dramatic material, Edward Norton had some bad material to work with as Whit, while Keira Knightley as Aimee/”Love”, Jacob Latimore as Raffi/”Time” and Helen Mirren as Brigitte/”Death” did fare better in their roles though Knightley had some questionable scenes too. The best material comes from Will Smith as Howard, Smith delivers a performance that mainly relies on his physicality, facial expressions and little dialogue, but he was really good and his dramatic chops were put to good use in my opinion. And finally Naomie Harris as Madeleine was also quite good, I predicted how she would factor in the film early on, but she was one of the better actors in this film and her scenes were quite engaging. In conclusion Collateral Beauty was not the train wreck I expected and there were small moments of drama and emotional material that worked for me, but is a film that was predictable, had too many convenient moments and feels morally and ethically wrong with a conclusion that doesn’t feel entirely earned, but I didn’t hate the film so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

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

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episodes 20 & 21: Rogue One & Top 10 Films 2016

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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. Since I never made a post about episode 20, I decided to release both episodes in the same post with the first about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and my Top 10 Films of 2016.

Anyway here’s the episode 20:

And here is episode 21:

I’ve already written about Rogue One and my Top 10 films of last year, I believe my audio commentary on both subjects to be a little more comprehensive, entertaining and possibly funny. I feel like this is some of my best material since I started the podcast and even though I sound a little crazy, I would hope that my podcast would be worth your time.

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 January 1, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Top 10 Favourite Films of 2016

Hey, hey, hey ladies and gents, how’s it going? So 2016 is almost over and most of the major film releases have come and gone and while tis year has been a bit on the disappointing side when it comes to some of the major blockbuster films and the summer in particular, there has still been some really cool films that’s dropped this year and I’m here to give you my top 10. Now before we begin know that this is my opinion so don’t get on my case if your films aren’t on my list, okay? Cool, let’s get going

Honorable mentions:

  • The Nice Guys
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Moana
  • The Accountant
  • Don’t Breathe
  • The Edge of Seventeen
  • Arrival
  • Hunt For the Wilderpeople

10. Green Room

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Original review available here

This is a recent entry in my list as I saw it last week and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, I mean I’d heard a lot of good things about this film over the course of this year but when watching it was just super engaged and captivated by the chaos, violence, darkness and the characters. I’m not a fan of horror films at all, but this film had me from beginning to end and I think I liked it more because I went in blind with little information on the story, the performances were all really solid especially from Patrick Stewart, Alia Shawkat, Imogen Poots and the late Anton Yelchin.

9. Hell or High Water

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Original review available here

This film was such a nice surprise, it was one of the few films that was hyped up during the early reviews that lived up to the hype. This film was engaging, dramatic and featured incredible performances from Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine especially. I wish more people had seen this film, I recall it being pretty intriguing in the beginning, but it just got better and better and by the end I was loving it.

8. Zootopia

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Original review available here

Zootopia was a film I had next to no expectations for, the trailers looked interesting enough but I thought this would just an okay to decent Disney film, and yet it ended up being one Disney’s best films in recent times. This film was fun and colourful little adventure, and yet it did get pretty dramatic, emotional and had a lot of interesting themes and issues that relate to the world we live in today. I loved the characters, animation, soundtrack and the pop culture references, and just the fact that was humour for kids and adults was just want I wanted.

7. Doctor Strange

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Original review available here

I really like this film, one of the best aspects was the fact that it was another origin story that was familiar yet unique with its mythology, locations, characters and mystical/supernatural powers and locations. The film had an interesting interpretation of magic, really cool and vivid visual effects, crazy and creative action sequences, a lovely film score and really solid cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

6. Jungle Book

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Original review available here

Jungle Book was another one of the best surprises of 2016, I thought the film would be decent, but ti was so much better than I expected and I enjoyed it more than the original in a lot of ways. What I loved about this film was its ability to take the foundation of the orignal cartoon but find ways to modernise it with some updated story and character elements, and by expanding upon a few elements, it made for a more interesting experience with more depth and darkness. The voice cast were great especially Idris Elba as Shere Khan and those visual effects were INSANE, so damn impressive and probably the most realistic talking animals ever produced in film.

5. Midnight Special

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Original review available here

I was really annoyed I missed this in the cinema because when I watched it in the summer I enjoyed it so much and it jumped into my top ten immediately. I love sci-fi films and love films with mystery and suspense, and this film had that. I really liked the story and characters just wanted to know how everything would play out, and throughout the film’s engaging and making you question the end game. And while the ending has led some to either love or hate the film, I thought the ending was solid and fascinating, oh and the performances were all really good especially from Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton.

4. Rogue One: A Star War Story

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Original review available here

This film has a lot of elements that I would consider to be favourite of the year material, but there are a few minor issues that prevent it from being in my top three. Rogue One presents a side of the Star Wars universe that we’ve not yet seen in live-action, mainly the darker, grittier and realistic side of things. While we know of the tale of how rebels stole the Death Star plans, but we never saw the specifics, and this film told that story in an interesting way which expanded the mythology of SW, showed more the war-like events that take place in this universe and had great ties to the all of the SW films and TV shows. With really impressive visual effects, cool characters, awesome action sequences and one of the most exciting third acts of any film ever, Rogue One ended up being a really good session considering all that the reshoot hullabaloo.

3. Kubo and the Two Strings

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Original review available here

Ah Kubo, I really wish more people had seen this film. Laika is a studio that I had a great deal of respect for and ever since Coraline they’ve been delivering new and interesting content in their films in terms of the stories, characters and especially with the animation and this film I think might be their best to date. I saw this film opening day and then again around a month later and still really enjoyed it, besides the gorgeous art direction and animation, the film had a great sense of atmosphere, adventure, playfulness, drama and emotion, with great characters and a story which felt familiar yet had really important themes and mythology thanks to the Japanese setting.

2. Captain America: Civil War

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Original review available here

What can I can about this film that hasn’t been said already? Civil War was a damn good time in the cinema and in a lot of ways set a benchmark for not only superhero films and mainstream blockbuster films to follow, and I think a fair amount of people agreed that there wasn’t many, if any films that was able to match the quality that this film provided. Now sure the villain wasn’t the best, there were some convenient plot elements and if you weren’t up to date with the MCU films then you wouldn’t be able to fully invest in the story, but the pros of this film outweigh the cons by miles. This film was dramatic and hilarious, introduced Black Panther in fabulous way and reintroduced the world to Spider-Man, had some incredible action sequences and delivered great fan service for comic book fans. This was easily one of my favourite experiences in the cinema. 😀

1. Sing Street

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Original review available here

While I loved Civil War, I think Sing Street just edges it out for being an original film that came out of nowhere as one of the best feel-good films I’ve seen in a while. I had heard a lot of talk online on Collider Movie Talk and Schmoes Know Show about this film so I checked it out in September and was really surprised with how heartfelt, beautiful and fun the film was with its story, characters and soundtrack. It had the right balance of realism and fantastical elements. Oh and can I just mention that soundtrack again, all of the 1980’s choices of songs were great, but its the orignal songs that will make you want to buy the soundtrack, the sounds of “Up” and “Drive It Like You Stole It” are my favourites. 🙂

So that’s my top 10, hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to drop me a comment below, tell me you like my choices or tell me I’m totally wrong, I don’t care. 😛 Anyway thanks for reading and I’ll see ya with new film reviews in 2017! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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