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Category Archives: Film Reviews

Reviews of all and any films that I come across.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout & Ant-Man and the Wasp Reviews

Good day to you ladies and gents, I know it has been a little quiet on the review front, but I have been watching films, I just have been busy with my job and other personal projects to upload in a decent time. So today I just wanted to share with you my thoughts on Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Ant-Man and the Wasp via my podcast, Film Focus. 😀

So first up is my review for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, I have seen the film twice and would like to see it again before it leaves the cinema, I had originally posted this review online around 2 weeks ago but I didn’t have the time to upload it at the time. But anyway check out the review below:

Next up is Ant-Man and the Wasp, the film us UK viewers had to wait for AGES to see, I saw the film last week, twice, but had a lot of stuff to do and work was busier than usual so I pushed the review back by a week. Anyway check out the episode below:

So have you seen both films and if so what did you think of them? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comment section below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

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Posted by on August 10, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Incredibles 2 (Audio Edition)

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, how are you all doing? It is time for another film review and today I will be giving you my thoughts on the long-awaited animated sequel; Incredibles 2 via my Film Focus.

I literally saw this film yesterday morning at the earliest screening and I was thinking about doing a written review, but I felt like an audio review would be best. So yeah please enjoy the sounds of me talking about this film.

Anyway here’s the review:

So what did you think of Incredibles 2? Did you like it more or less or the same as the previous film? Whatever your thought are be sure to drop them in the comment section below and I’ll see you on the review, laters! 😀

Also check out my podcast 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

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

 

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REVIEW: Whitney

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to my first written film review for a while and today I’m going to talk about the new documentary released about Whitney Houston entitled Whitney. Now I only heard about this film around a week ago and I just happened to be in a city where the film was being shown, and while I’ve never been the biggest Whitney Houston fan, I’ve liked a lot of her music and wanted to see what light this film could shed on her that I wasn’t aware of, and I believe this film did a good job.

Most people are probably aware of who Whitney Houston is and know of her music unless you’re super young, but for those not aware, the life of Whitney Houston is one of triumph and tragedy, she started out so well, ascended into the stratosphere and then unfortunately fell and never quite recovered. and after all of her success, there was a lot of media coverage about Houston’s life mostly all in a negative light with many accusations, rumours and big reveals, but as we all know there’s a lot more to the lives of celebrities beyond what the media presents. I recall how much she was brought up in the news from the good stuff in the 90’s the all the bad stuff in the 00’s because of the drugs or marital issues with Bobby Brown. And while this film wasn’t as comprehensive as it could have been, it was emotionally charged, haunting and informative.

I feel like the film did a good job of introducing itself in a positive manner highlighting the best/fun part of Houston’s life but then changed things up immediately with some darker/negative elements, and that felt like it set the tone for the rest of the film as there were plenty of moments where the film changes its tone at several points throughout. The film confidently goes through a lot of her life from childhood to her first tv appearance to her initial explosion onto the music scene to marriage to problems with drugs and her downward spiral towards death. It is fairly comprehensive with great use of audio and video archive footage which shows every side of her whether she’s playful, funny, shy, sassy, aggressive, sad, exhausted and so on. I loved seeing her in her youth being so cute and crazy but also seeing how human she was dealing with some of these insane situations with varying degrees of success. The editing and use of sound are excellent, making you feel immense joy at one point, but then feeling scared or depressed in another. There’s also plenty of interviews from everyone close to her from her mother to her brothers to her ex-husband to family friends to music management, and so on. And they all give very detailed information about Houston’s experiences, the good and the bad and how some of them contributed to the long-term issues that became major hurdles for her later on. And the film isn’t afraid to go to those really dark places and ask questions that were dark or uncomfortable, there was a lot of rumour and speculation in the media about what Houston got up to, and while not every question is answered, there was a fair amount of clarification and certain revelations about Houston that was quite shocking and highlight that her life was anything but simple and that there were many factors that made things turn out the way they did. One moment, in particular, was a pretty major eye-opener that left me in stunned for a little while too.

And of course, the watching this film frigging hurts especially if you’re a fan of Houston, to you see this beautiful lady with such talent rise and then fall so hard that it’s hard to watch at times. I wasn’t alive or old enough to experience the Houston in her prime, but this film really highlights how much of big deal she was, how she changed things and made an impact with America and the world, black people, female singers and so on. When the film ended I really just felt like crying. This documentary did a great job of revealing Houston’s life, showing off outside influence and showing off what she meant to people, how big of a star that she was and highlighting her raw talent.

In conclusion, Whitney is pretty solid documentary that is emotionally engaging and very insightful, and if you are even remotely interested in this documentary I would recommend it, Kevin MacDonald did a fine job at asking the right questions and presenting the life of one of the world’s most interesting, brilliant and tragic celebrities. If you’ve seen the film I’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 😀

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Double Review – Deadpool 2 & Solo: A Star Wars Story

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? Today I return with not one but two reviews in the form of Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story via my podcast, Film Focus!

Timecodes:

02:23 Deadpool 2 Review
18:37 Solo: A Star Wars Story Review

Check out the review below:

I was originally going to do a written review for Deadpool 2, but time got away from me and with Solo coming out a week later, I thought it’d be better for me to just pack both reviews together, and like I have stated beforehand, I feel like I can communicate my raw thoughts on a film much better than a written piece of work.

You can listen to the podcast on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/film_focus or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

Anyway if you have any thoughts on Deadpool 2 or Solo, whether you like or dislike either, be sure to drop them in the comments section below! :D, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 53 – Avengers: Infinity War Spoiler Discussion

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, in 2016 I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And the latest episode is a spoiler-heavy discussion on Avengers: Infinity War.

Anyway here’s the episode 53:

I’ve done already done my posted my original review, however, unlike most reviews I do there is a written and audio-based review. But I felt that because Infinity War would be a film I would be naturally excited about, I wanted to make my main review audio-related so that you all could understand my feelings towards the film in its purest form. And I also had so much fun recording with Drew that I felt like a written review would come across a bit redundant. However, that recording wasn’t the only episode recorded, as we also did a spoiler-based discussion talking about all of the major talking points from Thanos to the funniest scenes and character interactions to the character deaths and what the end of this film could mean for the MCU going forward.

Now I actually dropped this episode online last week, but because of timing issues I didn’t share it on my blog, plus I feel like a fortnight is plenty of time to wait before busting out the juicy spoilers haha. So yeah if you’re curious to hear the fun, interesting and fun thoughts on Infinity War from Drew and I then you’re in the right place. It was one of my favourite episodes of the podcast so far! 😀

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

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

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

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

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Avengers: Infinity War Spoiler-Free Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, how is it going? So yeah this review is up a little later than I had wanted but let’s just say I had a hella busy weekend, but putting that aside, I am finally here to share with you my thoughts on the latest Marvel Studios, Avengers: Infinity War! Now I did consider doing a written review, but I feel like my podcast would be able to better describe my feeling about the film in a more vivid and raw manner. So my review will be presented via my podcast Film Focus and features a returning guest, my homie Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews.

Anyway here’s the episode 52:

Now I will admit this review was largely unscripted and since we were trying to avoid spoilers, there is a fair amount of vagueness to our comments, that being said we do cover a good deal of material in the story, character and presentation departments highlighting the highs and lows of the film, and generally just gushing about how much we liked the film haha. It is a good listen and I hope that you’ll enjoy the episode because I know Drew and I had a lot of fun making the episode. 😀

If you haven’t checked out my podcast before you can find it here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

So have you seen Infinity War and if so what did you think of it? Did it meet or exceed your expectations? OR were you disappointed? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 51 – Double Review – Ready Player One & Pacific Rim Uprising

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, in 2016 I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And the latest episode features a double review for the Ready Player One and Pacific Rim Uprising.

Anyway here’s the episode 51:

I was going to do a written review for Ready Player One, but I didn’t have the time and since I saw it pretty close to my viewing of Pacific Rim 2 so I decided that my podcast would be an easier and better way to talk about both films. But that’s not all, I have also included my small yet notable thoughts on Annihilation and Isle of Dogs, again films I really wanted t review on this blog, but because of timing I couldn’t do it around the time of release so I added my thoughts to the podcast before getting in the meaty reviews later on.

Here are the time codes:

  • 02:34 Annihilation Mini Review
  • 04:09 Isle of Dogs Mini Review
  • 08:19 Ready Player One Review
  • 23:50 Pacific Rim Uprising Review

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

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

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

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

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Fantastic Mr. Fox

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a new film review and today I get to talk about a film I’ve wanted to review on here since I think 2013, and that is Fantastic Mr. Fox! So yeah I know this film is not new, it is from 2009 and I saw it in the cinema and I really liked it at the time and said to myself that I’d rewatch it again at some point. And yet even after buying the DVD around 5 or 6 years ago while at university I never got around to it just because of timing and being in the right mood. That being said, since 2014 I’ve really gotten into Wes Anderson’s films and with Isle of Dogs coming out tomorrow here in the UK I thought I’d rewatch my first Wes Anderson film and see if it still holds up.

The story for the film can be summed up as the following:

“The film is about a fox who steals food each night from three mean and wealthy farmers. They are fed up with Mr. Fox’s theft and try to kill him, so they dig their way into the foxes’ home, but the animals are able to outwit the farmers and live underground.”

I like the story because it has a lot of layers, there is the main narrative that goes on throughout the film, but there are also a number subplots introduced that eventually come to a head as the film progresses and what I like is that all of these plot elements are character-driven, have significance and the payoff feeds back into the main plot. And for a film about animals dealing with dangerous humans, it introduces some interesting themes dealing with breaking habits, doing what you’re good at, living up to expectations, being different and a number of other elements that are easy to relate to. And it is presented in a story that has a strange, quirky and fast-paced nature to it, and it very funny on numerous occasions and comes at just the right point with incredible timing, however, it also has brilliant moments of seriousness, darker moments and slows down just enough to have these special moments between the main characters.

As for the characters they are all very fun, interesting and feel like well-rounded individuals even if they’re secondary characters. George Clooney is fabulous as Mr. Fox, Clooney brings his natural charm to this character who is charismatic, daring yet selfish and not fully aware of his actions. Meryl Streep as Felicity Fox is a strong, smart and caring woman, but is also very stern and doesn’t take any shit from anyone. Jason Schwartzman stands out as Ash Fox, I guessed Schwartzman in this role just because Ash reminded me of Max from Rushmore in the sense that Ash is another young man with personal issues that lead to awkward relationships with others, but here Ash is a lot younger and immature and his journey through the film is quite engaging despite his rude and insensitive nature. Bill Murray was delightful as Clive Badger and had some great moments with Mr. Fox, Willem Dafoe’s role as Rat was unexpected, funny and strange and Wallace Wolodarsky as Kylie was one of the most memorable characters due to his subdued yet hilarious nature. And finally, Michael Gambon as Franklin Bean made for a strong and memorable protagonist, Gambon has such a presence with his voice and puts it to good use in humourous and intimidating scenarios.

From a presentation point of view, the film’s incredible. Visually the film’s use of stop motion animation is fluid, stylish and unique. While stop motion has a certain type of movement due to the way it is created, this film goes a step further by presenting movement in a number of ways that looks like frames are missing, but the movement is dynamic, exaggerated and elastic giving them a great sense of charisma and realism at the same time. The choice of camera angles and the general cinematography looks like a mixture of a stage play, a normal film and old film techniques used during driving sequences. I also want to talk about the character models and set design, the models have such an intricate level of detail for the fur and clothing and the sets vary from being large or very small, but they are all well-crafted with a lot of attention to detail from the foreground to background material looking realistic but also stylised. It is elaborate, grand in scale and has such incredible scene transitions. The film score by Alexandre Desplat is wonderful and works very well in each scene it’s used in and the soundtrack is filled with a great variety of songs that really enhance the scenes they’re used in the way that only Anderson can pull off.

In conclusion, Fantastic Mr. Fox is still a wonderful film and perhaps foolishly I was surprised how well it held up after so many years. I may be biased as I really LOVE Wes Anderson’s approach to filmmaking, but even if I was to take that element out of the equation, the film is not a conventional animated kids film, but that’s why I love it. The film, it is fun, exciting, engaging, quirky and hilarious, and yet it also has an engaging story, with fully formed characters that you can understand and relate to. If you haven’t seen this film I highly recommend it especially if you like Wes Anderson films.

So have you seen Fantastic Mr. Fox and if so what did you think of it? Drop me your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see you in the next review, so until the next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 50 – Tomb Raider Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, in 2016 I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And the latest episode is a review of the latest video game film, Tomb Raider.

Anyway here’s the episode 50:

I’ve done already done my written review for Tomb Raider, however, as usual, there’s always more for me to say beyond my written material. I basically expand upon my thoughts in terms of what I like and what I don’t, and more specifically how the film relates to the game and what it gets right and what it doesn’t. It was also a fun episode to do because it was my 50th episode so I do get a little crazy at points, but hopefully, that won’t make you want to turn the episode off haha. 😛

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

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

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

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

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

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Tomb Raider

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a new film review and today I’m going to talk about the latest video game film, Tomb Raider. Now I could say a lot about this film but I will attempt to keep things brief this time around. So Tomb Raider, where to start? Well firstly let’s just get some background info out of the way:

  1. I never watched the Angelina Jolie films because I didn’t have the interest at the time.
  2. I also never really played any of the Tomb Raider games until last year when I played the 2013 reboot game.
  3. The marketing didn’t do much to convince me that the film would be worth watching. However, I wanted to remain optimistic because the film was based on strong source material.

So with all that out of the way what did I think of the film? It was fine, but it won’t break the video game film curse.

The story in the film involves a young woman by the name of Lara Croft who goes on a trek to discover what happened to her father who went missing years ago and uncover the mysteries surrounding his research. What follows is a journey of action, danger, self-discovery and interesting revelations. What I applaud the people behind the film for is taking so much of the 2013 game and incorporating into this film. The basic elements of the story, key locations and action set pieces were lifted from the game, and while a great deal was changed and streamlined, some of it was effective and I appreciated how much of that content was put into the film… That being said, the film features so many of the basic and cliché elements that made these big budget action-adventure films so average to watch. The story plays out almost exactly as you’d expect with certain twists and reveals you could see coming a mile away, the dialogue can be so cheesy and dull at times, and while some of the humour works, some of it really cringeworthy and there was one scene in the first trailer I prayed wouldn’t make it into the final film and just near the end it showed up and I was very sad haha. 😛 I’m only harsh on the story because the game had such a great foundation to jump off from and while there was only so much time available, certain story and character elements were needlessly omitted or changed resulting in a story that had less of dramatic and emotional resonance.

As for the cast they did their jobs well enough but none of the characters was all that unique or memorable beyond the main character. Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft was fine, she played the stubborn, smart and physically capable girl with issues relating to her past, she’s a fine enough hero with a great body and can handle herself in tough situations, but she doesn’t have that “je ne sais quoi” that makes a protagonist endearing. Dominic West as Lord Richard Croft was decent, though I wasn’t keen on how his character was handled in the story. Daniel Wu as Lu Ren was fine, I wasn’t sure how he’d fit into the overall narrative but it was revealed in a logical manner and I liked his character, but I thought Wu was underutilized considering his good work on Into the Badlands. Kristin Scott Thomas as Ana Miller was fine, and Walton Goggins as Mathias Vogel was okay as the bad guy, he did what he could with the material he was given, but it wasn’t a captivating or memorable villain, unfortunately. From a presentation point of view, the film has pros and cons. Visually, for the most part, the film looks good, most the visual effects are solid (safe for some questionable CGI and green screen), some of the action sequences were cool especially with the chase scenes, and like I said before, seeing several of the set pieces from the game implemented into this film did make me grin. And the film score by Tom Holkenborg was a little lacking in presence and didn’t do much to elevate the action on-screen.

So to conclude, I think most people reading this may think I hate the film but that is not the case. Tomb Raider a is a fine yet unremarkable film. I think there will be varying opinions about this film from fans of the games and those who are not. It does some things well and Alicia Vikander did a pretty good job in the main role, but alas the film’s story, action and characters are very plain and generic, and I think that there was so much material from the game that could have been adapted much better. Anyway, if you’re curious about this film give it a watch, it wasn’t as inconsistent as Warcraft and nowhere near as boring as Assassin’s Creed, but this isn’t the film to usher in the new era of video game films, nuff said.

So have you seen Tomb Raider and if so what did you think of it? Drop me your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see you in the next review, so until the next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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