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Category Archives: Film Reviews

Reviews of all and any films that I come across.

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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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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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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QUICK REVIEW: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Howdy ladies and gents, how you doing? So it is Christmas Eve and up until yesterday I hadn’t watched any Christmas films, so I had a little time before work so I decided to rewatch one of my favourite films Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; a film that’s not your standard festive film, but takes place during the season. And since I’ve been meaning to review this film for around 3 years I thought now would be a good time to talk about it.

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The story for this film can be described as the following:

“A murder mystery brings together a private eye, a struggling actress, and a thief masquerading as an actor.”

This is a tale of murder, mystery, drama, coincidence and timing all rolled up into a smart comedic crime film, with a story was quite enjoyable and I always find joy in rewatching it just to see how much of it I can remember. There’s two key reasons why I love this story, 1) There’s a good balance between the humour and dramatic elements because there are some moments where both elements happen within very close proximity of each other, but there’s just the right amount of breathing room so you could be shocked or saddened, but then be elevated by the humour. And then there’s the way this film handles all of the different/seemingly unrelated plot elements and finds ways to not only tie it all together towards the end of the film, but also how it smartly has certain plot and character elements come into play which don’t play out in a conventional way. Plus the breaking of the fourth wall with the narration and certain visual gags that got used was really funny too. Overall it is an interesting little tale with lots of twists and turns, humour, and action, but it also gets a little dark and has some sad at times, but its all handled well by the sharp script and direction from Shane Black.

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The cast is fabulous especially when it comes to Robert Downey, Jr., Val Kilmer and Michelle Monaghan, these three in particular have solid performances and good scenes together. So let’s start with Robert Downey, Jr. who was perfect as Harry Lockhart. Here we have a character who has a troubled past and isn’t the best kind of guy, yet he is funny, witty and has enough redeeming qualities that you get attached and root for him as he goes on such a crazy journey from where he starts out to how he ends up. This for me was when RDJ became the actor we know him as today, the witty, charming and loveable man that we’ve seen him really show off in the Marvel Studios films since 2008, he brings his A-game and does really well as a man thrown into some unbelievable situations and has to deal with it the best way possible through luck, charisma and humour. And then there’s Val Kilmer as “Gay” Perry van Shrike, this is the most notable role from Kilmer in years since this film came out. His role as a private investigator was quite different yet well-suited to him, Perry was stern, sarcastic and uncaring, but was also endearing and humourous. Plus I adored the chemistry he has with RDJ, these two had such a such wonderful scenes together and after the film ends you can’t really imagine anyone else in these roles. Michelle Monaghan as Harmony Faith Lane was also really great, Harmony has an interesting role to play as one of the key pieces of the story and cast that makes this film so much fun, She’s an aspiring actress and Harry’s childhood friend who has an interesting backstory, view of the world and personality traits that’s both troublesome and attractive. Monaghan was not only gorgeous but also quite versatile and engaging in her role. Also Corbin Bernsen was also solid as Harlan Dexter, and seeing Rockmond Dunbar and Dash Mihok as Mustard and Mr. Frying Pan was great, these two had a small yet notable presence as Dexter’s henchmen.

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When it comes to the presentation visually the film is very nice, the cinematography is nice and has some lovely landscape shots and the use of colour is quite notable too. I also really liked the film score from John Ottman as it felt whimsical and dream-like, yet also being quite energetic and melancholy. And it also doesn’t hurt that the film also includes a slightly condensed version of “Broken” from Robert Downey Jr’s The Futurist album from 2004. 😀

Ah Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is still such a great movie, I’ve only seen a few times and it still makes entertains me highly. The direction is great, the writing is so clever and funny, I also love the soundtrack too and lastly Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer had amazing chemistry together. This is a film I highly recommend to everyone.

So have you seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and if so what do you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are leave them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2016 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Green Room

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another one paragraph review and today I’ll be talking about Green Room. Now this is a film I planned to watch during its release in the cinema back in May, but for whatever reason I missed it and I’ve been kicking myself ever since because there’d been nothing but positive word of mouth about this film, and some claimed it was film of the year material. So with all the 2016 films I’d missed, I wanted to try and see this film before I made my top 10 list. So is it good or not? Well read on and find out!

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The plot can be summed up as the following: “A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar.” Green Room is a film I knew of but really didn’t know anything about besides the basic premise and the talk of the performances of the cast especially Patrick Stewart and Anton Yelchin. I was basically going into this film blind, and I feel like I benefitted from that a lot. I had the general jist of this story down, but it turned into a very different film than I was expecting, the film was dark, dirty and violent, and just when I thought I’d sussed out plot, it’d totally change things up. The story while familiar in some ways, had a lot of unique and surprising elements with the way it handled the characters, pacing and overall narrative, and can we talk about the tension? Good gravy man, besides the sheer brutality and violence which is handled so well, this film kept up the suspense and tension in such an intense way, my heart was racing several minutes after the film ended, and I’d say it’s on par with Don’t Breathe. And then there’s the cast who all did a great job in their roles. Anton Yelchin was just fabulous as Pat, this guy goes through a lot and Yelchin just put in 110% with performance especially on the physical side. Imogen Poots as Amber was also really impressive, really versatile and realistic with the emotional material she was given. And of course we have to talk about Patrick Stewart as Darcy Banker, this is most different role I’ve seen from him, Darcy was really cold, calculated, ruthless and intimating and Stewart was so magnetic. I also really enjoyed seeing Arrested Development‘s Alia Shawkat as Sam, she was really great too, I also enjoyed Macon Blair as Gabe, Mark Webber was pretty good as Daniel and finally Joe Cole and Callum Turner were solid as Reece and Tiger. In conclusion Green Room was a very impressive, intense and dark film which I enjoyed far more than I expected and it has automatically jumped into my top 10 films of 2016, just trying to figure out where to place will be the hard part. But anyway, I’m glad I saw it and I would recommend it for sure.

So have you seen Green Room 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 December 22, 2016 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

Good day to you ladies and gents, it is review time once again and today I am bringing you my review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, my last most anticipated film of the year. With 2016 nearly over and most of the films of interest having come out already, I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by any more films. And that’s not to say that I wouldn’t be impressed with Rogue One, but I assumed it’d be good but not mind-blowing… Oh how wrong I was. I’m gonna tell you right now, Rogue One was frigging awesome and you should watch it immediately. But in case you need more convincing read on and check out my thoughts in this spoiler-free review! 😀

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The story can be summed up as the following:

“Jyn Erso, a Rebellion soldier and criminal, sets out on a life-changing journey with her Rebel allies to find her father and obtain the schematics the Galactic Empire’s superweapon, the Death Star.”

I thought that Rogue One‘s story was really good. As a fan of the film series, I knew how this film would end, but that did not make the journey any less exciting. This is a tale hope and bravery in times of darkness and uncertainty, and while the story has enough familiar elements that allows it to coexist with the main series films, it allows presents a lot that we haven’t seen in a Star Wars film. One of the things I admired early on was how different this film was from the other Star Wars films, especially when it came to the direction, atmosphere and tone. Those key elements felt fresh and unique, and at several points this film felt a lot grittier, dirtier, realistic, dark and dramatic, and there to be honest I got a little emotional during certain sequences. This film certainly adheres to the war genre in really impressive ways, and I won’t ruin anything, but I will say that if you’ve watched any war film, then you’ll notice how well this film handles sense of danger and dread, overwhelming odds, tone and casualties. And there’s also some lovely ties to other SW films and the way it tied into A New Hope was just delightful.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story(Felicity Jones)Ph: Film Frame©Lucasfilm LFL

The cast was all so very, very good. What I appreciated about this cast was the fact that they all felt relevant, had moments to shine and were engaging. Firstly there’s Felicity Jones who was just wonderful as Jyn Erso, this lady was strong, courageous, but also relatable and Jones really did well in the role. Diego Luna as Cassian Andor was someone I ended up liking more than I expected, Andor had a fair amount of depth and intelligence to him. Alan Tudyk as K-2SO was awesome, he was a droid who had so many notable/funny moments because of his blunt and unapologetic nature, and Tudyk was just perfect with the timing of his speech. Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook, was a really interesting character who had plenty of interesting, fun and important moments with Ahmed really working well. And then you have Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang as Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus, these two worked well both as individuals and together because of their personality traits and combat capabilities, but also because they were so likable and charming, both Yen and Jiang did really well, but Yen really stood out because of his charisma and martial arts abilities. Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso was really good and so was Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, and you also have Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic, a man who was strong-willed and cunning, and even though his type of villain has been done before I loved the way Mendelsohn handled the character. There were also some really nice and surprising cameos from certain SW characters and actors which you’ll have to see for yourselves.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story(Donnie Yen)Ph: Film Frame©Lucasfilm LFL

When it comes to the presentation it was fantastic! Visually this film is probably the best in the franchise so far, the art direction and use of colour, along with the cinematography and the blending of practical and digital visual effects was on another level. I especially loved the practical effects for the aliens which were really cool, and cinematography which was used to great effect with the sense of scale, tracking shots, and various angles. I adored the action sequences as they varied from firefights to hand-to-hand combat to aerial/space dogfights, all of these sequences are so intense and well-choreographed, and again so different from what we’ve seen in previous SW films. As for the film score from Michael Giacchino, the man worked magic again. Giacchino’s score for Rogue One was epic, whimsical, heartbreaking and full of wonder, and the music captured the spirit of John Williams’ sound while also creating something new as well.

In conclusion Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was just a good time at the cinema and exceeded my expectations in a lot of ways. I had some very, very minor issues with the use of CGI is some places and some pacing nitpicks in the earlier half of the story, but they pale in comparison to how much I enjoyed this film. This film has the right amount of nostalgia as a prequel to A New Hope, but presents so many new elements to this universe at the same time. Rogue One was beautiful, funny, emotional, action-packed, surprising and downright fun especially for fans. I highly recommend the film and can’t wait to see it again in IMAX.

So have you seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or are you going to watch it soon? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2016 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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