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The Martian Review (SPOILER FREE)

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about The Martian. This is another film that’s been on my 2015 anticipated list, even when there was no footage, I had hope for the film considering that it had an interesting premise, Ridley Scott was directing and it featured Matt Damon. And after the trailers and early positive word of mouth I was excited to see this. So after seeing an early screening at Cineworld yesterday I’m ready to pass judgement!

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The story can be described as the following:

“When a mission to Mars goes wrong for a group of team of astronauts, they escape, however one of their members, Mark Watney is left behind and presumed dead. With limited resources and a harsh environment to live in, Watney must fight for survival while communicating with NASA, other scientists and his crewmates on a rescue plan.”

I thought the story was really good. This is another film that focuses on survival, human ingenuity, endurance and spirit. I like how there was moral, ethical and logical dilemma’s for not only Mark, but his crewmates and the people at NASA as well, there wasn’t an easy way of doing things and for a lot of the choices that some of these characters made, there’d be sacrifices or negative consequences involved. I also appreciated the realism, the scientific talk and unpredictable nature of space, the Mars environment and spacecraft equipment. The film was also a lot funnier than I expected and I think it really helped ease the loneliness and dread. While this isn’t a brilliant or unique adventure, it is a solid and well-made film from director Ridley Scott, there is a sense of confidence and intelligence with Scott’s direction and I liked that aspect a lot.

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The cast did such great work with their performances, but the main star is Matt Damon as Mark Watney. This is a character who is smart and courageous, but also has to deal with the fact that death is constantly present and could take him at any moment. Damon is a really great actor and I think a lot of people forget that, but here is allowed to be dramatic, charming, funny, frustrated and so much more, and a lot of the time he has to act alone, yet pretend like there is someone is watching and he pulls that off fairly well.

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As for the people down on Earth I really liked Jeff Daniels as Teddy Sanders, he was an interesting character because he is a good person, but he also has to think of things from a business perspective and his decisions puts him at odds with his other staff members. Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose did pretty well and I think I think I liked her performance a lot mainly because it was the first time I’ve seen her in a serious role. Chiwetel Ejiofor as usual turns in a great performance Vincent Kapoor and Sean Bean was good as Mitch Henderson too.  Mackenzie Davis was cute and good in her role as Mindy Park, Benedict Wong was quite good as Bruce Ng and Donald Glover’s appearance as Rich Purnell was strange, humourous and entertaining for sure. As for the space-based characters, Jessica Chastain did well with her material as Melissa Lewis, she’s the most developed and important of the crew and has a lot of important decisions to make too. Michael Peña as Rick Martinez was also good, he had some humourous moments and good banter with Mark. Kate Mara was also good as Beth Johanssen, I also liked my man Sebastian Stan as Chris Beck and Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel was good but a little forgettable. Together these characters had good chemistry and felt like a good team of individuals who cared about their mission but also for each other and Mark.

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When it comes to the presentation it was really good. Visually this was a great experience. Spaced-based sci-fi films have been getting better with their special effects over the last few years with Prometheus, Guardians of the Galaxy and Gravity showing more and more impressive their art direction, realism and level of detail, and this film is no different. The Martian has wonderful cinematography, editing and sound design too. I was just stunned by the scenery of Mars, all the shots on the planet were gorgeous and the scenes in space were also very beautiful with great lighting and clarity. The film score by Harry Gregson-Williams was also quite good, William’s soundtracks tend to be a little hit and miss for me, but here he did a good job creating music that really amplified the action on-screen and it had many great moments elevating the emotional scenes.

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In conclusion The Martian is a return to form for Ridley Scott, offering up a thrilling and dramatic story, great performances and brilliant production value. While I wouldn’t say it blew me away, it is definitely on the higher end of films I’ve seen post-summer season and in 2015 in general.

Rating: 8/10

So what did you think of The Martian? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and let me know. Until the next time, see ya later! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Hercules Review

Howdy ladies and gents time for the first of many new film reviews to come and today we start with Hercules, the latest film from Brett Ratner that stars Dwayne Johnson as the title character. Now I honestly had little to no interest in watching this film as the trailers hadn’t sold me at all, but since the film group I joined recently had it listed as a film to watch last week I decided to jump in and see what was going on. So how was the film? Well read on and find out.

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

“Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.”

This film is definitely one of those ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ kind of films. From the trailers I thought I had this film worked out, but it totally took me by surprise how good the film was in every department. The story was straightforward and easy to comprehend, the characters were all likable and memorable and the presentation was very well executed with big set pieces and an awesome sense of style. This film once again reinvented the main mythology associated with Hercules, but does so in a way that is believable and interesting, also the modern-styled dialogue and emphasis on humour was a welcomed change from the more serious and embarrassing Greek mythology adaptations we have gotten in the past (*cough* Clash and War of the Titans). I also like how the film for all its cheesiness also had a bit of depth to it, there was some nice and dark backstory elements thrown in that actually worked that I did not expect to see in a Brett Ratner film.

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As for the cast they did a serviceable job in their roles and I don’t think there were any weak links to be found from what I saw. Firstly let’s talk about Dwayne Johnson as Hercules, man who dude looks like a tank! Johnson right now maybe the peak of physical human perfect I think lol. But enough about his looks, I though Johnson did well as Hercules and gave us a different and interesting take on the character, the man is definitely getting better as an actor and it helps that he has a great screen presence and good charisma too. This Hercules is strong, but is humble, he is a mercenary but still has honour and he also has a bit of a dark past too which added a bit more to his character as well. John Hurt as Cotys, King of Thrace was good as always. Hurt is a man ho does well playing roles that are either good or bad and I liked him in this film because he did come across as a nice man but easily changed his tune later on and was quite wicked. Rufus Sewell as Autolycus was probably my favourite of Hercules’ companions. The man has known Hercules the longest and he comes across as righteous man when his friends are involved, that being said he always has his eyes on the prize and makes numerous funny remarks throughout the film.

Ian McShane as Amphiaraus was great, he was the funniest of the bunch, constantly talking about his visions of the future and the time of his death which lead to some very great moments in the film. Ingrid Bolsø Berdal was as hot as she was deadly as Atalanta. This character is clearly a warrior, she got into the thick of the battles, knew how to deliver the pain and has a lot of love and respect for her friends. And I dunno if it was just me but I constantly thought, “Man, this woman looks a lot like a younger Nicole Kidman.” Aksel Hennie as Tydeus was good too, this character was strange and odd, but awesome as well as he was a nutter. I liked is backstory as well and I feel like I connected with him a lot despite the fact that he rarely talks. Reece Ritchie as Iolaus was nice as well, he was the nephew of Hercules who tells of these exaggerated tales of his conquests, but is also looking to make a name for himself and become a warrior too. Rebecca Ferguson was also decent as Ergenia, she wasn’t just there to be a love interest but was a strong character who had good motives and had a fairly important role to play in the grand scale of things too.

I also have to say that the presentation in the film was pretty cool too. On the visual front this film had some really cool action sequences, there were big scale wars, good but not overused CGI and nicely choreographed fight scenes with Hercules and his band of people to get stuck into.

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In conclusion Hercules was a surprisingly fun, interesting and had some hidden depth to it too. The film knows what it is and doesn’t try to be any more than an entertaining action film full of cheesy humour and good characters. This is the first solid adaptation of the character from Greek mythology since Disney made him popular in the late 90’s, I would recommend this to people who are not only fans of Dwayne Johnson but also for people looking for good summer action films, it is one of the good ones.

Rating: 7.5/10

So have you seen Hercules and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are e sure to leave them below and I’ll catch ya on the next film review yo. 😀

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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