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EPIC REVIEW: Power Rangers (2017)

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another new film review. Now I know I’ve been gone for a little while and I apologise for that, however, I had to rise from the depths of the earth to talk about Power Rangers, the grounded reboot of the Mighty Morhin’ era of the Power Rangers TV series from the 90’s. Power Rangers was a big deal for as a kid, I watched Mighty Morphin’, I had the toys and was obsessed way back when and while I’ve been interested in another go at a live-action film, this reboot gave me all sorts of concerns because of the trailers. But hey the film’s out and now I’m gonna pass judgement.

The story can be described as the following:

“Power Rangers tells the story of five high school students, all from different walks of life whose lives are changed forever when they stumble upon an old alien ship where they acquire superpowers. During this period an enemy known as Rita Repulsa surfaces and start causing chaos, so our heroes must band together and become the Power Rangers in order to the deal with the impending threat.”

So here’s the thing, I didn’t hate the film, but I wasn’t overly impressed with it either. This film essentially took a few of the core eleents of the original show and created its own new take on the story with the mythology of the Ranger abilities, the relationship between Zordon and Rita, the way in which the teenagers got their abilities and a few other things. And much of the film has this darker, grounded and more serious approach to the source material and while I appreciate the new mythology and some of the story points and themes, I don’t think it was totally successful. Sometimes the story fluctuated between being serious and humourous, and even though the film is based on a pretty crazy concept, there were some pretty illogical and strange scenes and plot points that took me out of the film.

When it comes to the cast I thought they were all solid actors and did well in their roles, however some had more screen time than others so not all of them felt developed. Dacre Montgomery was fine as Jason Scott/Red Ranger, he had a nice sense of screen presence as the leader of the team but I felt like he was a bit plain. The same can be said for Naomi Scott as Kimberly Hart/Pink Ranger, Scott was fine in the role and I liked some of Kimberly’s backstory, but as a character she was a bit plain. The next three characters have a little more meat to them. Firstly there’s Becky G as Trini Kwan/Yellow Ranger, I wasn’t too keen on her at first, she was a little too emo for my liking and while you get to know her and find out about her sexual orientation (which was surprising but not as much of big deal as some news outlets made it out to be), she didn’t feel as likable as some of the others. Ludi Lin was decent as Zack Taylor/Black Ranger, at first I found to be a little too zany, but once you found out about his backstory he really grew on me. But the real star is RJ Cyler as Billy Cranston/Blue Ranger. I knew I liked this dude for a reason in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and in this film he acted with such charisma, humour and charm. I loved all of his dialogue and interaction and how integral he was to the plot. What I liked about the cast was their interactions and the way they felt a little more realistic and fleshed out from the original show, and while not all of them had enough screen time together or in certain pairs, I did love the connection between Jason and Billy.

Also Bryan Cranston as Zordon was solid though I could have used more. As the mentor of the Power Rangers and with his backstory in the film it made him more substantial than I expected, though his character is a little mean and could have used just a few scenes with the team to explain a few things in order to make a little more likeable and allow the team to connect with him more. Bill Hader as the voice of Alpha 5, was a little weird but I got over it and ended up liking his performance a fair amount. And finally you have Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, and I’m gonna say it right now, I didn’t like her at all. While Rita in the original show was all sorts of weird and annoying on occasions, she was fun and crazy but in a good way. Banks’ Rita is just some generic, boring and zany character who has some interesting history with the Power Rangers and Zordon but it’s never fully delved into and if they had given this character more sinister and calculated focused around resentment and betrayal I would have loved it, but I thought she just didn’t fit in with the tone of the rest of the film.

As for the presentation, the film was fine but not amazing. Visually the film was shot well, and some of the action scenes were decent too. Though the CGI was decent, it didn’t feel as detailed as it should have been especially during the giant monster fight. The most disappointing part of this film was the lack of hand to hand combat in and out of the suits, it has been one of the key elements of not only the original series right until the current iteration of Power Rangers and sure there was some nice stuff here and there but it wasn’t included as much I would have liked. And the film score from Brian Tyler was fine, it had certain moments of interest and totally was tapping into Tron: Legacy territory on several occasions.

So in the end Power Rangers was alright, there were certainly elements I enjoyed, but there was also a lot of things I didn’t. This did some interesting things but also missed some opportunities to be more. How much you’ll enjoyed this will depend on if you’re a fan or not, and if you’re a fan whether you’ll be able to accept the new changes or not. Check it out if you’re interested.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Sausage Party

Howdy ladies and gents people, time for another single paragraph review and today I’ll be briefly talking about Sausage Party. Now I was always curious about the film from the time of its announcement to the start of the marketing, and while the trailers didn’t blow me away, as a fan of animation I had to give it a watch.

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The plot for the film can be summed up as the following: “The film is about one sausage leading a group of supermarket products on a quest to discover the truth about their existence and what really happens when they become chosen to leave the grocery store.” The interesting thing about the story was that there was much more to it than the trailers let on (well done marketing team), there’s was a lot of inventive, smart and layered elements that went into the story and it was fairly captivating for the most part. Though I will admit the humour was a bit hit and miss for me and the overly sexual nature of the film was a bit much times, and there’s one moment towards the end that kind of ruined the immersion of the film (Those of you who have seen the latter half of the The Lego Movie should pick up on what I’m on about). But for all the stuff that I didn’t love, there was a lot of stuff to appreciate like the film references, and visual presentation which was incredible with the impressive and varied character design, animation and cinematography. Oh and the use of music and overall film score was good too. And finally the voice cast was pretty solid too with Seth Rogen and a lot of his familiar acting people surrounding him once again. Everyone did a good job in their roles but I’ll just highlight certain people: Seth Rogen as Frank was pretty cool, he was interesting and well-rounded character and I appreciated how Rogen was more of a character than his usual self. I also really liked Kristen Wiig as Brenda Bunson, she was sassy, direct and had some good lines too. Michael Cera surprised as Barry (because oft he voice), he was a character I didn’t think I’d like and ended up being one of my favourites.Jonah Hill who I recognised straight away was great as Carl, while Nick Kroll was also good as Douche, and Salma Hayek was another instantly recognisable voice as Teresa del Taco who was another memorable character with a lot of passion charisma. I also loved Edward Norton as the Woody Allen-esque bagel Sammy Bagel Jr., Norton really surprised with his voice work and Sammy was a really likeable dude. And David Krumholtz was also funny too as Kareem Abdul Lavash with his beef with Sammy Bagel. Other actors worth noting were Bill Hader, James Franco, Craig Robinson and Paul Rudd.The strange thing about Sausage Party is that it turned out being the exact film I thought it’d be with the over-the-top and crude humour full of your standard set of sex, drugs and violent-related humour that comes with a R/15 rated US comedy, but at the same time it was incredibly creative, fun, silly, stupid, well-thought out and entertaining. At the end of the day this is one of those films you’ll either love or hate, but I enjoyed it more than I expected and I’d say its worth a watch. 🙂

So that was my review, have you seen Sausage Party and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2016 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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I Feel Emotional In This Inside Out Review

Howdy people of the internet, time for a new film review and the film I’ll be discussing today is Inside Out. Now I have been waiting to see this film for what feels like the longest time and the fact that the US have had this film for a whole month before us in the UK has just made the wait that much worse, but it FINALLY came out today and I’m ready to pass judgement!

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To put it simply I really liked the story. Besides a few hiccups in the filmography, Pixar have always found a way to be incredibly inventive, smart and relatable with their plots and Inside Out is no exception. While it is a film primarily focused on the emotions in one girl’s head, there is a big adventure that takes place not only inside her head but also in the real world around her that affects her parents and interactions with everyone else she meets. And just like the best of Pixar’s films there are lessons to be learnt and dramatic moments that make you feel. This film not only demonstrates the importance of balancing one’s emotions, but also the pros and cons of using/ignoring certain ones in specific situations. Also there were at least two or three moments where I felt some man tears coming up as things got pretty heavy emotionally and i swear Pixar know how to touch that emotional nerve in such a beautiful way. Oh and I the film is incredibly funny with some stellar jokes and physical humour that just killed me. I will say that there were some aspects of the story that did annoy me or I felt weren’t as strong as some of Pixar’s previous efforts but those were nitpicking issues at best.

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As for the voice cast, they were amazing. Amy Poehler as Joy was just incredible. Joy was this energetic, caring and high-spirited emotion who was the core of Riley and one of the centers of the film. Poehler was simply great in this role, you could hear her pouring her heart and soul into this role as feel so engaged in her character. Someone who is just as important is Phyllis Smith as Sadness, this character was very depressing and gloomy, and while she wasn’t around to intentionally cause trouble, sometimes she did. What I liked about this character is that she’s down in the dumps, but is also very funny and relatable and Smith just kills with her voice work. Together Poehler and Smith have wonderful chemistry with awesome banter and emotional moments. Then there’s Bill Hader as Fear, Lewis Black as Anger and Mindy Kaling as Disgust, and they were all great. Each of them have their moment individually to stand out but it is when they’re together, that’s when the magic happens, Fear is a nervous wreck and is quick to caution, Anger is just ready to find a reason to be aggressive and Disgust is so sassy and disapproving and it’s fun to see them interact. I would say that Anger was my favourite because Black’s voice just made me smile so much. Oh and then there’s Richard Kind as Bing Bong, this had to be one of the best characters in the film because he was so funny, strange and lovely, but also provided some of the best moments in the film and Kind’s voice work was excellent. Kaitlyn Dias was pretty good as Riley Anderson, while Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan were completely unrecognisable to my ears as Riley’s mom and Riley’s dad, but they were great in their roles too.

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When it comes to the presentation it was great. Visually the film was just beautiful with such detailed CGI for the humans and realistic locations, but even more impressive was the use of colour, textures and shape for all the emotions and other characters that occupied Riley’s head. I also loved the physical representations of how the mind works, how personality and memories were put together and there was just SO much creative and wacky things that I loved.  And there’s the music which was done by my man Michael Giacchino, I swear this man can do no wrong. While it was certainly not as easy to recognise as some of his previous work I will say that it had that emotional impact and lovely versatility that was needed for a film like this.

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In conclusion Inside Out is definitely a return to form for Pixar. This film demonstrates the studio’s creativity, innovation and fun factor in a really wonderful way with a solid story, memorable characters, plenty of laughs and the emotional core that these films are known for. While I wouldn’t say its my favourite Pixar film, it is definitely on the higher end of the list of their work.

Rating: 8.5/10

So have you seen Inside Out and if so what did you think of it? Do you believe that it was a return to form for Pixar or were you expecting more? Please be sure to leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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