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QUICK REVIEW: Kong: Skull Island

Howdy ladies and gents, its review time once again and today I’m talking about another one of the big blockbuster films of 2017 in the form of Kong: Skull Island. Now this was a film I was hyped for especially with the cast and after watching the first trailer, but with the subsequent trailers my interest waned due to the use of humour and the reveal of King Kong (which I wasn’t overly keen on), and with the mixed reviews that recently came out I was bracing myself for disappointment, but after watching the film last night I now have my thoughts on the film ready to share.

The plot can be described as the following:

“When a scientific expedition to an uncharted island awakens titanic forces of nature, a mission of discovery becomes an explosive war between monster and man.”

I thought the story was good, it had a little more depth than I expected being set during the 70’s with the ties war and intriguing mythology about Skull Island and King Kong’s origins too. But the best things about this film was that it was straightforward and fun. The pacing felt good and didn’t drag and when the action was going down it was very entertaining. That being said I do feel like the film had some tonal inconsistencies and some of the humour felt a little forced at times, plus it didn’t help that some of the funny lines had been shown in the trailers already. I also wish that there had been a better sense of fear, dread and stakes in the film, not that the film didn’t have those elements, it just wasn’t to a high enough degree considering the situation these human characters got into. Oh and finally there are some cool ties and references to other notable monsters throughout the film and in the post credits scene too which was great if you like your classic kaiju films! 😀

Now when it comes to the cast it is stacked to the maximum with a lot of notable faces including Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz and John C. Reilly among others. And here’s the thing, everyone is fine, but it really is the actors that elevate the characters as the dialogue doesn’t do well to give the characters depth or character arcs, though some people fare better than others.

Firstly you have Tom Hiddleston as Captain James Conrad and he was pretty good, he was a smart, tenacious and tactical badass and while I was surprised by how good he was at almost any situation he was put into, overall he was good. Brie Larson as Weaver was fine, Weaver was clearly the most kind and caring of the characters, she was fine but it was Larson that made her more engaging. John Goodman was really good as Randa, he’s a part of the government organisation who gets everyone on Skull Island and I like how his stern yet humourous demeanour and how he was determined to see his mission through. Next up is Samuel L. Jackson as Lieutenant Colonel Packard, and here he had an interesting character who was deeply effected by the Vietnam War and had some interesting and personal stuff that he dealt with once on the island. Sam Jackson was great and added a lot of personality and flair to the character. And then you have John C. Reilly as Marlow, of all the characters he had the most substantial depth and character arc, when I saw Marlow in the trailer I thought he’d be very annoying and at first he was a little too zany, but by the end of the film he ended up being my favourite character. Corey Hawkins as geologist Houston Brooks was good, he had good screen presence and charisma. Also Shea Whigham and Jason Mitchell as Earl Cole and Glenn Mills were two of my favourites, but that was more the actors than the characters. Toby Kebbell as Maj. Chapman was fine though I wish he’d had more screen time, oh and his accent was a little wobbly. And finally John Ortiz, Thomas Mann, Jing Tian and Terry Notary were fine.

Visually the film is pretty good, the cinematography was solid and there’s some absolutely beautiful shots of scenery and action, the use of colour is very rich and striking during the day and night scenes, and the action sequences when they’re on-point they are ferocious, aggressive and brutal. I will admit that while that some of the action wasn’t as creatively choreographed as I would have liked, and though the CGI was really good, at the same time some of it wasn’t always as sharp or consistent as it should be. The film score for Henry Jackman was decent and did well to add to the action and subtle moments too.

In conclusion Kong: Skull Island was pretty good, not great, but better than I expected considering some of the early reviews. While I had some issues with the characters, some of the humour and visual effects, overall the film was solid fun and I’d recommend it. 🙂

So have you seen Kong: Skull Island and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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My Thoughts on the Oscars 2016

Howdy people of the world, today is the day after the Oscars has come and gone so I feel like voicing my opinion about the whole thing in a brief manner because why not? 😀

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I said to myself that I wasn’t going to watch the Oscars this year, I wasn’t that invested in most of these films and felt like it wouldn’t be worth my time, but believe that when the time for the Oscars started rolling in around 1:30am over here in the UK I was totally got online to watch it, and while I didn’t see everything, it was certainly a good session.

From what I remembered it was a good watch, unlike a lot of the recent Oscars, this one felt fairly swift, award speeches, sketches and videos were keep short and the overall show didn’t drag and that was great. Chris Rock I also believe was a great host, the dude was super charismatic, charming, funny and everything you’d expect, but most importantly he was able to ride the line between being hilarious but also addressing the more serious issues in relation to the controversy involving the lack in diversity when it came to the nominated films and actors. I also really enjoyed the comedy sketches that he did especially the parody of The Martian and Joy, and the point where he asked several black people about the Oscar-nominated films really highlighted how out of touch the average/casual film goer is especially when it comes to people who’re black. I also really liked seeing Chadwick Boseman and Chris Evans together (yeah I’m hyped for Civil War :D), Daisy Ridley and Dev Patel, oh and Louis C.K. he was so hilarious especially his line about Mad Max winning another award. And I also have to show love for Kevin Hart, once again he was not only funny, but he also handled the “Oscars so White” situation well with the appropriate amount of seriousness and positivity as well, that man knows what’s up. But one of the best moments for me was the appearance C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8 taking to the stage, it may have been a throwaway scenes for some, but considering my love for Star Wars it was great to see these lot together.

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As for the award winners I was happy with most of them, but some stood out more than others. Here’s the main winners I was happy about was:

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Winning Best Actor: This was it, this was the main award I was looking forward to, I really wanted to Leo to win this because the dude’s fought so hard over the last few years and after all that madness he went through acting on The Revenant this had to be his time, and it felt like a victory not only for him but for all of his fans too. I really liked his speech, he seemed so grateful and gracious and his speech while a little long, it was important and needed to be said.
  • Brie Larson Wins Best Actress: After I saw Room I knew this girl was my first choice for best actress and I just hoped the academy would see sense and give her the Oscar and luckily that came to pass. Larson’s speech was perfect as it was short and yet acknowledge a great deal of people.
  • Ex Machina Wins Visual Effects: This was the biggest surprise, of all the awards this could be one of my favourite outcomes. I seriously thought this film had no chance considering the titans it was up against (Star Wars, Mad Max, The Martian), but it really did show that the academy appreciated the most subtle and unique approaches to visual effects, and Ex Machina had some of the finest realism applied to robots in the longest time.
  • Alicia Vikander Wins Best Supporting Actress: While I still haven’t seen The Danish Girl, I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about her performance in that film and I’m glad that she got the award.

The full list of winners can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/29/movies/oscar-winners.html?_r=0

The only award I was gutted about was Best Supporting Actor, I would have loved for Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hardy or Sly Stallone to win, however, it went to Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies, and while Rylance was good in the film, I don’t think he was really as emotionally engaging as the other actors I mentioned. I really wanted Ruffalo or Stallone to win considering how amazing their performances were, but alas it wasn’t to be. Oh and I guess I should be happy about Mad Max: Fury Road getting so many awards, 6 in total including the technical ones, though I was gutted to see that The Force Awakens got nothing though.

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In conclusion the 2016 Oscars was a good turn out, I was happy for most of the winners including Leo DiCaprio and Brie Larson and with the awareness of the lack of diversity this year I can only hope that things will improve when the awards season swing around next year.

So what do you think of this year’s Oscars? Did these films deserve to win or not? If you watched it this year did it live up to your expectations or were you disappointed? Leave your comments below and I’ll catch ya later. 😀

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Films, Media

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Room

Howdy people of the internet, time for a review that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, today I finally get to talk about Room. Now before this film came out in the UK, there was so much buzz around this film for its incredible story and performances, but when I saw the trailers I had no clue what the film was about, and normally if a film can’t give me a feel for what I’m gonna what beforehand it’d be a hard sell. But after so much positive word of mouth from certain online film shows and people that I know, I decided to see what was up, and now I’m gonna pass judgement.

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The story can be described as the following:

“After five-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery.”

This film was quite captivating because of the sheer concept of what took place, from start to finish it was an engaging and dramatic experience. Now I find it a little hard to talk about this film without discussing spoilers because it is those details that reveal this story’s brilliance in the mystery, tension and discovery of key elements as to why I liked this film, but I’m going to be as vague as possible. What this film did well was paint a picture of an incredibly strange scenario, which as the film went on, you discovered just how complicated and difficult it was for this mother and son to operate within the confines of the room, and how, no matter how hard things got, they needed each other to keep going. There was so much drama emotionally and psychologically, things got pretty melancholy and traumatic, but then there were some humourous and absolutely beautiful moments that made me SO happy as well. I will admit that this film felt very similar to A Place Beyond The Pines or Cast Away where the first half of the film was much more engaging than the latter and people who have seen said films may be able to understand what I mean by that. That’s not to say that the parts beyond the escape was bad, I just had a preference on the earlier half where things were a little more mysterious, difficult and confined.

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As for the performances, damn, all I can say is well done to the cast involved especially when it came to Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay. Firstly Brie Larson, talk about a breath-taking performance. Larson played Joy “Ma” Newsome and she was so good as a mother who was doing her best to protect her son physically and mentally, but also having to deal with her own personal issues which came with being a mother and adapting to a life that felt so trapped and dehumanizing. Not to be outdone Jacob Tremblay was insanely talented as Jack Newsome, As usual child actors can fall into one of two categories; pretty good or pretty bad, and luckily Tremblay fell into the former. Jack was a really interesting character as we got to see him adapt and learn about the world from a very different way that most kids grow up, and we see a lot of the film through his eyes (kind of like Rugrats), and learning about how he interprets things, what should and shouldn’t be done and seeing the strong bond he had to his mother so was fascinating. Seeing Joan Allen again was great as she did a fine job as Nancy Newsome, her scenes with Jack and Joy were some of the most powerful moments in the film, and it was also interesting to see William H. Macy as Robert Newsome, his character was good and had some interesting moments in the film too. Sean Bridgers as Old Nick was very good and Tom McCamus was also great as Leo.

In conclusion Room was a very interesting, dramatic and thought-provoking experience that had absolutely stellar performances from the leads Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, and a story that was very compelling to watch. I now see why so many people were talking about this film during its main release in the US and while it isn’t my favourite of the Oscar-nominated films of this year, it certainly is in the top three and I wish it nothing but luck at the Oscars.

Rating: 8/10

So have you seen Room and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to 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 23, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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