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QUICK REVIEW: Six Degrees of Separation

Howdy ladies and gents time for a quick film review and no it’s not relating to a new film, mainly because I haven’t seen any as of recent, no today I’m going to be talking about Six Degrees of Separation. As a big fan of Will Smith I have heard on numerous occasions that this was the film that made people take him seriously as an actor after his introduction to the world as a comedic presence in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Now this is a film I have been meaning to see for years, but just haven’t found the time to watch it, however, after a night out last week Monday I decided to watch it the day afer and I wanted to give my thoughts on it.

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The story can be described as the following:

“An affluent New York couple find their lives touched, intruded upon, and compelled by a mysterious young black man who is never quite who he says he is.”

The annoying thing about this film is that there is no simple way to talk about it, there are so many layers to the story and even when you try to summarise it, there are so many details that you could be leaving out. I found it intriguing how one person could enter the lives of so many people, charm them, be disruptive and then leave, it is so strange and yet so engaging when you see the affected parties treat their individual situations. At first the film confused me because of the quick cut nature of the editing between scenes when dealing with the non-linear nature of the plot, but after a while you adjust to the film’s style and it really becomes fun to watch. I love the way this film looks at human interaction through family, friends, social circles and even strangers and through certain events you could be connected. For me, I just found the overall story and its themes very fascinating and informative, so much so that I just had to look it up online and find out more information about it. It has been a very long time since a film has stayed in my head so strongly after my viewing and left me was so many questions that needed answering.

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As for the cast they are all wonderful. Stockard Channing as Ouisa Kittredge was fabulous. Channing acts with such passion, force and humour, I like how her character has a very specific perspective on life, however after Paul comes into play, things start to gradually change and its interesting to see how she reacts to people and Paul in the latter half of the film. Donald Sutherland as Flan Kittredge was great, it is interesting to see him playing a humourous, worrisome, aggressive and yet sophisticated individual who has a sense of pride and see how he changes once Paul comes into play. The biggest revelation was Will Smith as Paul. Smith has always engaged viewers with his charm, charisma and wit, and he brings that into this film, but here Smith also offers deeper and darker emotions that I hadn’t seen from him before, as Paul he was funny and warm, but he was also deceptive, mysterious, a little creepy and vulnerable. Some of the monologues Paul talks about are so engaging that you could honestly just spend time discussing those segments alone because of the subject matter and how well Smith commits to them. The rest of the cast was good but the only other people I recalled from the film were Ian McKellen as Geoffrey Miller who was delightful, Heather Graham who was really good as Elizabeth, Eric Thal as Rick, and a young J. J. Abrams who appeared as Doug and gave a really good performance in his role and has one of the most memorable scenes involving a certain funny phone conversation. ūüėõ

In conclusion Six Degrees of Separation is a really interesting, humourous and thought-provoking film that has an insightful and lovely narrative and features some really great performances from the main cast members. I wish I could do the film more justice in this review, but I don’t think I have the best analytical skills or comprehensive knowledge of the english language to talk about it in a fancy way. Best that I can do is to tell you to view the film for yourself, it is a really good watch and will definitely leave you thinking after it ends.

Rating: 8/10

So have you seen Six Degrees of Separation and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: X-Men 2

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #28 of my¬†Month of Superhero Film Reviews!¬†During this month I‚Äôll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. After the not too impressive X-Men yesterday let’s talk about the far superior sequel that Bryan Singer crafted in the form of X-Men 2 aka X2 aka X2: X-Men United.

Yeah, X-Men 2 is some cool stuff. I remember watching this in the cinema and being so happy afterwards. After all these years X-Men 2 is still been one of my favourite comic book films and even though there are a few things I would have changed about the film, it is still awesome and I have a great time watching it. So its been a while since I watched it last, have my views changed in 2013? Read on and find out.

Now let’s talk about the plot.¬†After the events on Liberty Island, everyone at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters is settling in. Magneto is locked up in a plastic cell, Rogue and Bobby Drake have finally gotten together, and Wolverine has set off to find his origins. But after a mutant attack on the President, everyone starts to fear any type of mutant. William Stryker, who plans to stop all mutants, raids the mutant school, causing Wolverine and his team of mutants to go into hiding. Stryker has managed to capture Xavier and will use him to create another version of Cerebro. So now the remaining X-Men must now team up with their enemy, Magneto, to stop Stryker before it’s too late.

The story in this film is a lot better than the last film. Rather than having a plot that doesn’t quite add up to anything, this plot gives us a lot better material that’s brilliant in regards to the story, characters and spectacle. With William Stryker’s plan to eliminate the mutants, it makes for some high stakes storytelling especially with all the characters involved. I also like how Stryker tied-in with Wolverine’s past, his son had connections to Charles Xavier and because of Xavier’s previous experiences with trying to help humans, Magneto is interconnected in this too. The film’s story just felt a lot bigger in scope than before and it felt a lot smarter and was way more interesting because of the comic book elements that was added in. I loved the Wolverine origins, the continuing struggles for the mutants against humans and the progression of Jean Grey’s abilities.

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Now let’s talk about the cast. Let’s start with¬†Hugh Jackman¬†as¬†Logan/Wolverine. In this film Logan is still trying to find out about his past and is having flashbacks via nightmares. I think this is where Jackman really started to own the role as Wolverine, here he’s more aggressive, dramatic and more in line with his comic book roots. Patrick Stewart is still great as¬†Professor Charles Xavier. Stewart gets more screen time due to his expanded role in relation to the plot and his performance is fabulous offering some moments which are cool, assertive and classy. Also¬†Ian McKellen is magnificent as¬†Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto. Like Xavier, Magneto’s role is expanded in this film due to the story, in this film Magneto is even more sophisticated, aggressive and brutal. McKellen has many great scene-stealing moments and great lines of dialogue too.

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Now let’s talk about Famke Janssen¬†as¬†Dr. Jean Grey. I actually liked her character a lot more than the last film, in this film Jean had a more pivotal role and this film really started to look into her powers too. Even though she was still playing with the emotions of both Logan and Scott, Janssen was nice.¬†Halle Berry fares a lot better as Storm, this time her character has a lot more to do and is brought the front of the story. Berry looks sexier than before in the role and she has much better scenes when it comes to using her powers.¬†James Marsden unfortunately doesn’t get too much better as¬†Scott Summers/Cyclops. He does have a few more moments to shine and isn’t as much of a useless background character is in the prequel, but he is still a bit of a pussy and isn’t the character I know from the comics.

Anna Paquin was still good as Rogue, I thought she had some nice moments in terms of action and I also like how she tries to establish a relationship with Bobby.¬†Shawn Ashmore makes for a cool Bobby Drake/Iceman, he has an expanded role in this film and I liked his story elements and budding relationship with Rogue. Also¬†Aaron Stanford stands out very well as¬†John¬†Allerdyce/Pyro. You can see he’s a guy who doesn’t completely live by the rules, has issues with the mutant discrimination and really wants to show off his abilities. Stanford has some great moments especially when he displays his powers.

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Rebecca Romijn-Stamos continues to be awesome as¬†Mystique, she continues to be one impressive woman as she infiltrates several locations, fights off loads of enemies and changes into several people. As for¬†Brian Cox¬†as¬†Colonel William Stryker I thought he was very good as this man who has a military background and has ties to Wolverine’s past. Cox was great in the villain role and he lended himself very well to the source material he was given. But one of the most stand out performances is¬†Alan Cumming¬†as¬†Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler. This character is one of my favourite characters from the comics and he is wonderfully brought to screen in this modified versions. Cummings was very cool, funny and incredible as Nightcrawler and was one of the best people in the film. And¬†Kelly Hu¬†as¬†Yuriko Oyama/Deathstrike was cool, she was the crazy mutant with the same abilities as Wolverine though she had much more agility and karate skills.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually this film is so good, the CGI in impressive and the make-up is nicely done too. I also love the action in this film, its wonderfully crafted and is very exciting to watch especially when it comes to the brilliant opening sequences with Nightcrawler in the White House or seeing Wolverine fighting people or Pyro’s fire scenes too. As for the soundtrack by John Ottman its great, its way better than the last film with a better sense of epicness, it’s not overly amazing, bit it does its job well.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? As I said before I’ve only read a bit of the X-Men comics and my knowledge is more in lines with cartoons. But from what I know this film adapted some of the source material well like Nightcrawler’s abilities, Wolverine’s back story and the introduction of William Stryker was good too.

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So to conclude X-Men 2 is still a kick ass film. It takes the Everything in this film is miles better than the prequel, the storytelling is better, the returning cast are better utilized and the action is on another level. Even after all this time X-Men 2 is still a good superhero film and has a good few comic book elements implemented that makes it so much fun to watch. While the film isn’t perfect and has a few things that I’d personally change, I’d say that this is still one of the best comic book films and it deserves respect.

Rating: 8.5/10 (Still a fine comic book film and arguably still the best X-Men film)

So there’s my review people, only 2 more to go. So have you seen X-Men 2 and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: X-Men

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #27 of my¬†Month of Superhero Film Reviews!¬†During this month I‚Äôll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Today we’re gonna talk about the film that in a lot of ways made comic book films the popular genre they are today, I am of course talking about Bryan Singer’s about¬†X-Men.

Ah X-Men, this is one of the films that really¬†helped comic¬†book films become popular again, so it should be awesome right? Well it is good, but not that great. Funnily enough I actually saw this film after X-Men 2, so yeah after the awesome sequel it was kind of lame to go back to the less impressive prequel. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good elements about X-Men, but each time I’ve watched the film since the mid-2000’s it’s gotten worse and worse. So in 2013 has my opinion changed? Read on and find out.

In terms of the plot the¬†film focuses on the mutants¬†Wolverine¬†and¬†Rogue¬†as they are brought into a conflict between two groups that have radically different approaches to bringing about the acceptance of mutant-kind:¬†Professor Xavier’s X-Men, and the¬†Brotherhood of Mutants, led by¬†Magneto.

The story for the most part is pretty interesting. I liked the way it started out with Senator Kelly hating on the mutants and trying to get them to get registered so that they can be separated from humans. We also get to see the differing opinions about how mutants feel towards humans from both the good and bad perspective. Charles Xavier thinks that mutants can coexist with the humans, whereas Magneto, due to his past experiences believes that mutants are superior and need to take the humans out. I like all the conflict between humans and mutants and within the mutant groups themselves. I also love the introduction of Wolverine and Rogue, their characters are treated well along with Xavier and Magneto. However this film presents a lot of problems, since there is a great focus on Wolverine and a few select other mutants, other characters don’t get enough screen time to be relevant or just end up being background people. By the end of the film you really want to see what happens next and luckily even though this film isn’t overly amazing, it sets up the groundwork for some really impressive material in the sequel.

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Now let’s talk about the cast. Let’s start with¬†Hugh Jackman¬†as¬†Logan/Wolverine. In this film Wolverine is drifter, he has no home and gets in fights for money because he beaten because of his mutant abilities. However his life changes when he comes into contact with Rogue and eventually the X-Men and from there he has to adjust to his new surroundings and try to decide where he stands when he unintentionally becomes part of this war. Hugh Jackman was nobody before this film came out, but this is the role that made him the popular star he is today. Jackman maybe a bit¬†pretty¬†for the role, but I think he did a great job portraying all of Wolverine’s mannerisms from his powers to his personality traits.

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Patrick Stewart¬†also makes for a great Professor Charles Xavier. I love how he is a powerful¬†telepathic¬†mutant who believes that humans can coexistence with mutants, there is a¬†nativity to his thinking but you can’t help but rooting for him especially when some things work out. Sir Patrick¬†Stewart is a fabulous talent and even though there wasn’t too much of him in the film he was still awesome regardless. And there’s Ian McKellen who makes for an awesome Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto.You can see that Eric had a difficult life prior to the present time in the film and due to his past experiences and the growing hatred against mutants from people like Senator Kelly, as Magneto he’s got every right to despise the humans and want them to be taken out. Sir Ian McKellen is one of the finest actors ever and he puts his skills to good use as he is classy, assertive and totally badass as this classic mutant villain.

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Then we have Anna Paquin¬†as¬†Marie/Rogue. I liked Paquin in this role, she was a timid character due to her powers and was forced to¬†leave her family after an incident involving her boyfriend at the time. She eventually comes into contact with Wolverine and the two become quite close. I like their relationship, they’re technically friends but I see it more like a father-daughter relationship and that’s wonderfully done. Also¬†Rebecca¬†Romijn-Stamos¬†as¬†Mystique was quite impressive. She was¬†Magneto’s loyal second-in-command and due to her ability to transform into anyone she has a lot of freedom to be versatile and do a lot of things. Romijn-Stamos¬†was good in her role even if she didn’t say very much or was that similar to her comic book counterpart. Also¬†Bruce Davison¬†as¬†Senator Robert Kelly was cool, his character was an asshole trying to get mutants exposed and registered under a new act. Davison portrayed his character pretty accurately to what I know from the comics and I thought his character was convincing.

Then you have the people I just can’t stand in this film, so let’s talk about them now.¬†Famke Janssen¬†as¬†Dr. Jean Grey was okay, but I didn’t like how simplified her character was and how even though she was in a relationship with Cyclops was leading Wolverine on. Then we have¬†James Marsden¬†as¬†Scott Summers/Cyclops, my god did his character get butchered. In comics he’s meant be this assertive leader with a great screen presence, but in this film he’s almost silence all of the time, doesn’t really stand out at all and has no epic moments in the film. And then we have¬†Halle Berry¬†as¬†Ororo¬†Munroe/Storm. Oh Storm, YOU ALSO GOT BUTCHERED! Storm is a strong, female character with African heritage and has the ability to control and manipulate the weather, but her character is so simplified and nerfed in this film. Berry has barely that many lines of dialogue, is never really at the forefront of the story and her powers aren’t fully utilized. It hurts me so bad!¬†But the worst offenders come next.

Tyler Mane¬†as¬†Sabretooth. Holy crap this guy sucks, I know he’s meant to be a tiger-like person but when compared to the comics he just terrible. He’s just a big, roaring idiot who has very little dialogue and has a pretty stupid-looking expression on his face most of the time. He is not intimidating or scary, he’s just stupid. And then there’s¬†Ray Park¬†as¬†Toad. Honestly he wouldn’t have been my first choice for a villain in these films, he’s really not that interesting of a character and he seems to get the best of the X-Men even though he doesn’t look that strong at all.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Honestly the film from a visual standpoint is decent for its time but has ages terribly. This is the point before cool fight choreography had been made and loads of practical effects were in place with not too much CGI applied. Because of those factors there’s a lot of bad-looking wire work here and lame fight scenes and nothing in the action department screams out “awesome!” to me. As for the soundtrack by Michael Kamen¬†its good and has its moments of epicness especially in the sequence on Liberty Island, but otherwise the score is just there and has other bits of music that just sounds strange and irregular.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well I’ve not really read that many X-Men comics, my knowledge is from the cartoon shows, online research and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Most of the basic aspects of the comics are kept intact like characters, names and powers. Though a lot of things were simplified or changed or left out completely. Things that didn’t work was Cyclops non-leader role, the changes to Mystique’s character, and the simplification of characters like Storm, Jean Grey and Sabretooth to name a few.

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So to conclude X-Men is a pretty good starting point for this film franchise as it establishes the basic elements that makes the comics so captivating like the discrimination against mutants from humans, the whole relationship between Charles and Eric and bringing in Wolverine’s origin story. Everything else is just a bit of mess with some stupid decisions made in relations to characters, action sequences and the comic book source material. In the end its a decent film, but is nowhere near as great as some claim.

Rating: 6.5/10 (It is good, but has many issues that prevent it from being awesome)

So there’s my review people, only 3 more to go. So have you seen X-Men and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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