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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: Trumbo

Howdy people, today I’m back to give you another single paragraph review and it will be on the Trumbo. Last time I tried this was when I reviewed Pain & Gain and while I could say loads about this film, for the sake of time and efficiency I wanted to keep things concise. So without further ado here we go:

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Trumbo was a really good film, it was insightful and emotional, and had some absolutely stellar performances from the cast. This story about Dalton Trumbo and the other writers who got blacklisted for being communists was very engaging and fascinating. I’ve never been too good at following the intricate details of politics in films as some of the minor details or technical jargon gets lost on me, but this film did well to illustrate the complexities of having different political views during that time period and how it effected not only the people actively involved, but their families and friends as well. And what really impressed me was the way the subject of communism was handled, whether it were Trumbo and his associates fighting for their beliefs or the way the government or anti-Soviet Hollywood elites did everything in their power to shut the movement down, there was a lot conspiracy, hatred, betrayal and suffering, and this film showed both sides of the argument in a detailed and dramatic way. As previously mentioned the performances were fantastic and for me were the real meat of the film, Bryan Cranston continues to prove he can do no wrong as he gave such a brilliant performance as Dalton Trumbo, Cranston’s emotional versatility, charisma and great delivery of lines makes some of the heated or emotional scenes resonate so much more. Helen Mirren as Hedda Hopper was the most surprising as this role was fairy mean and antagonistic and yet she did so very, very well and Michael Stuhlbarg who I love to see in films wa just incredible as Edward G. Robinson, Stuhlbarg I’ve noticed acts a lot through his face and he did it so well in this film. Diane Lane was also great as Cleo Fincher Trumbo, Louis C.K. also impressed me with his dramatic material as Arlen Hird, Elle Fanning was fabulous as Nikola Trumbo, I always love seeing Alan Tudyk and did really well as Ian McLellan Hunterand, and anytime John Goodman shows up in a film I’m happy and he was great as Frank King. In conclusion Trumbo was a really impressive film that despite some pacing and length issues was a great watch.

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

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The King of the Monsters is back in this Godzilla review!

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and thank you for taking the time to read this review. Today I am going to review one of my most highly anticipated films of 2014, Godzilla. Now we all know who Godzilla is and the incredible presence he has in the world of pop culture, but outside of the franchise fan base he’s not that well-known. We had one attempt to bring Godzilla to life with the 1998’s Godzilla and we all saw how that one turned out (shit basically). So there has been some apprehension about there being another western adaptation being made, but all the trailers and interviews has suggested that this will be a different and better instalment. So how has Godzilla (2014) fared? Well read on and find out!

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So the story goes something like this:

“The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.”

The story for the most part is very interesting, there’s a nice balance between the humans and monsters and while it is primarily about the humans and their means of uncovering the truth behind these monsters and how to defeat them, at the¬†same time there is a lot of monster fun to enjoy too. While the story doesn’t reach the emotional, traumatic and melancholy levels of the 1954 original, this film is the first attempt in a while to create a serious story that harkens back to the earlier films and has a balance between the ¬†humans and monster madness. The main problem is that human side of the story doesn’t hold up as well, while it starts off fairly promising in the 30 minutes, after a certain event in Japan, things really start to drift, drag and become not nearly as enticing as one would have hoped for and I wish the scriptwriters had written better material or used the older films as reference instead.

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As for the cast they’re pretty good and their characters are pretty nice even if the actors¬†talents aren’t used to the fullest. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the main hero of the film and as Lieutenant Ford Brody¬†I thought he was pretty good, he was heroic, courageous and had a nice presence throughout the film.¬†Ken Watanabe as Dr. Ichiro Serizawa was really interesting as this scientist that knew the history of Godzilla and the nature of the¬†monsters, and I really liked Watanabe but then I like him in anything because he’s awesome.¬†Elizabeth Olsen as Elle Brody was nice, this is my first Elizabeth Olsen film and I thought she did well given the material she had to work with, she and Johnson had good chemistry together and I thought they had one of the better human elements about the film. And then of course there is¬†Bryan Cranston, Heisenberg himself¬†as Joe Brody, and I loved him in the film. Just liked in Breaking Bad this guy brings the intensity and badassery of his acting from TV to film in a way not many actors can. Unfortunately there wasn’t nearly as much Cranston in the film as I would have liked, there can never be enough of that man in anything.

Juliette Binoche as Sandra “Sandy” Brody, Ford’s mother, a nuclear regulations consultant at the Janjira nuclear plant.¬†Sally Hawkins as Dr. Vivienne Graham, a scientist who works along with¬†Serizawa was pretty cool and I didn’t expect her character to have as much¬†screen time as she did but she was interesting.¬†Juliette Binoche was nice as Sandra “Sandy” Brody¬†however she was severely under-used.¬†David Strathairn as Admiral William Stenz¬†was good and enjoyed his role in the film but wasn’t used nearly as much I would liked because I really like the guy.¬†Bryan Cranston as Joe Brody, Ford’s father, a nuclear physicist and former engineer at the Janjira nuclear plant.

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When it comes to presentation it is incredible. Visually the film is incredible, there is some beautiful cinematography, wonderful locations and an interesting use of colour too. But it is the CGI that is truly worth talking about. The way the visual effects artists have brought these monsters to life is very well done, all of them look¬†cool and very detailed, but most importantly Godzilla was done SO well. The dude is BEASTLY! He’s huge¬†in¬†scale, totally badass and happens to have such an awesome presence on-screen. He is just a fanboy dream come to life. I guess the only disappointing aspect of Godzilla in the presentation department is that there should have been more monster fighting and Godzilla, however I’d rather have Godzilla in small amounts and be good, than in large amounts and be pants. As for the soundtrack by¬†Alexandre Desplat I thought it was very interesting, it was moody and had several moments of awesomeness that stood from beginning to end.

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In conclusion Godzilla is honestly as good as I had hoped and then some, it takes the source material and reinvented things but still keeps a lot of the pure nostalgic elements intact. For me I haven’t geeked out and felt so much joy since Captain America: The Winter Soldier and this is definitely one of my favourite films of 2014. There could have been more¬†Godzilla and Bryan Cranston, however for me this film was total satisfaction on a level that I don’t get that often. Anyone who wishes to argue against me comment below and fight you with words!

Rating: 8.5/10 (Pure fanboy fun)

So what did you think of Godzilla? Have you seen it or are you gonna watch it? And for the Godzilla fans out there, did you like this version and how do you think it fared when compared to the previous Toho films? Whatever your thoughts, be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Godzilla (2014) Trailer #2 Review

Howdy people and it is once again time for another trailer review. Today’s one was a trailer I didn’t know was going doing until around 20-30 mins ago. It is of course the second trailer for Godzilla (2014). Now I was already hyped for this film, but the teaser trailer blew me away when that first hit and now we have a brand new trailer to check out which only gets me more and more giddy about the upcoming film.

So check out this awesome trailer below:

If I had to some this trailer up in one word: cool.

I am really liking the way this film is shaping up, the footage from these trailers makes me feel like Gareth Edwards and the rest of the cast and crew understand the source material and know what it takes to update the original material for modern audiences.

So let’s start talking about the actual trailer. The introduction with Bryan Cranston’s dialogue used over the visual footage is powerful and totally cool, Cranston really sounds like he is channeling his inner Walter White. It sounds like he is talking to someone in charge, perhaps a government person? The only reason I suggest that is because in these kinds of films the government is always trying to cover up these kinds of incidents as nature disasters or something. After Cranston’s dialogue is done we move on to Ken Watanabe’s character talking about how they did tests in the past and awoke something and then tried to kill it passing it off as nuclear tests. But one of the key things that stood out to me about the story aspects was not only framing of one shot which had Watanabe in front of a projector (like the first film), but also the mention about 1954, the fact that they referenced the year when the original film came out was just a neat little point for me.

There is some gorgeous visuals in the film, not only in the CGI which is looking so much cleaner than ever before, but also in the locations, the use of lighting and the varied colour scheme that goes from some pretty colour scenes in the day to crazy dark and scary at night. This might be one of the most visually interesting films since Pacific Rim in the action/sci-fi/monster genre.

I also like how this trailer carried over the dark, grim and foreboding atmosphere from the last trailer with the visuals and eery music that builds and builds. From here there are more shots of the cast including Cranston, Watanabe, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and like one scene with Elizabeth Olsen who is pretty absent from is trailer. The rest of the trailer is destruction, dark skies, jet planes falling out of the sky, trains being smashed apart, helicopters on fire, some other shots from the previous trailer and a new small glimpse of Godzilla in the background looking nice with long-ass trademark roar playing over the footage.

If I have any gripes about the trailer is that I was left wanting more. I guess all I really wanted was a full shot of Godzilla, but I guess the studio and marketing people are gonna wait until the final trailer or near the film’s release to show off the king of the monsters.

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In conclusion the second trailer for Godzilla gives a more detailed look at what we’re getting into with some¬† story elements coming to light, more screen time for Bryan Cranston and Ken Watanabe and the level of chaos and destruction Godzilla will be doing to America. While I do think this trailer is structured better than the last, I can’t say it was that much better. Maybe if there had been a full shot of Godzilla on-show I’d be so much happier, but as it stands, I’m still really hyped for this film, this footage just gets me more excited and May could not come any sooner yo! ūüôā

So what do you think of the second official¬†Godzilla trailer? Are you any more or less excited than before? Also did you want to see a full shot of Godzilla? Whatever your thoughts are, drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya later! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Godzilla (2014) Trailer #1 Review

Howdy people, time to review another trailer and today’s one I’ve been looking forward to for a long while now, I am of course talking about the highly anticipated reboot,¬†Godzilla. Now if you’re like me, then you happened to catch the Comic-Con teaser trailer when it was leaked online a few months back and that looked great and had a beautiful atmosphere and tone to it. So yesterday first official trailer dropped online, is it looking good or not Erm, heck yeah! ūüėõ Read on to fight out my thoughts.

But firstly have a look at the badass trailer below:

How can I put this is words… BEST. TRAILER. EVER! *In Comic Book Guy’s voice from The Simpsons)*

Okay maybe that is a bit far, but I’m loving what I’m seeing right now, sure there wasn’t that much of Godzilla himself in all his dinosaur glory, however this is just a teaser trailer and to be honest I’ve been interested in seeing where the humans come into play in this film and thankfully we got an idea of that in this trailer.

Firstly let’s just talk about that overall tone, my god is it dark! Everything is so grim, foreboding, bleak and sad. Everything is serious and there is not a smile or a light-hearted joke to be found, and that’s awesome. One of the things I immediately thought of when I saw the soldiers and everything after that was that this film is really trying to capture the essence of the 1954 film and that’s awesome.

I love the introduction scene will the soldiers getting that pep talk, then we see them jumping out of the plane with red flares, all of those shots are incredibly pretty, nicely angled and that large extreme wide shot of them falling through those dark clouds was just GORGEOUS. Then there’s the beautiful POV where the soldiers falling into the city and we get glimpses of Godzilla in shadow to the right.

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From there we get a montage of clips of just pure tragedy, chaos and danger. Bryan Cranston looks sad, stuff blows up, shit gets torn apart, buildings have big holes through them, cities are on fire, nukes are being dispatched, Aaron Taylor Johnson looking badass with his cool haircut, Ken Watanabe is hanging in this cave, Elizabeth Olsen staring at the sky with a crowd of people. Oh man just a lot of shit is going down.

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And then of course is the teaser money shot, where the filmmakers want to show up just how large this beast of¬†monster is. It is a panning shot from the base to the top of the monster when we see a bit of his leg, tail back and finally his head with the iconic scream. Technically this the same shot used at the Comic-Con trailer earlier this year but now it is a lot cleaner and better because of the extra detail and buildings falling off of Godzilla’s back.

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In conclusion Godzilla looks like the film us western audience wanted back in the 90’s and definitely rectify the problems with that poor Roland Emmerich version. This film looks like it is just death, destruction, drama and action displayed at such a large-scale with incredible special effects, damn I’m just keeping goosebumps thinking about it. I know a lot of people hoped to see more of the monster, but just like Amazing Spider-Man 2, this is a teaser trailer and the film probably still needs work so be patient and wait you greedy people!¬†If this film is as good as I hope it’ll be then it could be one of the best films of 2014.

So what do you think of the first official¬†Godzilla trailer? Are you excited or did you wanna see more of the story and the monster in question? Well whatever your thoughts are, drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya later! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2013 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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