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How To Train Your Dragon 2 Review

Good day to you ladies and gents, today I’m ready to give you a film review in the form of How To Train Your Dragon 2. Now I only saw the first film a few weeks ago, but I ended up really liking it and it was a lot better than I expected it to be. I’d heard many good things about this film prior to its release in the UK and my expectations were set pretty high. So how does this animated sequel fare? Well read on and find out!

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In terms of the story, it takes place five years after the first film, featuring Hiccup and his friends as young adults. Most of the Vikings are enjoying life with the dragons, while Hiccup and Astrid along with their dragons are charting unmapped territories and discovering new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the Hiccup and company find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.

If I had to describe this film in one word; ‘incredible’ would be the word that comes to mind. What I really appreciated is the fact that the film did everything a good sequel should, it didn’t re-hash the prequel but it also didn’t change so radically that it was unrecognizable to fans of the first film. This film presents new challenges and adventures along with danger, drama and mystery. I love how this film is still hiccups adventure and even in the face of adversity he tries to do what’s right. There are only a few things I wasn’t keen on; some of the humour was still a little childish for me and there are certain codes and conventions that come with these kind of adventure films that have been done in many films before that I feel need to be broken, but otherwise everything else was fine.

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When it comes to the cast they were all pretty good. Jay Baruchel as Hiccup, he was nice, I like how he has matured but at the same time is still in the same mindset as before, he’s an adventurer but also a pacifist. Baruchel does a good job in his role but he still sounds like the least manly hero in any animated film ever. Cate Blanchett as Valka (Stoick’s wife and Hiccup’s long-lost mother) was lovely and so cool. She is a very wise, brave and courageous woman, but is also a very fragile person with depths of emotion. Gerard Butler is incredible as Stoick, he is a man who cares for his son but also for the well-being of his clan on the island. I love how stubborn, determined and tough he is, but also how emotional the man can be and he had some of my favourite moments in the film. Craig Ferguson is great as Gobber the Belch, he’s still Stoick’s right-hand man and is a source for a lot of the humour in the film too.

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America Ferrera, Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are still good as Astrid, Snotlout and Fishlegs. Also T.J. Miller and Kristen Wiig as Tuffnut and Ruffnut Thorston are still just a great as ever, that being said I feel like Ruffnutt was way better than her brother because she had more screen time and more funny moments. Djimon Hounsou made for a great villain as Drago Bludvist, he has a history with dragons and wishes to control them. I love how cruel, intimidating and brutal he was, he was a bit crazy, but also  definitely had great screen presence and I could totally tell from his first appearance that he was voiced by a black man. And Kit Harington is pretty good as Eret, this guys starts out as an enemy but converts to the side of justice later on and he is fairly charismatic, silly and funny too.

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As for the presentation, it is beyond awesome both on the visual and audio side of things. Visually the film is so beautiful, the detail in the characters, dragons, scenery and skies is gorgeous, and moving through it with all the tracking shots and sweeping camera movements is so breathtaking. I thought the first film looked good but this film goes FAR beyond that. The last film only came out four years ago and yet Dreamworks have outdone themselves, the action sequences have so beautiful use of colours, wonderful cinematography and an amazing sense of scope, so cool, beautiful and free-flowing. The soundtrack also by John Powell is SO good! His score is just screaming with sounds of wonder, adventure, playfulness, drama and emotion.

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In conclusion How To Train Your Dragon 2 is one of the best animated films I’ve seen in a while, it’s my favourite animated sequel since Toy Story 3 and probably my favourite animated film since Rise of the Guardians and Wreck-It Ralph. The film had the action, the spectacle and it had the heart and it was all blended together in a wonderful way. I highly recommend this film as it is a good time for both kids and adults.

Rating: 8.5/9 out of 10

So what did you think of How To Train Your Dragon 2? How do you think it fares compared to the last film and do you think this was better or worse than the prequel? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Bad Neighbours Review

Hello ladies and gentlemen, time for the first of two film reviews today and it is a COMEDY DOUBLE! OH! Now this is a big deal because anyone who reads this blog knows I’m not keen on comedies, but I’m open to comedy films if they look funny. So the first review comes in the form of Bad Neighbours, a film I wanted to watch because I heard good things from early reviews and the trailers looked good. So how does the film fare? Well read on and find out.

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Here’s the story summary:

Mac and Kelly Radner are a young couple, they are suffering from arrested development and have to care for their newborn baby and for the most part their lives stable if somewhat boring. Things change dramatically when the couple are forced to live next to a fraternity house lead by Teddy Sanders, a young, out-going and crazy student who is ready to party on a hardcore level. Obviously these two are from different worlds and they start to clash in various and funny ways.

The story was somewhat unique but also familiar. Basically you have two opposing forces that are forced into the same space, they are on totally different wavelengths, so obviously they are gonna clash and that’s where the fun lies in this film. While I understand and naturally want Mac and Kelly to get their way, I was way more invested and interested in Teddy and his fraternity because they were so crazy, obnoxious and silly. Plus being a university student I could relate to their party antics too haha. This film just has an incredible sense of modern times in there with the dialogue, pop culture references, partying and music, and that made the film incredibly easy to relate to. I also like how there is a bit of heart to this comedy, I mean most comedy films don’t rely on jokes alone and have to present something else which is normally some emotional component and in this case it is a subplot involving Teddy and I really liked that inclusion.

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As for the cast they were all pretty good. First there’s Seth Rogen as Mac Radner, now I make it no secret that I dislike this man with a passion, but in this film he was tolerable. Sure he’s still doing all of his Seth Rogen-based things but I think the material Rogen was working with is better than some of his previous films, his comedic timing is good and he was at times kind of funny. Rose Byrne as Kelly Radner is also good, I haven’t seen Byrne in a film since X-Men: First Class, but luckily she’s versatile as she is funny and has good chemistry with Rogen. She is also pretty hot in this film, however I don’t feel like all of her funny moments connected as well as Rogen’s.

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But the stand out person for me was Zac Efron as Teddy Sanders. Now I’ve been a fan of Efron since Me and Orson Wells and since then the guy has gone on to become so much more than that boy from High School Musical. In this film Efron is on fire, the dude is funny and has such a great screen presence, Teddy is a cool, handsome, brash and somewhat selfish guy who lives in the moment and whats to party hard while at university. Whether Teddy is butting heads with his neighbours or messing around with his boys he is a joy to watch and for the ladies they’ll probably love seeing him topless throughout the film. Dave Franco as Pete Regazolli is another one of my favourite people from this film, he’s Teddy’s second-in-command, he is just as crazy as Teddy but has some weirder qualities. Pete is really funny, but also pretty smart and the most logical of his frat boys. Franco and Efron have great t chemistry together and I loved their friendship, it was way more endearing than Mac and Kelly (probably because I’m a young person who loves a bit of bromance haha).

There were other good performances from Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Scoonie (even though he was very underused), Lisa Kudrow was funny as Carol Gladstone, Jerrod Carmichael was great as Garf, Hannibal Buress was a combination of being funny and weird as Officer Watkins and lastly Craig Roberts as Assjuice was delightful, Roberts has come such a long way since The Story of Tracy Beaker and he had a lovely part in this film.

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In conclusion Bad Neighbours is fun comedy that works mainly due to it’s really great work from the cast, good verbal and physical jokes and a story that has substance and reliability. Not all of the jokes work and a fair amount of them felt like I’d seen them before. Plus the film wasn’t nearly as funny as I had hoped and I probably won’t watch it again, but for what it was and considering how much I hate Seth Rogen, this was a good time.

Rating: 6.5/10

So what did you think of Bad Neighbours? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review which will be up straight after this one! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Kick-Ass 2 Review

Howdy people, it looks like its time to review a new film again and today’s film is the sequel to 2010’s Kick-Ass in the form of Kick-Ass 2. Now this is a film I’ve been cautiously interested in for a while now. I really liked what Matthew Vaughn did with the first film and when I heard he wasn’t coming back for the sequel I was gutted. The trailers also only made me mildly hyped for the film, so man was I glad after watching the film today to find that it was WAY better than I expected. Thank god.

The plot in this film goes a little something like this:

Inspired by Kick-Ass and the events of the first film, other people don masks and begin to fight crime. One of these, Colonel Stars and Stripes, forms a team and asks Kick-Ass to join them. Meanwhile, Hit-Girl’s choice to “retire” and try to have a normal life as a schoolgirl backfires when Red Mist is reborn as The Mother Fucker and plans to create a super-villain army to exact revenge on Kick-Ass for his father’s death. The superheroes face threats from their allies and get thrown into prison for wearing masks.

I really enjoyed the story in this film, it felt like a nice progression from the previous one and had a lot of new challenges for all the character involved and cranked up the danger level by ten times. There’s really three main story arcs in the film:

  • The first involving Dave wanting to become a hero again as Kick-Ass and become some more than a regular person.
  • The second involves Mindy trying to come to terms with who she is, dealing with life as Hit-Girl but also dealing with high school for the first time.
  • And the third involves Chris D’Amico wanting to get vengeance against Kick-Ass and becoming to The Mother Fucker.

All of the key characters from the previous film develop which leads to some wonderfully emotional and really great moments throughout. The great thing about this film is that it has everything you loved about the last one, Kick-Ass 2 retains its sense of humour, style, drama, violence and unashamedly blunt nature. There’s bound to be stuff to offend people from the violence to the profanity and racism too, but hey it’s not meant to be serious, it’s just a movie and the way its used is effective and hilarious. Now obviously for the comic book fans a good deal of things have been changed for the live-action adaptation and I feel like they work for the most part, but obviously some may be disappointed with the changes.

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When it comes to the characters they are all on top form and the cast do a brilliant job. Let’s start with Aaron Taylor-Johnson with is still badass as David Lizewski/Kick-Ass. In this film Dave has a great journey that we experience in this film, he’s been out of action for a while but then dresses up and joins a group of costumed heroes and is really enjoying himself, until things get complicated. Johnson is still odd, hilarious and cool as the title character. And then there’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Chris D’Amico/The Mother Fucker. Bloody hell, The Mother Fucker is one of the strangest creations any person has come up with, the guy is a nutcase with some stupid and weird tendencies, but that also makes him a frigging awesome character. Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays this character to great effect being charismatic and naturally funny throughout. But the real star as per usual is Chloë Grace Moretz as Mindy Macready/Hit-Girl. Mindy has the strongest of the character arcs in this film for me, her character has a lot of things on her mind and has to deal with new challenges as both herself and her alter ego. Chloë burst into the world of film as Hit-Girl and continues to be amazing as this crazy acrobatic fighter, but also as a girl who doesn’t know anything outside of the world that her father put her into.

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Now let’s talk Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes. I was REALLY looking forward to seeing Carrey in this film and I can report that he did a great job in the film. His character was funny and has a great sense of justice and knew how to throw down, he was really badass. HOWEVER I was really gutted with the amount of time he was in the film, I felt like his character exited the film far too soon and I felt like his character wasn’t as integrated into the main cast as the trailers made me believe.

I also want to give a shout out to Donald Faison who was totally great as Doctor Gravity, he provided some wicked moments of humour. Also Olga Kurkulina should really be highlighted for her work as Mother Russia, she was the definition of badass, she was like a human tank of beastliness! And John Leguizamo (who I remember as Tybalt from Romeo + Juliet) does a great job as Javier, he’s funny, relatable and cool. And finally Lindy Booth as Night Bitch and Claudia Lee as Brooke were great in their roles but were also total hotness, I had to say it!

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In terms of presentation its pretty cool, visually the film is done very well with some nicely shot scenes and wonderfully choreographed action scenes and sequences. The best element of the action comes in the awesome fight sequences involving Hit-Girl, Mother Russia, Kick-Ass and the epic battle between hero and villain groups towards the end of the film. As for the soundtrack by Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson its great, it retains the heroic, distinct and soft themes from the last film while adding some nice new ones in this film. The soundtrack also works thanks to its choice of music tracks too, the best example of this is use of “Korobeiniki” which is the Type A music from Tetris covered by the band Ozma. It is a frigging awesome cover of the original and is used SO well in one sequence in the film which is just beastly!

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So to conclude, Kick-Ass 2 is a lot of fun. It’s just about as awesome if not more so than the original, its violent, over-the-top, ridiculous, hilarious and doesn’t care about who it offends. I wasn’t expecting the film to be as good as it was but it exceeded my expectations and was a lot better than a lot of the films I’ve seen this summer. I can only recommend this film for those who are fans of the first film or those who don’t mind a bit of violence with their action and comedy, but yeah Kick-Ass 2, good stuff. 🙂

Rating: 8/10 (A solid sequel fun of all the good carnage that made the first film rock!)

Now I wanna here your thoughts on the film in the comments below! Did you enjoy Kick-Ass 2? Did you like it more or less than the first film? Also if you’re a fan of the comics do you like the changes or despise them? Whatever your thoughts drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Kick-Ass 2 Red Band Trailer Review!

Finally, finally, FINALLY! I have been waiting for the bloody trailer for Kick-Ass 2 for ages, I just wanted to see some form of footage to see what kind of film we were gonna get with this sequel. The first film was a largely successful prequel film adaptation of the Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. comic book, even if it was a little overhyped in my opinion, so know we have the sequel’s first trailer and to be honest while it’s interesting it doesn’t make me jump for the skies in excitement.

Anyways if you haven’t taken a look at the trailer have a look below:

So what can we see here? Well I know what I saw. It was an interesting trailer with moments of awesomeness however this trailer wasn’t all that fancy to me. From what I can see here we’re picking up right where we left off in the last film, Kick-Ass saved the day and he’s still running around and kicking ass, his crazy actions have even inspired other crazy people to start parading around in costumes too.The trailer also reintroduces us to Hit Girl who has a school life to deal with, but also has to train Kick-Ass too and she can still dish out the pain as well. Yay. And then there’s appearance of Colonel Stars and Stripes who adds some new flavour to this masked superhero scene and of course Red Mist know as The Mother F%&*^r (Mother Fucker for those who hadn’t guessed) and you have a recipe for chaos and good times with violence.

The humour still seems to be intact straight from the beginning, Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass still seem to have their funny moments together and the addition of Jim Carrey is definitely looking interesting. This is a very different character from anything I’ve seen him in before especially when it comes to his voice, it sounds to different. And The Mother F%&*^r just look great, Christopher Mintz-Plasse is normally great in all the roles he’s in so I can’t wait to see what kind of evil and humour he’ll bring to this sequel. In terms of the fighting and violence it looks like there will be plenty of that with flipping and kicking and some crazy set pieces including Hit-Girl attacking people from on top of a van! Damn she’s hardcore. It also looks like the people in masks are in trouble because the police are after them and it also looks like Kick-Ass’ dad found out who he is already (which must happen in this film because there was no indication of that before).

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Now I’ve watched the trailer twice now and it seems cool but I’m probably either gonna wait for another one or just wait until the summer to see Kick-Ass 2 in full to pass judgment, I liked the first one here’s hoping that this one is better.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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