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EPIC REVIEW: Justice League

Howdy ladies and gents, its time for another review and today I get to talk about one of the biggest films of the year, Justice League. Now to say that the lead up to this film has been rough would be an understatement, with the mostly negative feedback to Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad and the success of Wonder Woman, the odds were stacked against this film. Add on top of that the fact that Zack Snyder left the film because of family tragedy, Joss Whedon had to step in to finish the films and since then there were numerous conflicting reports about what had changed, and how much of the film was changed because of Whedon’s involvement. Anyway, the film’s out, the reception’s been mixed and now its time for me to throw my thoughts into the mix! 🙂

So the plot can be described as the following:

“A new evil force comes to Earth threatening to bring about the end of the world, and so Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman work together to find and recruit a team of special individuals including Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash to stand against this newly awakened threat.”

So the plot of the film was good, not great, but solid. Firstly I liked the backstory involving the main villain, different races and the Mother Boxes, that along with certain dialogue about locations, history and characters helped flesh out the world and create mythology that was interesting and intriguing, it not only built on what we got in Man of Steel, Batman V Superman and Wonder Woman, but helped make this film more engaging and left the door open for future films to build on. I also appreciated how the story was simple, yet layered with themes relating to teamwork, death, leadership, moving on from the past and finding courage in the face of uncertainty. There was also some wonderful references to the comics with certain scenes and dialogue which made me smile a lot too. That being said there were some issues, certain scenes dragged or felt boring, there were some tonal inconsistencies, and some of the humour was good and some of it fell a bit flat and ill-timed. And some of the plot decisions were a little basic and certain dramatic or important elements were resolved quickly without enough time to simmer.

As for the cast, I liked them, some more than others. Let’s start with Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, now some people like him as Batman, some hate him, I fall into the former category. Affleck’s portrayal of Batman was one of my favourite parts of BvS and he’s put to better use in this film. I liked how Bruce was strong-willed, focused, yet reckless and uncertain. Gal Gadot was quite good as Wonder Woman, it was interesting her in the modern world, dealing with issues not only with her past but also with some of the actions of her teammates too, Gadot has certainly found her groove with this role and besides being super beautiful, she’s confident, strong and smart. Ezra Miller as The Flash was a worry for me before watching this film because of my love for Grant Gustin’s version, but I did like this cooky, strange and lighthearted guy, he was mainly there for comic relief, but he some serious and smart moments too, and Miller’s charisma was magnetic. Jason Momoa as Aquaman was cool, he’s this serious, yet chilled out and funny kind of guy who does the right thing when the tie is right. The real surprise was Ray Fisher as Cyborg, I thought he looked like the most boring character from the trailers and he ended up being one of my highlights of the team with his attitude towards the way he was created, his interactions with the team and his importance to the plot, Fisher’s portrayal was quite engaging. The team as a whole had a wonderful dynamic filled with humorous and aggressive tendencies which made their eventual formation and scenes on and off of the battlefield nice.

CiarĂĄn Hinds had a nice intimidating presence as the voice as Steppenwolf, unfortunately, the villain was a little on the generic side. I also liked Henry Cavill is definitely in the film and he was quite good (not a spoiler, it’s in the trailers), Jeremy Irons as Alfred was just as fun, as he was in BvS offering insightful information while providing some good jokes here and there, seeing the return of Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, was welcomed, Amy Adams and Diane Lane was fine as Lois Lane and Martha Kent, Joe Morton as Silas Stone was fine, but I thought it was more interesting that he was the guy from Terminator 2 in this film haha, and Amber Heard’s introduction to this world as Mera was cool. And finally, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon was good and liked his version of the character, I just wish there was more of him, there wasn’t enough! 😛

When it comes to the presentation it was good for the most part. Visually the film was nice, the was some lovely attention to detail with the way certain shots were framed and the cinematography the action sequences were a mixture of creative and fun scenes that ranged from the heroes fighting the bad guy, to the heroes fighting each other and many others, and it looked great. But there were a few moments where following the action was a little tricky, the GCI was also a little dodgy with certain faces, body movements and locations lacking in detail. The music from Danny Elfman was something I was paying attention to from the beginning and I quite enjoyed it. Elfman’s score is one that has a presence, it is full of impact, drama, triumph, playfulness and while it isn’t as memorable as some of his previous work, the way he worked in the classic Batman and Superman themes, from Batman 89′ and Superman 78′ was delightful.

In conclusion, what can I say? I liked Justice League, it was much better than I expected considering my low expectations, and while this film doesn’t reinvent the genre or does anything in an amazing fashion, it was pretty fun with some good action, good characters and solid music. Besides issues with the story, tone and villain, the film was certainly a step in the right direction for this cinematic universe,

So have you seen Justice League and if so what did you think of it? Was it better or worse than you expected? Also, how does it compare to the previous DCEU films? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: PokĂ©mon the Movie: I Choose You!

Howdy ladies and gents, time a film review from the cinema and this is a review I didn’t expect to be writing as I’m gonna be giving you my thoughts on the latest PokĂ©mon film, PokĂ©mon the Movie: I Choose You! Now I heard from a friend that this film would get a UK release but thought it’d be exclusive to London where I could see it, but after a friend mentioned on Twitter that she was gonna see it in Sheffield, I looked at my local cinema and to my surprise, they had two screenings! So I watched the earlier screening and I’m ready to share my thoughts.

Now before I go on with the review I’m going to say this up front, I have a MASSIVE nostalgic love for Pokemon when it comes to the original games and first anime series, so this review will be a little on the subjective side. With all that being said let’s begin.

Firstly there’s the story which focuses on the journey of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu along with two new companions who join him on his quest to find the legendary PokĂ©mon, Ho-Oh. So the interesting thing about the story is how its a loose retelling of the original 1997 anime with focus on Ash and Pikachu and how their journey began, there’s a lot of fun, smart and delightful callbacks and direct references for those who watched that show and I was smiling so much. 😀 I enjoyed the plot borrowed the anime and referenced the video games, but was largely its own original tale. It was full of adventure, fun, hardship, danger and more, the film’s core themes about friendship, learning from your mistakes, good triumphing over evil and being good to Pokemon should come as no surprise to veterans of the show, but they are handled very well and have more dramatic and emotional weight than a good few of the original films. There was one part where I rolled my eyes because it felt like a direct reference to The First Movie and one line of dialogue which was just cheesy as hell, that being said the film’s made with children in my mind so I got over it.

As for the characters, I thought they were solid for the most part. Ash Ketchum was the same character I knew from the show, a young, strong-willed and passionate trainer who is inexperienced and has a lot to learn. I was surprised how much of douche Ash was in this film, but it certainly worked in the context of the story, I still was annoyed with him at times, but he wasn’t as much of a bonehead as he was in the old anime, and Sarah Natochenny did a decent job as Ash considering her deeper voice. I liked Pikachu too, he was a sassy little prick at first but that was a good point in my mind, afterwards, I really grew to like him a lot more and his bond with Ash was cute to watch. The new characters Sorrel and Verity were interesting new companions, some will complain they aren’t the original characters, but I thought they added something new with their backstories and personality traits. Cross was the new rival/bad trainer who was the definition of an asshole, but he was great and had a solid arc in the film, I liked the quirky old man Bonzi and Marshadow, I liked at first but it really became a little pest later on. And finally Professor Oak and Ash’s mother return and feel just like the original selves, and Even Team Rocket return and they have some fun moments, but I swear they were even more useless than before and really added nothing to the film which was a shame after their initial introduction.

When it comes to the presentation I really liked it. Visually the film was solid. The way the camera work added a cinematic approach to that the anime lacked, certain shots are framed and tracked in cool and dynamic ways. Also, the art and animation were very nice, all of the characters and Pokemon had a loose yet fluid style to their movements and the colour scheme was good. I will admit the detail in the art was lacking occasionally and some of the 3D CGI didn’t always blend well with the 2D material, both those are minor nitpicks. The film score was fairly good, it had the right sound for each moment and worked effectively in the emotional moments, though sometimes the music didn’t match the action on-screen. And while the music is primarily original compositions, there are some cool references to the original soundtrack and theme song which was much appreciated.

In conclusion PokĂ©mon the Movie: I Choose You! was really fun, intriguing and much better than I expected, it captured the spirit of the original show but also did a lot of new things to keep things interesting. If you’re a fan of the show you may be disappointed with some changes, however, if you’re willing to accept a few changes you’ll have a lot of fun. And stay for the credits, its hella fun and nostalgic! 🙂

So have you seen this film and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2017 in Anime, Film Reviews, Media, Reviews

 

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AUDIO REVIEW: Thor: Ragnarok

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, how’s it going? Today I return to bring you my thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok, the latest film from Marvel Studios. Like the Blade Runner 2049 review, this review won’t be written but is an audio review via my podcast, Film Focus on Soundcloud. Anyway check out the review below:

So that’s my review people, hopefully, you found it to be an engaging listen, like Blade Runner, I felt like doing an audio review would be easier and better to do than writing something up. I will admit that a lot of the review was ad-libbed but it was the easiest way for me to get my thoughts out there.

Also, what did you think of Thor: Ragnarok? Is it the best film from Marvel yet or were you left wanting more? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below, until next time peeps, laters! 😀

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

 

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AUDIO REVIEW: Blade Runner 2049

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, how’s it going? Anyway today I am here to bring you my thoughts on Blade Runner 2049, however, unlike most of my reviews that are written on this blog, I decided to do an audio via my podcast, Film Focus on Soundcloud as it felt better and easier to do. Anyway check out the review below:

So that’s my review people, hopefully, you found it informative and interesting to listen, and I hope my voice wasn’t too grating on your ears haha. While I don’t think I will be phasing out the written reviews altogether, at the same time there are certain times when doing a recorded review allows me to creatively get my thoughts about a film across better than when I’m sat in front of my laptop trying to form sentences and paragraphs. But we’ll see, hopefully, you’ll be around to check out later reviews via my podcast.

Also, what did you think of Blade Runner 2049? Was it the sequel that you hoped for or was it a disappointment? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below, until next time peeps, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episodes 38 & 39 – It & Kingsman 2

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, last year I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And since I didn’t do an immediate post for the last episode I’ll be showing off episodes 38 and 39 which feature reviews for It and Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Anyway here’s the It review in episode 38:

And here’s the Kingsman 2 review in episode 39:

Now I already did a written review for It not too long ago, but with Kingsman 2, I just decided that doing an audio review would be best so if you want to hear my thoughts on Kingsman 2 then be sure to check out the episode as it is spoiler-free and then there is a spoiler section around 23:29. 😛 Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the episode. 🙂

As I mentioned before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic or review and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if you can. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: It

Howdy ladies and gents, time for my first review from the cinema since I saw The Hitman’s Bodyguard and today I’ll be talking about It. Now while I never needed another adaptation of this story, I was always curious to see how It would work with modern horror filmmaking. And with the awesome trailers and good worth of mouth coming out early on I was hyped. So now I’m ready to give you a mini review for It.

The plot can be summed up as the following: “In the town of Derry where a number of children have disappeared, a group of children band together to discover  the mysteries behind their town, but also try to figure out how to destroy the evil Clown that has been terrorising them.

Now I am going to try and be as vague as possible. As someone who doesn’t really like horror films I really liked this film, while not perfect, it gave me almost everything I wanted to see in a horror film and then some. This is also not a conventional horror film as it is half horror and half coming of age story. I enjoyed seeing all of the main kids come together and form a bond as the film perfectly captured the joys and struggles of growing up in school and dealing with issues like being a social outcast, bullying, abuse and more. They all felt like relatable, young and awkward individuals, but had a great sense of chemistry, naivety and come together in a natural way. One of the things that really impressed me was how freaky the film was from the beginning, the sense of dread, unsettling atmosphere, suspense and tension was present and set you up for what follows. On top of that, the film definitely used its 15/R rating as it got pretty dark, and violent for certain situations, but that also allowed fed into the film’s humour which was bloody hilarious and creative with the use of certain language. The performances from all of the cast was great especially from the main kids with main shout-outs going to Jaeden Lieberher as Bill, Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben, Sophia Lillis as Bev, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie and my man Finn Wolfhard (from Stranger Things) as Richie, the latter of which was my favourite because he was so funny and little obnoxious. But you cannot forget to mention Bill SkarsgĂ„rd as It/Pennywise, his performance was really good, very engaging and magnetic, so disturbing, a little funny, odd and unnerving. Visually the film was great with its muted coloured, use of low lighting and interesting camera work which framed the action in a close, intimate and sometimes claustrophobic manner. So of the deaths in the film was pretty brutal and violent, and the scares were solid for the most part. I feel like the trailers did show a little too much because some of the scares I knew were coming, and overall while I certainly felt fear and tension, t\but he film could have been much scarier and some of the horror sequences felt unintentionally funny as there were a good few people laughing during certain sequences. The film score from Benjamin Wallfisch was really good as it helped elevate the film with music that felt dramatic, emotional and disturbing. In conclusion, It was a pretty good film and in a lot of ways it was everything I had hoped for from the trailers, besides having a stellar cast and characters you care about, but the atmosphere, tension and scares come together it’s REALLY GOOD. That being said I feel like the film could have been scarier and at points it was unintentionally funny which undercut the fear factor. But with all that being said, It is a film you should see in the cinema, everyone seems to love it and if you’re a horror fan you probably will too.

So have you seen It and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Howdy ladies and gents, it’s time for my second review of a recent film in the form of The Hitman’s Bodyguard, a film I wasn’t too interested in watching until recently when certain reviewers convinced me to give it a go.

The plot can be summed up as the following: “The world’s top bodyguard gets a new client, a hit man who must testify at the International Court of Justice. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time.” The plot wasn’t bad but felt incredibly familiar to other comedy films I’ve seen. The plot tries to be a little more serious with the emotional material relating to the two main characters but also with the political material, it doesn’t quite work because the film’s largely focused on humour and the tone is fairly silly and over-the-top, some of the more heartfelt or realistic moments don’t resonate because it doesn’t gel with the rest of the film. That being said the film’s silly nature is what makes it fun to watch, and while I could predict how certain events played out, it was still a decent time. The cast was good. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson were really good as Michael Bryce and Darius Kincaid, both of these characters have different personalities, styles and ways the take out their enemies and seeing their worlds collide was fun. Reynolds and Jackson were essentially playing themselves or at least versions of characters they’ve played in other comedy films, but luckily their chemistry and screen presence elevates their characters. Elodie Yung was good as Amelia Roussel, she had a key part to play and I enjoyed how much screen time she had and anytime Salma Hayek is involved I am there, I love that woman and she was very fun as Sonia Kincaid. Hayek is so aggressive, sassy and crazy in this role and its fun to watch her rant and rave. The only person that didn’t leave an impression was Gary Oldman as Vladislav Dukhovich, this character barely did anything and could have been played by anyone and Oldman was wasted in this role. The action in the film was pretty good, there was some really fun and creative material that went into the hand-to-hand combat, gunfights and the car chases, the latter being my favourite with the chase sequences being shot very well. In conclusion, The Hitman’s Bodyguard was a basic yet decent film, it does nothing new but the chemistry between Reynolds and Jackson, along with some ridiculous humour and good action scenes keep it from being completely forgettable.

So have you seen The Hitman’s Bodyguard and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Atomic Blonde

Howdy ladies and gents, so today I went to the cinema for the first time in like 2-3 weeks and I’m finally getting around to playing catch up with certain films. And with that out of the way, I’m ready to give you a mini review for Atomic Blonde.

The plot can be summed up as the following: “The story revolves around a spy who has to find a list of double agents who are being smuggled into the West, on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989”

So this film was better than I expected considering the reviews that ranged from good to okay. Now I’m not saying I base my film viewing experiences purely based the review of others, but if I’m iffy on a film than a certain amount of reviews can sway me, and Atomic Blonde was a film I was interested in because of the director and the action in the trailers, but after a while the more I saw of the film the less sure I would enjoy it. Firstly the story was pretty interesting considering the setting and its ties to real world events in the 80’s, however, I found that the non-linear style of storytelling wasn’t needed as much as it was and the plot did become a tedious, slow, needlessly complicated and predictable at points. As for the cast, they were strong. Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton was so cool, stylish, tough as nails and cold yet human on the inside and Theron sold the role well and looked so good in her many outfits. James McAvoy as David Percival was funny, quirky and charismatic and the role works primarily because of McAvoy’s charm. John Goodman and Toby Jones were good as Emmett Kurzfeld and Eric Gray, I also enjoyed Eddie Marsan as Spyglass, Sofia Boutella got to stretch her acting chops as Delphine Lasalle, and Bill SkarsgĂ„rd was quite good as Merkel. But the best part of this film by miles is the action, good gravy, director David Letch, the cinematographer, stunt team and fight choreographer did a fabulous job. The action was intense, brutal, violent and hard-hitting with every punch, kick, stab, gunshot, car crash and more having an impact. The fight sequences were creative and badass, with such attention to detail with the use of props, a lot of movement and style, and some of those extended scenes all done in one take were insane. I will say that one of the sequences had the characters fighting longer than humanly possible which made it a little unrealistic, but otherwise, I enjoyed it a lot. With the 1980’s soundtrack, it worked for the most part, however, sometimes it felt like there was one song too many and there were also two songs with two versions which felt unnecessary. In conclusion, Atomic Blonde was a decent time at the cinema, while the story was a little tedious, I had fun with the cast and action scenes. Definitely worth a watch,

So have you seen Atomic Blonde and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 35 – War for the Planet of the Apes Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, last year I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And the latest episode of the podcast features my review of War for the Planet of the Apes. 🙂

Anyway here’s the episode 35:

Now I already did a written review for this film last week but doing an audio based review allowed me to expand upon my thoughts but also just gush about the film in a way that words can’t fully communicate. 😛 Anyway I hope you all enjoy the episode. 🙂

As I mentioned before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic or review and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if you can. Also you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 34 – Spider-Man: Homecoming Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, last year I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. As for the latest episode of the podcast, it features my review of Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Anyway here’s the episode 34:

Now I already did a written review for this film already but as with a lot of my written reviews there has to be an audio version just so you can understand how I feel about a film on a more personal level, whether it frustrated me or made me happy, podcasting allows me to get my proper thoughts out into the world. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the episode. 🙂

As I mentioned before I’ll cover a different topic or review in each episode and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if you can. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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