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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 33 – Wonder Woman 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. Now you may be wondering, “Where’s episode 32?” Well it exists, I just forgot to post about it on here so here’s a link: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus/episode-32-godzilla-2014-vs-kong-skull-island

As for the latest episode of the podcast features my review of Wonder Woman 🙂

Anyway here’s the episode 33:

Now I already did a written review for this film on Thursday but had to do audio based review just to expand upon my thoughts on not just the film itself but my expectations for the film during the marketing phase and how I’ve felt about the DCEU films so far. I was surprised by how short this episode turned out to be considering how I could have said a lot more about it had my memory banks been in check. 😛 Anyway I hope you all enjoy the episode. 🙂

As I mentioned before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic 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 June 3, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Wonder Woman

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So today is a special day as I finally get to talk about Wonder Woman, the latest film from Warner Bros. and DC Films and is the fourth film in the DC Expanded Universe. So after three pretty divisive films, WB and DC had a lot deliver to people who weren’t on board with the previous offerings of the DCEU, me included. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate Man of Steel, but I didn’t love it, Batman V Superman was a long-winded chore with Batman being the only thing I liked, and with Suicide Squad being a frustrating mess, my hope for the DCEU was waning. And so with Wonder Woman I wanted to love it, not only because the marketing made the film look good, but also because I wanted to see a good film in this cinematic universe. So does Wonder Woman succeed? Well read on and find out!

So the story can be described as the following:

“Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.”

I thought the story was pretty good. What I enjoyed about was Diana’s whole journey, learning about her early days and how she learnt about the world and was eager to become a warrior, and then later in her adult life discovering man, the world and the horrors of war. All of that material was handled well. I also liked how this film was able to be serious but also light-weighted and humours, there were some nice subtle yet notable moments which covered race, greek mythology, the never-ending nature of war and equality. If I had any complaints I would just say that some of the story plays out as you would expect and no there weren’t any major surprises or super stand out plot points, but that’s it. One final thing of note, I felt like this film had a lot of similarities to Captain America: The First Avenger and Winter Solider when it came to the war-like setting, certain plot points and the way the character was handled, while that’s not a knock against this film it was very surprising to see how lose some of the similarities were.

The cast was pretty good, everyone whether their roles were big or small performed well. Firstly Gal Gadot impressed me as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, while I thought Gadot was fine in BvS, she really brought her A-game with her performance in this film. Diana was smart, brave, curious, perceptive and fun and it was really interesting seeing her discover the pros and cons of existing in the world beyond her homeland and Gadot’s performance had far more range and depth than anything I’ve seen from her so far and at this point I’m happy with her incarnation of the character. I also really loved Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, he was a charming man who was not only funny but also rational, skeptical and was afraid to break the rules. Pine’s performance was so delightful and engaging and it reminded me of why I love him as an actor as he can strike that basis between being light-hearted and dramatic pretty well. Then there’s Robin Wright who was awesome as General Antiope, of all of the Amazon women she was the best, Antiope was practical, harsh yet fair and was very cool both on and off of the battlefield. Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta was fine, she had some nice moments but overall she wasn’t as compelling as her sister. Danny Huston as General Erich Ludendorff was good, he played his part well but was a little forgettable until the latter side of the film and the same could be said for Elena Anaya as Doctor Isabel Maru/Doctor Poison, she had some notable moments but when she wasn’t around I kind of forgot about her character. Also for those not away of David Thewlis’ role in this film let just say that enjoyed what he brought to this film, it was quite fun and surprising. And finally I have to mention Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner and Eugene Brave Rock who played Trevor’s allies Samee, Charlie and Chief, each of them brought a level of charm, fun and weight to their characters.

When it comes to the presentation if was very good for the most part. Visually the film was very striking with good cinematography, use of vivid colours, and good visual effects. The action sequences were pretty badass with Wonder Woman and some of the other Amazonian fighters dishing out the pain in some very athletic and brutal ways, and I appreciated the creativity with the fight choreography too. If I had any complaints it would be that some of the CGI and green screen was a little off at times, and the use of slow motion got a little overdone especially during the fight scenes, I understand that slow mo is used for dramatic effect but it didn’t need to be as frequent as it was. The film score from Rupert Gregson-Williams was decent, it certainly had moments to stand out and shine especially in the moments where it used the theme from Batman V Superman, otherwise the music was fine but nothing too memorable.

In conclusion Wonder Woman was really good, while it didn’t set my world on fire, it was a solid film that exceeded my expectations in terms of the story, characters and action sequences. It is easily the best film in the DCEU so far (though not a hard task to pull off) and I would recommend it, well done DC and WB.

So have you seen Wonder Woman and if so what did you think of it? Did it meet your expectations or were you disappointed? Also where does it stand with you in terms of the previous DCEU films? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments section below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Alien Covenant

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another review and today I’m talking about Alien: Covenant. Now I wasn’t the biggest fan of Prometheus (review available here), I’ve only seen that film twice I think and while really beautiful, the story and characters didn’t grab me at all. So when Covenant began its marketing I wasn’t overly keen, but the trailers did pique my interest. Now that I’ve seen the film I’m ready to pass judgment.

The story can be described as the following:

“The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.”

The story did well to get back to the basics of what made Alien and Aliens so much fun by having a plot that was more familiar and straightforward, but in addition to that this film took certain plot elements from Prometheus (the previous film), and attempted to answer some of the lingering questions that film left up in the air. What I liked about this film was not only how it strengthened some of the plot elements from the last film but also made both feel naturally connected rather than forgetting what had come before. It was suitably dark and mysterious and brought up some interesting themes about the morals and ethics of creation, life and death and the need for humans to prolong their existence. It is unfortunate that not all of the answers from Prometheus were answered and there were certain plot details that Covenant brought up that weren’t properly clarified or felt left out in the main story. Plus this story doesn’t do much in the way of creating new material for this universe, sure there are some minor interesting additions to the mythology, however this is a story and set of scenarios you’ve seen before so if you were hoping something fresh you may be a little disappointed.

As for the cast there were fine, for the most part I liked this cast more than the Prometheus crew minus David, however, these characters were fine to forgettable as you can tell a good few of them are going to die at some point and sure enough they do. There are only a handful of people that stood out. Michael Fassbender once again was the best of the cast playing both as David and Walter, the android from the first film and the current android with the Covenant crew. Fassbender did well to portray these different characters both with different personalities and agendas, and I just loved watching him. Katherine Waterston was better than I expected as Daniels “Dany” Branson, since watching the trailers I thought the film was setting her up to be a Ripley-like character and while she does embody some of the those traits, Dany was a little more unique and she went from being someone a little dull to being quite captivating towards the end of the film. And Danny McBride was a surprise standout as Tennessee, I’ve never really like McBride, I’ve always found him annoying and repetitive in most of his comedic roles. But this role was very serious, aggressive and grounded and he was engaging in a way I never expected.

When it comes to the presentation it was pretty damn good. Just like Prometheus this film looks incredible, the art direction, cinematography, digital and practical effects was incredible. I also really liked the gruesome nature of the violence and action and the sound design really helped with that. As for the film score by Jed Kurzel it was pretty effective, channelling feelings of wonder, tension and discovery, while not always as effective as I would have liked, overall it was good.

In conclusion Alien: Covenant was not all bad and was actually better than I expected. While it didn’t do much to reinvent the wheel, it was a solid film much more in line with the first two Alien films with good violence, grim atmosphere and a great performance from Michael Fassbender. If you’re curious give it a watch. 🙂

So have you seen Alien: Covenant and if so what did you think of it? Did you like this film more or less than Prometheus? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 31- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 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. The latest episode of the podcast features my review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. 🙂

Anyway here’s the episode 31:

Now I already did a written review for this film last week and this episode is around a week old now, but since Guardians 2 getting being released in the US this week it felt appropriate to release a post about this episode to hopefully increase its visibility.

As I mentioned before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic 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 May 5, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review (Spoiler-Free)

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a new film review and today I’m going to be talking about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the long-awaited sequel from Marvel Studios. Now back in 2014 I loved Guardians of the Galaxy, it was an unexpected surprise of that summer and so creating a sequel that would equal or exceed the previous film was going to be a mammoth task. But anyway I saw the film yesterday/this morning as part of a double bill at Cineworld and now I’m reading to pass judgement!

The story can be summed up as the following:

“The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.”

At this point in time I’m finding it a tad difficult to formulate my thoughts into works. Guardians Vol. 2 is an interesting beast, it is really good and an overall fun adventure, however it’s also uneven and not as cohesive as the first film. So depending on how you felt about Guardians 1, this film will be more of what you enjoyed before or be a disappointment.

If the story does one thing well it is covering the main theme of family as this film has a strong emphasis on the ties between Peter Quill and his father, Gamora and Nebula, and of course the Guardians team themselves. This film shows what it means to be a family, whether you’re blood related, adopted or have a strong connection to someone and we also see the highs and lows of those relationships. Another strong element was the fact that the story also got quite emotional and dramatic and I didn’t expect that, but it was a welcome surprise. As for the humour, one the first film’s strongest points, it was a little hit or miss, some of the jokes were amazing and other didn’t land as well, plus they were coming a little too frequently for my liking, so anyone annoyed with the frequent humour in Marvel films won’t be a fan of this film. And lastly for the first time in a while Guardians Vol. 2 feels like a standalone adventure with ties to other films or the larger MCU being next to non-existent and there not being any major set up for future films. Now of course there is some set up for a sequel and some great references to the comics, but otherwise this was an isolated film, so anyone hoping for MCU connections definitely be disappointed.

As for the cast they were all very good, though some stood out more so than others. Chris Pratt is a standout as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, he has not only a great sense of timing for his humour but he’s incredibly engaging and has good dramatic moments too. Zoe Saldana was solid as Gamora, she had some good moments with Peter and Nebula, but like the last film I wish I had seen more from her. Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer like the last film had some great comedic moments, and some unexpected subtle dramatic material too, some of his jokes didn’t land but otherwise, good stuff. Baby Groot was adorable, hilarious and used well throughout, and Rocket Raccoon had some really solid moments in this film and like before, Bradley Cooper’s voice work was really great. Other returning cast members including Karen Gillan as Nebula and Michael Rooker as Yondu do really well, Nebula got a lot of additional story material that really enhanced her as a character and while Gillan’s performance was a little overdone at points I still liked her, oh and Rooker was incredible as Yondu having more dramatic and hilarious material than before and I loved the character. As for the new cast members Kurt Russell did well as Star Lord’s dad Ego, I thought he brought a dramatic sense of flair, personality and humour to this role and his scenes with Peter was great. Pom Klementieff as Mantis was so cute and funny, I liked her abilities and interactions with the guardians team and Elizabeth Debicki was interesting as Ayesha, she had some funny scenes, but other times it was a little awkward. I also appreciated the appearances from Sean Gunn, Laura Haddock and Sylvester Stallone.

When it comes to the presentation it was really solid. Visually like the previous film, we are treated to a gorgeous film with a vivid colour scheme, good cinematography, great artistic direction, really detailed CGI and action sequences that were fast, ferocious, inventive and fun to watch. The soundtrack for this film was pretty good, though not as recognisable and as varied as the previous film, and Tyler Bates returns for the film score and he crafts some really nice music, some returning themes and some new material that works well with the on-screen action.

So to conclude Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a solid sequel, it did well to advance the story of the characters, had good action, humour and heart. However, the uneven story, misuse of certain characters and a not so solid humour prevent it from being the amazing sequel I thought it could be. And so how would one compare this film to the other MCU films. Well as a sequel I’d say it’s better than the worst two films, Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World, and Iron Man 3, so I’d say it’s sort of on the same level as Age of Ultron, okay now here me out before you verbally attack me. Age of Ultron is a film I that had a lot of great elements within but overall wasn’t as consistent and enjoyable as the previous film and I felt a similar way about this film, while not as disappointing, I felt like this film wasn’t as straightforward or consistent as the last adventure, but it’s still worth a watch.

So have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 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, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: The Belko Experiment

Howdy ladies and gents and today I’m going to be reviewing The Belko Experiment, a film I’ve been looking forward to since I heard of its announcement with James Gunn writing and producing it. Now if you’ve seen the trailers for this film you’ve already decided if you’re going to watch it or not, for me the trailers were intriguing but I was mainly interested in the concept and Jame Gunn’s involvement and after seeing the film last night I’m ready to pass judgement.

The plot can be summed up as the following: “In a twisted social experiment, 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.” What I liked about this film was that there was a little more to the story beyond what was shown in the trailers, it gave a little more context as to why these characters are in this situation, why everyone in this company has chips implanted in their heads and has some interesting revelations that get revealed as towards the third act. I thought the film had a good mix of violence, humour, drama and a look into what humans are capable of when forced into life or death situations. The concept of having people being forced into killing each other isn’t new, anything from Battle Royale to the recent The Hunger Games films have depicted this in film and while this film had its unique elements, some of the story elements you could predict before they happened. Plus I feel like the film could have gone a little deeper with the mystery and surprises, also some of the humour felt misplaced in certain scenes. Other than those nitpicks I was entertained.

With the cast they all did fine, the film had its primary main cast of around 5 or so people and everyone else were secondary to background people with varying levels of significance. I just wish there was more ambiguity about who was the main character and had more screen time spread across some of the other characters to flesh them out too. With that in mind I’ll just touch upon a few people; John Gallagher Jr. as Mike Milch was  little annoying to watch because of his questionable moral and ethical choices, but by the end of the film I liked him more, Tony Goldwyn as Barry Norris was one of my favourite people, while not an entirely likeable character he had a certain point of view that made him interesting to watch. Adria Arjona as pretty good as Leandra Jerez and so was Melonie Diaz who had some notable scenes as Dany Wilkins, and John C. McGinley as Wendell Dukes, damn, he had one hell of a memorable performance and he played his role well. Also the appearances of Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn were solid, but I definitely enjoyed Gunn’s performance more. As for the action scenes were pretty good with some solid, creative and all round brutal deaths, and I gotta give a shout out to the special effects team for the make-up on the characters during some of those kills as it looked pretty realistic, oh and the film score by Tyler Bates was pretty good too. So to conclude The Belko Experiment was a strange, over-the-top and violent session with a few issues with the story and characters, but heck I had fun with this one and I reckon if you’re a fan of Gunn’s work you’ll enjoy it too.

So have you seen The Belko Experiment and if so what do you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts on the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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The Fate of the Furious Review (Audio Edition)

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another film review and today we’ll be talking about another one of the big films of 2017; Fast & Furious 8 aka The Fate of the Furious… However this time it’ll be in audio form via my podcast, Film Focus!

Check it out below:

This episode went out last Saturday and I was meant to post about it on my blog last week, however I got a little too busy so I had to wait until now. I probably won’t do a written review so this will be the only review I do for this film, hopefully you find it informative and fun to listen to as it allows me to express my feelings on a film to the highest degree. Also if you have any feedback or suggestions I welcome them so be sure to holla at me in the comments section.

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 April 21, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 29 – Double Review: Power Rangers & Ghost in the Shell

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. The latest episode (which was out last week) features a double review for Power Rangers and Ghost in the Shell.

Anyway here’s the episode 29:

Now I’ve already done reviews for Power Rangers and Ghost in the Shell but I had to do a podcast episode to allow my thoughts to be fully formed, plus I also have a mini review on Get Out included in there too so I would recommend this episode highly because it was another really fun episode to record.

Here’s the time codes for the specific reviews:

  1. Mini Get Out discussion 01:34
  2. Power Rangers 03:30
  3. Ghost in the Shell 19:36

As I mentioned before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic 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 April 8, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Howdy ladies and gents, I’m back for another film review and today I’ll be talking about the live-action version of Ghost in the Shell. Now I had been apprehensive about this film for a while now, and I’m sure a good number of people across the world have been too. This western adaptation of the original manga and anime film from 1995 is one of the most talked about and respected films in the eyes of a lot of critics and film fans, so remaking it was always going to be uphill battle. Now I know there’s been a lot of talk about the white-washing of the main character and I don’t want to get into that, the main reason I wasn’t keen on this film was because of the director, not only because I didn’t think he was the right man for the job, but also because of his foolish adulterous actions in the past. But yeah that shouldn’t come into play when we’re talking about this film. So how is Ghost in the Shell? Well read on and find out!

So the story can be summed up as the following:

“Cyborg counter-cyberterrorist field commander The Major (Scarlett Johansson) and her task force Section 9 thwart and humiliate criminals, hackers and terrorists. Now, they must face a new enemy who will stop at nothing to sabotage Hanka Robotics’ artificial intelligence technology.”

I thought the story had a lot of interesting ideas of about what is to be human, freewill, the future of technology, the pros and cons of being cybernetically enhanced and so on. If you’ve seen any sci-fi film involving robots and technology then a lot of the themes and concepts this film presents will feel familiar, and while this film does do a good job of presenting some of these elements, I don’t think it had the right writers or director necessary to make think and feel on that deeper, dramatic and more emotional level. It is surface level material that’s fine but you’ve seen it done better in other films. For the most part the film was pretty interesting, but it did have a few moments where it really slowed down and some of the information the characters were going on about just didn’t matter to me, it felt like pointless jargon that needed to end quickly. Oh and don’t expect me to do any comparisons to the 1995 film, I haven’t seen in around 9 years and I wasn’t too keen on it, I thought the sequel was much better, so I only noticed some visual similarities but I couldn’t confirm them for sure.

As for the cast I thought they were fine, though only a handful of them stood out. Scarlett Johansson as Major Mira Killian was fine, she handled her material the best she could, at times I felt like she was getting into that Lucy territory where she couldn’t express any emotion because of the nature character, but for the most part she was fine. Takeshi Kitano as Chief Daisuke Aramaki was pretty cool, Kitano has a nice screen presence and I loved his tone of speaking and how imposing he was, but I feel like he was a little wasted in this film. Pilou Asbæk as Batou was nice, I enjoyed his performance and Juliette Binoche as Dr. Ouélet had some good scenes and interesting scenes with Johansson. Michael Pitt as Hadley Cruz was pretty intriguing and had some of the most captivating material in the film, also seeing Chin Han around as Togusa was fun and he had some nice scenes too and finally Peter Ferdinando as Cutter was just generic and not as engaging as he should have been.

When it comes to the presentation it was easily the best part of the film. From a visual standpoint the film was great, the world that the special effects team created for this film was clearly inspired by not only the original film but also Blade Runner, it is colourful, large in scale, layered with all sorts of details from the design of the robotic humans, to the various holograms dotted all over the city. It was all very impressive and pretty to look at. The action scenes were fine, some stood out more so than others, but I feel like the creativity went the visual style of the film and wasn’t applied to fight scenes which felt a little bland and lacking in creativity, oh and some of those uses of slow motion were unnecessary too. The film score from Clint Mansell and Lorne Balfe had some interesting moments especially when there started tapping into the otherworldly nature of the original film’s music, but overall it was decent.

In the end Ghost in the Shell was alright, as someone who wasn’t expecting much it ended up being better than I anticipated. Now I’m not saying the film is great, but it wasn’t total rubbish either. I enjoyed some of the action, the visuals were pretty cool and some of the themes were intriguing, but in the end it didn’t have the depth and direction necessary to make it anything more than just an okay film.

So have you seen Ghost in the Shell and if so what did you think of it? And how do you feel it compares to the original? Please drop me your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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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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