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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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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 SaĂŻd 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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