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Revisiting The Matt Damon Bourne Films

Howdy ladies and gents, now after seeing the getting super excited for 30 second teaser for Jason Bourne, I thought it would be a good time to revisit that awesome trilogy of films from 2002 to 2007. I love these films so much, however I’ve only watched them 2 or 3 times each so I thought it’d be fun to see if my opinions have changed or remained the same since my last viewing. Minor spoilers follow!

The Bourne Identity

I’ve never been more fascinated and engaged with a film than with the intro of this one. Having Bourne found in the ocean with bullets in his back and no memory of who he was. Slowly but sure this film starts to give small details, small pieces of a bigger puzzle and the story just becomes more intriguing and engaging. The main story surrounding Jason Bourne’s amnesia and his search for answers is so compelling because he’s a blank slate at the beginning, but then learn that he’s travelled a lot in the past, he’s resourceful and has skills that make him look like a human weapon, and it also doesn’t help that he’s hunted by a secret group in the government who want him dead for reasons that become apparent as the film goes on. This film features some of the most interesting and smart story elements that I’ve seen in the spy genre, and sure it’s adapted from a book but it’s an enjoyable film regardless. I also really enjoy the action which is slick, well-edited and choreographed when it came to the fight scenes and there’s one car chase which is one of my favourites in film ever.

Oh and of course I really enjoyed the cast Matt Damon kills it as Jason Bourne, he rides a fin balance between being innocent and confused to being a full-on badass who’s in control of every situation. Franka Potente is also great as Marie Helena Kreutz, she’s just an innocent bystander who gets caught up in the madness and yet chooses to stick around because of the dangers around her and her ties to Bourne. Potente and Damon have such nice chemistry and their interaction throughout the film is great. Chris Cooper is awesome as Alexander Conklin, I didn’t remember him being as pivotal to this story, but damn he great to watch because of his intensity and commitment to trying to stop Bourne. Brian Cox is another solid actor as Ward Abbott, also Clive Owen as The Professor, the guy doesn’t say much or show a lot emotion, though when he’s on-screen he’s like a ghost-like Terminator and he has a pretty important scene later on in the film. I don’t think some fans and critics give Identity the respect it deserves in comparison to the sequels, this was a great spy film with mystery, conspiracy, tension and awesome action sequences and director Doug Liman did such a fabulous job at bringing this world to life and creating the foundation of which the next two films would build upon.

The Bourne Supremacy

Even though he wasn’t a complete man, Identity established that Jason Bourne was not someone you wanted to mess with and Supremacy reinforces that with the lengths that Bourne goes to in this second adventure. While the mysteries behind Bourne’s memories are still at the forefront of the story, in it is not the only story elements in play. A CIA operation goes bad and Bourne is framed for it so the government are after him to get answers. The levels of conspiracy go deeper than the first time and there are a lot of moving pieces to this story with Bourne’s past, the CIA and Treadstone, it’s a lot to handle but luckily it is done carefully and effectively, and adds to the history of the government program and Bourne too. This film also got a little more personal and emotional than before, and there are dramatic intense and heartbreaking moments a well. Once again this film shows off Bourne’s assassin skills but to a higher degree than before, here he’s a bit of a tactician, staying a few steps ahead of his enemies in really cool ways, he also displayed pretty badass fight moves and continued to find ways to be invisible and yet still be in plain sight.

The returning cast members are fantastic, Damon continues to be cool, vulnerable and engaging as Bourne, Potente is once again charming, supportive and lovely as Marie Helena Kreutz, Gabriel Mann is also back doing a fine job as Danny Zorn, Julia Stiles while good in the previous film, didn’t have nearly as much to do as she did here as Nicky Parsons takes on a more prominent role providing information and emotional depth. But it’s Brian Cox who steals the show as Ward Abbott, this guy, he has some of the best dialogue and I love how well-informed, suspicious and confident he is because of his history with Treadstone. With the new cast members the only two that really stand out are Karl Urban as Kirill and Joan Allen as Pamela Landy. Urban is a frigging badass here, he’s like Clive Owen’s character from the first film but more cold, ruthless and a bit more personality. And Allen really does so well as Landy, while not well-versed in all of the CIA’s operations, she’s tough, tenacious and ready to take down anyone who’s in her way. I will admit that there are certain elements of Identity that I liked over this film, but overall this film had new level of energy, darker tone and better direction thanks to Paul Greengrass when it comes to the filming of action (minus the shaky cam scenes) and adding intimacy to certain scenes. OH and this film has one of my favourite endings to any film involving a conversation between Bourne and Landy which basically confirms just how badass the man is. I love it. ūüėÄ

The Bourne Ultimatum

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So here we are with the final entry in this series (until July this year), and it is one hell of an a good ride. From the time the film begins you’re already in the action and from there the film keeps up a fairly swift pace, but also slows down for some of the big reveals later on. Bourne’s always been a pawn in a larger game of chess with the CIA and their actions, and now more than ever this is about finishing the issues that the CIA started. I love the story in this film as things get more complicated and personal with the new mysteries surrounding Bourne’s origins, additional ties to Treadstone and the corruption with the CIA. Just like before there’s a lot of cat and mouse chasing going on in regards to: 1) Bourne hunting someone or 2) The CIA going after someone or 3) The CIA chasing after Bourne. There’s so much mystery, tension and paranoia surrounding these films and this may be the best at highlighting those elements, Ultimatum feels like a great culmination of the last two films with a satisfying conclusion that ties up all of the loose ends. Once again the action scenes are on-point with some incredibly well-choreographed fight scenes which are raw and realistic, there’s also some really great stunt work with some of the car and foot chases, and the amount of destruction that Bourne leaves in his wake in nothing short of incredible. I also have to note how much better the sound effects are than in the previous films as punches, kicks, glass smashing and explosions sound clearer and more distinctive than before. And just like before the film score by John Powell is so brilliant and fuels all of the scenes it’s used in.

The are all on fire and do such fine jobs in this film. Damon pretty much cements his awesomeness as Jason Bourne, here he’s still just as smart, efficient and lethal as before, but he’s also more focused than before to end the all problems and find out what really happened to him. Bourne has now started to come to terms with who he is and who he was and it’s really interesting and compelling to see how he deals with these issues when talking to certain people in some of these great dramatic moments. Stiles’ role once again increases with her return as Nicky Parsons, she has a lot more to do physically but also is very integral to the plot and Bourne’s missions and Stiles does such a fine job in this role. David Strathairn is new on the scene and does such a great job as Noah Vosen, he’s a new player in the CIA and he has his mission and when Bourne becomes a factor we learn how vicious and crafty he can be. Also Joan Allen really shines as Pamela Landy, she takes on more of a Ward Abbot role as she’s the one with experience with Bourne and knows how he operates and helps Vosen with finding Bourne. Landy is great at her job, but is also perceptive and can smell when something’s wrong and in this film we see that she does a moral compass and will break regulation to make sure that things are done correctly. I never even noticed Scott Glenn as Ezra Kramer before, but thanks to Daredevil I’m more aware of his appearances and he did really well as the director of the CIA. Paddy Considine is very good and intruging as Simon Ross, and Albert Finney is really good as Dr. Albert Hirsch. Oh and finally shout out to Daniel Br√ľhl who I never even noticed until who plays Martin Kreutz!

In conclusion this Bourne trilogy of films is one of my favourite series of films and if it weren’t for The Bourne Legacy and the upcoming Jason Bourne, I would have labelled this as one of the most consistent film trilogies. We have some of the finest action, mystery and intrigue, and at the center of all this is a great story involving badass amnesiac who wants to find the truth. After seeing these films again I love them more so than before and my hype for the new film is SO high, I can only hope that this new film will have a story worth telling.

Also tell me what you think of these films in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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

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

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So the story goes something like this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 8.5/10 (Pure fanboy fun)

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

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

 

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Lincoln Review

I’m sorry for taking so long to get this review online, but as some of you may have seen who follow this blog I have been posting like a crazy man over the last 3 days and I didn’t want to overload their subscription lists haha. Anyway I saw Lincoln on the weekend just to see what the hype was about and see if it was worthy of all the praise, so is it a great historical film or just another boring biographical film? Read on and find out!

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So the story covers the final few months of Abraham Lincoln’s life, focusing on the President’s efforts in January 1865 to have the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution passed by the United States House of Representatives. I found it interesting to see how Lincoln tried to get this amendment passed in order to abolish slavery, and I also found it interesting to see how a lot of people weren’t down with the idea and thought it was too radical for time too. The story in this film is dramatic, emotional and impactful. There are elements of corruption, dirty dealings in the background, and there is also a lot of tension in the film too. It was captivating though the story was hard to follow at times because of the specific dialogue used. And speaking of the dialogue, this film is very dialogue-heavy and not that much action happens, but if you can sit still and embrace the story then you’ll enjoy the film a lot.

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Then there’s the cast of Lincoln, they were all grand. Firstly Daniel Day-Lewis really does give an Oscar worthy performance as Abraham Lincoln. He carries the role with such gravitas and conviction, and he embodies the character to the point where you don’t even see him as an actor. The way he moved and spoke, I saw Lincoln in him and while I can’t tell how accurate it was to real thing I felt that he really kicked ass! Also Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln was outstanding, her performance was emotionally charged and you could see that she was a fragile and complex and Field handled the role wonderfully especially in her intense scenes with Daniel Day-Lewis. But my favourite performance came from Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, he was this intense force of nature who was a no-nonsense kind of guy who insults people he doesn’t like, so badass. Jones was incredible and his performance was powerful, unforgettable and quite funny at points too. And there was also some great performances from David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Costabile and Jared Harris to name a few. There really are too many people to mention in this film, but all of the cast were really on the mark.

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The presentation is also very good. The cinematography and camera work was excellent with some great shots and angles at many points in the film. And the soundtrack by John Williams, well John Williams is automatically awesome and while this isn’t one of his most memorable soundtracks, the score he composed for this film was fantastic.

So in conclusion Lincoln is probably one of the best historical dramas I’ve ever seen. Now while I haven’t seen too many films of this genre I have seen a good few before this film and this one is great. I was surprised with how much I actually enjoyed this film, but it was definitely a brilliant film that deserves all the praise it’s getting. Steven Spielberg has done a great job with this film, the cast is great, the story is solid and the presentation is grand. I highly recommend this film; it is worth your time and money.

Rating: 9/10 (Super Seal of Approval!)

There’s another review done, I hope you enjoyed and whatever your thoughts on the film drop them below in the comments section! See ya on the next review! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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