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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 53 – Avengers: Infinity War Spoiler Discussion

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, in 2016 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 is a spoiler-heavy discussion on Avengers: Infinity War.

Anyway here’s the episode 53:

I’ve done already done my posted my original review, however, unlike most reviews I do there is a written and audio-based review. But I felt that because Infinity War would be a film I would be naturally excited about, I wanted to make my main review audio-related so that you all could understand my feelings towards the film in its purest form. And I also had so much fun recording with Drew that I felt like a written review would come across a bit redundant. However, that recording wasn’t the only episode recorded, as we also did a spoiler-based discussion talking about all of the major talking points from Thanos to the funniest scenes and character interactions to the character deaths and what the end of this film could mean for the MCU going forward.

Now I actually dropped this episode online last week, but because of timing issues I didn’t share it on my blog, plus I feel like a fortnight is plenty of time to wait before busting out the juicy spoilers haha. So yeah if you’re curious to hear the fun, interesting and fun thoughts on Infinity War from Drew and I then you’re in the right place. It was one of my favourite episodes of the podcast so far! 😀

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 they are fans of film discussion. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining in future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

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Posted by on May 11, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Avengers: Infinity War Spoiler-Free Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, how is it going? So yeah this review is up a little later than I had wanted but let’s just say I had a hella busy weekend, but putting that aside, I am finally here to share with you my thoughts on the latest Marvel Studios, Avengers: Infinity War! Now I did consider doing a written review, but I feel like my podcast would be able to better describe my feeling about the film in a more vivid and raw manner. So my review will be presented via my podcast Film Focus and features a returning guest, my homie Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews.

Anyway here’s the episode 52:

Now I will admit this review was largely unscripted and since we were trying to avoid spoilers, there is a fair amount of vagueness to our comments, that being said we do cover a good deal of material in the story, character and presentation departments highlighting the highs and lows of the film, and generally just gushing about how much we liked the film haha. It is a good listen and I hope that you’ll enjoy the episode because I know Drew and I had a lot of fun making the episode. 😀

If you haven’t checked out my podcast before you can find it here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

So have you seen Infinity War and if so what did you think of it? Did it meet or exceed your expectations? OR were you disappointed? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War (Spoiler-Free!)

Howdy people of the internet, so after waiting two painstakingly long days to get back to my laptop I’m here to give you my review of Captain America: Civil War. I’ve seen the film twice in IMAX (once at the midnight screening and again on the same afternoon) and I’ve had a lot of thoughts in my head about this film, and a lot of it is spoiler-based, but I’m going to try my hardest to be as vague and spoiler-free as possible. Alrighty then, let’s begin. 🙂

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So the story can be described as the following:

“After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team.”

What should be clarified straight away is that Civil War is definitely Captain America 3 first and foremost, as the story furthers what we learnt in The Winter Soldier, but it also acknowledges the larger world of the MCU by introducing most of the main heroes so far, but also adding new characters and stories in this film. What I loved more so than anything else was that there was drama, real drama and it was material that was raw, emotional and effective. This is easily the most layered and emotional film in the MCU to date dealing with the themes of freedom, accountability, revenge and friendship being handled in a realistic and captivating manner. Not only do get to see Captain America try his best to keep his best friend safe, and butt heads with Iron Man with their different ideologies, but also see our heroes weigh out the pros and cons of their actions, pick sides based on their beliefs and clash. It was not only interesting, it was also complicated morally and ethically too. You’re given both sides of the argument and luckily both sides are effective at what they’re trying to convey, you’ll probably be conflicted during and after the film ends as well. If I have any issues with the story it was probably just a few changes in some of the character motivations which would have elevated the film a little more, but I have to hand it to the writers and the Russo brothers for juggling so much material and making it work in a coherent and stylish manner.

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With the cast they were all brilliant, and while some stood out more than others, everyone has a reason to be in the film and have their moments to shine and some of the best moments in the film are just with characters talking and interacting. Firstly there’s Chris Evans who was brilliant as Steve Rogers/Captain America, he’s a faced with difficult choices, and yet found a way to be just as heroic, charismatic and true to his beliefs while also being a leader and friend to his allies. Robert Downey Jr. killed it as Tony Stark/Iron Man, just when I thought I’d seen everything from this character, we find out there’s still more to learn. In this film Stark was very still very humours, but also passionate, vulnerable and driven and while he seemed like the bad guy, at the same time you understood his viewpoint. Scarlett Johansson  was wonderful as Black Widow, it was cool to see her character more in line with The Winter Soldier version where she was intelligent,logical and showed off her skill set on and off of the battlefield. Sebastian Stan also did well as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier continuing to be an interesting and tragic character with good ties to Steve Rogers, and speaking of ties to Steve, Anthony Mackie also did a great job as The Falcon, their bond continued to grow and get tested with the appearance of Bucky and I liked how funny Falcon continues to be.

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Oh and Black Panther, dear god, he was brilliant! Chadwick Boseman was everything I wanted him to be and everything, as T’Challa/Black Panther he was intelligent, driven, honourable, tenacious and when he threw down, damn! He was insanely athletic, flexible and animal-like and I adored his treatment in this film. Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen as The Vision and Scarlet Witch were brilliant, I love how they had developed a grew since Age of Ultron, but found new hurdles and personal issues to fight through, Vision continued to have a lot of funny and thought-provoking dialogue, while Scarlet Witch had a good few light-hearted and dramatic moments that developed her character in great ways. Jeremy Renner looked like was having a great time as Hawkeye and I really enjoyed his scenes, the same could also be said for Paul Rudd and Don Cheadle as Ant-Man and War Machine, both of them bring back what you loved about their characters and have great moments in the film.

William Hurt’s performance as Thunderbolt Ross was also great, he’s changed a great deal since The Incredible Hulk, but I really enjoyed his role as the government official attempting to keep the Avengers in check. It was great to see more of Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter as she had more to do and had a good few memorable moments in the film, and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross was delightful and tough and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last from him, and the return of Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones while brief was really cool. Daniel Brühl as Baron Helmut Zemo was interesting, while he’s not utilized in a conventional way and won’t please fans of the comics, I thought his role was very smart, though I believe the film would have worked without him. And finally Tom Holland as Spider-Man, holy crap! Marvel Studios nailed it! If you’re like me you’ve seen Spidey done five times and he’s been done well in certain areas but not completely comic book accurate. But here he’s the most accurate Spider-Man the to date with right balance of action and humour. He’s introduced in a logical and natural way, and seeing Holland as Peter Parker inside and out of the suit was delightful as he felt so fresh different to the actors who’ve come before him.

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When it comes to the presentation it was pretty solid. Visually the film is very nice, the cinematography is great with some wonderfully shot action sequences, good editing and wonderful CGI. The fight scenes are some of the best in the MCU so far with really creative, acrobatic and versatile action for everyone involved whether they be superpowered or not, and there’s the much-talked about epic fight sequence in the airport which for me was one of the most beautiful fanboy moments I’ve ever seen. It was like a comic book come to life in the best way possible. However I will say for everything I liked, I will say that the shaky cam in some of the fight scenes was a little chaotic, and the visual effects in certain parts of the film felt a little lacking in detail and didn’t mesh as well with the live-action footage, but those are nitpicks for sure. As for the film score, Henry Jackman returns to compose and his score definitely feels in line with Winter Soldier, but was also a little more dramatic and heroic than before. However this score while it works within the film, it didn’t have any standout tracks or a theme that I can remember like some of Marvel’s previous films.

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In conclusion Captain America: Civil War was a lot of fun and solid follow-up to Winter Soldier. While it won’t change the game for the superhero genre, it did dive a little deeper into those thought-provoking and emotional territories that the MCU hadn’t fully embraced beforehand, and with some awesome action, an intriguing story and well-developed characters, this is an adventure that people won’t want to miss out on especially if you’re fans of these films and comics.

Rating: 8.5/10

So are you going to see Captain America: Civil War and if you’ve seen it what did you think of it? Please sound off your thoughts in the comments below ane I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Avengers: Age of Ultron Review (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, time to talk the film I’ve been waiting to see for AGES, this is big one, my most anticipated film of 2015, of course I’m talking about Avengers: Age of Ultron. If you’ve read this blog you know that: 1) I’m a big fan of Marvel and 2) That I REALLY loved The Avengers back in 2012, so the wait for this film has been super painful to endure, but luckily I got to see it yesterday in IMAX and I am ready to pass judgement. So please, sit back, chill out and read my non-spoiler review.

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So plot for this film can be summarised as the following:

“When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and The Avengers are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to the team to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for a global adventure.”

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Now I will say that this film is not without some problems and potential nitpicks, but the good totally outweighs the bad and it really is about personal preference. Your experience and enjoyment of this film will be dependent on you as the viewer and what you choose to take away from the film. With that being said I would like to talk about what I liked about the plot.

I thought the plot overall was very enjoyable. The film that deals with cause and effect, the corruption of artificial intelligence, tampering with unknown power, dealing with one’s insecurities and the bonds between people, and it is all handled in a very dark, twisted, humourous and human way. For those worrying that the film would be too dark, be at ease as there is plenty of humour in this film and balances out perfectly with the more serious aspects of the story too. In addition to that this film is full of fan service, it pretty much gives you more of the same but with new, exciting and different scenarios. There was a very global scale to this film as the Avengers travelled to different parts of the world together and individually to find answers, stop the bad guys and save the world, it just makes the stakes feel higher and let you know that this is not an isolated incident and involves the lives of many people across the world. Another thing I appreciated about the film was the use of other characters from previous films crossing over into this one, it is not only great for fans to see these characters acknowledged again beyond the solo films, but it also gives a better sense of cohesion and continuity in this cinematic universe. I won’t say who shows up but needless to say the use of certain characters is definitely humourous and satisfying. So is there anything I didn’t like, well yes there was. This film had a lot going on with the numerous plot lines taking place and while for he most part it was executed well, I feel like some of them could have been handled better or been cut out entirely, plus I do miss the streamlined stories of some of the previous MCU films too. And there is an argument to be made that this film rehashed a few elements from the last Avengers film too, but in the grand scheme of things this will be stuff that only fanboys and harsh critics will pick up on.

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As for the cast they are all very good and what I loved so much is that with the extra layers given to them thanks to the script, we get to see more sides to them, and learn more about their personalities and see them interact.

Let’s start with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, RDJ is still awesome and does well in this role. It’s like Joss Whedon found a way to bring back the funny and cocky aspects of the character, while also continuing to mature him and see how he feels responsible for the team and the world, and show how his insecurities bring about the dangers that follow. Chris Evans is great as Steve Rogers/Captain America, this time round Cap is more settled into present times, he’s focused and has that leader-like quality about him. It was nice to see his character evolve and grow a bit more, and when him and Tony butted heads, it was great. Evans and RDJ have such good on-screen chemistry. Chris Hemsworth as Thor was awesome, I’ve always loved this character and in this film they’ve given him his best material since the last Avengers film, here he is funny, awkward and totally badass. We discover more secrets about him, also see him battle in the most coolest way in the MCU so far, and we also see that he has great banter/competition with Tony Stark.

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Mark Ruffalo is once again really good as Bruce Banner/Hulk. Banner is still just as witty and fun as he was in the last film, but he is definitely a little more on edge with his powers and troubled by what his future holds, as not only part of the team but also with personal relationships. It is also interesting to see how the Hulk was humanised quite well in this film and really makes me curious as to how they will handle him in a future solo film. Scarlett Johansson is still great as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, besides being absurdly gorgeous, this woman finds new ways to kick ass and look like a force to be reckoned with. But beyond that we learn more about her past, and see a more different side to her in regards to her relationship with Banner/Hulk. Ruffalo and Johansson have really good chemistry together. And Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye was awesome! Anyone dissatisfied with the character’s treatment last time will be very happy with this film as Hawkeye gets a lot of love here as he’s more dominant in the action, story and humour, plus he has some of my favourite lines in the whole film.

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Now let’s talk about the new villain, Ultron played by James Spader. I thought Ultron was going to be super serious, but this film really did flesh him out and gave him more personality and human traits, it made him a little easier to relate to but also understand how his mind works. I loved how he could be totally calm and collected one moment and then freak out in another. Spader did quite well with this role and gave us the most memorable villain in the MCU since Loki. Then there’s the twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver played by Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Johnson. I thought they were both really good, adding new flavours to the MCU and creating interesting situations for the Avengers to deal with. I bought the sibling-like nature and they worked well together and individually. Paul Bettany as  J.A.R.V.I.S. and Vision was really good. Bettany does well to transition from a computer AI program to a fleshed out humanoid character, it gives his performance some variation and I really liked how Vision was handled, the dude was really intriguing and cool. Olsen was wonderful as this creepy yet vulnerable individual with strange powers and Johnson was totally cool, cocky and aggressive as the overly protective sibling. I liked the depiction of their powers as they looked cool and lead to some really great action scenes. Samuel L. Jackson return as Nick Fury and does a nice job and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill is just a good as I remember her being too. Oh and Andy Serkis was totally awesome as Ulysses Klaue offering a humourous, smart and devious supporting role. Thomas Kretschmann as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker was pretty good but I wish he had been used a lot more and lastly Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes was awesome, I liked his interaction with the other team members and was glad to see that he had some good screen time.

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When it comes to the presentation it is pretty damn impressive. Visually this film has some of the best action to come of the MCU with awesome fight sequences, good CGI and comic book referenced material too. Whether it is the Avengers team fighting together or seeing Captain America go up against Ultron or seeing Quicksilver running around messing stuff up, it is all so cool and it is pure fan service for the fans as there are a good few moments that made me smile with glee thinking, “Yes, this is the Avengers I wanted to see in live action.” I will say that sometimes the action does get a bit too chaotic and some of the action is hard to follow either because it moves too fast or is zoomed in too close, but that’s nitpicking. And the soundtrack handled by Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman is awesome, I’m not sure if it quite outdoes the previous soundtrack by Alan Silvestri, but it does include parts of the themes from previous MCU films and has plenty of powerful, heroic and beautiful moments, plus they kept the Avengers theme intact and it still sounds gorgeous.

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In conclusion is Avengers: Age of Ultron pretty damn cool. While there are a few stumbles a long the way and there is some magic from the first film that arguably could not be recaptured this time round, make no mistake, this film gives fans what they want while delivering new and intriguing mysteries to be discovered. And at the end of the day the film is fun and when a film like this really entertains me there’s not much to complain about. 🙂

Rating: 8.5/10

So what did you think of Avengers: Age of Ultron? Do you feel this sequel leaves up to the hype or not? Also how do you think it more compares to not only the prequel but the other MCU films? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: Iron Man 2

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #21 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Since we’ve talked about the awesomeness of Iron Man now I’m going to talk about its much weaker sequel, Iron Man 2.

It’s incredible how much can change in two years right? Iron Man was an amazing film in 2008 and the Iron Man 2 comes out in 2010 and just fails to be as good as its predecessor. The general consensus from fans and critics about this film was that it was disappointing, and that holds true until this day. I remember seeing this film in the cinema and at first thinking that it was better than the last one, but after watching it another two times I started to notice it’s many problems and each time I watched it after thats it got worse and worse. So today I’ve checked it out again so let’s see what I think of it now in this review.

The plot takes place six months after the events of Iron Man, where Tony Stark has revealed his identity as Iron Man and is resisting calls by the United States government to hand over his technology. Meanwhile, rogue Russian scientist Ivan Vanko has developed the same technology and built weapons of his own in order to pursue a vendetta against the Stark family, and in the process joining forces with Stark’s business rival, Justin Hammer.

The story in this film had little moments of quality like Tony’s palladium core slowly poisoning him, the government wanting to take away Tony’s armour away and the inclusion of Tony’s father via old movies. But the problem is that those elements along with the rest of the film are terribly executed with a too many plot points to follow, the shoe-horned appearance from S.H.I.E.L.D., the butchered treatment of Ivan Vanko and the unnecessary amount of humour in the film which dilutes any of emotional material the story had going for itself. I really wish that there was a better balance between humour and seriousness because a lot of the time the film feels the need to be funny and it gets annoying at points where you’re wondering why the hell all of this random stuff is going on. If the plot in this film was a little more focused and had one consistent villain throughout instead of two useless ones then it would have been much better.

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Now let’s talk about the cast. Firstly we have Robert Downey, Jr. who is still doing it as Tony Stark/Iron Man. RDJ still retains all the great qualities about Tony that we came to love in the first film, he’s that likeable asshole who is funny, witty, arrogant and cool. But in this film he has his low moments, has issues with drinking and the fact that he’s dying too. But the more dramatic moments are bogged down by a lot of new stupid moments like when Tony’s constantly cracking jokes or is drunk in the Iron Man suit at his party (that was just painful to watch). Gwyneth Paltrow is still witty, humourous and beautiful as Virginia ‘Pepper’ Potts, but in this film she is just a bit of a nag, always complaining and being at odds with Tony. I know because her new position as CEO of Stark Industries and Tony’s secrets it causes her a bit of stress but she was fairly frustrating, luckily the chemistry and banter between Stark and Potts is one of the better aspects of the film.

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Now let’s talk about Don Cheadle as Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes. To be honest when I first saw Cheadle’s version of Rhodey, I hated it, the guy was a total stick in the in mud, was always so bloody serious and very different from the more understanding and enjoyable version that Terrence Howard brought to the film beforehand. Here there was no chemistry between Rhodey and Stark besides a few moments towards the latter half of the film, but overall I wasn’t keen on Cheadle at all. Next there’s Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow. Firstly may I say that Scarlett Johansson is one of the hottest women in this history of existence and to see her in this film made gave my eyes so many moments of joy. Johansson’s beauty alone is enough to give this film a watch, but besides that, she played an interesting interpretation of the Widow character who could kick ass, was calm, assertive and didn’t mess around. She was really cool and slick in not only her action scenes but also posing as secret S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, I only wish her character had more to do and had more references to her Russian comic book origins.

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Then there’s villain number one in the shape of Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer. This guy was pretty much a joke for the most part, its hard to take him seriously as a rival weapons manufacturer when he’s joking around so much, has no good personality traits and most of the stuff he’s built is useless when compared to Tony Stark. Though I will give Rockwell credit because of his character’s overly charismatic nature is actually kind of funny for all the wrong reasons, oh and his introduction during Stark Expo when he comes on stage dancing to “Pick Up The Pieces” by Average White Band, that was frigging awesome. And then there’s villain number two in the form of Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko. Honestly I also hated this guy, he’s supposed to be this super smart villain who knows about the arc reactor technology and yet he doesn’t come across a threat too much. When talks to people he barely sounds intelligent and when he goes into battle he’s no tactian. Vanko just comes across as a muscle-bound thug who knows a few things about science. There’s nothing complex or interesting about his character, he’s just plain and boring. And I still don’t why the people who made this film thought it’d be a good idea to fuse the characters of Whiplash and Crimson Dynamo together. No we’ll never see a proper Crimson Dynamo villain for ages!

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Also Samuel L. Jackson makes more of an appearance as Nick Fury in this film, Jackson was fine but rather than giving us a more serious character we got a bit of Sam L. Jackson being Sam L. Jackson. And lastly it was nice to see the return of Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, but it was even more awesome to see the return of Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson! (LEGEND!)

Now let’s talk about the presentation. For the most part the film offered up some good spectacle and action sequences with cool special effects. The best points for action was seeing Black Widow taking out bad guys, the Iron Man and iron drone chase sequence and the fight scene with Iron Man and War Machine basically wrecking shop and destroying all of those robots. Though the CGI wasn’t as sharp and detailed as it was in the previous film especially near the end of the film with all the iron drones flying around, they were very blurry and lacking in detail. As for the soundtrack by John Debney it’s not bad but it doesn’t have nearly as much charisma and style as the previous film, and fails to leave an impact. However on the upside there are loads more AC/DC songs in this film and it really work well in the film.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well from what I’ve seen there were a lot of changes made to the characters in this film, from Justin Hammer being changed from an old serious Englishman to a younger, funnier American person to Mickey Rourke becoming a fusion of the Crimson Dynamo’s alter ego and the villain Whiplash. Also the film takes elements of the “Demon in a Bottle” story arc from the comics but doesn’t fully capitalize on the source material, therefore making Tony’s drinking in the film kind of pointless. The creation of War Machine was also great altered too.

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So to conclude Iron Man 2 wanted to do up its game and do a great job, but in the end it ended up trying to do too much and fell under the height of its own material. On top of a story that isn’t as interesting as the previous one with inconsistencies, bad decisions and a poor attempt at adapting one of the Iron Man comic book stories. There are some redeeming factors like the action sequences, and the performances from Downey Jr., Paltrow and Johansson, but otherwise this film is just a disappointing film.

Rating: 6/10 (A painful step backwards in this film series)

So there’s my review people, only 9 more to go. So have you seen Iron Man 2 and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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My Epic Iron Man 3 Review!! :D

So here we are in April 25th, the day of Iron Man 3‘s release in the UK. It feels like the wait for this film has been the longest one in recent history, maybe even worst than the wait for The Avengers last year. Anyways Robert Downey Jr. is back as Tony Stark/Iron Man in his third film in the Iron Man film series and this one’s directed by Shane Black which has definitely put a twist on things. Does this film succeed in being another great Marvel film or does it fail due to the ‘third film in the series curse’? Read on to find out!

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So the story of this film takes place after The Avengers and life for Tony Stark is anything but stable. Stark hasn’t recovered from the events of New York which has left him anxious, scared and alone and this affects his relationship with Pepper Pots and his day-to-day activities. However Stark’s troubles only worsen when the terrorist known as the Mandarin shows up, starts causing havoc and tears Stark’s world apart. Now Stark has to find the courage to carry on and save the world and uncover the mysterious that surround him.

I thought the story in this film was surprising smart, dramatic and very, very unexpected. All those worrying that the film was going to be too dark and serious can rest easy as the film easily has a lot of humourous moments and laugh-out-loud scenes. A lot goes down in this film and it is very impressive to see how the writers found a way to condense it into a 2 hour film. There was so many elements of this film I didn’t see coming and it was smartly handled with style and the element of surprise. Also this is definitely a Shane Black film as the way the film is directed, stylized and even the humour feels very reminiscent of his former work especially Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

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But it is the characters that really bring Iron Man 3 to life and the returning and new cast make great work of their material. So let’s start with Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man. The dude still has it. RDJ is still as charismatic as ever providing moments humour, wit and style while also giving us a very vulnerable and isolated character. Tony Stark is in a very difficult place in his life and has his world smashed to pieces and he has to rise to the challenge to keep the world safe and protect Pepper and RDJ brought his A-game to this role. Then there’s Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia “Pepper” Potts, Paltrow is very good in this film offering up more drama and a lot more action then we’ve seen from her before. Pepper not only has to deal with being CEO of Stark Industries but also but must maintain a relationship with Tony. Paltrow was just great and she looked spectacular, I mean she has one hell of a body yo. Anyways moving on… Now we move onto Don Cheadle as Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes/Iron Patriot, Cheadle was funny and witty as Tony’s friend and wearer of Iron Patriot armour. You see I wasn’t too much of a fan of Cheadle in Iron Man 2, I didn’t feel the connection between him and Tony but in this film their relationship is a lot better and Rhodey is much cooler too.

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Now let’s talk about Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian, Pearce was very cool and interesting as the creator of the Extremis virus and the founder of Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). I love the way Killian was introduced and his reasons for doing what he was doing, Pearce handled the role well and this was one of his roles I’ll personally remember for a while yet. Also Rebecca Hall as Dr. Maya Hansen was quite pretty as a botanist whose work helped create Extremis. Maya was a strong-minded character and definitely had relevance in the grand scheme of things and I liked how Hall handled her material, I just wish she’d been in the film a little more. Okay now’s time to talk about Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin/Trevor Cassidy he was pretty cool. Now let’s get something straight, THIS IS NOT THE MANDARIN FROM THE COMICS, there are changes made to his character to make it work in the context of the film and while some fanboys may cry about I thought it was interesting and mart stuff.

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Also Stephanie Szostak as Ellen Brandt and James Badge Dale as Eric Savin do well in their roles too but I won’t explain specifically what it is because it will spoil elements of the film. And lastly Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Favreau was great. I was so happy to see Favreau return and the material he is given is some great, dramatic and funny stuff.

When it comes to the presentation I can easily say it is some of the best that Marvel Studios has produced so far. Visually the CGI and special effects are INSANE! So much action and mayhem goes down in this film and it is shot, choreographed and crafted in a spectacular fashion. From the attack on Tony’s house to Iron Man’s one-on-one fights to the Iron Legion sequence near the end of the end of the film, everything just screams out awesomeness and it is almost on par with The Avengers. I was worried when Industrial Light and Magic wasn’t coming back to do the film’s visual effects, but Scanline VFX, Digital Domain, Weta Digital, Framestore, The Third Floor and Trixter Film did a great job filling in for them. As for the soundtrack, I think it is the best so far. I was worried with Brian Tyler was brought on to the do the soundtrack but he really brought this film to life with some incredibly loud, profound and epic music that fueled the action on-screen, it was amazing nuff said.

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So to conclude Iron Man 3 is definitely a return to form and is probably best film of the trilogy. The film is smart, funny, emotional and nicely stylized with some amazing presentation in both the visual and audio department. Some may not like the changes and unexpected surprises to be found in this film but for me it worked well and I can appreciate the changes. Shane Black has done well by the series and has his trademark style all over this and in addition to that Robert Downey Jr. proves he’s still the man as the one and only Iron Man. If you couldn’t tell already I LOVED this film and I recommend it highly.

Rating: 9/10 (Just go out and watch it now! :D)

So what did you think of Iron Man 3? Did you love it, think it was alright or hate it? Whatever your thoughts drop them below and be sure to come back for some more kick ass film reviews! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Flight Review

Alrighty then, here we go with a film I should have seen and reviewed around 2 weeks ago, today I’m gonna review Flight, the latest film from Robert Zemeckis starring Denzel Washington. Now I knew from the time I saw the trailers for this film last year that it would be something I’d HAVE TO WATCH. But for some reason after its UK release it took me ages to find a free day to watch it (I feel terrible about it). But anyway I finally got around to seeing it on Tuesday just gone and I have to say I REALLY liked Flight and I’m gonna tell you why in this review! 😀

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So the story of Flight involves William “Whip” Whitaker, an airline pilot who flies a plane under extremely difficult and dangerous circumstances and saves the flight from crashing. However, after the incident an investigation is held to see what the cause of the crash was and while we find out that there was some malfunctions with the plane’s equipment, there are people wondering where Whip was drunk on the day of the flight. And then what follows is a dramatic and extensive investigation which tests Whip to the highest degrees imaginable. This film has a lot emotion and tension (especially in the scenes on the plane!) and everything plays out in a very captivating and interesting manner. As the investigation unfolds it is interesting to see how Whip deals with each situation and see who comes to his aid or how the media continue to speculate about his well-being during the flight. The story in this film is very good, but also very painful (in a good way) and I was surprised the way the film ended up, it could have easily taken the simple cliché way out but it really did come to a close in a very nice way.

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If I were to say one thing that sort troubled me about the story, it would have to be the inclusion of Nicole Maggen. Now if you’ve seen the trailers she doesn’t really show up at all, but she’s pretty critical to the film and while I did end up enjoying her character and seeing what she contributed to the film, at the same time I kind of wish this film was more just about Whip on his own. This is just a minor nitpick though.

When it comes to the cast of Flight everyone here is in top form. Firstly Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker was amazing and really nailed the role as this alcoholic who really had issues that he just didn’t want to come to terms with. Whip’s battle with alcohol is truly what moves this film and you’re supporting him every step of the way even when he’s not always in the right, you want to see him succeed and Washington careers the role so well and gives one his best performances to date! Then there’s Kelly Reilly as Nicole Maggen, I thought she was very good as this woman who had a former life, but has now resorted to drugs. Reilly’s performance was very good and convincing and I liked how her and Whip found each other and formed a bond. Now I heard from a few reviewers that her character wasn’t overly necessary to the plot and should have been eliminated altogether and while I can see where some of these critics are coming from I have to argue that her character was relevant to the story.

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Also Don Cheadle as Hugh Lang was pretty good as the lawyer hired to sort out Whip’s guess and try to prevent him from going to jail. And Bruce Greenwood as Charlie Anderson was lovely as Whip’s old friend who works with the pilot union. I thought both Cheadle and Greenwood were very good here and brought a lot of flair and realism to their characters. And then there was John Goodman as Harling Mays. Man, John Goodman was kick ass in this film. He played this guy who was a friend of Whip’s and came to his aid in moments crisis, and the way that he acted and carried himself was just amazing and hilarious and Goodman was totally on-form with his character. And there were also other great performances from Melissa Leo, Tamara Tunie, Nadine Velazquez and Brian Geraghty.

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As for the presentation, visually it was great. The plane scenes were done very well and realistically and I love how much tension you and fear you felt for everyone on-board when all of that chaos was doing down. When it comes to the soundtrack, the use of music tracks in the film was very done and well-placed. Everything from The Rolling Stones to Joe Cocker was great, but some of my favourite songs used included, “With A Little Help From My Friends” by The Beatles, “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye and “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers to name a few. But my favourite use of a song in the film was “Under The Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, now I won’t mention what scene it’s used in but if you know the Chili Peppers and the history behind that classic song then the relevance and placement of the song in the film has so much more significance, and thought the scene was great. Also the soundtrack by Alan Silvestri was very nice, subtle and emotional; I am really starting to like his sound as a film composer.

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In conclusion Flight was a fantastic film which met and kind of exceeded my expectations. I have to say that I am ashamed that it’s taken me so long to see this film, but anyway, it was some awesome and dramatic stuff in the story and character departments, and my man Denzel Washington knocks it out of the park again! 🙂

Rating: 8.5/10 (I highly recommend!)

So that’s my review on Flight, now I want to hear from you. What did you think of the film? Did you love it or hate it? whatever your thoughts drop me a comment yo! Until the next review laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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