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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Ip Man 3

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another one paragraph review and after reviewing Ip Man and Ip Man 2, I’m finally getting around to seeing this film after having the previous film fresh in my mind and I was very curious to see how this film turned out after the 5 year gap and with the introduction Mike Tyson. So how did this film turn out? Read on and find out.

The plot can be summed up as the following: “When a band of brutal gangsters led by a crooked property developer make a play to take over a local school, Master Ip is forced to take a stand. In addition to that Ip Man has to deal with a new challenge from another Wing Chun fighter.” After I finished Ip Man 2, I wonder where Ip Man’s story would go afterwards and this film was another interesting chapter in his life, though not as compelling as what’s come before. While there are certainly challenges for Ip Man and some of the other main characters to overcome, it didn’t feel as intriguing or thought-provoking as what’s come before, to a degree a lot of what happens in the story feels a little too safe or familiar. That being said when the plot works it really can be fun and engaging, especially with one plot element that I don’t want to spoil, but when you see it you’ll know, it got me pretty choked up. The cast was pretty good, though some stood out more than others. Donnie Yen did a great job again as Yip Man, he handled his action scene with force, style and grace, but also had some dramatic moments that worked well too. Zhang Jin was really impressive as Cheung Tin-chi, here we have another Wing Chun student who is becomes Ip man’s rival and he had an interesting story arc and was incredible in his action sequences, such a beast! The stand out star might be Lynn Hung as Cheung Wing-Sing, as Ip Man’s wife she’s always been good, but not as notable in her role until now, the character’s given a significant story arc which pushed her to the forefront and Hung’s performance was so good, make me want to cry especially with her scenes with Yen. The return of Kent Cheng as Fat Po was good, Danny Chan was good as Bruce Lee, while I’m not overly familiar with Lee’s early life, from what I’ve read and heard in interviews and podcasts it felt natural. And finally, Mike Tyson as Frank, that was interesting. I thought Tyson did well to speak chinese and handle his action scenes with Yen which were pretty intense, however it was disappointing his character wasn’t in the film more and in a way you could have taken him out oft he film and it wouldn’t have made much of difference. The presentation for this film is really good. I will admit that the action sequences weren’t as impressive as the previous films, however, when the action is on point it is stellar. The fight choreography is chaotic, fast and fierce and it is captured really well in the cinematography. Kenji Kawai returned for the film score and did a great job at incorporating the key themes from the previous films, and it is effective especially in the dramatic scenes with Ip Man and his wife. In conclusion Ip Man 3 is another good entry in this film series, while it lacks the finesse and intensity of the previous films when it comes to the story and action, there’s still plenty to enjoy and when the action and drama works, it is truly wonderful.

So have you seen Ip Man 3 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 May 22, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Kung Fu Killer (Kung Fu Jungle)

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another one paragraph review. Today I get to talk about a film that’s been on my watch list for around a year and half; Kung Fu Jungle, but since it’s titled Kung Fu Killer for us in the UK I’m going to stick to that title in this review.

The plot can be summed up as the following: “A martial arts instructor from the police force gets imprisoned after killing a man by accident. But when a vicious killer starts targeting martial arts masters, the instructor offers to help the police in return for his freedom.” I’ve never seen a proper modern martial arts film from China so this was an interesting experience how the filmmakers were able to preserve the core elements of what make these films so enjoyable not only with the action, but also incorporating some story and character material that is notable with films of the genre. I liked how this film was essentially a story of revenge and a race against time to find the killer before he took out a number of unsuspecting victims. While I’ve not seen all police dramas in film and TV, once you’ve seen a good amount of them, certain plot elements can be recognised and predicted and that was the case with this film. That being said it was still enjoyable when it came to interesting drama and some mysteries were revealed in the third act. The cast was pretty good all round, firstly there’s Donnie Yen as Hahou Mo, he did really well with not only his physical material, but he was also convincing with his acting showing some depth in his dramatic scenes too. Wang Baoqiang was really crazy and good as Fung Yu-Sau, his backstory was really interesting and Yu-Sau was very captivating to watch, Charlie Young was very good as Luk Yuen-Sum and I also enjoyed Michelle Bai as Sinn Ying who had some funny moments and a great action scene too. Oh and finally it was great to see Louis Fan from the first two Ip Man films as well. As for the presentation it was really good. Visually the film looked really beautiful with some good lighting, wonderfully framed exterior shots and during the action sequences the editing, close-ups and tracking shots were fantastic. And speaking of the action, the fight scenes, good gravy they were lovely, whether it was hand-to-hand combat, using weapons of interacting with the sets, it was handled with great choreography, intense and varied in the techniques. The film score by Peter Kam was pretty solid and worked well in the emotional and action scenes. In conclusion Kung Fu Killer is a really cool and intriguing action thriller, and while it does have a good few conventional plot elements, it balances the police drama with the martial arts material very well with solid performances from everyone involved especially Donnie Yen and the action is wonderfully choreographed. I recommend it for sure.

So have you seen Kung Fu Killer 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 May 22, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Ip Man 2

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another one paragraph review. Now recently reviewed Ip man, one of my favourite martial arts films and today I’m going to talk about the first sequel, Ip Man 2 from 2010. I recall seeing the trailer for this film back in college and thought it looked insanely cool, but I just never got around to it, so after years of being busy and some procrastination I’m finally getting to share my thoughts. 🙂

The plot can be summed up as the following: “The film centers on Ip Man’s movements in Hong Kong, which is under British colonial rule. He attempts to propagate his discipline of Wing Chun, but faces rivalry from other practitioners, including the local master of Hung Ga martial arts.” The interesting things about Ip Man 2 is that in a good few ways it is similar to the first in terms of its themes, story structure and certain character progression, yet at the same time it finds ways to advance the story and provide all of the key characters with struggles physically and internally hat they must overcome. The way this film handled its story was very effective, I appreciated how difficult, dark and complicated that period of time was for everyone whether it was due to the economy or certain individuals in power who could manipulate those below them, key themes of honour and racism are brought to the forefront and it has some dramatic and emotional ramifications which were really good. As good as the story was I felt it didn’t have the dramatic weight or realism that the first film applied, however, when the story was on-point it was very entertaining. Acting-wise everyone was pretty good, though some performances were a little questionable. Firstly Donnie Yen as Ip Man was amazing, he has solid handle on this character and performs his fight scenes so gracefully, but also has some really beautiful dramatic moments too. New to this film is Sammo Hung as Hung Chun-nam, he’s a master of Hung Ga and has asthma, he was a really compelling and interesting character to watch, I was also a massive fan of Sammo in Martial Law back in the late 90’s so to see him flex his kung-fu muscles was really awesome for me. Ip and Hung have some great chemistry and their scenes together either exchanging words or blows were some of my favourite scenes in the film. Lynn Hung and Simon Yam return as Cheung Wing-sing and Chow Ching-chuen, and they both do well in their roles. Huang Xiaoming was also really fun and endearing as Wong Leung, and seeing the return and progression of Louis Fan as Kam Shan-Chau was really great. The only people that suffer are the english speaking cast as they seem to be overdoing it with either the overall performances or just the speaking parts, the best of the bunch is Darren Shahlavi as Taylor “The Twister” Miler, his villain role while a little generic, was fun to watch. As for the presentation it was great. The visual side of things is once again fabulous, with lovely cinematography and fight choreography that is so fluid, fast, intense and all sorts of insanity to watch and with the incorporation of more makeshift weapons and certain interior and exterior locations, it is a marvel to watch. As for the film score it is once again handled by Kenji Kawai and while it doesn’t have the same level of impact that the last film had, it still had some really moving moments. In conclusion Ip Man 2 is one fine sequel, while it lacks the dramatic force of the first film, it has story worth telling with a mixture of drama, humour and culture, plus the acting and martial arts is still incredible. Check it out if you’re a fan of the first film.

So have you seen Ip Man 2 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 May 10, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Ip Man

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a one paragraph review and today I get to talk about one of my all-time favourite martial arts films, Ip Man. I remember watching this I think in my final year of college back in 2010 and being blown away, so I thought I’d give it another go to see if it still resonates with me and sure enough it did and I’m going to tell you why it is so awesome in this review.

The plot can be summed up as the following: “During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense.Ip Man to me is perfection or as close to it as you can get. It tells a story of hardship, honour and determination, it is well-paced and fascinating given the time period and people who interact with Ip Man over the course of the film whether they be friend or foe. What I love about this martial arts film besides the action is the story, not many films in this genre have a very engaging story with several characters you engage with or has depth and emotional moments that hook you, but Ip Man does and that is partly due to the fact that this is a biographical film, however it also helps that the writing, acting and direction is really well done. The acting is all top-notch with everyone portraying their characters in a fun, graceful and engaging way, I really liked Lynn Hung as Cheung Wing-sing, Gordon Lam as Li Chiu, Fan Siu-wong as Kam Shan-chu and Hiroyuki Ikeuchi as General Miura. But the key man is Donnie Yen as Ip Man, he is simply incredible. Not only does Yen carry himself with an air of confidence, strength and charisma through his fight scenes, but also acts with such conviction especially through body language, facial expressions and an intensity that you can feel when things get serious. As for the presentation it was on fire! For me Ip Man has some of the best fight scenes in any martial arts film period, the fight choreography is masterful, it is like watching an elegant dance except with punches, kicks and an assortment of weapons, every movement is tight, sharp and has force. It also helps that the cinematography captures the action perfectly from a distance with little cuts in between so that you can see exactly what’s happening, oh and the sound effects have the perfect about of impact too. Also the film score by Kenji Kawai is beautiful, so incredible and matches the tone of the film perfectly. In conclusion Ip Man is one of the finest martial arts films ever made in my opinion, not only because it provides some of the best cinematography and fight choreography the genre has ever seen, but also because there is a story with heart, drama and realism that is very engaging and realistic. This film is a must-see for martial arts fans.

So have you seen Ip Man 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 May 5, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

Good day to you ladies and gents, it is review time once again and today I am bringing you my review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, my last most anticipated film of the year. With 2016 nearly over and most of the films of interest having come out already, I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by any more films. And that’s not to say that I wouldn’t be impressed with Rogue One, but I assumed it’d be good but not mind-blowing… Oh how wrong I was. I’m gonna tell you right now, Rogue One was frigging awesome and you should watch it immediately. But in case you need more convincing read on and check out my thoughts in this spoiler-free review! 😀

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The story can be summed up as the following:

“Jyn Erso, a Rebellion soldier and criminal, sets out on a life-changing journey with her Rebel allies to find her father and obtain the schematics the Galactic Empire’s superweapon, the Death Star.”

I thought that Rogue One‘s story was really good. As a fan of the film series, I knew how this film would end, but that did not make the journey any less exciting. This is a tale hope and bravery in times of darkness and uncertainty, and while the story has enough familiar elements that allows it to coexist with the main series films, it allows presents a lot that we haven’t seen in a Star Wars film. One of the things I admired early on was how different this film was from the other Star Wars films, especially when it came to the direction, atmosphere and tone. Those key elements felt fresh and unique, and at several points this film felt a lot grittier, dirtier, realistic, dark and dramatic, and there to be honest I got a little emotional during certain sequences. This film certainly adheres to the war genre in really impressive ways, and I won’t ruin anything, but I will say that if you’ve watched any war film, then you’ll notice how well this film handles sense of danger and dread, overwhelming odds, tone and casualties. And there’s also some lovely ties to other SW films and the way it tied into A New Hope was just delightful.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story(Felicity Jones)Ph: Film Frame©Lucasfilm LFL

The cast was all so very, very good. What I appreciated about this cast was the fact that they all felt relevant, had moments to shine and were engaging. Firstly there’s Felicity Jones who was just wonderful as Jyn Erso, this lady was strong, courageous, but also relatable and Jones really did well in the role. Diego Luna as Cassian Andor was someone I ended up liking more than I expected, Andor had a fair amount of depth and intelligence to him. Alan Tudyk as K-2SO was awesome, he was a droid who had so many notable/funny moments because of his blunt and unapologetic nature, and Tudyk was just perfect with the timing of his speech. Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook, was a really interesting character who had plenty of interesting, fun and important moments with Ahmed really working well. And then you have Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang as Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus, these two worked well both as individuals and together because of their personality traits and combat capabilities, but also because they were so likable and charming, both Yen and Jiang did really well, but Yen really stood out because of his charisma and martial arts abilities. Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso was really good and so was Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, and you also have Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic, a man who was strong-willed and cunning, and even though his type of villain has been done before I loved the way Mendelsohn handled the character. There were also some really nice and surprising cameos from certain SW characters and actors which you’ll have to see for yourselves.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story(Donnie Yen)Ph: Film Frame©Lucasfilm LFL

When it comes to the presentation it was fantastic! Visually this film is probably the best in the franchise so far, the art direction and use of colour, along with the cinematography and the blending of practical and digital visual effects was on another level. I especially loved the practical effects for the aliens which were really cool, and cinematography which was used to great effect with the sense of scale, tracking shots, and various angles. I adored the action sequences as they varied from firefights to hand-to-hand combat to aerial/space dogfights, all of these sequences are so intense and well-choreographed, and again so different from what we’ve seen in previous SW films. As for the film score from Michael Giacchino, the man worked magic again. Giacchino’s score for Rogue One was epic, whimsical, heartbreaking and full of wonder, and the music captured the spirit of John Williams’ sound while also creating something new as well.

In conclusion Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was just a good time at the cinema and exceeded my expectations in a lot of ways. I had some very, very minor issues with the use of CGI is some places and some pacing nitpicks in the earlier half of the story, but they pale in comparison to how much I enjoyed this film. This film has the right amount of nostalgia as a prequel to A New Hope, but presents so many new elements to this universe at the same time. Rogue One was beautiful, funny, emotional, action-packed, surprising and downright fun especially for fans. I highly recommend the film and can’t wait to see it again in IMAX.

So have you seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or are you going to watch it soon? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2016 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Celebration Reel

Howdy people of the internet, been a bit since I posted anything new so here I am again talking about a trailer, or more so a behind-the-scenes featurette on the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that’ll be showing up in December.Now I’ve been pretty hyped for this film since I saw the leaked footage from Comic-Con last year I think, and after the first trailer game out I got even more excited. But I think it’s the footage that dropped online from Star Wars Celebration that really got me the most giddy so far. 🙂

Check out the video here:

After I saw this yesterday I felt the hype ascend in my soul again haha! 😀 I mean how can you not see that footage and not be anything but excited for this film? That reel pretty much confirmed what we’ve been told this film would be from the beginning; a war film. Rogue One looks rough, dirty, more serious in tone and just from the shots on the beach, the collection of Stormtroopers and other individuals running through explosions, this looks a war film set in the Star Wars universe and I love it.

Just the approach in style, direction, cinematography and use of practical effects is fascinating and feels very different from The Force Awakens where things in this film feel a little more intense and action-packed. It really feels like Gareth Edwards and the rest of the cast and crew know what they’re doing and are creating something familiar yet totally different from what we’ve seen before in the main series of films. And while I usually don’t like to check out how certain films are made because I just like not knowing the details, at the same time it can be very insightful and can give you a greater level of respect for the film you’re watching and I dunno how Edwards and company are keeping such a crazy production in check but they seem to be doing it in such a great way from what I’ve been in this footage.

And speaking of footage look at all that goodness like:

  1. Donnie Yen looking all badass and dispatching dudes in only the badass way that he can, love it!
  2. Felicity Jones continues to look more and more interesting.
  3. The amount of different designs of the human and alien-based characters is varied and cool.
  4. Seeing Gareth Edwards behind the camera during some of the key action scenes looked great and its cool to see him actively involved with the camera work.
  5. Oh and that cool small creature towards the end of the video who laughed before going back to shooting stuff from that gun, I love him. I have no clue who or what he is but I think he’s now my favourite person since Wicket or Nien Nunb! 😄

Anyway, regardless of how Rogue One turns out I’m still glad that the effort was put into this film to make something different and I’m more hopeful than ever that I’ll have a good time in December.

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So those are my thoughts, right now I’m on the hype train for this film and the wait for December continues to get harder and harder. 😛 But how about you? Were you impressed with this behind-the-scenes footage or would you have prefered to see a proper trailer instead? Whatever your thoughts be sure to drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2016 in Films, Media

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer #1

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another trailer review and today I’m talking about one really exciting trailer because it is the first footage of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. For the longest time I’ve wanted to see some footage from this film since it was announced because of the director at the helm and wanted to see how this film would be different from the main series of the films tonally. And in the week when we got the announcement that there’d be a Doctor Strange trailer next week Tuesday, this new trailer just comes out of nowhere and blows up the internet for the fans. So now I just wanted to share my thoughts.on the new trailer, oh and by the way I’m referring to this film as just Rogue One from now on as I currently hate the title for this film.

So here’s the trailer below:

Well this was certainly unexpected, I mean wow, I really liked this trailer. It had the right balance of nostalgia, freshness, mystery, intrigue and action. I really want to see this film even more than before.

It has been said by director Gareth Edwards that this film would be a war film, which would be a first for the Star Wars films series as there hasn’t been a film that’s had a heavy focus on the war side of things, and this trailer certainly looks like it’ll be looking living up war style of film. The funny thing is there was no sign of the Jedi or Sith (more specifically Darth Vader) and yet I was still hooked, and that is impressive to me considering that the Jedi and Sith are my favourite elements of the Star Wars. Visually the film looked like Star Wars but with a gritty/dirty look, sleeker/cleaner visual effects and an intriguing/diverse cast.

Straight from the beginning the tone for this film is fairly serious with the music, and the brief moments of action and chaos, and that’s what I loved so much, the atmosphere in this film feels very different to The Force Awakens or any of the other previous Star Wars films. Things felt tense, dangerous and bleak and I loved it. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the more light-hearted/family friendly adventures, but considering that this film is being described as war film, it feels appropriate. I’m liking Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, she looks cool and interesting, I also like what I saw/heard from Forest Whitaker and Ben Mendelsohn looks as an Imperial admiral, but it’s the small glimpse of Donnie Yen that got me hyped. Just seeing him with some quick action with a staff got me giddy. 🙂

I also really loved the throwbacks to A New Hope with the use of the AT-AT walkers, construction of the Death Star, old Stormtroopers and many other visual easter eggs/references. What these elements established was that we’re clearly still in the same universe as the other films, but that things would be unfolding in a more mature and serious manner than before which excites me because I believe Star Wars as a franchise has reached a point where it needs to evolve/change and do new and interesting things with the mythology, and I believe Rogue One is a step in the right direction.

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To conclude the first trailer for Rogue One got me excited in all the right ways. It just enough to tease me about the tone of this film and give me some insight into who some of the key players will be. I believe that this film will surprise people and that Gareth Edwards will do the fans justice with this spin-off film.

So have you seen the first trailer for Rogue One and if so what do you think of it? Are you hyped, underwhelmed or confused by what you’ve seen?  Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop me a comment and I’ll see ya on the next review! 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2016 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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