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EPIC REVIEW: Power Rangers (2017)

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another new film review. Now I know I’ve been gone for a little while and I apologise for that, however, I had to rise from the depths of the earth to talk about Power Rangers, the grounded reboot of the Mighty Morhin’ era of the Power Rangers TV series from the 90’s. Power Rangers was a big deal for as a kid, I watched Mighty Morphin’, I had the toys and was obsessed way back when and while I’ve been interested in another go at a live-action film, this reboot gave me all sorts of concerns because of the trailers. But hey the film’s out and now I’m gonna pass judgement.

The story can be described as the following:

“Power Rangers tells the story of five high school students, all from different walks of life whose lives are changed forever when they stumble upon an old alien ship where they acquire superpowers. During this period an enemy known as Rita Repulsa surfaces and start causing chaos, so our heroes must band together and become the Power Rangers in order to the deal with the impending threat.”

So here’s the thing, I didn’t hate the film, but I wasn’t overly impressed with it either. This film essentially took a few of the core eleents of the original show and created its own new take on the story with the mythology of the Ranger abilities, the relationship between Zordon and Rita, the way in which the teenagers got their abilities and a few other things. And much of the film has this darker, grounded and more serious approach to the source material and while I appreciate the new mythology and some of the story points and themes, I don’t think it was totally successful. Sometimes the story fluctuated between being serious and humourous, and even though the film is based on a pretty crazy concept, there were some pretty illogical and strange scenes and plot points that took me out of the film.

When it comes to the cast I thought they were all solid actors and did well in their roles, however some had more screen time than others so not all of them felt developed. Dacre Montgomery was fine as Jason Scott/Red Ranger, he had a nice sense of screen presence as the leader of the team but I felt like he was a bit plain. The same can be said for Naomi Scott as Kimberly Hart/Pink Ranger, Scott was fine in the role and I liked some of Kimberly’s backstory, but as a character she was a bit plain. The next three characters have a little more meat to them. Firstly there’s Becky G as Trini Kwan/Yellow Ranger, I wasn’t too keen on her at first, she was a little too emo for my liking and while you get to know her and find out about her sexual orientation (which was surprising but not as much of big deal as some news outlets made it out to be), she didn’t feel as likable as some of the others. Ludi Lin was decent as Zack Taylor/Black Ranger, at first I found to be a little too zany, but once you found out about his backstory he really grew on me. But the real star is RJ Cyler as Billy Cranston/Blue Ranger. I knew I liked this dude for a reason in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and in this film he acted with such charisma, humour and charm. I loved all of his dialogue and interaction and how integral he was to the plot. What I liked about the cast was their interactions and the way they felt a little more realistic and fleshed out from the original show, and while not all of them had enough screen time together or in certain pairs, I did love the connection between Jason and Billy.

Also Bryan Cranston as Zordon was solid though I could have used more. As the mentor of the Power Rangers and with his backstory in the film it made him more substantial than I expected, though his character is a little mean and could have used just a few scenes with the team to explain a few things in order to make a little more likeable and allow the team to connect with him more. Bill Hader as the voice of Alpha 5, was a little weird but I got over it and ended up liking his performance a fair amount. And finally you have Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, and I’m gonna say it right now, I didn’t like her at all. While Rita in the original show was all sorts of weird and annoying on occasions, she was fun and crazy but in a good way. Banks’ Rita is just some generic, boring and zany character who has some interesting history with the Power Rangers and Zordon but it’s never fully delved into and if they had given this character more sinister and calculated focused around resentment and betrayal I would have loved it, but I thought she just didn’t fit in with the tone of the rest of the film.

As for the presentation, the film was fine but not amazing. Visually the film was shot well, and some of the action scenes were decent too. Though the CGI was decent, it didn’t feel as detailed as it should have been especially during the giant monster fight. The most disappointing part of this film was the lack of hand to hand combat in and out of the suits, it has been one of the key elements of not only the original series right until the current iteration of Power Rangers and sure there was some nice stuff here and there but it wasn’t included as much I would have liked. And the film score from Brian Tyler was fine, it had certain moments of interest and totally was tapping into Tron: Legacy territory on several occasions.

So in the end Power Rangers was alright, there were certainly elements I enjoyed, but there was also a lot of things I didn’t. This did some interesting things but also missed some opportunities to be more. How much you’ll enjoyed this will depend on if you’re a fan or not, and if you’re a fan whether you’ll be able to accept the new changes or not. Check it out if you’re interested.

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Posted by on March 30, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and today I’ll be reviewing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. Now I’ve liked this film series, but in recent times I really haven’t liked the hype its acquired over the last year or so which has deterred me from wanting to see this finale, but since I had mates that wanted to see it last night I decided to check it out.

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The storyline for this film is as follows:

“As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.”

I thought the story was good and pretty intense. Much like the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films, Mockingjay – Part 1 was the set up and Part 2 is the all-out action pay-off finale. This film takes all of the foundations of the last film and uses it to great effect here. Here the focus of the film is on Katniss and her mission to take out President Snow, and within this main plot there is all of drama. What surprised me about this film was how blunt and brutal it got, there was loss, deception and mind games, and unforeseen revelations that changed your views on certain characters. Oh and the film was very tension-heavy with you always wondering how much worse or dangerous things could get and man they got dark pretty quickly. I think it was the way death was unexpectedly dropped on people in certain scenes which really caught me off guard, and while some of it was shocking, it was meaningful and gave the film higher stakes. I will admit that this film had some pacing issues and some of the story choices toward the third act I didn’t agree with, but the main issue I had regarded the ending. Man, Mockingjay – Part 2 had the same issue that Lord of the Rings: Return of the King did; it didn’t know when to end! I could have counted at least 3 times when the film could have stopped, but nope, it just kept on going and I understand that certain plot elements needed to be concluded but damn, that was a little too much and some much time could have been shaved off for it.

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As for cast they were great, though some returning characters don’t get as much screen. Firstly Jennifer Lawrence does well for her final appearance as Katniss Everdeen, I dunno how but Lawrence happened to balance being beautiful and super talented with her acting skills in this film, and I believe that it is Lawrence that elevates this character while on-screen as Katniss, while still courageous, was also quite bland and unlikable at times, I know she went through hell, but this was the one time I didn’t really feel like rooting for her. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark was great too, his character has developed so much since the first film and he certainly had his moments to shine, he went from someone who really had no business being on the side of the allies to being a very interesting, dramatic and useful member in times of need. Liam Hemsworth was once again as Gale Hawthorne, his character had a fair amount to do and I liked his scenes with Katniss (even if she was still stringing him along like before). Donald Sutherland as President Snow was good too, still as mean and crafty as ever, Snow once again proved why he was such great villain for Katniss to take out. Julianne Moore had some really good moments as Alma Coin and I appreciated her character more this time around. And even though several of my favourite characters got a lot less screen time, I still appreciated the moments with Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, my man Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair, Mahershala Ali as Boggs, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinkett, Natalie Dormer as Cressida and the all but too brief appearance of Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman.

 

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As for the presentation it is pretty good. Visually the film was very impressive with good action sequences that had several standout moments, some good cinematography, good CGI and lighting too. I also liked James Newton Howard’s soundtrack for the film as it was suitably dramatic, subtle and intense when it needed to be.

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In conclusion The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is a good conclusion to this series, it has a great deal of action, drama, conflict and resolution, and good performances from the cast involved. I wouldn’t this film was a completely satisfying ending considering some of the plot points, character choices and dragged out ending, however for what it was, it was solid.

Rating: 7.5/8/10

So what did you think of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2? Was it a satisfying conclusion or was it not what you wanted? And how do you feel it compares to the previous films? Whatever your thoughts, drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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SUPER LATE REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and this one, this one is important because I’m finally going to talk about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Now I’ve never been the biggest fan of this film series, but it has grown on me over time especially after Catching Fire, I was meant to see this film within a week of its release, but then work and waiting for my sister to watch it with me delayed my screening for AGES. I mean I saw the third Hobbit film before this and that is just mental to me haha. I knew I had to see this film at some point, so I went to see it after work yesterday and now I’m ready to pass judgement, finally.

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The storyline for this film is as follows:

“The story continues to follow Katniss Everdeen; having twice survived the Hunger Games, Katniss finds herself in District 13. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the Capitol and fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.”

I thought the story was pretty great, it was a very different kind of film when compared to the previous two. There is no Hunger Games, so now we have what could only be described as Capitol vs. the districts of Panem. Here we have President Snow, a man determined to keep the districts in order and take out anyone looking to start a rebellion and on the other side there is Katniss, the symbol of hope to the districts and the one who is willing to do anything to get justice. This is a film about power, who has it and how is it handled. There is drama, deep emotions, and crazy mind games being played. If I had to fault the story I would say that it felt a bit slow at times, but otherwise it’s fine.

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As for cast they were all very good. Firstly Jennifer Lawrence is still killing it as Katniss Everdeen, I think this is the role where we can see the most from Lawrence in terms of acting. In this film Katniss is a scarred and fragile individual, she is haunted by her past, longs for Peeta’s return and has to find the strength to be the face of the uprising against the Capitol . The woman has to deal with so much and Lawrence’s performance is stellar and nothing short of amazing. Liam Hemsworth was cool as Gale Hawthorne, this character has always been sidelined and has never had that much to do in these films, but Gale’s presence has risen since the first film and he’s right in the center of the action this time around and I was happy with that. Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee was great, it was odd seeing Hoffman acting knowing that he’s passed on, but I think it made me love him more. Heavensbee is smart and knows how to make things work in his favour, he is also very funny and confident. Also Julianne Moore as Alma Coin was good too, she is a woman ready to start the rebellion and unite the districts, however she wants to handle it properly and has the right tools at her disposal.

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Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark was good, this time he was after seemingly being dead, the man arose and starts to talk in defence of the Capitol and is asking Katniss and the people of the districts to start down. Hutcherson plays a different kind of character this time round, but it definitely makes him a much more interesting person. Donald Sutherland as President Snow, what a beast. Snow’s always been a douche, a clear villain who never liked Katniss and the courage that came with personality and since the last film he has gone to great lengths to break the spirit of not only Katniss but also the people of Panem. The man is ruthless, calculated and a lot sorts of mean and Sutherland is just perfect in this role, I loved his performance. Elizabeth Banks was lovely as Effie Trinkett, she has such a wonderful energy and persona that makes her fun to watch whenever she’s on-screen. Natalie Dormer was good as Cressida, I was surprised about Dormer’s role in this film as it wasn’t what I expected, however I thought she was fine. Woody Harrelson still does a good job as Haymitch Abernathy even though he was in the film a lot less than before. Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair is good too, while Stanley Tucci did a good job as Caesar Flickerman, I just wish there was more of him.

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When it comes to the presentation it is pretty good. Visually the film looked good with nice cinematography, a dark colour scheme and detailed CGI, and the action, even though it was in a smaller amount, was cool when it showed up. Also James Newton Howard’s soundtrack is very nice and really comes into play when the emotional moments come into play.

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In conclusion The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is a good film, in fact I would say it is a great film. There isn’t that much action and the pacing felt a bit slow at times, however this film makes up for that with its intriguing plot elements and great performances from the cast involved. I can now say that I’m excited to see how this film ends next year.

Rating: 7/10

So what did you think of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1? And how do you feel it compares to the last two films? Whatever your thoughts, drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Lego Movie Review: “Everything is awesome!”

Howdy ladies and gents, it is time for a new film review and today is the first of three starting with The Lego Movie. At first I thought the concept of this film was absurd, then I got into the trailers and after hearing about the great reception it got in the US I knew I had to watch it. So yesterday I checked it out and I’m now ready to share my thoughts.

The story in this film involves a prophecy, where a person called the “Special” will find the Piece of Resistance capable of stopping the superweapon known as the “Kragle”. Later on in life an ordinary guy by the name of Emmet, mistakenly thought to be the “Special” and a MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant known as Lord Business from destroying the Lego universe with the “Kragle”.

I thought the story was great because of its playful, funny and energetic. The whole deal with Emmet and his journey has been done in films before, but this film has enough different elements to make it unique. What I love is how the film speaks to people of all ages offering moments of action and adventure, humour, pop culture references and nostalgia. Another great point is how wacky and fast-paced in nature the story and tone is, a lot of it is strange but it works with in the context of the world and characters. As with any animated film there’s a heartfelt message behind the film and the story will speak to anyone who has played with Lego at any point in their lives. The only nitpick would be that the story slows down a bit at one point towards the end which kind of messes with the flow.

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The voice cast are brilliant, all embody their characters so well, are bursting with personality and most importantly they are all extremely funny.

Chris Pratt as is amazing Emmet Brickowski, as the main character he is so charismatic, silly, hilarious and relatable too. Emmet, while average, has good intentions, is very strange and always full of hilarious moments and I think part of why I loved him so much is because I could always imagine him as Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation. Will Ferrell as Lord Business was cool and brought he’s comedic chops to his role. He was one of those kind of villain who was ruthless but also funny and likeable at the same time. I also liked Elizabeth Banks as Wyldstyle, she was great because she had badass persona and did so many amazing things both as a builder and masterful fight (was getting Matrix flashbacks). I think one of the stand-out performances comes from Will Arnett as Batman. Arnett kills it as Batman, he has the voice and personality was cool and funny. Batman had some of the best lines, great comedic timing and the film loves him while also taking the piss at the same time.

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Nick Offerman is good as Metal Beard, his voice was unrecognisable for me and the character was so strange, but he was very good too. Alison Brie was wonderful as Uni-Kitty, her character was adorable, always happy and just had a strange view of the world which made her amusing to watch. On and Charlie Day was incredible as Benny, a “1980-something space guy.” Day was awesome as the spaceship-obsessed astronaut offering so many random and humorous moments in the film. Liam Neeson was another stand-out as Bad Cop/Good Cop, his character mood switches made for some hilarious moments with verbal and physical humour. And Morgan Freeman as Vitruvius the wizard was awesome, Freeman is great in every film and in this one he was very funny, eccentric and silly. There are also some amazing cameos featuring the some other cool Lego characters with some delightful celebrity voices, but I won’t ruin it, watch it for yourselves haha.

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The presentation or the film is incredible too both on the visual and audio side of things. Visually the film is amazing, the unique Lego world is colourful, vibrant and the attention to detail with the computer animation recreating the style of stop motion animation is insanely impressive and leads to a lot of humorous moments throughout the film. Also just seeing the different Lego characters, models, toy sets and references was such an awesome nostalgic rush. And then there’s the soundtrack by Mark Mothersbaugh, it is pretty good but has a bit of an electronic/dubstep feel at times and for the most part it works but is also kind of awkward. By the way the song “Everything Is Awesome!!!” will be in your head long after the film is over, it is really addictive and hard not to like and sing a long to.

In conclusion The Lego Movie, simply put is awesome. While it didn’t meet the epic hype I’d heard about in America, it was extremely inventive and hilarious. The voice cast really make these characters come to life and the humour is definitely the film’s strongest aspects! I would recommend this film to anyone looking for a good time at the cinema. 🙂

Rating: 8.5/10 (A bright and colourful adventure with great characters and humour)

So what did you think of The Lego Movie? Did it tickle your funny bone and fill you with happiness and nostalgia or were disappointed? Whatever your thoughts, drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. 😀

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

Okay, time to talk The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, a film I’ve been both excited for and not overly interested in at the same time! Now the first film was decent, wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t amazing either. It did rather well, and after X-Men: First Class it made Jennifer Lawrence come across as not only a bankable star, but an actress who had talent. For all its success the film had its criticisms. some thought the film was too long, others said the violence wasn’t enough, some just called it a Battle Royale rip-off and other fans of the book just slated the film for the changes made to the books. Anyways that was last year, Catching Fire is now. Does this sequel entertain or not?  Read on and find out!

The storyline for this film is as follows:

“Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.”

I thought the story in that film was pretty good and had a lot of depth to it. There was a lot more fleshing out of the world that these characters reside in, we saw more of the other districts and see how the events of the last Hunger Games affected everyone. Nothing gets easier and complications begin for not only the main characters but for everyone. There’s a difference in the air and themes of love, sacrifice, revolution and war are explored in a great way. What I really liked was how Katniss’ actions in the last film carried over into this one, where she has become a symbol of hope and the people from the other districts and cause them to slowly revolt which in turn creates problems for President Snow who sees her progress and wants her to be eliminated. Overall the story was just much more involving, dramatic, believable and cohesive than the first film.

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When it comes to the cast they’re all very good at bringing life to these characters and their definitely the film’s highlight. Firstly Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss Everdeen and Lawrence is just so good as the character now. This time Katniss has to deal with the events of the last film which have taken their toll on her mentally and emotionally and you get to see that through Lawrence’s fabulous acting skills which are easily the highlight of the film. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark is a lot better in this film than before, the material the actor is given makes his character a little more interesting and less of a weakling. Donald Sutherland is once again is wonderful as President Coriolanus Snow, I like how his outward persona is so calm and authoritative, however behind the scenes he is quite sinister and really wants to control everyone with an iron fist. Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne is back and is given more to do which has made his character more likeable and fleshed out, Hemsworth’s moments are more interesting this time around.

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Woody Harrelson is totally awesome as Haymitch Abernathy, he was one of my favourite characters in the last film and here he returns with that mixture of seriousness mixed in with dry humour. Elizabeth Banks is still as kooky, high-spirited and fancy as ever as Effie Trinket, she gets a little more screen time and actually feels a lot more developed as we see more sides of her personality. Lenny Kravitz is still as cool as ever as Cinna, the man who stood by Katniss’s side, makes amazing clothing and looks at things from a realistic perspective. Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee is the new dude who overseas the games and is in alliance with President Snow to take out Katniss. He has new tactics and plans that make him a person to look out for and Hoffman as ever is great to watch on-screen. I also liked performances from Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair and Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, and Jeffrey Wright as Beetee Latier is great, he plays this interesting returning winner and I liked his smart and funny personality and it makes a MASSIVE change from the douchebag character he’s playing in Boardwalk Empire. And lastly Stanley Tucci is still amazing as Caesar Flickerman, the charismatic TV presenter that covers all the major happenings related to the Hunger Games.

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As for the presentation it is notably better. First and foremost the most immediate difference is the lack of shaky cam in the action scenes. I watched the previous film the night before and the lack of shaky cam was incredibly noticeable and to be honest the film is a hell of a lot better for it. Action in general is just shot and staged a lot better with more convincing GCI too, it was delightful. Just wish there was a bit more violence (I am a junky for violence lol). Also the soundtrack by James Newton Howard is also a lot better too, it had a better emotional connection and better presence and the good themes that were used in the last one have returned too.

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In conclusion The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was a lot of fun and a lot better than the previous film. There is a better direction in place than before and the story, characters and action was much deeper, dramatic and better executed than before. Unlike the first film which was just decent for me,  I just felt more invested in this one and I really liked it. While it wasn’t by any means one of my favourite films of the year and I had hoped for a bit more action, otherwise this is a film I would recommend highly.

Rating: 7.5/10 (A much better and dramatic sequel)

So what did you think of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire? Did you find it better than the first or did you like the last one better? Whatever your thoughts, drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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