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What I’m Currently Watching #33: Game of Thrones

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. This is week 33, and today I’ll be giving you my late thoughts on the latest episode of Game of Thrones which will include spoilers! With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀

Game of Thrones (Season 7) “The Spoils of War”

Wow, just wow. That episode of GoT was frigging insane and yes I am primarily talking about the ending. This and the last episode has some of the best material of all of the series! But before I get to that let me talk about the other highlights. First and foremost the Stark kids are together in Winterfell! Hooray!!!!! I have never been so happy. It was a bittersweet reunion for Bran and Sansa, but seeing Arya come back to her home and finally see her sister again, that was wonderful. Both of them have been through a lot and don’t really know each other because of how their life experiences have changed them into hardened badasses in different ways. Their interaction felt a little cold, and yet so warm because of their connection as not only sisters but as a family too. And then seeing her finally see Bran was great, all of the Stark kids together, that was perfect. It is great to see them all together after all of the hardship they had faced individually, and it was nice to have Bran use his abilities of vision to highlight Arya’s plan to kill people, it not only allowed her to see how different and knowledgeable Bran had become but also allow Sansa to take Arya’s words more seriously after their first interaction. After that one of my favourite moments in all of GoT happened, the Arya and Brienne sparring session. I also enjoy Brienne and Podrick’s training sessions, but to see her actually put in the effort and duke it out with someone of a certain skill level is much better, so to see two of my favourite badasses going head to head was fantastic. Both had different skills and techniques, but were accomplished fighters and to see how Arya came in with such confidence and swagger and surprise not only Brienne, but also Pod, and Sansa and Littlefinger watching from above was sweet. Then we got to see these two proper go at it and to see Arya’s quick and elegant movements against Brienne’s power and force was awesome. I think I got a little turned on by the end of that exchange hahaha! XD But seriously it was kick ass, and clearly Sansa was shocked and possibly displeased with the way her sister had turned out, but clearly Littlefinger enjoyed every minute and I think that crafty man has some plans in that head of his. Jon and Daenerys’ moments at Dragonstone was interested with the discovery of the Dragonglass and the Children of the Forest carvings of the fight against the White Walkers, I thought Daenerys was gonna be cool and join Jon’s fight, but she’s still trying to get my man to bend the knee? Crazy bitch, she needs to cut that out. I also really hope that those two don’t hook up, they were getting too close to each other in that cave and Davos’ words to Jon didn’t help. If they do end up together then, cool, whatever, incest is a thing in this show, but I would like for them to know about their heritage before they form a romantic or sexual relationship.

Okay so let’s talk about that final act/last quarter of the episode with Daenerys’ attack on the Lannister and Tarly armies. I knew that Daenerys wouldn’t listen to reason and go into the battlefield eventually but holy crap, I didn’t expect her to literally just unleash the Dothraki and one of her dragons on the Lannister and Tarly armies. That was pure insanity! The way that whole thing was set up was wonderful, Bronn heard them coming from a distance and the build up with Jaime and Bronn having to get the soldiers set up as you could hear the Dothraki in the background. The tension and build up were fabulous, and the way the Dothraki just emerged over the hill like a legion of badasses was really cool, but then it was Daenerys and Droan flying in which turned the scene into a moment of TV to remember. From there what followed was just beautiful chaos. All of the stabbing, cutting, slicing, blood and death, there was death on both sides, but it was clearly a massacre for Jaime as Drogan just destroyed everything and everyone. The way the action sequences were crafted was incredible, the wide shots of pure fiery destruction were perfect. I was also glad that Bronn not only survived his encounter with that Dothraki after his horseback duel failed, but he also got to use the huge crossbow and damaged Drogan. Damn, that was a good win for him, but then the crossbow got destroyed, gutted. But Jaime, holy crap I thought it was the end for him when he attempted to take down Daenerys, the dude almost got eaten or burnt alive! Luckily he was saved, by who? I think it may have been Bronn, but I guess we’ll see next week!

Well, that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen or plan to watch any of these shows? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2017 in Reviews, TV Reviews, Uncategorized

 

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London Film & Comic Con 2017 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen how’s it going? Well, today I’m doing another review, not of a film review (even though I really should have seen Dunkirk by now haha) but an event review as over the weekend I had the opportunity to revisit London Film & Comic Con for the first time in two years and I just had to talk about it on this blog. And while I was only at the convention for one day I have a fair amount to cover to so let’s get going!

Now for those unaware, this convention is to do with films, TV, comics and video games. But the big focus is primarily on the special guests who attend, most people who go are normally coming to meet the celebrities who are there for talks, photo sessions and autographs signings. Otherwise, you can buy a range of merchandise including, clothes, toys, anime and manga, DVDs, comics, artwork, posters and so on. In addition to that, you can play video games new and old, see writers and artists of comic books or take pictures of cosplayers. So now I shall talk about my experience.

Video Games

Firstly let me cover the games that I played which wasn’t much but it’s still worth mentioning. Can I just say that I was gutted to see how little representation the games side of things got at this convention, not to say that this convention has had a strong gaming presence, however, since 2014 it is like the people who have run the convention have made this element of the convention smaller with each passing year. And that sucks. I did appreciate the variety of games they had on display whether it was the Minecraft stuff, the retro side with stuff like Mario 3, Sonic 2, Mario Kart 64, Super Bomberman 2 and a few others, and they even had a section dedicated to virtual reality games which were cool too. I only played two games though, firstly there was Smash Bros for Wii U and you know I had to play it, so I got into a match with three exceptional players who all gave me a run for my money as we played on random stages with all the stage hazards which made for some proper tense and fun matches. I don’t get to play Smash in a competitive manner much since university so it was cool to do some local multiplayer and get that rush of excitement/adrenaline in my system again even if I won only one out of the four matches I played. So then there was the tournament which I signed up for just for jokes, and though there were only around 10 players, I somehow fought my way to the final and won. It was so surreal and wonderful to win a competition with a game I’m actually good at. 😛 Other than that I played Super Mario World and realised how out of touch I am with the game mechanics and the feel of a Super Nintendo controller haha, I still really love that game but good gravy I suck at it these days. Oh and I have to give mention to the Bomberman tournament, that was so intense stuff man! I have never seen such speed and strategy applied to Bomberman before and it was awesome to watch.

The Cosplayers

Now I LOVE cosplayers mainly because they are dedicated fans who dress up and show their fandom in an upfront manner and if they are the hardcore types then they normally create their costumes themselves and they look so accurate to the source material that it boggles the mind. Since about 2015 I’ve stopped taking pictures of cosplayers because I’m too lazy, that being said, this time around I made a conscious effort to take pictures as some of the costumes were so elaborate, creative and accurate to the source material that it was mental. From all of the Rey and Kylo Ren people to the Rick and Morty’s, I also saw numerous women dressed as Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn. There were plenty of Spider-Men and Deadpools and so much more. The one person that I wish I’d taken a picture of was a guy dressed as Spidey from Spider-Man: Homecoming and his stark Spidey suit were so accurate to the film that it almost hurt my eyes! 😛 Anyway check out my pictures below:

The People I Met

So yeah the main reason I came to this convention was to meet some famous people, like a lot of other people haha. But seriously some of these people are individuals I’ve hoped to see in the flesh for years. So firstly there were two people from the Power Rangers: Time Force series and they were Kevin Kleinberg and Michael Copon who played Trip and Lucas. They are two of my favourite rangers of any PR series and I got to meet them, get their autographs and talk to them too, and they were so nice and kind especially Kleinberg. But then right next door to them was Selwyn Ward who played T.J. in Power Rangers: Turbo and In Space, he’s one of my all-time favourites and getting to talk to him was the best!

Here’s me with Kevin Kleinberg and Selwyn Ward, such amazing dudes!

Next up I met Phil LaMarr and got his autograph and also got to gush about how much I loved his worth and also got to thank him for coming back for Samurai Jack season 5, and he was SO cool and nice and he even shouted “AKUUU!” for me as well which was the best. So much happiness. And later on after standing in many lines I got photos with not only Tricia Helfer but also the Benedict Cumberbatch!

I know I looked silly but I couldn’t help it, I was so happy. 😛

With Tricia Helfer, most people know of her from Battlestar Galactica, but I’ve come to love her from Lucifer and she was SO nice and kind, and I told her that I loved her work on Lucifer, ad she said they have a lot of fun on the show. Ahhhhh! I was so giddy. And then there’s Cumberbatch, my man, I’ve been such a big fan since 2012 when I watched Sherlock, then the second Hobbit film and obviously most recently Doctor Strange, he’s just amazing and getting to meet him in the flesh was a moment in time I’ll treasure forever. “Hey there buddy.” That’s what he said to me and I’ll never forget it. 😛 😀

My Overall Experience

My experience was solid, the lines to get into the building didn’t take nearly as long as they did in 2015, I was in line around 8.30am and was inside the main hall from around 9.15am and I was able to get a feel for the are, learn where certain people and stalls were set up. I also ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen for two years since the last convention we attended so that was great. I also had some cool conversation with some artists who were selling their comics and later on, I ran into two other friends later on who I had seen for ages, was such a nice surprise! For a lot of the day, I was just watching around trying to waste time until my photo sessions later on, whether I was playing games, talking to artists or taking pictures of cosplayers. I would say that the organisation of LFCC was far more efficient that the previous years that I went, lines and places for entry, autographs and photo sessions were much better than before. And the general placement of stuff was solid. That being said, like before I wish there was a better presence of video games with the variety of the games, consoles and bigger and better location for them. It also felt like the illustrators and authors got the short end of the stick as their location felt so separated from the action in the main halls both upstairs and downstairs, I wish there had been more people and a better location for them to stand out. And even though the lines were better than previous years, there was still some confusion and lack of organisation or help when it came to queues and knowing which batches you fell into.

 

In conclusion, London Film & Comic Con was pretty good. After two years it was good to be back in this convention, it has a different feel and vibe to it and thankfully there was so much more room to breathe and chill when compared to this year’s MCM London Expo. While there were certain things I would have changed, it was a solid convention for the one day that I attended, this is certainly a convention that needs a full weekend in order to experience everything on offer and I probably will be back next year hopefully. 🙂

So if you attended London Film & Comic Con this year what did you think? Did you go for one day or the full weekend? And if you didn’t go would you consider going next year? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! 😀

 
 

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What I’m Currently Watching #32

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. This is week 32, and it has been a hella long time since I did one of these reviews, I apologise but hopefully, I’ll be getting back to more of these over the summer. Anyway today I’ll be giving you my late thoughts on Bojack HorsemanCastlevania and iZombie., oh and my more recent thoughts on Game of Thrones which will include spoilers! With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀

Bojack Horseman (Season 1)

Some of you may be surprised to know that I haven’t seen this show sooner, however, this show was one of those that you look at from a distance and you say “I don’t like the look of this.” For whatever reason, the look of the show didn’t appeal to me and the fact that there was such a level of hype surrounding it made it hard to approach. And so even though I have plenty of TV to start or catch up on, Bojack Horseman I wanted to watch because of the short episode length and easy accessibility because of Netflix. So I finished season 1 days ago and I have to say that I am surprised by how much I liked this show, and while it is no Regular Show or South Park in terms of the way it grabbed my interest, there’s something strangely addictive about the show’s premise and characters especially in the latter half of the season. The show starts out okay with the world, characters and stories that take place in this weird version of reality where humans and anthropomorphic animals coincide together, it is all very strange, loose, kind of funny but not consistently engaging. That being said the absurdity of the story involving the main characters kept me coming back. But once the show made its dramatic turn towards the latter side of the series it hooked me and became a far more engaging show. I love everyone in the cast especially Will Arnett who is just great as Bojack, and I also love Alison Brie and Aaron Paul too.

Castlevania (Season 1)

So around two weeks ago, I watched the new Castlevania show on Netflix and you know what? It’s alright. While I understand some people’s grievances with the show I still enjoyed it for the most part and wanted to see more. The show basically tells the story of the omnipotent Dracula, the questionable Catholic church, the passive Seekers and determined monster slayer Trevor Belmont. It has to be said upfront that fans of the games will get the most of this show, while the show does have a good few unique elements that allow it to be seen by people who have never played the games, there are certain elements borrowed from the games like Castlevania 3 that will enhance your experience if you know the mythology and references. At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to like the show because of the initial focus on Dracula and some of the dialogue, story and character material wasn’t that engaging. However, after a certain incident goes down, things pick up quickly and what follows is a story of mystery, corruption, intrigue and danger. Now I’ve heard complaints put towards the show specifically when it comes to the writing, animation and short length, and those points are all valid. Firstly some of the dialogue just felt awkward or unrealistic, the story’s focus and flow felt off at times and it also felt like certain key details in the story were either touched upon at surface level or were skipped entirely and it could have gone a long way to making the show better. The presentation was a mixed bag. The music for the show was awesome, but the visual side of things was dodgy. Some of the art was very nice, though I would have preferred a different art style as the anime influenced style isn’t handled as well as the Japanese studios. At times the show can look pretty, but other times not so much. The animation can look so choppy and lazy especially during certain talking scenes or in fight scenes which lack charisma, style and fluid motion. And finally the length of the show is very short with each episode ranging from 22-27 minutes and since the show does a lot of setting up and foreshadowing it feels incomplete, like the first chapter in a larger book. In the end, I would say if you’re curious to give the show a watch, it can be fun at times but it may not be what you’re looking for if you want to get into this franchise, play the games instead.

iZombie (Season 1)

Okay here we are again haha, for those unaware I started reviewing iZombie back in 2015, I really liked it, but I, unfortunately, fell off at the start of season 2 and have been meaning to rewatch it for while especially after I noticed online how much of a following the show’s gotten since 3 started. So the show follows a girl who gets into a zombie and needs to eat brains in order to keep her intelligence/human side intact, however, a side effect is that she can see the memories of the people she eats and so with that information she helps the Seattle police department solve murder cases. The show’s a police procedural drama mixed in with horror, humour and That’s So Raven and a bit of Castle. It is an odd mix when you say it out loud but it works. The show takes a unique approach to zombies not only in the way in which they are created but also how they act and affect the plot and human characters too. Like a lot of police shows, each episode has a case of the week, however, there is an overarching storyline that is always relevant. Tonally the show can be lighthearted, witty and funny with good writing and good pop culture references, but the show can also be dark, dramatic and emotional when tackling issues with relationships between friends and family, love, secrets and lies and the morals and ethics surrounding life and death. The core elements that I enjoy so much is the humour, action and characters, and the main cast is great with my favourites being Malcolm Goodwin’s no nonsense/cool Clive Babineaux, the ever funny and quirky Rahul Kohli as Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, David Anders’ mysterious, cool and dangerous as Blaine and of course Rose McIver as Olivia “Liv” Moore who is so beautiful, fun, likeable and because of the different brains it allows McIver to act in a variety of ways.

 iZombie (Season 2) Episodes 1-4

So far I’m really enjoying the second season of this show, I’m only 4 episodes in but I’m really liking it so far. The show feels consistent with whats come before and picks up where last season left off when it comes to the fallout and changes to the status quo for the key characters in this show. And though there’s been a bit of a time jump it still feels like the events of season 1’s finale are felt and dealt with in this season. Plus the show shakes some things up by placing the recurring cast in new situations which challenges and affects them greatly, but there are also new characters who have roles of varying significance but they certainly leave an impact.

Game of Thrones (Season 7) “Stormborn”

After a pretty cool set episode last week, “Strormborn” kept the good stuff coming with cool character moments, intriguing conversations and some solid action towards the end. Firstly I liked seeing Daenerys and her allies together discussing what to do with Cersei and King’s Landing, I like how they all had their own ways attacking the place, but it was ultimately Tyrion’s strategic plan of placing the armies in different locations that got them on board. I’m curious after Daenerys’ conversation with Olenna Tyrell whether she will betray Tyrion or dismiss his advice in the future. I was also fearful for Varys, Daenerys wasn’t keen on the idea of him serving him considering that he’s switched alliances so many times in the past, but he did give a good argument as to why he should be kept around, and considering how smart, knowledgeable and loyal he has been, I think he’d be a solid ally to have at this point in the game. I’m just going to briefly touch on the Jorah and Sam stuff, firstly poor Jorah, I don’t like the idea of him turning into a monster, but alas that’s the hand fate has dealt him for the time being. And secondly while I’m glad Sam’s here to attempt to get rid of the greyscale, just seeing the removal of it was horrible, so filth and unsettling to watch. 😦 I’m also curious to see how things will turn out for Jon Snow with him accepting the invitation to meet Daenerys at Dragonstone, I really hope it’s not a trap because I don’t want all the allied houses at Winterfell to be right. While I understand Sansa and everyone else’s point of view, risks need to be taken at this point regardless of the end result.

It was also great to see Arya again after her moment of sheer badassery last week, here we got to see her reunite with Hot Pie for the first time in a while and it was a nice catch up, seeing her face when he told her about Jon’s current status as King of the North made me happy but sad at the same time. I guess she’s changed her mission to take out Cersei for the time being, I just hope she doesn’t get killed. Oh and that moment with her direwolf, heartbreaking yo. And for those who said last week’s episode was boring with no action well here’s the good stuff that you love. Euron comes out of nowhere with the Iron Fleet and attacks Yara, Theon, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes, that was crazy. The battle was intense there was a lot of blood and stabbing and carnage and it looked beautiful with the lighting and colours standing out well. As for Theon deciding to jump ship (literally), it left me wondering one of a few options: 1) He’s a coward. 2) The dude’s seen the horror’s of battle and it’s mentally too much for him to take. Or 3) He’s bailing because he’ll come back to save his sister later. I’m sure most will assume the reason is number 1 but I’d like to think it’s more along the lines of number 2.

Well, that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen or plan to watch any of these shows? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2017 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 35 – War for the Planet of the Apes Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, last year 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 of the podcast features my review of War for the Planet of the Apes. 🙂

Anyway here’s the episode 35:

Now I already did a written review for this film last week but doing an audio based review allowed me to expand upon my thoughts but also just gush about the film in a way that words can’t fully communicate. 😛 Anyway I hope you all enjoy the episode. 🙂

As I mentioned before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic or review 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 you can. Also you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 34 – Spider-Man: Homecoming Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, last year 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. As for the latest episode of the podcast, it features my review of Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Anyway here’s the episode 34:

Now I already did a written review for this film already but as with a lot of my written reviews there has to be an audio version just so you can understand how I feel about a film on a more personal level, whether it frustrated me or made me happy, podcasting allows me to get my proper thoughts out into the world. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the episode. 🙂

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 you can. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: War for the Planet of the Apes

Howdy ladies and gents its review time once again and today I get to talk about another film which was one of my most anticipated films of the year, War for the Planet of the Apes. Now of all the films I was looking forward to this year including Logan, Guardians 2, Spider-Man and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok and Star Wars Episode VIIIWar for the Planet of the Apes was easily in the top 3. Back in 2011 Rise really blew me away with its interesting story, characters, and action, and then Dawn came out 2014 and completely floored me with the character-driven story, drama, and visual effects. And since the first trailer dropped last year I’ve been beyond hyped to see if this film would deliver the epic third chapter that this trilogy needed and the simple answer is yes. I am telling right now War for the Planet of the Apes is a great film and it deserves your attention.

So the story can be described as the following:

“After the apes suffer unimaginable losses when they are discovered by a military group, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel.”

What I loved about this story was not only how it was a continuation of the path laid out by the previous films, but also how it presented a darker, more dramatic and personal tale. This was a story about power, emotional conflict, family, leadership and making choices based that could have major ramifications both in the short and long-term. I liked how the film presented both sides of the argument for why both the apes and humans should survive over the other, and something else I loved was how the film made me feel. I felt emotions in the last film, it here it was on a higher level, I felt on edge throughout as the tension and suspense was so well executed, but on top of that the emotional material in this film was so good, so many key moments had me shocked, laughing, happy and very sad. This film is very story and character focused and while they are certainly moments where the action kicks off, it is not an action film as some of the trailers suggested, but more so a drama with action elements incorporated, so anyone expected an action-focused film maybe end up being bored and disappointed in certain moments of downtime.

As for the cast, they were all really good. Firstly let’s start with Andy Serkis as Caesar who since the first film in this series has impressed me with the performance capture and here he does his best work not only with the physical material but also with his voice, with more coherent sentences it has allowed for drama and depth in his performance. Caesar has to deal with a lot when it comes to being a leader and family man, dealing with demons from his past and present and making decisions that not only affect him but his apes too, and it’s fascinating to see how it plays out. Then there’s Woody Harrelson as The Colonel was magnificent, he was frightening, ruthless and had a presence on-screen that made you feel like the air had left the room, Harrelson killed it in the role. Also, Amiah Miller as Nova was really good, she did well to act in this film with no dialogue and having to act through facial expressions and physical movement. And everyone else who played apes in the film was really good especially with Karin Konoval as Maurice, Terry Notary as Rocket, Ty Olsson as Red, but it was Steve Zahn as “Bad Ape” that stole the show. At first, I thought he may piss me off because of his odd and quirky personality, but he ended up being so funny and endearing.

When it comes to the presentation it is fantastic. One the visual side of things the film looks amazing with some great cinematography and action sequences, but also some wonderfully framed shots of interior and exterior locations, I striking use of light and colour considering the state of the planet at that point in time, and of course, the CGI for the apes is insanely impressive. Somehow the filmmakers improved even further than they did in Dawn back in 2014 with the Apes looking more realistic than before where you could almost mistake them for really good animatronics. And the film score from Michael Giacchino is incredible, he not only borrowed some of the key themes he crafted in the previous film but also created new material for this film which was well suited for every scenario, whether a scene called for fear, mystery, tension, drama or anything else, he had all based covered to a tee.

In conclusion, what can I say other than War for the Planet of the Apes is a really great film that I think you should check out. The film gave me everything I wanted and then some and I wasn’t expecting to leave the cinema so filled with emotions, but that is really a credit to the talent of Matt Reeves, Andy Serkis and everyone else who made this film possible. Easily in my top 3 films of 2017.

So have you seen War for the Planet of the Apes and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: House of Cards Season 2

Howdy ladies and gents, time for my first TV review for a while, and after almost TWO years I’m finally talking about the second season of House of Cards. I remember liking season 1 in 2015 and I knew I’d get back to the show at some point but with all the additional TV I watched over the last two years with Buffy, The Wire, Luther, Regular Show, Better Call Saul and so on, just finding the time has become tough. But anyway I finally finished season 2 and I’m ready to talk about it.

Story-wise the show can be summed up as the following:

“A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.”

So what I liked about this season was that it picked up right where the last left off and things escalated quickly. House of Cards season 2 to me was able personal struggle. What happens when one is pushed into a corner? When they have the weight of the world on their shoulders or have demons from their past that come back to get them? These questions and more were explored for many of the characters in this show including Frank and Claire Underwood, Doug, Raymond, Remy, Rachel and Garrett the President. Tensions run high, alliances are formed and broken, and lies and deceit are abound as many people deceive, cheat and use each for personal gain with very few genuine individuals who aren’t corrupt or end up as victims. Witnessing the ever-shifting nature of the political landscape was fascinating whether it was backhanded deals, certain individuals challenging the chain of command or having to deal with financial issues, all of that stuff is really insightful and engaging. Like before some of the political jargon got lost on me and so some of the finer details did escape me, and some episodes weren’t as engaging as others, but when this show got going good gravy it had a lot of great surprises and shocking moments that increased my love for this world that is so cold, complicated, lonely and corrupt.

The cast were all very good. Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood was fantastic, I know he’s a manipulative, calculated and dangerous individual but good god do I love him. His ambition, cunning and swagger made him so magnetic to watch, he stole every scene he was in and it also helped that he broke the fourth wall every so often with dialogue which was so cool and quotable. Robin Wright was even more impressive than last season as Claire Underwood, not only was she loyal to Frank but also had her own material to deal with which was very complicated and emotionally painful, we also got to see just how much of a force of nature she could be when attacked or how she could be as corrupt as Frank. Both Frank and Claire were tested this season, having to deal with person demons and not being able to fight back on their terms. Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper was awesome, his character is very reserved, calm and yet has personal flaws which made him very compelling to watch, and I really enjoyed seeing his relationship with Frank and Rachel. Mahershala Ali was really good as Remy Danton, he’s a guy with morals and ethics, however, he was also very crafty, illusive and a bit of a troublemaker for the Underwoods.

I also enjoyed Molly Parker as Jacqueline “Jackie” Sharp, she brought an interesting new voice to the table because of her history, her interactions with the Underwoods and her ties to Remy as well. Rachel Brosnahan was really good as Rachel Posner she had a fairly complicated and emotional time this season when it came to her living situation, Doug and some of the other people she interacted with. Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes was once again pretty good too, Sakina Jaffrey had some good moments as Linda Vasquez, Constance Zimmer was really impressive as Janine Skorsky because of some of the dramatic material she brought to the table, Michel Gill definitely became a lot more interesting at the forefront of the main plotlines as President Garrett Walker, while he was the least interesting character in this show, he was certainly at his most engaging in this season. and Reg E. Cathey was great as Freddy Hayes as his character had a lot more pivotal moments to shine, beyond his interactions with Frank, there was some specific spotlight put on him that fleshed out his character in a great way. When it comes to the presentation it’s still on point. Visually the show’s shot well, has good lighting and nicely framed shots too. The soundtrack by Jeff Bell continues to be one of the shows highlights with a fantastic sound that is eery, melancholic, haunting and uncomfortable.

In conclusion season 2 of House of Cards was a very enjoyable session for me, this second session painted a detailed picture about the highs and lows of politics, the complexity of personal and professional relationships and the pressures/difficulties that come with the road to power. For the most part I was captivated with this show and I will check out the next season very soon.

So have you seen the second season of House of Cards and if so what do you think of it? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2017 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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My Late E3 2017 Highlights!

So another E3 has come and gone and I am again feeling hollow, but hey at least its time to talk about the games and the convention on a whole. Unlike the last two years I’m currently on holiday so I had to catch all the E3 material erratically as I went out to eat and celebrate birthdays, so that’s why my thoughts are on the late side. But I couldn’t leave this blog without doing so form of wrap-up mini discussion so here we go!

The Press Conferences

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Unlike last year I didn’t get to see all of the main press conferences live, Microsoft and Sony’s conferences I had to watch a good few hours after their main announcements while Ubisoft and Nintendo’s I got to check out on time. As for the press conferences I liked what Microsoft brought in terms of their game selection, but I wouldn’t say it was anything mind-blowing, plus the fact that the Xbox Scorpio just ended up being the Xbox One X felt like such a lazy name. With Sony I thought there were certainly some cool highlights with some of their specific game reveals but it was a far cry from their incredible show from last year, it just felt a little slow and awkward with some of the stuff the presenter was coming out with. Ubisoft was honestly the real surprise, their conference while not mind-blowing, had some solid reveals, moved at a good pace and gave people a bit of what they expected and what they didn’t and think it all worked out well for them. With Nintendo as usual they did their own thing with their digital event and it was solid, most of it was covering games we knew were coming especially for 2017, but their were just a few major surprises that tipped the scales in their favour which I will discuss below. So who won E3? Hard to say because everyone had really cool material, but hardly anything amazing that made one company stand out more than the others, but I feel like Ubisoft and Nintendo did the best with the material they had to offer, but I think that’s just me.

But what’s E3 without talking about the games? While there were some games we’d seen before there were plenty that were new that I hadn’t seen which was great, so now I’m gonna talk about all of my favourites.

Spider-Man PS4

I think the game that really stood out to me was the PS4 Spider-Man game which was unexpected to a degree. Last year when that trailer was revealed I was hyped, and I remember there being a lot of naysayers stating that the game was suing pre-rendered graphics and that the in-game visuals wouldn’t look that good. And yet here we are in 2017 with footage that was just as clean as what we saw last year with seamless transitions between the cut scenes and gameplay and it is pretty frigging awesome. The graphics look super detailed, clean and colourful and the animation with very fluid and slick from the character movements to the all the environmental elements. I like how we got to see a bit of Spidey’s combat, stealth mechanics, web-swinging and the use of quick time events. I like how cinematic the cut scenes are and the combat looks fluid and Spidey’s overall movement feel so kinetic and acrobatic, if this game can keep up this level of quality with a solid story mode, good mission variety and different costumes then I’ll be so happy.

Super Mario Odyssey

I was already obsessed with this game from the first reveal but this just brought the hype to a new level. Having Mario use his magic hat to tak control of so many enemies and objects was pure insanity the first time I watched the trailer. It opens up so many possibilities for the gameplay, exploration and bizarre scenarios. The game just looks mad and I love it, the fact that the game not only looks so gorgeous but also has a lot of gameplay variety and the fact that Mario can wear different suits? Hell yes I’m hyped!

Sonic Mania

This game could almost be my game of E3 thought it had been revealed last July, but I just can’t help it I just really want this game dammit! Haha. Sonic Mania is the 2D Sonic adventure I’ve wanted for years and didn’t know it. The game just looks like a nice balance of the old and new, but with improved art and animation, redesigned levels and brave new ones and absolutely gorgeous music too. The more I’ve seen from the game the more I’ve wanted to shout from the rooftops that this will be the best Sonic game ever, at least that’s what I hope. Each new reveal has gotten me more hyped and with the recent footage of Chemical Plant Zone Acts 1 & 2 and Green Hill Zone Act 2 with the boss battle I’m stupidly hyped now.

Dragon Ball Fighter Z

This game was one of the best surprises from E3 I had no clue this game was a thing until a good few hours after the Microsoft press conference had ended and since then I have watched so much footage and I still can’t get enough. The fact that us fans are getting a DBZ 2D fighting, the first since Burst Limit in 2008 is such a lovely surprise! The game is probably the best-looking and most accurate portrayal of the art style and animation from the original show with such intricate detail that’s gone in the character stances, fighting styles and crazy cinematic special moves, and it is all done the Marvel Vs. Capcom style of gameplay. What’s not to like? The gameplay looks so frantic, fast and intense and I love it, it perfect captures the chaotic nature of the show and I can’t wait to touch this game!

Metroid Prime 4 & Metroid: Samus Returns

This was the defining moment for a lot of people when Nintendo won E3, while watching their Spotlight video I saw their trailer announcement for something and I wasn’t too sure what it was for the first 2 seconds, but as soon as the music dropped I knew it was true and that happiness was coming my way… Frigging Metroid Prime 4! Finally! Thank god! I’m not even hardcore into Metroid but I’ve been waiting for a new game in this series for what seems to be an eternity and finally we know its in development and that was enough to sway me into thinking that Nintendo may have gotten this E3 in the bag. But then after that during the Treehouse stream those crazy people at Nintendo dropped another bomb on us; another frigging Metroid game, in 2D! Damn! Even though the art style was in 3D and this is a remake of the original Game Boy game, just to know we’ll get to play this game makes me so delighted beyond words.

Anthem

This game looks like a lot of fun just for the size and scope of the world alone. Graphically the game looks so beautiful and detailed and I’m curious to learn more and get to play this with friends with the different armour classes. Now normally this kind of game would be my cup of tea but I’m just so intrigued by the world and co-op potential that I’ll have to keep my eye out for it!

Sea of Thieves

It was good to see this game back in action and though like last year it a little cringey due to the narrator trying to deliver jokes that just didn’t land, but otherwise this larger look at the game in regards to swimming underwater and finding treasure underwater, battling enemies on the beach and getting shot out of cannons among other things. It just looks like a lot of fun with the right people.

 

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

This game was the first major surprise of E3 in the sense that a lot of people (me included) thought this game would be a joke that no one would want to buy and yet creatively Ubisoft have taken the core foundation of the Mario games and made something special in a turn-based strategy style that has a lot of potential for creative gameplay. Straight from the trailer and game footage I can tell this will be an intriguing  and hilarious session with the Rabbids.

Other Games Worth Mentioning

Firstly there’s Assassin’s Creed Origins which looks kind of different to what’s come before and I like the setting, The Evil Within 2 had a cool trailer, God of War for PS4 still looks great, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 showed off some interesting gameplay but had some horrible English dubbing, South Park: The Fractured But Whole looked great but it was also awesome to see the reveal of South Park: Phone Destroyer was just as delightful. Monster Hunter World, looked like an interest evolution of the series though I don’t know if the new gameplay elements sit well with me, the Shadow of the Colossus PS4 Remaster looked cool and learning that a new Pokemon RPG was in the works for Nintendo Switch was a nice surprise.

Conclusion

In the end E3 2017 was great experience and while it wasn’t as great as last year it had a lot of great reveals and moments that will last for a while to come. I can’t to not only get my hands on those 2017 games but also touch those games that’s on the horizon for 2018, good gravy I’m gonna be out of money for months! Hopefully you all will join me for the next year’s session as well. 😀

So did you watch E3 this year and if so what games are you excited about? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2017 in Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Black Panther Teaser Trailer

Howdy ladies and gents, how are you? So this morning I woke up to the new teaser trailer for Black Panther and I’ve been giddy ever since! I knew the trailer was gonna drop after I read about it when the first poster was revealed but I wasn’t gonna stay up all night for it, so when I woke up and saw some people had reviewed online I knew I had to check it out. So let’s talk about that teaser!

Check out the trailer below:

So my initial impressions were this, “This is pretty damn cool.” Last year Chadwick Boseman’s performance as T’Challa/Black Panther really stood out in Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther ended up being my favourite character because of his story arc, unique skill set, lineage and badass costume, and now that we’ve got a new trailer that only enhances the character and the world he’s a part of.

What I liked about this teaser was the following things:

  1. The tone: Even though the teaser was less than two minutes it was plenty to demonstrate that this film’s story would have a more personal and mature atmosphere than what we’ve seen from Marvel Studios.
  2. The visuals: I like the use of colour and sense of scale when it comes to various locations of Wakanda, I also like the way there is a nice a balance between traditional and futuristic elements that applies to the environment and the citizens.
  3. Cool action: The brief scenes we get of Black Panther kicking ass in the jungle or seeing Killmonger and T’Challa squaring off or some of these other fight scenes, I like the practicality of it and it looks like fun.
  4. The cast: Starting this trailer off with Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman aka Ulysses Klaue and Everett Ross from Age of Ultron and Civil War was not only a cool reminder for fans but it also was fun as the both acted together in the first Hobbit film. In addition to that we got to see more of not only Chadwick Boseman again, but cool glimpses of Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and Angela Bassett among others.
  5. The direction: One thing that stood out to me was the style of trailer and the way the characters were handled and it felt like a Ryan Coogler film. Coogler has a notable style with his directing and while watching this trailer I could feel his presence all over this film like Creed and Fruitvale Station beforehand. Only a handful of MCU films have a unique sense of style brought on by their directors as a lot of them just fall into the same style, only Kenneth Branagh, Shane Black, The Russo Brothers and James Gunn have been able to leave a unique mark on the MCU through Thor, Iron Man 3, Captain America: Winter Soldier & Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2.

In conclusion the teaser trailer for Black Panther was awesome, I was very happy with what I saw it delivered everything I wanted and then some, the tone, visuals and cast looks very unique and different to what we’ve seen from the MCU so far and that is exactly what this property and genre needs. February can’t come quicker! #BlackPantherSoLit 😛 😀

So have you seen Black Panther trailer and if so what did you think of it? Are you hyped, curious or underwhelmed? Let me know in comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2017 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 33 – Wonder Woman Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, last year 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. Now you may be wondering, “Where’s episode 32?” Well it exists, I just forgot to post about it on here so here’s a link: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus/episode-32-godzilla-2014-vs-kong-skull-island

As for the latest episode of the podcast features my review of Wonder Woman 🙂

Anyway here’s the episode 33:

Now I already did a written review for this film on Thursday but had to do audio based review just to expand upon my thoughts on not just the film itself but my expectations for the film during the marketing phase and how I’ve felt about the DCEU films so far. I was surprised by how short this episode turned out to be considering how I could have said a lot more about it had my memory banks been in check. 😛 Anyway I hope you all enjoy the episode. 🙂

As I mentioned before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic 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 you can. Also you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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