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Video Game Adaptations Part 1

Howdy ladies and gentlemen of the internet, hope you are all well. So after many months and years of waiting and retooling, I finally get to cover part 1 of a topic that’s very special to me; Video Game Adaptations via my podcast Film Focus.

Now I am extremely passionate about video game adaptations as I believe they have the potential to be the next big genre in Hollywood if the right IPs are adapted with the right filmmakers. Alas since their inception there has been a lot of missteps in translating their unique elements from games to film.

So I wanted to look back at the first wave of video game films from the ’90s and have a casual analysis about 5 films and discuss:

  • When the came out
  • Their pros and cons
  • How they were adapted from their source material

I had a lot of fun making this and you’ll probably hear the passion in my voice from how loud I can be on occasions haha. So join me on a trip down memory lane as we dive into the early period of video game adaptations.

Timecodes:

05:32 Super Mario Bros. Movie
15:17 Double Dragon
21:46 Street Fighter
30:21 Mortal Kombat
44:30 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
53:34 Conclusion

Anyway here’s the review:

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

So have you seen any of these films and if so what did you think of them? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2020 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Double Review: Borat 2 & The Trial of the Chicago 7

Howdy ladies and gentlemen of the internet, yeah I’m still alive haha. Today I am here to share my thoughts on both Borat 2 and The Trial of the Chicago 7 via my podcast Film Focus.

On episode 107 of Film Focus, I have another double review for you in the form of Borat 2 and The Trial of the Chicago 7. With Borat 2 I was just curious to see how this sequel would turn out since its been almost 15 years since the last one. And The Trial of the Chicago 7 I have been intrigued by since January due to the premise, cast and Aaron Sorkin’s involvement. So how did these films fare? Well, listen to this episode for some spoiler-free thoughts on both films! 😀

Timecodes:

01:58 Borat 2 Review
13:00 The Trial of the Chicago 7Review

Anyway here’s the review:

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

So have you seen Borat 2 and The Trial of the Chicago 7 and if so what did you think of it? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2020 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Double Review: The New Mutants & Mulan

Howdy ladies and gentlemen of the internet, yeah I’m still alive haha. Today I am here to share my thoughts on both The New Mutants and Mulan via my podcast Film Focus.

On episode 106 of Film Focus, I returned from woods of the internet with a double review for The New Mutants and Mulan. These reviews are a little on the late side as I had planned to have them done closer to 3 weeks ago, however, I had a lot to do with my illustrations and problems with my laptop that kept things from happening faster. However, after seeing Mulan especially, I needed to share my thoughts. So I have put both reviews into one episode. So how did these films fare? Well, listen to this episode for some spoiler-free thoughts on both films! 😀

Timecodes:

02:52 The New Mutants Review
12:27 Mulan Review

Anyway here’s the review:

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

So have you seen The New Mutants and Mulan and if so what did you think of it? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2020 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Blood and Water Season 1

Howdy ladies and gents, I’m back with my first TV for a while in the form of Blood and Water. Now I can’t recall how I found out about this show, I think it may have been due to Simu Liu’s involvement. Whatever the case is, I added to my watch list on Amazon Video recently due to the intriguing premise and as someone who has been residing in Canada over the past year, I wanted to check out more of their original material. So I finished the first season yesterday morning and felt compelled to talk about it as there doesn’t seem to be many reviews about it online.

The plot can be summed up as the following:

“When Charlie Xie, son of billionaire real estate developer Li-Rong Xie, is found murdered, Police Detective Josephine Bradley is brought in to investigate, despite having just been diagnosed with cancer.”

So the story was pretty good and more engaging than I expected. Now I have seen a fair amount of crime dramas and at first, this show was hitting a lot of familiar beats, but after a while, it finds its groove and I was compelled to see how the story progressed especially in the latter half of the season. The major themes revolve around family, legacy, secrets and lies, and uncovering the truth. At first, things play out in a usual fashion, but as we dive deeper into the Xie family drama and secrets and the personal issues that Det. Bradley, my interest kept rising with each episode leaving me wanting more. I think part of that was due to the runtime. Each episode clocks in at around 23 minutes which is 20 minutes less than your standard American show, and with this season being 8 episodes long, it moves at a swift pace, yet feels like it has the appropriate amount of time to tell its story. Also due to the majority of the characters being Chinese, there are more where the characters flow between talking English and their native languages of Cantonese and Mandarin. It is very rare for shows that involve other races to highlight their culture beyond just surface-level material, but this felt like it went deeper by incorporating family relationships, mythology and especially the language into the story in a way that felt realistic and respectable. The presentation is also solid. Visually the show is shot well and has a moody atmosphere highlighted by low lighting and a muted colour palette. And since the show is set in Vancouver it was fun recognising certain exterior locations as well. The music was fine, but one thing I didn’t like was the opening music, it’s just a complete downer and doesn’t have a unique or memorable sound to it.

Moving onto the cast, they were all really good in their roles and only got better as the season continues. Firstly there’s police detective Josephine Bradley played by Steph Song who handles her role very well with subtly. Bradley’s tough, stubborn and doesn’t always play by the rules, but she’s passionate about her job and only wants to help. Charlie Xie played by Osric Chau mainly shows up in flashbacks, but I enjoyed Chau’s performance and his screen time with his family. Loretta Yu also does a good job as Charlie’s widow, Teresa. She had a troubled history with drugs and due to her relationship with Charlie, it puts her at odds with his family. Charlie’s father, Li-Rong ‘Ron’ Xie is played very well by Oscar Hsu. Ron is a man who is prideful and while he cares for his family, he’s a tough and cold businessman who is concerned with his public image. Fiona Fu as Weiran Xie, the matriarch of the Xie family, she carries herself with dignity and while she’s reserved, she can also be ardent and not afraid to speak her mind. Elfina Luk is also quite good as Anna, Charlie’s sister who is the most level-headed of the family and the closest to her deceased brother. And then there’s Simu Liu as Charlie’s brother Paul. He was my favourite. Paul, like his sister, is pretty well-headed and calm, but he holds a lot of pain and secrets which comes to light as the story progresses. By the end of the season, his character was the most captivating character and Liu’s performance was fantastic. I can see why Marvel picked him up for Shang Chi. And finally, Peter Outerbridge was decent as detective Al Gorski, Bradley’s seasoned partner who doesn’t always agree with her but also offers advice.

 In conclusion, Blood and Water season 1 was different than I expected and took a little while to get going, but when it worked it was pretty engaging and overall I enjoyed it. I would recommend it.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2020 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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Tenet Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I return with another review of a film I have been very curious to check out for a while in the form of Tenet via my podcast Film Focus.

A couple days I took my first trip back to the cinema for the first time since March to finally check out Tenet; the latest film by Christopher Nolan. Now I’d been looking forward to this film since the teaser trailer came out and was immediately intrigued and engaged by the crazy imagery and cast members involved. So is this another great film for Nolan’s filmography? Well, check out this spoiler-free review to find out.

Anyway here’s the review:

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

So have you seen Tenet and if so what did you think of it? Did you love it or dislike it? And did it meet or exceed your expectations? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2020 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Disturbing Films

Howdy ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I’ve returned with a topic I have wanted to talk about for a while now and it relates to the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot coming out in March 2021. And I’ll be sharing my thoughts via my podcast Film Focus.

On episode 103 of Film Focus, I discuss disturbing films alongside my newest guest and friend Ross. Each of us has 4 films which we find disturbing in a specific way and as we discuss them, we also link each film with a unified theme including:

  • Films that are tough to watch but worth watching
  • Feelin bad for the characters
  • Good atmosphere
  • A bold introduction

The films we’ll be discussing are The Nightingale, Perfect Blue, Requiem for a Dream, Climax, Annihilation, Seven, Don’t Look Now and Our Evil. So join us on a casual discussion of these troubling yet entertaining films. Oh and be aware that we’ll essentially be talking spoilers for all of the films involved to varying levels. That being said Annihilation and Seven were the films we talked very specific spoilers and they were at 51:05 and 1:01:02.

Here’s the episode:

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

So what did you think of our choice of disturbing films? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2020 in Films, Media

 

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Importance of the Cinema Experience

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, how is it going with yall? So after around 2.5 months of being MIA dealing with personal stuff, I have returned with a new film topic talk about on my podcast Film Focus.

On episode 102 of Film Focus, I talk about the importance of watching films in the cinema. While COVID19 has pretty much shut down most forms of outdoor entertainment, especially watching films at the cinema, it got me thinking about not only how much I miss it but also how pivotal it is. So join me a casual discussion about my own experiences and why I think its still the best way to experience new and old films alike.

Anyway here’s the episode:

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

So what are your views on the cienmatic film experience? Do you think its important or not? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2020 in Films, Media

 

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QUICK REVIEW: AFI – The Missing Man

Howdy ladies and gents, it seems like I’m always coming back to this blog every once in a while, and that’s obviously no good for people who which to get consistent material from me and for that I apologize. However, I’m back to talk about some music and today I’ll be discussing AFI’s EP from 2018; The Missing Man.

After I heard “Get Dark” and reviewed it, I was hyped to hear more AFI and I bought the EP and listened to it a few times. I even had a review I was drafted in mid-December of 2018. However, I just never got around to writing it up due to my work shifts during Christmas and after personal activities that kept me busy. But I have always wanted to share my thoughts on this EP and now that I’m listening to music a lot more I have thoughts that I want to share so here we are.

Now The Missing Man feels like a continuation of the sound AFI has been delivering since Burials and AFI (The Blood Album) with a balance of songs that rock hard, some more moody material and more melodic material. How much you enjoy this EP will depend on what era/sound you like from AFI. Anyone hoping for the crazier sounds of the past will be disappointed, this is definitely more in line with their recent work and feels like a combination of their last two albums sound. I personally love Burials safe for a couple of songs, while AFI (The Blood Album) only had a handful of songs I liked (I will discuss that album in the future). With only 5 tracks this EP is over by pretty swiftly but there’s something special about this sound that’ll make you want to go back for more.

The EP opens with “Trash Bat” and it’s great. Its loud, upbeat, in your face and has the exact kind of sound I like from this band. I love the chorus with the sound of the guitars alongside Davey Havok and the backing vocals. It’s over pretty quickly but has such an addictive sound that makes you want to hit the repeat button. “Break Angels” feels like it could have been on Burials, and I like it but mainly for the chorus. “Back Into The Sun” is a slower-paced song which at first I wasn’t sure about, but after a while, it really grew on me because of the chorus and heavy guitars. Next up is “Get Dark“, simply put I love this song. It’s super fun, loud, catchy, swift in pace and has a catchy as hell chorus. This was the oomph that their last album was missing. And finally, there’s the title track “The Missing Man” and it’s my least my favourite song on the EP. It starts out well and I do like the overall moody tone and there’s a bit in the middle that sounds good, but overall it doesn’t grab me. It lacks something distinctive as the final track.

Best Songs:

  1. Get Dark
  2. Trash Bat
  3. Back Into The Sun

So to conclude The Missing Man is solid EP from AFI, it’s familiar yet different and if you’re open to hearing new sounds from the band then I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s a short yet fun experience and it definitely resonates with me more than their last album. So have you heard this EP and if so what did you think of it? Drop your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see you next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2020 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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The Good Sounds of SG Lewis

Howdy ladies and gents, its been a while since I’ve posted on this blog that wasn’t film-related. But since I’ve been on lockdown for just over a month and won’t be flying back home any time soon, I’ve had a lot of time to think and I’ve wanted to start writing about music again. So I wanted to start by talking about one of my favourite artists I’ve found in the last few years; SG Lewis.

My Discovery & Journey

So I discovered SG Lewis while I worked at the airport in my home town 4 years ago. His song “All Night” was on the radio and it caught me ear, so I put some of the lyrics on my phone and then found the song online. I became obsessed with the song for months. Then later that year I bought his EP Yours and found new songs to jam to and in 2017 I found Shivers which was also a nice listening experience. In 2018 I heard Dusk and that was my favourite EP so far with its gorgeous sounds and I was in love especially with the song “Aura“. And in 2019 I heard both Dark and Dawn and they were awesome as they had that familiar gorgeous sound but had progressed in new and exciting ways. And on top of that, I got to see him live TWICE! Once at ONBlackheath music festival in London and then around 4 months later at Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver. Both experiences were such awesome sessions, but the Vancouver show as extra special as I got to meet him in person which was just amazing!

Why His Music Is So Good

So I’ve given you a condensed version of how I found Lewis’ music and my listening experience so far. But now its time to tell you I believe his music is so good. Now, as I’ve stated on previous music-related blog posts I am no music aficionado, though I try to do my best to communicate my points through sound and feeling. So SG Lewis’ music in the broadest of terms is essentially electronic, but because of the variety in his music, you can get vibes of R&B, disco, house and the 80’s feeling with the use of synth. Lewis’ music has an immediate effect on your ears because it’s so infectious. Once you hear that beat or specific melody it has a way of getting into your head and then you just want to hit the repeat button. Also, the songs never outstay their welcome, they’re always just long enough to leave you wanting more. And one of the key things that make his music so accessible for me is how he has a song for any situation. Whether you’re chilling and vibing to the sounds of “No Less“, “Golden” or “Rest” or you want to dance to the sounds of “Aura“, “Hurting” or “Coming Up“, there is always a song to suit your mood. And then there’s hearing his songs live which adds a new dimension to the songs because of the live vocals, improvisation, extra bass from the speakers and joy you feel from being able to dance with likeminded individuals. There’s nothing quite like it.

Recommendations

So it comes to recommendations and this is where it gets tricky as I would say just listen to everything in chronological order as you’ll enjoy the ride and see Lewis’ progression as an artist. But if I had to narrow it down I would say it would be down to the following EPs: Yours, Shivers and Dusk. Each of those has my favourite listening experience from start to finish with Dusk being the best in my opinion. It’s just something special, you just vibe with it on another level, its instantly replayable, and again it has to be stated how good “Aura” is, it is a perfect jam for dancing.

Now from the EPs to specific tracks and while it’s hard to narrow it down, the following 10 songs are my favourites that I believe are essential and you should listen to right now. Check them out below:

  1. Aura
  2. Dreaming
  3. Lighter
  4. All Night
  5. Holding Back
  6. Yours
  7. Hurting
  8. Meant to Be
  9. No Less
  10. Coming Up

And that’s it, I hope my words and examples have spurred you on to check out some of SG Lewis’ music as he really is one of the best artists out there that deserve more love. If you’re a new or an established fan of Lewis, let me know what which song are your favourites in the comment section below. Thank you for reading and I’ll see you in the next post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2020 in Life, Media, Music

 

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Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I return after an extended absence to deliver my review for Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge via my podcast Film Focus.

On episode 101 of Film Focus, I talk about the latest adaption from the world of Mortal Kombat in the form of Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge. Now I am a big fan of this franchise and I have been interested in watching this film since the first trailer dropped online in January 2020. It was a 2D animated MK film with an R rating that focused on Scorpion and the first MK tournament? Yeah, sign me up! So is this a good representation of MK or not? Well, check out this spoiler-free review to find out.

P.S. Sorry for the change in mic quality as my normal set up is back in Canada.

Anyway here’s the review:

Also if you’re interested in my thoughts on the upcoming live-action Mortal Komat film you should check out this episode as well:

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

So have you seen Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge and if so what did you think of it? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2020 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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