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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 πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜› Anyway I hope you all enjoy the episode. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜€

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

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Wonder Woman

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So today is a special day as I finally get to talk about Wonder Woman, the latest film from Warner Bros. and DC Films and is the fourth film in the DC Expanded Universe. So after three pretty divisive films, WB and DC had a lot deliver to people who weren’t on board with the previous offerings of the DCEU, me included. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate Man of Steel, but I didn’t love it, Batman V Superman was a long-winded chore with Batman being the only thing I liked, and with Suicide Squad being a frustrating mess, my hope for the DCEU was waning. And so with Wonder Woman I wanted to love it, not only because the marketing made the film look good, but also because I wanted to see a good film in this cinematic universe. So does Wonder Woman succeed? Well read on and find out!

So the story can be described as the following:

“Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.”

I thought the story was pretty good. What I enjoyed about was Diana’s whole journey, learning about her early days and how she learnt about the world and was eager to become a warrior, and then later in her adult life discovering man, the world and the horrors of war. All of that material was handled well. I also liked how this film was able to be serious but also light-weighted and humours, there were some nice subtle yet notable moments which covered race, greek mythology, the never-ending nature of war and equality. If I had any complaints I would just say that some of the story plays out as you would expect and no there weren’t any major surprises or super stand out plot points, but that’s it. One final thing of note, I felt like this film had a lot of similarities to Captain America: The First Avenger and Winter Solider when it came to the war-like setting, certain plot points and the way the character was handled, while that’s not a knock against this film it was very surprising to see how lose some of the similarities were.

The cast was pretty good, everyone whether their roles were big or small performed well. Firstly Gal Gadot impressed me as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, while I thought Gadot was fine in BvS, she really brought her A-game with her performance in this film. Diana was smart, brave, curious, perceptive and fun and it was really interesting seeing her discover the pros and cons of existing in the world beyond her homeland and Gadot’s performance had far more range and depth than anything I’ve seen from her so far and at this point I’m happy with her incarnation of the character. I also really loved Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, he was a charming man who was not only funny but also rational, skeptical and was afraid to break the rules. Pine’s performance was so delightful and engaging and it reminded me of why I love him as an actor as he can strike that basis between being light-hearted and dramatic pretty well. Then there’s Robin Wright who was awesome as General Antiope, of all of the Amazon women she was the best, Antiope was practical, harsh yet fair and was very cool both on and off of the battlefield. Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta was fine, she had some nice moments but overall she wasn’t as compelling as her sister. Danny Huston as General Erich Ludendorff was good, he played his part well but was a little forgettable until the latter side of the film and the same could be said for Elena Anaya as Doctor Isabel Maru/Doctor Poison, she had some notable moments but when she wasn’t around I kind of forgot about her character. Also for those not away of David Thewlis’ role in this film let just say that enjoyed what he brought to this film, it was quite fun and surprising. And finally I have to mention SaΓ―d Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner and Eugene Brave Rock who played Trevor’s allies Samee, Charlie and Chief, each of them brought a level of charm, fun and weight to their characters.

When it comes to the presentation if was very good for the most part. Visually the film was very striking with good cinematography, use of vivid colours, and good visual effects. The action sequences were pretty badass with Wonder Woman and some of the other Amazonian fighters dishing out the pain in some very athletic and brutal ways, and I appreciated the creativity with the fight choreography too. If I had any complaints it would be that some of the CGI and green screen was a little off at times, and the use of slow motion got a little overdone especially during the fight scenes, I understand that slow mo is used for dramatic effect but it didn’t need to be as frequent as it was. The film score from Rupert Gregson-Williams was decent, it certainly had moments to stand out and shine especially in the moments where it used the theme from Batman V Superman, otherwise the music was fine but nothing too memorable.

In conclusion Wonder Woman was really good, while it didn’t set my world on fire, it was a solid film that exceeded my expectations in terms of the story, characters and action sequences. It is easily the best film in the DCEU so far (though not a hard task to pull off) and I would recommend it, well done DC and WB.

So have you seen Wonder Woman and if so what did you think of it? Did it meet your expectations or were you disappointed? Also where does it stand with you in terms of the previous DCEU films? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments section below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! πŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Ip Man 3

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

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

So have you seen Ip Man 3 and if so what do you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts on the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! πŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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

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

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

So have you seen Kung Fu Killer and if so what do you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts on the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! πŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Alien Covenant

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another review and today I’m talking about Alien: Covenant. Now I wasn’t the biggest fan of Prometheus (review available here), I’ve only seen that film twice I think and while really beautiful, the story and characters didn’t grab me at all. So when Covenant began its marketing I wasn’t overly keen, but the trailers did pique my interest. Now that I’ve seen the film I’m ready to pass judgment.

The story can be described as the following:

“The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.”

The story did well to get back to the basics of what made Alien and Aliens so much fun by having a plot that was more familiar and straightforward, but in addition to that this film took certain plot elements from Prometheus (the previous film), and attempted to answer some of the lingering questions that film left up in the air. What I liked about this film was not only how it strengthened some of the plot elements from the last film but also made both feel naturally connected rather than forgetting what had come before. It was suitably dark and mysterious and brought up some interesting themes about the morals and ethics of creation, life and death and the need for humans to prolong their existence. It is unfortunate that not all of the answers from Prometheus were answered and there were certain plot details that Covenant brought up that weren’t properly clarified or felt left out in the main story. Plus this story doesn’t do much in the way of creating new material for this universe, sure there are some minor interesting additions to the mythology, however this is a story and set of scenarios you’ve seen before so if you were hoping something fresh you may be a little disappointed.

As for the cast there were fine, for the most part I liked this cast more than the Prometheus crew minus David, however, these characters were fine to forgettable as you can tell a good few of them are going to die at some point and sure enough they do. There are only a handful of people that stood out. Michael Fassbender once again was the best of the cast playing both as David and Walter, the android from the first film and the current android with the Covenant crew. Fassbender did well to portray these different characters both with different personalities and agendas, and I just loved watching him. Katherine Waterston was better than I expected as Daniels “Dany” Branson, since watching the trailers I thought the film was setting her up to be a Ripley-like character and while she does embody some of the those traits, Dany was a little more unique and she went from being someone a little dull to being quite captivating towards the end of the film. And Danny McBride was a surprise standout as Tennessee, I’ve never really like McBride, I’ve always found him annoying and repetitive in most of his comedic roles. But this role was very serious, aggressive and grounded and he was engaging in a way I never expected.

When it comes to the presentation it was pretty damn good. Just like Prometheus this film looks incredible, the art direction, cinematography, digital and practical effects was incredible. I also really liked the gruesome nature of the violence and action and the sound design really helped with that. As for the film score by Jed Kurzel it was pretty effective, channelling feelings of wonder, tension and discovery, while not always as effective as I would have liked, overall it was good.

In conclusion Alien: Covenant was not all bad and was actually better than I expected. While it didn’t do much to reinvent the wheel, it was a solid film much more in line with the first two Alien films with good violence, grim atmosphere and a great performance from Michael Fassbender. If you’re curious give it a watch. πŸ™‚

So have you seen Alien: Covenant and if so what did you think of it? Did you like this film more or less than Prometheus? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! πŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Ip Man 2

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

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

So have you seen Ip Man 2 and if so what do you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts on the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! πŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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My Podcast; Film Focus is One Year Old!

Howdy ladies and gents, how are you? I’m just posting today to let y’all know that my podcast that I started last year is celebrating a year anniversary and I wanted to share it with you all.

So yeah I’m slightly off by a few days because according to iTunes and Soundcloud I released my first episode on the 3rd of May last, but regardless I am happy to think that I’ve been doing this podcast for as long as I have. It did take a while to find a sense of rhythm with the recording and goodness knows that scheduling was an issue when I started as I went from weekly episodes to all sorts of scattered released and eventually settled on a biweekly format instead. Either way I have persevered and while we’ve had highs and lows, I feel happy with what I’ve done so far, but I do feel like we good advance to higher heights and I would like to think that some of you out there will join me on that journey. πŸ™‚

Okay with that in mind I just wanted to share some highlights on my podcast from the last year with some of my favourite episodes

Captain America: Civil War

So here’s the episode that started it all, while I was pretty nervous about doing the whole audio review thing again after my absence from YouTube, it felt good to get back into the groove of reviewing films again and this episode was a lot of fun to do.

The Jason Bourne Trilogy

By this point I was starting to find my footing with this film discussion stuff but was still trying to a balance of being informative and casual, and I enjoyed doing this review because I felt like I was able to fully convey my love for the Jason Bourne films while also explaining why they needed to be seen for fans of the action thriller genre.

Hopes & Fears For The Sonic Live Action Movie

This specific episode was important to me not only because of my love for Sonic the Hedgehog, but also because it tied into the department of video game adaptations. I still think the Sonic live-action/GCI hybrid is a bad idea, but I hopefully brought up enough important points to make this discussion worth having.

Is It Too Late For A Black Widow Film?

Every Marvel film fan has been asking for a Black Widow film since Avengers in 2012, and Marvel Studios say that they’re still down with the idea of making the a solo film for the character, however, I present the question of whether it is too late or not? While I think that if Marvel announced a Black Widow film tomorrow everyone would be down for it, I try to bring up some points as to why it may be too late and why Marvel should hurry up and make it happen.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

Rogue One was one of my favourite films form last year and getting to talk about it on this podcast back in December was so much fun.

Assassin’s Creed Review

This review represents the first major review I did for the podcast that was primarily negative, that actually frustrated me and it was a lot of fun to do, but not as fun to watch. Assassin’s Creed was all sorts of disappointing and boring and not since probably my Transformers 3 review for my old review cannel on YouTube have I wanted to rip on a film so bad.

Triple Review: Split, XXX: Return of Xander Cage & T2 Trainspotting

And here he have the episode that has the most plays out of all my podcast, I’m not sure why everyone gravitated towards this triple review because I thought it might be too long-winded for some people but luckily people checked it out and I am very grateful.

Well thanks for reading and if you haven’t checked out Film Focus on Soundcloud or iTunes I’d love your support and feedback, and if you have listened to any of my ramblings I would extend a big old thank you and hope that you’ll continue to show me some love haha. Until next time people, laters! πŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2017 in Films, Media

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Ip Man

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

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

So have you seen Ip Man and if so what do you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts on the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! πŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 31- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 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. The latest episode of the podcast features my review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. πŸ™‚

Anyway here’s the episode 31:

Now I already did a written review for this film last week and this episode is around a week old now, but since Guardians 2 getting being released in the US this week it felt appropriate to release a post about this episode to hopefully increase its visibility.

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. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review (Spoiler-Free)

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a new film review and today I’m going to be talking about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the long-awaited sequel from Marvel Studios. Now back in 2014 I loved Guardians of the Galaxy, it was an unexpected surprise of that summer and so creating a sequel that would equal or exceed the previous film was going to be a mammoth task. But anyway I saw the film yesterday/this morning as part of a double bill at Cineworld and now I’m reading to pass judgement!

The story can be summed up as the following:

“The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.”

At this point in time I’m finding it a tad difficult to formulate my thoughts into works. Guardians Vol. 2 is an interesting beast, it is really good and an overall fun adventure, however it’s also uneven and not as cohesive as the first film. So depending on how you felt about Guardians 1, this film will be more of what you enjoyed before or be a disappointment.

If the story does one thing well it is covering the main theme of family as this film has a strong emphasis on the ties between Peter Quill and his father, Gamora and Nebula, and of course the Guardians team themselves. This film shows what it means to be a family, whether you’re blood related, adopted or have a strong connection to someone and we also see the highs and lows of those relationships. Another strong element was the fact that the story also got quite emotional and dramatic and I didn’t expect that, but it was a welcome surprise. As for the humour, one the first film’s strongest points, it was a little hit or miss, some of the jokes were amazing and other didn’t land as well, plus they were coming a little too frequently for my liking, so anyone annoyed with the frequent humour in Marvel films won’t be a fan of this film. And lastly for the first time in a while Guardians Vol. 2 feels like a standalone adventure with ties to other films or the larger MCU being next to non-existent and there not being any major set up for future films. Now of course there is some set up for a sequel and some great references to the comics, but otherwise this was an isolated film, so anyone hoping for MCU connections definitely be disappointed.

As for the cast they were all very good, though some stood out more so than others. Chris Pratt is a standout as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, he has not only a great sense of timing for his humour but he’s incredibly engaging and has good dramatic moments too. Zoe Saldana was solid as Gamora, she had some good moments with Peter and Nebula, but like the last film I wish I had seen more from her. Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer like the last film had some great comedic moments, and some unexpected subtle dramatic material too, some of his jokes didn’t land but otherwise, good stuff. Baby Groot was adorable, hilarious and used well throughout, and Rocket Raccoon had some really solid moments in this film and like before, Bradley Cooper’s voice work was really great. Other returning cast members including Karen Gillan as Nebula and Michael Rooker as Yondu do really well, Nebula got a lot of additional story material that really enhanced her as a character and while Gillan’s performance was a little overdone at points I still liked her, oh and Rooker was incredible as Yondu having more dramatic and hilarious material than before and I loved the character. As for the new cast members Kurt Russell did well as Star Lord’s dad Ego, I thought he brought a dramatic sense of flair, personality and humour to this role and his scenes with Peter was great. Pom Klementieff as Mantis was so cute and funny, I liked her abilities and interactions with the guardians team and Elizabeth Debicki was interesting as Ayesha, she had some funny scenes, but other times it was a little awkward. I also appreciated the appearances from Sean Gunn, Laura Haddock and Sylvester Stallone.

When it comes to the presentation it was really solid. Visually like the previous film, we are treated to a gorgeous film with a vivid colour scheme, good cinematography, great artistic direction, really detailed CGI and action sequences that were fast, ferocious, inventive and fun to watch. The soundtrack for this film was pretty good, though not as recognisable and as varied as the previous film, and Tyler Bates returns for the film score and he crafts some really nice music, some returning themes and some new material that works well with the on-screen action.

So to conclude Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a solid sequel, it did well to advance the story of the characters, had good action, humour and heart. However, the uneven story, misuse of certain characters and a not so solid humour prevent it from being the amazing sequel I thought it could be.Β And so how would one compare this film to the other MCU films. Well as a sequel I’d say it’s better than the worst two films, Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World, and Iron Man 3, so I’d say it’s sort of on the same level as Age of Ultron, okay now here me out before you verbally attack me. Age of Ultron is a film I that had a lot of great elements within but overall wasn’t as consistent and enjoyable as the previous film and I felt a similar way about this film, while not as disappointing, I felt like this film wasn’t as straightforward or consistent as the last adventure, but it’s still worth a watch.

So have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! πŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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