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EPIC REVIEW: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So yesterday night, after month and months of waiting I finally got to see the last of my most anticipated films of 2017; Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The amount of waiting I’ve had to endure in the lead up to this film’s release has been painful, with all the marketing, rumours and speculation about the story and characters, you almost had to jump off the internet to have a clean viewing experience. Luckily I avoided most spoilers and watched all 7 main series films and Rogue One in chronological order over the last 3 days in preparation which was fun. So with all that out of the way how was the film, well read on and find out!

So the story can be described as the following:

“Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.”

I don’t want to go into too much detail so I shall be brief. This was a really interesting chapter in the SW saga, one that had a lot more depth, intrigue and surprises than I expected, and I love the film for that. Rian Johnson confidently steps into this universe with a sense conviction, darkness, intelligence and style that is clearly his own if you know of his work and it shakes up this world in really compelling ways. This film definitely channels Empire Strikes Back in terms of the tone and certain story aspects, but it is its own beast. There are drama and emotion on a level I’ve not seen in this series for quite some time, but there’s also a sense of levity to balance things out when necessary. This was also the most thought-provoking film of the series to date, it is very psychological and causes you to think about certain things in a different light. I really enjoyed the themes of the past coming back to haunt you, feeling out of place, good and evil, and the moral and ethical shades of grey. There were also a lot of bold decisions made that I did not see coming which gave me joy, heart-pounding tension and plenty to think about. And finally, I loved how this film expanded the mythology of this universe with history and visual and verbal details that makes you look at what you know it in a different light.

As for the cast they were great, everyone in this film does a great job, whether they were main cast, secondary or just had cameos, everyone had a moment to shine. Firstly there’s Mark Hamill who was just wonderful as Luke Skywalker. This time Luke was crumpy, defeated, yet a knowledgeable and witty old man who had to deal with the mistakes of his past and deal with issues of the present via Rey and Hamill was just as captivating as ever, he had so many scene-stealing moments. Daisy Ridley as Rey was really good, I enjoyed seeing her learn about her powers, see her interact with Luke and search for answers about her past. Ridley’s very charming and engaging and has definitely improved in this role since the first film. Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa was great, Leia had a big part to play in this film and I loved it. I enjoyed seeing tough yet humorous demeanour and her perseverance in the face of adversity. Fisher had great moments individually and with others and at times I did feel like shedding a tear. Adam Driver as Kylo Ren was great, I’ve been a fan of this character since the previous film and here we get a character really wanting to prove his worth, but also find a sense of purpose and focus and Driver plays this role with flair and subtlety. John Boyega’s return as Finn was great, he still has a great sense of humour but is also has great dramatic moments, he has a lot of good moments and Boyega’s charisma shines through.

Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron was also impressive, I enjoyed seeing more of him in this film and seeing a different side to his character. Isaac certainly has a commanding presence and stands out whenever possible whether it be for dramatic or humorous purposes. Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke was good, it was nice to learn more about this guy considering the mystery surrounding him in the previous film. Snoke was sinister and intimidating and Serkis was captivating in the role. Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux was interesting, he had some good moments, also Anthony Daniels as C-3PO was just as fun as ever, Gwendoline Christie returned as Captain Phasma and definitely had a presence and Lupita Nyong’o had a great performance as Maz Kanata. Newcomers Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro do well as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo and DJ, the former had an interesting role to play and I enjoyed her performance a lot, and the latter was certainly not what I expected but he was a memorable character for sure. But the most memorable of the new characters was Kelly Marie Tran as Rose, from the time she’s introduced she’s smart, decisive and loveable and I really enjoyed her story arc and interaction with Finn.

When it comes to the presentation it was fabulous. Visually the film looked lovely. I paid extra attention to the cinematography and it looked like everything was painstakingly crafted with certain tracking shots, zooms, use of lighting and framing, everything felt like it had a purpose and was done to the highest degree possible. The space battles felt like a mix of The Force Awakens and Rogue One with its own interesting elements mixed in, certain chases sequences looked lovely and the lightsaber moments were wonderfully choreographed in a classic yet unexpected manner. The CGI was very detailed, clean and realistic, while the practical effects continue to impress me with how much these characters, creatures and robots can be make-up, animatronics and puppetry. Also, the film score from John Williams was awesome. The Force Awakens had good music, but wasn’t overly memorable, whereas this film had a score with a much stronger presence which enhanced every scene it was used in. The themes he introduced from the last film stand out even more and some of the new music he creates is wonderfully varied yet consistent with what’s come before.

In the end, The Last Jedi, was a good film, a really good film. It surprised me in many ways, it also met and exceeded my expectations in certain areas and while not everything in the story and the use of certain characters didn’t go the way I would have liked, the film was still thoroughly engaging and entertaining. After looking at some responses to the film online I know this film won’t be for everyone but I say give it a try.

So have you seen The Last Jedi and if so what did you think of it? Let me know in comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

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Posted by on December 15, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Howdy ladies and gents, what’s up? So I just got home from a fun little hang session with my friends and saw that a teaser for the new Sony animated Spider-Man film entitled, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse had dropped online, so you know I ain’t to watch it and give you my brief thoughts on it

Check out the trailer below:

So my initial impressions were this, “Wow, that’s much better than I was expecting.” Now I know that sounds mean but this project had me a little concerned from an animation point of view, Sony Animation’s movies have been good, but they’re not known for the same quality that comes from Pixar, Disney and Dreamworks on the odd occasion, and with an all CGI Spider-Man film I was concerned with the art style and quality of the animation… But then I saw this trailer and damn, these guys aren’t messing around. The art direction feels a mixture between something realistic, comic book illustrated and a video game, there’s a great level of detail in a lot of things like the buildings and cars, the colours are very striking and vivid and the animation flows well with a sense of speed and grace. And while the animation moves in a choppy many like there are some missing frames in the movement, I’m assuming its a stylistic choice and I’m fine with it as long as the animation is fast and fluid during the action scenes, which so far looks great. And let me quickly just talk about the cinematography, since 2002’s Spider-Man, filmmakers have been finding new and interesting ways to show off Spider-Man’s movements through the city, and this film continues to show different angles and shots we’ve not seen in any Spidey adaptation so far and it is gorgeous! Beyond the visuals, it looks like the plot will follow Mile Morales’ story of him picking up the role as Spidey after the death of Peter Parker if that gravestone is anything to go by, and later on he’ll learn about the multiple Spider heroes in different universes? At least that’s what I assume, and I’m cool with that, I really like Miles Morales and want to see his story on the big screen and see what sort of stuff he has to deal with both as himself and Spidey, and see what’s happening in regards to this Spider-Verse.

But what about what happens in the trailer? Well there’s so much to mention so here are my highlights:

  • That first shot of the cityscape looks lovely, it looks realistic yet illustrated. I also like how the colour and brightness is lighter at the top and gets darker towards the bottom.
  • The shot of Miles in front of the moving train looks great.
  • Clearly, that’s Miles in front of Peter Parker’s grave so the filmmakers are definitely borrowing certain stories from the comics which I like.
  • Seeing Miles in his suit leap off that building and fall towards the buildings upside down in that wide shot, it is incredible!
  • Seeing Spidey chance after that guy on the motorcycle while dodging traffic, looks great. I love the fluidity of Spidey’s movement and vivid colours.
  • I like the look of Miles’ face under the mask and seeing him ask Peter about how many of “them” there are in the subway was an interesting moment to leave on. I’m looking forward to the other Spidey peeps who show up.

In conclusion, this teaser ended up being way more interesting than I expected, the visual style is very distinctive and the cinematography looks delicious. I can only hope that the story, characters and use of multiple Spider-People will be good, and those casual audiences will grow to appreciate Miles Morales the fans do.

So have you seen the trailer for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse 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 in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2017 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: In Bruges

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another quick review and today I’m talking about In Bruges. So this is a film I’ve been meaning to watch for a while now, I’ve not only heard a lot about it via some film critics/fans I follow online, but also from my mate at uni who told me to check it out back in 2012 or 2013. So is this film a good watch or not? Well read on and find out! 😀

The plot can be summed up as the following: “Guilt-stricken after a job gone wrong, hitman Ray and his partner await orders from their ruthless boss in Bruges, Belgium, the last place in the world Ray wants to be.” I have to say that was engaged from the beginning due to the fact that I not only liked the two main actors but also because of their current situation. They had essentially come from a hitman job that had gone wrong in the UK and had to lay low and wait for instructions, and while it wasn’t clear what had happened yet. I liked the mystery that surrounding these characters and suspense surrounding the call from their boss, Harry. While it was fun to get to know both characters and see their differences in personality, I wasn’t super captivated by the story. I was interested but was waiting for something to hook me. And then when you found out what happened with Ray and why these characters are in their current situation, that’s when the film got me. And from there, what followed was a series of unexpected scenarios that ranged from being hilarious to shocking to strange and crazy. I liked the film’s sense of humour, it was dark, twisted and blunt and while not all of the dialogue landed for me, some of those lines were frigging funny as hell, and luckily the humour never came at the expense of the serious moments as it was well-balanced throughout the film. The cast was great. First you have Colin Farrell as Ray who is a charismatic, straightforward and rude kind of guy who I found  little funny but mostly unlikable for a while, until I saw what happened to him in the past and how he acted around some other characters, he isn’t a complete douche, he has a heart and can be good occasion and Farrell was just delightful. Brendan Gleeson was great as Ken, I have yet to see a film where Gleeson disappoints me and the same rules apply here, he’s serious, yet witty and is a nice counterbalance to Ray. Farrell and Gleeson have great chemistry, they’re like an old married couple bickering, but you can see that there is a solid bond there. But it might be Ralph Fiennes who steals the show as Harry. Good gravy, what a guy! From the time he’s introduced via a phone call he leaves a solid impression, and from there he has so many scene-stealing moments with his magnetic presence and his hot and cold personality, he’s cool, but when you piss him off he’s merciless and crazy, and this might be one my favourite performances from Fiennes ever because he reminded me of Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast. I also enjoyed Clémence Poésy who was delightful as Chloë Villette and Jordan Prentice brought some good humour as Jimmy, and I also liked Thekla Reuten as Marie and Jérémie Renier as Eirik. In conclusion, In Bruges was a film I enjoyed far more than I expected with interesting themes, great performances, good humour, a really nice and melancholy film score and unexpected revelations.

So have you seen In Bruges and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Avengers: Infinity War Trailer

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So I just got home from work around 40 or so minutes ago and just remembered the new trailer for Avengers: Infinity War was released a few hours ago, so I just watched it and wanted to share my brief thoughts on it

Check out the trailer below:

So my initial impressions were this, “Oh my god, I’m in love!” I don’t think my words will be able to do the trailer justice and while I don’t want to watch it too many times, I’ve already seen it twice and I’ve got goosebumps! I want to avoid spoilers, but at the same time, I REALLY want to watch it like 10 more times! All throughout the trailer you feel the weight and significance of what’s happening, not only is this all the heroes coming together to face a threat larger than anything that’s come before, but it is the culmination of 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and you can see it with the Marvel logo sequence, the number of characters, locations and glowing items, but also audio-wise with Nick Fury’s speech from the Avengers being spoke by him and few other heroes, and of course they put in the Alan Silvestri Avengers theme song in there as the icing on the cake in both a darker and positive light too. That was just gorgeous for me as a massive fan of that theme song! And Thanos, wow, I REALLY pray that he’s the villain we’ve all been hoping for, not another Hela or Ultron who look cool from the trailers, but only end up being decent/average. So far he looks and talks like a badass, he looks pretty intimidating, his words feel menacing and he’s just messing people up left right and center including Spider-Man and Iron Man.

But what about what happens in the trailer? Well there’s so much to mention so here are my highlights:

  • There’s a massive battle in Wakanda with Black Panther, his army, plus the Avengers and some aliens? Sweet!
  • Vision and Scarlet Witch look close which means their relationship is finally happening on-screen! YAAAY!
  • Vision’s probably screwed as he’s shouting as someone’s trying to get that infinity stone out of his head.
  • Spider-Man’s new suit looks much better in motion than it did near the end of Homecoming.
  • Peter Parker’s arm hair stands up, spidey sense confirmed!
  • How badass does Steve Rogers look now?
  • I’m curious to see how Banner ended up with Doctor Strange and Wong, and how Tony Stark ends up there too.
  • The sense of scale in this film is immense with all the big ships, and the way the cinematography frames some of those battle sequences.
  • That last scene with Thor meeting the Guardians in their ship, love it.
  • The overall tone feels dark and dire and I love it, very Age of Ultron, I really hope Marvel commit to this tone in the film and give us some damn good drama!

In the end, I’m stupidly excited, I’m not gonna lie, I think my experience of watching the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron may still be my favourite of the Marvel Studios films so far, but this trailer, this trailer had so much going on and carried a lot of significance. It is a delicious trailer full of so many moments of hype, excitement, curiosity, mystery and seriousness. If this film is half as good as I hope it’ll be, then I will frigging blow up in May 2018, no joke! 😛

So have you seen the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War 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 November 29, 2017 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Dead Man Down

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another quick review and today I’m talking about Dead Man Down. Now, this is one of the many films that’s been on my watchlist on Amazon Video for AGES, and since I wanted to watch a film that wasn’t too long, but was also on the overdue section of my watchlist I decided to give this film a watch. So is this film a good watch or not? Well read on and find out! 😀

The plot can be summed up as the following: In New York City, a crime lord’s right-hand man is helped by a woman seeking retribution.

Now I don’t want to say too much about the plot in the summary above, so just check out the trailer below if you want any additional information. I watched this film completely blind and I thought this film was fun, but not too captivating throughout. If you have seen any thriller with a revenge plot then you’ve experienced a lot of these story elements before, and at first, you’re intrigued by the main character and his ties these criminals and this mysterious woman. That being said, certain things start out a little slow and there seemed to be a few moving parts to story that I wasn’t sure how they’d serve the main story. However, once some plot twists and revelations come to light the picks up and gets quite exciting. While some plot points play out as you’d expect, there were some minor aspects that turned out differently than I expected which was nice. One of the things that elevate the film is the cast, firstly there’s Colin Farrell as Victor, he doesn’t talk much especially early on, however, as the film goes on we get to learn more about him and understand his motivations, and it also helps that Farrell can be intimidating and likeable. Noomi Rapace as Beatrice is also really good, she’s a woman deeply affected by an accident that left her physically and mentally scarred and at first, it was interesting to learn about her backstory and how she tied to current events of the plot, and Rapace is so charming, strong and cute in this role, and I think this is the most attracted I’ve been to her as an actress so far. Farrell and Rapace have solid and cute chemistry together. Also, Dominic Cooper is good as Darcy, I liked his connection to Victor and how he played detective to find out the truth of an important death earlier on. Also, Terrence Howard did play a decent villain in the form of as Alphonse Hoyt, he’s smooth yet aggressive and has some great moments to chew scenery and in some ways, this character feels like a precursor to his role in Empire. And finally, Isabelle Huppert as Beatrice’s mother Maman was nice, offering light-hearted and subtle moments of drama with her daughter. Visually the film is pretty good. It felt like there was a strong sense of direction when it came to the action as it was shot and framed well, had some nice violence and gunfights, and the final action sequence in a house was pretty damn cool. Also, the film score from Jacob Groth was good and had some lovely dramatic and emotional moments. In conclusion, Dead Man Down was a decent film, it wasn’t overly original and was a little slow and predictable at points, the performances, style, action and latter half of the film kept me engaged.

So have you seen Dead Man Down and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

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

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 43 – Justice League Review (Spoilers!)

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, it is a recap/review of the summer movies of 2017!

Anyway here’s the episode 43:

I’ve done already done my written review for Justice League, however, there was so much more for me to say about this film that I couldn’t put in my original review. So in this podcast episode, I just expand upon some basic points and then get into full-on spoilers after 21:39, so for those who have seen the film and want to hear my thoughts about some of the more significant elements of the film, both good and bad, then that section is for you.

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 in future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Justice League

Howdy ladies and gents, its time for another review and today I get to talk about one of the biggest films of the year, Justice League. Now to say that the lead up to this film has been rough would be an understatement, with the mostly negative feedback to Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad and the success of Wonder Woman, the odds were stacked against this film. Add on top of that the fact that Zack Snyder left the film because of family tragedy, Joss Whedon had to step in to finish the films and since then there were numerous conflicting reports about what had changed, and how much of the film was changed because of Whedon’s involvement. Anyway, the film’s out, the reception’s been mixed and now its time for me to throw my thoughts into the mix! 🙂

So the plot can be described as the following:

“A new evil force comes to Earth threatening to bring about the end of the world, and so Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman work together to find and recruit a team of special individuals including Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash to stand against this newly awakened threat.”

So the plot of the film was good, not great, but solid. Firstly I liked the backstory involving the main villain, different races and the Mother Boxes, that along with certain dialogue about locations, history and characters helped flesh out the world and create mythology that was interesting and intriguing, it not only built on what we got in Man of SteelBatman V Superman and Wonder Woman, but helped make this film more engaging and left the door open for future films to build on. I also appreciated how the story was simple, yet layered with themes relating to teamwork, death, leadership, moving on from the past and finding courage in the face of uncertainty. There was also some wonderful references to the comics with certain scenes and dialogue which made me smile a lot too. That being said there were some issues, certain scenes dragged or felt boring, there were some tonal inconsistencies, and some of the humour was good and some of it fell a bit flat and ill-timed. And some of the plot decisions were a little basic and certain dramatic or important elements were resolved quickly without enough time to simmer.

As for the cast, I liked them, some more than others. Let’s start with Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, now some people like him as Batman, some hate him, I fall into the former category. Affleck’s portrayal of Batman was one of my favourite parts of BvS and he’s put to better use in this film. I liked how Bruce was strong-willed, focused, yet reckless and uncertain. Gal Gadot was quite good as Wonder Woman, it was interesting her in the modern world, dealing with issues not only with her past but also with some of the actions of her teammates too, Gadot has certainly found her groove with this role and besides being super beautiful, she’s confident, strong and smart. Ezra Miller as The Flash was a worry for me before watching this film because of my love for Grant Gustin’s version, but I did like this cooky, strange and lighthearted guy, he was mainly there for comic relief, but he some serious and smart moments too, and Miller’s charisma was magnetic. Jason Momoa as Aquaman was cool, he’s this serious, yet chilled out and funny kind of guy who does the right thing when the tie is right. The real surprise was Ray Fisher as Cyborg, I thought he looked like the most boring character from the trailers and he ended up being one of my highlights of the team with his attitude towards the way he was created, his interactions with the team and his importance to the plot, Fisher’s portrayal was quite engaging. The team as a whole had a wonderful dynamic filled with humorous and aggressive tendencies which made their eventual formation and scenes on and off of the battlefield nice.

Ciarán Hinds had a nice intimidating presence as the voice as Steppenwolf, unfortunately, the villain was a little on the generic side. I also liked Henry Cavill is definitely in the film and he was quite good (not a spoiler, it’s in the trailers), Jeremy Irons as Alfred was just as fun, as he was in BvS offering insightful information while providing some good jokes here and there, seeing the return of Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, was welcomed, Amy Adams and Diane Lane was fine as Lois Lane and Martha Kent, Joe Morton as Silas Stone was fine, but I thought it was more interesting that he was the guy from Terminator 2 in this film haha, and Amber Heard’s introduction to this world as Mera was cool. And finally, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon was good and liked his version of the character, I just wish there was more of him, there wasn’t enough! 😛

When it comes to the presentation it was good for the most part. Visually the film was nice, the was some lovely attention to detail with the way certain shots were framed and the cinematography the action sequences were a mixture of creative and fun scenes that ranged from the heroes fighting the bad guy, to the heroes fighting each other and many others, and it looked great. But there were a few moments where following the action was a little tricky, the GCI was also a little dodgy with certain faces, body movements and locations lacking in detail. The music from Danny Elfman was something I was paying attention to from the beginning and I quite enjoyed it. Elfman’s score is one that has a presence, it is full of impact, drama, triumph, playfulness and while it isn’t as memorable as some of his previous work, the way he worked in the classic Batman and Superman themes, from Batman 89′ and Superman 78′ was delightful.

In conclusion, what can I say? I liked Justice League, it was much better than I expected considering my low expectations, and while this film doesn’t reinvent the genre or does anything in an amazing fashion, it was pretty fun with some good action, good characters and solid music. Besides issues with the story, tone and villain, the film was certainly a step in the right direction for this cinematic universe,

So have you seen Justice League and if so what did you think of it? Was it better or worse than you expected? Also, how does it compare to the previous DCEU films? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!

Howdy ladies and gents, time a film review from the cinema and this is a review I didn’t expect to be writing as I’m gonna be giving you my thoughts on the latest Pokémon film, Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! Now I heard from a friend that this film would get a UK release but thought it’d be exclusive to London where I could see it, but after a friend mentioned on Twitter that she was gonna see it in Sheffield, I looked at my local cinema and to my surprise, they had two screenings! So I watched the earlier screening and I’m ready to share my thoughts.

Now before I go on with the review I’m going to say this up front, I have a MASSIVE nostalgic love for Pokemon when it comes to the original games and first anime series, so this review will be a little on the subjective side. With all that being said let’s begin.

Firstly there’s the story which focuses on the journey of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu along with two new companions who join him on his quest to find the legendary Pokémon, Ho-Oh. So the interesting thing about the story is how its a loose retelling of the original 1997 anime with focus on Ash and Pikachu and how their journey began, there’s a lot of fun, smart and delightful callbacks and direct references for those who watched that show and I was smiling so much. 😀 I enjoyed the plot borrowed the anime and referenced the video games, but was largely its own original tale. It was full of adventure, fun, hardship, danger and more, the film’s core themes about friendship, learning from your mistakes, good triumphing over evil and being good to Pokemon should come as no surprise to veterans of the show, but they are handled very well and have more dramatic and emotional weight than a good few of the original films. There was one part where I rolled my eyes because it felt like a direct reference to The First Movie and one line of dialogue which was just cheesy as hell, that being said the film’s made with children in my mind so I got over it.

As for the characters, I thought they were solid for the most part. Ash Ketchum was the same character I knew from the show, a young, strong-willed and passionate trainer who is inexperienced and has a lot to learn. I was surprised how much of douche Ash was in this film, but it certainly worked in the context of the story, I still was annoyed with him at times, but he wasn’t as much of a bonehead as he was in the old anime, and Sarah Natochenny did a decent job as Ash considering her deeper voice. I liked Pikachu too, he was a sassy little prick at first but that was a good point in my mind, afterwards, I really grew to like him a lot more and his bond with Ash was cute to watch. The new characters Sorrel and Verity were interesting new companions, some will complain they aren’t the original characters, but I thought they added something new with their backstories and personality traits. Cross was the new rival/bad trainer who was the definition of an asshole, but he was great and had a solid arc in the film, I liked the quirky old man Bonzi and Marshadow, I liked at first but it really became a little pest later on. And finally Professor Oak and Ash’s mother return and feel just like the original selves, and Even Team Rocket return and they have some fun moments, but I swear they were even more useless than before and really added nothing to the film which was a shame after their initial introduction.

When it comes to the presentation I really liked it. Visually the film was solid. The way the camera work added a cinematic approach to that the anime lacked, certain shots are framed and tracked in cool and dynamic ways. Also, the art and animation were very nice, all of the characters and Pokemon had a loose yet fluid style to their movements and the colour scheme was good. I will admit the detail in the art was lacking occasionally and some of the 3D CGI didn’t always blend well with the 2D material, both those are minor nitpicks. The film score was fairly good, it had the right sound for each moment and worked effectively in the emotional moments, though sometimes the music didn’t match the action on-screen. And while the music is primarily original compositions, there are some cool references to the original soundtrack and theme song which was much appreciated.

In conclusion Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! was really fun, intriguing and much better than I expected, it captured the spirit of the original show but also did a lot of new things to keep things interesting. If you’re a fan of the show you may be disappointed with some changes, however, if you’re willing to accept a few changes you’ll have a lot of fun. And stay for the credits, its hella fun and nostalgic! 🙂

So have you seen this film 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! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2017 in Anime, Film Reviews, Media, Reviews

 

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The Importance of Film Scores & Composers

Good day to you ladies and gents, today I would like to share with you a topic of conversation I’ve wanted to cover on this blog for a number of years in the form of film scores and composers. Now if you’ve followed this blog for a while you’ll be well aware of my love for films scores and when there is great music in the I always try to bring attention to it in my reviews, and so recently I made an episode about this topic on my podcast and wanted to share it with you. 😀

So what does this episode contain? Well here’s a little breakdown:

  • What Makes a Good Film Score & Why It Is Important
  • My Mountain Rushmore of Composers
  • Some of My Other Favourite Composers

There’s a lot more to the episode beyond those bullet points as I get descriptive with certain soundtracks, themes and composers as well. Covering films from Back to the Future to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and talking about composers like Danny Elfman, James Horner and Howard Shore, I do as much as I can to cover as many aspects of films scores and composers as possible without making the episode go on forever. Anyway check out the episode below:

I hope you enjoy the episode, this is a particular topic I’ve wanted to do on this blog for around 3 years. It was originally drafted as a blog post around 2 years ago and I added to it now and then until this year when I realised I wanted to change it into a podcast episode so I could properly communicate my feelings about the subject. It really is a passion project and while it didn’t turn out as perfectly as I had hoped, I feel like it is a good representation of my original vision.

So that’s me done. What do you think? Do you think that film scores are important to film or are you not fussed about it? And if you do like film scores and if so what are some of your favourite composers and soundtracks? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for reading and I’ll see ya in the next post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2017 in Films, Media, Music

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Fist of Fury

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to another quick review and today I get to talk about a film I’ve wanted to review on this blog for a while and it is one of the classic martial arts films, Fist of Fury. So is this film a good watch or not? Well read on and find out! 😀

The plot can be summed up as the following: “Returning to Shanghai to marry his fiancée, Chen Zhen (Bruce Lee) a student of renowned martial arts teacher Huo Yuanjia, discovers his sifu has died. During the funeral, members of a local Japanese dojo show up and insult the Chinese students. What follows is a quest for answers and tale of revenge..

The interesting thing about Fist of Fury is that I’ve seen it before this film, well at least the last 30 or so minutes, however, I’ve never seen it in full and have been meaning to for years and since it arrived on Amazon Prime Video recently I thought it was a perfect opportunity to check it out. So now that I’ve seen it I can say that, without hesitation that I really liked this film. It could be just because it is a Bruce Lee film and I’m a bit obsessed with him and his films, but I thought the film was genuinely entertaining and captivating. I felt like the story felt a little simple, however, as the story unfolded it showed more layers beyond just a tale of revenge and a feud between two martial arts schools, it touched upon the difference in culture, racism, and the complicated moral and ethical issues that come with taking the law into your own hands. By the latter half of the film, you feel like you’ve been on quite the journey. Beyond the serious elements, there are a good few humourous moments too with certain jokes, physical humour during fight scenes or with the English dubbed voices haha. That isn’t to say the story doesn’t have some issues, you have to suspend your disbelief as certain things take place and you’d wonder why the authorities hadn’t gotten involved already or why certain characters would make some decisions, and sometimes realism is just thrown out the window, but these are minor issues at best.

The performances in the film are good from everyone, for the most part, I especially liked Nora Miao as Yuan Li’er (Chen Zhen’s fiancée), Riki Hashimoto as Hiroshi Suzuki,  and Paul Wei as the slimy translator Wu En. But of course, you watch the film for Bruce Lee and he was really good as Chen Zhen, here we have a guy who is strong-willed, confident, smart and passionate, however, he’s got a bit of a temper and doesn’t always think about his actions before heading off to do something. I was surprised he was able to get away with so much in a lot of ways but at the same time the fact that he went around just doing what he wanted just made me love him more. He’s like a volcano that you don’t want to be in front of when it erupts, then he becomes this force of nature that takes out people left, right and center with style and ferocity and I love it. Visually the film is pretty good. The cinematography is handled well, like many of Bruce Lee’s film, I like the way the camera lurks on the actors on-screen allowing you to see the fight very cearly from a distance and different angles as well. Whether it is from a high angle, close up, medium shot or those intimate first-person shots, you get to experience the action in a variety of ways with cuts between actions used effectively. The fight choreography is really fun, you get to see punches, kicks, grapples and the use of weapons is cool and brutal ways, some hits do lack impact, but when Lee is throwing down everyone gets owned is such beastly and creative ways, I love when Lee does his combos and final blows, they are so beautiful. Oh, and I also like how slow motion and the use of sound and music is used to highlight the really dramatic moments too. Also, the film score from Joseph Koo was good and had some lovely and sweet moments especially with the scenes with Chen and Yuan. In conclusion, Fist of Fury was a very interesting, intense and fun martial arts film which has a story with more depth than I expected, a magnetic central performance from Bruce Lee and some super fun and slick action scenes. For fans of this genre, it is a must watch.

So have you seen Fist of Fury and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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