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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. 🙂

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. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if you can. Also you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on 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. 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! 😀

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

 

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Top 12 Most Anticipated Films of 2017

Howdy ladies and gents, time for my top 12 most anticipated films of 2017, I know it’s almost 2 weeks into 2017 and most people have done their lists already, but I had to sort out PART 1, 2 & 3 of my Films to Look Out For in 2017 lists first. Now I’m finally ready to reveal the films I’m most looking forward to. Now this was a hard list to put together so this some of these films aren’t specifically in order (mainly in the lower half). But anyway let’s get on with this list.

12. Wonder Woman

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This is the superhero film from DC and Warner Bros that I’m the most curious/excited to see, not only is the first solo film for Wonder Woman, but it is also the first film in the DCEU not handled by Zack Snyder (not counting David Ayer). I’m just very fascinated to see how this film plays out, the second trailer really sold me on this film with its vibrant colour palette, cool action sequences and interesting characters. I hope this film succeeds.

11. The Fate of the Furious

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While I’m not overly keen on the idea of Dom going against the very people he’s had such strong ties to for so many films now, but hey if it means we can get Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson teaming up then I think I’m cool with it. The film will be interesting to see how the story plays out, but more importantly for all the crazy action sequences, I really want to know how that submarine fits into this film. 😛

10. Dunkirk

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This is the first war film from Christopher Nolan, I think that’s all that I need to say haha. But seriously that’s my main reasons for watching this film, that and the cast.

9. Kong: Skull Island

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I’m really curious to see how this film turns out, I was initially really exited for this film, but the second trailer with the humour and overall atmosphere wasn’t as good as the last trailer. I have hope for this just because I want a good King Kong film with some cool mystery, mythology and potential ties that could set up the crossover film with Godzilla in 2020,

8. Thor Ragnarok

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I think it is safe to say that Thor is the least loved Avenger, even though he works well in the Avengers films, his solo films haven’t fared to well with certain fans and critics. I love the first film and don’t care for The Dark World, but Ragnarok has the potential to be the best of the three with the incorporation of Ragnarok, Hela, the Planet Hulk storyline and seeing what Taika Waititi can do with an MCU film? I’m down.

7. John Wick Chapter Two

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The first film was a lot of fun and as soon as I saw the teaser for this sequel it caught my attention straight away. I’m just looking forward to some more kick ass action with Keanu Reeves being a badass.

6. Kingsman The Golden Circle

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The first Kingsman was one of my favourite films of 2014 and while I didn’t need a sequel, I am glad that it exists just so I can see where Eggsy’s and his crew advance to and see how these new characters factor into the story.

5. Logan

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Here we have a film I’ve been looking forward to for a while now, but wasn’t absurdly excited for until I saw that trailer. The trailer for this film  totally took me by surprise and now all I can hope is that the film is half as good as the trailer is. Logan looks dramatic, violent and totally different from what we’ve seen from the X-Men film series so far, I can only hope it delivers the goods.

4. Spider-Man: Homecoming

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Spider-Man is my boy, he was awesome in Civil War and now has his solo film on the horizon and so far it looks really good. I already love Tom Holland in the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, I can’t wait to see how Michael Keaton handles Vulture, and finally I just hope that this film is the one that gets that right balance of high drama with superhero adventures right. This could be Spectacular Spider-Man in live-action if we’re lucky.

3. War For the Planet of the Apes

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If this film is as good as the trailer suggests, then War could be part of one of the best trilogy of films in recent film history. I really want to see the war between humans and apes kick off, seems like Caesar is done being patient and forgiving and will butt heads with Woody Harrelson (who looks crazy cool).

2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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I feel like the wait for this film has been SO long, my love for Guardians of the Galaxy was pretty intense back in the summer of 2014 and I’ve been ready for so long to see these characters back in action. Now we’re only around 4 months away and the details we’ve gotten James Gunn and the first trailers have only made me more excited, can’t wait to see the visual spectacle and hear that new soundtrack.

1. Star Wars Episode VIII

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I think we all knew that Star Wars was gonna end up at number one, while there are many other films that have me excited for different reasons whether they be first time adaptations or original films, seeing the next chapter in the episodic Star Wars films. Regardless of your thoughts on The Force Awakens, it was still a solid film which set up this new world of

Now I know the majority of my list are all major blockbuster films and a good few of them are comic book films but I can’t help it, I like what I like and I want awesome comic book adaptations. So what are your most anticipated films of the year? Drop me a comment below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2017 in Films, Media

 

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Films To Look Out For In 2017 Part 2

Howdy people of the interweb and welcome to Films to look out for in 2017! This is my preview of upcoming films that I believe deserve your attention. In PART 1 I covered films from January to March, and in this post I’ll be covering April to July.

Now before we begin I have two main things I need yo point out:

  1. Obviously a lot films come out, so if they’re not on my list it’s either because I don’t know about them or I don’t care…
  2. 2016 films getting their UK releases this year don’t count! So there. 😛

Okay then, let’s start 😀

Going in Style

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Release Date: April 7th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I saw the trailer for this the other day and I felt mixed about it. On the one hand it is an interesting concept of having three old guys going off to steal some money when their financial situations become problematic, but it also looks very questionable with some of the humourous situations that they’ll get into. To put it simply, this film looks like Last Vegas, except with old guys being robbers instead, I like the lead men and this could be fun, if handled correctly.

Gifted

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Release Date: April 12th (USA), June 16th (UK)

Trailer:

I’m interested in this film for three reasons: 1) I loved Chris Evans. 😛 2) I’m curious to see what Marc Webb’s been up to since those Amazing Spider-Man films. And 3) The premise for this film sounds intriguing and I’m liking the look of trailer so I hope it’ll be as good as I’m hoping.

The Fate of the Furious

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Release Date: April 14th (US & UK)

Trailer:

At this point you’re either on the Fast and Furious hype or not, but for those of us who are we’re pretty curious to see how this series progresses, not only because it’ll be the first film without Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner but also because Dom Torreto seems to have turned on his people and has teamed up with the enemy. I think the series should have ended with Furious 7 considering the send off for Paul Walker, but considering the money that film made, you knew this series was gonna continue regardless. The trailer for this new film looks like the same chaotic and nonsensical fun we’ve seen from the last few films, I just hope that some of the changes aren’t going to make the film less interesting.

The Lost City of Z

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Release Date: April 17th (USA)

Trailer:

I’ve heard a lot of talk about this film since last year and it has an interesting premise, but the main reason I want to watch this is because of Tom Holland. There’s no UK release but hopefully since its being distributed by Amazon Studios it’ll be available on Amazon Video at some point for Prime members like myself.

The Circle

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Release Date: April 28th (USA)

Trailer:

Here we have another interesting film with no UK release date, but I’m liking what I’m seeing in the trailer and it has a really impressive cast including Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Patton Oswalt, and Bill Paxton? Sign me up yo!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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Release Date: April 28th (UK), May 5th (USA)

Trailer:

Guardians of the Galaxy was one oft he best surprises of 2014, I mean I knew it’d be good, but for it to be as fun and different as it was, it changed the landscape of the MCU and the types of comic book films that could be made going forward. So far I’m totally happy with the marketing for this sequel with the humour, beautiful visuals and my favourite people, Groot and Drax looking to be standout characters once again.

Alien: Covenant

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Release Date: May 19th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Prometheus when it came out in 2012, and subsequent viewings didn’t do much to change my opinion, the film had some interesting ideas and was a beautiful film, but most of the characters besides Michael Fassbender’s David we idiots or just really boring. So the idea of a sequel to that film wasn’t too high on my list of films to check out this year, however, that trailer that dropped on Christmas day has swayed me a little, it looks violent and has some elements of the first and second Alien films (the best ones), so I am curious to see if this could be the Alien film I’ve been waiting for.

Wonder Woman

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Release Date: June 2nd (USA & UK)

Trailer:

This film has the potential to be really good or really bad depending on the story and central performance from Gal Gadot. It seems like a fair amount of people have embraced her as this character after Batman V Superman, but this solo film will be the real to see if her character can shine on her own. I thought the first Comic-Con trailer was fine, but the second trailer was much better with the action and visual presentation, I hope this can be a win for Warner Bros. and DC because they need it.

The Mummy

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Release Date: June 9th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I wasn’t too interesting a reboot of this franchise, until Tom Cruise was attached and the additional cast came along and kept my interest going. Now the trailer wasn’t the most impressive thing ever, and that Tom Cruise scream will be stuck my head forever, but that being said I’m curious to se how this turns out.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

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Release Date: July 7th USA & UK)

Trailer:

Spider-Man is my all-time favourite superhero and he has had 2 great films, 1 decent one and 1 terrible one, after 2014 I thought I might be done with live-action Spidey films for a little while, and yet last year, Civil War showed me that I was completely wrong, that I could love Spidey in films again in a fresh yet classic way. I’ve liked what I’ve seen of this new Spidey film from the set pictures to the first trailers, I hope the film is as good as I’m hoping because it has the potential to be the best Spidey film to date.

War for the Planet of the Apes

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Release Date: July 14th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of the best surprise films of 2011, and Dawn was a dramatic and character-driven adventure, both of these films have been really fun, exciting, badass and surprising captivating. So with this sequel I’ve been excited for the last few years to see where this franchise would go and after that first trailer I am so hyped for to see this film in July.

Dunkirk

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Release Date: July 21st (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I’ve pretty much liked every film that Christopher Nolan’s made and this is probably his most realistic and grounded film for a while, so I am curious to see how he handles a film in the war genre, the trailer looks good and I’m excited to see the cast especially Kenneth Branagh and Cillian Murphy.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

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Release Date: July 21st (USA) August 4th (UK)

Trailer:

I heard about this film I think after Comic-Con last year and I wasn’t too keen on the promotional images, and wasn’t too fussed about this film until I saw the trailer. Now while I’m not too sure on what the plot is, and I don’t really care for the music, on a purely visual level the film looks insane! The amount of creativity, colour, detail and crazy designs of the aliens and locations is mind-boggling and depending on if the film is good or not I may want to see this in IMAX. Now I wasn’t the biggest fan of Lucy so I am cautious, but I like Dane DeHaan so here’s hoping there with be some substance to this spectacle.

The Dark Tower

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Release Date: July 28th (USA & UK)

I’ve heard a lot about this film from the years it’s been trying to be made from different studios to finally getting into production with Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in the lead roles. I’ve never read the book, but I am interested in this film just to see how it turns out.

The Coldest City

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Release Date: July 28th (USA), July 28th (UK)

I had no clue this film was coming out until I looked it up and the more I’ve looked into it the more excited I’ve intrigued I’ve gotten. Firstly its a spy thriller film which has my interest already, plus you have a good cast including Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman and Sofia Boutella. And you have the fact that it’ll be helmed by David Leitch, one half of the directing team behind John Wick, and will also be responsible for directing the Deadpool sequel? It sound like this film will be cool to watch.

Alrighty then, that’s PART 2 done. Thanks a lot for reading. Are any of the films listed on your personal list of films to watch? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and I’ll see you for PART 3! Laters 😀

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2017 in Films, Media

 

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