RSS

Tag Archives: Halle Berry

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, how is it going? So I’m back again to share my thoughts on the latest film in the John Wick series; John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum via my podcast¬†Film Focus.

It is crazy to see how far this set of films have come, from the original surprising audiences in 2014 to the 2017 sequel which wasn’t as well-received, but I thought was really damn good (check out my review). And now you have Chapter 3 which I was always excited to see, but my hype levels didn’t kick in until around a fortnight before the film’s release and it also helped that the early word of mouth was pretty positive as well. So how was the film? Well, check out this spoiler-free review to find out!

Anyway here’s the review:

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

So have you seen John Wick 3 and if so what did you think of it? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, until next time, laters! ūüėÄ

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 23, 2019 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

QUICK REVIEW: X-Men: Days of Future Past – Rogue Cut

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen of the world, its time for another film review and today I’m gonna be talking about X-Men: Days of Future Past – Rogue. Now I loved Days of Future Past last year, it was a wonderful experience in the cinema and when I heard about the extended cut that was going to be released with Rogue included, I was hyped! So I eventually got it on Blu-ray recently and now I’m ready to pass judgement! Oh and before I do this review, I won’t repeat myself by talking about the same aspects of the film, instead I’ll talk mainly about the differences. Minor spoilers to follow for people who haven’t seen Days of Future Past

x-men-days-of-future-past-rogue-cut-blu-ray

So the story goes something like this:

In the future the machines known as Sentinels have taken over the Earth and enslaved mutants and humans alike, and many have lost their lives fighting for justice. Now Professor X, Magneto and group of other mutants are the only survivors and the only way for them to save the future is to change the past. So Wolverine is sent back in time to the 1970’s to get the younger versions of Professor X and Magneto to band together and stop the Sentinel programme from coming into existence.

The plot for the film is essentially the same as the theatrical release, with one major change; the inclusion of Rogue. Now Rogue was absent from theatrical version of this film besides a quick cameo, but here in the future she has a more significant presence as her whereabouts are disclosed and she actually gets to contribute to the main mission. It was definitely nice to see Anna Paquin again as Rogue, however, I don’t feel like she added much to the film, more like her appearance offered an alternative take on some of the future timeline. What I did appreciate was the additional scenes in the future, while they were mainly scenes of additional dialogue, it really added to the plot, developed some of the characters a little more and felt like a positive inclusion. I loved the additional scenes with older Professor X and Magneto, the small yet important scenes with Bobby and Kitty and the extra scenes for the new mutants like Bishop, Sunspot, Blink and Warpath. In the past, the plot doesn’t change, rather there are a few variations on certain scenes or some additional scenes added, but these don’t really add anything to the plot and feel unnecessary. Even one additional scene with Beast and Mystique/Raven, as good as it is, again doesn’t really feel entirely needed.

x-men_daysoffuturepast_rogue-cut890

Beyond the changes, everything that you liked about the original version of the film is intact and awesome. I still love the action, drama and the performances from the cast involved. And on Blu-ray everything looks very sharp, clean and pretty. Some of my issues with the film haven’t been ironed out like the use of the 70’s Sentinels and the lack of really badass screen time for Storm still bothers me.

x-men-days-of-future-past04

In conclusion X-Men: Days of Future Past is a great alternative to the theatrical version and if it is your first experience of the film then it should be a good time regardless. That being said I believe that some of the changes and additions to this extended cut aren’t necessary or superior to the original and some of the additional scenes actually ruin the pacing of the film too. It really depends on how much you love the X-Men film universe and whether the new stuff adds or detracts for you personally, I’d say its good version, but not a better one.

Rating: 8/10

So what do you lot think of the X-Men: Days of Future Past? Have you seen it and if so which version do you prefer, the Rogue Cut or the theatrical version? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! ūüėÄ

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 22, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2: Catwoman

Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #30 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I‚Äôll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. So, on the final day of this epic blog series I have saved the best for last, today I am of going to talk about one of the most disgusting films in the history of superhero films, one that everyone has tried to forget for years and is just tragic piece of film in general… Yeah, it’s Catwoman.

catwoman_poster

Oh this film, yuck. I have never had the misfortune of seeing this film up until now because I was smart enough to stay away. I’d seen clips on TV, saw the trailers in the cinema way back when and watched the Nostalgia Critic’s review pretty much cementing my need to stay away. But with this blog series, I knew I would have to go the dark places to find some bad films and this is one of the most popular. I do wonder if it’ll be worst than Spawn or X-Men Origins: Wolverine because those are pretty much my most hated comic book films. People wish me luck! ūüėõ

The story can be summed up as the following:

“A shy woman, endowed with the speed, reflexes, and senses of a cat, walks a thin line between criminal and hero, even as a detective doggedly pursues her, fascinated by both of her personas.”

The story is horrible. It’s like the filmmakers wanted to keep some of the original Catwoman elements but create something new, but I feel like the ran with the new ideas too far and created something so far-fetched that the end result is beyond what anyone was expecting. This film is weird, confusing and because of its random nature the level of realism is lost because there feels like there’s no rules. The whole ‘cat’ aspect was taken way too far; from the intro credits to the history lesson from Ophelia to Patience’s character habits in general, it was too literal and quite painful to watch. The whole story felt like a joke, a sick, twisted and awkward joke, and while there was some humour to be found it was because I was laughing at the film and not with it.

halle-berry-in-catwoman-(2004)

Now let’s talk about the cast. Firstly there’s Halle Berry as Patience Phillips/Catwoman. Man, where do I begin? On the one hand there’s Patience, a person who would give Clark Kent a run for his money as the most clumsy, boring and insignificant person in existence, this girl’s life made me want to cry because of how frail and innocent she was. But then there’s Catwoman, damn, this girl is crazy, she’s sassy, aggressive, full of puns, cat-like tendencies and feels the need to be sexy all the time, which doesn’t always work considering some of the dialogue she’s spouting out. Berry is so cheesy, weird and embarrassingly bad in this role that is almost impossible to watch. Whether it is terrible dialogue, battle poses, her overly sexual walk or those strange cat tendancies, it makes me cringe. And I don’t think I could continue without mentioning her costume, the Catwoman costume; it’s impractical, ridiculous and leaves nothing to the imagination, but I have to say that Berry looks good in it. But seriously, that is no superhero/anti-hero costume, that’s a¬†dominatrix outfit for sure.

catwoman-stone-berry

Benjamin Bratt as Detective Tom Lone was alright, he was charming and fun at times, but other times his character was so dumb and silly that I couldn’t like him that much and his character only seemed to be in the film to be a love interest for Patience. Sharon Stone as Laurel Hedare was pretty bad, at first she’s not too bad, but the over-acting comes in later on and it is so hard to take Stone seriously with some of her dialogue. Lambert Wilson as George Hedare, wow, if you want the definition of a typical, clich√© and cartoonish bad guy for the audience to hate, look no further. George is a douche and has no redeeming qualities and so when you see him giving our main character grief you’re just waiting for her to get take him out. Frances Conroy as Ophelia Powers was really hard to take seriously because of how strange her character came across and finally Alex Borstein as Sally was quite fun, sure she was pretty annoying at times but for the most part I found her funny.

catwoman-5

Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is terrible. One of the things that jumped out at me immediately was the overuse of CGI, it is used for most of the scene transitions when moving around the cityscape, would it have cost the filmmakers that much just to film these locations in real life? It would have made the film look a less like a video game. Also the CGI used for Catwoman during her “Spider-Man” moments was so bad, it was blurry and unpolished and some of those actions would have been much better if there was a stunt person doing all the work instead or if these crazy superpowers weren’t included in the first place! Oh and I have to mention the action scenes, they aren’t good. The choreography goes from being lazy to completely random and stupid, there’s no sense of realism, logic or awesomeness involved. The two moments that stand out to me as especially bad was the introduction of the Catwoman outfit (the attention to ass and breasts was clearly appealing to the male audience) and the horrible basketball scene, oh man, that was an endurance. As for the soundtrack by Klaus Badelt, it frigging sucks. I don’t know this guy was thinking when he put this film score together but it is one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. The score is full of sassy and highly sensual music elevated by women singing in the background and it is incredibly cheesy, off-putting and awkward. I feel like the soundtrack was crafted with the fact that Patience was black and the music was a representation of her darker/sexier side, but it doesn’t work, its hella lame, frustrating and cringeworthy. This for me was easily the worst part of the film.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? My Catwoman knowledge is kind of sketchy but even I can tell that this is not the character I remember from the comics. Besides bearing the name Catwoman, having her whip and love for shiny jewelry, everything else is brand new and doesn’t have any proper connection to the Batman mythos.

catwoman133155

So to conclude Catwoman is just bad. I understand a need to create something that is new and different for audiences who have been acquainted with the character for so long, but this is not the way to do it. With a bizarre story, bad acting and incredibly awkward tone and setting, this is one of those films you sit and reflect on just to try and comprehend what you just saw. It is not the worst film I’ve ever seen in the superhero genre, but it is not one that should ever be watched unless you like the game of torture.

Rating: 2/10

And with that reviews done, that’s all 30 reviews done and dusted! GAME OVER SON! ūüėÄ So have you been unfortunate enough to have seen the atrocity that is Catwoman and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo!

I just want to say thank you to everyone all commented and liked the posts in this series, it was a lot of work and I can say it was pretty difficult to stay consistent, but hell I got through it. I would like to personally thank Sidekick Reviews and Tim the Film Guy for their contributions, you guys rock! Well now it’s time to get back to the regular content, until then peace out!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

X-Men: Days of Future Past Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen of the world, its time for another film review and today I’m gonna be talking about the next big film of the summer in the form of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Now the X-Men film series has had a bit of a rocky road but for the most part it has been good and in recent years it has been getting a bit of a resurgence and now we have Days of Future Past, a film that intends to bridge the gap between the X-Men films new and old. So has it succeed? Well read on and find out!

days-of-future-past-poster05

So the story goes something like this:

In the future the world is pretty much in pieces, the machines known as Sentinels have taken over the Earth and enslaved mutants and humans alike, there is no happiness or hope, only pain, suffering and death. Many have lost their lives fighting for justice and now Professor X, Magneto and group of other mutants are the only survivors and the only way for them to save themselves is to change the past. So Wolverine is sent back in time to the 1970’s to get the younger versions of Professor X and Magneto to band together and stop the Sentinel programme from coming into existence.

The story in this film is very good, smart and entertaining throughout, sure there’s the occasional plot hole and some head-scratching elements that’ll leave you with some unanswered questions, but overall this film has its heart in the right place. The themes of changing fate, rewriting history, bonds of friendship and having hope in the face of adversity are on display in a wonderful and powerful way and I loved how things in the past were relevant to the future and vice versa. This film also doesn’t hope back on the level of loss and devastation caused by the Sentinels in the future, there is a lot of drama and emotion and you buy that this is not a world anyone wants to live in and I love how the stories of the past are just as interesting with characters being so different and having all of the politics involved with mutants and the dawn of the Sentinels through Trask Industries. But the best thing about this film is that it feels right, this film pretty much rectified a lot of the mistakes of this franchise and gives you something that feels good, fresh, fun and by the end of the film you feel like you’re in a happy place with yourself, well I know I did.

days-of-future-past-img07

As for the cast they are all on top form with some giving us some of their best performances to date. So let’s start with the young cast first. James McAvoy is still great as Charles Xavier, like in First Class you’re still seeing sides of him that you never knew existed and it only makes his character more layered and easier to relate to. In this film Xavier in the 70’s is a mess and for good reason, but it is seeing him deal with his pain and then journey back the place where he needs to be which is so rewarding. Michael Fassbender is still killing it as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, if you thought this guy was cool in the last film then wait til you see this one. This Magneto definitely has more of the McKellen side of the character in him in the way in which he acts, speaks and uses his powers and just like Xavier he’s in a very different place than his older self and seeing the emotions with him and choices he makes only makes him more badass. Jennifer Lawrence returns as Raven/Mystique and she too have never been better. This is more in line with the character we knew from the old films, but still with the emotional conflict and beauty we got from her in First Class. I liked how agile, cool and acrobatic she was, but more so than that, I liked how much of a central role she had in the film, it made me smile so much. I also really liked Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast, he was funny and whenever he was in blue mode he was awesome, but I also liked how he’s still there for Xavier and is really smart.

Peter-Dinklage-X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past ??

Now let’s talk about the veterans. Firstly there’s Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine and do I really have to say how good he is in this film? Come on its Hugh Jackman, he’s automatically awesome. Again this film gives us fans what we love with all the smug, cool and humourous elements of the character, but rather than making the only character that matters, others are given screen time to develop, grow and have action moments in the spotlight, sure this guy is at the center of things a lot, but not as much as he has been before. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are still fantastic as old Professor X and Magneto, both of them have a screen presence and gravitas about their acting that is impossible to not enjoy, but beyond that you believe in their connection and there are some really emotional moments between them. Ellen Page gives her best performance as Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat as she is much smarter and serious in terms of her personality and use of her powers, she has a central role to this film and the way she is handled was carefully done. Seeing Shawn Ashmore as Iceman again brought joy to my heart as this was the Iceman I’ve wanted to see for so many years, he was cool and had some lovely moments. I was also glad to see my man Daniel Cudmore back as Peter Rasputin/Colossus, he was a joy to watch and it was nice to see him get some screen time even if he didn’t say much, and Halle Berry returns as Storm and while she doesn’t really do much beyond what we’ve seen in previous films, she is still has her moments to shine.

days-of-future-past07

Now let’s talk about the new people. Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask is very good, he is a man who is anticipating the future and wishes to keep the world save and in his mind he is the good guy for doing what he’s doing and creating the Sentinel programme. He’s smart, determined and kind of smug when it comes to his research and technology and Dinklage is just awesome. Evan Peters as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver was actually one of the best parts of the film, while the costume still looks a bit off, his performance and use of his character was very effective. Omar Sy as Bishop was really cool, I don’t really know anything about this character from the comics but he had a cool and badass screen presence and liked a lot of his action scenes. And finally Fan Bingbing stars as Clarice Ferguson/Blink and Booboo Stewart stars as James Proudstar/Warpath were lovely additions to this film universe, while there was a lot going on with other cast members I was happy that the got a decent amount of screen time too.

When it comes to the presentation it is very, very good. Visually the film is impressive, firstly you can also tell that this is a Bryan Singer film, the look, style of camera work and the use of visual effects is just like the stuff he did with the first two X-Men films, and I can tell you this guy knows his stuff. The action sequences are beautifully shot and framed, there are sequences both in the past and future that are worth talking about and they all look lovely. As for the soundtrack John Ottman returns to score the film and I can say it is nice to have him back, he gives this film the trademark film theme back which was a welcome return for me, however his soundtrack was just alright and doesn’t reach the epic and emotional heights of Henry Jackman’s work on First Class.

days-of-future-past-image01 x-men-days-of-future-past04

In conclusion X-Men: Days of Future Past is a great comic book film, it takes the source material, adapts into a film format that bridges to worlds of X-Men films while also setting up for future X-Men films. While not everything works and some people cold have used more screen time, it is hard for me to criticise a film that gave me everything I could have wanted and then some. I left the cinema thinking to myself “I feel good about that film and I can’t wait for the sequel.” I highly recommend this film as it is X-Men in probably its finest hour. P.S. All I can say is thank god Bryan Singer didn’t mess this up, Mr. Singer you are alright again. ūüôā

Rating: 8.5/10

So what do you lot think of the X-Men: Days of Future Past? Have you seen it or are you gonna watch it? Also if you’re a fan of the series did it meet your expectations or were left disappointed. Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! ūüėÄ

 
8 Comments

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Month of Superhero Film Reviews: X-Men 3: The Last Stand

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #29 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Okay so after one okay X-Men film and the brilliant second film, we now move onto the tragic disaster that X-Men: The Last Stand aka The Film That Fans Try to Forget About.

Good god man. X-Men: The Last Stand¬†is one of the films I actively try to avoid. This is a film that is infamous among comic book fans for its failure and horrible execution. I remember seeing X-Men 3 in the cinema and recall being very disappointed, but since then each time I’ve checked it out its gotten worse. Now I’ve had no reason to watch this in recent years, but thanks to this month of superhero films reviews I have to dive into the deep end again! And in 2013 this film sucks even worse than ever before.

In terms of the plot in X-Men 3 takes place some time after the last film. It is publicly announced  that there is now a cure for the mutants created in a secret laboratory supported by the government, it creates a divide in the mutant community. Some mutants are for the idea while others detest the idea. Magneto believes a war is coming and recruits a large team of mutants to take down Warren Worthington II and his cure. The X-Men have to stop him, though they are at a disadvantage because Jean Grey has returned as The Phoenix and joined with Magneto. So now on darkest of days the X-Men have to band together with what little team members they have left and take on the Brotherhood of Mutants.

xmen29

The story in this film just pisses me off SO MUCH! X-Men 2 worked so well as it just about had the right balance of characters, action and story, but somehow that good material got tampered with in the transition of writers and director. What we get in this film is a story that has tiny elements of interest, but the execution is simply poor. This film introduces a lot of new elements into play in terms of story, characters and some comic book aspects too, but none of it matters as it is not there long enough to matter. Some of the characters changed with no real explanation as to why or some just feel inconsistent when compared to its predecessor. Too many wrong decisions were made. Why in the hell was Cyclops killed off? Why was Angel introduced if he serves no proper purpose? Where’d Nightcrawler go? WHY FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST DID PROFESSOR X HAVE TO DIE!?! Who thought that was a good idea? Fail, fail, fail!

xmen36

Why for the love of god did this have to happen? I’ll never get over this.

Now let’s talk about the cast. Let’s start with¬†Hugh Jackman¬†as Wolverine, while Jackman has his cool character moments overall his character as gone from awesome to very cruddy, and annoyingly Wolverine is still the main character in this film. I mean his story was technically wrapped up in the last film, so there is no reason for him to be at the forefront of the story yo. I understand that he has feelings for Jean Grey, but it gets to absurdly high level and it really pisses me off how much of a lovesick puppy he becomes especially after Cyclops dies, that is not in good taste at all.¬†Ian McKellen returns as again Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, while McKellen still gives a good performance, I wasn’t keen on how cold he was and many silly decisions were made with his character.¬†Famke Janssen also returns from death as Jean Grey/Phoenix, in this film she’s a shadow of her former self and instead spends most of the film as the Phoenix, killing everyone that comes across he in the wrong way. Janssen was a right bitch in this film and obviously that was down to the character she was playing but even so there was no redeeming qualities about her in this film.

xmen8

Halle Berry definitely has more of a leader role as Storm, in this film she’s a lot more assertive and has way more dialogue than before, but the problem is that she still doesn’t fully own her leadership role and doesn’t fully utilize her weather powers and you’d think since she’s the only original member of the X-Men team she’d have a more important role but she’s really pushes aside. We also have a new member in the form of¬†Kelsey¬†Grammer¬†as¬†Dr. Henry “Hank” McCoy/Beast. He’s a former student of Xavier’s School who is now the Secretary of Mutant Affairs in the U.S. government. Grammer does good job at portraying the character even though I feel like he wasn’t totally utilized in the best way in my opinion.¬†Shawn Ashmore¬†as¬†Bobby Drake/Iceman is decent, he gets more screen time and gets to do more action, but in the end he’s not the version of Iceman I’d like to see. Also¬†Ellen Page shows up as the new Kitty Pryde, she’s good and has some decent moments in the film but I feel like her character doesn’t naturally fit into the film. And then there’s¬†Daniel¬†Cudmore¬†as¬†Peter Rasputin/Colossus, he goes from just having a cameo to being a full-on X-Men team member, but the problem is that he’s just there for fight scenes as we still don’t learn too much about the guy.

xmen5 xmen17

Rebecca Romijn is still as hot and agile as Mystique, Romijin is good for the short time that she’s in the film but after she loses her powers she’s useless. It is darn shame too because I liked her too.¬†Aaron Stanford is still an arrogant hot-head as Pyro, his role has been increased in this film and while he has some wonderful action moments, I still think of him as that annoying douche who should have been taken out quickly.

Now we move onto the useless or completely wasted characters.¬†Anna Paquin¬†as Rogue has just been turned into a moping teenager whose jealous of Bobby and Kitty’s friendship. She feels alone because she can’t be intimate with anyone and yet she forgets about the fact that Wolverine was the first REAL friend she’s ever had, not only that but once the cure is announced she proper jumps on the bandwagon to get it without even considering any other options, such a waste of a character. And then there’s¬†Patrick Stewart¬†as¬†Professor Charles Xavier, Stewart is good but very much wasted due to him being killed off. WHY!?! And then we have¬†James Marsden¬†as Cyclops. Ah man in this film he’s even more of a pussy than before due to the death of Jean and then he finds her only to be killed off in the beginning of the film. I feel bad for Marsden as he is actually famous for this role and yet his character is butchered so badly and then done away with so swiftly that it sickens me. Also¬†Vinnie Jones¬†as Juggernaut is hilarious and has some funny moments but otherwise he’s another one of those throwaway characters. And lastly¬†Ben Foster¬†as¬†Warren Worthington III/Angel was just a pointless addition to the film, sure he has a bit of purpose because of his father’s plan for a cure, but Warren doesn’t do anything significant like join the X-Men or help in the major battle at the end of the film, which renders his appearance in this film pointless.

xmen31

Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the CGI is pretty good, but the presentation of Phoenix’s powers was badly handled (where’s the fire and why does she look like a demented alien woman?) and all of the action scenes were okay but none of them had any unique or stand out moments. As for the soundtrack by John Powell is not as nicely handled as it was in X-Men 2 and there are a lot of repeating themes throughout the film that are a little overbearing. The best song is “Angel’s Cure“, that piece is beautiful and dramatic.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well as I’ve said before I know the X-Men mainly from the cartoons, a few comic books and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. From what I saw in this film there are a good few element from the comics kept and updated for the film. But I think that the main offender in this case is the handling of “The Dark Phoenix Saga” story arc in the comics that’s adapted into an original story, while it was an interesting idea, I feel like the way it was executed was very foolish and messy.

xmen13

So to conclude X-Men: The Last Stand is still one of the most disappointing and disgusting film in the realm of comic book films. It took the great material from the last film and completely shits on it with a terrible story, poorly handled character development and poor use of the source material. This is just a cluttered mess of a film that was forgotten about by comic book fans and audiences for a real. It sucked back then and it sucks right now! FAIL, FAIL, FAIL!

Rating: 4/10 (This film is the reason why the X-Men series needs to be rebooted damn it!)

So there’s my review people, only 1 more to go yo! So have you seen X-Men and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 29, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Month of Superhero Film Reviews: X-Men 2

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #28 of my¬†Month of Superhero Film Reviews!¬†During this month I‚Äôll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. After the not too impressive X-Men yesterday let’s talk about the far superior sequel that Bryan Singer crafted in the form of X-Men 2 aka X2 aka X2: X-Men United.

Yeah, X-Men 2 is some cool stuff. I remember watching this in the cinema and being so happy afterwards. After all these years X-Men 2 is still been one of my favourite comic book films and even though there are a few things I would have changed about the film, it is still awesome and I have a great time watching it. So its been a while since I watched it last, have my views changed in 2013? Read on and find out.

Now let’s talk about the plot.¬†After the events on Liberty Island, everyone at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters is settling in. Magneto is locked up in a plastic cell, Rogue and Bobby Drake have finally gotten together, and Wolverine has set off to find his origins. But after a mutant attack on the President, everyone starts to fear any type of mutant. William Stryker, who plans to stop all mutants, raids the mutant school, causing Wolverine and his team of mutants to go into hiding. Stryker has managed to capture Xavier and will use him to create another version of Cerebro. So now the remaining X-Men must now team up with their enemy, Magneto, to stop Stryker before it’s too late.

The story in this film is a lot better than the last film. Rather than having a plot that doesn’t quite add up to anything, this plot gives us a lot better material that’s brilliant in regards to the story, characters and spectacle. With William Stryker’s plan to eliminate the mutants, it makes for some high stakes storytelling especially with all the characters involved. I also like how Stryker tied-in with Wolverine’s past, his son had connections to Charles Xavier and because of Xavier’s previous experiences with trying to help humans, Magneto is interconnected in this too. The film’s story just felt a lot bigger in scope than before and it felt a lot smarter and was way more interesting because of the comic book elements that was added in. I loved the Wolverine origins, the continuing struggles for the mutants against humans and the progression of Jean Grey’s abilities.

x-men-2-13

Now let’s talk about the cast. Let’s start with¬†Hugh Jackman¬†as¬†Logan/Wolverine. In this film Logan is still trying to find out about his past and is having flashbacks via nightmares. I think this is where Jackman really started to own the role as Wolverine, here he’s more aggressive, dramatic and more in line with his comic book roots. Patrick Stewart is still great as¬†Professor Charles Xavier. Stewart gets more screen time due to his expanded role in relation to the plot and his performance is fabulous offering some moments which are cool, assertive and classy. Also¬†Ian McKellen is magnificent as¬†Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto. Like Xavier, Magneto’s role is expanded in this film due to the story, in this film Magneto is even more sophisticated, aggressive and brutal. McKellen has many great scene-stealing moments and great lines of dialogue too.

x2_x_men_united_magneto_escapes

Now let’s talk about Famke Janssen¬†as¬†Dr. Jean Grey. I actually liked her character a lot more than the last film, in this film Jean had a more pivotal role and this film really started to look into her powers too. Even though she was still playing with the emotions of both Logan and Scott, Janssen was nice.¬†Halle Berry fares a lot better as Storm, this time her character has a lot more to do and is brought the front of the story. Berry looks sexier than before in the role and she has much better scenes when it comes to using her powers.¬†James Marsden unfortunately doesn’t get too much better as¬†Scott Summers/Cyclops. He does have a few more moments to shine and isn’t as much of a useless background character is in the prequel, but he is still a bit of a pussy and isn’t the character I know from the comics.

Anna Paquin was still good as Rogue, I thought she had some nice moments in terms of action and I also like how she tries to establish a relationship with Bobby.¬†Shawn Ashmore makes for a cool Bobby Drake/Iceman, he has an expanded role in this film and I liked his story elements and budding relationship with Rogue. Also¬†Aaron Stanford stands out very well as¬†John¬†Allerdyce/Pyro. You can see he’s a guy who doesn’t completely live by the rules, has issues with the mutant discrimination and really wants to show off his abilities. Stanford has some great moments especially when he displays his powers.

4f67df9581f9a24d23cc68fb4b2fc364

Rebecca Romijn-Stamos continues to be awesome as¬†Mystique, she continues to be one impressive woman as she infiltrates several locations, fights off loads of enemies and changes into several people. As for¬†Brian Cox¬†as¬†Colonel William Stryker I thought he was very good as this man who has a military background and has ties to Wolverine’s past. Cox was great in the villain role and he lended himself very well to the source material he was given. But one of the most stand out performances is¬†Alan Cumming¬†as¬†Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler. This character is one of my favourite characters from the comics and he is wonderfully brought to screen in this modified versions. Cummings was very cool, funny and incredible as Nightcrawler and was one of the best people in the film. And¬†Kelly Hu¬†as¬†Yuriko Oyama/Deathstrike was cool, she was the crazy mutant with the same abilities as Wolverine though she had much more agility and karate skills.

x-men2-nightcrawler

Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually this film is so good, the CGI in impressive and the make-up is nicely done too. I also love the action in this film, its wonderfully crafted and is very exciting to watch especially when it comes to the brilliant opening sequences with Nightcrawler in the White House or seeing Wolverine fighting people or Pyro’s fire scenes too. As for the soundtrack by John Ottman its great, its way better than the last film with a better sense of epicness, it’s not overly amazing, bit it does its job well.

tumblr_mal1v03mE61rw2uyvo6_1280

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? As I said before I’ve only read a bit of the X-Men comics and my knowledge is more in lines with cartoons. But from what I know this film adapted some of the source material well like Nightcrawler’s abilities, Wolverine’s back story and the introduction of William Stryker was good too.

X22

So to conclude X-Men 2 is still a kick ass film. It takes the Everything in this film is miles better than the prequel, the storytelling is better, the returning cast are better utilized and the action is on another level. Even after all this time X-Men 2 is still a good superhero film and has a good few comic book elements implemented that makes it so much fun to watch. While the film isn’t perfect and has a few things that I’d personally change, I’d say that this is still one of the best comic book films and it deserves respect.

Rating: 8.5/10 (Still a fine comic book film and arguably still the best X-Men film)

So there’s my review people, only 2 more to go. So have you seen X-Men 2 and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 28, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Month of Superhero Film Reviews: X-Men

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #27 of my¬†Month of Superhero Film Reviews!¬†During this month I‚Äôll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Today we’re gonna talk about the film that in a lot of ways made comic book films the popular genre they are today, I am of course talking about Bryan Singer’s about¬†X-Men.

Ah X-Men, this is one of the films that really¬†helped comic¬†book films become popular again, so it should be awesome right? Well it is good, but not that great. Funnily enough I actually saw this film after X-Men 2, so yeah after the awesome sequel it was kind of lame to go back to the less impressive prequel. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good elements about X-Men, but each time I’ve watched the film since the mid-2000’s it’s gotten worse and worse. So in 2013 has my opinion changed? Read on and find out.

In terms of the plot the¬†film focuses on the mutants¬†Wolverine¬†and¬†Rogue¬†as they are brought into a conflict between two groups that have radically different approaches to bringing about the acceptance of mutant-kind:¬†Professor Xavier’s X-Men, and the¬†Brotherhood of Mutants, led by¬†Magneto.

The story for the most part is pretty interesting. I liked the way it started out with Senator Kelly hating on the mutants and trying to get them to get registered so that they can be separated from humans. We also get to see the differing opinions about how mutants feel towards humans from both the good and bad perspective. Charles Xavier thinks that mutants can coexist with the humans, whereas Magneto, due to his past experiences believes that mutants are superior and need to take the humans out. I like all the conflict between humans and mutants and within the mutant groups themselves. I also love the introduction of Wolverine and Rogue, their characters are treated well along with Xavier and Magneto. However this film presents a lot of problems, since there is a great focus on Wolverine and a few select other mutants, other characters don’t get enough screen time to be relevant or just end up being background people. By the end of the film you really want to see what happens next and luckily even though this film isn’t overly amazing, it sets up the groundwork for some really impressive material in the sequel.

X-Men-2000-Wallpaper-5

Now let’s talk about the cast. Let’s start with¬†Hugh Jackman¬†as¬†Logan/Wolverine. In this film Wolverine is drifter, he has no home and gets in fights for money because he beaten because of his mutant abilities. However his life changes when he comes into contact with Rogue and eventually the X-Men and from there he has to adjust to his new surroundings and try to decide where he stands when he unintentionally becomes part of this war. Hugh Jackman was nobody before this film came out, but this is the role that made him the popular star he is today. Jackman maybe a bit¬†pretty¬†for the role, but I think he did a great job portraying all of Wolverine’s mannerisms from his powers to his personality traits.

x-men-rogue

Patrick Stewart¬†also makes for a great Professor Charles Xavier. I love how he is a powerful¬†telepathic¬†mutant who believes that humans can coexistence with mutants, there is a¬†nativity to his thinking but you can’t help but rooting for him especially when some things work out. Sir Patrick¬†Stewart is a fabulous talent and even though there wasn’t too much of him in the film he was still awesome regardless. And there’s Ian McKellen who makes for an awesome Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto.You can see that Eric had a difficult life prior to the present time in the film and due to his past experiences and the growing hatred against mutants from people like Senator Kelly, as Magneto he’s got every right to despise the humans and want them to be taken out. Sir Ian McKellen is one of the finest actors ever and he puts his skills to good use as he is classy, assertive and totally badass as this classic mutant villain.

ZRJmhZG1F6

Then we have Anna Paquin¬†as¬†Marie/Rogue. I liked Paquin in this role, she was a timid character due to her powers and was forced to¬†leave her family after an incident involving her boyfriend at the time. She eventually comes into contact with Wolverine and the two become quite close. I like their relationship, they’re technically friends but I see it more like a father-daughter relationship and that’s wonderfully done. Also¬†Rebecca¬†Romijn-Stamos¬†as¬†Mystique was quite impressive. She was¬†Magneto’s loyal second-in-command and due to her ability to transform into anyone she has a lot of freedom to be versatile and do a lot of things. Romijn-Stamos¬†was good in her role even if she didn’t say very much or was that similar to her comic book counterpart. Also¬†Bruce Davison¬†as¬†Senator Robert Kelly was cool, his character was an asshole trying to get mutants exposed and registered under a new act. Davison portrayed his character pretty accurately to what I know from the comics and I thought his character was convincing.

Then you have the people I just can’t stand in this film, so let’s talk about them now.¬†Famke Janssen¬†as¬†Dr. Jean Grey was okay, but I didn’t like how simplified her character was and how even though she was in a relationship with Cyclops was leading Wolverine on. Then we have¬†James Marsden¬†as¬†Scott Summers/Cyclops, my god did his character get butchered. In comics he’s meant be this assertive leader with a great screen presence, but in this film he’s almost silence all of the time, doesn’t really stand out at all and has no epic moments in the film. And then we have¬†Halle Berry¬†as¬†Ororo¬†Munroe/Storm. Oh Storm, YOU ALSO GOT BUTCHERED! Storm is a strong, female character with African heritage and has the ability to control and manipulate the weather, but her character is so simplified and nerfed in this film. Berry has barely that many lines of dialogue, is never really at the forefront of the story and her powers aren’t fully utilized. It hurts me so bad!¬†But the worst offenders come next.

Tyler Mane¬†as¬†Sabretooth. Holy crap this guy sucks, I know he’s meant to be a tiger-like person but when compared to the comics he just terrible. He’s just a big, roaring idiot who has very little dialogue and has a pretty stupid-looking expression on his face most of the time. He is not intimidating or scary, he’s just stupid. And then there’s¬†Ray Park¬†as¬†Toad. Honestly he wouldn’t have been my first choice for a villain in these films, he’s really not that interesting of a character and he seems to get the best of the X-Men even though he doesn’t look that strong at all.

PPlfSKsj62

Now let’s talk about the presentation. Honestly the film from a visual standpoint is decent for its time but has ages terribly. This is the point before cool fight choreography had been made and loads of practical effects were in place with not too much CGI applied. Because of those factors there’s a lot of bad-looking wire work here and lame fight scenes and nothing in the action department screams out “awesome!” to me. As for the soundtrack by Michael Kamen¬†its good and has its moments of epicness especially in the sequence on Liberty Island, but otherwise the score is just there and has other bits of music that just sounds strange and irregular.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well I’ve not really read that many X-Men comics, my knowledge is from the cartoon shows, online research and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Most of the basic aspects of the comics are kept intact like characters, names and powers. Though a lot of things were simplified or changed or left out completely. Things that didn’t work was Cyclops non-leader role, the changes to Mystique’s character, and the simplification of characters like Storm, Jean Grey and Sabretooth to name a few.

HT2wh3tbMq

So to conclude X-Men is a pretty good starting point for this film franchise as it establishes the basic elements that makes the comics so captivating like the discrimination against mutants from humans, the whole relationship between Charles and Eric and bringing in Wolverine’s origin story. Everything else is just a bit of mess with some stupid decisions made in relations to characters, action sequences and the comic book source material. In the end its a decent film, but is nowhere near as great as some claim.

Rating: 6.5/10 (It is good, but has many issues that prevent it from being awesome)

So there’s my review people, only 3 more to go. So have you seen X-Men and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cloud Atlas Review

Man, I am ashamed that it‚Äôs taken me this long to get watch Cloud Atlas, sure it‚Äôs only been around a week but this was one of my most anticipated films. Why? Well I saw the trailer for this when it first hit the internet back in the summer and I thought it looked incredible. It just looked, unique, mysterious and full of originality. I was gutted when I found out that Americans were gonna get the film in November while we over here in the UK had to wait until FRIGGIN’ FEBRUARY! What the hell! Oh well, the film’s finally been released over here and I’ve watched it, so what’s the verdict? Well read on and find out!

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/20/Cloud_Atlas_Poster.jpg

The story of this film has been described as:

“An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.”

In truth that’s the best way to sum it up. In truth what I got from the film was that there were people in different points in time whose actions affected others. It is a little hard to explain without having seen the trailers or the full film, but I thought it was very interesting stuff. I liked the themes of survival, love, courage and change. There are loads of stories going on in this film and you literally jump from one to the other at any given moment, at first this was really surprising and took a while to adjust to but after a while you grow accustomed to it. The concept for this film is bloody impressive and is executed in a unique fashion, however I feel like the overall idea from the original novel didn’t translate across to the audience the way I feel the filmmakers thought it would. I’m not saying I could do a better job because trying to adapt a novel is no easy task, all I’m saying is that by the end of the story some people will be left either in awe or in a state of confusion.

https://i0.wp.com/www.filmofilia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Cloud_Atlas_24.jpg

When it comes to the characters, that’s a hard one to talk about without going into specifics, but the film features the acting talents of the following people: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant.

https://i0.wp.com/www.filmofilia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Cloud_Atlas_02.jpg

I’ll just highlight a few of the performances that stood out for me. Firstly there’s Tom Hanks, he was fabulous and was probably the actor with the most parts. It was great to see how different each character was and see how versatile Hanks was as an actor. Next we have Halley Berry, this is easily her best film in years. Berry actually look pretty hot at certain points, plus all of her characters were different and interesting. Also Jim Broadbent was great in the film and he definitely brought his A-game to his characters that were really quirky and imaginative. And my other favourite characters were played by Ben Whishaw and¬†Doona Bae as their stories were some of the most interesting a beautiful stuff to me. Now as you might have guessed all of the actors involved play different versions of themselves from different points in time so there’s a lot of make-up involved to alter their features. The make-up jobs on these actors can range from pretty good to downright awful, (Hugo Weaving what did they do to you in Neo Seoul!?!).

https://i1.wp.com/www.filmofilia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Cloud_Atlas_20.jpg

When it comes to the presentation it is pretty kick ass for the most part. Besides the questionable make-up that I already mentioned, the cinematography is wonderful and there is some absolutely beautiful shots in the film especially in slow motion. There are also some great use of GCI in the film to create some of these futuristic worlds and action sequences, it was some impressive stuff especially the world Neo Seoul, (Korea). Also the soundtrack for the film by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil was beautiful and very captivating.

https://i2.wp.com/www.fxguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/ILM_CA-VFX-009.jpg

Now while Cloud Atlas isn’t the experimental masterpiece that I was hoping for it was the most unique and ambitious films I’ve come across in a while. In these days of films in the cinema which are either remakes, reboots, spin-offs or your basic book-to-film adaptations, Cloud Atlas appears and really tries to deliver a different kind of film experience, and for that I applaud the film and the filmmakers. Now having said that, when the film ended some guy in the screening shouted “What a load of crap! Did anyone else understand the film?” Some people laughed. As I walked out I could still hearing him moaning away, “What a load of crap, can’t believe I wasted money on that film!” See its ignorant and foolish comments like that really bug the hell out of me, some people just don’t take to things that are different and just stick to the basic shit that Hollywood throws out most of the time. Hell I should have recommended him Movie 43. Anyways I just wanted to say just because Cloud Atlas is different doesn’t mean that it sucks.

https://i1.wp.com/www.filmofilia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Cloud_Atlas_02.jpg

So in conclusion after finally watching Cloud Atlas I have to say while it wasn’t nearly as good as I expected it. Though it was still one of the most unique films I’ve seen with some intriguing stories and themes, characters and beautiful presentation. It is a pretty long film nearing around 3 hours but I’d say give this film a chance and then make up your mind afterwards.

Rating: 7.5/10 (It’s a film experience that needs to be seen.)

So there’s my review people, have you seen Cloud Atlas and if so what are your thoughts on it? Whatever they may be drop them below and comment away. I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. ūüôā

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: