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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 14 – The 2016 Summer Movie Season – Has It Been A Disappointment?

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, back in April I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well. I was actually meant to make this post available last week but was super busy with work, but hey better late then never right?

Anyway here’s the 14th episode:

Even though the summer movie session is not completely over, but most if not all of the heavy-hitters have come out and since there’s been some discussion online about the quality of this year’s summer of films I thought it’d make for a good episode on the podcast. So in this episode I cover all of the film’s I’ve seen and talk about whether this year has been a disappointment for summer films.

As I said 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 August 26, 2016 in Films, Media

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Independence Day: Resurgence

Howdy people of the internet, Hypersonic55 back again playing catch up with the latest films in the cinema and last night I watched Independence Day: Resurgence and now I’m ready to pass judgement.

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Now the first Independence Day is still one of my favourite films from the 90’s and to be honest it may even fall into my all-time favourites too just because of how much fun it is to watch. So understand, I had no interest in watching this film, I never wanted the sequel, however since the trailers looked decent enough I thought the film might be tolerable. That being said, those bad reviews online did prepare me for the worst, but here’s the thing… Independence Day: Resurgence wasn’t that offensive to me, it was just incredibly unremarkable.

Story-wise the film goes like this:

“The film focuses on the battle between ESD (Earth Space Defense), an international military defense and research organization, and the returning alien invaders during the twentieth anniversary of humanity’s first victory against the latter on July 4 – the same date as the Independence Day in the United States.”

At the end of the day, this film’s plot was essentially the first film just done with a few variations when it came to the use of certain characters, use of technology and modern story elements. This plot while it had a few new and interesting ideas, was quite predictable, generic and painfully average with no proper balance between the drama and humour. The main thing that this film sort of got some of the humour right with some lines of dialogue making me smile or chuckle, however, most of the humour felt really forced or lazy.

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As for the cast it was a mixed bag. Returning members Jeff Goldblum as David Levinson, Bill Pullman as President Whitmore, Brent Spiner as Dr. Brakish Okun and Judd Hirsch as Julius Levinson were fine, however, I only really liked Spiner as the doctor as he was fairly lighthearted and fun. Goldblum fluctuated between being familiar and fun and feeling like an imitation of his former self, Pullman was good but I wasn’t keen on the way his character was handled. But Vivica A. Fox as Jasmine was wasted, she had no real reason to be there. The new cast weren’t too engaging, Liam Hemsworth and Jessie T. Usher as Jake Morrison and Dylan Dubrow-Hiller try to fill the shoes of Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith from the last film, but they didn’t have the charisma, magnetism or chemistry their predecessors had, plus they were so boring. Maika Monroe was pretty but forgettable as Patricia Whitmore, Charlotte Gainsbourg felt as Catherine Marceaux felt like a weak addition to this film, Sela Ward was dull as President Lanford, however William Fichtner wasn’t half bad as General Adams.

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When it comes to the presentation it was solid for the most part. Visually the film was pretty cool with a cool sense of scale and pretty detailed CGI, though the quality of the CGI varies a lot and after a while the crazy amount of CGI madness going on with the destruction of earth, aliens and spaceship fights got tiresome. And the film score by Harald Kloser and Thomas Wanker was horrible, it felt so cheesy, overly dramatic and didn’t add to the film as much as it felt distracting.

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In the end Independence Day: Resurgence was exactly how the film I thought it’d be before I saw the trailers, it was silly, generic, lackluster and kind of cool in the spectacle department. This was probably a one and done situation as it didn’t have any redeeming factors and didn’t have the good qualities that make summer blockbusters worth watching.

Rating: 5/10

So have you seen Independence Day: Resurgence and if so what did you think of it? Was it a colossal mess or just a loud, dumb and fun film? Give me your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Films To Look Out For In 2016 Part 2

Howdy people of the interweb and welcome to Films to look out for in 2016! 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. 2015 films getting their UK releases this year don’t count! So there. 😛

Okay then, let’s start 😀

Elvis & Nixon

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Release Date: April 15th (USA), April 29th (UK)

Trailer:

I only found out about this film around a month or so ago, but after reading about it and seeing this trailer I’m very intrigued to see more. This whole story sounds absurd and it is made even stranger by the fact that Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon are playing Nixon and Elvis, but I love those actors and want to see more of this madness when it’s eventually released.

The Jungle Book

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Release Date: April 15th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

So here we are again with another live-action adaptation of Disney classic animated film, but I’m down for this one. So far not all of these adaptations have worked (Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent come to mind) however, last year’s Cinderella was the first film to really demonstrate how a live-action adaptation could be done in new ways while preserving the original material. And now I’m very interested in seeing what Jon Favreau does with this version of Jungle Book because it’s live-action, but only has one human character, the rest are CGI talking animals and I want to see how this turns out. The voice talent is impressive and this film looks a lot more dramatic and action-heavy than the old cartoon and from a visual standpoint the film looks damn good and I can’t to see how it turns out in the cinema.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

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Release Date: April 22nd (USA), April 8th (UK)

Trailer:

I didn’t mind Snow White and the Huntsman, but it wasn’t that memorable beside Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron as the Huntsman and the Queen. So I guess they removed the weakest element from the picture (Kristen Stewart as Snow White) and decided to focus on a new story and it actually looks better than I expected. Adding Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain to the mix is never bad thing and while it could end up being an average film with standard plot elements and decent action sequences, I’m still curious.

Captain America: Civil War

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Release Date: May 6th (USA), April 29th (UK)

Trailer:

Ah man, this film, this film has me all giddy at the moment, but also has me SO concerned. On one hand you have the Russo brothers returning to direct after their great work on The Winter Soldier, we’re also seeing the introduction of Black Panther and Spider-Man into the MCU, but most importantly we’re seeing Cap go against Iron Man in an adaptation of the popular Civil War comic. My only fears about the film is that it won’t be serious enough, certain characters won’t get enough screen time and there won’t be any major ramifications. However I have faith in the Russos and the trailer makes me believe like this will be the next chapter in the MCU that will affect us fans to the core.

Free State of Jones

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Release Date: April 16th (USA), May 27th (UK)

Trailer:

This film looks really good. I like the story about people banding together and fighting for survival but also for justice and freedom, and this film looks very intense and dramatic in the ways that I like to be engaged when watching films. I only saw the trailer today and now I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Bad Neighbours 2 (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising)

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Release Date: May 20th (USA), May 6th (UK)

Neighbors (or Bad Neighbours as it was known here in the UK) was a decent comedy and probably one of the few I’ve liked in a while (I’m a hard man to please haha) and while I didn’t need a sequel, at the same time I am curious to see these character reunite for another crazy adventure and see what kind of foolish fun they’ll get up to.

The Nice Guys

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Release Date: May 20th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I have a lot of hope for this film. It is another film from Shane Black, the wonderful man behind the brilliant Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and the divisive Iron Man 3, and I am just liking the sound of the story and the pairing of Russell Crowe with Ryan Gosling, but more so than that is the style of humour, it is so Shane Black it is insane and I love it.

X-Men: Apocalypse

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Release Date: May 27th (USA), May 19th (UK)

Trailer:

X-Men: Apocalypse, man I want to love this film but I’m unsure about it. On one hand I like the fact that we’ll get to see younger incarnations of Jean, Cyclops, Storm and Nightcrawler, and the concept of Apocalypse as the main villain and his powers and history seems so engaging. However, the first trailer didn’t blow me away and I’m concerned about the fact that some of the main characters will be mind-controlled slaves for a good chuck of the film which means that we won’t see them as themselves and that would be unfortunate.

Now You See Me 2

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Release Date: June 10th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

This first film was surprisingly good and I really enjoyed it, and while I didn’t want a sequel I am interested in seeing where things go for the returning characters. The tricks and stunts look crazier, larger in scope and more impossible than before and I can’t wait.

Warcraft

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Release Date: June 10th (USA), June 3rd (UK)

Trailer:

I don’t think many people realise how important this film is, if Warcraft works then it’ll open the floodgates to other video games adaptations in the future. Most video game films have failed both as adaptations and singular films as well due to the lack of care for the source material, but also due to bad writing, direction, visual effects and so on. I hope Duncan Jones has crafted something worth watching, I mean I like a lot of the cast and the visual effects and story seems engaging, however, I’m not sure about the CGI, it looks a little too fake like the Hobbit films but that could probably change closer to the film’s release.

Independence Day: Resurgence

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Release Date: June 24th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I never wanted this sequel, I thought it was a stupid idea, but hell it’s coming and I’m actually interested in this sequel. The trailer was the main thing that sold me on this film, I just like the sense of scope, new technology and destruction that has come with the return of the aliens and I’m down to see Jeff Goldblum again in this franchise.

The BFG

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Release Date: July 1st (USA), July 22nd (UK)

Trailer:

I really enjoyed the animated BFG film as a kid back int school, but I’ve never been entirely in love with it or the orignal book, but I have to say the teaser trailer looks interesting. Whenever something is being done in live-action there is some hesitation, but since Steven Spielberg is behind it I’m gonna give this film a shot.

Star Trek Beyond

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Release Date: July 22nd (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I’ve already make it apparent how I didn’t care for this trailer, but I am still interested in seeing how Star Trek Beyond turns out. This film certainly hast he action side of things down, but I’m very concerned that it will be the only element this film gets right. From the look of things so far there won’t be any of the older/conventional sci-fi elements that Star Trek has been known for and I’m not seeing any deep character-driven moments, but I hope that I’m wrong and that this film can be fun, adventurous, but also dramatic and rooted in the realm of sci-fi.

Bourne 5

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Release Date: July 29th (USA), July 28th (UK)

Ah the return of the Bourne series with Matt Damon, just the concept of this film makes me smile. While I wanted to leave Jason Bourne’s adventures back in 2007 with Ultimatum, after the disappointing adventure with Legacy in 2012, I need my Bourne fix with Damon and Paul Greengrass together again. This film could end up being a mistake, but considering the track record of Greengrass and the story details revealed so far it sound like it’ll be great.

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 13, 2016 in Films, Media

 

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TRAILER OVERLOAD! QUICK REVIEWS FOR 2016 FILMS!

If you’ve been on the internet during the week you would have seen that there’s been  a lot of film trailers released online within a short space of each other. Since Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the main focus at the moment, I guess all other studios are pretty to get the focus back on their trailers instead haha. So the trailers that have come out so far are: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Legend of Tarzan, Independence Day Resurgence, Star Trek Beyond and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I was going to do individual trailer reviews, but honestly things got too busy and I’m too lazy, so I’m gonna compile them all into one blog post. So here we go!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

While most people hated it, the 2014 edition of TMNT was surprisingly better than I expected, when April O’Neil wasn’t the focus and we had time with the Turtles, the film was really fun and kind of badass. So while I wasn’t super hyped for the sequel, I was definitely interested in the sequel and I’m surprised by how much I liked it. While I hate the choice of music and don’t care for Megan Fox again, I do love Stephen Amell as Casey Jones, the Turtles and their classic van looks awesome and even the Foot Clan look like ninjas instead of Call of Duty soldiers. Though the main winning aspect of this trailer was the appearance of Bebop and Rocksteady, since the since TMNT film in the 90’s fans have wanted a live-action version of these villains and they’re finally here and they look great. Now the film does look very CG heavy and the visual effects don’t look as polished or realistic as they did before, but I assume they’ll look better when the film’s released.

X-Men: Apocalypse

It’s been almost a week since this trailer came out and I have to say that the trailer was a bit underwhelming. Unlike when the first Days of Future Past‘s trailer came out which had me excited and intrigued, this trailer was good but not great. That’s not to say that there wasn’t great things in the trailer, I do love Storm’s new look, the information about Apocalypse being known by different names and being the basis for some of the stories in the Bible was great and James McAvoy seems to be bringing his A-game again as young professor X as his acting in that one seen when he’s in Cerebro with the helmet on was fabulous, oh and he’s bald at the end of the trailer! Cool! However, other than that this film looks like it could be dramatic and personal for the key members of the X-Men, but there’s nothing that screams “awesome” to me, plus I’m not keen on the fact that Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique isn’t blue in any of the footage so far and I’m concerned that the mutants controlled by Apocalypse will end up like Hawkeye in The Avengers; being stuck under control for a good portion of the film and not bring able to be themselves until the end of the film. But I guess we’ll see what happens.

The Legend of Tarzan

Right now this film looks interesting, the look of Tarzan is cool and I like way the film looks in terms of the use of CGI and lighting. But everything else looks kind of generic and forgettable. That final shot of Tarzan and that ape going up against each other in slow motion, that felt like something that belongs in a standard action film  and reminds me of that specific fight been Vin Diesel and Jason Statham in Furious 7. For me Disney’s Tarzan is the only version that exists, though I’m willing to give this a chance because I like the cast and director, but I’m not expecting anything special.

Independence Day Resurgence

For me Independence Day was one of my favourite films from the 90’s. It was a disaster film with a goof cast of characters, funny humour, all the crazy action and cool set pieces too. It didn’t need a sequel, but hell since loads of film films have to become franchises, we are returning to this world with Resurgence and I have to say that I’m intrigued. Basically it looks like Earth has had a time of peace and have ungraded their technology, but the aliens who got beat in the past have come back with bigger ships and more destructive power. I like the look of the film, it’s incredibly detailed, large in scope and it’s fun to see Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman back, but I’m not quite sure how Liam Hemsworth fits into this and I do miss Will Smith as his chemistry with Goldblum was one of my favourite aspects of the old film, but it’s not a massive loss for me. This film could either be fun or it could suck ass, but here’s hoping that the film’s fun and gives a logical explanation for the alien’s return and why we should care.

Star Trek Beyond

Ah Star Trek, I’m concerned for you now. Now Unlike a lot of hardcore Star Trek fans, I’ve liked the new JJ Abrams films (especially the first one), before 2009, Star Trek was dead to the world beyond its fan base and the new film brought that sci-fi franchise back into the public consciousness and while I think that film laid pretty good groundwork for a sequel, however Into Darkness didn’t exactly take the franchise in the direction I was hoping and made some mistakes with its marketing and plot elements that prevented it from being the sequel that I wanted. So now we have Beyond, directed by Justin Lin of the Fast and Furious franchise (films 3-6) and it really shows. While this film looks consistent with the previous one’s in terms of look, feel and style, honestly I wasn’t keen on this trailer. Why’s the Enterprise destroyed? What’s with all these crazy action set pieces and hand-to-hand combat? Now I know these new films are a far cry from the original source material and that was part of the reason I liked the first film, but I thought it would eventually evolve into the classic style of the show with sci-fi elements, however, its like the people behind this franchise have decided to drop that part altogether and just for action set in space. And it doesn’t help that “Sabotage” by Beastie Boys is being played over the trailer like a music video, I love the song and I understand the significance from the first film, but it is not the way you sell Star Trek to people especially the fans. I will say that I like the look of new aliens and that moment when Bones and Spock are surrounded by enemies, but then Spock disappears and leaves Bones alone, that was awesome. I hope the films is good but right now this trailer isn’t doing it for me.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The teaser trailer for this, was alright. Besides hearing a familiar spell in the beginning and hearing about some creatures that have apparently escaped, there was much that was worth noting for me. Seems pretty mysterious and interesting, but the trailer didn’t show me anything that made the film seem very enticing, but it was only a teaser and I’m sure future trailers will be better.

Okay and that’s everything done, as you can see I had more to say about certain trailers than others, but in any case I just had to talk about these trailers as they are films I’ll probably watch in 2016. So what did you think of any or all of these trailers? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2015 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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