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Spider-Man: Far From Home Review

Howdy people of the internet, how is it going? Today I finally get to share my review for Spider-Man: Far From Home; the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming and the latest superhero film from Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures via my podcast Film Focus.

Now I have been interested in watching this film since the first trailer came out last December, but my hype levels really didn’t start to blow up until a weeks before the film’s release and hearing some of the positive thoughts on the film from early film critics. So how does Far From Home compare to Homecoming and continue the Peter Parker story after Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame? Well, check out this spoiler-free review to find out!

P.S. 1) Since there are a lot of interesting things you should see pretty fresh I tried to be as vague as possible with this review. And 2) Apologies about the background noise, I had a very limited window to record this episode so unfortunately, I couldn’t record around the people moving around the house.

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 Spider-Man: Far From Home 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! 😀

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Posted by on July 6, 2019 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Everest

Howdy people of the internet, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about Everest. This was one of the films I highlighted in my films to look out for in 2015, but at the time there was no footage on show, but after I saw the trailer last month I knew it’d be something I had to see in the cinema. So after seeing it last night I’m ready to pass judgement!

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The plot can be summed up as the following:

“On the morning of May 10, 1996, climbers from two expeditions start their final ascent toward the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. With little warning, a violent storm strikes the mountain, engulfing the adventurers in one of the fiercest blizzards ever encountered by man. Challenged by the harshest conditions imaginable, the teams must endure blistering winds and freezing temperatures in an epic battle to survive against nearly impossible odds.”

The story was pretty good. The film basically deals with man vs. nature, death, fighting against overwhelming odds and the power of the human spirit. I thought that the film did a great job at highlighting how difficult of an undertaking it was to scale the famous mountain and showing of Everest as a character itself, a force of nature of that could not be taken lightly. I liked how there was the inclusion of humour and banter between the characters, but I also liked how the film didn’t shy away from the darker side of thing with the elements of danger, fear and despair, and man when the shit hits the fan it hits hard. There were a lot of scenes that are hard to watch with some of these characters, and it also didn’t help that I have fear of falling off of cliffs (yeah, I’m serious), and just Gravity and All Is Lost beforehand, this film perfectly realises one of my main fears of death in a realistic and scary manner.

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The cast did a pretty good job in their roles, though some stood out more than others. Jason Clarke was really good as Rob Hall, his character his confident, heroic and has to deal with so much drama and chaos, and Clarke really sold me on his material. Josh Brolin was one of my favourites as Beck Weathers, he was a character I got attached to and Brolin did a great job with his material. Jake Gyllenhaal was awesome as Scott Fischer, I liked his charisma and energy. Also John Hawkes was really good as Doug Hansen, Michael Kelly gave strong performance as Jon Krakauer and Sam Worthington did well as Guy Cotter and this was the first film of his in a while or maybe ever where I liked his performance. I also enjoyed Emily Watson’s performance as Helen Wilton, Keira Knightley as Jan Arnold, Robin Wright as Peach, Elizabeth Debicki as Dr. Caroline Mackenzie and Naoko Mori who was just so cute and lovely as Yasuko Namba.

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When it comes to the presentation it is truly the highlight of the film. Not to detract from the characters or story, but this is the area of the film that you’ll remember the most after it ends. Visually the film is incredible, the cinematography is great offering various shots and angles of the mountains so that when these characters are climbing and moving at these high altitudes, you can see and feel it. Also the visual effects are stunning and very realistic, the depiction of the mountains are done with just the right amount of scale, detail and clarity, and when the action is going down its pretty hardcore and in 3D the experience is enhanced just that bit more with the extra depth of field too. The sound design is also good with the all of the emphasis on the wind, thunderstorms, movement through the snow or crunch of movement when freezing over being felt throughout. Also the film score by Dario Marianelli is very good giving us a strong, powerful and emotive soundtrack that hit all the right beats and there is one great moment in the film where the music just swells and gives off this incredible sense of determination and satisfaction.

In conclusion Everest is definitely more effective with the spectacle than anything else. While I did enjoy the characters and the story, there are a few familiar narrative elements that hold this film back from being more. That being said, I believe that this film should be watched just for the visual experience on the biggest screen possible.

Rating: 7.5/10

So have you seen Everest and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to leave your comments below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK LATE REVIEW: Southpaw

Howdy people of the internet, time for another film review and today I’ll finally be talking about Southpaw. I’ve been interested in this film for a while but have only recently got around to seeing it. I’d heard it was good but not amazing, so that did hamper my excitement for the film, but I knew I had to at least give it a chance before it left the cinema. So was the film good or bad? Well read on and find out!

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The story can be described as the following:

“Boxer Billy Hope turns to trainer Tick Willis to help him get his life back on track after losing his wife in a tragic accident and his daughter to child protection services.”

The story was a really engaging and dramatic tale of tragedy and redemption. For the first half hour I liked the film but it was heading down a really dark path and I wasn’t really down with the depressing nature of story. However things started to pick up around half way through and by the end I was feeling good. I will say that the film felt a little long and some of the plot points you can see coming, that being said this film was entertaining and dramatic on the emotional level.

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Now let’s talk about the performances. Jake Gyllenhaal just kills it as Billy Hope, at first I wasn’t too keen on his character because while he was charismatic and funny, he’s a bit of douche, self-centered and makes questionable decisions that make him a bit unlikable. That being said when he went do his downward spiral and then had to had to change his life around you really get behind him and relate to his motivations. Gyllenhaal continues to impress as an actor as he goes from strength to strength to change himself physically and mentally for his roles, and here he’s just a beast, so crazy and intense, but also very isolated and emotional too. I also loved Forest Whitaker as Titus “Tick” Wills. I like how he was more than just a mentor to Billy but he also had his own history and issues, and he wasn’t just tough with his personality but could also be tough physically too. The other standout performance came from Oona Laurence as Leila Hope, at first I thought he character may be a little annoying because while I understand the nature of situation would lead her to feel very emotional and aggressive, I can’t stand grumpy/whiny children. However Laurence did the opposite, I bought into her character, loved the dynamic she had with her dad and really liked the realism and emotional levels of her performance. Rachel McAdams was good as Maureen Hope while Naomie Harris added some great elements as Angela Rivera and Victor Ortiz as Ramone was a douche for sure, but he was a very cool, smug and badass douche which was played well by Ortiz. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson as Jordan Mains was also pretty good, he was an interesting character who appears to be Billy’s friend, but is mainly in the business for the money and has some really shady motives. And finally Rita Ora surprised me as she was totally unrecognisable as Maria Escobar and while her role was short I thought he kind rather well.

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And when it comes to the visual side of things it’s incredible. I have seen a good few films depict the art of boxing with some that do it well and some not so well. This film is definitely the former. I think this may be the best one so far, the fights are choreographed so well. The way the cinematography is handled is gorgeous, everything is so clear and sharp, and I liked how there was a combination of point of view, close-ups and slow motion and tracking shots to show the action in varied and exciting ways, and thanks to the sound editors you feel every punch, there’s weight and impact. The soundtrack by the late James Horner was haunting and pretty dramatic and while it had its moments it’s not one of my favourite score from Horner.

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In conclusion Southpaw was a gripping and intense drama with really awesome acting, an interesting story and some really kick ass boxing scenes. The film was better than I expected and I’m glad I got to see it.

So what do you think of the teaser trailer for Southpaw? Are interested in this film and do you feel like the trailer has given away too much? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below, until the next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Southpaw Trailer #1

Howdy people of the internet, time for another trailer review and today we’ll be talking Southpaw. I have been interested in seeing this film for a good few months now and to finally see some footage makes me super happy. So how’s the trailer looking? Well read on and find out.

Check out the trailer below:

Looks very good, but I’m worried that I’ve seen too much.

So what do we have here? Looks like Jake Gyllenhaal is a boxer, things go wrong, he loses his wife, is deemed unfit to take care of his child, and does some less than legal stuff and becomes estranged from his daughter, etc. If it sounds like I’ve highlighted a fair amount of information that is a little more revealing than most trailers it is because I have. I was already sold this film when it had no trailer last year and there was just the image Gyllenhaal looking ripped as hell. But after the success of Nightcrawler I was definitely more hyped to see this film. However, this trailer has committed the worst sin a trailer can; it shows you the whole of the film in the trailer. I mean sure there’s probably a good few elements that won’t be seen until the film comes out, but when you watch this trailer you’re pretty much getting the gist of the entire film and that’s never a good thing. Trailers are meant to tease you with what’s to come and the rest of the experience is meant to be discovered in the cinema. I’m going to have to avoid most promotion for this film from now until it’s release because I don’t want to be spoiled any more.

Outside of my mini rant about the content shown in the trailer, overall I like what I’m seeing. It looks like Gyllenhaal is gonna kill it again giving us all of the emotional material necessary for this kind of role, but now with a more physical element with the boxing. It also looks like the relationship between Billy and his daughter will be a key component of this film and I love strong family ties in dramatic films. I also like seeing a bit of Forest Whitaker and I’m curious to see how Rachel McAdams fares in this film as I haven’t seen her in anything since Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

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In conclusion the first trailer for Southpaw looks pretty good, while the story has very familiar territory written all over it at the same time there are some unique elements and the performances look very solid. If you’re looking forward to this film avoid the trailers if you can because it pretty much gives away the important details of the story which would be better left unseen and experienced freshly.

So what do you think of the teaser trailer for Southpaw? Are interested in this film and do you feel like the trailer has given away too much? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below, until the next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2015 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Tom Hardy Drops Out of Suicide Squad with Jake Gyllenhaal Eyed as Replacement

Hello again ladies and gents, time for my second news story of the day and this one comes in the form of some casting news concerning DC’s upcoming Suicide Squad film. The following info comes from superherohype:

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TheWrap brings word today that not only has actor Tom Hardy had to drop out out of Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment’s upcoming Suicide Squad movie due to scheduling conflicts, but that David Ayer is eyeing his End of Watch star Jake Gyllenhaal to replace him in the role of Rick Flagg.

This would have marked Hardy’s second appearance on the big screen as a DC Comics character, having previously played Bane in 2012′s The Dark Knight Rises. He can next be seen in theaters in Child 44 on April 17 and Mad Max: Fury Road on May 15. Gyllenhaal has previously been courted for other comic book roles including Doctor Strange and The Green Hornet when director Kevin Smith was attached to the project.

Written and directed by David Ayer, Suicide Squad will star Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as The Joker, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. The film is set to hit theaters on August 5, 2016.

Ah man, when I read about this yesterday I was really disappointed. The cast for this film is one of the main reasons why a lot of people are excited for this film and with Tom Hardy being one of the major names in the cast that make me hyped for the film, it is a shame that he’s left the DC project. That being said scheduling conflicts can’t be avoided. But now there’s talk of Jake Gyllenhaal replacing Hardy’s role and that to me is not a bad idea at all. If you’re gonna replace someone talented, you better have a good replacement and Gyllenhaal is a great choice. The man has been going from strength to strength and his performance in Nightcrawler last year was nothing shot of amazing, at this point I would love to see him part of a superhero film.

So what do you think of this news people? Please put your thoughts down in the comments below. 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2015 in Films, Media

 

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Nightcrawler Review

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a fresh film review and today I’ll be talking about Nightcrawler. Now this was a film I had seen the trailers for but wasn’t initially interested in, I mean it looked interesting enough but I wasn’t sure what the film was about exactly and whether it would be my kind of film. But the other day I decided to check it out and now I’m ready to pass judgement.

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The film’s story can be described as the following:

“When Lou Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran.”

The way I explain the story would be in following sentence: this is one maniac’s journey to be the best at what he does and he’ll do whatever it takes to get there regardless of the moral, ethical or legal ramifications.

I feel like that is a good summary for the main character and his actions throughout this film. Nightcrawler is a great film and that is largely thanks to its story, it presents you with something that you are familiar with (TV journalism) and presents you with the darker side of how it gets prepared before going to air. The film moves at a decent pace, and as we follow Lou things only get murkier and more dangerous with a great level of tension, suspense and action, all of it making the film more and more enticing. Now while these practices I doubt are used in real life, to see it portrayed in this film does give you a few things to think about like:

  • How far will individuals go to get the biggest news story?
  • Where does the moral line lie and should it ever be crossed?
  • Are people really drawn to tragedy that much that it would be featured as main story of a news channel?
  • Is the world of journalism really that corrupt?

Obviously some of these questions only relate to the film, but it does leave you wondering about a few details here and there. The one thing I can say that could be considered a nitpick is the ending, the ending for this film really surprised me and I left thinking “Really? Damn, okay, well that was unexpected.” Some may not agree with the way it was handled but I thought I should just point that out.

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When it comes to the cast they were all pretty good, but it is the brilliant performance Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom that steals the show. Lou is a man with ambitions and determination, however he is also corrupt, pathological and has serious issues with anger and being denied anything that he wants. There is something wrong and yet hugely engaging about Lou, he is a man who lies, cheats and uses blackmail to get a better life which makes him terrible, but he is also smart, a quick leaner, adaptable and can fight himself out of any corner he gets pushed into. Gyllenhaal is one of the actors I’ve seen people give a lot of grief to, much like Mark Wahlberg, people have questioned Gyllenhaal’s acting abilities or just his credibility, I believe that before 2009, he was just alright actor, good but nothing special. But after I saw him in Brothers and Source Code I became a fan and in this film he’s pretty much excelled to his highest level yet. The guy can act very well and takes on the persona of this very questionable human being who you would not want to associate yourself with.

Rene Russo was also great as Nina, she played a character who basically knows the way TV news works and is always interested in the next big story, so when she comes into contact with Lou and they form an alliance, she gets what she wants and so does he, however as things progress Nina finds herself in a bit of a tight spot and it seems like Lou is the only one who can help her. In the end she wants success just as much as Lou does and because of her assertiveness and self-centered attitude she will bend the rules to have her way. Russo was really good, I liked seeing her in the role that allowed her to be versatile in terms of her emotions so she could and she was believable too. Riz Ahmed as Rick was pretty good, he’s Lou’s sidekick. He joins Lou’s line of work not really knowing too much about it and having to learn on the go while questioning certain things along the way. I think his character was there to say what most audience members were thinking and get responses from Lou that you couldn’t say yourself. On and Bill Paxton was awesome as Joe Loder, any time Paxton is around in a film you’re normally guaranteed to like him and this film is no exception. This character pretty much taps into Paxton’s more charismatic and humorous side and it is delightful to watch. And another element about the film I really liked was the soundtrack by James Newton Howard, this man has done a lot of good soundtracks and this film’s sound is great, I liked the use of instruments and how the score had this strange balance between optimism and despair throughout.

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In conclusion Nightcrawler is a great film and is far more interesting and engaging than I thought it would be. The story is unbelievable and explores a lot of morals and ethics in the business of television news reporting and Jake Gyllenhaal gives is best performance to date as a character who is both which may just surprise you in a few days.

Rating: 8.5/10

So have you seen Nightcrawler and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop a comment below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. 😀

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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