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QUICK REVIEW: Kong: Skull Island

Howdy ladies and gents, its review time once again and today I’m talking about another one of the big blockbuster films of 2017 in the form of Kong: Skull Island. Now this was a film I was hyped for especially with the cast and after watching the first trailer, but with the subsequent trailers my interest waned due to the use of humour and the reveal of King Kong (which I wasn’t overly keen on), and with the mixed reviews that recently came out I was bracing myself for disappointment, but after watching the film last night I now have my thoughts on the film ready to share.

The plot can be described as the following:

“When a scientific expedition to an uncharted island awakens titanic forces of nature, a mission of discovery becomes an explosive war between monster and man.”

I thought the story was good, it had a little more depth than I expected being set during the 70’s with the ties war and intriguing mythology about Skull Island and King Kong’s origins too. But the best things about this film was that it was straightforward and fun. The pacing felt good and didn’t drag and when the action was going down it was very entertaining. That being said I do feel like the film had some tonal inconsistencies and some of the humour felt a little forced at times, plus it didn’t help that some of the funny lines had been shown in the trailers already. I also wish that there had been a better sense of fear, dread and stakes in the film, not that the film didn’t have those elements, it just wasn’t to a high enough degree considering the situation these human characters got into. Oh and finally there are some cool ties and references to other notable monsters throughout the film and in the post credits scene too which was great if you like your classic kaiju films! ūüėÄ

Now when it comes to the cast it is stacked to the maximum with a lot of notable faces including Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz and John C. Reilly among others. And here’s the thing, everyone is fine, but it really is the actors that elevate the characters as the dialogue doesn’t do well to give the characters depth or character arcs, though some people fare better than others.

Firstly you have Tom Hiddleston as Captain James Conrad and he was pretty good, he was a smart, tenacious and tactical badass and while I was surprised by how good he was at almost any situation he was put into, overall he was good. Brie Larson as Weaver was fine, Weaver was clearly the most kind and caring of the characters, she was fine but it was Larson that made her more engaging. John Goodman was really good as Randa, he’s a part of the government organisation who gets everyone on Skull Island and I like how his stern yet humourous demeanour and how he was determined to see his mission through. Next up is Samuel L. Jackson as Lieutenant Colonel Packard, and here he had an interesting character who was deeply effected by the Vietnam War and had some interesting and personal stuff that he dealt with once on the island. Sam Jackson was great and added a lot of personality and flair to the character. And then you have John C. Reilly as Marlow, of all the characters he had the most substantial depth and character arc, when I saw Marlow in the trailer I thought he’d be very annoying and at first he was a little too zany, but by the end of the film he ended up being my favourite character. Corey Hawkins as geologist Houston Brooks was good, he had good screen presence and charisma. Also Shea Whigham and Jason Mitchell as Earl Cole and Glenn Mills were two of my favourites, but that was more the actors than the characters. Toby Kebbell as Maj. Chapman was fine though I wish he’d had more screen time, oh and his accent was a little wobbly. And finally John Ortiz, Thomas Mann, Jing Tian and Terry Notary were fine.

Visually the film is pretty good, the cinematography was solid and there’s some absolutely beautiful shots of scenery and action, the use of colour is very rich and striking during the day and night scenes, and the action sequences when they’re on-point they are ferocious, aggressive and brutal. I will admit that while that some of the action wasn’t as creatively choreographed as I would have liked, and though the CGI was really good, at the same time some of it wasn’t always as sharp or consistent as it should be. The film score for Henry Jackman was decent and did well to add to the action and subtle moments too.

In conclusion Kong: Skull Island was pretty good, not great, but better than I expected considering some of the early reviews. While I had some issues with the characters, some of the humour and visual effects, overall the film was solid fun and I’d recommend it. ūüôā

So have you seen Kong: Skull Island and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Life After Beth Review

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another film review and today’s review comes in the¬†form of¬†Life after Beth. Now I hadn’t heard of this film until last week when I saw a TV spot for it and while it looked like some sort of silly zombie comedy, the fact that Aubrey Plaza and Dane Dehaan were in gave me a reason to seek it out. So luckily while I was up in Sheffield earlier this week I got to watch it and now I’m ready to give you my thoughts. Minor Spoilers Follow ūüôā

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The story can be described as the following:

“Zach is devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. When she miraculously comes back to life, Zach takes full advantage of the opportunity to experience all the things he regretted not doing when she was alive. However, the newly returned Beth isn’t quite the way he remembered her, and before long, Zach’s world takes a turn for the worse.”

I thought from the way the film was advertised that it was going to be some sort of comedy and while it certainly comedic at various points in the film, this is not Zombieland. This is like a dark comedy with a minor focus on zombies There’s a much bigger focus on Zach¬†and his relationship with his girlfriend, Beth, the story is focused around them until Beth starts to become uncontrollable and the film opens up to this small epidemic¬†that is taking place all over the local town. The film did not play out how I imagined and there were a few¬†things about the way in which the small zombie apocalypse was handled was different and interesting. The humour in the film did feel a little lacking and I’m sure there were points where jokes or funny lines were spoken which were supposed to make me laugh, but I, along with the rest of the members of the cinema screen stayed silent. Another bummer was the¬†fact that the film went on a bit too long, part of what happens towards the end of the film is a long time coming, but I feel like it could have been done a lot sooner.

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As for the cast, they are all good for the most part.¬†Aubrey Plaza as Beth Slocum is great, she really gives 100% in this role as human-like zombie who at first seems normal, but eventually starts to deteriorate and go a bit psycho as the film progresses. What I liked about Plaza here is that this role felt like an extension of her character April in Parks and Recreation, like if April wanted to go crazy and eat people I feel like this is the kind of stuff that she would do. But beyond that, Beth is¬†a beautiful, caring and well-mannered girl, that being said when¬†she freaks¬†out, she can be very similar to the Hulk in terms of strength, anger and all-round chaos and I loved it.¬†Dane DeHaan is also good as Zach Orfman. Zach is a guy who basically goes through hell and back when he loses his girlfriend, gets her back, then has to deal with her mood swings, angry outbursts and much more, so you can’t help but feel bad for the guy in a lot of ways. That being said the dude is a bit too lovesick for my liking and can come across as a bit of a whiny¬†bitch at times. DeHaan did well with his material and I like how far he has come as an actor since 2012.

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John C. Reilly as Maury Slocum was interesting, he is a well-mannered man who loved his daughter and had a good relationship with Zach, however, once Berth comes back to life and becomes involved with Zach again, he starts to get very protective of his daughter and aggressive towards Zach. Reilly¬†is a funny guy and I’ve seen that in the past, but I don’t believe he was nearly as funny as he should have been.¬†Molly Shannon doesn’t fare any better as Geenie Slocum, she is just there to support her husband but doesn’t really have many stand-out moments to herself. Both of them together work well together and they have interesting banter, but considering the situation with their daughter, I thought there could have been funnier and more serious moments for them to take on in the story.¬†Cheryl Hines and Paul Reiser as Judy and Noah Orfman are fine as Zach’s parents, but they aren’t really all that interesting to be honest.¬†Of the Orfman family the funniest would be Matthew Gray Gubler as Kyle Orfman as his job as a security¬†officer puts him in some funny scenarios with his brother and other members of the community throughout the film.¬†Also the lovely Anna Kendrick was nice as Erica Wexler. Erica is a cute and good-hearted person, but is also a bit of an airhead and this is the first time I’ve seen Anna Kendrick in such a light-hearted and silly role, but she was definitely entertaining.¬†Oh, and I was so happy to see Jim O’Heir as Chip the Mailman, (another member from the Parks and Rec TV show for those paying attention).

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In conclusion¬†Life after Beth is a pleasant¬†bit of zombie fun with a great central performance from Aubrey Plaza and good back up from Dane DeHaan. And while the film’s humour is a bit hit and miss, and film’s length is extended a bit longer than it should have been, otherwise it was a good time.

Rating: 7/10

So have you seen Life After Beth and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to comment below and let me know. Until next time peeps, laters! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Good day to you ladies and gents, time for¬†a film¬†review I was meant to have done last week Friday, I am of course talking about the film that’s on fire in the¬†cinema right¬†now, Guardians of the Galaxy. At this point in time I’ve already seen the film twice and I’m not going to hide the fact that I think this film is incredible and I’m going to tell you why in this review!

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The story for this film can be described as the following:

“Brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits-Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand-with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.”

The story in this film basically involves a group of misfits from very different backgrounds coming together to become something more and take out a common enemy. Yes this a type of story that has been done many times in the past and very recently with Marvel’s Avengers film that came out two years ago, but this film is so delightfully different in its execution that it easily stands on its own two feet. Guardians of the Galaxy is not only a very different kind of Marvel film but also a different brand of superhero film too. And in a way I wouldn’t even brand it in the superhero genre as this film is clearly of the¬†science fiction genre and it has all the great codes and conventions of what makes the genre so fun to watch.¬†The film is incredibly strange and quirky, it is not typical in any way, there is so much unexpected¬†moments for humour spread throughout and luckily the humour isn’t over-bearing as it has a reason for being there. In addition to the comedy there is a surprising amount of heart to this film. I feel like Marvel Studios are diving deeper into emotional territories and producing very intriguing stories with intimate character moments that are well-crafted and engaging. This film has a great balance of humour and seriousness, and that’s the thing that I think will surprise people. For all the comedic moments there are also some moments to think and reflect, be melancholy and a lot more.

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The performances were all great and the core team of heroes are probably the best set of characters together since the Avengers were assembled. Firstly¬†Chris Pratt just ruled as Peter Quill / Star-Lord, he is a man with history and now lives life on the edge sleeping with women and obtaining special treasures. It is not until he sees the danger of the item he holds that he decides to do something that benefits the galaxy and not just himself by assembling his group of misfits. Pratt has so much energy and charisma and it makes for such an engaging, funny and well-rounded performance.¬†Zoe Saldana as Gamora is awesome, she is deadly, sexy and a totally cool¬†warrior. Gamora is clearly a woman with a troubled past and wants to start life anew but happens have run into some complications along the way involving her sister and Quill. Saldana is no stranger to action and sci-fi and she is so beautiful and good in this role.¬†Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket Raccoon was pretty much the best thing ever. The character is the source of so much humour but also so much drama as well. Every line Rocket had been super memorable and funny as hell and Cooper’s delivery of his lines are so good as well.¬†Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot was great, I know he just says “I am Groot” all the time, but the different ways in which he said it was very cool and versatile and just hearing Diesel scream and shout was so cool and reminiscent of The Iron Giant. One surprise for me was¬†Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer as he was a lot more enjoyable in the role than I expected. Drax is a maniac driven by revenge and hatred, but he is also very literal and simple-minded and loves chaos. I loved how many funny lines and moments this character had and I really liked what Bautista did with this role, that being said there was some moments where the delivery of his lines could have been better.

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Lee Pace as Ronan The Accuser was pretty decent, he was an evil, corrupt and power-hungry individual who ultimately wanted to rule over all the inhabitants of the galaxy, he was a serviceable villain, but did fall into the trap of Nero from Star Trek and Malekith from Thor: The Dark World in the¬†sense that he ends up not being as well-developed or as interesting as the heroes he is fighting against.¬†Karen Gillan as Nebula was totally hot and great as this female villain who clearly has sibling rivalry with Gamora and hearing about her history with Gamora and Thanos makes her seems really intriguing. Another person of interest is¬†Michael Rooker as Yondu, Rooker is always a joy to watch and he was just as enjoyable as ever here as a man who is closely linked to Quill’s history and a man who looks out for number one and takes out anyone in his way. Rooker was so funny, cool and charismatic, he was such a joy to watch.¬†Benicio Del Toro was great as Taneleer Tivan / The Collector, I feel like he was a little more serious and less cartoony than he was in Thor: The Dark World.¬†I really liked¬†Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer, he was intimidating and badass as hell. Even though it his inclusion was small, Josh Brolin as Thanos was totally cool and gave us a wonderful look into what to expect from the Mad Titan in the future.¬†And finally the performances from Glenn Close and John C. Reilly¬†as Commander Rael and¬†Rhomann Dey are pretty good too.

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When it comes to the presentation I think it is incredible on both the audio and visible side of things. Visually the film is incredibly unique, distinct and just bursting with colour and detail. Along with the story, the cinematography and CGI work on space, planets and even the characters instill¬†a great sense of wonder and mystery to the film and anyone who is well versed in sci-fi will feel glimpses of Star Wars, the J.J. Abrams Star Trek films and Serenity too. The soundtrack maybe just as impressive if not more so than the visuals. This film is filled to the max with nostalgic songs from the 1960’s and 70’s and it is a very eclectic soundtrack which is very unconventional when it comes to Marvel films, but it works on three¬†levels, a) Because of Peter Quill’s love for the music he grew up with, b) It adds to the film’s quirky nature and c) For those who are old enough, it is like stepping into the past and having a crazy nostalgia rush with some really good music. In addition to the great selection of songs, the score by¬†Tyler Bates¬†is pretty good and has some beautiful and epic moments throughout.

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In conclusion the Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely a different kind of superhero film, in a way it hardly a superhero film at all. It is truly a film of the science fiction genre with all sorts of humour, action and fun. ¬†and I can’t wait to see it again lol.

Rating: 8.5/9 out of 10 (Seriously liked this film a lot though I’m not sure it is 9 material yet)

So what did you think of the Guardians of the Galaxy? Did it live up to your expectations or not? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer #1 Review

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a trailer review and today’s trailer is one that I and a lot of other Marvel fans have been anticipating for AGES! I am of course talking about Guardians of the Galaxy. Even though Marvel Studios misses a CLEAR opportunity to show off this film at this year’s Super Bowl, it is here now so let’s start talking about it!

Here’s the trailer:

So my immediate thoughts? This is the most bizarre thing I have ever seen and I’m pretty sure that is a good thing. There is a fair amount of humour, mystery and chaos going on here.

The first thing I’ll say I liked was the tone, this film looks like it’ll be pretty funny and I’m always down for that. Some have complained that since Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 that Marvel films have too much humour in them and lack a serious tone, personally I don’t mind it. If all film were dark and moody like The Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel then comic book movies would suck. But anyway moving back to the teaser trailer it is the small things like Chris Pratt’s character calling himself Star-Lord or when he gives the Nova Corps officers the finger or when Rocket Racoon spits while being examined, it is all pretty jokes and I can see many moments like that going down throughout the film. And with a property as random as this, there is gonna have to be a least a little bit of humour if this film is gonna be taken seriously.

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We also get a run-down of the team. Chris Pratt seems to be on good form as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, he’s likeable, relatable, funny and charismatic and since he’s sort of the main character it was nice to get a feel for his personality the most in this trailer. Dave Bautista is looking a lot better in motion as Drax the Destroyer, there wasn’t much in the way of speaking for him but he did have a firm and scary presence. Zoe Saldana continues to show that she can look hot no matter what colour she is as Gamora, her character looks rough and ready and I like how she smiled when her crimes were being listed off in that examination room. Rocket Raccoon looks cute and totally badass, he’s small but very agile and knows how to use a firearm. And then there’s Groot who seems pretty docile and nice but also looks like he has a temper on him too. Side note, I like how Rocket and Groot are paired together, that’s nice and convenient for the sake of story.

The appearances of John C. Reilly as Rhomann Dey alongside Peter Serafinowicz as a Nova Corps officers was great, they had great lines and good comedic timing. Djimon Hounsou seems pretty badass-looking as Korath and quick glimpses we got on Karen Gillan as Nebula and Benicio del Toro as The Collector was nice.

Then like all other trailers there’s a montage of scenes and a lot of it looks mad. There’s spaceship battles in the sky, Rocket and Groot fighting together, Groot throwing someone, Star-Lord looking badass topless, explosions, Nebula look even more awesome, there is a lot to take in basically.

Overall the look and feel of this film has my anticipation really high. My only issues with the trailer would be that song at the end, I guess it is meant to be funny or something but it really rubbed me the wrong way. Like the trailer doesn’t want you to take the film that seriously, but after seeing the trailer a second time I’m getting over it.

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In conclusion the teaser trailer Guardians of the Galaxy looks unlike a film unlike anything that Marvel have done before and at this point that is a very good thing. It is really random. I like the look of this new space adventure, the cast look awesome, the humour is great and the action looks like it’ll be on-par with anything Marvel Studios have produced before. While I wasn’t completely blown away, I am still hyped for this film and my curiosity has definitely risen a lot more.

So what did you think of the GotG teaser trailer? Leave your thoughts below.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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