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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: John Wick: Chapter 2

Today I get to talk about John Wick Chapter 2, a sequel I’ve been looking forward to for some time. I saw the first film not too long ago and really enjoyed it, and while I wasn’t in love with the idea of a sequel, I was curious to see what the filmmakers could do with this series going ahead.

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The plot can be summed up as the following: “After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.” What I appreciated about this film was how it similar to the first but also how it found a way to be different at the same time, this sequel not only advanced John’s story, but also expanded the world and added extra layers to certain characters and information about the Continental and the nature of the assassin business. The plot felt like a natural progression from what’s come before and it was a fascinating and cool ride that added so much more to this series than I expected. The cast was all super effective. Firstly Keanu Reeves as John Wick, what a beast. Reeves really suits this kind of role, he’s intimidating, tough and acts with a physicality and purpose that makes Wick so fun and engaging to watch. Riccardo Scamarcio also made for a great villain as Santino D‚ÄôAntonio, here we had a character with purpose, motivation and a cool and charismatic demeanour. Common was also really great as Cassian, this is probably Common’s most notable role for years and I loved his performance and how integral his character was to the plot. Ruby Rose as Ares was pretty effective, while I didn’t think much of her too much at first I feel like the end of the film I did enjoy Rose’s performance especially with her fight scenes. Laurence Fishburne as The Bowery King was also quite interesting, while Ian McShane was really good as Winston,and the appearances of John Leguizamo, Lance Reddick, Peter Stormare, Franco Nero and Peter Serafinowicz was very much appreciated. Oh but the best part was the visual presentation, good god, this film brought it! This film had good lighting, a striking use of colour and sweet cinematography during the action scenes, and speaking of the action scenes… Dear god, I thought the first film handled the action pretty well, but this film cranked things up to eleven! The gunfights were longer and more intense, the hand-to-hand combat was brutal and car chases were fast and chaotic. And the violence, damn, there was a lot of great broken bones, car crashes, blood splatter and so on, and the way everything was set up was incredibly creative, and some of the death scenes were just badass!! I also really enjoyed the film score by Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard, it was very energetic and helped accentuate the action on-screen. In conclusion John Wick: Chapter 2 was a lot of fun and far better than I expected, with a solid story, good characters, awesome action choreography and violence, this is a sequel that’s worth watching.

So have you seen John Wick: Chapter 2 and if so what do you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts on the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2: Spawn

Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #25 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. Now we’re really heading into the bad side of superhero films as I’ll be talking about Spawn.

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Spawn is one of those characters I’ve heard SO much about since probably the early 2000’s from my uncle, TV, online film critics, fans and superhero-related film sites. He’s a big deal and I’ve always been curious to see if the first live-action film was as bad as people made it out to be.

The story can be summed up as the following:

“An assassin named Al Simmons is double-crossed and murdered by his evil boss Jason Wynn. Al makes a deal with the devil and returns to earth as Spawn to see his wife. He is ordered by the devil’s minion, The Clown, to kill Wynn. Wynn has made a deal with the clown too and is supposed to destroy the world with a deadly virus that will help start Armageddon and allow Hell to attack Heaven. Spawn must choose between Good & Evil.”

The story in this film for a while was just lame, but then by the end I was left even more unimpressed than before. This tale of revenge, good and evil and deception could have been great, but it’s too convoluted, messy and uneven for its own good. This film also tries way too hard to be cool, dramatic and dark, but it fails at all three because of the undeveloped and one-dimensional characters, clich√© dialogue, familiar plot points you can see coming a mile away and emotional moments that don’t feel earned. Plus there is a lot of humour and adult references in this film, but rather than feeling funny or impressive, it’s just sad and in bad taste. Also this film goes on for too long, some shots linger for a few seconds longer than they should and there is a point towards the end where the film should have been over, but NOPE! It just had to keep going for a few more minutes and keep this painful experience going a little longer. ūüė¶

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Now let’s talk about the cast. I’m not gonna lie, everyone in this film is terrible. Some performances aren’t as bad as other but everyone tends to act like they’re doing their best to be bad and over-the-top. Michael Jai White as Al Simmons/Spawn is the first offender, you’re meant to like him but he has no redeeming qualities, he’s not cool, funny, relatable or tragic, he’s just a guy with anger issues and occasionally shows emotions. Martin Sheen doesn’t fare any better as Jason Wynn, this guy is the most generic bad guy ever, and he makes it no secret to anyone. But the worst person in this film is clearly John Leguizamo as Clown/Violator. I thought Leguizamo was bad in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, but this is on a whole new level of bad. This character never shuts up, he’s always making some pop culture reference or cracking jokes or farting or being crude and indecent in general. I will not lie, sometimes I did smile because he was entertaining, but in general Leguizamo was just insufferable. Nicol Williamson was probably the least offensive as Cogliostro, though he only showed up when the plot demanded it which made him seem pretty useless. Theresa Randle was okay at first as Wanda Blake Simmons-Fitzgerald, but even she gets her time in the sun to be terrible. D. B. Sweeney was fine as Terry Fitzgerald, Melinda Clarke looked pretty good but was very forgettable in leather as Jessica Priest and Frank Welker did a good job as the voice of Malebolgia, though al I could think of was Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget. ūüėõ

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is a pretty bad, there are some interesting moments but most of the film is not nice to look at. The costume design for Spawn when he’s fully armoured up is nice, but it only looks good in certain shots, most times it looks really rubbery and odd. I also think that this film inspired Spider-Man 3‘s handling of Venom as Spawn constantly feels the need to show his face and not be in the full costume that fans want to see him in. As for the CGI it’s messy, I know it was the late 90’s but some of those special effects looked horrible, so blurry, lacking in detail and it looked like some of it belonged on TV or one of those B-movies from the Sy-Fy channel. Oh and the fight sequences in hell, what the fuck man? That was some of the most poorly framed, incoherent and unimpressive action I had ever witnessed. As for the soundtrack, Graeme Revell’s film score isn’t that impressive and doesn’t do well to help elevate the film and instead makes it sound worse with the soundtrack trying to sound cool when in fact it doesn’t.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? I’ve never read the comics so I can’t comment on this section.

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So to conclude Spawn is not just a bad film it is a terrible one. This film offends me more so than some of the previous films I’ve watched because of the potential it had to be good but it ultimately wasted its opportunities and created a soulless, unoriginal and silly film which was such a chore to watch. This is another case of a film being released before the right time, had Spawn been made post Batman Begins, I think the film would have been better off (you know if they changed everyone involved in making this one). I hope that in the right hands a reboot can be crafted with today’s kind of care towards the superhero genre because Spawn needs to be done justice.

Rating: 2/10

That’s 25 reviews done, only 5 more to go. So have you seen Spawn 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‚Äôll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Chef Mini Review

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to another film review, today I will be reviewing Chef, a film that was released in the summer that I really wanted to see, but due to limited film screenings I missed it. However, thanks to Cineworld’s “Take 2 Thursdays” I got the chance to check it out and now I will pass judgement in this small review.

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The film can be summed up in the following premise:

“A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.”

I thought the story¬†for the most part was pretty good, it did take a while for the film to find its feet and there were some tonal problems here and there, but for the most part this was an interesting film that deals with the pressures of life, pride, reconnecting with your past and doing what you love. The film’s main story surrounding Carl was pretty interesting and emotional at times, but I felt like it worked best when his son and co-workers were involved. The dramatic elements were the best parts of the film as I they felt genuine and were better executed than the humour which I felt wasn’t as snappy or witty as some other comedies I have seen this year.

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When it comes to the cast they are all very good.¬†Jon Favreau as Carl Casper was¬†very nice, I haven’t Favreau in many films, however, this is probably the best performance I have seen from him.¬†Carl is a man who has been through a lot, he loves food and is very passionate, but has a hard time doing things his own way and finding a way to connect with¬†his son. The man goes on a journey which is very emotional and Favreau brings his A-game.¬†Emjay Anthony as Percy was really good as Carl and Inez’s son. Percy’s a boy who wants to be part of his father’s life, however, because the nature of his parents’ relationship and his father’s work, he does feel lonely. Anthony was pretty good in this role and I believed in his struggles and emotions when it came to his father and his cooking. John Leguizamo was awesome as Martin. This man is Carl’s friend and partner, they both share the same love for food and he has Carl’s back when they go off on their food adventure.¬†Leguizamo is a man who I’ve really started to like over the last year and that continues in this film as he is very charismatic and funny.

Sofia Vergara as Inez¬†was good, she was beautiful and funny,¬†Scarlett Johansson was gorgeous as Molly, another friend of Carl, who always supports him and wants him to strive for more.¬†Bobby Cannavale was hilarious as Tony,¬†he had a lot of good scenes and it was great/strange to see Cannavale in this role after his appearance in Boardwalk Empire.¬†Dustin Hoffman is great as Riva,¬†while Robert Downey, Jr. as Marvin,¬†could have been played by anyone, that being said RDJ’s contribution to the film was greatly appreciated because of his charm and finally¬†Oliver Platt as Ramsey Michel is very good as¬†the online food critic.

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In conclusion Chef is a feel-good film with a good if somewhat familiar¬†story with fun performances, beautiful food and a lovely soundtrack. It isn’t perfect and the humour’s a bit off, but overall it works.

Rating: 7/10

So have you seen Chef, and if so what did you think of it? Leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters!

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Ride Along Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, today I’ve had a pretty decent session at the cinema and since I’m in a good mood I’m going to give you my thoughts on all three films as soon as possible. So first film on the list is Ride Along, a comedy I initially had no interest in watching, however after hearing slightly better reviews from some of my favourite online reviewers, I decided to give this film a try.

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The plot for this film is described as the following:

“Ben Barber, a fast-talking, jumpy security guard, joins his potential brother-in-law James Payton, an¬†APD¬†cop/detective, on a 24-hour patrol of¬†Atlanta¬†in order to prove himself worthy of marrying Angela, James’s sister. The patrol begins to turn into a real case as James finds clues that he thinks will lead to potential closure of the 3 year case he has been working against the mysterious criminal known only as “Omar”.”

If you have seen any buddy cop film or any comedy film before, then you’ll know where the plot points are going long before they happen and will know some of the basic codes and conventions that come with characters like these. The story is not the worst I’ve seen, but there is nothing special about it either. The main thing I wanted from this film was humour, and while there were things that made me smile, all the jokes were either repeats of stuff I’ve seen before like crazy physical humour or random black humour which is always hit or miss for me. The one thing that Ride Along has that I found slightly unique was how it has Ben, a gamer, use his gaming knowledge and apply it to the real police situations that he is thrown into. It is a nice little addition, however its usefulness is only limited to certain situations and is kind of wasted. First-person shooters, along with many other types of video games do have the power to inform people and allow to learn things and I think if that element of the film had been better handled then it would have been a lot better.

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When it comes to the cast they did a serviceable job.¬†Ice Cube was pretty fun as James Payton, Cube pretty much did the same kind of mean and cold approach which he’s done before and it works to a degree, only problem is I’ve seen him do it better before.¬†Kevin Hart as Ben Barber was the real meat of the film, his energy and erratic behaviour is what keeps this film from being film from being a complete dud. I’ve only become a fan of Hart over the last year and he is funny, but I didn’t find him as funny as I’ve seen on TV and since most of his funny scenes are in the trailer there’s not much left in the film itself.

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John Leguizamo¬†as Santiago and¬†Bryan Callen¬†as Miggs were cool, they did well in their roles and since I am a fan of Legizamo since Romeo + Juliet and more recently Kick-Ass 2, I’ll watch him in most films.¬†Bruce McGill¬†as Lt. Brooks was good too offering the standard boss-type role where he scolds Payton for his recklessness but only does so for his own good.¬†Tika Sumpter¬†as Angela Payton is really pretty, but is very underutilized and finally¬†Laurence Fishburne¬†as Omar was pretty good, he was hardcore and yet funny at the same time, this more fun side of Fishburne makes a difference from his stone-faced character in Hannibal lol.

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In conclusion Ride Along is decent buddy cop comedy, but that’s all it is. I kind of knew what to expect when I saw the trailers ages ago, but I had hoped for more considering how funny Ice Cube and Kevin Hart can be in their own films. Some people will get a kick out of it, but for everybody else, if you wanna see a film that’ll make you laugh, go watch The Lego Movie instead.

Rating: 6/10 (The film only succeeds thanks to my liking of the main cast members)

So what did you think of Ride Along? Have you seen it or are you’re gonna watch it? Whatever your thoughts are leave them in the comment section below and I’ll see you on then ext film review. Laters. ūüėÄ

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

 

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