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REVIEW: Michael Giacchino at 50

Good day to you ladies and gents, how’s it going? Last night I had one of my favourite experiences of 2017 in the form a concert held at the Royal Albert Hall entitled Michael Giacchino at 50.

Image from royalalberthall.com

So what is this event about? Well, essentially it was a concert where you had an orchestra play several pieces of music from the numerous films, TV shows and video games that Giacchino’s score over the years. If you’ve checked out this blog for any amount of time you’ll know I have not only massive love for good film scores, but for Michael Giacchino in particular, so when I heard about this even back in February, I bought my ticket as quickly as possible. And so finally, the time had come yesterday, alas the London Underground was closed by the time I arrived at St Pancras just after 6pm, so I had to use Google Maps to run down to Royal Albert Hall, luckily after taking a few wrong turns and running through a dark park with no lights, I got to the venue with around 30 minutes to spare.

And I’ll say it right now, the concert was frigging awesome! We were introduced to a gentleman with a sousaphone (whose name I cannot recall, unfortunately) who played the birthday song and got the crowd involved. From there we were introduced to Adam Savage, the host for the event and he was wonderfully funny and charismatic, and in between the music, he’d appear in interesting costumes and introduce the special guests too. And speaking of the guests, we got to see several of the directors Giacchino’s worked as well as some actors featured in the films he’s worked on come onstage and share some kind words about Giacchino and his work. There were appearances from Colin Trevorrow, Andrew Stanton, Gareth Edwards, Matt Reeves, Carlton Cuse, Pete Docter, JJ Abrams, Benedict Wong, Raffey Cassidy, and Gonzo too. 😀

So what about the music? Well, it was all delicious! The concert started off perfectly with The Incredibles, taking all of the key themes from film and blending them together to show off the bombastic, sassy, playful and badass music, clearly, the people behind this show knew what the deal was by opening with that Pixar classic. Next up was some music from Medal of Honour, I was never into shooting games but I really felt like I may have missed out on something special as the music had some gorgeous sounds which felt like a mix of Lost and Jurassic Park. Though I don’t recall much from Jupiter Ascending, the music was and still is really intense and wonderful. Jurassic World had some lovely pieces which I had honestly forgotten about, the compositions Giacchino made for that film were so heartfelt and made me almost shed tears. The Marvel suite featured music from the Marvel Studios logo sequence which was great, the awesome sounds of Doctor Strange (mainly “Strange Days Ahead”) and the upbeat and heroic sounds of Spider-Man: Homecoming. The music for Rogue One had a selection of the best material from the middle and final parts of the film which was really special and powerful. And then there was Lost, so glad I watched the first season recently as the piece they used from the end of the first season and it was frigging perfect and made me well up because it was hella beautiful. And so that ended the first half.

In the second half we had some of the key music from Up which was beautifully handled by the orchestra and the string quartet Bond, then there were the humourous sounds of One Man Band and the final piece of Pixar piece was from Ratatouille. From here my memory gets a little hazy so excuse any mistakes I make if you attended and have the programme. There was also a haunting piece from Cloverfield I think before going on to do the sounds from War for the Planet of the Apes which was really dramatic and cool. Next up was the really beautiful sounds of John Carter, I’d honestly had forgotten about that film and hearing that music really brought back some memories of certain scenes I remembered from 2012. Oh, and the sounds from Tomorrowland was quite nice having a hopeful and majestic sound. And then we had the Star Trek suite which had the sounds of the 2009 film, Into Darkness and Beyond which was easily a highlight for me as it is some of my favourite material in any film ever. Then we had Gonzo come along and had some fun with the audience and then did a bit of a duet with Giacchino on “I’m Going To Go Back There Someday” from The Muppets Movie. And the final music was from Super 8 played with some archive footage of Giacchino’s childhood films he made with his friends which were perfect. But it wasn’t over, after a standing ovation we had our first encore was in the form of Speed Racer,  and then the next encore was a preview of Coco which was so playful and catchy and the final encore was from Alias.

Musical highlights:

  • The Incredibles
  • Jurassic World
  • The Marvel Suite
  • Lost
  • John Carter
  • Star Trek Suite
  • Coco

Overall Michael Giacchino at 50 was a fabulous session and I was glad I was able to attend, there was a lot of laughs and comedy, and insightful and heartfelt moments from Giacchino, his home movies and the kind words from his friends/work colleagues, and of course the work put in from conductor Ludwig Wicki, the Cinematic Sinfonia and the English Chamber Choir was nothing short of amazing as they brought Giacchino’s music to life in such a special way.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2017 in Films, Media, Music

 

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SIMPLE REVIEW: Jupiter Ascending

Howdy ladies and gents, time for my latest film review and today I’ll be talking about Jupiter Ascending. I’d heard a lot of bad things about the film, but I thought I’d give it a chance because I like the Wachowski brothers. But after leaving the cinema I’m kind of lost for words as to what I just watched.

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So the story summary can be described as the following:

“In a bright and colorful future, a young destitute caretaker gets targeted by the ruthless son of a powerful family who lives on a planet in need of a new heir, so she travels with a genetically engineered warrior to the planet in order to stop his tyrant reign.”

I’m annoyed at this film because there are moments of originality and intrigue, however it is wasted on a convoluted and cliché plot. Throughout most of the film I felt like Towelie from South Park and kept saying to myself “I have no idea what’s going on.” Really, I’m not joking. There are moments, where things happen with several characters over many different locations and most of the time I wasn’t really following what was going on because of a few things like disjointed storytelling, odd pacing and a lot of jargon. Most of the time I didn’t care about what was happening on-screen and was just waiting for the next action sequence. Sometimes it feels like the film forgets what its main plot point is and gets lost with subplots or characters who come in and out of the film without any long-term relevance.

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When it comes to the cast the performances vary. Mila Kunis is still as gorgeous as ever and she does a decent job as Jupiter Jones, her character is a little annoying at times, but is more capable than most women in her situation usually. Channing Tatum as Caine is decent, he doesn’t do anything that is overly good or bad really, but he handles the action moments well. Also Sean Bean as Stinger is pretty fun and Douglas Booth is fine as Titus. However the main person I’ll remember from this film is Eddie Redmayne as Balem. Balem, he acts like this big bad villain, but he hardly does anything truly villainous and he is hardly intimidating especially when he whispers nearly all the time (besides when he freaks out and shouts). I’ve gone from seeing Redmyane in his best performance (The Theory of Everything) to his worst (this film) and it is just astonishing. This performance is pretty bad, however, at times he also turns into something very humourous to watch. Everyone else is either fine or irrelevant as they don’t have enough screen time for them to matter.

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The one thing this film succeeds in is the presentation. Visually this film is beautiful, truly a sight to behold with such gorgeous and detailed CGI on the characters, planets, cities and space, and so much more. It was incredibly clear, striking, realistic and colourful, and with the cinematography and action sequences, it makes for an awesome experience. And then there’s the soundtrack which is actually really good, and I was surprised to see that it was Michael Giacchino of all people. If you didn’t know already, but Giacchino is one of my favourite film composers and here he crafts a bombastic sound full of life, epicness and beauty. It does get a little over the top, but overall it is a really great score for not so great film.

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In conclusion, Jupiter Ascending, it is a film with ambition, great visual presentation and awesome music, but the story was a bit of a mess and the performances were a bit of mixed bag ranging from okay to terrible. There are moments to enjoy (sometimes for the wrong reasons) but overall it is not a film I would recommend.

Rating: 5.5

So have you seen Jupiter Ascending and if so what did you think of it? Was it good, bad or okay in your eyes? Please be sure comment below and give me your thoughts. Laters! 😛

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Films To Look Out For In 2015 Part 1

Howdy people of the interweb and welcome to the first part of my special series of blog posts dedicated to the films that you should be looking out for this year entitled: Films to look out for in 2015! Consider it a preview to this year’s selection of films in the cinema and I’m basically going to highlight why I believe they’re worth paying attention to. I have done this for the last two years and I’m excited to do all over again this year. 🙂

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 only my list it’s either because I don’t know about them or I don’t care…
  2. 2014 films getting their UK releases this year don’t count! So there.😛

Okay then, let’s start 😀

Blackhat

Release Date: January 16th (USA), February 20th (UK)

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Trailer:

So first on this list we have Blackhat, a film I’ve been interested in since the time I saw the first trailer. What we have here is a thriller dealing with hacking and cyber crime on computers and while that’s not a very good description, the trailer gives you a good idea of what to expect. The reason why I think this film is worth watching is because; 1) The film’s directed by Michael Mann. 2) The cast look great featuring the like of Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis. 3) The plot seems pretty intriguing, And 4) The film’s presentation looks lovely.

Wild Card

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Release Date: January 30th (USA)

Trailer:

So another Jason Statham film, at this point we’ve all become accustomed to Mr. Statham and the kind of films he participates in, and even though not all of them are hits, they always provide some form of fun and good action. This films looks like fun with plenty of action, card games, drama, revenge and all that jazz, plus the cast looks good and it’ll be interesting to see them interact. There’s currently no release for this film in the UK but hopefully it won’t be too long after it comes out in America.

Jupiter Ascending

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Release Date: February 6th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Ah Jupiter Ascending, feels like I’ve been waiting for this for ages. This time last year I was waiting for it as part of the summer of 2014, but it never came. The trailers haven’t blown me away but it certainly looks interesting and since it is directed by The Wachowskis, I have to see if they can make a good film that isn’t The Matrix (although I did like parts of Cloud Atlas). The story looks interesting enough, the CGI looks amazing, I like the cast and I want to see two things: 1) How Eddie Redmayne fares in the films and 2) How Sean Bean dies, because let’s be honest, that’s what everyone likes to see these days. The sad truth is that this film was meant to be out last summer, then got delayed to this year and normally when films get pushed back to the early part of the next year it means that it’s bad. I can only hope that it is worth the wait.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Release Date: 13 February 2015 (USA), January 29th (UK)

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Trailer:

Initially I wasn’t interested in this film, even if it was directed by the great Matthew Vaughn, the premise never sounded that interesting to me on paper. But then I saw the trailer and then I was convinced otherwise. This film looks mental, with slick and well-crafted action, a cool-looking story, a good cast and SAMUEL L. JACKSON! I mean I’m annoyed it has taken this film so long to come out, I just wanna see it now and get this cool stuff in my system already.

Focus

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Release Date: February 27th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Now we have a film I’m very curious about and hoping will be good and that is Focus, which is Will Smith’s first film in just under 2 years! The reason I’m interested in this film is because I like film’s with con men, it means there’s a lot of deception and trust involved and obviously when women come into play for men, things can never be simple. The story seems like there is a good balance of drama and humour and Will Smith paired with Margot Robbie seems like a great match. For me Will Smith is my childhood hero, I love the guy, but it is fair to say that in recent years the guy has become fairly invisible and has shown up in decent films (Men In Black 3 & Anchorman 2) and one really bad one (After Earth), so to see him in a potentially good film makes me smile. I hope this is his return to form.

The Lazarus Effect

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Release Date: February 28th (USA)

Trailer:

I’m not one for horror films, anyone who’s read this blog knows that. However, there was a lot of buzz about this film especially what I heard on AMC Movie Talk, so I watched the trailer and now I’m curious. I like the concept of resurrecting the dead and there being repercussions for the people involved. Sure it has been done in other films before and a lot of the things I saw in the trailer does look a bit generic when it comes to horror films, however I like the cast and I’m curious to see what this film’s about.

Chappie

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Release Date: March 6th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Ever since I saw the trailer for this film I interested. I like films about artificial intelligence especially when they learn and are trying to be human. Seems like Hugh Jackman is a man who wants machines to work one way and is threatened by machines that can think and Sigourney Weaver looks to be the bad person once again, supporting Jackman’s character. I hope that it will be good. I still love District 9, it remains to be one of my all-time favourite films, however, Elysium did not do much for me at all. So I am hoping that this film is a better experience than Blomkamp’s last outing.

Cinderella

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Release Date: March 13th (USA), March 27th (UK)

Trailer:

This does look like another variation on the classic story about Cinderella, however what interests me is the way the story’s being redone. It hits all the same notes as the original story (Cinderella has evil step mothers, there’s a fairy godmother, mice get transformed into horses, etc). However there is a heavy focus on Cinderella’s mother and childhood, the evil stepmother has more to do and the world looks more grand and vast than ever before. I love the vivid presentation and the cast look great, I am a big fan of Cate Blanchett, I love Hayley Atwell and seeing Richard Madden again after Game of Thrones makes me grin. I hope Kenneth Branagh succeeds with this film.

In The Heart Of The Sea

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Release Date: March 15th (USA), March 13th (UK)

Trailer:

I’ve already talked about how much I wanted to see this film in my first trailer review. However if you’re not already aware let me say it again, I am HYPED for this film. After Rush, I knew I had to see whatever Ron Howard was up to after that and this film looks amazing. The film looks super dramatic, action-packed, atmospheric and dangerous, there is a great scale and the cast are filled with a great set of people including Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw and Brendan Gleeson.

The Gunman

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Release Date: March 20th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I honestly didn’t know anything about this film until I looked it up and just from the cast I was interested. Then I saw the trailer and then put this film on my list. I am a sucker for action thriller’s, it is my jam yo. The film looks like it has an interesting story to tell and again I’m really liking the cast. I like Sean Penn, but I’m a massive fan of Idris Elba, Javier Bardem and Ray Winstone and I just want to see how these characters in the film come together.

Alrighty then, that’s part 1 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 2! Laters 😀

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2015 in Films, Media

 

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Films To Look Out For In 2014 Part 3

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to PART 2 of Films to look out for in 2014! In this series of blog posts I’ll basically be listing a number of films that you should keep your eyes on over the course of the year.  If you missed part one and part two then check those out and come here when you’re down.

The Rules:

  1. Obviously a lot films come out, so if they’re not only my list it’s either because I don’t know about them or I don’t care.
  2. 2013 films getting their UK releases this year don’t count! 😛

Alrighty then, let’s start 😀

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Release Date: July 11th (USA), July 17th (UK)

Trailer:

This is on my high priorities list of films to see this year. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a surprisingly strong, action-packed and heartfelt reboot of the franchise that gave enough nods to the past while having a few new ideas to make the film its own thing. Dawn looks like it’ll be chaotic and start create the shift that’ll lead to the eventual ape take over that we all know will eventually go down. The teaser looks dark and gritty, the cast is awesome and I’m expecting some cool stuff from Caesar and his crew.

Jupiter Ascending

Release Date: July 18th (USA), 25th (UK)

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Trailer:

Well this film certainly looks interesting and if there’s one thing you can’t knock The Wachowskis for is their continued levels of creativity and crazy visual experiences. This film looks like classic sci-fi with a few new things in the mix. I like Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum is growing on me these days, the film does loo a bit strange and it could be either surprisingly good or really questionable, guess we’ll later on in the year.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Release Date: August 1st (USA & UK)

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Unfortunately at this current point in time there is no official trailer for this film which SUCKS, however if you were lucky enough to see the Comic-Con teaser trailer when it leaked online then you know that this film looks special and totally unique with its interesting sense of humour and action scenes. GotG could be my most anticipated film of the year just because it looks pretty insane and promises to be a superhero adventure unlike any other that Marvel have given us before. Everything that is said about the film sounds incredible, I just want the film to kick ass and be the success that it should be.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Release Date: August 8th (USA), October 17th (UK)

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Now this is a film I’ve been really against ever since Michael Bay’s involvement and then once Megan Fox got cast I think I just mentally throw up and even the after the set pictures were released didn’t help much. However for the hate and animosity I feel towards the production of this film, I still want to see a good Ninja Turtles film, it can be done and with the right kind of care and attention it could be amazing. I seriously want this film to work, but I can’t help but feel like it’s on the path to hell. Can’t believe we’ll have to wait until fucking OCTOBER to see this while everyone else gets this film in August, I may not be overly with the way the film is shaping up but that’s bullshit! Better get a trailer soon.

The Expendables 3

Release Date: August 15th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

It is no secret that I love action films and while The Expendables 1 and 2 are pretty silly, absurd and lack any form of interesting plots, they’re still pretty fun films. Seeing kick ass action stars teaming up and beating the crap of other guys through hand-to-hand combat or an assortment of weaponry is stuff I’m down for. This cast looks incredible and I’m just curious to know what they’re gonna do with the new additions especially finally seeing Wesley Snipes back on-screen for the first time in YEARS! 🙂

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Release Date: August 22nd (USA), 29th (UK)

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The only justification I have for me wanting to see this film is that the first film was awesome and now I wanna see the sequel. I highly doubt that it’ll be as good as the 2005 film, but the cast look pretty solid and if the filmmakers are somehow able to capture the magic from the last film then we’ll have a good sequel.

The Boxtrolls

Release Date: September 26th (USA) 12th (UK)

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Trailer:

So far the animation studio Laika have yet to make a bad film. Coraline and Paranorman are both key examples of how to be a fine stop motion film and make it fun and engaging for all audiences. Laika’s film’s also look incredible with the most absurd attention to detail that I’ve ever seen and this film looks like it’ll follow suite too. Whether it’ll be as good as their previous efforts remains to seen, all I know is that they have a new film and I’ll be there to watch it opening weekend. 🙂

Interstellar

Release Date: November 7th (USA & UK)

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Trailer:

Okay, here we have another Christopher Nolan film and finally its NOT Batman, yay! Chris Nolan is a director who hasn’t made a misstep as a director yet so I hope that this new film follows that trend. Even though the teaser trailer tells you absolutely NOTHING about the film and cannot engage anyone who isn’t in the know about the film or the director, I’m sure it’ll do well.

Dumb and Dumber To

Release Date: November 14th (USA), December 19th (UK)

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Now under normal circumstances I’d totally dismiss a sequel to a film that only a certain number of people from a specific decade would remember, however I will make an exception with this film. I’m not sure if it is nostalgia talking or natural curiosity that is drawing me towards this sequel, I think it’s a bit of both, either way I hope that this follow-up with worth our time and not another failure from Hollywood as they continue to push out their sequels, remakes and reboots.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Release Date: November 21st (USA & UK)

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If you had asked me this time last year, “Would you be looking forward to the next few Hunger Games film sequels?” I would have said no straight up. But after the really good Catching Fire, I really wanna know where they go with the story and find out how Katniss ends up after the end of the last film. I want more danger, more drama and more footage from the other districts. Don’t let me down now Mockingjay – Part 1!

The Hobbit: There and Back Again

Release Date: December 17th (USA), 19th (UK)

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Now I dunno about you, but The Desolation of Smaug was pretty much awesome thanks to one key aspect, a big massive dragon voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch! Don’t get me wrong, I really loved the like the last Hobbit film with all of its action and additional character development, but Smaug really made the film for me. So I’m curious how this Hobbit trilogy will be concluded later on this year, I just hope it’ll be satisfactory and not feel like a cop-out.

And that is it! PROJECT OVER! That is the rest of my picks for films to look out for from August straight through til December! So yeah there’s my picks from the summer, make sure to come back to the blog asap as I finish the year off with part 3! 🙂

P.S. What do you think of the list? Also is there any films you think I’ve left out? Feel free to drop me a comment below and I’ll get back to you asap. Until the next time, peace out! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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