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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and Merry Christmas! I hope you’re having a great Christmas session, today I’m here to share with you my late thoughts on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker via my podcastĀ Film Focus.

I actually saw this film the day after it released, but I just got caught up with work and the build up to Christmas that I forgot to post it on here haha. šŸ˜› But yeah I guess it is better later than never right?Ā  So on episode 94 of the podcast, I finally get to talk about another the last major release of 2019 that’s been on my radar for a while in the form of The Rise of Skywalker. Now after The Last Jedi came out, the Star Wars fandom has been thrown into chaos with such a crazy divide between those who loved and hated it. So with all that in mind, JJ Abrams and the other filmmakers had a difficult task to create a satisfying conclusion that would satisfy everyone. So is Rise of Skywalker a film good or not? Well, check out this spoiler-free review to find out.

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 The Rise of Skywalker and if so what did you think of it? Was it everything you wanted or were you disappointed or are you somewhere in between? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! šŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2019 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review

Howdy people of the internet, time to review a film I’ve been waiting to watch for AGES, I am of course talking about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of my favourite films of not only 2011 but also of the last few years and I was so hyped for what would happen for the future of this new film series. The trailers have all looked great and the early reviews have just put me in a good mood. So how has this sequel turned out? Well read on and find out!

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Here is the film’s story in summary:

“A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.”

This film is pretty damn good as it tells an intelligent, dark, grim and unsettling tale of survival between two species when they unwillingly collide. This film is really grim with barely any happiness in sight, there is violence, war and death and the level of tension throughout the film is so intense that it will leave you gripping you gripping your seat just waiting to see what happens next. It is clear from the outset that both the humans and apes want to survive, but within their ranks some want peace while others want war and it is cool to see the parallels between the apes and humans. The film is also very tricky and throws you a good few curveballs to keep you from guess what will happen next and just when I thought something was going to happen one way, it totally changed direction which was fun and exciting.

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As for the cast they are all pretty good, but it should be noted that after the film is over you’ll only remember two characters because of their awesomeness. So let’s start with the first of those characters in the form of Andy Serkis as Ceaser. Now Ceaser is character we got to see grow up and learn to find his place in the world in the last film, here he is a leader. The ape’s grown up, he’s the head of tribe of apes and he’s a family man and it quite beautiful and nice to see how far our hero has developed. We see in this film that Ceaser wants to keep his ape clan united, doesn’t want to fight humans and strives for peace, but due to the complications involving humans and apes within his group he is forced to make very tough decisions. I loved seeing the emotional complexities of this character and seeing how far he would go to help humans but also protect his people. Andy Serkis did such an amazing job in this role and he is making it harder toĀ distinguish the difference between performance capture and normal acting.

The other major character who kicks as is Koba played by Toby Kebbell. Damn this character stepped up, I knew from the trailers he would have a bigger role in this film than the last, but his character is just as important as Ceaser in terms of where the story goes. Koba despises humans because of the torture and experiments they did on him in the past, he even has the scars to prove it and while he is loyal to Ceaser, he cannot accept the coexistence of humans and apes and goes to great lengths to make sure that he gets his revenge on them. Koba is mean, he is a dangerous, corrupt and crazy individual, but for all of his wrongdoings you do feel some compassion for the guy because he has had a my crappy life, he’s suffered at the hand of humans and since Ceaser is showing them mercy where he didn’t get any in the past obviously he’s gonna be pissed. Kebbell did such a great job with this character and I’m glad that he was the one to flesh out this character.

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The humans don’t fare as well as the apes as they are not nearly as memorable and for me aren’t as interesting as the cast from the last film bar a few individuals. Jason Clarke is the best of the human characters as Malcolm, a man who has many similarities to Ceaser as he too is a family man and only wishes to coexist with the apes. Malcolm is a courageous and strong individual who goes to great lengths to try and keep things under control even when the situations he’s in are going south fairly quickly. Gary Oldman as Dreyfus was good but severely underused, I love Gary Oldman, any time he’s around you are in for a good time, however while I understood his character’s motives, at the same time he wasn’t in the film nearly as much as I would have liked. Kodi Smit-McPhee as Alexander and Keri Russell as Ellie did their parts well but I wasn’t overly fussed about them. The last mention I want to give is to Kirk Acevedo who played Carver, now this guy was a douche, he pretty much doesn’t care for the apes and blames them for everything that has gone wrong for the humans and his actions pretty set off sparks between humans and apes. I love Acevedo as Charlie from Fringe but here is so cruel and foolish, such bad guy.

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When it comes to the presentation it is simply incredible. Visually this film is insanely beautiful, the CGI work by Weta Digital is nothing short of amazing, they have created incredible environments and along with the motion capture work they’ve brought the apes to life in a way that is so realistic, you actually forget that you’re watching CGI apes. Couple these great visual effects with some lovely cinematography and an interesting colour schemes and you have a wonderful-looking film. Also the soundtrack by Michael Giacchino is pretty cool too, the more subtle and tension-filled themes were among my favourites and use of the wooden xylophone was so cool, but I will say that while I am a massive fan of Giacchino this isn’t one of his memorable soundtracks.

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In conclusion Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is easily one of the best films not only of the summer but also of the year. While the film didn’t turn out the way I expected, the film is still one of the most engaging and dramatic blockbusters we have gotten for some time and while Michael Bay continues to throw dumb and soulless material at audiences with Transformers 4, this happens to be a the total other end of the spectrum. I highly recommend that you go out and see this film as it is SO good and worthy of your time.

Rating: 8.5/10

So what did you think of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? Did it make you happy or make you sad or angry? Whatever your thoughts are I’d love to read them, so be sure to comment below so we can start some discussions yo! Laters. šŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Dark Skies Review

It’s funny, I actually had no intention of watching this film. I actively try to avoid horror films in the cinema just because I don’t believe in going to cinema to be scared out of my pants. Add to that the trailer for this film didn’t look all that fancy or scary either, I mean what I got from the trailer was “Oh so is this some sort of Paranormal Activity or Sinister spin-off or something? No thanks.” So yeah Dark Skies wasn’t on the cards, but then my best friend asked me to watch it along with his girlfriend last weekend, and sinceĀ I can never say no to that guy I tagged along. So is Dark Skies good? Well read on to find out.

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The story of the film involves theĀ Barret family, a normal family who’sĀ peaceful suburban life is shaken by a series of disturbing events and eventually they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them.

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Now I’m just going to say this right now, this film reminds me so much of Signs. I’ll try not to say much more than that for people interested in finding out what the deal is with this film, but in short this film had so many similarities that it was had to ignore them. Dark Skies is basically a more horror-based version of Signs but just not as intelligent. The story is alright for the most part, it starts out interesting enough but it moves along very slowly and once the force reveals itself I just felt seriously disappointed as it felt like a generic cop-out and I called it from around an hour before it came around. There also a lot of times when film entered very silly and cheesy territories, some of the stuff that the people do is hilarious and I know some of it was meant to be serious, but when you see someone pulling a strange face or banging their head continuously on a glass door you try to sit there and not laugh.

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When it comes to characters there wasn’t anything special about any of them, the cast were fine but I didn’t find myself overly invested in the any of them. Keri Russell as Lacy Barrett was probably the most relatable and logical out of the family. Russell was fine and well considering the material she was given. As for Josh Hamilton as Daniel Barrett heĀ was the husband and father who wasn’t all that likeable, he just didn’t come to term with the events taking place around him and his attitude towards things in general was annoying. Dakota Goyo as Jesse Barrett was fine, his character was one of those young teenagers that went off and done his own thing. His character was also a bit annoying like the dad but since he had some unintentionally funny scenes I’ll give him a little more credit haha. As for Kadan Rockett as Sam Barrett he was good, Rockett played the role well and he was believed for the most part. And lastly as for J. K. Simmons as Edwin Pollard, he was decent as this specialist who helps the family out with their strange situation by supplying them with knowledge about previous situations similar to their own. This was probably the strangest and most subtle role I’ve ever seen Simmons in so far.

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As for the presentation it was alright, the film was shot decently though at night there was a lot of blue to be found on-screen, while not overly distracting it was very noticeable. Also the use of CGI while not in the film that much when it did show up it was a bit hit and miss. Also the soundtrack while it did sound a bit creepy at times didn’t quite elevate the scary factor like it should have.

In conclusion Dark Skies was a film I enjoyed for the most part, it’s not amazing but it’s not totally pants either. I think I liked it because of all the stupid and cheesy scenes and references to other films too, but I do believe the film is fairly generic and is not as scary as it should have been.

Rating: 6.5/10 (Worth a watch but not as scary as it could be)

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews, Uncategorized

 

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