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QUICK REVIEW: Warcraft

Howdy people, it is review time again and today I’m going to be talking about Warcraft! Now I have to say my excitement for this film has been in the ‘cautiously optimistic’ department as the trailers were decent, but did not get me super hyped like other 2016 films that have come out so far, and with the mixed reception it’s gotten recently I really was worried. But since I saw it a few hours ago I can share my thoughts here with you lovely people. šŸ™‚

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So the story can be described as the following:

“The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home”

The story of Warcraft, when you strip away the spectacle and law, is a simple one. It is about two worlds colliding and two strong individuals on both sides trying to do their best to sort out the larger problem without too much chaos and bloodshed. This is a familiar tale, and for the most part it worked, but there were some issues. Firstly, Warcraft has the same issue that John Carter and Green Lantern had in the sense that this film has a lot of law and mythology to set up, and a lot of the time feeds you tons of information but there isn’t enough time to digest and understand it. And for me this lead to me forgetting certain character names and locations, and even though there was narration to explain some details, I felt like just a bit more exposition would have helped the narrative. Secondly the pacing was a little off, like I said before there’s a lot of info to take in, and it didn’t help that the film moved from scene to scene so quickly and didn’t give you enough time to settle into the world especially in the beginning, but then later on some moments went on a little too long. And finally some of the character motivations and arcs felt lacking in depth and needed a bit more meat to them in order for us to connect them. That being said, when the story worked there was a lot of interesting moments full of drama, tension and good world-building.

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In terms of the cast they were good, but there were some that stood out more than others. Travis Fimmel did well as Sir Anduin Lothar, even though he didn’t differentiate himself much from what I’ve seen in Vikings. He was charming and very chilled out and was one of the most engaging human characters. Ben Schnetzer as Khadgar was initially kind of annoying and silly, but he eventually grew on me. Ben Foster played one of the more intriguing characters as Medivh and it was interesting to see how his arc played out in the film, while Dominic Cooper was valiant and strong as King Llane Wrynn, and Ruth Negga was good but underutilized as Lady Taria Wrynn. Paula Patton was fine as Garona, but I felt like she needed a bit more personality and development. Toby Kebbell did really well as Durotan, he had the strongest and most engaging arc in the film being courageous yet conflicted. Robert Kazinsky was also pretty good as Orgrim Doomhammer and Daniel Wu was pretty solid as Gul’dan.

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When it comes to the presentation the film was solid. Visually it was nice, the CGI was handled well especially with the cinematic shots of theĀ  landscape and the detail in the shots orc models as well. Otherwise the visual effects varied between looking good to not bad with some dips in detail during some of the action sequences. And the film score by Ramin Djawadi certainly had its moments where it elevated the action on-screen, however it wasn’t as impactful as some of Djawadi’s previous material.

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In conclusion Warcraft wasn’t bad, it was an interesting film with a great fantasy world, nice mythology and cool action sequences. However the characters and story weren’t nearly as engaging as I had hoped. I would have liked something in the vain of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy for this film, and I know that LOTR was based on a very strong book series as opposed to the Warcraft game series, but with the right creative team you can make anything work, and this film was handled as well as it could have been with Duncan Jones at the helm, but the story material wasn’t strong enough.

Rating: 6.5/10

So have you seen Warcraft and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! šŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: The Nice Guys

Howdy people, got a new review for ya and last night I finally get to talk about The Nice Guys, woo! šŸ™‚ I’m not sure if I’d mentioned this in a previous blog post, but this film was/should have been in my top 11 most anticipated films of 2016 and after seeing all the trailers my hype levels were super high. So how’d the film turn out? Well read on and find out! šŸ˜€

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So the story can be described as the following:

“A mismatched pair of private eyes investigate the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles.”

So the story for this film was very interesting. This is a tale of humour, death and conspiracy and it comes together in a very Shane Black manner. While anyone can watch this film, it definitely works better for fans of Black’s work, and for those not satisfied with Iron Man 3 and wanted a little more Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, this film was certainly more in line with the latter with a tone, script and a type of humour that was swift, mature, blunt and continuous. I am not going to lie, it took a little while to get into this story, and that’s not to say that it wasn’t engaging but I thought the story would hook me in a different way. Also some of the humour wasn’t as funny as I’d hoped, maybe it was the timing or the fact that a lot of the best gags were in the trailers, but that’s just from what I observed. However there’s a point when the story shifts gears and got even crazier and more ridiculous than before, and the final act literally just had me laughing and enjoying myself so much!

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In terms of the cast they were really good. This kind of film successes of fails on the performance of the leads and luckily Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling do well as enforcer Jackson Healy and private detective Holland March. These two were an unlikely pairing with Crowe being the no-nonsense tough guy and the Gosling being the humourous, silly and hyperactive guy. Individually they were cool and well-rounded, but it was when they got together when the magic happened with Healy and March having the best comedic pairing I’ve seen in a while due to their different personalities and approaches to work. A nice surprise came in the form of Angourie Rice as Holly March who was so delightful, smart and resource, Rice had a great screen presence and held her own well against the other main actors. Matt Bomer was great as John Boy, I also liked Margaret Qualley as Amelia Kutner, Keith David’s appearance as Older Guy was very welcome and memorable and finally Kim Basinger had a very interesting role as Judith Kutner. Oh and I also really enjoyed the visual style of the film and the 70’s influenced soundtrack crafted by David Buckley and John Ottman.

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In conclusion The Nice Guys was a good film. It was a lot of fun to watch as the story unfolded and the madness escalated, and while the humour and story was a little uneven for my liking, when this film hits, it hits hard and I would recommend it especially for those who are fans of Shane Black’s style of films.

Rating: 7.5/10

So have you seen The Nice Guys and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! šŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: Batman

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #22 of myĀ Month of Superhero Film Reviews!Ā During this month Iā€™ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Alright so we’ve talked a lot Marvel films recently, time to get back to DC films. So for the next few days we’re talking BATMAN! So let’s go back to 1989 with the first live action adaptation of the character with Tim Burton’sĀ Batman.

Wow, didn’t think I’d ever have a reason to watch this film again. Now don’t get me wrong, Tim Burton’s first Batman film was one I watched for the first time around 2 years ago, but I wasn’t overly keen on it and didn’t really see what all the hype was about. And that’s not because I’d seen the Chris Nolan films already, it’s because on a personal level it wasn’t the Batman film that I liked that much. So now we’re in 2013 and I’m watching it again, so have my opinions changed at all? Read on to find out.

The plot summary for this film can be described as the following:

“In Gotham City, a dark knight known as Batman helps to defeat evil and keep the city’s citizens safe. When Jack Napier is transformed into the evil, Joker, he promises to take over Gotham City it is up to Batman to stop him in his tracks before it is too late.”

The story was pretty cool. It’s interesting how in this film we don’t get an origin story, Batman is already out there taking the law into his own hands with street thugs freaking out and the Gotham police trying to figure out if he’s real or not. Then you have Bruce Wayne whose life gets a bit more complicated once Vicki Vale got involved and then there’s the Jack Napier, the bad guy who literally turns into a freak of nature after becoming the Joker and decides to terrorize Gotham just to be noticed. There was a lot of great elements of danger, mystery, corruption and the central theme of two freaks going up against each other as polar opposites. I really liked the script because there are some funny as hell moments in this film, some on purpose and some that are completely random and some of the dialogue written for this film is great especially when it comes from the Joker. I feel like the story dragged at points with there being scenes focused on some irrelevant matters and in final sort of 15-20 minutes of the film I feel like the finale could have been shorter too.

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Now let’s talk about the cast.Ā Michael Keaton does well asĀ Bruce Wayne/Batman. Initially I was never keen on him in the role because he didn’t have the look of Bruce Wayne to me, a while I still believe that, Keaton definitely a handle on the character. Keaton portrays the character as a man who is cool, calm and assertive but with a lot to hide and a complicated life behind the scenes. As Batman he’s pretty cool and thank god he doesn’t have a stupid gruff voice like the Chris Nolan version. Next we haveĀ Jack NicholsonĀ asĀ Jack Napier/The Joker. Nicholson has always been a very charismatic actor and his performance in this film just looked like he was having the time of his life. He did emulate a lot of the Joker’s good qualities like his sick sense of humour, maniacal laugh and crazy physical movements and was very similar to theĀ Cesar RomeroĀ version from the 1960s TV series. Though at times I couldn’t but see him more as Jack Nicholson playing Jack Nicholson.

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Kim BasingerĀ asĀ Vicki Vale was incredibly pretty and I liked what she did with her character but did scream a lot and when it comes to love interests for Batman I’m not overly interested.Ā Michael Gough was fabulous asĀ Alfred Pennyworth, he really did a good job at having a presence even when he wasn’t the main focus on the screen, his dialogue, mannerisms and actions were cool and sometimes hilarious too.

Robert Wuhl was pretty funnyĀ as Alexander Knox, I liked his moments in the film though his character was a little annoying at times. As forĀ Pat HingleĀ asĀ Commissioner Gordon andĀ Billy Dee WilliamsĀ asĀ Harvey Dent they were both good in the small roles that they had, but I feel like they weren’t around long enough to leave an impression.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is great, Gotham City is a very stylized, dark and moody place and it is well presented with interesting set design and great lighting. There are some wonderful shot of Batman just standing or moving through barely lit locations and it adds a good level of mystery, creepiness and makes the character look cool and iconic. Though it is clear that some of the special and practical effects are old now and do look very questionable by today’s standards. As for the soundtrack by Danny Elfman, well, this was the soundtrack that won him an Oscar. If that doesn’t tell you something about his skills then I don’t know what will. Elfman crafts a score that is loud, full of epic instruments and know just how to create the right mood for each scene.Ā “The Batman Theme” is pretty epic, though I prefer the reworked version that found its way into the opening credits of Batman: The Animated Series. While I don’t believe its Elfman’s finest work, it is a pretty cracking score on the whole.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? When it comes to Batman I’ve only read a few comics, most of my knowledge comes from years of watching Batman cartoons and research online. From what I understand this film took most of the elements from the comics and translated them to live-action pretty well. Batman’s costume is very good as is his vehicles the Batmobile and Batwing. I feel like this film captured the look of Gotham well and the mood and atmosphere was pretty cool too. I’d say the only things that were odd was the fact that Harvey Dent was suddenly black and the annoy way that the Joker had to keep putting on make up to conceal his bleached skin.

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So to concludeĀ BatmanĀ is a film I underestimated and is definitely a lot better than the last time I saw it. There are wonderful aspects like the story, cast and presentation that makes this film work not only as an adaptation of the source material but also as a standalone film. The film has definitely aged and there are a good few strange, inconsistent and silly things going on in this film, but I do like it and for comic book fans willing to look a little further into the past this film is worth your time,

Rating: 8/10 (While its ages somewhat, there are still a lot of great things to be found in this film)

So thereā€™s my review people, only 8 more to go. So have you seenĀ BatmanĀ and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and Iā€™ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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