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How To Train Your Dragon 2 Review

Good day to you ladies and gents, today I’m ready to give you a film review in the form of How To Train Your Dragon 2. Now I only saw the first film a few weeks ago, but I ended up really liking it and it was a lot better than I expected it to be. I’d heard many good things about this film prior to its release in the UK and my expectations were set pretty high. So how does this animated sequel fare? Well read on and find out!

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In terms of the story, it takes place five years after the first film, featuring Hiccup and his friends as young adults. Most of the Vikings are enjoying life with the dragons, while Hiccup and Astrid along with their dragons are charting unmapped territories and discovering new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the Hiccup and company find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.

If I had to describe this film in one word; ‘incredible’ would be the word that comes to mind. What I really appreciated is the fact that the film did everything a good sequel should, it didn’t re-hash the prequel but it also didn’t change so radically that it was unrecognizable to fans of the first film. This film presents new challenges and adventures along with danger, drama and mystery. I love how this film is still hiccups adventure and even in the face of adversity he tries to do what’s right. There are only a few things I wasn’t keen on; some of the humour was still a little childish for me and there are certain codes and conventions that come with these kind of adventure films that have been done in many films before that I feel need to be broken, but otherwise everything else was fine.

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When it comes to the cast they were all pretty good. Jay Baruchel as Hiccup, he was nice, I like how he has matured but at the same time is still in the same mindset as before, he’s an adventurer but also a pacifist. Baruchel does a good job in his role but he still sounds like the least manly hero in any animated film ever. Cate Blanchett as Valka (Stoick’s wife and Hiccup’s long-lost mother) was lovely and so cool. She is a very wise, brave and courageous woman, but is also a very fragile person with depths of emotion. Gerard Butler is incredible as Stoick, he is a man who cares for his son but also for the well-being of his clan on the island. I love how stubborn, determined and tough he is, but also how emotional the man can be and he had some of my favourite moments in the film. Craig Ferguson is great as Gobber the Belch, he’s still Stoick’s right-hand man and is a source for a lot of the humour in the film too.

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America Ferrera, Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are still good as Astrid, Snotlout and Fishlegs. Also T.J. Miller and Kristen Wiig as Tuffnut and Ruffnut Thorston are still just a great as ever, that being said I feel like Ruffnutt was way better than her brother because she had more screen time and more funny moments. Djimon Hounsou made for a great villain as Drago Bludvist, he has a history with dragons and wishes to control them. I love how cruel, intimidating and brutal he was, he was a bit crazy, but also  definitely had great screen presence and I could totally tell from his first appearance that he was voiced by a black man. And Kit Harington is pretty good as Eret, this guys starts out as an enemy but converts to the side of justice later on and he is fairly charismatic, silly and funny too.

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As for the presentation, it is beyond awesome both on the visual and audio side of things. Visually the film is so beautiful, the detail in the characters, dragons, scenery and skies is gorgeous, and moving through it with all the tracking shots and sweeping camera movements is so breathtaking. I thought the first film looked good but this film goes FAR beyond that. The last film only came out four years ago and yet Dreamworks have outdone themselves, the action sequences have so beautiful use of colours, wonderful cinematography and an amazing sense of scope, so cool, beautiful and free-flowing. The soundtrack also by John Powell is SO good! His score is just screaming with sounds of wonder, adventure, playfulness, drama and emotion.

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In conclusion How To Train Your Dragon 2 is one of the best animated films I’ve seen in a while, it’s my favourite animated sequel since Toy Story 3 and probably my favourite animated film since Rise of the Guardians and Wreck-It Ralph. The film had the action, the spectacle and it had the heart and it was all blended together in a wonderful way. I highly recommend this film as it is a good time for both kids and adults.

Rating: 8.5/9 out of 10

So what did you think of How To Train Your Dragon 2? How do you think it fares compared to the last film and do you think this was better or worse than the prequel? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Fantastic Four Screenplay Completed, More Actors Testing This Month

Alrighty then, time to talk about some news relating to the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot. Even though I’m not exactly happy about the way in which this film is turning out, this latest story I thought needed to be reported on my blog. The following info comes from superherohype:

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Variety reports that screenwriter Simon Kinberg has completed his re-write of Fox’s The Fantastic Four reboot and that they’re looking to finalize the film’s cast shortly. The site notes that actors will continue testing for roles in the film later this month, including Miles Teller, Kit Harington and Richard Madden for Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic, and Kate Mara and Saoirse Ronan for Sue Storm aka The Invisible Woman.

As previously mentioned, the only name reported for the Johnny Storm/Human Torch role is Chronicle‘s Michael B. Jordan. No names have been mentioned for the Ben Grimm/The Thing role, though Terry Crews says he wants it.

Filming on the reboot is expected to begin in Baton Rouge this March. Josh Trank will direct the big screen adaptation, which is currently set for release on June 19, 2015​.”

Okay so the script is done, whoopie doo. I’m not overly concerned about that, what I wanna know is who will be playing these characters.

For me the Fantastic Four are one of the best superhero groups in all of comics, there is a wonderful family dynamic about their group, plus their powers are all really unique and cool and lead themselves to some cool team-up abilities. This group needs a proper film adaptation. Tim Story and 20th Century tried it almost 10 years ago and failed (nuff love for Chris Evans though!), so now that we’re in an age where comic book films are handled a little more seriously, there could be a good chance we could get a good adaptation… Provided that the filmmakers don’t fuck it up!

You see ever since the film was announced I was half and half about it; I would like to see FF done justice, but at the same time I don’t care because I have good movies from The Avengers to Batman and X-Men to keep me company you know? At first when Josh Trank was brought on to direct, I thought we were onto something incredible… But then subsequent stories and rumours afterwards has led me to believe that this new take on the FF source material may be in trouble. We start getting all these crazy stories like:

  • Michael B. Jordan wants to be Johnny Storm
  • Johnny and Sue Storm may be black
  • Johnny might be an adopted brother she will explain why he’s black and Sue is white
  • Oh the FF group may be multi-racial
  • Now they’re looking for younger actors to play younger versions of the group

WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL MAN? Now I’m all for change and innovation in comic book films, but we need to slow down and take things slow.

Firstly let’s talk about race. Changing the race of a character is a big deal. some say that it isn’t as long as the character personality remains the same and some have said they’re played with the race of characters before such as Heimdall from Thor, Kingpin from Daredevil and Perry White from Man of Steel, but the difference there was that they weren’t the main characters. Plus it just messes with the continuity of the comics and other media adaptations. And to me if they do make Johnny Storm black I don’t feel like there will be any proper reasoning behind it, all I’m seeing from this current rumour is “We live in the 21st century, to change things up and make traditionally white characters another race, why? Because we want to be multicultural.” And again that’s all and well but I’d rather have a character’s race changed if it served the story rather than just being “fresh and out-of-the-blue”.

As for the younger cast, that is a prospect that scares me. I don’t want no FF babies. I want adults taking on the world dammit! I feel like the age change is just an excuse to capitalize on the success of X-Men: First Class and their younger actors. The same rules don’t apply to the Fantastic Four, I feel like if their young the filmmakers will make them silly, childish, reckless and lack the charisma, charm, depth and maturity that comes from the group in the comics. Plus some of the casting choices are just crazy:

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Here we have the current candidates for Mr Reed Richards, a very important role to fill and these actors are Miles Teller, Kit Harington and Richard Madden. Tiller I’ve never really seen, but Harrington and Madden we all know from Game of Thrones as John Snow and Rob Stark. I’m not sure if I really get a Reed Richards vibe from any of them, especially not Teller. But if I had to choose I’d go with Harrington, he’s awesome and has a pretty good face and acting skills.

And then there’s the choices for Sue Storm:

Mara, Roran-SueStormMy goodness these ladies look young. Kate Mara I’ve not really seen her in many films whereas Saoirse Ronan I’ve seen in a few. Honestly Saoirse Ronan I can’t see in this role purely because she looks and is so young, plus I dunno if this is the kind of rough and tumble action film that she could handle. I mean whose to say she can’t surprise us? But as it stands I can’t see her jumping on the superhero bandwagon any time soon. On the other hand Mara I think has the potential, while she would be my first choice she kind of reminds me of thinner Hayley Atwell and that is not on a bad thing at all. Either way Sue Storm is beautiful, yet very powerful figure in the group and with her abilities and that casting will also be bloody crucial.

Okay mini rant over. Sorry to go so overboard with my comments here but in truth this is something that concerns me, if the casting for this film is just the slightest bit off then we could be looking at another questionable film here.

So what do you think of the recent news and how do you think the production of the Fantastic Four is going so far? Are you down with it or are you concerned? Also do you think I’m right or just completely out of my mind? Whatever your thoughts are drop them below yo.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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