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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’Antonio, 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! 😀

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

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Howdy people of the internet, today I’m finally getting around to reviewing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Now I saw this film during the midnight screening yesterday and I’ve been meaning to talk about it since then, but I’ve had work. But I’m free now and after having some time to think about it I think I’m ready to pass judgement.Oh and before we begin I’m just gonna state right now that I’m throwing the rating system out of the window for this review because it would be irrelevant and troublesome.

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The story can be described as the following:

“Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor. It’s up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.”

Annoyingly the film’s story starts out well connecting to the events of Man of Steel, but after that things get a little messy. This film had a lot to do especially when it came to introducing us to what’s taken place since MoS, showing us the public’s view on Superman and his actions, why Bruce Wayne has come into play and showing other key elements that place in the main and sub plots. But not too long after the film began the problems arose, what became immediately noticeable to me was the fact that there was a multiple things happening with at once with the story, but not all of it was relevant or engaging, plus some of the editing was strange as we cut to a from several things that messed with the film’s pacing and coherency. We also have plot points that go nowhere or are failed to be properly explained and a lack of proper character motivations lead to some questionable choices as the film progresses. The film jumps all over the place with flashbacks, visions, dreams and current day stuff and it ranged from being interesting to downright annoying as they would show up when up least expected them to. As for being a “Batman vs Superman” film it did some of those elements well with could drama and set up, but some of the motivations and story elements that lead up to their major confrontation felt convoluted and out of character for each of these characters (especially when you compare them to the comics). And the “Dawn of Justice” aspects of the film with the connections to the future DC films was certainly interesting and some of it got me hyped to see some of these solo films, it’s too bad that their place felt random and shoehorned into the film. Oh and I don’t think I can talk about this film without mentioned the length, dear god  I felt the length of this film, so much happens, but believe me if certain plot points had been streamlined or taken out altogether this film would have been so much better for it.

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As for the cast they were pretty good, though some people were really wasted or did not well at all. Let’s start with Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Easily the best part of the film was Affleck as Batman, this man was able to capture the duality of the character well and just the delivery of his dialogue to his facial expression just made me love him. And can I just say that this is the most badass Batman we’ve ever had? This dude in a monster! Batman rolls around like the boogeyman brutally taking people out, he’s scary as hell and you don’t want to mess with him, and while I don’t entirely agree with his characterization (because he’s more like Wolverine or the Punisher), I can’t deny that this version of the Dark Knight was kick ass. Henry Cavill was fine as Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman, but I had hoped for more. Superman is interesting here because he’s got a lot of stuff to deal with him saving people, having the world both love and hate him and trying to sustain a relationship with Lois too. I feel bad for Cavill as he is a good Superman, but he’s given such uninteresting material to work with and he’s a bit plain and dull. Amy Adams as Lois Lane was a character I didn’t really like in the last film and in this film I think she may have gotten worse. Lois has her own little sub plot which wasn’t all that interesting, she made a lot of stupid decisions, was the damsel in distress again and I still don’t buy the relationship between her and Superman.

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Oh and then there’s Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor… Just gonna say it now, he is as bad as you feared. Okay to his credit there were moments, small moments where the guy was actually pretty smart and dangerous, but those glimmers of hope were squashed by Eisenberg’s silly and cooky mannerisms, the guy is just strange and hardly a threat. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was surprisingly good, I mean the acting was amazing, however, the characters was a lot more interesting than I expected and this film has made me want to see the new solo film in 2017. Diane Lane as Martha Kent was fine, but was more a backseat character until the story required her to show up and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White was decent as well but his appearance in this film has no significance on the main story. Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth was awesome, every time he was around he was insightful, funny and delightful, I just wish there had been more scenes with him in the film. And finally Holly Hunter as fine as Senator June Finch but her character didn’t add up to much in the grand scheme of things.

When it comes to the presentation it was pretty cool. As with most Zack Snyder films the action is pretty hardcore with very crazy and intricate cinematography and visual effects which were put to good use in a lot of action sequences for sure. Though some of the action wasn’t as well-choreographed as I’d hoped considering that this was moment to be major confrontation between Batman and Superman. But I will say the best material was the Batman material, his fights were so insanely hardcore, well-made and man this is the best material we’ve ever gotten in live-action. The film score provided by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL was a mixed bag, whenever the soundtrack was playing in the background I could tell the difference between Zimmer and XL’s style with Zimmer being a little more classical and XL’s style being a little more aggressive and electronic in sound which felt a little out of place at times. But I will say that the Wonder Woman theme that played during her scenes was pretty cool.

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In conclusion Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a mixed back. Not since Man of Steel have I been this divided about whether I liked a film or not. On the one hand the film gave me what I wanted and it certainly had moments of badassery and drama, but at the same time the film never became more than it could have been and a lot of the problems I knew I’d have with the film were realised. I could talk about this film for days but I don’t think you’ll stick around for that haha, I recommend BvS to everyone just so you can form your own opinion on it as everyone’s views will be different as it has been shown to be online so far, this film wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either.

So what do you think of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? Did you love it, hate it or fall somewhere in between like me? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2016 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. 😀

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

 

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Hannibal Season 1 Review

Howdy ladies and gents, I return to the internet with my first live-action TV review in a while (the last one being Buffy season 2). Today’s review will be on the first season of Hannibal, a show I’ve only watched recently, but have really gotten into just in time for the start of season 2. So what do I think of this first season? Read on and find out!

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So the story in this show in a nutshell goes something like this:

“Explores the early relationship between the renowned psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter and his patient Will Graham, a young FBI criminal profiler, who is haunted by his ability to empathize with serial killers.”

This season was full of interesting individual episodes, but it is when all the small aspects from those episodes are brought together for the larger narrative when things become so much more fascinating and entertaining. Like any good psychological thriller, the show was suspenseful, full of tension and did a lot to mess with your head and blur the line between reality and fiction, the writing is very clever and on numerous occasions I was either very confused, disgusted by what I was watching or feeling the crazy tension going on. I like how for the most part each episode felt relevant with a new case for the FBI to check that had a means of hooking you. While it took the show a bit before I really got into it properly, once a good few episodes had gone by I found myself getting intrigued and constantly curious about the nature of the main killer’s motives, Graham’s abilities and the number of murders. I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say things get deeper, more complex, dangerous and it all leads up to a very engaging finish.

Favourite episodes:

  • Coquilles
  • EntrĂ©e
  • Fromage
  • RĂŽti
  • RelevĂ©s
  • Savoureux

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When it comes to the cast they’re all very good. Hugh Dancy as Special Agent Will Graham is really good, Will has a very interesting set of skills and it is great to see things from his perspective and get inside his mind. Sometimes however I wish I couldn’t see some of the stuff in there because it is right creepy. Dancy does so well in this role as he plays a character so isolated, mentally strange and different from everyone else. For me the main star is Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Mikkelsen I mainly know from Casino Royale and he was really awesome in that film, but here he is on a new level of awesomeness. Here he plays such a straight man, always willing to help, well-versed food, drink and people, and yet he is danger. Hannibal is the bad guy hiding in plain sight and Mikkelsen does such a great job in his role as he is so subtle with his emotions, body language and able to portray a complicated character so well.

Laurence Fishburne as Special Agent-in-Charge Jack Crawford is another strong performance in this show, Jack is one tough guy, he like things done his way, likes to get results and doesn’t really care about how some people are affected by the cases he involves them in. Though for all his bravado he does have a heart and some of his own issues too and Fishburne does a wonderful job with a firm and commanding screen presence. Caroline Dhavernas is also good as Dr. Alana Bloom, a psychiatry professor and consultant profiler for the FBI, who has a professional relationship with both Graham and Lecter. I also really liked Hettienne Park as Special Agent Beverly Katz, Scott Thompson as Dr. Jimmy and Aaron Abrams as Brian Zeller were pretty good, but I don’t have much to say about them. The only other person I wanted to mention was Eddie Izzard as Dr. Abel Gideon, seeing Izzard in something so serious completely through me off the first time, it was so random, but he was very good all the same.

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As for the presentation it is gorgeous. Firstly this is one of the most visually impressive TV shows I have seen, the show looks very cinematic and has a great level of detail and impressive camera work that makes everything stand out. The lighting is another thing that is very well done and really helps amplify the moody atmosphere. In addition to the great filming work, the use of CGI for the psychological and fictional-based aspects of the show is awesome and realistic. And obviously one can’t talk about the show without highlighting the violence, bloody hell this show has so much nasty and filthy things to show off with the killing and dead bodies, all of which comes in many shapes and forms which gets more and more ridiculous and grotesque. It all looks very gruesome and amazing, the make-up team should be commended too for some of this crazy work they pulled off here. Overall visually Hannibal it is right up there with HBO standard of TV like Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire in my opinion.

In conclusion the first season of Hannibal is a damn good show, while I wouldn’t put it in my TV show favourites of all-time, it definitely has the potential to get there. The slow pacing and lack of engaging plotlines in some episodes definitely knocks a few points off. That being said Hannibal is entertaining, complex and thought-provoking as hell. I can’t wait to see what goes down in season 2.

Rating: 8.5/10 (A great and creepy show full of blood, death and thought-provoking stories)

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2014 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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