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My Thoughts on the Oscars 2016

Howdy people of the world, today is the day after the Oscars has come and gone so I feel like voicing my opinion about the whole thing in a brief manner because why not? 😀

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I said to myself that I wasn’t going to watch the Oscars this year, I wasn’t that invested in most of these films and felt like it wouldn’t be worth my time, but believe that when the time for the Oscars started rolling in around 1:30am over here in the UK I was totally got online to watch it, and while I didn’t see everything, it was certainly a good session.

From what I remembered it was a good watch, unlike a lot of the recent Oscars, this one felt fairly swift, award speeches, sketches and videos were keep short and the overall show didn’t drag and that was great. Chris Rock I also believe was a great host, the dude was super charismatic, charming, funny and everything you’d expect, but most importantly he was able to ride the line between being hilarious but also addressing the more serious issues in relation to the controversy involving the lack in diversity when it came to the nominated films and actors. I also really enjoyed the comedy sketches that he did especially the parody of The Martian and Joy, and the point where he asked several black people about the Oscar-nominated films really highlighted how out of touch the average/casual film goer is especially when it comes to people who’re black. I also really liked seeing Chadwick Boseman and Chris Evans together (yeah I’m hyped for Civil War :D), Daisy Ridley and Dev Patel, oh and Louis C.K. he was so hilarious especially his line about Mad Max winning another award. And I also have to show love for Kevin Hart, once again he was not only funny, but he also handled the “Oscars so White” situation well with the appropriate amount of seriousness and positivity as well, that man knows what’s up. But one of the best moments for me was the appearance C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8 taking to the stage, it may have been a throwaway scenes for some, but considering my love for Star Wars it was great to see these lot together.

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As for the award winners I was happy with most of them, but some stood out more than others. Here’s the main winners I was happy about was:

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Winning Best Actor: This was it, this was the main award I was looking forward to, I really wanted to Leo to win this because the dude’s fought so hard over the last few years and after all that madness he went through acting on The Revenant this had to be his time, and it felt like a victory not only for him but for all of his fans too. I really liked his speech, he seemed so grateful and gracious and his speech while a little long, it was important and needed to be said.
  • Brie Larson Wins Best Actress: After I saw Room I knew this girl was my first choice for best actress and I just hoped the academy would see sense and give her the Oscar and luckily that came to pass. Larson’s speech was perfect as it was short and yet acknowledge a great deal of people.
  • Ex Machina Wins Visual Effects: This was the biggest surprise, of all the awards this could be one of my favourite outcomes. I seriously thought this film had no chance considering the titans it was up against (Star Wars, Mad Max, The Martian), but it really did show that the academy appreciated the most subtle and unique approaches to visual effects, and Ex Machina had some of the finest realism applied to robots in the longest time.
  • Alicia Vikander Wins Best Supporting Actress: While I still haven’t seen The Danish Girl, I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about her performance in that film and I’m glad that she got the award.

The full list of winners can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/29/movies/oscar-winners.html?_r=0

The only award I was gutted about was Best Supporting Actor, I would have loved for Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hardy or Sly Stallone to win, however, it went to Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies, and while Rylance was good in the film, I don’t think he was really as emotionally engaging as the other actors I mentioned. I really wanted Ruffalo or Stallone to win considering how amazing their performances were, but alas it wasn’t to be. Oh and I guess I should be happy about Mad Max: Fury Road getting so many awards, 6 in total including the technical ones, though I was gutted to see that The Force Awakens got nothing though.

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In conclusion the 2016 Oscars was a good turn out, I was happy for most of the winners including Leo DiCaprio and Brie Larson and with the awareness of the lack of diversity this year I can only hope that things will improve when the awards season swing around next year.

So what do you think of this year’s Oscars? Did these films deserve to win or not? If you watched it this year did it live up to your expectations or were you disappointed? Leave your comments below and I’ll catch ya later. 😀

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Films, Media

 

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QUICK REVIEW: The Revenant

So there’s been a lot of hype surrounding this film for many months especially with Alejandro G. Iñårritu’s filming in natural light and Leonardo DiCaprio’s hopes for an Oscar win too, and after this film came out last year in the US there was so much hype and positivity for the film. For me I’ve been wanting to see this for SO long and my hype levels were super high, and finally got to see it last night and I can pass judgement.

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The plot can be described as the following:

I have to mention before I continue that I hate watching films in the cinema at night, I tend to get tired and drift in and out of the film and I did during the middle of this film so there were a few plot details that I missed. With that in mind I did enjoy this story. This was a tale of survival, trial over adversity and revenge. There was a great deal of tension, drama, suffering and loss involved and it was handled with a great deal of care, style and bluntness. Some of the events that took place in this film are just insane, things got violent, dangerous and cruel at several points, and its mad to think of anyone actually enduring any of these events. This story was certainly intriguing, however, it didn’t unfold the way I expected and felt a little on the long side, now I hate to say that, but towards the middle the film kind of dragged and the story wasn’t as engaging as it was in the first and last act.

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As the cast, they were great. Firstly Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass was amazing, this character had to endure so much mentally and physically and DiCaprio really committed 110% to this role with the physicality and emotional material he had to work with. Not to be dismissed, Tom Hardy was excellent as John Fitzgerald, he was a character who had his own agenda and a mean personality and Hardy was really good in the role and I think this is his best performance so far. Domhnall Gleeson was also great as Captain Andrew Henry and Will Poulter as Jim Bridger had a bigger role than I expected and he was really impressive especially in the dramatic moments.

Presentation-wise this film was AMAZING! Seriously the visual side of things was insanely good with such a great attention to detail with the cinematography with awesome shots of the landscape, wonderful lighting and use of colour, intimately framed camera shots and insanely choreographed tracking shots that were a marvel to watch especially during the action sequences where multiple characters were involved. as for the music it was pretty dramatic and poignant throughout thanks to the score crafted by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto and Bryce Dessner.

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In conclusion The Revenant was a good film with stunning cinematography and fabulous performances from the cast, that being said I think I let the hype get the better of me and I ended up not enjoying th film as much as I’d hoped. That being said this was an incredible film that needs to be watched in the cinema.

Rating: 7.5/10

So have you seen The Revenant and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Wolf of Wall Street Review

Okay now it is time for me to review a film I’ve been waiting to watch for AGES now due to the bloody UK release date being almost a month later than the US’ one. I am of course talking about The Wolf of Wall Street. The hype that this film’s been getting is huge and I wanted to see how it held up. So far the award-based films have been a bit half and half with 12 Years A Slave being incredible and American Hustle being not nearly as good as I expected. So where does this film fall? Read on and find out.

So the story in the film is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

The reason why I really liked the film was due to the fact that beyond all the nudity, sex, drugs and alcohol there is a good story to be told with genuine actions and consequences. Everything that unfolds goes down in a spectacular way full of drama, humour and madness that become more and more ridiculous as the film continues. Some of the scenes in the film are pretty shocking in ways I didn’t expect whether it be in a really small or really big way and rather than it taking away from the film it increases the quality of the story and characters. And unlike American Hustle which I felt was all style and no substance, this film has the substance to back up its style.

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When it comes to the cast they’re all really good but the stand out performance is from Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort. DiCaprio’s performance was incredible, absolutely incredible. I swear he just gets better with age. In this film he is a maniac, full of swagger, charm, style and sophistication, however he has bad habits which start to consume him and make him disillusioned to the people and the world around him. DiCaprio just commands the screen whenever he’s there, he is spectacular and commits the role so insanely especially on the physical side of things which are both mad and hilarious. I think I’ve got a new man-crush haha. Jonah Hill should also be commended as Donnie Azoff. Hill‘s come a long since he was that kid in Superbad. In this film his character is not only funny, but a little off the wall, creative and creepy. I loved his accent and how he handled his drama and ridiculous habits without it coming across too hammy. Together DiCaprio and Hill make an incredible duo and just have the best chemistry.

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Margot Robbie as Naomi Lapaglia is also very good as Jordan’s wife, in the film she is not only absurdly gorgeous, flirtatious and sassy, but she is also innocent, cares very much for the well-being of her family and children and she is a strong woman and goes through a hell of a lot because of Jordan. Lapaglia is very impressive and handles her emotion scenes very well and I hope to see her in more films. Matthew McConaughey continues to be awesome as Mark Hanna, he’s this confident stoke broker who has some strange habits but also carries himself very well too. Kyle Chandler was also pretty good as Patrick Denham who is the FBI guy hunting after Jordan, even though he’s a hard-ass, tough and very straight-arrowed, he does have some funny moments too. Rob Reiner was also lovely as Max Belfort, Jordan’s dad. Max is the voice of reason for Jordan and he goes to great lengths to help his son out even when things start to get very hairy.

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Jon Bernthal as Brad Bodnick was another person worth mentioning as he was totally cool as hell, crazy and hilarious in his role and it is quite a transformation from being Shane in The Walking Dead. Also having Joanna Lumley as Aunt Emma was great, I wondered how she would factor into the film but she was nice, effective and quite funny too. Jon Favreau as Manny Riskin was decent too as this role was a bit more serious for him and the part he played was pretty cool. And I also wanted to mention Cristin Milioti as Teresa Petrillo, P. J. Byrne as Nicky “Rugrat” Koskoff, Kenneth Choi as Chester Ming (really funny), Henry Zebrowski as Alden “Sea Otter” Kupferberg and Ethan Suplee as Toby Welch who were also really good in the film. Oh and the small appearance from Shea Whigham as Captain Ted Beecham was lovely.

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In conclusion The Wolf of Wall Street is a really good film full of charisma, hilarious scenarios and loads of bad influences everywhere. But behind all this dodgy material is a story worth telling with amazing performances especially from Leonardo DiCaprio and even though the film is 3 hours long, I didn’t notice the runtime at all. I had a good time with this film and I highly recommend it.

Rating: 8.5/10 (An incredible adrenaline rush full of humour, drama and chaos)

So what did you think of The Wolf of Wall Street? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Great Gatsby Review

Yes, yes, yes. I’m finally getting around to talking about The Great Gatsby! My god, it’s actually taken me much longer to watch this film in the cinema than I originally thought. I was meant to see it opening week but then I literally just pushed it back, week after week and I almost thought it wouldn’t happen. But luckily I saw on Friday last week and now I’m gonna review it so please keep reading! 😀

When it comes to the story it can be summarized like this:

“The 2013 version of The Great Gatsby is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbour, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby’s nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await.”

This film really unfolded very differently than what I was expected. I didn’t expect there to be such a focus on Nick Carraway and his perspective, I knew he was part of the film but I didn’t expect his character to get as much screen time as he did. But I did like the story for the most part, it started out interestingly enough, but I don’t think it was until Carraway came into contact with Gatsby that the film really gets interesting. What follows is a good amount of mystery, drama, love and misfortune. There’s a lot of secrets and lies going on in this film and I love that focus and how it unfolds. I’d say that the film starts to slow down and get a little question in the romance between Gatsby and Daisy but eventually things pick up again after that.

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When it comes to the cast they are really the people that bring the film to life especially when it comes to the main cast. Let’s start with Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby. I dunno why I never liked DiCaprio before Shutter Island came out, either way after that he’s made several films I’ve seen that’s all been good for the most part and his performance in this film is also very good. Gatsby is a very friendly yet mystery character and no one really knows him besides Daisy and Nick and I loved how he interacted with people and his reasoning behind his parties. DiCaprio gives a lovely and powerful performance and I love seeing him freak out in films because it’s just totally cool.  Then there’s Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, I thought Maguire was awesome, this probably his best role since his appearance in Brothers. Sure most of us will remember him as Peter Parker in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, but he really is a great actor with talent and knows how to handle dramatic films. I loved seeing the film from Nick’s perspective and how he was getting integrated into this lavish lifestyle and what kind of crazy and unexpected events go down.

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Now let’s talk about Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan. I haven’t seen too many film with Carey Mulligan in them, but she was very good in the film. You could see that Daisy as character was complex and her history with Gatsby was an interesting one to find out about. Though when you look at her character over the course of the film she really is a bit of a bitch, leaving her cousin as the third while when she’s hanging with Gatsby and totally messing with the emotions of the men in her life, so cruel. Also Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan is really good in the film, I had heard great things about his performance prior to seeing this film but around halfway to two-thirds into the film you see why. His acting is impressive and I like how bitter and complicated his character gets once Gatsby comes into Daisy’s life.

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Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker was nice, her character was an interesting, posh and likeable person who for some reason took a liking to Nick and became part of the story through knowing Daisy and Gatsby. Debicki was awesome, hot and acted very well in her role. Jason Clarke as George Wilson was good too, I was surprised to find out how his character tied into the film and for the most part I liked him. And lastly Amitabh Bachchan as Meyer Wolfsheim was good as a friend of Gatsby, but also had a sort of shady and questionable persona.

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When it comes to the presentation there was a lot of CGI used and I seriously wasn’t expecting that much to be in the film but it was used when necessary for a lot of cool establishing shots, wide angles, transitions and memory sequences. Now when it comes to the soundtrack this is where things will get a little questionable. At first I so surprised by how much of a hip-hop and R&B sound the film had, then I remembered that the soundtrack was handled by Jay-Z and that’s when everything started to make sense. I love Jay-Z’s music and while I would have preferred more music reflective of that time period, the way Jay-Z handles his catalogue of music and scatters it across the film is nice, impressive and surprising. There’s a point when a rendition of “Crazy In Love” by BeyoncĂ© comes on and that was the most random if somewhat pleasant surprise I came across in this film.

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In conclusion The Great Gatsby while it wasn’t what I was expecting, it was still some impressive stuff. I really liked uncovering the mystery behind Gatsby life and the performances from the cast really make this film worth watching. The film didn’t blow me away but I still enjoyed what I watched immensely and I can easily recommend the film even if most people have seen it already haha.

Rating: 8/10 (A pretty impressive film with fine performances all around)

So what are your thoughts on The Great Gatsby? Did you like it or hate it? Leave me your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. 🙂

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Django Unchained Review

Finally! After around a month of waiting and hearing about all the hype and positive reviews, we over here in the UK finally get to experience Django Unchained. To say that the wait for this film wasn’t painful would be an understatement yo. I suffered having to wait for this film’s UK release especially because I love films for Quentin Tarantino.

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The premise for the film is as follows:

“Set in the antebellum era of the Deep South and Old West, the film follows a freed slave (Foxx) who treks across America with a bounty hunter (Waltz) on a mission to rescue his wife (Washington) from a cruel and charismatic plantation owner (DiCaprio).”

I thought the story in this film was pretty good. It was great to see Django and Schultz go on this journey together as bounty hunters killing off the people on their checklists, and then seeing them go on the hunt for Calvin Candie to rescue Broomhilda. It was an interesting tale that got progressively better. I loved seeing Django and Schultz bond and have their little adventure together. And then of course there is the part of the film where Calvin Candie comes into play where both he and Stephen contribute to the story in a magnificent way. Now granted the film does feel a bit long in places and I swear I thought the film was going to end at least 3 times before it did, but if you have patience and let the film run its course it is a kick ass story as a whole.

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Now when it comes to characters Django Unchained has some of the best film characters I’ve seen in a while. Firstly you have Jamie Foxx as Django Freeman. He was badass! It was interesting to see him go through such a transformation in the film from a timid slave to a gun-wielding bounty hunter. His character really does grow over the course of the film and there are some very memorable scenes with Django that I shall not forget any time soon. Then of course there’s Christoph Waltz as Dr. King Schultz. Waltz again turns in another fabulous performance in a Tarantino film and I can see why Waltz won his Golden Globe for this role. He is this awesome bounty hunter who takes Django under his wing to train him up and free him from slavery. Schultz also has a great way with words, is very funny and knows how to throw down in the action-related situation.

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But let’s talk about the epic man of the hour, Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin J. Candie. He was epic awesomeness. This is probably the best role I’ve seen him in for a while, Calvin Candie is such cruel and twisted human being, and yet he is so awesome. He’s the bad guy you love because he is so humorous, charismatic and has a really big presence on-screen. Oh and Samuel L. Jackson as Stephen, damn! He was epic too. I was not expecting such an interesting, mysterious and cruel character to come from him, but as usual Sam Jackson brings the fire to his role. Stephen is a hella funny character with some of the best lines in the film, and some of his interactions of Calvin Candie and Django are really memorable. And lastly there’s Kerry Washington as Broomhilda von Shaft. She was wonderfully pretty in the film as always and her character was a big driving force for the plot. Washington did well with her role but when compared to her other co-stars she didn’t do nearly as much, while her character has relevance she won’t be one of the main people you remember about the film after it ends.

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And then there’s the presentation for Django Unchained which was frigging awesome. Visually the film was shot in a very interesting manner and featured zooming shots and other types of camera work not normally associated with western films. But with Tarantino’s style of filming it works just fine. Also this film is bloody violent (pun intended), not since Dredd have I seen such violence and carnage on-screen and you know what? It’s frigging awesome, now this film does have some genuinely crazy and gruesome stuff and to some degree I wouldn’t recommend this film for the squeamish, but for everyone else who doesn’t mind that kind of thing then before for violent mayhem and carnage that only Tarantino can bring to films. Also the soundtrack for this film was incredible and as per usual with Quentin Tarantino films there is a variety of music and songs used throughout. The great thing about Tarantino films is the fact that there are many of songs used from different time periods that seem like they shouldn’t fit in the film at all, but the way they are presented and timed with the action on-screen makes them relevant and Django Unchained is not except to the rule. I loved the song “Django” by Rocky Roberts & Luis Bacalov; it sounded so perfect for the film and was totally epic. Also there are some other great contributions from John Legend, Anthony Hamilton, Elisa, Rick Ross and several of the original pieces of music for the film helped set the tone for this film very well.

So in conclusion Django Unchained was frigging sweet as hell and was another great film for Quentin Tarantino. The film had a great story, a wonderful cast, some awesome dialogue, the film was shot well and was bloody violent and the soundtrack was lovely too. If I had seen this last year it easily would have made it onto my top 10 list for 2012, but anyway that time has passed all I’m gonna say is for UK audiences go watch this film, you’d be mad not to. 🙂

Rating: 9/10

Thanks for reading my review yo. So have you seen Django Unchained or are going to watch it soon? Whatever your answer is drop me a comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Peace. 😀

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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