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AUDIO REVIEW: Us

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, I know this one is a little late but back on here to share my thoughts on Us in the form of a review via my podcast, Film Focus.

Now, this is a film that a lot of people have been looking forward to not only because it was the follow-up to 2017’s Get Out, but also because of the hype surrounding the marketing. Once the trailer came out I recall the internet going crazy for it, but I never saw the trailer or any of the marketing at all just because I was sold on Peele and the cast. And with the early glowing reviews, film fans everywhere were excited to see what the deal was with this new film. So today I share with you my spoiler-free thoughts. 🙂

Check out the review:

So have you seen Us and if so what did you think of it? I really want to hear your thoughts on this film so drop your thoughts in the comments below and if you have some spare time subscribe to my podcast, Film Focus on Soundcloud and iTunes. Until next time, laters! 😀

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Posted by on March 29, 2019 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Black Panther

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another review and today I’m finally talking about a film I’ve been waiting to watch for almost 2 YEARS! I am of course talking about Black Panther. Since watching Captain America: Civil War in the cinema, I have been ready for this film and the wait has been AGONISING, but luckily time passed along quickly and I finally got to see the film last night. So is this film a good watch or not? Well read on and find out! 😀

The plot can be summed up as the following: “T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.”

I enjoyed the story quite a lot, and while a lot happens in several locations and at certain points, the stakes have potential global ramifications, they felt suitably scaled and revolved the key characters in the right way. Since Phase Two, the MCU has changed its approach to tone, genre and story elements and this film has had the most significant change in terms of tone, character-driven nature and culture. The story dealt with family issues, revenge, power and control, secrets and lies, and the trials and tribulations that come with being a king, and all of these issues and others were handled with care and attention and I also appreciated the film’s commentary black history and current topics as it was relevant yet not overbearing. But what I really loved was how much of a character-driven drama this film was, everything that happened had a purpose and affected the main characters as the story progressed, so when the drama and emotional moments kicked in, it had SO much impact. And I also believe this is one of the most intense superhero films I’ve seen in a while, because of the story and the way it affected the characters, after the film ended I felt like I needed to take some time just to breathe and process what I just watched as I was emotionally gripped the whole way through. Oh and one more thing, even though I only have a minor amount of knowledge when it comes to the Black Panther source material, I was surprised and delighted with the way the source material was adapted into live-action.

As for the characters I really loved everyone in this film as they all had a role to play that fit into the overall narrative, they were all useful, memorable and fun. Firstly Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther killed it, he was already a great character in Civil War, but in this film were got to see more of his personality, more his strengths and weaknesses and see trying to accept his new responsibilities as a king and Black Panther. Boseman was likeable, funny, powerful and badass. And then there’s Michael B. Jordan as Eric Killmonger… Damn, this dude was awesome, Killmonger has an interesting backstory with solid villainous motivations and you can understand and to some degree agree with some of the stuff that he says and all of those elements definitely put him in the better MCU villain category for sure. And Jordan was excellent in this role, the guy oozes charisma and coolness, has a great screen presence and can be scary as hell at times. Danai Gurira as Okoye was frigging badass, absolutely awesome. When Gurira signed on to this film I knew the people at Marvel were gonna make good use of her combat skills from The Walking Dead, but my god she got so many scene-stealing moments not only on the battlefield but also off of it while interacting with T-Challa and other key characters. Okoye was a no-nonsense and proud warrior and I loved what Gurira brought to this role. Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia was quite good, at first I wondered how’d she’d factor into the film, but I really enjoyed her character, she had a great rapport with the other main characters and I liked what she brought to the story.

Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross got involved in the story far more than I expected, and I loved it. We only got a little bit of his character in Civil War, but in this film we learnt more about him as a person, he had some great interaction with several of the main characters and Freeman was delightful in the role. Letitia Wright as Shuri was quite good, at first I thought her attitude and cocky nature would annoy me, but she ended up being one of my favourite characters because of her smarts but also because of how she was integrated into the main story beats. Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi was really good, this character has a rough backstory and seeing his character progress through the film was interesting to watch. Winston Duke as M’Baku was really good with a powerful and intimidating screen presence, Angela Bassett as Ramonda was great as always, adding that dramatic flair that only Bassett can, Forest Whitaker as Zuri was really good, he had some great moments with T’Challa and I enjoyed learning about the significance of his character, and Sterling K. Brown was solid as N’Jobu too. And finally, there’s Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue, man I loved this dude! Serkis left a good impression in Age of Ultron, but here we got to see more of the character’s unhinged, tactical and funny nature, he’s a bit of a nutter, but is whenever he’s on-screen it is a good time.

When it comes to the presentation it was great. Visually the film looked great, the filmmakers did a great job at not only bringing the world of Wakanda to life but also presenting a great mixture of futuristic and old school/tradition African material whether it be through the technology, costumes, city landscape, etc. The use of CGI was also solid, though at times wasn’t as solid, and the cool action scenes were really good, there was a lot of creativity, style and power that came with some of these scenes whether you were talking about car chases or fight scenes, it was all handled so well. And just to elaborate on those fight scenes, I loved how the combat scenes shot with a lot of long shots and not too unnecessary cuts, the fights had the right amount of realism, acrobatics and dramatic weight because of what was at stake, and T-Challa’s bodyguards, the Dora Milaje was frigging awesome, these female warriors kicked ass! Also the soundtrack was awesome, the use of certain music was nice and Ludwig Göransson’s film score has a varied sound that incorporates African instrumentation and vocals, a traditional orchestrated sound and a hip-hop kind of style, sometimes these sounds mix and on paper it feels like it shouldn’t work, but in the film these different styles work well together and separately.

In conclusion, Black Panther was everything I wanted it to be and then some, it was thrilling, dramatic, intense and fun. Everyone involved should be proud of the film they’ve created as this is the Black Panther film the character deserved, and while it doesn’t change the superhero game, it was a wonderfully unique experience that I think everyone should check out. 🙂

So have you seen Black Panther and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So yesterday night, after month and months of waiting I finally got to see the last of my most anticipated films of 2017; Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The amount of waiting I’ve had to endure in the lead up to this film’s release has been painful, with all the marketing, rumours and speculation about the story and characters, you almost had to jump off the internet to have a clean viewing experience. Luckily I avoided most spoilers and watched all 7 main series films and Rogue One in chronological order over the last 3 days in preparation which was fun. So with all that out of the way how was the film, well read on and find out!

So the story can be described as the following:

“Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.”

I don’t want to go into too much detail so I shall be brief. This was a really interesting chapter in the SW saga, one that had a lot more depth, intrigue and surprises than I expected, and I love the film for that. Rian Johnson confidently steps into this universe with a sense conviction, darkness, intelligence and style that is clearly his own if you know of his work and it shakes up this world in really compelling ways. This film definitely channels Empire Strikes Back in terms of the tone and certain story aspects, but it is its own beast. There are drama and emotion on a level I’ve not seen in this series for quite some time, but there’s also a sense of levity to balance things out when necessary. This was also the most thought-provoking film of the series to date, it is very psychological and causes you to think about certain things in a different light. I really enjoyed the themes of the past coming back to haunt you, feeling out of place, good and evil, and the moral and ethical shades of grey. There were also a lot of bold decisions made that I did not see coming which gave me joy, heart-pounding tension and plenty to think about. And finally, I loved how this film expanded the mythology of this universe with history and visual and verbal details that makes you look at what you know it in a different light.

As for the cast they were great, everyone in this film does a great job, whether they were main cast, secondary or just had cameos, everyone had a moment to shine. Firstly there’s Mark Hamill who was just wonderful as Luke Skywalker. This time Luke was crumpy, defeated, yet a knowledgeable and witty old man who had to deal with the mistakes of his past and deal with issues of the present via Rey and Hamill was just as captivating as ever, he had so many scene-stealing moments. Daisy Ridley as Rey was really good, I enjoyed seeing her learn about her powers, see her interact with Luke and search for answers about her past. Ridley’s very charming and engaging and has definitely improved in this role since the first film. Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa was great, Leia had a big part to play in this film and I loved it. I enjoyed seeing tough yet humorous demeanour and her perseverance in the face of adversity. Fisher had great moments individually and with others and at times I did feel like shedding a tear. Adam Driver as Kylo Ren was great, I’ve been a fan of this character since the previous film and here we get a character really wanting to prove his worth, but also find a sense of purpose and focus and Driver plays this role with flair and subtlety. John Boyega’s return as Finn was great, he still has a great sense of humour but is also has great dramatic moments, he has a lot of good moments and Boyega’s charisma shines through.

Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron was also impressive, I enjoyed seeing more of him in this film and seeing a different side to his character. Isaac certainly has a commanding presence and stands out whenever possible whether it be for dramatic or humorous purposes. Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke was good, it was nice to learn more about this guy considering the mystery surrounding him in the previous film. Snoke was sinister and intimidating and Serkis was captivating in the role. Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux was interesting, he had some good moments, also Anthony Daniels as C-3PO was just as fun as ever, Gwendoline Christie returned as Captain Phasma and definitely had a presence and Lupita Nyong’o had a great performance as Maz Kanata. Newcomers Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro do well as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo and DJ, the former had an interesting role to play and I enjoyed her performance a lot, and the latter was certainly not what I expected but he was a memorable character for sure. But the most memorable of the new characters was Kelly Marie Tran as Rose, from the time she’s introduced she’s smart, decisive and loveable and I really enjoyed her story arc and interaction with Finn.

When it comes to the presentation it was fabulous. Visually the film looked lovely. I paid extra attention to the cinematography and it looked like everything was painstakingly crafted with certain tracking shots, zooms, use of lighting and framing, everything felt like it had a purpose and was done to the highest degree possible. The space battles felt like a mix of The Force Awakens and Rogue One with its own interesting elements mixed in, certain chases sequences looked lovely and the lightsaber moments were wonderfully choreographed in a classic yet unexpected manner. The CGI was very detailed, clean and realistic, while the practical effects continue to impress me with how much these characters, creatures and robots can be make-up, animatronics and puppetry. Also, the film score from John Williams was awesome. The Force Awakens had good music, but wasn’t overly memorable, whereas this film had a score with a much stronger presence which enhanced every scene it was used in. The themes he introduced from the last film stand out even more and some of the new music he creates is wonderfully varied yet consistent with what’s come before.

In the end, The Last Jedi, was a good film, a really good film. It surprised me in many ways, it also met and exceeded my expectations in certain areas and while not everything in the story and the use of certain characters didn’t go the way I would have liked, the film was still thoroughly engaging and entertaining. After looking at some responses to the film online I know this film won’t be for everyone but I say give it a try.

So have you seen The Last Jedi and if so what did you think of it? Let me know in comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Black Panther Teaser Trailer

Howdy ladies and gents, how are you? So this morning I woke up to the new teaser trailer for Black Panther and I’ve been giddy ever since! I knew the trailer was gonna drop after I read about it when the first poster was revealed but I wasn’t gonna stay up all night for it, so when I woke up and saw some people had reviewed online I knew I had to check it out. So let’s talk about that teaser!

Check out the trailer below:

So my initial impressions were this, “This is pretty damn cool.” Last year Chadwick Boseman’s performance as T’Challa/Black Panther really stood out in Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther ended up being my favourite character because of his story arc, unique skill set, lineage and badass costume, and now that we’ve got a new trailer that only enhances the character and the world he’s a part of.

What I liked about this teaser was the following things:

  1. The tone: Even though the teaser was less than two minutes it was plenty to demonstrate that this film’s story would have a more personal and mature atmosphere than what we’ve seen from Marvel Studios.
  2. The visuals: I like the use of colour and sense of scale when it comes to various locations of Wakanda, I also like the way there is a nice a balance between traditional and futuristic elements that applies to the environment and the citizens.
  3. Cool action: The brief scenes we get of Black Panther kicking ass in the jungle or seeing Killmonger and T’Challa squaring off or some of these other fight scenes, I like the practicality of it and it looks like fun.
  4. The cast: Starting this trailer off with Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman aka Ulysses Klaue and Everett Ross from Age of Ultron and Civil War was not only a cool reminder for fans but it also was fun as the both acted together in the first Hobbit film. In addition to that we got to see more of not only Chadwick Boseman again, but cool glimpses of Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and Angela Bassett among others.
  5. The direction: One thing that stood out to me was the style of trailer and the way the characters were handled and it felt like a Ryan Coogler film. Coogler has a notable style with his directing and while watching this trailer I could feel his presence all over this film like Creed and Fruitvale Station beforehand. Only a handful of MCU films have a unique sense of style brought on by their directors as a lot of them just fall into the same style, only Kenneth Branagh, Shane Black, The Russo Brothers and James Gunn have been able to leave a unique mark on the MCU through Thor, Iron Man 3, Captain America: Winter Soldier & Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2.

In conclusion the teaser trailer for Black Panther was awesome, I was very happy with what I saw it delivered everything I wanted and then some, the tone, visuals and cast looks very unique and different to what we’ve seen from the MCU so far and that is exactly what this property and genre needs. February can’t come quicker! #BlackPantherSoLit 😛 😀

So have you seen Black Panther trailer and if so what did you think of it? Are you hyped, curious or underwhelmed? Let me know in comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2017 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: The Jungle Book (2016)

Howdy people, FINALLY after being stuck at work for the last week I’m back to my blog to write some stuff, yay! 😛 Anyway everyone has gone on about how great The Jungle Book is, but I haven’t, mainly because I hadn’t seen it…  Until yesterday. Now that I’ve seen it I can gush about how great it is too because the film is awesome and I’ll tell you why in this review. 🙂

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Straight to the point, Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book, much like last year’s Cinderella is an updated version of the classic animated film. So if you’re familiar with the story of the original then this is almost beat-for-beat exactly the same as you remember, however, there have been a good few alterations/modifications to compensate for the transition into live-action but also for the changes in the story. What I really appreciated was how the writers took the foundation of the original film, but modified it so that the story got a little darker, layered and had a greater sense of scale, realism and threat which not only encompassed Mowgli but everyone else in the jungle as well. There was a lovely sense of cohesion and community, and I several of the updates to the story really improve the overall experience much more than the original.

I really liked the cast as well starting with Neel Sethi who was great as Mowgli, for a child actor who essentially had to ask like he was surrounded by talking animals he did a bloody good job. I actually LOVED Mowgli in this film. In the original he was such a whiny little brat who had one or two moments of being likeable, but overall wasn’t one of Disney’s better protagonists, but here he’s young, brash and a little hard-headed, but he’s also resourceful, charming and applies logic to a lot of his situations. As for the voice cast they were awesome across the board. Bill Murray was delightful as Baloo, you can tell that Murray was just having a good time with this material and much of his dialogue felt very much like him more so than Baloo, but for me that was a good thing. Ben Kingsley was spot on as Bagheera, Kingsley was able to be strict, relaxed and hilarious without trying too hard was impressive. Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha had a fierce yet calm and caring demeanour, while Scarlett Johansson was creepy, mysterious and a seductive as Kaa, Giancarlo Esposito brought the right levels of confidence and sincerity to Akela and Christopher Walken as King Louie was simply delightful with Walken really adding something special to all of the scenes he was in whether he was lighthearted or aggressive. But as much as I loved the other voice actors it is Idris Elba who stole the show as Shere Khan. Elba just has one of the best voices ever especially for villainous roles and he commits 100% so when he makes threats or shouts you fear him and I loved it!

Oh and let’s talk about that presentation. Do I even have to say it? It was amazing. Visually the film was fantastic, from the time the film opens with the Disney logo you are treated to a visual treat for the eyes with some of the most impression CGI to date. The fact that like 90% maybe 95% of the film was made up of visual effects in mental when you consider all of the landscapes, animals, weather effects and so on that had to be done, but was incredibly realistic, sharp and the attention to detail was insane. I also loved the realism applied to the animals, even though they talked, the facial movements were relatable and had great subtle movements with ears or blinking eyes. Though if I can fault the visual effects in any way I found say that there are sequences at night where things got a little too dark, but that’s about it. And I also really liked the film score by John Debney who captured the spirit of the original music with the pieces he included, but also added a sense of drama and tension not found in the original too.

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In conclusion The Jungle Book was just awesome. There was just the right balance of nostalgia and freshness to justify this film’s existence and with it being executed so well I can’t help but be excited for where Disney and their talented filmmakers go next with their live-action material. 🙂

Rating: 8.5/10 (It was almost a 9!)

So have you seen The Jungle Book and if so what did you think of it? And if you’ve seen the original as well which do you prefer? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review (Spoiler-Free!)

So the day of reckoning has arrived (at least for us in the UK), Star Wars The Force Awakens has finally been released and I saw it in IMAX yesterday, and excuse the profanity, but it was some good shit. The wait for this film has felt like an eternity but I’ve seen in this new Star Wars film, and while a spoiler-free review seems impossible. I’m going to attempt it anyway. 😀

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The plot can be described as the following:

“30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat rises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of Heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.”

First thing I can say about this story is that it was really good. At first I thought this film would be just a retread of A New Hope, and throughout the film there’s certainly some call backs to that particular film, however as the story progresses it quickly evolves into its own tale with new characters, mythology and set up for even grander adventures in the future. What I loved about this film was its ability to connect with The Original Trilogy, but also feel totally fresh, exciting and unexpected. This film is full of humour, drama, mystery and intrigue, but at the center of it all it has heart. And for all the spectacle and larger-than-life elements, this was a very intimate and personal adventure for several of the characters involved and you could feel the emotion for sure. There’s also a lot of great references to the previous Star Wars films, and while you don’t have to have seen the previous films to understand TFA, you really can’t appreciate all of the subtle references or the dramatic moments involving the older returning cast members.

I have to hand it to J.J. Abrams and his team of writers for being able to pull this film off. This film really felt like Star Wars from a nostalgic standpoint, but it didn’t rely to heavily on it and created a lot of new material especially when it came to some of the humour and dialogue. Some of this material felt odd to be a in a Star Wars film, but it also helped the film feel relatable to modern film audiences. Also this film gets a little dark, sure it’s not the first time in this series, but certain moments were definitely violent and aggressive. Now this film isn’t perfect (although its pretty close), certain characters aren’t utilized to their full potential and certain plot points and mysteries you may be able to predict if you’re hardcore fan who has read the Expanded Universe/Legacy material or have speculated a lot online. But make no mistake, this film feels like the Star Wars you remember and it felt like a satisfactory follow-up to Return of the Jedi.

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Oh and the cast, they were great. A lot of these characters come from different backgrounds and this film did a good job of weaving them all together in coherent manner that felt natural. Firstly let me talk about Daisy Ridley and John Boyega as Rey and Finn, man I adore these two. Rey was this smart, cunning and interesting scavenger, while Finn was a defected stormtrooper from the First Order who was brave, extremely funny and emotionally scarred. Both of these characters have great chemistry together, but their separate adventures were also very personal and badass. Adam Driver as Kylo Ren was very badass, this character could have easily been a one-note villain, but there were layers to him, and discovering more about his personality and history as the film progressed was exciting and engaging. Oscar Isaac was great as Poe Dameron, just the definition of cool with a great deal of charisma, humour and confidence, and I have to give a shout out to BB-8 as he was one of the most adorable and humourous aspects of this film.

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And then there’s Harrison Ford as Han Solo, I loved him SO much. Ford, while certainly older, he felt like he hadn’t lost a step as Solo. This character was still just as charming, daring and hilarious as ever, however, he’d also aged and his perspective on certain things has changed a great deal, and while he was certainly used as a means to guide the new characters into this franchise, at the same time he had a key role to play and it was handled nicely. Carrie Fisher’s return as General Leia Organa was very nice too, Leia, while similar to the woman were known from the previous films, she’s changed too, she has a lot more responsibilities and it was cool to see a different side to her. Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata was another great new addition as she had such wonderful moments with some of the heroes, and Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke was quite fascinating, he was imposing, powerful and yet strange and mysterious too. The rest of the cast was either not given enough screen time or weren’t developed enough especially when it came to Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Max von Sydow as Lor San Tekka and Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma.

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When it comes to the presentation, dear god I could nearly explode from the feeling of happiness this film gave me. Visually the film was beyond awesome. Everything from the gorgeous, pulsating space battles to the dirty/aggressive lightsaber duels to the lovely practical effects for the aliens and robots was stunning. What was great about this film was that it looked and sounded just like the previous films, but now with a swifter pace, a different style of cinematography, better use of practical effects and the CGI was clean, sharp and flawlessly executed. Oh and the music by John Williams, it was pretty damn cool. Now I will admit there weren’t any new themes that stuck out to me (like “Duel of the Fates” in the prequels), however the music is a mixture of new and old, but it has the Williams touch, that sense of magic and wonder, fear, intensity and joy that comes from a Star Wars film and it was a joy to hear it.

In conclusion Star Wars: The Force Awakens, to put it simply, the film just made me feel good. There’s a sense of satisfaction that I got after this film ended that I haven’t felt since The Avengers, all I needed this film to be was good and it exceeded my expectations in ways I never thought would happen. With an engaging new story, brilliant performances from the main cast members and stunning production values, Star Wars in back for fans new and old. Now the film does have issues and some fans will not be entirely happy with everything that goes down, but hell I really enjoyed myself with this film and I will probably see it several more times into the new year.

Critic Rating: 8.5/10

Fan Rating: 9/10

So are you going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens and if so are you hyped or worried? And if you’ve seen the film were you pleased or disappointed? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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LATE NEWS PART 2: Lupita Nyong’o & Gwendoline Christie Join Star Wars: Episode VII

Good day to you ladies and gents and welcome to part 2 of my late news stories that I wanted to blog about. With the information on Josh Trank and his involvement in Star Wars, there was a news story, again Star Wars-related that broke earlier on in the week that I feel that needs to be addressed. The following information comes from superherohype:

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Lupita Nyong’o joins the recently announced cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. This year, her breakthrough performance in 12 Years a Slave earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Gwendoline Christie, currently starring in the hit television series “Game of Thrones” as Brienne of Tarth, has also been cast in the production. She can next be seen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

“I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of ‘Episode VII,’” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “It’s thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape.”

So when I read this I was proper happy. Firstly to see that the rumours about Lupita being in Episode VII have come to pass just fills me with we happiness, I always thought it would be cool to see her in the film if she did get the part, but seeing her officially cast is fabulous. But the more surprising side of this story is the fact that Brienne from Game of Thrones is gonna be part of Star Wars, that is just insanely cool. I’ve loved Christie’s work in GoT and her performance in the show especially during season 3 made Brienne one of my favourite characters. She has a great screen presences and is hard as nails so you know she can do action too. I’m just stupid happy for the both of them to see how far they’ve come in such a short time and I’m intrigued to see who they end up playing.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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Non-Stop Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I return with my second film review of the day in the form of Non-Stop. Now like Ride Along, I had no intention of watching this film initially because I saw trailers and all I saw was Liam Neeson doing Taken again in an airplane. But then I started hearing that the film wasn’t actually all that bad and some people really liked it, so I decided to check it out to see what the deal was.

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The plot in the film goes as the following:

“An air marshal springs into action during a transatlantic flight after receiving a series of text messages that put his fellow passengers at risk unless the airline transfers $150 million into an off-shore account.”

Thriller films are always good so long as there is a good story in place with all the good codes and conventions that come with films of this genre, I honestly thought that this was gonna be just another by-the-numbers action thriller film and while the story wasn’t the best, it really surprised me how investigated I got in it. Straight from the start you know something’s up and the film does a clever job at making everyone a suspect, you’re practically as lost as the air marshal is and that was great. Also the film was very suspenseful and full of tension and my god when shit gets real things get pretty heated, add to that the genuine mystery surrounding the anonymous texting passenger and you have a pretty good hunt for the person responsible as there are good twists and turns that keep you on your toes. That being said, for all of the good points, there are some bad. Toward the third act is where the film starts to become a little implausible and absurd. As the situation starts to get even more dangerous it causes people to do the most random and ridiculous of things without any proper logic which is just baffling at times.

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When it comes to the cast they do a pretty good job with some standing out more than others. Liam Neeson as Bill Marks is just a s cool and badass as you’d expect. If you’ve seen him in either of the Taken films or Unknown you know what to expect. The film just feels like an excuse for Neeson to show off how hardcore he can be and this film definitely shows that off. But besides hat Marks is a man on his own, he seems like he wants to save everyone, but the odds are against him pretty much the whole time and you do start to question whether he capable of saving everyone or if he’s just extremely paranoid. Also one other thing to add is that Marks is very quick to judge and has some very rough interrogation methods which were pretty unnecessary and crazy. And then there’s Julianne Moore as Jen Summers, I thought she was good in her role, she played a very nice and supportive character who crosses paths with Bill and becomes involved in the conspiracy. Also for some reason I thought Moore was pretty hot in this film, I’ve always considered her attractive but in this film for some reason I liked her a lot. 😛

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Michelle Dockery is great as Nancy Hoffman, Nancy is just the innocent party in all of this and has to adjust and adapt to these crazy situations while helped Marks out. Also my man Scoot McNairy from Monsters is great as Tom Bowen, I really liked his role in the film. Nate Parker as Zack White was good too as he had some interesting and funny scenes, and I think I was the only one who saw this character and thought of Zack from Might Morphin Power Rangers haha. I also found a nice surprise seeing Lupita Nyong’o as Gwen Lloyd, I had to check very closely just to see whether it was her and I was happy to see her here. And finally Corey Stoll as Austin Reilly is pretty good too, he’s a concerned attendant that gets a decent amount of screen time too.

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In conclusion Non-Stop was a pleasant surprise as it was action-packed, full of suspense and had good twists and turns. It does get a bit ridiculous at times especially towards the end, but if you can get over those nitpicks then you’ll find a decent bit of entertainment in this film.

Rating: 7.5/10 (A fun bit of chaos in an airplane… With Liam Neeson!)

So what did you think of Non-Stop? 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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My Thoughts on the Oscars 2014

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen of the interweb hope you’re all doing well and all that jazz. Well it seems another night at the Oscars has come and gone and I stayed up to watch it all. Me and my friend live streamed it online and watched al the fun and chaos that took place on Twitter and Tumblr too. All in all it was a fun and fruitful, if somewhat predictable night.

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Anyways here are the winners are as follows:

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club WINNER

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave WINNER

BEST DIRECTOR:

Alfonso Cuaron – GravityWINNER

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

The Great Gatsby – WINNER

BEST MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING:

Dallas Buyers Club – WINNER

BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED):

Mr Hublot – WINNER

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:

Frozen – WINNER

BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION):

Helium – WINNER

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT:

The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life – WINNER

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:

20 Feet from Stardom – WINNER

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

The Great Beauty (Italy) – WINNER

BEST SOUND MIXING:

Gravity – WINNER

BEST SOUND EDITING:

Gravity – WINNER

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

Gravity – WINNER

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Gravity – WINNER

BEST FILM EDITING:

Gravity – WINNER

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

The Great Gatsby – WINNER

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

Gravity – WINNER

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

Let It Go – Frozen WINNER

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

John Ridley – 12 Years a Slave WINNER

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

Spike Jonze – HerWINNER

Well to be honest I am pretty happy with the way most of these winners ended up. Even though Gravity practically won everything, when it comes to cinematography and visual effects I think the film deserved its awards. I also am glad that The Great Gatsby won costume and production design, they were well-deserved. But most importantly was the awards won for Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o. Both of them did amazing jobs in Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave. I was especially happy for Lupita Nyong’o, I had hoped that she would be recognized for her work in 12 Years a Slave, I was so happy for her and her speech was very inspiring. And speaking of 12 Years a Slave, I am so happy that the film won best picture, SO happy, it rightfully got that award and was happy that Gravity didn’t take that award too (because by that point it would have been ridiculous). And finally seeing Matthew McConaughey win best actor was a fine moment in time, just put everything in perspective and made me smile because it is about time he was recognized for his talent.

All that being said I can’t help but say that I was disappointed with some things. “Let It Go” from Frozen is a good song, but SO overhyped now that it is ridiculous. I would have preferred “Happy” by Pharrell or “Ordinary Love” by U2 win the award for best song instead. But what I am most gutted about is Leonardo DiCaprio not winning best actor, his performance in The Wolf of Wall Street was amazing and I prayed for him, I really did, but he was up against absurdly great actors this year.

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Outside of that and all the awards there was a lot of fun moments with Ellen DeGeneres as the host, she was a bit cringeworthy at times, but she also got in some nice conversations with people, got this amazing photo with several actors and actresses and got pizza delivered. That makes her awesome in my book. Also the musical performances by U2 and Pharrell were real highlights for me because I love “Happy” and “Ordinary Love” is an amazing song by one of my all-time favourite bands and hearing them live just brought warm feelings to my heart.

And finally there has to be this addressing of the Benedict Cumberbatch hype going on especially on Tumblr. Mr. Cumberbatch has been showing up all over the place and has been photo bombing people, and since then, loads of people online have literally slapped him everywhere. His obsessed fans have gone overboard and made gifs, funny memes and photo edited images too, it is crazy how fast they are. But it has been humourous for me and my mate to watch the chaos unfold.

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In conclusion I am okay with the way the Oscars turned out, show some of my films and actors didn’t win and Gravity pretty much swallowed everything. However it was a fun and entertaining night and where it counted, justice was served.

So what do you think of the results of this year’s Oscars? Are you happy or are you mad as hell? Leave your comments below and I’ll catch ya later. 😀

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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12 Years A Slave Review

Last night through the power of my Cineworld unlimited card I got to see an advance screening of 2013’s critically acclaimed film, 12 Years a Slave. After this film dropped in the US there was a lot of Oscar talk, so I was expecting a hell of a lot prior to watching it. So does it deliver or not? Well read on and find out!

The story can be described as the following:

“In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty at the hands of a malevolent slave owner, as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist will forever alter his life.”

I thought the story was a dramatic piece of work that was emotional and intense from very early on. There are themes of racism, slavery, love, trial and endurance. Solomon’s journey is one that takes place over a longs space of time, in a number of locations and the film does well to cover everything thanks to its non-linear storytelling. The film doesn’t hold back on the level of cruelty and violence, it is in your face and even after seeing a lot of film depicting the hardships of people of the black variety, this film still finds a way to be shocking and hard to watch. As I’ve said before on this blog, as a black guy, watching films like this is always kind of hard because this kind of stuff happened in real life many years ago, it’s part of my people’s history, so to see adaptations of what they went through is difficult at points.

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When it comes to the cast they were all incredible offering up some truly lovely performances. Chiwetel Ejiofor pretty much gives the performance of his life as Solomon Northup. Solomon is well-spoken, talented and a respected man in his community before being bought into slavery where he has to endure hardships of the hardest kind, where he suffers at the hands of many white people while longing for his family and freedom. Ejiofor’s performance is stellar throughout, it is a sight to behold and there is a point where his acting make me tear up too, it was really emotional. The next great performance comes from Michael Fassbender as Edwin Epps. The best way to describe Fassbender in one word is: monster. He is a monster. Edwin Epps is disgusting, cruel, intimidating, doesn’t like anybody who isn’t on the same page as him, has no respect from black people and treats them like disposable objects. Since X-Men: First Class Fassbender has excelled in every role he’s been in, but I feel like this is his best role to date as it was so real and aggressive, hopefully he’ll get noticed for some awards.

Lupita Nyong’o makes her film debut as Patsey here and she is REALLY good, her character gets put through so much drama Nyong’o handles her material with a great deal of emotional depth. Sarah Paulson as Mary Epps is pretty good as Edwin’s wife, she has her own issues and levels of cruelty towards black people. Benedict Cumberbatch is great as William Ford being one of the kinder variety of white people who interacts with Solomon on his journeys, it was weird to hear Cumberbatch in an American accent but I thought he was really good in his role.

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I really liked Brad Pitt as Samuel Bass, his character was this perceptive man who could see the injustice in slavery and wasn’t afraid to speak out about it. Paul Dano is very good as John Tibeats, a subordinate on William Ford’s plantation, he was another horrible guy who took pride in his hatred for black people and had no toleration for disobedience. Paul Giamatti as Theophilus Freeman was another horrible, unsympathetic and horrible character who is impossible to like. Not too long ago I enjoyed seeing Giamatti as a lovely man in Saving Mr Banks and here he’s on the opposite end of the spectrum which just shows how talented he is. Oh and a shout out goes to Scoot McNairy as Brown and Michael K. Williams as Robert as they were good in the film too.

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In conclusion 12 Years a Slave is simply put, a beautiful and painful beast of a film which has some of the best performances from the actors/actresses involved. I was still thinking about the film on the walk home as my heart was still beating It is dramatic and very intense and if you can handle the level of violence then I recommend the film very highly, if this had come out last year for us in the UK it would be at number 2 or 1 on my top ten list.

Rating 9/10 (If I gave it a rating any lower I feel like I would be doing this film a disservice)

So for all those who have seen 12 Years a Slave what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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