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QUICK THOUGHTS: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Teaser Trailer

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So yesterday something of significance happened as we finally got to see the first trailer for Star Wars Episode VIII also known as Star Wars: The Last Jedi. So let’s waste no time and talk about that trailer!

Check out the trailer below:

So my initial impressions were this, “I am intrigued, wasn’t blown away, but so far so good.” Now I’ve seen from some people online that they’ve found the teaser disappointing or underwhelming and to a degree I can understand considering that 1) It’s the next Star Wars film we’re talking about, so people have high expectations and want to see something special. And 2) Some studios have become a little more open to revealing material for their teaser trailers with results varying from a decent amount to too much. With The Last Jedi trailer it did what a proper teaser should; it gave you a vague yet interesting idea of the story and tone, a look at the actors involved and had some cool visuals and music without giving away any spoilers. This trailer was very in line with the first teaser for The Force Awakens where you got glimpses into the film with various scenes of characters, scenery and action scenes, this teaser was pretty similar, but had a little more weight and drama to it considering that it is not only a sequel to The Force Awakens but also has our first story material for Luke Skywalker since Return of the Jedi.

What I liked about this teaser was the tone, it was very dark, very ominous and mysterious with the use of music and visuals. It feels in line with what’s come with the last film, but things feel a little more dire, aggressive and uncertain and I love it! This feels like the First Order are coming back in full force to mess up the New Republic with the space battles, the explosion of Poe’s ship inside that hanger area, the cool shot of Kylo Ren and the quick scene of Captain Phasma and her troops. What’s even more captivating is Rey and seeing her feel the force and being trained by Luke with saber combat and so on. It seems like her training will be extensive, physical and psychological. But I’m also hyped to hear Luke speak, just hearing him say lines like “Breathe.” and “What do you feel?” Was nice, but what was very curious was that final line about the Jedi needing to end. What does that mean? Does he mean he’s giving up being a Jedi himself or is he suggesting that the idea of the Jedi needs to be disbanded or reimagined? Or does it mean Luke’s going dark like some fans have feared? I doubt it’s the last one but its fun to speculate.

In the end I’m very intrigued and encouraged by the first footage of The Last Jedi, it looks like it will be a good time. December is too far away dammit and I need this film now!

So have you seen The Last Jedi 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 April 15, 2017 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Batman: The Killing Joke

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So this morning I was bored and felt like watching something Batman oriented, so I decided to watch the animated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke and while most reviews for this animated film have been made available online already, after I finished the film I knew I’d have to talk about it. Note spoilers ahead in the first big paragraph…

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Now here’s the thing, I haven’t read The Killing Joke graphic novel, why? Because I’m a busy that’s why haha. But seriously it’s been on my list of reading material for years, however, I’ve been busy with college, uni, work and my TV bingeing to check it out. But since I’ve been hearing so much mixed buzz surrounding this film I had to check it out, and yeah I can now understand the mixed response for this film for sure.

Here’s a plot summary:

“As Batman hunts for the escaped Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime attacks the Gordon family to prove a diabolical point mirroring his own fall into madness.”

First thing that’s worth mentioning is the fact that this film primarily focuses on Barbra Gordon’s Batgirl for around the first half hour and then around 28 minutes in the actual Killing Joke material kicks in, and while Batgirl’s story was pretty interesting, it also presents the film’s first two issues: 1) Batgirl’s story feels a little separate from the main meat of the film and 2) SPOILERS Batgirl has sex with Batman… Yeah that happens, but more on that in a minute. Firstly I understand the filmmakers intention of fleshing out Batgirl’s story for this film, and certain elements were interesting, a lot of it didn’t feel as captivating as it should have. And secondly, heading into the spoiler-based territory again, seeing Batgirl and Batman get it on gave me such an awkward feeling, even though I had this part of the film spoiled before I saw it, in the scene when it takes place you could see it coming, and it was just strange and a little out of character.

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So with the actual Killing Joke story, as someone who’s technically experiencing it for the first time it was pretty interesting and explored a lot of interesting themes and ideas when it comes to the Joker’s backstory, the horrific events that befall Jim and Barbra Gordon and Batman’s relationship with the Joker. Some of these story and character moments were pretty dark, haunting and thought-provoking. That being said, I feel like this film had a lot of dark, mature and psychological themes and issues that it tried to present to the viewer, and while some of it comes across well, other times it felt like it didn’t dive deep enough, like it was pulling its punches on some of these issues that are real and tough to talk about even though it had an R-rating. And just for my own personal preference I enjoy my Batman stories the most when there’s a balance of the seriousness and light-hearted material, and since this film was more serious I just didn’t enjoy it as much. As for the characters I thought they were all pretty interesting, though the most important people was the Joker, Batman and Commissioner Gordon, all of which had the best material, though the Joker was the most fleshed out and captivating of the whole cast. Oh and we have to talk about the voice cast as well. I thought Tara Strong did well as Barbra Gordon and I enjoyed Ray Wise as Jim Gordon too, but at the end of the day for me its all about Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as Batman and Joker, my favourite veterans from Batman: TAS, they do well but I felt like their performances weren’t as charismatic or memorable as a lot of their previous work, that being said when he was on-point, Hamill really did well with material.

And finally when it comes to the presentation it’s a bit of a mixed bag, visually the art and animation varies between being pretty good to being a little basic and questionable when it came to the fluidity and use of 3D against 2D animation. Plus the music by Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion and Lolita Ritmanis was alright, not very memorable. In the end Batman: The Killing Joke, while it has its moments, felt like a bit of a let down when compared to previous DC animated films I’ve seen when it comes to the execution of the story and animation and while it was interesting, I don’t know if I’ll be watching it again any time soon.

Rating: 6/10

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

 
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Posted by on July 28, 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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Kingsman: The Secret Service Review

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about the latest Mathew Vaughn film, Kingsman: The Secret Service. This film I’ve been interested in watching for a while, but the trailers didn’t blow me away, so I came into the film with mild expectations… So is it good or not? Well the short answer is a massive HELL YES!

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The story can be described as the following:

Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

The story in this film was great, this film definitely has a superhero element about it, however it is more so a spy adventure with a few unique traits that make it feel fresh from other films of the same genre. I like all of the references to other spy films whether it be James Bond of the Bourne series and the fact that the film is self-aware and knows what it is makes it so much better. This story swift, didn’t drag, had so much violence, but had a lot of good character moments and humour mixed in so that there was something for everyone. One thing to not before going into this film that is VERY violent and if that kind of thing turns of off, then this is not for you. I have to give props to Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman for the direction and writing, it seems like these two have really found their groove and work so well together to produce really great scenes with awesome dialogue and a nice sense of style.

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As for the cast they are awesome. Colin Firth as Harry Hart is great. This is certainly my favourite film from Firth as he brings the same level of acting talent as he has with other films, however here he just has a screen presence that makes him come across as such a cool badass. Taron Egerton as Gary “Eggsy” Unwin is just wonderful. From the trailers I thought I wouldn’t like his character because of his accent and behaviour, however those are the aspects that make him so likeable. Eggsy is a boy who has skills, but only needs a little direction and when he has a task he knows how execute it and think outside of the box. Egerton was very charming and charismatic and hope to see more from him in the future. And Samuel L. Jackson as Richmond Valentine, just wow. I had seen Jackson in so may films, however this has to be one of his most odd and memorable roles in recent times. Valentine is a very smart and ambitious individual with a plan to take over the world and he’s such a cool guy. However he’s also unconventional and funny because of his lisp and disliking of violence and his character works so well just because it is Jackson in the role who just steals every scene he’s in.

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Sofia Boutella as Gazelle was cool, this woman was Valentine’s right hand woman and dispatched people in such a violent and stylish way with those sword legs of hers. I was afraid she would just be a silent bodyguard for Valentine that had no substance, but luckily she had a fair amount to do and say and I really liked Boutella’s performance. Mark Strong was awesome as Merlin. I usually like Strong, but I think this is my favourite role he’s been in for a while. Merlin is firm, tactical and at times quite humourous and I loved his interactions with Eggsy especially. Michael Caine as Arthur was good as usual, Jack Davenport was very good as Lancelot and I really liked Sophie Cookson as Roxy (she is also incredibly pretty). Samantha Womack was good as Michelle and as a long-term casual watcher of Eastenders I was happy to see her do well in such a big film. Oh and seeing Mark Hamill as Professor James Arnold was so delightful, he wasn’t in the film that much, but for the screen time he got he was lovely.

When it comes to the presentation it is great. Visually the film is crafted so well, the cinematography and filming techniques used throughout is spectacular, and the action scenes are done SO well with the best camera shots used for shooting action for a while. There are some incredible tracking shots, wide shots and zooming in and out in these fast and furious action sequences. The action overall is just insane with some very great choreography and acrobatics and it is some of the best stuff I have seen since The Raid 2. Oh and there is one sequence in this film (you’ll know when you see it) that is one of the coolest, craziest and filthiest thing I have ever seen, SO good.

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In conclusion Kingsman: The Secret Service is a pretty kick ass film. As a fan of action and spy films this film ticked all the right boxes for me. The story was very nicely done, the cast were awesome and the action was on the most insane level. I would definitely recommend this to any fan of action films or people who know of Matthew Vaughn’s previous work, it is a really good time in the cinema.

Rating: 8.5/10

So have you seen Kingsman: The Secret Service and if so what do you think of it? Please be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Until the next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Star Wars: Episode VII Cast Announced!

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and today I’m here to talk about some very important film news that was announced a little while ago today. The following information comes from superherohype:

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Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm have announced the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII! Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film. Click the photo above for a bigger version!

Director J.J. Abrams says, “We are so excited to finally share the cast of ‘Star Wars: Episode VII.’ It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”

Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

So damn, it’s happened. The truth is out. The information that us fans have been desperately wanting to know has finally been discovered. WE HAVE CAST CONFIRMATION AND ITS AWESOME! Finally, finally, finally we have the information on the primary cast of the next instalment in the Star Wars film series and my god it is glorious, for the most part. Now the obvious part is that we have the original cast back with our three main leads, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, there was no doubt in my mind or most fans minds that they would return, but just having this confirmation means so much and pretty much puts everything in perspective. Even getting Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhem and Kenny Baker makes me smile too. But I think the bigger news the new cast members who have been added to Episode VII. Some of these names have been rumoured while others are completely unexpected. To be honest I only know a few of these names. I know of John Boyega, but I’ve never watched Attack the Block, but good on him for coming so far in his career and getting into a massive franchise like this. Seeing both Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac makes me so happy, both of them were pretty good in Inside Llewyn Davis, especially Isaac though. But the main name that stand out to be is Andy Serkis. ANDY FRIGGING SERKIS! YES! To say that I love Serkis would be a huge understatement, I’ve been a fan of his ever since Lord of the Rings Trilogy and have loved most of the films he’s been and to see him land a role in the massive franchise that is Star Wars, I’m SO happy for him and I honestly am even more excited to see this film than before.

Also having that image above to see all the cast and director together just makes me grin. You can just see things happening and it makes me giddy. Now I just want this film to start shooting and then get to 2015 where we’ll see the next episode of Star Wars.

So what do you think of the cast news? Are you happy about it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below in the comments and let me know. Laters people. 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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Mark Hamill Talks Star Wars: Episode VII

Now that the internet is finally adjusting to the fact that a new Star Wars is on the way, we FINALLY get to hear some opinions on the matter from one of the original cast members… Enter Mark Hamill! Superherohype have once again provided us with the information which goes s follows:

“As details continue to flood in regarding the just-announced Star Wars: Episode VII, EW managed to catch up with Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, who reveals that he was made aware of plans for a third trilogy last August.

“[George Lucas] asked Carrie [Fisher] and I to have lunch with him and we did,” Hamill says, “I thought he was going to talk about either his retirement or the ‘Star Wars’ TV series that I’ve heard about — which I don’t think we were going to be involved in anyway, because that takes place between the prequels and the ones we were in and, if Luke were in them, he’d be anywhere from a toddler to a teenager so they’d get an age-appropriate actor — or the 3-D releases. So when he said, ‘We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,” I was just gobsmacked. “What? Are you nuts?!” [Laughs]”

Although Hamill learned of the plans for more films, he was as surprised as anyone at the announcement of Lucasfilm being bought by Disney when he read about it online yesterday. He also doesn’t know what involvement – if any – he’ll have in future Star Wars films, but he remains optimistic as a fan.

“I can see both sides of it,” he says. “Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that’s the way it should be — and it’s great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories. But on the other hand, there’s this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material. It’s one of those things: people either just don’t care for it or are passionate about it. I guess that defines what cult movies are all about.”

Hamill reiterates that Kathleen Kennedy will be handling a lot of the work on the new films, leaving Lucas to his newfound retirement and plans for a charitable educational foundation funded by the multi-billion dollar sale.”

Ah such a nice guy, anytime you hear from Mark Hamill it’s always good. I think he’s such a legend and I am a massive fan of his because of his voice acting work which is so varied and distinctive. As for his views on Star Wars I’m glad he’s being such a good sport about it and can see both sides of the argument. He knows that fans hold on to the nostalgia but also takes into the account that there are fans that just want more material. And I’m surprised to find out that he knew about something like this for so long before it was announced, but I did like his reaction, I think most people all across the world were like that when they found out that Episode 7 was actually happening lol. I think it would be nice if Hamill at least had a cameo as an old Luke Skywalker, but yeah only time will tell.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Films, Media

 

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