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Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2: Wanted

Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #13 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. Today I’m going to be talking about Wanted.

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Wanted is a film I really wasn’t interested in seeing this film, mainly for two reasons: 1) The film didn’t look like my cup of tea. And 2) It had Angelina Jolie in it. Now back then I really didn’t like Jolie, I thought she was overhyped and I refused to watch a film with her in it, but that was the closed-minded teenage me, I’m a lot more mature and have come to appreciate some of Jolie’s work in film (from what I’ve seen anyway). So now with this month devoted to superhero film reviews I have no excuse to not watch it.

The story can be summed up as the following:

“A young man finds out his long lost father is an assassin. When his father is murdered, the son is recruited into his father’s old organization and trained by a man named Sloan to follow in his dad’s footsteps.”

The story is alright with moments of coolness but overall was a little disappointing. Like a lot of good comic book superhero films there’s a lot of interesting things going on in regards to the fraternity and their existence and how the kill people. This film feels like a small piece of a bigger puzzle and ripe for more stories to be told. One of my main issues with the plot is that it is predictable. Now sure just because you can see certain plot elements coming a mile off doesn’t mean that a film is bad, however, when these plot twists or character arcs take place in a way that’s not very interesting or original it does make your enjoyment of said film a lot less fun. There were certain moments I liked but I wasn’t wowed and that sucked. 

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Now let’s talk about the cast. Firstly there’s James McAvoy as Wesley Gibson, I have to say that Wesley pissed me off, he was such a whiny, useless and spineless man with no redeeming qualities, and even after he started becoming a more interesting person because of his training, he still found way to be annoying. It wasn’t until around two thirds into the film that actually started to like him. James McAvoy is really good and while his character irritated the hell out of me, here he demonstrated again how great he is an actor by totally getting lost in this role and making him believable. Then there’s Angelina Jolie who was cool as Fox, I liked her calm and yet playful nature. She was pretty much a badass with a gun and looked hot while doing it. Jolie was fine, however I just with her character was a little more lively.

Morgan Freeman as Sloan, I thought he was fine. Honestly there wasn’t too unique or memorable that allowed Freeman to be anything more than himself, not that it was a problem though. Thomas Kretschmann played an interesting role as Cross, he was pretty cool and mysterious, while Terence Stamp was cool as Pekwarsky. Oh and imagine my surprise to see Chris Pratt in this film as Barry, this character while a lot more likeable than many of Pratt’s other roles, is still pretty funny and allows the guy to say and so some great stuff.

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When it comes to presentation it’s pretty good for the most part. Visually the film is very stylish with its cinematography, choreographed action sequences and use of slow motion. A lot of the time it is cool to watch, but other times I felt unimpressed. As for soundtrack it was handled by one of my favourite composers Danny Elfman and it is nice. It has a very unique, cool and varied with some similarities to Elfman’s previous work but also being very different at the same time.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well this is another one of those films where I haven’t read the source material so I can’t comment on that.

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So to conclude Wanted is an interesting and stylish action film with some fine performances from the main actors and a compelling story. That being said the main character really pissed me off and a lot of the story elements were easy to foresee. After all these years of waiting to see this film it was both better than and just about what I expected it to be like.

Rating: 7/10

That’s 13 reviews done, only 17 more to go. So have you seen Wanted and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Lucy Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for a new review and today I’m gonna be talking about Lucy, a film starring Scarlet Johansson that I had to wait a whole extra month for because the US and UK film distribution system is BROKEN. I have heard a lot of talk about this film and have avoided a lot of reviews just to come into the film without any preconceived thoughts. So how did the film fare? Well, read on and find out!

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The premise for the film can be described as the following:

“A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.”

If you’ve seen the trailers you get a pretty good idea of what of what the film’s story is about, and while this film is about that, at the same time there is a lot more to it. I thought the film had an interesting premise and at times was very intriguing to hear about this whole idea of unlocking the potential of the human brain. That being said, some of the theories behind what happens as the human brain unlocks more of its capacity does get a bit ridiculous, convoluted and you can tell that it belongs in the realm of science fiction and not reality. As for the main plot from start to finish, it is cool at points, but it just doesn’t deliver an overall entertaining experience. I thought I was going to get a sci-fi action thriller and while there are elements of each of those genres here together, at the same time it doesn’t make any of its codes and conventions any better than its competitors. Also at times the film has a lot of things going on and you’re expected just to go with it, that being said when you start to think about things that happen in the film you end up asking yourself a lot of questions that the film will never answer. There are comparisons to be made to Akira, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Transcendence and the recent Limitless as well and while I can’t say whether these scenes and concepts were taken from those films intentionally, it is hard to ignore how blatant they are. And then there’s that ending, damn, it was just a bit disappointing and abrupt.

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When it comes to the cast they were good, but the main person you’ll be paying attention to is Scarlett Johansson. As Lucy, Johansson was pretty good. She handled her scenes with a great deal of style, badassery and believability. Her character is a person who just gets caught up in a bad situation and then because of a drug that turns her into a superhuman/god of time and space and it is fascinating to see her advance and change over the course of the film. Johansson was great, that being said I wasn’t keen on the fact that once she started unlocking her brain’s potential, she becomes so robotic and emotionless and I find it hard to get behind a protagonist that has no charisma or personality. Also Morgan Freeman as Professor Norman is good, he’s just doing his Morgan Freeman thing and it works for this film and there are moments when he isn’t completely in the know and is lost for words which was interesting. Choi Min-sik was good as Mr. Jang, but his character was kind of one-note and just generic as the bad guy and I had hoped for more considering his acting chops in his Korean films. And finally Amr Waked as Pierre Del Rio, he was fine, his character was mainly there for laughs, but he had his moments to be useful.

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As for the presentation it was pretty impressive. The cinematography was nice and the action scenes and sequences were shot very well, especially one involving a cool car chase. In addition to that GCI was used very well and helped create some very nice, disturbing and weird scenes involving characters, places, time and space. And the soundtrack by Éric Serra is decent, but nothing special, however the “Sister Rust” by Damon Albarn was pretty nice.

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In conclusion Lucy is an interesting film with a cool idea, nice visual effects and some decent action sequences. But in the end the film doesn’t ever get that exciting or capitalize on its fascinating premise. The film is not without its merits, but it was not as great as I had hoped and I have seen much better films this summer. If you’re interested in checking this film out approach with caution to avoid disappointment.

Rating: 6/10 (An interesting idea with a lackluster payoff)

So what did you think of Lucy? Did you like it or hate it? Also, how do you feel about Scarlet Johansson as a leading action lady and do you feel like now is the time for her to have her own film as Black Widow? Whatever your thoughts are, leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to see ya on the next film review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Lucy Trailer 1# Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for a new trailer review and today I’m gonna be talking about Lucy, the new sci-fi thriller starring Scarlet Johansson. Now I was gonna do a review for this as son as I saw the trailer when it was released online, but then uni work got in the way. But I’m available let’s talk about the first trailer for this film.

Check out the trailer below:

First thoughts after seeing the trailer? Looks interesting. While I’m not falling head over heels in love with it like some other people are online, I do think this film has the potential to be good. To be honest I’m getting vibes from Limitless and Akira. While I have yet to see Limitless, I can see very clear similarities that film with the main character getting dug that allows them to use their mind to do really amazing things. I just have a few questions about the plot and nature of the powers that Lucy has. It seems like she begins to become super smart and talented far beyond that of a normal human being as she seems to see beyond that of normal things and enters some next level superhuman levels of power. This of course makes her the subject of a few enemies here and there and somehow Morgan Freeman fits into the equation because of his research into the human brain.

So from what I understand in this trailer Johansson’s character was carefree soul until she was abducted, experimented on and forced against her will to do something for an organization that look like high-ranking Yakuza. Though what these guys don’t bet on is the fact that whatever is in her stomach gives her cool super powers in terms of strength, intelligence and badassery. Now goes on journey where she wants to get the drunks removed from her but in the process gains more power and knowledge, as the power throw people around through telekinesis and has the ability to shut other people down with the flick of her hand. Super crazy. I see drama, action, thriller and science fiction all rolled into one film here and I am very intrigued to see how it all plays out.

Highlights of the trailer:

  • Lucy gets tough: Some guy comes in looking for a good time with Lucy, she invites him, he goes over and Lucy wastes the guy, and grabs a gun by using some sort of rope, wrapping it around a table leg and dragging it towards herself.
  • The several eye colours of Lucy: Just the small segment where we see Lucy blink several times and her eyes go through several colours is weird but really cool too.
  • Do you speak English?: My favourite scene in the trailer would be when Lucy heads into the street and asks an Asian guy if he’s English, he says ‘no’ repeatedly and is shot. She then asks the second Asian guy and he instantly says ‘yes’. Haha you know not to fuck with a woman who has you at gunpoint yo. 😛
  • She can change her hair colour!: It is another quick scene but it looks like Lucy gets so powerful genetically that she can change her hair colour and length at will, she has to lead to some cool stuff in the film. Possibly shape-shifting abilities?
  • I can control time itself!: Another quick moment is when it looks like Lucy pulls a Professor Xavier and slows down time, stops it, but goes one step beyond that and speeds it up. She must be changing into a god.

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In conclusion Lucy looks pretty interesting. Scarlet Johansson is one of those actresses I’ll watch her in anything because A) She is super gorgeous and B) She is a great actress that normally turns in good performances in the films she is in. While I am worried that the premise may not live up to the expectation, it does look like it is original enough to be an entertaining film. And how long has it been since we had a proper good sci-fi film with a badass female in the lead role? Too long, I hope this film turns out to be good.

So what did you think of the first trailer for Lucy? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to see ya on the next film review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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The Lego Movie Review: “Everything is awesome!”

Howdy ladies and gents, it is time for a new film review and today is the first of three starting with The Lego Movie. At first I thought the concept of this film was absurd, then I got into the trailers and after hearing about the great reception it got in the US I knew I had to watch it. So yesterday I checked it out and I’m now ready to share my thoughts.

The story in this film involves a prophecy, where a person called the “Special” will find the Piece of Resistance capable of stopping the superweapon known as the “Kragle”. Later on in life an ordinary guy by the name of Emmet, mistakenly thought to be the “Special” and a MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant known as Lord Business from destroying the Lego universe with the “Kragle”.

I thought the story was great because of its playful, funny and energetic. The whole deal with Emmet and his journey has been done in films before, but this film has enough different elements to make it unique. What I love is how the film speaks to people of all ages offering moments of action and adventure, humour, pop culture references and nostalgia. Another great point is how wacky and fast-paced in nature the story and tone is, a lot of it is strange but it works with in the context of the world and characters. As with any animated film there’s a heartfelt message behind the film and the story will speak to anyone who has played with Lego at any point in their lives. The only nitpick would be that the story slows down a bit at one point towards the end which kind of messes with the flow.

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The voice cast are brilliant, all embody their characters so well, are bursting with personality and most importantly they are all extremely funny.

Chris Pratt as is amazing Emmet Brickowski, as the main character he is so charismatic, silly, hilarious and relatable too. Emmet, while average, has good intentions, is very strange and always full of hilarious moments and I think part of why I loved him so much is because I could always imagine him as Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation. Will Ferrell as Lord Business was cool and brought he’s comedic chops to his role. He was one of those kind of villain who was ruthless but also funny and likeable at the same time. I also liked Elizabeth Banks as Wyldstyle, she was great because she had badass persona and did so many amazing things both as a builder and masterful fight (was getting Matrix flashbacks). I think one of the stand-out performances comes from Will Arnett as Batman. Arnett kills it as Batman, he has the voice and personality was cool and funny. Batman had some of the best lines, great comedic timing and the film loves him while also taking the piss at the same time.

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Nick Offerman is good as Metal Beard, his voice was unrecognisable for me and the character was so strange, but he was very good too. Alison Brie was wonderful as Uni-Kitty, her character was adorable, always happy and just had a strange view of the world which made her amusing to watch. On and Charlie Day was incredible as Benny, a “1980-something space guy.” Day was awesome as the spaceship-obsessed astronaut offering so many random and humorous moments in the film. Liam Neeson was another stand-out as Bad Cop/Good Cop, his character mood switches made for some hilarious moments with verbal and physical humour. And Morgan Freeman as Vitruvius the wizard was awesome, Freeman is great in every film and in this one he was very funny, eccentric and silly. There are also some amazing cameos featuring the some other cool Lego characters with some delightful celebrity voices, but I won’t ruin it, watch it for yourselves haha.

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The presentation or the film is incredible too both on the visual and audio side of things. Visually the film is amazing, the unique Lego world is colourful, vibrant and the attention to detail with the computer animation recreating the style of stop motion animation is insanely impressive and leads to a lot of humorous moments throughout the film. Also just seeing the different Lego characters, models, toy sets and references was such an awesome nostalgic rush. And then there’s the soundtrack by Mark Mothersbaugh, it is pretty good but has a bit of an electronic/dubstep feel at times and for the most part it works but is also kind of awkward. By the way the song “Everything Is Awesome!!!” will be in your head long after the film is over, it is really addictive and hard not to like and sing a long to.

In conclusion The Lego Movie, simply put is awesome. While it didn’t meet the epic hype I’d heard about in America, it was extremely inventive and hilarious. The voice cast really make these characters come to life and the humour is definitely the film’s strongest aspects! I would recommend this film to anyone looking for a good time at the cinema. 🙂

Rating: 8.5/10 (A bright and colourful adventure with great characters and humour)

So what did you think of The Lego Movie? Did it tickle your funny bone and fill you with happiness and nostalgia or were disappointed? 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 February 9, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Last Vegas Review

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another film review and now I’m gonna talk about Last Vegas. Now this was one of the last few films I wanted to watch on my 2013 calendar, only yo then find out it was being pushed into 2014 in the UK (bullshit!). I’d been hyped for the film since early 2013 and I liked the trailers so I’ve been waiting for a long time. Was it worth the wait? Read on and find out.

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So the story of this film involves four childhood friends (Billy, Paddy, Sam and Archie), they’re now in their late 60’s and have gotten on with their lives. However when Billy decides to get married, the four reunite for a bachelor party in Las Vegas and what follows is a load of crazy scenarios with emotional results for the group.

I liked story here, it was funny, cute and entertaining. There’s dancing, alcohol and incredibly beautiful woman in the film throughout, it is a wonderful sight (mainly for the guys lol). The flashbacks were an introduction to the characters and throughout the film especially in Vegas you can see how deep the friendship is between the main four characters. But the film’s not all humour as there was a bit of substance as their was a bit of turmoil between Billy and Paddy which is hinted at in the trailer, but full explored in the film. This in addition to some of the issues for Sam and Archive leads to some dramatic and interesting conflicts that need to be overcome. The humour was kind of hit or miss and it didn’t help that al lot of the jokes were shown in the trailer. Also all there was a lot of jokes referring to the characters ages and while I’m not against it, it could be done in better ways. It seems to be a recurring theme in films these days to crack jokes about older people doing younger things but it does get a bit tiresome after a while. I feel like this film could have been a really good film if the direction and script were a little more sophisticated, as it stands the plot was good but with a bit more refinement it could have been a special film.

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When it comes to the characters the cast are really the main element that makes this film work and stay above being below average. Michael Douglas as Billy is great, he is a very confident kind of guy who is also successful and loves his friends a lot, but has some person issues that make him vulnerable. Robert De Niro as Paddy is the next best person as his character has a lot of levels to him. Paddy is a no-nonsense kind of guy who has respect for Sam and Archie, but hates Billy because of an issue from the past and while he is a bit grumpy, you can understand why he’s like that because of his history. Morgan Freeman as Archie has to be my favourite of the four, while he doesn’t get as much screen time as Billy and Paddy, he’s charismatic, adventurous and cheeky, such a funny dude to be around. And Kevin Kline as Sam is cool too, Kline like Morgan doesn’t as much screen time, but when he’s on-screen he’s always in such funny and awkward situations. Together Douglas, De Niro, Morgan and Kline have great screen chemistry and you really believe that they’ve been friends for years. Also Mary Steenburgen as Diana is beautiful, cute and a delightful lady who sings and has some nice screen time with some of the main group. And the last two people I wanted to mention were Jerry Ferrara as Todd and Romany Malco as Lonnie who were very entertaining.

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In conclusion Last Vegas is fun little film with a lot of unexpected heart to it, while the film suffers from some script and dialogue issues, the performances from the four main cast members makes up for it. Some may right it off as a some Hangover rip-off with old guys, but this film is easily better than the last two sequels in that series. It wasn’t as good as I hoped but there was a few story details that put it above the most comedies I’ve seen in the cinema.

So have you seen Last Vegas and if so what are your thoughts on it? Leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review! 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Now You See Me Review

Howdy people, time for me to review another film in the form of Now You See Me, a film that I’d been hearing a lot about for months now. I’d heard mixed things about the film, but the majority of thoughts on the film were good, but I was sceptical. So I saw the film last week and I thought it was a surprisingly awesome and I’m gonna tell you why in this review.

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The story in the film involves small-time magicians Daniel Atlas, Merritt McKinney, Henley Reeves and Jack Wilder when they’re invited to attend a meeting in a weird apartment. One year later, they reappear as The Four Horseman in a show in Las Vegas sponsored by the millionaire Arthur Tressler and they heist a bank in Paris from the stage and distribute the money to the audience. The FBI agent Dylan Rhodes is assigned to the case and the Interpol sends the agent Alma Dray to be his partner. Dylan and Alma are completely lost in the investigation and the exposer of illusionists Thaddeus Bradley gives hints about illusion. When the Four Horseman steal the bank account of Arthur Tressler during a show in New Orleans, Dylan and Alma believe that these heists are only distraction for a huge scheme but they are never sure about of what is true or illusion.

I thought the story in this film was very good and had a good number of twists and turns. It really is intriguing to see how these four magicians go from being individuals to a big-time Las Vegas act with all their amazing tricks which stun the general audience and make them targets for the police. I love films with complex plots or stories that have layers that get more and more mysterious as they progress, the problem sometimes is that these types of films either get too complicated for their own good or are just too smart for me haha. Luckily the plot in this film is at that level where it is smart, complex and layered but not overdone and easy for the general audience to understand.

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Now let’s talk about the cast who are all fantastic in their roles. Firstly there’s Jesse Eisenberg as J. Daniel Atlas, I thought Eisenberg was great as this cocky, wise-cracking dude who was really good at illusion and visual-based magic. While his character was a bit of a jerk, I couldn’t help but like him especially since Eisenberg’s performance was very similar to the one he gave in The Social Network. Then there’s Woody Harrelson as Merritt McKinney, he’s a street Magician with the powers of prediction and hypnosis. As I’m starting to discover, Woody Harrelson is great in anything, he’s funny, smart and always a scene stealer. Isla Fisher as Henley Reeves plays an impressive escape artist, I loved her in the role and she was the most level-headed in the group. And the last member in this group is Dave Franco as Jack Wilder who played a street magician, I think this is Dave Franco’s best role to date as it really showcased his acting talent and charisma on-screen in a way that made him feel relevant and look totally cool.

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Mark Ruffalo plays Dylan Rhodes, a FBI agent to great effect. I can’t say I was a big Mark Ruffalo fan until after The Avengers came out, but now I’m starting to see why people talk about his acting talents so much, he was so awesome in this film. He was hell-bent on capturing the magicians and goes through so much trouble to get them. Mélanie Laurent as Alma Dray was great as an Interpol agent assigned to help the FBI, I hadn’t seen Laurent since Inglorious Basterds so I was happy to see her again in a wonderful role where she was sophisticated, smart and didn’t take shit from anyone. And finally Michael Caine as Arthur Tressler and  Morgan Freeman as Thaddeus Bradley were incredible as always, turning in performances that were convincing, cool and familiar if you’re fans of their work.

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I thought that the presentation in this film also worked in both departments. Visually the film is shot well and there is a good use of visual effects too that really help reinforce the illusion-based performances. As for the soundtrack, I really liked it. Bryan Tyler seems to be scoring a lot more films and his music is sounding a lot more impressive these day than ever before. What I like about this soundtrack is that it has that trademark Tyler bombastic sound, its load, stylish and full of flavour!

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In conclusion Now You See Me was a mighty impressive film. I knew that the film would be good, but I didn’t expect it to be SO good. It was just such a smart film with good twists and turns, a solid story and cast and lovely presentation. This is a film I highly recommend film, it is some kick ass stuff.

Rating: 8.5/10 (I wonderfully great piece of film that get better as the film progresses)

So what did you think of Now You See Me? Whatever your thoughts are drop in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo!

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Last Vegas Trailer #2 Review

Alrighty then time to review another trailer review and today I’m gonna give you my thoughts on the latest trailer for a film I’m pretty interested in, Last Vegas. Now I know technically this is the second trailer and I haven’t reviewed the first, but I’ve seen the first one and I thought that this was WAY better and had more to talk about, so let’s get talking! 😀

I remember hearing about this film back in January this year and instantly being interested in the premise on IGN, now I’ve finally gotten a full trailer to give me an idea of what the film will be like and honestly I’m really liking what I’m seeing. Last Vegas is looking very interesting.

Here’s the trailer:

So the story in this film looks like Michael Douglas is getting married, and he gathers up his three old friends and has a bachelor party in Las Vegas. It seems like not everything is completely simple and there is a lot of stuff that will go down for these four men in their sixties. Looks there is conflict between Michael Douglas and Robert De Niro, there’s a massive pool party going on with Redfoo from LMFAO, and we even get a drunk Morgan Freeman! Awesome. There’s just a lot of intriguing and potentially hilarity in this trailer.

Now this could be a disaster, the fact of the matter is that ideas like this have been done in one way, shape or form and it is not unpopular for there to be a star-studded cast in a film that looks promising, only for it to then suck. But I’m hoping that rule doesn’t apply to this film because it looks like a good time. Also I personally love films that involve friendship, it is something that is very important to me in my life and with these older men I feel like we could get some heart-warming, hilarious and possibly emotional moments between these four actors. And that is something I’d love to see.

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In conclusion I’m liking the look of this film, it certainly looks like a fun film with very fine actors playing roles that they’ve really never done before. Obviously this film can go one of two ways: 1) It could be an entertaining, hilarious and interesting film about older gentlemen rekindling their friendship while one gets married. OR 2) It could be a pretty boring and possibly embarrassingly unfunny film about old men going to Las Vegas. Whatever the case is I’ll still go and watch it and hope for the best. Thanks for reading! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: The Dark Knight

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #26 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Okay so today we conclude our review of Batman films with one of the most overrated films in recent history, The Dark Knight.

Now I’m gonna talk about a film I don’t like to discuss with most people. Why? Because everyone bums the hell out of this film like it is the best thing since sliced bread and in my opinion it really isn’t. Fans and critics went made in 2008 when this film released and it has been hailed for changing the comic book superhero genre since. I saw the film when it released and I thought it was good, but not nearly as godly as people made it out to be. Ever since then I’ve watched the film a few times but my views still haven’t changed. So now in 2013 I’m revisiting the film again, has my opinion changed? Read on and find out.

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Taking place after the events in Batman Begins, Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker.

The story was pretty interesting for the most part but not perfect though. I like the way this film continues on from the last with its visual and verbal references, but I also like how the story progresses and gets more complex and higher in stakes. the introduction of the Joker makes for some very dramatic, suspenseful and unpredictable situations that have intriguing results. There’s a lot of interesting themes about corruption, morality, justice and injustice and nature vs. nature, and there’s all beautifully explained in the film. I think one of the reasons I’m not keen on the film is because there’s just a lot of aspects that I don’t care about, when the film isn’t focused on Batman or the Joker, then my interest fades, plus sometimes the film feels long and tedious. I guess the only reason I don’t like this film is because it doesn’t really feel like a comic book film, it feels more like a long thriller film with just a few comic book elements thrown in. And while that may work for most film audiences, for me who is a nerd and a fan of the more comic book side of Batman, this film just feels lacking.

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Now let’s talk about the cast who do a good job at bringing these characters to life for the most part. Christian Bale was still pretty good as Bruce Wayne, I feel like his character went through hell in this film as he had to fight the terrors of Gotham while trying to keep himself intact and eventually get out the crime fighting life and move on with Rachel. But as Batman, Bale was still dodgy. He is intimidating, but his voice is still terrible and over the course of the film gets worse. Michael Caine is still awesome as Alfred, Caine is just a great actor and he shows us his talents as Bruce’s trusted butler who helps Bruce and his alter ego, offering advice and being funny at times.

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But let’s talk about the main reason this film works and that is Heath Ledger as the Joker. This version of the Joker is just a psychopath, he is a nutcase with a twisted sense of humour and morality and he does bad things just to see will happen. I remember seeing this film in the cinema and remembering that this is why I liked the film so much and that rule still applies today. Ledger is just magnetic in this role, every time he’s on-screen all attention is on him and his charisma  and powerful persona makes him amazing to watch. He is crazy and I love it, and while I can’t say it’s my favourite interpretation of the character (That is still Mark Hamill), this in my opinion is way more interesting and captivating than Jack Nicholson’s version.

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Also Gary Oldman as James Gordon is great. Oldman’s role is more expanded than before and we get to see his character pushed to the forefront of the story. Gordon has to deal with his alliance to Batman and Harvey Dent as well as the Joker’s crazy actions. I just love how much more screen time Gordon got and how he ascended to the role as police commissionerAs for Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two-Face I thought he was pretty cool. As Dent Eckhart was nice as the district attorney who really wanted to clean up Gotham and do justice the right way. Eventually Dent gets corrupted and goes on the path of revenge as Two-Face and I liked his interpretation of the character as he was corrupt, on-edge and shell of his former self. Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes was nice and I found her version of the character to be more engaging and likeable than Katie Holmes. You could see that even though Rachel had moved on with Harvey Dent, that she still feelings for Bruce and because of his life as Batman it made things a great more complicated. And lastly Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox is still badass, I just like how he keeps supplying Bruce with all his gadgets for his duties as Batman.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation, visually the film is pretty impressive, the cinematography is wonderful, the presentation of the action and Batman’s fight scenes is a hell of a lot better and the editing is much smoother than before. I also like the special effects applied to Aaron Eckhart after he becomes Two Face too. The only  thing I wasn’t keen on was the fact that Gotham City lost its visual style from the first film and just adopted a very normal look in this film which I just didn’t agree with. As for the soundtrack by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer it is hella cool. The two basically take the themes from the first film and build upon them while introducing new themes too. The music is loud, dramatic, suspenseful and versatile and it really adds to the scenes where it is used.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? When it comes to Batman I’ve only read a few comics, most of my knowledge comes from years of watching Batman cartoons and research online. Well since Christopher Nolan’s Batman universe is more realistic, several things were updated or modified to work in the real world. As such many things have a more grounded approach. For example the Joker no longer has bleached skin and instead has paint and scars on his face and Two-Face instead of having acid on his face and a split personality, his face is burnt away in a fire.

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So to conclude The Dark Knight is still a great film and is a wonderful piece of material from director Christopher Nolan. It has a story that has a lot of interesting themes and thriller-esque elements and with a fabulous central performance from Heath Ledger it is a film worth watching. That being said, I still don’t think its the best comic book film ever made, it strays too far from the source material and almost doesn’t feel like a superhero/comic book film at all and there’s just a few small things that I don’t agree with. Now loads of people think I’m crazy because of my views on this film and I’ll continue to fight my corner until the end of time, but as it stands The Dark Knights is awesome, but not as extraordinary as a lot of fans and critics make it out to be.

Rating: 8/10 (A fine Batman film, but not as godly as many make it out to be)

So there’s my review people, only 4 more to go! So have you seen The Dark Knight and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: Batman Begins

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #25 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Alrighty then, we’ve talked about both of the Tim Burton Batman films, we’ve also talked about the ONLY Joel Schumacher that matters, so we’re skipping ahead to 2005 with the awesome Batman Begins.

Okay now we’re talking. I remember not being initially interested in this film at all due to its whole dark and realistic approach and lack of traditional Batman comic source material. But then I gave the film a chance around 2 or 3 years later and I found out that I really liked it. The film was definitely different and there were a number of things I wasn’t keen on but otherwise it was a solid film which I appreciated. So its been a while since I’ve seen it last time and now that I’ve watched it again has my opinion changed? Read on to find out.

So the plot in this film tells the origin story of the Bruce Wayne from his fear of bats to the death of his parents to his training with the League of shadows to his eventual transformation into the hero known as Batman. In this film Batman has to deal with the villain Scarecrow and the much larger threat in the form of Ra’s al Ghul and his plot to destroy Gotham City.

The story was pretty cool. Even though I am a very adamant comic book fan, the more realistic, dark and gritty tone really worked thanks to the great script and good direction from Christopher Nolan. Everything works in a more practical and realistic fashion, though there are comic book elements implemented as well and I think they’re incorporated nicely. The reason I liked the story so much was due to Bruce’s origin story, I don’t think there’s been a Batman film to date that’s gone this deep into Batman’s life prior to donning the suit. We get to see his childhood, his training and the creation of his lair, suit, weaponry and so on. I also like the part of the plot involving Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows plan to destroy Gotham, I thought it was pretty cool and hardcore. I think my only issues with the film is the fact that it wasn’t as comic book-esque as I had hoped, Batman is character I’ve always enjoyed in the animated TV shows and to see all of the source material changed and modified to work in the real world just didn’t gel with me at times during this film.

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Now let’s talk about the cast who do a good job at bringing these characters to life for the most part. So let’s start with Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I do like Bale’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne, I think he gives us the most accurate version of the character from the comics and his journey through this film is pretty cool and much more detailed than any other Batman film before it. However I can’t say that Bale makes a good Batman though. Bale as Batman is just terrible due to one key factor… His voice. I understand that Batman is different from Bruce Wayne and needs a different voice, however Batman in this film sounds insanely stupid! He’s all gruff, gravelly and as a lot of people have been saying online, sounds like he has throat cancer. Though it does make for some unintentionally funny lines of dialogue.

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Then we have Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth. I do love Sir Michael Caine and I think this is the first film where I really became accustomed to him as an actor. Caine’s version of Alfred feels like he has more of a backstory and feels like he has more of an active role in Bruce’s life after he becomes Batman. You can see that Alfred definitely care for Bruce and wants to help him out, but he also isn’t afraid to speak his mind and voice concern when dangerous situations look like they’ll occur. Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes was where I personally found the weak link in the film. Don’t get me wrong she’s not that bad in the film, but she’s not that great either. Dawes is a character made for film and has no relation to the comics and as a love interest for Bruce I just didn’t care because that is the one element in superhero films that I can deal without. Also Gary Oldman as James Gordon was cool, again like Michael Caine’s Alfred I feel like Oldman’s Gordon had a more active role than his predecessor and left a better lasting impression on me. Oldman is a fine actor and while his character isn’t as big as he is in the sequels he’s still pretty cool here.

Then we have our first villain in the form of Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard. Neeson is one of the most awesome actors out there and I loved his character in this film how he becomes Bruce’s mentor only to turn out to be the bad guy later on down the line. You can see that Ducard has much mystery surrounding his character and that as good as he may seem he has ulterior motives and I thought Neeson did great in the role and made the character magnetic on-screen. As for villain number two who was Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow we was different, his character was very clever, questionable and strange and as the Scarecrow he was even funkier using his toxins to make people freak out and hallucinate. But as good as he was I felt like he could have been better and when he is taken out it is done in the most anti climatic way.

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Tom Wilkinson makes for a cool Mafia boss as Carmine Falcone, he’s an intimidating bastard who plays a small part in the larger picture of evil plans going down in the film and Wilkinson was good. And lastly Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox was just the coolest guy ever. He’s a guy that works at Wayne Enterprises but also supplies Bruce with all his gear necessary for his missions. I like the relationship that Bruce and Lucius start in this film and since the character is played by Morgan Freeman you can’t really complain can you?

Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is nice I like look of Gotham City because it is so dark, has great lighting and has a unique colour palette that really helps show off how ugly and distinguishing the city is. I also like a lot of the action sequences in this film, Batman’s attack sequences are nicely pulled off though it is badly shot and edited at times because you can’t really see what’s going on. As for the soundtrack by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer its pretty good, the score that they create while it doesn’t have that same level of epicness and gravitas that Danny Elfman’s scores did back in the Tim Burton’s films, it does have a main theme that sounds pretty beastly and overall the soundtrack amplifies the action in the film very well.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? When it comes to Batman I’ve only read a few comics, most of my knowledge comes from years of watching Batman cartoons and research online. I think everything in this film is modified to work in the real world so characters, vehicles and weapons work in a more practical and realistic manner. There are a few comic book elements retained like the death of Bruce’s parents and his fear of bats and his martial arts skills too. I’m not too familiar with the villains of the films so I can’t talk about them. Other than that everything else is either new or changed for film purposes.

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So to conclude Batman Begins is a pretty cool film. A lot of people these days say that this film is the weakest element in The Dark Knight Trilogy but I think that is unfair as it was the film that created the foundation for the sequels to build on. This film created a new, dark and realistic world for Batman and redefined the character with much stronger storytelling, themes, characters and wonderful presentation. The film does indeed have problems and I don’t love it as much as I did before, but out of all the three Batman origins we’ve had so far this is my favourite and I recommend the film highly.

Rating: 7.5/10 (It’s dark, gritty and different but it’s still hella good!)

So there’s my review people, and now we’ve reached the FINAL 5 FILMS! WOOOO! So have you seen Batman Begins and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Oblivion Review

So now we’re finally here in April and Oblivion is finally out in cinemas! I have waited for months for this film to come out. Now I have been in two minds about this film since I saw the trailers, I believed it could either be really cool or pretty lame. I’ve been cautiously optimistic. I just want it to be a good and entertaining film because it has two of my favourite actors in it, Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman. So is the film worth the wait or something you should pass on? Read on my review to find out.

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The story synopsis for the film goes a little something this:

“One of the few remaining drone repairmen assigned to Earth, its surface devastated after decades of war with the alien Scavs, discovers a crashed spacecraft with contents that bring into question everything he believed about the war, and may even put the fate of mankind in his hands.”

I thought the plot for the film was pretty interesting. Even though the whole “post-apocalyptic Earth” thing has been done many times before this film’s story carried itself well and had me invested, also there was a lot of drama and emotional elements in some of the characters lives that I was not expecting to. The film does however lack a certain degree of originality as there were times where I made several references to film like Moon, 2001: A Space Odyssey Independence Day and Wall-E. Also there were story elements that I did see coming before the film presented them to me but for the most part I liked the story in this film I just wish the ending was a little more satisfying.

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The characters in this film are pretty decent though the key performances that start out are Tom Cruise and Andrea Riseborough. Firstly let’s start with Tom Cruise as Jack Harper, Cruise was great. His performance was solid and engaging and you could see that he was haunted by his past and wanted to know more about Earth prior to the alien war. Jack, even though he repairs just repairs drones, patrol the skies and follows orders wants more and Cruise showed his acting skills well here. Plus the guy’s like 50 and yet he can run, gun and do all these action scenes which is bloody impressive, again I don’t like it when people hate on the guy when he puts so much effort into his work. The other great performance comes from Andrea Riseborough as Victoria Olsen. Riseborough was really great as the colleague of Jack who performed her duties and never asked questions about the past, there was many sides to this woman from her cute and flirty side to her affirmative side. There was a fair bit of emotional stuff for her character and Riseborough looked fabulous and acted very well against Cruise.

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Also Melissa Leo as Sally was a performance that was could but also very scary too, Leo came across as so cold and non-human even when trying to be nice. And then there’s Olga Kurylenko as Julia Rusakova, she still looks beautiful these days and she served her purpose for the film giving emotion where possible, but I felt like her character could have done more and Kurylenko wasn’t as good as I hope she’d be. Now let’s talk about Morgan Freeman as Malcolm Beech, a resistance leader stationed on Earth. Freeman was his usual awesome self but was not in the film nearly as much as I would have hoped and was severely underwritten. The trailers made him seem like he had a massive part in the film but it’s actually smaller than Kurylenko’s. And lastly there’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Sykes, its funny, I can’t look at him without seeing Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones haha. But putting that fact aside he was alright but not in the film as much as I’d hoped.

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As for the presentation, all I have to say is DAMN! The presentation is bloody awesome. The CGI and special effects were put to good use here, everything looked so incredibly detailed, vivid and beautiful despite the state of the planet. The action sequences were excellent and I also liked the art direction, the drones looked cool and the ship that Jack uses is also pretty awesome too. And then there’s the soundtrack M83 was great, it had a proper 80s vibe to it with the use of the instruments and I loved how loud and epic it sounded.

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In conclusion Oblivion was pretty awesome. A lot of critics and audience members have bashed the film for the slower pace and lack of originality when compared to sci-fi films that preceded this one. However for me the story was surprisingly deep and intriguing, the cast was solid for the most part and presentation was top-class yo. If you’re a patient kind of film watcher and give this film a chance you’ll probably enjoy it.

Rating: 8/10 (Not perfect but definitely worth a watch!)

So what did you think of this latest sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise? Did you like it or dislike it? Whatever your thoughts lay them down below and I’ll catch y’all on the next review yo! 😀

Jaime Lannister

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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