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Mission: Impossible – Fallout & Ant-Man and the Wasp Reviews

Good day to you ladies and gents, I know it has been a little quiet on the review front, but I have been watching films, I just have been busy with my job and other personal projects to upload in a decent time. So today I just wanted to share with you my thoughts on Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Ant-Man and the Wasp via my podcast, Film Focus. 😀

So first up is my review for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, I have seen the film twice and would like to see it again before it leaves the cinema, I had originally posted this review online around 2 weeks ago but I didn’t have the time to upload it at the time. But anyway check out the review below:

Next up is Ant-Man and the Wasp, the film us UK viewers had to wait for AGES to see, I saw the film last week, twice, but had a lot of stuff to do and work was busier than usual so I pushed the review back by a week. Anyway check out the episode below:

So have you seen both films and if so what did you think of them? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comment section below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

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Posted by on August 10, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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REVIEW: Whitney

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to my first written film review for a while and today I’m going to talk about the new documentary released about Whitney Houston entitled Whitney. Now I only heard about this film around a week ago and I just happened to be in a city where the film was being shown, and while I’ve never been the biggest Whitney Houston fan, I’ve liked a lot of her music and wanted to see what light this film could shed on her that I wasn’t aware of, and I believe this film did a good job.

Most people are probably aware of who Whitney Houston is and know of her music unless you’re super young, but for those not aware, the life of Whitney Houston is one of triumph and tragedy, she started out so well, ascended into the stratosphere and then unfortunately fell and never quite recovered. and after all of her success, there was a lot of media coverage about Houston’s life mostly all in a negative light with many accusations, rumours and big reveals, but as we all know there’s a lot more to the lives of celebrities beyond what the media presents. I recall how much she was brought up in the news from the good stuff in the 90’s the all the bad stuff in the 00’s because of the drugs or marital issues with Bobby Brown. And while this film wasn’t as comprehensive as it could have been, it was emotionally charged, haunting and informative.

I feel like the film did a good job of introducing itself in a positive manner highlighting the best/fun part of Houston’s life but then changed things up immediately with some darker/negative elements, and that felt like it set the tone for the rest of the film as there were plenty of moments where the film changes its tone at several points throughout. The film confidently goes through a lot of her life from childhood to her first tv appearance to her initial explosion onto the music scene to marriage to problems with drugs and her downward spiral towards death. It is fairly comprehensive with great use of audio and video archive footage which shows every side of her whether she’s playful, funny, shy, sassy, aggressive, sad, exhausted and so on. I loved seeing her in her youth being so cute and crazy but also seeing how human she was dealing with some of these insane situations with varying degrees of success. The editing and use of sound are excellent, making you feel immense joy at one point, but then feeling scared or depressed in another. There’s also plenty of interviews from everyone close to her from her mother to her brothers to her ex-husband to family friends to music management, and so on. And they all give very detailed information about Houston’s experiences, the good and the bad and how some of them contributed to the long-term issues that became major hurdles for her later on. And the film isn’t afraid to go to those really dark places and ask questions that were dark or uncomfortable, there was a lot of rumour and speculation in the media about what Houston got up to, and while not every question is answered, there was a fair amount of clarification and certain revelations about Houston that was quite shocking and highlight that her life was anything but simple and that there were many factors that made things turn out the way they did. One moment, in particular, was a pretty major eye-opener that left me in stunned for a little while too.

And of course, the watching this film frigging hurts especially if you’re a fan of Houston, to you see this beautiful lady with such talent rise and then fall so hard that it’s hard to watch at times. I wasn’t alive or old enough to experience the Houston in her prime, but this film really highlights how much of big deal she was, how she changed things and made an impact with America and the world, black people, female singers and so on. When the film ended I really just felt like crying. This documentary did a great job of revealing Houston’s life, showing off outside influence and showing off what she meant to people, how big of a star that she was and highlighting her raw talent.

In conclusion, Whitney is pretty solid documentary that is emotionally engaging and very insightful, and if you are even remotely interested in this documentary I would recommend it, Kevin MacDonald did a fine job at asking the right questions and presenting the life of one of the world’s most interesting, brilliant and tragic celebrities. If you’ve seen the film I’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 😀

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Fantastic Mr. Fox

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a new film review and today I get to talk about a film I’ve wanted to review on here since I think 2013, and that is Fantastic Mr. Fox! So yeah I know this film is not new, it is from 2009 and I saw it in the cinema and I really liked it at the time and said to myself that I’d rewatch it again at some point. And yet even after buying the DVD around 5 or 6 years ago while at university I never got around to it just because of timing and being in the right mood. That being said, since 2014 I’ve really gotten into Wes Anderson’s films and with Isle of Dogs coming out tomorrow here in the UK I thought I’d rewatch my first Wes Anderson film and see if it still holds up.

The story for the film can be summed up as the following:

“The film is about a fox who steals food each night from three mean and wealthy farmers. They are fed up with Mr. Fox’s theft and try to kill him, so they dig their way into the foxes’ home, but the animals are able to outwit the farmers and live underground.”

I like the story because it has a lot of layers, there is the main narrative that goes on throughout the film, but there are also a number subplots introduced that eventually come to a head as the film progresses and what I like is that all of these plot elements are character-driven, have significance and the payoff feeds back into the main plot. And for a film about animals dealing with dangerous humans, it introduces some interesting themes dealing with breaking habits, doing what you’re good at, living up to expectations, being different and a number of other elements that are easy to relate to. And it is presented in a story that has a strange, quirky and fast-paced nature to it, and it very funny on numerous occasions and comes at just the right point with incredible timing, however, it also has brilliant moments of seriousness, darker moments and slows down just enough to have these special moments between the main characters.

As for the characters they are all very fun, interesting and feel like well-rounded individuals even if they’re secondary characters. George Clooney is fabulous as Mr. Fox, Clooney brings his natural charm to this character who is charismatic, daring yet selfish and not fully aware of his actions. Meryl Streep as Felicity Fox is a strong, smart and caring woman, but is also very stern and doesn’t take any shit from anyone. Jason Schwartzman stands out as Ash Fox, I guessed Schwartzman in this role just because Ash reminded me of Max from Rushmore in the sense that Ash is another young man with personal issues that lead to awkward relationships with others, but here Ash is a lot younger and immature and his journey through the film is quite engaging despite his rude and insensitive nature. Bill Murray was delightful as Clive Badger and had some great moments with Mr. Fox, Willem Dafoe’s role as Rat was unexpected, funny and strange and Wallace Wolodarsky as Kylie was one of the most memorable characters due to his subdued yet hilarious nature. And finally, Michael Gambon as Franklin Bean made for a strong and memorable protagonist, Gambon has such a presence with his voice and puts it to good use in humourous and intimidating scenarios.

From a presentation point of view, the film’s incredible. Visually the film’s use of stop motion animation is fluid, stylish and unique. While stop motion has a certain type of movement due to the way it is created, this film goes a step further by presenting movement in a number of ways that looks like frames are missing, but the movement is dynamic, exaggerated and elastic giving them a great sense of charisma and realism at the same time. The choice of camera angles and the general cinematography looks like a mixture of a stage play, a normal film and old film techniques used during driving sequences. I also want to talk about the character models and set design, the models have such an intricate level of detail for the fur and clothing and the sets vary from being large or very small, but they are all well-crafted with a lot of attention to detail from the foreground to background material looking realistic but also stylised. It is elaborate, grand in scale and has such incredible scene transitions. The film score by Alexandre Desplat is wonderful and works very well in each scene it’s used in and the soundtrack is filled with a great variety of songs that really enhance the scenes they’re used in the way that only Anderson can pull off.

In conclusion, Fantastic Mr. Fox is still a wonderful film and perhaps foolishly I was surprised how well it held up after so many years. I may be biased as I really LOVE Wes Anderson’s approach to filmmaking, but even if I was to take that element out of the equation, the film is not a conventional animated kids film, but that’s why I love it. The film, it is fun, exciting, engaging, quirky and hilarious, and yet it also has an engaging story, with fully formed characters that you can understand and relate to. If you haven’t seen this film I highly recommend it especially if you like Wes Anderson films.

So have you seen Fantastic Mr. Fox and if so what did you think of it? Drop me your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see you in the next review, so until the next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Tomb Raider

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a new film review and today I’m going to talk about the latest video game film, Tomb Raider. Now I could say a lot about this film but I will attempt to keep things brief this time around. So Tomb Raider, where to start? Well firstly let’s just get some background info out of the way:

  1. I never watched the Angelina Jolie films because I didn’t have the interest at the time.
  2. I also never really played any of the Tomb Raider games until last year when I played the 2013 reboot game.
  3. The marketing didn’t do much to convince me that the film would be worth watching. However, I wanted to remain optimistic because the film was based on strong source material.

So with all that out of the way what did I think of the film? It was fine, but it won’t break the video game film curse.

The story in the film involves a young woman by the name of Lara Croft who goes on a trek to discover what happened to her father who went missing years ago and uncover the mysteries surrounding his research. What follows is a journey of action, danger, self-discovery and interesting revelations. What I applaud the people behind the film for is taking so much of the 2013 game and incorporating into this film. The basic elements of the story, key locations and action set pieces were lifted from the game, and while a great deal was changed and streamlined, some of it was effective and I appreciated how much of that content was put into the film… That being said, the film features so many of the basic and cliché elements that made these big budget action-adventure films so average to watch. The story plays out almost exactly as you’d expect with certain twists and reveals you could see coming a mile away, the dialogue can be so cheesy and dull at times, and while some of the humour works, some of it really cringeworthy and there was one scene in the first trailer I prayed wouldn’t make it into the final film and just near the end it showed up and I was very sad haha. 😛 I’m only harsh on the story because the game had such a great foundation to jump off from and while there was only so much time available, certain story and character elements were needlessly omitted or changed resulting in a story that had less of dramatic and emotional resonance.

As for the cast they did their jobs well enough but none of the characters was all that unique or memorable beyond the main character. Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft was fine, she played the stubborn, smart and physically capable girl with issues relating to her past, she’s a fine enough hero with a great body and can handle herself in tough situations, but she doesn’t have that “je ne sais quoi” that makes a protagonist endearing. Dominic West as Lord Richard Croft was decent, though I wasn’t keen on how his character was handled in the story. Daniel Wu as Lu Ren was fine, I wasn’t sure how he’d fit into the overall narrative but it was revealed in a logical manner and I liked his character, but I thought Wu was underutilized considering his good work on Into the Badlands. Kristin Scott Thomas as Ana Miller was fine, and Walton Goggins as Mathias Vogel was okay as the bad guy, he did what he could with the material he was given, but it wasn’t a captivating or memorable villain, unfortunately. From a presentation point of view, the film has pros and cons. Visually, for the most part, the film looks good, most the visual effects are solid (safe for some questionable CGI and green screen), some of the action sequences were cool especially with the chase scenes, and like I said before, seeing several of the set pieces from the game implemented into this film did make me grin. And the film score by Tom Holkenborg was a little lacking in presence and didn’t do much to elevate the action on-screen.

So to conclude, I think most people reading this may think I hate the film but that is not the case. Tomb Raider a is a fine yet unremarkable film. I think there will be varying opinions about this film from fans of the games and those who are not. It does some things well and Alicia Vikander did a pretty good job in the main role, but alas the film’s story, action and characters are very plain and generic, and I think that there was so much material from the game that could have been adapted much better. Anyway, if you’re curious about this film give it a watch, it wasn’t as inconsistent as Warcraft and nowhere near as boring as Assassin’s Creed, but this isn’t the film to usher in the new era of video game films, nuff said.

So have you seen Tomb Raider and if so what did you think of it? Drop me your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see you in the next review, so until the next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2018 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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REVIEW: Pitch Perfect 3

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to another review and today I’m bringing you my final review of the four films I saw yesterday in the form of Pitch Perfect 3! Now I was cautious yet curious to see this film when it was announced back in 2015 because 1) I LOVE the first film, it’s still one of the best surprises I’ve had in the cinema. And 2) Even though the second film was a mess, I was curious to see what would happen with Elizabeth Banks away from the camera as the director.

The plot can be summed up as the following: “After the highs of winning the World Championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren’t job prospects for making music with your mouth. But when they get the chance to reunite for an overseas USO tour, this group of awesome nerds will come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time.

I thought the film was fun, despite its many issues, I did think it was a solid film. What I liked was that this film found a nice way to bring the Bellas back together and we got to see them travel to new locations and get into some new situations in addition to the competition. It is an absurd adventure with some good character progression for certain individuals but also some silly stuff as well. The humour felt right too, while not all of it hits (especially when it comes to one character specifically which I’ll get to later on), I do feel like some of verbal jokes and timing of certain lines was on-point. The core issue of the film is Fat Amy’s subplot, at first, it’s a little interesting, but then it starts to take up too much screen time and by the end of the film I was so ready for it to end. Also with the new bands that the Bellas face, they have great introductions but weren’t used to the best degree. And even though this film isn’t exactly the best film to end this series on and cements the fact that there should have been just the first Pitch Perfect film, I did like the ending and the credits which were quite lovely and heartfelt.

The cast was all pretty good for the most part, though some stand out more than others. Let’s start with the Bellas, let’s start with Anna Kendrick who is still great as Beca Mitchell. Of all the girls she has the best development and interesting journey and Kendrick is still as beautiful and charming as ever. The same can’t be said for Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy, Wilson used to be hilarious as Amy in the first film, however beginning with the second film they made her comedic moments so ridiculous and stupid and while they partly gave her some depth and better verbal jokes, however, she became the focus of the film in the worst possible way and as the film went on she became more annoying and tedious. Brittany Snow still has that “it factor” as Chloe Beale, it is interesting to learn what she’s been up to since the last film, but also see her have these really funny lines and situations especially with Beca. Anna Camp is once again good as Aubrey Posen, and Hailee Steinfeld as Emily Junk has some interesting development but feels a little less important than the last film, but still has great chemistry with the other girls. Hana Mae Lee as Lilly Onakuramara has always been one of my favourite Bella and she has some my favourite moments in the film. Ester Dean is another one of my people as Cynthia-Rose Adams, she has some really fun scenes on and off the stage, and Chrissie Fit as Florencia “Flo” Fuentes has some solid moments in the film too.

As for the other cast members, John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks as John Smith and Gail-Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberger are the same annoying commentors following the Bellas on their reunion and new journey, and while they can be very stupid and tedious, they have their moments to be hilarious, strange and insulting at the same time. John Lithgow as Fergus Hobart, the villain for the film started out well but got silly and boring by the end of the film. Guy Burnett was a nice addition to the film as Theo, DJ Khaled was really funny and felt like a super charismatic version of himself and finally Ruby Rose and Andy Allo of the band Evermoist were good but underused.

When it comes to the music I can gladly say that this film succeeds with flying colours, the best thing about the Pitch Perfect films have been the vocal performances of famous songs and this film’s selection is fabulous with a nice blend of recognisable and new music. While it doesn’t reach the heights of the original film, this film is WAY better than the second film with its song selection and the variety of forms in which they are performed from acappella to the use of singing with instruments. It is very creative, fun and so damn catchy.

In conclusion, Pitch Perfect 3 was a bit of mixed bag, but I still liked it. While the Fat Amy subplot almost knocks the film over a cliff, I do think that for the most part that the humour and especially the music safe this film and make it more enjoyable than the last film.

So have you seen Pitch Perfect 3 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 January 19, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Howdy ladies and gents, time for my third review of the day and I’m talking about Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. So this is a film I no intentions of watching, I hated the idea of this film and the trailers just did nothing for me. But with all the good word of mouth about the film’s got since late December, I decided to give it a shot. So is this film a good watch or not? Well read on and find out! 😀

The plot can be summed up as the following: “Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game.” So my first thought after watching the film was, “Okay it wasn’t the worst thing ever and it had redeeming qualities, but it just wasn’t for me.” The story was simple yet effective and if you’ve seen any family/young person-aimed film with a group of random people from different backgrounds being forced together to complete a common goal, then you know exactly how this story will pan out. The story has a standard start, middle and end, though the journey is quite fun, interesting and by the end, I will admit I was satisfied. What didn’t work was the humour, like I said before, the trailers did nothing for me, just looked like the same kind of stuff I don’t like in a lot of comedies and most of my suspicions came to pass, there was a lot of physical humour and jokes made for kids and adults that didn’t make me laugh at all, besides a few smirks and one minor chuckle. The one thing that this film did damn well was the video game codes and conventions because if you’re a gamer from the 90’s to early 00’s several of these elements will be recognisable to you, from cutscenes to traps to level progression to NPCs, all of that stuff was handled with a great deal of care and felt like an amalgamation of games I’ve played in the past. Oh and since this was technically a sequel to the original I will admit that I appreciated some of the references and even though the concept of the board game turning into a video game was absurd to me at first, the film justifies it well enough.

As for the characters, the kid actors were fine but it felt like they were playing modern/early 2000’s versions of high school kids, and they were fine but sometimes insufferable. Firstly Dwayne Johnson as Dr. Smolder Bravestone was pretty good, he was funny, strange, cowardly and cool. Jack Black as Professor Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon almost stole the film, while I hated his character’s personality with passion, Black did really well in his role. Kevin Hart was pretty much himself as Franklin “Mouse” Finbar, that being said he did have some funny moments here and there. And Karen Gillan as Ruby Roundhouse, damn, firstly I not only liked Gillian’s portrayal of her character as it was a very different role than what I’ve seen from her before, but she was also able to be funny, silly, cute and sexy at the same time! Nick Jonas as Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough was a surprising yet welcome inclusion to the film and I really liked his backstory. The only weak link is Bobby Cannavale’s villain role as Russel Van Pelt, for such a dangerous individual he’s very plain, generic, and you normally forget about him until the plot reminds you that he’s still around.

When it comes to the presentation it was decent, Visually the film looked good, the look of the world of Jumanji was nice, colourful and varied, the CGI was decent though inconsistent at times and the action scenes were choreographed well though some of the hand-to-hand fights times went on for a little too long. As for the film score by Henry Jackman, it was fine, got a little too mushy at points but it certainly had some decent moments. In conclusion, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was not nearly as bad as I expected it to be and there were certainly some good elements in the film, however, most of the humour just wasn’t for me and I would have enjoyed this film a lot more if it didn’t have Jumanji in the title.

So have you seen Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 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 January 19, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: All the Money in the World

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another quick review and today I’m being you the second review of the day in the form of All the Money in the World.  So is this film I didn’t really have an intention to watch and only knew of it because of the new of Kevin Spacey being replaced not too long before the film’s release last year. But because of The Top 10 Show, a podcast  I listen to, those guys spoke highly of the film and that convinced me it was worth a watch.

The plot can be summed up as the following: “The story of the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother to convince his billionaire grandfather Jean Paul Getty to pay the ransom.” I found this film to be far more captivating than I expected. Even though the retrieval of the John Paul Getty was at the forefront of the story, there were so many extra layers to discover involving the not only the main characters but even the kidnappers. The focus on money was great, like how it corrupts and influences people, how those who have it never have enough due to greed and those who don’t have money want more or hate how it controls so much of what we do in our lives. In the end, I just enjoyed how the story got more and more complicated with interesting twists and turns, revelations and uncomfortable situations. With the cast, they were all really good, though Christopher Plummer and Michelle Williams really stood out. Plummer’s performance as Jean Paul Getty was outstanding, he was charming yet cold, and was able to show such a great range of emotions as he was calculated, deceptive, selective and cruel. I also appreciated learning about Getty’s mindset, how he functions, why he’s so rich and buys what he does. At first, he seems to come across as an eccentric asshole who loves himself and his possessions, and while those aspects of him don’t change, you at least understand him. As for Williams as Gail Harris, she was incredible playing a caring and concerned, yet strong and resourceful woman with the focus on getting her son back by any means. I loved Gail’s strong moral compass, sense f conviction and tough attitude, and even in the face of such horrible situations filled with fear, disappointment and danger, she continues with her search. As for Mark Wahlberg as Fletcher Chase, I heard he was bad and considered that he was the worse part of the film. That being said I thought he was quite good, sometimes his line delivery was questionable, but I did like his performance. I thought Charlie Plummer was also solid as John Paul Getty III, and Romain Duris was very good as Cinquanta, as one of Getty lll’s kidnappers he had more screen time and ended up being quite engaging. Another aspect I liked about the film was the score from Daniel Pemberton which really enhanced the scenes it was used in. In conclusion, All the Money in the World was really enjoyable and I liked it far more than I expected, thanks to an intriguing plot and great performances from Christopher Plummer and Michelle Williams.

So have you seen All the Money in the World 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 January 19, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Darkest Hour

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another quick review and today I’ll be giving you the first of 4 new reviews and the first film I’ll be talking about is Darkest Hour. So this is a film I heard a lot about last year especially in December because Gary Oldman’s performance and since it was recently released here in the UK I checked it out to see what the fuss was about.

The plot can be summed up as the following: “During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler or fight on against incredible odds.” Now I have to admit upfront that my knowledge of historical events is pretty bad, especially when it comes to war-related events. Any information I had been lost when I left school over 10 years ago, so when I film like this comes along, I like the concept of learning of the past through film even if there are fictionalised elements implemented. With all that being said I found this film to be very interesting and captivating. I liked the tone and atmosphere, everything felt very dire, there’s a sense of confusion, anger, fear and though there’s a feeling of hopelessness, you can also see those who hold onto optimism. I liked exploring the different emotional mindsets of all the major characters and seeing how they dealt with the war overseas and the government scenarios. While I certainly enjoyed the story overall, there were some story beats that felt familiar for a dramatic biopic and at certain points, the pacing felt slow, though that may have been because I was really tired. The cast was good with some of my favourites being, Kristin Scott Thomas as Clementine Churchill, the wonderful Lily James as Elizabeth Layton, Ronald Pickup as Neville Chamberlain, Stephen Dillane as Edward Wood, and Ben Mendelsohn as George VI who hs a very interesting relationship with Churchill. But what really carries this film is the powerful performance from Gary Oldman, his screen presence is very intense and magnetic and besides a few instances, he steals every scene he’s in. Oldman really gets lost in the role and he’s unrecognisable besides through his voice in a few instances. Plus I love seeing Oldman being angry, he’s very intimidating, scary and he can do so much from just scowling to shouting or using physical actions. And the film score from Dario Marianelli was quite nice and certainly had some beautiful and powerful moments especially in the latter half of the film. In conclusion, Darkest Hour was a good film, but it was truly elevated by Gary Oldman’s performance.

So have you seen Darkest Hour 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 January 19, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Coco

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to another quick review and today I get to talk about a film I’ve been waiting to see for AGES! The latest film from Pixar; Coco. Now when I heard about the film before there was any visual marketing I thought it sounded alright, but I wasn’t too interested. It wasn’t until I heard some of the music during a  Michael Giacchino live concert and saw early positive reviews online. Luckily there was an early preview at my cinema over the weekend, I saw it yesterday and I’m ready to pass judgement! 😀

The plot can be summed up as the following: “Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.

The story in this film was wonderful, the film is full of charm, humour, drama and emotion, excitement and adventure, life lessons and all that good stuff that you’ve come to expect from a Pixar film, but how it goes about presenting these elements is quite unique and captivating. I love how this film presents Mexican culture and while I can’t speak to how authentic it is, it felt real and insightful. Also, the way this film handles themes related to the important family, death and remembering those who have passed on, that was handled so well. But I think what made the film for me was dramatic/emotional moments, there were some really dark and surprising reveals that caught me off guard, but I was glad it was put into the story. But there were also some sweet, heartwarming and sad moments that almost made me tear up too. The only negative I put against the film is that if you’ve seen a Pixar film or animated film in general then you’ll recognise the story beats straight away and be able to predict how the narrative flows and progresses.

The vocal performances from everyone involved were great. Anthony Gonzalez was really good as Miguel Rivera, as the main character you can understand his aspirations and mindset especially if you’ve been in a similar situation with your family where you want to be yourself and not be restricted. His journey from start to finish is fun, sad and engaging. Gael García Bernal was lovely as Héctor Rivera, he is a charming and tricky kind of guy who you eventually realise has some hidden layers to him and seeing him and Miguel build their bond over the course of the film is so special. Benjamin Bratt was really good as Ernesto de la Cruz, he’s one of the most memorable characters I’ve seen in a Pixar film for a while because of his story, personality and how he ties into Miguel’s story. Alanna Ubach was incredible as Mamá Imelda Rivera, she was such a fiery and passionate person and I really liked her backstory too. Renée Victor was great as Abuelita Elena Rivera, she’s Miguel’s grandmother who can be kind and caring one minute and extremely aggressive and sassy the next. Ana Ofelia Murguía was also good as Mamá Socorro “Coco” Rivera and Edward James Olmos did a nice job as Chicharrón too.

From a presentation standpoint, the film is great. Visually the film is great, there’s a vivid colour palette with striking lighting and creative designs when it comes to the skeleton characters and the Land of the Dead. There is a nice balance between realism and the more cartoonish aspects, with the animation everything is fluid and the characters are super charismatic and elastic, while the art direction is so good with characters having a great deal of variety in the shape, size and clothing and the look of buildings, creatures and several other things look great as well. Also, the film score from my man Michael Giacchino was lovely, it had a large and notable presence throughout, it was playful, fun, and delightful, but also intense, creepy and melancholy, and the songs written by Germaine Franco, Adrian Molina, Robert Lopez, and Kristen Anderson-Lopez were lovely especially “Remember Me“. In conclusion, Coco was everything I wanted and then some, it had heart, humour, adventure, surprises and really good themes in the story too. While it didn’t rock my world, it left a good feeling in my soul and you should give it a watch. 😀

So have you seen Coco and if so what did you think of it? And how do you compare it to Pixar’s previous films? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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