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My Thoughts on the Passing of Bill Paxton

Howdy people of the internet, this is a blog post I didn’t expect to write any time soon. So yesterday the world was made away about the passing of Bill Paxton and there’s been a lot of condolences and beautiful thoughts shared about him from celebrities and fans alike, so I just wanted to share my own thoughts.

So after I left work yesterday evening and was waiting for some fast food I decided to check the internet for some superhero news and then I saw on Comic Book Movie and saw a headline about Bill Paxton passing away at 61 years old. Honestly I thought it was a joke, so I had to check Google straight after and it was confirmed on multiple sites and honestly I got so frigging sad. Now a number people state that getting sad about celebrities that you don’t know is silly/unnecessary, but screw it I can’t help it. Paxton is one of those actors I’ve been aware since I my childhood and while I never really knew who he was specifically until I was a teenager, he’s always been one of those guys you not only knew by face, but also knew he’d deliver a solid performance as well.

I don’t know if I saw him in Aliens or Twister first, but Twister was the film that put him on my radar, I saw that film a good few times when I was younger and as I got older whenever I watched a film with him in it, I’d be like “Hey it’s that dude from Twister, I like that guy.” It wasn’t until 204 when he made a good few appearances in films and TV that he really started to ascend in my favourite actors. And even now going through his filmography, I’ve seen him in a good number of films that I never even knew he was there, and that doesn’t mean he’s invisible, but it just shows how much work he’s done over the decades. We got films like Weird Science, Predator 2, Titanic, Might Joe Young, and even 2 Guns, a film I enjoyed at the time I forgot about his appearance there too.

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But my favourite roles were the punk dude from The Terminator, Bill Harding, the leading man from Twister, the stringer Joe Loder from Nightcrawler and one of my favourites, Master Sergeant Farell from Edge of Tomorrow. And then of course you had his appearance as John Garrett from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., say what you want about the Marvel show especially in season 1 but he brought a lot of fun, humour and badassery to Hydra and the show in general.

What really stung about the news of his passing was the fact that I met him. I got to meet him at London Film & Comic-Con in July 2015 a few years ago and he was the nicest dude ever, so kind, welcoming and funny, and getting my picture taken with him was honestly one of the highlights of my life. I look forward to checking out my of his filmography, and though he’s gone he’ll never be forgotten because he was 100% badass.

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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Films, Life, Media, Television

 

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My Top 10 Films of 2014

Top Ten Films 2014

Howdy people of the internet, the year is pretty much done and all major films that’s come out have come and gone, with all that being said I think it’s about time that I give you my top 10 list of my favourite films of 2014. Now before I get into this list I have to explain a few things:

  1. As per-usual I DO NOT include 2013 films that got released in 2014 here in the UK, and what I mean by that is films like: The Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years A Slave, Fruitvale Station, those were originally released in 2013 in the US and for me they don’t count. I only list films that are new and were released between the start and end of this year.
  2. The following films are listed as such because I had a good time with them but I also tried to categorize them in terms of fun,  surprise and re-watch value.
  3. This list was hella hard to construct because I find it hard to stack certain films on top others when some are clearly better than others, but since it is personal enjoyment it really changes things up.

With all that in mind let’s begin shall we?

10. The Imitation Game

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The last entry on this list was hard because before my final choice there were at least three other films occupying this space, but once I thought about it I found The Imitation Game deserves a spot on this top 10. This was a film I expected to be good however it really surprised me how good it was with a very intriguing story about one man’s goal to help win WWII by cracking an uncrackable Nazi code with a computer, but more so than that, it about a man struggling with his identity in a time when he wouldn’t be accepted for who he really was. And with an incredible performance from my man, Benedict Cumberbatch, it was a great piece of film to watch.

9. Edge of Tomorrow

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I feel bad about Edge of Tomorrow, it is a film I keep forgetting came out this year because it was released in a very specific window of time around Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past, so it sort of slipped under the radar. But make no mistake I like this film, in fact, I REALLY liked. The best thing about this film was the way it surprised me with how fun and awesome it was. I mean the trailer for the film looked so shit and I seriously thought the film was gonna be crap from the way it was marketed, but man I was so wrong. This film’s main aspect was the repetition of going through the same day over and over, however it was handled in such a smart, action-packed and humourous way and with awesome performances from Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton, it was a good time.

8. Godzilla

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Now I can see a lot of people getting on my case about this choice as Godzilla wasn’t everyone’s favourite film and putting above the previous entries will probably annoy some people. But screw it, I don’t care. This film I saw three times in the cinema and had a great experience each time. This was the reboot I wanted and while it had its problems for sure, I will never be able to get over how good the film made me feel with the great visual effects, monster fights, soundtrack and cinematography.

7. How To Train Your Dragon 2

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I think that this is the first film on the list to give me the feels yo (for those who don’t know what that means, it means: A wave of emotions that sometimes cannot be adequately explained). How To Train Your Dragon 2 was a terrific sequel to the 2010 original which pretty much improved the first film in every way possible. The story was deeper, the visuals were detailed, the music was incredible and the characters were so wonderful. Overall the film just gave me an emotional feelings that I haven’t felt in an animated film for a while.

6. X-Men: Days of Future Past

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Ah X-Men: Day of Future Past, you lovely film you. This was the film I was really hoping would be good because it could have been a train wreck, but it ended up being one of my favourite experiences in the cinema. This film had some great action, a cool time travel story and an incredible cast of past and present characters. Bryan Singer not only continued the good string of X-Men films but he CORRECTED THE FRIGGING TIME AND ERASED X-MEN 3 AND X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE FROM EXISTENCE! BEST. THING. EVER. It really does annoy me that this film escaped the top 5, however I believe that the next films honestly just beat it out of the higher half of this list.

5. Nightcrawler

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Okay now we’re into the meaty half of the list and here we have a film that I had no expectation for and it ended up being on one of my favourite films of the year. Nightcrawler is one of the most impressive films I have seen in a while as it deals with a subject matter that is very close to life; news reporting. Through a determined yet unsettling main character Lou Bloom, we get to see the inner workings of how news is filmed and presented and the dodgy dealings that go on behind the scenes. The film is disturbing and makes you question the morals and ethics of that line of work and thanks to an epic performance from Jake Gyllenhaal, it was a film I had to watch twice.

4. Guardians of the Galaxy

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Oh yes, Guardians of the Friggin’ Galaxy! This was a film I was hyped for, but didn’t know whether it would turn out to be good or not because it was an unknown Marvel comic book property when compared to its previous films. However Marvel Studios proved that they can pretty make anything work as this was not only one of the best comic book films in recent history but also one of the best sci-fi films for quite some time. It also helped that the soundtrack was amazing, the cast were incredible and the humour was on-point throughout.

3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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This is a film that I think deserved that spot especially after seeing it the second time. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is such a great film, it takes the foundation of the first film and expands upon it in a great and unique way. This was the film where the apes were the focus, it was not only about Caesar but also about Koba too and their relationship. The film was very dark, emotional and tension-filled throughout with awesome performances and incredible visual effects.

2. Gone Girl

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Man, Gone Girl, what a great film. This was almost number one, however I really would have needed to see this film a second time to know if I loved it to the highest degree. That being said this was a film that loads of people were talking about before it was released and then I saw it, and then I believed in the hype. I don’t know how this film compared to book, however as a film I thought it was incredibly thought-provoking, full of tension and had so many unexpected twists and turns. Ben Affleck gave a great performance but I think it was Rosamund Pike that really surprised me with her incredible performance for sure.

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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It was a close call between this film and Gone Girl, however in the end I think I always knew that Captain America: The Winter Soldier would end up being my number one. When considering my first experience with the film, how many times I’ve seen it and how much fun I had with it, I just had to put it as my number one. Cap 2 pretty much outdone the original in every way possible and was the first film since The Avengers that’s truly changed the game for the Marvel Cinematic Universe with its story and genre-focused adventure. Add on top of that great characters, an amazing story, some of the most impressive action sequences and hand-to-hand combat that would make your mind explode, this was one of the best comic book films to come out, ever.

Conclusion

In the end 2014, its had its ups and downs but I do believe that its been a WAY better yeah than 2013. The good films were awesome and made me feel super happy and satisfied with my time at the cinema. With 2015 on the horizon I can’t wait for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Spectre, Jurassic World and Tomorrowland among some of the major films I’m interested in, I cannot wait to see how it turns out.

So how do you feel about my list and are any of your favourites on here? Also do you feel like some of these entries are wrong? And just in general what were you favourite films of 2014? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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Nightcrawler Review

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a fresh film review and today I’ll be talking about Nightcrawler. Now this was a film I had seen the trailers for but wasn’t initially interested in, I mean it looked interesting enough but I wasn’t sure what the film was about exactly and whether it would be my kind of film. But the other day I decided to check it out and now I’m ready to pass judgement.

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The film’s story can be described as the following:

“When Lou Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran.”

The way I explain the story would be in following sentence: this is one maniac’s journey to be the best at what he does and he’ll do whatever it takes to get there regardless of the moral, ethical or legal ramifications.

I feel like that is a good summary for the main character and his actions throughout this film. Nightcrawler is a great film and that is largely thanks to its story, it presents you with something that you are familiar with (TV journalism) and presents you with the darker side of how it gets prepared before going to air. The film moves at a decent pace, and as we follow Lou things only get murkier and more dangerous with a great level of tension, suspense and action, all of it making the film more and more enticing. Now while these practices I doubt are used in real life, to see it portrayed in this film does give you a few things to think about like:

  • How far will individuals go to get the biggest news story?
  • Where does the moral line lie and should it ever be crossed?
  • Are people really drawn to tragedy that much that it would be featured as main story of a news channel?
  • Is the world of journalism really that corrupt?

Obviously some of these questions only relate to the film, but it does leave you wondering about a few details here and there. The one thing I can say that could be considered a nitpick is the ending, the ending for this film really surprised me and I left thinking “Really? Damn, okay, well that was unexpected.” Some may not agree with the way it was handled but I thought I should just point that out.

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When it comes to the cast they were all pretty good, but it is the brilliant performance Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom that steals the show. Lou is a man with ambitions and determination, however he is also corrupt, pathological and has serious issues with anger and being denied anything that he wants. There is something wrong and yet hugely engaging about Lou, he is a man who lies, cheats and uses blackmail to get a better life which makes him terrible, but he is also smart, a quick leaner, adaptable and can fight himself out of any corner he gets pushed into. Gyllenhaal is one of the actors I’ve seen people give a lot of grief to, much like Mark Wahlberg, people have questioned Gyllenhaal’s acting abilities or just his credibility, I believe that before 2009, he was just alright actor, good but nothing special. But after I saw him in Brothers and Source Code I became a fan and in this film he’s pretty much excelled to his highest level yet. The guy can act very well and takes on the persona of this very questionable human being who you would not want to associate yourself with.

Rene Russo was also great as Nina, she played a character who basically knows the way TV news works and is always interested in the next big story, so when she comes into contact with Lou and they form an alliance, she gets what she wants and so does he, however as things progress Nina finds herself in a bit of a tight spot and it seems like Lou is the only one who can help her. In the end she wants success just as much as Lou does and because of her assertiveness and self-centered attitude she will bend the rules to have her way. Russo was really good, I liked seeing her in the role that allowed her to be versatile in terms of her emotions so she could and she was believable too. Riz Ahmed as Rick was pretty good, he’s Lou’s sidekick. He joins Lou’s line of work not really knowing too much about it and having to learn on the go while questioning certain things along the way. I think his character was there to say what most audience members were thinking and get responses from Lou that you couldn’t say yourself. On and Bill Paxton was awesome as Joe Loder, any time Paxton is around in a film you’re normally guaranteed to like him and this film is no exception. This character pretty much taps into Paxton’s more charismatic and humorous side and it is delightful to watch. And another element about the film I really liked was the soundtrack by James Newton Howard, this man has done a lot of good soundtracks and this film’s sound is great, I liked the use of instruments and how the score had this strange balance between optimism and despair throughout.

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In conclusion Nightcrawler is a great film and is far more interesting and engaging than I thought it would be. The story is unbelievable and explores a lot of morals and ethics in the business of television news reporting and Jake Gyllenhaal gives is best performance to date as a character who is both which may just surprise you in a few days.

Rating: 8.5/10

So have you seen Nightcrawler and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop a comment below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. 😀

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

 

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