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QUICK REVIEW: X-Men: Days of Future Past – Rogue Cut

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen of the world, its time for another film review and today I’m gonna be talking about X-Men: Days of Future Past – Rogue. Now I loved Days of Future Past last year, it was a wonderful experience in the cinema and when I heard about the extended cut that was going to be released with Rogue included, I was hyped! So I eventually got it on Blu-ray recently and now I’m ready to pass judgement! Oh and before I do this review, I won’t repeat myself by talking about the same aspects of the film, instead I’ll talk mainly about the differences. Minor spoilers to follow for people who haven’t seen Days of Future Past

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So the story goes something like this:

In the future the machines known as Sentinels have taken over the Earth and enslaved mutants and humans alike, and many have lost their lives fighting for justice. Now Professor X, Magneto and group of other mutants are the only survivors and the only way for them to save the future is to change the past. So Wolverine is sent back in time to the 1970’s to get the younger versions of Professor X and Magneto to band together and stop the Sentinel programme from coming into existence.

The plot for the film is essentially the same as the theatrical release, with one major change; the inclusion of Rogue. Now Rogue was absent from theatrical version of this film besides a quick cameo, but here in the future she has a more significant presence as her whereabouts are disclosed and she actually gets to contribute to the main mission. It was definitely nice to see Anna Paquin again as Rogue, however, I don’t feel like she added much to the film, more like her appearance offered an alternative take on some of the future timeline. What I did appreciate was the additional scenes in the future, while they were mainly scenes of additional dialogue, it really added to the plot, developed some of the characters a little more and felt like a positive inclusion. I loved the additional scenes with older Professor X and Magneto, the small yet important scenes with Bobby and Kitty and the extra scenes for the new mutants like Bishop, Sunspot, Blink and Warpath. In the past, the plot doesn’t change, rather there are a few variations on certain scenes or some additional scenes added, but these don’t really add anything to the plot and feel unnecessary. Even one additional scene with Beast and Mystique/Raven, as good as it is, again doesn’t really feel entirely needed.

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Beyond the changes, everything that you liked about the original version of the film is intact and awesome. I still love the action, drama and the performances from the cast involved. And on Blu-ray everything looks very sharp, clean and pretty. Some of my issues with the film haven’t been ironed out like the use of the 70’s Sentinels and the lack of really badass screen time for Storm still bothers me.

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In conclusion X-Men: Days of Future Past is a great alternative to the theatrical version and if it is your first experience of the film then it should be a good time regardless. That being said I believe that some of the changes and additions to this extended cut aren’t necessary or superior to the original and some of the additional scenes actually ruin the pacing of the film too. It really depends on how much you love the X-Men film universe and whether the new stuff adds or detracts for you personally, I’d say its good version, but not a better one.

Rating: 8/10

So what do you lot think of the X-Men: Days of Future Past? Have you seen it and if so which version do you prefer, the Rogue Cut or the theatrical version? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Jurassic World Review

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to another film review, today I give you my review of Jurassic World! Now anyone who’s followed this blog for a while will know I wasn’t terribly excited for this film when the first trailer came out, but over the last month or so I really started to get on board with it because of the recent footage and interviews with the direct Colin Trevorrow, and after watching all three previous Jurassic Park films on Blu-ray recently I was super hyped. So I saw the film yesterday and now I’m read to pass judgement.

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The story can be described as the following:

“Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor’s interest, which backfires horribly.”

So this is essentially another film about humans messing with things they don’t understand and paying the price in the long run, but it works. What I liked about this story is that it was something familiar and yet fresh. Seeing the trailers you get the general gist of what to expect but luckily there’s still a lot more to the story and I’m glad that there were certain choices made to keep things unexpected. That being said there were some plot points you can see coming miles off when it comes to the characters or dinosaurs especially if you’ve watched the previous JP films, though these elements don’t detract too much from the film. The people behind this film clearly know the source material and know what this film is. It is a straight up monster movie, the dinosaurs are the stars, however the human characters have to be relevant and this film fives a good explanation for why the humans have ended up in this kind of situation again, plus there’s something surmising revelations with certain characters that definitely gives this film more depth. I also appreciated that the film had the right balance between seriousness and humour, and didn’t ignore the tension, mystery and awe that comes from these kinds of events. There’s also a great amount of respect given to Jurassic Park as there are a lot of visual and verbal references for keen-eyed fans to enjoy as well. OH and one more thing I should mention, there’s a certain pint in this film that reminded me a lot of the Toho Godzilla films, I won’t go into it specifically, but anyone who’s watched an old school kaiju  film will know exactly what I’m talking about (hopefully haha).

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As for the cast they are all pretty good, but some do stick out more than others. Firstly Chris Pratt as Owen Grady was awesome, I was worried that Pratt would be a little goofy in this film because of the humour shown in some of the trailers, however his character is a very smart, serious and down-to-earth kind of guy who happens be an expert at training Velociraptors. Owen is such an awesome person and he’s exactly the kind of person that you need in situations like this, he’s logical but is also a risk-taker too. Bryce Dallas Howard also does a fantastic job as Claire Dearing, as the operations manager she has to oversee the whole park so she’s uptight, bossy and a little uncaring and she’s mainly all about the business side of things and only seems to care about profit. But when things gets complicated she has to adapt to things quickly to safe her nephews and the people of the island. Besides still being incredibly pretty, Howard is really good in this film and with Pratt they have some good screen time together. Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins do well as Zach  and Gray Mitchell, I would say I liked Simpkins more because his character captured right kind of reactions to this kind of theme park and was the more interesting of the two brothers.

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Also Vincent D’Onofrio as Vic Hoskins is great, his character is a bit of asshole but he’s likeable because of his cocky and chilled out personality. Irrfan Khan was very interesting and fun as Simon Masrani while Omar Sy as Barry was pretty cool too. I was so happy to see the return of B. D. Wong as Dr. Henry Wu, he was one of my favourite characters from the first film and I’m glad that this film fleshed out his character, gave him more history with the park and dinosaurs similar to the source material. Jake Johnson and Lauren Lapkus were nice as Lowery Cruthers and Vivian, they had some great moments together and individually, especially with Johnson, he made me laugh a lot which was surprising considering that I didn’t find him funny at all in Let’s Be Cops last summer.

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When it comes to the presentation it’s pretty damn good. Visually the film looks and feels like a JP film, the cinematography is great and the action set pieces are awesome, dynamic and very chaotic. As for the special effects they are on top form, most of the dinosaurs looks great and are really detailed, however sometimes the CGI did look a little blurry and some of the dinosaurs felt like they lacked a bit of weight to them. As a long-term fan of the series I’ve gotten used to the mixture of practical and digital effects when it comes to the dinosaurs, and while it was mainly done in the past due to technical limitations, when it was used effectively it looked brilliant. These days everything can be done with CGI and that’s all well and good when it’s at the highest quality possible, but there is something lost when there’s isn’t something physically there. I looked very carefully and I’m not sure there was any practical effects in this film, there were a few occasions where I couldn’t tell for sure, but I’m certain it mainly digital. As for the soundtrack, the brilliant Michael Giacchino steps in to do the score for this film and the man delivers a wonderful score full of mystery, power, tension and awe, and of course he incorporates the original John Williams theme in there to great effect too. I definitely got some Dawn of the Planet of the Apes vibes and that was great as well.

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In the end Jurassic World is a return to form for this franchise, it captures the nostalgic elements of the first film, but mixes things up in new and interesting ways. While the film definitely is not without its faults, it is a lot of fun and at the end of the day that’s all I needed it to be. If you’re a fan of the Jurassic Park series you should check this one out as soon as possible.

Rating: 8/10

So have you seen Jurassic World and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters!

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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X-Men: Days of Future Past Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen of the world, its time for another film review and today I’m gonna be talking about the next big film of the summer in the form of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Now the X-Men film series has had a bit of a rocky road but for the most part it has been good and in recent years it has been getting a bit of a resurgence and now we have Days of Future Past, a film that intends to bridge the gap between the X-Men films new and old. So has it succeed? Well read on and find out!

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So the story goes something like this:

In the future the world is pretty much in pieces, the machines known as Sentinels have taken over the Earth and enslaved mutants and humans alike, there is no happiness or hope, only pain, suffering and death. Many have lost their lives fighting for justice and now Professor X, Magneto and group of other mutants are the only survivors and the only way for them to save themselves is to change the past. So Wolverine is sent back in time to the 1970’s to get the younger versions of Professor X and Magneto to band together and stop the Sentinel programme from coming into existence.

The story in this film is very good, smart and entertaining throughout, sure there’s the occasional plot hole and some head-scratching elements that’ll leave you with some unanswered questions, but overall this film has its heart in the right place. The themes of changing fate, rewriting history, bonds of friendship and having hope in the face of adversity are on display in a wonderful and powerful way and I loved how things in the past were relevant to the future and vice versa. This film also doesn’t hope back on the level of loss and devastation caused by the Sentinels in the future, there is a lot of drama and emotion and you buy that this is not a world anyone wants to live in and I love how the stories of the past are just as interesting with characters being so different and having all of the politics involved with mutants and the dawn of the Sentinels through Trask Industries. But the best thing about this film is that it feels right, this film pretty much rectified a lot of the mistakes of this franchise and gives you something that feels good, fresh, fun and by the end of the film you feel like you’re in a happy place with yourself, well I know I did.

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As for the cast they are all on top form with some giving us some of their best performances to date. So let’s start with the young cast first. James McAvoy is still great as Charles Xavier, like in First Class you’re still seeing sides of him that you never knew existed and it only makes his character more layered and easier to relate to. In this film Xavier in the 70’s is a mess and for good reason, but it is seeing him deal with his pain and then journey back the place where he needs to be which is so rewarding. Michael Fassbender is still killing it as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, if you thought this guy was cool in the last film then wait til you see this one. This Magneto definitely has more of the McKellen side of the character in him in the way in which he acts, speaks and uses his powers and just like Xavier he’s in a very different place than his older self and seeing the emotions with him and choices he makes only makes him more badass. Jennifer Lawrence returns as Raven/Mystique and she too have never been better. This is more in line with the character we knew from the old films, but still with the emotional conflict and beauty we got from her in First Class. I liked how agile, cool and acrobatic she was, but more so than that, I liked how much of a central role she had in the film, it made me smile so much. I also really liked Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast, he was funny and whenever he was in blue mode he was awesome, but I also liked how he’s still there for Xavier and is really smart.

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Now let’s talk about the veterans. Firstly there’s Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine and do I really have to say how good he is in this film? Come on its Hugh Jackman, he’s automatically awesome. Again this film gives us fans what we love with all the smug, cool and humourous elements of the character, but rather than making the only character that matters, others are given screen time to develop, grow and have action moments in the spotlight, sure this guy is at the center of things a lot, but not as much as he has been before. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are still fantastic as old Professor X and Magneto, both of them have a screen presence and gravitas about their acting that is impossible to not enjoy, but beyond that you believe in their connection and there are some really emotional moments between them. Ellen Page gives her best performance as Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat as she is much smarter and serious in terms of her personality and use of her powers, she has a central role to this film and the way she is handled was carefully done. Seeing Shawn Ashmore as Iceman again brought joy to my heart as this was the Iceman I’ve wanted to see for so many years, he was cool and had some lovely moments. I was also glad to see my man Daniel Cudmore back as Peter Rasputin/Colossus, he was a joy to watch and it was nice to see him get some screen time even if he didn’t say much, and Halle Berry returns as Storm and while she doesn’t really do much beyond what we’ve seen in previous films, she is still has her moments to shine.

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Now let’s talk about the new people. Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask is very good, he is a man who is anticipating the future and wishes to keep the world save and in his mind he is the good guy for doing what he’s doing and creating the Sentinel programme. He’s smart, determined and kind of smug when it comes to his research and technology and Dinklage is just awesome. Evan Peters as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver was actually one of the best parts of the film, while the costume still looks a bit off, his performance and use of his character was very effective. Omar Sy as Bishop was really cool, I don’t really know anything about this character from the comics but he had a cool and badass screen presence and liked a lot of his action scenes. And finally Fan Bingbing stars as Clarice Ferguson/Blink and Booboo Stewart stars as James Proudstar/Warpath were lovely additions to this film universe, while there was a lot going on with other cast members I was happy that the got a decent amount of screen time too.

When it comes to the presentation it is very, very good. Visually the film is impressive, firstly you can also tell that this is a Bryan Singer film, the look, style of camera work and the use of visual effects is just like the stuff he did with the first two X-Men films, and I can tell you this guy knows his stuff. The action sequences are beautifully shot and framed, there are sequences both in the past and future that are worth talking about and they all look lovely. As for the soundtrack John Ottman returns to score the film and I can say it is nice to have him back, he gives this film the trademark film theme back which was a welcome return for me, however his soundtrack was just alright and doesn’t reach the epic and emotional heights of Henry Jackman’s work on First Class.

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In conclusion X-Men: Days of Future Past is a great comic book film, it takes the source material, adapts into a film format that bridges to worlds of X-Men films while also setting up for future X-Men films. While not everything works and some people cold have used more screen time, it is hard for me to criticise a film that gave me everything I could have wanted and then some. I left the cinema thinking to myself “I feel good about that film and I can’t wait for the sequel.” I highly recommend this film as it is X-Men in probably its finest hour. P.S. All I can say is thank god Bryan Singer didn’t mess this up, Mr. Singer you are alright again. 🙂

Rating: 8.5/10

So what do you lot think of the X-Men: Days of Future Past? Have you seen it or are you gonna watch it? Also if you’re a fan of the series did it meet your expectations or were left disappointed. Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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