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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 53 – Avengers: Infinity War Spoiler Discussion

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, in 2016 I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And the latest episode is a spoiler-heavy discussion on Avengers: Infinity War.

Anyway here’s the episode 53:

I’ve done already done my posted my original review, however, unlike most reviews I do there is a written and audio-based review. But I felt that because Infinity War would be a film I would be naturally excited about, I wanted to make my main review audio-related so that you all could understand my feelings towards the film in its purest form. And I also had so much fun recording with Drew that I felt like a written review would come across a bit redundant. However, that recording wasn’t the only episode recorded, as we also did a spoiler-based discussion talking about all of the major talking points from Thanos to the funniest scenes and character interactions to the character deaths and what the end of this film could mean for the MCU going forward.

Now I actually dropped this episode online last week, but because of timing issues I didn’t share it on my blog, plus I feel like a fortnight is plenty of time to wait before busting out the juicy spoilers haha. So yeah if you’re curious to hear the fun, interesting and fun thoughts on Infinity War from Drew and I then you’re in the right place. It was one of my favourite episodes of the podcast so far! 😀

As I mentioned before I’ll cover a different topic or review in each episode and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if they are fans of film discussion. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining in future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

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Posted by on May 11, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Avengers: Infinity War Spoiler-Free Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, how is it going? So yeah this review is up a little later than I had wanted but let’s just say I had a hella busy weekend, but putting that aside, I am finally here to share with you my thoughts on the latest Marvel Studios, Avengers: Infinity War! Now I did consider doing a written review, but I feel like my podcast would be able to better describe my feeling about the film in a more vivid and raw manner. So my review will be presented via my podcast Film Focus and features a returning guest, my homie Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews.

Anyway here’s the episode 52:

Now I will admit this review was largely unscripted and since we were trying to avoid spoilers, there is a fair amount of vagueness to our comments, that being said we do cover a good deal of material in the story, character and presentation departments highlighting the highs and lows of the film, and generally just gushing about how much we liked the film haha. It is a good listen and I hope that you’ll enjoy the episode because I know Drew and I had a lot of fun making the episode. 😀

If you haven’t checked out my podcast before you can find it here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

So have you seen Infinity War and if so what did you think of it? Did it meet or exceed your expectations? OR were you disappointed? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Avengers: Infinity War Trailer

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So I just got home from work around 40 or so minutes ago and just remembered the new trailer for Avengers: Infinity War was released a few hours ago, so I just watched it and wanted to share my brief thoughts on it

Check out the trailer below:

So my initial impressions were this, “Oh my god, I’m in love!” I don’t think my words will be able to do the trailer justice and while I don’t want to watch it too many times, I’ve already seen it twice and I’ve got goosebumps! I want to avoid spoilers, but at the same time, I REALLY want to watch it like 10 more times! All throughout the trailer you feel the weight and significance of what’s happening, not only is this all the heroes coming together to face a threat larger than anything that’s come before, but it is the culmination of 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and you can see it with the Marvel logo sequence, the number of characters, locations and glowing items, but also audio-wise with Nick Fury’s speech from the Avengers being spoke by him and few other heroes, and of course they put in the Alan Silvestri Avengers theme song in there as the icing on the cake in both a darker and positive light too. That was just gorgeous for me as a massive fan of that theme song! And Thanos, wow, I REALLY pray that he’s the villain we’ve all been hoping for, not another Hela or Ultron who look cool from the trailers, but only end up being decent/average. So far he looks and talks like a badass, he looks pretty intimidating, his words feel menacing and he’s just messing people up left right and center including Spider-Man and Iron Man.

But what about what happens in the trailer? Well there’s so much to mention so here are my highlights:

  • There’s a massive battle in Wakanda with Black Panther, his army, plus the Avengers and some aliens? Sweet!
  • Vision and Scarlet Witch look close which means their relationship is finally happening on-screen! YAAAY!
  • Vision’s probably screwed as he’s shouting as someone’s trying to get that infinity stone out of his head.
  • Spider-Man’s new suit looks much better in motion than it did near the end of Homecoming.
  • Peter Parker’s arm hair stands up, spidey sense confirmed!
  • How badass does Steve Rogers look now?
  • I’m curious to see how Banner ended up with Doctor Strange and Wong, and how Tony Stark ends up there too.
  • The sense of scale in this film is immense with all the big ships, and the way the cinematography frames some of those battle sequences.
  • That last scene with Thor meeting the Guardians in their ship, love it.
  • The overall tone feels dark and dire and I love it, very Age of Ultron, I really hope Marvel commit to this tone in the film and give us some damn good drama!

In the end, I’m stupidly excited, I’m not gonna lie, I think my experience of watching the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron may still be my favourite of the Marvel Studios films so far, but this trailer, this trailer had so much going on and carried a lot of significance. It is a delicious trailer full of so many moments of hype, excitement, curiosity, mystery and seriousness. If this film is half as good as I hope it’ll be, then I will frigging blow up in May 2018, no joke! 😛

So have you seen the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War trailer and if so what did you think of it? Are you hyped, curious or underwhelmed? Let me know in comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2017 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War (Spoiler-Free!)

Howdy people of the internet, so after waiting two painstakingly long days to get back to my laptop I’m here to give you my review of Captain America: Civil War. I’ve seen the film twice in IMAX (once at the midnight screening and again on the same afternoon) and I’ve had a lot of thoughts in my head about this film, and a lot of it is spoiler-based, but I’m going to try my hardest to be as vague and spoiler-free as possible. Alrighty then, let’s begin. 🙂

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So the story can be described as the following:

“After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team.”

What should be clarified straight away is that Civil War is definitely Captain America 3 first and foremost, as the story furthers what we learnt in The Winter Soldier, but it also acknowledges the larger world of the MCU by introducing most of the main heroes so far, but also adding new characters and stories in this film. What I loved more so than anything else was that there was drama, real drama and it was material that was raw, emotional and effective. This is easily the most layered and emotional film in the MCU to date dealing with the themes of freedom, accountability, revenge and friendship being handled in a realistic and captivating manner. Not only do get to see Captain America try his best to keep his best friend safe, and butt heads with Iron Man with their different ideologies, but also see our heroes weigh out the pros and cons of their actions, pick sides based on their beliefs and clash. It was not only interesting, it was also complicated morally and ethically too. You’re given both sides of the argument and luckily both sides are effective at what they’re trying to convey, you’ll probably be conflicted during and after the film ends as well. If I have any issues with the story it was probably just a few changes in some of the character motivations which would have elevated the film a little more, but I have to hand it to the writers and the Russo brothers for juggling so much material and making it work in a coherent and stylish manner.

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With the cast they were all brilliant, and while some stood out more than others, everyone has a reason to be in the film and have their moments to shine and some of the best moments in the film are just with characters talking and interacting. Firstly there’s Chris Evans who was brilliant as Steve Rogers/Captain America, he’s a faced with difficult choices, and yet found a way to be just as heroic, charismatic and true to his beliefs while also being a leader and friend to his allies. Robert Downey Jr. killed it as Tony Stark/Iron Man, just when I thought I’d seen everything from this character, we find out there’s still more to learn. In this film Stark was very still very humours, but also passionate, vulnerable and driven and while he seemed like the bad guy, at the same time you understood his viewpoint. Scarlett Johansson  was wonderful as Black Widow, it was cool to see her character more in line with The Winter Soldier version where she was intelligent,logical and showed off her skill set on and off of the battlefield. Sebastian Stan also did well as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier continuing to be an interesting and tragic character with good ties to Steve Rogers, and speaking of ties to Steve, Anthony Mackie also did a great job as The Falcon, their bond continued to grow and get tested with the appearance of Bucky and I liked how funny Falcon continues to be.

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Oh and Black Panther, dear god, he was brilliant! Chadwick Boseman was everything I wanted him to be and everything, as T’Challa/Black Panther he was intelligent, driven, honourable, tenacious and when he threw down, damn! He was insanely athletic, flexible and animal-like and I adored his treatment in this film. Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen as The Vision and Scarlet Witch were brilliant, I love how they had developed a grew since Age of Ultron, but found new hurdles and personal issues to fight through, Vision continued to have a lot of funny and thought-provoking dialogue, while Scarlet Witch had a good few light-hearted and dramatic moments that developed her character in great ways. Jeremy Renner looked like was having a great time as Hawkeye and I really enjoyed his scenes, the same could also be said for Paul Rudd and Don Cheadle as Ant-Man and War Machine, both of them bring back what you loved about their characters and have great moments in the film.

William Hurt’s performance as Thunderbolt Ross was also great, he’s changed a great deal since The Incredible Hulk, but I really enjoyed his role as the government official attempting to keep the Avengers in check. It was great to see more of Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter as she had more to do and had a good few memorable moments in the film, and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross was delightful and tough and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last from him, and the return of Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones while brief was really cool. Daniel Brühl as Baron Helmut Zemo was interesting, while he’s not utilized in a conventional way and won’t please fans of the comics, I thought his role was very smart, though I believe the film would have worked without him. And finally Tom Holland as Spider-Man, holy crap! Marvel Studios nailed it! If you’re like me you’ve seen Spidey done five times and he’s been done well in certain areas but not completely comic book accurate. But here he’s the most accurate Spider-Man the to date with right balance of action and humour. He’s introduced in a logical and natural way, and seeing Holland as Peter Parker inside and out of the suit was delightful as he felt so fresh different to the actors who’ve come before him.

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When it comes to the presentation it was pretty solid. Visually the film is very nice, the cinematography is great with some wonderfully shot action sequences, good editing and wonderful CGI. The fight scenes are some of the best in the MCU so far with really creative, acrobatic and versatile action for everyone involved whether they be superpowered or not, and there’s the much-talked about epic fight sequence in the airport which for me was one of the most beautiful fanboy moments I’ve ever seen. It was like a comic book come to life in the best way possible. However I will say for everything I liked, I will say that the shaky cam in some of the fight scenes was a little chaotic, and the visual effects in certain parts of the film felt a little lacking in detail and didn’t mesh as well with the live-action footage, but those are nitpicks for sure. As for the film score, Henry Jackman returns to compose and his score definitely feels in line with Winter Soldier, but was also a little more dramatic and heroic than before. However this score while it works within the film, it didn’t have any standout tracks or a theme that I can remember like some of Marvel’s previous films.

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In conclusion Captain America: Civil War was a lot of fun and solid follow-up to Winter Soldier. While it won’t change the game for the superhero genre, it did dive a little deeper into those thought-provoking and emotional territories that the MCU hadn’t fully embraced beforehand, and with some awesome action, an intriguing story and well-developed characters, this is an adventure that people won’t want to miss out on especially if you’re fans of these films and comics.

Rating: 8.5/10

So are you going to see Captain America: Civil War and if you’ve seen it what did you think of it? Please sound off your thoughts in the comments below ane I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Avengers: Age of Ultron Review (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, time to talk the film I’ve been waiting to see for AGES, this is big one, my most anticipated film of 2015, of course I’m talking about Avengers: Age of Ultron. If you’ve read this blog you know that: 1) I’m a big fan of Marvel and 2) That I REALLY loved The Avengers back in 2012, so the wait for this film has been super painful to endure, but luckily I got to see it yesterday in IMAX and I am ready to pass judgement. So please, sit back, chill out and read my non-spoiler review.

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So plot for this film can be summarised as the following:

“When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and The Avengers are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to the team to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for a global adventure.”

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Now I will say that this film is not without some problems and potential nitpicks, but the good totally outweighs the bad and it really is about personal preference. Your experience and enjoyment of this film will be dependent on you as the viewer and what you choose to take away from the film. With that being said I would like to talk about what I liked about the plot.

I thought the plot overall was very enjoyable. The film that deals with cause and effect, the corruption of artificial intelligence, tampering with unknown power, dealing with one’s insecurities and the bonds between people, and it is all handled in a very dark, twisted, humourous and human way. For those worrying that the film would be too dark, be at ease as there is plenty of humour in this film and balances out perfectly with the more serious aspects of the story too. In addition to that this film is full of fan service, it pretty much gives you more of the same but with new, exciting and different scenarios. There was a very global scale to this film as the Avengers travelled to different parts of the world together and individually to find answers, stop the bad guys and save the world, it just makes the stakes feel higher and let you know that this is not an isolated incident and involves the lives of many people across the world. Another thing I appreciated about the film was the use of other characters from previous films crossing over into this one, it is not only great for fans to see these characters acknowledged again beyond the solo films, but it also gives a better sense of cohesion and continuity in this cinematic universe. I won’t say who shows up but needless to say the use of certain characters is definitely humourous and satisfying. So is there anything I didn’t like, well yes there was. This film had a lot going on with the numerous plot lines taking place and while for he most part it was executed well, I feel like some of them could have been handled better or been cut out entirely, plus I do miss the streamlined stories of some of the previous MCU films too. And there is an argument to be made that this film rehashed a few elements from the last Avengers film too, but in the grand scheme of things this will be stuff that only fanboys and harsh critics will pick up on.

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As for the cast they are all very good and what I loved so much is that with the extra layers given to them thanks to the script, we get to see more sides to them, and learn more about their personalities and see them interact.

Let’s start with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, RDJ is still awesome and does well in this role. It’s like Joss Whedon found a way to bring back the funny and cocky aspects of the character, while also continuing to mature him and see how he feels responsible for the team and the world, and show how his insecurities bring about the dangers that follow. Chris Evans is great as Steve Rogers/Captain America, this time round Cap is more settled into present times, he’s focused and has that leader-like quality about him. It was nice to see his character evolve and grow a bit more, and when him and Tony butted heads, it was great. Evans and RDJ have such good on-screen chemistry. Chris Hemsworth as Thor was awesome, I’ve always loved this character and in this film they’ve given him his best material since the last Avengers film, here he is funny, awkward and totally badass. We discover more secrets about him, also see him battle in the most coolest way in the MCU so far, and we also see that he has great banter/competition with Tony Stark.

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Mark Ruffalo is once again really good as Bruce Banner/Hulk. Banner is still just as witty and fun as he was in the last film, but he is definitely a little more on edge with his powers and troubled by what his future holds, as not only part of the team but also with personal relationships. It is also interesting to see how the Hulk was humanised quite well in this film and really makes me curious as to how they will handle him in a future solo film. Scarlett Johansson is still great as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, besides being absurdly gorgeous, this woman finds new ways to kick ass and look like a force to be reckoned with. But beyond that we learn more about her past, and see a more different side to her in regards to her relationship with Banner/Hulk. Ruffalo and Johansson have really good chemistry together. And Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye was awesome! Anyone dissatisfied with the character’s treatment last time will be very happy with this film as Hawkeye gets a lot of love here as he’s more dominant in the action, story and humour, plus he has some of my favourite lines in the whole film.

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Now let’s talk about the new villain, Ultron played by James Spader. I thought Ultron was going to be super serious, but this film really did flesh him out and gave him more personality and human traits, it made him a little easier to relate to but also understand how his mind works. I loved how he could be totally calm and collected one moment and then freak out in another. Spader did quite well with this role and gave us the most memorable villain in the MCU since Loki. Then there’s the twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver played by Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Johnson. I thought they were both really good, adding new flavours to the MCU and creating interesting situations for the Avengers to deal with. I bought the sibling-like nature and they worked well together and individually. Paul Bettany as  J.A.R.V.I.S. and Vision was really good. Bettany does well to transition from a computer AI program to a fleshed out humanoid character, it gives his performance some variation and I really liked how Vision was handled, the dude was really intriguing and cool. Olsen was wonderful as this creepy yet vulnerable individual with strange powers and Johnson was totally cool, cocky and aggressive as the overly protective sibling. I liked the depiction of their powers as they looked cool and lead to some really great action scenes. Samuel L. Jackson return as Nick Fury and does a nice job and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill is just a good as I remember her being too. Oh and Andy Serkis was totally awesome as Ulysses Klaue offering a humourous, smart and devious supporting role. Thomas Kretschmann as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker was pretty good but I wish he had been used a lot more and lastly Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes was awesome, I liked his interaction with the other team members and was glad to see that he had some good screen time.

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When it comes to the presentation it is pretty damn impressive. Visually this film has some of the best action to come of the MCU with awesome fight sequences, good CGI and comic book referenced material too. Whether it is the Avengers team fighting together or seeing Captain America go up against Ultron or seeing Quicksilver running around messing stuff up, it is all so cool and it is pure fan service for the fans as there are a good few moments that made me smile with glee thinking, “Yes, this is the Avengers I wanted to see in live action.” I will say that sometimes the action does get a bit too chaotic and some of the action is hard to follow either because it moves too fast or is zoomed in too close, but that’s nitpicking. And the soundtrack handled by Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman is awesome, I’m not sure if it quite outdoes the previous soundtrack by Alan Silvestri, but it does include parts of the themes from previous MCU films and has plenty of powerful, heroic and beautiful moments, plus they kept the Avengers theme intact and it still sounds gorgeous.

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In conclusion is Avengers: Age of Ultron pretty damn cool. While there are a few stumbles a long the way and there is some magic from the first film that arguably could not be recaptured this time round, make no mistake, this film gives fans what they want while delivering new and intriguing mysteries to be discovered. And at the end of the day the film is fun and when a film like this really entertains me there’s not much to complain about. 🙂

Rating: 8.5/10

So what did you think of Avengers: Age of Ultron? Do you feel this sequel leaves up to the hype or not? Also how do you think it more compares to not only the prequel but the other MCU films? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Paul Bettany to Play The Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Seems like the Marvel casting news just isn’t gonna stop any time soon as we have another bit of news circling around the Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron. The following info comes from the every reliable superherohype:

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“It looks like Paul Bettany might very well have an expanded presence in Joss Whedon’s upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. England’s The Daily Mail first reported and then Variety quickly confirmed that the actor will play android team member The Vision in the May 1, 2015 release.

Bettany is no stranger to Marvel Studios films. He has provided the voice of Tony Stark’s computer system, J.A.R.V.I.S. in all three Iron Man films as well as the original Marvel’s The Avengers. It seems likely that, as has long been speculated by fans, the sequel will see Stark’s program evolve into a fully-fledged A.I. android. Bettany was reportedly spotted at Shepperton Studios for a costume test.

The Vision has been a major part of the team since his debut in “The Avengers” #57 all the way back in 1968. In the comics, the character falls in love with and marries Scarlet Witch, who will be played in the sequel by Elizabeth Olsen.

In addition to quite a few returning Avengers, Age of Ultron will also feature James Spader as the title villain, Thomas Kretschmann as Baron Strucker and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Scarlet Witch’s brother, Quicksilver.”

Alright, I’m down with this. So the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S. is now going to be the Vision? Yeah sign me up. For the longest time fans have speculated about how Iron Man’s technology would tie into the next Avengers film and this finally gives those fans some tiny ideas of how that comes to pass. It’ll be interesting to see Bettany go from being just a voice to a physical presence along with the rest of the crew returning along with the new members too.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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