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Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2: Constantine

Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #15 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. Now that we’ve reached the halfway point I wanted to review a film that has been on the list for while which is the 2005 film version of Constantine.

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This is one of those films I never knew much about upon its initial release, it wasn’t until my late teens that I found out what it was and how it was based on a comic book series. I’ve been meaning to watch this for years but just never had the time or interest to sit down and give it a watch. So with the TV show from last year being cancelled recently it feels like a convenient yet perfect time to talk about this film adaptation from 10 years ago.

The story can be summed up as the following:

“John Constantine is a cynic with the ability to perceive and communicate with half-angels and half-demons in their true form. He seeks salvation from eternal damnation in Hell for a suicide attempt in his youth. Constantine exorcises demons back to Hell in a bid to earn favor with Heaven but has become weary over time. With death looming, he helps a troubled police detective learn the truth about her sister’s death while simultaneously unraveling a much larger and darker plot.”

The story is alright but not very engaging. This kind of supernatural action stuff is right up my ally, I like films or TV shows that deal with life and death, demons and monsters and takes the basic principles of what the bible has taught about angels and devils and is able to create its own mythology. But this film just doesn’t present any of that in a good way, it’s interesting at times, but none of it feels very cool or informative, actually at times I didn’t know what was going on because there was little information given for why certain things were happening. But the main issue I had with this film was that it was boring, yes boring, offensively boring. The worst offense a film can commit is bordem and believe i was feeling it from the beginning. I didn’t care about John or Angela or the big deal with the Spear of Destiny because everything felt so dull, cryptic, monotone and there was no tension or suspense. Maybe it was just a bad day to watch a film, maybe it was because I was pretty tired, but this story did nothing for me.

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Now let’s talk about the cast. Keanu Reeves as John Constantine, wow what a bore. I do like Keanu Reeves but he was the wrong man to play Constantine, the character from the comics from what I’ve researched is a bit more douche, lively and charismatic and has a way with words, but Reeves’ version of the character has none of that. Beyond the comparison to the comics, Constantine is a moody guy with no personality, relatable traits or cool one-liners, he has nothing that makes me care about him so when he’s in danger or dying, I don’t care. Rachel Weisz was slighty better as Angela Dodson, though I wasn’t keen on her or what she was doing when looking into the death of her sister, the only thing that kept me watching was Weisz. She’s one of my favourite actresses and she made this character tolerable. Tilda Swinton as Gabriel was interesting, Swinton was good and she was probably the most redeeming aspect of this film. Shia LaBeouf is alright but severely underused as Chas Kramer, Pruitt Taylor Vince as Father Hennessy was decent but his character made me laugh more than anything else (definitely unintentionally) and Djimon Hounsou was interesting as Papa Midnite, but I would have liked to have seen more of him to get a sense of his abilities. Peter Stormare as Lucifer was decent but over the top and cartoonish, and he made me feel uncomfortable.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is nice with its action scenes and the visual effects used for the monsters and depiction of hell is cool, however the colour palette of this film feel very orange/sepia and washed out and I would have liked a more varied colour palatte and unique art direction given to creatures. As for the soundtrack by Klaus Badelt and Brian Tyler, it was good but nothing memorable.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well I’ve never read any of the source material so I can’t comment on it personally, but from what I’ve heard from fans of the source material it wasn’t very faithful at all, I guess that’s why we got the TV show that did much better despite getting cancelled.

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So to conclude Constantine is a film that just didn’t do anything for me. I know some that don’t think it was too bad and some that actually enjoy it, but for me the story felt long-winded and didn’t make much sense at all, the characters were semi decent and the action while good was nothing mind-blowing. I know I won’t be watching this again any time soon.

Rating: 5/10

That’s 15 reviews done, only 15 more to go. So have you seen Constantine and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Oz The Great And Powerful Review

I have been waiting for this film for a while now, it seems like a neat idea and I like the cast involved, but what I was truly interested in was director Sam Raimi and what kind of powers he could bring to this film. I loved what he did with Spider-Man 1 & 2, but I didn’t quite like Drag Me To Hell so I hoped for a decent film with Oz The Great And Powerful. And I can easily say that this film is good one and worth your time.

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So the story of this film involves Oscar Diggs, circus magician who doesn’t have the best work ethics and is always looking out for number one. One day by chances he’s whisked away from Kansas to Land of Oz, a fantastic and colourful world. Here he is mistaken for a powerful wizard that will bring order to the land, since there are riches to be won he goes along with it and along his travels he comes across three witches, Theodora, Evanora and Glinda who question his abilities. So Oscar along with his two new friends Finley and China Girl, must embark on a quest to find out the truth, and Oscar must use his magic skills and brains to sort things out before things get out of hand.

I thought the story was pretty nice, it was nicely paced and had a few twists and turns I didn’t expect. I liked Oscar’s story, he was easy to relate to and I liked the film’s focus on him and how interacted with the people of Oz. I also liked Sam Raimi’s direction on this film, you could tell it was his style with the grand scale of the film and the use of tension and jump scares too, also there were some nice verbal and visual references to The Wizard of Oz that I liked too. The story is certain places was a little lacking a predictable though considering the type of film it was I wasn’t too surprised.

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I think one of the key elements that make the film work is the characters. Let’s start with James Franco as Oscar Diggs, as said before he’s a magician who is only doing things for his own benefit. He comes across as a liar, a ladies man and has a way with words which messes with the emotions of the people around him. Though he was a bit of a jerk at first, over the course of the film we see him change from the start of the film to the end and finally become a creditable man. I thought Franco was great as the main character, while he was a bit cheesy at times he was charismatic and hilarious in the role. Then there’s Mila Kunis as Theodora, honestly while Ms. Kunis is remarkably pretty I wasn’t too fussed with her character due to the fact that I just didn’t feel like she connect to her role that well. She wasn’t terrible by any means, I just couldn’t get into her performance and later in the film it just gets a little to hammy for my liking.

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As for Rachel Weisz as Evanora she was pretty good, Ms. Weisz is one of the few women who can look beautiful forever, but putting that aside I enjoyed her role in the film too. Michelle Williams as Glinda the Good Witch was also good too, Williams brought a soft, kind and charming approach to her character that I liked. Then there was Zach Braff as the voice of Finley/Frank. Now I’m not really a fan of Zach Braff especially NOT in Scrubs (I don’t see the obsession with that bloody show), however as Finley we was great, funny and not annoying in the slightest. Also Joey King was simply wonderful as the voice of China Girl, she was dead adorable and I wasn’t sure if I was gonna be able to care about such a small character but King brought enough emotion in her voice for her to matter. There were also some nice contributions from Bill Cobbs, Bruce Campbell and Tony Cox as Knuck the Fanfare Player (he was the best!).

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The presentation of the film is pretty damn good. Visually the film is fabulous, the way in which the film is presented in black and white in a 4:3 aspect ratio before changing into the widescreen 16:9 ratio was a nice touch. There are some nice camera angles and interesting cinematography, also the CGI used was also very nice, it was wonderfully used to craft the world of Oz, though some of it is a little inconsistent and looks a bit questionable in some of the witch fights. and then there’s the soundtrack by the awesomeness that’s Danny Elfman, his compositions are slightly different from the usual style that he tends to use (I can usually recognize his sound immediately). His soundtrack for the film was nice and had a very grand and epic sound to it and I’m sure I heard some similarities to Elman’s work with Tim Burton like Edward Scissorhands or The Nightmare Before Christmas which Burton produced.

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In conclusion Oz The Great And Powerful is an interesting prequel to the classic film with enough of a story to justify its existence. While the film wasn’t as good as I’d hoped maybe due to my high expectations, but otherwise it’s a film with great performances from the cast and spectacular visuals. I’d say take a look at this film, it is the first film of 2013 which is actually worth a second viewing.

Rating: 7.5/10 (I recommend it!)

Well that’s my review of Oz The Great And Powerful, hopefully you enjoyed reading it! Whatever thoughts you have on the film drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Bourne Legacy Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another film review and today’s review will be of the fourth instalment in of the Bourne film series; The Bourne Legacy.

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Now before this film came out, I had massive reservations about it. I loved the first three Bourne films, though The Bourne Legacy was going to be the first Bourne film without Jason Bourne in it and that bugged me. But what bugged me even more was the fact that there was even another film in the series after the trilogy ended. But slowly the trailers started to gain my interest, so I went to see the film the other day and The Bourne Legacy wasn’t half bad at all, though nowhere near as good as the previous Bourne films, fact.

When it comes to story it goes a little something like this:

“When a plan is put into motion by a top-secret government program to wipe out all the genetically modified killers it created, one such operative must flee in order to save his life.”

The story overall really wasn’t all that strong, complex or as interesting as the previous films. What was so good about the previous Bourne films was the balance between great storytelling and action. With the previous Bourne films there was a great story to be told with the mystery of Jason Bourne’s character, he wanted answers and as the audience you wanted to see him get those answers. There was a lot drama, emotion, conspiracy, lies and deceit and loads of well-choreographed and smart action. In The Bourne Legacy you never feel properly invested in the story, at first it really drags and plods along and inserts segments from the previous films just to remind you that you’re watching a Bourne film. And while its nice that they tried tie this film with the others, I kind of found it distracting and I just wanted this film to tell its own story. Eventually the film actually picks up and starts to get interesting when Aaron Cross and Dr. Marta Shearing start to dominate the screen. The film is at it’s best when these two characters are involved, other than that everything is sort of average, nothing special.

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The cast of this film is actually pretty good, but their characters are pretty lame and forgettable bar Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz. Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross was pretty good, at first I was trying to see why I should like his character but once he get got interacting with other characters I saw why. He was likeable, funny and tough. He went through the film trying to get answers and beating guys up in stylish ways (basically doing what Matt Damon did before). Renner handled his combat scenes well, though I expected nothing less from Hawkeye from The Avengers! Though when you compare his story and situation to Jason Bourne, he doesn’t come close to the complex and dramatic tales that Matt Damon endured in the previous three films. Rachel Weisz as Dr. Marta Shearing was pretty good as well, seeing her character try to adjust to all of the crazy scenarios happening and have to put her trust in Aaron was interesting. Her and Renner had some great screen time together and while Weisz’s American accent was okay, throughout the film her British accent was breaking though and to be honest I would have prefered her natural accent. Everyone else in the film was good, but they weren’t really all that interesting. Every new face that entered the film just weren’t that interested. Most of them made the plot feel cluttered and unlike the other Bourne films where every character felt relevant or linked to the main story, in Legacy everyone who wasn’t Aaron or Marta just felt dull.

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When it comes to the presentation of the film it is pretty good. The action scenes and sequences are interesting, inventive and nicely choreographed, though none of them ever reach that fever-pitch that the previous Bourne films do, plus a lot of good fight scenes or chase sequences were in the trailers so when you watch the film there isn’t much left to surprise you. The soundtrack by James Newton Howard isn’t as good or as memorable as the previous soundtracks done by John Powell, while Howard borrows a few musical cues from the other films, his music here never quite has that dramatic or emotional sound.

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In conclusion The Bourne Legacy is a good film, but in my opinion it is nowhere near as intriguing, dramatic or cool as the original Bourne trilogy. I hate to keep comparing, but its hard when the other Bourne films were so good and then you come to this film hoping for more of the same only to be disappointed. That isn’t to say that this film isn’t without its merits; Jeremy Renner is a great leading man, the action and level of conspiracy is nice and this story, once it finds its feet is pretty interesting. Go out and watch The Bourne Legacy, it’s a nice summer film, just don’t expect anything as great as the Jason Bourne adventures.

Rating: 7

Well that’s been my review ladies and gentlemen, hopefully you enjoyed and drop me a comment, let me know what you thought of the film. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Films I’m Looking Forward to in 2012: The Bourne Legacy

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another instalment of Films I’m Looking Forward to in 2012 and today’s film may surprise some of you as it the upcoming fourth instalment in the Bourne film series; The Bourne Legacy.

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Now if you’re like me and you’ve seen The Bourne Trilogy with Matt Damon then you know how brilliant those films are and the significance that they hold. While the films don’t revolutionize the world of cinema or anything like that, The Bourne Trilogy is well-made, perfectly executed and one of the most consistent trilogies in recent years along with the Toy Story and The Lord of the Rings. This trilogy first started in 2002 with The Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a man found in a critical condition with no memory of his past. After he is nursed to health he starts to patch things together and then goes on a mission to find his past, also add into the mix that he’s being hunted by assassins and the involvement of the CIA and you have a lot on your plate. Luckily Jason Bourne is up for the challenge. The Bourne Identity is one of those wonderful films that impresses you from start to finish, it’s not one of those thriller type of movies just for the sake of it. This film has all the codes and conventions of a great thriller film, it’s smart, with a well though out and thought-provoking story, it’s also action-packed and has characters you can get invested in and care about. Doug Liman did a fine job as the director, Matt Damon was awesome in the film and it was well-received by critics and the public audience.

And with the success of the first film, the Bourne series continued with the next two titles in the series; The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), now both under the direction of Paul Greengrass. The next two Bourne films continued Jason Bourne story as he continued to search for answers to his past and dive deeper into the business with the CIA and Treadstone. Just like Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum continue to impress and go from strength to strength developing the characters and creating a very interesting story full of a web of conspiracy, lies and deceit. And besides some issues with the “shaky camera” work from certain scenes The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum were well-received, commercially successful and The Bourne Ultimatum even won three Academy Awards for Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing at the 80th Academy Awards. After this point the Bourne series had established itself as a pretty successful film trilogy.

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A solid trilogy… There was no need for a fourth film. Darn money-hungry film studios.

The films are partially based on a series of books by Robert Ludlum, and while I have never read the books personally I’ve heard they are pretty good. Now embarrassingly I didn’t get around to watching any of these films until around 2009 to 2010 I think, I’d always heard of them but had never really been interested. But after being in a media class and watching a number of thriller films I gave these films a watch and I fell in love with them. The current Bourne Trilogy is one of my favourite trilogies ever, it was perfect, consistent and fine the way it was. I could watch those films over and over for an eternity…

So imagine my frustration and to find that there was potentially going to be another film.

I am a firm believer that most film series should never go beyond a third film unless there really is a need for it like if the third film sucked or if there is much more story to divulge. The Bourne Trilogy was solid, there really wasn’t a need for another film. Sure there were still some questions left unanswered still leaving the door open for more material but I feel the series ended with enough closure. So in 2008 it was reported that Paul Greengrass was going to direct again and Matt Damon was going to play Jason Bourne again. Then in 2009 Greengrass pulled out as director and then in 2010 Damon pulled out stating that he wouldn’t make another Bourne film without Greengrass and also said that the next film for him wouldn’t be made for 5 years. At that point it seemed like Bourne was going to be left alone, well at least that’s what I had hoped. It was announced by the writer and new director Tony Gilroy that the new film would be going ahead under the name The Bourne Legacy. His words on the justification of this new film’s existence caught my eye though, check it out:

“This is not a reboot, it’s a whole new chapter. The easiest way to think of it is an expansion or a reveal. Jason Bourne will not be in this film, but he’s very much alive. What happened in the first three films is the trigger for The Bourne Legacy, and everyone who got into them will be rewarded for paying attention. I’m building a legend and an environment and a wider conspiracy. We’re going to show you the bigger picture, the bigger canvas… The world we’re making enhances and advances and invites Jason Bourne’s reappearance somewhere down the road.”

So basically this film would be building around the world that the first three films were set in? Hmmmm. While it was a smart way to stay connected to the previous films I was still wary. But I don’t think it was until 2011 when Jeremy Renner was announced as the new title character of the Bourne series. Right there and then I think many people on the internet became unhappy with the choice. I mean no offence to the guy, he’s a good actor and I know he can do action and thriller-based work from what I saw in The Town, but stepping into the world of Bourne just didn’t fit for a lot of us. I guess we were all too attached to Matt Damon. But then who wouldn’t be? Filming also started in 2011 and then Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton were cast and I was like “What? Really? Okay I’m a little more interested now.” Firstly Rachel Weisz is not only a great actress but she’s hot as hell and Edward Norton is great actor too full of talent, so if this film could attract them then this film might be worth checking out.

But my interest wasn’t properly caught until this short trailer came out in February:

I saw this trailer and I had to actually watch it twice, it was nicely stylized, had the same sort of tone from the previous films and it showcased Jeremy Renner basically doing what Matt Damon did before; basically going to get answers and beating guys up in stylish ways. But obviously in a totally different environment and under different circumstances. Renner certainly looked combat-ready and able to handle himself. However I can’t help but think that this film shouldn’t exist or that it won’t compare to the previous titles. I know that’s close-minded, but it’s only because of my opinions on film series’ being overstretched. I am really interested in The Bourne Legacy just to see what Jeremy Renner and crew do with this one, whether it’ll be compared the previous films and stand on its own or whether it’ll fail. I guess we’ll just have to wait until August to find out. Either way, this summer has just gotten hotter with another interesting summer movie.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Films, Media

 

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