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AUDIO REVIEW: Blade Runner 2049

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, how’s it going? Anyway today I am here to bring you my thoughts on Blade Runner 2049, however, unlike most of my reviews that are written on this blog, I decided to do an audio via my podcast, Film Focus on Soundcloud as it felt better and easier to do. Anyway check out the review below:

So that’s my review people, hopefully, you found it informative and interesting to listen, and I hope my voice wasn’t too grating on your ears haha. While I don’t think I will be phasing out the written reviews altogether, at the same time there are certain times when doing a recorded review allows me to creatively get my thoughts about a film across better than when I’m sat in front of my laptop trying to form sentences and paragraphs. But we’ll see, hopefully, you’ll be around to check out later reviews via my podcast.

Also, what did you think of Blade Runner 2049? Was it the sequel that you hoped for or was it a disappointment? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below, until next time peeps, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: La La Land

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So La La Land, the film that everyone has been buzzing about since critics it got released recently during in America and while the film isn’t out here in the UK officially until Friday I think, I got to see it at a Cineworld unlimited screening last night and I’m gonna tell you right now, I really liked this film and I’m gonna tell you why in this review. 🙂

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The story can be described as the following:

“This film tells the story of Mia and Sebastian, an aspiring actress and a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts, and so this musical explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.”

I really enjoyed this story, it had a really classic feel to it in its tone, narrative and when some critics say that this film is a love letter to old Hollywood films you can really feel it while you’re watching. The story had a lot of familiar elements and some parts you can predict, but it was handled with style, passion and care so when the drama, love, joy and etc go down its engaging and endearing. But what I didn’t expect was how deep, emotional and thought-provoking the film would be, this film covers a lot of themes when it comes to success and failure, compromise, having aspirations, following your dreams, and the trials and tribulations that can come with breaking into music and film industry. It was realistic and I think will not only resonate with people who are dreamers but also make people thinking about their own career paths especially if you’re a creative individual trying to get into the media industry.

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The cast was wonderful, but the main people you’ll remember is Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone who killed it! Firstly there’s Emma Stone as Mia Dolan, a girl who has great love for the film industry and had dreams of becoming a famous actress, and what I loved about her was playfulness and determination, and Stone was incredible, easily my favourite performance from her so far. Ryan Gosling was great as Sebastian Wilder, I loved his admiration for jazz and the fact that he continued to follow his dreams in spite of set backs and compromises he’s had to make, and Gosling is one of those guys I’m liking more and more with every film I see him in. Stone and Gosling had great chemistry and their characters’ love story was beautiful, engaging and felt natural. John Legend also did well as Keith, as did Rosemarie DeWitt as Laura Wilder and J. K. Simmons’ contribution as Bill was small yet unforgettable and hilarious.

The presentation was off the charts, visually and musically the film was stunning. Visually this film does some really impressive, surprising and fascinating work with the cinematography, colour scheme, lighting, set design and use of visual effects. I loved the amount of continuous shots this film was able to pull off, it looked like an insane amount of tracking shots. Oh and that dance choreography, LOVED IT! I’m a massive fan of dance choreography and this film had some pretty cool footwork especially in the extravagant dance numbers with numerous people all moving at the same time. Oh and the music was so nice, I wasn’t sure if I would like it considering the trailers, but it not only worked for the film, but it was pretty catchy, diverse and had a lot of jazz influences which I really appreciated. Justin Hurwitz’s score was magical, dramatic and infectious.

In conclusion La La Land made me think, made me feel and left a strong impression me long after I left the cinema. I had such a good time with this film and I highly recommend it, and that means a lot coming from a man who isn’t keen on musicals to begin with.

So have you seen La La Land and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to drop me your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review 😀

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Warcraft

Howdy people, it is review time again and today I’m going to be talking about Warcraft! Now I have to say my excitement for this film has been in the ‘cautiously optimistic’ department as the trailers were decent, but did not get me super hyped like other 2016 films that have come out so far, and with the mixed reception it’s gotten recently I really was worried. But since I saw it a few hours ago I can share my thoughts here with you lovely people. 🙂

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So the story can be described as the following:

“The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home”

The story of Warcraft, when you strip away the spectacle and law, is a simple one. It is about two worlds colliding and two strong individuals on both sides trying to do their best to sort out the larger problem without too much chaos and bloodshed. This is a familiar tale, and for the most part it worked, but there were some issues. Firstly, Warcraft has the same issue that John Carter and Green Lantern had in the sense that this film has a lot of law and mythology to set up, and a lot of the time feeds you tons of information but there isn’t enough time to digest and understand it. And for me this lead to me forgetting certain character names and locations, and even though there was narration to explain some details, I felt like just a bit more exposition would have helped the narrative. Secondly the pacing was a little off, like I said before there’s a lot of info to take in, and it didn’t help that the film moved from scene to scene so quickly and didn’t give you enough time to settle into the world especially in the beginning, but then later on some moments went on a little too long. And finally some of the character motivations and arcs felt lacking in depth and needed a bit more meat to them in order for us to connect them. That being said, when the story worked there was a lot of interesting moments full of drama, tension and good world-building.

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In terms of the cast they were good, but there were some that stood out more than others. Travis Fimmel did well as Sir Anduin Lothar, even though he didn’t differentiate himself much from what I’ve seen in Vikings. He was charming and very chilled out and was one of the most engaging human characters. Ben Schnetzer as Khadgar was initially kind of annoying and silly, but he eventually grew on me. Ben Foster played one of the more intriguing characters as Medivh and it was interesting to see how his arc played out in the film, while Dominic Cooper was valiant and strong as King Llane Wrynn, and Ruth Negga was good but underutilized as Lady Taria Wrynn. Paula Patton was fine as Garona, but I felt like she needed a bit more personality and development. Toby Kebbell did really well as Durotan, he had the strongest and most engaging arc in the film being courageous yet conflicted. Robert Kazinsky was also pretty good as Orgrim Doomhammer and Daniel Wu was pretty solid as Gul’dan.

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When it comes to the presentation the film was solid. Visually it was nice, the CGI was handled well especially with the cinematic shots of the  landscape and the detail in the shots orc models as well. Otherwise the visual effects varied between looking good to not bad with some dips in detail during some of the action sequences. And the film score by Ramin Djawadi certainly had its moments where it elevated the action on-screen, however it wasn’t as impactful as some of Djawadi’s previous material.

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In conclusion Warcraft wasn’t bad, it was an interesting film with a great fantasy world, nice mythology and cool action sequences. However the characters and story weren’t nearly as engaging as I had hoped. I would have liked something in the vain of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy for this film, and I know that LOTR was based on a very strong book series as opposed to the Warcraft game series, but with the right creative team you can make anything work, and this film was handled as well as it could have been with Duncan Jones at the helm, but the story material wasn’t strong enough.

Rating: 6.5/10

So have you seen Warcraft and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: The Nice Guys

Howdy people, got a new review for ya and last night I finally get to talk about The Nice Guys, woo! 🙂 I’m not sure if I’d mentioned this in a previous blog post, but this film was/should have been in my top 11 most anticipated films of 2016 and after seeing all the trailers my hype levels were super high. So how’d the film turn out? Well read on and find out! 😀

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So the story can be described as the following:

“A mismatched pair of private eyes investigate the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles.”

So the story for this film was very interesting. This is a tale of humour, death and conspiracy and it comes together in a very Shane Black manner. While anyone can watch this film, it definitely works better for fans of Black’s work, and for those not satisfied with Iron Man 3 and wanted a little more Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, this film was certainly more in line with the latter with a tone, script and a type of humour that was swift, mature, blunt and continuous. I am not going to lie, it took a little while to get into this story, and that’s not to say that it wasn’t engaging but I thought the story would hook me in a different way. Also some of the humour wasn’t as funny as I’d hoped, maybe it was the timing or the fact that a lot of the best gags were in the trailers, but that’s just from what I observed. However there’s a point when the story shifts gears and got even crazier and more ridiculous than before, and the final act literally just had me laughing and enjoying myself so much!

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In terms of the cast they were really good. This kind of film successes of fails on the performance of the leads and luckily Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling do well as enforcer Jackson Healy and private detective Holland March. These two were an unlikely pairing with Crowe being the no-nonsense tough guy and the Gosling being the humourous, silly and hyperactive guy. Individually they were cool and well-rounded, but it was when they got together when the magic happened with Healy and March having the best comedic pairing I’ve seen in a while due to their different personalities and approaches to work. A nice surprise came in the form of Angourie Rice as Holly March who was so delightful, smart and resource, Rice had a great screen presence and held her own well against the other main actors. Matt Bomer was great as John Boy, I also liked Margaret Qualley as Amelia Kutner, Keith David’s appearance as Older Guy was very welcome and memorable and finally Kim Basinger had a very interesting role as Judith Kutner. Oh and I also really enjoyed the visual style of the film and the 70’s influenced soundtrack crafted by David Buckley and John Ottman.

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In conclusion The Nice Guys was a good film. It was a lot of fun to watch as the story unfolded and the madness escalated, and while the humour and story was a little uneven for my liking, when this film hits, it hits hard and I would recommend it especially for those who are fans of Shane Black’s style of films.

Rating: 7.5/10

So have you seen The Nice Guys and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: The Big Short

Howdy people of the internet, time for another review and today I’ll be talking about The Big Short. This film has been talked about lot since it’s release last year and even more so once the award nominations started heading their way too, so after all that hype I really was expecting something beyond exceptional. So I saw it not too long ago and now I’m gonna pass judgement.

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The story for this film can be described as the following:

“Four denizens in the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight.”

Now I recall the days of the big financial crisis during that period and seeing all of the madness unfold on TV news, however, I never really knew how bad the situation was and what extent of it was due to human error and/or corruption within the banks and insurance companies. Luckily this film covers the subject matter in the most detailed way possible. Besides the energetic and stylish scene transitions and breaking of the fourth wall, this film covers the financial crisis vividly through conversations whether they were one-on-one, in meetings or piece-to-camera moments, all of which helped you understand what was going on with the housing, loans and companies, how there was minor problems emerging in system and why things would eventually turn out the way they did. Adam McKay and the writers did a great job of illustrating just how deep and dangerous this whole situation was and showed that for all those who gained, there were many more who lost, and the drama got pretty intense and was highlighted further because these events really happened. That being said, I did find the film a little hard to follow at times, because this was a very complex and layered subject matter the film used a lot of technical terms and abbreviations to give you context to what was happening with the big companies and the loans, and while there were moments where things were broken down to simple terms, at the same time there was so much jargon and in-depth talking that I literally had a bit of mind implosion, plus since I’ve never technically owned a house I don’t think I related to this as well as my dad (who was actually giving me some context for some of the scenes). And finally the humour, some of it worked and I did smile and chuckle, but other times I wasn’t laughing as much as everyone else.

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As for the cast, the performances were solid all around and everyone did really well, though some stood out more than others. Firstly there was Christian Bale as Dr. Michael Burry, this was a very different kind of role than I was used to seeing Bale in, but he did really well. Ryan Gosling supplied most of the charisma and energy as Jared Vennett, and while his character wasn’t too likeable, he was incredibly smart, cunning and fun to watch because Gosling was just magnetic whenever he was on-screen. And Brad Pitt (who looked a lot like a thinner Russell Crowe for some reason) was very intriguing as Ben Rickert. But it was Steve Carell as Mark Baum who was the most interesting of the four main cast members. This character was blunt, tenacious, aggressive and like the other characters, pretty smart, but he also had the most interesting and developed backstory and when things got emotional for his character you felt it. I also really enjoyed John Magaro and Finn Wittrock as Charlie Geller and Jamie Shipley as their characters really brought another interesting, funny and different perspective to this situation. Oh and finally I liked the performances from Adepero Oduye and Marisa Tomei as Kathy Tao and Cynthia Baum, I wish I could have seen more of them.

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In the end The Big Short was a very insightful and dramatic film that had an interesting story to tell and fabulous performances from everyone involved, that being said I’m not sure it clicked with me in the way that I wanted it to and I’m not sure if I’d want to watch it again.

So have you seen The Big Short and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Gangster Squad Review

Alrighty then, Gangster Squad, my first proper 2013 film that I’ve seen in the cinema. I had hoped that this film would be worth my time and not just another one of those hyped up thriller films that actually suck. Luckily this film was pretty good, but I have indeed seen better before.

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So the story takes place during the 1940s and ’50s in Los Angeles where gangster, Mickey Cohen owns the streets of the city with his ruthless gang members. However Sergeant John O’Mara along with some other LAPD officers and detectives form a group called the “Gangster Squad unit” who attempt to take back LA from Mickey Cohen and make the streets safe once more. I think the story for this film had a lot of potential because of its subject matter and the fact that it actually happened in real life, however I feel like the story never really reached that peak point. Also I never really found myself emotionally invested in the film at all which kind of sucked for me because most thrillers can engage me pretty well. The writing in this film was a little weak and predictable with me being able to actually guess what certain characters were going to say before they said it.

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While the story didn’t hold up as well as I’d hoped, the characters of Gangster Squad were a lot better. Josh Brolin as Sergeant John O’Mara was cool. I liked his no-nonsense approach to things and how he was determined to get his work done, though I found it funny how much I kept comparing him to Tommy Lee Jones throughout the film. Ryan Gosling as Sergeant Jerry Wooters was nice character and I liked his easy-going style. I think that the trailers lead me to believe that he was going to be the leader of the squad more so than O’Mara, but anyway he was good in the film though I wish his character had been fleshed out a bit more. Emma Stone as Grace Faraday was nice though severely underused. Stone looked immaculate in all of beautiful dresses and while her character has relevance to the story Grace is simply there just to get with Jerry and potentially get in trouble Cohen.

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Also Nick Nolte as Chief Bill Parker was good too though I had hoped to see more of him really. Easily the best character was Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen. Mickey is a ruthless sadist who will grow his empire at any cost. Another mention goes out to Anthony Mackie as Detective Coleman Harris. I was paying extra attention to him due to the fact that he’ll be The Falcon in Captain America 2, so I wanted to see what skills he had and I thought he was pretty cool and liked the scenes he was in; he was an efficient and essential member of the group. Overall besides Sean Penn being the best character in the film, I also liked the “Gangster Squad” as a whole all of them seemed to gel well together and when they’re acting as a unit creating chaos in the streets and being people up I liked it a lot.

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The presentation of the film was alright both in the visual and audio department. The look of the film was nice and some of the camera shots were cool and the soundtrack by Steve Jablonsky is also good but nothing overly memorable.

So in conclusion Gangster Squad is good film, I liked the story but I wasn’t overly invested in it. I was hoping for something a little more in line with Boardwalk Empire or maybe even some like Lawless. I mainly liked this film for the characters involved and the good action scenes. I would still recommend Gangster Squad though, it is a good watch and I was entertained for the most part.

Rating: 7/10

Well there’s my review people, what did you think of the film? Drop me a comment and let me know! Until the next time, later on. 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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