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QUICK REVIEW: Hardcore Henry

Howdy ladies and gents, it feels like ages since I’ve been to the cinema, I swear being in full-time work has ruined my availability for watching films in the cinema. But since I was still partly awake after work I decided to check out Hardcore Henry. Now besides some rumblings I’d heard about the film online, I’d mainly known about this film via the coverage of it on Collider Movie Talk and knew especially after that I’d have to give the film a shot. So now that I’ve seen it it’s time to pass judgement! 😀

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I’m gonna call it now, this film is the best video game film ever. Period. While it has a lot to do with the way the film’s presented, the story also felt very rooted in the real of gaming with the way the certain characters were introduced, the character progression, certain story revelations and a final confrontation and everything. For people familiar with action/adventure games based in the first-person perspective they should feel right at home and will get the most enjoyment of this story. Beyond feeling like a video game story, Hardcore Henry‘s plot is just bananas. It starts out simply enough, but once the antagonist shows up and the action takes place, things just go from one to one hundred, and as the plot continued things just got stranger and more bizarre. This is a fictional tale with some interesting character-focused material at the center of things, but there’s certain major plot points towards the latter side of the film that I wasn’t too keen on and part of me felt like the film was a little longer than it needed to be, and the film could have worked better as a short film instead.

When it comes to the cast they did a good job in their roles. I really liked Sharlto Copley as Jimmy, he was crazy, magnetic and funny in this role and for me this the best performance he’s given since District 9 where he was able to act but also have fun with his role in the film too. Danila Kozlovsky was also really great as Akan, the film’s villain. I really enjoyed how eccentric, threatening and charismatic he was, and while I liked him a lot I would have liked to have seen more from him, and was it just me or did Akan remind anyone of the bad guy from Far Cry 4? Haley Bennett was beautiful and engaging as Estelle and finally Tim Roth’s appearance in this film was also awesome as well.

The presentation was pretty hardcore, for lack of better word. Visually the film was pretty intense and it was mainly because of the first-person point of view camera technique. The whole film is shot in first-person, like Henry had a GoPro camera on his head over the course of the entire film and depending on your views on found footage/first-person shooter video games you’ll either embrace it or get very sick. This film’s camera movements go from being calm to chaotic as hell with your view of events moving at crazy speeds all over the place. That being said the first-person camera movements were some of the most realistic I’ve seen in any film so far. Plus the use of action and violence just adds to the madness and fun nature of the film, and the CGI while it varied in its levels of realism, it was used very well where it was apparent. And the film score by definitely felt right, the adrenaline-fueled music definitely worked well in the film and the use of a certain famous song (which I won’t spoil) really added to this one really sweet action sequence as well.

In conclusion Hardcore Henry was a very interesting experience and while I had certain nitpicks with the story and some of the crazy camera movements, overall it is a film that I think everyone should see once. The action and ridiculous nature of the film is worth the price of admission for sure. 😀

Rating: 7.5/10 (Not perfect, but a bloody cool experience!)

So have you seen or are you going to see Hardcore Henry and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts be sure to drop them in the comment section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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SIMPLE REVIEW: Chappie

Howdy people of the internet, time for another SIMPLE REVIEW where I tell you my thoughts on a film in a more condensed manner then my standard reviews, and today I’ll be discussing Chappie. Now from the trailers I can’t say I was that excited for this, but in the weeks leading up to its release I started to get more intrigued. Then the reviews came out with the film being pretty much mixed to negative which didn’t give me much hope for the film, that being said I wanted to judge the film for myself, so I saw it and now I’m ready yo pass judgement.

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I’m going to say this straight up, Chappie, it is a good watch, but it has problems. What the film does get right is its approach to artificial intelligence. AI is something we’ve seen in countless films before, but I will always welcome more if the story and character aspects are handled correctly and this film gets that aspect right. From the way Chappie comes into the world and tries to make sense of it, to the human fear and frustration that comes from a sentient robot, all of those elements come into play wonderfully with some very beautiful, sad, humourous and satisfying moments. With all that being said the story had issues like:

  • Not introducing the main character until a fair way into the film
  • The pacing was pretty slow at times
  • The film’s length felt like it could have been cut
  • The film echoed Neill Blomkamp’s previous work like District 9 and Elysium, but not in a good way
  • I feel like the plot wasted a lot of potential with the characters and a change direction could have made it a lot better

But other than those issues the film was fine. The actors were pretty good, for the most part. Sharlto Copley as Chappie did a good job providing the voice and motion capture, since the role was primarily voiced-based, Copley did well to use his voice to get us to emotionally connect with his character. Dev Patel as Deon Wilson was also good, however  feel like his character could have been much stronger in personality and would have been better if he had a bigger part to play earlier on. Hugh Jackman did well as Vincent Moore, even though his character is an idiot and creates all forms of havoc just for the sake of revenge and a little attention. Oh and Sigourney Weaver and Jose Pablo Cantillo was fine as Michelle Bradley and Yankie. Now let’s talk about the other cast members. At first I didn’t recognize Ninja and Yolandi from Die Antwood, but when I did I knew I’d be in for a questionable experience and man they were terrible verging on cartoon levels of overacting, their appearance in this film was so unnecessary. The best part of the film was the visual presentation, the film looked great, the CGI was awesome and very realistic while the cinematography was handled nicely. And while the soundtrack by Hans Zimmer was good, the music selection was terrible with such terrible sounds from Die Antwood, yuck.

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Chappie was a very different film from what I anticipated, while some elements unfolded the way I expected, at the same time there were things took me completely by surprise. It was certainly better than some of the critics suggested, however I can not help but feel like this film could have been more if the story had gone in a different direction. I hope Neill Blomkamp can change things up in his next film because there is a sense of repetition starting to emerge.

Rating: 7/10

So have you seen Chappie and if so what did you think of it? Also how do you feel about Neill Blomkamp as a director, do you feel like he’s still got or do you think he’s starting to lose his touch? Whatever your thoughts be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next film review, laters! 😀

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

 

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Chappie Trailer #1 Review

Hello again people of the internet, time for another trailer review and today I will be talking about Chappie, the next big film from Neil Blomkamp. Now before seeing this trailer, I would say that my interest in seeing this film was mild at best. While I still love District 9, Elysium wasn’t really my cup of tea last summer and he’s fallen off of my radar of people to pay attention to in recent times. So how does this new trailer fare? Well read on and find out.

Check out the trailer below:

After looking at this trailer, my immediate thoughts? “I’m interested.”

While I’m not so keen on sitting through another sci-fi related film that is very much earthbound with robots, this one does look a little more interesting. Sure the concept isn’t overly original and you can make various comparisons to films which have had artificial intelligence versus humans, but I’m curious to see how this film makes use of its protagonist who just happens to be a robot. So what’s the premise here? Well from what I can gather from the trailer, Dev Patel’s character creates a robot for the soul purpose of living and that robot’s name is Chappie and from the scenes in the trailer it looks like he goes from being completely afraid of the world to fully embracing all of the good and bad that comes with it. I can’t say that I’m not curious to see another film about how an AI being comes to adapt to human life and then find its place in the world. From what I can see he goes from being as scared and curious as a child, to being mature as an adult driving cars and what not. And it seems like we’ll make friends and enemies along the way. It also looks like we’ll potentially be taken to Earth somewhere in the future where things look post-apocalyptic, again. Again don’t get me wrong, I love these kinds of settings, but it has been done a lot in films over the last 5 or so years, it does start to get a bit samey.

But this film is not just about the robot, there are human characters as well, obviously you have Dev Patel who looks like the robot’s mentor/father figure who really strives for Chappie to learn, adapt and make the most of himself. The rest of the people in the trailer look interesting enough especially the blond girl, but I’m not familiar with who they are as actors from a visual standpoint. The person who really has me intrigued is Hugh Jackman, it looks like he is taking on the role of antagonist again like it Prisoners (but in a much lighter capacity hopefully) and I’m okay with that. Jackman’s character seems to have a problem with AI being dangerous and taking over (which he and everyone in the human race should rightfully be afraid of), and will probably be the main man trying to take out Chappie, I’m curious to see how that turns out.

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So what do you think of the first trailer for Chappie? Are you down with what you see so far or is it not your kind of thing? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2014 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Maleficent Review

Hello there people of the internet, time for another film review and today’s review comes in the shape of Maleficent. Now this was a film I had initially had no intention of watching because of a lack of interest, but since I love the Maleficent character from the Disney films and Kingdom Hearts video games, I decided to see how this film turned out especially given its lengthy time in production. So how does the final product fare? Well read on and find out.

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Here’s the synopsis for the film:

“A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal – an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces a battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom – and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.”

The story is decent and has genuine moments of interest, drama and humour, but it comes across as a bit messy. The film has a whimsical Disney-like feel, but then switches to something partly reminiscent of Lord of the Rings and then switches to something like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. It’s tonally all over the place and lacks consistency. The main pull of the story is the focus on Maleficent’s backstory, however when things shift towards Aurora things are a lot less interesting and the way the film concludes feels very lackluster. Now I know the general gist of the Sleeping Beauty story and I know that with film adaptations these days things need to change, however this version of the story is very unsatisfying.

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As for the cast they are good, but one clearly stands out more so than the rest. Angelina Jolie as Maleficent is very good and commands the screen whenever she is around, her performance is clearly one she gives with gusto, feeling and fun. This version of Maleficent, like a lot of modern interpretations of classic villains, is portrayed as the good-guy-gone-bad type of villain where even at her worst there’s still goodness in her heart and while that angle works for some other characters, for the classic villain like this one I don’t like it. Make no mistake Jolie is great and is the best thing about this cast, however seeing a soft side to someone like Maleficent just doesn’t sit well with me.

Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora is fine, she smiles a lot and is very free-spirited, but is a bit bland and boring for me. Sharlto Copley as King Stefan is good, however compared to some of the other films I’ve seen him in this role comes across as a bit dull and lacking the charm and charisma. Sam Riley was nice and funny but underutilized as Diaval. Brenton Thwaites is just pointless and dull as Phillip and Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville as Knotgrass, Thistlewit and Flittle (the three a pixies) were charismatic, but ultimately annoying as hell.

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When it comes to the presentation it is pretty good for the most part, if somewhat unnecessary. The visual effects are colourful, detailed and the attention to detail on Maleficent powers and some of tree creatures are cool. That being said a lot of the CGI don’t really add much to the film, all the sweeping landscapes, weird and various creatures and action scenes felt like it window-dressing and material just to distract audience members. The soundtrack by James Newton Howard is okay, however it is ultimately dull and insignificant and that’s a darn shame considering the fact that I like a lot of this composers previous work.

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In conclusion Maleficent is a decent film and a lot better than I expected. However the film survives purely on Angelina Jolie’s performance, otherwise the story, other cast members and visual effects do little to elevate the film above being purely average. The film isn’t a total loss and it was partly engaging but in the end it joins the list of other classic fairy tale adaptations that didn’t need to be done.

Rating: 6/10

So what did you think of Maleficent? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 31, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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