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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 14 – The 2016 Summer Movie Season – Has It Been A Disappointment?

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, back in April I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well. I was actually meant to make this post available last week but was super busy with work, but hey better late then never right?

Anyway here’s the 14th episode:

Even though the summer movie session is not completely over, but most if not all of the heavy-hitters have come out and since there’s been some discussion online about the quality of this year’s summer of films I thought it’d make for a good episode on the podcast. So in this episode I cover all of the film’s I’ve seen and talk about whether this year has been a disappointment for summer films.

As I said before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic 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 you can. Also you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2016 in Films, Media

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 11 – Star Trek Beyond Review

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Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, not too long ago I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus! I know I’m a little late with the blog post on the Star Trek Beyond episode since I did it last week, but hey gotta keep up appearances right?

Anyway here’s the 11th episode:

Even though I did a written review last week, as usual I have a little more to say in the podcast, plus verbalising my thoughts is normally the best way to get a proper understanding of how I feel about a film. The next review on the podcast should be Jason Bourne that will probably be out on tomorrow as I’ll be going to see it tonight. 🙂

As I said before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic 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 you can. Also you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2016 in Films, Media

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Star Trek Beyond (Spoiler-Free)

Howdy ladies and gents how’s it going? Today I’m here to finally review Star Trek Beyond, a film that I’ve been cautiously optimistic for a while now. So yesterday I went to Cineworld for a film triple to check out Star Trek, Into Darkness and Beyond, and I LOVED having the chance to see the 2009 film in the cinema again, and it was also rewatch Into Darkness for the first time since 2013. However it was so annoying how the projectionist messed up the image twice for around 10 or so minutes on the first two films that totally ruined my immersion, but luckily Beyond‘s screening was fine. Now I loved the first film and Into Darkness I liked at the time, but have since become a less interested in it, but now its time to pass judgement on Beyond! 😀

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So the story can be described as the following:

“The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.”

I thought story was interesting was pretty good because it felt smaller in scale but still had all the right amount of importance, drama, adventure and action like that this series has become known for. This film was a lot more thought-provoking, intimate and character-driven than before. I also appreciated how this film really got into explored the life and times of the Enterprise crew and got into the psyche of the main characters and fleshed out their personal lives too. And while there were certain elements that I predicted, it was still a fairly entertaining story that felt very in line with the 60’s Star Trek TV show and had some nice references to the past for long-term fans.

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The cast all did an admirable job in their roles. Chris Pine was great as Captain James T. Kirk, I appreciated how he’d matured from the previous films and started to feel the weight of being the captain of his ship. Equally good was Zachary Quinto as Spock, it was interesting to see him such a different mindset and in a vulnerable state, but luckily he still provides some really great humour through his Vulcan demeanour.  It was great to see Karl Urban again as Bones as he felt like the voice of reason and had some of the best humour, seeing Simon Pegg back as Scotty was great as he some really funny and important moments. I also liked how Zoe Saldana had more to do in this film as Nyota Uhura, John Cho was also really good as Sulu, and finally out the returning crew, Anton Yelchin as Chekov was delightful and had some cool moments, and it was both great and saddening to see this film after Yelchin’s death. This film also continued to illustrate the wonderful friendship and banter between the main Enterprise crew especially with Kirk’s connection to Spock and Bone. As for the new cast members, Idris Elba as Krall was fairly generic and uninteresting at first, but by the end of the film he became a more interesting character with extra layers of depth, and Sofia Boutella did well as Jaylah, for a character I didn’t expect to like she had a lot of great comedic and badass action moments, plus her motivation and interaction with Kirk’s crew was great.

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When it comes to the presentation was pretty solid. Visually the film was large in scale with some good cinematography, nice and thrilling action sequences, and cool hand-to-hand combat. Though some of the CGI looked a little lacking in detail though I’m not sure if that was because of the 3D glasses). And finally Michael Giacchino returns for the film score, and brings such a bombastic and charismatic sound that was consistent with the previous films, though I believe this soundtrack lacked the intensity and style that I loved his work with the first and second film.

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In conclusion Star Trek Beyond was a pretty good film and was much better than I expected, and while it may not be my favourite in this new set of Star Trek films, it was certainly a good session. I recommend this for sure. 🙂

So are you going to see Star Trek Beyond and if have you seen it what did you think of it? Also what’s your favourite film out this new trilogy so far?

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Films To Look Out For In 2016 Part 2

Howdy people of the interweb and welcome to Films to look out for in 2016! This is my preview of upcoming films that I believe deserve your attention. In PART 1 I covered films from January to March, and in this post I’ll be covering April to July.

Now before we begin I have two main things I need yo point out:

  1. Obviously a lot films come out, so if they’re not on my list it’s either because I don’t know about them or I don’t care…
  2. 2015 films getting their UK releases this year don’t count! So there. 😛

Okay then, let’s start 😀

Elvis & Nixon

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Release Date: April 15th (USA), April 29th (UK)

Trailer:

I only found out about this film around a month or so ago, but after reading about it and seeing this trailer I’m very intrigued to see more. This whole story sounds absurd and it is made even stranger by the fact that Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon are playing Nixon and Elvis, but I love those actors and want to see more of this madness when it’s eventually released.

The Jungle Book

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Release Date: April 15th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

So here we are again with another live-action adaptation of Disney classic animated film, but I’m down for this one. So far not all of these adaptations have worked (Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent come to mind) however, last year’s Cinderella was the first film to really demonstrate how a live-action adaptation could be done in new ways while preserving the original material. And now I’m very interested in seeing what Jon Favreau does with this version of Jungle Book because it’s live-action, but only has one human character, the rest are CGI talking animals and I want to see how this turns out. The voice talent is impressive and this film looks a lot more dramatic and action-heavy than the old cartoon and from a visual standpoint the film looks damn good and I can’t to see how it turns out in the cinema.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

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Release Date: April 22nd (USA), April 8th (UK)

Trailer:

I didn’t mind Snow White and the Huntsman, but it wasn’t that memorable beside Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron as the Huntsman and the Queen. So I guess they removed the weakest element from the picture (Kristen Stewart as Snow White) and decided to focus on a new story and it actually looks better than I expected. Adding Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain to the mix is never bad thing and while it could end up being an average film with standard plot elements and decent action sequences, I’m still curious.

Captain America: Civil War

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Release Date: May 6th (USA), April 29th (UK)

Trailer:

Ah man, this film, this film has me all giddy at the moment, but also has me SO concerned. On one hand you have the Russo brothers returning to direct after their great work on The Winter Soldier, we’re also seeing the introduction of Black Panther and Spider-Man into the MCU, but most importantly we’re seeing Cap go against Iron Man in an adaptation of the popular Civil War comic. My only fears about the film is that it won’t be serious enough, certain characters won’t get enough screen time and there won’t be any major ramifications. However I have faith in the Russos and the trailer makes me believe like this will be the next chapter in the MCU that will affect us fans to the core.

Free State of Jones

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Release Date: April 16th (USA), May 27th (UK)

Trailer:

This film looks really good. I like the story about people banding together and fighting for survival but also for justice and freedom, and this film looks very intense and dramatic in the ways that I like to be engaged when watching films. I only saw the trailer today and now I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Bad Neighbours 2 (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising)

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Release Date: May 20th (USA), May 6th (UK)

Neighbors (or Bad Neighbours as it was known here in the UK) was a decent comedy and probably one of the few I’ve liked in a while (I’m a hard man to please haha) and while I didn’t need a sequel, at the same time I am curious to see these character reunite for another crazy adventure and see what kind of foolish fun they’ll get up to.

The Nice Guys

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Release Date: May 20th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I have a lot of hope for this film. It is another film from Shane Black, the wonderful man behind the brilliant Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and the divisive Iron Man 3, and I am just liking the sound of the story and the pairing of Russell Crowe with Ryan Gosling, but more so than that is the style of humour, it is so Shane Black it is insane and I love it.

X-Men: Apocalypse

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Release Date: May 27th (USA), May 19th (UK)

Trailer:

X-Men: Apocalypse, man I want to love this film but I’m unsure about it. On one hand I like the fact that we’ll get to see younger incarnations of Jean, Cyclops, Storm and Nightcrawler, and the concept of Apocalypse as the main villain and his powers and history seems so engaging. However, the first trailer didn’t blow me away and I’m concerned about the fact that some of the main characters will be mind-controlled slaves for a good chuck of the film which means that we won’t see them as themselves and that would be unfortunate.

Now You See Me 2

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Release Date: June 10th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

This first film was surprisingly good and I really enjoyed it, and while I didn’t want a sequel I am interested in seeing where things go for the returning characters. The tricks and stunts look crazier, larger in scope and more impossible than before and I can’t wait.

Warcraft

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Release Date: June 10th (USA), June 3rd (UK)

Trailer:

I don’t think many people realise how important this film is, if Warcraft works then it’ll open the floodgates to other video games adaptations in the future. Most video game films have failed both as adaptations and singular films as well due to the lack of care for the source material, but also due to bad writing, direction, visual effects and so on. I hope Duncan Jones has crafted something worth watching, I mean I like a lot of the cast and the visual effects and story seems engaging, however, I’m not sure about the CGI, it looks a little too fake like the Hobbit films but that could probably change closer to the film’s release.

Independence Day: Resurgence

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Release Date: June 24th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I never wanted this sequel, I thought it was a stupid idea, but hell it’s coming and I’m actually interested in this sequel. The trailer was the main thing that sold me on this film, I just like the sense of scope, new technology and destruction that has come with the return of the aliens and I’m down to see Jeff Goldblum again in this franchise.

The BFG

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Release Date: July 1st (USA), July 22nd (UK)

Trailer:

I really enjoyed the animated BFG film as a kid back int school, but I’ve never been entirely in love with it or the orignal book, but I have to say the teaser trailer looks interesting. Whenever something is being done in live-action there is some hesitation, but since Steven Spielberg is behind it I’m gonna give this film a shot.

Star Trek Beyond

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Release Date: July 22nd (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I’ve already make it apparent how I didn’t care for this trailer, but I am still interested in seeing how Star Trek Beyond turns out. This film certainly hast he action side of things down, but I’m very concerned that it will be the only element this film gets right. From the look of things so far there won’t be any of the older/conventional sci-fi elements that Star Trek has been known for and I’m not seeing any deep character-driven moments, but I hope that I’m wrong and that this film can be fun, adventurous, but also dramatic and rooted in the realm of sci-fi.

Bourne 5

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Release Date: July 29th (USA), July 28th (UK)

Ah the return of the Bourne series with Matt Damon, just the concept of this film makes me smile. While I wanted to leave Jason Bourne’s adventures back in 2007 with Ultimatum, after the disappointing adventure with Legacy in 2012, I need my Bourne fix with Damon and Paul Greengrass together again. This film could end up being a mistake, but considering the track record of Greengrass and the story details revealed so far it sound like it’ll be great.

Alrighty then, that’s PART 2 done. Thanks a lot for reading. Are any of the films listed on your personal list of films to watch? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and I’ll see you for PART 3! Laters 😀

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2016 in Films, Media

 

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TRAILER OVERLOAD! QUICK REVIEWS FOR 2016 FILMS!

If you’ve been on the internet during the week you would have seen that there’s been  a lot of film trailers released online within a short space of each other. Since Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the main focus at the moment, I guess all other studios are pretty to get the focus back on their trailers instead haha. So the trailers that have come out so far are: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Legend of Tarzan, Independence Day Resurgence, Star Trek Beyond and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I was going to do individual trailer reviews, but honestly things got too busy and I’m too lazy, so I’m gonna compile them all into one blog post. So here we go!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

While most people hated it, the 2014 edition of TMNT was surprisingly better than I expected, when April O’Neil wasn’t the focus and we had time with the Turtles, the film was really fun and kind of badass. So while I wasn’t super hyped for the sequel, I was definitely interested in the sequel and I’m surprised by how much I liked it. While I hate the choice of music and don’t care for Megan Fox again, I do love Stephen Amell as Casey Jones, the Turtles and their classic van looks awesome and even the Foot Clan look like ninjas instead of Call of Duty soldiers. Though the main winning aspect of this trailer was the appearance of Bebop and Rocksteady, since the since TMNT film in the 90’s fans have wanted a live-action version of these villains and they’re finally here and they look great. Now the film does look very CG heavy and the visual effects don’t look as polished or realistic as they did before, but I assume they’ll look better when the film’s released.

X-Men: Apocalypse

It’s been almost a week since this trailer came out and I have to say that the trailer was a bit underwhelming. Unlike when the first Days of Future Past‘s trailer came out which had me excited and intrigued, this trailer was good but not great. That’s not to say that there wasn’t great things in the trailer, I do love Storm’s new look, the information about Apocalypse being known by different names and being the basis for some of the stories in the Bible was great and James McAvoy seems to be bringing his A-game again as young professor X as his acting in that one seen when he’s in Cerebro with the helmet on was fabulous, oh and he’s bald at the end of the trailer! Cool! However, other than that this film looks like it could be dramatic and personal for the key members of the X-Men, but there’s nothing that screams “awesome” to me, plus I’m not keen on the fact that Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique isn’t blue in any of the footage so far and I’m concerned that the mutants controlled by Apocalypse will end up like Hawkeye in The Avengers; being stuck under control for a good portion of the film and not bring able to be themselves until the end of the film. But I guess we’ll see what happens.

The Legend of Tarzan

Right now this film looks interesting, the look of Tarzan is cool and I like way the film looks in terms of the use of CGI and lighting. But everything else looks kind of generic and forgettable. That final shot of Tarzan and that ape going up against each other in slow motion, that felt like something that belongs in a standard action film  and reminds me of that specific fight been Vin Diesel and Jason Statham in Furious 7. For me Disney’s Tarzan is the only version that exists, though I’m willing to give this a chance because I like the cast and director, but I’m not expecting anything special.

Independence Day Resurgence

For me Independence Day was one of my favourite films from the 90’s. It was a disaster film with a goof cast of characters, funny humour, all the crazy action and cool set pieces too. It didn’t need a sequel, but hell since loads of film films have to become franchises, we are returning to this world with Resurgence and I have to say that I’m intrigued. Basically it looks like Earth has had a time of peace and have ungraded their technology, but the aliens who got beat in the past have come back with bigger ships and more destructive power. I like the look of the film, it’s incredibly detailed, large in scope and it’s fun to see Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman back, but I’m not quite sure how Liam Hemsworth fits into this and I do miss Will Smith as his chemistry with Goldblum was one of my favourite aspects of the old film, but it’s not a massive loss for me. This film could either be fun or it could suck ass, but here’s hoping that the film’s fun and gives a logical explanation for the alien’s return and why we should care.

Star Trek Beyond

Ah Star Trek, I’m concerned for you now. Now Unlike a lot of hardcore Star Trek fans, I’ve liked the new JJ Abrams films (especially the first one), before 2009, Star Trek was dead to the world beyond its fan base and the new film brought that sci-fi franchise back into the public consciousness and while I think that film laid pretty good groundwork for a sequel, however Into Darkness didn’t exactly take the franchise in the direction I was hoping and made some mistakes with its marketing and plot elements that prevented it from being the sequel that I wanted. So now we have Beyond, directed by Justin Lin of the Fast and Furious franchise (films 3-6) and it really shows. While this film looks consistent with the previous one’s in terms of look, feel and style, honestly I wasn’t keen on this trailer. Why’s the Enterprise destroyed? What’s with all these crazy action set pieces and hand-to-hand combat? Now I know these new films are a far cry from the original source material and that was part of the reason I liked the first film, but I thought it would eventually evolve into the classic style of the show with sci-fi elements, however, its like the people behind this franchise have decided to drop that part altogether and just for action set in space. And it doesn’t help that “Sabotage” by Beastie Boys is being played over the trailer like a music video, I love the song and I understand the significance from the first film, but it is not the way you sell Star Trek to people especially the fans. I will say that I like the look of new aliens and that moment when Bones and Spock are surrounded by enemies, but then Spock disappears and leaves Bones alone, that was awesome. I hope the films is good but right now this trailer isn’t doing it for me.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The teaser trailer for this, was alright. Besides hearing a familiar spell in the beginning and hearing about some creatures that have apparently escaped, there was much that was worth noting for me. Seems pretty mysterious and interesting, but the trailer didn’t show me anything that made the film seem very enticing, but it was only a teaser and I’m sure future trailers will be better.

Okay and that’s everything done, as you can see I had more to say about certain trailers than others, but in any case I just had to talk about these trailers as they are films I’ll probably watch in 2016. So what did you think of any or all of these trailers? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2015 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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