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Lone Survivor Review

Howdy again ladies and gents, after checking out Mr. Peabody & Sherman, I went to watch Lone Survivor, a film I wasn’t planning to watch but was convinced otherwise thanks to Liamdoesfilm review. So how did it fare? Read on and find out.

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In terms of the plot it is based on the 2007 nonfiction book of the same name by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. Set during the War in Afghanistan, the film dramatizes the failed United States Navy SEALs mission Operation Red Wings, in which a four-man SEAL reconnaissance and surveillance team was tasked to track Taliban leader Ahmad Shah.

While it is based on a true story and has some aspects fictionalized, for me it was an incredible look at the insane situations that take place during war. These soldiers go on a mission, things go wrong, they are alone, blind and faced with some difficult scenarios that have serious consequences. The film was literally an endurance test against impossible odds, these soldiers go through hell and have to deal with everything going from bad to worst in just a short space of time. It is dramatic and hard-hitting, had some nice moments of humour too (especially one Jamiroquai dance sequence that reminded me of a comedy film from 2004) and I really invested myself emotionally and loved the characters and how realistic the film felt.

lone-survivor06All of the performances were great and they really felt like brothers because of their chemistry and because of their journey you really invest in the main four and care about each of them.

Mark Wahlberg as Marcus Luttrell is incredible, I’ve been a fan of Wahlberg since 2007 and ever since then I’ve seen him grow and become a much more developed actor and in this film I think this is his best performance. Marcus is tough, courageous, a tireless soldier and great friend to his teammates, he goes through so much stuff and has to make some tough decisions and Wahlberg acts with great conviction and realism. Oh and well done to Taylor Kitsch as Lieutenant Michael P. “Murph” Murphy, my god, THE DUDE CAN ACT! Now I’ve given Kitsch a hard time for his involvement in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, John Carter and Battleship, but in this film he’s so much more likeable character who is cool, fearless and valiant and I can take him seriously. I believed him in the role, he was really good and so convincing.

lone-survivor-image06Emile Hirsch as Danny Dietz is also very good, his character had to deal with a lot of stuff and Hirsch acted very well and its weird to think that Hirsch was the same guy in Speed Racer back in 2008. Also Ben Foster was awesome as Matthew “Axe” Axelson, he was tough but bloody resilient and had some really epic moments. And Eric Bana as Lieutenant Commander Erik S. Kristensen was good too as he had a great screen presence and being a person in a commanding role is nice.

Even though the film isn’t primarily action based, when it does hit it hits hard and gun fights and explosions are insane. It is filmed really well and there are some crazy sequences that are done so well. Also I don’t normally flinch or squirm at violence but the way it was displayed and shot along with the audio quality made it feel so real and every hit counted. The score Explosions in the Sky and Steve Jablonsky is quite good and uplifting at a good few moments in the film.

Lone SurvivorSo to conclude Lone Survivor was a bloody good film and was WAY better than I could have imagined. The story, characters, spectacle and use of archive footage makes for an emotional piece of work. I don’t usually like/care for films to do with war but this was the best I’ve seen in years, one I may want to own. I recommend it highly.

Rating: 8.5 (Best war film I’ve seen for a while)

So what did you think of Lone Survivor? Have you seen it or are you going to watch it? Whatever your thoughts be sure to let me know in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. ūüėÄ

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Posted by on February 2, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review – Man I Hate This Movie!

Hi people, followers and general internet people, time to review another film. Well it’s my 600th post today and since The Wolverine is coming out in the near-future, last week I decided to torture myself and re-watch X-Men Origins: Wolverine and you know what? It was just as bad I remember.¬†If X-Men 3 was the film that made the X-Men film series need a reboot, then¬†X-Men Origins: Wolverine reinforced that notion when it almost killed Wolverine and the X-Men film series.

The story in this film is a¬†prequel¬†to the¬†X-Men¬†film trilogy where¬†the¬†mutant¬†Wolverine is the star. The film focuses on the origin of his character along with¬†his relationship with his half-brother¬†Victor Creed¬†(aka¬†Sabretooth) and also covers Wolverine’s early encounters with¬†William Stryker, his time with¬†Team X¬†and the eventual point when Wolverine’s skeleton is fused with the metal known as¬†adamantium.

X Men Origins: Wolverine; Hugh Jackman as "Wolverine"

Oh boy, where do I start with the problems with this story? There is an abundance of issues! Firstly let’s start with the continuity, or should I say, the lack of it! Several things don’t add up and just fuck up the X-Men film timeline like:

  • The flashback sequences with Logan during and after his adamantium procedure in X-Men 2 were a lot more violent and looked like a traumatic experience, however in Wolverine the scene’s over in few seconds and has no weight, pain or impact to it.
  • Also what the fuck happened to Sabretooth? How the hell did he go from this smart, kind of cool-looking bad guy to that retarded, dumb-ass fool in X-Men 1?
  • I have to ask why the hell is Scott Summers in this film? When you put it in continuity with the future X-Men trilogy then that makes Summers totally in his late 40’s or something, he’s not that old!

And then of course if you include this film in the continuity with X-Men: First Class, then it just completely destroys several key aspects that took place in this film like Wolverine’s cameo in First Class, the appearance of Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier or the diamond girl who has similar powers to Emma Frost.

But putting all that stuff aside, the main story is crap and everything is normally over before you get a chance to take it in. This film had a great concept on paper, but was translated to film in the most uninteresting, inconsistent and stupid way. The direction by Gavin Hood isn’t good, it’s like he wasn’t sure what to do with all of the material he was working with, also whoever wrote the screenplay needs a good talking to, things are clich√© and the dialogue is so hammy. Finding out about the origin of Logan/Wolverine should have been a great story, but here it plays out like a boring-ass soap opera with easily foreseeable plot points. Also the relationship between been Logan and Victor isn’t explored well enough for you to be invested in their bond, Logan’s love life is barely in the film long enough to matter and then there’s like ten other supporting cast people who don’t even matter. Though I’m not gonna lie, some of this film is hilarious. That is mainly due to the bad dialogue, you see me and my mates watched the trailers for this film several times before it came out in cinemas, so there’s certain lines of dialogue that I find funny because me and my mates quoted it so much haha.

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When it comes to the characters I’m just gonna say this now… THERE ARE TOO MANY DAMN CHARACTERS! If X-Men 3 was too much a crowed film, the formula isn’t to follow in that film’s footsteps, but unfortunately Wolverine is full of characters, several of which are useless and unknown to casual audiences.

Firstly let’s start with Hugh Jackman¬†as¬†James Howlett/Logan/Wolverine, unfortunately Wolverine has been made into be this generic and boring person who looks badass but doesn’t have any depth to him. We don’t care about what he does because he doesn’t have a very interesting personality and his actions don’t have any consequences that matter. Though I have to say Jackman is the best part of the cast.¬†Liev Schreiber¬†as¬†Victor Creed/Sabretooth makes for a much-needed improvement over the one in X-Men 1, though that doesn’t mean his character is good. Victor makes for a pretty crappy brother, the bond between him and Wolverine seems more causal than brotherly, and Victor is clearly a bad guy from the beginning. And then the last sort of relevant person is¬†Danny Huston¬†as¬†William Stryker, Hudson makes for a decent Stryker but doesn’t have the same kind of screen presence or charm that Brian Cox does.

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Now we move onto other, less interesting cast members.¬†Lynn Collins¬†as¬†Kayla Silverfox¬†was just so weak as Wolverine’s love interest, there’s no depth to her character and she’s very forgettable. And then there’s¬†Taylor Kitsch¬†as Gambit. I bloody forgot I’d even seen Kitsch in this film! In truth Kitsch isn’t that bad, but he’s not that memorable either. But hey at least Kitsch isn’t as bad as he was in Battleship. Also for some reason¬†will.i.am¬†is in the film as¬†John Wraith, a¬†teleporting¬†mutant. He’s got no reason to be in the film, he’s pretty much there for exposition purposes and then gets killed off later on.¬†Kevin Durand¬†makes a mockery of The Blob, there was no merits about his interpretation of the character.¬†Dominic Monaghan¬†as¬†Chris Bradley¬†is wasted in this film, he’s barely there and the character could have been played by anyone.¬†Daniel Henney¬†as¬†Agent Zero¬†is one of the mutants gets a bit more screen time, but you don’t have any respect for the guy because he’s just a douche and a lackey.

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And now we come to the final fuck up in the characters…¬†Ryan Reynolds¬†as¬†Wade Wilson! Now don’t get me wrong, Ryan Reynolds isn’t bad as Wade Wilson, but that isn’t enough to save him from what he becomes…¬†Weapon XI aka Deadpool (played by Scott Adkins). I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, “I will never call Weapon XI Deadpool!” I don’t know who’s smart idea it was to change Wade Wilson into that thing, but it was one of the stupidest ideas since Galactus was turned into a fucking cloud in Fantastic Four 2! Also if this is meant to be Deadpool, why the fuck does he look like frigging Baraka from Mortal Kombat??? Such foolishness!

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Presentation-wise it is a pretty bad effort on both the visual and audio side of things. Visually the film isn’t all that fancy. The fights feel more like scuffles than actual full-on fights, the choreography is uninteresting and there is still FAR too much wire work! And then there’s the CGI, man it is disappointing (the weird alien CGI Patrick Stewart for example. Fail). The visual effects aren’t nearly as detailed as they should be… But the worst offender was Wolverine’s CG claws. What the hell man? Those claws looked so fake it wasn’t even funny, I dunno how but they got in right in 3 films beforehand and now they look shit like this? Such a fail! As for the soundtrack by¬†Harry Gregson-Williams¬†its pretty weak, there’s nothing overly memorable about it, there’s no key themes that stick out and I wasn’t attached or enjoying the score he’d done for the film. Williams is a decent composer, this is just not his best material.

X Men Origins: Wolverine; Hugh Jackman as "Wolverine"

In conclusion¬†X-Men Origins: Wolverine is just an insult to me as a comic book fan, the filmmakers took perfectly good source material and dumbed it down, shit on it and changed things that needed no changing in the first place. Now I know I’ve seen and reviewed worse films than this, but this film gets hate from me because it hurt me as a fan of the source material! There is too much going on in this film, a lot of which isn’t all that interesting. Even Hugh Jackman couldn’t save this film from being the abomination we now know not to talk about.

Rating: 0/10! (Doesn’t deserve a number, all it deserves is death!)

So what did you lot think of¬†X-Men Origins: Wolverine? Did it insult you as much as it did me? Or do you believe I was being to harsh on the film and you may be one of the small minority of people that enjoyed that “film”? Whatever your thoughts, drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next film review. P.S. Here’s praying that The Wolverine is good! PLEASE GOD PLEASE! ūüėõ

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Battleship Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another film review and today’s review will be on that live-action adaptation of a board game, yes I am talking about Battleship.

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Video  Review:

Now this written review will be an abbreviated version of the video review I done on YouTube yesterday. So if you want the full review please watch the video for my full thioughts.

Mini Review:

So Battleship, um, where to start? Well let’s go back to when the first teaser trailer came out for this film. It was interesting at best because it was just some Navy people chilling at see and then there was the massive robot splashing about in the ocean. It looked pretty epic, so I was interested and intrigued at best. But then after a while I saw the full trailer… And man I was like “My God, this film look like ass!” It just looked like Transformers at sea tome, the use of CGI and sound effects, along with the style of front from the titles looked like Transformers and I really wasn’t interested in this film. I had my fill of Transformers already. I mean the first Transformers I like, but then the second film was only good for the visuals, other than that Revenge of the Fallen broke my heart and Dark of the Moon, who even remembers that film? And then to add to my confusion and lack of interest in this film I found out it was based on the actual Battleship board game! The I was really like “What the fuck!?! How the hell did that come about?” So when I went to watch this film I was very weary nad had fairly low expectations.

Surprisingly Battleship wasn’t a complete disaster of a film, but unfortunately it didn’t do anything overly interesting, cool or original in my opinion. If you’ve seen any disaster/science fiction action films in the last 10 years or even some relating to the 1990s then you’ve lived this story and action in some way, shape or form. It just depends on how much you love these kinds of films. Most of the film is generic, clich√©d and unfunny.¬†The story is passable, but again it’s nothing special. You have the personal journey of the main character played by Taylor Kitsch, but it is terribly executed and there’s a lot of subplots going on outside of the main alien invasion but it’s all irrelivent and just there to try and add some substance to this empty, loud, visual eye fest. Oh and there is also a cheap little love story added in tehre for good measure which is typically cheesy and pointless. It doesn’t help that the dialogue in this film is terrible and so basic that its painful to watch at times and whoever thought up some of the funny elements of the film should be slapped in the face, there was barely anything to laugh at when it was intended in the film.

So is there anything I liked abou this film? Well yeah the visualswere good. They were actually more then good, they were friggin incredible. The visual quality of teh CGI was very clear, crisp and sharp from the fight scenes on the see, the details of the alien ships to the destruction of the cities. It was done on such a ridiculous scale, but I shouldn’t expect anything less from Industrial Light & Magic, they are godly when it comes to visual effects. Also did anybody think of the alien robot ships as the Transformer Decepticons? I found myself just thinking of the Decepticons many times when the robot space crafts where on screen or when those alien robot yoyos were flying all over the place (which were friggin hilarious).

Anyways overall Battleship is a decent film, probably best to watch in a massive group of people. Its good if you’re into this kind of thing. But if you’re tired of disaster films or had your fill of Transformers then skip this one. You won’t be missing much.

Rating: 6.5 (And that’s me being nice)

The story is passable

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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John Carter Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, today I come to you with a new film review and it will be on the recent sci-fi action film John Carter.

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Never before have I ever seen a film of such a high magnitude fall victim to such a questionable situation with its critical reception and box office numbers. I mean from what I know John Carter as a film is adapted from very rich source material called Barsoom which was a 11-volume series of novels by¬†Edgar Rice Burroughs. And it is was that source material from the novels that influenced directors like Jame Cameron and George Lucas when making Avatar and the Star Wars films. So with all of this influential material and the novels looking like the basis of every great science fiction adventure film, it is hard to believe that the material could be adapted into something bad. Upon the film’s release there were critics that said it was great, while many others said that it was just okay while many others said it was terrible. But I believe the main thing that hurt John Carter was the box office numbers. So far it’s failed to rake in enough cinema-goers to make its money back, it cost $250 million to make which is an absurd amount of money and currently it’s just short of that at around $234 million which is pretty tragic really. So is the film really that bad? Well read on into my review to find out.

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The plot of the film is set in the 1800s and it focuses on the main protagonist, John Carter. A man from Virginia, he’s a natural-born fight whose fought in the Confederate Army and at that current point in time he was tired of war, didn’t take shit from anyone and was obsessed with finding his treasure of gold. However through a series of events he happens to find a medallion, say some magic words and gets transported to Mars (also known as Barsoom to inhabitants of that planet). So when he’s on Mars he discovers that he jump higher and has increased strength due to his higher bone density and Mars’ lower gravity. He then comes across a race of green aliens with four arms who witness his newfound powers and take him in, meanwhile on the other side of the planet there’s a princess called Dejah Thoris who is being forced into marrying the antagonist in the film because with that deed done he can end the war with his power, but the princess isn’t down with that so she attempts to escape, then meets up with John Carter and then they get to know each other and form an alliance. And now moving onto the antagonist Sab Than, a man who’s been given a great power called the Ninth Ray and under the influence of ancient powerful entities called the Thern he is destined to take the princesses hand in marriage to end the war. So somehow Carter is drafted into this war, while he is also trying to find a way of getting back home…

Confused much? Well if you said yes then you are not alone. I know that wasn’t a very good plot description but the fact of the matter is that there is many layers to John Carter, it would be hard to talk about the film without going into specific details about characters and story. The film’s main problem is that it has too much story. There’s too many layers and its mashed together in a very choppy and unorganized manner. John Carter’s story starts on Earth and there’s a lot of story there involving a lot of characters past and present, then you have the several events that take place on Mars and all the characters he interacts with, some of which have their own backstories and then you have the history of Barsoom (Mars). That’s a lot of material to cover in around 2 hours. There was too much source material to work with and while the story gets clearer as events play out on Mars, it still gets lost in translation at many points. I reckon that this film could have been split into 2 halves, though finding a clear-cut off point would be difficult, but I feel that approach would have benefitted the film much better especially with all of the back story that comes with Barsoom and Carter’s history on Earth.

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The cluttered story also makes for some awkward pacing over the course of the movie. It really felt like the film didn’t allow you to process the information it was trying to give you, much like Clash of the Titans and Green Lantern. I mean you are given the whole history of Barsoom at the beginning of the film, but it feels like it was breezed over and not given enough breathing space.It would have worked better at a later part of the film through a descriptive back story by one of the inhabitants that Carter encounters. You also have John Carter being on Mars, adjusting to the fact that he’s on another planet with light gravity, he then comes into contact with the green aliens just a little while afterwards, then there’s another new storyline with Dejah thrown in, and then there’s the whole thing with the Thern and Sab too. And the way you cut from scene to scene without enough time to take in is very frustrating because there are moments of emotion and good action, but they are all too brief and over in a flash. And it is because of this awkward pacing that we don’t get time to properly get invested in the characters or believe the budding relationship between Carter and Dejah, such a shame.

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Also when the film was going through like the first act on Earth I was like “What the hell is all this shit? Where’s all the action and adventure from Mars? When does he get to Mars? Skip this shit, I wanna see Mars!” When you are thinking about all of those things before a film has even gotten into its element then you know its got problems. Basically the first part of the film dragged, it had awkward editing, pretty dull characters and that part of the plot I didn’t really care about. And even after we get to Mars and things become more interesting, there’s still awkward, choppy and incomplete moments that arise.

Other failings of the film come in the form of its dialogue, characters and the film’s overall tone. Some of the stuff that happens in this film is actually weird or completely ridiculous regardless of whether its meant fictional. The dialogue is okay, but a lot of it is clich√© and pretty lame at points. Secondly the characters in the film are the kind we’ve seen a good few times before except a lot better in those other films, Taylor Kitsch as John Carter is alright and did what he could with the role, but I feel like he was just a bit boring at times and Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris was pretty and not half bad acting-wise but overall just a tad annoying and lacking in likability. Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas was probably the most memorable of all the characters because he had personality and was actually pretty cool and when it comes to Dominic West as Sab Than he was just the generic villain, no layers to him whatsoever and Mark Strong as Matai Shang was just Mark Strong being himself, an interesting character but a little dull. But the third and final thing that bugged me was this whole lighthearted Disney feeling that was sprinkled all over the film, from the comedic scenes to some of the dialogue or the choice of music. It felt very Disney-like, like watching old Disney animated films. That atmosphere created made John Carter feel like it was intended for children and dumbed down for adults, it was quite annoying like some of the scenes from the Pirates of the Caribbean films.I made a good few comparisons to Disney’s Aladdin due to the characters, plot and setting. But then the tone of the film keeps switching between kiddie and then adult when there are scenes of war and violence, especially when you see people being killed and decapitated. So you have to wonder what kind of tone was this film going for.

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Remember all this chaos and action-packed scenes from the trailers and posters? Well you have to wait for all that stuff and sit through half of a film that feels like its part of another film.

So after all of this hateful comments I’ve given to this film you probably think I hated it right? Well I didn’t. Before this film came out I thought it was just another Conan the Barbarian except it’s in space, but luckily it wasn’t nearly that bad. When I left the cinema screen I was bemused, I found myself liking the film, but it was hard to pinpoint the balance between how much I liked with how much I disliked. As I said before the film frustrates me because there are aspects of the film that do work, John Carter’s past and present story was a deep one and the adventure he goes on is pretty incredible, BUT that is offset but the execution of this film which defeats the elements that the film is trying to sell to you as an audience member. For a film that is meant to be basis of most other science fiction films it sure does pay homage to other films like the recent Stars Wars Episode 1 to Star Wars Episode 6 with the podracing and speeder chases sequences and there’s some obvious parallels to Avatar too.

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In the end John Carter meets somewhere in the middle; it isn’t completely rubbish or a masterpiece either. While it has some moments of genuine entertainment, it is also plagued with questionable dialogue, a very heavy and convoluted storyline, strange character personalities and awkward pacing. The film is just frustrating because it had a lot of potential and in a way you could see that it could be so much more, but unfortunately it’s just half a good film, half a mess of a film. Watch the film if you so choose, however I can’t recommend it because of how much it a disappointment it was to me.

Rating: 6/10

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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