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QUICK REVIEW: Hitman: Agent 47

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a film review, yeah I still write those for new films haha. Today I’ll be talking about Hitman: Agent 47, the second adaptation of the popular video game series. I had a lot of hope for this film or at least hoped that it’d be good enough to be considered a decent video game adaptation, but after the bad reviews came out I wasn’t too interested in watching it. Well I saw it last night and now I’m ready to pass judgement.

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The story can be summed up as the following:

“An assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.”

I thought the story was interesting but incredibly clichéd. There were certainly moments of intrigue and mystery, but once Agent 47 and Katia got together and the story surrounding her father and the Syndicate is revealed, things get pretty dull pretty quickly. Whether it is the dialogue, specific reveals and plot points or the way in which the film ended, it was really lame, generic and lacking in originality. I’m not sure who to blame, but I do believe that having Skip Woods on as the writer was a bad idea. This man has been attached to several bad films including the original Hitman, Die Hard 5 and the craptastic X-Men Origins: Wolverine. What really bothers me is that this film feels like the same kind of bullshit story details that I’ve seen in other video game adaptations, I don’t understand why it is so hard for certain gaming franchises to be adapted when there is such good source material to draw from. But actually, I do, it is because the filmmakers that are hired don’t have the right kind of talent and/or have people that don’t understand the source material too well. I just know in the hands of a more talented screenwriter and more confident director this film could have been so much more.

As for the cast, they vary from being good to being kind of lame. Rupert Friend is the main saving grace as Agent 47, Friend has the right kind of mannerisms, action chops and emotionless face to be this badass assassin. Hannah Ware was decent as Katia van Dees, at times she felt annoying or dull, but Ware did well with the material she was given. Zachary Quinto as John Smith, this was a mixture of good and bad. At certain points Quinto looks like he was tapping into his old Sylar persona and he was pretty intimidating, but then he starting getting a bit over-the-top. Ciarán Hinds was as Dr. Litvenko, but didn’t add much to the film for me. And finally Thomas Kretschmann as Antoine LeClerq was lame, Kretschmann is a do like a lot and after being wasted in Avengers 2 earlier in the year, here he’s reduced to a boring antagonist who does little more than make threats, sit around and rarely adds anything significant to the film.

When it comes to the presentation it was decent. Visually the film is good, they was some decent hand to hand combat, nice shoot outs and some good cinematography and editing with certain sequences. Plus I appreciated some of the creative ways Agent 47 dispatched certain people just like the games. However I feel like there could have been much more done, and the use of CGI felt completely unnecessary as it was far too obvious when something was real and when it was fake, and it doesn’t help that the CGI looks like it was made for TV on multiple occasions. And the soundtrack by Marco Beltrami was good, it wasn’t great but it had moments where it sounded pretty nice.

In conclusion Hitman: Agent 47 is an alright film with some nice moments of action and intrigue and good central performances from Rupert Friend, however even those elements can’t save this film from its bad story, unoriginal ideas, dull characters and overuse of CGI. I don’t hate the film but I probably won’t be watching it again any time soon.

Rating: 5.5/10 (harmless fun)

So have you seen Hitman: Agent 47 and if so what did you think? Be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2: Wanted

Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #13 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. Today I’m going to be talking about Wanted.

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Wanted is a film I really wasn’t interested in seeing this film, mainly for two reasons: 1) The film didn’t look like my cup of tea. And 2) It had Angelina Jolie in it. Now back then I really didn’t like Jolie, I thought she was overhyped and I refused to watch a film with her in it, but that was the closed-minded teenage me, I’m a lot more mature and have come to appreciate some of Jolie’s work in film (from what I’ve seen anyway). So now with this month devoted to superhero film reviews I have no excuse to not watch it.

The story can be summed up as the following:

“A young man finds out his long lost father is an assassin. When his father is murdered, the son is recruited into his father’s old organization and trained by a man named Sloan to follow in his dad’s footsteps.”

The story is alright with moments of coolness but overall was a little disappointing. Like a lot of good comic book superhero films there’s a lot of interesting things going on in regards to the fraternity and their existence and how the kill people. This film feels like a small piece of a bigger puzzle and ripe for more stories to be told. One of my main issues with the plot is that it is predictable. Now sure just because you can see certain plot elements coming a mile off doesn’t mean that a film is bad, however, when these plot twists or character arcs take place in a way that’s not very interesting or original it does make your enjoyment of said film a lot less fun. There were certain moments I liked but I wasn’t wowed and that sucked. 

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Now let’s talk about the cast. Firstly there’s James McAvoy as Wesley Gibson, I have to say that Wesley pissed me off, he was such a whiny, useless and spineless man with no redeeming qualities, and even after he started becoming a more interesting person because of his training, he still found way to be annoying. It wasn’t until around two thirds into the film that actually started to like him. James McAvoy is really good and while his character irritated the hell out of me, here he demonstrated again how great he is an actor by totally getting lost in this role and making him believable. Then there’s Angelina Jolie who was cool as Fox, I liked her calm and yet playful nature. She was pretty much a badass with a gun and looked hot while doing it. Jolie was fine, however I just with her character was a little more lively.

Morgan Freeman as Sloan, I thought he was fine. Honestly there wasn’t too unique or memorable that allowed Freeman to be anything more than himself, not that it was a problem though. Thomas Kretschmann played an interesting role as Cross, he was pretty cool and mysterious, while Terence Stamp was cool as Pekwarsky. Oh and imagine my surprise to see Chris Pratt in this film as Barry, this character while a lot more likeable than many of Pratt’s other roles, is still pretty funny and allows the guy to say and so some great stuff.

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When it comes to presentation it’s pretty good for the most part. Visually the film is very stylish with its cinematography, choreographed action sequences and use of slow motion. A lot of the time it is cool to watch, but other times I felt unimpressed. As for soundtrack it was handled by one of my favourite composers Danny Elfman and it is nice. It has a very unique, cool and varied with some similarities to Elfman’s previous work but also being very different at the same time.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well this is another one of those films where I haven’t read the source material so I can’t comment on that.

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So to conclude Wanted is an interesting and stylish action film with some fine performances from the main actors and a compelling story. That being said the main character really pissed me off and a lot of the story elements were easy to foresee. After all these years of waiting to see this film it was both better than and just about what I expected it to be like.

Rating: 7/10

That’s 13 reviews done, only 17 more to go. So have you seen Wanted 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 13, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Avengers: Age of Ultron Review (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, time to talk the film I’ve been waiting to see for AGES, this is big one, my most anticipated film of 2015, of course I’m talking about Avengers: Age of Ultron. If you’ve read this blog you know that: 1) I’m a big fan of Marvel and 2) That I REALLY loved The Avengers back in 2012, so the wait for this film has been super painful to endure, but luckily I got to see it yesterday in IMAX and I am ready to pass judgement. So please, sit back, chill out and read my non-spoiler review.

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So plot for this film can be summarised as the following:

“When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and The Avengers are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to the team to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for a global adventure.”

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Now I will say that this film is not without some problems and potential nitpicks, but the good totally outweighs the bad and it really is about personal preference. Your experience and enjoyment of this film will be dependent on you as the viewer and what you choose to take away from the film. With that being said I would like to talk about what I liked about the plot.

I thought the plot overall was very enjoyable. The film that deals with cause and effect, the corruption of artificial intelligence, tampering with unknown power, dealing with one’s insecurities and the bonds between people, and it is all handled in a very dark, twisted, humourous and human way. For those worrying that the film would be too dark, be at ease as there is plenty of humour in this film and balances out perfectly with the more serious aspects of the story too. In addition to that this film is full of fan service, it pretty much gives you more of the same but with new, exciting and different scenarios. There was a very global scale to this film as the Avengers travelled to different parts of the world together and individually to find answers, stop the bad guys and save the world, it just makes the stakes feel higher and let you know that this is not an isolated incident and involves the lives of many people across the world. Another thing I appreciated about the film was the use of other characters from previous films crossing over into this one, it is not only great for fans to see these characters acknowledged again beyond the solo films, but it also gives a better sense of cohesion and continuity in this cinematic universe. I won’t say who shows up but needless to say the use of certain characters is definitely humourous and satisfying. So is there anything I didn’t like, well yes there was. This film had a lot going on with the numerous plot lines taking place and while for he most part it was executed well, I feel like some of them could have been handled better or been cut out entirely, plus I do miss the streamlined stories of some of the previous MCU films too. And there is an argument to be made that this film rehashed a few elements from the last Avengers film too, but in the grand scheme of things this will be stuff that only fanboys and harsh critics will pick up on.

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As for the cast they are all very good and what I loved so much is that with the extra layers given to them thanks to the script, we get to see more sides to them, and learn more about their personalities and see them interact.

Let’s start with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, RDJ is still awesome and does well in this role. It’s like Joss Whedon found a way to bring back the funny and cocky aspects of the character, while also continuing to mature him and see how he feels responsible for the team and the world, and show how his insecurities bring about the dangers that follow. Chris Evans is great as Steve Rogers/Captain America, this time round Cap is more settled into present times, he’s focused and has that leader-like quality about him. It was nice to see his character evolve and grow a bit more, and when him and Tony butted heads, it was great. Evans and RDJ have such good on-screen chemistry. Chris Hemsworth as Thor was awesome, I’ve always loved this character and in this film they’ve given him his best material since the last Avengers film, here he is funny, awkward and totally badass. We discover more secrets about him, also see him battle in the most coolest way in the MCU so far, and we also see that he has great banter/competition with Tony Stark.

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Mark Ruffalo is once again really good as Bruce Banner/Hulk. Banner is still just as witty and fun as he was in the last film, but he is definitely a little more on edge with his powers and troubled by what his future holds, as not only part of the team but also with personal relationships. It is also interesting to see how the Hulk was humanised quite well in this film and really makes me curious as to how they will handle him in a future solo film. Scarlett Johansson is still great as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, besides being absurdly gorgeous, this woman finds new ways to kick ass and look like a force to be reckoned with. But beyond that we learn more about her past, and see a more different side to her in regards to her relationship with Banner/Hulk. Ruffalo and Johansson have really good chemistry together. And Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye was awesome! Anyone dissatisfied with the character’s treatment last time will be very happy with this film as Hawkeye gets a lot of love here as he’s more dominant in the action, story and humour, plus he has some of my favourite lines in the whole film.

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Now let’s talk about the new villain, Ultron played by James Spader. I thought Ultron was going to be super serious, but this film really did flesh him out and gave him more personality and human traits, it made him a little easier to relate to but also understand how his mind works. I loved how he could be totally calm and collected one moment and then freak out in another. Spader did quite well with this role and gave us the most memorable villain in the MCU since Loki. Then there’s the twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver played by Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Johnson. I thought they were both really good, adding new flavours to the MCU and creating interesting situations for the Avengers to deal with. I bought the sibling-like nature and they worked well together and individually. Paul Bettany as  J.A.R.V.I.S. and Vision was really good. Bettany does well to transition from a computer AI program to a fleshed out humanoid character, it gives his performance some variation and I really liked how Vision was handled, the dude was really intriguing and cool. Olsen was wonderful as this creepy yet vulnerable individual with strange powers and Johnson was totally cool, cocky and aggressive as the overly protective sibling. I liked the depiction of their powers as they looked cool and lead to some really great action scenes. Samuel L. Jackson return as Nick Fury and does a nice job and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill is just a good as I remember her being too. Oh and Andy Serkis was totally awesome as Ulysses Klaue offering a humourous, smart and devious supporting role. Thomas Kretschmann as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker was pretty good but I wish he had been used a lot more and lastly Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes was awesome, I liked his interaction with the other team members and was glad to see that he had some good screen time.

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When it comes to the presentation it is pretty damn impressive. Visually this film has some of the best action to come of the MCU with awesome fight sequences, good CGI and comic book referenced material too. Whether it is the Avengers team fighting together or seeing Captain America go up against Ultron or seeing Quicksilver running around messing stuff up, it is all so cool and it is pure fan service for the fans as there are a good few moments that made me smile with glee thinking, “Yes, this is the Avengers I wanted to see in live action.” I will say that sometimes the action does get a bit too chaotic and some of the action is hard to follow either because it moves too fast or is zoomed in too close, but that’s nitpicking. And the soundtrack handled by Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman is awesome, I’m not sure if it quite outdoes the previous soundtrack by Alan Silvestri, but it does include parts of the themes from previous MCU films and has plenty of powerful, heroic and beautiful moments, plus they kept the Avengers theme intact and it still sounds gorgeous.

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In conclusion is Avengers: Age of Ultron pretty damn cool. While there are a few stumbles a long the way and there is some magic from the first film that arguably could not be recaptured this time round, make no mistake, this film gives fans what they want while delivering new and intriguing mysteries to be discovered. And at the end of the day the film is fun and when a film like this really entertains me there’s not much to complain about. 🙂

Rating: 8.5/10

So what did you think of Avengers: Age of Ultron? Do you feel this sequel leaves up to the hype or not? Also how do you think it more compares to not only the prequel but the other MCU films? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Thomas Kretschmann Talks Baron von Strucker, Confirms Multiple Appearances

Howdy ladies and gents, time for some Marvel film news and today we’re talking about Thomas Kretschmann’s involvement in Avengers 2 and what to expect from him beyond that. The following information comes from superherohype:

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“One of the many new additions to the cast of Marvel Studios’ upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron is German actor Thomas Kretschmann as the villain Baron von Strucker, a high-ranking member of Hydra. Strucker’s involvement in the upcoming film is still unknown, but rest assured it won’t be Kretschmann’s only appearance as the Baron. In an interview with B.Z. Berlin (via CBM), Kretschmann confirmed that he has signed on for multiple appearances as the character, saying:

“I have a multi-picture deal which means I will not only appear in the 2nd part, but they’re planning with me for a longer period of time. But I don’t know details yet, they’re keeping their cards close to their chest – top secret!”

When asked if he was nervous about performing in such a big film, Kretschmann replied:

“Oh yes, I was nervous. I was over prepared; then on the set I went up to Joss Whedon, who passes for a genius, and said ‘this is my first day, this is huge, please have patience with me, I’m a bit nervous.'”

Given that principal photography on the film won’t start until later this month, it’s interesting that Kretschmann would mention speaking with director Joss Whedon on the set. Is it possible that he’ll be appearing in something before Avengers: Age of Ultron?”

Well this is both interesting but also not too surprising. The reason this is interesting is because Kretschmann says that Marvel have plans for him beyond the second film which means he’s definitely not gonna get killed off and will be around in other films in the MCU which is nice. We need a new recurring villain that isn’t Loki. But beyond that it makes me think, will he make an appearance in Captain America 3 or is it like some have speculated online that he’ll make a post-credits appearance in The Winter Solider film? As for the not surprising part of this story is the fact that this guy has been signed on to do multiple films, pretty much every actor/actress who has a main role in these Marvel films have signed on to multi-picture deals. It is just a case of whether their performances and the film does well enough to warrant a sequel. So all we can do is watch Kretschmann and hope for the best for him.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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Thomas Kretschmann Cast as Baron Strucker in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Yo yo ladies and gents of the interweb, time for some new film news and today it relates to the second Avengers film with their being some new casting news. The following information comes from superherohype:

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The Hollywood Reporter has learned that “Dracula” star Thomas Kretschmann has been cast as a “major villain” in the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron, which they say is none other than Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. The site also notes that Kretschmann’s deal to portray Strucker is for multiple films and not solely The Avengers sequel. Strucker was originally rumored to appear in the movie last month, and it now appears he will join the villain Ultron, played by James Spader, in the highly-anticipated sequel.

Strucker first appeared in 1964’s “Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos.” A former Nazi officer, Strucker’s body is host to the “Death Spore Virus,” which gives him powerful healing abilities and has stopped his aging. If he dies, however, the virus can go airborne and wipe out all life on Earth.”

To this I say “cool”. To be honest I am liking most of the choices Marvel Studios re making with their choice of characters to include in their films, especially the villains who are larger than life characters and have a wealth of material to draw from. While I’m not overly familiar with Von Strucker’s backstory, I have seen him in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and he was pretty badass in that show.

From the research that I’ve done (on Wikipedia obviously) this character sounds pretty awesome and would fit into the MCU really well. I mean Von Strucker has the ability to stay at the peak of physical human condition while ageing a lot slower and he’s super smart and has all these great fighting abilities too. I feel like there are some great connections to be made to Captain America due to Strucker being from that era with the Nazis and HYDRA too. Since Ultron is the main villain I wonder how Strucker will factor into this, whether him and Ultron with be baddies together or if one uses the other for evil goals? The possibilities are endless.

And while I’m not familiar with Kretschmann’s work, he’s actually been in a good few films I’ve seen including Blade 2, Downfall and King Kong (2005). Too bad I don’t remember him, I’m normally good with faces, I’m sure he’ll do fine.

So what do you think of this casting news? Drop your comments below! 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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