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QUICK REVIEW: Kong: Skull Island

Howdy ladies and gents, its review time once again and today I’m talking about another one of the big blockbuster films of 2017 in the form of Kong: Skull Island. Now this was a film I was hyped for especially with the cast and after watching the first trailer, but with the subsequent trailers my interest waned due to the use of humour and the reveal of King Kong (which I wasn’t overly keen on), and with the mixed reviews that recently came out I was bracing myself for disappointment, but after watching the film last night I now have my thoughts on the film ready to share.

The plot can be described as the following:

“When a scientific expedition to an uncharted island awakens titanic forces of nature, a mission of discovery becomes an explosive war between monster and man.”

I thought the story was good, it had a little more depth than I expected being set during the 70’s with the ties war and intriguing mythology about Skull Island and King Kong’s origins too. But the best things about this film was that it was straightforward and fun. The pacing felt good and didn’t drag and when the action was going down it was very entertaining. That being said I do feel like the film had some tonal inconsistencies and some of the humour felt a little forced at times, plus it didn’t help that some of the funny lines had been shown in the trailers already. I also wish that there had been a better sense of fear, dread and stakes in the film, not that the film didn’t have those elements, it just wasn’t to a high enough degree considering the situation these human characters got into. Oh and finally there are some cool ties and references to other notable monsters throughout the film and in the post credits scene too which was great if you like your classic kaiju films! ๐Ÿ˜€

Now when it comes to the cast it is stacked to the maximum with a lot of notable faces including Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz and John C. Reilly among others. And here’s the thing, everyone is fine, but it really is the actors that elevate the characters as the dialogue doesn’t do well to give the characters depth or character arcs, though some people fare better than others.

Firstly you have Tom Hiddleston as Captain James Conrad and he was pretty good, he was a smart, tenacious and tactical badass and while I was surprised by how good he was at almost any situation he was put into, overall he was good. Brie Larson as Weaver was fine, Weaver was clearly the most kind and caring of the characters, she was fine but it was Larson that made her more engaging. John Goodman was really good as Randa, he’s a part of the government organisation who gets everyone on Skull Island and I like how his stern yet humourous demeanour and how he was determined to see his mission through. Next up is Samuel L. Jackson as Lieutenant Colonel Packard, and here he had an interesting character who was deeply effected by the Vietnam War and had some interesting and personal stuff that he dealt with once on the island. Sam Jackson was great and added a lot of personality and flair to the character. And then you have John C. Reilly as Marlow, of all the characters he had the most substantial depth and character arc, when I saw Marlow in the trailer I thought he’d be very annoying and at first he was a little too zany, but by the end of the film he ended up being my favourite character. Corey Hawkins as geologist Houston Brooks was good, he had good screen presence and charisma. Also Shea Whigham and Jason Mitchell as Earl Cole and Glenn Mills were two of my favourites, but that was more the actors than the characters. Toby Kebbell as Maj. Chapman was fine though I wish he’d had more screen time, oh and his accent was a little wobbly. And finally John Ortiz, Thomas Mann, Jing Tian and Terry Notary were fine.

Visually the film is pretty good, the cinematography was solid and there’s some absolutely beautiful shots of scenery and action, the use of colour is very rich and striking during the day and night scenes, and the action sequences when they’re on-point they are ferocious, aggressive and brutal. I will admit that while that some of the action wasn’t as creatively choreographed as I would have liked, and though the CGI was really good, at the same time some of it wasn’t always as sharp or consistent as it should be. The film score for Henry Jackman was decent and did well to add to the action and subtle moments too.

In conclusion Kong: Skull Island was pretty good, not great, but better than I expected considering some of the early reviews. While I had some issues with the characters, some of the humour and visual effects, overall the film was solid fun and I’d recommend it. ๐Ÿ™‚

So have you seen Kong: Skull Island and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Posted by on March 11, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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The Fantastic Four Review (SPOILER FREE)

Howdy people of the internet and today I’m here to give you a review of a film I’ve been super curious about for AGES, I am of course talking about the 2015 reboot; Fantastic Four. Now this film has been controversial since the beginning, from the casting to the tone of the film to the story and the trailers. It has slowly been changing the minds of many detractors, but since hasn’t wowed a lot of the haters either. So yesterday night Cineworld gave us Unlimited Card holders a chance to see the film before its release on Friday and I couldn’t miss out on it. So is the film good or not? Well read on and find out! Oh and by the way there’s no spoilers so you can read it haha. ๐Ÿ˜€

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

“When four people teleport to an alternate universe, which alters their physical form and grants them new abilities, they must learn to harness their abilities and work together as a team to save the Earth from the friend turned enemy, Doom.”

The story in this film was decent, but it wasn’t great. This was a film about discovery, power-hungry individuals and tragedy with key themes of family and change. There were some interesting aspects with the early aspects of Reed’s story and life after the team gains their powers, but this film has a lot of familiar story beats and their not really executed in a fancy or unique way. You definitely get the sci-fi/horror vibe that was described by the producer and director (I think that’s who was saying that) and it is was an interesting angle to approach these characters, scenarios and powers, and there’s one point (which I won’t say when) where the film goes kind of hardcore with the horror and its great. However it doesn’t fully commit to those genre influences, however, what’s worse to me was the fact that this film lacked the superhero flair and charisma that is required. And furthermore I feel like the film forsakes the superhero elements for its the sci-fi/horror aspects and rather than making a genre fusion like The Dark Knight, Captain America: The Winter Soldier or the recent Ant-Man that felt different in genre but still had superhero elements, this film just wasn’t able to replicate that as well. In this day and age of superhero films you have to bring your A-game, the bar has been set to a really high standard and you have to deliver the goods if you want to be relevant in this ever-growing sea of comic book adaptations and Fantastic Four by the time it was over felt decent, but nowhere near as epic as it should have been. This is definitely the beginning of more to come, I just wish there had been more done with this first entry.

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As for the cast they do a good job considering the material they are given. Miles Teller as Reed Richards was good, he was smart, empathetic and awkwardly humourous. Kate Mara as Sue Storm was good, I liked how witty and smug she was and she had good banter with Reed too. Michael B. Jordan which most people took issue with because his race did well as Johnny Storm, Johnny was cool, brash, aggressive and humourous. And Jamie Bell was surprisingly good as Ben Grimm especially after he becomes the Thing, he was an enjoyable character and I liked the personality and relationship with Reed. As a whole the cast were decent and there were shades of the comic book personalities in their performances for sure, so there’s that at least.

And then there’s Toby Kebbell as Victor von Doom, this character is probably the most significant change in character from the comic book counterpart, he’s not very enticing character, however after he transforms he’s turned he’s a lot cooler and intimidating. Kebbell started to embody Doom’s personality eventually and he did alright, but Doom is SO much more in the comics and he kind of felt like an afterthought. Reg E. Cathey did a good job as Dr. Franklin Storm, he was the mentor and father of not only Johnny and Sue but sort of to the whole team as well. Tim Blake Nelson as Harvey Elder was your typical military official and he was fine but forgettable and finally it was random to see Dan Castellaneta as Mr. Kenny in the film and he was fun.

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When it comes to the presentation it is good for the most part. Visually the film is good, I liked the use of light, colour and the CGI for the most was very detailed. This film depicted all of the characters powers well especially when it came to Johnny and Sue Storm, the Thing looked good most of the time, but at other points he looked not nearly as good (especially in daylight). As for Reed Richards, well he’s a character who was always gonna have a problem translating to live-action because of his stretching abilities. For the most part the film does Reed justice, but at points the CGI used for his movements looked off and not as polished as the other visual effects. The action sequences were nice but not too memorable. Also the soundtrack by Marco Beltrami and Philip Glass was alright but it wasn’t nearly as impactful or memorable as a film with these kind of characters should be.

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In conclusion this new incarnation of Fantastic Four is alright, but it’s nothing mind-blowing. There are moments that I genuinely enjoyed, the performances were good and the action looked cool, however I feel like the film could have been so much more. The new approach to the story and genre is admirable but I feel like it took away from the usual superhero elements that make these kinds of films enjoyable. This feels like one of those films that people will either not care very much for or try a rip a new asshole, I thought it wasn’t a total disaster but it wasn’t amazing.

Rating: 5/10 (All in all decent, but nothing amazing)

So have you seen Fantastic Four and if so what do you think of it? Did you like it or were you unimpressed? Also how do you think it compares to other comic book films? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! ๐Ÿ˜€

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: The Fantastic Four Trailer #2

Howdy people of the internet and welcome to another trailer review! Well I was having a nice casual day re-watching some Phase 1 Marvel studios films, and during a break I saw on ComicBookMovie.com that there was a second trailer released for The Fantastic Four. Now this film has been under fire from fans for the longest time, but after the first trailer dropped a good few people have changed their tunes about wanting to see this film. So what’s the second trailer like? Well read on and find out.

Check out the trailer below:

So my immediate thoughts after seeing this teaser? Well, I’m conflicted. On one hand the additional footage looks very intrigued and promising, while other parts left me not as impressed or as hopeful. But overall it is certainly making me interested in the film more so than before.

Now for this review I’m going to keep my thoughts as brief as possible since not too much has transpired in this trailer to make me go into full-on analytical mode, but I will highlight certain things that worth noting.

Firstly let’s talk briefly about the trailer as it does the following things:

  1. It establishes that there will be humour in the film (which I believe is necessary considering that these people will not only have to become a family, but also because humour is pretty much part of Johnny Storm’s persona)
  2. We get a little more background into the characters and their early interacts
  3. It is also made known that Sue is the adopted child in the Storm family AND that her father is the man behind the research that leads the team’s eventual journey
  4. These characters will travel to an alternate dimension/world (I know that was technically already known, but this trailer confirms it visually and verbally)
  5. The Thing is on display A LOT
  6. The powers of the characters are seen more so than before

The first trailer basically sets up a bit more of the story with us finding out that Johnny and Sue’s father has been researching into something to help understand and potentially safe the world. He’s been at it for a while, some people (probably the government) have been giving him a lot of money for the research and want answers, but it is due to Reed Richards’ intellect Dr. Storm and company have been able to take the one step further. The early appearances and interactions between the main four characters is interesting as it tells us what their personalities are and how they may butt head later on. It also looks like once these guys travel over to the other dimension, they are changed and it doesn’t look like the aftermath is good. These lot are on operating tables, showing off their powers in weird and violent ways, like a horrible transformation.

What I like about this trailer is the humour, that means the film isn’t all doom and gloom (thank god), the CGI for the most part looks very detailed, clean and has a strong art direction too especially for the other dimension stuff. I like how Sue Storm seems to be wearing something that looks very in line with the comic book costumes. Oh and the use of their powers is pretty cool with Reed stretching, Sue and her force fields and Johnny on fire and flying.

My only nitpicks are:

  1. Dr. Doom, we only get a glimpse of him and yet it looks so odd, like he has a melted metal face. I know changes need to be made and maybe the film will justify it with the plot, but for now I would have preferred the standard mask (for all it’s problems I actually like the look of the old Doom from the 2005 film, yeah I said it).
  2. The Thing, wow. Now I saw the images of The Thing released beforehand and he’s definitely taken a more detailed and more realistic approach, but seeing it in action is a totally different thing. At certain angles he looks kind of cool, but at other he looks hella ugly. I mean maybe he is meant to look bad to emphasise the horror of his transformation, but still he’s not that hard to ruin, and now I’m thinking I may actually like the big old orange version from the 2005 film (again, I’m saying it because I’m not afraid of the hateful comments!)

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In conclusion the second trailer for The Fantastic Four is pretty interesting, but I can’t say I’m totally sold on this film yet. There are things that I liked, but there are also things that I didn’t like or just left me wondering why such things are happening. That is not to say that I won’t watch the film, it certainly looks like it at least deserves a watch and if they get the core elements of the characters and mythos right then I shall forgive all of the radical changes in a heartbeat.

So have you seen the second trailer for The Fantastic Four and if so what do you think of it? And are you more or less interested in seeing the film than you were before? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! ๐Ÿ˜€

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2015 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Fantastic Four Teaser Trailer Review – FINALLY!

Well the teaser trailer forย the comic book film that’s been shrouded in secrecy for the longest time; The Fantastic Four has FINALLY dropped today and I finally get to talk about it.

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Check out the trailer below:

So my immediate thoughts after seeing this teaser? Not bad, this film, it has my interest. Now while it didn’t do anything to blow me away, it did paint a picture that I want to see more of. This trailer pretty much is here to give you an idea of what to expect in terms of the atmosphere and style of the film. This looks very different from the old FF films and possibly any of the recent comic book films that we’ve seen.

At first we get a very standard (and a bit generic) voice over that talks about humans’ need to build and invent and furthering those ideas on the younger generation, and obviously there’s talk of risks and sacrifice. So this guy’s monologue is a way of summarizing the outline of what the future holds for the heroes of this film. All while he is talking we see shots of a lab, Reed walking around, Ben playing baseball, Johnny fixing a car and Sue on a computer. There is a montage around two-thirds of the way in where the more interesting shots come in like Sue looking sad holding Johnny, an explosion in the city, Johnny flaming on in a hallway, what looks to be Dr. Doom dispatching some guards with electricity and Johnny’s fire against Sue’s invisibility force field. And that final shot of the four heroes together looking at that crazy light/portal thing in the sky looks menacing and flashy.

What I do like about this trailer is the tone. It feels very serious, realistic and falls in line very much with Days of Future Past or The Amazing Spider-Man. It seems like this will be one of those superhero films that is less comic book styled and more like an action drama with superhero elements thrown in.

So from what I can understand it seems like Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben are all doing their own thing, possibly looks like they volunteer for some science experiment that goes wrong and then they all gain superpowers.

I like the look of this film, the special effects look pretty clean and the scope of the film (again like The Amazing Spider-Man) looks huge, not only in terms of locations, but the way this film is shot has so much wide and establishing shots of various locations. I’m also like the effects used for Johnny’s fire and The Thing’s rock form that looks more realistic than before.

My only concern is how much they will change from the comics, but even more so than that, how serious the film will be. I like dark and gritty films, but after the Christopher Nolan Batman films I was ready for something a little lighter. Guardians of the Galaxy was hella fun and showed that you could have a comic book film that didn’t need to be all moody, but instead could a balance between humour and action. I don’t want FF the dark edition, hopefully there is some fun to be found in this film.

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In conclusion the teaser trailer for The Fantastic Four is pretty good, it gives you just enough footage to give you an idea of what’s going on, but doesn’t overdo it with footage or spoil specific story details (SONY TAKE NOTE). I am now intrigued by this film, it may not be the FF that I remember, but I’m going to give this film a chance.

So ladies and gents what do you think of the teaser trailer for The Fantastic Four? Are you down with this more realistic approach or do you want something more in line with the comics? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! ๐Ÿ˜€

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review

Howdy people of the internet, time to review a film I’ve been waiting to watch for AGES, I am of course talking about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of my favourite films of not only 2011 but also of the last few years and I was so hyped for what would happen for the future of this new film series. The trailers have all looked great and the early reviews have just put me in a good mood. So how has this sequel turned out? Well read on and find out!

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Here is the film’s story in summary:

“A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.”

This film is pretty damn good as it tells an intelligent, dark, grim and unsettling tale of survival between two species when they unwillingly collide. This film is really grim with barely any happiness in sight, there is violence, war and death and the level of tension throughout the film is so intense that it will leave you gripping you gripping your seat just waiting to see what happens next. It is clear from the outset that both the humans and apes want to survive, but within their ranks some want peace while others want war and it is cool to see the parallels between the apes and humans. The film is also very tricky and throws you a good few curveballs to keep you from guess what will happen next and just when I thought something was going to happen one way, it totally changed direction which was fun and exciting.

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As for the cast they are all pretty good, but it should be noted that after the film is over you’ll only remember two characters because of their awesomeness. So let’s start with the first of those characters in the form of Andy Serkis as Ceaser. Now Ceaser is character we got to see grow up and learn to find his place in the world in the last film, here he is a leader. The ape’s grown up, he’s the head of tribe of apes and he’s a family man and it quite beautiful and nice to see how far our hero has developed. We see in this film that Ceaser wants to keep his ape clan united, doesn’t want to fight humans and strives for peace, but due to the complications involving humans and apes within his group he is forced to make very tough decisions. I loved seeing the emotional complexities of this character and seeing how far he would go to help humans but also protect his people. Andy Serkis did such an amazing job in this role and he is making it harder toย distinguish the difference between performance capture and normal acting.

The other major character who kicks as is Koba played by Toby Kebbell. Damn this character stepped up, I knew from the trailers he would have a bigger role in this film than the last, but his character is just as important as Ceaser in terms of where the story goes. Koba despises humans because of the torture and experiments they did on him in the past, he even has the scars to prove it and while he is loyal to Ceaser, he cannot accept the coexistence of humans and apes and goes to great lengths to make sure that he gets his revenge on them. Koba is mean, he is a dangerous, corrupt and crazy individual, but for all of his wrongdoings you do feel some compassion for the guy because he has had a my crappy life, he’s suffered at the hand of humans and since Ceaser is showing them mercy where he didn’t get any in the past obviously he’s gonna be pissed. Kebbell did such a great job with this character and I’m glad that he was the one to flesh out this character.

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The humans don’t fare as well as the apes as they are not nearly as memorable and for me aren’t as interesting as the cast from the last film bar a few individuals. Jason Clarke is the best of the human characters as Malcolm, a man who has many similarities to Ceaser as he too is a family man and only wishes to coexist with the apes. Malcolm is a courageous and strong individual who goes to great lengths to try and keep things under control even when the situations he’s in are going south fairly quickly. Gary Oldman as Dreyfus was good but severely underused, I love Gary Oldman, any time he’s around you are in for a good time, however while I understood his character’s motives, at the same time he wasn’t in the film nearly as much as I would have liked. Kodi Smit-McPhee as Alexander and Keri Russell as Ellie did their parts well but I wasn’t overly fussed about them. The last mention I want to give is to Kirk Acevedo who played Carver, now this guy was a douche, he pretty much doesn’t care for the apes and blames them for everything that has gone wrong for the humans and his actions pretty set off sparks between humans and apes. I love Acevedo as Charlie from Fringe but here is so cruel and foolish, such bad guy.

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When it comes to the presentation it is simply incredible. Visually this film is insanely beautiful, the CGI work by Weta Digital is nothing short of amazing, they have created incredible environments and along with the motion capture work they’ve brought the apes to life in a way that is so realistic, you actually forget that you’re watching CGI apes. Couple these great visual effects with some lovely cinematography and an interesting colour schemes and you have a wonderful-looking film. Also the soundtrack by Michael Giacchino is pretty cool too, the more subtle and tension-filled themes were among my favourites and use of the wooden xylophone was so cool, but I will say that while I am a massive fan of Giacchino this isn’t one of his memorable soundtracks.

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In conclusion Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is easily one of the best films not only of the summer but also of the year. While the film didn’t turn out the way I expected, the film is still one of the most engaging and dramatic blockbusters we have gotten for some time and while Michael Bay continues to throw dumb and soulless material at audiences with Transformers 4, this happens to be a the total other end of the spectrum. I highly recommend that you go out and see this film as it is SO good and worthy of your time.

Rating: 8.5/10

So what did you think of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? Did it make you happy or make you sad or angry? Whatever your thoughts are I’d love to read them, so be sure to comment below so we can start some discussions yo! Laters. ๐Ÿ˜€

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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