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Knives Out Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I’m back with another review and though it is a little later than I expected, I am sharing my thoughts on Knives Out¬†via my podcast Film Focus.

On episode 93 of the podcast, I finally get to take about another one of my most anticipated films of 2019 in the form of Knives Out; the latest film from Rian Johnson. Now I have been looking forward to this film from the time the cast was assembled and the trailers only increased my excitement for the film. So now that it’s out in the wild is the film good or not? Well, check out this spoiler-free review to find out.

Anyway here’s the review:

If you haven’t checked out my podcast before you can find it here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

So have you seen Knives Out and if so what did you think of it? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2019 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Krampus

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about Krampus. I remember seeing the trailer for this around a month or so ago and thought it looked ridiculous and so silly especially because of the cheesy horror-like Christmas music, but I decided to give the film a try to see what the deal was.

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So the story can be described as the following:

“When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose for the fractured family’s home and these horrifying events force them to fight for survival.”

The concept of the Krampus creature and what he represents was something that intrigued me and in turn helped keep my interest in this film alive. I thought this film had some interesting and creative ideas and had some great moments of tension, atmospheric fear, in-your-face horror elements, and in addition to that some of the humour was decent too, but the overall execution wasn’t solid. The film had problems balancing the humour against the horror, the genres didn’t work together as much as they did apart, and the horror aspects were definitely more successful than the humour. Apart from that I liked the history of the Krampus and the theme of hope and faith during Christmas, but some parts were predictable and the ending almost failed were it not for one key moment that changed thing for the better. Part of me wished that the film was scarier, creepier in tone and was pure horror rather than mixed with comedy, but it would have needed someone like Guillermo del Toro to pull it off yo.

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The cast was good and did well considering the source material they were working with. Adam Scott and Toni Collette were memorable as Max’s parents, Tom and Sarah. David Koechner was pretty funny and had a lot of memorable scenes as Howard and Conchata Ferrell as Aunt Dorothy had some of the best comic relief in the whole film. Emjay Anthony (who I remembered from Chef) did a good job as Max considering that he was a child actor in a horror film, also Allison Tolman as Linda, Stefania LaVie Owen as Beth and Krista Stadler as Omi did well too. I also liked the designs of some of these crazy underlings of Krampus, the use of practical effects and make-up was interesting and the lighting and use of colour was quite good also, though I wish the Krampus looked a little scarier.

Krampus

In the end I’m in two minds about this film, on one hand the film had some decent scares, good tension, cool creature designs and moments of horror, but the humour, the reveal of Krampus and a few other elements didn’t come together in the way that I wanted. That being said it I definitely enjoyed a fair amount of the film and would recommend it.

Rating: 6.5/10

So have you seen Krampus and if so what did you think of it? Leave you thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the review, laters! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Boxtrolls Review

Good day to you ladies and gents, with the¬†summer film season well and truly over I haven’t really had any reason to go back to the cinema, until last weekend when I watched¬†The Boxtrolls. Now this is one of the few animated films I’ve been really excited to see because I love Laika as an animation studio and with their great work on Coraline and Paranorman, this was a must-see film. So how does this film fare? Well, read on and find out!

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

“The film tells the story of an orphaned boy named Eggs¬†who was raised by underground cave-dwelling¬†trash collecting trolls called the Boxtrolls. The Boxtrolls are targeted by an evil exterminator named Archibald Snatcher¬†and Eggs has to save his family from Snatcher.”

The story for this film was pretty good, it offered a familiar¬†tale while still being fun and interesting. I liked Egg’s origin story and how it tied into ¬†the villain’s story too, and seeing the way everything unfolded was quite bizarre¬†but also fun and unexpected. Now if I were to compare it to Laika’s previous projects, I would say that this film is better than Paranorman¬†due to its story and character’s being much stronger, but I still don’t believe that Coraline can be touched when it comes to story and characters. That film was special, creepy and full of all sorts of scary stuff you just don’t see in a children’s animated film. In the end it comes down to the source material and this film’s material is good, but just not that strong to be innovative or too different from what we’ve seen before.

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As for the cast they’re all wonderful offering great performances in¬†unexpected ways.

Isaac Hempstead-Wright does well¬†as Eggs, he’s a boy¬†who has been raised by the Boxtrolls and it is the only life knows, but once¬†things start to go wrong for his friends and he has to step up and become a hero he definitely grows as a character and becomes a likeable protagonist. The guy is strange, funny and has a good heart¬†and¬†Hempstead-Wright brings a great deal of passion and flair to his role. Someone who might have outdone him is¬†Elle Fanning, who is great as Winnie Portley-Rind. This girl is good-natured, if somewhat spoilt, rude and headstrong, she is very curious and finds herself in trouble because of it, but after she connects with Eggs they¬†bond and then become intertwined in this mission to save his friends and Fanning does a such a good job, her delivery of some her lines is nothing short of funny and delightful.¬†Ben Kingsley is completely unrecognizable as Archibald Snatcher, Kingsley does an absolutely stellar job as the main nemesis of this film being quite humourous, mean and at times very disturbing too. The great thing about this performance¬†is that it is so charismatic and¬†larger than life, but you just wouldn’t expect it from someone like Ben Kingsley, it was such a massive surprise¬†when I saw his name in the credits, just ¬†goes to show you how versatile he is.

And then there’s Snatcher’s henchman played wonderfully by Nick Frost as Mr. Trout,¬†Richard Ayoade as Mr. Pickles¬†and¬†Tracy Morgan as Mr. Gristle. Mr. Trout and Pickles were my favourites, they are both very funny and strange henchmen who follow Snatcher, but question his actions and sometimes discuss matters of moral code from time to time and it makes for some great moments in the film, Richard Ayoade’s voice is just amazing while Nick Frost is awesome as a character who clearly has the most sense out of the lot of them. And lastly Tracy Morgan is the last person I would have guessed as¬†Mr. Pickles however, after I thought about it, it started to make sense. This character seems like a brain-dead idiot, but he is definitely gunning and dangerous, he’s just prone to delivering pain and is single-minded about many things.

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Jared Harris is awesome as Lord Portley-Rind, this character is an upper-classmen, enjoys the finer things in life (especially his obsession with cheese) and has no time for his daughter. I love Harris in this role, I recognized his voice in an instant and after seeing him in Fringe and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows it is impossible to not¬†notice him in anything even if it is just identified¬†by voice alone.¬†Toni Collette is¬†fine as Lady Portley-Rind, Winnie’s mother and the appearance¬†of Simon Pegg as Herbert Trubshaw was¬†totally unexpected, but very much welcomed as his character is totally jokes.¬†And lastly Dee Bradley Baker (Fish, Wheels and Bucket) and¬†Steve Blum (Shoe and Sparky) were awesome, especially Steve Blum who is one of my favourite voice actors.

When it comes to the presentation it is clearly the strongest element of the film both on the visual and audio front. Laika¬†as an animation studio have always been incredible when it comes to crafting impressive-looking visuals and have gone from strength to strength when it comes to shows how much further they¬†can push stop-motion and I feel like they’ve done it again.¬†All of the animation is incredibly smooth, the art design is very nice and the cinematography is so much more dynamic than before with fancier lighting, more camera angles and really impressive tracking shots too. The soundtrack by Dario Marianelli was nice as well offering some great pieces of music to suit the different tones throughout¬†the film.

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In conclusion The Boxtrolls is a very good animated film, which is full of fun and is a very good-looking film which shows that stop-motion is a form of animation that can still be impressive in this world of CGI animated films. Is it the best animated film this year? No. However, that shouldn’t stop you checking this film out, it has plenty of laughs, a great cast of characters and story that is simple, strange, but also very effective.

Rating: 8/10

So what did you think of The Boxtrolls? Have you seen it or are you gonna watch it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Hector and the Search for Happiness Review

Howdy ladies and gents, welcome to another review from your strange opinionated friend, the Hypersonic55. Today I give you my review of¬†Hector and the Search for Happiness. Now I had heard of this film just days before it came out and I wasn’t even sure I was gonna watch it, but after seeing a friend on Facebook say that it was pretty good I had to give it a try, plus it had Simon Pegg in it so it couldn’t be that bad right?

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

“Hector is a quirky psychiatrist who has become increasingly tired of his humdrum life. As he tells his girlfriend, Clara, he feels like a fraud: he hasn’t really tasted life, and yet he’s offering advice to patients who are just not getting any happier. So Hector decides to break out of his deluded and routine driven life. Armed with buckets of courage and child-like curiosity, he embarks on a global quest in hopes of uncovering the elusive secret formula for true happiness.”

The story was very fun, interesting engaging and surprisingly heartfelt. I thought I had this film figured out from the advertising and in the beginning I seriously thought I was going to watch some generic romantic¬†comedy with a bit of drama, but this film surprised me at just how insightful and bold it is. This film’s central theme is happiness and what it means to different people and it is so intriguing to see people’s varying opinions and with the travelling to different countries you got to see different ways of life and cultures and I films where there’s travelling. What really struck me was the similar story and tone to last year’s The Secret Life of Walter Minty (which I wasn’t too keen on), this film basically gave me what I had hoped for in Walter Minty. I got emotionally invested.

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When it comes to the cast they are all pretty good but it is really the central performance from Simon Pegg that makes this film special. Pegg has always been a fun and engaging actor, but he taps into deeper territories here. Hector is a psychiatrist who is living a good, if somewhat repetitive and hollow life and he’s got deep-rooted issues and he is sort of aware of his problems, but he hides it. It is not until his journey across the world begins that he truly starts to live his life and see what true happiness looks like. I feel like this is the most dramatic performance that Simon Pegg has done to date, the man is mainly known for comedy and nothing more and while he does that well here too, he does dive into some emotional territories not seen from him before and I liked seeing that.¬†And then there’s Rosamund Pike who is wonderful as Clara, Hector‚Äôs long-time girlfriend. Pike is a successful woman in her job, has a bubbly and fun personality, she’s gorgeous and is totally dedicated to Hector and helps him in his daily life. she’s the perfect girlfriend. However she does have some insecurities of her own and due to Hector’s habits it does make for some questionable and aggressive conflicts between them.¬†Pike has been one of those actresses that only got on my radar in the last 2 years but every time I see her I like her more and more, she’s totally fun and charismatic and a totally beautiful too. Pegg and Pike have good chemistry, their banter and relationship feels authentic and I think that’s due to their experience working together in the past.

Stellan Skarsg√•rd is also great as Edward, he’s banker who Hector ran into while on a plane heading to China and they hang out while he’s out there. The man has a very narrow-minded view opinion on happiness but sure knows how’s to have fun when it comes ¬†to living it up on the rich side of life. I haven’t seen¬†Skarsg√•rd in a mean and ‘no-so-good’ kind of person, but he does his role very well and I thought he was pretty cool.¬†Toni Collette is great as Agnes and¬†Christopher Plummer who is always nice a nice face to see was funny and interesting as Professor Coreman.¬†And imagine my surprise when I saw Jean Reno appear in this film. I love this guy and to see him as Diego was a delightful experience, even after all these years the guy is still a good actor and even though his part was small he was cool and intense. Oh and shout out to¬†Togo Igawa who provided some of my favourite moments interacting with Hector as Old Monk, his character was humorous and insightful.

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In conclusion Hector and the Search for Happiness is wonderful full of humour, charm, drama and life lessons. In addition to the lovely story the visual presentation is pretty and interesting and the soundtrack by Dan Mangan and Jesse Zubot is quite varied, uplifting and interesting. This is a beautiful film and leaves you with a great feeling after it is over and with an incredible central performance from Simon Pegg it is certainly a film worth a watch.

Rating: 8/10

So have you seen¬†Hector and the Search for Happiness and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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