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End of Year Review 2019

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Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to my annual End of Year Review where I look back on the year and highlight certain things that were interesting to me. In my eyes, 2019 has been a year that’s been both fun and dull at the same time. There’s been some stuff that’s worth celebrating and some worth forgetting. So as per usual, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. So without further ado let’s begin.

Video Games

2019 has been a good year for gaming, amidst all the controversy and BS from certain developers and publishers, we’ve had a solid set of games from AAA to indies. And while there haven’t been as many standout games as previous years, it has been more consistent than last year for sure for all console platforms.

Alas, I haven’t played nearly as many new games as I would have liked. Since I had to leave my PS4 with my sister back home I’ve primarily been playing on my Nintendo Switch which has served me well for the most part. But due to timing, lack of funds and no PS4, I missed out on a ton of games this year which makes me sad. So no Resident Evil 2 Remake, no Devil May Cry 5, no Jedi Fallen Order, no Fire Emblem, no Astral Chain, no Super Mario Maker 2 and so on. I briefly got to play Kingdom Hearts 3 when I went home in the summer but not enough to have a proper opinion on it. So I ended up playing some older games like the wonderful Celeste, the fun yet tricky Valkyria Chronicles and of course Smash Ultimate with all those awesome DLC characters which were fun especially with Piranha Plant, Joker and Terry.

So what new games did I purchase this year? Well, I did get to play Blaster Master Zero 2. Now I know the first game was largely ignored during the early days of Switch since everyone was playing Breath of the Wild, but I really enjoyed the original with the additional DLC characters as well. But the sequel just did so much more by refining the controls, giving you new ways to attack enemies, adding more exploration and new planets and the presentation was really good too. I also had a lot of fun with Tetris 99, that game came out of nowhere and became one of the most addictive games I’ve played in a while. Sure it’s essentially a battle royale against 98 other players, but man when you’re in the thick of it competing and making crazy comebacks when other players are trying to take you out. There’s no better feeling. There’s a rush, sense of danger and satisfaction that comes from this style of gameplay. And then there’s Untitled Goose Game, the game that blew up 2019. This game is worth playing just for the funny, foolish, bizarre and chaotic things you can unleash on people as a goose. And while the initial charm did wear off for me after the first few hours, it’s still a fun game to mess with just to see what you can get up to. And finally, there’s Dragon Quest Builders 2, while I didn’t play the full game, I played both demos collectively close to 10 hours and man that game is just as addictive as ever and I really need to get the full game to get lost in it. 😀

Top 10 Games

  1. Blaster Master Zero 2
  2. Tetris 99
  3. Untitled Goose Game

Films

 

 

When it comes to films I would say that even though there were plenty of solid films, this year felt a little lacking compared to previous years (feel like I’ve been saying that every year since 2010 or 2011 haha). That being said there was plenty to enjoy, but there was also a lot of trash, most of which I avoided haha. I saw as many as I could though it was really tough to get out between October to December.

Top 10 Films of 2019

  1. Parasite
  2. Avengers: Endgame
  3. One Piece Stampede
  4. Ip Man 4
  5. How to Train Your Dragon 3
  6. Ford v Ferrari
  7. Doctor Sleep
  8. El Camino
  9. John Wick Chapter 3
  10. Knives Out

I’m sure I’m gonna get shit for my list missing a number of the critically acclaimed films of this year but I’ve only gotten to see a certain amount of films in the last couple months, plus films like Joker and The Irishman, I enjoyed for sure, but they didn’t do it for me like ones listed above.

For me, Parasite was just the best and such a lovely surprise. I’d heard rumblings about how good it was through certain areas of the internet and on numerous occasions its over-hyped BS. But Parasite was a unique, hilarious and unexpected film with twists and turns in many forms. Beyond that I just had a blast with Avengers: Endgame, as it was just an event-based film that wrapped up everything pretty well despite some minor, nitpicks here and there. Talking of event-based films, One Piece Stampede was a session and a half featuring some of the best references, character interaction, action, art and animation and humour the series has seen so far.

While I didn’t love Knives Out as much as everyone else did, it was a really well-made film with a terrific cast and a plot full of humour and neat twists and turns. Ford v Ferrari was better than I expected with great performances from the two leads and Doctor Sleep, a film not on my radar ended up being way more captivating than I expected with great performances, a good story and good references to The Shining.

Also, John Wick 3 was hella fun, just cool hand to hand combat and the expanding nature of that world continues to entertain me. How To Train Your Dragon 3 was a beautiful end to the trilogy, while El Camino was an intense and dramatic continuation for Jesse Pinkman following the events of Breaking Bad and finally Dolemite is My Name was really funny, engaging and it was great to see Eddie Murphy back on top form again.

Honourable Mentions

  • Joker
  • Dolemite is My Name
  • The Irishman
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Promare

Television

With TV there’s been SO many to keep track of this year that keeping up with them all is impossible. There are many I’ve yet to watch or finish like Watchmen, Jack Ryan, Succession, Good Omens, Bojack Horseman, Swamp Thing, all the CW shows and so on. But luckily I’ve got to see some really fun, familiar, new, exciting and crazy stuff this year that’s kept things interesting. I also want to say thank god for the streaming services, now I know there’s too many of them emerging left, right and center, but I love them because their episode counts are much smaller and easier to manage and/or binge. So I’ve found myself really enjoying the new and returning stuff on Netflix, Amazon and Disney Plus.

Top 10 TV

  1. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
  2. The Mandalorian Season 1
  3. Stranger Things Season 3
  4. The Boys Season 1
  5. Love, Death & Robots
  6. Lucifer Season 4
  7. The Witcher Season 1
  8. Umbrella Academy Season 1
  9. Big Mouth Season 3
  10. South Park Season 23

I’ve really enjoyed returning TV shows like Lucifer season 4 which was so fun and emotional, the third season of Stranger Things had some really interesting, dark and crazy stuff going down and Big Mouth‘s third season continued to be crude, weird, funny and true to life. And South Park‘s 23rd season was alright, but it certainly had its fun moments. With new TV stuff I had so much fun with Umbrella Academy‘s first season, The Boys on Amazon was one of the craziest rollercoasters I’ve ever been on with so much immoral, dark, hilarious and engaging stuff and Love, Death & Robots was one of the most strange, intriguing, beautiful, violent and visually unique things I’ve ever seen. And even though I’m a couple episodes away from finishing The Witcher, I’ve enjoyed that show ever much for its world, mythology, gritty and dirty look, catchy music and the beautiful Henry Cavill. 😀

And as much as I LOVE The Mandalorian for its story, characters, references and amazing music, The Dark Crystal show was incredible and has to take the top spot. I thought it would be good, but it was far better than I or anyone else could have expected. The way it expanded upon the original film with new characters, mythology and references were very impressive. The presentation was brilliant with awesome practical effects and a wonderful voice cast and I only gush about this show because barely anyone watched it and I want people to check it out damn it!

 

Music

With music, I have barely listened to any new music from this year. I have mainly been going back in time to check out music in the ’80s or going through the discographies of artists I know or have discovered over the course of the year. That being said there has been some 2019 music I wanted to highlight. Friendly Fires finally came out of hiding and released their new album, Inflorescent and I really liked it, was a very feel-good and dancy kind of sound (which I will review on here at some point). Also, SG Lewis, who is one of my favourite artists of the last 3 years I got to see twice in London and Vancouver and even got to meet him which was the best thing ever! I also got to see Jamiroquai live for the third time and they were amazing and I even made some new mates in the process!

But my favourite music from this year comes from the brilliant Ludwig Göransson, his work on The Mandalorian had been nothing short of amazing. From the first episode, he created new, enchanting, hopeful, dramatic and new sounds for us to experience in the Star Wars universe. And it all starts with that theme song… It’s SO GOOD! For me its the best and most recognisable piece of music that Star Wars has had since the Prequel Trilogy, yeah I said it and I’m not afraid. 😀

Favourite Songs

  1. Ludwig Göransson – The Mandalorian
  2. Coldplay – Orphans
  3. Friendly Fires – Silhouettes
  4. SG Lewis – Blue

My Experience

2019 has been one hell of a ride for me, full of all sorts of adventures, life-changing experiences and lessons. It’s honestly been one of the best years of my life and yet there’s also been a fair bit of struggle. I know I left this blog pretty vacant over the course of this year as I focused on my podcast and went off and tried new things, but hopefully, I’ll have a better focus on it next year as I still have numerous things I would like to share on here. 🙂

So this year I did numerous things but I’ll highlight the main stuff below:

  • I moved to Canada
  • Slowly got back into exercising
  • Went to Bulgaria and met some homies in real life for the first time
  • Experienced my first conventions outside of the UK in Vancouver and Seattle
  • I started networking and collaborating with some people on personal projects
  • I volunteered at a film festival and made some new mates
  • Really got into the groove with my artwork

I’ve just been in an extremely good mood trying new food, going to new places, going to events I’ve never tried and forging new connections with wonderful people. At the same time, I’ve dealt with some depression, a little loneliness, had to deal with some questionable individuals and confront some of my many faults that’s caused me problems this year. But I’ve also learnt a lot and I believe I’ll be much better and focused in the future.

Conclusion

In conclusion, 2019 has honestly been one of the best years of my life and while it wasn’t a perfect year and there were some downs, I’ve just learnt so much and been grinning almost all the time so the pros definitely have outweighed the cons for sure. So 2019, its been fun but you can go away now and let’s say hello to 2020!

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2019? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again in 2020. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2019 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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PODCAST: Hopes & Fears For Mortal Kombat (2021)

Howdy ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I’ve returned with a topic I have wanted to talk about for a while now and it relates to the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot coming out in March 2021. And I’ll be sharing my thoughts via my podcast Film Focus.

On episode 91 of Film Focus, I finally get to discuss my hopes and fears for the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot. Now, while I’m not a hardcore fan of the series and have only played a handful of games in a casual capacity, I love the MK series for its characters, mythology, fight mechanics, crazy violence and fatalities. And while I’ve been excited for the possibilities for a new film, especially after James Wan came onto the project as a producer, the way this film is currently forming makes me a little cautious. So join me as I, a casual fan of the series, talks about what I hope the film will and won’t be.

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 are you excited for the upcoming Mortal Kombat film and what do you think of my thoughts on the film? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2019 in Films, Media, Video Games

 

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Pokemon Detective Pikachu Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, how is it going? So I’m back again to share my thoughts on the latest video game film adaptation in the form of Pokemon: Detective Pikachu via my podcast Film Focus. Now, this film went from being something I wasn’t overly interested in watching to being something I had to watch. With pretty compelling marketing and an interesting story based on the Nintendo 3DS spin-off game, does this film end up being the film to break the video game adaptation curse? Well, check out this spoiler-free review below to find out!

P.S. Some small things to note:

  1. I accidentally bumped the mic while recording because I got a little too hyped talking about the film.
  2. Between 18:41 to 19:06 I discuss a minor Pokemon-related spoiler for the film.

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 Detective Pikachu 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, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2019 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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End of Year Review 2018

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Good day to you ladies and gents, so 2018 has come to an end and it is once again time for my annual END OF YEAR REVIEW! Now I think the year has been pretty good all things considered, I’ve had an interesting rollercoaster of highs and lows, but the pros have definitely outweighed the cons. As with previous entries, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. You ready? Cool, let’s go!

Video Games

2018 was a great year for gaming and looking back on everything that was released this year and comparing it to last year, it really is hard to say which year had the better selection of games to play. The games industry has had a lot of dodgy and questionable stuff going on with the ongoing issues related to gambling and microtransactions to the poor PlayStation Classic to Nintendo’s bad online service to Metal Gear Survive to Bethesda and the never-ending dramas of Fallout 76. But I will say that my overall gaming experiences were better last year because I played a lot more, however, the 2018 games that I did will stay with me for a good while. This year I finally gave into the hype and tried out Fortnight and I dabbled for a little while and gave up because I just wasn’t into it haha. I also restarted Zelda: Breath of the Wild and got lost in that world again and good god that game is SO much fun, the exploration and traversal just put me in a good mood especially when you end up playing for a good few hours. Another game  I also bought Rocket League and discovered the joys and frustrations that come with that game, I also played a fair amount of Fallout Shelter and discovered the addictive nature that comes with micromanagement and expansion, and Pokemon Quest was another one of those games that ended up getting way more of my attention than I expected, like 10 plus! 😛 But here’s my top 4 games:

  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  2. Spider-Man PS4
  3. Sonic Mania Plus
  4. Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu
  5. Dragon Ball FighterZ

Oh look Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is my game of the year, who would have guessed? Haha! 😛 But in all seriousness Smash is my everything, it is my favourite gaming franchise and after the E3 reveal I was all in and the game is pretty much everything I wanted. The game mechanics are as fun as ever, the music selection is AMAZING, the amount of characters to mess with is fabulous and World of Light and Classic Mode are very unique and lengthy, though the former gets a little tedious after a while and the CPU difficulty is a hell of a lot harder than before. When it comes to Spider-Man I think it would have been my game of the year if Smash hadn’t come out, I REALLY had a great time playing that game and I’m still annoyed I never reviewed it back in September. The game is best Spidey game so far with its incredible web-slinging and overall movement, the versatile combat, wonderful selection of suits and a story that takes so many wonderful aspects of Spidey’s source material and adaptations and crafts its own unique and beautiful story that’s up there will the best of the Spidey material. Thanks to the Plus DLC, I ended up revisiting Sonic Mania and fell in love again. And while I still haven’t played Encore mode yet to my shame, I did love messing around with Ray and Mighty’s new game mechanics. As for Pokemon Let’s Go I was surprised by how captivated I was for the first few days. After seeing some of the videos and positive word of mouth around the game when it released I caved in and bought the game. I loved the nostalgic feelings the game gave me from seeing the enhanced visuals to the wonderful soundtrack, and on top of that, the seeing Pokemon in the overworld was cool and the new catching mechanics being easy to do for the most part. Alas, the changes to some of the core mechanics of battling and level grinding and a lack of features from later generations meant that my engagement waned. And finally Dragon Ball FighterZ I only played for a little while but it left a really good impression on me, while I wasn’t very good at it due to its technical aspects similar to the Marvel Vs. Capcom games, but I loved the visuals, the attempt at a story mode and attention to detail when it comes to the voice acting and specific finishing attacks.

Films

For me, 2018 was a good time for films and while I didn’t watch as many films as last year, I feel like I saw most of the films that I wanted/needed to. I had a lot of fun, interesting and surprising experiences in the cinema this year but definitely tried to watch more films at home. Also for those who aren’t aware, I’m only counting films released in 2018, films originally released in 2017 that got a UK release this year DOESN’T COUNT! And with that out of the way, these are my favourite films of 2018:

Top 11 Films of 2018

  1. Searching
  2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  3. Avengers: Infinity War
  4. A Star Is Born
  5. Annihilation
  6. Crazy Rich Asians
  7. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  8. Bumblebee
  9. Whitney
  10. Widows
  11. A Silent Place

Honourable Mentions

  • Bird Box 
  • Incredibles 2
  • Bad Times at the El Royale
  • Overlord
  • Creed 2
  • Sorry To Bother You
  • Blackkklasman
  • First Man
  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Ready Player One

Top 4 Worst/Disappointing Films of 2018

  1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  2. The Predator
  3. Tomb Raider
  4. Den of Thieves

Top 5 Surprising Films of 2018

  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • A Star Is Born
  • Bumblebee
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Deadpool 2

Television

Man, my TV viewing experience for 2018 was a far cry from last year and it’s not because I’m getting bored or not interested in what’s available and more to do with the fact that I just haven’t had the bloody time to watch everything like I used to haha. 😛 That being said I was able to check out a good few shows here and there and I will say that most of them were worth watching. From finishing the super fun Tournament of Power arc in Dragon Ball Super to enjoying the second season of The Tick to really liking the direction of the first half of season 3 of Into the Badlands (which I hope comes back at some point). When it comes to new shows I liked Disenchantment with its weird sense of humour, world and ongoing storyline, I also liked Altered Carbon for its visual design, an interesting cast, and on Amazon, you had Jack Ryan which was quite captivating with its plot, cast and the concise number of episodes. Daredevil season 3 and Bojack Horseman season 5 have been my favourite TV from this year giving just wanted while also providing me with content I didn’t know that I’d love as well. And finally Lucifer‘s season 3 got really good towards the end, and for a little while my show was cancelled, but then Netflix gave us a miracle and picked it up for season 4, sweet!

Top 10 TV Shows

  1. Daredevil (season 3)
  2. Bojack Horseman (season 5)
  3. Altered Carbon (season 1)
  4. Lucifer (season 3)
  5. Jack Ryan (season 1)
  6. Into the Badlands (season 3)
  7. The Tick (season 2)
  8. Disenchantment (season 1)

Music

In 2018 I wasn’t as overly fussed about music as much as last year, there wasn’t much new music that caught my ears, however, there have a been a few new songs that have caught my ears from new and established artists which have made my year quite enjoyable. Interestingly enough a lot my favourite music hasn’t been from mainstream radio but more so from films in the cinema and other places. There have been a good few films with nice film scores from Avengers: Infinity War to Solo to Annihilation to Incredibles 2 and son. But it’s Ludwig Göransson’s score for Black Panther that I’ve remembered with “Wakanda” being my absolute favourite! Firstly there’s the return of Justin Timberlake with his Man of the Woods which was a nice album with a good variety of tracks and a catchy first single with “Filthy“. I’ve also been continuing to listen to SG Lewis and his EP, Dusk has been one of my favourite listening experiences this year with “Aura” being one of my favourite songs of the year. AFI came back with The Missing Man and I really liked that EP especially with the songs “Get Dark” and “Trash Bat“. Also, there’s the Eurovision Song Contest, I haven’t followed this event since 2010 or 2011, but this year had a good number of really good songs, but my favourite was “Dance You Off” by Benjamin Ingrosso, that song was SO catchy! And finally there’s Tee Lopes, crafter of the brilliant Sonic Mania soundtrack who released his debut album Youinverse which is wonderful, but my favourite song is awesome “Gray City Day“.

Favourite Songs

  1. Ludwig Göransson – Wakanda
  2. SG Lewis – Aura
  3. Justin Timberlake – Filthy
  4. AFI – Get Dark
  5. Benjamin Ingrosso – Dance You Off
  6. Tee Lopes – Gray City Day

My Experience

All things considered, 2018 was a pretty decent year and in a lot of ways has been my best year in quite some time just because, looking back on the year as a whole, I dealt with a fair amount of bullshit, but it wasn’t nearly as troublesome or time-consuming as previous years. As for the stuff I got up to, there weren’t as many crazy adventures but I did have some fun here and there and experienced some things for the first time. Firstly there was my trip to the MCM London Expo with my best friend for our 10 year anniversary since we went in 2008, I also gave blood for the first time after talking about doing it for around 5 years haha, I also attended my first hen do and first baby shower which were surreal and delightful experiences. And I also did my annual volunteering for the 5th year and it was just as fun as ever. But on top of that, I feel like I’ve started to find my creative side again with all the drawing and animation stuff I’ve been doing which has been way more than previous years. Plus my mental state of mind I think has gotten to a place where I’m stable and can live with myself and have a good outlook on life which has been great especially in the last few months.

There’s also a lot of stuff that happened in the world, too much to mention, from the ongoing fears and dramas surrounding Brexit to Theresa May and her weir “dancing skills” to the absurd amount of memes we went through from Ugandan Knuckles to Bowsette to the recent Bird Box film. And then there was the death of certain celebrities this year as well, but the main two that hurt me the most was the passing of Jon Schnepp and Stan Lee. Schnepp has been one of my favourite people to watch on AMC and then Collider because he was such a passionate nerd and taught me so much, also her Superman documentary was great and even met him 2015. So his passing just sucked. But then there was Stan Lee’s passing, that felt so surreal and unnatural. I always thought the guy would live forever and it still feels weird to talk about him in the past tense, but I sort of knew he would pass on at some point but I was not prepared at all. I am forever grateful for not only being able to meet him but for all of his creations that made me the person I am today.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this year was a good time, had some good and bad experiences, learnt some life lessons and yeah I don’t have nearly as much to complain about which can only be a good thing right? Well 2018, its been fun but its time to say goodbye, and hello to 2019 because it will be a year of big changes for me which I can’t wait to share in due time. 🙂

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2018? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again in 2019. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2018 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, its review time once again and today I watched Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us and I just had to share my thoughts on it so that’s why I’m giving you my review for this film via my podcast, Film Focus.

Now, this the newest Pokémon film in the series which has 21 films so far! It’s crazy that there’s been that many since 2000. Now I wasn’t planning on recording this episode next due to other things being prepped already, however, I found out about its existence within the last week and jumped at the chance to see another new Pokémon film in the cinema, and after watching, I decided an impromptu podcast review was in order. So I hope you enjoy this brief yet fun and unscripted discussion! 😀

Check out my thoughts on the film below:

So have you seen Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are, drop them in the comments below and if you have some spare time check out my podcast, Film Focus on Soundcloud and iTunes. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Detective Pikachu Trailer

Good day to you ladies and gents, I’m back to give you some thoughts on a recent trailer in the form of the Detective Pikachu film that will be out next summer. Now I have been following this film on and off for a while now just because I thought that it was a little weird to have the first major live-action film based on the Pokemon franchise be adapted from the Nintendo 3DS game that only a handful of people would have played and probably would confuse those who have a casual knowledge of who Pikachu is. However, the first trailer has come out and wow, just wow. I was a little taken back by it yesterday, though, having had to time to watch it again and process it, I think I’m warming up to it.

Check it out the trailer below:

To put it simply, I find this fascinating.

The main that stands out beyond the fact that we have a Pikachu that’s voiced by Ryan Reynolds, is the fact that we have these super realistic Pokemon and it was freaking weird! Now I think any long-term Pokemon can understand where I’m coming from when I say that I know what Pokemon look like, even in the 3D, but to see so many of these classic Pokemon put into live-action with all this extra fur, detail and facial expressions that look better/normal in cartoon form to be given a realistic makeover is a little shocking. If taken out of context and just shown to you, you’d think these were creepy nightmare versions of those of these characters used for a Creepypasta or something. Pikachu’s dark eyes look a little freaky in some of the darker scenes, but alongside Justice Smith, he actually looks not too bad. Now this isn’t the first time Pokemon have had their designs changed up for a more realistic look, just look back to Pokken Tournament, though that game kept the characters looks a little more link their original designs, Bandai Namco did change things up where I’d say it was sort of halfway between this film and the original designs.

But this film does take it to another level, but at the same time it intrigues me, plus I love looking out for all the Pokemon I know. From Charmander and Dodrio to Bulbasaur and Jigglypuff to Psyduck and my boy Greninja, and of course, my favourite Charizard who looks so intense with the new scaly design. And I can not go on without mentioning Mr. Mine, I think that guy has been a bit of a joke character for a while, but here he’s this cross between creepy and funny, his design is probably the most accurate to the original, just with stranger/more realistic facial expressions. I just want to see more Pokemon and what their redesigns will be like.

What stands out to me is the tone of this film, it feels like what Pokemon would be like if westerners implemented their style of visuals, humour and action in only a way a Hollywood film can. I also like the inclusion of Ken Watanabe and Justice Smith, though he pissed me off SO much in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom with all that yelling, I do like him as an actor so I’ll be curious to see how his character’s story pans out. And finally there’s Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu, he wasn’t my first choice, but he’s growing on me. Though, when he speaks all I can hear is Ryan Reynolds or to a more notable degree, DEADPOOL! If Reynolds wasn’t already so well-known for playing Deadpool, then his voice wouldn’t feel so distracting here, but it does and I’m sure I’ll eventually get over it when the film comes out but for the time being, I can’t unhear it.

So to conclude, while I was initially sceptical about this film, I am getting more and more intrigued and dare I say excited just to see how it’ll pan out. As long as it is fun and not too creepy-looking with those Pokemon then I’ll totally down to watch this. Just no creepy Mimikyu, please. 😦

So what did you think of the first trailer for Detective Pikachu? Did like it, hate it or were you confused by it? Also, what do you think of the super realistic-looking Pokemon? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next video, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2018 in Films, Media

 

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E3 2018 Recap & Personal Hightlights

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? It is currently June and we’ve just experienced what can be described as the Christmas-like period for al gamers known as E3. And even though I haven’t been feeling up to doing much blogging these days, there was no way I wasn’t going to comment on the recent happenings in video game news and reveals. So what I’ll do is discuss the conferences I saw and enjoyed and talk about the pros and cons, and then highlight my favourite games below. Okay with all that out

Press Conferences (Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft & Nintendo)

With the press conferences I watched what was relevant to me, so naturally, I skipped EA because why not? I don’t play Bethesda games so I skipped that one (not that I hate them, I just don’t play their games). I’m not a PC guy so I skipped that show and since I knew most of Square Enix’s material would show up in other places I skipped that one too.

Firstly you have Microsoft, the press conference that I didn’t have much hope for, I mean I had a feeling Microsoft would show us something, but I feel like they went far and beyond with the conference just dishing out game after game after game with additional information about Game Pass, new developers they’d acquired and stuff like that. And while not all of the reveals were exclusive, the fact that they even got shown at all was really fun and compelling for the games I wanted to see. I really feel like Microsoft took what Sony did before and just blasted us with games and I loved it. And sure not all of them had immediate release dates, but to know they existed made me happy. Starting off the conference with a look at a new Halo game, Halo Infinite was pretty cool, and from there we were bombarded with game announcements with some of my favourites being the super cool-looking Sekio: Shadows Die Twice, Devil May Cry 5, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the Cuphead DLC, Jump Force and the gorgeous-looking Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Also seeing stuff like a new Battletoads or another Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer was cool, and Forza Horizon 4 looks absolutely amazing

Ubisoft was also really good, well, for the stuff I liked anyway. The way they started with the Just Dance sequence was strangely interesting at first but then went on for too long and after a while, I was wondering when they were gonna end it. The stuff I liked started with the Mario and Rabbids Donkey Kong DLC which looked really fun and I’m definitely considering picking it up later in the year, seeing Trials Rising was really cool as I really liked playing Trials Fusion a few years ago at uni and Beyond Good and Evil 2 used another cinematic trailer, but it was far more story-driven and cinematic and made me way more interested in the game than I was last year. Starlink: Battle for Atlas was another game I saw last year and liked the look of and the inclusion of Star Fox has only made my interest increase, but the real surprise was Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I honestly wasn’t expecting the game to be all that intriguing, but I was quite taken back by the visuals, gameplay and story elements. I haven’t played an Assassin’s Creed game yet but I really am curious to see how this one turns out later on in the year.

As for Sony I’m not gonna lie, they disappointed me this year. I understand what they were trying to do with their stylised presentation and wanting to focus on specific major games. But the way it was presented was pretty bad, it just felt clunky, slow and took a little while to get going. That being said, when it did focus on the games we were treated to some good stuff. Last of Us 2 looked very compelling and brutal and Death Stranding still has me with more questions than answers but I enjoyed what I saw. But the two games that really stood out to me was Ghosts of Tsushima and Spider-Man. With Tsushima, we had the cinematic trailer last year but no gameplay, but this year we saw the game in action and it looked gorgeous with such striking camera angles, lighting, beautiful art and interesting story and gameplay elements. I love samurai stuff so to have a big budget game tackle this kind of subject matter has me hooked. And then there’s Spider-Man which has only gotten better each time its been shown and even though the game’s out in September, I still found myself gushing about the new story and gameplay elements. But the real surprise was Resident Evil 2, after hearing about the remake for so long, to see it finally revealed was great.

I thought Nintendo did well, but I have seen online that the reception on the Direct was very mixed, some loved it, while many were disappointed. So let me just say this, I think some people expected a lot and were disappointed by the lack of appearances from certain games like Yoshi and Metroid Prime 4, which were both teased last year but have had no additional details. Animal Crossing fans didn’t get their new game and none of the rumours surrounding the Star Fox racing game, F-Zero and some other stuff didn’t come to light… So yeah if you’re not overly hyped for Smash and some of the other game reveals then I can understand the disappointment. That being said, I LOVE Smash Bros., and while I didn’t expect it to be covered for so long, it’s pretty much the big release of 2018 so I was delighted to see so much of it. The rest of the Direct had some cool stuff especially with Daemon x Machina, Super Mario Party, Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC, and third-party games in that montage. And while the leaks definitely took away a lot of the surprise, I was still happy to see Dragon Ball FighterZ and Overcooked 2 shown. The Treehouse segment really did well to highlight Pokemon Let’s Go in action and good gravy the nostalgia started to hit me hard when I saw Viridian Forest and Pewter City, the visual enhancements are insane from visual aesthetic to all the minor and major detail in the animation and art direction, but it was really the music that grabbed me, good gravy I need to get this game so I can listen to the music.

My Game Highlights

Now I’m just going to list all of the games that stood out to me or that I am super looking forward to from now until next, and this was a tough list to construct in some ways but I think I have a solid list here.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

This was easily the first game to jump out at me and grab my interest. I LOVE action adventure games and samurai stuff, and the fact that it is coming from the developers of Dark Souls makes me happy and nervous. I’m excited for the gameplay that looks fast, intense, methodical and satisfying with movement and combat, but because it is coming from FromSoftware, their games are hard as hell and I dunno if I want to jump into that kind of game just to have my ass handed to me on multiple occasions. We’ll see. but the game does look hella cool.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

I think I recall seeing this game last year and I thought it looked good, but I don’t recall it looking this great. Ori and the Blind Forest is a game I’ve been wanting to play for a few years now, but this game just looks like it’s on another level with its sense of scope, colour scheme, lighting and overall beautiful and atmospheric visuals. I know graphics aren’t everything but those graphics really are stunning and it just looks even better in movement in gameplay with the combat and platforming. I’ll be keeping my eye on this one for sure.

Jump Force

Just a few weeks ago I was talking to my friend about Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars on the DS and how I had hoped that they’d make another game, and while this isn’t a 2D Smash Bros-like fighter like the games I just mentioned, it is a crossover fighting game featuring the noteworthy characters from Shonen Jump in an arena-based fighting game and I’m down with the idea. When I saw the trailer and saw Naruto and then the appearance of my boys Luffy, Goku and Frieza I got very giddy. Now so far from what I’ve seen this game has potential with the super over-the-top attacks, scene transitions and fast combat speed, but the movement also looks very choppy and animations needing a lot of refinement. I know this is an E3 build of the game so they have plenty of time to polish things up, I just want something fun to play with some of my favourite anime characters.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

I’ve only become a fan of the new Tomb Raider games last summer after playing the first game last summer, I still haven’t played Rise yet, but I will. Either way, I really liked what I saw of this new game especially when it comes to the story. To see Lara is such different mindset, so hasty, self-centred and causing chaos in pursuit of her own interests is very intriguing to me. Beyond that, I am curious to explore this new world that is apparently much bigger than the previous games and I really want to try out all those new combat mechanics. I was pretty stealthy when it came to playing the 2013 reboot, but there are so many more options for distraction, camouflage and stealth kills which are so much more brutal than before. I’m very excited about this one.

Kingdom Hearts 3

What can I say about Kingdom Hearts 3 that hasn’t been said already? I want it, I need it, sure it sucks that we have to wait until January 2019 to play it, but with the amount of the game that we’ve seen I think its close completion so we can actually play the bloody thing after all the years of waiting. I didn’t expect there to be multiple trailers released, I watched them all and the game still looks fantastic and crazy with the Keyblade transformations and summon abilities, but it was the new worlds revealed that really caught my eye. With Frozen it was an inevitability that it’d make its way into KH considering how big that film is not only for Disney but just in general. I think the world and characters look great, but I was actually more interested in the return to the Pirates of the Caribbean world with Jack Sparrow and all of those characters look so much prettier and the world having such a great sense of scope.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

I had heard a lot of talk about this remake for a while and I wondered when we’d get around to seeing it, I just didn’t expect that it would drop during Sony’s press conference. The game looks SO good, I don’t even play Resident Evil games, but I’ve appreciated them from afar and have waited for this particular remake for a while and man it is delivering with its modern gameplay aspects, but still keeping the spirit of the original and horror elements intact.

Ghosts of Tsushima

If it wasn’t for two more games below this would be my game of E3. Last year when this game was teased I knew it’d be something to look out for, but I did not expect something on this level of polish and detail. The game looks absolutely stunning with the lighting, camera work and fluid animation and the combat is just how I’d imagine a samurai fight going down with fights that have precision, weight and timing, what they showed in that E3 demo was so beautiful. This is the samurai game I’ve always wanted, and at the same time, it is the one I didn’t know I wanted as well. I watched a panel with some of the developers on the game and it was so insightful and you could see that these people really care about the source material they are drawing from and want to make a deeply captivating and immersive experience that pays homage to Japan and the samurai films it draws from.

Spider-Man

Oh Spider-Man, what can be said that hasn’t been said already? It looks great, the web-slinging looks amazing, the combat looks varied and creative with what you can do upfront or in a stealthy manner. I am seriously digging the E3 trailer that showed off The Raft prison and several of Spidey’s key villains including Shocker, Rhino, Scorpion, Vulture and this mystery guy we couldn’t see off-screen. I am just in love with the game with everything I see and hear about the game, I just need it to be September so I can grab this game already haha.

Fire Emblem: Three Kingdoms

I remember when this game was announced last year and I was really hyped to see what a home console Fire Emblem game would look like after playing Awakening and Fates on 3DS and Three Kingdoms looks really good. It is essentially taking the core mechanics from the 3DS games and upgrading them not only in the visuals but with some cool extra game mechanics. The visuals look lovely and I like the new sense of scope and verticality with the environments that obviously couldn’t be done on 3DS but can be done in HD. I also love how the transition from the grid to watching your attack animations also has multiple soldiers on the battlefield with you enhancing the feeling of your fights feeling like a major battle. And I’m really liking the new squad formation attacks and special moves that you can perform now, oh Spring 2019 can’t come fast enough haha.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Holy crap, like dear god, what even happened when this part of the Direct dropped? I had so many hopes and fears for Smash 5 in terms of the roster, whether it’d be a new game or an enhanced port and what kind of stuff would be shown. And Sakurai and Nintendo just blew my frigging mind. Seeing the game’s new shiny visuals were great, and all the new stages, music, assist trophies, Pokemon, and tweaks to the game mechanics were great. But it was that roster that really got me. When they said everyone was available, I bloody lost it. 😛 I got so giddy to see Snake and Wolf come back, but then there was also Young Link, Ice Climbers, Ryu and Mega Man and more, and they all looked great. And to top it all off they frigging added my girl Daisy and then bloody RIDLEY at the end!!! Good god, it was like every wild dream come to life, fan service overload!!!!! It feels so surreal that it’s real, but all I can say is that December can’t get here quick enough! I NEED SMASH!

Conclusion

All in all, I’d say I had a good E3 viewing experience. The games I wanted to see exceeded my expectations, for the most part, I got what I wanted and while there wasn’t much in the way of surprises, what did catch me off guard was very pleasant. I’d say the future of gaming looks bright for us gamers for the next several months and good gravy by the end of the year my wallet will be destroyed because of all the game I need to buy haha.

But anyway how about you? What did you think of E3 2018? Was it good, bad or indifferent for you? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2018 in Media, Video Games

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 51 – Double Review – Ready Player One & Pacific Rim Uprising

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, in 2016 I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And the latest episode features a double review for the Ready Player One and Pacific Rim Uprising.

Anyway here’s the episode 51:

I was going to do a written review for Ready Player One, but I didn’t have the time and since I saw it pretty close to my viewing of Pacific Rim 2 so I decided that my podcast would be an easier and better way to talk about both films. But that’s not all, I have also included my small yet notable thoughts on Annihilation and Isle of Dogs, again films I really wanted t review on this blog, but because of timing I couldn’t do it around the time of release so I added my thoughts to the podcast before getting in the meaty reviews later on.

Here are the time codes:

  • 02:34 Annihilation Mini Review
  • 04:09 Isle of Dogs Mini Review
  • 08:19 Ready Player One Review
  • 23:50 Pacific Rim Uprising Review

As I mentioned before I’ll cover a different topic or review in each episode and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if they are fans of film discussion. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining in future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 50 – Tomb Raider Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, in 2016 I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And the latest episode is a review of the latest video game film, Tomb Raider.

Anyway here’s the episode 50:

I’ve done already done my written review for Tomb Raider, however, as usual, there’s always more for me to say beyond my written material. I basically expand upon my thoughts in terms of what I like and what I don’t, and more specifically how the film relates to the game and what it gets right and what it doesn’t. It was also a fun episode to do because it was my 50th episode so I do get a little crazy at points, but hopefully, that won’t make you want to turn the episode off haha. 😛

As I mentioned before I’ll cover a different topic or review in each episode and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if they are fans of film discussion. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining in future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Check Out The Impressions In Motion Podcast!

Howdy ladies and gents how’s it going? As some of you may be aware I have my own podcast, Film Focus which I have promoted via this blog since I started it almost two years now. But that is not the only podcast I have been part of. Back in September my best homie Chris and I started a podcast entitled Impressions In Motion; a podcast dedicated to the discussion of film, tv and video games.

I still haven’t made up a proper logo for the podcast yet because I haven’t come up with a fancy enough, but hopefully, I’ll be able to sort something out soon. We’re currently on Soundcloud and YouTube and while we’re getting some views on YouTube, Soundcloud is a little lacking at the moment. So I thought I’d spread the word on here and ask you, my blogging homies to help me out and check out my material.

Here are some of the best episodes:

 

 

 

And here’s the latest episode where my friend and I did our top 10 films of 2017:

 

Doing this podcast is a lot of fun for me and my mate, not only because we like to joke around and say a lot of stupid stuff. But also because we’re lovers of film and anime especially, but our interests are so different, so it is fun to hear my friend’s opinion as it informs me on films or something else I wasn’t previously aware of.

Anyway, if you have some free time and enjoy casual yet in-depth conversation about film, tv, video games and stuff of that nature then please check out our podcast, it is fun little time for sure. 😀

Podcast on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/impressionsinmotion

Podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1BOjv8CkxiZlJzvgeHHyQw/videos

Podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/impressions-in-motion/id1323236990?mt=2

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2018 in Anime, Films, Life, Media, Reviews, Television

 

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