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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Race

Howdy ladies and gents people, time for another single paragraph review and today I’ll be doing a brief review on the film Race. Now I’d heard about this film when it was released in the US back in February, but I didn’t think it’d get a release over here because it the marketing for it wasn’t all that high, but when I saw it appear in my cinema I knew I’d have to check it out before it left within the space of a week.

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So Race is a biopic that chronicles the story of Jesse Owens’ rise to fame as the greatest track and field athlete in history of the world, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy during the 1936 Olympics. Now I’ve seen plenty of biopics in my life since watching Ray back in 2008 and you normally tell from the beginning whether the film will be unique/good or just by-the-numbers, and from some of the reviews I’d heard about, I was lead to believe that Race would fall into the latter category. However was surprisingly deep, emotional and engaging, and while there were definitely moments in the story where things felt like the followed the standard biopic formula, when the film committed to its story and characters, it ended up being a very entertaining film. What I really liked about it was the story and how it not only documented Jesse Owen’s life, but also dedicated time to the characters surrounding Jesse, showed he highs and lows of being an athlete and showed not only the racism of that time period, but also the complexities that came with the Olympics being held in Germany while Hitler was still in power. There were a lot of topics I didn’t expect the film to cover but it was done in a way that serviced the film, rather than take away from it. And the performances all around were pretty solid. Stephan James did such a great job as Jesse Owens having a great sense of charisma, urgency and likeability as a man who had talent, but also had a lot of responsibilities and the weight of the world of his shoulders. Jason Sudeikis was also very impressive as Larry Snyder, I’ve never seen Sudeikis in anything serious, and this is the first film that’s really made me like him as an actor. Jeremy Irons was also very good as Avery Brundage and really enjoyed Carice van Houten as Leni Riefenstahl, William Hurt’s appearance as Jeremiah Mahoney was good and I also liked Shanice Banton as Ruth Solomon-Owens. In conclusion Race was better than expected and while not perfect, the strong performances, and dramatic elements of the story really made it worth watching.

So that was my review, have you seen Race and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War (Spoiler-Free!)

Howdy people of the internet, so after waiting two painstakingly long days to get back to my laptop I’m here to give you my review of Captain America: Civil War. I’ve seen the film twice in IMAX (once at the midnight screening and again on the same afternoon) and I’ve had a lot of thoughts in my head about this film, and a lot of it is spoiler-based, but I’m going to try my hardest to be as vague and spoiler-free as possible. Alrighty then, let’s begin. 🙂

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So the story can be described as the following:

“After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team.”

What should be clarified straight away is that Civil War is definitely Captain America 3 first and foremost, as the story furthers what we learnt in The Winter Soldier, but it also acknowledges the larger world of the MCU by introducing most of the main heroes so far, but also adding new characters and stories in this film. What I loved more so than anything else was that there was drama, real drama and it was material that was raw, emotional and effective. This is easily the most layered and emotional film in the MCU to date dealing with the themes of freedom, accountability, revenge and friendship being handled in a realistic and captivating manner. Not only do get to see Captain America try his best to keep his best friend safe, and butt heads with Iron Man with their different ideologies, but also see our heroes weigh out the pros and cons of their actions, pick sides based on their beliefs and clash. It was not only interesting, it was also complicated morally and ethically too. You’re given both sides of the argument and luckily both sides are effective at what they’re trying to convey, you’ll probably be conflicted during and after the film ends as well. If I have any issues with the story it was probably just a few changes in some of the character motivations which would have elevated the film a little more, but I have to hand it to the writers and the Russo brothers for juggling so much material and making it work in a coherent and stylish manner.

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With the cast they were all brilliant, and while some stood out more than others, everyone has a reason to be in the film and have their moments to shine and some of the best moments in the film are just with characters talking and interacting. Firstly there’s Chris Evans who was brilliant as Steve Rogers/Captain America, he’s a faced with difficult choices, and yet found a way to be just as heroic, charismatic and true to his beliefs while also being a leader and friend to his allies. Robert Downey Jr. killed it as Tony Stark/Iron Man, just when I thought I’d seen everything from this character, we find out there’s still more to learn. In this film Stark was very still very humours, but also passionate, vulnerable and driven and while he seemed like the bad guy, at the same time you understood his viewpoint. Scarlett Johansson  was wonderful as Black Widow, it was cool to see her character more in line with The Winter Soldier version where she was intelligent,logical and showed off her skill set on and off of the battlefield. Sebastian Stan also did well as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier continuing to be an interesting and tragic character with good ties to Steve Rogers, and speaking of ties to Steve, Anthony Mackie also did a great job as The Falcon, their bond continued to grow and get tested with the appearance of Bucky and I liked how funny Falcon continues to be.

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Oh and Black Panther, dear god, he was brilliant! Chadwick Boseman was everything I wanted him to be and everything, as T’Challa/Black Panther he was intelligent, driven, honourable, tenacious and when he threw down, damn! He was insanely athletic, flexible and animal-like and I adored his treatment in this film. Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen as The Vision and Scarlet Witch were brilliant, I love how they had developed a grew since Age of Ultron, but found new hurdles and personal issues to fight through, Vision continued to have a lot of funny and thought-provoking dialogue, while Scarlet Witch had a good few light-hearted and dramatic moments that developed her character in great ways. Jeremy Renner looked like was having a great time as Hawkeye and I really enjoyed his scenes, the same could also be said for Paul Rudd and Don Cheadle as Ant-Man and War Machine, both of them bring back what you loved about their characters and have great moments in the film.

William Hurt’s performance as Thunderbolt Ross was also great, he’s changed a great deal since The Incredible Hulk, but I really enjoyed his role as the government official attempting to keep the Avengers in check. It was great to see more of Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter as she had more to do and had a good few memorable moments in the film, and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross was delightful and tough and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last from him, and the return of Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones while brief was really cool. Daniel BrĂźhl as Baron Helmut Zemo was interesting, while he’s not utilized in a conventional way and won’t please fans of the comics, I thought his role was very smart, though I believe the film would have worked without him. And finally Tom Holland as Spider-Man, holy crap! Marvel Studios nailed it! If you’re like me you’ve seen Spidey done five times and he’s been done well in certain areas but not completely comic book accurate. But here he’s the most accurate Spider-Man the to date with right balance of action and humour. He’s introduced in a logical and natural way, and seeing Holland as Peter Parker inside and out of the suit was delightful as he felt so fresh different to the actors who’ve come before him.

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When it comes to the presentation it was pretty solid. Visually the film is very nice, the cinematography is great with some wonderfully shot action sequences, good editing and wonderful CGI. The fight scenes are some of the best in the MCU so far with really creative, acrobatic and versatile action for everyone involved whether they be superpowered or not, and there’s the much-talked about epic fight sequence in the airport which for me was one of the most beautiful fanboy moments I’ve ever seen. It was like a comic book come to life in the best way possible. However I will say for everything I liked, I will say that the shaky cam in some of the fight scenes was a little chaotic, and the visual effects in certain parts of the film felt a little lacking in detail and didn’t mesh as well with the live-action footage, but those are nitpicks for sure. As for the film score, Henry Jackman returns to compose and his score definitely feels in line with Winter Soldier, but was also a little more dramatic and heroic than before. However this score while it works within the film, it didn’t have any standout tracks or a theme that I can remember like some of Marvel’s previous films.

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In conclusion Captain America: Civil War was a lot of fun and solid follow-up to Winter Soldier. While it won’t change the game for the superhero genre, it did dive a little deeper into those thought-provoking and emotional territories that the MCU hadn’t fully embraced beforehand, and with some awesome action, an intriguing story and well-developed characters, this is an adventure that people won’t want to miss out on especially if you’re fans of these films and comics.

Rating: 8.5/10

So are you going to see Captain America: Civil War and if you’ve seen it what did you think of it? Please sound off your thoughts in the comments below ane I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Captain America: Civil War Trailer #2 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, time for another trailer review and today I’m finally getting around to talking about the second trailer for Captain America: Civil War. Now I loved the first trailer and was hyped to see the new one a few days ago, but trust that when it came out I was at work and had to wait until around 11pm which was horrible. I would have reviewed this trailer much sooner but again work has kept me at bay for the last few days, but now I’m finally free to talk about this trailer and wouldn’t you know, it’s pretty damn awesome! 😀

Check out the trailer below:

So first impressions after seeing the trailer, “Forget today, forget tomorrow, maybe even forget my birthday. Get me to the release date of Civil War because I need this film in my system now!”

Just like the last trailer what I love about the footage we get here is that this film at the center of all the action and chaos really feels like a personal story which is focused on the characters. Once again we have Steven Rogers and Tony Stark on opposing sides and the trailer further illustrates their points of view and why each of them is right or wrong depending who you side with. And just like before this trailer includes that tone, where things are serious, it feels like there are pretty big stakes as not only the heroes with be beating the crap out of each other, but with the attack on the United Nations, the return of Thunderbolt Ross and Black Panther’s involvement, it seems like there will a great deal of ramifications felt all over the place.

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A lot happened in this trailer so I’ll just highlight a few things:

  • Highlighting the events of the past: Having Thunderbolt Ross show some of the heroes the destruction that laid in their wake after New York, Washington DC and Sokovia was really great as it showed just how much damage they’d unknowingly caused and was also a way to communicate to the audience that even in the MCU for the victories there were sacrifices and the heroes have to be made accountable, seeing Scarlet Witch’s reaction to Sokovia and having Steve telling Ross to stop showing the video was a beautiful moment.
  • MORE BLACK PANTHER: Jesus, I fucking love this character and I haven’t even heard him speak or do anything besides run, jump, slice Bucky’s motorcycle, have a quick fight with Bucky and get shot at with bullets from a helicopter, but that doesn’t matter, what does matter is that the Panther is a frigging badass and I just can’t wait to see how Chadwick Boseman kills it in this role. The Panther has an elegance and ferocity to him that just makes him look so dangerous and cool and I seriously want to see him kick some ass around about now.
  • Ant-Man on the move: This was a fairly brief moment but when Hawkeye shot the arrow and Ant-Man rode it and then leapt jumped onto Iron Man’s armour that was just frigging kick ass. More Ant-Man love is welcome.
  • Scarlet Witch overpowers Vision?: This was another blink and you’ll miss it moment, but seeing Scarlet Witch use her powers to bring Vision to his knees was very interesting and pretty much gave us a confirmation that the almighty Vision does have competition in the powers department.
  • Cool lines of dialogue!: “You just started a war!”, “This job, we try to safe as many people as we can. Sometimes that doesn’t me everybody. But you don’t give up.”, “I’m not the one who needs to watch their back.”, “I was wrong about you, the whole world was wrong about you.” and “I could do this do this all day.” (great callback to The First Avenger) I can see myself quoting this film for a while in the future.

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But let’s talk about that Spidey reveal. I actually had it ruined for me while I was scanning ComicBookMovie.com and it was used in a few thumbnails and I was like “That’s not the new Spidey suit is it?” But sure enough, I watched the trailer, saw Tony shout “Underoos!” And bam, my boy just webs Cap’s hands together, steals his shield and drops in like a badass sporting a slightly modified version of the classic suit with moving eye lenses! Now I have to say I wasn’t too keen on his look at first mainly because it looked so CG heavy and felt like it didn’t look very realistic, though now that I’ve seen the trailer a few more times I’ve definitely warmed to the suit and in the images released there’s actually been so notable levels of detail seen in the suit that weren’t visible in the trailer probably because of the YouTube video compression.

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I really like the suit, it’s classic, but updated with a few stripes on the arms and legs, but it’s those eyes that got me immediately. At first I thought this film was pulling a Deadpool and decided to animate them just because that’s how they were in the comics, but when you listen, you could actually hear a mechanical sound at the lenses got smaller which made me certain that this suit would be part mechanical and possibly made by Tony Stark because Spidey couldn’t make something like this on his own given his age and current freshness in the MCU. Either way I’m down with this new version of Spidey, I just hope the suit looks more realistic in the film.

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In conclusion the second trailer for Captain America: Civil War has just amplified my excitement so much. All this glorious footage just makes me giddy for not only this film, but the future of the MCU going forward with the storylines and characters who make it out of this thing alive. This film looks so good I can’t imagine it failing, I mean it has to be great right? However I am reminded constantly in the back of my mind about Age of Ultron and how my hype technically ruined that film so I’m being cautious, but damn it’s hard not to be insanely hyped with all this good stuff Marvel’s doing at the moment.

So have you seen the second official trailer for Civil War and if so what did you think of it? Are you more or less excited than before? Please sound off your thoughts in the comments below ane I’ll see ya on the next post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2016 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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SUPER REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War Trailer #1

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for another trailer review and today I’m gonna be talking about the first trailer for Captain America: Civil War. Now I was starting to wonder when this footage would drop because it’s getting close to Christmas and still nothing had been shown yet, but then out of nowhere I hope up late after midday and found out the trailer had been dropped by Jimmy Kimmel. WHAT!?! And there I am, gotta get online and see it. So now that I have is it good or bad? Well read on and find out!

Check out the trailer below:

So first impressions after seeing the trailer, “Nice, I’m liking this a lot.” The trailer didn’t blow me away but it had many significant details that made me think that this will certainly be one of the most important films in the MCU yet.

What was made immediately clear to me was that this was a Captain America film first and foremost, it had certain plot elements, themes and tonal consistencies with The Winter Soldier which was great. We’ve heard in the news about the film’s large cast and talk of this being “Avengers 2.5“, but so far this looks like Captain America 3, but with elements of Avengers-styled stuff incorporated. And that’s how it should it be. Winter Soldier was great because it had its own story to tell with awesome themes and genre changes added to the superhero formula and that’s one of the main aspects that made that film work so well, and I can only hope that the Russo brothers are able to bring back the awesomeness to the MCU. My only concern is that this film won’t be consistent in tone and may insert too much humour, that happened with Age of Ultron back in the summer, I just pray that the jokes and light-hearted material will be appropriately placed and won’t overshadow the key themes.

There’s a lot going on in this trailer so I’ll just highlight them below:

  • Cap and Bucky forever: Looks like Bucky’s public enemy number one now and Cap’s trying to help/rehabilitate/protect Bucky from not only the government but also Tony Stark and possibly some of his other allies. It really helps solidify their bond as friends and shows that these personal connections amongst the heroes will be an important factor when it comes to the superhero lifestyle.
  • William Hurt’s back as Thunderbolt Ross: Seeing this character back again made me smile, seems like he’s risen in importance since 2008 in The Incredible Hulk as he’s talking to Cap about him being seen as a vigilante, operating with power in the world without supervision and talk of consequences. It seems he’s one of the key faces in this version of the superhero registration act from the comics.
  • BLACK PANTHER: I honestly didn’t notice this guy the first time I watched the trailer, it wasn’t until I saw a trailer review that I noticed him and saw how cool he looked. The mask/helmet looks awesome, not sure about rest of the costume, but Panther’s brief appearance is notable as we see him throw down with Bucky and go running in a chase scene. So clearly this guy is very active in this film so I can’t wait to see how he factors into this film with the story.
  • This story is intimate: For all the explosions and chaos, this is really a battle between two friends who have different ideals and end up on opposite sides. The scale and scope of these events are as big as the comic story, but for this film its fine considering the circumstances, plus with certain characters picking sides already things will get complicated.

But there are two things that stick out to me:

  1. Cap and Tony “used” to be friends: Watching this trailer and hearing from Cap “Sorry Tony, you know I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t have any other choice. But he’s my friend.” And Tony’s reply, “So was I.” Damn, that genuinely touched me. That’s not a throwaway line. You could tell there’s sincerity behind those words. These two have been at odds occasionally for 3 years now (4 come next year), but at the end of the day they’re still comrades, so it really feels like this is something that neither of them want to do.
  2. Cap and Bucky owning Iron Man: That final shot of Cap and Bucky basically beating Iron Man into submission was beastly. The way its framed and had not quick edits, just a wide shot of Iron Man struggling to fight back against these two titans, it’s an image not easily forgotten and it’s pretty badass too.

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In conclusion this trailer for Captain America: Civil War gives me hope for this third entry in the adventures of Steve Rogers. It felt serious, personal and seems like there will be serious ramifications after the events of this film are over. I am hyped, that being said, Avengers 2 proved that marketing can trick you into seeing a film a certain way and then ending up with a different product, so I’m keeping my anticipation in check until I see the film next May (or April if it comes out early in the UK again). If this film is anywhere near as consistent as Winter Soldier then I’ll be over the moon.

So have you seen the trailer for Civil War and if so what did you think of it? Does it hamper or increase your excitement for this film? Please sound off your thoughts in the comments below ane I’ll see ya on the next post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2015 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: The Incredible Hulk

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #19 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Okay now that we’ve talked about the filth that is Hulk, now we get to talk about the much better Hulk film that came out in 2008, The Incredible Hulk.

Alrighty then, time to talk about a much better Hulk film. I remember seeing this film in 2008 and thought it was okay, better than Ang Lee’s one but not anything to talk about when compared to Iron Man a month prior. In the years since the film’s release I’ve watched this film and it hasn’t really gotten any better. so here we are in 2013 watching it again for the sake of my superhero film reviews, so let’s dive in once again!

In this film the plot involves Bruce Banner as he becomes the Hulk as an unwitting pawn in a military scheme to reinvigorate the super soldier program through gamma radiation. On the run, he attempts to cure himself of the Hulk before he is captured by General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, but his worst fears are realized when power-hungry soldier Emil Blonsky becomes a similar but more bestial creature. And lastly there’s Betty Ross, Banner’s love interest and General Ross’ daughter who gets stuck in the middle of all this chaos.

The story was pretty decent for the most part. I was glad that this film decided to created a new story rather than connect itself to the previous film. I liked how this story was pretty straightforward and not overly layered and full of pointless plot lines (like the 2003 film). There were also a lot of references to the 1970’s TV show that I worked well and was interconnected with the comics too. The pacing in the film is a bit questionable going from swift to very slow at points especially when it came to the love scenes, and speaking of those scenes… I have to say I wasn’t too keen on the relationship between Bruce and Betty, I didn’t believe the connection between them and felt like the dialogue could have been better to develop them.

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Now let’s talk about the cast starting with Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/Hulk. Ed Norton was a great choice for Banner, Norton looks the part and was definitely better portraying the character’s issues with his inner demons and longing for Betty Ross. Norton also seemed smarter and much more active than Eric Bana’s interpretation. And also I loved how Lou Ferrigno returned to voice Hulk in this film, he has a great voice for the character and I liked his contribution to this film. Then there’s Liv Tyler as Betty Ross. Firstly I have to say that I am a massive admirer of Liv Tyler, she is gorgeous and so pretty, so having her as Betty Ross was an automatic win. Tyler was pretty good as Betty and that’s all I have to say on the matter.

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Now let’s talk about Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/Abomination. Roth is a good actor and while he did a decent job in this film, I wasn’t keen on how arrogant and power-hungry he was. I also didn’t like the treatment of Blonsky’s character, he was very plain and generic and I hated how he got powers before actually becoming the Abomination, it felt illogical. And there’s William Hurt as General “Thunderbolt” Ross, Sam Elliot was pretty good in the last film, though Hurt was about on the same level as Elliot, but I preferred the look of Hurt in this film. Tim Blake Nelson also played the scientist Samuel Sterns, he was kind of annoying and overly excited about Bruce and his powers and I felt like it was a waste of a good comic book character. And the cameo from Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark at the end of the film was greatly appreciated.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually this film is pretty good and creates a much darker and moodier atmosphere with its use of colour, lighting and more horror-based references. The action scenes and sequences in this film, while not as over-the-top as Hulk, are much more impressive sporting a lot better CGI, camera angles and realism. I also want to highlight the fact that this Hulk looks WAY BETTER in this film than he did before. 2003’s Hulk was a fat blob who was in no way scary or intimidating, in this film Hulk is beastly, he’s ripped, all muscle and he looks like a force of nature that you should be afraid of. This film also had much better animation and sound effects. When the Hulk, military or Abomination jump, hit, crash and smash, it actually sounds and feels realistic, unlike that crappy film before that had so many issues with the impact of its sound effects and having decent animated action scenes. As for the soundtrack by. Craig Armstrong is nice. I liked it, there was definitely a better sense of urgency and drama going on with this soundtrack and while it lacked the diversity of Danny Elfman’s score in the previous film, this film has a better overall tone.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? As I said before I’ve only read bits and bobs of Hulk comics, but I feel like this film done a better job of creating some of the elements that would make a good live action Hulk film. The Hulk character was improved a great deal, there was also the inclusion of the characters Abomination, Doc Samson and Samuel Sterns. The main issue I found with this film is the treatment of the Abomination. His character not only looks completely different and ugly, but his origins are completely altered too.

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So to conclude The Incredible Hulk is a decent film and is a HELL of a lot better than the 2003 film. The problem is that this film is just not incredible, it’s just adequate. This film lacks the proper pull that can be found in Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. The film has a good cast and good action scenes, but the story is just not there, the villain is lame and the action for all of its merits does get a little boring towards the end. This is not The Incredible Hulk, this is The Adequate Hulk.

Rating: 6/10 (Good, but by no means incredible)

So there’s my review people, only 11 more to go. So have you seen The Incredible Hulk and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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