Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? Today I return with not one but two reviews in the form of Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story via my podcast, Film Focus!
02:23 Deadpool 2 Review 18:37 Solo: A Star Wars Story Review
Check out the review below:
I was originally going to do a written review for Deadpool 2, but time got away from me and with Solo coming out a week later, I thought it’d be better for me to just pack both reviews together, and like I have stated beforehand, I feel like I can communicate my raw thoughts on a film much better than a written piece of work.
Howdy ladies and gents its review time once again and today I get to talk about another film which was one of my most anticipated films of the year, War for the Planet of the Apes. Now of all the films I was looking forward to this year including Logan, Guardians 2, Spider-Man and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok and Star Wars Episode VIII, War for the Planet of the Apes was easily in the top 3. Back in 2011 Rise really blew me away with its interesting story, characters, and action, and then Dawn came out 2014 and completely floored me with the character-driven story, drama, and visual effects. And since the first trailer dropped last year I’ve been beyond hyped to see if this film would deliver the epic third chapter that this trilogy needed and the simple answer is yes. I am telling right now War for the Planet of the Apes is a great film and it deserves your attention.
So the story can be described as the following:
“After the apes suffer unimaginable losses when they are discovered by a military group, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel.”
What I loved about this story was not only how it was a continuation of the path laid out by the previous films, but also how it presented a darker, more dramatic and personal tale. This was a story about power, emotional conflict, family, leadership and making choices based that could have major ramifications both in the short and long-term. I liked how the film presented both sides of the argument for why both the apes and humans should survive over the other, and something else I loved was how the film made me feel. I felt emotions in the last film, it here it was on a higher level, I felt on edge throughout as the tension and suspense was so well executed, but on top of that the emotional material in this film was so good, so many key moments had me shocked, laughing, happy and very sad. This film is very story and character focused and while they are certainly moments where the action kicks off, it is not an action film as some of the trailers suggested, but more so a drama with action elements incorporated, so anyone expected an action-focused film maybe end up being bored and disappointed in certain moments of downtime.
As for the cast, they were all really good. Firstly let’s start with Andy Serkis as Caesar who since the first film in this series has impressed me with the performance capture and here he does his best work not only with the physical material but also with his voice, with more coherent sentences it has allowed for drama and depth in his performance. Caesar has to deal with a lot when it comes to being a leader and family man, dealing with demons from his past and present and making decisions that not only affect him but his apes too, and it’s fascinating to see how it plays out. Then there’s Woody Harrelson as The Colonel was magnificent, he was frightening, ruthless and had a presence on-screen that made you feel like the air had left the room, Harrelson killed it in the role. Also, Amiah Miller as Nova was really good, she did well to act in this film with no dialogue and having to act through facial expressions and physical movement. And everyone else who played apes in the film was really good especially with Karin Konoval as Maurice, Terry Notary as Rocket, Ty Olsson as Red, but it was Steve Zahn as “Bad Ape” that stole the show. At first, I thought he may piss me off because of his odd and quirky personality, but he ended up being so funny and endearing.
When it comes to the presentation it is fantastic. One the visual side of things the film looks amazing with some great cinematography and action sequences, but also some wonderfully framed shots of interior and exterior locations, I striking use of light and colour considering the state of the planet at that point in time, and of course, the CGI for the apes is insanely impressive. Somehow the filmmakers improved even further than they did in Dawn back in 2014 with the Apes looking more realistic than before where you could almost mistake them for really good animatronics. And the film score from Michael Giacchino is incredible, he not only borrowed some of the key themes he crafted in the previous film but also created new material for this film which was well suited for every scenario, whether a scene called for fear, mystery, tension, drama or anything else, he had all based covered to a tee.
In conclusion, what can I say other than War for the Planet of the Apes is a really great film that I think you should check out. The film gave me everything I wanted and then some and I wasn’t expecting to leave the cinema so filled with emotions, but that is really a credit to the talent of Matt Reeves, Andy Serkis and everyone else who made this film possible. Easily in my top 3 films of 2017.
So have you seen War for the Planet of the Apes and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀
Howdy ladies and gents, time for the final of my recent three reviews which comes in the form of Edge of Seventeen, a film I’ve recently been looking forward to thanks to the good word of mouth I’ve been hearing about online. After Moana and Sully I was really curious to see if this film would meet the hype and continue my good streak of films, so how was the film? Well read on and find out!
So the story can be described as the following:
“Life is pretty hard for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her perfect older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until an unexpected friendship with awkward teen Erwin (Hayden Szeto) gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all.“
At first I wasn’t as invested in the story as I would like especially since a lot of what was happening, while interesting, was not as captivating as I had hoped. However, around 2/3’s or 3/4’s this film changed, it got real serious and from there it only got more dramatic and emotional, and by the end I invested on the deepest level. The film deals with a lot of notable and relatable issues that young people face in school like fitting in, awkwardness, family drama, individualism and coming to terms with who you are. And while a lot of Nadine goes through is a little beyond anything I experienced in school, there were elements of her personal struggle that I could relate to and all of the drama feel portrayed in a realistic manner.
When it comes to the cast they were all really good. Hailee Steinfield as Nadine Franklin, wow, that’s all I can say. Steinfield has come a long way since True Grit and I loved her in this film so much, she was magnetic, funny and so endearing. The interesting thing about Nadine is that she’s gone through a lot of difficult circumstances through her life which has shaped her views on life to the point where from an outsiders point of view, she can be hard to approach. She kind of reminds me of a mixture of Daria Morgendorffer and Tracy Beaker; both characters having personal issues or cynical personalities. But no matter how bad she comes across, as we learn over the course of the film, she’s just needs someone to understand her and I really felt that towards the end of the film with this really powerful monologue that almost moved me to tears. And then there’s Woody Harrelson as Mr. Bruner who was just amazing as Nadine’s high school teacher, this guy is just the most chilled out, uncaring and lazy individual and yet he is so engaging and hilarious and his interactions with Nadine are some of the best scenes in the film. Haley Lu Richardson (who for some reason reminds of mix between Hayden Panettiere and Ashley Johnson) was also really good as Krista, while Blake Jenner was great as Darian, as Nadine’s older brother he was decent for a while but definitely became more as the film went on and Jenner had some really strong material towards the latter side of the film. Kyra Sedgwick was also fabulously delightful as Mona and Hayden Szeto as Erwin Kim was just the best, he was the awkward guy hanging around with Nadine and his personality and interactions were totally similar to my own. 😛 Also the film also had an effective use of music as there seemed to be the use of a notable song at just the right moments to enhance the scenes they were used in.
In conclusion Edge of Seventeen was a delightful film and definitely another solid film in the coming of age genre, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the film as much as some of the online film reviewers had suggested, but by the credits I left with a good feeling in my heart. I would definitely recommend it. 🙂
So are you going to see Edge of Seventeen or if you have seen it what do you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments section, and with that done that brings this set of reviews to a close. That’s for reading and I’ll see y’all on the next review, peace out! 🙂
Howdy people, today I’m back to give you another single paragraph review and it will be on the Triple 9. If you’ve read this blog for at least just over a month or since January last year, then you would be aware of how much I was looked forward to this film and even after the reviews I saw were average, I wanted to see for myself. So without further ado here we go:
If I were to describe Triple 9 in one word it would be disappointed. Dear god, it hurts me that this film turned out the way that it did because it had the potential to be so much more, when I heard about this film I got so hyped; the genre and premise intrigued me, the cast was insane and the trailers got me SO hyped up, but this was definitely a case of the anticipation outweighing the viewing experience. So what’s wrong with Triple 9? Well there’s a lot of things, but the key elements came down to the story, length and characters, none of it was nearly as compelling or engaging as a thriller film should be. There was all of the regular codes and conventions with of a crime film with questionable moral and ethical choices, betrayal, tension and danger, but it was handled in the least interesting manner. I found that the film had moments of fun, action and good tension, but it was hidden within a story that felt so lacking in charisma and style, around halfway through I stopped caring what was happening, and when the key aspect of this film eventually went down, I felt like it was a little too late. As for the cast, the performances were solid for the most part but none of them were overly impressive. It did hurt that several cast members were wasted especially when it came to Aaron Paul and Norman Reedus, Gal Gadot and Teresa Palmer felt completely insignificant and while I enjoyed seeing Kate Winslet as Irina Vlaslov, I felt like more could have been done to flesh her out and give her more personality. Casey Affleck was alright as Chris Allen, but he felt so dull in this role, Anthony Mackie did his best as Marcus Atwood but I didn’t like his character and Michael K. Williams’ appearance in this film was unexpected, and yet quite interesting to watch. The most interesting characters were Michael Belmont and Jorge Rodriguez played by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Clifton Collins, Jr., these two felt the most fleshed out and interesting, but it was mainly down to their acting than anything else. In the end Triple 9, damn, besides some cool action sequences and moments of interest with certain character moments, but the dull story, bad pacing and uninteresting characters made for a dull and sleep-filled experience.
So that was my review, have you seen Triple 9 and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀
Howdy ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and today I’ll be reviewing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. Now I’ve liked this film series, but in recent times I really haven’t liked the hype its acquired over the last year or so which has deterred me from wanting to see this finale, but since I had mates that wanted to see it last night I decided to check it out.
The storyline for this film is as follows:
“As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.”
I thought the story was good and pretty intense. Much like the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films, Mockingjay –Part 1 was the set up and Part 2 is the all-out action pay-off finale. This film takes all of the foundations of the last film and uses it to great effect here. Here the focus of the film is on Katniss and her mission to take out President Snow, and within this main plot there is all of drama. What surprised me about this film was how blunt and brutal it got, there was loss, deception and mind games, and unforeseen revelations that changed your views on certain characters. Oh and the film was very tension-heavy with you always wondering how much worse or dangerous things could get and man they got dark pretty quickly. I think it was the way death was unexpectedly dropped on people in certain scenes which really caught me off guard, and while some of it was shocking, it was meaningful and gave the film higher stakes. I will admit that this film had some pacing issues and some of the story choices toward the third act I didn’t agree with, but the main issue I had regarded the ending. Man, Mockingjay – Part 2 had the same issue that Lord of the Rings: Return of the King did; it didn’t know when to end! I could have counted at least 3 times when the film could have stopped, but nope, it just kept on going and I understand that certain plot elements needed to be concluded but damn, that was a little too much and some much time could have been shaved off for it.
As for cast they were great, though some returning characters don’t get as much screen. Firstly Jennifer Lawrence does well for her final appearance as Katniss Everdeen, I dunno how but Lawrence happened to balance being beautiful and super talented with her acting skills in this film, and I believe that it is Lawrence that elevates this character while on-screen as Katniss, while still courageous, was also quite bland and unlikable at times, I know she went through hell, but this was the one time I didn’t really feel like rooting for her. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark was great too, his character has developed so much since the first film and he certainly had his moments to shine, he went from someone who really had no business being on the side of the allies to being a very interesting, dramatic and useful member in times of need. Liam Hemsworth was once again as Gale Hawthorne, his character had a fair amount to do and I liked his scenes with Katniss (even if she was still stringing him along like before). Donald Sutherland as President Snow was good too, still as mean and crafty as ever, Snow once again proved why he was such great villain for Katniss to take out. Julianne Moore had some really good moments as Alma Coin and I appreciated her character more this time around. And even though several of my favourite characters got a lot less screen time, I still appreciated the moments with Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, my man Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair, Mahershala Ali as Boggs, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinkett, Natalie Dormer as Cressida and the all but too brief appearance of Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman.
As for the presentation it is pretty good. Visually the film was very impressive with good action sequences that had several standout moments, some good cinematography, good CGI and lighting too. I also liked James Newton Howard’s soundtrack for the film as it was suitably dramatic, subtle and intense when it needed to be.
In conclusion The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is a good conclusion to this series, it has a great deal of action, drama, conflict and resolution, and good performances from the cast involved. I wouldn’t this film was a completely satisfying ending considering some of the plot points, character choices and dragged out ending, however for what it was, it was solid.
So what did you think of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2? Was it a satisfying conclusion or was it not what you wanted? And how do you feel it compares to the previous films? Whatever your thoughts, drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀
Howdy ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and this one, this one is important because I’m finally going to talk about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Now I’ve never been the biggest fan of this film series, but it has grown on me over time especially after Catching Fire, I was meant to see this film within a week of its release, but then work and waiting for my sister to watch it with me delayed my screening for AGES. I mean I saw the third Hobbit film before this and that is just mental to me haha. I knew I had to see this film at some point, so I went to see it after work yesterday and now I’m ready to pass judgement, finally.
The storyline for this film is as follows:
“The story continues to follow Katniss Everdeen; having twice survived the Hunger Games, Katniss finds herself in District 13. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the Capitol and fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.”
I thought the story was pretty great, it was a very different kind of film when compared to the previous two. There is no Hunger Games, so now we have what could only be described as Capitol vs. the districts of Panem. Here we have President Snow, a man determined to keep the districts in order and take out anyone looking to start a rebellion and on the other side there is Katniss, the symbol of hope to the districts and the one who is willing to do anything to get justice. This is a film about power, who has it and how is it handled. There is drama, deep emotions, and crazy mind games being played. If I had to fault the story I would say that it felt a bit slow at times, but otherwise it’s fine.
As for cast they were all very good. Firstly Jennifer Lawrence is still killing it as Katniss Everdeen, I think this is the role where we can see the most from Lawrence in terms of acting. In this film Katniss is a scarred and fragile individual, she is haunted by her past, longs for Peeta’s return and has to find the strength to be the face of the uprising against the Capitol . The woman has to deal with so much and Lawrence’s performance is stellar and nothing short of amazing. Liam Hemsworth was cool as Gale Hawthorne, this character has always been sidelined and has never had that much to do in these films, but Gale’s presence has risen since the first film and he’s right in the center of the action this time around and I was happy with that. Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee was great, it was odd seeing Hoffman acting knowing that he’s passed on, but I think it made me love him more. Heavensbee is smart and knows how to make things work in his favour, he is also very funny and confident. Also Julianne Moore as Alma Coin was good too, she is a woman ready to start the rebellion and unite the districts, however she wants to handle it properly and has the right tools at her disposal.
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark was good, this time he was after seemingly being dead, the man arose and starts to talk in defence of the Capitol and is asking Katniss and the people of the districts to start down. Hutcherson plays a different kind of character this time round, but it definitely makes him a much more interesting person. Donald Sutherland as President Snow, what a beast. Snow’s always been a douche, a clear villain who never liked Katniss and the courage that came with personality and since the last film he has gone to great lengths to break the spirit of not only Katniss but also the people of Panem. The man is ruthless, calculated and a lot sorts of mean and Sutherland is just perfect in this role, I loved his performance. Elizabeth Banks was lovely as Effie Trinkett, she has such a wonderful energy and persona that makes her fun to watch whenever she’s on-screen. Natalie Dormer was good as Cressida, I was surprised about Dormer’s role in this film as it wasn’t what I expected, however I thought she was fine. Woody Harrelson still does a good job as Haymitch Abernathy even though he was in the film a lot less than before. Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair is good too, while Stanley Tucci did a good job as Caesar Flickerman, I just wish there was more of him.
When it comes to the presentation it is pretty good. Visually the film looked good with nice cinematography, a dark colour scheme and detailed CGI, and the action, even though it was in a smaller amount, was cool when it showed up. Also James Newton Howard’s soundtrack is very nice and really comes into play when the emotional moments come into play.
In conclusion The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is a good film, in fact I would say it is a great film. There isn’t that much action and the pacing felt a bit slow at times, however this film makes up for that with its intriguing plot elements and great performances from the cast involved. I can now say that I’m excited to see how this film ends next year.
So what did you think of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1? And how do you feel it compares to the last two films? Whatever your thoughts, drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀
Hello again ladies and gents, I’ve got another film review for you. So after two other films in the cinema, the final one I watched was Out of the Furnace, a film I’d been wanting to see just because of the hype surrounding Christian Bale and Casey Affleck’s performances. I went in with fluctuating expectations, so was it good or not? Read on and find out.
So the story goes like this:
“Russell and his younger brother Rodney live in the economically-depressed Rust Belt, and have always dreamed of escaping and finding better lives. But when a cruel twist of fate lands Russell in prison, his brother becomes involved with one of the most violent and ruthless crime rings in the Northeast – a mistake that will cost him everything. Once released, Russell must choose between his own freedom, or risk it all to seek justice for his brother.”
Before I continue I just want to say that the first scene in this film is awesome, its terrifying, but awesome nevertheless, okay moving on. I really liked the story and thought that it was very interesting. I liked the relationship between the Baze brothers and their individual stories and how they progress. The story of this film was pretty dramatic, graphic and depressing, part of that reason is not only the character situations but also because of the locations. Russell and Rodney’s story takes place in Crap Town, that’s what I’m calling this place because its dull, sad and not much is going on and it doesn’t feel like people can amount to anything without doing legit work. But if you think that’s bad just wait til you see Shitsville, another location where other bad things take place which is even worse than the last place full of savages and nutjobs doing horrible things. This film reminded me a lot of Prisoners, but whereas that film made me feel uncomfortable and sad, this one gave me a more satisfying story and conclusion.
When it comes to the cast there is a really impressive cast on show and while not everyone is utilized fully, the ones that do stand out are very good. Christian Bale as Russell Baze is great, Russell is a man who is very devoted to his family and has a lot to take care of, but things go from bad to worst after an accident which causes him to lose so many precious things in his life. Bale continues to be a very cool actor as he commits to this role and I like his emotional range. The performance that may overshadow Bale is Casey Affleck as Rodney Baze, Jr., I’ve not seen too many films with Casey in them, but I am now aware that he is an actor I should be paying attention to due to his stellar performance in this film which is very powerful and realistic. At first you question the man’s actions but when you realize what he’s been through and know what’s going on in his head, you begin to understand him and hope that he gets himself together for the sake of not only himself but his family.
Though the stand out person in this film for me Woody Harrelson as Harlan DeGroat. Bloody hell, what a beast! Harlan is such a brute, totally messed up and unpredictable. When he’s around people you don’t know what’s gonna happen and you fear for their lives. I’ve only become a fan of Harrelson in recent years but seeing him in this film makes me wish I’d noticed him years ago, the man is SO good and easily stole the screen time for others. Zoe Saldana as Lena Warren was pretty good, I liked her and she can do crying moments very well. I also like Willem Dafoe as John Petty, he was a typical business man, very serious though he did have some form of compassion for the people he worked with. Forest Whitaker was decent as Wesley Barnes but he wasn’t in the film as much as I thought he’d be. And Sam Shepard as Gerald “Red” Baze, he didn’t move that much but he was good in the film too.
In conclusion Out of the Furnace is a great dramatic thriller with awesome performances from the cast and the story is interesting with grim atmosphere. While I wasn’t totally satisfied with the way the story progressed and the over depressing aura of the film, it is still really good and I recommend it.
Rating: 8/10 (Great performances make this worth a watch)
So have you seen or are going to see Out of the Furnace? Whatever your thoughts are leave them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀
Okay, time to talk The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, a film I’ve been both excited for and not overly interested in at the same time! Now the first film was decent, wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t amazing either. It did rather well, and after X-Men: First Class it made Jennifer Lawrence come across as not only a bankable star, but an actress who had talent. For all its success the film had its criticisms. some thought the film was too long, others said the violence wasn’t enough, some just called it a Battle Royale rip-off and other fans of the book just slated the film for the changes made to the books. Anyways that was last year, Catching Fire is now. Does this sequel entertain or not? Read on and find out!
The storyline for this film is as follows:
“Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.”
I thought the story in that film was pretty good and had a lot of depth to it. There was a lot more fleshing out of the world that these characters reside in, we saw more of the other districts and see how the events of the last Hunger Games affected everyone. Nothing gets easier and complications begin for not only the main characters but for everyone. There’s a difference in the air and themes of love, sacrifice, revolution and war are explored in a great way. What I really liked was how Katniss’ actions in the last film carried over into this one, where she has become a symbol of hope and the people from the other districts and cause them to slowly revolt which in turn creates problems for President Snow who sees her progress and wants her to be eliminated. Overall the story was just much more involving, dramatic, believable and cohesive than the first film.
When it comes to the cast they’re all very good at bringing life to these characters and their definitely the film’s highlight. Firstly Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss Everdeen and Lawrence is just so good as the character now. This time Katniss has to deal with the events of the last film which have taken their toll on her mentally and emotionally and you get to see that through Lawrence’s fabulous acting skills which are easily the highlight of the film. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark is a lot better in this film than before, the material the actor is given makes his character a little more interesting and less of a weakling. Donald Sutherland is once again is wonderful as President Coriolanus Snow, I like how his outward persona is so calm and authoritative, however behind the scenes he is quite sinister and really wants to control everyone with an iron fist. Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne is back and is given more to do which has made his character more likeable and fleshed out, Hemsworth’s moments are more interesting this time around.
Woody Harrelson is totally awesome as Haymitch Abernathy, he was one of my favourite characters in the last film and here he returns with that mixture of seriousness mixed in with dry humour. Elizabeth Banks is still as kooky, high-spirited and fancy as ever as Effie Trinket, she gets a little more screen time and actually feels a lot more developed as we see more sides of her personality. Lenny Kravitz is still as cool as ever as Cinna, the man who stood by Katniss’s side, makes amazing clothing and looks at things from a realistic perspective. Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee is the new dude who overseas the games and is in alliance with President Snow to take out Katniss. He has new tactics and plans that make him a person to look out for and Hoffman as ever is great to watch on-screen. I also liked performances from Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair and Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, and Jeffrey Wright as Beetee Latier is great, he plays this interesting returning winner and I liked his smart and funny personality and it makes a MASSIVE change from the douchebag character he’s playing in Boardwalk Empire. And lastly Stanley Tucci is still amazing as Caesar Flickerman, the charismatic TV presenter that covers all the major happenings related to the Hunger Games.
As for the presentation it is notably better. First and foremost the most immediate difference is the lack of shaky cam in the action scenes. I watched the previous film the night before and the lack of shaky cam was incredibly noticeable and to be honest the film is a hell of a lot better for it. Action in general is just shot and staged a lot better with more convincing GCI too, it was delightful. Just wish there was a bit more violence (I am a junky for violence lol). Also the soundtrack by James Newton Howard is also a lot better too, it had a better emotional connection and better presence and the good themes that were used in the last one have returned too.
In conclusion The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was a lot of fun and a lot better than the previous film. There is a better direction in place than before and the story, characters and action was much deeper, dramatic and better executed than before. Unlike the first film which was just decent for me, I just felt more invested in this one and I really liked it. While it wasn’t by any means one of my favourite films of the year and I had hoped for a bit more action, otherwise this is a film I would recommend highly.
Rating: 7.5/10 (A much better and dramatic sequel)
So what did you think of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire? Did you find it better than the first or did you like the last one better? Whatever your thoughts, drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀
Howdy people, time for me to review another film in the form of Now You See Me, a film that I’d been hearing a lot about for months now. I’d heard mixed things about the film, but the majority of thoughts on the film were good, but I was sceptical. So I saw the film last week and I thought it was a surprisingly awesome and I’m gonna tell you why in this review.
The story in the film involves small-time magicians Daniel Atlas, Merritt McKinney, Henley Reeves and Jack Wilder when they’re invited to attend a meeting in a weird apartment. One year later, they reappear as The Four Horseman in a show in Las Vegas sponsored by the millionaire Arthur Tressler and they heist a bank in Paris from the stage and distribute the money to the audience. The FBI agent Dylan Rhodes is assigned to the case and the Interpol sends the agent Alma Dray to be his partner. Dylan and Alma are completely lost in the investigation and the exposer of illusionists Thaddeus Bradley gives hints about illusion. When the Four Horseman steal the bank account of Arthur Tressler during a show in New Orleans, Dylan and Alma believe that these heists are only distraction for a huge scheme but they are never sure about of what is true or illusion.
I thought the story in this film was very good and had a good number of twists and turns. It really is intriguing to see how these four magicians go from being individuals to a big-time Las Vegas act with all their amazing tricks which stun the general audience and make them targets for the police. I love films with complex plots or stories that have layers that get more and more mysterious as they progress, the problem sometimes is that these types of films either get too complicated for their own good or are just too smart for me haha. Luckily the plot in this film is at that level where it is smart, complex and layered but not overdone and easy for the general audience to understand.
Now let’s talk about the cast who are all fantastic in their roles. Firstly there’s Jesse Eisenberg as J. Daniel Atlas, I thought Eisenberg was great as this cocky, wise-cracking dude who was really good at illusion and visual-based magic. While his character was a bit of a jerk, I couldn’t help but like him especially since Eisenberg’s performance was very similar to the one he gave in The Social Network. Then there’s Woody Harrelson as Merritt McKinney, he’s a street Magician with the powers of prediction and hypnosis. As I’m starting to discover, Woody Harrelson is great in anything, he’s funny, smart and always a scene stealer. Isla Fisher as Henley Reeves plays an impressive escape artist, I loved her in the role and she was the most level-headed in the group. And the last member in this group is Dave Franco as Jack Wilder who played a street magician, I think this is Dave Franco’s best role to date as it really showcased his acting talent and charisma on-screen in a way that made him feel relevant and look totally cool.
Mark Ruffalo plays Dylan Rhodes, a FBI agent to great effect. I can’t say I was a big Mark Ruffalo fan until after The Avengers came out, but now I’m starting to see why people talk about his acting talents so much, he was so awesome in this film. He was hell-bent on capturing the magicians and goes through so much trouble to get them. Mélanie Laurent as Alma Dray was great as an Interpol agent assigned to help the FBI, I hadn’t seen Laurent since Inglorious Basterds so I was happy to see her again in a wonderful role where she was sophisticated, smart and didn’t take shit from anyone. And finally Michael Caine as Arthur Tressler and Morgan Freeman as Thaddeus Bradley were incredible as always, turning in performances that were convincing, cool and familiar if you’re fans of their work.
I thought that the presentation in this film also worked in both departments. Visually the film is shot well and there is a good use of visual effects too that really help reinforce the illusion-based performances. As for the soundtrack, I really liked it. Bryan Tyler seems to be scoring a lot more films and his music is sounding a lot more impressive these day than ever before. What I like about this soundtrack is that it has that trademark Tyler bombastic sound, its load, stylish and full of flavour!
In conclusion Now You See Me was a mighty impressive film. I knew that the film would be good, but I didn’t expect it to be SO good. It was just such a smart film with good twists and turns, a solid story and cast and lovely presentation. This is a film I highly recommend film, it is some kick ass stuff.
Rating: 8.5/10 (I wonderfully great piece of film that get better as the film progresses)
So what did you think of Now You See Me? Whatever your thoughts are drop in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo!