Monday, 29 December 2014

(film review) - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

For as far back as I can remember, I was a TMNT's fan. Well to an extent anyway. I don't remember having the toys but I remember which ones were which, which ones I liked and why. I remember my first gaming console, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) had a Turtles game with it I got for my birthday. That game was cool. I remember going to the Arcades at the seaside and playing the 4-Player Turtles game where you had to save April O'Neil from the evil clutches of Shredder. Nearly every little boy had a Turtles T-Shirt and quite possibly, the bumbag and over little kiddie stuff, like Lunch Box etc. In more recent years, I got the 4-Player Turtle game I tried to play in the Arcade when I was younger, on my Xbox360 and I also got some other Turtles game (Turtles in Time) I think it was. So, imagine my excitement, being a slight fan, that they were doing another film. Yes, I was happy. The first film which came out in 1990 is older than dirt now. A reboot was indeed necessary and only if it is to be done right. Was this done right? Yes indeed it was. Yes indeed it was.

This film is about four teenage mutant ninja turtles who get rumbled trying to clear the streets from the evil footclan by budding up and coming reporter, April O'Neil (Megan Fox). When trying to convince her boss Bernadette Thompson (Whoopi Goldberg) that the mutant turtles are real to no avail, she convinces her cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) to speak with Eric Sacks. Shortly, Shredder comes out of hiding with his footclan hunting for the Turtles, their demise as well as a sinister plan to unleashing a deadly toxin into the city.

Without going into too much about the film, this is how a film based on a old comic or old 80's cartoon should be done. I'm looking at you Transformers. There was a story, there was action, it was evenly paced, it was funny, Megan Fox didn't suck as badly as she has previously in her career and the special effects were excellent. Lots of fun and action, just like the cartoon and the games. Fun and Action. Every aspect of the Turtles were captured down to a tee. Their personalities were spot on and even Master Splinter was great. There is a lot more which they can address in the possible sequels to come, but other than that, this was a really entertaining and thrilling journey back to loving something I used to love as a little boy. Should they do a sequel, they need to add more mutants and I most definitely need to see Krang and the Technodome. If no Technodome, Bebop and Rocksteady need to be in the mix.

Not excellent but you will have fun. Enjoy.

Monday, 1 December 2014

(film review) - Horrible Bosses 2

So I've committed a sin. Well sort of. I went to the cinema to watch this film recently and I hadn't seen the previous film. This is something I don't often do. I don't go into the cinema to watch sequels to a film I have not seen before, but on this one occasion, I made an exception.
I didn't know anything about the characters and the roles they may play or how their characters were in this film in comparison to the previous film, but I must say that this film was a good great watch.

Having worked previously for horrible bosses (Horrible Bosses), the 3 friends, Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman), Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) decide to come together to own their own business and be their own boss. They think of their own product to sell but do not have the money to fund it. As they are looking for investors for their product, they approach Burt Hanson (Christoph Waltz) and his son Rex (Chris Pine) in which Burt makes a deal with them and they start hiring staff, manufacturing the product and are ready for distribution. However, at last minute, Burt backs out of the deal leaving them in debt. Feeling cheated, angry and wanting revenge, the bumbling trio devise a plan with the help of Dean 'MF' Jones (Jamie Foxx) to get the money so they can pay for their product and get out of debt.

Now, I hadn't seen the previous film so I had no idea what to expect and although I heard the first film was decent, I didn't know enough about the characters to understand them. With that said, you don't need to see the first film as this film is a stand alone film which does not need the prequel for you to understand why the 3 bumbling idiots are they way they are and to why they are such idiots. This is shown throughout the film as well as constantly reminded by a previous boss from the first film. I mean, I cannot stress enough how stupid these guys are. I wouldn't say that they are completely dumb. They aren't Harry and Lloyd, but damn, they are pretty stupid. But if anything, I see them as, one smart guy, one semi-smart guy and one non-smart guy and because they encourage each other on what are seen as good ideas at the time, and the fact that they are very close friends, their plans often fall apart, repeatedly.

All the actors play their parts well and the dialogue in this film is amazing. Very smart, witty and funny. I couldn't help but laugh at the antics and stupidity of this film and although, not the funniest film I found this year, 22 Jump Street has taken that crown for me, but this film was a very decent watch and if you enjoyed the first film, you will enjoy this one (I watched the first one before I wrote this review)

Sunday, 3 August 2014

(film review) - Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel Studios took a huge gamble with Guardians of the Galaxy by making this comic into a film. If you did not know, in which you ought to, the over arching storyline regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe films are, Thanos wants to destroy EVERYTHING! I'm not entirely sure if it is all life on particular planets or all life as we know it, but he wants to destroy EVERYTHING. This is the nature of his character. In order for him to do that, I believe, would be to Ashley Catchem the 6 or so Infinity Gems/Stones, attach them to the Infinite Gauntlet and he would be able to do whatever he pleases. He would be unstoppable.

So, to understand this a touch further over the films, Captain America: The First Avenger and Avengers Assemble, deal with the Tessaract which is a Infinity Stone. There are rumours that there is another Infinity Stone in Avengers Assemble, but we will not see that, I'm assuming until Avengers: Age of Ultron. The other Infinity Stone was seen in the Thor: The Dark World movie, so that could be 3 so far, and the rest remains to be seen over the background story arc over the next few films.

Guardians of the Galaxy, is a film which is to bridge the gap between Earth and the cosmos. Although this was achieved with Thor, in this film, you get a better sense of a wider and greater existence of space, spaceships and aliens along with an imminent threat which spans across not only Earth, but the Galaxy as we know it or not know it. I'll explain.

The film starts off with a young Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) who is seen being abducted from Earth with his little backpack and Walkman. You then see him 20 years later exploring a derelict planet for an artefact. Think of it as Tomb Raider meets Indiana Jones, but in space. He Stumbles across Korath the Pursuer (Djimon Hounsou) in which he narrowly escapes, heads to Xander, the home of the Nova Corps in which he gets into a situation which leaves him imprisoned. At this point, he teams up with 4 other guys, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) & his friend Groot (Vin Diesel) who decide to work together from that point onwards for a greater cause, sort of. There is a lot more to the film, but I would be spoiling it. Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), along with Nebula (Karen Gillian), under directions from Thanos (Josh Brolin), go after the artefact, currently being held by Star Lord and they find themselves in an entanglement between Ronan the Accuser, Yondu and the significance of the artefact in their possession. The Guardians of the Galaxy must come together and make the right choice.

This film for me was NOT the best Marvel film of this year, as I do believe, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is, but is most definitely a great film. The film doesn't take itself too seriously and the characters are weird and wonderful with a lot of depth. The film is visually, stunning and you really do get a feel of space and the many different worlds you see. A little bit like Thor, but greater. Most of all, the film is very funny. The characters work very well together, although their dynamic is weird and with their depth, they more or less bounce off one another as they work as a team.
My only faults I found with this movie, was that, the villain could have been explored a little more have been a bit more villainy. Also, although everyone more or less had a back story, it would have been nice to go that little bit deeper with the back stories of the Guardians and I did feel that Gamora, being the universes most deadliest assassin was watered down and I just didn't see enough from her.

But with that said, A great film to watch. Very entertaining. It is like watching Avengers: Assemble again but with a weird looking cast and a barrel of laughs. Go out and see it before the sequel comes out.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

(film review) - Transformers 4: Age of Extinction

There is a cult following of people who watch Transformers because a) They loved the cartoon series when they were younger and NEED to see the films. B) There are the NEW following of people who either never heard of the Transformers or didn't really follow the cartoons but they do like the new film franchise. And c) The people who have watched the previous Transformers, thought they were good, passable or shiet but keep getting hooked by the new trailers which promote the film and now they have to see the new one. Me?! I'm a little bit of both. I have liked or found the films passable but these films do definitely have their drawbacks. Plus those trailers be catching me EVERY TIME!

Michael Bay is a great director, but a lot of people do not like him and I understand why. A lot of people also jump onto the "Michael Bay is a sh*t director" Band Wagon, but often forget the greats. Bad Boys 1 & 2 along with The Rock and more recently, Pain & Gain, just to name a few. Michael Bay knows exactly how to sell a film to you with no real storyline, dress it up as the most amazing thing in the world with great special effects to make you run down to the cinema at full pelt and throw your money at the cashier..."Take My Money!"...The trailers do this. But when the film is finished, sometimes you feel empty and cheated.

With the Transformers franchise, bar the first film, Michael Bay successfully delivers everything you want, well mostly, until you watch it and then feel like you have been cheated. That you have wasted almost 2 hours of your life you simply cannot get back. Imagine buying a burger from a burger bar and the picture looks excellent, the ingredients sound great. You get the burger and half the ingredients are there and the burger tasted a little flat. The ingredients didn't jell well and what you initially expected was light years away from what you actually got. Although you enjoyed the burger because you were hungry, you can't help to think it would have been a lot better if all the ingredients were there or maybe straight out buy a completely different burger. Transformers 4 is like this.

The film is about a single parent inventor who is struggling or simply just getting by trying to earn a honest wage. He is raising his daughter who he is trying to send to collage but is trying to raise the cash. Pretty much down on his luck with failed inventions which haven't taken off,  jfjdjr (Mark Whalburg) stumbles across an old banged up truck he tries to fix to for money, but unknowingly, he wakes up a old Transformer and gets drawn into a fight between the humans and the robotic aliens from space.

The beginning was cool and everything seemed to go well-ish for a Transformers movie directed by Michael Bay. I got a heads up from a friend saying that the new film was better than the rest, so I guess I had high-ish expectations. It got to a point where the film turned from good, to mediocre to garbage. Don't get me wrong, robots in disguise is always great and can never get old. They even swiped that in The Lego Movie when the Pirate turns into a photocopier, but this NEW material they were using made the storyline garbage.
You could tell that this Transformers film was trying to be different from the previous incarnations and there was some really cool moments and special effects, but unfortunately, this is what the Transformers franchise has become; a bunch of cool moments, some funny moments and great special effects. You can't knock Michael there. We'll on the special effects.

I really felt the film was lacking when it had a great intro and like all the other Transformer movies, was simply a let down due to story. If the Story was executed better and a few elements of the movie were taken out and maybe replaced with something else, then this could have been a great movie. Otherwise, the film is just watchable.

Acting was stiff. Dialogue was ridiculous. Storyline was pants. Special effects were superb. But all in all, it wasn't great and was simply passable. If you enjoyed the previous movies, then you may love this. If you didn't, then you may not. You might just want to watch it because you have seen the previous ones and regardless of how you feel about them, will just watch it because it is a Transformers Movie. Lord knows I did.

Friday, 20 June 2014

(film review) - Edge of Tomorrow

First and foremost, before I get into anything. Whether or not you like Tom Cruise, if you put him aside or don't even factor him in as the star, then you should love this film. I say this because I know some people who don't like him too much and I think he is cool. Maybe I am somewhat a fan and possibly, slightly bias but his films haven't all been poor to me.
I've said before that, whenever he does a film, I do not see him as the character, only Tom Cruise in a different role, but with that said, even if it is just another Tom Cruise movie, this one is good.
I'd also like to say that the marketing for this film is very poor. It is very confusing and as it seems like it is a futuristic film like Oblivion, some people actually thought this film was a sequel to that movie. No, it isn't, but I totally understand why you would think that. And I will tell you this for free. Although I liked Oblivion, it had a cool concept and the landscapes and scenery and special effects were all great, THIS film knocks that film out of the park. Let's get involved.

Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is a member of the NATO-led United Defence Force who is summoned to London to have a meeting with General Bringham (Brendan Gleeson). When the General orders cage to cover combat for the war, things take a unexpected wrong turn in the meeting for Cage who is subsequently knocked out and wakes up at an Army Base. Not knowing where he is, disorientated and completely unaware of what is happening, Cage is enlisted by Master Sergeant Farrell (Bill Paxton) to join a bunch of reject soldiers called 'J Squad'. As the squad is used in the first wave of the attack on the beach the following day, Cage witnesses everyone dying and when he dies, he wakes up the day before the beach assault back where he started with Master Sergeant Farrell. When this happens a few times, Cage eventually saves Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) a highly decorated war hero who he explains his situation to. From this point, Cage and Vrataski embark on a quest to win the war which will involve a lot of dying and dying and dying and dying and dying.

We need to give credit where credit is due. The story is excellent. The premise is really cool but risky. However, Doug Liman did a very very very good job in directing this film adaption of a book of a slightly cooler name "All You Need Is Kill" and was able to pull this off without the film coming across long-winded, Repetitive and boring. Considering the main character has to Live, Die & Repeat, not once did I feel like I was watching something again I had already seen and the scene felt over used. I didn't feel like any scenes were unnecessary, tiresome or tedious. The editing was done in such a way, every scene, no matter how often you saw it, felt fresh.

Tom Cruise is a great actor. Sometimes it is the films he is in that don't do him any favours. Yes they are enjoyable, but some fall short in areas. This film on the other hand, the direction, the pace and the dialogue fit soo well. The acting was great and I could sympathise with Cruise's character's struggle as the film went on. The chemistry between him and Blunt was greatly handled. I always find Tom always "in bed" with the other female star. Always has to get the girl or save the girl. Although this is slightly the case in this film, you can only imagine, having to relive the same moment over and over again with a fit female, you would start to develop feelings. With that said, for me, this brought on a lot of the comedy elements to the film where, the trial and error moments, I found hilarious in places.

Another excellent film to add to my 2014's top 10 films of the year.

I suggest you watch it. There is absolutely no reason to feel disappointed.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

(film review) - 22 Jump Street

So, I remember when my boys first told me about 21 Jump Street. They both went to the cinema to watch it and said to me, well if I can remember the exact verbatim, "Bruv, you really need to see that film, it is soooooo much jokes, too funny" and I instantly thought of the trailer and was like, "ehh" and literally replied, "It just didn't look that funny or that appealing". After they reassured me, some months later I watched the movie and boy was they right. Although I'm not sure if I find it funnier than the Other Guys or maybe the comedy was more consistently laced throughout the movie, where the Other Guys to me, has sections of hilarious comedy, I still felt that 21 Jump Street was hilarious and I would indeed need to watch the sequel when it comes out.

And right off the bat, the sequel to 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street is totally BEYOND HILARIOUS!!!

As the film starts, it gives you a brief outline of what the first film was about with both Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum), then it literally pics up where the last one left off. I was not given the impression that a lot of time has passed since the last film. As I really can't be bothered to type a lot about this film and tell you bits and pieces because, 1, it is a comedy and I can potentially spoil the gags/sketches and 2, I don't want to give away the story for spoilers sake, I Just want you to know that, they have upgraded to 22 Jump Street, they have another assignment and the comedic levels have sky rocketed to more silliness, more insane stuff and just much more laughs guaranteed.

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are brilliant together. The chemistry is excellent and the comedic timing could not have been any better, this time around. The way they capture their characters are spot on. Especially as this is a sequel, nothing was left out in the gap from 21 to 22. Ice Cube as Captain Dickson was the same as before, but excellent and a slightly bigger role. If you are quick enough as me as I was possibly the ONLY person in the cinema who caught the Ice Cube reference in the film, this film is very cleverly written. From old school culture to pop culture and out of the box/4th wall references, this film is just intelligent. Very self aware of what it is and that is a well written comedy. The pacing was great and although some gags fell a little flat on me, majority of the films comedic elements were delivered very well.

My favourite bits from the movie that absolutely sold the film to me (Hopefully this isn't considered as a spoiler)...The Twins. The New Twins. The homosexual referencing. The Grenade. The Schmidt Fight. The Parents coming to school. The Police Update after the parents coming to school scene. The beach. damn, I think the list actually goes on. #Sigh.

Brilliant film. Go and Watch it.

Friday, 30 May 2014

(film review) - Godzilla

So, when I think of Godzilla, I think of two things; the first Godzilla film I saw which came out in 1998 directed by Roland Emmerich starring Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno; the second being Rush Hour. There is a scene where Chris Tucker mentions Godzilla to Jackie Chan. An honourable thought is, Hip-Hop group Gods'illa. The name says it all. Anyway, let's progress as I digress.

A bit of a surprising film as I didn't expect a reboot. However, if I gave it some real thought, it would have came up at some point as Hollywood seem to be running out of ideas.

So, this film is somewhat a reboot of the Godzilla film franchise and plays out as Godzilla being a terrifying force of nature. A myth of sorts.
Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) a U.S Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer and his nurse of a wife, Elle Brody (Elizabeth Olsen) find themselves caught in the middle of a grand monster fight when Ford's father makes a discovery of the reported seismic activities which have been occurring of recent. Trying to gather info from their previous home to prove his findings, a monster wakes up and makes its way out of it's resting place underneath his home, on a mission somewhere destroying the facility and everything else around it leaving nothing but rubble in it's wake. As this monster now threatens to annihilate humanity and it seems like the humans are powerless against it, only one other monster can save the day, Godzilla.

This is a decent film to watch. If anything and going from memory, this film is better than the film which came out in 1998. Godzilla looks like Godzilla. Rather than the Tyrannosaurus looking Godzilla we had back then. Also, the special effects are great and the film comes across as very grounded as it is set in present day. The intro to the film is very clever and makes getting into the film smooth as well as the world we are now being taken to as it eases us in. However, other than the few bits of action we see and the special effects, this film is fairly poor. Well, not poor, but when you see the trailer, you expect much more. It is fairly hard to explain as it is fairly hard to understand, how they barely made this film work. The story was marginally decent with excellent acting coming from Joe Brody (Bryan Cranstan) and Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) but other than that, everyone else's acting was weak in comparison. Not enough time was given to like or feel for the characters. Even the scenes between Ford and his father Joe were a little lacking. It's like the entire film could have been a lot better if they just pushed for a little more. A little more to the internal story between the human characters. A little more with the fighting scenes. A little more of Godzilla and a little more of basically...well, EVERYTHING. Don't get me wrong, this is a very good film to watch and chomp on some popcorn to and the ending scenes with Godzilla are beyond excellent, but I just generally feel that the film was posting it in and the director, Gareth Edwards was simply wetting the audiences appetite. If that last scenes with Godzilla didn't pan out the way it did, then the film would have been purely garbage fused with garbage.

Beautiful Visuals and Godzilla looks like and IS a BEAST!!! But other than only showing us a little action here and there and not really giving us a full Godzilla treatment and/or experience until the very end of the film, this film mails it in. I guess, this is the outcome when you add storyline to human characters who needn't be in a monster movie about monsters fighting monsters. A perfect example of where a monster film about monsters fighting monsters and where it worked would be, Pacific Rim.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

(film review) - X-Men: Days Of Future Past

For me, Bryan Singer destroyed X-Men from the very beginning. From when Wolverine was made center of attention, for me, the X-Men film/franchise was just nonsense. I mean EVERYBODY knows Cyclops IS the leader of the X-Men and although this didn't change in the film, having everything center around Wolverine just didn't sit well with me. This is not to say I didn't enjoy the X-Men films, X-Men and X2, but I made do with what Bryan Singer did with the franchise. With that said, X-Men: The Last Stand could not have been any more of a useless mass of mess and Brett Ratner needs to redeem himself with the new Hercules film with Dwayne Johnson. With X-Men: First Class directed by Matthew Vaughn sliding into the X-Men franchise and somewhat saving it, Bryan Singer had a lot to clear up from the mess he started with (although we dealt with it and accepted it), the diabolical nonsense Brett Ratner did and also tidy up a little of First Class. And just before I start the review, I would like to conclude and reassure you with great news. Bryan Singer DID THE JOB.

Although the characters are all over the place, lets just roll with it.

We are currently in a dystopian future where Sentinel's are targeting and killing Mutants (what they are designed to do) but are also targeting humans. With both humans and mutants being imprisoned if not killed, there are only a few mutants in the world left who are trying to build up a resistance. Professor Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart) & Magneto (Sir Ian Mckellen) have finally joined forces and work together to try and bring an end to the onslaught of sentinels to try and save mankind.
Accompanied with Storm (Halle Berry) & Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) they come across a bunch of X-Men, Bobby Drake aka Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Peter Rasputin aka Colossus (Daniel Cudmore), Warparth, Sunspot, Bishop, Blink & Kitty Pryde who then devise a plan to send Wolverine back to the past to try and stop the creator of the Sentinels, Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), from ever creating to Sentinels in the first place so they can rewrite history and save their future.

As for storylines, nothing out of the ordinary. As for the direction and execution of the film, brilliant. With something being as flawed but acceptable as it was, then to have other people dabble in the franchise and basically mess it up, Bryan Singer did a very good job with trying to tie ALL the loose ends within the franchise and his best at bringing together a story that made actual sense.

When the film was announced with all these Mutants, people along with myself were thinking, "There are too many characters, they won't have enough screen time. Bryan Singer is going to mess this one up too" And rightfully so, we should feel like this, but to add that their were 4 villains in this film and yet, the charcaters served the story well and these characters were used effectively, you'd complete miss the fact that not only Bolivar Trask and the Sentinels are the bad guys here, you'd miss the other two bad guys.

As seen in the trailer, there are some totally great moments. If you had seen the opening battle, with Blink, Colossus, Iceman and 'em, this plays out MUCH better when you watch the film. Brilliantly crafted and excellently executed. Teamwork in tandem. If you have seen the Quicksilver picture of him running on the wall, an excellent if not the actual best scene within the movie. It's like watching the beginning of X2. Bryan Singer DID THE JOB.

If you are used to the sentinels in the comics and cartoons and was put off with the sentinels in this film, trust me, it all makes sense when you watch the film.

Funny in places, serious at times and tension building up as the film climaxes and during certain moments of the film, I can only say, this film is brilliant. If you stay to after the credits at the very end, there is an EXCELLENT clue to the following film's story plot, but with such a neatly crafted and interweaving storyline and very well acted scenes from McAvoy and Fassbender, this film is a definate MUST SEE.

If you ever felt like an X-Men film just didn't cut it or the last couple of X-Men films weren't great and the Wolverine films were also a little sub-parr, than you will definitely enjoy this film. Try not to scrutinise this film too much as there are still a bunch of holes in the script and with a few of the characters, but to still arrive out on top with a very good viewing, you can only congratulate Bryan on his work and hopefully, in the next film X-Men: Apolocypse (so it has been called), hopefully he will do things right this time around...or at least try to and clear up some of the other nonsense plot holes. Maybe, just maybe he could bring in cloning into the storyline. But if that is the case, he would need to bring in Mr. Sinister. How great would that be?

Monday, 5 May 2014

(film review) - 300: Rise of an Empire

Hindsight is a b*tch and sometimes it is really difficult to have a great idea, work off of it and try and construct a story which will gain praise through all different views or incarnations of said story.

So you understand what I mean, I will just dive straight into this.

300: Rise of an Empire is a standalone film which does not need to be seen with the previous 300 movie. It revolves around the story of the Rise of Greece and the parts these characters play which lead into a story interwoven around this film and the previous film.

The story is being told from Queen Gorgo of Sparta who tells her Spartan Troops before they join the battle of Salamis, the story thus far of General Themistocles of Athens (Sullivan Stapleton), who in the middle of the Battle of Marathon, kills King Darius in front of his son Xerxes. Darius’ Naval commander, Artemisia tells Xerxes of his dying words who then goes off to walk Barron lands and returns as Xerxes the God-King. As Themistocles meets with the council and convinces them to provide a bigger fleet to engage the Persians at see, Themistocles also tries to rally troops from Sparta to no avail. Engaging in many fights, this captures the attention of Artemisia who invites Themistocles to join her and her Persian army to be her second in command.

After watching this film, having watched the original 300 movie, you will generally feel that this film isn’t as great as the first one. This is because we as people like to compare. However, there is a lot of truth into your thoughts on this film because there are a lot of things that do not marry up with your expectations. So where you would think that this film is bound to be bigger and better than the last film, in fact, this film is the prequel and entwining film that weaves in between the sequel and in retrospect should have actually come out first for you to appreciate it more. Had this film come out in 2007, we would have loved this film for it’s story, pacing, special effects, cinematography and sound. If not, then they should have recorded all 3 movies at the same time and release one a year after each other like what they have done with the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Trilogy. However this film comes across as a money grab with a weak or borrowed storyline which uses “borrowed” plots and special effects whilst they try to milk a 7 year old film for all it’s worth by adding a few sparkles.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a really good film to watch, but seems like a Rehash and I really do feel that if you had watched this 7 years ago and then 300 after, then you would appreciate this film more and the storyline. If they do a 3rd film and I hope they do, they should re-release these films and promote it more as a Trilogy or a film consisting of 3 movies as one total movie spanning over 3 stories from different perspectives.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

(film review) - The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro

I chose this title because it made more sense after watching the film. However, before I get into it, I want to point out a few things first. I have been following these comic book movies for a while now. I try to get enough information about these films, their potential storylines, the heroes and the antagonists. Spider-Man's marketing was relentless and barely stopped for a breather. From shooting, set pics, clues, mythos, potential enemies and the future of Spider-Man. With that said, Marc Webb IS directing a trilogy. Spider-Man's universe is going to be dynamic. So dynamic, they have planned future films after the original trilogy when that is complete with two spin off films and Spider-Man 4. Yes, as I said, dynamic.

To the average movie-goer, Spider-Man is just going to be another Spider-Man film and people will not understand the contractual agreements these studios who have the rights to Spider-Man and people won't understand why Toby Maguire is not Spider-Man any more, unfortunately. As I stated in my last Amazing Spider-Man review, that film was 10 years too late and this Spider-Man universe is much better and had this been executed way back when, we would be on Spider-Man 8 or so by now.
In regards to the film and it's relentless promotion and if you are reading this before you go out to see the film, I want to make you aware of something before you watch. Not a spoiler per say, but something in which the marketing has advertised which could be misinterpreted.

Firstly, this is indeed Spider-Man's biggest battle. However, with the images displayed with that message, it may not be the battle you were thinking.
Secondly, in this universe, Spider-Man follows very closely to the Spider-Man comics, down to plot twists and storylines which are burrowed from the ultimate universe as well as the comics to provide a "realistic" and "grounded" story. When watching this film, you will need to bare in mind that this is only the start of Spider-Man's troubles.

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is the young intelligent student who had been bitten by a genetically altered Spider which then turns him into a superhuman kid with heightened senses, strength, agility and stamina. Now as New York's friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, he has defeated criminals and Supervillains as well as juggling his life as a student and trying his best to keep a promise he has given to the love of his life's father after the events of the first film. Realising that breaking his promise is more haunting than he initially expected, Spider-Man battles with this along with the loss of his parents as he still has unanswered questions about his parents disappearance and his father's work/connection to Oscorp. As Peter's childhood friend comes back into town, Peter tries to rekindle his friendship with Harry Osborn (Dane Dehaan) until he is caught in a sticky situation where has has to make some hard choices. With all this going on and his on again off again relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), Max Dillion (Jamie Foxx) falls tragic to an accident which leaves him unrecognisable and able to control electricity who is now hellbent on destroying Spider-Man.

From loving the first The Amazing Spider-Man (Although it was 10 years too late), this film basically continues where the last Spider-Man left off. Much more colourful, more comic book-like in visuals but still somewhat dark in tone and even the threats come across somewhat real. The on screen relationship between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are great. In my opinion, their story is soo touching that there were a few times in the film I could have been brought to tears. Peter Parker's trouble/stress with his parents leaving, his old friend coming back to town and his aunt doing all that she can to look after her nephew without her beloved husband Uncle Ben is a lot. Although the film wasn't purely made for 3D like Avatar, the 3D element not once took me away from the movie like other 3D films have, like 300: Rise of an Empire and Man of Steel.
The comedy in this film was decent as there seemed to be a consistent tone in the film without coming across too cheesy/corny. The camera angles were also great and the last battle was epic enough. Dialogue was fitting, apart from a time where Peter Parker says, "Don't get it twisted" which took me out of the moment. It didn't feel like it was fitting. Jamie Foxx as Max Dillion was also great. His acting chops, something I have seen before in a previous film but as Electro, Mr. Foxx was quite sinister as well as very smart like his alter ego, not to mention Dane DeHaan's depiction of Harry Osborn.

I would say, DO NOT EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM THIS FILM as most of you would have seen Captain America: Winter Soldier and love it and then compare this Marvel film with that Marvel film. These films are NOT ALIKE.

Sometimes I feel that I have to defend Spider-Man too much etc etc, but in all honesty, although not as good as CA:TWS, this film is a great opening for the future films to come. Yes Spider-Man has his greatest challenge yet and this film did exactly what it needed to do to set up the Spidey Universe nicely. Watch out for the Easter Eggs.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

(film Review) - Captain America: The Winter Soldier

So, I saw this film as an early screening after tons and tons of trailers and clips and EVERYTHING. Needless to say that this was most definitely OVERKILL and although the film looked great, I was pretty much sick and tired of it all. At one stage, I went to see a film and ended up seeing a 10 minute clip of CA:TWS and although it got me interested in the film, I couldn't help but think, "gimme the movie now, alright!". I felt it was totally unnecessary.

So, as the film starts, I see the same 10 minute clip at the very beginning of the film that I saw before watching another film and I was upset. I've seen it all before. I was a little annoyed, but to be fair, the clip was excellent, so although I had already seen it, there were some great memorable bits I remembered and bits I didn't see as I was probably laughing too hard. And just like that, the film opens out into greatness!

For those who do not know anything about CAP; Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) was a weak and frail young man who underwent a scientific experiment to become an enhanced human at the peak of human perfection with an experimental serum in aid to win World War II. As this worked out to be a success, Steve Rogers fought in the war and with his efforts and the defeating of the villain named Red Skull who was trying to use a cosmic cube called the Tesseract to carry out evil villainess things, Captain America crash lands his plane to save countries from being totally obliterated by Weapons of Mass Destruction. Presumed dead and is later found 70 years later, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) welcomes Captain America: The First Avenger to a brand new world where things have changed a great deal.
Shortly after being "awoken", Captain America joins, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow & The Hulk in a desperate effort to stop Loki (Thor's Brother) from using the same cosmic cube, The Tesseract to open a wormhole which will unleash an alien race called the Chitauri to overpower and control Earth. With Loki's defeat and everyone going back to their "normal" lives, Captain America is still trying to adjust to living in a completely different world which is 70 years on and also has Aliens, Gods and Magic thrown into the mix. Not only is this something which will take some time adjusting to, Captain America who now works with S.H.I.E.L.D's espionage agency, is dubious about how Shield operate, their motives and who he can really trust. This is where CA:TWS kicks off with a Bang and becomes one of my most entertaining marvel films in a long time. Possibly since The Avengers.

With a secret operation looming involving 3 Helicarriers led by Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), which will be used to eliminate threats worldwide, things turn sour when Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) doesn't tell Captain America about her mission objectives, Nick Fury gets attacked by an unknown assailant and CAP gets framed the the death of someone really important (I'm trying to keep this Spoiler free). With no one to turn to or trust, Steve Rogers teams up with Sam Wilson aka The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and tries to clear his name, solve the mystery of the death of that important person, uncover S.H.E.I.L.D Secrets and who this new player/myth/ghost/legend is they call The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).

This film is much darker than the first film. Grittier and is more of a suspense thriller than just a comic book movie like how The Avengers was. I understand that billions of people worldwide did not like the first Captain America film, but I did. No it wasn't great, but to put that film into context with eras and timing, the first film made sense to me. This film on the other hand, could not be any more perfect than it already is. The bar was raised as the stakes are very high. The acting, the fight scenes, the characters, the secrets, the lies, the suspense, it was all too much. The film has a very serious tone to it as well as being laced with comedy throughout and still manages to portray a comic book movie.

I could not give anymore praise to this film as everything worked. It makes me completely appreciate (to an extent) the reasons why the promotion for this film was heavily pushed. The first film only made, 370 Million at the box office on a 140 Million Budget. And although it made more than double the cost of the film, when a film like Iron Man 3 can make 1.2 Billion on a 200 Million Budget, the push made a lot of sense. Hopefully, everyone who is caught up in Marvel's Cinematic Universe will go to see this or who would give this one a chance after possibly not liking the first one, I could not stress any more that, if you do not see this film, there is something really wrong with you. Like, really wrong with you. Especially if you do not like it.

Never in my life have I wanted to be a shield agent with Nick Fury status...AND I watch Marvel's Agents of Shield. I might even see it again over the weekend.

Go and watch won't be disappointed. Oh, AND you don't need to have seen the first one or The Avengers to pick up the storyline.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

(film review) - Ride Along

Kevin Hart has been doing a lot of films and people have been gravitating to this comedian's films like crazy.  For me it's a matter of, is this Kevin Hart playing a character as Kevin Hart or is this Kevin Hart playing a character as Kevin Hart playing a character in a movie? If that makes any sense.  Yes he is a funny comedian, but is he funny in these films? SHould he be funny in these films? Is he always the same funny guy character in all of these films including this one? Hmmm....

Ride Along is about a detective named James Payton (Ice Cube) who is on a undercover operation only to find that a lot of the crimes he has come across has been orchestrated by a man named Omar who no one has ever seen.  To make matters worse as James is chasing a ghost, James' sister is about to marry her boyfriend, Ben 'Blackhammer' Barber (Kevin Hart), a man he cannot stand and doesn't think he is worthy of her.  To add the salt into the wounds, Ben is a security guard trying to progress to becoming an officer, but James doesn't think that Ben is cut out as a man, a man for his sister or as a cop and schemes of a way to foil his plans, embaress him, so that his sister leaves him by showing him, what a cop's life is really like and take down Omar by taking him on a Ride Along.

This film is goofy, funny and basically exactly what you'd expect from a comedy.  A bit like watching a Will Farrell movie, you know what to expect.  With that said, the comedic beats land well and this film is generally funny and goofy, with witty dialogue and decent action.  Ice Cube playing the mean, angry big brother cop goes without saying and Kevin Hart playing, the funny guy, basically Kevin Hart gels well.

Nothing too spectacular in terms of directing, script, screenplay, acting, cinematography, but a nice little popcorn flick for you to hangout to with a couple of friends.  If anything, the computer game sequences are great.  Especially the game to real life adaption, when you see it, you will understand what i mean.

Have a watch, you might just chuckle, if not, laugh out loud!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

(film review) - 12 Years A Slave

It is kind of weird that I am able to write about this film, but I cannot write about Django Unchained. I mean I have no real issues with the film and I have seen both of these films and where this film had basically brought me to tears, you would have thought the Quentin Tarantino one would have done the same, no? Well, I believe I know the reason for this.

Quentin Tarintino's film was advertised as a slavery film when it was merely a film with a love and Slavery was a sub theme. With 12 years a slave, this IS in actual fact, a slavery film. You might ask what the difference is, but it is not hard to understand or comprehend that although both men where trying to get back to their beloved partner/wife, Django's story centred more around his wife and his "struggle" in trying to locate her, save her and be back with her. This film on the other hand is centred around the character himself and his struggle in reclaiming his own identity so he can go back to his wife. I'll explain.

As the film starts, we see Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejifor) in the fields working in the blazing heat among other slaves while white slave owners relax in the sun watching the slaves work. The film then flashes back and tells the story until we meet up again at that point in the beginning of the film in the fields. Solomon is a prestigious black man in a town where everyone or most people know and respect him. He plays the fiddle, is a skilled carpenter, has a wife and two children. But without going into it too much, one day he wakes up in a dark room where he is chained to the floor and beaten badly. Shipped, sold, disrespected, beaten, abused and renamed, Solomon goes through a great deal with his slave owners throughout the film. However, just when you think he is having a hard time, Patsey's (Lapita Nyong'o) story is the one which drew tears to my eyes.

This film, while a lot of people may argue the events in the film were too harsh or too much to handle, I can only say, I am pretty sure these events were watered down. I do compare the brutality of Django infused with this film would possibly give you the closest we would get to an on screen display of how events were for slaves, but until that happens, 12 Years does a fine job and Steve McQueen should get all the respect and props he deserves. Random hanging, slaves being stabbed, shot or keeling over from heatstroke, it's all there. The film is very engrossing, entertaining and visually stunning. There are moments in the film where the visuals are captivating. At times, I thought to myself, "this is a beautiful film", with all it's colours, shades and imagery. Very artistic. The screenplay, acting and camera angles were all top notch. High performances from everyone involved in the film. Cumberbatch, relatively new to me but I'm starting to like what he turns out and Fassbender, forever growing with greater performances in almost every movie. Even Rhino (Spider-Man joke) Paul Giamatti, did pretty well and possibly, I might start to like him more as an actor, but the best acting throughout the entirety of this film goes out to Chiwetel Ejiofor. A very underrated actor with extraordinary talent which I hope does not go overlooked.

I've said before, if you don't feel some kind of way after watching Django, then you must feel some sort of way after watching 12 years, or something is terribly wrong. Also, if you feel Django Unchained was a mockery of a film which was advertised as a film about slavery, then you need to see this film. This film is an amazing film where the director had a great vision in his head and was able to bring it across in the film and made you enjoy the film for numerous reasons, if it wasn't just for one thing, it was for another. Bring your towel/tissue and be prepared to be sadden, shed a tear or even cry. I think, what hurts more regarding this film, is the time in which all of this has happened in our history. 1841, although seems like it was a lifetime away, it really wasn't. This film was a great film and very much worth the watch.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

(film review) - 47 Ronin

He has been missing for a little bit, but he is now back. Well I say missing, but what was the last film you remember Keanu Reeves doing? I'll give you a moment. Right, for me it was Street Kings, a film I didn't get to see but if I have a moment today, I will try and watch that tonight.

Keanu Reeves is one of a few talented actors who people say he is wooden, but he is quite versatile in my opinion. No, not all of his films have been well received, but Keanu has a fan base who are loyal to him and for me, I would say this; If a Keanu film is out, I wouldn't care about it much, but I would be intrigued and want to watch it. I wouldn't go as far as saying that he is a great actor, but he is a very competent actor who does come across wooden, dry and even monotone and dreary, but the films he choose always seem to "suit" his personality.

47 Ronin to me was a good film, but was lacking a little. I'll go into that later.

Kai (Keanu Reeves) is a child without parents grown up in the woods in which he escapes and joins a group of Ronin. Constantly referred to as half-breed and treated differently to the citizens within the town, Kai is always kept as an outsider and plays a inevitable part in having everyone banished from their town while he gets placed into slavery. Kuranosuke Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), a Samurai from the Ronin seeks revenge for his banishment and seeks the help of the 46 Ronin with Kai being the 47th. Together they head back to their town to reclaim the land which was once theirs.

There isn't anything much more to the story (lacking), so this is it in a nutshell. Nothing special and very old school and traditional. However, where i said the film was good - visually, story, acting, pacing, everything, for me everything about the film was good although there was a few moments where I thought, "so what happened to that guy?", or "what is happening here?", but then my biggest fault with the film was the length of the film and the action. The film isn't about Keanu Reeves' character at all, he was just an helping hand or aid. The film was very generic and lacking. I felt a lot more could have been done with the film. Maybe the pacing was bad because they could have done soo much more with the story but it didn't offer anything more than what has already been done with a Japanese fantasy adventure. While I was satisfied when the film finished, I didn't leave thinking, "wow, great film" like after i viewed the Desolation of Smaug. I did feel incomplete thinking, maybe Keanu should have been able to do more with his character because from what his character could do, wasn't a lot. Maybe there should have been more fight scenes or epic battles. Maybe the story should have been fully fleshed out and made it bit more intricate other than being a simple and basic story. Maybe if there were a couple of unexpected twists in it, then yes, maybe this film would have been much better rather than just good.

I wouldn't rush to see this in the cinema, unless you like Keanu Reeves, but this film looks like the "better" film out of the two he has out for 2013, the other being, Man of Tai Chi.