Browsing Tag

Film & TV

0 In Uncategorized

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

The first in the Star Wars Anthology series has finally hit the big screen, and after years of scrutiny and doubt, we can finally pass our own judgement.

This movie was great. There’s this review in four words. Here’s it in five: This movie was fucking great.

Prepare yourself for minor spoilers. No plot is given away, however those wishing to go in blind probably shouldn’t read this.

Continue Reading →

0 In Uncategorized

Twin Peaks Season 1

Season 1 of Twin Peaks aired 26 years ago in 1990, so obviously I’m going to discuss my thoughts and feelings on a show that’s half a decade older than myself, on a website that’s just a baby compared to Twin Peaks.

Set in the aptly named mountaneous town of Twin Peaks, located within sleepy North Washington, we follow the lives of a whole host of characters in the days and weeks leading on from the mysterious murder of beloved high school student Laura Palmer.

Continue Reading →

0 In Uncategorized

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review

The long-awaited Harry Potter spin off is here! Many, including myself, weren’t too excited by the prospect of more Harry Potter, for me it was as we already have an incredible story from that universe. Not only that, it was a complete and cohesive story, and after The Cursed Child (my thoughts on which you can watch here) I wasn’t feeling too optimistic. Nor was I enthused by the announcement of there being 5 films in this series, and I’m still not sure how I feel about that.

As a warning, there will be SPOILERS!!

Continue Reading →

0 In Uncategorized

Captain America: Civil War Spoiler Free Review

I’m going preface this with saying that Civil War may be my favourite Marvel film yet. Better than 2012’s The Avengers, better than Iron Man 3, hell even better than The Winter Soldier! The only one it may not beat for me is Captain America: The First Avenger, but I just love that film so much.

Civil War has been dubbed ‘Avengers 2.5’, and after seeing this film I fully understand that. We have a whole host of characters, new and old, rather than the typical ‘stand-alone’ Marvel affair, which would feature 1 or 2 of the Avengers. However, unlike The Winter Soldier, we aren’t seeing just Steve and Natasha fight together, we’re seeing the Avengers (and some newcomers), splitting into two factions and facing off over conflicting views on a piece of legislation affecting their activities as protectors of the world.

Civil War is very topical, and almost hits home too much with everything that has been played over and over on the news for the last few months. Maybe that’s just me as a law student who has studied terrorism and security a fair few times during my degree, but there is a level of realism to this film which the others lack. Somehow this works even with characters like the Vision, enhanced characters like Wanda, yet Civil War is grounded.

Civil War is much darker and grittier than the Marvel films we’ve come to know, looking back at The Avengers, there is little reflection on what just occurred in New York, even though thousands of people died in Manhattan. We see a few vigils and some people question whether the Avengers should be allowed to exist, and then we sort of forget about it. Sure, it comes up every now and then, but Civil War takes it home. The Avengers might be Earth’s mightiest heroes, but they invite challenge from the Earth’s deadliest villains, and many believe they take no responsibility for their actions.

We are introduced to a whole slew of new characters, Spider-Man, Black Panther and Everett Ross to name a few. I was hesitant about a third Spider-Man as Andrew Garfield was the perfect to me, but Tom Holland nailed it. He’s a natural as Spidey, and it’s nice change of pace to see an actual teenager play Spider-Man for once, and for Peter Parker to seem like your average teenager, not your average 30 year old ripped man playing a 17 year old. The comic book quick witted remarks that Spidey is known for came into a play a whole lot. All round awesome. I can’t wait to see more of him in Spider-Man: Homecoming!

My two favourite Marvel characters, Captain America and Spider-Man, interacting on the big screen was something I never thought I would see!

T’Challa (Black Panther) is a welcome addition to the cast, he is such a refreshing character. I don’t want to go into any details of his story, as this is as spoiler-free as possible, but it is nice having an already established hero enter the MCU without an origin story coming first.

Everett Ross, played by Martin Freeman, isn’t exactly a main character, but I was just happy to see my beloved Martin Freeman in the MCU. I wonder if we will see him and Cumberbatch on screen together at some point. Steven and Everett doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as Sherlock and John.

The main thing that sets Civil War apart from other Marvel adventures, other than the fact it’s our beloved heroes beating the everloving crap out of each other, is a lack of a central big bad villain. We’ve had Loki, Ultron, Red Skull, Hydra, Whiplash, to name a few; this time we have Captain America and Iron Man. Both becoming morally grey characters, they play both the hero and the villain, it’s easy to see why the characters stand with each side. Both are right and both are wrong. Sure, there’s a few bad guys running around, but it’s on a much different scale to the average Marvel fanfare.

And as we’ve grown accustom to at this point, there are many, many action sequences, all executed extremely well! I would expect no less of the Russo brothers after the great job they did making The Winter Soldier fight scenes feel like something out of a video game. I feel like I need a PS3 controller in hand as Steve is in pursuit of the Winter Soldier.

Even though they were wrestling (literally, at times) with 10 characters sharing the screen in one fight, nothing felt rushed, skimmed over, or unnecessarily complicated. I have no clue how they did it, but hats off to you Russo brothers!

This film easily gets 9/10 Vibranium shields from me. I was beginning to get worn down with superhero movies, (we’re only about half way through all the currently planned films by Marvel!), but Civil War the breath of fresh air the MCU needed.

0 In Uncategorized

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Spoiler Free Review!

Last night, at 00:01, I sat in a theatre completely sold out, full of Star Wars fans anticipating the start of The Force Awakens, the 7th film in the Star Wars series, and the 7th chronologically.

The film is set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, which left the Empire crushed, however now, the First Order has risen, and the rebel alliance has had to evolve into the Resistance to survive. We follow a mix of fresh faces and well known old friends in the fight to bring peace to the galaxy once more.

This review will be split into Pros and Cons

Pros:

It feels like a Star Wars movie

This may sound obvious, but if you’ve seen the prequels, you’ll understand how a Star Wars film can feel nothing like Star Wars. JJ Abrams has successfully done that which it seemed couldn’t be done. The Force Awakens truly felt like we were back in the Star Wars universe, in the galaxy far, far away.

The Cast

The casting of this film was incredible. This is a breakout role for a few actors, namely Daisy Ridley (Rey) who absolutely nailed it, she is fantastic. John Boyega (Finn) did an amazing job, and managed to bring a real sense of humour to the role. Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) is quite possibly my favourite, Poe Dameron is a great character and I’m not sure anyone could have played him better.

Harrison Ford (Han Solo) is incredible back in the role as Han Solo after over 30 years, it is as if the last time he played Han was yesterday. There are no discrepancies in his performance in Return of the Jedi vs now. Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa) is also great, however for some reason I didn’t love her performance quite as much. I can’t put my finger on why, it could have been her writing, it could have been that Leia has matured more than Han as and so is a bit different, or maybe her performance. I kinda doubt the latter however!

Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma) did extremely well with her rather limited screen time.

Soundtrack

It’s a John Williams Star Wars soundtrack. I think that is enough said. His music can make any awful film better, i.e Duel of the Fates from The Phantom Menace soundtrack is one of my favourite pieces of music ever. I can’t wait for the soundtrack to come out in full.

He blended some old pieces together with new, including one of my favourites, Han Solo and the Princess. There was no way the soundtrack wasn’t going to be amazing.

Cinematography + Effects

I can’t go into detail here, but this film was visually stunning. At times, JJ definitely used the ‘show more, say less’ approach, which worked extremely well.

The mix of practical effects and CGI, for the most part, is great, especially with that now infamous scene from an early trailer, the X wings flying over a lake.

Badass women and diversity

The Original Trilogy did not have enough women, we had two named female characters, Leia and Mon Mothma, who features in all but a few scenes in one film. The Prequels didn’t have enough great women either, we had Padme and that was about it.

This film, we have Rey, the main character, who is female, and not sexualised, and not falling into the tropes that male writers tend to box women in as, looking at you, Moffat. She’s a character little girls who don’t love conventionally ‘girly’ things will adore.

And we have a female villain in the form of Captain Phasma, and also Leia as a General! The Star Wars universe is always in need of more women!

And the films new trio, Rey, Finn and Poe, is very diverse, with only one of the three being white. With the time we live in, ala Donald Trump, it’s great to see extremely mainstream media breaking down some barriers. Yes, I know there’s always more to be done, but this is a good step in the right direction.

Humour

This film is legitimately funny, and not ‘cheesy-cliche funny’, actually laugh out loud funny! The humour integrated really well into the rather serious world of Star Wars, and did not at all feel like Jar Jar Binks, misa so glad about that.

The next is going to be a mix of a con and a pro.

Storyline

I very much liked the storyline, however some are calling it lazy, which I understand. It almost feels recycled in a sense, but we already knew this from what was revealed early on. Although, I think not rushing in for a crazy new plot line when this is the first in a trilogy, and the first Star Wars film a lot of people will ever see, was a good idea. It will likely work better in the long run than it feels right now.

Cons:

Captain Phasma

Gwendoline Christie was severely underused as Captain Phasma, especially considering the amount of merchandise and promotion she has had. And Christie is a fantastic actress, it’s a shame we didn’t see more of her.

Plot holes

Maybe plot holes isn’t the best word, but there are definitely somethings which don’t add up or completely make sense, maybe they will soon enough, but right now they don’t.

CGI

The CGI wasn’t perfect at times. It was truly incredible for the vast majority of the film, but every now and then it felt a little unauthentic.

2 MORE YEARS

We have to wait 2 YEARS FOR THE NEXT ONE

Overall, I’d give this film a solid 8/10. It was a classic Star Wars film, it was more then enjoyable, it was a fantastic movie.

In order of ranking the 7 films, from best to worst, I’d go:

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Episode IV: A New Hope

Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

I didn’t expect The Force Awakens to be so good as to sit in with the Original Trilogy, but it was!

 

Right now, IMDB has it at 9.0/10.0, and Rotten Tomatoes has it at 95% with 188 reviews, and at 92% from over 110,000 audience members.

This is definitely the film of the year, so go and see it now! BEFORE YOU GET SPOILED!

Thanks for reading, and may the force be with you!