Ghostbusters (2016), destined to be a…bust and here’s why.

If Batman v Superman will go down as the film that got burned at the stake during the first week of release this year. Then Ghostbusters will go down as the film that collapsed before the reaching the starting line; let alone the first hurdle. “But why, wasn’t Ghostbusters three one of the most anticipated sequels to finally come out development hell?” You would be right random sentence of text that I clearly didn’t type, but this isn’t what we got. This new film is basically a remake of the original film…but with women. That is basically been the marketing so far.

You see while Ghostbusters three was talked about and planned, with multiple drafts and actors (with the exception of Bill Murray) keen to return….until Sony Pictures were fed up with the constant delays, and decided to do this without Murray. And they’ve doing this with the characters , while leaving the franchise legacy of Ghostbusters behind with him; in exchange for the four women we have now.

Which wouldn’t be a bad thing, I already like Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wigg, and at this point in the franchise new team mates were kinda the first thing needing to be sorted. Films like The Force Awakens have shown an old franchise with new characters can work. However it’s not them or the other actors who are to blame. But rather it was the fact that from the first two trailers, viewers and life long fans could tell it was a film made because Sony had the license to use the Ghostbusters brand. The fact that the film was a repeat of the original, but having flat jokes and characters, lack luster effects and a seemingly bland story (at least from what is seen in the two trailers). And the fact that Sony is clearly using the all female cast as a way to show the company as progressive is the least of the films problems. Hell i even tried to review the domestic trailer when i came out, but gave up as i had nothing new to say, even if i could phrase it properly.

All this and more has led the film’s first trailer to become the most disliked trailer on YouTube. Ghostbusters trailer.jpgKeep that in mind, trailers to some of the worst films ever made, were more well received than this one. However like most terrible things, where there’s decorators there’s also supporters. Mainly from feminist groups and online feminist. OK either you’ve been keeping up to date with these events, or this was inevitable; either way the lack of surprise in your face is showing.

“Well OK, but given how many failed adaptations there have been in the past, what’s making this one show infamous?” Good question someone who isn’t me, the news of this being a reboot was the ignition to the fuse of the bomb which will be this film. In between the time of filming, and the release of the first trailer; it was clear that the cast and decision to scrap the franchise’s past was the least of Sony’s problems. By the way I didn’t find this myself, and there’s a lot to talk about, if you want full details, go and watch this video by Midnight’s Edge; he explains probably better than I could, but I’ll try my best.

In 2015 Sony announced the cast of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as the new team for the film; with Bridesmaids director Paul Feig directing this film. Despite the Sony hacks of 2014 revealing emails from Fieg stating that would only do the film, unless he got final say on everything; along with arguing and flat out refusing to work series creator Ivan Reitman, the film was set to be made. Which was promising to the leads, as they were fans of the original, McCarthy stated that she was a fun of ‘The Real Ghostbusters’ cartoon series. So this must have been the time of their lives, right? Wrong! angry Ghostbusters cast.jpgAccording to a 4Chan user (who apparently worked on the set) McCarthy and other members of the cast would regularly argue with Feig over the “lame duck of a script”. It had gotten so bad that Sony took legal action, making the leads to keep quite about anything negative from the film. And given the performances  from the trailer it shows that the cast was miserable on set. What’s worse is the fact that, when Sony couldn’t get the original cast back; they legal pressured them into making cameo appearances; yeah.Ghostbuster poster.jpg

Feig isn’t of the hook here. Anyone who followed the man on Twitter will know he rants like a sailor with Tourette’s syndrome. The back lash of replacing the original cast and characters,  with four people who just so happened to be women, being one of his rambling topics. Yep joining the social justice feminist who were champing the film for its female cast, before the first trailer had any footage. Then some time later, a Redit user named “Stanz1984” (again works at Sony) wrote a post outlining the story of the film, and called it “a train wreck”. Again, it’s a bit long, so watch this video if you’re interested then come back here. Despite the majority of the comments agreeing with Stanz, many others debated whether this was serious or not. Then comes the first trailer, and many scenes are reflective of this leak. From the spray painted logo, the vomiting ghost, the Chinese restaurant used as a base and a possessed McCarthy. Those same people saw that this post is some what reflective of the finished project. So fan back lash met the trailer, and then two more trailers didn’t help….like at all.

 Finally I’ve mentioned how the film’s trailer has gotten major backing from SJW feminist, who’ve been leading the charge of: “if you hate this film, then you’re sexist!” However guess who else is playing that card; Sony. I recently found a video from  Youtuber Alachia Queen, she made a review of the first trailer of the film, to which multiple people in the comments had informed her, of how their comments and criticisms in the trailer’s comments had been removed by Sony….except for the ones with sexist or racist statements of course. Oh and remember that Stanz guy from Redit, yeah he mentioned how Sony is now in complete damage control after the disastrous response of the released trailers; claiming the sexist responses are the ones hurting the film. Nice try Sony,if there’s anything to be learned from Feminist Frequency, is that you can only play the misogyny card before people realize you’re trying to use newspaper to save a sinking ship.

This is quite possibly the most tiring blogs I’ve had to write yet; so let’s get this done. If some how you avoided the trailers for the film, and don’t know what the fuss is about. Well pick one of the many things I’ve talked about here, either way you’ll be right. Like with Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four back in 2015; this film will have serious effects on everyone involved. Sony the most, as they were planning to have this as their big flag-ship franchise, since they gave Spider man back to Marvel last year. I’m writing this in May, with the film coming out in July here in the UK; and unless Sony some how makes a movie better than the original Ghostbusters, this film will tank at the box office. Because believe or not Fantastic Four had its buzz killed due to director melt downs on Twitter, arguments on set, and the plot being mocked via leaks on the internet; and even those who haven’t seen the film know how badly that turned out.

Alright everyone, I’ll see you again with a less serious blog.

Thank you for your time.

Review: X-Men Apocalypse 

The comic book movie craze keeps on rolling with the newest X-men film, simply subtitled Apocalypse. The X-Men films have had an interesting run since the first film back in 2000. With two major successful films that did well with fans, critics and at the box office. Other things got…weird when Brian Singer (the director of both films) left to make Superman Returns.X-Men films

Then came X-Men: Last Stand which was a massive miss step in the eyes of fans, the prequel X-Men origins that was as popular as a fart in a stuck elevator. And in terms of adapting the characters from the comics, it set the javelin record away from the point. With changes so randomly clueless that Deadpool, one of the more recent X-Men films, made fun of the film, numerous times. New X-Men filmsAnyway, then came the surprising great X-Men First Class and The Wolverine two years later. But to hell with the last one, because Singer came back to make the absolutely amazing sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past literally the following year; in which he grew the gigantic balls to erase all past films that wasn’t First Class from the events of the franchise’s overall story. So now that film, Days of Future Past, Deadpool and now this film remain as the new continuity. Now film goers know what comic continuity is like.

But is the new film any good? Let’s do this. The story follows the mutant students of Professor Charles Xavier played by James McCavoy, as they come across the existence of Apocalypse played by Oscar Isaac who plans to destroy the world with his new servants known as “the four horsemen”. Said plot involves the capture of Charales by Apocalypse. Thus the newly formed X-men team set of to find Apocalypse in order to prevent him from destroying everything. Like Days of Future Past, this was a highly anticipated film for this franchise, as Apocalypse is the biggest and most dangerous villain in the X-Men comics; so when fans heard there was going to be a live action blockbuster with this character, the hype was tense.

Like the past two films (well the ones that count) the cast old and new do excellent work as the characters. Since First Class, James McCavoy has always shown the warmth, compassion and optimism of Prof Xavier; and once again he doesn’t disappoint, showing real development from the previous film. Him and Micheal Fassbender as Magneto have been the highlight of this new trilogy, and Fassbender is great again. Even if his given a new back story of losing the family he gained while on the run from the White House. It’s basically a new reason to hate humans. But still the emotion of the scene and actor works beautifully. Even Quick-Silver from the last film is done well again here. When it came to Days of Future Past, one of my main gripes was the question of: why did each step of Logan’s plan not involve the term: “and get the speedster to do”. And here not only does the guy spear more often, but is as like able as ever, with further development. Jennifer Lawrence as Raven is still as confident as the character, even if she gets a smaller role compared to past films in this new franchise.

The replacements for characters like Jean Gray, Nightcrawler and Scott Summers do great jobs as these characters, you really see their characters come through, plus the fact that their clearly not as experienced lifts up the tension. And let’s talk about Apocalypse. Oscar Isaac does an excellent job, his aggressive while soft-spoken, calm and patient. Which works as you have no idea when this god like persons going to snap. While Oscar does great work, the guy has limited motives character wise; his a guy who wants the world to burn after being trapped in a pyramid for centuries. That’s really it.

On the subject of Apocalypse, my only other gripe is that three of his four merry horsemen. Outside of Magneto, do very little of…anything; Storm, Angel and Psylocke get very little to do outside of the end fight. They establish the past briefly, show their powers, then stand around with Apocalypse as he gets the work done. Again that’s it. But it’s the effects and production design that saves each character; with their costume mac thing the comic character excellently. And the effects bring so well detailed and polished.

The scenes where Apocalypse uses his powers are breath-taking, and match well with the scale of the film; because a lot goes on and the world will pay the price. Which goes well with the excellent set design and production. But like the last X-men film, it’s Quick Silver’s scene that steals the show, and almost out does the kitchen scene from Future Past.

While this may not out do Days of Future past, Apocalypse is a stunning film that is  a worthy follow-up to the past two films in this new trilogy. With excellent acting and the best effects in the X-men series. Go see it, the big screen is indeed worth it.

7 out of 10

Thank you for your time.

Discussion on Penny Dreadful season three, episode two (spoilers)

So this will not be a usual review, instead its a dissuasion on my feelings towards the latest episode of Penny Dreadful, Predators Far and Near. Specifically it’s ending, so if you haven’t seen any of the show; it’s best to just go away and do something else. Because this will be spoiling this latest episode, as well as the last two seasons leading up to this one.  Either way it’s an excellently done episode of an amazing show, so fans of the show who are readying this, don’t worry I’m not going to rip into it and say how bad it is. In any case before i bring up some points towards this episode, let’s address the ending. Again you have been warned.

So after Vanessa Hives (the main character) won the battle against the demon that had possessed her throughout most of her life, she is now free, but miserable with her life; to the point where she’s now seeing a psychologist name Doctor Seward. During the times in between sessions, she meets a zoologist named Alexander Sweet. The two have started to form a friendship throughout the past two episodes; and most likely a romantic relationship. Meanwhile she has been followed by two unknown characters who later turn out to be vampires working for their mysterious master, Dracula a character who constantly remains hidden from the audience. And then we get to the ending, this is now the point of no return if you don’t want to know the ending. The episode ends with Seward’s assistant Renfield (now turned vampire) is begging Dracula for more blood to feed on, so Dracula cuts his arm for Renfield to drink for it. To which we find out that Sweet is actually….. Dracula, and is clearly hanging out with Vanessa in order to kill her; for what reason, we’ll find out soon.

So while this is a farther good twist with potential for great drama, my main complaint is this. This season is set to have nine episodes, and we’re currently on episode two; two! And they’ve already reveled the main villain’s identity. See in most shows that keep the identity of the villain a secret, you’d expected to find out who the master mind is until around the half way point of the series; maybe later. But here, we’re technically just out of the starting gate with this series’ new story lines, and yet they’ve already given the main twist of the story.  

An example of how to do this right would be season one of Flash. In which the main mystery is the identity of “the man in the yellow suit” who is then known as “The Reverse Flash”. In terms of the character that it’s revealed to be; the show takes it’s time establishing the both sides of the character, his back story that doesn’t revel his true origins, his relationship with the other characters, and how he fits into the main story before the mystery is revealed. In the meantime we’re given other possibilities of who this guy is, and any clues that could make the viewer suspect the real identity of the masked villain. But with Alexander Sweet, we have an understanding of his character and his relationship with Vanessa, but in the context of the story, the two have only known each other less than a week. So while it will the whole idea of him not being who she thought he was, it won’t exactly have the same impact to the viewer as the Reverse Flash arch; especially when everyone else trusted the guy before find out about their powers.

Of course the show will continue the romance between the two characters, it would’ve been so more shocking to see the two so happy together before we as the audience learn the horrible truth, about the man our main character has fallen for, and then get shocked about Vanessa being killed after seeing gain her hope again. But now while we watch the romance develop, we’re just left waiting for her and the other characters to catch on to Sweet’s plans. It’s like opening a Sherlock episode with crime taking place, with a full shot the criminal writing their name onto the wall of the scene;it’s done way too damn early is what I’m saying.

But that’s what I think about this otherwise excellent episode, what did you think? Did they rush the surprise of the Dracula reveal, or could there something bigger install for this season? Either way if you’ve seen this episode what did you think?

Thank you for your time.

Review: Captain America Civil War

From one set of heroes beating the crap of each other to another, we head of to the next big comic book movie release; this time it’s Marvel’s Captain America Civil War, based on the Marvel comic of the same name.

After a failed mission in Nigeria ends up with multiple people dead, the world’s governments are fed up with the damage left behind by The Avengers. The team are presented with a new bill written by the UN called “The Sokvia Accords”. Which requires the team to run by the government, in order to keep them in line with the law. While Tony Stark is willing to comply, Steve Rodgers isn’t so willing to give up his freedom. Thus group is split up in to two factions; as Tony leads an effort to bring the opposing side to justice.

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 17.59.37.pngAs usual with the Marvel films, the cast does an excellent job with what their given. They give great performances and you do feel them in this fight, and you do identify with the reasoning. Robert Downing Jr.and Chris Evans especially, as this is some of the best works as their characters. You feel for them as the story goes on. You identify with Steve’s compassion against the team being mislead by the wrong people; while also feeling sorry for Tony, as his left ashamed by the collateral damage left behind by his friends.

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 12.08.27.pngThe two stand out roles are Tom Holland as Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa (Black Panther). As the two new heroes in The Avengers, you insistently see their capabilities to play these characters. They’re good performers, they’re great during their action scenes, and you really get a sense of the way they fit into the world around them. T’Challa is a sympathetic character who clearly wants justice to be done, even if he has to take things into his own hands. Holland steals the show as Peter Parker, he greatly shows the jokey and cocky side of Spider-man, giving him the funniest lines in the film, while also doing a great job as Peter. This guy is prefect as Spider-Man.

While the story doesn’t follow the comic perfectly, it more than makes up for it with what is presented here. You see and understand both sides of the struggle. Tony wants stop injustices while preventing damage those around him, while Steve believes that having multiple people breathing down their necks will prevent them from getting things done, especially if their efforts are diverted else where; or flat-out rejected. While characters like Hawk-Eye and Ant-Man are clearly here only to get into the airport fight seen in the trailers, everyone gets the right amount of screen time, and you do see where they stand, in a believable away. This film will constantly have you switching sides of who is right; when really, no one is even wrong.

Once again Marvel has knocked it out of the park when it comes to their effects. The CGI is excellent, the costumes look great, and their fights scenes are incredible; with the first big fight between the two sides leaving me thrilled and exhausted from how much is going on, but in a good way. Not to mention how well rehearsed and choreographed everything is, and yet still feels raw and real. It kept up the same style and effort as was seen in the second Captain America film, The Winter Solder.

A pity that the first two action scenes come across with a case of bad shaky cam syndrome. No not hand-held shots where the camera has slightly shaky movements, but shots where the majority of the scene was barely view able given the camera shakes so damn much the scene could be measured on a Richter scale. Dear the Russo brothers, I’d like to inform of s film called Attack the Block, it came out five years before this did, and with the exception of a couple of shots, it didn’t come out as an absolute mess. Yet Civil War apparently has the money to make fifteen other films, and yet it struggled to a do a fight scene in an apartment building, and a street chase scene that didn’t look like the crew were in dire need of a tripod. Again the previously mentioned film did both of those types of scenes on barley a quarter of this film’s budget, and it still looked more presentable. Seriously, these scenes would be laughed out of any other action movie, but given the quality of Marvel’s past action sequences, this is inexcusable. The fact that the airport and final battle between Cap and Stark are the exception was a damn miracle at that point. Oh and the 3D makes it even more hard to watch.

Finally can I just ask why the film needs the villain it featured? I get why his doing what does, but when the film is based around the conflict of two friends in disagreement, do you really need a villain around other than to just give them more reasons to fight? I mean the villain should be the side against the one you’re for. The character they get could have been replaced or removed and things would’ve gone the same way. With out spoiling anything, it’s clear this character is here because fans of the comics will know who he is. The actor does well, and his Interesting to follow, don’t get me wrong, his just not a stand out compared to Loki, Red Skull or Ultron.

With that said, I still enjoyed this movie, great cast, excellent acting, some damn good moments of action and drama; and a I stressing character piece for Tony Stark and Steve Rodgers. While it may not have beaten The Avengers or Winter Solder as many fans have claimed to have done; but this is an excellent follow to the past two Captain America films. Given the new elements it brings to table, I’m more excited to see the movies of Black Panther and the Spider-Man Homecoming reboot, than I was before seeing this.

9/10

Thank you for your time.