Review – Thor: Ragnarok

Image resultI find it fitting that both Thor and The Hulk are teamed up for this film, particularly while their appearances the Avengers had some of the twos best moments in the MCU; their solo efforts have been mixed. Thor one was an excellent and fun fantasy film that effortlessly transitioned into The Avengers with a great cast involved. While The Incredible Hulk was decent but mostly forgettable, but given the 2003 film; the projector bursting into flames during the premiere was the only way the film could’ve screwed up in a worst way since last time. Sadly while both Avengers were excellent, Thor The Dark World, while becoming the jokey action filled template that the rest of the MCU has been following, suffered due to forced side characters and a boring villain; while Hulks solo sequel….I’ll get back to you on that one.

Look the point is that putting the leads of two of the weaker series from Marvel actually worked in this film’s favour; mainly due to the already established connection Thor and Banner have. Even when the Hulk is given the chance to speak, it gives him a chance for actual character development as well as comedic moments. With this being one of Mark Ruffalo’s best performances as Banner, mainly due to how out of the comfort zone he is. With many multiple call backs to previous films that work well in terms of this character dynamic. And while Loki is mainly here to wrap up and explain his reappearance after Thor the Dark World, he is still a relevant character, once again taking the role of an anti-hero who is dragged around by Thor to help him, but naturally has plans of his own. And once again it’s Hemsworth and Hiddleson’s performances that makes the movie worth watching alone; particularly when the family drama is further pushed into the story. Even if Loki does have the preservation skills of a Dodo bird, seriously what did Odin see in him when the final battle is the only time in this film Loki didn’t get his ass kicked so hard there are Nike symbols embeded in his pelvic bone. When it comes to new characters, Valkyrie went from being a ‘replacement Sith’ to a welcome addition; while both being Asardian warrior women, it’s the care free attitude and dark back story with Hela that makes Valkyrie unique to this movie. Also those news stories about her being bisexual….pointless.

But back to Hela, let’s discuss the villains Marvel has given us this year. Ego and god like living planet that wanted to persuade his son to convert all planets into a giant hive mind. The Vulture was a construction worker that stole some alien tech to sell to criminals for profit. Hela? Yeah if you thought that superhero movies were way too reliant on the villain who wants to destroy the world and kill everyone; yeah it’s that character on a totally different world; regardless whether they’re on earth, Asgard or candy land it still counts. She’s basically Enchantress from Suicide Squad but with a personality, a back story and some clothes bought with a two for one Hot Topic voulter. I mean it: she’s an all-powerful woman with magic powers, trapped away due to said evil powers until accidentally released to the world, where she then takes revenge on those who imprison her with an army of zombies. And like Enchantress she spends the rest of the running time waiting for the heroes to show up while her goons do the work for her. Greatly acted, but not original when compared to the writing of the other villains in the franchise that are in their films to wreck shit.

And plenty of shit does get wrecked, as most the special effects are gorgeous, from the varied locations of Ashard and Sicar, with excellent detail and renderings that make the worlds unique. Even the motion capture and CGI characters like Korg stand out great, especially when multiple effects based characters are given more to do and say when they’re not being wiped of our leads shoes like they would in The Avengers. The Hulk v Thor fight being the key standout in terms of action scenes. But again, I said most of the effects. Because as recent trailers show, there have been reshoots done before the release. Image result for thor ragnarok reshootsAnd there cases, such Hela’s introduction in the alley changed to a cliff, where it shows, as there are scenes altered or once appeared in trailers before being removed. With the main problem being how clearly last-minute added changes stand out against the highly rendered scene, or how obvious it is which shots are done on green screen; especially when already rendered actors stand out agaisnt their surroundings due to having their original background changed. You’d think when an MCU features as much shooting on green screen sets as they do would figure this shit out. With many of the scenes on Asgard, and the introduction of Hela looking like a scene from Phase One of this franchise.

Speaking of being poorly implemented, I like to discuss the flaws of the film’s story structure: the main one being, there fucking isn’t one! Oh sure things happen and lead into each other, but each event is often present and followed on with a ‘and then this happened’ moment. Without spoilers the first act goes as follows: Thor finds out about Loki’s return as the two search for Odin, and then Doctor Strange helps them out, and then Hela shows up as she break Thor’s hammer, and then she gets to Asgard and goes full Kratos on the locals, and then Thor lands on a planet that forces him to become a gladiator….I hope you get the picture. Hell even The Hulk’s appearance feels like a ‘and then’ moment, not just because this movie takes elements from the Planet Hulk story; with the first act and the finale feeling kinda rushed when so much of the story takes place on Sicar. But thankfully the comedy more than makes up for it. While The Dark World felt like it was trying to force a joke in a times. This film far more natural as most the humor comes from character banter, and unexpected moments that work effortlessly given the build up involved; with Hemsworth, Hiddleson and Rufflao doing great with the director involved.

 The major downside is that the writers are way to focused on jokes to contrast with DC’s sombre naturally, frankly alot of dramatic moments ended being cut short by character banter and characters injuring themselves; leaving moments having to regain the weight they just lost in the process. There are moments that meant to build upon a character struggles and character development, and plot development; but are wasted fro the sake of a cheap laugh. Kevin Fiege listen up: joke and comedy are great, and the humor of the past MCU films have been great. But when your spending the majority of your time trying to make the audience laugh in the aim of not loosing their attention., you loose focus on the emotional moments. Deadpool was a comedy, and yet it was allowed to take its time to build upon the relationship between Wade and Vanessa; through those scenes you feel the crushing weight of those two loosing each other. Meanwhile this film is regularly stopping a start its momentum because it spent more time buliding the punchline than the dramatic moments that should take focus. I recommend checking out Just Write’s video on the subject. Yes I know the DCEU should be learning tips Marvel about taking breaks the from the down beat tone; but Wonder Woman has now shown that having moments of drama and comedy can work when you have your scene’s priorities in check.

I just want to say that Thor Ragnarok is not a bad movie, in fact if it wasn’t for Spider-Man Homecoming i would’ve have called this the best film Marvel made this year. With an great balence of comedy and action with a talented cast that wear their roles like golves; which makes the film all the more enjoyable given the large stakes involved this one, regardless of the cliches and exposition is involved. As well as jokes that range from laugh out loud to, why is this here now? If you’ve never stayed through the credits of a Marvel film seeing it on the big screen. Firstly, you lazy, attention spanless prick, and secondly stay for it because the end will leaves you wanting Infinity War more than fans like me already do.

7/10

Thank you for your time.

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Rebooting Hollywood Or The Effects of Hollywood’s Obsession with Remakes:

Image result for hollywood out of ideasAnyone that has been keeping track with mainstream movie news, will know that there is a new version of an already existing franchise or film being released every other month. I even surveyed multiple people, and 84% were aware of this.

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See it here

This brings up discussions of whether Hollywood are out of ideas, and are relying on the safe path of familiarity to fill the producer’s wallets. At the same time, it brings up interest in the relaunch of said popular brand, whether it’d be from the already existing fan base, or the newcomers who have only just heard about the brand. Regardless the modern movie industry has fallen into the habit of relaunching an already popular film or brand; with numerous remakes of popular films already in the works. In March this year, cinema goers had the choice of Kong: Skull Island (the third King Kong reboot) a remake of Beauty and the Beast by Disney, or the live action version of Ghost in the Shell. So what’s the harm? Well before we ask that, we need to know the other important question, what’s the reason for this?

Image result for movie franchisesWell firstly there’s the obvious reason of money. And said money being made through different means, mainly franchises. With a lot of projects being made to set up multiple sequels to be produced, after said film is released and hopefully makes a splash at the box office. Due to the success of Marvel Cinematic Universe by Disney – with the Avengers sealing that franchise’s success back in 2012 – many studios from Warner Brothers, Fox Studios and Sony Pictures have been trying to launch their own attempts of cinematic universe like franchises with multiple sequels and giving multiple characters’ spin offs and cross overs; with properties such Spider-man, X-Men, DC Comics and Ghostbusters being planned and already put in action, all of which are released with further projects in the pipe line. Hence why many of the remakes/ reboots released are of well-known properties that are loved by their fans, and have already been financially successful in the past. Because as the old saying goes: if works once, it’ll work again and again. Image result for spidermanSpider-Man is a good example of this, as Peter Parker is on this second reboot at Marvel Studios. Since 2002 Sony Pictures had made millions on the Spider-Man trilogy with Toby Maguire as the star, with his final putting earning a worldwide gross of $890 million. However due to numerous disagreements with director Sam Rami, the studio and Maguire himself; the franchise had ended, with Sony starting the franchise again with a new crew and cast in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012 which earned around $262 million. You can see why Disney was keen to make deals with Sony for the character rights, the sequel under performed; making Disney’s version (as seen in Captain America Civil War) the third big screen version of Spider-Man. With Sony planning to produce a spin-off for Venom, a popular characters from the comics.

Hell this works for sequels as well, if there are two things Hollywood loves most, is money and familiarity. Hence why a lot of films that make bank at the box office earn sequels, whether they need/ require them or not. Why? Because the predecessor established an audience that gave the their money to see it in theatres, and buy the DVDs. So the logic goes: is that said audience will spend more money on a continuation of something they enjoyed once before. Anyone who knows about the workings of studios, will know that they’ll not put anything in production, unless they know it’ll get asses in seats. But with sequels, BOOM! Audience already established, so put this shit on our release schedule and give the team all our money!

Image result for merchandising spaceballsHowever, there is one other source of money from a big budget reboot of an established brand, merchandising. With the studios making deals with manufactures to make products to generate hype for said rebooted brand. If someone loves a film to the point that they have a shelf solely for the merchandise, then a new version will get said person to by the new products. Whether it’d be: t-shirts, special edition DVDs with hours of bonus features, dress up items, and action figures with almost perfect likenesses to the character they’re meant to portray. Companies such as Hasbro, Mattel, Neca, Lego and Side Show Collectibles have profited heavily on this. As Mark Litwak said on the matter of movie merchandising, it’s a second form of advertisement:

If McDonalds agrees to distribute millions of Roger Rabbit cups to its customers, and spend additional millions of dollars to advertise the promotion, the movie benefits from increased audience awareness. For distributors, promotional campaigns are often the most alluring aspect of a product placement deal”. Litwak M, 2013 ‘Movie Merchandising’.

And his not wrong about the allure of merchandising, especially when aiming to audiences of families, children included; with it also aiming towards adult collectors. With successful franchises such as Star Wars –with products by Kenner and Hasbro – making over $37 billion over the last 40 years before the release of The Force Awakens, the push for merchandising in shops and geek events such as Comic Con makes more sense. Especially when a CNBC article by Javier E. David says that the Comic Con event in San Diego brings in $700 million during the three days of the events.

So while yes, the established geek market is the key market to hit, as many of them will be aware of the relaunched franchise; there is still more demographics to reach. The first is young people, mainly because they would be having the most disposable income, and would be more keen to see a big popcorn blockbuster than a slower drama piece. Image result for remakesI say this as films such as Total Recall, Robocop and Poltergeist were well-respected films with hard R ratings (or 15 in the UK) only to be rebooted as PG-13 (12A in the UK) that meaning anyone around that age range could pay to see the film. The second audience to aim for, being everyone else. Because if a franchise is going to be re-established to the worldwide public, the more audiences viewing the better. It draws attention to something they might not have been aware of beforehand, and if they’re a fan of something in a similar genre; then they may like this. And I do mean the world wide public, going back to Robocop and Total Recall, by the US box office both of them under performed. As both of them struggled to make more than $60 million in the US. When it comes to the world wide audiences: Robocop (2014) made $139 million, while Total recall made $184 million. And these are only two examples in a recurring trend, as Robert Schovo says in his video ‘Too Many Hollywood Reboots? Here’s why’; countries like China only take a small amount of English-speaking films to put them in wide release across the country, and as Robert says:

“They’re (cinema distributors) going to go with something that doesn’t get lost in translation. If you ever wondered why the Fast and the Furious movies are so huge – it’s because: men drive car fast, works in any language.” Schovo R, 2016. ‘Too Many Hollywood Reboots? Here’s why’!

Hence why so many examples like this are big expensive action films with explosion filled, exciting, money shots for the trailers; instead of some deep heart-felt rom-com. While (insert franchise here) maybe new to someone else, even if they’ve heard good things about the original from a guy who knows a guy, who knows a guy’s cousin whose seen it. Which also explains the remakes of multiple foreign films such as Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Ring.

Now, we need to ask the important question; what is the effect of Hollywood and the movie industry? Well for one thing the is that there are loads of remakes of well-known films still being produced, with sources stating that between 107 and 116 remakes are in various stages of production by various studios. Screenshot (12).pngWhich shocked the participants in my survey, as 80% were unaware of this. But also Hollywood has fallen into the habit of making films in order to kick starter a franchise using popular characters, in the attempts of building a cinematic universe with sequels, spin offs and crossovers in the vain of making the same money Marvel did with the Avengers. Regardless of the quality of the output, studios will pour money into blockbusters with massive special effects, using recognizable characters. Which will be seen all other the place in terms advertisement: i.e. movie screens, movie news and the internet etc.

But does it work for the studios? Yes, and no. Image result for box officeI mean it has worked for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe due positive word of mouth, and even Warner Brothers’ DC franchise has managed to turn a profit due to successful marketing campaigns. But for the rest of the market, I can be a hit or miss venture. Because all the money in the world being spent on trailers and action figures can’t prevent a film sinking due to one crucial element that can grantee a film success in the world of fandoms and the internet, positive word of mouth. Whether it’d be from the critics on sites such as Rotten Tomatoes, and the responses from audiences. The 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters is a good example, while the film rated well in terms of critical reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, when it came the audience scores, it was rated the lowest rated film within the franchise. I bring this up as the film failed at the box-office only making $128 million at the US box office on a budget of $145 million, with the film failing to break even. And what’s not helping is that smaller productions are given less attention due to being released days or so after a highly anticipated/ advertised film has hit theatres.

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Source: Box Office Mojo

For example, a Will Smith drama from 2015 called: Concussion; only made a total amount of $48 million, in a world where movies are expected to make double their profits, that’s bad enough. But do you know what has released a week before: Star Wars the Force Awakens. That being said, the Indie/ Independent side of the film industry has gained large amounts of attention and influence. With events such as the Sun Dance film festival giving multiple indie productions more attention. Films like Drive and Troll Hunter being good examples of films starting at similar events and earning cult followings in the process. Even directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson being directors that started on their own and working their way to fame with their own ideas or ones that haven’t been tried yet. With the former having two of his films (Inglorious Bastards and J’Dango Unchained) being nominated for best pictures at the Oscars. This brings a balance between what is being released in cinemas; especially when films like Room and Whiplash end up topping the box office charts when given the attention.

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So is this good or bad? Honestly it’s both, as despite it being 50/50 on the quality of the output on the Hollywood reboot craze; it will get new people into franchises they probably wouldn’t have known/ cared about. And of course, actors, writers, producers, manufactures, etc. will have money to put food on the table. Even if we the audiences, will have to put up with the repetition.

Thank you for your time.

Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Image resultOut of a combination of interest and “why the hell not?” I decided to watch the 2014 version on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And yes to my regular readers….both of you. I know this isn’t a newly released film, and the sequel is already out on DVD, “so why are you reviewing it then?” Firstly, don’t tell me how to run my blog, and the second reason is that if I can think of something worth typing, I’d do it; and boy is this worth talking about I assure you. Now for starters, I’m only a causal fan of the Ninja Turtles. I’ve watched and enjoyed the 2003 cartoon, I adore the 2012 series, and I’ve seen and liked the films, well the first two live action films I like, and the 2007 animated film is still pretty damn good. The third live action film; OH MY GOD, KILL AND BURN IT! And this film can go join the bomb fire.

So where to start, the plot? Ha! For a Ninja Turtles film, this film’s script is on creative auto pilot. It’s basically the four Turtles fighting the Foot Clan as they stop Shredder’s big plan, with some dashes of the Turtles established backstory, and the third act of The Amazing Spider-man. Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2014 aprilOh and April O’Neil is in it. OK to the film’s credit we do learn said back story through her, and we do learn about William Fichtner’s character, or as I like to call him: not Shredder given the back lash to the film’s original casting. So April isn’t the most unless character in the film; that title goes to Will Arentt’s character. That said she is as forced into the script’s situation, the same way a brick is forced into a light socket. The actual plot itself has less depth than a pen cap, and it’s structurally linear as the pen itself. The back story almost gets the source material right, but in order to have Splinter and the Turtles know martial arts, the writers end up reaching so far; their arms must be the length of their entire body.

Moving onto the performances And what’s not helping Megan Fox is that her performance has the range of a shot from an asthmatic pea shooter. Image result for teenage mutant ninja turtles 2014 shredderAs for Shredder, his just a big brute for shake of having the chrome tar beaten out him by the end of the film. With the CGI Silver Samuri suit having more personality than the actor himself. Which again, isn’t helped by Fitchner’s recast; with him being the only villain with some sort of personality, even if his motivation comes down to: we wouldn’t have a movie if he didn’t. The only some what interesting characters in this, are the Turtles themselves. And even then Raphael is the only one with a character growth, Michelangelo is just there for comedic relief, which is neither comedic nor a relief or any kind; especially when he can’t seem to keep it in his pants, when around April. I’m serious; his behaviour is so odd, you’d feel guilty for leaving him alone with a vacuum cleaner, let alone a human woman. As for Leo,  he’s just the leader to get every one of their asses, while Donatello is just the exposition guy. But I will say that the voice actors were well picked, and do work decently with each other. Even if it’s just standard by comparison against the other media with their green faces on it.

Speaking of the Turtles’ green faces, the CGI is good, when it comes to the movements. While some cases they do look decent, other times they fail to blend with the live action sets; and the faces some how look worst than the puppet heads that used in the live action films. And given little of a crap the studio gave at film three, that’s saying a lot. Speaking of the looks, yet again it’s the action is the only saving grace that Micheal Bay decided to create for this franchise, wait he wasn’t the director? Well the action is the only saving grace that Micheal Bay let someone else decided to create for this franchise. With the chase down the snowy mountains being the highlight, as it was fast paced, and the only interesting set piece that isn’t just: just people fighting in the dark. The combat itself is basically any martial arts film, but not as fun or inventive. The ending fight is done well, but it’s mostly just ripping of The Amazing Spider-man, to the point were it’s the heroes vs the big bad guy, on the top of skyscraper, trying to prevent a toxic fart cloud from being unleashed onto the nearby city, and infecting/ killing the people below.

And now for the lighting round of complaints. The costume designs are basic. The pacing is sperattic with some scenes being the duration of a melting candle, to then switch into quick dashes, like The Flash on buretto Thursday. No seriously, there is a point where characters make it back to the sewers of New York, from some snowy mountains, with the span of a couple of hours. And while we’re bashing the plot. It’s revealed that Splinter learned his skills in martial arts, from a Japanese book about martial arts. Let me repeat that. A mutated rat, that has gained Intelligence and human speech, despite living in the sewers throughout the later half of his life. Becomes a master in ninjitsu, by reading a Japanese bloom about the subject. I’ll gladly give all of the money in my bank account to the animal scientist who can explain, how the hell that works?!

In closing the film kind of unfocused and kinda dull. Mainly due to flat characters, dialogue so forced you see the scene crack around it. Overall while the action is fun in an over the top way, and the four leads do well; this isn’t really worth the attention if I’m too honest.

And as for the sequal…i’ll get back to you on that.

Thank you for your time.

Review: Suicide Squad (spoiler free)

DC Films.jpgWhat the hell is going on with DC? When The Dark Knight left cinemas back in 2008, did a curse fall upon the land, dooming them to eternal bad luck? Because while Marvel is constantly killing it with their cinematic universe; DC and Warner Bros have been also releasing comic book films between now and 2008, with catches on each one; that wasn’t part of the Dark Knight trilogy. Watchmen in 2009, bombed. Jonah Hex in 2010, panned. Green Lantern in 2011 did both, as the film crashed and burned harder the ship that delivered Hal’s lantern ring.

MoS BvS ratingsEven films in the Extended Universe (The DC Extended Universe, that is what they’re calling it) like Man of Steel and Batman v Superman made by Zach Synder, faced untold amounts of mixed reviews from fans and critics a like; despite the box office figures. Some loving Synder’s direction; while others…didn’t. Dawn of Justice faced negative feedback coming from both fans and detractors alike. It’s been like three months or so since the film’s release, and Snyder is still pulling buck shot shrapnel from his nut sack. Well…he was until film’s “Ultimate Edition” improved a large amount of the film’s flaws; even if it still is a prequel for Justice League, and the film knows it. And with the recently released trailers for Justice League and Wonder Woman, fans are slowly starting to be won over again.

Anyway, the change in styles between those two films and this new Suicide Squad film, got fans excited; especially with a new director, tone and trailers that used tunes like Bohemian Rhapsody and Ballroom Blitz. Hell something new from a DC film that’s not Batman or Superman, plus given how fun the two trailers were. How could this fail? Can this film finally win over audiences and critics a like towards DC’s film universe?  God damn it!

 

Well let’s do this. Taking place after Batman v Superman, the government grow concerned over the possibility of other super powered brings on earth. Thus Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis) sets up a team of criminals with skills ranging from weaponry, combat and even magic; as they’re ordered to do missions for the government, and not activate the bombs implement in their heads; in return for lower prison sentences. Their first mission leads to the group having to stop a rouge squad member, a woman known as Enchantress, as the group fight for their survival and freedom against her and her demonic brother.

Despite the flack i gave Batman v Superman early this year, for its ridiculous amount of characters; here the story is much more focused. Each character feels relevant to the story, and their given the opportunity to interact with each other and the world around them. The cast themselves have great chemistry with each other, as the group start to open up and slowly start to work together. Quickly establishing their characters, and allowing the actors to get on with the story. Will Smith and Marggot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Dead Shot being a good example. I enjoyed their scenes together;  as it was interesting watching Smith’s cynical smart ass, interact with the crazy but tough as nails chick of Harley Quinn; who Robbie captures excellently, making her fun to have on-screen. The rests of the cast do great with their roles as well; Rick Flag and Enchantress’ scenes were good, making you understand the conflict of their relationship (long story) with Joel Kinnerman doing a great job as a Sargent who’s just trying to keep the squad in order.

Jai Courtney really surprised me as the loud mouth Captain Boomerang; with this being the guy’s best performance since….um….One of the biggest surprises for me was Jay Hernandez as El Diablo. The guy is great as the more sympathetic character who doesn’t want to fight or use his powers really; in fact for this type of story, his only there because he was dragged into it by Waller, more on her later, and his back story is a really great pay of for his arch. If this is how the guy is like in the comics, i’m really interested to learn about the character. But for me the best performance was Davis as Amanda Waller, the lady excellently pulls of the cold, manipulative, cynic that gets under the squad’s skin; as she “persuades them” into joining the fight. She greatly captures the character of the comics. But that said, the rest of the main cast are pretty wasted,Slipknot is only there to prove Waller’s point, Killer Croc and Katana only get a few lines of dialogue, they’re mainly there to be in the battle scenes; with her just showing up as the group heads out to Midway City. And despite the amount of marketing featuring this guy, The Joker is barely in the film. He has a subplot with Harley, and then his gone for the rest of the film; which sad because it’s clear that Jared Leto can do a very good Joker, i like what he does with the character. Please let him be the villain for Ben Afleck’s Batman film.

So despite the large amount of characters, the story didn’t feel forced or blogged down like Dawn of Justice. The film quickly establishes the character’s past, their skills and that their now in prison. The plot is tightly focused on its characters and it’s goals, and it always knows where it’s going throughout the run time. With each character having one moment to shine as a character, or show of in the excellent fight scenes. The choreography from the actors is superb, its fast paced with the characters giving a variety of fighting styles making the scenes look and feel fun to watch. All this with very good CGI on the creatures that serve Enchantress. As for the CG on her brother, it’s….noticeable; in particularly the face they give him. But all of the editing, the makeup, the production design is just excellently made with very good designs and attention to detail. Plus the film has a very good soundtrack throughout; ranging from artist such as: Eminem, Black Sabbath, and many more, which fits the tone of the very well. In particularly Dead Shot’s try outs set to Black Skinhead by Kanye West.

But, the one major thing I’ll say about the story, going back it, the plot isn’t really original. The plan of Enchantress and her brother is basically: “We were trapped for centuries by the mortal humans, so watch as we take vengeance upon them.” Yeah it isn’t exactly the most creative plots ever as most story’s that feature a trapped demon usually involve him pulling a revenge plot on someone, or the rest of the world. Enchantress was probably the weakest character, when she’s on her own. But overall, DC and Warner Brothers has stepped up in terms running a DC Cinematic universe, as this by far the best film they’ve done so far in the DCEU. With well written characters performed by a great cast, fun action that looks amazing on the big screen, all within a tightly focused story that constantly knows where it’s going despite a large amount of characters where some are more shown than others; but do have enough back story and development to make you interested in what’s happening.

So yeah, DC is fun again. As much as I liked the previous two films despite any flaws, this is a major step up, and would highly recommend despite the story being done before multiple times, that would’ve benefited with some tweaks and polishing; ending up with some characters better developed than others. But DC, more fun films like this please!

Eight out of ten.

Thank you for your time.

Review: Ghostbusters (2016) Another remake on the pile

  So after a disastrous marketing campaign, the remake of Ghostbusters has finally arrived in cinemas. A lot has changed since my blog on the subject. For one thing the cast went from being mostly silent to at least willing to talk to Graham Norton and Ellen DeGeneres, yet again word on the street (or Internet) is that after multiple on set arguments the cast were legally required to not bad mouth the film, due to Sony not wanting a repeat of Josh Trank’s meltdown during his time on Fantastic Four back in 2015. And given the stuff that went down….can’t say I blame them. Secondly the “all haters of this film are woman hating, basement dwelling, neck bearded, lifeless, Trump supporting (really) friendless misogynist” line of defence has gotten so out of control, to the point  where a female YouTuber like Comicbookgirl19 can bash the trailer and go unscathed, despite outright boycotting the film. Meanwhile James Rolfe can simply say he won’t review the film, and somehow make headlines in the process. Screenshot (2).pngHell Melissa McCarthy (and now recently Leslie Jones) went from regularly slagging the film’s director of to her friends and crew mates; to now labelling the trailer’s detractors as sexist so often you’d expect her to be preaching this stuff from her Tumblur account given her body shape. Come at me feminist! Oh and Fall Out Boy released a cover of the original Ghostbusters theme (because) with Missy Elliot (for some reason). So now the film is finally here; how does the birth / potential death of Sony’s Ghostbusters’ cinematic universe pan out?

Being a remake of an old film, the story is not much different in the new film. We follow three scientists: Abby, Erin, Jullian and Patty, the group’s token black Ghostbuster. As they set up their business hunting ghost. The main difference (outside of the cast) is the change of villains. Instead of Gozer, a demon crossing our dimension to enslave us all; we instead get Rowan, a guy suffering from the same condition as the kid from The Sixth Sense, as he builds a machine to summon ghost, as he uses them to take control of New York after becoming a ghost himself. Yep turns out the Reddit leak was more accurate than we thought, despite the dis jointed writing.

Now then the elephant in the room, the cast. They’re good. They’re competent actors that work with what they’re given, and they work well together. That said, if you’ve seen any of the leads act in anything, They are basically doing that again. If you’ve seen McCarthy and Wigg in Bridesmaids, Spy or the such; not a lot has changed as they are just playing themselves really, as per their other work. Wigg is the awkward straight woman, McCarthy is the rude wise crack (to the point that she’s just redoing her character from The Heat), and Jones is the sassy black chick. On that subject, SONY! If you’re going to preach about how progressive you are to your audience; why did you cast the black woman as the stereotypical, sassy, loud black lady? She’s only on the team due to her street smarts, and will loudly scream her lines every other chance she gets, in an attempt to be sassy. No wonder the Social Justice Warriors of the Internet ate the trailers up, it wears hypocrisy like a fancy hat, as they do. To the point where the people involved talk about how the all female cast shows their progressive side; in a story where every male character falls on the spectrum of jackass (e.g Rowan and the mayor) or dumb-ass like Chris Hemsworth’s character. You get the feeling that the film is punishing the guy for being the funniest character in the film by making him one chromosome away from a short bus and a drawl bucket.

On a more calmer note, while the three do well as their characters, Kate McKinnon is trying to pull of the tom-boy-ish tough girl, she does well at it. Her moments were the most fun to watch, particularly the end fight in Time Square. It’s her and Chris Hemsworth that are the comedic heights of the film; even if his jokes all ended being: “ha, isn’t he dumb?!” Their timing and their material were the comedic high lights, while the other jokes are just….meh. I will also say that Jones is probably best written as a character, because while the rest of team are pretty much fearless to the point where the only time they experience fear towards a ghost, is the opening at the mansion. Meanwhile Jones as Patty naturally is scared at the start; and then braves up throughout the story. In a cast of exaggerated performances, she’s the most realistic character.

But the problems are mostly due to the script than the actors who say them; at most, the rest of the jokes will make you chuckle. However i will give the script some pros when it comes to the more serious aspects; such the action and scenes with the ghost. Which just make the film a bit disjointed, as in between those moments, the film is mostly busy trying to crack jokes after one liners. Some better than others.

One other element of the trailer that got torn apart upon the release was the effects that range from weak to “oh good god there are games on the original Xbox that look better than this”! That being said upon seeing the final film, they are well animated and are detailed nicely. But it’s the rending that’s holding it back, making each ghost look like the love child of a neon glow stick, and the rejects of The Haunted Mansion ride. When compared to the live action actors, it’s just embarrassing to see the two contrasting against each other makes it more obvious. However the practical elements, such as the props, the costumes and the like were done well and look good; same with the editing and cinematography

Now given how this is a remake, of course call backs to the original were inevitable; and compared to the rest of the film, they stick out like saw thumbs. I already talked about how the original cast are legal obligated to show up….i mean appear in cameos. With Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson having the best ones, as they are relevant to the events around the cast. While Sigourney Weaver is just there, and Dan Akyrod’s cameo just wants to make bang my head against a wall given how forced it was. And the forced nostalgia keeps on going. As not only do the original cast return, not only do they re harsh elements of the first film’s plot, not only do they force characters like Slimer and The Stay Puff Marsh Mellow Man into it; but they repeat the ending of the first film. Note for note, and the characters don’t take any notice until Rowan starts to attack them; it’s that shameless.

And speaking of Rowan, he was the low point for me. As a villain he isn’t interesting; as he falls under revenge motive #446, the picked on, bullied loner. Now that’s a lame motivation, but he spends his time monologing his motives to himself/ the audience; because having that be explained through the narrative was too difficult without pulling a Frank Underwood…i guess. Also can i just say how the guy has he fastest decent to omnipotence i think I’ve seen in a film. As he starts making stuff himself, to entering god mode by the time the third act arrives. Do you want to know why, so would i. Oh can i just that Rowan’s final fight has the worst effects in the film, with his ghost form looking as fake as it did in the trailers.

In conclusion as much as we may or may not have bashed the trailer, discovered the behind the scenes mess, and called out Sony for actively shaming and bullying the demographic they need to see the film. Yeah Sony, turns out if you get criticism from the fan base of an existing franchise you’re working on, and then label said criticism as bigotry; well then you shouldn’t be shocked that you drove away the people who were going to give you the money you wanted. So is it bad? No. Is it good?  Meh….While it has its good moments and the cast being one of the highlights of the film. It is just OK; but I fear that the back lash will probably be the most significant thing to come out the film.

Five out of ten.

Thank you for your time.

Top Four Star War Anthology films i want to see

With ‘Star Wars: Rouge One’….oh I’m sorry, “Rouge One: A Star Wars Story” reaching theatres with a few months, seriously can I just say how that title makes the film sound like something from a Channel Five documentary? Well in any case this kicks of the first of the Star Wars Anthology films; or rather the films Disney will release while we wait for episodes eight and nine. Either way this unlocks huge potential for the world of the franchise, given the endless possibilities that can be taken….when Josh Trank isn’t involve as he was mean to be; until his career ended like a fart in church. But this is just some of the many ideas that could come from this sub section of the franchise. Whether they’d be many takes on existing ideas (confirmed by Disney or other wise) or some I haven’t seen suggested. Here are the top four ideas of the next Star Wars anthology film.

1) Boba Fett: Fett is known as one of the most popular Star Wars characters…ever. Which is surprising as the guy didn’t do much in the two films he appeared in. He looks great, and sounds cool; but does very little. Then comes the expanded universe, giving him more stories and further development. And when the anthology idea was announced; a lot of fans looked at each other and went “they need to do A Boba Fett film”. And it’s going through, and given the opportunity and the money they can make of Boba’s popularity, why would they not? After all the Disney executive that turns that idea down will be forever tared throughout the offices…

” Get on with it”!  OK quotation person, good god!

Anyway, my take on the film, is that it could do well as a potential thriller of Boba tracking down a bounty, obviously. A film in the style of ‘The 39 Steps’ or ‘Mad Max Fury Road’; where the bounty is chased from planet to planet, as Boba is tracking the guy and investigating the location. Have him as a ‘Dirty Harry’ sort of character. Hey if Rouge One can pull of gritty in its first trailer surely that idea isn’t that far of a stretch. Or maybe have the potential target be the protagonist of the story, with Boba as the villain paid to track him down. Have them go to different worlds in the franchise as he meets new people as they help him escape Boba. With the main story could be something like a falsely accused person running from the law, while trying to investigate who set him up.  Or any other crime that could set the guy of on this wild goose chase. And with Boba, he has the Slave One ship, so we’ll get great action scenes on land and IN SPACE! As a fan of The Muppets, I had to.

2) Knights of Ren: Back when ‘The Force Awakens’ had it’s first trailer released, one discussion point was the hilt on the lightsaber of Kylo Ren. Why does it need on other than to look cool. One, to stop the user’s hand being cut; watching the Obi-Wan V Grievous fight if you don’t believe me. And secondly, according to a book called “Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary” his design resembles a design as used by accident Jedi knights.

“Ding” goes the light bulb.

Have a film where we see Kylo’s discovery of Sith history, seeing how his Knights of Ren operate, while also seeing the Solo family fall apart as Ren rise to power. Naturally this could greatly further explore Supreme Leader Snoke as a character, as well as show his capabilities as a Sith. The guy pretty much worships Darth Vader as his own personal Jesus, so why not further explore the other elements of Sith past that inspires him; hell maybe even learns from. And at that point, the film can even bring some Expanded Universe stuff (or Legends as Disney now whats to call it) be worked back into cannon. The Sith Wars, Sith Holocrons, Darth Bane, Darth Plagueis or the villains from The Knights of the Old Republic games for example. There are some many great stories no longer consider canon by Disney, I swear if you make any of those elements fit the continuity again fans will be throwing the cash. Come on Disney, do you like money?

3) Poe Dameron: One of the breakout characters from The Force Awakens was Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron. A tough, smart ass that excellently fits the Han Solo role now that this position is now…. available. And given how X-Men Apocalypse showed that Isaac is capable of leading a story; this could lead to a Top Gun style film with the X-Wing  and Tie Fighters, where he leads some pilots on a mission without the homosexual undertones Top Gun is mocked for. Have the story be about how the Poe needs to lead some pilots to save a planet under the control of The First Order; the film ending with a battle of Tie Fighters and X-Wings above the planet of story setting. For inspiration, take any story from books like the Rouge Squadron series and games like Jedi Starfighter; Just to name some endless examples. Basically, do Rogue One with X-Wings! Poe is a likable enough character to lead to carry the story depending on the film’s co-stars. Plus given the amazing action episode seven had; this will be a film well worth singing Highway to the Danger Zone to.

4) Darth Plagueis: Look, say what you will of the prequel films, one good thing to one out of them, was Palpatine; his performance, and In particularly, the brief glimpse at his back story, alongside his Sith master Darth Plagueis. The short story fable Palpatine told Anakin during Revenge of the Sith; a short scene that further developed Palapatine’s character and the idea of bringing people from the dead, was a good way to tempt Anakin; even if his turn to the dark side is rather out of left field. Regardless the scene did this without feeling like a typical prequel scene of two characters randomly talking about every detail of the subject matter. “So why make a movie about Plagueis then?”

Good question. You see with the mystery of Kylo Ren’s master from ‘The Force Awakens’, Supreme Leader Snoke, there’s popular fan theory of Snoke from is going to be revelled as Plagueis, despite the character dying at the end of Palatine’s story, with Palpatine being the one who killed with force lighting; according to the Darth Plagueis novel. So given the guy’s goal in that story was to become powerful enough to the point where he could kill someone only to bring them back to life by his sheer will; why not explain and further develop the character for the main stream audiences? Which further shows how powerful Snoke is, if this is the case. Because if Rey can get called a Mary Sue for getting shit done rather easily, then can you imagine the reviews for episode eight when they pretty much bring a demigod into the mix. Unless they mange to get the characters up to speed with Plagueis’ past, how he’s still alive, how Kylo fits into the plan, along with Snoke’s/ Plagueis’ new plan; all without bogging down the story of Rey and Luke Skywalker. So yeah an adaptation of the Plagueis novel, or a similar story that shows him meeting Palatine, training him in a way that shows how powerful and dangerous this guy is. Even the most basic Star Wars fan knows that The Emperor is powerful, so think about how you can hook the audience on the idea of a villain more powerful than that.

So that’s my list, did I forget about, or flat-out miss out any possible suggestions? Do you agree or disagree with me? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Thank you for your time.

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.

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.

Review: Batman V Superman (spoiler free)

It’s no secret that DC Comics have been competing against Marvel Studios in terms of releasing super hero films based on their characters. 2013 was when DC got the ball rolling with Man of Steel, a reboot of the Superman franchise. Now they plan to keep going forwards with the film’s sequel: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. 

The story takes place 18 months after the events of Man of Steel, where we see Bruce Wayne (Batman) starts forming a grudge towards Superman after witnessing multiple casualties at Wayne Industries during the destruction of Metropolis in Man of Steel. Which leads him to take on Superman; all the while Lex Luthor is creating a weapon that could be powerful enough to destroy them both. First things first, the cast does great with what they’re given, especially our main players. Henry Cavil and Amy Adams were great as Clark Kent (Superman) and Louis Lane, and work well together in Man of Steel. And they still do well here. This new film lets us see more of their friendship, and Cavil still shows the compassionate personality of the character,many the film further explores the side of the character is willing to do the right thing to help, even if no one in Metropolis wants him to.

That said I felt Louis had very little to do plot wise other than follow a lead to expose Lex Luthor, she’s clearly a smart and strong character, but this is something added to get her involved with the ending. So now we move on our three new main characters. Starting with Ben Affleck as Batman, who pretty much steels the show. He plays Bruce as a rough and woren down version of the character, similar to the version seen in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Which given how he lost multiple people in his life, it makes sense. Plus he nails the intelligence, resourcefulness and attitude of the character greatly. Not to mention how well the character is during the action scenes, with his moves, choreography and gadgets, this ends up giving him some of the best action scenes in the film. Plus the costume is just perfect. Then we have the random inclusion of Wonder Woman, and some how it works. Gal Gadot fits the role well, her role makes sense in the story; and we finally she a live action version of the strong, confident and bad ass hero that is Wonder Woman on the big screen….shame really because I liked what I saw and want more. Again costume, perfect.

The weakest link in the cast is Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. While confident in the role, and the guy is capable of acting well. The social awkwardness of his personality doesn’t really work well given the character of Lex Luthor. While Jessie nails the smooth talker that would seem trusting at first, outside of his intelligence and the plans he enacts, his not exactly threatening. Like the previous film, the effects are excellent. Great attention to detail, well made CGI, with the sound giving it the tremendous impact the scene needs. This gives way into the action scenes. Such as the fast camera movements in the Batmobile chase, the choreography during the fights with Batman, and the scenes with Clark’s powers. Great action overal. However the final fight against Doomsday tries to throw way to many effects into the mix. This isn’t a spoiler you learn this in the trailer. Given the CGI character with tons of lighting effects when he regenerates, I’m surprised the computer that rendered it didn’t explode. Oh and the design of Doomsday doesn’t help matters either. Throughout the beginning of that scene, I was waiting for Viggo Mortenson to go ” They have a cave troll”.

Which leads in to the films biggest problem: it try’s to do way too much, making it longer than it should do. Without spoiling the outcomes you have:

  1. Clark’s efforts to gain respect from the public after the last film.
  2. Bruce’s reasons to fight Superman, and his plans to do so.
  3. Lex’s plan to destroy Superman along with Batman
  4. As well as using and creating Doomsday.
  5. Louis uncovering on Luthor’s scheme.
  6. Wonder Woman’s reasons for going after Luthor.

Now that’s busy enough, but I could manage it, but then the film try’s to include build up to the Justice League film, multiple cameos from other DC heroes, and other characters throughout the story, and other scenes that are just not needed. With the first two acts mostly filled with talking and plot points to set up later; which would be fine if it didn’t run so long. And that’s why this is such a problem, the film ends up going for what feels like forever, in order to finish everything it sets up that isn’t Justice League related. The third act being the most guilty of this. There is so much happening at once, and the ending scene drags on; again, i liked what happened in those scenes, especially the way the plot goes during the end. But a lot of it could be shortened, or flat out removed and it’ll still work.

Overall while i enjoyed the movie, i felt that it had so much on it’s to do list, that it made the film a lot longer than it should’ve done. Like i said, everything with some exceptions were greatly done; and it’s certainly an enjoyable film i recommend you go see. While Man of Steel is the superior film, this is a worthy follow up…..Just don’t see it in 3D.

 7/10. Thank you for you’re time.