Category Archives: Movies
Okay, I’m going to start by saying that this isn’t as good as the original. It was never likely to be. The original Ghostbusters was such a lightning in a bottle kind of thing that it was unlikely to be matched. It’s also one of my favourite films of all time, so I was very apprehensive about this remake. And while it’s not as good as the original, it’s a hell of a lot better than Ghostbusters 2.
The main four women are all brilliant. Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig are both on fine form, and Leslie Jones has a few brilliant lines, but Kate McKinnon steals the show. She’s phenomenally funny in this film.
Speaking of show stealing, Chris Hemsworth is brilliant. He’s just fantastic every time he’s on screen as a bumbling, charming, complete and utter idiot.
The action scenes are well done, especially toward the end, and the film is genuinely funny in many places (including a bit where they read Youtube video comments). The cameo’s are all really fun, and the visual effects are pretty much spot on.
But it’s not perfect. It has one too many beats that are lifted from the original, which do nothing but remind you of how good the original is, and some of the jokes are just not very funny. But in a film where more hit and made me laugh than didn’t, I’ll call that a win.
Other problems include the mayor and his aide, who were just annoying, and the main villain, who didn’t seem all that dangerous at any point. Gozer was hardly given a great character, but the build up to her reveal was excellent. Here, it’s less interesting, and feels like they could have done with an extra 20 mins or so.
I assume many of you have read those hate-filled reviews and posts on IMBD or Facebook, or maybe even Twitter. Posts by usually angry white men who hate the fact that this film exists, that women are allowed to be the main focus of a Ghostbusters movie. Those people are idiots. And frankly, it’s their loss. This film isn’t anti-man, or militant feminist, or anything else people have said.
But they’re small complains in the scheme of things. If you like the Ghostbusters, you’ll like this, if you like action-packed, funny films, you’ll like this. And, one last thing; the cinema was full of young women and girls. And judging from the clapping and cheering, they loved it. This is their Ghostbusters, and it’s a fine film.
I hope they get a sequel, I hope they get that chance, because if they can come out from under the shadow of the original a bit, I think they could make a phenomenal film. As it stands, they made a really good one.
Despite the fairly negative reviews on sites such as Metacritic, I went to see Warcraft today, and I figured I’d do a quick review to give my thoughts. There might be mild spoilers, be warned.
I guess I should start this review by explaining that I’ve never played Warcraft in any of it’s forms. I have no interest in starting now, either, and I’ve never read any of the books or comics up to this point. My entire knowledge of the Warcraft world is limited to knowing it’s a fantasy world, that there are Orcs in it, and obviously Leeroy Jenkins (google it).
On the other hand, I love fantasy movies and despite some awful trailers, this one intrigued me. I think it’s fair to say, I enjoyed the hell out of it.
First and foremost, it’s beautiful. If you think the pictures were pretty, you haven’t seen anything until you see it all moving. Everything looks stunning, the scenery, the animation, the Orcs especially are something quite special.
Speaking of the Ocs, they’re the best thing in the film. Each of them looks brilliant, and you get genuine emotion from Toby Kebbell, who is incredible as Durotan, one of the Orc chiefs. Actually his story is probably the most interesting part of the film, and I wish there was more of it. The whole, “do I betray my people to save my people?” arc is well done here, and I found myself really enjoying Durotan’s time on screen. Also, his scenes with his wife and baby felt genuine and touching.
Special praise goes to Daniel Wu and his excellent portrayal of the evil Gul’dan. He was great every time he was on screen.
The human side of the story is a bit more a mixed bag. On the one hand you’ve got Travis Fimmel as Sir Anduin Lothar. He’s brilliant, frankly, and basically holds up the entire human part of the film almost single-handedly. He’s a badass warrior, and manages to come across as someone you really don’t want as an enemy.
Ben Schnetzer is also excellent as Khadgar, a mage who’s incredibly out of his depth, and both he and Fimmel work well together when they’re on screen.
The action scenes were magnificent, and stunning to watch. The real high-point of the film, and they managed to look pretty vicious despite it only being a 12a in the UK.
The story as a whole is quite interesting, and the film flies along its 2hr show time, but there are some issues.
- The big reveal of the bad guy is a giant ‘meh’. I simply didn’t care about the character, nor his motivations, and frankly I guessed he would be the villain the second he comes on screen.
- Dominic Cooper isn’t in it enough to really give his character the drive it needed for people to want him to succeed. I wanted Fimmel to do it because he’s heroic, and badass, but his king just sort of arrived, said a few things and left. He needed a bigger part.
- Actually that’s the biggest problem I have with the film, it needed more of it. There needed to be more of the king, more of the humans you were meant to be rooting for.
- The romance between Lothar and Garona felt tacked on. It was obvious it was going to happen, but there was zero set up to it. One minute they were talking, the next they were deeply in love. I didn’t buy it for a second.
- There were no twists or shocking parts to the film. None. Everything that was meant to be a twist could have been seen a mile away, although that didn’t dampen my enjoyment of it for the most part.
- Fimmel’s son was a plot device and nothing more.
- It needed more humour. I wanted someone a Leeroy Jenkins moment, or more sarcastic one-liners. There were characters who did it occasionally, but not enough for my liking.
- More species. Hopefully if they get a sequel the elves and dwarves can actually do something.
The film was obviously a labour of love for all involved, it’s just a shame that the script couldn’t quite match the lofty ambitions. Now, I really liked it, but I love fantasy films anyway, and I can certainly see why others might not feel as invested.
It’s better than Batman vs Superman and X-men apocalypse, and anyone who says it isn’t beautiful is either trolling or blind. The script needed polishing, and several of the characters needed to go away as they take screen time from characters who are actually interesting. It’s one of the few films where I’d say 2hrs isn’t enough. If they do a director’s cut and add another 30-40 minutes onto the running time, I’d be happy with that.
So, I do recommend it, but it’s not for everyone. You like fantasy, you’ll probably enjoy it. You like Warcraft, you’ll love it. And if you want big grand action packed scenes, or you want to see orcs and humans beat the shit out of each other, then this is the film for you. I really hope it gets the sequel it desperately wants, as I’m very interested in seeing what they do from here.
It’s also probably a film that the majority of reviews I’ve read have either missed the point (it’s not meant to be Lord of the Rings), or just don’t seem to like it because it’s a videogame movie. Go see it for yourself. There’s a good chance you’ll enjoy it.
I’ve been to watch Batman VS Superman, and wanted to write down my thoughts on the film. Considering I had no hope of making this short enough to post on FB or Twitter, I figured writing them here would be a better idea.
First the bad:
- The story is nonsensical, and jumps around all over the place for no real reason.
- Huge chunks of story are just forgotten about, or ignored because they’re clearly just there for future films, or because Zack Snyder forgot they existed.
- Zack Snyder isn’t a very good director.
- Everything is gloomy and dark. The entire colour palate to the film is like watching through fog. It’s annoying and utterly misses the point of a Superman film.
- There’s no levity in the whole film. Compare it to something like Winter Soldier, which was still a serious film, but one that had humour, and excitement. Those aren’t in this film.
- The CGI fights look pretty crappy in the darkness that blankets the whole film.
- Lex Luthor is more annoying, twitchy dick, than evil genius. Also, his entire plot makes no sense for someone who’s meant to be said evil genius.
- Every character in the Daily Planet is pointless and serves no purpose.
- It’s too long.
- It’s obviously just a set up for a future film.
- Amy Adams is just there to be saved for the most part.
- In 2016 we don’t need yet another Batman origin story. EVERYONE KNOWS WHO BATMAN IS, and if you don’t, then spend ten seconds on Google before you get into the film.
- The ending is obvious, trite, and frankly insulting to the audiences’ intelligence.
- Doomsday is dreadful and looks like the Troll from Lord of the Rings, a 15 yr old film.
Essentially, the story is all over the place, and the direction is a mess. So, that’s not great.
Now the good stuff:
- Henry Cavill is a good Superman. He really is, even with all the moping he has to do, he’s still pretty good. If they just made him a bit more… Superman, and a bit less miserable, that would be brilliant.
- Gal Gadot is a very good Wonder Woman. She doesn’t have a lot to work with, but what she does shines. I have high hopes for a WW film based on her work here.
- BEN AFFLECK SAVES THIS FILM. He’s phenomenal as Batman and Bruce Wayne, managing to play a Batman who has been pushed far beyond breaking that he’s now willing to do some pretty messed up stuff in the name of what he believes. He’s brilliant and every second he’s on screen, he steals the film. I now want to see an Affleck solo Batman film.
- The Batman action scenes. They’re brilliant.
- Jeremy Irons.
- Holly Hunter
- That’s pretty much it.
Without Affleck, this would be a colossal mess of a film with few redeeming qualities. As it is, he drags it kicking and screaming up to a film I didn’t mind watching.
Just one thing. Stop letting Zack direct Superman. It’s clear he doesn’t get Superman, it’s clear he just wants slow-mo and explosions. Give the next Superman film to someone who understands the character and let them go nuts.
Also, DC seems determined to do grim and gritty with these characters, and it just doesn’t work. They’re so far behind the Marvel films in terms of fun characters, action and story, it isn’t even a competition. Compare this to something like Winter Soldier, the Avengers, or Iron Man, and it’s not even in the same league. It’s a real shame because they had the chance to knock it out of the park, and they barely managed to hit the ball at all.
I hope the Blu-ray extended version fixes some of the problems with the story, but I doubt they’d fix it to the extent it needs fixing. Essentially, it’s a pretty poor film, but with one incredible performance, which is certainly not what I would have said about an Affleck superhero film. It’s not awful, but a bad story and bad direction mask the goodness inside. Glad I saw it, but it’s not even in the top ten superhero films of the last five years, let alone of all time.
I watched Dracula Untold the other day. It was… not good. if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s meant to be a retelling of Dracula’s early days. There are a few good things.
1. Charles Dance
2. Luke Evans
If it was just those two, or even just a story about Charles Dance’s character, the film would have been 1000 times more interesting. But as it stands, the action, while interesting, was pointless, the characters all had the IQ of cheese and were basically there to stand around and die, and the pacing was all over the place. It was a huge disappointment.
This got me thinking about the films that have disappointed me the most over the years. And I came up with 3 that stuck in my mind.
2. The Blair Witch Project
1. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
So, what films disappointed you the most?
So, I watched the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film yesterday. Ordinarily I’d just write it off as another crappy Bay-esque movie (he didn’t actually direct it, but he did produce it), and move on.
This time I can’t do that. I can’t let others go through the 1 hr 45 mins I went through. So, here’s my little review.
I grew up watching the TMNT cartoon in the 90s. It was brilliant to my rose-tinted eyes. The other day I watched the original 1990s move with my youngest daughter, and apart from having aged terribly (MC Hammer, anyone) it’s still good fun. The current TMNT cartoon on Nickelodeon is great. The new film was not.
It did get some things right. I’ll list them. There are spoilers here.
The scene in the lift at the end was funny.
The part where they’re all off their minds on adrenaline was also pretty funny.
Some of the action was okay.
The score was great.
The voice work was not always dreadful.
And now the wrong.
Megan Fox is awful in everything she’s ever in. This is not an exception to that rule.
Will Arnett is less ‘being cute and trying to get Megan to like him,’ and more ‘sexual deviant.’
William Fichtner is far too good to be given the stupid that he had to work with.
Most of the action was too fast, the camera too close, so everything zips along, but is hard to keep track of.
There are parts where it’s too dark to see what’s happening clearly (especially with the above problem).
Michelangelo wasn’t funny, but was incredibly annoying.
The plot makes no sense. The badguy wants to get rich. He’s already rich. It’s also needlessly complicated.
The Shredder is awful. It doesn’t look like he can kick ass, he looks like the something the original Shredder would have looked at and said, ‘I’m not wearing that shit’,
The cgi isn’t good enough.
The doctors all act shocked when the bad guy kills someone, but they’re working for the badguy making something bad to kill a lot of people. That makes no sense at all.
It was stupid to make the turtles April’s old pets.
It was stupid to have Splinter teach himself martial arts from a book he found until he became a master.
The film takes itself far too seriously, and then it doesn’t, and then it does again, and then… you get the idea.
There’s more, but my head hurts.
The TMNT comics currently out by IDW are wonderful. They’re dark and action-packed, but still full of fun. They have heartfelt, character driven parts where characters actually learn and grow. Go read them, seriously you won’t regret it.
I think my biggest problem with the TMNT film is that it could have been great, but it’s not. The excuse, ‘it’s made for kids’, is crap. This isn’t even a film my kids liked, they’d have preferred a 90 minute version of the cartoon. Hell, they preferred the CGI Turtles movie from around 2007.
As silly as the notion of Ninja Turtles might sound, the comics prove that the idea can be done well. It’s a shame that this film is no where near capable of doing that.
On the plus side, it’s not worse than Transformers 4… but then neither is being savaged by a badger.
I’ve just gotten back from seeing Guardians of the Galaxy and thought I’d leave a quick review. I love the GotG comics, especially the Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning version of the comic, so I’ve been looking forward to this for some time.
So here’s my review of the film.
It’s not only one of the best films I’ve seen this year, it’s probably the best of all the Marvel comic book films. Seriously, go watch it.
I saw the trailer for Dracula: Untold yesterday. I’d seen people on Facebook making happy faces at it for a few weeks now, but shrugged it off as yet another depressingly dreadful vampire movie.
The trailer is actually pretty good. A nice mix of vampire and non vampire Dracula. The big draw here is Luke Evans.
If you’ve never seen No One Lives, it’s a fun horror film, where Luke plays… well, basically the nastiest, most horrific badass.
He’s an unrelenting villain who enjoys creating terror and fear. It’s not the greatest horror film of all time, but it’s an entertaining 90 minutes. But more importantly Luke steals the show. And that lends me hope that he’s the perfect fit for Dracula.
I hope the new Dracula film is good, I really do. I love vampires when they’re scary. And I’d rather see more like Angelus, or the Dracula of old, than those that sparkle when it gets sunny out.
As a sort of sequel to my blog post about trailers a few weeks ago, here’s one about actual movies I’ve seen!
To be fair it’s only 3, but that’s 3 more than I usually get to watch in a week, so here you go.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The first CA film was merely okay. Chris Evans was pretty good in the role, but it took far too long to do anything and when the action started it wasn’t really that interesting. The sequel changed all of that by being action from beginning to end, with a much more interesting story. And it was fantastic for it. It helped that the characters in the film are all great, with Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L Jackson and Anthony Mackie all getting some decent screen time. Sebastian Stan is great as The Winter Soldier himself, and the interplay between him and Cap sets up things nicely for a third movie.
It’s certainly up there with the best Marvel movies done so far, probably just behind Avengers and Iron Man 1. A really great 2 hours. Go watch it.
I wanted to love this film. I love period Japanese movies, I love samurai and I love magic. Put the three together and it should be fantastic. It wasn’t.
To be fair, the actors did a mostly good job with what they had, but it was just so wishy-washy. If they wanted to do a full-blown fantasy epic, they failed, and if they wanted to do a violent samurai movie, they failed at that. For a film with so much sword fighting, there was barely any blood, which I found very odd.
The fantasy parts, while interesting to begin with, were never really embraced into the story and Keanu’s character, who I guess was meant to be the big hero, never really did anything interesting. Also, the bad guy never really came across as the big evil everyone said he is and the witch was… well, she was dull.
That said, it wasn’t terrible. I watched the whole 2 hours (although the love story was needlessly shoehorned into the story) and when the action started it usually looked pretty good. I just wish they’d picked one or the other and gone with it. A real shame and a waste of some excellent source material and interesting characters.
The whole time I was watching it, I just kept thinking, “I should put Ninja Scroll on again.”
The Hobbit 2
A confession to make; I like the first Hobbit film. It’s a bit overly long, and the singing Goblin King is annoying, but Sir Ian McKellen was awesome as always and Richard Armitage was excellent as Thorin.
But despite my enjoying the first, the second film is better in every way. It’s paced better, it’s more exciting and Benedict Cumberbatch is awesome as Smaug. Luke Evans as Bard is a great addition and the whole films 2+ hours time flies by.
I don’t mind the addition of Legolas, and the barrel escape was wonderful to watch and a lot of fun too. The only problem I had was with the love story between Tauriel and Kili, which came across as pointless and forced (although I like both characters).
Looking forward to part 3.
So, 2 films I recommend as they’re great and 1 that probably had far too much interference from studios to be anything other than okay. That said, if you want to watch a great Keanu film, go see Man of Tai Chi, which is brilliant and Keanu places a pretty good bad-guy.
Until next time, have a good week.
Had a bit of a new Trailer watch last night and I figured what else is a blog for if I can’t share my opinions!
TMNT: Megan Fox being awful and it looks like it’s either going to be good fun or a train wreck. Now I like early Bay films (The Rock and Bad Boys), but since then they’ve all been dreadful. Still, he’s not directing so there’s a glimmer of hope.
Lucy: I’m happy to admit I do like Scarlet Johansson, and Luc Besson’s films are usually, at the very least, entertaining. But saying that, the whole using more than 10% of your brain has been played out a bit. Still it looked pretty good and something I’d probably enjoy.
Joe: Nic Cage in acting shock! It reminds me a little of the sublime, A History of Violence, and when Nic is on, he’s very much on.
Jinn: I have no idea what the hell happened in this trailer. Bright colours and noise. Looks dull.
Jupiter Ascending: Okay confession time, I like Channing Tatum. He seems like a nice guy and he’s been in a few films I’ve enjoyed, but nothing spectacular. I don’t see this changing that view. It looks like an okay science-fiction/action film with Sean Bean, who I’m sure will die at some point in heroic fashion.
Edge of Tomorrow: It’s a Tom Cruise film based on a Japanese novel. Interesting premise, where a soldier dies in battle and has to constantly relive the same battle over and over in an attempt to win and get better, but the trailer didn’t do it any favours.
Brick Mansions: Paul Walkers last completed film is a remake of the incredible French film, District 13. This looks identical to the original, with some of the same cast returning. Should be good fun.
Hercules: Not the shambolic movie that came out a few months ago, this one has Dwayne Johnson in it. I’ve always liked The Rock in action films, so I can see this being a great watch.
The Raid 2: If you haven’t seen The Raid, stop whatever you’re doing and go watch it. It’s the best action film for the last… well, since Die Hard. After 20 minutes of set up, it’s then an incredible 90 minutes of brutal, unrelenting action that will have you glued to your seat. And the sequel looks like being even more insane. I can’t wait to see this.
Moms’ Night Out: Yeah, I know, I was just curious. Trailer raised a chuckle until it got to the bit where the dads are left alone with their kids and they don’t cope. Because as we all know, dad’s are fucking useless. Total horseshit.
So, there you go all the trailers I watched. Some look good, some look bad. But what I can take from all of it is that The Raid 2 will be full of awesome, so I’m happy.
I haven’t really had anything to report the last few weeks. I’ve seen the new cover for Crimes Against Magic, which looks very cool, so hopefully I’ll be able to share that with you all soon. Same goes for the new Born of Hatred cover.
On the writing part of my world, I’ve been plotting out book 4, Prison of Hope, and working on the novella Infamous Reign. The former’s story has changed quite a bit in the last few weeks, although in a good way. It’s got quite a lot of mythology attached, so I get to do research, which is always fun (seriously, a lot of mythology’s are nuts).
I’ll go through more details about the novella in the coming months, but at the moment it’s been quite a fun write. Hopefully that translates to other people enjoying reading it. I’m hoping to have the draft I’m working on finished by the end of July and then it’ll be editing time.
Outside of writing, I’ve just finished The Last of Us, which is probably my GotY, in fact I’d be hard pressed to find too many games this generation that have been better. The story and acting are second to none, and the gameplay is excellent. It’s also got a few genuine moments of horror, something videogames have moved away from this generation, which is a shame. I love my survival horror games, and it’s nice to see a game that embraces the scares and tension that genre brings.
I’m hoping to watch Pacific Rim at some point in the near future as it looks excellent. Guillermo del Toro is an incredible director, and quite frankly it looks like fun. Besides even if it’s not as good as I hope it is, it can’t be worse than most summer blockbusters; transformers movies, I’m looking at you.
I saw Jack the Giant Slayer, Wreck-it-Ralph and Olympus has Fallen at the weekend as it was far too hot to do anything else.
Jack the Giant Slayer was predictable, but fun. I enjoyed it for what it was, although the story itself was incredibly thin. I also would have liked to have seen it be a slightly more violent film and get a higher rating. It was begging for a darker edge that never happened.
Wreck-it-Ralph was enjoyed more by my kids. I liked the video-game references, and the first half hour and last half hour were pretty good. It dragged like crazy in the middle though. Still I laughed a few times, so it was worth a watch.
Olympus has Fallen was great fun. Yes it was silly. Actually it was stupid. But it was also 90 mins of Gerald Butler beating up bad-guys, and that’s always fun (see Jason Statham). This is a bit of spoiler for you, but there’s a scene where the White House is under siege and is being shot at with huge chain guns. These guns are blasting away at the front door of the house. To combat this threat all the Secret Service personal run to attack the bad guys, by running straight out of the front door and getting mowed down. Now, I’m not a tactics expert or anything, but I’d like to think the Secret Service are slightly more intelligent than lemmings and might not run directly into the clearly non-survivable gun fire. So, yes, this is a stupid film. Really, really stupid. But fun. Stuff blows up and Gerald Butler is entertaining in his tough-guy role. Grab a beer, settle back and forget your worries for 90 mins. Then go read something intelligent after.
Speaking of reading (see what I did there). I finished Sarah Pinborough’s novel, Mayhem this week. It’s a great Victorian murder mystery with more than a little dash of supernatural horror, and deals with the very true crimes of the torso murders that took place in London at the same time as Jack the Ripper. It’s nice a nice happy-go-lucky book (it’s pretty grizzly in places), but it’s an excellent read.
I also finished Raymond E. Feist’s Riftwar Saga book 1, The Magician. What a book. It was incredible, and I can’t wait to start the other 2 in the first trilogy (although I’m going to take a break for a little while and read something else). I can’t believe it took me so long to discover it.
And lastly, I have a tattoo booked for the 22nd July, for my half-sleeve on my left arm, my right arm already has Harley Quinn on it, so I’d need something a little less involved for that one. It’s my birthday present to myself (which is on the 25th July), as I’m a firm believer that you should always get yourself something nice for your birthday. This process can also be extended to Christmas, Weddings and because it’s Friday, so why not.
Have a good week one and all.