Archive for May, 2016

The Hateful Eight

Posted: May 31, 2016 in Movies
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Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight is another western, following 2012’s Django Unchained. It’s a more contained film than most of Tarantino’s past output, not since his debut with Reservoir Dogs has he made a film on such a small scale but it works to the benefit of the mood and the tension Q.T. has crafted with this movie. By small scale I mean the geography the film covers, cause clearly budget wise this ain’t no small independent movie.

The plot for the film is about a bounty hunter escorting a woman to a town where she will be hanged upon arrival. Which is grim. Sadly for the bounty hunter (and maybe lucky for the prisoner) a heavy blizzard forces them (and others) to seek shelter inside a mountain top inn until the storm runs it’s course. I’m being vague on purpose. I’m not going to go into plot details because the films best moments are when it takes you by surprise. Let’s just say once at the inn the bounty hunter and his captive come across several other characters and well…things take a turn.

Tarantino injects the film with first rate talent. Look at who we get in this; Q.T. regulars Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Zoe Bell & the welcome return of both Kurt Russell & Walton Goggins. It’s also the first time Jennifer Jason Leigh has worked with Q.T. and she’s brilliant. Bruce Dern and Demian Bichir round out the main cast and everyone does good work. There’s one more big name but I won’t say who it is because I think it’s meant to be a surprise? So just in case I’ll keep it quiet but he/she is very good and I liked how they’re arrival turned the story on it’s head and offered more clarity into what is actually happening.

Some of the acting is really over the top and at first I didn’t know how to take it. But once you get into the film and the central inn setting it comes together that the whole movie feels like a lavish stage production. Theatrical being the key turn of phrase to describe the film, even the tone, which at times can be a bit mix match (the violence wouldn’t seem out of place in Planet Terror) but maintains a weird blend of darkness, grit and dark humour. Just that acting though…you’ll either really dig it or it will just seem out of place. Tough one that ’cause like I said no one is bad in this acting wise, but it’s still off putting when one or two characters are going WAY O.T.T. That’s just how I felt with that.

The Hateful Eight isn’t my favourite Tarantino movie, it’s probably not even up there as one of the best for me but that’s fine ’cause I can still appreciate what he set out to do with it. Did it need to be almost three hours long? Nope, yet I can’t say it dragged either. I sound like I’m all over the place with this one don’t I? It’s good. Take that away from this at the least ’cause chances are you’re gonna think it’s more than good. It may be great.

Personally I’ve just not been as impressed with Tarantino’s output since Kill Bill Vol One. But look I’m probably in the minority on that and even his not great stuff is better than a LOT of other stuff out there.

 

 

Street Fighter III’s Ibuki is the latest DLC character to join the Street Fighter V roster. I held off on posting the reveal video because Capcom have not yet announced when she will be joining the game but if the past releases are any indication I’d expect her to be available at the end of June. Capcom have said there will be more updates throughout June including the story mode expansion and some other ‘surprises’. Some more offline modes would be a nice surprise Capcom.

I think Ibuki looks good. Gameplay wise she looks fun. I like Ibuki and play as her quite a bit in Street Fighter 3 Third Strike. I’m glad she made the cut into Street Fighter V.

DC Rebirth…(SPOILERRRRRS)

Posted: May 28, 2016 in Comics
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Growing up I was more Marvel than DC. As far as comics went. Only in my twenties did I start to really dig into the DC vault. Life long fan of the DC standouts but rarely had I looked into the source. Point being? Why am I boring you talking about myself? Well it’s so I can highlight I’m by no means an authority on DC but I wanna give my thoughts on Rebirth anyway as it’s (I think) a sort of re-launch aimed at (I think) people like me.

So Rebirth kicks off and we got Wally West (one of the Flash’s) trapped in the time force (I know what that is now thanks to the CW show 😉 ) and he’s basically traveling through the DC universe and checking in on the DC heavy hitters. Establishing where they are now and where they may be heading by the time this issue finishes.

It’s written very well by Geoff Johns. I knew there was clearly plot points I’d missed or had no idea about that had happened previously to Rebirth but not once did I feel total alienation or lost. That’s the issues biggest plus and it’s down to Johns. He crafts a spring board that looks back on what’s happened (and doesn’t erase anything) but tips the hat to the feeling that perhaps the New 52 had changed stuff too much and didn’t exactly work.

By the time you finish Rebirth you get the promise of a new direction that is more hopeful and less complicated ( and the DC universe-s- can be REALLY complicated. Come on now.) and a new threat.

DC wise I only read Batman (save for the odd Superman stuff) and taken all of that into account I came away from Rebirth with a crystal clear idea of what’s happened, where everyone is at right now and where things may be heading. If you’re new to comics or maybe just overwhelmed by diving into DC and it’s crazy history Rebirth is a great starting point.

 

 

Now here is a pretty neat look at the film adaptation of Assassin’s Creed. ‘Creed is of course the long running video game franchise which has taken a year out this year with no new release due. Instead we have the movie. I think the film looks stunning. Visuals are unique and you get some shots which look as if they’ve been taken straight from the game.

I’m not familiar with the director but ‘obvs Michael Fassbender is a stamp of quality. His involvement has me hopeful this will be a solid movie regardless of the whole adapted from a video game thing. I like the games. I’ve played through the original up to part 3 but didn’t bother to finish that one. Funnily enough I have just picked up Syndicate and I’m digging it. So yeah I’m all for the movie and it’s a surprise it’s happened at all because it was in development for years. I honestly felt like this wasn’t going to happen. Or would but would be awful and not star Michael Fassbender.

Assassin’s Creed spins the tale of a death row inmate given another shot at life via the questionable experiments of a organization who use a machine which allows the user to experience the memories of their ancestors. Basically they’re looking for something in the distant past that will help them achieve something in the here and now. Probably something bad too.

The film hits the screens this Christmas.

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Here is our first look at Katherine Waterston as Daniels in Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel. Daniels I guess is the new Ripley? :/ Do we want a new Ripley? Would I be happy to be proved wrong and get a brand new kick ass non Ripley wannabe? Yep. Anyway it’s way too early to go into all of that. The pic is cool and the mood looks creepy and way more…Alien like than Prometheus.

If you take a good look at the pic it looks like some shit has gone down, I think she’s got a weapon there too so maybe this is the calm before the storm? Daniels looks like she’s sporting a super short no messing around hair cut too. Which helps I suppose in that situation.

Alien: Covenant hits screens next summer.

X-Men: Apocalypse (NO SPOILERS)

Posted: May 26, 2016 in Comics, Movies
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X-Men: Apocalypse. This is the most like the comics X-Men movie Bryan Singer has produced. I’m a X-Men nut. You can probably tell because I cover the comics a lot on here. I didn’t cover the new movie too much because to be honest I was weary. Nervous even regarding how it would turn out because I haven’t always been a big fan of how Singer has brought the mutants to life over the years.

Don’t misunderstand I don’t think Fox’s X-Men movies are bad films. I get they have a BIG fan base but I always find myself getting pissed off at bad continuity or what seems like a pick and choose approach to the source material. Basically it’s hard for me not to constantly imagine how an X-Men universe would look on screen if Marvel had the rights. But they haven’t. Yet. Haha.

Enough of me. How is the film? It’s good. I liked it. It’s not perfect. It’s a long film, around the same run time as Civil War but not as frantic which is weird when you consider how chaotic this movie could be given the subject matter. The opening sequence is set in ancient Egypt and it’s insane. Some really good stuff goes down during the opening scenes that I won’t give away and the same applies to the final showdown in the last act.

The cast do a good job. Cast wise there’s no weak link. Personally I wouldn’t have minded seeing a few more scenes focusing on the horsemen to flesh them out a bit more but the cast is big and Singer and writer Simon Kinberg choose to focus on the core X-men.  It’s a bit odd in a way though that the horsemen feature throughout the film but rarely have much to say in their scenes. On the flip side you get enough to get a insight into who these characters are and X-Men/horsemen alike all get a moment to shine.

The big guy himself is scary! Haha. Apocalypse’s powers truly freaked me out. I’m a man too so I don’t know how kids will find him but then I’ve seen feedback that wasn’t too impressed with him. I dun know. I’d run the other way if I came across him put it that way. Quicksilver’s big scene is very good. Won’t spoil it. It’s as good as his standout in Days of Future Past. It was nice to see Quicksilver play a larger role in this film because he’s a great addition to the series and works well. Oh OH and what took me off guard too was the scenes of…levity. Fun. It was neat seeing the school up and running and there’s even a small scene of Jean, Scott and co. just hanging out having fun. Nothing wrong with that. Let’s see more of that. It doesn’t always have to be doom and deadly serious.

I’d have gone a bit more nuts with the 80’s setting personally. Especially with the soundtrack but what the film does use works well in helping to establish the period setting/mood.

I get why Fox decided to reveal the big cameo in the trailer but I think that would have been a big surprise had they decided to keep it under wraps. I liked that sequence and the look of that character (I’m assuming you’ve somehow avoided who it is haha) which is very true to the comic.

I was surprised. It’s a good movie. If you’re not a massive fan of Singer or Fox’s vision of the franchise the film could surprise you. I haven’t seen Deadpool yet and I’m keen to see how New Mutants plays out given it will be a different creative team moving forward.

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Big franchise news this week. MASSIVE. As in JOHN CARPENTER is back with a new Halloween movie. Yep. That sort of BIG. But. Take a breath ’cause here is the actual gist of what’s going down…

So Carpenter is gonna come on and produce/ help develop / MAYBE score a new Halloween movie via Blumhouse. These are the guys who put out the Purge movies and other low cost high income genre hits. They seem to have a handle on how to make decent stuff for little money. Which is all you need for a Halloween movie right? So that’s all good. Blumhouse also have a rep of not messing around with their directors unlike some other production studios who seem to make genre movies via a board of clerks. Sigh.

Now according to Bloody Disgusting they have learned that both The Guest/You’re Next’s Adam Wingard AND Hush’s Mike Flanagan are possible contenders to write/direct the new Halloween which is aiming to be in cinemas in time for Halloween 2017.

I can’t say I’m a fan of either of those guys. It seems pointless anyway until a director is locked. I felt that You’re Next was okay and Hush was decent but really nothing ground breaking. That’s not the films fault either but the hype for Hush online before the film was out was unwarranted. I think both are talented and I’d feel confident in a Halloween coming from either but I wouldn’t be as excited as say if that Marcus Dunstan Halloween movie had have taken off.

Like always we know the deal by now right? So that’s the news. I’ll be posting any news on LOCKED directors, writers or cast. No rumours though and basically…don’t get excited until this is filming guys because we all know this could fall apart in a few weeks.

 

Primal Fear

Posted: May 26, 2016 in Movies
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Hey guys. Just wanted to highlight this boss film I saw recently.

Primal Fear was released twenty years ago and stars Richard Gere, Ed Norton and Laura Linney. The plot sees Gere play a hot shot lawyer who chases headlines as much as justice .He agress to take on a murder case in which Norton’s character is the prime suspect is a grisly murder that feels out of place at first in how violent it is. The murder scene is like something right out of Friday The 13th!

The film works on many levels. You get some brilliant courtroom drama, psychological thriller, romance and even slasher! The director Gregory Hoblit (Frequency) has a confident grasp on blending in a mixture of genres while managing to maintain the films overall tone as a classy but dark courtroom thriller. I think. That’s what it seems most like to me anyway!

Story wise as I’ve said it’s full of twist and turns but the main issues are very heavy and dark. Like seriously messed up.

Richard Gere is great as Martin Vail the film’s lead, making the character likeable despite his self interests. Ed Norton is the films prime suspect Aaron Stampler and this performence is arguably what put him on the map as one of the decades breakout stars who would go on to have a career many actors could only dream of. The rest of the cast put in solid work.

Check out Primal Fear. I’d always heard it was great but it just didn’t appeal to me and that’s a shame ’cause now I’ve seen it I’m just sorry I didn’t get to it sooner.

 

Power Rangers revealed!

Posted: May 6, 2016 in Movies
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Look at them! Wow. I love the new Ranger suits. I had a feeling they would be different but I was thinking they’d cop out and go all Robocop and have something that moved away from what made the characters stand out in the first place. They never. They’ve kept the colour and the overall looks but gave the costumes an edge with a more combat ready style.

Entertainment Weekly provided the above image and they have been doing great with the reveals from the new movie. First up we had the cast, then last month we got the Rita reveal and now the suits! I wonder if they’ll show off the Zords next month? That would be great.

So far I’m liking what I’m seeing from Power Rangers. The filmmakers are clearly showing how they are doing their own thing but at the same time they are not forgetting the source and that’s all you can ask for. I just hope the film as a whole delivers cause it could be great if all the ingredients come together with this one!

Power Rangers hits screens March 2017!

 

 

 

 

 

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This week I was lucky enough to catch Captain America: Civil War and I’m happy to say the mad hype the film has been generating is warranted. Winter Solider directing duo the Russo brothers are back behind the camera on directing duties and they manage to craft some brilliant fight/action scenes and a very, very good movie.

A testament to their talent is how the action is frantic but you see punch/kicks connect and never feel overwhelmed. I loved how several tense scenes quickly escalate out of control which is my way of saying there’s really no good moment to take a toilet break during Civil War as anything could happen at any moment. Chaos erupting out of seemingly non event scenes.

Joe and Anthony Russo don’t shy away from great character moments and feel confident in the characters and the story to expand and explore issues which don’t rely so much on BIG comic book action.

Obviously it’s tricky writing a review for a film that is on the top of a lot people most anticipated lists. I hate spoilers and dislike it when reviewers generally just drop them  assuming they’ll know what constitutes a spoiler or not for a potential viewer. With that said I can say Black Panther and Spiderman are excellent additions to the MCU. I can’t wait to see those guys get their stand alone movies. The action is great, yes the airport showdown is incredible and by the time you get to the end there is a clear sense of resolution. There is no cop out ending.

Any drawbacks? Sadly I can’t go into that without alluding to certain things but I think I can say that the film maybe isn’t as dark as you may think going into it. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a laugh a minute but I do wish Marvel would take a few more risks but then I can see why they have made the creative choices they have.