Review: The Avengers – Age of Ultron

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“When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.”

So this movie wasn’t what I was expecting it to be, but I mean that in the best way possible. The single greatest thing this movie does I think, is avoid the usual pitfalls of middle movies, and that is being more concerned with setting up the next movie, that it forgets that it has to get past this movie first. This movie does very well to focus on what it is, while giving those of use who paid enough attention, hints at the future of the MCU. The new characters introduced here are all also very well done. They are all introduced in a manner that both shows off their abilities and still keeps their intentions clear. The Vision in particular is really very well done, like I mean impressively so. For once also, we have probably the best realized villain of the MCU in Ultron. He is truly a terror and fully realizing of his power. This movie really is what blockbusters are meant to be. Great action, fun but intense, but also maintains a good sense of stakes. You will want to see this movie more than once, on the biggest screen you can find.

Review Score: 9 out of 10

Top 10 Favs! No. 5!

 paris-wiped-out Armageddon:

Now, before you start to freak out and be all OMG how could this be number 5, this is when i remind you of what i said at the start of this list…

“Now it should also be noted that I am not saying that these are the best movies of all time because simply being one of the all time greats, doesn’t mean favourite.”

Yes i did say that with this spot pretty much in mind, so allow me to defend my 5th favourite movie ever.

Armageddon-6So in 1998, our favourite director we love to hate, Michael Bay, brought us the movie Armageddon. It had a pretty solid cast, filled with enough names we knew, up and coming names, and those faces you know but could never actually remember names for. Now mind you, this movie was coming off the back of Bad Boys and The Rock which were two of the best received Bay movies ever which had expectations pretty high, and for most this movie was good but not great…except for me.

One of the things this movie does or did that connected really deeply with me was that it gave us characters we could really feel for. In a sequence of scenes we see the crew going ham and being crazy and then in the very next shot we see a somber room of men who all have nothing to say, after being briefed finally about why there we all summoned. Then later on when they meet the men and women who are supposed to train them, we see the disparity between men of action, and men who are called to act. Now i understand, that many people may say, “why didn’t they just train the astronauts to drill?” or something like that. To which, i reply, stop killing my dreams. I know that some of the plot points of this movie, or that some of the decisions made may not be amazing writing or story telling, but haven’t we all wondered what it would be like to become something more? To have a chance at greatness?

maxresdefault-2Another testament to why i love this movie so much, is that it is infinitely watchable, and that has to count for something. There will be blood is an AMAZING movie, but my ass ain’t watching it every year. Something about this movie, wether its the human drama, the action pieces, the humour, the emotions, something about it makes you stop what you are doing and look at it over. This movie is also the first and only movie, to have ever made me cry (12 years a slave came REALLY close, but i was like NOT TODAY). How could a movie like this do that you ask? Its all about the build up. For the entire movie, two characters are at odds, over one wanting to date the others daughter. Later on we find out that what they have is more than just physical, it is love. As time passes we see the slow progression of denial, to acceptance that leads to the ultimate sacrifice, done perfectly by this movie. It also employes some very well done, very haunting imagery but really out you in these characters shoes. All of these things are why, even if this isn’t one of the greatest movies of all time, its one of my favourites, and good enough for number 5! ( and did mi mention the song? because i mean…yeah, you know!)

Leaks! Helping or Hurting?

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So on a weekend that was probably record breaking for big time leaks of big tentpole films, a question we should be asking ourselves is what do these leaks really accomplish? Do they service a need that isn’t being met, or are most of us simply too spoilt to wait like we are made to?

The first thing we have to discuss or realise is that most of these leaks are a real legal issue, involving the breaching of contracts between provider and consumer. The nature of the business being what it is, it is important for press and certain elements to be able to view or see certain content before the general public, because that is what the studios can then use to help promote their film and it is meant to be a symbiotic relationship. These reviews or critics and then intern put under and embargo during which exactly what they can or cannot reveal about a project is made known to them. A good example is when films have press screenings prior to their release. The people who attended these events usually have some kind do outlet to which the general public can get a sense of the quality of the film, however depending on the content of said film and when the screening was held, certain information may be deemed not ready for public knowledge and as such those people are under embargo until a set date at which time they would be allowed to  give their opinion. Now probably 99% of these people do not break those rules for a few reasons. One, they are aware that being caught would pretty much be the end of their being invited to such events again, and two, severe legal repercussions could be had. That all being said, some people still find it in themselves to leak some of this content.

Over this past weekend, we saw the leak of the first teaser trailer for the upcoming Batman V Superman film, which saw the studio having the release the official video of it. We also had supposed leaks at both Fox and Marvel, prompting more untimely and early releases of their content. So what does this cause? Well we have to look at this from two sides, the consumer and the producer sides. For the consumer, leaks are great. We get to see what it is we have been speculating on, so we get some of the answers we were looking for. We get something to discuss from water cooler to water cooler. And we usually force the suits at whichever company to come out with official information, or risk the internet running wild on some tangent. If however, we look at it from the producers stand point, we see a major breach in security. We lose the purpose to which we wanted to use the leaked information. a perfect example of this was the leak of the avengers trailers that was meant to air with an episode of the televisions show Agents of Shield. Now as the producers, we would have lost the boost that the trailer would have given to that show. Giving out early information, also means now we have a change in our timeline and plan for marketing. The general public is going to want more and more, usually to the detriment of the film in the end.

So what’s the answer? I wish i knew. When i hear of leaked this and leaked that, i usually like to wait for the real thing, so i can truly appreciate it as it was meant to be by its creators. Sometimes of course it can’t be helped, and you have almost no choice but to consume such content. Either way you view it, it probably does more harm than good in my eyes, and you can see that studios take this very seriously, just ask the guy who is now in jail, after leaking the Expendables movie a few weeks in advance ( and yes in know GOTS episodes leaked and no i will not watch them! #spoilerfree ).

Cheers.

Review : Ex-Machina

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“A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I.”

This movie is really something special. The first thing I need to say is that  Alicia Vikander is absolutely brilliant in this movie. Her portrayal of this supposedly sentient female robot is truly a sight to behold. That isn’t to say her co-stars aren’t good, but she really does steal the show for me, which is really good cause she is such an integral part of convincing you to buy what this movie is selling. What is that you may ask? It asks you the viewer, to really ask some interesting and complex questions. Questions that the movie gives you enough information to really discuss, but it leaves enough for you to create your own ideas, and draw your own conclusions. This movie also looks amazing, like I mean truly you never once doubt any of the visuals or anything you are seeing. Couple that with the fact that this movie has a sub 20 million dollar budget, the effects are even that more impressive. So this movie is pretty much brilliant all around. Amazing acting, wonderful visuals, great editing and pacing, superb special effects, and an indebt and interesting narrative that makes you ask questions and start discussion. I can’t recommend this movie is enough for anyone who is a fan of intelligent film making.

Review Score : 9 out of 10

Top 10 favs ! No. 6!

Fight Club :

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For a long time there have been movies that blow our mind. That take us so far down one rabbit hole we totally blindsided by where we actually get out. Few however, manage to create such a beautiful, intricate and totally fascinating web, like David Fincher’s Fight Club. Fight Club makes such an amazing world for us, that when they break it all down, we the audience, are really and truly in awe.Brad-Pitt-fight-club-body2

Fight Club focuses around two central characters that share a very special relationship. A relationship that is truly vital to the development of this movie. David Fincher has a really good track record as it is, but this movie i think is really my favourite of his, and that’s saying something. Everything about this movie is phenomenally done, from start to end in every category.fight-club-copy_c9w7.1920Fight Club is probably owner as well to some of the most quotable and memorable scenes of all time. This is truly a great all time piece of cinema, and the kind of movie, that no mater what you think if it in the end, you will ALWAYS remember it and the name Tyler Durden.

Review : Get Hard

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“When millionaire James King is nailed for fraud and bound for San Quentin, he turns to Darnell Lewis to prep him to go behind bars.”

So on paper, this movie should be a million bucks, you know top draw stuff. The problem is that it cant really live up to that. It has its moments that are really laugh out loud, but the moments between those few and far apart belly laughs can only really muster chuckles. So the real issue here then is probably that disappointment really. If like I am, you are a huge fan of both these comedians, then you really were expecting this movie to be busting your guts all movie from start to finish. Some might say that that is my personal issue, but if you look at the marketing of this film, it has always been portrayed as a coming together of these two heavy hitters in the comedy game, and as such we should expect something really special. All of that to say, they are the ones who got my hopes and expectations up so high. You live by that sword, you die by that sword. So all in all this is a decent comedy,but just a decent one.

Review Score : 6 out of 10

Review : Furious 7

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“Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother.”

So this movie, is the definition of balls to the wall, full throttle, all out, throw caution to the wind, then shoot that son of a bitch. Now this movie is most certainly NOT for everyone, but by the end of this review you will know on which side you stand. First off, if you are a long time fan or viewer of the Fast and Furious series, this movie is full of nods and tributes to those previous 6 movies, and it felt nice as someone myself who has seen them all. There is even a moment later in the film where a reference is made, and I instantly made the connection before they had to say another word, and I appreciated that a lot. Secondly this movie really goes there with its’ action scenes. It certainly hasn’t given it all away in the trailers and it goes for its over the top, full out there action that you can’t take too seriously, and you shouldn’t either. This movie is really made to be fun from start to end. The ending however I must say, had people in tears in my screening, so be ready for that. The death of Paul Walker really shook this film and its production, and its cast, but the way it was eventually handled was truly well done. There was no use of his death to try and benefit the movie, and you can truly see what he meant to everyone that has been in this franchise for more than a decade now. For those of you that are not fans of such over the top action, I understand, and I feel the same way when it is used incorrectly. The world that this movie builds however really lends itself to the events that then unfold as the movie goes on. So strap yourself in for a super fun ride, and if that’s not your thing, then keep your ass at home.

R.I.P Paul Walker, it was a great last ride *tries not to cry*

Review Score : 8 out of 10