Review : Gods of Egypt

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“Mortal hero Bek teams with the god Horus in an alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict.”

So this may come of as a bit controversial, but I don’t hate this movie. BUT THE RACISM!? Yeah I hear you, lemme finish. Since the first trailer for this movie came online, there has been a HUGE backlash to go along with calls to boycott this movie, over allegations of “whitewashing”. And I get it, the name of the movie is Gods of Egypt, the same Egypt in Africa, the same one that shouldn’t be full of white dudes, especially in the roles of the Gods themselves. But, and there is a but, there is something about this movie that really isn’t evident, without first seeing it. This is going to get a bit spoilery, so just be warned, I have to spoil somethings to bring both sides of the argument here. So while this movie does bare the name of Egypt, it’s really not what you think. Gods of Egypt is like a total fantasy world, that was created to stand on it own, but thought it needed some kind of recognisable hook, or pre-established base from which to expand on and enrich the world it builds rather than copy it. Wether thats right or wrong, or wether its pulled off properly or not I kind of have to leave up to the viewer to decide, but I think this is an important distinction to be made. Rather than present a version of the true ancient Egypt, the movie just seeks to borrow its name and well known-ness to try and bring these characters to life. I mean, the world is flat in this movie. The Gods are like 10 foot tall people with magical powers. Ra has the pull the sun across the sky, in a literal space boat (or space ship, get it, lol), and many other things that make this a true work of fantasy. And while I understand that just being a work of fantasy doesn’t necessarily negate the appropriation of a predominantly black culture, and then not representing that well enough (there are some properly cast Gods here, but obviously not the real leads) in the casting choices made. I feel like the the severity with which people are dismissing this film, in that regard, is a bit harsh. Now as for the movie itself. Its no home run. It is predictable and a bit by the numbers, and a bit too over CGI and all that. But, if it wasn’t for this massive issue in the eyes of so many, the reviews for this movie wouldn’t be so harsh I don’t think. There is fun to be had here. The 3D isn’t bad, and most of the CGI looked pretty good to me, even if a lot of it seemed very unnecessary. The real take away here I think is a few things. One, is that even something like this, can have more to it than meets the eye. Two, that maybe this is just the straw breaking the camels back over the whitewashing that exists in Hollywood currently. And three, there are two sides at least to every story, so even if you don’t see this movie, hopefully you read this review and it can add something to the argument, not so much to save this film, but to show that maybe there is a bit more grey to these matters and everything isn’t so black and white (LOL couldn’t help that last one).

Review Score : 5 out of 10

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Review : Triple 9

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“A gang of criminals and corrupt cops plan the murder of a police officer in order to pull off their biggest heist yet across town.”

This movie is really a mixed bag. For one, it has an amazing cast of actors, way too long and all way too talented to list off here. It’s done by a director who has some pretty solid movies under his belt, and for all intents and purposes should really be something special, but it’s plagued by some very simple and I think needless problems. To start with, there are a few plot lines running concurrently here and I think half of the time they really just end up as dead weight, that could have been cut. Then there is a definite pacing issue throughout the film, where it constantly either builds for nothing, or doesn’t maintain tension when it should. Those problems aside, and you can enjoy the action, which is very well done. Its shot in a very real and visceral way, that using tension the way it should be used. The acting here is also mostly all very solid, some characters are portrayed in ways that made me wonder more about why they were being portrayed as such, and not simply accepting their motives and decisions. All in all, this movie does feel a bit confused, and at times like its trying to be two different movies in one, and thats what really keeps it from getting to the heights it could have, and should have reached.

Review Score : 6 out of 10

Review : Zoolander 2

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“Derek and Hansel are modelling again when an opposing company attempts to take them out from the business.”

15 years after the first and now cult classic movie Zoolander landed in cinemas, we get the sequel. Was it worth it? Sort of. The full cast is back here, plus many many new additions and a entire treasure trove of cameos all over the place. The main returning cast here also seems like they never stopped playing these roles, and fall perfectly back into them as if the last zoolander was 15 months not years ago. That nostalgia does go a very, very long way into the enjoyment of this movie also. That being said, nostalgia does only go so far, the rest of this movie needs to be memorable and funny, and to an extent it is. The jokes do come thick and fast here, but they don’t all land, especially if you weren’t a big fan of the first movie and the kind of humour that gained it its cult following. So what Zealander 2 really is, is a movie for a specific audience, and not really for anyone else. If you were a fan of the original, you are going to find enough funny here to entertain you, and this is the kind of movie that grows on you over time, so we will see if it gets the same cult status in later years, but if you’re not already a fan, I don’t think you will be a fan of this one.

Review Score : 6 out of 10

Review : Deadpool

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“A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopting the alter ego Deadpool.”

Deadpool has conducted, just about the greatest advertising campaign, maybe of all time. That definitely hypes this movie up a lot, making what this movie had to be, even that more impressive to pay off for that marketing, and it freaking does. It really pays off in spades from just about all the promises the advertising makes. When this movie was over, I was literally like really? Has so much time already passed? I want more! From the opening credits of this movie, to the very,very, very end, this movie does a great job of keeping up the humour and the action and the everything else that’s in this movie, and there is a lot in there. To start, the centre of this movie is genuinely a love story, like an honest to goodness love story that you genuinely believe and care about, and that is the key to the quality of this movie. The fact that you buy into that love story, and the passion both of those characters have for each other, you really then get into and understand the themes that go on for the rest of the film. The cast here is also really amazing. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE in this movie really nails their roles and they all add to the world building this movie does. There are also tonnes and tonnes of easter eggs and things to see, hear, read and laugh at throughout this movie that hint to all kinds if things in the comic book and movie world. Deadpool from start to end is really something different and special, that any fan would enjoy. This is a rated R movie, and like seriously rated R so that might be a bit much for some people, but its definitely worth it.

Review Score : 9 out of 10

Review : Kung Fu Panda 3

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“Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.”

The Kung Fu panda series has been one of the more reliable and consistent trilogies to come out in recent years, and the third and I assume final movie here is no step backwards. Coming from teams both in america and china in Oriental Dreamworks, and I think that shows in the movie itself. The film itself comes off as super authentic to its asian roots and settings. The animation is really well done and detailed, and the fighting is very fluid, clean and fast paced. This movie is probably the lightest on character development, but I feel like only so much could be left after the last 2 movies. Actually sometimes this entire movie seems a bit shallow, but, to say that that made this movie any less enjoyable really would be stretch. The voice cast here is great as always, but it also is a really big voice cast, and not a lot of time for everyone to really have that much to say. There is a point also where films like this start to dip into diminishing returns, but again, after 2 movies before, its not so much a real knock against the film, just a general statement. All in all, I think if you’re a fan of the series, like animated movies, or are a younger fan you will have a really good time with Kung Fu panda 3, just don’t look for too much below the surface.

Review Score : 7.5 out of 10