Monday, 29 February 2016

Movie Review: Deadpool (2016)

This year is going to be a big year for comic book movies with DC Comics Batman vs Superman and Marvels Captain America Civil War and X-Men: Days of Future Past. All big high budget movies that are required and will make big money for the studios. Deadpool, a considerably low budget superhero film has set the ground running for 2016 superhero films.

The Deadpool comics came out during the time when Spiderman and Wolverine were the top selling superhero’s of the time so technically Deadpool is a combination of Wolverines healing and fighting style (only with samurais words instead of claws) and Spidermans comedic one liners. This film actually shows how miscast and defectively written Spiderman has been in its movies.

Deadpool played by Ryan Reynolds is very much an anti-hero; perhaps they over played that fact. That being said, it is definitely one of the funniest comic book movies I’ve seen. I love the fact that Deadpool broke the fourth wall a multiple of times and his one-liners were just spectacular.

Watching the movie, it is clear to see that the studio had very little faith in this movie doing well clearly shown due to its measly  $58 million budget. For comparison Man of Steel, had a whopping $225 million. The budgeting issues are apparent in the movie but it doesn’t take away from movie at all. Clearly the lack faith that the studios had for this film boils down a couple of factors. The first being that last years Fantastic Four remake was such a disaster at the box office. Secondly this was the first R-rated superhero movie, which meant that half the superhero film fans being kids could not watch the movie in the cinema. Thirdly, Wolverine Origins had a Deadpool that fans did not like and that film too did badly. Fourthly Ryan Reynolds last attempt at a superhero film Green Lantern was too a very unsuccessful film. This being said, Deadpool has been one of the most successful superhero movies to ever come out, breaking many records.

To circle back to the actual movie, it is an exceptional movie. Very funny with pretty decent action and perfectly fine performances. If you haven’t watched it, I would urge you to go and watch it immediately.


Movie Review: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

To be frankly honest, I had no real intention to watch this movie. Simply because it seemed like a standard, brainless, Hollywood remake of a movie that not many people even remember. What tipped the barrel for me was everyone absolutely raving about this movie. Even my favourite podcasters “/film” all put it as their top film of the year. I must say I was very disappointed.

I went in with somewhat high hopes. I knew the story wouldn’t be great but the action sequences were meant to the very well done. Particularly the combination of visual and special effects used in the movie.

The film was well shot and the acting was faultless, although Tom Hardy who played Max Rockatasky could have had more of a personality. Perhaps that was more of a script issue than an acting issue. Talking about script issues, I felt like it lacked one. It seemed that the movie was completely created using storyboards and then dialogue was just put in while filming.  There simply wasn’t much of a story, which alone made it very difficult to watch for me.

I know I’m being very harsh on this film and I know I am in the minority that feels this way but this is just a personal opinion of mines. I think if the movie wasn’t so highly praised by people then I wouldn’t maybe this critical.

To highlight some of the positives, the visuals of this movie were very nice. Possibly a little too much orange but then again it were designed to show a post-apocalyptic world. The special and visual effects were done very well; they were blended seamlessly apart from scenes that were mostly CGI, those scenes stood out like a sore thumb.


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

TV Review: Jessica Jones (2015)

This is yet another living proof that the partnership between Netflix and Marvel is a profitable one. Similarly to Daredevil, Jessica Jones follows a gritty real superhero as they face a single villain throughout the whole show while dealing with their own internal mayhem.

Ever since her short-lived stint as a superhero ended in tragedy, Jessica Jones has been rebuilding her personal life and career as a hot-tempered, sardonic private detective in Hell's Kitchen, New York City. Plagued by self-loathing and a wicked case of PTSD, Jessica battles demons from within and without, using her extraordinary abilities as an unlikely champion for those in need... especially if they're willing to cut her a check. -IMDB

Just like Daredevil, this show has a very strong villain (Killgrave) played by a very strong actor (David Tennant). His breath-taking performance in this role has made this my favourite most memorable villain in both the marvel TV and Movie franchise. Marvel, as well as other superhero films seems to be struggling with creating distinguishable villains with any sort of depth. They all too much have been relying on Lowkey simply because has been a fan favourite but at this point he is oversaturated as a villain and no longer seems to be much of a threat. Every other villain has been more forgettable than the last, excluding Daredevils Kingpin. Kingpin playing Vincent D'Onofrio was robust; at least significantly superior to any of the marvel movie films but Killgrave has arguably outshines him in this web series. Perhaps being a fan of Doctor Who aids for my love of David Tennants character.

Both Jessica Jones and Luke Cages characters were done well. Overall the show is very difficult to fault. Killgrave seemed significantly a more interesting character than the lead character and the “hero” of the show. As the audience we are sent along with Jessica Jones in a rollercoaster of whether or not villain can be helped. There is no doubt that Killgrave is an awful human being but the show makers have purposely put story arcs and scenes in the show to make us feel somewhat sympathetic towards him.

4/5 Stars.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Movie Review: Her (2013)

“her” is marketed as a romantic science fiction comedy drama

 “Theodore is a lonely man in the final stages of his divorce. When he's not working as a letter writer, his down time is spent playing video games and occasionally hanging out with friends. He decides to purchase the new OS1, which is advertised as the world's first artificially intelligent operating system, "It's not just an operating system, it's a consciousness," the ad states. Theodore quickly finds himself drawn in with Samantha, the voice behind his OS1. As they start spending time together they grow closer and closer and eventually find themselves in love. Having fallen in love with his OS, Theodore finds himself dealing with feelings of both great joy and doubt. As an OS, Samantha has powerful intelligence that she uses to help Theodore in ways others hadn't, but how does she help him deal with his inner conflict of being in love with an OS?”

The film is written, directed and produced by Spike Jonze, most well known for directing the 2009 Where the Wild Things Are adaptation. The film primarily stars Joaquin Phoenix as the lead and Scarlett Johansson as the voice of Samantha, the artificial intelligent OS. The film seems to be set in a not so distant future with technologies that we currently already have or very close to having. I appreciated that they didn’t choose to use tech that seemed too far-fetched because it seems like this is a trend that is getting worse.

Everything from the set design to the character clothing appeared to be very well thought out. The film had a very notable colour scheme of pastel colours that contrasted with the different shades of orange that was used throughout the film. The location used for filming amalgamation of Los Angelo’s and Shanghai, again gave a very real attempt to transport the viewer into the directors’ vision of the future.

Joaquin Phoenix portrayed the character perfectly well. The audience was able to feel both sympathetic while acknowledging his self-destructive ways. Personally the stand out performance in the film to my surprise was from Scarlett Johansson who played the voice of Samantha. Her performance completely sold this idea of artificial intelligence and how one can fall in love with something that doesn’t exactly exist.

Another wonderful film to watch.

4/5 Stars

Monday, 15 February 2016

Movie Review: American Psycho (2000)

There’s a list of films that I have been recommended ad nauseam but haven’t had the chance to watch. Christian Bales’ American Psycho was one of those films, until tonight. While browsing on the film side of YouTube, I stumbled onto a well-known scene from the movie where the characters are presenting their business card to each other. 

This immediately caught my attention, particularly Christian Bales’ inner monologue in that scene. This scene alone sold me.

 “Patrick Bateman is handsome, well educated and intelligent. He is twenty-seven and living his own American dream. He works by day on Wall Street, earning a fortune to complement the one he was born with. At night he descends into madness, as he experiments with fear and violence.” – IMDB

The synopsis doesn’t do the film justice. This definitely is one of those films that require a little more time to digest than most commercial movies.  Patrick Bateman played by Christian Bale high profile businessman that works at Wall Street. The film follows this man as his ever-growing hunger for murder increases. The subtle behavioural choices made by every actor are fascinating to see and the writing as well as the directing seems flawless.

Surprisingly this film is marketed as a dark comedy; though I would say this film is definitely more dark than comedic. Narration in the movie is done so well that it never comes off as unneeded.

This is one of those films you can completely break down and write a complete essay on. I can’t push this film enough, if you haven’t seen this film then please give it a try. You most definitely will not be disappointed.