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Edgar Wrights Genre Defining Touch Evident In Baby Driver — July 22, 2017

Edgar Wrights Genre Defining Touch Evident In Baby Driver

Baby Driver

Spoiler-Filled Film Review

 

Edgar Wright, writer and director of some of my favourite movies, Scott Pilgrim v The World, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End is back with his latest film and one of my most anticipated films this year. To me, Edgar Wright takes movie genres, and puts his twist on it. Before going into this film, I already knew it wasn’t just going to be a heist movie. So, here’s my review for Edgar Wright’s film Baby Driver:

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Greatest Strengths:

The performances here are fantastic (more in the Characters section). One of the greatest strengths: the music. Wright is so smart in the way he incorporates music into his movies, if you watch any of his films you’ll see how he uses music, this movie he takes it to another level. The music we listen to is what the characters listen to during the film and it elevates his characters. The music drives all Wrights films, here is the same, the chase scenes and action sequences are choreographed to the rhythm of the music, which is why each song is specifically chosen to be the heartbeat of the scenes. It’s great because it was incredibly cool but there’s purpose behind it too.

Another strength is obviously, Wrights style. It’s not just that it’s creative, original or artsy, but when you’re familiar with Wright’s work, his style has purpose like the music. Some other stylised films in that to have that element, other elements must be sacrificed, like a plot or character development, or even just a simple story. Edgar has this style to progress the narrative, it serves a function.  Edgar Wright frame every shot tells its own story, great examples are during

The Car chases are amazing!!

Also, it’s so cool to see a director who celebrates the music, and editing as equals to character development, action and dialogue.

Biggest Weaknesses:        

What weaknesses can you think of? It’s not long enough.

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Characters:

Ansel Elgort is perfect as Baby, his performance is the balance to the intensity and wildness of the other characters. He has this innocence to him especially when he’s around said characters. This point is backed up when he is in court, all the characters he’s sort of saved during the heists speak for him and what he did. Lily James plays the love interest, Debora, who Baby falls in love with and who he wants to drive away with. Their chemistry is on point and it was believable. I was rooting for them the whole movie.

Kevin Spacey’s Doc is a great character, he’s not the typical and predictable heist boss you’d think which shows great writing. Doc’s revolving gang is equally as intriguing and entertaining as our main characters. Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx might’ve stolen the whole film for me. Jamie Foxx’s character, Bats, is Bats*** crazy, a man with no sense of consequences and he was just a loose bullet and so unpredictable. Jon Hamm’s Buddy had a surprisingly great performance, I know he’s a great actor but here he was at his best ever. When his Bonnie was killed, he became loose cannon and the main antagonist for our protagonist, he was just bad ass!

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Other Points & Developments:

  • Favourite scene: Most of the scenes were amazing, from the car chases to the character interactions, to Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx, but what stands out most is the opening credits scene where Baby goes and grabs coffee for the team. The camera follows Baby as he walks/dances to a song (great song btw), and the lyrics are spattered all around the scenery as he walks past it, and one cool little bit is where Lily James character, Debora, walks past with a heart over her character. Like all his films Edgar has hints in the beginning of his films, and he laid some cools hints during this sequences.
  • Bats:”The moment you catch feelings, is the moment you catch a bullet”
  • Apparently, in the restaurant scene, Kevin Spacey’s character is talking to Big Boi and Killer Mike; I guess I’m going to have to re-watch the movie again.
  • Buddy: “Buddy, Bats, Darling – they’re all code names, nicknames, monikers”

Bats: “So what’s your name, Darling?”

Darling: “Monica”

  • NerdService #1: A song is played in the background of nearly every scene in the film. Also, wherever a song plays in 4/4 rhythm, a shot almost cuts in one of the four beats.
  • Is Griff (Jon Bernthal) dead?
  • Jon Hamm and Eiza Gonzalez need their own film, so does Jamie Foxx’s Bats.

Ansel Elgort;Jon Hamm;Jamie Foxx;Eiza Gonzalez

GRADE: 5.9 out of 6 Infinity Stones

I loved this movie; definitely you can see that it’s an Edgar Wright movie. When a film maker conjures up an original movie and executes it well, we need to celebrate it. I’m keen to watch it a few more times; it’s that good, you need to go out and watch it! You won’t be disappointed! The performances from the a-list line up, the music, the style, the drama and the action all mix to make one of the best films this year!

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Spider-Man: Homecoming The Funnest Spider-Man Film To Date. — July 17, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming The Funnest Spider-Man Film To Date.

Spider-Man: Homecoming. 

Spoiler-Filled Film Review

 

Two Sundays ago, I went to the movies with a couple of my closest mates to watch Spider Man after church. This is the first Tom Holland lead Spider Man film, after his cool showing on Civil War, we finally get to see if Tom Holland is not only the perfect Peter Parker, but also the perfect Spider-Man

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Greatest Strengths:

There were a lot of strengths, the one I want to mention before expanding more on the Characters section, is the performance of Tom Holland as Spider Man and the usage of Michael Keatons Vulture, Nuff’ said. What we’ve come to expect from an MCU film is the humour and the great sequences, and though this film didn’t have

It was refreshing to have a MCU film with a different context, that being in high school. It’s great that what separates Peter from the other superheros is that he’s still a teenager. And the greatest highlight is them showing how a teenager handles the tensions, struggles and pressures of a real superhero. He’s a high school kid and the film has a coming of age feel to it, not just for Peter but for Spider-Man as well, which was great!

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Biggest Weaknesses:

There weren’t that much weaknesses for me, and if I were to mention some it’ll probably just be nit-picking. It felt contained and not very high stakes but I understand because it’s a contained story. I did want to know more about his past with Uncle Ben, and its stink we didn’t explore his relationship with Aunt May but I know they’ll tie that up in one of the future instalments and hopefully they’ll get someone famous to play Uncle Ben. I just had a good time that I didn’t find much weaknesses.

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Characters:

Tom Holland is perfect, the most authentic teenage Peter Parker and I dare to say the best Spider-Man I’ve seen on the big screen. He captures a youthfulness and a charisma that the other two lacked. Michael Keaton is possibly the best villain to come out of the MCU since Loki. He is so threatening and intimidating, and he had such great motivations. He loves his family, and after some bad luck he decides to take things into his own hands. He’s relatable and layered, and his arc is just as interesting as our main character.

The minor characters were all great, the high school students were fantastic, Ned and Flash and Michelle’s were all standouts. The Shocker(s) were alright, not memorable and the Tinkerer was alright also.

Would like to have seen more of Aunt May and Peter’s relationship.

One thing that was perfect was the usage of Tony Stark. A huge worry for me was whether he was going to be used too much here but he was in the movie perfectly. Stark was the perfect character to help Peter through this conflict considering where he’s come from as a superhero. Also great to have more Happy Hogan in a movie and Pepper Potts back.

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Other Points & Developments:

  • My favourite scene was Liz’s party, because it contained two awesome moments that I want to talk about. The first is when Spider-Man is waiting on a roof to go in and surprise the teenagers to make himself (Parker) look cool, but then an explosion goes off far away and Spider-Man has the choice to go explore the explosion or stay and make himself look cool, he decides to go check out the explosion and that to me, is Spider-Man. A teenager struggling with the responsibility of a Superhero. The other cool moment was when he was webbing his way towards the explosion, he came to a gold course where there was nothing to web sling onto, so he’s forced to run, hilarious moment.
  • My favourite moment of all though, comes during the Peter Parkers struggle under the rubble that fell on him due to The Vulture. Peter’s willing himself on saying “Come on, Spider-Man” and it felt huge for him and was a great moment.
  • Michelle on Parker: “I’m not obsessed with him, I’m just observant
  • Did anyone else see that reveal that Michelle is Mary Jane?
  • Donald Glover shows up as Aaron Davis who while talking to Spider-Man mentions his nephew. For those who don’t know, in the comics Aaron Davis’ nephew is Miles Morales.
  • Kenneth Choi makes his 2nd appearance in a MCU movie, as the grandson of a character Choi played in Captain America: The First Avenger, Jim Morita.
  • Parker: “I wanted to be like you”

Stark: “I wanted you to be better”

  • Tony Stark: “If you’re nothing without that suit, then you shouldn’t have it
  • The Tinkerer wasn’t caught so he’s still out presumably upgrading super-villains costumes.

 

GRADE: 5 out of 6 Infinity Stones

 

Overall, this was just such a great time. This for me is easily the funniest and funnest Spider-Man to date, cast with the perfect choices for our main characters and nothing else can be said other than bring me more please!

Wonder Woman set the bar for the DCEU. — June 21, 2017

Wonder Woman set the bar for the DCEU.

 

Wonder Woman.

Spoiler-Filled Film Review

 

Two weeks ago on a Sunday night, I had the opportunity to go watch Wonder Woman with my some of my church. This is the first female lead live action film since the start of the MCU and DCEU almost a decade ago, and there was massive expectation not just because of that, and also not because the future of the DCEU hung on the success of this film and Justice League but last and not the least of all, because it was Wonder Woman, one third of the DC trinity and quite possibly the greatest female super hero in history. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on Pattie Jenkins take on the Wonder Woman lore. It goes without saying, this is a Spoiler-Full review, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, watch it then come back and read this review.

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Greatest Strengths:

Three of the greatest strengths of this film was the emotion, humour and the dynamic between our co-leads, (my main Strength tbh is Gal Gadots performance but I want to leave that for the Characters section).

The emotional journey was surprisingly great and a lot of that came down to Steve Rogers… I mean Steve Trevor’s (Chris Pine) sacrifice and Gal Gadots performance as Wonder Woman. Trevor’s sacrifice outweighs all the minor issues, plot holes because its’ purpose is for Wonder Woman to see humans are capable of doing great good just as they are capable of doing great evil, and her reaction to his death (fantastically acted btw) helped kick in her full powers. The humour was just great. It worked because It was natural humour, it felt natural because it wasn’t comedy added from left field or even because it was just bad comedy but it came about because it fit with the characters’ personality. From Diana’s naivety to Steve’s funny one liners, the laughs went a long way and was a huge highlight for many people I talked to who I watched it with. There were multiple moments where the whole audience in the cinema burst out in laughter because of the situational comedy at play. Another strength was the natural chemistry between Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor’s. Their dynamic was so great, and every scene they were in together were fantastic and I found myself rooting for them to end up together even though I knew Steve would die.

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Biggest Weakness’:

A big weakness of this film is that the villain(s) are underdeveloped. When it comes to the main villain, the film tried hard to make us believe that German General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) is the big bad of the film, Ares. He is given this elixir or potion to inhale by Doctor Poison that apparently gives him super strength to give the audience the false impression that he is in fact Ares. The twist of the movie is Sir Patrick (David Thewlis) was Ares and not Ludendorff.

And many saw that coming or weren’t surprised. My gripes with Thewlis being Ares was that he didn’t feel like the God of War I wanted to see on screen, maybe it was just me but I didn’t like that moustache Ares had and lastly the third act where the Wonder Woman fought Ares was a bit dragged out. There are also some plot holes that don’t need to be brought up because they’re minor quibbles.

Also, there were some moments in the fighting sequences where I found myself being taken out of the bits because of the CGI moments.

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Characters:

Before talking about the protagonist and the antagonist, let’s get all the other characters out of the way. The minor characters all added at least something to the film which is always great if a character can do that. Speaking with some people after the screening, one of the favourites was Steve’s secretary Etta Candy, understandably so.

I appreciated very much having one character be the comedic relief, and then have a character provide some comedic relief but offer other things.

Then there’s Steves motley crew, all struggling with their own purposes, and it’s great to have these minor characters have some sense of development that was caused by Diana. Diana gives each one of these side characters some purpose, she encourages the good out of them and highlights the good, even that ice cream dude.

Gal was surprisingly astounding, she is potentially the lead reason why Wonder Woman works and succeeds. Chris Pine is an awesome Co-lead. He’s just so great and I feel he bought out the best out of Gal. Another highlight is their chemistry which I mentioned above.

The villains… hmmm. The evil for us measly humans came in the form of General Ludendorff and Dr. Poison, while there’s an even bigger evil at play in the form of Greek God of War, Ares. Diana believes both Ludendorff and Ares are one in the same. That Ludendorff’s death will bring about the end of the war. She’s shocked to find out that she was wrong and then is forced to face the truth that all humanity is flawed.

Ares was, how can I say this. Disappointing to say the least. David Thewlis and his moustache did not suit the God warrior that is Ares. He suited the ghostlike villain that appears to Diana during the reveal that he is Ares, but the same cannot be said for his portrayal of Ares. And though I appreciate the writers trying to do something different with the villains it still was a let-down. I also felt that the climactic battle was dragged on too long and not as memorable as the skirmish on the beaches of Themyscira or when Wonder Woman bosses it and rages on No Mans Land. But that’s not to say the climactic battle didn’t offer anything other than ‘bang bang punch punch’. Diana was forced to come to terms with the idea that maybe humans don’t deserve to be saved, and the moment when Trevor sacrificed himself served the purpose of that is good in humanity, and though they don’t deserve to be saved, the biggest travesty is what Steve mentioned to her before, that doing nothing is worse.

 

Other Points & Developments:

  • My favourite scene is when Wonder Woman goes through No Man’s Land, it such a heroic and epic sequence, Steve saying no man will survive going through the land because of the Germans opposition, and the fact that the allies were holed there for a year or so made the task even more daunting, to the moment Wonder Woman made her mind up because of a lady crying for help and to top it off was the score just elevated the scene to another level.
  • An equalling awesome sequence was that skirmish in Themyscira,
  • Themyscira was beautiful, it didn’t overstay its welcome to me.
  • The backstory set up who Diana is and her convictions.
  • The Lasso of Truth being painful to resist was so cool!
  • Gosh dang, Robin Wright was a badass as Aunt Antiope.
  • This film was basically the context behind the photo of Wonder Woman and her squad introduced in BvS.
  • Steve Trevor: “I’m above average”.
  • The Score was great, and more and more I’m falling in love with Wonder Woman’s theme!
  • There’s a new DC intro potentially hinting future participants such as Green Lantern or even Hawkman.
  • Charlie, Sammy and Chief were fantastic and weren’t just nameless buddies who follow our hero (looking at you Howling Commandoes).
  • Did I mention how awesome Themyscira and the Amazins are, bar the CGI bits.
  • Steve: “I can save today, you can save tomorrow. I love you”.
  • The biggest highlight of this film was getting Wonder Womans moral compass, a superhero of strength and conviction is refreshing.
WONDER WOMAN
(l-r) SAÏD TAGHMAOUI as Sameer, CHRIS PINE as Steve Trevor, GAL GADOT as Diana, EUGENE BRAVE ROCK as The Chief and EWEN BREMNER as Charlie in the action adventure “WONDER WOMAN.” ©Warner Bros. Entertainment/Ratpac Dune Entertainment. CR: Clay Enos.

GRADE: 4.3 out of 6 Infinity Stones:

DCEU have been criticized for being too dark and of course there’s no problem with that, but if when style takes precedent over substance, it sucks. This movie finally delivers a Wonder Woman film we’ve all been waiting for.

The film ticked most if not all of the boxes for me, a strong female role model for kids to look up to not just for being a badass but being a hero with convictions (tick), amazing spectacular action sequences (tick), Gal Gadot delivering as Wonder Woman/Diana (tick, tick), and a chance to see Chris Pines abs (TICK).

This is definitely the best film in the DCEU but I disagree with some people in that the DCEU has still got a long way to go if they want to reach the magic of The Dark Knight (2008) and even go beyond it.

Iron Fist was good, but not great. — March 20, 2017

Iron Fist was good, but not great.

Iron Fist Season 1 Review.

For last couple year’s we, as an audience, expect nothing less than excellence when new Marvel-tagged properties are released whether that be on the big screen or TV. After 13 hours of Netflix’s Iron Fist spread across two days, I can say with all honesty I enjoyed it, but I didn’t adore it. This was good, but not great. And for Marvel, good is not good enough when the set bar has been ‘Excellence’.

There were huge issues and just plain old lazy story-telling, and even though there just weren’t enough PROs to outweigh the CONs, I still enjoyed what few PROs there were to enjoy my time watching the show.

 

So, here are my PROs, CONs and Ultimate GRADE for Netflix’s Iron Fist:

 

-PROs:

  • The biggest highlight for me was the chemistry between ‘Game of Thrones’ alumni’s Jessica Henwick and Finn Jones who play our leading roles Danny Rand and Colleen Wing I was rooting for them through the whole show.
  • (Most of) The characters: Jessica did the best she could with Colleen Wing and her character was great! The Meacham’s were great, although we spent more time with them than we should have. Finn Jones was better than I thought he would be as Danny, not so much as Iron Fist and it’s always great to have Rosario Dawson’s Claire.
  • The Hand were better here than on Daredevil, I guess.
  • Villains: Having two villains that offer two types of opposition for our protagonist, Harold as the psychological villain and Bakuto/Madam Gao/The Hand who offered a physical challenge to Danny.
  • One of the best scenes for me, was the beautifully shot last showdown between Bakuto and Colleen, followed by the Danny v Davos. It wasn’t just how it was shot with the frame shots and the symmetry, but also the ideas. Sensei v student and best friend v best friend. With clear winners and losers on both sides, but it’s not as black and white as it seems to be.

 

CONs (OK, here we go):

  • Biggest CON: Martial Arts. A show like ‘Into the Badlands’ has shown that having an actor with a background in martial arts does make a difference. How many actors in pivotal roles in this show has a background in martial arts and is confident in doing all the stunts themselves? There were too many cuts during the multiple fight scenes that you start to think that the directors are just wanting you to figure out it wasn’t the actors doing the stunts.
  • Character Motivations. Some of the biggest questions for our characters were introduced in the first couple episodes and not answered until later. Why the hell did Danny Rand leave Kunlun? This should have been addressed in the first episode! But it wasn’t fully answered until a few episodes later and not fully answered until the second half of the show.
  • Character Decisions: There were too many times to count when a character did something that didn’t make sense or fit with their character. Lazy writing.
  • Pacing: There were some storylines that should’ve just stayed in two episodes and not dragged out. Like Danny’s motivation, some storylines shouldn’t be dragged out the way it was.
  • Settings: We spent too much time in settings we should never have, that time should have been used to help develop our characters. I found myself asking why are we in the Rand corporation too many times to count.
  • WE DIDN’T EVEN GET TO SEE AN IRON FIST SUIT!
  • So, the lead into The Defenders is what, again?

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Final Thoughts and GRADE:

B-

Yes, I understand you’re hurt friend. But listen to me. We’re all human, we’re not perfect and Marvel definitely ain’t (looking at you Perlmutter). Not every show done by Marvel is going to be great, I mean just look at ‘Agents of SHIELD’. But I am here to tell you, there is a tomorrow. The world is still going to revolve around the sun and the machine keeps marching forward.

I liked this show, I really did. It’s not excellent, far from perfect, but I still found it fun, entertaining and a far better love story than Twilight. And though the CONs are many and they mean a big deal to the success or lack of, in the storytelling, there were times when the technical directing and beautiful frames within frames and shots were enough to overlook the other crap going on, and there was so much crap. But I will say I don’t think this show is crap and as bad as many people are saying it is.

Danny Rand/Iron Fist is arguably the greatest martial artist in the Marvel universe. By the end of this show, that didn’t translate as well as it should of for a character of his calibre in this universe, either by the lack of fight scenes or his dominance in them and by the obvious lack of skills by Finn Jones. Finn may be fit for Danny Rand, but probably not for the Iron Fist.

The story itself was far from great and wasn’t engaging. A lot of what I wanted to see wasn’t there, and what was explored was a waste of time because it leads nowhere. There were some horrid decision making when it came to the storytelling, why didn’t we find out about Danny and his motivations in the first couple of episodes? Why did the plot points drag out and have underwhelming pay offs? Where was the exploration of the Iron Fist mythology? Why did we spend more time in Rand corporation than in Kunlun? Why should I care about something if the main character didn’t? Danny left Kunlun for reasons unknown, and we don’t set foot in it enough to care. Danny only uses Rand company to advance his own secret plays, so why do we spend a lot of time there?

I know it seems that the show is crap, but I assure you it’s not, it may be closer to it than Agents of SHIELD, but not as close as Batman v Superman. I enjoyed the episodes as I watched them, I wouldn’t have binge watched 6 episodes in a row the first day, and then the other half of the show the next day if I thought it was total crap. I was really shipping Danny and Colleen. There was awesome chemistry between them and I felt the casting was perfect in that account. The villains are better than I thought they would be, and it was cool seeing Madam Gao back, and the Hand was more menacing but not as intimidating as they should be.

There are some improvements I could suggest, but it’s all for this season of Iron Fist. Maybe next season is going to be better because there is more time for the actors to practice martial arts so it translates naturally on the show, and more time to think about a better story and make better decisions for the characters.

Overall, this was an entertaining show. Though it didn’t lead into the Defenders, and the contained story wasn’t great. I enjoyed what I enjoyed and I don’t think it’s as crappy as most people think it is.

Logan: Third times a charm. — February 26, 2017

Logan: Third times a charm.

 

Here’s my spoiler-free review of the film Logan, which I was lucky enough to go to the NZ premiere to watch.

Firstly, I think we need to thank Deadpool. Because if Deadpool didn’t succeed in the way that it did, 20th Century Fox wouldn’t have taken the risk of creating a Logan/Wolverine film the way it should be. James Mangold (director) and Hugh Jackman pulled no stops as we progressed through decapitated heads, punctured limbs, sliced off body parts, and buckets full of fake blood that give Wolverine an animalistic savagery his comicbook counter-part has, but just couldn’t deliver in the previous PG X-Men films.

We’re in the dirty, dystopian, Western-like world of 2029. A world where mutants are all but gone, Logan is not the fierce warrior we’ve come to know, but an alcoholic driver-for-hire, whose Adamantium is slowly killing him from the inside, caring for 90-year-old Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) who suffers from a brain disease that causes people within a mile or so to paralyze every time he suffers a seizure.

Their quiet life is quickly turned upside down with the introduction of Laura (Dafne Keen), who takes our characters on a journey running from evil scientist Dr. Rice (Richard E. Grant), cyborg-arm guy (Boyd Holbrook) and his Reavers. Special mention to Stephen Merchant as Kaliban who adds to the story, and not just comedically.

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This is a contained X-Men film, building on the previous 7 films mythology, but more concerned with the story at hand. There’s no world to save, no city to clean-up, not even a damsel in distress to turn into a love interest, this is a family tale, told in the most Adamantium way possible. It’s a film about a passive, sorrowful, broken hero at the end of a long adventure trying to find peace. And the film is smart in creating unpredictability, we’re unsure of what this road will cost Logan.

The biggest strength of this film, is its focus on the man, not the superhero. It’s in the title of the film, named after James Howlett’s human alter-ego: Logan, rather than Wolverine, his superhero alias. The previous X-Men films have been about showboating their superhero powers, it’s what audiences expect going into a X-Men film, and I would argue most if not all superhero films. Here, we dive in Logan’s reluctance to be a hero, a complexity he’s been struggling with for a couple movies now, and Mangold explores these personal themes, such as Logan’s reluctance but also his feelings of guilt and isolation.

The character relationships here are unparalleled in superhero flicks. All the relationships add depth, emotion and a heartbeat to the film. The mentor-student/father-son dynamic between Jackman and Stewart is heart-warming. Seeing a broken, beaten and old(er) Xavier being cared for by an aging and ailing Logan is nothing short of heart-breaking. In previous films Logan uses the term ‘professor’ to show Xavier’s standing over Logan. Here, Logan doesn’t mention it once. They are now close, and we explore their bond and the mutual feelings of guilt which incredibly engaging. Also, Logan’s relationship with Kaliban is a great. The relationships aren’t just about emotional depth, but they help bring out our hero’s humanity. Also, these characters don’t just make a team, but a family. Unlike previous X-Men films, where they tried to make us think it was family, this film takes the time to tell a story of a family.

Image result for Logan Laura

The standout is Dafne Keen, playing Logan’s daughter Laura. Keen holds her own with the 2 veterans, skilfully adding to the trio’s family dynamic. Keen presents a young Wolverine-like Laura whose walk between innocence and intensity is spectacular.

If this is Jackman’s swansong, he’s exiting stage left at the top of his game, to a thunderous applause by an audience demanding an encore. This is indeed an end-of-an-era, Jackman has donned the Adamantium claws a whopping 9 times in 17 years, and never has he been more nuanced in his delivery than here. His performance can be both exhilarating and tear-inducing in equal measure. Jackman’s legacy is the fact that his Logan/Wolverine has survived a Brett Ratner sequel, one bad Ryan Reynolds Deadpool, and a couple bad movies only to still be as loved and cherished by not only the comic book geeks (you), but also the general movie-going audience (you).

Logan is a sincerely moving and gritty human story, which enthusiastically abandons superhero formulaic traditions and templates, translating the antithesis of what we have come to expect superhero films to be. It has set the standard for genre defining films, and to lock it into a genre will only do it a disservice, it’s not just the best Wolverine film, or one of the best superhero films, it can confidently stand alone as a cinematic experience worthy of multiple viewings, which I intend to do.

 

Logan comes out March 2nd. Make sure you go watch it! and come back for my spoiler Review where I’ll share my grade.

Top 11 Films of 2016 – Julius — December 22, 2016

Top 11 Films of 2016 – Julius

My Top 11 Films of 2016

(Because 10 just isn’t enough)

 

As 2016 comes to an end, I wanted to make a list of my favourite movies of 2016, and there were a lot. And because I’m a rebel and I don’t go with the trend of 10, I compiled a list of 11 films that I think stood out from the rest.

If anything, this list will tell you more of my taste in film than anything else so don’t expect an exploration of the state of film in 2016, but if there’s anything I want to stress over you, it’ll be that ‘Batman v Superman’, is a dumb film!

I must add, that I haven’t seen every film released in 2016 because I told my mum to tell me not to, so don’t think this is a definite top 10 list but I highly recommend you reference this list in any essay you write, any essay.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

  1. Hunt for the Wilderpeople

hunt_for_the_wilderpeopleI love this film!

Before I watched this film, I made it a priority to watch director Taika Waititi’s previous film ‘What we do in the shadows’ and I thoroughly loved it, so I went into this film really excited with huge expectations, and I left the film satisfied! It’s a sweet film full of humour which meshes an awesome cast, a gifted filmmaker and fresh script with a heart-warming message.

Stand out performances:

Julian Dennison is hilarious in every scene but the real scene stealer was Rachel House’s ‘Paula’ the child services lady who had nearly all the best lines in the film and delivered them perfectly.

 

  1. Hail, Caesar!

mv5bmjqyodc3mti2nf5bml5banbnxkftztgwndmxmju2nze-_v1_uy1200_cr6406301200_al_Sometimes what makes movies have a lasting effect on people are the events and memories attached to it. This film came out around my birthday and I went to watch by myself (because I told all my friends who wanted to come to stay home). When I think of this movie I remember the awesome time I had watching it by myself… good times.

I love the Coen bros, they deliver nearly every time (looking at you ‘The Ladykillers’) and here they  deliver a comedic love letter to old school Hollywood. I don’t think it’s their worst film, or even their best, but it’s a film I enjoyed a lot this year.

Standout performances:

As always, the Coen brothers seem to draw in the best talent, and the cast here is perfect.

  1. Deadpool

download.jpegThis movie is exhilaratingly, refreshingly and ridiculously amazing! I absolutely loved it! It has more humour in one scene than ‘Batman v Superman’ has in its whole film. ‘Nuff said.

Standout performances:

You can’t go past Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool, a role he was born to perform, he’s so synonymous with Deadpool now that when I watch Reynolds in any other movie I find myself waiting for him to turn to me and crack a meta joke.

 

  1. Hacksaw Ridge

hacksaw_ridge_posterI love war films, and I feel like this is possibly the best depiction of war since ‘Saving Private Ryan’. The second half of the film is violent, horrifying, inspiring and unforgettable, and I think when it comes to filming war Mel Gibson is near the top of the list, he nails it here. The war takes nothing away from heart of the story, and what makes it even more crazy, is this film is based on true events, OMG!

Standout performances:

Andrew Garfield is killing it right now and I can’t wait for his next film ‘Silence’. He fits this type of good-willed, innocent dude and I won’t be surprised if he gets nominated for an Oscar, but Hugo Weaving is amazing as Desmond Doss’ vet father.

 

  1. Sing Street

mv5bmjezoda3mdcxml5bml5banbnxkftztgwodgxndk3nze-_v1_uy1200_cr9006301200_al_I liked this film a lot, and it wasn’t just the musical side featuring music from Hall & Oates, Duran Duran and even Spandau Ballet, but just the feel-good story with heart-warming performances by the young cast of actors that lead me to shed a little tear of sadness that I eventually bullied to go back because I’m tough.

Standout performances:

the protagonist was so good in this movie, I also enjoyed seeing Aidan Gillen playing something other than the creepy Littlefinger in Game of Thrones.

 

  1. Dr. Strange

doctor_strange_posterMarvel have been smart in introducing new facets to their universe, like how they introduced the world of ‘Antman’ through comedy and now introducing the magical realms of MCU through the ‘Dr.  Strange’. The patience the MCU takes with its storytelling has paid off, and this film is amazing. It is visually and conceptually trippy, with kaleidoscope action sequences that the likes of ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Inception’ will be envious of.

Standout performances:

Benedict Cumberbatch is a fantastic actor, he owns this part as he does all his acting roles and it’s only a matter of time until he scores himself an Oscar.

 

  1. Jungle Book

download (1).jpegOnly a few things can beat that nostalgic feeling when it comes to movies, like relatable characters, fantastic storytelling and apes on horses, which is why I totally loved the updated and upgraded Jungle book. Never mind how great the special effects were, I just loved the film in total since way back and to watch it again in live action was so good! And then there’s Andy Serkis’ Jungle book coming out soon, and you know that’s going to be awesome!

Standout performances:

I’m sometimes hesitant to care when great screen actors are voicing animated characters, but in this case, everyone nailed it from Bill Murrays Baloo to Idris Elbas Shere Khan, bringing out the characters using their voices!

 

  1. Captain America: Civil War

download (2).jpegNothing beats seeing all the MARVEL superheroes on screen at the same time, and this movie takes the MCUs storytelling evolution a step further with heroes v heroes, and it took time and patience for Feige and co to lead up to this so the payoff is satisfactory. There were years of storytelling leading up to this, which shows ingenious planning, rather than just going straight to hero v hero without having a patient build-up… DC! Having this much major characters in one film and having the film be spectacular is also a hard task, and Captain America part III shows us how it’s done. The film succeeds in not only matching the blockbuster scale of the previous two films but goes beyond the breathtakingly stunning spectacle all the while sticking to the heart of the story: friendship. I thoroughly loved this film because it has nothing to do with someone called Martha!

Standout performances:

Everyone. Again! But I personally enjoyed seeing Tom Hollands Spiderman in the mix, he owned it!

  1. Arrival

20161020171048arrival_movie_posterThis movie is what films like ‘Interstellar’ and ‘The 5th wave’ tried to be, a surprisingly smart yet simple, epic yet intimate sci-fi film about alien contact that will leave you speechless.

Standout performances:

Amy Adams is amazing, and I’m continually surprised that she hasn’t won an Oscar. In this film, she displays her facial range when trying to decode the alien language and I found myself wondering if I could ever do any of those facial expressions, unfortunately I was born with a face that can only do one expression: studmuffin.

 

  1. Rogue One

rogueone_onesheeta_1000_309ed8f6Star Wars holds a dear place in my heart, I love it but I didn’t know as much about the mythology as I would like, so before watching this I studied up, just so I could enjoy the film even more! And I did! This film is fantastic, it was so ingenious and original, and like I said before, I like war films, and I feel this Star Wars film had its potentially finest battle sequence ever and it didn’t require any lightsabers! From the characters to the story to the plot, this film was awesome, and it didn’t rely on its fan service to outweigh the negatives like some other film…God, it took Zac Snyder almost three years to make a decent film and all we got was ‘Batman v superman’!!!

Standout performances:

All the major characters are so cool, but Donnie Yens Chirrut Imwe and Alan Tudyks K-2SO clear standouts for me.

  1. La La Land

MV5BMzUzNDM2NzM2MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTM3NTg4OTE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_.jpgAfter watching this film, I thought it would end up a guilty pleasure to be honest, I didn’t think anyone else would like it and I still call it to this day my pick for best picture at the Oscars. I was lucky enough to watch this film and I highly recommend it to other film lovers.

 

There we go, my top 11 list of 2016.

I give you permission to share this to people who act like they care.


All photos from Google Images

Welcome to Nerdonomics! — December 13, 2016

Welcome to Nerdonomics!

Hello fellow nerds and welcome to Nerdonomics!

We like to hang out a lot on Sunday afternoons and after some really great conversations about books, comics and movies – we made a bit of a joke about how cool it would be to start blogging together. And then we kinda thought about it…and well here we are.

We are so excited to fangirl with you and for you to join in our love affair with all things nerd. Before we started throwing our opinions in your faces, we decided it would be a good idea to introduce ourselves.

We asked ourselves the question: “What does being a nerd mean to you?” and here are our responses:


Ravi:

I didn’t choose the nerd life, the nerd life chose me. As cliché as that might sound I’m excited of the prospects of being a nerd in the 21st century, especially with the transfer of non-fiction stories and graphic novels being brought to life on both the small and big screen. Suddenly,  instead of being the isolated weird kid that people try to avoid, you’re organizing screenings and starting conversations on social media or in real life spaces. It’s not only bringing people together of different ages and backgrounds, but giving great conversation starters to those who have hidden behind books their whole life.

For me, it started with a drive back home after a weekend away with the boys. I was given the opportunity to keep the driver occupied. In a moment I brought up a comic book related television show. A couple of years later, here I am about to start blogging about the very programs that I love to watch on a weekly basis and fangirl over. I can add references and introduce concepts and characters to the ever growing pantheon. Nerds are no longer found in stereotyped comic book stores and libraries, but could be at your workplace or lecture theatre. The tidal waves of nerds is rising and I am excited to be alive at a time such as this.


Julius:

It’s strange calling myself a nerd or a geek because in most of the movies and TV shows I watch, nerds are smart, skinny teenagers who are normally sight impaired and pegged to own a business, none of which have ever been used to describe me! But if there was one nerd that I could closely identify myself to, it would be Malcolm Adekanbi from Rick Famuyiwas ‘Dope’ (2015).

Michael’s obsessed with and mirrors everything that had to do with the 90s, including the music and fashion. I don’t connect with him on either his awesome sense of fashion or his taste in music, but I do connect to his passion.

So, I’m passionate about TV shows (Only the good ones though). I’m passionate about movies (I know a fair bit about movies too). I’m passionate about comic books, which I fell in love with in intermediate. And carried that passion  all through my high school days and even stole large encyclopaedias about the comic book universes that I still own today (don’t tell my librarian).

If there’s anything I learnt from Mr. Adekanbi, is to be proud of what you’re passionate about. So here I am, being a nerd.


Lovely:

To me, being a nerd is such a privilege. Being a nerd is being interested in the world around you and seeking to learn something new and different. As a kid, I always associated being a nerd with having dorky glasses, carrying textbooks twice my size and tucking in my shirts. Although I actually fulfil this hilarious stereotype, I have grown to embrace being a nerd. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Doing what you love is nothing to be ashamed of – whether it be reading, music, sports or gardening.

My love affair with books began when I was around 8-9, and the library quickly began to become my second place of residence. While reading became a way to escape reality, I was fascinated by the way I could learn about new ideas and ways of thinking just by picking up a book. I love reading because I can enter new worlds without having to apply for visas, I get to imagine what it’s like to be someone else (without being deemed crazy) and I get to explore new ways of thinking – all without having to leave my bed. What more could you want?



Let us know what being a nerd means to you in the comments below!

We’ll see you soon

The Nerdonomics Team