Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 continues the adventure of the Guardians and along the way they meet a man who claims he’s Peter’s dad.
Apes Together Strong!
War for the Planet of the Apes is the third movie of the Apes series. It’s directed by Matt Reeves and it stars Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller and Andy Serkis as Ceasar.
After the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Ceasar and his people are trying to live a peaceful life in the woods. Unfortunately for Ceasar, a tyrant with a battalion of soldiers is hell bent on eliminating Ceasar and his kind.
One of the strongest points of War for the Planet of The Apes is it delivered some of the most convincing CG effects this year, the Apes looked incredible. The emotions and expressions showed by the apes are convincing and it empowers the movie tenfold.
Andy Serkis is also to be given credit, once again delivering a powerful performance as Ceasar. Having followed Ceasar’s story from the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. You can’t feel anything but admiration to his character.
A surprise hit in the movie is Bad Ape. With the dark gloomy tone of the movie, Bad Ape played by Steve Zahn, delivers some much needed humor which in return alleviates some of the serious tone of the film. The character itself is tragic but Steve Zahn managed to make it lovable.
War of the Planet of the Apes will not be an easy watch for some, it has a running time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. There are some scenes that drag and though the scenes themselves are good you can’t help but feel the movie’s length.
Overall War for the Planet of the Apes delivers a blockbuster with strong characters and more importantly a blockbuster with a deep story. Andy Serkis as Ceasar deserves a recognition for his motion capture performance. Woody Harrelson is also great and gives a strong argument as to why he wants to eradicate the apes and all of it makes a compelling conflict of interest.
War for the Planet is easily one of the better movies that came up this blockbuster season and if you’re someone who’s followed Ceasar’s story from the beginning you will have a deep appreciation for this movie. War for the Planet of the Apes is highly recommended.
Can’t you just be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man?
Spider-Man: Homecoming is the 16th feature movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car) and it stars Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr, Michael Keaton and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May.
Spider-Man: Homecoming tells the story of Peter Parker after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Recently given a new suit by Tony Stark, Peter tries to balance his life by juggling being a high-school kid by day and superhero by night. Hoping to impress Tony Stark and to officially become an Avenger.
This is the 6th big budget Spider-Man movie that we’ve seen on screen and it is safe to say that they got Peter Parker AND Spider-Man right this time. Tom Holland as Peter Parker was great. He captures the witty & clever banter that Spider Man possess and for once we get a Peter Parker who’s excited to be Spider-Man.
One of the things that impressed me is how they got the minor details right. Often times we’d wonder what happens to Peter’s belongings when he webs them in an alley and go about his day as Spider-Man or what if he’s in an area without tall buildings to swing on, they answered most of that.
More great things about this is there are no badly written characters. Peter’s friends felt like real kids in a real high school. Especially being set in New York his group of friends are multicultural, and they tease each other like most circle of friends do.
Surprisingly the villain, played by Michael Keaton, doesn’t fall into the villain problem that most of these types of movies have. His villainous nature has a very human motivation in which he’s just trying to provide for his family.
Though the movie is fun through out the whole movie, the only thing that’s a complaint is how the CG looked at the very beginning. At certain times we can tell that the Spider-Man is CG and not a guy in a suit. Though very minor, it can be distracting.
Overall Spider-Man: Homecoming is easily one of the best super-hero movies this year, it is perfect as a Spider-Man movie and it’s the best we’ve seen the character on the big screen. Tom Holland is a joy to watch, he captures the excitement of what’s like being Spider-Man and his excitement is infectious.
This movie is incredibly funny, the action sequences are great and your supporting characters are also great. There are tons of easter eggs through out the movie and not to mention a running gag that’s easy to miss but still cleverly put. As a movie in general, it’s not perfect but it is perfect as a Spider-Man movie. Make sure to stay after the credits as this has one of the best post credit scenes ever.
only love can truly save the world.
Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins, it stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright.
Wonder Woman is the fourth movie in DC’s movie universe and it deals with Diana Prince’s ventures into WWI as she discovers the world of men for the first time and deals with other imposing threats.
Glad to say DC has finally got one right. Not only does Wonder Woman break DC’s disappointing movie streak but it does it strongly. Wonder Woman offered a much needed rejuvenation from the dark moody environment that Zack Snyder has set up for the DC Universe.
One of the highlights of this movie is your lead, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was great. She pours in a much needed emotion into the role and through her actions Wonder Woman proves herself to be a superhero with compassion and willingness to help.
Chris Pine is also great and even with this being a superhero movie, both leads delivered great acting with plenty of dimensions to their characters which made it easy for the audience to relate.
The movie delivered some jaw dropping and incredibly heroic action sequences but likewise offering some subtle and genuine humor to the movie. There’s even a small romantic element between the two leads and it was played cleverly.
The movie is not perfect and like most superhero movies, Wonder Woman, is not exempt from having a villain problem. With one dimensional villains who are evil just because they’re evil and ridiculously cartoonish, it dragged the movie down a bit.
Another issue is the amount of slow motion used, plenty of the slow motion sequences felt unnecessary and it just made the movie a lot longer than it needed to be.
The biggest issue however is the climax, which doesn’t feel like it was a part of the movie at all. From going to grounded and compelling story ending with a saturated lightshow, the climax felt random.
Overall DC finally got something right with Wonder Woman. It’s a great superhero and it empowers females without beating you over the head with it’s message. The action sequences were amazing and the chemistry between Chris Pine and Gal Gadot was great. Even with stock villains and a ridiculous climax, Wonder Woman is still a great superhero movie and it’s definitely worth checking out in the big screen.
2016 been a phenomenal year for movies and with the Oscars right around the corner it’s for me to list out my predictions for the prestigious awards ceremony.
It’s still a mystery why the Oscars couldn’t just nominate 10 movies instead of 9 as there are more movies that are at least worth the nomination. However the list of nominees are still deserving of their nomination.
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester By The Sea
Moonlight is universally loved by everyone including critics and casual movie goers and upon winning the Golden Globe, it is currently the strongest contender to win the Oscar.
Actor in a Leading Role
Casey Affleck: Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield: Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling: La La Land
Viggo Mortensen: Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington: Fences
Prediction: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
With Denzel having won already 2 Oscars, it’s highly unlikely that they will give this to him. As for Andrew Garfield this is his first nomination and as much as I’d like him to win on his first nomination, I don’t think his role in Hacksaw Ridge is worthy for the award. It boils down to Viggo Mortensen, Casey Affleck and Ryan Gosling. And having seen Manchester by the Sea, it’s only right that Casey Affleck wins this award.
Winner: Casey Affleck
Actress in a Leading Role
Isabelle Huppert: Elle
Ruth Negga: Loving
Natalie Portman: Jackie
Emma Stone: La La Land
Meryl Streep: Florence Foster Jenkins
Prediction: Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Another great list of nominations though Amy Adams not getting a nomination from either Arrival or Nocturnal Animal is surprising. Meryl Streep getting another nomination every time she makes a film is starting to be Oscar meta. Happy with Isabelle Huppert getting a nomination for Elle but it boils down to Emma Stone and Natalie Portman and as for Ruth Negga, it’s her first nomination so it’s unlikely she’ll win.
Winner: Emma Stone
Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali: Moonlight
Jeff Bridges: Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges: Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel: Lion
Michael Shannon: Nocturnal Animals
Prediction: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
In quite possibly the toughest category they have this year, best actor in a supporting role is stacked with great performances. Quite disappointed that Aaron Taylor Johnson didn’t get a nomination for his role in Nocturnal Animals but the same can we said with other actors. As for the winner, Mahershala Ali got this Oscar in the bag.
Winner: Mahershala Ali
Actress in a Supporting Role
Viola Davis: Fences
Naomi Harris: Moonlight
Nicole Kidman: Lion
Octavia Spencer: Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams: Manchester by the Sea
Prediction: Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Another great list of nominees for this category, being really impressed with Naomi Harris’ in her performance in Moonlight, I’m rooting for her to win, however with Michelle Williams gaining her fourth nomination, it might be between the two.
Winner: Viola Davis
Animated Feature Film
Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Though quite disappointed that Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name isn’t nominated this is also good list, very happy with Kubo being nominated but Zootopia has this Oscar in the bag.
La La Land
Prediction: La La Land
Very happy with the nominations on this category as all films nominated are spectacular when it comes to the cinematography. However La La Land is one of the beautifully shot film of the year and therefore I have no doubt that it will win the Oscar for best cinematography.
Winner: La La Land
Dennis Villenueve: Arrival
Mel Gibson: Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle: La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan: Manchester By The Sea
Barry Jenkins: Moonlight
Prediction: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
This is a no-brainer, with the increased popularity of La La Land, and the incredible feat that Damien Chazelle pulled with La La Land. It would be surprising if he doesn’t win the Oscar.
Winner: Damien Chazelle
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women
Prediction:La La Land
Winner: Manchester by the Sea
And there you go, my prediction for this year’s Oscars, overall the nominations were great, with La La Land being nominated for 14 Oscars, it would be interesting to see which categories will it win. There are plenty of first time nominations, from Andrew Garfield, Dev Patel, Naomi Harris and Mahershala Ali. By the looks of it the Academy managed to suppress the controversy that surrounded them last year. That said, the Oscars should still be a fun watch, not a fan of Kimmel hosting but hey at least we got a great set of nominations.
The price for your glory is their suffering!
Silence is directed by Martin Scorsese it stars Andrew Garfiled, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson.
Silence tells the story of two Jesuit priests who travels to Japan to find their mentor, Liam Neeson. Unfortunately at a time where Christianity is frowned upon, the priests have to tread lightly in the country in order not to be caught by the inquisitor.
This movie is gorgeous, from the set location to the muted colours and costume design, the movie looks incredible, with a forty million budget the movie looks like it was filmed with at least a hundred million.
The performances are also great with very little flaw on the acting. Issei Ogata, steals the show as the inquisitor who was phenomenal in his role. Though credit is also given to both Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver who also gave great performances.
The story is the main driving point of the film with Scorsese directing, we know we’re gonna get something epic and that’s exactly what we have here. It’s an incredibly gloomy and depressing at times with very little respite from the heavy mood that the film is resonating. However the conflicting ideas is what keeps this movie interesting, the stubbornness of one man led by his fate versus a man who recognizes a move bent on colonialism. It makes a very interesting clash of wills.
The movie however has some flaws, one being it’s two hours and forty minute long. The long silent moments in the first act drags this movie out tremendously.
Another issue is the consistencies with it’s characters, mainly Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield who are meant to be Portuguese priest yet their accents disappears half way through the movie.
Overall Silence is a harrowing film about faith, colonialism and one person’s vanity. The movie is beautiful to look at and the cinematography is incredible, you wouldn’t expect nothing less with Martin Scorsese and with Silence he delivers.
Our main characters were also great especially with Andrew Garfield who’s giving it his all. The Japanese characters were given plenty of depth and aren’t treated as background characters but rather factors that plays into the story’s plot. Silence is a memorable movie, with strong performances and a story worth watching.
2016 have gone and passed and though it’s been a hit and miss for big budget blockbuster movies, no doubt the year has given us some of the most memorable movies to date.
Counting down is my personal top 10 movies of the year, this list is purely subjective and it’s not an official list of any sort.
10. The Witch
Coming at number 10 is The Witch, this haunting movie gave me the creeps when I watched it. From the gloomy look to the sound design to the characters it’s a very creepy movie and it’s one that puts shivers down your spine.
Coming in at number 9 is the Merc with the Mouth, Deadpool. Boy am I glad that this film did great. From the jokes to the characters this movie is incredibly funny and solidifies Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. It revitalized his career and without a doubt revitalized the property.
8. Kubo and The Two Strings
Number 8 is one I was really excited to watch and glad to say I really liked. Kubo and the Two Strings, the stop motion animation was jaw droppingly incredible. The voice acting was great as well as the mythology. Laika studios should be proud of this movie as it is one of the better animations to come out this year.
7. Star Wars: Rogue One
Number 7 is Rogue One A Star Wars Story, I appreciated this film with the tone it took. With darker tone and more serious characters this broke off from the original movies and gave it it’s own personality. The 3rd act of this movie was an intense edge of your seat moment and every Star Wars fan should check it out.
6. Dr. Strange
Number 6 is a superhero movie, Dr Strange. Much like Deadpool this is another origin story but an extremely effective one. The mind bending visuals gave me a unique viewing experience and not to mention that Benedict Cumberbatch depicted Dr Stephen Strange perfectly.
5. Nocturnal Animals
Nocturnal Animals comes in at number 5 and what a great movie this is. The story within a story format worked really well and it’s very tense. All four leads were great in their roles especially Aaron Taylor Johnson. This is an incredibly strong thriller and one that’s worth checking out.
4. The Wailing (Goksung)
Number 4 is a Korean horror movie, The Wailing. This movie is amazing, it’s got horror, drama and mix in a little bit of mystery and you got this gem. The mythology they used to craft such a gripping story is awesome. One of the better foreign movies this year and it’s definitely worth checking out.
3. La La Land
Number 3 is La La Land, directed by Damien Chazelle. La La Land is a musical that features Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. This movie is beautiful, from the music to the look to the dance numbers everything about this movie is near perfect. Definitely one of the best movies of the year.
2. Captain America: Civil War
Adapted from one of the most successful storylines in the comics, Civil War pits Captain America and Iron Man against each other as their different ideologies clash as well as their fists. This is a dream come true for fans who loved the Civil War series and to finally see it depicted in the big screen is incredible. The Russos did a masterful job in adapting the storyline and it makes me want to look forward to their next project.
1. Your Name (Kimi no na wa)
Coming in at number 1 and my personal favourite movie of the year is Your Name. Makoto Shinkai has done it again with his gut wrenching romance and story telling. The animation on this film is gorgeous, the music accompanies the film very well and our two leads are great. The body swapping story worked really well and was executed perfectly.
So there you go my top 10 films of 2016. There are other great movies that came out this year. Movies such as Arrival, Green Room, Zootopia, Moana and the list goes on but these 10 movies are my personal favourites. Let me know if you agree with me tell what are yours in the comment section below. Thank You for taking the time to read this and until next time!!
How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist? You hold onto the past, but jazz is about the future.
La La Land is a musical and the second film by Damien Chazelle it stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.
Emma Stone plays Mia a struggling actress in Hollywood and Ryan Gosling plays Sebastian a struggling pianist in Hollywood. They fall in love in the most romantic and gorgeous way.
Let me start off by saying that this movie is amazing, from the music to the dance sequences to the cinematography to the overall look. Damien Chazelle has outdone himself in an incredible way.
Both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were great and you can feel the chemistry between them. They are comfortable with each other from their duets to their dance sequences it worked really well on screen and both should be given credit with their performance.
The dance sequences are also amazing as they appear to be filmed in one take, soaking you in as a viewer and keeps your eyes glued to the screen, Damien Chazelle did an incredible job filming the dance numbers and deserves a major award nomination at the very least.
The film’s overall look is gorgeous, you can tell this is a love letter to the older musicals in the 60s. The colours are usually primary colours with deep saturation which makes it pop in the screen which makes every scene look like a painting. The film’s music is also a huge plus as we can tell that Damien Chazelle has a deep love for Jazz. Each song is memorable and lovely to listen to, it does make you appreciate the genre a bit more.
La La Land is easily one of the best movies of 2016 and for people who loves musicals, jazz and loves to dance this is for them. From the romance to the music to it’s characters, this movie rejuvenates the lost love for musicals. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were great and though you can tell they’re not singers, you can tell they had fun with this movie and it resonates to the audiences. La La Land is highly recommended for everyone.
With 2016 nearing it’s end, one could say that this year has been phenomenal with movies. Disney in particular has had a huge success with it’s properties. From the release of Finding Dora, Zootopia, The Jungle Book and Moana not to mention the huge success of the the Marvel movies and recently Star Wars Rogue One. It’s safe to assume that Disney dominated this year’s box office.
2017 in the other hand is looking promising with it’s releases. With possible box office draws like Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2, Kong: Skull Island not to mention intriguing releases such as the remake for Stephen King’s It, a Blade Runner sequel as well as the movie adaptation of The Dark Tower. Nonetheless 2017 should be a great year for cinema and cinema goers alike.
But without further ado, here is my top 10 list for movies I personally can’t wait to watch.
10. Thor: Ragnarok
Though a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Thor franchise hasn’t quite had the success of Iron Man and Captain America. However with the movie’s third installment, interest are peaked as this time he’s being joined by not one but two major MCU characters in the form of Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk and Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Strange.
However what really intrigued me about this movie is it’s director Taika Waititi. Taika is a film director from New Zealand and being from New Zealand myself I’m rooting for this movie to be exceptional. With a very satirical form of film making it will be interesting to see what he does with the property.
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
Cate Blanchett (Carol)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange)
Directed By: Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
Release Date: 3 November 2017
Everyone is familiar with the 1990s mini-series with the same title as well as the popular book. Well It is now being remade into a full-length movie and I for one am pretty excited for It. Having seen the mini-series I’m intrigued on how It will transition to a full-length film.
The mini-series of course was in two parts and it fleshed out the characters and really gave that epic feel to it. This movie will be directed by Andres Muschietti who did Mama which is another horror movie nonetheless we can only hope this movie will be something worth remembering in the future.
Bill Skarsgard (Allegiant)
Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things)
Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special)
Directed By: Andrés Muschietti (Mama)
Release Date: 8 September 2017
8. Justice League
Despite the disappointing turn out of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, what that movie did is sort of cement the foundations of the DC Cinematic Universe. Zack Snyder is directing again and a part of me is hoping that he has learned his lesson and actually give this a decent story and be a competent movie overall.
I have a feeling it won’t be as strong as the first avenger movie but I am rooting for it not to be a complete disaster. I am looking forward to this movie just for curiosity’s sake but if anything can redeem the the current state of the DC Cinematic Universe it would be Justice League.
Ben Affleck (Live By Night)
Ezra Miller (Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them)
Gal Gadot (Batman V Superman)
Directed By: Zack Snyder (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Release Date: 17 November 2017
Christoper Nolan’s next film following Interstellar is Dunkirk. Dunkirk is a WW2 movie and despite moving from the usual Science Fiction that Christopher Nolan usually does. It’ll be interesting to see what he does in a big budget war movie.
As usual expectations will be high coming in to this movie and I have no doubts that Dunkirk will give it’s audience a great cinematic experience.
Tom Hardy (The Revenant)
Cillian Murphy (Anthropoid)
Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
Directed By: Christopher Nolan (Interstellar)
Release Date: 21 July 2017
Coming from his amazing directorial debut Alex Garland’s new project is Annihilation. Based on the first book of The Southern Reach Trilogy Annihilation tells the story of four women who venture into a place where the laws of nature don’t apply. I’ve read the book this film is being based off on and I wasn’t too thrilled about it. However with Alex Garland adapting the screenplay I can’t wait to see what he does with this adaptation.
Alex Garland did an incredible job with Ex Machina, which I think was the best movie of 2015 and to see him tackle another Sci-Fi project is exciting. I’m looking forward to this movie and I am sure it will be just as good if not better than Ex Machina.
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
Oscar Isaacs (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Directed By: Alex Garland (Ex Machina)
Release Date: 2017
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
The third comicbook movie on this list is of course Spider-Man. Ever since we’ve learned that Spider-Man will be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe a whole new wave of excitement swept over fans all over the world. We’ve already seen him in Captain America: Civil War and everyone loved him.
Now that we know he’s going to have his own solo franchise under the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). This gives the property a much needed boost as now we know he can interact with the other heroes within the MCU. I personally can’t wait to see this movie and once again I’m sure it will be a great comicbook movie.
Tom Holland (Captain America: Civil War)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Robert Downey Jr (Captain America: Civil War)
Directed By: Jon Watts (Cop Car)
Release Date: 7 July 2017
4. Star Wars: Episode VIII
With the revitalized success that the Star Wars is getting we can only assume this well oiled machine will keep going. Following The Force Awakens is Episode VIII and it continues the story of Rey (Daisy Ridley) and the new character from episode VII.
I can only hope this won’t make the same mistake as The Force Awakens did which is being a carbon copy of A New Hope. But rather give the audience something new and exciting.
Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Adam Driver (Silence)
John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Directed By: Rian Johnson (Looper)
Release Date: 15 December 2017
3. The Dark Tower
Number 3 is a book adaptation and it is one a lot of people have been waiting for. This is of course the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. A lot of people have been wanting to see Roland Deschain’s story in the big screen and I’m personally very much excited about this project.
Idris Elba will be playing the main character and Matthew McConaughey will be playing the Man in Black and with those two attached to this project it gives that star power that can push this as a huge blockbuster movie.
Idris Elba (Star Trek: Beyond)
Matthew McConaughey (Gold)
Katheryn Winnick (Vikings)
Directed By: Nikolaj Arcel
Release Date: 28 July 2017
2. Beauty and the Beast
Growing up in the 90s I was a huge fan of the Disney Renaissance. With Disney having a successful track record of transforming it’s animated properties into live action. I can assume that Disney will do this property right and give it a great live action adaptation.
With an all star cast and two strong leads in the form of Emma Watson and Luke Evans. I can guarantee Beauty and the Beast will be a terrific movie, one that fans of the original can enjoy.
Emma Watson (Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Luke Evans (The Girl on the Train)
Dan Stevens (Night at Museum 3)
Directed By: Bill Condon(Mr. Holmes)
Release Date: 17 March 2017
Finally my most anticipated film is Logan. With Fox taking the same approach they did with Deadpool, making this movie Rated-R. There’s no better way to send off Hugh Jackman with his final role as Wolverine with Logan. With 16 Years in his belt as Wolverine, Hugh Jackman has expressed his interest to move away from the property.
Though as disheartening as it is to hear this, it is completely understandable and with his final role as Wolverine, no doubt Logan will be an emotional and satisfying send off. I personally can’t wait to see this movie and I’m sure it will be all sorts of amazing.
Hugh Jackman (Eddie the Eagle)
Patrick Stewart (Green Room)
Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies)
Directed By: James Mangold (The Wolverine)
Release Date: 3 March 2017
So there you go my top 10 most anticipated movies of 2016. Again this is just movies that I’m looking forward to. There are a lot of movies to look forward to in 2017. From Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2 to the next Fast and Furious movie as well as another Transformers movie and Kong: Skull Island. 2017 will be another great year for movies. These 10 are the one I’m looking forward to the most but feel free to comment what are yours. Merry Christmas and have a nice day.
We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). It stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, Forest Whitaker and more.
Rogue One is a straight Prequel to Star Wars: A New Hope which tells the story of a group of rebels who attempts to steal the plans for The Death Star.
With the huge success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Rogue One has huge footsteps to follow. Glad to say, Rogue One, not only managed to fill those footsteps but it also brought a refreshing way of story telling within the Star Wars movie universe.
With a much serious tone and a grittier look, Rogue One emphasizes on the ‘Wars’ in Star Wars. For this movie however, the dark and serious tone worked wonders. Your major characters are taken more seriously and whenever they are in peril you feel for them. Strip away the blasters, storm-troppers and the spaceships. This is a war movie to it’s core. People are afraid, desperate and anxious and this movie captures that perfectly. You see the empire as an intimidating and terrifying force (pun intended).
The movie has a great diverse international cast ranging from Riz Ahmed to Donnie Yen and Diego Luna all of which are good in the film. One character that stood out is K2-SO, voiced by Alan Tudyk. Unlike the C3POs, BB8s and R2D2s, K2-SO gave a whole new meaning to the sidekick robot, with a very nonchalant personality. This provides a much needed humour to alleviate the serious tone of the movie giving it a decent balance of the two.
Although the movie can be praised for having a diverse cast, unfortunately there’s not a lot of depth within the supporting characters. Apart from Felicity Jones and Diego Luna, most of your side characters are one-dimensional. The lack of camaraderie from the ragtag group of characters can be felt and you feel that there is no strong connection among them.
Another complaint is Forest Whitaker’s character, though as great of an actor as he is, he didn’t do too well in this movie and played a character in an over the top manner, from his accent to hi appearance, his character did not mesh well to the more down to earth characters in the movie.
Overall Star Wars: Rogue One is a great refreshing take on a Star Wars story. The serious and dark tone of the movie worked incredibly well and the characters are great. Though there are scenes filled with expositions and character speeches, each act had their own moments. Especially the third act of the movie which is extremely exciting as well as must see Darth Vader scene. Rogue One is easily one of the better Star Wars movies and it’s highly recommended.
There’s strange things going on all over the city. People behind this are not like you and me. There’s a hidden society, it goes back centuries.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a Harry Potter spin off. Directed by David Yates, starring Eddie Redmayne, Collin Farrell, Katherine Waterson and Dan Fogler.
Newt Scamander enters the city of New York with a briefcase filled with magical creatures, but when several creatures got loose, they are blamed for the attacks on the nomag (muggles). On the run from New York’s secret society of witch and wizardry, Newt is on the quest to prove his creatures’ innocence and to discover the sinister truth behind the attacks.
One of the highlights of this movie are it’s beasts and they are indeed fantastic. The creatures are fun to watch whenever they’re in the screen and for majority of the creatures they look great.
One character stood out from the cast and that is Dan Fogler, the nomag. He provides most of the humour which this movie definitely needed.
Unfortunately the movie suffers from a lot of problems as the expectations from the previous Harry Potter movies aren’t met in this spin-off. One major flaw of this film is it’s tone. The film struggles to decide whether it wants to be lighthearted or dark as the the movie switches scenes from one tone to another without warning.
Another flaw are it’s characters, apart from Kowalski (Dan Fogler) the rest of the characters are dull. Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) lacks the charm to make us root for his character and it doesn’t help that he portrayed the character with an odd mannerism that’s difficult to relate to. Ezra Miller felt wasted as he is reduced to a one dimensional role that difficult to care about.
Overall Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them doesn’t quite hit the magical stride that the Harry Potter movies had. The bipolar tone affected this movie in a negative way and it didn’t help that it’s main character is boring.
Though the creatures themselves are fascinating, it is not enough to enjoy the movie to it’s fullest. In a movie that’s meant to be about the beasts, the movie’s convoluted plot derailed the little enjoyments that the beasts brought to the screen.
The film has numerous easter eggs that refers to the previous movies and fans of the series will definitely identify them with glee, however for the casual audience this feels like your run of the mill blockbuster movie that’s all flash and no substance.
If you could see your whole life laid out in front of you, would you change things?
Arrival is directed by Denis Villeneuve, it stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.
Aliens have landed all over Earth and world renowned linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is called in to communicate with the aliens. But when paranoia settles in with the majority of the world’s population and leaders, Louise races against time to translate the alien’s language and discover their purpose on Earth before it’s too late.
Seeing as this movie is directed by Denis Villeneuve the cinematography easily stands out. The way this movie was filmed is incredible as the slow and methodical pace enthralls you from the get go. There are scenes which are breathtakingly tense and they are effective in building up suspense.
Amy Adams is also incredible in her role, from the way she is first introduced to the final moments of the movie, she was consistently great. The movie’s story telling complimented her acting well as the procedural start of the film puts us in her shoes and makes us relate to her early on. The supporting casts are also great, both Forest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner did a great job portraying their roles.
The pacing of the movie is quite slow, especially around the first act and this can take you out of the movie at least for the first fifteen minutes.
Overall Arrival is an incredibly well made film, from the cinematography to the acting to the story. The execution is perfect, the slow methodical pacing grabs you from the start and it fuels your curiosity to keep on watching. The movie is informative in certain ways as it’s expositions are interesting. To it’s core the movie is a study on human nature but it is structured to be not so overwhelming.
If you’re looking for a big budget sci-fi film with explosions this won’t be for you. However if you don’t mind a slow movie and one that makes you think, Arrival is highly recommended.
Stephen Strange, might I offer you some advice? Forget everything that you think you know.
Doctor Strange is the 13th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is directed by Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister) and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton.
Doctor Stephen Strange a brilliant yet arrogant neurosurgeon has everything a man could ever dream of. However after one horrific car accident he loses stability in his hands and desperate to work again he searched everywhere for a cure. His search led him to Kathmandu where he learned the ways of the Mystic Arts.
One of the major aspect that this movie promised are the visuals and boy did it deliver. This is one of the most visually impressive film this year and it’s safe to say the visuals are spellbinding (no pun intended… of course it was pun intended). Though we’ve seen similar effects in Inception. Doctor Strange did it in a grander scale and it’s fascinating, you never get tired of it and it keeps getting better as it went along. It’s a MC Esher painting brought to life.
Another great aspect of the film is Benedict Cumberbatch himself. Marvel has found their Doctor Strange and Benedict is Doctor Strange as much as Robert Downey Jr is Iron Man. It was perfect casting in Marvel’s part and Benedict delivered. The movie is surprisingly humorous, it knows that it’s a comic-book movie and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Unfortunately like most Marvel villains, the villain in this movie is as dull as the others. Mads Mikkelsen, as terrific as he is felt wasted in his role, having very little presence in the film. Another wasted actor is Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo. His one dimensional take on the character dragged this movie down a bit. He played the role a bit too serious with very little relatability, unfortunately didn’t work too well on the screen.
Overall Doctor Strange is a solid addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It truly is one of their unique properties the mind-bending visuals and a strong lead complimented the movie really well. The action-sequences were incredibly fun to watch but in the end it’s still an origin story and it follows the same beats of previous origin stories in the MCU. Nonetheless Doctor Strange is definitely worth checking out especially in 3D IMAX.
You know why everyone wants to be the king? Cause of the crown.
With the success of Daredevil and Jessica Jones on the Netflix platform, Marvel continues the momentum with Luke Cage. Delivering yet another exciting series that helps set-up Marvel’s Defenders on Netflix.
Following the events of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage (Mike Colter), seeks solace in Harlem, working for Pop’s Barbershop. With Wilson Fisk out of the picture, there’s a struggle for power within the city’s underworld. Caught in the middle is our titular character Luke Cage, who will stop at nothing to save his city.
Luke Cage started it’s season incredibly strong (no pun intended). Though we’ve seen him before in Jessica Jones, this time around, we are given more about his character, from his past to his present psyche and how he’s coping with his abilities. Mike Colter as Luke Cage is perfect as he delivers a performance which has the perfect combination of strength, smarts and charisma.
The supporting casts also take credit as far as the first-half of the series is concerned. Everyone has been impressive especially Mahershala Ali, who played Cornell Stokes or Cottonmouth. He played the character with believable bravado and to the series’ credit, it works. Alfre Woodard is also great as Mariah Dillard as she portrays a councilwoman who wants to make the city a better place, however with ties to the city’s underbelly, struggles to do so legally.
Another excellent aspect of the show is the music, Luke Cage is magnificently scored as it’s able to pull you back to the old 70s blaxploitation movies while being able to mix with present time music. It’s a balance that’s handled really well and compliments the show’s overall theme.
Unfortunately Luke Cage, stumbles on it’s second half as new characters are introduced and the series goes full superhero mode and loses the subtlety that grasped you on the beginning. The new villains are over the top with their presence and line delivery and it derails the show completely.
Overall Luke Cage is still a fun show to watch, it’s got a good mixture of a superhero genre and drama and at times it is charming. The use of blaxploitation theme is well handled having just enough to engage it’s audience without pandering too much. Majority of the characters in Luke Cage are fascinating, the show does a great job juggling the different story arcs, even if some are more interesting than the others.
Unfortunately the villains in the latter parts of the series didn’t work as well as Cottonmouth did but it did give Luke Cage a worthy physical adversary. The show does address the issue of cops shooting unarmed black men though it does it without feeling forced, it was a theme that’s handled really well and should be given notice to. Highly recommended for binging on Netflix.
What we lost in the fire, we found in the ashes.
Reuniting the trio of Antoine Fuqua, Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke since Training Day, Magnificent Seven also features an ensemble cast including Chris Pratt and Vincent D’Onofrio.
Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960’s movie with the same title which is also a remake of a Japanese film called Seven Samurai. Magnificent Seven tells the story of seven individuals who band together to save a town from a heinous bandit with an army.
One of the most crucial aspect a western movie should have is the look and feel of it. Glad to say Antoine Fuqua manages to create a western film that delivers in terms of look and feel. The set design for this movie is impressive, the costume design is spot on and and this feels like an old western flick.
Accompanied by amazing cinematography this movie is great to look at, it moves well in terms of pacing, and when the climax hits, it’s a fun action packed shoot-out that will make you bob and weave as bullets fly through the screen.
One of the stand out characters in the film is Chris Pratt, he’s the one character you can enjoy as his overflowing charm and humour outshines the rest of the cast.
Apart from Chris Pratt, the movie suffers from the lack of character development. The rest of our cast are mostly one-note characters. Even Denzel Washington falls into a cliched role displaying very little range. Our main antagonist is the biggest culprit of them all as he is inherently evil for absolutely no reason. Although he manages to make the audience hate him, overall he’s a cliched character with nothing to offer than be a bad guy.
Though the movie manages to keep a fun vibe all through out, the moment of vulnerability for our main characters isn’t really there despite the shoot out that’s happening on the screen. Though we’re supposed to care for our heroes lives, they are portrayed in a very super-human way, having perfect aim and dodging every bullet, you never really fear for their lives.
Overall Magnificent Seven is still a fun film, though it is filled with flaws and problems, it manages to entertain all through out. In a year filled with superhero movies, Antoine Fuqua still manages to deliver an action-packed western that’s worth checking out.
Kimi no na wa (Your Name) is the latest movie from acclaimed director Makoto Shinkai.
Kimi no na wa tells the story of Taki and Mitsuha, both live miles apart from each other but were able through connect through their dreams and together form a bond that transcends through time.
This is easily the best looking anime movie this year, the artwork in this movie is gorgeous. The details are outstanding at its a pure joy to look at. Once again Makoto Shinkai has out done himself and delivered an artistically unforgettable movie.
Along with the beautiful artwork the story is also incredible, though what starts as a cliched love story becomes something so much more around the movie’s second act. Accompanied by sci-fi and fantasy elements the story enthralls from start to finish. The characters are charming and funny, and though the movie is very strong with its romantic presence, the comedic parts also hit.
As mentioned the movie is very cliched in terms of its romantic aspects, also like similar to other Makoto Shinkai movies it starts quite slow, however if you’re a fan, it’s an issue not worth thinking of.
If you’re familiar with Makoto Shinkai’s work, you know what you’re getting into. That said, Kimi no na wa is without a doubt one of the best movies of the year, from the captivating romantic story to the hard hitting drama, this will no doubt pull the heartstrings of many. The movie is lovely to look at, the characters are great and the fantasy / sci-fi aspect of it is fascinating. This movie is a masterpiece and without a doubt the best anime movie of the year.
This job… we try to save as many people as we can. Sometimes that doesn’t mean everybody, but you don’t give up.
When Marvel’s Civil War came out in 2007 it easily became one of the most unforgettable story arcs involving almost all of the Marvel superheroes. On one side we have Captain America, Steve Rogers leading the anti-registration on the other we have Iron Man, Tony Stark leading the pro-registration. 9 years later Marvel, Kevin Feige and The Russo Brothers (Joe and Anthony) have adapted the story-line as a follow up to Captain America: Winter Soldier as well as Avengers: Age of Ultron. Did The Russo Brothers did a great job adapting the crossover event?
Following the events of Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, The Avengers faces a different dilemma as they are being asked by the United Nation to sign The Sokovia Accords, which would remove their status as a private organization but rather work under The United Nations. This of course brought conflict to the Avengers as Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) believes that the safest hands are still their own though Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) believes that they need to be controlled.
This is possibly Marvel’s best Movie yet, it has everything from drama, action and comedy. For a superhero movie it is near perfect. The characters are great and for a huge ensemble cast The Russos did a great job juggling these characters and giving them enough screen time to standout but not too much to lose focus on the movie.
From Chadwick Boseman as The Black Panther to Tom Holland as Spider-Man both new additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe were not only introduced well but they were also given enough time to stand out from the other superheroes and both actors were incredible. Though the movie was already packed with actors and actresses the addition of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang or Ant-Man also compliments the current cast and he was used extremely well delivering very funny lines and creative action sequences.
All characters were nothing short of amazing, everyone had great moments, great dialogues and as colorful and super as they are, the directors did a great job humanizing these characters and they did it in a way that it adds a great amount of realism to their story.
Apart from the great characters, the action sequences are also spectacular. The fight choreography is clean as it is hard hitting. The Russo brother’s did not miss a beat directing their action sequences. One scene that’s been getting quite the buzz is their so-called splash page event, which is a battle that happens in an empty airport. And this is where the movie kicks into full comic book territory as all the heroes go into full WWE battle royal mode as everyone fights everyone.
And kudos to the Russo Brothers as they shot this as clearly as possible, despite the chaos in the screen you can still see what is going on, you can see who’s fighting who and it is enjoyable as it is exciting. The airport battle scene is possibly the best action sequence in the history of superhero or comic book movies.
There’s very little to complain about the film, one of them is the villain. Though he’s motivation is compelling he was used mainly as a plot device in order to further the conflict and most of the time you forget that he’s in the movie.
Another issue is the movie is not fully independent as in order to completely understand the scope of events in the film, you might have to watch the previous Captain America movie as well as Avengers: Age Of Ultron. It’s not necessary but it does help clarify the events that the movie talks about.
As said before, this is possibly the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, easily one of the best movies to come out this year. The Russos did an exceptional job adapting the 2007 Marvel Comics story-line and though they didn’t follow through the source material, they did their best with what they have and they may have made a better version of said story-line.
The stakes are high and the consequences are severe, Captain America: Civil War pulls no punches as it delivers an emotionally stressful yet incredibly enjoyable film. In the end this is made by fans for the fans. As a movie on it’s own it’s still great but as a superhero movie it’s damn near perfect.
It’s Morphing Time!!
Power Rangers is the latest film adaptation of the 1990s popular TV Show
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, It’s directed by Dean Israelite and stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Rj Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G and also features Elizabeth Banks as Rita, Bill Hader as Alpha 5 and Bryan Cranston as Zordon.
When five teenagers stumble an alien spaceship due to an explosion at a mining facility, they soon find out that this is fate as they are chosen to be the Power Rangers and together they have to stop an ancient evil from destroying the planet.
One of the most pivotal aspects of the power ranger series is the five rangers themselves and in this movie we’re fortunate to have a likable bunch for our protagonists. They’re all given personalities and are also given good back stories, we see them grow from strangers to friends and though the dialogue between them is cheesy but it works.
Our veteran actors are also great Bryan Cranston as Zordon wasn’t as goofy as expected but rather a serious entity that contributes to the rangers’ growth. Elizabeth Banks as Rita is also decent giving the rangers a menacing villain to deal with.
The movie surprisingly has a lot of serious and dramatic moments especially in the first half and it makes you appreciate the direction that the movie takes, there’s also a decent amount of humour in it and as cheesy as they are, it’s for the movie’s benefit.
The movie has a large amount of flaws, one of which is the blatant commercial for a product. And though product placements are usually seen in movies, they managed to halt the movie and give a nice little commercial for a product and it becomes a recurring occurrence for the second half of the film.
Another issue is the CGI, as expected this would have a giant robot fighting a giant monster. Unfortunately the CGI on these effects aren’t great, and for the most part the designs looked lazy, especially on the giant monster.
Overall this was a surprisingly fun film, if you’re a fan of the initial series. This is not for everyone, it’s a film made for specifically the fans. That said, this is a competent movie with decent direction. Our five protagonists are likable and none of them are annoying and Bryan Cranston as Zordon is great.
However the blatant product placement and the bad CGI dragged this movie down a notch. And though it’s irredeemable at the end of the day it’s a Power Ranger movie and you’re bound to have Power Rangery sequences no matter how cheesy and goofy they are. If you’re a fan of the series there are plenty here to love than to hate, if you’re not, you might want to give this one a pass.
This planet doesn’t belong to us. Ancient species owned this earth long before mankind. I spent 30 years trying to prove the truth: monsters exist.
Kong: Skull Island is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts it stars an ensemble cast featuring Samuel Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John Goodman, John C Reily, Corey Hawkins and a whole lot more.
When a group of scientist managed to get the funding for a mapping expedition of an uncharted island, little do they know about the dangers that lurks in the area, one of which is considered the King of the island.
Let me start by saying that this movie looks beautiful, being set at the end of the Vietnam war, there’s plenty of scenes that’s very reminiscent of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, the saturated colours gives a vibrant look to the forests and muddy rivers that Skull Island has to offer.
Not only the setting looks great but our star Kong, also looks great. The CGI on Kong looks incredible, every bit of Kong is detailed and seamless and that should be given to this movie’s credit.
The main attraction of this movie however is Kong and his fights with the other creatures in the island. Every fight he’s in is exciting and though cliched it’s a lot of fun to watch especially on the big screen.
Unfortunately a huge chunk of this movie is very flawed and most of it comes from it’s human characters. Majority of your characters here are flat, with most of them there to deliver expositions or are creature food. Apart from John C. Reily and Samuel Jackson, there’s not much personality to the other characters.
The biggest flaw of this movie however, is it’s dialogue granted a movie titled Kong: Skull Island doesn’t have to have an Oscar winning script to be a good movie, but with the dialogue, majority of it is delivered in expositions or simply bad jokes.
Overall Kong: Skull Island is still highly entertaining, despite the cliched moments and flat characters, the main attraction of the film is Kong and it’s creature fights and on that front they deliver.
She’s like you… she’s very much like you.
Logan is directed by James Mangold (The Wolverine) and it stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen.
In the year 2029 majority of the mutants are dead, and with an ailing Professor X, Logan has to make ends meet to keep them hidden and away from society. However when a lady and a young girl approaches him, he uncovers the young girl’s secrets and faces the dangerous people that’s pursuing her.
This is very different from the past X-Men movies we have seen, that’s not necessarily a bad thing but in Logan it worked perfectly. The movie takes advantage of it’s R-rating giving us the long-time awaited violence The Wolverine has to offer but also gave us a much more humanistic element to this movie.
The movie is very grounded, there are no costumes no blockbuster set pieces but rather we have a very intimate story between Logan, Charles Xavier and Laura. One of the best things in the movie is the relationship between Charles and Logan. From watching all the X-Men movies we know what the characters have been through and you feel the gravity of their relationship.
This movie is very character driven and all characters were great, Dafne Keen (Laura) in particular doesn’t say a lot of dialogue however her body language and her facial expressions makes her character and she’s fascinating.
Majority of the time you get the feel of drama here and there with plenty of touching moments however the movie doesn’t shy away from it’s action set pieces. With this being Rated-R we get plenty of violent action sequences both coming from Logan and Laura and it’s glorious.
The only complaint, and it’s very minor, is how the third became cliched, and though the two-thirds of the movie barely reminds you that this is an X-Men film, the third act goes into X-Men territory and reminded you that this is still a part of the X-Men Universe.
Overall Logan is The Best X-Men story told in the big screen, after 17 years of portraying Logan and Professor X, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart gave it their all. Their portrayal in this movie is something we’ve never seen before compared to their previous X-Men movies. The R-Rating this got is utilized perfectly, the banter between Logan and Charles Xavier is humorous and at times touching. Dafne Keen is also great and definitely a star in the making.
With Logan you get a bit of everything, it’s hybrid mix of a road trip movie with some elements of a western and let’s not forget the superhero side of it. With Logan being the last portrayal of Hugh Jackman as Logan and Patrick Stewart as Professor X, it is a bittersweet ending to a legacy that will not be forgotten.
He’s done awful things to people and he’ll do awful things things to you.
Split is directed by M. Night Shyamalan and it stars James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy and Betty Buckley.
M. Night Shyamalan is back with another thriller Split, James McAvoy is a man diagnosed with 23 personalities, however upon abducting three teenage girls, the girls find that a 24th personality is emerging and it puts all three of them in grave danger.
M. Night has done it again, following his last movie, The Visit, Split is surprisingly decent. James McAvoy who portrays Kevin and his other personalities is great. He is doing the performance of his life and it’s working on his favour. The personalities, though not very distinct from one to another, they are still interesting to watch and you want to know each persona that lives within Kevin’s (James McAvoy) body.
The other characters are also great especially Anya Taylor-Joy, who despite their worrying situation manages to stay calm and think competently, though we are given a backstory as to why she is the way she is, she portrayed her character well and we root for her and her friends.
There’s very little to complain about the movie one of it is the personas themselves, as mentioned they are not very distinct from one to another, apart from when Hedwig occupies the body. Simply put the highlighted personalities aren’t as fleshed out as the movie makes it out to be.
Though this isn’t as much of a problem as the movie’s third act which the movie goes through a huge transformation in tone, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it does brake the movie’s rules, until they introduced the notorious Shyamalan twist. Though as forgivable as it is, it felt like a free pass to explain the occurrences in the third act.
Overall Split is another great Shyamalan movie, Split is a good follow up from his previous movie, The Visit, and Shyamalan should keep walking this route. Split is thoroughly entertaining with great acting and great cinematography. The twist itself will no doubt divide the audiences, some people will love it, some won’t and it’s a case of either you roll with it or you don’t. That said, Split will make you look forward to future Shyamalan projects as long as they’re not big budget blockbusters. Split is highly recommended.