Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

There are two types of beings in the universe: those who dance, and those who do not.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is the sequel of the hugely successful Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s directed by James Gunn, and it starts Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell with Bradley Cooper returning as Rocket, Vin Diesel as Baby Groot and Dave Bautista as Drax.

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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.


The Good

One of the highlights of the first movie was how funny it was, and good to say they haven’t missed a beat. Vol 2 is hilarious with everyone seems to have their own comedic moments. The jokes were a hit most of the time and it helps with the movie’s progression.

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Surprisingly there’s plenty of dramatic moments, especially around Peter’s backstory but overall almost everyone in the Guardians have a sad story to tell. One of the stand out characters is Yondu, Michael Rooker, which was just a side character in the first movie, but he’s got a bigger role in Vol 2 and he’s great.


The Bad

Unfortunately the movie is not as great as the first movie in which the first movie had more of a cohesive plot, it didn’t feel the same way with Guardians Vol 2. The plot is almost split into two, with the movie telling two separate stories and sad to say this didn’t work out quite well. There’s a feeling of disconnect between the two plots and though they connect at the end, the progression felt rushed.

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With the plot going more into detail about everyone’s backstory this took a toll on the action side of things, we do get the Star Wars-esque spaceship battles, unfortunately we don’t get a lot of action from the Guardians themselves and it’s disappointing.

Another issue is how overbearing the music is, a lot of people loved the music from the first movie and though they used the same 80s feel here, the movie gets out of it’s way to play a song every five minutes and sad to say it becomes distracting.


Rating

Overall Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the better sequels in the MCU, it’s better than Thor 2 and Iron Man 2, that being said, it’s not better than the first movie. It’s still very humorous and it still highlights the camaraderie between the Guardians and the chemistry between them is infectious. Kurt Russell is decent, but without a doubt Yondu stole the show.

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The lack of real plot however hindered this movie and with a poor execution the movie felt rushed. That said, it’s still very entertaining and and still a lot of fun.

Good Bad 3.8/5
  • Amazing Visuals
  • Yondu
  • Hilarious
  • Overbearing Music
  • Lack of Plot
  • Not Enough Action

Movie Review: Power Rangers

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.

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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.


The Good

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.

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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 Bad

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.

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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.


Rating

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.

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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.

Good Bad 3.5/5
  • The Power Rangers
  • Bryan Cranston as Zordon
  • Good Mix of Humour and Drama
  • Product Placement
  • Bad CGI

Movie Review: Kong Skull Island

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.

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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.


The Good

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.

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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.


The Bad

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.

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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.


Rating

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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.

Good Bad 3.5/5
  • Kong
  • Monster Fights
  • Flat Characters
  • Bad Dialogue

Movie Review: Logan

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.


The Good

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.

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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.

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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 Bad

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.


Rating

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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.

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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.

Good Bad 4.5/5
  • Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart & Dafne Keen
  • Grounded Story
  • Brutal Action Sequences
  • Cliched 3rd Act

Movie Review: Patriots Day

We got multiple explosions. We need help down here!

Patriots Day is directed by Peter Berg, it stars Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Michelle Monaghan and J.K. Simmons.

Patriots Day recalls the real life events of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15th 2013.


The Good

Peter Berg once again delivers a solid true story adaptation with Patriots Day. One of the most notable things about Peter Berg’s directing is the way the movie is filmed. It’s very high octane and he knows how to build up a scene with great anticipation.

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The movie is also well edited combining archive clips from the actual event from CCTVs to phone cameras. The movie flows very well and it helps build up the anticipation and also gives you multiple vantage points of when an event is about to occur.

The acting in this movie is great, everyone had great performances and gave very subtle approach which gives realism to the movie.


The Bad

One of the biggest flaws of the movie is it’s length, the movie is over two hours long and you feel the length of the film. This coincides with another flaw which is the story-telling.

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There are plenty of scenes that felt random and though it helps with character development, there’s no real pay off to most of them.


Rating

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Overall Patriots Day is a great action-thriller movie. If you’re familiar with Peter Berg’s work from Lone Survivor to another recent film, Deepwater Horizon, you know what you’re getting. From great action scenes to subtle performances with a dash of American patriotism. Patriots Day is worth checking out.

Good Bad 3.8/5
  • Great Performances
  • Great Cinematography
  • Long Running Time

Movie Review: Kubo and the Two Strings

Review May Contain Spoilers

If you must blink, do it now

Kubo and the Two Strings is a stop-motion animated movie produced by Laika (ParaNorman, Coraline)starring Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron.

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Hunted by his Grandfather his daughters, Kubo must find three items to protect him from The Moon King. Accompanied by a monkey and a samurai beetle Kubo goes into a life changing journey that deals with death and acceptance.


The Good

Like previous Laika projects, Kubo looks incredible. The stop-motion animation is amazing as usual and it’s easily the most visually impressive film they’ve produced. Along with the stunning visuals, the voice acting is also great. Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey were great in their roles and numerous times, they’re humorous.

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This movie lives up to it’s genre as this is also a great action adventure film. The action scenes are incredible and the movie has also a lot of heart and emotions in it. This is a very maturely written film and for an animation that is amazing.


The Bad

There’s not a lot of complaints about the movie other than the fact that it follows the same beats a quest story would have and it does make the movie monotonous at times.


Rating

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Overall Kubo and the Two Strings is easily one of the best animated film in 2016. The amount of work put into making the stop-motion is staggering and makes the film a lot more impressive than it already is. The story has heart the action sequences are thrilling and the characters are likable. The movie is a lot of fun in general and at times of emotions it’s effective. Highly recommended for all ages.

Good Bad 4.8/5
  • Stop-Motion Animation
  • Trio of Kubo, Monkey and Beetle
  • Great Mythology

Movie Review: Doctor Strange

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.

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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.


The Good

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.

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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.


The Bad

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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.


Rating

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Overall Doctor Strange is a solid addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It truly is one of their unique properties the┬ámind-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.

Good Bad 4.5/5
  • Incredible Visuals
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Strange
  • Unique Action Sequences
  • Uninteresting Villain
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo