WELCOME TO THE MINI MOVIE REVIEWS PAGE ( WARNING: SPOILERS )
I WATCH FILMS OCCASIONALLY, SO... ( MOST RECENT REVIEWS AT THE TOP )
John Wick: Chapter 2 8/10
You know a film is good when you're smiling nearly the whole way through. The way they managed to continue the story was quite clever without too much obvious retroactive continuity occurring, though it always smacks of lack of foresight when they have to shoe-horn in some extra back-story and characters in order to carry the story forward in a new direction; it's entirely forgiveable though in this instance. The cinematography, music and visuals were superb- vivid colour grading really made scenes pop which is another nice change to many films with heavily muted colours these days. Some moral-fags in the press complained about the gratuitous 'gun-porn' and how it supposedly encouraged or glorified gun violence, and all I can say to that is their logic is so flawed as to be utterly laughable; if gun violence or car chases in films ( or games ) truly encouraged people to copy such activities then we would be seeing utter bedlam in the streets world wide, as it is the tiny number of people who do attribute their behaviour to video games or cinema are typically insane to start with, so they point at anything & everything as an explanation or trigger for their behaviour in order to avoid accepting personal responsibility. People are smart enough to separate fantasy from reality, a fact sadly lost on moral crusaders in the press who were derided for their idiotic, naive views anyway.
I digress though, John Wick Chapter 2 was a worthy follow up to the original and the ending sets up what will surely be an even more incredible third film- well worth seeing and buying the film, or wait for a box set eventually.
A fitting end to Wolverines story, but... Let me state for the record that this was a great film, and indeed a fitting end to Hugh Jackmans run as the Wolverine ( and Patrick Stuart as Professor X too ), though it feels as though there should have been one or maybe even two more films between this and the previous ones. So much time has supposed to have passed yet the details of what has happened is just dropped as one-line of dialogue between characters, seems a pity yet perhaps we that's all we needed, hard to say. A few things I didn't really like were the excessive and hard to believe amounts of swearing that certain characters blurted out every 10 seconds; I love swearing in movies, I'm from the 80s, but Professor X dropping F-bombs? Seems very out of character, just having characters swear for the sake of it because they went for an adult rating. I also felt Stephen Merchants portrayal of Caliban was pretty weak- his accent was so out of place, and his line delivery had zero emotion, of any kind- it was like listening to a child reading a line form a school play, really did nothing for me next to the great acting of the rest of the cast really. Over all, great film though and well worth picking up/watching- it'd be nice if Jackman could do a cameo in a DeadPool film but I won't get my hopes up too much...
Rogue one: A Star Wars Story 7/10
I can understand why there were a lot of re-shoots, this really did feel like more of a war film with a very serious tone, but it was tempered with some lighter moments, and came together as a true Star wars film towards the end in terms of narrative and visuals. I can't say I was gripped the whole time watching the film, knowing how the film is gonna end before it even starts kinda makes it feel like it's just going through the motions for the sake of it- filler material isn't the kindest description but the studio did a decent job of constructing a film to fill the gap between episode 3 and 4. Character development was a little thin, though some effort was made- I wasn't terribly sad when they all started getting bumped off, K2-SOs death was probably the saddest, oddly enough- they all died heros though and that's the heart of the story. Might be worth adding to your film collection if you like the franchise enough, worth seeing at least for the fantastic visuals.
Digimon Adventure Tri: Loss 7/10
Finally, we start getting a few answers to questions that popped up in the first Tri film, then again, more new questions pop up and we are still no closer to finding out what happened to the 2nd series cast. There was some nice character development and relationship building between Digimon and their partners, but what should have been Sora and Pheonixmon's time to shine was disrupted by the unnecessary inclusion of other Mega digimon; Seraphimon was wasted here, he should have been saved until at least the next film, if not the last, same with Herculeskabuterimon just popping in for no real reason. Animation quality is still hit and miss- sometimes it looks really nice with the newstyle, but sometimes it looks like garbage when characters are in the background of the shot as such. The film ending on a cliff-hanger was kinda cool, I can't wait until the next one.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 7.5/10
I would say this is one of the more enjoyable Mission Impossible films- straight forward plot that's easy to follow along, but with enough little twists and turns to keep things interesting- may be a few too many really as certain sub-plots added nothing to the plot to help move it along. The stunts were well executed as per usual- Tom Cruise may be a nutter, but he is enjoyable to watch in movies. The biggest issue I found really was the daft missile sequence; any modern nuke carries multiple warheads that separate from the rocket miles above the ground to target multiple targets at once- this film portrayed the missile as having only one warhead and it did not separate from the rocket, kinda seemed a bit cheap and over simplified in order to avoid dealing with the reality of nuclear warfare. Still, I enjoyed it just fine and the few jokes here and there at Simon Pegg's expense were done well, some cool effects scattered around though some were a bit rough too- if you enjoy spy films and gadgets, then this will be right up your street.
I can honestly say this was probably one of the weakest Bond films ever made- weak main villain, painfully weak henchmen ( figuratively at any rate... ), and an evil scheme that was so transparent I'm surprised the 'good guys' didn't spot it from a mile away. Some of the main stunts and action scenes felt like carbon copies of stunts from the classic bond films- sliding down a mountain side, using a ski lift filled with civilians to escape, helicopter chase, all been there and done that type of scenes, and way too often at that. A few things that really struck me as being rather lame or bizarre were, firstly, the opening scene were Bond let the bad guy nearly escape by staring at him instead of just grabbing him, then the resulting ridiculous helicopter flying out of control routine. Secondly was Blofeld's big reveal ( sense made = none ), and his helicopter crash that resulted in the police cordoning off the scene instantly when in reality it would have taken 10-15 minutes for that to happen after the crash, not to mention the utterly, utterly moronic plot to torture Bond and wipe his memory of the girl he was with before killing him; this is such an awful trope that it was parodied in an Austin Powers Bond spoof movie, that's how stupid these kind of evil plots are. The only saving graces were some nice cinematography and the stunts were well executed with good practical effects, but that couldn't save this weak display of a film. I'm not surprised at all that Daniel Craig walked away from the franchise before his contract was up- the films were getting so bad it must have been painful to make them, regardless of the money. I'd avoid this turd of a film unless you really, really love formulaic and predictable spy movies.
I'm going to echo another review I saw shortly after this film hit the cinemas; it was so close to being a pretty decent film, but then it fell short in too many ways to ignore or make excuses for. Visually it was great, casting seemed just fine, general plot a little thin and ropey, but then, then there are the plot holes and plot points that just make no sense at all, and some pretty dodgey editing or cuts from one scene to the next, or one shot to the next ( having a huge gun battle... um, yeah, I guess we won that suddenly so lets just walk off I guess... ). There is also the elephant in the room to speak, which is Jared letos Joker- I really didn't see any point in the Joker even being in this film as he had precisely zilch interaction with the main cast besides one brief moment which also did nothing to advance or alter the path of the story. I feel sorry for Leto since it does seem he filmed way more material, but again I get the feeling the presence of his character would still have been pointless as it was a very minor sub-plot to the main action, ignoring his take on the character being far too... I dunno what- weird just doesn't describe it. The amount of work he put into 'becoming' the Joker just doesn't seem justified considering this was nothing but another comic book super hero/villain movie, not some Oscar-bait extravaganza. I also had an issue with how they dubbed the voice of the Enchantress, that really didn't work at all for me and took me right out of the film at some points, along with the idea of Dr Moone being the worst archaeologist in history and some characters being thrown in just so they can be killed off in 5 minutes, not to overlook how stupid and generic the evil plan of the main villain was ( ooh look, another giant sky beam ) and how easily she was defeated after such an effort to get to her, and her also easily defeated brother. It was just too meandering and stupid at some points and too generic and boring at others, with a good-guy boss lady who could have been saved without any help from the SuicideSquad, who really weren't needed for the fight with the secondary main villain if all it would have taken to defeat him was a bomb under his ass, and defeating the Enchantress just required another bomb and squishing her heart in a box. Film tried too hard and failed, even after re-writes; poor DC, they are really struggling against Marvel- seemingly relying on massive amounts of hype to make their films profitable before audiences realize they aren't all that worth watching...
StarTrek Beyond 4/10
So bad, so many plot holes- huge ones at that, not just little nit-picky ones. Justin Lin may well have directed this pile of shite, but you can feel the influence of JJ in his producing role, or whatever he did to contribute to this mess of a film. We all know StarTrek died a long time ago, but this 'film' had nothing, nothing at all to do with the values that StarTrek of old used to ooze- the morality, the self discovery, the emotional journey of the characters- nope, none of that was present in this piss-weak excuse for a generic sci-fi action film. The characters just go through the motions and you care not one bit about what happens to any of them ( much like Independence Day: Resurgence )- the villain of this film has such a weak case for his actions that it is laughable, not to mention how utterly stupid it is that he needed some ancient weapon to carry out his evil plan, when said weapon seemed as good as worthless compared to the weapons he already had. The giant snow-globe star base was a wonderful piece of design, but is beyond ( see what I did there? ) ridiculous- such a thing makes zero sense to be a Federation starbase design, being incredibly fragile ( looking ), and being far too large to have been 'new'- not to mention its location right next door to the mysterious nebula which is rather handy, nor to mention why on earth the Enterprise just so happens to visit it when it's supposed to be out in deep space exploring unexplored areas. That's just the tip of the iceberg though- it is no surprise at all that film didn't even make back its production cost, it is an awful mess of a film so riddled with issues that no one in their right mind would consider it a worthy of the StarTrek name, just fecking terrible. If you like mindless action, go for it, but if you like a plot that makes sense and character development, avoid it.
Inside Out 6.5/10
Not a bad effort from Pixar, though I didn't feel the same level of emotional distress as some weepy-eyed viewers seemed to have, due to certain plot points ( I'm just too jaded and calloused I guess ). An interesting concept though slightly oddly executed in places, what with BingBong just wondering around instead of being forgotten earlier, and sadness screwing things up for no good reason, and saving the day at other times when it made sense for her to. I really didn't feel all that sad when Bing-Bong 'died', he really didn't get a huge amount of screen time and only a rushed back story. I was also bewildered that an obvious method for returning the core memories wasn't used, two methods in fact- and the ultimate solution for getting back to Head Office was to sacrifice hundreds of imaginary boy friends and bounce on a trampoline- 'cos magical trampoline is OP as frack apparently, which felt incredibly cheap given all that Joy & Sadness had been through in their journey up until that point. I dunno, it was a fun film, but not really aimed at kids, but a bit too meh for adults too- not worth buying, but worth seeing, even if to just see if it's as good as so many people claimed it was- I didn't feel it was personally...
Digimon Adventure Tri: Confession 8/10
It was worth the wait. Starts off slow as the previous two films have, but then the feels start to kick in and things get very heavy and emotional ( poor Patamon... ). Then things kick into high gear and the action starts in earnest, and boy does it get hectic. Just like that though, the feels drop like a bomb again and kick into overdrive- back in the Digital World finally, and something isn't quite right it seems- then oh sh*t, it's Alphamon and Jessmon, and Ken! But it isn't Ken, it's... an evil Gennai? and Himekawa? Da fuq? Just like that though, it ends, and it's killing me to see what happens next- so many possibilities, I think my head will explode with anticipation...
Hardcore Henry 7/10
A very interesting film using the 1st person perspective, makes for a rather different viewing experience though it seems really only suited for action films where the action rarely lets up. That said, 90 minutes of 'shaky-cam' does take it's toll in certain places where it's just hard to see exactly what's happening without the benefit of other perspectives. Then again, if you like your first-person shooters ( video games ), then you should love this film- where the video style works, it works brilliantly. The story is rather confusing at first with little explanation for what is going on, but things gradually fall into place before a couple of big reveals that suddenly give background to the events so far- it's cleverly written if a little shallow on story really; this really is just a show case for the 1st person video style, the story is almost secondary at some points. Over all, I rather enjoyed it for what it was, and being only 90 minutes long doesn't get too tiresome, with some good plot twists and really gory kills and fights that are very entertaining. Worth seeing, maybe not worth getting the the DVD unless you can find it cheap- the budget for this film was tiny and it did well considering, I've seen far more expensive films made in a similar albeit conventional style that were far less entertaining.
The Hateful Eight 9/10
Tarantino does it again with another masterpiece in film making. Strong characters, engrossing plot, great dialogue- you actually care what happens and why ( to the characters ), rather than just not caring when someone gets blown away- everything happens for a reason and by the end you'll be grinning like an idiot at how brilliant the plot was. Very few gripes with this film, beyond questioning the real need to kill-off the inhabitants of Minnie's Haberdashery in order to stage the elaborate 'jail-break' as it were. Over all, a brilliant film that runs a little long in order to tell a great story- well worth seeing and adding to your collection.
This is one of those films I wish I'd seen when it came out- not quite what I was expecting, but really well done all the same. Special effects are quite good, sometimes excellent, sometimes a little rough looking- no worse than today's CGI when you consider this film is ~7 years old. Story is pretty original and compelling though by the end it does essentially turn into a pretty simple 'monster in the woods' kinda film which was a shame, otherwise the plot moves along at a good pace and you rarely get bored or wish it would get going again. There are some nice twists which I should have seen coming, and some I definitely saw coming- some eyebrow raising, some wtf no way, all entertaining. Definitely worth seeing if you like your sci-fi more realistic with a good story and some drama mixed in.
Independence Day: Resurgence 5/10
To put it bluntly, this film is pure garbage- it gets points for visual spectacle, but that's about it all it has going in its favour. The plot is B movie grade at best, borrowing far too much from the previous films in terms of dialogue- there are nods, and then there is just scatter gunning whole lines of dialogue through out the movie for no reason other than to try and recall the memories of how good the original was- this film fails miserably. There are far too many characters who get no introduction and hardly any screen time, and are killed off just as quickly as they appear in some kind of effort to evoke emotional response from the viewer, but you really just don't care at all when people die left, right and center who are friends or relations of the main characters- there is no emotional attachment at all. Some of the plot points are pure cheese and stink of lazy story telling, ret-conning the original in order to further or expand the story, and other plot points just make zero sense are pure rubbish; prime example being the salvage ship that has magic sonar that can measure to the inch how far the alien drill has penetrated the ocean floor, or the fact Dr Oken can just get out of bed and be fine despite being in a coma for 20 years that should have left him a shrivelled up skeleton with no muscle essentially. The introduction of a friendly alien species made perfect sense, though the god-awful shiny floating ball that informed the humans about an interstellar war just felt so tacky and an obvious attempt to set up a sequel in such a lame fashion; I can't imagine what the next film will look like, it'll be even more over the top and effects filled, leaving no room for a compelling story or a plot that is well thought out, two things this film desperately lacked. Only watch this film if you like totally dumb action films that make no sense and have lots of pew-pew effects.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows 6/10
Ugh, this was just as much of a mess as the last film I reviewed ( see below )- totally disjointed action scenes, terrible dialogue, plot pacing all over the place, and stupid or wasted characters that might as well have not been there for all the input they actually had. I did like how Krang was brought to the big screen, he was fun but not half as menacing as he should have been; Shredder on the other hand was menacing but got no real screen time or action. The ending was also stupid in that the Turtles were hidden form the public by the police, but then told they could lead normal lives and be accepted- made no sense at all. The bizarre shot of them on top of Lady Liberty whooping after getting their medals on the ground made no sense either- there was just so much cringe in this film it hurt to watch it at times. The trailers had all the good parts in as per usual, with the idea that the film would look fun not holding up for very long once you start watching- the fun parts are more stupid than fun. Worth seeing if you are a die-hard fan, or bored, but not worth getting the DVD or Blu-ray.
X-men: Apocolypse 6.5/10
Hmm. This was nothing like I expected really- for a film set in the 70s, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was set in the future, the set and character design is just completely anachronistic, especially when compared to the two proceeding X-men films that felt much more grounded in their time periods. The film hits the ground running at the start, and the pacing barely lets up the whole way through which makes the action fly by far too quickly, with the big action set-pieces blurring together far too much. It feels as though there is a big chunk of the film missing at the start as Apocalypse himself has no real introduction, he just 'is'- feels like he could have done with his own film as an introduction considering his importance as a big-bad in the X-men universe. Moving into the film, the new characters were introduced fairly well, though some of CGI is a little ropey- something I'm seeing quite often in modern films, feels like the money is going into sets and actors and CGI is being skimped on. I did enjoy Wolverine's cameo appearance though it was done rather oddly as a fan service- the trouble with rebooting timelines, twice, in a franchise is that established characters and their introductions end up getting muddled quite badly and just don't feel right. I did massively enjoy Quicksilvers main action scene, easily the best part of the film and I find it hard see how Apocalypse could match him for reaction speed- he never appropriated those abilities seemingly, just a convenient plot device to prevent him losing too easily or soon; the magical teleporting ability seemed a bit much too. Magneto's family and it's death felt a bit contrived really, another plot device to turn him bad again- Quick silver not wanting to reveal his relationship to him also made little sense. Overall the films design and pacing was just a bit too jarring to be believable and felt misjudged compared to the two previous films which didn't ask for too many leaps of faith in terms of suspension of disbelief; I can understand why reception of this entry into the franchise had very mixed reviews, it just doesn't sit right in my opinion, and many other peoples...
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice 6/10
It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but it was far from great. Opens with a needless flash-back/dream sequence, one of many that just sets a weird tone throughout the movie and almost makes it feel more like a moody drama rather than a superhero flick. The pacing is awful early on- pretty much nothing happens for the first hour before you get a bit of a car chase; Batman is now a reckless maniac and just straight up murders people- okay then. The 'versus' part of the film only lasts about five minutes and admittedly is pretty damn awesome, then we get into the main fight against Doomsday which is pretty cool but the inclusion of WonderWoman here is kinda odd as she has no real introduction as a warrior- the whole encrypted data part that teases other superheros felt really forced. Overall, I would say DC comics are so desperately playing catch-up to Marvel that they are vomiting out films in no particular order in the hopes of building their cinematic universe. They needed to introduce characters in their own films then bring them together, not the other way around- the DarkKnight trilogy was so excellent but is entirely separate to what is taking place now, and is trying too hard to be something it is't ( dark and moody melodrama instead of a gritty superhero movie ). Worth seeing, but don't go into it expecting anything too special and engaging.
Captain America: Civil War 8/10
This really was Avengers 2.5, but told from the perspective of the Cap rather than all the characters as such, and focusing more on Caps journey. I think they did a good job with the pacing and how much screen time each person got, and the reasons for the disagreements/sides chosen were certainly well crafted. What I didn't like was the overly convoluted revenge plot that was driving the story, nor the fact no one seemed too bothered about defending their actions, or pointing out that if they didn't act then things would have ended up far worse in most cases. I did get a kick out of the young Iron Man CGI, but in many other places the CGI was pretty poor and wonky looking. SpiderMan was a welcome addition to the team, though his introduction was far too rushed and half-baked- hopefully his next stand alone movie will tie things in/together better. Worth seeing for sure.
I grinned the whole way through this, so brilliant. The animation is incredible, best I have seen of any 3D animation so far with brilliant furr detail and what almost looks like motion capture in terms of character movement at times. Voice acting / actors were perfect for their characters pretty much, music was great with a solid theme tune. Plot was very well written and not one dimensional like a lot of films or animations, not too predictable at all either. Plenty of pop-culture references and jokes for parents, though this is such a good film that I dare say it's not just for kids, it's a great film for anyone to watch- screw the furry haters, they are missing out on this one.
I enjoyed this film so much. The gore isn't over the top, the foul language is used in moderation, and the humour is spot-on; there is very little to dislike or nitpick over. My only real complaint would be a bit of meh dialogue from Collossus, some iffy fire-cgi ( burning clothes ), and the final fight scene seeming too even between the main characters when DeadPool is clearly the stronger fighter ( one minute they are completely even, then suddenly it's totally one sided and the fight is over ). Overall, it's a brilliant and thoroughly funny film with a good plot, good special effects and great action.
StarWars Episode 7: The Force Awakens 8/10
Thank you Internet. I went into this film not really being sure what to expect apart from lots of good SFX and action sequences, and I was not disappointed to say the least. The general feel of the film was that of an updated version of A New Hope- same kinda story, same kinda characters, everything updated for a new generation. That said, it was all very well executed for the most part, apart from a few ropey bits of CGI, some clunky exposition and over-acting, and poorly judged use of iconic characters who deserved better reintroductions and/or more screen time. Overall I was very impressed with the film and think JJ Abrams did a far better job here than he did with Startrek ( bitter, much ).
Hansel & Grettel: Witch Hunters 7/10
Very much in the same vein as Van helsing & Red Ridinghood, modern and course language with silly OTT weapons, which actually makes the film very enjoyable. No Oscar winner, but great sfx and a fun story.
Digimon Tri: Determination 6/10
The feels have worn off sadly- from an 80 minute run time, there is only ~10-15 minutes of meaningful action. Seems Toei Animation have forgotten most of what made digimon great and tried too hard to make it into a grown up anime.
Pretty standard Jason Statham film, feels like John Wick ( even though it's an older film ) + Transporter + Crank + Man on Fire- if you liked any of those, you'll like this.
Suffers from the same issues as the first two films in the series- good for the most part but then terrible dialogue and pointless/needless scenes that add nothing and are cringe inducing.
Harbinger Down 6/10
Aims high but falls fairly flat in terms of acting, plot, script and effects that just don't live up to the legacy of 'The Thing'. I've seen far worse for higher budgets though.
The Martian 8/10
Borrows heavily from 'Mission to Mars' in many areas, but a great story and good science, good CGI & practical effects. Predictable plot points in several places let it down slightly.
An interesting mix of animation styles and story telling, my favourites being Second Renaissance part 1 & 2, and Beyond. Elsewhere, bizarre stories and overly stylized animation styles didn't do much for me.
DIGIMON TRI: REUNION 7/10
So many feels. Modern animation style is a little jarring at times, I miss the more cartoon-like qualities in terms of the battles and dialogue. Thin plot and lots of filler ruined the flow too.
Some brilliant CGI, good cast and witty dialogue, with a back story that adds depth rather than feels tacked on. Main battle with villain too short and late into the film maybe...
RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION 7/10
One of the better entries in the series, similar vibe to the original. Good fight scenes but poor cgi occasionally, along with some stale dialogue and delivery.
A brilliant display of acting, a clever plot that is very 'on point', but I think I'd have rather watched actual Birdman, this was less entertaining, more Broadway plodding on film...
Another Nolan masterpiece, fantastic visuals and gripping drama, even the high-brow bit's are still just a joy to watch. Airlock face-palm aside, the cheeky robots were awesome.
TERMINATOR GENISYS 7/10
Not as bad as I thought it would be, but too many unanswered questions intentionally setting up the sequel(s), and Matt Smith lolwtf.
JOHN WICK 8.5/10
Great cast, brilliant dialogue, plenty of action which isn't pure non-sense, never kill the dog!
FAST & FURIOUS 7 7/10
Very enjoyable bullsh*t, lolwtfbbq laws of physics and impossible minigun scene, RIP Paul Walker.
MAD MAX FURY ROAD 7/10
Slightly over rated, strange narration, failed to quite capture the spirit of the originals despite having same director, visually brilliant though & a good story regardless.
JURASSIC WORLD 8/10
Visually stunning, lots of nods to the original & tongue-in-cheek acknowledgements, slightly implausible dino fights, annoying kids, running in high-heels, logical fails everywhere.