Posts

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Review – Dun…Dun..DUNDUN…Dun

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation is the fifth installment in the Tom Cruise led MI franchise and this time round Ethan Hunt and his team are tracking down the mysterious bad guy organisation known as “The Syndicate”. Not to be confused with the mysterious bad guy organisation we will be seeing James Bond track down later this year in “Spectre”.

He actually did that…

Tom Cruise is as solid as he has ever been in this role and continues to push the “that’s ridiculous he can’t top that” stunts he loves to do. Last time he hung out the side of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, this time he tops this ridiculous feat in the first scene of the movie. There is also a motorbike chase and an underwater sequence that are both breathtakingly good.

His acting is not on the same level as his stunts, but it isn’t as movie which demands and oscar level dramatic performance. It requires a believable action star and he is exactly that.

Rogue Nation takes the team element of the previous films and expands on it. The addition of the relatively unknown Rebecca Ferguson as the British spy in the film is a genius move, and I look forward to seeing what she does next. She was a really good surprise in this film and held her own with Tom Cruise in her stunt scenes. Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames are all solid in their supporting roles, particularly Simon Pegg who has really grown into his role in this franchise.

At last!

The main problem I have had with the previous mission Impossible films has been the predictable plots and weak villains. MI3’S villain was arguably the strongest one, but that is largely down to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman who elevated the film.

The rather basic plot of “bad guy wants x that he shouldn’t have” is still a key part of this story. However, the introduction of the Syndicate, and the unerringly confident and menacing villain played by Sean Harris give this film a different feel this time and you actually felt he was the closest to being a match for Ethan Hunt.

Final Thoughts

Rogue Nation is a great example of a franchise evolving and taking the good parts of previous films and expanding on them. A polar opposite to the Transformers franchise which has fallen so far it is now a joke.

I loved MI: Ghost Protocol and was intrigued to see how this one matched up. It is over the top, action packed and doesn’t try too hard to explain its story. The good guys are heroic, the bad guys are creepy and the action is well shot and entertaining.

It’s no oscar winner, and people will pick holes in it I am sure, but it is the best parts of the Mission Impossible franchise I know and it delivers them in unashamed bucket loads. You’ll be humming the theme tune for days after.

7.5/10 – This summers popcorn munching action movie.

ChAzJS

Inside Out Review – No Minions In Sight

Inside Out is the latest movie from the best studio around, Pixar (in my opinion, but come on… name a really bad film they’ve done). I love almost all of their films, the only exception really being the Cars franchise. For me they don’t make movies for kids, they make movies for adults presented in a child friendly way.

Ba-Da-Bing

This is arguably their most ambitious film ever and takes us inside the head of a young girl called Riley, where her life and reaction to events is run by her 5 main emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger.

The main emotion we follow is joy who is voiced by Amy Poehler who was perfect for this role. She brings the character to life brilliantly and the supporting cast are all great, my personal favourite being Lewis Black as Anger. What that says about my personality we will leave to another day!

Ba-Da-Bong

There is a lot to love about this film. The animation is superb and Pixar are really taking things to new levels with the animation and I can’t wait to see the good dinosaur where the animation looks like it is even better than it has been before.

It is really hard to describe the movie without any spoilers as it is so unique. The story is meaningful and it uses the emotilns and memorys in a really clever way to build a visual representation of someone’s personality.

Final Thoughts

Whilst it’s very hard to describe this movie in detail without spoilers, which explains the average trailers, it is a great film that really has got something for everyone. Kids will love the characters, adults will enjoy the clever jokes for the adults, something Pixar have mastered over the years.

It isnt perfect, it is missing some of the magic that a film like toy story has, but it’s really hard to put your finger on anything the movie does badly except for not going into emotions like fear or Disgust, who are the least developed of the 5 main characters.

I am willing to say it is probably my 3rd favourite movie, behind Toy Story (I class them all as one movie) and Monsters Inc (which i loved as a kid). It’s definately worth seeing for any Pixar fans, and any family’s making the trip to the cinema this week will enjoy this movie a lot.

8/10 – Pixar deliver again!

San Diego Comic Con Trailer Round up and Reaction

It’s that time of year again when every one in the geek culture world turns their attention to San Diego and waits for the inevitable plethora of news and trailers. This year there was no Marvel Studio’s presence, which at first suggested there would be less news coming out of comic con but don’t worry there is plenty to talk about! I will round it up in this post and give a quick reaction to it. Any comments appreciated!

Batman V Superman Trailer

So the biggest thing to come out was an epic 3 and a half minute trailer that gave me goosebumps multiple times and got me completely sold on this take on the classic dark knight returns comic book story. I would love to know where the Ben Affleck haters are right now after the few clips we have seen. This trailer has been released properly by Warner Bros so it can be seen in all its HD glory on youtube, and if you havent seen it you simply have to! Batman looks more badass then he ever has and the glimpses of his past (there’s a Death in the Family easter egg with a past robins costume that made me giggle like a teenage girl at a Bieber concert..). This trailer is amazing and I love the way this film is looking. Bring on March 2016!!

Deadpool Trailer

The Merc with a Mouth is finally getting the movie he deserves judging by this trailer that you can find leaks of online. I wont post any leaked youtube links but you can find it easy enough. I’m sure the trailer will be released soon but at the time of posting this there wasn’t a decent quality one available any more!

The trailer itself starts out like a very standard trailer and then once the first real hard gag (a not so subtle dig at Ryan Reynold’s stint as Green Lantern) it is just laugh after action scene after laugh which is exactly what I want. The trailer really gave you the feeling that this is a Deadpool movie made by Deadpool fans and as one of my favourite characters in the comic book world I cannot wait for February next year

X-Men Apocalypse Teaser footage

Again there is no direct link for this but you can find it if you search for a dodgy copy. It was short, 16 seconds as far as I know but there may be more – the main part I have seen is Michael Fassbenders Magneto dropping an F-bomb asking Oscar Isaac’s magneto who he is to which Apocolypse responds with “Come and find out”. He looks insane – the most comic book-like costume I have seen for a while! It looks good – but short if that was the full reveal. Still – the film will likely be great! I sure have high hopes after First Class and Days of Future Past!

Suicide Squad Trailer

This trailer is also not fully out yet but same applies to the previous 2! I have seen it and I have to say the trailer felt a little standard until the end. The bulk of the trailer is a look at the suicide squad getting together and we got a little sense of the chemistry between them all. But then Jared Leto shows up and gives us the first taste of the Joker at the end to kick this trailer up a few levels. I have such a huge amount of respect for Leto’s work and to have such a talented actor as him playing this character has excited me from day one.

My favourite fictional character of them all is the Joker, and this incarnation – while very different, still feels like it has the core of the joker. Jack Nicholson played him as a mad but more calculated villain. Heath Ledger took him to his anarchic and unpredictable extreme. Jared Leto now looks to be portraying the most psychotic and terrifyingly evil take on the character which I am really looking forward to seeing.

Other news

There was also a trailer for the new Warcraft movie, as well as the first trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful 8, but I cannot find a watchable copy at this time. when I see them I will add them to this list! I heard good things about both so looks like everyone’s marketing departments are doing their jobs.

It’s always important to remember that these are just trailers and do not mean the films will be any good (See Star Wars Episode 1), but as far as trailers go, what a comic con!! Thanks for reading and I will be putting more reviews and news reactions up now!

Bye for now!

ChAzJS

Jurassic World Review – Disneyland with Dinosaurs

Jurassic World is the fourth film in this franchise that has been laying dormant for over a decade. This time around we see the park that we was always promised in the previous films but this time it’s been a success for a number of years. For me seeing the full park in action with all the attractions, with John Williams’ incredible theme playing, was enough to put a stupid cheesy grin on my face and will likely do the same for any fans of the previous films.

Rawr-some!

First off this films looks spectacular on the big screen, which I’m sure you know considering this movie is the fastest grossing movie at the box office ever so you’ve probably seen it. The dinosaurs, characters, and environments all look brilliant and the action is easy to follow (something the transformers movies should take notes on).

Chris Pratt is quickly becoming my new favourite actor (pronounced “Man Crush”) with this film showing a slightly more serious character but keeping that sense of fun and humour we saw in Parks and Recreation and Guardians of the Galaxy. He is backed up by Bryce Dallas Howard who I liked on the film – i haven’t seen much of her before but she delivered a strong performance for me. The kids in the movie are both as solid as you’d expect. I did feel that some of the other characters were a little unnecessary but more on that later.

The “Indominous Rex” that acts as the main big bad Dino in this one is probably the scariest dinosaur we’ve seen in this franchise so far, at least it is until you actually see it. I do feel like that is an area American/western world movies could learn a bit from the Japanese & Chinese movies. The monster is never as scary if you see them all the time and i felt the movie was doing that well for the first part of the film by not showing the dinosaur in full just glimpses of its strength. There are a few scenes in the film which really did wow me, which it takes a lot to do nowadays. I won’t spoil anything but the “tracking beacon” scene was awesome!

“Just the parts they didn’t like”

The supporting roles played by Irrfan Kahn and Vincent D’Onofrio are both performed well enough but both, particularly D’Onofrio’s military stereo type, felt a little unnecessary given there was already plenty happening. D’Onofrio’s characters desire to weaponise dinosaurs is unbelievable (I realise we are talking about a dinosaur theme park.. but you’ll see what I mean) and did make me think “Seriously.. they’re going to go there?”.

Irrfan Khan plays the parks owner, which at first was fine but the things he does towards the end were not really giving anything and the running helicopter joke just didn’t work for me.My only complaint about the dinos was the overuse of the classic “dinosaur snout slowly entering shot and sniffing next to the character” which felt like it happened 4-5 times.

Final Thoughts

My experience with Jurassic World was pretty much exactly what I expected from it – that being really good fun with big dinosaurs eating people and Chris Pratt being all Chris Prattish. I got exactly that. If you like Jurassic park 1 or 2 you will have a good time with this return to form for the franchise. Here’s hoping they can keep it up.

8/10 – There’s Dinosaurs…Just go see it. 

Mad Max Fury Road – What a Lovely Day!

In this day and age wowing an audience with action scenes is incredibly difficult. Mad Max Fury Road manages to do this multiple times throughout in what is essentially a 90 minute action sequence glued together by some interesting characters and a story that has more heart than you’d expect!

Fast and Furiosa

The main character in this film is not Tom Hardy’s Max, but is Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa. She is an all round badass who can kick-ass as well as Max and the movie very much follows her characters arc. Her performance is fantastic and is backed up very well by Hardy’s Max whose character is more caught up in the middle of Furiosa’s story than anything else.

Another surprise in the movie is Nicholas Hoult’s Nux who is one of the main villains (Immortan Joe played by Hugh Keays-Byrne) minions. His character probably has the biggest journey from being a crazed minion to where he is at the end of the film. It’s a side I did not see to Nicholas Hoult from my other exposure to him as beast in the X-men movies, but its great to see an actor go to such an extreme.

Great Balls of Fire!

The action in this film is absolutely incredible. George Miller’s mix of practical effects and CGI is fantastic in this movie and really delivers a refreshing take on action. The core of the movie is made up of a chase through a desert wasteland which allows for some fantastic shots everything from the big set pieces to the close up hand to hand fighting is shot brilliantly.

There is a lot of action and could scare off some viewers, as might the insane and crazy style of the world. I personally love the style of the film and its refreshing for a movie to be this bold in choosing a style like this. For any gamers out there I would not be surprised to hear that the Borderlands series is influenced quite heavily by the Mad Max series as the feel and aesthetic are very similar.

Intimidating Joe

Only one thing i have to say that i felt could have been better in this film and that’s the main villain Immorton Joe. He looks fantastic and intimidating but he is not really developed at all. I feel the movie’s breakneck pacing and trying to keep it to around the 2 hours mark is probably the reason for the lack of development with the villain. We do get enough time with the main characters Max, Furiosa and Nux so i am really nitpicking here!

Verdict

I was incredibly impressed with this film and i would recommend it to the majority of movie goers and in particular action fans. If you’re not into action films or you haven’t been excited by the trailers for the film then it probably isn’t for you, but id give it a chance to change your mind

Mad Max Fury Road is a reminder of how awesome action movies can be!

9/10 – Get your tickets asap!

ChAzJS

Mortal Kombat X Review

First Impressions

Mortal Kombat has always been a bit like salad for me, something that seemed like a good idea, but I never took part in it. This year i decided to change that and give the game a try, and see if I could actually perform any of the moves in the trailers.

MKX is a very easy to pick up and play but incredibly hard to master game, which is a lot like the studio’s DC meets MK mashup game, Injustice: Gods Among Us. The fighting rewards you learning the actual moves and button bashing isn’t rewarded as readily as it is in some other games.

Gameplay

The core gameplay is really solid, and every character feels different which I was quite surprised by. There are some characters that immediately feel a little more powerful than others and sure enough in the online matches you will find yourself fighting a lot of Scorpion and Raiden, and in my case a lot of Cassie Cage, possibly just for the Nutcracker X-ray move.

Speaking of the X-ray moves, they are very easy to activate and once you learn where your opponent has to be you can hit them the majority of the time. One of my gripes with Injustice is that it was relatively easy to block most of the characters special moves, but that’s not present here.

Fatalities can be done using “Easy Fatality” short-cuts that you can buy (at a rather high £3 for 5, or 30 for a bit more money) to save you having to learn your characters complicated button combination. It does make you feel great when you pull of a proper fatality, but (possibly due to my own lack of talent) I found a lot of times fights would end with a disappointing fall to the floor from my opponent.

Presentation

MKX is a step up from previous version’s of the game even if they aren’t as amazing as some of the games we’ve seen on the new generation of consoles. The character will get covered in blood, and the cut scenes are well put together and give the games story mode a more cinematic feel. The Fatalities are gloriously gory, and the special X-ray moves look spectacular.

Overall the game looks fantastic, and I didn’t witness any glitches or pop in textures while playing. I was playing on Xbox One, and I hear the PS4 version is up to scratch as well. The PC version had some problems on launch but that has been patched since.

Content

This game offers a hell of a lot for your money, even if the story mode is a little short (took me around 4 hours, and i am not great at these games). Single fights which you can change variables on and give random boosts in, Tower modes, and the Krypt will soak up a few extra hours and then you can head online and test yourself against other players. I didn’t have many connection issues getting online, and private matches are easily set up to beat the hell out of your friends.

There’s a solid cast of characters to choose from, and each character has 3 fighting styles which each change a little about how they will fight. so in essence there’s over 70 variations of characters an styles to choose from.

I was a bit baffled by the strange decision to charge money for players to play as Goro when he is already included on the disc, and grayed out until you pay for him. There is a lot more downloadable content coming, with Predator and Jason Voorhees peaking my interest, but I’m not sure I will still be playing MKX by the time the DLC is released.

Finish Him

If you like fighting games, this is another entry in a series that fans will be happy with. If you’re more like me and are a novice to these types of games, the story might seem a little confusing, with a lot of what i assume are references to previous games.

Going in I was expecting a solid fighting game that will entertain me for a few hours, and that’s exactly what I got. It’s not revolutionary by any stretch of the imagination, but it doesn’t have to be.

I know what you’re thinking, and no, I haven’t started eating salad yet.

Verdict – Buy it when it drops in price

7.8/10

ChAzJS

Daredevil (Netflix) Review – Better Than Affleck?

Daredevil has always seemed like such a cool idea to me. This blind guy who used his enhanced other senses and ninja like fighting skills to fight crime in the streets he’d lived in most of his life. It was a little more grounded than other comic book characters in the marvel world, there was no real superpowers just a heightened set of senses due to the loss of his sight.

I am sure you remember that awful movie that Ben Affleck played the lead in way back in 2003. I was 10 years old at the time and thought it was amazing. I also saw Star Wars Episode 2 twice at the cinema the year before, so there’s a little insight to my taste in film back then.

This new Netflix Series has brought this character back to the mainstream world, and put the Man without Fear back into the spotlight. This is a show that takes everything the film did wrong 12 years ago, and shows it how this character should have been treated. This is a gritty yet fun, hard-hitting and very entertaining first series of what i hope will be many more of the same quality. It’s not without its flaws, but its flaws are outweighed so heavily by the good in this situation.

Man Without Fear

There is a lot of good in this show, and for me the top of this is the characters themselves. Charlie Cox is brilliant as Matt Murdoch (sounds odd, but he is great at acting like a blind man). The supporting cast of good guys, his best friend & business partner Foggy Nelson and their assistant Karen Page are both great and Karen in particular has her own arc which has some shocking moments. Claire Temple (Night Nurse) is also well used and plays a key role in the early part of the first season.

Enough about the good guys, Daredevil’s real strength is in its main villain. Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk is a fantastic character and his arc in the series (without any spoilers) show all sides of him, from a nervous socially uncomfortable man trying to woo a woman, to a harsh and terrifying monster that will stop at nothing to fix his city. They say the best villains are the ones who think they’re the good guys, and through the course of Daredevil you understand what his motivations are and why he does the things he does. Him, and his right hand man Wesley are a great foe for the Man Without Fear to face in his first season as he and you struggle to comprehend how he can stop Fisk without crossing the line and murdering him.

Daredevil delivers the action in a very visceral and real way. There is a fight scene in episode 2 of the show which is a real wow factor moment for me, and you will know when you get to that scene. He gets hurt a lot and the bruises and scars do not disappear between episodes. A particularly bad wound has a last effect on him through the rest of the series and its little touches like that make Daredevil feel a little bit more special.

There are of course some flaws in the show, a particular gripe for me was the stormtrooper-esque accuracy of everyone with a gun in the program. Often a fully automatic fun in a closed space will somehow miss everyone. I also felt that the series lost some momentum after a point. The story builds up to a crescendo and then kind of has a few episodes of what feels like an epilogue before a final explosive episode to see out the series.

Verdict

Overall this first series of Daredevil has taken me completely by surprise. Its a very well made, grittier look at the marvel universe and one which bodes well for the Defenders, AKA Jessica Jones and Luke Cage series we have to come. if you find yourself with a spare weekend to burn through, give daredevil a try.

9.0/10

ChAzJS