Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Film Review

I am one with force, the force is with me.

I would argue there are only a few things you’d never expect many Star wars fan to say. Chief among them being “The prequels were good”.  Well this was one hell of a amazing prequel.

Writers: Chris WeitzTony GilroyJohn Knoll & Gary Whitta (story). Director: Gareth Edwards. Runtime: 2h 13min.

I’m a firm believer in not seeing trailers for films I REALLY want to see. I’m glad I did that here. Everything about this film was great from start to finish. It’s easy to make comparisons to the format of this film. It does follow a format of the “Hero’s Journey”. It also could be argued that there’s some level of it being political. Though I feel the later stems from our own fears of each other rather than having real merit to the claim. But that feeling of it being one remains. With all that said I still loved everything about this film. I loved that it had all these different ways of receiving the motion picture. I think as far as films go this year, that are in the nerd/geek culture, it was the best of the year. I loved that we got to finally see a world were most if not all the hope was gone, where everyone felt like this could very well be the last day alive and in many ways, it was. People are willing to do almost anything to stop a tyrant. Throughout a bulk of the film the feeling of any optimism is lost. Nothing about the first half of the film feels hopeful. Which is fitting since the sequel to Rogue is called A New Hope. The highlight to this film is Vader.

1473794135431.jpeg

Vader is who he is. But if you’re strictly a fan of the “Original Saga”(OS)  then this was the film you have always wanted to see. In the OS, Vader was badass, but he never fought like one. Just kinda did stiff fencing moves. He was a Villain of the times and technology. But that’s also part of his charm in those films. I do think its safe to say that this movie got the one thing every Star Wars fan hoped for, right. A Vader worthy of his name’s reputation of why he is, and will always be, the greatest villain of all time. When He came on screen the 8 year old me was overjoyed. Every. Single. Time!

There is a lot of conceptual material for these Star Wars films generate that don’t get used as part of the overall narrative. Sometimes they show up in later mediums like shows, novels or comics. This film builds on that truth. SPOILER. That unnamed planet is indeed Mustafar. There’s a lot that film makers can build upon from what I’ve seen and read. However, that is for another day.

This film is refreshing for every aspect of what makes up a movie. They took our modern day look of tech and mixed it well with that old desperate look of the OS. The film achieved a happy cohesion between the actual Prequel Saga and the OS. Shout out to the production coordinator.

 

The few issues I have with this film were the timeline of events. For Instance the two trouble makers in A New Hope show up on an ill fated planet. Though this was annoying I did appreciate it as a fan. but as a critic and film buff it really just through me off. Additionally, I wanted more Vader. But what good thing hasn’t been the victim of someones greed?
I feel as though everyone was well casted minus Forrest W. He is a fine actor, but I feel like his contribution to the story was rather pointless. like that weird squid thing that he used on the rogue pilot… only to have him have NO effects of it later felt like a giant waste of about 30 mins. Definitely the most under developed in the film. I feel since he’s in both the rebels and Clone war cartoons, they used him hoping people knew about him. but I feel like that was a mistake on their part.

NEHhFyf078gLKI_1_1-1.jpg

With the recent passing of Carrie Fisher, the final 20 mins of the film felt like such a great way to send her off as. In no way was it meant to be that way, but it felt nice knowing and seeing her in the manner we do in the end. Her face brought this feeling of hope that she will forever be known for in this series.

Leia has to be the strongest of all the Skywalkers.When you think about all she’s had to endure and how she’s remained so full of hope, its hard to not picture her as the strongest considering everyone including her kid has lost their way to some extent at least once… chief example of this being her Father, Anakin.

Bottom line:
To see this movie is love it. It’s dark, its fun, and K-2SO is by far the best droid since R2-D2. if ever you wanted to see the other side of Star Wars out side of the Skywalker Saga, wanted to see the most bad ass Vader scene of all time. Wanted to feel the desolate feeling that part of the galaxy experienced during the Empires reign, Then look no further. It will surely leave you feeling hopeful at the end like you don’t already know how this ends.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 10 out of 10,
  • Audio: 9 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? DEFINITELY see it in theatres… Then at home. No need for Imax. It is better on a bigger screen.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

 

Dr. Strange:Film Review

Dr. Strange.
It’s officially the best time to be a comic book, movie loving, nerd. Of all the secondary, second tier, silver/bronze age heroes from comics… we got the best of the mystical controlling characters of the said mediums on the silver screen.

Director:Scott Derrickson, Writers:Scott DerricksonJon SpaihtsC. Robert Cargill, The cast Run Time:1h55m

Dr. Steven strange was reportedly created to reach the mass few who delved into the psychedelic, paranormal mind altering activities or the few who got there from vice favoured substances. Over the years he’s had books launch and cancelled and has even switched roles for a time. He even served as an ‘Avenger’ as recent as B.M.Bendis’ run on the aforementioned comic title.

Whatever your reason for liking Dr. Strange as a character, he has always been more of a lurking in the background character. Which works to his benefit as seen in this film.

Director Dickerson, Cumberbatch and Co, treated him and his story in what felt like two halves. It felt as dark and gritty as the Netflix stuff with his origin/ first 40 or so minutes and then more like the Marvel films, dubbed MCU, has been known to have.

This may or may not be a spoiler but I thought it very interesting how on the surface they kept everything, namely his injured hands, in the foreground. I thought they would’ve had that healed up by the half mark. But for the dramatic effect of his character it was one of his core challenges. (Side note: has Cumberbatch always had a lisp?) Cumberbatch did a great job from being a dude with his head up his ass to learning some humility. Its reminiscent of the first Iron Man & Thor film. Though as fun as the jokes were. I just feel it could have done with less but that’s just my strict personal opinion. After seeing the trailer above you’d think there would’ve been a darker tone to entire film. For me it takes me out of the dire need to save the day if you’re constantly laughing.  In no way is it a comedy, but there’s just a few too many on the nose jokes for My liking. Let serious moments be sometimes.

I think its cool how even though he could have ended up like Johnathan Prangborn in the film, he was so amazed by this new world, that he gave up the life style he had in NYC to become something more.

Chiwetel, I feel, out acted Cumberbatch and arguably everyone else. But not  in a better or for worse way; Just in more sincerity to convince me/the audience on his take of his character, MordoMads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius was very under developed though. He has his moment of explaining his plan to Strange, and he begins to cry, and for the life of me I couldn’t fathom why. I get his mind has been opened, but I did not care. the best core acting scene was between McAdams and Cumberbatch in the “I don’t need your pity scene”. Additionally I felt like Christine was poorly developed as well. I think this movie could have used an extra 30 minutes.

A shame the film was shot in the manner it was as they opted for a more thrilling ride than arguably stronger shots. I think they should have pushed for some pop shots and to tease us with some other parallel known universe, from the comics, when he was traversing time and space.

His transformation from pretty boy doctor, to desperate man, to sorcery supreme was very well crafted by the hair makeup and wardrobe/costume departments. Every characters look in the film felt authentic and probable for the universe and the individual franchise. The amount of colour that came from each frame of film, especially during the astral planes of existence. It’s arguably 2nd for all time colour film of the mcu*. The production value for what we got was pretty great. Only wished less green screen was used for more of the films simpler things.

dr-strange.jpg

Bottom line:
It’s a good film but the character development was missing either in the edit suite or the actual script. There could have been some great moments but I feel as though the powers behind these films are pulling too much of the strings to give us great films. I’m happy they made this movie as it helps pave the way for more riskier characters to be given the light of day. I just hope the next one gives characters like Mordo, Wong & Christine more to do.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 7.3 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 7.5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 5 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? fun in Imax especially with the Dormammu stuff. it will be a worthy add to any collection of the MCU once its hit home viewing.

*(Avengers for 1 and a tie for 2nd between GotG and Dr. Strange for most colourful)

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Film Review

“That Garbage will do.” – Rey.


Writer: Michael ArndtLawrence KasdanJ.J. Abrams, Cast  Run time: 135mins

Note: there’s gonna be spoilers. It’s a review.

Star_Wars_Episode_VII_The_Force_Awakens

After some 32 years. The intergalactic space adventure has coe back to cinema. Well really like 10 years since the revenge of the Sith. I will say it has its flaws. But it also has its strengths.

J.J. Abrams likes mysteries almost everything he’s ever been attached too is surrounded around a mystery box theme. The story seems very much centred around the question what happened. That could even be a play on the words a “long, long time ago.” When return of the jedi ends it seemed like peace and balance was was restored to the galaxy. As this film goes on. It clearly hasn’t been restored.  Or if it was… a great many tragedies have happened to upset that renewed balance. As great as this mystery box is, it does hurt the film overall. It’s simply lacking something. An element. I would point out a fair bit of explaining of what happened for 32 earth years was missing but that could be intended. A great musical score. One thing compser, John Williams got right for the majority of the prequel saga. Or even a real climatic cinematic lightsaber fight. Episode three is the best of the entire franchise for that (and arguably my favourite of the episodes). This movie felt like more of a part than a full story. That could be a marketing ploy to now encourage fans to try new mediums/media for the space opera.

Kylo Ren. He is everything Anakin Skywalker was supposed to be in the prequel saga. I kind of want them to to remake episode three with Adam as Anakin. Right from the start he seemed menacing. No one can replace Vader. But you know us nerds. We always want more… wait that’s just society at large. Ren seemed tormented by something and that is something I rather enjoyed. I hope his back story is fully fleshed out. I am curious to see just how his respective parent(s) decided to part ways as the remaining episodes come out. I’m sure it will considering just how the film ends. Some people are complaining about his voice. I’m not one of those people I loved it. I thought the actors limited facial expressions came across very well. There’s a moment him and another character using the force against eachother and I was just amazed how well they both acted in that scene. I loved just how much he contrasted vader. Even Ren’s final scene(s) in the film were a contrasting similarity to Anakin’s story arc (or just the story arc of episode III).

Finn was the one new comer I was most intrigued by. His character just seems innocent. Sadly if I was to say he reminded me of anyone, it was of Jar-Jar Binks. Before you bash me. Remind yourself Jar Jar was a ploy to get a new generation of kids into the franchise (it worked). Then remember how stupidly innocent Jar-jar was. And now tell me, once you see it. You don’t see the “same” stupid innocence in him (obviously no one is Jar-Jar Binks stupid). If I had to push it forward, John Boyega played him as a good samaritan, after the fact. I’m more than positive there is a reason he “awoke” to the evil around him on that fateful day in the manner he did, during that scene, more than its described in the film. He also seemed like an amalgamation of characters in respect to the original trilogy (as did Poe Damoren. Just not sure if that was a writing, acting or something intended. We won’t know until episode 8 or 9.

Rey. She’s probably the strongest female to be in live action star wars lore. Not just by physical activity, but the how she deals with a lot of characters. There is a significant number of contrasts & similarities between her character (which is still clouded in mystery), and the origins of both Luke and Anakin. that may very well be a hint, but its still anyone’s guess as to who is the parent or relative. What I loved about her was her acting. theres a scene where she’s captured and she uses her face to convey the forward momentum needed for that scene. it was great. I can’t wait to see what she does in the future episodes.

Visually this movie was one of the best shot film I’ve seen. That said, it’s not perfect. There are a lot of times there is noticeable camera changes. Its in the quality output. Some shots were over exposed, some, to me, looked pixelated. personal favourites are that destroyer scene which is on the trailer above and the giant weapon. Dan Mindel is great behind the camera. Minus a few instances, theres a lot to like visually.

Bottom line: Great movie, not without flaws but it was great to be back in the galaxy of Star Wars nonetheless. I think most of it’s success will come from its own hype/name alone. Han Solo steals the show. Its great that his character is the one confirming the force and the Jedi.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8.7 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 6 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10 (music is like a 4 though),
  • Acting: 9 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? IMAX. SEE IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN IMAX. Because let’s be real, you’re gonna buy it on blu-ray.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Avengers: Age of Ultron: Movie Review

I’m a man who likes seeds. I also really enjoy great character performance.

(minimal spoilers ahead)

Director: Joss Whedon, Writer: Joss Whedon, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Runtime: 141m, Cast & crew(<link)

Seeds. In the MCU, seeds are what fans crave just as much as “easter eggs”. Though I didn’t see many eggs like Cap’s shield in the first two Ironman movies. The seeds however, are very upfront and yet still underlying need I say the first words Ultron says to Scarlet Witch in the curch or the way she looks at The Vision. EACH. AND. EVERY. TIME (Yea. It was very much there folks. Read your comics). The way this movie is benefitted by the seeds: it sets up, Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok (That might be wrong), Black Panther, and what could possibly be the next Avengers and/or Hulk movie. Which if J.Whedon has any say, it’s not Planet Hulk. The way it does a disservice to the film is that it comes off Ironman 2 -ish in the sense that the movie is more of a bridge to more, rather than a movie of its own doing. In Ironman 2 it basically set up Thor,  Captain America: the first avenger and explains a bit of Incredible Hulk. Those are seeds. It’s great but having to pave way or set up other films takes a toll on a film intended to be a sequel to one of Hollywood’s massive franchises… ever. I felt that once it got to its inevitable end, I said that’s it? which also isn’t a bad thing. I just felt he ws obviously beaten just too easily for my liking. Seeds are awesome.

avengers-age-of-ultron-collageWhedon really knows how to write. I’m curious to know if the announcement of the future to the MCU had any affect on what was intended to be in this movie. He crafted such a brilliant tale of heroes and with the help of his D.O.P., really continued that comic book look and feel. Not everything is as vibrant  looking as it was with its predecessor. I did find its definitely better on a second watch as you can really appreciate it instead of getting lost with the excitement the film naturally brought….  but better in imax.  Since I am somewhat discussing his writing…. what the hell was up with Hawkeye?!? I feel for Renner to do the film, it was deliberately done to give him an over arching story. But the parts with him and his “wife” took me out if the film. Probably because I know how most of his life plays out thanks to Bendis’ Avengers run. But something about it seemed forced vs organic which was a shame given all Whedon has accomplished since joining Marvel. Though Hawkeye’s best moment is the bit with Scarlet around the end.

Age if Ultron comes at you fast. But it works both in favour and does this film a disservice. Comic book movies, namely Marvel, have been known to give a crap about their films.  When casting of RDJ hit media outlets it was their way of saying we care about acting, we care about the story, we simply care about our product. Since that particular casting, the other names to the roles has been stellar since. In James Spader, we have a talent with a voice that instantly captivates. My real first encounter with him was on “The Office” and even from that show (Thank you Netflix) I could see why he was special. I believe I was watching that show as they announced he was casted. His voice a covers a range and it is aptly suited for cold, dry, sarcastic and even terrifying dialogue (of Ultron) to really come across. The best feeling is that this allows for Ultron to be menacing still yet like a child. Like a child who has grown up and held on to his id personality. I can honestly say  (unless said in another review) that not since Darth Vader or that Matt Damon look a like in Breaking Bad, have I felt a fear of what a character might do. The voice acting was really superb and deserves at least one nomination, at the very least, at the MTV movie awards; or the Scream awards. This said, for me, The character really needed a scene of him just observing life. To see if there was a reason to end humanity (If you will indulge me a moment. ..or.skip to the next paragraph) it would have been excellent if they had like Ultron looking at children playing and then an incident led to him on his twisted view on life. I get why it played out the Manner it did though

It’s pretty interesting how they have handled Captain America since his first outing (read into that as you see fit). From a real 1940s Brooklyn kid to a leader amongst gods and men. He didn’t have a stand out performance but his presence is felt and I definitely saw some seeds for civil war when it came to him and Tony.

Tony. RDJ. Love em both. Especially RDJ for walking out of that interview. However I feel like he genuinely pissed me off when Rhodes was getting a wee bit of screen time as War Machine. And all of a sudden its a close up of RDJ and I was like: “honestly … how many frames per second of a contract did thus guy sign?!?” I know he is the poster child but in many ways it’s annoying to have him be the center of attention even in posters. I don’t see the avengers as a band. I see them as a team. And teams don’t always need their star player. Sometimes they need the unsung hero to make the hail Mary play.. you know to lay down on a wire and let the other guy crawl over you.

Black widow seemed to have a bigger role. Even tho she was sidelined by her little bundle of joy. Which I thought the camera team and story handled it perfectly with hiding it. Notice she is shot mostly in close ups in the end, and she exits the story in a believable way. Nicely done again Joss.

Vision. Holy. His look, acting, costume design… so much is right with him. The art direction dept. Just got it right in so many ways. It’s gonna be interesting to see what develops with his character, especially in his last scene.

Hawkeye… I said that already.

Banner. Is sorta the unsung hero of the group who sadly gets to live out his worst nightmare(well sad for him, fun for us). Time will tell how he’s handled next. Maybe(a tad bit of spoiling) an avenger-less hulk film? Just saying, I would read a comic that delves into that aspect of the hulks MCU story.

The way Scarlet Witch is handled was superior to what I would have thought possible. However her brother… wasn’t. Felt like a total waste on him or overall, just handled incorrectly. They should have a dedicated more of the Ultimates (Ultimates 2 to be exact) story line with him. Though I think with him, the reason for his lacking is more legal than anything.

Well.. I think we have reached the end. What a grand way to start the summer movie season. I think i just found a way to start reading comics again.

Bottom line : I was in love with the performance of Spader, loved it more in imax. It’s a tremendous story but it does have a lacking effort in areas.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8.5 out of 10,
  • Editing: 8 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8.9 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Great in Imax. Definitely worth picking up. Hopefully theres a lot of bits stuff and deleted scene as a lot was left on the cutting room floor.THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Movie Review

TMNT-TeaserThe Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in the comic book medium, published by Mirage Studios in 1984. The concept arose from a humorous drawing sketched out by Kevin Eastman during a casual evening of brainstorming with friend Peter Laird. Using money from a tax refund and a loan from Eastman’s uncle, the young artists self-published a single-issue comic intended to parody four of the most popular comics of the early 1980s: Marvel Comics’ Daredevil and New Mutants, Dave Sim’s Cerebus, and Frank Miller’s Ronin. Fast forward to the early 90s, and the first ever TMNT is released (1990). The film was live action and required animatronic heads for the actors to wear. This continued for 2 more movies. In 2007 a total cgi spirited sequel came along. Then in 2012 Michael Bay said he was producing another film and that the turtles would be from space.

Full castDirector: Jonathan Liebesman Writer: Josh AppelbaumAndré NemecEvan Daugherty. Run Time: 101 mins

I was never really a GIANT fan of TMNT but I did like the simple nature of them. I think my real attachment in them came from the video games on the super NES console (aka the greatest of all time!). So for me, the mythos was never really important. Though having ninja turtles was already a stretch, having say, a race of ninja turtles from some distant planet was a stretch just too far out. Lucky for the success of this film it didn’t happen as the trailer above shows. That aside, the changes here are on the cool side of the creative spectrum. It’s a little “hollywood“(I will explain in a moment) but its not the worst thing of all things.

Above anything else this movie is just a family friendly film. STOP WORRYING ABOUT KILLING YOUR APPARENT CHILDHOOD. Those childhood favourite movies still exist in its respective home video source.. and then there’s pirate bay. This movie is great for anyone who has kids now, who once grew up with this as their favourite movie as a kid. it has a lot of elements of family, brotherhood, and loyalty; which is something sort of lacking these days in modern cinema as we live in an age of “gritty” blockbusters (Thank you Chris Nolan). That is what i loved most about this movie. It was childish and mature. Not in a sexual way but, just in a manner where it isn’t far too cartoony. The themes were very evident and I personally enjoy that sort of thing.

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesShredderheadlinecropLSParamount_article_story_largeHollywood… I love you but sometimes you take an idea just way too far. Not everything should be copied from what is currently “selling”. That said, Nice job! Shredder just looked, in my opinion, way too much like a transformer/Iron Man hybrid. Its not bad, its just why did he honestly have to be suited in a armour suit that throws knives? Why couldn’t he just be a samurai looking individual, who fights like a bad ass. I did honestly enjoy that his new suit could do so much. It was a cool looking (on camera) improvement to the character (and mythos).

Unrelated to Hollywood, the stylistic choice behind the face of the turtles, threw me off. I figure if for any reason, it was simply see the actors faces, since this isn’t the same animatronic movie of childhoods past. It just felt like they had a giant miscue with that. I did however like the added items to enhance the characters personality. Like Donatello, he had more of a nerd/geek look as he is traditionally a nerd geek toe and likes inventing.

 

The start of the film is a bit of snore fest I will say, but once it gets going, it goes. The stunts are terrific and smart in relation to the turtles.

Bottom line: It was just a great popcorn flick that gives both children and parents (or just the average adult). They didn’t entirely bastardize the source material, which many thought would happen. This… is a great movie!

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 9 out of 10,
  • Acting: 7 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Definitely worthy of picking up on blu-ray, maybe on boxing day/black friday. Especially if you have fidgety kids.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction Movie Review.

I’m not really sure what happened…. for 2 plus hours

transformers-4-poster-optimus-prime

Director: Michael Bay Writer: Ehren Kruger run time 165mins

For a franchise you either hate all together, have select favs or, love in general or for aspects; This movie doesn’t change that for anyone.
There’s A LOT wrong with this movie. And a seldom many things that are favourable. I’m not really sure on what level this movie fails, but it does in a sum of its parts. The movie opens up well, but seems to lose its focus right after the first cut of movie footage.

To help revive new energy into this franchise, “Marky Mark” Whalburg was brought in to this movie as a happy father/inventor who just so happens to find Optimus Prime. Basically a copy of Shia Labeouf’s Sam Witwickey story had he grown up a bit and been a father/inventor. With him come a slew of new Transformers who just randomly show up. That was problem one. Having a bunch of new characters massively distract you. I think the yearning to know how they came to be or where there were for 3 other movies was distracting. For the robots anyway. As for the human’s, being invested in Shia’ Sam character from the ground running was what helped those movies be slightly enjoyable (as far as “the human aspect” is concerned). With the rush of issues and problems these humans had, though however natural/plausible, it was all forced and rushed so that you care. Not to say you don’t believe they have these issues it was just kinda one after another in a short period of time. I did enjoy the single father perspective which isn’t always seen both in a fictional story or in reality. That was an aspect that probably saved this movie. But not by much. Beyond that theres a slew of new actors in this movie that more or less hurt the franchise than anything. in different movies /roles these actors are tremendous. Under TF4 helmer Bay they might as well been rookie actors so not to have this smear their “legacies”. I think many down play just how good Shia was and is, as an actor, the flair that comes from Tyrese in the previous instalments and so one and so forth. As good as Kelsey Grammar is (if you doubt it, watch the tv show Boss), his role was for not, since most of his character is essentially a background character. Personally I feel he was the reimagined Patrick Dempsey character from Tf3. As a whole the acting is as bad as sour milk after pouring your favorite cereal into a big bowl on a Saturday morning…. or night.

t4poster2Writing throughout was so bad, it made this an undeniably bad movie. There were so many scenes that I noticed that just basically stalled the movie. Like that elevator scene. Worst thing I seen in a big budget movie since Toby McGuire’s Peter Parker danced in Spider-Man 3. With the amount of bad scenes and terrible writing I was surprised this was green lit. The fact that they keep going further and further back in time to suggest these transformers were some how a key to our history,  just screws with the existing franchise continuity so much it hurts to think about. A lot of the typical stylistic jokes that Bay uses in his movies feel flatter than a paper tied to a brick. A lot of the dialogue for characters new and old felt very off. The fact I can say that for new actors, says something. the undertones were weak. so much was wrong that if I listed them all I would bore you just as the movie did me.

Its hard to really say what failed this movie exactly on what level. As with most movies, a movie isn’t really a movie until it has been edited, and if I had to pick an aspect as the the biggest failure, I would pick editing. As crappy as everything else is, it isn’t as bad as the overall tone being slow and boring. 3hours of action seems like my cup of tea, but what I got was 3 hours of mellow drama and spotty action scenes. Beyond that I couldn’t understand half of what was being said due to the intensity of the action and the voice acting of the transformers. for which I blame audio mixing.

It does have its positives but really not much. I like seeing new Transformers but I would love even more so to know exactly where they come from. Every movie we get four new ones that seem to have some investment in terms of the chronological order of stories. Aside from that, don’t allow what the tv show did to dictate these movies. Its ruins them even further.

Bottomline: Its in no way the worst movie ever, its far from a good movie… especially in this spotty franchise. it might be >/=/< than TF2:Revenge of the Fallen, but I will let you determine that one. Its overall tone is a such a drag it bores you. Its like a car driving forward in reverse, with a 1000pound brick wall that’s 10 stories high, a football field wide (or a cfl end zone wide and deep/thick) only getting a half kilometer per gallon. (Lol you Americans might have fun with figuring that out).

Rating 4/10 (strictly for the action.  I was enjoyed with it. But it wasn’t bay’s best so far with that.

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 4 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 3 out of 10,
  • Editing: 0.002 out of 10,
  • Audio: -15 out of 10 (Score was lacking, couldn’t hear things),
  • Acting: 2 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? SKIP!! or just download it.  or borrow it from a friend.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Movie Review

“On your left”

Captain-America-The-Winter-Solder-Stylized-Cap

Directors: Anthony RussoJoe Russo Writers: Christopher MarkusEd Brubaker (Concept and Story) Run Time: 136!

Cast

Government conspiracy theories are always around us. But what if you died to prevent one of the greatest evils the world has ever known? Only if to see it still thrive? Insert a 90-somthing year old super soldier. What if you were a soldier who fell in battle only to be caught by the enemy. Insert the winter soldier.

The creative team behind this movie did that and made it a great ride for 2 plus hours. The comic arc isn’t something I’m too familiar with,  but I knew a good amount going in. And thats really from reading all the marvel comics cross over books (like Secret invasion, Avengers etc). So for those who are worried, trust that the movie doesn’t require you to know anything else aside from maybe the Avengers movie and maybe Iron Man 2. Really didn’t need to see the first Captain America movie. As I say. Marvel has a great way accepting new readers at any point in a story/arc.

The best part about this movie is its odd sense of feeling grounded. The stunts, story, and dialogue are tremendously blended to give the viewers a modern day government espionage film. The stunts aren’t as over top as Avengers were or even the first Avenger film. Not everything explodes from the simplest thing. There isn’t a stunt that had some sorta crazy effects. Really reminded me of the 90’s actions movies.

The dialogue is decent and showed a new layer to Steve Rogers. He’s more modernized. Speaks a bit more like today’s RESPECTFUL adult. Only person I thought had bad lines was the first appearance of Black Widow in the movie. Personally, who I wished had more, was GSP’s Batroc character. I heavily enjoyed Nick Fury’s presence on screen. Marvel/Disney needs to let the man swear tho.

The one character I didn’t feel was done right was Falcon. He could have been more of an asset, but was more utilized as a background player. He’s used well, just could have done more as a character. Past that I felt that Bucky Barnes, in the form of Winter Soldier was more a starting point character. He didn’t seem to have his story fully explained.

Bottom line: In terms of Phase 2″  properties go for Marvel,  this is a significant step forward and a great starting point for Avengers two. I’m as excited as I can be with what that easter egg of Dr. Strange and the post credit scene.

marvelous-captain-america-2-concept-art-cdcdfd93-cc2d-486c-9b5a-2f3f968d8380

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 9 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? IT’S OUT NOW GET IT ON BLU RAY!

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Kick Ass 2 Graphic Novel: Review

An interesting follow up from the ground breaking original that was turned into a major motion picture and a sequel that came out last summer (2013). Same creative team of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. (JRJR)

KickAss2_7_

I read this months before the sequel came out as that’s how it was produced initially. I enjoyed this quite a bit, and now with benefit of hindsight, can confirm it’s better than what was released on film.

Where this book shines is where JRJR does work. He’s great at making each character in a panel/frame as individual as his skill allows which is important to me. I can’t stand when I see an artist with talent make everyone with the same face (with exceptions like twins or something). Since World War Hulk and his tremendous run on Amazing Spider-Man, he is one of the best artists in drawing “destruction” scenes. In this book, being that it’s a realistic take on the medium almost within the medium(medium being comics), most of the destruction comes from human dismemberment, which I’m sure older/mature readers will appreciate. It’s something along the lines of Spartacus in terms of its gore. His splash pages are poster worthy and are usually seen towards the end of a chapter/issue. The overall feel is similar to the original so that is helpful, I did notice a more orangey hue to the book why I don’t know, maybe to compliment to the bravery of the title hero.

Millar has created a string of self invented stories, characters under his Millar World brand, but I don’t think any are as impressive as Kick-Ass (aside from “Superior). For readers of a more daring age or ones who support creator owned titles, or just like a different way from the big two (Marvel & DC) every so often, this is awesome. Painting a fan boys dream of how a typical modern day nerd really does think about doing from time to time.

Kick Ass2 #3This isn’t one of those really porky individuals or one of those fashion nerds, this is a person who reads comics and said maybe it would be a cool idea to actually do some good in the Cosplay costume I wear to comic-cons. So the story takes place a couple months after the original, and it moves swiftly to the end. Of course it felt long as the issues came up, but the story is pretty fast paced. I’m sure in the movie version, some characters got expanded more than in the book, namely like, Ms. “Night-Bitch”. In the comic where I felt it was the biggest flaw was that most of these characters weren’t important other than really just having bodies to emphasize the scope of Kick-Ass inspired heroes. Again I would have loved to see his script in translation to JRJR’s art (I think the issues usually have those kind of special features). One of the things I love about this is he uses names in very humorous ways. Like when he made an Adam Huges reference I was very pleased because he was very accurate with it.

In an awkward way this was almost a Spider-Man story. It really shows the resilience of a character to do something despite all the personal pain you might go through. It’s not the most self inspiring story but, it does have a lot more personal pain in this. We all have those days when we don’t feel well so we won’t go into work or go to church or a particular event. He literally has no powers, but he just wanted to make those heroes, that he reads, proud. I think, on the surface anyway, the core of the book is about giving your word, keeping it against everything and anything, and taking a lot of pride in it. That alone, is something this world seems to lack in men these days. And trust me, A LOT HAPPENS to Millar’s created heroes.

With that said it’s a worthy pick up in graphic novel form, or as a rarity item, as issues.

KickAss2

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the comic: 8.5 out of 10,
  • Art:  9.5 out of 10,
  • layout*: 9 out of 10,
  • True to character dialogue: 10 out of 10,
  • Story: 8.5 out of 10,
  • Continuity? Well its out of normal continuity, so it works, but in general, from panel to panel, it is pretty solid.

Thank you for reading feedback is always helpful.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” . Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”
– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

2013 in review… Thank you!!

Take a look at how you helped me last year. In 2014 theres gonna be a lot more coming and more videos. so stay tuned and wait. Thank you for your continued support. May the LEWsystem be with you. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Review

3194987-poster-justice-league-the-flashpoint-paradox

“Accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

That quote, which is said early on in the feature, generally sets the tone for the remainder of the movie. It’s a pretty powerful one and to my knowledge isn’t one often explored in the comic medium unless it’s a time travel story. Luckily for us it’s that and a lot more.

The Flash is someone who is well known character to the DC universe and this story shows us why. Being able to break the time barrier similar to how back to the Future does with speed. One of, if not, the defining moment for The Flash is that he ran too slowly to save his mother and then later carried that guilt to become the hero he needed to be. In the movie, it’s clear that he is being a hero by saving her. I think any child would do anything to save their mom from impending danger if even by means of time disruption. The interesting side of all this that the villain of this story begs the question the how much of a hero are you really when all you did was save your mother. You didn’t try and stop 9-11, you didn’t make Hitler stay in art school, instead, and you took personal happiness instead of greater good. Not to cross brands here but, that is exactly the point to “with great power comes greater responsibility”. You have to wonder, especially if you are of the total of people who believe in a higher power… Do bad things happen to us as individuals and as a whole people for the betterment of each and every one of us?

FlashPoint-e1368306709117The story of the characters aside, the theme story is where it’s worth watching and it’s great for both young and old alike. The violence however… That’s for teens and up. One thing I will always say about DC’s direct to video collection, they aren’t afraid to show some blood, have a little cursing and do it to compliment the story overall. This isn’t any different. Given that the core of the story is surrounded by an impending Armageddon war, everything is a little more dire than normal for the characters to succeed. So in a way a lot of characters do need to “die” so that they can bring an extra level of emotion. And the emotion really is brought to the next level. All I will say is Batman steals the show at the end.

The animation felt very much like the Batman year one in the way they moved but maybe a little more fluent than the former. I don’t know much about animation, but I noticed whenever there’s a fight… They always seem to have a fight in a circle. Nit picking sure, but as I thought about it, it kind of took me out of the story… Or at least the full enjoyment of this thing.

Bottom line: If there’s ever really going to be a Flash movie or show they should take some tips from this(which they sort of did in the Arrow episodes before the holiday break). It’s a great Flash story, it’s a great for anyone new to the character and or familiar with him and or the other heroes featured, but don’t expect great great things past “The Flash“. I would love to see that final moment with Flash before the credits in a movie though. It’s a great addition to the collection of DC direct videos. Above all else, blame the Flash for the “New 52″

Final moments with Flash

Rating :

The rating system is as follows. The 1st rating is what you really want, the rest is just what I thought of each other category as it’s listed (art/animation is how the movie translates the art from the book in animation).

  • Overall: 4.6 /5
  • Art/Animation: 5 /5
  • Voiceover Work: 4.6 /5
  • True to the Source Material: 3 /5

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” . Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Thor: The Dark World Movie Review

Its a dark world indeed.

thor2poster1_largeDirector: Alan Taylor Running time: 120 min Writer: Christopher YostChristopher MarkusStephen McFeelyDon PayneRobert Rodat

Starring:Chris Hemsworth…Thor
Natalie Portman…Jane Foster
Kat Dennings…Darcy Lewis
Christopher Eccleston… Malekith the Accursed

I start with this. I enjoyed the movie. It was just kind of hard to.

Coming from Game of Thrones you would like to think the realm of GoT and Thor would blend seamlessly. Wrong. Now when I heard about this movie at first, it was addressed as being helmed by a female. Sometime later, Alan Taylor took over and gave us this. Now I still believe Taylor is capable of telling us a good story. Just don’t think it’s in a Marvel franchise. Be it direction or editing this movie was terrible.

Each actor felt and looked confused, and uninspired. Outside of Tom Hiddleston, he, as per usual stole the show in a creative way. His character and his style this time around, he displayed even more pain than we’ve seen him previously. A major part to his sadness is *SPOILER ALERT* is when his mother dies, and he’s loosely to blame.* this creates a great sadness and allows for the character to be seen in a slightly new light. A lot of Odin’s lines felt off. And that’s one aspect of the direction that failed me.

The story continues greatly from Avengers, in comparison to Iron Man 3, but it’s not the most direct follow up I would’ve hoped for. But come to think about it Marvel Comics never really did that after a big story arc… Always just kept it moving. One aspect of the overall plot was how involved the villain was. He wasn’t. His entire plot was handled wrong. He was kinda just there versus having reason to care about what he was doing. For an ancient evil with world domination goals, he didn’t seem to be explored as much as I would hope. In place of the villain absence, was the theme of brothers. Brothers at odds, trying to find a common ground. Accepting their “destiny”, if you will, as one being a hero and one the villain. That part of the story was well expected, well explored and well performed.

Thor-2-PosterLet’s talk about the cinematography….. THIS WAS TERRIBLE. Did we learn nothing from Avengers?! And p.s. I watched this movie in a AVX theatre. Now while I criticize the way in which it was shot, I do appreciate the lessons it taught me. Don’t do an entire movie with elaborate sets if you can’t actually build majority of them. For a movie like this, I understand that it’s a different realm so it has potential to look different from the norm but the first movie has such a president that I thought would naturally transcend into the sequel. I felt a lot of parts that were heavy with green screen and/or cgi were so poor looking; it was almost embarrassing on behalf of Marvel as a brand. Key examples of this were when Loki was sentenced for his crimes.
In addition to that the switching from camera to camera was terrible.  The quality changes were so evident and vastly different from each other it became the way of a student project.

Bottom line: it’s not the worst ever movie, but as far as super hero movies go, I’m placing it for a tie with Dare Devil. Or maybe a tie with Iron Man 2, with an edge to Iron Man 2. Mark Millar tweeted that Thor (the first one) was the best of the phase 1 entries (avengers hadn’t come out yet) so this was theirs too lose. which they sadly did in my honest opinion.

 

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 3.1 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 0 out of 10,
  • Editing: 2 out of 10,
  • Audio: 4 out of 10,
  • Acting: 1.5 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? SKIP IT, download at best.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW