Captain America: Civil War: Film Review

Shall we begin?


Writer: Christopher Markus,  Stephen McFeely Director: Anthony Russo,  Joe Russo Runtime: 2h27m

Full credits  

There’s really only two ways this film could go down. Good or bad. But right from the start, it was great. But this film had to happen in the manner in which it did. It eventually became an amazing ride regardless of where you stand on the core conflict. The solo cap stories are arguably the better solo films in the Marvel franchise films. This was another great entry and a good way to start phase 3.

It was announced some years ago that this movie would be coming out around this time. Then BvS said it was gonna come out on the same day.. Then the date got moved for BvS to March. And it that was a good thing for BvS. Though the nerd in me wished it happened. two versus movies at the same time.. it would have been awesome to see the tallies. This is a great story because it blatantly shows the moral of the story but in such a woven, multilayered way. Those stories are great… well sometimes. Other times they can end up like Wrath of The Titans.

The moral of this film is that friends, true friends who share a genuine friendship, need to stick together. That’s why it’s important to actually talk and learn who you’re friends are. On one side, Steve’s childhood friend is brought into his crazy world of aliens and double crosses. On the other side you have a billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, who honestly just wants to protect the world… and the few people who made him remember he too can have a heart. The film keeps in mind that the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron had to be answered.

The story is a wee bit cliche at times but they do a good job of tying elements together. And a lot of what was shown in the trailers isn’t exactly what you see in the film (love that).

I really like the position they put Rogers in. His emotional values were called into question like never before(on screen). His best friend who in all honesty, is a crook by any means of the word. While he himself is basically a cop. That’s something that gets checked and is essentially the driving story . But Rogers is who he is, and he doesn’t quit. He believes in people. It doesn’t matter what the opinion of others are. He’s gonna do what he feels is right every time. It’s part of the freedom he stands and fights for. This wasn’t so much of an arc like in the comic of the same name for the character. But more a story about who he is. and not a rebirth to a new realization/ideal like in the comics. This was the story of how he saved his friend… plain and simple. Mr. Evans steals the show every time he’s on screen. His acting is only getting better in this role.

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The Stark difference was that, Tony just wanted to save the world he really feels guilty about the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Which is great as this allows the events in the film to reflect the comic Civil War with regard to Stark. Mr. Downy Jr. Plays a much more compassionate Stark. There’s a lot more of a need to have the team of (new) Avengers become accountable. Stark sees the problem with the team and he hopes… he genuinely honestly hopes that the dream he sees in AoU is something he can prevent.  This new regulation seems like the gateway to such a ambitious goal. By far his standout scene is the forth wall breaking introduction to Spider-man as a character. as an actor however, I was rather moved by how he plays his first scene, and most of the third act. I felt his position in the same way as I didn’t while reading comic version to this story.

The new comer. Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-man. Marvel shocked fans when they announced he was gonna be in his teens. It paid off. There was a great dynamic in him being the younger one. It a works for a better and more complete perspective for both the audience and story. I don’t want to ruin anything but he is most definitely gonna be seen as the best spider-man/Peter parker to date. His voice alone gets you as a guy who would sound like spider-man at that age. my only issue, was how much cgi they seemingly used on the Spidey half of the character. say what you will about the Raimi, Webb directed films, but they used as much practical as they could in their films. and they were better for it.

My man, Black Panther.  My only issue with his portrayal was how his accent sounded. I didn’t entirely believe it. He sounded more like as middle eastern man than one from Africa. Black Panthers as a character beyond bad ass. Chadwick Boseman acted that very well in my personal opinion. He is an “under the radarcharacter but I’m 100% positive he just elevated him with his portrayal. It almost brought a tear to my eye.

The best thing about this film was how they handled each character. Everyone gets screen time. And everyone gets a moment to shine. As much as AoU did this…. it really didn’t.  That said, getting rid of some of the additional characters in the manner they did was a misstep. But it gels nicely with the over all story. The introduction to the teams was well handled and felt somewhat similar to the way bit happens in the comics.

Where I would like to praise this movie, is for constantly pushing the boundaries of what choreographed fight and action sequences should look like. The stuff in this film was jaw dropping.

My issues were the obvious. It’s a little long. At some point you forget it’s a movie that features heroes and then you’re wondering just why are they still fighting like this. They  sorta skimmed over the point of the Civil War (the registration act) within reason to the main story where the secondary tale took more precedence (the fight with Cap, Bucky, Stark). I hope it gets further addressed in subsequent films in phase 3. Also the manner in which they tied it all together felt like a “Martha moment (December, 16th 1991 anyone?). Lastly the post credit scenes weren’t as fun as they have been. My core issue is this is a war. You can’t just NOT have people get killed or harmed severely during a war. I want to say the sole reason why this s the way this film plays out is because of the introduction of Spidey. But who knows why.

This story was going to be ambitious no matter what. The Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have the years of history, or characters that the publication has the rights too, at its disposal. various story beats have to be altered but theres still a lot there from the comic… and it has to be recognized as an accomplishment that they create team wrote and directed this gem of a film. it just hurts itself that the risks weren’t as far as they could have been.

This film isn’t flawless. But it’s again a great way to start phase 3. With the Russo Bro’s taking over, The sky is the limit with how far they can go.

Bottom Line: It’s a great film, has a few missteps but for anyone who is a fan of the characters, the story or the brand named Marvel, you won’t talk away disappointed like anyone did who sadly saw BvS. but what it was really missing, what made The comic so great was this: “We’re not fighting for the people anymore…we’re just fighting.” For Cap to say that.. as both a soldier and a guy from a relatively simpler time, was huge. it speaks to the way society is these days with our memes, rallies and slogans that can often seem like they aren’t going anywhere but to a new fight.

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the movie: 7.9 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 10 out of 10,
  • Audio: 7.5 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Definitely worth it to see in theatres, IMAX if possible. I already can’t wait to own the movie.

Batman v superman: Film Review

The world’s finest have finally managed to be on the big screen together. But was it worth the hype?

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Writers: Chris TerrioDavid S. Goyer Director: Zack Snyder 2h 31min Full Credits.

The two most archetype character of the comic medium are together again for the first time on the big screen but I will come out and say it. It was the the story that was in the making since Reeve and Keaton famously took on the roles of the Man from Krypton, and the Knight Of Gotham. Let’s talk about the Batman first.

Affleck was a great take on Batman. Maybe no so much Bruce. I say that as this is probably the first time we have seen a seasoned Batman who in the film is about 50 years in age (certainly in the senior years of his 40s.) All that being said that aspect was fun. Bust as I said in my TDKR review, it limits a character. However in this film, age may as well be an after thought (more on this in a moment). The interesting thing about this Batman. Why so many love him and would foolishly try to have you believe Batman can actually beat Superman, is because he is a man that had the fountain of determination in his caves under his Mansion. He is simply a guy who experienced trauma and vowed to not let it happen to someone else. He’s as good natured as they come. How that translates to being what was written/being the character Snyder envisioned is beyond me. He felt so bastardized by the end it nearly ruined the character/franchise for me. That said there’s several elements Snyder got right. One was his planning. Batman’s supporters will cry to the death that if given the preparation time, he could best everyone (to which I laugh because plans always go accordingly). This Batman, maybe aside from Bale/Nolan’s Batman, is arguably the most meticulous and efficient we have seen the character and arguably the closest we’ve seen just be a good guy. But how he’s bastardized is simply, his vendetta against Superman is undone by himself for allowing just as much, if not more destruction to happen in a populated city. One sad part was the lack there of the character of Gotham. Yes it’s there. But each time Batman has been on screen small or big, Gotham is so very present to help add to the character. Overall I don’t think he did a superb/amazing job acting wise. But he did no wrong. Jeremy Irons and Affleck’s banter as Alfred and Bruce was a welcomed sight. Very much reminded me of Batman the animated series and that’s shows evolution into Justice League… all this said as much as I love how Batman/Affleck is on screen… Killing and all, it’s just not what I waited three years or most of my life for.

Superman… Say what you want about Man of Steel, minus the stupidity behind the death of Jonathan Kent, the film is rather magnificent in many ways. But it’s easy to lose sight of that as many complained about all the destruction in populated areas. Having said that, you’d think Superman would learn from that. The actual physical comic medium aside, any second chapter for any character is all about learning and growth. I’m not saying he has to be sniper efficient. But just less flinging people around and a little bit more respect for human tax dollars (totally kidding with that last bit). But seriously, where was Superman being a hero? Yes he saves the day, but this was such a personal vendetta story that totally disregards the characters foundations. I didn’t feel like I was watching Superman, felt like I was watching Batman audition for the justice league. I get this isn’t a traditional sequel to M.O.S. but this just felt totally off from its predecessor it. Yes Supes was saving the day, but that connection was missing and then when you get to the end, nothing makes any sense for anyone to be where they are. Supes is the most famous immigrant. He and Metropolis represent the hope many have sought for when leaving their respective homes for another. He is both Jesus and Moses of bible/religious lore. that’s his centre (you can argue it if you wish, but its true). The contrast was missing between the two cities which leads to a very much a missed opportunity. My biggest issue was that he didn’t seem to learn about his destruction from M.O.S., but that one aspect is carried on in the comics.

The story is as weak as they come. Some reading hinted that massive rewrites were done. By massive I mean core villains were swapped which may have made more sense overall if they were left in. With the two bread and butter characters from DC you’d think they’d know the type of characters they had. The meaning they both carry just in name should lead to a great story. The psychology behind them both is something that really should have been explored in levels. i.e. Clark vs Bruce, Bruce Vs Superman, Batman, Vs Clark, culminating in an all out brawl. And yes, one clear winner for the sake of all debates. What we got was some story that didn’t lead to much other than the pending Justice League movie. One thing any director who understands film (as a medium) will tell you is that each scene is set up as a container. When you edit it every container is opened and you either take it as is, or you take moments. This film felt like every container was used but without any logic at all. The scenes have no cohesiveness to them. One minute Bruce is kicking ass the other Lois is saving the day for some reason. Most good movies lead the viewer. Go ahead think of a movie you like bet you the story leads you to the next scene. For this I blame direction. But I don’t wish I had Mr Synder’s job here. Unless it was perfect for everyone it was never gonna be great.

my biggest issue was there was too much of an emphasis on Justice League. the Cameo’s by Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg were so unnecessary to the overall story within its contexts. I saw better fan comments that had better ways to introduce these characters. As cool as both Cyborg and Flashes were they were too much in an already messy film character wise. Lex Luthor is the crazy mad scientist of old which I feel isn’t the right way to go. Having him contrast Superman as a villainous human in many ways like Batman (minus the cowl and cape and the obvious heroics) would have been tad better. Laurence Fishburne was more comfortable looking as the Chief, Perry White. I kind of wish they used that to their advantage in this film. Wonder Woman has the best entrance I think any female hero could have hoped for. Her role isn’t as big as I would have liked personally but that isn’t a good or bad thing. I do like wishing I had more sometimes. But considering she is getting a solo movie soon, I can wait to see her in her own element. I just wish I could remember if Ms. Gadot had an accent or if she put one on for her role. In her own way< she does need to bulk up just a bit more to sell the physicalness of her character. But being what t is, its a nice contrast to what she is meant to be. Her size isn’t an issue just my own personal preference for the character is all.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 5.5 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 4 out of 10,
  • Audio: 9 out of 10,
  • Acting: 7 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? DEFINITELY  see it at home. Wait for the blu-ray as it comes with an additional 30 minutes. Which really is felt throughout in the film. if you are gonna see it in theatres, Imax or nothing. Would recommend “D-box” for it is a long film. be ready to see it more than once for clarity.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Deadpool: Film Review

 

Deadpool-Mike-Mitchell-Mondo-Marvel-450x600Some 11 years (according to Mr. Reynolds) this film was in development. And it paid off like aged wine.


Director: Tim Miller, Writer: Rhett Reese, & Paul Wernick, Runtime: 1h48m

Full Cast and Crew

Deadpool for those that don’t know, Deadpool is a character made to be the contrast to Deathstroke. Or vice versa. The major difference being Deadpool talks a lot. I have no idea if that was always the case. But let’s be honest. It doesn’t fully matter.

The first incarnation was played by a younger Reynolds but was such a defamation to the character in almost every way, and I legit mean in every wa, that even he makes fun of it within the film. Which was probably a big way of showcasing how different the film was from any predecessor.

The story over all is probably my only big issue. It leads to the fact the budget is small. In ways that it makes it so obvious. During the entire film, I couldn’t help but feel cheated in terms of how much more could be done to flesh out his story. The logistics behind his origin can change. Which they did. They don’t matter. But for the fact of integration, they lost out on key elements to his origin as modern comics have written it to be. On the flip side. You have an attention span story. By that I mean, it’s such a short span of story time that you don’t need to pay a lot of attention to it. I will say when you pass the hour mark, it felt like an hour had passed. Lastly, as fun as the story was, it was as predictable any movie could be. But as I write this. That’s sort of the charm of Deadpool. The good thing is that the ads weren’t lying. The story was and is a love story, a messed up twisted love story from the view point of Deadpool.

The Main reason for this film being made was the desire from both the fans to see it (clearly, it’s breaking records all over the box office right now) and it’s talent, Ryan Reynolds. It was almost as if every role he had in a comedy was a stepping stone for him to be Deadpool. It was some time during Blade 3’s theatre run (and I would even argue home release) that his name became synonymous with the Deadpool. Even the comics used him as a template for what Wade Wilson used to look like before getting his powers. I will say that this was probably the most comfortable he’s ever seemed on screen (my opinion). The one thing I wonder was how much did he really do under that suit… it’s easy to fake talent with a face covering body suit. Just ask James Earl Jones. Either way he does nail it vocally every time you listen to him talk.

Ed Serkin was cool. He had a lot of moments of being a modern villain. There’s no reason not to like his performance.

Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Hildebrand) was cool. She’s a relatively a new character in the xmen universe. And I think in a way she was a great choice both story wise and over logistics wise.. she creates an element of separation from the Hugh Jackman led X films.

I’m more than happy with what I got from Colossus. He should be George Lucas’d into the other X-men films.

Visually it was as creative as one could hope for, to bring this character to life. It had… 95 % of great shots. I was very drawn in right from the start. Aside from.the action scenes I really loved how the crew came together to make his origin work. The art dec, camera angles and lighting were great to look at for about an hour.

The best thing about this is that it got made. It got made the right way. And it got made In Canada. The small budget is evident but it it achieved big things as being as respectful as it can to the source medium. I look forward to future sequels. But hopefully you don’t come out feeling like I did playing the Deadpool video game.

 

  • Overall rating of the movie: 7.5 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10 (music is like a 4 though),
  • Acting: 7 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? I’m glad its making its theatrical run, but personally, I’d rather had seen this at home. Which is not a bad thing.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

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.

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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

Creed: Film Review

You don’t have to be the product of your environment. You don’t even have to be a product of your family name.


Director:  Ryan Coogler WriterAaron Covington & Ryan Coogler Runtime: 133m Cast

After some six Rocky films the question, as always, remains, how do we keep the franchise fresh? With the seventh in the franchise you had to wonder can we listen to Rocky’s inspirational quotes… again. The answer is: of course.

Being the son of globally known parent can’t be easy. The relentless pressure from the media to take up what the father (or respective parent) is doing can be unbearable. But so can trying to fit in when your heart belongs else where. The film explores both those aspects; but for the sake of the story, it does favour one more than the other. On the surface it’s an origin story, it’s a bit of a redemption story, it is actually quite a few things. The best one being that it’s a great film consistently. I worried if knowing about the previous films would become a problem while watching. It wasn’t. The story is pretty favourable with respect to the franchises’ history. They do make mention to previous moments but I imagine they were for both older fans and for those wanting more of Rocky. There are some cliche moments but I’m sure it won’t be as cliche for the typical viewer. I will say I miss the use of training montages.

creedpostersmallMichael B. Jordan is really on the come up. Aside from the recent Fantastic Four, there hasn’t really been in a bad film. At least not one I’ve seen. His dedication to his craft is amazing. This is arguably a better performance than the one he gave in Fruitvale Station. I don’t say that as one being bad, simply put, they are both excellent performances, its hard to say which I liked more. One of his better moments have no sound, yet is so powerful in its delivery. Even though his character starts out in a shady place you root for him not so much as underdog, but for seeming going thru some sad situations. I really loved his story arc and characterization. His best and most emotional line comes in the final fight. That scene had me near tears. The limited screen time with Rashad had me wanting more. I think the two would have great chemistry on screen. Shame she didn’t have a bigger role.

Stallone has been playing Rocky for some 40+ years now and if this be his final send off, I’m okay with it. There was such a humility that he brought this time around (I’m not sure if it was always there in previous films). He’s somewhat of a man out of time both literally and figuratively. He comes off as a guy waiting for his time. I thought the extra element of his health a bit too much on the nice but I liked the contrast it created for team Rocky. Its quite amazing how much you can give a viewer beyond the surface. I hear rumblings of this being the new direction for the franchise, if that be true, the manner in which he was written was stellar. I have a great amount of respect for Stallone. His acting for the type of character he needs to be was spot on.

Relative new comer and scene stealer, Tessa Thompson, brings a lot of depth to her role. Aside from being eye candy (its hard to deny how beautiful she is), she… Its hard to sum up her performance. But I will dare to say she was one of those dream, chill girlfriends that are a level headed and very supportive(I probably insulted someone, my bad). I loved her character, I wished they used her flaw a bit more.

The cool thing about the movie is that they used real boxers. It added a level of realism. The first big fight was seemingly shot in on take. I love that. Long takes are awesome when the action inside of the take is elaborate.

We all watch movies to be entertained. But sometimes you watch a movie and it just moves you. Or the story is so good you apply it to you life in a way that is so profound, it shocks you. That happened to me and I get that in this day and age we are all rather desensitized to the one another that emotions are odd when shown. But in the case of the performance from MBJ, for me, it was hard not to connect to his reason for everything. You don’t even have to connect to it on the same level. But when you’re given a shot, a chance… at something and there’s people you reasonably look up too; its hard to not feel that pressure of being that lead that makes up the spelling error. It’s your determination to do the best you can that leads to you overcoming that fear.

The biggest upsets for me came down to editing and/or the on set supervision. When Rocky’s health begins to deteriorate, the inconsistency bothered me to no end.

 

Bottomline: If this film does start a new franchise, Count me in. I loved it from start to finish.

 

Rating 8

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 6 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? It’s definitely worth seeing on any platform.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation: Film Review

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How do you keep a franchise fresh? Not by doing half of what this film did.


Writer: Christopher McQuarrie Drew Pearce DirectorChristopher McQuarrieRuntime: 131m Cast

I showed this simply because it was exactly what was wrong with the start of both of these films. Films are much better when you don’t know what’s going to happen. When you have no idea what you’re about to see. If you get all of it in the trailer or in leaks or whatever, you don’t really have a reason to watch it. At the start of this thing, the editor decided (or the studio) to do a two minute montage of a lot of what you’re about to see. It ruins the film. Furthermore, the most daring stunt I think I’ve seen any one do that isn’t Jackie Chan, is right before the opening credits. Now this may have been to set the tone but, nothing you do as a director/actor, in any movie, will be as daring as having your key talent, hang off the side of a plane. With no green screen… No… Anything. That was actually Mr. Cruise. If you’re gonna do a stunt like that. Don’t open a film with that if nothing else is going to be as daring. That one scene is impressive when you factor in his role, and that he’s 50. Anything could have gone wrong. Thankfully it didn’t.

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Anyway. You know who this movie was missing. Paula Patton. I’m probably going to say that again.

The story was rather expected. But the intensity was is what kept the story on its edge. It definitely was missing something from M.I. 4… which was probably Paula Patton. But seriously, in M.I. 3 there was a villain who jxust hated Ethan Hunt and you secretly cheered him on for how relentless he was. I’m not saying he had to recreate that flair but it would’ve been nice to just have a villain to really see get taken down or out. Sean Harris’ overall villainy just seemed flat. So much so, that I don’t even believe he was the end game villain as his role intended. There was so much time spent on being accountable for the amount of damage the IMF cause(in the film), that the American political brass seemed more of a threat than Solomon Lane.

Le Sigh…

The film brought in a new group of talent that these films tend to. The lead female was very good at her role. If I didn’t know what I know, to see her  forthcoming deception, I would have thought her performance brilliant (another reason not to show scenes before its time). Nevertheless I saw past it and saw a decent performance and arguably one of the best female leads this series has seen. Definitely not the hottest… Hi Paula!

Tom Cruise was great. He did his usual running and yelling gig. I feel he’s reached the top of his limits within this character. I’d be lying if I didn’t say his age was revealed a few times in this. Not that it hurts him, but it’s just so much on the surface. Now, I’m not trying to witch hunt him out of a job, but I’d be totally ok if he said his wife or something had a kid and he trained him in the IMF as it’s all he knows. Then that said child carried on the franchise. I just think we all know he will stop at nothing to protect us. I will say having him doubted like that, both visually artistically, was a cool dynamic to add.

THE one thing about Tom Cruise, is that he runs. No one in film will have a better run than him. Not shooting it correctly is a tragedy. even though they have shots of him running, they often had it in the wrong angles. The best one he has is during the opening sequence. The under water scene was outstanding. I caught myself inching to the edge of my seat.

 

 

Go figure I didn’t like it, it was as obvious a movie as Iron Man 3 was.

 

 

Rating 4

  • Overall rating of the movie: 4 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 5 out of 10,
  • Editing: 2 out of 10,
  • Audio: 6 out of 10,
  • Acting: 5 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? It’s cool in Imax but the bad taste in your mouth after wouldn’t justify paying to see it there.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Ant man: Film Review

Ant-Man_Poster-1Writer: Edgar WrightJoe CornishAdam McKayPaul Rudd, Drictor: Peyton ReedRuntime: 117m, Cast(<= link)
Who would have thought that Ant-man would be a star of any movie? Certainly not I.

I remember when Ant-Man (As Hank Pym) had his own group of “Avengers” back in the fox kids days… needless to say, it was a terrible show. Fast forward to present day and you have Scott Lang who probably is most famous for blowing up Avengers Mansion Thanks to Scarlet Witch not getting her way… oh yea. SPOILER ALERT. (note: it was in the comics and will probably never actually happen on the big screen – Avengers Disassembled arc)

But I’m drifting. A lot of what you saw in the trailers, the leaked and official images and TV spots are what you end up with in the final product. Which, turns out to be both a blessing and a curse. It’s great cause you know what to expect and then it’s just bad for the lack of surprises. Maybe I’ve been around long enough but everything that happened was pretty much expected minus a certain winged cameo. The story was fairly easy to follow. I think of any marvel film to date, this is the easiest one to get at face value, while not having a comic book friend sit beside you and explain anything. They didn’t really get in to the science of the suit either. It was a fly by that really just felt like some person yelling in the back screaming the obvious. Something to the tune of: “It shrinks, let’s move along already.” This Marvel film was more interested in being a better movie more than it wanted to be a great comic book movie (but don’t think it to be more than a comic book movie, it won’t win anything more than like an MTV movie award). That said it played more heavily to the kids at heart as it did this in the right age of being a kid.

Paul Rudd is one of those actors where you either love him or you can’t stand him. I’m always on the fence with his films but as of late, he’s been casted in fairly decent films. Comedic actors are proving to be better at this dramatic thing than some dramatic actors are (see Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Most of those actors are of a seasoned comedic background). When Rudd is having emotional moments, particularly with his daughter, it’s pretty clear how he feels and makes you want to root for him. I’m sure we’ve all been in a position of “I wanna do good for _____but this stupid thing is in my way“. It sucks but it’s our individual moral code and or our character facing a dilemma of such nature that make us question how far we are willing to go… that make for great stories. I love seeing dad’s get their due. Dad’s are the under valued, equally paramount parent who often get shitted on and overshadowed due to the growing number of bad ones. His performance isn’t ground breaking but it’s fairly memorable in its ambition. essentially, It felt too much like a Rudd movie as opposed to a character who to look like a hero in his daughters eyes. When he’s funny, however, it felt so organic to the medium and feel to these movies. Rather with what these movies have been missing with so much dark undertones. Mr. Rudd handled his lines so well, I wouldn’t be shocked if they came out and said most of it was improv. He’s a special talent and I’m glad he’s getting a major movie.

Hank Pym, which is the one I was hoping would have been the Ant-Man as he brings in a more interesting story as far as I’m concerned, is played by the great Michael Douglas. He too is a father of a little girl who I can only imagine is to spur up some contrasts to Scott’s character. He either played Hank with a lot of hidden agendas or the nature of the piece alluded to a bigger story for Hank in a potential sequel. He had spurts of anger which seemed so right to the character, given what he’s done in the comics. Given the age he was intended to play, I felt that it was a nice respectful performance from Douglas.

My personal favourite actor, in this, was Michael Peña. He was just fun to see. I can’t think of a movie I really dislike him in. He either has a great agent or a keen eye and understanding of his abilities, because he gets to be apart of some great films. His acting ability was more of a feat than it was artistic. His scenes arguably steal the show.

Corey  Stoll was goodt in this but I felt he was poorly directed. He very well could’ve been a great villain. It would have been nice to see him get really into it that way. His performance is Good. He isn’t afflicted in his talents on screen. I just wished it was a bit more intense and less like a high school dick head. Being the failed protégé has a considerable amount of weight in it. Someone you looked up to tossed you to the curb.. why? I can only wonder what the Game feels like after he was dropped from G-Unit. Spolier: when they said he was having negative effects from the Pym particles, I felt cheated. But it could be explained by the subtle acts we see in Hank during the film.

I wondered how up close ants would look on a giant screen. I always thought that his connection to ants would be the movies down fall. Ultimately, it wasn’t. They found a great way of not really showing them in great detail but more in a manner of seeing them pass by. I even learned a thing or two about ants which isn’t something you go in expecting. The best parts of the film are how detailed they got to showing you the world from a ants perspective, or rather one that small.

Even though the film felt rushed and I think it was the fastest filmed to date, it didn’t quite have the problems rushed films have. It’s still runs to be about 2 hours long but the pacing is consistent and fun.

Bottom line: Theres more to be desired, but what you get isn’t anything bad. It’s one of those lovable movies that can be watched by anyone and you will still have a satisfied audience. Great way to end Phase two on a high note.

Spoiler: the second post credit scene is a scene from Civil War so don’t look into it too much.

Best of phase two:
Captain America 2
Avengers 2
GOTG
Ant-Man
IM3
Thor 2

Whats your list of Phase 2 films?

  • Overall rating of the movie: 6.8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8.5 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 7 out of 10,
  • Acting: 7.2 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Its not bad in Theatres, but I could of seen this at home and still enjoyed it…. sucks for people who want to watch it on their phone.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Terminator Gyensis: Movie Review

I should listen to me own theoretical rules more often.

DirectorAlan Taylor, WriterLaeta KalogridisPatrick Lussier, Runtime: 125m, Cast & crew(<link)

Credits etc.

This is now the 3rd movie post Cameron,… I really wish they would stop butchering the franchise. I was all stoked for this but I just can’t shake the feeling that this was just another failed attempt at recreating the same lightening in a bottle that was brought on by the Canuck director. The first film was a huge success for many reasons. It was a made to be a horror film with ties to the sci-fi genre. The second is one of, if not the best, action movie of all time (Yes, even now).

Terminator-Genisys-Poster

This movie seemingly came to light, as in its concept, right out of a scene in its own movie. Spoiler alert, it comes in the form of a what if (pay attention if you still plan on seeing it to the words what if). What if we could see how our fate turned out. What if we could know years in advance the day we were to receive our true love . As a parent, how would we feel knowing our child becomes the proverbial villain of the story. What if… It’s an excellent question to explore. Do you ally yourself with the child or do you debate how to end him or her? It’s a great question to ask a viewer. Now this would have been the seeds for a great movie if it wasn’t named Terminator.  It would also be better if it wasn’t written by someone who sounds like they only studied the originals and took a year if screen writing. At least the 3rd movie had a tad bit more depth in it. I mean come on. We know everyone who “owns” a ‘nator, tries to get him to fit in. We don’t need that explained. The story for me, dialogue wise and the rules of time and space continuum seemed like just something to be skipped over. Having Sarah Conner speaking like Edward Furlong like in T2 all over again was a weaker choice than the director.

Now I’m not knocking all his choices. But I feel like after we saw his big budget version of Thor in Thor the dark world we all agreed to just let him handle Game of Thrones and nothing else. Thor was one of his first outings since Thrones, and being what that was; him, being selected for this, was a shocker. I think I said that somewhere. I do applaud the key set designers and craftsmen who were able to create the world we were entering. But a set can only be a good as it’s utilized.  I did enjoy the makeup department in its accuracy, if he did have a hand in that then good choice. I like continuity. I will say the aspect of 3D was much better here than it was in his Thor film.

Han Zimmer wasn’t as strong this time around. The musical score just didn’t live up to the hype of the movie or the rep of the composer.

The new talent was interesting. I thought the humanizing of the robots was a relatively smart move but also what did the movie in. As I said earlier having robots just scare the crap out of you  is awesome, but so is knowing that a robot has justified reason to fear you. Some of the new talent were underused. I just wished we saw more of them as their potential to, at the very least, frighten, or lead ,or do anything, was very promising..

Bottom line.  It’s a creative look at all the elements and aspects asked but not explored in the predecessors, but ultimately it’s not something we needed to see on the big screen for the franchise. If they don’t show the future war in whatever comes next. Just don’t Watch it. No alternative story of a Conner being saved is needed. It’s all been done.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 5 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 7.5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 6 out of 10,
  • Acting: 5 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Kinda cool in 3d, but if you can just rent it.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Jurassic world: Movie Review

The year is 199… I mean 2015. And dinosaurs are still a huge box office draw. $520,362,305 and counting (this is only domestically).

jurassic-world-main

Director: Colin Trevorrow Writer: Rick Jaffa, Amanda SilverColin TrevorrowDerek Connolly Runtime: 124m, Cast and crew.

There’s a lot to like about this movie. The story is pretty layered when you look at what’s given and the type of movie it is. It’s a movie that knows what kind of film it is (summer popcorn flick) and knows how to ultilize that to its own advantage. It first glance it’s a film about another trip to the cursed park which has become a world (think Disney). Deeper than that, it’s about family, man vs nature, when man tries to control nature (which I would like to believe is a running theme), rightfully a respect of nature. And that’s still the tip of a T-Rex. Now  for those who just want to go see a cool movie, trust me when I say it’s there a lot to like it’s not like Wrath of the Titans where it’s really over-bearing. There’s a lot of fun in the story. Yes, some of it is expected, but in many ways, movie goers are much smarter than they were some 20 years ago. But the serious playfulness of the feature made it fun to watch for fans of the franchise, new younger viewers and those who are avid movie watchers.

I quickly want to say that the lack of John Williams music did draw me away from the overall enjoyment. But that’s because John Williams is just a musical god in cinema.

Spielberg (the ep on this, & original director)has been known to tell stories for/centred around children ad they have the most to discover and it’s the same here. The main kids acting isn’t oscar worthy in the slightest, but it’s not hard to believe their respective choices. I would have liked less of them as their personal stories added seemingly odd drought to the film. Ms. Howard was awesome. I loved she wasn’t a bimbo broad. she’s a head of a billion dollar company (I would hope considering what they do). She wasn’t wonder woman but she wasn’t Marggot Kiddie Lois Lane either. I did enjoy the different elements she brought to her role.  And she’s way sexier than I remember lol. Mr. Pratt was just bad ass. Hollywood’s current it actor is building a portfolio I doubt even he expected. I wouldn’t say he’s been type casted but him being a offbeat hero is exciting to root for. Again nothing crazy oscar worthy but he came off totally unique in his performance. I didn’t necessarily believe his character’s back story, given the actor; but I wouldn’t put it past him. His chemistry with Ms. Howard considerably added more than it did to distract. I personally don’t like his voice. Nothing against him just at times I feel like his voice lends to him being more comedic than serious. One rarely gets his cake to eat too, I suppose.

My nitpicks are slim. I didn’t enjoy What seemed like a repurposed Terra Nova set. That said I believe a lot of what was shown on screen was amazing. Props and sets were massive and made you feel there. Which is every set dressers goal I would imagine.  The kids didn’t seem to get hurt. I can think of many reasons why but I feel without any real harm done it took away from how fearsome these reptile replicas were/are. The made up Dino, seemed like the early years of superman where he just had all these crazy powers.. because… like why not, it’s superman, right?! The Raptor bond was kinda random. Not in the sense that it was out of the blue. Just didn’t quite gel with me. They do set it up, just not as over arching as it would of liked to have been done. The use of 3d was good but again a missed opportunity to use the pop out feature in the medium. One of the cool things about the original park film, was they used robotics to create the dinosaurs. The truest reason was because the cgi wasn’t totally there to create them like it is today. I counted, maybe, 3 times it could have been used if it indeed wasn’t. I miss the use of robotics in movies. It helped to add to the playfulness of the medium but we live in a very digital age now, I guess.  Lastly, I just hate it when movies try to lie and say women can survive a real disaster in heels. I didn’t believe it in Transformers 3 I don’t believe it at a theme park that really shouldn’t be a theme park.

The director of Photography really did a tremendous job of covering different angles and perspectives. 3d aside, I felt I got a lot of different views that were organic to the overall enjoyment of the picture. From soldier cams, to monitor screens, right down to the theme park goers. Every aspect felt necessary to it all. And there was shaky cam but it felt better in a pov than it did when you’re watching action scene like in Bourne.

Bottom line: even tho its fairly graphic, it’s not a movie to miss this year. It’s not made for adults only, but everyone. There’s something g for everyone and it’s definitely a treat to be remembered by all who see it. I would possibly suggest imax on a Tuesday however.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 9 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10,
  • Acting: 7 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Great in Theatres, can’t wait for it to hit blu-ray.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

For your own viewing pleasure click> https://youtu.be/fGyH8KRyC3A

Mad Max: Fury Road Film Review

I will just say I have never seen the first one outside of parts here and there.

Mad-Max-Fury-Road-lovely-day

Writer: George MillerBrendan McCarthyNick Lathouris
Director: George Miller  Runtime: 120min
Cast

I saw the trailer and was blown away by the visuals. The high octane feel of the driving how it felt like a rock and roll video on acid but without the harmful side effects. I honestly felt like this was going to be a new form of cinema (or story telling) for the most part I was right.

The story of Mad Max has always confuzzled me. A guy hates the world due to a past trauma, gets kidnapped and tries to escape. I would always ask myself why would I care?! But then this came out and I loved the look to it.  (Can you tell I went to see this movie more because of the visuals yet?) But the oversimplification of the plot aside, the story in general still seems lost on me. Or rather the point to it all. So muh happens and it’s not that it’s unclear, it’s just.. when I left, as much as I enjoyed the picture, I was wondering just what was the point to all of it?

Visually a stunning picture all around. I think there were some shots and such that didn’t work or could have been done better with a lens adjustment like a fish eye or a wide angle lens buts that’s just me. What I thought was interesting, was the choice to have most of the film in centre of the frame. For the life of me, I can’t fathom why that was. But it is a rather interesting concept to investigate further.

Mad max as a character is interesting. Not sure if he’s as interesting to play but interesting nonetheless. I really do enjoy tom hard as an actor minus that 3rd bat film. He was directed rather well. Now Ms. Theron… she is just a talent beyond. I can’t think of too many things she’s been in that I dislike.  In this film, she embodied a rather bravity that I haven’t seen in a lot of actresses. Well, in an action film. Her role is a big spoiler so I won’t get heavy into it, but she isn’t some damsel in distress. Actually, a majority of the females aren’t. They all find a means to kick ass.

I think with that said,  this film really isn’t about mad max’s story at all. But much rather about the female’s he’s in contact with. At the end of the movie, I’m closer to the women and understanding their turmoils than even remotely caring about the films title character. Remember folks the grass may be green on the other side, but most times if you watered your own lawn, you would have just as green a lawn.

My biggest complaint about Fury Road was the absolute pointlessness to making it in 3D. I know I like the use of depth it brings but there’s so little use of it that you barely even notice it. Being this is a mammoth of a action film, with cars and such exploding every which way, you would have thought they’d capitalize on the pop out feature most are accustomed to with 3d. I know I went for that possibility.

All in all. If you want fun but with a moral at the end go see thus film… just save your money and see it in 2d.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8.9 out of 10,
  • Editing: 8 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10,
  • Acting: 7 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Definitely worth picking up. but just skip any 3d showings. It’s just a cash grab here.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Smile 4: Smile On The Lakeshore

Commissioned to do this recap video of the party put on by the “Dj Flip” team.

 

Smile 4: Smile on the Lakeshore

The party itself was hype, so It was a pleasure to do it. Would love to do more.