Black Panther: Film Review

WAKANDA FOREVER!!

To put this simply, this is the film the MCU/Marvel studios needed to continue to be both current and influentially fresh. its groundbreaking, mostly because it IS groundbreaking


Director: Ryan Coogler Writer: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole, Full cast and crew: Runtime: 2h 14m

There isn’t much wrong with this movie when one looks at the technical and creative choices made. I can split hairs over the lack of practical jungles (it’s not hard to film in them; films of old have had to shoot in them) I can even split hairs over the lack of a main score to hum to yourself for years to come much akin to anything made by John Williams. I could even say that the action to the film is a tad slower than I’d like. But these things are minimal hairs to split over…

Black panther comes at the right time when you objectively look at our current modern history. Black Panther certainly gives viewers something they haven’t seen in a hero flick before.

What could possibly be fresh from a studio who has shown us both space and Asgard(and made it believable)? Black Kings, Queens, Black Princesses and a plethora of Royal armies and families from An African nation.

I remember when Kevin Feige said that creating Wakanda was a challenge because they don’t think audiences would believe in the idea of Wakanda (being such a powerful, proud, profitable African nation I imagine). Pre-sale numbers have shown people are ready. I can’t begin to describe the joy I got watching a black film like this. For a brief, moment lets appreciate that a black director got to tell the story of an African King with a healthy number of black cast and key crew members, in Atlanta of all places. There’s a joy from not seeing slaves, addicts, or thugs in a high-profile film. Yes! These tropes exist and ought to be represented as well. But, if ever there was a historic site for all movies ever made, we have made enough for the next 50 years of black hardships from the slave era to the crack baby. We have other stories too! and Ryan Coogler did one hell of a job to bring our truths, our impressions of self, and bring up questions about why certain things didn’t happen post slavery.

Even if you feel like you will only root for the hero because of the hero being right, this film asks the viewer for a moment to ponder the motivation behind the flick’s “Big bad” in Eric Killmonger (M.B.Jordan). If you haven’t been living in Latveria, you know that there’s been a steady movement in the US of A called Black Lives Matter. Main news media outlets and the woefully ignorant, would love for you to believe they’re a militia group who solely believe that blacks and ONLY the lives of blacks matter. That they are ready to kill like other blacks have been killed by the boys in blue. In truth what they are simply saying is “Hey, you know we see how you have been treating our race, as opposed to others…. right?!” (How this concept is lost on some is beyond me but here’s a picture of MBJ in a suit).

BP premire

SO. All that said, Killmonger’s motives are that which the media would have you believe. But he’s not wrong in just his methods aren’t democratic. I Kinda hoped his character won in a way. T’Challa on the other hand was very much more poise. He has a long-term goal that wont impede on the world, but rather co-exist with the rest of the world. Where Killmonger wants his comeuppance to be immediate almost akin to Magneto aka Malcolm X, T’Challa is very much a calculated individual who understands that, that way of thinking does no one any help and is much more akin to MLK/ Professor X . No one wants a tyrannical leader, regardless of race. the leading men both give portrayals that can be seen from a multitude of perspectives. it is something that can be enough of a reason to see this film multiple times before it makes its home viewing debut. Killmonger’s best scene was the museum. There was a lot of truth in those words. and I feel hd a great flair of improv on the tail end. I hope he takes on more villainous roles
T’Challa with his father just felt so organic. Eerily familiar to Lion King
Danai’s character, Okoye, is catching flak for not being like the Source Material. Look I understand how important representation is. BUT WITH THAT SAID, can we not?! The movie ‘ about her, her sexuality is only relevant for the means of making a certain scene come to an end in the back half of the film. There will be sequels and I’m sure something can be done. That said, Danai seems to get some of the best bad ass roles. Her Korea scene is definitely some of her finest work action wise. she’s so good in this film its hard to pinpoint her stand out scene, but I’d argue it being the loyalty scene with Nakia.
Lupita’s Nakia does well with her role. I loved that she seemed to give new meaning behind the old saying “behind every great man…” in many ways she is T’Challa’s equal minus the powers.

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There’s so much talent in this film. Honourable mentions come from the two Caribbean actors playing Shuri (Letitia Wright, Guyana) and M’Baku (Winston Duke, Trinidad) the two added much-needed grounded comedy after the not really needed over the top comedy in Thor Ragnarök. I hope to see them in more roles in the MCU or even becoming stars in their own right.

In no way was anyone Oscar worthy(acting) here but there was considerable effort from everyone (Hi, Ms Basset).

Where the film is able to excel is that in turth, Black Panther is relatively unknown to many. So liberties can be taken ll thruout

As far as Comic book films go, This isn’t Chris Reeves superman bar setting, but it definitely sets itself to be among the most favoured on an ‘all-time’ list. At the end of the day its a great film, one that MCU had in the making since Iron Man 2 (Fury, Stark, Bunker scene) and have been teasing ever since. It’s about time this particular film was made. I’m happy with whom the studio got to tell this story. I just wish they didn’t do the Marvel thing and Spoiler: Kill their villains all the time.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9.4 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 8.8 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8.5 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the B? IMAX or nothing. The costume dept alone is worthwhile in Imax. But grab the blu-ray.. I want a sequel.

ps. Anyone else notice he got his powers from grape drink?

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

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).

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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).

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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.

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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

Top 5: Movie Review

Top Five.

Full castDirector: Chris Rock. Writer: Chris Rock. Run Time: 102 mins

So I will come right out and say I have no idea where top five, as a thing, fits into this movie. As far as raw black movies go, this is probably the best one out (editor’s note *I haven’t seen Dear White People). Now this isn’t  your typical black (comedy) movie. It’s not about somoking weed every day and doing hood shit. This is a, dare I say, romantic comedy that is smart and something that transcends race. If you took away the black jokes, this could easily fit anyone (or race). It is simple that way, which I argue is what makes it so brilliant.

Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson are the headlining talents of the film and that was enough for me to go to the movies. The pair make for an interesting dynamic, I found, on screen. Rock, comes from a comedic background which is exactly his character on screen. His character is grounded in numerous ways. One being abuse of alcohol. Its a easy way to make a character relatable and when rock delves into that side of things, his acting seems more real than another aspect. Rosario is a flawed, mysterious journalist. Personally, I feel like this is one of her better roles and I hope she does more like this, or more with Rock. She came off veey much like that girl you could kick it with and seemed very wholesome in her personal life. Her flaws are on the surface but do not define her. She was tremendously written to give off enough visually and to have the viewer assume correctly the type of person she was.

An aspect of movies I don’t usually go into is costume and character looks, but if done for the movie and not just a look she had for product placement, her entire wardrobe and her house and everything she was, were all so well thought out. Yes she not make it on a hot list in say “People Magazine” but for her character, I was captured by her and everything about her.

Chris, Rosario

The story isn’t anything new. Well maybe till the end but since I’ve  probably already said that like 7 times, I will give my opinion on what bothers me. Most of the scenes are funny and well thought out but the first complaint I did have was from the Houston sex scene. The lead up to it was great. But then the brief four play was just so random and seemed out the blue, out of context of the story till that point. Granted, I’ve seen worse things. Hell, I’ve heard of worst stories like a girl giving a bj inside of an apartment garbage room. But that scene totally  made me believe I was watching a movie (at that a very tacky one)versus watching a screenplay or a story that was real; which is what I feel each movie is charged with doing. The other comes from my opening line. Top five. In most socially acceptable scenario’s, it means that you have to give someone your top five of any given subject. Being this is a black/urban movie, hip-hop is the subject. But by the end of this thing, it just left you really lost as to how it relates to the overall, overarching theme/story. The last thing I will say as a form of a complaint is that Chris rock tends to write stories centered around jokes, versus stories that contain jokes. This movie has that, but probably not as much as his earlier work(s) like Down to Earth.

My favorite moments of the film are the urban moments where he gets back with his “roots” and family. There’s a moment with his father who you don’t know is so, until the conclusion of the scene. It was well crafted. When he reaches his old apartment, the feel of those seemed so authentic, satirical, and made the entire story seem believable. They were well acted, shot written, everything.

Bottom line: For what society says is urban culture and cinema, this is tremendous story telling and not your typical “black” film. For film students, This is great story to screen. For everyone else, this is a great holiday movie and a great anytime film.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 7.9 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 8 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Definitely worthy of picking up on blu-ray. great modern classic, but it probably won’t be.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Movie Review

This might have been the best summer movie.

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Writer:  James GunnNicole Perlman Director:  James Gunn Runtime: 121 mins

Cast

I had posted about who the Guardians of the Galaxy really are and its a fair bet not many knew prior to seeing the flick. This is probably the utmost reason this movie excels. Aside from my fellow brethren who know full well about the sci-fi/realm of space side of  the Marvel Universe, NO ONE cared about these guys. and that is very much a factor in the film. One of the constant mentions people keep saying is: “If you had told me a talking racoon would be a “star” character in a movie, some 10+ years ago, I would spit out my drink in laughter”. Well those folks can all now still spit out a drink in laughter and then some, cause not only does “Rocket Racoon” nearly steal the show, he, voiced by Bradley Cooper, makes you feel for the character as if he was a “human”. The film really does achieve a lot in its 2 hour run time but never once does it feel beyond whelming. Its most remarkable element was being able to blend both drama and comedy seamlessly all while never taking itself too seriously while still remaining true to being a “Comic Book” movie. I feel that is one of the problems so many other studios have with their comic book properties. They try to be a comic adaption while being true to the medium of cinema and the integrity of the director’s imagination/creativity. I believe that on some level you have to have one more so than the other(s) and never falter… But, as I say, everything is situational.

Another aspect of what makes this a great film, is the soundtrack and for once I don’t mean the musical score. The soundtrack boast some of the best music from era(‘s) past. Its even on US Billboard at #1 for this week (week ending Aug. 15th, 2014)

The soundtrack to Marvel Studios’ latest blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy, has topped the midweek US Billboard chart, and is the first soundtrack comprised entirely of previously released songs to reach the No 1 spot.

The soundtrack seemingly works on various levels but, really giving the Lead, Peter Quill, his only real tether to Earth and his childhood when his mother was in his life. For that aspect, it works tremendously in this film to keep it relatable to viewers. Let’s face it, we all have that one (or several) song(s) that remind us of days past (couldn’t resist).

This film boast a another crazy cast as any other marvel movie. Benicio  Del Toro, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and more; Take on their first roles in the superhero genre.  Given the roles Del Toro has had in past, I was shocked he took on the role of “The Collector from back in Thor. I fully enjoyed new comer Lee Pace as Ronan. The costume design was great even if they went for a more obvious, dark = bad guy tone. It very much resembled his look in the comics. The only characters/actors I question in terms of acting were Zoe’s, Josh Brolin’s and Karen Gillian’s characters (Gamora, Thanos, and Nebula, respectively). I felt as though they were underplayed in various ways (i.e., Thanos didn’t give me that menacing performance one wold hope from a man known as the “Mad Titan”). And even though their back stories were explained and even hinted at, I felt as though we were still short handed in respects to what we deserved from those listed and more, from a story aspect. We all know Zoe can act, and I love her as an actress (she’s skinny and kicks everyones ass, that is awesome defined!), but I can’t help but feel she didn’t give us the best of her talents. Its not in anyway, shape, or form a bad performance, just maybe a miscue in direction/communication. The cool thing about the movie is that having Vin Diesel voice act allows him to be in future movies if even as a bodyguard or something, same with B.Cooper. . Aside from the acting, due to (maybe) the quality of the image, the aliens didn’t all feel like aliens so much as humans in costume.

Which leads me to my next point of the use of 3d, cinematography, and use of effects as a whole. Right from the start you feel like you’re in the 80s. Whats nice is the tint to give it that retro feeling. Then it movies into more 3d expected territory, which was in damn good quality. This post conversion stuff is really getting better. The 3D helps to enhance that idea that you’re in a whole new world/environment. However, I feel that the use of both depth and traditional out/oFf screen effects would have served this movie better. The action, as plenty but was kinda lacking in any great shot in personal opinion. Thankfully it was mostly clear and easy to see thanks to the colourful cast. But it never gets distracting throughout the film. Which is better. I will say the ending “battle” was my favourite bit with the use of the camera.

There were a lot of easter eggs in the film, from both the BTS side of things, to things right out of the comics and throughout pop culture. I noticed a few from the comics and pop culture, but heres more.

This movie is nothing, if not well put together. nice blend of the medium. it excels mostly because of its obscurity. The tremendous control over the time and place(meant) of comedy, action, and a dramatic moment is superb. I wouldn’t call this an adaption, as much as I would call this movie. The characters are all losers, and people you’d bet against in the right conditions, but with the tremendous writing and character understanding, this movie really captures the essence that would this band of merry folks just really don’t want to die unless its by their actions. Most superhero movies tend to go the ay of this is my problem i have to fix it because i created the villain. this story didn’t feel like that. Has some of those elements yea, but in actuality its a great neutral bad guy vs good guy(s) story here. It’s really hard to hate on this movie outside of nitpicking. For my chosen nitpick, how on earth did they get on to the ship with Yondu and get new costumes for everyone (the all red, scarlet ones) including Rocket Racoon?

9.7

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9.7 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8.9 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? It’s not bad in Imax. Definitely worth picking up to truly start phase two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Amazing Spider-Man 2: Movie Review


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Director: Marc Webb Writer:  Alex Kurtzman (screenplay), Roberto Orci(screenplay) MORE Running Time: 142 mins

Starring:

This is way better than the Raimi movies and the first Amazing Spider-Man movie. THAT REALLY NEEDS TO BE SAID!

Dialogue is very important in a talking movie as it is in a comic book. The dialogue here is quite frankly just as amazing as the title would suggest. First, let me say that Spider-Man has been a pop culture icon since the 70’s (lets be fair, he probably wasn’t as cool with the world at the jump in 62) so he isn’t entirely hard to get right. Theres COUNTLESS  ARTICLES in his history. That said, he has been known as the kid hero who gets to beat up on you as he insults you. All while dealing with a elderly, near-nagging aunt. Homework money woes and everything and anything teens deal with in their day-to-day lives. This film is obviously a modern take on what exists. The dialogue is at its strongest when it comes to Gwen and Peter. I am no expert on love, but for the allowed time limit that this movie runs, It’s hard not to see the very obvious chemistry between the two leads. In the first ASM movie, there was that nervous love, almost secret love. Here and now, you have that same secret love but it’s a bit more of a guilty pleasure that just feels more right than wrong (because of the promise he made Gwen’s dad). Which is essentially ripped from the comic as it may (minus the contrast with Gwen’s approval of spidey). The remainder of the cast, interactions between the lot, and overall story; play very much like a comic but feels very grounded. But again, the best thing here, verbally, is the dialogue, notably between the couple. I remember sitting there and feeling the pain Peter was feeling from his guilt and  the joy, from what he was doing.

UnknownI will have to give credit to Jamie Foxx on having me believe that he could be an average dude who just wanted to be noticed. I remember how the design for this character came to be from an interview he did on one of them “late night talk shows. He said what would I look like if I didn’t make it… and was something like a nerd. (Don’t quote me tho) alas here we are with his portrayal of Max Dillion aka Electro. Everyone is mad he’s black. But I ask does it matter what he is. He was a skrull in New Avengers and no one bats an eye. So let it be. His race played no part in his character. Its not like he is Black Panther where it has a higher symbolism for that character to be black. Anyways, Mr Foxx really impressed me with what he was able to achieve. He’s really one of those underrated actors who doesn’t get proper credit (I feel so anyway). Maybe because he’s multi talented… or maybe cause of the movie Booty Call. But, here he plays a villain which isn’t so much something we have seen him play before, if memory serves correctly. Then you have DeHaan who again makes me anfan of his work. (Lawless and Chronicle) he really convinced me of his character. A bit of a bratty, very intelligent heir to a fortune; who later becomes a villian. He ties into the history of Peter nicely. Written to seem very seamless since he is a new actor/Character to the mix. The time square scene with Foxx and the board meeting scene for DeHaan are the stand out scenes for me acting wise, from those two. Andrew and Emma just steal it in every aspect when on camera together. Andrew just portrays spidey as he is meant to be.

Director, Marc Webb really out did himself in this movie. His stylistic choices only served to enhance the movie and lore of Spider-Man. I’m totally ok with chnaging aspects of what exists as long as they make sense to the character and theme of either the story and or the premise of said character. Don’t just make people switch up for the sake of it (I’m looking at you Chris Nolan). From the mechanics behind web swinging and way Foxx looks, talks, acts, etc. Overall look of the film is dope as hell. I really love the Time Square scene and the underlining importance of time.

The best thing about the Avengers was that they were able to essentially blend 5 movie star franchises into one world. Even though, most of those worlds felt very much independent from each other. What Spider-Man does is create a world all its own for itself, within. The dynamic of his parents being basically responsible for everything he is dealing with as Spidey. All while being roughly true to the comics (Ultimate Universe).

The-Amazing-Spider-Man-2-4-1

My two flaws are the end sequence. From when he finishes off Electro (come on that’s not a spoiler) to the credits. When the inevitable happens I would have chosen to opt out of using a musical score. And the time lapse just seems odd. But still effective how it’s done. And Rhino’s voice. Not one word was understood by him… whatever happened to focus groups?! Atleast Nolan tried to fix that for that garbage I was talking about earlier.

Bottom line. This is arguably the best adaptation of any hero. It was as close as one can get to the comics and the greatness that was the 90’s animated show. Its very much reflected from Dan Slotts spidey as well as Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man. Which makes the most sense in terms of relevance (and of course the comic its based off of written by Gerry Conway) . This movie is a love letter to Spider-Man and it shows. Movies are an art form as is comics and this is a great cohesion of the two.

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 10 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9.5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10 (Score could have been better),
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Amazon has a bust statue case of it ready to pre order.. I did that weeks ago.

for your consideration, please see Spider-Man: Blue

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Man Of Steel: Movie Review

Man of steel

man-of-steel-mondo-4

Were you not entertained?

Henry Cavill
Amy Adams
Michael Shannon
Diane Lane
Russell Crowe
Antje Traue
Harry Lennix
Richard Schiff
Christopher Meloni
Kevin Costner
Ayelet Zurer
Laurence Fishburne
Dylan Sprayberry
Cooper Timberline
Richard Cetrone
Tor-An

(There’s actually a lot of actors and characters from Smallville which Zack is a major fan of.)
The last time we saw Superman it was on “Smallville” on tv, then before that in “Superman Returns” Now he is the Man of steel brought to you by Zack Snyder and Executively produced by Chris “The Dark Knight” Nolan.

Superman represents many things and those elements are very well explored here. He’s the ultimate immigrant, hero/saviour, “American” and the greatest symbol of hope (to be better) we humans can create. From the early stages on Krypton the “Hope” is the focus of this movie, but not the Theme.  It’s actually a little hard to say EXACTLY what the theme is.  The tone and feel of the movie is much like the show Arrow. If you watch Arrow then you kinda understand. It’s actually surprised me how engaging it was for a movie that was 2.5 hours in length.

Only three colours used
Only three colours used

Art direction isn’t something I touch too much on for my reviews. But this movie had GREAT art direction. In past Superman movies it was very much about ice and crystals but now with M.O.S. they legit took on the steel aspect. From homes, to technology, even the suits of Kryptonians (I still don’t like the look of Superman’s costume, invulnerable people don’t need armour). It lends to the point that this isn’t anything related to the Reeves/Routh Era of Superman Movies.

Michael Shannon as Zod was amazing. I loved his character right to the bitter end. Zod was a calm Nazi in Reeves’ Superman 2, here he’s very much a man on a mission to save what he loves. He has a real conflict and has only one absolute solution. Conflicts and hardships always make characters interesting, and hero’s are apparently defined by who they face.

This brings me to Henry’s Cavali’s portrayal of Clark Superman. The Story of his character aside (I have mixed feelings with it) he does superman justice. In Smallville we watched Superman become Superman and as well as the disguise of Clark.

This was kind of the same idea. IT’S NOT THE SAME STORY AS SMALLVILLE but just the idea. It’s kind of more like how “Superman: Earth One” makes Superman become Superman via forceful desperation.

There’s an inherited value/moral of doing and being good from Jor-El – who by the way, Russel Crowe, did an amazing job as well. The story allowed for a more explained fall of Krypton, Jor-El and Zod’s relationship and just how much like Clark, Jor-El is and vice versa (the son becomes the father, and the father the son).  Amy Adams playing Lois was very much a strong woman through and through. Her look was solid, and she didn’t entirely come off as just a damsel in distress. She got the essence of the character down minus the red hair.

Hans Zimmer does an incredible job. He’s no John Williams but that’s OK. This is the new era of Superman movies. So there SHOULD be a new sound. Hans Zimmer does just that. Personally I didn’t hear a catchy Superman song like in past motion media depictions. But thanks to the new sound, it carried the movie along nicely. It added more desperation to scenes that were dire to the story as conflicts arose. It sounds amazing and just made all the action scenes epic… and there are a lot of them. Hans is the man.

Zack Snyder does WICKED ACTION SEQUENCES look at all his previous work. All badass. He may not get the greatest from his actors but honestly, he had a great cast with experience to do anything. The fight scenes were nothing we’ve seen before. They were creative, they had a lot of the different powers Kryptonians have under our yellow sun, and they were more realistic than what was in Superman 2, in terms of exposing a weakness. The angles are great and even though it’s in 3D, in IMAX, and all intense, it was easy and clear to watch. You see everything, which is SO GREAT! The latter half of the movie is basically strictly action and it’s all just as beautiful. The action is what makes it worth watching in IMAX.

man-of-steel-poster-2

Bottom line: This is now my favourite superman movie. It’s hard to say that it’s better than Superman: The Movie but it’s not meant to be. The freedom of creating a new reality is promising. Rumour has it this is the seed to a Justice League movie. The ending fight is the strongest point. the only issue I didn’t like is that there wasn’t entirely a complete reason as to why he became Superman or no real lesson taught prior getting his costume. Lastly DONT BE THAT PERSON to say this is better or worse than Avengers  They’re TOTALLY different (but Avengers is a more complete movie). There  – not really spoiled.

(MAN OF STEEL Easter Eggs and DC Comics References You May Have Missed)RATINGS!!!!

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9.8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 10 out of 10,
  • Editing: 10 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9.5 out of 10,

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Now You See Me: Movie Review

Now you don’t (I had too).

Director: Louis Leterrier
Runtime: 115mins
Screenplay: Edward RicourtBoaz Yakin

now_you_see_me_xlgThis movie I awesome, I honestly wanted to see it for two reasons, it was the first true movie since the Avengers movie for Mark Ruffalo and I really like the pace of the director (note that this director, helmed “The Incredible Hulk” and is now working with the current hulk for this one)

This movie deals with a lot of magic yes, but oddly enough it’s not entirely on the forefront of the movie. It’s very much based on the story and the cat and mouse game all while making the viewer guess just what the hell is going to happen next. My best friend and Essenex co-founder saw this movie and did a review as well so peep that. [be nice to link him here

He tweeted and said it was the best movie of the month (May) and I didn’t believe him, but after seeing it I was easily swayed to agreement.

The movie relies heavily on the viewers’ suspension of disbelief to be really effective in executing its magic. But it also has the “viewer’s” angle in the movie in the form of Morgan Freeman. He’s the truest skeptic in the movie. Mark Ruffalo is the guy who is assigned to bring the magicians to face justice, and he honestly gets really into his character I felt. Then you have Jesse Eisenburg, who is much like the guy in Facebook. I wouldn’t say it is a typecast but I wouldn’t say he isn’t either. Going back to my acting class, the best actors play themselves my teacher told me so if it works for him, by all means continue. Oddly enough, it’s very fitting for his role.

The director, Louis Leterrier has a characteristically noticeable  way to change between acts and it’s no different here. Each major magic show is the cue for each act. and it helps to pace the movie. if you remember the incredible Hulk (with Ed Norton) each fight scene was the closing of the act and helped to pace it. It’s great when a movie has a good flow between dialogue and action.

And here is where I complain… It is a movie of course that the magic works. Being a film student, I had a bit of a hard time believing what was on the big screen. But the story was so strong I let the story kind of take over. Towards the end of the second act and even the explanation ending I was a bit confused so that alone had me really liking the movie… I couldn’t guess what was about to happen. Everyone always complains that there’s no originality in Hollywood anymore. Which may be true because a lot of how this movie started felt like Ocean’s Eleven.

Bottom line you’re probably going to have to watch this movie twice to fully understand where the twists came from.

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the movie:  9 out of 10
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10 (camera stunt work is decent),
  • Editing: 9 out of 10
  • Special effects: 7 out of 10
  • Audio: 8 out of 10
  • Acting: 10 out of 10
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Much better to watch at home so you can really understand it. Worthy of a rental, in my eyes. But it would look nice on a shelf if you have friends over.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Superman II: Throwback Movie Review

You made us believe a man can fly, now show us what he can do.Superman2

Writers: Mario PuzoDavid NewmanLeslie NewmanTom Mankiewicz Director: Richard Donner Run Time: 127 Mins
superman-2-560The second chapter and it’s pretty enjoyable. The first film dealt with the origin story but gave a side story intended to be told in Superman Two. One issue with this picture was that Richard Donner was fired and the new director had basically reshot everything Donner had intended to tell for his movie. But thanks to Ms. Kidder informing people via an interview that Donner had shot enough footage to basically edit a feature-length movie, fans encouraged WB to release his vision for Superman two.That’s all for another review.

Superman One is probably most loved for having an epic shooting style and being able to have audiences young and old alike, believe that a man could fly largely in part to the performance of Christopher Reeves. So the challenge here was how do we keep the movie fresh? With bringing on a new director, one of the first things he did, as I said, was reshoot the movie and even edited out Marlon Brando. Another key thing was he gave someone who Superman could punch (well the story did).supeszod

I’d like to believe until Superman 2, all other live-action iterations, were just Superman taking on regular Joes who he couldn’t really unleash on.  Having such a dictator like foe from his home planet, really gave Supes an opportunity to show Metropolis and the world, that he was on the side of Earth, and its freedoms. Zod is a character so much like Clark had he had terrible parents and there’s a good contrast in the movie but due to its very light nature it’s easily missed.

That’s one of the best things about the Chris Reeves Superman movies, they’re all very heart warming and easy. Many regard this as the best Superman movie due to that aspect as well as the Metropolis showdown. There’s a scene with Lois and Clark (that would later be used as the back bone of “Superman Returns”) where the two have coitus but because of the nature of the story, characters and the acting it’s only implied that it happens. Childish in a way, yes, but at the age of 6 would you really want to see Superman have sex? Probably not.

A questionable move by the director to avoid using the epic style of Superman One instead moving more towards the look and feel of a comic book – The best way to describe it is the scenes where the story takes place in Niagara Falls. In comic books a lot of the panels involve “tight shots” that have a lot of people and objects neatly woven for the story aspect or just artist choice, this comes off very well here. Ignoring the time period of this movie, the Metropolis battle scene is another type of comic book style cinematography. It’s edited a little quicker, has a bit more of a flat angle and the random dialogue during the fight is spot on for a comic book.

Bottom Line: Its fun to relive this Superman film. It’s regarded as the last best film (sadly… But in a good way) in the Superman franchise. It isn’t the best one, but for what it is, it does serve its purpose and is still fun to watch now and worthy to see. If looking for back story on Zod however, you’re better off watching season five and nine of Smallville

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8.5 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 5 out of 10,
  • Editing: 5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,

PS. there’s some weird powers used here, this may help you understand why. Got to love the silver age of comics.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Superman: The Movie (1978) Throwback Review

Distant planet called Krypton… Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…..

It’s Superman

Director: Richard Donner Writers: Mario PuzoDavid NewmanLeslie NewmanRobert Benton Run Time: 143

Jor-El… Marlon Brando
Lex Luthor Gene Hackman
Superman-Clark Kent… Christopher Reeve
Jonathan Kent… Glenn Ford
Lois Lane… Margot Kidder
Perry White… Jackie Cooper
Jimmy Olsen… Marc McClure
Otis… Ned Beatty
Eve Tessmacher… Valerie Perrine

superman 1978

Some of the best things about the movie are how it is shot, the props, the sets and of course having audiences believing a man could fly. From the opening scene, to the trial of Zod, to Clark racing a train right up to the Superman movie send off, it’s all kind of majestic in its delivery. As kids, most of us have seen this film and we probably thought this was real. As I re-watched this movie I couldn’t help but feel like the four-year old me again singing the songs. Honestly, John Williams deserves all the awards in the world. His influence in cinema may be underappreciated but the truth (proof) is in his work.

This movie is a classic.

superman the movieNow you may have wondered why I didn’t say a “timeless classic”, that’s because it is dated. Superman these days isn’t dating Lois. He’s shagging Wonder Woman, has armor, has two confusing comics and is currently being played by Henry Cavalli In Man Of Steel. The sets, style of cinematography and even how Mr. Reeves portrayed Clark is a bit out dated. It’s not the worst, but now it sort of doesn’t hold up. I understand the exact reason why, and it’s clear when one gets to the part where Superman is interviewed by Lois Lane at her apartment. To that point you should understand the importance of Clark’s mannerisms versus when he’s Superman. There’s even a nice contrast between Margot Kidder’s choices of character mannerisms when dealing with clark and dealing with Superman. That is probably the best acting for those two together. The best acted scene however is when Lois dies.superman--the-movie

It’s actually my all time favourite movie moment of all time. The noticeable silence, the cinematography, the greatest reaction to a death (I’ve ever seen) in a movie. The entire movie’s cast kind of has a theatrical feel to it. Even Chris Reeves has a strong theatre background. So when he got pissed that he couldn’t save Lois, and he says the “no’s” without any sound, only to have him yell at the heavens.

Yeah that’s epic (with today’s effects we may have seen him accidentally cause a shockwave of some sort). Add the fact that while he was still living on the farm, he couldn’t save his father it just has a nice added weight to it by the time that scene comes. Then the reversal of time via reverse globe spinning and all that confusion happens.

Honestly as far as origin stories go, this may have been one of the best – especially with the passing of time to the point where Clark goes to train with Jor-El (Smallville fans, Season 5). From early infant, to man, we don’t see Superman for the first hour. And then, when see Superman in action it’s pretty accurate to almost every origin of Superman I’ve seen, outside of “Earth One”. Superman is always first seen saving a plane or some kind of air craft.

The reason to fault this movie is in its own greatness. This story would basically be a Superman Earth 2 story from before “Crisis on Infinite Earths” got rid of that realm to smooth out their continuity. What that means to everyone else is that, the world of this Superman is yes, set in New York City, but it’s not a realistic NYC. It’s a world where he’s loved with no reason. He only saved Lois because well, it’s Lois. Towards the end, it does make sense but it’s hard to entirely accept.

Christopher_Reeve_TributeBottom line: this is one of those movies all kids should see or anyone really. But I know not everyone will. The movie is very light and kid friendly but still has a lot that adults can take from it, cinema students included.

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: 5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW