Movie Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

TL;DR – Volume 2 takes everything from the first film and elevates it with an interesting story, beautiful visuals, and some of the best humour in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but your mileage may vary depending on a couple of factors.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. There are 5 mid/post credit scenes

GOTGVol2

Review

Back in 2014 Marvel undertook the biggest experiment yet in this whole expanded universe, it was an ensemble cast which they had not done outside of an Avengers film at that point, its main lead was still a mostly unknown Chris Pratt. Seriously when he was cast he was mostly known as that quirky dude on Parks and Rec, two of the main cast were CGI and one of those only said I am Groot and it was amazing. It was funny, but emotional at places and that opening still makes me tear up, and until Captain America Civil War came along it was my favourite film in the MCU, or maybe still is, I go back and forth a bit here. So it would not be a surprise to say that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 might be the film I was the most looking forward to in 2017. Now this as a reviewer is something you have to be careful with, you need to make sure your rose-tinted glasses are not blinding you to the flaws, or conversely that you don’t hype it up so much that it is a disappointment no matter how good it is. But I have just come from the cinemas and overall I really loved Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but I can also see areas that may put people off. So with this in mind let’s start the review.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Movie Review – Their Finest


TL;DR
– Where Their Finest excels is in creating the world of WW2 United Kingdom and what it was like to make a film during this time, but it is held back a bit is in its slightly clunky script.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Review

Their Finest

It is at the depths of WW2, Hitler is on the move everywhere, the allies have been forced to retreat from France, London is under almost daily bombings during the Blitz, and the USA is refusing to get involved, it is the darkest of times. However, it is also a time of great change both within society and also within the film industry, with pressures to boost moral but also the need to engage with women in a way that they have never done before. Within this complicated setting, we have the Ministry of Information who is trying to make a film about the Dunkirk evacuation, the biggest military retreat in history yet also a great source of national pride as the whole country mobilised to save the troops from the approaching German Army. This is a great setting for a film, it deals with a lot of issues that feel very much of the time yet still relevant today, but can it maintain your interest for the whole film, well that’s what we are going to look at today.

Continue reading

Movie Review – The Fate of the Furious (Fast & Furious 8)


TL;DR
– The Fate of the Furious is a stupid dumb film, but it’s also a bunch of fun and downright heart-warming in places.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Fate of the Furious

Review
Ok so we need to acknowledge straight from the start that this is the eighth film in the Fast in the Furious franchise, that’s a real accomplishment and puts it tied with Star Wars which is not mean feat, but it still has a bit to go to catch up with Star Trek, Marvel, Bond, and wait what Air Bud, really, there have been fourteen of them, goodness. Ok wait, we went off on a tangent there, ok where were we, oh yes eight films, it is a real achievement, and means that they are doing something right. However, to be honest for me I have not watched any since the 2nd back in the day, because they kept taking this ridiculous premise and playing it completely seriously and it just grated on me. But given that this is film number eight and given that this franchise has become one of the biggest in modern filmmaking I thought I’d give it another go, and wow was I pleasantly surprised. So going into the eighth film in a franchise there are some things that you can expect before the opening titles roll, there will be a lot of fast cars, a lot of women in tight clothing, a metric ass-ton of machismo, and oh, also a completely on point James Bond narrative, ok I was actually not expecting that last one but there it is and it was a pleasant surprise. It is really fascinating to jump back in after all this time and see just how much the series has evolved, but also how in many ways it has really not changed much at all. So in today’s review, we are going to look at the story, the characters, the action, as well as a couple of other tidbits.

Continue reading

Movie Review – The Lego Batman Movie

TL;DR – It takes the very best of Batman, adds in some great animation and adds an interesting villain, I highly recommend it

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Lego Batman Banner

Review

“I’m Batman”, it is a phrase so common I bet you just said it in your head Christian Bale style or indeed Will Arnett style. Batman is one of those unambiguous pop-culture references and touchstones that everyone knows about even if they have never read a comic or seen a movie. So if you are a marketing executive you are loving this exposure, however, the Batman from the Lego films is a parody and an almost one-note parody at that. This is a problem because we have seen over and over again when you take the zany side character and give them their own film it often doesn’t work, see the last Pirates of the Caribbean. So with today’s review, we are going to take a moment to look at what lead to the creation of this film, then look at the animation, story and characters, and see if it holds up.
Continue reading

How well did they create Persia and Macedonia in Civilization VI?

TL;DR – Persia and Macedonia are great new additions to Civilization 6, even if they do raise some questions about ‘civilizations’

Civilization 6
Review

So the Spring Patch and new DLC for Civilization VI has been out for a week and now that I’ve had a chance to give Persia and Macedonia a play through I thought I would look at how well they have been implemented in the game. So to do this we will first chat a bit about the changes made in the latest patch to the game as a whole, we’ll then look at Persia and Macedonia focusing at how well they have been represented as well as, how well they have been implemented in the game, and then finally we will take a moment to look at the issue of ‘civilizations’ that this new DLC raises.

Continue reading

Video Game Review – Mass Effect Andromeda

TL;DR – Andromeda takes Mass Effect in a new direction whilst still remaining true to its roots, though some areas did need a bit more polish.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Mass Effect Andromeda

Review –

I can remember the first time I ever got to play Mass Effect, it was back in 2008 and my brother had to trade his Wii for his friends Xbox 360 and we had only one week to binge through the first game before we had to give the Xbox back. We were looking for something to rise to the same standard as Knights of the Old Republic, and Mass Effect exceeded them in every way. Since then I have played through the whole trilogy a couple of times, I’ve played as Male-Shep and Fem-Shep, I’ve reunited the Geth and the Quarians, watched a galaxy burn because everyone ignored me, helped a despot reclaim control of a smugglers headquarters, fell in love several times, told Kaidan to go jump when they accused me of cheating on them when they were the one who said we should be on a break, found friendship in one who is many yet still one, brought more than one race back from the dead, watched a trusted crew member sacrifice their lives with a song on their lips to put right the demons of the past, and explored ever single planet that the Milky Way had to offer. So to say I was excited about a new Mass Effect is a bit of an understatement, and now it is finally here I was more than ready to jump back into this universe, taking one more ride into this great space opera that BioWare created. But even though I was excited, that excitement was measured with a bit of hesitation, Mass Effect 3 was brilliant, one of the few games that have ever made me cry¹, however, that final decision left a lot to be desired, now I know that a lot of people liked it, but for me it was a letdown. So I had this combination of emotions going into this new game, but now I have played through till the end let’s look at how well they did with Mass Effect Andromeda.

Continue reading

Movie Review – Beauty and the Beast (2017)

TL;DR – It is a beautiful recreation of the original film with a great cast and music, but while it is good, it does not do enough to separate itself from its animated inspiration.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Beauty and the Beast

Review

Beauty and the Beast was the crown jewel of the Disney Renaissance in the 1990s and were one of the few animated films to ever be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. As a film, it is as majestic today as it was when it was released, and that’s a testament to the original songs and animation. So for any movie that adapts the classic La Belle et la Bête is going to have the issue of being compared to one of the greatest films that have been made, so how do you compete with such a legacy, how do you set your work apart from that classic film … well, how about you do a mostly shot by shot remake of the original. So not only is this the 3rd remake we have had in the row (see Power Rangers & Ghost in the Shell), it is also the next in this long line of live-action remakes of classic Disney films (see The Jungle Book) which only Pete’s Dragon has really worked for me. So with all these remakes floating around how does Beauty and the Beast compare with its past as well as the current cinematic landscape, well that is the question that we will be exploring today. Now since this is a movie based off a 1991 movie based on a story written in 1740 there may be some spoilers here, but the movie has been out for quite a while.

Continue reading