Predator – Review

I’d seen the end of this once but this was my first time watching the whole movie. Much like with the Alien movies actually watching this shows a side to the titular creature that isn’t commonly referenced (in this case the fact it quotes people).

Of course as well as being the introduction of the Predator it’s also an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie which means it’s got a few famous quotes in it including one of my favourites “GET TO THE CHOPPA!” (twice). I haven’t even got to the crossover movies yet and this movie is already like one since this is the typical Schwarzenegger role.

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Much like the Xenomorph I’ve always liked the Predator’s design. It takes a little longer before we get a good look at it but considering invisibility is one of its skills I’m fine with it, plus in the last part of the movie it more than makes up for its earlier lack of screen time.

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It’s a good movie but it’s hard to find things to talk about outside of Arnold’s one liners and the Predator itself so this review is pretty short compared to the Alien reviews.

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Alien: Resurrection – Review

Part of why I wanted to review every movie I see this year while I (somewhat slowly) make my way through my To Watch list is because I know at some point I’m going to have a controversial opinion on a movie most people feel very strongly about.

This is that movie. I thought this was pretty good, way better than Alien 3 that’s for sure. It delivers on the subplot of humans trying to capture, study and weaponize the aliens that they’ve been building up to since the first movie. The Xenomorphs are smart again, the scenery is well designed again and there are well written supporting characters again. Why do people hate this movie again?

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You have a group of space pirates along with the Xenomorph hybrid clone of Ripley with an identity crisis. It’s like an early blueprint for Firefly. It’s not as good as Firefly or even the first two Alien films but it’s still a pretty fun movie. Sigourney Weaver does a great job of making clone Ripley the right balance of being like the Ripley we know from the previous films but still technically a new character.

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So at the end of the main series my ranking is Aliens > Alien > Alien: Resurrection > Alien 3. I’ll make a more complete ranking once I’ve seen the Alien Vs Predator films (and another when I get around to watching Prometheus). Next review will be Predator.

Alien 3 – Review

After seeing this movie I’ve noticed it’s the one people tend to disagree on the most. Some hate it and others consider it underrated. So rather than the question of if I agree with the popular opinion or have a controversial one it’s more what side of the debate am I on?

It’s boring. I can look past things like killing the majority of the survivors of the previous film before this film even starts and some of the plot holes but that doesn’t make it any less boring. The first two films have neat set piece designs while this one just has bland hallways. Then there’s the characters, after a film where each character had a unique personality and for the most part had common sense (and the one character who didn’t was the human villain) I don’t see why I should care for generic prisoners who the film spares no time telling me include a bunch of murderers and rapists.

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The alien itself is alright. I understand why it’s not as smart as the others but that doesn’t change the fact that being smart was part of what I liked about the Xenomorphs in the other movies so loosing that is still a downgrade. Ripley also isn’t as well written as the last two movies. Sigourney Weaver still does a great job playing her and I do like her design but like the alien she’s not as smart as she was in the last two films. I don’t get all the secrecy at the start of the movie, especially since no one believes her when she finally tells the truth anyway. I’m sure it has something to do with not letting the company know about it but it still seemed odd. Also the romance subplot with Tywin Lannister came out of nowhere and went nowhere.

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While I didn’t like this movie I’m still glad I watched it and was able to form my own opinion. Now the next film is going to be interesting, it’s the one that most people seem to hate but it’s also written by Joss Whedon whose work is usually pretty good. After that assuming my DVDs have arrived (they’re still not here as I type this) I’ll watch the first two Predator films and the Alien Vs Predator films. I do plan on watching Predators and Prometheus but not as part of this marathon week.

Aliens – Review

While the first film is considered iconic this is the film that has had the biggest impact on pop culture. It’s the one with all the famous quotes and commonly considered the best of the series. So now that I’ve finally seen it will I share this perspective?

Right now I only have the first movie to compare it to but I can say while I found the first movie to be good this one is great. A big part of what makes this a better film is that the rest of the cast are smarter than the first film. I went into the movie expecting Ripley to continue to be the only character with common sense but once the aliens start attacking the marines actually understand the situation and react appropriately.

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The cast actually feel like a group of characters this time instead of just victims to be. This also helps make Ripley a better character as she’s no longer just the smart one. She grows as a character which is something that doesn’t happen enough in sequels.

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Of course I should talk about the aliens themselves too. Their role may be different and that characters can actually kill them but the movie makes it clear that they’re just as dangerous as the first film. They’re also smart which is something out of context clips don’t show. A single Xenomorph knew it needed to stowaway on an escape shuttle in the first film and in this one they’re using strategy and the queen can operate a lift.

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So after this movie opinions tend to be a bit more mixed and many people even suggest I don’t watch them. I’ve also ordered the Predator and Alien Vs Predator movies on DVD so this marathon is going to continue for the rest of the week. Will I continue agreeing with the popular opinions or are these reviews going to start getting controversial? Lets see.

Alien – Review

This movie has been on my To Watch list since I first wrote it down. It’s been the example film I’d use when talking about people’s reactions to me not seeing a famous film. So with my plan to finally tick a few films off the list this year it seemed like the right place to start. I’m also going to be watching the sequels over the next few days (I’m going to watch Aliens right after I finish writing this review).

So now that I’ve seen it what do I think? I liked it. I wouldn’t consider it one of my favourite sci-fi movies but I do consider it to be a good movie. I’ve always been a fan of the Xenomorph’s design (I even own a Pop! figure of it) and was glad that despite being a horror/thriller we got a good look at it whenever it was on screen, I’ve really gotten sick of movies trying to hide their monster for most of the movie for “suspense”.

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Speaking of designs the visuals were one of my favourite things in the film. The ship has that classic look most ships in sci-fi movies made at the time had (especially with the old computers) and the alien ship they find the Xenomorph has a neat temple look to it. I can see where a lot of other films and shows have drawn inspiration from this film outside of the obvious things like Freeza’s third form.

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Next I should probably talk about the human characters. The only one with any common sense is Ripley and I have a feeling this is going to be a theme in these movies. Though even Ripley makes some poor choices like the risks she took to save the cat (on that note why was there a cat on the ship in the first place?) one of which resulted in one of the first deaths in the film. The moment I saw that cat I knew it was either going to be the first victim or survive the entire movie. The only other character of note would be Ash who was actually more intimidating than the alien. The rest of the human cast were just ticking time bombs so no opinions were formed.

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So I’m glad to have finally seen this. Now from what I’ve heard the majority of people tend to like the next film the most and the source of many of the iconic scenes. Time to see if it lives up to the hype. I’ll end this review with some words of wisdom from Javik.

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Zootopia – Review

So yesterday while looking at the cinema times for Kung Fu Panda 3 I noticed there was an early screening for Zootopia and decided to book a ticket to see it instead. This is one of the films I’ve been looking forward to the most from this year and I was annoyed that once again we weren’t getting it at the same time as the US (probably because they were busy replacing every mention of the word Zootopia with the UK title of Zootropolis, the most pointless movie name change so far). Fortunately I was able to avoid spoilers.

So from the trailers you can expect a lot of animal puns and there are but as a Disney movie it also has a lot of heart and characters with emotional trauma. In this case the conflict between different kinds of animals plays a huge role in the story. The characters experience and are even guilty of racial profiling between the predator and prey types of animals and more specifically concerning rabbits and foxes. But other times they’re just played for laughs like the famous sloth scene, but it works.

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This has topped Deadpool for the best film of 2016 so far and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in my top 5 by the end of the year. This will be the last time I’ll make note of what film is the best so far because we’ve got to the point in the year where the majority of the films worth seeing are coming out. So this means these reviews are going to become more frequent. Though I’m probably not going to do the movie review BEDA I was considering in the last review (especially with new plans of going to London). So expect my next review soon. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got a new season of Daredevil to start watching.

To Kill A Mockingbird – Review

It’s been almost a week since I watched this and I keep forgetting to start writing this review. So on Mother’s Day my brother suggested mum should pick a movie for us to watch on Netflix, this was the movie she chose.

So not only was this my first time seeing this movie I’d also never read the book, this means as well as having no book bias I was seeing this famous story for the first time. All I knew about it ahead of time was it wasn’t actually about killing birds and that part of the story is about racism.

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It’s been a while since I last watched a film in black & white. At first it’s distracting but once I got invested in the story that stopped being an issue. The story was interesting but hard to follow at times, though I imagine part of that was the intention with it being from the perspective of the child characters.

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Most of the movie does tend to follow the kids having free roam of their neighborhood while the serious topics of racism and mental disability are mostly kept in the background until the third act because that’s when the main characters are there to witness it for themselves.

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Overall it was an interesting film. It’s not filled with famous quotes I’d heard before in other media like other black & white films I’ve seen but it is an iconic story both in book and film form that I’m glad I watched. Surprisingly this wasn’t on my to watch list but it probably would have been if someone had asked if I’d seen it before.

On that note I’m aiming to actually focus on my to watch list soon. I’m considering doing BEDA again this year but with every post being a review (meaning I’d be watching a movie every day in April). In order to do that though I’d need to actually plan out what I’m watching. But hopefully I’ll have a few more reviews up before then.