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Captain America: Civil War – Review

Kicking off Phase 3 we have one of the most anticipated films in the MCU. Even before the film’s title was announced a lot of fans talked about wanting a Civil War film. Personally I wasn’t a fan of the idea back then but in the build up to this film when I could see it wasn’t going to be an adaptation of the comic event but rather its own story inspired by it I changed my mind (still don’t want a Budapest film though).

First off to anyone who comments on every new trailer, promo or TV spot saying “they’re spoiling the entire movie” you’re not even close to being right. For example Black Panther barely has any dialogue in the previews because most of the things he says are huge spoilers, there are several character we don’t learn the motivations of until we see the movie (including, of course, Black Panther) and of course other details I’m not going to mention. Even the action scenes shown in the trailers are just a small sample.

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One of the things about this film a lot of people have been looking forward to is the introduction of Spider-Man into the MCU. And out of the three Spider-Men we’ve had so far this is already the best one. He is much more talkative in battle than Maguire and Garfield combined. This is Spider-Man and I can’t wait to see his solo movie.

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Another character making his MCU debut is Black Panther who is a little harder to talk about because a lot about his role in the film is a huge spoiler. However I can say he’s one of the best characters in this movie and as excited as I am about Spidey’s solo movie I’m even more eager to see more from T’Challa. I wish we didn’t have to wait until 2018.

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The returning characters continue to be great too and we get to see new interactions between characters such as Scarlet Witch and Vision as well as Ant-Man and the rest of Cap’s team. Some of the most amusing interactions are between Bucky and Falcon. This is a very character driven movie. The best scenes aren’t the fights (though they are pretty cool) but the scenes where characters explain, discuss and debate their reasons for being on their side of the conflict.

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If you’re a fan of the MCU, particularly of the characters, you’re going to enjoy this movie. Phase 3 is off to a great start. Also just so you know there are two bonus scenes to watch in the credits, I counted 16 people who left before the second one came up. Not sure what movie I’ll be watching next but hopefully I’ll have another review up soon.

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RWBY Volume 1 (movie cut) – Review

So unlike most of my reviews this is something I’ve already seen but when I found out one of the screenings for the first volume of RWBY was at my local Odeon I decided to go. The individual episodes were played back to back like a movie (with the opening and ending only playing once) so while I’ve seen it as episodes this was technically my first time seeing it as a movies so… review.

Watching after seeing volume 3 did make me think about how much the animation, background characters and lighting. However it also made me take note of the visuals that were already pretty good from the start. The CG models already looked great and any scenes where they didn’t look their best was more of an issue with the lighting.

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So watching it presented as a movie was pretty neat. We had some trailers for other RoosterTeeth shows (as well as some movie trailers before that). There are as expected some scene transitions that just don’t work in a movie that make more sense in a TV show but there aren’t that many of them and for the most parts the episodes transition into each other. Seeing it on a big screen is pretty neat too.

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The first time I watched volume 1 there were elements I was unsure of that I grew to like over time. Going into this rewatch I remember not really caring for the episodes about Jaune and the bullies but having become a fan of him as a character it did mark an important part of his character development. Plus said episodes have scenes centered around a particular pairing I like so that’s a bonus.

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Overall I like this volume more rewatching it than when I first saw it. If you’ve never seen RWBY I do recommend it. Volume 1 does take a bit of getting used to but the action scenes, character designs and music are elements I thought were really good from the start. Also there’s several really funny jokes too. I do plan on rewatching volumes 2 and 3 when they have their screenings too. But until then I have a certain Marvel movie I need to watch…

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Digimon Adventure tri. 2: Ketsui – Review

So last month the second installment in the Digimon tri series came out. This series has been releasing four episodes at a time as movies. This schedule does make it hard to follow (hence why I didn’t get around to seeing it until now). And since they do count as movies here’s my review. Also I’ll use English names since most people will know them.

Personally I think they work better as episodes than as movies. The story isn’t finished yet and while it did wrap up Joe and Mimi’s story arcs the fact I have to wait until September to see more of the main story is disappointing. It’s a good series but it’s not the best schedule because of the choice to release them as movies.

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As episodes they were good ones. Gomamon finally evolves again and he and Palmon reach their mega stages for the first time while Meiko gets to know the rest of the group a bit better. There’s also a new development in the disappearance of the 02 cast that hasn’t really been acknowledged by the cast yet but with Ken walking around in his Digimon Emperor outfit again they’re bound to talk about it in the next episodes… in September.

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Watching this after Koji Wada’s death earlier this month meant that it was a bit sad whenever the opening and ending themes played. It was great that he and Ayumi Miyazaki came back to record new versions of their songs from the original series for these movies. If you’ve not watched Digimon in Japanese before I suggest at least checking out the soundtrack. In fact here’s one of Koji Wada’s songs from the new series;

If you’re a Digimon fan you’ll enjoy this series. The next movie looks like it’ll center around Izzy and TK based on the poster. And you’ve got until September to catch up on the eight episodes/two movies we have so far. Maybe I’ll try and finish Tamers before then…

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Also Leomon is in this movie. I’m sure most of you know what that means.

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The Jungle Book (2016) – Review

So for the last two days my dad and I have been in London. We went there for the Terry Pratchett memorial. Since we would be going home the following day my dad suggested seeing a film in the IMAX cinema. The only actual film we could book a screening for was this one, which is fine because it was the option with the most appeal to us anyway.

First lets talk technical difficulties. During the trailers the video stopped working right as the second trailer started. So as a result we only got to see one trailer and hear the audio for another, once the footage had been fixed they skipped straight to the film. Next since there were only 3D showings I figured this would be the right time to try out my 2D glasses, only to learn they don’t work with IMAX 3D and in an attempt to get them to work I spent the whole movie with three pairs of glasses stacked on top of each other. I’m sure I looked very silly (sorry, I didn’t think to get a photo). Fortunately unlike Avatar there’s no text distractingly floating in the air but some of the fast action scenes were still blurry.

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Now for the actual movie. It was really good. The cast were especially fantastic making these characters their own rather than just doing impressions of the original cast. Shere Khan for example is a very different character from his 2D counterpart and an impression of George Sanders’ voice wouldn’t have fit, instead Idris Elba gives him an imposing and intimidating voice. The two films are very different and I expect most negative views on the film are going to people who can’t look past their bias for the original.

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Of course you’re still going to have the 1967 film in your mind while watching this due to the soundtrack. There are a lot of references to the songs with two of them even being sung during the movie. This isn’t a problem though, it’s particularly entertaining listening to Christopher Walken singing I Wan’na Be Like You. Speaking of King Louie (who is portrayed like a mob boss in this) it’s pretty neat how to get around the fact Orangutans aren’t actually native to India they made him a Gigantopithecus (an extinct ape that is closely related to Orangutans that lived in India), originally I assumed he was giant to make him more of a threat to a bear and a panther.

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If you’re reluctant to see this movie because of that common distaste for remakes many people seem to have I suggest giving it a chance. It’s not a replacement for the 1967 film, its just a new take on the story. This actually makes me more interested in seeing the other remakes Disney has planned.

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Justice League vs. Teen Titans – Review

I’ve been enjoying the Damian Wayne movies DC have been making so far but have found their Justice League films to be underwhelming. This movie combines the two.

Fortunately despite getting top billing the Justice League are are either sidelined or possessed for most of the movie with the focus being on the Titans. Still like with Throne of Atlantis it would have been better if they left the Justice League out of the movie.

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The Titans line up is a nice choice. It’s great seeing Blue Beetle on the team along with the classic line up from older comics and the TV shows (even Cyborg by the end of the movie). The only character disappointingly absent is Nightwing, despite being on several promo images he’s barely in the movie. He drops Damian off at Titan Tower and has a Skype chat with Starfire, that’s all his scenes in the movie.

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While this does continue Damian’s story from the Son of Batman series the real star of this movie is Raven since the main antagonist is her father. This of course means we get scenes of the two least social Titans together with a few hints at a potential romance they could build on in future movies. I’d much rather see more from these two than the blandness that is the Superman and Wonder Woman relationship (which of course they had to force into this movie too). Damian and Raven as a couple actually makes sense.

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Mostly this movie makes me miss things. Seeing Beast Boy and Blue Beetle in this art style again really makes me miss Young Justice, seeing a variation on the old Teen Titans line up makes me miss the old Teen Titans cartoon and seeing the Justice League makes me miss when the animated Justice League weren’t bland. It’s a decent movie but not as good as Batman: Bad Blood turned out to be. I am looking forward to The Killing Joke though.

4

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

So far with these two franchises I’ve liked the second movie more than the first. This movie however breaks that cycle. But is it as bad as people suggested it was? Not really.

The film opens up promisingly with the Predalien from the end of the last film sneaking around a Predator ship, freeing some captive face huggers and killing Predators. I start to wonder if this might be like an Alien film with Predators instead of humans, then the ship crashes into Earth and everything just goes downhill from there.

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See the biggest problem with this movie is the human characters. They’re so generic, bland and seem like they belong in a completely different movie. I don’t care about the love triangle between pizza rebound guy, the bully who looks a bit like Quicksilver and the blonde girl. I also have no idea who the main human character was supposed to be. Was it the military mother, pizza rebound guy or pizza rebound guy’s brother? And when these characters unrelated subplots finally do bring them into the main story it feels more like a zombie film than an Alien or Predator film.

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When we actually get some Alien vs Predator fights they are fun to watch but then it cuts back to the boring humans. When it’s not fighting aliens however this Predator is probably the dumbest Predator in the entire series. First it lands its ship in a river ruining its cloaking device the moment it arrives, then it spends the first half of the movie cleaning up evidence of the aliens but doing a terrible job at it because there’s still blood everywhere and at one point it decides to hang up one of its own victims, who was UNARMED I might add, just because he was a witness to the clean up.

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The Predalien is pretty cool but outside of its design it doesn’t really inherit any traits from being part Predator. It has a weird chest burster laying kiss thing but that’s not really a Predator thing. It would have been better if it inherited the Predator’s methods of killing and hanging skinned victims upside down. Instead it most just looks cool and has some decent fights with the Predator. It’s cool but it could have been so much better.

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So with the marathon over it only makes sense to end with a more complete ranking chart of the series (until I see Prometheus and Predators at a later date anyway).

Aliens > Alien vs Predator > Alien > Predator 2 > Predator > Alien: Resurrection > Aliens vs Predator: Requiem > Alien 3

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Alien vs. Predator – Review

So as many of you reading this might know I really like crossovers so once I started watching this marathon this film was inevitable (in fact originally it was just going to be the Alien movies). From what I’m aware this movie isn’t that popular, some people tend to at least like it over the second one but I’ve heard a lot of criticism of this movie.

Personally I think it’s one of the best films in both franchises. The formulas of the two series mix together really well. It also shows that in a one on one fight between the two creatures it really could go either way but because of the pride of the Predators they just had to give the Aliens the advantage and it naturally backfires on them.

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Of course what would either of these film series be without a group of expendable humans to kill and one human character who actually matters. In this case the latter role goes to honorary Predator Lex who actually gets to team up with the main Predator. Once the film gets to the team up segment that’s when it became great for me, it’s neat seeing the Predator as a protagonist for once. It’s just a shame it never quoted anyone this time.

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I went into this expected it to be decent at best and ended up seeing the second best film in the shared franchise. Tonight I’ll be wrapping up this marathon with the second AvP film.