Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Review

The first of three MCU movies this year and the sequel to one of their best films too. As such this was of course one of the films I’ve been looking forward to the most this year. Seeing it also means I’ve successfully seen 20 of this year’s films in the third of the year, if I keep this up I’ll surpass my goal for the year easily.

This is one of the best films of the year so far. It’s exactly the kind of sequel you’d want for the original, more of the same while expanding on some of the characters. In fact I don’t actually know which I like more out of this and the original. It also does a great job of playing with your expectations, something I obviously can’t give examples of.

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Of course the music is not just great but used perfectly, the fact it’s not just Star-Lord who enjoys listening to it now allows for some of the best scenes in the movie. Baby Groot is as adorable as he is in the trailers (and amusingly still voiced by Vin Diesel) but he’s not overused either, he’s the focus in just enough scenes to work.

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One of the best things about the movie is how the characters interact. Rocket and Yondu have great scenes together, Gamora and Nebula’s relationship is explored more, Star-Lord gets to know his father and Mantis learns about social interaction from Drax (which is hilarious).

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I’m glad that we’ll be seeing these characters again next year in Infinity War. I’m also interested in seeing the impact this movie will have on the comics. Oh and this should go without saying but stay for all of the credits.

The Boss Baby – Review

So when I realised I was close to seeing 20 of this years films by the end of the first third of the year I decided to set it as a goal. But outside of the obvious fact I’m going to see Guardians of the Galaxy on Friday I wasn’t sure what other film I could watch and whenever I’d check the Odeon’s website that smug face just kept looking at me…

It was ok, around the same level of quality as the better Netflix Originals from this year. There are a couple of jokes (such as a recurring gag involving a wizard alarm clock) that were funny and since it is from Dreamworks the animation is pretty good.

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The plot is odd. The film for the most part seems to imply this is all in the older brother’s imagination yet the last third of the movie where they have to go to Vegas to stop the main villain doesn’t really fit with that narrative and even has scenes without the older brother in them.

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It was better than I was worried it would be but not enough to be good. It’s a shame because I know Dreamworks can do better than this. Still it was clearly the better choice out of it and the Adam Sandler Netflix Original I keep seeing pop up whenever I visit Netflix.

Tramps – Review

So I watched this because Netflix has it listed as a 2017 film, but when I watched another review of the film the person reviewing it pointed out it’s actually a 2016 film that Netflix got the distribution rights to.

It’s forgettable. The film is listed as a romance but the romance felt forced and the characters weren’t that interesting. It wasn’t completely boring but I honestly am struggling to find things to say about it.

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So I’ve got a week left and while I’ve seen more new films that I did this time last year I still want to reach that 20 new films in the first third of the year goal. Maybe I should go see Boss Baby, at the very least I’ll have more to say about it than this.

Fate of the Furious – Review

And so my first movie marathon of 2017 comes to a close. While I wouldn’t call myself a fan of the series now that I’m up to date they are fun films to watch.

It’s pretty similar in quality to the last one. They’ve found a format they’re comfortable with and really the story is just an excuse for more action and I guess for certain actors who don’t get along with each other to have less screentime together. The action scenes are still fun but not quite up to the same quality as the last three.

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This film does fix my main issue with 7 which was not enough from Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Honestly the next two films they have planned should just focus on them, the best non-action scenes are of these two interacting. Jason Statham brings the style of humour that made him so great in Spy not just to the character interactions but to one of the better action scenes in the movie.

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It’s also getting clear they don’t have much to do with Vin Diesel without Paul Walker. The story they have for him works fair enough but it’s clear they need to retire Dom. Also the villain is pretty boring as a character who doesn’t really take part in any of the action scenes.

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Anyway now that I’ve seen this film it’s time to rank the whole series

Fast Five > Fast & Furious 6 > Furious 7 > Fate of the Furious > Fast & Furious > 2 Fast 2 Furious > The Fast and the Furious > The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

I’m not sure when or what my next marathon will be but hopefully it won’t be after another 4 month gap.

Furious 7 – Review

One more film to go.

This one is enjoyable but not one of the better films in the series. I wouldn’t call any of it bad but some story arcs and characters don’t really get as much attention as I would have liked. The action was still just as ridiculous and fun as always though.

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One of the things I was looking forward to about the film was Jason Statham, and yes his scenes are entertaining but they’re more like a series of boss battles where he shows up for a few minutes to cause destruction and then disappears. Likewise due to filming conflicts Dwayne Johnson’s character Hobbs is also absent for most of the film contributing to the main group feeling smaller.

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Of course you can’t really talk about this movie without talking about Paul Walker and the fact this is his last film. This marathon has actually been my introduction to his work and while he wasn’t exactly the best part of the cast he and Vin Diesel did work really well as a duo. Brian’s story in the movie is also a fitting ending for the character and I’m glad they didn’t choose to kill him off and instead just let him live a happy life. As for the CGI at the end of the film it’s about the same quality as Rogue One where if you know the scene is CGI you’re going to notice but can still be impressed by how realistic it looks.

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These films do jump up and down in quality but I’d still say the second half has consistently been the better half. Going to the cinema later to finish this marathon, that review will be the one to contain my final ranking of the series.

Fast & Furious 6 – Review

As I approach the last two films I have to say I’ve been enjoying this series a lot more than I thought I would. It had a slow start but once the characters got established and they got the budget for more exciting action scenes. This has been a fun marathon.

It’s hard to say which I like more out of this and Fast Five. I will say though that this film has the better villain. This appears to be the start of the new format with the team now working with Dwayne Johnson’s character.

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It’s also good to see the majority of the team from the previous film return. It’s actually a shame this is the last to feature Sung Kang and Gal Gadot, though I knew as soon as they started that romantic subplot that things weren’t going to end well for Gal Gadot’s character (plus she’s a bit busy being Wonder Woman now). On the bright side they did bring back Michelle Rodriguez who has more to do now than her last two appearances in the series.

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Two more films to go. They should have just as much over the top action as these last two if the trailers for the new one are anything to go by. Plus they’re going to have Jason Statham who was the best part of Spy so I’m looking forward to see what he’ll bring to the series.

Fast Five – Review

On the second half of the series now and it’s looking like it’ll be the better half.

The last film was the best follow up to the first film while this is the best follow up to all the previous films in the series by bringing characters from each film together. I’m honestly surprised they didn’t make a heist film in this series sooner, the format allows for a lot more variety in the action which of course makes it more fun.

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At the end of my last review I mentioned that the team mostly felt like the backup to the main characters. This film fixes that problem by having each member of the team be someone from the past films with a role in the heist.

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The introduction of Dwayne Johnson and Elsa Pataky’s characters is a neat touch too as they act as both antagonists and protagonists at the same time. While the main villain isn’t exactly very interesting seeing these two tracking down the main team is.

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I’m starting to see why this series has gotten more popular as they keep adding sequels. While the first two films were alright (and the third sucked) these last two have been fun. Three more films to go.