Wonder Woman – Review

So far I’ve not been a fan of the DCEU. While each film has something I think works the majority of the film just doesn’t and the more I think about them the worse they get. As a result I’ve been skeptical of this movie but still hopeful. With all the Batman and Superman movies out there a new one being bad isn’t that big a deal, just check out one of the many that are good. With Wonder Woman she only has one other movie (the 2009 animated movie) which is good but not exactly well known (I expect someone reading this hasn’t heard of it before now) and was unable to get a sequel.

What a relief that I really liked this film. In fact I like it and the animated movie for different reasons and honestly can’t remember what the last live action DC movie I liked this much was, to call this the best DCEU movie would be an understatement. This was the best case scenario.

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The characters are all great. After my issues with how BvS treated the Superman supporting characters it’s nice to see Wonder Woman’s being respected. I like this version of Etta Candy more than her animated counterpart, she’s a minor character in the film but is fun in each scene she’s in. Steven Trevor has a character arc and you can see the impact he and Diana have on each other over the course of the movie.

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Of course being a DCEU movie I have to say something about the lighting. I was worried when I’d see the blue lighting in the trailers that it would look to similar to Man of Steel but in reality this film matches the lighting to the tone. The blue lighting depicts the darker tone of the war while scenes away from the war have a much more colourful look. And then when Wonder Woman’s iconic suit is finally revealed it stands out, the gold and red are visible instead of melding together in some mud brown shade like her appearance in Batman V Superman. It’s the same costume but a simple difference in lighting makes it look so much better.

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This of course brings me to Diana herself. This is a great take on Wonder Woman and the story of her introduction to the world of men. In battle she effectively uses each weapon she has, I remember wondering why she’d need a shield when her bracelets and reflexes are good enough at blocking projectiles and this film shows contexts where a larger defense makes sense as well as times where it’s used to attack.

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As someone who has been critical of the DCEU it’s so nice to have a movie from it that is a good movie and even better that said film is Wonder Woman. Maybe we’ll even get some more animated Wonder Woman movies as a result of this based on the positive reactions from most critics. No matter what your stance on the DCEU so far you should watch this movie.

Baywatch – Review

So I really only had three films I hadn’t seen to choose from, none of which I had any real interest in seeing. So I compared the reviews of the films to see which would be at least a bit entertaining and weirdly Baywatch ended up being the consistent answer. I know nothing about the original show outside of the fact there’s slow motion and Zardu Hasslefrau was in it and having seen the film… that’s still all I know about the show.

It’s ok. It wasn’t boring but it wasn’t compelling either. There were funny jokes, not so funny jokes and jokes that were funny at first but overstayed their welcome so as a comedy it wasn’t bad but honestly I feel out of the two action comedy films I saw this month Snatched was much funnier. I also feel had some cliche elements that were played straight that were missed opportunities for humour, for example the “romance subplots” of course lead to both couples getting together for no real reason.

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The potential the film did have came from its two leads who can both be funny in other films and a lot of the comedy does come more from their delivery than the script but they’ve both been better. It also doesn’t help that most of their funnier exchanges are already in trailers.

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So yeah no real reason to see this outside of my minimum of three movies in the cinema a month goal. Did I make the right call out of this King Arthur and Pirates? Maybe I’ll check those other two out later in the year and see for myself, when pausing them is an option.

Snatched – Review

This month has been pretty slow for movie releases with Alien: Covenant being the only one I was specifically interested in seeing. So I talked with my friends about which upcoming films I should watch and this one did come up.

It’s funny but not as funny as it could have been. Mark Kermode made a good point in his review about the format taking too much attention away from the comedy. There’s still very funny jokes once the kidnapping plot starts but they’re rarely the focus.

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I know a lot of people seem to hate Amy Schumer for some reason, while I haven’t really seen her in anything else outside of an episode of Bojack Horseman I do think she’s funny in this. In fact I might check out another comedy film from her with more focus on the comedy.

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If like me you have Odeon Limitless it’s an enjoyable film to check out but if you don’t it’s not something you need to see in the cinema. Check it out if you see it on TV or Netflix. Now to figure out what my third cinema trip for this month will be, I want to see Colossal but they’re not showing it in my local Odeon or even the Vue.

Alien: Covenant – Review

Last year I saw all the Alien and Predator movies for the first time. This time however I get to see one around the same time as everyone else on the big screen. Everyone else is just as new to this film as I am and there’s even going to be long time Alien fans who haven’t seen it yet since it’s not out until the 19th in America. This is different.

It’s decent but not one of the better films in the franchise, even if I leave out the Predator movies. It’s got plenty of content I did like but mostly it just felt like it was the same stuff I’d already seen in Alien and Prometheus again. Even the settings lack that same appeal as the alien world doesn’t exactly look any different from Earth and the ship designs are nothing new.

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The new Xenomorphs (called Neomorphs according to my image search) look cool and there’s several great scenes with them. Unfortunately I just didn’t get an intelligent vibe from them like the better films in the series. Even when we do get a classic Xenomorph at the end because it only shows up at the end even it doesn’t get a chance to outsmart the humans. As a result it just feels like a regular horror monster with a cool design which is fine but not what I like about the Xenomorph.

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As far as the cast goes one performance stands out. Michael Fassbender does a fantastic job. Seeing the differences between David from Prometheus and the new model Walter through his performance is this movie’s biggest strength. Unfortunately to say anything else would be a spoiler.

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The human characters however just weren’t that interesting. They weren’t boring like in Alien 3, AvP Requiem or Predators but even now I don’t remember any of their names. Katherine Waterston does give a good performance in the lead role but the character doesn’t stand out like Ripley, Lex and Elizabeth did.

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It’s still an enjoyable movie and if you just care about seeing some cool horror action scenes this film has some good ones. I know there’s probably going to be another prequel after this but honestly I’d much rather see the series move forward and don’t really care about the origin of the Xenomorphs. Anyway here’s the updated ranking of the series

Aliens > Alien vs Predator > Alien > Predator 2 > Predator > Alien: Resurrection > Prometheus > Alien: Covenant > Predators > Aliens vs Predator: Requiem > Alien 3

Next year we’ll be getting a new Predator film so it won’t be too long before I’ll be updating this list again.

The Boss – Review

My parents recorded this to watch a while back and asked if I wanted to watch it with them. This seems to be how I’ve ended up watching most of the Melissa McCarthy films I’ve seen actually.

It’s alright, on the same level as some of the other comedies I saw near the end of last year like Office Christmas Party or Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, funny enough to be enjoyable but nothing all that special.

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Much like those movies a lot of what makes the comedy work is in the performances. Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Bell are both good at playing these types of characters and make the jokes work. The supporting cast also features some talented actors but many are underused and don’t get chances to contribute to the comedy.

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It’s funny but the story suffers from narrative cliches I’ve gotten tired of like the third act misunderstanding. The last act is also very out of place with the rest of the film with a big sword fight between Melissa McCarthy and Peter Dinklage. If you like the work of the two leads you’ll probably at least enjoy it as much as I did, if not you probably already knew you wouldn’t like it before reading this.

Kingsman: The Secret Service – Review

With the sequel coming out later this year and it being on Netflix I decided it was time to finally see what this film was like.

It’s pretty good. If I’d seen it back when it came out it would have made my top 10 list for 2014. It’s very funny, has plenty of great action scenes and is yet another example of me enjoying satirical spy movies more than serious spy movies (there’s even a scene where two of the characters talk about how they prefer spy movies that are fun).

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Of course a big part of what makes this movie work is the cast. There’s just something about seeing the sort of performance you’d expect to see in an Oscar nominated movie being used in a comedy that just works and with actors like Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Samuel L Jackson in the main cast that’s exactly what you get. Throw in the fact it’s also a love letter to classic Bond and from the same director as the Kick-Ass films and the film is just a lot of fun.

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It’s not going to be for everyone. I’d say if you’re someone who likes violent comedies like Deadpool you’ll love it but that’s not your thing this probably won’t change that for you. And since I said it would have effected my top 10 list from 2014 here’s the updated version;

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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.