WITCH – Review

This is going to be a bit different from my usual reviews as it’s not a movie but a live performance by three of my friends. Together they’re part of a group called Circle of Spears and this was my first time getting to see said group perform.

13880226_843321095769211_7368116960781493427_n

The show itself is based on the witch trials of Elizabethan times but actually focuses on the process that determines if a trial will take place or not. It gives an interesting look at the history and after the show ended we were also told about some of the real life cases that inspired it. The three actors each do a great job portraying these characters and while as their friend I’m obviously going to have some bias in this area I can tell that their friendship really helps them to play off each other really well not just in their performances but the with the show’s writing too.

14706756_895555800545740_7257154781857289195_o

I had a good time seeing this, it’s a small production but even without my bias as their friend I think the show itself is good and worth checking out if you have the time. You can check their website if you’re interested in checking it out, they have a list of upcoming performances of this show along with the option to purchase tickets. And for those of you hoping to see a movie review I should have another one of those coming soon.

Hidden Figures – Review

I don’t normally watch films based on true stories. I don’t dislike them or anything, I’ve seen some pretty good ones, but promotion for the films don’t really get me interested in them so when I see them it’s usually because my family are watching a movie together. But from the things I heard about this film from online reviewers this is one of the three Best Picture nominees at this year’s Oscars that I became interested in seeing (the third being Moonlight which unfortunately isn’t showing in my local cinemas).

It was good. The history was interesting and the cast are all talented. The film handles the racism and sexism subject very effectively and doesn’t limit itself to the more obvious examples either. Some of the more effective scenes in the film are focused more on the subtle ways prejudice would hold these women back.

 

hidden-figures-behind-the-numbers

The three different stories are told well with each of the three leads giving great performances. Sometimes the scenes focused on their personal lives outside of work did feel a little rushed and while that is understandable given that they aren’t the focus there were a couple of moments where the fast pacing stood out.

hidden-figures-1

If you’re interested in seeing some of the Oscar nominated movies before the Academy Awards themselves this is a good one to check out.

The LEGO Batman Movie – Review

First new film to come out in the cinema this year and one I’ve been excited about for a while. The LEGO Movie was one of the best films to come out in the last few years and one of the film’s highlights was its take on Batman, the perfect parody of the direction DC have taken the character in the last few years. I’ve also been really impressed by the figure designs they’ve made for this movie (including the best design for Killer Croc).

This is the best Batman movie I’ve seen in a long time. It really is a celebration of the Batman franchise as a whole managing to flawlessly mash up drastically different takes on the character together in one world. But while you can see a lot of love for Batman throughout the film it’s also not afraid to highlight all the problems with the dark brooding loner Batman many of us have grown tired of with the central message of the film being that Batman is better when the Batfamily are around.

the-lego-batman-movie-behind-the-bricks-featurette

Once again Will Arnett is perfect as Batman, a big part of what makes this take on the character work is his voice. The rest of the cast was great too. Ralph Finnes was such a great pick for Alfred, Michael Cera’s take on Robin is a lot of fun and Rosario Dawson’s Batgirl while not a stand out performance is still a neat take on the character.

lego-batman-movie-joker-spot-spicypulp

Out of the new performances I’d say Zach Galifianakis’ Joker stands out the most. After Leto’s mediocre Heath Ledger impression it’s great hearing an actor bring something new to the Joker’s voice. The way the character is written is also entertaining with the Batman/Joker relationship being treated like an actual relationship. While Mark Hamill will always be the best Joker Zach Galifianakis easily makes it into the top 3 (along with John DiMaggio in Under The Red Hood).

061121

I also played a bit of the LEGO Dimensions Story Pack. It’s been a lot of fun so far with fun new mechanics and puzzles made with the new characters in mind. I really like the way it uses the Starter Pack Batman by replacing him with the version of the character from the movie with an improved moveset and new dialogue from Will Arnett. I rarely used my Starter Pack Batman but now thanks to the Always Batman Red Brick he’s going to be one of the characters I used the most. I’ve only played two levels so far but I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest are like, with this being the last Story Pack (until Year 3 anyway) I didn’t want to finish it right away.

lego-batman-exclusive-poster

If you’ve ever liked Batman you’re going to enjoy this movie. Is it as good as The LEGO Movie? No. Is it my favourite Batman movie? No. But it’s still a great movie and we’re probably not going to get another Batman movie this good until they decide to make a sequel. It’s clear to me that LEGO’s cinematic movies are going to be a lot of fun no matter what, I’m even starting to look forward to the LEGO Ninjago movie coming out later this year after seeing the trailer and I didn’t really care for the show.

La La Land – Review

I was going to watch this film at some point and since I have an Odeon Limitless account now I figured I might as well see it in the cinema allowing me to see something in the cinema in January and see this film while the Oscar nominations are still somewhat fresh. Interesting note about seeing a Best Picture nominated film in the cinema, most of the trailers are for serious dramas, most of them being based on true stories, including another Best Picture nominee.

It’s good. Would it have made my top 10 last year if it’s UK release wasn’t delayed? No but it would have gotten an honourable mention for being a very well made film with a decent story, catchy music and a talented cast.

lala

Both leads do a fantastic job playing their roles and deserve the award nominations they’ve received. And since this is a musical it should go without saying that they’re both great singers. Emma Stone in particular gets a song near the end that I was really impressed by her performance of.

la-la-land-featured-image-gosling-stone

Speaking of the songs they were good with great melodies. Unfortunately the lyrics weren’t that memorable, especially when compared to the other musicals I watched last year such as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Moana and Spies Are Forever. However I will admit that this could change after listening to them again and I do want to listen to these songs again.

maxresdefault

The film’s visuals are impressive and compliment the music really well. Some of the best scenes are when the instrumental tracks and visuals are the focus including a really impressive ending sequence.

la-la-land-ryan-gosling-emma-stone-1

Overall it’s a fun film that’s worth a watch. While it may not be 2016’s best musical it’s still an impressively made one and a nice start to my Odeon Limitless experience which shall hopefully allow me to see much more films than I would have seen otherwise.

iBoy – Review

Honestly I didn’t really have high expectations for a movie with a name like iBoy but this one of the few Netflix Original movies I actually saw a trailer for ahead of its release and figured it would at the very least be more interesting than Take the 10.

It’s alright. The plot is pretty generic but the presentation is decent. I’ve never been interested in the Watchdogs games but from what I’ve seen this is pretty much a Watchdogs movie so if you enjoy those games there’s a chance you might like this film.

netflix-iboy-2017-01-12-02-ed

The main thing that stood out about this film before even seeing the trailer was Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams playing one of the lead characters. She gives a great performance and out of all the characters in the story is the only one with an actual character arc. I honestly think the film could have been much better if she was the main character, the scenes that focus on her character are some of the better parts of the film. Unfortunately because she’s just the love interest she ends up being a damsel in distress most of the time.

c1_wj-mxuaqisxi

Another actor that gives a great performance is Rory Kinnear as the “final boss”. His character is pretty generic but he does such a great job playing him that he really stands out when compared to the other antagonists (who are also generic). Honestly this makes me want to see Rory Kinnear play a villain again in a better movie, maybe Marvel should consider getting him to play Norman Osborn.

netflix-iboy-original-movie-003

Unfortunately the film’s biggest problems are with its focus. Tom is a pretty boring character and while it’s clear Bill Milner is a talented actor the film never gives him an opportunity to stand out. Even his revenge is more personal to Maisie Williams’ character Lucy than him. He has a couple of good moments like the scenes where he’s able to actually show personality and the scene where he traps some of the villains to interrogate them but I really think the film would have been better with Lucy as the main character.

d92bff96b8e8dc9836132bcf30679f12e9e92f7f

It’s certainly better than Take the 10 but nothing special. I will note that as an adaptation of a book it’s possible most of the problems are with the source material and that at the very least it is well directed with a talented cast (especially Maisie Williams and Rory Kinnear). Anyway I recently signed up for Odeon’s Limitless so I plan on seeing films in the cinema soon, in fact I might have another movie review up later today…

Justice League Dark – Review

I’ll admit I didn’t have high hopes for this one. Even DC’s animated movies haven’t been that decent lately with Return of the Caped Crusaders being the best we’ve had in a while. Plus when I started the film and saw the same bland version of the Justice League that has plagued the last few movies I was prepared for them to once again take attention away from the thing that actually worked about the film.

But I was pleasantly surprised. The Justice League presence was kept to a minimum and there was no sign of that awful Superman/Wonder Woman romance DC was trying to force on us. As a result we got an interesting story focused on DC’s supernatural characters.

justice-league-dark-constantine

Matt Ryan reprises his role as Constantine and once again captures the spirit of the character perfectly. Once he’s introduced he takes the spotlight away from Batman (who really didn’t need to be there) and the film’s quality improves. I also liked that Zatanna got a good amount of attention and turned out to be the strongest member of the team.

ntyr1cvezqwukpba7ynb

True to the film’s title it is dark but unlike most of DC’s live action movies they don’t make everything depressing. The film has a lot of humour (mostly from Constantine and Deadman) and nothing feels overly brutal despite having an R rating in the US.

etrigan

It’s not great and still nowhere near as good as DC’s older animated films but it is decent and better than I was expecting. I mostly just wish the film had less Batman and more Swamp Thing. Hopefully this will be a good year for DC’s animated movies with The LEGO Batman Movie coming out next month, a Return of the Caped Crusaders sequel and new a Teen Titans film. Their live action movies I have much lower expectations for.

Take the 10 – Review

The first movie review of the new year and the first movie review being written on my new laptop. I decided to leave January out of my “see at least one movie each month” plan this year since no 2o17 films tend to come out until February (the films that do come out are mostly 2016 films with delayed UK releases). Fortunately Netflix is here to make sure I see something brand new this month.

This film is ok I guess. Not exactly the best start to the year but it’s not bad. There are some funny lines and the actors are talented but the story is so boring. I even watched a couple of other online reviews and they had a similar response so at least I know it’s not a case of me not being the target audience. It has this non linear storytelling angle which works at first when introducing the two leads but then it just feels forced and once the stories catch up with each other the format is abandoned.

take-the-10-001f

Honestly that’s about everything there is to say about this film. It’s a shame because it did show potential at the start and I saw some pretty decent Netflix movies last year. I’ve added a couple more Netflix Original movies from this year to my list, maybe they’ll be better (or at least be bad in a way that allows me to say more about them).