Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – Review

While this is considered a remake it seems more like a reboot as other than the character of Danny Ocean and the fact they’re robbing casinos in Las Vegas these are two very different movies with completely different characters and motivations. Even the number of casinos they’re robbing and the name of Danny Ocean’s wife are different.

In my review for the original I mentioned that it clearly was made before a lot of heist movie tropes were a thing, this one is full of them. It also does update the heist to account for stronger security.

An improvement this has over the original is how it uses the cast. More of the 11 stand out as characters while in the original it was really just the main ones.

While there are some improvements over the original I’m not sure which I think is better. The heist was better in the original along with the ending but the remake does a better job handling such a large cast. Both are pretty average though.

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Ocean’s 11 (1960) – Review

With Ocean’s 8 coming out in a few days it’s time for another movie marathon. I’ve always been aware of this franchise but never saw any of them, I didn’t even know the 2001 film was a remake until I told people I was going to do an Ocean’s marathon and they asked if I was going to include the 60s version.

I watched this one with my dad who was able to explain a lot of the era specific context to some of the lines and cameos along with interesting trivia about the main cast. I also spotted a few interesting differences in film making, especially compared to movies set in the 60s but filmed more recently (such as the way characters smoke).

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The film does have a very slow pace and I realized this was made before a lot of the common tropes of heist movies that would speed up the pace during the heist itself.  The main strength of the movie is its cast, though only a small handful of the 11 actually get much focus with many just fading into the background. On the subject of the cast having only really seen him as The Joker it’s neat seeing Cesar Romero out of the makeup, when I saw his name in the credits I wondered if I could spot him if I looked for the mustache he famously didn’t shave when playing Joker (I did but was unsure until my dad asked if I recognized him and I guessed correctly).

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The film has its good points and its bad points and watching it today there are some elements that are pretty dated (such as a scene where characters are putting on blackface). I’d say it’s an average film that is interesting to watch and I’m curious what elements will stick around for the rest of the movies.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Review

So the people sat next to me when I saw this talked through the trailers and when the credits were rolling left a bunch of rubbish on the floor including half a packet of cookies. Fortunately they didn’t talk through the movie but I guess that’s what happens when you go to a day one screening of a big movie in the evening.

I like the direction this movie took the Jurassic Park franchise. Unlike other Jurassic Park sequels this movie does cover the consequences of the previous movie, it really feels like Jurassic World is an ongoing story rather than just the new name for the movies. I also think this movie has some really good shots with the standout being the last shot of the island itself.

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Of course being a Jurassic Park movie one of the most important parts are the dinosaurs and this movie has its fair share of cool dinosaur moments. The Indoraptor was especially sinister and a huge upgrade from the pretty bland design of the Indominus Rex, it was also a good payoff for the idea of dinosaurs being used in wars with it being designed to react to military equipment. I liked the new additions to Blue’s story though I do think the trailers might have overhyped her involvement (much like they did with Jeff Goldbloom) since she does spend most of the movie on an operating table but once she recovers it’s back to being the best of the main characters in this franchise.

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If you liked Jurassic World you should like this. I would normally end these franchise movie reviews with my rankings for them but I’m not sure how I’d rank this series other than knowing Jurassic Park is at the top and Jurassic Park 3 is probably at the bottom. I should have done a rewatch marathon. I will say that there are areas I think this improves on Jurassic World (especially when it comes to the human lead characters) and areas where Jurassic World outclasses it (like a lot of the stuff with Blue including teaming up with Rexy to fight the Indominus Rex). So to make up for not having that here’s a silly meme image I made summing up my reaction to the Final Trailer

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Solo: A Star Wars Story – Review

Out of the new Star Wars movies this is certainly the one that has had the least hype leading up to it but just as much discussion regardless due to the production. I can’t say I was ever excited about seeing it but I was always interested.

I liked it. It’s not great but it didn’t need to be, it’s a movie about Han Solo so the only thing I really wanted it to be was fun and it was. It’s not without its flaws including a lot of scenes where the lighting is a little too dark and it did feel like they were trying to fit a little too many elements of Solo’s past into one movie so he meets Chewie, meets Lando, sees/rides/flies the Millennium Falcon, does the Kessel Run, wins the Falcon AND does his first job for Jabba the Hutt in the span of a few days.

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The main strength of the movie is the cast, especially getting to see new takes on Han and Lando. As expected Donald Glover is fantastic as Lando Calrissian finding the right balance of Billy Dee Williams impression and his own spin on the character. Alden Ehrenreich is also pretty good as Solo himself, he’s playing the character differently from Harrison Ford  (which I expect why it was so hard for the trailers to sell him to people) but it fits where Solo is at this point in his life and as the film gets closer to the end he starts acting more like the Han Solo we know.

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If you’re unsure about this film or don’t go to the cinema that often maybe wait for it to come out on DVD/TV/Netflix, it’s not something you need to see on the big screen but it is worth at least having a look at if you’re a Star Wars fan. Anyway now to ruin the layout of my Star Wars ranking image…

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Now the poor little Clone Wars pilot movie is on its own at the bottom. I do hope we get another animated Star Wars movie at some point, one that isn’t a pilot episode to a TV series, as an animation fan it’s a shame the only animated Star Wars movie is also the worst one.

Deadpool 2 – Review

I keep delaying writing these reviews for some reason, I saw this a week ago now. I could say I did it because I got to talk about the movie with friends and watch other reviews to get a better idea about what I want to say about it but the truth is I just keep forgetting.

I had a lot of fun with this one. If you enjoyed the first movie chances are you’re going to like this one too. Something I have gathered from conversations and reviews that your expectations can impact your enjoyment, I know some people who enjoyed it but were maybe a little too excited going in and it wasn’t able to live up to that hype. I went in expecting a fun Deadpool movie that stays true to the way he was portrayed last time and that’s what I got.

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This is very much a movie for comic fans. There’s of course your MCU and DCEU jokes (with a particular Age of Ultron reference being one of my favourites) but then you also have one about Rob Liefeld not being able to draw feet and a nod to Deadpool’s X-Force costume that I wasn’t expecting but were really neat.

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As far as characters go Ryan Reynolds continues to be perfect casting, Negasonic and Colossus are back enough to appeal to fans of the first movie but don’t take attention away from new characters, Negasonic and Yukio are a cute couple, Zazie Beetz is great as Domino and 2018 continues to be a good year for Josh Brolin. Oh and this includes one of the best credit scenes in a movie to date that the audience at my screening applauded, something that I’ve never seen happen at a cinema (figured that was more of an American thing).

Batman Ninja – Review

I’ve said before that I’m not that interested in DC’s lineup to the point I think there’s a very strong possibility that Teen Titans Go! To the Movies has a very strong chance of being their best film of the year. Meanwhile apparently a lot of people were really hyped for this film.

It’s alright, I’d say each element of the film has a positive and a negative side to it. As a DC animated movie the animation and art style are a refreshing change of pace but as an anime movie it’s pretty mediocre. It looks a lot like cutscenes for a video game and honestly I think this would have been much better as a video game as the narrative is mostly big fights with regrouping to plan the next attack in-between them.

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I think the biggest strength of the film is in its designs. There’s a decent selection of characters each with a pretty neat look to them, except Batman’s regular batsuit which is the high tech armour I’m sick of seeing DC use as his regular outfit. It’s pretty cool having the Bat Family too, though the absence of any of the Batgirls or Batwoman was a shame.

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Most of the villains are also underused and it’s weird that one of the few that isn’t is Gorilla Grodd who isn’t even a Batman villain, however Wataru Takagi is great as The Joker. There’s some cool fights but they can drag on a bit and the ones towards the end can get a little too silly. Maybe give it a look if you think it looks cool but there’s not rush.

Digimon Adventure tri. 6: Bokura no Mirai – Review

And so Digimon Adventure tri is over. I’ve had mixed opinions on the series but my main criticism has mainly been tied to the release schedule rather than the series itself, I don’t think it should have been released as both a TV and movie series.

As for my opinion on this movie/these episodes specifically I enjoyed it/them. It had its weak points including the fact that while we finally found out where the 02 characters were we still only ever say them in silhouette and because of the format Metalgarurumon never got an evolution sequence to itself making it the only Mega level Digimon in the series not to get one (even though it was animated and can be seen in the group evolution sequences) but overall I think the story ended well.

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It also left things open for a follow up story and considering a new Digimon project has been announced that’s probably what’s coming up next. Also since Meichi is clearly canon hopefully it includes more cute scenes of Tai and Meiko because while the scenes we got were cute (especially the phone call) we didn’t have enough of them and the Tai/Sora/Matt love triangle teasing in Confession wasn’t fair on anyone.

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I won’t rank the films until I finally get around to watching the rest of the old movies and to do that I need to get back to watching Tamers in Japanese. I’d also like to revisit tri in a marathon at some point so I can experience the story in a shorter span of time, maybe I’ll check out the dub too.