Reviews written by registered user
jakimiku

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25 reviews in total 
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0 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Great storytelling, 4 September 2015
10/10

In a city surrounded by giant walls, the world outside is remembered only for its peril. Soon enough though, those memories might surface in a bloody and fatal way that leaves only death in its wake. When a young boy arrives with his adopted sister, they bring with them a grim warning of horrors most have ceased to believe exist. As flesh eating titans step out of legend and begin to mount their attack, humanity's last hope might rest on Eren Jaeger and his mysterious ability that no one fully understands, and everyone fears.

I haven't watched a lot of anime. Myazakis films and some cult classics but that's it. Luckily enough I found Attack on Titan, quite on a whim to be exact, but more than grateful that I did. Brutal, bloody, unpredictable and engaging, the show has it all. The plot resolves around humanity retreated into giant walled cities and its struggles from the point of view of Eren and his friends.

The setting is really nice. Some elements of medieval times, some of steam punk, some of old horror stories and folklore molded together into a captivating surrounding. This kind of tale wouldn't be complete without heroes to cheer for and Attack has a load of them. Eren as the main character, ever vigil and impatient to fight back, his adopted sister Mikasa with a cruel past of her own and only Eren left in the whole world, their childhood friend Armin, and other numerous companions. It must also be stated that the characters are not colorless or empty husks, quite the contrary. They are real people with ambivalent nature and different sides. The show does not turn away from killing off main and side characters as well, which is both unforeseeable and shocking in one go. It must be, as humans are mere ants to the titans, aspect which is presented with ferocious proximity.

Attack on Titan is a quick paced story, with flowing action and exciting fighting scenes. Especially well is drawn the aspect in which battles are always uncertain and no one is safe. Music is likewise fitting with both epic tunes and more mellow ones when called upon. The show asks a lot of questions about human nature. Is it best to live as captives, always in fear, or try to be free even if it could cost you everything? Do you put your faith in your friends or trust your own abilities to prevail? How do you cope with the consequences of the events you know you could have influenced? Also, as any good show, the hints and unresolved plot points keep you on edge with constant cliff hangers pulling you further inside the story.

In conclusion, Attack on Titan is an outstanding story. It is captivating and engages both mind and soul, great characters and their relationships are believable and admirable. Fast pace, action and fierceness are also shaped into the story and turn it to a more brutal affair without losing its heart. I can say that Attack on Titan is a brilliant show and hope the second season comes as quick as may be.

318 out of 550 people found the following review useful:
Really good, 31 July 2014
10/10

Great expectations before the film, definitely, and they really paid off. Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the best Marvel films to date, and a really good sci-fi at that too. The film is strong on so many levels, outstanding characters, great worlds, is emotional and humorous.

Peter Quill, or Star Lord as he likes to call himself, is a quick-witted man of Earth thrown into the far reaches of galaxy, who has stolen an artifact that everyone seems to want. By accident he stumbles upon four other characters, Gamora the assassin, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket the enhanced raccoon and Groot the humanoid tree, and the five of them form an unlikely team. The characters are really well presented, their emotional core is strong and back stories engaging. In short, they're interesting and easy to like. All of them have great moments and keep us wanting for more and more. Rocket, in particular, steals the show with his anger management problems and bright one-liners. It was great to see a group of people each with their own agenda come together, this dynamic worked really well. Star-Lord carried a lot of this weight, and was very sympathetic.

The film doesn't take itself very seriously, which was refreshing to see after also great yet darker themes of Thor and Captain America 2's. Guardians has a lot of laughs, witty dialogue, characters rub off on each other (and the audience), writing is perfect. The film is so entertaining, non-stop adventure but also knows when to balance with more dramatic themes. Scenery and worlds are spectacular, visual effects top notch. As a reader of the Guardians comics it was great to see some smaller motifs thrown in that may not be necessarily caught by regular viewers, but which the comic book readers will definitely be thankful for too.

All in all, Guardians of the Galaxy was an awesome watch. Amazing characters, vivid cinematography, great dialogue, lots of humor, soundtrack was nice, story exciting. This wonderful adventure and its captivating characters will be in mind for a long time.

295 out of 438 people found the following review useful:
Way too long and hollow, 26 June 2014
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Set five years after Dark of the Moon, Transformers: Age of Extinction sets out to continue the franchise, taking a new path in more than one way. Lots of explosions, action scenes and robots wrecking cities up and we've got ourselves the fourth one.

To begin with, there were a lot of weak points, the biggest challenge being the fact that the entire human cast was replaced. I felt that Wahlberg and Tucci did a good job, but the rest of them were terrible. A lot of it has to do with writing: the characters were shallow and didn't have any depth at all. At a running time of 2h45min you think it would be enough to flesh them out but no. Wahlberg's daughter just yells "Dad!" and screams her entire screen time. Her boyfriend is shoehorned in just to complete the clumsy romance but in the end is just a tool to move the plot. Sophia Myles, amongst others, is completely wasted. The fact that Bay chose to concentrate on the humans again, and failed with it again, speaks volumes.

It was, however, good to see how Cade (Wahlberg) first comes across Optimus Prime and being a mechanic/inventor, revitalizes the beaten leader. The focus also shifted from Bumblebee to Prime as the main link to the protagonist, but oddly it was never explained why Bee left Sam in the first place, being his most loyal protector.

Now, speaking of techs in the film, there was a lot of slow-mo. A lot. And it really took away from the action. It is okay to employ slow-mo sometimes, for example when the robots are transforming, but not at every single shot. Moreover, the transformings themselves were weaker than in the previous installments. I mean, in the first one when Starscream transformed into a plane in the middle of the flight or they were fighting/transforming in the narrow street, or in DotM during the fights, this depth was lacking in AoE. Also the fights weren't as good compared to the gigantic robot battles or human black ops tactics in previous films. Lastly, as cheesy as it may sound Optimus Prime riding Grimlock was pretty awesome. Even if Grimlock was in the movie for about ten whole minutes. And Lockdown the bounty hunter as the main villain was also done nicely.

The film is way too long, the beginning stretches a lot, the middle even more, the finale as well. We are treated to a lot of badly written human characters who just slow the movie down and stretch. Even the endless explosions got tiring (boom, boom, boom and slow-mo all the time, why oh why?). But honestly, going in I thought this would be loads worse. In the end though, not as good as the first or the third, but still better than the second (not that this should count for anything as that was plain awful). Altogether, too long, too stretchy, way too much slow-mo, too shallow characters, some decent fights and action, Prime riding Grimlock and Wahlberg being his usual self. Could have been worse but not by much.

9 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
A Different View, 13 December 2013
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Some spoilers so please, be advised. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is Peter Jackson's continual of the adventures of Bilbo and the company. A lot of changes to the book, a lot of liberties. Overall I think it works well enough.

The main storyline resolves around the company of the dwarfs and Bilbo, as they set their sight upon the Lonely Mountain and reclaiming Erebor, now that they have come Under the Mountain of the goblins. This is portrayed very well and there is more depth to the characters. It was particularly interesting to see how Thorin is slowly beginning to change, not too much, but with a glimpse of what is to come. He makes some heavy decisions in Desolation and grows darker the more they close in on Erebor. The rest of the dwarfs get a chance to shine themselves as well and Bilbo is steadily crafting a serious reputation among them as a burglar.

I was very glad to see that the elves were shown in greater light. I have read the book a dozen times and more and the one concern I had was that the book is a classic fairy tale: the side characters are terribly underdeveloped and used as mere pawns to move the plot. This, however, ran in odds with the importance the elves hold in the story and Peter Jackson nailed the execution. My point: there are only two elves named in the book: Elrond and The Elvenking. None of the other elves are pointed out, save the guard from whom Bilbo steals the keys in the dungeon. That is why I am happy to see Legolas and Tauriel. Legolas is the son of Thranduil, a couple of thousand years old and it makes more than sense to include him in the film. Seeing him before friendship with Gimli and his dislike for dwarfs is an intriguing notion. Tauriel is a side character and therefore I don't think adding her suffers the film, on the contrary, she is a great character (and brings a female perspective otherwise nonexistent; keep in mind that Jackson also expanded Arwen greatly in Fellowship). As long as they are left as side characters and don't steal too much screen time from the company, it's acceptable.

The third part of the plot follows Gandalf and his quest to Dol Guldur. Like the elves, Gandalfs character is not treated with much care in the book: he disappears without any explanation and resurfaces in the same sudden manner. Jackson approaches it with concern, we know from the LotR books that Gandalf had a major role to play in Dol Guldur and this is shown in Desolation (and will be furthered in the next film). Mackellen acts with grace and great presence and is backed up by Radagast, who is more serious in this film.

The scenery was absolutely astounding. Thranduils halls and Erebor are done perfectly. The realm of the wood-elves is shown as their kin is described: less wise and more militiant, just compare their fortress with Elrond's Last Homely House. Thranduils halls are engraved in shadows and the elves are more aggressive. Lake-town also surprised me to great extent, it was built fascinatingly to float on the water. The fighting scenes in there were as impressive as others.

Now, there are some amazing scenes in this film, my favorite being the Barrel-ride. In the book it was quiet, the company escaped and then moved on. The stakes are much higher in the film which is not necessarily a bad thing. I won't even start with Smaug. Absolutely stupendous. Cumberbatch's voice gives shrills. Smaug is strong beyond words. The other adversary, Sauron, also portrayed by Cumberbatch, shows the strength that is to come and what we can expect from the third part. There is also humor in this film, and romance, but less and subsidiary. The world itself is wonderful and we feel like a part of it when watching the film. This is further helped by Howard Shore's amazing score.

In the end I would say that The Desolation of Smaug is a decent portrayal and improves on the first film. The changes to the book, the lot of them - everyone has their own opinions, mine is that they served the film well, the addition of Legolas and Tauriel is welcome and the increase of Bard's role as a man of Lake-town is as important. The dwarven company and Bilbo have reached the Mountain and unleashed the dragon. Next winter will conclude this epic adventure and this world and looking at how good The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is, we will be right to await it eagerly. I for one, am looking forward to watching Desolation many and more times before and after that.

"Castle" (2009)
9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Excellent show, 8 September 2012
8/10

Sometimes you stumble upon a show that is beyond amazing and completely absorbs you. I am glad to say that "Castle" is one of these shows. I got hooked from the very first episode and just can't stop watching "Castle".

As a murder is seemingly drawn inspiration from the best-selling author Rick Castle's work, he gets called upon by the NYPD to help with the case. And, after meeting homicide detective Kate Beckett and helping her solve the case, Rick, a friend to the mayor of New York, gets permission to join the squad for research for his next novel. From then on it's a big, fun ride.

The best thing about the show is the chemistry between the ensemble. The actors are perfectly cast and click amazingly. Two leads are Nathan Fillion who plays Castle and Stana Katic who plays Kate Beckett. Honestly, the show is worth watching just because of these two. They are just mesmerizing. My personal favorite aspect is when Castle and Beckett get into case and talk successively figuring it out and when they come to conclusion they burst it out together. So much chemistry, their characters come alive and have a real, believable relationship with it's ups and downs and you just can't get enough of them. Katic is absolutely dazzling, both with her acting and stunningly good looks.

The second great partnership is the one of detectives Ryan and Esposito. They are awesome in their own element and always seem to have a nice banter going on which expresses in the dialogue. Other supporting cast, such as the actresses who play Castles daughter Alexis and his mother Martha, are excellent as well.

The script is very well written and interesting, the crimes have many u-turns and twists. Dialogue is smart and funny and gives "Castle" great soul and vibe. Cameos of different authors and actors are interesting and enrich the show. Soundtrack is great, it consists of some of the classics and some of just smoothing and stylish songs.

All in all, "Castle" is a splendid show and i am very much looking forward to what happens in the new (fifth) season. Just the sight of chemistry between Fillion and Katic is a reason enough to wait on an edge.

16 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Spectacular, 26 July 2012
9/10

I saw "The Dark Knight Rises" yesterday evening and it completely exceeded my every expectation. When i first saw "Begins" i thought that it took the comic book films to a different level thanks to the believability and sincerity of the characters it portrayed. "Rises" continues this line which was set by the first movie and followed by "The Dark Knight".

The cast couldn't have been more perfect. Bale as Batman is able to give genuine emotion and bitterness following the losses he has suffered. He is not just another hero, he has been scarred by the events come to pass and knows that just putting up the mask again is not going to be enough.

Bane, played by Tom Hardy, stole the show for me. I was pleased that a new kind of villain was introduced. In the first movie, Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul relied on the terror of fear implanted in peoples minds, in the second one, Joker unleashed uncontrollable chaos and in the third one Bane is a brutal menace, who breaks down Batman and, by his words "liberates people from the oppressive corruption Gotham endures". Tom Hardy did remarkably well by creating Bane as someone terrifying simply by using his voice and eyes.

I was also glad to see that Joseph Gordon-Levitt had a great role following his "Inception" one. He plays a different kind of hero and this performance definitely feels like he will have a lot that comes in his way in next years. Anne Hathaway was also phenomenal as Selina Kyle. She had the main female part and did an excellent and believable job.

The rest of the supporting cast consisted of great actors and actresses too. Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard and Gary Oldman were all marvelous in their respective roles. The chemistry between the whole cast was amazing, maybe it's the main reason why Nolan has included them in most of his films too.

Other aspects of the film were completely mind-blowing. Hans Zimmer wrote score of immense atmosphere, the scale of action scenes was extraordinary and cinematography beyond ones imagination. Dialogue was smart and really gave life to the characters.

In conclusion, i have to say that the Batman trilogy Nolan has created is one of my favorites and "The Dark Knight Rises" is a worthy final chapter to it. Everything about this movie is shear perfect.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
End of an amazing experience, 15 July 2012
10/10

Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars is the conclusion of the amazing show of Farscape which ran for four seasons. The cliff-hangers of the 88th episode needed wrapping up and this is what The Peacekeeper Wars is all about.

I was a major fan of Farscape from the first moment i laid my eyes on it and for that matter, i was very happy that The Peacekeeper Wars did not disappoint. The story ends up all the quests and adventures of John, his love Aeryn and their friends on Moya. This is the conclusion of one of the most brilliant shows which had it all: action, adventure, romance, humor, drama. Many of the questions left from season four get answered here, the writers had so much heart not to leave anything to chance. This is why we owe thanks to this mini-series that did not leave us wondering what could have been, but offered us a deserving ending to the wonderful Farscape.

The story is more different from the previous episodes, even the title points out that we get bigger action scenes and battles never before seen on Farscape. All that, the Peacekeeper Wars still holds true to the show: focus is kept on the characters and the events that happen to them. Acting is again marvelous and the cinematography mind-blowing.

I say a big thanks to Farscape, because it truly has one of the best stories and best characters around. The show provided lots of emotions and i really, really love it. Farscape is amazing.

"Farscape" (1999)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A jewel, 15 July 2012
10/10

I started watching Farscape earlier this year and from the first episode could not get my eyes off the screen. Marathon like. This is truly one of the most outstanding sci-fi experiences ever. I am a big, big fan of science fiction; movies like Star Wars and games like the Mass Effect series are but a few favorites which have influenced my great admiration for the genre and i am very happy that i discovered Farscape, which in my opinion, is a true gem.

Through the rabbit hole. John Crichton gets absorbed to a worm hole and flies out the other way, to a place full of strange aliens and worlds that will change his life forever. He is rescued by a ship, a living ship called Moya and it's refugee crew. Later on we get to know the characters of D'argo the Luscan warrior, Rygel the dominar of his people, Zhaan the priest, Aeryn the former peacekeeper who for John becomes the love of his life, and many, many other utterly amazing characters.

One of the greatest things about the show is that the story flows very naturally. In earlier seasons we get a lot of event-based episodes, which do not necessarily have one continuous story line, but more of smaller adventures about the crew of Moya and different worlds they encounter. Later on (especially the last two seasons) the episodes have a story arch of about three or more episodes which gives more continuity. The characters are very lovable and not black and white. Just to take a look at D'argo's anger bursts, Rygel's infinite desire for material goods and demanding of abandoning everyone else in order to save his own life, Chiana's will to have fun no matter the consequences or Aeryn and John's complicated relationship. Even Scorpius is not all evil, he has his own agenda, which is not always easy to understand. These characters grow into the viewer's heart and we begin to love these magnificent people. A lot of it owes thanks to flat out amazing acting, the chemistry between the cast is superb.

Another brilliant aspect of Farscape is the humour it glows. John Crichton is after all, a simple astronaut from Earth and so no one gets his jokes and remarks beside himself. And the viewers. To see a look on Aeryn's face after John says something of human origin was just amazing. Other times when John talks up the enemies in various episodes, he always a clever remark that should represent the current matter, (un)fortunately (for us) none of the others get the memo. Secondly, the show does not hold back on any accounts. Many times we see the looneytune-like cartoon or Harvey and John having a one on one. This is one of the best parts of the show.

As it is sci-fi, one can only assume that the cinematography and the worlds presented need to be spectacular. They are. Space and the planets within it are very well created, all the worlds we get to experience are of different nature and give an awe-inspiring peace of mind.

I needed to pay tribute to this amazing show which i have grown to love. Farscape is beyond imagination and truly an excellent sci-fi experience. The show is concluded by The Peacekeeper Wars which wraps up the story after season 4. I am very happy to have watched Farscape and recommend it to anyone with an open mind and a wish to get drawn into one of the greatest worlds we could ever come up with.

Mass Effect 3 (2012) (VG)
33 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Mindblowing yet bittersweet, 14 March 2012
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers in here, read if you've completed the game.

I looked forward to ME3 like a madman, got it and played (lived) it. I can honestly say that the Mass Effect series is the best i've played: the story is beyond imaginable and the characters are so dimensional and likable. I don't think that lately there has been a more captivating game, book or film where i have grown so into the characters and the world. The fact that i was able to import all my character development and vital decisions through all the franchise is already a sign of how really grande the game is.

First of all, a bit about the gameplay: i liked that the movement was more dimensional, you could sprint a lot (which saved me many a times when i needed cover), using ability combos - again fantastic, and the game was generally a lot faster. New squad members, James and EDI were interesting and brought something new to the table. Soundtrack was very well composed and the atmosphere whilst playing the game was of something significant. That's that, top notch.

The characters... amazing. To see a portrayal of them through all three games was fantastic, because even if you used some of the squadmembers more than others (f.e. i didn't use Liara or Tali in my ME1 playthrough very much, i relied on Ash and Garrus mostly; we all have our favorites), you could still see how they all grew and what the world was like for them. Seeing how Ash reacted to Shepard through different times or how their romance went, how friendship with Garrus grew, how Thane interpreted the world and the meaning of life, what Tali felt in her suit, what was it like for Liara, how Jack opened up, and all about the other characters, all that combined was so heartwarming and astonishing, something i haven't encountered in other games (even in Dragon Age it wasn't that close).

So yes, the thing that enraged me the most was the ending. Massive, massive letdown which bitters the whole saga for me because now we know that ME3 was the last. All the decisions, all the character development, all the romance, all the build up was made irrelevant by the Catalyst god who offered Shepard three choices: control, synthesis or destroy. All the endings were basically the same: energy takes out the reapers, mass relays blow up, Shepard dies, Normandy crashes and galactic army is stuck around Earth with no way to get back home without the relays. The lack of choice and variety was the worst problem. For example, in ME1 you had the choice to save the Council, in ME2 you had the choice to destroy the station and which characters survived (why engaging the characters was so important in the game) but in ME3 whatever you do, with all the endings you get the same cutscene and Shepard dies (even if you see the little scene where he draws breath it's not good enough, because it's the matter of your hopeful interpretation and it's not fair to demand the loyal fanbase to "make up our own interpretations of what the ending means for us"). All the good we can see or make up is just our imagination because Bioware didn't give us clear and different endings (the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in the middle, as in 16 different endings they promised). That leaves literally no point to play the game again (you cannot alter the main ending path like in 2 where you could alternatively help the Illusive Man) because you cannot either return to Ash (or whoever you chose) or to Normandy or to anywhere else. You have three basically identical (save for the color of explosions) choices, none of which are satisfactory. Reading all the other reviews/thoughts, i'm not the only one who would have preferred a more clear, an alternate ending. Bitter, bitter, bitter.

All i can hope for is a DLC which makes a clearer ending or offers a new one which sees Shepard reunite with Normandy and it's crew. The reason i love ME series is because the choices you make feel real, they reach out to you, you fall in love with amazing characters and the world, you're a part of the story, but none of this matters with an ending we have no control over. Sad.

The main concept of Mass Effect is the freedom of choices, creating your own path, living the game as Shepard. Everything you do influences what comes next (f.e. if you sacrifice the Council in ME1 then in 2 and 3 other races see you as someone who puts humanity over the galaxy, therefore it's more difficult to get their support; if you get high approval from squad mates in 2 you get better defense for Normandy, etc.). If you are able to choose every little part of the story for yourself in the matter of choice-consequence way, it is only fair that you should be able to choose the ending as well. Otherwise, what's the point? This ending however doesn't give us a chance to make none of our choices matter (it even doesn't give us a chance to defy the child/god) and abandons the reason why Mass Effect is so great to play and why it differes from everything else.

In the end all i can say is that i loved the series very much. One of the most outstanding sci-fi and fantasy worlds with incredible story and characters. I'll just pretend that the ending was something different, something to my own liking.

10 for the franchise, gameplay, story in general, outstanding characters and the world itself. Thank you for reading.

"Chuck" (2007)
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Farewell, 30 January 2012
10/10

Just for the record: i love this show. I stumbled upon it quite randomly, and boy was I happy about it. Chuck is a wonderful TV show, which has everything; comedy, action, romance, the soundtrack is really good (e.g. Frightened Rabbit, Oasis, Huey Lewis, The Head and the Heart from the finale and many, many more).

While everything above is perfect, the thing that makes this show are the characters, who are all very lovable. Chuck, a geek, sorry, nerd (as he works in a Nerd Herd), is a guy who gets a supercomputer stuck in his brain and gets two agents to look after him, Sarah and Casey. Plus we have his best friend Morgan. These four, may I call them fantastic four, have such great chemistry it's amazing, weather it's Casey grunting over something the nerds do or Sarah and Chuck expanding their on-off relationship (I especially loved when one of them used to get jealous, emotions were priceless) or a million different things which made you laugh. Irresistible. And the side cast, which includes Captain Awesome, Ellie and Jeffster. Plus, over the seasons, we have had e.g. Timothy Dalton, Linda Hamilton, Brandon Routh, amongst many.

The plot is awesome, especially in the earlier seasons, where we just had Sarah and Casey going on missions and Chuck providing invaluable info from the truck; "Chuck, stay in the truck!!!"; and constantly failing to obey this order. The chemistry, again is what makes the show so great.

Somehow I felt that the fifth season lingered a bit away from what Chuck first aspired to be and I didn't like some of the major plot turns there, but overall I still enjoyed it, though I still consider the first season to be the best (and "Pilot" is still my favorite episode). A lot of people didn't like the finales ending as well, but I believe that it worked well and it's a matter of interpretation. I think the show ended happily, but i am nevertheless sad not to see more of Chuck. Still, it's good to watch different scenes from all seasons over and over again, they still make me laugh and happy every time (e.g. Chuck singing SW theme, Chuck meeting Bryce for the first time and a lot more).

Overall, it's one of the best shows I've watched and I recommend it to anyone, especially for a nerdy guy like me (as I got the jokes from Call of Duty to Star Wars and the nerd business from the beginning seasons). I am extremely happy I've watched Chuck, thank you.


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