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Favourite TV Show: Futurama (1999-2013)
Favourite Game: Sonic 3 & Knuckles (1994)
Favourite PC Game: Duke Nukem 3D (1996)
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Just stick with the original '90s Disney movie
I don't know about you guys, but I was left thinking "What was the bloody point?" and came out feeling underwhelmed as everything felt weaker compared to the 1991 original. Emma Watson is not very good as Belle, and they didn't change it enough to make it stand out like The Jungle Book or Pete's Dragon remake. Disney felt really lazy here, sadly. I hope we see more effort in the future rather than just 90% the exact same movie.
Blair Witch (2016)
You can't win either way, Blair Witch
What were people expecting? The same movie as the original, or something extremely different? As for me, I thought Blair Witch was a pretty good modern take on the series. Is it perfect? No. Is it the same as the original? Well, they become quite tonally different halfway. In the second half, the new one tries something different at the cost of people moaning about it revealing too much now.
I personally am glad the new Blair Witch is not exactly the same. I thought it was logical for the sequel to build up from its simplicity to something more intense. The last 20 minutes in particular was quite nerve-wracking, and the ending is no worse than what the original Blair Witch Project did. I think the problem is that when The Blair Witch Project came out, it was a groundbreaking low budget film that made its scariness effective though simplicity.
The new Blair Witch didn't want to retread the "exact" same ground the entire time, so they tried to make the second half different to try and appease the people who found the first film boring as hell. The result is mixed on people saying it's too different from the original, or too similar to other found footage films. I think they got the balance just right here, and the characters for the majority of the time made reasonable decisions and had good equipment with them to justify all of the recording and situations they were in.
If there's a significant flaw I can point out with it, then the "jump scares" were maybe done too much to the point where a character says to stop doing that. However, make no mistake, this movie is pretty terrifying. I still prefer the original though, but of all the found footage movies I've seen, Blair Witch has quite a significant amount of effort put into it.
This is going to haunt me for the rest of my life
It has been just a little over 24 hours since I saw Ghostbusters, and it still haunts me at how awful it was. I wanted to give this movie a chance, tried to see it with an open mind, but alas it did nothing. When the first 5 minutes is the only slightly good part and only me and possibly other ghosts are watching in the cinema, you know it's going to gives you shivers.
Where did it all go wrong? Could the concept of the Ghostbusters being all women work? Well, maybe(?)... if they hadn't been written so annoying and obnoxious for me to give two craps about them. Let's make them have no funny jokes and whine all the time! The new secretary guy? Make him dumb and have all the women get the hots for him, oh and plenty of failed jokes one after another to go along with that too.
To be honest, the CGI isn't that great. I think the 1984 original had superior special effects. Oh, and the theme song? Way to go at ruining the iconic theme guys! What about the original Ghostbusters? Don't they appear as cameos? Yes (and this isn't a spoiler)... for like a minute each! What a waste! Any positives? Well, I guess you could argue it doesn't play out exactly the same as the original, except that's pretty much cancelled out for everything being written worse and reminded it's supposed to be a Comedy.
I adore the Ghostbusters franchise, I really do. Ghostbusters II gets a lot of hate, but it truly feels like a masterpiece compared to this abomination. If you can't give us characters to care about and not be likable or redeemed, why bother? Yes, some of the original Ghostbusters were jerks, but they all had a heart as well. Where were the laughs? Why change the iconic things about the series? You know what? Just stick with the Ghostbusters Video Game as the last Ghostbusters, and pretend this so called Ghostb... I mean Ghostjokers never existed.
The Good Dinosaur (2015)
The Good-ish Dinosaur
As with every Pixar movie, I had high expectations for The Good Dinosaur. Although there's a few decent things going for it, I don't know if I can quite call it genuinely good. There are some problems with it, most likely stemming from its development issues, but it also has quite a bit of heart and emotion to it, and some nice scenes here and there.
The movie follows an alternate world where Dinosaurs and Humans live together. A young dinosaur named Arlo unsuccessfully tries to fit in with his family and mark his place, despite having a timid yet cowardice personality. After an unexpected event happens, it leads him to start a friendship with a Caveboy named Spot. He becomes lost and tries to return home.
The story is pretty straightforward and some of the humour seems to be aimed more for kids, but it's still funny for adults in places. It is visually stunning, with cartoony animals mixed with realistic backgrounds and reflective waters, and the music is effective when needed to be. Our protagonist Arlo is both likable and relatable, which is always a good thing, and Spot has his moments in short bursts. As for the other characters, Arlo's father will be reminiscent to a certain Disney character, but that's not a bad thing, and the others seem to be not as important to the story, but have some development time in there.
I think my biggest problem with The Good Dinosaur is that it feels a little inconsistent and "Been there, done that" at times. The first half I feel is stronger than the second, and there's a bit of a homage to a specific genre in there. Most importantly, I cared about the characters, but maybe I was expecting more from Pixar I don't know. I seem to notice the more effective emotional scenes were either the silent ones, or ones that were kind of loosely based on previous Animated movies that popped right in my head at the time of watching, so not being entirely original could be considered a problem to some.
Despite the shortcomings, I found The Good Dinosaur entertaining. It's probably in the weaker tier of Pixar movies, but I wouldn't call it bad. It's kind of halfway between average and good, and I feel the troubled production and staff switching caused it to be a mixed bag, although good intentions are clearly shown throughout the movie. Kids will certainly like it, and adults will at the very least appreciate what the movie tried to achieve.
Inside Out (2015)
It's not THAT good!
Am I the only one who wasn't blown away by Inside Out? I mean, don't get me wrong. It wasn't bad. Just... alright. Easily one of Pixar's weakest, though. The whole thing felt average and I was wondering if the movie was trying too hard to make people cry. It's hard to explain, but basically it felt more forced than usual.
Some of the jokes were a bit hit and miss for me, and as each character is stuck to one trait pretty much the whole time, the jokes become repetitive. I thought Joy was one of the weakest protagonists we've had from Pixar since Brave, and Riley felt like a robot to me so I never really cared about her, unfortunately.
It's their most gimmicky movie as well. They go through different parts of the brain just to hope people will be visually pleased enough to look past the weak script and characters. Pixar has been a bit shaky the last three times, as anything not a sequel seems to get an undeserved boatload of praise. It was average at best, but seeing people put it as the best Pixar movie, is utterly baffling to me.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Alien Sci-Fi action mixed with Groundhog Day creates a surprising gem
It's always great to see movies pull off already used concepts and blend them together as a new fresh coat of paint. In this case, a superb Sci- Fi action movie combined with Groundhog Day's main gimmick. Many movies fail to deliver in both special effects and a well structured story. Edge of Tomorrow is one of those which delivers both superbly, and will surprise many viewers where it cleverly repeats the same day over without feeling tired, as well as keeping you hooked to see how the story slowly progresses through each repeating day. There's also quite a bit of humour in there too, which was kind of unexpected and gave me a few good laughs.
The plot is about an alien invasion on Earth and Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) forced to battle against the aliens, despite never being trained for combat at all. After dying in battle, he finds himself repeating the same day over and over (with nobody else seemingly remembering but him), but realises there may be a link to the time loop and defeating the aliens.
The battle scenes are very well done, reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan and Starship Troopers. The CGI is top quality, and the 12/PG-13 violence is used effectively without feeling toned down. The director did a great job of using London as it's main setting, but there are also other surprise locations throughout the movie. Tom Cruise continues to prove he can still pull off action movies without a problem, and his developing chemistry with Emily Blunt feels natural here. Overall, one of my favourite movies of 2014. It really surprised me how good it was.
Taken 2 (2012)
Less serious, but still good fun
The original Taken was excellent. We saw Liam Neeson enter a huge action role in the likes of Bond and Bourne, and gave us a surprising hit. It seemed inevitable that a sequel would be made. Despite still being entertaining and filled with some clever scenes, Taken 2 never quite reaches the same level as its original.
The reason the original Taken worked so well was that Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) was racing against the clock to find his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) in Paris after being kidnapped, giving him a reason to make quick decisions and pushing his boundaries with how far he'd go with violence and morality. In the sequel, the plot is pretty much the same, although he and his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) get taken instead of his daughter in Turkey. Essentially there's less mystery and suspense in this one as I feel the movie suffers due to its predictability and toned down violence for the PG-13/12 rating.
That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. Taken 2 works better as a popcorn movie than its original, having more action and car chases that keep you hooked at the movie's fast pacing once it gets going. The movie has some funny scenes, but there's also some stupid ones too which I will not spoil. I'm not sure if the movie's intention was to make fun of the original or not, but you'll notice the tone and humour of the movie is less serious than the original.
In conclusion, as much as I enjoy seeing Liam Neeson fight people in these movies, I don't think a third time will work with the exact same premise. In terms of entertainment and keeping me occupied, I'd give it an 8/10 for what it is. However, seeing another sequel for this might not be a good idea, but don't rule that option out!
Standalone, prequel, or reboot? It doesn't matter, good job!
It is hard to say too much about Prometheus without spoiling it. First of all, those expecting to see the original Aliens are not seeing this movie for all the right reasons. Yes, it is part of the Alien universe and set before the first movie, but it doesn't feature those Aliens and instead tells a brand new story of merging the two worlds together.
With Ridley Scott back to directing, Prometheus used the similar setup of making researchers explore an alien world, only this time there is a longer setup and more suspense driven to events unfolding. The ship in this movie is very reminiscent of the one in Alien, although it is different in design and has some new interesting gadgets and pieces of technology we haven't seen before. There's no denying that there are things people will pick up relating to Alien, and I'm really glad they didn't tone down the violence for 12/PG-13 rated audiences. Either way, you can watch Prometheus first before the other Alien movies.
On the acting side of things, I found Michael Fassbender's Android character David to be the standout for the movie. I also liked the protagonist Noomi Rapace and the supporting cast of Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron, and Idris Elba. All strong performances, but perhaps if there's only one small complaint I could think of, is that maybe the supporting characters didn't get enough development time. Thankfully, Scott and the team keep the movie going at a very good pace with emotional depth at the right moments.
Overall, Prometheus on first viewing was what I expected, a movie using it's original base movie Alien as a structure to produce a new story with new characters/lifeforms to lead up to other Alien story lines. It is highly likely the references will become more obvious in sequels to this, but Prometheus manages to bring a story that works as a standalone but also a prequel at the same time, which is good for all viewing audiences, and I think Scott was trying to bring the grisly/dark atmosphere movies of Alien without being too in your face, which I thought was the right direction for this movie.
127 Hours (2010)
A simple plot based on a true story that kept me on the edge of my seat!
You know, when I first heard about this movie. I didn't really know what to expect, as all I knew was it was based on a true story about a guy getting stuck in a canyon due to a boulder. I decided to give it a shot and well, I was amazed by this movie. Danny Boyle continues to give us impressive cinematography and incredible performances in his movie, thanks to James Franco, who plays as Aron Ralston, the mountain climber who gets stuck under the boulder if you didn't already know.
I'm not going to go into any big spoilers, but it was amazing to see how the movie builds up to the main plot. After getting stuck under a boulder for 5 days, you're probably thinking "How is this movie going to stay entertaining?". Well, we witness some attempts of Aron trying to get out of the boulder, as well as using the equipment he brought with him with his backpack to try and survive. He also tries to keep himself awake so that he can live long enough to not die. When all normal attempts to escape fail, as a last resort, he does something very terrifying to get out. When this scene happened, I had to turn away in parts due to how extreme it was!
With good uses of hallucinations and flashbacks to keep the story flowing, Danny Boyle has managed to make this movie as realistic as possible. Great music, great filming, and stunning performance. 127 Hours is a fantastic movie about a real-life incident that may be too disturbing to watch for some people, but I'd consider it a must see on all grounds. Definitely worthy of getting nominated for Best Picture at least surely?
Saw 3D (2010)
The end of Saw?
Now this film is supposed to be the final one in the Saw series, and so you're probably wondering, does it end any good? Well, the movie does conclude the saga quite well, but also I feel the series really did lose it's steam after the past 3 movies. Most of the reoccuring characters are again killed off on this one, though Dr. Gordon's appearance in it was a nice touch to the first Saw and concluding the series, and has quite a good twist to it. The death trap puzzles in this one are as usual brutal and over the top again. However, as predicted, the main character gets screwed over by the end of the movie, though this time, he totally blows it (as he doesn't save anyone in this one!). Hoffman and Jill's conclusion are good, as it kind of goes back to a callback of Saw 1, though is it the end? Overall, if this is really the end, I'll say that Saw could have ended on a much worse outcome, though at least it ended on a "pass" A 6/10, and much better than Saw 6!