Month: January 2015

Jurassic World hybrid dino info

Looks like a giant velociraptor

 

So Jurassic World has put out some information on that hybrid dinosaur, named ‘Indominus Rex’, the focal point of the film, it’s described as 40 feet tall, resembling a T-Rex but still distinct from it, it has horns for one and possibly feathers (a guess from me). It can also reach speeds of up to 30mph and as we know from the trailer it’s also pretty intelligent, possibly because of its’ DNA make up.

And we already know what it’s partly made from DNA wise, but it’s also made from Carnotaurus, Gigantosaurus, Majungasaurus and Rugops, interesting combination there, this may just be one of the coolest looking dinos to feature in the Jurassic franchise to date. And one of the most menacing easily, now that we know some more info about it, I’m even more curious to see what it actually looks like and I definitely thinking an I-Rex, T-Rex showdown will be happening as well.

40 foot long horned, intelligent dinosaur, what could possibly go wrong? The hybrid dinosaur idea, doesn’t sound so bad now right? Well maybe it still does to some people, but I like it.

Taken 3 Review

Liam Neeson is back and he’s taken his time to make Taken 3 which was…. decent overall, but it’s Taken with a twist this time as no one is actually taken in this Taken which is ironic but it actually made for some decent viewing.

Yes Bryan Mills is back in the movie, now amicably separated from his wife Lenore and enjoying his life being a man with a very specific set of skills, we learn early on in the film that his daughter, Kim, now in college is actually pregnant (though that’s not really significant to the plot). Anyway Lenore is murdered and Bryan Mills is framed for the crime, he’s suspect number one as he is led to her house to find her body, making it look like he killed her, now on the run from the authorities, Bryan lays low and tries to find out who’s framing him and why.

This twist/change was nice for the film and it gave it a fresh angle, though Lenores’ death seemed a bit insignificant? Though it drives the films’ plot, but maybe Bryan is just so badass that he doesn’t seem to be that devastated and I guess that makes sense, anyway Taken 3 does what Taken and Taken 2 do and does it well.

Better? Not necessarily, the film has great set pieces and some pretty intense fight scenes as well, but the film isn’t the highlight of the Taken franchise in any sense and I guess that’s what lets it down, a fairly barebones plot with a predictable antagonist and not feeling Bryan Mills is ever really in that much danger does remove suspense. Though in saying that, there is a scene where Bryan does seem almost done for but then you know, he’s not. And also someone does get taken actually, Kim gets taken by Stuart, the previously sound minded but now insane dude that orchestrated Lenores’ death to get at Bryan… (that’s Gone Girl levels of crazy).

Stuart highlights one thing from Taken 3, bad characterization, characters are just cliché action films cutouts, you know exactly what type of character Forest Whitaker’s playing and the generic eastern european criminals and so on. Kim Mills is arguably the most compelling character, showing some emotional depth and all, while her dad just kicks ass throughout but hey you’ve watched the Taken films for the action and to be entertained, which the the film does on a pretty basic level, the action’s great, the set pieces are good and Neeson once again is great as Bryan.

It’s nothing groundbreaking and probably not the best Taken film but it’s good on a basic level, although it could have been a bit longer and could have added more depth to Bryan or to other important characters, though Kim was good.

7/10

. Decent action set pieces

. Nice spin on Taken film premises so far

. Predictable, cliché plot

The Hunger Games Mockingjay part 1 review

It’s the beginning of the end for The Hunger Games franchise and what a way to start it, Katniss and her District 13 alumi are back, in the grittiest, most political Hunger Games film yet, not full of action like the previous films and with no actual Hunger Games itself, the film is still a good watch throughout.

Mockingjay Part 1 kicks off with an angry and disoriented Katniss, now in the perviously thought destroyed District 14 with some of the victors, Betee, Finnick as well as Gale, president Coin and her advisors as they assess the situation and plan freedom for all of Panem and their attack on the capitol. With the use of Katniss as a central symbol to unite the districts in rebellion and to incite fear into the capitol, Katniss, Finnick and Beetee were rescued from the area at the end of Catching Fire but Peeta wasn’t, he wasn’t recovered and was captured by the capitol, a pretty significant plot point.

What follows in the film is the gritty reality of the rebellion and the war, with Katniss seeing the effect of war and what it’s done to Panem, she visits a hospital in one scene, just minutes before it’s bombe by the dastardly presient snow, probably twirling his snow white mustache as the raid was carried out. And seeing Katniss out there reacting to the different districts under distress and all was great, it really translates believably on screen and it was nice that the books were mostly kept to as well. The stakes are obviously higher now with all of Panem being the arena in in a sense and the freedom of all the districts being fought for. And while there were scenes with some tension, especially near the end with Peetas’ rescue mission, you never really felt like Katniss was ever in mortal danger, but again, you do near the end.

A criticism of Mockingjay Part 1 could be that there wasn’t that much to it in terms of action, though it is a important point in the Hunger Games story as a whole, it just felt a lot more uneventful than The Hunger Games previous films. But in saying that, Mockingjay does balance action with a lot of emotional drama and tension, you really feel for Katniss, what she’s going through and further than that, you feel sorry for the poor districts dwellers, fighting for their freedom. Peeta played an important part in the film, being used a form of pyschological torture on Katniss, the capitol re-conditioning him to hate Katniss and see her as an enemy, which is revealed by the end of the film which is tragic. Seeing the two former friends turned lovers at each others throats literally was rough and seriously, Katniss does not get an easy ride in Mockingjay. The use of Peeta was a good plot point though, to add some more depth to their relationship, stretching it to breaking point and giving Team Katniss a headache when it comes to what to do with him now. The acting was great throughout and Mockingjay so far has featured some of Jennifer Lawrences most emotional and best performances in the series so far, while Donald Sutherland is great once again as Katniss’ opposite, the cold and calculating president snow. The newcomers in Cressida, Pollux, Castor and Messalla were well cast but played a minor role in part 1, though Julianne Moore was great as the calm, determined president Alma Coin.

And yeah, things only really get a bit darker from here into part 2 but the ending (if you’ve read the books) isn’t out and out depressing, which is good. But all in all Mockingjay Part 1 is an overall entertaining, well paced and well structured film, showing the gritty reality of panem and showing Katniss at some of her lowest and fascinating points in the story.

7/10

. Great portrayal of the media, in how events can be portrayed and what messages they send e.g. editing Katniss being on the frontline to make an inspirational video

. The gritty feel of the film is hard hitting, gives a sense of ‘realism’ to the fantasy

. Great use of Peeta in the film, made for great drama with Katniss

Better Call Saul for February 9th Europe premiere

The highly anticipated Breaking Bad prequel will be upon us in just a few days now and will be premiering in Europe on Monday the 9th of February on Netflix, with the 2nd episode the next day and then episodes weekly, every Tuesday.

Better Call Saul is also premiering in the US on February the 8th on AMC, I’ll be watching for sure even though I’m not the biggest Breaking Bad fan, the show was really well made and is one of the better dramas in recent years. Also with the possibility of Jesse Pinkman or Walter making appearances, it’s something that might add to the show.

Also the fact that the show was made by and is being spearheaded my Netflix just cements the the fact that online media platforms are ever growing and that big TV properties can feel right at home online now, even with original series and or brand new seasons e.g. Arrested Development. It’s great for the frequent internet user and average TV viewer with more choice in the original series from services like Netflix and the chance for TV revivals, prequels or spinoffs of their favourite shows.

And the female Ghostbusters are….

Confirmed, the film has been cast and will star Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Katie Mckinnon and Leslie Jones, the film has been a subject of some controversy online and some long running skepticism but it could work out just fine and it already has some very funny actors in Wiig and McCarthy.

I have no problem with an all female cast and why should there be a problem? It’s something different and new for an action comedy franchise and definitely something to welcome, hopefully it will show studios that films can be more diverse and still succeed (providing the film does well anyway).

Some people seem to hate the idea of a new Ghostbusters without the original busters or a re-boot of the film in any shape or form but a sequel to the original series just looks increasingly unlikely,  because Harold Ramis passed away and the original lineup either isn’t interested/un-willing. Plus this will be a new iteration for a new generation of moviegoers that maybe has never seen Ghostbusters. It’s an interesting project and why say no to a new Ghostbusters idea? It’s nice to see the franchise move ahead anyway, the film just needs great direction and a good story to boot and it’s good to go.

I get that it’s annoying to see classic movies re-booted or changed in one way or another but it is a new idea, it doesn’t ruin or tarnish the original films and people can tend to overreact to any news of a a new adaptation. Ghostbusters will always be Ghosbusters and nothing changes that, while this is just a new adaptation of the franchise.

A release date of July 22nd 2016 is possible.

Mission Impossible 5 sneaking into theatres in summer

Mission Impossible 5, a film that a lot of people probably don’t know is even happening is coming out this summer, for a proposed July 31st release date, this is news because its’ release date has been pushed forward by about 5 months or so.

The film was going to come out a bit before Christmas later in the year but its’ schedule has been changed, you have to wonder why, maybe the studio backing the film thought of its’ major competition in Star Wars Episode 7 and decided to re-schedule, or maybe not. Whatever the reason Mission Impossible 5 should still make a great a summer movie and it will make a decent amount of money at any time in the year I’m sure.

Fantastic Four trailer reaction

That sombre music.. landscape shots, deep voiceover, Interstellar? Nope it’s Fantastic four. 

So, The Fantastic Four teaser trailer was released today and it looks… pretty good actually, for a film we’ve seen next to nothing for, I got a gritty dark re-boot vibe from the teaser, which you may think is at odds with the tone from The Fantastic Four in general but it may work.

We finally saw the cast in their roles, including  glimpses of The Thing and Johnny Storm as the Human Torch near end and so far so good really, Miles Teller maybe not surprisingly as he’s a great actor, seems to be a pretty into his role as Reed Richards/Mr Fantastic. But I am still curious to see Jamie Bell as Ben Grim some more, that and the team interacting, which we didn’t really see at all interestingly enough.

So far I have to say I’m somewhat impressed, this new FF film may the polar opposite to the already existing 20th Century Fox FF films and that’s not a bad thing at all, the more serious tone could end up helping the film in the end. The Jury is still out on cyber hacker Dr Doom but hey, we’ll probably see him in the full trailer.

Fox in talks to develop a X-Men TV show

http://www.comingsoon.net/tv/news/403163-fox-is-bringing-x-men-to-television-with-24-producers

Wait, what? Well that sounds interesting but again, the show will be on Fox… and it’s probably  while off anyway, this is interesting news in the TV sphere as it’s yet another comic book property coming to TV. That and because Fox are taking it one for some reason, an X-Men TV show is an ambitious project to take on for any network, but for Fox especially imo, a network with broad appeal that lacks specialism in any one genre.

Fox has had a track record of good to great sci-fi over the years but quite a few shows have been short lived, Almost Human, Terra Nova, Touch, Dollhouse, even though they were well received and of course talk about a potential Fox cancellation is pre-mature with this potential X-Men show not really existing yet. But still, y’know Fox.

Anyway it’s interesting to think about and the idea in itself is great, though you have to wonder what characters could appear on an X-Men show, Would it focus on the main X-Men as we’ve come to know from the movies? What would be the setting/time period for it? A show like this could be great if a few things fell into place and who knows, Fox could have a gem on its hands.

Ryan Murphy 're-inventing' American horror story, a well needed makeover

News emerged recently that a new, possibly radical change was coming to American Horror Story for the next season, a significant change in relation to the changes that have already happened from season to season, something I think the show needs.

Not that the show’s bad or losing steam but I wasn’t too big on the idea of a freakshow for the basis of a new season and I don’t think the premise for the current season has really paid off. It has been the worst season in my opinion, the stakes for characters have been high but predictable (they showed some of the characters already dead in the first episode?) and while this has been a somewhat gory season, the fear factor is completely gone.

Once again the character interactions and dialogue have been some of the best parts of the show, especially with Jessica Lange playing an aging performer hoping to recapture her glory days at the expense of… well everyone else. And while the ‘freaks’ themselves trying to gain equality and their freedom has provided some decent drama, freakshow just felt a bit directionless to be honest, like the 2nd half of Asylum for example, which felt like a mish-mash of different ideas and genres that didn’t come together well at all.

American Horror Story is an entertaining show but Freakshow has definitely lost something that previous seasons have had, the overlying killer/monster/force that threatens the main characters, Twisty the clown was supposed to be that this season but it didn’t really work out. This season especially, thing just seemed to happen without much consequence for certain characters up until the end, Dandy, while great to watch was one dimensional and a borderline cartoon character and the premise of the ‘freaks’ fighting for their freedom and equality didn’t really go anywhere? They just stayed and kept performing, though they do get what they want in the end I suppose.

While I’m sure the show is still doing pretty good ratings wise, I think that re-invention for the show could do it some good, the format itself doesn’t have to change, using the some actors in a different premise/setting is awesome and it’s one of the best ideas for a show in recent years.

But Horror Story could possibly use some change to structure, make it a lot less predictable, we shouldn’t always know who is going to die and when (most characters by the end of the season), make the main antagonist unpredictable, will they attack at all? When will they do something? And I know that changing the structure of the show could make it lose its’ unique appeal and when you’re watching Horror Story, you know it’s Horror Story, the unique music to fit certain scenes, the weird camera angles, the quirky but well written characters and the dialogue and so on.

And that’s all good, it’s great that the show has its’ own distinct feel that separates it from other successful dramas and it is one of the best supernatural dramas on air now, but the endings, man the ending to each season could really use some work. Apart from the first season, I don’t think the show has had a good, season conclusion, in the sense that plot points are all tied up, characters get what was coming to them and there aren’t any unresolved stories or enigmas. But back to what the show does well, the ensemble drama, using the same actors in varying roles and the quirkyness of the dialogue/characters is great. And a few tweaks here and there and you can get back to the horror and tension of season 1s’ murder house, while combining the outlandishness and unsettling events from Asylum and Coven.

I mean the show isn’t bad in any sense, it’s well written and if there’s one thing you could say about Horror Story, it’s that it is never boring but it could be improved and hopefully Freakshow was just a minor blip on an otherwise solid run of seasons.

So Ascension wasn't great

I made a post on that new sci-fi drama Ascension a few weeks back and yes I did watch it despite a lack of a review, I suppose I was a bit reluctant to talk about because of my dissapointment, Battlestar Galactica it is not.

The show has some interesting ideas and the whole twist of it was a bit… underwhelming to say the least, making it an actual space drama would have been better, but all in all the show 3 episodes just felt way too bloated, maybe not too surprising as they’re all an 1 hr 20 minutes long. But even with that run time for a mini-series, if a show is interesting and engaging enough, it’s okay, Ascension just felt like a political drama with sex and a sci-fi element thrown into it, some of the characters are interesting but none are really compelling apart from Krista maybe. Though even she’s a bit one dimensional and the abilities… well, that makes sense of course.

I think the twist was revealed way too early as well and that killed off any possible tension arising from not knowing the twist or what the Ascension really was, the reveal or almost reveal should have been left right to the end of the mini-series in my opinion. The acting… the acting wasn’t bad, it’s perfectly fine actually but again the show just didn’t pique my interest and it lost my interest with all the inter related character drama, who’s sleeping with who and this guy likes this girl and vice versa. I’ve seen the show described as Mad Men on a spaceship which is funny, the show not being anywhere near as good as Mad Men but being heavy on sex and drama.

And because the episodes were so long, the interpersonal just felt like it dragged on and on with the few dramatic moments in the episodes being tense but ultimately not that exciting, the bad pacing an runtime may just have been the deal breaker for the show for me so far. But if it does get a full season order (which I think it will), a more normal 40-43 runtime would definitely suit the show more, shaving off a good 40 minutes as well and allowing for some tighter drama, action and actually interesting storylines.

Well that’s the hope anyway, I’m not quite sure where Ascension can go from where it is but we’ll have to wait and see.