Month: July 2017

3 exciting directors making waves in film right now

So the idea for this post came to me pretty much out of the blue, I’ve noticed I don’t talk about directors that much on TheDoc in terms of my favourites, favourites in certain genres etc so I’d like to change things up a bit and talk about 3 exciting directors currently that are doing quite well for themselves and look to have pretty successful futures in directing. And here they are below, with just a few films they’ve each done.

 

Denis Villenueve – Arrival, Sicario, Prisoners.

Mr Villenueve is very on the up director at the moment after a string of critical hit films, that being pretty much every film he’s put out to be honest people can’t seem to get enough of his work with his expressive, stylistic way of filming and working with intriguing, slow build premises. He’s also not a one trick pony and his films couldn’t be more different too each other, though you could say he favours mystery, thrillers/dramas, Villenueve attracts a lot of star power to his films as well and this only a strength to his potential for making quality films.

And with clear story telling, captivating characters and plots, his films are almost becoming events in the vein of one Christopher Nolan with a lot of people anticipating them and expecting great things each and every time I myself am always interested to hear of a new project he’s working and always look forward to it and I’m intrigued to see where his career takes him.

 

Ryan Coogler – Creed, Fruitvale Station 

The youngest director on this list, Ryan Coogler already has some solid critical hits under his belt with Creed and Fruitvale Station, while his filmography thus far is pretty small, I can see a lot of potential for him to get some great films under his belt and keep knocking it out of the park and his next film, Black Panther will most likely be another hit (I mean it is Marvel). But yeah, there’s a very gritty, realism to his film with great cinematography and a relatable element to the characters he presents that makes his plots very engaging in my opinion.

 

Adam Wingard – The GuestYou’re NextV/H/S

Wingard is one of the more creative minds out there in the horror thriller genre with some of the more unique premises I’ve seen for films in recent years, his projects are always just very different and I like that he goes away from the mainstream, having completed the Netflix live action adaptation of Death Note which is out in a few weeks actually. One thing thrillers and horror films need and have always needed I feel is nuance and creativity and its always a welcome thing to see different, new ideas, frenetic action and crazy, captivating plots that only seem to get more interesting as the film goes on.

I like that Wingard chooses interesting projects as it means his repertoire is will be varied and he’ll avoid repeat film plots and ideas.

My top 5 albums of 2017 so far

This is a bit of a different post for me but I’ve wanted to put it out for a while, I don’t talk abut music on here at all, really but I’m a bit of a an audiophile admittedly and 2017 has been pretty solid so far, anyway I wanted to make a completely subjective list of my top 5 albums and why I like them, here they are in no particular order.

Tei Shi – Crawl Space (released 31st of March)

This isn’t a ranked list as I’ve mentioned but man I just love this record and it’s probably my favourite on the list regardless, I’ve been listening to the singer songwriter on and off for 2 years, wishing in the back of my mind for a full length album from her and in March she certainly delivered, with some of the most catchy, alt R & B from this year. Crawl Space is as an emotionally charged album with some fantastic tracks on it with a lot of re-play value for me, the ever so catchy ‘keep running’ and the try not to sing along to ‘Say you do’, Tei Shis’ beautiful voice also plays a big part in her appeal, as does her alternative, creative style to her aesthetic and her music with some of the most diverse tracks on a single album I’ve heard this year as well. And not with a lick of auto-tune or shoe horned afro-Caribbean beats in sight, great stuff.

 

Paramore – After Laughter (released 12th of May 2017)

One of my favourite bands well, ever, released their new record ‘Hard times’ in May, after a 4 years gap since their last, self titled album, the album was a bit of a surprise for me and I’m sure for many fans, as was news of Zac Farro , a former member re-joining the band. I took a little while to warm to the new style and tone of the music but it’s definitely grown on me, 80s synth pop that makes you want to move, with some experimental and creative instrument playing peppered throughout, there’s definite passion and emotion through the tracklist and an interesting mix of highs and lows in what is a varied and diverse album. It’s intriguing, mature but ultimately a fun mix of fast tempo and more slower, intimate deep dives, embodying Paramore in a nutshell I feel and in terms of my favourite songs, ‘Hard Times’ and ‘Told you so’ are some notable ones.

 

Logic – Everybody (released 5th of May 2017)

The east coast based rapper put out another hit record in my opinion, with some great production and fantastic sounding songs, Logic brings his energy, great flow and interesting story telling once again to a solid album overall, interestingly this is probably his most divisive album to date among fans but I’m really into it, there’s great re playability on a lot of songs and I like that Logic brings a positive message through his music. Not being afraid to make a point or be proud of his bi-racial background, some may call it corny but songs like ‘Black Spiderman’ are just infectiously catchy, encapsulating the talented rappers enthusiasm, energy and great flow, just a few reasons why he has such a huge fanbase worldwide.

 

Drake – More life (18th March 2017)

Now I’m not even a big Drake fan and More Life isn’t really an album, well some people might say is isn’t. But anyway, it’s good, no matter what you think of Drake, he does deliver the goods time and time again mixing cultural influences and putting out some fantastic sounds, with a lot of influence from grime here in the UK, which pays off quite well actually. The length of the album is pretty long but a few brilliant songs on there more than make for it, the summertime jam ‘Passionfruit’, the soothing ’44-22′ to name a few, I don’t know how Drake does it with hit album after hit album but he does it well.

 

Royal Blood – How did we get so dark (released 16th of June 2017)

I’d heard about this album just about a million times over the last month and a half or so and I actually got a bit annoyed with how ubiquitous it seemed to be, then…. I listened to it and it’s pretty good, I have to say, you know that feeling when you hear a song you’ve heard loads of times on a specific album from an artist and you recognize it, not having listened to that artist before, yeah that. The band have an interesting gritty, almost grungey sound to them with some creative, hard hitting tracks and I guess I’m a new fan, with a decent length to the album as well, it flies by and is great for a re-listen.

Notable mentions:

Dua Lipa – Dua Lipa

Mura Masa – Mura Masa

Linkin Park – One More Light

Kendrick Lamar – DAMN

Stormzy – Gang Signs and Prayer

Syd – Fin

My mixed feelings on Han Solo: A Star Wars story

So you’ve probably heard about the upcoming Han Solo film and more to the point, the somewhat ecent controversy surrounding it with Lord and Miller, former directors of the film being fired though they were mostly done with filming and replaced with John Hughes… and yes it was kind of a big deal and an interesting eye opener on the desired tone of the film and potential issues with it.

From the grapevine, it seems that Lord and Miller were going for too much comedy and improvisation and it just wasn’t quite working and fair enough, the film seems to have moved ahead with a solid new choice in John Hughes but I still sort of have my doubts, doubts that I brushed aside after seeing the cast reveal and seeing Donald Glover and Woody Harrelson. The recent controversy has brought up the first question everyone (mostly Star Wars fans) asked when the project came to light, who wants to see a Han Solo film? The answer to the question is…. interesting, some people do care as it turns out but I still get the feeling that a lot of people are ambivalent or simply don’t really care for it.

Though that being said, I’m sure a lot of the mixed feeling people such as myself will end up going to see it when it’s out in theatres, the problem isn’t with the characters – Han and Chewbacca are at the heart of Star Wars and fans love them, but it’s more with the intention behind the film I suppose, giving us answers to questions no one was really asking, how did Han and Chewie meet? Is Han, Hans’ real name…? And unfortunately It’s far too easy to criticise the films existence for being one long answer to questions that no one really cared for.

That is sort of where my doubt comes in, not that the film necessarily be bad but I’m really curious in regards to its reception, this is definitely the first Star Wars film I feel legitimately lukewarm on which is weird to say as I’m a huge SW fan, I just don’t have a burning desire to see it, like I did for Rogue One or any of the mainline films. I think part of my doubt comes from this being a film so far removed from the mainline stories for one, I highly doubt we’ll see any Jedi and probably not any Skywalkers either, or the force – all things I love about the films and that is a bit of a bummer. But I have to add a rebuttal to that, because I did quite like Rogue One, which was devoid of the force for the most part and Jedi/Sith, apart from Darth Vader and the film did show that film going audiences, namely Star Wars fans will still flock to new films in the franchise even if they’re not about Jedi.

And anyway, we do need more Star Wars films that don’t centre around Death Stars, Jedi or Skywalkers in the long run, if the franchise is to survive and continue to tell interesting, captivating stories that don’t feel repetitive but I’m just wondering if the Han Solo film will be one of those types of stories and more importantly, do enough people really care about Hans’ background to really go out and watch the film? These are interesting questions no doubt but time will tell and we’ll get a good barometer of how people are feeling when a trailer eventually drops – I’m thinking around the time of The Last Jedi and near the end of the year but we shall see when the time comes.

Game of Thrones season 7 x 2: Stormborn Recap

Thrones episode 2 kicks off in Dragonstone, with Dany, Tyrion and varys discussing… things, namely how to move forward, though Dany focuses almost immediately on Varys and his past loyalty and how he changed from leader to leader, which is a fair point, she seems mistrusting of him but he’s vouched for by Tyrion and he makes his point on being savvy and admittedly a bit sneaky, in order to stay alive.

Now I like Varys but I can see how he can be seen as untrust worthy, this was a great scene showing that not everything is smooth sailing for the potential queen to be. And mistrust goes along way, Varys mistrusts the mysterious guest at Dragonstone, everyones favourite witch…. Melisandre who pretty logically shows up to one of the most powerful leaders in Westeros, showing her intent to serve. Daenerys reminds Varys of her previous forgiveness of him earlier.

In Winterfell, Jon Snow receives the message from Dany and knows that Tyrion is also with her, Davos advises Jon that she wants to be rid of Cersei as well and could be a powerful ally. And in Kings Landing, Cersei tries to rally people against Dany, citing her savagery in her conquests which is a smart idea, painting her as just a crazy ruler, the plan against fighting dragons is brought up to which someone replies that there is a “plan” for. Jamie talks to a Tyrell ruler and tries to get him on board, though he seems to be a tad wary of the Lannisters and understandably so.

In the Citadel, Sam and a maester talk to a now fairly infected Jorah Mormont, who will live for a while longer but seemingly can’t be cured still, despite Sam wanting to help him. In a crypt in Kings Landing, Cerseis aide shows her a skull of a former Dragon and a mystery weapon, a giant ballista that can be used effectively against Dragons, foreshadowing I assume. And back at Dragonstone, Dany discusses her plan with her council, disagreements abound as Tyrion clashes with Ilaria Sand, Tyrion not wanting to use the dragons in the battle but Obera not minding the idea, oh and Olenna Tyrell, plus the Grey Joys are here….. when did they arrive again? But moving on, the plan seems to be set in motion with Dany and Tyrion coming up with something concrete and boy are events moving quickly, Dany has a quick talk with Olenna on her reasons and intent for wanting to help out, Olenna gives some sage advice on how to move forward, telling her to ‘be a dragon’, assuming she means that Dany should be more fierce and domineering.

Greyworm and Missandei share an intimiate moment alone together and you know, do things.

While back in the Citadel and under cover of the night, Sam visits Jorah, captivated by his heritage and how he knew Jorahs father, he makes a concoction in the aim of saving him and sets about trying to help, Sams enthusiasm to help is admirable though you have to wonder if it will work, Sam carries on, much to Jorahs pain and discomfort. Somewhere in Westeros, Hot Pie, Aryas old friend makes a re-appearance and brings some food over, a lot has obviously happened to Arya since they last met but she’s not too keen on telling him everything just yet, though Hot Pie reveals Winterfell is now in Jon Snows’ hands after the Boltons defeat at the battle of the bastards, this seems to spark her interest as it looks like she’s headed northwards now instead of to Kings Landing, though she’ll just miss Jon Snow unfortunately.

In Winterfell, Jon receives another raven message (busy boy) from the Citadel/Sam, on the fact that Dragonstone is on top of a tonne of dragonglass, he also reveals the other message received from Daenerys, talking about the contents of the message, Jon reveals he’s going to accept her invitation as they need allies and of course, that tonne of Dragonglass. Will we finally see Jon and Dany meet!? Not everyone is happy with Jons choice however, with Sansa being the most vocal critic, though more dissenting voices rise on how Jon needs to stay in the North and not go to Dragonstone, due to the Targaryens and Lannisters’ less than stellar reputation – though Tyrion’s great now, as we know. Though his decision is final, Jon will leave for Dragonstone and will leave Winterfell under Sansas command for the time being, though this decision already proves divisive, will it be a big blow for Jons’ leadership?

Littlefinger creeps up out of nowhere to talk to Jon a bit, buttering him up a bit, to possibly get on his better side, though Jon seems a bit wary of him and threatens him over making moves on Sansa, good move Jon, Jon then leaves to ride for Dragonstone. Back to Arya now alone at a makeshift camp fire, her horse is a bit spooked as is she, as they get approached by wild wolves, seemingly led by her own Direwolf, Nymeria, though their bond now seems to be a bit broken as Nymeria leaves, with the wolf pack.

Onboard a grey joy ship, the sand snakes (they’re back!) discuss things, on who to kill – how charming, while Ilaria Sand drinks with the Greyjoys, though Theon isn’t too happy about this. Anyway snap back to reality, the ships are under attack by none other than Euron and his fleet, who boards their ship himself and wow Euron really covers a lot of ground doesn’t he? Managing to catch up to Theon and co so quickly, anyway much fighting and death, Yara and the Sandsnakes attack Euron and he kills two of them, the fighting is chaotic but in the end, Euron has Yara, faced by a pretty impossible situation to be fair, Theon jumps ship and runs away as Euron sails away with the remaining sand snake, her mother and Yara, mission complete for him, I think.

Anyway this was a pretty fast paced, chaotic episode, a lot of things are moving forward in quick succession now, maybe a bit quicker than I expected but I think we’ll be seeing Dany in Westeros fairly soon, Cersei allying with Euron after he brings her his ‘gift’ and Jon Snow in Dragonstone meeting Dany next up should be fascinating.

Bright trailer #2 – (Comic Con)

One film that I completely missed but one that intrigued me was Bright, an upcoming netflix original film by David Ayer interestingly, it’s part Training Day and part Lord of The Rings according to a recent quote from Will Smith and I can definitely see that, the film also stars Will Smith, Joel Edgerton and Noomi Rapace.

The plot is a modern day crime drama, set in Los Angeles inhabited with fantastical creatures, including orcs, who seem to have racial tension with normal humans, Daryl Ward (Will Smith) is paired with an Orc in order ot find a mysterious and powerful weapon and has to confront his own doubts and discriminations possibly against Orcs as they go the beat together. They’ll probably learn eah others worlds and get along…. or not, but have to work together nonetheless, Daryl and Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) come across a powerful item in the form of a magical wand that can grant any wish and of course, several people will be after it and want to use it for their own means.

The premise is intriguing, very reminiscent of End Of Watch in the way the story seems to be but with the fantastical element of course, cops, gangs, fairies and orcs, it’s an interesting mix and also something different for David Ayer, though he’s done sci-fi and a comic book film in Suicide Squad, seeing him touch fantasy is something a bit left of field. Bright is out on Netflix later in the year.

Thor Ragnarok: Comic con trailer

The funky new Thor Ragnarok trailer is upon us, Thor recounts his recent events, losing his hammer which is destroyed by Hela, him going on a journey of self discovery as he tries to regain his powers and finding himself on Sakar, the alien planet where he’s being made to duel Hulk. Thor and Hulk do indeed buddy up and discuss current events, Hela has invaded and decimated Asgard and she needs to be stopped, of course, funnily Bruce Banner also doesn’t even remember fighting Thor.

Moving on, Hela wants to have Asgard re-born, bringing about Ragnarok which will be the end of everything as Thor aptly puts it, so Thor wants to stop her with a team (including Hulk), Valkyrie and even a chained up Loki, who is mistrusted as ever and boy is it great to see Tom Hiddlestone back in the MCU again, eh. Seeing Loki and Thor tea up once again, like they did in Thor: The Dark World should be interesting and yeah, the visuals are trippy, very cyberpunk for a Thor film actually with space ships, combining that with Asgard, the Skybridge etc is an interesting mix up and I’m curious to see how it all works out.

Helas strength makes her a very formidable foe and we see this in snippets, she seemingly knocks Loki out of the skybridge teleportation and goes head to head with Thor and understandably as she is quite powerful, even facing Thors entire new team on the skybridge in what may be a concluding fight in the film and again how awesome is it that Hulk is even in this? The sheer fact that Ruffalo/The Hulk is present is great but having Hulk in for a good chunk of the film would be an easy crowd pleaser and I hope that’s the case, rather than having him for just a few scenes.

Also I love seeing Hulk talk some more and his exchange with Thor is quite funny and to cap it all off, Hulk vs Surtur (that giant red demon at the end)… I am so in.

Overall there’s a nice, light tone to the film that I’m getting that fits very well with Thors’ character and you can see the influence that the director – Taika Waititi is bringing, the film looks to have a lot of levity and it should be a blast, with great visuals to boot. Thor: Ragnarok premieres in November.

Arrow (Season 6) comic con trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHZEeDEwRE0

The trailer for Arrows upcoming season 6 is up and after a rather explosive season 5 finale on Lian Yu, Oliver is back in Star City with his son, fighting crime (not fighting with his son mind you) and Black Canary alt, well the other, evil black Canary (Katie Cassidy playing another Black Canary) from another Earth is also back, as is the new Black Canary on Team Arrow (it’s all a bit confusing now). And they fight each other, naturally.

“It’s just a dream, where do you think the bad man is?” to quote Oliver as he talks to his son, William, “You” his son replies, so is this a dream sequence or…. not? I’m not sure what’s going on there and what Oliver was referring to in this conversation but it’s interesting, does Olivers’ son have nightmares about Oliver?

Oh and importantly, Manu Bennett is back as Deathstroke, I’m not sure if he’ll be a regular or anything now but he’s squaring up against Oliver in some scenes and shaking hands with him at the end, so I don’t know what’s really going on here. The fact we also don’t see Mr Terrific, Felicity, Diggle, Rene or Thea is interesting, I highly doubt they’re all dead but they’re probably not being shown for a specific reason. But yes so many questions, where’s Team Oliver? Where’s Malcolm Merlyn? Who’s the big bad of this season, if there is one? Will Oliver be going it alone, going by the looks of the trailer?

We’ll find out in a few months I’m sure, Arrow premieres on the CW in october.

The Flash (season 4) – comic con trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYDdu_mC6cI

The first look at season 4 of The Flash is out there in the wild now, following the events of last seasons finale with Barry now trapped in the speed force, Team Flash has had to move on, Iris especially who seems to be trying to come to terms with the idea of Barry never coming back, though Joe still keeps hope.

Nevertheless villains will still do their thing and Central city needs protecting so the new look Team Flash look to be fulfilling the role of The Flash, including a returning Caitlyn, now less Killer frost-y seemingly, interestingly it also seems that Iris has take on the leadership role for the team and co-ordinates them. We see a samurai like villain appear and call for the Flash, threatening the city at the same time and it sees like he may be a bit too much too handle for the team minus our favourite speedster B-A.

So the team devise a plan to get Barry out of the speed force, though Iris apparently isn’t on board with the idea strangely, anyway the team seems to have a lock on him but will they manage to get him out of there? I mean yeah, probably, he IS the main character of the show so you can’t really have a Flash show without The Flash but I wonder how many episodes they’ll go without him initially, I’m guessing not too many but I’m intrigued to see new look Team Flash and how they’re working out. The Flash premieres in October on the CW.

Justice League trailer #3 – comic con

The new Justice League trailer was released today at Comic Con, a bank heist is in progress and school kids/the public flee for their lives when Wonder Woman bursts through onto the scene and takes out the would be robbers, leg sweep hair flip, perfection, we also see that Diana has a day job as an art curator, her co-workers obviously unaware of her alter ego as Wonder Woman.

In London, we see a black flag for Superman and we hear of the world being in mourning after Supermans death following Batman V Superman (make up your mind folks, love him, hate him, love him again!) meanwhile Batman seems to have gone out of action as well for maybe related reasons, though we’ll find out why exactly when the film’s out. Diana talks to Bruce about assembling the league and on Themyscira, a mysterious being teleports down, and it looks like it’s DC villain Steppenwolf.

So not exactly Darkseid just yet but a formidable foe nonetheless who seems to be commanding Darkseids’ army of Parademons. We see the league assembled though not fully, sans Superman of course and with no Green Lantern (yet). The Flash talks about how he’s inexperienced and not actually a fighter like Batman or Wonder Woman and this is an interesting dynamic, I thought this Flash was fairly experienced but it turns out it may be the opposite in terms of actually fighting villains.

We see the league fighting both Parademons and Steppenwolf himself which looks pretty rad, with some pretty spectacular set pieces and big action sequences being teased, this will definitely be a packed film plot wise. We also get some nice humour from the Flash on how the League characters just disappear without saying goodbye when they talk to James Gordon, which is a nice nod to Batmans knack for doing this in his TV series and in films. And we finish things off with Alfred being visited by….. someone, someone who told Alfred that they would show up, interesting, Superman possibly? Green Lantern? I’m assuming this is likely Superman and if it is, it’s great that they didn’t show him, we know he’s coming back anyway but I want to keep his reveal a bit of a mystery for now.

Anyway the trailer is pretty good, in line with the first one more or less with some ore action being teased, we know why the League is getting together and we’ve gotten a touch more from the characters and their distinct personalities, though some more on Cyborg would be nice – I guess we will see more of him in the film itself. And the latest DCEU entry, Justice League is out in November.

The defenders trailer #2 – Comic Con

Marvels fast approaching The Defenders has a new trailer, showcasing the four now heroes together, coming up against an ominous force as we’ve seen in the first trailer, the mastermind behind it all behind Sigourney Weaver or Alexandra in the series as she seemingly wants to use a re-born Elektra (Elodie Young) to take them on.

The defenders clearly don’t get along from the get go and seeing their mix of personalities try to co-operate should be half the fun of watching the series really, especially anything with Jessica Jones and Darddevil and well… anyone else in the group. We see that the friends and family of the defenders are being targeted deliberately as well to mess with them and interestingly even Madame Gao is in the picture, maybe unsurprisingly, though I wonder what she’d agree to do with Alexandra. Coleen Wing is also present as we see her in the first shot of the trailer.

And action, more action than you can shake a stick at really with the defenders going all out in combat together as they try to save New York, though things won’t be smooth sailing, Daredevil re-unites with Elektra and that may throw a spanner in the works, his ex-girlfriend now being a re-born brainwashed killer and you never know what circumstances may drive the group apart. Anyway overall I think the show looks good, they’ve upped the ante for the super powered characters and I always thought they’d need a formidable opponent for all 4 of them to take on, the stakes are high and it will be awesome to see the characters interacting.