Guardians Of The Galaxy review

Ok so this is obviously late, but I also watched the film really late, 4 or so weeks ago as I never got around to seeing it in cinemas unfortunately, but man should I have seen it when it came out because it was really, really good. Based on a maybe not so well known (apart from avid Marvel comic book readers) space series about a misfit group of very different characters, the film was always a gamble for Marvel.

And it wasn’t necessarily expected to do that well either, due to the comic series lack of familiarity with mainstream audiences, but that ended up not being that big of a problem, the film was brilliantly paced and well put together, held by solid, believable performances from each of the Guardians for one.Chris Pratt is a charismatic, likeable but driven goofball, the guy you want to succeed and cheer on throughout the film. Dauve Bautista is awesome as a straight talking, humourless Drax, Zoe Saldana seemed to project her own personality onto a blunt, guarded Gamora and of course Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon nailed his performance, as did Vin Diesel as the one note Groot, ironically stealing the show for some people as the best character.

Groot wasn’t my favourite character, Peter Quill/Starlord was, but c’mon, who didn’t love Groot? The film flowed really well and didn’t feel like it dragged on at all in any parts, this was one of Marvels better paced films in recent times, better than say.. Iron Man 3, which really wasn’t that good in general to be fair.

Guardians kept my interest with a compelling, albeit one dimensional villain in Ronan the accuser, an evil skrull who did feel genuinely unbeatable at points in the film, despite the Guardians efforts, it was cool seeing Thanos in the film as well, though having too much of a near unbeatable titan as a major character in the film have been a bit too much for the film.

One thing in the film that made it great to watch was the character interactions, how they bounced jokes off of and teased each other, Drax failing to grasp the concept of humour, Rocket being sarcastic and wanting to joke around in his own hyperactive style, while Gamora would tease but ultimately insult Peter Quill or Drax somehow. Simply just watching the Guardians interact could have been half the movie and it would have been great, in the way that The Avengers was so entertaining just because we saw some of our favourite marvel heroes together, interacting.

Gamora and Nebulas’ complicated relationship was great to watch as well, though more Nebula in the film wouldn’t have hurt, but all in all, the film worked well with what it had and crafted a believable group of characters together for a thoroughly entertaining and easily re-watchable film, now we wait for a Guardians-Avengers crossover, which may well happen with the Infinity war arc, here’s hoping.

9/10

. The casting for the Guardians is excellent, Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana especially imo

. Great character interaction and good humour throughout the film

. Genuinely interesting plot with great pacing

. More Nebula would have been nice and more to Ronans’ character would have been interesting

Agents Of Shield is fantastic and you should be watching it

Three cheers for the most improved show of 2014, seriously watch the latest episode compared to any of the first few of the first season and yeah… this show has improved, in leaps and bounds at that. I’m sure that Marvel and ABC had some master plan with the show and always intended to improve as they went along (which is logical I suppose), but the show has definitely been worth watching and is one of the most entertaining prime time shows airing right now.

Talking about entertainment, how good has the action been this season? Pretty much every episode has had some great thriller elements as well as great action set pieces, the May vs May fight for example, Simmons being undercover at Hydra and her final escape, that episode with the ice powered rogue was fantastic. The show also doesn’t have too many qualms for characters being in mortal danger now as well it seems.

Season 2 has upped the stakes quite clearly, marking out Ward as a Shield agent gone rogue, not quite working for Hydra either, he’s doing his own thing which is proving for some pretty entertaining action, especially with his dynamic with Skye and their… complicated relationship though Skye mostly hates his guts. It’s been great to see definitive character changes and how they now relate to each other too, Fitz coping with his brain damage while still being a part of the team and how the new members of Shield react to and interact with him, as well as his coping with not being with Simmons.

The new members of Shield in Agents Triplett, Bobbi/Mocking Bird, Lance and Mac have all been welcome additions, fitting well in the new set up and all working off each other quite well. The Bobbi/Lance love hate relationship has been some welcome comic relief, to an already fairly humurous show, well written show.

It’s great to see these characters progress and change, they’re not the same they were a season ago and we can see that, with the now director Coulson a great example, a now blunt and cold manager of the team, he has tried to distance himself from the team for the most part while dealing with his own trauma and weird alien writing addiction. Also his back and forth with General Talbot has been pretty entertaining as well, the two not being able to stand each other.

Seeing Shield go toe to toe with Hydra in quite a few episodes has been great to see as well, following up from the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the twist with Mocking bird aka Agent Bobbie Morse was great and Daniel Whitehall makes a quite compelling and threatening villain, as does Skyes’ clearly insane father, played brilliantly by Kyle MachLachlan.

And also, seeing more elements from Marvel comic books, including alien technology e.g. the Obelisk, extended life spans and a comic book character in Absorbing Man, who was ag reat inclusion as well. Agents Of Shield has had a fantastic season 2 so far, with great action, great character interaction and a plot propelled by more elements from the comic books which is usually a good thing. Seeing the characters change and interact with each other as slightly different people is great to watch and the constant threat of Hydra and rogue agent Ward provide good entertainment and something for the agents to always be on the look for.

If you want an entertaining, well written show with great drama and action, this is the show for you.

So Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing Doctor Strange

In news and confirmation of rumours that have been around for a little while now, it’s now confirmed that the Cumberbatch will be playing comic book character Doctor Strange, set for his own movie in 2016 as part of marvels’ phase three and or master plan to take over the cinema landscape forever…

Anyway, this is sure to be a popular choice amongst Cumberbatch fans worldwide and a welcome casting choice amongst marvel comic book readers I imagine. Though some Star trek fans that also read comic books may still be annoyed at Cumberbatchs’ Khan but whatever, he was still good in that too.

Cumberbatch has fantastic acting range, great voice projection and you can easily imagine him in a role requiring some flamboyance, high intelligence and sorcery and it’s going to be interesting to see what other, possibly exciting casting announcements come with the movie.

I mean, Topher Grace people… he deserves another shot at a comic book movie after Spidey 3, he’s still a good actor, just throwing that out there. The film is slated for a November 4th 2016 release and will be directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister).

Star Wars The Force Awakened reactions extended

So, here’s my George Lucas extended edition reaction to the Force Awakened trailer, I didn’t cover everything and I also didn’t talk about other peoples’ reactions to certain things in the trailer. I thought I’d add a few more things, regarding John Boyega being a black stormtrooper (we don’t know if he definitely is a trooper anyway) and that lightsaber.

Okay where to start, some things missing from the trailer, no Han Solo, Luke or Leia of course, if rumours are right and Daisy Ridleys’ character is Han and Leias’ daughter, maybe we’ll see them in the next trailer, somewhere on Tattooine perhaps? As we see Daisys’ character is already there, operating on Tattooine and on the way to investigate something, possible a ship crashed in the desert, or a loud noise/explosion. This is speculation here but I’ve seen some comments online theorising that John Boyegas has crashed his ship somewhere in the Tattooine desert.

Interesting and logical train of thought there, hence him sweating and looking generally anxious as we hear what sounds like an imperial probe droid,(looking for him?) though I still doubt he’s an out and out stormtrooper, I’m in the he’s infiltrating them camp, so I think he’s a good guy.

Also there seems to have been a stupidly internet style reaction to John Boyega being a stormtrooper as he’s black and people think stormtroopers aren’t clones…. but they’re not. I don’t think they have ever been clones actually and the Galactic republic probably phased out using clones only for their army once it transitioned into the empire.

So chalk that up to stupid internet reactions, stormtroopers can be black, white, yellow, green, whatever colour they want, also on that lightsaber… I find the design pretty cool actually. It’s something different and new, seeing the new hilt or heat exhausts (though it does look like a lightsaber hilt) inspired an “Oh… ok that’s new” reaction, like when we saw Darth Mauls’ dual saber for the first time.

Even if people hate the new saber, just seeing it elicit such a reaction and get discussion going is pretty cool, as far as practicality, it’s hard to say until we see it in actual use but I imagine it could help if the lightsaber was twisted when clashing with another lightsaber, or if the hilt could be extended –  resulting in one dead foe. The lightsaber as a whole also looks quite ragged, the medieval look with the hilt is nice and the beam itself looks a bit unstable and fiery, maybe implying the user is an enhanced sith, able to wield it and furthermore, maybe he’s an ancient, legendary sith?

Even more talking points:

. Who’s flying the millenium falcon? Presumably Han but is he still in action?

. How many Sith are going to feature in The Force Awakened? Maybe not too many, or too many Jedi either, as movie title implies an awakening of the force, so new heroes and villains are springing up

. The Empires power, this film takes place 15, maybe 20 years after Return of the Jedi and after the Empire was defeated though not completely crushed. We see tie fighters in the trailer and new looking stormtroopers landing somewhere so they’re operational, but are they weakened? Is the empire still mainly at war with rebels? Note that we see what looks to be a small lander ship and not a massive troop transport.

. The Rebels, the X-wings we see in the trailer look a bit ragged, are the rebels still on the run from the empire? Are they still not prosperous? Hence them not having shiny new ships.

Terminator Genisys trailer reaction

– Terminator enisys teaser trailer

Well about time, this has been awesome two weeks for trailers, Jurassic WorldStar Wars Ep 7 and now Terminator Genisys, I suppose the true sequel and also prequel to Terminator 3 that fans have been waiting ages for, it’s both as it seems to start off in the future, detailing a terminator sent back to the past to kill Sarah Connor. While the rest of the film takes place in the (present), centred on a much younger Sarah Connor, played by (mother of dragons), Emillia Clarke, Kyle Reese is also sent to the past to protect her but interestingly enough, she seems to be protecting her.

We see a battle hardened and scarred John Connor in the trailer also (well he’s in every Terminator film so it’s to be expected). Visually the film looks fantastic, the future looks colourful, vibrant and really cool, as cool as a post-apocalyptic dystopia can get, that is, the Terminators also look all shiny/new and the time travel effect. With that ball lightning looking thing, it reminded me of Dr Manhattan from Watchmen, as if he was turning someone into pure energy or something, y’know because he felt like it.

Oh and this is teaser trailer apparently, showed a lot more than The Force Awakeneds’ teaser trailer.

Talking points:

. New bipedal mech there at the start, will Genisys have a host of robots new to the franchise to show off?

. Wait, two Arnies? A diverging timeline with Sarah Connor already working with a T-1000, it’s interesting to see where they go with this, they could retcon things, change the continuity of Terminator, conveniently forget Terminator 3 happened I suppose… Also how long has the original Arnie Terminator been with Sarah Connor for, the end shot of the trailer seems to show him having visibly aged

. Sarah Connor kicks ass at any age, even at… 20 or 21, which is hold old I’m guessing she’s supposed to be

. The new main terminator, sent back to deal with Sarah Connor looks interesting, will it be stronger or harder to defeat as this timeline is changed and different?

Arrow Vs The Flash part 2 review

Part 2 of the Arrow Vs Flash crossover starts off in Starling city with Oliver and Roy still chasing up shadowy antagonist (Captain Boomerang), though they cross paths with ARGUS, who clearly don’t want them on the case and warn them to back off. The arrow cave! We then see Cisco and Caitlyn make their appearance, ensuing in a funny exchange with Cisco wanting to see team Arrows workings, much to Olivers’ dismay when they make it into the basement and Cisco is fascinated by everything.

Meanwhile Diggle goes over to an ARGUS base to ask Lyla for a favour in chasing up Captain Boomerang, while the man himself conveniently makes his way in, killing off security guards as he goes along. And though the premise of a bad guy killing people with boomerangs is inherently ridiculous, he was pretty good at it – those things are sharp.

And The Flash, we see our favourite new red clad hero racing towards the Argus base, rushing past Thea, while Oliver and Roy make their appearance in the base as well, bullets and arrows and boomerangs oh my, team Arrow takes on Boomerang, who is no pushover mind you.

Cap throws two boomerangs at Oliver, potentially fatally but they’re caught by The Flash, clearly outnumbered,  Cap Boomerang makes his swift exit, while team Arrow and Lyla discuss the origins of Cap Boomerang and his possible motive for attacking ARGUS. Teams Arrow and Flash get a new lead on Cap Boomerang, regarding the maker of his boomerangs and we go to Starling city police department and finally more Detective Lance, he’s barely been in this season of Arrow, hasn’t he?

And… more conflict, upon finding the maker of the boomerangs, Barry and Oliver clash in methods of gathering information, clearly highlighting their very different ways of operating and crime fighting, Oliver the clearly more veteran and battle hardened hero, though Barry has also had his fair share of tragedy. We then see another flashback in Hong Kong of Olivers’ past, as he is needed to get information out of a man and decides to torture him to do it, he fails at his first torture attempt as the bomb goes off.

Back in the present, Team Arrow and Barry are tricked into going to another location, while Cap Boomerang figures out Team Arrows base of operation, on the hunt for Lylas’ head, he attacks Felicity, Caitlyn and Lyla, near fatally hitting Lyla with a boomerang in the chest. Lyla passes out but is taken to a hospital by Barry. Felicity manages to track down Capt Boomerang, Oliver and Barry go out to face him and finish things, but new peril, Boomerang has a contingency plan in 5 bombs placed throughout Starling city, Oliver has him snagged up against a pillar but he won’t reveal the bombs location.

Boomerang plans for them to go off, expecting Oliver and Barry to not be able to stop him and the bombs, though of course Barry/The Flash can do a lot to help out in the situation, the bombs are linked, meaning Barry running one out of the city will cause the others to go off. The quick thinking Barry carries off Caitlyn, Cisco, Roy and Felicity to each of the bombs and they defuse them simultaneously, defusing (Hah) Boomerangs plan and stopping him. We go to the hospital and Lyla’s OK, not dead, which is good, she has a moment with Diggle, which is nice to see and back in the Arrow cave, we then see Teams’ Arrow and Flash bonding and going over the days events.

Oliver has a gift for Barry, while Cisco has a new, advanced suit for Oliver and the two heroes go to settle one final score, who’s better, Oliver shoots arrows at Barry from a distance and the two have a face off, concluding what wasa very entertaining and awesome crossover event.

Interesting things from the crossover

. The Flash was arguably the star of part 2, proving crucial to saving the day, while Oliver was arguably the star of part 1, helping get Barry back to normal and saving Barry

. It was interesting seeing a past Oliver struggle to torture people, as it comes so naturally to him now

. Oliver and Barry don’t work in the same way but still work well with each other to a degree

. It was fun to see how out of place Oliver felt in a Central city populated by meta-humans and Barry in a gritty, grief stricken Starling city, the two heroes function well in their own environment but not necessarily in each others

. Teams’ Arrow and Flash are really entertaining together and hopefully we’ll see future crossovers, Ciscos’ Arrow cave, Batman themed jokes at the start were pretty funny, as was his dialogue throughout the episode really, especially with Roy and Diggle

Bond 24 'Spectre' cast and title announcement

So Bond 24 or ‘Spectre’ was announced today at a livestream from London, including some interesting casting choices and confirmations of rumours that have already been floating around the internet for a few weeks now, Guardians Of The Galaxys’ Dave Bautista joins as Mr Hinx, as does Monica Belucci, Christoph Waltz as major villain, an excellent casting choice I have to say.

As well as Léa Seydoux and Andrew Scott, while returning are of course Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes not taking over from Judi Dench as M, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris and Rory Skinnear from Skyfall and all in all that is a pretty solid and impressive cast, I’m getting the feeling Spectre will be going for a more traditional bond feel, in the vein of the more classic bond films.

This would be a clear departure from Daniel Craigs’ more modern, less gadget-y, and more straight laced but entertaining portrayal, also Ralph Fiennes as the new ‘M’ will take a little getting used to, though he’s also a fantastic actor, I can’t imagine we’ll get a teaser anytime soon – as the film is just about to start filming funnily enough.

So of course a 2015 release date would be unrealistic but here’s to hoping 2016 could be a possibility (Daniel Craigs’ Bond films have been four years apart so far since Quantum of Solace, which was 2 years after Casino Royale) and an update, the film has a October/November 2015 release date set apparently, which is quite soon.

The plot synopsis is as follows – “”A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation,”

“While ‘M’ battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.”

SPECTRE, all in capitals… makes me think of a nefarious PRISM-esque global surveillance program, sort of like a program the NSA has been using to spy on conversations for years. The plot sounds like it will be keeping right in touch with current world affairs and controversies of the moment and it will be interesting to see Bond maybe going against MI6 or his superiors, in discovering said terrible truth, which I imagine may be related to MI6.

By the way, SPECTRE is also a sort of evil organisation that has been present in previous bond films which may perform with a legitimate cover in the world, hiding its’ suspicious actions, which Bond sets out to expose, sort of like a gun toting Julian Assange? Not the best comparison, but hey.

All in all that is a pretty enticing synopsis and it may be in line with Craigs’ bond being somewhat of a rogue agent now, not fully trusting the organisation he works for.

Arrow Vs The Flash part 1 review

The Flash Vs Arrow part 1 aired last night and it was… pretty awesome, it met expectations really, I was wondering what situation would arise to cause the two titular heroes to ever fight all out, but the way the story handled that was pretty good in the end. Also it was great seem team Arrow work with team Flash and interact with each other, seeing the straight edge Diggle react to Flashs’ powers, seeing Cisco argue with Diggle over who’d win out of their two respective heroes.

As well as seeing Felicity and Caitlyn have a bonding moment, these parts of the episode weren’t pivotal or that important at all, but it was something I and I suppose fans of both shows have wanted for a few weeks now, ever since Felicitys’ visit to Central city a few episodes back. In this first part of the crossover. Following a lead on a villain Oliver is looking for brings him to Central city, where he crosses paths with an enthusiastic, albeit somewhat amateur Barry, his somewhat amateur approach is really highlighted compared to the level headed and composed Oliver Queen which was interesting to see.

The main villain for team Flash and for most of the episode is a meta-human with the ability to control peoples’ actions and induce temporary rage and violence in them, of course potentially hugely dangerous to a whole city and despite Barrys’ enthusiasm to knock out villains in a flash, that didn’t quite work on this meta-human and Oliver ends up saving him during their first encounter with him.

Oliver sets out to try and train Barry and help him to focus and work using strategy when he goes out crime fighting, which doesn’t exactly work out and you get the feeling that the two don’t really work on the same wavelength when it comes to stopping the bad guys. That isn’t a huge problem for now but seeing them work together and use strategy (maybe in part 2) would be pretty awesome.

Though in this episode, they fight, as Barry becomes affected by the meta-humans rage inducing eye powers, bringing out latent frustration and anger in him, he first lashes out at Oliver after they were supposed to train again, then he speaks back to his boss at the police station (bad idea). Ultimately culminating in him lashing out at and attacking Eddie Thawne, almost killing him until Oliver stops him.

Barry then turns his attention to Oliver, starting what looks like a pretty one sided fight, The Flash being able to move at hundreds of miles an hour and not get hit and all, though Oliver does manage to get a hit or two on him, the fight scene was actually really awesome though, it was cool seeing two major DC heroes go at it like that, though I suspect we’ll see them work together on one villain soon enough. Anyway Oliver subdues Barry long enough to have the rage effect on him cancelled out by a light machine, thought up by Harrison Wells, bringing the Barry we know and love back to being, Oliver had now gotten the information he needed on his lead and he was as good as done in Central city.

Also Harrison Wells and Felicity/Oliver have a meeting or two, with Oliver commenting on something about Wells seeming off, he also didn’t really endear himself to Felicity, asking her outright for The Arrows’ secret identity, which Oliver reveals at the end anyway. By the end the two teams eventually part ways and Oliver gives a word of advice to Barry to stop romantically pursuing Iris outright as it won’t work out in his opinion, Barry seems to think it over but doesn’t really react.

Barry as The Flash goes to see Iris again, to explain what happened earlier, now normal and not rage induced but is shunned away by her, crushed by this he leaves, clearly upset, this should be an interesting thing to see from now on. How will Iris write about The Flash now, if at all? How will Eddie Thawne try to chase up and eventually catch The Flash? Will Barry stop visiting Iris altogether? When will see the Reverse Flash in full? (Just had to throw that in there), all interesting questions, which we will no doubt get answers to soon enough.

Finally the episode ends with a) team Arrow leaving to back to Starling city and b) two would be muggers approach a shaking, troubled looking man by an overpass. The man gets up, now shooting fire out of his hands and revealing he is the long awaited, thought to be dead Ronnie Raymond aka Firestorm and it’s about time he’s shown up too.

The Flash and Arrow are both about to wrap up for christmas hiatus so it’s going to be interesting to see what mid-season finales each of them get, I doubt they’ll be as shocking as say The Walking Dead though, that’s for sure and part 2 of the crossover event airs in a short while.

Assassins Creed 2015 to be set in Victorian London?

This news is sprung from an internet leak (see what I did there), from last night from Kotaku.com, regarding the setting of the new Assassins Creed game, only about a year out from now, it’s interesting for the leak to be so big and important to the next game for one, Ubisoft have come out and said that the leak is essentially based on truth and this will be the setting for the next game, though they’re disappointed news got out, naturally.

Anyway if the setting is kept, it’s a pretty cool one at that, London is a location that AC fans have had on their wishlists for a while, while feudal Japan is still on my wishlist, which may be against the grain as Assassins Creed seems to be progressing forward in time towards the present interestingly.

London is an iconic and globally recognised city so it’s no wonder it’s a logical next choice for Ubisoft and parkour running through Victorian London while seeing landmarks like Big Ben and Parliament will be pretty awesome, it’s definitely going to be interesting to see what type of story is weaved together for the game, probably involving Jack the ripper at some point and who knows, maybe some Victorian era fiction writers and authors as well.

Screenshots of the game so far show a quite atmospheric, vibrant looking London and use of Vitorian automobiles, cars and new technology for the new assassin to use, will all be welcome new things.

A PS1 styled PS4 is on the way

The PS1 styled PS4, looks pretty cool – (Digital Spy)

So it’s about time, or getting near the time in the current generations product cycles for them to start announcing new limited designs as it turns out, with Sony hitting the blocks first with a fairly impressive looking PS1 styled PS4, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Playstation with the original looking decals and colour scheme.

The design is only limited though and will probably be flying off the shelves when it does hit stores and the likes of Amazon, Ebay.

This announcement is an interesting first though, how long until actual console re-designs from the PS4, Xbox one and Wii-U? Hopefully it won’t take 4 or more years like  it did with the Xbox 360 and PS4 and we’ll be seeing some sleeker, more compact consoles out on the market in the next few years.