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Transformers: Age of Extinction – Giant Robot UFC – Review – SPOILERS

Transformers 2Everyone with half a brain knows that Transformers is bound to be a huge hit in cinemas. With Michael Bay at the helm, it makes it that much more special (Lets not talk about the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…). With Shia LeBeouf having his alcohol fuelled plagiarist mid-life crisis, Transformers return has had to make a change. Although its very unlikely that he was planned to feature in this instalment even before his impression of Lohan came too light, it feels empty not seeing the hero that we’ve followed for so many years. Now we have been lumbered with Mr Mark Wahlberg and it certainly isn’t the same. With his new reality TV series and the emotional pallet of a dead skunk it has led me to slowly lose faith in a big player in the movie industry and made me wary of the quality of the film.
Since the Chicago war in which the Autobots annihilated the Decepticons, NEST was shut down, the alliance between Humans and Autobots has ceased with them being granted asylum and a new task force was created to deal with the Decepticon threat and those who are hidden away on Earth. Although, not all is well with this new task force. Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer), CIA and our lead villain has an alliance with a Transformer bounty hunter and Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) in providing Optimus to the bounty hunter and with his help all the Transformers, including the Autobots too Joyce, dead. Attinger stands to inherit a bomb from the bounty hunter that creates the very material Transformers are built from and a large sum of money from Joyce who is using the mineral to create his version of Transformers but under his control, thus cornering huge markets. Walhberg, who plays Cade Yaeger is simply a bystander who bought a truck which turned out to be Optimus. Some stuff blows up and now him and his ‘family’ are on the run from this shadow organization with the Autobots.

Now that NEST has thoroughly been pushed out of the picture, it feels as if they just blew away all of the past characters that could still have played a role and really strengthen the cast and add some familiarity to the screen. Lumbered with a new frontman, we have to be able to connect with Wahlberg from the bat and it’s just not possible. With the acting range of Steven Seagal’s back catalogue, Wahlberg cannot express emotion to any other degree than a blank canvas that shouts a lot. mixed with two young actors whose blockbuster virginity has been popped but have the likeability of women with a tramp-stamp. Paired with the fact that Nicola Peltz plays Tessa Yaeger, the stereotypical Transformers 1American blond popular girl who dates Shane Dyson (Jack Reynor), a ‘rally’ driver picked up by Red Bull who is a giant pussy when it comes to anything else. Then we have a few Youtube sensations appearing for small roles. Kassem G and TJ Millar (I know he does other stuff) were horrible. Annoying character, even when they didn’t speak. Many of their scenes were useless and are worthless additions to try and make something funny. Another bone to pick is the plug advertisements. Of all things, Beats Pill got its grubby hands on Michael Bay and he bent right over. The scenes were so painfully forced, you could see the souls of the actors die a little inside.

Now apart from all of this, this film is a ton of fun. Lured in by the addition of giant Dinobots, I was sold on the idea from the first trailer release. Although they only appear in the last 30 minutes, the action is heavy enough with plenty of witty moments to lighten up the mood. The range of vehicles was astonishing and seeing the first Transformer with the ability to transform into 3 forms (A Samurai, Bugatti Veyron Vitess and an attack helicopter) was cool too. The huge range of vehicles and Transformers was amazing and their general quality was incredible. At parts it slips and looks like its pasted onto the scene with little shading and the new transform style isn’t the nicest looking but the level of work, expertise and dedication that goes into making something on this scale shows the love and passion that everyone had working on this. I would like to put into question the prop designer on a gun used by Mark that is picked up from the armoury of the bounty hunter’s ship. With the size of the crew, how is it only the size of a standard issue rifle and shaped like a sword but extremely blunt?

With a few plugs confirming the next Transformers movie, hopefully the cast can be sorted and we get a better group of people to face it. Hopefully Shia will have woken up from whatever moment he is having and will be considered to return as the forerunner to the next title as I don’t think I can stand dealing with Mark Wahlberg in a movie that he doesn’t fit. The passion and effort that went into making this warrants a lot of more score alongside the fact that the movie is just pure craziness from the get-go. Unadulterated fun with giant dinosaurs and clever little twists and loveable Transformers. What’s not to love? 7/10

Transformers

Thor – The Dark World – Review & SPOILERS

ThorSeeing that over the last few days, I’ve been hammering (get it!?, get it!?) out Assassins Creed: Black Flag so I can get a review out of it, I didn’t want to leave anyone out of my recent travels.

Earlier today we Brits were treated to the release of yet another Marvel movie! This instalment of Thor details the resurgence of the Dark Elves – a race who ruled the universe in complete darkness and seek to bring back the black with the use of a super weapon which does a lot of complicated science stuff. So, we have more aliens fighting alien. I always feel that this is what makes Thor shine. It’s not always bound to saving earth. It’s a much wider aspect that opens up far more avenues for high octane fun. With a mix of brilliant cameos and sassy jokes, Thor is definitely a must-see.

As I’ve already explained the story, I don’t feel much need to complain about it. With a lot of twists and turns, you are drawn into the story, even if moments are predictable. Being that it is a Marvel movie, it is going to have the good vs bad which drives the story forward even if it feels a little generic.

Visually, it was almost perfect. ALMOST. Certain green screen scenes and long distance shots made characters stick out like a sore thumb, overly bright in a dark area and this really agitated me. The same could be said about some of the fight sequences that do exactly the same. Otherwise there are some brilliant visual effects all the way through astonishing costume design that makes everything look badass.

Marvel are not known for Oscar worthy scripts and acting but it wasn’t bad. Yeah, there was a few cheesy lines but they were mixed in with witty one-liners that were very funny and kept a continual up beat feeling throughout. The sassy nature of Loki with his banter towards Thor is golden. It helps to enforce the fact that they are siblings. This sassy nature also uses Loki’s power to transform himself into Captain America and spout excitable, patriotic nonsense which he is notorious for but also makes Loki look like he is trying to impress his older brother. With another guest appearance from Stan Lee, the film seems complete. The only other thing to focus on is the acting. Hemsworth and Hiddleston were perfect, as ever. My issue rides with Natalie Portman who plays a pretty pathetic character in the first place but she doesn’t look genuine – almost uncomfortable in her role. Fear ends up looking more like shock. An additional actor that many people don’t really focus on when they think Thor is Idris Elba. If you haven’t read my Pacific Rim review, you should Thor 1know that I love this man and I feel he didn’t have a big enough role within this film and I wanted to see what happened to him at the end.

Overall, I consider a 8/10 a good score. It’s a darker and more personal twist for Thor to undertake and appears to be the current trend at Marvel (Look at Iron Man). Yet, some acting, some poor CGI and a few loose ends within the story do drag it down for me. Superhero/action movies will never achieve a 10/10, simply because they are more for fun rather than the critical film making that many critics desire.

I’m sorry for such a short and crazy review but seeing I’m running on 5 hours sleep and trying to keep up with everything that’s going on is not an easy task.

The Worlds End – Quicky Review – SPOILERS

The Worlds End 1A triumphant return to the Cornetto trilogy by the threesome? This is certainly debatable.

As far as stories go, The Worlds End is quite an outlandish tale. A typical alien invasion uncovered by the most obtuse group of people on a weekend of downing pints across 12 pubs, or as they call it – The Golden Mile. Throughout this, Simon Pegg causes endless amounts of trouble and uncovers this invasion. Thus leads to them trying to complete the Golden Mile while staving off the hordes of “Blanks”. It sounds fairly straightforward, yet the character back stories are fairly complicated. These backgrounds really affect each other and cause endless amounts of trouble, one of which that is most notably is Gary King’s (Simon Pegg) drinking problems.

As a comedy, it was fairly good. A collection of jokes which made you giggle and a few made the cinema roar with laughter, yet nothing hugely substantial. The other side of the coin is the action portion of the film. It is dramatically sped up and it easily noticeable, but it is aggressive, full on and just great fun. It’s also nice to see that Nick Frost played a different style of character in this instalment. Starting off as a dead beat ass with no job and no life causing controversy among the group in Shaun of The Dead, following it up with a dead beat cop with little understanding of full on police work but a love for violence to end up as a non-alcoholic whose life appears well and is still a strong, tank of a man. Speaking of actors, the rest of the fairly large cast acted extremely well and it was a present surprise to find out the Pierce Brosnan had a role within the story for a few scenes.

Visually, there are very little special effects apart from the occasional face lighting up, a piece of modern art and a large incident at the end, so for what it is, they are good and stage effects and lighting were executed perfectly, especially at the end with a haze of oranges, blues and blacks The Worlds End 5that filled the screen and wisp gently across. The music and sound side was also very good. I’m still trying to locate the trailer music for its massive bass drops, but the music kept an powerful roar throughout, that set scenes up perfectly.

As a part of a trilogy, it is certainly the weaker of the bunch. It wasn’t as stupid and over the top as the rest of the trilogy and appeared the action side of the story took a lot of the priority and then a few inner squabbles between the group that took the movie from comedy to a drama. I do recommend you see it and many of you will enjoy, but I think it shall get a 7/10. It’s funny but takes itself a little too seriously at points and could have done with a few more jokes. Sorry for another quicky review but its been a a few late nights and early mornings!

(PS – It uses the word C**T. If you don’t like this, you may have a little trouble dealing with the movie.)

The Worlds End

Pacific Rim – Review -SPOILERS-

Pacific Rim 2If you have been following me on Twitter, you are sure to have noticed my excitement over this film. If you haven’t been following my Twitter, go ahead and follow, Its free!

Here is a collection of reasons why I fan girled over this movie:

1) Giant monsters

2) Idris Elba

3) Carnage

4) Massive fights

A general overview of the story is an alien invasion via the Pacific ocean by an alien race using giant monsters. We spend most of the time in Hong Kong, which isn’t a surprise after the whole Godzilla incident.  To defend against the incoming assaults, the human race bands together to fight the ugly bastards. So looking at the basics of the story, we can find it to be a little simplistic or basic yet it follows a few little sub stories throughout. One is the research team, which takes you onto the streets of Hong Kong and into its dark underworld ruled by Hannibal Chau (Ron Perlman). Another is the story behind the damaged Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) which explains her connection to Idris’ Stacker Pentecost. The little stories inevitably collide and aid the final event, but it is nice that it jumps between them and doesn’t overplay the action scenes.

Speaking of actors and the action, both were brilliantly executed. The crazy researchers were both irritable but comedic in their own style Pacific Rim 4which makes their performances stick out vividly in my mind, but the main man for me was Idris Elba, whose ability to switch between anger to a calm silence which makes you shiver in anticipation for his next move. As you see in the trailer, Idris has a prominent speech to raise morale. A well written speech, well performed with a vigour that makes his character even more believable. I do have a couple of bones to pick with acting though. A scene which entails a young Mako Mori is disturbing and wrong on so many levels. Good child actors are hard to come across, but when she moans like she’s in an Asian porn movie on repeat, it turns a few heads and should have been toned down to avoid such incidents.

As one of the only giant monster movies in recent years, its safe to say that it has enough to compensate for the years the genre has been non existent. In true Hellboy fashion, monsters are big, stunning to look at and violence is plentiful, splashed with wisps of humour. The action and fight scenes were incredible and great fun to watch. Shots are erratic and hard to track but immerses you into the settings while disorientating you like our heroes. If you are anything like me, you would have been giggling and Pacific Rim 3laughing like a little kid at the sheer carnage and the severe beatings that were being rained down by both sides.

Just looking at the scenes, it is obvious that the film had a huge budget and FX specialists worked day and night to create some of the best visual effects that I have ever seen.  Everything looked real; the scales on the beasts, water rippling at every move, glass twinkling in the Hong Kong’s neon and the general scenery which was flawless all the way though. Even set pieces were gorgeous. The blending of so many colours, lights and debris was stunning and is the perfect example of what the area would look like. We also have the costumes which were a mix of many different style. From a Sci-fi white to a badass carbon fibre armour, the suits are simplistic, yet elegant. It’s also nice to see that the women aren’t sexualised throughout with skimpy armour and little clothing. You will also notice Hannibal’s distinctive golden armour plated shoes which are just crazy and would fit well in my collect, so if you know where I can find them, be sure to comment below!

I’m still pumped from seeing it and want to get my hands on anything and everything in relation to the movie (Already got the soundtrack!), which will most likely be a badass poster and maybe my first collectable statue. But anyway, the movie is a must see blockbuster hit. Certainly one of my favourite films of this year and is a good summer smasher, so this movie shall be getting a 8/10 simply for its generic story and a few little niggly bits throughout.

Pacific Rim