Tag Archives: Deadpool

My Favourite Films of the Year

Last year was been shit. In fact it was dog shit.

However, there were some absolute bangers released (both in terms of film and music). These are my favourite 10 films of 2016 (listed in no particular order/of the films I have seen – there are so many left on my ‘to watch’ list that I am sure are amazing too).

  1. Deadpooldeadpool.jpgDirected by:
    Tim Miller

    Written by:
    Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick

    Starring:
    – Ryan Reynolds
    – Morena Baccarin
    – Ed Skrein
    – Stefan Kapicic
    – Brianna Hildebrand
    – Karan Soni

    Genre:
    Romantic comedy/Sci-Fi/Superhero movie

    Synopsis:
    Wade (Ryan Reynolds) creates the alter-ego Deadpool after being subjected to a rogue experiment (which he turns to after discovering he has incurable cancer) that leaves him with accelerated healing powers and a quest for revenge for being disfigured.

    Why I loved it:
    This film is hilarious. It has a dry, quick script which is cutting. It’s a film that takes the mick out of its own genre, and is not afraid to subvert it at the same time. It’s a mixture of the humour of ‘Ant Man’ (2015) combined with the comic book style narratives of ‘Zombieland’ (2009) and ‘Kick-Ass’ (2010) (but less naivety and more sass). Even if (like me) you’re not totally convinced by superhero films as a genre, you’ll love this one.

  2. Green Room
    green room.jpg

    Written and Directed by:
    Jeremy Saulnier

    Starring:
    – Anton Yelchin
    – Joe Cole
    – Alia Shawkat
    – Callum Turner
    – David W. Thompson
    – Mark Webber
    – Patrick Stewart

    Genre:
    Horror/Thriller

    Synopsis:
    A band on tour play an off-road gig in a secluded part of the American Pacific Northwest, and accidentally witness a horrific violent act. Consequently, they unintentionally become the targets of a terrifying gang of skinheads (who own the bar they have played in), and so have to try and escape as the skinheads attempt to cover all evidence of the crime.

    Why I loved it:
    I went into the cinema expecting this film to be a tongue-in-cheek, black comedy movie about a band trying to escape a room they become trapped in after witnessing something they should not have. I was pleasantly (or shockingly) surprised to find out that this was in fact a fully fledge horror film about neo-Nazis, and was fully gripped/horrified in equal measures. There is an excellent balance of music, gore and suspense. It was not what I was expecting, and had a resounding impact on me. I loved the style/way it was filmed, and the acting is great. If you like dark, subtle horrors you’ll like this.

     

  3. The Witch
    sundance-horror-movie-the-witch
    Written and Directed by:
    Robert Egger

    Starring:
    – Anya Taylor-Joy
    – Ralph Ineson
    – Kate Dickie
    – Harvey Scrimshaw

    Genre:
    Horror

    Synopsis:
    Set in New England in the 1630s, a family lead a devout Christian life on the edge of a community they have been banished from. One day, their baby disappears from under the eyes of their eldest child, which their younger children blame on the ‘Witch’ that lives in the woods.

    Why I loved it:
    I am a Northerner, so first and foremost, I loved the broad English Northern accents of all the actors. I also love this period of American history, especially the suspicion aroused by devout Christians suspecting that the unusual women of society are all witches. In turn, I liked how the film captured the traditional themes of witchcraft in a subtle, natural way (like the act of becoming possessed). If you like old-school horrors, you’ll love this.

  4. Nocturnal Animals
    nocturnal-animals
    Written and Directed by:
    Tom Ford

    Starring:
    Amy Adams
    – Jake Gyllenhaal
    – Michael Shannon
    – Aaron Taylor-Johnson
    – Isla Fisher
    – Ellie Bamber
    – Arnie Hammer

    Genre:
    Thriller

    Synopsis:
    The Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal) writes a novel about his ex wife Susan Morrow (Amy Adam) and dedicates this to her, despite not having spoken to her in years. The name of the book is ‘Nocturnal Animals’ (named after her), and as she reads this ‘devastatingly beautiful’ piece, she sees parallels of her life within the book, through dark and thrilling action.

    Why I loved it:
    I know I said I would not rate these film in any order, but I have to say that this was my favourite film of the year. This is because this film had the most impact on me. The plot is so simple yet so gripping. The cinematography, script and acting are flawless. I left the cinema feeling ill at ease in the best way. If you want a film that will entice and make you leave the cinema feeling a little introspective, then watch this!

  5. My Scientology Movie
    my scientology.jpg

    Written and Directed by:
    John Dower

    Starring:
    – Louis Theroux
    – Rob Alter
    – Tom Cruise
    – Paz de la Huerta
    – Tom De Vocht

    Genre:
    Documentary

    Synopsis:
    This is a documentary about Scientology (a 1950s religion founded by sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard shrouded in mystery and controversy). The investigative journalist Louis Theroux follows Mark Rathburn (a former senior church official), as well as other ex-members, and recreates scenes that these past members have personally experienced. They are unable to gain access to the ‘Churches’ facilities, and so have to recreate these scenes in a studio with hired actors.

    Why I loved it:
    I love Louis Theroux, so am probably a little biased with regards to recommending this. I think he is so engaging, and speaks on a level that anyone and everyone can connect with. Similarly, this topic is fascinating, and highlights (like most American subcultures) all the hypocrisies of this weirdly eccentric scientific based religion. I went to a Q&A session of this, and was blown away by how engaging Louis Theroux is. I know how long it takes to make a good documentary, so although the idea of Scientology has been done (and some may view this as outdated and tired), this was definitely worth the wait. It was eye opening, fascinating, and made me want to learn more about Scientology (and religion/cults in general).

  6. 10 Cloverfield Lane
    10 cloverfield lane.jpg
    Directed by:

    Dan Trachtenberg

    Written by:
    Josh Campbell, Matthew Steucken and Damien Chazelle
    Starring:
    John Goodman
    – Mary Elizabeth Winstead
    – John Gallagher Jr.

    Genre:
    Thriller/Sci-fi/Action/Horror

    Synopsis:
    Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has an accident when another car hits hers (when she’s distracted from witnessing something flying through the sky), and wakes up locked in a room. She discovers that this is an underground bunker habited by 2 other men. She has to figure out what has happened and / or escape from the unintentional trap she has got herself caught in.

    Why I loved it:
    It just was not what I was expecting. When I read about this sequel to ‘Cloverfield’ (2008), I thought it was going to be just that – a sequel. I thought it was going to be filmed in exactly the same way (with the same handheld style footage), in the same way (an alien invasion where the characters of the movie are trying to escape impending death), and full of actors I only half recognised. Consequently, I was happily surprised that none of this rang true. I loved the original, but am glad that they did not just replicate this, and instead produced something that was different from your run-of -the-mill alien invasion films/was grilling and had a great cast and soundtrack. This was a happy surprise. A lot is captured in this film despite its small setting and sparse cast – very entertaining and one of my favourite films of the year.

  7. A Bigger Splash
    bigger slplash.jpg
    Directed by:
    Luca Guadagino

    Written by:
    David Kaiganich and Alain Page

    Starring:
    – Tilda Swindon
    – Matthias Schoenaerts
    – Ralph Fiennes
    – Dakota Johnson
    Genre:
    Thriller

    Synopsis:
    Paul De Smedt (Matthias Schoenaerts), an ex drug addicted actor, and Marianne Lane (Tilda Swindon), a singer recovering from a throat operation, take refuge in France. They bump into the Marianne’s old boyfriend (Ralph Fiennes), and so end up putting him and his young, volatile ‘daughter'(Dakota Johnson) up for the weekend. Things turn a rye as tensions (both psychological and sexual) build as the four have to deal with living together.

    Why I loved this:
    I liked the way it was filmed. I was not 100% sure what the film was about before watching it, and could not entirely predict what was going to happen. I liked the style of the film (the setting, costumes, behaviour), as well as the cast. I like the soundtrack, and it just reminded me of a cool 60s film with edge. Both Tilda Swindon and Ralph Fiennes were great (and Matthias Schoenaerts is just so handsome and cool) – another winning film in my eyes. This is based on the film ‘La Piscine’ (1969), which I definitely want to watch.

     

  8. Hail, Caesar!
    hail caesar.jpg
    Written and Directed by:
    Joel and Ethan Coen

    Starring:
    – Josh Brolin
    – George Clooney
    – Alden Ehrenreich
    – Ralph Fiennes
    – Scarlett Johansson
    – Tilda Swindon
    – Channing Tatum
    – Jonah Hill

    Genre:
    Black comedy

    Synopsis:
    Set in the 1950s, this film focuses on the Communist writers strike in America in a comical, ironic way. Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), a famous actor, is kidnapped by the writers guild, and is held for ransom.

    Why I loved this:
    It was made by the Coen Brothers. The storyline was very slow, and little to nothing happened (except for the above mentioned synopsis). However, not much has to happen in a Coen Brothers’ film for it to be a success. The manner in which they tell stories is just brilliant. They are always composed of grand schemes undermined by the flawed characters that create them. I like this era (1950s McCarthyism, with American film studios at their classiest, sprinkled with a smidge of Communist fear), and it is just captured so well – the unjust contrasts of the era (that arguably still persist today) perfectly captured in this piece.

  9. Finding Dory
    thA0YLV0YO.jpg
    Directed by:
    Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane

    Written by:
    Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane, Victoria Strouse and Bob Peterson

    Starring:
    – Ellen DeGeneres
    – Albert Brooks
    – Ed O’Neill
    – Kaitlin Olson
    – Hayden Rolence
    – Ty Burell
    – Diane Keaton
    – Idris Elba
    – Bill Hader
    – Sigourney Weaver

    Genre:
    Comedy/Animation/Adventure film

    Synopsis:
    A forgetful fish named Dory ( tries to find her real family with the help of 2 other fish, but sadly loses her way.

    Why I loved this:
    This is the second sequel mentioned in this list and, like the first, I was expecting this to be a complete replication of the first film (‘Finding Nemo’ (2003)). However, I was pleasantly surprised that this, again, was not the case. I was terrified that Pixar could not create another film that would hold up to the original, so really did not want them to make this – but am happy that they did. There were obvious parallels between each of these the film (as the original cast are featured/the story is pretty much a continuation of the first), but with a strong cast of new characters, fantastic humour (suitable for all ages), and interesting storyline, this film comes into its own. It was cute and Pixar has definitely done it again – another fantastic animation!

  10. Bridget Jones’ Baby
    thAP0X4ZVE.jpg
    Directed by:
    Sharon Maguire

    Written by:
    Helen Fielding, Dan Mazer and Emma Thompson
    Starring:
    – Renee Zellweger
    – Gemma Jones
    – Jim Broadbent
    – Sally Philips
    – Shirley Henderson
    – Colin Firth
    – Patrick Dempsey

    Genre:
    Comedy/Rom-Com

    Synopsis:
    Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) has a baby, but is unsure who the father of her baby is. There is a 50/50 chance that it is either her ex (Colin Firth) or a one night stand (Patrick Dempsey), and so she has to tackle the situation and deal with the fall out of this.

    Why I loved this:
    I love chick flicks (when they are good), and this one is fantastic. I liked the first film, but was not balled away by the second, so did not know what to expect. I ended up falling in love with this. I could (and have to many people) poke holes in the plot of this film, but in spite of all this, thought it was cute and a great way to reintroduce this character (created by the author Helen Fielding). I liked all the actors involved (even Colin Firth – who I find annoying in anything other than ‘Love Actually’ (2003)). I have put this in my top 10 as I find it hard to find a good chick flick, but when I do, I can watch them over and over again. I have already watched this 4 times, and it has not even been out for a year yet….It’s a goofy, classic.

 

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Golden Globe Awards (2017)

This is my fist film blog of the New Year, so as it was the 74th Golden Globes last night, I have decided to start the year off with a post on the best films of the previous year/those still yet to be released.

Below are the lists of the film/television winners and nominees from the award ceremony hosted last night, held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Of those I have seen, the winners are rightly so – and those I have not yet seen, I am extremely excited to!

Similarly, the hype surrounding this award ceremony has made me pumped for the Academy Awards that are to be held on the 26th of February 2017.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
‘Moonlight’: Winner
‘Hell or High Water’: Nominee
‘Lion’: Nominee
‘Manchester by the Sea’: Nominee
‘Hacksaw Ridge’: Nominee

 

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
‘La La Land’: Winner
’20th Century Women’: Nominee
‘Deadpool’: Nominee
‘Florence Foster Jenkins’: Nominee
‘Sing Street’: Nominee

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Isabelle Huppert (‘Elle’): Winner
Amy Adams (‘Arrival’): Nominee
Jessica Chastain (‘Miss Sloane’): Nominee
Ruth Negga (‘Loving’): Nominee
Natalie Portman (‘Jackie’): Nominee

 

Best Performance by an Actor in Motion Picture – Drama
Casey Affleck (‘Manchester by the Sea’): Winner
Joel Edgerton (‘Loving’): Nominee
Andrew Garfield (‘Hacksaw Ridge’): Nominee
Viggo Mortensen (‘Captain Fantastic’): Nominee
Denzel Washington (‘Fences’): Nominee

 

Best Performance by an Actress in Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Emma Stone (‘La La Land’): Winner
Annette Bening (’20th Century Women’): Nominee
Lily Collins (‘Rules Don’t Apply’): Nominee
Hailee Stenfield (‘The Edge of Seventeen’): Nominee
Meryl Streep (‘Florence Foster Jenkins’): Nominee

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Ryan Gosling (‘La La Land’): Winner
Colin Farrell (‘The Lobster’): Nominee
Hugh Grant (‘Florence Foster Jenkins’): Nominee
Jonah Hill (‘War Dogs’): Nominee
Ryan Reynolds (‘Deadpool’): Nominee

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Viola Davis (‘Fences’): Winner
Naomie Harris (‘Moonlight’): Nominee
Nicole Kidman (‘Lion): Nominee
Octavia Spencer (‘Hidden Figures’): Nominee
Michelle Williams (‘Manchester by the Sea’): Nominee

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (‘Nocturnal Animals’): Winner
Mahershala Ali (‘Moonlight’): Nominee
Jeff Bridges (‘Hell or High Water’): Nominee
Simon Helberg (‘Florence Foster Jenkins’): Nominee
Dev Patel (‘Lion’): Nominee

 

Best Director – Motion Picture
Damien Chazelle (‘La La Land’): Winner
Tom Ford (‘Nocturnal Animals’): Nominee
Mel Gibson (‘Hacksaw Ridge’): Nominee
Barry Jenkins (‘Moonlight’): Nominee
Kenneth Lonergan (‘Manchester by the Sea’): Nominee

 

Best Screen Play – Motion Picture:
Damien Chazelle (‘La La Land’): Winner
Tom Ford (‘Nocturnal Animals’): Nominee
Barry Jenkins (‘Moonlight’): Nominee
Kenneth Lonergan (‘Manchester by the Sea’): Nominee
Taylor Sheridan (‘Hell or High Water’): Nominee

 

Best Motion Picture – Animated
‘Zootopia’: Winner
‘Moana: Nominee
‘My Life As A Zucchini’: Nominee
‘Sing’: Nominee
‘Kubo and the Two Strings’: Nominee

 

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
‘Elle’ (France): Winner
‘Divines’ (France): Nominee
‘Neruda’ (Chile): Nominee
‘The Salesman’ (Iran, France): Nominee
‘Toni Erdamann’ (Germany): Nominee

 

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Justin Hurwitz (‘La La Land’): Winner
Nicholas Britell (‘Moonlight’): Nominee
Jóhann Jóhannsson (‘Arrival’): Nominee
Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka (‘Lion’): Nominee
Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams, Benjamin Wallfisch (‘Hidden Figures’ (Nominee)

 

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
City of Stars – Justin Hurwitz (‘La La Land’): Winner
Can’t Stop the Feeling! (‘Trolls’): Nominee
Faith (‘Sing’): Nominee
Gold (‘Gold’): Nominee
How Far I’ll Go (‘Moanna’): Nominee

 

Best Television Series – Drama
‘The Crown’: Winner
‘Game of Thrones’: Nominee
‘Stranger Things’: Nominee
‘This is Us’: Nominee
‘Westworld’: Nominee

 

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
‘Atlanta’: Winner
‘Black-ish’: Nominee
‘Mozart in the Jungle’: Nominee
‘Transparent’: Nominee
‘Veep’: Nominee

 

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
‘The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story’: Winner
‘American Crime’: Nominee
‘The Dresser: Nominee
‘The Night Manager’: Nominee
‘The Night Of’: Nominee

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Sarah Paulson (‘The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story’): Winner
Riley Keough (‘The Girlfriend Experience’): Nominee
Charlotte Rampling (‘London Spy’): Nominee
Kerry Washington (‘Confirmation’): Nominee
Felicity Huffman (‘American Crime’): Nominee

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Tom Hiddleston (‘The Night Manager’): Winner
Riz Ahmed (‘The Night Of’): Nominee
Bryan Craston (‘All The Way’): Nominee
John Turturro (‘The Night Of’): Nominee
Courtney B. Vance (‘The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story’)

 

Best Performance by an Actress in A Television Series – Drama
Claire Foy (‘The Crown’): Winner
Caitriona Balfe (‘Outlander’): Nominee
Keri Russell (‘The Americans’): Nominee
Winona Ryder (‘Stranger Things’): Nominee
Evan Rachel Wood (‘Westworld’): Nominee

 

Best Performance by an Actor in A Television Series – Drama
Billy Bob Thornton (‘Goliath’): Winner
Rami Malek (‘Mr Robot’): Nominee
Bob Odenkirk (‘Better Call Saul’): Nominee
Matthew Rhys (‘The Americans’): Nominee
Live Schreiber (‘Ray Donovan’): Nominee

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Tracee Ellis Rosh (‘Black-ish’): Winner
Rachel Bloom (‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’): Nominee
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (‘Veep’): Nominee
Sarah Jessica Parker (‘Divorce’): Nominee
Issa Rae (‘Insecure’): Nominee

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Donald Glover (‘Atlanta’): Winner
Anthony Anderson (‘Black-ish’): Nominee
Gael García Bernal (‘Mozart in the Jungle’): Nominee
Nick Holte (‘Graves’): Nominee
Jeffrey Tambor (‘Transparent’): Nominee

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Olivia Coleman (‘The Night Manager’): Winner
Lena Headey (‘Game of Thrones’): Nominee
Chrissy Metz (‘This is Us’): Nominee
Mandy Moore (‘This is Us’): Nominee
Thandie Newton (‘Westworld’): Nominee

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Hugh Laurie (‘The Night Manager’): Winner
Sterling K. Brown (‘The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story’: Nominee
John Lithgow (‘The Crown’): Nominee
Christian Slater (‘Mr Robot’): Nominee
John Travolta (‘The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story’): Nominee

 

Cecile B. DeMille Award
Meryl Streep: Recipient

 

 

 

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ (2015) -8/10

Recently, I bought ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ on DVD. I can’t remember the last time I bought a DVD. Ordinarily, I only buy DVDs of my favourite films, or when I need something to watch on a long journey and do not have internet access. Both of these reasons are why I purchased ‘Mad Max’. Firstly, as mentioned in a previous post, I have recently broken my laptop, so am limited with what I can watch. Secondly, other than ‘The Witch’ (2015), I think that ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ was probably my favourite film released that year. It had such an impact on me that I ended up watching this at the cinema 3 times. The only other film I did that with was probably ‘Deadpool’ (2016).

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is the fourth instalment of the ‘Mad Max’ franchise, and is set in a post-apocalyptic world (following a nuclear holocaust), in which the world has become a desert wasteland and civilisation has collapsed. Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) is a survivor who is captured by the War Boys, the army of the War Lord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), and taken to Joe’s Citadel. Max is designated as a universal blood donor, and is imprisoned and used as a “blood bag” for a sick War Boy called Nux (Nicholas Hoult). Meanwhile, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), one of Joe’s lieutenants, is sent in her “War Rig” (an armoured truck) to collect gasoline. She instead drives off-route, with 5 of Joe’s wives (selected and imprisoned for breeding purposes) – taking them to the “Green Place” (a lush place run by women that she remembers from her youth) as a refuge. Joe heads his entire army in pursuit of Furiosa, calling on the aid of nearby armies, which Max gets caught up in.

I think that the main reason that this film had such an impact on me was because of the film’s strong cinematography. The manic effects that the shutter speed has on the action in the film is just amazing. It captures the erratic actions of the War Boys which, in turn, emphasises their unstable ideals and the post-apocalyptic world in which they exist. Similarly, the special effects of certain scenes show the War Boys’ nihilistic ideas about Valhalla (the afterlife that Immortan Joe promises his War Boys will live in once they have sacrificed themselves in war for him), which are portrayed through their fast-paced, unpredictable movements within the high speed car chases.

Like the special effects of this film, the vivid colours of this piece help to create this immersive, surreal apocalyptic world. I read somewhere that the director (George Miller, who directed the previous 3 ‘Mad Max’ films) wanted this movie to be released in black and white. He then planned to release a special edition of this for cinema release, but again, this dream was not realised. Although this would have been great to see, I think it would have detracted something from the film that was eventually released. I think that the colours used in the final film emphasised the starkness of the desert wasteland that the movie was set in. This, in turn, enhanced the intense emotions of the characters, as well as the surreal, post-apocalyptic characters (like Immortan Joe). This horrific War Lord comes alive in this world created by these saturated colours.

After watching this film, I researched how well this film had done in terms of critical acclaim/awards it had received (as I was vaguely aware that this film had done well at the Oscars). Although ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ did not win an Academy Award for ‘best picture’ at the 2016 Oscars’, it did win the most awards of that year. These included Oscars for the following;

  • film editing
  • sound mixing
  • costume design
  • sound editing
  • production design
  • makeup and hairstyling

The above are all the strongest composites of ‘Mad Max’, and are what make this film one of my favourites of 2015. I agree that it should not have necessarily won best film (although for me, I do not think that ‘The Revenant’ (2015), which did win that year, was worthy of an Oscar either – but that opinion is for another blog…) This is because I am aware that broadly speaking, not many people would have appreciated the plot of ‘Mad Max’ (as essentially, this is based around an intense, high-speed car chase). Nonetheless, the film’s strong points (the editing, sound, production design and costumes) won big, and rightly so.

Now, I said that the film was just an ‘intense, high speed car chase’. In broad strokes, this is exactly what this movie is. However, I do not want to diminish this film in any way. Sure the plot of the film is actually rather simple (involving an escape and pursuit), but the protagonist is not actually the suspected lead character of the movie. The protagonist of this film is not actually Max, but is instead Charlize Theron’s character Imperator Furoisa (which is something that I was not anticipating). She is fantastic, and this film is where I fell in love with Theron. She is such a badass fighter, yet has an endearing side to her (in her need to escape and save others). I also like the bond that Furoisa and Max strike between themselves. Actually, I like how all the characters within this film interact. Although the plot runs seamlessly with little dialogue, the character development in this film is effective, as you can easily identify and connect with the characters through their journeys and back stories.

I recently read another interesting article on the production of this film (I was that taken aback by the look of its production that I wanted to know how it was created), which stated that this ‘Mad Max’ instalment had a 10 year delay in productions, as the team struggled finding the funds and location in which to make this movie. I am kind of glad that it took them this long to bring us this instalment of the ‘Mad Max’ franchise, as the location/intricate sets, productions and costumes are what makes this film. The same article stated that this film had to have 150 cars specifically built for it (not only to give it their authentic, unique apocalyptic-look, but also to enable the crew to film these intense scenes) – which blew my mind. This proves that time, patience and expertise are essential for film making (and that CGI/throwing large sums of money at a film is not always what is needed, time and vigorous decision-making is also required).

The main reason I liked ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ was the visual and audio aspects of this film. I personally think that the plot is gripping in spite of its simplicity (as it is essentially a prolonged car chase). However, the strong acting establishes great character development in spite of a lack of dialogue. Similarly, I liked that Max was not the protagonist (despite the film being named after him), and that the main focus is on Furiosa trying to rescue 5 women (most of whom are models first and foremost, so their acting is not as strong – but are, nonetheless buoyed by the strong leading actors around them/fast-paced scenes). The world Miller creates is such a devastatingly post-apocalyptic spectacle, and is an absolute masterpiece. In my eyes, visually the film is like a surrealist piece of art, set to a destructively amazing soundtrack. If you’re interested in plot solely, then this film is probably not for you. However, if you (like me) are more interested in a fuller scope of cinematography (like how films are edited, the sound mixing and things like that) then you will love this film.

 

 

‘Deadpool 2’ – Teaser Review

Deadpool 2

Release date:
12th January 2018

Directed by:
David Leitch

Written by:
Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wernick

Genre:
Action/superhero film

Cast:
– Ryan Reynolds
Synopsis:
This is the sequel to the 2016 film ‘Deadpool’, a superhero film in which Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), a former Special Forces operative, develops cancer, takes experimental treatment to try and overcome this, but instead develops accelerated healing powers when an  evil scientist Ajax (Ed Skrein) tortures and disfigures him. The rogue experiment leaves Wade with accelerated healing powers and so he develops the alter ego of Deadpool. With help from 2 X-Men mutant allies called Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Deadpool uses his new skills to hunt down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

Sadly, this teaser gives nothing away about the sequel for this film, other than the superhero Cable will probably be featured (especially as this character is referenced in the post-credits of ‘Deadpool’).

Reactions:
As this is just a teaser trailer, little can be deduced from this about ‘Deadpool 2’, other than the superhero Cable is more than likely going to make their screen debut. It is also rumoured that Domino (another superhero from this multiverse) is rumoured to be making a  screen debut. Additionally, Wade’s partner Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin) might be returning, along with Wade’s sidekick Weasel (T.J Miller).

I have read a couple of articles regarding this film, so can pass a little judgement on this. Firstly, the original ‘Deadpool’ director, Tim Miller, has pulled out of productions for creative differences with Ryan Reynolds (essentially that Miller wanted a mega-budget superhero film, whereas Reynolds wanted an inexpensive raunchy movie, like the first). I feel that if they’re going to make another movie (which I personally don’t think they should), they should stick to a similar style to that which they’ve made before. The reason I feel that they should not make a sequel is that the bar is raised so high from the first film that I worry they won’t be able to meet expectations with a sequel. The humour and fight scenes are on point with the first film, and I worry that they won’t be able to replicate this, and that if they do, it will just be a generic duplication.

Secondly, I read that ‘Deadpool’ took a decade to make, but according to IMDB, the sequel was announced 3 days before the original was released. This shows how successful the movie was. I read that it’s the most successful X-Men movie made, but (as mentioned above) hope that it does not get caught up in its own success and create a never ending series of movies that repeat jokes and undermine the original.

That being said, I do not know much about comic books or superheroes (I am new to this but am keen to learn), but am aware that Cable (the son of an X-Men) stars alongside Deadpool/he often plays the straight man to Deadpool’s antics. I am also aware that Venessa (Deadpool’s girlfriend) has mutant tendencies, and is better known as Copycat (which ‘Deadpool 2’ has the potential to explore). These characters, like the Deadpool plot itself, are part of a bigger X-Men multiverse, so this film has he potential for greatness. Deadpool’s pre-existing humour and style has so much potential too, especially as the  original poked fun at superhero movies, so no doubt the sequel will – which is my kind of superhero film.

‘Doctor Strange’ (2016) – 6/10

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I will start this post off by saying that I am not a massive superhero fan. My favourite superhero movies include films like; ‘Ant-Man’ (2015) and ‘Deadpool’ (2016) (because of their humour), some of the ‘X-Men’ films (because I like the idea of mutants), and of course Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008) (because of its gangster element). I tried to like ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (2014), but sadly I just don’t… However, despite all my efforts trying to dislike ‘Doctor Strange’ (the advert kind of annoyed me), I actually really liked it.

Unfortunately, I do not know any of the back story to ‘Doctor Strange’ (directed by Scott Derrickson), so will just relay the plot as set out by the film. The film starts with Dr Steven Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who is an extremely gifted but egotistical neurosurgeon, badly injuring himself in a car accident. He tragically loses the ability to use his hands due to extensive nerve damage, so with the help of Dr Christine Palmer (Amy McAdams), pursues experimental surgeries, all to no avail. However, Strange discovers that an old patient who was a diagnosed paraplegic is mysteriously able to walk, and directs Strange to a place called Kamar-Taj for help. Whilst here, he finds someone called the Ancient One (Tilda Swindon), who teaches him Mystic Arts/that Earth is composed of different dimensions, which are protected by 3 buildings (called Sanctums), which the sorcerers have the task of protecting. However, the Ancient One is reluctant to teach Strange due to his arrogant yearning for learning, as she sees parallels between Strange and Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), another pupil, who turned to the dark side and deals with the Dark Dimension.

I could poke holes in this film in terms of its plot. Parts of the storyline were very weak, as was some of the script. For example, I feel like the film eluded to their being a massive show down between the good and evil forces of the movie, but feel that the film sadly did not deliver. In hindsight, this is probably due to the fact that Doctor Strange is so intellectual (using his brains over brane), but do feel that the film was just setting itself up for the rest of the franchise (which I guess is not a bad thing?)

If you look past the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch’s American accent is pretty shit, his overall acting is actually alright. It appears as if this egotistical, extremely intelligent superhero was perfectly crafted for Cumberbatch. His arrogance for learning and overcoming his setbacks are intermingled with hints of compassion, from which he empathetically learns his duty to save the world rather than himself. Similarly, I feel like the Ancient One was a role suited specifically for Tilda Swindon. She has a dominant, commanding aura about her, which fits this character perfectly. My main issue with the acting in this film was that I wish that Mads Mikkelsen was featured more. I love him as a villain – he brings such a presence  to evil roles. However, in this film, he was just not around long enough to impose himself. Likewise, Amy McAdams was not featured long enough. I can see how her character (Dr Christine Palmer) humanises Strange through the narrative of their previous relationship and history. Nonetheless, I feel like the emotion between her and Strange lacked passion in order for it to be believable. This was probably due to Strange’s selfish arrogance at wanting to be the best and sacrificing love for this. However, the awkward script further diluted their unsubstantial romance. Again, this is probably a device used to mirror Strange’s flawed, narcissist traits.

My favourite part of the film was the use of CGI. The idea that time and dimensions could be bent was brilliantly realised within this film, and made me wish I could watch films in 3D (sadly my eyes don’t work with this). Usually I don’t like CGI (I believe that Computer Generated Images should predominantly be used as a flourish in film, trying to accomplish realistic images, rather than extensively used so that they overpower the entire image – i.e. CGI should be used to make the impossible possible, not vice versa). However, in this film, I think that this effect was perfect, as this technique was used as an idea that Mystic Arts can bend time and space, and the cinema literally showed this in an amazing way. I was in absolute awe of the moving buildings and dimensions that collapsed within themselves, as well as the astral colours, which symbolised other worlds. The soundtrack to this film was composed by Michael Giacchino, who is one of my favourite composers (my favourite being that of  the ‘Star Trek’ films). Giacchino writes such compelling scores that flow so brilliantly with the dynamic pictures.

It is extremely evident that the predominate focus of this film was the visual effects. So for me, visually this film was an absolute hit, and if you can, watch it in 3D – I guarantee it will blow your mind! Parts of the script (like the Doctor’s strained attempts at romance, which mirrored his awkward persona), just didn’t work – but the humour almost did… a couple of funny one liners, and acknowledgement of the Marvel multiverse (through a nod to ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Thor’) made me laugh/smile. Nonetheless, I went in with low expectations, and came out wanting to re-envisage what i’d seen. I wish the Earth’s dimensions bent/shatter like they do in ‘Doctor Strange’, and that Mystic Arts were real!