Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Review

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For once I found myself skeptical of a Marvel Cinematic Universe film because the first Guardians of the Galaxy actually proved itself to be something that stood out amidst the rest of the crowd because it surprisingly happened to be one of only two films thus far from them that I really liked (the other being Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Naturally, the thought of a sequel would actually be met with warmth compared to the rest of their output but skepticism would also rise in regards to what it would end up turning the film into, and to some extent it’s what I got as always from the most typical MCU film. As promised from the return of James Gunn as writer and director another vibrant and colourful film would come back like the first but perhaps sticking to the same schtick that the first one carried only wore out the charm it had, at the film’s very worst moments.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Chaplin – Review

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Film lovers should already be familiar with the name of Charlie Chaplin considering the huge impact he has laid upon the comedy genre over the years. Richard Attenborough’s biopic comes along the same veins where his Oscar-winning Gandhi has come from and although not nearly as long, it’s in part an entertaining one but at the same time too by-the-numbers for its own good, which is the last thing I’d even want for a film about Chaplin. I don’t wish to dismiss Richard Attenborough’s Chaplin as the sort of film that does present itself as a disservice towards Chaplin’s legacy because in part it feels like it can excellently recreate that joy, although there’s another degree to where I’m not even sure what Attenborough intended his viewers to make of the life of the man behind the Tramp himself. What may have worked for Gandhi didn’t transfer well for a tale about Chaplin.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

The Last King of Scotland – Review

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General Idi Amin’s rise to power and his own erratic behavior can already make for an interesting subject to capture on film, which is exactly what Kevin Macdonald aimed to capture in The Last King of Scotland. Yet for every trace this film has that can signify something far greater it unfortunately falls down at the hands of another story being told at the exact same time, and this portion isn’t nearly half as interesting. That’s not to say a bad film is what we’re left with but rather instead what we have been given is in part something that could have been great because of the craft behind how a story like this is being captured on film. Then amidst all of that, it stops to tell another. The mix that we are left with is exactly what Kevin Macdonald provides in The Last King of Scotland, forming a product that feels only serviceable at its very best.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Review

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As I was about to watch Bill Condon’s new take on Beauty and the Beast a growing skepticism was only arising on my own end with the fact I had only recently rewatched Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise’s original film, for it not only remains my favourite of Disney’s animated films but one of my own all-time favourite films. Therefore with Disney’s recent trend of live-action reboots of their animated classics I felt that there was a possibility that something new could have only been brought to the table but I’ve had a running issue with these films as they can’t seem to find much about themselves in order to allow each entry to stand apart from the original. It seems to have run again with Beauty and the Beast, a fairly competently made one but to some extent what I thought it would be overall.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Hidden Figures – Review

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In truth my expectations were never going to turn out incredibly high for Hidden Figures because it seemed like a rather safe approach upon a subject whose importance still remains intact with America’s history and I got exactly that. In some ways, Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures just came out to remind me of Tate Taylor’s The Help, in the sense that I was getting a feel-good film for American people that would make modern audiences feel better about what direction they’ve gone since, but in another it was a film whose good intentions went blanketed by stereotypes of the period appearing so bluntly – and it never sits well with me when these conflicting messages come about.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Frozen – Review

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Of all Disney’s recent animated fare, it would probably be easy enough to note Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s Frozen as the most overexposed from the bunch especially with the popularity it has acquired from females of all ages. Sadly this apparently has turned synonymous with the actual film’s quality even with the many admirable things to have come about from it. There are many calls back to what had made Disney so great during its Renaissance era (now going back to a Hans Christian Andersen tale again after The Little Mermaid) which allow for Disney themselves to live within what had made said musicals as impactful (something which their previous, Tangled, had managed to capture with ease). But all of this joy should call for me to love it and instead I just find it so lacking – then again I was never a huge fan of this particular musical from the first day.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Scrooged – Review

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Richard Donner takes Charles Dickens’s classic tale A Christmas Carol and modernizes the story now to have something more cynical being put into play with the familiar structure. I’ll be one to admit that I’m always one to watch Bill Murray in anything for he always carries a great presence to comedy films even in his weaker films and I always remembered having enjoyed seeing his exaggerated Ebenezer Scrooge role in Scrooged – which helped me enjoy the film more. That having been said, for how enjoyable Bill Murray is in when he plays the character, I have never been a big fan of this take on the story.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Ju-on: The Grudge 2 – Review

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I’ve heard many comments who share my indifferent feelings toward the original film that cite Ju-on: The Grudge 2 as an improvement upon its underwhelming predecessor and while I can find myself agreeing with that part, unfortunately I can’t really say much overall because I also found this sequel to suffer many of the same problems which had plagued the original. Takashi Shimizu seems to have shown some improvement with his substance at least from what a year’s worth of passing since the original film can tell but maybe it was at a level to which he wanted it bring everything out so early. Seeing what Takashi Shimizu has brought here, however, did make me interested in giving the American remakes a revisit, if something managed to come out of watching the original Grudge films. Continue reading “Ju-on: The Grudge 2 – Review”

Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Ju-on: The Grudge – Review

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In America, it would be easy to recognize Ju-on: The Grudge for being the original source of its remake of the same name, for they also share the same director and the same antagonist in both the English and Japanese language versions. Unfortunately it also seems as if they also share the same quality of being rather underwhelming, something which seems to have run common with my own experiences watching the original sources for American remakes of Asian horror films. Conceptually, there’s so much interesting about Ju-on: The Grudge that should make everything far more interesting but after having finished up I felt so greatly disappointed. Continue reading “Ju-on: The Grudge – Review”

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Bad Moms – Review

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Writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore return behind the camera for a second time, now with a much more female-centric work contrasting their usual. I was expecting myself to end up disliking this, because I find their brand of comedy to be rather obnoxious and irritating (essentially how I feel about the whole Hangover series), but to my surprise Bad Moms actually turned out to be rather pleasantly enjoyable. My expectations were never set high up mainly because I was put off by the advertising but sooner I remembered having found some merit out of How to Be Single which already received its own share of maligning. I’m not so sure how exactly it happened but it did – I had a fun time watching Bad Moms doing exactly what it wanted. Continue reading “Bad Moms – Review”