Final Transformers 5 trailer is garbage…but I still want to see the movie.

God damn it, Michael Bay.

Yet another excellent display of a decent trailer, for what will no doubt be an awful film.

The tone of this trailer is all over the shop. About 30 seconds of tense music over the top of action sequences, followed by a few sort seconds of what is supposed to be a comedic bit, followed by more action drowned out with droning music.

The ‘shot in the chest’ bit was actually pretty funny. This might be the first bearable comedic relief in a live-action Transformers film. Well…I’m hopeful.

 

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For all this trailer’s faults, the final 15 seconds brings it back around. Somehow Michael Bay continues to find one small/interesting aspect to bring to each Transformers movie that makes idiots (like me) want to buy a ticket.

Age of Extinction had Stanley Tucci (That paid off). Dark of the Moon had no Megan Fox. Revenge of the Fallen had a writer’s strike. And, 2007’s Transformers had camera-shots-of-cars-turning-into-giant-CGI-robots, that-were-far-too-close-to-the-pogo-stick-used-as-reference-for-the-animators-to-actually-see-the-transformation (They were learning, cut ’em some slack). Now we get the–not at all Iron Man inspired–magically pulling themselves together gimmick.

So…has he just always been able to do this. Bumblebee’s just had this party trick up his sleeve for 5 movies, and he just didn’t use it. Seems like that would’ve come in handy at some point. Also, this completely destroys any tension whatsoever. Whatever happens to Bumblebee, he’ll just be able to suck himself back up.

(That wasn’t a euphemism, or anything)

Anyway, I’m going to see this. I don’t care what you think of me…What if it’s good–it won’t be, but what if it is? What ten year long rope-a-dope that would’ve been.

Final Transformers 5 trailer is garbage…but I still want to see the movie.

Teaser for ‘The Emoji Movie’: I’m positively euphoric right now

The first teaser for the long-awaited Emoji Movie has finally arrived, check it out below;

As someone who doesn’t use/care for emojis, I thought this trailer was a lot of fun. I don’t understand the like to dislike ratio here. It doesn’t look too dissimilar to your average animated movie skewed towards kids.

Having “express yourself” play over the top of the trailer, is a little on-the-nose, but I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the song and Meh’s enthusiasm, or…lack thereof.

The Emoji Movie releases August 4th, 2017, starring Steven Wright, T. J. Miller, and James Corden.

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A, somewhat accurate representation of my reaction to the trailer

Alright, I’m genuinely curious; what is it that everyone hates about this trailer? Did it not do justice to the source material, what is it?

Teaser for ‘The Emoji Movie’: I’m positively euphoric right now

Star Wars: ‘Rogue one: A Star Wars Story’ a not-great name for a pretty-alright movie (Spoiler review)

Alright, here it is. You didn’t ask for it, you didn’t want it, I made it anyway. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: A Spoiler review of a Star Wars Story: Rogue one. It’s kind of long, so strap in.

This review may come across as a little negative. So, I should preface this by saying; I really enjoyed the film, I had a lot of fun with it. This is a long review, but the bulk (if not all) of it is made up by minor nit-picks…there’s just a lot of minor nit-picks.

Pacing issues

It comes as no surprise to any of us who like movies that are coherent, that this would be addressed. To be fair, it’s mostly the first act, or even, the first half of the first act. But boy, was it jarring.

Visiting three locations in under three minutes was fun, in the sense that I liked that the characters were scattered across the galaxy doing their own thing. But, you know what would be more fun? Spending more time at those locations, and with those characters to develop them a little more.

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NB-Just quickly on character development: all the characters were underdeveloped. That’s right, I said it.

Score

The score, it was kind of dull overall, and very noticeable at times for all the wrong reasons.

Bear in mind, Michael Giacchino only had about 3-4 weeks to work it. Had he had adequate time to truly nail-down, I’m sure we would have gotten something akin to his work on Jurassic World. A Score, which I feel, rode on the success of its predecessor, whilst adding its own little flare in there.

Instead…this.

There was two main moments were the music just wasn’t quite right, and it took me out of the scene.

The first being; when Ando, Jyn, and K-2SO arrive on Jedha.

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Their ship lands off-screen, then hard cut to a shot of the three of them from a distance climbing a rock with menacing music playing. We later learn that the menacing music is playing because the camera pans up to a shot of a Star Destroyer.

Which just makes you notice the pan, and the hard cut from the ship, and the “why didn’t we just see them land” of it all. It’s more of an editing issue than the music itself, however, it was the music that drew attention to the edit.

The other moment is when the Hammerhead ship was pushing a neutralized Star Destroyer into another, cutting it in half. That’s an incredible moment! Undercut, only by the bizarre musical choice, which didn’t convey the epic imagery on the screen.

Deaths

Let’s take a moment to honour the Rogue One members who died. And by that, I mean literally all of them, they all died.

As sadistic as it sounds, I’m glad Donnie Yen’s, Chirrut Imwe, was the first to go.

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If you did your best to avoid spoilers before seeing Rogue One, then this may have been a surprise.

However, if you’re like me and are ambivalent towards spoilers/kind of hate yourself, then you’d know that during Star Wars Celebration Europe, Wen Jiang (who plays Donnie Yen’s force sceptical partner in crime protecting crystals, or something) casually mentioned the death of Chirrut to highlight a “…big thing.” that he does. Just between you and me, it wasn’t that big.

As the naïve young man, I was at the time, I thought Chirrut was going to be the one and only death of the Rogue squadron. But, well…no.

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For some reason, Bodhi’s death was the most emotional and impactful, to me at least.

Maybe it was because he was the second to die, which suggests that the rest of them are probably going to die. Or perhaps it’s that Rogue One (the ship) dies with him, meaning their one way off Scarif has been destroyed, which again eludes to the fact that they’re kind of f@&ked. Or maybe it was simply Riz Ahmed’s performance with a final look, accepting the situation knowing he did his bit for the cause.

Whichever way it was, Bodhi’s death brought another level of tension to the third act, knowing that anyone could go at any moment.

That moment everyone’s been gushing about

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Despite the film’s technical flaws, the final scene, alone, is worth the price of admission. Watching Vader cut through a handful of rebels, like a knife through butter, was extremely satisfying.

One final nit-pick, the movie would have been more impactful if it had cut to credits on the shot of Vader looking menacing out of an exposed docking station (that’s not a euphemism or anything).

Ranking

As far as Rogue one’s ranking among the rest of the saga, it’s in the upper half of the franchise. That’s not really saying that much considering about half of the Star Wars movies are kind of garbage. To rank it more specifically, I would slot this in 4th, behind A New Hope, Empire, and Force Awakens.

What did you guys think of Rogue one, and where would you rank it compared to the other Star Wars films?

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There, it’s done. If you made it this far…one final spoiler: you might hate yourself, almost as much as I hate myself for writing this. Still, I admire your endurance.

Star Wars: ‘Rogue one: A Star Wars Story’ a not-great name for a pretty-alright movie (Spoiler review)

‘La La Land’: The ‘Grease’ for a new generation

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La La Land is the latest musically invigorating film from director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. When an aspiring actress (Stone) has a chance encounter with a down-on-his-luck Jazz pianist (Gosling) a captivating relationship blossoms in the heart of the City of Angels.

Right off the bat; this film is visually gorgeous, and a little misleading to some degree. Chazelle’s use of flamboyant colours alongside Justin Hurwitz’s score and Mandy Moore’s dance choreography, made for some true theatrical eye candy.

However, I often caught myself thinking; “Oh, that’s right, this isn’t set in the ‘70s, it’s modern day.” There are some very subtle costume and set designs that creates this 1970s-era vibe, which trickles through to the rest of the movie and brings a Grease-esque element, to the first act especially.

As, La La Land, is Chazelle’s second mainstream indie film, I’m beginning to pick up on a common theme. That theme being; really pushing that; “Jazz is dying” PSA. To some extent, I see this as a good thing. Well, if it means that we’ll keep getting these jazz-infused cinematic masterpieces, I’m right on board. Let’s continue pushing jazz off the plank.

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Or, you know, just rip it half. That works too. 

On the note of music; (I see what I did there) Chazelle has, once again, collaborated with Justin Hurwitz for a Golden Globe nominated score, that really makes up the backbone of this film. From hundreds of people dancing atop their cars (in what could only, otherwise, be described as mentally unstable behaviour) to LSD-like montages, this film wouldn’t work if the music wasn’t on point. Luckily, we don’t have to worry about that, because Hurwitz delivers on every emotional beat, as the film requires them.

My only nit-pick with this movie is that Gosling’s singing, particularly his solo moment, is a little rough. And you know what; it’s not even that he’s bad, it’s just that there has been such a high-bar set for the rest of the film, that it highlights his much-better-than-mediocre singing voice.

All previously mentioned points, accompanied by an unconventional happy ending, makes La La Land a strong Oscar contender amongst various categories, and the perfect date movie.

‘La La Land’: The ‘Grease’ for a new generation

Movie review: ARQ

Huh, how about that…the title rhymes. We’ll just pretend I meant to do that. I mean, that’s only if you pronounce it as an acronym, rather than the way it’s actually pronounced in the movie, “Ark.”
ARQ is a new Netflix original thriller starring Robbie Amell (The Flash), Rachel Taylor (Jessica Jones) and directed by Tony Elliott (Orphan Black, screenwriter). Set in a uniquely post-apocalyptic Australia; a recently reunited couple are captured by a group of rebels seeking Ren’s (Amell) medicinal supplies, only to be caught in a time loop caused by a experimental machine.
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The world building Tony Elliott emits in this film is fantastically natural and free flowing. I want to see more if this universe, and thanks to the film’s claustrophobic nature, any potential sequels could easily be worked into continuity. Just about every aspect of this movie is great. From the world building to the cast, and not to mention the ending.
Without spoiling anything; I loved the ending, and it definitely opens the door for future films. Alternatively; the ending wraps-up a great standalone film that doesn’t require a sequel. Hopefully we’ll get the the former though. Because, as I’ve already mentioned, I really want to see more of this world.
One main issue I have with this movie is that it falls prey to the notion of less is more, in some areas at least. Primarily sound design and score. Thrillers often rely on musical cues and sound effects to pack a little punch to startling moments, or fill a scene with suspense. Sadly, ARQ takes those moments and overloads them with, what is admittedly a pretty good score, but it removes any realism or suspense and takes you right out of the scene.
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All-in-all, ARQ is pretty bloody great. Definitely check it out if you have Netflix. If you don’t have Netflix, you can always start a free month trial, there’s a lot of other great stuff up there. I feel like I should be getting paid for that.
Netflix, if you’re reading this; I’m more than happy to do some promotion for you guys. Cause I will most-likely be talking about Luke Cage when it comes out.
Movie review: ARQ

Kubo and the Two Strings Review

 

It’s time for a review, how bout you listen to my view, and maybe you’ll…be…eating a stew. *sigh* This is why I’m not a professional rapper.

Anyway, Kubo and the Two Strings. Have you seen it, no? Alright, I mean something is clearly wrong with you, but that’s fine, because this will be a completely spoiler free zone. Except for a very minor thing that isn’t even a spoiler, really, but I’ll touch on that later.

So, Kubo is the most recent stop motion film from Laika Entertainment, the same production company that gave us ParaNorman (2012) and The Boxtrolls (2014). Though I haven’t seen any other Laika film in it’s entirety, I can tell you that this is a major divergence in terms of themes and aesthetic (other than the fact that it is also stop motion).

Kubo and the Two Strings is a large scale Action/Adventure Epic, on one of the smallest scale forms of film production, and it’s Bloody Great! A surprisingly funny and visually gorgeous masterpiece.

My one pet peeve with the movie is something incredibly minor, but I feel that it’s justified…So, for story purposes Kubo only has one eye. His missing eye socket is covered by an eye patch. There is a moment, pretty early on in the film, where he blocks the sun out of his missing eye (you know, the one that has an eye patch over it). What’s the deal with that?

This movie is stop motion! Every second takes thousands of shots with very minor adjustments of the characters stances. I feel like maybe the intern f%#ked up and started moving the wrong arm, and then everyone was like…

“Goddamn it, Gary! Now we have to use this”.

…and just hoped no one would notice. Well guess what, I noticed, Laika….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…Fucking, Gary.

Kubo and the Two Strings Review

Hunger Games United teaser

Well…ah…So, Lionsgate has put very minimal effort into marketing for the final chapter of the Hunger Games cinematic run, so far.

I do like the costume, moving away from the S#*T stained brown colour of the last movie and leaning towards more of a ‘blood stained’ red/maroon. The beating of war drums as the emphasis of the frame becomes less and less about Jennifer Lawrence was pretty good as well. But everything else is just…well, cheap.

Come on Hunger Games. You’re one of the biggest franchises going around right now, you can do better than this. Hopefully they’ll bring their A-game when it comes to full length trailers.

Hunger Games United teaser