Category Archives: Fantasy

Beauty and the Beast (2017) Review

Time: 129 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] Violence
Cast:
Emma Watson as Belle
Dan Stevens as The Prince/Beast
Luke Evans as Gaston
Kevin Kline as Maurice
Josh Gad as LeFou
Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza
Ian McKellen as Cogsworth
Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts
Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe
Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette
Director: Bill Condon

Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast’s hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside.

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Although Beauty and the Beast was on my most anticipated films of 2017 list, it was a movie I was feeling mixed about. It had a lot of potential with it having a good cast. At the same time though, it’s yet another live action adaptation of a Disney movie, which feels like just another cash grab. Overall that’s pretty much what this movie is, it’s not necessarily a bad movie though. On the contrary actually, it’s a pretty decent movie. The acting and most of the execution worked really well. However some of the directional decisions made were rather questionable and took me out of the movie.

The story was good overall, I had no real problems with it. With that said, from what I can tell, this story follows the original story quite closely. So, I don’t take much issue with the story itself, it was some of the decisions made in delivering that story that I felt a little mixed about. I personally liked the second act the most (though again that’s most likely due to the directional decisions being the best).

The acting was generally good all around. Emma Watson did a pretty good job as Belle, I still saw her as Hermoine Granger as Belle, but she did well in her role. Dan Stevens was also really good. Most of the time he is under a lot of makeup and costume but yet is able to convey emotion underneath all that. Luke Evans was great as Gaston, it was a larger than life performance, it was very over the top, which it did take me out of the movie. But from what I can tell it is still less over the top than other versions of Gaston. I will say that Evans fully embraced the role. The standouts to me were Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellan, they were voicing Lumiere and Cogsworth respectively and were quite entertaining.

I like most of the directional decisions made. The effects involving the Beast were very effective, I’m not sure how they did it, but they managed to make it so that Stevens could be able to express his emotions through it. The costume design was great overall. The CGI was effective for the most part, although some of the CGI in the last act was a little fake. I liked most of the musical number. Despite many of the directional decisions I liked, there were some very over the top elements that took me out of the movie, such as the opening Belle song and the last act. Now I haven’t seen the original film, so I can’t tell if some of the decisions were to pay homage to the original film. But either way with some I just couldn’t get into it.

Beauty and the Beast was a pretty good movie overall, with the acting and most of the directional decisions made being decent. I did however have a lot of issues with some of the directional ideas chosen, these ideas really took me out of the movie. As I said, it was not necessary for this movie to exist, it’s yet another okay enough live action Disney adaptation. But despite it being unnecessary, I still think that overall I think it’s a decent movie and if you are a fan of the original film and are interested in seeing this version, see it. You’ll most likely like it a lot.

Kong: Skull Island (2017) Review

Time: 118 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence and offensive language

Cast:
Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad
Samuel L. Jackson as Preston Packard
John Goodman as William “Bill” Randa
Brie Larson as Mason Weaver
Toby Kebbell as Jack Chapman
John Ortiz as Victor Nieves
Corey Hawkins as Houston Brooks
Jason Mitchell as Glenn Mills
Shea Whigham as Earl Cole
Thomas Mann as Reg Slivko
Terry Notary as King Kong (motion capture performance)
John C. Reilly as Hank Marlow
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

A diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers unites to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.

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Kong: Skull Island was one of my most anticipated films of 2017. This film is also set in the same universe as Godzilla (a film that I liked) as the MonsterVerse is being created. Plus the cast and the trailers looked good, so I was definitely interested in checking it out. Although there are plenty of problems with this movie, Kong Skull Island is still a fun and solid movie, mostly due to the fantastic direction.

The story isn’t particularly special, above average, it’s serviceable for a Kong movie. The dialogue at times was hit or miss, some of it worked, some of it was cheesy and occasionally bad. Most of the comedy didn’t work, it only worked when it was delivered by John C. Reilly. One thing I will say though is that this movie definitely knows what it is. It knows its an over the top action movie and it delivers in that regard. Kong doesn’t show up a huge amount (like with Godzilla in his most recent film) but it doesn’t cut away from Kong just as he is about to do something awesome. He is in the movie in small enjoyable doses and was used very effectively, he was awesome when he was on screen. As for the last act… so fantastic.

Now this film has a lot of talented actors, including Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and Toby Kebbell. Unfortunately the film kind of wastes them and they don’t get to do as much as you think they would. However, these actors do try as best as they can, they still were good enough, they just should’ve been given more to work with. The actor who steals the show is John C. Reilly. He is entertaining, and also the only source of comedy which actually works.

What makes this film work effectively despite its flaws is the direction. This film is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. This is his first ‘big’ film and I can say that he is a talented filmmaker, and I can’t wait to see more movies from him. The direction of this film is so great, on a technical level, everything is excellent. Something that was perfect was the cinematography, done by Larry Fong (Batman v Superman, Watchmen, 300). The film looks absolutely beautiful, not one shot felt out of place. The action is intense, the special effects looked great, there wasn’t a fake looking creature or effect. The film also does a good job at making it feel like its set in the 70s. The soundtrack by Henry Jackman also made things a lot more epic. The only criticism I have direction wise is some of the music choices and style felt out of place but that is it.

Kong: Skull Island definitely has some flaws with regards to its plot, characters and dialogue, but the overall direction boosts the film immensely, and almost makes me completely forget about all the problems. Overall I liked this movie about the same level as Godzilla, this film does some things better and some things worse. While the movie wasn’t as great as I hoped it would be, it was still quite a fun time. Also, make sure you stay after the credits, because there’s a post credits scene, and it’s well worth waiting to see it.

Ghostbusters (2016) Review

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Time: 116 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] Coarse language & some scenes may scare very young children.
Cast:
Melissa McCarthy as Dr. Abigail “Abby” Yates
Kristen Wiig as Dr. Erin Gilbert
Kate McKinnon as Dr. Jillian “Holtz” Holtzmann
Leslie Jones as Patricia “Patty” Tolan
Chris Hemsworth as Kevin Beckman
Neil Casey as Rowan North
Director: Paul Feig

Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) band together to stop the otherworldly threat.

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The Ghostbusters reboot had been a divisive film upon its trailer’s release. I had no idea how this film would be, it looked honestly horrendous from the marketing. In the end I finally watched the movie, to see for myself what it is like. Ghostbusters 2016 wasn’t good but it wasn’t a disaster either. It wasn’t really that funny, the characters are poorly written and the script overall wasn’t good. At the same time though, it wasn’t painful to watch. Very disappointing however.

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The movie isn’t really boring, it’s very easy to follow and it doesn’t get dull. However the story is still not that well written. The characters are clichéd, the story is so basic (it’s impossible to spoil this movie), there’s nothing really great about the movie. The comedy is very different from the original. The original’s comedy was a lot more sarcastic and the characters played it more straight, this movie however was more out there and over the top. A lot of the comedy is Adam Sandler comedy, and that’s never a good thing. There were some mildly amusing moments but that was it. It’s frustrating, the movie had a lot of talent but it’s not used well at all.

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There isn’t any chemistry between the Ghostbusters. These actresses are talented but the film may as well have had Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Kevin James and Tyler Perry in their roles (it’s not quite that bad though). The actresses aren’t really bad in this movie, it’s just that they are only as good as their writing. All of them are extremely over the top. The person who comes across as the funniest between the 4 is Kate McKinnon. Chris Hemsworth is the only other actor who manages to produce some comedy. However he plays literally the dumbest character I’ve ever seen in a movie. Like, mental condition level. It was a weird decision. Maybe it was because they needed to make the Ghostbusters look less dumb in comparison, because honestly they do some really stupid things throughout the movie, I don’t buy for a moment that they are even close to being competent, no matter how hard the script tries to make it seem that way. Also the villain is terrible, it’s literally a janitor who in his first scene says his motivation and plan, which is to destroy the world because he hates everyone. The actor (Neil Casey) does his best but he’s got nothing to work with. Also as for the cameos of the cast from the original, absolutely forced and painful.

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The special effects for this movie were hit or miss. Sometimes it was fine, other times it was really bad and odd looking. The third act had horrendous green screen, it was kind of embarrassing. The colours also are really bright and neon like, I’m not sure if that was a good decision or not. Also I want to add that the remixed new version of the Ghostbusters is absolute garbage.

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Ghostbusters 2016 is not one of the worst things ever made. The film wasn’t boring and some of the jokes worked (mostly from McKinnon and Hemsworth). However this is still disappointing. It could’ve been a lot better, they had a great comedic cast and a great comedic director, this should’ve worked perfectly. However it just ended up being a mediocre movie. This instalment is planning on having sequels and I don’t think I’m that interested in sequels if it’s going to be anything like this film. However, if you are curious enough, check it out.

Max Steel (2016) Review

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Time: 92 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1]
Cast:
Ben Winchell as Maxwell “Max” McGrath/Max Steel
Josh Brener as the voice of Steel
Ana Villafañe as Sofia Martinez
Andy García as Dr. Miles Edwards
Maria Bello as Molly McGrath
Mike Doyle as Jim McGrath
Billy Slaughter as Agent Murphy
Director: Stewart Hendler

When teenage Max McGrath (Ben Winchell) discovers his body can generate the universe’s most powerful energy, he must bond with the only being able to contain it – a mysterious techno-organic extra-terrestrial named Steel (Josh Brener). United as the superhero Max Steel, the two friends must combat an alien menace and unlock the secrets of their past.

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Max Steel is a superhero movie based off the action figure of the same name. The Max Steel figures also had a tv series a few years prior to the film’s release. I went into this knowing that this movie knowing it was going to be bad. I kind of regret doing that now. Max Steel is an awful movie, with a faulty story, medicore acting and poor direction. Everything with this movie overall is faulty. The film really isn’t enjoyable in any way. The movie is not even unintentionally entertaining, it’s just boring, generic and poorly done. There’s no reason to watch Max Steel.

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Honestly, I can’t even remember Max Steel’s story that well. The story is extremely generic and predictable but also boring. It’s like this film tries to imitate a lot of superhero movies but doesn’t know how to do it, it’s very messy. This movie’s pacing is very slow, it is 20 minutes before Max actually discovers his powers, and this is a 90 minute movie. Also, there was no reason to make this movie dark, it’s based off a toy, it’s like it’s trying to imitate dark superhero movies and it feels like it’s trying too hard. It is also impossible to care about what is going on. The characters, and the world aren’t given much depth and it’s not even entertaining to watch.

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The acting wasn’t that good either. Ben Winchell plays one of the most boring and generic characters I’ve seen. He is so bland and unlikable. To be fair, there’s not much for him to work with. There’s no real reason to like Max at all. He’s not likable, he’s not funny, there’s nothing to like about him. Equally bland is the love interest is Ana Villafane, and this romance was complete garbage, one of the worst romances I’ve seen in a movie. Maria Bello and Andy Garcia are fine in this movie. The villain (who is so recognisable when he comes on screen, the twist is not unexpected at all) is underdeveloped and generic. And then there’s Steel (voiced by Josh Brener), the little robot that Max teams up with. He was really annoying and not likable. Childish as well, which doesn’t fit with the dark tone the film tries to force.

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The cinematography was hit or miss. Sometimes it looked fine, other times it looked really bad, especially with the lighting, which varies between being too bright and too dark. It looks like a fan made movie, and this movie is $10 million, which is very embarassing. Also the editing is really bad. This worst case displayed in the film is at a dinner scene which is intercut by and outbreak/SWAT sequence which didn’t work together at all. Despite the trailers hinting at it, there’s not a whole lot of action. There’s like two action scenes, and the first one I don’t even think counts as an action scene.

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Max Steel was such a terrible movie, it doesn’t offer anything to enjoy at all. The story is bland and uninteresting, the acting is passable at best and the direction was absolutely terrible. I think the worst part of this movie however that the film wasn’t even unintentionally funny or entertaining, save for like one or two small moments. Max Steel is not worth watching at all and is one of the worst films of 2016.

Nine Lives (2016) Review

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Time: 87 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1]
Cast:
Kevin Spacey as Tom Brand
Jennifer Garner as Lara Brand
Robbie Amell as David Brand
Cheryl Hines as Madison Camden
Malina Weissman as Rebecca Brand
Christopher Walken as Felix Perkins
Mark Consuelos as Ian Cox
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey) is a billionaire whose workaholic lifestyle takes him away from his loving wife Lara and adorable daughter Rebecca. Needing a present for Rebecca’s 11th birthday, Brand buys a seemingly harmless cat from a mysterious pet store. Suddenly, a bizarre turn of events traps poor Tom inside the animal’s body. The owner of the business tells him that he has one week to reconnect with his family, or live out the rest of his days as a cute and furry feline named Mr. Fuzzypants.

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I can’t believe this movie actually exists, nor can I believe that director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black films) and actor Kevin Spacey is involved with this movie. Everything from the premise to the trailer looked like a bad kids movie from the 90s. And this movie is just as bad as it looked in the trailer. It is unfunny, stupid, silly and just doesn’t make any sense. But we all knew that it would be like that, just look at the trailer.

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This movie is really lazily written with mostly unfunny jokes and is just overall not written well at all. Before anyone dismisses this movie as “just a kids film” and that no one should be too harsh on this movie, this movie has no idea what it’s target audience is. Sometimes it’s trying to appeal to kids with childish humour. Other times it’s filled with long business meetings that no kid would be interested in. Also there are some really adult stuff in this, way too much alcoholism in this movie and some jokes that kids won’t understand at all. They felt really out of place. And this film really isn’t right for kids. I’ll give an example, at one point (spoiler alert but who cares?) someone tries to commit suicide. In this movie. A kids movie. About someone who turns into a cat. This movie also has many jokes that didn’t land at all. The only points that I found the movie funny were some of the jokes that only adults would get and some moments which were so ridiculous.

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Maybe it’s just because I’m a Kevin Spacey fan but I enjoyed seeing (or in this case mostly hearing) him in this movie. However, it’s not really a good ‘performance’ and this might be the worst movie he’s ever been in. At times it sounded like he really didn’t want to be in this movie (which I admit I found a little entertaining). Christopher Walken is enjoyable in this movie, but it’s probably because he’s Christopher Walken, and his mere involvement with a movie automatically makes said movie better. Everyone else is wasted. Jennifer Garner is in this movie and doesn’t get to do much. Basically this movie is a paycheck for the actors involved. The performances aren’t good but to be fair, it’s not like they have good material to work with.

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This film is incredibly cheap. Everything feels off about this movie, direction wise. This film uses green screen so much and it is painfully obvious, which is especially shown in the first scene. It’s so embarrassing. And of course this film has a CGI cat and the animation is horrible. It is Garfield: The Movie level bad. The CGI is straight out of the 90s (which fits as this whole movie is straight out of the 90s).

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Nine Lives is really bad but everyone sorta knew that it would be that way. The acting is not that great, the writing is all over the place and not even the direction is that good. If you for whatever reason were expecting this to be a good film, it’s not that at all. But I will admit there is something fascinating about this movie, the fact that it exists in today’s world. So I can’t really say that I hate this movie, it was a weird experience for me as I watched it, I still feel confused after watching it. But yeah, the movie is still awful.

Suicide Squad Extended Cut and Retrospective Review (2016)

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Time: 134 Minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1] Violence, horror & cruelty
Cast:
Will Smith as Floyd Lawton/Deadshot
Jared Leto as Joker
Margot Robbie as Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn
Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag
Viola Davis as Amanda Waller
Jai Courtney as Digger Harkness/Captain Boomerang
Jay Hernandez as Chato Santana/El Diablo
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Waylon Jones/Killer Croc
Cara Delevingne as Dr. June Moone/Enchantress
Karen Fukuhara as Tatsu Yamashiro/Katana
Adam Beach as Christopher Weiss/Slipknot
Director: David Ayer

Figuring they’re all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret mission. Now armed with government weapons, Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and other despicable inmates must learn to work together. Dubbed Task Force X, the criminals unite to battle a mysterious and powerful entity, while the diabolical Joker (Jared Leto) launches an evil agenda of his own.

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My initial review of Suicide Squad.

I loved Suicide Squad when it came out. It was something different and unique and despite all its flaws, I still really liked it. It’s been many months since I saw this movie for the first time and after many months of thinking about it and especially after watching it again (the extended cut) … let’s just say that my thoughts on Suicide Squad have changed quite a bit. I still like the movie but it’s clearly got a lot of issues.

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Now I think I should get a brief review of the Extended Cut out of the way. How much new Joker footage is in the extended cut? Well there is a extended flashback scene with Harley and Joker in Arkham, as well as a new Joker and Harley flashback. That’s it. That’s literally it. So don’t expect the extended cut to be ‘Suicide Squad: Joker Edition’ as you might think it is. This is a real shame, as we will probably never see even half of the Joker footage which was filmed. The extended cut’s new footage mostly consisted of more interactions with the Squad, which is what the movie needed more of. That’s really it. The new footage doesn’t change the movie in a huge way. The extended/director’s cuts of Batman v Superman and Watchmen really added a lot and improve the movies greatly. With Suicide Squad, the extended cut is better than the theatrical cut, but not by a huge amount. If you watched the Theatrical Cut and didn’t really like it, the Extended Cut isn’t going to make you change your mind.

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Now, to the retrospective review. There are many problems that I have with the film now after thinking about it for many months. There were particularly two major problems that really bug me. The first was with the editing and the cutting of the scenes. It’s practically become infamous with how much footage from the trailers didn’t actually make it into the movie. Even the Extended Cut, which had 12 minutes of new footage even came close to showing all the footage shown in the trailers. Joker, despite being promoted heavily in the film, is only in the film for about 9 minutes in the theatrical cut, and maybe a minute more with the extended cut. It can be shown in both behind the scenes footage and trailer footage that there was a lot of his footage that didn’t make it into the film. This ultimately made Joker feel out of place, it felt like he didn’t exactly belong, especially in the present day sequences where he’s trying to rescue Harley. Granted, he wasn’t implemented that well in the movie overall, but if he was in the movie more he would’ve been less distracting, and plus we would’ve been able to get a better idea of what his Joker actually is. But it’s not only Joker that the cutting of the scenes affected. Certain scenes seem out of place and feel like there were supposed to be more scenes there. The film tries to hide this sometimes, such as the Harley and Joker Flashbacks, where certain parts have these weird coloured filters which were really out of place, and quick sudden cuts (especially shown during the Arkham sequence), and so it felt really awkward. Now I have no idea if the entire direction of the film was changed by Warner Bros or what happened, but it’s pretty clear that Warner Bros did cut a lot out and interfered with the editing of the film. At least with Batman v Superman, the Ultimate Edition restored the footage to Zack Snyder’s cut. Suicide Squad however, not the same case.

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The other major problem I have was the direction that the film was going in. What really bugged me was that Enchantress was the main villain of the film. And my problem with that wasn’t so much the execution of Enchantress (though I definitely had problems there), it was the fact that the Suicide Squad were put up against a godlike character. This is disappointing in many ways. First of all, Suicide Squad (the film) was looking very unique amongst all the other comic book movies, with it having villains as the main characters. It was getting everything right but then the film ultimately turned out to be just another ‘save the world’ movie. Also Enchantress’s powers weren’t handled well. She’s a godlike character who caused a lot of damage but because she was so powerful, the film needed to depower her otherwise the Squad wouldn’t stand a chance against her. Really, none of the Squad stood a chance against her, only perhaps El Diablo was capable, that’s it, and of course he died during the fight against Incubus, Enchantress’s brother. That’s another thing, Incubus was utterly pointless in the movie (not to mention that the CGI started going into Gods of Egypt territory). As a result, the film culminated in an underwhelming fight. The film would’ve benefited a lot more if it was crime based. That’s where David Ayer excels. Perhaps if the Squad was put up against the Joker it would’ve worked more. If the Joker would’ve overshadowed things, than maybe put them up against some other crime based character, just not Enchantress. It’s not like the only issue of the film was the editing, the writing by David Ayer could’ve been better, whether it comes to the story, character motivation and the dialogue (yes, a lot of the dialogue did not work). But we can’t really blame him a lot for that, he only had 6 weeks to write the screenplay (another failing on Warner Bros’s part). Other gripes with the film was that aside from their introductions, all the members of the Squad were more anti heroes than actual villains, and it is possible for them to be villainous protagonists. Only Amanda Waller and Enchantress actually felt like villains.

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Now, to some more positive stuff. The characters are great and are what carries the movie. However, there are still some issues there, I do have at least one problem with each of the characters, Deadshot felt a little too heroic, Harley Quinn was inconsistent, Rick Flagg was just fine, El Diablo could’ve had a little more depth, Katana and Killer Croc don’t have a lot of development and are just sort of there, Boomerang is entertaining but doesn’t have a lot to work with. And Slipknot… well he served his purpose, a random person to be killed at the beginning of the movie. As for The Joker, the major issue was really with the editing, and plus the writing for him could’ve been better. I loved what Leto did with the character but The Joker didn’t really fit well in the movie. As for Enchantress… she could’ve been a lot better, however I will say that I liked her more on the second viewing. I found that it was mostly the dialogue that worked against her. She was a ‘take over the world’ villain, which could work (I love Apocalypse), but her dialogue just made it hard to take her seriously. However, when she was in both forms when she was just using magic and carrying out her plan, she was great. To put it simply, I like Enchantress when she doesn’t speak. The best character of the film for me was Amanda Waller, Viola Davis played her excellently, I can’t wait to see more of her in the DCEU. I do like all the characters despite their problems. They are fun to watch, and the actors do play them quite well. The action is good, if forgettable at times, the first action sequence was the best (especially when Deadshot was on the car). The soundtrack is good but inconsistent (like every scene would have a new song, way too many songs were used). The score by Steven Price is criminally underrated. I liked Ayer’s overall direction of the film (except when it came to dealing with the cut scenes), it was entertaining and worked mostly well.

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Overall, I still like Suicide Squad quite a bit but like with Captain America: Civil War, I noticed more flaws in it as time went on. There’s definitely some problems as stated up above. Even though Suicide Squad is disappointing in retrospect, I wouldn’t consider it bad. We can only hope that Warner Bros learns from this and Batman v Superman, letting the director’s handle their own cuts is a much better idea. It’s honestly a miracle that this film got made with all the random decisions that were made. I’m sadly not really hyped for a Suicide Squad sequel. I will give Suicide Squad credit for introducing many characters into the DCEU but I feel that they could’ve done it a lot better. Now, it was announced recently that director David Ayer would be directing Gotham City Sirens (which will have Harley Quinn, Catwoman and Poison Ivy). He’s not writing it, instead it’s written by Geneva Robertson-Dworet (who’s not really written anything, so we’ll have to see how she does), so there might so there’s potential for the movie to be quite good. The direction (aside from the editing) of the movie was quite good so we’ll just have to see what happens. Overall to me, Suicide Squad is still enjoyable, just disappointing looking back at it.

Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) Review

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) in Disney's ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, an all-new adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll's beloved stories.

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Time: 113 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] Some scenes may scare very young children
Cast:
Johnny Depp as Tarrant Hightopp, the Mad Hatter
Anne Hathaway as Mirana of Marmoreal, the White Queen
Mia Wasikowska as Alice Kingsleigh
Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth of Crims
Sacha Baron Cohen as Time
Rhys Ifans as Zanik Hightopp
Matt Lucas as Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Alan Rickman as Absolem, the Butterfly (voice)
Stephen Fry as Cheshire, the Cheshire Cat (voice)
Michael Sheen as Nivens McTwisp, the White Rabbit (voice)
Timothy Spall as Bayard, the Bloodhound (voice)
Director: James Bobin


Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to Underland and finds the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) in an illness. The White Queen (Anne Hathaway) told Alice that in order to help the Hatter, she must travel to the past, only to find out that the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and Time (Sacha Baron Cohen), a walking clock-like man, have a plan to take over Underland.

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I didn’t have any expectations going into Alice Through the Looking Glass. I really disliked the first film, it’s been 6 years since the original and it seems that the only reason this film exists is because it made lots of money. And the sequel was pretty much what I expected it to be. The story is messy, the acting (for the most part) is over the top and sometimes bad, and the visuals are fake looking (even more so than the original). It’s a frustrating because the film had some potential.

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This movie is all over the place. There’s so many elements crammed into this movie and they aren’t fully formed or developed. This movie has so much going on, the Red Queen and White Queen’s backstory, the Mad Hatter’s backstory, Alice in the real world, and so many more and I didn’t care about any of these plotlines. It’s almost as if it was a tv series with all the plots of the episodes plots stuffed and cut down to fit one movie. I will say that this movie had more potential than the first film as it dealt with time, and there are some ideas in the film which seemed okay, at least to me. But as I said, the ideas aren’t fully realised or developed well enough. I also never really cared about what was going on or was concerned about how things would end, I just straight up didn’t care about anything that was going on in the movie.

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In the first movie, I didn’t like Mia Wasikowska’s performance, I thought that it was bland, boring and flat (though it really wasn’t her fault). I actually liked her in this movie however, she doesn’t have a lot of great material to work with but she was quite good here and was a likable protagonist. I also really liked Sacha Baron Cohen as Time. However if you think that Time is the main antagonist of the movie, that’s unfortunately not the case, it’s the Red Queen again, which… kinda sucks because she’s extremely over the top and doesn’t work at all. Everyone else is pretty much their characters from the first film, but worse. Johnny Depp is doing Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter is doing Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway… really didn’t give a good performance here either. Particularly those three were annoying in their roles.

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The first movie had an overload of CGI and green screen, leading to some sequences feeling quite fake, however it was still a good looking movie overall. Somehow this movie manages to add even more CGI and green screen, nothing feels natural, everything feels artificial and fake. The designs for a lot of the locations and the characters (like in the first film) were creative and sometimes great, but they aren’t portrated on screen that well.

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Alice through the Looking Glass is what I expected this movie to be. It’s about as bad as the original, there are some elements which are better and there are some elements which are worse. I did like Mia Wasikowska and Sacha Baron Cohen in their roles, and there are some ideas and potential in the story. But at the same time the script is crammed with so many unformed ideas, the acting is mostly over the top and occasionally bad (particularly from Depp, Bonham Carter and Hathaway) and the CGI and green screen was horrible. I have no idea what you’ll think of this movie, but I’ll say if you didn’t like the first film, I think it’s highly unlikely that you’ll like the sequel.