thomasjay-52277

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Reviews

Nanatsu no taizai: Ai no Katachi
(2016)
Episode 4, Season 2

Season 2 Review
All filler no killer is a criticism which you could rightly hurl at this particular season of the Seven deadly sins but to be honest I feel though it was required. Feeling in a way like a collection of OVA's or one off non-canonical episodes I felt as though it was a pleasant break watching these 4 episodes as the first season threw so much at the audience this is more stripped back focussing more in the 10 or so main characters and thoroughly developing them throughout with the overarching demonic resurrection conspiracy being racked into the end of every episode which was a welcome break. Giving depth to the characters involved and also furthering the story I'm looking forward to what'll no doubt be a hectic third season after this more relaxed outing

Nanatsu no taizai: Eiyu-tachi
(2015)
Episode 24, Season 1

Season 1 Review
I've genuinely been blown away by the standards this series has currently set. For only 25 or so episodes which content wise last 20 minutes so much is established and covered all to a high degree with sub plots twistily revealed after the bride series from complete left field yet everything is perfectly cohesive. Characters change allegiances and all are likeable plus detailed. Concurrently tackling plot after plot and sparking conspiracy for future seasons I genuinely can't wait to see what this show has in hold for the future

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
(2016)

Should be sent to a lonely island and bombed
I had frankly high expectations when going in to this, all of which were brutally shattered by 30 minutes as I suddenly realised its everything I hate about film. I generally speaking don't mesh well with American Comedy avoiding most films and finding the likes of 'Friends' barely tolerable there's been some sort of appeal to Samberg as both character and actor for a while from me and his work on a Brooklyn Nine-Nine is impressive but here his form was all off. I've got a good knowledge of the lonely island and find their work fun but something does not hit well at all here. Connor the lead of the 'documentary' is intolerable and for as much as this was intended tonal there's genuinely no charm in the character whatsoever. The others have roles that weren't worth naming and frankly are interchanged as the plot decides. The form aspect is poor, a 'mockumentary' there's so much potential when approaching such a type of film see the lines of 'What we Do in the Shadows' with the genre classic being 'Spinal Tap' there's evidence of what can be achieved in this world but all is missed here. In the case of 'Popstar' which it'll be called for convenience sake there's more focus on just celebrity cameos opposed to substance with all the Talking Heads being a who's who? Of modern fame featuring but not limited too: A$AP Rocky, Usher, Akon and later stock footage of the likes of Rita Ora and one more major appearance from Snoop Dogg. This absolute scatter of fame is presumably there for drinking game purposes and serves no real weight to the characters at all with only Justin Timberlake and Usher actually appearing outside of the Talking Heads segments. The 'Style Boyz' funnily enough appear to have no chemistry what so ever and such the payoff of the grand return misses the mark completely and the music is enough to make ears bleed, which sure is again intentional but even so just stop and also in hindsight how they got away with certain songs is amazing as they certainly didn't sit well with me personally. The splitting of the characters was contrived and the return was also plus the 'comedy' in between was worthless and had zero laughs from me. In what seems to be just a million cameos and various cultural references (Such as Kanye West attacking a videoing journalist) it's more of a 'look it's Celebrity X' and 'oh I remember that' opposed to anything that has real substance as a film and such is just a waste of time that passed by so painfully slow, if you can avoid it.

Searching
(2018)

Found footage with a Twist
This is a spark of genius frankly and needs to be seen on a wider scale than what it has been. John Cho in the search for his missing daughter who's vanished one night leaving a number of conspiracies which unravel over time. Unflinching and harrowing it's like that scene from "A Clockwork Orange" you're forced to watch his descent mentally as the case of the missing child twists and turns becoming more serious at every stage. The aspects of FaceTime, YouTube and the internet in general is fresh and well executed giving the odd moment of humour and relief from what a dark and chilling story that ultimately represents the fear of older generations by taking current technologies to the furthest of extremes. The twist reveal of Officer Vick's involvement in the case is from left field completely yet also makes perfect sense and is well explained through tapes of her confession. Everything feels real, brutal, genuine and chaotic as you'd expect from the nature of the plot, frankly it's one of the best films of 2018 and I highly recommend it

Men in Black: International
(2019)

Don't believe the Headlines
Straight to the point: I enjoyed this, as a film and part of a wider franchise it stands well on its own two feet and can very easily be enjoyed with both no and full prior knowledge of the 'Men in Black' world. Frankly I can't really understand the distaste. Having rewatched the first 2 instalments of the franchise recently as various TV networks aired them in advance of release of International it's fair to say that Hemsworth and Thompson don't really come anywhere near the previous duo of Lee Jones and Smith but like the film work well together, as you'd expect with their track record over 2 or 3 Marvel films together. Apparently suffering with creative differences what Gray and the studio ultimately churned out is solid, slightly more family than the original duology of films which have always appeared to me to posses a gritty and bleak edge to them the more "PG" approach was welcoming and fit well. The new Will Smith, Tessa Thompson rises to the occasion and plays the lead role quite well though frankly does at times get knocked down the pecking order for Hemsworth who's easily the more marketable of the 2 currently. Ensemble figures and supporting cast are also quite strong with Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson and Rafe Spall in particular providing memorable characters that when looking back over the series will be notable. Visual effects on the most part are a bit iffy, barring Pawny everything seems too polished which did at times drag me from the experience and was certainly something that couldn't be said about the original films which had an unpolished and almost grimy look likely reason for their cult status. Plot wise things move at a breakneck speed chucking various phases of character development to what felt like a montage of half an hour really rushing to get to a point where things can truly progress which and testament to the film was quite successful. There's a few good debates about 'attachment issues' to the title and the exclusivity of the name and even the odd dig at controversial figures which are likely to get a laugh from the older audiences, setting up and executing different character decoys and throwing multiple twists at the audience everything more or less seamlessly wraps up with a slight hint at a romance and definite sequels. On the whole a fairly enjoyable experience that's action packed and fairly family friendly, Id highly recommend

Platoon
(1986)

Hard to review
It's been nearly a week since I watched this and I'm still truly undecided on how I feel about the film. The stance on Vietnam is not really clear or as defined as say 'Apocalypse Now' and such has an impact on the film. At times there's almost documentary-esque footage of massacres and in fighting between characters which are juxtaposed in ridiculous and jarring fashion with ridiculous side plots such as the Elias death fake out and then the iconic killing scene of Dafoe's character which seemed to be there for a spectacle manner. Again in fashion that's worlds apart from similar films it adopts a smaller scale approach to all forms of conflict and character which in fairness does give the idea that people are stepping on each other's toes and such there's believable rivalry/conflict which sadly occurs few and far between. Character wise Dafoe somehow shines and steals the show as Sheen doesn't offer as much charisma as his father did in Apocalypse Now and the 'quasi-villains' in Barnes and his supporters are frail. Ultimately there's not a real threat, the characters aren't gauged particularly well over the arc of the film but there's the odd redeeming quality, it for one feels alive and suits the journal re-telling style of which it adopts and visually at times is quite stunning and iconic with the aforementioned Elias death becoming a sliver of cinematic history. For as much there is negative it has a balance of positive aspects too and such is hard to draw conclusions about

Edge of Tomorrow
(2014)

Ingenious
The first of what's a reigniting in the "time loop" film Edge of Tomorrow has arguably more charm than any of the others that have succeeded it. Marvellously this film avoids to ever become repetitive which is a remarkable achievement given the scale of the film in comparison to more smaller plotted 'loopers' such as Source Code or Happy Death Day which too are fantastic films. Anyway, Cruise is surprisingly charming as a lead for someone who personally struggles to really enjoy any of his work outside of Mission Impossible he carries the film well though one could argue it's fairly balanced if not more on Blunt's shoulders as a more significant fisher to the plot with the constant reminder at the start (or restart if you will) of the day that she's the 'Full Metal Bitch'. Impressive action that always seems to develop and a well handled plot which further condenses time to skip along and add a grandness to the nature of the plot without holding the hand of the audience lead to a brilliant film that honestly has so much rewatch value regardless of the cast that are relatively nobodies and are recognisable to a British audience who've consumed various cult TV programmes. A neat little Sci-fi outing thats well worth your time

The Conversation
(1974)

Paranoia Personified
I've had a few days to reflect on the viewing experience and now when I'm writing this review and if anything it's grown on me since I finished watching it. One of multiple films made by Coppola in what was his most prolific decade this film feels timeless despite its age and was parts brutal and parts thrilling to watch. Largely focussed on dialogue it's surprising what can be achieved solely through this, the shots linger and from the very get go we feel a sense of claustrophobia with a prolonged sequence in a park square or even later stages at the hideout/hotel room, the walls are tight around the characters and there's a looming sense of watching or connectedness which ironically links directly to the plot as Harry surveys two targets whilst also being monitored himself and gradually finds his work more difficult to complete. The withdrawn editing style and often fixed camera allow us to step into the action as the audience feeling at times as though an active character best seen in the latter stages when Harry destroys his apartment out of a sense of fear or as my title says: paranoia. The conspiracy which is unravelled is lightly touched upon and has still captured my interest following viewing roughly 4 days since, nothing is over explored and yet there's still a strong sense of character especially with our lead as we dive into his rocky childhood through the surreal or are faced with horror through unflinching shots and vibrant, vivid colours of blood red which contrast with the fairly pale sets. Ultimately this was a great little watch and despite being a slow burner absolutely worth every minute. Masterwork from the directors Midas touch period of production, give it a watch

Venom
(2018)

A bit bland
There's genuinely not much to say about this film at all. Hardy is probably the highlight of it all but the supporting cast are weak generally speaking and the designs of Venom as a being are too obviously fake which sounds stupid but frankly it was mostly jarring to see when the beast eventually appeared. The plot is a bit rushed and seems to rely on some contrived areas but there's the odd enjoyable scene later on which is again largely on the shoulders of the lead actor. Once the credits rolled we have the mid credits scene of Caranage's introduction which frankly does beg the questions of origins and simultaneously looks to be ripped from a fan film with poor quality. In all a weak outing from Sony but could frankly work as a smaller character in a larger film/ensemble, this as an individual film however is frankly middle of the road if not a slight bit dull, might be worth the time on a rainy day but not one I'd rush to rewatch anytime soon

Game of Thrones: The Last Watch
(2019)

A bit disappointing
There's not much going for what's been the end of one of the greatest TV shows in history currently, and it's a shame to see it fizzle out to such a dull end. This documentary has no focus which doesn't help, it could've been split into segments and released in time as an exclusive special feature for the digital/physical versions of the show when they're released and detail the cast and crew where instead this is an add on that wasn't necessary at all in hindsight which is a shame to say the least. The documentary shifts through time as if it's a concept that doesn't exist which is to its downfall as in the end, the majority of the crew whom it follows are difficult to keep up with because they've been used sparingly and to no effect and the difficulties that the show had this time out aren't dug into and explored sadly. The exclusive time spent with Miguel Sapochnik, director of various episodes in season 8 and some of the most iconic episodes of the earlier seasons (Battle of the Bastards for example) is truly interesting as we see his abilities and the only true 'character' of the film in full effect as well as his 'beef' with the writers who constrained the production but again it's a storyline not touched upon, much like the roles of various others who are featured and sadly it's seems as though it was to merely benefit the filmmaker over any consumer with there being little substance to make it a worthy watch. Disappointing but not the worst

The Meg
(2018)

Surprisingly didn't hate it!
Completely forgot that this film existed until I saw its release today on Sky Cinema and so I decided to dip my toes in the water and try it out, which wasn't all that bad honestly. Statham's most layered and human character to date the chemistry between him an Meiying is sweet and he seems to mesh well with the other cast members, in the whole all are pretty good performance wise save for a bit of dodgy ADR work and that's pretty much all the positives. The plot at times is contrived and it feels like there's a heavy repetition of the same action sequence and as you might expect it's not all that captivating but for something that's only 1 hour 50 ish it's a perfectly fine watch that actually succeeds any and every expectation I had, in all not too bad, give it a watch if you've got the free time

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
(2019)

Bland and Messy
Save your time and don't bother watching this. Another cash in on the star of the killer which has never been higher strangely this is a complete jumble of so many aspects of the story and a million different perspectives that all blur and complicate each other. There's too many plot lines that aren't touched upon or go nowhere and the characters were all bland quite frankly, Effron does his best but as the credits roll and real footage is played you see his shortcomings and Collins' part is minor in a grand scale. So overall there's not much that goes in favour of this odd biopic

The Ritual
(2017)

Bit of a hidden gem
After finally returning to Netflix and at last having the time to watch it I sat down and spent just shy of 2 hours watching this. A new type of horror (to me personally at least) this was fair to say an interesting viewing, the characters being more of the focus and the villains in a way and that was refreshing to say the least. It's fairly well paced and everything feels well done despite 3/4 of the film being four friends talking whilst on a commemorative hike through Sweden to honour the fifth man. That character (Rob) is really the only issue if any, his screen time is rushed and feels to have minimal impact but the frequent return of that memory to Rafe Spall's character does indeed give it a significance at the very least so all's not wasted or lost. The finale of man v god is a bit of a leap given the world it's established for through the previous acts but it's not exactly enough to bring everything down to the ground, overall pretty good, I certainly recommend

Siberia
(2018)

Avoid At All Costs
Fresh on Netflix I completely forgot this existed after it released in the back end of last year though to be completely honest I'm not convinced the cinematic release ever happened but regardless it fell by the wayside completely during the decent year in film of 2018. Anyway onto this, I saw it yesterday and I'd struggle to recall any story points if my life depended on it, which is not a good sign. There's a diamond mix up, Keanu Reeves who I'm pretty sure is nameless other than 'American' has an affair after his wife ends a Skype call, he breaks his image as John Wick and kills a dog and there's a conspiracy...I think. Now that took far too long to be worth the effort but all you need to know is there's nothing that happens, it does feel like a fill in story between Wick films that's supposed to build up the legend but fails completely. He's spends 90% of his time in Russia moving from hotel to hotel, changing his phone number and making the same call, then 'enjoying' (to say the least) his time with a random cafe worker called Katya who suddenly becomes his shadow and is in practically every scene. It culminates in Reeves finding his business partner dead and frozen and a gunfight where suddenly the clearly combat skilled American businessman offers himself to the villains essentially, standing in a clearing and getting shot in the head from behind before the credits roll. Thrilling! Utterly boring and very long sections plug the spaces between where he sits in on conversations that make jokes at him or where he stops a load of drunks making a mess but it's not worth an hour and 50 if your time, in the end being batched for me personally with the likes of 'Strangers: Prey at Night' and 'Rampage' amongst others in the truly appalling bottom end of the proverbial 2018 film ladder, skip this one

Event Horizon
(1997)

Brutal & Brisk
God this was a surprise if a film, I expected nothing and reviews wise this has gotten poor reception, however I was pleasantly blown away. The setting is claustrophobic, the cast are all excellent and the plot works excellently. It's a fast romp of complete non-stop action and brutal horror that's not only blood curdling but compelling also, utterly surprising and high quality I couldn't recommend enough

Guava Island
(2019)

Wonderful little watch
By this point you can expect nothing but quality from Donald Glover be that his music, series, rare appearances in film or indeed this, his own work with long time collaborator Hiro Murai and boy was this good. There's nothing bad about this at all, it captures the 'island vibe' similar to City of God which is fantastic and fairly similar without feeling too close to each other. The performances are really good and subtle and the visuals are ridiculously nice! Pushed forward through use of Glover's music released last year its nice to see something unique like that and was a very pleasant and sadly a short watch. Being free to view for a window and not all that long I can't reccomend this enough

Hellboy
(2019)

This would be screened in hell
Utterly atrocious, and that quite frankly is all you need to know. It tries so much and manages to fail with pretty much everyone hence why I'm struggling to remember what, exactly it was that just occurred over the past 2 hours or so. We get an origin and what seems to be 7 or 8 different 'stories' wrapped into one single runtime which gives nothing worth consuming. The charm of the Del Toro double had been ripped off and it's now completely soulless. Seemed to be made for 3D with countless moments intended to be popping out of the screen but even that wouldn't have saved this. The gore is unjustified and quite frankly appalling with the quality being embarrassing for a professional standard if you can call it that. To an extent the look works well and felt at times like a living page of a comic but that wore off after about 15 minutes into literal shadows which might've been an attempt to cover the shocking film assembled. Also the editing was ridiculous and so jarring at times it was completely shattering taking further away from the film. The finale baiting for a sequel with the introduction of Abe Sapien and the follow up post credits scene featuring a mysterious conversation with Baba Yaha were so long and the credits between were the longest I've ever possibly sat through. Ultimately it's not worth your time and if you do wish for Hellboy or something of that Ilk the first 2 are perfectly fine, there's a number of animated features and probably a million other, similar to the character only of better quality. Do Not bother with this

On Chesil Beach
(2017)

Just bad
What an absolute waste of my time this turned out to be. I expected a bit of a gem from this but boy was I wrong, very, very wrong indeed. I felt every second pass by and the story (or what resembles one slightly) was completely uninteresting and mind numbingly bad. Character wise Saoirse Ronan has little yet still had the ability to steal the scenes she was in which for the sake of this film was no where near enough at all. The Male character was horrendous and very easy to dislike plus they failed to click on screen which just counteracted the entire plot, just don't bother watching it

Ao no ekusoshisuto: Kyoto fujô ô-hen
(2017)

Slow starting but worth the wait
At first it's a bit jarring, especially if you've watched the entirety of the prior season but is easy enough to understand and lick back up on roughly after episode 1, however it is completely inaccessible for those who've not watched anything before so I recommend you do some kind of 'research' prior to watching. Anyway my main issue comes with the opening 5 episodes (ish) which offer little in all honesty, much like the start of the third season of Hannibal though both shows do pick up in quality it's a shame they don't hit the ground running. Story wise it seems to dwell on the reveal of Rin's Powers to the group a little too much where the first series that deviated off book managed to deal with it exceptionally. As it progresses though the story does become enveloping and seriously interesting to watch so I suggest you see it through as by the final credits the identity of the characters has grown so much in a way not too dissimilar to One Piece's time jump or the Shippuden era of Naruto, so, to round off my review if you've seen the series before or if you're planning on getting started, do so! Such a fantastic anime and unique concept

My Scientology Movie
(2015)

One of Theroux's best
This was a new take on documentary and something I've never personally seen before yet it still manages to work fantastically well. The re-enactments and 'staged' elements are well balanced and it was good to get an insight to how the world of film works. Also in all honesty the subject matter is ridiculously interesting with so many different angles and faces of those involved, quite possibly one of the most entertaining documentaries I've seen and I highly recommend this gem

Triple Frontier
(2019)

Bland
Good luck watching this and having any enjoyment from it. A good three quarters of the film is in absolute darkness so there's not much to get from the visual elements at all and to be completely honest a lot of the characters barring maybe Hunam (surprisingly) are mostly dislikeable so on the whole it's not much worth watching. In fairness the odd action sequence is fantastically choreographed/shot and executed almost perfectly but again it's not enough to save what slightly resembles a 'story'. Save it for a rainy day that'll eventually come but I wouldn't exactly say it's a must watch

Ao no ekusoshisuto: Gekijôban
(2012)

One of Anime's greatest spinoffs
The spinoff/sequel films that come with successful anime series are often underwhelming or at best average however this was an exception, exactly what you wanted from an "add on" tale, feeling like 4/5 episodes of the show seemlessly linked. A heartwarming story demonstrating the charm and fantastic character of the series it's truly a great watch and the visuals are jaw dropping experimenting with a more frequent use of 3D animation it's a brilliant little film that's genuinely quite heartwarming

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
(2018)

A bit bland
I'm about and hour fresh off watching this film and to be honest I'm struggling to recount what happened. As a film it's better than the initial 'Jurassic World' but unsurprisingly hasn't made even a touch on the original. It's pace is very very odd feeling slightly boring yet also having so much going off. It's been a while since seeing the previous one so maybe that didn't help but I found this to be averag eat best offering little charm and mainly aiming for spectacle which isn't necessarily an issue but just doesn't have much else going for it so ultimately far from the best but not a bad film

Ao no ekusoshisuto
(2011)

Smasher of Expectations
I first encountered this a few years back when I read a few volumes of the manga but eventually fell off track with the books as a whole, however I can happily say I'm glad I came back to this series. With this, the sequel film and follow up series "The Kyoto Saga" now available on Netflix I've decided to power through them and boy did I make the right choice! This show was truly a fantastic watch and easily up there with some of the best anime I've seen of all time. Fantastic character, deep and thoroughly established world, and an amazing spectacle/scale as the series unfolds it's a masterpiece to be honest. Apparently deviating off book much like Game of Thrones the handover is seemless and has a fitting end after setting the stakes at a ridiculous level, there's so much to say I could be here all day so I'll round it off by saying a few things, note that the final 6/7 episodes are discounted when watching the Kyoto Saga, secondly and finally definitely give this a watch

Louis Theroux: The Night in Question
(2019)

Difficult to watch
Utterly horrible is the best way to sum up this documentary and in all honesty I could stop there. His fascination with America and its many horrific stories once again proves great subject matter. It's fairly objective which you might not want but does give out a rounded story of the offenders. At times Louis shows his best, catching out Saif who seems genuinely cold and evil. That aside it's a fantastic film that is important to see

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