So Long Solo

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I did a mad dash to the cinema the other week to catch Star Wars’ Solo before it ended its run.

Overall, it was an OK film.¬†Alden Ehrenreich did well as the young Han, and as the film progressed he slowly developed Solo’s customary swagger. It was interesting to see how he came to be named Solo, and how he got into the life he did, and the film made for a nice little background story. So you didn’t miss key moments in his past that link back to the original franchise, the original Star Wars strain would play, you know, as an annoying “hey, this moment is important!” to the audience¬†ūüôĄ.

I guess I’ve been spoiled by the likes of Avengers and Deadpool, where the humour is apparent and frequent (or in the case of Deadpool, thick and fast), and I forget that other science fiction films are less in your face. As is the case with the Star Wars franchise, where action and storytelling are at the forefront, and the occasional humour elicits the meerest of smirks.¬†This was true of Solo, so if you’re after a laugh-out-loud kinda film, this ain’t it.

That being said, it’s an enjoyable addition to the franchise, though I can see why it may have stalled at the cinema. It’s a slow runner of a film, and to be honest, we’re being a bit saturated with Star Wars film of late, what with the trilogy. I know the same is more than true of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (3 films a year y’all!), but as I said before, they’re a different kind and calibre of film, which is possibly why ‘offshoot’ films continue to do so well (though time will tell with AntMan and the Wasp).

Still, I’m glad I caught it, but I hope they stop and have a think before releasing the Boba Fett film they’ve had in the pipeline, as I have a feeling that could do worse at the box office.

As a Marvel¬†side note. I’m happy to report that the Paramount channel has come to UK TV (including Freeview). Why does that warrant mentioning? Because it brought with it Marvel’s Agent Carter.

Set shortly after the war, and Captain America becoming a popsicle, it sees Peggy Carter relegated to secretarial duties in the SSR, and having to deal with the misogynistic headache that comes from that. Then Howard Stark is accused of treason, and he drags Peggy into the fray to help clear his name, along with the help of his butler, Jarvis. I enjoyed the first episode, and it was cool to see where ‘Jarvis’ came from. Hopefully Paramount will see fit to run the first season in its entirety, and the second season quickly after, but it’s a shame it’s another Marvel TV series that got cancelled too soon.

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Dead Awesome

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It was with a bit of trepidation that I went to go see Deadpool 2 at the cinema the other week. Apparently, the first showing of the film to test audiences didn’t go down too well, and there ended up being a load of reshoots. Usually, for a film, this news does not bode well for its quality.

However, it turns out the reshoots were just to add more screen time for Cable and Domino, and that the initial showings were well received (the joys of skewed/fake news!), and the film I went to see was just as hilariously violent, chaotic, and fourth-wall-breaking as the first.

I gave both¬†Avengers: Infinity War, and Deadpool 2, 10/10 on IMDB, but I think¬†Deadpool 2 just squeaks into the lead at the decimal point level for me. The laughs came fast, it didn’t take itself seriously (quite the opposite), and I crushed a bit too hard on Cable. Plus, the post-credit scenes were quite cathartic in a couple of places for Marvel fans like myself.

In other Marvel-related news this week, I got a free £10 from PayPal to add to my wallet, and this time I bothered to spend it, getting the first Avengers film on Google Play. Sweet!

Here Kitty!

monochrome-3199102_1280.jpgI completely forgot to say that I went and saw Black Panther at the end of last month.

I enjoyed the film a lot, though I’m not sure it lives up to the hype of ‘best ever Marvel film’. For me, it was good, but not that fantastic, and in my mind, it doesn’t beat the first Avengers film, or the most recent Thor film.

Still, I can see why the African American/black community has been so excited about this film. In displaying the cultures of Wakanda, it really excels, and the African costumes and culture on display were a treat for the eye, and so too was how they were¬†interwoven into the technically¬†advanced nation. Native art and tech side by side. The majority black cast proved, without a shadow of a doubt, that they can carry a mainstream film without issue, and with utter presence. Also, the female leads certainly deserve the tag ‘fierce’.

Although I may have not been entirely blown away by the narrative, I highly recommend this movie, and I certainly hope there are many more films like this one. There needs to be/should be more mainstream black-cast-lead films, and Black Panther proves there are no excuses for¬†why there shouldn’t be. Too much time has been allowed to pass since the Blade trilogy, so here’s to Black Panther 2; pronto!

Jumanji!

the-1865639_1280.jpgNot hard to guess what this post is about! Yep, after the false start, where I ended up watching Star Wars due to a packed screening, I finally managed to catch my originally intended film, Jumanji.

Overall, it was an enjoyable movie, with some laugh-out-loud moments (though tbh if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen most of them). Despite it being a fun film, I still don’t get why it was more packed out than Star Wars, but each to their own I guess.

What always amazes me though is just how good an actor Dwayne Johnson is, especially when it comes to comedy. Compared to other wrestlers (or muscle-bound hulks) who have gone into acting, with varying degrees of success, he has a remarkable natural talent for it. Hopefully, he won’t quit Hollywood for a try at the White House.

Now I’m just counting down the days till Black Panther.

Thor-some Sauce

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I managed to go and see Thor: Ragnarok the other night, and boy was it awesome. The laughs came thick and fast, and there was plenty of action. The Thor series definitely¬†went back to its roots, but this time without the tepid love action courtesy of Jane’s inclusion, which I always felt was a bit weak and shoe-horned in.

Honestly, I would have given Thor: Ragnarok 10 out of 10 on IMDB if it weren’t for two minor things. First,¬†Cate Blanchett’s¬†Hela was rather hammy (why do women badies have to chew up the stage so much?). Secondly, Bruce Banner was more ‘bumbling’ than he has been in the past. That being said, if I could’ve, I would’ve given this a 9.5 as these are pretty minor gripes compared to the film as a whole, which was fantastic.

Overall, I think this is one of the best entries into the MCU, beaten only by the original Avengers film. Actually, they may even be level-pegging. So if you haven’t seen this instalment, do so. You won’t be disappointed!

Popcorn for the ‘Little Grey Cells’

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So, somehow I missed out on seeing Blade Runner 2049 in the cinemas. Is it me, or was its run in British Cinemas way shorter than usual? Anyway, it’s no bad thing, as it’s been years since I watched the first, and I would’ve liked to have seen it again before watching the new one. I’m sure there’ll be a double box set out sometime in the future. However, with having missed Blade Runner 2049, I was in need of something else to see at the cinema, and urgently, as my mate’s free, Sweet Sunday, tickets were due to expire.

There was Thor: Ragnarok, but as that’d only been out for about a week, I figured it would still be packed, so we (and by ‘we’, I mean ‘I’) opted for Murder on the Orient Express. Mainly because the poster showed it to be a rather star-studded film. Plus, although I think I’ve seen one of the story’s previous incarnations, like Blade Runner, I had no recollection¬†of what¬†transpired, so I could go see the film with my brain a spoiler-free zone.

Looking at the reviews of the film on IMDB, people seem to be pretty bent out of shape over the fact that it was a remake, and harp on about not needing another one. Fair enough, but as there are already several versions out there, what’s one more? There has been one other film (1974), and two TV versions (2001 & 2010) of the story, and if someone¬†hasn’t seen any of these adaptations, or if, like me, can’t remember what happened if they have, then another remake is fine. And let’s be honest, Poirot is one of those series that gets a rehash every few years with a new lead. Moreover, I don’t hear people getting their underwear in a bunch over the various Sherlock remakes that keep getting churned out. So live and let watch I say.

Overall, I found the film quite enjoyable. It was a slow, methodical burner, rather than an epic film, but then that’s what you get from the material, and given that everyone¬†was stuck on a train, it had a somewhat claustrophobic feel to it. Additionally, although I’ve grown up with David Suchet as Poirot, I didn’t find watching Kenneth Branagh in the role too jarring. Plus, his moustache was way more epic than Suchet’s. I did have an inkling as to who the murder could’ve been about halfway through, and as it turned out, my guess was right. Whether that was good ol’ Belgian detective work on my part, or a long-forgotten¬†neuron firing, I’ll never know. So ignore¬†the bar-humbug nay-sayers. If you’re looking for a quiet film to go see on a rainy afternoon, then this will fit the bill nicely.

 

Brollies Up: It’s Kingsman Time

Thanks to my mate’s chocolate addiction, I was able to nab a couple of free cinema tickets through Sweet Sundays. So, of course, I had to use them to go and see Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

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I have to say, the critics have been unduly…well…critical. The film was a hoot and a half, and I certainly didn’t notice its over two hours run time. Ok, it wasn’t as good as the first, but then what sequel ever is? Still, it definitely doesn’t deserve the mauling it’s gotten from the pole-up-their-backsides-critics. Apparently, there’s going to be a third film, rounding off the trilogy, and I’m so up for that. Also, the film had over an hour’s footage cut from it, so I’ve got my fingers crossed for an extended director’s cut. Yep, I would happily sit through four hours of Kingsman, so the film couldn’t have been that bad. I sat through over two hours of Transformers: Age of Extinction, after which¬†I vowed never to do that again, and I haven’t. The Last Knight be damned!

I have to say, up until Kingsman, I don’t think I’ve actually seen Colin Firth in a movie. The films he’s usually in aren’t really my thing, namely period dramas, or chick-flicks. So having seen him in the two films has made me realise what a great actor he is, especially in the sequel. He has the ability, with barely a change in expression, to go from someone who looks like a fragile, doddery old man, to an avenging kick-ass hero. It’s oh so subtle, but oh so obvious.

Also, how have I never heard of Pedro Pascal before?¬†I mean Agent Whiskey…DA!-AMN! Now I get the whole women crushing on cowboys thing [insert crude jokes about whips and being lassoed here]. Anyway, getting back on track, not to be too spoilery, but his character deserved way better.

In conclusion: Go see this movie! It has action from the very start (with Matthew Vaughn’s slickly¬†choreographed¬†fight scenes taking centre stage as per usual), humour, unnecessarily attractive cowboys, and Elton John. If you haven’t seen the original, see that first. It’s bloody hysterical¬†(if you can get past¬†Samuel L. Jackson’s annoying lisp), and will set things up nicely.

Lastly…. Damn you “Take Me Home, Country Roads”! Damn you to hell!