Review: Baby Driver (2017)

Director: Edgar Wright

Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx and Eliza Gonzalez.

So Baby Driver is about  getaway driver Baby (Elgort) who constantly listens to music to drown out the ringing in his ears from the tinnitus he suffered from an accident when he was a child. Baby works for Doc (Spacey) and his revolving door crew of bank robbers. Baby wants out though and is set on leaving it all behind after one last drive.

I’m a big fan of Edgar Wright, all his movies take you on a wild ride with a unique and fresh style to it and Baby Driver is no exception. I had a big stupid grin on my face from ear to ear the whole way through this movie. 

The car chases in this movie are incredibly impressive for a number of reasons the most important of which is that they’re incredibly well shot. In 2017 where there have been thousands of car chase scenes throughout the history of cinema, to make them seem fresh and keep them interesting is definitely no easy feat and Baby Driver features some of the best I have ever seen.

the chemistry between the cast was something really special too, it was great to see the way Baby played off the various members of the crew. The chemistry between Elgort and Lily James was great and really sold their love story even if it did feel kind of rushed, they sold it so well you just don’t care because you just want them to make it. The most fascinating relationships though is the kinda triangle of Baby, Doc and Joseph, (Baby’s foster father played by CJ Jones). It’s an interesting triangle because you have the very real relationship between Baby and Joe where you can feel the love between them. Joe is an aging, ailing guy and Baby takes care of him, but Joe isn’t a fool and knows that Baby is in some bad shit and wants nothing more than for him to be safe. The scenes between to two of them are incredible and beautiful. Then on the other side you have the relationship of Baby and Doc where Doc sees himself as a father figure to Baby and Baby just want out and away.

This was such a fun, action packed, funny, entertaining I know I’m using words here that pretty much say the same thing but the entertainment value of this movie is such a mix of everything you could want. I would have to sit here and think hard to find something in this movie I didn’t like or that didn’t work for me but would be a waste of fucking time this movie is just too much fun. I give Baby Driver a 9.5/10.

Oh shit, I also wanted to give props to Ryan Heffington who was the choreographer of the movie helping the actors time their movements to the music and he did an incredible job. The way the music is used in this movie is just a delight to watch and it was timed perfectly.

Have you seen the movie? What did you think. Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and until next time, take it easy. 

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Review: Wonder Woman  (probable spoilers) 

“I just watched a good DC movie!” That’s what some random guy excitedly said to me and my mates when he was leaving the movie. I have to say I agreed with his excitement and relief. I’ve never hidden the fact I’ve been critical of the DCEU thus far. None of the other movies really worked for me, they had more issues than they should have and didn’t quite hit the standard I expected from them. But just when I was ready to give up hope Wonder Woman comes along as the shining example of hope.

Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot as the titular hero along with Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, David Thewlis as Sir Patrick Morgan/ Ares and is directed by Patty Jenkins.

The movie opens in present time with Diana Prince working at the Louvre and receiving a gift from Bruce Wayne, the photograph that was seen in Batman v Superman. Upon seeing this Diana reminisces about her life growing up on Themyscira and training to be a great warrior. Upon the sudden arrival of Steve Trevor, a battle follows and the Amazon’s learn of the great war that is being waged around the world. Convinced it is the work of Ares the God of War, Diana the princess of the Amazon’s feels it’s her duty to venture out to the world to destroy Ares which will end the war.

The movie is beautifully shot, Patty Jenkins was a fantastic choice to helm this project. There was so much riding on this movie working and she knocked it out of the park. The story flows really well and was never dull. They seamlessly wove together this narrative making Diana a naive, fish-out-of-water type while still making her a strong, intelligent bad ass. In that there’s a constant struggle where Diana is looking at the world as it should be, as she’d like it to be and everybody just accepting the world for what it is. This shows the inspiring nature of the character of Wonder Woman where everybody else is ready to give up or concede to being helpless, she will always fight. She will always charge head first in to save anyone and everyone.

There isn’t much negative I can say about this movie, it really is quite excellent. One thing that left me with questions though and this is a big spoiler, don’t read the rest of this paragraph if you haven’t seen the movie…. So Diana’s mission is to kill Ares so that his influence on man will stop and the war will end. Then after an awesome battle (and it is awesome) Ares is struck down and the war ends. But historically there are many more wars to come. So either that means that Ares supposed influence meant nothing or his influence is eternal and killing him changes nothing. Whatever the case of the future, the movie wraps up really satisfyingly and deeply emotional. 

This is an incredibly important achievement in Hollywood.  First of all its the first successful attempt at a female superhero movie which shows Studios that when made right, people will show up to see women kicking arse. Also this was the first time ever a female director cracked $100 million opening weekend for the US box office and that is an incredible achievement and is guaranteed the first of many many more to come. With so many incredibly talented female directors working today I look forward to seeing them get more opportunities like this, this is truly their time now. I give Wonder Woman and 8.5/10.

What did you think of Wonder Woman. Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and until next time, take it easy. 

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Review: The Most Hated Woman in America (probable spoilers)

Director: Tim O’Haver

Starring: Melissa Leo, Josh Lucas, Adam Scott, Juno Temple and Vincent Kartheiser 

The Most Hated Woman in America is based on the true story of Madalyn Murray O’Hair (Leo), an atheist activist who fought and won for bible readings to be banned in public schools and ultimately founded the American Atheists organisation. The main focus on the movie focuses on the kidnapping of Madalyn as well as her son Jon (Michael Chernus) and granddaughter Robin (Juno Temple) in 1995 while flashing back to the notable points in her career.

This was a really interesting concept to put out a story of someone who had such strong opinions and her fight to keep religion from being forced on people, especially children. Madalyn Murray O’Hair is also a very interesting and complex person to explore and ultimately this movie hits the bullet points but doesn’t really go deep into the meat of things. In terms of storytelling it more just shows you things she did and things that happened to her instead of really digging in and making you care. It shows you her caring nature of helping people in need and taking in people who would usually be shunned while she was also involved in some shady dealings and exploiting people for money. The motivations and inner turmoil of these decisions would have been great for them to dig in to but I never felt it.

The performances were fine considering there wasn’t much required of the actors really. The best performance I felt was the only person who really seemed to have issues and inner turmoil. That was Vincent Kartheiser as Madalyns first son William and Robin’s  father. He was fantastic as a man torn between being a husband, father and son. Torn between his overbearing mother and his duties to his family and his ultimate loss of it all.

In the end this movie was fine but it could have been great. There was a lot that could have been delved in to but was in the end skimmed over. It’s performances and concept were enough to keep me there to the end but it’s not something I think everyone needs to see. I give The Most Hated Woman in America a 6/10

Have you seen the movie? Are you interested to? What did you think? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and till next time, take it easy.

Review: Iron Fist (probable spoilers) 

Iron Fist is is the latest series in Marvel’s Netflix shared universe and the final piece of the puzzle before the all in Defenders series coming later this year. I loved both seasons of Daredevil and both Jessica Jones and Luke Cage so I was really pumped about this series coming out. I wasn’t incredibly familiar with the character but I knew he got his powers by defeating a dragon in battle so I was really jazzed to see this get really weird and out there.

Firstly I just want to start with the ‘whitewashing’ controversy which I find to be completely ridiculous because there’s a big difference between the racism that is whitewashing and just a potentially missed opportunity. The character of Iron Fist has always been portrayed in the comics as white so it’s not a racist move to cast a white guy. There’s nothing wrong with having an issue with the casting if you don’t think someone’s right for a role and in this case that should be the only argument I feel.

Now onto my thoughts on the series. Iron Fist is about a man, Danny Rand, who returns to New York after 15 years of being presumed dead. When he was 10 years old he was on a plane flying through the Himalayas with his parents when a crash claims the lives of all but himself. Raised in a monetary of monks in the mystical K’un-Lun where he earned the highest honey of becoming the legendary ‘Iron Fist’. Upon returning he realises the corporation his father created and the city are all in turmoil and he may just be the only one who can save everything. I’ll come right out now and say I dug it. I thought it was a pretty good show. I didn’t love it like I did with the other shows but I didn’t think it was terrible like most critics are saying. It definitely doesn’t come equipped out swinging like,  Lloyd the other shows. It doesn’t hook you instantly. It takes until nearly half way through the series to really get things going and that’s a bad thing. The first four or five episodes could have been compressed down to about two episodes and it would have made things a lot neater and would have made room for things that were completely left out. The kind of reversed what Luke Cage did. Where Luke Cage started off really strong then started to get a bit weak towards the end, Iron Fist starts off weak then finds its strength at the end.

Along with the slow start for the series I feel like Finn Jones took a few episodes to really find his stride as the character. He wasn’t bad in the beginning  (although that’s an unpopular opinion) but it just felt to me like he didn’t know what he was doing with the character. Other than that though every other character came to play in this series. The highlights for me were Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing who is the sidekick/ love interest of Danny Rand who was incredible and captivating every time she was on screen. I also really enjoyed Tom Pelphrey as Ward Meachum who was really interesting as a highly tortured character. The action scenes also got progressively better episode to episode. The fights weren’t quite as raw and jaw dropping as Daredevil but there was some damn impressive choreography going into some of these fights. 

Something that was really a shame was that there was never really an origin for the character. There’s a lot of talk about K’un-Lun and what the Iron Fist is supposed to do but they spend maybe 10 or 15 minutes of screen time through the whole series there out of 13 hours. I was waiting and waiting to see the show down between Danny Rand and the dragon and it never came. There was so much that could have been delved into there but so much time was wasted stretchier g out moments that didn’t matter. One of the great things about the other Marvel Netflix shows is that they have long scenes of really intense dialog and it really locks you into the characters but in this show those scenes just weren’t as engaging.

Overall, despite its flaws I really did care about the characters and mission they were on. The writing was at times something that really let the show down and kept it from being something great. I would say if you’re really keen on watching it, stick it out through those first few episodes otherwise I think a lot of people are just going to fall off. I give Iron Fist a 6.5/10

What did you think, have you watched Iron Fist? What did you think? Do you agree with the critics? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and till next time, take it easy.

Review: The Nice Guys (2016)

Director: Shane Black

Starring: Russel Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice

Holland March (Gosling) a private investigator hired to investigate a sighting of a recently deceased porn star and he has a hunch that there’s a connection with a missing girl. However that missing girl doesn’t feel like being found so hires enforcer Jackson Healy (Crowe) to stop March. When Healy finds out that his client is in danger he enlists the help of March to find her and keep her safe with the help of March’s daughter, Holly. 

The chemistry between the two leads is undeniable and watching them together is truly a delight. All the characters work well together in the movie. Shane Black has his own distinct style with his writing and it comes through in full force for this movie. The way the story unfolds and comes together, sometimes in surprising ways, really keeps you locked in to the movie.

the movie is set in 1977 and it definitely has a 70’s feel to it. The set pieces, the clothing and the lingo are all very distinctive of the era and it makes for a really fun backdrop to the story.

There aren’t many negatives I could give for this movie, the main one though is that Ryan Gosling walks a fine line between being a bumbling idiot and a brilliant detective and at times can really stretch how far he can go with each, but that’s a minor issue.

Overall this is a really fun movie that keeps you locked in from beginning to end. The action is incredibly enjoyable to watch and the chemistry between the characters is sharp and engaging. I give The Nice Guys a 9/10.

What do you think, have you seen The Nice Guys? Let me know what you thought in the comments. Thanks for reading and till next time, take it easy.

Review: Logan (probable spoilers)

Director: James Ma gold

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook and Dafne Keen

When I was 11 years old, yeah 11 years old, X-men was released, the first live action telling of the mutant super heroes. I was blown away by that movie, I absolutely loved it. It was really the dawning of a new age of comic book movies. Not only did it announce that movies based on comic books can be serious in tone but also have a point, have something relevant to say. Through the following years the X-men movies have had their ups and downs. Some movies have been damn near masterpieces, and others have fallen kind of flat. Throughout all of these years there has been a consistent though, Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine. His solo outings haven’t always been met with praise but Hugh has never turned in a bad performance for this character. Now here I am at 28 years of age, talking about his last time putting on the claws, the last run for Wolverine.
The opening scene to this movie makes things very clear, this is not your typical X-men movie. Logan wakes up drunk in the back of his limo to a group of criminals trying to steal his tyres. This scene is brutal, it is violent. This is the Wolverine people had been waiting 17 years to see. In its simplest form, this movie is a road trip of Logan and an ailing Professor X taking a little girl Laura aka X-23 aka Logans kind of genetic daughter to a safe place where the corporation that created her, can’t get to her. That’s the through line story but what this movie is truly about is family. The relationship between Professor X and Logan is the big emotional drive of the movie. The showcase of two of the most powerful people (in their own ways) who have ever lived are now old, broken and beaten down by what the world has become.

What I liked:

Things I liked about this movie are so plentiful I’ll list them off in no particular order. Firstly it was the violence. This is a character who has lived 200 years of violence and rage and that’s what you want to showcase in this final movie. Every action scen in this movie is absolutely top notch. The incredible reveal that Professor X is the one who killed the X-men and probably others was a very powerful moment which ultimately led into his death. I loved little moments like Logan’s claws not coming out properly and the fact X-23 has feet claws. The most gutting moment definitely is Logan’s eventual death. In this last movie I knew going in that he would most likely not be surviving this movie and what a way to go out. It’s a very touching moment that brings a tear to your eye. The beautiful imagery is another huge plus for this movie, the way it’s shot is just stunning. The pacing of the film is something that some people have had a problem with, there are definitely moments where everything slows down for a while and I can understand complaints, but it’s in these moments where the characters are truly built and it makes the exciting action pay off that much more.

Things I didn’t like:

There’s not really anything to say here. There isn’t really anything I didn’t like. There’s moments I wasn’t sure of at first like the reveal of X-24 which is just a straight up clone of Wolverine but ultimately I think they were handled well and didn’t detract at all from the movie.

All in all I loved this movie and strongly urge anyone to go see it. Earlier I mentioned some X-men movies came close to being masterpieces, well this movie in my opinion lands there as all masterpiece. It’s an epic, emotional story that will forever be remembered as a straight up incredible movie. I give Logan a 9.9

Thanks so much for reading, have you seen Logan? What did you think? Let me know in the comments. I’m about to post something else regarding reviews so please have a look at that too. Till next time, take it easy.

Review: Trainspotting  (1996)

With T2: Trainspotting hitting theatres soon I thought I would do my first ever movie review on the first movie since I just watched it again the other night. Enjoy.

Director: Danny Boyle

Starring: Ewan McGregor as Mark Renton, Ewen Bremner as Spud, Johnny Miller as Sick Boy, Robert Carlyle as Begbie and Kelly Macdonald as Diane.

Based on the book from author Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting is a movie about a group of friends in Edinburgh, Scotland, most of whom are addicted to heroin. The plot centres on Renton (McGregor) and his struggles with trying to escape his life of drug addiction whilst also trying to break away from his unstable group of friends.

Before the other night I hadn’t seen this movie in many many years. I was probably 11 or so when I first saw it. I remember thinking how weird it was to see Obi Wan Kenobi like this. Its always interesting to look back at a more adult themed movie you say you liked as a kid without truly being able to understand or identify fully what was happening and coming back to this movie with adult eyes certainly didn’t disappoint. There are scenes in this movie that certainly hit hard, especially as a father to a young child. 

The performances in this movie are fantastic. The cast do a superb job of portraying the desperation of an addiction and the twisted justifications for their criminal actions to support their habits. All the main characters in the movie have their own character arc though some are much more subtle than others. Rentons arc is the most significant as a man who is realising it’s time to move on from the chaotic, unchanging influences in his life.

Outside of the performances, the direction by Danny Boyle is what brings this movie to life. The way the movie is shot really highlights the grim and suffocating bubble that addicts live in. There are also certain sequences that visually show the mindset of the characters whether they be in a heroin induced haze or coping with the hell of withdrawal. 

Some negatives about the movie are that at times its hard to separate the fact that these characters are mostly u likable because they’re a bunch of shit bags. There are moments where characters go through some tragedies and while I feel the pain of it,  I couldn’t have any sympathy for the character experiencing it.

Overall this is a fantastic movie that does a great job of sucking you into this world you would never in a million years want to be part of. I give Trainspotting an 8/10 

As I said this was my first ever movie review if you don’t count bullshit ones for school I put no effort into. In front of my class I got up and reviewed The Ladies Man Starring SNL alum. Tim Meadows. I might re- review that one day. Just a thought. 

Thanks for reading this, those that got this far. Take it easy and and keep it sleazy.