Films

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

I should start off by saying that this isn’t a review of the film. Personally, I don’t think it’s right that you should write something that could potentially ruin/diminish someone else’s experience with the film. Yes, I have written reviews before, but they were for films that haven’t just come out.

Right, Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) is the latest release from Marvel Studios. For this next bit, I’ve taken the film’s synopsis from IMDb, so I don’t purposely add too much, potentially spoiling stuff. Let me just say, before we get too deep into this, I will say if there is going to be anything spoilerish in the post, to give you the opportunity to skip over it, without seeing the details.

Light years from Earth, 26 years after being abducted, Peter Quill finds himself the prime target of a manhunt after discovering an orb wanted by Ronan the Accuser.

I love the fact that the description of the plot that IMDb gives is vague. To me, that’s just how they should be. I know that when ever I buy a DVD, or a Blu-Ray, I hardly ever look at the back of the box, at least until I’ve actually watched the production.

For me, the beauty of this film was that it included completely new protagonists, new in the sense that they’ve never been seen in cinema, as the main characters, anyway. Many people wouldn’t expect the first instalment of a new franchise to be any good, but it really was!

A bit of back story: I went into this film expecting it to be, how shall we say. not up to scratch with the rest of Marvel’s releases? Honestly, that was what I thought this film was going to be like. Some thing that’s a little bit like The Avengers, but not quite as good. But, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

One of the reasons that I was a little expectant for it to be bad was because of the talking racoon. NON-PLOT SPOILER COMING UP! What’s a racoon? AMIRITE? THAT WAS THE SPOILER From the trailer, and all the publicity, the character made the film look a tad, dare I say, childish? But, once you get into the film (which is practically immediately, by the way) you realize that this doesn’t matter in the slightest. SLIGHT SPOILER? In fact, for me, Rocket was one of the most well-rounded, and most comedic characters in the film. END SPOILER.

For me, most Marvel films that feature a host of ‘main’ characters, often include one that doesn’t really bring much to the table, so to speak. For example, in The Avengers, for me, this character was Captain America. Like really, would the film have been much different if he wasn’t there. Of course, I only use The Avengers as an example as it’s the closest Marvel film to this one, aside from X-Men. I truly believe that GotG doesn’t have this problem. Each of the characters, BE WARNED, CHARACTER SPOILER, even the tree (Groot) was superb, and he says 5 different words in the whole film! END OF THAT ONE. 

I feel that is a testament to the filmmakers, YEP, ANOTHER ONE that they were able to make witty, meaningful conversations that include the character that only knows one phrase. This film includes all the typical Marvel humour, the quick one liners, the visual gags, etc. I don’t want to get super spoilery and quote some, but trust me, they are there. SPOILER BE GONE! 

There are two things for me that really sealed the deal. That made me 100% feel that this was the best Marvel film made. These were MINOR SPOILER Dave Bautista THAT WAS THAT, and the soundtrack.

Let’s start with the first thing on the list, shall we? POTENTIALLY MAJOR CHARACTER SPOILERS. The first time you see Bautista in the film, you get the impression that he’s just another wrestler-turned-actor who can’t really do the latter. But, as the plot progresses, and Drax (Bautista’s character) becomes more involved, you discover that the acting style is perfect for the role, and suits the personality of the character down to a tee. Truly brilliant. I’d absolutely love to see Bautista in more and more films in the future! OKAY, THAT ONE IS DONE.

The second reason that made me fall in love with this film is the soundtrack. It was unreal. The soundtrack is composed a number of 70’s and 80’s classics, that are such a juxtaposition to the movie that they work perfectly. For example MINOR SPOILER. There is a scene right at the beginning of the movie that features Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) exploring an abandoned planet. As you’d expect, the environment is desolate and dark. There are a bunch of alien looking animals walking about the place. Some small, rat looking? things attempt to bite Quill. But then, the incredible track Come and get Your Love, by Redbone, starts playing. Quill picks up one of the rat? things and sings into it like a mic. END SPOILINGS. That was both a brilliant way to introduce the soundtrack, and also a fabulous way to introduce the character.

So yeah, GotG was both far better than expected, but also, I think, one of the best Marvel films made. Like ever.

If you’ve seen the film, hit up them comments and add your opinion! Or even if you haven’t, chat to some people. Be warned, there could be spoilers.

Thanks for reading! ❤


As a side note, I was listening to the soundtrack whilst writing this post. I really is fantastic. Even if you haven’t seen GotG, you can’t help but not love every track. Have a lil’ listen, why don’t ‘cha?

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New Post Type: Difference Between

You know I posted the entry about the new entries that I will be posting, well I’m here again to tell you about one of the new ‘series’ that I’ll be doing.

I call it “Difference Between”, in which I will outline the differences between two things, like the World War Z post I made a while ago. These will typically involve a book and a film, but could potentially be anything. Like the differences between two pieces of software, for example.

I’m currently working on one post of this type to see how it will work, and to see if I should write any more, or leave it alone. Hopefully they work, they’ll be fun to write.

Apocalypse Z

One would expect this to be the same, generic zombie film that has been made a hundred times before. But it’s not. Apocalypse Z was a legitimately a good film.

This film follows the story of a group of mercenaries who have been tasked with entering an infected city, planting a bomb and leaving via an awaiting helicopter. A simple job for a team of highly trained troops. Little do they know that they are being duped and that they where rally never destined to leave the city.

There where plenty of unexpected moments within the film, like the introduction of two characters, and a dog, towards the end of it. That’s something that doesn’t usually happen.

Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t the best zombie flick ever made. The acting wasn’t brilliant, but that can be forgiven when there is a fairly decent plot, can’t it?

I can’t believe the quality of the special effects in this film. For a movie that wasn’t made by a huge corporate production company, this was astounding.

Honestly, I think this film is up there with some of the other, well regarded zombie films. This is a must see for all you zombie fans out there. Well worth a watch, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Parker

This is, in my opinion, one of the best Jason Statham films around. But, I’ve only seen the films that feature him in a role that is not the lead, like Mean Machine and The Expendables, for example.

This film follows the character of Parker, played by Jason Statham, who his contracted to rob a fair. With four other men, Parker sets out, disguised as a vicar, robbing the cash holding room of a town fair. But, on the way back, all doesn’t go according to plan and Parker ends up being left for dead at the side of the road.

If there was one thing that I was shocked by, it would be how violent this film is. For a 15 rated flick, I really wasn’t expecting to see some fairly bloody fights. There’s one bit that is really shocking about half way through, that really wasn’t expected.

There is one part of the film that is never really answered. After the initial heist at the beginning of the film, on of Parker’s associates shoots, what looks like, the back of Parker’s head. But as you can tell, he wasn’t actually killed. As far as I can work out, the only explanation to this is that the man tasked with this job was unable to do it, and shot the ground beside Parker’s head. This is one thing that I think let the film down.

Other than what I have mentioned, this film is pretty damn good. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good action film with brilliant acting and some quite witty moments.

Bedtime Stories

We’ve all seen an Adam Sandler film, and most of us enjoyed it, but thought that it was just too childish and silly. This is still what is to be expected in Bedtime Stories.

Admittedly, this is a Disney film that is primarily aimed at children, but having Sandler in it will undoubtedly attract a wider audience. But despite that, this film is still full of the usual silliness that can be seen in most other Sandler films.

The plot, as like most Adam Sandler films lacks depth and any real meaning. The films follows a character named Skeeter (Sandler) who is the son of the man who onced owned the hotel of which he works. The current owner promised, to Skeeters’ father,  to allow Skeeter to run the hotel. But, as is to be expected, this hasn’t happened. Instead, Skeeter is the Janitor of the hotel, but when he is sent to fix the television in the Boss’s room, he gets offered the chance to become the Managing Director of the Hotel.

Whilst having to babysit his Niece and Nephew, Skeeter realizes that the bedtime stories that he is telling are coming true in real life.* Using this to his full advantage, Skeeter attempts to tell a bedtime story that will allow him to become the Manager of the hotel. **

We are introduced to a pet Hamster named Bugsy in the film. Bugsy is Hamster with unusually large eyes, which is obviously a way for the writers to work in a bunch of gags based upon his eyes just to fill up space in the film. One can imagine the writers thinking; Oh, we need to make this scene a bit longer… hmmmmm. I’ve got it! A joke about the Hamsters eyes! Yes, that’s the ticket. When in reality, these gags just fall flat after the first.

This film is full of the regular Sandler clichés; the silly jokes, Sandler screaming at the top of his lungs, Rob Schneider, Sandler in shorts. So, on the whole, this is just another Adam Sandler film that is nothing special, despite being produced by Disney.

* Cue dramatic music

** Replay said dramatic music

Throwback Thursday

I’m thinking of creating a post on a weekly basis about an old film that I have watched. Like what I have done with World War Z and Movie 43, but old films. It might be good to do one genre per month, making one post each week about the film that I have seen.

I don’t know yet. I want to do something on a regular basis on this blog to “learn the ropes of blogging”, if you will. Or I suppose I could just review any film, be it new or old, each week. I’m not sure.

World War Z: Book or Film

The recent film based on Max Brooks’ book World War Z has sparked some controversy. Many saying that the film did not ‘keep true’ to the novel and did not have any plot related to the book. This is true, there are some small references and nods to the book, but nothing huge plot related. If the film had been titled anything other than World War Z, there would not have been the debate that there currently is.

But, What are the similarities between the book and the film? 

Good Question. Asides from the references that I have made mention to, there really isn’t anything else in the film that is in the book. It seems as though, the name World War Z was chosen to buy into the already existing fanbase. Hardcore fans who had previously read the book long before the film came out where hugely anticipating this, so in that sense, it worked. Let’s look at the references that where in the film:

  • South Korean Doctor – In South Korea, the film tells us a story about a doctor who was sent to look at a patient who was “acting strangely” We see the doctor lean into the patient to hear him breathing before he is bitten. There is also mention to the patient oozing a “black, tar-like liquid” Although this is a direct reference to the book, there are two huge differences. One; this scene is is set in China in the book. Two; it happens right at the very beginning of the book. And I mead RIGHT at the beginning. Straight after the introduction by Max Brooks, this section happens. Where as it is around a third of the way through in the film.
  • Lobo – During the film there was the mention of a weapon named the Lobo. It’s basically a Shovel teamed with an Axe and something that plays quite a large role in the book but is only a passing mention in the film.
  • UN Employee – The main character/narrator of the book is named after the author, Max Boooks. Brooks is a UN Employee who interviews many different people who survived The Zombie War, as Brooks names it. In the film, Brad Pitt plays an employee of the UN but does not interview survivors. He has been tasked of trying to find the source of the virus and, in turn, find a cure. So although this character did play the role of a UN employee, he did not have the same role.

Those are really the only references to the book. The locations that Gerry visits during the film do feature in the book, but not in the way that they are in the film. For example; Brooks does visit Israel, but not to speak to a prisoner. He visits this country simply to look at it and interview some of the survivors.

Now, let’s look at the features of the book that do not appear in the film, and vice versa:

  • Characters – There are a huge amount of characters that are in the book that do not appear in the film. Obviously, this is due to the fact that the book is a series of interviews between survivors, and why these characters could not have appeared in the film. I am not going to write every single character that is not in the film but is in the book, there is simply not enough time. I will just name a few and show that they’re role is within the story. Some of these characters include:
    • Paul Redeker – This character is the creator of the Redeker Plan. He was dubbed ‘heartless’ in the novel because of his intention to sacrifice thousands of humans to eventually save the race. This character was widely unsupported by the general population, but important political figures such as Nelson Mandela stated that “This man will save our people”
    • Dr. Kwang Jingshu – I referenced this character in this post already. Dr. Jingshu is the doctor who identified Patient Zero, the first person who displayed the symptoms of the zombie virus.
    • Queen Elizabeth II – A name that will be familiar to you. Featured in the book, the Queen converts all of her properties into protected areas open to anyone who was able to defend them. This character stayed at Windsor Castle, in her word “To the end”, against the objections of the British Government.
  • Many Locations – There are a huge amount of locations that are visited in the book that are not even mentioned in the film. This is because of the story line that the film took as opposed to the story line of the film.
  • Real World Scenarios – The book goes into great detail of what the world has become during The Zombie War. Really taking into consideration of who each action would effect everything else. There is even an interview with an astronaut who was looking down on the Earth during The War. It mentions how he would just look at how the world was changing and how he was completely powerless to do anything.
    • Paris – This is one story that really stood out to me in the novel. Because Paris is build on a huge network of tunnels, the Undead eventually made their way down there and it was up to the military to get them out when they started to fight back. Brooks wrote that this was one of the worst places to fight zombies because of the darkness and the “waist-deep puddles” He wrote that zombies would just stand in these puddles, waiting for a victim to fall in. I found this story to be really interesting and disturbing at the same time.
    • Reality Show – There was one more story in this novel that I found really interesting and one that I have read, and listened to, several times. It involve a rich man who has fortified his house to stop the Undead from invading. He has also invited some of the rich and famous to come stay with him. He has done this because he has found a way to make money from the war. Through multiple hidden cameras in the house, he has set up a type of reality show that is broadcasted over the internet. I don’t want to spoil how this story ends because it is just too brilliant. But it really shows what people would do when they are in need of help and are in deep danger.

If you are planning to watch this film but haven’t read the book yet. Firstly; sorry, I have just spoiled a lot of things for you. And secondly; watch the film first before you read the book. I promise that if you read the book and have it fresh in you’re mind when you watch the film you will be disappointed. It’s far better to go into this film with no preconceptions of what it is going to be about, or what you are wanting to see in the film based on what you have read in the book.

Overall, I would recommend reading the book rather than seeing the film. This is because you get far more content in the book and it also goes into a lot more detail that is just not achieved in the film.