24 April 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron in 100 Words

Director - Joss Whedon
Cast - Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner

Avengers Assemble was the first time I thought I saw a comic book truly given life on film.

I was wrong. 

20 April 2015

The Signal (2015) in 100 Words

Director - William Eubank
Cast -  Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp and Laurence Fishburne

The Signal has ideas of grandeur. It looks impressive, but the final third drains if of all momentum, ultimately ending flatly and frustratingly incomplete.

14 April 2015

Marvel's Daredevil

Marvel have been making TV shows for a little while now, but neither Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Agent Carter have given me the impetus to jump in and watch the small-screen side of the Marvel Universe. Similarly, Netflix and other streaming services have barely registered on my radar. But the release of Daredevil changed all that. Not only did I have to make sure I had the service available; I knew this would be the first TV show that I would binge on. It just needed to live up to the hype.

"In a survey conducted by Netflix in February 2014, 73% of people define binge-watching as “watching between 2-3 episodes of the same TV show in one sitting.”"- Binge-watching, Wikipedia.

Going by that my wife and I didn't binge...we gorged. And it was delicious.

10 April 2015

John Wick (2015)

Director - Chad Stahelski and David Leitch
Cast - Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo and Willem Dafoe

100 word reviews provide a challenge I relish, condensing my thoughts and feelings into a digestible spoiler free experience for you.

Sorry, but this can't be a 100 word review. I can't be as succinct as the main character of what is my favourite action film since 2008's Taken. It's too damn good!

The main reason is Keanu Reeves, perfectly cast as the legendary contract killer John Wick. He's provided with ample reason to stylishly work his way - via bullet to the face - through a large amount of bad guys. For a 50 year old he's in fantastic shape, summoning up his Matrix skills (one of the directors was his Neo stunt double) to be really damn entertaining. Each action sequence has been crafted by a team who really understand what they're up to. Shots track the action and don't cut too quickly. You can see who is doing what and it's a lot of fun. 

The world this story of hitmen and gangsters is set in is shown and not told. You can imagine every character continuing on with their lives just off screen. We don't need to be hit over the head with details and origins when we get everything we need. Sure it's a bit clunky at times, and I wish the final fight had a bit more too it, but I was so entertained that I let those things go with ease.

One point I need to make is that it's brilliant to see the protagonist just get stuck in. He isn't talking, or shooting people in the chest when he should be head-shotting them. An applaudable lack of tossing about.

Never was a more deserving bunch of bad guys shot in the face. John Wick is a must-see. I've already seen it twice and will do again.

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