REVIEWs

Baywatch


Almost drowning in the depths of mediocrity is Baywatch, another TV series to film adaptation, albeit one we didn’t ask for. The ridiculousness of the series translates to film very well, with eye candy and banter to spare. It doesn’t quite reach the depths of some other films in its niche that do it better but this funnyvaliant effort succeeds in earning a sequel.

Enjoyabilty :⭐⭐⭐⭐

Star Rating :⭐⭐⭐

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REVIEWs

Wonder Woman


Wonder Woman is a triumph-it succeeds in being a good film and a good comic book movie. Props goes to the screen writer for creating a story that has something poignant to say about war and director for a visual aesthetic and tone that brings it to life.This success not only saves the dying DCEU it has fans eager for a sequel!

Enjoyabilty :⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Star Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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REVIEWs

Guardians of The Galaxy :Volume 2


Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is an altogether different beast from its first outing. This episode explores the characters deeper, fleshing them out further and more intricately in ways we can appreciate stakes when danger arrives from scene to scene. Many films claim to be studies about family but GotG successfullyachieves this here in a visually vibrant and masterfully musical action adventure. 

Enjoyabilty :⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Star Rating : β­β­β­β­β­

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REVIEWs

King Arthur Legend of The sword


King Arthur legend of The Sword is a film you want to be brilliant, given it hasn’t been touched since Clive Owen’ outing 13 years ago and had the opportunity to be a renaissance for Arthur the way Christopher Nolan was for Batman but Guy Ritchie falls short.
The problem isn’t in the visuals, soundtrack or cast, its in the writing and directing Too many pivotal moments are cut short in favour of stylistic glamour-telling from montage to montage rather than showing. Its an age old mistake that truly robs an otherwise entertaining and interesting film with great performances.

Enjoyabilty:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Star Rating: β­β­β­

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REVIEWs

Β Wonder Woman β­Β πŸ™…πŸ»



Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that’s raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.


Director: Patty Jenkins

Music composed by: Rupert Gregson-Williams

Screenplay: Geoff JohnsAllan Heinberg

This review CONTAINS SPOILERS and is broken down into the 5 main elements that made Wonder Woman wonderful!
1.Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot is given a good script to work with. Your actors and actresses can only work with what they are given and it’s especially hard work polishing a turd no matter how talented you are because a turd is a turdπŸ’©. A turd this script is not. 

Great actors salvage bad scripts and they shine with brilliant scripts. Gal Gadot shines in a role she is indisputably so well cast for, it’s hilarious to think anyone ever doubted her.

She elevates moments with delivery that makes you experience what the character is feeling. We resonate with the character she’s bringing to life and forget that she, gadot,  is actually there, this is all Diana of Themiyscira and we the audience go on this journey with her. 

We experience all the joy and wonder (pun intended πŸ˜‰ ) of discovering powers, testing limits and running into danger and Gadot does this believably so that it’s never oldhat or run of the mill but genuinely novel and exhilarating. 

2. A simple story

Often at times complexity of story is favoured instead of a simple one that can be layered contextually with complexity. Batman V Superman tried to be too many things to too many people, exploring too many themes and struggled under its own weight to bring all of these stories to fruition. It’s a beautiful film in many regards but is remembered for its unnecessary complexity that shifts vital focus from character development.

Wonder Woman like Batman V Superman is also adapted from the comics with 75 years of history under her belt and has been waiting to hit the big screen for nearly a century. Diana has various origin stories hailing from various runs in the comics from different writers but they are all weaved together in a clever way in the film that is simple and allows a coerant story structure whilst honoring it’s roots. It’s straight forward, refreshing story telling. The DCEU doesn’t take precedant,  there is no extended universe world building here, the main focus is our heroine and it pays off.

3.Thematic Relevance

I am always impressed when a film doesn’t bash people over the head with themes but rather slots theme into scenes to be paid attention to. Sometimes themes are the suttle under-current that builds to a crescendo to compliment and season the story being told and at other times its more aparent. In this film we get both; the theme of war being bad is explored; it is never glorified, never glamorised but rather lamented upon, our titular heroine, vocal about the horror of war and her determination to bring a definitive end to it. How important then that its setting is during world war 1,The Great War. 

The metaphor doubles up here because war is actually personified in this film, Ares is the actual god of war and is orchestrating, the great war, he could have named it himself it’s so on the nose but deft at the same time and Diana is out to show him that he isn’t great and neither is what he inspires.

Diana embodies the best of her mentor and her mother and these sides show throughout; the warrior and the regent, the strong woman and the compassionate carer; she is versatile and she is both. A description of modern woman if there ever was one. A powerful stand out scene is where she steps out onto no-mans-land and charges forward, drawing fire so that the men can gain ground. It’s awe inspiring.

4.Character 

Diana of Themiyscira is a driven character with nobel motivations that aren’t just paper thin super hero cliche, it’s genuine and earned statement and you believe her.

Gadot makes these motivations tangible by selling it in her performance; the innocence of the princess is balanced well with her ferocity as a warrior; two edges of the same sword, ‘The God-Killer’, which she is.

5.Tone

The film for all intents and purposes is a war film, it’s dismal, sad and grimey,  at least it should be in this well executed period piece. However, glum it is not. Wonder Woman is this gleaming light in an otherwise hopeless and dark world destined to ruin itself.  The film is hopeful, positive and uplifting without wallpapering over  the realities of war and it’s destructive wrath but has a conversation, literally and thematically which makes the film, poignant because it has something relevant and profound to say. 

The tonal elements of romance between Diana and Steve are well earned and invested in due to good writing, very good acting and palpable chemistry.  Moments of hilarity are welcome because they are not forced but welcome.

The colour pallet of the entire film is balanced and not brooding all the time, a welcome departure from former DCEU film entries. This film is dark when it needs to be and at other times light and beautiful.

The soundtrack helps this good movie become a great movie in so many places thanks to some inspired musical scoring.

Final Thoughts 

Wonder Woman, like Batman and Superman, is a monumental character, a huge figure in pop culture but unlike those two, who’ve had various cinematic outings and even the luxury of reboots(some less successful than others), Wonder Woman has never had her story told cinematically. We can now argue that we’ll never have it told so well again. Patty Jenkins has set the bar very high, directing up a storm and delivering to the screen a memorable film full of emotional heft, engaging story and action to spare. It is by no means a perfect film but it’s definitely close. Easily a rewatchable classic , Wonder Woman has finally taken her place in the pantheon of superhero cinema and in the process has given the DCEU a new lease of life. It’s not an exageggeration to say grandmothers will watch this with their daughters and grandaughters and win more fans clamouring for a truly deserved follow up outing. I cannot wait. πŸ™Œ

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REVIEWs

Iron Β FistπŸ‘ŠπŸ”₯


When Danny Rand was 10-years old, he survived a mysterious plane crash that claimed the lives of his extremely wealthy parents. Rescued by warrior monks, Danny grew up in the of city of K’un-Lun, where he endured harsh conditions, but also trained to be a fierce warrior. Years later, Danny returns home to New York, where he wants to reconnect with his past and take his rightful place at his family’s company, which is being run by his father’s former business partner. Danny hopes to restore his family legacy by defeating the people who threaten it.

*This review contains spoilers*

Top Ten great things about Iron Fist 


1. Finn Jones

Finn Jones plays Danny Rand, and conveys child-like innocence and naivety that reflects his sheltered upbringing in K’un-Lun,  a frailty that his counterparts (Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Daredevil) while honorable and great in their own respects don’t have,  being far from sheltered. It’s a great foil for the impending Defenders team up. 

Danny Rand is an honest person but this character trait gets him into trouble. That coupled with his tantrums and impulsiveness can make him as a character unlikeable but his better side often shines through. 
2. Iron Fist

The Iron Fist ability is unique and incredible when it’s used onscreen and is always the tipping point in any fight. The only real complaint is that it just wasn’t used enough but we’ll put that down to experience and training…and screen writing (maybe budget?). The lack of villan that can trade blows with Danny “fist for fist” πŸ˜‰ is lacking. This is less about punching and more about how people manipulate him and use him, after all, he is called ‘the immortal weapon ‘ , people weild weapons and throughout the show that’s what we see people attempting to  do-weild him for better or worse. 

The theme of duality isn’t really explored until much later on in the series and for such an interesting and engaging subject matter you’d have expected them to explore this sooner but laying the ground work for Danny’ character is done earlier on, albeit via slow burn that by the time we get to explore it we’re all just a little tired of questions and want to see Iron Fist in action. In many ways Danny is still the boy who ran away from K’un-Lun, this is his coming of age story that matures him in our gritty world as his innocence is stripped, physically and spiritually.  It’s an origin story in every sense of the word.

3. Colleen Wing 

Colleen Wing is by far my favourite character of the series, she’s written fully, has a lot to do and is completely fleshed out in her own right rather than falling into the clichΓ© of damsel maiden in distress/ female character that can kick butt. She’s layered and her  Hand 🀚story arc intertwines with Danny’ and embellishes the plot and Danny as a character, as her secrets unravel. Their romance is pulpable,  the conflict is believeable and is not only part of the story but makes the story better.

 When Davos shows up the show gets even better and embellishes the romance further by creating conflict with Danny being asked to choose between his best friend Davos and K’un-Lun Lun or his lover Colleen Wing unwitting member of The Hand. Colleen Wing is written well and is acted superbly, with a series of impressive fight scenes topped off by a truly tense masterclass duel when she faces Bukuto. 

4.The Hand Mythology

We get and idea of who The Hand are in season 1 of Daredevil , we get a proper introduction and see what they can do in series 2 of Daredevil but here The Hand is masterfully introduced again, we get to see ‘the back of house’, the ‘how ‘ of how does a person decide they want to part of The hand? Here we put the face to the name-The hand are made up of real people. The 6 episode slow burn suddenly pays off, these kids from the dojo are being indoctrinated by a poisonous ninja cabal. 

This does so much to add motive to the fights that take place that is absent in Daredevil. I was happy to watch Daredevil and Elektra beat bad ninjas all day but watching Iron Fist, the fights with The Hand after this revelation become so much more weight-filled and meaningful. This is summed up when Colleen has to battle her own students mirroring a scene a few episodes before when she was training them outside; this time the stakes are high.
5 Bukuto

Bukuto in my humble opinion is the best out of the triumvirate of villains Danny faces in the series. Madam Gao is unecessarily mysterious to the point of iritation. That being said, her all -knowing ancient demeanour is a perfect foil to Danny’ hopeful, childish mindset. 

Harold Meachum went from manipulative puppeteer to annoying, violent zombie. While his character is interesting he doesn’t deserve to be deified to main villain status. 

It comes down to being able to go fist to fist with Danny, blow for blow-physically and emotionally. We actually see Bukuto teach Danny how to use his powers and later on, block them. Bukuto is a brilliant fighter, is Colleen’ sensei and is just as manipulative as Harold Meachum if not more, with so much more leverage too in the person of Colleen Wing. He has enough mystery about him as Madam Gao, but reveals enough of himself to serve the story and his motivations clearly.

 Bukuto should have been the main villain, his motivations aren’t as basic as Madam Gao’ or Harold’. He genuinely has good points, he is a villain you can sympathise with. His cause is noble but his means are corrupt and nothing can hide that despite his emotional intelligence, bluster and charm. He is one of the stand outs of the latter part of the series that makes Iron Fist compelling to watch.

6 Claire Temple

A round character is a character that starts of in the story one way and by the end of the story has undergone some substantial change, they are not the same anymore.

Claire is a round character. It could have been very easy for Marvel Netflix to simply let her serve the purpose of a female Nick Fury;  rounding up the Defenders by helping them out in the same way she always does but her series hopping has had a chartered progression that has allowed her visible growth. We see her more involved, and her experience with Matt, Luke and Jessica comes in handy and she is able to assist Danny the most. It could easily have been boring this time round but she’s a more capable version of herself , exploring more and learning more from the hero too.

7 Ward 

Excuse my French but Ward was a premier dick head. Condescending, pedantic, a bully,  rude, I could go on. But…BUT, you meet his dad Harold and the situations his father puts him in and suddenly Ward is humanised, he’s no angel but you begin to feel sorry for him. His spiralling descent into drugs is all the more sad and it’s depicted vividly by Tom Pelphrey. Ward is another round character I grew to side with and slightly like even if I hated his guts to begin with. He creates conflicts and adds drama.

8. Horror Influence

I’ll keep this short and sweet because I don’t review horror movies but the horror elements in this show must be applauded. Everything from the lighting in Harolds penthouse to the way the staircase /elevator scenes are shot when Joy is going upstairs or when Ward hallucinates. Ward seeing blood coming out of the door and elevator buttons was nicely done. However, the creepiest moment is Harold’ return, it’ all sorts of disgusting and all I could think was “Ward is F@#$ed!”

9. Character Development

The show is accused of slow burning to the point of boredom.  I agree and disagree. I agree it was very slow at points and aggravating because all you really want to see is Danny light it upπŸ”₯πŸ‘ŠπŸ”₯ !!!

I disagree it being redundant, Iron Fist goes the long way around by starting off slow to establish relationships, establish the world, and show us who Danny is. What many people fail to realise is that this series is a story of two halves, it’s back to that theme of duality. 

The first half digs deep into who Danny Rand is, his relationships with people, how he interacts and we get to really see what type of person he is. The latter half is all about The Iron Fist; we get to see him in action using it, talking about it, talking about it, how he came about it, what his title means, where he trained and so on. 

 We get comic book heavy and they do their best to make it translate well on screen without sounding silly. Nothing helps more than a well done montage or flashback. Arrow is a golden example of flashbacks done right and it would have been so so good to see more Iron Fist. This was lacking in the development of the character of Danny Rand the Iron Fist. This is the issue many people are finding hard to reconcile with the series-they got a whole lot of Danny Rand but not nearly enough Iron Fist. For the series to shine it needed to be a perfect balance. All that being said it doesn’t nullify what we did get, it was entertaining to see and I wanted more Iron Fist. I still want more Iron Fist.  Bigger and better! Come on Marvel!

10 Direction

Springboarding from my Iron Fist rant ,the direction in some of the scenes were really good. The martial arts duels were all good, not as crisp or brutal as Dardevil’ but definitely good.

Final Thoughts

Where there is no real threat there is no character investmemt. Danny Rand never looks like he’ll lose, not really and that’s why it’s hard to root for him because it just a run of the mill punch up, there are no stakes. I felt the stakes when Colleen duels with Buduko,  I felt the peril in my stomach and I prayed she survived because I was invested in the character because she’s vulnerable. I held my breathe whenever I thought Claire might be in mortal danger and covered my mouth in shock when Joy got shot.

 Danny’ character became easier to invest in, in the latter part of the series when his loved ones are put in the firing line because they don’t have an Iron Fist, they can die a lot easier than he can. Even the badass Davos got me worried when they were all surrounded by The Hand on the campus.
What am I saying? Iron Fist The series much like it’s titular character often gets in it own way  with some missed opportunities that stop it from being incredible rather than just watchable. 

That being said when you have to follow all the Marvel Netflix series that have gone before it you soon discover its mammoth undertaking. It’s a good addition to the Marvel Netflix family and and solid foundation for the future.

This was an enjoyable kung fu outing, with good performances and great character development and while I won’t be watching the first couple of episodes again, I’ll certainly be watching the latter.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

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