Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper and Kurt Russell. It is - of course - the much anticipated second escapade for the zany, intergalactic heroes who took us so much by surprise first time round. Guardians Vol 2 sees the team continue their adventures through the galaxy as they discover Peter's (Pratt) true parentage.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is just like your favourite mixed slushy, its bright colours and flavours are all elements which blend together to create something very sweet, a slightly bit sour and gives you an incredible buzz after every sip. Though its hard to say if it lives up to the original, Guardians Vol 2 is a visual beauty and another marvellous addition to the MCU.
The second time round Gunn focuses more on the characters he struggled to balance against the weight of Star Lord and Groot first time round. Whilst it doesn't always work and sometimes feels as if the team is marginally unbalanced (think Age of Ultron), Rocket and Yondu take the stand out roles in this radiant sequel. With the hilarious Drax given the best comedic material, making GOTG2 even funnier than its predecessor.
Ghost in the Shell came close, but everything about Guardians Vol 2 looks stunning. From its fascinating set pieces, to its skies of technicolor, Marvel have recreated action sequences as good as last years 'Civil War'. As well as another one of their astonishing opening scenes involving the most adorable dancing baby tree. Of course the film suffers significant pacing issues but gladly pick themselves up for an all out last act.
In the end, Guardians Vol 2 may not live up to the original, But how could it? Whilst it does sometimes forcibly try to recreate humour the first one came to so naturally, unlike the characters the good things balance out the bad. Visually beautiful, hilarious, energetic, with some of the best production design and action in a marvel movie. You can't not get lost in this superbly fun world with the characters you know and love.
I am going to give Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2:
Their Finest is directed by Lone Scherfig, staring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy and tells the story of a newly appointed female scriptwriter for propaganda films in the early stages of the second world war. The British Film Industry must come up with a concept to cheer up the nation whilst working tirelessly as the blitz surrounds them.
BBC films have and will always be cozy, curl up on a Sunday afternoon type movies. Their Finest continues this trend of gentle yet well crafted cinema, offering a pleasant mix of warmth, whit and romance. Unlike last year's Hail Caesar, Their Finest successfully conveys the difficulties of film making at the time focusing mainly on story and structure rather than just characters. The film manages to swerve any sign of shallowness and blends together the right doses of wartime drama and comedy.
Whilst its not the 'female empowerment' movie of the ages, with her endearing charm, Arterton serves wonderfully as the film's strong female lead. And even more impressive than that, carries a welsh accent throughout. Arterton also creates a wonderful contrasting relationship between her confidence and Claflin's sharp mind. In classic Nighy style, he delivers most of the film's humour, differentiating it from just another war drama.
Most importantly, Their Finest sheds light on the British film industry, a topic that surprisingly is often unseen. It captivates all the real logistics into making a film and doesn't just share the glamours bits. What enables the film to feel rather special is how Scherfig explores the radiant personalities of the people behind the camera rather than just the fabulous actors on screen.
In the end, with a slightly stretched out runtime, Their Finest achieves exactly as intended, a harmless, two hour dive into the world of British history that leaves a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Though it doesn't enter award winning territory, Their Finest gently eases the direction of working women films into jobs other than Shuttle Calculations or Fashion Editors.
Fast and Furious 8 is directed by F. Gary Gray and stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Charlize Theron and is the EIGHTH film in the Fast and Furious series. This instalment sees the teams lead Dom mysteriously seduced into the world of crime by an anonymous woman. Relationships are put to the test as Dom must betray ones closet to him and the crew face trials like never before in order to safe Dom along with the rest of the world.
Furious 8 delivers in areas but ultimately runs out of fuel. The three most recent predecessors in the series helped shift gears (as it were), focusing not only on the cars but the people driving them. Fast and Furious 8 takes all that fans have learnt to love about the series and shatters them into a ridiculous, senseless slop of a film. Fast Five was a turing point for the franchise, whilst maintaining the same level of fun it saw a huge development in storylines showing the fairly attractive writing skills of the people behind the films. Fans as well as critics have fallen in love with these films mainly due to what the recent instalments have done to the series, but the latest furious film sets the whole saga back to the stone age from where it originally started out.
It has its moments, the opening scene in Cuba sees a bright, colourful car chase immediately adding the authentic 'cars' aspect to the film. But overall Furious 8 did exactly what last year's 'X-men apocalypse' did, and sacrificed the script and the plot line, in trade for the action. A lot of the time the film makes you feel very stupid, and yeah its cool to see a submarine shoot missiles at flying cars but that surprisingly isn't enough to distract from the films loosely written script. The lines have been corny in the past but never 'taste this' corny, something quite often seen in the new instalment.
Charlize Theron serves her purpose as the film's antagonist 'cypher', but mainly just stomps around shouting technical things and not looking very happy about it. Diesel shows about as much emotion as his tree alter ego but must be praised for his efforts and involvement in and behind the films.
In the end Fast and Furious 8 takes the back seat and becomes too dependent on its action sequences rather than its story. The recent films have not only been fun but actually pretty good, Furious 8 is 'fun' that's it. Poorly written through, script, story and dialog, with forced jokes Fast and Furious has sadly gone from the best film in the franchise to the worst.
I am going to give Fast and Furious 8:
Ghost in the Shell is directed by Rupert Sanders and starts Scarlett Johansson as Major, a cyber enhanced human, the first of her kind. Though she is programmed to stop the world's most dangerous criminals, she experiences detailed fragments of her memories which start to lead her to explore her human past - with shattering consequences
Ghost in the Shell is very much the modern day equivalent of Blade Runner. The striking contrast between the sombre tone of the film and the neon drenched streets of dystopian future Japan provides the perfect opportunity for some stunning visuals. Its original production design makes this one of the most beautifully shot films of recent times.
Johansson gives a satisfactory performance, nothing wrong but nothing brilliant, just not the stand out part of the film. Brooding, slightly sulky but definitely full-on Kick-Ass, (think Black Widow, Lucy) a lot of what Johansson does to improve the character is through mannerisms, expressions and glances. The controversy facing the film's 'white washing' of the lead role is irrelevant to how the 'good' it actually is. Whilst it originally stems from Japan, any actress of any ethnicity could have played the role of 'Major' as race isn't integral to the film.
The gripping, mysterious plot line of Major's past definitely played as a more original idea, but does seem to run out of steam half way through. The film feels too formulaic at times and also a little clunky in editing towards the end. Building on incredibly inventive ideas but without any suspense or tension, Ghost in the Shell feels as if it's missing the full depth that it initially intended.
In the end Ghost in the Shell may not measure up to Mamoru Oshii's 1995 original, nor have hard core fans of the manga begging at their knees for a sequel. Taking positives though, it does have beautiful production design, impressive action sequences and a truly magnificent score.
I am going to give Ghost in the Shell:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.