Film Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

Pirates of the Caribbean has received mixed reviews, with a low score on Rotten Tomatoes I was really skeptical of how good it was going to be. I wasn’t impressed with the previous instalments of ‘At World’s End’ and ‘On Stranger Tides’, so I didn’t think I would enjoy no.5 as much as I did.

It moved away from the serious aspect of the franchise and was filled with more jokes and slap stick comedy. It was a refreshing change and didn’t bother me too much. Parts had me jump out of my skin and the segment with the guillotine made me feel uneasy, but at the same time I found it hilarious. I didn’t know whether to be sick or laugh (or just do both).

The characters were likeable with some old favourites returning to our screens. Our villain Salazar had some groovy CGI work with the effect of his hair looking like it was underwater was really impressive. Furthermore, the editing of young Jack Sparrow (played by Anthony De La Torre) was interesting, but a little bit creepy because you knew it was fake, but it was high in quality.

I had no issues with the plot, there were a few things which I predicted before the big reveal, but that is common in so many films. The ending seemed a bit of a cop-out in terms of Will and Elizabeth’s cameo. It wasn’t really necessary and I would have liked to see something else for an ending involving an adventure or just something more exciting.

If this was to be the last instalment of the franchise I would be happy with it, however, talks have been sparked about a final sixth film. Personally, I would leave it at this one. With all notable characters apart from Jack out of the picture it would be a challenge to make another film to a high standard like the rest.

Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

It is no surprise or exaggeration when I say I have been looking forward to this film for a very long time. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was fantastic in multiple different ways, but its lack of solid storyline was made up with the brilliant character development.

The Guardians have now surpassed my Marvel love for the Avengers. These guys are just too cool. The opening is everything, with the humour and action combo with a perfectly vintage soundtrack. I think it is safe to assume that baby Groot stole the show for many people with his tiny anger and cuteness.

I will give a huge prop to the film for its ability to make the impossible seem possible. When the first film was advertised I was hugely skeptical to how could they make a walking tree and a talking raccoon work? It looked like it was a try hard film set up to fail, but it didn’t.

The sequel was just as good as the first with the bar of quality set high with the jokes and drama. If a sci-fi film can work David Hasselhoff and Pac-Man into the epic battle at the end without it looking out of the place, The Guardians of the Galaxy can do anything.

My admiration for this film and its cast has sky rocketed and I highly recommend it. It’s the perfect family film. Marvel have done themselves proud.

Yuri On Ice: The Anime of 2016?

Wednesday marked the end of season one of Yuri On Ice. In summary, the series revolves around the relationship between Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki and his hero, Russian skating champion Victor Nikiforov, who becomes his coach. As the series progresses Victor and Yuri become romantically closer. The homosexual and erotic references of the program adds comedy and romance to the story as we follow Yuri’s progression to the Grand Prix Final. I wrote about Yuri on Ice in the early stages of the series in a previous *post*, so I will not repeat myself. All I will add, it that the relationship between Victor and Yuri propelled at full speed into a whirlwind of feels.

The last four episodes became very intense for the characters as well as the fandom. The drama that unravels tests Victor and Yuri’s relationship, but they overcome them one by one, strengthening their love for one another. The series has been complimented for its positive representation of gay relationships, along with its diversity of characters.

THANK GOD THERE IS GOING TO BE A SEASON 2!

The success of Yuri On Ice is well highlighted through its following, especially online. Kadokawa Ascii Research Laboratories reported it was the most tweeted anime of the season, thrashing its closest rival anime by over a million tweets. In addition, on the airing of the last episode of the season, Crunchyroll crashed due to its high demand. In the same week, the soundtrack titled, Oh! SkaTra!!! Yuri!!! on ICE was released on the 21st December (It’s on Spotify).

I have high hopes for these anime, not only because of its popularity but also its breakthrough into gay representation. Yuri On Ice has been nominated for ‘Anime of the Year’, ‘Best Boy’, ‘Best Animation’, ‘Most Heartwarming Scene’ (“The Kiss” Episode), ‘Best Couple’, ‘Best Ending’ and ‘Best Opening’, for Crunchyroll Anime awards 2016.

I’ve absolutely loved everything about this anime and highly recommend it! I feel that this video clearly depicts the atmosphere of Yuri On Ice, and I hope it encourages you to watch it, if you haven’t already.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

 

Film Review: Suicide Squad

This will only be a short review as there isn’t much I really want to comment on over this film. When it first came out, it received mixed reviews to say the least. People complained about the editing, script and the general plot holes. So I watched it, expecting it to be, well awful. So I was surprised about how much I ended up enjoying it after the first half an hour.

It was slow and the editing was a little sloppy, but it nicely put in the super villains back story allowing for further development. It was your typical superhero film, with bad guys. Forced to help the government, otherwise face death, we see this group of criminals join forces to do what they are told. I thought the backstory with Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and The Joker (Jaret Leto) was a good addition, and does allow for a follow-up film. Deadshot (Will Smith) was my favourite villain, followed by Harley Quinn and Diablo (Jay Hernandez) who is the real badass, restrained by his moral compass. There is a lot of potential with this mix of characters, in particular, any further development on Deadshot, Harley Quinn and The Joker could be quite good. However, it will be a big risk.

The film wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t awful. It was a little messy and rough round the edges, could have done with a bit more work. I did like the little cameo’s from Batman (Ben Affleck) and the Flash (Ezra Miller), which let people connect to the other realms of the DC universe. Despite my negatively, the soundtrack for the film was perfect in representing the atmosphere and the acting was first class.

I feel like the momentum of superhero films are becoming exhausted, and it isn’t all about quality anymore, but churning them out to make money. While I know that’s ‘part of hollywood baby’ , take a risk and have a breather.

I’m still a fan of superhero films and always will be, but they seem to be a bit ‘meh’ as of late. The next superhero film that I will be genuinely fired up about will be the release of the Incredibles 2, which is due in 2018. 14 years since the first film, it better be just as good.

 

Anime Review: Yuri On Ice

Step aside Free! there is a new anime series on the scene, which has out fan-serviced you and it’s taking people by storm!

Yuri On Ice is a new Japanese sports anime based around ice figure skating. We follow Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki, who was previously crushed during the final of the Grand Prix competition. Yuri begins to doubt himself after more failures and sulks into a bubble of depression putting his career on hiatus.

After graduating from college in Detroit, he goes home to his family in Japan. He meets up with his childhood friend Yuko at the local ice rink, and shows her what he’s been practicing secretly. He perfectly mimics a routine by his skating hero, Victor Nikiforov. The performance makes its way online, going viral in the skating world. Victor sees his performance of his piece and suddenly decides to become Yuri’s new coach. Together Victor and Yuri plan to win the Grand Prix fighting off the global competition, including main rival Yuri Plisetsky (nicknamed Yurio) from Russia.

Only 6 episodes in, and I’m in love with this anime. As well as learning about the sport the characters are lovable in every sense. It’s significantly homoerotic, strongly surpassing Free! fan service. At first I wasn’t too keen on Yuri as he was really whiny, but once he and Victor grew closer together we are now beginning to see his wild side. Victor as a character is fantastic. I’ve never been so in love with a character for how forward, cute and smiley they are. Victor pushes the boundaries in many aspects and is my favourite character in the show. It’s unbelievably cute and the story line is progressing at a steady and enjoyable pace.

The show is undeniably sexual and over the top, which adds to its charm. We are now starting to see some additional colourful characters in the form of Christophe from Sweden, who is unbelievably sexy and enticing on the ice rink; I wasn’t sure how to react to it, I was so caught off guard. We also see the emergence of a new villainous character in skater Georgi, who was in Victors shadow up until now. I’m expecting the drama level to rise in the next episode and it will be fantastic.

The general hype and buzz has been emphasised by the obvious shipping of Victor and Yuri, which has been prominent from the beginning, whether Yuri knew it or not.

Film Review: Bridget Jones’s Baby

Regarded as a British classic Bridget Jones has made a return to our screens. Bridget Jones’s Diary was first introduced to the big screen in 2001, and now 15 years later we have the third instalment.

We find Bridget (Renée Zellweger) is single again, despite getting with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) at the end of the second film. Bridget is now over 40 years old, her friends have all had children and got themselves stable families. Bridget a proud spinster embraces her age and carries on with her life. However, things get complicated when she has a one night stand with billionaire Jack (Patrick Dempsey) at a festival, followed by a night-time liaison with Mark at a christening a couple of days later. Bridget ultimately discovers she is pregnant, but doesn’t know who the father is.

The general execution of the film is pretty good, and I would say it is my favourite film from the 3 films franchise. I was expecting it to be just like the others, despite the maturity of the characters and general development I really enjoyed it. The ending is predictable that she ends up with Mark, because she has loved him from the beginning. However, the montage illustrating how they broke up between film 2 and 3, highlighted to me why they shouldn’t have got back together. Throughout half of the film I was rooting for Jack, until the very end when Bridget grabbed Marks hand instead of Jacks when she went into labour. Then I realised her love for Mark never went and it was meant to be.

The film had the right amount of drama and comedic relief. It was pleasurable. It was nice to see the characters develop beyond the scenarios in the first two films. I think that is probably the reason to why I enjoyed it so much. While the ending was predictable, it was satisfying, although I would have liked Jack to have found someone.

Overall, it was a very good girly film which surpasses the others.

 

Carnival Of Madness, Liverpool Echo Arena

Three of your favourite bands under roof, that is an opportunity you can’t afford to miss. Halestorm and Black Stone Cherry are two of my favourite rock bands. I saw Halestorm live for the first time last year in Manchester and BSC back in 2012. I’ve never seen Shinedown live before and I never really listened to them as much as others, but I knew their biggest hits and let’s just say they left quite an impression.

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