Tag Archives: year: 2017

Fast Five Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

guardiansofthegalaxy2blogbannerGuardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2
Science Fiction | 2017
Reviewed by Michelle

After saving the galaxy, the Guardians are in demand. But when a deal goes wrong and they’re pursued by an armada of deadly drones across the universe, the Guardians are rescued by a god-like being who holds the secrets to Peter Quill’s true parentage. As Peter comes to terms with his identity, the Guardians struggle to keep the team together.

1) Did you like it?

If you’ve ever read any of my Fast Five reviews before, you’ll know that I’m really suspicious of sequels and I’m not a fan of comic book movies. Uh oh.

The good news? One of the very (very) few comic book films I’ve seen and enjoyed was the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. The not-so-good news: Volume 2 is a good film, but it can’t quite capture the irreverent spirit of the original.

2) Why?

What I liked? Guardians Volume 2 has the same humour the first film, not to mention a cracking soundtrack that will have your toes tapping. Plus, it’s got the same group of (sometimes) lovable characters and introduces a few fun additions to the team.

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Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed Volume 2. However, what I loved most about the first film was its distinctive, snappy charm. The sequel has that charm too, except here, it’s been cranked up to eleven. There are no less than five scenes during the credits. Volume 2 is an enjoyable film, and a good sequel – but it’s overblown. Somewhat ironically, it has an Ego problem.

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

If you’re into action films that will make you laugh. Seeing the first film will help you get these characters better though.

4) This movie made me think about…

There’s clearly going to be a third Guardians film. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for the team next.

5) Overall rating?

Hmm. This is a tough one to rate…

3-stars

Fast Five Review: Doctor Who, Season 10

doctorwhoseason10bannerDoctor Who: Season 10

Part One | Part Two
Science Fiction | Television Series | 2017
Reviewed by Michelle

It’s the tenth season of the rebooted Doctor Who, and from the outset, fans already knew that it’d be the last to star Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. With companions Bill and Nardole by his side, this season sees the Doctor face new challenges – and old enemies.

1) Did you like it?

I’ve been a bit meh about the past couple of series of Doctor Who, to be honest. It’s tricky – I love Peter Capaldi, but never really thought that his version of The Doctor was fully developed. Sunglasses and a guitar are props, not character development. After the last season left me cold, I wasn’t too enthused about this season.

So what made me change my mind? The announcement that, for the first time ever, the Doctor’s next regeneration would be a woman, played by Jodie Whittaker.

Oh, and yes, I liked this series, by the way.

2) Why?

Bill and Nardole are great, and together with the Doctor, they make a great team.  This season allows us to see a different side to Capaldi’s Doctor as well – but it all feels too late. We’re just starting to get to know him when the season is over. It’s a real shame…

What’s not so great about this season? There are a few flat episodes. The weakest point is The Lie of the Land, a 1984-esque episode that centres around Bill’s mum (who, despite being a vital part of the episode is never given an actual name). There are also a few plot points scattered throughout the series that viewers of New Who might find unfortunately familiar.

But overall, this season is tighter and more entertaining than it’s been for a while. For the most part, it’s more restrained and there’s more of a feel of camaraderie between the Doctor and his companions.

dalek3) You’ll enjoy this television series if…

Actually, if you’re new to Doctor Who, series ten would be a great place to jump on board!

4) This television series made me think about…

As much as I’m looking forward to a female Doctor, I’m going to miss Peter Capaldi. But here’s to new beginnings and new regenerations.

5) Overall rating?

3-stars

Fast Five Review: Get Out

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Get Out

Horror | 2017
Reviewed by Michelle

Chris is an African-American photographer; his girlfriend of five months, Rose, is white. And rich. When Rose invites him to spend the weekend at her family’s sprawling country estate, Chris is reluctant. What if they’re racist? Has Rose even told her family he’s black? But as the weekend drags on, Chris realises that he’s going to have much more to deal with than awkward conversations…

1) Did you like it?

Yep. I’m not even a horror fan and I loved Get Out.

2) Why?

Here’s the spoiler free version: Get Out is a film about racism in every form – from the well-intentioned racism of young, “woke” white people trying (and failing) to do the right thing, to awkward dinner party conversations, to racial violence and slavery. It’s smart and scary and it’ll make you think.

getoutimage3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

You’re into films that have you on the edge of your seat…not only because they’re scary, but also because they make you aware of uncomfortable truths about yourself and your society.

4) This movie made me think about…

Lots. Get Out is a nailbiter of a film that will have you thinking about it long after your nails have grown back. Make sure you Google the film’s alternate endings, too. Yikes.

5) Overall rating?

4.5-stars

Fast Five Review: American Gods

americangodsbanner

American Gods

Drama | Television Series | 2017
Reviewed by Jennifer

Shadow Moon embarks on a road trip across America with enigmatic conman Mr Wednesday. On their journey, Shadow discovers that Mr Wednesday is one of the old gods, who warns of a war brewing between the forgotten gods of myth and the new American gods of money, technology and media. As Shadow finds himself embroiled in this world of gods among men, he has a choice to make. Should he follow Mr Wednesday into battle and find out more about his own mysterious past or attempt to reconcile with his recently deceased wife, who has now returned from the grave?

1) Did you like it?

Yes. I loved the Neil Gaiman book it’s based on, and have been looking forward to the TV adaptation for a while. I think it was worth the wait, though I’m only about halfway through the series as I write this.

2) Why?

The original book of American Gods is a series of intricately woven, atmospheric, intertwined tales, with a grounding in history, religion and mythology, all held together by the main narrative. Book adaptations are always a bit of coin toss, and this one presents many challenges. But to my eyes, the TV series retains the nuances of the book – due in part, I’m sure, to the fact that Gaiman was involved in the screenwriting process. The characters look exactly the way I imagined, and the whole show is beautiful, visually.

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While the decision to create an R-rated show made with online streaming in mind may seem like a cynical attempt by Amazon to compete with Game of Thrones and the swarm of Netflix Originals, I think it was ultimately the right choice. Unlike a lot of screen adaptations (especially of graphic novels), American Gods retains the raw impact of the original story. The sex and violence is in context, and without it some of the characters just wouldn’t make sense.

3) You’ll enjoy this TV series if…

You like the urban fantasy genre – shows like Stranger Things, Grimm, The Dresden Files, etc. If you were a Buffy fan in your youth and are willing to take that extra step further into the darkness, this will probably take your fancy.

4) This TV series made me think about… 

The fairly new phenomenon of the R-rated TV series, with cinematic sensibilities. I’m glad I have a projector to watch this one on!

5) Stars out of five?

4-stars

Fast Five Review: Ghost in the Shell

ghostintheshellbannerGhost in the Shell
Science Fiction, Action | 2017

Major Mira Killian is the first of her kind: a perfect, cybernetically enhanced soldier, designed to hunt down the world’s most dangerous criminals. When a new terrorist threat arises, Major is the perfect choice to stop it – but as she prepares to face her enemy, she uncovers secrets from her past that leave her reeling.

1) Did you like it?

Well look, it’s complicated. I came to this film with not much in the way of previous knowledge of Ghost in the Shell. This live action film is a reimagining of the classic 1995 anime version, considered a classic of the genre, which is in turn based on an earlier manga version.

What I do know about Ghost in the Shell is that casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead role – a character who was originally Japanese – was never going to be a good idea. And, without giving anything away, the film’s attempts to correct this misstep only make the problem so, soooo much worse.

Let’s just say right from the start that this is a movie with some pretty irredeemable flaws. There are brief glimpses of brilliance, but they’re few and far between.

2) Why?

One good thing about this film? It’s visually stunning. The opening sequence depicting the rebirth of Major Mira Killian – that’s Johansson’s character, by the way – will take your breath away. The world in which this film is set is one of holographic advertising, vying for space with towering skyscrapers and ordinary people trying to make a living. It’s all very pretty. And pretty familiar.

ghostintheshellagainThere’s more to world-building than just throwing in a tonne of CGI. Compare this movie to The Fifth Element or Blade Runner, for instance – they’re also films set in sprawling metropolises, but they actually made you feel what it was like to be a part of that world. That’s the thing with this film – there’s not much in the way of atmosphere. Oddly, for a movie about ghosts and shells; souls and machines, Ghost in the Shell often feels as hollow as a chocolate bunny. Ironic, huh?

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

Fans of The Matrix are going to love this film. Consider this The Matrix re-Reloaded.  Action lovers will also get a kick out of Ghost in the Shell. Its action scenes are slick – and frequent.

4) This movie made me think about…

When’s the new Blade Runner film coming out again? Is it soon?? I hope they don’t mess it up. Will there ever be a Neuromancer film? Also, how amazing is Scarlett Johansson’s hair?

ghostintheshell3 ghostintheshell25) Overall rating?

Five stars for Scarlett Johansson’s hair…two for the film.

2-stars