Image courtesy of Kong: Skull Island
So in 2014 we had Godzilla (we’ll have a sequel in 2019), Skull Island releasing this year before we have a Godzilla vs Kong Movie in 2020. Yes they’re going all Marvel/DC shared universe with this franchise as well.
Anyway its 2017 and the year of Kong: Skull Island so Lets get on with reviewing this movie.
The movie stars Samuel L Jackson as Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard, Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad, John Goodman as William ‘Bill’ Randa, Brie Larson as Mason Weaver, Jing Tian as San Lin, Corey Hawkins as Houston Brooks and John C. Reilly as Hank Marlow.
A expedition team escorted by military personnel heads to an uncharted island named Skull Island but after they arrive and start to drop special seismic explosives to determine whether the ground beneath the ground is hollow things start to go wrong.
I’m going to start with the negative, I really enjoyed this movie but there are a few things that really annoyed me. The fist thing I have to mention is Samuel Jackson’s character Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard. What’s going on here? Firstly he constantly contradicts himself, one minute he’s happy to send his men into practically a hurricane in helicopters risking their lives for no real reason then the next minutes he’s professing about how much he cares about his troops. He spends most of the movie trying to look as serious as he can while spouting out lines a tough guy would say while making bad decision after bad decision. The fact that they had such a legendary actor as Samuel L Jackson and then give him such a weak role in the movie is a real shame. Secondly this movie has gaping plot holes that I’m amazed made it into the final script, it almost seemed like the some scenes with the humans were there just made to string the action scenes together with Kong in. Another issue I had was with the introduction of Tom Hiddleston’s character James Conrad’s into the movie, basically Bill and Houston walk into a bar James is playing pool before getting into a bar fight, he then beats two men up at which point Bill turns to Houston and says ‘he seems like a guy worth talking to’. Really Bill? is that it? No check of his expertise or anything like that? Just, he seems like a tough guy lets hire him as our Hunter-tracker. Luckily James is a British Special Air Service Captain so is more than qualified which is convenient that they just so happen to stumble across him. My final issue is in one scene a character is surrounded by poison gas so he puts on a gas mask but then while he is still stuck in the middle of the gas cloud he then takes it off again, why he does that I have no idea. But obviously he’s become immune to the gas because he doesn’t cough, choke or anything just happily runs through the gas and makes it safely on the other side.
Anyway by now Id have probably given you the impression that I didn’t like the movie but I actually did because a movie like this I about one thing, Kong and thankfully the movie nails that aspect superbly. I like the way you don’t have to wait and wait for Kong to appear like you did with Godzilla. Kong is at the forefront of the move pretty much straight away and some of the action scenes are superb. I like how the movie is set in the 1970s and has the music and style of a film set in that era. We went and saw this movie in IMAX 3D which Id definitely recommend as the movie makes good use of the technology, the CGI is brilliant. Besides the issues I’ve already stated I thought the majority of the cast did a good job, I really like Tom Hiddleston in the movie and I think he would make a good James Bond if he is eventually cast even if he wouldn’t be my first choice. Brie Larson also does a great job as well as John C. Reilly and I really like how the military is in this film. In a movie like this it can sometimes feel like the entire story is about the monsters, and the humans in the story are just along for the ride and are really there because we cant have Kong and other monsters fight for 90 minutes but besides a few scenes mentioned in my negative section I like how the humans are intertwined into the films story.
So to summarize even though there are a lot of plot holes and questionable at best decision making by some of the human characters, if you ignore that side and just enjoy the action then you’ll have a great time with this one. I would definitely recommend that you go and see this in IMAX 3D as it does really use the format well as I stated earlier. So roll on 2020 when we have a real monster match up that hopefully will be a real cinema event.
Hugh Jackman has portrayed the character of James ‘Logan’ Howlett / Wolverine for over 17 years and I have to say I really respect him for that. People who know me well know I love comic book films but the only real draw back is most of the actors that portray the superheroes will only do a few films, presumably because they are concerned about being typecast. Thankfully this has never been an issue for Jackman as I remember watching him in an interview a few years ago where he basically said he was happy to portray the character as long as people wanted to see the movies and what a fantastic run it has been. I remember watching the first X men movie back in 2000 and I loved it, I thought the whole of the original trilogy was fantastic. Then came First class, Days of future past and Apocalypse and in my opinion it lost its way a little, its a series that is in drastic need of a re focus and they need to start making more movies like this one and Deadpool.
I also heard that Jackman took a pay cut to ensure this film was R rated (a 15 rating in the uk) and that’s once again something that should be applauded. Well after all this time as The Wolverine this is sadly the last time that Hugh Jackman will portray the character.
So Logan the third and Id presume final chapter in the Wolverine trilogy is directed by James Mangold (who also directed the prequel to this movie The Wolverine) and joining Jackman in the films cast is Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier / Professor X, Richard E. Grant as Zander Rice, Boyd Holbrook as Donald Pierce, Stephen Merchant as Caliban and Dafne Keen as Laura / X-23.
The year is 2029 and mutants are on the brink of extinction as no new mutants have been born for the last 25 years. James ‘Logan’ Howlett has greatly aged and all but lost his healing power, he now works as a chauffeur and hustles prescription drugs and with the help of mutant Caliban he takes care of Charles Xavier who is suffering from a neurodegenerative disease. Logan and Charles soon finds themselves wrapped up in a chase however after agreeing to help Laura / X-23 an 11 year old girl who is being pursued by Donald Pierce.
Ill start off with the things I like, I really like that they decided to make this a more adult aimed film and they make sure you know it as well as the first twenty minutes of the movie are pretty gruesome, Logan is engaged in a fight and it doesn’t pull any punches. I thought the cast were fantastic and as they were no longer shackled with making the movie a 12A rating their performances thrive, you can tell this is the Wolverine movie that everyone involved wanted to make.
I also like how the movie looks at these characters after their careers as superheroes has come to an end, however I’ve grown up watching the X men saving the world and fighting endless amounts of bad guys so to see them in this sorry state of affairs is a little sad.
There was a few things I was a little disappointed with though, firstly at two hours and fifteen minutes I felt the movie dragged a little in stages and also some of Logan’s decision making is questionable at best. The final issue I had was there were a few plot holes in the film but I cant really elaborate on that as I don’t want to spoil the story for you.
So on the whole I thought Logan was a good movie that was brilliant in parts but sadly in my opinion didn’t really give Hugh Jackman the send off he deserves which is a real shame. I would of loved a Wolverine (being portrayed by Jackman) and Deadpool (being portrayed by Ryan Reynolds) team up movie but unfortunately now it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.
Image Courtesy of Deepwater Horizon movie
I have to be completely honest when the Deepwater Horizon disaster occurred back in 2010 I was aware of it but didn’t realise the actual enormity of the disaster. I remember hearing about it on the news when my mum and dad had it on in the front room but I was usually playing on my phone or doing something else to keep myself occupied.
I have since done my own research into it and came to realise the scale of what occurred on the 20th April 2010 and the coming months and even years after that with the oil spill.
So in 2016 I was interested to hear that a movie had been released based on the events of the oil leak and explosion of the Deepwater Horizon but I don’t think anything could of prepared me for this movie.
The movie stars Mark Wahlberg as Mike Williams, Kurt Russell as Jimmy Harrell (Mr Jimmy), John Malkovich as Donald Vidrine, Gina Rodriquez as Andrea Fleytas, Dylan O’Brien as Caleb Holloway and Kate Hudson as Felecia Williams.
The cast is fantastic, a movie like this really does revolve around the characters in it and the casting was definitely spot on. Mark Wahlberg is brilliant in roles such as this where he has to play an average guy like an engineer or someone of that nature and he does a great job in this movie. The other real standout performance I must mention is Kate Hudson I thought she was simply wonderful playing Mike’s wife and she really makes you invest in her story arc of a worried wife who is desperate to know if her husband is ok while the disaster is unfolding.
I also really like how the movie gets the banter between work colleagues at the beginning of the story just right, being an engineer myself I can honestly say the way they talk to each other and the jokes they share is just what its like in real life. When they are all sat in the helicopter transporting them to the oil rig it looks like a bunch of people talking rather than actors trying to portray people talking which once again is testament to the cast and screenplay, these first twenty minutes are a real standout for me and really get you invested in the characters, due to this you genuinely care for their well being when things start to go wrong.
Something else I have to mention is how well the movie not only explains how an oil rig works but also what happened to cause the leak and the explosion that followed which really impressed me. In this sort of movie in my experience anyway the director and writer can sometimes get so caught up in getting to the action that they forget that were not all geologists so need some things to be explained to us so were no sat there a little confused and a little left behind by the movie.
I also have to comment on how impactful the movie is, to think this actually happened and the difficulties that those poor men and women must of faced is truly heart breaking at times this is difficult to watch and can be very upsetting. Some of the heroics performed by people that day was absolutely amazing as well.
There are literally no negative to speak of, this is a great movie.
So to summarize Deepwater Horizon is a fantastic movie and through superb acting and story telling really makes you invest for the entirety of the movie and makes it one that is enthralling and heart breaking at the same time.