The Boys – Review

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Last Friday Amazon’s latest show, the graphic novel adaptation of “The Boys” landed on our screens – which I had never heard of until the first trailer appeared a while back and from that instance, I was hooked on the concept and idea of a world of Superheroes that are being governed by effectively a PR company & a group of disgruntled guys who are fed up with Supes getting away with collateral damage.

Being away last weekend for some little shindig – find out what I was doing by clicking HERE, I didn’t have time to start so one Tuesday, after hearing everyone at work had finished it or was halfway in, I decided to start and by Wednesday afternoon I was finished.

Now, this is my ‘Spoiler-Free’ review of The Boys!


Firstly let me start by saying with today’s market of saturated Superhero and Comic Book movies (which I’m not saying is a bad thing, I love them) it’s refreshing to get a version that is against the norm. Think similar to Watchmen – a darker tale of the gritty side of spandex and this doesn’t hold back. The premise of the show is that Superheros are looked at in a Celebrity / Instagram Influencer light, with movie deals, cereals and drink promotion deals. This story is about the management team and PR company that look after the Superheros and the golden group, the Avengers or Justice League of this world is a group called “The Seven”. But instead of coming together for the greater good, they are effectively auditioned and employed by a corporation called Vought International (yeah I am with you when you think, Vought, that sounds very similar to Veidt Enterprises).

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On the flip side of Vought is ‘The Boys’, a mismatched group pulled together when they start to discover something isn’t right with the Supes and Vought. Lead by Billy Butcher – the ever-charming Karl Urban, this wisecracking cool sonofabitch has a grudge with the Supes and is looking for any reason to bring them and their number one golden boy Homelander (The Superman of the group) down.

This show doesn’t hold back and Amazon warns you before every episode of what’s to come, this includes Nudity, Sexual Assualt and Rape. Which is a massive kudos and well done for prewarning. There are some grim moments, not just in terms of violence and action, but also uncomfortable moments of abuse of power. Especially in light of a lot of Hollywood allegations, there is a strong air of similarity and art imitating reality throughout this season.

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The cast holds up really well, even though they all look like a B list of look-a-likes. Hear me out, Bradley Cooper, Robin Wright, Bill Hader & Christian Bale. You will know what I mean when you watch it. Though that doesn’t change there acting ability as they all fit the roles perfectly. Matched with a very witty script, there are some great oneliners and moments in this show that will make you go . . . WOW! They don’t hold back with the C-Bombs, the over the top gory violence and a variety of sex acts.

If you are looking for a new show to unwind to, with a great story and an insight into the more arrogant side of superheroes then this one is for you. It has 8 episodes and runs for about an hour apiece. Ending with a poetic cliffhanger that makes you beg for a second season. Like a big slap in the face.

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I really enjoyed “The Boys” (behave) and thought it was a much needed new twist of the genre. If you haven’t already, give it a watch and bask in its awesomeness. If you have seen it I would love to know what you think about it. It’s also got me even more hyped up for HBO’s new Watchman TV series that is coming to our screens some point this year.

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Game of Thrones Finale Review.

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So as Season 8 of Game of Thrones came to an end yesterday the world was left with mixed feeling about what is dubbed the greatest T.V. Show of all time.

This is my take on the end of the Seven Kingdoms Saga – Spoiler Free (ish)

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As a fan of GoT’s I have to say I have never written anything about it, though in conversation I have used my Film Studies knowledge to bring reason and understanding to the actions of the show. So this post is a first in regards to GoT’s but don’t let that make my words sound fickle.


The Petition.

Following the aftermath and firey episode of Season 8 – The Bells, a section of the fans were angry with how the season had been rushed and how this episode played out, with the shift in character personalities. Demanding the season be reshoot and remade. As of today, that petition has had over a million signatures. But for me, the idea of a petition is worse than a couple of lacking moments in the season.

I am all for social media, opinions and having your say. But this I think is too far – it’s THE biggest show in the world right now, it’s off book (they have surpassed the books that are currently written) and it’s coming to an end. I feel people are mixing emotions and letting things run away with them. The anger is more because the show that has been a big part of their life for all these years has come to an end and a void will be left. Regardless of how the season played out people would have been angry at it for the wrong reasons. It’s becoming a more done thing now, where the results are what was expected and so a recount or do-over is called for. It’s happened with Star Wars, with casting choices of Batman and the Joker and even with politics (Brexit).

The idea of not liking results and demanding change is becoming too common and it doesn’t work that way.

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The Daenerys Situation & Jon’s Heritage.

By now you all know Jon’s true identity and pretty sure you know what Dany did in “The Bells” – I’ll try and keep that one cryptic just in case but Jon wise it’s a free for all.

Starting with Jon’s parents and true identity, there is a lot of hate floating around asking – why make him a Targaryen if they don’t plan to follow it through and give him the Throne. In my eyes, I loved this additional and glad they didn’t act on it in such an obvious way. Jon has never wanted the throne. I think it was added to give another layer to Dany’s untrust and descent into paranoia and madness, rather than to further Jon’s storyline. Jon knew no better than a bastards life, earning respect as a bastard due to his actions, he always rejected leadership and the claim to the throne because he knew he was never that man. He got where he was through sacrifice, hard work and purely against the odds, not because he was entitled.

Where Daenerys was the opposite, she had grown up being the ‘IT’ girl. Promised the world by misguided lore and prophecies and for her to finally get to the last hurdle and find out of it meant nothing because of this new claim in Jon was stronger just angered her, which was something she always had problems with. She’s had signs of anger issues and spoilt kid tendencies since the start. If she didn’t get her way it would usually end in death. Even though SHE felt she was doing the right thing, looking back – it’s always been questionable. But the fan’s never complained then because they liked Dany – yeah she’s the strong independent women, but it shows how fickle some fans have been. Dany never had a strong moral code where she would only kill X type of people, in reality, she would kill any type of people if they stood in her way. This time that meant Women and Children and the fans did not like that. I put this hatred down to people’s misunderstanding of her capabilities, rather than the “Writers” changing her character.

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The Ending

All good things must come to an end. It’s the way of the world.

With this ending, I felt at peace – unlike half the internet, office and the world. I enjoyed it. It rounds off the story of the Starks. Which on reflection is what the show has always been about – they have been our Heroes, it started with them and it’s ended with them.

It pulled things together, people were granted their wishes or rewards for what they have been building towards and from the ashes of Kings Landing a new Kingdom was born, a new way of living and potentially a new era for peace. There were a few things I would have done differently in regards to the ending – especially with Grey Worm and the Unsullied but the overall vibe settled everything and put it to bed.

The final few shots of the Starks preparing to become the new versions of themselves I really enjoyed – in fairness Cinematography for the whole season has been amazing and beautiful, I hope we can all agree on that one.

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Overall I am satisfied with the whole season, I’ve loved the show and it’s been brilliant from the start. I can not wait to show my kids this in 20 years time and be like . . . . .      Get Ready for this.

One day the hate will fade and all that will be left is a story because Tyrion summed it up in such a beautifully poetic statement.

“There’s nothing more powerful in the world than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it.”

 

 

Avengers Endgame: Spoiler Free Review

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Hot off the press – Here is my Spoiler Free review of Avengers Endgame.

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Last night we saw the midnight showing of Avengers Endgame. It was a crazy experience where we all cheered when the certificate flashed up. The whole room shared this one magic moment and all sat in awe as we witnessed the culmination of 10 years of genius movie history unfold.

Obviously I will be giving very little away. No spoilers here. Which might mean the post is short. But I’ll try my best to tease and tempt you into wanting to see it even more.

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It’s an overall giant film. I’m still letting it sink in but the whole film is just massive and in fairness it had to be to match and smash Infinity War and round off this saga. It had everything you’d want and more. Highs, Lows, Comedy, Stunning Action Shots and just the overall jaw dropping awesomeness that comes hand in hand with an Avengers Movie.

It just begins, this is the fact of the matter, this is what we need to do, this is us doing it. It flows so well and answers all those unanswered questions that are stuck in your mind. An amazing effort as well goes to keeping the cast secret, I mean EVERYONE is in this somewhere, somehow. It’s so poetic and bitter sweet. Leaving you happy with the ending of our Heroes story, but also greedily and selfishly angry that this IS the End. Because let’s be honest we could watch these forever. But like a good book, fine wine or tasty box of doughnuts; everything must come to an end. It’s been an awesome ride but we all knew this day would come. The last doughnut is gone and the wine bottle is in the recycling and The Avengers (as we know them) is concluded.


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The only way I have been able to describe it to people asking today is by two words; “Unexpected” & “Huge” – I’m still trying to process and let it all settle in. But I can promise you this. You’ll laugh, You’ll tap your foot, You’ll be on the edge of of seat feeling every punch, You’ll cry and You’ll breathe a sigh of relief.

Do with that what you will.

So all that is left to do is: Book a ticket and Buckle in. This is the end of an era – this saga is nicely put to bed. This team, these films and this story will always be OUR Avengers – regardless of what the next ten years bring.

And for that, we thank you MCU.

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Hellboy (2019) Film Review.

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Okay, I’d appreciate a prophecy with more relatable stakes.

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I went and watched the new Hellboy film the other evening and after asking twitter if you wanted to see a review you answered with ‘Yes’ . . . so here we are. Locked, Cocked and ready to Rock. Buckle up guys and gals.


Let me start by saying I’ve never been a big Hellboy fan, I’ve never read the comics, I never saw the second film and wasn’t a great fan of the first one. But I like the idea of what Hellboy is and love a good comic book movie so I went to watch this – Plus David Harbour and Ian McShane are worthy reasons to check it out, both of them amazing and slightly underrated actors.

Obviously like usual – this is a Spoiler Free review so don’t worry. I’m never THAT guy.

(What I think to people who spoil films)

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This film is everything you expect it to be – well it was everything I expected going in to it. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, it very self-aware, it knows it won’t win awards but it’ll make you laugh and you’ll have fun watching it.

The basic gist – Hellboy was summoned as part of a Nazi experiment, taken in by a British Agent and raised for good, some big bad comes back, threatens the world and Hellboy has to save the day. Standard kind of deal. But this one does something that the original films didn’t. Hellboy is struggling with purpose, trying to find his place, he has more of a rebellious teenager personality, riddled with curiosity and lack of direction. Where as the original films have him cemented as a bad-looking good guy who knew his purpose.

Related imageThis film offers, cheesy one liners, gory fight scenes, a talking pig and a cheeky cameo from Big Mo using a Machine Gun. If you go in not expecting anything you will be surprised and I bet you’ll enjoy it. David Harbour smashes it as Red – like the perfect fit for the role in my eyes. I was never a fan on Pearlman’s interpretation or acting ability overall. But Harbour stands out, he’s edgy and gruff which is everything you expect from the character. The same goes for the supporting cast; Ian Mcshane (though he plays the same role in everything) stands out for his natural charm and charisma as he plays Hellboy’s adopted daddy. Daniel Dae Kim as the untrusting sidekick with a dark secret and Sasha Lane as the young physic who has a soft spot for big Red.

The film comes together nicely with the casting, over the top action, kick ass soundtrack and just works. It’s a shame popular sites like Rotten Tomatoes have slated it so much – but if I were you, I wouldn’t listen to them. In my opinion RT make more bad calls than they do good (see Shazam’s Score compared to Captain Marvel) so tread lightly. As said up there – you can’t look into this film too much, don’t pick it apart and don’t go in with glorious expectations, literally go in after a long day and be ready to unwind and escape for 2 hours – just enjoy the fun of it.

Let me know if you do go and see it and what you think to this one.

Good luck out there – watch out for things that go bump in the night.
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Get Out – Review

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Man, I told you not to go in that house.

[I stumbled across this post – an old review that I wrote about 2017’s masterpiece ‘Get Out’. I have not edited any of text, I have just added the gif’s to break up the text with some visuals.]

Get Out is Jordan Peele’s feature film debut and let’s start by saying what a way to debut. This is a film about Chris a black photographer who is taking the plunge and meeting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Which on a normal day would still be a nervous situation but in this case things just turn scary.

Reflecting social constructs right from the off, this film tackles Racism and Social Class in a brutal hyper real way, but still mirroring real life events and situations.

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The tone of the film is set from the opening sequence. A black man is walking through a suburban neighbourhood when a white sports car pulls up blaring the song “Run Rabbit Run Rabbit” – he tries to ignore it but as the car stalks him he turns to confront the driver and is jumped, knocked out and put in the boot of the car by a masked figure.

Powerful stuff in the opening five minutes and it doesn’t let up there. The whole time I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next, wondering if it was real or not.

So in true film fashion the white family live in a very white upper middle class neighbourhood – the kind you see hosting dinner parties on the lawn by the lake. Chris turns up and instantly feels worried, like the social norm would predict. Are her parents old-fashioned, will they accept a black boyfriend. But then again in true Hollywood fashion the parents try to be cool – the dad greeting Chris with “My Man” and voicing his opinions on how much he liked Obama as President. Again these can be seen as normal things that happen. We’ve all said something like that before to try to relate or show we accept and understand.

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Then we introduce hypnotism – the mother is a private therapist who obviously has her own office in the house. To begin with it’s just excused and laughed off. She tries to offer to help Chris quit smoking with her method, but he polity denies the offer. She finally gets a chance to do it after cornering him one night and subtlety doing it to him. From then on, Chris is put into a struggle. To work out if that was real, if everything is what it should be and then paranoia sets it and he starts to question and look at everything differently.

That is where I am going to stop with the plot. All I will say is things get dark, things get tense and things get violent. Keep an eye out for the Deer Head as well. Good luck.

Peele does something really clever and manages to get a dose of humour into this film in the form of Chris’ best friend Rod played by Lil Rel Howery. He is the typical black comic relief that helps bring the film back towards the realms of reality. It’s done almost like Rod is watching this film following Chris the character rather than Chris his friend. Until the end where the worlds collide and like I said makes things even more realistic.

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I am not sure how Jordan Peele did it and I really hope he doesn’t go the same was as M Night Shyamalan – starting on a high and slowly burning out but everything Peele put into this film works, the acting from all the cast is brilliant. Questionable, strange and nervous. Everyone portrays what they need to in such a convincing way that at the end you are with Chris, scarred and afraid of everything going on. The score and music choices are equalling as tense and frightening. Bringing you closer to the edge of your seat with every key change and obviously the theme – such a hot topic and social taboo to talk about is taken and ran with in a brutal honest display of real life culture and social constructs.

Overall I left the cinema very happy and proud of the film. Which I found I hadn’t really done in a while. It was brilliant, so good, I genuinely can’t stop thinking or talking about this film. There is a few jumps that you just don’t see coming, a bit of blood, gore and just an overall spine tingling feeling of nerves.

GET OUT! GO AND SEE THIS FILM.

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Man vs Movies – Johnny Depp Edition.

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We’ve taken a break from our regular scheduled programming to interrupt this broadcast with a bitter-sweet post that is fitting after last nights bombshell of information about Amber Heard and the Domestic Abuse case against Johnny Depp. Oh how the tables have turned. This post was originally written last june to link to my post about Johnny Depp, which can he found HERE. But I got caught up with house stuff and never got it posted. But it’s been in the chamber ready ever since then and now is time. I have always been a fan and admirer of his and I am so glad this information has come out, it helps show that men can be and are victims too. Anyway let’s celebrate the man by going through my “Top Five” films.


 

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

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Featured before in this series. It’s an amazing biopic story of Hunter S Thompson a real wild card. To prepare for the role Johnny Depp went up to Aspen, Colorado and met HST to learn and interview him for the role. The story goes that he was waiting in a bar for hours and just as Depp was about to leave the door swung open and this mad man storms in carrying a cattle prod and a . . . I want to say Revolver, but it could be a bottle of whiskey. Either or – HST was a big fan of both. This was the start of their friendship and the film does Hunters life justice. The film is just a whirlwind of events fuelled by drugs and booze as the two leads scurry around the desert in an attempt to cover a sporting event. It might not be everybody’s cup of tea. But I love it.


Secret Window.

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Based on Stephen King’s short story Secret Window Secret Garden. It follows a writer (Depp) who is stalked by a stranger claiming that the writer stole his story but changed the ending. As the twists and shocks carry on, Mort has to find away to prove he wrote the story first while fighting off this stalker. The stakes get higher and higher as the film climaxes with a shocking twist that leaves Mort’s world shaken. It’s a fantastic performance from Depp and if you like a good psychological thriller this one’s for you.


Ed Wood.

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This film follows Edward D Wood Jnr – renowned for being the Worst Director of all time. But with his love of B movie cinema, the classic monster flicks and Bela Lugosi, this flick follows Ed Wood as he tries to break into cinema and the production of his “Masterpiece” Plan Nine from Outer Space. It’s shot entirely in Black and White which adds a real nostalgic feel to the movie. Again it’s one of them films that might not be for everyone but has become a cult classic that is worth a watch at least once and it cements Depp as such a talented actor taking on another biopic and playing a real person. (Second of my Top Five as well)


Pirates of the Caribbean.

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For some people of my generation and younger this would be their first encounter of Johnny Depp and what a great way to get to know him. Swinging onto our screen as Captain Jack Sparrow, Depp takes the reins in this fresh new Pirate movie that takes its inspiration from a roller coaster at Disney World. This movie never gets old, it’s funny, exciting, different and yes they tried to milk it and make a few too many sequels but they are all a bit of fun and escapism which is what they should be. It also helped put a few actors back on the map and now are referred to as . . . so and so from Pirates.


Black Mass.

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The last spot was a tough call. Like I have said I am a big JD fan and cutting his list of films down to five is a tough call. But I decided to go with Black Mass – another biopic that Depp gets to sink his teeth into and in my eyes nails perfectly. Black Mass tells the tale of James “Whitey” Bulger and the Winter Hill Gang, a crime organisation from South Boston in the 70’s. Showcasing Bulger become an informant for the FBI, in exchange for protection he effectively rats out other gangs and groups in an attempt to profit from their downfall. It’s a brilliantly acted piece that shows off Depps talents in yet another acting genre.


 

I would love to know your favourite films of Mr Depp’s, let me know what you think to my list too.

 

Avengers: Endgame. Is this it?

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Another thing that I love about Super Bowl Sunday is the amount of movie trailers and teasers that get aired during the ad breaks and half time show. It’s like a geeky gold mine and this year was no exception. Showcasing a 30 second tease for both Captain Marvel & Avengers Endgame.

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“Some people move on, but not us!”

This line echos chills down your spine as Steve “Captain America” Rogers drops a sentimental statement regarding the lost comrades.

The 30 second TV spot adds to the 2 and a half minutes of footage that we have already seen, showing the remains of the team on Earth and what can only be described as their ways of coping with the aftermath of the “Snap”. New York looks abandoned and empty as we pan across several scenic night shots. Cap is in some kind of self help group meeting that suggests the “Snap” was a long time ago and people are struggling to come to terms with their loss and the rest of the featured members look broken and affected in certain ways.

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We also see a lot of walking in this spot trailer, which might seem trivial but asks the questions, what are they walking to, what is the purpose? Especially the team lineup at Avengers HQ.

Assembled one last time, One final mission.

Thor and Rocket seem to go on yet another little field trip, with what looks like Thanos’ farm being their final destination which poses the question – Have they found him? Why have they gone alone? If this is right it shows great character development for Rocket who spent Infinity War actively avoiding Thanos at all costs and for him to now be going head on into the Mad Titan’s home suggests to me that losing Groot has affected him in a really bad way.

Grief can take many forms and affect people in different ways; Steve talking and dealing with things in group therapy, Thor and Rocket going off to seek something, be it Answers or Revenge, while Black Widow has seemed to have used training to keep focused as we see her unload an ammo clip into a paper target while wearing what I would assume to be a sports vest which adds to my thinking of her throwing herself into training and staying on edge ready for whatever’s to come.

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Finally there is also a glimpse of Tony and Nebula repairing something in the spacecraft. Which if tied into the first trailer could be seen as one final push to survive, or could the start of a failed attempt that leaves Tony lacking food and oxygen as he calls Pepper.

With Time being such a big element to this movie there is no way to know or fully understand the timeline of footage until we see the final product. That being said the MCU is becoming known for their deceptive trailers. All those shots we saw in the Infinity War trailer that never appeared in the final film for example. Could this be the same thing? Are we watching duff footage, is this a plot to pull the wool over our eyes and avoid major spoilers?

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I am so excited for the next few months and what the MCU is bringing out; Captain Marvel, Spider-Man: Far From Home and The Avengers Endgame. This one will be a biggy. It could be time to sadly say goodbye to some much-loved characters who have graced our screen for over ten years. The franchise is huge and has such a big cultural standing in today’s modern age. I am sure whatever they do, however they deal with it – it will be done with the utmost respect and care. As a studio they understand and appreciate the fans, they won’t look to do the fans out of a result.

What do you think to the latest spot? What do you think will happen and how will you react to it? I expect tears.


If by some miracle you haven’t seen the trailer here it is.