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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is directed by Guy Ritchie, and it stars Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, and Aidan Gillen. It is the latest take on the story of King Arthur, however, this one tries to make it more compatible with modern audiences. So does it work?
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword suffers from probably the worst thing possible businesswise, poor marketing. The trailers and posters for this film made it look cliche, silly, and overall, just like a bad movie. A fact that was driven home when the film received a dreary 26% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That's why it came as such a shock to me when this movie was actually a lot of fun.
Is this new King Arthur an amazing film that will make you want to explore the mythology behind the Knights of the Round Table? No. However, it does offer a unique look into this story that many have heard time and time again. The film's fast pace and witty dialogue keeps the audience engaged from start to finish. In addition to that, the film features stellar action sequences that ultimately make the film a lot of fun to be had at the theater.
One big hesitation I had before this movie was Guy Ritchie's directing style. Ritchie has directed films such as Snatch, the Sherlock Holmes films, and most recently, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and I wasn't sure if his style would work well in a medieval setting. Surprisingly, Ritchie's trademark style and quick edits worked extremely well in this film, and they ultimately were a large part of what made it so much fun.
The story in the film is probably what is making people dislike it. While the story isn't awful by any means, it's not anything new. The story is one you've seen time and time again. To sum it up, it's basically just a dulled down version of Hamlet, except with less drama and more magic.
The two biggest surprises in the film were the musical score and the performances from the actors. The musical score by Daniel Pemberton was full of energy and fun, and it fit the film very well. It gets your blood pumping on many occasions. Secondly, the performances from the cast throughout the film were actually really good, specifically Charlie Hunnam in the titular role. He did a good job keeping the core of the King Arthur character in his performance, but he also brought his own refreshing flare to it.
One continuous vibe I had throughout this film was that it felt like a video game, in a good way. Even though it's not actually based on one, the way the movie was structured, all the way down to the ending fight between our protagonist and antagonist, made it feel like the first really good video game movie. If studios want to continue trying to make video game movies work, I would recommend watching this movie and taking notes, because this is it.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword wasn't an amazing movie, but it was still a lot of fun. Guy Ritchie's style of direction worked surprisingly well in the medieval setting, and it brings some new flare to the King Arthur mythos. It is fast paced, features an energetic musical score, and Charlie Hunnam gives a great performance as Arthur. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword isn't nearly as bad as people are saying, and you should definitely give it a shot.
So what did you think of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
The Great Wall is directed by Yimou Zhang, and it stars Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, and Tian Jing. It tells the story of a couple Westerners as they travel to China in search of gunpowder in the 11th century. In their search, they encounter a fortress along the Great Wall of China and discover the purpose of the Wall is to protect China from these mysterious beasts that frequently try to attack the country. One thing leads to another, and these two end up fighting alongside the Chinese to defend the Wall.
The Great Wall wasn’t nearly as great as the wall it's based on. In fact, it’s a bit of a stretch to say that this movie is any good at all. It has its enjoyable moments, but overall the movie fails to become anything worthwhile. It feels about twenty minutes too long, which is especially bad considering the movie is only an hour and forty-five minutes long, and most of all, though, this movie is extremely boring.
The movie as a whole may be a little lackluster, but that is no fault of the first half-hour. The first thirty minutes of this movie have their minor flaws, but for the most part, they were very entertaining. All the way until just after the film’s first action sequence, The Great Wall was actually a good movie. For me, it was sitting at about a 7/10 in that segment. The action was impressive, it had a fast pace, an interesting plot, and a lot of potential. I was pleasantly surprised by the beginning of the movie, and I was ready to come out of the theater defending this movie. Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last long.
After that entertaining first act of the movie, The Great Wall falls apart fast. Unlike the actual Great Wall of China which has amazed people and had them in awe for centuries, this film fails to keep its audience's attention for less than two hours. All of that fun and excitement from the beginning simply disappears after the first action sequence. It’s almost as it became a different movie. Even the action sequences throughout the film never match the fun of the first one. The film becomes slow and boring for the most part, and it felt like a chore to watch.
A good cast in a movie can really work wonders for it. The Great Wall has a great cast with the likes of Matt Damon, Willem Dafoe, and Pedro Pascal (whom you might recognize as Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones) rounding it out. A majority of the cast in this film seemed to only there for a quick paycheck, though, specifically, Damon and Dafoe, who are both great actors. They mailed in their performances in this movie. They weren’t awful, but they weren’t good either. The only two people in this movie that seemed to care were Pascal and Tian Jing, who played a military commander. Those two both felt like they were actually trying to salvage the movie, and despite their best efforts, they don't quite save it.
The only other good things that stand out to me from this movie are the costume design and the music. First off, the costume design by Mayes C. Rubeo used a lot of vibrant colors for the armor. Each piece of apparel in this film was intricate and well made. It’s not super important to the film as a whole, but it was noticeably good. Secondly, the music in the film really got your blood pumping. The use of drums, especially in the opening action scene, made the energy level spike. The film was scored by Ramin Djawadi who also scores every episode of Game of Thrones and Westworld, so this guy has a lot of talent and added to the movie.
As a whole, The Great Wall was less than great. It starts off on a high note and then quickly falls off. It becomes a slow, boring mess that never succeeds in capturing its audience’s attention. Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe were both in this movie only for a quick paycheck, and it really shows. Pedro Pascal and Tian Jing try their best to hold the movie up, and the costumes and music were well done, but the movie as a whole failed to be entertaining. The movie had an interesting premise, but it never quite lives up to it. I would not recommend seeing The Great Wall.
So what did you think of The Great Wall? Did you find more enjoyment out of it than I did? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is written by J.K. Rowling and directed by David Yates; it stars Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterson, and Ezra Miller. It is a spinoff/prequel to the incredibly popular Harry Potter series. After many of Newt Scamander’s magical creatures escape from his suitcase and start roaming New York City, he must track them down and stop them from causing any damage.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect out of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I’m a fan of Harry Potter, but I’m by no means a die-hard Potterhead. Going into this film, I had no idea what to expect. I was just hoping that it would be enjoyable and that it would have an interesting plot. It did not disappoint. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was an incredibly fun return to the Harry Potter universe.
The thing that stands out to me the most about this film is that it is not a Harry Potter film. You can tell that it takes place in the same universe, and there are a few references here that elude to what might happen in the future, but for the most part, this film stands on its own extremely well. It connects to Harry Potter just enough to satisfy fans, but it’s just separate enough to be its own entity. This is a testament to the fantastic (no pun intended) script penned by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. She knows this universe better than anybody out there, and all of the new additions and returning themes work extremely well.
The characters in this film are ones that I can’t wait to see again. Newt Scamander is just this fun loving guy that you actually want to be friends with. Does he make mistakes? Yeah, definitely. But you can’t get upset with him because he is just so likable. Eddie Redmayne shines in this role, and he fits extremely well into this universe. All of the side characters, particularly Jacob Kowalski and Credence Barebone, are just as interesting as Newt. Jacob, who is a No-Maj (Muggle), has no magical powers, but he makes up for that with his humorous personality. Credence, played by Ezra Miller, is a very nuanced character. He becomes an extremely compelling character throughout the course of the film, and Ezra Miller played him perfectly. There is a lot more about this character that I want to say, but I don’t think I can without spoiling anything. So, I’ll just leave it there.
Fantastic Beasts is an extremely fun film, and there are so many factors that go into making that happen. The creatures themselves are one of the biggest. They are all so incredibly creative and original! They are intricately designed, and they don’t feel like somebody just made them up. They feel like something you’d expect out of the Harry Potter universe, and it’s wonderful.
While this film is extremely fun, it’s not afraid to bring some of the darker tones that accompanied the later Potter films. At times it feels like it’s actually two films: the fun adventure across New York, and the serious side involving some things that I won’t spoil. However, both of these sides work very well together to make a really entertaining film.
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, I think that you’ll absolutely love Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It’s a wonderful return to the universe that won’t disappoint. If you didn’t love Harry Potter, you can still have a really fun time with this film. I would very much recommend Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I’ll definitely be seeing this one more than once, and I cannot wait for its sequels!
So what did you think of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Are you excited to see its sequels? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Doctor Strange is directed by Scott Derrickson, and it stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and Mads Mikkelsen. It is the latest film to be released by Marvel Studios as part of their Marvel Cinematic Universe. It tells the story of Dr. Stephen Strange after a series of events leads him on a journey of learning to harness the powers of the mystic arts.
Doctor Strange is probably the weirdest film to come from the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet, except for maybe Guardians of the Galaxy. The major difference between this film and Guardians lies within the superhero genre itself. Guardians of the Galaxy is very different from other Marvel films, but it still feels like a superhero movie. Doctor Strange does not. This movie is a fantasy story that feels more in the vein of Harry Potter than it does Captain America or Thor.
The originality of Doctor Strange, when compared to the rest of the MCU, might be the best part of the movie. This movie works on its own. You can watch this film, not knowing anything about The Avengers, and it will still make complete sense. It doesn’t suffer from the franchise exclusivity that hurt Captain America: Civil War earlier this year. Doctor Strange could exist completely independently from the MCU and still work as well as it did. This film is a perfect example of Marvel doing what they do best. First and foremost, Marvel focused on making a good movie here, then secondly they worked on fitting into their universe. They put the quality of the story of the film ahead of the ease of connection to the MCU, and it paid off big time.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s casting as Doctor Strange is comparable to the likes of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. Cumberbatch is one of the biggest stars out there right now, so you would think it would be distracting seeing a very familiar face up on the screen like this. However, he disappears into this role. It’s a little weird hearing Cumberbatch do an American accent for the first few minutes, but then you start getting used to it. You no longer see Benedict Cumberbatch; you see Stephen Strange.
The rest of the cast gave good performances as well. Chiwetel Ejiofor gave a performance in this film that rivaled that of Cumberbatch. He also slipped into his character extremely well and helped to elevate the film as a whole. Benedict Wong and Tilda Swinton both worked very well in their roles although there wasn’t a whole lot for them to do. Rachel McAdams played Christine Palmer, the sort of love interest for Strange. While she wasn’t the cliché love interest you see in many comic-book films, she didn’t add a whole lot to the movie. The character was one that worked really well in the film; I just don’t think it necessarily needed to be Rachel McAdams. Anybody could have played this character and the film would’ve been unchanged.
Mads Mikkelsen played the villain Kaecilius in this film. Kaecilius was a student of the Mystic Arts before Strange, but he chose to follow a darker path. Marvel throughout many of their films has suffered from the same flaw over and over again. Their villains. A vast majority of Marvel’s villains are really bland characters that are carbon copies of their heroes. It's obvious they are there exclusively to be a bad guy. Mads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius was no exception to this. While he wasn’t as bad as say Ant-Man’s villain Yellowjacket, he wasn't really an interesting character. Mikkelsen’s performance was the character's saving grace. Had they cast anybody else in the role, he probably would’ve been like Yellowjacket, but Mikkelsen did the best he could to make the character more compelling.
Now for the part that everybody will be talking about. The visuals. The visuals effects in Doctor Strange film were absolutely magnificent. They were so fine-tuned and interesting that they almost became their own character in the film. The psychedelic aspect of the visuals made for some of the most complex and interesting scenes in the film. These kaleidoscopic effects put the audience in a state of awe. Many people have been comparing the visuals to those of Inception. There is much more to them than that. Yes, there are Inception-esque moments, but there is much more in the visuals that just a cityscape folding in itself. Doctor Strange will, without a doubt, be nominated for Best Visual Effects at the Oscars this year, and don’t be surprised if it wins.
Doctor Strange is one of the best films Marvel has put out yet. It’s mind-bending, it’s funny, the visual effects were brilliant, and the overall tone of the film was very different from anything else Marvel has done. You can watch this film without seeing any of the other Marvel films, and still, understand what’s going on. I would highly recommend seeing this film, especially in RealD 3D or IMAX if you have the chance!
So what did you think of Doctor Strange? How would you compare it to the other Marvel films? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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