Creed Review | Resident Entertainment
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With the first film considered a classic, and five sequels with varying degrees of quality that followed, there weren’t any demands to continue the Rocky films. But, shockingly, Hollywood thought on its own, and the Rocky movies live on. But, shockingly, Hollywood thought on its own, and all naysayers were shut down for once.

When the news first broke that Ryan Coogler is directing a movie about a descendant of Apollo Creed with Michael B. Jordan in the lead role shortly after the two put out the critically-acclaimed drama Fruitvale Station, there probably wasn’t a single complaint. That emotionally-charged and heart-shattering directorial and screenwriting debut is enough to prove Coogler’s abilities to handle a big Hollywood picture, especially a Rockyfilm.

1976’s Rocky is the quintessential sports film. When we first meet Sylvester Stallone’s titular character, we understand in the first five minutes that he’s not that bright and doesn’t have much motivation to go further in his life as a low-paid boxer and an enforcer for a loan shark. But that big ol’ teddy bear is so sweet and pure that you can’t help but love him; cheering with every win, and feeling depressed with every loss.

Boxing means nothing to me, but every time I watch the fight between Rocky and Creed, my heart is pounding and I tense up. Despite knowing the outcome, I’m so emotionally invested in this man that I’m having a heart attack long before the fifteenth round.

That feeling is unparalleled, not just in the Rocky sequels, but in 99% of the movies that exist. Feeling any bit of intensity even the first time is a rarity nowadays. That being said, I was a millisecond away from picking up my seat and throwing it across the theater because I could barely contain myself during Creed’s gripping climax.

Coogler with his second script and Aaron Covington in his screenwriting debut crafted a character that is every bit the essence of Rocky Balboa. Adonis Creed (Jordan) is not just “guy with rough childhood accomplishes things.” He’s got plenty of money and brains to boot – enough to get him a promotion at his office job. But he drops that and sets off to Philadelphia to get Rocky (Stallone) to train him to fight.

In Philly, we witness Adonis smacking around punching bags and chatting it up with the cute girl next door (Tessa Thompson, Dear White People). Rocky relates to him, knowing Adonis desperately wants to fill the many holes in his life – no father figure, no goals, and an empty heart. That’s what made Rocky such a compelling narrative, and that’s where Creed excels as well.

Michael B. Jordan takes every punch that hits him, and dishes it right back. The heft in Jordan’s work here makes it look easy, similar to Stallone’s performance in the original film. Where Stallone brought a childlike innocence to Rocky, Jordan brings sincerity to Adonis. It may make the character feel a little straight-forward and admittedly generic at times, but that sincerity made the emotion hit that much harder.

Coogler is the expert at that. The man refuses to let up on his characters, never taking the camera off of them (sometimes literally, the one-shots in this movie will make any movie aficionado drool). When Rocky goes through his struggles, the attention remains on Adonis. Stallone is always on the screen (and always welcome since the 69-year-old actor still excels as the lovable character), but Coogler kept a very streamlined approach, keeping the attention on Jordan, and refusing to let him share the spotlight.

That way the story never lost track of where it was going. So, when the bell dings to signal the start of the first round at the film’s finale, you’re beyond ready to go. You’ll want to jump into the screen and take care of the opponent yourself. The energy explodes off the screen, and the enthusiasm I felt as a kid watching Rocky for the first time came roaring back.

9 out of 10

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  1. Bryan Weatherall

    November 26, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    You beat me to writing a review! (was just about to write one tonight) But I loved this film and was going to score it the same as you. Actually the first Rocky film is my favourite all time film at the moment and I don’t think anything can beat that, but this one was certainly great as well! Was very impressed with it and the fight scenes had so much intensity,

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Crawl Review

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Crawl Review

Crawl is a film which comes directed by Alexendre Aja who some may know as the director of The Hills Have Eyes (2006). The film stars Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper.

Crawl is a film about a young woman named Haley (Kaya Scodelario) who attempts to save her father (Barry Pepper) who is trapped in his house during a category 5 hurricane. Tremendous damage has occurred to the home and the surrounding area during the storm, with the streets slowly flooding But that’s not the only danger to be wary of, the flood waters have paved the way for dozens of alligators to come into town and they’re ready to feast on anyone still around. Will poor Haley and her father survive though?

Going into this film. I was actually quite excited. I do enjoy these action films where there’s some creature out there and it’s preying on whatever character the film is about. This film is a little similar to The Meg, but it most reminded me of Anacondas (2004). All of these films and Crawl included wouldn’t be ones I’d say were legendary films, but gosh, I definitely have fun watching them!

Crawl as a story is about survival. There are themes all throughout it related to man vs nature and also the idea of the apex predator is scattered all throughout it. Both characters in the film are constantly challenged and struggle to survive in the a town getting torn apart by the storm.

The main reason most people would go to see Crawl at the cinema would be for the action and that’s the same reason I wanted to go along and see this one. I wanted to see what the alligators could do and I wanted to see some people get eaten up. Did I get that? I certainly did! Did I need much more out of this? Probably not.

As for Crawl being scary. I’m not too sure, I find it all quite fun. But there are people who this would probably frighten a little. Much of the film is cgi and for what it is and for the type of movie this is I think it was just the right quality. They didn’t try to go too big like in The Meg where the cgi seemed to struggle in certain areas. Although the limitations of the cgi are visible in Crawl, it’s not too bad in the end.

The acting in Crawl isn’t too bad. Kaya Scodelario is who you’ll be watching for basically the entire film and she delivers a pleasant performance. Some may recognise this actress from her appearance in The Maze Runner (2014) where she played Teresa. Hopefully there is more to come from her in future films.

The tone of the film, while at times can be a little intense with all the danger out there did actually feel a little light. Alexandre Aja seemed to keep the tone not too serious and embraced the silliness of it all in certain areas to keep it light and fun. But it was also tense and scary when it needed to be.

Overall I had a good time with Crawl at the cinema last week. This isn’t a film that is going to blow anyone away with how good it is, but it’s something to see for a bit of fun over the weekend. You get to watch two characters try to survive a massive hurricane and not get eaten by alligators. Crawl was 1 hour and 27 minutes of fun!

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Sea Of Solitude Review

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Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude is a game which was developed by Jo-Mei Games and was published by Electronic Arts. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin. It is a single player third person adventure game. The game has the player control a character named Kay who explores an abandoned and flooded city.

This was a game which caught my eye only very recently when I first heard about its release. After watching the trailer, I thought the art style, strong colours and animations looked very interesting. Also as a person who went mad one day and subscribed to EA’s Origin Premiere late last year so that I could play some games I had missed out on over the years, I was pleased to see something new added to the store that wasn’t a typical Electronic Arts style major franchise game. Knowing I could get this one for free was enough to give it a go. But if you’re not part of that program to get it for free, I’d say that the $26.95 asking price for this digital title is certainly worth it.

The game isn’t too long, most hardened gamers will probably be able to finish this one in a single session, which I actually managed to do yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself, but I’d say to expect about 3 or so hours out of it, a bit more if you look around for collectables.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

On the surface, Sea Of Solitude is about a young girl named Kay, who is searching through a city, which is for some reason flooded. You start the game all alone on a tiny boat, way out at sea on the water. You make your way to the city, where you find a monster clad in darkness is blocking your path. Through exploration and activating certain things, Kay brings light to an otherwise dark city.

Underneath the main plot though, is a game with strong messages and themes related to loneliness and relationships. Kay as a character is someone who has become lonely, isolated and quite depressed after issues with her family and her boyfriend. The game sends the player on a journey to free Kay and other characters from suffering from the effects of loneliness and related themes. What I didn’t expect this weekend, was to play a game which seemed to have the objective of tackling these mental health issues in this way and I never expected to play something this weekend from the gaming genre with such deep meaning to it.

In many ways, Sea Of Solitude reminded me of my experience with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which was also a game that focused on mental health issues and is still a game I hold in very high regard. Both of these games were experiences that I could not put down once I started playing as I just had to find out what was going to happen with my character. Games tackling these mental health themes and the issues involved are quite rare in this medium, so when an experience like this does come along, it’s very unique and interesting. The difference between Sea Of Solitude and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is that Sea of Solitude is a little lighter in tone and not the intense gruelling experience that Senua’s was. This makes a player’s time with Sea Of Solitude one that is peaceful to experience.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

The art style in Sea Of Solitude is something I enjoyed looking at. The animations are very rounded, colours stand out on the screen and the use of blacks in contrast with visibly bright blues, whites and orange was what I loved the most. The music and also the voice acting, was soft and did fit in well with the tone of the game’s themes and art style. All together, visuals and audios seemed to be just right.

The gameplay in Sea Of Solitude is something I’d say is probably a little simple. It’s essentially a platforming game where you will jump, swim, drive a boat and shoot flares onto enemies. There aren’t any button combinations to learn or any level up systems. The game is accessible to people of most ages and even to people new to gaming could easily pick this one up and get through it.

Overall coming out of playing Sea Of Solitude, I was filled with positivity and happiness. The story is quite heavy when playing through it, but very warm in the end. The art style and animations are nice to see and the sound and voice acting was just right. I do like to see that the games industry can use the medium to tackle such heavy topics and release games like this which show how well this medium can tell a story and provide its audience with something of great meaning. I’m happy to recommend Sea Of Solitude for your gaming collection.

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Stuber Review

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Stuber Review

Stuber is a film which comes directed by Michael Dowse and stars Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani and Betty Gilpin. The film is an action comedy adventure about an Uber driver and a policeman who go on a wild ride together.

Going in to see Stuber I didn’t really know where to set my expectations. Knowing only that the film was a comedy, meant I went in for the lols and didn’t expect all that much from the story. But coming out of the film, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not really that great.

The film starts off okay and the opening scene features both Vic (Dave Bautista) and Sara (Karen Gillan) engaged in a dangerous shootout with some bad guys. Both are seriously injured and Vic loses his eyesight, which means he gets some urgent surgery. His eyes need time go recover, but as soon he’s able to walk he calls for an Uber and continues on with his police business, which is catching the bad guys who got away in the opening scene. This is where Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) comes in and the journey between this awkward duo begins.

I wish I could say that it was all good once the Uber ride began but it wasn’t. The film is only really mildly funny. Dave Bautista who I do really like in action films really isn’t great at comedy. Kumail Nanjiani basically was just screaming and yelling the whole time and talking about his Uber rating and reviews. I admit I did find some of the bad reviews he got from his previous customers in the film funny when they were shown, but that’s about it. Some of the jokes were also drawn out way too long. Dave Bautista’s character being blind was kind of funny in the first minute when you saw him trying to walk around without being able to see. But it’s only funny once and they did this joke over and over again almost all the way until the end!

In addition to this, for quite a bit of the film, I wondered if this was some sort of product placement or advertisement for Uber. There were so many mentions of Uber, Uber reviews and the difference between Uber products and services. What are we paying to watch here? Who cares about Uber!?

In the end I would suggest avoiding Stuber at the cinema this week and choosing literally any other film currently showing. After leaving this I instantly thought that Stuber needs to be on my list of worst movies of 2019 which I created just after seeing this and that says a lot because I was not compelled to make one after seeing X:Men Dark Phoenix.

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