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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a film which comes directed by David Yates who some may know as the director of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them and also multiple Harry Potter films. This film stars Johnny Depp, Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law. It is the second film featured inside the Harry Potter universe in the Fantastic Beasts series.

When first hearing about and seeing the initial trailers for The Crimes Of Grindelwald, I was quite excited to see the film eventually release. This time around, they’ve added Johnny Depp into the cast and he plays the film’s villain, Grindelwald. I was excited to see Johnny Depp in this because in the past he’s been so great in the many Tim Burton films he has starred in and to me he seemed like just the right type of actor to place into a supernatural film like Fantastic Beasts. In this film we also get Jude Law, who plays Dumbledore. Jude is always great to have in a film, but I was keen to see what they were going to do with a much younger Dumbledore.

The plot of this film I thought was a little different to what I was anticipating. The first film focused quite heavily on the Newt Scamander character (Eddie Redmayne) and his accomplices as they sought to take down the villain and also deal with a bunch of mythical creatures. This film does try to bring quite a bit of what we saw in the first film, with Newt completing a bunch of animal care activities. But to me, Newt and the creatures seemed to always be a bit of a sideline plot that the film, particularly in the start gets quite bogged down in. Even some of the side characters from the first film, I felt were more in this film for some consistency rather than being useful for the story and to me it was a bit of any issue. It’s not until about 45 minutes in when things start to get serious and Grindelwald and Dumbledore start doing more that things get much better. The middle part of the film and towards the end of it I felt was very strong. We get to see Dumbledore, we see Hogwarts and we get a fantastic performance from Johnny Depp as Grindewald.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review

Now I don’t want to spoil things at all and I don’t want to seem too negative because Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is certainly a film worth seeing. I felt that it did quite a bit to expand to the lore of the Harry Potter universe and I’m very interested in both Grindelwald’s and Dumbledore’s stories. But this factor does bring a little bit of an issue with it, I have the question in my mind as to whether I am interested in Newt’s stories? I’d say a little less, I don’t really want to watch someone catch monsters all that much for 5 films. What I think was missing and I think because the story in the start of this film was bogged down in maintaining the side characters of the first film and all the monster elements, that there was quite a bit missed to do something interesting to develop Newt’s character. He was basically just more of the same the second time around. But since there’s going to be 5 of these film, maybe they can do more next time I hope.

Eddie Redmayne was quite good in this film and I like him in this role, he does a great job with Newt. I think maybe though that, Johnny Depp and Jude Law had more interesting characters to follow and their performances really did stand out as the better ones in the film. I would have liked more screen time for Jude Law though, he gets a lot in this, but we could have had more. Johnny Depp on the other hand, got I think just right amount of screen time and made a stronger impact than I thought in this film. I do hope they keep him coming back.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review

The CGI and the special effects in this are quite good. There’s some of the best looking effects in this film of all Harry Potter universe films. There’s a lot of work that goes into animating all the monsters that Newt has to catch and there’s nice effects on all of those. David Yates has worked on so many films in this universe now that he seems to know how to get the look of things just right. I always like coming back to this universe every few years and seeing what is going on with it and there’s a lot of work that goes into making the visuals look just right and I admire it.

Overall this is a great film to go and see at the cinema if you love the Harry Potter universe. I love films that do a lot to expand the lore of the world’s and franchises that I like to watch and I’m a big fan of this franchise. The film does take a bit to get going in the beginning and I felt it was bogged down in a bunch of unnecessary ways, but from the middle and towards the end things start to get quite good. Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Eddie Redmayne were all great in this, but I particularly thought that Johnny Depp did exceptionally well.

Bryan loves writing about movies, TV shows and games and tries his best to give a balanced and honest view in all his reviews or opinion pieces on Resident Entertainment.

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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Review

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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Review - Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Review - Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is a film which comes written and directed by Quentin Tarantino who some may know for films such as The Hateful Eight (2015) or Pulp Fiction (1994). The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning and Al Pacino. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is about a fading Hollywood actor and his stunt double who are striving to achieve success in the final years of the Hollywood golden age.

Before going into this film, I must admit I was quite excited about it. This is the 9th film from Quentin Tarantino, who is one of my favourite directors of all time and the cast is filled with so many great actors there’s no reason to not want to see this one. Even though my expectations for this film were set very high, I came out of the cinema incredibly happy, very entertained and extremely impressed with what I just saw. Quentin Tarantino has truly delivered something very special this year and I highly recommend going to see it.

The way the story is told is very interesting. The audience follows the career of Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is trying to maintain his stardom and Hollywood status in a time when things are changing. The actor is trying to transition from being a major TV star to a Hollywood actor, but it’s very difficult. On top of this, Rick Dalton is ageing and he is no longer in his prime, he’s sort of becoming obsolete. Cliff (Brad Pitt) is sharing a similar fate with his career tied to the success or failure of Rick’s. In contrast to these two, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) is a character who is everything good about Hollywood in 1969, her personality is welcoming, she helps people and she’s friendly. Quentin Tarantino’s Sharon Tate is the ideal Hollywood star of the time.

Quentin Tarantino with this film captured the spirit and essence of Hollywood in 1969. I felt like I was watching real people going through real things. The attention to detail on each of the characters and also watching them develop as the film progresses was very well done. This film also one has of the best endings and is maybe the best film that I’ve seen in 2019.

The actors were all great, I really enjoyed watching Leonardo DiCaprio in this film. The actor has a very wide range of things he could do as his character Rick Dalton is going through quite a lot and there are a lot of different emotional elements. On top of this, as a character who is an actor, Rick is seen acting in other films within this film as different characters he is playing. There are some very good performances within this film from Rick Dalton and in some ways, I wish I could watch the films that he was making within this film. Brad Pitt does very well and so too does Margot Robbie. Dakota Fanning surprised me a lot in this film as I didn’t even recognise her as Squeaky Fromme, she was only in the film for a bit, but for that time she was, she was very impactful.

Overall, I have no further comments to make about this film without having to go into major spoilers discussing all the different elements of it. It’s hard to write a long review for a film when everything was awesome in it. The directing, acting, writing, music and everything else about Once Upon A Time In Hollywood was awesome and Quentin Tarantino exceeded my expectations for this film. It may just be one of his best ones yet. I highly recommend going to see it at the cinema this week or as soon as you can. I am already wanting to see it a second time and probably will re-watch it on Blu-Ray when it’s released.

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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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