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Justice League Review

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Our heroes come together to fight someone really bad! - Justice League Review
All Images Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/ TM & © DC Comics

Justice League Review – Spoiler Free

Justice League is the latest film to take place in the DC comics cinematic universe and follows on shortly after the events of Batman V Superman. The film comes directed by Zack Snyder who some may know as the director of Batman V Superman, The Watchmen or Man Of Steel. Justice League stars  Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Jeremy Irons, Ciarán Hinds and Amber Heard.

In the lead up to this film and then when it initially released, I had some mixed feelings of excitement, but also apprehension towards going to see it. As a big fan of DC comics and their stories for as long as I can remember, I have a great amount of care for the characters they’re making these movies about. Some of the films like Wonder Woman I feel were great, whereas the recently released Batman V Superman was only really average at best. With the release of Justice League, I really had no idea what I was in for.

Coming out of this film, I had felt that it certainly was much better than what we got with Batman V Superman, although some of the issues that film had with characters still linger in this followup. It wasn’t the quality we got from Wonder Woman though, which to me suggests I think that what they had there and the tone they went with for Wonder Woman is the direction the DC Universe should take.

The story sees us witness both Batman and Wonder Woman recruit a bunch of members to help them defeat a mad man named Steppenwolf who is super powerful and wants to destroy the world. This scenario leads to the recruitment of characters like Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg. But will they be able to defeat Steppenwolf? With Superman dead (since the last film) are these heroes enough?

Our heroes come together to fight someone really bad! - Justice League Review

Our heroes come together to fight someone really bad! – Justice League Review

As a plot for a superhero film, this one is pretty much the standard scenario. Villain wants to destroy the world and rule it, our heroes must stop him. We’ve seen this before and there’s nothing innovative here. Steppenwolf maybe could have been interesting, but is really just like a point of complication for the heroes to come together and overcome. Justice League as a film has heavy themes of teamwork and with a bunch of heroes who like to work alone, it’s a tough ask.

But the film also has the theme of having a ‘heart’ which I think carried over from the Wonder Woman film. It was nice to see this trait be applied to various heroes in Justice League. It’s important to do because it helps to humanise the characters as caring people who are heroes in their world. I was happy to see our heroes in multiple sections of this film actually spend some time rescuing civilians in danger of dying. It wasn’t just about going after Steppenwolf and beating him up. A hero is there to save people and Zack Snyder certainly caught this aspect quite well. Our heroes in the Justice League care about those around them and are there as their saviours.

Ben Affleck is Batman in Justice League - Justice League Review

Ben Affleck is Batman in Justice League – Justice League Review

The special effects in Justice League are decent. If you’re going in there for just some action sequences, explosions, car chases, monsters and hero action then this film will have you covered. In some ways it is a little cgi heavy, but it’s decent cgi and I had no issue with any of it. The music also something interesting, it was nice to hear some of the old Danny Elfman Batman themes mixed in for certain scenes as well as the old Superman themes we all know.

The actors all do fine jobs in this film. I do think that Gal Gadot really was the stand out star of the bunch, with her presence seeming to brighten up almost every scene. Wonder Woman’s character is the best developed character of the bunch of heroes there at the moment and Gal Gadot does exceptionally well with her in Justice League. She’s certainly I think the biggest plus that the current DC Universe has at the moment.

Gal Gadot was outstanding as Wonder Woman in Justice League - Justice League Review

Gal Gadot was outstanding as Wonder Woman in Justice League – Justice League Review

I did enjoy Ben Affleck a little more than I did the last time and it seems he’s got a better feel for Batman. Henry Cavill who does appear in the film in certain parts, certainly made a big impact and I feel his Superman was much improved this time around. Jason Momoa was an interesting one and his Aquaman was good, he wasn’t annoying at all and I would certainly want to see his standalone film when it releases next year.

The tone of the film and the DC films in general is something I think they’re still trying to get right. There’s a strange balance one must have with superhero films and there’s some difficulty in making them in that these films can really be for kids, teens or adults to watch. While I don’t think that this is something for kids to see, the tone does constantly switch between something I’d think teens would enjoy more than something adults might like, it’s more for teens 14-17 to see. Whereas something like The Dark Knight trilogy I feel catered to an audience much older and I think this is what makes these films hard. Who are they for the most and what is the audience for Justice League? I know they want everyone, but I feel teenagers will enjoy this the most and will get the most out of the experience. If they’re going for that audience, I think they have the film that audience will enjoy.

Zack Snyder does well with the directing of this, it’s mostly an action film, with occasional dialogue. The tone is a little light, with characters saying funny one liners all throughout the experience, it’s not bad at all and some of the lines are funny. With so many characters to balance and also introduce into the DC cinematic universe as well, things seemed good enough to me. I feel that because they had so many characters to cover, there was a little bit of a missed opportunity to develop the villain as they instead favoured our heroes. That’s all fine with me though as I feel Zack Snyder in the end got a good group together and brought the ‘heart’ aspect into the Justice League and that’s what I wanted from this film.

Overall Justice League does have a few flaws, but does offer an entertaining action experience. The film has a nice meaning of caring for others above your own self and also the importance of a team. Gal Gadot was truly great yet again as Wonder Woman and both Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill have significantly improved and were much better than in the past. While the villain is quite lackluster, the variety of heroes, funny one liners and interesting banter between the characters was a joy to watch. I’d recommend seeing this film if you’re a fan of the comic book film genre or of any of the characters or actors appearing in it. While not an overly serious film, Justice League was a lot of fun to watch.

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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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