Archive for the Film Review Category

Django Unchained… In Review

Posted in Film, Film Making, Film Review, Filmcraft, Movie, Movie Review, Movies with tags , , , on July 28, 2019 by darkjade68

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Watched Django Unchained Yesterday For The First Time… Let Me Start By Saying, I Know Right Off The Bat That A Quentin Tarantino Film Is Going To Be Violent… Something I’m Not All That Into. Knowing That I Cover My Eyes As Needed lol That Said, He Does Use It As A Style Thing, And Method To Drive Points. And Humor. Moving On. As Much As I Love Jamie Foxx, Christopher Waltz For Me In General, Is An Unbelievable Actor. But Jamie And Leonardo DiCaprio Were Awesome As Well. Tarantino Holds No Punches With Casting In His Films. The Music/Soundtrack Is Pretty Much Everything, Once Again A Tarantino Thing. More Than Anything, I’d Have To Say This Is One Of The Most Penetrating Films In Regards To The Horror That Is/Was Slavery. Lastly, Jamie/Django Is A True Hero Of Retribution In This Film, And DiCaprio Is Truly Dastardly

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Posted in Film, Film Making, Film Review, Movie, Movie Review, Superhero with tags , , on July 9, 2019 by darkjade68

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Wow… Watched this for the first time last night on Netflix

So much heart

And the Animation was Mind Blowing

Bradley Cooper (Spoiler Alert)

Posted in Film, Film Making, Film Review, Movie, Movie Review, Movies with tags , , , , on February 24, 2019 by darkjade68

 

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What It Says

After I posted this, I realized ‘wow’, I’d always assumed Rami Malek (From Bohemian Rhapsody) was going to win.

But though I loved Rami, I think I actually have to give it to Bradley.

Though Rami will likely win… We shall see.

Bohemian Rhapsody… In Review

Posted in Film, Film Making, Film Review, Movie, Movie Review, Movies, Writing with tags , , on January 24, 2019 by darkjade68

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Let me just start by saying, Freddy Mercury is my favorite all time singer… Followed by David Bowie, and Steve Perry

Also, Rami Malek does deserve the Oscar for his portrayal as Freddy

That said, my Review

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Anticipation; I admit, I was looking more forward to this Film than I have about a Film in a long time.

One of the vibes I got through the whole of the Film, was that of a Tribute Film… Kind of a Film for the Fans

Which is cool, but it was a bit different than what I expected

Directing; As beautiful as this Film was, I did find myself feeling that it kind of focused on the Highlights of his career. Like I say, a Tribute Film, but I was actually more interested in some of the nuts and bolts…

I will say this though, this Film is worth seeing alone for the ending, which is basically a recreation of most of the Live Aid Concert Performance that Queen did… Which I always thought was one of the best performances of anyone, ever

Acting;

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Rami Malek; Brilliant… I already like Rami from Mr. Robot

I will say, and this has more to do with the Directing, and/or Writing I think, that I didn’t find myself ‘liking’ Freddy the way that he was portrayed in this Film

In the ending scenes, and performance, I caught glimpses of it

In my experience of Freddy, he’s one of the most passionate, amazing humans that has ever walked the earth. I feel the Film focused more on, like I say, his Career Highlights, and odd persona.

And though Rami was brilliant, I really do feel that it was the Directing, and/or Writing that fell short on capturing how amazing he was, beyond the music.

Not perfect, just vibrant.

Rating; In the end, it left me wanting to see it again… In case any subconscious expectations had snuck in. I really liked this Film, but he is one of my all time favorite people, so I would have liked, ‘liking’ him more by the end, and during actually. But if nothing else, see it for the final Live Aid Concert scenes.

4.25 Stars Out of 5

 

The Reason I Became A Filmmaker

Posted in Film, Film Making, Film Review, Writing with tags , on December 27, 2017 by darkjade68

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I watched the New ‘Blade Runner 2049’ a couple nights ago

It was Amazing

My Favorite Films are The Original ‘Star Wars‘, and ‘The Empire Strikes Back

In fact, they’re the reasons I became a Filmmaker

The third reason, was The Original ‘Blade Runner

More than anything, I’m a Storyteller… But Film Making is my main Passion

When I was watching the New Blade Runner I was reminded why

Brilliant Visuals, Great Story, Awesome Characters, Strong Acting, and Awesome Music

It affected me, and inspired me

Thanks for Listening/Reading

DarkJade-

Maybe It’s Not So Bad Being A Writer… Maleficent In Review

Posted in Film, Film Making, Film Review, Movie, Movie Review, Screenplay, Screenplays, Writing with tags , , on March 13, 2017 by darkjade68

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Maybe It’s Not So Bad Being A Writer… Maleficent In Review

I Just Watched “Maleficent” For The First Time And I Have To Say…

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…It Was Amazing

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From The Young Actress Who Played Young Maleficent…

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…To The Actor Who Played Her Raven In Human Form

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But More Than That Was Angelina, And The Writer Of The Screenplay, Linda Woolverton

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The Same Screenplay Writer Who Brought You Both The Alice Films…

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…And The Animated “Beauty And The Beast” & “The Lion  King” Screenplays

And It Shows

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Maleficent Is A Perfect Dark Fairy Tale, With A Dash Of Light

It Brings Depth To One Of The All Time Best Villains Of All Time…

…Second Only To Darth Vader For Me

If You Haven’t Seen It…

See It

But Prepare Yourself For Wonder…

Tragedy…

And Glorious Storytelling

Nuff Said

DarkJade-

The “Star Wars” Films… Plus “The Force Awakens”… In Review

Posted in Entertainment, Film Making, Film Review, Films of Meaning, Movie, Movie Review, Star Wars, Story with tags , , on April 22, 2016 by darkjade68

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The “Star Wars” Films… Plus “Star Wars The Force Awakens”… In Review

What Star Wars Means To Me; Many of you who’ve followed me for a bit, are probably aware that the Original “Star Wars” & “The Empire Strikes Back” were the reasons I became a Filmmaker.

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In fact, way back in August 18th, 2011 I did a short Post called “Star Wars (DarkJade’s First Look), Followed by an actual Review of the Original “Star Wars“, on September 13th, 2011.

And in December 11th, 2011 I did a piece on my Filmcraft Series about “The Empire Strikes Back” (Though it looks like since then many of the Videos I linked on that post have since been blocked… Disney perhaps)

In a nutshell, the most important things to me in Film, are Story/Story Scope, And Strong Characters/Character Development… Which was at the Core of the First Two “Star Wars”.

In fact Story and Characters are so important to me, that, that is probably why I began this Blog back at the end of 2011, so I might Write a few myself.

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George Lucas; To me George Lucas epitomizes what it is to bring your Vision to life… And as it turned out, he’s a Pretty Brilliant Businessman, which doesn’t hurt, if you like to have a lot of Freedom on your Projects, which I do.

He’s one of my Heroes, along with the likes of Walt Disney (The man), Bruce Lee (The Legend), Captain America (Not the movie version, the Comic version), John Hughes (Director of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, And The Breakfast Club) & Gary Gygax (Creator and/or Co-Creator of Dungeons & Dragons).

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The Films; 

The Original “Star Wars” was mind boggling for me, and game changing for the Film Industry. Great Story Scope (Starting on Chapter IV, Brilliant), Amazing Characters (Han Solo/The Rebellious Handsome Rogue & Darth Vader/The Best Villain Ever to make his way on Film were my favorites). And…

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Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on the gantry in the reactor shaft in the Cloud City at Bespin. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

…”The Empire Strikes Back” was the Best Sequel ever made (Some may say God Father II Was, but I’d really need to watch those Films again to comment, lol).

For me the First Film was ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’s’ Film (Though many might say it was Luke’s Film), and “The Empire Strikes Back” was ‘Han Solo’s’ Film… His character was brilliant… I remember experiencing what felt like the Best Film ever watching it (Same feeling with the First), and then the ‘Cliffhanger’ Ending just pissing everyone off, lol

 

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Return Of The Jedi” – I loved the Scenes with Luke on the Deathstar with the Emperor & Darth Vader… Did not personally care for the Ewoks (But I was 14 Years Old, so… I think Lucas was aiming a bit younger, as I know many who loved them), and didn’t care for Endor in general. The Jaba stuff was alright… Also, ‘HATED’ the way Boba Fett Died… Terrible… So terrible. For me “Return Of The Jedi” was Luke’s Film, and he did a brilliant job.

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“Phantom Menace” – For me this Film fell way short… I liked Liam and McGregor (Above) as Jedi’s, but couldn’t stand the kid that played Anikan. Natalie Portman was good, but none of it really grabbed me. Really didn’t like Jar Jar Binks (Like Ewoks, he made the Film too silly… But once again, I believe he was aimed at a younger Audience, I was 30, lol), but have come to find out that he’s some people’s favorite character. The one Scene that did, however, ‘feel’ like “Star Wars”, was the Fight Scene towards the end between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon & Darth Maul. Though many felt Darth Maul looked too Demonic (Not the fans, more likely some Parents And/Or Religious affiliates), I thought he represented ‘true’ Evil.

Overall, because Darth Vader is my Favorite all time Villian, and “Star Wars” Character, I just couldn’t stand what Lucas did with Anikan.

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“Attack Of The Clones” – “Attack of the Clones” was Brilliant… Not the calibur of the Original Two Films, but a really Great Film. First of all, this was definitely ‘Obi-Wan’s’ Film… Starting with the scene where he and Anikan were guarding Padme, and he ‘Leaped!’ through the window Fearlessly (I knew then that Obi-Wan was the truest Jedi, more than even Luke), through to the scene where he confronts Jango Fett in the rain… Just Brilliant… Followed by that ‘Film Industry Changing’ space battle (Largely because of the Sound of Boba’s explosives from his ship)…

“Attack Of The Clones” was George Lucas’s way of saying #@@R@R YOU! To all the haters who slammed him for “Phantom Menace”…

I Loved “Attack Of The Clones”… Except… Anikan… As much as I thought that Actor was a good choice (Though I would have preferred Leonardo Dicaprio, lol)… I really felt that Anikan was a ‘whining’ wet rag… Sorry Haden, no offense… He just seemed like an annoying brat who was Hyper Active… Not the Future ‘Darth Vader’.

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“Revenge Of The Sith” – “Revenge Of The Sith” for me was like an Opera… Or what you might refer to as George Lucas’s ‘Swan Song’ (In regards to “Star Wars” anyway), or Swan Song To date… This Film was a perfect piece (Not meaning it was a perfect Film, but perfect for what it was) to end Lucas’s Series of Six Films.

For me the ‘use of music’ and ‘cinematography’ in this Film were pretty much flawless… And though, once again, Anikan never reached the kind of level I felt that Character had potential to reach, I do feel that Hayden did a better job in this Film.

And, once again, it was confirmed in my mind, and heart, that Obi-Wan, not Luke Skywalker, is, and was the ‘Truest’ of Jedi’s… More than Yoda, who I enjoyed, but always found a bit ‘demented/sarcastic’, lol via his humor… And not Mace Windu, who was strong, but a bit ‘Righteous with a dash of Ego’…

Not Obi-Wan… His Ego was completely balanced… He was, and is the Light… And though Luke Skywalker may reach his pinnacle place as a Jedi in Episode VIII (In 2017), up to this point, he has not.

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“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” In Review…

At last, my “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Review

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Let me start by saying, I am most likely one of the only people who Loves “Star Wars”, and didn’t see this Film in the Theatre…

And I have to tell you, it Wrecked me…

But, due to some Personal Issues, I never quite made it (Everything is fine, don’t worry, just never made it)

That said, we purchased a Digital Copy of it the day it became available on Itunes, and watched it that very night… And I was blown away.

Let me also say, that during the time that the Film was out, it was staggering to me how the Fans seemed to create some sort of ‘pact’ not to divulge any of the secrets of the story on Social Media…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there were some things out there, but for the most part, I didn’t find out ‘anything’ on Twitter nor Facebook

Part of this may have been that Mark Hamil himself was Tweeting requesting people to not give anything away… A noble act, from a very cool guy

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The Story; The story is a good one… (SPOILERS, don’t read on if you haven’t seen it, and don’t want to know things) First of all, Luke Skywalker has disappeared after working with new Jedi’s, only to have one of his pupils destroy everything. Brilliant.

And thus a search for Luke is underway… Why? Mainly because there is a new group called the First Order, who has brought the Dark Side back into play… In other words, World Domination is their initiative. This group is lead by some cool bad guys, who I won’t discuss much.

Next, a Storm Trooper decides, he can’t do the acts that the First Order wishes him to do, and thus, he switches sides to the good guys… Great concept.

And a young girl who seems to have natural abilities with the Force, but only begins to realize it, enters the Story. Girl, not a boy, which is a nice twist

I don’t want to say more than that, but all and all, lots of good Story to work with, and build upon for the next two chapters. Episode VIII & Episode IX.*

*Did I Mention Han Solo And Chewie Are Back?? Yeah, They Are, And They’re Great

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The Characters; To my utter surprise, I Love the two new Main Characters in this Film… Especially Finn, but Rey is great too.

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Finn (John Boyega); I was literally shocked how much I liked this character… But in truth, the majority credit likely belongs to the Actor, John Boyega. Not only is he a huge “Star Wars” Fan (Or so the Director says in the Behind The Scenes, the Enthusiasm was definitely there), but his Heart and Conviction in this Role, is staggering… Especially his heart, and interactions with, and about Rey.

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Rey (Daisy Ridley); Rey literally never seems to stop running… But this is done in a cool way… She actually seems more like a ‘Character’ than a person… What I mean by that is, she really seems to exist in this world that Lucas & Abrams created… Hard to explain, but it was really great… You never questioned anything about her. You just watched as she moved her way through the story. She does remind me a bit of Keira Knightley in her look, and speech, but only partly… And it’s not a bad thing… The rest just seems like they did a good job finding someone for what would, or could be a difficult/pressure filled role.

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Han & Chewie; Han & Chewie were back, and were just the same… Only Solo was a bit older, it didn’t cause a problem.

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BB-8; Was great

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Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) & Kylo Ren (Adam Driver); Both Poe & Kylo were good, but I’d like to see them more developed. Kylo’s last Scene was probably his best, but the Voice they use through the Mask is great! Poe has promise, but once again, I’d really like to see him more developed.

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Remaining Characters; The remaining characters were good, especially the use of the Storm Troopers throughout.

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Directing; The Directing Baton has been passed from Lucas to J.J. Abrams, who I thought was a perfect choice (Since they didn’t ask me, lol). His work in “Super 8” (If you haven’t seen it, do… It’s a great homage to Steven Spielberg’s type of Directing… Who I believe Produced it), and the New “Star Trek” movies, is brilliant.

And with this Film, he completely brought back that old “Star Wars” feeling from the Original two Films.

Producing; After watching the Behind the Scenes Feature Length Documentary of the making of “The Force Awakens”, I have to say my hat is off to Kathleen Kennedy, who Lucas had handed off the running of Lucas Films a while back. She was the heart and soul of this project.

The Review; For me, this Film was Great! I highly recommend it… I immediately wanted to watch it a Second Time, which rarely happens.

The way it moves, the Characters, the Story, the Effects… All Brilliant.

Here are the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) Ratings for all of the “Star Wars” Films, and my Ratings of the same Films;

“Star Wars” – IMDB = 8.7 – Mine = 9.3 (Like nothing anyone has ever seen)

“The Empire Strikes Back” – IMDB = 8.8 – Mine = 9.4 (Strong Story… Strong Characters/Character Development… Amazing Setting. Everything that I love in a Film)

“Return Of The Jedi” – IMDB = 8.4 – Mine = 7.5 (Some good, some not… But still great concepts)

“Phantom Menace” – IMDB = 6.5 – Mine = 7 (Lack luster, with a few good things)

“Attack Of The Clones” – IMDB = 6.7 – Mine = 8.5 (Great… Action with Intelligence)

“Revenge Of The Sith” – IMDB = 7.6 – Mine = 8.4 (Dramatic)

“The Force Awakens” – IMDB = 8.3 – Mine = 8.8 (Refreshing… Action filled return to the Essence that is “Star Wars”)

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Thanks For Reading/Listening

And “May the Force be with you…”

dArKjAdE-

“Spotlight” Was Amazing

Posted in Film, Film Making, Film Review, Movie, Movie Review, Story, Writing with tags on February 29, 2016 by darkjade68

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Just Watched It…

Incredible

Avengers Age Of Ultron… In Review

Posted in Film Review, Movie Review, Movies with tags , , , , on October 12, 2015 by darkjade68

Avengers-Age-of-Ultron-FAN-MADE-Poster-the-avengers-35940286-1200-18002Avengers Age Of Ultron… In Review

My History With “The Avengers”;

Let me start by saying, as a kid the Comic Books I read were “The Avengers”, “Captain America”, “Iron Man” and “West Coast Avengers”… And from DC, “The Flash”…. That said, when the movies associated to those characters started coming out, I was the perfect audience for them. But, I will admit, at this point, I’m a bit tired of Superhero Films… Granted, I know full well that they’re not going anywhere, in fact DC Comics is about to more heavily weigh in soon.

I will say this about the first two “Avenger” Movies, they very much remind me of the Comics. It’s not all that easy to juggle that many characters, but they do achieve it successfully.

The First “Avengers” Movie I really enjoyed… Not as much as I enjoyed the First “Iron Man” Movie… But a lot more than I enjoyed the First “Captain America” Movie. Oh, and both “Thor” Movies are very good.

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Story;

When I think of “The Avengers”, or “Superman”, and in some cases “The X-Men”, one of my thoughts is how can anything on Earth stand a chance. There lies the challenge. In the First Avengers Film, Loki was the bad guy who was from Asgard… And Alien Creatures aided him. Case and point. If you’re looking for the more ‘here on Earth’ intricate hero stories, watch the “Batman” Movies, or the “Arrow”, or “Daredevil” Television Series… The Films are great, and the TV Series are a lot of fun.

But that’s not what you will find in movies such as “The Avengers”.

That said, the Story was interesting enough, but as in the First “Avengers” Film, the Characters, and quieter Character Scene interactions are the greatest strength of these movies. Credit goes to Joss Whedon (The Director), whose Character Directing is what in my opinion is his strength (He wrote and Directed the “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” Television Series for all that don’t know).

Avengers-Age-of-Ultron-Character-Poster-Captain-AmericaThe Characters;

My Favorite Character in the First “Avengers” Movie, to my surprise, was Scarlett Johansson’s “Black Widow”… No, not because of her looks, because of her Acting, which is why I started liking her when I first saw “The Horse Whisperer”, which I believe was her first film. My Second favorite character in the First “Avengers”, was “The Hulk” (Mark Ruffalo). Not counting Robert Downey Jr.’s “Iron Man”, who I was first introduced to in “Iron Man”… He was amazing in the “Iron Man” Film, and carried it forward in “The Avengers”.

But enough about the First Film. In the “Avengers Age Of Ultron” Film, to my pleasant surprise, “Captain America” was my favorite character. I only say to my pleasant surprise, because though I already liked Chris Evans (From “Fantatastic Four” The Human Torch), I wasn’t all that happy with his portrayal in the “Captain America” Film. I think it was more of a Directing, Writing thing though. But he got better in “The Avengers”, and better in the Second “Captain America” Film, and even better in this Film. My next favorite character was a true surprise to me… A Character I had completely forgotten about existing, since I read the “Avenger” comic books years ago. Who that character is, is a bit of a spoiler, but I guess most of the world has seen this Film already, so I’ll just post a picture of the Character below, but say no more.

avengers_age-of-ultron_the-vision-transformation-2Played by no other than Paul Bettany, who I love, and who’s ‘voice’ is used in both the Original “Avengers”, and all of the “Iron Man” Films… Nuff said.

Beyond that, the other characters are fine, the Film begins with a big action sequence, which visually is of course entertaining, but I do admit that the immediate banter between characters felt like residue from the first Film. And so at first, I found myself more waiting, than watching for the Film to improve. But it does.

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Review;

In the end, between Captain America’s character who I really enjoyed, Paul Bettany’s character who I also very much enjoyed, and Joss Whedon’s more heart felt Character Directed moments, I left this Film feeling both Entertained, and satisfied. The reality is, they pour an immense amount of effort into these Films, and we get to watch them for one small price compared to their Production Enormity. And thus, I rate this Film a 7.25 out of 10.

Definitely check it out if you like Hero Films… And if you don’t, you still might enjoy certain characters, and certain moments.

Nuff Said

dArKjAdE-