Your opinion on John Wick: Chapter 2, will depend entirely on what you enjoyed about the original.
If you loved the simplistic nature of the storyline, then you may be a little disappointed with this outing. However, if you loved the world building that took place in the first movie. I think you’ll love this.
The first film can be explained in a lift, one week after his wife dies of cancer, a retired hit man is randomly targeted by the son of Russian gangster-which results in the death of John Wick’s dog and the theft of his vintage mustang. Grief-stricken and angry, he seeks revenge.
John Wick: Chapter 2, is a little harder to summarise, it’s essentially a film of four parts.
Part one picks up a few days after the events of John Wick. Wick is clearing up his unfinished business with the Russian mob. He wants his beloved 1969 Mustang returned to him. He faces off against Peter Stormare, as the brother of Viggo (the mob boss from the first film).
Part two: The next morning Wick is visited by Italian mobster, Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), who presents him with a “marker” from a previous debt. His mission is to assassinate D’Antonio’s sister.
Part three: The sister is protected by probably the only man who could be considered John Wick’s equal, Cassian (Common).
Part four: After completing his mission, Wick is double-crossed by D’Antonio; who puts out a contract on him, worth $7 million. He’s now targeted by Cassian and every other assassin in New York.
Winston (Ian McShane) has a bigger role, as the operator of “The Continental” a luxury hotel that is a safe haven for people who would otherwise be killing.
Reeves and Common both have a burning commitment to their roles. The martial arts choreography is a sight to behold. They also share a number of incredibly humorous scenes, one of which involves both men discreetly trying to shoot each other, with silencers across a busy New York subway station.
Everyone involved in the film gets how absurd it is. But they fully commit and take it seriously. Many of the people involved in this project, also worked on The Matrix and that visual style and chorography shows. The audience is encouraged to laugh at its excesses.
It does what any decent sequel should, it justifies its reason for being and, expands on the established mythology.
It plays to Reeves’ strengths. He may be an actor of limited range, but when you need a moody good-looking action hero, there’s few better.
Forget Neo, forget Ted. Keanu Reeves will forever and always be John Wick.
John Wick:Chapter Two is out in the UK 17th February 2017.
In 1999, The Blair Witch Project shook Hollywood to its very core, two young filmmakers managed to break new ground and breathe life into the found footage sub-genre. As well as breaking box office records, it was the first movie to realise the true potential of Internet marketing.
Like with most franchises that have a dud sequel, Blair Witch pretends Book of Shadows never happened and serves as a direct sequel to the original.
The new film focuses on James (James Allen McCune) who happens to be the younger brother of, Heather, who disappeared in the first film. James and his film student girlfriend Lisa (Callie Hernandez) find a video on the internet, which convinces James that even after twenty years, Heather may still be alive.
James decides that no matter how remote a chance, he has to take it. So he and Lisa, along with their friends Peter (Brandon Scott) and Ashley (Corbin Reid) head into the woods in Burkittsville, Maryland (formerly Blair), where they meet local odd-couple Lane (Wes Robinson) and Talia (Valorie Curry), who posted the video online.
From there on in, the film is pretty much a rehash of all the things that made The Blair Witch Project so original. We get stick figures, piles of rocks, handprints and steady-cam POV footage of actors running through the woods, whilst screaming.
Back in ’99 this all felt fresh original, but now it’s been done to death. Apart from slightly expanding the mythology surrounding the stick figures, there’s nothing innovative here.
This feels less like a sequel and more like a modern day remake, the slow-burn of the original, along with rawness of the grainy footage has been replaced by quick glossy digital cuts. Nothing about this film feels found, it’s sleek and well-crafted, to maximise the profits from the YouTube generation.
The fact that James is Heather’s brother is entirely tangential and unnecessary.
I suppose in many ways, this film is poetic. The Blair Witch Project kick started the found footage sub-genre, it’s only fitting that Blair Witch is the final nail in its coffin.
Although the Ice Age films have never quite reached the same level as Pixar, they’ve consistently given us lovable characters and fun filled-family friendly adventures. For 14 years Scrat, Manny and the gang, have kept us coming back for more.
But, with Ice Age: collision course it feels that the Blue Sky franchise, has lasted longer than the actual Ice Age.
Whilst chasing his elusive acorn, Scrat is accidentally hurled into space. In orbit, he causes a meteor to head towards Earth.
Back on the ground, our 12 main characters attempt to stop the collision.
All our old favourites are back-Manny, Sid, Diego and the rest of the herd, along with Simon Pegg’s Buck the weasel (last seen in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs) and let’s just thank our lucky stars that he is. His re-introduction to the group, along with Pegg’s charismatic voice, adds life to an otherwise completely dull film.
The rest of the herd exist purely to regurgitate bad subplots, from 80’s sitcoms. Manny is an overprotective father. Crash and Eddie are there to annoy. Sid is there to be pathetic. Diego is there to be sarcastic, the women exist to be the women and, so on.
The film isn’t awful, it’s just weak and doesn’t live up to its predecessors. There’s enough bright colours and fart-jokes to make Collision Course a hit with young kids, but there really isn’t enough to keep adults interested.
When Dreamworks realised Shrek’s popularity was waning, they did the smart thing, pulled the plug and gave Puss in boots a spin-off. Blue Sky need to follow suit and let Scrat and Buck have an adventure.
In December 1972, Captain Cernan became the last man to step foot on the moon. He did so with excitement and pride, but so few of us know his story. However, Captain Eugene Cernan has decided to share his epic and, deeply personal story with the world. The Last Man On The Moon tells his trials and tribulations, his love and loss and how he overcame all this, to walk on the surface of the moon.
This is documentary filmmaking at its finest, the film was five years in the making. Every single piece of information has been meticulously investigated, sourced and double-checked to corroborate the narrative being told.
This is a made with love and passion. Cernan knows how to tell a story, the nostalgia and pride in the astronaut’s face, whilst he reflects quickly draws you into the vacuum of space. At times, I felt like I was there with him.
That feeling of excitement has never left Cernan. He described the experience of seeing Earth, from the lunar surface as “sitting on God’s front porch.”
I felt ignorant going in to this, as I didn’t know much, if anything about Captain Cernan. After watching the documentary I would love to meet him, I have so many questions I would like to ask.
I highly recommend this film. In my eyes, Cernan stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Neil Armstrong.
The Last Man on the Moon is in cinemas from 8 April with a special Nationwide Live Q&A in cinemas with Captain Eugene Cernan only on 11 April hosted by Sir Jackie Stewart.
I’ve been a long-time fan of the Indiana Jones franchise. I remember being transfixed, aged 8-when I saw my first instalment of the Saga (The Last Crusade). Steven Spielberg’s 1981 movie is still as exciting over thirty-years on.
This event was a world first, John Williams full score was performed by the 21st century Orchestra and conducted by their founder, Ludwig Wicki.
I’ll admit, I was sceptical when I first heard about this film/orchestral mash up. Just how would it work? It turns out, tremendously well.
The film played on a suspended screen, above the musicians. The dialogue and effect sounds were intact, with the Orchestra performing the soundtrack live. It wasn’t always successful, the Orchestra did very occasionally drown out some of the dialogue, but to combat this the film played with subtitles.
Not only are these amazing musicians a sight to behold on stage, but the evening provided a phenomenal audio experience too-that no Blu-Ray can possibly live up to. I’ve watched Raiders of the Lost Ark, a thousand times over but this felt like the first time.
My personal highlight of the evening, was by far the Orchestras performance of The Raiders of the Lost Ark theme, for which they received a four minute standing ovation.
What I took away from this event, is just how beautiful and timeless John Williams’ score is. This is an experience I will cherish for a life time.
I highly recommend attending one of these screenings. Click here to find out information about the next one.
The new Fox/Marvel superhero movie is loud, obnoxious, sarcastic, violent and sexually graphic. It’s also a tremendous lot of fun, at least for the fans.
This has been a passion project for Ryan Reynolds for the past eleven years. But Fox never had enough confidence in the project to green light a movie. They put the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in an attempt to garner popularity and spin the character off. However they mishandled him terribly and the project looked dead. At some point in 2014, test footage for a solo movie leaked online. It was a huge internet sensation and this movie received the green light the next day.
The director Tim Miller’s background is in visual effects and it shows here, the opening credits fuse great action with sublime visual effects. Instead of the normal list of actors’ names, we get a tongue in cheek poke at the superhero/action movie clitches (“A Hot Chick. The comic relief. A British Villain. Directed by an overpaid douche bag”).
Shortly after, the Merc with a Mouth breaks the fourth wall and assures the audience that this is no ordinary superhero movie, “I may be super, but I’m no hero”.
Deadpool is looney toons, but with a face full of scars and a couple of swords. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it will probably be your shot of Jack Daniel’s.
In many ways Paramount are extremely lucky that Star Wars forced them to move Mission Impossible 5 from Boxing Day to a July release date, as MI:Rogue Nation and Spectre are pretty much the same movie.
In Mission Impossible 5 Ethan Hunt has gone “rogue” and disappeared deep underground to track down and prove the existence of “the syndicate” as well as the man responsible for the death of his boss. Along the way, he is joined by his tech genius friend, Benji and a small fracture group whom are disobeying orders to help him. He also teams up with and saves a woman who has information regarding The Syndicate. All this happens whilst an outside force are trying to shut down the IMF agency.
In Spectre, James Bond has gone “rogue” and disappeared deep underground to track down and prove the existence of “Spectre” as well as the man responsible for the death of his boss. Along the way, he is joined by his tech genius friend, Q and a small fracture group whom are disobeying orders to help him. He also teams up with and saves a woman who has information regarding Spectre. All this happens whilst an outside force are trying to shut down the double-O programme.
So far, so similar and that’s Spectre’s biggest problem. It isn’t a terrible movie, in fact it’s actually quite enjoyable. It’s just very generic, it could be any summer blockbuster.
The fight scenes and action pieces are stunning. The script is okay and the performances are strong, however it all just feels formulaic. It’s like someone making a lasagne from their nan’s recipe. It’s nice, but it’s just not quite right. Wait for Blu Ray.