X-Men: Dark Phoenix Official Trailer

As a massive X-Men fan, this trailer had me excited, but will it live up to the hype? Quite a few X-Men movies have been a let down! Only time will tell!

The X-Men faces their greatest enemy (one of their own) as 20th Century Fox releases the first official trailer for their upcoming film X-Men: Dark Phoenix. View trailer below.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #33

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

One of the things that interests me the most about movies is franchises and trends. It’s intriguing to see how over time the tastes of the public change. In recent years, it’s been mainly dominated by superheroes and Jedi’s, but it came as a surprise to me that JK Rowling’s Wizarding World franchise is the third highest grossing of all time, and could soon be second with the release of Fantastic Beasts 2 coming in November 2018. With that, I rewatched one of my favourite movies growing up, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

With Chris Colombus directing and starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Alan Rickman, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the based off of the book by JK Rowling. After his parents were killed by the Dark Lord, Harry Potter is infamous throughout the Wizarding World but must be taken care until he is old enough to enter it. While he waits, Harry lives in a cupboard under the stairs with his nasty Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley. One day, Harry receives a letter from Hogwarts, a school of witchcraft and wizardry. Uncle Vernon doesn’t want Harry to attend, and so moves away with his family and Harry to stop him from attending. Eventually, Hogwarts sends Hagrid to rescue Harry from his terrible life and introduce into a world where he truly belongs; the wizarding world. Harry arrives at Hogwarts for his first year where he makes friends and enemies instantly. Harry must learn to adjust to his new lifestyle and being a ‘celebrity’ in school as well as uncovering a dark secret that poses a threat to his life which could also bring him closer to meeting Voldemort, the Dark Lord who killed his parents.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone introduced the world to a new wave of incredible acting talent. Daniel Radcliffe played the titular character and was great in his role. He was likeable and for a young actor did a fantastic work of acting. He first meets Hagrid, played by Robbie Coltrane. Hagrid is one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series because he’s so humble yet has a sense of strength to him. He’s kind to Harry who has had a harsh upbringing and can be seen as a father figure to Harry. Coltrane brought Hagrid to life from the pages and brought comedy to his character in a way that perfectly suits the movie. On the Hogwarts Express (the train to Hogwarts), Harry meets Ron Weasley, played by Rupert Grint. For a child actor, Grint was amazing. He proves he can act and brings Ron to life in a fun and lovable way. We then meet Emma Watson’s Hermione, who is one of the best characters in the series. Watson is an incredible actress and her iconic role of Hermione is no exception. She’s sassy and funny and just a great character who gets better with time. One of the enemies throughout the series is Draco Malfoy, played by Tom Felton. He was a good character, but I think he needed a bit more screen time. Though we see more of Draco throughout the series, it would have been nice to see more of him in the Philosopher’s Stone. One of my favourite characters was Professor Snape, played by Alan Rickman. He was so amazing and made Snape such an iconic and fantastic character. The head of Hogwarts was Professor Dumbledore, who was played by Richard Harris. I loved Dumbledore. Harris had the perfect voice for the wise old professor and was perfect as Professor Dumbledore. It’s a good idea to shed some light on the young actors. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Tom Felton (among other young actors like Matthew Lewis and Bonnie Wright) did a highly commendable job. For such young actors, they really conveyed emotion and feeling well, whether it be through body language or voice. So hat’s off to them. Or young them.

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Harry, Ron and Hermione try to find out more information about Nicholas Flamel.

The music in Harry Potter was like most films that I reviewed that I’ve reviewed recently. There was that one theme that’s so iconic from Harry Potter, which was great and suited the tone of the film perfectly, but that theme was so overused. They literally took it up by a pitch or maybe deepened the sound to suit the scene but it was just repeated so much that it reaches a point where it’s annoying.

The storyline was great, but that really is down to JK Rowling. I loved reading the Harry Potter books growing up. Admittedly, the books are better. When you read a book, you visualise how it will look on the big screen. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone matched some of what 10-year-old Ryan imagined. There were some differences from the book to the film, such as Diagon Alley and the Mirror of Erised, which did make the film lose a few points, but was still good.

There were a few scenes that I loved in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The snake scene with Dudley at the zoo was great, then the whole sequence of going to Diagon Alley with Hagrid was awesome to watch but a little boring in places. I loved the Hogwarts Express journey, then with the boats with a swelling theme with the grand reveal of Hogwarts was truly amazing and well done. I liked the Sorting Hat scene. From there the film is interesting throughout but struggled to keep my full attention. You just want to see more magic and solve the mystery. The Quidditch match was good fun to watch. I loved the ending as it tied up all we’d seen in the film. Harry has a good life, new friends and is essentially happy.

It’s important to look at the impact Harry Potter has had on the cinema industry. With 9 films, the Wizarding World is the 3rd highest grossing franchise of all time, and with the release of Fantastic Beasts releasing soon, it could well be the 2nd. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the 10th highest grossing movie of all time, with 5 of the Harry Potter Movies being in the top 50 highest grossing movies. That’s incredible! Since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in 2001, there have been hundreds of other movies about magic and wizards and thousands of spoofs and jokes on TV shows and in movies. Harry Potter was something that I grew up with and loved, and something that will be loved for generations to come.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone gets a 7.8/10 from me. It wasn’t a perfect film but had plenty of things to love and remember. It’s the perfect introduction to a series that is loved globally.

Thanks for reading this weeks review! Follow me on Instagram (@Ryans.Movie.Reviews) for the latest in movie news, behind the scenes looks and more! Follow this blog to be the first to read my reviews.

Once again, thanks for reading this weeks review. I’m turning 18 next week and want to do a special review, but have no idea what. Recommend me movies in the comments, but it could be a famous teen movie, my favourite TV show or something else. See you then!

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #32

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

There were a few films that were released last year that surprised people. The Last Jedi tore Star Wars fans into loving or loathing the 8th instalment. Baby Driver (check out my review for it here) left audiences loving Edgar Wright’s work. But one that surprised me was Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. I was expecting the usual Sony, with jokes that fall flat on their face and just an all-around mess. It was actually quite the opposite. Here’s my review on Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle!

Jake Kasdan directs the sequel/spinoff/reboot of the 1995 classic, with a fantastic cast including Dwayne Johnson and Karen Gillan. Set in 2017, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle tells the story of four high school students who kind of know each other. The four are put in detention and get sucked into the video game version of Jumanji, choosing characters with certain abilities to solve puzzles and work their way out of the game and back to the real world.  Along the way, the four will go on a Breakfast-Club-like adventure of self-discovery and form friendships with people they’d least expect.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson stars as Dr Smolder Bravestone. I said in my Baywatch review that Johnson usually plays the same character in every film. Jumanji is a rare exception. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments where he was a strong, cocky, charming, muscular video game character, but he had a more humble and interesting side, which was far more enjoyable in this film. It showed a different side to the Rock’s acting and showed he was capable of a wider acting variety, as well as delivering a great performance. Kevin Hart reunites with The Rock and plays Moose Finbar, a zoologist and Bravestone’s sidekick. Kevin Hart was basically his usual shouty irritatable self, but there were times where he was funnier than he normally is. Karen Gillan plays Ruby Roundhouse, a badass fighter chick, with the personality of a shy and awkward teen. Gillan’s portrayal was fantastic, as she brought some good humour to the character, as well as combining someone who was badass with someone who was socially awkward, which was acted out well. The best character has to go to Jack Black who played an egotistical teenage girl trapped in the body of an overweight male professor. Black was easily the best part of the movie as his comedy was him acting like a teenage girl, but it was just such great acting from him that it was an incredible performance. Nick Jonas played Alex, a teenager who had been sucked into Jumanji since 1996. I feel like he was just thrown into the mix as someone who saved the main characters, though they could have probably saved themselves without his help. The villain of Van Pelt was played by Bobby Cannavale, and he was good, but his intentions were a bit unclear and there wasn’t much of a villain. He was just a barrier for the main characters to overcome.

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Dr Bravestone and his team with the jewel to restore Jumanji

There wasn’t much for music in Jumanji and that kind of disappointed me. You have a great cast and a fantastic film, but choosing to play two songs, one during the credits, is a waste. There was so much potential for more good music to be used but this opportunity was missed. One of the songs was Guns N Roses ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, which should have been played during the opening. And it was too on the nose for my liking.

The plot and storyline were simple yet good. Four teenagers sucked into a video game who have to get out of the game without dying. When you add more ideas into the premise, it becomes a bigger task to solve, but also makes it a better movie, if you do it right. I think having the teenagers overcome a flaw within themselves is a great idea. A bit of a ripoff from The Breakfast Club, but still a good idea. However, it was a little difficult to see where Fridge’s character had a redemption. He basically just walked out of the jungle, fist-bumped Spencer and that was supposed to be enough for us to think he’s changed. Back on that Breakfast Club premise, it’s a good idea, but we need more time to actually understand and connect with the teenagers themselves before we can see them as basically the opposite of themselves through the characters in the game. The movie attempted to do this, and it did a fairly good job but relied on exposition to get the message across.

There were some good moments in the film that were actually pretty funny. Most of it came from Jack Black. They weren’t too memorable but were nonetheless still quite funny. I liked the action and stunts as they suited the tone of a video game and a movie at the same time. The best one that I loved the most was when Moose Finbar was resurrected and Bravestone caught him while hanging out of a helicopter which was on its side. That was awesome.

I’m going to give Jumanji a 7/10. It had a great cast and good action but lacked in some other places. It was better than what I expected and I had a fun time watching it, but there were definitely areas that could have been improved. I look forward to the sequel being made though I don’t know what they’ll do with it, it should hopefully be good.

Thanks for reading this weeks review. Follow me on Instagram (@ryans.movie.reviews) for the latest movie news, behind-the-scenes looks at upcoming movies and everything more you could want. Also, follow this blog to be the first to read my reviews.

Once again, thanks for reading this weeks review. Join me next week where I review a magical fantasy movie from the guy who found America. See you there!

 

BlacKkKlansman: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #31

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews! Just as a heads up this review will discuss some dark themes, so you have been warned.

The summer holidays have whizzed past us and another year of school begins. To mark the end of a hectic summer, my friends and I all caught up to watch a movie and a meal. Despite ideas to watch the Incredibles 2 or The Meg, we opted for BlacKkKlansman, the latest hit from Spike Lee. It was a great end to the summer and with it, the final year of our secondary school lives before we all head off on our separate ways begun.

From director Spike Lee and a cast including Adam Driver and John David Washington is the cinematic version of a true story of racism in 1970’s America. Ron Stallworth is the first African-American police officer to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department and sets out on the ambitious task of infiltrating and exposing the Ku Klux Klan. Naturally, he can’t infiltrate them himself and so enlists the help of fellow police officer, Phillip Zimmerman, who will act as the version of a white Ron Stallworth in real life while Ron Stallworth himself keeps in contact with the Klan via telephone. The pair soon learn about a plot that the Ku Klux Klan are organising against a large meeting of African-American students and do everything within their power to stop any destruction and harm being caused.

John David Washington playing Ron Stallworth was a fantastic decision on Lee’s part. I personally had never heard of him before, but he was well suited for the role. His acting was spot on, and his character arc was really interesting to watch unfold. Phillip Zimmerman was played by Adam Driver. I think he was a bit of a dull character, or at least by Driver’s acting. He didn’t really do much for his character and was very rigid in terms of emotional acting. Laura Harrier played Patrice who was basically the love interest in this whole true story. She was a great character who Harrier played wonderfully, but I would have liked to have seen more of her. She was just seen as the protester who was inappropriately touched up by the dirty police officer and the love interest of Ron. Patrice carries more of a symbolic role than that and she deserves to have had a bigger role. Next, I’ll be reviewing what I thought of how people portrayed the members of the Ku Klux Klan. I don’t agree with their views or actions but here I will discuss what I thought of the acting. The Grand Wizard, David Duke, was played by Topher Grace. Personally, Grace is one of my favourite actors and his portrayal of David Duke was a fantastic performance from Grace. He brought his classic charm to a harsh and hated character. Jasper Pääkkönen played a Klan member called Felix. Felix’s character was played by Pääkkönen as a true Klan member as he was fully against anyone who didn’t have pure American blood in them. Pääkkönen’s portrayal was commendable as he brought a roughness to the character that made him more unlikable than the other Klan members and, despite his Finnish heritage, his American accent was good. Ryan Eggold played Walter Breachway, another main Klan member. Eggold showed a nicer and somewhat kinder man who was a Klan member and it was a good performance from him.

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Ron Stallworth tricking Grand Wizard David Duke into thinking he’s a white supremacist.

Though I know beforehand that it was set in the 70’s, Blackkklansman’s music came as a surprise to me. From Prince to Looking Glass, the music was something to enjoy. The best song has to go to ‘Too Late to Turn Back Now’ by The Cornelius Brothers. A week later and that song is still stuck in my head. The soundtrack was composed by Terence Blanchard and was actually pretty good. It had some good pieces of music but was very repetitive and fell into the same trap as Kingsman, where the main theme was replayed and altered to fit the emotion and mood of a scene.

The story and plot were interesting, especially as it was a true story. The real-life Ron Stallworth is a true hero for his work and it’s about time his story was told. The film was slow to start, but as soon as you get yourself in it and the tone has been set, it’s actually a really amazing experience. The whole bomb plot going down was a longer-lasting sequence than what I expected. Having said that, the whole bomb plot sequence was fantastically well done. It kept you on the edge of your seat whilst not being too much or bombarding you with too much. Blackkklansman had a nice balance of everything you’d want from a movie. It had good comedy, some action, an interesting but a little cliché love story. There’s something for everyone with an important lesson in it.

It’s definitely worth talking about the ending of the film. Ron Stallworth is hailed as a hero and has successfully exposed the Ku Klux Klan. We then cut to 38 years later, in Charlottesville, America. As some of you will remember, in August 2017, there was a ‘Unite the Right’ Rally in Charlottesville, where the Ku Klux Klan launched an attack promoting their ideology of white supremacy. The ending showed some graphic and horrendous scenes that left the entire cinema in shock and silence. Blackkklansman certainly left a mark on everyone, teaching a valuable lesson with it; everyone is equal, no matter what their race, gender, religion or anything else is.

Blackkklansman gets a 7.6/10 from me. It was an eye-opening look at the history of racism in America and how it still continues today. Despite being slow to start, the film keeps you hooked and interested, as well as teaching us all a lesson. Spike Lee has made something that needs to be seen by everyone to truly appreciate how good this film is.

Thanks for reading this weeks review. Follow me on Instagram, @ryans.movie.reviews, where I’m always posting the latest movie news, behind the scenes pictures, regular polls and more! Follow my blog with your email to be the first to read my reviews.

Once again, thanks for reading this weeks review. Join me next week when I review something. I haven’t decided what it will be yet. But it’ll be good. See you then!