Avengers: Endgame: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #57

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews! As a heads up, this review will contain spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, but it’s been a year since it came out, so I’m pretty sure everyone’s seen it by now!

22 movies. 11 years. One epic final movie. With an all-star cast including Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johannson, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner, and directed by Anthony and Joe Russo comes the epic blockbuster that is Avengers: Endgame. Set five years later after Infinity War, the universe is still suffering from the fallout from Thanos’ snap and the Avengers have admitted defeat and are dispersed around the universe. There is no hope, but that is until Scott Lang is ejected out of the Quantum Realm. Instead of being stuck there for 5 years, he was only in there for 5 hours. This discovery is enough to spark hope in the Avengers and they go back in time and retrieve the Infinity Stones before Thanos ever got them, so they can reverse the Snap and bring back their fallen foes.

Robert Downey Jr returns to play Iron Man/Tony Stark. Like in all previous movies, Downey Jr proves he really is irreplaceable as Tony Stark. His performance in Endgame was impeccable. I was not expecting Stark to die in Endgame, and his death had me shocked. I think that this film fulfilled his character arc, showing him as a more paternal figure like we had a glimpse of in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Endgame builds on this, in a way that’s more emotionally complex and was demonstrated through the relationship between Tony and his daughter, Morgan, which was so brilliantly orchestrated. It was built up in the course of one movie, and the final ‘I love you 3000’ from Tony’s hologram brought tears to my eyes. Captain America was played brilliantly by Chris Evans. It was so great to see more of Cap in this film, especially as Infinity War didn’t feature enough of him. Evans’s portrayal of Steve Rogers was one of his best, as we saw the completion of his character arc too; not everything that’s special about him came out of a bottle (as he’s worthy of wielding Mjolnir) and he got to spend his life with Peggy. Evans brought a depth and complexity to Captain America which made his last hurrah as the First Avenger even more remarkable and enjoyable. Chris Hemsworth is back as Thor, and I must admit, my opinions on Bro Thor were split. I personally felt it did ruin some of what was created in Thor: Ragnarok, which started a new arc for Thor that I was really loving but on the other hand, the idea of having a Thor who’s been hugely impacted by his failure to kill Thanos in Infinity War and suffering from his failure is something rarely seen in movie sequels. I found the way that Hemsworth immersed himself in this new side of Thor was incredibly well done on his part, and I can’t wait to see what happens with Thor in the future. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Black Widow, and in my opinion, this was one of her best performances in the role. Her character had depth and, similarly to Cap, it was great to see more of her in this film. With more of Black Widow in the film, we gained an insight into how she had been affected by Decimation, as she had taken on the role of trying to prevent other catastrophic events from happening, even if it was an earthquake under the ocean. Romanoff takes on a larger role and Johannson’s execution of the role was fantastic. The death of Black Widow was a surprise and I look forward to seeing what happens in her solo film. We also meet Professor Hulk in Endgame, played by Mark Ruffalo. Professor Hulk combined the brains of Bruce Banner with Hulk’s strength, and as cool as it was to see him on screen, I found myself agreeing with Valkyrie, where I would have preferred him either of the other ways. Additionally, I would have liked to have seen more from his character, as it’s something quite interesting to look into, but there may be more of him in the future. One of my favourite characters in Endgame was Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, as it was great to see him in action again after so long. I liked the new Ronin arc for Clint and it’s something that was not only fun to watch on screen but I would like to be explored in the future. Renner’s acting ability was something that shone throughout the film, as he demonstrated his range of emotions perfectly, whether it be his heart torn to pieces over the dusting of family and Natasha sacrificing herself for the Soul Stone, or to the joy of his family coming back to life when he picks up that phone call from Laura. Josh Brolin returns to play Thanos, the villain who’s been building up in the background for the past 10 years. I loved the portrayal of Thanos in Endgame, though I would have liked to have seen more from him. He was the main character who was one of the MCU’s best villains, but I felt that he was somewhat lacking in this film. However, this is understandable seeing as Infinity War focussed on Thanos on acquiring the Infinity Stones to destroy half the universe, whereas Endgame focussed on the Avengers reassembling to undo the damage done.

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Captain America proves himself worthy of wielding Mjolnir

The music in Endgame was absolutely amazing. Alan Silvestri, the composer for The Avengers, Infinity War, and Endgame, was able to intricately compose the soundtrack for the film with beautiful scores that were perfectly suited the movie. One of my favourite scores from the film (and perhaps of all time) has to be ‘Portals’. I remember sitting in awe as Falcon swooped in with Black Panther through a portal, and as more of our dusted heroes appeared through portals to the final showdown, the score ‘Portals’ played, perfectly matched to the jaw-dropping scene.

The story followed neatly on from Infinity War and concluded the Infinity Saga with a satisfying ending that also left the audience excited for the future of the MCU. What will happen with Thor and the Guardians? What will happen now that Falcon is Captain America? Who will be the next big villain in the MCU? You’ve also got to hand it to Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who wrote the screenplay for the film. It had the comic book feel which, combined with the acting and music, created a spectacular movie as a whole.

Before I come on to my favourite scenes, there were admittedly parts that I didn’t like, some of it being general stuff and others being nitpicking. Firstly, Nebula maybe could’ve told the Avengers that going to Vormir meant that someone had to die for the Soul Stone. She also could’ve traveled back to the present time after failing to alert Nat and Clint of Thanos knowing their plan. Another thing that kind of annoyed me was how Scott escaped from the Quantum Realm. I understand it’s the 1 in 14 million realities that the Avengers win, but the chances of a rat tapping on the correct buttons to pull him out was crazy. Given that it’s Pym Tech suggests that the machinery behind the Quantum Realm is complicated, but not basic enough to the point that a rat can just walk on across the pad and let Scott out. There’s also a fine line between the perfect amount of comedy and too much, and for me, Endgame tiptoed over it. Some jokes were brilliant, like America’s ass, but in other places, the humour was forced in unnecessarily such as with Professor Hulk dabbing or War Machine saying that Thor has “Cheez Whiz” running through his veins during one of the film’s most intense scenes. Another problem for me was the sheer amount of characters being shoe-horned into the film. While some characters got the screentime they deserved, such as Iron Man and Captain America, I felt some other characters didn’t get enough, such as Professor Hulk. I also think the time travel itself was a little confusing to understand. It made sense later on in the film, but it wasn’t clear at first how the time travel worked.  

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Tony prepares to snap away Thanos and his army while sacrificing himself in the process.

Now onto my favourite scenes. It was a small moment, but the opening of Hawkeye losing his family was the perfect start. It not only allowed us to reconnect with one of our heroes but also picked up exactly where we left off; in the middle of Thanos’ snap. The next best moment for me was the team-up against Thanos in his retirement Garden. The early twist of Thor beheading Thanos was unexpected and left me wondering where the film would go from there. My favourite part of the “updating the audience where everyone was 5 years later” section was definitely seeing where Stark was. We’ve seen Tony evolve through these films from a cocky playboy into a more caring, paternalistic character. Endgame introduces us to Tony’s daughter, Morgan, and for the short time they spent together on screen, a sweet and loving relationship is shown that is one of the highlights of the film.  The montage of the surviving Avengers tracking down the Stones locations in the past was another favourite scene of mine, as it wrapped the timeline of the Stones and the MCU up in a way that has you reflecting on the past 10 years on movies. It’s all built up and comes together to this; the epic conclusion. The whole time travel sequence was such great fun to watch as it built on what I mentioned previously about reflecting on the past 10 years. We are taken back to 3 Marvel movies that the Stones have all been a part of and you can’t but brim with enjoyment as this all plays out. I remember sitting in the cinema just blown away by how far we’ve come and where we are now.  The highlights of this sequence were the battle of New York with Cap vs Cap, and traveling back to the ’70s to get the Tesseract, with Steve seeing Peggy and Tony finally giving his father a proper farewell. To me, these scenes were either just really awesome to watch or served a strong purpose. For Steve, I think him seeing Peggy again reminds him of a life he could have had, and this silent interaction is why he chose to stay back in time with her. For Tony, he’s always had that tension with his father, but now that he’s had that final moment of saying goodbye, we can goodbye to Tony because his character arc is complete.

One of the best scenes in the whole movie was Cap wielding Mjolnir. The dramatic reveal was amazing, with the tension that had built up with the high stakes of the moment and the epic swelling music in the background. The fact that Cap was worthy was teased back in Age of Ultron in 2015, and the payoff was awesome, especially with Cap using Mjolnir and his shield together. The whole end battle for me was perfect. From the portals and Falcon swooping in with the iconic “on your left” line to Spider-Man taking the Infinity Gauntlet from Black Panther and riding on a Pegasus with Valkyrie, ending with Stark’s final words, “I am Iron Man”, there was nothing I would change about this entire sequence. I was on the edge of my seat in awe throughout the whole of this sequence. This had been 10 years in making and it’s payoff made it worth every second.

Avengers: Endgame gets an 8.6/10 from me. The fantastic screenplay combined with great acting made it the perfect ending to 10 years of cinematic build-up. Upon rewatching (and re-rewatching), I’m still amazed at how this was pulled off, and it’s no surprise that Endgame is the highest-grossing movie of all time. Marvel have completely changed both the superhero genre and cinema itself in the past decade, and I can’t wait to see what happens to the MCU in the future.

Thanks for reading this review. I’m undecided on what to review next, but it’ll either be The Mandalorian, my favourite sitcom, or a classic movie. I hope you are all well in these difficult times and I’ll see you in a couple weeks.

Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #54

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

In a sea of reboots, remakes, sequels, and prequels, it’s becoming difficult to find original movies that stay true to the art of film. Enter Quentin Tarantino, who’s been in the game for 27 years and has arguably mastered this talent. His films are so unique and iconic that the word ‘Tarantinoesque’ has been added to the Oxford Dictionary. It’s with this that anything he makes is almost guaranteed to be something different and legendary, and film fanatics from around the world are always excited when he announces a new project. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is no exception from this.

Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is the tenth film (ninth if you count the Kill Bills as one movie) to be written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Set in 1969, the film follows Rick Dalton, a TV actor and Cliff Booth, his stunt double. Rick finds himself down on his luck as the Hollywood he knows and loves is now changing and he’s on his way to becoming a has-been. It just so happens that his neighbour is one of the new actresses in Hollywood who’s on the up and up to becoming something big; Sharon Tate.

Rick Dalton was played brilliantly by Leonardo DiCaprio, who’s already in early Oscar talk for his role. It’s obvious to see why, as DiCaprio delivers an amazing performance as Rick Dalton. DiCaprio playing an actor is great fun to watch, as you see Rick with a stutter, but then without one when he’s in a movie or TV show. One of the best scenes that demonstrates DiCaprio’s fantastic acting ability is when Rick is filming on Lancer and we see him switching between in real life (with the stutter) and his villainous character in Lancer, who speaks without a stutter and more of a stern voice. Whenever DiCaprio takes on a role, he fully immerses himself in it, and this allows the audience to take more of an interest in his character and the film; Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is no exception to this. As superb as Leonardo DiCaprio was, I couldn’t help but feel that Brad Pitt stole the show. Brad Pitt played Rick’s stunt double, Cliff Booth, a war veteran who’s somewhat frowned upon in the film industry for the alleged murder of his wife. Pitt maybe wasn’t the obvious choice to play Cliff Booth, but certainly was the perfect actor for the role. He was excellent as Cliff, bringing an edge to the character and making him one of the standout best parts of this movie. There has also been Oscar talk for Brad Pitt’s performance as Cliff Booth, and personally, I’d say he’s more deserving of the Oscar than DiCaprio. Brad brought a lovability to Cliff’s character which, despite the slow pacing of the film, stood out as an exceptional performance that helped to make the film better. Margot Robbie played Sharon Tate, and she was marvellous in the role, but there wasn’t much of her character, or at least as much as I was expecting from advertisements. The film mainly focused on Rick and Cliff and their relationship (which, I must say, was just shy of impeccable), but the lack of Sharon Tate and other characters did make the film suffer slightly.

The music, like in most of Tarantino’s films, was perfectly selected. It captured the essence of a defining era in Hollywood as well as adding to scenes, by either building tension or excitement, or by making the scenes more enjoyable to engage in.

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Cliff and Rick on the set of their Western TV show, ‘Bounty Law’

Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is Tarantino at his most playful. It’s not Tarantino’s most iconic or quotable film, but instead, the director proves that he has mastered the art of film-making. I’ll admit, at times it feels like the film is just the studio giving Tarantino money to make a movie because they know his name will bring them more money in return. While this certainly feels true for parts of the film, it’s more than this. It’s bringing together some of the best talents in Hollywood. It’s more than having Tarantino direct and write, and Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt star. It’s having your cinematography from Robert Richardson (who also cinematographed for Hugo, Inglourious Basterds, and Shutter Island), and a talented Visual Effects department, including the likes of Brian Adler (who also did visual effects for Avengers: Endgame and Logan). With some of the talents of the industry coming together to produce a film like this, it’s evident to see that people really enjoy working on different, creative films within Hollywood and the end product is something undeniably awesome. 

I couldn’t do this review without talking about four memorable and standout scenes for me. The first was filming Lancer, with the interaction of resetting the cameras and breaking the fourth wall, then Rick breaking down before returning to set and delivering a tense and career-defining performance (for Rick). The way this whole scene was creatively crafted and fantastically executed, especially from Leonardo DiCaprio. I loved Cliff’s flashback to the Green Hornet set where he fought Bruce Lee (played by Mike Moh, who did a great job). It was such a pleasure to watch, as the scene was made playful and fun by the camera work, and it was Tarantino at his pinnacle, as we’ve seen him in other films. The next scene was when Cliff revisited Spahn Ranch. In this scene and the previous (Cliff fights Bruce Lee), Brad Pitt was at his best, bringing an edge of hardness and badassery to Cliff’s character. From meeting Squeaky and George Spahn to beating up Clem, throughout this scene and the previous, Pitt certainly delivered one of his greatest performances ever in this film. The final scene should be fairly obvious, but I’m of course going to have to talk about that final scene with Rick and Cliff fighting the hippies who attacked Rick’s house. The song (Tarantino’s edit of ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On by Vanilla Fudge) was so perfect for the scene that it both added to my enjoyment and helped build tension and excitement. The action was the most Tarantinoesque imaginable. With heads smashed into telephone hooks, people being burnt to a crisp with a flamethrower and a dog tearing into limbs, I couldn’t help but smile in awe, realising again in this film that in his unique style, Tarantino is a directorial master.

It’s also worth talking about the film’s ending too. After Rick and Cliff have killed the hippies who attacked Rick’s house, Rick meets Jay Sebring who invites Rick to meet his neighbour, Sharon Tate. As the camera pulls away, the film’s title appears with a somewhat twinkly theme playing. This was all a fairy tale. This was not what happened in reality. This was Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood. This ending was slightly unexpected but nonetheless still brilliantly done, allowing the audience to reflect on the awesomeness of the film they’d just watched and bringing them back to the reality in which Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and Abigail Folger were fatally murdered by members of the Manson Family.

Overall, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood was a cinematic blast, and was one of those films where the more I thought back over it, the better it was, and as such gets an 8.6/10 from me. I can’t wait to rewatch Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood. In a sea of CGI superheroes and animated remakes, Tarantino proves once again that authentic cinema is still not only unbeatable but truly amazing.

Thanks for reading this review. What did you think of Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood? Let me know in the comments below!

To celebrate 25 years since the release of Pulp Fiction (my favourite film and arguably Tarantino’s best), I’ll be posting my rankings of Tarantino’s movies and asking the question, has Pulp Fiction aged well? See you then!

What to watch in 2019

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

Happy New Year! I hope you have a great 2019. It’s gearing up to a fantastic year, cinematically speaking. In this post, I’ll be looking at what movies and TV shows are coming out this year and what you can expect from them. I’ll be speculating some plots so you have been warned if any are actually true. Links to trailers for the films and their release date will be attached if it is available.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD – 26th July 2019

For those who didn’t know, my all-time favourite movie is Pulp Fiction. So when news of Quentin Tarantino directing his ninth film came out, I was hyped. Of all the great movies coming out this year, nothing has me more excited than Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. The cast includes Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Damien Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Al Pacino and so many more amazing actors and the plot itself seems quite interesting. Rick Dalton, a faded TV actor, and Cliff Booth, his stunt double, try to make a name for themselves in the film industry in 1969 Hollywood, during the Helter Skelter period. I’m looking forward to seeing Tarantino direct again, especially with a storyline and cast as awesome as what’s lined up for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Tarantino describes it as the closest thing he’s done to Pulp Fiction. Furthermore, Tarantino has said that he’d only make 10 movies, so I’m hoping that his films get better with time. As to whether Once Upon A Time In Hollywood will be a better film than Pulp Fiction and take the top spot as my favourite movie, well, only time will tell.

CAPTAIN MARVEL – 8th March 2019

In the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War, a mid-dusting Nick Fury sent out a pager to Captain Marvel in a last minute attempt to save the world. We now get her backstory and uncover why she is the key to the future. Brie Larson plays the titular character, with Samuel L Jackson playing a younger, two-eyed Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn playing villainous Talos, leader of the Skrulls. Captain Marvel serves as a set-up prequel to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and hopefully will a good film.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME – 26th April 2019

It’s fair to say that the biggest movie of this year is Avengers: Endgame, the follow-up to the biggest film of 2018, Avengers: Infinity War. To try to undo the decimation and devastation caused by Thor not going for the head (and the consequent snap), the remaining, non-dusted Avengers must band together to somehow magically rewind time and stop the massacre from ever happening. Starring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Renner and more, and the film being the last one in Marvel’s Phase Three (and the end of some of it’s biggest heroes), Avengers: Endgame is shaping up to be an awesome film.

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME – July 2019

As if Avengers: Endgame isn’t enough, Marvel are releasing another film next year, Spider-Man: Far From Home. Following the events of Endgame, Peter Parker goes on a summer vacation around Europe with his friends, but he struggles to keep his identity of Spider-Man hidden as the threat of the Elementals rises. Tom Holland is back playing Spider-Man, with Jake Gyllenhaal playing Mysterio, Jon Favreau playing Happy Hogan and Zendaya back as Michelle. Seeing as Far From Home will be the first film released after Endgame, it’ll be interesting to see what the impact on the MCU will be.

TOY STORY 4 – 21st June 2019

Despite all the tears shed after Toy Story 3, Disney are back with Toy Story 4. Though there is no storyline put out there, the trailer shows that it’s something about new toys being played with, in this case, it’s Forky. There’s also something about a carnival, as seen with the soft toys voiced by Key and Peele. I think that part of the storyline will be that Bonnie has grown bored of Buzz and Woody and instead created her own toys (Forky), but I’m not too sure how the carnival will fit in. Tim Allen has said that the film’s story is “so emotional” and he “couldn’t even get through the last scene” while Tom Hanks has also said that the ending scene was a “moment in history.” Only time will tell, but Toy Story 4 is definitely going to be a big film for next year.

GLASS – 18th January 2019

The Unbreakable Universe is expanding. Glass follows David Dunn trying to bring The Beast out of Kevin Crumb, the man with 23 personalities living inside of him from 2016’s Split. In the background, Elijah Price, also known as Mr Glass, emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets that are critical to the pair. The cast includes James McAvoy, Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson and is from director M. Night Shyamalan. The thriller seems promising and seeing as it will combine the universes of Unbreakable and Split, it is likely that Glass will one of most successful horror/thriller movies of 2019.

MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL – 14th June 2019

Though it’s not the best franchise of all time, I really love the Men in Black series. It’s funny, smart and together the films are a great piece of sci-fi movies. Directed by F. Gary Gray (The Negotiator,  Straight Outta Compton), the Men in Black reboot sees Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson reunite to protect Earth from alien scum, except this time, it’s a mole in the Men in Black organisation. The spin-off could go either way, but I have faith in it. It has a good director attached, stars brilliant actors (Hemsworth, Thompson, and even Liam Neeson is in the film too!) and from the look of the first trailer, it looks to be a great movie.

THE LION KING – 19th July 2019

Disney’s 1994 classic is getting a live-action remake with a phenomenal cast, including Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) voicing Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar and even James Earl Jones back to voice Mufasa. Just having Childish Gambino and Beyoncé duet to a classic Lion King song is enough to get me excited for this film. The Lion King is shaping up to be a huge success, though I’m not prepared to see Mufasa die again.

JOKER – 4th October 2019

It’s difficult to do a reboot, especially of a character who has been played so well (Heath Ledger) and quite badly (sorry Jared Leto), but I have faith in Joaquin Phoenix in playing the Joker. With Todd Phillips (The Hangover) directing, Joker is an origin story looking at how Arthur Fleck turns from being a failed comedian to a life of crime in Gotham City. It also has a great cast, including Robert De Niro and Zazie Beetz. Having seen Phoenix’s performance in last years ‘You Were Never Really Here’, Joker is a film that I am looking forward to seeing how it does.

ZOMBIELAND 2 – 11th October 2019

Ten years after the first film, Zombieland finally gets a sequel. The 2009 hit was loved for its great comedy, gory action and it just an all-round great film. Zombieland 2 sees the original cast (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin) back to play Colombus, Tallahassee, Wichita and Little Rock, where they must face off against evolving zombies, meet other survivors and adapt to the joys and pains of their makeshift family life. Joining them are Avan Jogia and Zoey Deutch, and there are reports that Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray (who died in the first film) are in the film too. If Zombieland 2 is anything like the first, then it definitely going to be a brilliant movie.

US – 15th March 2019

Though I’m not the biggest horror movie fan, I thoroughly enjoyed Jordan Peele’s 2017 success, Get Out. This year, Peele directs and writes Us, the story of Adelaide and Gabe Wilson, a couple who take their children to their beach house. Their fun with friends is disturbed when some unexpected and uninvited guests turn up. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Elizabeth Moss, the film looks to be pretty awesome. Knowing that it’s directed by Peele and has the acting abilities of Nyong’o and Duke, it’s safe to say Us is going to be good anyways.

STAR WARS: EPISODE IX – 19th December 2019

The intergalactic adventures of Rey, Finn, Poe, Kylo Ren and BB8 continue this year, with Star Wars: Episode IX. Not much is known about the film’s plot, but it should be awesome. Mark Hamill is to play Luke’s ghost, Billy Dee Williams is back as Lando Calrissian and archive footage of Carrie Fisher is being used for Princess Leia’s character. What’s more, JJ Abrams (The Force Awakens) is back to direct, so it’s going to be a great conclusion to this trilogy.

Thanks for reading this week’s post. What are you most looking forward to seeing this year? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram. Follow this blog to be the first to read my reviews!

Once again thanks for reading this week’s post. Join me next week for a TV show/game review. See you then!

The Best of 2018

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

As we near the end of 2018, it’s fun to look back at what a long and awesome year of movies and TV shows we’ve been treated to. And like most things in life, there’s the good and the bad. In this review, I take a look back at the best of 2018’s movies and TV shows that I watched. I’ll try to keep spoilers down to a minimum but you have been warned! There will be indications as to which movies or TV shows contain spoilers and links to reviews of those which I have reviewed.

BOJACK HORSEMAN: Season 5

Kicking off this list is everyone’s favourite cartoon horse and washed-up celebrity, Bojack Horseman. Netflix released season 5 in September and it showed Bojack taking the job on Flip McVicker’s new show, Philbert. Princess Carolyn continues to look for a child to adopt, Mr Peanutbutter and Diane go through a rough patch and Todd creates a sex robot who becomes the head of whattimeisitrightnow.com. Bojack Horseman season 5 delves deeper into Bojack’s mental state and sees him internally struggle with his insecurities while trying to deal with the joys and troubles of the outside world. One of the best things about Bojack Horseman’s recent seasons is the music, and season 5 is no exception. The ending was admittedly a little disappointing but season 5 as a whole was one of the best seasons of Bojack Horseman. Season 6 has been confirmed, and I for one can’t wait.

BLACK PANTHER

2018 was a year of diversity within Hollywood, and one of the films that portrayed this best is Marvel’s Black Panther. Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther marks a turning point in the future of Hollywood movies. With a predominately black cast, Black Panther tells the story of T’Challa rising to the throne of Wakanda and finding the balance of being a good king and a hero while encountering a powerful enemy who poses a huge threat to  T’Challa and his country. Black Panther smashed records and was an entertaining movie that combined beautiful cinematography with great action and a good storyline to produce a film that will be loved for generations to come.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR – Contains spoilers!

The biggest film of 2018 and now the fourth highest grossing movie of all time, Anthony and Joe Russo directed Avengers: Infinity War, a film that was loved by billions this year. It saw most of Marvel’s heroes (with Hawkeye and Ant-Man missing) face off against the biggest villain yet, Thanos, who is on a mission to collect all six infinity stones and kill half the universe. He succeeds and in a literal snap of his fingers, half of the universe turned to dust. It’s now down to the remaining heroes, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Bruce Banner, Black Widow, Hawkeye (now Ronin), Nebula, Rocket Raccoon, War Machine, Okoye, M’Baku, Ant-Man and Pepper Potts to try to rewind time and undo the decimation. All this will be revealed in next year’s Avengers: Endgame, which is gearing up to be the biggest movie of next year too.

DEADPOOL 2 – Contains spoilers!

Ryan Reynolds is back in red spandex to break more fourth walls and kick ass in Deadpool 2, the highly anticipated sequel to 2016’s Deadpool. To stop a young mutant and the Juggernaut from creating a horrific future, Wade must team up with Cable and Domino to save the day. Reynolds proves again that he was made to play Deadpool, the jokes were more self-aware and hilarious and the action was something to adore. David Leitch (director of Deadpool 2 and John Wick) was perfectly suited to direct the sequel and, together with Ryan Reynolds’ incredible acting and great writing from Rhett Reece and Paul Wernick, Deadpool 2 was a brilliant sequel and certainly lived up to the hype plus plus.

READY PLAYER ONE

Steven Spielberg directs Ready Player One, a story set in 2045 where everyone lives in a huge virtual reality world called the Oasis, where the late creator, James Halliday, has left an Easter Egg challenge where the first gamer to find all three Easter Eggs would inherit the Oasis and half a trillion dollars. With gorgeous animation and an engaging storyline, Ready Player One was a great film that I had fun watching, and the hidden real-life easter eggs made the film even better.

McMAFIA: Season 1 – Contains spoilers!

Way back in January of this year, BBC released a thrilling look into the world of the mafia. The series followed Alex Godman, the son of an ex-mafia Russian family trying to forget the past. Alex is lured into the dark and hidden realm of crime that sees Alex being brought closer to those who have wronged his family. Meanwhile, Alex’s family have no idea about his actions that bring him closer to the mafia. Eventually, Alex tells his family about his actions with Vadim (the family’s nemesis) and the mafia, before heading to Moscow for one final confrontation with Vadim, before becoming the top of the food chain and was backed by the government by the looks of it while also cutting off all ties with his family back home in a dramatic and brilliant finale that had me on the edge of my seat. BBC have commissioned the show for an eight-episode season 2 that hasn’t begun filming yet, but I am already excited for season 2 and wondering what’s next for Alex Godman.

BLACKKKLANSMAN

Similarly to Black Panther, BlacKKKlansman brought more diversity to cinemas by bringing a true story to life before showing it’s relevance into modern-day America. Starring John David Washington and directed by Spike Lee, BlacKKKlansman tells the true story of a black police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the late 1970s. The film ends by looking at the events in Charlottesville last year, where the Ku Klux Klan launched the ‘Unite the Right’ Rally to promote their ideology of white supremacy. The film provided a shocking and eye-opening look at racism in the last 50 years, and the way that Lee was able to direct and portray this in a movie was fantastically done.

GAME NIGHT

One of the best comedies of 2018, Game Night is a film I am looking forward to rewatching. The Fabergé Egg chase was one of my favourite scenes of cinema this year. Game Night had a good cast with even better character chemistry and jokes that were brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed this film the first and second times, and it is definitely one of my favourite comedies of all time.

AMERICAN ANIMALS

Another true story film that took me by surprise this year was Bart Layton’s American Animals. It’s the true story of the 2003 Transy Book Heist, where 4 young men dared to try to steal a book worth $12 million but it goes horribly wrong. Told in Reservoir-Dog-esque way that gets the real men to explain and talk about the heist American Animals was a film that wasn’t heard of or seen by many this year but deserves to be.

THIS IS AMERICA

Yes, it’s not a movie or a TV show, but Childish Gambino’s music video is definitely deserving of some praise. Not only is an awesome song, but the music video looks at the life of being black in America and some of the issues, such as gun violence and police brutality. The ‘This is America’ video and song is one of Gambino’s best songs and it carries a strong and powerful message.

Thanks for reading this week’s mega-review of my favourite movies and TV shows, the best of 2018. Follow my Instagram (@Ryans.Movie.Reviews) for the latest in movie news, behind the scenes pictures and more! Also, give this blog a follow to be the first to read my reviews.

Once again, thanks for reading this week’s review. I wish all you the best for 2019 and hope that you join me next year for more movie reviews! Next week, I’ll be revealing some of the big movies and TV shows coming out in 2019 that I’m looking forward to and hopefully you are too. See you then!

 

Die Hard: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #42

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

There are some age-old questions in life. Is there a God? Do aliens exist? What is the meaning of life? Then in 1988, John McTiernan created another that would divide humanity; is ‘Die Hard’ a Christmas movie? Seeing as we are in the festive season, I decided to answer this question and review Die Hard.

Directed by John McTiernan and starring Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman is the notorious movie, Die Hard. New York cop John McClane travels to Los Angeles to reconcile with his wife at the Christmas party, held at the Nakatomi Plaza. The party is disrupted by German terrorist Hans Gruber and his crew who are holding the guest’s hostage. It’s now down to McClane to save the hostages and defeat Hans Gruber.

John McClane was played by Bruce Willis and, though I’m not the biggest Bruce Willis fan, he was awesome in Die Hard. His character was witty and fun and smart and Willis immersed himself in this role so much so that John McClane is one of the most notorious characters in cinema history. Similarly, Hans Gruber is one of cinema’s greatest villains who was brilliantly played by Alan Rickman brilliantly. Despite the odd “German” accent, Rickman was the perfect choice for Hans Gruber. Rickman demonstrates his phenomenal acting ability in Die Hard and makes the film so much more enjoyable. Holly Gennaro, John’s wife, was played by Bonnie Bedelia and I liked her character. I felt that there could have been a bit more from her but generally, her role in the film was good. Sergeant Al Powell, played by Reginald VelJohnson and he did a great job of playing the character, and the amount of screen time he had was perfect. There was also Harry Ellis, played by Hart Bochner, who is killed by Gruber. Though he was an unlikeable character, Bochner’s acting was commendable and he did a good job playing Ellis. Along with Hans Gruber, my other favourite character in Die Hard was Argyle, played fantastically by De’voreaux White. He was funny and an interesting character that made the film more enjoyable. One of Hans’ crew was Karl, a tough German hitman, played by Alexander Godunov. Godunov was amazing in this role and really made the film more fun to watch.

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Hans Gruber talks to John McClane over walkie-talkie .

The plot is pretty straightforward, but once the action is added into the film, you have more of a movie. The action was beautifully executed, and there were so many awesome scenes that were amazing to watch in the film. Admittedly, my favourite stunt scene was when James and Alexander were killed by McClane with the C4 attached to the office chair. It was a smart idea that was great fun to watch.

Die Hard has become one of those iconic movies like The Shining, where it gets spoofed and imitated regularly by other movies and TV shows. It’s because McTiernan took the film to new heights (both figuratively and literally) and brought something both entertaining and awesome to movie screens everywhere in 1988. As the film’s tagline says, it’s 40 stories of sheer adventure, and the film delivered on this. It’s also because of the incredible acting from Willis and Rickman, combined with great dialogue from the novel’s writer, Roderick Thorp, and screenplay writers, Jeb Stuart and Steven de Souza, that makes the film more epic and memorable. As mentioned earlier, John McClane and Hans Gruber are some of the most notable names in cinema, and this is because of how brilliant Die Hard was. It’s no wonder that the film was selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry, as it is a defining and iconic movie that will stand the test of time and be lived for generations to come.

To answer the age-old question, of course Die Hard is a Christmas movie! It’s set at Christmas, has Christmas music, and basically is an adult’s version of Home Alone. Why shouldn’t it be? Despite Bruce Willis claiming that it isn’t, Die Hard is loved by many and enjoyed over the festive period.

Overall, Die Hard was a fantastic film that I loved watching. I give it an 7.9/10.

Thanks for reading this week’s review. Follow my Instagram (@Ryans.Movie.Reviews) for the latest movie news, behind the scenes pictures and more! Also, follow my blog to be the first to read my reviews.

Once again, thanks for reading this week’s review. Follow @Ryans.Movie.Reviews on Instagram to have your say on what Christmas film I review for next week. See you then!

 

Johnny English Strikes Again: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #35

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews! Just as a heads up, this review will contain spoilers. Spoilers will be in areas with bold warnings, but the spoilers won’t ruin what is a hilarious film.

There are some things that you associate with a country. Baguettes and croissants remind people of France, kangaroos and didgeridoos remind people of Australia and so on. Some things are unmistakably British. The Queen, fish and chips, football, and of course, spies. Since 1935 when ‘The 39 Steps’ were made, spies have been one of the biggest parts of Hollywood’s releases, with the James Bond franchise having grossed just over $7 billion at the box office. Only recently have spy films started to incorporate comedy within them, such as Kingsman and The Spy Who Dumped Me. One of the earliest examples of this was 2003’s Johnny English. 15 years later, and the series lives on, with the latest addition, Johnny English Strikes Again, hitting cinemas globally this month.

David Kerr directs the third instalment in the Johnny English, where Johnny is now retired as a teacher. When a hacker infiltrates MI7 and reveals all of the current spies out in action, Johnny is called back in to track down the hacker and bring him to justice. Johnny is reunited with Bough and together the pair must use their (lack of) skills to defeat modern technology and succeed in their mission.

Rowan Atkinson returns to play the titular character and shows that age is no restriction when it comes to making movies. Atkinson is known most famously for playing Mr Bean because of his physical comedy ability. Johnny English Strikes Again further proves that Atkinson is a master of it. Atkinson could have said nothing in this film and it would have been hilarious nonetheless. Whether it be dancing hyperactively to Darude’s Sandstorm or cooling his mouth after eating a hot nut, Atkinson nails this role once again. Ben Miller is also back to play English’s right-hand man, Agent Bough. It was great to see the duo reunited and the chemistry and comedy between them were fantastic. He was a fun character and I liked the way that Miller played him. Olga Kurylenko played Ophelia, a spy against English. I can’t reveal too much about her character, but she was a good character, well played by Kurylenko, but I felt we could have had some more character development of Ophelia, as we were just thrown in with her being there. They did develop her character a bit as the film went along, but nothing was really done with these developments. The Prime Minister was played hilariously well by Emma Thompson. I would have loved to have seen more from her character, but other than that she was great in this film.

The music was actually one of the best parts of the film. It had something for everyone, from ‘Venus’ by Bananarama to Changing by Sigma, even with Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Two Tribes’. The best music moment is a spoiler for what was the funniest part of the movie. All I’ll say is it’s Darude’s Sandstorm in a hilariously fantastic scene.

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Johnny shows off his moves on the dancefloor.

If you don’t wish to read any spoilers, skip this next paragraph and continue reading from the next bold indication mark.

 

In all honesty, this film was funnier than I was expecting. As Johnny English is marketed as a comedy, any jokes are spoilers. Johnny English Strikes Again doesn’t fall down the usual hole of using up all the good jokes in the trailer. I found that the first half of the movie used up all of the jokes from the trailer, making the first half more boring than the second. As mentioned above, the funniest moment featured Darude’s Sandstorm. We see Johnny take a pill causing him to be hyperactive. He heads to a disco room in the hotel he’s staying at and dances wackily in time to Sandstorm, slowing down and speeding up with the music. The comedy was fantastic and better than expected.

The villain, Jason Volta (played by Jake Lacy) was kind of predictable. I figured out in the first 20 minutes what was going down. One thing that annoyed me about the film is that Ophelia was revealed to be a Russian spy, but didn’t really do much with it. The film could have had more too it and was quite simple, lacking in areas that, if expanded on (as it was only 90 minutes long) could have made for a better movie.

There are no more spoilers, and it is safe to continue reading.

Johnny English Strikes Again was quite formulaic. There’s a problem, Johnny English is called in, comedy and action take place, Johnny accuses someone who you know is the villain but MI7 think he’s crazy and has no clue he’s right, MI7 get mad and fire him, Johnny comes back and proves that he was correct and saves the day before the film ends on an awkward yet somewhat funny cliffhanger. You could argue that this is the same for most movies, such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but with Johnny English, it’s the same guy doing the same antics repeatedly, just with different comedy and different situations that he’s thrown into. In the MCU, you have different people with different backgrounds against different threats. Admittedly, the MCU is also formulaic, but not so much as other franchises like Johnny English and the Fast and Furious series. Another thing that I didn’t like is how the film would give itself away. Bough would say that something may happen, Johnny would say that he was being silly and ignore it, then it would happen five minutes later. The comedy was better than expected and actually made the film better, and that’s mainly down to Atkinson’s brilliant acting. His physical comedy combined with situations in the film was the best part of the film. However, the film was flat in places. It had its moments of great comedy and action but failed to keep me entertained throughout.

Overall, Johnny English Strikes Again is a 7.1/10. It was a good film that was interesting in places, and hilarious in others, but didn’t have much else going for it. The only reason why it got a 7.1/10 is down to Atkinson’s acting ability and humour that made the film so much better than expected.

Thanks for reading this weeks review. I know I said I’d review a prison thriller for this week, but my friends and I made plans to catch Johnny English last weekend. Sorry, this weeks review was out late. Follow me on Instagram for the latest movie news, behind the scenes pictures and more. Follow my blog to be the first to read my reviews.

Once again, thanks for reading this week’s review. Join me next week when I actually review a prison thriller from recently. Not many people have seen it, but I can promise that it’s a good one. 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!

 

Kingsman: The Secret Service: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #30

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

Something that is becoming (and is still growing) increasingly popular in terms of movies is taking a film in a genre and putting a twist of some sort on it to help it appeal to a wider audience. I took the two earliest and most notorious examples of this, a spy movie and a buddy cop movie and pitted them against each other in a poll on Instagram (@ryans.movie.reviews, give us a follow please). Kingsman: The Secret Service beat 21 Jump Street with 56% of the vote, making it this weeks review.

From director Matthew Vaughn (also known for X-Men: First Class and Kickass) and with a fantastic cast including Taron Egerton and Samuel L Jackson is the story of  the Kingsmen, a British secret service group. The Kingsmen are a group of elite gentlemanly spies who are looking for a new recruit. Among the applicants is Eggsy, a young man from a tough background, who is up against privately educated for the job spot. Eggsy has to battle it out against the other applicants to secure his spot at the best secret agency in the world. At the same time, a new threat in the form of an eco-terrorist who wants to kill half the world rises (sounds like Thanos) and it’s down to the Kingsmen to bring him down.

Let me start by saying how enormously fun and awesome this movie was. It came out of nowhere and was instantly loved by people all over the world, and it’s rare that something like this happens. The most recent example that I can think of for this is Baby Driver. Our protagonist is Gary Unwin, nicknamed and referred to as Eggsy (for some reason) throughout the film. Played by Taron Egerton, Eggsy is your average London tough guy, who has a less than decent home life. The way that Egerton combines a rough gangster-like attitude with a softer and more delicate side was highly commendable. Supposing that Egerton was only 23 when he did this, it was quite a terrific performance. Egerton makes Eggsy a relatable and awesome character, and is part of the reason why myself and audiences aroun the world loved this film so much. The villain in this film is Richmond Valentine, played by Samuel L Jackson. And it’s fair to say that he was one of the best parts of Kingsman. Valentine in an internet billionaire who wants to cure the world by eradicating as many people as possible to stop the destruction of mother Earth. He gives out free SIM cards (or cellphone chips) to the world, but programs them so that he can trigger a series of neurological brain waves that make people go on a murderous rampage. It was fun to see Jackson play a villain, but also evident to tell that he had a blast playing Valentine. His lisp was spot on and he had reasoning, and he was a good villain that made the film really good. Assisting Valentine is his sidekick, Gazelle, played by Sofia Boutella. She was a great character and her action scenes were fantastic, but I would have liked to have seen more from her. In his fight against Valentine and Gazelle, Eggsy is not alone. He is supported by Merlin, Harry Hart and Roxy. Merlin was played by Mark Strong, who was one of my favourite characters in this film. He provided a fair amount of humour that made this film more enjoyable. Colin Firth played Harry Hart, Eggsy’s mentor and a Kingsman spy. He was an amazing character, and his action scenes were stunning. Lastly, we had Roxy who was played by Sophie Cookson. Again, she was a good character and I liked her, but she too could have been used more in the film. I feel like we were kind of just forced to like her. With Eggsy, that love came somewhat more naturally. I felt that some of the characters were a little wasted, particularly Gazelle. I’d have honestly liked to have seen more about the history of Kingsmen, but if Matthew Vaughn is going to/might make a sequel-prequel about it, then that’d be much better.

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Chaos breaks out in the unforgettably amazing church scene.

The music in Kingsman had mixed reactions from me. The songs were smartly selected so that they fit the scenes perfectly. From Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal to Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd, the songs where something that I wouldn’t change. However, the music soundtrack composed by Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson could have been better. It was good but honestly overused and reached a point of irritation. It was just the same dramatic Kingsman theme repeated over and over again with maybe a change in pitch or tone to suit the mood.

The plot idea of Kingsman was smart. It took a classic spy cliché of all spies being gentlemen and put a nice little twist on it, by showing that the common man is just as capable of being a spy, as well as a woman being able to do it as well. There were a few potholes, like if Valentine was trying to use someone elses satellite to make the connection for his V-Day plan, it would surely be a longer process then something that took like 30 seconds in the film.

There were admittedly a lot of scenes that I loved from Kingsman, despite it being a little dull in places. The opening to Dire Strait’s ‘Money for Nothing’ was a perfect introduction to the film and set the tone immediately. I loved the scene with Eggsy stealing Dean’s car and driving backwards with it as it was just so much fun to watch but also served as a secret character development scene for us to learn about Eggsy’s skills. The next best scene easily goes to the famous ‘manners maketh man’ scene, where Colin Firth shines in a fantastic (yet shakey cam) fight that makes audiences even more excited for what’s to come. Then we had the underwater escape room, which was pretty cool to watch. The next few things were bit boring, but I love the sky-diving scene. We had a cool scene with Gazelle fighting some guards but she should have been used more in the film. After that, the next best scene was a scene that is one of my all-time favourite scenes in cinema history. The iconic church scene to Free Bird’s epic rock guitar was gory, bloody, adrenaline pumping, awesome and just so incredible that you have to rewatch that scene again and again and again to fully appreciate its awesomeness. Rewatch it again here to fully appreciate truly how amazing the scene is. I guess the ending fight between Eggsy and Gazelle was pretty good, but I would have liked it to have had a bit more action to it. The fights between the people on the streets were really cool and fun to watch, especially with ‘Give It Up’ as the background music, but I would have loved to have seen more of it. The music kept getting cut off with some of the same dramatic music and the scene kept being cut to Valentine getting angry about his tech not working. Vaughn, you got something great here and I loved it, but you kept ruining it!

I think it’s worth mentioning my thoughts on the sequel too, seeing as it’s part of the Kingsman-verse. The Golden Circle ripped off its predecessor and was worse than the original. The original was good, I loved it, but the Golden Circle was just copying and pasting what the first film did but a new villain, a higher budget and more stars.

Overall, Kingsman: The Secret Service gets an 8.1/10. Though it lacked in some areas, it had a great villain, the right amount of humour and incredible action, putting a twist on a classic movie genre.

Thanks for reading this weeks review. Follow my Instagram (@ryans.movie.reviews) for the latest movie news, polls and everything else you could want from a movie related Instagram page.

Once again, thanks for reading this weeks review, and I’ll see you next week when I review a new drama/crime film that’s actually based on a true story. See you then!

Deadpool 2: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #18

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews! This review will have spoilers for Deadpool 2 throughout as indicated by bold warnings. But go watch Deadpool 2. Even go rewatch it. It’s honestly one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time.

When Deadpool first came out in 2016, I was so excited for it. It lived up to the hype, and I had a new favourite film (joint first with Pulp Fiction). Deadpool then fell to around 4th or 5th after some time, with Pulp Fiction still leading in first. Then Deadpool 2 was announced. A new wave of excitement washed over me after the Wet on Wet (Bob Ross) trailer was released in November 2017. Here we are in May 2018 with the long-awaited sequels smashing records like the biggest opening weekend for an R-rated movie.

From David Leitch, director of John Wick (see Ryan’s Movie Reviews #16) and starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin and Zazie Beetz, Deadpool 2 continues on from the first Deadpool. Wade is now a contract killer, but when a job goes horribly wrong and changes his life, he joins the X-Men. On his first mission, Deadpool meets Russell, or Firefist, a mutant who can generate fire from his fists (it’s in the name!). In the future, Firefist kills Cable’s family, so Cable comes to the present. In order to protest Firefist, Deadpool must assemble a team of heroes to stop Cable from killing Russell.

The first Deadpool was the first ever R-rated superhero movie and completely changed the game. Though it was sad to hear Tim Miller left the second film, David Leitch taking over as director was a decision that made the film much more awesome. Those who have seen Atomic Blonde and John Wick know of his spectacular action scenes and Leitch was able to implement this into Deadpool 2. I can’t talk much about fight scenes with them being spoilers, but a NON-SPOILER fight scene that was shown in the trailer and that was amazing in the film was the fight between Deadpool and Cable in the prison. It had great camerawork and classic, Deadpool-like humour that was mixed into the action wonderfully. Ryan Reynolds reprises his role of the Merc with a Mouth, and he’s filthier than ever. Reynolds further proves that he was born to play Deadpool, with a wicked humour that will have you laughing so much you choke on over-priced popcorn. He’s joined by Zazie Beetz’s Domino, whose power is luck. Despite Mr Pool’s belief, it IS very cinematic and she was so cool! I can’t say too much without spoiling, but what I will say she is easily one of the best characters in the film and Beetz absolutely killed it in this role. As promised in the post-credits scene from Deadpool, we meet Cable in Deadpool 2. He’s not played by Keira Knightley (sadly) but by Thanos himself, Josh Brolin. Brolin was fantastic as the half machine half man cyborg. His emotional complexity in the character was perfect for the film and Brolin executed the role perfectly. Talking about the X-Force is a bit of a spoiler, but they were all awesome and hilarious in their scenes. Especially Peter and I quite liked Zeitgeist too. There’s another secret X-Force member who was pretty cool too, but that’s spoiler terrority. Go watch Deadpool 2 and come read the spoiler half of this review. Morena Baccarin is back again as Vanessa, Wade’s girlfriend. It was great to see her in the film, but I can’t say too much more without it being a spoiler. Dopinder is also back, played by Karan Soni. Dopinder is more vulgar and funnier in this film, which is obviously from Wade’s influence. Soni has iconically become known as the taxi driver for ‘Mr Pool’ and is perfect for the innocent yet wild character. We are introduced to Russell, or Firefist, a mutant who is being hunted down by Cable. Julian Dennison (or as I always call him, Ricky Baker) takes on the role and did a good job. He was a good character, but I would have liked to have seen more emotion from him.

The action was amazing, the humour even better and I think that Deadpool 2 was better than the first. That’s all can say for Deadpool 2 without spoiling anything. Go watch, even go watch it again. It’s that good. Then come back and read the rest of my review. But there are spoilers down there. You have been warned!

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The X-Force prepares to jump and save the day

Do NOT read below this point if you have not seen Deadpool 2. There are spoilers for Deadpool 2.

My initial thoughts after watching Deadpool 2 were that it was not how I expected it to be. I remember thinking before the film that the first Deadpool would be better than the second. Most sequels are. To my surprise, Deadpool 2 was actually better than the first. Funnier, gorier and overall just better, though I found the plot a little weak. Now I can the actual proper review. You see the plot you read up there? It’s wrong! Continue reading for my spoiler review of Deadpool 2.

Deadpool 2 leaves us where we left off from the first Deadpool. Wade is on a world tour, working as a contract killer (with the help of Dolly Parton). When he fails to kill a target (Kurosawa) back at home, the target sends his crew after Wade and attacks him while he’s at home with Vanessa. It’s also Wade and Vanessa’s anniversary that night where Wade gifts Vanessa an arcade token (callback to the first film), and they have decided to start a family together. However, Kurosawa’s men attack and kill Vanessa. Wade then hits a slump and decides to kill himself. He blows himself up and his body parts are splattered all over the place. Colossus visits Wade and helps his recover, piecing him back together. Wade’s now part of the X-Men (trainee!) and speaks with Russell, realising he has been abused by the headmaster of an orphanage for being a mutant. Deadpool then kills one of staff who was abusing Russell, which leads to Wade and Russell being thrown into a prison, called the Icebox. The Icebox is a prison for mutants, where they wear collars that stop the mutants from using their powers. We cut to the future, where Cable finds his wife and daughter dead as a result from an older Russell burning them.  Cable then decides to go to the present to kill Russell to stop him from ever killing anyone and going down a path of destruction. Cable then breaks into the prison and fights Wade, who is protecting Russell. They escape from the Icebox and go their separate ways, while Russell remains in prison and befriends a mysterious character. Cable goes to prepare for his next attack, while Wade meets up with Weasel to assemble the X-Force, a forward-thinking, gender-neutral team consisting of members like Bedlam, Shatterstar, Zeitgeist, the Vanisher, Domino and Peter. Both Cable and X-Force find out the prisoners from the Icebox are being transported to a new facility, and decide to attack, as Deadpool knows Cable will use this opportunity to kill Russell. The X-Force jump out their heli-carrier and all die, except for Deadpool and Domino. Bedlam parachutes into a bus, Shatterstar parachutes into the blades of a helicopter, the Vanisher parachutes into a power line, and Zeitgeist parachutes into a wood chipper. Peter tries to help Zeitgeist out the wood chipper but gets Zeitgeist’s acidic vomit on him. With Deadpool and Domino as the only survivors, they head out to fight Cable. Russell and his friend revealed to be the Juggernaut fight back against Cable, Deadpool and Domino. Juggernaut rips Wade in half, where he goes to recover in Blind Al’s apartment. There, Domino, Dopinder and Weasel help Wade devise a plan to stop Cable when Cable rocks up and decides to help them out, as he realises Juggernaut is an unstoppable force. Before stopping Russell, Wade visits the X-Mansion to enlist the help of Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio. They reject his offer, and Wade makes his way to the orphanage accompanied by Domino and Cable, with Dopinder acting as their ride. Juggernaut and Firefist arrive at the orphanage to kill the headmaster, where Deadpool and his crew arrive shortly after. After some fighting, Colossus, Yukio and Negasonic turn up at the orphanage to stop Firefist and Juggernaut. While Colossus, Yukio and Negasonic knock Juggernaut out (we briefly see him rise from the swimming pool at the end of the film), Domino, Deadpool and Cable take out the abusive staff. After trying to talk to Russell about not killing, Deadpool puts a collar on from the Icebox and takes a bullet for Russell, where he learns human kindness and Wade dies from taking a bullet for him (as he is wearing the Icebox collar). With one charge left on his time travel device, Cable goes back in time to protect Wade by putting the arcade token that he gave to Vanessa in one of Wade’s pockets where he will later get shot, saving Wade’s life. Russell still learns the lesson of human kindness and spares the headmaster’s life. As the team walks away, Dopinder kills the headmaster with his taxi, proving his courage. Cable decides he will stay in the present to make a better future. In the post-credit scenes, Negasonic and Yukio fix Cable’s time travelling device, and Deadpool takes it and saves Vanessa and Peter, then goes even further back in time to kill the Deadpool from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, then slightly forward in time to kill a young Ryan Reynolds from ever making Green Lantern. And that’s a recap of everything that happened in Deadpool 2.

Deadpool-2-still-Cable-and-Deadpool

Cable vs Deadpool

Here’s what I loved about Deadpool 2. First off, it was funnier. It was more self-aware had made jokes that had me gasping for air. From calling Dopinder ‘Brown Panther’, the baby legs, and especially the X-Force scene. Secondly, the action and gore in this film. This is from the same director who gave us the awesome action in John Wick, and it was so satisfying to see that furthered in Deadpool 2. Another amazing thing that Deadpool 2 was able to do was being really emotional when it needed to be, most notably the ending, where Wade meets Vanessa in ‘heaven’. This scene was so amazing because of the characters emotions and the unplugged, soft rendition of ‘Take On Me’, which brings me on to my next point. The music in this film was incredible. From using ‘X Gon’ Give It To Ya’ as Deadpool’s theme, then ‘Nobody Speak’ by DJ Shadow for the scene of interviewing the X-Force candidates. The best goes to Celine Dion’s ‘Ashes’ that played during the opening credits. It was a great song that perfectly suited the opening credits. The opening credits were, in my opinion, better than the first film’s. It had something pretty big to live up to, and rather than listing what the characters were in a comedic way, it referenced what we had seen and made in-jokes that were hilarious, like ‘cinematography by Blind Al’ and ‘written by the real villains here’, when the first film said ‘written by the real heroes here’ in its opening credits.

However, it wasn’t a perfect film. One of the things that I didn’t like about Deadpool 2 is it’s ending. It didn’t really make sense. We didn’t see any relationship development between Deadpool and Cable apart from when they arrive at the orphanage for a brief minute. It seemed a little unearned. Also, I’d have like to have seen more of Negasonic and Colossus. We didn’t see much of them in the last film, and I was looking to seeing more of them in this sequel. They could have done more, particularly with Negasonic, but when making room for new characters like Domino and Cable, they got sidelined. There was also no need for Weasel. Sure, he had some good jokes and furthered the plot in a few places, but he could’ve been cut from the film and it wouldn’t have made a difference. I didn’t understand the whole thing about Wade being close to death and visiting Vanessa in that underwater world place. After watching the film, I learnt it was supposed to be heaven, but there must have been another way to show Wade getting close to Vanessa when he felt close to death.

The best scenes for me were the opening fights with Deadpool on his world tour, as it reminded us of Deadpool’s humour and talents in a neat little montage. The opening credits were also great fun to watch. The prison fight was fantastic, as was the entirety of the X-Force. The interviews, the deaths, and Deadpool and Domino chasing down Cable; it was highly entertaining and I loved it. The whole baby legs scene was awesome too.  The end fight was incredible as it showcased the newly formed X-Force coming together and it was a spectacle to see them working as one unit. The post-credit scenes had me in fits of laughter. Deadpool 2 really outdid the first one in my opinion.

My favourite characters were the three main protagonists. Ryan Reynolds was born to play Deadpool and it’s evident from this film that no-one could ever live up to Reynolds version of Deadpool. He’s so hilarious and fantastic in this role, and his efforts certainly pay off. Zazie Beetz’s Domino is also one of my favourite characters, as she was so badass. The sequence of her using her luck powers and avoiding obstacles was incredible, and I look forward to seeing more of Domino in the future. Lastly, Josh Brolin’s Cable was absolutely amazing. He combined great action with a wit that combated Deadpool’s humour, which was great fun to watch in this film. The trio were so cool to watch at the end of the film, and I look forward to seeing more of them in the future.

Deadpool 2 certainly lived up to the hype (plus plus) and gets a 9.2/10 from me. Yeah, that’s a pretty high rating, but this is Ryan’s Movie Reviews. I absolutely loved Deadpool 2, as it didn’t suffer from sequel-itis and suck, but was such a fun and awesome cinematic experience that I am longing to watch again. Hat’s off to Ryan Reynolds here. I know he wasn’t the director, but he did a fantastic job of getting Deadpool 1 and Deadpool 2 made. It’s a game-changing series for not only the superhero film genre but the entire film industry.

Thanks for reading week 18 of Ryan’s Movie Reviews. I loved Deadpool 2, but what did you think? Let me know, then give me a follow on Instagram, @Ryans.Movie.Reviews to read the latest news in the film industry.

I’ve got big exams coming up in a couple weeks so there will be a review of something next week, then a two-week break before the next review is released. Follow @Ryans.Movie.Reviews on Instagram as I’ll be doing a poll, where you can vote for what I review for next week. See you then!