Ryan Recaps: Before you see Avengers: Endgame

So, you’re going to see Avengers: Endgame, the movie event of the year, but need a recap of where we left the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). This post will bring you up to speed so you can fully enjoy the final film in the Infinity Saga. This will contain some spoilers for past Marvel movies as well as other information for the Avengers: Endgame that has been confirmed by Marvel by trailers, posters or other media.

Who’s dust and who’s dead?

Following Thanos’ decimation, the dusted are Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Star-Lord, Drax, Mantis, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Groot, Bucky Barnes, Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne. We also saw Vision, Loki, Heimdall and Gamora die during Infinity War, and a poster reveals that Shuri is no longer with the remaining Avengers.

Are they really gone for good?

It’s not known whether the dusted and dead gone for good, or if they still exist somewhere else, like in the Soul Stone or somewhere like that. Nothing is really known about their whereabouts, but speculation that they come back somehow is based on future MCU movies, such as Spider-Man: Far From Home, Black Panther 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3. Maybe Endgame will explain if and how they come back, but who knows?

Who’s still alive?

Still alive to avenge their fallen friends are the heroes who survived the snap. Left alive are Tony Stark (Iron Man), Nebula, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, War Machine, Bruce Banner, Okoye, Rocket Raccoon and M’Baku. Others who are still alive as confirmed by Marvel by posters and trailers include Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Captain Marvel, Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan, Valkyrie and Wong.

So who’s where?

Based on where we saw them last, here’s where the surviving heroes are. Left abandoned on Titan are Tony Stark and Nebula, surrounded by the ruins of the planet and the dust of their fallen allies. In Wakanda, we have Thor, Black Widow, War Machine, Bruce Banner, Captain America, Okoye, M’Baku and Rocket Raccoon. Ant-Man was last seen abandoned in the Quantum Realm in the mid-credits scene of Ant-Man and the Wasp. Hawkeye is still on Earth somewhere as is Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts. I think it’s safe to guess that Wong is back guarding the Sanctum in New York, meanwhile, Captain Marvel and Valkyrie are out in space somewhere, waiting to make a return.

What’s the plot of Avengers: Endgame?

Nothing is really known about the plot of the movie. From trailers and official footage from Marvel, we know that the film will show Tony Stark and Nebula returning to Earth somehow, where they will team up with the other remaining Avengers and go after Thanos to defeat him for once and for all, maybe attempting to undo the snap which put them in this position whilst doing so.

So what’s Thanos been up to?

At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, we saw a smiling, satisfied Thanos on a new planet. His Infinity Gauntlet was severely damaged after the Snap yet it’s unknown whether the Infinity Stones themselves are damaged. Trailers for Endgame shows Thanos on his farm living out a peaceful life after succeeding in his mission, with his armour hung up on a scarecrow too.

What about that time travel thing?

If you want to avoid theories, then skip this out. Behind the scenes pictures show Tony Stark, Captain America, Bruce Banner and Ant-Man with the same watch on their wrist in what looks like the Battle of New York from 2012’s The Avengers. A scene from the second Endgame trailer shows Tony and Steve reuniting for the first time in what looks like Manhattan, so this agrees with the heavily supported idea that time travel will be involved somehow in defeating Thanos and bringing back their fallen friends.

What about the film itself?

Avengers: Endgame marks the end of Marvel’s Infinity Saga, and after 11 years and 22 films, it comes down to this. The film could also be the end of some of our favourite heroes. With a runtime of 3 hours and 58 seconds, this looks to be one of Marvel’s biggest films yet, if not ever (so far). Seeing as Infinity War had the largest opening weekend ever so far ($640 million), it’s fair to say that Endgame will beat that. Speculation is that it will make around $800 million on the opening weekend, so will hit $1 billion incredibly fast. Infinity War also made over $2 billion, so I’m thinking that Endgame should be able to reach that fairly quickly.

I hope this brought you up to speed and prepared you for Endgame. Feel free to comment any questions you may have. Avengers: Endgame looks to be a huge film that will be a payoff to 11 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Join me soon for a spoiler-filled review of Endgame, but until then, enjoy the film, and remember, #DontSpoilTheEndgame.

 

Bohemian Rhapsody: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #50

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

As the 91st Academy Awards approach, other award events take place where the films that critics loved the most shine, get nominated for and maybe even win some of the most prestigious awards in Hollywood. Of the movies nominated for this year’s Best Picture Oscar (Black Panther, Blackkklansman, Roma, Green Book, Vice, A Star is Born, The Favourite and Bohemian Rhapsody), it’s difficult to predict which will win. I’d wanted to watch Bohemian Rhapsody ever since the first trailer came out. I got the chance to watch it recently, so here is my review of Bohemian Rhapsody

Directed by Bryan Singer and Dexter Fletcher, and starring Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton and Ben Hardy, Bohemian Rhapsody tells the life story of Queen’s frontman, Freddie Mercury. The film follows his youth and how he joined Queen, and the making of everyone’s favourite Queen hits. We see Freddie Mercury grow and develop throughout the film, defying stereotypes, making and breaking friendships and becoming the man who has become a global cultural icon.

If you’ve been following the 2019 Awards Season, you’ll have seen that Rami Malek has won a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA (and more!) and has been nominated for an Oscar. Malek expertly played Freddie Mercury. As an American, I wasn’t expecting too much from his work, but I was so wrong! His performance was brilliantly delivered and Malek honestly deserved to win all the awards he has received so far. He fully immersed himself in the role of Mercury and it certainly paid off. There’s a pretty big chance that Malek will win the Oscar for Best Actor, and he has proved himself more than worthy of it. Only time will tell! Gwilym Lee played Queen’s lead guitarist, Brian May. Lee’s resemblance to a young Brian May was uncanny, and it made the film more enjoyable as it felt more realistic. Lee delivered a fantastic performance and was a perfect fit for the role of Brian May. Queen’s drummer, Roger Taylor, was played by Ben Hardy. Hardy looked like a young Roger Taylor and he was great for the role. Hardy’s performance was well executed and good for Roger’s character but I felt that he didn’t really convey much emotion. He seemed quite angry and depressed for most of the film, and maybe that’s how Roger Taylor was during his time with Queen, but there could have been more range from his performance. The last member of Queen was John Deacon, who was the bassist. Joseph Mazzello took on the role of Deacon, and he was good for the role. I personally would have liked to have seen more from Deacon’s character, or him having more memorable moments in the film. I can only recall one standout scene of Deacon which was how ‘Another Bites the Dust’ came about. One of the other main characters and Freddie Mercury’s love interests was Mary Austin, played brilliantly by Lucy Boynton. Boynton was well suited to the role and played the character with good range and ability. The chemistry between each character was so fantastically acted out by every actor that it really helped me to enjoy the movie more.

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Queen records the operatic section of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Because the music was all from Queen, I had no issues here. It was so cool to see how it came together, like how ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ came together by John Deacon while Freddie and Roger were in an argument or the way ‘We Will Rock You’ got its foot-stomping beat. As a huge fan of old music, the music in Bohemian Rhapsody was impeccable.

Bohemian Rhapsody was one of those movies where I want to watch it again and again because it was that good. The more I think of it, the better it was. Admittedly, I felt the film was lacking some flow throughout between one scene and another. I also felt that the film was rather uninteresting in places. Truth be told, I eventually found myself just waiting for the next Queen song to come up. One of the things that kept the film together was Rami Malek’s performance of Freddie Mercury which was so incredible that it really made the film so entertaining and better to watch. Another factor that kept the film together well was the character chemistry. It was convincing and gave a good depiction of how Queen’s band members and the people in their lives interacted with each other.

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Queen rehearsing ‘Another One Bites the Dust’

Now for my favourite moments from Bohemian Rhapsody. I loved the opening to this film, and it required no exposition to establish where the story would go. It summed up Freddie’s lifestyle and told the audience that the film would end up at the Live Aid 1985 Concert. I like how the film also wasted little time in showing us how Freddie met Roger and Brian after their lead singer from their previous band, Smile, left them, even if it did fall down the exposition hole. We then see the band make new songs, then clash with either each other or other figures, like Ray Foster. The making of the songs was great fun to watch. The way the film showed how ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was made and how the band fought to have it on the airways was fantastic to see brought to life, and it showed that the hard work had paid off. Another favourite was ‘We Will Rock You’, as it was awesome to see how Brian May thought of it and how one of Queen’s most notorious hits came about. The last song that I enjoyed watching come to life was ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, as it was John Deacon’s idea and his bass that was the skeleton of what was to become another amazing Queen song. The film dies off for a bit when Freddie moves away, but the energy is revived when he returns to London to unite with his bandmates and they prepare for Live Aid 1985. The scene of Freddie admitting that he has AIDS to his band was sweet and touching, but it was the Live Aid performance that was arguably the best scene in the movie. It depicted an iconic performance from Queen, complete with amazing songs and Freddie Mercury’s unforgettable ‘Ay-Oh’ crowd interaction moment. The film ends with ‘Don’t Stop Me’ and a summary of events after Live Aid, with a nod to Freddie Mercury and all the incredible work he contributed to the music industry.

Overall, I really loved Bohemian Rhapsody, and I give it an 8.2/10. It’s not the best movie ever made, but it is really really enjoyable to watch. It doesn’t matter if you love Queen’s music or not, Bohemian Rhapsody will have you singing along throughout and the songs will be stuck in your head for weeks on end. Bohemian Rhapsody is up for 5 Oscars this weekend (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Film Editing). It’s currently available for download on the iTunes store and Sky Movies Store, but should be added to some streaming services by the end of the year.

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

Once again, thanks for reading this weeks review. The Oscars this weekend are shaping up to be a good one, with many stars hosting, the remaining members of Queen performing and loads of brilliant movies and actors and directors having the honour of being nominated and all gunning for Hollywood’s most prestigious award, an Academy Award. Join me next week for a superhero film that is one of my all-time favourites. See you then!

Step Brothers: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #48

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

There’s a definite difference between comedy in British movies and comedy in American movies. In my opinion, most American comedies are lazier and don’t make use of what’s possible with what’s available when you can make a movie. To be fair, some American TV comedies have actually done this, such as The Office and Parks and Recreation. Other than that, the movies rely on jokes to make the movie a comedy. And some are better done than others. One movie that has pretty good humour both audibly and visually is 2008’s Step Brothers.

Directed by Adam McKay and starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly is Step Brothers. Dale Doback and Brennan Huff are two jobless losers in their forties who are still living with their respective father and mother. When Robert (Dale’s father) meets Nancy (Brennan’s mother) at a conference, the two hook up and get married. Brennan and Dale are forced to live with each other and get along. Naturally, mischief and craziness ensue, leaving Robert and Nancy no choice but to sell their house and retire so that their sons can get jobs and become adults, something they are far from.

Will Ferrell played Brennan Huff and did a great job in the role. Ferrell was good fun to watch and he was funny, but as much as I liked Brennan, I preferred Dale’s character. Dale Doback was played by John C. Reilly and is arguably one of Reilly’s best roles to date. Reilly was hilarious and made the movie more enjoyable to watch. Together, Ferrell and Reilly were a fantastic comedy duo who made the film hilarious, and their character chemistry was so natural and it was great fun to watch. Mary Steenburgen played Brennan’s mother, Nancy and was a great addition to the cast. The same is true for Robert, played by Richard Jenkins. Honestly, there’s not much else I can really comment on their characters. Adam Scott also featured in the film, playing Brennan’s brother, Derek. He was quite funny and his performance was impeccable. One character who I loved was Randy, played by Rob Riggle, but there should have been more of his character. Randy genuinely had me bursting out in laughter.

The music had some generic songs, such as ‘You Make My Dreams’ by Hall and Oates and ‘A-Punk’ by Vampire Weekend. However other songs that I’d never heard of, such as ‘Breathe and Stop’ by Q-Tip were good additions to the film that added to the mood of the movie. It’s worth mentioning the songs done by the cast too, like Derek and his family acapella-ing to ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ or ‘Boat’s and Hoes’ sung by Brennan and Dale. These moments were funny and made the film more entertaining, but the best musical moment in Step Brothers easily goes to the operatic-drum solo scene with Brennan and Dale performing Por Ti Volare at the Catalina Wine Mixer.

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Brennan and Dale show off their talents at the Catalina Wine Mixer.

It’s a straightforward story but with the right details and actors mixed in, you have a pretty decent movie. I’m not saying that Step Brothers is a bad movie, but it’s not the best. It’s quite dull and flat at times, and the comedy sometimes did not land well and just left for an awkward moment.

There were some laugh-out-loud moments that were great and funny additions to the film. I like the whole scene of Brennan and Dale getting into a fight after Brennan puts his testicles on Dale’s precious drum set was hilarious to see it escalate into a stupidly funny fight. Another scene I liked was when Dale and Brennan then became ‘best friends’ and make bunk beds and did awesome karate kits Dale’s long fart in his job interview with Seth Rogen tasting it was one of the funny awkward moments in the film too. Dale and Brennan’s big release of Boats and Hoes for their business, Prestige Worldwide was also hilarious to watch. The reveal of Derek being an unlikeable character, especially with his introduction was well done and funny. Brennan gets a job working for Derek, and there’s a scene I love that takes place in Randy’s office, with Randy yelling ‘pow!’ every so often which was funny too. The best part for me was at the Catalina Wine Mixer with Brennan and Dale’s epic performance, which had me in stitches.

Step Brothers gets a 6.8/10 from me. It’s possible that a movie that isn’t as high scoring as others that I’ve reviewed can still be loved. It has great comedy and is a film that should be watched by everyone. Step Brothers is currently available to watch on Netflix, and I highly recommend it.

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

Once again, thanks for reading this week’s review. As it’s Valentine’s Day next Thursday, I’ll be reviewing a romantic movie. 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!

 

Ready Player One: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #13

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews! Just as a heads up, this review may contain a few spoilers, but shouldn’t ruin the entire movie for you.

I frequently go to the movies with friends, but when my friend Khushal suggested that we go see Ready Player One, it didn’t sound like much to me. After watching the trailers and seeing that it was from Steven Spielberg, I found myself drawn to the film. I saw the film last week with Khushal, Nick and Josh and we loved it! Here is my review of it.

From the winner of Empire’s Legend of our Lifetime award, Steven Spielberg and author Ernest Cline comes Ready Player One. In 2045, the reality is a bore and people dislike their lives. To escape reality, people go to the OASIS, a virtual reality universe where you are free to do whatever you want. You also gain coins for completing various activities, but once killed in the game you will lose everything and have to start again. When the creator of the game (James Halliday) dies, he leaves 3 challenges (known as Anorak’s Quest) for all players, and winning each challenge will give you a different key. Once you obtain the Copper, Jade and Crystal keys, you will win Anorak’s Quest and inherit $500 billion and complete control of the OASIS. It’s a race against time and all other players to win Anorak’s Quest. Wade Watts, or Parzival as he’s known in the Oasis, is one of the competitors, wishing to escape life in the slum-like stacks. The film focuses around him and his friends trying to win Anorak’s Quest while IOI (Innovative Online Industries), a company who manufactures most of the equipment used in the OASIS, competes to win the ownership of the game.

Spielberg’s direction was great, and Ready Player One will go down as one of his greats. It was classic Spielberg that made me entertained throughout the film. Our protagonist of Wade Watts was played by Tye Sheridan. Sheridan was amazing as Parzival as he captured the fun of the gaming and brought it to life in a wonderful way. Olivia Cooke took on the role of Art3mis, or Samantha, a pro-gamer and leader of the rebellion against IOI. Cooke was good and played Art3mis awesomely. The antagonist of Sorrento, the CEO of IOI, was played by Ben Mendelsohn and I thought he was perfect for the villain in Ready Player One. We’ve seen him as the villain in Rogue One, and Mendelsohn was great then, and great here. He is accompanied by Hannah John-Kamen’s F’Nale. F’Nale was a decent character, but I personally would have liked to have seen more of her. She was introduced as part of the bad guys, but only served to go against what Sorrento wanted. Art3mis and Parzival are not alone in their attack against IOI. They join forces with Aech or Helen in real life. Lena Waithe was great as Aech as she was so fun and interesting for her role. Mark Rylance played James Halliday or Anorak, and he was pretty cool. For Halliday, he had the perfect mumbling tone, and he also had the perfect godlike voice for Anorak. Simon Pegg played Ogden Morrow and another character who if I mention is a spoiler, but Pegg was great as Ogden and his voiceover for the other mystery character was something that I loved! T.J. Miller voiced I-R0K, a bounty hunter hired by IOI to kill Parzival to stop him from getting the keys. I thought he was perfect for the role and was hilarious. My three favourite characters were Wade Watts (Parzival), as Sheridan was perfect for the role of a hero (aside from Cyclops in X-Men) and portrayed the character in a fun way, Samantha (Art3mis), mainly because Cooke executed the role perfectly and suited the role, and finally I-R0K as his seriousness character mixed with the nerdy yet jokey tone was fantastic.

The music is easily one of the best parts of Ready Player One! From the Van Halen to New Order, I loved the music in this film. My only criticism is that there should have been more of it. It was like all the good music was used in the first half of the film, then we had two great songs at the end, but that was it. It would have been nice to have the awesome 80’s music flowing throughout the film.

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Aech, Parzival and Art3mis inside Aech’s workshop, with an Iron Giant leg in the background.

The story was great. Though some things were changed from the book (which I’m currently reading), the film portrayed the story well. I liked the opening, as it introduced the plot and story well and kept me hooked. I did find it slow moving in places, but something else bothered me a little more. I found it just so plot convenient that everyone that Parzival needed and met on the OASIS that just happened to be in Columbus, Ohio, in a close proximity to one another. How amazing would it have been if Daito and Sho were in Tokyo, Parzival in Ohio and everyone else spread out across the world? I would have loved that! Imagine it, like Aech in France or something helping Parzival execute his plan while he’s trying to help Art3mis out with something while she’s in London or New York. That would be incredible!

Now on to my favourite parts and this will contain spoilers, so be prepared! Firstly, the Easter Eggs in this film were so cool and actually made the film a little more enjoyable, though I found myself a little too distracted at times trying to spot them. From obvious ones, like the Iron Giant, King Kong, Chucky and Halo soldiers to subtle ones that I spotted like Hello Kitty in the background, Marvin the Martian entering the OASIS and Freddy Krueger getting killed by Aech in a game. My favourite Easter Eggs were the Back to the Future Easter Eggs. We had the Zemeckis cube, Parzival driving the DeLorean and even a Mayor Goldie Wilson poster in the background! One YouTube channel found over 300 Easter Eggs! I loved the opening as it emphasised how everyone was sucked into the OASIS and all its possibilities with little exposition. The race to the first key was awesome, I had such a thrilling time watching it both forwards and backwards. The scene of Art3mis and Parzival meeting the Distracted Globe was entertaining too. First off, because of the music. New Order and BeeGees? Yes please! Secondly it was really good fun to watch. The end battle with all OASIS players storming the IOI headquarters in the game was fun to watch too, as there were so many Easter Eggs here, it was a great action scene and Twisted Sisters ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ was so perfect for this scene which made even more enjoyable. I also loved the scene where Wade regenerates because of the quarter. It was a neat nod to how a quarter could bring you back to life in arcade games and it was an excellent revelation from an earlier scene. The animation throughout the film was gorgeous, and the music was awesome too.

Ready Player One gets an 8.2/10 from me. It may have been slow and could have used more music, but I found that the more I thought about this film the more I wanted to see it again! I reckon that Ready Player One will go down as one of Spielberg’s greats. I urge you to watch this as it is Spielberg at his finest and is an amazing and entertaining experience in cinemas. Don’t wait for it to come out on Netflix or whatever, Ready Player One deserves to be seen on the big screen.

Thanks for reading week 13 of Ryan’s Movie Reviews. It’s a very exciting time to be a movie and TV Fanatic. We have Westworld season 2 and Archer season 9 starting next week as well as Infinity War coming out! So. Much. Hype. Follow my WordPress with your email to be notified of when I post a new review and my Instagram (@Ryans.Movie.Reviews) for the latest TV and movie news.

Once again, thanks for reading this weeks review. I’ve been asked to mix things up a bit, so expect a TV show review for next week, as well as a spoiler and non-spoiler review of Infinity War at some point. See you then!

Shaun of the Dead: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #12

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

If you saw the trailer for Netflix’s Cargo that was released last week, you may have thought of a zombie apocalypse. It looks awesome (both Cargo and a zombie apocalypse), and it also got me thinking about some zombie films I’ve seen. I then opened an Instagram poll between Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, two zombie movies that are great fun to watch. Shaun of the Dead won with 79% of the vote, which makes it this weeks review.

Edgar Wright directs the story of Shaun, a 30-something-year-old man who lives the same repetitive day. Wake up, go to work, come home, go to the pub, sleep, repeat. He lives with his best friend Ed and Pete, who wants Ed out of their house. Shaun is also experiencing some relationship issues with his girlfriend, Liz. Shaun wakes up after a night out to start his usual day, only to realise that there has been a zombie invasion. He formulates a plan with Ed to help them escape the living dead and save their loved ones.

First, off the bat, Edgar Wright is a genius. He takes a basic and simple idea then turns it into one of the best zombie movies around. The direction and camera work were amazing. From the uses of pans, like Ed going to check if the zombies are still there, to a camera staying in place, like when Shaun climbs up the slide to see if the coast is clear. The best camera work goes to the quick cuts, it’s one of Wright’s signature cinema moves. Wright also directed ‘Spaced’, a sitcom on Channel 4 from the late 1990’s, where he worked heavily with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The chemistry between the director and the two leads was fantastic, and it’s nice to see this chemistry continuing throughout the Cornetto trilogy. My two favourite characters were both played by Pegg and Frost. Simon Pegg played Shaun, the hero who attempts to save his friends and family from doom. Nick Frost played Ed, Shaun’s best friend from primary school, who is a bit of a loser. Both characters are equally funny in their own ways, and that mainly goes down to the dialogue, my favourite being ‘kill the Queen’ from the pub fight. There’s even some foreshadowing from Ed, but I’ll get to that later as that’s one of my favourite parts of the film. Kate Ashfield plays Liz, Shaun’s ex, but when the zombies attack, Shaun (with a little help from Ed) devise a plan to help rescue her, her friends and Shaun’s mum from the attack. Ashfield clearly enjoyed playing this role, but I felt she could have been a bit more lively or enthusiastic as a character. David also seemed a bit dull, and I personally didn’t really like his character.

I see Shaun of the Dead as the origins of Edgar Wright’s latest hit, Baby Driver. This is illustrated by the infamous pub fight at the Winchester. Synchronised perfectly to Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, the gang take down John, the pub’s owner. There are other great musical moments in this film. One of my favourites is the opening of the film, with the use of ‘The Blue Wrath’ by ‘I Monster’. This song was perfect for the opening, as it suited the zombie-like behaviour of humans actions wonderfully. I think the use of Queen’s ‘You’re My Best Friend’ gave the films ending a bittersweet tone that reminded us that nothing is stronger than the power of friendship. Not even a zombie attack!

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‘You’ve got red on you!’

The story and plot were amazing. Wright took a simple idea and added comedy to it, which was blended perfectly into this film. One of the best things was the foreshadowing by Ed. I saw this online a couple months back, and it blew my mind. Early in the film, Ed says that ‘We’ll have a Bloody Mary first thing, a bite at the King’s Head, a couple at the Little Princess, stagger back here and BANG! Back at the bar for shots!’ Personally, I think this is so smart because the next day the boys find a zombie called Mary in the garden, then to Phillip and Mary’s house, where a zombie takes a bite at Phillips’ head. The boys go to Liz’s flat, then stagger back to the Winchester on foot pretending to be zombies. Finally, shots are fired in the Winchester from a shotgun that hangs above the bar. Pure genius, or as Ed would say, it was a slice of fried gold!

Now for my favourite moments, and there’s a few of them. I love the opening as it sets out the style of the film immediately. A day on repeat with everyone acting like a zombie, with the funky electro of ‘The Blue Wrath’ playing to emphasise that this is not your usual horror zombie flick. The scene where Shaun goes to the shop oblivious to zombies was amusing, as we’d just seen Shaun do this trip a day earlier. It highlights the repetitive day and how we rarely see or experience change in our day to day lives. One of the best bits from this oblivious to zombies was the channel surfing. It doesn’t follow the cliché of the protagonist being explicitly told that there is a zombie apocalypse, but sneaks it in in a fun and entertaining way.  It was amazing! Then we come onto Shaun and Ed’s first encounter with the zombies with the records and the locked shed. I love the chemistry between both Pegg and Frost in real life and Shaun and Ed in the film, and this is perfectly shown in the record discussion scene, which had me in fits. I also liked the plan, as the music for it was awesome and it was executed in a funny and entertaining way. The rest of the film is littered with great comedic moments, but one of the best has to be the bar fight synchronised to the music was so much fun to watch. I did find the film a little slow moving in places, and I would have liked less of a focus on Shaun and Liz’s relationship. I would take that back if we actually have more of an establishment of their relationship. It seemed kind of tacked on to the film, but the movie was still enjoyable nonetheless.

Shaun of the Dead gets an 8/10 from me. Though I didn’t like some of the acting choices and some of the plot, the film certainly makes up for it in comedy, especially from Shaun, Ed as well as the camera work and dialogue.

Thanks for reading week 12 of Ryan’s Movie Reviews! Follow for my WordPress with your email to be the first to read my reviews, on Instagram (@Ryans.Movie.Reviews) to vote for what I review and for the latest movie news, and on Twitter (@RyanReviewsFilm) for the latest movie news. I booked my Infinity War tickets this week, and the hype is unreal. Expect a review of that soon, one with spoilers and one without.

Once again thanks for reading my Shaun of the Dead review, let me know what you thought of the film in the comments. Join me next week for a review of a Spielberg sci-fi film. See you then!

 

Baby Driver: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #2

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

I didn’t really find out about Baby Driver until about 2 weeks before I watched it. A good friend of mine and cinema-maniac Tom West shared a YouTube link with me for the ‘TeKillYah’ trailer for the film. After watching the trailer countless times, I knew this was a movie I had to see. A couple of weeks later I was in Leicester Square with some friends to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2. On that date was the premiere of Baby Driver in Leicester Square, and the press were raving about it. These must have been signs telling me to watch it! As I write this review, I’m listening to the soundtrack, and it’s reminding me of how fantastic this film was.

Action-packed, hilarious and full of amazing music, Baby Driver is one of my favourite films of 2017. Directed by Edgar Wright and starring Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jon Hamm and a few more faces, Baby Driver looks at a getaway driver with the nickname Baby, trying to escape his life of crime yet always getting reeled back in some how.

Personally, I found this film hugely entertaining and stylish. Edgar Wright is one of my favourite directors, as his films are always so visually stunning. I’ve seen Baby Driver 3 times and noticed something new visually each time! In my opinion, Wright is a visionary genius. The Cornetto Trilogy is easily one of the most bingeable film series of all time! Ansel Elgort plays Baby, the young speedster, who has tinnitus from a car accident from when he was a child. To drown out ‘the hum in the drum’ (quote from Kevin Spacey’s Doc), Baby is usually seen with his earphones in and his music blaring. Elgort as Baby was a great casting, as he delivers the role fantastically. He really is quite the ‘Mozart in a Go-Kart’ (another quote from Doc). Jamie Foxx’s Bats had me laughing throughout, and it was evident this was a character that Foxx loved playing. The love interest of Debora was portrayed by Lily James, and as interesting as her character was, I would have personally preferred to see a bit more character development for Debora. It seemed she was just a girl Baby met, fell in love with and decided to run away with. I understand that he’s in love and wants to escape the life of crime, but it would’ve been nice if Debora was more than just the love interest. The head of the gang, Doc, was played by Kevin Spacey. It was an interesting role that I believe Spacey was well suited to. Eiza González played Darling, the partner (in crime) of Buddy. I would have liked to have seen from her character, particularly as González portrayed Darling with a sense fun and a tone of mysterious that was perfectly mixed. Again, she seemed like a really captivating character, but only really served as a love interest for Buddy. For me, Jon Hamm’s Buddy was the best character in the movie. He was cool, humourous and a really awesome character all around. Hamm portrayed Buddy perfectly, with the matching tone of González’s Darling, but with a hint more of humour and mystery. Jon Hamm and Eiza González had a fantastic chemistry in the film, and the love between Buddy and Darling was done wonderfully. As a criticism, I would have loved to have seen more of Jon Bernthal’s Griff. Jon Bernthal is an incredible actor, and having more of him in Baby Driver would have been amazing! Reports are saying that a ‘Baby Driver 2’ is in the works so hopefully, we will get a chance to see more of him in Baby Driver 2.

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Buddy (Jon Hamm)  and Darling (Eiza González) on the run

The music in Baby Driver was absolutely phenomenal! Take music away from Baby Driver and the film is simply incomplete. Every frame in each scene was perfectly matched to each beat in every song. I struggle to think of only one favourite music part in the film, but I managed to whittle it down to 5. The best scenes with music, in my opinion, were 2 in the first act of the film, 1 in the second and 2 in the last. The first was the opening scene of Bellbottoms with the Bank Heist. The second was the coffee cup scene, where Doc is sorting the money and coffee is being delivered in perfect time to Egyptian Reggae. In the second act where Baby takes the car to get crushed, The Commodores ‘Easy’ was perfect for the scene. The penultimate is Hocus Pocus playing in the back as Baby escapes from the cops, in one of the most enjoyable parts of the movie. The final was in the last act, with Brighton Rock blaring. In the final faceoff between Baby and Buddy, the 1974 classic blasts. All songs in Baby Driver were fantastic and I have the utmost respect for Wright and his sound editing and sound mixing team. They so rightfully earned the Oscar Nominations for the film, and also deserve to win. Good luck!

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Catch him if you can!

The story was smart. I like the idea of having someone escape a life of crime, and the ways that Baby couldn’t escape was quite interesting. The first act was magnificent, it set up the story so beautifully. I think the second act was a little weak, it was really fun and cool to watch, but it just seemed like it was somewhat slower than the rest of the film. The third and final act brought it back for me. The Post Office heist, the escape, Baby on the run with Debora, it was exceptional! Overall it was thoroughly enjoyable and one of the best movies of 2017.

Out of everything in Baby Driver, the best parts for me were 2 chases scenes. The first was the opening, which was so wonderfully crafted, and it looked like the cast and crew had a ball creating such awesomeness. The second was the chase on foot from the cops after the Post Office heist with Bats, Buddy and Darling. Every time I’ve seen this scene I am in awe and have a great time watching it. The music of Hocus Pocus by Focus combined with the fast feet of Baby running was incredible!

Baby Driver gets itself a well-respected 8.5/10. As fun and awesome as it was, I felt it was a little slow in some places. But that being said, it was still one of the most breathtakingly thrilling and entertaining movies of 2017. To those who haven’t seen Baby Driver, I highly recommend it.

I also urge you to watch Edgar Wright’s films. The British director is well known in the UK and has a status globally. His films include Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End (these 3 make the Cornetto trilogy, what I referred to earlier as one of the most bingeable series ever) and Scott Pilgrim VS the World. His films are smart, hilarious and all round good fun. So check Edgar Wright out! Also congratulations to him and his team on Baby Driver. They deserve an Oscar at the minimum, as all the hard work and effort put into this film is evident and I have seen nothing like this before; and it was truly wonderful. Good luck!

That’s it for this week, thank you for reading week 2 of Ryan’s Movie Reviews. Let know in the comments what you think I should watch and review. A new review will be published every Tuesday. The blogs just taking off, and it’d mean the world if you shared this page with others! Follow me on Instagram, @ryans.movie.reviews and follow my WordPress to be the first to read the review.

Once again, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next Tuesday when I review a comedy from fairly recently.