The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) Film Review

So just when you think that Jurassic Park franchise is starting to gain traction, what with The Lost World book being an improvement following on from the first Jurassic Park book and the first film being everything that it needed to be really, things sadly start to get kind of disappointing with this entry in to the Jurassic Park franchise, so let’s delve into why that is.

I think the thing that stands out to me most as to what’s actually wrong with this film is that it’s kind of the opposite to the first one in every way really. With the two books I thought that the second one was actually better than the first, and that it certainly worked a lot better as a book than a film as opposed to the first one. However, when it comes to the films, I think the first film is actually a lot better than the second one, and the second one definitely works a lot better as a book.

Now whilst some may well argue that this was inevitable, due to the fact that Jurassic Park only really works as a stand-alone story and doesn’t really need a sequel necessarily, I would argue that this could have actually worked had it been done right due to how well the book had been written. My case in point would be seeing the relationship of Sarah Harding and Ian Malcolm develop on screen. Whilst this might have been one of the highlights of the film, I do think it should have been given the chance to develop a little bit more. And this is where the film could have excelled more, because I think one of the reasons the first film is so good is because I would argue it has the perfect balance between the human nature and the actual spectacle of the dinosaurs. Whereas with this film, it kind of felt like it tried to hit that mark again, but missed it somewhat, due to the fact that it falls into that trap a lot of sequels fall into and that is to simply take a lot of what worked in the first film and exemplify it simply because it worked in the first film, and that just isn’t the case I don’t think, and I think this film really misses the mark because of falling into that trap.

Similarly linking in with this as well, and another trap that a lot of sequels tend to fall into, is that this film is a lot darker than the first one. And I’m not just talking about the overall tone of the story as well, I mean it is literally darker than the first film, I really struggled on many occasions to actually see what was going on in the film it was that dark. But as well as this, whilst I think it can sometimes work for the story to be taken into a darker direction in a second film, I don’t really think it works with this one. This is because, again another reason that makes the first film so great is that it was able to appeal to practically all ages due to it’s overall tone and the themes that run throughout the whole film, so by making this film darker, it almost feels like one of the fundamental things that make Jurassic Park so good is kind of stripped away somewhat, so I think it’s a shame that they did that really.

I think annoyingly as well it really does that lack that real popcorn cinema excitement feel that was so tangible in the first film, that feeling of just being able to switch your brain off and just enjoy the story for what it is, it really did feel like it was missing from this film. As well as this, whilst I mentioned in my Jurassic Park books review that the second one kind of had the feeling that it had just been made due to the fact that the first one did really well, but I was able to gloss over it somewhat, sadly that feeling is a lot more noticeable in this film I have to say, and really did dampen my overall enjoyment of this film as a result.

Overall then, I would say that this is a very disappointing film for me, and I can safely say that I wouldn’t watch this film again if I had the chance sadly. Controversial as it might sound though, I did actually like the third one, and I did think it was somewhat of an improvement as well. But that review is for another time, as for now I shall draw this article to a close. I do very much hope that you enjoyed it, if you did then please do give it a like as I really appreciate it. And if you have any thoughts that you wish to share on this film, then please do feel free to leave them down in the comments section below as I would love to hear from you. But apart from that until next time, thanks for reading.

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Incredibles 2 (2018) Film Review

So after a 14 year wait the sequel to The Incredibles is finally here, but is it worth the wait?

Yes, it is absolutely worth the wait, there is so much to love about this film, it’s safe to say that if you love the first one, and let’s be frank, who doesn’t, then you are going to absolutely love this one just as much. For me personally, I loved that this film picked up immediately after the first one, I loved that it had so many subtle callbacks to the first one as well. I loved that Elastigirl got to take centre stage, but at the same time managing to keep that same balance of real, truthful family issues that every family most likely goes through and the epic superhero battles that the first one managed to do so effortlessly as well. Honestly, I love it when I love a film this much that I can just come and write my review and just gush about how good the film is. But let’s break this down a little bit further.

Let’s start with the most obvious place to start with when it comes to talking about this film, and that is the fact that Elastigirl gets to take centre stage. As I mentioned at the top of the article there, the film continues to maintain that balance of the real, down to Earth issues that this family have to face what with Bob helping Dash with his homework and looking after Jack-Jack, whilst Violet has trouble developing a relationship with Tony Rydinger at school. Then on the other hand, you have Helen who is unsure as to whether or not she should take up this amazing job offer to help superheroes out of the shadows. And I think it’s elements like these in the film that continue to make this corner of the Disney Pixar world stand out from the rest, and what makes people connect with these films more than most other Pixar films, by having the Parr family having to deal with these very real issues such as the ones they face, whilst at the same time having these epic superhero showdowns that everyone loves so much as well.

Stemming off from that a little bit as well, I think another stand-out element about this film has to be Jack-Jack and the discovery of his powers. This easily makes for some of the funniest moments in the film and is sure to be the thing that has children and adults laughing alike, and I for one found it very funny to say the least.

Other little things that I liked about this film were all the subtle callbacks to the first one. For instance, when Elastigirl is waiting in an alleyway for a threat to occur being a callback to when Bob and Lucius did the same in the first one. Having the film pick up exactly where it left off, the return of Edna Mode, and her having to create Jack-Jack’s baby suit, similarly to when she had to create the rest of the family’s super suits as well. All of these little callbacks felt very welcoming and it kind of made it feel like the Parr family had never really been away to be honest.

If I had one little gripe to say about this film, and it is only a little gripe, that is I would have liked to have seen more of The Underminer. I kind of think after waiting for 14 years it would have been a more satisfying pay-off had he actually been the central villain in this film and for him to have more of a showdown with The Incredibles. But I’m nitpicking really because overall I had an awful lot of fun watching this film, and I’ll be honest I hope they do a third one, because I would certainly like to see The Incredibles back in action that’s for sure.

But what are some of your thoughts on this film, did you enjoy it as much as the first one? Did you perhaps enjoy it more? Would you like to see a third one?. Please so be sure to let me know down in the comments section below what your thoughts are as I would love to hear from you. And do be sure to give this article a like as well, as I really appreciate it. But apart from that until next time, thanks for reading.

The Equalizer 2 (2018) Film Review

So now that I’ve reviewed the first Equalizer film, I can now get down to reviewing the second one, and as with the first one, I’ve plenty of thoughts to share with you on this one, so let’s get right to it.

Sometimes with certain sequels they can feel like they don’t quite match the level of quality of the first film. And whilst certain other reviewers have pointed out significant flaws within this film which I don’t dismiss by any means, I have to say I actually quite liked this film, probably more than the first one in actual fact. I’m not saying that this film is necessarily better than the first one, but there were certain elements about this film that did make me prefer it to the first one for various reasons. But let’s break this down a little further.

Of course Denzel Washington is by far and away the best thing about this film once again, he continues to excel as the character of Robert McCall. I only need point you to the confrontational scene between him and Miles to show how good of an actor he is and how he is without a doubt the best thing about this film.

I don’t know if it’s just me who feels this way about this instalment but I felt like this one focused a lot more on the character of Robert McCall and fleshing him our more. Whereas the first one he kind of felt like he was a cog in a machine to a degree, here in this film he feels more like the main focus and all of the action is centred around him more. Personally for me, I thought this was a smart move going forward because as I’ve said before Denzel Washington is the best thing about these films, so to put him front and centre more so in this one, it’s going to entice the audience more due to them being drawn to his character already, coming off the back of the first film. But the beauty of these films are that whilst we might still feel closer to his character and that we know him a bit better than we did in the first one, we still don’t really know anything about him as an individual, in the same way that we didn’t know anything about him after the first one. And again, I think that just goes to show that these films are ticking all the right boxes.

Similarly linking in with that as well, another element about this film that made it feel like it was so well put together was that it didn’t fall into that trap of taking a lot of what worked in the first film, and just making it bigger. Instead it took what worked in the first film and changed it to such an extent that it made this one feel fresh and new. All of which again just got to show that these are positive signs for the franchise going forward.

Points to prove my case would be that this film still felt like it was drip feeding you throughout, so that you had enough to go on throughout watching the film, whilst still building towards a satisfying finale by the end and giving you a complete story, much like a box-set TV drama, simiolar to the first one. We saw Robert McCall’s character help out someone in need in the first film in the case of Alina, and here we have the same thing again with the character of Miles. Similarly to the first one as well, we find that Robert’s friends are put in danger in order for bad people to get to him, but then we subsequently see him able to defeat the bad guys and pull the whole thing off in a rather dignified manner to say the least. But as I say as well, all of this is done without feeling like it’s directly borrowing from the first film, merely paying homage to it, whilst at the same time making it feel like it’s creating something fresh and different from the first one.

All in all, I very much enjoyed this film, but what are some of your thoughts on this film? Did you enjoy it as much as me? Which of these two films do you prefer more? Do you hope that there will be a third one? I know I do. Whatever your thoughts are, please do be sure to let me know down in the comments section below as I would love to hear from you. And do be sure to give this article a like as well, as I really appreciate it. But apart from that until next time, thanks for reading.

The Equalizer (2014) Film Review

So on Monday (6th August) I went to an exclusive screening for Odeon Limitless members of The Equalizer 2, but of course that means I would have to see the first one beforehand so that I could have a better understanding when watching the second one. And I did just that, and here are my thoughts on the first Equalizer film.

I have to say this is an interesting film, and there’s a lot to like about it as well, which is always a welcoming prospect of course. Denzel Washington is easily the best thing about this film. I feel like the character of Robert McCall is a very charming character, and you feel yourself drawn to him in way. It’s almost like his character is an enigma but at the same time you still feel really safe around him. Now whilst some may argue that having a character whose an enigma is a major flaw in creating a main character, I would argue that in this particular instance it’s actually what makes the film stand out from the crowd. This is because I think part of what makes this film so compelling and the follow-up as well for that matter is precisely not knowing anything about his character, it’s what draws you to him I think.

Other characters that I really liked in this film were Chloë Grace Moretz’s character Alina/ Terri. I think it was interesting and refreshing as well to see her in a role that’s arguably very different from what she’s done in the past, so it was welcoming to see an actress adapt herself to different roles in such a way, and I also really liked the relationship with Robert McCall’s character as well, that was welcoming to watch develop on screen.

Possibly my favourite character in this whole film though, bar Denzel Washington’s McCall obviously, would be Ralphie played by Johnny Skourits. I’m not sure exactly what makes his character so likeable, maybe it’s his relatability, but I just love his character so much, I felt like I just wanted to be his friend in a way. I loved the relationship between his character and Bob as well, I felt like I could really buy into that relationship, and it was really refreshing to see Denzel Washington’s character kind of mentor him in a way. I liked watching that develop on screen as well.

The other really big aspect about this film that I loved was the actual story and the way it was shot, I thought it was absolutely incredible to say the least. I felt like the story drip fed you throughout, so that there was enough to keep you interested throughout, but then at the end it built to a satisfying finale, and you felt like the story had paid off. I kind of felt like as well that it was similar to how a box-set TV drama might well pan out as well perhaps, and I would argue that that is a good sign considering that this is actually based on a TV show.

Going hand in hand with that as well, I absolutely loved how this film was shot, there were so many moments in this film that I picked up on that made me feel like they’d really thought about this film in practically every way, which again, is a very good sign in my book. Scenes where we see things from Bob’s perspective and the camera literally goes into his eye and we see things in the way that he sees them. When Alina gets taken away in a car and the lights dims on her face contrasting with the end when it’s very bright and she’s wearing normal clothes again, little things like that made me feel like I was in good hands when I was watching this film, and that a lot of care and attention had been put into as well.

All in all this is a fantastic film I think, and one that I would certainly be happy to return to in the future. But what do you think? Did you enjoy this film as much as I did? Which of The Equalizer films do you prefer more? Please do be sure to let me know down in the comments section below what your thoughts are as I would love to hear from you. And do be sure to give this article a like as well if you enjoyed it as I really appreciate it. But apart from that until next time, thanks for reading.

iZombie Series 4 Episodes 5-7 Review

Episode five and I would say that this is quite a fun episode to watch. I feel like this is one that you can just switch off to and enjoy, it’s not an absolute must watch for you to understand the story arc in this series, but is still enjoyable nonetheless. I was a little bit confused as to where the ‘Renegade’ storyline was going in this episode, I felt like in the previous two episodes I had a good understanding of where the storyline was being taken, but then wasn’t entirely as to what direction it was going in next in this episode. But in the episodes that followed I started to have a better understanding of it again, so I think it’s good that they didn’t lose sight of where they wanted to take this storyline. I found this episode interesting to watch as well in terms of the story direction that it was being led in. It felt like in this episode tensions were slowly building and building throughout until the very end when it reaches its climax of Mama Leone being executed. I think looking back on this episode now as well, you can kind of see how the seeds were being planted here that build towards the finale, so I think it’s a relief to see that they there was actually a coherent plan of where this series was going to be taken in terms of it’s overall story arc.

Episode six, and this kind of echoes what I was saying in episode five in a sense really, but this was another enjoyable episode. I felt like this was, again, one of the of those episodes that you can just switch off to, it’s not an absolute must watch for you to understand the story arc necessarily, but still enjoyable nonetheless. I think the takeaway from this episode would be seeing how Blaine and Angus are interacting with one another at this point and the direction that the story is being taken in. I think by this point in the show it’s welcoming to see how particularly dark the story lines within the show are, with a lot of the story lines focusing on the idea of conflict between certain zombie factors and whether or not humans and zombies can actually co-habitat with one another , and I think this storyline in particular is definitely something that showcases that. Similarly stemming off from that, and kind of echoing what I was saying about episode five as well, I think with the particular development of this storyline in this episode, this further adds fuel to the idea that the seeds are already being planted for the series finale.

Episode seven, and I think the takeaway from this episode is that it has quite a good balance of humour and drama. This is because on the one hand, you’ve got some very funny and entertaining scenes between Ravi and Clive as he tries to help him to pull someone, and I think it allows for their relationship to be put under the spotlight in a way we haven’t really seen before in the series, so I think it’s nice to see something new in that respect. Then on the other hand, if in the last few episodes we’ve seen tensions building between humans and zombies, and zombies and zombies for that matter, I think this episode is where we begin to see the cracks starting to show. This is because I think in this episode we really get to see the idea of people very strongly reject the idea of zombies and humans co-existing with one another, and I think it’s interesting to see that idea come across on screen as it kind of links into what I’ve talked about before in these reviews about how by this point in the show’s history the direction of storytelling has reached a really mature point, and I think is definitely something that I’m to keen to see develop as the series moves forward.

And that is where I shall wrap up this article on this occasion, I do very much hope that you enjoyed it, if you did then please do be sure to give it a like as I really appreciate it, and if you have any thoughts that you wish to share on this series at all, then please do feel free to leave them down in the comments section below as I would love to hear from you. But apart from that until next time, thanks for reading.

Jurassic Park (1993) Film Review

So after having read both the Jurassic Park books, I’m happy to say things continue to head in a healthy direction now that we come to the films. There’s a lot to like about this film I think, pretty obvious when you think about it at the end of the day, this is Steven Spielberg that we’re talking about here.. But there is a lot to like about this film nonetheless, so let’s right to it.

Having pointed out in my books review that I think the story of Jurassic Park would work better as a film, this theory definitely comes into fruition now that I’ve actually watched it. It is definitely a much more exciting story to watch than read. And not that you need me to tell you this, but I think having Steven Spielberg at the the helm of this film, he’s able to bring a lot of that Steven Spielberg magic to it, and create a very special film that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. This is because whilst there are moments in this film that audiences of a younger age will most likely enjoy more, due to the spectacle and the iconic visuals in this film. But at the same time, I do think some of the themes and certain scenes in this film will appeal to adults more perhaps. Or at least they will able to connect with certain scenes more in a way that younger most likely won’t be able to.

Further cementing that idea that this story works better as a film, it really does in so many ways, because you have so many iconic scenes in this film that really stay with you, in a way that they just don’t when you’re reading the book. Scenes like when John Hammond says “Welcome to Jurassic Park”, and you’ve that iconic John Williams theme music in the background. That moment when you have the cup of water in the Jeep trembling, as the Earth-shattering footsteps of the T-Rex get closer and closer. That iconic T-Rex roar as well, all of those moments are what make the film really stay with you I think, in a way that it doesn’t really stick out to you when you’re reading it in a book.

Stemming off from that idea a little bit, I did think it was interesting to see how the characters in the film compared to how they were portrayed in the book. Dr Ian Malcolm for example, was happily just as I had imagined him in the book, and is easily my favourite character in this film, so perfectly brought to life, of course, by the ever-charming Jeff Goldblum. I mean what more can I say, he is exactly how I imagined him when reading his character in the book and was such a delight to watch on screen.

Another really big stand-out character for me in this film was Dr. Ellie Sattler, because she is a really strong bad-ass woman and a character who is arguably ahead of her time in a sense. In the day and age where we have characters such as Wonder Woman, the fabulous heroines of Star Wars, and The Doctor now played by the fantastic Jodie Whittaker, I think you could easily argue that here we have a character who is championing all those kinds of things way before any of those characters were. And her character feels so naturally integrated into this film as well, she hasn’t just been put into the film to make a statement as such. And I think that’s another reason as to why it feels all the more satisfying that the film was done by Steven Spielberg, because again not that you need me to tell you, but I think he’s very much someone who really understands the mechanics of telling a story and how to perfectly balance all the elements together so that he can convey the story in exactly the way he wants to. And I think he’s very much managed to do that, not just with how he wanted to the character of Dr. Ellie Sattler to be portrayed, but easily with the whole film I think.

I would say that the only real niggle that I have with this film and it is only a niggle really is that I felt like Samuel L Jackson was rather underused in this film. I think by having an actor like Samuel L Jackson in this film you can’t help but just long for some sort of scene where he has an epic showdown with a T-Rex of some sort. So it felt like rather a shame when he just ended up spending most of his time in the the film at a desk really. I think if they cast someone in the role who wasn’t so much of Hollywood A-List actor then it perhaps might have worked better, because then you would have actually been more focused on the character rather than the star. But to have Samuel L Jackson in the role just felt like a mistake to me. But as I say it really is just a small niggle in a film that is honestly just so heart-warming, exciting and magical for so many different reasons and is definitely a film that has something for everyone, and one that I’m sure to be happy to revisit again in the future.

And that brings me to the end of this review, I do very much hope that you enjoyed it, if you did then please do be sure to give it a like as I really appreciate it. And if you have any thoughts that you wish to share on this film, or indeed this franchise, as I have actually seen all of these films now, then please do feel free to leave them down in the comment section below as I would love to hear from you. But apart from that until next time, thanks for reading.

iZombie Series 4 Episodes 2-4 Review

Episode two, and things continue to be disappointing. Firstly, I really don’t understand what they’re doing with Angus McDonough’s character at the this point. Prior to watching this episode, I was hoping that they might give a bit more of a solid explanation as to why he’s actually behaving in the way that he is, but no they decided to just not to go down that path it seems. Having said that though, I did think it was quite funny what happened to Liv’s character in this episode due to the brain that she eats. This is because normally she’s a very sweet and caring character towards other people, when she’s not on a brain that is. So to see her be quite brash and not really care what people think about her and for her to just say whatever she likes, I thought provided some quite funny moments in this episode. I think it felt like it freshened up the whole brain of the week format of storytelling as well, by having a fresh take on it due to Rose McIver essentially having to play a character that is so different from Liv. I know I’ve talked before in past reviews as well about how much of a good villain Blaine is, but I really did feel like he was coming into his own in this episode. The ‘New Seattle’ scene was the one that particularly stood out to me, as I really felt like he was owning that scene in that moment there.

Episode three, and I’m happy to say things are finally picking up again with this episode. It feels like a proper start to the series, it’s almost like the people behind making this show used the first two episodes to get their bearings in a sense, and now they have a proper plan of where to take the series next. I think that’s evidently the case with the start of the ‘Renegade’ storyline starting in this episode, I think from there as well you can kind of see how the seeds are being planted in this episode for the story lines that will continue to develop throughout this series that will eventually culminate in the finale. And after having now see this whole series, I do think it manages to reach quite a satisfying conclusion and is able to be wrapped up quite nicely by the end. I also think that this show could definitely benefit from having two-parters a lot more often as well. This is because this episode felt like it took it’s time a lot more in telling this particular story, and I think the show could definitely benefit from this, as it allows for each individual story to develop more naturally, and doesn’t run the risk of an episode feeling rushed at all.

Episode four, and things happily continue to improve. I really liked the cliffhanger that this two-parter hinged on, it made it feel more like an event in a way, rather than just another episode to move the story along. Similarly stemming off from what I was saying about how this show could benefit from two-parters more, I do think that is another reason as to why having more two-parters for the show could be a good thing. I feel like the ‘Renegade’ storyline in this episode continues to develop in a healthy direction in this episode as well. I think it also offers up an intriguing concept of conflict between zombies as well, and is nice to see that four series into this show they haven’t actually ran out of ideas yet, so that’s always a welcoming feeling. Echoing a little bit of what I was saying about episode three, I definitely think this needed to be a two-parter and it allowed for the story to be fleshed out a lot more, and it felt like the story reached a much more satisfying conclusion by the end of it because of it. All in all, it seems like this episode is where the series starts to really find some traction in many ways, and is evidently the case as well as the story continues to head in a healthy direction from this episode onwards I think.

And that is where I think shall wrap up this article, I do very much hope that you enjoy it, if you did then please do be sure to give it a like as I really appreciate it. And if you have any thoughts that you wish to share on this series, then please do feel free to share them down in the comments section below, as I would love to hear from you. But apart from that until next time, thanks for reading.