Captain America The Winter Soldier review: S.H.I.E.L.D.-less Cap gets his shield on

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Iron Man got one. Thor got one. Now Captain America…well, almost got one. A post-Avengers solo outing that is. The emphasis being on ‘solo’ here. Captain America: The Winter Soldier shows a great effort to introduce a leaner and meaner Cap, one diverging from his goodie-goodie ways, and fighting (both literally and metaphorically) to overcome his most-boring-of-the-superhero-gang label. Ultimately though, CA:TWS ends up being a double act that appears unable to rest solely on Chris Evans’ otherwise extremely broad shoulders, and is in constant need of adding Black Widow’s spice to Captain America’s vanilla. The film could have just as well been called Captain America: The Black Widow, since it is as much Natasha Romanoff’s soul-searching, world-re-evaluating journey as it is Steve Rodgers’. *cue Black Widow spin-off rumours* Continue reading

The Wolf of Wall Street review: Leo can bite…

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The last time we saw Leonardo DiCaprio on the big screen he was partying his way through the 1920s as benevolent crook in pursuit of happiness Jay Gatsby. Fast-forward 70 cinematic years, add enough improprieties to shame the entire ‘Sex, Drugs & Rock-n-Roll’ generation, top it all up with pitch-black humour, and Leo is back as Jordan Belfort – a similar, yet decidedly Scorsese-ized manifestation of the American Dream’s dark side. Continue reading

Sherlock S03E02 The Sign of Three Review: A Sign of Change, A Sign of Ups, A Sign of Downs

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The new Sherlock episode showed no sign of the series slowing down, but no sign of where things are going either. Like John’s good-intentions-bad-consequences stag night, The Sign if Three is an effort that appears to be meticulously planned, but ends up in disarray – maybe because it’s too self-confident, maybe because it attempts to cram too much into too little time. The end result is sometimes hilarious, sometimes too slapstick, but like any stag night it delivers good times with the promise of a hangover later. Continue reading

Sherlock S03E01The Empty Hearse Review: Not so elementary…

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The hearse might have been empty in the long (too long, two years long!) anticipated first episode of the new Sherlock season, but everything else was full on. We wanted an explanation of how Sherlock survived the fall from St Barth’s Hospital roof? We got three! We wanted to see John’s reaction when discovering the trickster is still alive? We got three! We wanted to see the flamboyant detective out of the hearse and back on the horse investigating crimes? We got (kind of) three! Number 3 is a charm then? Season 3, 3 new episodes – better hang on to your deerstalker! Continue reading

Thor The Dark World Review: Heavy is the hammer…

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After the mind-blowing superhero mash-up, destroying half of New York, brought about by Avengers Assemble, it seemed inevitable for Marvel’s subsequent efforts for furthering their characters’ individual arcs to be dwarfed by the now-prevailing questions “Where are The Avengers? Why is one superhero facing threats alone instead of calling on his new pals?” Iron Man 3 attempted to make sense in this regard by playing on the “It’s not a superhero thing, it’s an American anti-terrorist patriotic thing” card. Plus, The Hulk was there (if you stayed for the post-credits cameo), Thor’s absence was excused due to his living arrangements in another realm, S.H.I.E.L.D. was getting busy with Joss Whedon’s new series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Captain America – well, not one of Tony Stark’s favourites. All in all, Iron Man’s third solo outing handled the Marvel’s post-Avengers universe beautifully, and now the time has come for Thor to return to the big screen with a bang (and some thunder, of course). Continue reading

Now You See Me review: “Whatever this grand trick is…”, we are still waiting for it!

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From afar, Now You See Me appears a polished, glittery, mind-bending version of your average heist film – a great cast, eye-popping visuals, a peculiar premise. Yet, “the closer you look”…well, it’s not easier to fool you! On the contrary, once you peek under the veil of this “illusion” that adds up to less than its parts, the magic is gone! Still, while the stage for this “grand trick” is being set, there’s plenty of Hocus Pocus to entertain you. Continue reading

TV Series Taking on Hollywood?

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I have recently found myself being more interested in TV series rather than full-length films. This is not to say that I still don’t go to the cinema whenever possible, but when at home, I have started watching more and more series. It has also been my observation that most of my friends and acquaintances have adopted the same habit.

It used to be the case that TV actors and actresses were considered second class to Hollywood’s A-listers, but nowadays it seems that small screen actors are the ones with growing fan bases and constant contracts going their way. Even some of the film industry’s biggest names (Ashton Kutcher, Jeremy Irons, Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Quaid, Kevin Bacon to name a few) seem to have switched their acting preferences in favour of series.

So why is this the case? What do series have on features? Continue reading

Star Trek Into Darkness Review: Action thrusters – on max! Intellectual take off – uncertain!

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‘Fail at your own peril’ adopts a whole new meaning in the opening set-piece of Star Trek Into Darkness, which brings a mix-and-match eye-candy bag of jeopardy to the Enterprise crew latest party. J.J Abrams’ newest adventure starts with a blood-pumping climax that finds Kirk (Chris Pine) and Bones (Karl Urban) running for their lives through a magnificent alien planet landscape. The threat? An angry native tribe on their heels, a volcano bubbling up to cook the planet, a survival-proof abyss lying ahead. Take your pick! Not perilous enough for your taste? How about parachuting Spock (Zachary Quinto) to land on a tiny cliff amidst the roaring lava of the aforementioned volcano? It’s a ridiculously entertaining and breathless cinematic treats galore to kick-start a summer of promising spectacular blockbusters. Continue reading

Thank God That Deadlines and Exam Dates Correspond to Movie Release Dates!!!

With my hectic assignment deadline and exam schedule I forgot to thank you all, amazing people, who took part in my survey for the dissertation I had to submit in March. So there it goes: Thank you soooooo much!

I am glad to announce that the dissertation has been signed, sealed and delivered for nearly 2 months now.

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After all the sleepless nights I spent writing it, I rewarded myself with going to Oz The Great and Powerful, which incidentally was released the same day I submitted the dissertation!

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I recently had my first exam for this year and celebrated finishing it by going to Iron Man 3 - also released the same day (check out my review)!

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I am having another exam next week and the second it is finished I am heading to the movie theater to watch Star Trek: Into Darkness (again released the same day as my exam!)

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What I am trying to say is that I don’t know if it is a higher power at work here, but our world definitely works in mysterious ways if the films I am really looking forward to are released on the days of my exams!

All I have to do then is thank god (or you know, something/someone…the production companies/the distribution companies/the cinema chain…my university’s registry who set the exam dates???) for ensuring the presence of film-related rays of light on my darkest days!!! :)

Iron Man 3 Review: The Worthy Leader of Marvel’s Phase 2

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There is rarely something more exciting in the film industry than seeing an actor and a director click. On the occasions this happens, you know that greatness will follow. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are but a few examples of what the right combination of acting and directing can repeatedly achieve! This is why when Kiss Kiss Bang Bang duo Robert Downey Jr. and director Shane Black reunited for Iron Man 3, there was a huge relief that the epic franchise would be in safe hands. Indeed, the third instalment about the armoured super hero proves to be a complex, but well-oiled machine which soars between stunning visual effects, strong emotions and hilarious wisecracks to deliver a worthy leader of Marvel’s much-anticipated Phase Two. Continue reading