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Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad (2016)

Directed by David Ayer

Starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto

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Caution Potential Spoilers included

“What happens when the next Superman comes to our planet and decides not to follow our values, who is going to stop them. That is why we have to put a taskforce together, the worst of the worst.”

Amanda Waller has decided that the time has come to put a team of bad guys together to use for whenever things get too dangerous and things need to be kept off the record. Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Boomerang and Diablo are the bad guys, and girl, chosen to come together under the leadership of Rick Flag all while following Amanda’s orders, and threats of blowing their heads up.

The big bad in the film is Cara Delevingne’s Enchantress who is basically pissed off with the world, thanks to Amanda Waller, so wants to destroy it. Its up to the Suicide Squad to stop her by coming together and saving the world.

Firstly my negatives, the general story and big bad is a bit naff, but then how do you make a big bad when every character is suppose to be a baddie. The film won’t win any awards but that’s not the reason for it. Joel Kinnaman’s character Rick Flag was the worst in the film. His acting was terrible and the character, who was suppose to lead the squad, came across as pretty pointless and so had no connection with the audience. I wonder if Tom Hardy would have made the character likable had he not left the role.

The Joker is one of my favourite characters in the DC universe. Jared Leto’s take on him was interesting and his laugh was so menacing. He seemed to take the character in a mafia/gangster direction and to me just didn’t feel crazy and manic enough. Perhaps I’m just stuck on the fantastic approach taken by the late Heath Ledger.

Now for my good points. I enjoyed the beginning which introduced the Suicide Squad characters, knock it out with a little bit of back story, bit of Batfleck, while not taking too long with explanations. suicide-squad-harley-quinn-margot-robbie

The film definitely focuses around Will Smith’s Deadshot and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn with them getting the most screen time which in the case of the latter was the correct thing to do. Margot Robbie’s performance was bang on as the crazy Joker loving Harley and stole the show. And it doesn’t hurt that she oozes sex appeal to appease the fans, which was shown throughout the film with the numerous shots of her walking away from the camera wearing her hot pants.

I was a little worried when casting was made that Will Smith would be too old for this but I found he came across quite likable and fits in really well, although he is pushed continuously in your face so you aren’t given much of a choice. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc was interesting to finally see on the big screen and visually looked good although he was slightly hard to understand, for the few lines he had, and had minimal screen time.

Recommend

This is a tough one, it depends what you are trying to get out of it. I was interested in a new Joker and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and I was reasonable happy with those aspects. As I said previously with Batman vs Superman, its hard getting sold on a DC movie universe due to what Marvel have achieved although this probably wont stop me trying. This film was definitely more enjoyable than Batman vs Superman but still nowhere near what Marvel are doing. Go see the film just for Margot Robbie’s performance and if that doesn’t interest you there is probably no need to see it at the cinema.

If DC learn anything from this film it is to put the Harley Quinn character in more of its future films, perhaps even give her her own solo movie.

 

TheFriedGold rating – 5.5/10 – Not quite the suicide of the franchise

 

Film Fact

*There is a mid credits scene at the end of the film so don’t run off as soon as the credits start to roll*

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Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Directed by Zack Snyder

Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg and Gal Gadot

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Bruce Wayne believes that the world are looking through rose tinted glasses at Superman, a false god from another planet who has the capability of destroying Earth. So he takes it upon his alter ego of Batman to take him down for good and prove to be the real hero that everyone needs.

 

It’s Batman against Superman. Actually its bad angry Batman against Superman. Well it is until he, and everyone else, realise that both of their (earth) mothers are called Martha so they forget all the troubles and become best friends. Really that’s exactly what happens. Then a big bad comes along and they have to team up to defeat it, as well as throwing in Wonder Woman for girl power and a change of atmosphere with the beat of the drum.

I have always been a massive fan of both Batman and Superman and I had hope for this film. I didn’t think Man of Steel was as bad as people say and I was in hope that the DC film universe could follow in the footsteps of the Marvel film universe and what that has done for comic book films. The problem they have is that they want to be different and create their own universe that fans can get in to while not following the same processes as Marvel. Unfortunately the film appeared to have quite a few missing parts. Yes we don’t need to see a Batman origin story again but why and how is Bruce Wayne the way he is being angry with everyone, thinks he is the only good guy left, Wayne Manor is burnt down, what happened to Robin and the constant frowning. Oh and that’s not just him, it seemed like every character in the film spent most of their screen time frowning.

A quick note on Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Lex Luthor. I enjoyed most scenes with him in but didn’t really see him as Lex. It’s as if Jesse might have auditioned and missed out on the part of the Joker, to which Jared Leto is playing in the Suicide Squad film, so he decided to play Lex a bit pre joker in the maniacal sense. He just came across a little too crazy. Peeing into a glass to make someone drink it does not sound like Lex.

 

Something that the Marvel films have done very well is the introduction of new characters or small cameos teasing them for future appearances by having the post credit scenes that everyone knows to stay behind for. It adds an extra excitement and intrigue into what to expect. The team behind Batman vs Superman came out before the release of the film and said for fans not to bother waiting around as there will be nothing in the credits. What they attempted to do was introduce all the future characters in one quick 5 minutes scene via some secret files that Lex had showing what they can do. This unfortunately just didn’t have the same excitement that you would have expected especially with it coming half way through the film.

Don’t get me wrong there were some good bits to the film. The fight between Batman and Superman was pretty cool and what some fan boys and girls have been waiting for, for a long time. And having Wonder Woman turn up to save the guys was pretty cool, even though we had seen that in the trailer. However for a film that has been in the making for a long time there were a few too many issues with it and when I try to picture my favorite part of the film I struggle. And what was with Bruce’s dream? Mental, old age, or a vision of things to come? It was just a bit weird.

Oh and the ending (slight spoiler alert) If you know the DC comic universe and certain characters you know what is going to happen and what will happen afterwards. Maybe because I’m in that boat that the final scene of the film wasn’t a surprise!

 

Recommend

If you are a loyal follower of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and were hoping of something similar with DC I’m afraid it hasn’t started off all that well. Is it worth seeing at the cinema? Not really especially when it clocks in at a whopping 151 minutes and half of that is all the frowning. Will I watch it again? Doubtful, although I have heard some people say it is better on a second watch.

I am excited to see Suicide Squad and to see Leto’s take on The Joker not to mention Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn but as for Aquaman and The Flash and other Justice League members, I have no feelings for them at all. As a big fan of the DC TV shows of Arrow and The Flash, to which they will be completely ignoring for the film franchise, I am more than happy to stick with them as my DC needs.

 

TheFriedGold rating – 4/10 – Time to turn that Bat signal off

 

Film Thought

Who knew Gotham and Metropolis were so close……….

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Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Directed by James Gunn

Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel

 

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As a child Peter Quinn is abducted by an alien space ship. 26 years later you might know him under a different name, Star Lord! No? Star Lord, come on. To save the galaxy he must form an alliance with a band of criminals to stop the evil Ronan who is determined to destroy anything in his way.

This is the first Marvel film set away from members of the Avengers and was a bit of a risk to try and make this successful as the audience is now having to become accustom to a group of new characters. But the easy flow of the film and the non-stop action and comedy will keep you thoroughly entertain throughout. The witty one liners from all the characters really keep the film from becoming too serious in those quieter moments while at the same time they don’t distract from the story that is being told.

As the film is based in the far reaches of the galaxy the character of Peter Quill helps keep the audience grounded with his constant stories of Earth and with his mix tape of music which plays throughout the film acting as the films soundtrack. Its a very clever way of making a modern day film have the nostalgic feel of the 70’s and 80’s without being set in that time and works brilliantly. Being a Marvel production the film needs to cater for both children and adults and this film does just that by interlacing funny superhero type characters with some adult based jokes that children wouldn’t get.

The film isn’t entirely about Quinn though. Before the film I was a bit worried about Dave Bautista playing Drax because as a wrestler I have always thought he was a bit wooden but I was pleasantly surprised by his dry performance as Drax and he had some great lines to perform. Bradley Cooper as Rocket and Vin Diesel as Groot both provide voices in the film and if I didn’t know it was them I think I would never have guessed. Other noticeable mentions go to John C. Reilly and Peter Serafinowicz who both add that extra bit of comedy to film but in there own unique way.

 

Recommend

As a different direction for the Marvel Universe I was really looking forward to see how it would work and I wasn’t disappointed. Constant action and comedy throughout make this film a great watch and left me wanting to watch it again. Having already announced a sequel it will be very interesting to see where this will go. Surely the Guardians of the Galaxy are going to need some extra help to take out Thanos? I am looking forward to seeing Peter Quill meet Tony Stark.

As with all Marvel films there is a post credit scene at the very end of the credits.

 

TheFriedGold rating – 8/10 – Shines as bright as a Star…….Lord

 

Film Fact

Bradley Cooper cited Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci’s character in Goodfellas (1990)) as an influence on Rocket Racoon’s voice.

guardians of the galaxy character posters

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

Starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie and Robert Redford

 

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Steve Rogers is still trying to get use to the modern world and comes up against someone stronger and faster than him in the Winter Soldier who also links in to his past.

The sequel to The First Avenger sort of feels and acts like an Avengers 1.5 with a heavy SHIELD influence and other superheroes apart from the titular character in the story including Black Widow and new comer Falcon. The film does have an espionage thriller feel to it with the superheroes having to band together to defeat the threat that has come their way which includes the villain the Winter Soldier.

Followers of the comic arc will know who the Winter Soldier is but it does not retract from the story of the film and where we might possibly be heading for Age of Ultron and Captain America 3 however there is another story element that could have massive altercations for these films and the TV show Marvel’s Agents of Shield but I’m not going to spoil that for you.

As with all Marvel films you will want to stay during the credits as there are 2 post-credit scenes, just like with Thor: The Dark World, with one setting up a future Marvel film and the other setting up a possible link to the third in the series.

 

Recommend

As a big fan of what Marvel are doing at the moment and where they are heading for future films this one does not let you down. I grinned from start to finish and with some fantastic fight and action scenes with the odd bit of humour thrown in making this film thoroughly enjoyable. As with other Marvel films do keep an eye/ear out for references for possible future films and Avenger character mentions.

TheFriedGold rating – 8/10 – A real Captain’s performance

 

Film Fact

In one scene, Natasha Romanoff, Black Widow, wears a necklace with an arrow on it which is in  reference to her teammate and occasional lover Clint Barton, Hawkeye.

 

 

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The Worlds End

The Worlds End (2013)

Directed by Edgar Wright

Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan and Rosamund Pike

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Five friends reunite in an attempt to complete a pub crawl that they failed in completing 20 years previously. However things don’t go exactly as planned and they end up having to try and save the whole of humanity.

 

The third film in the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy sees a science fiction take on the series with Pegg and Frost having to do battle with Aliens/Robots while trying to complete a pub crawl.

The film does follow similar traits of the two previous films, albeit with Pegg and Frost in reverse roles with Frost being the sensible and serious member of the duo, with some classic lines, stupid behaviour and laugh out loud moments which will have you wanting to go back to the film for repeat viewings. (I have now seen it twice) The film has links to some big Sci-fi films from Hollywood’s past much like Shaun and Fuzz do to zombie and buddy cop films. Having read Pegg’s autobiography the ending of the film was a great link to something he talks about in his past.

The film does also have more serious parts than that of the previous films mainly between Pegg and Frost but they don’t deter away from the fun of the film.

My favourite film t-shirt website, www.lastexittonowhere.com, are also the official suppliers of two t-shirts for The Worlds End.

 

Recommend

This site, TheFriedGold, was named after my love for the Wright, Pegg, Frost combinations and I have been waiting for this film for a while and it did not disappoint. The easter eggs and references in the film will only make your love for this grow.  It will definitely be one that I can watch over and over like the others and if you loved Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz as much as I did then you will love this. Go and see this.

TheFriedGold rating – 8.5/10 – As cool as a Mint choc chip cornetto

 

Film Fact

With a Red cornetto in Shaun of the Dead signifying Blood and a blue cornetto in Hot Fuzz signifying the Police look out for a green cornetto in relation to Science fiction.

 

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