Jonathan Evans

Review Blade Of The Immortal by Jonathan Evans

 

(4 / 5)

 

Blade of the Immortal is so stylised in it’s over-the-top gory nature that it will definitely turn some people off. However it also knows so whole-heartily what it is that it’s almost inevitable that it shall gain a great following in the future. It is a classic revenge story with a samurai setting and goes extremely colourful and off the wall with it’s execution.

We open in feudal Japan and in Black & White where a swordsman, Manji (Takuya Kimura) is hacking down others. He is with his sister who is disjointed from the situation, it then comes to a fight with probably fifty bandits, they kill his sister and he proceeds to hack them all to pieces, getting a face-scar that also takes his right eye. He lays there dying but a woman in white appears over him saying he cannot simply die like this after killing so many. She drops a Bloodworm into his heart which regenerates his body and making him immortal. Now the movie transforms to colour.

Then cut to fifty years later where a sword-fighting school is teaching it’s students in the art. One particularly eager student is young Rin (Hana Sugisaki), who’s eager to learn the ways of the warrior but uninterested in being ladylike. One night men come to their school saying that they are uniting the country in their teachings of fighting and removing all the others. The leader kills her parents but leaves her alive, after an old woman in white tells her of an immortal swordsman that can help her take revenge.

Manji is like Toshiro Mifune reincarnated. He walks with attitude and with a low gravelly voice. Because of the scar (which inexplicably does not heal), he channels all his emotions and intensity through his left eye with great skill. Rin is one of those cute, young but spirited young female characters that are thrown into a much more brutal world than they are used to but hold strong. Their quest introduced then to many other fighters, all with a different visual style, backstory and physical challenge.

It seems that in all narrative about immortality that it is either bestowed upon people that long for death or denied to those that seek it. Here is a man that lost everything but still lives and doesn’t want to get involved in another conflict. It must also be asked that if Manji is immortal then what are the stakes when he fights? Well he’s not impervious to pain, so there’s that. But also it’s not just about him but Rin, so that also helps.

This is the one hundredth movie by director Takashi Miike. Most directors work at a rate of a movie every two or three years. Woody Allen remains at a rate of one movie a year. Mike works at a rate of five to eight movies a year. They all range from genre pieces, the the mainstream to experimental works. The man loves and is dedicated to his craft more than any other working director.

The style of the movie is contrasted with extreme angels and movements with more carefully composited shots that remain static and let the characters speak. These slower moments are very welcomed. To have extreme angles and a fast moving camera can be visually gripping, but if it was all that there would never be any moments for the audience to breathe (which is essential!). This allows for a digestible passé where action commences, then we absorb it, then another fight happens knowing everything that just happened and the consequences.

This movie is for the people that like Tarantino and Kurosawa and anime in general. Ones that don’t necessarily need original story-lines or a quite passé. This movie starts out with a brutal action scene, if you are already hooked then it is the movie for you, if not then it wont win you over.

 

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    Review Star Wars Episode VIII, The Last Jedi by Jonathan Evans

    (5 / 5)

     

    When they finally decided to make another Star Wars movie with The Force Awakens it broke the perception of movie goers. They would take what is considered by the fans to be sacred text and push the story and characters forward. What happened with that movie was that everyone had to think about what Star Wars was and if such a thing can be replicated.

    The movie does a good job in picking up where the last movie left off, we get our traditional scrolling text that fills in the spaces and then it drops us right into the action. Where the rebel forces are fighting the controlling First Order. They are on their last leg, being relentless chased. This scene is filled with explosions, swooping shots, banter, suspense, the whole package. After it the Rebels are left in a state where they can now be tracked and now must keep at a passe of flying away from the First Orders ships with their shields up, all while their fuel is being depleted.

    While this is happening Rey (Daisey Ridley) is on a baron planet where she seeks to recruit the legendary Luke Skywalker, maybe even get some training in while she’s there. Except Luke is all but interested in getting involved in another galactic battle.

    Luke Skywalker is just about as iconic as a character can get. Here Mark Hamill returns to the character that launched his career. He appropriately ages him, being more disgruntled and sage-like but he is still the smart mouthed individual thinker he’s always been. I cannot tell you anything about what they do with the character, but it is very bold, very brilliant and Hamill plays all of it so well.

    Meanwhile Finn (John Boyega) is being accompanied with new ally Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) to seek out a hacker in a gambling planet. Po (Oscar Isaac) is left frustrated on the ships as the First Order slowly wears them down to nothing.

    Also adding to the mix is the tension building up in Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), he killed his father but it has left him shattered as a man. The dark lord Snoke (Andy Serkis) is preparing to snuff out all to oppose him.

    I don’t know if it was just me or there’s genuinely something here but I noticed quite a few insertions of quips from the characters. Being that Disney owns MARVEL and their live action movies are also known for making quips I cant help but feel there’s some script doctoring or executive notes given that this must be. They’re fine and certainly aren’t hard to sit through, but it does make me wonder.

    Many people noted, and were right, that the last movies plot was identical to the original. During the anticipation they were theorising that this one would be just like The Empire Strikes back. Well it is and it isn’t, let me explain. This is the squeal where the bad-guys hit back hard and the good guys are on the ropes for most of it and just get out by the end, but that’s just a form of storytelling. The heroes have won and in order to make their overall victory seem even greater and make us invested they need to loose some and the opposition needs to win so they remain a viable threat.

    Like with the last movie again they incorporate a variety of practical effects and C.G.I. they go as far as they can with making real sets and having people and creatures out of real things, when that ends they make it in a computer. This is good, practical effects will always be welcomed because when there’s something really inform of the camera it will always feel more real and digital is capable of showing things impossible to be made. We need both of them.

    This is a gorgeous movie that is probably the best looking Star Wars movie ever made. There are beautifully framed shots that very from classic science fiction world we all know, ancient, mythical environments that are haunting, others which are are sleek and minimal using only one color for the setting. There are moments where the lighting is has a beautiful Rembrandt quality to it in the way it’s cast over the characters faces and is so golden.

    This movie, beyond being well crafted and shot reminded me (even more than the last movie) of what Star Wars is. Is is the old stories of good and evil, simple archetype characters that are well defined, it has technology that is beyond us now but is also ancient. The movie deepens the mythology as well as pushes the story and characters forward and delivers on what Star Wars is while doing so. And Star Wars is, if nothing else, entertaining.

     

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      Review Wonder By Jonathan Evans

       

      (4 / 5)

       

      Wouldn’t life be better if we were all nice to each-other?  If we weren’t so shallow and judged people on who they are and not judge them by their outward appearances. Unfortunately we do, but we are capable of seeing through the differences and connect with other’s on similarities and humour.

      Wonder is a movie that is aware of how fundamental accepting and kindness is but also painfully knowing of how people seldom follow this. The main focus is a boy named August “Auggie” Pullman that was born with a deformity at birth and has had to have surgeries to help him see and breath but none of them helped him look normal. He has been home-schooled his whole life but when Middle School comes his parents decide to put him in a private school so he can get used to socialising with other children.

      Auggie is obviously shy but also smart, particularly with science, he has a particular liking for space travel. Even to the point of wearing an astronaut helmet while walking around. Jacob Trembly acts well with changing his mannerism according to his environment. The makeup is convincingly textured as well as allowing Trembly to act through it.

      Nearly everyone in the movie delivers a very solid performance. It is not really surprising but the ones that give the most uneven performances are the children. They are never terrible but they are the ones that need to hit heavier emotional or even comedic moments and fall short of them.

      Something that weakens movies like these are when they seek to portray a condition of people and I feel like there is an unexplored or ignored perspective on the characters. Here, it is cut up and puts the narrative in the perspective of one of the other characters. This is a very important thing to do, this movie is about people and so it shows the other perspectives. One of the best is when we learn about Auggie’s sister Olive “Via” (Izabela Vidovic) and then her best friend Miranda (Danielle Rose Russell) I wont spoil it but it greatly hits that emotional beat.

      There’s a theme in the movie where Auggie believes he can determine a persons character by their footwear. He looks and assesses three children and is seemingly right, later it’s left to the audience to determine the character of his teacher, then we are given a hint of the character of a photographer. I myself have a variety of different footware for different times, so not only do I not subscribe to this mentality but also this is judgement of someone on the surface level. I don’t know if it’s deliberate irony or just an overlooked story element that is contradictory to the theme of the movie, but it is a detriment.

      Director Stephen Chbosky brings charm and wit to the tone of the movie. He skilfully layers the movie with light comedy moments, simple drama and raw emotional moments. He did the same with the view of adolescence in The Perks of Being a Wallflower which I also liked quite a lot.

      Wonder tells a story that could be emotionally overblown or tackily manipulative. This strikes a balance of being charming as well as directly looking at the ugly parts of people. It has laughs, cute visuals and probably a few tears for some. It tells its story and delivers it’s message very well.

      Jonathan Evans

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        Review Battle of the Sexes by Jonathan Evans

         

        (4 / 5)

         

        The big moments in history are made when someone decides to fight for what they whole heartily believe in despite what years of thinking beforehand and society is structured against them. Battle of the Sexes tells the story of one of these fights, about women tennis players that are professionals yet get one eighth of the pay the men get. So our main character, Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) makes a stand. However there is a man named Bobby Briggs (Steve Carell) that is out to poke fun at her cause because it means it will lead to fun and profit.

        Billie Jean King is a simple and reasonable person that understands that her situation is wrong and is willing to fight for equality. Few female actors are as likable as Emma Stone and she brings all her charm and focus to this role. On the opposite is Bobby Riggs, who calls himself “Male Chauvinist Pig” and spouts all kinds of inappropriate and offensive dialog towards the opposite sex. What makes this characterization more interesting than if they portrayed this mindset as genuine is that it is clearly a show. Briggs is clearly putting on an act for the cameras to stir press and make a few bucks, he is a gambling addict and needs to feel the spark of life, as well as that he is obviously a very good tennis player.

        Accompanying the two stars are also some very well cast and performed supporting roles. There is Sarah Silverman Gladys Heldman, their chain-smoking, sharp-tongued manager. Andrea Riseborough as Marilyn Barnett, Billie’s hairdresser and lover. Bill Pullman is Jack Kramer, head of the tennis association that doesn’t believe the women players attract a big enough crowd so doesn’t pay them as much. Alan Cummings, whose always entertaining plays Ted Tinling, the tailor of the women’s uniform and clearly gay. All these actors (as well as others) perform their roles well and have a solid moment

        To compliment the time its set the movie takes on a retro look. There are bright, vivid colors placed among a few pastels that really make them pop. That, as well as the grainy film look gives the movie a unique visual texture.

        I knew this was based on a real story but I didn’t not know the outcome of the real match that it was building up to. When the match started and one scored and then another did I was genuinely invested. The outcome probably won’t surprise you but during the playing you have come to know the characters and understand why each of them is playing this game and whats at stake.

        For a sports movie it really takes it’s time in letting the plot unfold and has no need to play at a fast passe. It is well constructed, acted and reminds us not to take where we are now for granted. There are still things to correct in terms of acceptance of people of different sexes and sexuality but we have come a long way since the events of the movie. Time to keep moving forward.

        Jonathan Evans

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          Review Justice League by Jonathan Evans

          (2 / 5)

          And so, seeing the unquestionable success that MARVEL has been having with their shared cinematic universe DC have stumbled greatly to get to this point. But nothing was gonna stop this cinematic train so, we just have to deal with it.

          What brings our different heroes together are three boxes called “Mother Boxes” if all three are brought together they’ll destroy the world (basically). The one that is out to get all these Mother Boxes is a giant being named Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds), he’s about ten feet high, clad in Armour, wields a large axe and spouts over-the-top dialogue. His role is similar to Loki in Avengers (even to the point of wearing over extravagant headgear) but he lacks Hiddelston’s charisma as well as fails to convey a real threat. He’s just a big threat that is no more interesting or memorable that a generic video game boss.

          The first members that have already been established are Batman (Ben Affleck) the dark brooder that is just a skilled human with great technical resources and detective skills. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was the best thing in Batman v Superman and her own movie was the best of these movies but also rather good. The same present here. The Flash, the speedster played by Ezra Miller. He is here to portray the every-man, being more trepidatious and a lot more dumbfounded when giant man and bug creatures appear. But he says some things that are just odd, it is a weird thing that writers do where they put in quirks and think they’ve made a character, they haven’t, he gets better as the movie goes on but when he starts he might be an alien on Earth. Next is Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), he can breathe underwater, is very strong and wields a large five pronged spear (not a trident), he will probably be the breakout character, being a swaggering brawler. Finally is Cyborg (Ray Fisher), originally a young student named Victor Stone has now been transformed by the Mother Box technology and is fused with it.

          Probably the worst kept secret and obvious plot point that any five year old could see coming is that Superman (Henry Cavil) returns (he died in the last movie). He does and he is much better here than in the previous two movies, he knows what smiling is, I believe he’s an optimistic person and they gave colour back to his costume instead of a grey filter.

          Due to a family tragedy Snyder had to pull out of the movie. Most of it was completed but still needed finishing. Director Joss Whedon stepped in and completed the project. There is only so much one can really affect a movie when probably over seventy five percent of it has been completed. Whether it be due to fan outcry or Whedon inserting it in where he could there are much more smiles in this movie. Characters are smiling and aren’t brooding constantly. Having one moody one on a team is fine (that’s what Batman’s there for) but the others need to bring a balance of different types of characteristics.

          Also more present in the movie is colour. They still use heavy amounts of black but they are contrasted with deeper, vivid colours of red, golds etc. This is a better direction to go, it keeps the colour but visually distinguishes it from the MARVEL movies.

          Probably the biggest failure of the movie is the score by Danny Elfman. Not at any point did I feel my spirits roused by the music and I cannot hum any of the score. It is unfortunately forgettable and not moving.

          Unlike all the other movies this one does have a post credits scene. So if you are so inclined stick around and you wont just see the credits scroll by.

          So it has indeed been a very bumpy ride. It did not get off  to a good start at all and from there on it got worse. But now the pieces have come together and the final result probably wasn’t worth it but it also wasn’t a complete disaster. It was actually rather serviceable.

          Jonathan Evans

           

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            Review Professor Marston & The Wonder Women by Jonathan Evans

             

            (4 / 5)

             

            She is one of the most iconic female characters in pop culture. She is instantly recognisable and you most likely know her name. She stands for truth. But in creating her secrets had to be kept to preserve love.

            Earlier this year the mass audience were introduced to Wonder Woman through her first film. Now she is more popular than ever, this is the perfect time to tell this fascinating story of the deep psychological ideas that went into her creation and first few stories as well as the just as interesting behind the scenes situation of the people that inspired her.

            The man who co-created her was man named William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), a university professor who teaches psychology. He would go on to invent the lie detector machine. While there with his wife one of his students catches his eye. His classes teach about the mindset of giving yourself up to an authority figure in a relationship.

            Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) is his official wife whom he has known since childhood, she has dark hair and is more than qualified to be a lecturer at any University, but because she is a woman she cannot gain any diploma. Her and Marston enjoy heated debates. Olive (Bella Heathcote) is blonde, a few years younger and even though she is descended from two of the most outspoken and radical feminist of her time was raised by nuns so is timid and tacked but still very intelligent.

            He loves his wife, however he also loves Olive and they love him as well as each-other. What are they to do? The love is real but the society in-which they live will never accept them, is it even worth trying?

            Luke Evans himself is a gay man and the writer/director Angela Robinson is a lesbian. They are both open about their sexuality but the world still does not fully embrace people of non hetero sexuality so they are probably the perfect people to tackle this material.

            Adding to the revealing nature of the movie is the layering of the actual Wonder Woman comics that were written by Marston and indeed do feature Wonder Woman herself and other women caged, tied-up, spanked etc. The fact that they were able to get approval for the actual material shows and bravery and how unashamed on behalf of DC Comics. This is the story and ideas that went into the character and are addressing it.

            The theory of loving submission isn’t just all about getting tied-up and/or spanked (though the physical acts are a part of it) it is about letting go of control, it has been said that you cannot love someone and control them, the acts allow the others to be the master to ones who would otherwise not be.

            Being that this takes a look behind the public perception of a famous character and shows the story of the real people behind the scenes one will probably be reminded of Hollywoodland (an equally good movie).

            This movie tells the story of love that is still rather unconventional now and seemingly impossible at the time it happened. There are details about the production of the character of Wonder Woman that are skimmed over as well as a few other moments that take a leap in time in order to fit the correct running time. But the story it tells is one of love and understanding and it effectively conveys that message.

            Jonathan Evans

             

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              Review Murder on The Orient Express by Jonathan Evans

               

              (4 / 5)

               

              Agatha Christie wrote many murder mystery books and plays which all sought to reveal the savage nature of people. Strip away the finery and social class and we are all capable of the most brutal acts.

              One of her main characters was Hercule Poirot a man that wears a distinctive moustache, cannot have eggs that are different sizes and is probably one of the greatest (fictional) detectives who ever lived. He is often mistaken for French because of his accent, but is in fact Belgian. While one case has just wrapped he is called away to another, to get there he must board The Orient Express.

              Kenneth Branagh takes on the role of the Belgian detective. Like Sherlock Holmes he has a sharp eye and when there is a crime considers it his duty to solve it. However he doesn’t so much do it for thrills rather than a task that must be undertaken to set the world right. He could be considered just another pedantic gentleman that enjoys food, drink, art and company, but when he must he sees into the nature of the individual and human nature itself. The performance allows for fluffy fun and sharp seriousness.

              As well as taking on the main role Branagh works behind the camera. He comes with more than a few neat visuals. Long unbroken shots of moving through the train, overhead shots where the location and characters seem like pieces on a board-game and looking at the characters through the tilted edges of glass creating the effect of dual faces. As an actor as well he knows how to talk to his cast so solid performances from all.

              On the train are many passengers from all walks of life. An Austrian professor (Willem Defoe), a count (Sergio Polunin), a governess (Daisy Ridley), a missionary (Penelope Cruz), a widow (Michelle Pfeiffer), a Salesman (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), a doctor (Leslie Odom Jr.), a Princess (Judi Dench) being accompanied by her maid (Olivia Colman), a gangster named Ratchett (Johnny Depp) that feels his life may be in danger, he is accompanied with his butler (Derek Jacobi) and assistant (Josh Gad).

              While the train marches along one night lightning strikes the mountain sending snow down, blocking the tracks. It is easily dealt with in due time, but not all of the passengers are present, Ratchett has been murdered. Who did such a thing to an unquestionably bad man? That is the question and through clues, cross referenced with alibi’s and Poirot’s deduction skills the truth will be found.

              This is probably the definition of an all star cast. Every one of the passengers is a big star. This takes away from being truly engaging but it also helps hide the identity. If this was a cast of lesser profile actors, or unknowns and only one A-Lister then we’d instantly be drawn the the one star and suspect them. But being that they are all big names there clearly wont be any favouritism.

              There are many more books to be adapted if this one does very well. It could, considering it’s great cast. If the studio does go on to do more then they will. It is odd being that everything has to become a franchise now, but still there is nothing that is building up for the next movies, you can go into this one and know nothing about Poirot, you will learn by the end and be satisfied while the credits roll.

              All that being said this is a well crafted and acted movie that has an expert both behind and in-front of the camera as well as having one of the greats works by one of the greatest writers in the genre. How could it go badly? I’m not sure but I’m glad it didn’t.

               

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                Review The Death of Stalin by Jonathan Evans

                 

                (3 / 5)

                 

                This movies creators probably had the same thought that Stanley Kubrick had while making Dr. Strangelove. That though the basic facts are real and the subject, as well as the consequences are serious, when you say it out loud, it’s pretty funny.

                The movie opens in 1953 where Russia has won the war and is securely under the control of Joseph Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) who is simultaneously adored and feared by the people. To be his enemy or even be considered to be one mean your name goes on a list and when your name goes on the list you get executed. One night while an orchestra is being performed Stalin phones up the venue and orders that he be sent a recording of the performance, being that it wasn’t being recorded the guests must be seated and the musicians must play again.

                At his palace Stalin is having a boys night of food, drinks and cowboy movies. His company is Georgy Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor), Nikita Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi), Vyacheslav Molotov (Michael Palin) and Lavrentiy Beria (Simon Russel Beale). All act more like workmates joining each-other at the local bar rather than officials that are there to run a country. At the end of the night the men go home, all quite drunk, to their wives and hoping that none of them has done anything to anger Stalin. During the night Stalin listens to the orchestra recording and stars convulsing then collapses. The next morning the maid finds him and so the real madness begins.

                With his death it sends the men into a battle for both power and ego. They race and debate on who should takeover head office, who’ll be allowed to drive off first, one implements a policy that the other doesn’t like so they revoke it just out of spite despite the terrible repercussions.

                Adding the the comedic element is the fact that nobody cares about the real life characters accents. Throughout the cast is plenty of American and British actors and they are all playing Russians and that doesn’t matter in the slightest, they speak how the actors speak.

                While all their squabbling is reaching it’s heights in comes marching Georgy Zhukov. With an entire chest of medals, tolerating none of their juvenile behaviour and speaking up to no one. Jason Isaacs completely has fun with the character, sinking his teeth into the dialogue and taking a big bite out of whatever scene he’s in. One of the best parts of the movie.

                This is a fun costume drama that embellishes on certain facts about what really happened and shows the pettiness that men can be capable of when the highest position of power is in-front of them they’ll sink to any depths. There is only one joke really, these men are petty, but they find enough variations that the movie is never a drag. There are  about three solid laughs to have in it, during the rest of the movie you will be smiling.

                Jonathan Evans

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                  Review Happy Death Day by Jonathan Evans

                  Happy Death Day is a black comedy with pieces of a genuine horror mixed in, essentially Groundhog Day meets Halloween. From that you can already guess the main problem with the movie, it lacks a distinct personality. It is quite good at times and blunt at others but the overall product has a tonal problem that leaves you coming out of it not sure with what you just saw.

                  It opens with a girl named Theresa waking up in a college dorm room, she is hungover and can barely remember the night before, she goes about her day and things happen that establish that shes popular but not very nice. It is also her birthday, which she doesn’t want people to know or acknowledge herself. She heads out for the night, while on her way a figure appears and stabs her to death. She then wakes at the start of the day and must relive the day of her murder over and over again.

                  Jessica Rothe plays Theresa. She fulfills everything that the script requires her to do well. She screams very high and loudly, she comes off like a spoiled rich kid, there are other moments that call for her to be funny etc. She does a solid job in the movie.

                  The killer is dressed entirely in black with a cartoon baby face mask. A good design that is both distinctive and easily recognisable. It may become iconic and then again it might not, but credit goes to creating an easily registrable visual.

                  With any kind of teen movie as well and having a plot where repetition is a main theme naturally there is a montage sequence. It is stuff like this that clashes with the overall movie. Are we meant to always be laughing or genuinely feel frightened for out main character? At the start we do, then it becomes a case of “ow dang it!” then near the climax we’re meant to feel for her again.

                  This is a spoiler free review but I will say that the two main questions I had while watching the movie were (obviously) how is all of this happening? And how does the killer seem to always magically track her down? We get answers to none of these.

                  The concept is fine and the execution is good at times as well. However it’s stereotypical portrayal of teens and suffering from either not knowing what it wants to be or wanting to be too many things it becomes pieces of a solid work rather than a whole. If there are no better offers at the cinema then it isn’t a waste, but is also only worth one watch.

                  Jonathan Evans

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                    Review Thor Ragnarok by Jonathan Evans

                     

                    (5 / 5)

                     

                    Let me tell you about a man named Jack Kirby. He worked in the comic book industry for most of his life. He made history when he and Stan Lee created The Fantastic Four together, from then on he co-created or created so many other characters I wont even try listing them. He propelled the medium of comics to feats of wild, cosmic scale ideas, that with the tools of paper and pen you could say and show the vastness images humanly conceivable. He had his own style that he continued to refine and produced so much work on a seemingly nonstop basis. He is probably one of the most influential figure for the medium of comics and the genre of superheros.

                    Thor Ragnarok operates, more than any other MARVEL movie like something Kirby would have created. It packs in so many ideas and visuals, it crackles with the enthusiasm of putting so many different kinds of characters, lines and images into a great vision.

                    Writer director Taika Waititi is a man with a unique gift for comedy and story telling. His previous two movies which I’ve seen are What We Do in the Shadows was an amazingly fresh take on vampires and Hunt For The Wilderpeople was one of the most original, well-made and hilarious movies that I’ve seen in a while. Here he inserts his unique brand of humor and also adopts most of the things we’ve come to expect from these MARVEL movies. Expect many quips.

                    Entering the picture is Hela, played by living screen legend Cate Blanchette. This is the role where she definitely has had the most fun in. She is a larger than life character that who’s nature is a big reveal for the Thor franchise and is easily one of the most powerful adversaries in all the movies. Since Loki the MARVEL movies now have another really engaging villain for their roster.

                    In this movie Heimdall, played by Idris Elba finally gets to play a more important part of the story. Elba is still not used to his full potential but at least it is more deserving of an actor of his caliber.

                    Due to plot reasons Thor is transported to the planet of Sakaar, when there its two obvious main influences shine. The first being Kirby, with it’s varied colours and designs using circles and blocky lines that resemble the circuitry of a computer chip. The other it’s science fiction movies of the eighties.

                    Another reinforcement of having the eighties as their influence is the music. Mark Mothersbaugh creates a synth rock score like something John Carpenter might have created. As well as the most perfect use of Led Zeppelins The Immigrant Song.

                    They really did find their perfect star for Thor. Chris Hemsworth comes with the muscle, hair and chiseled jaw that artist have drawn Thor to look like but he himself also has so much charm and is able to absolutely deliver a joke. To look at he’s Thor and he is him in performance as well.

                    A shaky first act and some other emotional moments that probably go by too fast so you don’t truly get absorbed into them are such minor complaints that they are hardly worth dwelling on. This is is crazed mad vision brought to life by a filmmaker who knows their craft and was given a budget to see it through. It is a glorious, unashamed baroque rock n’ roll nerd painting.

                     

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