Sunday, 27 December 2015

OJ's TV Review - Doctor Who series 9

It's been ten years since Doctor Who has been back on our TVs!? It can't be!


Series 9 gives us Peter Capaldi's second run as The Doctor and what a run it was. Even the pre-title sequence in the first episode can give a long-term fan a mind-blow. The opening two parter was an interesting one and although was unusual gave us some great appearances and easter eggs.
   As the series went on I noticed that there wasn't really a continuing story-arc, you know that little scene they usually put in every episode that has a pay-off in the finale, there wasn't really one here. I really liked that; there are maybe one or two lines of dialogue you can look back on now as a foreshadow but all in all each story was self contained. I enjoyed there being a lot more two-parters as well, it allowed for a more paced plot rather than a rushed ending. All-in-all the majority of episodes I really enjoyed, making series 9 one of the best series since 2005.
   Of course there were bad episodes, in my opinion The Girl Who Died, Sleep No More, and The Husbands of River Song were just dreadful. I know they have their fans but for me personally, I disliked a good portion of each of them.
   In the end I think series 9 was one of the best series so far and Peter Capaldi is still an excellent Doctor, Jenna Coleman was good, as always, despite my dislike for the character and I rather enjoyed the finale, which is unsual for me and Doctor Who.

9/10



Thursday, 24 December 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

After so much hype and speculation, the force has finally awoken!

I don't need to explain what this movie is; everyone knows what Star Wars is, we all know there were three good ones and then there were three not-so-good ones. It's no secret that this movie is the most important film of the year to a lot of people...so what did I think?
   I'll star off with what I enjoyed, which was a lot. I always love a J.J. Abrams film and so I enjoyed seeing his directing now in this Universe. He gives you some absolutely amazing shots showing you this fantastic world and it's characters, a highlight for me being the opening scenes. He also does action pieces well, and a few times I could see things reminiscent of 2009's Star Trek; so on a directing front I can't think of anyone else who could've done it. In a similar vein to that, I love the use of practical effects in this; the film of course had CGI and used it well but I always smiled when seeing what I knew was really there, weather it be some alien bird pecking away or a monstrous thug lounging in a bar, it really worked well. 
   Script-wise was not bad at all. I think they did humour pretty well, I definitely laughed out loud at scenes, maybe for me personally one or two didn't land as much but as a whole it's entertaining on that front. The drama as well was done excellently; you really fell in love with these characters and were invested in their lives, including even the little BB-8 droid and Oscar Isaac's cool-guy pilot character, which added to the emotional beats and shocks of the plot. A high point for me was the Finn and Poe friendship that had very short screen-time but in those moments you could see these guys were bros.
  Just mentioning the cast quickly, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher did great jobs reprising their roles, couldn't fault them really and they jelled so well with the new guys, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega who were phenomenal and can definitely see them having future careers. I loved their characters and am looking forward to seeing them again. Mark Hamill was also in this film and all I'm going to say is that I enjoyed every moment he was on screen.
  Now for some things I didn't enjoy as much. Don't get me wrong, The Force Awakens is definitly it's own thing and gives us places and concepts we've not seen before but unfortunately it did slip into a similar problem Jurassic World had which was that it just recreated too many moments and plot points from it's predecessors. Scenes were happening where I was thinking "Really? We're doing this again?" and that was it's main weakness for me, too much of what we'd already had and so it made it predictable in or or two places. 
  Another point that I'd like to mention, that may only be something I feel, but the climax didn't seem very....climactic. It wasn't until we were in the middle of a scene and I thought about how long it had already been on that I realised I was watching the final battle, as it were. It was fine in itself, definitly some tense and action packed moments but I think due to the fact that the movie was constantly fast paced it didn't transition well that this was now something big.
  In the end Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a fantastic movie and entertaining on it's own, it gives some exciting references and cameos for the long-term fans but if you're not a casual viewer then you may feel it's retreading some familiar ground.

8.5/10

Saturday, 19 December 2015

OJ's Movie Reviews - Star Wars: Episodes I to VI

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens out this week, I did a movie marathon to look back at the previous six films and tell you my opinion on the franchise.

The Phantom Menace began the unloved prequels, it was supposed to be the origin of all including the famous Anakin Skywalker. For me, I like this movie. I have a bias opinion because this was the only Star Wars film my family had on VHS when I was growing up so I watch this film with nostalgia. I acknowledge there are problems, terrible CGI, the great Jar Jar Binks and many more, but without this movie we wouldn't have Darth Maul, that fantastic John Williams piece and quite a revealing behind the scenes documentary. So in the end, I like Episode I.
   Attack of the Clones came next. This film makes me laugh everytime; no not because of George Lucas' jokes but the unintentional dialogue. The screenplay for this film is so bad it makes Anakin out to be a whiny and sometimes very creepy teenager who gives us his detailed opinions on sand. Along with that and some plot points that don't make sense, for me Episode II is the worst Star Wars film.
  Revenge of the Sith is the third of the prequels and eventually ties into the original trilogy. Most people say it's the best of the prequels and I can see where they're coming from. It still has a multitude of problems but the plot isn't as all-over-the-place as the previous two and the climactic showdown, although entirely green screen, can be entertaining. Some things though don't follow continuity and and other events are little hard to swallow (in the context of the universe, not real life) and so Episode III upped the quality a smidgen but that really isn't saying anything.
   A New Hope, although not titled that on original release, was a game changer in cinema. It spawned and inspired so many great ideas and the fandom is still as strong as ever that you can't deny Star Wars is something special. The story is a nice, satisfying one filled with action, charm and adventure. It is a thrill for any sci-fi fan and you love the characters it shows us. I do have to admit that upon first viewing I was little underwhelmed due to so much hype but now after revisiting I enjoy it quite a bit and appreciate it's influence.
  The Empire Strikes Back is next and is, I think, the most referenced Star Wars film and has a lot of recognisable scenes. It gives us the Yoda we all love, the famous "Father" scene and some cracking lines of dialogue we quote to this day. The action is still top notch, the special effects were great for the 80s and it's the film George Lucas messed about with the least. In my opinion, Episode V is the best Star Wars film.
  Finally we come to Return of the Jedi. Like the previous two, it's not bad at all if not for a few weak points where you kind of have to gloss over. It gives us some great sequences on the planet Tatooine at the beginning and a very tense moment aboard the Death Star. The little Ewoks are annoying to some but they don't bother me at all and in the end Episode VI serves as a fantastic end to the original trilogy.

So that's it. My short opinions on Star Wars so far. I cannot wait to see what The Force Awakens has to offer and my review for that should be up soon!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

OJ's Movie Review - The Good Dinosaur

Pixar Animation - the studio that has given us top-quality movies such as Toy Story, The Incredibles, and Inside Out, now brings us....this?

The Good Dinosaur is a film that has been in the making for four years. Being a Pixar movie I was excited, and it was about dinosaurs which I love; then due to a lot of story problems and various people leaving the project, it was eventually pushed all the way back to November 2015. Now it's here and I get to review it.
  To start off I'll go straight for the things I enjoyed about The Good Dinosaur. The animation is some of the best animation I have seen in my life; the textures, the rain, the landscapes, everything about the look of this movie is stunning, some of which is so well-done it looks real. It is all shown brilliantly as well through the directing, which Wikipedia tells me was done by Peter Sohn, a long-time employee of Pixar.
  Now for the things I did not enjoy about The Good Dinosaur. If you go into this movie, do not expect award-winning material or a unique family experience, like we've come to expect from Pixar. Instead get ready for a bland, cliché and sometimes inappropriate story. It's about a young dinosaur called Arlo who is separated from his family and must find his way home, this could be interesting and give us some fun adventures but for me, it just wasn't. Despite the fact that it took forever to get going, Arlo's journey was the same thing over and over again which is that he is scared by something, and then more scared and then scared by something else and is constantly followed by a human boy who for some reason acts like a dog. I may be to harsh but there were very few scenes I found entertaining, don't get me wrong, they were some, but few and far between. Also, for a movie about dinosaurs it doesn't actually feature that many dinosaurs, and the ones our main character, Arlo, does meet are walking stereotypes we've seen hundreds of times. And I don't want to spoil it but does the line "I drowned him in my blood" belong in a kids movie? I don't have kids so I'm just throwing that out there.
In the end, it pains me to say that Pixar's The Good Dinosaur did not overcome it's behind the scenes disasters and so I have to give it...

4.5/10

Sunday, 1 November 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Spectre

Hail HYDRA!... I mean SPECTRE!

So Bond 24 has come in the form of Spectre and according to the trailers it shows us who has been behind all of Daniel Craig's pain. Did you realise someone was behind it all? Me neither! But who doesn't love some retconning.
  I've not been the biggest of Bond fans over the years, it was just never my thing. In fact I think this is the second Bond film I've properly seen so this review won't be coming from the viewpoint of the last 50 years. I will however say that as a movie on it's own, Spectre is an entertaining thrill. It's got action all over, some well-placed humour and a cracking theme song. All the cast of course was great and especially Craig as the man himself, still believable that he could do all those things. Christoph Waltz was a fantastic villain, but then again, when ins't he? And who I really enjoy a lot is Ben Wishaw as Q; definitely has some great moments.
  Story-wise, it was good and moved along nicely but there wasn't too much intrigue because it wasn't hard to piece together from the trailers and official synopsis' who this big bad was to Bond. And if you knew anything about Bond there is a twist that shocked no-one (al a Khan from Star Trek Into Darkness). Other than that though the stunts were great, the script was on point and all-in-all an enjoyable film. Others have told me this "is how Bond used to be" which is a good thing I assume. Personally I enjoyed Skyfall more but everyone's probably got a favourite. What did you think? Comment below and spread your opinions!

7.5/10


Thursday, 1 October 2015

OJ's Movie Review - The Martian

Last time we saw Matt Damon he was stranded on a planet in Interstellar, now we get to see him...oh wait.

So The Martian is Ridley Scott's latest film and stars Matt Damon as an astronaut left behind on Mars by himself because his crew thought he was dead. Going in I wasn't sure what to expect, I thought what can you do for two hours on a desert planet? Well, it turns out that it's something good because The Martian is one of the best films of the year.
   I mean seriously, this movie is so good in so many ways I couldn't believe it. The cast, first off, were amazing, you've got people like Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels and of course Matt Damon; they all do an amazing job in their roles, you couldn't fault them. But obviously one man has to carry the movie and Damon does it brilliantly, playing a man completely alone, isolated on an entire planet having to use only the stuff that was left behind and his own intelligence to survive, incredible acting there, especially with some of the darker moments when you can see this man is about to break but carries on relentlessly.
  The story is also a fascinating one, there wasn't any point where I was bored watching The Martian; you mostly wanted to be with Damon on Mars watching him do various things as it was both thrilling, exciting, relieving and funny, yes that's right, this film is hilarious, it's just a fantastic script, the movie handles it's comedy really well and some parts are just so uplifting and makes you smile. The Earth scenes are entertaining as well, they didn't drag at all, watching these NASA guys trying to work out if they can actually save this Mark Watney from Mars and balancing that with handling the press and media it makes for some good acting and screenplay.
   One other thing that surprised me was the music, the original score was amazing and adds real feeling to the scenes and then I'm not going to spoil it but you are going to remember the soundtrack and songs they use in The Martian.
  The only negative I can say I had with this film was just the opening, I felt that from the very start to when the crew actually leave Watney on Mars it felt a little off or choppy and just wasn't as good as the rest of the movie but that may just be me, it didn't bother me too much because that's only like ten minutes of set-up.
  In the end I loved The Martian, it's definitely one of the biggest surprises for me and like I said, one of the best films this year.

10/10

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

OJ's TV Review - Heroes seasons 1 - 4

With Heroes Reborn airing this month I decided to take a look at the much-discussed Heroes, something I'd heard a lot about but never seen.

Being a big science-fiction fan and common Internet-user I'd heard about Heroes from various places
and I knew the general gist but never really had the opportunity to watch it. Thankfully, Netflix helped out with that.
 So season 1 to start obviously and the general opinion is that this the best season. They're not wrong. Season 1 of Heroes is absolutely brilliant, I love it. It introduces a bunch of characters straight out the gate all with completely different backgrounds and lives and most importantly, powers. As the season progresses they slowly start to connect and it all builds up to really nice, satisfying conclusion. All the actors in it are really well cast, everyone is playing the everyman, the normal person, who wake up one day with an extraordinary ability, which is really fun to watch. Zachary Quinto plays the main villain Sylar who is a really good bad guy, his presence and scenes are really thrilling and threatening. A truly unique piece of television.
  Season 2 comes along with only half the amount of episodes. Although the mystery was intriguing and some of the new characters were fun to watch; overall I felt it was a little underwhelming. Because season 1 was so good, season 2, although wasn't a terrible season, just didn't quite stand up to the first, possibly due to the limited number of episodes and a very similar story-arc due to a writer's strike.
 Season 3. Oh my, what can I say. The third season of Heroes is an absolute mess. The plots were all over the place, it was if the season didn't know where it was going. They'd start one story arc in an episode and then two or three down the line they'd end it quite abruptly with hardly any satisfying resolutions. Some of the people we'd come to know and love suddenly either lost their powers or did things completely out of character which made for a lot of episodes where I just sighed. I struggle to think of positives for this season; I mean there was the odd good episode and a few guest appearances I enjoyed but for the most part, it was like a bad fan-fic.
  Season 4 thankfully started to pick up, they focused on a new character Samuel and his mysterious carnival which drove the series arc and that was actually a really entertaining thing to watch. A bunch of new characters were introduced who were good and some of the ruined ones of season 3 fell into the odd appearance which was a good move. Still not quite as good as the first season but in terms of quality I think it was better than the other two.

So in conclusion, I'm glad I watched Heroes, even if the quality was a bit up and down, the characters were so interesting to me and I adored the various pop culture references the show gave (mostly from the character Hiro). It was truly a roller coaster ride in many ways and a show any sci-fi fan should watch.

Friday, 11 September 2015

OJ's TV Review - Falling Skies season 5

The end of the war has come; and what a ride it's been.


So the fifth and final season of Falling Skies has aired. For four years we've watched the Mason family battle against the Skitters, Espheni, and even themselves. I really enjoyed the first two seasons, they are definitely my favourite, the third season I feel is the weakest and season four was good but the main story arc was uninteresting. 
  The plot this time follows on from the last season where the Espheni are very scarce due to now having no big communicator thing on the moon; this means that the Skitters are like wild animals eating anything they can find and attacking randomly, this provided a few cool scenes and action-packed moments but it took away their threat almost, in past seasons some were quite individual and even intelligent whereas now they are mere cannon fodder for the humans. The episodes this season focused the human characters problems; there wasn't really a story arc that wove all the episodes together, just a few two-parters and they has self-contained plots; these were OK as you got to see a bit of a civil war and then one of the main characters broke away and started a tense story which was all entertaining but for a final season I think we wanted to see more alien stuff. 
   In the end the finale I think has disappointed a lot of people but for me I really enjoyed it, I mean there were some flaws which I wish they hadn't done but overall I was satisfied with the way it ended. Falling Skies has been a great series and I've enjoyed watching it as a whole.

7.5/10


Saturday, 22 August 2015

The OJ Reviews 3rd Anniversary


Welcome to my third anniversary post, an annual update for the site showing stats, changes and previews!

Stats

Numbers

Page views of all time - 33,203
Comments of all time - 19
Total Members - 11
Top Three Countries With the Most Traffic -
  1. United States (16,119)
  2. United Kingdom (4540)
  3. Germany (1307)

Posts

First Ever Post - OJ Reviewing Megamind
Most Viewed Post - ORIGINAL VS REMAKE - King Kong

Changes to the Site

As you my have noticed, I have not been keeping up with the three-reviews-a-month plan, sometimes there just arn't any films I have any interest in, sometimes I can't afford to go to the cinema, or I lack motivation to find a Back In Time review or Original VS Remake. So as of now my posts will not be stuck to any kind of schedule except the fact that the minium posts a month will be one, so there will at least be one review a month. Apart from that nothing else is changing.

Upcoming Reviews

After this I will be reviewing either The Maze Runner sequel or Everest starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin to name a few; and towards the end of the year obviously Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Television-wise I need to catch up on the final season of Falling Skies so I shall review that after watching and the eighth series of Doctor Who which should be airing soon. 

Shoutouts and Thanks

The only person to give me a shout out this past year was @had0606 on Instagram, so thanks Hayden!

That's it for this Anniversary post, thank you very much for reading and if you are new then take a look around and if you want to see more then The OJ Reviews is also on:



Wednesday, 12 August 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Fantastic Four

Oh the potential...THE POTENTIAL!

Look, don't hate me but I enjoyed the first two, I mean sure I was 7 and 9 when they came out but I laughed and was amazed at the superheorics at the that time, they remain fond memories. So when I heard this was getting a remake I was a tad disappointed, and then it starts production and we see nothing, absolutely nothing, not even a logo; months go by and we have no poster, "first image" and from what I remember only two secret set pics. It was strange but then I watch that first trailer and my hopes lifted tremendously, that first footage was really good and from then on I was expecting this to be a dark horse, a real good film.
      And you know what? It was....for the first half. I mean literally, I could pinpoint the scene where it starts going downhill rapidly. But let's focus on the good just for now, I loved the beginning. The set up was so good, we were introduced to these interesting, likeable characters; the actors had good chemistry, the script was pretty solid and I was happy with where it was going. The origin was awesome to see, it was tense, horrific and I thought the special effects held up pretty well. Then there was a bit of a jump in the plot and it felt odd... just...odd. The only way I can explain it is that it was like different films, the first half being an origin story and then the latter half acting like it was deep into the franchise and this was happening after a bunch of sequels; imagine watching Iron Man and then Avengers: Age of Ultron without anything in between. Fantastic Four has so much missing in the way of development and narrative flow it just did not work. The climax felt incredibly rushed and they weren't really acting like a team and they spouted out lines as if it was from a cartoon and then you had that giant light going to the sky like every other major film seems to be doing. So plot-wise, 50% good, 50% horrible.
  The actors themselves did really good in their roles though, Miles Teller is a great Reed Richards and I enjoyed Toby Kebbell as Victor a lot too. That is until he turns into Dr. Doom for.....no reason what-so-ever, with a really bad costume and very undefined powers.
  In the end, I don't know the specifics of what director Josh Trank was up to on set or what the studio was wanting it to be like, but like it's production, Fantastic Four unfortunately was just weird and disappointing. If you do watch it, stop after the first half.

  5.5/10

Thursday, 6 August 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Rogue Nation? Isn't that the Star Wars Anthology movie? Ah, I always get those mixed up.

You know, I really like the Mission Impossible franchise, maybe it's because I like Tom Cruise movies, maybe because each film has a different director so they all have a unique feel to them, in any case, they get a thumbs up from me.
  So in this one, we join Ethan Hunt for a fifth time and he's on the search for a secret organization called The Syndicate. A simple premise but enjoyable non-the-less, it's fun to see him and his team work things out and what makes it more enjoyable is that all the members of his team are from previous movies so we're comfortable with them and it feels more like a group of friends, which was nice. The story itself I really enjoyed too, the twists, the turns and just a lot of points worked excellently. The action scenes are some of my favourites I've ever seen, there were thrilling ones, tense ones and downright fun spy-themed ones which is what I love. And this is one of the few movies where I felt it just had a really satisfying ending, I mean you get good movies but there are some where it comes to a climax and all things are being resolved in a certain way and it just puts a smile on your face.
  Casting was all good too, as I said I like Tom Cruise movies so it's always fun to see him, Jeremy Renner was a great side-guy too and had his own problems which added to the story, he always seems to play a good secondary character but not a successful main guy. It was nice to see Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames back, both being the computer guys, but both serving their purpose. Two new peeps we got for the rogue nation were Rebecca Ferguson who was awesome, not only was she easy on the eye but looked like she knew what she was doing during her action scenes which made for a great character; secondly was Sean Harris as the big baddie and boy was he such a good villain, I loved this guy, he was so creepy and threatening, definitely one of the better antagonists of the franchise.
  If someone forced me to pick a problem then I would say that a certain scene that was pushed in all the promotional trailers and pictures was used straight out the gate and had no bearing on the plot which seemed a little odd.
  To conclude, personally this is my favourite Mission: Impossible movie so far and look forward to the next one!

10/10

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Inside Out

Pixar films have been a bit 'meh' since Toy Story 3, but now they're back on top form with their latest
instant classic.

Inside Out is the story of an eleven-year-old girl called Riley who has just moved house but the majority of the film takes place in her mind and centres on her five main emotions. This idea itself is already a unique one and they do very clever things with it. It shows you how and why your brain does things, but in a really fun and entertaining way.
   Although you have the bright colours and fantastical settings, it isn't always a kids film, there are quite a few jokes in there that I think everyone will laugh at, of course you get ones especially for children but it doesn't rely on them which is what is so good about Pixar. They also always have a deeper meaning in their films, a moral that stays with you, and this is no exception. Like some of their other films, this one also pulls on the heart strings at times and gives you some good emotional drama. I won't spoil the story as a lot of it was a surprise but it was an entertaining adventure inside Riley's head and a realistic depiction of life in the real world so as a whole, interesting all-round.
  Acting-wise, I wasn't familiar with the majority of the cast but they did great in their roles, two highlights being Anger and Sadness, and of course the minor appearance of Disney's own John Ratzenberger.
  In the end I'm glad Pixar is back to producing high quality films (although I wasn't that impressed with the short film at the beginning to this one) and look forward to The Good Dinosaur.

8.5/10

 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Ant-Man

Not bad, not bad at all.

So the final film of Phase 2 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Ant-Man; as some of you may know this film has been in production a long time and has had various troubles behind the scenes but how did it end up? Well for starters, the cast is brilliant; Paul Rudd is perfect as this everyman kinda guy who also is a bit of cat burgler, he has some great comedic lines and has good chemistry with the rest of the cast. Michael Douglas is an awesome Hank Pym, he does the dramatic moments excellently and even pulls off a few jokes too. All the other cast were great as well but I do have to mention Michael Peña, he delivers some of the best lines in the movie and is an all-round entertaining character.
  Next I'll come to the story. Much like the superhero himself, this plot is scaled down tremendously compared to the other films of the MCU. He's not unearthing a huge government conspiracy, he's not guarding the galaxy and he doesn't have to deal with an apocalyptic A.I. robot; Ant-Man is a heist movie which takes almost a civilian view of the rest of the world, and that's what makes this movie stand out I think. Of course you get references to the Avengers but this really does feel like a small event we're looking into, like a side mission in a game, and I enjoyed that.
   Being a Marvel movie the special effects would of course be top notch but Ant-Man goes beyond and has some really breathtaking visuals, the shrinking/growing effect is awesome and the shots of Ant-Man when he's small are so photo-realistic because they blur out all the background and it really does look you've entered this tiny world. The action sequences were pretty impressive as well, some of the best in the franchise, because of his powers they used some very clever ideas to make it very entertaining.
  Now for some of the negatives of the film. Mostly the first half; there were some clunky exposition scenes and it just seemed to go really slow in parts; of course they need to explain a lot to new audiences but for some, if you're not that interested or you already know it all then I've heard people call it boring. I for one wasn't bored at all but I did feel the need for the pace to get going a bit. Another negative was the villain; Yellowjacket was fine, he was awesome, menacing and cool to watch but the character controlling it, Darren Cross came across as bit ciche at times and just wasn't generally threatening as a person.
  In the end Ant-Man was very funny, very clever and one of the most unique films of the franchise. Be sure to smile at the obligatory Stan Lee cameo and stay through the credits all the way to the end. I give it...

9/10

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Terminator Genisys

Terminator!....You know...again!

So one of the most referenced things in pop culture returns for it's fifth movie in the form of Terminator Genisys (with a Y). Schwarzenegger is back and joins a load of new cast in a new timeline doing old stuff in new ways. Basically, plot-wise, a Terminator was sent back in time to protect child Sarah Connor before the events of The Terminator and so when Kyle Reese is sent back in time to protect adult Sarah Connor it's all changed, and then of course - as you see in every piece of promotion for this film - John Connor goes back in time but is a Terminator-like being now. If you think that's confusing then....yeah, you're right, it is. As a whole this film does not feel like a Termiantor film, a lot of the opening does but for the majority it's just a fun, action-packed, sci-fi movie that in some places feels a little jumbled. It doesn't run smooth all the time, it goes from a giant action piece to a weird comedy skit with ironic music and then a suspenseful part and individually they're all really entertaining but it just doesn't fit a lot of the time.
   All the actors are great in it, Arnie does the famous killer robot brilliantly for a fourth time and Emilia Clarke does well not only acting but is some eye candy if you get bored of the plot; Jai Courtney is pretty good too but doesn't have the widest acting range of all time and Jason Clarke plays a good villain. Two people who were also in it I felt odd with, the first being J.K. Simmons who is a fantastic actor is misused as an almost bumbling old guy who is a third-party observer to all the events; and then Matt(hew) Smith is actually really good but his American accent kept taking me out of the film somewhat, can't see why they couldn't have kept him British.
   Special effects were all top-noch too, especially the opening scenes and the climactic battle. All-in-all although it was fun, entertaining and set up one or two points in case there is a sequel, it did have a few fan-fiction vibes and if you haven't seen the other films then... you really are gonna be stuck for at least half the movie. I give it...

6/10

Thursday, 18 June 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Jurassic World

I've been waiting for 14 years, some people have been waiting for 22, well...now its here.

Jurassic World, finally the fourth Jurassic film is in cinemas. It's about a new theme park that finally realized John Hammond's dream of a dinosaur zoo; but because its now been open a while people are starting to get bored and so they create a new dinosaur mixing various DNA.
   Now let's start off with the good stuff. The world building is amazing, you go round this theme park and you believe this could be a real attraction, the way they show off buildings and exhibits its like a Disneyland promotional video so I really liked that. The whole look of Jurassic World was just really nice visually. Another thing I enjoyed was the new dinosaur itself, called Indominus Rex; it looked powerful, creepy and threatening every time you saw it; its abilities were also interesting and so it was great addition to the franchise and it contributes to my most favourite part of the film which was the third act - a real gem of a sequence in there. Of course, Jurassic World is a sequel and it knows it; although there were only a few references to the first film in the dialogue, and something special which I won't spoil, most of it's callbacks were through the music which sounded awesome. The soundtrack fits so well in the franchise its amazing, some of the beats, some of the instruments definitely were inspired to not only Jurassic Park but I think I heard The Lost World in there also which was fun. But the callbacks didn't stop there, which brings me to the negatives...
  Jurassic Park had a lot of iconic scenes and in Jurassic World it recreated one or two which gave you some nostalgia and you smiled at the obvious reference, but then it did it again, and then some more and it started to teeter on the edge of ripping-off; thankfully I don't think it did but I did have quite few moments where I noticed and was like "Wait, that looks just like...". So if you haven't seen the first film or not seen it in a long time, you might feel out of the loop when the shot builds to something you know should be important. Another thing that I wasn't a fan of was that there was too many characters; this film is flooded with various characters who all have their own back-story and B plot that it sometimes drags away from the main thing; the two kids for instance were given a line of back-story which was never touched upon again and the human antagonists were basically there to leave strands for a sequel. There was just a lot of unnecessary story.
   In the end, Jurassic World is a fun film. It's entertaining to watch but it just doesn't have the charm and wit of Jurassic Park, it tends to fall more into monster-movie somewhat which is fine, but just so long as you expect a cliché or two and some very cheesy scenes (such as catching a fly in mid air with your hand). But seriously though, it was great to go back to this franchise!

8/10

Monday, 8 June 2015

OJ's Movie Reviews - Jurassic Park 2 & 3

I already reviewed the first Jurassic Park when it came out in 3D, so now in preparation for Jurassic World I'll look back on the not-so-fan-favourite sequels.

After one of the most popular blockbusters of all time Steven Spielberg adapted the second novel,The Lost World: Jurassic Park. It brings back the character of Ian Malcom played brilliantly by Jeff Goldblum and goes to the Site B of Jurassic Park with a team to study how the dinosaurs have been living since the disaster of '93. Although not as good as the first film, The Lost World isn't actually that bad; the special effects and animatronics still hold up to today creating some convincing dinosaurs both with the old favourite's T-Rex and raptors and a whole bunch of new ones. Also the soundtrack I really enjoyed as well, John Williams is one of the best composers in the business and here he creates some memorable scores again.  As regards to the plot, it can be a bit jumbled at times and some of the pacing is off but it's fun to see the locations they go to on the island and of course who didn't love that Tyrannosaurus rampaging through San Diego? Overall in my opinion it is my least favourite of the franchise but it doesn't deserve a lot of the hate it gets.

Next up we have Jurassic Park III which has original character Alan Grant take a couple of people on what he thinks is a tour of site B; obviously all does not go well and they get stuck on the island. Although the plot has little complexity to it and is basically a slasher-film with dinosaurs, I really enjoy Jurassic Park III. I think it has more of an abandoned facility feel than the second film did with all the over-grown jungle visuals and sets; these work really well when showing the super-intelligent raptors which make for some thrilling and suspenseful scenes. And yes, I love the Spinosaurus! I know people hate the fact it killed a T-Rex but I think the addition of the Spino makes this film more unique and diverse. In the end it's the sort of film you can sit back with some popcorn, turn your brain off and watch dinosaurs eating people.

So those are my thoughts on the two sequels and you can read my review of the first movie by clicking here.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

OJ's TV Review - The Flash season 1

See! Not every DC property has to be dark and gloomy!


So The Flash is a spin-off from Arrow and is about this guy Barry Allen who can run fast and with the help of some scientist friends becomes the superhero the Flash! I really enjoyed when he first showed up in Arrow season 2 and again I enjoyed watching him here.
    Grant Gustin does a great job in his role, his performance was very entertaining during all the comedic, emotional and action scenes; a really good casting choice. Talking of cast, another great role is Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells, he was a such an interesting character to watch, I really did love all of his scenes. My favourite character was Cisco though, probably because I related most to him being a geek and I laughed at all his movie references. Joe West was also enjoyable to watch, he was basically the common sense of the show, he gave great advice, he reacted to things the same way any normal person would, he just seemed like a great father-figure and our eyes into this world.
     Plot-wise it was mostly your freak-of-the-week deal where they dealt with a new meta-human every week but I enjoyed it anyway, it worked for this kind of premise and allowed the series to show off Barry's various abilities. The overall arc was really engaging too and came to an epic, emotional, and downright entertaining conclusion; one of the best finale's I've seen in a long time.
    The special-effects weren't too bad either, you had the odd obvious CGI moment but for the most part, the Flash's running effect, the meta-human's abilities and the final scenes of last episode all looked great.
  The Flash really is a fun science-fiction drama; it goes to show that you don't have to make all your heroes depressingly dark and edgy, it can be fun and colourful without crossing over into cheesy (although The Flash did not outrun some cheesy lines). I cannot wait for season 2 and hope the spin-off Legends of Tomorrow will be as good.

9/10

Thursday, 21 May 2015

OJ's TV Review - Arrow season 3

Back for a third run is our hero Batman, I mean Arrow!


As you probably know already, Arrow is about vigilante Oliver Queen and his team of friends tacking down criminals in their city. Now, Arrow is known for it's mystery, season one had a twist in almost every episode, but for some reason this season seemed to loose that. It didn't really have much for you to try and figure out at all. There was sort of an on-going case to begin with where they had to solve a murder but that was resolved before even mid-season. Mostly it was your bad guy-of-the-week format and then a story arc involving new villian Ra's al Ghul, which was OK and entertaining enough, just no mysteries which is what made Arrow so good.
    Of course every season has lengthy flashbacks to five years in the past to see what Oliver was up to while away from Starling City, and this time instead of being on a cool island...he's in Hong Kong. After watching the the full season, I definitely preferred when he was on the island, this just didn't seem as interesting and by the end it only amounted to a weak connection to the present day events of the final episode.
   Other than that, Arrow continued to be action packed, have awesome characters and this time it was fun catching all the references to The Flash and the like.

 6/10



Saturday, 16 May 2015

OJ's TV Review - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2

Coulson and his team are back! Well, they added some new people and technically one old member left... also Coulson isn't really feeling himself, so... S.H.I.E.L.D. is back!...oh wait.


As you know, the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was not great, only getting better in the final
episodes; thankfully this season continued on it's path of better quality as it is now actually a pretty decent show.
  Since the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier Coulson has collected a few more team mates and is running special little missions as a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. organization; which is cool to see them as this special task-force in contrast to the big shiny S.H.I.E.L.D. we all used to know. Unlike the first season, this one doesn't do the whole different-case-every-week format, I mean it does have those kinds of episodes but for the most part it's story arcs influence the events which makes it flow nicely and very entertaining as the mystery and revelations make it worth it. It of course had a mid-season break so two different story arcs which are connected but still very different entities, both of which I enjoyed seeing play out.
  Character wise, I loved what they did with them. Fitz & Simmons had a great arc exploring the relationship they have, Skye had a huge role in things and was the main focus of more than a few episodes, we got to see a bit more about what kind of background Melinda May had so the original team were excellent. Three new members joined, one of which was Mac, he was good in his role moving the characters to do certain things when the plot needed; the others were Bobbi and Lance, I enjoyed those two a lot and were very well-defined characters. The only people I weren't as impressed with were Coulson, unfortunately he's quite a bit far from the fan favourite when he showed up in the movies, now because he has so many problems and worries it brings his character to a more serious and sometimes uninteresting personality. Grant Ward as well, although was a really cool character to watch, he had an odd story in the second half of the season which I was not a fan of.
  In the end, the second run of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has vastly improved and look forward to it's future!

7.5/10



Wednesday, 29 April 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Avengers: Age of Ultron

So after a very successful first film in what is a very popular franchise Avengers: Age of
Ultron brings the team back together for another world-saving event.

This time, instead of Tom Hiddleston's power-hungry Loki, it's the menacing A.I. robot played brilliantly by James Spader. And that's what is a really great addition to the film; Spader is such a good bad guy, his voice didn't go through any filters, he did motion-capture for the face so you get all his mannerisms and in an 8-foot robot, that is very effective. The other two new cast members I enjoyed more than I expected too, they did a great job as the enhanced twins and their powers were very enjoyable to watch on screen. Of course our main heroes are always brilliant in their roles and it's great to see them all interact both while battling and in casual situations.
  Plot-wise, it's a very different film from the first, the Avengers are known-all over the world so it's interesting to see what various countries think of them and what they do which they play on well; it also shows that they're not always that invincible, the team gets hit hard in this film more than they have done before and we get to see how they overcome that. All-in-all I really enjoyed the story.
  The only negative things I have to say about the film is that the opening segment lasted a bit long and the final battle didn't quite seem as good as the first film but other than that this is a another fantastic Marvel movie; there are some exciting easter eggs of what's to come and Paul Bettany's Vision is a fascinating addition to the franchise who I am very much looking forward to seeing more of. I give it...

8.5/10

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Fast & Furious 7

Who needs physics right?

I think at this point we can all say the Fast & Furious franchise is quite special. It's so completely stupid, but in a fun way. It's pure mindless action and stunts but we love it, and the fact that the tragic death of Paul Walker just makes this movie a bit more unique.
  Now first off, the opening scene in Furious 7 tells you exactly what this franchise is, I laughed out loud at the over-the-top carnage before me, but in a good way; and from then on it's much the same. You can't really fault the special effects of these amazing stunts which add all the more excitement to what already is a car-themed action movie. You just sit back and enjoy cars fall out of a plane and parachute down because that's what you're there for.
   So with all of that what was the actual plot like? Well this franchise is known for evolving with each film, and this is no different, it still has the backbone of the franchise, with car races, girls, and funky music and some references to the first film which I thought was nice, but now it goes into almost a comic-book like setting with a secret organisation, science-fiction technology and very much ensemble battles. I'm still not sure weather a franchise like this fits into that kind of setting as some of it felt strange and they had multiple plots going on as well which made the pacing a little awkward but all-in-all I enjoyed the majority of it and Jason Statham makes for a good villain.
   Talking of actors, all the main crew work brilliantly together which comes from doing seven films which has built up some strong bonds, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker do amazing jobs and the ending did a brilliant send off to Walker's character showing that once again the franchise is going to change, unfortunately this time due to tragic circumstances but I thought they handled it with wonderful tact.
  As a movie as a whole, it's a fun romp that's not perfect but who cares in a film where The Rock flexes a cast off his arm.

6/10

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Insurgent

I don't want to see every young adult novel adaption, you gotta pick and choose ya know?

So last year I was pleasantly surprised on how much I enjoyed Divergent, it had a good story, entertaining concepts and pretty solid characters. This year we get Insurgent which takes place five days after the end of the first film and is all about the main characters trying to....well...I'm not entirely sure, even they themselves didn't really know until the last act. It's true, the majority of the film is just our main protagonists wondering around doing various things, sometimes hiding, sometimes being chased, or sometimes confessing in a court of law. In the end, it's the antagonist who pushes the story along, Kate Winslet's character is the one who has a goal and sets out to attain it which is really the only interesting part of the movie; I mean I know they have to cut things out of the book and change things for cinema but this really did feel like it was missing a few chapters; the pacing was definitely off.
     That being said, what did save the film at times was the amazing acting of the cast, Shailene Woodley does some impressive scenes along with Theo James and Miles Teller who are all brilliant. The action sequences are also top-notch, they're exciting and entertaining so that's a plus and just the environment itself, the CGI can make for some impressive visuals weather it's the post-apocalyptic city or the awesome dream simulations, all good stuff.
    In conclusion, the story wasn't perfect with clichés scattered here and there but the acting and visuals entertained me so I give the movie...

6.5/10

Friday, 13 March 2015

OJ's BIT Review - Ben-Hur

Today I go Back In Time to 1959 when films became epic.

Without a doubt, this film is epic. In the sense of scale, running time, and overall story, Ben-Hur is quite the masterpiece. If you didn't know, Charlton Heston plays a Jew living in the 1st Century A.D. and after being betrayed by his best friend he falls into a long journey of which he does many things.
    For it's time, this film accomplished as few big things in relation to cinema, the shots and directing was quite unique and the way action was filmed was ground-breaking, especially the famous chariot race, so if you don't like old films, this one does have shades of modern film-making.
  Story-wise, the main character has one simple goal, a goal we've seen many times but his adventure of how he accomplishes it and the things he does after is where the entertainment comes in; you're with Ben-Hur every step of the way and you are amazed at every point in his adventure, yearning to find out what will happen next, which is quite something for a film over 3 hours long. The setting is also quite defined and the huge sets are awesome to look at, having Biblical events as a back drop also adds a certain something, it doesn't force-feed you religion but it makes you aware of it which I appreciate as it adds a deeper layer to the world.
   In the end, Ben-Hur won't be for everyone, but it is an extraordinary piece of cinema if you have a spare three hours.


7/10

Thursday, 26 February 2015

OJ's TV Review - Broadchruch series 2

As the entire cast of Doctor Who move to southern England, we learn more about this town wrapped in secrets.

The first series of Broadchurch was met with an amazing reception; it was quite unlike anything we'd seen before, almost everyone loved it and the whole of the UK seemed to be engaged in this coastal murder. Now we return for another eight episodes to see how life as gotten on. Basically, this time around the show focuses on two big story arcs, which I will talk about one at a time.
   The first one is that of the trial of Danny's killer who was revealed in the series 1 finale; this court case goes on for every episode, putting various characters in 'the block' to give a witness. Now on paper this could seem a bit boring to some, as it is set almost entirely in the court room and we hear descriptions of various scenes from the first series. But the reason I didn't think it was boring was that of the writing, Chris Chinball does amazingly well with scripts, he makes you listen to every word that is being said, the suspense of the dialogue is carried out wonderfully by the brilliant acting of the cast. Two new characters are brought in for this court case, one is defending the killer, the other is trying to prosecute; these two women have history which is only hinted at but not explored fully but it does add a little extra something to the events as they are both well defined characters each with flaws and strengths which you enjoy watching unfold; so the relationship between these two is only minor but still quite engaging. During this series-long trial you also see the damage it is doing to our main characters, including Danny's family and Ellie's which makes for some very emotional and powerful scenes, especially towards the end.
   The second arc that is that of the Sandbrook case which was briefly mentioned in series 1 as a case that David Tennant's character Detective Hardy wasn't able to solve, now due to circumstances it's all been dredged up and he has sort it out with the help of Ellie. Another two main characters are brought in for this story too, that being Hardy's original suspect and his wife who is a witness under protection. These two work brilliantly together and are played by the fantastic James D'Arcy and Eve Myles respectively. As I've said before the acting in this show is perfect, D'Arcy plays such a powerful presence in the scenes he's in which makes you all the more engaged in this mystery, especially is the fact that the murder mystery aspect was what drove the first series entirely. So although the plot only got half the time to be explored, due to the court case, it was still very good at not giving anything away and throwing us a few red herrings until the final episode.
   Now I'd heard that this series of Broadchurch was getting mixed reviews and I think that is because it had to split its focus on two mostly unrelated story arcs which may have brought it down just a bit. Also is the fact that I think Broadchurch is something which should be treated like a film, I didn't watch it from week to week, I recorded all the episodes and watched it in one big batch which pays off considerably as you don't loose the suspense or rhythm. Apart from that, Broadchurch still has stunning cinematography in it's camera shots, excellent writing by Chinball and a very talented cast; I look forward to seeing where series 3 will go,

10/10

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

OJ's TV Review - Agent Carter season 1

Marvel's last series wasn't received to well, I think a redemption has come though.



When I heard there was going to be an Agent Carter TV series, I thought that was great because I loved the Marvel One-Shot they did, I think it's the best one. I think the majority of what's riding on this shows success is the lead; fortunately Hayley Atwell pulls it off perfectly as the titular character. You're with Peggy every step of the way and you know she's a strong, independent character who holds her own. Atwell does brilliantly in this role and am always glad to see her in the films and TV series. Dominic Cooper also returns as Howard Stark who is OK, but can never have the charm and charisma of Robert Downey Jr, so he serves his purpose the show but it doesn't bother me that he's not in every episode. Next I'm going to come to James D'Arcy who plays the brilliant butler Edwin Jarvis; we all love Iron Man's A.I. computer and now I think D'Arcy had done extremely well in portraying it's namesake; Jarvis is one of the best characters in the show, he has some great lines, he is used well in the plot and he really does have great chemistry with Carter which is fun to watch. There are some other characters too who filled various roles for Carter to interact with, mostly the other SSR agents who were all well and good; so all-in-all the cast wasn't bad but Atwell and D'Arcy definitely owned the stage.
      Next I come to plots and story arc. Unlike Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which in the beginning, the majority of plots relied on something which had already been set up in the films and had few original ideas, and also Agent Carter had only 8 episodes thankfully, which negated the need for pointless filler episodes which moved the overall arc more smoothly. So because it all happens before any of the films (except one obvs.) they had to get some good writing; in the end I was intrigued with the mystery and the individual episodes themselves were entertaining enough. The only problem I would say it has was the fact that there wasn't really a specific enemy, no one target; some could argue that there was but he only appeared mid-way into the series and wasn't that impacting. So on the antagonist front, a little weak.
    As a conclusion I will say Agent Carter started off much better than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. it really worked well in the Marvel universe and set up some exciting stuff along with showing us some great characters, old and new.

7.5/10

Thursday, 5 February 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Big Hero 6

America got this two months before Britain! TWO MONTHS!

So Big Hero 6 is the first major animated film based on Marvel comics and of course it is Disney too. It's about a boy genius who, with a bunch of friends, attempts to stop a villain whom he blames for a recent tragedy. Now what makes this movie quite unique, I think, is the look; the world building in the film is amazing, it makes you want to visit San Fansokiyo and it really does look like it has blended the two cites really well, so the visuals are stunning. And of course the animation helps and as always Disney animations are really nice to watch.
     I also loved seeing the different abilities each character had, all the different inventions and what they could do was really fun to watch and really set up the fact that science is really fun and we should embrace it, which was good; the problem is though I don't think they used their powers enough so they showed them using these abilities but only for a very short amount of time.
    Plot-wise, Big Hero 6 was familiar in a lot of aspects but did throw some new elements in there too which kept things balanced between visual references to other films (Baymax' suit is very Iron Man) and downright predictable. In the end I felt the pacing was a bit slow, I kept waiting for the whole thing to really start and get going but, apart from a few really powerful scenes, it always felt as though Disney were holding back for some reason.
     Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie, regardless, there were some very funny scenes I laughed at, some twists I was not expecting, I loved the look and design of the characters, Baymax is one of the best robots in cinema and I think everybody wants one, the micro-bots that the villain uses look awesome and even Stan Lee makes an appearance! So as a conclusion, Big Hero 6 is a good superhero movie, just not the best.

8/10

Sunday, 4 January 2015

The OJ Reviews: 2015 UPDATE


Wow, 2015 already, This is going to be a good year people; let's see, we've got the Avengers taking on Ultron, Jurassic World, and a new Star Wars movie! Not to mention a whole bunch of TV series and other stuff to look forward too!

Right, now for some new stuff. Well... there isn't any. Well... not really. I mean, I think this website is going pretty well, I like my rating system, I like my three posts a month, the views could be better but this is really just a hobby. I am working on an advert for The OJ Reviews, I will put it on YouTube when it's done so there's that. Also, with the month of January exclusively, there might only be two or one posts as it is always an awkward and slow month for movies and TV, so don't be surprised if this is the only January post this year. Otherwise I hope you all enjoy this year! If I do think of anything new to do I'll do it in August for the 3rd Anniversary. Bye guys!