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!


Tuesday, 30 December 2014

ORIGINAL VS REMAKE - Broadchurch/Gracepoint

Today ITV's Broadchurch does battle with FOX's Gracepoint.

Original

In 2013 a new series aired on ITV1 about the investigation of a boy's murder in a coastal town in England. I'd seen British crime dramas before, I'd seen  Sherlock and Death in Paradise and that sort of thing so I did actually give this one a miss; what did peak my interest though was the fact that on various websites and forums around the web people were raving about Broadchrurch, the whole of the UK seemed to be entranced with this show. A few months later I got round to watching it and boy, what had I been missing. Broadchurch is one of the most intriguing, emotional, fantastically realistic piece of television I have ever watched, it's plot and characters are so drawing I watched four episodes in one day. It is incredibly well directed, the shots and camera work is beautiful, the script is real, the acting is amazing from everyone. I don't know if it is because I have visited towns like these as I live in the UK (and have actually been to where it was filmed), but I can't get across how real it all felt. Whatever your taste in genre, you need to give Broadchurch a try.

Remake

When I heard there was going to be an American adaption I was disappointed because I am not in favour of films or television being remade for a foreign audience. But because it was the same writer and apparently it would end differently so I decided to check it out. Well, what can I say? Gracepoint is a shot for shot replica of Broadchurch, the scenes are exactly the same, the dialogue is verbatim to Broadchurch and there are very few creative differences. The problem is that it's just not as good, the acting is quite poor, David Tennant's terrible American accent is off-putting and for anyone who saw Broadchurch you could predict every plot point from the word go. I mean, to be fair they did add some new elements, mostly in episodes 4 and 7 and there was a new twist in the finale which were interesting but I'm afraid there was just not enough change for me. Even for new viewers the premise apparently it didn't go down well as the second season has been cancelled.

Comparison

As if I hadn't made it clear already Broadchurch is far superior so for this Original VS Remake, the original wins. Thank you for reading, if you disagree please leave a comment, after all these are just my opinions,


Friday, 26 December 2014

OJ's TV Review - Doctor Who: Last Christmas

Moffat, you haven't redeemed yourself yet, but your on the right path.



So the end of 2014 brings us Peter Capaldi's first Doctor Who Christmas special. It's about a group of scientists trapped on a polar base in the North Pole because of weird alien creatures. To start, I love anything with a premise like that so I knew I was probably going to enjoy this; and I did!
   'Last Christmas' was a really good, solid episode. The plot was really engaging and smart, it had some real good suspense and creepiness. The feel of the episode definitely had vibes from the Alien film (which is acknowledged) and also things like The Thing and even Inception I'm all on board for that and loved the callbacks, so plot wise it was one of the best, except maybe towards the end it started to cross the line but not too much.
   For the characters, this was a good episode, the people on the base seemed realistic and normal, The Doctor has definitely settled into the role and had some great lines of dialogue with Clara who I don't really like but she was good in the episode. And of course Santa Clause himself and his elves. Now, I don't celebrate Christmas but seeing Santa and the Doctor interact was one of the funniest things this year, They did a few back and forth banter which was great and there are definitely some things about Santa we don't know, so maybe a return...? In the end I thoroughly enjoyed the episode and look forward to what series 9 has in store.

9/10



Tuesday, 23 December 2014

OJ's Movie Review - Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Don't lie to yourself, you want a Capuchin monkey too.

You know, Night at the Museum is one of those films where it's not a huge movie, it's not a blockbuster, there's nothing wrong with it, it's just generally not talked about in the film fan world as I've seen it. It is however regarded as a nice family film to sit down and enjoy, so was the second instalment, and this one isn't any different.
  We all know the premise; a special Egyptian tablet makes it possible for all the exhibits in the museum to come to life at night. What I'm glad about is that this third film is not a rehash of the previous two; it's predecessors had a similar theme of a main villain wanting the table,t which were different enough to enjoy but Secret of the Tomb does something completely different with it's plot and execution which is an awesome change I enjoyed a lot. Of course another thing we enjoy with these movies is the actual museum coming to life and they do some really cool stuff with that idea and it's awesome to see these historical figures interact with statues and even paintings!
    They brought us some new characters too which included Lancelot who steals so many scenes and has some great lines, I love that character; also we get Ben Kingsley as King Merenkahre who surprisingly didn't actually have much screen time for a big-name actor. Rebel Wilson as a British security guard didn't quite grab me as the other characters did, she was the comedic relief in what was already a comedy so her presence wasn't really needed and could come off as annoying. In the end Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb was a fun ride just like the first two, it has some awesome surprises I wasn't expecting and all round a good family film.

8.5/10


R.I.P. Robin Williams