Film Review

On Star Wars, Then and Now

Posted by Matthew on April 07, 2017
Editorial, Film Review / 1 Comment

The Star Wars trilogy has never held that special place in my heart that it holds in so many others. That’s not say that it isn’t a staggering work of creative genius, just that there are two types of nerds in the world and I happen to be the kind whose heart is ruled by Trek rather than Wars.

They are staggering works of creative genius though, and I can remember renting VHS copies of all three movies from the local video store in my hometown, and watching them whenever they were broadcast on one of the five television channels we received when I was growing up. I remember taking a trip to the big city to watch the Special Editions in theatres when they were re-released in 1997.

I also remember being over the moon when the trailer for The Phantom Menace dropped. I couldn’t tell you what movie we saw it with, but I remember going to a movie just to see that trailer. Of course I also remember being pretty profoundly let down by the entire prequel trilogy, as were most people I knew (at least the ones who weren’t in denial).

The prequels soured a lot of people on George Lucas, including me. Lacklustre direction, effects over story, and seemingly endless tinkering with all the films for every release was enough to leave a bad taste in any fan’s mouth, and for a long time it seemed like Star Wars might never, you know, be good again.

Then Disney bought Lucasfilm and once again there was hope. Fast forward to the present, we are in a new age where Star Wars is good again and there is much rejoicing. I haven’t rejoiced as much as most though, so while Rogue One was in theatres I watched all 8 movies in timeline order in an attempt to figure out why that is. So here are my thoughts.

Needless to say there will be spoilers.

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Rogue One – The New Normal

Posted by Simon on April 04, 2017
Film Review / No Comments

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is released on Blu-Ray today, so we’ve taken the opportunity for a little love letter.

1977 was an important year for me. Firstly, it was the year I was born, so maybe important is a bit of an understatement. It’s the year Elvis died – we shared a month on the planet before his heart skipped away. And on May 25th, Star Wars was released in America.

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The Films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ranked, 2016 Catch Up Edition

Posted by Matthew on February 17, 2017
Editorial, Film Review / 1 Comment

We’re continuing to shake off the dust around here at Awesome Friday HQ, and one easy way to do that is to update the Marvel Fanboy Marvel Cinematic Universe Rankings. Last year there were two additions to the canon of films, Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange. Each were good, but where do they fit? Let’s take a look.

Last time I did this I grouped the films into three categories, this time I’m doing a straight up ranking. Feel free to agree or disagree with me. In fact, I encourage it.

Now let’s get to it.

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Review: John Wick: Chapter 2

Posted by Simon on February 11, 2017
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John Wick was a low-budget passion project that was fuelled by Keanu Reeves’ singular focus, reinvigorating his career in the process. So what happens when you take its unique style and add sequel money? Exactly what you’d think. John Wick: Chapter 2 takes what came before and expands in almost every direction, and creates some spectacular moments in the process. The problem, though, is that John Wick now wants to be a franchise, and its increased focus on worldbuilding isn’t entirely successful.

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Matt’s Not-Quite Best 12 Movies of 2016

Posted by Matthew on January 06, 2017
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2016 was a good year for film, and anyone who tells you different didn’t see very many films. I’ve already posted my best films of 2016, but there were plenty more films that didn’t make my best of list that you should definitely make the time to see.

So then, let’s take a look at the not-quite best of 2016, presented here in alphabetical order.

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Matt’s 12 Best Movies of 2016

Posted by Matthew on December 31, 2016
Editorial, Film Review / 1 Comment

Hello.

2016 has been conspicuous by our absence. It’s been a hell of a year, one with many ups and many many downs. It’d be easy to say that the downs of 2016 were to blame for the lack of writing here, that the year was just so shit that I couldn’t take it anymore. That’s definitely not the case though as for me personally it’s actually been a pretty great year. It’s the good stuff that has kept me from writing.

I don’t even know where to start with the cultural icons we’ve lost this year. I can’t eulogize them all and even if I did, what more could I say? I could tell you the stories of why Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher are equally important in my headcannon (and I might yet) but in the end it just hasn’t felt like my place.

One thing I can tell you about this year though is that despite all the shit it has been a great year for cinema. So much so that when it came time to figure out my top ten films of the year I couldn’t get the list lower than 12 (and I narrowed it from nearly twice that number).

So, in an effort to get going again, let’s close out this year with the 12 best movies of the year according to yours truly. These are presented in no particular order, except for the two that truly stand out as the best of the year.

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Simon’s Best Games and Movies of 2016

Posted by Simon on December 30, 2016
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Hello.

2016 has been conspicuous by our absence. It almost seems strange that, in a year where everything went wrong, with so many adored artists and creators being whisked off to the afterlife, the events of the last twelve months have barely been registered on Awesome Friday.

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The Top Movies And Games of 2015, According to Simon

Posted by Simon on January 01, 2016
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MMBestOf

Happy New Year! As you may have noticed, we had a quiet second half of the year here at Awesome Friday, but that’s not to say we weren’t busy. It’s the opposite, actually; between work, and kids, and writing an entire bloody book in November, I’ve barely had time to indulge in my twin pleasures of games and movies, let alone write about them. Looking back over the year, there are a number of titles that I wish I’d had the chance to watch and play, but I also discovered I engaged with enough entertainment to put together a list.

So, here is it: my Best Of 2015.

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Review: Spectre

Posted by Simon on November 07, 2015
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Sky(fall)’s the limit.

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Catch Up Reviews: Fantastic Four, Tomorrowland, and Everest

Posted by Matthew on October 21, 2015
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Fantastic Four

Tomorrowland

Everest

It’s a hat trick of not that great movies!

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‘Crimson Peak’ Review: del Toro Delivers A Sensual Ghost Story

Posted by Matthew on October 18, 2015
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Crimson Peak / Tom Hiddleston / Mia Wasikowska

Crimson Peak is billed as a scary movie but isn’t scary. It’s also billed as a ghost story but it’s actually just a story that happens to have ghosts in it. What it is is another entry in the Guillermo del Toro catalogue of movies with pitch perfect atmosphere, in this case dark, brooding, and sensual.

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Review: It Follows

Posted by Simon on October 17, 2015
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Behind you.

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VIFF Review: The Anarchists

Posted by Matthew on October 14, 2015
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VIFF The Anarchists

Did you ever see that movie where a cop goes undercover with a group of criminals and then over time becomes friends with the criminals, falls in love with the lady criminal, feels truly accepted for the first time in his life, and then struggles with whether to turn them in or not? Yes? Well have you seen that movie taking place in 19th century France? No, well then have I got a movie for you!

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VIFF Review: The Lobster

Posted by Matthew on October 12, 2015
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VIFF The Lobster

The Lobster takes place in a world where if you are single for too long you are turned into an animal, and if you really want to be single you have to go live in the woods. It sounds weird, and it is, but it’s also hilarious commentary on our world and relationships and how we sometimes get what’s important wrong. Yes, it’s a bizarre movie, but the best kind of science fiction often is.

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VIFF Review: The Assassin

Posted by Matthew on October 04, 2015
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VIFF The Assassin

The Assassin is a beautiful film in which nothing at all happens.

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