Cinema Corner: Gone Girl

Still recovering from the epicness of the Video Games Live concert, I decided to treat myself to David Fincher’s new psychological drama title Gone Girl, which stars Ben Affleck as a young husband who searches for his recently missing wife. The movie looks plain at first, like a regular mystery but then the movie delves deeper and gets more twisted and brilliant, this has to be one of my favorite movies of this year. Today I would be giving my review of the movie, I would highlight my pros and cons and try as much to be spoiler free.

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The movie’s atmosphere brimmed with Fincher’s signature all over it. The foreboding unrest in the characters were present from the very beginning. Ben Affleck plays a nonchalant husband who doesn’t seem to affected with the disappearance of his wife as much as the media would expect him to be. Rosamund Pike delivers a riveting performance worthy of an Oscar nomination as I would originally hesitant on her casting, I was not a big fan of her from her previous works in movies like Wrath of the Titans and The World’s End. Another really strong aspect of this movie where the supporting cast, Carrie Coon who is known for her tremendous work on The Leftovers plays the sister to Ben Affleck’s character. Neil Patrick Harris unhooks his Dougie Howser persona to reveal a creepy character which he played to the teeth. A pleasant surprise for me was Tyler Perry, his role as a sharp talking lawyer caught me by surprise and really left me jaw dropped as I had never seen him portray such a character before. The movie was also able to tap into the moral streams of the audience as most of the issues that were addressed are very relatable to issues in the real world like marriage problems, media coverage and manipulation.

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Like I said previously, this was a David Fincher movie, so he was never hesitant in showcasing some really graphic and dark scenes which helped in conveying the message more to the screen, like a particularly gruesome box cutter scene which I won’t spoil. The movie also delves deep into media perception and how the media can be used as a weapon for and against an individual just like we are experiencing on a daily basis. It shows how easily swayed the media can be simply based on the appearance of a story. It also reflects on the beauty as well as the frailty of a marriage if it’s not properly tended to by both partners. The movie also shows the psychological toll that high expectations can cause on a young child as shown with the children books that were written based on Rosamund Pike’s character by her parents, setting an unrealistic bar for one’s kids can be very dangerous as it could push the kid to extreme mental stress. The movie paints a very detailed mental picture of the things we go through normally in our lives. It was very relatable and parallels most of the common issues around, that’s what makes this movie one of my best movies this year. I just had a little problem with the ending which was pretty abrupt in my opinion. But that’s just me, some others liked it, that’s the beauty of movies, it’s very subjective.

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PROS
-Strong leading actors: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike delivered one of the best performances this year.
-Impressive supporting cast: Carrie Coon, Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris provided well appreciated supporting roles.
-Moral themes: The movie dealt well with everyday activities that happen in the real world without beating you over the head with it.
-Justifiable dark scenes: The violent scenes were well executed and not gratuitous.

CONS
-Abrupt ending: A rather sharp and ambiguous ending that left me wanting

Overall I would give this movie a solid 9 out of 10, I was engaged from the beginning to the end, and it left me thinking about the parallel ordeals in the movie that mirror current events in our world. I strongly recommend this movie to any one who hasn’t seen it. For those worried about Ben Affleck as the new Batman, he looked buff as hell in this movie, combined with his acting, I have no doubt that he would portray a very convincing Batman. Let me know your thoughts for those who have seen it. Feel free to air your thoughts on the comments section below. Please don’t forget to like and subscribe for more entertaining news. Till next time. Szia.

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Video Games Live: My Experience

Last week Sunday had been one of my most anticipated nights in a long time. A concert was held in Budapest which was none other than the flamboyant Video Games Live concert which for those who are unfamiliar with it, is a live orchestral symphony that incorporates the soundtracks from different popular videogames and mixes them with videos and engaging light magic. The night was spectacular has the Hungarian virtuoso symphony played some of the best videogames soundtracks both from old, nostalgic games and the new, popular ones. The event lasted about 4 and a half hours with a 20 minutes intermission in between. I would give a step by step detailed description of my experience. The show was helmed by none other than the energetic Tommy Tallarico who has been the one in charge since the inception of the video games live for over 13 years. He never failed in keeping the audience alive with his electrifying performance and unbeatable charisma. Another dazzling personnel was the gorgeous and celestial Riva Taylor who I would get into later in this post, her ethereal voice lifted the hearts of many in the audience.

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The orchestral hub of magic

The show started with Castlevania, playing some of the games most popular music while showing the evolution of the game itself on a wide screen. The performance was followed up with the classic tune of Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid which was introduced by Hideo himself via recording. Sonic the Hedgehog followed as the soundtrack evolved as the different versions of the game were shown chronologically. A nice surprise followed in the form of Monkey Island, which was a nice nostalgic moment. The classic tune of The Legend of Zelda warmed my heart as the band showcased it. The next soundtrack came from one of my favorite adventure games, Uncharted 2. It was played in parallel with some amazing visuals from the game. The next two performances made my eyes swell with tears as Shadow of the Colossus and Journey were played respectively, Riva Taylor then added her celestial voice to the Journey soundtrack for a more chilling performance. League of Legends followed with its brilliant CGI trailer playing in the background with perfect rhythm. Then another nostalgic curve ball was hurled at the audience as Earthworm Jim and Mega Man were next in the performance. Final Fantasy 8 followed and ended the first half of the evening’s festivities as we went on a 20 minutes break while the band prepared for the next half of the show which was aptly titled Act 2.

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The gorgeous and celestial Riva Taylor

Periodically during the first half and the second half of the show, short hilarious videos were played to warm up the crowd as various video game characters were pitted against each other in a duel which resulted in the superior character decimating the other. For example, Sonic the Hedgehog vs Pac-Man, Contra vs Duck Hunt, Mortal Kombat vs Donkey Kong, Chuck Norris vs Angry Birds etc with the former destroying the latter. The show resumed with a tribute to Walt Disney and tons of Disney characters and movies from Fantasia to Aladdin. World of Warcraft followed with its epic soundtrack and amazing trailer. My favorite sci-fi game followed suit, as the grande soundtrack from Mass Effect lit up the audience. The crowd went nuts during the performance for Skyrim, as the Dragonborn soundtrack was being played. Riva Taylor came back on stage to present her song which she composed for the new Assassin’s Creed Unity, accompanied with an awesome music video in the background. The haunting music from Silent Hill 2 preceded and kept everyone on the edge of their seats. As if the night couldn’t be any better, Halo comes on the screen with its pious-military soundtrack bringing back awesome memories. Another trip was taken down memory lane, as Street Fighters 2 was next. A epic tease followed and Final Fantasy 7 was dropped on us. This signaled the end of the astonishing night as Tommy Tallarico returned to the microphone, everyone was sure it was over before an all too familiar soundtrack from a beloved JRPG ensued, Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross were so unanticipated that they got an excited uproar from the crowd. The event finally closed with Riva Taylor’s performance of Still Alive from Portal. There was a press junket after which gave me the chance to meet Tommy, Riva Taylor and the grand conductor in person.

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The energetic and highly charismatic Tommy Tallarico

Overall the event was breathtaking and astounding beyond belief, I couldn’t believe that I was so lucky to attend a Video Games Live concert. There was some awesome cosplay as well at the event. I hope to catch up to them at a later venue. It lived above my expectations. There were a couple other songs I was hoping for them to play like Battlefield 3 and Deux Ex. What do you think about Video Games Live and have you ever heard about it. I employ you to check it out if it’s taking place around you. You can follow Riva Taylor on Facebook or Twitter @IAMRIVATAYLOR for some really amazing and mind blowing music and Tommy Tallarico @TommyTallarico to learn more about Video Games Live. It’s great to see an event that can blend two of my favorite media of entertainment perfectly. I would later post my top ten favorite soundtracks later. Please don’t forget to like and subscribe for more entertaining news. Till next time. Szia.

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Some heroes decided to join the party

Cinema Corner: Fury

Right after seeing Interstellar last week, I opted to see the new WWII war action drama Fury. I was initially skeptical because I didn’t know what to expect from this movie. I was cynical cause I was afraid that it was gonna be a Hail Murica movie, where the Americans just kill tons of Nazis without any character depth or sentimental values. Boy was I wrong, Fury was a pleasant surprise for me. The director David Ayer has already proven himself in the past with amazing movies like Training Day and End of Watch. Fury was dark and gritty and not in the gratuitous way, the movie really showed the ugliness and reality of war, which I much appreciated cause war is never a good thing as there are always casualties on both sides. I would be reviewing the Brad Pitt lead war movie and please feel free to air your thoughts in the comment section below. I would try to be as spoiler free as possible.

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“Damn we still look good with all this dirt around”

The first thing that I would like to applaud about this movie is the performances by the major actors. Brad Pitt led the ragtag band of war torn soldiers. The story follows the adventure of their war tank named Fury, which was used to hold down a large number of Nazi opposition. The movie does a great job in establishing the characters of the main actors namely Brad Pitt, Jon Bernthal(of The Walking Dead fame), Michael Péna, Shia LaBeouf and Logan Lerman. The chemistry and interaction between the characters inside the tank was well acted and never hindered the progress of the movie at any point. Many people, including me were actually worried that Brad Pitt was simply reprising his role from the Inglorious Basterds, but that was definitely not the case, whereas Brad Pitt was more aloof and lighthearted in the aforementioned movie, he presented a darker and more serious army officer in Fury. Jon Bernthal played a somewhat similar character to his Shane character in The Walking Dead but the difference was still clear. Michael Péna, an actor that I personally think is underrated shines has the lovable driver of the group. Contrary to whatever was going on in his real life, Shia LaBeouf still delivered an excellent performance as the pious albeit restless soldier and last but not least Logan Lerman excelled as the fresh newbie who gradually evolved into a hardened fighter.

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“We want you to join us in fighting the Nazis”

As I had mentioned before, the movie was dark and gritty, but artistic at the same time showing the viewers how actually scary and ugly war can be. I personally could feel for the main characters as they did a couple of crazy and uncouth actions due to the effect of the war. However as good as this movie was, it was never fully able to shy away from the classic Hollywood trope of cliches and predictability. They were various scenes where it was pretty obvious what was going to transpire next. Albeit this did not pull me out of the movie. Another awesome aspect of the movie were the heart pumping tank battles that kept me glued to my seat and desperately hoping for the main characters survival. The sound design was perfect as the roaring thumps of the tanks firing at each other filled the cinema. However the shots been fired by the tanks had green or red colors, probably for highlighting the path of the shots, but this bothered me a bit as it suddenly felt like I was watching a scene from the Star Wars movies. I don’t know if the weapons actually fired like that during the World War 2 saga, but it was a little bit distracting. Nevertheless this did not stop me from enjoying this movie, there was a claustrophobic feeling whenever the camera was in the tank and the characters were talking to each other, one could feel their paranoia and restlessness. Overall I would give this movie a 7 out of 10 Hybrids(yes that’s what I call my rating system) just because aside from some minor issues with the excessive cliches and lightsaber-esque battle shots, this movie delivered at the right place, interesting personalities, excellent chemistry, engaging tank battles, gritty artwork and an awesome foreboding feeling of dread through out.

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“I thought I could adopt some German kids here”

PROS
-Interesting personalities: Each of the main characters were able to stand out in their own way.
-Gritty atmosphere: The movie was never afraid to show the true horrific nature of war, and did not go Murica on us.
-Excellent onscreen chemistry: The chemistry among the main actors was very believable and it kept the audience engaged
-Awesome Tank battles: The vehicular fights were amazing and jaw dropping, enough to make Tom Clancy proud.

CONS
-Predictability: Particular plot points and character motives were easily telegraphed and quite obvious.
-Lightsaberlike battle scenes: The flashing colors of the whizzing bullets were a bit distracting.

The movie was great and has strengthened my faith in David Ayer, who is also set to direct the upcoming superhero movie Suicide Squad, which could also use some gritty visuals and perfect group chemistry. My next review will be on David Fincher’s psychological drama, Gone Girl. What did you think about the movie? Let me know in the comment section below. Don’t forget to like and subscribe for more entertaining news. Till next time. Szia.

Cinema Corner: Interstellar

Ah hoi my trustee crew mates aboard the SS hybridzone blog ship, this weekend had been a very interesting and awesome one. I got the pleasure of seeing three fantastic movies from Friday to Sunday, one for each day, my sheer excitement from the theaters have prompted my friends to coax me into writing movie reviews. To be honest, the reason I deliberately do not do reviews of movies is because I find it hard to blur the lines between spoilers or non-spoilers. It’s a very delicate subject when it comes to spoilers for me, and because of that I am not sure how to review a movie without giving away too much. Is saying that the movie is fantastic a spoiler? Is stating the amazing performance of an actor a spoiler? I never truly know, but recently I’ve been watching other movie reviews and reading some others and I think it’s about time that I practice it on my own. Today I would be reviewing Christopher Nolan’s latest sci-fi drama epic, Interstellar. I saw this movie on the Friday that just passed and my first impressions were mind blowing, eventually I got back home and went over the scenes in my head once and of course found one or two issues with it. We all know that no movie is perfect, and everyone is entitled to their opinion, so without much further delay, here is my brief review of Interstellar.

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“Alright, alright, alright we heading to space”

Basically the movie is about a group of astronauts that are sent into space in order to find another habitable planet for the human race cause Earth was slowly dying. Matthew McCougnaughey does a really good job as the lead along with Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain delivering amazing supporting roles. The performances were really superb, even the young girl that played the role of Matthew’s daughter was phenomenal. The movie kicks off with Matthew and the other astronauts being shot to space and initially follows their journey has they look for a perfect substitute planet for humanity. There were a couple of twists and turns along the way and an overarching theme about love as well, which at times was beaten over my head(a similar problem that I had with Elysium). As for the visuals, this is a movie definitely worth seeing in the cinema, the gorgeous expanse of space has never been as captivating as this, ever since Gravity. The theory of relativity was expertly carried out in my opinion, of course there were times when the dialogue got a bit confusing, but ultimately this movie wasn’t as confusing as Inception or Memento to me. It is also a very deep and thought provoking movie that makes you debate a lot of things with friends after the movie. I was in a three hour discussion with my friends immediately after the movie. Another aspect that I would like to applaud was the score of the movie, it was absolutely rhythmic and perfectly encapsulated the feeling of dread and claustrophobia for the astronauts on board. This has to be Christopher Nolan’s most emotional movie, as he did spend a lot of time establishing the main characters and showcasing the emotional depth of them(something not really common in his other movies). I am now going to highlight my pros and cons of this movie.

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“Space is like a long white line of cosmic cocaine”

PROS
-Mind blowing visuals: Even though Gravity was released last year, Interstellar still managed to leave me awestruck by the grandiose nature of the space travel scenes
-Brilliant Performances: We all know by now that a Christopher Nolan movie is bound to have strong performances has he brings out the best out of the actors and actresses he works with
-Convincing story: The movie explored the themes of fear, redundancy and a drive to explore more beyond our perceived capabilities
-Tense Atmosphere: The film never failed to induce a claustrophobic feeling whenever the onscreen characters were in any form of predicament

CONS
-Excessive runtime: I felt like the movie was about 15 to 30 minutes too long, there were a couple of scenes that dragged on for the sake of exposition.
-Lack of Global scale empathy: For a movie that deals with a dying earth, not much repercussions were shown worldwide to convince me that the whole world needed evacuation apart from Matthew McConaughey and his daughter.

There were a couple other little gripes I had with the movie, but for the sake of spoilers, I’m gonna leave it here. Overall Interstellar was a brilliant and highly ambitious movie done on an epic scale that did not disappoint but could have been grander than it was. This has to be Christopher Nolan’s most emotionally driven movie, as he really brought out the raw talent of the actors which I must applaud as he is taking new risks. I would give the movie a score of 7.5 out of 10, as much as I loved the movie I do not see it surpassing Nolan’s other works like Inception or Insomnia. I may have missed a few things, please let me know what your personal thoughts are about the movie. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Subjectivity is bliss. I would also be putting up reviews for Fury and Gone Girl soon. Please don’t forget to like and subscribe for more entertaining news. Till next time. Szia.

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“Oops I think I just passed gas in my suit”

Marvel Phase 3 part 2

In accordance to my recent post, this concludes the list of upcoming Marvel movies that are planned by the studio. My preceeding list can be found in the post before this one. I’ve been super busy this week and was unable to upload this earlier. I would talk about the rest of Marvel’s phase 3 plan.

BLACK PANTHER
This was my most exciting announcement, this has been a movie that I have been anticipating for years, Black Panther is my favorite Marvel character and it would be great to see another lead black character get his on movie. For those that don’t really know his backstory, the Black Panther’s real name is T’Challa and he is the Prince of an African nation called Wakanda, which is secluded from the rest of the world but highly advanced due to the abundance of a versatile element known as Vibranium(yup the same element Captain America’s shield is made of). He is extremely intelligent, strong and cunning, he dons a black feline costume that is made of Vibranium. Chadwick Boseman has been announced as the actor to take over the role. Boseman is a truly gifted actor, most notable for his roles in 42: The Jackie Robinson Story and Get On Up. Black Panther claws it’s way into cinemas on November 3, 2017.

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"Does this suit bring out my feline side?"

AVENGERS 3: INFINITY WAR
The next installment for the Avengers movies is set to be split into two parts each one a year apart. Kevin Feige has confirmed that the second part would be more of a crossover movie possibly between the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thanos is most probably going to be the big bad guy and it would be loosely based on the Infinity War storyline from the comics which follows Thanos’ pursuit for the Infinity Gems in order to gain near godlike powers. Most of the battles take place in the cosmic universe and would further introduce more cosmic characters *fingers crossed* Adam Warlock. I’m glad that it’s actually being split into two movies even though it’s obviously a ploy by Marvel to make more money just like recent Hollywood blockbusters like Harry Potter and the Hunger Games, but splitting the movies would allow for more content in the Infinity War storyline as it’s gonna be too much to stuff into one movie. Avengers Infinity War part 1 and 2 are arriving respectively in May 2018 and 2019.

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"Check out my power glove"

CAPTAIN MARVEL
Another comic book favorite, there have been different incarnations of Captain Marvel, but it has been confirmed that Carol Denvers is gonna be the character that the movie is gonna be based on. Carol Denvers from the comics was a human experimented on and eventually obtained cosmic powers. Katie Sachoff has been rumored to portray her which I think is a brilliant choice, she has proven to be a badass chicken in Battlestar Galactica and Riddick, another person I would think of would be Emily Blunt, also owning to her brilliant performance in Edge of Tomorrow. Captain Marvel swoops into theaters on July 6, 2018.

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Captain 'Starbuck' Marvel

INHUMANS
Now this was a comic material I know little of, they are kind of like the X-Men, in the sense that inhumans are a race of genetically advanced humans that were abducted by aliens years ago and transformed due to experimentation. They all possess some form of powers due to the presence of a gaseous substance known as Terrigen Mist. They live in a separate city of their own and are viewed as outcasts by others. They are led by a silent powerful inhuman named Black Bolt who never speaks cause his voice is capable of destroying cities. I would like to see Vin Diesel play the role of Black Bolt. The involvement of the inhumans and the Terrigen Mist can be a story plot for the existence of superpowers in the Marvel cinematic universe since Marvel doesn’t have the rights to call their own superpowered beings mutants(a right owned by Fox). Inhumans materialize into theaters on November 2, 2018.

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"You won't like to hear me talk"

All this Marvel news has gotten me jittery and I can’t wait for all this movies to start dropping, what upcoming Marvel movie are you most excited for? Let me know in the comment section below. Don’t forget to like and subscribe for more entertaining news. Till next time. Szia.