Movie Review: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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While I am typically a guy who likes to play nice and not antagonize anyone I still feel like I have to gloat over the fact that I got to see this movie one week before the people in the US(C)A. BAHAHAHAHA!!! I win, rednecks!!!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Captain America: Civil War”.

After everything that happened by the end of “Age of Ultron”, “The Winter Soldier” and “The Avengers” (also because of something that happened early in this film), the team has been presented with something. This certain something is a sort of contract that will be signed by the U.N. (and “hopefully” by the heroes) that would prevent from taking on superhero jobs on their own. They would basically be under the control of governments and would only be used if deemed necessary. This creates a bit of a divide between the teammates with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) being very positive to this, thinking it’s a great idea because of all the damage they have done. But on the other end of the spectrum we have Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) who’s all like “Hell no, that’s a bad idea”. And while this political (and evnetually physical) confrontation goes on, there are also some more personal problems going on for Cap when his old friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is seemingly framed for committing one of the biggest acts of terrorism in recent (MCU) history. So there are a bunch of stories going on, even a good amount more than I mentioned, but most of them are so small that I don’t deem the worthy of a mention. With so many stories at play, with so many characters being part of it, one would assume that it would just turn out messy and pretty terrible. But guys… you can’t believe how happy I am to say that it all turned out pretty well. And by pretty well I mean FUCKING AWESOME! There are a lot of things at play here, yes, but none of it feels shoehorned in but instead works perfectly. In lesser hands this plot would not have worked AT ALL, but thanks to the directors at hand and the writers we got a surprisingly dramatic and well written story that both entertained and intrigued me from start to finish. It’s both an action movie and a bit of a tought provoking political drama where you see both sides of the argument to a level of understanding they both come from. Yeah… it was a pretty great story in both idea and execution.

I think we can all agree that we know how great the main cast are in their respective roles considering we’ve seen ’em all so many times. I will jsut say however though that they are running on all cylinders here and have never been better. So let’s talk about the newever ones who haven’t really had interplay with the old characters. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) had a seamless transition from solo to team player and was as hilarious (if not even more so) than in his own movie. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) was a pretty good character who got a good introduction into the universe, with Boseman giving a great performance as him. But guys… the best has been (pretty much) saved for last… Tom Holland as Spider-Man. Mother of god, he is absolutely amazing! I am honestly not lying when saying that I think he might be the best Spider-Man/Peter Parker ever put to screen. He is funny, he is geeky, he is clever… HE’S SPIDER-MAN!!! I also wanna say that even though the main villain (not revealing who it is in case ya don’t know) isn’t that great, he still works for the story, at least I thought so by the end of it all. Yeah… we got a pretty great ensemble here. Oh yeah, we also got Mustach- I mean William Hurt back, making “The Incredible Hulk” canon again.

Like in the previous “Cap” film, the music was composed by Henry Jackman (No relation to Wolverine, I swear). And it was really good. The big, orchestral pieces for the big action scenes were there (and were great). The smaller, more dramatic tunes were there (and were great). And then there were other tracks I can’t pinpoint what they could be called (but was still great).

Like with “The Winter Soldier”, this movie was directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. And once again they did a fantastic job directing it. Shots look great and they seem to have perfect control over the entire situation. The action is just like in “Winter Soldier” really great, with there being a lot of gritty and honestly, brutal, CQC fights. Sure, there is a bit of cmaera shake in there, but I see this more as Paul Greengrass shake rather than Rob Cohen *Deep sigh* shake. And that big airport fight that has been teased in trailers and otehr types of advertisements? Yeah, I loved it and think it is one of the absolute best action scenes in any superhero movie EVER. It’s tense, exciting, badass and even funny. Seriously, there is some pretty hilarious stuff in that fight. And I mean GENUINELY hilarious, not “That was shit, let’s laugh at it” hilarious. Speaking of which, for such a dramatic movie there is a surprising amount of humor… all of it actually landing very well for me. Plenty of snappy/funny dialogue, gags and overall lines that are all just great. Also, stay in your seats, people… there are two things after the film’s finished; one mid-credits and one after-credits scene.

Keep in mind that these scores may alter a lot considering it hasn’t come out everywhere yet, this is just as it is right now (as of this review). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,7/10 and is ranked #86 on the “Top 250” list.

“Captain America: Civil War” is the latest MCU movie and I honestly might think it’s one of the absolute best. Like… Top 2 or 3 best. IT has a really great story, great characters/acting, great music, great directing, great action and great humor. Time for my final score. UNDEROOS!!! *Spider-Man tosses envelope to Markus*. My final score for “Captain America: Civil War” is a 9,90/10. It does get the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Captain America: Civil War” is now completed.

I can’t take my mind off of how great this Spider-Man was…

 

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Movie Review: The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

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Hello and welcome to the second part in my series of reviews leading up to “Jason Bourne” this July. For those who might be wondering, I have seen all of these movies before, this review series is just more of a recap of all the movies leading up to the new one. Alright… onwards!

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Bourne Supremacy”.

Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has been in hiding for a while with his love, Marie (Franka Potente). But then he gets pulled into the world of murdersassinating after a CIA operation led by Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) goes to shit. And now Bourne has to figure out what the hell is going on while trying to survive both being hunted by the CIA and a mysterious assassin (Karl Urban) who has something to do with all of this. Not gonna lie, the plot in the movie was actually very investing and very well done… but that was more in spades rather than being a consistently great plot. There were times where I felt that it maybe wasn’t that interesting, that it felt like the few middle episodes of a TV-show. You know those episodes that end up near the middle of a season, those episodes that kind of aren’t as great as the previous/later episodes. The “filler”. Don’t get me wrong, this movie has some well thought out story stuff and even a few really good dramatic bits, but I never felt as interested as when I saw “Bourne Identity”. I don’t know, I guess I’m just weird like that… not being as interested in the plot as some others, wasn’t that great I suppose.

The characters are all intriguing, interesting and fit into the movie very well. Matt Damon was once again great as Jason Bourne, maybe even giving a slightly better performance in this movie than in the first. Franka Potente (despite limited screentime) is really good. Brian Cox returns as Ward Abbott and he is great in his role. Then we also have the return of Julia Stiles as Nicky, a relatively minor character from the first movie. She does a good job. Then we have some new additions too. Let’s start with Joan Allen who plays this sort of CIA big-shot who is going after Bourne. And I will say that she is great in her role, not much else to say there. Finally we have Karl Urban as the mysterious hitman who goes after Bourne… holy shit, he is badass. Let me remind you that this is five years before “Star Trek” and eight years before “Dredd”, so this is an early example of him existing and being badass. Yeah, he’s great.

Just like in the first movie, the score was composed by John Powell. And once again he nailed it. But it isn’t just the same spy-movie stuff as in the first, there are a lot of dramatic and even tense tracks that helps elevate the movie a lot. Seriously, the score is great. And of course, the inclusion of Moby’s “Extreme Ways” is always appreciated.

This movie was directed by Paul Greengrass instead of Doug Liman who did the first movie. And while Greengrass has a much shakier style than Liman, I still don’t hate it. In fact, I kind of really like it, I feel like it really works to the movie’s benefit. While I usually want to hang myself when watching something with shaky-cam, this is a movie where it works. I feel like it makes everything a bit more intense. Speaking of intensity, the action in the movie is really intense and also really badass. There are some good fights, some good shootin’, some good chases… the action is really good.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 73/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

“The Bourne Supremacy” is a good movie. It has a good (not great, maybe a little unfocused) plot, really good acting, great music, really good directing and great action. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “The Bourne Supremacy” is a 9,35/10. While flawed, I still think that it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “The Bourne Supremacy” is now done.

Look forward to the third part in the review series, coming this May.

Movie Review: Ant-Man (2015)

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With “Civil War” just around the corner, and by around the corner I mean that it comes out tomorrow but I might not be able to see it until saturday because of the company I keep, I deemed that it was finally time for me to see the last entry in the MCU that I had not seen yet, please don’t kill me.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ant-Man”.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) just got released from prison. However his life outside of the bars isn’t going to be the easiest after he ends up taking another job where he steals a special super-suit from scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). So now Scott has to work with Hank and also Hank’s daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) to pull off a big heist to more or less save the world. Basically it is “Iron Man” combined with “Ocean’s Eleven” when it comes to the style of the story. Don’t misinterpret, I am not saying that “Ant-Man” is as good as eitehr of those movies, but that it feels like a mix of the both. And I have to say that I really enjoyed the experience of watching this play out. It’s actually kind of refreshing to have a Marvel movie on such a small scale where the entire planet isn’t TOTALLY at risk. It’s a fun, fast-paced trip and I enjoyed every minute of it.

The characters in this movie are all very entertaining and all work pretty well within the story. Paul Rudd is fantastic as Scott Lang, he is likeable, funny and his performance overall was really good. Michael Douglas, an actor I like but haven’t seen much from recently… holy hell, he was great as Hank Pym. Seriously, I haven’t seen him this great in a lot of (if any) recent stuff. Evangeline Lilly was great as Pym’s daughter and the two had really good chemistry with each other. Michael Peña plays Scott’s buddy who kind of helps him after he’s released from prison… seriously, pretty much every word out of that guy’s mouth is comedic gold. He is so great in the movie, he constantly had me chuckling/laughing. Then we have Bobby Cannavale who plays a police officer who now has a relationship with Scott’s ex-wife… yeah, he’s great. The last one I want to mention is Corey Stoll who plays the main villain, Darren Cross/Yellowjacket… how do I put it… he’s kind of a mixed bag for me. I do think Corey Stoll gives a good performance in the movie and when he puts on the Yellowjacket costume he is absolutely badass… but as a villain he isn’t that compelling, kind of standard stuff here. His motivations aren’t that interesting and I won’t really remember him too well after this I think… at least his acting was good.

The score for the movie was composed by Christophe Beck and it was actually really good. Sure, some of the tracks sound like your typical superhero stuff that doesn’t sound bad but you’ve heard it a billion times. But then there are tracks very reminiscent of tracks for a whole bunch of different heist films and I thought that was really cool and that it really worked for the movie.

This movie went through some problems as it was getting made. Originally it was supposed to be directed by Edgar Wright (which would have been amazing), but then he dropped out due to creative differences between him and Marvel. Then it went through some different hands until finally landing in the hands of Peyton Reed (oh boy). And while I think that whatever Edgar Wright would’ve conjured up would have been much more interesting/better, I have to say that I am happily surprised with how Reed handled the direction of this movie. It is quick, it is smooth and it’s overall very well done (Still wanna see Wright’s version). The action scenes too, holy shit, they exhilarating and really entertaining. The way they use Ant-Man’s shrinking technology for the action scenes is very creative and makes for some very fun and awesome scenes. I will also say that the visual effects are overall really great. The writing is also really good, with a lot of clever and funny dialogue that kept me entertained/laughing. Also, like with every Marvel movie I recommend that you stay through the entire credits for some pretty sweet stuff. Also look out for some pretty cool cameos throughout the movie.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“Ant-Man” is one of those strange supereroes that I’ve for a long time wondered how he would make it on the silver screen. Well I can safely say that his first outing is a good start. The movie is fun, fast-paced, heartfelt, well acted, well directed, well written, funny, has great action and is just pretty damn great. Yes, the villain isn’t very compelling, but I guess he’s servicable. Time for my final score. *Shrinks* Damn it… My final score for “Ant-Man” is a 9,76/10. While flawed, I think it deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Ant-Man” is finally completed.

*Grows to normal size* Gotta stop leaving the buttons so easily accessible. 

We got a new “Jason Bourne” trailer

Hello there, time to talk trailers (alliteration is fun). More specifically, let’s talk a trailer that I’ve known about for a few days that I’ve been waiting for with a lot of anticipation. If you didn’t check the title, this is the new trailer for the upcoming movie “Jason Bourne” which honestly might be my most anticipated movie of the year, has been that for a while actually. And now we got our first “real” trailer for it if we don’t count the Super Bowl trailer. While I’m not a big fan of it just using the character’s name as the title, I am still really looking forward to it… so let’s discuss this shit.

This trailer did kind of what the Super Bowl trailer did by keeping the plot really vague. However we do get a slightly bigger idea of what the plot might be about thanks to this trailer. But still, I am not very good at analyzing stuff, so please don’t be surpised if my “analysis” disappoints you. So from what can be gathered from the trailer, Jason (Matt Damon) is coming out of hiding. My theory is that Nicky (Julia Stiles) has convinced him to do that, but it’s difficult to say anything precise about it. It also seems like Vincent Cassel will be playing some hitman of some kind and from what I can gather, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. We also get some clips of badass action that looks really intense. Also, Tommy Lee Jones… can never go wrong there. “Jason Bourne” is set to come out in late July of this year.
So what do you think? Are you looking forward to this movie? Are you a fan of the previous installments? Leave your answers in the comments. Also, look forward to my review of “The Bourne Supremacy” coming soon.
Have a good one!

The “Magnificent Seven” remake just got a trailer

Evenin’ to y’all, hope yer all enjoyin’ yerselves. I’m sorry, I can’t keep that going throughout this thing, would be much easier with my voice instead of my keyboard. But why did I go all southern and cowboy-y? Well if you couldn’t read the title of the post, we have finally gotten a trailer for Sony’s/MGM’s remake of the western classic “The Magnificent Seven”. Sinful cinematic confession… I haven’t actually seen the original 60’s film starring every big-name actor of that time. But with this movie coming out later this year, I just might have to finally check it out. Also the TV-show starring Michael Biehn, that might just finally be watched.
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So for anyone unfamiliar, the story of this is about a group of cowboys coming together to protect a village against savage thieves. Here’s the fun part though… the original “Magnificent Seven” is originally based on a Japanese movie by Akira Kurosawa about a group of samurai (yes, that’s the plural) who come together to help a village out. As you probably know by now, I absolutely love westerns, it’s practically my favorite genre of film. So of course I was interested in seeing this based on that fact, but then it also happens to feature some pretty cool things in it that makes it seem even more interesting. First off, it’s directed by Antoine Fuqua, a man who truly knows what the hell he’s doing behind that camera. Secondly, the cast is absolutely terrific, featuring people like Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Peter Sarsgaard and many more. And third… the trailer is pretty fuckin’ awesome. It features some decent lines, some really cool action and a really badass cover of “House of the Rising Sun”. I was a bit skeptical before, but after seeing this I am totally on board.
While not having gotten an official release date here in Sweden yet, you US and UK people will get it on the 23rd of September of this year.
Are you guys excited to see this movie? Leave me a comment and let me know.
Have a good one!

Movie Review: Atonement (2007)

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How one simple lie can change the entire course of someone’s life… quite astonishing, really.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Atonement”.

Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) is a young, upper-class girl who aspires to become a writer. However her life kind of takes a turn for the not very good when she accuses Robbie (James McAvoy), her older sister’s (Keira Knightley) lover of doing something he actually didn’t do. This of course changes everyone’s lives in a pretty major way. I have to say that the basic story is one I find really interesting. Like I said in the intro, how one lie can change everything is simply astonishing. I also like that they present certain events in the story from multiple perspectives. And the ending… I applaud it for being so ballsy, it’s a really good ending.

Where the story was surprisingly interesting, the character department is where this thing kind of, sort of falters a bit. None of them every really develop, they all just kind of never learn anything or change… like a person would. Sure, you get some mild development from Briony’s part, but that is still very minimal. The acting though is pretty good. Saoirse Ronan is great as young Briony, giving a really good performance (for her age, at least). Keira Knightley is really good as well even though I still prefer her in “Pirates of the Caribbean”. James McAvoy is terrific in the movie, giving a nuanced and layered performance. Here is what is interesting though: the acting is really good, but Knightley and McAvoy who are supposed to play passionate lovers in the movie, mind you, don’t really have that good’a chemistry. I never really believed them to be the lovers that they were supposed to be. At least the acting was good I guess, even though the characters were uninteresting and the chemistry didn’t really exist.

The score for the movie was something interesting to listen to during the movie. It was composed by Dario Marianelli together with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. It is for the most part your typical period-drama music, but then they added an interesting twist to it… a typewriter. I know it sounds crazy, but trust me… there is a god damn typewriter in the soundtrack. I believe it goes together with Briony being a bit of a writer, so they use the typewriter to create some interesting sounds to go together with the rest of the score. And while it can get a bit distracting from time to time, overall it does kind of work.

This movie is pretty well directed. Everything looks pretty nice, evne if they use a lot of different camera techniques throughout the first act of the movie. Seriously, I noticed a whole bunch of different styles being done over the first third of the movie. But that’s okay, because overall it is a well directed movie. Especially a scene during the second half that has a single-take shot that is about five minutes long… I actually sat in the classroom (we watched it during literature class) and whispered to myself “This shot ist still going on, isn’t it? This hasn’t been interrupted once… holy shit”. And before we go any further, I will say it… this movie is total fucking Oscar-bait. It has all the signs of it, there is no denying it… Anywho… good job with the directing, Joe Wright.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 83% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10. The movie won an 1 Oscar in the category of Best Original Score. It also got an additional 6 nomainations in the categories of Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Ronan), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.

“Atonement” is a bit of an interesting thing. It has a good story, not very good (but at least well acted) characters, an interesting original score, good directing and an ending that made me appreciate it a bit more than if it would’ve been different. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Atonement” is an 8,22/10. While I think it is pretty overrated, I do still think it’s worth a rental.
Rent it

“Atonement” is now reviewed.

Oh, I’m going to get some shit for this… Bring it on.

 

Beyond the Cover Blogathon: Shutter Island

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Hello there, ladies and gentlemen of the internets. I believe you’re asking yourself what the hell is going on here, and don’t worry, I will explain it all to you. I decided about a week ago(ish) that I would take part in a Blogathon held by the terrific Kristina of Speakeasy and the also terrific Liz of Now, Voyaging. The theme of this Blogathon is “Beyond the Cover”, or “Movies based on Books” as the simple man would call it. I found the idea rather intriguing and had the thought “Hey, I read books and I watch movies… maybe I should take part?” and then I signed up. So now we’re here, ready to take on this topic.

The book/movie I have chosen is “Shutter Island”. The book came out in 2003 and was written by Dennis Lehane (Sidenote: He might honestly be my favorite author). Then the movie came out in 2010, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley. As you might’ve been able to tell, this isn’t going to be a conventional review. Instead I will see what the movie did different to the book and also compare the characters and their interactions (Minor spoilers might occur). But I might still give you a normal review of the movie as well in a separate post because, why the fuck not. So let’s do this stuff.

Teddy Daniels
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Edward “Teddy” Daniels is the main protagonist of both the book and the movie (where he’s played by Leonardo DiCaprio). Overall there is no major difference between the two characters, both are U.S. marshals from Boston (Like all Lehane protagonists), both have the same backstory. The only real difference is that there is a slight difference in how he’s physically described in the book and how he’s portrayed in the movie. In the book we get a brief mention that his head is shaved and that he’s a pretty big guy. He is also supposed to look pretty rugged. And in the movie he has a decent amount of hair on his head and he is also not a particularly big guy and he has the face of a DiCaprio. He’s pretty average when it comes to his physical attributes. He is a troubled character, but that is one of the things that make him interesting. DiCpario also does a good job of playing him.

Chuck Aule.
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Chuck Aule is the partner who had been assigned to help Teddy with the investigation of Rachel Solando’s disappearance. In the movie he’s played Mark Ruffalo. What makes this comparison interesting is that there are some differences in both physical description (sort of). In the book he’s described as being about 5’9” (180 cm) tall and a maybe not in perfect shape. He also has hands that look a bit too small in proportion to the rest of the body. In the movie (like I said before) he is played by Mark Ruffalo who is about 5’8”. But with the rest of the appearance (hair/skin) it seems they are pretty close in resemblance. But the biggest difference comes to how he’s portrayed. Ruffalo plays him very well, actually nailing the essence of the character. But in the book he is fucking hilarious, constantly having great lines. In the book he acts as both a comic relief and a serious marshal who helps Teddy. But in the movie he doesn’t have nearly as much awesome stuff to say which is a little sad.

Dr. John Cawley
Ben-Kingsley

Generally speaking, he’s the same. Nothing to add really. Ben Kingsley’s great.

 

Story
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The basic story is (for you unfamiliar few) that two U.S. marshals are sent to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a patient there. Basic plot is pretty much the same in both the book and the movie. The only differences come in the form of parts being left out. There is for example a part in the book where Teddy has an argument with his dead wife Dolores which ends with him accidentally cutting himself while shaving and being pissed at her. The ending is basically the same as well, I won’t go into detail about it because I’m sure there are at least a few out there who haven’t read the book or seen the film. I’m just saying, they’re basically the same with minor changes done in the film.

Dialogue

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LD – “Ya know that asshole, Markus?” BK – “Yes?” LD – “Yeah, he’s got a great blog.”

This might seem like an odd topic to bring up, but it’s one that I’ve been givin’ some thinkin’ over the past… day. To prepare for this post I read through the book (for the fourth time) and also rewatched the movie (third or fourth time seeing it) and I noticed some things regarding the dialogue in the movie. While the basics of it is intact, a good amount of dialogue has either been altered or removed. I mentioned before how Chuck doesn’t say as much fun stuff as he does in the book, and that’s just the start of it. Relatively large chunks of dialogue that existed in the book has been removed, including a good amount of dialogue from the final confrontation near the end. Having read the book and then moving on to the film in such a quick succession makes these changes very clear which actually annoys me a little bit. I guess a lot of these exchanges were cut out to keep the runtime on the shorter side, but I wouldn’t mind if they made the movie a bit longer to keep those really interesting bits of dialogue in it. But I guess they wanted to keep it at a higher pace and not keep people watching for “too” long… *sigh*.
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What the movie did well
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The previous bit might’ve made me sound like I was just complaining about the film, so let’s just relax and quickly talk about what it did right. The plot holds very well, Scorsese’s directing is terrific, all of the performances are somewhere between really good and fantastic, the music choices (though few) are great, the cinematography is gorgeous and the ending (if you think about it) is absolutely terrific. The movie is also very suspenseful makes for a really interesting and gripping watch.

Conclusion
So those were my thoughts on the book/movie differences for “Shutter Island”. What do you think of this movie? What do you think of the book? Leave any and all thoughts you have in the comments. Also, I might post a regular review for it as well in the near future. So maybe look forward to that! With that said, I will now leave you with a goodbye of some kind and my favorite image/still from the movie.
Have a good one!
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Great Music #12

Hello there, my dear friends and followers. Some of you might’ve expected some kind of trolling/April fools joke here, but I can promise you that there’s nothing like that. All I wanted to do was a share some great music with you.

So the song I am sharing this late evening is “Will You Still Love Me” by rock band Chicago. But this isn’t really anything like the type of “rock” songs I typically share with you, since it is more like an 80’s power ballad that mixes rock and pop. It’s a love story, and while it may seem like your typical thing at times, it still shows what it means to just be a great song that is both easy on the ears and powerfully done.
Enjoy!