Series Review: Luther – Season 4 (2015)

BEWARE! THE IDES OF ELBA! Um… yeah, that’s all I got, let’s get into the review itself.

Ladies, gents, and non-binaries… “Luther” season 4.

Following the traumatic events at the end of season 3, Luther (Idris Elba) has put himself into a self-imposed leave of absence. He’ll have to end this isolation however when a cannibalistic serial killer emerges, all while dealing with his own personal demons. I have mixed feelings on the storytelling this season. The procedural element is good in itself, there’s nothing inherently wrong done with it. It’s still dark, suspenseful, and really interesting, and it works well. Where the season struggles is with the character and overarching plot developments. The ideas in those departments are in themselves not bad, and they’re generally done pretty well. BUT, this season, compared to the other ones, is only two episodes, so they have to cram a full season’s worth of it into these two episodes, and it makes them feel a bit stuffed, which makes them really draining and wonkily paced. It’s still generally well written, but it does ultimately hurt the storytelling a little bit.

The characters in this are good. Any returning ones are once again well written and interesting, but now with an extra bit of world-weariness that adds a nice extra layer to them. As for newer ones, they work pretty well too. And in terms of acting, I got no real complaints here. Elba is once again fantastic, Dermot Crowley is great, Michael Smiley gets more to work with and is great, and new comers Patrick Malahide, Darren Boyd, Laura Haddock, John Heffernan, and Rose Leslie are all great too. It’s just a solid cast playing interesting characters.

As always, Paul Englishby composed the score for this season, and once again he did a really solid job with it. There’s really not much I can say that I haven’t covered in my other “Luther” reviews. It’s brooding, intense, emotional, and just generally good. The few licensed songs used this season also work pretty well.

Season 4 of “Luther” was, just like previous outings, completely written by series creator Neil Cross, with regular Sam Miller returning to direct. And while I did explain before that the writing within the story is a bit too much dough in too small a baking pan (which apparently was due to scheduling constraints), I can at least say that the craft once again is absolutely terrific. Scenes flow pretty nicely, more action-packed scenes have a great intensity to them, and they manage to wring so much suspense out of the season. I also want to take a second to compliment John Conroy’s cinematography, because it looks terrific and really adds a lot to the show. Once again, it’s just technically stellar.

This season/show has been generally well received. On Rotten Tomatoes the season has a 79% positive rating. On Metacritic the season has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com the show has a score of 8.5/10 and is ranked #249 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

While it’s bogged down by trying to put A LOT of plot into just two episodes, season 4 of “Luther” is still another really enjoyable season of tv. It has a pretty good story, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Luther” season 4 is an 8.95/10. So while flawed, it still is worth watching.

My review of “Luther” season 4 is now completed.

Only one more of these left… dread it, or look forward to it, it kind of depends if you’ve enjoyed seeing me ramble about this show.

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

*Insert comment about Marvel movies here*. Hmmmm *Insert comment about my love for the first “Guardians” movie here*. Hmmmm. Let’s get into it!

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s… “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”!

Set shortly after the first movie, we find Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel) out on another adventure. During their shenanigans they run into Ego (Kurt Russell), an incredibly powerful man claiming to be Peter’s dad. And now we have our favorite intergalactic a-holes in another fast-paced and entertaining journey. But not only does the plot give us a fun space adventure, but it also gives us a pretty engaging plot filled with some surprising emotion and lots of heart. Ego entering the world not only gives further weight to Star-Lord’s arc, but it also helps expand the Marvel universe quite a bit. So yeah, the plot here is really good.

The characters in this movie are colorful, extremely entertaining, and all get a bit of character development. They all also have amazing chemistry with each other, but that should come as no surprise. Chris Pratt is once again awesome as Peter Quill, but not only is he the charming and funny rogue from the first movie, he also gets some really solid development with Ego entering the picture and giving us a really interesting look into Peter’s origin/heritage. Zoe Saldana is once again really good as Gamora, this tough warrior woman that may or may not have something going on with Peter. Dave Bautista was surprisingly good in the first movie, and he gets even more good stuff to work with here. That’s right, he was great. A tough and hilarious badass that we learn more about in the movie. Bradley Cooper is once again amazing as the voice of Rocket, he works really well as a gun-toting asshole raccoon. Baby Groot, firstly… holy shit, he is fucking adorable! Secondly, he could’ve turned out to be just this cute thing that only took part in silly slapstick, but they actually do some good stuff with him in the movie. Not really gonna comment about Vin Diesel’s performance, because I don’t know what can be said about it. Karen Gillan returns as Gamora’s sister Nebula and the development she gets in the movie is really solid and her performance was really good. They also give more space to Kraglin played by Sean Gunn, and he’s good in the movie. Michael Rooker also returns as blue badass Yondu and yeah, he’s awesome. He also gets some mroe development which makes him an even more interesting character. Now, onto the new guys! Kurt Russell as Ego, what is there to say… He’s Kurt fuckin’ Russell, he’s awesome in the role! He’s old and wise and very Kurt Russell-y. I also really like what they did with him in the movie, they did some stuff with him I didn’t really expect. Pom Klementieff plays Mantis, the gang’s new friend/Ego’s assistant, and she’s really good in the role. We also get Elizabeth Debicki as the high priestess Ayesha who I will not say too much about, but she was good in the role. And finally we briefly get Sylvester Stallone as the leader of the Ravagers. While his appearance was brief, he was really good. The entire cast was really good. Next!

The score for the movie was composed by Tyler Bates and it was fine. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but it’s not that memorable or great. It’s your typical superhero/action movie score. Now, with this being a “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie, it of course has a soundtrack that we have to talk about. Not only are the songs in the soundtrack good on their own, but they’re used very well in the movie and makes some scenes even better.

Like the first “Guardians”, this was directed by James Gunn. And once again he fucking nailed it. His shots are very well done and his directing has a very energetic and fun feel to it. It really makes both action and talking scenes quite entertaining to watch. Speaking of action, this movie has plenty of it and god damn, all of it is incredibly fun. The visual effects too are great. Sure, there’s a fuckload of CGI in the movie, but I never found it distracting, it all blended with the pratical humans very well. And the comedy in this movie is fucking hilarious, I laughed a lot throughout the movie. There’s also a huge amount of easter eggs and cameos spread throughout the runtime. Some in the main movie, some in the 5 credits scenes. Yes, 5… and they’re all good. Some set stuff up and some are just there for shits and giggles. Have fun finding them all.

This movie very recently came out, so these scores can change quite quickly. But on Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 66/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,2/10.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a worthy successor the the original surprise hit. I think I still prefer the first movie, but this is till quite great. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, fantastic music, great directing, hilarious humor, and really good visual effects. Time for my final score. *Showtime, a-holes*. My final score for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a 9,87/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is now completed.

Awesome, more music for my playlists!

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

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Everybody loves Marvel (except for DC fanboys who won’t admit they do like Marvel). Personally I am a bit of a fence sitter when it comes to the comic giants. It all depends on the comic/movie/cartoon/series itself. I like Iron Man…but I also like Batman. I like Superman…but I like Thor as well. But that is not the point right now. The point is the fact that Marvel made a movie…about a comic series popular among Marvel nerds…but no one else know who they are. What is this movie? Will I like it? Those are questions we will get answers for today!

Guys and girls…”Guardians of the Galaxy”.

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is a bounty hunter. 26 years ago he was abducted by a bunch of aliens led by the bounty hunter Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker). But now as I said, he is a bounty hunter himself. One day he is on the hunt for this mysterious orb…thingy. When he finds it he is attacked by a man named Korath (Djimon Hounsou). Korath is there to get this orb for his boss, Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). After a quick, but not too graceful escape, Peter (Also called Star-Lord in the movie) makes it to a planet to trade in the orb for cash. But soon he gets hunted down by three very odd people for various reasons. Gamora (Zoe Saldana), who wants the orb. Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and his companion, the waling tree, Groot (Vin Diesel) wants Peter because he has a bounty on his head. Soon they all end up in jail where they meet the very dangerous Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista). Soon they all escape to A. Sell the orb to get a load of cash…and B. Kill Ronan (Mainly Drax). Now this might seem like an odd and not very detailed plot for a movie…and you would be right if I didn’t have my rule…the execution. And I have to say the execution for “Guardians of the Galaxy” is fucking amazing. It is somewhat simple, but fun. They have a straight narrative in this movie and never veers off track. Also…the story is so weird, yet so amazing.

I honestly think the characters are the highlight of this movie. They are amazing! Not only very well-acted, but also incredibly well-written. Let’s start off with the main star(lord) of the movie…Peter Quill. Not only is he the most prominent character in the movie, but he is also the fleshed out. He not only gets a well-written (And somewhat heartbreaking) backstory, but he also got the most personality. Next up is Gamora, she got a great backstory (which you’ll find out about later in the movie) that could actually make it’s own, pretty interesting movie. She is a badass (like Zoe Saldana…oh wait). Next up is Drax. His wife and daughter got killed by Ronan…but that is as far as it goes. They never touch too much on the subject, which kind of makes the character a little underwhelming. It might also be because Dave Bautista is a wrestler…not an actor. Next is Groot, the walking tree. He is a walking tree voiced by Vin Diesel…there is not much. Yet he is a great character. He is kind hearted, badass and only speaks in three words: “I am Groot”. So usually Rocket will have to translate what he said for the others (He and Groot are old buddies). You guys are probably wondering why I finish with the fucking Raccoon…but that is the reason. He is a gun toting, trash talking raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper. He stole the movie. The only character in the movie I had the biggest problem with in the movie was the villain, Ronan. He wasn’t really that interesting. “Avengers” at least had Loki. And “Iron Man” had Obadiah Stane…but Ronan is not interesting in any way. I admit, Lee Pace did a good job…but the character itself wasn’t that interesting.

The music in this movie is fucking amazing. It is as most modern sci-fi/action movies. In that sense I mean it is a mix of original orchestral songs and licensed tracks…and I fucking love that. The most known track is “Hooked on a feeling” which was featured in both the trailer and this movie. But in general…I loved it.

This movie got some of the best visual effects that I have scene in any sci-fi movie ever. I especially loved the effects on both Groot and Rocket…they looked amazing. Also, the camera work, oh my god it was really good! James Gunn really shows how to make a good looking movie. Also, this is the funniest movie I have ever seen (without it being dumb-dumb comedy). Not only funniest Marvel movie, but funniest in general. I laughed so much during this movie.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is one of those movies that got really good reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On metacritic it has a score of 76/100. On imdb.com it got a score of 8,6/10 and is (At the time of this review) ranked #52 on the Top 250 list.

I said some things. Some good things, and one slightly less good thing. But that slightly less good thing doesn’t bring the movie down that much. Time to throw out my final score for the movie! “Guardians of the Galaxy” gets a 9,97/10. It is a fun, action-y, hilarious sci-fi adventure with good acting, great effects and a lot of heart. This movie gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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“Guardians of the Galaxy” is now reviewed.

This will probably end up my favorite movie of the year (Unless “Interstellar” somehow beats it).