Thursday, 4 September 2014

OJ's TV Review - Falling Skies season 4

This is not a world I would like to live in.


So TNT's Falling Skies has reached it's 4th season, where can they go now? Well if you remember last season we were introduced to the character of Lexi, a human-alien hybrid and daughter of Tom Mason; this year she is grown up due to her extra terrestrial DNA and she is the main plot of the season.
   When the season began various characters were quickly thrust into one of four story arcs; I felt this was weird, I thought that each story arc was going to drag over the whole season and then meet in the finale. Fortunately that isn't what happened, although some of the arcs were interesting they dispersed with them around episode 5 and it got into the main focus of Lexi. Now Lexi did have a solid and complete story, but I, and I know others do, didn't really care. Lexi just never caught my interest, she never did anything which I really wanted to follow. Her story does allow us to see some new things concerning the Espheni though and that was cool to see; the series definitely looks like it has had a budget rise. All the main characters were on top form though, and we even had to say goodbye to some; a couple of new faces joined as well and they were fun to watch. After all that though I'd say it was an improvement on the last season with a good finale cliffhanger but still not quite as good as the first two seasons.

7/10


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

OJ's BIT Review - A Trip To the Moon

For this special Back In Time review I will be looking at the first film ever made.

Originally called Voyage dans la Lune, this film was made in 1902 and is considered to be the first actual film made - of course the definition of film is up to you as the first ever motion picture was back in 1878 - but this is a movie specifically shot to entertain an audience, it had a plot, characters and special effects.
   The story consists of a group of astronomers (who seem to resemble wizards) who travel to the moon and then meet alien beings. Although compared to today's films it could seem quite boring this just shows how it all began, and to an audience in the early 20th century elements of this could be creepy and strange as it had never been done on this scale before. I think A Trip To the Moon just shows us how far we've come in the last century; just over 100 years of cinema and we have CGI, 3D, motion-capture, fantastic concepts that really did seem alien in 1902. This film has also inspired much pop culture media as well and the most well-known is probably the 2011 film Hugo which stars Ben Kingsley as Georges Méliés - the creator of A Trip To the Moon, that film in its own right is fantastic but it's nice to see the roots of cinema, and what it looked like. So if you've got about 12 minutes to spare then I recommend you watch this 1902 icon, you can find it on YouTube easily, then you can contemplate that you can watch footage that was shot over 100 years ago.

9/10


Friday, 22 August 2014

The OJ Reviews 2nd Anniversary


Well hello there. It's been two years since I started this little website and already I've done 104 reviews! If you're new to my site then welcome, and these anniversary posts just show you some site stats, changes to the site and upcoming reviews.

Stats

Numbers

Page views of all time - 23, 558
Comments of all time - 7
Total Members - 9
Top Three Countries that visit The OJ Reviews - 
  1. United Stated (11434)
  2. United Kingdom (3437)
  3. Germany (1109)

Posts

First Ever Post - OJ Reviewing: Megamind (http://bit.ly/1nQ3SN5)
Most Viewed Post Ever - OJ's TV Review - Person of Interest season 2 (http://bit.ly/1rapOFd)
Longest Review Ever - OJ's Movie Reviews - Transformers 1, 2 & 3 (http://bit.ly/V6Yrlj)
Shortest Review Ever - OJ Reviewing: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (http://bit.ly/1c4lpvT)

Changes to the Site

Right, now the only things I'm changing about The OJ Reviews is just the way I review media.

First off, when I write my review instead of keeping it in one big chunk of text, I'll split it up into paragraphs making it easier to read and separating different thoughts or opinions.

  Secondly, the rating system, I've tried going by words or descriptions for the past year and I didn't really feel it showed my ultimate conclusion accurately enough so now I'll simply be doing it out of ten, which will look like this:

10/10

 

Upcoming Reviews

After this post I will be doing a Back In Time review of what's considered the very first film ever made. After that I plan on reviewing films such as Kingsman: The Secret Service starring Colin Firth, also The Judge with Robert Downey Jr. and Christopher Nolan's space epic Interstellar. With television I'll be looking back on season 4 of Falling Skies, Peter Capaldi's first run in Doctor Who and next year I have a whole load of Marvel including Agent Carter and Daredevil. With games I'm still planning on LEGO Marvel Superheroes which is late due to a technical fault and the only book I'm reading is Exposure so expect those soon!

Shoutouts and Thanks

I'd like to thank two people who gave me a shoutout in the past year those were Hayden Lang on his website 52 Movies in 52 Weeks and also @primeval_official on Instagram gave a shoutout to one of my Primeval reviews so thanks guys! 

So that's basically it for this anniversary post; I always enjoy doing my reviews and get great pleasure when I see new members start to follow or even people commenting and giving a +1! Don't forget, The OJ Reviews is also on Instagram, Google Plus, Rotten Tomatoes, Tumblr, and Pinterest - links at the very bottom of the website. Bye!

Monday, 18 August 2014

OJ's Top 5 TV Series That Lasted 1 Season

You know the story, a new television show starts, it looks pretty good. You start watching and half-way through you're really getting into it, and then just a few days later it's announced that it has been cancelled, usually due to low ratings. Well, to celebrate the two year anniversary of The OJ Reviews, here is my list of the top 5 TV series I enjoyed watching until getting brutally cancelled after just one season.

5. Alacatraz

2012's Alcatraz starred Sam Neill (from Jurassic Park) and some other people; the basic premise was that in the 60s all the prisoners in Alcatraz just disappeared, now in the 21st century they've started reappearing and committing crimes. A detective woman and some author start to solve the mystery. From what I remember it wasn't that bad, the actors were your basic television acting but the story, the start off with, was compelling; it was very episodic with your inmate-of-the-week style pattern but with a loose story-arc or two I watched week after week. Now in the end it got cancelled which unfortunately made for a rushed ending and bit of a lame finale. If they had carried on it could have gotten better as it had potential. 


4. Terra Nova

Famous for being the"most expensive television show ever made" Terra Nova came to us in 2011 and was about a colony of humans from the far future who had travelled back in time to the age of the dinosaurs due to there being nowhere to live. I really liked Terra Nova, the concept was cool, the world was interesting, the overall story-arc was a little weak but the individual stories weren't to shabby and the visual effects were for the most part pretty good, I remember watching a huge Spinosaurus and thinking that it was some good CGI. If you wanted some hard sci-fi complete with future tech and dinosaurs then this was the thing to watch. In the end, production costs were too high for view ratings so low and thus it was ended.


3. Almost Human

This year came a new police crime investigating series starring non-other than Karl Urban, a face already known to sci-fi fans. Unlike other series of this genre though, Almost Human is actually set in the future of 2048 which makes for some interesting stories because it isn't just modern crimes with the future as a backdrop, the crimes committed fully embrace the futuristic technology. The characters as well are entertaining; the banter makes you laugh, the script is pretty solid and apart from a very weak series arc due to it's cancellation, I would have definitely watched season 2.


2. Firefly

I know, many people would put this at number 1 on a list like this and I don't blame them; Firefly was a Joss Whedon creation and was about a crew of criminals zooming about space looking for jobs. It had great humour, the stories were solid, characters you took to and just a really unique television series. Unfortunately the Fox channel messed some things up and it never got renewed; there was film to wrap things up but it wasn't as good and a lot of potential had to go to waste.


1. No Ordinary Family

In 2010 No Ordinary Family was brought to our screens; the cast included a few familiar faces and it was all about superpowers. It was good family sci-fi drama, it was fun, enjoyable and the special effects for the powers were good. I liked the relatable tone and the comedy blended well with the serious story-arc. All together it had 20 episodes and I really wish it hadn't have been cancelled. I think it if it was on TV now it would do better as the superhero genre is very big at the minute but No Ordinary Family, along with Firefly, I'd really like to see return.




Well, that's my list. Do you agree with me? What shows do you want to return? You can comment below if you want or give this post a +1 if you enjoyed and share it if you think someone else will too. Thanks for reading; bye!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

OJ's Movie Review - Guardians of the Galaxy

I am Groot.

Guardians of the Galaxy. For me, one of the most anticipated movies of the year; it's set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but features characters that the majority of us have never even heard of. I was very excited going in to this so lets review. The basic premise is that a group of criminals, of various degrees, join together to stop a villain from destroying a world, I know, it sounds like a lot of sci-fi films, but that's it! This movie has so many science fiction elements but no where does it ever feel like a rip-off, it is most definitely it's own thing. I'll start with the story, as I just said it covers some familiar ground but it does it so uniquely it is extremely entertaining, from not just a plot view but also nostalgia from the great sci-fi epics you love; you do get a Star Wars feel, and then you start getting a Star Trek vibe and even Indiana Jones for some of it; but because James Gunn does a fantastic job writing and directing it is comprised of brilliantly unique twists and scenes and characters that any comedy/sci-fi fan will love. Chris Pratt as Peter Quill was entertaining, Zoe Saldana was both interesting and fun as an alien assassin; of course the voice work to both Rocket and Groot were top notch with Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel respectively. Even the wrestler-turned-actor was really good in his role as the very literal Drax bent on revenge for his family and delivered some awesome lines. Talking of lines, the dialogue in this movie is the best; the comedy, the tone, the banter it all works, definitely a few laugh out loud moments. Obviously it's a Marvel movie so the special effects are some of the best you're going to see, with mixing huge real sets with visually stunning CGI of space, and worlds and the colours are very pleasing to the eye. The only bad things I've heard about this movie was that it had a weak villain but for me Ronan had a very powerful presence, I feel that a lot of villains in the MCU have been quite weak (with the exception of Loki and possibly Red Skull) but this guy I enjoyed, he felt like a threat. My personal gripe with the movie was only very minor, first off, the beginning had a very dramatic scene and then literally seconds after it went full comedic which I thought was an awkward transition and secondly was Thanos, he was OK in the plot but Josh Brolin's american accent I felt was very obvious for an alien titan and took me out of the movie slightly. Apart from that Guardians of the Galaxy was, and always will be, AWESOMENESS.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

OJ's Movie Review - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

This movie is actually the definition of intense.

I've been looking forward to this film for while, back when I watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes I thought that it was such a well made movie and looked forward to where it was going. Now I finally get to see what has become of Ceaser and his tribe, and boy did I.  Dawn starts off showing us an average day in this society the apes have built up in the last 10 years; and that just to start off was fascinating, the shots you see, the feel of it all is just unlike anything you've ever seen. Soon after you start getting the plot, the humans need to get to a big dam to restore power but the forest of the apes blocks their way. Now through the various interactions between apes and humans you are holding your breath just hoping for both their sakes every single meeting between them goes well, you can feel the power of such a sight of these apes and how scary they must be; even within the ape tribe itself you see trust issues start with one of the apes - the incredibly freaky-looking Koba. You can also see from the humans apocalyptic camp how they're getting so desperate you know that the climax isn't going to be nice. Now with this story you may start predicting certain events but after jut a few more scenes you realise the plot is going a completely different way, there were most definitely a few surprises in there for me, so as whole, the storyline was fantastic. The actors themselves, well, who can fault Andy Serkis, the king of motion-capture does an excellent job, I love how realistic this apes moved and look, just great; the humans although weren't bad actors I just wasn't as involved in their lives as I was the apes, I had been with Ceaser longer so these new people we had to like just were OK, not bad but nothing special.  Of course I have to touch on the special effects, the CGI in this movie was out of this world, some of the things you see I probably couldn't distinguish between physical prosthetics. The feel and tone of this film is so unique you come out the cinema thinking 'wow'. The only critique I have is probably that there are one or two cliché events or lines of dialogue but in the end Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was AWESOMENESS.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

OJ's Movie Review - Transformers: Age of Extinction

I think I may be watching this franchise just out of habit now.

So after the first three Transformer films we were told that was it, end of a trilogy but nope, here is yet another Transformers. Now I really didn't like the last one, Dark of the Moon I thought was just a bad movie in general and didn't really want to see any more, but then like many others I hear of the cast change and I like Mark Wahlberg so I decided to give this a try. First off, this movie goes to some very different places than what we've seen, not only does it feel different because of the cast but the concepts and ideas that they touch on or imply change this franchise drastically; although I still think the first movie is the best out of them all this movie has elements that seem to be headed on the right track, there aren't really any generic giant robots that are used as cannon fodder, this movie, like the first, gives you defined recognisable characters, both heroes and villains. The new Autobots had their own personalities and the main villain had an interesting character; then there's the humans, Wahlberg was great in his role and his family were an enjoyable group to watch, Stanley Tucci was awesome and even Kelsey Grammer was a good government baddie. The comedy has improved too, like the first movie I genuinely laughed at some of the jokes, I mean you still get some Michael Bay unrealistic humour which is a bit awkward but what do you expect. Now that brings me to some negative points, it is after all a Michael Bay Transformers movie, the explosions are over-the-top I mean to the point where you think every battle is the climax, way to much. And then there's that thing that the third movie started doing and that was giving the robots saliva and blood. I mean so it's supposed to be oil or alien liquid but what robots vomit or spit? It's a problem I find annoying anyway. By the way there are two plots in this film, the main one about this alien bounty hunter/pirate, I didn't mind, the second one about some secret science project I wasn't a fan of, it seemed a bit unnecessary and then they did a twist near the end which I was not a fan of so yeah, Transformers: Age of Extinction is still very much like the others and even 20 minutes of Dinobots didn't help; the first act was brilliant and then it started to go downhill but in the end it left open some intriguing plot points and IT WAS OK-.