Thursday, 1 October 2015

OJ's Movie Review - The Martian

Last time we saw Matt Damon he was stranded on a planet in Interstellar, now we get to see him...oh wait.

So The Martian is Ridley Scott's latest film and stars Matt Damon as an astronaut left behind on Mars by himself because his crew thought he was dead. Going in I wasn't sure what to expect, I thought what can you do for two hours on a desert planet? Well, it turns out that it's something good because The Martian is one of the best films of the year.
   I mean seriously, this movie is so good in so many ways I couldn't believe it. The cast, first off, were amazing, you've got people like Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels and of course Matt Damon; they all do an amazing job in their roles, you couldn't fault them. But obviously one man has to carry the movie and Damon does it brilliantly, playing a man completely alone, isolated on an entire planet having to use only the stuff that was left behind and his own intelligence to survive, incredible acting there, especially with some of the darker moments when you can see this man is about to break but carries on relentlessly.
  The story is also a fascinating one, there wasn't any point where I was bored watching The Martian; you mostly wanted to be with Damon on Mars watching him do various things as it was both thrilling, exciting, relieving and funny, yes that's right, this film is hilarious, it's just a fantastic script, the movie handles it's comedy really well and some parts are just so uplifting and makes you smile. The Earth scenes are entertaining as well, they didn't drag at all, watching these NASA guys trying to work out if they can actually save this Mark Watney from Mars and balancing that with handling the press and media it makes for some good acting and screenplay.
   One other thing that surprised me was the music, the original score was amazing and adds real feeling to the scenes and then I'm not going to spoil it but you are going to remember the soundtrack and songs they use in The Martian.
  The only negative I can say I had with this film was just the opening, I felt that from the very start to when the crew actually leave Watney on Mars it felt a little off or choppy and just wasn't as good as the rest of the movie but that may just be me, it didn't bother me too much because that's only like ten minutes of set-up.
  In the end I loved The Martian, it's definitely one of the biggest surprises for me and like I said, one of the best films this year.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

OJ's TV Review - Heroes seasons 1 - 4

With Heroes Reborn airing this month I decided to take a look at the much-discussed Heroes, something I'd heard a lot about but never seen.

Being a big science-fiction fan and common Internet-user I'd heard about Heroes from various places
and I knew the general gist but never really had the opportunity to watch it. Thankfully, Netflix helped out with that.
 So season 1 to start obviously and the general opinion is that this the best season. They're not wrong. Season 1 of Heroes is absolutely brilliant, I love it. It introduces a bunch of characters straight out the gate all with completely different backgrounds and lives and most importantly, powers. As the season progresses they slowly start to connect and it all builds up to really nice, satisfying conclusion. All the actors in it are really well cast, everyone is playing the everyman, the normal person, who wake up one day with an extraordinary ability, which is really fun to watch. Zachary Quinto plays the main villain Sylar who is a really good bad guy, his presence and scenes are really thrilling and threatening. A truly unique piece of television.
  Season 2 comes along with only half the amount of episodes. Although the mystery was intriguing and some of the new characters were fun to watch; overall I felt it was a little underwhelming. Because season 1 was so good, season 2, although wasn't a terrible season, just didn't quite stand up to the first, possibly due to the limited number of episodes and a very similar story-arc due to a writer's strike.
 Season 3. Oh my, what can I say. The third season of Heroes is an absolute mess. The plots were all over the place, it was if the season didn't know where it was going. They'd start one story arc in an episode and then two or three down the line they'd end it quite abruptly with hardly any satisfying resolutions. Some of the people we'd come to know and love suddenly either lost their powers or did things completely out of character which made for a lot of episodes where I just sighed. I struggle to think of positives for this season; I mean there was the odd good episode and a few guest appearances I enjoyed but for the most part, it was like a bad fan-fic.
  Season 4 thankfully started to pick up, they focused on a new character Samuel and his mysterious carnival which drove the series arc and that was actually a really entertaining thing to watch. A bunch of new characters were introduced who were good and some of the ruined ones of season 3 fell into the odd appearance which was a good move. Still not quite as good as the first season but in terms of quality I think it was better than the other two.

So in conclusion, I'm glad I watched Heroes, even if the quality was a bit up and down, the characters were so interesting to me and I adored the various pop culture references the show gave (mostly from the character Hiro). It was truly a roller coaster ride in many ways and a show any sci-fi fan should watch.

Friday, 11 September 2015

OJ's TV Review - Falling Skies season 5

The end of the war has come; and what a ride it's been.

So the fifth and final season of Falling Skies has aired. For four years we've watched the Mason family battle against the Skitters, Espheni, and even themselves. I really enjoyed the first two seasons, they are definitely my favourite, the third season I feel is the weakest and season four was good but the main story arc was uninteresting. 
  The plot this time follows on from the last season where the Espheni are very scarce due to now having no big communicator thing on the moon; this means that the Skitters are like wild animals eating anything they can find and attacking randomly, this provided a few cool scenes and action-packed moments but it took away their threat almost, in past seasons some were quite individual and even intelligent whereas now they are mere cannon fodder for the humans. The episodes this season focused the human characters problems; there wasn't really a story arc that wove all the episodes together, just a few two-parters and they has self-contained plots; these were OK as you got to see a bit of a civil war and then one of the main characters broke away and started a tense story which was all entertaining but for a final season I think we wanted to see more alien stuff. 
   In the end the finale I think has disappointed a lot of people but for me I really enjoyed it, I mean there were some flaws which I wish they hadn't done but overall I was satisfied with the way it ended. Falling Skies has been a great series and I've enjoyed watching it as a whole.


Saturday, 22 August 2015

The OJ Reviews 3rd Anniversary

Welcome to my third anniversary post, an annual update for the site showing stats, changes and previews!



Page views of all time - 33,203
Comments of all time - 19
Total Members - 11
Top Three Countries With the Most Traffic -
  1. United States (16,119)
  2. United Kingdom (4540)
  3. Germany (1307)


First Ever Post - OJ Reviewing Megamind
Most Viewed Post - ORIGINAL VS REMAKE - King Kong

Changes to the Site

As you my have noticed, I have not been keeping up with the three-reviews-a-month plan, sometimes there just arn't any films I have any interest in, sometimes I can't afford to go to the cinema, or I lack motivation to find a Back In Time review or Original VS Remake. So as of now my posts will not be stuck to any kind of schedule except the fact that the minium posts a month will be one, so there will at least be one review a month. Apart from that nothing else is changing.

Upcoming Reviews

After this I will be reviewing either The Maze Runner sequel or Everest starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin to name a few; and towards the end of the year obviously Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Television-wise I need to catch up on the final season of Falling Skies so I shall review that after watching and the eighth series of Doctor Who which should be airing soon. 

Shoutouts and Thanks

The only person to give me a shout out this past year was @had0606 on Instagram, so thanks Hayden!

That's it for this Anniversary post, thank you very much for reading and if you are new then take a look around and if you want to see more then The OJ Reviews is also on:

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Fantastic Four

Oh the potential...THE POTENTIAL!

Look, don't hate me but I enjoyed the first two, I mean sure I was 7 and 9 when they came out but I laughed and was amazed at the superheorics at the that time, they remain fond memories. So when I heard this was getting a remake I was a tad disappointed, and then it starts production and we see nothing, absolutely nothing, not even a logo; months go by and we have no poster, "first image" and from what I remember only two secret set pics. It was strange but then I watch that first trailer and my hopes lifted tremendously, that first footage was really good and from then on I was expecting this to be a dark horse, a real good film.
      And you know what? It was....for the first half. I mean literally, I could pinpoint the scene where it starts going downhill rapidly. But let's focus on the good just for now, I loved the beginning. The set up was so good, we were introduced to these interesting, likeable characters; the actors had good chemistry, the script was pretty solid and I was happy with where it was going. The origin was awesome to see, it was tense, horrific and I thought the special effects held up pretty well. Then there was a bit of a jump in the plot and it felt odd... just...odd. The only way I can explain it is that it was like different films, the first half being an origin story and then the latter half acting like it was deep into the franchise and this was happening after a bunch of sequels; imagine watching Iron Man and then Avengers: Age of Ultron without anything in between. Fantastic Four has so much missing in the way of development and narrative flow it just did not work. The climax felt incredibly rushed and they weren't really acting like a team and they spouted out lines as if it was from a cartoon and then you had that giant light going to the sky like every other major film seems to be doing. So plot-wise, 50% good, 50% horrible.
  The actors themselves did really good in their roles though, Miles Teller is a great Reed Richards and I enjoyed Toby Kebbell as Victor a lot too. That is until he turns into Dr. Doom reason what-so-ever, with a really bad costume and very undefined powers.
  In the end, I don't know the specifics of what director Josh Trank was up to on set or what the studio was wanting it to be like, but like it's production, Fantastic Four unfortunately was just weird and disappointing. If you do watch it, stop after the first half.


Thursday, 6 August 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Rogue Nation? Isn't that the Star Wars Anthology movie? Ah, I always get those mixed up.

You know, I really like the Mission Impossible franchise, maybe it's because I like Tom Cruise movies, maybe because each film has a different director so they all have a unique feel to them, in any case, they get a thumbs up from me.
  So in this one, we join Ethan Hunt for a fifth time and he's on the search for a secret organization called The Syndicate. A simple premise but enjoyable non-the-less, it's fun to see him and his team work things out and what makes it more enjoyable is that all the members of his team are from previous movies so we're comfortable with them and it feels more like a group of friends, which was nice. The story itself I really enjoyed too, the twists, the turns and just a lot of points worked excellently. The action scenes are some of my favourites I've ever seen, there were thrilling ones, tense ones and downright fun spy-themed ones which is what I love. And this is one of the few movies where I felt it just had a really satisfying ending, I mean you get good movies but there are some where it comes to a climax and all things are being resolved in a certain way and it just puts a smile on your face.
  Casting was all good too, as I said I like Tom Cruise movies so it's always fun to see him, Jeremy Renner was a great side-guy too and had his own problems which added to the story, he always seems to play a good secondary character but not a successful main guy. It was nice to see Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames back, both being the computer guys, but both serving their purpose. Two new peeps we got for the rogue nation were Rebecca Ferguson who was awesome, not only was she easy on the eye but looked like she knew what she was doing during her action scenes which made for a great character; secondly was Sean Harris as the big baddie and boy was he such a good villain, I loved this guy, he was so creepy and threatening, definitely one of the better antagonists of the franchise.
  If someone forced me to pick a problem then I would say that a certain scene that was pushed in all the promotional trailers and pictures was used straight out the gate and had no bearing on the plot which seemed a little odd.
  To conclude, personally this is my favourite Mission: Impossible movie so far and look forward to the next one!


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

OJ's Movie Review - Inside Out

Pixar films have been a bit 'meh' since Toy Story 3, but now they're back on top form with their latest
instant classic.

Inside Out is the story of an eleven-year-old girl called Riley who has just moved house but the majority of the film takes place in her mind and centres on her five main emotions. This idea itself is already a unique one and they do very clever things with it. It shows you how and why your brain does things, but in a really fun and entertaining way.
   Although you have the bright colours and fantastical settings, it isn't always a kids film, there are quite a few jokes in there that I think everyone will laugh at, of course you get ones especially for children but it doesn't rely on them which is what is so good about Pixar. They also always have a deeper meaning in their films, a moral that stays with you, and this is no exception. Like some of their other films, this one also pulls on the heart strings at times and gives you some good emotional drama. I won't spoil the story as a lot of it was a surprise but it was an entertaining adventure inside Riley's head and a realistic depiction of life in the real world so as a whole, interesting all-round.
  Acting-wise, I wasn't familiar with the majority of the cast but they did great in their roles, two highlights being Anger and Sadness, and of course the minor appearance of Disney's own John Ratzenberger.
  In the end I'm glad Pixar is back to producing high quality films (although I wasn't that impressed with the short film at the beginning to this one) and look forward to The Good Dinosaur.