Tag Archives: Alice Eve

Men in Black 3 (2013) Review

Time: 106 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Will Smith as James Darrell Edwards III/Agent J
Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin as Kevin Brown/Agent K
Jemaine Clement as Boris the Animal
Michael Stuhlbarg as Griffin
Emma Thompson and Alice Eve as Agent O
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Even though agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) have been protecting the Earth from alien scum for many years, J still does not know much about his gruff partner. However, J soon gets an unexpected chance to find out what makes K tick when an alien criminal called Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) escapes, goes back to 1969, and kills K. With the fate of the planet at stake, J goes back in time and teams up with K’s younger self (Josh Brolin) to put things right.

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The idea of Men in Black 3 leading up to its release didn’t look that good. It’s a movie released 11 years after to a sequel that didn’t hold a candle to the original classic, and the plot involves time travel. It’s really the sequel that no one wanted, and on paper sounded like a complete dud. However, Men in Black 3 somehow was actually pretty good, definitely much better than 2 and was quite a bit of fun for what it was.

Men in Black (or at least the 3 movies) heavily relies on the two leads being J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones). The second Men in Black even brought back K (despite being mind-wiped at the end of the first movie). The third movie is about J being paired up with a younger version of K. It’s at least trying something different, with the whole time travel aspect, and so doesn’t fall into falling into familiar territory like the second movie did. With this being a time travel movie, there might be some plot aspects that don’t always work perfectly, but there’s nothing too major that breaks the movie or anything. Generally the movie or plot is nothing special, but is still entertaining, and still feels like a Men in Black movie. They even managed to add a little bit of emotion towards the end, and tied the whole trilogy together quite well.

Whereas the lead roles of the Men in Black movies are split over two characters, Will Smith is the clear cut lead here and is just as good he was in the previous movies. Tommy Lee Jones only gets a little bit of screentime, it feels like he’s mainly here to contrast with his present day version, but the use of him was fitting. More screentime is given to the younger version of K, played by Josh Brolin, who is perfect at a younger, less grumpy and generally happier version of him. It definitely makes the dynamic between the two very fresh, especially as J is constantly surprised how different and similar the younger K is to the older version. Its really uncanny how well Brolin does his impression, and was definitely one of the highlights of the movie. Jermaine Clement is the villain of the movie, and works well enough for the movie, has a pretty good opening scene. Nothing too memorable but he hams it up appropriately without going way too goofy like the villain in Men in Black 2.

Barry Sonnenfeld returns to direct, and once again it still feels like a Men in Black movie. It’s 11 years later and the effects don’t look that much better than those in the original Men in Black movie (however a lot better than the second movie). With that said the action scenes are a lot better than those in the previous movies.

Men in Black 3 was quite the surprise, not yet on the level of the first movie but still an entertaining watch nonetheless. Even if you don’t like the second movie, if you liked the first movie, MIB 3 is definitely worth giving a chance. While it didn’t seem to announce itself as such, it does work as the end of the trilogy. Now we’ll just have to see if the Men in Black spinoffs actually work without the pairing of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.

Iron Fist Season 2 (2018) TV Review

Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence
Cast:
Finn Jones as Danny Rand/Iron Fist
Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing
Tom Pelphrey as Ward Meachum
Jessica Stroup as Joy Meachum
Sacha Dhawan as Davos
Simone Missick as Misty Knight
Alice Eve as Mary Walker
Created By: Raven Metzner

Danny Rand (Finn Jones), the Immortal Iron Fist, has left behind the day-to-day oversight of Rand Enterprises, throwing himself into his mission to defend New York City. But when an old friend returns with twisted intentions, it threatens the fragile peace Danny maintains within his community, and within himself.

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Note: Features spoilers for Iron Fist Season 1

Iron Fist Season 1 was quite a misfire when it released, with it being widely known as the worst season of the Netflix Marvel shows. I myself didn’t hate the season, going through it all the way and found it to be okay with some good elements but it was really flawed and it had a ton of issues. Still, it managed to get a second season. However with this second season things were looking up this time, with the showrunner changing from Scott Buck to Raven Metzner, which was a really wise move. I’m glad to say that Iron Fist Season 2 is a massive improvement over the first season. It still doesn’t reach levels of some the other shows’ seasons like any of the seasons of Daredevil but on its own its still pretty good, and it’s a shame that we won’t be getting a third season, especially with the way that things end this season.

Netflix Marvel Shows (even the better ones) do tend to have the problem of having the season drawn out for too long at 13 episodes (with the exception of The Defenders which had around 8 episodes and was too short). Netflix this time decided to focus up the season by making it 10 episodes long, and it really works. It doesn’t really drag (except for maybe some of the earlier episodes) but it doesn’t feel like anything’s rushed either. Compared to some of the other shows like Daredevil, there isn’t really anything quite deep or thematic with what’s going on in the story. So in comparison it just feels like we’re watching a story play out, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does separate it from some of the better seasons from Marvel Netflix. However it gets really good towards the last episodes of the season, as it takes some surprising twists and turns. You really feel the lack of showrunner Scott Buck this season and that’s a good thing, the writing is much better in comparison. Iron Fist Season 2 ends on a pretty jarring and exciting cliffhanger, which would no doubt lead into a very interesting and different next season. Unfortunately we won’t find out what that’s all about because of the show’s cancellation, which is a colossal disappointment, more so than Luke Cage because that show seemed ended by wrapping up its last season. Here it introduces a whole new plotline that intended to explore.

With every season appearance, Finn Jones as Danny Rand improves as a character. In The Defenders, Rand wasn’t the overly serious “I am the Iron Fist, sworn enemy of The Hand” and annoying guy from the first season and he was more likable. He improved even further in his one episode appearance in Luke Cage Season 2 and he improved even more here in the second season of Iron Fist. With that said, it still does feel like the supporting characters do shine more than him. Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing also once again is really good and is one of the best parts of the whole show. Tom Pelphrey as Ward Meachum in the first season started off being really unlikable but towards the end of the season became one of the best parts about that season, having a really interesting story arc throughout. He’s great here as well, Ward once again goes through a troubled arc but this time we are rooting for him instead of wondering why people keep putting him on screen and he’s more entertaining to watch. Joy Meachum played by Jessica Stroup is also in an interesting position, with her being at odds with Danny and Ward (which was implied at the end of the first season) and her teaming up with Davos (Sacha Dhawan). It was interesting to see where she was at and how she changes over the course of the season. A returning character that’s not from Iron Fist is Simone Missick as Misty Knight, who is from Luke Cage. She’s not just a cameo or anything, she plays a rather large part in the story. Maybe the show could’ve swapped her out for any other cop character but I’m glad that it was her that popped up instead, she does add to the season quite a bit. Especially as it’s someone from a far more grounded world coming into a world with glowing fists of power and all that, its nice to see someone who’s in a slightly more grounded world come play a part in this story. I do also feel like they brought her into this season to tease the possibility of a Misty Knight/Colleen Wing team up and I’m on board with that, I’d like to see that happen.

A new addition to the Iron Fist cast is Alice Eve as Mary Walker, who’s a welcome addition to the show. This is a minor spoiler (but it’s revealed reasonably early on and it’s an aspect with her character in the comics) but she has double personalities, and it was interesting seeing that come into play with the story, and Eve does a great and convincing job with both personalities. The season ends with her seeming with her character about to be explored in a further season, and I hope somehow in another show they could do that. The last season was pretty uneven with its villains, with there being like 3 of them. This time there is one clear main villain with Sacha Dhawan as Davos, who was introduced towards the latter part of Season 1. Davos is a really solid villain and a big upgrade over Harold Meachum in the previous season (the only reason Harold wasn’t completely bad was because actor David Wenham managed to give a solid enough performance). Davos has some ties to Danny and physically they are at the same level, and you can also see why Davos does the things he does, he’s not just doing it to be evil or anything. At the halfway point however, he stops really progressing as a character and stops being interesting. He doesn’t downgrade from that point but he just sort of stays the same until the end of the season. However he still feels like a real threat throughout and was effective enough.

The overall feel and direction is similar to the first season’s but overall it is a bit better. The action has also massively improved over the previous season. Most of the action problems in the first season was surrounding Finn Jones not given enough prep time for fight choreography. In the first season, he would pretty much get 15 minutes to learn the choreography before they actually started to film, leading to the fight scenes he’s involved in requiring a jarringly amount of cuts. Both in The Defenders and here he’s much better since he’s actually allowed a lot more prep time. There are some really good fight scenes here and great uses of the Iron Fist as well.

Iron Fist Season 2 is pretty good and much better than the first season. The tighter season runtime of 10 episodes helped keep the story moving at a efficient pace, the characters are all quite good, the writing has improved, the action is solid and its just quite entertaining overall. It’s not one of the best seasons of the Netflix Marvel shows and it can leave you annoyed at the end since you know the exciting cliffhanger it ends on probably won’t get addressed. But all around I had a good time with this season. If you really didn’t like the first season, don’t let that hold you back from watching the second season, give it a chance, it’s a considerable improvement. It’s not great and definitely isn’t among the best of the Netflix Marvel shows, but it is pretty solid and worth a watch.

Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) Review

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Star Trek Into Darkness

Time: 132 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk
Zachary Quinto as Commander Spock
Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan
Simon Pegg as Lieutenant Commander Montgomery “Scotty” Scott
Karl Urban as Lieutenant Commander Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy
Zoe Saldana as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Alice Eve as Lieutenant Dr. Carol Marcus
John Cho as Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Peter Weller as Fleet Admiral Alexander Marcus
Anton Yelchin as Ensign Pavel Chekov
Bruce Greenwood as Admiral Christopher Pike
Director: J.J. Abrams

The crew of the Starship Enterprise returns home after an act of terrorism within its own organization destroys most of Starfleet and what it represents, leaving Earth in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) leads his people (Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoë Saldana) on a mission to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction (Benedict Cumberbatch), thereby propelling all of them into an epic game of life and death.

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JJ Abrams’s Star Trek was loved upon its 2009 release by regular audience members and Star Trek fans alike. Yet for some reason some people really didn’t like its 2013 sequel, Star Trek: Into Darkness. I personally liked it slightly more than the previous movie, in regards to its villain and some of the action. But for the most part it is pretty similar to the original movie, same great actors and characters, similar action, it’s overall a pretty good sequel to the original film.

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Now unlike a lot of Star Trek movies where it goes to many different planets and sites “Going where no man has gone before”, it doesn’t happen that much here, aside from a couple of brief scenes, it mostly takes place upon ships, which I guess doesn’t make it that much of a Star Trek movie. The plot (or dark tone for that matter) isn’t something that you’d expect from a Star Trek movie. However I’m still fine with this, then again I’m not that huge of a Star Trek fan. It does have plenty of callbacks to previous Star Trek films, especially Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan, almost to the point of parody but I still liked them, even for as cheesy or ridiculous they may seem looking back. After seeing this movie a few times, I did notice that there were some plot holes and conveniences in the story, but nothing major to take away from the overall experience.

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The cast from the previous film returns and once again were great here, particularly Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, who really own their roles. Both of these actors share great chemistry and you can easily see their friendship. All the other returning cast members did a great job as well, which consists of Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg and many others. I also really liked Benedict Cumberbatch as the main villain. Eric Bana did a fine job in the previous movie as a villain but he was sort of restricted and just wasn’t as memorable. Cumberbatch has much more to work with however and was a lot more memorable, every time he’s on screen he conveys such a presence. It helps that his character was presented as being such an unstoppable force, and really had a lot more focus on him.

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JJ Abrams always makes a great looking movie and Star Trek: Into Darkness is no exception. The visuals and effects are on point and are truly done great, it’s so easy to get pulled into this movie. Yes, there is plenty of lens flares once again but I didn’t really mind them, that’s part of Abrams’s style. The action was once again great and even better than the previous film. The music by Michael Giacchino was once again really good and it helped elevate the scenes. On the technical side at least, Star Trek: Into Darkness is directed perfectly.

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Star Trek: Into Darkness is in my opinion another great addition to the Star Trek series. It has the action, performances and story that the previous movie had. It may have a couple of plot holes and conveniences in the script at times but it’s not enough to lessen the enjoyment that I had watching this movie. With Star Trek Beyond, it’s hard to see how Justin Lin can make it as good as or better than Abrams’s two Star Trek movies but we’ll just have to wait and see.