Film Review: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2 (USA 2017)

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guardians2.jpgSet to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.

Director: James Gunn
Writers: James Gunn, Dan Abnett (based on the Marvel comics by) |
Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell

Review by Gilbert Seah 

 
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY Volume 2 follows exactly the path of sequels – louder and more of what were found in the original.

If the first film is your cup of tea, is is doubtless that you will enjoy the volume 2 – because it is nothing more than a replica of the same, only with Disney/Marvel going haywire and completely berserk. The best example is the climatic fight scene where during the battle between the hero and villain, the hero suddenly turns into a pixeled chomping Pacman. (Silly but funny!)

The films does boast an awesome soundtrack. Those who love the oldies, might go out and buy the soundtrack, maybe even skip the movie. There are are familiar songs, some seldom heard for a long time and some choice ones I have never heard before. The film is scored, as in the first film by Tyler Bates.

So, who are these Guardians of the Galaxy? The leader is an unchallenged Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) who has a romantic fling with Gamora (Zoe Saldana), an alien orphan fighting to redeem her past crimes. There is also Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a highly skilled warrior, Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper). There is absolutely no explanation why Baby Groot is in this film after a larger Groot died in the original film.

Subplots are thrown in with additional characters like Nebula (Karen Gillan), Gamora’s sister. The only other character of importance is Quill’s dad, Ego (Kurt, Russell) who turns out to be the film’s villain.
The plot of the film involves the Guardians of the Galaxy saving the Galaxy from destruction, once at the start of the film and then again. But the guardians are a comical troupe led by no less than a character of the same mould. They obviously get not trouble while saving the galaxy – all these antics supposedly providing fun and reason for millions of cinemagoers around the world to cough up money for an admission ticket or even more to see the film in imax 3-D.

The film contains lots of irrelevant and meaningless quotes that should amuse those easily amused. When Quill’s father turns bad, Quill’s adopted father Yondu (Michael Rooker) tells him: “He might be your father, but he is not your daddy!” Or goes the another saying: “I know who you are, because you are me!”

There is a lot of ego on display here. Not only is the villain named Ego but he is also omnipresent as the entire planet which is also called Ego. There is the egoistic rivalry between the two sisters and more important, the rivalry between the father and son. The father is the personification of ego. He says:’What I have planted is an extension of myself so that eventually, everything is me.”

It is evident that director Gunn has put in a lot of effort to make Volume 2 worth the price of the admission ticket. But take away the special effects and production design, dazzling and expensive though they may be, and what is left is a narrative mess of a tedious convoluted plot littered with irrelevant humour.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cv2ueYnKjg

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Film Review: LIVE BY NIGHT (USA 2016)

live_by_night_movie_poster.jpgDirected by Ben Affleck

Starring: Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper

Review by Gilbert Seah

Ben Afflecks’s fourth film (after ARGO, THE TOWN and GONE BABY GONE) is based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane which like BURN,BABY, BURN is a novel that contains a lot of plot. But LIVE BY NIGHT contains too much plot dealing with as many issues as there are plot turns. Unfortunately, Affleck’s script is unable to cope and the film fails despite worthy efforts.

Set in the 1920s and 1930s, the story follows Joe Coughlin (Affleck), the prodigal son of a Boston police captain (Brendan Gleeson). Joe is a World War I veteran of Irish decent who is in love with Emma Gould (Sienna Miller), mistress of the notorious gangster Albert White (Robert Glenister), the boss of the Irish Gang of Boston. Joe’s father disapproves of Emma. Joe and Emma decide to move to California escaping the wrath of White, but to their misfortune the head of Albert’s rival Italian Mafia Maso Pescatore (Remo Girone) finds out about their affair and blackmails Joe to kill Albert. The story goes on, leading Joe to finally work for Maso and rising in the ranks. Success comes with a price with a lot of casualties in the process.

The best thing about LIVE BY NIGHT are its impeccable performances. Gleeson at his growling best, plays Joe’s chief of police, who unfortunately dies 20 minutes into the film. The gap, fortunately is filled by Chris Cooper as Irving Figgis, another chief of police, who is as pious as he is crazy. The other supporting cast members are uniformly good from Matthew Maher (as a creepy Ku Klax Klan member) and Anthony Michael Hall as an overconfident lackey for a crime boss.

Affleck’s script is all over the place and tries to handles too many issues like father/son relationship; romance; crime; good vs. evil; racism and loss of innocence just to name a few. The dialogue also includes a fair amount of ‘f’ words including the ‘mother f” words that are out of place in a film set in the roaring twenties.

The handsome mounted production from the vintage cars (in the robbery car chase) to the wardrobe, music and props make the film a memorable period piece. Affleck dresses himself very sharply, always in pressed white suits and hat.

As the story deals with war between crime families, LIVE BY NIGHT will inevitably be compared to Francis Ford Coppola’s GODFATHER films. Joe keeps his criminal activities from his wife, Gracilea (Zoe Saldana) reminiscent of how Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) hid his crime duties from his wife played by Diane Keaton. This is when one can detect the inferiority of of LIVE BY NIGHT. The power and bite are just not there.
LIVE BY NIGHT is well paced with a good speed in the first third of the film. The varying pace from the highly edited car chase to the slow paced meeting a a tea shop between Joe and Loretta Figgis (Elle Fannng)
.
The film also contains dialogue with heavy Irish accent (from Gleesona nd Miller) which is occasionally hard to understand.

The film could have done with some script doctoring. Affleck taking the co-producing, writing, directing and lead acting duties has obviously got his plate full in this $65 million production.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtFZcAuH-qI

 

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Happy Birthday: Zoe Saldana

zoesaldanaHappy Birthday actor Zoe Saldana

Born: June 19, 1978 in Passaic, New Jersey, USA

Married to: Marco Perego (June 2013 – present) (2 children)

The Losers Movie PosterThe Losers
dir. Sylvain White
Stars
Idris Elba
Zoe Saldana

Vantage Point
2008
Directed by Pete Travis
Starring
Dennis Quaid
Matthew Fox

AVATAR Movie PosterAvatar
dir. Cameron
Stars:
Sam Worthington
Sigourney Weaver
Michelle Rodriguez

Death at a Funeral Movie PosterDeath at a Funeral
dir. Neil LaBute
Stars
Chris Rock
Martin Lawrence

Star TrekStar Trek
2009
Directed by
Abrams
Starring
Chris Pine
Zachary Quinto

THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARLPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
2003
dir. Gore Verbinski

MOVIE POSTERCOLOMBIANA
dir. Olivier Megaton
Stars:
Zoe Saldana
Michael Vartan

MOVIE POSTERTHE WORDS
2012
dir. Brian Klugman
Lee Sternthal
Stars:
Bradley Cooper
Dennis Quaid

MOVIE POSTERTHE TERMINAL
2004
dir. Steven Spielberg
Stars:
Tom Hanks
Catherine Zeta-Jones

MOVIE POSTERSTAR TREK INTO DARKNESS
2013
dir. J.J. Abrams
Stars:
Chris Pine
Zachary Quinto

MOVIE POSTERGUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
2014
dir. James Gunn
Stars:
Chris Pratt
Vin Diesel

MOVIE POSTEROUT OF THE FURNACE
2013
dir. Scott Cooper
Stars:
Christian Bale
Casey Affleck

TOP ZOE SALDANA VIDEOS

SEX SCENE – Watch HAVEN sex scene with Orlando Bloom. Sex scene starts in the ocean with nice water camera, and then ventures into the bedroom .

THE LOSERS FIGHT SCENE – Watch THE LOSERS 2010 movie, Aisha’s (Zoe Saldana) cover is blown and she fights Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

A MISTAKE – Watch DEATH AT A FUNERAL 2010 movie, Elaine (Zoe Saldana) tells Derek (Luke Wilson) the truth about their relationship.

KIRK MEETS UHURA – Watch STAR TREK 2009 movie, Kirk (Chris Pine) hits on Uhura (Zoe Saldana) while she’s ordering drinks at the bar and shows her that he’s not just another hayseed.

WHEN YOU ARE READY – Watch AVATAR 2009 movie, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) tells Jake (Sam Worthington) about the bond between the flying creatures on Pandora and their respective hunters.

TOP 100 ZOE SALDANA PHOTOS

100. SEE – 2011 PHOTO

99. SEE – BREASTS PHOTO

98. SEE – BUTT PHOTO

97. SEE – HOT PHOTO

96. SEE – SEXY PHOTO

95. SEE – VAGINA PHOTO

94. SEE – GLAMOUR PHOTO

93. SEE – YOUNG PHOTO

92. SEE – WALLPAPER PHOTO

91. SEE – VERSACE PHOTO

90. SEE – VANITY FAIR PHOTO

89. SEE – UPDO PHOTO

88. SEE – UNDERWEAR PHOTO

87. SEE – UHURA PHOTO

86. SEE – TOES PHOTO

85. SEE – THIGHS PHOTO

84. SEE – THANDIE NEWTON PHOTO

83. SEE – TATTOO PHOTO

82. SEE – STYLE PHOTO

81. SEE – STOMACH PHOTO

80. SEE – SKINNY PHOTO

79. SEE – SHORT SKIRT PHOTO

78. SEE – RED DRESS PHOTO

77. SEE – RED CARPET PHOTO

76. SEE – POSTER PHOTO

75. SEE – POSE PHOTO

74. SEE – PHOTO SHOOT PHOTO

73. SEE – OSCAR DRESS PHOTO

72. SEE – ORANGE DRESS PHOTO

71. SEE – NYLONS PHOTO

70. SEE – NO MAKEUP PHOTO

69. SEE – MOVIE PREMIERE PHOTO

68. SEE – MODEL PHOTO

67. SEE – MINI SKIRT PHOTO

66. SEE – MAXIM PHOTO

65. SEE – MARCHESA PHOTO

64. SEE – MAKEUP PHOTO

63. SEE – LONG HAIR PHOTO

62. SEE – LOB PHOTO

61. SEE – LIPS PHOTO

60. SEE – LEGY PHOTO

59. SEE – LEGS PHOTO

58. SEE – LATINA PHOTO

57. SEE – LANVIN DRESS PHOTO

56. SEE – LACE PHOTO

55. SEE – JEWEL PHOTO

54. SEE – JEANS PHOTO

53. SEE – JADA PINKETT SMITH PHOTO

52. SEE – HUSBAND PHOTO

51. SEE – HEELS PHOTO

50. SEE – HEADSHOT PHOTO

49. SEE – HAIR PHOTO

49. SEE – GUN PHOTO

48. SEE – GQ PHOTO

47. SEE – WHITE DRESS PHOTO

46. SEE – GAP PHOTO

45. SEE – FEET PHOTO

44. SEE – FASHION PHOTO

43. SEE – FACE PHOTO

42. SEE – EYES PHOTO

41. SEE – EYEBROWS PHOTO

40. SEE – EVENING GOWN PHOTO

39. SEE – ESSENCE PHOTO

38. SEE – ESQUIRE PHOTO

37. SEE – ELLE PHOTO

36. SEE – EARS PHOTO

35. SEE – EARRINGS PHOTO

34. SEE – DRESS PHOTO

33. SEE – DOLCE PHOTO

32. SEE – CURLY HAIR PHOTO

31. SEE – COLUMBIANA PHOTO

30. SEE – COLLAGE PHOTO

29. SEE – CLEO PHOTO

28. SEE – CLEAVAGE PHOTO

27. SEE – CENTER HUNT PHOTO

26. SEE – CASUAL PHOTO

25. SEE – CANDIDS PHOTO

24. SEE – CALVIN KLEIN PHOTO

24. SEE – BRA PHOTO

23. SEE – BOOTS PHOTO

22. SEE – BODY PHOTO

21. SEE – BLACK DRESS PHOTO

20. SEE – BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO

19. SEE – BEDROOM PHOTO

18. SEE – BEACH PHOTO

17. SEE – BANGS PHOTO

16. SEE – BACK PHOTO

15. SEE – AWARD PHOTO

14. SEE – AVATAR PHOTO

13. SEE – AUTOGRAPH PHOTO

12. SEE – ASS PHOTO

11. SEE – ARMS PHOTO

10. SEE – with SAM WORTHINGTON PHOTO

9. SEE – with ORLANDO BLOOM PHOTO

8. SEE – with MILA KUNIS PHOTO

7. SEE – with KEATH BRITTON PHOTO

6. SEE – AD PHOTO

5. SEE – ABS PHOTO

4. SEE – 2010 PHOTO

3. SEE – SHORT SKIRT PHOTO

2. SEE – RED DRESS PHOTO

1. SEE – RED CARPET PHOTO