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View From The Vault: The Predator Review

The Predator review

View From The Vault: The Predator Review

Welcome to GeekVault’s The Predator review. Watch as The Predator returns in all it’s gory. Finally after eight long years The Predator has returned in a new movie, the fourth in the series, excluding the AVP movies. The last one being Predators from 2010, where several humans were dropped on a Yautja hunting planet. Predators generally received average reviews. However we found Predators rather enjoyable at the time. The Predator on the other hand is just awfully terrible. Anyway…

The Prey (No Spoilers)

The story is a pretty typical one. Predator crashes to Earth and is intercepted by Special Ops sniper, McKenna (Holbrook), after killing his men. They both survive the encounter and get picked up by the US government. The Predator wakes in a secret government lab before breaking free and causing havoc. Meanwhile McKenna is put on the armies loony bus. Then the hunt begins. The ragtag crew of army rejects, alongside scientist Bracket (Munn) have to save McKenna’s kid, before a new more advanced Predator arrives and changes the game entirely.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say the movie is all bad, in fact I found it quite enjoyable for the first half. A ragtag crew are always kind of fun to watch. Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Jane are especially fun. Even some of the humour wasn’t terrible. I appreciate that they were maybe going for something different for The Predator franchise in this movie, however it all became quite generic. Most jokes miss. The CGI is unforgivable for a big budget film. Plus the action is mediocre. Topped off by just a poor story. I wouldn’t really recommend seeing this movie to anyway, it’s partly entertaining but mostly rubbish. I do however always encourage people to make their own mind up about movies. So skip to the bottom to avoid spoilers and see the conclusion.

The Hunt (For Spoilers)

So basically one Predator crashes to our planet on the run from his home-world, that’s fine, almost interesting. This is obviously the first Predator we see, who, after landing, immediately slaughters the nearest humans to him. Then wakes up in a scientist lab and again slaughters everyone he can see, except a naked Olivia Munn, before escaping. However we later learn that the reason this Predator is on the run and on Earth is because he wants to give Humans a gift. Humans are going extinct, global warming, poverty etc. Thus the Yautja want to take over Earth so they can breed Human/Predator hybrids. This is what the Predators have been doing all along, find the greatest prey so the can make hybrids. It is why they take their victims spine, which is kind of neat.

It turns out the first Predator opposes this plan and wants to help the humans fight back against predators. So he’s a good guy? What?! We spend the first half of this film with the Predator just straight up murdering humans for no reason, without any apparent attempt to reason with them and explain why he’s here, but apparently he wanted to help them protect themselves? This predator is promptly murdered by the much bigger, ridiculous 11ft Predator. Then the movie becomes about the hunt for Autism. Seriously. McKenna’s kid played by Jacob Tremblay has Autism. Which obviously allows him to understand alien languages and technology. That’s how autism works, right?

Because it’s the next step in human evolution and the Predator’s want to use it. I guess it doesn’t necessarily put Autism in a bad light but it does show a lack of understanding and tact. The whole thing seems just so pointless and poorly executed (mind the pun), as the film jumps around from one scene to the next. It feels rushed. Especially at the end when they realise they haven’t killed any of the main character’s so they basically all die at once. Looking at you Nettles (Aguilara). Don’t even mention Traeger (Brown) the stereotypical bad human, evil for no reason, because he is overseeing a top secret alien project. Plus the ending with the Predator Killer suit. It’s all awful.

The Execution (Final Thoughts)

It goes from being enjoyably bad to just plain bad. The story, although new for Predator, is generic and predictable. The action is mediocre, the gore seems tacked on. The CGI is just awful, really just terrible. The references they make to past films kind of tell you all you need to know. The characters are likeable enough. The new Predator is ridiculous. At the end of it all we are left with a jumbled up mess, that feels rushed. If you enjoy it then that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that. As I said I started to enjoy it but it just kept getting worse. I don’t recommend this to anyone. Let’s hope they do something better soon.

GeekVault Score:

4/10

Let us know in the comments below what you thought about this movie. Do you agree/disagree? And as always check out our awesome collection of Film & TV gear and collectables.

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View from the Vault: Deadpool 2 Review

deadpool 2 review

View from the Vault: Deadpool 2 Review

Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool is back, and better than ever, in this raunchy sequel to the hugely successful, record breaking, 2016 movie. You’re reading GeekVault’s review of Deadpool 2. So first things first if you’re a lover of Deadpool the movie you’re going to enjoy this sequel, if you weren’t a fan it’s best to back off and stay away because this is more of the same, just a little bigger and better. Ourselves here at GeekVault highly enjoyed this one. All of the humour, the action and the reference’s have been stepped up a notch.

So the story goes… Deadpool has been the merc with a mouth successfully running around killing bad guys for the past two years. Shacked up with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and occasionally kicking it with the X-Men, mainly Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus. When they run into Russel (Julian Dennison), a kid down on his luck, even more so now Cable (Josh Brolin) a mutant from the future has come back in time to kill him. It’s down to Deadpool, his new X-Force team and friends to stop Cable and save Russell.

First Wall: Spoiler Free!

Deadpool 2 is a barrel full of laughs and action, with a bigger budget they decided to up the ante, with great effect too. Now with director David Leitch, of John Wick and Atomic Blonde fame, it shows that they wanted to increase the action scene stakes. Right from the get go with a brilliant mercenary montage we get to see some of DP’s greatest hits of the past couple of years. The whole thing looks fantastic and it’s easy to see where Leitch’s experience has come in to play. This is another great film to go under Leitch’s belt.

Not only has the action been stepped up but the humour and the references too. Obviously feeling the pressure from the success of the first film they wanted to recapture that popularity with even more laughs. Deadpool 2 achieves this with bigger gags and more fourth wall breaking, addressing the success of the first movie. They were able to fit in more references and greater cameos. Including more snipes at the Reynolds’ X-Men Origins Deadpool and Green Lantern movie. Let it be said not all jokes are rib-crackers and if you weren’t a fan of the first one you probably won’t be a fan of this one.

Of course one of the best parts of Deadpool were the side characters. All your favourites return including Blind Al and Dopinder. Then we got some even greater new side-characters. They were all great but of course they all need screen time. Thus we didn’t get to spend as much time with returning characters as we’d have liked to. Overall however it’s a well balanced action comedy superhero film that any Deadpool fan will love. So definitely go check it out if you haven’t already.

Second Wall: Spoiler Time!

So presumably you’re reading this as you have already seen the film or you just don’t care about movie spoilers. Otherwise turn back now!

So I loved all the cameos and what they did with X-Force, although it’s a little bitter sweet. I would have loved to seen some Terry Crews Bedlam action, with Zeitgeist and Shatterstar kicking arse. Plus watching Peter and Vanisher fight would have been pretty funny, it’s a little disappointing but it’s hard to be disappointed. As soon as Bedlam crashed into that bus everybody laughed. It was a big payoff. Of course if you’d blinked you’d have missed Brad Pitt getting burnt alive on electric wires as the Vanisher. Some cameo’s that might not be as easy to recognise were Alan Tudyk and Matt Damon, as the couple of rednecks who get there van stolen and tasered by Cable when he first appears back in time, Terminator style.

It was fun to see the young X-Men, however little it made sense for them to appear in 2018. At this point you can throw X-Men timelines to the wind. However I think I would have preferred the original cast more. For the big one, no pun intended, and my personal favourite, Juggernaut! Who was voiced by none other than Ryan Reynolds. It was just so good to see a properly done Juggernaut, however little he actually had to do in the film. I would love to see him back. Along with Big Jugs came my own personal favourite joke when Deadpool tried to do the MCU Hulk lullaby on him.

Third Wall: Sucked Balls?

OK so the story wasn’t the best or most original thing out there. Now the first one was no mind blower but it felt original in it’s approach. Deadpool 2 however could have benefited a little if they even just addressed how cliched the story was. Even killing Vanessa wasn’t as hard edged as if they had just split up or gone separate ways. Though it’s hard to complain with it all wrapped up neatly, with a little bow on it… So it’s not the most original story but you don’t watch Deadpool for story, you watch for laughs and violence both of which they deliver plenty on.

The other complaint that a few have picked up on is that they don’t really have a main villain for this film. For the first half the villain is arguably Cable, Terminator style. Half way through it’s flipped and Russell and the Juggernaut are the villains. However Juggernaut doesn’t do much villainy and Russell just needs saving from himself. The true villain you’d say is Essex house, a little nod to Mr. Sinister, the mutant correctional facility Russell is growing up in.

It would have been nice had they hinted toward some more Sinister roots to the antithesis of the Xavier school, but it’s all passed over in favour of saving Russell. They also cram in that Domino was raised there, before she fights some orderlies. It would have worked better had there been a right hand to the school principal that Domino could have fought instead. However I guess not everything needs to be an end of the world situation. Just a few things could have been touched up here and there.

Fourth Wall: Break It Down.

Deadpool continues to be great and show how strong it is as a franchise. Realistically these movies can last as long as any other property, as long as audiences don’t get tired. Along with pushing for better quality movies all round. As they rightfully pointed out, without Deadpool there would be no Logan, and that would have been a loss. We all want to eventually see a complete harmonious Marvel movie universe franchise, with the merging of Fox and Disney we’re closer than ever. Deadpool would be the character to really bridge the gap between old and new. Deadpool 2 was great fun, nothing too serious, heartfelt at moments, with awesome action and lots of laughs. Not be missed by any fan, it would certainly put a smile on your face. Here’s to number 3.

GeekVault Score:

8/10

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View from the Vault: Ready Player One Review

ready_player_one

View from the Vault: Ready Player One Review

Ready Player One is not like it’s novel counterpart and that’s OK. It is, however, like every geek and gamer’s wet dream, and that’s great. This is GeekVault’s movie review of Ready Player One. Ready? Let’s begin. For starter’s it is a visual feast, that leaves you stuffed but asking for seconds. Secondly it’s the Where’s Wally of pop culture in fantastic film format. There is something in there for everyone and Spielberg is back with a ton of nostalgia and good feelings.

So The story goes… The year is 2045 and real life isn’t looking so good. People live in “stacks” now, trailers stacked one on top the other, the height of skyscrapers. The only place to turn is the OASIS, a virtual reality, where anything is possible. People live out there entire lives there, work, learn and most of all play. Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) is one of those people. Living in his aunts trailer with her string of abusive boyfriends. His only escape is through the OASIS. It’s creator, James Halliday (Mark Rylance) hid an Easter egg, after his death, within his vast reality, the finder of which would get the key to his fortune as the heir of the OASIS itself.

Thus sparks the greatest hunt ever in which Gunters (egg hunters) face off against the IOI, the second largest company with intentions on being the first. After several years of no progress the interest has died down to only the most hardcore fans until Parzival, Wade’s avatar, finds the first key. Now he must battle off against the evil IOI, headed by Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), and with the help of his friends Aech (Lena Waithe) and Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), find all three keys and win the egg.

Level 1: No Spoilers.

So firstly, we here at GeekVault, as geeks and cinephiles alike, absolutely loved Ready Player One. Every five seconds we couldn’t help but point out to one another a reference way off in the background, it was just utterly ridiculous fun. You just have to sit back, relax and go with it.

There is nothing new about this film, it’s your typical hero’s journey, mixed with popular teen dystopia rebellion against evil corporations. Which is still as poignant as it’s ever been. It’s impossible to be original these days, and this film doesn’t try and hide the fact that it is one massive movie and game reference. It is, in my opinion, the most successful retelling of where the future of technology, such as drones and virtual reality, could lead us, without keeping mega corporations in check and allowing everyone un-tampered access to the internet.

So this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, you can argue that it relies too heavily on other franchises to make this film work. Strip it all away and you have a typical heartfelt, everyday little guy stands up to the big bad company. You just have to accept that you’re going to get a hundred cameos shoved at you in one frame. If you can pretend you don’t recognise all the Overwatch/Batman characters, you’re left with the same feel good movie.

The performances from our main characters are great, especially considering half of it was CGI Mocap, it felt real and believable. Mendelsohn plays a great menacing villain once again. The humour is on point. You are thrust into the action straight from the get go and they never really take their foot off the gas. Allowing a handful of moments for you to catch your breathe. I one hundred percent recommend seeing it.

Level 2: Spoilers Ahead!

So as stated it is very different from the book, which is understandable to make it more engaging for a viewing audience. Right from the get go, the school planet, the only one Parzival can visit in the book is replaced with an epic and impossible race no one can win to get to the first key. The gates are wholly abandoned, I’m guessing due to time restraints all films must abide by.

Also forgoing Parzival using his new fame to make money sponsoring products. Buying his own planet. The long frustrating wait between finding the keys. In the movie it all happens rather consecutively one after the other. The War Games recreation is replaced rather ingeniously by a recreation of The Shining. In one of the best sequences in the film. As well as replacing Wade’s involvement on the inside of IOI with Art3mis. However the spirit and overall path taken were kept the same.

One thing I am rather thankful that they changed was the focus on the eighties, whilst still keeping it present. It didn’t feel real in the books, sure everyone loves the eighties, but it took away from all the great things that have been made since. Plus almost every kid from the twenty-forties being obsessed with only things from fifty years ago was unbelievable. This issue was resolved in the film with the inclusion of great things such as Overwatch, Street Fighter and a personal favourite, The Iron Giant, on top of tons more. I am at least now sated enough not to ask for an Iron Giant sequel for another ten years. What else is there to say? Except for… “It’s fucking Chucky!”

Level 3: Game Over?

The problems I had with this film are very miniscule, mainly that they didn’t touch on the school aspect of things. The idea in the book that everyone had a right to free learning and that’s where he hid the first key. Simon Pegg’s Ogden Morrow wasn’t a particularly big part, like the removal of his ball scene, that showed off his godly admin powers. Mainly I was just upset that they didn’t show the Iron Giant going full war mode. Though the Terminator sign off kind of made up for that. Really I find it hard to hate anything in this film, I mean, who ever thought they’d see an epic fight between The Iron Giant, MechaGodzilla and a Gundam? Is that the possibility of a live action Gundam movie we see in our future? We can only hope.

OK the character’s are a little flat and the story is a little typical, but what were you expecting? This is E.T. and the Goonies on steroids.

Continue…?

This is something I have wanted to see since I was a little kid. So many of our favourite characters under one roof, in one movie! I mean that’s why we love Marvel movies right? Why we enjoy the idea of Alien vs. Predator? Seeing these character’s come together. I think, if you hate that this is one film about a hundred other films, you were always going to hate it. Frankly, why did you even bother? But if you can let go, and just enjoy seeing these character’s interact with one another, you will love it. Just be open to some meaningful light hearted fun about video games. If anything it will leave you hopeful as an insight for the future. The technological virtual reality side anyway, not the murderous corporation dystopia. This is a future Spielberg classic, prepared to stick around for a while.

GeekVault Score:

9/10

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View from the Vault: Pacific Rim Uprising Review

View from the Vault: Pacific Rim Uprising Review

 

What’s not to love about giant robots fighting? OK so Transformers isn’t a good example, but we’re talking Pacific Rim here! This is GeekVault’s movie review of Pacific Rim Uprising. Starting without spoilers. I was sceptical going into this after watching the trailer, which left me unsatisfied. I loved what Guillermo Del Toro had achieved in the first Pacific Rim, gritty but fun and believable giant robot versus monster action. The Uprising trailer however read like a big studio getting it’s grubby hands on a small profitable movie and twisting it into a blown up mediocre mess, as we have seen happen so often. I can tell you I was wrong.

My main worries from the trailer were as follows, why are they all children? Why is John Boyega a rich party playboy kid? Why are all the robots so shiny and indiscernible? How does this little girl have her own Jaeger? Most of my concerns were addressed directly by the film and made sense within the context, other worries just washed away when you fully embraced the cheesiness of giant robot vs. monster madness.

Spoiler Free Zone

The story goes… It has been ten years since the rift was closed. Jake Pentecost (Boyega) son of famed late ranger Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) gets reenlisted to the Jaeger Pilot program after getting caught in an illegal Jaeger with Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny). They have to stick together to try and find their place in the programme, to become Jaeger pilots. Everything is knocked up a gear when the mysterious rogue Jaeger, Obsidian Fury, attacks. They have to figure out who this rogue Jaeger is and what they want. All whilst worrying about Shao Industries plans to replace pilots with drones. Featuring the return of favourite characters such as Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) Newt (Charlie Day) and Hermann (Burn Gorman).

Ultimately if you enjoyed the first Pacific Rim you will enjoy this one, it is by no means perfect, all movies have their flaws, but this one is a lot of fun. It feels different enough to be it’s own movie and yet still with the same character and heart of Del Toro’s original vision. The kid’s aren’t bad actors, they feel real, and John Boyega puts in a good leading performance, stretching his chops outside of Star Wars. Topped off with a coherent naturally progressive story and fun giant robot action. A good enjoyable family friendly movie, worth watching.

Alert! Spoilers! Alert!

OK so unless you’ve seen the film or don’t care for spoilers turn back now. You’ve been warned.

As I said before I had some fears watching the trailer and was frankly not all that interested to go see the movie. It took some convincing. I’m happy with how my concerns were resolved. They aren’t all kids, like I thought, Jake is immediately reinstated as a ranger alongside Lambert (Scott Eastwood) and the “kids” are just cadets now that the Jaeger programme is more of a police academy. They just happen to be a focal point of the story.

Also Jake was not some spoilt party kid, instead living in half of an abandoned mansion, trading and stealing goods to get by, amongst a Kaiju/Jaeger graveyard. The little girl, Amara, has built her adorable Jaeger, Scrapper, from junk that’s lying around or stolen. It is stated that there have been other homemade Jaeger’s and that they are illegal. She’s afraid, somewhat rightfully, the Kaiju will come back and, after losing her family in an attack, she wants to be prepared for when they do. It’s all understandable and works within the film.

The Problems

The shiny new robots is something I still have a problem with, it wasn’t major and I still ended up loving Bracer Phoenix and Saber Athena, but it would have been nice to have seen more variation in design, like the first Pacific Rim. Using the Russian meme song was unnecessary. Not enough of the characters died unlike the first one, which gave a realistic edge. There was no real mention of what Raleigh (Hunnam) was doing now. Drift compatibility wasn’t as important anymore. No Ron Perlman! Unfortunately it does fall foul to the trope of “kids are the only ones left to save the day”. Also somehow only the base we had focused on was able to get any Jaegers functional to fight the Kaiju worldwide, it would have been nice for a couple other’s to drop in even to just be killed.

As I said not a perfect film.

My main issue is with Mako and her death. It felt unnecessary, she was a great character that I would have loved to see piloting a Jaeger once more. It does little more than to push Jake to stay in the programme. The real problem is the gravity sling. Right before she is crashing they initiate it, at which point I’m like “great, makes sense, that’s how they will catch her”. They just use it to throw cars at the rogue Obsidian Fury! Then jump to reach, and fail, to catch Mako’s falling helicopter. They don’t even try to use the gravity sling to save her! Other than that it’s all pretty good.

Overall

I’m glad they went with Del Toro’s original plan, to make Charlie Day’s character the villain after drifting with Kaiju brain, it was up in the air for a second there, but I was happy when they finally landed on it. Look it’s exactly what it says on the tin, giant robots fighting giant robots and even bigger monsters. There is no complex thought about it. It is cheesy. It is a megaton of fun. Just go with it.

GeekVault Score:

7/10