Posts Tagged ‘Ed Skrein’

War in The Pacific

Midway

Director: Roland Emmerich

Cast: Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Dennis Quaid, Woody Harrelson, Mandy Moore, Luke Evans, Luke Kleintank, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Keean Johnson, Etushi Toyokawa, Tadanobu Asano, Darren Criss, Brandon Sklenar, Jake Manley

The Battle of Midway was the turning point in the fight between the Americans and the Japanese in the summer of 1942, which followed on from the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour in December 1941.

German director Roland Emmerich who brought viewers such films as Anonymous, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow and Independence Day, directs Midway with explosive special effects and excellent sound editing by Peter Bawlec.

Emmerich expertly recreates a good old fashioned war film with Midway aided by a superb ensemble cast who all play real life heroes who participated and survived the epic Battle of Midway.

This cast includes Ed Skrein (Maleficent, Mistress of Evil) who plays maverick pilot Dick Best, Mandy Moore plays his outspoken wife Ann Best, Patrick Wilson as naval intelligence officer Edwin Layton, Oscar nominee Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri) plays Chester W. Nimitz, Welsh actor Luke Evans plays Wade McClusky, Dennis Quaid plays William Halsey and Aaron Eckhart plays Jimmy Doolittle.

There are also brief appearances by musician turned actor Nick Jonas as Bruno Gaido and American Crime Story Golden Globe winner Darren Criss as Eugene Lindsay.

What screenwriter Wes Tooke does insightfully is present the battle of Midway from both the American and the Japanese perspectives showing that in every war there are always losses on both side, while highlighting the specific historical landmarks which pinpointed Japanese aggression in the Far East and the Pacific.

The bombing of Pearl Harbour dragged America into the Second World War and caused the Pacific Theatre of War to be fraught with tragedy, aggression and strategic victories on both sides until eventually the Japanese sued for peace in 1945 after the American’s decisive and devastating atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

With spectacular visual effects, Midway is highly recommended viewing for fans of genuine historical War films which as a genre Hollywood seems to have disregarded in favour of superhero fantasy franchises.

Midway gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10 is definitely worth seeing for the visual effects, the battle sequences and the portrayal of historical events during World War II which pitted two naval world powers against each other: America and the Empire of the Sun.  

Aurora’s Curse

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Director: Joachim Ronning

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sam Riley, Harris Dickinson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ed Skrein, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Robert Lindsay, Juno Temple

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales director Joachim Ronning directs the highly anticipated lavish sequel to Disney’s 2014 fantasy film Maleficent. Oscar winner Angelina Jolie (Girl, Interrupted) reprises her role of Maleficent the Fey protector of Aurora in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and this time she is up against Queen Ingrith wonderfully played by Oscar nominee Michelle Pfeiffer (Love Field, Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys).

In Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Maleficent and Queen Ingrith first meet at a pre-marital dinner for Aurora played again by Elle Fanning (Mary Shelley, The Beguiled) and her beau Prince Philip played by Harris Dickinson last seen on the small screen as the kidnapped J. Paul Getty III in the excellent TV series Trust directed by Oscar winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire).

Immediately Queen Ingrith and Maleficent do not hit it off, as the vivacious and calculating Queen sets a trap for the fairies at the impending wedding of Aurora and Prince Philip.

Soon Maleficent is sent wounded into the underworld where she is rescued by Conall played by Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) and the hunky looking Borra played by Ed Skrein (Deadpool, The Transporter Refuelled).

British stars Juno Temple (Atonement, Wonder Wheel, Black Mass), Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread) and Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake) reprise their roles as Thistlewit, Flittle and Knotgrass respectively.

Whilst the plot of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is certainly not as original as the 2014 film, the stunning visual effects and marvellous pace of the film make up for any shortcomings. The best casting choice was Michelle Pfeiffer playing the vicious Mother-in-Law to be much to the consternation of the utterly oblivious son and husband.

Fans of Maleficent will certainly savour this fabulous sequel even if it is to watch the gorgeous Angelina Jolie make her big screen comeback, post her highly publicized divorce from Brad Pitt.

All the secondary characters pale in comparison to the diva rivals onscreen namely Jolie and Pfeiffer as they battle it out in this glittering fantasy adventure to truly claim the nefarious title of Mistress of Evil.

While not as brilliant as the original, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil gets a Film Rating: 7 out of 10 and will surely keep audiences entertained while giving viewers further ideas for future Halloween ensembles.

Subverting the Superhero

Deadpool

deadpool_ver8

Director: T. J. Miller

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T. J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Kyle Cassie

When the film’s director also appears as the barman Weasel and the superhero’s closest friend, audiences should really suspend their disbelief. In the case of the cinematic telling of Marvel’s most risqué superhero, the foul-mouthed, wacky Deadpool aka Wade Wilson, audiences should completely just take the entire story with a massive dose of salt or Xanax. After all who can take Deadpool seriously?

Director T. J. Miller, also seen as Deadpool’s confidant Weasel, version of a superhero movie is so off the wall, so hilarious and so unconventional that even the traditional X-Men franchise would shy away from this mutant’s malevolent antics. Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds (Blade Trinity, Green Lantern) certainly keeps the character of Deadpool alive and suitably quirky, with a fast paced wit and attitude too match. Essentially an anti-hero to boot, Wade Wilson falls in love with the gorgeous Vanessa played by Brazilian actress Morena Baccarin (Spy) last seen on the small screen in Gotham and Homeland.

Their romance goes swimmingly with loads of sexual innuendo thrown in until Wade Wilson collapses and is soon diagnosed with a rare cancer which will effectively devastate his vital organs.

Wade Wilson desperate to find an alternative seeks the help of a shady recruiter and is soon at the mercy of the evil Ajax played by Ed Skrein who relentlessly subjects Wade to days of torture, eventually forcing him to become a mutant, and with that Deadpool is born.

Deadpool as a film does not have much of a plot but relies heavily on the inappropriate and quirky script with Reynolds firing off brilliant one-liners throughout while embarking on a quest to seek vengeance for the torturous transformation he received at the hands of Ajax.

Deadpool enlists the help of some distant X-Men characters, namely Negasonic Teenage Warhead, to fight the villain and soon the battle against good and evil is as murky and bloody as it is funny and to be honest quite ridiculous. But hey who cares?

Audiences should go and see Deadpool for the script right? Which is the best part of a film that even from the opening credits continually subverts the superhero genre.

Sure to find a cult following amongst the hardcore comic book fans, Deadpool certainly is original, hilarious and kinky in an ex-rated fashion, but maybe that’s because the superhero’s outfit resembles a Sado-Masochism suit. Audiences can judge for themselves but Deadpool is definitely recommended only for serious Superhero fans and Comicon devotees, who will be relieved to know that there is a sequel on the cards…

 

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