Category Archives: My Media Research

Fast & Furious 6 (Justin Lin, 2013) Review

Fast & Furious 6 takes place a short amount of time from the 5th Fast & Furious, where the crew have settled down in their own way and are living their lives more peacefully, away from their previous lives as criminals. Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) plays the bad cop/good cop and gets Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) to get together the crew so they can help take down another group of criminals, similar to themselves. Hobbs offers the group “full pardons” and also an opportunity to get back an old member of the team who seems to be working for the new group of criminals as a reward for helping.

Having watched all the other Fast & Furious films, I found that this film went over the top, and even more so than the previous film. Undoubtedly, I find that the best Fast & Furious films are also the oldest. As per usual, there were plenty of cars, girls and action, but this time I was left quite disappointed. I found that the film lacked cars  and the action was too much. For example Vin Diesel catapaulting himself from a car and flying through the air in order to catch a falling victim. I found that stunt in particular laughable because it was most definitely missing a sense of realism. Nonetheless, the acting was impressive throughout and there were plenty of tense scenes and chases.

This is definitely a film for men, and there is not a lot for female audiences. However, the film was far from being bad and I still felt myself gripping the edge of the seat at times as well as feeling emotions towards the actors. If you’ve gone all the way and watched every other Fast & Furious film you might feel disappointed watching this one if you compare them. However, I would still recommend watching the film if you want to watch something with plenty of action.

I would give this film 7.5/10

-08spencerh

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Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012)

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Django Unchained is a film, directed by the famous Quentin Tarantino, director of previous highly successful films such as Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. I eventually watched this film after several of my friends expressed their own opinions on it, which were mainly positive. This film also won 2 Oscars.

The film is set back in the past during the slave trade. The protagonist, Django (Jamie Foxx) plays the role of one of the unfortunate slaves captured by the Americans. Not far into the film, we see a German bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) who rescues Django and the other slaves from the Americans. The bounty hunter seeks out to find Django because he is thought to have information on some of the targets. Once Django has been rescued, he makes a deal that he will help the bounty hunter so long as he helps to rescue Django’s wife, Broomhilda von Shaft (Kerry Washington).

Throughout the film, Django gains more and more power, and whilst there is a huge amount of racism within the film, it shows some of the historical content despite the plot of the story being fictional.

The film is quite long at 165 minutes, but it does capture the audiences attention throughout the duration and there is plenty of action and gun fights, which is typical of a film directed by Quentin Tarantino.

It’s rated one of the best films of 2012 and I would definitely recommend watching this film.

8.8/10

-08spencerh


Oblivion (Joseph Kosinki, 2013)

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I recently watched the film Oblivion, which I had heard plenty about previously. There was a lot of media coverage, both in the news and also on the television about how successful the film was. This lead me to be quite hyped for watching the film and I had high expectations.

The film is set in the future and follows a man called Jack (Tom Cruise) who is on a mission with a woman, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) to extract the remaining resources from Earth. Jack begins to look back at the past, and question what he is doing on the mission and eventually discovers something truly astonishing.

The visuals within this film are very good and the director makes good use of the large budget to avoid skipping anything which might have been expensive. This is shown in some of the action, with explosions, flying props and general destruction in certain scenes.

Although this sci-fi was nothing too unique, it was well done and undoubtedly the acting was superb. The story was captivating and action packed, with plenty of air-combat and weapons of destruction.

I personally would recommend watching this film on a large, high definition TV or projector to capture the visuals. Although the experience would not be badly ruined by watching it on a standard television.

I would give this film 7.5/10

-08spencerh

 


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Francis Lawrence, 2013)

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the second film in The Hunger Games series. The original, being released in 2012 had Gary Ross as a director. However, it didn’t take very long for the second Hunger Games film to be released, just recently this year in 2013.

The film focuses on Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) who was one of the victors for the 74th Hunger Games along with Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) who also plays a significant actor within the film.

After winning the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen lives as a victor for a small duration, giving speeches to the public and attending parties with other victors. However, the public, who are split up into different districts begin to rebel, and it seems that Katniss has started up a army rebellion.

This film focuses a lot on the public uprising within the districts and also President Snow trying to find a way to deal with the uprising, which results in his intentions to show the governments power and set up yet another Hunger Games, where only the previous victors battle.

Katniss is forced to attend, as the only female victor of her district (District 12) and has to battle against some of the previous contestants in a battle to the death. However, the plot unfolds out into something slightly different and the results are interesting.

Having read the books, I found that the film missed out some of the key components which were of significant importance in order to tell the story well. However, obviously the film had to be shortened when producing it based off the novel, and as a result I believe that Francis Lawrence did a reasonably good job in the way that everything was pieced well together.

Overall, I found that the film was quite interesting and did a pretty good job on copying the book.

I would rate this film 8.1/10

-08spencerh


Big Media News #3 – Windows 8.2 Update?

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After the released Windows 8.1 update, which fixed some of the problems which were released with the regular Windows 8 operating system. There have been rumours whether or not there will be another update (Windows 8.2) before Windows 9 is released.

There have been some reports that Microsoft are currently working on another update for Windows 8 but also they are working on Windows 9, expected for release in November 2014.

Windows-9

If there is going to be an update again, customers would hope that Microsoft listened to them a bit more than previously. It took the community a lot of persuading to get Windows 8 a simple start button, which is still a bit of a nuisance.

If Windows 8.2 was to be released, the community expect there will just be a little polish of the operating system and some of the main concerns such as mouse lag for some users will not be resolved.

What do you think? Will Microsoft skip the Windows 8.2 and just release it as Windows 9? Or will they release a Windows 8.2 update first?

-08spencerh


The Road (John Hillcoat, 2009)

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The Road is a post-apocalyptic film, mainly about a man and his son surviving after an event the audience does not learn about directly. In this world, there are no livestock, no plants, no trees and very few resources left on the planet.  The man (Viggo Mortensen), is first seen living reasonably well, with his presumed wife and unborn son. Once his son has been delivered, the story advances a few years into the future, where resources are even more scarce and life is becoming increasingly challenging.

The mans wife walks out at this point and soon after, the man and his son decide they are going to move from Northern America, to the south, where they believe it will be warmer and easier to survive. On the way, the two face many challenges together and the audience become quite attached to both of the actors. Along the way, they meet a variety of different people also trying to survive and there seems to be a division that the two are aware of. With some of the survivors being the “good guys” and others being the “bad guys”.

After encountering a number of other survivors who appear to be the gruesome “bad guys” who eat other humans in order to survive, the two continue to head south, but the man becomes increasingly paranoid along the way of other survivors.

The Road has both an interesting and powerful plot with good actors and a tense story. This film is worth watching.

7.4/10

-08spencerh


Big Media News #2 – Windows 8.1 Update

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Windows 8 recently was upgraded to Windows 8.1 for existing owners of Windows 8 free of charge. The update was quite large, at just over 3GB, which meant for some users it would take them several hours of downloading.

Microsoft has reported that the Windows 8.1 update has fixed several bugs for Windows 8 users and it is advised to download the update. However, for some users they had to wait much longer for the much awaited update.

The update is supposed to have made the Windows experience better and added such features as a start button at the bottom-left of the desktop screen due to user demand.

windows 8 start button

Another benefit of the download is getting more customisation options which improve the user experience.

However, my personal experience of Windows 8.1 has not been wonderful. To begin with, when I left the download going for the update, I came back to my laptop later in the day and found that it had failed and needed to be downloaded all over again. This was disappointing, but proceeded to try and download the Windows 8.1 update once again.

windows-8_1

Fortunately, the second time I tried to download the updated version it worked! However, I was not immediately given some sort of Windows tutorial to show me what the update had actually done so I had to do some searching online.

During my search online, I also found that the Windows 8.1 update had caused some serious problems for other users. For some unfortunate users, the update had caused their computers to get the Blue Screen of Death which was a very serious problem on Microsoft’s behalf.

Overall, whilst this update was a bit disappointing, I would still recommend downloading it unless you have a really slow internet connection. For me, at the end of the day, the update was free and hasn’t caused any problems, other than the loss of some of my time.