Suicide Squad Movie Review

Hi everyone, here’s my review of the latest DC movie – Suicide Squad.

Now before me and the wife went to see this at the cinema I had read a lot of reviews in the media about this movie and just like they did with Batman vs Superman many of those reviews made out that Suicide Squad is a total mess of a movie blah, blah, blah.

Well, I’m glad to say that we ignored those reviews and took a chance on the movie regardless. (My wife is a big fan of Jared Leto and of the character of Harley Quin) so we thought sod it lets go see it anyway.

Really quite good

Before I get into the movie proper I’d just like to ask, ‘what were these critics watching?’ From their descriptions, Suicide Squad was a bit of a turd of a movie but in reality, it was actually pretty good. For a comic book movie, the action is good, the main characters are well developed and praise the lord! DC has actually put humour into one of their comic book movies!

  Batman and the Joker

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There’s been a lot of talk about the appearance of the Joker and Batman in this movie. Batman is only in it for a few minutes but when he is he serves his purpose and cleverly to me anyway showed that he isn’t necessarily a good guy. Sure he fights bad guys, but does he take responsibility for what happens to these villains afterwards? The answer to that is not really. Those he takes down end up in the clutches of Amanda Waller a woman so ruthless that you will quickly take the side of the captured bad guys. I loved how the famous villains were in fact not the real bad in this movie, the government is. Willing to use any means necessary to protect their status quo, even if that means killing innocent people or letting an entire city be trashed to keep a secret etc…

The Joker was done well and Jared Leto played the part convincingly, he nailed the laugh and was genuinely a strong presence onscreen. Again his screen time is a bit limited, but he was in it more than the critics made out.

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Harley Quinn

Margot Robbie nails Harley’s character. She’s genuinely funny and downright loony. The character itself is well developed and the backstory of her twisted relationship with Joker is compelling. (Wish it was a bit longer, to be honest!)

Deadshot

After Harley, is Will Smith’s Deadshot. I think Smith did a great job of portraying the assassin who never misses and his comedy timing is spot on. His backstory too is deeper than I had expected it would be as it shows the hypocrisy of those who take orders from a government. The government stooge as it were, Rick Flag constantly berates Deadshot for being a gun to hire but as the movie progresses you quickly realise that Flag is in denial as the country he serves is willing to do some pretty awful things to cover its ass.

Overall I really enjoyed Suicide Squad. The way the team of misfits comes together is good and I have to give a mention to Captain Boomerang who somehow always manages to find a can of lager from somewhere.

The main criticism I will give it is in regards to the villain. I won’t spoil anything but I found it to be a bit weak and the old blow up the portal in the sky story thread has been done to death now surely!

Suicide Squad is a big improvement for DC and bodes well for the next phase of its cinematic universe. Please keep the humour! Suicide Squad is a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously at all and it benefits from that. It’s refreshing following the sombre and too dark tones of the last Superman movie.

Rating – A solid 7/10.

 

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The epic Sundered Crown Saga is available on kindle and paperback now!
Heir to the Sundered Crown (Book 1) – http://a.co/cRiRqBL
War for the Sundered Crown (Book 2) – http://a.co/39JC6qc
Paperback editions –
Heir to the Sundered Crown http://amzn.to/1XDSxlg
War for the Sundered Crown http://amzn.to/1RiVFDs

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Captain America: Civil War Review

Something a bit different this bank holiday weekend. Yesterday me and the fiancé went to see Captain America: Civil War and wow all I can say is; DC this is how you make a superhero movie. 

Ok that might be a bit harsh, Marvel have had a lot more time to build up their cinematic universe, but it also should be a sign to DC that instead of making a movie like Batman vs Superman they should have taken their time to establish their own.

Captain America: Civil War picks up after the events of Age of Ultron and Winter Soldier and ties the two story arcs together. It kicks off with the Avengers on the trail of the remnants of Hydra, after a opening fight scene that makes Falcon look cool as hell and shows off the new Avengers team work. The mission results in civilian casualties, causing the United Nations to announce the introduction of the Sokovia accords, a  piece legislation that would effectively put the worlds governments in charge of the Avengers. The team would only be deployed if agreed upon by politicians (and we all know how trustworthy they can be). The accords are the basis for the conflict to come as Tony Stark, guilt-ridden after Age of Ultron sides with the government. Steve Rogers on the other hand, opposes the idea as he says that politicians have ulterior motives and could use the power of the Avengers to further their own agendas or make them do things that they do not agree with. The team is split and the battle lines are drawn.

I won’t spoil it for anyone but there is another plot thread running through the movie that adds to the reasons for the conflict and adds an emotional conflict that makes the story make sense.

Winter Soldier and the Black Panther

The Winter Soldier returns. At the end of the last Captain America movie Bucky regains his memories and saves Rogers before going on the run. A terrorist incident at the signing of the accords sees Bucky framed for the attack and we are introduced to the kick-ass Black Panther. His scenes are incredible and I cannot wait to watch his own standalone movie. The action scenes in this movie are some of the best ever seen in Marvel movies as each of the superheroes displays their abilities in imaginative ways. Naturally, Rogers tries to help his old friend Bucky putting him outside of the law. Stark is tasked to bring him in. With the Avengers split both Cap and Iron Man recruit new super heroes to their causes. Cap brings in Paul Rudds Ant-Man (who has a big role later on) whilst Stark brings in the brand new Spiderman played by Tom Holland.

Spiderman is great

I have to talk a bit about Spiderman here. This new version is already my favourite to ever be seen on film. He’s just like in the comics, a nerdy dirt poor kid who has these amazing abilities and smart mouth. As the two sides clash in a battle scene that makes anything in Batman vs Superman look amateurish, Spidey displays his abilities. The fight that is in all the trailers is in short as awesome as you can imagine.

Despite the large rostor of characters every single one has the chance to shine and each of their motivations for their actions is done so well that you fully understand why they have chosen the side they have.

The movie has a long running time, but I didn’t notice. Every minute was paced perfectly to add to the plot and characters. In short, this is now my favourite of all the Marvel movies (sorry Guardians of the Galaxy).

Overall Score: 9/10

The epic Sundered Crown Saga is available on kindle and paperback now!
Heir to the Sundered Crown (Book 1) – http://a.co/cRiRqBL
War for the Sundered Crown (Book 2) – http://a.co/39JC6qc
Paperback editions –
Heir to the Sundered Crown http://amzn.to/1XDSxlg
War for the Sundered Crown http://amzn.to/1RiVFDs

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Batman vs Superman Review

I don’t tend to do reviews unless it’s for a movie that I’ve been really looking forward to. In the case of Batman vs Superman, however, this wasn’t the case. I was no fan of Man of Steel, but after seeing all of the hate being thrown at this new movie I had to see if it really was as bad as the critics were saying.

All I can say is that this movie is by no means great, but it’s also nowhere near as terrible as it’s being made out to be. In fact, I have to say that I actually enjoyed the movie. Critics have been slamming the storyline, (it doesn’t  deserve any awards that’s for sure), but it was pretty easy to follow. One of the main complaints was that this movie doesn’t make sense, I have to disagree (except for one scene that I won’t spoil) the plot was pretty easy to follow. My main complaint of the story is that some aspects weren’t very well explained in the rush to set up the next action scenes and the Lois Lane character was definitely underused (needing to be rescued 3 times…really?)  Not quite sure why the critics have been so negative about it, I thought it was a pretty solid movie that did well to set up things to come. I think now that this movie is out of the way and the foundation is set the DC universe could do well.

The action scenes and special effects were pretty great albeit a bit short and rushed. The titular smackdown between Batman and Superman lasts about ten minutes if that! Naturally our heroes set aside their differences to take on Lex Luthor.  The critics have crucified Jesse Eisenberg for his take on the character, but again I have to disagree with that. I thought that Lex was a pretty solid villain, a rich kid with severe parenting issues and a strange obsession with man killing god. The way he sets the two heroes against each other worked well and despite looking a bit too young he managed to get across a sense of maniacal menace.

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Ben Afflecks Batman was a brutal take on the character, a man who has been fighting crime for 20 years and who has suffered a lot. I liked this take on the Bat and the movie hinted at some pretty interesting plotlines for possible future movies. Wonder Woman, however, in my opinion, steals the show near the end. She’s a mysterious character who it is revealed has lived for a really really long time.

Overall I’m not quite sure why the critics have been so negative about it, I thought it was a pretty solid movie that did well to set up things to come. I think if they use a bit more humour and maybe a brighter colour palette in the next movies (missed opportunities such as taking the mick out of Batman in the end fight,or Lois being a bit worried about Wonder Women) they can pull this off and make them just as enjoyable as the Marvel ones.

My score – 7/10

A Great Review

The kind folks at eleven media were kind enough to do a review of Heir to the Sundered Crown. 

‘A review of Heir to the Sundered Crown, the first book in a fantasy series written by Matthew Olney. This book focuses on a world on the brink of anarchy as a massive power struggle consumes the land. With the royal family assassinated while they sleep, the only heir missing and presumed dead and the fractious barons fighting for the power to rule this land is in serious peril. Worse still, is that above the civil war, high in the mountains of the north, something old and powerful is awakening, something that could lay to waste the world of men. Men and women from all walks of life from across this world will be drawn together to try and combat this growing evil, but is it destiny drawing them together, or something far more sinister.

Why I like this book: One of the things I absolutely hate in fantasy, is when people fall into the Tolkien trap. Elves, Orcs and Goblins have become so prevalent that they frequently appear in fantasy novels for lack of any other enemies to include. So, I was overjoyed to find a ranger being chased in the woods, not by orcs or goblins, but by werewolves. Olney has gone in for Germanic and Scandinavian mythology heavily here, with werewolves, the undead, and even a lich. As if inclusion of some of my favourite folklore wasn’t enough I enjoyed the story thoroughly and felt sympathy for the main characters as they met obstacles at every turn and were always playing catch-up to the villains.

Why I like this author: Matthew Olney contacted me on LinkedIn and asked if I could review his book if he sent a review copy. I said yes straight away and tore through the book in a matter of days. The indie author reviews section, and submission section of the site, is something I want to expand and it made me really happy that someone came forward to ask for a review. Matthew was easy to work with, responding to questions and queries promptly and was very facilitating. You will find a link to his author site under the outgoing links on Eleven Media, and I hope to get a chance to work with him again in the future.

Favourite character: This slot has to go to Umbaroth. I won’t tell you much about him, but he’s one of my favourite characters, a gentle soul in a ferocious form. This is exemplified when he is playing with children in the desert, taking great care not to injure them with his claws. I haven’t read passed the first book but I really hope Umbaroth returns to the story in the future.

Why I think people should read this book: If you are after a medieval fantasy epic then you cannot go wrong choosing this book. The mythology is refreshing after a slew of orcs and goblins, the characters are a likeable bunch, and despite common fantasy tropes appearing they are used effectively by the author. The book has a lot of separate plots and points of view but each comes to a satisfying conclusion at the end of the book and none of them feel superfluous.’

Don’t forget that book 2 of the Sundered Crown Saga is available to buy now!

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Star Wars The Force Awakens (Spoiler Free Review)

Well…what can I say other than that I left the cinema with a feeling of euphoria. J.J you magnificent bastard, you did it. You made a Star Wars film that fully captured the magic of the original trilogy and gave us a story that has left me dying for more. Now, I’ve seen some reviewers moan that the Force Awakens is a remake of A New Hope. To them I say what nonsense. Sure there are similiarities, but then again there are also massive differences. This film introduces us to new characters that were likeable (Daisy Ridley (Rey) is awesome as is John Boyega (Fin) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren). There was humour, fantastic set pieces with at times seat grabbing special effects and a plot that has raised a hell of a lot of questions.

As we all know the movie is set 30 years after the original trilogy so a lot has happened in the galaxy since the end of Jedi. I wont spoil anything, but needless to say there is enough to satisfy fans of the expanded universe (and to those of you bitching, you’re idiots, the EU became a convolted mess once the Yuuzhan Vong showed up).

The story was exciting, mysterious and oh boy is it tragic. The Skywalker saga continues and the Dark side is resurgent. Harrison Ford returns as Han Solo and when he appeared on the screen I was so happy. He was a bit greyer sure, but Ford recaptured everything that made Solo such a likeable character. Carrie Fisher too was immense as General Organa and when Luke appears…well lets just say I was in nerdy heaven. What I will say is that one of the predicitions I made in this post was spot on.

The action is spectacular and nothing beats seeing X-Wings blasting Tie Fighters out of the skies in dogfights.

All-in-all I have to say that the Force Awakens fully captures the magic of Star Wars. The magic that has made me a lifelong fan and inspired me to write novels in the first place. (It’s a dream of mine to one day be able to write in the Star Wars universe).

All-in-all I give Star Wars The Force Awakens 10/10. I loved every second of it. Episode 8 cannot come soon enough.

Also check this out, it’s great 😀

New 5-Star Review of Heir to the Sundered Crown!

A fantastic review for my book 🙂
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5.0 out of 5 stars A new Tolkien?, 24 Oct. 2015
By Sue Denim
This review is from: Heir to the Sundered Crown (The Sundered Crown Saga Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I’m an old school Tolkien, Tennyson, Coleridge, Wodehouse etc. fan and usually can’t be bothered reading anything modern. I read this from cover to cover in two days. It has all the ingredients that I enjoy, including an engaging storyline with a plethora of well thought out characters. In fact a whole world with its own history, geography, kingdoms, tribes, cultures and geopolitics. The author clearly has an understanding of people, politics, martial arts, martial strategy and many other things that constitute worlds, whether they be real or imaginary.
There is a flavour of Middle Earth, Arthurian legend, Merlin, Mabinogion, Grimoire, Bestiarum Vocabulum, creation myth, and more. I have to take issue with the reviewer who describes his experience of this work as spoiled due to cliché, grammatical and spelling errata (suggesting that others should avoid reading the book due to this). If love, war, triumph and disaster are perceived by some as cliché then they are deserving of our sympathy.
There were minor grammatical issues and Americanisms in the version I read, but were many to choose between format perfection and the rarity of a lively and engaging story, well told; the latter would triumph every time. Similarly the use of extensive vocabulary did not suggest any clumsy use of the thesaurus, just a command of an extended vocabulary. The grammar issues can easily be fixed, just take someone with grade A English from Oxford or Cambridge and set them to work. Shakespeare and Chaucer predated the grammar Czars and persist; I’d prefer a literary sirloin steak in brown paper to a literary “big-mac” dolloped on a grammatical silver platter. Creeping Americanism has existed pre-Wodehouse (they actually put their tea in a bag!). I think it’s best to accept evolution and not spill one’s Bordeaux over a pleonasm or split infinitive to immerse oneself in a well crafted fantastical world. Let’s not consign this rising author to the dustbin.
Enjoy the subterfuge, the tides of battle, envelop yourselves in the developing parallel storylines. Knights, witches, barons, kings, dragons, maidens, werewolves, banshees, castles and citadels await!. The author has created a solid foundation for all manner of future adventures, much as Tolkien did. I look forward to experiencing them and so should you.
*You can buy Heir to the Sundered Crown here http://authl.it/3hw?d

and can pre-order War for the Sundered Crown here http://geni.us/B015JPB310/ (release date is November 20th)

Why to buy Heir to the Sundered Crown – 5 Star Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for fantasy fiction lovers., August 7, 2014
This review is from: Heir to the Sundered Crown (The Sundered Crown Saga Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Just finished reading this book and what a joy it was to read. It had my full attention from start to finish. This book is one of the best fantasy fiction books I’ve ever read, and believe me, I’ve read a lot of fantasy fiction. What makes this even more incredible is that this book appears to have been written by a new author on the scene. I look forward to many more books from this author and any sequels to this book. But it now, you won’t regret it.
on April 10, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Dorasai here. Read this book on wattpad, and had to buy it. I have to say that this is probably one of my favorite fantasy books of the year. Read the first 300 pages without getting out of my recliner, and only then because it was 9;00 and I had work at 4 in the morning. Definitely something worth checking out, a unique story line that’ll keep your eyes glued to the book with characters that you can’t help but love. All in all 10 out of 10.

5.0 out of 5 starsAwesome book! Can’t wait for the next one! Buy it!

on March 9, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long while; it’s exciting, fast paced and extremely addictive. The characters are really cleverly designed and the storyline was gripping from start to finish. Overall, an excellent read and highly recommended, plus it’s cheap which makes it great value for money. 🙂

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Characters, Good Writing

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

This is a good little fantasy romp that reminded me of Raymond E. Feist’s “Riftwar Saga” with a dash of Jon Sprunk’s “Shadow’s Lure.” I liked the early scenes involving a young magician named Luxon with powers beyond his control. This character might be called something of a bumbler, but there is a nobility and sincerity to him that makes him instantly appealing (he reminded me of Pug from “Riftwar”).In addition to magicians there are also knights in this fantasy world. We first meet Kaiden when he is chained to a wall in a dungeon, but soon enough he’s out and about brandishing his sword and pursuing his “knightly duties.” It’s rare to have a fantasy novel feature a kind of Arthurian knight these days, so Kaiden was a refreshing character.

Overall the writing is very solid in this book. I got a strong sense of the joy of creation from the author, which sometimes leads to problems being solved on the fly. For example when Kaiden is released from prison, he reveals that he had stashed his weapons and gold in anticipation of capture. This is plausible enough, although it did kind of stand out to me as maybe a little too easy. Then again, that moment didn’t disrupt the flow of the novel for me, so I don’t consider it an issue. The point is that Matthew Olney has his eye on a story he wants to tell, and he attacks it without deviation.

This book is a rich texture of old school fantasy storytelling with some modern mythos. A good find!

5.0 out of 5 starsGreat read.

on October 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A really enjoyable read, great character development and fantastic twists and turns in the story. Well worth the buy.

5.0 out of 5 starsStrong character development and excellent dialogue give the reader a sense of being in …

on March 27, 2015
Format: Kindle Edi tionVerified Purchase
Heir to the Sundered Crown is an enjoyable fantasy read. Strong character development and excellent dialogue give the reader a sense of being in the story. Author Matthew Olney has given us a fantasy story that plays on familiar themes, but gives us the feeling that there is something new happening here. Mr. Olney has set us up nicely for the rest of the series, and I look forward to it. Well done.

5.0 out of 5 starsI will give this five stars

on August 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Awesome started reading thus book at 9 and it was so good I finish at 540am read action packed wonderful just like a movie.

5.0 out of 5 starsFantastic Story Highly Recommend.

on August 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Wow! I was made aware of this book from a friend and it didnt disappoint. A fantastic read from a great upcoming author. Highly Recommend and I look forward to future books from the author.

5.0 out of 5 starsHeir to the Sundered Crown

on August 8, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I have always like stories with dragons and really good bad guys. This one does it In spades. What a fun ride. Better editing is need in structure and flow.

5.0 out of 5 starsAttention Please

on July 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I was given this book as a present and did not know what to expect. But once I started this book I could not put it down.
The opening pages grabbed my attention and kept it a good story with great imagination. I was sorry to put it down and
looking forward to any sequel.
  5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever!!!!!!! 9 May 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I can’t think of a book I’ve been more engrossed in. An absolute masterpiece!!! I felt I was there with them. Kindle couldn’t work out my reading speed the last few chapters because I savoured it so much as I didn’t want it to end. We need more Mr Olney!!!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars

on 24 August 2015
Fantasy at its best