Film Review: Dredd, directed by Pete Travis

Set in a futuristic post apocalyptic world the film is an all out action thriller. This world is riddled by drugs and violence with the majority of people living in slums. The only people keeping order are a specially selected few called ‘Judges’ who lay down the law as they see fit. We follow ‘Judge Dredd’ (Karl Urban) with his trainee (Olivia Thirlby) as they respond to a routine triple homicide in one of the most feared neighbourhoods, a 200 foot storey tower block. What seems to be a routine case soon turns to all out bedlam as a high profile drug gang run by leader ‘Ma-Ma’ turn on the Judges. Locked in the compound with no way out and with hundreds of criminals baying for their blood, surely theres no way out for them? A weak narrative that is made up for by pure action the film is a bit hit and miss. ‘Judge Dredd’ doesn’t exactly send shivers down my spine and some moments are very corny. Despite this, the film does have some really cool shots mostly the slow mo ones, which go a bit psychedelic (obviously linking into the films narrative). The film ends in a way which means we could be seeing ‘Judge Dredd’ on our screens again in a follow up, and if I was you I would wait for that.

7/10

First published: February 3, 2013

Where?: https://willgcollege.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/dredd-by-pete-travis/

Advertisements

Film Review: American History X, directed by Tony Kaye

This film will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout, with sublime acting and a gripping narrative it’s without doubt one the best films I have ever seen. Set in LA it follows the leader of a white supremacist gang (Edward Norton), who commits racially motivated crimes throughout the city. After Edward Norton, who plays Derek Vineyard, is sentenced to three years in prison for killing two robbers his viewpoint however changes. His time in prison has drastically changed his outlook, but soon realises that getting out of the gang is not so easy and that his younger brother has been greatly influenced by him. Derek becomes determined to keep Danny (Edward Furlong) from going down the same violent path that he went down, but with what consequences will their past actions have. This film will leave you stunned, a must watch.

9/10

First published: February 1, 2013

Where?: https://willgcollege.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/american-history-x-by-tony-kaye/

Album Review: Benny Banks – Patiently Waiting (Volume 2)

London artist Benny Banks recently released his new mixtape ‘Patiently Waiting (Volume 2’), which is the succeeding mixtape after Volume 1. A lot has changed for Banks since Volume 1. He achieved mainstream attention with his single ‘Bada Bing’ and featured on tracks with the likes of Dappy, whilst also supporting American artist Mac Miller on his UK tour, it’s been a busy time for him. You can hear the development and growth in Volume 2, the production being a lot bigger for one. He sounds more confident on the beat and it really feels like he has found his sound and flow, delivering the lyrics with precision. Volume 1 was much more emotionally charged in terms of the heartfelt lyrics, but still Banks manages to combine his new found style with this, which works a treat. Volume 2 is the perfect follow up and you can see the progression that he has made, with big things now expected for the UK rapper.

7/10

First published: January 31, 2013

Where?: https://willgcollege.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/benny-banks-patiently-waiting-volume-1-2/

Album Review: Flume – Flume

20 year old Australian born Flume backs up his impressive debut EP ‘Sleepless’ with his even more impressive album, ‘Flume.’ First and foremost I hate comparing artists to another, but Flume’s musical sounds are very much comparable to a band that has just burst onto the scene, the UK’s ‘Everything Everything.’ The success of this band has led me to believe that Flume will be next and after listening to the album I definitely can’t see why not. A mix of alternative techno and eerie haunting vocals, the sounds are distinctive and pleasing on the ear. Flume teams up with a variety of artists, from ‘T-Shirt’ an American rapper, to ‘Chet Faker’ a singer/songwriter and fellow Australian. Chet Faker links up with Flume for the promo track of the album ‘Left Alone’ and also my favourite, Chet Fakers vocal matching Flumes style perfectly. Another song that I just can’t get out of my head is ‘Insane’ featuring Alex Ward, which is another perfect match up. At 20 years of age and an already growing fan base this is a hugely promising beginning to an, one would suspect, illustrious career. An album you will have on repeat for weeks.

8/10

First published: January 29, 2013

Where?: https://willgcollege.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/flume-flume/

Film Review: The Sweeney, directed by Nick Love

Based on the 70’s UK TV show ‘The Sweeney’ tells the story of a division of detectives in the Metropolitan Police Force. This team, which features Ray Winston and Ben Drew (Plan B), tackles the problem of heists and robberies across the city of London. The film follows them in the pursuit of a major player in this world, who they feel has come back after a long absence. Whilst trying to resolve this situation they are also under attack from above who want to shut them down, feeling their rough tactics and alleged abusing of the law is tarnishing the police’s reputation. The film is an all in action thriller including numerous car chases, gun battles and obviously Ray Winston’s ‘charm.’ Despite all the action, the film really lacks a strong narrative and you are sometimes left laughing at some of the comical and corny scenes. Ray Winston lives up to the stereotypical bad cop and plays the role well with much admiration of how Ben Drew (Plan B) took on his part in the film. Overall it lacks in storyline and struggles to keep your full attention throughout, if you’re a fan of Jason Statham or ‘The Expendables’ then this might be the film for you, but for me it’s not one that’s going to live long in the memory.

6/10

First published: January 27, 2013

Where?: https://willgcollege.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/the-sweeney-by-nick-love/

Album Review: Choo Jackson – Beer Flavored Pizza

Most Dope affiliate Choo Jackson bursts onto the scene with his first mixtape called ‘Beer Flavored Pizza.’ After coming to the attention of Mac Miller through Q his Most Dope label quickly snapped him up. They soon got to work and Choo linked up with Tree J to release net videos for his tracks ‘Bikes’, ‘Soul food’ and ‘This World.’ This gathered up hype around the Florida born artist and with the backing of Mac Miller the mixtape was always going to be highly anticipated. Most of the songs are amazingly produced by Choo himself with also Larry Fisherman (aka Mac Miller) producing a few. The mixtape is 12 songs deep with 4 skits intertwining. The skits that flow through are about his working days at a pizzeria and his relationship with the boss, which is a strained one. My favourite tracks from the mixtape are ‘When I’m drunk’, ‘Old Pictures On The Wall’ featuring Mac Miller, ‘This World’ and ‘Soul Food.’ It on a whole lives up to all the expectation that was given to it and has a nice chilled flow and vibe to it, with Choo’s distinctive vocal complimenting this. I can see why Most Dope was so eager to sign up the talented artist, boasting a dynamic lyrical ability, whilst also being able to produce his own tracks Choo Jackson looks to have a promising career ahead.

8/10

First published: January 27, 2013

Where?: https://willgcollege.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/choo-jackson-beer-flavoured-pizza/

Album Review: Skepta – Blacklisted

UK rapper Skepta returns with his mixtape entitled Blacklisted, bringing a whole new vibe and feel to his ever growing fan base. The mixtape has a much more chilled out and mellow feel to it than what fans would’ve come accustomed to. Skepta, like many UK rappers, had fallen down the dance/pop route and many critics felt like this was the future for him. Despite relative success in the charts Skepta’s routes had always been in grime/rap music and with this mixtape he returns to this… but bigger, better and stronger than ever. The mixtape really feels like Skepta has matured and evolved as an artist, touching on political, social and cultural matters. The beats of the songs are slower and deeper-sounding, with his vocals sounding much more edgy and cold, allowing the lyrics to really hit you. The mixtape has 12 songs on it, which vary from upbeat like Tour Bus Massacre (feat. Krept & Konan), to reflective like Castles, but all-in-all each track brings something different to the table. It’s this variety and audience retention which makes the mixtape extremely durable and well worth the buy. The new Skepta is a colder more reflective one and has had many fans screaming ‘praise The Lord, he’s back!’

8/10

First published: January 26, 2013

Where?: https://willgcollege.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/skepta-blacklisted/