Black Mass Review

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The FBI, The Mafia, The IRA, and the cops. The story of James “Whitey” Bulger is so crazy, you just couldn’t make it up. Thankfully, the creators of Black Mass didn’t have to. It’s all true and its all fascinating. Black Mass, however, is not just your standard real life gangster depiction movie. It offers much more than that and this is what makes it so great.

There can be no doubts that the key focus of this film is Johnny Depp and his portrayal of the infamous James “Whitey” Bulger. What makes this film so great, however, and so different is that the focus isn’t just all on Bulger. Joel Edgerton and his portrayal of FBI agent John Connolly comes very close to stealing the whole show. Connolly’s blind loyalty to Bulger and how it leads to his downfall is simply facinating to watch. The fact that this all actually happened makes it all the more compelling and even quite sad. 

The tone and style of the film is also something that stands out greatly. You won’t see any stylistic Goodfella’s type shots here. This film is dark and gritty and this is perfect for the realism it is trying to convey. This just adds to the tension in those moments when you know Bulger is going to strike on his unsuspecting prey. The film makes you feel like no-one in his circle is safe and Depp’s look and performance simply add to this terror. 

What I like about this film is there’s no-one to cheer for here. This film isn’t trying to portray anyone in a good light or a bad light. There is no agenda. It is simply telling us the fascinating story of what happened in the life of James “Whitey” Bulger. There are no heroes here and the line between good and evil has never been so blurred. I didn’t come away liking any particular character. I was just compelled as to what was going to happen next and this is exactly what a film like this should be.

8/10

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: “The Dirty Half Dozen” Review

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Well, this is it. Our last episode set before the massive The Avengers: Age of Ultron and what an episode it was. This week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D served great as a build up to Marvel’s latest blockbuster, but was also able to push its on narrative on in a fantastic way. It is not long now until the series finale and things are certainly moving towards a big climax with many questions still unanswered.

The first thing that struck me about this weeks episode was just how good the action was. It would be easy to forget that what we were watching here was not a Hollywood Blockbuster, but was in fact a weekly TV show. This was possibly best shown with the CGI used during the plane crash scene. This simply looked great and like anything in Agent’s of  S.H.I.E.L.D, it was not overly done. However, my favourite bit of action has to be Skye taking on Hydra and showing us just how much she has come along as a S.H.I.E.L.D Agent. Just like the famous scene we saw early on in the Daredevil series, This was all done in one long take. Yet again, This was nailed to perfection and looked great.

Secondly, this weeks episode was the last one before the new Avenger’s film and I loved the way in which Marvel linked these two together. We had our little mentions such as “the twins” (Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver) being the only two who have survived Hydra’s experiments and this was certainly nice to all us Marvel fans. What was great, however, was how at the end of the show we saw that the actions of Coulson and his team had a direct effect on the start of Age of Ultron. Without giving any spoilers away to the film, it was Coulson’s intelligence gathering that led to the Avengers journey starting again. This is critical as it makes us feel that events in this show do indeed have an impact on the wider MCU and shows us just how important Coulson and his team actually are.

There were also several other aspects of the show that were very pleasing to see. The first of these has to be the original S.H.I.E.L.D team from series one being reunited. It may have been awkward for all involved, but it was nice to see Agent Ward having some dynamic with his former team mates. It was also great to see Skye and Raina continue to develop their newly formed powers. Skye can now not only use her gift as a controlled weapon, but also as a way of saving lives. Raina’s gift also seems to be getting stronger and it will be interesting to see how much of an influence this has throughout the final part of the series.

The Verdict

Yet again, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has been thoroughly entertaining to watch and has shown us all just how well it stacks up to the rest of the MCU. I cannot wait to see what impact Age of Ultron will have on the rest of the series and also just what else Coulson is hiding from his team. It looks as though S.H.I.E.L.D’s biggest rival next week will be The Inhumans, but I’m sure Hydra will have something to say about that before the series ends.

9/10

 

Daredevil: “Daredevil” Season Finale Review

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well here it is. Our review of the season finale of Daredevil and what a finale it was. This was an episode that seemed to have everything and gave us many things that we had waited for all season long. Everything we had seen in show so far was building to this momentous finale and it is fair to say Daredevil nailed it.

Firstly, this was an episode that was full of great iconic moments and fan service. The biggest of these being the introduction of the Daredevil outfit. For me, leaving this till the last episode was a great decision by the makers of the show. We were given reasoning and a story as to why Matt Murdock needed this suit. This not only made it more believable, but just made it all the better when we first got to see it in all its glory.  I have heard mixed reviews on whether people actually like the outfit, but I personally think the costume designers have done a great job making a suit that looks both menacing and also as though it is there to protect out hero.

speaking of iconic moments, we also finally got to the Daredevil and Wilson Fisk come to blows. It was great to see these two finally clash in what was a true iconic moment for the series. This scene also continued the trend of brutal, but yet great looking action sequences we have seen throughout the series. The action is realistic and every punch looks like it well and truly hurt. The director here and all the directors throughout the series deserve a lot of credit for this as the action simply looks great and has done throughout.

The fight scene also showed us just how powerful Wilson Fisk really is. He not only held his own against the Daredevil, but was even able to man handle him and throw him about. This episode, however, did not just show us how powerful Fisk is physically. It also showed us just how much power “The Kingpin” himself actually has and this was great to see. It seems that we only got to see a fraction of his power throughout the series and Fisk looks to control a lot more people than we ever thought. Even as he sat dazing into the empty wall in his cell, we cannot help but feel that this is not the last we will see of Fisk. I can safely say that this is not the ending and in fact looks like the true beginnings of The Daredevil and The Kingpin of crime.

The Verdict

All in all, this was a great and very satisfying finale to what has been a spectacular television series. Everything that has been great throughout the series was simply carried on here. From great action to a compelling storyline, Daredevil has done everything right. Although this was a satisfying closure, is has just left us wanting more and more. We cannot wait to see where Daredevil goes from here and we have a sneaky feeling the Kingpin we be involved along the way.

9.5/10

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: “Melinda” Review

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This weeks Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D was a thoroughly enjoyable one which gave us the answer to many questions we have asked since the early parts season one. the main one of these, of course, being why is Melinda so appalled at being referred to as ‘The Cavalry’ and what really happened to her on that faithful day. This weeks show also poised some new questions that we are sure to discover over the coming weeks.

Firstly, it was great to finally see the true story of what really did happen to Agent May seven years ago in Bahrain. These flashback sequences were very well played out during the show and it was great to see exactly what Melinda was like before the incident. yes the situation with the little girl was all a bit clichéd, but it was good to see how this little storyline linked in well with the Inhuman angle of the series. Agent Coulson also played a key part in these flashbacks and it was nice to see little nods to the MCU. His line about looking for ‘Earth’s mightiest heroes’ did bring joy to the little geek inside us.

In terms of the situation with Skye and The Inhumans, I was a little surprised to see the mother secret be revealed so quickly, but this can surely only lead to some fascinating moments with Skye and her parents. We only got a taste of this at the end with the rather awkward dinner together, but I’m sure much more is to come. The Skye and her powers situation, however, is running rather predictably. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though as the more fascinating aspect will be just how Skye fits back in at S.H.I.E.L.D, if she does ever at all.

S.H.I.E.L.D itself is still in turmoil and it seems more and more agents look to be turning against Coulson. Just why has he kept everyone in the dark about his mysterious Theta Protocol? Lets be reasonable though people. This is Agent Coulson and we are sure that he will have a very good reason. We just want to know what it is. My only gripe for this episode, however, is that all the flashbacks meant a lack of Coulson and Lance Hunter in the present day. their on-screen dynamic lately has been great, but I’m sure we will get plenty of this next week.

Finally, my highlight of the show has to be the revelation about what Raina’s true power might be since entering the mist. We know from season one that Raina was fascinated with the idea of the Clairvoyant. from the little revelation towards the end of the show, it seems Raina may have just got her wish. It is going to be great to see how this angle pans out towards the end of the series and this was very nicely done during this weeks episode.

The Verdict

This weeks Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has, once again, been a pleasure to watch and whilst one question may have been answered, another has been poised. It was only right that we got an episode dedicated to Agent May and why she is who she is today. This was also done very well and gave us true reason to believe why May is as cold as she is. the lack of present day Coulson and Hunter was dissapointing, but their little cameo towards the end shown us that we are certain to see much more of them next week and I shall have no complaints about that.

8/10

Daredevil: “Cut Man” Review

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Having opened with such an amazing episode, it seemed impossible that Daredevil could come even close to topping it with its second. Fortunately for us, this has not been the case and episode two is just as great, if not better.

Firstly, it was great to see things that were touched upon in the first episode be expanded upon in greater detail here. As we said in our review of episode one, one of the best things about the show is that Matt Murdock is a fledgling hero and it is going to take time for him to become the hero that he wants to be. Nothing better illustrates this than this episode itself. Straight away we see our hero battered, bruised, and barely clinging onto life in a dumpster. There can be no doubts about it, Matt Murdock is vulnerable and we are simply loving to see how is going to come out of all this alive. This episode also showed us more and more of Matt’s “gifts” and just how strong his senses really are. Whether it be sniffing out people three floors away or dropping a fire extinguisher onto a moving targets head, Daredevil certainly has a lot more strings to his bow than was seen in episode one and it will be intriguing to see how this develops.

It was also great to see the relationship between Foggy Nelson and Karen page develop. Although all they basically did was just get drunk together, they showed that our “good guys” are well and truly bonding. Thankfully, they were blissfully unaware of the slightly sticky situation Matt Murdock had found himself in.

The shows gritty and dark themes have also continued into episode two and if anything, this show is getting darker by the second. The torture scene is one that really sticks in the mind and shows just exactly what our hero will do to win the day over. This is not Thor or Captain America. This is Daredevil and he definitely does things a little differently. This show certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted and it has Daredevil taking on the underworld exactly the way he should.

Although the show overall was great, my particular highlight was the flashback scenes of Matt and his father. Not only were these scenes true to the comic books, they were also hear-warming and showed us exactly why Matt has grown up to be the man he is. Having begrudgingly taken money to throw fights, Matt’s father decides to do the right thing for his son even if he knows it will lead to his death. Matt is shown early on just what the criminal underworld can do to the regular man and he is sure to have not forgotten this in a hurry.

Finally, I must once again mention the high quality overall look and feel of this episode. Matt Murdock was Daredevil all the way through this one and this, yet again, meant we were treated to some great action sequences. The fight scene at the end being a particular stand-out. Much like a famous scene from the great True Detective, it seemed as though our director didn’t once utter the word cut and we were treated to one long brutal fight sequence which showed our hero taking on the villainous Russians one by one until they were all down. This was fantastic viewing and was not only slick, but realistic in the way in which our hero dealt with his opponents.

The Verdict

Yet again, we have been treated to another superb piece of television from the people at Marvel. Daredevil has done the impossible and managed to shift up gear after such a great opening episode. I certainly hope this trend continues and can only see good things coming from this series.

9.5/10

Daredevil: “Into the Ring” Review

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Well here it finally is. Our first review and I don’t think we could have picked a better place to start. The anticipation for Daredevil has been huge and it has quickly grown since it was announced that Marvel would be adding this character to their already fantastic cinematic universe. As with pretty much everything Marvel has done recently, it looks like we can already safely say that Daredevil is going to be great viewing. This does not mean, however, that Daredevil will follow the same winning formula that we have seen in the colourful Marvels Agents of Shield or the charming fun-filled Guardians of the Galaxy. Oh no! Daredevil is something much much different.

Firstly, the tone in this first episode was something we have not yet seen in the MCU. This show is dark and I mean really dark. From Daredevil beating a villain to a bloody pulp in the first ten minutes to the to the gory murder scene that we first find Karen Page in, we can see that this show will be nothing like anything Marvel have done in the recent past. Not only do we get some grim scenes of fighting and blood, the overall tone of the show feels dark and gritty. The lighting is constantly dark and places like Matt Murdock’s apartment do not look like the type of place you would want to live. This tone, however, is exactly what us Daredevil fans wanted to see. Daredevil’s mission is to take on mobsters in the Hell’s Kitchen area of New York and just like in the comics, things do tend to be a bit dark and gruesome. Marvel’s usual light-hearted approach in the MCU would simply not have worked here and we are very glad that a different approach has been taken. This dark and gritty Daredevil is exactly what we wanted to see and the show is so much better for this.

In terms of the story itself, I am very pleased with how Marvel have set out to portray Matt Murdock and his fledgling Daredevil persona. Matt Murdoch is certainly not the finished article yet nor is he a mighty all powerful hero like Thor or Captain America. He is a human being with a “gift” who is still learning his trade in the hero department. It was great to see him taking on a horde of bad guys at the start, but what made it even better was that this was no easy task for our hero and he himself took a bit of a bashing at times. This just serves to make the show more interesting and we cannot wait to see how this develops. It looks like our hero will be taking a few bumps along the way and it will be great to see how he finally develops into the hero he wants to be

The first episode also introduced us to to several other characters that are going to play an important role throughout. Firstly, there is Matt’s partner Foggy Nelson. From the off, Foggy is instantly likeable and he does offer a nice bit of light-hearted relief to the darkness around him. There is also signs that Matt and Foggy may have disagreements on how certain things should be handled and it looks that this could be an interesting angle as the show continues. Karen Page is also introduced here, but we do not get to see much of her apart from her being a victim and being saved more than once by both Matt Murdock and his Daredevil persona. The Kingpin, however, remains unseen and is only mentioned simply as “The Employer.” What we do get though is a chance to hear our main antagonist and he does certainly sound menacing.

lastly, I would just like to say how good this show looks. This does not look like your bog-standard TV series. With its slick visuals and great casting, it would be easy to think you are in fact watching a high-budget film. Daredevil’s fight scene towards the end was a particular stand out. The visuals here were simply amazing. The scene where they fall from the window was breathtaking and the scene as a whole was superbly shot. The image of Daredevil rising to his feet with both blood and rain pouring from his face is one that will stay with me and is one that superbly sumps up what this show is all about.

The Verdict

Overall, this was a superb first episode to a show that we have eagerly been anticipating. From its dark and gritty tone to the great plot that it is already building, it seems that, once again, Marvel has gotten it very right. We cannot wait to see what is going to come next and the lack of a Kingpin appearance only serves to make us more excited for his arrival. This show may be set in the same universe as Marvels other work, but it is certainly very different to anything we have seen before from them and the show is all the better for this.

9/10

Welcome to 264 Reviews!

Hello everyone and welcome to 264 Reviews. Our aim here is to bring you high quality and honest reviews focusing on our favourite Films, TV Shows, and Games. This will include everything from Comic Book inspired TV Shows such as Marvel’s Agents of Shield to sporting Video Game titles like the FIFA franchise. We also would like to encourage everyone to get involved. Please feel free to share with us any reviews you have written or would like to write to. These reviews, with your permission, could be posted onto our site and you never know, you could become a regular reviewer.These reviews or any other requests should be sent to our email address team.264reviews@outlook.com

We intend to start our website with a bang and our first review will be the premiere of Marvel’s Daredevil which comes to Netflix on April the 10th. We cannot wait to see the next chapter in the great Marvel Cinematic Universe and shall be judging whether or not Matt Murdock and his dark alter-ego can keep the bar raised.

At least we know we won’t be seeing Ben Affleck wearing the cowl again………………………..well not this one anyway.