Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Purge: Anarchy - The Real Purge [Spoilers level: Low]

The Purge: Anarchy is officially the first sequel I review which's predecessor was also reviewed. Not only that, I also wrote a piece when the sequel was announced a bit over a year ago, making this the most talked about thing on this blog. Whatever that entails.

As you may have read in my review of the first film, the concept terrified me. The idea that more or less an entire nation (or at least the majority) agrees that letting people run rampage once a year is a good idea, is baffling and terrifying. I don't really care that it's unlikely, the fact that it happened in this fictional world is horrifying enough. Unfortunately the original film squandered its concept on a very typical home-invasion piece. The only thing different from any other film of a similar subgenre was that the killers were fully allowed to do what they wanted to do. The sequel, luckily, goes further.

Despite my low hopes in something different from a sequel, Blumhouse actually did deliver a different subgenre film set within the same universe as the first. Instead of being trapped in a house with a more or less ordinary family, we follow three different set of characters on the night. One poor woman and her daughter, a middle-class married couple, and a man out for revenge. Immediately we see that this will be different, just the man who's planning to participate in the purge guarantees that. We also get introduced to a whole lot of people and different ideas this time. We get to see one of the members of the New Founding Fathers of America, and we also get to see the resistance that is lurking in the background. We get the idea that there actually is a significant part of the population who are against the entirely crazy notion of the purge.

Overall this film is just better in every way from the first film. The characters are better written, the events are scarier and more plentiful, and it's set across several blocks in a city making it seem a lot more real and big than before. After seeing this I can't quite understand why the first film was the way it was. Did they initially mean for the series to be more like the first film showed, but they actually listened to their audience who mostly said the home-invasion setting was the worst part? After watching the sequel the only good thing I have to say about the first film is that it sets up the second film better. You know what the rules are, you know how people act, you know the general idea. Even though they re-introduce some of them for fresh viewers, it helps set you in the mood. You've been through it before, and you just want to get through it again.

When I saw the 109-minute run time of the film I feared that it would be a bit dragged out and stalled, but they managed to stuff every minute with something. Be it action and terror, or some of the minor character development one might expect from this kind of film. You will never wind yourself bored or antsy to get on, if you're like me they will be welcome breaks inbetween the rushes.

Without giving too much away, this film too hints that there might be more films to come, which doesn't surprise me. After the success of both the first one, and the success this one has had so far, there almost has to come another film, so they've set it up nicely to be able to do just that. I doubt it will be the political prequel I envisioned in my previous blog posts, but I wouldn't be too surprised if the third film ties up the "contemporary" story and they will have a forth film go back to the tell the story of how it all started. All I know is that I will definitely be back to see how the third film turns out.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Tremors - Not Too Underground for a Reboot

When I grew up as late as the '90s and early '00s the only times I watched films were when I was lucky enough to get to go to the video store and rent a few tapes. It was always amazing, first going through all of the new releases, seeing if there was anything new and promising from your favourite actors. But sometimes there just weren't anything new you wanted to watch. That's when you went to the old section.

It was in the old section that I a Friday afternoon first discovered the film Tremors 2: Aftershocks (no, it wasn't even the first one). Me and a friend decided right away that this looked promising enough for a watch, and it was even on DVD (!), meaning there would most likely not be any artifacts. I think I ended up watching the films thrice that weekend, it was just so fun and different from anything else I had watched up to that point. My friend at the time was deeply into monster films, horror films, and splatter films, but I was more mainstream with my love for just plain old action and comedy films. This was the first time I watched anything with that kind of gore and horror, and it was coupled with the type of comedy I had learned to love from other films. Of course we understood that since this was titled Tremors 2 there had to be at least one other film out there, but we never found it at the video store. It was many more years before I re-discovered the series at a dollar shop on my way to the family cabin. There were two DVD-sets on the shelf that I instantly recognised. One had Tremors and Tremors 2 written on it, and the other Tremors 3 and Tremors 4. There were four films! Two more than I had ever even known about. I managed to convince my parents that I really needed those films, that they were all I had ever wanted, and that weekend I watched all of them as fast as I possibly could. They were all so amazing. I just loved them. Each of them was like the last one, just even wackier and crazy. They had truly managed to make a building franchise that didn't really feel stale. (Of course I would later find out that I was one of very few people with that mindset, but that wouldn't stop me loving them). A few years later I even learned there was a TV series, and a few years after that I got to watch that series. But then it was over. There was nothing more to watch.

Nowadays you'd probably be lucky if you found anyone who knew anything about the Tremors franchise beyond the first film. Most people would go "the first one is okay, the other ones sound stupid". There's a small online community still somewhat active. If you call one post every other year active, but that's about it. What was just a few years ago a growing community with several "high-profile" fan websites and constant activity has more or less grown dormant. The biggest news in the fandom are when one of the writers publishes a new book, and even those aren't pulling in the posters these days. So the timing of this new news is really odd.

Actor/director Don Michael Paul (director of a Taken rip-off named Taken, and some sequels to some films you heard of once in passing) has posted on his blog that he's doing a reboot of Tremors for Universal. It's supposed to film in Johannesburg, South Africa after he's finished a film that there almost isn't any online information about. Looking over this director's IMDB page isn't exactly inspiring. There's nothing worthy of note there, except that it seems he's become Universal's go-to-guy for shitty genre films that pleases some niche market. Which, honestly, doesn't bode too well for this reboot.

Sure, no one is praising Tremors 2-4 for their brilliance in cinema. No one is deluded enough to think that they should've won any big awards, or are worthy of love from everyone. But most agree that at least the first film is a "proper" one. It's a genuine monster horror comedy, a genre that we see very rarely done with any respect today. The biggest studio upholding it is perhaps The Asylum, but they make their films more spoofs than anything.

What I really don't get is how Universal figures Tremors is ready for a reboot at all. We're at an all-time low in terms of popularity, mostly because Universal has been slow with realising what the fans want (the DVD set of the TV series took seven years to be released). Not to mention the fact that most fans know that there exists a written Tremors 5 script. We've heard all about it, and it's written by the original writer, meaning it's at least going to have some of the same charm and feeling as the four films prior. But instead we get a whole new reboot. Straight-to-DVD by a director who's no one ever heard about despite his many classic films. They could have just as easily, if not more so, made the film a stand-alone. The series has already established that graboids (the monsters of the series) exist at least in the entirety of the Americas, and the fact that they've been around for so long mean they're most likely present on all other continents as well. There's nothing stopping Universal from just moving the setting to another country, with new characters, and just have some off comment about them actually having heard of graboids before. They don't need to be experts about them, they don't need to know how to defeat them, they just need to have heard of them. "Oh yeah, I think I've heard of these things. They're called graboids."

Bottomline, Universal. Just come to me. Let me work this story out. You can let this Don Michael guy direct it for all I care, just let me, a fan of the series, make sure it isn't a complete waste of  your time. You're clearly not looking for any specific new fan demographic, let's make sure it at the very least panders to the original one. Thank you.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Review of the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes of the Of The

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" got generally good reviews from critics and audience alike. It made almost half a billion dollars at the box office for under a hundred million dollars. And it was filled with impressive CG that made people talk. Of course a sequel was announced almost right away with a budget featuring an extra 77 million dollars. "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes".

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" (I'm just going to refer to it as "Dawn of the Apes" henceforth) is set ten years after the events of "Rise of the Apes". Humanity is dwindling away following a global outbreak of the virus seen engineered in the first film, the apes have built their own community in the woods. It's been three years since they last saw any humans, but they aren't exactly upset about it. Caesar is still the leader of the group, and under his rule they've built a makeshift village with a school, housing, communal area, front door, more or less everything you'd expect from a human village. We see them communicating mostly through sign language, but there's also English writing at the school implying a grasp of the human language they've grown up around. Caesar now has a wife and a son, and though most of the apes still stand behind him there are some who are more hesitant.

When Caesar's son, Blue Eyes, and a friend are scouting the woods they come across a twitchy human. The friend is shot and the sound of the gun shot immediately attracts both the rest of the human group and the entirety of the ape village. Blah blah blah, story stuff, apes are pitted against humans and both sides must figure out what to do with the situation at hand. The remainder of the film takes a different route than what perhaps most blockbusters of this caliber might have taken. It's not about giant wars and fights, it's about the two main families - one human family and one ape family - and how they're living through it. It's a nice slower pace, a break from the films like Trans4mers, Godzilla, and the like where there's almost no sequence without some sort of giant action or character reveal. Most of "Dawn of the Apes" is about the characters, ape and human alike, how they think the world should work, how they feel about outsiders, and general interspecies politics. I would say, don't watch this if you're expecting a giant spectacle of a film. Because although there are spectacles in it, those are far from the main focus, and you might find yourself bored between them.

Before I watched this film I kept getting reviews through my feeds about how fantastic Andy Serkis was in it, how amazing the CG was, and the debate about giving acting Oscars to captured performances (a debate for another post) heated up again. I have to say, I disagree almost wholeheartedly. Serkis' performance was perhaps one of the weaker ones in the film, at least on the ape side. It may have been deliberate because he was amongst the first apes to get to such a high level of function, but he seems so much more human than the other apes. Toby Kebbell who portrayed Koba, Caesar's second in command, was much more impressive to me. He felt like an ape that was just slightly off. He felt more ape than human, more like an ape that that was transitioning to higher functioning rather than already being there. There were some apes that felt maybe a little too ape like again, like Maurice (the orangutan) who I sometimes actually forgot was supposed to be a near-equal to humans in brain capacity. But overall I felt that Serkis performance is far from worthy its praise.

Bottom line: If you liked "Rise of the Apes" you'll probably like "Dawn of the Apes". It neatly follows the story from the previous film without being overly reliant on it (could've possibly worked as a stand-alone with some minor rewrites). And if you didn't like "Rise of the Apes" you'll probably want to steer clear of this one. Like I said, it's more of the same. It's differently done, but it's still generally the same type of film.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Wish I Was Here - Wish I Hadn't Backed This

As you may tell from the initial image macro (sorry about that, by the way) this isn't a review of Zach Braff's film "Wish I Was Here". It was supposed to be, but because of transpired events that did not go through. You may have heard of it, and you may not have heard of it, but it affect several people both within the USA but mostly outside of it. But first, let us look into what my specific perk promised to me:
     For thirty US dollars my perk's headline feature was a "backer's thank you screening". This was advertised as a "first of its kind live group movie screening across the world". There were supposed to be at least three of them so that people could watch the one that fit their schedule the best, and it would work with computers and mobile devices alike. After each screening there were also going to be a Q&A with Zach Braff where he'd "answer as many of your questions about the film as I can". You'd also get access to a sneak peek of the soundtrack, weekly playlists put together by Zach, a production diary, and the script itself.
     Sounds simple enough, right? You'd get to watch the film and partake in a Q&A afterwards. All in all 22,387 people paid for the privilege to attend the backer's screening.

Come July 4th this year (13+ months since the campaigns completion) I received a mail instructing me to save the date for July 11th (a week later). On this day you'd be able to start screening "Wish I Was Here". It would last from 5pm (PDT) on the 11th until 10pm on the 12th. They informed us that because there were "so many of [us]" around the world and in different time zones they would drop the idea of hosting three live screenings and instead just let people watch it whenever within that day. Okay. So we paid for three different live screenings, but we're getting one. I guess it makes sense. It could be hard to best plan it out so that anyone would be happy with at least one of the screening times. Giving us a day could sort that out. No biggie. No mention of a Q&A though.

July 11th rolls around and about two hours before the screening is supposed to start we get a second e-mail informing us about how it's going to happen. It's on a third-party service and we'll get a custom link that will take us to view the film when clicked (it will also keep track of who it is that's watching it). There's also a big spiel on not copying, filming, or sharing the film. Because they don't want their distributors to get angry.

Then the screening time comes. No e-mail. Five minutes in I get my e-mail with my own link, but I heard of some people who waited for as long as three to four hours. Which isn't exactly an negligible delay. I go through the e-mail, a lot of spiel again about not clicking the link right away. The moment you click it you'll only have three hours to watch it (Really? Why?), and to e-mail the support of the site if anything goes wrong. Then I clicked the link. It took me directly to a page labelled "you've been geoblocked". My first reaction was of course "what?" I tried re-loading. Nothing. I tried activating a VPN service I use (which I really shouldn't have had to do). Nothing. There's a short message from the site. "Your country has been geoblocked, please click this link to go to a survey to get a compensation reward". I click through and it's a short surveymonkey survey asking for my name and address (which Zach and co should have already). After filling it out I immediately e-mail the service to figure out if this was intentional, or if maybe they'd done goofed. Maybe this was some standard error page, and they'd accidentally sent me there. The answer I got said otherwise. "Per the Wish I Was Here team, please fill out this survey with your [blah blah] so they can be in touch about your alternate reward". So not only was this real, it was per the wishes of Zach himself. How do I know Zach was behind it? Because I sent a message through their Kickstarter 'contact me' feature where a lovely Coco confirmed that only herself and Zach were managing the campaign/project. The whole reason Zach went through Kickstarter was so that he wouldn't have to deal with meddling producers, so he was really the top man (at least that's the image he put out). So it really sucks hearing him being behind you not getting to enjoy the perk you paid for over a year earlier. Even better, in the message through Kickstarter Coco said "this was a last minute thing so we have been scrambling". The screening was far from a last minute thing. You knew about it 14 months prior, you just put off doing something about it until last minute.

On July 13th I got a simple e-mail. It started with the specification "Dear Backers in Norway", and went on to say how sad they were that we didn't get to watch the film. And they were going to do everything they could. "It may take a few days for us to sort this out". This e-mail was from a brand new account that had not been used for communications before, but the name "wiwhscreenings2" suggested that we would at least get the screenings we were promised. Just not at the same time as everyone else for some stupid reason.

Then there was a long, long silence. Not until July 16th did I get a new e-mail. It was about the Q&As. Apparently the long-promised sessions were going to be split between two twitter accounts, a Reddit AMA and a live YouTube video for backers only. The AMA was fair enough, though it seemed weird to include that as it's pretty standard PR these days, same with the twitter accounts. Especially considering how infamously bad some of those are. But the YouTube video had promised. At least some. Until you realise that they only scheduled 30 minutes for it. Only between 4:30 PM and 5 PM was Zach going to sit in front a camera and answer our questions. "This is only for you wonderful Kickstarter Backers", my ass. Not to mention that the video itself was made public shortly after the end of the Q&A, so only the question giving was backer exclusive. Though the fact that all questions were read off of notes makes me wonder exactly where those questions came from.
     Oh, and did I notice that yet again did we only get a few hours notice? He was doing Q&As on a Thursday, when most people have work, and only bothered to tell people the day before.
     The e-mail had some good news, though. It said that international backers were welcome to the Q&A, but we would get our own "down the line". Suggesting that we would indeed get a screening of the film as well.

Then there is today. I spent my evening going through his Reddit AMA, and one answer in particular held more information about the screening problems than any mail we had gotten earlier. You can read that here, but the gist is as follows:
     - Zach admits he never really had any clues about streaming content globally, or how geoblocking and international rights works.
     - Zach promises he will make it right, he "will not let [us] down".
     - "Just give me a little time to launch the movie in USA and Canada and then all of my attention will turn to international for August and September"
    Uhm, what? August and September? The biggest appeal of the online screening was that we would get it before the US premiere. It wasn't promised in the Kickstarter, but most people got to watch it then. Not to mention the fact that the film will start rolling out in the UK (one of the countries with troubles) by then anyhow. I understand that making a film is hard work, and launching one takes a lot of time and effort. But if you can't be bothered to take care of the people who paid for you to make your film, then you don't have your priorities right. This isn't some run-of-the-mill production where having foreign gross is a nice bonus. You told us we could back you, and we did for the promise to watch the film. We didn't do any shady deal in an alley.

As it stands not a single headline feature of my perk has gone through. I haven't gotten an online screening, and I haven't gotten a following Q&A where I can actually ask questions about the film I just watched. The fact that you don't seem super intent on solving this problem is troubling at best, and disturbing at worst. I backed your campaign because I was a fan of you, Zach. Not anymore. I have lost the respect I had for you as an artist, and as an online personality. I remember you going on and on in your Kickstarter video about how you hated producers who wanted to meddle in your project and make you change it around. The fact that your film is getting slaughtered by critics and you can't even put together a screening for those who paid for it makes me think you need those people above you. You clearly don't have the ability to put anything on this scale through. You will not get any more money from me.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction - Transhitter

It's easy to talk smack about Transformers films. It's easy to say Michael Bay just throws a lot of guns, explosions, and hot women around. It's easy to say these things, but now, more than ever, are they completely true.

     I had low expectations going into Transformers: Age of Extinction (or Trans4mers as it really should be called), lower than low. I found the first Transformers film to be totally acceptable. It was funny, it had action, sexy ladies, and at the very least a decent story. Over the next two films this was gradually "refined". Each film was less funny, had more action, more sexy ladies, and less and less of a decent story. I still went, though, because I liked the action and the sexy ladies. And the story was passable enough for me to get through it. Not every film needs to be a Citizen Kane or Schindler's List, we need the popcorn blockbusters as well. They help us unwind, just get out of the real world's worries for a bit. Let someone else worry. Then we have Age of Extinction.

     When I first saw the run time of the film, 165 minutes, I thought: "Okay, sure. That sounds a bit long, but I'm sure they have their reason." Coming out of it, I'm not sure they did. The film as a whole seems like a whole bunch of ideas crammed together to get as much bang for their buck as possible. The entire last hour of the film (and yes, I checked the clock, I was already getting antsy at that time) seems like it's a film on its own. They more or less closed up the story that started the film, and they enrolled on a similar, but still different mission. It's not the typical "oh, we were doing the wrong thing, now let's fix it" type of scenario, it was more of a "oh, we did a bunch of things, but now we're in a different film so let's do them again". I remember hearing about Michael Bay wanting to make a second trilogy of Transformers film, the fact that the first installment in it has two films worth of stuff makes me question that.

     Alright, I've done the obligatory spiel on how long the film is, now what about something a bit more important. The characters. The human characters of the film are all new, and considering the greatness of some of the new actors (Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer) you'd think they'd be at least decent. They aren't. They are your run of the line characters. You have the troubled father, the rich maniac, the CIA agent out of control, the hot daughter, the shady boyfriend, and a whole lot of people not even worthy of mention. Sometimes in films like these that's all you need. You stick a few stereotypical characters in between a bunch of robots and you're good to go, but we have to spend three hours with these people. Three hours of them running around trying to do what the story tells them to do. The fact that I by the end of the film can't even remember their names, speaks volumes of how they are treated. The characters are all over the place, they're brave when the story wants them to be, stupid when the story wants them to be, scared shitless when the story wants them to be, they're just following the by-the-book story. You don't actually believe that they're real people, they don't seem like they're actually in the situations they are in. They seem far too comfortable with what's going on, and breaks down at the littlest of whims.

     If you've read this far and you still want to watch the film you're probably thinking "eh, the others were alright, it's not like I had high expectations anyway", am I right? I had the same thoughts. The film has been out for two weeks in the USA as I'm writing this. I've seen the reviews coming in. Hating on it. Saying its horrible. I've even seen the hardcore Transformers fans in my twitter feed almost in tears over how badly executed it was, fans who were all over the third installment of the franchise. Still, after all that, I too thought "how bad can it really be?" The answer is simply "that bad". It's not worth your money. Wait till it's on Netflix, wait till it's on some shady cable network, wait till it's out on Pirate Bay, I don't care. It's just not worth your money. During this film I was for the first time, in my life, considering walking out. At the two-hour mark I had to talk myself down, I had already spent the money. I wish I hadn't talked myself down.


Oh, by the way, remember all those dinosaur robots from the posters and trailers? If that's the only reason you're going, don't. Just don't, it's not worth it. Wait for it to be on YouTube.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Hemlock Grove Season 2 - What?

The first season of Hemlock Grove wasn't really a huge success with the critics, but the viewers found it fun enough for Netflix to green light a second season. Personally I was a cautious fan of it, it was the first Netflix series I binge watched in a single sitting, though it was more for background entertainment than non-stop attention. Season two gives you more of the same, and some... More.

The best part about this season was that they didn't really "care" if you'd watched it before or not. They made this with the recaps in mind so they just jumped straight into most things without a bunch of exposition regarding the events of last season. It can be a bit confusing if your memory isn't totally up to date, so do watch the recap. Straight up in the first episode do we get a werewolf transformation and vampire action, the show goes "remember this stuff? Yeah, we've got more of that stuff" and they don't skimp out on it for the remainder of the season.

     They spend the season mostly exploring the characters. Who they are, what they feel, what they're going through, all that good stuff. But I have to say they can go about it a bit weirdly. The structure of the season seems rather off. There's three less episodes this season than last, and it seems like they forgot about that until the last couple of episodes. There is a lot of build up, a lot of suppressing plots, and a lot of focus on pure character development that sometimes just gets in the way of the plot. I'm normally all for exploring characters, but they go too far into the deep end, forgetting about what's important in the show, and removes a lot of the cool fantasy/horror theme it has going on.

     One thing they do get right, in my opinion, is that the series doesn't really feel like a series. It's like a ten-hour film with the occasional title sequence. Looking back at it it's hard to separate episode specifics, and easier to remember the overall themes and story lines. Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, it ends far too abruptly. Leaving you just to want more. And when you have a year between seasons, you don't want too big of a cliff hanger.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2 - Now you can learn how to train your dragon too

"How to Train Your Dragon" was one of the first animated films in a long while to surprise and impress me when I first watched it. When it first was released all I associated with Dreamworks Animation were some mediocre Shrek sequels, some animals in Africa, and a kung fu fighting panda people had told me was actually pretty good. "How to Train Your Dragon" was the first Dreamworks film that made me go "okay, maybe they really can get to Pixar's level" (this, of course, was before Cars 2).

Even though I fell in love with "How to Train Your Dragon", or perhaps because I fell in love with it, I wasn't very pleased when I first heard words of a sequel. Not only a sequel, but a television series as well. I can't speak much for the series (I've seen but one episode, and it was completely okay), but that told me that this was just another cash cow for Dreamworks to milk dry like Shrek and Madagascar before it. Even after I learned that the film was in fact based on a book series which had eight installments at the time (twelve now), so clearly it was never intended to be a one-off to begin with. But that's just how it goes for me with animation, if I hear news of a sequel, I prepare for the worst.

     Because of this I didn't really pay any attention to the building of the franchise as the years past by. The TV series came and went without me even noticing it, and all of a sudden the first teasers and trailer dropped for the film's sequel. I watched a few of them, but nothing really sparked within me, they were just reminders that made me go "oh yeah, this is a thing that's happening". The film premiered, and I didn't go. Normally when I want to go watch a film I watch it in the opening weekend, but I didn't feel the slightest urge to do so for this. It wasn't until a week later, when I was itching to just see something at the cinema, that I decided that this would have to do. As I'd already watched all the ones I really wanted to watch. It was animation after all, and I like to keep up with animation, and I had at some point really liked the first film. Maybe this would at least be decent? Boy am I glad I decided to go.

     This is one of the better sequels I have watched, at least in relation to the first film. Empire Strikes Back, Toy Story 3, Back to the Future Part II, it's in that kind of league. The core of this film is both familiar from the first film, and totally new. Instead of watching Hiccup deal with being the shame of his father and town, not being able to do any good, we see him deal with being the pride of his father and town, not being able to do any wrong. Five years have passed since the original installment, and in that time Hiccup has proven himself as one of the best dragon riders there is, and capable of great leadership and courage. The main drive of the plot this time 'round is much the same as for the last one as well. Exploring the unknown. In the first film Hiccup catches and studies Toothless, a dragon never really seen before, and learns more about dragon kind than anyone ever has before him. In this sequel he keeps up that exploration, only a tad more literal. He spends his days flying in all directions from his home island, looking for more land, dragons, and people. It's in this search that he suddenly finds himself at the centre of the plot. 

     Just in general the world expansion is some of the better I've seen. They are careful not to add too much at once. They ease us in, letting us remember the world, let us recognise it, and then they add the new stuff they've learned since last time. Nothing of it seems particularly weird, or unexpected, but it isn't completely predictable either. It just convincingly sells us a bigger world, and that Berk (the town) fits perfectly well within it. It feels like the first film set up the shot, and this film sent it on its way. 

     If I had to come up with a complaint it is that the film may be a bit on the short side. Some things feel like they go a bit fast, and it can feel bumpy and uneasy. As if  your sat on the back of some kind of flying, wild beast. But it wasn't something that put me off in the middle of the experience. It was more of an afterthought while trying to string together my thoughts for the film. Pauses were few and far between, there was never a dull moment, and maybe it would have benefited from one. 

     All in all I have to say, as you expect, that I really liked this film. It makes me excited for the third one which I'm hoping will show you just how well "How to Train Your Dragon 2" actually hit that shot.