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Movie Review: The Shape Of Water

At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.



What do you get when you take a fantasy adventure and set it in a real historical war, combining childlike fairytale with the horrors of man? Well you get Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, but if you swap the fantasy adventure with fantasy romance and replace the brutality of the Spanish Civil war with the more behind closed doors but still brutal Russian/American cold war and you have Guillermo’s latest film The Shape of Water.


The basic plot of the film follows Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a mute lady who works as a cleaner in a secret American facility where they conduct various experiments one of which happens to be research on an aquatic humanoid creature that the Americans captured from the Amazon, the chief security officer Mr. Strickland (Michael Shannon) believes the creature to be not more than a dumb animal but our heroine establishes a bond with the creature and finds comfort in its company.



As prolific as he is, Guillermo Del Toro once again proves that is an able director and a creative story writer with a solid understanding of the visual language of film, the sets are believable but lively, the camera shots fluid and varied which brings a certain amount of life to the picture that the standard shot, reverse shot used in a lot of other films.


Guillermo also shows that he knows the right people to work with the cast being lead by Sally Hawkins playing the mute lead in an incredibly expressive performance, along with antagonist Mr. Strickland brought to life in a menacing portrayal by Michael Shannon and then rounded out with acclaimed actress Octavia Spencer as one of the leads best friends, Richard Jenkins playing the other and Michael Stuhlbarg as a scientist with a conscience and a secret, special attention must be made to Doug Jones, former contortionist, current hit with Star Trek fans (as the Kelpien, Saru on Star Trek: Discovery) and Del Toro mainstay as the actor who brings the aquatic creature to life (with some of the creatures sounds actually supplied by Del Toro himself), but beyond actors Del Toro also works with an amazing crew with everything from the costumes and the sets to the sound design being handled flawlessly.



WIth the film combining such disparate elements there was always a risk that it would feel disjointed flitting back and forth between fairytale romance, monster movie and cold war espionage however the film handles all of these elements seamlessly alongside an equally versatile score by Alexandre Desplat.


In short this film is another fantastic entry into the works of Del Toro and well worth seeing, however do be warned that the film is no intended for children due to the adult elements including nudity, curse words and a few violent/gross scenes not for the faint of heart.



The Shape of Water keeps Del Toro’s worth watching list growing with a solid 8.5/10


Check out the trailer below if you haven’t seen it already!

February 13th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in General, Movie Review |

Sanitarium.FM News Update | 17/04/2017


All the Star Wars goodness!


Welcome to the Sanitarium.FM News Update for Monday, April 17th 2017.

All your need to know gaming and tech news in one bite sized video!


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April 17th, 2017 by Lonesamurai
Posted in Gaming, General, Movie Review, PC, Playstation, Xbox |

DVD Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

After the re-emergence of the world’s first mutant, world-destroyer Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan.


X-Men Apocalypse logo


First thought that came to my mind, watching the opening scene of this film. Is this Stargate?  But that would be unfair to Stargate, as it isn’t this camp. I am very disappointed with this film, that they haven’t utilised the wonderful source material, for a cohesive story.  Such a rich source material filled with a variety of universes and well written characters.  Since a fox cub (see what I did there?), I have been a fan the X-Men comics. I understand that in different medians, it is difficult to stick to the source material, but with this particular series, I don’t understand why they couldn’t or wouldn’t. Days Of Future Past was a good film, but was mediocre compared to First Class. I knew then things were taking a downturn with this series. And as a quip was made by a character after coming out from seeing Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi. ‘The third is always the worst.’ That would be funny, if not for the fact, that in this film’s case, it’s just true. I would rather watch The Last Stand again. And also Captain America: Civil War (You can find my review here ~Lone), was a very good film, the best in the series and the third film. So no Jean, they aren’t always the worst. And yes of course, Wolverine makes an appearance. Yawn. I love Wolverine, especially Hugh Jackman’s version, but let’s give the other characters a chance to shine, without him please. Although, well done for getting his Weapon X costume accurate. There were some new characters introduced in this film, but sadly they just go no screen time. One of note was Jubilee. Her costume looked great, the casting was good, but she got pretty much zip all screen time. You don’t even get to see her use her powers.


X-Men Apocalypse 1


The plot is a convoluted mess, and doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do. It seems very desperate to repair the damage, the series has done to itself for the time travelling. It opens with Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) going through a ritual to transfer his consciousness to another mutant’s body, so he may stay young and beautiful, and acquire a new power. The humans revolt to kill him, and whilst he is incapacitated, his horsemen die protecting him, shielding him, in some kind of telekinetic energy. He slumbers for centuries, until the mega, bright 80’s. The scenes then travel through what the mutants are doing.


X-Men Apocalypse 2


Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is a mutant rescuing Samaritan. She infiltrates a mutant cage fight in East Berlin, and rescues Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Angel (Ben Hardy).  Angel flees, after his wing is injured by Nightcrawler in the cage match.  Mystique takes Nightcrawler to a mutant trafficker Caliban, who helps her send Nightcrawler to America.


Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is working in a production factory in Poland, with a wife and a daughter (not Scarlet Witch). Where he is trying to live amongst the humans in peace, as Xavier does.  Xavier (James McAvoy) and Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) are running the school for mutants, but disguised as a school for gifted children. Alex Summers (Lucas Till) collects his brother Scott Summers (Tye Sheridan), after his powers manifest and brings him to the school, so Xavier can help him. There he meets Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), a powerful telepath and telekinetic whom the other children are afraid of, since her nightmares make the school shake. They develop an attraction immediately.  Storm (Alexandra Shipp) looks good, sporting a Mohawk, busy thieving on the streets of Cairo to support her and other street urchins, before she becomes Apocalypse’s new horseman, followed by Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Angel and Magneto.  Apocalypse enhances each of their powers. But only Angel and Psylocke were Horsemen for Apocalypse, and they didn’t need their powers enhancing. Angel did have his wings transformed into metal, with technology.  Storm has a poster of Mystique and longs to be just like her.  As she was recorded saving the President Of The United States in Days Of Future Past.  So she is some sort of ‘saviour’ for mutants.


X-Men Apocalypse 3


Apocalypse is the first mutant and therefore loves his brothers and sisters. But then wants to destroy the world they live in, as the weaker species (humans) have taken over. I feel these motives are purely ridiculous, especially when taking into context, that if the world is destroyed, then how can they have a world for the mutants? He states he wants to rebuild it, but still he would need people to be alive, to help and rebuild it. Who wants to clean up that mess?


I don’t want to go into too many spoilers, so I will miss some of the plot points out. Xavier wants to find Magneto, and when he does, he learns he is with Apocalypse and then he discovers Xavier. Sensing a powerful telepath who can manipulate people, he decides Xavier is his next vessel. Xavier is kidnapped by Apocalypse and crew, leaving Mystique and the kids to rescue him. Before they can, Mystique and the left over grown ups are kidnapped by William Stryker. Nightcrawler uses his teleportation to get himself, Jean and Scott onto the helicopter, which is headed for a secret facility. As they are rescuing Mystique and crew, they meet Weapon X (Wolverine). Jean uses her telepathy to free him from the mind control and he runs off into the woods. Once they are all free, they then take on Apocalypse and crew.


X-Men Apocalypse 4


Now for the cast. I really am not a fan of Sophie Turner. I didn’t like her performance in Game Of Thrones, and I just didn’t feel she was a very good Jean Grey. She just seemed devoid of emotions. Michael Fassbender was on top form as Magneto again, emulating his tortured soul. James McAvoy brings his comedic charm to the role of Xavier again. Jennifer Lawrence shines as Mystique. Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse was a nice surprise, but even he couldn’t save those terrible lines of dialogue. Evan Peters makes a return as Quicksilver, and my favourite version of him. His sarcastic quips are spot on for the character. Olivia Munn looked very much like Psylocke, but she didn’t get enough screen time, I felt. I am hoping they bring her back in the next film, and give her chance. Psylocke is one of my favourite characters. Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, well just another generic teenager. Alexandra Shipp as Storm, is also another one that didn’t get that screen time she needed. I thought she was a very good Storm. Ben Hardy as Angel, well he didn’t make much of an impact. Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler was fantastic. Not only did he look like Kurt Wagner, but also embodied him, with the nervous, but strong hero. Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert again, and I still don’t like Moira as a CIA agent.


As a fan of the comics, I really didn’t enjoy this film. It wasn’t a good superhero film, or a good action film. With Singer at the helm once more, I was expecting more. Sadly I was disappointed.



August 22nd, 2016 by
Posted in DvD Review, General, Movie Review |

Movie Review:  Star Trek Beyond (in memory of Anton Yelchin!)

I reviewed Star Trek Into Darkness back in May 2013, and although I gave it an 8/10, as a Trek fan, it didn’t live up to my wants and needs as a long term Trek fan!  But reading through that review, I don’t know if I’d give it 8/10 now, but anyway, I did, so it stays and let’s look at Star Trek Beyond!


The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.


Star Trek Beyond


Let’s kick off with the Memorial for Anton Yelchin though, and this film has a LOT of Chekov in it and it feels great for it!  He plays Chekov brilliantly in Beyond, younger than in teh original series and rather a ladies man aswell, one scene on the Enterprise, as Kirk is doing a captain’s Log (monologue) we see Chekov being kicked out of a young ladies cabin, bare chested and top in hand and throughout the film, you get the sense he is rather the ladies man, more so than even Walter Koenig Original Series portrayal of Chekov.


He is a highlight throughout this film, he was fantastic to watch and he will be missed.   I sincerely hope they DON’T recast Chekov and give him a great send off!


Star Trek Beyond Chekov


Right, let’s get into the review, and just as I did with Into Darkness in 2013, let’s look at the good and the bad…


As with Into Darkness, and 2009’s Star Trek, this film looks gorgeous.

Simon Pegg has done a great job on this script, I was invested nearly completely from the beginning and it was a character showcase from beginning to end!

The characters have a banter and friendship that comes across easily on screen and in some ways, is more solid than in the original series.

Where as Into Darkness bought Section 31 into the reboot universe, this one brings the Enterprise series in, with NX class ships shown off and even the Enterprise uniform blue jumpsuits (a personal fave of mine).



Now the bad points…

To be honest, most of my points that niggled me in Into Darkness still stand…

but let’s reiterate them again…

Why is the interior of the Enterprise like a huge power factory now, instead of the clean small rooms we are used to from the original series and the TNG series like TNG, DS9 and Voyager.  The rebooted Enterprise warp core is fecking huge and looks like a turbine, not the sleek, throbbing beast we are used to from the old universe.

Why is the Engineering deck so fricking huge?  Yes the warp core is 7 decks high, but why is it in the middle of a refinery?

The shuttlebay, why does it look like an aircraft hanger (which in theory it should) and not like the clean bay from the original universe?

The outside of the Enterprise, I don’t like it, I’m sorry, I really don’t…   I know this is a new alternate universe, but why change the design, even subtely?  Bring it upto date yes, but the DS9 episode, “Trials and Tribbleations” proved that a CGI’d original series Enterprise looked fantastic, the Constellation class Enterprise, considering it was designed and built in the 60’s is a beautiful design, why is the reboot version looking like a whale?!?


Physics…   Throughout ALL the series and movies, we’ve heard that going to warp IN a solar system is bad…   but both of the reboots have done this, all the ships going to warp in earth Orbit…


Star Trek Beyond trailer 2 USS Enterprise entering Starbase Yorktown


ok, lets get into the story then…




Star Trek Beyond Kirk


The film kicks off as Star Trek should, with a captains log, but this is a captain that knows he shouldn’t be in the centre seat.  Kirk (Chris Pine) knows he’s there too early, he knows he joined starfleet on a dare (unlike Kirk prime (William Shatner) who joined following his dad into service), he has a crew, MUCH younger than they were in the prime universe and in a way, it shows.  They are much more hot headed, more impulsive and get into scrapes a lot easier than Captain pike or even, Kirk Prime would have been.


Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) are having relationship issues and everyone knows it. Leadign to a very real, very human crisis of concience for Spock after the passing of Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) and a beautiful quiet memorial to him.


Star Trek Beyond Spock and Bones


McCoy (Karl Urban) is the father figure on the ship, giving sage advice aswell as being the bar tender.  What really gets be in Karl Urbans portayal of Bones is actually the closest to the prime universes Bones (DeForest Kelley), as he was already older and more experienced, not only as an officer, but as a practiced Doctor.  In fact, karl Urban holds a lot of this film together, plot twists always revolvoe around his character to one degree or another, from McCoy and Spock being stranded together while Spock is injured, to McCoy and Spock leading a raid to free the Enterprise crew and keeping Kirk from doing something stupid (like quitting starfleet) or out of his depth and really enjoying flying an alien fighter jet. This may have something to do with reports that Urban, as he had little to do in Into Darkness, nearly didn’t return to the film, but he was a main plot part all teh way through.


Star Trek Beyond Chekov and Sulu


There was also a big upset in the news about Sulu (John Cho) being openly gay in the film.  Now I actulaly really liked the way this was portrayed, we also know fromt eh prime universe that he has a daughter, adopted or otherwise, who grows up to join starfleet and end up as the helmsman of the Enterprise B in Generations…  “It wouldn’t be the Enterprise, without a Sulu at the helm!” Kirk prime exclaims.  But the very simple scene where Sulu meets his boyfriend/husband is beautiful, a nice simple cuddle and walking off with their daughter to spend time together on Sulu’s shore leave was not only tastefully done, but actually made sense.  A lovely little flash later in the film that i really liked was Sulu having a photo of his daughter on the helm, I dunno if that would be ok, but apparenlty Kirk is fine with it.


Ok, there are LOADS of new characters in this film, but lets just go over the main bad guy and the main good guy thats not a member of the crew…


Star Trek Beyond Krall


First up (and HUGE SPOILER WARNING!!!), Krall (Idris Elba) turns out to be a brilliant throw back to the Enterprise era of Star Trek and is actually a NX class starship captain who was classed as MIA and has been living off the life energy of other species while he builds an army to destroy the Federation for abandoning him and his crew?   Ok, I might feel that way too in his situation, but he’s a SOLDIER, he knew the risks, especially as a MACO captain pressed into the role of an NX class starship captain.   Krall (really Captain Balthazar M. Edison of the U.S.S. Franklin, NX-236 and one of the first Warp 4 starships before the launch of the Enterprise NX-01 Warp 5 starship) seemed to have come to the conclusion that Earth Space Forces (later starfleet’s) ideas of peaceful exploration over conquering other races was a sign of weakness that needed to be destroyed.  A strange reaction, but it’s the centre point for the film, although it’s never REALLy explained how he got his regenerative powers or the technology his army are using, which urked me a little.


Star Trek Beyond Scotty and Jaylah


Next we have Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) and alien who’s parents were killed by Krall, allowing her to escape.  After escaping him, she finds the derelict Franklin and make it her home on the planet, scavenging parts from other crashed ships Kralls forces destroy in orbit.  She finds Simon Pegg’s Scotty in his escape pod (well, hollowed out photon torpedo) and saves him from other scavengers.  She’s a great character, but you never really feel like you know where she learned to fight or how she learned to make all the tech she has, even from the scrap.  thanks to the music library ont eh franklin she has an appreciation for good music, which also makes a cheesy moment near the end of the film and gets an amused smile from Chris Pines Kirk, but yeah, I never really felt overly invested in her character, hopefully she’ll be back in the next one though, maybe as a love interest for Scotty.


Star Trek Beyond Bridge Crew


Ok, the script for Beyond was written by Scotty actor Simon Pegg, and it sometimes comes across cliched and almost a little rushed in places.  I enjoyed the film as an action film and romp, but I don’t feel liek this new crew could live upto a series as long as most series are now.  Of course we have Discovery coming early in 2017 and we know Star Trek “4” is coming, maybe in 2018/9, ut although this IS Trek, it’s not the Gene Rodenberry Star Trek I grew up loving, it’s still mising the exploration and especially the science that we love from the series…  and this is bourne out by the larger than needed refinery looking engineering decks, rather than the clean original series or functional TNG/Voyager starship engineering decks.  It’s a workable film and I’ll happily add it to my movie collection, but it doesn’t excite me like the series and original movies, but this is certainly the best of the three reboots!


One thing I did love and bought a slight tear to my eye though, was a scene of Spock going through Spock Prime’s personal items and the main one being a photo of the original cast, one that I actually have on my desktop, so I’ll share it here too to finish this review off…




A bold 8 out of 10, but i could take it or leave it, rather than rewatching religiously





August 4th, 2016 by Lonesamurai
Posted in General, Movie Review, Technology |

Movie Review:  Captain America: Civil War

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.


Captain America Civil War


Avengers Phase 3 kicks off in brilliant style with Captain America: Civil War


So let’s take a look at the intro to Phase 3 and what it means to the world’s favourite super team.


Now I was worried about this one, considering how much we saw in the trailers and character profiles in the build up to the film’s release, but I was pleasantly surprised that not only was most of the bulk of the action NOT in the trailers for once, but there is SO MUCH more in this film.


There are some mild spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t watched it yet, stop reading now!


Captain America Civil War - Steve Rogers


Ok, the biggest thing they teased in Captain America: Civil War was of course the Spiderman reveal, with Tom Holland taking over the webs now and Marisa Tomei taking over as a much younger than normally portrayed Aunt May. Which also brings some fun into the script with a, now single, Tony stark being somewhat attracted to her (that would be a VERY interesting twist) as he not only finds Peter, but sits down and becomes a mentor for him before making him his snazzy new suit.


Captain America Winter Soldier - Spiderman


Captain America: Civil War has been called Avengers 2.5, but it’s really not. What it IS is a start of a change of guard in the actor and character department that actually works really well and kicks off the Phase 3 run of films in BIG style. What really stands out here is the choreography of the fights. Every one of them is gritty, hard and brutal… But all of them are fantastic to watch and make you route for both sides evenly.


The biggest thing that shocked me in this change of guard is how they have not been afraid to seriously hurt characters that may, or may not, be back later. We already know theres no Iron Man 4 on the books, but that doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, as he is in the first Spiderman film next year.


Captain America Winter Soldier - Tony Stark


But of course the BIGGEST thing about this film is the bringing back together of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and the history not only between them both, but the other big characters. If you’ve read any of the comics, or know anything about Winter Soldier, one of the big reveals won’t come as a shock, but I heard gasps throughout the cinema while I was there from people who obviously didn’t know. What really stood out was how this effected other relationships Steve Rogers has, like with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and, as we knew, but also revealed, Peggy carters niece, Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) and how things are changing so much in the universe since Tony’s reveal of himself as Iron Man, like that was a big pivotal moment in the universe (well, it is as far as the governent and, now Secretary of State, Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt) is concerned)


As all that is going on, other relationships are changing and evolving. Especially that between Vision (Paul Bettany) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), as he’s cybernetic, her natural aura that puts people off her and make them feel uneasy when she’s around doesn’t affect him and he’s trying to get closer to her, but still not understanding the nuances of having a body, let alone emotions and feelings since becoming Vision. This leads to some sweet, but also cringe worthy moments between the two and other characters too.


Overall this was a great film, one of the best in a while, not guardians of the Galaxy great, but great all the same and a fantastic kick off to the new Phase of the MCU, even if they have cancelled Inhumans and replaced it on the slate.




A solid 8 out of 10!


May 5th, 2016 by Lonesamurai
Posted in General, Movie Review |

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