John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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For me, one of the hardest things to do is to write a review for a remake, when I've already seen the original film. How is it that you can review it or even watch it, without making immediate comparisons to the original? For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Dr. Louis Creed and his family move to a small town in the woods of Maine. They buy a huge property, which in the back has an old pet cemetery, but beyond that lies something far more sinister, an ancient Indian burial ground, where it is said, those buried there, can return. Pet Sematary was a great film and an even better book, but it's the kind of story where there isn't much you can leave out, and there isn't a whole lot you can change. That being said, the majority of the film is almost a shot for shot remake of the original, begging the question, what's the point? The ending is where they change things up a bit and does it make the story better? That's for you to decide. Personally, I always loved this film and had no problem with it being modernized a bit. The cast wasn't bad, but certainly not as good as the original. The only upgrade in that respect was John Lithgow playing the role of the next door neighbor, Jud, a definite improvement over Fred Gwynne. If you've never seen the original film, go see this one, it's more modern and like it's predecessor, it does an excellent job of bringing book to screen. If you have seen the original, you may or may not think of it as an upgrade. It all comes down to the ending, which I did enjoy, still I can't decide if it's better than what was originally written.
Coming-of-age films are amongst my favorite types of films, but they are often tricky to make. A good film, should give you feelings of nostalgia and form a bond between yourself and at least one of the characters, while a bad one can seem to be nothing more than an episode of Jackass. This film has a bit of both. Sleeping Giants is the story of three teenage boys, spending the summer with their families on Lake Superior and as you might expect, circumstances bring them together. There are some funny moments, trouble to be had, and of course a girl who gets in the middle of everything. What this film has going for it, is that the cast was actually teens, ones whom have very limited acting experience. That being said, it seems as though, the writers also have somewhat limited experience, as this film is your very standard, text book, run of the mill story. What you'd expect to happen in this situation is exactly what happens, and while I like the fact that the story features real teens and new faces, the truth is that nobody really stands up or shows anything more than just kids hanging out. That could honestly be the title of this film, kids hanging out. Sleeping Giants isn't bad in any way, but it's nothing special either, an all-around forgettable experience.
In a shocking turn of events, DC Comics made a great movie that isn't about Batman! Finally, with Aquaman, fans get the type of movie they've always wanted from DC, and I see big things for the future of this franchise. Arthur (Jason Momoa) is the son of the Queen of Atlantis and a mortal man. He was born with extraordinary abilities, but not with the motivation to use them. After his mother was exiled and presumably killed by Atlantis, Arthur wants nothing to do with his people, until a world wide threat forces him to take action. The story here is the same as your basic comic themed film, saving the world while trying to get the girl, but what makes Aquaman really stand out is it's incredible special effects. Seeing as many films as I do, it's difficult to impress me with a little bit of CGI, but this film had some of the best effects I have ever seen! Even if this was a silent film the sheer beauty and magic of this underwater world would still be breath-taking. Jason Momoa stars in his biggest role to date and this guy absolutely killed it. My biggest fear going into this film was that it would be too cartoonish and led by a newcomer, not a great combination, but Momoa is terrific both his personality and in his ability to put on one hell of a fight scene. As for the cartoonish part, there is a little bit of that and it was a turn off, but you do need to pander to the young crowd a film like this is likely to draw. For my money, this is the best DC Comics film since the Dark Knight. I'm not the biggest Superhero fan and I absolutely loved this movie from beginning to end. The two and half hours literally flew by and in the end I was still craving more. I can't wait to see what's next for Aquaman.
Gotti, a highly anticipated new mafia movie centered around the Dapper Don, has been nominated for Worst Movie of the Year and unfortunately, I have to agree. For starters, this film was all over the place! Was this film about John Gotti or his son? ...and who really cares about his actual family, there was a shitty reality show about that, what we really care about is his other family, and not the business side either. For a mafia film about one of it's biggest names in history, there is a distinct lack of violence or for that matter anything substantive. Everyone wanted to see the story of the man, not the story behind the man, and especially in a format of flash-forwards and flashbacks. As for John Travolta, I really don't know what he was thinking with this film. The only thing he has in common with John Gotti is the same first name, and watching him try to play John Gotti was as bad as watching Ben Affleck try to play Batman. The bottom line here is that this film was boring, just a lot of talk in a really bad accent. If you're looking for a good film on the Dapper Don, I suggest you go with another film named Gotti, produced in the mid-90s, starring Armand Assante. That film was great and told the story we wanted to hear. This film is nothing more than an bad autobiography brought to the screen by a man, who thinks he can play any role he wants.