John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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Okay. The rating is a little lower than I was expecting and I'll get into why I couldn't go higher but I did enjoy this movie, don't get me wrong. I'm excited to see it again.
Overall, it works within the universe. Overall it's a great action movie and it was great to see how everything ties in - especially one big thing that I won't ruin for you but that was the best part of the whole thing, plot-wise. The space battles were awesome, the use of stock footage from the pilots from the Original Star Wars was also wonderful. There were a few very emotional moments, usually involving Jyn Erso and her father Galen, that got me and I think a lot of that was enhanced by reading Catalyst before seeing this. You definitely don't need to read it but it was sort of nice (and a bit frustrating) to have kicking around especially in the first few scenes of the film.
And now the reasons I'm only giving it 3.5:
Our main villain was suitably over the top but still sort of bugged me. His one job is mostly to stop around and be pissy at a CGI character that shall remain nameless. Said CGI character also gets incredibly distracting at points. He has to be there, I get that wholeheartedly, but it sort of snaps you out of the film rather significantly at points.
Our band of rebels was also a little hard to sympathise with. You get a good handle, arc, and knowledge of Jyn Erso and a little bit of Captain Cassian Andor (there's one moment that I wish I could have heard more but it isn't taken advantage of) but the rest of them you barely get to know - I'm pretty sure I missed one of their names. Considering how much rides on this group, and how they all assemble, and how the mission that Cassian starts with changes I feel like we could have done with a lot more time with them instead of madly planet hoping for the first act of the film. I mean it was neat but Star Wars has always been very character based and I found that quite hard here. I'm also especially disappointed that that didn't happen considering we're functioning as kind of sort of a prequel here and you know certain things are going to have to happen a certain way in a general sense. It's those details where the drama can be found and they didn't take a lot of time with that.
That being said the space battles and fight scenes were great. What little bits I did get to know of the other rebels was awesome. Especially blind monk Chirrut Imwe and reprogrammed imperial droid K-2SO (shout out to Donnie Yen and Alan Tudyk) respectively. But the other guys, also regretfully including Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso, you don't get a chance to know. I can live with Erso being underused, it works here, but there's a lot about the others that I'd love to know about! Argh!
Another character whom you may have seen in the trailers pops up. He is not in this film a lot but when he is he is awesome. Gold star. He certainly has one killer line that I'm slowly warming up to.
I'm wondering a lot about the reshoots and how that changed things. I still enjoyed this film overall but I am quite curious and, of course, eager for a second viewing to see how everything stands up.
I'm glad it exists - and I'm hopeful for any other forthcoming stand alone Star Wars films. This is a dark one, and I like that it's dark and doesn't shy away from some of the shadier bits of being in a Rebellion and it isn't cut and dry and obvious about people's motives. There's a motif of trust and hope and other people's reasons for certain decisions and how that can work out for the better if you just give people a shot. I can get behind that.
Well. That was really weird. Bizarre and yet made sense in it's own sort of way? Is it also weird to say that this may be the best I've seen of Daniel Radcliffe? Or is it really just the weirdest? I really don't know. I've sat on this for a few days and I still don't know.
You have to applaud the writers for coming up with this. You have to do that at the very least.
Where do I even start with you, Neon Demon? Tell me. Where do I start with you? Do I start with how pretty you are? Do I start with the thin plot? Or do I start with the third act?
This movie is about a girl trying to make it as a model in LA so it makes sense that this film is pretty. This film is so pretty it distracts you from the fact that these people don't really have characters or personalities - not that that is important either for the purposes of their desired professions or for what director Nicolas Winding Refn is going for here. If you've seen any of his other movies you likely know that by now.
Elle Fanning is who sticks out as Jesse, of course. But I think the show stealer is Ruby, played by Jena Malone (who you may recognize as Gretchen from Donnie Darko or Joanna from the Hunger Games movies), a makeup artist who takes Jesse under her wing. I honestly had a hard time telling the other models, the ones who are really jealous of Jesse's youth and success, apart. That is probably also intentional.
Back to the pretty. The cinematography in this film is top notch. Seriously. There could be no dialogue at all and I'd still watch this movie because it looks so good. That's probably a good thing considering that the plot isn't detailed at all, there are a heck of a lot of questions here but at the same time the story is quite simple and obvious with all the visuals you're being given. The important thing here is the reaction you have to what you're seeing, again nothing new for this director but man does that last third of the film make you either want to watch it again or never watch it again. Depends on who you ask; I need at least two more viewings I think.
The plot, as mentioned, is thin and really a framework for the visuals. You don't really get to know anyone, the point of view of this movie is really outsiders point of view (camera? consumer?) more than any specific person's (even Jesse). Jesse gets successful, the other women hate her for it, Jesse's boyfriend of a kind is confused by this whole industry and pretty much ignored by Jesse except for when she needs him, Keanu Reeves' character is a creep, etc. Honestly you would probably get bored and turn it off aside from the visuals - and then the third act happens and whoa, man.
At the end of this movie I felt the same way I did after I saw Black Swan the first time: it was a fabulous movie but I couldn't say right away whether I enjoyed it or not. I think that's a lot of people's reactions. I think I can say now that I did enjoy it and that to lump this and Black Swan together doesn't do either of those films or directors justice.
You're going to respect this movie or not, you're going to 'enjoy' what you're watching or not, but you have to give Refn credit for sticking to his desire for a reaction above anything else. He definitely is getting one.
I saw this last weekend and I'm only getting to reviewing it now so, my bad.
This is basically a popcorn movie. It's fun, there are funny bits as well as dramatic bits. If you've seen Seven Samurai or the original Magnificent Seven you're familiar with the format but I enjoyed this. Yes, I've seen both. Some time ago but it happened.
Denzel Washington is basically the reason to watch this movie. Along with Ethan Hawke and Lee Byung-hun (in fact if I could somehow get a movie starring the latter two and no one else I would enjoy myself). Chris Pratt does a good job as well but he gets a wee bit too modern at points for me, and to quote a YouTube review "a little too Chris Pratt-y". Nitpicking though.
I enjoyed the story (again), the performances were excellent, and it was just a lot of fun overall. Definitely worth a watch whether you've seen its previous incarnations or not.
I've heard a lot about this one. I think there was even a Kickstarter going around to get this one funded at some point. It's taken me a bit of time to get a hold of this one but the wait was worth it.
Sarah Walker is an aspiring actress, like lots of young women in LA. She works as a waitress at a rather tacky, hooters-esque, restaurant to pay her bills and lives with the world's most understanding and supportive roommate. Her other friends are either not overly interested in her dreams of acting, or else are openly hostile or sabotaging of it (Erin, you horrible friend, you). When she gets an audition for a famous production company, and each audition gets weirder and weirder, Sarah starts to change.
Sarah's transformation is vicious. Physical stuff aside, she just becomes a monster and a cancer to the people around her. She's utterly contemptuous, and vile, to everyone. You lose complete sympathy with her, which is quite a turn from feeling bad for her in the beginning as she tries to hard to break into this industry where all the odds are against her and any other reasonable person would be working on getting gainful employment instead of dropping everything to go for an audition which will probably end in tears.
Sarah wants this bad. Badder than most of us can understand (badder than I can understand for sure), which is why this is so compelling to watch even as you're thinking that this makes no sense whatsoever. No one would do this sort of thing for a shot at stardom, would they? You probably don't actually want to know the answer to that question.
There are moments that sort of fall flat. There are few little things going on here that I'd love more explanation on. Otherwise from that it's a great, slow burn, horror film.