Spider-Man: Far From Home
Toy Story 4
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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.
If you like your movies weird this is probably one I'd suggest you take a look at. It's also something you have to devote your entire attention to since everything is dialogue and there's not too much in the way of excitement happening here. It's more so the way this world works that is fascinating.
David's wife has left him, which means David as 45 days to fall in love with someone else. He's sent off to a hotel where other singles are sent to mingle and find true love. You can buy a longer stay by capturing 'loners' in the woods (1 day per longer caught) but if you run out of time you are turned into an animal. You get to choose the animal at least.
Knowing you only have a set amount of time before you, at least the you that you're familiar with, ceases to exist, causes the sort of stupid decisions that you'd expect. These attempts (successful and not) are played absolutely serious and while the whole film is absurd you can't help but feel something very familiar in the way to hotel champions coupled life to the point of discomfort.
It would be vary easy to play the loner lifestyle as a utopia of sorts but you also see the same sort of poor decisions on that side as well. They are just as regimented and just as disdainful of coupledom as coupledom is of them.
It is a fascinating movie to watch. The performances are excellent, what little sound and scoring is used is perfect, and you're told just enough about this world to understand what you're seeing without being spoonfed but also wonder about the rest.
Give it a shot if you haven't. If you like it you'll really like it.
I liked the remake of Evil Dead so when I saw the same director was involved, and the same actress, that peaked my interest. Very different from that go around an almost as enjoyable. Not because this film is significantly worse the other once, it's just different. The Evil Dead remake is a gritty, what if we really meant it, re imaging of the original while this is an original, tight thriller. Basically we have one good villain, or monster, or whatever and he's set loose.
Our 'heroes' in this film are a trio of Detroit thieves named Money, Alex, and Rocky. Alex's father works for the alarm company arming the houses they break into and Alex and Rocky are a couple looking to get out. They steal just enough to not get jail time and never take cash. Until they either get greedy (Money) or decide they really need to get away with their sister out of their abusive household sooner rather than later (Rocky).
Their new target is a blind war vet who apparently is sitting on a mound of cash from a settlement. From the moment night falls and they start the robbery it is a tense, nail biting, experience of a film. Of course, our target is not what he seems and is far from helpless. We don't learn much about him, not even his name, but that doesn't matter. He's a terror they have to escape from and a force to be reckoned with.
I'm also impressed at the lengths to which the characters, Rocky in particular, were set on certain goals. Rocky went in with the goal of getting the money and man does she commit to it. More so than you see in most films like this, and in what you would expect from most people I'd imagine.
I wonder about the volume at which the characters were speaking given the title of the film but I suppose we had to hear something. The sound editing was amazing and, praise be, the jump scares paid off. Definitely worth seeing in theatres.
First things first: go check out the short film of the same name that this is based on. It's on YouTube. Go ahead, I'll wait.
The concept works great as a short but I'm not convinced that this succeeded very well as a feature length film. It stuck the landing but it's a bit wobbly for my taste. There a whole bunch of tricks though to keep that "it only moves in darkness" thing going and mega bonus points for the throwaway boyfriend character not being a throwaway character at all and giving some badly needed outside perspective to this family's issues.
Maria Bello also does well as the troubled, depressed, mother. Have to give her props here as well.
Usually the less said about a villain in a horror film the better but you're given either too much or not enough depending on what way frustrates you the most. I was on the not enough side and came to the conclusion that they spoke too much about it. There's a lot of backstory given but not a real explanation or anything, which I understand is probably for the best but the logic of "only moves in darkness" isn't always followed so that doesn't help.
The story is a good one though, which is a lot more than can be said for some horror films
And here we channel Roman Polanski. Black and white, hallucinogenic, and really random in the best kind of way. Darling is hired to watch over an apartment but the apartment seems to have other plans. Great atmospheric, slow build of a film.
An acceptable, documentary style horror film about a woman with Alzheimer's being studied and looked after by a student documentary crew. Bonus points for it being probably one of the more realistic student documentary film crews Ive ever seen. Alzheimers is, of course, the least of this familys worries and things take a turn for the demonic very quickly. Not a bad way to spend a night and its something Id definitely watch again.
I went back and forth about rating this one but I decided that I can't base the whole film on the use of CCR in the end credits and the presence of Patrick Stewart in a horror thriller.
There's this band touring, a small metal band, and when they are screwed at a gig they get another one: at a Neo-Nazi bar. Yes, you read that right and yes they say yes. Example one of many telling you that these guys are not super bright. Honestly, their decision making process as the movie goes on is just baffling I just can't logically follow a lot of it. Suffice to say things go very bad and now they're on scheduled to be murdered by skinheads led by Patrick Stewart. Yes, again, you read that right.
He is very underused but Patrick Stewart lends a bit more legitimacy to this film. When he speaks, I listen. Even if it's death threats. He never descends into cliche and just delivers a solid performance throughout. I just wish they'd used him more.
Our ill fated band I don't have much to say about. You're not given anything much about them and all your sympathies are tied with the late Anton Yelchin's character but only barely. I didn't find it all that thrilling or tense but I did keep watching so there is something to be said for that.
This is the first film of the alt-verse of Star Trek where I haven't found myself waiting for certain things to happen. I mean waiting for them to echo or do their own version of something that happened in an original Trek film or movie. They've finally cut ties and have gone off to do their own thing and it shows (and works) wonderfully. It's a fun, action packed, summer movie but with a large amount of character moments. This is perfect for Trek since we keep coming back to these characters for a reason and it's them and their relationships with each other.
It's three years into the five year mission and Kirk is getting a little world weary. Spock is beginning to question whether his place should really be on New Vulcan, especially considering some news he gets about Ambassador Spock. Before either of them can talk to each other (like they were ever going to!) things go very south very fast on their latest assignment. The crew is stranded and separated and Idris Elba's Krall works wonderfully here, seriously it takes a bit but damn they worked a lot of stuff in.
We get a lot more of the McCoy/Spock dynamic than we've seen yet in this world. Each crew member has a chance to to shine. Everyone relies on each other and stands with each other and it's a film about unity and standing together as much as it is about beating the bad guys.
The writers, Simon Pegg (back as Scotty) and Doug Jung really understand Star Trek of the past, and of the future I think, and it was just a great, fun, movie with a great story that is the closest to watching an episode of the show as they've been yet.
I had no complaints really about the first two, a few about Into Darkness yes but a bit more once the afterglow wore off. I've waited a few days this time and man it still feels awesome. The only thing I can say is the first bit does sort of wander off but don't worry, once stuff starts happening it happens.
A moment here for Anton Yelchin, he is awesome in this and it is just terrible to know this is the last time we'll see him, and Chekov, again.
I saw the original Ghostbusters when I was home sick with chickenpox -I was 9. I loved it then, still love it now, and I loved this reimagining of it too. No childhood ruined here. If you can handle reboots of other films you can handle this. As expected, this is nowhere near deserving of the hate it's been getting.
I really dislike that I can't talk about this movie and without addressing gender politics thing. I don't get to just talk about this like any other movie or reboot for that matter. I don't have to have this sort of conversation with Star Trek or Robocop or A Nightmare on Elm Street. The ones that tell good stories and do their job well do well and the ones that are just crappy movies are crappy movies. The fact that the entire cast is men (or mostly men) is of course never the problem.
Representation matters, people, and as much as I love the original film it was damn great to see a bunch of smart ladies catching some ghosts. There were no booty shots or random sex scenes, there was no competition between the other women for anything, they all got to kick ass, they knew their stuff, they wore practical clothing (!!). They got to EAT without some sort of crack being made about weight or dieting or some crap. That's how low the bar is sometimes as a woman watching movies with women in it.
Which brings me to Kevin, the receptionist character. There is a heaping amount of whining about Kevin being brainless and only existing for eye candy purposes. Deal with it. It's a flip of the usual run of things when it's a dumb female receptionist. If you can't handle it, boys, that's too bad and I have no sympathy for you. Mr. Hemsworth, however, seems to be having a blast.
The women all work well together. The chemistry is great and they are not direct copies of the original team. Yes you can tell which male ghostbuster they're modelled after but they are not copies. There are a lot (sometimes too many) of winks and nods to the original but it's all in all a fun, fun movie. The cameos were fab, and I really should write an essay analysing a particular destruction of a particular beloved icon (corrupted but recognizable) in the final act. I was smirking hardcore at that.
The effects sometimes take over a bit too much but when you contrast the effects against a film made in the 80s it's going to look a bit heavy handed in comparison anyway and I didn't have too many issues plot wise with it. There was one moment where I was confused how all the characters knew something I was pretty sure only one character knew but, again, that's nitpicking. And yeah there are few jokes that didn't work as well as they could have but there's always one or two in every comedy film.
These were real people, real educated people, doing a thing they believed in and kicking butt at it. I drove home blasting the original (and cover version) of the ghostbusters theme tune on loop with the windows down on the highway all the way home. Sign me up for more, please.
If the movie isn't for you, it isn't for you. There are certain movies that definitely aren't for me, whether because I'm not the intended audience or I just didn't like it, but I can be an adult about it.
Also, this film really isn't for me either. I mean yeah it is but who it's really for is the 8 year old girl dancing in the row in front of me during the end credits.
Two people, one setting, and you have no idea who to root for. I really like both Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson as actors and do they act their little hearts out here - very darkly too for the both of them. Wilson plays a photographer named Jeff, who is courted by a 14 year old Hayley online, and agrees to meet up with her and eventually takes her home.
The first maybe half hour the film is an exercise in trying to not squirm out of your skin. Page being tiny and cute and looking a lot longer than she actually is in real life really makes you forget that she's playing a 14 year old and isn't actually one. You feel just wrong watching how her and Wilson interact at first. You're afraid of where this is going to go and then Hayley changes before your eyes. Hayley is by no means an innocent and she is out for blood.
You would think you'd be firmly on Hayley's side of things, but you can't help but go back and forth just based on the absolutely horrifying situations Jeff is put in (one rather infamous scene in particular which I will not spoil if you haven't seen it). I'd still say I'm for sure spiritually with Hailey but dang.
It's wonderfully acted, extremely claustrophobic, and the tension is first rate. The only reason it doesn't rate higher is the believably of certain things. The fact that Hayley is, allegedly, an honours student can't be an explanation for everything. Sorry.
There were moments in the last half that made me laugh, once the film sort of realised that it wasn't supposed to be taking itself seriously, and I liked the human/alien tech fusion world that cropped up as a result of the 1996 alien attack but, overall, the film pales to the original. Not surprising so I'm not disappointed but I think they tried a little too hard with this one. There were too many new characters and no time really given for you to really get to know or care about any of them. Jeff Goldblum definitely carried the film as best as they could but Will Smith's absence is definitely noticed and the underuse of other returning characters doesn't help too much either. There is perhaps a bit of overuse of one returning character but since it's mostly played for laughs I was on board with it.
A friend of mine posted that there's a good movie in here trying to get out and I have to agree. There is definitely potential here but it's strangled in its own ambitions and it takes too long for them to figure out that they really didn't need to try that hard.
The film is taking a hit rating wise since I really have no sympathy for the main character whatsoever but I must say that stop motion films never cease to amaze. You have to really love and believe in something to put that much time and effort into it.
I've never seen Lost in Translation before but this film matches up with the idea I have of that film if that makes sense. In this film we follow Michael Stone, a well known author in business circles in town to speak at a conference. Everyone looks and sounds the same to him now (and I mean that literally, everyone aside from Michael is voiced by the same actor and everyone has the same face). He's unraveling, thinking about an old girlfriend, how things are with his wife and young son, and all that sort of middle aged man crisis that we've seen in film before.
Then, of course, he meets a girl. The girl is awkward and cute and she doesn't look or sound like everyone else! Literally and otherwise.
I liked the animation more than I liked the story and that's really about all I can say about it.
The first one scared the crap out of me, can still scare the crap out of me. This one does not have the same effect at all but it is still a great, great horror film. I don't see those all that often so I am very appreciative when one comes along. I may have slept just fine after seeing this but jsut because it doesn't scare me doesn't mean it's terrible.
James Wan knows what he is doing when it comes to horror films. He always has and that fact stil remains. He knows how to ratchet up tension, he knows that jump scares should pay off, and he makes you care about character so that when bad stuff happens you feel something.
Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are back as Ed and Lorraine Warren, this time it's just after the Amityville horror investigation and they are in the middle of a media firestorm. Fortunately they don't spend too much time on that aside from Ed's frustrations and Lorraine's worries. What we do get is time with them at home to set up some stuff that will come into play later.
The case for this film actually takes place in England, to something that apparently becomes known as England's Amityville. A young girl named Rachel appears to be the object of a vengeful spirit. Reason? No one knows. Also no one really believes her. We deal a great deal with fakers and skeptics in this film, which I'm glad they did considering the 'based on a true story' nature of this film. Like the first film, you are given the time to get to know and adore this family. They're poor, the father is gone, the youngest child stutters, everything is hard and uncertain and this craziness drops on them. No one asks for this, fake or otherwise.
Ed and Lorraine also don't jump in right away. Lorraine is wary about her experience with Amityville, she's seeing terrible visions, and she wants to keep her family safe.
Again, there are a lot of repeating themes and ideas from the first film but it's done differently enough to make it still compelling. You really, really, care.
The only negative I can give this film is that you see more of the spirits than you did in the first one. What you don't see is always scarier than whatever CGI can come up with. Those glimpses are brief though, you can tell they went practical as much as they could, and I tell you the tension of this film is tight. James Wan, as I said, knows what he's doing.
If you loved the first one, lower your expectations a little and see this too. Bring on a third, please!
The only thing that would make this a proper gritty reboot of the Scottish play would be if they decided to set it in modern times complete with guns and bombs. Not that I disprove of the costumes or the setting, both of which are well done, but the intense slow motion scenes added sort of made me wonder if I'd accidentally wandered into a different movie. 300, perhaps?
Otherwise it's a decent enough production. I think they drew things out a little bit and some parts shine way better than others. That being said Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender both do well in their roles. Worth a viewing, just don't watch it right before you have to go to bed. I admit to having a bit of trouble staying awake. Lots of dramatic whispering.
This gets major points for imagination and I've decided that this movie is the reason Slenderman exists. In this case it's the Tall Man, played by the late Angus Scrimm, the town mortician whom everyone is pretty sure is responsible for the series of bizzare deaths that have been plaguing the town lately.
Jody and Michael are our main characters. Jody is a twenty something in town for the funeral of one of the victims of said bizarro deaths and Michael is a preteen who loves following his brother around and lives in fear that he'll leave him permanently (their parents are dead). Michael secretly watches the funeral and sees something he wasn't meant to. He then gets curious. Things proceed to get real uncomfortable very quick.
I can see why it's got a cult film status. It hasn't aged particularly well on the effects side and the dialogue side so it's great fun in that regard. Also funeral homes and funeral home directors can be really damn creepy in general, also cemeteries, especially when you're a kid. That still works. As does the story with the two brothers in general. They're on their own in more ways than one and they have to work together even though Jody is more concerned with protecting Michael.
Another thing this reminds me of in some aspects is Nightmare on Elm Street. Tall Man is especially creepy when he shows up in your dreams.