dawndawn33's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Who Can Kill a Child? (Quin puede matar a un nio?)
18 months ago via Flixster


It's getting colder and darker outside. Tis the season to be spooky. Ergo, tis the season for #Rothtober. Going into one of Eli Roth's favorites. What draws him to this (besides the carnage with the bright, thick, paint-like blood I assume) is the dilemma that our protagonists are faced with. Quick plot recap: a couple vacationing in Spain comes across a small island that seems deserted. Turns out, it's populated with a \m/ton of kids. Kids who have gotten rid of all the adults. And by gotten rid of, I mean *slides finger across neck*. Killed 'em. Right so the dilemma. You've got these vicious kids attacking you, but you don't wanna hurt them because they're kids, but the kids are gonna kill you. What do ya do?

I know there's some people out there who are creeped out by kids. If that's you, don't watch this movie. Just don't. The kids have a human piņata for \m/ sake. When the film started, there was a documentary-like narration describing the effect various wars have had on children. It was interspersed with creepy children singing. Yeesh.

The concept of the movie was really intriguing, but I thought it dragged. The build up was kinda slow, so by the time we really got going, I'd already lost interest. It did however get my complete undivided for the last few minutes of the film. Whoa it was messed up. That's why I'm loving #rothtober


Avengers: Age of Ultron
2 years ago via Flixster


With every passing Marvel movie, it gets harder and harder to write them up. That's not to say they're not awesome (because they totally are awesome), but by now we know what to expect. And by now, you have opinions on the franchise in general, so it's not like I need to per(or dis)suade anyone.

Even this one had a bit of a feeling of, we've been here before. When the first Avengers came out, it was something that had never been done. All these incredible stand alone movies were being knitted together and we had an insane cast with everyone we'd known and loved. Now it's like, oh it's time for this again?

But you know what? It still works. Even though we've seen various characters pop up across other's films, it's still exciting to see multiple stars team up or secondary characters from each series brought in. The Avengers are all about teamwork, and that's what's really on display here. From the way that Thor and Cap can use their hammer and shield together in brilliantly time fight choreography, to Widow and Hawkeye's BFFF status, to Stark and Banner science-ing together. That's what's at the heart of this movie.

Writer/director/demigod Joss Whedon has said that the plan with this one was to tone it down a bit more, get to know the characters moreso than the big action wow factor. He really delivered on that. We got some backstory into some of our lesser explored Avengers, and more emotional insight into those whose stories we know but haven't dived into as deeply. He also brought in a couple new characters, mostly to add in new visual elements (he claims the existing core all have similar "punching" type abilities). I think Scarlet Witch is my new favorite Avenger. I'm considering Halloween costumes. (Side bar: Apparently there was much confusion on set because the two most prominent females were an actress named Scarlett and a character named Scarlet, not to mention the various body doubles for the former).

For two and a half hours, I was transported to my happy place. Yes we've been here before, but there's a joy and comfort in the familiar. We also got some set up for some of the places phase 3 promises to go (infinity stones! civil war! Black Panther!). The middle installment of a trilogy is often the low point, and while our days of watching the current Marvel Comics Universe have certainly come to a middle, we're certainly not low. On to phase 3!

The Avengers: Age of Ultron - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/


Unfriended (2015)
2 years ago via Flixster


I gave myself a week after it's release to decide if I really did want to see this. Reviews weren't as painful as I feared (some even positive, as it's holding at 60% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), and God knows I'd rather see this than Age of Adeline.

I've said many times that I love horror, but I'm picky about it. I wrote about that as recent as It Follows a few weeks back. The (admitedly gimmicky) set up for Unfriended is what caught my attention, despite the bad title.

Trying to use some of that currently technology that all the kids are using these days, the whole thing plays out on a high school girl's computer screen. She's Skype-ing her friends, getting Facebook messages, playing music, etc. Oh and she (and her friends) are also being cyber haunted by the ghost of a girl who killed herself exactly one year ago, the result of cyber bullying.

I was actually kinda surprised as how well the format worked. I typically don't care for found footage, and I may not have found the film to be particularly scary, but it was an interesting and different take on a genre that's been done to death. The limited viewpoints (completely with screens freezing and not loading properly) was effective in creating a sense of fear of the unknown. Where found footage usually falls flat for me, is that there'll be times when it's hard to believe that someone was still filming something, or that certain angles just happened to be caught. The kids all on their computers got around that issue (good job, team), but that just meant that the feasibility dropped elsewhere for me. I could completely go with the idea of a ghost in the internet controlling everything. How she was able to then manifest and hurt people IRL, yeeeaah not so much.

Unfortunately, the biggest point against the movie (and the one that I most feared) was that the kids were so annoying. I don't like high school kids, particularly high school girls. I say this having been one. We're awful. The way she'd whine if her boy didn't respond to a message within ten seconds, the catty-ness between the characters, the bitchy self assurance. Ugh. Could not stand. That said, as someone who was a victim of constant bullying in high school, there was some satisfaction gained in seeing the cool clique get their comeuppance. While it was fun to see how the youngun's use their various apps and devices, I am beyond thankful that such tools weren't as widely used when I was their age. For me, at least the bullying stopped when the bell rang. It didn't continue into cyber bullying when I got home. Maybe this movie will be a lesson to those kids who terrorize others? Probably not.

Unfriended - \m/ \m/ \n


Ex Machina
Ex Machina (2015)
2 years ago via Flixster


Sometimes, I wish I didn't know how good or bad a movie is before I see it. I generally like to know a simple thumbs up or thumbs down, especially if it's something I'm on the fence about. But I find that when I hear something is really good, it sets my expectations too high, I end up being overly critical, and I don't enjoy it as much as I feel I may have if I went in blind. That was sorta the case with Ex Machina.

The subject matter, artificial intelligence specifically in the form of a humanoid robot woman, was enough to peak my interest. In a month that was otherwise lacking viable options, this is one that I was anxiously awaiting. As the release came closer, I'd heard more and more positive things, so by the time I was sitting in the theater, I expected to be wowed. I wasn't really. I'm not saying it wasn't good, I'm just saying that it wasn't all I thought it could be.

Domhnall Gleeson's Caleb is a young and talented programmer who is invited to spend a week with the Bill Gates/Steve Jobs-eqsue boss of his company, Nathan (Oscar Isaac), who basically created their fictional Google equivalent. Nathan has built an advanced AI robot, and he wants Caleb to administer the Turing test to determine whether or not the bot is truly conscious.

The effects were fantastic, the acting great (I love Oscar Isaac more and more with each movie). I just felt the story was lacking a little direction. It's like they had the basis of what they wanted to do (AI Turing test), and then had a few different directions in which to take it. They briefly dabbled in each potential storyline before quickly and tentatively choosing the one to end on. And I really mean potential, because any of the directions I thought they were gonna take would have been incredible, had it been committed to. Instead, I felt like the final act was a bit of an incoherent mess. The final ending was pretty cool, I just feel like things could have been cleaned up leading to that point.

Yet I'm apparently in the minority of that opinion, which is fine by me. God knows I end up liking movies that no reasonable person should enjoy, so it's only fair that it goes the other way sometimes. That isn't to say Ex Machina was bad. I just felt it wasn't as good as it could have been.

Ex Machina - \m/ \m/ \m/


True Story
True Story (2015)
2 years ago via Flixster


By now, most people know that instead of asking me if I have any plans for the weekend, the proper question is what movies am I seeing. One of the times that question arose this week, I said True Story. They hadn't heard of it, so I began, as I often do, by listing the cast. "It's Jonah Hill and James Franco..." I see a look that indicates they've pegged the type of movie. I quickly interject "This is them being serious this time". Queue the look of surprise.

I actually really like this idea. James Franco is known for all sorts of crazy things, including his comedic roles. Jonah Hill is also primarily known for comedies. Yet the two have managed (very well deserved) Oscar nominations during their career. You watch some of their typical fare (This Is the End, Superbad, Pineapple Express) and the mind boggles at the thought. But you watch something they were nominated for (Franco 127 Hours, Hill Moneyball and Wolf of Wall Street) and you forget these are typically funny and irreverent dudes. It makes perfect sense in my world that the two would choose to work on a serious film together, and it's a thought that excited me greatly.

This is the true story (oh I get it now!) of Christian Longo (Franco) and Mike Finkel (Hill). Finkel was once a highly acclaimed writer for the NYT until an article he published with some narrative liberties tarnished his reputation. Longo is a recently captured fugitive, wanted for murdering his wife and children, who had been using Finkel's name as an alias. Curiosity peaked, Finkel meets with Longo to find out why he'd choose to impersonate him Longo proceeds to exclusively tell Finkel his story while awaiting trial.

My main takeaway is that for a film about two men who ultimately just want to be taken seriously, the film itself tries way too hard to be taken seriously itself. There's just some movies that have this strange I'm-very-important tone, where you feel like the filmmakers were simply after acclaim, and inevitably fall short. This certainly had that air, but it wasn't due to the cast. I thought the boys were incredible, giving as good a performance as they ever have. The story itself was incredibly fascinating. I was completely on pins and needles waiting to see what would happen. Did he do it? Will he be convicted? What's he holding back? That was enough to keep me captivated, even if the film itself was rather flawed.

Among the flaws was a criminally underutilized Felicity Jones as Finkel's girlfriend Jill. (Sidebar, I'm pretty sure the first trailer I saw listed the boys as academy nominees, but failed to recognize hers. A week later when I saw it, it was either corrected or I was crazy the first time). She's a fantastic actress and did the best with what little she could, but she seemed to be randomly inserted here and there without much reason or development.

Anyways, for me, I thought it was all worth it. For anyone else, I'd have to give it some thought

True Story - \m/ \m/ \m/