Spider-Man: Far From Home
Toy Story 4
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The survival horror film Crawl is about Kaya Scodelario's character going back to her childhood home in Florida to find her estranged father (Barry Pepper) just as a hurricane is beginning. There she finds the house invaded by man's greatest foe: storm gators. Between that and the rising waters, the characters find themselves stuck in the basement, which has become a death trap. Not a complex film, but pretty entertaining.
This movie looks really nice. Very polished. The lightning really balances the light and dark. Director Alexandre Aja does an excellent job of making the hurricane look and feel real, especially at the beginning.
Only downside is that the computer animated alligators don't mesh well with the practical sets and effects.
The movie is a lot like Conjuring 1 and 2 in that it plays with expectations when it comes to the scares.
The relationship between and backstory of the father and daughter is formulaic but well-delivered and acted.
Be forewarned that the movie ends abruptly. It's not a bad ending, though.
Overall, I found this to be a really well-made man-against-animal film.
The action comedy Stuber has Dave Bautista as a cop whose gone rogue when his case is being transferred. His sight's recovering from eye laser surgery, so he commandeers Kumail Nanjiani's uber drive in order to pursue his enemy. A strained premise, yes, but it kinda works in what is a generally entertaining film.
Bautista's the tough guy and Nanjiani's the sensitive guy. The whole opposites working together trope here is pretty worn and predictable. (There are in fact several tropes in this.) However, there are moments where the characters work pretty well. They lean so hard into Bautista being an over-the-top Dirty Harry character and Nanjiani being almost aggressively defensive in his "woke" ways that the characters make a place for themselves. Their discussions of their differences do provide some of the better moments, including one slightly more serious discussion about Bautista's character's childhood that is really well done.
The jokes that work are pretty much 50/50. Nanjiani has a lot of failed lines in the first act when he is being introduced. He gets better when he starts interacting with the chaos that ensues. I don't think this is Nanjiani's best work. Here he has do to rapid fire jokes, and I think he does better with slower-paced delivery. Bautista on the other hand: no notes; good job.
For a comedy, there are some above-the-call camera shots here. Violence is entertainingly over-the-top. Not There is one kill that is pretty memorable.
There is one civilian murder that I found gratuitous. It just didn't feel necessary to the plot.
This movie is fun, but it's lightweight. I recommend you see this, but you don't need to see it immediately or pay too much.
I found this really competed with Spider-Man: Homecoming for best live-action Spidey film. Far from Home is equivalent to an amusement park ride, just an onslaught of entertainment.
The story takes a different path. Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland), whose past films have been intertwined with New York City, finds himself on a trip across Europe, resulting in some really scenic visuals. (There is one scene in the Netherlands that is just superb.) Also Peter Parker is on a higher tier of crime fighting, and it's a decent story arc as he has to deal with it.
There are a couple of moments where this movie did some surprising things. Dealing with the events from Infinity War and Endgame is done surprisingly well. Be sure to watch through the entire credits. Trust me.
The entire film, like the last one, is pretty funny. More time is spent focusing on Peter's classmates and other supporting cast and they all really shine. At times, the high school rom-com part of this movie can dominate the superhero part, and I really didn't mind. Also glad we got Happy Hogan, who continues to sort of be Spider-Man's handler, and I'm glad that Jon Favreau's still willing to play the role given his busy directing career.
As with most MCU movies, the effects and visuals really stand out. There are a couple fights that are fairly different from past Marvel films.
I'm both surprised and pleased that they managed to translate Mysterio's costume to film, dome helmet, eye-pyramid cape clasps, . It's just that superhero films have historically cared less about accurately maintaining villain outfits and between this and Aqua Man, it's nice to see a change.
I honestly feel this ties with Homecoming for best live-action film. This is a lighter film, and I honestly can't say this was most experimental or deepest in tone or message. But, this is a movie that just wants to be fun, and it really does that.
Annabelle Comes Home has the titular possessed doll causing a ruckus in the Warren's collection of cursed objects unleasing the creatures in the house in what the creators call a scary version of Night at the Museum. What ensues, while not the scariest film in the Conjuring-verse, is a fun experience.
This movie is more upbeat than the last two Annabelle movies (including a few funny lines.) Kind of surprising considering that this is written and directed by Gary Dauberman, who wrote the last two films. The ending to the last film is one of the darkest in the Conjuring franchise, so Dauberman's pivot is surprising. However, since this revolves around the house and daughter (Mckenna Grace) of the stars of the main film line, I can see why Dauberman didn't want to do anything that would really rock the boat and affect them in the long run. Also, it'd just be hard to compete with the tone of the last film, which in my opinon was the best.
Understand that when I say this is more upbeat, I'm not saying this film isn't scary. It just has more of a popcorn/funhouse horror feel. Ever since the Warrens' collection of possessed and cursed objects was introduced, I think everyone has been itching to explore them more, and you definitely get your payoff. There are some pretty creepy ghosts in here, including one inventive being that isn't in the commercials and I won't spoil.
I do wish the other ghosts were given more to do. Annabelle still bears the load. I just wanted to see the ghosts have some more physicality and violence. (Yes, the samurai armor from the earlier films is still in the collection. No, it doesn't unsheathe it's sword. I know, right?!) Also, there is one ghost who mostly tangles with Michael Cimino's character that is mostly done using computer animation and doesn't work as well as the other more practical-looking monsters.
Considering that this is a first time director, this looks pretty nice. There are some nicely shot scares. They don't compete with the best of the series, but they work. A lot of thought must have went into the set design. This really looks like it takes place during the seventies.
The three main leads are pretty likable, especially Katie Sarife's character. At first you worry that she's the stereotypical party friend to the lead who makes bad decisions. Yeah, she kind of does that latter part, but her character goes in a way that is unexpected and fleshes her out.
If you were looking forward to seeing Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed Warren (Patrick WIlson), be prepared that they really aren't in this that much.
I'd rank this above Annabelle 1, The Nun, and La Llorona, and below the Conjurings and Annabelle Creation. This isn't the scariest or most technically proficient film in the franchise, but this doesn't miss by that much. If you're just looking for something visually interesting that is just trying to entertain, then I recommend this.
Walked into this not knowing much. The trailers and commercials were rather vague, and there wasn't much buzz what with Child's Play and Toy Story 4 taking all the attention. I was pleasantly surprised at what turned out to be a fairly good action spy flick.
The movie is more of a stylish version of Atomic Blonde. There are some detailed, well-choreographed fight scenes. The whole thing looks cool as it crosses both the world of espionage and the lead's cover as a fashion model. The plot isn't boring as there are a lot of twists and turn. Cast is strong, especially Helen Mirren as a gruff FBI agent.
This is directed by Luc Besson. As is often the case in his movies (5th Element, Lucy, Valerian), he tends to keep his characters at an arm's length from the audience and focus on their actions. (At least from an American perspective. He's French and my opinion could just be a cultural difference). Though I was interested in the main character Anna's goals and you understand where she's coming from, I couldn't get completely behind her as her backstory and personality did feel a little underdeveloped, plus she isn't the most sympathetic character.
Though I did say I liked the twists and turns, the sheer numbers does get to be a bit much, It borders on the comical.
There are similarities between this and the basic plot synopsis of the director's earlier film La Femme Nikita. I haven't seen Nikita, so I can't tell you if Besson is just recycling material. I do think this is supposed to be flashier than Nikita.
I think the weaknesses I mentioned could turn some people off, but I think this movie still has a lot going for it and worth taking a chance.