Toy Story 4
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Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is a stoner who lives in the sleepy town of Liman, West Virginia, where he works as a convenience store clerk. He is planning to propose to his longtime girlfriend, Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart), on a trip to Hawaii. However, due to a fear of travel, he suffers intense panic attacks and is unable to board the plane. It is revealed he has had similar issues trying to leave town in the past and does not understand why Phoebe is so nice about it. In Langley, Virginia, CIA Agent Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) receives a coded warning that Mike, the sole survivor of her "Wiseman" Ultra program, is to be eliminated by her rival, Adrian Yates (Topher Grace), and his similar "Toughguy" agents. Feeling a duty to protect Mike, Lasseter travels to Liman and "activates" Mike through a series of code words. Mike fails to understand their significance, and she leaves in resigned frustration. Mike finds two Toughguys planting a bomb in his car and is attacked, but his training activates and he quickly kills them...
Rotten Tomatoes consensus reads, "American Ultra has some interesting ideas, but like its stoned protagonist, it's too easily distracted to live up to its true potential." Mark Kermode of The Guardian gave the film two out of five stars, stating "Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart brave an anarchic mish-mash with lots of violence but few laughs." David Dishman of the McAlester News-Capital writes "American Ultra promoted itself under the slogan, "There is nothing more dangerous than a stoned cold killer," and while they may be right, there's also nothing spectacular about that stoned cold killer's movie." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone awarded the film two of four stars: "Soon the movie's twisty charm gives way to gory splatter. Eisenberg and Stewart stay appealing to the last. The movie, not so much."
"American Ultra" is a strange black comedy/actioneer that carries some sort of kinship with "Zombieland", "Grosse Point Blank", "Nikita" and "Natural Born Killers" in a mix. It´s stylish and tries to be hipster clever, but fails to deliver satisfaction in my opinion. Never been a big fan of Jesse Eisenberg in contrast to Kristen Stewart whom I have always liked. But, their dynamics is ok and believable in "American Ultra" and I do think it works having the scrawny Eisenberg suddenly turn into a killing machine. However, the film is slightly one-dimensional, a bit static and comically too scattered. Meaning it´s yet another film who doesn´t know what it wants to be and that´s this films biggest flaw.
Trivia: The movie's title and plot are a reference to the CIA's secret research project called "MK Ultra". Although many people have heard of MK Ultra, it's often misunderstood. In reality it was a project to combine what the American government knew about mind control with what the Germans knew about this subject. The letters MK use the English word for "mind" and the German word for "control". MK = Mind Kontrolle. "Ultra" refers to the highest level of security classification. Its main purpose was to come up with ways to induce their subjects with MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder), and find out how these alter personalities could then be triggered on command (sometimes by simply uttering an innocuous phrase) to be utilized for other means which the subject generally would have no recollection of afterwards. The project began in 1953 after the American government had brought scientists from Nazi Germany to America under Operation Paperclip, and officially ended in 1973. Since then the project has continued under the name Monarch mind control.
Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins), who was found abandoned as a child by the side of a river with wounds on her neck, is mute and communicates through sign language. She works as a cleaner at a secret government laboratory in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1962, at the height of the Cold War. Her only friends are her closeted next-door neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins), a middle-aged struggling advertising illustrator, and her co-worker Zelda Fuller.The facility receives a mysterious life-form captured from the Amazon River by Colonel Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon), who is in charge of the project to study it. Believing it is just a wild beast, Strickland treats it brutally, repeatedly shocking it with his electric cattle prod. Curious about the creature, Elisa discovers it is a male humanoid amphibian. She begins visiting him in secret and the two form a close bond as she teaches him sign language, gives him food, and plays music for him. Seeking to exploit the Amphibian Man for an American advantage in the space race, General Frank Hoyt is eventually persuaded by Strickland to vivisect it. One scientist, Robert Hoffstetler — who is really a Soviet spy named Dimitri Mosenkov — pleads unsuccessfully to keep the Amphibian Man alive for further study and, at the same time, is ordered by his Soviet handlers to euthanize the creature. When Elisa overhears the American plans for the Amphibian Man, she persuades Giles to help her liberate him...
Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus reads, "The Shape of Water finds Guillermo del Toro at his visually distinctive best—and matched by an emotionally absorbing story brought to life by a stellar Sally Hawkins performance." Ben Croll of IndieWire gave the film an 'A' rating and called it "one of del Toro's most stunningly successful works... also a powerful vision of a creative master feeling totally, joyously free." Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars, praising Hawkins's performance, the cinematography and del Toro's direction, and saying: "Even as the film plunges into torment and tragedy, the core relationship between these two unlikely lovers holds us in thrall. Del Toro is a world-class film artist. There's no sense trying to analyze how he does it." Conversely, Rex Reed of the New York Observer gave the film 1 out of 4 stars and calling it "a loopy, lunkheaded load of drivel" and, referring to Hawkins's role in Maudie, described people with disabilities as "defective creatures." Reed's review was criticized and ridiculed for referring to Sally Hawkins' mute character as "mentally handicapped" and for erroneously crediting actor Benicio del Toro as the film's director.
"The Shape of Water" is a nice fantasy/fairy-tale from the always intriguing director Guillermo del Toro. The mix of drama, horror and comedy blends in a fine way. del Toro has the ability to create genuine and stunningly beautiful films that mesmerize you visually. And the same goes for "The Shape of Water". Sally Hawkins put on a great performance as Elisa, showing all the skills she has as an actress to portray this frail and lone woman that longs for love. Hard to not give massive credit to Doug Jones as the Amphibian Man. Richard Jenkins and Michael Shannon are always safe bets as they will always put in their best in their roles, big or small. "The Shape of Water" is of course a version of "Beauty and The Beast" that grips you emotionally, but yes I can critizise that it has a very stereotypical character set up and there´s predictibility in the storyline. But, that doesn´t take away the fact that "The Shape of Water" is still a pretty ok film.
Trivia: "The Shape of Water" received critical acclaim with praise for the acting, screenplay, direction, visuals, production design, and musical score, with many calling the film Del Toro's best work since Pan's Labyrinth; the American Film Institute selected it as one of the top 10 films of the year. "The Shape of Water" received a number of awards and nominations, including thirteen nominations at the 90th Academy Awards, where it won for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score.
On the fifteenth anniversary of the original Woodsboro massacre, high school students Jenny Randall and Marnie Cooper are murdered by a new Ghostface. The following day, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to Woodsboro to promote her new book with her publicist Rebecca Walters. After evidence is found in Sidney's rental car, Sidney becomes a suspect in the murders and must stay in town until they are solved. Sidney's cousin, Jill (Emma Roberts), who is dealing with the betrayal of her ex-boyfriend, Trevor Sheldon, gets a threatening phone call from Ghostface, as does her friend and neighbor Olivia Morris. Jill and Olivia, alongside their friend Kirby Reed, are questioned about their calls by Dewey Riley (David Arquette), who is now the sheriff, while one of his deputies, Judy Hicks, assists him in the case. Meanwhile, Dewey's wife, Gale Weathers-Riley (Courteney Cox), is struggling with writer's block and decides to investigate the murder instead...
Rotten Tomatoes consensus reads, "The franchise is showing its age, but Scream 4 is undeniably an improvement over its predecessor, with just enough meta humor and clever kills." Roger Ebert gave the film two out of four stars, criticizing the film for using the clichéd formula of the slasher genre, but complimenting Craven's direction and Williamson's dialogue. Empire gave the film two out of five stars, criticizing the film's old-fashioned formula and lack of scare factor. The New York Daily News thought the film was "dated" and that "relying on obvious clichés doesn't seem ironic anymore, just easy." The Toronto Sun gave the film a mixed review, writing that "this installment is nowhere near the hip, serrated-edge blast of newness the original was in 1996. Suddenly, it's the horror thriller that, like, your parents are excited about"; however, the review praised director Wes Craven.
If "Scream 3" felt pointless, this is even worse to my mind. This film makes no sense to me. It´s predictable, stupid, poor and unbalanced in both acting and direction. And Emma Roberts can hardly take on this role as a relentless killer as she lacks the acting skills for it. You should simply stick to the first film in this franchaise, nothing more.
Trivia: Last film directed by Wes Craven before he died from brain cancer on August 30, 2015, at the age of seventy-six
In a futuristic dystopian utopia, citizens, known as "members" live under the Collective, the legislative body who monitor the people's actions. Citizens are mentally stabilized and all emotions and most illnesses are eradicated, with emotion and sexual activity contrary to the society's rules, and conception is through artificial insemination via a conception summons. Silas (Nicholas Hoult), a citizen, works as an illustrator for Atmos. Returning home one night, he sees two citizens detained by officials and is reminded of a purported epidemic of Switched-On Syndrome (SOS), a multi-stage "disease" that restores human emotions. Sufferers who do not commit suicide progress to stage four and are detained in the dreaded Defective Emotional Neuropathy Facility (the DEN), the Collective's institution, which no one ever leaves. The next day at work a suicidal employee jumps to his death and the emotionless workers coldly analyze the moment. Silas is the only group member to notice fellow worker Nia having (Kristen Stewart) an emotional reaction. Later in a team meeting, he again sees Nia expression betray emotion. During the course of the next day, Silas becomes distracted during a conference at Atmos, falls asleep more often, and experiences a nightmare for the first time. He goes for a check up and is befriended by an official named Jonas (Guy Pearce) with stage 2 SOS. Silas is diagnosed with Stage 1 SOS and is given a prescription. Nevertheless, Silas progressively worsens, as his drawings become emotional and his interest in Nia grows. One day, he follows Nia into the bathroom and comforts her. She reveals that she has had SOS for over a year, hiding it to avoid discovery and ostracization. He kisses her, but hears Leonard, the company manager, in the bathroom and converses with him. Leonard spots Nia's workstation powered on and reveals that he has been monitoring Silas. Silas decides to get a job separate from Nia in a gardening section. Leonard introduces Silas's replacement, Dominic, to Nia the next day. Nia, during a conversation with Dominic, suffers a slight anxiety attack during lunch break. At night while picking up their prescriptions Jonas invites Silas for a walk, and then discloses that he is part of a secret support group and offers help. He decides to go, where he meets fellow members Bess, Peter, Thomas, Gil, Max and Alice and learns that the DEN's patients half of the time, mostly through encouragement, commit suicide. Nia then shows up at his apartment and they have sex, agreeing to spend more time there. Thereafter, the Ashby ENI cure for SOS is announced and successfully created. Scared, the two decide to go to the Peninsula, a secluded, primitive section of land, to the bewildered support of the group, who warn them they can never return if successful...
The film has received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes consensus reads, "Equals is a treat for the eyes, but its futuristic aesthetic isn't enough to make up for its plodding pace and aimlessly derivative story. Peter Debruge of Variety, giving the film a positive review, said "Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult play citizens living in an emotion-free future who struggle to understand the attraction they feel for one another in this stylish, if simplistic sci-fi romance." While, IndieWire gave the film a C-, writing that "the real wonder and marvel and breathless mystery of Equals may be that something so dazzlingly white can be so very dull."
Drake Doremus "Equals" is a great sci-fi drama in my point of view and paying a nice tribute to other films (some pointing out as "ripping off" which I disagree with) within the genre and having George Orwell's novel "1984" as the backdrop. The story depicting a futuristic dystopian utopia is maybe not unique, but handled in a way I like at least. I think the love story between Silas and Nia touches you emotionally and both Hoult and Stewart does a fine job in their roles. I so like Stewart, always have. She has this special aura that gets to me. And you can´t help falling for her again and again.. We also get great direction, lovely scenery and beautiful cinematography. And I like the minimalistic general approach in the film.
11-year-old Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) experiences visions involving a Man in Black who seeks to destroy a Tower and bring ruin to the Universe while a Gunslinger opposes him. Jake's visions are dismissed by his mother, stepfather, and psychiatrists as nightmares resulting from the trauma of his father's death the previous year. At his apartment home in New York City, a group of workers from an alleged psychiatric facility offer to rehabilitate Jake; recognizing them from his visions as monsters wearing human skin, he flees from them, and they give chase. Jake finds an abandoned house from one of his visions where he discovers a high-tech portal that leads to a post-apocalyptic place called Mid-World. In Mid-World, Jake encounters the last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), who has emerged in his visions. Roland is pursuing Walter Padick, the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) who has also appeared in Jake's dreams. Roland pursues the Man in Black across a desert, seeking to kill him as revenge for the murder of his father, Steven, and all remaining Gunslingers. He explains to Jake that over decades Walter has been abducting psychic children, attempting to use their "shine" to bring down the Dark Tower, a fabled structure located at the center of the Universe. This will allow beings from the darkness outside to invade and destroy reality...
Critics panned The Dark Tower, calling it "boring and flavorless" and "incomprehensible to newbies and wildly unfaithful and simplistic to fans of King's books." Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus reads, "Go then, there are other Stephen King adaptations than these." TheWrap's Dan Callahan was critical of the film's sloppiness and poor editing by saying, "The 95-minute culmination of years-long efforts to bring The Dark Tower to the big screen is a complete disaster, a limp, barely coherent shell of a movie." Mike Ryan of Uproxx also criticized the incoherent plot, writing: "I've been told that The Dark Tower books are jam-packed with dense plot, wonderful characters, and a sprawling mythology—which is what made the movie so hard to make for all these years. Well, the solution seems to have been to just scrap all that and release a shockingly short 95-minute movie that just kind of glosses over everything to the point that has any meaning or purpose." Eric Vespe of Ain't It Cool News praised Elba's performance, but said the actor was let down by the decision to make Roland a supporting character: "That puts us in a weird position because Elba's a good Roland in a movie that doesn't allow him to actually embody the character in any meaningful way. He's undercut at every turn. The strongest stuff in the film is when Roland and Jake are bonding, but that relationship is so accelerated that there's no room for an arc." In an interview with Vulture, King stated that the film's critical and commercial underperformance was due to its compression of the source material, and the decision to make the film for a PG-13 rating by toning down the violence of the novels. However, he also defended the film, claming that screenwriter Goldsman "did a terrific job in taking a central part of the book and turning it into what I thought was a pretty good movie".
Stephen Kings 8 part book series about the The Dark Tower has been put on the silverscreen and to be honest it´s not that much too see. I have not red the books, but the story is vague in the film (not sure how it is in the books, but most likely better) and not that exciting and it just passes over you head. Idris Elba´s Roland is as vague as Matthew McConaughey´s Walter (very clear overacting by
McConaughey as well) and you can´t get a grip of any of the characters or the Mid-World for that matter. "The Dark Tower" is not clear, unexplained and boring. Maybe this is a result of trying to condense several books into one film.