Toy Story 4
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Anna feels like it would have been a passable movie people might have bought on VHS in passing 25 years ago. It is a tired femme fatale narrative, that is executed less tightly than most. When watching the movie you will encounter reminiscence of other movies like Atomic Blonde which play out similar scenarios even better than. The story is told out of sequence and is hindered by constant time skips and jumps that at times seem unnecessary, and leads to a constant guessing game of who is actually in control of driving the plot. A Cold war thriller with a Navy Brat turned assassin caught in the middle of a secret war between the CIA and the KGB. Performances are solid. Newcomer Sasha Luss does a good job pulling off her acting and choreography during the stylized action sequences. The action itself seems to be over the top and romanticized as she pulls off near impossible feats, with seemingly no observed training or preparation whatsoever. There are also character breaking sequences, where the movie profile's her as being extremely tactical and intellectually decisive, and then forces the audience watch her do things that don't fit that mold she is supposed to be struck from. The movie does however show her extremely deadly physicality, but never alludes to any past self defense mastery ever, and I'm sorry but dropping out of ROTC Navy cadet school isn't going to cut it. Her motivation for doing anything is also unclear at points and then switch by the end of the movie into something completely different and not referenced from before. The side characters however are fleshed out fully. It is understood what they are doing and why they are doing it. Especially Helen Mirren who did a great job. The movie was riding on much her full on method acting. The movie was riding on much her full on method acting. The movie's tone also flips on a whim with inconsistency. The movie is also hurt by over and under editing, framing, and even the music selection, sounds like it was pulled from an early 90's suspense stock MIDI library, which might have been intentional given that the movie takes place in the 90's but making it feel like a 90's production would put this in line with parody more than anything. There were even moments of basic eye line camera crossing that were to obvious to overlook and sometimes didn't make sense to what the character's focus was on. I was expecting something major to happen, or an envelope to be pushed, but nothing ever happens. No stakes are raised, and their is no "wow" moment. It comes across as bland, and repetitive.
This movie is an absolute mess. This is one of the most iconic stories in Marvel history and they don't respect it in the slightest. Instead of making it about sacrifice , responsibility, death and rebirth, they make it about feminism. how progressive of you fox. Taking the liberty of modern social issues and gender politics and completely degrading the tightly written literature that therein the Phoenix Saga! Despicable. They do not delve into the lore, The Pheonix Force, what is is, how it works, or anything.. No Shi'ar empire, No Hellfire Club, No Cyclops leading the team... nothing.
Toy Story 4 is a solid movie in it's own right, but is overshadowed by the film serious previous epic stake raising gratuitousness. It pales in comparrison to every other movie in the series, but as a standalone it works, and is in no way a weak movie. It is a nearly impossible task to trump a perfect trilogy, and maybe thats where they should have ended it, as a trilogy. This movie does not mar the series in any way, but it does not live up to the hype, and feels forgettable in the same vein as other recent Pixar entries. But its hard to place that on the title because its still a great movie! The performances are felt, but it doesn't have that gut punching feels moment every other one has. There is also no musical, low tone, stop in this movie, that gives you a break and just take in the heaviness of the situation. The gravity of it all is missing from this movie and feels more like a money grab than an advancement. That being said, Still a great movie.
Every frame a painting. The production on this team really nailed the picturesque framing of each shot in this movie. its masterful. Also they really allow you to delve into the character side of Godzilla, and actually recognizing him as a protecting force from the earth rather than a giant destructive creature which is really awesome as well. They introduce old characters from the Lore and invent some new once that don't really seem to fit. There are some slow sequences and some spots that don't make a whole lot of logical sense. and the human characters can only be seen as fodder, but aren't treated as such and get tin the way of what should be happening at times, but its still a fun romp.