BAA is a solid Scifi action filled bonanza with a strong narrative. Condensing an exuberant amount of content from the source material but often feeling like it's just trying to do too much all at once.
Some characters and ideas needed a little fleshing out before playing their larger roles in the story, whereas others probably should not have been introduced altogether but an obligation to the original works would've made such an omittance criminal.
There's a lot of exciting big ideas in BAA and as any good Scifi goes it's the core human themes that tie it together and make it relatable. Unfortunately I still stand by the idea that Alita's CGI-face is just too distracting in a lot of solemn moments that would have really resonated.
Instead I'm constantly getting this fish-out-of-water video-game character vibe from her that just doesn't mesh into this very real, gritty, dystopian world that the film is trying to sell me. This feeling of disconnect clashes with the core themes, what is real? What is it to be human? Sci fi staples that get undermined making this whole fabricated world lose a lot of its credibility.
The story could've been written neater with less throwaway elements that reference the source material, your suspense of disbelief is constantly tested in ways that you don't want it to be. All-in-all though BAA delivers a riveting tale of a cybernetic girl's coming-of-age in a rough unforgiving world at a time when strong female leads is exactly what we need.
Black Panther is a royal drama unfolding as it builds the intricate world of Wakandan society while maintaining a strong consideration for current African American culture. For all it's intricate ceremonial grandeur the film still blends into a fun, action packed piece of entertainment with strong social messages/themes.
It tells a familiar story as a young monarch takes upon the responsibilities of the throne, tradition vs. modernization and of course whatever excuses you need inbetween for some great explosive set pieces.
As with most Marvel films the characterizations are fun giving a bit of fresh air to a cast that personifies heavy themes of loyalty and family. I found myself truly delighted by Shuri's unorthodox mannerisms and compelled by Okoye's allegiance to the throne.
Critically speaking, I think BP could have played to it's themes a bit harder for a more compelling climatic end. If "Killmonger" was portrayed in an increasingly sympathetic role to the viewer by embodying egalitarian principles or even so much as a global freedom fighter one could argue he deserved the throne by more than just birthright.
But alas, Black Panther is a little simpler and plays it safer. However for the lack of ambition you can't ignore that it's still an amazing film. Once again Marvel shows us that quantity should never mean a lack of quality.
I don't know why I thought "Bright" would be good, maybe because Will Smith was involved or that I absolutely love genre mixing but damn, what a bland script and unremarkable story.
The characters are cookie cutter and barely serviceable, supporting cast non-existent, the plot unimaginative but the biggest crime is how it more or less wastes the potential of it's premise of having a modern world filled with fantasy creatures.
Just shallow amateur work, truly a missed opportunity to make something great.
The Shape of Water is an ingenious fantasy romance that utilizes cold war era elements to the advantage of its premise while subtly challenging our preconceived notions of established archetypes.
Del Toro has an innate understanding of portraying beauty of purity in all it's forms while simultaneously showing us the grotesque underbelly and brutality of what it is to be human.
These skills help him build a boy meets girl (or girl meets creature xP) fairytale with a believable yet dynamic supporting cast.
The story is equal parts gripping as it is touching, overcoming it's formulaic approach by using unlikely characterization and story elements that come seamlessly together. Adding the films success to his repertoire definitely showcases Del Toro's ability to adapt and excel in multiple genres.
All in all The Last Jedi is another triumph for the franchise, but one can't help but wonder if it could have been written neater to seem less like 3-4 episodes of a TV show and more like an actual movie.
For a film that runs so incredibly long it sure as hell doesn't address quite a few plotholes either. We still have no idea who, how or where Snoke came to be or who the alleged "Knights of Ren" are that Kylo took with him in his rebel against Luke. It also has time to create new plotholes like how did Rei suddenly become so adept with a Lightsaber when Luke literally taught her no combat skills or why is Finn still considered a main character?
It fails as a sequel in the sense where it races to tell us more before resolving questions inspired from it's predecessor.
This isn't to say The Last Jedi is 152 minute failure though, in fact outside of the former problems mentioned I think it did an exceedingly great job bringing new character ideas and story elements into the franchise. Especially the relationship between Kylo and Rei as they walk parallel with each other in discovering their connection/role with the Force.
A lot of the subplots went beyond expectations because it's arguably there just so there's epic Sci-Fi battles to be had (A necessity in a Star Wars film, no?) I was really impressed with how much newcomers Dern (Admiral Holdo) and Tran/Ngo (Rose and her sister) quickly became favorites on screen.
I stepped out of the theater exhausted but still pretty satisfied with my Star Wars experience. Like The Force Awakens there's a lot of nodding to existing lore in the franchise and a lot of new stuff to sink your teeth into, I just wish it was written and presented more efficiently.
There seems to be a lot of the general negativity from fanatics. They're probably just unhappy with where they're taking the story or certain characters, it's unfortunate but loyalists will always hold onto that sense of entitlement.