John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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(3 1/2 stars) If you are one of those people that will complain until the end of time that Spiderman 3 and The Amazing Spiderman 2 that they had "too many villains", you have no right to complain about those movies if you are ok with the amount of characters in this movie. Even with Thor and Hulk taking vacation, this is just Avengers 3 don't be fooled. Not only is it Avengers 3, it is Captain America 3, Iron Man 4, and even Spiderman 1.3. There is just way too much plot and too many new characters being crammed in when there were too many to begin with. I've always had that problem with the other Avengers movies but here it is Avengers plus Spiderman plus Black Panther plus Antman plus Martin Freeman plus Daniel Bruhl plus Hope Davis plus William Hurt plus so many freaking people to deal with. So let's break down each movie with in the movie since this does feel like a marathon of too many movie. For the Captain America movie, I enjoyed it as I have with the past two. Just as I have been screaming for the past year, I just wanted a third Captain America movie since he is the only one that can carry an interesting solo franchise outside of these other Avengers because I really don't think Thor or Iron Man are interesting at all for compelling stories. Even though Captain America is in another one of my complaints in the category of all the Avengers are so repetitive in powers with Super strength and being able to jump around building to building and shooting a gun while doing this which is the plus of adding in Black Panther, Spiderman, and somewhat Antman because they bring something new to the battle scenes, I think the essence of what the character of Captain America is supposed to be creates compelling solo stories as seen in his first movie with a great historical fiction WWII movie and the second being a great spy thriller. Here it really can't get it's due because so much is surrounding this kind of a friendship drama with Captain America trying to rebuild a relationship to his old friend Bucky who he won't let out hope that he can be brought back to their side which creates the main tension for the overall movie but also creates a larger chaos that would have been better if kept off the screen to focus on more of an actual Captain America movie. All of their stuff is good and Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow is best served along side of Captain America and Anthony Mackie but it just isn't given room to breathe. Now to talk about the Iron Man movie, if it weren't for Don Cheadle, I would have hated everything about it for being so boring, long, and awfully paced. Robert Downey Jr. just is not a funny actor. His "comedic timing" is so rushed that it sometimes gets mumbled but the humor is just not funny at all. As much as I love Spiderman, still my favorite superhero that I wish was left alone from this mess, he just is here to skip the solo intro movie so we don't have to sit through another origins for him and it just isn't very necessary. Tom Holland is wonderful as Peter Parker but it's something that could have been cut for time and to make the movie less exhausting. The whole Iron Man's parents subplot is ok because I love Hope Davis but it's another one of those thousands of plotlines that you forget about after a while and by the time a resolution happens you don't really care and wonder why this was jammed into this movie and not into something separate. Still same problem, too many jammed plots in an already overstuffed movie. Talking about the Avengers movie in this, the issue with it is the lack of any suspense of resolution. These people are all friends and haven't done anything too drastic to make them enemies except where their politics lie but it makes the fight scene so lackluster because you have no idea what these people think they are going to accomplish with just punching each other and throwing them around but making sure they take the time to remind the audience "we are still friends, right?". LIKE WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS DESTRUCTION THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALREADY YELLED AT YOU ABOUT IF THIS IS JUST A FRIENDLY BRAWL. If I had to sit through another car flipping across a long area, I was going to throw my popcorn across the theater. The action is so repetitive and lackluster to the point the directors don't want you to see it since they fall into the same new clique of shaky cam action scenes to make you feel like you are in the action which it does the exact opposite making you remember you are watching a movie and giving you a migraine in the process (and I can't imagine how awful it is in 3D). Like I said, Antman, Spiderman, and Black Panther spice up the action. By the actual climax of the movie between Captain American and Iron Man, you are so done with him hitting Iron Man with his shield and Iron Man blasting him and Bucky across the room. I appreciated the plot line of the government finally getting involved with the amount of destruction the Avengers create (almost taking on a similar plot line from The Incredibles) but it kind of just said "NOPE" to that plot line and decided instead of hurting innocent people it is still ok to trash an airport and destroy everyone's cars. So the things I liked about this movie: Chadwick Boseman is just exceptional as Black Panther. I have been a big champion of Chadwick these past 3ish years championing his performances in 42 and Get on Up and while everyone screams Michael B. Jordan's name when #OscarSoWhite happens and no one is giving Chadwick the attention he deserves I continue to shout his name for attention and so happy he finally gets the chance to be noticed since no one went to see the great 42 and Get on Up. I'm excited for his stand alone movie and he really gives the best performance in this movie. Tom Holland as I mentioned was delightful and though I'll always be bitter for the world giving up with Andrew Garfield I welcome him to my favorite superhero franchise and hope he can really win back the world so Spiderman can stop being the butt of a joke for always being remade and Holland can carry his own franchise, hopefully not overdoing it by constantly joining this lame gang. I was a big champion of last year's Antman and I think Paul Rudd really saves this movie it terms of it being very boring for a good hour and 45 min bringing in his great comedic timing, which he does miles and miles better than Downey's Iron Man, and really unique superhero abilities. I liked Elizabeth Olsen better in this movie but the whole subplot between her and that Vision guy that left me confused more than interested in him was just worthless and needed to be cut out. The pacing is the main problem with this movie. It builds and builds for this big Avengers Civil War battle and then I am kind of happy because I thought that meant the movie is about to wrap up and check my clock one second and see another half hour is left and I'm left annoyed because it just keeps going and going and will never just wear off even into the end credits scenes which continue to be gimmicks that need to just be the end of the movie (not the final post credits scene, the mid credits scene). Is this review overlong and overstuffed? Speaks merits to the movie. I think I covered everything but this is my problem. So much happened that I can't even remember every single pin point. Did I mention Daniel Bruhl? Of course not! I really liked Daniel Bruhl in this and finally serves as a great villain for the Avengers films with lackluster villains like Loki and Ultron in the past few. He is more in the league of Robert Redford's character in the second Captain America movie serving as a great villain without needing to actually battle our superhero. He messes with people's minds and oversees chaos without having to get really involved. And oh my god I forgot about someone else! Emily Vancamp is really wonderful as Peggy Carter's niece and I hope we get a lot more of her because honestly, I enjoyed her kicking ass more than the other women in this movie. So let's wrap this up. The sound design is great, the writing is give or take same with the direction (SIDE NOTE: every transition line from scene to scene in this movie is "I know a guy for that!" leading to a big reveal to another new character reveal since every secondary character is played by someone well known at least by me. Also are we at the point that Disney wants to name drop every damn property they own in all their movies? Star Wars references in Avengers movies now?! It was a cute moment granted but give me a break), and the score is a little repetitive of past scores for this franchise and overall, it's a solid summer movie when it comes to the action. The overall movie just is too much to handle and full of clutter. Of course fanboys will love it but for us outsiders who appreciate certain elements of this cinematic universe, it still is just a mixbag of entertainment. #TeamCap #TeamBlackPanther #TeamSpiderman #TeamHopeDavis #TeamAlfreWoodard #TeamMartinFreeman #TeamEmilyVancamp
(4 1/2 stars) After winning me over with 2014's Begin Again that made my Top 10 of that year, Sing Street is another charming, heartwarming, and lovable movie that uses music as its driving force to build relationships and romance. All the musical numbers are so great and had my toe tapping and me dancing in my seat especially for the songs The Riddle of the Model and Drive it Like You Stole It that both deserve to be performed at next year's Oscar ceremony when nominated. John Carney is improving in terms of the look of his films after the clunky camera work in Once since it really was filmed like a gorilla film being on a low budget and even hit or miss camera work from Begin Again, this movie really has some gorgeous shots with the Dublin beaches serving as a beautiful backdrop. Ferdia Walsh Peelo leads the cast as Conor and he really shines and deserves to be a big star after this wonderful debut performance. Lucy Boynton is really excellent as the love interest and I swear she must be the love child of Nicole Kidman and Namoi Watts because she A. Looks like them B. Has the same luminous screen presence as both of those actresses. There were many times where I even saw the same facial reactions that Kidman had in Moulin Rouge! She is going to be a big star definitely as well. I also really liked Jack Reynor as the brother, giving a really charming performance as well. The rest of the band mates are great as well as are the adults in the movie. The whole soundtrack of original songs and hit songs from the 80's that inspired these original songs is well put together and if this movie got the proper love and respect from the production company pushing it hard the soundtrack would be on the top of the charts right now so do yourself a favor and go see this movie. In such depressing times in the news, you're gonna need this movie to cheer you up. I also really loved the costumes and make up for the band mates. The beauty of this movie is that it fills you with so much inspiration and hope that it made me want to go out and create something again. I've been out of film school for almost 5 months now and haven't really done anything with it since and the amount of wanting to create something being music in this movie really does spread out into the audience. With Carney's first big successful musical movie Once becoming a Tony winning Broadway show, I hope (along with Begin Again) this finds its way to the Great White Way because it would have audiences jumping for joy in their seats as it did for me. The only issue I had with the movie is that some of the family drama and relationship stuff slogged for too long in areas but a musical number was right around the corner to pick the pace back up. Please please please seek this movie out and go watch it. It's needs your love so more movies like this can get made especially in this death slot going up against big superhero movies
It starts out quite captivating taking you in immediately with Nicholas Hoult's charisma and intriguing dark tone but it does not stick throughout it just seems like it is just beaten down over the course of the hour and 45 min runtime making it feel like a 2 and a half hour movie. Hoult keeps you watching even when it gets sloppy and the Wolf of Wall Street meets Vinyl meets American Psycho premise has its moments that are well played. I think that the music industry full of sex and drugs and rock and roll behind the curtain story is well overdone so nothing is shocking about this movie. James Corden was miscast but Craig Roberts was fun as Hoult's side kick. The style is great, the soundtrack is fun, but overall, the movie is only worth watching for Hoult's performance
A 2 hour long Xtreme Sports ad mixed with a Spring Break marketing tactic that feels like a blend of several movies like Spring Breakers, Piranha 3D, and even a little bit of the exterior shots in Magic Mike trying to do stylistic things with the cinematography. The lead is decent and Ray Winstone adds a little class to the movie but overall it's just pretty boring if Xtreme sports isn't your thing. I'm being generous and giving it 2 stars because at least it wasn't as painful as most 1 1/2 stars movies of last year
It's a solid mystery that is probably in the wheel house for a 50-70 demo as it is paced as a 90's cop movie. Julia Roberts gives it her all here as an emotional mother but Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor are just not in the same movie as her when it comes to the performances. It's just not all that exciting nor captivating and it doesn't really find a groove until the climax. It's one of those movies that will probably have traction on HBO or one of the other channels but as a movie to devote an evening to, it is just ok.