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A movie I've had to sit on for several days and I think I'll have to sit on even longer. Controversial, dangerous, these are words thrown around a lot with this movie. I guess I see why, but maybe not for the right reason. It's asking questions, but a lot of people are getting the wrong thing out of those questions. Are they questions that have been asked before? Have they been asked in a similar way? Sure, but maybe not in this climate and certainly not with this character, and that's what makes it different. Without going too deep into my own theories, the biggest thing I got out of it is "help people". There were so many points where this slow-motion car crash could have been stopped, but it didn't. Another thing is, how much are other people to blame? These are interesting questions, and what makes it more interesting is knowing this character and where he ends up. As to the violence, none of the violence is particularly over the top in a Deadpool or Michael Bay sort of way, but that's sort of what makes it more uncomfortable. It's grounded and unnerving. It's also very Joker-ish, with some scenes that are weirdly playful in a bizarre way where you don't really know what he's going to do. This was a unique direction to take this character, and Joaquin Phoenix kills it as Arthur/Joker with a empathic psychopath. It's a thoughtful but uncomfortable feel-bad sort of movie I'm still thinking about and really want to talk about. I don't get that sort of movie often enough.
Godamn what happened to these movies. Starting with low rent Point Break we're now at a movie that honestly I wouldn't be surprised if this started out as a script for G.I. Joe 3. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just be prepared, it's ridiculous, on par with the level of insanity we see in most superhero movies these days. The problems that arise there is there are some prolonged sequences that are so riddled with CGI is basically watching a cartoon or a video game cutscene. Now, I like cartoons, hell I even like some video game cutscenes, but with those there's a consistency in knowing what you're getting compared to the rest of the product. Here, the movie's really at it's best when the effects stay real and even a little more grounded. They can still be ridiculous over-the-top fun, but once it becomes a cartoon it started to lose me. That being said, the action in this is still a helluva lot of fun, and Idris Elba makes good villain. The final sequence of old tech vs new tech is genuinely great, and unlike anything I've see in one of these Fast movies before. And yeah, the dynamic of Hobbs and Shaw is a lot of fun, playing off the toxic alpha personalities the two of them both possess. It's not the best of the F&F films, but it's a solid entry in ridiculousness.
Pretty much a perfect saga here. My only real issues with Toy Story 4 are that it could have been funnier, a lot of the other characters are sidelined for Woody and Bo's story, and how it's ultimately kind of unnecessary. But even these issues I can kind of justify. It's more about the emotions than the comedy, the story really is Woody's story, and despite being unnecessary it does take the Toy Story story into a new direction. It visits a lot of familiar territory, but does so in some new ways. The villain for example does not have your standard Toy Story villain ending, and without diving too deep into spoilers it's kind of a tearjerker. And yes the whole thing is a tearjerker. The return of Bo Peep I found an interesting choice, but she wasn't the most dynamic character in the first two films. Here, they expand on her a lot while still keeping the essence of her character, and she becomes on of the most interesting characters in this whole franchise through her arc. And yeah that ending, it broke me, honestly I was holding it together fine but there is a line from Buzz that comes at the end that if you're not crying yet, you will. Toy Story 4 doesn't quite feel as polished as some other Pixar films, but it's still an incredibly solid film with characters we love and some new ones that are a lot of fun. I haven't even talked about Forky, he's a spectacular new entry. It's not a part of the story I wanted, but now that it's here I'm glad I got it. It's got all the heart and beauty and enough of the comedy to be a worthy entry in this franchise.
A film with a fun high concept but it's focus in the wrong place, Yesterday is charming enough, but ultimately disappointing. It's not a bad movie per se, but it's just not a very good movie. The idea presents a lot of fun concepts. One direction you could go is full fantasy and explore how this parallel world came to be, but the film ultimately ignores that entirely despite giving weird hints here and there that seem to go nowhere. You could go into what this means for the explosion of fame, the ideas of how the music industry has changed from when The Beatles exploded to now, and at the films best moments it does this and it can be interesting. In the end what the movie is really interested in doing is using this really fun concept to tell another boring love story. Lilly James is charming as all hell, but she's playing a character that just isn't interesting and her motivations are either boring tropes or borderline appalling. The first half of the movie I was kind of into it, but when it became clear any intrigue into the world of fame was going to be sidelined for blind praising of The Beatles and a boring love story, the movie lost me. I didn't hate it. It still has a certain charm to it, but ultimately it's just a lot of missed potential.