Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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I didn't know whether this movie was a remake, a reboot or a sequel to the Class of Nuke 'em High from way back in 1986, so I didn't know what to expect really. After watching it, I'm still confused about that issue... The movie's story is happening about 28 years after the original, first, movie. We follow a new girl, Lauren, who just started going to the Tromaville high school. She befriends another girl, Chrissy, and they start dating. Meanwhile, the power plant from the first movie is now a food company that sells ultra-cheap food to the school for lunch. On one Taco Tuesday, the members of a glee club transform into the total opposites of themselves, and start to call themselves Cretins, who just want to cause mayhem. There's also this subplot of Lauren being pregnant with a duck after getting raped by one. Yeah, this movie is quite insane! It starts of with Stan Lee who narrates what happened in the movies before this one! Then there's a seriously messed up and gruesome scene which I won't spoil, but I will say that there aren't many gory scenes in this volume. That was a bit of a let down. There's also some obvious CGI in this movie, as well as awesome practical effects. The acting is okay, I guess? I've no idea how to review this acting, it's just weird. The characters are okay, there's quite a lot of likeable characters. The ending is not the ending, of course there will be a volume 2 and it looks like it's going to be way more gruesome and disgusting than this one, so I'm looking forward to it. All in all, a good trash movie which I recommend strictly to fans of cinema like this.
mother! is directed by the fantastic Darren Aronofsky and stars Javier Bardem as Him and Jennifer Lawrence as mother. The story follows Jennifer and Javier living a peaceful life in their huge house when all of a sudden, people start dropping in uninvited to their home and disrupt their privacy and life. Or is that the plot? I'll put up a SPOILER ALERT right here because there's no way I can write a spoiler-free review for this movie. So! Javier Bardem is God, Jennifer Lawrence is Mother Nature and their house is, basically, Earth, with the exception of Bardem's room which is a symbol for Garden of Eden. The people that start entering their house are, at first, biblical characters. The first person that enters the house is also the first human, Adam (played by Ed Harris). The night he comes to the house, we see he has a wound on the side of his chest implying that a rib was taken from him. The next day, a woman comes to the house and we find out she's Adam's wife, Eve. Then come their two sons, Cain and Abel. I'm sure you get the point by now. Of course, none of this is in the trailers or in the plot synopsis. This movie was marketed as your regular horror/thriller and that's why I think this movie was so hated by many. They got something so much bigger and deeper than just a "house invasion" movie. Darren Aronofsky is famous for his surreal vision and controversial themes he puts in his movies. This movie is obviously not an exception, so I went in thinking it's going to be one of those movies and I was right. It was fairly easy to follow the plot and to connect the clues Aronofsky gave us. I, honestly, have no idea how someone could miss the point of this movie. The ending, especially, is very unsubtle and obvious. But, alright, to each their own. I found this movie exceptionally disturbing and traumatizing! It's a very slow paced movie at first. It builds and builds and then just lets it all out in the last half an hour. I was constantly entertained by the characters and the story because I was always looking for clues in scenes that might point me in the right direction of what this movie is about. The dialogue is also very spot-on! There's a lot to digest regarding this movie and going in knowing what you're getting yourself in is crucial. I've heard people say this is the worst movie they ever saw while going out of the cinema. I think of this movie as a "love it or hate it" movie. So far I've only come across completely positive or completely negative reviews. Noone seems to be inbetween. As you can see by my score, I absolutely loved it! I think it's one of the best movies to come out this year exactly because of all the metaphors and symbolism. I love when movies slowly give you clues and let you interpret them by yourself, instead of the movie doing that for you. As mentioned earlier, the last 30 minutes are absolutely insane and most certainly the most disturbing scenes I've seen in a movie in a while. The fact that the entire movie has no original score only heigthens the tension and the trauma portrayed on the screen. Another brilliant decision by Aronofsky was to show everything that's happening from the perspective of Jennifer Lawrence, Mother Nature. Throughout the entire movie the camera is either behind or in front of her. Where she goes, we go; what she sees, we see; what she hears, we hear. This adds a very personal feel to the movie and makes it even more special. I could talk for hours about what the metaphors in this movie are and how everything connects to the Bible and the Testaments, but that would take way too much time to type. The acting was majestic from everyone, especially Jennifer Lawrence to whom I have to give major props because 90% of the movie is her and she is phenomenal. Oscar-worthy, honestly. Javier Bardem is also fantastic in his portrayal of God and I love how his character is in complete contrast to Lawrence's which was a very wise decision by the director as it leads to very thought-provoking scenes regarding nature and what we, people, are doing to her. All in all, mother! is remarkable movie that I have to recommend. It's so shocking and so poignant that you'll be thinking about for many days after. I'm actually glad there aren't many movies like this made that often because it really comes as a refreshment when a movie like this finally comes out and I'm able to witness it on the glorious big screen in a dark room. Absolutely go see this, I highly recommend it, but keep an open mind, don't hate just because you don't understand it.
Blade Runner is one of my all-time favourite movies. I've loved it since my first viewing and I had very high hopes for 2049 and the movie delivered on every level. The plot was kept a secret from every single trailer and even the reviewers were asked not to reveal anything about the plot. But, I do plan on talking about the movie in detail, so I will put a SPOILER alert right here at the start. Only read further if you've watched the movie. Here we go. The plot revolves around a blade runner who goes by the name K. He's a new "breed" of replicants which have a normal life-span and his job is to hunt down older versions of replicants and "retire" them. In the beginning we see him do just that with Sapper. Sapper was introduced back in 2036: Nexus Dawn, a short movie released before 2049. He's an old version of a replicant, he even fought on Calantha, and must therefore be retired, killed. Upon investigating around his house, K finds a buried locker. In the locker, there are bones of a replicant who gave birth. A lot of people thought this movie was going to focus on Deckard, but the real focus of the movie is actually his child. The remains found in the locker are actually that of Rachel, from the original Blade Runner. This sets off K on a dangerous and important investigation. Since the first movie never actually revealed Deckard as a replicant, I was a bit afraid this sequel was going to tell us if he is or isn't one, which would ruin the 35 year old mystery. Thankfully, we're, again, not given a straight answer! Some might be really frustrated by that, though. Tyrell Corp. is also gone, as seen in the Black Out 2022 short anime movie, and a new mastermind replaced Tyrell. Wallace, played perfectly by Jared Leto, is a new breeder of replicants who considers them his children, angels. He doesn't have a lot of screentime and he doesn't actually do much in the movie, but his presence was always intense and his dialogue is very thought-provoking, especially during the scene where we witness a birth of a replicant. Wallace Corp. also looks breathtakingly beautiful! The whole structure of the building is made to look like a pyramid and the inside is fully golden yellow/black. The main "meeting room" where Wallace always has talks with his angel Luv and, later, with Deckard, is extraordinary. The light is always moving in a circle and the shadows keep changing as the light moves. It's extremely hard to explain this, but if you've seen the movie then you know what I'm talking about. It's gorgeous. The archives, also in Wallace Corp., look breathtaking. I adore every single shot that takes place in that building. Ryan Gosling plays K, a replicant blade runner, perfectly! My favourite scene with him was when he was looking for the child in an orphanage. To add some context here, every replicant has a certain memory implanted in him to make him seem more human. K only remembers one thing. As a child, he had a wooden horse toy with something imprinted on the back of it and some kids wanted to take it away from him so he ran from them and hid the toy in one of the broken furnaces. As K is looking for information about the child in the orphanage, he realizes this is the place that he remembers as a child. After a few minutes of exploring, he actually finds the wooden horse hidden in the furnace which leads to a very devastating scene accompanied by one of the soundtrack's best tracks. It's a very haunting scene because this makes K think that he is that child and being that child will only bring him sadness as he will be hunted for the rest of his life. He realizes the danger of it and breaks down. It was truly heart-wrenching. Another scene that mesmerized me just like this one did was the one where he goes to a woman who makes these memories to see if his memory is real. She takes a look at his memory and tears start coming down her face as K sits there with zero movement, only his eyes getting watery and red. She says that someone did live this memory and that it's real. K, again, breaks down and the emotions that his character was feeling were so well potrayed by Gosling that I'm not even going to be surprised if he gets nominated for an Oscar this year. Harrison Ford reprised his role of Rick Deckard in 2049. The introduction to his character was glorious! Again, the visual style of the place where Deckard lives was out of this world. I can't praise the movie enough regarding the direction and cinematography. I'm not going to say anything about Deckard and what he does in this movie because I really do not want to spoil anything regarding his story. I'll just say that it was very emotional and very satisfying. The ending, especially, was beautifully realized. I'm in awe at how perfectly everything concluded. The CGI is wonderful! Nothing ever looked fake, not one single thing. Everything looked unusually realistic and there were times where I just stared at the screen without even realising I haven't blinked for minutes. The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch is a bliss. It's very reminiscent of the Vangelis soundtrack for Blade Runner and it was perfect! I got goosebumps every single time that deep synth kicked in. It's most certainly best experienced in a cinema, though. I can't wait for this movie to come out on blu-ray so I can watch it again and again and again. All in all, Blade Runner 2049 is a phenomenal movie that completely blew me away and I couldn't recommend seeing this movie more. Truly one of a kind movie and something you don't see very often coming to cinemas. It's basically a 200 million dollar art movie and with its epic length of 2 hours and 40 minutes, I was surprised at how short it actually was! I think a lot of "mainstream" audiences will dislike this movie for being boring, long and not action-heavy. As soon as I walked out of the cinema, I could hear a woman behind me saying how she slept through half of the movie. It makes me feel kind of sad that extraordinary movies, like this one, get hated on so much by casual moviegoers. Oh well, just got to get used to that. Still, 2049 is currently the movie of the year for me and I couldn't be happier with it.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a massive disappointment. I am very surprised by how much I didn't enjoy this movie. The Secret Service was actually one of my favourite movies of 2015, The Golden Circle is one of the worst movies of 2017. Enough about that, let's start this show. So! The plot revolves, once again, around Eggsy and his spy quests. In the opening sequence we're treated with a comeback of a character from the previous movie, Charlie, who didn't get into the Kingsman, so he became a bad guy. Him and Eggsy have an encounter which leads to the Kingsman getting hacked and being destroyed by Poppy, this movie's big evil mastermind. Every single Kingsman shop was destroyed by a missile and only Eggsy and Merlin survived. This makes them team up with their spy friends from America, the Statesman. Together, they must stop the evil druglord Poppy and save the world! Let me start with a few things I liked about the movie before I go into the very negative territory. The action was alright. It was nothing like the action from the first movie, but it was fine. The ending "one-take" sequence was actually quite horrible, but more on that later. The acting is, also, fine. Noone really stands out, noone is really horrible. It's just fine. The cinematography was great, though. It's a really visually appealing movie, if nothing else. I especially liked the atmosphere of Poppy's secluded little "temple". Let's rip this movie apart now! The villain is absolutely horrible. Poppy, played by Julianne Moore, is a character that's stuck in the '50s and has to have everything look like it's straight from that period. Her evil plan is to sell drugs that are mixed in with some sort of a poison that kills you after a few hours/days (it's not really cleared up which makes for some plotholes later on in the movie). She's put this poison into every single drug and is selling the drugs worldwide. She's doing this to legalize drugs because if alcohol and smoking can be legal, why can't drugs? She isn't a very threatening character, nor is she an entertaining one. She spends the entire movie in the same place and doesn't ever move from it. She also does nothing horrible herself. I didn't buy her as a villain at all, completely forgetable. Next, Roxy dies. JB dies. Arthur dies. And, finally, Merlin dies. I'm not even going to comment on how stupid the first three deaths were, but I have to talk about Merlin's. Not only did they manage to kill half the cast from the last movie in this one, they also managed to make all these deaths completely unemotional and rushed. I particularly hated Merlin's death. This isn't because he died, it's because of how he died. I'm not going to hate on a movie just because they killed a good character. Merlin's death was easily avoidable and unnecessary. He died by stepping on a landmine. Poppy's "temple" is, apparently, surrounded by landmines, even though nobody's ever stepped on one until Merlin, which makes it seem as though he stepped on the only landmine there was. Okay, so, Eggsy stepped on the mine first, but then Merlin revealed he has a freezing spray which he can use on the mechanism to give them a second to run after removing the pressure. He uses the spray on the mine, Eggsy steps off and starts running but instead of running, Merlin steps on the mine so he can sacrifice himself. Plus, he also ran out of the spray after that one small use. I hated this entire scene. It's like the writers decided they need a dramatic and emotional death of a beloved character just to have one. It was rushed, it was out of place and it didn't work. Moving on to the humour. The comedic moments of this movie are a complete miss. I barely found anything funny in this movie. The audience was laughing whenever Elton John sweared, but I really don't see what was funny there. Elton John was in the movie just because he's Elton John. There's literally no reason for him in the movie. He also probably has more screentime than Channing Tatum, who's massively underused. Then we have the infamous tracker scene where Eggsy has to insert a tracker into a vagina because that's the only way, apparently. Not only was that whole sequence painfully unfunny, it also makes zero sense. The tracker is literally built into the top of a condom. And that's the joke. Unbelievable. That part becomes even more unbelievable when Eggsy calls his girlfriend (the princess of Sweden from the last movie) just before he's about to insert the tracker to notify her that he's going to sleep with another woman. I mean, sure, he doesn't want to lie to his girlfriend, but come on! There was literally no way she could've ever found out he sleeped with that specific girl. He doesn't even end up sleeping with her, he just puts his finger in her vagina and walks aways. The phone call was completely unnecessary, but I guess the writers wanted some romance drama between Eggsy and Tilda so there can be some tension. It didn't work. I'm just going to skip the whole Harry part because it's stupid and unbelievable. He has amnesia after getting shot in the head and half the movie he spends remembering who he is and what he can do. There's no payoff, really. They just wanted an excuse to have Colin Firth in the sequel. The movie is also very CGI heavy which is most apparent in the final fight scene which is meant to look like it's one-take while it obviously isn't. The camera is incredibly jittery and there are moments where it speeds up, and slows down unnaturaly, and it just made me queasy. There's quite a bit more I could talk about this movie, but I'm going to end this review here as I've said more than enough to prove my point. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a horrible sequel to The Secret Service and I cannot recommend this movie whatsoever. It's dull, unfunny, hard to watch and it tries to be bigger and better, but ends up being smaller and worse.
Before I get into the review, I have to say I have not yet read the book nor have I seen the 1990 Tim Curry version. There will be no comparisons here or comments on how faithful it is to the book. With that said, I had a blast watching It! The movie follows a group of kids, The Losers club, who are being terrorized by a demonic being that goes by the name of Pennywise, the Dancing Clown. This creature isn't only a clown, like the promotional clips and trailers suggest; it becomes whatever the characters are most scared of. This element makes for a lot of great moments in the movie as we learn more about the characters through their fears. One of the "Losers'" brother gets taken away by Pennywise and he still thinks his brother is alive so he gets his friends together to solve the mystery of his missing brother and hopefully find him alive. All of the characters are basically kids, there's barely any adult character in the movie and that works really well for the movie as the kids are the most interesting and most entertaining. Bill is the main character, his brother's gone missing and he does not want to ever give up. This gives his character clear motivation. He also stutters while talking which made the character even more sympathetic for me. There's a great scene where he's giving a speech and he doesn't stutter once. He's so motivated to end all of this once and for all that he completely forgot about this stuttering. I thought that was a really nice touch. I really liked him as a character and the ending regarding his brother was very heartwrenching. Richie is the joker of the group, he consantly makes jokes to make a tense, scary situation less so. I loved his jokes, a lot of them really hit the spot and there are some really great quotes to remember for later. We don't find out too much about him, except that he's scared of clowns, but he was still a very entertaining character. Stan is Jewish and that's basically his character. Much like Richie, we don't find out too much about him except his fear and that his father thinks of him as a disappointment. I honestly barely noticed him in the movie and I didn't like him as much as I did the other characters. Speaking of underused characters, Mike is a character that doesn't join the Losers club up until half of the movie and he's fine. We get a good sense of his fear and why he does what he does, but he's not present enough in the movie to make us really care for him, even though we should considering his depressing past. Ben is also a newcomer to the club, but he joins much sooner than Mike. He was a very entertaining character, as well. I love the ongoing joke of him loving New Kids on the Block and his obsession with history of the Derry town is a really great trait for the character. He spends most of his days in the library researching the violent happenings in the past and he gives the other members vital information on why and when Pennywise shows up. He is a great addition to the club, I've got no complaints. Eddie is the last male member of the club and we get a lot of development for his character. He's constantly taking pills and keeps worrying about diseases and infections and whatnot. His mother keeps insisting that he's sick and there's a great scene near the end where he finally confronts his mother and it was very satisfying to see that. Beverly is the only female member of the club and I absolutely loved her. Her character is, next to Bill's, the most well developed one. Her background is very disturbing and sad, and every scene that takes place in her home was very gut-wrenching. I won't go into spoiler territory about her, but it was really disturbing the way she's treated at home. This should sum up all my thoughts on the characters and who they are, now heading onto even more detailed thoughts. The movie, from start to finish, dances on this thin line of humour and horror and it works really well for the movie. There are multiple hilarious scenes that surprised me. The most notable one is the "rock war" sequence that floored me because of how well executed it was. The interaction and dialogue between the Losers is also phenomenal! It feels completely natural and not forced. Perhaps I enjoyed that aspect of the movie even more than the horror aspect. I was also constantly reminded of The Goonies during the funny sequences. One of the funniest scenes, as well, is the scene where all the members go swimming in a lake, but they have to jump off a cliff first straight into the water. The boys are all standing on the very edge and no one is brave enough to jump first. Then comes Beverly on her bike, takes her clothes off and jumps into the water. Richie's exclamation "What the fu**!?" was perfection. It really caught me off guard and I almost forgot I was watching a horror movie. Let's move onto the horror aspect of the movie. It does not disappoint. Even though I didn't find it overly scary or frightening, I had a ton of fun watching Pennywise terrorize these kids. It's entertaining, what can I say! My favourite "scary" scene is in the garage when the kids are looking at photos of the city plans and suddenly the projector starts sliding to other photographs until it gets to a photo of Pennywise and then a huge Pennywise comes out of the photo and it was glorious! The tension in that scene was extremely high and the payoff was briliant! There are many crazy scenes like that involving Pennywise and that's what I really like about this movie. It really doesn't take itself too seriously. Pennywise is, after all, a clown. He's supposed to entertain people. So, when he does something like a crazy dance, I don't find it unnecessary or badly done. It's perfect! The movie does tend to rely a bit too much on jumpscares, though. I'm pretty much immune to jumpscares at this point so literally none of them got me. What got me was the build up and tension of a scene leading up to a jumpscare. The movie looks absolutely fantastic and the atmosphere is breathtakingly spooky and only that is enough to send a chill down your spine. Since I'm writing about the look of the movie, let's talk about that CGI. I did not expect this much CGI, I have to be honest. It didn't bother for me the most part, but I was a little bit disappointed by it. The CGI around Pennywise was fantastic, even if in a goofy way, but the CGI around the creepy painted flute lady was horrible. I did not like the effects on her whatsoever. It was obviously fake and I wasn't intimidated by her at all. Thankfully, she doesn't have much screentime. The direction was gorgeous, though! The look of the movie is perfect for such a movie. I love the bright, warm, summer/autumn colours when the kids are outside and I adore the dark colour pallete when they're inside the "haunted house" and the sewers. It's a really well made movie, I've got zero complaints regarding the direction. The soundtrack, as well, is flawless. It's sort of like a mixture of Michael Giacchino and John Williams and it works so well. The beggining sequence, especially, is beautiful when it comes to the soundtrack. It made me feel like I was watching a kid's adventure movie from the '80s. I love it. The acting is fantastic all across the board. There isn't a single bad actor in this movie. There's one line of dialogue by Ben that didn't quite sit with me near the end, but I'm willing to let that go by as nothing else bothered me. All in all, IT was a great horror/comedy movie that took me back to my childhood days when all I would watch is movies like The Goonies, Stand By Me and Monster Squad. Filled with great acting, great character development, an emotionally touching story and great funny and spooky moments, IT is a perfect "haunted house" movie that I think should be seen, even with its minor flaws.