Spider-Man: Far From Home
The Lion King
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In my opinion, this may be the most overrated, unfairly praised film ever made. I loved Jordan Peele's first film, Get Out. That movie was well-paced, well-written, and had great poise and a wonderful message. The execution was nearly perfect too. By comparison, it is baffling how bad this movie really is. The first 30-40 minutes are simply boring and fail to generate any meaningful background or suspense. Yes, we KNOW something bad is going to happen. But really nothing the family does with their bickering and weird interactions adds to this film. However, the opening 5 minutes on the boardwalk and in the house of mirrors at the beach are promising, and I was very interested. But after that, the main character is not well-defined. The family simply complains and acts strange until the night their evil twins arrive. I lost interest soon after, with the movie quickly turning into torture porn, like that movie Funny Games (another unpleasant mess). Many people acted strangely or suspiciously or awkwardly in Get Out, but we ultimately learn WHY they are acting that way. The plot unfolds and makes sense. Some critics even noted how "confusing" this movie is, while at the same time, "something important seems to be going on." Huh? So, if the movie is too confusing and incoherent, surely "something" smart must be happening, because it's Jordan Peele! That's what I feel happened here with the 94% RT score. So many people gave Peele partial credit simply for trying something else on the heels of Get Out. But this movie doesn't deserve any of the credit that Get Out did, and I am skeptical that Peele can pull off another hit like Get Out after seeing this and his Twilight Zone offerings, which I feel are pretty bad.
WarGames is just a fun, tense, well-paced thriller and slice of early 1980's cold war Americana. Really well cast, with super likeable young stars Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy, matched up against always perfectly smarmy Dabney Coleman with a dash of Barry Corbin's military moxie. This movie belongs in a time capsule of 1980's classics. The music is well done, the supporting cast is terrific. It even feels somewhat plausible that a young, gifted underachiever could accidentally hack into the U.S. military computer to play a fantasy wargame, and instead almost start world war III. Nothing was more terrifying at that time than the prospect of WW3. This is simply an underrated, enjoyable thriller that helped launch both Broderick and Sheedy, and is better than several other cold war thrillers of that era. I never get tired of watching Broderick outsmart federal officials with his ingenuity.
Some movies feel small, almost forgettable, yet authentic and well-made. Tex is a movie that feels real. It's not profound or self-important. It's about a 15 year old kid in Oklahoma trying to find his way in the world, as he struggles with poverty, puberty and growing up. The movie is based on a book by young author S.E. Hinton, and she somehow hits the nail right on the head again with a portrait of dusty, rural youth and the normal stuff most of us go through. Tex is poor, his mother having died when he was 3 and his father being absent or irresponsible. He is raised mostly by his much more mature older brother, Mason. Their relationship, and the pain Tex goes through when Mason sells his horse, feels real. Of course, no one knew at the time that this cast (Dillon, Estevez and Tilly) would all become young stars. Even Metzler, who plays Mason, earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role. The acting is solid, the backdrop feels authentic and vast. Heartbreak, first love, hitchhiking tragedy, and drug deals gone bad are all featured. A lot happens to Tex in this movie, but Matt Dillon handles it with aplomb. Just a solid character study of poor kids in OK dealing with not fitting in, trying to survive and the challenges of growing up.
This has GOT to be John Carpenters worst film ever. The story isn't about Dracula, but satan or some other ancient evil force. The premise is very thin, a priest (Donald Pleasance doing a parody of Donald Pleasance) warns a bunch of scientists and college grad students that an evil green liquid or plasma found in the basement a 500 year old church is going to do something, or become something. This movie is endlessly talky, with some of the worst dialogue I've ever heard survive a final edit. The acting is so-so, but the characters have nothing to do but stare at random numbers on computer screens(ancient evil math!) and work on latin translations. I'm serious when I say this is the laziest attempt to make a movie by an actual, professional director that I've ever seen. Almost zero special effects, save for some worms, bugs and a woman decomposing. It's mostly people vomiting into each other's mouths and people being killed while offering little defense. One man is run clean through his torso by half a bicycle. Um, huh? Watch this one for laughs only. Nothing wrong with Alive Cooper's appearance, you may never notice if you didn't know that he was in it. He's the least of this disaster's problems. Oh, and I am a DIEHARD John Carpenter fan! Halloween is still #1 all-time greatest horror movie, certainly slasher movie. I enjoyed Halloween II and III, and I love the Fog and The Thing. I don't mind They Live and Escape from New York, Assault on P13 and Starman. All good movies. This one is surprisingly low-budget and low quality.