For the cast and topic of the film, I'm honestly surprised at how bad it was.
There were many times I had asked myself "what the hell am I watching?" and "holy crap, HE'S in this movie???" Even though the film is 2 hours long, it feels like a 3-hour movie due to how slow the plot goes. It's agony watching this film. My friends and I even joked about how bad the movie was while we were watching it.
Let's start off with the good. There are few high-budget films that examine the effects Hurricane Katrina had upon New Orleans' citizens.
The film promises much. Cut Throat City promises to examine a group of morally ambiguous men caught in a tight situation.
Brandon Cox's cinematography works for the film. It works for a film of this nature.
And the roster is astounding. This film has the likes of Terrence Howard, Wesley Snipes, TI, Eiza Gonzalez, Ethan Hawke, among others. Each time one of these characters gets onscreen, I find myself visibly astounded. RZA did a great job casting.
Now the bad.
The plot meanders and is confusing. Nothing seems to be straightforward and the film is unnecessarily complex. It's too unfocused. There doesn't seem to be a well-defined overarching arc. Each cameo can distract the audience from the main plot. Many times one has to wonder what is going on.
Blink (Shameik Moore) isn't a sympathetic protagonist. He leaves his wife and kid to commit crimes and go to strip clubs. Why even bother showing the family in the first place? Each time he has a chance to get ahead he continues to make bad decisions. He's not someone I'd expect to suddenly change for the better by the end of the film.
The "twist" feels rushed as a way to bolt on a happy ending. It's too deus ex machina-y and breaks suspension of belief.
And my biggest grievance is that nowhere in this film does anyone speak in a true "Nawlins" accent. Out of the large pool of potential actors from New Orleans, not one was selected. The "accents" in the film feel like one's idea of a generic Southern accent without giving it much thought. Shame, that this simple fix could have added so much more.
.5/5. The first film I've seen by RZA and I'm not at all impressed.
All My Life isn't the first romantic drama to deal with a terminal illness, yet it does so in an effective manner.
Based on a true story, it's a relatable film that's filled with humor and drama. The characters are enjoyable and the chemistry feels real. Jessica Rothe and Harry Shum Jr. play an amazing Jennifer and Solomon. Though the timeframes can get a bit wonky and confusing, the relationship feels quite real.
Each character does something a little special to add a sense of lightheartedness to a heavy topic. The film also reminds us of how much we take our day-to-day lives and health for granted.
Yet, my main complaint is that with such a short runtime, the movie felt a bit rushed. Given more time, Marc Meyers or Todd Rosenberg could have fleshed out the characters and story more. We could have seen things more from Solomon's perspective or see more of the toll that a bad diagnosis can have on a couple.
But it's still a sweet movie that deserves praise. It's relatable, sweet, and a tear-jerker.
It can be hard to end a trilogy. To All the Boys: Always and Forever tries it and flops.
Though the film is easy to enjoy when watching, it fails once one scratches beneath the surface.
Also, what's with romcoms that have relationships with red flags?
LDRs are not easy, and this movie ends up setting both main characters for failure. Peter (Noah Centineo) shows that he is not ready for the commitment of an LDR. Lara Jean (Lana Condor) ends up being a passive character willing to give up everything for him. She basically goes to a school that is not her first choice to save the relationship.
And getting back together was a cheesy way to wrap things up. It's predictable and leads to no character development throughout the story. No growth at all. What message does this send to its viewers?
Also, "we're not like the other couples." No. They stage 1 of a failed LDR. They're one of many HS-to-college relationships that fail within the first year.
At least the cinematography of NYC and Seoul looked really cool. +1 star for that.
If this movie came out in the 90s or early 2000s, it would have been good. But, the tropes have been so overplayed by now that it's become cliche.
Surprise: a vague plot with an ambiguous ending. A slow burner that pays homage to 90s films of the same genre. A modern dark noir that uses its silence as much as words.
But, I was expecting more with this trifecta of a cast. Denzel Washington kind of does his "I'm too old for this" act. Rami Malek plays a top-of-the-class detective that doesn't seem to fully do his work. And Jared Leto plays an ambivalent repairman with a peculiar stride.
For all the work done everywhere else, the screenplay could have been modernized for 2021's audience. It's not the fault of the original writer who wrote the script in 1997 but the people who took it and ran with it. The executives failed to see that the 1997 script needed to be made palpable to the modern audience.
1/5. Not enjoyable, entirely forgettable, shame that it could have been much more.
You know it's a film from the '70s when one of the big plot points revolves around the energy crisis.
20 minutes into The Man with the Golden and I was ready to hate this movie. An inconceivable plot where some assassin sends a bullet with 007's name on it. Like, isn't he supposed to be a SECRET agent? Also, Bond blurting out Scaramanga's entire backstory when asked seemed a bit of lazy writing. Show, not tell, y'all.
The plot itself seemed a bit too... "small" for Bond. A man who has saved the world many times over is now bothered by this challenge of a duel.
Yet, as the movie progressed, I saw why this film solidified itself in the Bond universe. Exotic, beautifully otherworldy, locations and set pieces. A sophisticated yet cold-blooded antagonist. And a variety of action that breaks the typical shoot-kill-shoot-kill action movies. Not to mention Bond-style humor. The pros for this film still hold well to this day.
Many people don't like Roger Moore's portrayal of Bond, but this was one of his better performances. Though, he does visibly stumble in the more physically demanding scenes.
A Bond is only as good as his adversary. And Christopher Lee plays an unforgettable performance as Francisco Scaramanga. Hiding away on his tropical island, the man with the golden gun plays a cool, sophisticated killer. His wish to prove himself as the world's best assassin is his pure motivation.
And Nick Nack. Herve Villechaize plays a big role in the film as Scaramanga's servant. Though his height is used as comic relief, his presence was a bit terrifying as he could blend in any crowd. There were times the pacing of the movie slowed down only for Nick Nack to appear and wreak havoc.
The pacing of the film itself seems to have many fillers and some plotholes. Yet enough happens at each place for me to be enamored more by the beauty of each location to care. This movie seems to be more about style than substance.
Now for the part that bothered me the most. The film's "Bond girl." Many people have ranked Mary Goodnight as Bond's worst companion in the entire franchise. And I have to agree. Mary Goodnight plays the somewhat airheaded eye candy that is more comic relief than serious character. Every time she tries to assist Bond, she only hinders him. Her character is more frustrating than anything else.
But that's not Britt Ekland's fault at all. She did the best she could in a screenplay that did not value its women characters. Shame that there was much potential for more.
4.5/5 but with cons I have to knock this down to 3.5/5. It's an enjoyable Bond film that is worth its entry into the Bond universe... even if the plot doesn't make sense upon second glance.