Bad Boys for Life
I Am Not Okay with This
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Truly a testament to the artistic capacity of Iñárritu, The Revenant showcases a story that is almost as brutal as its realistic action. An art film disguised as a revenge flick, I was enthralled from the beginning. DeCaprio shines bright as ever in this bleak, cinematically gorgeous film, practically checking off a list of things to do to win that damned Oscar.
While clearly being the perfect end to the trilogy, tying up all loose ends and adhering to all tropes of third movies, Scream 3 just doesn't work as well as it should have. It seems far too preoccupied with poking fun at itself, cramming its overly meta humour down the throat of the audience. With a plot centred around the making of 'Stab 3', the obvious and over-the-top jokes make for an overstuffed threequel that while tonally and story-wise completes the trilogy, just cannot live up to the original two.
It's really telling of the kind of movie that despite having watched it yesterday, I struggle to remember parts of it. Because, to be honest, it's just not that memorable.
Again, it's well-acted. The three staples of the franchise, Campbell, Arquette, and Cox have great chemistry together, clearly trying their hardest to make the best of a rather mediocre script. The major plot points are pandery, and the film makes a point of over-explaining exposition and trilogy tropes to the audience. For example, they have the sister of Jamie Kennedy's character bring Sidney a video tape on which Kennedy explains to the leads the rules of third movies. While it's great to see Kennedy back, and this scene actually works, from then on anytime one of the rules applies, they basically say, "Remember what Randy said, [insert rule here]." It gets tiresome.
The big reveal at the end is quite unwaranted and obvious also. Just no where near as clever as the previous films.
All in all, Scream 3 fails at being what it claims to be: a horror-comedy. It's just a comedy. With a serial killer. And a random explosion. There's not one intense moment in this film.
However, in it's quest to tie up all loose ends in plot and tone, it actually succeeds, perhaps too well. That's at least a positive about this movie.
Scream 2 is by no means a bad movie; in fact, it's quite a good movie. But in comparison to the genre-challenging near-masterpiece that came before it, I was underwhelmed. I've seen this film twice now, and I have to say: my memory of it was far more fond than it should have been. I remembered it being almost as good as the original, just as scary, just as intense. I watched it again. It's not. It's just not.
There were only a few brief moments in the film where I felt actual genuine suspense, the most prominent of which being [SPOILERS] when Sidney and her friend Hallie are in a police car being stalked by Ghostface. This scene provided a genuinely tense and scary moment without which I'm sure my opinion on the film would have been lower.
It's well-acted. The leads, Campbell, Arquette, Cox, and Kennedy all give strong, believable performances. Also, the additions of Timothy Olyphant and Jerry O'Connell really cemented the cast as one of the best ensembles of the series.
But it just felt underwhelming in a way. Not sure how some people consider it the best of the series...
Now easily considered a horror classic in its own right, Scream manages to gracefully combine meta humour with genuine thrills to create a Wes Craven vehicle that is still effective to this day. I just watched it for the second time, and was reminded of just how tense and quite scary the movie is. There's not much to be said about this film that hasn't already been said, so I'll just say: if you want to watch a genuinely scary, entertaining, and subversive horror movie, watch Cabin in the Woods. But if you've seen that, then watch Scream.
Also, Matthew Lillard is criminally underrated in this movie. Hyperactive and self-referential performance. Shaggy deserves more credit.
Before today, I had never even heard of this film. But I stumbled across it while listening to a podcast that went through a list of Matt Damon's best movies. This movie was so high up on that list, I just HAD to check it out. I am so glad I did.
A stylish, intelligently written drama exploring the underworld of Hold 'Em Poker in New York, Rounders follows poker genius Mike McDermott (played by Damon). McDermott loses out to a big fish at the beginning of the film and decides to go clean, quit the game. But when his old friend, Lester "Worm" Murphy (played by Ed Norton), is released from prison, things begin to get problematic for Mike as he's dragged back into the world of gambling.
Truly a tightly scripted film with intriguing and believable characters, Rounders had my attention from the start. I was curious as to how much story could be told through a movie about poker games, but this film wavered my curiosity. It was really quite thrilling to see the effect of Norton's character on Mike's life, and how tension was built to the point of the climactic, high-stakes game.
Damon is brilliant in this film, utilising his likability as a leading man to really milk empathy out of the viewer. Norton is also very good in this role, his every-man sensibilities being used to his advantages as he swindles money out of these unknowing businessmen and criminals. Malkovich was a bit of a wildcard for me. At first, I couldn't buy his accent, and felt he wasn't being utilised enough. But by the end of the film, I completely bought into his role as the Russian-mafia connected KGB.
All in all, Rounders really was a fun and entertaining film that ultimately left me with a smile on my face. It also made me want to play cards.