John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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Whoa! "Knowing" was not what I was expecting when I picked it out from on demand. And I mean that it turned out to be pretty ok.
I won't give much of a synopsis to avoid any spoilers, but "Knowing" is one of the better films in the doomsday/prophecy genre.
Cage plays an astrophysicist who's son, at a time capsule opening, picks up a strange sequence of numbers from 50 years ago. Cages, being an inquisitive scientist (and, yes, totally hammered as a single dad!) discovers an unsettling revelation to the numbers. The situations gets strangely unsettling from there.
The film is almost totally carried by Cage who does a great job and who, I have to say, seems to have developed a pretty good knack for playing characters in these futuristic or supernatural thrillers.
Be forewarned - there are some subtle and then not so subtle Christian undertones in this film.
All in all, if this genre is something you're into, you'll really enjoy "Knowing".
"We Have Always Lived in the Castle" is a film that falls short due to some serious lack of plot development.
Two sisters and their crippled uncle are living in isolation on their grand estate. Apparently, both parents were murdered via arsenic poisoning some years before. And the family being very wealthy and snooty, for those reasons the whole town hates them and has no trouble showing it.
From what I read later on Wikipedia, the Shirley Jackson novel on which the film is based was much better developed than the film's story line. It's an interesting film with decent acting and the house is a great set. Yet, without a strong story, by the end I felt the film really fell flat, leaving way too much unexplained.
Pass on watching.
"Under the Skin" is one of those Intriguing if somewhat cerebral SciFi films that has an interesting premise yet seems to be trying too hard to make some sort of statement that it wants you to figure out. The movie is mostly carried by a near mute Scarlett Johansson. Most all the other characters are ancillary. Also, there are some fantastic takes of scenic Scottish countryside. I won't go in to too much of the plot other than Johansson is some form of alien predator stalking and then luring unsuspecting men to some sort of demise.
Kind of trippy and weird, but ultimately "Under the Skin" left me feeling somewhat let down.
I haven't watched "The Matrix" probably since it was first released so I caught it on Netflix. And let me state this - it isn't all that.
Don't get me wrong - the movie has a lot of great to near great elements. Fantastic scenery, great acting, kick-a** fight scenes.
Yet, upon second viewing, the whole story line is just totally lacking. The whole concept of AI taking over the world and then using humans as their biological battery source could be believable. But, why not just use other animals, insects or plant based organism to do the same? Or, why not just make the humans with little to no brain function so there is no reason to create and maintain this whole artificial world? Unfortunately, once you question that whole aspect of the film, it all kinds of falls apart.
Then, as a computer program the whole concept of "The Matrix" is kind of silly. You would think that once the 'real' humans know they're hooked in to a program, they could all just ignore all the artificial constructs and have superhuman powers.
Finally, the whole saviour complex with Neo is just such a worn and tired trope in so many sci-fi and other movie genres. Granted, "The Matrix" may have been an earlier user of it in this type of film, but "The Matrix" now suffers from this overused plot element not holding up very well.
Overall, "The Matrix" is above average and worth catching at least once, especially for the style it spawned. Yet, it is far from deserving of the high praise it gets.
Mildly amusing if somewhat standard boy-meets-girl from two different worlds with Randall as the stuffy city dude and Reynolds as the care-free country gal. Good cast and plot line, yet drags and is rather dated. Don't bother unless you're a fan of one of the stars or of this type of late 1950's rom-com.