Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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As many intricacies as The Devil All The Time weaves into its locations, inhabitants, and annoyingly distracting timelines, the ultimate collision course set in motion from frame one ultimately does not satisfy the story. It's all dandy seeing such an outstanding cast tackle such depraved roles and situations in this unique backwoods environment, but the narrative is decidedly framed as a character-driven affair, something that it fails miserably at since we get no time at all to gauge everyone's perspective.
McCarthy, Moss, and Haddish stage a turbulent little takeover of a New York syndicate in The Kitchen. By looking at a distinctly different side of the gangster lifestyle moviegoers have been accustomed to, the film hits its fair share of high-notes, but with a story that places a lot of its twists and turns on coincidence and glossy time management, it just doesn't stick the landing.
Whereas other Disney remakes have coasted on nostalgia or just recreated the original shot-for-shot, Mulan carves its own path. Beautifully filmed, yet clumsily rewritten, it is encouraging to see these kinds of movies try something new. Mind you, the end result isn't the musical epic you may remember, but a grounded and mostly unengaging companion piece that gets only a select few ingredients right.
Stuber is an 89-minute movie you watch, have a decent time with, then forget about, except for the time Kumail Nanjiani threw Sriracha sauce at Iko Uwais or the moment Dave Bautista get's clocked in the face with an assortment of fishing hooks. Certainly not without some funny moments, but bogged by an overwhelming sense of familiarity.
Certainly not the outrageous adventure it was built up as, but more of a sentimental stab at modern America, An American Pickle is utterly, completely and unapologetically Seth Rogen's restrained little slice of comedy that works a little more than it doesn't.
It's no "A Prayer Before Dawn", but there's a strong, intimately brutal hook that pulls Ric Roman Waugh's "Shot Caller" out of the clutches of mediocrity. It is Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who embodies that hook with a performance that shows the bloody price one must pay behind bars.
Netflix's high profile tidal-wave of original films continues with Project Power. There's an abundance of talent and just as many action scenes spiced up with effective visual effects, but there's so much the story leaves unexplored. It succeeds at everything on a very basic level, but it never stands out with either of it's many ingredients. It's just another unfortunate case of an indie superhero-style endeavour not knowing what it wants to be.
End Of Watch pretty much throws every cop drama trope out the window with its no-nonsense approach, as it walks a fine line between sensitive and unfiltered. What's left is a stripped-down, gritty and brutally honest portrayal of law enforcement stuck in a never-ending war on crime.
The bold colours and big ideas of Ad Astra build it up as one of the great space odyssey's of the decade, but for a film that runs at a digestible two hours and four minutes, it feels painfully longer. There isn't enough action to propel the plot, nor is there any meaningful emotional material to leave an impact. If the aforementioned package combos well with watching Brad Pitt sulk and monologue, then this is the movie for you.
The Tax Collector is shockingly awful. A film that looks like the half-baked product of the editing room with flat colours, chopped off dialogue and unnecessary gore strewn about an otherwise bland revenge drama. Nothing looks or feels fine-tuned, which is a real shame, as director David Ayer has done so much better than this. Come to think of it, so has Shia LeBeouf, who's memorable portrayal of "Creeper" is little more than a glorified cameo.
Ford V Ferrari could have wound up as a stale race drama marred in technical jibber-jabber, but in the hands of director James Mangold and an accomplished cast, it just works. There's plenty of insight into the automobile industry and the spotlight is always properly shown on the two leads. Then there's the finale, the race of Le Mans that packs a visceral, exhausting punch!
It would be very difficult to name a movie that matches the gargantuan ambitions (and scale) of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. It's a real shame that it can't really back up either of its outstanding qualities with a streamlined story. There's a lot going on in this film, sometimes way too much for its own good. Even though there is little room to breathe or ponder, the action scenes featuring the titans are stellar and are presented with unmatched amounts of intensity and flair.
An empowering tribute that puts the heroics of the US Military and the horrors of war on full display. Thankfully, The Outpost also works as a highly technical piece of filmmaking, not just a by-the-numbers account. The long-takes, pyrotechnics and riveting camerawork also make it one of the more impressive films to come out in recent memory.
WW2 has been done better before, but for a 90-minute warship drama, Greyhound is pretty solid in terms of presentation and action, especially when it comes down to showcasing the tense nature of naval warfare.
The Old Guard doesn't quite have the budget to compete with other movies in its genre just yet, but what it lacks in scale it more than makes up for with heart. For in-between every cool little action scene is a cast and a script that is willing and able to explore the complicated questions of immortality and purpose. For a streaming film based upon a comic book, I'd say it punches well above its weight and definitely has franchise potential.
Whatever argument you may make regarding Terminator: Dark Fate, the one conclusion each and every one will reach is that it is technically speaking the best sequel to the original two. Tim Miller's action scenes are the definite standouts, along with the surprisingly effective cast, but the story is shortchanged for what is essentially a rehash that doesn't truly respect the original or build on it in any meaningful way.
Bad Education is shocking reminder of how everyone can be blindsided by the composure of people in power and really hits its stride whenever it focuses on the personal battles of Hugh Jackman's Frank Tassone. Anytime the story isn't sprinkled with such moments of nuance, the ultimate real-life scandal is poorly presented and isn't shown in a detailed light.
If Will Ferrell movies float your boat, give "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga" is watch . If Will Ferrell movies combined with the zany performances and atmosphere of the famed Eurovision song contest also happen to float your boat, then knock yourself out. From the wacky outfits, catchy tunes, beautiful scenery and outrageous stage acts, this movie will give you all of that along with a singing-dancing Dan Stevens. Now that's something you didn't know you needed.
The back and forth between Lilly Collins and a kooky, unhinged Simon Pegg make for some wonderfully tense scenes, but that's all Inheritance get's out of its premise. You pretty much know there is a twist coming somewhere down the line, but even if you can't quite put your finger on said twist, the buildup certainly won't justify it, nor will the movie's sluggish detours.
The best thing that can be said about Gemini Man is that it tries its heart out filming action in a different, exciting way. Granted, it actually accomplishes something, as the high frame rate the fight scenes are done with add a layer of both reality and visceral energy. Then again, this is also a movie where Will Smith fights his younger clone and in the hands of better writers, this could have been a much smarter and more twisted project.