Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Really, really stupid plot and 2 hours I'll never get back. The first 19 minutes are one long, interminable, really, car chase. More wrecks than the Blues Brothers. Nothing succeeds like excess, eh? Not here. It gets boring.
I was sad to see Ryan Reynolds squandered on such a turkey. I give it 2 1/2, but really the stunt folks should get 4 or 5 out of 5. They did a stellar job.
I don't understand the low numbers for this one. A bit predictable plot, sure, but the casting is great. All the characters come through. Star of the show, to me, is Kristen Schaal who is a comedic genius in my book; part Carol Burnett, part Bernadette Peters. Loved her in Flight of the Concords and loved her in this one.
The writing is pretty good and they manage to make a fire-plug stud of a leading actor (name eludes me) pretty good. If they had these good writers 30 years ago Arnie would have been much better.
Where do I start? 2 1/2 stars is unfair: I'd give about 4 for the cinematogrraphy; beautifully shot and really, really beautiful horses. I'd give about 2/5 for the writing. It starts with faux Shakespeare and then kind of forgets that and wanders into cliche. And the plot. OMG, the plot - put High Noon, Jane Got A Gun, and The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (mostly the latter 2) and Paladin (a TV show - look it up) into a blender and VOILA! you've got this movie. So cliched in its plot that I wondered why they didn't tie a damsel down on the railway tracks.
And the historical context: a black senator? In the late 19th century? War crimes? There was no such concept until about 1945.
BUT: it was shot in letter-slot format and I really respect that. And most of all - what's not to like about Miro Sorvino, Wes Studi and...most of all...Bruce Dern? Damn, I'd take 1 1/2 hours of dreck for 5 minutes of Dern. And that pretty much balances the karmic scale on this one.
So: if you like good actors trying to make something of a terrible script and western cliches, this is definitely for you.
I think 2 stars is a bit brutal. I thought the background plot (evil billionaire Bill Murray trying to launch a weaponized satellite in cahoots with the U.S. military) too simplistic and obvious) but the triangular-ish love story was interesting and, at times, nuanced. The final scenes with a) Cooper playing off Krasinski and b) Cooper watching McAdams' daughter dancing were really quite well done. I always feel a few good scenes can almost redeem a movie.
And, hey, who can hate ANY movie shot in Hawaii?
Shoots for noir, comes up gris. Simply doesn't make the grade and comes very close to becoming a satire or send-up of the whole noir genre. If you want that period for noir, watch L.A. Confidential. Far, far better.
I know Scarlett Johannsen is sooo much better an actor that I have to assume the buck stops with Di Palma, the director. Josh Hartnett comes off ok (just ok, I guess) but the voice over, again trying to be noir, is stilted and stagey. Hard to even know where Aaron Eckhart comes from in all of this; you don't know until the last 2 or 3 minutes. It's like an NBA game, as they say; don't bother with the first 46 minutes of regulation play; just watch the last 2 minutes.
No, seriously: watch L.A. Confidential instead.
When did S&M become such a part of movies? Michael Keaton in "American Assassin" and now poor Mads (around the 1:10 mark) in this dog. Professional killer about to retire, employer wants him dead so it can keep his pension. Spoiler? Huh - spoil what? How can you spoil a mess?
Parts seem to want to be Coen Brothers redux but fails badly. Cross between John Wick mindless killing and video game (mindless killing as well). Obligatory long corridor killings, eg, around the 1 hour mark; right out of an X-Box somewhere.
For the first 1/2 the scenes with Mads (total dialogue for Mads in that 1/2, btw, about 25 words) redeem, but eventually even Mads couldn't save this mess.
And the bad news: the final scene is an obvious hint at a sequel.
PS: why "Polar"? Montana? Polar? I was expecting (hoping for) Alaska.
Suggestion: forget this one and watch Liam Neeson in "Cold Pursuit" instead; far better movie.
Hands down the most vulgar movie I think I've ever seen. And I'm not a prude. I can appreciate low comedy as much as the next person, but this one is absolutely ridiculous. If I could give "0" stars I would, but I'm sure the algorithm requires at least one.
Castrating a guy (and showing the dismembered penis)? Blowing a guy's head off and showing the bloody stump? Joking about someone fouling their pants? That's humour? If it is, then we're doomed.
I was wondering how anyone would finance this one. And I was very sorry to see Fred Armisen in even a bit-part. I'm assuming he did that for friendship but if so, he needs new friends.
I think this one was underrated. Good comedy, not badly written. I'm a fan of Luis Guzman (check out The Limey) but he's almost always a wingman/supporting actor. He gets to shine in this one.
Edwin Boothe (the leading American actor of the 19th century and, interestingly, cousin to John Wilkes Boothe) on his death bed was asked "is dying hard" to which he replied (paraphrasing) "no, dying is easy...comedy: comedy is hard". So it's hard for actors to go from drama to comedy. Guzman does it pretty well in this.
If I could give 2.5 *'s I would. Loved Brendan Gleeson, but then I always love him. I think he's ok in this one. I was prepared to dislike Diane Keaton because, let's face it, she always plays Diane Keaton. But I have to confess she started out pretty well in this and was pretty good until...until..."oh god, please don't buy the beret" and --- she did and released her inner Annie Hall. No, even past that it was the plot. Not the writing per se (he had some pretty good lines and hers, well, ok) but soooo predictable. No, I don't recommend it.
Hey, if you're into serious S&M this just might be the movie for you. American Assassin does for torture and pain what John Wick did for mindless killing. Fairly predictable plot, young hunk, young babe, older mentor (Keaton) for...well, I don't know, but I was really sad to see Michael Keaton in this stinker. An hour and a half I'll never get back.
I read the teaser on Netflix (or Prime, can't recall) and I thought: "this CAN'T be as stupid as it sounds". Wrong. It's a truly dumb, dumb movie. I'm guessing that a) the production money all came from China (and man, if it did, we don't have to fear China as "the next greatest world super power" - just get them to make more stupid movies and pour their money down that hole) and b) they paid an obscene amount of that money to Matty. I hope he made a fortune because in my book it cost a looooottt of cred.
Plot: stupid. Acting: mailing it in. CGI: fair to middling. Concept: really, really dumb. About 1/4 in I was imagining the pitch meeting ("it's medieval times in China and this wandering mercenary WITH AN AMERICAN ACCENT meets monsters from the prehistoric times...no, wait...they come to earth with a meteor) and then wondered how stoned/blasted/tripped out the studio execs had to be to green light this dog.
Yes, you could say I hated it.
Ok: call me stupid for watching Part 2 after suffering through Part 1. But, again, at least I didn't pay to see either. The acting is wooden and (for the actors, I'm sure) embarrassing (maybe I'd give Maggie Smith a pass, as she's been acting pretty arch and ironic for...oh...20+ years now). But seriously: bad acting, bad writing, so many action/fight/chase scenes that you'd swear it's an American movie (hey...) and a plot so convoluted and opaque that every 10 minutes my wife had to explain something to me.
Ok, I know: I'm not a Potter Cognoscenti (Cognoscentum?) but damn it, you shouldn't HAVE to be to enjoy a movie. You shouldn't have to be an expert in the Potter Canon (yes, I know many 12 year olds would qualify). The one thing that was good, but now is good in virtually all movies, was the CGI (no, wait: Air Strike with Bruce Willis looked like something put together by Hanna Barbera). Full marks to the poor slaves banging away at their 1000 computer terminals to turn this stuff out. They're pretty damned good at it.
I virtually NEVER give 5/5 or 0/5, for the simple reason that...what then? What if you see a better or worse one: 5.5/5? -.5/5? But I make an exception in this case. Maybe a 4.9, but damned good in any event.
Stripped down, unadorned, real. Romano and Duplass manage to convey some basic, universal truths. Love is the big one; nothing saccharine, nothing phoney. Watched it right after the Academy Awards and thought...why doesn't THIS one get some nominations? Best actor? Best script?
A genuinely BAD movie. If you like ridiculously unnecessary loose ends and unresolved issues, maybe you'd like this one. Oh, and the gratuitous violence, too. BUT: there's a kind of admirable harmony to this one; the directing is as bad as the writing, which is as bad as the acting. Can't fault the camera work or editing, I think. That's about it.
I found the movie better than I expected. It's a better version of the 'curmudgeon's heart is melted' or romcom. Some quirky characters, a pretty well done plot. I'd recommend it.
A nice period piece, but pretty technically rough and poorly done. There's a lighting scene early on (boatman tosses a rope to the protagonist) and it's so badly lit that you can almost see the technicians holding the floods. There's a scene (Patricia Clarkson meets her MP nephew) where the fellow's makeup is so bad it's obvious he's wearing lipstick.
Bill Nighy, as always, is very redemptive for the movie; does a very nice pass, as does the lead, Emily Mortimer (John Mortimer's (Rumpole) daughter, btw, also star of "The Newsroom").
Worth seeing, but barely.
I give this 3 stars for action and add one, what the hell, for the acting. Not sure Mel ever got above 3 stars himself, but I liked the plot; kind of original and clever in places. I also liked the action. But I really don't like the "damsel in distress' that seems such a damned trope in hollywood. Oh well...
I liked the premise (Dickens' characters become real to him and inform his writing; in a sense they create him instead of the other way around) but I thought Dan Stevens (late of Downton Abbey), the lead, over acted. Christopher Plummer, I think, has never turned in a bad performance and, as Scrooge, redeems the film.
I don't think it will be a classic, but 3 stars for trying.
Normally I'd call this one a really great little sleeper, but apparently it's not sleeping; it's fully awake. And that's great. I deserves to be seen and appreciated. It's too bad there isn't an Academy Award for "Best Dynamic Between Two Characters" because the mother/daughter dynamic in this film is so well played that it's scary. Laurie Metcalf (I think it is) as the mom is spectacular; she's Every Woman, trying to hold her family, her job, her life together while under phenomenal stress.
Well worth your time and your $$.