The Good Place
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After seeing trailers for this movie, I can honestly say I had no desire to see it whatsoever. However, since there were no other decent options in theaters I decided to see it on Labor Day. I went into the movie expecting it to rely way too heavily on dirty jokes for it's laughs, which to be fair it does at many points. However, watching these three innocent boys get into all of these crazy situations and handle them similar to how I think an actual kid would was just simply entertaining. Surprisingly the acting was pretty good, which is a lot to ask for from child actors. The most surprising part of the movie though was that it actually had a bit of heart. The message about growing apart from your friends while also growing together was done pretty well, and actually made me a tad emotional. The movie did a great job of reminding me what it's like to be an elementary schooler about to move on to middle school, and the overwhelming need to try and fit in that comes along with that. All in all, I'm not trying to argue that this is by any means a great movie. However, I feel like some movies should be critiqued based off of their genre, and as a comedy it got plenty of laughter out of me.
I first saw a trailer for The Farewell when I went to see Midsommar, and I immediatley had a good feeling about the movie. I expected to leave the theater bawling, however that wasn't the case. Sure, it was extremely emotional and I would be lying if I said I didn't shed a few tears, but I actually found the movie to be very uplifting in a way. It felt equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming, mostly due to the fact that the comedy and drama are so well balanced. The movie is gorgeously shot, which is what I've come to expect from an A24 movie. The performances are captivating, especially Awkwafina. She really shows off her versatility as an actress, which is nice to see after her role in Crazy Rich Asians. This movie is a beautiful, cultural experience that will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you want to watch it again as soon as possible.
I went into this movie really hoping to like it, but man was I disappointed. The Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark books traumatized me, as well as many others, as a kid. However, this movie doesn't even come close to capturing the same feeling as the books. I'll get my positives out of the way first. The creature design was mostly very good, and they looked like they were straight out of the books (aside from the Jangly man, who appeared comically cartoonish when he spoke). There were also some nice shots in this movie, and it looked good for the most part. Now that that's out of the way, let me get into my many problems with this movie. The whole reason the books were so effective on me as a kid was the fact that they didn't pull any punches when it came to the horror. There were no happy endings, innocent people died. That's what made it so mature for it's age range (as well as the gruesome, amazing artwork). The movie seemed to miss this, choosing to throw in some swear words to earn the PG-13 rating, and ending the movie with the whole "they're gone but I know there's a way to bring them back" cop out that really lessened the impact of the movie. The amount of jump scares, especially fake out jump scares (my least favorite thing in the world because it completely misses the point of how jump scares should be used) had me sighing, as well as the classic dumb horror movie decisions the characters made. Some of the acting was pretty good, and some was pretty bad. The "comic relief" character in particular was just as annoying as you would expect. And I know I should have been prepared since it was in the trailers, but the whole "you don't read the book, the book reads you" line was just as cringe worthy as I expected. Overall, this is an average at best horror movie that completely misses the point of the legendary book series.
It's hard to believe, but this movie about a college drummer is one of the best suspense movies I've ever seen. I watched this movie after seeing La La Land so I went into it with high expectations, and it did not disappoint. The performances were all great, especially J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller. The movie was shot incredibly well, specifically the drummimg scenes. The movie does a great job of depicting emotional abuse and its effects. The end of the movie leaves you not quite knowing what to feel, something that Chazelle does masterfully. I would reccomend this movie to anyone who wants to watch two hours of J Jonah Jameson calling children names.
I'm not a huge fan of action movies. However, I am a fan of John Wick. Ever since the surprisingly great first movie, I've vowed to see every one they make, even if they start to get worse and worse. And I'm happy to see that so far they have all been consistently fun and entertaining, especially for what they are (dumb action movies). I would like to rate this movie higher, but theres something that I just can't overlook. Some of the acting (maybe even most of it) was absolutely horrendous. I don't know if I just paid more attention during this one and it's always been horrible, but man was it distracting at times. Anyway, I would recommend this movie to horse lovers.