@shiftygism: the new one? Man that movie is an abomination. I don’t know how anyone could have written some of those conversations and thought “yah this is good and funny”
Man what a trainwreck.
Assault on Precinct 13
This was a gap in my Carpenter viewing, and it’s not my favorite. It’s good, and I’m sure it was more relevant a statement on gangs, guns, violence, and police at its time, but it doesn’t hold up in the same way as his other films.
I still love his music and how his characters can all stand out as opposed to being generic thugs. Carpenter’s style is unique and always a pleasure to watch.
It’s a good time, but this’ll probably be my only viewing.
Terminator: Dark Fate - 2 out of 5 stars
The old adage is that you can pick apart the logic of any time travel plot the second you start asking questions. For some reason, the Terminator series is so much more susceptible to this line of cross-examination. This is one of the dumbest, laziest, saddest attempts to restart the Terminator franchise, something I thought I'd never say again after the trainwreck that was Terminator Genisys. No choice the movie makes is coherent. Every setup and payoff feels unearned, or worse, something that was done more effectively in one of the three other post-T2 Terminator films.
If it weren't for some generally competent craftwork by the film's cinematography and special effects teams and a fine-but-not-really-all-that-interesting performance from Mackenzie Davis, I'd happily drop a one-star review on this dizzyingly inane imitation of a big budget blockbuster.
The Lighthouse - 5/5
Highly, highly recommended! I still haven't seen The Witch, but I doubt that'll be true much longer unless it falls off of Netflix while I'm not looking. Eggers has such a masterful hold on these characters and this setting, and what little story there is to latch on to rushes by like a gale force wind. Dafoe's Wake is a Shakespearean presence translated through a Melville fetish, and Pattinson perfectly balances his blustering poetry with a blunt, cold performance that cracks in all the right places at all the right times. The latter's rightfully been compared to Daniel Day-Lewis' performance in There Will Be Blood, and not just because he's got the moustache and the accent. He truly transforms, while Dafoe seems to be channeling his Norman Osborne into a freer, more human space.
Some could argue the Lovecraftian aspects are a bit tacked on, and those who've seen Annihilation (or actually read his most famous works, I guess) could probably see the ending coming as soon as the title card hits, but that just makes Eggers' insistence on ignoring the coherence of the story in favor of the, ahem, ever growing and expanding insight the characters build into each other and the insanity derived from their lonely, mismatched cohabitation all the better.
It's also hard to overstate how much the 4:3 aspect ratio suits this film; it'd be hard for widescreen home televisions to ruin anything about this particular movie, but there is something very intentional about that claustrophobic aspect ratio that'll be lost as the movie transitions to streaming services. Anybody with an interest in the phenomenal and the psychological owes it to themselves to get to a theater and see this masterpiece for themselves.
Last movie I watched all the way through without stopping (a bad habit of mine) was Fantastic Beasts, The Crimes of Grindlewald. Yeah, I‘m behind. For a supposed Potter fangirl it’s pretty shocking that it took me so long. Then again...not a great film? The poor reviews put me off. I really wanted to like the movie so I kept putting it off when I heard bad things.
So the effects were pretty good, and I like the score. But...that’s about it? It was like it was setting everything up for the rest of the series. It reminded me of the Matrix, in that the first film was amazing, and it’s like after that they thought, oh hey, we can make a sh**load of money off this franchise, let’s do more, only we have to f*** around with the universe a bit to make it work. It was a completely different vibe from the first film. Was it always supposed to be a series?
I like the fact there were lots of Potter characters, but if you’re not heavily into the series, you’d probably be left wondering what the hell is going on half the time.
I guess I’ll watch the next one when it comes out, but I won’t be front of the queue. I gave it 3/5 on my personal scoring scale. And most of that was for Zoe Kravitz 💕💕
We are the best (2013), the most recent Lukas Moodysson's movie. Despite being about a subject matter that I should connect more to than with his other movies - being set in 1982 Sweden with a group of kids starting a punk band without knowing how to play any instruments and with their lyrics mostly being about how much they despise sports - it fell a little flat.
Some great scenes in there, but many of them kinda seemed like remakes of scenes from his earlier movies. The structure and editing of his movies had kinda started getting a bit stale and predictible here too. Anyway, it was worth watching, but probably my least favorite of his movies so far. Had a great cover of the classic Swedish punk song Sex Noll Två (602) by KSMB in it though. 3/5
Shivers (1975), David Cronenberg's debut feature length movie. You could certainly spot a lot of themes that would return in his later works, and I enjoyed watching it, though aspects of it had aged a little and the special effects weren't always believable. Essentially a take on The Invasion of the Body Snatchers or The Crazies but with a much more explicitly sexual bent, with a sexually transmitted infection causing mayhem in an isolated luxury apartment building on an island just outside of Montreal.
Anyway, it mostly had people reacting rationally to an increasingly absurd situation, and for the most part they attempted to do reasonable things, but with the movie giving logical reasons when they didn't work out, which is still a breath of fresh air when so many of these movies rely on people incredibly stupid things in order for the plot to move along. 3.5/5, bordering on a 4.
@giggmeister: It was a really odd viewing experience, wasn't it? I liked the first one a lot, it was charming and good-hearted, with a very sweet romantic sub-plot that only enhanced the magic and made for a nice contrast with Credence's chaos.
The sequel felt like a by-the-numbers darkening of everything and upping the stakes in a way it never quite earned. It's sort of slung at the audience very early on with the melodramatic escape, Newt's odd "I don't care" attitude when he's initially asked to help with the hunt, the injection of fake tension by twisting Jacob and Queenie into needy, selfish assholes just for the excuse of drama. I found a lot of it quite out of character, did you? These ham-fisted preludes made the rest of the journey get off to an uneven start before it even had a chance to let its characters and world breathe properly, something I'd argue the first one did well.
I think they wasted a massive opportunity to bring Grindelwald's true persona to the forefront. Turns out he was far more frightening disguised as somebody else, much like Crouch Jr within his Moody facade, because they overdo it. It becomes a pantomime when the writers and actors see how crrrrazy and evil they can make them once their identities are known.
It's poorly put together, simply. I think the elements of a brilliant sequel were there, but it was assembled with boxing gloves on.
Baby Driver 3/5
It was fine, but the only car chase worth seeing is the first one and the rest of the film is, while fairly light hearted, a typical crime drama.
It carries with it the tropes of crime dramas that i really don't like and has a weak happy ending, i like happy endings but this one feels needlessly protracted, like if i extended this sentence a bit longer, even though i don't need to, it just goes on a bit, and doesn't know when to stop.
If it wasn't for a couple decent scenes and some good supporting cast (not Jamie Foxx who i found very annoying), i'd give it a 2.
Rabid (1977), another Cronenberg movie, and I suppose on the surface a pretty standard zombie/vampire movie (though the method of how it's spread is pretty original), in some ways pretty similar to his previous Shivers (or The Crazies from the same era). Like with Shivers, I really appreciate how most characters are dealing rationally with a crazy situation, though the original setup is a little more far-fetched than in the previous movie (as well as having some pretty surreal moments every now and then), most fascinating is how the government and world health organization are depicted though, throughout the movie we get news reports that has them competently dealing with the situation, they're quick to realize the basics of what's going on an work throughout to work out vaccines and solutions and I think that part of the movie is really intriguing even though parts of the movie drag on a little. All in all, I think I liked Shivers more, but the unique takes this has on an even at the time fairly established zombie movie formula still makes it an enjoyable watch. 3/5
I had no idea what I was getting into - other than it was a horror movie related to different holidays. I didn't even realise it was going to be an anthology thing.
And given that it is an anthology movie, you can expect the quality's going to vary between segments; thankfully, I thought most of the segments were very good. Also, the Easter segment will haunt me forever.
If I were to rank them:
Tomb Raider (2018)
I really liked this movie. The whole vibe felt like a dumb fun popcorn 80s movie. The opening act presented Lara well, and the following scenes evolved well. It had a Uncharted 2 vibe of escalation. Once she would get out of one bad situation she would have to find her way out of a even worse situation. The story kind of gets wonky near the end and the big reveal is kind of obvious, but overall this movie wasn’t a terrible as people made it out to be. If this was the story for a Tomb Raider game it would be one of the best. As a side note, Walter Goggins stole the show, and his motivations were not typical for a movie villain. For a video game licensed film, this is one of the best. It’s not perfect, but it fills the void left by Indiana Jones.
The Jungle Book (2016)
In the age of “live action” Disney remakes, this one seems to be the cream of the crop. Neel Sethi does a fantastic job as Mowgli, and the rest of the cast brought a vibrant personality and warmth to the film. The film stays reasonably true to the original while providing its own flavor to the story. I have only seen the Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King remakes and compared to both this one easily stands above both.
Crazy Rich Asians
I had minor expectations going in, and feel like they were fulfilled. It is a romantic fantasy, supported by a generally fabulous cast, that is so far removed from everyday life it becomes more because of it. It feels like Romcom 101, and I'm no fan normally. But tacked on are some cultural eccentricities and a wonderful cast. The film knows its strengths, and embraces them--every veneered smile and perfect East Asian face.
I really enjoyed it. Well and truly. It balances the aspects of Asian culture very well to a Western eye, at least to mine. So you're not necessarily left out, but you can spot aspects of behaviour and culture that are both alien and reminiscent of something we know. The only exception is mahjong, which is fine because the actual game in that particular scene is still presented to the point where you instinctively know what a certain move signifies, because it's still standard romcom.
Really enjoyed it. The glamorous approach was excellent fantasy escapism for a 30-something guy like me.
TL;DR: It's Asian Entourage in terms of glamour, the good-looking people, and nothing else.
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