What We Do In The Shadows
I really liked it. I quite enjoy genre mockumentaries. This one reminded me of Behind the Mask but a lot more comedy driven.
Dr. Strange - 2 out of 5 - I was worried about this and my concerns were warranted. It's not a bad movie, it's just a dull and predictable. Also, Mads is wasted in the movie. I'm convinced now that Disney is paying off people to review these movies well because a lot of the recent Marvel films have been horribly overrated.
Got to see a couple of Mizoguchi films on 35mm which was a nice treat. Never been the biggest fan of the guy, but I enjoyed my night. I saw Sisters of the Gion, which I had previously seen and didn't remember liking, and Utamaro and His Five Women which I had never seen.
I appreciated Sisters more so this time, and appreciated the lighter first two acts than I remembered. Utamaro on the other hand ranks pretty high up out of the stuff I've seen from Mizoguchi. Very pleasing and laid-back while still maintaining formal precision.
I watched a shit ton of movies over my last two days off. So let's get into it:
Commando - watched this with the GB commentary track. I don't think I could have enjoyed this movie half as much with out them. Fun cheesy ride full of great Dan and Drew lines 4/5 (with commentary)
Lethal Weapon - I love Shane Black and this is no exception. Great dialogue, Mel nails the over the edge cop and it has some amazing smokey saxophone all the way through. 5/5 P.S. I tried watching Lethal Weapon 2 (which Shane Black did not write the script to) and I couldn't believe how quickly the series became a caricature of itself. Could not finish it.
I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore - nice slow burn thriller. Little clunky at parts, but I absolutely loved the first 30 min. 3/5
The Thing - This movie holds up pretty well, cool practical effects, great opening shots to instill a sense of isolation. There were about 3 times during the film where I asked a character why would you do that? Or why wouldn't you just do this? I understand there is a certain amount of suspension of disbelief needed in movies, but I felt it was asking too much; really took me out of it. 3/5
Blue Ruin - Tense movie that goes some places I would not have guessed. The star of this movie actually directed I Don't Feel At Home... 4/5
Alien - Out of all the old shit I watched I would say this (and Lethal Weapon) holds up the best. Very similar to The Thing but with fewer why wouldn't you just? moments and cool 70's sci-fi made it a great watch. 5/5
Aliens - From everything I heard about this film franchise I expected a lot less of this entry. But I found it really enjoyable. It wasn't nearly as action heavy as I thought it would be. I guess this is where some of the space marine cliches must have originated from, but most were pretty annoying throughout. Sigourney Weaver is absolutely fantastic in this role though. 4/5
I think that is everything I watched. Add in some Enter the Gungeon, Resident Evil 4, and My brother My Brother and Me, and you got a pretty good weekend.
Logan - 4.5/5
Exceptional. I was leaning 5 but decided against it as there are some minor issues, but this is still one of the best "superhero" movies ever made. Those quotation marks are warranted as this really defies genre expectations in the way that all of Fox's recent X-Men universe output (except Apocalypse) has been doing. I won't go super in-depth with this one because it's not out in most of the world, but I do want to give some special praise to the performances of the three leads. Patrick Stewart in particular is stellar. "Oscar worthy" is a bit of a cliche, but I think it applies to him.
last thing I watched was the first live action Parasyte movie. I've exhausted the manga and recent anime so I moved onto that.
it was a decent adaptation with some fantastic visualizations of the grotesque body horror and uncanny people of the manga, with smart changes made to the plot to fit it into the shorter time frame. definitely suffered from not having space to breathe and made emotional beats feel really unearned.
enjoyed it regardless. I give it an aight/hell yeah
Logan is legit. Someone at whatever studio took the right notes while watching Deadpool. Extremely violent but not completely messed up. Unfortunately I only saw a Russian dub (I assume because there's some "joke" or thing involving Russia). Really good makeup and choreography in the fights. I like it. Like 3 out of 4 eberts?
Just saw Logan. It was freaking awesome. I wouldn't be surprised if it has a couple of oscar nominations. It's the best X-Men film to date and probably the second best comic movie of all time behind The Dark Knight. The character moments stand out. I hope this movie makes a shit load of money, so Fox can continue to allow their film makers to make the film THEY want. 5/5
The Wailing - Amazing film on so many different levels and one of the best horror movies I've seen in ages. 5/5
Under the Shadow - Another very effective horror film that surprised me. Some really great characters and the movie makes great use of its setting. I might even prefer it to The Babadook. 4.5/5
Ticked - Incredibly creepy and super intense. 4/5
@inresurrection: I don't know what to think about Tickled. I loved watching it but the documentary felt uneven and I guessed the big "secret" after the first 10 minutes. The only thing I didn't get was small details like the persons name and family connections.
I still enjoyed watching it and like you said, the film is "creepy and super intense."
Logan - 5/5
The Dark Knight Rises - 7/10
Second time watching this. Liked it. I still think Begins is the best Batman movie.
The alternating aspect ratios don't work for me. It's jarring at times, more so than in TDK. I get why the IMAX scenes are in 16:9, but why didn't he film the rest in the same high ratio?
Logan. Not really sure how to rate it to be honest. Probably one of the more emotionally draining movies I've seen in quite awhile, but it was definitely the best possible conclusion to these characters' stories while also being a really good film. I would put it in the same category as the Dark Knight movies where it is more of a drama than a super hero movie. I'll give it a 5/5, but man... I really didn't come out of this movie feeling happy or uplifted.
Passengers 9/10 I really liked movie more than I would have thought. It does a good job of moving from one focus to another, there are 3 or 4 issues dealt with and each is given enough time without dragging out to long. With no surprise of what I assume was big budget special effects, I thought movie looked fanatic. Passengers may not do anything ground breaking, but it does a top notch job with what its adventure.
Arrival 2/5 I was bored and didn't care for twist.
Moon (2009) 5/5 If you haven't seen moon don't ask anyone about it or look it up just go watch it.
[In-depth spoiler review first, then a non-spoiler general thoughts bit at the end.]
The biggest criticism I can level against the film can probably be attributed to its limited budget. (I hear that to make it R-rated they had to work with a reduced budget.) Basically the whole more accurate "X-24" clone of Wolverine part wasn't interesting at all. It didn't help they foreshadowed how they would get rid of him way in advance with the adamantium bullet. Some of the abilities/mutations of the children also seemed rather tame or useless considering they were raised as weapons but that's a very minor complaint.
The action itself is good. I was told beforehand that the violence was particularly gruesome but it's not that bad. It's just what it always should have been when you are slashing and stabbing people with indestructible claws. After watching the trailer I was also worried they would use too much wire-fu for the X-23 character but I was pleasantly surprised with her fight choreography. It's fast and vicious and while her foot claws are not used much they are definitely used well the 2ish times they do come into play.
The acting is good to great throughout. Jackman shines in his role as an old, worn down Wolverine who mostly just wants life to be over but sticks around out of obligation for Charles Xavier. Dafne Keen turns in a solid performance as (an at times near-feral) X-23/Laura. Child actors are always a risk but this 11 or 12 year-old didn't disappoint. The rest of the cast performs admirably as well. Patrick Stewart is great as always, Boyd Holbrook does a good job portraying Donald Pierce, Richard E. Grant puts in a solid performance as Zander Rice (although pretty far from his comic book inspiration) and you even get Stephen Merchant as well!
Audiovisually the film is fine as well. Borrowing from the western genre for its style and feel was a solid choice. The action scenes were filmed in a way to make them feel viceral without going to (comical) extremes.
Ultimately, the film really seems to be about two things:
Which can then be further condensed into one:
I'm happy to report that the film achieves these goals quite well.
A well-acted and reasonably solid film that doesn't aim extremely high but in return nails most of what it's going for. A worthy send-off for Huge Jackedman.
I hope it does well so other serious R-rated superhero films get another shot at life in a world of extremely sanitized, edgeless, never bad but also rarely (if ever) remarkable factory-assembly-line-produced Disney flicks and whatever garbage WB and the others are producing.
I finally got down to the cinema to see Moonlight tonight. I had high expectations of this one. I've been looking forward to it since October or something. It lived up to them and then some. It's been a while since I saw anything so humane and moving. I wasn't prepared for how visionary the actual cinematography is. It is a poetic film in the best way possible. It is going to stay with me for a long time. Go see it if you like films.
Just got out of Kong: Skull Island and overall I really enjoyed it. There is some atrocious dialogue in it and some of the characters need work, but it checks everything that it needed to get right. It's a disappointing because of the stacked cast it has (you got Brie Larson just to do that!?!?). Kong shines every time he is on screen and it is a treat to see him kick ass. The movie looks great as well. It's a stark contrast to Gozilla which featured black, gray and red as the primary colors. Kong has bright orange, red and yellow as the main colors and they pop on screen. It really looks amazing.
I think they've set up Godzilla and Kong fairly well, which is maddening because WB can't seem to get DC comics right. I'm excited to see how they pull off this monster movie universe they are attempting to create. Hopefully they continue to take their time unlike with their DC properties.
Logan: I'd easily give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. The only thing that brought it down from greatness was an overall plot hole near the end of that film. Other than that, I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Hell of a way to close out a comic book character movie franchise.
Saw "The Great Wall" recently at the cinema which gets a 6/10. I've seen many films from this director which have been good but this film although beautifully shot felt flat at times. Enjoyable anyway.
Watched "Hotel Rwanda" on DVD recently which gets an 8.5/10. Very powerful film which I think more people should know about. This is what happens when big nations let smaller nations fall apart.
Just got home from La La Land. It was an absolute joy, a delight in every way. It's rare that I feel this strongly about a movie, one of those few that instilled me with a sense that "movie magic" can still exist when you've seen hundreds of movies.
F&F: Tokyo Drift
(watched it beforehand without the commentary)
Hadn't seen it in a decade and couldn't remember much about it, but turns out that was for good reason. This movie really kinda sucks. I'm still not sure how the kid was expected to attend a Japanese speaking school. I thought the relationship with the Dad was completely undercooked and it served only as a weak impetus to get the movie to Japan. Then, after 1, maybe 2 half-assed relationship building scenes, the father just turns over the keys to an unfinished muscle car that he's had sitting around Tokyo for years so that the son can settle a score with the Yakuza. At very least, there wasn't enough drama with the father after the first incident where the kid doesn't come home right away. Suddenly the kid can just spend hours on end modding cars and traversing the Japanese underworld with no family drama.
To be fair, the rivalries in Japan were reasonably entertaining once they got going, but still stupid. I actually enjoy 2 Fast 2 Furious, so I'm not opposed to stupid, but the well-worn trope of "inter-jurisdictional law enforcement arrangements and the criminals who love them" is a signal to me that I can just hang up my brain and enjoy a movie for the amount of times they say "Bruh" and "Cuz". Something about that is just easier to accept than a high school kid being sent overseas to live with his estranged father in one of the most intimidating cities in the world and falling into an underground/underworld racing scene when the script doesn't earn any of it. Still though, 5/10.
I do find it amazing that I wouldn't give any of these movies a 2/5, 4/10 or lower just based on some combination of action and personality.
My personal ranking of the series now that I've seen/rewatched all of them in the last 2 years or so:
5, 7, 2, 6, 1, 4, 3
The order I might recommend them in terms of supposed quality to a person who had no history with any of the movies:
5, 7, 6, 1, 4, 3, 2
Jennifer's Body 4.5/5 (Give it a chance)
Underrated and probably ahead of it's time, dismissed/misunderstood for looking like a Twilight wannabe and the presence of the (at the time) much maligned Megan Fox, and wildly over-hyped as Diablo Cody's follow up to Juno. This is a modern day Fright Night with a lot to say about the dynamics of teen friendship. Megan Fox is actually pretty good, and Amanda Seyfried is great. Fun dialogue and kinda heartfelt, its deservedly gotten a bit of a cult following. Not really a horror movie, more like a modern evolution of 80s Amblin meets Heathers, shocking how many people must've missed this gem. Probably my second favorite Diablo Cody movie, behind Young Adult and actually ahead of Juno (for me).
Evil Bong and Evil Bong 2: King Bong - 4/20 and Ayyy/lmao respectively.
I wanted to run a franchise from start to finish again, and I was in the mood for a trashy trainwreck the likes of which only Charles Band and his merry men could deliver. Evil Bong it is, then, and I've made it through two of six(!).
Hoo-ee. They're certainly movies, alright. I can't even pass judgment on them, to be honest. These movies know EXACTLY what they are, and they rise to the task of being movies called "Evil Bong" better than any other. The video and audio are in sync, the actors remember their lines, and the crew remembered to paint almost all of one character's fat suit in the second movie. Don't think I saw a boom mic anywhere, either. (while I joke, know that these are real concerns when watching a Full Moon production)
So, I guess I'll give two distinct ratings: 3.5/5 for people like me that would actually ever watch these. 0.01/5 for everybody else.
Rogue One 9/10 probably. I liked it way better than Force Awakens. I thought a couple of the CGI created people during scenes looked a bit off, but I was honestly surprised how much this leads directly into A New Hope. But all in all it actually makes you care about the characters right from the get go, it gives you just enough of who they are to understand that the actual purpose here is more about what they are fighting against. It's got some great cameos too, used very well without being so overwhelming to feel out of place or forced. And without going into spoilers I'd say this film probably features my all time favorite scene including a certain Star Wars character. It's quite literally something to behold. :P
T2 Trainspotting 2 or whatever the title is. I guess it's sort of an artistic statement about the folly holding on to the past, and middle age/getting old/getting weak and all that? As a sequel it works, the filmography is fine, but it's one of those things where the film is making a statement that "pointless things are pointless" which it does well, but err... like, that's the point?
Aside from that, it's a decent comedy and paced fairly well, though Ewan McGregor seemed a bit flat on screen compared to the rest of the cast. I found the "1690" scene to be questionable (in terms of taste and writing), if only because the joke was done already (and better) in Eurotrip about 13 years ago.
Tokyo Drift: This movie is dumb as hell. 3/5 drifting ballets.
Fast and Furious: This movie is also dumb as hell, but this is the moment where you can see the filmmakers realizing they can make a full-blown franchise out of this nonsense. A little heavy on brooding, but the ending dash through the desert is entertaining as hell. Again, I had the GBeast crew along for the ride which probably made the movie even better than it has a right to be. 3 Vin Diesels/Paul Walker's cop skills.
Kong: Skull Island is a goddamn mess that is surprisingly entertaining. I think the Monsterverse is the dumbest fucking idea but if they have to do it hopefully they can all be short and fun like Kong and not long, dreary shit like Godzilla.
3.5/5 Viet King Kongs
What We Do in the Shadows
Hilarious, heart warming, darkly humorous mockumentary about a bunch of vampires rooming together in Wellington, New Zealand. I was cracking up from the get-go. The first half hour is a gut-buster a minute. It calms down later on and finds a nice stride between the humor and some genuinely affecting and disgusting moments. 5/5 Werewolves, not Swearwolves.
No, not the 90s Charlie Sheen backward-kneed alien flick, the one that came out last year and was robbed of an Oscar. Well, maybe not robbed. It's a genuinely great movie and has one of the - if not the - best twists since The Sixth Sense, but it also has its share of slow moments. Not much happens in the middle of the movie and I can't help but feel it could have benefited from some tighter editing. It's nice to see some smart sci-fi again after the huge lull of the 90s-00s when we got, uhh, I can't think of a good one. When was Children of Men? At least we had some decent Star Trek on TV then. 7/7 heptapods.
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