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The Gray Man (2022)
A modern Commando
I was going to write the title "forgettable fun" but it occured to me that this reminds me in essence of a 80s action movie. The plot is simple, there is little to make you think or "analyse" about this movie. What it is about action, and that is done very well. It is an entertaining watch. Going from setpiece to setpiece switching up locations around the globe with plenty of shooting, chases, fights and explosions. Really reminded me of watching an old school action flick, in a good way. I won´t be probably re-watching this movie over and over but I feel confident recommending it. It is the perfect sort of movie to hang back after a long days work with a nice lager and a bag of chips.
Flawed, but enjoyable
My concern when I saw the previews af this movie was, that the protagonist was going to be a Mary Sue with very predictable preaching, as with many other current movies. I didn't feel like that was the case. The protagonist has to struggle and makes mistakes which is very good to see. The flaws I have with the movie are with some plot and design choices which did not detract from the enjoyment. A couple of times I noted that there is some pleasantlooking cinematography (as in, I thought to myself that the picture onscreen looks nice) . Overall it is one of the better Predator movies to be released in a couple of years. I'd rank it worse then Predator 1 or 2, but about similar to Predators. Definitively worth a watch.
Now to some flaws. I don't think they could be considered spoilers, but that's subjective so you might want to stop reading now.
The Predator design baffles me. I get, that against 18th century humans a shoulder canon would be unfair, but basically making all their kit more, let's say primitive while still having them space travel seems weird. A bit like an aboriginal warrior arriving in an attack helicopter, just makes no sense.
There is a plat that supresses body heat and you can straight away tell how it will be used later in the movie. My issue is that there should have been side effects making the protagonist sick and weak, which would invrease tension, but they go with the simple eat plant, be invisible to the predator plot. O think ot is a missed opportunity.
Some of the fighting is over the top, from the humans I mean. Looks cool and all but you never really feel like the characters are affraid of the Predator when they should be. I am missing a bit of terror from the characters.
Still, the film is enjoyable and recomended to watch.
Enjoyable, in an ironic way
In more ways than one, this movie reminds me of a PS2 game. You have the obvious jab at the bad CGI, but also the story structure is very game like. You get an exposition dump, assemble, fight, fail, upgrade, fight, credits. Allong the way there are very shallow attempts at back stories handled again with expo dumps instead of showing us or having any kind of character development. Were this a PS2 game, it could be saved by gameplay, but watching it as a movie is repetitive and gets boring. Still, if you down enough vodka and watch this with friends you might still have a good time in a sort of "so bad it is good". This movie is ridiculous which can make it fun, and some moments are genuenly entertaining to watch. All in all, this is a good time, if you are drunk.
Edit: was the budget really only 5mil? Let me bump the rating up a bit then. 2 to 4.
Power Rangers (2017)
Nothing to offer, nor reason to exist
Let's be honest, the original series was cheesy and seeing an episode as an adult makes me cringe a bit, but yet it was fun and it was kind of cool from the point of view of a child. The movie tries to play it safe an is thus an utter bore with nothing to offer. Given the current overload of various CGI heavy productions, I doupt this has any merit for a newcommer, yet the movie doesn't really lean into nostalgia, fun or CHEESE to make it fun for the now adult audience. My rating might be harsh, as there is nothing really offensive about the movie but it is a waste of your time. It has nothing to offer at all and I have no idea who was it made for?
Most entertaining celtic/gaulic movie I've seen
With years past, this has become one of (not only) my comfort movies which I can wach whenever. I've seen it many times and I expect I will see it many more times. The chant fresh vs not fresh became sort of a meme on festivals where the crowd would shout it at each other. The movie itself is comprised from a mixture of a couple of asterix storylines to makeup the longer runtime. I appreciate the art direction that attempts to keep to the comic book look while making it more dated and a bit shifted towards historical-ish look. An aspect that was dropped in the later sequels where the asterix costume with some real texture was ditched in favor of a black T-shirt more inkeepimg with the comic book look. The movie is funny, infinotely quotable amd generally feel good. Also, I have yet to find a more entertaining movie featuring gauls to this day, which is kind of sad really.
Eliza Graves (2014)
Gothic and eerie... almost that is.
I like the cast, setting and general idea of the movie, but I think the direction does not go far enough to build tension. The movie is thus only OK, when it had all the ingredients necessary to make it thrilling. The script gives away too much too early to then focus on a less interesting plot. If it were co keep to the original premise of the E. A. Poe short story with a more suspensfull direction it might have been better. As is, it is a sort of OK, but forgetable film.
Absurd in all the right ways
This movie is difficult to describe. It is better just to experience it because no description could do justice to the experience that it brings. It is just absurd and crazy with excellent direction and acting. I cannot for the life of me figure out why the emotional beats didn't resonate that much with me, for I have no idea what I'd do differently or better. Alas, the lack of emotional resonance and a bit bloated runtime are the reasons why I choose not to give 10/10 but rather an 8/10.
The movie is full of fun references that probably demand multiple viewings. At it's core is a very personal story to carry the crazyness trough to the end.
There is a lot to praise. The pure imagination and originality. The direction and cinematography. Abiding to basic dramatic concepts such as Chekhovs gun (or should I say 'plug'). The Acting. If the runtime were a bit tighter or if the movie made me care about the characters a bit more I would have been awesome. Still, it is very good and very recomended, though probably polarizing. My wife for example didn't care for it at all and I can't see some of my friends enjoying this. Give it a chance.
BTW. The 'Husband' seemed familiar the whole time and I couldn't figure out from where do I know him. I never realized I was watching Shortstop from the Temple of doom :D.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Part VI (2022)
Bad writing and fan service... But mostly bad writing
What is with the character motivations? I am baffled as to why are any of the characters doing what they are? The fan service at least is something to geek out about and the cinematography is fine. It feels like a lukewarm finish to a badly written series. I feel like I am just parrotting 'bad writing' over and over but even if I wrote nothing but that, iy wouldn't still stress the point enough. Can't go into details because I want my review to remain spoiler free. It was cool to see some of the characters again, but it is a shame it couldn't be in a better series.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Part V (2022)
Too little, too late
The writing is no longer "Bad", just not very good. The Direction leaves still something to be desired. But it is better than the episodes that preceeded. It however does not fix all the shortcommings of the previous episodes, not yet. I hope the last episode improves. At this point I am watching just to finished it, but I cannot say that I am invested in anythig seen on screen. And the Fan service. Darth Vader is cool at last, and it is refreshing to see.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Part IV (2022)
That interrogation... just no
I guess the scenes were supposed to be tense, but I just laughed at the ridiculousness of it. Well of course a child will know EVERYTHING concerning the Rebe... sorry, the "PATH". Wouldn't it be more reasonable to assume, that if Lea has anything at all to do with the Path, then her Parents would know more? What about going after them and using Lea as leverage? What was the point of that cringy interrogation of a child? The writing really feels like a 3rd grader was handed some Ad Libs with the plot and just going from one beat to the other with least effort possible. The 3 stars are for Evan who is the sole reason I will probably finish the series for, but I am dissappointed. I still dare to hope though. Maybe the last 2 episodes can still fix things?
Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022)
A lesson in Bad Writing
Let me state upfront, that so far, I have seen 4/6 episodes so there still is hope to trick me with fan service to a better rating.
This series is frustrating. There is so much I like about it. The effects, locations, cinematography. I like what they are going for with Obi-Wan himself, his character arc. In the beginning the set him up as out of shape, broken, dissappointed and clearly he will have to find himself and his strength again. Sounds interesting enough. Evan McGregor is great in the role as ever and I like the acting of 'little Lea' as well.
The problem is the writing, which is a mess. Characters are acting based on information they had no business knowing and some of their actions make very little sense from their point of view. I want to keep this review spoiler free, so I will not list examples. Perhaps it is better that way because if you don't notice these things, than the series has a potential of being much better for you. I sort of envy you for that, I wish some points weren't pointed out to me either. Up to that point I thought the series was pretty cool actually. The first 2 episodes were just a rush of nostalgic glee, as I come from the generation that grew up with the Prequels rather than the original series.
Winter's Tale (2014)
Likeable characters but the plot is lacking
Having finished the movie I got the distinct feeling that it is probably an adaptation of a novel. Indeed it is so and therein lies the problem... probably.
The plot seems sort of weird in hindsight and the 3rd act is just sort of out of no-where. I can't help but think that there is a version of this story that was executed better, and I guess in the book, where you have more room and time to set things up, the story probably has more of an impact. The movie itself struggles to hit some story-beats while leaving sort of an empty feeling about it.
Having that all said, the movie is enjoyable if nothing else for the chemistry between main characters. I wouldn't change the channel if I stumbled upon it in the TV, but I don't think it is essential viewing.
In Bruges (2008)
Absurd, dark, violent... I LOVE IT!
When I first watched this movie it caught me off guard and I love it ever since. The dialogues are simply genius and the humor is right on spot. I really cannot do this movie justice by trying to explain what exactly is so awesome about it, but I have yet to meet anyone who wouldn't like it. Just go watch it. By the way, I am totally counting it as a Holiday movie.
I wish they'd just ditch the 'Beasts' aspect
Trying to tell a Grindelwald prequel story could have been cool. I like the cast for both Grindelwald and Dumbledore and they are surely the interesting parts of said movie. Sadly the title demands that you have to force feed some Beasts into the plot and thus the title characters and protagonists seem like the least interesting aspects of the movie.
A schisophrenic mix
It feels as if you were watching 2 different movies. On one side, there is the fun adventure of beasts roaming old New York and shenanigans commence. But then there is the more serious subplot centered about an Obscurus. The two plots absolutely do not work together. You keep switching between the lighthearted beasts stuff that has very little to do with the rest of the plot and than back to the more serious stuff as if you were switching TV channels. If the movie were to pick one of these themes and go with it, it could have been fine either way, but this weird mix. Doesn't work. I feel like they wanted to tell the more serious story but also needed somehow to tag it onto the Fantastic Beasts IP. The original book which I have at home from 2001 was an expanded universe textbook with a list of some fun beasts and no plot. Just a textbook. I don't think any of the beasts introduced in this movie were even featured in said book, so what is the actual plot if not a cash grab?
Forgettable waste of time
Such a disapointment. So many people want to like these movies. I feel like the producers are taking notes from the Star Wars sequels school of thought while omiting the disasterous impact that approach had. The've set up a bunch of mystery boxes in previous movies to do absolutely nothing with them. No resolution, no catharsis. During the movie, there are 'things' definitely happening, but unless you fall asleep you just end up questioning "why?". As in why was "that" happening, what was the point of that scene, why am I watching this movie? There is nothing explicitly wrong with the movie, other than it is boring and unnecessary. Much like the whole series. I wish they've found the courage to commit to the Grindelwald storyline from the begining because trying to force it on top of the Fantastical Beasts concept just does not work.
TL,DR: Things set up previously get brushed to the side in favour of new plot points that came out of nowhere.
Edit: seeing that I've rated the first movie 3/10 I have to remove a star to make it 2/10 for this one, because it is worse IMO.
Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Fun, but it overstays it's welcome
Great pulpy fun! Swords, magic, women and muscles! It is almost awesome but for one flaw. For what it is, this movie would have been great if they were to shave of like half an hour. The first act is dare I say Iconic but then there is more and more filler that drags the movie out like butter spread over too much bread. Whenever rewatch the movie, I end up being a bit bored towards the end. If the movie was compacted to leave viewers wanting "more" I´d gladly give 10/10, for the movie undoubtedly is fun and knows what it is. As is, I rate it as "good average", because it misses its mark.
Top Gun: Maverick (2022)
Go to the Cinema! DO IT!
This is the movie experience, cinemas were made for! You are doing your self a disservice if you are waiting for a home release. Do yourself a favour, find the biggest screen in your area, preferably with dolby ATMOS and go see it.
To the review of the movie itself? The second Top gun takes everything I enjoyed about the first movie and improves it while fixing some of the issues that I had to overlook in the firs one. Let's get those out of the way first. The plot of the first movie always seemed sort of crudely constructed, but it never bothered me as it was not the point of the movie. What I mean by crudely constructed? Fun areal exercises, a bit of drama and then a mission out of no-where just so there is a 3rd act with some stakes. Crude, but it never bothered me. So how does the second Top Gun fix this? The plot is still simple, but it is focused with well defined stakes. The team is preparing for a specific mission and the 3rd act is about executing that mission. The viewers understand the parameters, the dangers and the stakes, so you are engaged the whole time.
My second issue used to be that the dogfights were always somewhat confusing. Boy oh boy does this movie improve on that front. The movie was shot in real F-18s and it shows. They set out to make you feel like being in a figher jet and they achieved it marvelously.
Sprinkle on top of that some character conflicts and resolutions. Some callbacks to the original movie and some heartfelt moments that had me tearing up a bit and you have yourself an excellent time. Do yourself a favour and just go see it, I'll probably go rewatch it this weekend.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Good movie, but not a Batman movie
Why this itteration of the caped crusaider is hailed as the GOAT is somewhat baffling to me. Sure it is a fine crime/action movie that is well crafted, though the pacing of the conversation scenes seems rushed to me. There is no room to breathe because there needs to be maximum content fitted to the 146 minutes and after rewatching the movie some scenes really feel like a youtube video where the youtuber cuts out the natural pauses in speech. While the Joker character and the references to the Long Halloween are awesome, the movie doesn't feel much like batman. Instead of 'Gotham' we pretty much get 'Chicago'. Onstead of a detective story we get yet another action movie. I would place the burton movies and the recent Reeves movie above this as better 'Batman' live action movies. If you want to see what the real Detective is about, go watch an animated itteration. While I really like Nolan amd Bale movies, this isn't my favorite for either. For Nolan I preffer Mememto or Inception and for Bale there are American Psycho or FordvFerrari...
Game of Thrones (2011)
Shame! Shame! Shame!
Let me say, that I would rate the first 5 seasons 10/10. However the quality of the writing deteriorates as soon as the show overtakes the books. I don´t think I am spoiling anything if I tell you at least so much, that the ending of the show will leave you emotional, but not in a good way. I used to rewatch the whole thing as preparation for each new season, but I feel like I just want to forget this show ever happened, because such potential, such good setup was just wasted. The books are probably never being finished either because G. R. R. Martin is distracted with other stuff, like the soon to come Targerian show. Just thinking about the show is like being reminded of your childhood best friend who for no reason invaded your home, killed your dog and left you naked in the forest. No catharsis, no conclusion. Just a betrayal and lost potential. What a shame.
Awesome takeoff, OK landing
Let´s get out of the way the elephant in the room, being the historical accuracy or lack thereof. Consider this series more like a fantasy with a Viking-ish theme. I enjoyed it for what it was. The show starts a bit slow in the first episode but it got me (and many I know) hooked pretty fast. The first 3 seasons are IMO awesome, The quality then goes a bit down with some unnecessary convoluted drama just for the sake of being shocking. It never gets insultingly bad though and I think the show manages to end with grace. While not awesome from start to finish I think it is enjoyable entertainment, and the issues I had are somewhat less prominent when binged. If you like Viking-ish stuff, then I can recomend it. Also, the soundtrack by Wardruna is 10/10.
Valhalla Rising (2009)
Self indulgent, pretentious
I went into this movie not knowing what to expect. I like Mads Mikkelsen, I like Viking-Era movies, even to the point that I enjoy some B-Movie fantasy-ish stuff. I went into this movie wanting to like it. Well that didn't work out.
Don´t get me wrong, I´d be OK with arthouse atmospheric. I don´t need to watch an action movie, nor was I expecting one. But whatever the expectations might have been, this did not meet any.
The whole script could fit on a single A4 and I feel like every line is delivered in an unnatural forced overdramatized way. The historical accuracy is laughable. The mythology references are misguided. Having watched some behind the scenes stuff made me think that the director doesn´t care about either the history or the mythology of the subject he is making a movie about which just makes me hate the execution of it even more. If at least there were anything to be gained in return, but no. I really don´t get the point of this movie or what is it trying to accomplish. The only redeeming quality are some nice shots of the scenery, but I'd watch National Geographic if I wanted that. So there, at least one extra point for the cinematography.
I guess the movie did stir some emotions in me and perhaps I am just too simple to get it. The movies of Robert Eggers are not your regular consumable fun movies either, there I can see the intention of the filmmaker and appreciate the execution. This just felt pretentious as if an edgy hipster were making an art movie just for the sake of self-indulgence and viewer torture. Don´t worry, people who don´t know better either will give high marks just to seem insightful. I heard that perhaps some of the cinematography holds meaning in the aspect ratios and composition, but I´ve already gave the cinematography it's due praise and I will not pretend the movie as a whole is better for it.
I would argue that what I saw was indeed 'art', but I hated it much like I'd hate a "painting" of a single dot in a white field. I really have some stronger words about this movie that would better capture my feelings towards it, but then I couldn´t publish the review.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Visionary but SLOW
I feel like it is a mix of a couple of movies. I wonder If I can post a review without rating it, because I sort of hate this movie, but I understand it's quality and therefore I am torn in the middle and can not give a mark to my ambivalent feelings. The Monkies, the Space Station stuff with HAL, even the psychadelic stuff at the end are all good with me, but watching a guy at a slow moving sidewalk like at an airport is about as entertaining as watching a loading screen or watching paint dry. The worst part is that you see the speed at which he's moving and you can be sure, that Kubrick will make you watch him travel to the other side of the screen. I just feel like shouting "get on with it" at the screen. On the other hand, in the context of it's time, it was truly groundbraking and an inspiration to generations of filmmakers, so there. My review, hopefully without my rating, for it would be unfair either way.
Cringe followed by disgust
I really don´t get where all the praise for this movie comes from. I´ve decided to watch it with the GF after repeatedly stumbling upon in in various lists of best comedies of all time, the reviewers I follow seemed to like it and it even got some Oscar nominations. We could not finish the movie. The humor was forced and cringy. The experience of watching this movie could be described as a melange of the following emotions: Embarrassment, Disgust, Boredom, Cringe, Confusion, Perplexion... Basically not a good time at all.
I refuse to acknowledge the existence of this movie
As far as I am concerned, they only ever made 3 India Jones movies. It would be very difficult to say what exactly is wrong with this abomination without getting into spoilers, but lets just say that not a lot of movies have ever made me physically angry while watching them. If it were just a plain old adventure movie, I´d call it meh and give it some average rating as far as the plot and production value is concerned but being Indiana Jones, this movie is insulting. SPOILERS FROM HERE ON. I'd be willing to give slack for Shia, CGI Monkeys, I would even somehow forgive nuking the fridge, but that ending with the aliens was just too much for me. Please Mr. Spilberg, make a Jaws 5 and have that also end with a forced E. T. in there.