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One bildungsroman, medium rare
Another coming of age book adaptation. This one's different though, enough to deserve a high rating. We step into the magical world of hot summer nights in Carp, Texas, and the odd and bloody exploits of the town's youth therein. Of course it's about the struggle of the underdog who has to confront her fears, what I mean by that is staring down death, quite literally. Setting aside the plot, the premise itself is an allegory of growing up. The acting, dialogue and cinematography are all decent, what got me was the score. A good soundtrack can elevate a show, and this one's perfect; Isabella Summers and Brian H. Kim deserve some praise.
Wrath of Man (2021)
The gentleman highwayman
Guy Ritchie's gratest gift to mankind is his obsession with gangsters. In his portrayal the typical hard-boiled criminal has class. He's ruthless and brutal, but lives by an inviolable code that sets a hierarchy of values and clearly drawn lines which cannot be crossed. Most of the violance stems from others crossing said lines. The story may change, but the characters' demeanor never does. While the movie bares the marks of Guy's signature style, it's his darkest work yet. Highly recommended for watching.
Army of the Dead (2021)
Which genre pertains to a zombie movie? Picture a teacher with a red marker, crossing out essays from corner to corner on the subject, leaving a note at the bottom of each that reads 'You veered off topic'. That's what this movie is, and what it does. Could it be romance (eg. Warm bodies)? No, a zombie movies's about flesh eating monsters. Is it comedy (eg. Zombieland)? No, it's still about flesh eating monsters. Perhaps drama (eg. The walking dead)? No, remember: flesh eating monsters. Maybe action (eg. World war Z)? It's the monstrous undead feasting on the flesh of the living... So which one does? Horror, obviously; it's about flesh eating monsters.
Old school never dies
This movie is an excelent example of french action at it's best. The old ways cannot be killed, and neither their enforcer. The retired mob boss is back to remind the world of the virtue of the old ways. It's a great movie about love, loyalty, honor, justice and vengeance, with a fair amount of brutal violence. Jean Reno's always been good in action movies, and in this one too, he does not dissapoint. 22 bullets, more aptly titled originally as 'The immortal', is a wholesome experience. Watch it.
Bright Green Lies (2021)
A decent documentary about the true and harmful nature of renewable energy and the ignorance of the mainstream green movement. It may be construed as anti capitalist, truthfully it's more anti industrialist, but mostly it's deeply depressing. The credits are the only thing that bring a smile to your face.
Sincerely Louis CK (2020)
Louis is back
Some of his best work yet. You owe it to yourself to watch this.
The Mosquito Coast (2021)
Three episodes in and it's already better than the '80s movie it's a remake of. The characters are toned down, more fleshed out. The acting is superb, no over the top shenanigans, just getting emotionally invested. The story is thus far the same, only more elaborate. In additon, Justin Theroux and Melissa George are likable by default, so there are plenty of reasons to follow this show. Get a taste of it and you'll want your fix week after week.
Without Remorse (2021)
For lack of a better term...
...this is a facsimile of the 2007 movie Shooter starring Mark Wahlberg. There are only a few cosmetic changes applied, if you've seen Shooter, you've seen this one. They took a page out of Marvel's book though, so I smell a franchise. Get ready to see some more of Michael B. Jordan commiting mass murder.
The Resort (2021)
You have your 10, the shallow blond, the scrawny cynic as the jack, the smart driven girl as the queen, the sensitive buff guy as the king and the ace, the infamous half faced girl, all of the mediocrity suit. The hand checks all the boxes. Guess what happens. Exactly. Guess in which order they exit stage left. You're spot on. Guess the ending. You're on fire today. Granted there are only three horror plots; what makes or breaks a horror is everything but the story, and on those fronts this movie proves as flat as the beer you left on the kitchen counter overnight. Not recommended for consumption.
Chaos Walking (2021)
Plot holes galore
The trailer got me hyped. Which made the movie all the more disappointing. For spoiler reasons I cannot go into much detail. Let it suffice, that there are just too many things in it that don't make sense. Were it not for the cast, specifically Mads Mikkelsen, Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland, I would have given it a score of two. It's a one hit wonder; one viewing is enough, at least for me. I won't be revisiting this movie.
The funhouse mirror parable
This movie is great. It's photography and score augment the acting and dialogue perfectly to elevate the story and drive home the message. The movie's premise is the idiom that concludes -although never explicitly stated- every romantic comedy: and they lived happily ever after. Janet and Tom's marriage is flawless, not good, not perfect, flawless. It's basicly the amalgam of all current notions -or naive expectations rather- of what a good marriage or romantic relationships in general should be like, a funhouse mirror reflection of reality. Enter Mr Goodman, who points out the distorted nature of said reflection and the movie takes off. It's fun with just a bit of tension. I highly recommend, you watch it.
Arc of a life
Witness the complete life of a troubled man. Unravel the tangled web of cause and effect; the choices and experiences that plot the course of a life and shape a person. That's what this movie is about, the ups and downs... well mostly downs of the protagonist. It's slow, which is forgivable since it starts with him as a teenager and ends with him being an old... well, middle-aged man. An engaging story told well. The acting is excelent, the cinematography is great. If you have the patience to sit through a 142 minutes long movie about misery and hope, than this one's for you.
Below the Fold (2021)
Midwestern murder mystery
That about sums it up. Now if you're like me and expect either some serious thriller vibes and action, or a portrayal of meticulous journalistic work bearing fruit, you'll be disappointed. If you expect a satisfying conclusion or an eerie mystery left unanswered, you'll be disappointed. This movie is slow, real slow and there's no tension in it whatsoever. To say that the end of the movie is anticlimactic is an understatement. I cannot in good conscience recommend it.
Beware of redheads
Another hunted-in-the-wilds horror. It's bit of a social commentary as well. The cinematography is bad, the acting is lackluster, the saving grace of this movie is the eerie soundtrack and Wrenn Schmidt meting out some serious punishment. The closing scene is priceless. There's nothing new or original about this movie, but it's still worth your time.
Dead of Winter (2014)
And then there were two
Your typical cut-off-from-the-world, getting-hunted-and-picked-off-one-by-one horror. Still, the scenery and dialogue are great, the acting... well, it's acceptable. The story itself makes sense in the end, which is great; most horrors leave you hanging or give you the finger. It was a fun watch.
Ocean's Eight (2018)
I haven't watched this up until now, God I wish I hadn't. I cried bitter tears for the death of a franchise as I went through the eight stages of grief. Granted the latter installments aren't nearly as good as the first remake of the original classic, still they are in a whole different league. If you wish to watch a good heist movie with an all female cast, go watch Widows. Avoid this... thing at all costs.
The Nevers (2021)
The war of the worlds
This show isn't bad at all, comparatively speaking of course. If Carnival Row was lovecraftian, The Irregulars gothic-ish (?), than I'd argue this show was inspired by the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne. It's no steampunk, it's an homage to the classic sci-fi of the late 19th to early 20th century modernism. This time too, some celestial event precipitates the action, only it's not a clash of martians and humans that follows, rather a societal battle between the establishment and the outliers. That may not appeal to all due to the topic's undertone. But if we set aside presentism and take a clear look at history, we have to admit, that as far as social change is concerned the 19th century takes the cake. Now, that's just the backdrop of the plot, crime and romance take center stage, the direction these threads take is what will determine the final tally. So far the show is pretty enjoyable.
Shadow and Bone (2021)
Ebony and ivory
The show is an iteration of the oldest story in the book, which is nice, it's worth retelling. The worldbuilding is phenomenal, the characters are fleshed out and well acted. I don't quite get the romancing of tsarian russia, but it's as good a basis for fiction as any other, I suppose. I understand the show's based on a book trilogy; the season finale doesn't conclude the story and is a clear setup for another season, hopefully we'll get it.
The tale of the lever
The movie is a 116 minutes of watching four people trying to get out of having to answer the trolley problem. They can't, and there's no correct answer. So the conclusion of the movie is unsatisfactory by default. The cinematography is good, the acting is solid, the idea of exploring a moral dilemma in a feature film is ludicrous. If you have time to spare, give it a go, you won't miss much if you don't.
Love is grand
Although it's labeld as a horror movie, it's actually a drama. A tragic love story of a married couple, who go to great lenghts to keep the life they built together intact with a semblance of normalcy. There is a horror element in the movie, but it's no big mistery since it's given away pretty much in the first scene. It's significant only insofar as Chekhov's gun dictates. The meat of the movie is a slow, beautifully shot and well acted love story, that keeps your interest despite it's pace. I recommend, you watch it.
The Standard (2020)
The Goruck team set out to help civilians understand members of the military. Well, they succeeded. They've been organizing endurance events for years worldwide. This documentary just serves to reach a bigger audience and raise awareness. It's very educational. Though the Selection event is just a watered down version of the actual process that people looking to serve have to experience just to start their military careers, it's still brutal. It takes courage just to show up, and an insane level of determination to get through it. The cadres' cruel behavior during the event is just a training tool, they're compassionate and deeply appreciative of others. As a final lesson, you learn, that the grand prize for getting through the finish line is a cold beer, a pat on the back and comradery. To the participants, that's worth the ordeal. Watching this documentary, you get a sense of the type of people that serve and of the personal growth they go through by doing so.
The treachery of images
It's an adaptation of Oliver Twist that's not an Oliver Twist adaptation. It's not high art, even though it revolves around it. It's just an entertaining representation of high art, that's meant to be enjoyed. The movie states as much, multiple times in several ways throughout it's runtime. So lower, alter or simply give up your expectations and you're going to enjoy it.
The Irregulars (2021)
Epitome of disregard
This show is bad. Here's why, putting aside minor things such as writing, acting or the soundtrack, the main problem with this show is that it fails to follow the recipe for a good Sherlock Holmes story or spin-off. There are three key ingredients: the protagonist has to be knowledgeable, observant and meticulous; the protagonist has to solve the seemingly impossible case using logic and deduction, not by chance or through the fault of the criminal; the protagonist's conclusion has to be grounded in reality, be based on facts and logic and has to be explained thus. This show doesn't follow any of these tenets, for this reason, it's bad. I do not recommend it.
Son... I am disappoint
It's funny and enjoyable 'till the third act, then it all goes to s**t. The book, which the movie is based on, recieved good reviews... perhaps it has an actual ending, the movie doesn't.
It's been so long
Nobody is a good old fashioned action movie. John Wick and the Equalizer pale in comparison. Everything about this movie is great; the writing, the acting, the editing, not to mention the soundtrack. This is an instant classic. It's comically brutal, as the protagonist's dad says it's "excessive, but glorious". I missed this kind of quality action movie, I needed this and so did you. Watch this movie, you'll love it.