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Death Note (2017)
Would've Preferred To See This As A Separate Death Note Incident
I really don't know where to start with this movie.
It was supposed to be an American adaptation of a very popular Japanese TV show. It turned out to be, in my opinion at least, a colossal failure. I think the first mistake was making this into a movie. There was too much going on in the minds of and between the characters themselves to fit into one hour and forty minutes. It felt a bit rushed for that reason.
The characters were a little too edgy, dumb and emotional. I don't mean these as insults, but I use them in order to show the contrast between them and their Japanese counter-parts. I felt that almost every move was uncalculated and done in a rash manner. Where as the calculated thoughts and actions of the characters in the TV show were the main selling points of the series.
But you know what? I don't mind the characters being dumb, or emotional. They're only human. They're also dealing with a book that has the power to kill people! This movie more accurately represented what would probably happen if an average Joe got a hold of the Death Note. In fact, I would've loved to watch a movie about an incident where the Death Note fell into the hands of someone other than Light. A story completely isolated from the original Death Note series. With the exception of Ryuk, of course. Maybe another detective (other than L) could've tackled the task of taking down the killer.
Unfortunately, this was not the case. This movie completely abandoned the idea and general vibe of the original anime. The characters that kept us entertained and in suspense were nowhere to be found for that one hour and forty minutes. I feel that it is because of this absence that this movie did not live up to the original series.
Modern Example of The Emperor's New Clothes
I just want to start off by saying that going into this movie I wasn't very excited about Dunkirk in the first place.
I saw the uninspiring trailer for this film a few weeks earlier and thought very little of it. It looked like a poor-man's Saving Private Ryan in all honesty.
But what got the audience (and the friend sitting beside me) all riled up was the presence of Christopher Nolan's "glorious" name in the sequence. I knew this movie would receive extra praise even before it's release just for that reason.
I want to also say that I like to see every movie I can, especially those that are highly praised and recommended by others, in order to give them all an equal chance.
So I went to see this movie to give it a chance. I've actually been surprised by many movies and I was eagerly waiting for this movie to surprise me. So I waited. I saw some mediocre, unoriginal and non- unique characters get introduced. I waited more. I saw some ships blow up. And before I even realized how boring and uneventful this movie was, it was over.
I sat there in disbelief, thinking maybe I had seen the wrong movie. I looked to my left and right, only to hear my friends and others praising this movie. Had they not seen what I had? Were they not also bored out of their minds? They unfortunately could not pinpoint exactly what made this movie so unique and amazing. I suspect that maybe, again, it has something to do with the fact that it was made by Christopher Nolan.
It really is unfortunate that movies like this receive so much praise and will most likely win many Oscars, though they do not deserve them. All because people go into the theatre with preconceived opinions of the movie. Afraid that if they do not like the movie they will be labelled as fools.
It's The Emperor's New Clothes all over again...
It Came from Outer Space (1953)
Interesting Take on an Alien Encounter
I recently found this movie on Netflix and was so excited about it. I've always liked these kinds of old horror/alien movies and this looked to be very entertaining.
My first thoughts upon hearing the narration and seeing the desert landscape was that it reminded me of an episode of The Twilight Zone (before it's time). On the other hand, the true appearance of the alien and its abilities reminded me of the creature from The Thing. I thought the bubble-like perspective of the alien itself was also very interesting.
This was a great movie if you consider when it was made and the lack of advances in technology at the time. Unfortunately, the sub par acting and the lackluster story line made this movie a little hard to enjoy. Although this wasn't a very long movie, I still feel like it could've probably been shortened into a Twilight Zone episode (without a major twist).
With all this being said, I still feel that this is a good movie to watch. If not for it's interesting perspective on an alien encounter, for the interesting atmosphere and dialogue that only a movie from the 1950's could produce.
I really did enjoy watching this movie, even in 2017, and I feel that since its initial release, it has been enjoyed by many others.
American Sniper (2014)
I wish Bradley Cooper was fighting Aliens or something...
I want to first of all start off by saying that I rated this movie based on how good it is as a stand alone movie. The acting by Bradley Cooper, the directing by Clint Eastwood and the story in general were great at the very least.
I was, however, very put off by the fact that this man was seen as a hero and a "Legend" for killing people in a war which we still know to this day was unjust. The Iraqi people were seen as evil and bad in this movie, even though they were just trying to defend their country from the American invasion. I also want to point out that this man in the movie was motivated to go fight in Iraq after seeing the 9/11 attacks. This even though Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with those attacks. I wonder if this movie would have been as great if it was from the point of view of an Iraqi sniper..
Like I said, this was a great movie in terms of its story and its action. If this were a story about Bradley Cooper killing deadly aliens I might have actually really liked this movie (though I fear it wouldn't have been as loved by others as it is now). If you don't like the idea of watching a movie about the killing of people who are still suffering as a result today, then avoid this movie.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
This is by far the best movie I have ever seen. It has the perfect amount of mystery, suspense, comedy, action and witty dialogue. It also is not too short and not too long, in that it does not drag on with useless scenes. I feel that every bit of screen time is utilized to the max.
Six men who know nothing about each other, and only identify each other by their assigned colours, plan to steal a shipment of diamonds from a diamond wholesaler's. The heist itself is not shown and we can only piece together what might have happened from the stories the men relay afterwards. This causes a bit of a Rashomon effect, in that we don't really know %100 what may have happened. It becomes increasingly apparent that there is an undercover cop lurking among the misters and they must find out who it is before it's too late. The resulting consequences will go down in cinematic history.
I have seen this movie at least 10-15 times just in the past year. I definitely would recommend this movie to absolutely anybody. You don't necessarily have to be a movie lover to enjoy this movie. Just sit back, relax and allow Quentin Tarantino to take you away to his cinematic universe.
Amazing! Could Split be the beginning of something much bigger?
When I first saw the trailer for Split I was excited because it reminded me a lot of Alfred Hitchcock's classic Psycho (1960). I feel that the idea of Norman Bates having a separate personality, which he modelled after his mother, is what really made the movie so great. In Split, however, Kevin has 23 (later revealed to be 24) personalities, each with its own memories, beliefs, physical features, and email apparently.
When the movie finally came out, I really wanted to see it because it had been a while since I had seen a movie that wasn't a sequel, prequel, Marvel-related or a tie-in to a previously popular movie. Though (spoiler alert) it turned out to be at least on of these in the end.
I went in to see this movie, and one of the things I enjoyed the most was that the kidnapping began from the get-go. There wasn't an elaborate backstory to show us exactly what was going on. It was unnecessary. We came for Kevin and by god we got Kevin. The initial kidnapping scene was extremely entertaining. Firstly, the girls were so preoccupied with their cellphones that they didn't notice the strange man in their car. I felt that this emphasized the idea that modern day technology has left us so oblivious and unaware of what's going on around us (locally and globally). Secondly, the fact that Kevin (as Dennis) didn't notice Casey sitting right next to him showed that Dennis' mind is very one tracked. Dennis had been planning to kidnap those two girls weeks in advance, so he was either oblivious of Casey's presence or was just indifferent to it. So long as she didn't try to escape. Of course this is exactly what she tried to do, and she may have gotten away if it wasn't for that darned beeping that began when she opened the door. I found Dennis noticing her only at that instant very funny and it immediately had me excited for the rest of the movie. This opening scene was critical, as it set the tone for the rest of the movie, and it was executed very well.
We find out that Kevin is seeing a psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher. A woman who not only knows about Kevin and his other personalities, but is fighting for the acceptance of DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) as a legitimate mental disorder. I found this very interesting, as it was able to shine a light on the fact that most people don't believe in the existence of some mental disorders. These disorders are hard to understand because the involve the mind, which we still don't understand as well as the body.
Later in the movie we get to meet some of Kevin's other personalities, including Patricia, the lovable Hedwig and Barry, or so we thought. Dr. Fletcher realizes that Barry, the leader of the group who chooses which member of Kevin can take control, has actually been silenced. Three (or at least two) of the personalities take control in order to unleash The Beast. I actually wanted to meet all the personalities, so I was a a bit disappointed to hear this.
The acting, however, by James McAvoy who played Kevin and all his personalities was outstanding. There were moments when I would actually believe that his different personalities were different people entirely. Furthermore, his ability to transform from one character to another, using not only his voice, but his facial expressions and body language, was inspiring. This was most evident to me near the end of the movie when Kevin, wearing a towel on his upper body, took the personality of Patricia. It was very subtle, but one could notice that when he took this form Patricia adjusted the towel to cover her left nipple that had been exposed. I found this to be both hilarious and clever at the same time. In addition, his ability to act as the personality of Dennis who was himself acting as another personality (Barry) was amazing.
As the movie went on and the existence of The Beast became more and more apparent, I started to see the movie differently. It felt less like a movie about a "Psycho" and more like a superhero/villain origin story. But it was far from a Marvel/DC movie. It was like one of those movies with "superheroes" that are more believable, Kickass (2010) is specifically what came to mind. Rather than being explained by a radioactive spider or gamma rays, it was explained using a known mental disorder. Even though I still don't see it as likely to occur in real life, I still love these kinds of movies.
Now, let's talk about the end (major spoiler alert).
I had just re-watched Unbreakable (2000) a couple weeks before seeing this movie. Now I have to say, although I didn't find Unbreakable as good as Split and, in fact, found it boring at times, I loved Mr. Glass' (or rather M. Night Shyamalan's) take on superheroes. How, although now superheroes have been altered using flashy colours and effects (not to mention CGI), the original superheroes were based on stories of people who had actually existed. Both of these movies represented that idea so well by using known medical conditions to explain their abilities (except in the case of David Dunn). It's almost as if M. Night is trying to challenge the current "Marvel-istic" view of superheroes. Like he is trying to wake us all up, as Mr. Glass wanted to do, to show us that superheroes do not need to be flashy and do not need to fly in order to be "super". M. Night may even be trying to start his own universe, similar to what Marvel and DC Comics have done. One that is pure and unaltered. Just as Mr. Glass would have wanted it.