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Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)
Thrilling and Fun,
Bad Times at the El Royale is a smashing, riveting thriller that is both unique as well as delivering on its potential to a reasonable extent, it certainly had me invested from beginning to end, and its long runtime was no concern to me as I was frequently invested in these characters, wanting to learn more about each of them.
There are great performances all around, including some impressive turns of typecast from the likes of Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson and Chris Hemsworth, as well as some very impressive acting from lesser known stars such as Lewis Pullman and Cynthia Erivo, whose relationship with Bridges was certainly the film's highlight for me.
The movie suffers mostly from its ending, if I am being honest, and that's where the final rating stumbles for me, as it never truly delivers the anarchy or mania that it seems to be promising from its bonkers execution. I was very underwhelmed when the credits came up and, despite its length, still felt like I was only getting half a movie.
An intriguing story and brilliant characters. Great fun from beginning to end, I would recommend Bad Times at the El Royale to anyone looking for a good thriller.
A group of suspicious individuals all check in to a prestigious motel.
Best Performance: Jeff Bridges
Weekend at Bernie's (1989)
Stupid, Simple Fun,
Weekend at Bernie's is a good movie with a reasonably well written plot, and a talented comedic cast. It is certainly nothing spectacular, but it is a consistently fun, enjoyable movie that plays with its ridiculous concept in a manner that leads to hilarious, absurd slapstick comedy.
The film does suffer due to only really having one major joke for the whole thing, that Bernie is dead but no one apart from the two leads know. While still funny, it gets very stale as the joke is that people are talking to him and making no realization that he is not responding, it can get tiring when it's a whole hour and a half long.
Jonathan Silverman and Andrew McCarthy save the film with their chemistry that is palpable throughout, even when the plot starts to wear off, their energy and clear sense that they are having fun makes us.
Nothing perfect, but consistently enjoyable. While Weekend at Bernie's is forgettable and not very stimulating, it is a good laugh.
Two co-workers must work together to hide the fact they may have killed their boss.
Best Performance: Jonathan Silverman
A Star Is Born (2018)
Sweet, Powerful, Impactful,
Immensely sweet, warm and investing, A Star is Born is our first time seeing Bradley Cooper in a leading role in several years, and what a comeback. We can see exactly why he has not been in any film beyond playing Rocket Racoon in the MCU for a long time, cause he was pouring his heart and soul in to this film. Writing, Directing, learning how to sing, play guitar, and also playing a genuinely enriched, layered character. I was engaged and routing for this flawed character from start to finish.
Lady Gaga is also spellbinding as Ally, doing something that no one really expected from her, playing a soft spoken, shy character with so much believability. I was convinced it was similar to who she is in real life, and was very surprised to hear her say in a recent interview that she is nothing like that, she was just sincerely playing a character..
The only issue I had with the film that brought it down for me was the ending, which I found underwhelming, so to speak. It just felt like a cheap shot, an easy route to take in order to bring the audience to tears. I understand that this is how the other three "A Star is Born" films ended, but a modern day audience expect a bit more. It just fell flat for me.
The music is beautiful. Featuring many original songs that are both inspiring and heartwarming. "Maybe It's Time", "Shallow", and "I Don't Know what Love Is", are particularly beautiful tracks.
An entertaining ride, featuring two terrific characters that you will definitely find yourself forgetting are played by the dude from the Hangover and the woman who sung Poker Face, A Star is Born is bursting with heart and soul.
An old time musician helps a young woman get her big break.
Best Performance: Lady Gaga
Massively Flawed, but Very Fun,
Venom is a good movie with a reasonably well developed plot and a talented cast. I love enjoying movies in any shape or form, and I think a lot of today's critics are very rigid about what makes a good movie, and every beat that you need to take in order to make a movie good. I liked Venom, it's not particularly good, certainly not in the same way my most recent review, BlackKlansman, is good. That being said, I had a fun time, I went in with low expectations due to the annihilation this was getting from critics, and came out not feeling like I wasted my time.
Just to make it clear, it is incredibly flawed. Every character bar Eddie Brick/Venom are stale are stale as cardboard such as the villain, who Riz Ahmed is still putting as much life as possible in to, and the love interest, who Michelle Williams feels so wasted in, I was convinced it was not her due to the brutal material she was given.
The first thirty minutes or so are pretty awful, the execution in to the main plot felt extremely flat. However, once the symbiote got in to Eddie Brock, played fittingly larger than life by Tom Hardy, I was able to switch my brain off and have a good time. The concept of this protagonist, who is practically inactive because of this being controlling him became so intriguing to watch, seeing this guy who had ultimately no control over the situation he was in. I began forgiving the movie for failing to pull me in earlier, cause now I was completely immersed in this large scaled adventure. While immensely flawed, I still enjoyed Venom, and would watch it again. The film carries out the traditional Marvel fare quite well, such as Stan Lee's cameo and an excellent after credits scene. Do not go in expecting perfection and you will enjoy yourself.
A down on his luck man gets more than he bargained for when taking on a huge project for his journalism career.
Best Performance: Tom Hardy / Worst Performance: Michelle Williams
Honest, Raw and Has a Sense of Humour,
BlacKkKlansman is a tremendous movie with a masterfully written script and a tremendous cast. Like any of Spike Lee's work, I have to admire how bold the whole movie was in telling this story, it was a very honest portrayal of the actions of the Ku Klux Klan back in the 1970s, as well as including a very clever, intricate way of showing how these past events mirror recent occurrings, suggesting America may have taken a step backwards.
A fascinating true story that I never knew about, we follow Ron Stallworth, played brilliantly by John David Washington, as he joins the police force and poses as a white man over the telephone in order to make connections with the KKK, with the intentions of investigating their actions. The scenes that ensue between Adam Driver's character, who poses as Ron's white persona in order to meet face to face with the members, are massively intense as we fear they could be caught at any moment.
The film is daring, bold, features phenomenal performances all around, including a very unexpected turn by Topher Grace as founder David Duke, and is also, strangely enough, quite fun, it was never afraid to play with its premise and I found myself laughing quite a bit.
Intense and consistently entertaining. Not for the faint of heart due to its heavy subject matter, that being said, BlacKkKlansman is a film I would recommend to all movie buffs.
A true story that follows an African American police officer who poses as a white man in order to infiltrate the KKK.
Best Performance: John David Washington
Synecdoche, New York (2008)
Visually Splendid and Bold, Albeit not Hitting Home as Much as Kaufman's previous Work,
Synecdoche, New York is a great movie with a well developed plot and a tremendous cast that help combine the naturalism, as well as absurdity, of the film brilliantly. It is immensely weird from beginning to end, not something anyone who is a fan of Charlie Kaufman will be surprised to hear. There are moments that are very tense, laugh out loud hilarious, and parts where you will not have an utmost clue of what is going on, this is exactly what makes the film immensely interesting, and always kept me engaged.
It is, unfortunately, not as strong as some of Kaufman's other work, it is certainly no Being John Malkovich or Adaptation in my eyes. While these films are equally weird, they are always telling a story at their core and developing rich, unique characters. However, Synecdoche does go for something to react to over something that serves the plot to the degree that it is just being risky for the sake of being risky at points.
The cast is all around terrific, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, Emily Watson and Tom Noonan all deliver particularly stand out performances and make their bonkers roles look effortless. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is absolutely tremendous as Caden Cotard, an immensely conflicted, three dimensional and mind boggling creation, going back and forth from being likeable to unredeemable again and again, he handled this rollercoaster with brilliant ease.
Sometimes weird just for the sake of being weird, but consistently had me invested. Synecdoche New York may not be Kaufman's greatest work, but it is a thoroughly entertaining film that I would recommend to fans.
A theatre director starts to lose focus with reality while working on his riskiest project yet.
Best Performance: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Hilarious and Fun Parody of Detective Shows,
Homer is Where the Art Isn't is a terrific Simpsons episode with a very well written plot and tons of very funny scenes. It is a very fun parody of old detective shows from the 70s and 80s, mimicking them in such a clever way you can tell the writers did their research while writing this episode.
There is gag after gag, which is perfectly fine and obviously what we have come to expect from the Simpsons, but it does get carried away with itself sometimes to an extent that the plot can sometimes get lost, which was a shame because the story had so much potential that, had it been a tad more focused in telling that, this could have been a ten for me.
The highlight of the episode, for me, is without a doubt Bill Hader as Detective Manacek, perfectly protraying the kind of character they were parodying in a very satisfying way, and he had some stellar quotes throughout that had me in absolute stitches, he is a character I would not mind seeing again.
Hilarious and well constructed episode. Fun from beginning to end, Homer is Where the Art Isn't is a silly Simpsons at its finest.
Homer gets caught in a fix when he is accused of stealing a million dollar painting.
The Simpsons: Frink Gets Testy (2018)
Enjoyable Episode, Albeit Never Completely delivering on its Potential,
Frink Gets Testy is a great Simpsons episode with a very well written plot and plenty of very funny scenes. There is gag after gag in this episode, plenty of laugh out loud moments for me, particularly from Professor Frink, it was refreshing to see a character who is rarely given the spotlight getting a lead role.
I love the concept of the episode, however, it actually felt too ambitious for twenty minutes, I could have seen it being a two parter, but instead it tries to cram this big idea, which ends up being their biggest downfall.
What it lacks in story in makes up for in humour. Funny and immensely enjoyable, Frink Gets Testy could have been better, but it is very fun.
Fearing Doomsday is coming, Mr. Burns gets Professor Frink to test everyone to see who's worth saving. The results are a major shock to the Simpsons family.
Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
Takes out Everything that Worked with the Original and Keeps Everything that Didn't,
Hotel Transylvania 2 is a horrendous movie with a very poorly developed script and a talented voice cast that unfortunately do not do very much to save this mess. I quite enjoyed the first movie, it was no Shrek or Toy Story, but it does manage to find a nice balance between childish and adult humour, this film however makes literally no effort to appeal to an older age demographic. It I s filled with fart jokes and silly animation for a toddler to glare at in amazement, but offers nothing to stimulate the parents.
It makes the obvious sequel decisions of introducing new characters and sending them to new locations, but it never does anything interesting or new with these concepts.
A snooze fest for anyone over the age of 10. While the first movie was fun and witty, Hotel Transylvania 2 is just here for the money.
Dracula grows concerned when his new grandson is not showing his vampire side.
Christopher Robin (2018)
A Sweet, Grounded Film that is Also not Afraid to Explore Darker Themes,
Christopher Robin is a fantastic film with a very well developed plot and a tremendous cast of both live action and voice actors. It is an immensely sweet movie that had me tearing up within the first ten minutes as we follow Christopher Robin as a young boy parting from his friends in the Hundred Acre Woods. Ewan McGregor, who brilliantly portrays an older Christopher, has such a tremendous chemistry with Winnie the Pooh that it was hard to believe he was not actually on set with him, it was pure and simple, just a joy to watch.
I did find it quite odd to make the choice for several of the characters to be English, Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore were not, thankfully being voiced by their original voice actors, but it was strange to see the rest having English accents, it felt like they were in two different movies. Peter Capaldi as Rabbit was a particularly questionable choice, he resembled the one we know from the cartoons in no way at all, he had no OCD, basically just being Capaldi voicing a rabbit, playing Capaldi, it did not even resemble the Disney style, simply being a CGI Bunny.
The film features many of Pooh's wonderful quotes from the A.A. Milne books, some of my favorites being "We didn't realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun" and "Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something" which ends up being the overall message of the film. Pooh becomes such a wholesome, profound and endearing character from the use of this classical text.
Tearjerking and wonderful. Sweet, simple and fun, Christopher Robin has big ideas that it always keeps grounded, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good family film.
Now in his forties, married with a child and struggling to come up with a solution to avoid potential work cuts, Christopher Robin is reunited with his friend Pooh, who needs his help.
Best Performance: Ewan McGregor
Game Night (2018)
Immensely Solid, Fun and Very Original Comedy,
Game Night is a fantastic movie with a very well developed plot and a spectacular comedic cast. The film is consistently fun and constantly goes beyond boundaries that most comedies are afraid to go past. There are some very dark moments and the film itself is also partly a thriller, making several bold moves throughout.
I did find that it got a bit too frantic at points, it needed to ground itself a tad more, but instead gets carried away with jumping from one side story to another, but this is really only a small criticism.
The cast is all around terrific and they take on their unique, flawed characters brilliantly. Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are particularly stellar in their roles, with a dynamic chemistry that is consistently entertaining to watch.
Fun from start to finish. Hilarious, thrilling and exciting, Game Night is a very unique comedy that I would certainly recommend.
A group of friends that run a weekly game night get more than they bargained for when the hosts' brother is in town.
Best Performance: Jason Bateman
A Solid Sequel that Delivers,
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is a great movie with a well developed script and a top notch voice cast. As far as sequels go, it is a genuinely solid one that delivers on its potential and has fun with its new concept, rather than falling down a rabbit whole that most sequels do of trying to rehash everything that worked in the predecessor.
I will say that it does favour satisfying images and sequences over an actual plot on a bit too many occasions, it falls victim to forgetting the story it is trying to tell, instead it gets more invested in showcasing nice animation, which is cool but can get frustrating when we are longing for more story.
The cast is all around terrific, Bill Hader in particular is a delightful return, and the new comers are also fantastic, such as Terry Crews and Will Forte, the latter of which I really loved as the film's antagonist, he had a great animated villain voice that made him consistently enjoyable to watch.
A fun viewing. Nothing groundbreaking, but Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is a great sequel that is fun for the whole family.
Several years after the events of the first movie, the gang learn an island has become infected with mutated food.
The Happytime Murders (2018)
Could have Broken Boundaries, but It's Just Okay,
The Happytime Murders is a decent movie with a flawed script that does have its moments and a solid cast that make the best of it. Personally, I do not think this movie deserves the annhilation it has received from critics, I think it has a lot of good about it, I personally thought Melissa McCarthy taking on a role very different from her usual typecast, playing a straighter, more stern police officer, was very interesting to see and she did a great job. I also thought Bill Barretta was terrific as Phil Phillips, taking on a challenging role in that he is, of course, a puppet, but not particularly flamboyant or eccentric. I feel he deserves more credit for what he did with the part, he made him human, there were parts where I genuinely forgot I was watching a puppet. The puppeteering all around was terrific, Brian Henson and the rest of the Jim Henson Company did a great job of creating a universe co-inhabited by puppets and humans.
It does fodder in several areas, the actual mystery aspect of the film is immensely weak, it never managed to surprise me or do anything interesting with this fun concept of puppets trying to solve a crime. It also never gave me a reason to care about the Happytime Gang, who should have been established from the get go, but instead are immediately tossed to the side and then later on I am expected to care about them as characters.
It also has far too many unnecessarily sexual and explicit moments, the worse one of which features in the trailer, that just felt like they were doing it for a reaction and not for any other reason. there was never an authentic or potent point for them being there.
Stumbles, but is consistently entertaining. Immensely flawed, it is very unfortunate how mediocre The Happytime Murders is, cause it could have changed the game for puppet films, but it is consistently fun, and an older generation of fans of The Jim Henson Company's Work will appreciate it.
Two detectives investigate the murders of several members of a hit kids television show.
Best Performance: Bill Barretta
What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
Stumbles Along, Never doing Anything Exceptional or Outright Clever with its Concept,
What's Up, Tiger Lily? is a brutal movie with a poorly written script and voice actors that I am sure had fun, but not to the audience's advantage. I was very enthralled to watch Woody Allen's directorial debut, but I sadly must say it delivers nothing that even hints towards the great work that he would later bring us, no dialogue or witty moment that suggests anything even slightly close to the likes of Annie Hall and Midnight in Paris.
The film's concept of dubbing over an old action movie to change the story seemed interesting, something that could be worthy of a few chuckles, but it wore thin for me very early on and became immensely draining after ninety minutes, it was just too much for such an unremarkable idea.
Poorly written and, at times, quite boring. Forgettable and unfunny, What's Up Tiger Lily is worth giving a miss, do yourself a favour and skip ahead to Allen's later work.
Dialogue is dubbed over an old Japanese film to create a completely different story.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
A Super Fun Pallette Cleanser after Infinity War,
Ant-Man and the Wasp is a fantastic movie with a very well written plot and a terrific cast that shine in comedic and dramatic moments. It is great to see Scott Lang back as the lead character again and his rapid fire, witty dialogue is as good as ever. There are plenty of hilarious moments throughout, but never manages to take away from what is going on or make us care less about these characters.
My only real complaint is that the film is trying to do a bit too much at once that it can feel a tad overstuffed at times. It was very ambitious and had a ton of interesting ideas that I was very invested in, but could not help but feel they could have preserved some for later movies.
The cast is all as great as ever, Paul Rudd absolutely shines, Evangeline Lilly has an amazing presence and it is great to see her in an even bigger role this time around, Michael Douglas is very effective as always, Michael Peña is a scene stealer in the best way possible, and the overall cast is just a delight all around.
The fun and adventure we need after the soul crushing Infinty War. A breath of fresh air from start to finish, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a great watch that I would recommend to all Marvel fans.
Scott Lang is sent on an urgent mission that soon leads to the unveilment of huge secrets.
Best Performance: Paul Rudd
A Thoroughly Entertaining Comedy that Didn't Overstay its Welcome,
Episodes is a fantastic television series with very well written episodes and a phenomenal comedic cast. It is a brilliant satire on the entertainment industry in general and tells it from the very fun perspectives of Sean and Beverly, two comedy writers from London getting their series remade by Americans. There is also a good arc and terrific character development throughout the series, it does not just have one episode after another with no connections, instead having a continuing story with characters building and changing throughout.
It does get to a point, I will admit, where it does not necessarily get worse, but does get safer. The first two seasons are consistently bold and always willing to try new things, but the other three do start to delve in to the realm of cliches and security blankets. It does not get significantly weaker, just a little less exciting.
The cast is all around spectacular and there are many brilliant comedic actors that come for a few episodes and leave, but out of the cast that stay throughout, Stephen Mangan and Tasmin Greig have a dynamic chemistry that constantly keeps the show grounded, John Pankow is an absolute scene stealer as Merc, and Kathleen Rose Perkins plays a delightfully complex role as Carol that is consistently entertaining. However, the highlight is without a doubt Matt LeBlanc as, well, Matt LeBlanc, he plays a horribly exaggerated version of himself that is selfish, pompous, narcissistic, and you can see he is constantly having a blast doing it, which makes it so much fun to watch, and see him do something so different from what we all came to know and love him from in Friends, proving he is not a one trick pony.
A riot from beginning to end. Consistently stays afloat, big laughs and came to a close at a perfect time, Episodes is a comedy series that I would highly recommend.
A British couple/writing duo travel to Hollywood to remake their successful British comedy series, but their lives change forever when Matt LeBlanc is casted as the lead.
Best Performance: Matt LeBlanc
Special Correspondents (2016)
Stale and Uninspired,
Special Correspondents is a mediocre movie with a shoddily written plot and a cast that are enjoyable but have been much better. Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana certainly have an excellent back and forth that makes for a very enjoyable viewing, It is just unfortunate their natural chemistry was put together with unnatural dialogue.
I am a huge fan of Ricky Gervais, and it upsets me to see him deliver such average work, but the film really does feel unfinished, like there was so much more that could have been done to make this far better, for instance, strengthening the plot, but the passion just was not there. He definitely did not have half as much intrigue for this as he had for the likes of The Office or Extras, he was just asked by Netflix to make a movie and did.
The characters are also immensely two dimensional, none of them have a quality that adds a real human element to them, every thing they say feels written.
A stumbling mess. Not without its moments, Special Correspondents, unfortunately, does not have enough for me to recommend this.
Two down on their luck men fake a kidnapping while they hide out in New York.
Best Performance: Eric Bana
Incredibles 2 (2018)
An Immensely Solid Sequel that Shines on its Own, As well as being a Fateful continuation of its Predecessor,
Incredibles 2 is a fantastic movie with a very well developed plot and a stellar voice cast. As far as sequels go, it really does shine and is probably one of the best continuation to an animated film I have seen in a very long time. Though he may have been shying away from them for several years, it is clear Brad Bird did not stop thinking about these characters, the love, passion and intrigue in developing them further was felt in this screenplay throughout.
My only issue with the film really is that the villain does not shine half as much as Syndrome, who was one of the highlights of the first Incredibles. While there are brilliant moments, particularly a very tense scene where Elastigirl tries to track their location, the motivations and scheming of the character is quite cliche in terms of superhero movies, and was not nearly as personal or hard hitting as it felt in the original.
The voice cast is all around fantastic and as great as ever, and the new sides we see from the characters in this movie are fascinating, without feeling out of place or forced in any way. The star of the film, for me, is Violet, who is given a spectacular arc that I was always the most invested in, while Jack Jack was also a joy in every scene and a character with so much fun capabilities for writers.
An immensely solid sequel. Despite the difficult challenge this film takes of being a sequel people waited 14 years for, it takes this challenge heads on and manages not to disappoint, The Incredibles 2 is a joy from beginning to end.
Following directly after the events of the first movie, Elastigirl takes up work with an organisation striving to save the protection of superheroes, while Bob stays home with the kids and discovers Jack Jack's superpowers.
Sweet, but Not Quite as Spectacular as Pixar's Other Shorts,
Bao is a good animated short film with a nicely developed plot and some stand out moments. It is a very sweet, quite a different short for Pixar as we follow a mother bond with a dumpling that comes to life, giving her a second chance of motherhood. It definitely explores deep, emotional themes while staying humourus and kid friendly, exactly what Pixar does best.
I will say that the film did not impact as much as some of Pixar's other shorts, one of the main reasons being I found myself trying to figure out what was going on for too long. I did not understand why it was a dumpling, and there probably was not a specific reason, but having it be a piece of food that comes to life just confused me, and I avoided connecting with the piece cause I felt like he was going to get eaten.
Sweet and well animated. Bao is not my favourite of Pixar's work, but it is certainly unique and definitely worth a look.
A mother whose son has left the nest gets a second chance when a dumpling comes to life.
The Last Man on Earth (2015)
A Brilliant and Refreshing Conedy Series That Unfortunately Never got the Praise it Deserved,
The Last Man on Earth is a phenomenal television series with immensely well written episodes, as well as an inspired and talented cast. It is one of the most refreshing comedy series I have seen in a while, as we follow a group of people in a post apocalyptic society. The show is far less about the danger surrounding them, and far more about the relationships between the characters and how they function in this new world.
As well as that, there are lots of very unique episodes that take unexpected turns, such as several where we follow another character in this universe who has no connection with the main cast, it was never afraid to try new things.
The cast is all around terrific, Will Forte deserves huge praise who his portrayal as Phil Miller, a deeply complicated character who is flawed and, at times, completely selfish and unredeemable, but Forte has a warmth to him that always makes him loveable. Other standouts are, of course, Kristen Schaal, January Jones and Mel Rodriquez, who had such an incredible arc as Todd that he managed to display a lot of depth to while always keeping the part grounded.
Hilarious and investing. Funny, well written, meaningful and smart, The Last Man on Earth ticks all the boxes that would make me want to recommend it as a solid comedy series, my only criticism is that they ended it too soon.
Survivors from a deadly virus search for more humans and safety.
Best Performance: Will Forte
Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)
Has its Moments, but is Nowhere near as Refreshing as The Original,
Sicario: Day of the Saldado is a good movie with a reasonably well developed plot and an outstanding cast. The highlight of the film is without a doubt the two electric performances delivered by Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, both as great as ever in their respective roles, bringing a great intensity in their performances.
I will say that the film stumbles due to a lack of an everyman-type character, as Emily Blunt was in the first film, with Brolin and Del Toro, they are very much anti-heroes, but lean so much on either side of both villain and hero that it becomes too difficult to decide whether to route for them or not, which is intriguing when they are side characters, but a bit stressful when they are now the leads.
I also was very disappointed by the lack of development or of feeding us with any new information on Alejandro. What worked so well with the first one was how mysterious he was, and what excited me so much about the announcement of a sequel was getting to learn more about the character, but upon seeing this film, I just left a little aggravated that I did not gain much more from the character that I did not already receive from the first Sicario.
Had plenty of phenomenal moments, but riddled with flaws. Sicario: Day of the Saldado is certainly enjoyable, but it had more potential than what it delivers.
The US government looks to increase threat and conflict on the cartels.
Best Performance: Benicio Del Toro
Not the Teen Dramedy I Had Hoped For,
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a decent movie with a reasonably well developed plot and a talented cast. The highlight of the film is certainly the chemistry between Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, the back and forth between them was phenomenal, and looked absolutely effortless.
However, I did find that the film was falsely advertised as being a feel good teen comedy drama that it made me go in to it expecting something else. In reality, it is a very bleak film that teaches bad lessons about your teen life and paints a very pessimistic picture.
As well as that, if I am being honest, I found Lerman very uneffective in the lead role, Charlie was a very bland character that he did not bring much to make him more intriguing, this suffered especially when Sam and Patrick are far more interesting, but we do not get to see them half as much.
Has its moments, but was not for me. I am aware many love this film, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower never made me feel too hard or laugh too much, and for that I could not recommend it.
An outsider in his first year of high school finds friendship with two older students.
Best Performance: Emma Watson
The Simpsons: Haw-Haw Land (2018)
Fun, but Had a Greater Potential,
Haw-Haw Land is a good Simpsons episode with a well written plot and plenty of very funny moments. I definitely enjoyed Lisa's bond with Brendan and the crontrasting conflict between her and Nelson. The side story was also quite fun, seeing Bart getting in to chemistry created some chuckle worthy moments.
I did, however, find that the episode was a bit misleading. Featuring Ed Sheeran as the voice of Brendan and having the name be a parody of La La Land, I was anticipating the episode to be a full blown musical or to at least feature a few new songs, but it instead is quite a by the numbers Simpsons, it could have done something so much more interesting.
I thought Ed Sheeran did a great job as Brendan and quite like the quality he generally has as an actor, he fitted in to the universe of Springfield seamlessly.
Fun episode. Certainly not amazing, but Haw-Haw Land is a solid Simpsons.
Nelson gets jealous when Lisa falls for jazz pianist Brendan. Meanwhile, Bart finds out he has a gift for chemistry.
The Simpsons: Gone Boy (2017)
Gone Boy is a terrific Simpsons episode with a well written plot and plenty of very memorable moments. It was an absolute joy of an episode that had a very timely feeling to it, this easily could have been done in the fifth or sixth season, it did not try to appeal to the pop culture euphoria of today and merely did its own thing, which is what the Simpsons should always do, they are enough of icons themselves, they do not need to continuously reference others.
One thing I will say is that I would have loved once we got to the "Bart section" of the episode, finding out what actually happened to him, I was hoping for a "Gone Girl" type reveal, because of the title, and was a little underwhelmed they did not give Bart a similar presence to that of Rosamind Pike's character in the movie.
Kelsey Granmar is brilliant as ever as Sideshow Bob, continuing to always delight, as well as bringing something new to this very enriching character who continues to be one of my favourites on the show.
Simple and enjoyable. Gone Boy is a very solid Simpsons.
A search party goes out for Bart when he goes missing, and Sideshow Bob is a key suspect.
Third Person (2013)
Consistently Riveting, Despite Poor Pacing,
Third Person is a good movie with a reasonably well developed plot and a terrific cast. It is certainly a very interesting story that consistently kept me engaged. It interconnects the three stories in a very clever way, even if it is not as consistent as similar films, it definitely still manages to keep my attention throughout and I was sincerely invested in to each character.
There definitely was an issue with pacing, the film presents itself as being a sort of rapid fire movie, but each story is told in a slow, melancholic fashion that it does, at times, start to feel like the potential of interconnected plots is wasted on as they become less and less linked as the film progresses.
The cast is all around spectacular, even if their potential in these parts does not always feel fulfilled. The likes of Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde and Adrien Brody are all impressive in their parts.
An enjoyable watch, but not something you will be longing to see a second time. While it definitely had more potential, Third Person is certainly an intriguing piece of film that I would recommend to anyone looking for a good drama.
A tale of three interconnected love stories.
Best Performance: Adrien Brody