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The Dirt (2019)
EXCESSIVELY ENTERTAING, BUT CLICHED
The Dirt surpassed my expectations. Going in I was expecting a by the numbers music biopic and got that, with so much more. Every actor does an excellent job at acting the outrageously excessive scenes with the quiet emotional ones, the stand out for me has to be Daniel Webber who plays Vince Neil, the lead singer of Motley Crue. His performance is versatile to the extreme having to portray some of the most emotional as well as the extravagant.
The director Jeff Tremaine does a brilliant job of showing us the excessiveness in interesting ways, one section in particular where the drummer Tommy Lee tells the audience about how his days usually play out and Tremaine shows the audience by using mostly a first person camera perspective mixed with medium close-ups which creates a jarring feel making the audience feel dizzy, like Tommy Lee in the scene in question.
Its one major down fall is the writing, as I said I got my cliched music biopic with slow motion band shots and other music biopic conventions. I did not know anything about the bands story going into the film and I still knew how the story would go. The fourth wall breaking adds to the experience but it can't shake its clichés.
Shazam! Is a delightful romp that stands as a template for what all Hollywood blockbusters should be like. David F. Sandberg directs this film with inventive camera angles and movements highly influenced by his horror background.
Zachery Levis performance as the titular Shazam is perfect and career defining, I had a wide grin on my face every time he was on screen and so did everyone else. Levi is supported by an excellent cast with all members of his foster family being superb, especially the dad played by Anderson Cooper, who delivers a warm and overpoweringly charming performance. Mark Strong's supervillain is on the right side of cheesy as well, so what could possibly be bad about the film. Well, the films final battle highlights one of my biggest annoyances in cinema. It is where characters involved in a battle stop to say a line, maybe exposition or in this case gag, after gag, after gag. Just get on with the fight do the gags before or after, or not at all.
Shazam! Is excellent from start to finish for all ages, everyone in the cinema was laughing and everyone left with a smile on their face.
HEARTBRAKING AND GUTBUSTING
Paddleton displays the unique quality of taking a depressing situation and adding laughter to it. Ray Ramano and Mark Duplass are both excellent in this film with the comical and dramatic style being effortless for both actors. The thing I love most is the leads chemistry, they are both brilliant but together they are lighting in a bottle, for example in one scene both watch a film together and without even looking at each other they act out the scene from the film they are watching. This does not seem forced, it seems real. That sentence sums up the film pretty well, but in that line lies its pros and cons. The film looks dull in its colour pallet and direction. Alex Lehman directs his actors superbly, its a shame the camera can't be more interesting. An argument could be made that their are no flashy shots on display because of realism. I'm not asking for intricate Steadicam long takes of overblown CGI extravaganzas, but at the same time I'm not asking to watch something I can see out of my window.
Dramedy is an interesting sub-genre that has to balance opposite tones consistently mastering it is hard. However this film comes close it only needed a bit of flair.
High Flying Bird (2019)
SODERBOURGH STRIKES AGAIN
High Flying Birds one flaw is the films need to shoe in basketball players talking about the there careers and the NBA system.
Other than that the film is a masterpiece. It's striking cinematography is helped by incredible nuanced acting, especially by Zazie Beetz and Andre Holland, who were a match made in heaven. There chemistry was palpable making there characters seen believable.
The writing is whip smart, with alot of research behind every line. Think if Aaron Sorkin wrote a film about the NBA.
What stays with me is the ending of this film, it's incrouging me to rewatch and research analysis videos.
This film is an example of filmaking done right. It's just a shame about those stupid interviews. Souderbourgh is a genius.
COULD BE BETTER
The Lego Movie 2 uses it's unique and clever concept to keep an audience entertained but not to a great degree. Walking out of the cinema with my family we all turned to one another and said "well that was okay".
It's flaws are in its unique premise as well as it's pro's. The imagination world of the boy and girl are never really explained. For example the animation switches from the legoverse to a make shift low budget world constantly, also the film hints towards the Lego characters being alive but never gives an answer to W heather they really are. Not very many jokes made me laugh either although the loveable characters constantly kept a smile on my face.
What saves the film is it's ending where the brilliant concept is finally used properly for an effective twist and a lovely message of maturity and accepting your mistakes.
The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)
THE AUDIENCE THAT WOULD BE CHARMED
The Kid Who Would be King is a delightfully charming film, but still not without it's floors. The seamless transitioning and triumphant score a dashed anytime anyone speeks by its overwhelming amount of exposition and unfunny jokes, but I guess the clumsy dialogue just adds to the charm expecially when said by good up and coming actors as well as Patrick Stewert having way to much fun with his role as Merlin.
Where the rough writing really shows is when Rebecca Ferguson's evil Morgana comes on screen her overacted mess of a performance along with some frankly terrible CGI for her army brings down the an otherwise fun fantasy adventure film.
Would I watch this film again, no probably not. But did I enjoy watching the film in the cinema, Yes I did.
Fyre offers up an interesting look at a compulsive lier, whos own ego brought down his career as well as many others. Its only problem is its focus. For me I found the beginning of the documentary about the marketing of the infamous music festival more interesting than the failure of the festival itself because They say exactly what the festival turned out like at the start. Whilst the genius marketing was intriguing. Its so scary to me that something so terrible and obviously problematic could be marketed so well. So because the first part was so interesting, the middle although still interesting is knowhere near as gripping as the first act. The ending picks up the interest in the exploration of just how crazy the titular figure is, so I would recommend this film especially if you are interested in the subject matter.
Glass is one of very few films I ever forced myself to finish in the cinema. Its utterly stupid need to subvert the audiences expectation of the average superhero film, is its main downfall, as it crumbles under the pressure of its own ideas. Glass is a glorious mess, with good aspects like, the acting, cinematography and superb score being drowned by everything else, like the editing and the especially bad writing. Shyamalan is talented and I believe him to be a capable writer/director he just needs to learn restraint.
TISSUES AT THE READY
Phoenix's portrayal of John Callahan is one of the best performances in a film I've ever seen. Even though Rooney Mara's love intrest comes out of knowhere there is so much good in this film I simply could not give it a 10/10. The main complaint about the film is that it jumps around to much beween different points of his life but it didn't bother me to much. The jumping is at first disorenting but I never felt like I wanted to watch one period more than the other I simply took it instride. If anything it made the film more intresting as the non-linear storytelling always kept me ingaged with the film, it never felt dull it always fresh.
Le Redoutable (2017)
This film simply blew me away. I love this film because of the way it pays homage to Godard's experimental style whilst also portraying the man himself as a confused and paranoid human being. Garrel and Martin are both excellent in there roles portraying the dramatic and suprisingly comedic elements of the film with ease. The film is very funny which caught me off guard at first but it does endear us to the characters. The glasses gag is a fantastic running gag and the delightfully meta scene about actors being naked in films for no reason is genius. Redoubtable is not for everyone but it was for me.
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
This film is about the rise of Queen and their enigmatic front man Freddie Mercury. As we see the events that took place before they went on stage to perform one of the greatest performances of all time at Live Aid.
This film is credited to director Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects), but really Singer only directed part of it, whilst the rest was directed by Dexter Fletcher (Eddie The Eagle). This film stars Rami Malek (Mr. Robot), Lucy Boynton (Sing Street) and Gwilym Lee (Fresh Meat).
This film is very fun to watch from beginning to end, the direction isn't half bad either considering it had two directors with completely different styles. I felt when watching the film that I was watching one mans vision, not two. The real high point of the film is defiantly Malek's performance as Freddie Mercury, he is spot on with every action and word, I didn't see an actor I saw Freddie Mercury.
However, the film is cliched, especially in the first act where it had me cringing at some points. But the only true downside to the film is that it could of benefited more from having an R rating. We hear about the things Freddie Mercury does, yet we don't see them. I believe it would have been more impactful if we had seen the things Freddie regrets not heard about them.
Restricted by its restrictions, but a great watch from start to finish.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE TO HATE
This film is about the fallout of Ethan Hunts past decisions. He leads a team to try and find a 3 bombs before they are detonated.
This film is written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects). It stars Tom Cruise (Top Gun), Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) and Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction).
This film was exciting from start to finish, McQuarrie has improved his directing since Rogue Nation, Tom Cruise and the supporting cast are great as always. But Cavill surprised me with a rather charismatic performance as Aganet Walker. A particular highlight of the film was the halo jump scene, which was simply breathtaking.
However the third act drags and brings back a character from the previous film that was unnecessary and out of nowhere. Its a shame because the first to acts are incredible, probably some of the best scenes and set pieces in the entire franchise.
Probably the best film so far in the franchise.
Lean on Pete (2017)
BEST SURPRISE EVER!
Lean on Pete is about a young orphaned boy trying to travel across America with a horse he took a liking too, when working with him.
This film is written and directed by Andrew Haigh (45 Years). It stars Charlie Plummer (All the Money in the World), Amy Seimetz (Upstream Color) and Travis Fimmel (Warcraft: The Beginning).
Haigh has created characters that feel as real as my family and friends, he also directs with a realistic eye, including some mesmerizing shots of the sky. Plummer's performance as the lead Charley is heartbreaking and constantly amazed me with the emotions he could exude with looks and actions. The story and writing are realistic and all around FANTASTIC!
This film surprised me with just how brilliant it is.
This film is a sequel to Jurassic World. It follows the two leads from the original as they try to keep dinosaurs alive against growing tensions about the extinction of the formally extinct creatures.
This film is directed by J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage). It stars Chris Pratt (The Lego Movie) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World) reprising their roles from the original.
Bayona is a talented director, who brought a sense of real danger and peril not seen since the original Jurassic Park. It is also entertaining from start to finish, I never felt bored, and finally, the sets, especially the mansion, are beautiful and seem more fully realized than the characters themselves, along with the dinosaurs.
But, strangely Pratt gives a sub par performance, and everything they did with a young girl just seemed wrong. I'm not blaming the actress I'm blaming the writers. Which brings us to the worst aspect of the film. THE WRITING!!! Some lines made me cringe in my seat and say to myself NO, JUST NO! It is also one of the most predictable films ever made, every plot point seems done before.
Predictable, but still watchable.
Like Father (2018)
A PLEASENT SURPRISE OF A PLEASENT FILM
This film is about a father and daughter reluctantly spending time together on a honeymoon cruise after the daughter is left at the alter.
This film is written and directed by Lauren Miller Rogan in her directorial debut. It stars Kristen Bell (Frozen) and Kelsey Grammar (Cheers).
This film surprised me, it is a directorial debut from Seth Rogans wife starring her husband. But Seth Rogan isn't in the film for very long and this is NOT A COMEDY! I cannot stress that enough it is a drama and a pretty dam good one at that. Rogan has delivered a good film that in my opinion no longer will be known as Seth rogans wife. But a confident and extraordinary new filmmaker.
However, it is too long, especially the ending which feels just as long as LotR: Return of the King. That is never a good thing.
I really like this film, eve3n if it is a bit overlong.
NOT AS BAD AS THE CRITICS SAY
This film is about a man who lost his leg in a incident involving a bomb and now works on making sure building security software is good. Unfortunately his family is trapped in a building that has been taken over by terrorists and he must break into the tallest building in the world to save his family.
This film is written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story). It stars Dwayne Johnson (Moana), Neve Campbell (Scream) and Chin Han (The Dark Knight).
Johnson and Campbell give heartfelt and emotional performances in this film. I really cared about them, and they had great chemistry with each other. It is a very suspenseful and exciting film. with some scenes having me on the edge of my seat.
The writing and story elements are defiantly stolen from other action films though which doesn't give the film an original feel. It took a while for the film to get going as well, with the film being quite boring up until the plot really begins.
Popcorn entertainment, that's all I need to say.
Incredibles 2 (2018)
This film is a continuation of the first Incredibles film. Following on from the underminer attack, a wealthy businessman sees the opportunity to legalize superheroes again. The wealthy businessman picks Elastigirl to be the symbol of the superhero movement, whilst Mr. Incredible stays home, to look after the kids.
This film is written and directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles). It stars the vocal talent of Craig T. Nelson (The Incredibles), Holly Hunter (The Piano) and Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction).
I love this film! It is everything I wanted from a sequel to a film I grew up watching. Almost everything is perfect. Jack-Jack steals the show, being hilarious throughout the entire film. But by far the scene that stood out to me the most, was a very impressive train chase that payed homage to The French Connections most famous scene.
But, their is a lot of exposition in the film, and it is extremely noticeable. If the exposition was given in a better way this film would be a definite 10/10.
However its exposition drags it down. But WATCH THIS FILM!!!
Duck Butter (2018)
This film is about two women who decide to spend 24 hours together in the hope that they will skip the learning period of a relationship.
This film is directed and co-wrote by Miguel Arteta (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day). It stars Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) and Laia Costa (Victoria).
This films plot his ambitious and interesting, their are instances in the film where it feels like a storytelling experiment, and the cameos by Kumal Nanjiani and the Duplass brothers make for a fun part of the film.
However, the writing isn't so good, it does not capitalize on the interesting plot. The acting and directing isn't so good either, it is so plain and unimaginative.
There's nothing much more to this film than an interesting story. But I would recommend you see it just once if you like film.
TAU: TREMENDOUSLY AVERAGE AND UNSUCCESSFUL
This film is about a a woman who gets kidnapped and forced into doing tasks for a psychotic billionaire genius. In doing the tasks she begins to help and befriend a form of AI that controls the house in an attempt to get out of the house she is imprisoned in.
This film is the directorial debut of Federico D'Alessandro. It stars Maika Monroe (Independence Day: Resurgence), Ed Skrein (Deadpool) and Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor soldier Spy).
Firstly, D'Alessandro does a good job directing this film his visuals are exciting and confident in the way they are shot. Also, the high concept idea is a very intriguing. But I loved the production design of this film the sets, lighting and costumes were top notch, not to mention the special effects which are especially good for a Netflix original film. The score by Bear McCreary (10 Cloverfield lane) is especially good, I heard the music when I needed to hear the music and it defiantly added to the scenes where the score was utilized.
But, Monroe came off to me as unlikeable and annoying. Her character made stupid decisions. For example, throughout the film she will blatantly annoy her captor who is already highly strung and it constantly ends bad for her. The villain played by Skrein is the definition of a one note villain, he isn't particularly menacing and he adds no nuances. The tone of the film is all over the place, particularly at the start when it goes from a very tense scene to the lead slurping a drink to annoy her captor. Throughout the whole film there are tense moments and then their are almost comedic moments that don't mix well and feel out of place in a thriller like this its supposed to be tense their are no comedic moments in Panic Room (2002) or Don't Breathe (2016). Finally, my biggest issue with the film is Oldman as the voice of Tau, simply because they got an academy award winning actor too voice an AI with no character what so ever. I don't understand, if Oldman was willing to do this film why not give him the villain role, he would have added so much to the villain and give any voice actor the role of Tau.
This film, although it looking great. Unsuccessfully creates a tone and completely wastes a high concept idea and Gary Oldman.
Set It Up (2018)
This film is about two stressed out assistants to, two powerful people. Who attempt to get their bosses together in the hope that once they find love, their jobs will become a whole lot easier and their bosses become a whole lot nicer.
This film is directed by Claire Scanlon (The last man on earth). It stars Zoey Deutch (Before I fall), Glen Powell (Hidden figures) and Lucy Liu (Kill Bill: Volume 1).
This film is dumb, but entertaining. It toes the line between so bad its good and just a enjoyable film. What makes the film not so bad its good for me is the performances. The cast has perfect chemistry and their are some stand performances like Lucy Liu as Zoey Deutchs mean boss, and Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) as Creepy Tim, who delivers the films best jokes. This film did not have me checking my watch to see when it would end.
However, the films story follows the typical Romcom clichés, couple that with down right stupid story, that is so unrealistic it is probably the best joke in the entire film.
If you like Romcoms this is for you, but if your looking for a netflix film with substance go and watch Cargo.
Cargo is about an injured father being forced to find a way for his infant daughter to survive in a world covered in infected individuals.
This film is directed by Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke, this is their feature film directorial debut. It stars Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: An unexpected journey), Anthony Hayes (Animal Kingdom) and Susie Porter (The Monkey's mask).
This film never lets up, it is a tough watch from the start, and it only gets tougher to watch the more you watch it, I love a film that consistently keeps me on my toes. The lack of a score makes the film feel more personal and intimate and the editing is superb. The story is heartbreaking and original. Martin Freeman is a stand out though. This is one of the best performances I've seen so far this year, and definitely his best work of his career, In my opinion.
On the other hand, the writing is not always on point. Expecially the extremely cheesy ending, that feels out of place given the serious tone of the rest of film. The supporting actors do not do so well though, they seem to just be plot points and don't bring anything to their roles other than being necessary to the plot of the film, they have no personality. Expecially a young boy who Martin Freeman meets along the way, his acting is decent for a child actor but next to Martin Freemans powerhouse performance, he sticks out like a sore thumb.
As Netflix movies go, one of the better ones.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
EASY TO WATCH FUN, WHAT A STAR WARS FILM SHOULD BE!
Solo: A Star Wars Story takes place before The Phantom Menace. It is about Han Solo and a group of outlaws as they attempt to get rid of a debt with a dangerous member of a syndicate.
Solo: a Star Wars Story is directed by Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind). It stars Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar), Woody Harrelson (True Detective) and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones).
This very watchable film directed superbly by Ron Howard is vey fun, and incredibly well acted. Ehrenreich stands out as Han solo, but also Donald Glover (Atlanta) as Lando Calrissian steels the show, along with a surprise cameo at the end of the film.
However. it does take awhile to get going. also a droid character played by Phoebe Waller-bridge (Fleabag) I found annoying and unessiceryly rebellious. Bridge is good as the droid though, the writing for the character is what I find annoying.
better then The last Jedi and Rogue One, in my opinion. Its worth a watch.
The Kissing Booth (2018)
The Kissing Booth is about a girl, trying not to fall in love with her best friends older brother after an experience at a kissing booth.
This film is written and directed by Vince Marcello (Zombie Prom). It stars Joey King (Independence Day: Resurgence), Joel Courtney (Super 8) and Jacob Elordi (Swinging Safari).
The story, even though clichéd in some places is still surprisingly dramatic. The one thing that makes this film watchable for me, is Joey Kings performance as the main character Elle. Her performance is too good for this film. Even thogh I defiantly do not think it is a good film, it is defiantly made for a certain age range, and if you are aged about 12 - 18. I really recommend this film as some light and breezy entertainment that will keep you entertained. It is the typical romcom. But, the direction is sloppy and inconsistent in what style it wants to be some time, a John Hughes like romcom or a dream like teenage fantasy romcom, it just can't decide. Elordis performance stands out as a rough point for the film as well. This is only his second credited performance in a feature film, so you can't really blame him for being a bit stilted. But he often is acting along side King, whos performance is fantastic, so it makes his performance stand out like a sore thumb. Also, I must talk about the cringe worthy ending. Generally every muscle in body was tightening up by the end of this film because of how clichéd and cringe worthy it was.
if you are in the mood for a cheesy romcom watch this, it will keep you entertained, but be prepared for the cringe inducing ending.
Deadpool 2 (2018)
In this film Deadpool puts together a team to protect a teenage mutant from the time travelling cyborg Cable.
This film is directed by David Leitch (Atomic Blonde). It stars Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), Josh Brolin (No country for old men) and Julian Dennison (Hunt for the wilderpeople).
First of all, this film is so watchable, typing up this review right now, I just want to go a nd watch it again. Secondly, Leitch brings his considerable talents to the franchise and was such a good choice to direct, after Tim Miller left. Leitch adds these almost effortless one shot fight scenes, that I simply couldn't get enough of. This film is laugh out loud hilarious, even funnier than the first film in my opinion. Ryan Reynolds never lets me down with his performance. But to me Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Cable (Josh Brolin) are the stand out characters of this film.
However, the story is nonexistent, and the CGI, especially at the end was really noticeable. Yes, I know it was made on a lower budget than other superhero films. But if you think about it Deadpool 2 was made on a budget of about $110,000,000, that is at least twice as much as the original Deadpools budget and yet the CGI still looks the same even with twice the budget.
In my opinion, this film is better than the original. I personally believe that the first Deadpool film is ok, but this film is great and a must watch.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
A THRILL RIDE FROM START TO FINISH
This film, is about the avengers trying to stop the unstoppable force of Thanos, from destroying half if the universe.
This film is directed by Anthony Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter soldier). It has a huge cast, which include Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers) and Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers). To name a few.
I love this film, I don't think it is as good as Black Panther, simply because Black Panther destroyed all my expectations, to be absolutely brilliant, Whilst this lived up to my hype, so I didn't have as much of a payoff. But that is the only reason why. The Russo brothers deliver yet again a beautiful film, with much less shaky cam than there other 2 MCU films. all of the performances are great, but the stand out is defiantly Josh Brolin (No country for old men) as the big bad Thanos. Everything about this film is absolutely fantastic, Watch it!
So far this year, Marvel has knocked it out the park. First Black Panther now this. Fingers crossed for Ant-Man and The Wasp.