When trailers came out for this movie, it looked like a Tom Cruise movie. Not in the same way that all Tom Cruise movies look like Tom Cruise movies, but by the vibe of the story it was trying to tell. It just seemed like a story no one else could bring to life except him, and I was definitely right.
The movie starts off super strong right from the studio title cards. This movie is being distributed by Universal with the help of a couple of its financiers, and all of their logos get an 80's makeover. You get a nice little cartoon that feels like it was made in the 80s to set up the movie and it's all great. If there is any criticism about the movie early on, it might move a little too quickly. That is barely a concern though because the first two acts are great.
Since the story is based on true events that actually happened, it has a very good arc to follow. You follow this guy as his world gets crazier and crazier and it is a joy to watch. It feels like the movie was custom made for Tom Cruise because of how well it fits his acting style. Cruise will always be charismatic and a pleasure to watch and that talent is on full display here. This movie reminds you why Cruise is one of the last true movie stars.
My only gripe with the movie comes during the last act where the movie plateaus and sinks a little in enthusiasm. It doesn't end on the most interesting note and almost feels like the same energy from the beginning was too tiring to keep up.
Overall, American Made was a crazy story that peeks into some events that really happened in the not so distant past. It has the charm of a Tom Cruise movie with no scenes of him running. It was a good time to watch and a good movie. Not much else to say.
IT is a property that had a following way before this movie was thought of. Not only was there a television series but the famous book from Stephen King still has much fanfare today. This IT movie is only the latest incarnation of that really twisted story.
Let's get the bad out of the way which happens to be the entire first half. It is boring and doesn't really make sense, the same way other horror movies don't make sense. It plays out like a low budget horror movie during the first half to such an extreme that it could have been any other movie. There are two good things during this half though. Pennywise is one-half of that equation because he is just so weird and creepy that it really works. His look wasn't immediately scary but the performance grew menacing. At first, the voice didn't really fit the look but it really came into its own and pulled the whole thing together.
The second good thing about the bad first half was the actress who played Beverly, the female in the loser's club. Compared to her male counterparts, her ability to act didn't take an hour to be recognized. She immediately jumped out because of her ability to portray a wide range of emotions which added to the believability of her situation. The main character, in stark contrast, made me wait the first half to make me believe in his stuttering because it didn't seem natural.
Once the movie crosses the halfway mark, it gets pretty good. It is not without its problems, but it becomes infinitely more watchable. The stakes are raised to full effect and more happens. I can't say much without spoiling the movie but it all comes down to better story progression. Things just happened in the first part of the movie, no explanation, they just happened to happen. After that, character decisions are more realistic and less in the vein of horror tropes. There are also great scenes with Pennywise that really make you tense up because they get to you. Summarized by: some pretty good stuff.
From the trailers, IT didn't seem to be worthy of the most watched trailer in 24hrs of all time, but it was entertaining enough for me to accept that fact now. I thought that the movie was going to be pretty from a visual standpoint but it ended up just being pretty average. It almost feels like the first half of the movie was a Stranger Things want to be but it eventually grew into its own thing.
Overall, IT was a pretty good movie and the second half definitely makes up for the first. I am interested to see where the sequel will go and officially on the IT bandwagon. Going into the movie I was ready to write it off, but it is pretty good. I can tell you one thing is for sure, they heavily downplayed the crazy stuff in the book. Let's just say, in the book, there is an underage orgy. 8/10 You'll like it, even if you don't at first
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a modern update to Bond. It had all the cool gadgets, the Britishness, and the spy action to back it up. It was a sleeper hit in a sense. It flew under so many radars when it first came out, spreading like wildfire with good word of mouth. Is it even possible for the sequel to compare? Nope.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a huge letdown and disappointment. Not only does it not come close to being as good as the first movie but actually feels like a step back. The Golden Circle takes all the goodwill that the first movie worked so hard to cultivate and throws it all out the window. Within the first 20 minutes, everything that happened in the first movie doesn't matter. Not in the sense that it was underutilized or a missed opportunity, but the slate was wiped clean. All the lineage that you felt from the first installment, everything that made Kingsman feel so good was gone in an instant. Literally, everyone involved with Kingsman dies except for Eggsy and Merlin. EVERYONE. If that doesn't make you question the movie's direction, then buckle up buttercup and get ready for the downhill trip.
There are many points of criticism that I would love to level at the movie, starting with music choice. The movie tries to be like Guardians of the Galaxy with its song choices for the action scenes. The problem here is that the music is not that good and doesn't fit the action scenes at all. I can understand why the music was chosen, but it doesn't fit with the scenes. Whenever there is a cowboy in the fight sequence, it plays country music. Now I don't like country music but even if you did, I don't think you would want extremely graphic action to accompany, it just sends mixed messages. The action in the action sequences itself is also a problem. It all feels the same.
The first movie had different kinds of action scenes. Not in the sense of one person versus an army or one on one, but how those particular scenes were directed. This movie throws that out the window and directs all of the action scenes the same way. There was such a positive reaction to the church scene in the first movie, that all the big action sequences were directed exactly like that. It makes all the action scenes blend together, making hard to remember where one ends and another begins. Overall it's not a good problem to have.
This leads into pacing because this movie had horrible pacing. The action scenes were all grouped together at the end of the movie. This makes the whole beginning and middle parts really boring. So boring that during the movie I was thinking "I am so bored right now, when is the movie going to end. Oh wait, it just started basically". After the tiny action sequence, with bad music, there is no other engaging action scene for an hour or so. The biggest problem with this is that when The Golden Circle is not an action scene, nothing else truly important is going on. This leads into how the fond memory of the first movie is not used to its fullest potential.
There is only one moment that truly makes good on a Kingman sequel while the rest is just not really important. For example, when they bring back Harry in the movie it is the most uncelebratory reunion every. Finding out a mentor and colleague is alive after a year of thinking he is dead, that excitement is not played up at all. The characters barely care that he is alive and get over that fact very quickly.
I am going to end my rant here because it could go on for a couple pages if I don't stop.
Overall Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a sequel to the first movie only by name. The disservice that this movie has done to the first could be considered a crime. It is not the movie I was promised in its trailers, lacking the upbeat music with exciting spectacle. It is disjointed with moments versus well-drawn scenes and relies too much on what made the first movie good.
I Had a Good... Good Time was a movie that came onto my radar after I saw the trailer. The stylistic choices along with the music captivated me, but the hype around the movie had me worried. I was definitely intrigued so I looked to see when I could see it. The closest theater to me only had one showing a day for it at 10 pm. I think that the theater didn't think that it would do well, but I really recommend you see it.
Good Time from a musical standpoint was phenomenal. The musical accompaniment really added to the movie's tension. It was primarily composed of synths, which I love, and really matched the overall style of how the film was shot. The music can definitely stand on its own, the composer receiving the award for best Best Composer at the Cannes Film Festival.
The movie stylistically overall was a pleasure to watch. I noticed very early on that the Safdie brothers love to use a shallow depth of field, focusing on peoples' faces. As a stylistic choice, it really adds connections to characters and heightens the overall urgency the film creates. It is impossible to predict where the story is going, in a good way. The movie is like a roller coaster of crazy and outrageousness and it never stops.
Another really nice thing about the movie is its use of color. So many shots are beautifully illuminated with the color red that adds to the overall look. It makes you feel like wherever the main character goes, chaos follows.
The acting in the movie was amazing. The main character, played by Robert Pattinson, was so fun to watch and Robert really melted into the role. I did not recognize any other actor in the movie, but I believed that all of these people lived in this world. I also have to point out the main character’s brother, played by one of the directors, for delivering a really powerful opening scene. The characters and story really got through to the audience. Most of the audience stayed till the credits ended because there was extra film while the credits played.
Overall, Good Time was a great movie to watch with some minor problems. If I had to choose one thing about the movie that could be improved, it is the depth of Robert Pattinson's character. The brother in the movie really connected with the audience, and while watching Pattinson act was great, I wish there were more hooks pulling me deeper I to the story. Go watch the movie and have a good...