It all comes together with the production design. You can see a lot of the money on screen as the different locations feel adequately dressed. Even the suits had an air of realism to them, something that usually doesn't happen in sci-fi movies. For some of these types of pictures, the CGI can be the weakest part with some low-quality stuff. But the VFX and all of that never looked bad. A large part of that success can be attributed to the dark setting, but that's an advantage.
Not everything was perfect as editing and story suffered multiple times, whether that included cuts that obfuscated characters doing actions, or glossing over details. That compounded with characters not having motivations other than trying not to die. Usually, there are subplots to give people depth, which causes you to hope for their survival, something that is absent here. The cherry on top was the decision to kill the black guy first. That is a little bit of a spoiler, but it's such a crazy decision that I had to point it out.
Overall, Underwater was watchable. If you find yourself needing something to see in theaters, then this could be it. I think that Kristen Stewart carries the film as the most interesting person involved. With its fairly derivative story, it's familiar but still rallies at the end. It's undoubtedly the best January horror movie I've seen.
I want the jacket that Kristen Stewart wears from the trailer
Since the story is designed to be easy to follow, the film inserts scenes of needless conflict to keep the pace moving. An argument can erupt and be solved in the next three minutes of screen time, making the whole thing inconsequential. It's this added fat, which makes the movie not as good as the Hollywood classics that it's trying to impersonate. There is an added problem I have with the story, which stems from the fact it rewrites history. Events happened in a different order; people didn't know each other when they were shown to have met in the film. It's basically a timeline problem that also embellishes drama that never happened.
Ford v Ferrari's quality is shown off in every frame. The cinematography composes familiar shots differently to keep them interesting. It's constantly moving the camera while never crossing action lines to avoid making it confusing for the audience. There are intricate sequences that are easy to follow, with a lot of it shot in camera. Some tremendous full CGI sequences are sneaked here and there, which most probably won't notice.
Along with great racing sequences, the acting from Christian Bale and Matt Damon are the main draw. Their relationship is the heart of the story as they fight and work together to achieve their dreams. You can feel their friendship after a couple of scenes between them, and they continue to sell it throughout the movie. Other critics are praising Bale's performance as something they've never seen from the actor. It's a lot looser and more whimsical than the usual roles he plays.
So this is a pretty easy recommendation. As a crowd-pleaser, it will do its job well. I don't know if including certain events in the film was a good idea, but it does result in the best moment for Matt Damon. I'm vague here, so I won't spoil anything if you do go and see it, I just had to point it out. Also, I feel that in an attempt to be as crowd-pleasing as possible, there were mistakes made that detracted from the final product. So while it was entertaining, and it does get you in the pocket where your anticipation meets excitement, I just wouldn't watch it again.
A lock for Oscar nominations
This complaint of the laissez faire attitude spreads throughout the film and is felt in every scene. There is a distinct lack of proactive action; each character seems to have an aspect about them to lend itself to comedy while betraying the truth of the situation. The attempt to make light of atrocities only works when done in satire, think The Great Dictator from Charlie Chaplin. Where Waititi gets it wrong is making it a Dramedy that pretends to have a message. It's a situation where the intention is well-meaning but didn't translate to action.
The main character, Jojo, doesn't have a moment where he casts off his Nazi fanaticism because it's wrong. Everyone around him except for two people encourages his behavior, pressing him to continue in blind faith. He is given a pass, even though he is a Nazi. That's where all of the critics have their hangups. It gives an out to people for their terrible behavior with no repercussions.
The reason that general audiences like the film is because of the lighthearted mood that rarely falters. The movie's ability to make jokes and keep them going is spectacular. Some gags show up at the beginning of the picture and only come back at the very end. Dialogue is excellent as reasoning for characters' actions are contextualized in little quips that cue the viewer into the hilarity of the situation. It all works due to the cast's great performances.
The obvious standout is Scarlett Johansson, who plays Jojo's mother. I say obvious since she is one of the only actors whose roles are not solely used for comedic effect. Though, Sam Rockwell is a delight as the ineffective German general. The last person to make an impression was Thomasin McKenzie, who plays the Jewish girl. She does a great job being sarcastic and lending the story some humanity.
The strength of Jojo Rabbit comes from how much it can make you laugh. There is plenty of fun to be had while watching it, but when the credits roll, there are some severe insinuations that the movie makes. These problems didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying myself, but they are unavoidable. I also want to make clear that even without the pressing issues at the end, there are still other problems in the rest of the film. I would advise that you go into the movie ready to laugh, but understand that being a Nazi is not ok.
Its extremely enjoyable and simultaneously misses the mark
when it comes to exterior shots on planets. Having astronauts cross the surface of the Moon or Mars has a dirtiness that isn't present in other space movies. It helps to create these lived-in regions that feel old, making you buy into the premise further.
It's too bad that the rest of the film doesn't enjoy the same praise. Most of Ad Astra's problems stem from how it tells its story. The plot itself is very simple: it's about an isolated astronaut traveling through space. The problem comes from being reminded that they are lonely in every aspect of their life. It hammers this point home, never letting up; it intercuts flashbacks to support this theme. Even the ultimate goal is for Brad Pitt's character to learn to open himself up to others and embrace others. It's a message you've seen before and you've seen it done better.
Ad Astra is at its best when it relies on Brad Pitt, stunning visuals, and fun details. So what I'm saying is, the rover scene that you catch a glimpse of in the trailer is the best. It even has off-center framing to make it look like it's being shot practically. I didn't particularly love this film, but it's not terrible. If you need your annual fix for an Oscar-bait space movie, this is it.
They reused a shot and it was weird
spot. The only moments where something funny doesn't land can be attributed to an imbalance in that relationship.
Other than the two leads, there are a couple of other things that the film gets right. The lighting and color grading separate it from Netflix Originals. It's obviously low budget but would seem out of place coming from a streaming service. It has the perfect level of polish that would have been perfect two to three decades ago.
The biggest problems that hold Stuber from being a must see in theaters comes down to scope and story. With minimal action, a small number of locations, and only a few actors in the movie; this is not what audiences choose to see. The lack of character development also hits the quality of the film. The overall plot is very familiar, reminiscent of pre-2000s flicks that became classics it lacks a story.
Stuber is probably one of the funniest things you can watch on the big screen right now, which isn't saying much. Just don't expect anything too deep and take all the social commentary with a grain of salt. Though seeing it in a theater will be fine, watching it at home once you can see it on a streaming service also works.
I'm actually curious who is seeing this in theaters. If you actually do, drop a comment or tweet me
The entire subplot attached to them is also superfluous and adds nothing to the movie.
The story is not the only problematic area though. A summer blockbuster with a $200 million dollar budget shouldn't feel as cheap as this one does. I swear this could have been on a streaming service and been par for the course. I don't have a problem with the limited scope—it was the fact that the production quality was so low. It was apparent in normal shots, but stuck out for any effects-heavy scenes. Storm's lightning was thick as spaghetti and the sloppy camera work was too obvious. The quick camera movements paired with up-close shots of fight scenes try to hide clumsy choreography and other blemishes.
The music also stuck out to me as being very inappropriate. The tone of the score always seemed to be more somber than the movie ever was. With tracks utilizing a choir in the wrong moments, it seemed like the music was never in sync with the film.
The only time this movie works is in the first 10 minutes. Stripped of most characters, the audience gets to focus on two. As a flashback, it sets up the rest of the film and lets you understand what is going on. At this moment, I wondered why everyone hated the movie. It's the only time the score works, the only sequence where I care about the characters, and the only scene good all on its own.
I don't see the need for anyone to go see this in theaters. The effects aren't good enough to enjoy on a big screen and there isn't enough action for the general audience to enjoy. Some critics might pretend that fans of the series might want to see how it ends but this is a ridiculous sentiment. It's just a really bland movie. There isn't anything special about it but its also not atrocious. It's not worse than Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
It's not even worth talking about performances since the characters suck so bad
proportions being off to smoothing of the skin, and audio dissonance. Another small detail that bugged me came in the form of wet clothing. When a shirt gets wet, it hugs your body and sags a little bit. There is a scene where Alita is in wet clothing and this does not happen. It might sound like nitpicking but its the small details that can break immersion.
The story is a mixed bag. It does a fantastic job westernizing modern Japanese storytelling. It takes the tropes seen in that style and smoothes them out to great effect. Though it still has characters apologize for things that aren’t their fault, and tons of other crutches that Japanese storytelling uses. I didn’t find it as jarring as other reviewers have because I watch anime, but it could definitely be weird for someone not used to it. This explanation doesn’t absolve the movie of all its story problems, it's just to point out one of the sources of them.
All cards on the table, Alita is a mary sue. She never loses a fight and is good at everything, except eating an orange. There were striking similarities to Ray from The Force Awakens. The wide-eyed, literally in this case, person new to a world and finding out they are the best at everything they do. There are essentially no stakes for Alita which makes it hard to ever feel she is in danger. I would say that this is normal in anime, but at least the main character loses once in a while or grows as a character. You could say that information is revealed about Alita as the movie goes on, but this isn’t really true. You learn everything you need to know about the character at the beginning of the second act, so there is no more discovery.
It's not like this is the movie’s only story problem, there are dumb character relationships spread throughout. Unconvincing love interests, family relationships, and characters that go through a change of heart all fall flat.
If there is one thing that could have saved this movie, it would have been the action scenes. There are many in this movie and half of them are not very good. The ones that entertain the least have a problem with shot composition or editing. Either the flow of the fight is obscured by how the sequence was edited or the framing of the fight lead to confusion. When the fights were at there best, they were flashy, involved, and had a great weight to them.
Alita: Battle Angle was a interesting movie for sure. I think it's a little on the lower side all things considered but definitely shows a path forward for high budget anime done justice. The real problem is that the people willing to spend money to see the movie in the theater is a small pool. If you want to see a movie about an overpowered character beat everything up this might be the one for you. At least it's visually more interesting than The Force Awakens.
I don't understand how that city floats. Does it have propulsion on the bottom or is it just magic?
The portrayal of these characters feel authentic and the story is very engaging, but their depiction could be better. There are a lot of hard cuts that restrict the flow of the movie and make it hard to connect with characters. The use of time jumps is jarring and makes it difficult for the audience to grasp the intimacy of the relationships that they have with one another. It feels like the movie sprints through events for the first half and gradually slows down to the Live Aid event. If the movie were a Queen biopic, it would have ended when they got signed to IEM, allowing the audience to see more of the band’s creative process. But this Freddie Mercury movie has iconic songs drizzled throughout it and ends on a high note.
I wanted to like the movie more than I did. I enjoyed getting to learn about Queen’s history and Freddie's life. It came down to having to squeeze too many important events into the movie which created the rush that hurt my experience watching it. None of these criticisms take away from the real-life events that happened, so when I say that Bohemian Rhapsody is middle of the road movie, I’m only talking about the movie. If you connect to the story on a deep level or are a huge fan of the band, poor editing choices and story structure aren’t going to dissuade you from watching the movie. So with that assessment, I could have waited to watch this at home on a streaming service, but the weekend box office tells a different story.
A guy peed himself in the theater when I saw this movie... guess it was that good
know where to go after setting up all of the characters. It adds a plot line that doesn't seem like it belongs. There is a constant tug of war happening between interesting, and uninteresting plot developments.
When the movie finally ends, you will not feel satisfied. Sure, you get some decent performances. The guy who works at the hotel was a sleeper hit for me and became one of my favorite performances. John Ham continues to look amazing but not create enough of a presence for me on screen. Everyone else seemed like they could be doing a better job. Whether that came down to how they were directed, how the movie was edited, or whatever their agents want to say, it all seemed weak.
This movie balances out though. There are lots of small moments where the movie clicks. Small moments where characters get to strut breathes life into the movie. The aesthetic is pleasing but doesn't go as far as I wanted it to go. It tries to be a movie that plays with expectations but doesn't do enough different to come off as smart. The overall experience comes up short which makes it easy to point out all of its flaws. Bad Times at the El Royale is not a bad movie, it just isn't a decent one.
Do I have to remind you that a 5 is neutral, neither positive nor negative?
I think there were some really good ideas in this movie that weren't executed well. Like how there is an air gap between a ship and its cloaking shield and how a character can use that to their advantage. But all the little stuff that works conceptually doesn't make the movie better. It's a jumbled mess that doesn't take the time to set up the story points it wants to address.
Is there any scenario where you should see this movie? Maybe if you really don't have anything to do, but there are very few instances where you should. It comes down to this movie just not being very good for a multitude of reasons.
The ending is trying to set up a sequel, its real dumb