closer to the actors in dialogue scenes, which allowed the viewer to have a deeper connection with them. These medium shots created an intimate environment necessary for everything to work as well as it did.
Even with a cast pulling its weight and great visuals, the movie struggles to get across its purpose. I could feel it nipping at me as no story so intertwined with religion could forgo having a point. This lack of a definitive driving force caused me to question different aspects of the film. In a way, my confusion mirrored the struggles the characters were going through, and while this might not have been the intended effect, it's oddly poetic. On the other hand, they didn't find any answers, and neither did I.
If you've lacked in quality content since quarantine started, this is a fine choice. It might not expose you to anything you haven't seen before, but it'll probably keep your interest. It's a finely made movie with a couple of tense moments, but this is no thriller. Even with its shortcomings, The Devil All The Time happens to be one of the best films I've seen this year—kind of a sad statement about the year rather than a reflection on the picture itself
The only all knowing being present, is the writer that determined all the characters' fates
which inject some energy into the pacing. Another contributing factor to the watchability was the acting. Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt brought charisma and helped to smooth out any bumps in the story that occurs. Even the younger lead, Dominique Fishback, has a couple of pretty fun standout scenes.
Even though this movie gets a lot right, there are still quite a few aspects holding it back. While there are CGI intensive scenes, not all of them look good. A few are quite bad, adding on top of some unintelligible action sequences where it's hard to follow what is happening. The pace is very fast, which helps to breeze through the two-hour runtime, but this breaks the tonality. One moment is supposed to be heartfelt, another suspenseful, it never settles into a groove and just bounces around.
The inability to nail tone and story hurt character motivations. It's hard to understand why certain characters make choices the way that they do. Most of it comes down to needing a character to push the plot along instead of getting to the scene's natural conclusion. In contrast, Jamie Foxx's character has a clear, simple motivation that allows for passive viewers to follow the story easily. With a singular goal, it does a lot of the heavy lifting for anyone that just needs something on for two hours.
Project Power is entertaining enough. There was only one scene that struck me as being interestingly framed, and the score sounded very bland. With charismatic performances and enough CG work to keep your attention, there isn't much else you could ask from it. This is what you can expect from Netflix Originals made for wide audiences. If you need something to watch this weekend, this probably won't offend you.
Had some cool insert shots though
things about the movie. Even though it's billed as an action flick, that was the least interesting part for me. While there was nothing wrong with the action scenes, they just aren't why you should watch it.
The parts that really took away from my experience were the plans of this story continuing—the multiple setups for a potential sequel cement the picture as an off-brand comic-book movie. It feels like 6 Underground was mashed together with any of the fantasy garbage that floods the ancillary market. The Old Guard is better than most of those, but nothing kills the mood more than impossible promises. I don't even want a sequel, nevermind that there will probably never be one.
The reason why a sequel won't work is that Charlize Theron anchors the whole thing, she carries the film on her back. There is nothing that makes this movie or story unique. While her involvement in a sequel is possible, I can't believe it would be with the same presence. While she is not the only standout, two members made a considerable impression with their relationship that I enjoyed; she is the most important.
Overall, The Old Gaurd is a good enough couple of hours. The sequel teasing might not annoy you as much as it did me, but the mid-tier action scenes might. The mythology is interesting, and the perspective given to century-old people is pretty well thought out. It works and is included in your Netflix subscription, so why not give it a shot.
A week later, I am struggling to remember what I liked about this movie. Mostly forgettable
set never changed. There were no background replacements, meaning there was never a reason to look back around. There was also a lack of engaging choreography for a production that had a lot of actors moving around. These factors helped to translate the experience to the more edited version that is now available.
The bulk of my entertainment started to manifest after the first hour. While that first part is fine, the momentum really picks up afterward. There is much more drama in the second half, and the quality of the music goes up as well. What really ties everything together is the recurring pieces of music that narratively build up characters and their motivations. When the curtain call happens, I looked back at and appreciated my time getting to experience the musical. It earned my time, and I felt good having watched it.
Hamilton is a great watching experience despite the more focused approach. While the music is good, it was the performance of Daveed Diggs and the small appearances of Jonathan Groff that made me believe in seeing it rather than listening to it. Aside from the historical aspects, it's a well-told biography that's engaging and keeps you interested. It earns the runtime, and you can finally understand why people wouldn't stop raving over it, though you might not end up as enamored as they did.
The best thing to come out since quarantine started
Apart from this core theme, the other praised aspect was Delroy Lindo's performance. Having a character be a veteran visibly dealing with PTSD and grief captivated other reviewers, but the number of ailments given to him seemed over the top. While there were serious aspects to the inner demons that Lindo's character was fighting, being the only member of the main cast to be a Trump supporter sucked dramatic tension from his scenes. You can't have the guy having panic attacks with a bipolar disorder also be the only one supporting Trump. You've pigeonholed the character into being an unstable wreck that shouldn't be taken seriously. Nuance is thrown out the window, and any dramatic choice the actor makes only contributes to the demented psyche the character is portrayed as already having.
One area that everyone seems to agree on is the cinematography. The shot composition is diverse and captures the rural landscape of Vietnam beautifully. Others have pointed out how cinematographer Newton Sigel has previously worked on documentaries, but fail to mention those were all shot before 1995. His contemporary work includes movies like Bohemian Rhapsody, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Jack the Giant Slayer. While I wasn't continually impressed with the framing and picture, there were definite standout moments that earned the recognition that he is getting.
When it comes to the story of Da 5 Bloods, it combines a couple of different genres. At the center is a group of veterans reminiscing on the past and honoring one of their fallen friends. On the periphery, is the treasure hunting action movie that causes the conflict. The setup has the rekindling of a long friendship and establishing characters as they start their trip. Along their journey, they meet other characters and learn more about each other. To emphasize their bond, flashbacks of the group as a platoon during the Vietnam war are inner cut. These sections were shot on film and in a square-like aspect ratio. This presentation does a lot to sell the time period and mood of the clips, making them a welcome cutaway from the rest of the scenes.
For me, the entire plot was entirely predictable. I was never surprised or caught off guard like other reviewers and wholeheartedly refute the idea that there was a twist. If anything, there were narrative threads that were created and never finished. Some elements came out of nowhere and were never resolved. The setup was so transparent that I can't believe anyone was surprised by how events unfolded.
While the production quality of the film is quite high, nothing stood out as exceptional. The story was too pedestrian for me and failed to focus on its central message due to a character choice. I was never drawn into the experience and felt distant from what it was trying to say. A considerable barrier was the music; it was distracting and felt inappropriate at many times. There would be serious moments where a playful and silly score would be used, robbing the scene of the intended tension. An exception to the rule would be the use of a Marvin Gay song that excelled and became the picture's greatest moment for me.
I wish I saw what others are clamoring about. My indifference to this film can be contrasted with my enjoyment of BlacKkKlansman. While that movie felt laser-focused, this was the opposite. There were just too many different things that bothered me or just didn't work. I understand that my experience was in the minority, and since I don't think Da 5 Bloods is bad, I do slightly recommend it. There is enough action and intrigue for a regular audience member to have an enjoyable experience. If you keep an open mind, there is a good enough chance that you will experience the Oscar-caliber film that I missed out on.
RIP Chadwick Boseman
In reality, Extraction is a mostly cookie-cutter picture with some above-average stylings. There's really only one sequence that can initially be considered impressive as it's action-packed with a fake no cuts presentation. Outside of this prolonged sequence, the rest of the scenes aren't as well shot or choreographed. It seems out of place for so much effort to be concentrated on one area while the rest tapers off.
Outside of the action, there was a considerable effort made to have engaging characters. It seemed like anyone with a decent amount of screen time was given a backstory. This helps to connect the audience with who is on screen but opens the story up to some criticism. Some events that were set up don't make sense, and many resolutions don't either. These could have been brushed off in other movies, but since there was an effort made to make every detail matter, they stick out.
Having actors get the chance to breathe life into their characters was a nice surprise as a couple of the performances were pretty good. The actor that plays the kidnapped boy, his handler, and the kid who cuts off his own finger(don't ask) stood out to me.
Extraction is really similar to Triple Threat for me. A Netflix movie that has problems, is enjoyable enough, and I'm not upset since I didn't have to pay for it. Chris Hemsworth might be the leading man here, but he plays by far the least interesting character. It’s good enough to kill some time and nothing more.
Still waiting for a movie I actually care about during this world event
shaky-cam and zoomed-in framing make it very difficult to follow what is going on.
Another facet of the movie that doesn't work is the story. While trying to mash The Matrix with Hardcore Henry, the end product is as bad as you expect. I never felt attached to any of the characters, didn't care what they cared about, or ever wanted to see them again. Even when a character grows a conscience, it comes across as desperate to keep the plot moving and artificial. At least it's wrapped in references lifted out of Fight Club and even calls itself out for the Reservoir Dogs one.
There are three things that I did like about Bloodshot. First, Lamorne Morris injects some much-needed humor in this drag of a movie. I would love for him to get more roles so I can see him in actually good films. He shows up right before the third act, so he's not the brightest light at the end of this very dark tunnel. Second, Eiza Gonzalez continues to be a strong actress that doesn't stand out but makes a mark in her roles. Finally, some of the set design and costumes were very nice. This movie proves that you can dig into the genre and make it look great on a big screen. At one point, a character puts on a rectangular metal helmet, and it looks incredible.
So like I said before, Bloodshot is not worth potentially getting COVID-19 over, so don't go to the theater to see it. If you are looking for movies to stream and come across it there, then it might be worth your time if you really want to see it. Other than that, I can't see a world in which this would be an acceptable way to spend an hour and forty minutes.
There were inconsistent aspect ratio and lenses used which became really distracting
While I did appreciate my experience, The Invisible Man is not devoid of criticism. Most of the problems I had with it come from its leaps in logic. There are basic situations where the explanation given by the film is not satisfactory in the moment. These were done to keep audiences on their toes and drive suspense, though all attempts at that fall flat if you don't buy it. What makes this problem notable is that its a recurring problem throughout the movie's runtime. So if it doesn't work the first time, then it probably will continue to fail until the end.
As stated above, The Invisible Man is actually a good time at the theater. While it's not for the whole family, it is something a little more mature for audiences that are craving content in this weird time. The best part is probably Elizabeth Moss, who plays the main character; her performance and ability to sell the scenes is what makes it all come together. It won't be nominated for anything come awards season, but I wouldn't be surprised if some bring it up for their personal favorites at the end of the year.
Some joke about invisible or something
While the narrative does ultimately work, there are quite a few speed bumps along the way. The opening and ending of the movie don't belong as they utilize uninspired tropes that make you feel like your watching a completely different thing. Then there are two separate moments where the score is overbearing and ruins some genuine heart to hearts or dispirits the final act. These problems all play into a bigger issue that goes beyond Pixar films. The act of cutting off emotional resonance with a joke or music cue is used to relieve the audience of brunting any emotional work. It's a modern problem that gives viewers a pass as filmmakers only want people to cry at the very end. I wish those moments could be given room to breathe.
Pixar has always seemed more interested in telling stories than chasing digital superiority. Unlike recent Disney Animation movies, there was never an instance where I thought I was looking at something real. The more stylized approach works here as the fantasy setting ends up validating itself by the end. Even though photorealism isn't achieved here, the animation technology on display is no slouch. The hair on characters melds the abundant strands with a course look that makes it the best hair I've seen in animation. Magical effects are wonderfully rendered and realized.
Onward is the best thing from Pixar since Up. It has the heart, it looks great, and my entire theater clapped... twice. It's a safe bet to take the whole family to when it comes out on March 6, and everyone will have a good time. Children and adults laughed, awed, and the adults teared up. I hope this is a sign that Pixar will go back to making moving animated stories that hit the mark. Not only would audiences finally be going to movies that are worth their time, but the whole industry would benefit too.
I hope this isn't an Incredibles 2 moment where I really like it then realize its not that good
Other notable things about the picture include "action scenes". It felt like there were too many of these as they were used as plot devices to speed up events or to keep the children's attention. One of these sequences is lifted from the X-Men movies, specifically the effect that is used for Quicksilver to show off how fast he is. Its use here is less inventive with little spectacle, which has it come off as an inferior copy.
Deadpool is another property that Sonic the Hedgehog copies as it comes across as the children's version of that series. The number of jokes, the voice over, the visual gags, it's all there. In no way am I insinuating that I would have liked a rated R Sonic feature film, but this impersonation just doesn't work for me.
Everything wasn't all bad, though, as some of the jokes did land, and the VFX were pretty good. I even like that the movie alludes to potential sequels, something that should never happen unless its a sure thing. While a follow up to Sonic's first outing isn't guaranteed, I do like the idea of expanding the world to refine what is here.
Overall, if you have children, this will be a pretty good time for them. If you're an adult, there might be some fun to be had, but it's less than you would hope for. Nothing about Sonic the Hedgehog is specifically horrible, its mostly just not funny and a little boring. It's very comparable to another kid's movie that came out this year, Dolittle. If you had to choose between the two, this one is it.
The intimidation joke was when it peaked