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
All my grievances can be attributed to the script and editing. The first blatantly obvious setup of the movie is that it divides the women and men from each other. Not literally, but it basically creates two pens to hold the characters in, one labeled 'Good' and the other labeled 'Bad'. Even when you have Harley Quinn, a mass murderer, and certifiable villain, the film sticks her in the 'Good' pen. Only men are labeled as bad since little is done to develop these characters from being more than one dimensional. It helps make the 'Girl Power' message easier to implement as this plays more like a generic low budget affair than what's expected of a 'comic book movie'.
Another point of extreme pain for me was Casandra Cain, played by Ella Jay Basco. Her performance could have been edited weirdly or just didn't fit with the overall tone that the film, but it was horrible. Her line delivery and acting was cringe-worthy as it never seemed like she belonged with everyone else. It's a shame because the character is in most of the movie. Somehow, this major grievance isn't the worst thing either.
Black Mask, for the uninitiated, is an iconic villain for Batman. So debuting him in an offshute picture seemed fine to develop his origin story. What I don't apprieciate is how the ending handles him as a character. The amount of disrespect and laziness that this 'girl power' shitshow uses to wrap him up, visibly shocked me in the theater. I couldn't believe what just happened.
Aside from characters and acting, Birds of Prey fails to be the fun light-hearted romp that it thinks it is. The situations that characters get into are low stakes until the very end, and almost none of the humor hits. The structure in which the story is told is entirely wrong, and a more traditional style would have helped for overall pacing and intrigue. There just isn't that much fun being had as most of the runtime focuses on voice over and scenes dedicated to driving home the 'girl power' message.
Birds of Prey was bad, boring, and at the end, very upsetting. The vibe that was promised, a fun picture about women winning and men losing was only half delivered as there was nothing fun about it. The failure to capture the tone was the fault of editing, specific performances, and the horrible use of music. Some might take offense to how beloved characters were changed, but I personally was only affronted by how Black Mask was treated at the end. If you go see this, you're either a DCEU fan that thinks Batman v. Superman and Justice League are good movies or an agenda-pushing person that might not even see this at all. To everyone else, stay far away from the theater as the hope of interesting action sequences will fail you just like this picture did when it promised to be interesting.
The 'girl power' message is thrown out the window when a female character uses their connection to a male character as protection and abuses that
a distinction about 2019, how we got here, and what's in store for our future. It focuses hard on a character, taking us through their day to day life and asks if it's acceptable. There is no fantasy to bail you out and no over the top elements to distort the message. The bleak reality of the situation is handled with care and pristinely presented.
It's a one-man show, Joaquin Pheonix is front and center for every single second. There is never an instance where you get a different point of view, Matt Damon in The Martian has nothing on this. His portrayal of a man, contorted by society and always being put down, is hypnotic as evolution happens right in front of you. No big event happens that causes the change, it's a slow burn that boils over.
This is a character study, something that is said a lot about this film. That choice can be attributed to Todd Philips, co-writer and director of this depiction. He said he wanted to make a small and important film, but blow up its attention by putting it in a big property. It's this approach that takes Joker from just being a comic book movie to being a straight-up drama. It crosses over to traditional film in ways only a few have. It grounds itself in such reality that Nolan's trilogy looks light.
Sadly, with so much to say, most are not listening. People are declaring that there is too much violence portrayed, that it creates a sympathetic murderer. These complaints are like being angry about a documentary showing off murders and their lives. Joker aims to depict and the blatant reality of the situation scares people. Aiming only to inform does not create the acts more dangerous, you see way more violence in a Deadpool or Marvel movies than you will see here.
Joker is not a perfect film, there were quite a few leaps in logic toward the end. It does, however, get a pass from me since there is so much more it is trying to say. There are sequences in this movie that honestly had me glued to the screen. The attention to detail in color, framing, and excellent use of music pushed this over the top. It's the best thing I've seen this year, which isn't saying much but still holds quite a bit of weight.
"I wonder how sheltered the people must be, who don't understand what this movie is trying to say"
In so many ways, Far From Home is exactly like Homecoming; its structure and ideas are more similar than you might initially notice. Overarching ideas are woven into the very fabric of what makes the story tick, and it becomes unsettling when a Venn diagram comparing the two is almost a circle.
These repeats of the first movie do have quite a few positives. The critical conflict of having Peter Parker's normal life clash with being a superhero takes center stage. Trying to juggle being a teenager with being the only Avenger abroad takes its toll as Parker has to decide what is more important. Far From Home retains an emotional core while being able to up the ante, making sure that there is enough action to keep viewers satisfied. It's able to focus on relationship issues and hardships while still injecting tons of humor in between, striking the perfect balance. It is the recipe that MCU movies have perfected yet forgotten for any large group movies.
However, the retread of material does come along with some baggage as it does not work for all situations. Trying to have a twist with Mysterio doesn't work the same way the reveal of The Vulture, even though both are supposed to be equally shocking. Having the villain and hero connect also didn't work out well in this instance since there weren't enough scenes of them together. Trying to force their friendship was a mistake due to it being so underdeveloped.
Overall, Far From Home doesn't have any barriers when it comes to recommending it for theater viewing. There are enough action set pieces audiences have come to expect and plenty of laughs that will keep you entertained. Obviously, if you don't want to see a movie about Spider-Man or superheroes, this won't change your mind. I can say, that Far From Home did pull at my heartstrings a little, but that's because I am very partial to a particular character. I guess I haven't seen many Indies this year because this ended up being one of the best films I've seen this year.
The neighborhood just got a whole lot bigger
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
to set up stakes and drive home that this was it. That Thanos’ promise of a better universe didn’t come to pass and that there was still of a glimmer of hope left. You got to see how characters were coping and fighting through trauma which made you care more. The amount of character work done is really surprising because the sheer amount of it has never been seen in this universe and might never happen again.
Endgame is not perfect though, far from it in fact. I’ve seen a lot of people commenting on how this is the best superhero movie ever made, or how it will be impossible to top. There are so many problems that it amazes me that these claims are taken seriously. There are many moments when events aren’t properly explained and need to be expanded on but are left alone. Sometimes this is done to set up the Disney+ streaming shows but other times its just a lapse in logic. There is also a problem with an absurd amount of references. There are so many jokes referencing other MCU movies that it becomes really distracting. For some of these references, it's not even the first time they have been used. Remember in Civil War when Captain America tells Tony “I can do this all day” when they are fighting at the end. That same line is used again here in reference to when Steve Rodgers says in his origin movie. These moments are sprinkled in throughout the entire runtime so they will never let up.
The music was fine in Endgame. There wasn’t anything special about it here and was actually pretty bland except for two moments. Other than that though, it seems like the slight improvement that was in Infinity War was reduced back to its original quality. There was nothing special about the cinematography here either, it was all pretty common stuff that you have seen before in Russo directed movies.
So it all comes down to how long you’ve been paying attention to the MCU or how much fun you are going to have listening to characters talk to one another. People are saying this movie has immense rewatch value but I would disagree. I feel like I could see this movie once more in my life for entertainment and never see it again. It was definitely a satisfying time at the movies and am really surprised it came out this good. Yes, the hype is way overblown, but when has that not been?
A surprising amount of untapped potential in ******
scene was filmed; meaning, you never know if what you're about to see is going to be good or bad.
Let's focus on the good for a second. This movie is funny. There are so many jokes that land, and some land hard. If you thought Deadpool was funny, this takes the cake in a lot of ways. The best thing about the comedy is that it doesn't need to stoop to meta jokes or breaking the fourth wall; all the funny bits were contextual to the story and were pretty well delivered by the actors. There were a few on the nose references that were tasteful but the rest were truly well constructed.
Another thing that really worked about the movie was Zachary Levi as Shazam. He did a great job carrying the film with Jack Dylan Grazer, who played his friend Freddy. Their chemistry was spot on and perfectly replicated the relationship of Josh and Billy from Big. The rest of the cast was fine, but the other standout was Mark Strong who plays the villain. He is a really great working actor who tends to steal scenes from the movies he's been in and this is no exception. The characterizations that each actor embodies were pitch perfect and I didn't really have a complaint with the child actors.
But as I said before, there is a lot holding this movie back. Not only the low-budget locations but especially towards the start, I feel like I'm watching an ugly indie. This problem works in tandem with another problem that bookends the film. The ending, more specifically the weak second act break and entire third act, do this picture a real disservice. Up until this point, I could describe Shazam! as a rough around the edges, good time at the movies. With the ending included, it feels like it just committed suicide, it's that bad. I could forgive the drawn out and boring action scenes at first, but when that's the only thing you see for 10 minutes, it really got on my nerves.
Other than some weird music transition choices and cheap camera tricks to sell superpowers, the movie is fine. While the lows of Shazam! really hurt, it honestly does a great job at making you have fun. Unlike other mediocre movies, this one has highs, mountains that loom over the low points unlike contemporary Captain Marvel which is content being middling throughout. Its overall low quality is a sore point though as I wish some of the budget wasted on the ending was put back into making it a more well-rounded movie.
I feel like I was overly harsh on this movie in some aspects. Its funny, hands down. It makes you laugh, it has those touching family moments, and it doesn't overreach with its special effects. I think the shock of the scale of the movie really got to me, but once you accept that fact, there is a lot to enjoy. Its third act still sucks hard and has a sprinkling of problems throughout but I wanted to reconcile that this movie rises above.
Wasn't Big enough and fell apart by the end
The whole point of these scenes is to make you laugh. Sure, not all the jokes land, but it works. The Captain Marvel specific humor had me suspicious of what their intent was. Towards the beginning, there were many moments that were supposed to be funny, but no one in my theater laughed. It came across as trying to get the audience on board with having a female as the main character.
There are seldom moments in superhero movies where the character is made to look inexperienced or foolish. In Iron Man, he invents his own stuff and you see him have fun testing out his new technology. Thor smashes a beer mug because he is from a different culture and Star-Lord gets called fat to build up how ripped Thor is. Carol Danvers is silly and lighthearted while fighting enemies. Struggling to fight effectively with a couple of gags thrown in for good measure, but these were the parts no one laughed at. It came off as slightly uncomfortable because jokes should tell you more about the character; here, it was used to try and make her seem more relatable. Carol Danvers is a lot of things, but relatable is not one of them.
The story that Captain Marvel tries to tell, doesn't recognize the big shoes it has been told to fill. How do you get excited about the 21st entry in a series; how about a bunch of throwbacks? This movie suffers from a problem the Star Wars Prequels suffered from, but was more potent in Solo: A Star Wars Story. I didn’t need to know where Han Solo got his lucky dice or the spoiler version of that for this movie. I don't need to see how every little detail came to be in the universe. Every little unknown doesn't need an answer.
Speaking of Star Wars, there were a couple of sequences that reminded me of the prequels. At one point, I thought I was watching a pod racing scene while another was similar to the shortest space battle ever put in a big budget movie. The battle consisted of about two shots, one of which is in the trailer, while the other makes me think of the space battle above Naboo.
To pull off all of these action pieces, lots of CG was used to varying degrees of success. By the end, there were many scenes that looked fake; there was no denying the whole sequence you were seeing was all made in a computer. When the characters got to fight in person, the beginning of the movie used the ‘far away’ trick. This is where you see all the action at a distance, so stunt performers can perform without putting the talent in harm's way. This allows for separate close up shots to be spliced into the sequence, making it seem like the actor was really doing the fight choreography.
Other than some good jokes and some nice synth music, Captain Marvel doesn't succeed in being a good movie. I saw it on opening night where people would be the most excited to see it, and everyone thought that it was fine. Not "wow that was good" or "that was solid", just fine. Some people will complain that Carol Danvers didn't grow as a character, but I didn't need that. Learning more about the character was discovery enough, and Nick Fury picks up more slack than one person should be allowed to carry. This movie continues the trend of Marvel just not caring about fan theories, providing little fan service. Any major effects you thought this movie might have on the larger MCU continuity should be forgotten.
Wonder Woman was a better character in a better movie, DC finally won one
The thing that stood out the most about Aquaman came from its story construction. Aquaman doesn't have scenes, it has moments and they are all crafted exactly the same. It starts with a setup based on a familiar trope, then some build up followed by a joke. Sometimes the joke is a subversion of the trope, other times it's just a one-liner or a surprise. This is the only way the movie is constructed; just a bunch of these moments back to back from the very beginning. After two and a half hours of the same thing over and over, I was ready to leave the theater.
This problem seeped into the locations the characters visited. Though there were many exotic places, I felt like I never got to spend any time there. It's like the movie was a train and I stared out the window, never knowing more than just a couple of seconds of superficial detail.
The dialogue was a mixed bag, which is really weird since it actually had some interesting ideas. There were great lines of dialogue butchered by the delivery which was disheartening. All of the leads did a good enough job, but it was the side characters that consistently underperformed.
The action scenes were a pretty big disappointment as well. James Wan's signature style of shooting hand to hand combat sequences was in full effect. Complete with camera spins and tracking shots, the over the top action was definitely on display. The problem that I did not foresee however, was how much Zack Snyder would influence Aquaman visually. Wan liberally used freeze frames, slow motion, and virtual camera moves to nauseating effect. It straight up ruined a few action scenes, depriving them of weight and impact.
Aquaman is a movie that was entirely spoiled by its trailers. The first trailer shows off all the plot points for the movie and it only gets more egregious for the rest. It's lack of story coupled with its predictability make it really hard to watch. None of the characters have an arc; Aquaman starts the movie not wanting to be king and ends it as king only because he had to. It feels like the movie could have been better if it wasn't changing genres every 20 minutes as well. This is perfectly reflected in the soundtrack when the movie goes from action to techno, jumping from classic adventure to Pitbull's cover of 'Africa'. The movie is all over the place but people will love it because the DCEU now has jokes. "The lightheartedness isn't the basic problem that needs to be fixed here. The overused and unearned moment is DC's greatest foe" is one of the best quotes that sums up what went wrong with Aquaman.
It may steal ideas from seven other movies, but it constantly pushing forward made it not boring
I need to address issues people have with this movie that I don't feel are justified. To the complaint about the movie being PG-13 and not rated R, buy the extended cut when it comes out on Blu-Ray. Plus, gore would not make me change how I felt about the movie. Maybe it might for others who didn't like it as much as I did, but I honestly don't believe the movie needed it. To the people complaining about the plot of the movie, sure it's pretty typical for a superhero movie, but guess what, SO ARE ALL THE OTHER MOVIES IT'S JUST LIKE. Plus, I would take this ok plot over the non-plot of Infinity War any day. My final address is to the people complaining about comic book accuracy. You are probably some of the worst people out there. You complain about these things only when it suits you. You let Marvel get away with changing things and praise them for it. Take your non-argument and shove it down your throat.
Venom is fun, watchable, and is getting a bad wrap. Tom Hardy does a great job acting in it. It is totally worth a watch whenever you want to go see it. Stay for the two after credit sequences, they are pretty cool.
The most unbelievable thing about the movie was having a serious boyfriend, six months after being engaged.