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
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
making it look good is hard. Bay is the undisputed king of action; whether that's cars flipping over, explosions, or shootouts, he knows how to make them look good.
I can even throw a bone to the actors as all of them seemed to play their parts well. While Ryan Reynolds is probably the main draw for most, he doesn't give the best performance. Honestly, none of the actors did anything to capture your attention, though that isn't their fault. The movie is stuck in the highest gear for its entire two-hour runtime; there isn't a moment for the characters to settle down. Read the comments made by actress Melanie Laurent about how Bay shoots on set, and you'll understand why this is. It honestly comes down to their ability to get their characters across in a short amount of time, which they do, and it's just enough to get to the next action scene.
The rest of the movie is just constant cutting and motion, which can get nauseating. The first 20 minutes were unintelligible, as I had no clue where the characters were supposed to be when cutting to a different shot. This was a constant problem as characters teleport to new positions or major events happen offscreen. The fault lies squarely on two shoulders, the screenplay, and Bay himself. It doesn't help that there are constant flashbacks that the audience has no reference for and doesn't explain what is happening in the present. The best example comes right at the beginning of the movie, starting in present-day and going back six months for the first flashback. We spend approximately five minutes in this time period before jumping further back to four years into the past. With the amount of time switching, I'm surprised this isn't Back to the Future.
Some might say the action scenes lift this dumpster fire from the hell hole from which it came into a place of watchability. I can guarantee you that if you know someone who enjoys this movie, you should probably never take their recommendations seriously from now on. You would have to be neurotic to be able to sit through the absolute mess that could only have been made for Netflix. On the bright side, I guess the streaming service really is the only place where creatives get full control over their projects.
This hurt to watch