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"
Nothing can top how dreadful the plot was though. The movie combines tropes and falls into traps continuously right up until the end. At the very beginning, characters are introduced but are rarely in the film. It's like how they put Brian Cranston in the trailer for the first Godzilla movie and was killed off in 15 minutes. The main characters are a group of people that don't show up until all of the exposition has been laid out. They rival the human villain who ends up wanting to destroy the world because humans are a disease killing the planet. The story is embroiled in lazy writing and the lowest common denominator ideas, allowing the audience to turn off their brains and watch colors flash on
The movie also tries to have comedic moments peppered throughout to keep the tone light. This doesn't work in the first half of the film as no on in my theater even chuckled. Once Godzilla is introduced the humor does start to land, but for that first half its very cringey.
Ironically, since the visuals aren't that special, I can't recommend anyone seeing this in the theater. There is nothing exciting about this film and even less to be excited about for the next one. How can I believe that Kong has a chance against a lizard that shoots beams from his mouth? Yes, tons of characters needlessly die, the music pauses allowing for something shocking to happen, and some of these characters are returning for the third movie. It comes across as the laziest piece of entertainment put together, hoping big monsters fighting would carry the weight. Please never see this.
I was physically tired after watching the movie, it took so much effort to try and pay attention
walking around and believed in the world that was being shown off. The VFX were great considering I felt like this was a real place filled with tons of animals. It also had major Zootopia vibes—that scene where Judy first arrives is almost recreated here. This film has all the production to be taken seriously; it's shot on film and people cared while making it; all of which lends itself for the audience to enjoy it.
The problems come down to almost everything else. The plot was paper-thin. It was structured like how a child would tell a story, with them constantly going, "and then, and then, and then". Which really bleeds into how the characters came across because they came off as pretty basic. The dialogue is to blame since in some scenes, you could tell actors were trying to do a good job with the material that they were given. It must have been the script considering the dialogue just sucked. It wasn't even that funny of a movie with all the best parts being in the trailer. Any attempt at a joke that wasn't already shown didn't even make me giggle.
For all the praise I gave the CGI for bringing Pokémon to life, there is a sequence hinted at in the trailer that was awful. The whole thing looked fake and I don't understand how you make a forest seem unbelievable. The music, while not super great, does incorporate sounds from the games as a motif which can't be picked up when watching the movie. Finally, Ryan Reynolds isn't just doing Deadpool without cursing, he adds a lighter touch and smooths out the edges in his delivery.
It comes off more like a kids movie than anything, which isn't bad, but foregoes any depth to keeps adults invested. As pure eye candy and entertainment, it works. If you follow the brand or have children, this could be a good enough experience to see this in the theater. If you have never even heard of Pokémon other than when people were standing in the streets with their phones, this is not for you. As someone who has had some contact with the property and is a sucker for good CGI, I was entertained enough.
I guess you can say that the movie wasn't electrifying
The creativity put into bringing the world to life was amazing to see and made the film more enjoyable. Huge shoutout to Batman since he's probably the best character, again, because he is given some of the funniest moments.
There were a couple of things that did make it hard for me to fully enjoy the movie though. I did not realize I was going to be watching a musical and probably would have liked to know that before I saw it. The Lego Movie 2 also used much more live action footage than I was expecting, which I did not enjoy. It used so much of it in fact, I thought I was watching a live action Toy Story movie at times. I can fully respect how the first movie handled the difference between the Lego world and the real one, but this film has a plot point that defies logic which made it hard for me to accept.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part comes down to how much work you want to put into finding more enjoyable aspects of the movie; it’s here where its true value comes out. There are enough jokes throughout for kids to enjoy it and for a middle-aged lady to laugh louder than everyone else. It’s exactly the same as the first in that respect; if you like the first, you’ll enjoy the second. Do you need to rush out on release day to see it?— not really, but the decision ultimately comes down to you. All I can say is: I laughed and was annoyed— which created a completely balanced experience for me.
I want to thank the advertising team for not spoiling the movie in the trailers
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
It seems that people who have seen the other Rocky movies had a less enjoyable time watching this one. They say it reuses plot points from the previous films with only minor changes. While these people still enjoyed the movie, they felt like this story was weighed down since it didn't reinvent old tropes. As someone who has not seen the other Rocky movies, this was not a problem for me. That doesn't mean the movie is devoid of problems, but the familiarity problem was nonexistent.
What did come off as problematic, was the story construction and camera placement. The story felt like an attempt to accurately represent these characters instead of being definitive. This probably has to do with Sylvester Stallone writing the screenplay since he did not for the first movie. It beats you over the head with dialogue that is repeated over and over again which just gets tiring. The camera placement was also pretty average compared to the first movie. It mostly just copies the first installment and doesn't do anything inspired.
But this movie isn't down for the count. People were clapping and laughing with this movie till the very end. It does take a while for the movie to find its groove, but when it does, it pulls you in. I have to praise the movie for being able to create moments of tension. The movie makes you invested in the main character's journey, even if you think you know how it ends. It doesn't always fire on all cylinders, but when it does, be prepared to be brought to the edge of your seat.
Creed 2 also has one of the best training montages I have ever seen. It might look like all the ones that came before, but it takes out all the campiness. In its place, stands very emotional, dramatic scenes of incredible strength. It communicates to the audience that this isn't a journey of growth but a fight for survival.
Creed 2 is definitely worth seeing in theaters. I hope you get to experience an atmosphere of people laughing and holding their breath as I did. I don't know if I want another movie, but if there were to be another installment, take Stallone off the writing team.
No more sons fighting each other please
The easiest way to talk about the movie is the story. The Fantastic Beasts series is a backdrop for the first wizard war alluded to in the original Harry Potter saga. Instead of making that the focus, J.K. Rowling decided that pretending the series is about magic animals was a good idea. So the movie splits its attention with animals, love stories, queerbaiting, and war, doing none of them justice. Plus, in an attempt to bring back fans, this movie has included characters from the original set of stories that are extraneous and add nothing.
One moment you are with the characters from the first movie, then you jump to Grindelwald for ten seconds, but don't forget a flashback that isn't needed, ending on new characters that aren't important. The movie wants to be taken seriously, trying to have moments that will take your breath away while also being a character drama. This falls flat because the magical moments are mundane, not really eliciting any childlike wonder. The serious moments miss the mark as well, due to the characters' actions not being indicative of their motivations. In addition to these hindrances, you have the story being too circumstantial. It felt like someone saying, "You know what would be cool", and not having a plan for it.
I guess negative reviews won't keep people away though, as the rotten tomato score has proved. Some might argue that the story is all planned out, that I just need to have faith in the three movies to come. I would shoot back with, that is never the case; things change, and that is not how movies work. This isn't television, books, or any other serialized content, this is movies. Being a movie means you tell a story, and The Crimes of Grindelwald failed in telling a compelling one.
The actors do a fine job acting, its just all the creative people's fault this movie is bad
I did ask what the movie was about at one point and got my answer within 20 minutes. It's definitely a slow burn, but you have to let it take its time.
I will be listening to the soundtrack for the next week because the movie has some amazing music. Bradley Cooper does a great job singing, acting, and directing here, but huge props to Lady Gaga for being able to cry on camera. Cooper had one "cry" scene and didn't even shed a single tear. Watch A Star Is Born, really good stuff.
The music and visuals are great but the story is lacking a true driving force
Other than these songs, there is nothing specifically negative about the movie. The whole idea is clever, and the messages about society to real life are nice, but the story element is a little lacking. The whole resolution and how the movie gets to its ending doesn't make sense. It feels lazy the way it wraps itself up. Not only do the events that lead to the end of the movie feel wrong, but the ending itself doesn't make sense.
I guess you can explain away the story faults by saying it's a children's movie but it's still annoying. I want to reiterate that the movie ends up being fine. Even though it definitely has its problems it's still the best thing you can take a child to see in theaters right now.
All the visual jokes were in the trailer