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
Since I brought up acting, the cast is a phenomenal ensemble of familiar faces that delight. Standouts include Hugh Grant—cause of course, Charlie Hunnan, and Colin Farrel. They bring life to the film as they all play their parts to a tee. Grant appropriately chews the scenery opposite Hunnam, who plays the straight man as they lead the audience through the plot while being inner cut by everyone else. It's when Farrel pops up and elevates the mood with his relaxed demeanor, a feat only aptly described as an oxymoron, when everything is working at it's best.
There isn't anything special about the cinematography or score, but they don't hinder the quality of the overall picture. There is a small story beat that ends oddly, but nothing else comes to mind when I think of egregious problems. In no way am I suggesting that The Gentlemen is without faults, but the enjoyment to be had far outweigh any slight transgressions that it may embody.
I would consider The Gentlemen one of the best of the year. I know it's early, although I'll be surprised if I don't see it on my top 10 list at the end. It might just be a taste thing as the film doesn't seem to have universal praise; it indulges in very British vocabulary and mannerisms, which are aspects I adore. Though, it could also be that it's a Guy Ritchie movie, and his style isn't for everyone. All of these considerations aside, I cannot deny how much fun and charm this picture has.
I promise its incredible
While Bad Boys for Life won't offend anyone, at least I hope so, it doesn't inspire confidence in me. With this reboot shooting for the stars as it tries to become a regular series, it doesn't do a good enough job easing back in. Martin Lawrence was always the heart in the middle, grounding the movies in a ridiculous fake reality; by sidelining him, the movie slots into the emerging low-big budget category. This is where the John Wick series and many others reside as tentpole films have left studios with under $100 million budgets to share. The good thing is when Lawrence is on screen he does a great job being the comedic relief.relief.
I can't whole-heartedly recommend this movie. While it does do away with Michael Bay's signature shaky cam and depicts action more clearly, there just isn't enough here. If you've already seen the award season movies, then this actually might be the slight fun you need if you're bored out of your mind. It's another old franchise that started in the 90s trying to modernize, what did you expect?
There was a shot where they forgot to set the muzzle flashes to screen and it was hilarious
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
While it might have been Mendes' idea to make the movie in this way, it was Roger Deakins who actually achieved it. 1917 has Deakin's fingerprints all over it as his signature style is on display in every image. His choice to film with natural light sources leads to mesmerizing sequences that have been spoiled in the trailer. If you decide to watch this in the theater, it will be to see his work on a big screen. I say that because other than the incredibly high production value, there isn't much else to look forward to.
1917 fails to capture the human element of war. It does a great job keeping the audience on their toes as the one-shot presentation keeps the tension high. There are moments of fear, exhaustion, and hope, all of which blend thematically with the setting, but none give you the anchor into its characters. I need more than just a goal and a coherent plot to keep me interested. When I said it had tension and all those other things, I lied. It only had those elements for some of the time, as it mostly fell flat for me.
The driving force of the story is for two soldiers to deliver an order that would save many lives. The importance of their mission is blatant but seems to fall on deaf ears as almost everyone they meet doesn't care. That message of indifference seeped through and became the stance I took. While the script tries to give these characters humanizing moments, not much of it stuck. This disconnect comes down to how they were delivered. I could see the gears turning in the background as scenes of tension would be invalidated moments later. When plot points were being set up and then never referenced again, it felt like they were just cheap tricks.
It all comes down to what you appreciate about the art form. I like movies because they tell interesting stories about engaging characters. 1917 doesn't have that but instead offers a project that excels in production. The fancy camera sweeps, tracking shots, and set pieces offer visually stunning sequences that are enviable. While I didn't enjoy the film that much, I can recognize great work when I see it.
Without Roger Deakins, the movie would have been nothing special
circumstance, could be considered palatable.
That's kind of the whole movie. Disgraceful people do things that make their situations worse. As they continue to dig their own graves deeper, they keep hoping for their big break to rescue them. It's incredibly effective as by the end, I couldn't wait to see how the story concluded. I don't think I like this as much as Good Time, but Uncut Gems might just be the mainstream push for the Safdie brothers to be more recognized.
Probably the most inappropriate Christmas movie you could go see with the family
Whenever there was a wide shot of actors in a room, I could not buy into the fact that these were cat height people. So in a way, I was unoffended by Cats in general.
Now, would I recommend someone one spend the 2 hours to watch people that kinda look like cats dance around to music that isn’t very good? No. But I do have to say I wasn’t bored, just that I almost fell asleep. The almost cozy atmosphere and uninteresting plot provides a wonderful atmosphere to rest your eyes a bit. You probably shouldn’t see this film, ever. But, if you ever need to fall asleep when it comes to streaming, then it might just do the trick.
No one has the time to look into the allusions and symbolism for a play made for the 60s
The quaint and hominess that this movie exudes harkens back to a time of a different sensibility. Halfway through the runtime, you can tell it feels like a classic. Even though the original story came out in 1868, the film brings its message into the 21st century. Without devolving into preaching or propaganda, Little Women is able to balance its fantasy with stark realism. It even injects humor in a way to help release tension while not robbing the plot of its intensity.
Little Woman utterly surprised me. The attention to detail, the proficiency in its craft, it all screams of a seasoned director. I think Greta Gerwig's knack for emotional literacy and her ability to craft scenes that let the audience experience the complexity of real relationships is unparalleled. While everyone is perfectly cast and there is praise to go around, I cannot stress enough how integral Gerwig was to making it all work. As director and screenwriter, this seems to be a unique vision that could have only come from her. I highly recommend the heartbreaking, funny, touching, and beautiful Little Women.
Greta Gerwig is officially one of my favorite directors
The Rise of Skywalker is offensive because it was boring; it's terrible because the plot doesn't make sense. You don't need to bring up the rest of the series to prove this is a bad movie as it dies on its own merits. For the first third, I was having flashbacks to 6 Underground and how the continuous cutting and nonstop pace made it hard to settle in for the over two-hour runtime. The Rise of Skywalker is in a hurry to get itself over and done with as its breakneck pace never slowed down. Characters are continually jumping to their next objective as so much grown has to be covered.
While trying to erase everything that The Last Jedi stood for and having its own story, The Rise of Skywalker doesn't take the time to get everything right. It's sloppy, rushed, and offensive. In the place of substance, it relies on blatant uses of nostalgia in a weaponized form. Continually using music from the original trilogy to try and cover up everything wrong with the movie. I would go, "I remember liking this song, and it meaning something." It continually mines past films as a cheap party trick, and when it finally gets to its own story, all hell breaks loose.
The villain in this turd on fire is ridiculous. The way all of the antagonists are setup is a tragedy. The leaps in logic for Rey and her abilities in the force are unfounded. What ends up happening to certain characters is complete bullshit. Pretending like this is ok, that it would be fine to accept what has happened as normal, would be a mistake.
It surprised me that I wasn't angry while watching this movie. I usually can get irritated if a film gets on my nerves, but that didn't happen here. I think JJ Abrams's greatest accomplishment is that the presentation is good enough, so the only emotion I had was boredom. I was utterly bored, and none of the humor worked for me. Some will say that this is a hilarious movie, but if the stakes in your film don't matter and I don't care what's happening, then I can't laugh when forced humor is thrown at me. I genuinely laughed on three separate occasions, which is very low for the sheer volume of jokes that is put in every scene.
The actors tried to do a good job with the material that they were given. I think they were collateral damage in the decisions that were being made. They, along with fans, were wronged so they should not be blamed. Just because their characters suck, doesn't mean its their fault. Please do not harass them online for the failure that is this movie.
I can't believe I'm about to say this. Rise of Skywalker is the worst movie in the Star Wars franchise. While there are tons of technical and presentation problems in the prequels, there were still aspects to them that breathed life into the franchise. The Rise of Skywalker is devoid of any magic; it doesn't feel like the same thing. I can't think of one scene that you could watch on YouTube, and all of the music is ripped out of the old movies. This is bottom barrel stuff, and I couldn't watch it again. Star Wars is dead as a movie-going experience, and while I might have to see the eventual follow-up to review, I won't take pleasure in doing it.
There is no reason to see the movie if you are not a die hard fan, don't waste your time
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