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Offline 209

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #250 on: September 05, 2017, 06:29:58 PM »


Zodiac (2007), directed by David Fincher

I'm trying to write this without reading anything about the case itself, or the film. So if I'm wrong about anything we can blame it on that. Murder mysteries are something I just have to watch. It doesn't matter how long they take to be solved. I need to know what happened, and I don't care how long I sit there in order to find out the answer. In this case there is no answer, merely a theory. A theory is good enough. That this film has such a gigantic cast is a major plus point for me, no expense was spared in order for this film to be presented the way it needed to be. That I watched this so soon after Dirty Harry was perfect. Not only do I feel like I know the Bay Area, but it's a great contrast to what happens in that film.

The details of the events contained in this film seemed to be meticulously researched, and because of that it will be difficult for me to relay all the details. All of the action takes place early in the film, which I'm sure pissed people off. The Zodiac killer is a serial murderer, who sends letters to the San Francisco Chronicle and the police. Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) is tasked with the job of covering the story, and Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a cartoonist who hangs around his desk wanting to know more and more information. On the police side, David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) and Bill Armstrong (Anthony Edwards) are the inspectors tasked with seeking down the murderer of a cab driver. In the process of that, these two things come together in interesting ways.

There should be no secrets to this, because of how infamous a case this was. There were so many actors involved with this project that I couldn't name them all. It's not that I don't want to mention them, but nobody stands out over the rest. That's not supposed to be a criticism, it's meant to show that everyone was that good in their role. Lots of people don't have the patience to watch something like this. I shouldn't be surprised that this film didn't make good money, which sounds like a crazy notion knowing what it is that I just watched.

As far as technical aspects go, the screenplay stands out the most. It isn't easy to adapt books to the big screen, especially one like this. Due to the lack of action, casting is important and can make or break a film like this. If anyone gives the kind of performance that doesn't fit a character, due to how much time all of the characters get, the whole thing falls apart. Brian Cox as Melvin Belli, an attorney who counsels the Zodiac killer on live television, struck me as particularly inspired casting. He's good in everything. In Troy he played a part that could not have been more different than this one, but I bought it.

There were also an abundance of scenes that will stick with me. The first and most obvious is the only scene where you actually see the killer while he's doing what he's doing. That could not have been more effective in establishing what kind of guy this actually was. The hood, the vest, and all that shit. I was tripping out. There's also the scene where Arthur Leigh Allen (John Carroll Lynch) is interrogated. There's nothing to this other than the interrogation, it's just perfect. The best one is the scene with Bob Vaughn (Charles Fleischer) takes Graysmith into his basement. Not knowing what happened and not having read anything about this case beforehand, that's what a suspenseful scene is supposed to feel like.

What I appreciated more than anything else was that this film felt authentic, like a real police investigation. Of course that's because it was, but even though that keeps movie studios from making money, that's how it was presented. Gone Girl is in obvious contrast to that, even though that's also really good. A meticulous approach to filmmaking can work wonders sometimes, but it's not for everyone. I'm sure a lot of people found this dull, disengaging, and boring. I feel bad for them. They probably like watching garbage television. There was something else I was going to say, but in the shuffle of everything else worth mentioning, I've genuinely forgotten what it was. Maybe I'll remember tomorrow.

Fake edit: Oh, it was that the Zodiac killer didn't only kill people, he wrecked people's lives through fear and obsession. His thirst for attention was a life breaker for most of the people who worked on this case in any fashion, and I thought the film was great at laying all that out there.

10/10

Offline cobainwasmurdered

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #251 on: September 05, 2017, 09:15:06 PM »
It's a great movie that was generally super accurate from what I've read however one thing that's been pointed out as wrong was

Spoiler: show
 the portrayal of avery as broken by zodiac. He actually went on to a lot of future success and a number of his former colleagues criticized the way he was shown. He did have a based houseboat though.

Offline Gary

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #252 on: September 06, 2017, 01:58:14 AM »
"The fuckin' library!"

I fucking love "Zodiac". Fincher's best movie IMO, without a single moment feeling like filler.


I AM THE CHEESE! I AM THE BEST CHARACTER ON THE SHOW!! I AM BETTER THAN BOTH THE SALAMI AND THE BOLOGNA COMBINED!!

Richard Nixon arrives in the past. He becomes close friends with a young Abraham Lincoln and Tupac Shakur.

Offline Old school tough guy

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #253 on: September 06, 2017, 05:22:41 AM »
I fucking love "Zodiac". Fincher's best movie IMO, without a single moment feeling like filler.

Offline 209

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #254 on: September 10, 2017, 05:53:19 PM »


Be Kind Rewind (2008), directed by Michel Gondry

When I watch a classic like Zodiac, it's impossible for any other film I watch afterwards to measure up. So what I like to do is get a nice dose of average, or maybe watch something that I know is going to be bad. Considering I don't care for Jack Black, I was 100% expecting this to be terrible. The first twenty minutes or so were such that I wanted to turn this off. I have a rule against doing that, and more than any other film I've reviewed, I've never had the inclination to do so more than tonight. I didn't think those twenty minutes were bad, but I thought this was supposed to be a comedy. I found them completely boring. In the end, this wasn't such a boring film after all.

Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) owns a failing video store, one which time has passed by. His store is practically falling apart, and he only rents older VHS tapes. Mr. Fletcher has one employee named Mike (Mos Def), who works hard for very little pay. Fletcher leaves the store on a vacation, but it turns out that he's seeing what his competitors are doing right and what he's doing wrong. The city also wants his store so othey can demolish it, gentrify the neighborhood, and build condos there. The store has a problem visitor named Jerry (Jack Black), and he thinks the government is using a power plant to control his mind. Jerry enlists the help of Mike to break into the plant, but they nearly get caught and Mike decides that he wants nothing to do with it. Jerry gets electrocuted, and when returning to the store he touches the tapes, demagnetizing them all. Mr. Fletcher tasks Miss Falewicz (Mia Farrow) with checking on the store, and she wants to rent Ghostbusters. The problem is that they no longer have it, and Mr. Fletcher will find out about what happened if they don't rent out a copy. So, Mike and Jerry figure that because she's never seen the film, they can make a home video version of it.

It surprised me to great extent that this was what the film was about. I didn't realize, but I found this pertinent. When I was in high school, I had a friend whose parents had just purchased a Sony HDR. We would do something similar to this. I had one of the tapes and I have no idea what happened to them. I think they're long gone. Anyway, we would take the tapes to school and edit them in our free time using Final Cut Pro. It's not something I've ever talked about before, because why the fuck would something like this ever come up? This film brings back those memories. Of course we were far more lazy and didn't wear costumes. We would just re-enact some scenes to see how they sounded. I have no idea what happened to any of those people. While I feel inspired to find out, some things are better left in the past.

As I said, the versions presented in this film are a lot better. Jack Black and Mos Def were believable in their roles. So was Melonie Diaz as Alma, a woman needed for additional parts in these home videos. I wasn't expecting to have any positive feelings about this film after the way it begun. I really did think it was boring, and I really didn't think it was any good. The scenarios presented here are massively implausible, and the solutions in terms of making these films seemed costly. At least too costly for the situation. There's really not a hell of a lot to this movie in terms of the cast, so much further writing about this film would be nothing other than padding.

I don't understand what the filmmaker was attempting to achieve, which leaves me at somewhat of a loss for words. This was a comedy that wasn't very funny, and it ends in a fashion I can only call depressing. There's also SO much missing from this film. All of a sudden Alma goes from a major part of the film to a nothing. Mr. Fletcher goes from hating this scheme to participating in it with no explanation given whatsoever. The characters here are a big pile of nothing. I don't understand it. Anyway, the film resembles a hodgepodge of things, but the one that sticks with me the most is that this felt like an ode to having fun making home videos.

5.5/10

Offline 209

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #255 on: September 12, 2017, 06:10:54 PM »


The Legend of Tarzan (2016), directed by David Yates

The consistent Hollywood obsession with remaking old stories is one of the most confounding things about a complicated business. The marketplace has changed over the course of the last decade, and to some extent people no longer want to see these stories. They can only be told so many times. Now, the ability to do so is entirely reliant on the stars that can be attracted to these projects. Otherwise, they won't be able to make any money. One issue with that is that Hollywood has done everything they can to minimize the star power of the actors they can employ. While this system will lead to an end of telling the same story over and over, this also leads to great projects being rendered unable to make any money. This was not one of those great projects.

Everyone knows the basics of the Tarzan story, so there's no reason to go over that part of the story anymore. What this version does is put their own twist on it. Tarzan/John (Alexander Skarsgard) is a member of the House of Lords, and he's married to Jane (Margot Robbie). Sounds like a natural conclusion to the age old tale. The Congo has been claimed by King Leopold II, and he has invited John to visit the Congo and report on the development of the area. John declines, then is encouraged to accept the invitation by George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson). Jane wants to come along, so now we have our party of three. Once they get there, they find out that Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) has been enslaving Africans to build things for Leopold's project to steal money and resources from the area. The main characters were already suspicious of this, and we were introduced to Rom earlier in the story as he encountered Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou).

Perhaps with this being 2016 and all, it's very easy to notice that this was one of those white savior stories. Some of the general problems with the portrayals of Tarzan films do not exist that much here, which is a relief. I'm particularly thinking of the way all black people are presented as savages. That's definitely not the case. The visual effects are good in some ways and not in others, which struck me as a pretty big problem. The facial animation for the animals was something else, I still can't believe it's possible to put that in a film. On the other hand, every single scene when Tarzan is swinging on vines is such obvious special effects that it takes me out of the film. That goes for pretty much every background in the whole film actually. They're all on green screen, and if they're not, I can't separate the ones that are from the ones that aren't. Most of them HAD to be on green screen due to the jungle setting.

That's not to say it's all bad, but of course it's going to sound bad the way I've been describing it. Including George Washington Williams was a neat piece of the story, because after all George Washington Williams is the person who first called on Leopold to end his slave state in the Congo. Some of the performances, like those of Waltz and Robbie, were pretty good. They have a scene together on a boat that helped flesh the story out. On that note, there's a lot more talking in this film than I expected, which was necessary as the plot and motivations of the character could have been a bit murky otherwise. For example, we find out that Williams took part in operations against Native Americans, which is absolutely what he did in real life. While Skarsgard strikes me as quite distant in this film, his romance with Robbie felt authentic. So that was nice. The flashbacks were too, and I enjoyed the scenes where the animals tore shit up. It also should be stated that there needs to be another big film that focuses on what Leopold did to people in that region. I have read extensively about this, and because this film wasn't completely about that, they didn't go into detail of the horrors inflected on that area. Any film would certainly not make very much money, be very violent, and not be looked upon kindly by those who give out R and NC-17 ratings. The story still needs to be told.

The problem with this film overall is that the setting felt completely inauthentic, because it was. I'm simply incapable of getting over that. I've never seen Avatar, but unless the plot was unbelievably good, I'm sure I would have the same problems with that film. Regardless, somehow the film was much better once it got to "Africa." The early setup wasn't something I addressed yet, and I actually found it to be the worst part of the whole movie. There is absolutely nothing to any of the scenes designed to get Tarzan back to Africa. Another crazy thing about this is that the film cost $180 million to make. I read a report right before posting this that said it lost $40 million. So fortunately, there will not be another one. I still can't give this a really bad rating though. The positives I posted are really big positives in the favor of this film, and placing it in the Congo was great, even if it didn't feel real.

6/10

Offline 209

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #256 on: September 13, 2017, 03:17:40 PM »


The Insider (1999), directed by Michael Mann

I knew this film was going to be about cigarettes, but with my head planted firmly in the sand, it was a perfect film to not know anything else about beforehand. It turns out that the film is about exactly what I expected, because what else can a film about cigarettes be about? It's also Michael Mann, man. There has not yet been something he's made that I didn't find interesting after watching it, or that I do not yet want to watch. Or for that matter, that I'm not going to rewatch to review in this thread at some point. I don't give a shit if anyone's reading or not, but after I watch something I have the compulsion to talk about all my thoughts regarding a film. One thing that's hard about making a film like this one is that dramatization will inevitably lead to the parties getting angry. That certainly happened here.

My first reaction to the opening scene was that I thought this was a film about cigarettes. Anyway, Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino) is sent by 60 Minutes to learn about Sheikh Fadlallah, a major part of Hezbollah. We find out that Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer) wants to interview the Sheikh, and it is established that Mike Wallace is a real journalist and all that stuff. At the same time, Jerry Wigand (Russell Crowe) is fired from his job at Brown & Williamson, a tobacco company. He was an executive of research and development, and was working on cigarettes with less carcinogens until he was fired. Bergman receives a package containing technical documents about big tobacco, and he wants Wigand's help translating them. Wigand is bound by a confidentiality agreement, and his wife (Diane Venora) and children are dependent upon the money that comes with his severance package. So what does Wigand do? Well, he just can't help himself.

Again, I thought this film was about entirely about cigarettes, but there are large parts of it that aren't. In 2017 we know all about big tobacco and what they've done. In 1999 that wasn't as much the case, but the film is about investigative journalism. My reviews of Spotlight and Zodiac should show that I get a major hard on for movies featuring investigative journalism. While the film is distinctly about that subject, it is also distinctly a movie with two different halves. Which half you prefer is probably entirely reliant on if you prefer Pacino or Crowe as actors. I'm in the Pacino camp, but I also really enjoy Crowe's work. The first half is still great though, but their roles in the story rotate as the film progresses.

Pacino's character needed to get that story out of Crowe's character, and 60 Minutes used to be the kind of show where that's what you would get every week. So, the first half revolved around that. The second half is what took place once the story was told. Considering this is public fact, there's no reason not to say that CBS refused to air Wigand's interview after it was conducted. CBS was in the process of being sold, and nobody wanted to deal with this kind of problem. I consider the second half better because Pacino's character goes buckwild in trying to get this interview aired. He just won't stop, and he's a character of real moral turpitude. At least that's if you think he was right to encourage Wigand to ruin his life and tell the story. He was, but it's not some easy moral quandry there.

There is one distinct problem with this film, and it's that the dramatization runs over some people. Mike Wallace said that he was one of those people. There is also no proof that Wigand received death threats. I mean, sure there's claims of that, but there's no proof. Wigand's wife believes that Wigand put a bullet in the mailbox himself, and as presented in the film, the FBI also believed that. The film also presents Bergman as a massive crusader. While entertaining, it's very inaccurate. But again, such things come with the territory of dramatizing true stories. Michael Mann is one of our best filmmakers, and it's unfortunate that he no longer makes very many of them. Making a suspenseful movie out of this material was great, and the way Pacino performed in it was fantastic. I left out a lot of characters in the process of writing this, but I thought there were other good performances worth seeing. Plummer made for a pretty damn good Mike Wallace.

Ultimately, what matters most is the overall messaging. Cigarettes kill people, and Big Tobacco doesn't want us to know about that because they want to make as much money as possible. The media is intertwined with these industries and is in constant danger of being disallowed from telling the truth. Some people take films like this for Oscar-bait, but I don't think anyone makes these films with the express purpose of winning awards. The story needed to be told. Of course, this film is really long, so if you want to watch it, make sure you have the time to finish it.

8.5/10

Offline 209

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #257 on: September 15, 2017, 11:39:07 AM »


Black Mass (2015), directed by Scott Cooper

Black Mass is something that presented immediate moral quandries to me once I was done with watching the film. The problem is that Johnny Depp's portrayal of Whitey Bulger makes Bulger look awesome. I mean, that's really a horrible thing to say about Bulger. After all, he did evil shit. I know that it makes me sound like an asshole to even say what I just said. But I said it, and I don't delete anything I say unless it's factually untrue. This certainly wasn't a classic of the genre, and the film wasn't long enough to be fleshed out the way I would have wanted it to be. It was still quite entertaining.

The film starts with Kevin Weeks (Jesse Plemons) beginning to tell his story to the FBI about Whitey Bulger's (Johnny Depp) business. Bulger was a maniac of sorts, one that it's difficult to write about, and as such it took me a whole other day after watching Black Mass to finish doing so. Bulger's story begins with an introduction of his associates. His right hand man is Stephen Flemmi (Rory Cochrane), a man who eventually pleaded guilty to ten counts of murder. Bulger had a hitman under his employ named Johnny Martorano (W. Earl Brown), and over the course of the movie many other people would come across him. Bulger was at war with the Italians, and an FBI agent named John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) has information about the Angiulo Brothers wanting to have him killed. It is made clear that Connolly knows Whitey well, and that he also knows Whitey's brother named Billy (Benedict Cumberbatch), a Massachusetts State Senator. The idea that a State Senator would be so intertwined with a crimelord like Whitey Bulger is patently ridiculous, but it's also true. Due to Whitey and Connolly's connection growing up together, they make for pretty good friends and associates throughout the years.

The plot of this film was great, but it could certainly have used more time in order to tell a more complete story. The wives of Bulger and Connolly effectively play minimal part in the film, even though there's more to their story. After all, Whitey's child died of Reye syndrome. But the film's not about that, or why Whitey did the things he did, it's about showing what he did. That's a singular focus that separates this from the best movies in the genre, because it doesn't go down the same road films like Goodfellas and Casino do. It is very straight forward like that. I still have a problem with Kevin Bacon, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsgaard, Julianne Nicholson, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Adam Scott not being given the opportunity to do anything with the roles they were given. In some cases it's understandable, but in others it obviously was not. Still, this was a film with a singular focus, and that's fine.

Most importantly with regard to this film, there were a lot of good scenes. Sarsgaard stole the screen the three or four times he was on there. I was quite impressed that such a minor character could stick with me the way his did. Depp's performance as Bulger has been noted by a lot of people, but it was the things in the script that require the real attention. It was impossible to mess some of those scenes up. There's one of his murders in particular that was very difficult to watch. When I'm talking about good scenes though, pretty much every scene with Edgerton as John Connolly would apply there. Very rarely am I taken aback by somebody's performance and able to enjoy it as much as his. His explanations for everything were very amusing. It is insane that the things in this film actually happened.

With all that said, there's quite a bit of good and quite a bit of bad as it comes to this movie. Another thing as of yet unmentioned is that unlike other crime films I'm having a hard time pinpointing the overarching theme. Part of that is because there's no insight given as to Bulger's thoughts. The story is told from no perspective in particular. If The Godfather is about family, and if Goodfellas is about power and respect, I can't figure out what vision the filmmaker brought to this film. That's okay though, because this was still good if not great. The way Depp actually looked as Bulger was made more impressive by the cinematographer, Masanobu Takayanagi. The cinematography in Spotlight was nice too, but I am surprised that this man did not receive any recognition for what he did in this film. Or The Grey for that matter. The thing I can't get over is that other than Connolly's relationship with his wife, there is ZERO here in terms of inter-character relationships. I still enjoyed the film.

7/10

Offline AA484

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #258 on: September 15, 2017, 01:22:36 PM »
There is a book that this movie is "based" on but there is another one about Whitey that is a little better by Kevin Cullen.  If you have any interest in exploring Whitey a little deeper you should check it out.  Goes into details about how he was experimented on with LSD in prison (voluntarily) that gave him nightmares for a lifetime.  Interesting read.

Offline 209

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #259 on: September 17, 2017, 05:54:03 PM »


The Limey (1999), directed by Steven Soderbergh

I wasn't sure whether to admit this or not, but I guess it's a good opportunity to cop to this. My exposure to Soderbergh is quite limited. That's not something that's going to continue, but I need to get it out straight away. Everyone's seen the Ocean's series or at least some of it, and that was good. So it's not like I have any problem with delving into his other works. I am going to do so over time. This film was very different than others that I've watched. The style in which it was edited was just so different from anything else. It was so bizarre.

I assume nobody has seen this, considering that I'd never heard of it until a week ago. So this section will be quite brief, and I have taken incredible care not to give too much away. A career criminal named Wilson (Terence Stamp) is headed to Los Angeles to find out what happened to his daughter (Melissa George). He read a newspaper clipping that was sent to him by Eduardo (Luis Guzman), and has come to the determination that his daughter wouldn't crash her car in the middle of the night, but that she was murdered. Eduardo passes him on to Elaine (Lesley Ann Warren), Jenny's acting coach, who tells him that her boyfriend was a man named Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda). We learn that Valentine is an older man that likes young women. We also learn that Wilson is a very violent career criminal. Lastly, we learn that Valentine has a private security team headed by Avery (Barry Newman). So what the fuck's going on here exactly?

The answer is a lot, although not as much as you'd think based on what I just told you. There are some great unmentioned side characters that I've never seen in anything else before, and many of the people who portray them haven't been in anything since then. One of them gets a couple of the best lines any character with less than ten lines has ever gotten. This film also doubles as a subtle critique of Hollywood, and if it wasn't intended to be, then I don't know how something could come off as such. Valentine embodied a Hollywood elitist to incredible degree. Whoever the inspiration was for this performance must have really had some kind of impact on Peter Fonda. It's perfect. His isn't the only one, though. Stamp's performance as a psychopath was strong too. The monologues are the kind of thing that make critics angry, but I thought they provided good laughs and levity to an incredibly serious film.

I would be remiss in bringing up this film and not getting to the nitty gritty of the editing. I had one sentence about it, but that's nowhere near enough. Soderbergh somehow got the rights to include clips from an old movie with Stamp in it in order to get over some aspects of his character. These flashbacks were simply edited into the rest of the movie, which itself was edited in the strangest possible fashion. I'm going to try to describe it. Much of the story is told in flashbacks and flash forwards. You get to see where the dialogue comes from, but immediately the film's editing kicks in and shows you a different picture that is either before or after the dialogue. You can't tell unless you're paying attention, and even then it's difficult, but I found it engaging. I'm probably not capable of describing how this worked, but I did my best. Major spoiler below:

Spoiler: show
There are also bits of editing that show the viewer things that don't happen at all.


The spoiler I have given is something else I found engaging if a bit frustrating, although it kept me on the edge of my seat at all times. I can see why this film never gained any financial traction nor cult status. The thing is, everyone's performance is pretty good. The Limey is also quite short and you can knock it out in 90 minutes, so it has that going for it.

Ultimately, somebody's enjoyment of the film is going to be entirely reliant on how they react to any mystery film. I found the editing enjoyable, but I'm certainly in the minority with that approach. Otherwise I'd have heard a lot more about this. I also thought the Los Angeles setting really fit this film. There's more to the setting than simply placing a movie somewhere, the director needs to get it and make people understand. That's what happened. For me, there's an early scene where Wilson is at a warehouse, and that's when I knew I had to complete this film (which I would have done anyway). It hooked me in, and even if the film had been edited more strangely, I would have kept going. I'm not sure how that's possible though. If you are not of the mind where you need to find out what happened in a mystery film, and if you can't handle a film being edited in a way you don't find to be straight forward...I strongly recommend not watching this film. It is not for you.

8/10

Offline 209

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #260 on: September 18, 2017, 05:19:51 PM »


Central Intelligence (2016), directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber

Central Intelligence is the first of the Rock's movies I've seen since Doom, and when watching this one I got the feeling that I haven't missed much of anything at all. The same can be said for Kevin Hart because I don't watch his shit either. I don't want it to sound like I thought this was horrible, because it wasn't. These guys are both funny and need to pick better scripts. I have no idea what either actor saw in this film.

Central Intelligence starts off in 1996, with Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) being honored at the last rally prior to high school graduation. During Calvin's speech, Trevor (Jason Bateman) and some other bullies throw Robbie Weirdicht (The Rock) into the gymnasium straight out of the showers. What's the point of that? Well, Robbie was a very fat kid. Only Calvin and his girlfriend Maggie (Danielle Nicolet) do not find this to be uproariously funny.

After that, we fast forward twenty years, to a time that doesn't make sense at all. Calvin's marriage to Maggie is struggling because Calvin believes he hasn't fulfilled his potential. Robbie on the other hand now looks exactly like the professional wrestler we know as the Rock. Robbie wants Calvin to help him with some accounting records, which Calvin does because he thinks Robbie is a cool guy and he felt bad for him to begin with. After Calvin does that, the next morning he receives a knock on his door. Robbie is gone, but the CIA is here, and Pamela Harris (Amy Ryan) is an agent who believes Robbie is a murderer. She states that Robbie killed his partner Phil (Aaron Paul), and is stealing codes under the name of the Black Badger. Harris wants something from Calvin, and so does Robbie, so on we go.

Despite the cameos, as well as the overarching plot which is interesting (although it barely holds together), this film is filled with horribly juvenile jokes. The culmination of the part that does matter was quite confusing and I had a hard time understanding what was going on. The culmination of the part that doesn't matter was terrible. The spectre of the high school reunion looms throughout the film, and it would have been better served to make that segment to close out the story very brief. Instead it felt long, never ending, and not remotely worth my time. I am not sure how this film failed to accomplish anything it seemed like it was supposed to do. I suppose I can blame the director for that. The action scenes are a big nothing as well, so even the one thing I was hoping to see in a film I thought may be bad didn't happen at all.

While there are a lot of bad jokes in this film, there are also good ones. At least if you are able to tolerate Kevin Hart. If you're not, this definitely isn't for you. Jason Bateman's turn was a bright spot and it felt like he took this material far more seriously than it deserved. Unfortunately it seems like both main actors care far more about business than being in good movies, so even though Kevin Hart could do more than try to be Chris Tucker, that's not what happened here. There's only so much actors can do with a bad plot, and it really felt like Hart was trying. Didn't matter. Another good thing was that this flew by, at least until the ending that dragged on and on forever. Also, those two should be in more movies together. Hopefully better ones.

5.5/10

Offline cobainwasmurdered

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #261 on: September 18, 2017, 05:28:59 PM »
Pain and Gain is a movie with Rock you'd have a much better chance of liking I think. I enjoyed CI for what it was but i'd put it about where you did. Rock/Hart are a great duo and luckily you'll get to see them together again in "Jumanji"!!

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #262 on: September 18, 2017, 05:37:57 PM »
The Jumanji thing makes me want to VOMIT but I guess I have to watch it don't I.

Offline cobainwasmurdered

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Re: In Which I Review Movies
« Reply #263 on: September 18, 2017, 08:30:47 PM »
Yes Mr.  Remake I would say so.