Author Topic: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers  (Read 383 times)

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Online Firmino of the 909

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2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« on: January 10, 2019, 11:47:24 AM »


Escape Room (2019), directed by Adam Robitel

Escape Room was the first and so far only film released in 2019, and in some ways this is the perfect kind of film to ring in a new year. We needed a goofy horror movie to kick things off, and Escape Room is up to the task. I know that these films are similar to Saw as many people have said that already, but the thing is that I've never seen Saw. I can only assume that it's one of these kinds of puzzle movies. That seems like something that could be horribly repetitive after a while, but as it comes to Escape Room, such puzzles are seemingly sanitized and not given an R rating. That, I assume, is the difference between the two. I see that Escape Room has already made a hefty chunk of money compared to its budget, and seemingly there are a lot of reasons for that. The budget was quite low in the first place, I assume because of a lack of name actors. I only recognized one of them from True Blood. There were also just a handful of sets, some of which may or may not have been full of real things. I assume not, but even if so, this couldn't have been too expensive. One thing's for sure, this movie was designed to make money on a small budget. Sony will probably be very happy with this.

I suppose I should start things off by saying the first three or four minutes of the film spoil the rest. Show up late if you're bothered by this. I have no idea why studios allow filmmakers to use these kinds of flash-forwards prior to when they tell their story. Anyway, I don't want to say what it is, so let's go back. Six people are sent a package with a puzzle box, calling them to come to a Minos Escape Room with the chance of winning $10,000. All of them have their own unique circumstances, and I'll explain them in the most basic way possible. Zoey (Taylor Russell) is a quantum physics student who is too shy to speak in front of other people. She also seems to have anxiety problems. Ben (Logan Miller) is a guy who is trapped in a stockroom job, the owner of his store will simply not let him interact with customers. The owner says there's a good reason for this, and it isn't just because Ben's a cigarette puffing alcoholic. Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll) and Mike (Tyler Labine) are our two more mysterious ones, to tell their story is to spoil big chunks of the film, so I won't. Jason (Jay Ellis) is a young stock trader/broker, he's interested in the money and that's why he's there. Danny (Nik Dodani) is a video game enthusiast and escape room fanatic, he's really into this shit.

So, once the group comes together, they are asked to turn over their phones and proceed to a waiting room. Danny sneaks a phone in, but it's irrelevant as the enormous concrete building blocks any use of cell phones. After they introduce themselves to each other, Ben gets tired of waiting and needs to have a damn cigarette. Too bad for him, he can't. The door handle breaks off and locks everyone in the room, with all we can see being a temperature gauge. The group is subsequently tasked with figuring out the temperature gauge, and once they do that, things get crazy. The waiting room turns into an oven, and they need to find out how to get out of the room without turning on other parts of it, which are inevitable. Ultimately, the final task in this one of many complicated puzzle rooms is to find a way to place weighted coasters on a table long enough for the characters to climb through a duct. All of the marketing shows you that they do, and that they wind up in a room reminiscent of a winter landscape. How will they get out of that?

The premise, as I think it already sounds like, is quite simplistic. Most of the intrigue is based upon what the rooms will look like, at least from my perspective. I caught on pretty fast as to what was going to happen, and truthfully so should everyone else. You'd have to be kind of an idiot to be surprised by any of this stuff. Of course, that being said, it doesn't make the movie less fun. It's a decent ride while it lasts, although I do have some major gripes. The third act is beyond bad, and I was hoping for pretty much any other solution to the problem, but that was not what we were going to get. This isn't a film that deserves a lot of deep thought, it's interesting enough. The opening is bad too, though. I don't accept the prologue at all, it ruined a lot of the intrigue in terms of who lives and dies. It's too bad. Much of the premise is also rendered irrelevant by the events that come to follow, but I did think there were some good surprises with Amanda.

The characters and rooms are goofy, but I think everyone who went to the theater to see this knew that would happen. The end of the film is also blatant sequel-bait, the kind which I would expect from a January horror movie. Just look at the film calendar for the last few years and see what I mean. It would have been nice if a few of these characters stuck around longer and some of the others were disposed of more quickly, but I thought this was acceptable fun. A movie like this is near devoid of content, so it's difficult to discuss on this level. Of course, the characters have a tie to each other, and learning that is part of the reason I said the third act wasn't so good. I'm sure there will be a sequel, but it's hard to imagine a sequel being better than this. I would call it decent and the score will reflect that, but I'm trying to make sure I score the 2019 offerings better. I won't post a list until I'm a few films into this year.

5.5/10


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 05:29:52 PM »
Spoilers, obviously. A lot of them.



Glass (2019), directed by M. Night Shyamalan

Even though Glass is destined to make shitloads of money, it's possible that I have never been disappointed more by a film in my entire life. I have been looking forward to Glass for months, I was convinced that a film with this concept and these characters would not be a mistake. Rarely before does such a concept seem so likely to succeed prior to the release of the film. However, I suppose, I did forget about the most important piece of the puzzle. As much as television is about the quality of the writers, film is the realm of great directors. There are countless directors who partake in acts of self-sabotage because they cannot help themselves. Sometimes, their inability to help themselves creates films like Unbreakable and Split. Glass is not one of these films. Even though it inhabits the same universe as those two works, Glass is a film that arguably shouldn't even have been made but for Shyamalan's ability to create a big box office on a relatively small budget ($20,000,000). This is something that was unquestionably created and filmed much too quickly, with no opportunity for Shyamalan to change his mind about pretty much anything. I have read that he started writing the script just a month or so after the release of Split, so this finale (if it is one) could not have been something conceived long ago. This was clearly rushed. You know what the worst thing about Glass is? It's fucking boring.

Boasting one of the best concepts for a comic movie ever, Glass takes place just three weeks after the events of Split, the story remaining set in Philadelphia. David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is back, he works with Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark), who is now his adult son. David has fully embraced his superpowers and uses them to protect people, just as Unbreakable suggested would happen. His alias is "The Overseer", and along with Joseph, they are intending to hunt down Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy). Kevin is still suffering from disassociative personality disorder and has been locked away by his other personalities/The Horde, all of whom seem to appear throughout this film. So, if you're here for that, you'll get exactly what you want. The Horde has captured a group of cheerleaders, this time inside of a warehouse and not at the Philadelphia zoo. David is on the hunt for The Horde, hoping that he's able to touch him and have some kind of vision. Once he does, David heads into a warehouse and frees the girls, at which point we have the confrontation we've all been waiting for. The fight between David and The Beast is great, it's one of the only things in Glass that I don't have a complaint about.

Unfortunately, we are not treated to many more confrontations throughout the rest of Glass. The police are able to capture David and The Beast, which leads to them both being institutionalized. We also learn that Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), otherwise known as Mr. Glass, has been placed in this facility for many years. The hospital's head doctor is an interesting woman, Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson). Dr. Staple is entirely convinced that this concept of superheroes is complete bullshit. She specializes in working with patients who say they have special powers, and her remit is to find out what kind of people these really are. Dr. Staple's main form of doing so is to tell these three special individuals that they have a mental illness, that there isn't anything great about them and that regular people could do things similar to the things they do. Throughout this part of the film, we are introduced to...all of Kevin's personalities. David is held in a cell that could be flooded by a water tank, so he can't leave. In Kevin's case, there are lights placed by the door, and when one of his crazy personalities shows up as he walks towards the door, the lights come on and Kevin changes from one personality to the next. So, with all that in mind, we wait to see if Dr. Staple will perform surgery on these three. In the case of Elijah, he is very heavily sedated and can't do anything.

Now I'm going to leave some lines where you could turn around.

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I did already say that this movie is fucking boring, and it sure is. The film is super high concept, as you can tell, but it lacks punch and excitement. The joyless second act completely dooms the film, and truthfully, at that point I had made up my mind on how I felt about Glass. Nothing could save matters at that point, but the conclusion of the film just further solidified my opinion. Glass is dull. There's no other way to put it. What's worse than dull is that the ending is unsatisfying. Perhaps the boring second act is a result of the low budget, or perhaps the budget was a result of the script being written this way. I don't really care. There's also commentary on Shyamalan's career as a whole, but I couldn't find a way to care enough to write about that. I am very, very disappointed. The film makes attempts to redeem Elijah and Kevin, as you'd expect. As a result, we see the two characters attached to them either by blood or circumstance. Elijah's mother (Charlayne Woodard) and Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) do make appearances, but in the case of Casey, this appearance feels very wrong and misguided. It's absolutely necessary to see the first two films in this trilogy in order to understand anything that's going on here, but I wish that I'd left matters with those two films and never went to see this one. The performances, as well as our clash between The Beast and David at the start of the film, are our lone positives. McAvoy's ability to act out these personalities is always a joy.

The point of joylessness that really sticks with me, the thing that I keep thinking of whenever I try to write a sentence, is the matter of the narrative revolving around a character questioning the abilities of three people who we know have them. The characters have been introduced to us already and we do not need to have their credentials questioned, but that happens for 40-50 minutes. It is a very frustrating and painful exercise to be put through this. The problem with Glass is that it's quite clear to me that Shyamalan either didn't know how to close out his trilogy or that he shouldn't have been allowed to. The message the film departs with is absolutely mystifying, and the constraints of the psychiatric hospital turn matters into something that feels like a bottle episode of Star Trek. We are never really given what we want, and what we should have had was a film with many of these elements placed in entirely different positions. David should have been hunting down Kevin the whole time. The problem is that there's no real way to get to that point within the series, and I think what we have here is a group of characters whose stories never could have been meaningfully concluded. Such is life. I'm really bummed, though. There's nothing any of our three superpowered characters bring to the table that we didn't already know about in the first place. It was all those years and still David had no answer to his water weakness, there's no element of true surprise here. From a filmmaker noted for his insane twists, I can't think of anything more perfunctory than how Glass turned out.

I didn't read any other reviews before or after going to see this, but I suspect that a lot of reviewers harbor deep disappointment over how this turned out. I could easily have rated this lower, but I can only imagine what it would have been like to have watched Unbreakable 18 years ago and for this to be the follow-up. Like, for real. Holy shit.

4/10


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2019, 12:54:38 PM »


The Upside (2019), directed by Neil Burger

Before I got to the theater, I was anticipating writing a review about how this was yet another unnecessary remake, following the unnecessary remake I reviewed last night. The problem with this opinion is that clearly it was necessary considering how many people have gone to see it in comparison to its budget, in combination with the amount of laughter I and others were eagerly participating in. Of course, this is a flawed film, and you might be able to expect where I'm going with this, but with these sorts of stories there's always an undercurrent of black people and white people from different backgrounds being able to get along with each other. I should note that I don't think think this is the worst thing in the world, but it seems that the film industry is convinced these stories need to be told. The Intouchables wasn't the first instance of this, and I think everyone knows that this kind of movie is super corny, but at the same time, there are ways to give it the material a bit of a boost. I thought Green Book did so with the exception of one or two particular scenes, and for the most part, The Upside did this as well. I also saw that there were some tweaks from the source material, and I think this is for the best. That being said, I think everyone knows that the formula of a black person making a white person care about life again is getting very tiresome. As long as it's funny though...

Our film begins with one of those things I detest, a flash forward. I'll spare you from that part of the story because I really hate that shit. Anyway, Dell Scott (Kevin Hart) is a parolee with a very rough background. He's been robbing people, pulling guns on people, apparently for quite a long time. He doesn't really want to get a job, but at the same time, he's desperate. You need signatures if you're on parole, signatures that prove you're looking for work. He doesn't have enough of them, and the jobs he's forced to go for are really shitty. His son Anthony doesn't really care about him after years of neglect, and his ex Latrice (Aja Naomi King) wants nothing to do with him. In a moment when Dell has nowhere to stay, he's told by Latrice to get out of her project house. Fortunately, he has received a job opportunity, even though it's one that he'd certainly rather not do.

Phillip Lacasse (Bryan Cranston) is a very rich older man, he's also a quadraplegic. Dell arrives at his place assuming that he's going to interview in the janitorial field, which is something befitting of his talents after the wrongs he's done and lack of willingness to do anything with his life. Yvonne (Nicole Kidman) is Phillip's executive, and over the course of the film we learn that Phillip got rich by investing in bad businesses and turning them around. He's also written books on this subject, letting people know about his ideas on business theory. Phillip's day is obviously very difficult for everyone, most of all him. He can only move his neck, so there are a host of qualified professionals wanting this position. Dell wants a signature from Yvonne or Phillip so that he can move on to the next thing, but it turns out that Phillip wants someone unqualified so that the next time he has a health crisis, he can just die. Even though Dell didn't want this job on the first day, after Latrice gave him the big boot, he doesn't have much of a choice. So, Dell signs up, cashes a big check, and takes on the job of doing everything for Phillip. The most important thing seems to be to get Phillip the hell out of his penthouse.

The film is very careful not to show Phillip's complete redemption, which is what saves this from being a brutal fantasy of a movie. Instead, I thought this was funny due to who they chose as cast members. Obviously, this was predictable, cliched, all of that shit. It's still funny and there are some great gags. It isn't just Kevin Hart, but Cranston is more than capable of holding up his end. I haven't seen the original film, but I'm pretty sure nothing about my opinion would change. I understand the original got better reviews, but I feel how I feel about this kind of story. There are good ones and bad ones, but they aren't great. This film was shelved for so long because the Weinstein Company collapsed, but I think this was a film that needed to be shelved anyway. Green Book came out, and this is a cliched story as I already said. I'm surprised this was ever made, but people need their English-language remakes, don't they? The Upside is a funny film, I won't deny this. I actually laughed a lot, but it plays things quite safe. Again, the laughs go back to the casting and in having someone like Cranston in the wheelchair, there's a good foil for Kevin Hart to play off of.

Obviously, I think whoever decided to make this film again decided that they would rather see Kevin Hart in the role Omar Sy played, and I guess that's alright. This is a bromance movie to the core, it's also a movie that has to balance a thin line due to how much it makes one think that all a rich white guy needs to be happy is someone from the hood to balance them out. But, I don't really go against crowd reaction nor do I go against my heart, and I liked this. I thought there were issues with the visual quality of the projection in my theater, though. There was too much blue shading, and I also thought that some of the production in general was a bit goofy. The ending of the film seems to run on for far too long, and I don't really care about the redemption story of either character. What I was there for was to have a good laugh, see what would happen, and hope that the two guys had some good adventures. There's nothing wrong with that, is there?

6/10


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2019, 11:44:26 AM »


Serenity (2019), directed by Steven Knight

Ah, January. Finally I come across one of these films that was obviously dumped here because the studio knew that it was a bad idea to release something like this when people were paying attention. I wasn't able to find the time to see Replicas before it was yanked from theaters, so this has to suffice as my first experience with a January dump. I wonder how films like this one are made in the first place. There are tons of reasons why Serenity shouldn't have been made at all, and it's going to take everything within me to not spoil the film's huge twist. This is a twist that's so bad that once you see it, you'll never forget it. I laughed constantly once this happened, and there were other people in the theater who were not, so I have no idea what they thought. To call Serenity ambitious would be an immense understatement, but I'm convinced that this will be considered one of the year's worst films. Serenity is also a very critically divisive movie, it appears. I was looking at Metacritic and saw Richard Roeper had given it an 88 (yikes), and that the Washington Post's reviewer gave the film a 12. I think you can easily decipher which of those two streets I'm on. I will say one thing though. The horrendous twist helped to liven up the film when it was in danger of becoming very boring.

Serenity takes place on an island seemingly in the Caribbean, a fictional place called Plymouth Island. In reality this was filmed in Mauritius, quite the amazing and exotic place to film a movie. No wonder they attracted a great cast with a horrible script like this one. I would love to go somewhere like this. Anyway, the film begins with Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) out on his fishing boat with his first mate Duke (Djimon Hounsou). These two are guiding some tourists through sport fishing. While out there in the beautiful Indian Ocean waters, they get a bite from a gigantic tuna fish, the kind which these tourists paid to try to catch. Dill has different plans though. His intention is to catch the fish himself, and if you don't know about sport fishing, the scene with him putting on a harness and all that is highly amusing. Dill pulls a knife on the fat tourists to get them to back off the fishing rods, but even though he's done that, he's unable to catch the fish himself. After this, we learn that Dill keeps a log of notes on this fish, and we also learn that he's struggling financially. When he can't catch anything to make money after selling it, he goes and dicks down Constance (Diane Lane), a local woman with an adult son working in Miami pumping gas. At some point, Constance would like her son to work on Dill's boat. In the meantime, a man named Reid Miller (Jeremy Strong) is attempting to get in contact with Dill for some reason. We consistently see a man in a suit, the only such man on the island, and he'll walk through water in order to get to Dill. How odd.

These things I described above took up about ten minutes of the film. Dill has these visions of him with his son Patrick back in the past, but he's out on this boat now and it's time to dick down or get to fishing. Duke and Dill both have monetary problems in part because of this chase for the big tuna, and they're getting close to a point where Dill could lose his boat for non-payment of loans. Dill lives in a shipping container himself, the island life is no easy life for him. One day, Dill is met with a dose of his past, when Karen (Anne Hathaway) arrives in the only bar on the island. Karen has a request of Dill, one that will help him out quite a lot. It also turns out that Patrick is their son, and that Dill really wants nothing to do with her. It appears that Karen ran off in the past with a man named Frank (Jason Clarke), an abusive alcoholic with a penchant for sport fishing. Frank is also quite rich. Frank is not yet on Plymouth Island, but Karen has a request. Karen desperately wants Dill to save her from her marriage, save their son, all that stuff. If he does what she asks, she will give him ten million dollars. His mission is simple. He needs to forget about catching the big fish and kill Frank. And on top of that? I guess Dill's name isn't Dill? I don't know why this matters.

I cut things off before getting to the twist in this film, which was so bad that I will not write anything about it other than how bad it was. It's the kind of thing you need to see for yourself. There is nothing I could say that would prepare you for it, as the twist is completely incomprehensible trash. I did laugh a ton after said twist, I just couldn't help myself. Again, nothing really prepares you for this. The actors seemed to either know exactly how bad this twist was or leaned all the way into their characters. Jason Clarke is the best example of this. To say that he hammed it up would be an understatement, and there were times I thought McConaughey was doing the same thing. Other actors, like Diane Lane, weren't in the film enough for their contributions to matter. The early introduction of her character in combination with her lack of importance to the plot despite constant appearances, makes me think her scenes were left on the cutting room floor. I am left at a loss as to how such a film could even be made, or picked up after being made. Aviron had to have bought the rights at a pittance as nobody should have thought this was good after watching a screener, but it seems that some people really do believe in this film. I can't figure out why.

With my reticence to spoil the film's twist, I must wrap things up as best I can. I am only not spoiling it because it is genuinely the worst twist in a film that I have ever seen and I think people deserve the opportunity to see that without being spoiled. The twist does make this fun, I must admit. This is camp in the extreme, I thought it was gone but it really isn't. A movie like this couldn't possibly feel more like trash than this does. There's a scene where Dill is going to take his ex-wife from behind after treating her like shit, he sees the marks on her back from her being beaten with a belt, pumps away for a little bit and just stops. Nothing about this makes sense, but at the same time, I have to recommend it. If you want to have a fun time watching a very bad film, go no further than this. It's an assault on your senses, it's very difficult to hold in your laughter, and best of all it isn't boring. The film is also nice to look at in the background, with Lane and Hathaway being no exception, but the film is so singularly focused on McConaughey and you see a lot of him sweating and looking like a disgusting pig. If this was only a neo-noir about someone trying to catch a tuna, I have no idea what I'd think, but it's much more than that.

3/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   The Upside
2.   Escape Room
3.   Glass
4.   Serenity


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2019, 06:29:37 PM »


Miss Bala (2019), directed by Catherine Hardwicke

Do we really need an English-language remake of a Mexican movie when the target audience seems to be Mexican-Americans? This is an existential crisis of sorts, I'm not sure this is a film that should even exist, but I went to see it tonight because I genuinely could not remember the last time I went to see an action film in a modern setting where people shot at each other. I am struggling to think of any possibilities, so I did a search and found that the last time was The Girl in the Spider's Web, which wasn't particularly good. I also saw that way back in the middle of November, many months ago. Oddly enough, both these films were released by Sony, both of them weren't particularly good. They're of similar quality, with one distinct difference between the two. One is a straight remake of a film that was acclaimed and therefore has no excuse to feel so uninspired. I must admit that I'm not familiar with the director, only with our lead actress, who I like very much. I think that this is a film that doesn't bring much to the table at all, and I thought that if there were any messages in the first film, they were certainly lost in a remake that entirely lacks messaging and any semblance of a theme at all. Instead, we have a movie where someone is simply trying to find out where their friend is, and will do anything in order to pull that off. Yawn.

Miss Bala is about Gloria Fuentes (Gina Rodriguez), a makeup artist from Los Angeles who wants to make something more of herself. Her boss at a random fashion show ignores her, but she's on her way to Tijuana anyway. Her reason? She wants to visit her friend Suzu (Cristina Rodlo), who lives with her kid brother in Mexico. It turns out that Gloria also once moved to Mexico, but she was born in the United States and eventually came back. The main impetus for Gloria's visit is because she's going to be the makeup artist for Suzu, who wants to enter the Miss Baja California beauty pageant. Suzu is pretty and all, but some of the scenes where Gloria is treated as if she looks like shit defy explanation. Anyway, Suzu and Gloria decide to go out at a club. We are subsequently introduced to the police chief, a man named Saucedo (Damian Alcazar), and apparently he holds some swing at the pageant. Suzu tells Gloria that the winners wind up sleeping with him, and I puke because this guy is disgusting. Anyway, while Gloria's in the bathroom, in come some guys through the vents. They have guns, and they have a plan. They also want Gloria to shut the fuck up. So, they go in there to try to kill Saucedo, but it doesn't go so well, and Saucedo's able to escape. In the aftermath, Suzu and Gloria are split up, and Gloria's unable to find her friend.

The next morning, after Gloria sleeps in a cafe, she's desperate to find out what happened to her friend. She goes up to a police officer and tells him about the guys who shot up the club, which is pretty much the stupidest thing she could have done as the guys told her not to. Not only that, but people like those guys have connections, right? Apparently one of them is the police officer, who subsequently takes Gloria to meet with the gang's leader. These guys are called the Estrellas, and led by Lino Esparza (Ismael Cruz Cordova). Lino lived in the States for some time himself, but he was deported at a young age and never really fit into either society. Lino, as you might suspect from a cartel leader, is a bad guy. He decides to threaten Suzu's brother in the process of all this, and he wants Gloria to bomb a DEA safehouse. Gloria just wants to get find her friend, but this is going to become an extremely large problem. Another example is the fact that the DEA knows all about her and wants to get to know her better. Brian (Matt Lauria) is a supervising agent with a big file on Gloria. His intention is to get her to place a tracking card into Nino's phone which will allow the DEA to arrest or kill him.

This movie is extremely formulaic, and I don't think I need to say anything more than I already have about the plot. It seems like it would be clear to everyone that this is standard popcorn fare. There are some good laughs, but the intermittent mixing of Spanish language into these jokes (sometimes without subtitles) shows me that the market audience for this is...people who very well could have watched the original film. Gina Rodriguez does her absolute best with the material, direction, and lack of inspiration in the script. I'm not sure if this is a shot for shot remake or what, but I know that I need to watch the original Miss Bala. At some point I definitely well. The action scenes are alright I suppose, they scratched the itch I was trying to scratch. I just wanted to see something where people shot at each other. This worked to that end, but I was displeased by some of the narrative decisions here. The DEA thing seems to oddly go by the wayside, and I would say the conclusion of the film bordered on sequel bait. Was not expecting that at all.

I feel like there's so much more to this story that was never explored. At the end of the film, one of the characters says that Gloria was a survivor...and yeah, except the part where she got another woman killed and didn't say anything, yeah, I guess she survived. This scene is one that turns me on the film almost completely, one that destroyed my opinion of Gloria, and I just couldn't stomach the film much after that. I've done my absolute best to rein in some of my tendencies to overrate movies in the moments after viewing them, and with that in mind, this was very much not good. One of the descriptions of the film is that Gloria takes power of her situation, and that's certainly one bogus as hell way to describe these events. Unfortunately, the PG-13 rating neuters Miss Bala massively. These kinds of movies have to be rated R, like Sicario. Truthfully, this is no Sicario and for me to compare the two of them is absolutely terrible, but I feel like it's essential to show how one story works and the other doesn't. There is literally nothing in this that is as good as anything in Sicario. There are a few decent action scenes, but that's pretty much it. I'm glad I didn't have to pay to see this, but I think the disconnect in this is movie is best shown by the film's villain. There's things he does that I can't imagine a cartel member actually doing with someone he's forced into captivity, and that's all that needs to be said about this.

4/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   The Upside
2.   Escape Room
3.   Miss Bala
4.   Glass
5.   Serenity


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2019, 06:39:33 AM »


Velvet Buzzsaw (2019), directed by Dan Gilroy

It's very difficult to talk about a film like Velvet Buzzsaw, because it's attempting to bring a lot to the table and remain fun at the same time. But is it really trying to bring a lot to the table? I thought Velvet Buzzsaw is supposed to be a film mocking the art world, and to that end it certainly achieved the goals aspired to. Nothing could possibly be more of a giveaway that this is a satire than the names given to each of the characters here. I am eagerly anticipating naming and describing all of them. Let's put it this way. The movie is eagerly goofy, you have to realize that from the moment you turn it on, and admittedly it's also nice to look at. The actors all get their turn to go full bore into their role, and while those roles don't often turn out to complete characters, I thought this was a lot of fun. My enjoyment of Velvet Buzzsaw is derived from the fact that I think this was supposed to be a comedy. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but Dan Gilroy thinks the same as I do. The point was to skewer the art world, to do so in an entertaining way, and he wrote his script based on that stuff. Now, see, that's something I really like. I was in awe for the most part as it came to watching this film, because there were definitely a few bad scenes and some that were more than good. The mannerisms, the vehicles, the costumes...all of that stuff just feels right, and I couldn't hate this movie.

How do you describe something that defies description? Morf Vandewalt (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a bisexual art critic who decides to attend an exhibition in Miami with his friend, Josephina (Zawe Ashton). Josephina is a stereotypical posh Brit with an inflated opinion of herself, but at the beginning of the film, she's been cheated on. So, the situation changes a little bit. In Miami we are fully introduced to our cast of characters, so I'll roll with that. Josephina works for an art gallery owner named Rhodora (Rene Russo), and Rhodora was in a band called Velvet Buzzsaw. Trust me, it's pertinent. Piers (John Malkovich) is a former artist himself, Gretchen (Toni Collette) is a curator who makes deals with various galleries, and Jon Dondon (Tom Sturridge) owns one of those competing galleries. Rhodora's gallery is called Haze, and she's going to run a show with a new artist who had previously specialized in street art, a former homeless man named Damrish (Daveed Diggs). In addition, we have two other people who work at Haze. There's the receptionist/assistant Coco (Natalie Dyer) and a blue collar working man who does all their shitty jobs, a guy named Bryson (Billy Magnussen). Bryson obviously has a crush on Josephina and Coco, but he's a working man and they seem to not give a shit about him. Now, with that in mind, I should transport the scene over to Los Angeles.

Back in Los Angeles, there isn't much going on other than the usual art world dealings. We learn that Morf hates his love life with his boyfriend, so eventually he starts a relationship with Josephina. Josephina herself goes home and finds a dead man named Vetril Dease in her apartment building. She sees a piece of art in his house and can't help herself, so she walks in and discovers a ton of paintings. Naturally, with Josephina not in the best financial position and her position in this world not entirely secure, she decides to steal the paintings. She fabricates a story, and with the help of lawyers she comes to the determination that she found these in a dumpster after Vetril died. Morf and Rhodora are completely entranced by these works and see a huge opportunity to sell the pieces, with Morf wanting to write very positive reviews. In return, Morf gets to write a book and it seems that everyone will make a huge amount of money from this. Now, to skip over some details in order to not spoil the film, let's talk about what happens when one of these characters decides to transport these pictures. The person opens a crate with the intention of stealing a picture, then they crash into an abandoned gas station out in the Angeles Forest. When they head into the gas station, they are subsequently attacked by a painting of monkeys working on a car, and the character goes missing along with the paintings they were transporting.

Do you see now how goofy this film is? There really isn't anything I can say to properly illustrate how much this is the case. Vetril's paintings are deliberately formed in a way where you can't tell if they're good or not, but that's the goddamn point of the film. This movie is goofy, the point is that art being good or not is entirely subjective and that the things people say or do as it relates to that art is very funny. Once the movie gets as serious as it could possibly get, I thought Jake Gyllenhaal really went nuts with his performance. Going all in is just one way to describe his performance, I thought it was similar to the one in Okja while remaining distinct enough and not completely goofy. I also think it's interesting for a film like this to be released so early in the year, but that's really the only time for it. I believe Netflix gave Velvet Buzzsaw a $21 million budget, I can see why. The movie is filmed very nicely and clean, similar to The Neon Demon even though there's a very distinct difference in quality between the films. Still, there are lots of great scenes with Gyllenhaal that carry this. One where he can't get hard, ostensibly because Josephina is a woman, that really cracked me up.

I also thought there was some interesting commentary on what people do with artistic works once an artist has died and given instructions that are never followed by those who carry out their wishes. Art can truly not die with the artist. Of course, this manifests itself in an interesting way, for lack of a better term. There's also some stuff with the artist being a murderer and people being completely willing to sell their work anyway, which as we know is the way things are. This commentary is merely superficial though. I think it's a neat twist that some dead guy's art inspires artwork to start killing people, but even typing out that sentence you can see how ridiculous this film is. Ones enjoyment of this is entirely related to the amount of ridiculous concepts they can tolerate, and in my case it appears there are a whole lot. I thought it was interesting the way Velvet Buzzsaw approached the way some facets of elite society work, but this is still a flawed film. The concept is so far out there that one cannot possibly conceive of another way to bring all these ideas together, but the ideas themselves are quite dark. In other words, that's right up my alley.

The pretentious attitudes of these characters are off the charts to an extent I've rarely seen, but I need to go back and look at Gilroy's last work. In any case, I think this is a worthy followup to Nightcrawler although the film is not of similar quality. The emphasis on how important money corrupts an industry just isn't as nicely woven through the film. I think calling this a horror movie would be a mistake in that nothing is seemingly intended to make the audience scared, and I also thought that Josephina was a poorly constructed caricature and given focus that wasn't commensurate with what the role brought to the table. Still though, this was fun, I think Roger Corman would be a fan of this.

6/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Velvet Buzzsaw
2.   The Upside
3.   Escape Room
4.   Miss Bala
5.   Glass
6.   Serenity


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2019, 12:58:48 PM »


Cold Pursuit (2019), directed by Hans Petter Moland

Including Netflix offerings, there were five films released this week. It seemed as if at least one of these would turn out to be 2019's first good film, and the one I was interested in seeing the most was Cold Pursuit. To talk about Cold Pursuit without mentioning what Liam Neeson said is an impossibility, so I should get it out of the way. It's beyond dispute that Liam Neeson did something extremely racist, and it's fortunate that he didn't actually kill someone. However, this was also a long time ago according to him, and considering that he brought this up without prompting, it seems like something he'd been thinking about recently and was unable to let go. His apology does suffice, but I'm not one of the people he could have wronged. That being said, I think that in order for our world to move on from its racist past, there has to be some contrition for racist deeds. In order to do so, one must admit they did something racist in the first place, which is what Liam Neeson did. Where he goes from here, that isn't really up to me. He did also seek help in order to put those thoughts behind him, which I think is crucial. I think everyone knows that he did something racist, but it's everyone's own decision to decide if he should be forgiven for having those thoughts long in the past. I simply do not know what his deeds are that showed he doesn't feel that way now, now that being said...I think I've made clear before that I'll watch anyone's movies. Liam Neeson is never going to be an exception on that list because there aren't any exceptions. We have to be able to talk about these situations where nobody has been harmed so that we can learn from each other. Now, moving on...

Cold Pursuit is about Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson), a snowplow driver who lives in a fictional resort town in Colorado. He lives with his wife Grace (Laura Dern), and the film begins with him picking up his son Kyle (Micheal Richardson) on the way home. Kyle needs to go to work, so he bothers his mom's car, but that's the last time his parents will see him. While Nels is at a ceremony being awarded Citizen of the Year for his snowplow driving, his son supposedly dies from a heroin overdose, but the audience knows what really happened. A man with a code name of Speedo (Michael Eklund) took him out into the woods, probably did give him a shitload of heroin, but he was shooting at him in the first place. Point is, Speedo was going to kill Kyle anyway. The reason why may have been mentioned at some point during the film, but I'm genuinely not sure. One can only postulate as to why because I don't think it was explictly stated and it's the audiences job to realize it. Anyway, Nels' life goes into a complete tailspin after this event. It appears that Grace hates his guts because they didn't know their son well enough, which leads to Grace taking all her shit and leaving their mountain cabin, never to be seen again.

Now I should bring myself back to the start of the last paragraph. Is Cold Pursuit really about Nels Coxman? Nels has every intention of killing himself, but his son's co-worker shows up at Coxman's place of work. Coxman is subsequently told that his son was murdered by a drug cartel, which leads to...I think you know what happens. This is a Liam Neeson movie after all. Now let's get to brass tacks. It appears that there's a big problem in Colorado, with two different drug gangs having an issue with each other because of what Coxman has done to the employees of the first man, a cartel leader based in Denver who goes by Viking (Tom Bateman). This is a code name, of course. Viking has a family situation with his ex-wife Aya (Julia Jones) and his son, but Coxman has been picking off his guys. He can't have that. Unbeknownst to him, Coxman has a brother who goes by Wingman (William Forsythe), and Wingman was more than willing to provide Coxman with the information he needed. Viking seems believes that these deaths are being caused by a Native American cartel led by White Bull (Tom Jackson), they're based in the fictional town of Kehoe. Obviously, he's wrong. In the meantime, we have two police officers, a young detective we'll call Kim (Emmy Rossum) and an older guy named Gip (John Doman). Gip wants to keep Kehoe as a place without any drama, but Kim seems to see there's a drug war on their turf and wants to put a stop to it.

I'll be the first to admit that Cold Pursuit has some major plot holes and leaves a ton of loose ends open, but this is also a film that is intended to be funny and succeeds greatly in accomplishing that. The marketing is beyond misleading here and this is not a revenge thriller to anywhere near the extent that you'd think. The director is hellbent on ensuring that the audience is laughing consistently, which I was. At least, that is, when I could hear the movie over the douchebag who was snoring in the seat next to mine. I eventually had to move because of that. Cold Pursuit almost goes into the realm of satire at some point, you could very well argue that it goes far beyond that. When one of the tough guy henchmen does something...entirely unexpected in a movie like this one, I laughed so much that I was starting to feel uncomfortable. This part alone would have won me over, but there are a lot more prior to that point. For some, this may be considered overkill, but I am not one of those people. Cold Pursuit also has unexpected artistic quality in the delivery of these death scenes, but I won't spoil that either.

This is a film with some deep flaws, but the things I mentioned earlier go a long way to covering those up. This is an English-language remake made by the same director, which seems to continue a trend in early 2019. A lot of films have been an English-language remake. Yawn. This being from the same director, they probably had solid awareness of what they may have done wrong with their original film. I don't know as I haven't seen that one, so that's a bad assumption I should apologize for. Still, I'm surprised by the way this turned out. I should also mention that the plot holes about why Kyle died and how Kim's character has her investigation completely flounder are so enormous they can't be ignored. Emmy Rossum and Laura Dern are completely wasted here. However, I think that if you believe this is a revenge movie after having watched this, you've totally missed the point. It's a comedy with a cartoon level villain who was trying to do his best Jason Clarke in Serenity level performance, and Tom Bateman completely succeeded at this.

I think Cold Pursuit could be entirely subjective in the sense that one's appreciation for dark comedy may be the reason for their interest. I must reiterate that this is not a typical Liam Neeson movie, and in fact his character fades into the background a bit while the director decides to go much more comedic with things. I was a bit disappointed with some of the creative decisions, but overall I thought this was a very funny film. The first half was a good Neeson revenge story as those things are, but the second half leaned all the way in towards comedy, which I appreciated very much. Very rarely does a film with this much killing go so dark with it, but one may hate all the nicknames and goofy shit that reminded me of a 1980s movie. I, on the other hand, really enjoyed it. At least this wasn't another copy of Taken and went another route.

7/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Cold Pursuit
2.   Velvet Buzzsaw
3.   The Upside
4.   Escape Room
5.   Miss Bala
6.   Glass
7.   Serenity


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2019, 12:12:01 PM »


The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019), directed by Mike Mitchell

After having watched two of these Lego movies in January, I think it's a fair judgment to say that the novelty wore off. This appears to have been the case for a lot of people judging from the first weekend's box office receipts, which had to be painfully disappointing for Warner Bros. and for the people who wanted to turn the Lego Cinematic Universe into something that lasted for a long time. The receipts are such that I'm uncertain another entry will be made for this franchise, which on some levels is too bad, but on another level I think these films have become a little too childish. The key to any successful animated movies is to ensure that adults are interested enough for a word of mouth to build up and for people to take their kids to the film. I don't think that was achieved here at all and with good reason, the film just doesn't have that kind of hook for older people. It isn't that I hate the movie, but I don't understand its message, which is in contrast to The Lego Movie or basically any other similar animated film. What I was hoping for just didn't happen here, but I had that suspicion when I went into the movie theater. I should also note that nobody was there, which is an extreme rarity for a big release such as this one. The weather was good today too! I still don't remember being at a release of this size with no audience.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is a continuation of the first film, part of which shows us what happened when that movie ended so quickly. If you remember what happened, Will Ferrell said that the kid's sister was going to be allowed to go play with the LEGO's, so that's what happens. She has started taking some of the creations from the basement and combined them with her own set of Duplo bricks in her room, but to bring it back to the actual plot, here's how it went. Bricksburg had been turned into a post-apocalyptic wasteland by said Duplos, who invaded and destroyed the city. It has been replaced by aforementioned wasteland, which is called Apocalypseburg. The Duplos invade sometimes, but the LEGO's have gotten used to this and have become grizzled. Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt), on the other hand, has not developed as a character at all and is still a goof. He wants to move into a dream home with Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), but I don't see how this is going to happen when the children in the house are constantly destroying things. And yes, the children do factor into the plot a lot more than in the first movie.

Emmet also has visions again, this time of a pending "Our-Mom-Ageddon." I did laugh at who played the mom in this, and I'll make the choice not to reveal this. Anyway, it's time for one more big invasion, this one led by General Sweet Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) and her Duplo army. The General announces that Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) of the Systar System wants to marry Batman (Will Arnett), with no reasoning given as to why, but that's what the queen wants. That's also what she'll get. Mayhem's forces subsequently kidnap Batman, Lucy, Benny (Charlie Day), Unikitty (Alison Brie), and MetalBeard (Nick Offerman), all those characters from the first film. I'm trying hard not to spoil here, but Batman is proposed to and says yes, and it also turns out that everyone except Lucy winds up liking their new lives in the Systar System, which is supposed to be the young sister's room. I think everyone's picked up on that aspect by now. Emmet on the other hand, is entirely unaware of this. On his way upstairs, he encounters a rugged adventurer named Rex, who has every intention of helping his newfound buddy rescue his LEGO friends from upstairs.

The problem with this film compared to the other two, as you may infer from my earlier comments and from my summarizations, is that the film is too childish. The emphasis on the sister story would naturally lead to this happening even though she's around the same age as the other kid was in the first movie, but girls are also into more childish things than boys that age. As such, there are musical numbers, a few more of them than in the first movie. I didn't really have any feelings about those scenes in all honesty. Was trying to come up with something to say and I failed completely on that subject. I also thought the addition of Rex was completely stupid and it wasn't a good idea to do what was done with the character near the end of the film. It seemed as if the filmmakers completely disregarded what children would think about that ending. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is merely an average movie due to how many of these small complaints add up. I see why this wasn't as successful as the first film financially, but it's not as if people knew the content of the film. I believe the reason for this is a lack of quality marketing and how cold most of the country is at this moment.

While average, and even though I've only listed negative things one after the next, there are numerous positives in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. One of those is not the obnoxious title, but Apocalypseburg was a nice touch. I didn't care for Emmet's behavior, but there were some good things here that reminded me of Mad Max: Fury Road. That was all I really wanted from this scene and it delivered. There are others with characters from franchises we haven't seen in the Lego universe yet, but to mention them would actually heavily spoil the film so I cannot. There's also plenty Batman here, and the more Batman the better. I demand more Batman, in fact. I also thought that the new characters served their purpose quite well and shook things up a bit as the last thing you'd want is for the second film to be exactly the same as the first one. I also actually did like the real storyline more than in the first film, even though the subliminal messaging of the film was off. There's some other good cameos here and I thought Rex was an oddly interesting character. These were not things I was expecting.

Unfortunately, recreating the first one is not possible due to the novelty of it. This is something Warners should have known far in advance of making this film, they should have known not to create too many of these. Instead, they absolutely did make too many Lego films or television shows, or straight-to-DVD, etc. The people involved with Lego did the same thing with the video games, and they do that with their merchandise too. There's so much of it that a lot of collectors are incapable of keeping up, they oversaturate their market across the board. There was no way the Lego Cinematic Universe would become a real thing due to the incapabilities of those entrusted with ensuring it could become a profitable venture for years. Lego stuff needed to take a much longer view in mind, one of decades instead of months and years, it didn't work out that way. I also thought that the anti-capitalist themes in the first film were completely gone from this one, that was much to the detriment of my entertainment. This wasn't bad or anything, but I didn't enjoy the movie as much as I thought it would. It was merely an okay entry.

6/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Cold Pursuit
2.   Velvet Buzzsaw
3.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
4.   The Upside
5.   Escape Room
6.   Miss Bala
7.   Glass
8.   Serenity


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2019, 11:40:00 AM »


The Prodigy (2019), directed by Nicholas McCarthy

A better title for this film would have been "Georgie Grows Up," seeing as this kid was the same as played Georgie in It. It's very difficult to figure out how to tackle a film like this, because as a rule I think horror movies with creepy kids are goofy. The Prodigy is no exception to this rule, it is what I thought it would be, but it is also a film with some surprisingly good performances. The real question such a film poses is whether or not one with a bad story and good performances can conceivably be good enough for me to call a good film. Rather than draw my own question out, I will immediately respond. The answer is no. The Prodigy is a ludicrous film when taken as a whole, featuring some things that are going to be difficult for me to explain. I must also admit that I didn't head into the film with a very positive attitude. The projector in my theater was off for nearly the whole set of previews, I was starting to become unsure that I'd even get to watch this. The people next to me were becoming displeased, but right on cue, the projector came on for the one trailer I wanted to see, for Child's Play. I also noticed that Child's Play and Toy Story 4 come out on the same week, which certainly was intentional. I can't imagine how it wouldn't be! In any case, I think it's fair to say that Child's Play will be better than this, and that The Prodigy was a little bit of a bust.

The Prodigy begins with a dual opening, featuring two separate stories in a way that initially made me think one was a flash forward. Not sure which to start with, but we'll go with the one related to the serial killer. Margaret (Brittany Allen) is seen running away from a house, she is missing her right hand. Once spotted by someone driving down the road, she gets to safety, and hell comes upon the place she escaped from. Edward Scarka (Paul Fauteux) is a serial killer who removes a hand from his victims, but he will not be able to finish the kill this time. The cops come and raid his house, killing him in the process. Now, at the same time, let's flip over to the other story. Sarah (Taylor Schilling) is a pregnant woman, living with her husband John (Peter Mooney) and their dog. Her son is going to be a little early. They go to the hospital at the same moment this stuff is happening with Edward, and right as Edward dies, their son Miles (Jackson Robert Scott) is born. We are subsequently shown some glimpses of his childhood that let the audience know this boy is extremely smart to the point of being abnormal. The scenes here also serve to let us know that Miles has problems getting along with other children.

Eventually we push forward to Miles as an eight year old, with the successes continuing as well as some of the issues. His family is seemingly quite happy, and so is the dog, even though the dog is beginning to randomly bark at things. I should also note that Miles has two-colored eyes, which Sarah seems to think is genetic. It isn't. One night, his parents are out on a date and drinking beers near Pittsburgh, while he's at home with his babysitter Zoe (Elisa Moolecherry). Miles suggests they play a game of hide-and-seek before bed, she complies, and down the stairs into the basement he goes. Little does Zoe know that this kid is fucked in the head, the kind of kid who would put glass on the steps so that his babysitter could step on it. Zoe does, and she has a huge cut in her foot, and Miles claims to his mother that he doesn't know what happened. I will skip past any other such incidents so that I don't spoil the film too much. There's something not right with Miles, the opening sequence displays that quite well. You can decipher it for yourself.

The story sucks, and the main reason why is because anyone with a brain can already figure out what's wrong with Miles from the first few scenes of the film. This is a ridiculous storytelling error which is subsequently compounded by the reality that nobody has any idea what to do with Miles and how to stop his dual personality. That's hardly a spoiler, right? You'd have to be a moron to not figure out this is why the kid is evil. The solution to the story makes literally no sense whatsoever, I was having to try very hard not to laugh at everything here. I have no idea why this was decided. I did think, however, that all of these things were surprisingly acted in a way which wasn't difficult to buy into. The actors, with Schilling as the greatest example, really leaned into this role and didn't mess around. There are also some very good jump scares, one which made the person behind me freak out big time. Those last two things are what allows me to accept a bad movie and give is a better rating than I otherwise thought I would.

This isn't a particularly notable entry into the horror mix of films with creepy children, but I'm always going to be interested in seeing a movie like this one. It looks nice enough and appears to have been shot on a higher budget than it actually was, and The Prodigy also featured some good perforamnces. The ending, however, is one of the most unintentionally amusing things I've ever watched. I had to pull up my hoodie to cover my mouth as I was laughing. I think this didn't go anywhere near as far as it should have, and the blatant sequel-baiting at the end was too much for me, it made me feel like I wasted my time. There probably won't be a sequel to begin with, which is why a story like this one needs some completion. The Prodigy is also one of the shortest movies I've seen in theaters, ringing in at 87 minutes prior to the credits. There wasn't enough meat on the bone here to give a truly thoughtful review, and this lacks a scene with the kid being kicked in the face. This wasn't very good.

4/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   Cold Pursuit
2.   Velvet Buzzsaw
3.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
4.   The Upside
5.   Escape Room
6.   Miss Bala
7.   Glass
8.   The Prodigy
9.   Serenity


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2019, 05:30:09 PM »


High Flying Bird (2019), directed by Steven Soderbergh

Is it really Steven Soderbergh's next career move to continue to make dramas with his iPhone? That's a foolish question I already know the answer to, and High Flying Bird is seemingly the next evolution in that concept. I did not expect there to ever be an NBA lockout movie, but that's what we have here. There are similarities to the last NBA lockout, but for the most part this is its own thing, one where companies like Hulu and Netflix are used as plot points. If you can't fathom how that works, you'll have to watch the film, which you should be doing anyway. I have to get better at watching these Netflix films on the day or day after release judging by how good some of them have become, and even when they aren't particularly great, they certainly bring something interesting to the table. High Flying Bird is just one in what is becoming a long list, and hopefully such experimental films will continue going forward. If they don't, well, that would suck. In any case, High Flying Bird is entirely unique, something I don't think we've had before, with a perspective that really could only have been filmed in the last few years. If you disagree, you can name other sports related films that tackle the idea of challenging the white ownership system that genuinely brings absolutely nothing to the table in pro sports. Go on. Explain to me how ownership in sports brings anything to the table and what it is they do that helps grow the game.

Ray Burke (Andre Holland) is a basketball agent, he has a long history with the game and is intent on ensuring that his place in it remains secure. This is set during a lockout that has some similarities to 2011, but is not exactly based upon it. Our first scene introduces us to Ray's client, a rookie who went #1 and wound up on the Knicks, Erick Scott (Melvin Gregg). Erick has made a mistake during the lockout and taken a loan, he is worried about what may happen to him because of it, but nobody's going to kill him or anything. He's guaranteed money and he's good for it. Ray isn't very pleased, but such is life and nobody's getting the money they need right now. After this scene, Reggie Jackson has cameo talking about his experiences as a rookie, and he joins Karl-Anthony Towns and Donovan Mitchell in talking about their rookie year at important points in the film. We continue on after that, with Ray getting bad news from his boss David Starr (Zachary Quinto), who tells him that the spigot for their division at the agency has dried up, so the corporate expense account is cut. Someone needs to make something happen, Ray is tasked with doing so. Some background is required on Ray, his cousin Gavin was his avenue into the NBA as an agent, but Gavin had something bad happen to him. This is a lesson which Ray has used in order to ensure his clients get what's coming to them.

In order to understand how Ray could accomplish this, you must understand that the lockout presented in this film is overwhelmingly stacked against the players. The owners are as dug in as it gets, with David Seton (Kyle MacLachlan) serving as the Knicks owner and representative of the owners in negotiations with the NBPA, represented by Myra (Sonja Sohn). Ray's mentor Spencer (Bill Duke) is keen to press upon Ray the facts of the situation, that the NBA owners have created a game on top of the game that has been used to keep the people on the court from getting the benefits they should be receiving. Ray did have an assistant who was going to help him in this, but Sam (Zazie Beetz) got the hell out of his business and has joined up with someone else. Sam still lingers around in this film with good reason. Ray's plan is simple, he needs to find a way to upend the ownership figures and put an end to this lockout. Erick is his way of doing so, he is the #1 pick, and even though one of these scenarios is a little ridiculous, it all seems to come together quite nicely as a story. The point overall is simple, it's that Ray knows what the hell he's doing and is going to disrupt this system in order to ensure everyone gets their fair share as soon as possible.

There's lots of talk here from Ray about changing the system of professional sports, and Ray echoes a lot of things that I've been thinking and saying for quite some time. I have never understood the ownership system in pro sports and have been waiting for some time for the players to break free of these controls. One of these days it's going to happen. I'm sure that if any NBA owners watch this, they're going to think it's a load of shit. If players watch the film, on the other hand, I think they'll get the message Soderbergh was intent on sending. Even though this is a film with a message, there's more to it than that, this is a very good story and very good film even when the greater picture isn't taken into account. This kind of sports movie is something I've needed for a while, it's a look behind the veil. Even the most seasoned of basketball fans could learn a lot from how this film was done, of the problems of players, their agents, or even the simple matter of social media use. There's a lot here to tackle. I don't think films have the same impact they used to have, so in reality this will probably not pose any cultural questions. It seems to not matter how good a movie like this is because this isn't a societal priority.

I was also sure to notice that High Flying Bird continues a pattern with Soderbergh, where seemingly regular people take the power back from institutions that are intent upon keeping them in their stations. Logan Lucky and Che are the two most obvious examples that come to mind. Ray Burke is certainly no Che Guevara, but the ideas he presents to his client in order to attempt to force an end to the lockout really resonated with me. The performances are all excellent, zero exceptions. Bill Duke puts in a great performance as a figurehead of the game in New York City, one can easily see a player like Kevin Garnett filling into this sort of role as he ages. The man knows the game, understands what's at stake, and he won't take any shit! Ultimately it's the performance of Andre Holland that stands out the most, which I think is the point. This was a big starring vehicle for him, and he really pulled his role off, even though I am left with the question of whether or not he REALLY wanted Erick to take the court and play that streetball game. These are characters I would very much like to see more of in a sequel or in a miniseries, but there's no chance of either happening.

Lastly, I suppose I should talk about some of the technical aspects. Soderbergh makes some hard and jarring editing cuts that are a little bit distracting, but ultimately the focus from a technical standpoint is on whether or not the iPhone is an acceptable filming device. The answer is yes, but I found some difficulty in long tracking shots where the phone had to move too much. I am not capable of technically describing the issues, but I thought there were issues with the one wide tracking shot that was used as Ray was walking down the street in New York City. There was clearly too much going on for the filming device to properly handle the scene, and you could notice pretty much instantly that this was an issue. However, this was really the only thing I noticed that was wrong with the way this was filmed. Otherwise, I found it quite good. I have no idea what Soderbergh's fascination with the iPhone is, I'll never understand it, but he says that the device allows him to get shots that he otherwise could not achieve with a camera. Taping the phone to a wall seems like the most obvious thing, as well as one's ability to move as quickly as possible on any kind of shot with a phone. I still don't get it, to be honest. That being said, you know, it doesn't matter what I think. With the exception of that one shot, the film looked pretty good, and more to the point the story was very good. That's what really matters to me, and I thought this film was very successful in its presentation. This is 2019's first very good, possibly great film? We'll see how I feel about it in a few weeks.

8/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   High Flying Bird
2.   Cold Pursuit
3.   Velvet Buzzsaw
4.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
5.   The Upside
6.   Escape Room
7.   Miss Bala
8.   Glass
9.   The Prodigy
10.   Serenity


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2019, 05:55:59 PM »


Alita: Battle Angel (2019), directed by Robert Rodriguez

There is one thing that kept going through my mind as Alita: Battle Angel was coming to a conclusion, and with good reason this kept coming to my mind. The thought was that I should remember not to take this too seriously. Is that the first time anyone has said that about a film James Cameron has written? This is beyond simply producing the film, this was something he wanted to have made regardless of how much it would cost, and trust me it cost a lot. The budget was reported as $170 million, I can only imagine what the real number is after promotion. I think this is the kind of film you make to keep James Cameron happy, and I'm not sure a bomb will dissuade Cameron from making a sequel. I'm sure he'll have lots of money after people splurge on his Avatar sequels. I'm also not entirely sure this will bomb, because let's face facts. This kind of material with tons of CGI and a PG-13 rating has the capability of drawing in lots of people. Word of mouth may be quite strong for certain scenes, and I also saw there was a Dua Lipa song tie-in. Things like the latter, I'm not entirely sure those matter anymore, but I do wonder. I also thought that the film left people a bit surprised by a cameo at the end, which I advise you to not search for if you have any intention of watching this. Those kinds of things are the right kind of surprise to leave people with, but again, I am reminded of my own thoughts. When for the last few minutes of a film I have to keep reminding myself to not take things too seriously, that isn't good!

Alita: Battle Angel is based on the manga series, and I must reiterate the word based on. I have no idea how faithful the adaptation is, nor how to explain a film like this one. Here goes. Alita: Battle Angel is set in the year 2563, many years after "The Fall", which was a war that left the Earth devastated and with only one remaining sky city, a place called Zalem. The regular citizens of Earth live in huge junky cities, not quite slums but not so glamorous either. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) is a scientist who works on cyborgs, and he's looking through the junkyard in Iron City to find something he can use. While there, he discovers a cyborg torso with an intact human brain and a ridiculously super-powered heart, but this is something Dr. Ido prefers to not tell anyone. The cyborg has no memories, not even of her own name, so once rebuilt Dr. Ido names her after his deceased daughter. She is Alita (Rose Salazar), one of the most fascinating human-CGI creations that I've ever seen on film. To call this an achievement is an understatement. The point seemed to be to ensure that people didn't confuse the character for human, of which there are many in Iron City. Alita immediately befriends Hugo (Keean Johnson), who has designs on moving to Zalem one day. He'll do what it takes to get there. Before that, Hugo introduces Alita to the sport of Motorball, which is a battle royale where cyborgs fight to the death. The ultimate champion will be called up to Zalem, getting the one thing so many people want to do.

It turns out Dr. Ido has major secrets. His ex-wife Chiren (Jennifer Connelly) is a scientist who is aware of Alita, but we'll shelve that for now and focus on his second occupation. Dr. Ido is desperately in need of credits to continue his cyborg clinic, and one night when Alita follows him, we all discover that he is a Hunter-Warrior (bounty hunter). They encounter some cyborg assassins led by a big cyborg called Grewishka (Jackie Earle Haley), and it turns out that Alita has powers only Ido is truly aware of. He decides not to tell her, so let's set up some of the rest of this. There are other bounty hunters out there, the main one being Zapan (Ed Skrein), and I will admit that the plot is a bit of a mess. After Grewishka's failure, he returns to Chiren and an enterprising sort named Vector (Mahershala Ali). Vector seems to run the motorball circuit, Hugo is in league with him on some of these schemes Vector has going. Grewishka is subsequently possessed by a man named Nova who lives on Zalem, and he tells them that they need to kill Alita. It's as damn simple as that. Interspersed with some of these revelations, it appears Alita has some rediscovering of her memories. For starters, it appears that she has been in battles on the Moon, and eventually she takes a trip out of the city with Hugo, who wants to show her something. There's a space cyborg suit inside of a spaceship that isn't from Earth, some crazy shit, and you know what I just CAN'T EXPLAIN THE PLOT MORE THAN THIS. As she begins to unlock her potential, the more people who want to use her and the more people who want her dead. There you go.

Despite the messy plot, this could have been a very good film but for the inclusion of one person, the romantic interest Hugo. The decision to cast someone who had never been in anything of value is one of the craziest things I have ever seen in a movie like this. Keean Johnson's performance here was of the quality of a wet paper bag. His plot thread is no better and James Cameron's idiotic attempt to humanize Alita with a romance story, as with all his other movies that have these shorts of relationship stories, really failed here. I think Cameron is a visionary in terms of his application of visual effects, but there are no words for how bad a plot this was. There are a lot of people who are in vehement disagreement with my point of view though. The cyborg-human love story in a tech-driven society appears to some in part because there haven't been too many of them. Fortunately, not the entire film centers around Hugo's relationship with Alita, even though there's too much of it. There should have been more focus on motorball, which is exactly my kind of jam. I need more of these scenes, didn't get them, but I enjoyed what was here.

The visual effcts, of course, are ridiculous. Anyone can see that by watching the trailer, but nothing really prepares you for what Alita: Battle Angel looks like in 3D. The colors pop, so do the costumes, and the environments do as well whether they're real or not. Some of the cyborgs, particularly Zapan, are insane to look at. I can hardly believe someone created a thing that looked like this. There are some great moments in this film, most of them center around Grewishka. Wouldn't they have to? A huge, powerful cyborg is guaranteed to entertain. The motorball scenes have to be nearly entirely CGI themselves, seeing as all the participants are cyborgs. I am left to wonder if the delay for this film's release was because it really took nearly two years to put these effects together. This has the feel of a JRPG even though it doesn't quite have the story down to the extent that it should, and Mahershala Ali's dual performance has some great moments. That's as close as you'll get to a spoiler from me. The scene set on the Moon is also absolutely incredible and reminded me of Mass Effect. I should point out that the graphics were many, many times better. A video game with this level of detail is still a long way off I'm afraid.

In the end, I keep coming back to two things. One is how much I was entertained, and the other is Hugo. Fucking Hugo, I tell you man. Hugo is by some distance the worst character James Cameron has ever written. The person who played Hugo also had one of the worst performances I've seen in a while. The lone saving grace with this character was that Cameron did ensure to give him the same double-sided motivations as anyone else in Iron City, but by that point I just couldn't handle looking at that guy anymore. The plot is a mess, and there's a truly horrendous character in this film, but I liked it anyway. It should also be noted that Alita: Battle Angel is not really a sci-fi film, it doesn't present any of those existential questions with any level of skill, but it is a film with good action and  incredible visual effects. I do hope that Disney decides to throw some money down the drain and make a sequel.

6/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   High Flying Bird
2.   Cold Pursuit
3.   Velvet Buzzsaw
4.   Alita: Battle Angel
5.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
6.   The Upside
7.   Escape Room
8.   Miss Bala
9.   Glass
10.   The Prodigy
11.   Serenity


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2019, 06:03:06 PM »
I should also mention that if Hugo WAS part of the manga, he should have been left out like some other stuff surely was.


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Offline fazzle

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2019, 06:52:26 AM »
From what I've seen in some basic online perusal Hugo IS in the manga, but he's also kind of a piece of shit.   She loves him in the manga, but he doesn't really care about her and just uses her as a means to an end.   Probably would have been preferable to the Hugo that was in the movie though, because the character was as basic as possible while the actor seemed like he was having trouble just remembering his lines.  To steal a sentiment I've seen other places, they should have just scraped the Hugo character and made it a story of a girl and her dog, because she had way better chemistry with it.  Motorball really was exciting even though they shared absolutely zero information about what the rules of this game were, hopefully it gets more time in a sequel, although I have my doubts.

I saw it in IMAX 3D, only the second time I've seen a movie in that format (The Wandering Earth last week was the first time) so the effects were even more incredible that way.  The IMAX really adds a bunch, because I generally *hate* regular 3D, but both times I've seen IMAX 3D, it's been pretty damn good.  Overall my feelings on the movie are pretty similar to yours, but I'd be a bit more generous and give it a 7.  Maybe I'm just adding an extra point because I got a kick out of seeing
Spoiler: show
Hugo get killed TWICE

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2019, 03:03:25 PM »


Happy Death Day 2U (2019), directed by Christopher Landon

It's time for a sequel, and it's a rarity that I ever review these. I think the last live-action direct sequel that I reviewed was The Bourne Supremacy, but I'm not going to bother to check that. Here's the other thing I'm going to bring up, how many sequels of not particularly great movies wind up being better than their predecessor even though they're directed by the same person? None of them are instantly coming to mind, but I'm no historian. My score won't represent much difference, but I do think there is a large difference in quality between the two movies. In part this is because of things that were done in the first film to create that situation, and the dedication to using the first cast and having them in slightly differing roles really makes matters better. I will also point out that Happy Death Day 2U is a film with too many ideas, it's overboard...but that's what makes it fun. If one doesn't care for the humor style of the first film, they shouldn't even bother to watch this because it goes a lot further. This is ridiculous nonsense that everyone knows is nonsense, but I am concerned that this is going to be made into a franchise with tons and tons of sequels. It only really needs one more.

Happy Death Day 2U begins with something I was not expecting at all, with Carter's (Israel Broussard) roommate Ryan (Phi Vu) waking up in his car the day after the time loop from the first film ended. September 18th was the day of the first loop, and it's September 19th. Ryan finds Carter with Tree (Jessica Rothe) in the room after she'd broken the loop. Everything is quite good, but it has only been the lump sum of one night. Ryan is a bit freaked out and doesn't want to stay in his car, so he goes to his quantum mechanics lab to continue work on his thesis project. Samar (Suraj Sharma) and Dre (Sarah Yarkin) are his colleagues, but the school's dean, Bronson (Steve Zissis), has decided that he wants the project shut down. It is an enormous quantum reactor, who knows what this thing can really do, but it is also opening loops in...TIME AND SPACE. So you can see how ridiculous this will be, and why I'd like it. After Bronson stops the project from continuing on, Ryan goes into an empty lab. Guess what happens? Samar tries to give him a churro, but Ryan is freaked the hell out. As he turns to leave, out comes...you guessed it, a person wearing a baby mask who subsequently stabs him and murders him.

I'm sure you can guess what happens next as well. Ryan wakes up, in his car...and he seems to realize exactly what's happening to him. He makes the smart decision to immediately tell Tree and Carter, which leads to the events of the rest of the film. Tree finally tells Ryan about her time loop, and tells him that somehow the loop has been passed onto him. They decide to recreate the day, which leads to them finding nobody in the lab. Now they go to a basketball game to ensure Ryan isn't killed, which actually leads to...someone trying to kill Ryan. I hate to use so many ellipses, but it's that kind of film. When an alarm is pulled and everyone needs to evacuate, the killer appears once again and attempts to go after Ryan, only for Tree to rescue Ryan and unsmask the killer. The killer this time is ANOTHER RYAN. The second Ryan is really upset, he seems to know exactly what needs to be done to close this time loop, and I don't think it's correct considering he already tried this once. He says that the first Ryan needs to kill himself, which leads to Ryan activating the quantum device to kill the second Ryan, and it releases a pulse that knocks everyone to the floor. Guess how things start back up? I have to say because I can't mention anything about the rest of the film without it, but...TREE HAS RE-ENTERED HER TIME LOOP. AND IT ISN'T THE SAME.

Happy Death Day 2U is the kind of film that I really don't want to spoil, because I laughed a lot at the surprises in this, so I'll be brief in this last paragraph. The changes are without exception very funny, but I thought there was a few issues with whether or not Tree would decide to come back to the real timeline. I'm doing my best not to spoil and I can hardly resist. Happy Death Day 2U throws so many ridiculous concepts from other movies at you so quickly, all in an obviously joking fashion, and you'll either like it or you don't. This is actually hardly even a horror movie, I should point out. It's a comedy and it's one that I laughed at a lot, much harder than I'd expected. The death scenes are always funny, and with a great lead actress there's really nothing else to ask for from something like this. That being said, I am a bit wary of the idea of potential sequels. In addition, that thing I said about Tree coming back to the real timeline, it's an enormous flaw. I just don't want to spoil. I'll cut myself off and this is one of my shorter reviews, but this is a sequel that directly recreates the plot from the first movie. There is not a lot I can say about something like this, and I don't want to ruin the movie from anyone else. All the pleasure is in the surprise.

6.5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   High Flying Bird
2.   Cold Pursuit
3.   Happy Death Day 2U
4.   Velvet Buzzsaw
5.   Alita: Battle Angel
6.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
7.   The Upside
8.   Escape Room
9.   Miss Bala
10.   Glass
11.   The Prodigy
12.   Serenity


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2019, 06:13:01 PM »


Polar (2019), directed by Jonas Akerlund

I must admit that I broke my own Netflix rules when I decided not to watch Polar right after it came on the service, but I saw all those bad reviews and was tempted to avoid the film entirely. Instead of avoid it entirely, I decided to watch it tonight. Polar is very much what I hoped for, I knew this would be trash as too many sources said that it was, but it was my kind of trash. There are only a few films as ridiculous as this one made in any given year, with actors you'd know deciding to take on roles that are beyond stupid, but they're in this movie anyway. Some of the people who reviewed this had said that this was done with tongue in cheek, which I think it clearly was, but a tongue in cheek look at the source material doesn't automatically mean the film is good. I am left to think about how many people gave this film a 0, and I can't completely disagree with that outlook. This was like something out of the 1980s, but with far more realistic blood and cinematography. Take everything I've said here for what it's worth. This is trash to the maximum, sleazy, and most of all highly amusing. I can't say that I didn't enjoy this, because I did. The problem is that Polar runs for much too long after what should have been the ending, and there are also bad creative decisions that didn't work for me.

Polar begins with a man named Michael Green (Johnny Knoxville) being killed by a group of assassins at his home in Chile. These assassins are from the Damocles corporation, which is a private security firm that always attempts to kill its assassins once they reach the age of 50. You can tell exactly how stupid this is from what I've just said. The scheme is for Mr. Blut (Matt Lucas) to raid the pension accounts of those old assassins to pay off debts the company has racked up over the years. Why would anyone kill for this guy? Who knows. Anyway, the team of assassins all have unique personalities as these movies tend to do. Sindy (Ruby O. Fee) is the hot one who works as bait for the team, Facundo (Anthony Grant) is their leader, Hilde (Fei Ren) is another hot one who works as a gunman, Karl (Kurrgan) spends a lot of time on the toilet, Alexei (Josh Cruddas) is some guy who looks like Sheamus, and Vivian (Kathryn Winnick) usually hangs out at Damocles assigning these people missions. Their next mission is going to be against yet another old assassin, but Duncan (Mads Mikkelsen) is more than up to the task. He doesn't know they're coming, so he's at quite a bit of a disadvantage.

In order for us to understand how old Duncan is, we're shown some scenes of him getting a prostate exam. After that's over, Vivian says that Blut wants him to travel to Belarus so he can find out who killed Michael Green. That isn't something he wants to do. Instead, Duncan leaves some money behind with his accountant, and disappears to Montana to go retire. Duncan seems to have psychological issues though. The biggest one is related to nightmares, and he has two really bad ones. After one of them, he kills a dog that he bought that day. After the other, we see that he had a botched hit and nearly killed an entire family. Duncan settles in Montana as well as he can, and one day he notices his neighbor Camille (Vanessa Hudgens) chopping wood. She's having a hard time, so when she leaves, Duncan decides to chop the wood for her. Eventually, Vivian contacts Duncan again, this time doubling the price for the assassination in Belarus related to Michael Green. Duncan travels there, but nearly instantly he realizes that Damocles wants to have him killed. After taking care of the problem, Mr. Blut dispatches the hit squad to find Duncan and kill him, so we have our movie.

To say this is the bottom of the barrel would be the most appropriate way of addressing a movie like Polar. That isn't to say I thought it was worse than a standard bad movie, because I'm not going to give it worse than the usual rating I give to really bad movies. To be worse than a 3 is when a film is beyond explanation, but that isn't the case here. The sex and gore in this is off the charts, and it's just for the sake of being shocking and has no real material value. The performance Matt Lucas gives as Mr. Blut is one of the worst things imaginable, I am very certain I won't see anything worse all year. It's not possible for other actors to be this bad, or at least it shouldn't be. The entertainment value of Polar is strong, but this is all trash. I thought that Vanessa Hudgens and Mads Mikkelsen did their best, but this was totally ridiculous. I understand the possibility that this was a parody/satire, but come on. The amount of blood is unbelievable here, so if you're all about that, this film is all about you. The torture scene also sends the wrong message, I thought it was funny more than anything else.

While Polar is full of logic gaps, I must admit that I was interested in the film until the ending took too long to wrap up. Why? It's one of those projects with ridiculous title screens when introducing a new character, which is just classic trash of the best kind. The twist at the end is entirely predictable, and the film takes way too long in getting to the point. The more interesting characters also die far before their time, and the plot struggles as a result of that. I don't know what to say about a movie as bad as this one and I've exhausted my thought process. It's hard to come up with the right words for Polar, but I may have liked this when I was 15 years old. That's a very damning critique, and Mads Mikkelsen shouldn't be in projects like this one. One of the sex scenes is such that I think it may have been his entire reason for participating in the film. Polar is still somehow not the worst film I've seen this year, that spot might be wrapped up. I should have given Serenity a 2.5 and will approach the rest of the year like I did, I don't know how anything's going to beat that. At least Polar made me laugh for the right reason a couple times.

3/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   High Flying Bird
2.   Cold Pursuit
3.   Happy Death Day 2U
4.   Velvet Buzzsaw
5.   Alita: Battle Angel
6.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
7.   The Upside
8.   Escape Room
9.   Miss Bala
10.   Glass
11.   The Prodigy
12.   Polar
13.   Serenity


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest

Offline cobainwasmurdered

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2019, 08:10:30 PM »
Quote
I must admit that I broke my own Netflix rules when I decided not to watch Polar right after it came on the service, but I saw all those bad reviews and was tempted to avoid the film entirely.

"instead I got CWM to watch it with me." I think that's the go to in this situations. Mr Blut and Ruby O Fee's character were the highlights. Ruby needs to be in every trashy netflix movie.

Online Firmino of the 909

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Re: 2019 Movies Review Thread: There Will Be Spoilers
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2019, 01:25:50 PM »


What Men Want (2019), directed by Adam Shankman

Perhaps I should immediately address the elephant in the room, that this is yet another female centric remake of a very successful comedy. To say What Women Want was a success would be an understatement, I don't think any comedy in our current climate could make $374 million at the box office. You have to go back a very long time to the last time that happened. I suppose The Hangover Part III was the last really successful comedy, which feels like a joke. I guess it isn't a joke. Gender switching and movies probably doesn't work in terms of creating a film that gets lots of people to the box office, but it doesn't really matter to me if I see one of these kinds of movies. I think there's plenty of new ground to cover outside of the gender swapping aspect, and I thought What Men Want did that to a reasonable extent. However, when it comes to a movie like this one, with a redemption story being what it is, the story has to actually make sense. This one does not. A bad director will often find an inability to put the entirety of their story together, will often leave things out and have them happen off-screen or on a television screen, and that's exactly what happened here. Look at what Adam Shankman's directed before, this was never going to be great.

Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson) is a sports agent in Atlanta, and she's driven to absolute success. The first scene of the movie features her waking up at 3 AM to stay on top of things, then her assistant Brandon (Josh Brener) arrives to help her get to work. Brandon is a pushover and Ali is perfectly willing to run him over entirely, and once they arrive at Summit Worldwide Management this is even more clearly the case. Ali has been working hard to become a partner there, but she's also focused on her neighbor (Kellan Lutz) because she wants to have sex with him. Ali is tired of him ignoring her and Brandon thinks he's gay, but anyway, let's talk about the meeting. SWM is full of guys as you might expect, led by Nick (Brian Bosworth), lead agent extraordinaire I suppose. Ali thinks she'll become partner, but she's wrong. Nick instead announces that some guy named Eddie has been named the partner, and that it was because Ali wasn't unanimously selected by everyone else. Ali also doesn't have any clients in MLB, the NFL, or the NBA, so she's going to have to do something to get a promotion. Her idea is to announce that she'll sign the future #1 pick in the NBA Draft, a kid named Jamal Barry (Shane Paul McGhie).

There's a few obstacles in front of Ali's plan with Jamal, though. The first is that Jamal's day, a Lavar Ball clone named Joe Dolla (Tracy Morgan), is insistent on running/ruining his kids career. Some of the lines he's given are funny and others are too ridiculous to be real, much like the person who inspired this character. Anyway, Ali goes to a bar with her father Skip (Richard Roundtree) and encounters Will (Aldis Hodge), a single father who it turns out has a wife who has died. Ali doesn't know that, but they go back to his house and have sex while she acts crazy, which leads to the next morning where she discovers Will has a son. She also discovers the picture of Will married, freaks out, and leaves. Now, as to the important part, Ali needs to connect with Joe Dolla and with Jamal or she's screwed and will never be able to achieve her goals. One night, she joins up with her best friends for a bachelorette party and they've hired a psychic played by Erykah Badu. First, she reads Ali's fortune, and Ali tells her about how poorly her job is going. Eventually, Badu gives her some funky tea and Ali starts to feel sick, which leads to her hitting her head after getting drunk and passing out. You know the rest of what's coming, SHE CAN HEAR MEN'S THOUGHTS.

I think everyone who went to see What Men Want knew that this wouldn't be good, you'd have to be stupid to think otherwise. I think the film wasn't too bad and that it achieved its goals both of making me laugh and presenting Taraji P. Henson as a star. That seemed to be the entire point of this, and it also seemed that someone really wanted to fit a Lavar Ball character in the film no matter what. This entertained me enough but I'm not going to be overly effusive in praise. This doesn't make sense and the ending scenes are poorly structured, making things feel like they're dragging on for much too long. The film also plays on stereotypes as you'd expect, but those are the kinds of things I wanted to laugh at. They didn't disappoint too much, that's for sure. I'm also a little bit confused as to what the moral of such a movie was, but I've come to the conclusion that it didn't really have one. I can't make heads or tails of the idea that Ali didn't understand men at all, because I wouldn't understand how she had clients or a job in the first place. The film goes way overboard with this idea to its detriment.

I should note that I didn't really care for What Women Want, but I do think What Men Want was a slightly better film. That isn't to say it was good or anything, but I'm judging by the standard of which movie made me laugh more. I don't think a person is supposed to take something like this seriously, but I did think that Taraji P. Henson did a great job with this character. I left out some of the appearances for a reason, but I think that in the end this is a film that basically gave the viewer exactly what they were expecting. Another minor issue is that the best laugh in What Men Want is something shown in the trailer for theaters they've been showing for months. Take everything I've said here for what it's worth, but there aren't many comedies in the theater in the first place these days. This one was acceptable enough and there was the added benefit of looking at someone more pretty than Mel Gibson. Shocking, I know. In any case, this will make money which is rare for a comedy, and this is the kind of movie that lots of people will watch on TV for years and years. At least, that is, when they edit out the copious amount of cursing.

5/10

2019 Films Ranked


Spoiler: show

1.   High Flying Bird
2.   Cold Pursuit
3.   Happy Death Day 2U
4.   Velvet Buzzsaw
5.   Alita: Battle Angel
6.   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
7.   The Upside
8.   Escape Room
9.   What Men Want
10.   Miss Bala
11.   Glass
12.   The Prodigy
13.   Polar
14.   Serenity


koab [8:27 PM]
damn i thought you guys were good little cucks who would shit themselfs so a POC could peacefully protest