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Dead Ant (2017)
Enjoyable and ridiculous
Was not too sure at the start of this - a lot of homage to B-movies can fall flat. Watched this in a sunday afternoon however and it was perfect. Its a stupid movie doesn't pretend to be anything else. However the notable cast were obviously enjoying themselves and this came across as they delivered gung ho. Had quite a few laugh out loud moments. Even the songs were'nt too shabby either. Wasn't perfect but I did enjoy mucho, and I'd totally go see this band if they existed.
The Silence (2019)
Not bad for a relaxed viewing
A good cast helps this entertaining enough jaunt saunter along. The premise isn't too bad or too new although some greater plot issues are papered over in very broad strokes, this is kept in place by keeping family front and centre in the story - I thought keeping things a bit smaller in scale regarding the over all arc would have been more traditionally successful however that's not the premise of the book. No great budget here - this would have been "straight to dvd" back in the day and a relatively decent enough one at that. A Quiet Place and Bird Box would spring instantly to mind - but this isn't up to their level in budget or viewing. Gives me a more TV Stephen King adaptation vibe. On the upside mom, pop, grandma and sister all come across as memorable enough characters and the story did give a twist or turn for those in the mood for the genre.
The Front Runner (2018)
Despite a great cast and intriguing topic The Frontrunner is simply boring.
Probably testimony to current political climates this looks a bit uneventful in comparison.
House of Cards (2013)
Phvooooooommmmmmmm...splat Series 6.
That is the sound of the series diving. Fully jumped the shark here. I very much bore in mind all the surrounding events this series faced and applaud the approach in whats certainly a different world from the first series. Started off strong despite having to shoe in characters to setup enough stage presence however the point comes when things start to teeter. A little bit is fine, then there's another thing, and another then it turns into a cartoon. A Batman cartoon - that's straight out of Batman - The Court of Owls - yes Washington will need its own cape. Although that UFO documentary I watched alluded to something similar. Astounding series overall the music still brings the chills of bingewatch delight - was a challenge to wrap this up.
Series 3 a return to form
Things went a bit wonky with that Elektra business - however series 3 is a stonking return to form. Fleshing out multiple characters on the stage with Fisk retaining the title as one of the best villains brought to the small screen. DareDevil does remain the technically worst super hero in the business with his special abilities never being sensational and getting beaten up being his strongest however the characters and story remain a grip that bit above the competition, bravo, binge watched.
I think they got it in reverse
In this movie the central character starts off boozy ballsy and funny and degenerates into a prep cheerleader wannabe. Weaving a tale of finding her unique herself in being an atypical white privileged Trump supporter. Yes it was before Pres T to the Rump but eh you get the picture. The dance routine haunts me to this day.
Despite charismatic cast the phone in script falls flat
Well I can enjoy a popcorn movie as much as if not more than the next person but even Dwaynes chops, Naomie's earnest eyes and Jeffrey Dean's coolness could not knock the plain lameness from this script. And heck I enjoyed Doom. Ridiculous game source that somebody remembered and must have been fond of aside - there was opportunity for plenty of laughs with this ludicrous plot however for some reason this movie pretended to take itself seriously at times. The humor peaked at a gorilla giving the finger and even the Rock couldn't elevate delivering some of the lines. If 9 years old this movie may be enjoyed however some studios can put out a movie aimed at young audiences that can entertain adults - this is not one of them.
Future World (2018)
Just didn't come together
Quite a cast! The artist formerly known as Snoop Lion - Snoop Dog - playing a - shocker - pimp! Lucy Liu playing sleepy, James Franco playing crazy "have you noticed my bad teeth" dude. Milla Jovovich playing -crazy. Well I can remember all those post apocalyptic movies from way back so I can there's certainly a homage to these in there. Definitely some themes in the script regarding humanity and their wanton what nots, destruction, oblivion, control. Some overly ponderous scenes. If you want futurish drug related gang action watch Dredd, Not the absolute stinker many reviews have said -but its definitely not Beyond the Thunderdome. Personally I thought Milla's character was great. So I can see the meat in there however it came off a bit for want of a better word - directed by an actor. Marky Mark's nephew is in it, and a robot lesbian lady. So that's some boxes checked right there.
The Vault (2017)
Slick, good cast, but kind of goes downhill.
A good premise and good casting doth not a movie make. Which is a shame as this one started off promising, and was kind of gripping to begin with however the well done character setup kind of went to pot once other elements came into play. I can see someone pitching this script and it would sound good however the elements used just didn't really gel, and did not really tack on well. The Vault maybe tries to be too many things and the horror element comes off as a bit lazy and kind of naff.
More like Ludicrous
I did a search on good alien documentaries and this is what the internet, and subsequently Netflix gave me. By 20 minutes in it's obvious there are other issues here other than aliens. Bad B movie footage and whacky phone messages, any teenager in 2017 could whip up something more convincing. However this is the work of a fantasist one who's state of mind one might be concerned with.
The Lost City of Z (2016)
Not quite what I was expecting but of historical interest
At the end Z pans out a true story regarding one man's life which in itself is an interesting tale framing quite a remarkable character and a depiction of the drive that pushes the explorer. However despite its long run time it doesn't really dig in too much at any point which leaves it kind of hovering. Sienna Millers character as the modern thinking wife somehow manages to make some impact, as does a pretty good Robert Patterson as the fellow explorer. Hunnam does his best to pull off the exploring gent however there's very little of the film spent in the forests and the journeys come across as more easy on screen, which I'm sure they were not. Tom Holland as the son joins the fray also, however very uneven especially with the membership of their own Amazon trooping fellowship expanding and contracting its membership with the wind. Very much no Indiana Jones here, I can see what the film is trying to do however maybe the scope being such a long period of time left it without some focus and impact.
The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)
The Last of Us movie we never got
Although from the best selling novel (which I've not read) TGWATG most certainly could almost take place parallel to the The Last of Us (award winning video game with a movie in the works from Sony and Sam Raimi). The very tone, imagery and premise are incredibly similar so one for fans of that game. For those not familiar with that this simply put a well made Brit flick eschewing the usual Hollywood clichés. The cast are spot on and the script is certainly not predictable, a very mysterious opening that pans out well to the end. Good source material, direction and a great cast have made this movie a very decent flick for the price of one episode of Game of Thrones. Thought provoking, tense and simply creepy at times ticks a lot of boxes for Sci-Fi horror fans.
Suicide Squad (2016)
Enjoyable enough good and bad
Was looking forward to this one and it was enjoyable. Suicide Squad has some major strengths let down by weaker elements and maybe an attempt to included too many characters. First off the Squad are all pretty decent I was even surprised to find I liked Captain Boomerang quite a bit (I've rarely seen Jai Courtney get a character with anything good going) I'd love to see him again. Jared leto's Joker was pretty great with little screen time and no real reason for being in the movie to be honest. He should have had a much bigger role and another element completely removed which was the major down point of the plot. And seriously some of those lines from Enchantress. Despite being a cool character as an idea and depiction the movie would have benefited much more from Joker being at the spear point plus it would have played well with Harley. Great soundtrack and some well played characters as well as colourful. It just missed on a level and actually looked a bit TV series at points. Shame could have been great but was just decent.
Surprisingly not bad
I've played MMo's however lasted all of 10 minutes in World of Warcraft however after Duncan Jones, David Bowie's son and director of Moon, got handed the reigns I was interested. Then the movie got released and slammed. When I got around to watching it was anticpating something awful. 5 minutes in I was to my girlfriend "god this looks like the video game its pandering". Me and my girlfriend who's not really into this kind of thing then got pleasantly surprised. Thanks largely to a decent cast, the charismatic Fimmel, Patten and underused Cooper who's lines were as bad as his hair, Warcraft manages to reveal a bit of the bones of a decent director at the helm underneath all that Warcraftiness. Its steeped in it's Warcraft clothes but still manages to rise a little bit above the generic fodder it should have been. I doubt Jones's would be back for a sequel but for fantasy fans an enjoyable movie.
The Survivalist (2015)
I thought it was pretty damn good
This won't be everyone's cup of tea. I however have watched plenty of absolute rubbish and this film is well acted, filmed and written. I'm a big Walking Dead fan and this reminded me quite a bit on it, although more a slower stronger tequila without zombies than the beery dead. The atmosphere is palpable and a lot is left to the imagination as to the whys and whats however the interplay in a low number of characters is pretty intense. You do need to be able to enjoy this kind of thing and there's a lot of subtext social commentary in here, not much is in your face explicit generic movie script that spells everything out. Shot beautifully in Ireland, intense stuff with no laughs, but I thought pretty fresh.
Gods of Egypt (2016)
If you like this kind of thing - OK.
We don't really get enough adventures in movie form, I mean the Clash of the Titans I remember when young (the remake -er - nah). I love a good adventure movie and fantasy to boot. Here we had a slightly promising cast promising lush CGI and action. It was a fine enough mindless diversion with most attempts at humour falling flat, a few hitting. Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau channeling his Game of Thrones Jamie character to a minor extent is hard not to approve of. Butler gives a normal day at the office enthusiasm with his Character, he's alright. Rufus Sewell, underused is a silly role. Chadwick (the new Black Panther) given little time for a curious character. Anyway the whole movie was curious and the extensive CGI used simply detracted from the movie. Some of it looked simply bad and not 2016 and equivalent to its budget. Came across as a mediocre 3 year old video game you could only watch. Had me actually pining for Immortals which is I think the movie of this style I've enjoyed most in the past few years.
The Forest (2016)
I can see the pitch going well for The Forest, Natalie Dormer, check, set in Japan, check, cool backstory, check. Unfortunately this movie shouldn't have went out into the woods today. I get the jist of the entwined stories however the narrative does not go well and I was soon buying a ticket to Dontcaresville. This is largely due I think to the well worn out plot device of characters seeing things, reality and imagination blurring and the induced paranoia. Coupled with being unfortunately placed in a rather bland forest for the latter half, wooden male characters and a few cheap jump scares the movie unfortunately did not draw in this viewer. It was a cool opportunity probably trying to chime in with The Ring's success in some way however it simply did not pay off.
What did I just watch?
No one sets out to make a bad movie however despite sporting a pretty decent cast, and I have a soft spot for Keanu, rarely have I got to the end of a movie and considered the time utterly pointless. This movie is a mess. It kind of reminds me of a bad 70's movie that jumps about a lot, has some entirely weird scenes and holds lofty ambitions for relating some other high brow idea. The plot goes everywhere and has lots of pointless additions then bam the old crazy card is pulled. So really anything could have happened in this movie and in fact for the first hour I was entirely convinced I had no idea what the movie was actually about. Having said that the cast did try their best and I got to the end because they were all quite watchable. Everything is competently put together. Unfortunately as a whole piece after the editing room the film seems like a pointless and very bad attempt to copy something like Pans Labyrinth.
Sinister 2 (2015)
A difficult act to follow
The First movie stood out due to the riddle and suspense however once that is gone there is little left for a sequel. The cast are decent enough with the Deputy and Mother quite watchable and the two kids are pretty good, even moments of humour are well received. The movie like many Blumhouse productions also looks smooth however the script just falls flat at times with rather silly side characters and all the incidents involved with the suspense and fear being rather terrible, the scares were pretty laughable and most certainly the premise of horror near the movies third act pinnacle was entirely ridiculous. I did want to like the movie being a fan of the first however I'm afraid this gets the thumbs down despite a good effort.
My sympathy most certainly goes out to those and the families involved in this event based on fact. The movie has a good cast and is gripping however I found it difficult to understand why anyone would do this, especially a father with dependents and this made it difficult watching. Everest has been done and this type of tourism is dangerous, it does however show facts clearly, everyone is normal and are doing this because of the adventurous human spirit. It does indeed show the sad side effect of doing something like this for the sake of doing it. $65000 to climb Everest, if you want to be a hero I'm sure that money would save lives elsewhere. In that respect this movie has indeed succeed in showing us how lives can be carelessly thrown away.
Original, refreshing and quite genius despite what at firsts seems a silly plot
Blumhouse does it again. Horrors are almost fantasy movies as the real monsters are inevitably real live people in this world however Unfriended however takes its premise and runs with it which is a good thing because the format is fresh and modern and rapidly banishes disbelief in something rather ludicrous, then again so was Freddy. Even the acting warms up and the cast were pretty decent. This won't be everybody's cup of tea however I applaud the makers for really targeting contemporary social media and aspects of cyber bullying and tying this up in a well made movie for that generation, that even encapsulates a valid message. This movie is quite unlike others and plays out in real time looking at one laptop screen, heck I'm an avid horror and even I got a bit of a shock at one point. I just hope we do not now get a flood of movies adopting this style badly. Genius.
Four for effort
To be honest I can't really say I'd recommend Hellions. I found merit in it being quite different, having a decent cast and having some cool effects and not a bad and relatively original premise. The Hellions themselves had great potential and really looked quite cool. The movie eschewed normality for quite a surreal atmosphere and visual palette, there was also some cool original music which was creepy. It all got very confusing however between what was dream, reality, supernatural or whatever. By the end I didn't really care anymore as the narrative was lost due to me being confused generally. Maybe some horror fans may appreciate this movie, do not however watch if expecting a child it was quite graphic in some brief scenes.
Refreshing and good movie with actual suspense - want more!
Quite reminiscent of The Road, Hidden is quite slow in the first half of the movie. This however is carried very well by the central characters, all very believable in their roles and they draw you into their world surprisingly easily. There's quite a bit of mystery and suspense builds slowly. Usually I'm a know it all about story lines however Hidden kept me intrigued and even surprised me. Its quite a dark movie and a slow burner and quite apocalyptic in it's nature so you'd need to be in the mood. I watched Pixels before hand which probably cost about 20 times as much and had a cast of 20 times the size and I definitely enjoyed Hidden more. Completely different movies mind, and Hidden is an adult movie of course. By the end however I did want more, although I doubt there'll be a sequel, however certainly in a crowded market a well made film.
Colorful fun that just doesn't nail it
Personally I'm probably about the right age to appreciate the retro humour in Pixels and certainly the wide range of recognisable faces give their best for a fun movie. It's very colorful and I'm sure kids would love it. For me it just didn't gel. It's quite innocent kid friendly stuff but for adults it just wasn't smart enough humour. There's lots of childish jokes, nothing wrong with that, then Sandler weighs in with some dead pan stuff that just doesn't seem to sit right. I guess pulling off this kind of movie is difficult, in comparison Wreck it Ralph I loved. All in all fun enough, plenty of colourful action, rather silly characters, but not a classic.
Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)
Well enough made but seen it all before
I enjoyed the first film in the series and do like BlumHouse movies and their commitment to horror. I also like Lin Shaye and her Elsie character along with Specs and Tucker, they make a great team worthy of their own show. unfortunately I've probably just seen too many movies as I saw nothing new here or terribly engaging. The movie looks OK and the cast is reasonably on point however the dead mother trope is well over played in movies and there's really little depth to our menacing presence although they do look pretty creepy. Probably suitable for it's target teen audience however who will likely enjoy it. Not a bad movie just nothing special in my opinion.