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I treat movies as entertainment, not a source of wisdom. Pseudophilosophical, preachy, gimmicky or sensational dribble substititing for difficult topics is just embarrassing. "Depressing" shouldn't substitute for "thought-provoking". Or for anything, really. Reflection can be good, but I find most creators try too hard and end up being condescending, and I feel I'm too self-conscious for my own good already.
My numerical ratings depend on how hard is it to turn my eyes away, what kind of emotions I feel about it, and how well I remember the movie much later. I started rating movies on imdb mostly because my brain erases all memory of terrible movies and I caught myself watching the same disasters.
I suspend my disbelief very high unless a piece contradicts itself, which means I enjoy a good, hard or soft sci-fi or fantasy flick, but not any that changes its core rules as it goes to stay "unpredictable" when the makers are lazy and can't think of an actual plot twist. I despise pointless suspense, like in the series Lost and Prison Break.
I find absolutely no interest in pointless tragedy or just sheer stupidity masquerading for depth of a drama. That's what Daily Mail is for. I also don't find it funny, e.g. my interpretation of Home Alone is that the robbers had their necks broken within minutes and the rest of the movie shows their personal hell.
Johnny English Strikes Again (2018)
Literally too cringy to watch
I very, very rarely stop watching a movie. This was too physically painful to watch. I get this series runs on cringeworthy humour, but the last instalment lacks the "humour" part. I wanted Bean. James Bean. I got a headache from embarrassment by proxy. After skipping few extremely prolonged scenes, clearly designed to exaggerate the awkwardness but ultimately boring, I decided to call it quits.
Captain Marvel (2019)
Not subtle. Good.
The social commentary in this movie is not too subtle, as misogyny has been weaved into the plot seamlessly, but not invisibily. And good. It also perfectly explains the difference between imdb score statistics by boys.
But does the movie deserve the solid 8 average given by women, you know, the target?
No. It deserves a 9. Plus 2 for pissing off babies complaining a movie didn't put them in the centre like almost every other one. Unfortunately, the scale goes only up to 10.
The plot couldn't have been too contrived because we already know the outcomes. Yet, it does well. The score is amazing. The visuals - astonishing. The characters - both known and new - are engaging. Overall - marvellous.
The Predator (2018)
A joke... but I still smiled
The movie is essentially as coherent as Alien: Covenant, but it doesn't even attempt to take itself seriously. It's over the top and seems aware at this point it can only play on nostalgia. And... It works. It's enjoyable. I don't like how it tries to be a real Predator movie sometimes, because that doesn't work well, but I'm happy with parodies and it's not a bad one.
It's essentially what Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993) was to Rambo 2/3, but still licensed, bound by the rules of the universe to a much higher degree, so way more restrained. I believe most fans reject anything after Predator 2 (1990) as canon, I certainly do. If you are one and take that approach to this movie, you can have fun!
Lez Bomb (2018)
Batman vs Lesbians
I'll just say this: check IMDb's rating statistics. You'll note a majority of ratings is 1, and it comes mostly from young boys and old men, but not from ones 18-45, and th emost voted for review only mentions a male actor in the review, otherwise is suspiciously vague, and comes from a man who rated Hot Fuzz 1 and I can only hope wrote a bot to rate all untranslated Pokemon anime 10.
After you remove this artifcat, those you could expect to be in a relationship suggest a 7.0 score. You'll see the average rating from women is 6.7, peaking at 8 in one group. My opinion is that these scores reflect the quality of the movie.
Now, consider who most likely watched this movie before rating, and who decided to wage a homophobic war on a rom-com.
Forgettable but thrilling
It's not particularly smart or inspired, it doesn't look spectacular or... special in any way, but it subverted my pessimistic expectations and then threw in a couple small surprises. This is something extraordinary.
You will forget this movie quickly, but the thrill makes it worthwhile.
Meet the Blacks (2016)
So bad it's pitiful
This is what you get when the movie is made by people who consider confusing editing a substitute for writing, and allusions to racism and rape-comedy. It's not even a tolerable slasher or "so bad it's good" thing. It doesn't step into surreal and seems to play it all seriously at points, which is simply disturbing.
Mission Improbable (2016)
Waste of a pun
Pretends to be about addiction, but fails. At... everything. Imagine Pol Pot making a movie about nutrition. I am genuinely, honestly offended of both the content and its quality.
Not Rambo, but his stereotype
Childish, edgy characters, exploitation, gore and a lot of pew pew.
Who would ever want more? Like a real plot, real social commentary, or maybe a real challenge for the protagonist, as opposed to the eerie equivalent of riding a lawnmower over a bunch of rats.
Me, I guess.
Accelerating stupid can be fun
Yet another badly paced movie where the entire conflict stems from people being abhorrently stupid, on all sides, on multiple accounts. I can't be the only person who is not entertained, but only annoyed at squabbles between self-destructive lemmings? Ironically, the (literally) brain-damaged character and a child make the most reasonable decisions. Maybe it's a social commentary... nah.
But it's not the end of the story. Fortunately, characters' really disturbing suicidal tendencies pick up the pace later on, and we get a very silly action movie that takes itself quite seriously.
The story isn't a strong point here, but rather the style (snow, bows and axes) or rather their clash (vs ultra-modern looking carbines). It's quite enjoyable after everyone decides it's a good day to die. I think I'd forget I've ever seen it if not the style and a couple characters' sheer willingness to die.
Slow and pretentious
The pacing is atrociously slow. The movie is much longer than it should be, it could be cut by around 30 minutes of people staring at each other, not moving a muscle. The dialogue uninspired, and paced the worst. No one talks like that. Few behaviours or schemes make sense and everything runs on stupid ball. Acting is beyond wooden (despite the cast!), and gore is used grotesquely, as a substitute for actual drama. The music is a form of violence, too, making the incredibly long, SLOW MOTION even, empty scenes, even more unbearable as it's much louder than gunshots.
Extremely disappointing, an insult to human intelligence, and a complete waste of time.
The associated marketing campaign basically amounts to a scam.
Not present tense for sure
I heard this movie is tense. I cannot comprehend this judgment. It's slow, and there is simply nothing happening to create the tension. Characters act like things are tense, and mumble psychopathic one-liners that seem to be supposed to shock the viewer and show how hardened they are, but it's just grotesque. The scenery keeps throwing unsubtle hints at you to claim there's imminent danger, but there's none. When it finally arrives, it's underwhelming. Makes one wonder how cartels weren't all just shot to death yet. I gave up after 40 minutes of nearly silent walking and driving around, pretentiously gazing into the void, with a couple minutes of establishing how blindly idealistic the main character is against all logic.
I'm guessing (so not a spoiler) it'll be her downfall, she'll be betrayed, and no matter if her character will develop (probably not!) she'll have no effect on the plot and the baddies will win. So edgy. Then the movie will pretend it's some insightful social commentary. No. It's cliché, banal and predictable, that's what it is. Given how sedating and kitschy it is so far, I don't even care to find out. Ask yourself, do you?
Refracted plot holes
I expected a fantastic movie that makes you consider alternatives to what one considers normal or even obvious, like Arrival (2016). One with a mystery and a challenge for characters to overcome.
I got a well-marketed, but ultimately crappy horror B-movie running on stupid. It's like Alien: Covenant (2017), but with worse effects and less action to distract from zero-dimensional characters, pretentious plot and unpalatable babble. What's distracting are random "sex" scenes that do nothnot but ruin any pacing this movie had left.
What is said and what happens is annoyingly inconsistent, infuriating even as there is an attempt to pass it as a mystery. When you accept the characters are just rambling nonsensically just to spook you, you realise there wasn't any challenge at all, either, which obliterates any tension. It basically amounts to "oh no, there's a weird looking bug in the toilet bowl". The ending simply demonstrates it, disappointing any hopes of an interesting subversion. I just flushed.
Quite frankly I can't bear to watch it anymore simply because the lines analogous to "who do you work for?" and "what's your source?" happen 80 times per episode, no one knows anything about anything, and the powers of both sides use... public information as bargaining chips in negotiations?!
It seems like the show attempts to create this sense of fake mystery; tell us that this information is hard to obtain, but at the same time it clearly shows it isn't. Makes the characters look... stupid. Of course, there's some of the real deal, but it feels tainted by the above. The drama just doesn't work with clueless characters surrounded by pretend secrets.
The counterpart world essentially stuck in the 80s is as uninteresting as it is a standard dystopian cliché. It's unbearably slow and tedious, and repeats empty scenes. There is no thrill if you find yourself falling asleep, now is there?
The sci-fi element is a gimmick quickly forgotten. There's a tunnel, that's it. The implications of it are not explored deeply enough in my opinion.
I can't find anything else engaging or unique enough about the show. If you want a show about scheming and politics, there's always Designated Survivor. If you want sci-fi, including parallel universes, how about Star Trek Discovery?
It's amazing I didn't even hear about this gem for two years. They call it an action/comedy, but the whole monster part is to act as an allegory of much serious issues, and to ease the digestion of such Adult Scary(TM) movie. If you ever struggled with either too much or too little control in your life, do yourself a favour and watch Colossal. It has much better pacing than I expected and steadily introduces us to its depths in multiple dimensions. Not extremely deep, as the fantastic theme doesn't let it go too far as to make the experience disturbing--and good, because I wouldn't even watch it otherwise. I have a feeling it was a very deliberate trick; the whole creation seems ridden with those, and I love it. It's hard to talk about it in a fitting way without spoilers, but I will try: it's a story about control, power, discipline and abuse. It begins with a complete absence of those and shifts to create a colossal imbalance, and then to resolve it through catharsis. Guilt evolves into responsibility, and as the main character's name would suggest, it is glorious.
13 Hours (2016)
Rocked & loaded
Politically loaded; it's a mess, jingoism typical of Michael Bay and then some. It also isn't technically accurate at all, but then again, it's not a documentary. You'd be a fool to learn about politics and history from a movie. Its sheer existence carries some unfortunate implications. The movie gets a lousy 2/10 if you are concerned with truth (or at least a lack of lies) and at least some objectivity.
If you forget all that--like I really tried to--then the movie rocked. As in it's spectacular. Not as in it's great, because it's not. It loses gravitas due to extremely cliche characters, and some scenes were so poorly executed it all became unintentionally funny in a bad way (and I promise I'm not talking about Oz's hand). I hoped for at least one enemy to grow into a legitimate villain, but they're all just cannon fodder. I suppose Bay wanted to humanise only Americans, and it worked... but you don't have to care about politics to tell that's horrible storytelling. That's a 6/10 for me: I don't regret watching it, but it's generic, forgettable, and I hate the meta.
Beyond Skyline (2017)
Surprisingly entertaining, again
I liked Skyline (2010). It had a lot of action, interesting style (blue/red light, which I interpreted as something the characters don't actually see), and despite not being particularly smart like Arrival (2016) it was engaging until the ending I found very satisfying. I'm honestly surprised about most reviewers who seem to have expected a different genre altogether and were disappointed the characters aren't as deep as they think they are ;)
Beyond Skyline is simply more of the same, and I mean it. After it neatly blends with the original, it escalates the action, offers more of the same style (might be a tad too much, though), still not very intelligent yet avoids being unforgivably silly, and even delivers an ending I couldn't be happier about. It tries to avoid the mistakes of the first movie, like characterisation or dialogue, but it's debatable whether it worked. Definitely supplements the original and makes the series better than the sum of its parts.
In short, it's a lot like Independence Day (1996), much better than the sequel (2016) and provides a nice alternative to it.
Emulating hyper-intelligence was a challenge enough for the movie writers. It kinda worked out. Enough for it to work most of the time, at least.
The TV series failed at it miserably, excuses it poorly, and has only very symbolic ties to the movie. Apart from that, it's a very generic police procedural.
Blue Ruin (2013)
Realistic, but it's not a good thing
The movie presents a realistic plot with realistic characters, saying realistic things, for such a plot. A completely incompetent, petty man vs the world. It's only deep if you try hard making it deep; otherwise it's just unimaginably bland. The only tension fueled by nigh-comedic awkwardness and violence. If you don't find awkwardness and embarrassment entertaining or enlightening (?!), if you don't like how it's used as a cheap substitute for proper drama, just skip it.
Alien: Covenant (2017)
Shameful money grab
If you've seen Prometheus or read its reviews, this movie has all its flaws and none of the nuance. Characters are even more unbelievable in their sheer stupidity, especially. Every step of the plot is caused by some degree of it, or is visibly forced and unsatisfying. The answers and interesting paths Prometheus teased us with are unceremonially discarded at the very beginning. It presents inexcusably massive plot holes and inconsistent rules. The ending takes this up to eleven, being an outright infuriating insult to intelligence.
Clearly, Ridley Scott lost his passion a long time ago but knows Alien fans are still nostalgic and hopeful. He thinks they will buy anything he throws at them, even thinly veiled mockery... and apparently he's right.
This show attempts to mock NCIS, CSI, 24 and such. Unfortunately, instead of making fun of their clichés, it merely repeats them on an exaggeratedly stupid plot and sprinkles with forced grossness apparently going for shock value rather than humor, failing at both. I cannot overstate how low were my expectations yet how disappointed I am. You won't laugh, you won't go "ewww" with a smile, you won't facepalm at the idiot-ball ping pong, you won't get surprised by the surreal. You'll just lift an eyebrow and feel a somewhat relevant urge to flush the toilet.
Assassin's Creed (2016)
Horribly slow and doesn't know who is it for
Dreadful movie with soulless, really dense characters, pacing slower than a snail on benzodiazepines, story overexposed for franchise fans and apparently underexposed for the rest. Plot even worse than original, which was already just an excuse or maybe a lampshade for the mechanics of the game. Of course the parts taking place in the past are the best moments of the movie, but still not good enough to make the experience at all satisfying. I've seen Uwe Boll's movies that were better in every aspect except budget.
Officer Downe (2016)
Planet Dredd on acid
Very weird, but it seemed all purposeful and coherent. Maybe except the way how the tension was handled: wasn't much different from most movies, but something felt off. Somewhat anticlimactic, despite many climaxes indeed. It's a very healthy mixture of cliché behavior leading to deconstructive results. I like when a movie can surprise me. This was disruptive of what other movies trained me to expect. It was stupid and gory, but not grim. One more surprise here, as recent productions just have to be dark and gritty. This is like Dredd (2012), except that it's not some of the characters being on drugs, it's the movie makers. Really reminds me of Planet Terror (2007).
This contains spoilers as after reading this you probably won't want to watch the movie anymore.
Apart from nonsensical physics... We have the most advanced maximum security prison. In space! With no guards nor even a keypad to access control room. Practically no security at all. A guy with a gun is easily let inside the no-gun area even though he exposed the gun for a second. With exposed explosives all around, even in the secure (monitored) interrogation room. No alarm despite the explosion, not even a fire alarm (a girl has to turn it on manually!). Guards supposedly can release sleeping gas, but have to input a code to do it. They can open all cells at once without any code, though. Space fighters with the sole purpose of being shot down. By a prison. Human guinea pigs instead of rats or mice. In experiments already done over 100 years ago. Most untrustworthy person on the planet sent to rescue a VIP held hostage without any real reason, actually. With cheap equipment made over 100 years ago. Why not a flintlock pistol? Eye gore just for the sake of it (why would you inject adrenaline into the brain anyway?). Despite the adrenaline stuff there still is a defibrillator in use. Even in-movie locker system is badly designed (only to work for the plot). Same with prisoners' clothing. Soundtrack reminiscent of a grinding noise. I'm not exaggerating at all, it really sounds like it! Government agents unable to track a metro train... but I think we already established that people of the future are not very smart. To sum it up, story is very cliché, its foundations are very lousy, setting is changed to support the plot rather than the opposite, characters are flat, unrealistically stupid and predictable. Action scenes are ridiculous, however somewhat amusing at times and that's it. I don't usually write reviews. Typically only when I'm truly furious. And I am. I feel cheated. I was cheated! Don't let it happen to you.
Clash of the Titans (2010)
Clash of the Titans commits sin after sin.
Terrible and mostly unnecessary factual errors, e.g. Cepheus was never the king of Argos, Zeus didn't create humans (Prometheus did). It could have been done better if the authors stick closer to the mythology, excluding parts necessary for the story or drama. It seems nonsensical and confusing.
Really bad characters, not very convincing acting. Scenery reminds me of '70 and CGI, except for the final battle, is simply not as impressive as it should be. Heck, the Olympus looks funny rather than literally awesome. It looks like it have been taken from some kid's crayon drawings. Hades and Zeus look just... inadequate.
Don't get me wrong, the movie isn't *very* bad... it's *just* plain bad. If you've seen or wanted to see this before you ran out of options, repent and for penance see the 1981 movie.
The Losers (2010)
Writers were on drugs
You can read that this movie is full of clichés. A lot of movies are. However, the makers of this one didn't quite seem to understand any of them. The story is silly - and very predictable once you know it is so dumb, so don't try to think that some scene was smart or you will be disappointed in less than 5 minutes. There are a lot of big factual errors, too.
The movie doesn't even have a real conclusion and the main threat doesn't even look as threatening as it should. There are a lot of gaps, the characters are totally flat, CGI is lame, action scenes are not entertaining at all and pseudo-scientific gibberish is truly terrible, especially because it is not really necessary. Why they didn't consult some smart 14-year old about technical details?
Far Cry (2008) by Uwe Boll got 3.2 out of 10. The Marine 2 got 5.0. I think these ratings are pretty accurate. The Losers got 6.5, so you may think it's better than any of these.
It is not.