A few I’ve seen recently:
High Rise: 8/10Bonkers. Dystopian realism, insofar as that can be a thing. Repulsive, bold and decadent. Great fun to watch, but you get the sense that if you watched too many films like that, you’d become unhinged. Best enjoyed in a near empty cinema at silly o’clock.
Midnight Special: 9/10Gripping, atmospheric sci-fi. Really intense performances from all the cast, interesting story, and the effects were good without being too intrusive. The ending doesn’t quite live up to the rest, that’s the only thing keeping this from being a 10.
Batman v Superman: 4/10Oh dear.
@danielGwood could you not have bumped the score for the VFX alone? or were they that bad also.
@Andy001z bumped the score on which film sorry?
@DanielGWood I'm pretty sure Andy meant Batman vs Superman.
Which is not a good looking movie. The technical competence of the visual effects is mostly there, given it's 2016, but most designs are ugly and most staging is uninspired. Also, given the director's own comments in interviews Zach Snyder does not understand the characters of Superman and Batman at all. Snyder's take may as well be Ayn Rand. Save your money and wait for Civil War.
Storywise it's a mess. Luthor's motivation is non-existent (guess who drives the plot?), Batman's a mass murderer, and the whole fight between Batman and Superman only happens because Supes is being a complete and total idiot. It's a weak film that's going to make enough money that WB is going to let Snyder keep churning out the terrible.
...given it's 2026...
Wait, what?! How long was I asleep for?!
Yeah you're probably right Triem, that was a silly question of mine. Agreed with all of that, it was dull and humourless. I actually fell asleep briefly while watching it (despite it being ridiculously loud), partly because I was knackered, but also total lack of engagement.
Disclaimer: I've not seen BvS. Don't intend to.
However, based on Synder's previous work, I think the issue is not simply that he doesn't get the characters, but that he doesn't get what a dark, moody story actually is. He seems to think it means being portentous and humorless and being grim. When actually a film can deal with dark, serious issues without being a one-note movie.
Even Watchmen, where he had incredible source material to work with, feels very flat. Synder doesn't seem to be able to inject contrast into his pacing or style. A quiet dialogue scene ends up feeling as overblown and overdesigned as the action sequences. Rather than elevating everything, it brings it all down so that there are no real peaks.
My favourite Things (be they comics, films, TV, books, games, whatever) tend to be the ones that effortlessly switch between tone (funny, sad, scary, whatever) and pacing (rollercoaster, considered, tense, relaxed) in the course of a single story. That's what creates dramatic peaks and troughs and makes a story interesting.
That's why the really good Marvel movies work: they're not just light fluffy stuff: they shift gears continually, without one part undermining the other. You can have all the daft fun of The Avengers while still feeling invested in the final battle. You can have Star Lord pratting about, while still feeling invested in what happens to a talking tree. (I felt Age of Ultron didn't quite get this balance right - the humour does undermine the drama in that one)
Hopefully Suicide Squad will have a better chance of getting this right for the DC world. (The Flash on TV is already doing a better job than the DC movies)
Couldn't agree with you more. I never remember watching a lot of the old superman's and never read the comics. But I haven't the slightest clue what Luthor's motivation was. In order to continue watching the movie I had to assume he just had the "diabolical gene."
I was a big Man of Steel fan but this buried any hope for this series for me. I went in with low expectations and they were barely met. I do think suicide squad will be good as long as they didn't let Snyder on set..
Anyway Last movie I saw
10 Cloverfield Lane
7.5/10: I loved the mixed emotions and the inability to feel at ease the entire movie. John Goodman was a lot better than I thought he was going to be. And there was a point in the movie that I "almost" jumped - and I never jump. If they ending were a bit different I would probably have given this an 8.5. And I did have pretty high expectations for this movie. But that could be due to not a whole lot being revealed in the Trailers - HOLLYWOOD! stop spoiling movies with trailers. Some of the better movies I've seen have even been when I've known NOTHING about a movie before seeing it.
The only problem is... I actually love watching trailers to movies, so not watching them all together is out of the question.
Batman v Superman
5/10: For as much hype as this movie received, it was a major let down for me. The story was to cluttered and the casting was either a hit or miss. I hope Suicide Squad is a lot better.
@SimonKJones I think you've more-or-less summed up my issues with Zach Snyder as a filmmaker rather well. Although Snyder is capable of contrast in tone, he does it in such a jarring way that he just ruins both moods he's cutting between.
My primary example of Snyder's lack of subtlety and tone is from MoS--right after Kal-El has snapped Zod's neck, as he begins to weep, kneeling before Lois, wrapping his arms around he hips, using her for moral and emotional support, and, just before the audience can start to settle into this moment--a moment that should cement the Lois/Clark relationship as this woman comforts this extra-ordinary person--we cut to an exploding drone, follwed by Superman saying to an Air Force officer something along the lines of "I blew up your drone because I can."
Ok, here's my Batman vs Superman question. Technically a spoiler warning (but anything shown in trailers isn't a spoiler).
Which one of Doomsday's genetic donors is responsible for Doomsday's total lack of genitals? Zod, or Luthor? If Zod, well that says a lot about Lois.... If Luthor, we FINALLY have a motivation for the annoying punk.
Oh dear, I've just realized that the vaunted, un-needed "R-Rated" cut of BvS could just be Zach Snyder adding Dr. Manhattan's penis to Doomsday.
Be great if it was actually Dr Manhattan's. Same colour and glow and everything.
I was thinking that myself...
Wow what did I start with just one simple omission of a title, the S v B thread exploded. I am with Simon, not seen it, and right now not sure if I will, it just had nothing that makes me want to view it, which is a very sad place to be for one of my favorite pair of superhero characters. Oh well at least we have the Batman lego movie to look forward to, at least that will be funny... please let it be funny.
Well I hear Lego Batman has Gob Bluth as Batman, so that seems like an instant win.
@DanielGWood Yep, and the new trailer looked good for Lego Batman.
Camel Spiders: 0/10
You read that right, 0/10. 8 minutes in and delete. Acting. Really bad. FX. Really, really bad. Movie. Just bad. Bad. Bad. It opens with U.S. troops shooting across a ravine at what appear to be terrorists (filmed at the famous rock formation used in Star Trek TOS with Kirk and the Gorn). I don't think anyone told the actors to aim their guns that way- you know, towards your enemy. Somehow, one soldier managed to get himself shot by running into the middle of the gunfire exchange. Gee, how could that happen? And he's the leader of the group?!?!?!?! Then one guy, the captain's buddy, jumps up and gets shot in the head. Imagine that. Holy cow this was bad. Then, out of nowhere, large, oversized camel spiders attack the terrorists from behind and drag them off leaving the U.S. soldiers wondering what happened.......you know, because they're so stupid(?). When the terrorists shot the spiders they all missed and no spiders suffered- I suppose that's good? And we've all seen how a body is put into a body bag and left unzipped so the body is exposed and so 3 baby large spiders can miraculously crawl up unseen by a platoon of soldiers and crawl into the body's mouth which is left wide open for some unknown reason. And naturally, the spiders get transferred back to the U.S. via the body bag where they attack four teens making out in the desert.......because that happens every day. I could have done better, I like to think, compositing a fake helicopter into a scene. This wasn't even good looking. Did I mention this was a bad, bad, bad movie?!?!?!?!?!?
Black River: 7/10
I think this was a made for TV movie but it was pretty interesting to try and figure things out as you're watching. Welcome to Black River- town of the future. Up to date with the times and yet still a quaint and quiet small town. A town for thinkers, dreamers, artists and writers. But not all is what it seems. And that's all I'm going to tell ya. ;^)
Discussion resurrection time!
Captain America: Civil War: Very good
Giving Marvel movies specific individual ratings seems slightly pointless these days, as they are so reliant on all the other movies in the franchise. Civil War assumes that you've seen most of the others, and builds upon them. Without considering the other movies it wouldn't make any sense.
I don't see that as a bad thing, though. I've always preferred long-form storytelling over short stuff, which is why TV has often appealed more than movies - even when TV has vastly lower budgets and production value. Babylon 5 being my favourite slice of scifi, despite looking absurdly cheap.
Marvel have gone down a route of creating a long-running, hyper expensive mixture of inter-connected mini-series. As long as you're OK with that general concept, then Civil War is a treasure chest of riches.
Despite everything I say above, it's also structured rather cannily, mostly getting away with its awkwardly sized cast. Crucially, despite all the explosions and punchy-punch, it story is driven entirely by characters. Marvel's secret, really, is that they commit to characters - so even when the movies aren't great (Iron Man 2) they still have appealing character work (Iron Man 2).
ooh ooh, pick me!
Weird. Starts off good if unsettling, and Kevin Costner is surprisingly well suited...then about halfway through the film takes an abrupt turn towards the naff. A waste of Gary Oldman.
The Jungle Book: 5/10
Perhaps I'm not the target audience here, but I didn't enjoy it much. Didn't have the heart of the animated version, and the only human character was a bit flat. To be fair to the kid, he was probably acting on a green bouncy castle with hardly any real elements most of the time. Idris Tiger was excellent however, and the animation in the credits is lovely.
Eye in the Sky: 9/10
Gripping, tense, heart-wrenching stuff. Excellent performances from all the cast, believable and really emotional. Highly recommend!
Bastille Day: 6/10
Idris Elba is an action hero now you guys. He's pretty convincing also, because he's a giant punchy chap. The plot here is daft, but it's an action film, what do you expect. Funniest moment is in the credits at the end, when Idris Elba starts singing (apparently he's a musician too), and immediately un-does all his cool.
Captain America: Civil War: 8/10
Hmm. This was entertaining both times I saw it, and some bits are great (everything Ant Man; the banter involving one of the younger characters; the opening scene). That said though, I think I've seen too many superhero films now, particularly ensemble films. Way too many characters, insufficient peril. Better than Ultron though!
Our Kind Of Traitor: 8/10
A new Le Carre adaptation, if you like his books you'll like this film - it's fairly true to the source material. Suspenseful and has a nice balance between character-building and action sequences.
@DanielGWood - I thought Civil War neatly side-stepped the issue of 'insufficient peril', by discarding the usual formula of Big Bad Tries To End The World And Inevitably Is Defeated In A Big Fight and replacing it with a character conflict which is far harder to resolve in a "we won!" kinda way. It even wrong-foots the audience towards the end, when it looks like it's shifting gears into more traditional territory but then does something more interesting. And, crucially, it's not a "happy ever after" ending. </desperately trying to avoid spoilers>
That said, outside of this one you're totally right - part of the problem (well, one of several) with Ultron was that it definitely fit into the "bad guy, he's going to lose, so what?" fatigue formula.
I'll do a full write up on Civil War (Simon and Josh Davies have already seen my thoughts on social media) and Batflek vs. Supergrump vs. Penisless Doomsday Manhattan later (guess which film I disliked). But, I will say that the character conflicts in Civil War make it work--and *spoiler?*I am actually fine with no deaths. Everyone being alive lets the current fractures simmer for the next several films. Besides anyone killed woukd just get resurrected by an Infinity Stone a few films down.
I can't wait for the scene of Thanos dancing around a captured Vision to the tune of Stuck In The Middle With You, while preparing to prise out the Mind Stone.
I think the Russo Bros are directing Infinity War (Yay! Marvel's best directors!), not Tarantino.
@SimonKJones yeahhh I can't really argue without going FULL SPOILER, so I won't. I agree the formula was a little different, and it's not quite happily ever after, but there's just no end.
That is true. I think it's something which is going to harm Star Wars more than Marvel, long term. Marvel has always been about absurdly long timelines and forever stories - hence decades of comics. Their entire system is based around stories never having proper endings (for better or worse). The movies are reflecting the source material.
What Disney are now doing with Star Wars - basically, applying the Marvel franchise approach - has transformed something which was very finite and structured (Extended Universe notwithstanding - but those were always anecdotal) into another endless story. In the case of Star Wars, I think it definitely undermines and lessens it overall.
My review of Captain America: Civil War is up on YouTube! I even added the Iron Man HUD effect on my dog! Check it out! Feel free to subscribe and comment!
I didn't really like it that much. I would of preferred if they told the story better. Half of it didn't make any sense, and the scene on the highway made no sense at all. I tried to write this spoiler free, but I wasn't able to, so that's the short version.
Considering going to the Cinema here cost me €25, so even though this was a while ago, I've started buying new releases on blu-ray (3D if available).
They're cheaper than going to the cinema, and I get to keep them, so it's a no brainer for me. My home cinema is a better experience than downtown.
Hopefully I didn't offend anybody, but the Marvel Universe isn't making a lot of sense to me right now...
Let's see what I think about Civil War, it comes out in 3 or 4 months from now, heh....
KevinTheFilmmaker I have to disagree there
Usually I cannot make a lot of sense of the Marvel Universe ... but Deadpool I think is a great movie. I was seeing it in cinema since a colleague asked me to come along. I did and I must say, even if the story was not the strongest one I was quite well entertained.
The VFX were great as well as the whole staging and mood of the movie. So I would rather agree with the IMDb rating making that 8 / 10.
But that's how personal taste goes
@KevinTheFilmmaker - Deadpool isn't part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is a Fox production, as they currently own the rights to that character along with the rest of the X-Men franchise.
DanielGWood Figured I would toss this vfx breakdown up here for the Jungle Book rating LOL . I found it a bit interesting.
Daddy's Home -9.5/10
Kung Fu Panda (Newest One) - 7.5/10
Mad Max Fury Road- 9.5/10
Star Wars Force Awaken - 6/10
Zoolander 2 - 5.5/10
Tommy Boy - 9/10
The Big Labowski - 10/10
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