Fast X 8/10 as the action from top to bottom saved this film from the lousy plot! Nice to see Rita Moreno as she looks awesome for her age.
Rate the last movie you watched.
Across the Spider-verse (8/10)
The movie is somewhat too long and not long enough. Many people were aware it is only part 1 of 2, but if you are not, you should know the story is cut short, and the cliffhanger, while efective, is somehow annoying. The characterization is pretty strong, although some characters like Miles suffer due to an increased focus on others, like Gwen and Miles' parents.
In the end, those things make me think it is not as strong as the first one, and that takes some points.
Visually though, this movie is incredible. It makes the first one look basic and subdue by comparison. I even think they worked on it until the very last moment, because frames in the trailers look a LOT better on the screen; so if you were impressed by the scenes of the spiderverse in promotional material, believe me, you haven't seen nothing yet.
Creed III 9/10
Easily the best film in the franchise so far. Many people thought it would fail because Stallone was not in it, but it turns out he wasn't needed as Michael B Jordan and Jonathan Majors carried the whole film and did a great job. The rest of the cast also did a great job, including the girl who played Adonis Creed's daughter.
Avatar: The Way of Water 8/10
Good sequel to the original film that focuses on family and revenge. The CGI is beautiful and seamless, to the point you can't tell where the CGI begins and the live action ends. There isn't much else to say without possibly spoiling things are its a long film that is nearly 3 and a half hours. But once you get into the story and the visuals, the time goes by quickly. Its not hard to see why these films make so much money, despite it seemingly having a lot of detractors.
Watched the French-Senegalese world war 1 film "Father & Soldier" (Tirailleurs) a few weeks ago. Interesting premise with a father and son from a Senegalese village who are forcibly "recruited" by the French to fight on the western front in 1917, with the two trying to find the means to return home. Sadly that premise is squandered by editing that jumps around wildly in time, never letting us know any of the characters, barely letting us know what's going on in the war, and being pretty poor at building tension. Lots of people just running around in the open without the slighest hint of the mud, snipers, gas and mines that tends to be all over WW1 stories. All around it's weirdly anonymously presented despite being such a personal story. 3-ish/5
Across the Spider-Verse: 9/10
I’m a sucker for every single visual decision this team made in the first film and then expanded upon in this sequel. Absolutely breathtaking visual styles and motifs.
The story is fine and if there’s a knock on the movie, it’s that it’s so visually overwhelming that I had to be very intentional about paying attention to the dialogue and plot, so as not to lose the thread as I soaked in the details presented in each frame.
I had to see it twice to appreciate the entire creative work.
Tár. It's great. Hard to know what to make of this one. It's a musical version of the "fall from greatness" genre of biopic films like Citizen Kane, The Aviator, etc. Lydia Tár is a total egoist who believes that she is "obliterating the self" while she is actually very self-serving and manipulative of everyone around her in subtle or not-so-subtle ways. I was totally caught off guard by the surprisingly hilarious ending after 2.5 hours of highbrow drama. After getting dethroned from her post as conductor of the Berlin Orchestra due to numerous scandals, and running on stage to beat the crap out of the conductor that replaced her, Lydia is reduced to the (for her) ultimate humiliation - conducting for a Monster Hunter orchestra in the Philippines.
Manchester by the Sea. I'd say it deserves all the accolades it got. For the most part it doesn't feel like you are watching a movie - it feels like you are peaking into the lives of some ordinary people who have to deal with the worst kind of tragedy. The dialogue feels very real and there's not an ounce of pretence. It never feels like the movie is manipulating you into any forced emotion. You just observe and draw your own conclusions. In the end, there are no easy answers, but there is some hope to be had.
Extraction 2: 7/10
A decent sequel to the original Netflix exclusive action film. Some of the action highlights were really entertaining to watch.
Evil Dead Rises: 7/10
An okay horror film. Lots of gore and Evil Dead like craziness, but outside of that, the film wasn't anything special. But I guess hardcore Evil Dead fans will love it.
Violent Night: 9/10
A great action film, where Santa Claus kicks ass, but we all know this. What makes the film stand out is how well done it is. It's a nice combination of Diehard and Home Alone. Both films are even referenced at different parts. A lot of the comedy bits also hit well and I found myself laughing at a good number of scenes.
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