By CEO_OF_FRESH 7 Comments
I usually don’t watch movies, but over the past couple of days, I’ve watched a large amount of them. Soooooo I figured I do a blog post where I kind of review these movies or at least give my general thoughts. Basically none of these are timely or anything, so they might not have value as critiques, but I really just want to talk about them, so I will. At first I tried to stay in 2015, but I figured if I’m in the move, I shouldn’t limit my experiences right!? If there’s a theme across all of these movies for me, it’d be ‘unexpected’ And I explain that below. At least two of the movies I watched are sequels, so expect spoilers for established facts in the franchise. Also general spoilers about the movies in general because I am touching mostly on themes, not scenes.
The Hateful Eight
The scene in Django Unchained where he tries to escape Candyland is one of my favorite movie moments ever. I just love the action of it all. When I heard that Tarantino was making another movie, another western at that, I was immediately pumped. I was ready to see more of that fast gunplay. However that’s not what I got really, though I think I’m better for it. Instead what I got is a sort of think peace set to the backdrop of the South. I mean this movie is basically a Southern Literature novel in motion. We’ve got all the classic signs. Focus on justice and our place in community. Slavery, Civil War and the legacy it creates. The racial tension which is at the heart of post-civil war South. Maybe we should count Tarantino with the likes of Faulkner and O’Conner. And inside of that. . . well I’m not going to say. Anyway I’ve already watched this three times now, so there’s denying that I enjoyed it furiously.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
I got excited about this movie when it came out, but I totally forgot about it after it came out. So I never saw it. When I finished The Hateful eight, I figured I’d follow a link and watch another movie with Samuel L Jackson in it. This movie actually was what I expected and it was great. That scene is the church was absolutely glorious. But at it’s heart this was a fun and exciting secret agent movie. And I recommend.
I hadn’t heard anything about this movie. I learned about it hours before I watched it. Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses and I figured she’s got a new movie out I should try it out. When I read in the description that it was a revenge movie, set in a specific time period. I pictured a western where she’d be shooting and killing people, no joke. So of course what I got surprised me. Though again like I said above, I think it was for the better. This is a weird movie to me and I don’t want to spoil what it’s about. But know that the actors give great performances and there is payoff.
Now this is what I expected by the title. . . a slow western. I don’t know if I can recommend this movie or not. I’m not saying it’s bad. I’m just saying of these earlier movies I watched, it left the smallest impact. I think I would’ve enjoyed it better if it was just a straight up western with Michael Fassbender and he didn’t have to be tied to Jay Cavendish plotline. So even though it was an okay plotline, it left me feeling empty.
Kung Fu Panda 3
Kung Fu Panda 2 was so good, I couldn’t wait for this movie to come out. And it did not disappoint. When I thought of a village of pandas living in secret, I have to say. . . I thought it was going to lead to a terrible plotline. However the inclusion of that plotline lead to some great jokes actions and reaffirmation for the series. Again I really don’t want to spoil, just know that if you’re a fan of the series this is another great installment for the series.
Mad Max: Fury Road-
Since I’m probably the last person to see this movie, hyperbolic I know, I knew nothing going in. I’m never seen any Mad Max movies, never played the games, only saw the trailer. And I really didn’t have much of an inclination. But then someone told me it was one of the best movies of the year. So I figured, I should give it a chance. One of the things about human nature that is weird is how we gravitate to the same things we like. Because we can’t conceptualize things we never had. And so if you’d asked me if I wanted to watch a movie which is basically a two hour car chase scene. I would’ve say “HELL NO!" And I would’ve been wrong. Man I loved every second of this movie. Every second. In manages to pack action in just about every second, and usually that’s annoying, but in this movie it’s so well choreographed that I was just salivating. When I watched this it was like 2:00 Am and I had a 9:30 class, so I figured I’d watch 30 minutes and then watch the rest in the morning. But I couldn’t I stayed up till 4:00 to finish it. So since, again, I’m the last person to see this I don’t need to recommend it, but I will anyway.
The Big Short-
Now this movie, and the way it turned out is, the most unexpected of all the movies I watched. Now maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but I thought this movie was going to be a dramedy that leaned more strongly to the comedy side. I thought it would be like The Wolf of Wall Street for example. And it is kind of like that, if you replaced some of the humor with depression. We basically have a group of characters screaming to the mountaintop about a fire ready to burn a town down, but the townspeople just continue on there way, making dinner, washing their cars, and reading bedtime stories. Totally unaware. But I really loved this movie. I like the writing, the performances, and I liked this depiction of this crisis. No punches were pulled in making the banks seem like the biggest scammers in the world. I liked the tone. This might have something to do with it being a true story, but I liked that there wasn’t a happy ending or even a semblance of a happy ending or finality. I just liked everything about it.
Kumiko The Treasure Hunter-
This is a story about a young woman too socially awkward and/or depressed to engage with the people around. Maybe it’s a conscious choice, but the way she acts suggests a possible anxiety.Think about Tomoko from Watamote but worse. Not that she is technically worse socially confidant than Tomoko, I mean worse for the viewer. In that this is live action, and played completely for drama. Watamote pushes the boundaries of awkwardness, but the reason is capable of pushing pass it is Tomoko’s overreactions in her mind, giving the scenes humor to push pass the unbearable uncomfortableness. Not this movie. And it’s worse for our protagonist, as she is an adult. I’m not saying social anxieties are better or worse for people in their teen or adult years I’m just saying, children and teenagers are expected to go through awkward phases, and even though it can be more severe, can be expected to go through social problems. However, by the time you’re twenty-nine, like our protagonist, you’re expected to have the social points of life down, and we see at least two of the story’s characters verbalize this to Kumiko. Now like I said above, maybe Kumiko doesn’t have an anxiety. Maybe she’s so disillusioned that she has regressed into a depression. Either way there is a sadness that is is a core part of her character. Now this movie seems obscure enough that I won’t even spoil the plot. Just know that Kumiko’s anxiety and/or disillusionment takes her on a very weird adventure. And that I give it two thumbs up.
This movie is like Slow West above. Not in content, but how I feel. I like the writing. I like the characters, but in my opinion it doesn’t do much different in the 'war on drugs’ storyline. I mean do like the movie so I can recommend it. But like Slow West, it didn’t leave much of an impact on me.
Edge of Tomorrow-
When this movie came out I discounted it as a standard action flick and so I moved own. That was an unfair summation of the movie. It’s much more than that. It’s a very funny, very smart action film in my opinion. It has some hilarious scenes and some pretty good action. Now in retrospect I would argue that the story has some significant plot holes, but I’m not going to let that ruin an awesome movie for me.
Captain America: Winter Soldier-
After watching Edge of Tomorrow I wanted to watch another action movie. I remember when this came out, everyone I knew was telling me it was such good action. So I went to this, Marvel movies are usually dependable in that anyway. And they were right. First Avenger was a fine movie, but Winter Soldier is better to me. Or at least I liked it more.
Avengers: Age of Ultron-
First of all, I LOVED James Spader as Ultron. People love Loki, but I don’t. I think Ultron is a better villain anyway, and definitely in this cinematic universe. Anway as far as comparing the two movies, I don’t know for sure that this is better. I mean a coming together story usually just feels better, but there’s something to be said about a well oiled machine. There is no doubt that I really enjoyed it, but I don’t know if I like it more.
Samuel L Jackson is “The Man Who Play In Everything" I mean one minute he’s in 1,000,000,000 dollar grossing The Avenges. The very same year, he’s in this. Now I’m not saying that a blockbuster is better than a straight dvd movie on that premise alone. I’m just saying that A-List actors typically won’t put themselves in those movies. Mr. Jackson doesn’t mind. I’m cool with that, I just wished he picked better ones. The movie is about as basic as you can get. Guy gets out of jail, tries to make it straight, people force him back in. There is a plot twist here. I think some filmmakers confuse surprise with being a good twist. See it’s not hard to surprise an audience, because they never know for a fact what’s going to happen. So subverting expectations isn’t hard. The plot twist here is shocking, but only in that what it is itself is shocking on it’s own. Not in that it’s a good plot twist. In the end I’d give this movie a pass.
Little Witch Academia & Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade
These aren’t movies per se, but they are short films. I was on netflix and I remembered how much I wanted to watch it. And I kind of wanted to get The Samaritan of my brain, and this was a pretty stark contrast. Studio Trigger did Kill la Kill an anime I absolutely love. And I really like there style of animation, and I was ready to see them put out some great visuals. The story is basically oridnary. That is not a backhanded way to say it’s bad. I’m just saying it’s pretty standard. Young girl sees a magic show, and is then inspired to become a witch herself, she idolizes her her and aspires to be like her. It’s the visuals, the comedy, and the characters that makes this special to me. But not just special, the shorts are. . .MAGICAL.
I’ve been trying to watch this movie for like TEN YEARS. It’s not like I had stumbling blocks. But like I said above, I don’t watch movies most of the time. I don’t know why. It involves two hitmen how are forced to hide out in a Belgium town called Bruges, until there boss calls. It’s funny, it’s dramatic, it has great dialogue, and the performances are excellent. It’s just a great film all around.
I’m not saying this movie is terrible, I’m just saying that it falls short of the ‘pedigree’ of movies I picked around it. Mainly because of cliches. We’ve got a preacher who is a trifecta in that he is ‘the hypocritically lascivious cliche,’ ‘The amoral preacher’ cliche, and the ‘Delusion God’s Plan’ Cliche’ rolled into one. And it has rape ‘both 1st in basically a drive by scene and then as a general atmosphere amongst all the bad guys. Because ‘all bad guys are rapists.’ Now maybe the main character wasn’t raped, but she was knocked out by a man she hates and is repulsed by and then we cut to her in bed with him, so yeah. And I haven’t seen enough of January Jones’ work to know if I enjoy her, but I don’t like her performance in this movie. The second half of the movie, isn’t what I expected, and it’s the better half in my book. . . but I can’t say that it’s worth it. There seems like some attempts at humor, but they fell flat to me. I mean there’s a scene where Ed Harri’s character is tied to a cross, seriously, and then beat with a broom by a church lady. Though there is one joke at exactly 1:19:24 that made me laugh. Again it isn’t terrible. I kind of like the writing, but towards the end, I was literally checking how much time was left. And that can’t be a good sign. All in all, I’d skip it.
This movie wasn’t terrible, but it annoyed me to no end. From the beginning it admits that it’s going to be a movie of coincidences, but I thought it was being tongue in cheek and wouldn’t revel in it. First of all there’s apparently only one tow truck driver in LA. And every time this tow truck driver speaks he has subtitles in a different language. Even though he’s speaking English. It just annoys me. Some of the dialogue is clever, some of it is annoying. Here are three lines, that annoyed me.
“We are going to have a rape party!”
“So come on Crayola, you wanna color or what?”
“You can have a rape party with them."
I just groaned at those. Then at this movie’s heart is a comedy. But it has major comedic moments that fall flat First of all is Chris Pine, who is playing this amoral degenerate, that’s just annoying. Maybe it’s funny to others, but I was annoyed from the moment he landed, from a parachute, on top of Stretch’s limo. When he dons tribal paint and brandishes a sword, I was ready for him to be shot. I was facepalming at all of his dialogue. But the worst part about his character is that the movie seems to put him in the light of this life guru. The movie and characters actually take his opinions and words seriously even at the end. This movie even trots out the ‘Annoying White Rapper, as corny as it has ever been, but extremely misplaced in a 2014 movie. But last but not least, is the ending. Maybe someone could find it sweet, but when I saw the big ‘twist’ at the end. I was so mad, that I can’t describe it. I can barely explain why I was so mad, but I was. With all of that, you might think I wouldn’t recommend it. But I like Patrick Wilson enough that I still kind of liked it. And another person’s suspension of disbelief is going to be higher than mine. So maybe check it out.