Thursday, July 28, 2022
Yeah, after a re-evaluation of The Batman and the very very good Snyder cut I needed this to be decent. Thankfully I can report it was okay, in terms of overall quality. It has a really neat art design, taking a lot of art deco/50s futurisic influence to the backgrounds and environments, with some pretty cool character designs for the human superheroes. The fact alone I get to see a Superman suit a la' Kingdom Come is pretty sick, Diana is somehow even more awesome looking than normal I mean woof (ha ha ha....), Aquaman is a neat mix of classic comics and Justice League Unlimited, we got a new Green Lantern I was not aware of and hello there madame I will research you immediately, poor Flash and Bats could have had more interesting designs to be honest, we even get a frickin' rad Mercy Graves so I'm pretty happy on that front. But the focus is of course on the pets and they are mostly miss for me, not much love for Krypto or Ace (and that is the only time I will speak blasphemy on the name of Ace), the pig PB was cute, the squirrel...eh, but my favorites were the geriatric turtle and not just cause she cusses and it made me lose my shit in the theater, and of course the villains. Kate McKinnon my babe, you once again are my shining star and play one of the unironically best villains I've seen in an animated film in some time and she has a pretty kitty henchman who is cute as heck and will annihilate your enemies with extreme prejudice. I want him. That's the thing with this movie for me, I don't particularly care about Krypto or his story, more the funny odd stuff that happens along the way. It's an average basic premise and plot but it is serviceable. The comedy actually got me more than I could have fathomed, the villain is brilliant but even then has some groaner jokes, the turtle was amazing but any kids movie that drops an F bomb whether censored or not has some respect from me, and the semi-Looney Tunes physical humor worked in places. I am taking this as a small victory, it wasn't bullshit from cover to cover it was just painfully adequate with some bright spots. I can live with that. 2.5 stars, 6/10, and we got only one more week before I take a summer break so we will go out with a bang.
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Yeah, I know. I said I was going to see it again and had every intention to but life got busy and this is nearly 3 hours long, but I've seen it 3 or 4 times now and have solidified my stance on the movie. Still love it, still think the story works very well, and the score has indeed been raised. First off, this viewing around I was just gushing profusely over the cinematography, like I know because it's a modern movie and therefore has modern cameras where every frame is crystal clear and the look is out of this world but maaan dat look good! I'm not sure if it's a director stamp of Matt Reeves but his whole focus on one object in the foreground but leave the background out of focus may be considered artsy but I loved it. That's my eyesight in a nutshell, so I'm just keeping it real with glasses. The look of Gotham while still very modern day is unmistakably this iconic city, hell that shot of the diner with the rain and the neon glowing in the darkness is Gotham personified to me. Friggin' Wayne Tower though, Tim Burton wishes he could be this gothic in style and structure, I mean wow but man did I love it. Costume design, brilliant and not just with the batsuit though it is a marvel to behold and study. So visuals, 10/10. Robert Pattinson still does the trick for me and while I personally feel no one can claim a certain actor as the definitive Batman, he covers nearly all the bases with me. With the exception of being Bruce Wayne, though I know it's part of his character and the arc he makes, he is still very much 90% Batman and 10% Bruce but it works because he hasn't found that balance yet where even as Bruce he can still get stuff done and acquire information. I dare almost say this is a character study of a young but hardened Batman, he knows the ropes and still does good work but he isn't flawless and takes a more direct obvious route. That's the thing with this movie, it can tell you so much without saying a word I mean we are talking visual storytelling the likes I have not seen in many a year. Just a simple thing of Batman banging on a club door and forcing his way inside to sneaking through the same door does a lot for the character. The fact that he is faced with a grim reality that he inspires criminals through his actions and starts working less as a vigilante and more a hero is what tipped the scale for me on the second viewing to raise the score. I love seeing detective work in this movie, cause it's very ground level in the process with having a lead, gaining a tentative link, and following that to another lead cause that's how it works. You need to have the skills to read the signs, but also a bit of luck to get you to the next part. And with an adversary like the Riddler, you have to play his game and gain knowledge bit by bit of his scheme which I feel still works on repeated viewing, it's the long game where any bit of information could come into play. I should know, I spammed the Rata Alada website daily and got a lot out of it before the damn G.C.P.D. took the site off. Paul Dano is a very different Riddler but infinitely entertaining, I must have had this twisted smile on my face everytime he was on screen, this disturbing mix of oh my God this is great and sweet Jesus this is eerie as f***. What can I say I loved every second of it, and I'm gonna get shit for this maybe until the day I retire but was it just me or was anyone else getting like real severe ASMR vibes with his voice? I was kinda nodding off at points, I'm sure that says a lot about me but I refuse to take sass from people who spend entire days watching crime and serial killer documentaries so you can take a seat. If memory serves I believe I said Zoe Kravitz was the best live action Catwoman, and I would say yes absolutely. Definitive? Not yet. Incredibly great in many aspects of the character? Affirmative. She got the skills, it's very Year One Catwoman in design which I dig, the romance I feel works well enough, props to them for going the whole Falcone side of her heritage like in the comics following The Long Halloween I appreciate that, she did proper good with this role. I want more Jeffrey Wright, I got enough to satisfy me but I need more, that whole partnership was handled super well in my book and I just love that man so bring it on I say. The action was less pronounced but still had that punch (full pun intended), I know we're not gonna see Rob go full Batfleck and just wreck dudes in seamless Arkham combat style but the work put in must be commended. I'm still kind of on the side of the fence where I just want it to be this movie and not a 3 picture deal, I'm just very disillusioned with the business side of comic book movies rather than the films themselves. But a villain team up I can roll with, I mean come on my first Batman movie was Batman Forever followed closely by Batman & Robin, multiple villains is second nature to me. I still really enjoyed it, I loved the progression for Batman, it's an engrossing and entertaining film and the ending is something I'm proud of them for doing. 4 stars, 9/10, and next time we're doing some comparisons on The Justice League.
Thursday, July 21, 2022
I'll admit, the trailer got me alone with a shot of a flying saucer. Cause I knew immediately that this was gonna be a new take on aliens and breathe some new life into a very much bygone genre. And new barely covers how they handled the subject matter. So the movie follows two siblings who own a horse ranch in California when for no real reason, various bits of metal fall from the sky, power shuts completely off, and something is clearly spooking the horses leading our great leading stars to attempt to sort out the problem and get the impossible shot. I almost don't wanna say a thing. Needless to say Daniel Kaluuya is awesome, I can see some people say he has no expression or is just kinda zoned out when all this wild ass stuff is happening but I can forgive it. I mean if I saw a UFO I would literally lose my fudge, and walking home in the middle of the night with the wind picking up was um....fun. I guess you would get a bit desensitized and able to think more logically if you kept seeing a flying saucer but it doesn't take away from the performance. Keke Palmer won me over with one brief scene in the trailer, she is a joy to watch and I adore her. She just has that energy, that spirit, it's quite hard to not like her truthfully. Brandon Perea is a good source of comic relief and buys into this whole spaceship business easily, and I was a bit stunned cause he works at Fry's Electronics and I thought that was nothing more than another relic in my memory. Cause it takes place in modern day but truthfully the trailer sold it to me as early to mid 2000s, but man I miss that store. Moving on. Steven Yeun I feel is the wild card in this cast, he does belong but his whole backstory is so out there but I think that's why I like it. The film is shot super well with obvious emphasis on the sky, day or night, and it's paced just right for a roughly 2 hour film. Now, no spoilers of course however I must admit if you want to see new sci-fi, recognizable elements of sci-fi done with a new twist, I think you will enjoy it. I was very happy how it all progressed and the flying saucer was actually made pretty scary and unsettling again. Expertly done sound design by the by. A great time to be had, inventive, creepy, but engaging and interesting. I give it 4 stars, 8.5/10! Next week, I'm somewhat looking forward to and yet debating on whether I should do it at all. Until then, watch the skies always. Keep looking. Keep watching the skies.
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Well shit, that was an ending.
Man! Jordan does it again for me, this movie takes more inspiration from other movies than being a purely original idea but that sure doesn't mean it isn't a fine film. I sorta knew the premise, kind of a Invasion Of The Body Snatchers type plot where duplicates of a family try to kill said family but boooy does it go off in it's own world and become something better. Immediately I was thrown off track when the film starts stating there are thousands of miles of underground passageways, and I was fully expecting this to be some parallel dimension crossing setup but the rug was pulled out from under me and my interest grew even more, it still creeped me out though. I will say the movie does, if you pay good attention, very simple yet effective set up and pay off and does a real good job getting you settled with this family. I mean do I need to say a friggin' word about Lupita Nyong'o? Do I really? No I don't think I do, my standing with her has never dwindled or changed for the worst. Winston Duke, my guy in this movie, could not catch a break and I almost dare say he was my favorite part of the movie, a total nerd but infinitely enjoyable to watch, he was class! Shahadi and Evan as the kids did good enough work, capturing that sibling friction and commited well to the acting. But the greatest part is, they play the opposite personas and seem to have way more fun with it, I mean it is utterly and completely fascinating to see these actors as this bizzaro/dark side mirror image/otherwordly cast cause it raises enough questions in your mind that you want to dig deeper into. Where do they come from? How were they created? What's the master plan? And while you don't get definitive answers to all those questions, you get enough to walk away still interested and satisfied but not like you got robbed due to lazy writing. A concept such as this and the way it plays out would be very easy to screw up, very easy to perplex the audience and lose them, very easy to do slap dash writing. But it doesn't, it walks that tight rope just right, and even while I admit I was throwing out ideas and I was right at the end I by no means called this movie. No way in hell. Cause I was thinking, alright we're gonna get build up, halfway through the doppel family shows up, and the rest of the movie is fight for survival, kill em' all or be killed. Naw. No, no, no, the doppels show up about 35 minutes into this almost 2 hour film and it goes bigger than you expect. Will not say a syllable more on that. Directing wise you can tell this is Jordan Peele really able to stretch those wings, giving a lot more unique visuals, interesting camera work, and good editing, it even gets a bit artsy at one or two points and I friggin' loved it. I do however fear for his career because I don't just want him to direct horror movies forever, I know he can do other stuff so I hope he doesn't burn himself out on these projects cause I know a lot of people love his horror stuff. I sure do, and it's unfair to compare his projects so I can't say oh Get Out was better, it's two seperate movies with different styles, so I'll just say it was great. 4 stars, 8.5/10, and I have no clue what Nope will have in store but I'm there for it either way.
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Ah, maybe the universe was telling me not to go through with it.
No joke, my DVD of this movie was glitched to shit so I had to buy it (again) just to get this review done. And while I can't say Once Upon A Time In Mexico is a bad movie, I can however say it is the weakest of The Mexico Trilogy and also the weakest of the Once Upon A Time In movies I've seen. But why that is is simultaneously very easy to describe and yet difficult to describe. The plot actually was a bit hard keeping up with, it starts off innocently enough with another bar shootout with our Mariachi and his lovely lady wife Carolina but it quickly shifts tracks and narrowly misses careening off a cliff. Our main lead is roped into a very complicated ploy to have the presidente of Culiacan assasinated by cartel members, and you know there's a lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what have yous, and while I can appreciate Robert Rodriguez going bigger with the plot I feel it was a bit too much. There are so many characters, strands, and connections to juggle, now that might have been just me and my day being difficult but I was lagging like Quicktime in the 90s man. And with a cast like this, they have quite a few talented good actors in this and yet shockingly give them so little to do yet take up I honestly believe more screen time than Mariachi himself is mindboggingly impossible. Cause you see this cast, Eva Mendes, Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Mickey Rourke, and you think man this is gonna be good. Naw. Eva gets maybe 5 brief scenes, Willem Dafoe is for some reason a mexican cartel leader and I'm not saying he can't do it but it is kinda weird. You thought Charlton Heston playing a mexican was bad casting, that's like if they got me to be a character born and raised in Brazil or Ecuador, just doesn't fit. Mickey Rourke has even less to do than Eva, but I have to admit Johnny gets a good bit of screen time and made me laugh the most. But this just doesn't seem like a movie meant to be a continuation of Desperado, it seems more Sicario directed by Robert Rodriguez with special guest star Antonio Banderas. You follow me? It's just off ever so slightly in terms of story. But does that necessarily mean the other aspects are lessened? Not at all, it still feels like a film directed by the same guy and an aspect I really really liked is you can tell he was like, oh this movie Desperado is going to have elements of El Mariachi but have more done with it and the same goes for this movie, taking elements of Desperado and doing more with it, upping the ante. The action is a bit sparse but done really well with flourishes seen in previous movies, the music is still solid, the sets and locations couldn't be mistaken for anything but Mexico, it has good bits of humor, the story is jumbled but when it focuses on Antonio it is good stuff, I think it just needed some more time to cook. I'm not disappointed, I don't hate it, I can see elements and appreciate them, it's a totally decent flick albeit a less than fitting end. I give it 2.5 stars, 6.5/10. I think I appreciate and dig El Mariachi the most, but I can concede Desparado is the objectively better film, so I can walk away still happy I got to finally see these movies and talk about them a bit. Next week, Jordan Peele visits again and it's looking to be a short but potentially sweet week.
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Good stuff man.
Quite a different experience when you have a budget. Made just 2 years after El Mariachi and gaining a budget of $7,000,000, Robert delivered big time with this movie, picking up a little ways after the first with Antonio Banderas in the lead role as he hunts the people who offed his lady friend last film and meets a new lovely lady woman played by Salma Hayek. Gunplay and hey hey ensues. All in all, a splendid time. You can clearly see the same style employed from El Mariachi but much more refined, it still has the quick cuts, alternating angles, and slightly artsy cinematography but it looks real clean and doesn't at all look like it was shot in the 90s. The action gets much more coverage and it gets butt wild, more blood packs than you can shake a stick at this time, lots of wire work, powerful explosions, the whole sh-bang. Super well done, balances with comedy bits, it's just very fun to watch. 90s Antonio Banderas is the bomb dot com, he gets this character and I fully believe he can shoot em' up while still being charming and super cool. Salma Hayek, blimey she looks super young in this even though I know this was just a year before From Dusk Till Dawn, and God only knows how I can go off on a massive tangent about how she only improves with age, but I'll just say the first scene she is in she causes a car accident because she is so attractive. This is completely accurate and indeed factual. Incredibly sweet, has that fire in her eyes, gets swept up in the action, and has quite lovely chemistry with Antonio. Will however completely understand her apprehension to appear nude in the film, hun I get it and you are far braver than I. Joaquim De Almeida is more the same from El Mariachi but with a tiny twist at the end, he looks familiar but I can't place the face but a decent performance nonetheless. Special shout out of course to Steve Buscemi, Danny Trejo, and Cheech Marin who are awesome as always. Speaking of Cheech Marin, plot twist fun fact: This movie is in the same world as From Dusk Till Dawn, you see the crotch gun Tom Savini used first appeared in this movie and boy wouldn't that be a rad crossover? Antonio Banderas blasting vampires with George Clooney and Harvey Keitel, I smell an Oscar folks! Awesomely fantastic music again, the big highlight being the huge shootout score mainly because I heard that tune more times than I care to admit as the intro for the first ever let's play I watched oh so many years ago. All in all, pretty damn good! I had a real fun time with it and appreciate the evolution of Robert's directing and style. I give it 4 stars, 8/10, and we got one more to cap it all off tomorrow. Here's hoping for another hit.
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Is this my first film from Mexico? I almost think it is but with my shot memory who knows.
I'm not entirely sure why this movie and it's sequels under the title of The Mexico Trilogy grabbed my attention for reviews, but I have to say I'm super happy to have seen this movie. I've heard bits and pieces about it but had no inkling of what I was getting into. I knew this was Robert Rodriguez's directorial debut, shot on a shockingly minimal budget of $7,000, and the process of making the movie was covered in the autobiography Rebel Without A Crew, which I really need to get my hands on even more so now. The plot is pretty simple, with a wandering mariachi player coming to the town of Acuna and is mistaken for the enemy of the crime boss of the town, with him being hunted down by gunmen and desperately trying to stay low. It's a simple yet effective story, with good acting, and an interesting filmmaking style that I can't quite say I've seen the likes of before. Shot on 16mm film but transferred to video is unheard of actually in my world, and it has that film grain yet still retains the fuzzy resolution of a video camera which is pretty neat to see. The editing is damn near typical of a bad movie, lots of jump cuts, quick alternations of angles, examples of something most common audience members would find shoddy or disorientating but truthfully it's part of the charm of the movie. It uses the editing for comedic effect which I found to work greatly, it may be over the top but I am anything but subtle in life and have a great admiration for dramatic flair, and the stylistic choice never fades or changes so it was clearly intentional. I happened to get all 3 of these movies on a single DVD pack, with the express purpose of seeing it in it's native spanish language and while I have only the slimmest modicrum of knowledge of that language I thought the performances were pretty dang solid. Carlos Gallardo is a very fine lead, able to convey that innocent man stumbling into a real shit storm with ease and has charm to go around. Consuelo Gomez is a semi-romantic interest but she's fun and needless to say incredibly beautiful, and even though she turns up later on in the movie still does great work. Peter Marquardt is a good albeit basic villain, and I was honestly shocked to hear that he was actually speaking spanish and was not in fact dubbed, I was even more surprised to find out he wasn't fluent in the language cause it sure as hell fooled me I mean he sounds perfectly natural. The action bits were good, no high octane explosions or more blood packs than you can shake a stick at, but considering the whole production aspect it keeps tension very nicely and is given just enough. I mean the movie is not even 90 minutes long, but don't let that fool you, it knows how to linger on a moment and use it's time wisely. You can tell the music score was most likely done with an electronic keyboard but I'd be lying my ass off if I said it wasn't catchy, and the brief instances of hearing the mariachi play are really really nice to listen to and I enjoyed it greatly. It certainly leaves the door open for a continuation but I haven't a clue how or where this could go from here, which makes me even more excited to review Desperado tomorrow. I give this movie 3.5 stars, 7.5/10, I have no idea how this movie got ample attention and the reputation it has but man am I happy it exists. Onwards to tomorrow!
Friday, July 8, 2022
I'm probably gonna have to fight on trial to retain my critic's licence.
I don't actually hate Jaws The Revenge, I don't think it's that bad a movie, I know this is coming from the guy who said the Star Wars Holiday Special had a few good things going for it and I did enjoy those bits but just bear with me. Now, does that mean everything works and is good? No. We're already off to a great start when the writer of this film didn't watch a single movie past the first one, and I could possibly argue this movie is a sort of Halloween 20 Years Later where the sequels are ignored and it's just the first and last movie that count. I'm not. You wanna define lazy writing? Try being a writer that did not brush up on previous info specifically for a sequel. And yet, while the actual shark aspect of this movie is in severe what the hell territory, the rest is pretty good! So Sean is now a police officer in Amity, so much for hating water one movie ago, and he gets offed by the shark in the first maybe 10 minutes of film. You know, that cute sweet boy from the first movie who mimicked his dad at the dinner table? Horribly eaten alive. Yeah, I didn't like it either. So Ellen Brody is just devastated beyond words, and Lorraine Gary who came out of retirement for this movie f***ing acts her goddamn heart out in this movie! I am real with you man, if this movie cut out the shark and replaced it with just her son being murdered and she's trying to get past it and find some solace in her life I would watch the hell out of that! The gloves are off and she knocks it clean out of the park! So Michael gets Ellen to visit in the Bahamas where he lives and she meets a pilot by the endearing name of Hoagie played by Michael Cane and a romance blossoms in a natural and rather sweet way. But it can't all be romance and beautiful weather, and the shark trails her from Massachusetts to the Bahamas (...okay) to hunt her and the family there. I...I got nothing, I mean it's already beyond ludicrous but then they compound it even further where I swear they give Ellen some mind link/ESP/force connection to this fish, so everytime the shark strikes she stops dead in her tracks like she knows. Now, I am no screenwriter, I don't write stories or movies, but I'm just saying. What the hell. It's not the bestest of things when I say, oh Jaws 4 isn't that bad when the shark isn't on screen. Maybe that's just me enjoying these characters and Jaws 3 just failed to appease me, but it is the best parts of the movie. You got Lorraine Gary, Michael Caine, Halloween 2 and The Last Starfighter lead Lance Guest, even Mario Van Peebles are just solid actors and have fun with the roles but commit to it fully. I think they are just fun to watch and easy to get invested in. For a movie clocking in at 90 minutes, it friggin' flies by which I'm sure for most people is a blessing, but it felt like I put the movie on 15 minutes ago and the movie was halfway over so it obviously keeps the pace just right. The body count is pathetic, they still got blood in there though so small victories where you can get them, the shark is the worst it has looked yet I do appreciate how much you see it from head to tail and they don't hide the animatronic parts though it is still obviously a motorized puppet. The scenic landscapes of the Bahamas played by special guest star Hawaii, are really nice and I find it interesting the movie takes place around Christmas but you'd never know. Christ, maybe I need to get my ass down to the Bahamas come December, not a tree or light in sight. It's better than 3, but that's about it. Hell the fact I didn't end this week sucking down daiquris and mixed drinks, hating Universal for money grabbing tactics, and just being in a foul mood is good enough for me. 2.5 stars, 5.5/10, and next week if all goes well I got a trilogy for you but not at all from where you would expect.
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
I think this is where it starts getting bad.
As much relative positive things I had to say about the second film it really opened the floodgates for sequels. So let's do the time warp again, with Mike Brody all grown up now working for SeaWorld with his girlfriend when inexplicably another great white pays a visit and wreaks some havoc in the park. You may think there's more to that and I just summarized but truthfully what you see is what you get. This film kinda aggravated me man, I mean there were a handful of things I liked which I of course will rattle off but certain things sure irked me the wrong way. First of all, if I had a run in with not one but two great white sharks I would not work with sea life or be near the sea yet Mike for no explained reason works in such conditions, I could at least sorta buy if he had a line or two like "Yeah I had encounters with sharks before and I wanted to learn more about them, and then it got me fascinated with what lives in the sea so now I do this.", very simple stuff but I don't buy it. Really, there's like 3 people I like in this but the rest are really dumb. For example, so we the audience know a shark has breached the premises, one of the workers does not and is tasked with fixing a broken gate underwater. Now what time would you undertake such a task? I would prefer an ample amount of daylight, but the guy goes under at SUNSET. Have you ever swam underwater at sunset or later?? You can't see diddly dick! It's a miracle if you can see farther than the end of your arm, shark or no shark, stupid! More idiocy follows this, so the guy gets chomped big shocker I know, and time passes and after knowing very clearly there is a man eater at their park (and not the hey hey variety) and just so coincidentally people ask where this guy went to with no credit cards, clothes, or belongings, and precisely no one fits those puzzle pieces together! Hmmm, why is this circle block not fitting into the triangle hole??? Are you taking the f***ing piss mate? Good God man! I could go on, but I got more stuff to talk about and I'm tired. Let's talk good things, Bess Armstrong is the best part of the movie period. I 100% buy she works with marine life, is good at it, and she brings such a warm smile to my face. The actual relationship between her and Dennis Quaid is quite honestly cute, sweet, and surprisingly effortless. If they ever for real dated, I wouldn't be surprised. Lea Thompson in her first ever movie role is nice to see and she's a bit of fun. And guess what? The younger brother Sean, he moved to f***ing Colorado and does not like water, we know who got the smarts of the family now don't we. Thankfully the movie isn't being a little bietch about blood anymore, honestly it probably has more than the first and shows off some gory details well enough. I kinda liked seeing SeaWorld circa 1983, and though I haven't went since I was but a wide eyed, innocent, non-bitter boy I thought it was interesting in a time capsule sort of way. Speaking of time capsules, I think this movie solely existed because of Friday The 13th Part 3 which came out the previous year, Universal saw it and was like yeah we can do our own! The 3D sucks, somehow more obliviously obvious than Friday Part 3 as well. They even steal a shot! Robbing bastards! They steal the 3D harpoon shot, for crying out loud. I could make a game where every time there is a 3D shot drink for the duration of the 3D shot, just start swigging until it stops, but I doubt your body would thank me. Shark effects aren't great, I'd say it's roughly tied with 2, and all the effects in general are mostly passable with some rough spots, including the infamous glass break sequence. It's almost so bad I love it. Almost. I can see people say it gets boring cause a lot of screentime is spent with these characters, but the acting isn't bad honest to God and I was gravitating to parts of it like the romance, everyone feels dedicated to the material, so well done for them. Plot is paper thin but I can't say I expected much. Direction is decent, maybe doesn't even have that faux Spielbergian quality, but it works fine and well. I am ever so slightly nervous about Jaws The Revenge, cause it could feasibly rise above the depths of Jaws 3 or it could sink deeper than Atlantis. I...oh God. Alright, I'm keeping an open mind! See you next time. 1.5 stars, 4/10, this 4th of July sucked even harder than this movie.
Monday, July 4, 2022
Nothing like a little blood and terror to ring in the 4th of July.
Keeping with the time honored tradition of not reviewing a continuation on this show until about 5 years later, let's talk sharks with Jaws 2. Now personally speaking I don't find this to be a bad sequel, it's no 1975 classic blockbuster but it does the job well enough. Released 3 years after the first, we do a bit of a time jump on Amity Isle with good old Roy Scheider still the head honcho of the police department despite the fact that honestly if I went through half the stuff he went through, I would have hauled my ass to Montana or Kansas and set up shop far away from any water source, but things start happening in the waters. Divers go missing, a boat explodes, and our man is paranoid as hell but can you blame him? Same goes for his kid Mike, who was the little boy about half a foot away from being chum and yet wants to go out sailing with his friends. How about...no? But anyway, we get a quasi-Friday The 13th premise with teenagers venturing out on sail boats through the deep blue sea and guess who stops by to ask them, do you know any sushi joints around here? Now with the first film being one of the biggest hassles in movie making history, production went from Massachusetts to off the coast of Florida but the director and main star were butting heads continously so even then it wasn't smooth sailing. Alright I apologize for that joke. They used as much of the original shark as possible with a new head mold with some gnarly burn scars, and while it seems more functional than the first it sure loves launching out of the water to get a nibble so we can all remark "Shark still looks fake.", but hey anything with that John Williams' score effortlessly gives me the heebie jeebies boy! Good grief, you wouldn't catch me out in the open waters of the ocean, you'd barely find me swimming in a lake. Production wise, it's still a solid movie with the second biggest budget of any movie in 1978 behind Superman. Acting is spot on from everyone, no one phones a line in especially Roy, and credit where it is due for those young girls who have to convey immense shock and terror. I buy it! The directing style isn't too far off from Spielberg, a faux Spielberg that touches on bits and moments from the first yet still does it's own thing. You can tell they were kinda being chicken shits when it came to blood in this though, the body count increases a fair bit but you don't get to see legs drifting to the seabed or the ocean turning red, I mean come on! Sensibilities didn't change that much in the 70s, you still smoked around your kids and never wore seatbelts even though they existed. What's a few limbs and blood curdling screams gonna hurt? Bollocks! It handles all it's elements well enough, it's not some shoddy production where they maybe could get two actors from the first movie and fix everything in post. No, you get plenty of returning cast members, decent effects, a nice score from Williams, more people chomping, a simple enough plot where even if you went to the kitchen for about 20 minutes to cook you wouldn't miss anything. It's okay, I think it's no doubt going to be the high point of this week. I give it 2.5 stars, 6.5/10, and next time we look at a movie that hurt Sea World's reputation almost as bad as Blackfish with Jaws...IN 3D!!
Friday, July 1, 2022
I love watching Star Wars.
I'm just so happy it's here, regardless of if it was either a film or a show this was way up on the list of future Lucasfilm projects I was looking forward to. I'm not taking back what I said in my Solo review, I enjoyed the movie and forever will judge those who boycotted it but it was a sacrificial lamb to get a Kenobi movie from me. But hey, we got a roughly 6 hour series in time and I still mostly refuse to associate myself with the Star Wars community, I'm just really over people. I read the Kenobi book by John Jackson Miller quite awhile before the show even began to get me in the mindset of the story this show wanted to tell. And while it did take tiny bits here and there, it of course crafted it's unique original story. I thought it would be one of the most downplayed Star Wars shows ever, heavy on introspection, reflection, and acceptance for Obi-Wan who is still grappling with the fallout of Revenge Of The Sith with maybe some Inquisitor action thrown in because they are a big presence at that time. But no, the story starts out humbly enough but changes gears quick when Leia gets kidnapped forcing Kenobi to leave Tatooine to rescue her while contending with the Inquisitorious and eventually Vader. It's not super in your face the arc that Obi-Wan goes through from being a broken, severely PTSD ridden, hermit content to do nothing to gaining some catharsis and peace while regaining his attunement to the Force through the course of the series. Massive spoiler here but, Ewan McGregor friggin' knocks it so far out of the park that it left that galaxy and ended up in ours. He flexes those acting muscles without even uttering a syllable at times, but carries the wisdom, experience, and compassion of a Jedi Master. It thrills me that we get so much attention on Leia in this show, because Luke has his story and is the focus of 3 movies minimum, so why the hell not give young baby Leia some attention? I have glimpsed the future, and may the space gods have mercy on me for this is precisely what my future daughter will be like. I know it in my soul, a terrific hot mess, beyond stubborn, absurdly adorable, and constantly making me proud and yet worrisome. This girl, Vivien Lyra Blair is a gosh dang 20/10! I have spoken. Moses Ingram pretty much snared my attention from the trailer alone, and Reva's story is really dang good though appropriately kept in the dark for the majority of the series so zip a lip on that for now. And I know she is given plenty of attention and I know people were like "I was hoping for Kenobi. Why are you here?" and that she should have had her own series, to which I would be down for to get a show all about the Inquisitors and how they operate. But the one single thing I was adamantly upset about before seeing the show was there was no handsome evil Jason Isaacs as The Grand Inquisitor, but we got Rupert Friend instead. Those qualms were quickly put to the side after his first scene, entirely reminding me why I love this character so much. He gets that air of superiority, smug charm, icy calm control, and intimidation with some very fun friction with Reva. Like there aren't enough costumes from Star Wars I want already. Speaking of costumes, Darth. F***ing. Vader. How? How...do they keep making him better?? I mean really, my favorite Star Wars character ever just keeps getting improved over time, and in recent times they have been attempting to increase the fear factor with resounding success. I have not feared this Dark Lord in my life until Jedi Fallen Order and then this show makes me horrified to the point of silence. The writing, good God the writing really favors Vader here. Not just lines, but what he does and how he does it is the stuff of legends and nightmares. And the fact we get Hayden back, he gets to do it again after the Prequel Renaissance, I'm proud of him he does such good work! Cause I've went through it all with the prequels, from loving them just as much as the originals and thinking they were all the same level of great, to thinking so little of them after hearing so much negative feedback in my early adult years, to a balanced state of appreciation and enjoyment today. I mean obviously it has so much to do during that era of the prequels, but the stuff here for those big fans of Episodes 1, 2, and 3 I know makes them so happy. It made me incredibly happy, shocked, intrigued, emotionally involved as always. The love just never will fade over time. It's beautifully shot with a lot of emphasis on the expansive environments, and the intricate closeness of character's facial expressions. I honestly think they upped the quality of this show than Mando or Boba, difficult to describe but you can feel the effort and detail given to each episode. Considering it was all from the vision of a single director who brought her own style and little touches is great to see. Not at all that there is anything bad about how multiple directors work on one show, that's a good majority of television, but it's just nice to see someone work on it until the end. Should there be a season 2? I am in the camp of a firm no. It gave enough to satisfy me and my want for knowledge of this period in galactic history, but it ended just right to where I can live happily with what I got. There's no doubt more stories to tell in the subsequent 9 years before A New Hope, but I don't think it needs to be commited to film. The comics have been a doing a LOT for Star Wars in all eras, and I can only begin to tell you how much I need to strap in and dive into the immense depths of all these comic runs at the very least Vader's. I know there is going to be an in retrospect where I ramble on so many tangents about so many things, but this is an overview of what I thought and is it worth watching. Not as accesible as other modern Star Wars shows, but highly entertaining with good storytelling contained within. But if you have even a modicrum of interest or knowledge in Star Wars it's going to be on the list. 4 stars, I will give it a 9/10, and for those saying why do you harbor such hatred for the community? I am what you made me.