Thursday, January 18, 2024

Metal Lords

Sugoi! Muy bien! Wunderbar, he exclaimed with great relish.

We got another banger ladies, gents, anon! The title alone caught my attention as I was perusing the Netflix and shock of all shocks I know, I absolutely loved this movie! For as basic a plot as two high school friends are in pursuit of a bass player for the upcoming Battle Of The Bands, you get a lot more out of it. Not only does it have a certain air of charm that makes it very entertaining to watch, but the writing in terms of character interaction and personalities is what absolutely sells it for me. Jaeden Martell as metal novice Kevin very much fits that normal nerdy kid before he gets fully swept up in the metal culture, even though each main character gets their emotional moments I consider him the heart of the film. Adrian Greensmith as hardcore metal enthusiast Hunter may be considered a to quote the movie massive dick, but when you really stop and look at that character he's not only the best one in my opinion but also the most complex. He's probably the most teenage teenager who ever teenagered, he's got a lot of emotional baggage and anger that he uses metal to relieve but he's still developing emotionally as kids do as they grow up and combine that with the passion and mentality of a metalhead and you get a flurry of emotions both good and bad, and he does have redeeming moments where he betters as a person. And last but certainly not least of our trio is Isis Hainsworth as Emily who also has anger issues of her own (and she's scottish so automatic win) and it's with her character that a quite adorable and incredibly sweet relationship blooms with Kevin, it might seem odd that we get this quaint little romance amidst all the buildup to this competition and indeed if you walked in at the right moment you would see it as a independent budget romance film. But she's integral to the plot and can quite frankly rock on, though I have to admit I thought she would upgrade from a cello to a full fledged bass guitar as the movie progressed but the cello actually works great! I've never heard much classical heavy metal but who woulda thunk that War Pigs sounds solid with a cello, and likewise at the end you hear an electric guitar play Aria da Capo and that sounded outstanding. And before moving on I just would like to shoutout Christopher M. Lopes as Robbie, that's our motherfucking king in this movie! The movie has a spectacular array of heavy metal tracks from Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, and of course Black Sabbath so you bet your ass I was having a good old time thrashing to it. In fact if anybody wants to get into that scene the list of songs Hunter gives Kevin to learn is actually a solid checklist for beginners who want to listen to heavy metal music. And yeah I gotta admit the original song they perform at the competition is pretty awesome as well, awesome enough to give me goosebumps at the guitar solo. Plus you can tell these kids absolutely did know how to play their respected instruments so props to them. Music is one thing but I really did effortlessly get invested in the story and loved the characters, perfectly personified in the fact that you know how in movies you wonder why the hell do these people never actually talk about their problems with each other or try to explain themselves if some misunderstanding occurs? Well they do that here! They have discussions, they are not afraid to hash things out if they disagree over something, they support one another in times of need. Yeah sure they're hormonal charged teens so they do lash out or get bothered over next to nothing at times, but that's realistic. I feel the writing is incredibly spot on, and the comedy in it some people might just say oh it's profanity infused dialogue but I was practically roaring with laughter throughout at many if not all the gags so big gold sticky star for you movie. I can't explain it, this movie just hit me in every right spot to the point where can I say a bad thing about it? Well I've thought, and pondered, and puzzled, and have come to the conclusion no. No I cannot. Is it for everybody? No I wouldn't say that. Is it an underrated gem for some? Yeah I think so. Incredibly biased that I am, I refuse to give it anything less than 4 stars, 10/10!! Oh yeah, we're back! Well....kinda! For all intents and purposes I got nothing until February buuut that doesn't mean I can't work on some neat things for the future. So rock on my wildhaired maniacs until we meet once more.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The Book Of Clarence

It's an interesting experience to watch this movie.

Now speaking as a non-religious individual who was raised in a christian centric background, I'm not the one to determine if this is a good religious film. But I can tell you if I thought this was a good film or not. Split into three acts or Books in this instance the story follows an atheistic everyman at the height of Jesus' influence who seeks to make something of himself, and tries to pay off some debts being a charlatan messiah. That's pure bare bones and a fair bit happens, but I like the more imaginative and revisionist (Perhaps?) history stance the film takes. Now will I admit that the movie has a tremendous tone problem? Yeah. The humor barely hits and it mainly focuses on being a drama, so when those moments occur it doesn't work great. But when the drama and the big moments hit, I mean it's harrowing at times and hits you like a damn frieght train! I really couldn't say enough good things honestly about this cast, and finally we see a black Jesus. Sorry to break it to you humans, but an israeli born man in the city of David that resides in Jerusalem is not going to be wonderbread white. LaKeith Stanfield is a rock solid lead as wannabe apostle Clarence, and I find it kinda brilliant to make him an atheist at that period of history in 33 A.D. and the character journey that unfolds does not feel slapdash, stupid, or insulting. Great stuff! RJ Cyler, my friggin' man from the recent Power Rangers movie how great it is to see him in another film as Clarence's partner in crime Elijah, he gets his moments of humor and emotion and sells it being a stalwart friend to the end. And I will not lie to you for even a second, I didn't think we were going to see Jesus in this movie or at least his face anyway but when that moment comes and it is a powerful ass moment, and I looked in the face of Nicholas Pinnock the only words I could form were, "Holy fuck that is Jesus of Nazareth.". I'm so not even kidding, I bought every second of it, he did such a great job and you barely even see him in the movie! That's talent. Anna Diop as Clarence's sweetheart Varinia though more of a side character gives humanity and groundness to his character, seeing past his scoundrel qualities and admiring the man underneath. Personally I think he has terrific taste, the woman has a good head on her shoulders, is charming and caring, and shockingly gorgeous without a doubt. I actually will admit though my absolute favorite characters are Joseph and Mary, they're in the movie for one scene but I absolutely adored them and they made me have a good laugh, so Alfre Woodard and Brian Bovell have my absolute love. The film looks pretty dang good too, I mean I don't think they genuinely filmed in Jerusalem but it coulda fooled me, the costumes are great, the effects for the more miraculous stuff do the job, and the makeup is a little too good at points. But the interesting part is how my perception changed as the movie went on. Book I, I think the movie is completely middle of the road average aside from the production values. Book II, I'm kinda getting into it and near the end I feel the movie is decent. Book III, alright it's a good film. I don't think I've ever had that kind of movie watching experience in my life! So if you think you're not feeling the movie before the halfway point just stick with it. It was fascinating watching the number rise as the movie kept playing but what did it end on? I think a solid 3 stars, 7.5/10! So not a bad stint at the movies but oh we got one more, a movie I saw in my downtime that was too good not to talk about. What could it be? You'll have to see.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The Beekeeper

At last.

Very different than what I expected this movie to be, cause you read the synopsis and it seems very typical revenge story actionsploitation fluff piece and while it does tread in that direction it adds a lot more layers to it. Does it succeed? Let's find out. So our story follows retired badass Adam Clay who on finding his lovely employer's accounts being emptied by a scammer online takes it on himself to right the wrong no matter how high up the ladder this goes or how many people get in his way. What I have to applaud the movie for somewhat is the fact it tries to craft it's world quickly, it establishes the Beekeepers as a super hush hush black ops team independent of any government body, the affiliated baddies have ties to government officials, and we have two FBI agents on the tale of Adam who are learning this as we the audience learn it. Now it mostly works I will grant you and the fact I've never really seen an action movie take on a more conspiratorial governement agency angle before lends it a unique identity. However I think it tries juggling a few too many plot pieces and there are some inconsistencies and flat out dropped aspects, but I think it comes through on top. Jason is a more subtle actor I feel in the movies I've seen of his, he doesn't go all out in showing his emotions but you get moments, hints, dashes of underplayed remorse and hurt on his face at times here and I don't need to speak much on his physicality and action prowess because well we know he has a certain set of skills. Emmy Raver-Lampman while I like her performance throughout the only note I have to add is she's kind of a flippant wiseass (which I love) but her mom friggin' dies in this movie and I feel that's not how you would act after such an event, but I don't blame her for a microsecond. It's one of the few instances of tonal whiplash and inconsistencies found. I feel the trailer makes Jeremy Irons out as the big villain but that's far from the case, if anything he's trying to play peacekeeper and he gets some pretty funny lines I gotta admit, so it's great to see him. It took me for friggin' ever to remember where I saw Josh Hutcherson before, turns out I know him from Zathura and Bridge To Terabithia, and he's a right little shit in this film I mean he plays it really well but it's odd to see him as the true antagonistic force in play here. Major twist here the light of my life Jemma Redgrave is in this movie, yes Kate Stewart herself and she plays the President of all things and of course they address her as Madame President (cough Doctor Who reference cough), so I was having a blast seeing my world saving queen on the big screen. The action is spread out enough and fairly friggin' brutal at times and for a film that's about an hour and a half long, it's paced just right. It's standard action fare but done right so it's worth seeing if that's your cup of tea or you're just a Jason Statham fan. I give it 2.5 stars, 7.5/10, another new film incoming tomorrow so stay tuned.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Top 10 Films of 2023

Well here we are again. Let's go.

10. John Wick 4. Yeah I couldn't have been more out of the loop if I tried but it was still a really good movie and a great conclusion.

9. Blue Beetle. Bit of an underrated gem as far as I'm concerned with heart and charm to spare.

8. Super Mario Bros. The Movie. One of the best video game movies for sure and it gave us the song for this generation, Peaches.

7. Renfield. Very much a niché movie, made specifically for me, and I loved it!

6. Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves. Fun, unadulterated fun, and well worth all the research I put in.

5. Asteroid City. Such a unique film and had a charm that struck the right chords for me, and was funny to boot.

4. Spider-Man Across The Spiderverse. Holy cow was this a visual feast and easily today's Empire Strikes Back. Kino for certain.

3. Oppenheimer. Heavier than a 1,000 ton lead ball and took a long while for me to get over it, but it undoubtedly is worth watching.

2. Barbie. God...damn it! It had less than zero right being this wonderful and amazing, and the only film on this list to make me shed a tear.

1. Godzilla Minus One. Okay the top 2 are interchangeable, but this was such a rock solid film and I still kinda feel it's better than the 1954 original but we shall see. I just was blown away how grand it was and plead for people to see it in theaters.

And just for shits and giggles worst film of the year hands down, Expendables 4. Pretty good year and here's hoping for even better on this leap year. Can't be worse than the last...