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A nice return to the franchise, but it lacks in originality
I'm a massive fan of Breaking Bad, and i hold it as if not the best TV show of all time, at least top 3. Breaking Bad was one of the best written, directed, acted and produced TV shows that ever was, and the characters where amazing.
So when i first heard about this movie coming out, of course i was incredibly stoked to see it. And after i have now seen it, I'm left with a bit if an empty feeling inside, which never happened in the TV Show, where every single episode seem to take one unpredictable step after the other, making it almost impossible to guess what the next move was. In this movie however, this is not the case, at least not as it was with Breaking Bad.
It's a warm welcome to see these characters again, and many of the characters from the original show is revisiting their characters, though clearly, the young ones have grown up a bit, it clearly shows, but it's nice to see them again. But this movie unfortunately leans a bit too much on nostalgia, and it also revisits plots and key elements of the original show a bit too much to feel original on it's own.
What this movie really accomplishes is to finally show us the real Jesse, as we kind of never got the chance to really get to know him, since he was either high or Walther had him in a Jam. I sort of hated Jesse from the Show, thought he was weak and dumb. But after seeing this, he surely has redeemed himself, he is now his own man, making choices based off his characters beliefs and motivations.
I just wished this movie could stand a bit more on it's own. Come up with something entirely new, all the way through. Some scenes are dragged out way too long, and they feel heavy, but they also feel true to the original show, so it's not all bad. Actually El Camino looks and feels exactly like 2 episodes of Breaking Bad, the production design is pretty much exactly the same. But the writing is lacking that little extra here, that made Breaking Bad so special.
I wonder why that is, because Better Call Saul has continued the amazing writing, so why isn't this the case here? I know Vince Gilligan has had the idea for this movie for years, but it was first made now, why?
It feels a bit rushed, it feels a bit out of touch, leans too much on nostalgia, doesn't really give us much new and exiting things to look at. And to be fair, the ending was as predictable as you can get, but i also felt a sense of joy with the ending, i think that this was the proper sendoff for Jesse.
All in all, El Camino is made for the Breaking Bad fans, if you haven't seen Breaking Bad, this movie won't give you much. But as for us fans, this was a warm welcome, but that's also about it. An OK film, but not nearly as good as Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul is, so don't expect that.
Ad Astra (2019)
This is not how "Space Works"
This movie was a massive disappointment. If you know anything about how "space works", you might not want to see this film. If you see this movie as pure sci-fi and ignore all the physics and science in it, well then i guess a lot of the stuff that happens can be ignored. But this movie tries very hard to seem real, to be plausible, and it does not come off as a pure sci-fi where anything goes.
For example G-forces seem to be completely eliminated in this film. Not even in Nolans "Interstellar" were G-forces ignored, and the physics in his movie was pushed to the utter extreme.
But it's not only physics that is ignore in Ad Astra, it's a lot more.
For example. The chance that Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus were aligned so that Roy could make a close pass on his way to Neptun, is near zero. Yes you could pick a year in the future where these four planets would be perfect for such a flight, but the odds that they are when this story needs to happen, is near zero. Roy passes the planet's just because it says so in the script, and the script is written by someone who does not know how space works.
To be fair, this movie starts really well. The scene with the Space Antenna is really awesome. But the antenna itself is useless, radio waves does not stop in space, so we don't need to build a massive antenna like this to listen for alien life. Even if we did, building satellites would be insanely cheaper. They should have had a Space elevator instead.
And using A nuclear + Antimatter explosion as propellant.. Yes this is stuff that does happen in Star Trek movies, but i could not stop shaking my head as i saw these things, as this movie does not seem to know if it's sci-fi or if it wants to come off as plausible.
What about entering a rocket during launch?
Flying through an asteroid belt around a planet with a small shield?
Stopping and starting rockets in space? They even know how much fuel is needed to regain the speed they had before stopping? Hint: You need insane amounts of fuel.
Matter Anti-Matter chain reaction? NO, that is not how anti-matter works. When anti-matter hits matter, they are both annihilated and they explode with enormous force, but they do not multiply like a nuclear bomb. It was painful that the entire plot of this movie rely in this huge mistake from the writers. The plot of the movie is that the entire universe could be wiped out in a chain reaction from this explosion, that is why they send a nuclear bomb to Neptun, to blow Project Lima up. So blowing up matter and antimatter is safe, but if it's not blown up it will cause chain reaction and wipe out the entire solar system?
I could go on about mistakes really, there are plenty more. And it just kept me from enjoying the underlying message. This movie does have good tension all the way through accompanied with some really atmospheric music. A lot of the acting is very good, the cinematography is beautiful, and the cgi is great.
But the science and physics completely fails in this movie. And it makes it impossible for me to enjoy it. It might be a lot better for those that completely ignore all the mistakes, or for those that don't know how "space works".
Accurate and intense
I have been fascinated by this accident since i was a child. I was 9 years old when Chernobyl reactor 4 exploded, and i lived in Norway, right in the path of the nuclear cloud.
Over the years i have read about the disaster and seen documentaries. Everything i could to learn all there was to learn from this event. So when i heard that HBO were going to release a mini series about it i could barely keep my excitement. I hoped for a show as realistic as possible, and we got exactly that.
This show is actually incredibly accurate. Though not everything is. There are at times necessary to add some pieces or simplify details to make it more viewer friendly, and it's how this is done, that matters. Some times creators of a show goes to far in this and it ruins everything, but in this show it is done properly, and it keeps the realism of the disaster at point.
I think that two of the episodes in this series are 10/10. One of the episodes are 8/10. Two episodes are 9.5/10. This for me makes this a 10/10 show and one of the best mini series of all time, probably only surpassed by Band of Brothers and Das Boot.
I'm not going to write a review of this show, plenty of people have. What i will do is tell you to see it. See it now!
10/10 - Brilliant
Clever dialogue cannot save this
For a show known for it's complexity and raw portray of the wild west combined with clever writing and amazing set pieces, this return is nothing but a small gift to the fans of the original show, but here lies also some of this movies biggest problems.
This movie has indeed the same type of witty dialogue that we saw from the original show, but the story makes no sense what so ever. There are too many coincidences that happens in a too short period of time, that makes it all unbelievable and that takes me out of the story. This is not clever writing, this is the writers struggling to find a plot that fits within the time frame of a movie, but still delivering the exact same depth the show originally had.
This film makes little to no sense to anyone who isn't a fan of the original series, because there aren't any character building here, these are characters we all learned to love and hate over the course of many years, only now to have all their stories concluded. But here is a problem in all this, if this movie is made solely for the fans, which it is, the flashback clips feels totally out of place. A show that was carried by clever and intelligent dialogue which at points required a university masters degree to interpret, it feels odd to be reminded of what once was, like we didn't even remember what happened all those years ago. The fans knows, and if they don't, well then they weren't paying attention.
This movie was in production hell for years and once they found the time and place to finally produce it, the end product is a testament they were in a rush to get it done before it ended back there. And the way the story is told is the main problem, if the story isn't air tight, it starts to leak out though some of the performances, how is an actor suppose to deliver, when their lines don't add up? In the end, this story serves only one purpose, to give fans closure. The fans wanted more seasons, HBO could not deliver, so here we have a movie instead. Thing is, now i wished i never saw this movie, i would rather choose for myself what happened to all these character. But i had to see it, i was hoping for the best, HBO mostly delivers, but as we also saw with Season 8 of Game of Thrones, they can also fail.
The movie comes off as a weird shadow of it former self, nothing new is brought to the table. This is a rerun of the deadwood series compressed down to less than two hours, only made to be a tribute to the fans, to give the fans a "proper" ending, and weirdly at the same time treat the fans as thus they can't remember what happened in the first place. This is the very definition of bad writing, it does not remove this fact even if you smear clever dialogue all over it to try and hide it. This entire movie, to put it simply, is pretty dumb compared to the series.
I just wished there would be something original here, something entirely new. But it just feels like time has stood still for 10 years, and here we are back with the exact same issues and the exact same story we have already been told. Just with some added things here and there as filler.
I'm sorry but that ain't good enough. For a show that was this great, we should expect more. It might sound like I'm trashing this movie now, i ain't. I'm disappointed, though we have a bad story on our hands we still have the same old characters, and it's always fun to see Al and George go at it, and the atmosphere is basically exactly as we all remember. So the movie has watch value for sure, but only for those that saw the original show.
5/10 - Mediocre
It's absolutely fantastic that the axis forces had stormtroopers on the anti air guns so we could get the entire story told. Appreciate it!
Great show, highly recommended.
Chernobyl: Please Remain Calm (2019)
This review is partly meant as a tribute of Alexei Ananenko, Valeri Bezpalov and Boris Baranov who went into the plant, knowing they would probably die as a result.
WARNING: do NOT read further if you don't want anything spoiled by future episodes!
When these three men stood up that day, sacrificing their own lives to save others, it sends a strong message of hope, that even in the darkest of hours, there are those that understand the needs of the many, exceeds the needs of the few. These men that were tasked with preventing a nuclear disaster of unimaginable scale, went in knowing they would almost certainly die.
Though they didn't die of radiation in the plant or later, (two of the men are even alive today), everyone thought they would, including them. These men are heroes, and you got to wonder why these men were not awarded the Nobel peace prize.
This episode deals with the direct aftermath of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. Politicians, doctors, nuclear physicists, police, military personnel, government officials and the president himself are now slowly coming aware of the magnitude of this disaster. As hours go by, more and more radioactive dust is lifted into the atmosphere, and the cloud carries it to countries like Sweden, Norway and Germany. Once the news break in those countries that Chernobyl has exploded, children are not allowed to play outside, but in the the city of Pripyat, which is just a few km from Chernobyl, people still don't know they are in grave danger.
It's heartbreaking to see that a government can be so slow to understand the danger of such a catastrophe. Incompetent people in all kinds of political positions, with no expertise and understanding of what they are up against. Sitting around hoping that someone higher up the hierarchy will eventually make some decisions for them.
This episode depicts the terror in an excellent manner, the tension grips you from the very beginning. There are some awful writing here and there, with some over-obvious scenes that don't need to be there, but all in all the episode is truly intense and accurate with the details of what happened. Even though i know a lot about this accident, I've seen countless documentaries, and read articles and books, well knowing what happens next, i still sit here eating my nails in horror of what is portrayed on screen.
Watching an exposed nuclear core is almost like watching the gates of hell open, this is as close to that description you'll ever get. An invisible and deadly enemy sneaking up on you, slowly killing you, taking away your life, draining you of all hope, yet it's so beautiful to look at. This is true horror, this is real, and it is terrifying beyond belief.
When we are faced with disaster such as this, looking into hopelessness and despair, I can't but be in total awe of men like Alexei Ananenko, Valeri Bezpalov and Boris Baranov who decided their lives doesn't matter if it saves a lot more.
Damn good episode, intense, accurate, well directed and acted.
Apollo 11 (2019)
A treasure trove
This documentary is a must see for every geek and space nerd out there, and also a should see for everyone else. It is a non narrated documentary that focuses solely on the prepping, execution and aftermath of the Apollo 11 mission. The only thing it isn't covering seem to be the building of the Saturn V rocket.
There is so much great footage here, lots of which i have never seen before. Clearly they have run the original footage, most of which is highly likely 35mm film, through a wet scan, restoring the quality and removing all scratches and damage. The footage is spectacular, and it's like going back to 1969 with a time machine witnessing the event for yourself for the first time.
It's no wonder though, there's so much footage of this event, but what this documentary is showing is in fact just a tiny bit of it. The world was watching, everyone payed attention to this. Actually about 1/6th of the entire population of earth at the time tuned in to watch it live on TV, every TV station was there. Making sure we would forever preserve this historical event in time. We can only hope they get enough money to restore and preserve all of the footage that were caught that day, of one of the single most impressive accomplishments of human kind.
The first 25-30 mins of the documentary is pure nerdgasm. It shows high resolution images on everything a geek loves. Computer screens, buttons, high tech, flickering bits and pieces, heavy machinery, rocket engines, satellites, spacewalks, radio antennas... I was watching, but i could not believe my own eyes, again, the footage is spectacular.
The only thing that drags the entire experience down a bit is that there wasn't really that much footage from the trip itself, they didn't exactly have room for a camera crew in that small command module, but the documentary still manages to keep you engaged through smart editing, and the use of music whenever it's needed.
if you don't even care about the space race or rockets, or any of that. See it for the footage anyways because this is as close as you will ever get to 1969 time travel. Maybe you'll spot your grandmother in 4K resolution smoking a pipe in a pinup bikini, you'll never know.
8/10 - A must see for geeks and nerds
Quite possibly the best animated film of all time
Plenty of people have weighed in on this movie, so i won't spend much time on this, other than to make a few points.
This movie is a game changer. Just like Disney changed everything with Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, and Pixar Changed everything some 60 years later with Toy Story. This movie is now the new benchmark for animated movies, and what a game changer it is.
The graphics, design and animations are spectacular beyond belief. I don't think anyone saw this coming, me included, and it completely blew my mind. But not only is it incredibly well made, the story is also surprisingly well crafted, and the actors who portray these characters are absolutely amazing, and totally on point.
Don't wait to see this movie, it's one of those rare gems that cannot be missed. And in my opinion this movie comes damn close to getting a 10/10 and be sided with movies like Apocalypse Now and Pulp Fiction.
The only animated movies i can think of right now that is as good or better than this, is The Incredibles, Toy Story and The Lion King. And i totally didn't expect that to be honest, though i did notice critics went wild over this film, and also most other people as well.
This movie sets the benchmark for the future, and now i just want more of this. Marvel should make their first really successful HULK movie this way, it will finally work, and we all deserve it so much, i have been waiting for a real proper Hulk film since the 1977 TV movie. Now is the time. This is it!
Even the new Thundercats film should seriously consider be made this way, instead of being live action mixed with CGI.
9/10 - Great
Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
Great CGI & Heart pounding spectacle, but not enough time for story
In short: A gorgeous movie with good acting and lots of missed opportunities.
Widely known as James Cameron's dream project, "Alita: Battle Angel" is a long awaited movie that was in the works for over 20 years. I was one of 450 lucky people to see this in an exclusive early IMAX 3D premiere, and i bought tickets the moment it was announced. I have been waiting for this movie for over a decade, so my hopes were already really high, question is, did it deliver or not?
Spoiler: It didn't
It was always Cameron's plan to direct this movie himself, but his Avatar projects got in the way. I'm a big fan of his work, and always have been, ever since i saw "Aliens", "The Abyss" and "The Terminator" in the 80's i have been a die hard fan. And in the 90's and beyond he just kept on giving with his movies "T2", "True Lies", "Titanic" and "Avatar", the man really knows how to push boundaries.
Every time Cameron makes a movie, he does so with such passion and invention, he changes the entire movie industry for decades to come. That's why, when he decided to give this project to Robert Rodriguez, i got a bit anxious, but he also gave Rodriguez some 600 written notes that described his ideas and vision for the film, which made me think that Rodriguez would do his best to fulfill Cameron's vision.
Rodriguez has made some pretty good films in his career, and some really awful ones. He most certainly does not have the visionary scope that Cameron has, nor has he ever worked on a movie of this scale before. The closest is "Sin City", which was groundbreaking when it released, it's also what i would consider to be his finest piece of work.
You see, "Alita: Battle Angel" has some issues. It could have been so much more, the script by Cameron was there, a great cast was there, it has James Cameron and Jon Landau as producers. So what exactly was missing? The problem is not really what was missing, it's what little is made of what it had, And this is the core problem with the film.
I can't imagine Cameron himself would compromise so much of the deep story just to give us some action scenes. He always makes sure the story builds properly, so that when those defining moment arrive, we feel and we connect with the emotions of the characters, but that does not happen much in this film.
The movie commits the cardinal sin of including too much, too fast, we have seen this countless times over the years, think "Spiderman 3" for example. There are too many characters that needs attention and too many stories cramped into a short time. I understand that the studios wants to get off quickly and go off the rails as soon as possible, but when they don't commit to really get to know the characters, and to dig deep into the story, it feels like just another average popcorn flick, and this wasn't suppose to happen here.
This movie needed to establish the universe of Alita, establish the characters, and not be in such a rush to get to the "fun stuff". They made the decision to explore the universe deeper in the "maybe to me made" sequels, which is a really bad move. And it goes to show they targeted young kids, who don't care about story as much as adults, instead of focusing on a more mature audience, which the original manga was meant for in the first place.
But that being said, the movie isn't bad, just disappointing. What the movie DOES have however, is monumental off the rails jaw dropping Special effects. The CGI is phenomenal, and the animations are spectacular, the special effects alone is indeed worth the ticket. You haven't seen CGI like this before, this is a new landmark.
Some action scenes in this movie are an absolute thrill to watch, absolutely brilliantly executed. My favorite is a fight scene in a bar that just shows that if they had taken their time, this movie could have been a very enjoyable ride.
If you have seen All of James Cameron's movies, like i have, you have noticed that he always include strong female characters, and this movie is no different. This movie might have the strongest female in any of his movies yet. This is the story of a cyborg girl who's found in a scrap yard, who doesn't know who she is, but has strong powers which she discovers as the story progresses. Her past arrives as flashbacks, and slowly she evolves into her new self as she discovers things about herself and make decisions on what she wants to become, and what she wants to achieve. A story about being alive, learning who you are, and what your purpose is. A moral tale of right and wrong, good vs evil.
Making her eyes bigger, was a very bold and risky move, and it sparked quite a bit of controversy. But it was the right move, an absolute right move. Now i can't even visualize her without them. The eyes are the gate to your soul, and Alita, she has a very beautiful soul.
But as i mentioned, there are some problems with the film, and arguably those problems could have been solved, maybe if the movie had been one hour longer. Or just have skipped events like motorball and leave those things for the sequels, or leave out a few characters, and let Alita have only one enemy at once for example. God dammit, i wish the industry could just lean back some times, and let things just evolve naturally. This movie needed that, the story is full of heart, but what does an emotional story accomplish if we don't have enough time to feel?
But, none the less, what a great performance by Rosa Salazar, who brings so much life into the character. She is basically the reason this movie stays afloat. The other actors have way to little time to develop their characters properly which just makes them all feel hollow for the most part.
6/10 - Fair
Free Solo (2018)
One of evolutions greatest achivements and a "by the book" documentary
To watch this ascend in real time, without any backstory, without any going forward and back in time, would have been a lot better than to watch this documentary.
Why do i say this? Well it was only when he was actually climbing, i really felt this documentary delivered something I'd never seen before. The achievement Honnold accomplished here is nothing less of godlike, and it's impossible to rate the climb itself any less than 10/10. It's one of those few times i start to believe i need to tune it up to 11. Because holy damn.
But this is not a rating for Honnold's incredible performance, it's a rating of the documentary, and sadly, it does not even come close to being as great as the climb itself.
Lot of the camerawork on the climb itself is pretty good, but also, it's also missing a lot. I don't know if they just cut out most of the climb, or if they don't have that much material to begin with. Anyhow, it was only the climb itself that was spectacular, the way they pan cameras over Honnold as he is dangling thousands of feet above the ground, and any wrong move he makes, is death. I could feel my stomach turn watching it. But this film contains way too little of this footage.
It spends most of it's time building up to the climb, we meet his girlfriend, his mother, his friends and so on. They all say how scared they are, some of them starts crying, but they are proud. Actually some of this even felt forced, like the makers felt this really needed to be in this documentary to make it interesting.
It's not like i didn't understand before what's at stake here. If he falls, he dies, that's a tragedy, people will be mourning, but the world moves on. Climbers die all the time, we read bout them in the news, then they are gone, and forgotten. Some of these climbers have done absolutely amazing things. If Honnold had died that day, the news would have read that he died trying, and many people would have thought "reckless moron" and moved on with their lives.
Therefor. I felt, they should have included way more of the actual climb itself, and less time reminding us what's at stake. I mean, we get it, the images show us clearly what's at stake, even knowing he actually made it, i still could not keep my stomach turning when he was doing near impossible moves.
It's of course nice to meet his girlfriend and his family, and it's nice to get to know Honnold a little better. But i got into the cinema believing i would witness one of the most amazing achievements in human evolution, and left feeling a bit cheated. I hope they release way more footage of the climb itself at a later point.
A Star Is Born (2018)
Emotional rollercoaster driven by strong performances
One of the things i was thinking after seeing this film is: How often does a singer/popstar try to become a movie star? Quite a few times. And how often does that work out great? Not that often.
And how often do you see a movie star try to become a singer/popstar? And how often does that go really well? You probably see where I'm going with this.
This is what's mesmerizing about this movie, in this movie, both those scenarios came through. And not just by a margin of luck or just barely there, no, this is a movie that might have the highest wow factor of the year, and i suspect quite a bit of people are voting on this wow factor alone, because then i would give it a 10/10 without hesitation.
Like, who knew Cooper could sing like this? He has gone from an actor to have almost 10 million listeners on spotify in a week. He is so authentic in his role, it's almost scary. And who on earth could ever have guessed Lady Gaga was such a great actress? I mean, wow. Seriously i could really go on and on and on about these two and how authentic and real they are in this film, the chemistry is absolutely remarkable, and they show real emotions that makes you shiver all over. And add to that one of the best performances Sam Elliot has ever done, and you have solid emotional core that keeps you locked in for almost the entire ride.
For about the first 2/3 of this film, this was a 9/10 movie for me, i just loved watching it, but the third act was a bit disappointing, not only did i start to realize exactly how this would end, but i also felt that we spent too much time away from what made the movie so great in the first place, the chemistry between Cooper and Gaga. I don't think Cooper handled this last act all too well, but it's not terrible, but he should have kept that knot tightened, so that when what happens, happens, the emotional impact would have been far greater.
This is however a fantastic directional debut from Cooper and a phenomenal major acting debut from Lady Gaga, it's a movie about true love, love so pure it almost feels like you just want to be in there with them and never leave, experience all their ups and downs. It does not matter if there is suffering, the love is real, and that's what matters.
Lady Gaga has told in several interviews that she felt that the only one believing in her was Cooper, even on the set people where skeptical towards her. Well they are not skeptical now, because Gaga might actually be nominated for an Oscar for this role, I'm almost certain she will. And the song from the film, Shallow, is the front runner to win the Oscar for best original song. Almost all the music in this film is great, these songs could easily have been hits on their own, and well, now they are.
The verdict. Well you know what, the first 2/3 of this movie is absolutely fantastic. for real, I'm going to see those parts over and over and over, and the scene where Gaga first goes on stage, oh wow, wow wow wow. That is an emotional scene that will stick with me for a very long time. It's just the ending i have problems with, and i need to see the entire movie as a whole. It has brilliant parts in it, it has tons of great acting, great music, great emotions, and to top it all, it feels totally authentic.
I give this movie a 8/10 - A really good movie which i recommend
22 July (2018)
Intense first half but too many unnecessary shortcuts
I am a long time fan of Greengrass, he isn't always making great films, but some times he brings some real good nailbiters which i greatly enjoy. For example Captain Philips and The Bourne Ultimatum. And you immediately see his fingerprints all over this one as well, with it's shaky camera movements and quick pacing.
The first half of this movie is pretty good actually, albeit the way it is cut together bothered me. The timeline in which all this happens feels like a couple of days, but it took months. The attack itself took hours, but yet it feels like minutes. It sort of brought me out of the story, because i know this story really well, being a Norwegian, and reading all about this, following the trial and the events surrounding all of this, it was really distracting to see that Greengrass was in a rush to get from one scene to the next.
I'm not saying the movie should have been 5 hours long to depict all of this more accurately, but at least make it clear how much time is spent between the scenes. The way this movie is cut, it felt like the trial started one week after the attack on the island.
So i kept hanging in there, i liked the acting, i liked the directing, but when we crossed the half-way mark i started to dislike a lot of the things i saw, the rush to get through the trial, the creative freedoms they chose to implement, the acting slowly got worse for some weird reason, and the spoken English also got worse the closer we approached the end. The actors in this film are mostly Norwegians, and it's painful to listen to when we can't make the language sound more authentic. But the weird thing is, it sounded more authentic in the first half of the movie.
Overall this movie does tell the basics about this dreadful event, i personally know people that was on the Island during this attack, and i think the movie pays proper respects to them, i do. But i also have to see this as a movie, which it is. And then I'm not so impressed, this is not Greengrass at his best, but it's a fairly good film overall, and the first half is really intense. This movie could easily have been 20-30 minutes longer, the content is there, no short cuts was needed to make this movie, it only makes the event less terrifying in my opinion.
6/10 - Fair
Not bad, but it could have been so much more
This movie ultimately looks and feels like a pretty good student film, it has a pretty interesting story at it's core, and is made on a low budget, it also has some fine acting in it, but at the end of the day, it delivers little i would call cinema worthy. Now i didn't see it in a cinema, but still, a movie is a movie.
This film kind of feels like an episode of a TV show, in it's editing and it's camera work. It's a movie that is made almost entirely on autopilot it seems, it delivers a formula you have seen hundreds of times before, it delivers very few surprises outside the plot itself which could go anywhere to be honest.
And that is what saves this film, that i didn't know exactly where the main story would take me, and this raised the suspense, so i was never bored watching this, at least not much. But Gillian Anderson and David Strathairn has way too little to work with here, it almost feels like they are in this to either cash in on some easy job, or to maybe support an up and coming director, because they are both fine actors, and in this film, you couldn't tell if you had never seen them before.
It's a decent end of the day film, it keeps your attention for the most part, but it wants to be something more, but there just isn't enough money involved to take it to the next level, so it tries to just stay on the ground, tries to keep things small, though ultimately the story itself is HUGE, so it sort of clashes a bit.
So a decent afternoon flick you can watch while having some food or just feeling bored. Not a bad movie, but nothing special either.
6/10 - Fair
Better Call Saul: Smoke (2018)
What a way to start season 4!
There is no doubt anymore, we are witnessing the best spinoff series of all time. This is just getting better and better with each season, taking it's time to build the characters, and slowly but steady leading us towards the events of Breaking Bad.
There is so many ways this show could have gone wrong, just that they try and make a spinoff to maybe the best tv series of all time, is brave or stupid enough, but that it is turning out to become maybe on par with Breaking Bad, totally unprecedented, it has never before happened in Tv series, ever.
This first episode of Season 4 just nails it to the core, it is perfect, i could not take my eyes off the screen for one second, every scene is orchestrated with surgical precision, the suspense is immense. And now finally we start to see the transition from BCS to BB, it is what we have all been eagerly waiting for.
I can't really go into specifics without spoiling anything. But holy cow, now it begins folks, this is IT!
I will go as far as to say that this might be the best episode of the series yet, It set's up all the play for weeks to come, it's just masterfully done, what brilliant brilliant writers Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould are.
And a big big shout to Minkie Spiro which directed this masterpiece.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)
Not even close to the original
Sigh. Well i knew it, the moment i saw the trailers, i knew it. And i didn't need to see the trailers either tbh. How often does a sequel become better than it's predecessor? How often has that happened in movie history? Not very often. It's not even many times the sequel becomes equally good as it's predecessor.
This isn't one of those either. This film delivers pretty much the same cast, just with added explosions. There is no real finesse in the story, maybe a small surprise here and there, but ultimately, this entire story feels like it happens just because it can. The plot is full of silly coincidences that instead of adding more tension, just makes the movie feel silly and ridiculous.
To say it in an easy way, this movie is not Aliens, it's Rambo II.
The film delivers several scenes just to add action to the overall story, but some of these scenes serves absolutely no purpose what so ever, other than to be action scenes added. This is a really bad move, this is basically exactly how Michael Bay plans his movies. Add action, then find a story that fits around it.
This movie disappointed me so much, I'm not going to spend much time talking about the people involved. But the actors did a good job for the most part, and Del Toro carries the film on his shoulders.
But the script, the direction and the cinematography does not stand out in any way. Let's take the cinematography for example. In the trailers you already see it, this movie has basically just copied Deakins work from the original. And what's funny, is that if Deakins had filmed this movie, not even he had copied himself, as he believes every movie should have it's own look.
But this movie has the same angles in the shots, the same overhead follow shots, night vision, heat vision, same behind car follow shot, same drone on the side of moving cars shots. And so on and so on.
When it all comes together it just feels like an empty attempt of replicating what made the first film so good. But what this movie ultimately lacked was a director like Denis Villeneuve and a cinematographer like Roger Deakins.
The soundtrack also feels like a poor imitation of the original film. Everything is just copy paste, and then add a shocking scene here, and a shocking scene there, and add some more firepower. That's all this movie is. And that could have been avoided, with just a good story without silly and totally unbelievable coincidences. It just completely ruins the overall experience.
When there is tension building up, and it does happen at times. It just get's shattered to the point i shook my head in disbelief due to lazy writing. sigh.
It's a shame, really is. What a potential this movie had, i looked forward to it so much, one of the most anticipated movies of the year for me. But yeah i kinda knew it, what made the first film great was Villeneuve, he is the man that made it work. Because if you think about it, the first film could very easily have come off as plain silly and over the top, and then again totally unbelievable. But it worked, and that is because the people took care of the material and presented it the right way.
This is not the case here with this film.
5/10 - Mediocre
What is with the high metascore? Makes no sense.
This movie. Is a very uneven mess.
At times this movie felt like a John Carpenter movie, just without the suspense Carpenter is famous for. But it uses similar soundtrack and similar storytelling and camera techniques that he uses in many of his films.
If this movie had been a satire on his work, it could have been pretty good. But this movie isn't. It's a movie that don't really know what it wants, is it a satire? At times it feels like it, but then it feels completely serious, then it feels like a satire again, and then we are back at serious.
Not only is it very uneven, the movie makes about as little sense as eating carrots on pizza. I can only conclude that the only reason this movie scores so high among critics, is that it's about revenge after a rape. And in these times with #metoo it's important to stand with the girls. There is one critic that gave this movie 100/100... meaning perfect, a brilliant masterpiece, "apocalypse now" level of movie. Are you friggin kidding me?
There is something twisted and wrong with this world man, where even professional critics can't contain their biased feelings, and let it influence their view. Now those critics will respond that scoring movies is a lot about feelings. Yes it is, but then again, try and think for a second if you are manipulating yourself. This movie is NOT a 10/10, Jesus.
But let that be said, this movie isn't awful either. It has lots of style, some good suspense at times, some really nice cinematography at times, and a very pretty girl with one seriously inviting butt. And she can actually act a little bit too, so not all bad.
But there are too many scenes that makes absolutely no sense, it just feels like dumb decisions have been made to cut cost, or to just simply make it easier on themselves to actually shoot this film. Most of this film just happens in a desert with just a few people in the cast, there i little to no effort making this movie. The gore effects are "copy paste", same make-up every time, same everything. The good moments are few and far apart, and also the way she get's her revenge is very unsatisfying, but then again the rape scene was so poorly orchestrated i hardly felt anything. It's just a very uneven movie, that falls short of mediocre, it comes dangerously close to being a bad film. But it's saved by those moments where the tension actually works, that's all this movie has going for it.
But then again, if the tension is what works, this can't have been intended as a satire? Because those completely over the top scenes are not funny or entertaining, they just suck, they are simply put, just over the top. For the sake of being over the top.
So a movie neither a good thriller, or a good satire.
4/10 - Poor
Tomb Raider (2018)
Recycled Hollywood crap
Well, this is one of those films that just don't have anything going for it no matter how you look at it. Except for Vikander, which tries her very best to hold this landfill of a movie together with everything she got.
This movie is so predictable, i knew exactly what would happen at every turn, the dialogue is uninspired and flat, the story is absolutely without any emotional impact, but they try to, they really tried to make it this way, and then it's left to the actors and the director to make sure those emotions are portrayed correctly and have enough time to grow into something touches the audience, but, it does not. It's like it has copy paste dialogue from dozens of B movies, and a rushed and totally illogical story. When you have these two combined, any emotional impact you try to create, will not result in anything less than failure.
It's so weird that such a great actress like Vikander chose to star in this film, i have no idea what she saw in this script. Because this movie can not strengthen her career one bit, this can only damage it. She is a very talented, young and beautiful actress that quite quickly has proven herself to be one of the special ones, an actress that can succeed really big if she chooses her projects carefully. And therefore it's mindbogglingly weird that she decided to do this, her salary must have been exceptional.
Well there won't be a Tomb Raider 2 movie this time, that i can promise you, at least not with Alicia, if she chooses to make a sequel to this she is quite frankly mad.
Tomb Raider is one of those game franchises that should be easy to make into a good movie, it has everything going for it, and i love the games, at least the game from 2012 that this movie loosely is based upon. I think Lara Croft is a very interesting character, but for some weird reason, no one seem to be able to write her a compelling story, it's always going to be cliche after cliche.
Why don't they try and make her more fun? And why is it so hard to make her a movie that resembles Indiana Jones? They are in many ways the same character, just opposite sex. But even Indiana Jones haven't had a decent movie since 1989, so i guess it's just one of those things.
But even so, if it is only one of those things, they should just let movie scripts like these go into the trash bin. Steven Spielberg stated a couple of times that when he saw Laurence of Arabia in the cinema, he almost gave up becoming a director because that movie could not be topped, i guess we can all be glad he still became one because he has made some really great movies. But Tomb Raider on the other hand is one of those movies that are so mediocre and bad in everything it tries to accomplish, i want to become a movie director just to save Hollywood from themselves.
But in midst of all the poop there are some good things about this film. Some scenes are actually quite intense and entertaining to watch, and Vikander is indeed playing the part quite well, except it feels oddly weird to play like this in a movie with zero emotional impact, and there is also some nice cgi in there, but nothing revolutionary.
Meh, well it's what i expected. I never believed in this film. I always though it would suck pretty bad, and yeah no surprises there. Glad i saw it for free. Even then i feel ripped off.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
MAJOR SPOILERS!! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM!
My headline is the easy way to describe this movie. It is grand, majestic and spectacular. Just like Thanos towering everyone else with his physique this movie also stands above everything else, at least most of it. Because wow, this movie is really something to behold. Marvel went all in with everything here, the cgi is phenomenal, the acting is great, the story is well told, the pacing is near perfect. I have seen this movie twice in IMAX 3D and once in 4DX now, and i have never seen a movie with better image quality than this one, never.
Ever since the MCU started with Iron Man i have seen every film released, most of them are good, some are outright great, a few are mediocre and very few are bad. But for the most part it has been a hell of a ride, and I've eagerly been awaiting this movie for quite some time, we all knew that it would come down to this, but were you prepared for what would be the outcome? Not many were, though many of us knew several avengers and other major characters would die in this film, i did not expect it to be this many.
This movie truly didn't waste any time getting down to business, as before ten minutes had passed, Heimdall and Loki are killed, and we see the Titan kick the crap out of Hulk, this set the tone for the entire movie right of the bat, and was IMO a smart move, now we knew for sure what a badass Thanos is, and this was before he got all the stones.
What the Russo brothers have done here is to overdo themselves. Winter Soldier and Civil War are two of the best MCU movies to date, and you got to wonder how Marvel found these guys, and knew what they were capable of, because Infinity War just lifted the bar even higher. This movie is sort of Michael Bay's wet dream, this is what he wants to achieve, but never can because he has no idea how to tell a story or handle emotions. This movie is a 2 hour and 30 minute spectacle, which has action scene after action scene lined up, and it never feels too much, somehow they managed to balance it, and that is a feat not many directors can pull off.
But also the music is masterfully composed, and fit every scene perfectly. And the costumes and props design are state of the art, everything looks and feels so right in this film, all the people involved has done an outstanding job.
And i really have to give it to Josh Brolin. Thanos is easily the best villain i have seen in quite some time. He is a complex villain, that is so well portrayed i almost start rooting for him, and that is saying something come to think how many years i have grown to love the avengers and the guardians. This is also big thanks to the amazing cgi that just brings so much life into the character. I can understand his motivations, i can side with his thoughts, i both agree and i disagree at same time. Such a great character, easily the best MCU villain so far, and i had Loki as my favorite before him.
At the end when Spider-man, Doctor Strange, Scarlett Witch, Nick Fury, Star-Lord, Black Panther, Mantis, Bucky Barnes and many others are killed because he gets all the stones, i both felt a sense of pride for Thanos completing his mission, he truly is a determined badass. But at the same time i felt great sadness that so many of the characters that i loved, are dead.
But MCU has killed characters before, which has been brought back to life, so i guess that will be the case here as well, as the next movie most likely will deal with time travel and fight Thanos in the future and the past. Dr.Strange gave up the time stone because of the 14.000.605 outcomes that he saw, only one lead to victory for the avengers, and giving up the stone was the beginning of the victory path. So even though this movie ended on a cliffhanger, it left enough hints that will be talked about for a whole year, and it will build the biggest hype in the history of cinema. So at the end of the day, this movie just delivers on so many levels, and it will make way for the rise of many new characters to enter the MCU, and finally take down Thanos and undo some of the damage he has done.
It's quite amazing that this movie actually managed to live up to the hype, that should not even be possible when you think about it, but it did. The movie is absolutely amazing.
I can't wait for Avengers 4.
Do You Trust This Computer? (2018)
One of the most important documentaries you will ever see
Let me start by saying that i am very interested in computers, and i have been since the early 1980's. Since then i have been working with computers, used them for gaming, for social interactions, i have used them for entertainment, like listening to music, watch movies, and so on. I have basically spent my entire life since i was only a child, on a computer.
This documentary is about A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) and some of my favorite movies of all time are 2001: A Space Odyssey, Terminator 1&2 and Wargames, all movies being used to describe things in this documentary. Some of these movies might have given many people the wrong idea about A.I. and eventually what it can do. I however have been paying attention somewhat closely. By reading articles and watching documentaries for decades about this, i am very aware of the progress being done in the field of A.I. But i don't think most people are. Therefor watching this documentary might be one of the single most important things anyone can ever do.
Also, i just have to mention that i deleted my facebook account many years ago, when i started to understand how much i could be manipulated using it. It was when the Snowden leaks happened, a lot of people said back then, that they were going to delete their facebook account, but as it turned out, less than 1% actually did. They had become so dependent on the platform, their entire life is now depending on it.
This is how it begins. It is one thing to become dependent on electricity for example, or that your food is guaranteed free of toxics and bacteria, or that your TV show actually begins on time. Being dependent on A.I. is something else entirely. We are talking about computers that already know everything about you, and are constantly storing information about you, building a profile to better understand what you want and desire.
This documentary does a great job in making you understand how the world you currently live in, is operated by code, without your knowledge, actually without anyones knowledge. Thing is, no one really knows how A.I. thinks, we only make it, and off it goes on it's own adventure. This can lead to catastrophic events that can end the entire human race in just moments. And this is not some distant future predictions, this is happening right now.
Everything from search algorithms, self driving cars, chess playing robots, robots used in medical industry to detect cancer and other deceases, surveillance systems that can detect and identify faces in milliseconds, military armed drones that can detect threat and intervene all on their own. All of this is already here, and this is already scary, but this is only the beginning. Were we go from here is a very uncertain path.
Elon Musk, which is one of the people being interviewed in this documentary has previously stated that he thinks there is a very high chance that A.I. will end us, and this documentary will go a long way explaining how that might happen.
Do you trust this computer? is essential for everyone to watch, it is well made, it explains things in a way that makes this subject a lot easier to understand. It however doesn't bring much new information to those that know a lot about this already, but i recommend watching it anyways.
10/10 - Essential watch
Born Strong (2017)
1/2 Documentary, 1/2 Arnold Strongman commercial
I have been following these guys for years. I admire all of them, and i personally consider The Big Z to be the all time greatest strongman, but i have Shaw as my favorite in current day. But i also love that Eddie Hall won the worlds strongest man 2017, he has worked so hard to get there, but so is also the case for all the others of course. in 2018 i hope Hafthor takes it, he has been silver so many times now, he deserves at least one win, so we can finally call him worlds strongest man.
Anyways, this documentary is focused around Arnold Classic, one of the other strongman events, and because of that you have interviews with Arnold Schwarzenegger, which are really nice. Arnold is a very motivational guy, and maybe the best bodybuilder that ever lived, listening to him about training philosophy and goals, is pure awesomeness.
But this documentary doesn't really deliver anything i haven't already seen, it's a very basic, straight forward production. You meet the guys, you learn about their background, you hear about their meal plans, their workout routines. But all of this was things i already knew, so this documentary don't really provide fans of strongman anything new to feast on.
I also knew who the winner of that strongman was, so that was not a surprise either. But it's probably a better watch for people who want to learn about the sport and the people competing. You will see that these are normal guys, just bigger, and a lot stronger.
Of course they are all on steroids, but that is because there are no tests conducted in these events, so if one uses it, all must use it, or they can't compete. And i know many people hate this, and they think that the one that takes the most drugs, will win. This is not the case.
To become a strongman you have to eat insane amounts of food, every single day, and you have to work out for hours every day. You can't just take drugs and sit on the couch and then go lift 500kg, not going to happen. So for those that aren't familiar with the sport, then i would really recommend this documentary, you will get to know these guys and see how they are behind the scenes. But of course, steroids is not mentioned with a single word in the documentary.
And as the cherry on the frosting, one of the biggest reasons for most people to watch this, is that Hafthor is playing "The Mountain" in Game of Thrones. He is the biggest star of them all, by far.
7/10 - Quite good
Black Panther (2018)
Great visuals, story delivers no surprises
Well, i got to hand it to Marvel, though not always delivering great films, they manage to always stay on the right side of mediocre. I love the quality of their films, they more or less always look great, and in their films we constantly see great performances and witness memorable moments. But some of their films have stories and plots that can become somewhat predictable and washed down.
This is unfortunately the case with Black Panther, it is a really gorgeous film, and it has some good performances, but nothing like we saw in for example Thor Ragnarok, where Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum delivered really memorable performances and are great villains, or Kurt Russel in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2. This movie lacks a memorable villain like these.
But it's not Jordan's fault, he plays the part really well, and might be the one that delivers the best performance in the entire film. But the character he plays simply isn't all that interesting or deep, and combined with a plot that is quite predictable, there simply isn't all that much excitement to go around. No nerve in the core of the story, almost everything you expect will happen, does indeed happen.
But of course, the movie has it's moments, there are many scenes that are hands down great. And some action sequences are really well orchestrated, for example a long one shot action scene inside a casino, which was quite good. And there are plenty of short scenes that brings the giggles and puts a small break in the action scenes.
The strongest part of the film is the visuals, it's quite obvious this movie cost a lot of money, though DC managed to spend 300.000.000$ on Justice League, and that movie looks horrible. Maybe Marvel just know how to spend their money more efficiently. But i wished they could have come up with a better story for Wakanda, though they did manage to establish the soul of T'Challa, we now know him, his moral standpoints and his capabilities, which is exactly why i recommend you to see this film.
Though not by any means a perfect movie, far from it, it's still a worthy entry into the marvel universe, but don't expect any surprises, this is a straight forward film, but it's an important stepping stone before the majestic Infinity War enters theaters in about 2 months, which is not only the most expensive film ever made, but also the movie with most A list stars ever made. And it's nice to know all the character's that will face Thanos.
TL;DR - Great visuals, weak story, predictable plot, not very exiting villain.
6/10 - Fair
A step in the right direction, but not quite there yet
"The Last Jedi" truly have some awesome scenes to behold, the opening sequence made me feel like a kid again, something "The Force Awakens" never managed, because it was just a remade "A New Hope" with lack of direction. There is big differences in these two films. And here i will talk about some things i think separates them.
The Acting: In TFA it was almost like everyone on set had been running around yelling "WE ARE MAKING A NEW STAR WARS MOVIE WEEEEEE". And in the massive confusion and joy, someone forgot that they are making a movie. The Entire TFA felt odd, and it didn't help that it's basically a reboot which made the entire film predictable and boring.
But in TLJ someone stepped up and took charge. Because now the actors have suddenly upped the ante and are delivering powerful performances. Carrie Fisher for example, completely different here, more believable, more emotions. Same with Daisey Ridley, she is now showing she's an excellent actress, something that was not shown in TFA, which is a damn shame!. Because she was IMO the best thing about TFA. And Mark Hamill might be delivering the best performance of his life here. Adam Driver as well, he suddenly went from Darth Emo to a really scary and unpredictable villain, showing of a wide specter of emotions. And again, this is stuff that should have been shown already in TFA!
So when it comes to acting, TFA and TLJ are miles apart.
The story: The story is better in TLJ, by far. But far from perfect, the story itself from where it starts to where it ends up is full of surprises and memorable moments, but it also has a lot of scenes i felt had no place in the film, scenes that either could have been filmed differently, or scrapped all together. Because the film starts off so well, but about 30 minutes in, the story starts to drift, and the suspense and the natural flow get interrupted, which the movie then will suffer for, all the way through.
There are times where the story manage to get back on it's feet, but it can't fully recover. Yet still, it has a strong story at it's core, and i must congratulate the staff for bringing the Star Wars universe in this direction, this is new territory and interesting. Or to say it like this, TLJ is something new, TFA was a remake.
There are lots of humor in the film, and done more clever than in any Star Wars film before it. This director has a fresh take on Star Wars, and i'm glad Disney trusted in him, Star Wars IMO was in real trouble after TFA, some of it was "fixed" with "Rogue One" but it was this film that had to really nail it, prove that Star Wars still can deliver, and it almost does, so close.
The music is also better than in TFA, John Williams seem to have been more inspired this time around, and has made a score that sounds like the old films, but it also feels new. The effects in the film isn't even worth talking about, it's absolutely amazing of course. And the cinematography is also really good.
What dragged the film down a bit for me, was the way the story was told. It became quite boring at times, but for the most part this movie is awesome to watch, with lots of variation in the scenes. It is worth a look. but don't expect a new "Empire Strikes Back", we might never see that again I'm afraid. But i do love watching them try.
7/10 - Good
Great visuals in a rather shallow and illogical tale
I have to say that for the most part this series had some truly great moments. The tale gets off to a very good start, but soon after, i was starting to ponder if this story goes any deeper, and have some nice surprises for me down the road. At episode 4 i was starting to wonder if this entire series was like it already had been portrayed, with too many coincidences happening, too many predictable outcomes, shallow characters, and being incredibly politically correct.
I was hoping that it all would come together and make sense as it moved closer to the end. But sadly, this show ends on a note with little to no explanation to why we have been taken this trip through all 7 episodes. And this is not one of those times where i will be sitting here pondering for weeks what i might have missed, this show is not that intelligent, even if some people here might think it actually is.
You can tell that the creator has spent a lot of time making this series, especially on the characters. The little things about them that make them stand out. The journalist with a bad eye, the vision impaired sheriff, the rich prostitute and school teacher, the rape victim and farm owner. There are lots of details to be found in this, but some of the details i would call over the top, i find some of these quirks and personalities to be what they are, just for the sake of it. The illusion of depth and variety, to make the story seem richer and more complex, but as it turns out, the traits these people have, rarely has anything to do with anything going on, except for being traits written into the script.
But on the other hand, the actors here are for the most part really good, and play their roles with lots of gravitas, and they are depicted with some really great visuals, the cinematography is outstanding. They really managed to capture the western feel of this. The wide shots of open landscapes, mixed with great set pieces of buildings that looks like they have been standing there forever, it really has a great atmosphere. You can almost smell the horse poop and the gunpowder.
But the story is the main problem here, it's not that the story itself is bad, though somewhat over the top, it's how it's executed that is the problem. For example that two characters that are suppose to end up doing something, and they construct scenes that makes no sense what so ever just so those two can have their moments. Instead of interlinking the stories better, they went for the easy solution, almost all the time.
Problem then is that since they made an entire scene just to be able to create a moment, the rest of the story surrounding this moment makes no sense anymore. This show is full of illogical moments which kept bugging me. Let me just explain one quick scene to underline my point. In the final shootout, and when there is still shooting going on, the kids and the old ones come walking into town like it's all over, no more danger. How on earth could they know that? It makes no sense. Someone would have gone for them when it's safe. And there still was shooting going on, they would never ever have come walking into town at that moment, but it was created to have this little emotional scene where the Sheriff meets his kids, and this is one of the scenes that they actually made it harder than it had to be, just to make a scene completely illogical.
What about the Sheriff and Roy suddenly bumping into each other with the mining companies security team after they had taken the horses? Small world ey? Huge open empty space for miles and miles, and yet we all come crashing into one another on the smallest of areas.
Yeah this show is full of these, where things are constructed just to get the story going, but makes absolutely no sense. Well i notice these things. But, the show is still good, has a good nerve throughout all episodes, there is almost always something to admire or take in, just that the story lacks logic and depth.
All in all a 7 out of 10.
The Punisher (2017)
Predictable and not as violent as i hoped
It's a shame, it really is. I already felt it once i had seen the first episode, that this show lacks confidence in itself. They tried to tell too much in that episode, tried to establish too many characters, and in doing so, delivered the most predictable kind of story you could ever imagine, we are talking 80's B movie type of storytelling here, with the most stereotypical characters you've ever seen.
They had so many great opportunities to make this right, by letting us get to know Castle a little better first, before throwing it all into the blender and hope for the best. I don't care who lives or dies if i don't know any of the characters, why would i?
So unexpected that Marvel, which time and time again have proved to deliver good stories for their characters, did this. They should have had more confidence and let the show start off slowly, and let the character build, and let the "other villains" develop, let us know what makes them tick, make them interesting, do something creative for f... sake.
Instead we got this. A bag of mixed opportunities. The reason i believe, they want all in so fast is because they are not sure about their audience, so they throw in as much as they can and let the story and narrative suffer because of it. Well this is Michael Bay logic, and it does not work, it works on 12 year old's, too bad they are not allowed to watch this series huh? It's like this show spells "Hey people who like violence and blood aren't all that smart, so don't bother making a good story". But we have come to expect a lot from TV series in this century, with many great shows, as the medium provides the perfect platform for complex storytelling, which is very hard to achieve in the cinema where you usually only have 2-3 hours to accomplish the same thing. Therefor, wasting your talent when you have all these things to your advantage, is a cardinal sin.
And what hurts me the most is that Jon Bernthal is perfect as The Punisher, he just has the right grit and inner fire this character needs, and i just want him to explode in anger at any moment. But when you can see exactly when that's going to happen 20-30 minutes before it does, well then the fun is over, then the scenes has no impact, i already played them in my head 10 times over when we come down to it. And the biggest surprise is that the scenes depicted in this series is far from as brutal as i imagined, for the most part not like the violence we saw in daredevil. And that is something i found puzzling, i thought it would be the other way around. It's not until the last 3 episodes where we really get the most violent scenes, and those are truly awesome, but why wait? Why wait to unleash the punisher until the very end?
So we have a surprisingly gentle show here, with some dull dialogues, stereotype characters and not much depth. The only true great thing about the show is Jon Bernthal and his believable performance, but sadly he just has no time to develop or properly show his inner fire, instead we get those family flashback scenes over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again, until it becomes a parody in on itself. Why would they do this? Yes i get it, his family was murdered, yes i get it, this is what fuels his fire. But seriously.... Don't overdo it please, don't underestimate your audience.
The first 3 episodes aren't all that good, but the season becomes better as it plays along, and the last 3 episodes is where the real stuff happens. But all in all, it's a good watch, i just wished it was more surprising and brutal, let's hope season 2 gives us more of that.
BTW you guys remember that scene from daredevil where The Punisher is on the stand in court?. Where he says i'm the punisher and i'm gonna kill'em all?. Yeah that was a great scene, there we saw him, the real punisher. But that was in daredevil, here in his own show, we rarely see him like this, and that is just really weird.
I give this show a 6 out of 10
The Vietnam War (2017)
The dark side of humanity
I'm going to keep this review short, there are plenty of people that have pointed out how good this documentary really is. And i have to agree, though i feel it was a bit "stretched" at times, it is none the less an insanely important documentary about some of the darkest periods of human history.
I cannot recommend it enough, it is important to watch this, to learn from it, and to avoid making mistakes like this ever again. This is a history lesson the Americans wished we would not talk about, they would rather bury it and pretend it never happened.
What i want to point out is what i did after i saw this documentary. i then saw Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket & The Deer Hunter and those films just became so important again, not that they never were. But now i saw some of these films again for the first time in 10+ years and i saw things i never noticed before.
I also started to wonder why the My Lai massacre never had been made into a big Hollywood film, only to discover that Oliver Stone apparently has a script ready for it, and have had that for over 10 years already, but he feels the timing is not right to make such a film yet. And i have to strongly disagree, after this documentary, a film of that event is something i strongly recommend be told.
What happened at My Lai (Pinkville) shook me to the core, i was not aware of this event before i saw this documentary, and i knew quite a bit about the Vietnam war before i saw it. I really hope someone makes a great movie about this horrible massacre, and how the aftermath was handled, it's a disgrace of the highest order, and cannot be forgiven, ever.
So when i saw "Apocalypse now" again and then again heard the famous lines spoken by Captain Willard:
-"How many people had I already killed? There were those six that I knew about for sure. Close enough to blow their last breath in my face. But this time, it was an American and an officer. That wasn't supposed to make any difference to me, but it did. Charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets in the Indy 500."
It got me, i felt it this time, really felt it. Now i finally understood. Suddenly "Apocalypse Now" moved up from a great movie to one of the best movies i have ever seen, top 10 in fact, that's how good it is, and it took this documentary to really make me realize just how good it in fact is.
Do what i did, you should, it will change you. See those films again.