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Makes up for a slow start with a great final act
About two thirds of the way through 'Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers' I was ready to crucify it in my review. I was so bored it wasn't funny. Everything that I loved so much about 'Halloween 2' was missing. And everything that I liked about the original 'Halloween' was missing as well. It was the worst of both worlds. Then the final act kicked in however, and suddenly I was having a great time.
The final act in this film is absolutely top notch. It is clever, brutal, suspenseful and filmed at an extreme pace. Then to top it off there is a final twist that I never saw coming. If the beginning of the movie could have just kept things a little more interesting and had a bit more going on this could have gone down as a horror classic. Mind you I think it is still pretty well respected even as it is. My advice would be to battle your way through the dull stuff and then reward yourself with the treat that is the final 30 minutes or so.
The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)
A film that is impossible not to love
It's rare, but sometime you just know you're going to love a film before you've even started watching it. 'The Peanut Butter Falcon' was one of those films for me. Shia LaBeouf in a role perfectly suited for him, mixed with an equally hilarious and touching story. What more could you ever want?
I love the message the movie is trying to get across. That these people are just like me and you is so true. I love that every character has an arc in this movie and every character learns a lot about themselves and each other. It is masterfully crafted in that sense.
It's rare that a film can be this funny so effortlessly. It never feels like anyone is trying to steal the show or over-act or is trying too hard. Everyone just goes about their business, and still hilarity ensues. It's rare that I say I would have liked a film to be longer but this is one of those occasions. I feel there was more story to tell and the ending felt a little rushed. I had a great time with 'The Peanut Butter Falcon' nonetheless and I suspect this will be on a lot of people's 'Best of 2019' lists.
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
The best entry since Judgement Day, but nowhere near the original magic
The 'Terminator' series has been such a let down ever since 'Judgement Day'. The first two entries in the series where James Cameron was behind the camera were masterful. The he left and things took a very sudden and violent drop off a cliff in terms of quality. 'Terminator: Dark Fate' is certainly the best entry in the series we have had since then. Because I make a point of knowing as little about a film as I can before going into it, I hadn't actually realised that they had disregarded the other three sequels for this one. I kept trying to put the pieces together and they weren't adding up. I know it isn't ideal but I also feel there needs to be a way to let audiences know this beforehand.
There are some great action sequences in this film. The big one early on is the best in the film and actually blew me away a little. Linda Hamilton's return was such a great choice. She is so charismatic and she is the only 'Sarah Connor' I will ever recognise. Also Arnold's return was wonderful. He had some incredibly funny lines. In fact it's a weird thing to criticise a film for but he was almost too funny, to the point where it took away from the seriousness of the film.
It does suffer from the same problem that all 'Terminator' films tend to, which is that it gets a bit boring watching them being shot over and over and over again and it having no consequence on them. Also it does feel like we are getting almost the exact same story as 'Judgement Day'. Certain lines in the film even allude to that, either intentionally or not. I did have a good time with this movie though. It's well paced, creates some good nostalgia and is a decent way to kill a couple of hours.
A strong blend of drama/horror/mystery all done in expert fashion
Each year on Halloween night I make a point of watching a horror movie that I have been highly anticipating to see. This year it was 'Eli'. In previous years they have been a bit of a bust for the most part, but this one was different. I could tell very early on in the film that this was going to be a very well made production. The director seemed to be in complete control of where he wanted to go and the actors all seemed to know exactly what their job was and were going about it perfectly. The end result was a very fine film.
A lot of the film would fall more into the drama category than the horror category. Also there is a big mystery element to the film. Both the drama and mystery side of things are arguably the film's biggest strengths. There really are a lot of layers at play here, particularly once you've seen the entire film and know what was going on.
It's a hard thing to pull off an ambitious film like this. It puts a lot on its own plate, but it manages to deal with it in expert fashion. When the film changes gear into horror mode it nails that too. In fact the final sequence of this film is a thing of beauty. I had a terrific time with 'Eli' and I would be very surprised if anyone watched this movie and didn't find at least one aspect of it they liked.
47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)
After a very slow and wobbly start it gets better
I was a big fan of the original '47 Meters Down'. It wasn't a masterpiece by any means, but it was excellent at getting every single drop out of a limited concept. The concept in '47 Meters Down: Uncaged' actually gives the writers a lot more to work with. The film almost felt a little more like 'Deep Blue Sea', whereas the original had more of an 'Open Water' feel to it. This one got off to quite a bad start, but it finds itself along the way and actually becomes quite a watchable film by the end of it.
The film starts off with with some of the most bland and uninspired opening credits I've ever seen. I actually thought to myself I can't believe I'm wasting minutes of my life watching this. Then the first 20-30 of the film are very clunky and poorly put together. They are slow, obvious and uninspired with some poor exciting to boot. Then the first shark comes along and things begin to pick up a little. The sharks are actually a really well done part of this movie. They look great and they can really catch you off guard. One jump scare in particular really caught me out.
From there the film is about what you expect. If you've seen one shark film you've seen them all unfortunately. The final scene was actually quite well done and had some moments of well-created suspense. You will need to suspend belief a couple of times of course, but that almost goes without saying these days. The film does get better as it goes along if you're thinking about switching it off after the first 20 minutes, but I still can't promise anything hugely memorable. I'll give this the barest of pass marks.
Too busy wrapping up the story that it forgets to be scary
A summation of my reviews for the first two entries in the 'Hell House LLC' trilogy would be that writer/director Stephen Cognetti wasn't getting the regular scenes in his movie right, but that his horror scenes were world class. Interestingly 'Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire' serves to prove that the opposite of that is a much worse thing. This film has far better acting than the first two and also the dialogue is much better written, and yet it is the weakest of all three by a significant margin. Why? Because he forgot about the horror this time around.
The film has a tremendous amount of over-lapping shots from the first two films, mostly to show what happened in a certain part of the hotel/house or who a certain character was. At first this is helpful, but then it happens far too often from there on out and becomes very annoying and distracting. I think you just have to have faith that the audience has seen the first two films, and if they haven't then the information they are missing out on isn't hugely critical to the enjoyment of this one.
I think Cognetti was so intent on wrapping everything up into a nice little bundle storywise that he forgot what made the first two films so good, which was the epic horror sequences they featured. This one has little moments here and there, but there is never that big payoff that the first two films achieved. 'Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire' was a little bit of a disappointing way to end an otherwise very good horror trilogy. It's not unwatchable, but it is a big step in the wrong direction.
Some flaws but the horror side of things is too good to care
'Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel' is my second Stephen Cognetti film, the first being 'Hell House LLC', and already I'm beginning to see some trends in his film-making - some positive, some not so. He seems to really struggle with the beginnings of his films and then tends to find his way as it goes along. Also he writes some terrible dialogue, especially in the non-horror scenes. But what saves all this and makes his films extremely watchable is that he seems to be a master at directing horror.
This house/hotel setting that he has created for these films is truly terrifying. Everything about it just works. The creatures moving about inside it, the maze-like feel it has and the feeling of overwhelming dread when a character is in there are just terrific. Not often do individual scare moments get me but this film has one that really caught me off-guard and had my heart leaping. I didn't see it coming and combine that with the imagery and I'm not afraid to say it got me.
If Cognetti can either fix his dialogue and the clunky non-horror scenes he writes, or get a script-doctor in to do it for him and just let him focus on the horror side of things, then he has a big future ahead of him. He has created something special with The Abandon Hotel and I very much look forward to checking out the third installment now.
Hell House LLC (2015)
Builds towards an epic final 20 minutes
I was a big fan of the "found footage" genre back in the day. It's gone out of fashion now unfortunately with only a couple of series, 'Hell House LLC' being one of them, keeping it alive. It was such a great concept because it took the audience away from their comfort zone. It's easy in a regular horror movie, with a decent sized budget and easily recognisable actors to remember that "this is just a movie". It's a lot harder to remind yourself of that when what you're being shown is as raw as this.
'Hell House LLC' is a documentary style "found footage" film, so not everything we see is footage that has been found - although that is the large majority of the film. The first 20 or so minutes of the film before we get to the footage are definitely the weakest point of the film. There are some poorly written (and acted) interview scenes and it doesn't do a whole lot to set the mood for what is to come. From there though it finds its way and builds and builds until it reaches the big climax. The final 20 minutes of this film are incredibly strong and are exceptionally well put together. They play a large part in making this film as good as it is.
The film can be a little hard to follow in parts. You can lose your bearings on what exactly is going on - some could argue this is realistic towards actual found footage - but I don't think it was intended that way. Also some of the acting isn't always the sharpest consistently throughout the film. Otherwise though this is a really neat little horror film. There are a couple of sequels out now which I will have to track down and give a watch. I would recommend this one.
Funny, but not conventionally put together
The only time I really tend to enjoy zombies in film is when they're done in a comedic way. 'Shaun of the Dead', 'Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse' and 'Zombieland' are prime examples of how to nail this genre. Don't take yourself too seriously. 'Zombieland' finds itself a great little cast with a lot of chemistry and then the film just flows from there.
I'm surprised 'Zombieland' is as well received as it is, particularly by critics, because it doesn't follow the usual formula of a film. It doesn't have a beginning, a middle and an end. It just kind of starts, things happen, and then the film ends almost in exactly the same spot as it started. There isn't a mission trying to be accomplished by these characters or a place they're trying to get to (well there kind of is, but not really if you know what I mean). It didn't really bother me, but I thought it would bother other people more.
I think when making 'Zombieland' they just set out to make a film as fun as they could, and kudos to them for that. This cast works and they seem to be given free rein for 90 minutes. While I did enjoy it, I suspect it won't be hugely memorable for me. A good way to kill some time on a rainy day though perhaps.
Kill Chain (2019)
Gets better as it goes along
'Kill Chain' is going to lose some audience members in the first 15 minutes. It gets off to a very sloppy start. After the opening scene, a bizarre opening credits and then another awkward scene I thought I was in for a very long 90 minutes. But then the film found its rhythm and things began to click. Ryan Kwanten entered the film, in possible the best segment of the movie, and suddenly the movie wasn't seeming so bad. It's far from a masterpiece but it is a film that gets better and better as it goes along.
This movie takes itself very seriously. There isn't a single occasion in the entire movie I can remember where they try to make you laugh. Nicolas Cage, who is becoming synonymous with ultra violent revenge flicks it seems, is still a very watchable actor. He slips on the occasional line, but for the most part he's a stand-out in any scene he's in and he's not phoning it in.
The film turned out to be smarter than I expected it to be. Everything wraps itself together in quite a clever and creative way. If you don't need your films to be beautifully shot or have impeccable dialogue, and you're willing to get down and gritty in the seedy underbelly of a film, then this could just be the one for you. It won't be for everyone, but it is certainly watchable enough for a pass mark.
Ad Astra (2019)
Solid but forgettable
Something interesting I noticed about James Gray's movies is that they all have a very similar rating around the 7/10 mark. Almost without exception they are all right there. What it implies to me is that he makes very solid films consistently, but never dares to push the boundaries and be bold and do something great. 'Ad Astra' falls very much into the same category. It's a wonderfully put together production, with some solid acting and a well constructed plot line, but I can almost guarantee after tomorrow I'll never think about this film again.
Brad Pitt is a terrific actor who can carry almost any movie all on his own. He's in terrific form in 'Ad Astra' although it is a very sombre and withheld performance for the most part. Normally when I'm finished watching a Pitt performance I'm left with a "want to be him" feeling, but not so much on this occasion.
'Ad Astra; goes into the basket of "I'm glad I've seen it, but never again thank you". This isn't going to harm anyone or offend anyone's senses by any means. It's hard to imagine anyone hating this film, but it's also hard to imagine anyone overly loving it either. Hopefully Gray goes on to take some risks along the way in his career. He's got talent there's no doubt about it, now he just needs to add some flare into the mix.
A movie that I need to watch again now
'Fractured' has a very similar plot set up to 'Flightplan'. I've always thought what a great concept 'Flightplan' was because it left itself open to go in two entirely different directions. You could remake the final third of that movie with an entirely different ending and it would likely still be a very good movie. 'Fractured' sets itself up in a very similar way and then keeps the audience guessing right until the dying minutes of the film. And it does so expertly. I was genuinely baffled about which way this film was going to turn out, and I love that in a film.
I'm not usually Sam Worthington's biggest fan, in fact I feel his performance has even ruined some good movies over the years. Here though I couldn't fault him. In fact I really enjoyed his performance. I was watching him especially closely throughout the movie too because I was trying to pick up on any clues as to which direction the movie was heading. He fully committed himself to this role and gave an excellent performance that helps to boost the movie even that little bit higher.
This movie is going to be highly rewatchable for the simple reason that watching it knowing what is going on is going to offer a whole new perspective on things. Also just because it is a damn fun ride. The final twenty minutes of this movie especially are explosive and very well put together. I had a really good time with 'Fractured', and if you're worried about this being another rubbish entry in the Netflix Originals series, don't be. This is a good one.
Everything I wanted and so much more
Before watching 'El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie' I was a little worried. The show was so perfect, and wrapped up so masterfully, that I worried adding more on could only do damage. I failed to factor how much of a genius Vince Gilligan is however and am extremely happy to confess I was wrong to have any fears. This movie was incredible.
The nostalgia this movie created for me was amazing. Along the way we meet a lot of characters from the series, either in flashback form or in the present after the events of 'Breaking Bad'. Each and every one of them is crafted so elegantly and given exactly what was needed. Some are long and are given a lot to work with, others we are just given a little snippet of. The little tasters are actually quite brutal because they remind you how incredible those characters were and leave you wanting more. I may have to go back and watch 'Breaking Bad' again after seeing this.
To say 'El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie' is like another 2 hour episode is correct in a way, but I also think it would be failing to do justice to just how good this was. Even though most episodes of 'Breaking Bad' were their own little masterpieces (especially near the end) this still felt like a step up from them. I really loved this film and I'm so glad it was made. If this is the last we hear from the 'Breaking Bad' universe ('Better Call Saul' aside) then it would be a fitting way to end it. Jesse deserved a wrap up after all.
In the Tall Grass (2019)
A stupid story with bland characters and nothing to redeem it
I remember 'Family Guy' once making a joke about how Stephen King just looks at an item in the room (in their example a desk lamp) and decides that will be the topic of his next book. It's kind of hard to argue with that when he starts writing about grass. At least when he wrote about corn back in the day he threw some evil children into the mix as well. The result is a pretty unwatchable film on this occasion.
These are the laziest types of stories in existence. Nothing is explained and of course anything that you need to drive your story forward can and will happen. Time travel? Sure. Teleportation? Why not. And if a character dies in one scene, don't worry they'll likely be back in the next. Add in that the characters were about as bland as they ever come and you have yourself a pretty unenjoyable movie. In fact it is almost impossible to root for or care about a single character in this movie because less than zero time is spent building them up as characters.
Even Patrick Wilson, one of my favourite actors working today, couldn't save this mess unfortunately - although I'll give him credit, he did try valiantly. There's just nothing good here. It's a movie that repeats itself over and over and has nothing to say about anything. It is as pointless as films come. I'm very glad this one came to Netflix, because I'm the sucker who probably would've paid to see it in cinemas and been very disappointed. Avoid this one.
A horror masterpiece
I only finished 'Midsommar' 15 minutes ago and I'm already obsessed with it. What an incredible film. It's 2 and a half hours long and still the ending snuck up on me. I thought to myself it can't be over already. That's how much I enjoyed this movie. I was entranced by it. I was hanging on every line, every action, every facial expression trying to pick up clues and work out where this was going. What a blast this was to watch.
Ari Aster is one of the best filmmakers working at the moment. His films are somehow arty and yet entertaining at the same time. That's not easy to pull off. The creativity he uses in almost every scene of his movies never ceases to blow me away, and I'm not someone who usually notices things like that. He's not afraid to experiment with risky ideas either, and why should he be considering he pulls it off almost every single time. Also the little details that he includes along the way to foreshadow things are incredible. He's possibly the best foreshadower working today.
I almost never rewatch films but I think I will have to check out the director's cut for this one. Considering some of the incredibly gruesome stuff they left in (including one of the toughest scenes I've ever had to watch) I can't even imagine what they cut out. That should be a real treat. Also the entire cast were phenomenal but I have to give special credit to Florence Pugh. She blew me away in every scene she was in. I can't recommend 'Midsommar' highly enough. Please see this film.
3 from Hell (2019)
Not polished, but it does the trick
There's been a lot of talk lately about how strange the movie 'Joker' is because it asks you to side with a villainous mass-murderer. 'Three From Hell' says you think that's crazy? How about we take the three worst human beings ever to walk the earth and ask you to side with them? And it is a really strange thing to do. The whole movie you keep thinking, I can't wait for these guys to get their comeuppance, and then as the end gets nearer and nearer you are reminded that you're on these guy's side (or at least meant to be). It's a strange feeling.
It blows me away that 'House of 1000 Corpses' came out 16 years ago. I remember watching that film as a 12 year old and being really bothered by it. It wasn't even the violence so much as the bleakness. I remember I didn't know any of the cast members and all I wanted in the world was to recognise someone from another movie so that I could remind myself this wasn't real. 16 years later it's the opposite. I know these actors well now, but the violence levels are very high and can even make a seasoned horror veteran like myself feel uncomfortable at times.
The problem this film faces is that in 2019 there are so many ultra-violent movies out there that it is hard to separate yourself. What would have been shocking 16 years ago no longer is. I personally did get what I wanted out of this movie though. It was a simple plot, and gave us a chance to revisit these characters one last time (maybe, or maybe not). The movie isn't as polished as some other Rob Zombie movies and feels a bit rushed at times. For example a couple of times characters fluff a line and yet those takes still made the final cut. Still though, I had a good time with 'Three From Hell' and I think most Zombie lovers will be satisfied enough with this third installment.
You name a genre, this movie covers it
I can't remember the last time I saw a movie that contained as many genres as 'Parasite'. The movie starts out almost like an 'Ocean's Eleven' heist film and then expands into a comedy, mystery, thriller, drama, romance, crime and even horror film. It really did have everything and it was strikingly good at all of them too.
I love a film that respects its audience. There are so many details in this movie that are crucially important and yet the film trusts its audience to notice them and acknowledge them without ramming them down our throats. There are a lot of layers to this film and I suspect for this reason its rewatch-ability factor will be very high.
The film was incredibly entertaining too. I can't think of a boring scene in this movie and yet on the surface for large parts of the film you would say not a lot is happening, at least in terms of action. Fascinating characters and brilliant dialogue are what create this. I had a great time with 'Parasite' and I think most that give it a chance will too.
A very dark and gritty look at the creation of the greatest character ever put to film
I always remember when 'The Dark Knight' was made Christopher Nolan saying that they made a decision very early on not to explore the Joker's origins. I always thought that was such brilliant decision because the less known about the character the more intriguing he is. So when I found out a 'Joker' origin movie was coming I wasn't sure how I felt about it. Interestingly, now that I've watched the film, I'm still not sure how I feel about it. It is a really well made film and I feel like that is its saving grace. If it wasn't well made people would be saying this film should never have been made.
Joaquin Phoenix gives the performance of his life. What a treat it must be for an actor to be asked to play this character (Jared Leto aside of course). He is masterful to watch and considering he's onscreen for basically every second of the two hour runtime, the fact that he never makes a misstep is quite incredible. Robert De Niro on the other hand was one of the only bad things about this movie. Completely miscast and boy has he lost his acting talents. It was quite hard to watch at times.
This is a very dark film. I'm so glad they gave them an R rating to work with. The film wouldn't be what it is without it. Be prepared though for a very depressing ride for the majority of the film. This isn't your typical upbeat 'Joker' that you're used to. It ca even be a little uncomfortable to watch at certain points. I would have really liked this to be another hour long and actually got to explore more of him once he actually became 'Joker'. It felt like we did all the hard work to get to that point and then only got a snippet of the payoff we wanted and deserved. Still though, this is a very fine film that is well worth your time and money.
An ambitious film that just can't quite stick the landing
At the very beginning of 'Bliss' comes a warning that there are a lot of flashing lights in the movie and that epileptic people should be warned. Now I'm not epileptic in any way but man did I struggle to watch the opening credits. It was almost hypnotic, I wanted to look away but couldn't. This was an early indicator that this would be a very visually unique movie. A lot of bizarre and fascinating imagery is thrown at the audience. It's not an aspect of movies I typically notice but I couldn't help but be aware of it in this case.
The film had a bit of a 'Requiem for a Dream' vibe about it, particularly early on. There is a lot of heavy drug use featured in the film - in fact that's more or less what it's about. If you want to give your children a "don't do drugs" lesson this could be a good film to throw at them. It doesn't particularly glamourise them at all, in fact it makes them look downright nasty.
The final third of this film really changes everything and makes it into an almost entirely different film. I guess it's what makes it fall into the "horror" category. To be honest that was probably my least favourite element to the film. I could see why they went that way, and it tied in beautifully with the painting that is central to the film, but it just didn't work for me. Because no other characters are ever given any screen time or introduced to us in anyway it was impossible to care about any of them, and so the end scenes had almost zero intensity.
'Bliss' is a very quick little film (sitting at about 80 minutes) that has some really interesting stuff going on, but just struggles to combine it all into a fluent package. The ideas are all there, the execution is just slightly off.
In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)
Like Benjamin Button
Most movies start out slowly and then build and build until exploding at the end. 'In the Shadow of the Moon' is the opposite. It starts out with a hiss and a roar and then slows down steadily through until the end. For the first 45 minutes to an hour I was absolutely hooked and on the edge of my seat. Then the movie hit a grinding wall and never really recovered. It went into explanation mode and that will be the death of a film's pace more often than not. Still, I had quite a good time with this film.
I'm not sure if it's a spoiler or not to say the film deals in time travel. The film reveals it reasonably early, but there is a 20-30 minute gap at the beginning of the movie where you don't know that's the case. Time travel in movies can be a very messy thing. You always get your audience asking "but what if...". It's impossible not to. There are so many connotations. I'm not sure the logic in this film was entirely flawless, but it was logical enough that it will leave most audience members satisfied. Also there's a twist at the end that throws some spanners into the works. It's a half-decent twist, but not one that is going to leave any jaws on the floor.
This is a really intriguing concept for a movie. It's been done before, but not exactly like this. I love all the thinking it leaves its audience to do after the credits roll. Some strong acting also aides this movie in being extremely watchable, particularly in the first half. I had a really good time with 'In the Shadow of the Moon' and I think most viewers will find at least some aspect of it that they will enjoy too.
Just not good in any way
'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' exemplifies everything that is wrong with the horror genre. There are some really good horror movies out there going unnoticed, while garbage like this gets a cinematic release. Fake jump-scares, bad looking monsters, slow-moving monsters (didn't we work out they weren't scary 20 years ago) and horrible characters. This was not a fun viewing to sit through.
The concept in this movie is quite deceptive. To the naked eye is might appear clever and creative, but when you actually think about it it is incredibly lazy. A book where whatever is written down actually happens. So basically no limitations and no need to structure your story or create plausible reasons for anything to happen. Genius. No, it's simple and incredibly lazy and anyone with half a brain should see right through it.
How do people fall for these cheap horror movies that have no depth? It's like people have forgotten how good horror can actually be when it is done right. 'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' is not a film I would recommend. There are infinitely better watches available out there.
Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019)
Terrible cast with no plot makes this a disappointment
Zach Galifianakis is a bit of an anomaly to me. He can be absolutely hilarious in a movie, or he can be atrociously unfunny. And the key to which isn't usually the writing, it's the supporting cast. In 'The Hangover' for example (and don't get me wrong that movie did have fantastic writing) he was acting with not only brilliant actors, but actors who knew how to work off him. In 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie' the cast he is given to work with on the road trip section of the story is about is as bad as they come.
The movie really is rocks and diamonds. When he interviews celebrities it is comedy gold, the rest of the movie though is bordering on garbage. I mean there really isn't anything apparent in terms of a plot and so all the movie has to go on is jokes, and then Galifianakis is the only one who even tries to say anything funny. It's almost like no one wanted to upstage him and so basically they did nothing. It makes for some extremely bland viewing at times.
The fact that this isn't completely unwatchable is down to just how good the Two Ferns concept is. If you enjoy the skits then you are going to at least semi enjoy yourself. You'll basically just be like I was, which is frustrated waiting for the next one to come along. With some more care and effort and a better cast this could have been something decent.
Scott shines in a shocking and twisted horror film
Seann William Scott was my favourite actor growing up. I was bordering on obsessed with his portrayal of 'Stifler' in the 'American Pie' movies. And even though he didn't have a major role in it, he was in 'Final Destination' one of my favourite movies when I was younger. After that though he's never really been able to find another role that suited him so perfectly. I think he was so damned good as 'Stifler' that even now, 20 years later, he is still type-cast. I guess it was only a matter of time before he turned to a more serious role, and let me tell you, it wasn't half bad.
'Bloodline' makes it very clear very early on that this film is not afraid to go to some dark and shocking places. One of the things the audience is forced to watch in graphic detail early on will stick with me for a while. This continues throughout the film, mostly in the form of excessive violence. I really enjoyed that side of things. To me it showed the passion this character had in regards to what he was doing.
Something the movie does very well is show just how tough having a newborn baby is. In fact I thought to myself during the movie that the true horror story here is actually what they're having to deal with in terms of the baby. Something else I noticed in certain scenes is that Scott is capable of possessing incredibly intense eyes. The stares he gives at certain moments are quite captivating to watch.
There's a lot to like about 'Bloodline' but the biggest concern I'd suggest is the film lacks in conflict a little, especially though the first half. When you look back on it everything went a little too smoothly, and even when the film sets itself up with something hanging out the back of a trunk, it doesn't come to anything. The second half of the film becomes more aware of this and puts it right however.
I would recommend not reading th IMDb synopsis if you haven't already. I'm not sure why they phrased it that way but it is very poor and should be removed. 'Bloodline' is a dark, twisty and shocking horror movie where you never know what is going to happen next. Scott puts his heart and soul into his performance and never phones it in and the result is a very good film that I would highly recommend watching.
Deadpool 2 (2018)
Now THIS is how superhero movies should be made
I'm the first to admit I am not a big fan of superhero movies. They take themselves way too seriously, are all the same and are way too easy to write (because whatever power a hero needs to get the job done, he always conveniently has - something that is wonderfully made fun of in 'Deadpool 2'). The only superhero movies I have ever really enjoyed were 'Batman' when Christopher Nolan was making his trilogy. But now even 'Batman' films have become terrible sadly. That's why 'Deadpool' is such an incredibly refreshing character. Not only does he not take himself seriously, he knows how stupid all the others are for doing just that and makes fun of them accordingly.
This movie is flat out hilarious. It's one of those films where you aren't finished laughing at one joke before the next one is being thrown at you. It's actually exhausting (in a good way). I lost count of all the great quotes in this film. I kept thinking to myself that I need to remember them, but eventually there were just too many to do that. The writing on this movie is phenomenal.
If 'Deadpool' were a serious character I would be very frustrated by the fact that he basically can't die or be hurt (what would be the point right?). But because of the way the film sets itself up, it doesn't bother me in the slightest. In fact it just leaves more time for hilarity. The soundtrack on this movie is also amazing. 'Deadpool' is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen and if you're like me and don't like superhero movies usually, give this one a try. I suspect you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Love, Simon (2018)
Wonderful characters drive a strong story
The biggest strength that 'Love, Simon' possesses is its characters. So much care and effort has gone into each and every one of them. There are no throwaway characters simply put there to advance the plot. Each serves a purpose, yet each also contains a soul. It makes for wonderful viewing. Every scene is filled with so much depth and purity because of it. Films like this are a pleasure to watch.
I also loved the mystery element to the film. I had never read the book (in fact didn't even know this was based on a book until after seeing it) so I got the thrill of genuinely experiencing the mystery as the film went along. In an already very strong movie this was a nice icing on the cake.
The film's conscience isn't always what I'd like it to be. Sometimes characters do things and get off too lightly, and other times characters do things and get punished too severely. I guess this is probably true to the real world, but in the movie world it is often nice for people to the get the justice they deserve, one way or the other. Otherwise though this is a very hard film to fault. A great cast, playing great characters, in a great story. What more could you ask for?