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John Wick (2014)
John Wick is the slowest assassin ever
John Wick is a film like HUNDREDS of others based on a retired assassin efficiently dispatching nameless thugs in the quest to save a loved one or to exact revenge. John Wick is a parody of all of them.
Over the top, yet barely pushing a boundary, the terrible fight choreography is too laughable to watch through without groaning and the Russian accents are embarrassing to listen to.
For a film based on heavy violence and fight scenes, John Wick somehow moves slower than an old man. In fact, Liam Neeson in "Take a Commuter Cold Walk All Night In The Tombstones" moves faster. The John Wick fight scenes are like watching a senior fumble around with another old man while said old man barely makes an attempt to fight back. Some scenes the thugs actually pause before throwing a blow just so Keanu Reeves can catch up and block it. It's pretty painful.
While it is still a relatively fun movie, it's hard to tell if it's "so bad it's good". Or that it's so bad it's hard to look away? Either way, use a silencer John. You're the clumsiest, loudest and slowest assassin I've ever seen.
Just an fyi, if people started demanding higher quality films from Hollywood by not paying for this insulting trash - you would get a decent assassin movie. Instead, we get Liam Neeson in Taken 7 or Keanu Reeves in John Wick 5.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
A mistress with no evil
I just don't understand why Disney did this.
The Lion King remake was essentially word-for-word, scene-for-scene remade. Lady and the Tramp, The Jungle Book, Aladdin - the same. Likenesses are kept, character personalities are respected and the stories are more or less the same as their originals.
Then there's the Maleficent/Sleeping Beauty live-action version(s). Elle Fanning is distractingly miscast as Sleeping Beauty - who can't command a screen - let alone bring Aurora, the original Disney Princess to life. She's dimwitted and irritating to watch.
The Prince is completely uncharming, scraggly and simply an unlikable weasel of a boy.
The Fairies are CGI disasters and completely unfunny, and uninteresting - where as they steal the show in the original animated film.
And then there's Maleficent, one of the best, and most evil villains of all time. She's been inexcusably reduced to a socially awkward comedy fairy (not even a witch like in the original). Angelina Jolie is perfectly cast - yet written with comedy instead of darkness. Her painful jokes don't land - altho inexplicably has many written for her in the script. This Maleficent doesn't seem to have an evil bone in her body. I really don't understand any of this.
The whole thing is a disgrace and deserves a respectable remake like the other Disney movies.
The Hunt (2020)
Completely unfunny, insultingly half-baked, plotless, unclever, boring and painfully desperate to be relevant.
The Hunt is a rip-off of the 1997 movie, (an actually decent movie) The Game. The only difference is The Hunts cringe-worthy attempt at comedy, and the rank smell of desperation.
The Hunt tries so hard to be American social and political commentary that it beats you over the head with it while still not having a clue what to do with it or where to go with it. It's as though the writers plopped themselves in front of the news for a day and made a check list. Their effort and brain-power ends there.
This is the lazy simpleton mindset that America is becoming known for and proud of - so it's no shocker that American audiences are eating it up. A whole bunch of talk with no substance. A shell.
For the rest of us, it's completely unwatchable.
Gretel & Hansel (2020)
A dark and distinct new telling of a cheesy classic
A dark, coming-of-age retelling of a story that desperately needed an adult version.
Set during the Medieval era of the 1300's, where patriarchy and poverty was rampant, Gretel and Hansel are cast aside by their mentally ill mother. Left to fend for themselves, they set off into the woods in search of foresters to work for. This, making the pair perfect prey for The Witch.
This is a dark and captivating film that requires active watching to really absorb the atmosphere, the play-write style dialogue and in order to appreciate details that make this film so good.
Alice Krige is perfectly cast - as the menacing, off-putting, riddle-mouthed witch.
A darkly saturated, creepy and inviting twist that fans of Hereditary or Midsommar would love - if you let it!
Rooting for the gators
From the very beginning, the cringe starts and...it...is....RELENTLESS. With terrible dialogue and even worse acting, I just wanted the gators to eat them faster.
This cringe-fest starts off with an insultingly obvious introduction that will beat you over the head with the idea that she's a "good swimmer". Then, it will slap you across the face with cheesy father/daughter dialogue only to further ensure you've understood that she's "a really good swimmer".
The obvious attempt at fear-through-claustrophobia with the characters stuck in a basement fails miserably and only makes the main characters "super swimming skills" even more useless as she jumps and climbs from one pipe to another. Really utilizing those skills we've been beat over the head with.
On top of that, she's been born with healing powers that she must have got from her father who has more blood in him than a donation clinic. It's a pathetic work of cinema that insults its audience at every turn. "Did we mention she's a good swimmer?"
Crawl had no business being anything but a syfy channel weekend movie, even then Sharknado is probably better as it doesn't take itself as seriously as this POS did.
The Walking Dead (2010)
No quality writers anymore
What was once televisions most epic series, and the show that arguably started the trend towards higher budget tv series - now sees a plummeting viewership and budget.
Actors and writers on the show have been asking to end their contracts early at a record rate - unheard of for such a high rated show. The reason is always the same though - due to the lack of quality writing.
The show says that Negan has caused viewership to take a hit because he's just so good at being bad. A delusional response, showing just how much the powers that be won't take responsibility for how they've failed this project and it's fans. Really? You think a well written villain is responsible for loss of viewers?
Actually, viewership declined in part because Negan is just so damn annoying. Between his long-winded, over dramatic and childish dialogue, to his annoyingly cheesy catch phrases - he is one of the worst characters of this comic book adaptation. Like a sore thumb, he sticks out as the writers desperately try to make his character fit in. Essentially they're re-writing his character in order to keep Negan around. It's painful and insulting to watch.
The show forgot what it was about, and like the walkers - there is no more meat left on this carcass.
The Invisible Man (2020)
A Dark Universe leftover
A fun thriller that can't escape its intentions to be a part of Universal's Dark Universe before that plan was scrapped.
The Invisible Man tries to make it on its own, attempting to make sense of the nonsensical, but all the while the left over ideas and plot from the Dark Universe are apparent and take the movie from a reality into a fantasy land.
Elizabeth Moss's character makes stupid and unrealistic choices and the ex boyfriend seems to have super human strength, agility and speed that I found distracting.
Even with the weird and unrealistic plot - it's still a fun dark, slightly sci-fi thriller.
A snooze fest
A snooze fest of a film aspiring to be another "Alien" without putting in the work, Underwater feels like eating air. Once it was over, I literally felt nothing. It was as if it never happened.
Sure the action starts early with an earthquake putting the characters in danger right off the bat, but with that, each character is as forgettable as the next. Essentially numbers - not people.
The audio is muffled and inaudible (to mimic ...you guessed it...being underwater). Continuing with that Blair Witch underwater theme - the visuals are dark, shaky, and filmed with a green hue. Couple that with a continuous blinking - and this leaves you straining to hear what's being said from one underwater spacesuit to the other, and straining to see what the heck is happening.
Underwater will leave you as expressionless and complacent as Kristen Stewart's acting.
I See You (2019)
We complain that Hollywood doesn't make original movies anymore...well...enter I See You.
Helen Hunt is fantastic as a confused and slightly creepy mom trying to fix the family she had broken with an infidelity.
A dark, atmospheric thriller- set up similar to Hereditary...a family in degradation with other forces at play. The film then jumps from genre to genre making it impossible to guess the ending. So much so that the cheap tricks used to distract you feel a bit insulting in the end.
On the other hand, when most films made in the last decade don't even bother putting in the amount of intricate plot mechanics as I See You does...it's definitely worth a watch.
Black Christmas (2019)
Having nothing to do with the original - yet shares the same name. Black Christmas is an obnoxious attempt at a feminist, believe-her statement that forgets what made the original so good.
Trying so hard to be thoughtful with literally zero thought put into it. This version is boringly written, rushed, one-dimensional, cheap, chock full of child-safe kills and entirely suspense-less. Fake and inept at times it makes 2006's remake suddenly seem like a masterpiece.
For a feminist piece, it's ironic that the women are cliche, anonymous and interchangeable. An obvious attempt at a "Get Out" for women, this just sucks at every turn.
Make it fun: take a shot every time a character uses a term like "white supremacist patriarchy". You'll at least be drunk through this mess.
Worst "journalist" ever
Another documentary with potential ruined by Stephanie Bauer. She boasts "over a decade of investigative journalist experience". (That experience she brags about is from Access Hollywood...and it shows.)
Cringeworthy and self-involved - she interjects her own assumptions that no one asked for and asks vapid obvious questions to ensure she gets her face on screen. She gets in the way of the story at every turn.
Hopefully a quality professional team retells these stories, because they have potential to be very interesting.
I love crime documentaries, you are usually left with something. A feeling in your gut. Outrage. Sadness. Intrigue. This documentary had a lot of potential based on the context of several unsolved crimes within a few years - within one small community. The downfall of this series is the wanna-be journalist, Stephanie Bauer. She unfortunately lacks integrity, credibility, or an engaging personality. She narrates every step of the way which ironically gets in the way of the actual story telling.
A cringey, painful onscreen presence - she completely ruined any opportunity for anything to surface. She asks pre-formed calculated questions that she either already knew the answer to or knew the answer she wanted. The series feels contrived, meddling, staged and lacking any substance.
It's filmed like Pawn Stars. This is no Netflix documentary.
Quickly bleeds out.
A dramatic and darkly filmed first and second episodes that absolutely demand your vampire-loving attention. It's everything Dracula. Checking all of the boxes: A dark labyrinthine castle. Locals terrified of the lore that surrounds the castle. Vampire brides. Blood. Candles. Bats. So many bats.
Opposite Dracula is Sister Agatha, a mouthy nun with Van Helsing blood and a refreshing yet wavering faith. It's fun to watch the two quip together on screen...
....and then episode 3 happens. Or doesn't happen, depending on how you look at it.
Episode three takes place hundreds of years later - in present day - and it's like a different show. Gone is the weirdness, darkness and humour of the previous two episodes. Instead it's just a lot of Dracula getting used to the 21st century (insert hilarity here). The writer loses EVERYTHING he just built and leaves it all behind for nonsensical, unnecessary, one-note and vapid characters with a Twilight-esque tragic teen love story that no one asked for - and the show certainly did not earn. The end.
I feel like I was scammed. A total let down and I'm still kind of mad about it.
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
Soul-sucking 90's vibe
James Cameron better rethink his Avatar 5-movie franchise if he thinks this is quality.
Dark Fate would have been a fantastic sequel to Judgement Day if it were released a couple years after the '91 sequel to Terminator. Instead, this soulless script and computer-generated children's collage is what James thinks is good film making almost 2 decades later.
Unfortunately, the 90's must be where his head is stuck - back in his hay-day - completely oblivious to the fact that audiences have since matured, are smarter and demand better stories than the repetitive, recycled and tedious script he signed off on for Dark Fate.
A promising film that just gets less and less interesting as it chugs along.
By the time the super powers are revealed and the "freaks" are explained, it doesn't add up to much, and it's way too predictable. The childish plot feels like an episode of (insert any comic-based TV series here) and the powers that make "Freaks" freaks feels like cheap plot fluffer in order to satisfy audiences in a world of Marvel mania...only it won't.
From the half way point on, I was bored. Very suspect that the reviews for this movie all sound the same and the people giving this film a 10 only have one review on their account and it's for this film.
Ready or Not (2019)
Stupid, but fun.
While it's a fun watch, it's not very original....but then...audiences aren't exactly begging Hollywood for original screenplays these days are they? (ahem...Marvel movies...I'm looking at you)....
Although she played it well, I find it odd that Samara Weaving is playing the exact same character as she did in Mayhem. Another horror/psycho-comedy with essentially the same plot. Ready or Not is also similar to "I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore" and both Mayhem and IDFAHITWA are better than this.
Yes, it's a stupid movie, but it's a fun stupid movie.
Stay curious friends!
A fun, colourful movie, by the same creator as the Despicable Me franchise.
While Smallfoot has one too many cheap slap-stick gags and poop jokes for me - it's still a breath of fresh mountain air. When Disney's constant cliche moral reminder is to "follow your heart", WB's Smallfoot takes a modern direction, reminding youth to ask questions and not to just blindly believe what people tell you.
It's clear from some of the reviews, that this path makes some adults uncomfortable. Hmm, wonder why? (ahem....I'm looking at you religious fallacy). But that means it's successful.
I enjoy Smallfoot. It's a cute pic, that any kid is sure to enjoy whether they take anything from it or not.
The Addams Family (2019)
this is not the Addams Family
This adaptation completely disregards (or forgets??) who the Addams' are, and the charm is gone.
The Addams Family are - as the song goes - mysterious and spooky. They delight in the macabre, BUT are unaware that other people find them bizarre or frightening. THAT'S THE COMEDY OF THE ENTIRE FRANCHISE.
This adaptation slaps the franchise in the face and gives us a fluffy, cheery and unrecognizable versions of the characters we've loved for years.
This family is desperate to fit in with the rest of society. They're aware of their own gags. Lurch plays pop music. Grand-mama (called Grandma in this version) even says she loves her Grandkids and has the hots for Fabio. Pugsley is just an annoying kid like any other. I don't know who these characters are, but they are not The Addams Family.
The story is flat and the villain-turned-voyeur is just bizarre.
The illustration style is taken from the original 1930's comic strips - which is a great touch - but nothing else, and I mean NOTHING else works here.
Bad Santa 2 (2016)
Know what kind of christmas party you're going to...
It's Bad Santa 2. Twice as dirty, twice as offensive, twice as shocking and twice as hilarious.
It's not often a dirty, foul mouthed and dark comedy film like this is actually well done...complete with jokes that actually land!
Know what kind of Christmas party you are walking into - this is a crazy one - and embrace it!
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
Zoey Duetch single-handedly ruined this movie for me. Not one moment was she funny, entertaining, important or needed. A totally cliche valley-girl - with the same cheap dumb-blonde gags that have been around since the dawn of time. Anyone who thought her character was funny, is clearly also missing a few brain cells.
Have you ever been to a bar when a drunk bachelorette party shows up? Completely taking over the bar and annoying the crap out of everyone in it including the staff? This felt very much like that.
"Double Tap," is a slow and painful repeat of the original, doesn't advance the story in any manner and has way more dialogue than it does action.
So many additional and useless characters are added this time around, that most of them are just standing around.
It's just alright.
The Grinch (2018)
Completely, 100% miscast. Every single character is miscast in this bland retelling of Dr. Seuss's classic.
Benedict Cumberbatch's American accent is deep, inconsistent and weird.
Rashida Jones has no business lending her voice to any animated feature. Bland and monotone, she's not exactly known for being an over the top, fun character actor. Why her of all actresses?
Kenan Thompson....is Kenan Thompson. Offers nothing interesting or fantastical in the world of Whoville. He just sounds like he's phoning in another SNL character.
Pharrel Williams was a last minute addition as narrator - and it shows. He sleeps his way through this...I think if you listen closely you may even hear him yawn.
The animation is colourful, yet feels stiff. They've smoothed over Dr. Seuss's classic illustration style, leaving the Who's of Whoville unrecognizable as Suess characters. Is the Grinch still the Grinch without his iconic grimace? Nope. Now he's just a cuddly, green Q-Tip that no one asked for.
Black Christmas (1974)
"where did you put the baby?"
A creepy film that somehow has stood the test of time.
Black Christmas' eery and subtle creepiness sets an extremely dark atmosphere that has yet to be matched by any horror or psychological thriller since.
While there a plot holes that are often overlooked in old movies and goof-ball characters that add unneeded silliness, these aspects are totally forgiven when you consider how great the rest of the film is shot.
From creepy lines, to slow moving shadows and abhorrent language - Black Christmas is so thoughtfully done - I can't get enough of it.
Like Micheal Meyers in Halloween, Billy in Black Christmas isn't explained - he just is. No back story needed, no flashbacks required, Billy is an insane creep....because he is. That's the beauty of this original thriller/horror.
A Christmas Carol (2009)
One of the better adaptations
If you were to Google how many adaptations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol there are, you'd be astonished at the ridiculous amount of terrible attempts there have been, to retell this iconic story.
This version is one of the better tellings. As dark and thoughtful as it was intended.
While Jim Carey definitely helps lift the story and adds an intensity that the story calls for - the rest of the cast are unnecessary. Gary Oldman, Robin Wright, Colin Firth, Cary Elwes bring nothing to the table, nor would you even know they were in the film had you not recognized their likenesses used in the animation, or read the credits.
Although the animation feels stiff, it helps create a more extravagant story - allowing Scrooge to go on a bigger adventure.
The biggest issue I have with this rendition, are the 3 spirits. One whispering in a bizarre and cringeworthy way - and the other's boisterous laughter is grating on the nerves - both equally as disjointed and unpleasant in their own way.
For a classic story that has been told to death - and despite its short comings, this is one of the few successful ones I enjoy every year!
The Report (2019)
Review the film, not ur politics
The point of reviewing films isn't to hate a well written, well acted and well told story based on your own political agenda. That's not really how film reviews work. Having an issue with the story told, is not a review. Go write a blog.
No matter your political views, this old-school political thriller explores matters of vital importance to our present time. Adam Driver, Annette Benning and the rest of the cast all played their roles flawlessly. Reminiscent of films like Spotlight - the story is told at a steady pace, keeping you engaged and quite possibly outraged....yet not surprised at the conduct of Government Officials internal coverups, here...and throughout history.
A quick, riveting, thought provoking film brimming with authenticity, offering viewers an opportunity to question law and order.
Donnie Brasco (1997)
It's no Good Fella's
It's a great movie, but regardless, it still has that slight feeling of a Scorsese rip off. It's just missing something.
Some of the film feels disjointed and unnecessary. It lacks a certain smoothness.
Regardless, the story, actors and plot are engaging and likeable enough to warrant a few watches - if you like gangster movies.