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Movie Review: Black Panther

February 21, 2018

So I finally got to see a 2018 film and damn was this one worth the wait. The eighteenth film in the Marvel Studios library easily claws into my personal top 5 MCU films. I’ve been a Black Panther fan ever since reading his initial 60’s adventures with the Fantastic Four and Avengers, and this is exactly the film the character deserved. Not to mention Ryan Coogler is now three for three as a director.

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Acting is fantastic across the board, with so many newcomers just stealing scenes left and right. Winston Duke breathes new life into a less then great comic character while Letitia Wright helps establish a refreshingly realistic brother sister relationship after seven season of that dragons and incest show.

I can’t praise Ryan Coogler enough here as both writer and director he managed to stay within the Marvel machine while also filtering in some really powerful messages that seem to be an evolution of the messages he put into his previous films. I really hope he comes back for a sequel, but I’ll watch his next film regardless of what it is. A+ filmmaker.

The story here is almost what I wanted the earlier Thor films to be in that it’s less about Black Panther and more about the country of Wakanda as a whole. The characters never took a back seat though, it was all about how they affected the future of their country. Speaking of characters I have to call it, Killmonger is the best MCU villain we’ve ever had. His methods are awful, but you totally get where he’s coming from and even Black Panther himself is swayed by Killmonger’s arguments.

The score is phenomenal. I know everyone was talking about the Kendrick Lamar soundtrack before the film came out, but the Ludwig Goransson score can’t be oversold. There’s honestly no contest from the music of other Marvel films.

All films have flaws and for Black Panther that lies in the special effects. For the most part all of the vibranium tech looks pretty amazing, but when the action scenes started I did get some not good video game cutscene vibes. It’s a minor gripe in a film that does everything else so well, but I still would have liked to see the action more fully realized.

Overall this is a fantastic film and hopefully the start of an amazing trilogy. 9/10

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2018 Oscar Best Picture Nominee Reviews

February 15, 2018

The 90th Academy Awards will be soon upon us and lo I have finally managed to see all nine Best Picture nominees. Throughout the year I generally avoid watching any films that I’m not expressly interested in, and that exception every year is for the Best Picture category. I can’t say I hated any of these films, but I’m certainly glad I made myself watch a few of these. I present them in order from my least favorite to most favorite.

darkest-hour-one-sheet-600x888Darkest Hour: Man I’m like really over World War II films. Gary Oldman is amazing to be sure, but the film he’s trapped in waivers in between boring and cheesey. Who thought that awful Roosevelt voice was okay? Directing is fine, it’s the script that really drags here. Having us sit through so many meetings I imagined the film was be fairly faithful to history, but then a scene in the third act happened and I had to add huge grains of salt to everything I learned in this. I mean obviously I wasn’t alive back then, but I’d bet money that it didn’t fucking happen like this. The make up was amazing, could barely tell it was Oldman so long as he stayed sitting. Score was, forgettable I guess since I can’t remember any of it now except for the echoing sounds of a typewriter. Overall it’s not a bad film, but it is insulating to see it here in the Best Picture category. 7.5/10

mv5bztzjyzu2ntktntdmni00otm0ltg5mdgtngfjogmznjy0mdk5xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymtmxodk2otu-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: So yeah don’t hate me but after all the hype behind this film I came away from it thinking it was really overrated. Acting is just as amazing as you heard, Frances Mcdormand really stealing the show in particular. The pacing felt off, some of the plot points felt oddly out of place and most of the dialogue just didn’t sound authentic to me. Like this film clearly took place in small town America as imagined by a European, and that inauthentic aspect really didn’t sit well with me. I’m really disappointed in this film after seeing In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, the director’s previous films. Three Billboards was more ambitious then his last two, but the landing was not stuck even half as well. 8/10

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dtr7ygtwkaa_ipaThe Post: This was the last on my list of Best Picture nominees to see for a long time. I love Spielberg, Streep, and Hanks, but this didn’t seem like a very interesting subject for a film. Acting is top notch to be sure, but everything else just seems like Spielberg is just going through the motions. I dunno, I just don’t really feel the passion that he apparently had for the material. I will say that the story was an important one, and not exactly an easy one to build a film around. John Williams is also great here as well, keeping the many dialogue scenes flowing with a building sense of urgency. Overall everyone involved has been better elsewhere, but The Post is still a great film that will be sure to grace the screens of classrooms in the future. 8.25/10

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call-me-by-your-name-film-poster-2017Call Me By Your Name: This is a film that’s sad as fuck. It’s appropriately slow as the romance builds. The acting is amazing, I understand the buzz surrounding Timothee Chalamet and I finally liked Armie Hammer in something. The film is beautiful to look at, but I’m not sure if the cinematography is really that good or if the Italian countryside is just that amazing to look at. Story is pretty simple, boy meets guy, nudity and awkwardness follow suit. It’s a story I’ve seen several times before, the one twist here being that it’s boy meets man instead of girl. That being said this film did hit me squarely in the feels and put that one scene from American Pie to utter shame. I also loved the seemingly realistic bilingual dialogue transitions, something about that made the whole film feel just that much more real. 8.5/10

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71jtsjqarcl-_sl1436_Dunkirk: Now this is a damn war film. I admittedly didn’t want to watch either World War Two film this year, but leave it to Nolan to really deliver. He still hasn’t topped Momento for me personally but this is far superior to Interstellar. All of the actors give great performances, but there’s no characters here really. Just a bunch of men stripped down to basic survival instincts in an impossible situation together. Darkest Hour handled all the stuffy big picture stuff while Dunkirk puts you right into the sand and the water and makes you understand what it’s like to be on the losing end of a war. Story here in interesting as it’s told from three different perspectives operating on three different time scales. The structure is why don’t don’t really get to spend enough to with any one character, but it does allow you to fully take in the scope of what happened back then. Overall this war film is worthy of it’s nomination, though I highly doubt it wins. 9/10

ff_getout_final_sm_1024x1024Get Out: A topical horror thriller film nominated for an Oscar? They really did change up their voting base huh? I loved Get Out, edge of of your seat tension wrapped up in a creepy mystery. Acting is fantastic all around, directing is so much better then a debut should be, and the chilling score is just icing on the cake. My favorite aspect of Get Out may be just how rewatchable it is. You read every single scene differently a second time around and that only adds to the building tension. If it truly deserves any award it would be Best Original Screenplay, this plot was just that tight. It has an outside chance of winning in the Best Picture category too, it probably pushes too many buttons to actually take the prize but I’d say it’s one of three front runners. I can only hope that if nothing else it’ll be the first of many future nominations for Jordan Peele’s work. 9.5/10

midnight_waterThe Shape of Water: I loved this film and I think it’s endlessly hilarious that a film about a woman fucking a fish man is considered one of the best films of the year. Low brow comments aside this film features amazing performances from the entire cast, superb directing from a uniquely passionate director and breathtaking effects both practical and CGI. Sally Hawkins steals the show, but really the entire cast work in unison to pull you under into this dark fairytale romance. I would easily say that this is del Toro’s best film in years, though Pan’s Labyrinth is still my personal favorite. I wouldn’t have thought it’s chances of winning would be too high except that it has the most nominations this year, thirteen. With that in mind this beautiful and strange film must be considered a front runner. 9.75/10

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il_570xn-1424615355_g13bLady Bird: No Best Picture category is complete without an emotional coming of age story and Lady Bird delivers that flavor in spades. The mother daughter relationship is at the center of the plot and as a man who grew up with two younger sisters also in the early 2000’s this rang so true. There’s also an underlying theme of class disparity that worked really well for me as a lifelong poor. The acting is amazing, both Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf play off of each other so well. Greta Gerwig has proven to be a great director and possibly an even better screenwriter. Overall this was a film that succeeded at literally everything it set out to do. A rare female coming of age story that wasn’t just a mean girls comedy. I can’t say I appreciated my youth being turned into a period piece, but I can’t really fault it for making me feel old. 9.75/10, also a front runner in this three horse race.

brian-veePhantom Thread: The sky is still blue, grass is still green, and Daniel Day-Lewis is still a God amongst actors. That being said Lesley Manville and Vicky Krieps match him beat for beat. Paul Thomas Anderson directs here and it’s exactly the type of film he seems to have been building toward. It’s a romance at its core, but a dark and subversive one with several layers, one might even say phantom threads. The film is intentionally slow as fuck as the audience is pulled into this dreamlike world of high fashion in 1950’s London, you almost don’t notice the slow turn the film is taking until it’s too late. Sorta makes for a nice companion piece to mother! in terms of films about relationships with obsessive creative men. Overall this film was beautiful, dark, and thought provoking. 10/10 Should win hands down, but I don’t think it has a chance against the front runners.

 

Now with all of those out of the way, I would like to present my updated Top Ten of 2017. With this I leave you. See you again when my Black Panther review gets written.

  1. Phantom Thread 10/10
  2. The Killing of a Scared Deer 10/10
  3. Logan 10/10
  4. Blade Runner 2049 9.75/10
  5. Lady Bird 9.75/10
  6. The Shape of Water 9.75/10
  7. Get Out 9.5/10
  8. Baby Driver 9/10
  9. Dunkirk 9/10
  10. Brigsby Bear 9/10

Movie Review – Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017)

January 20, 2018

91jjb8vgul-_ri_sx200_So Netflix just picked up this little animated gem that I am retroactively ashamed to have missed in theaters. It’s a fourth wall breaking novel adaption that’s heavily inspired by comic book tropes and elementary school humor. I remember these books being a big thing when I was in my youth and once again I am retroactively ashamed of not reading them back then.

Voice cast is great, lots of grade a comedians allowed to play it at eleven. Pacing is fast and steady with almost most every cut leading to another hilarious joke. Story was low brow jokes mixed with some high brow ideas which was refreshing compared to what I expected from this film. Score was good overall, but the theme song being performed by Weird Al Yankovic was absolute gold.

Overall this film is super dumb but I also found it super funny and made me nostalgic for my elementary school years. Probably won’t work as well for most people but stoners don’t stand a chance. 9/10 Tralalalaaa!

Movie Review: Heathers (1989)

January 16, 2018

8f94ec1a641b4391058047df63324df5-film-poster-poster-artWell fuck me gently with a chainsaw, how have I never seen this before? Yeah sure I was less then a year old when it first came out, but this is such a nutty movie it should have come on my raydar well before Netflix picked it up.

Acting is 80’s cheese and it’s just so very. Plot is super subversive and hilarious, though it kinda did take a while to really get going. Dialogue is full of some of the most amazing 80’s slang I’ve ever heard, not to mention how quotable the whole film is. It’s sorta like Mean Girls but as a horror comedy which sounds weird I know but this is cult classic material if I’ve ever seen any before.

8.5/10, it’s dawning on me how many things that I have seen that were parodying this film. Like I found the missing link in my 80’s film knowledge base.

Best Films of 2017

December 31, 2017

Happy New Year friends! Gather round because it’s time to reminisce about films past. Sadly there are several films that probably would have made one or more of the lists below, but I just never got around to seeing them due to their limited release right before the end of the year. With that disclaimer out of the way let us move on to some of my personal favorites of the year.

Best Original Films

mv5bmju4ndcwota2nf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmje2otg4mzi-_v1_uy1200_cr9006301200_al_This was a tough section to decide on, I mean there were just so many amazing original films this year. These five stood out from among the rest for me. Though it did really hurt cutting this list down to five.

Baby Driver was an awesome car movie that featured some of the greatest editing I’ve ever seen. It almost feels like Edgar Wright just let all of his song choices do the directing. Sure it may have an unfortunate cast member, but it’s an amazing movie and he’s not in it all that much.

Get Out was racial tension the horror film, and it was damn near perfect. Edge of your seat pacing and brilliant subversion by a dozy of a directorial debut. Even if you don’t like horror you should still check out Get Out.

Brigsby Bear was weird as fuck and proved that you can have your own coming of age story no matter how old you are. This film is obsessive fan culture meets stunted social development skills. I know this won’t work for everyone, but I loved it.

The Shape of Water is about the power of love to triumph over hate, over language, over race and yes even species. This was a beautiful and dark adult fairytale made with classic musicals and monster movies in mind. I know the premise is out there, but this is master craftsmanship and it demands to be seen.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is Yorgos Lanthimos’ follow up to the very strange The Lobster and he has once again delivered an experience unlike anything else I’ve seen this year. It’s like a bizarre mix of The Shining, The Following, and just a dash of Eyes Wide Shut filtered through the direct and almost stilted script that Lanthimos also had a hand in writing and apparently used an old Greek myth as the basis for. It will make you uncomfortable, but I still highly recommend watching.

  1. The Killing of a Sacred Deer 10/10
  2. The Shape of Water 9.75/10
  3. Get Out 9.5/10
  4. Baby Driver 9/10
  5. Brigsby Bear 9/10

Best Novel Adaptations

geralds-game-movie-posterSo Stephen King was the go to author in 2017 apparently. I hear Dark Tower was super bad, but even so these three films more then make for however bad it may have been. Also good for Netflix getting so many films on my list this year.

1922 might be the darkest of the three overall, slowest too but if you’re ready for a deep dive into a dark and twisted psyche then the rats are waiting. Thomas Jane gives one of his best performances here as the film really explores the depths of this characters mind. This is the one story I haven’t read yet, but I’ll be seeking it out now for sure.

Who knew what a good combination a coming of age film and a horror film would be. Still I know IT is ranked much higher for most people, I just can’t help but miss a lot of the meat that they understandably cut out from the book. IT is still better then the poorly aged mini-series, and I’m pumped for Chapter 2 which could also change my mind about the adaption of the novel.

Gerald’s Game is the better film in my opinion, steady pace, amazing lead actress, tight plot and genuinely cringeworthy. The novel is a little bland compared to the IT novel but it’s far more geared toward the medium of film then IT ever was, hence the gruesomely accurate results. The plot is also rather timely as more and more women choose to speak out against their abusers in a trend that hopefully continues into 2018.

  1. Gerald’s Game 8.75/10
  2. IT Chapter 1 8.5/10
  3. 1922 8/10

Best Comic Adaptations

mv5bmjqwodqwntg4ov5bml5banbnxkftztgwmtk4mtazmji-_v1_2017 was loaded jam packed with comic book adaptations, so much so that I decided to not allow comic adaptations in any other subcategory. Previous years this category would be filled with every release, but this year forces me to be picky. That being said I did like all of the comic book films this year, but these five are just that much better then the three I left off.

Wonder Woman just beats out Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for the number five spot. In a world full of sequels and team ups Wonder Woman reminds me of the power of the origin story. The third act is still rough sure, but the build up was great enough to forgive that.

Thor: Ragnarok was hands down the best Thor film I’ve ever seen, and best Hulk film I’ve ever seen! Some people were bothered by all of the humor, but whatever it was a fun watch. Two self serious Thor films is more then enough for me, I much prefer this iteration. He can be serious again in Avengers if he wants.

Spider-Man: Homecoming was a refreshing breath of fresh air, best Spidy film in like thirteen years, fuck I’m old. I loved his supporting cast, loved Keaton’s Vulture, and I loved Tony’s minor but vital role. Maybe some people out are getting spider fatigue, but I’ll be here for more of this.

The Lego Batman Movie was a mile a minute crash course through almost the entire history of the character, and as someone who happens to be extremely well versed in that subject I found this lego shaped acid trip delightful to no end. Maybe a little exhausting for older folks, but I can’t recommend it enough for Bat-fans of any age.

Finally Logan was on another level, the product of a perfect storm of circumstances this was the definition of lightning in a bottle and I loved every second. Not just a perfect comic book film, but a perfect film in general. This was the send off the Jackman and Stewart deserved.

  1. Logan 10/10
  2. The Lego Batman Movie 9/10
  3. Spider-Man: Homecoming 8.75/10
  4. Thor: Ragnarok 8.75/10
  5. Wonder Woman 8.5/10

Best Remakes

it-movie-poster-1Not all remakes are created equal, and apparently there weren’t even that many this year. Has hollywood finally figured out that remakes for the most part don’t work or even interest people? Well don’t hold your breath for that just yet, my number one pick is the perfect example of a remake gone absolutely right.

The live action Beauty and the Beast was alright, kinda mediocre if I’m being honest. I’ll stick with the fresh review that I gave it, but man it really just barely earned it. The cgi furniture was the stuff of nightmares while the Beast looks less bestial for some reason. At a certain point I realized that I was just beyond bored in between the classic music numbers from the cartoon, and if I’m being honest the sounds just didn’t feel right in this version. This whole film just feels like it was a bad idea.

Kong: Skull Island was fun but mostly forgettable and nowhere near the best version of this story. Sure it had more action then the Godzilla movie from a few years ago, but the characters are even more boring then that movie save for the glorious John C. Reilly. CGI was pretty amazing though so at least there’s that.

War for the Planet of the Apes on the other hand was a vast improvement over the 1973 epic Battle for the Planet of the Apes, and a rather touching send off to Caesar the Ape. I guess a lot of people were bummed about the misdirection in the marketing, but whatever it’s still a great film.

IT though takes the prize here with captivating performances elevating the script that takes the King mythology seriously for once, streamlined as it is. All of the members of the Losers club are great little actors, but it’s ‎Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Dancing Clown that makes this film truly memorable. He wisely avoided what Tim Curry did with the character and went in a terrifying new direction that feels more in line with the novel.

  1. IT Chapter 1 8.5/10
  2. War for the Planet of the Apes 8/10
  3. Kong: Skull Island 6.75/10
  4. Beauty and the Beast 6.5/10

Best Sequels

mhzrnctd4xxnzzus83he_largeIt was a mighty year for sequels in contrast to remakes. All of the films in my list are great but two could pass for amazing if you ask me.

Alien Covenant was pretty good, though I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t just a little disappointing after all the set up that Prometheus did. That aside Fassbender is still an amazingly complex android and the new direction of the story was fairly interesting. I’d come back for a sequel, but I kinda doubt that even happens.

War for the Planet of the Apes was the rare third film in a trilogy to actually stand up to the greatness of its predecessors and stick the landing of a great ending. Maybe not as good as the previous entry in the series, but not for lack of trying.

John Wick Chapter 2 wasn’t as good as Chapter 1, but it was still kick ass and featured even more world building. Keanu is perfectly cast here and I really hope a third one happens, maybe with a more polished script next time.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi was apparently very divisive amongst fans, but I personally loved watching all of the dumb mysteries that J.J. set up just get thrown out and cut in half. Sure the casino planet derailed the pacing, but the rest of the film is pretty great. Some fanboys are just too sensitive.

Blade Runner 2049 was not a film I was looking forward to, I went to see it begrudgingly fully expecting to go on a rant about why we shouldn’t do sequels to old films like this, but holy shit this film was the real fucking deal. It’s not just an amazing sequel, but an amazing film in general crafted by a director that I will never again doubt.

  1. Blade Runner 2049 9.75/10
  2. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi 8.75/10
  3. John Wick Chapter 2 8.5/10
  4. War for the Planet of the Apes 8/10
  5. Alien Covenant 7.75/10

Best Documentaries

jim-andy-the-great-beyond-600x890You know I didn’t think I would see any documentaries when the year started, but I ended up seeing three! The subject matter of these three couldn’t be more different from each other, and they each have something different to say as a result.

So Much Damage: The History of Image Comics was if I’m being honest not very well made. It was made by the SYFY channel and while I liked all the interviews with the founders of Image Comics, there was no attempt to fact check anything they said and the whole thing was horribly edited. That being said it is the story from the horses’ mouths so that’s something.

Nobody Speak: Trails of the Free Press was a more traditional documentary with the main focus revolving around the Gawker vs Hulk Hogan court case with a few side stories involving the idea of free press, interesting but also sometimes boring.

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond–Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton might be the greatest documentary I’ve ever seen. This is all about the time that Jim Carrey was seemingly possessed by the spirit of Andy Kaufman during the filming of Man on the Moon and it’s a kind of beautiful look at the extremes of method acting. I can’t recommend this enough, for fans of either Carrey or Kaufman.

  1. Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond–Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton 9/10
  2. Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press 7/10
  3. So Much Damage: The History of Image Comics 5/10

Overall Top Seventeen Films of 2017

Now that the sub-categories are complete it’s time to run down my overall top seventeen films of 2017. I’ve already gushed over most of these films above, but there are a few on here I haven’t mentioned yet.

Wind River is a solid western mystery with a third act that defines pulse pounding. Taylor Sheridan delivers another solid script and seems to be a capable director as well. Acting is also solid across the board.

Okja, an amazing film about the dangers of GMO’s, a little girl’s bond with a super pig and animal rights among other things. This was a really powerful film and there is a scene near the middle that will break you. Bong Joon-ho made something really special here, and it’s not at all what I expected after Snowpiercer.

Finally, the highly controversial mother! I never want to see it again but I can certainly appreciate what Aronofsky was going for here. Though it’s hard to say what Aronofsky hates more, God or the ugly mass of humanity that he created. This was not a film meant to be enjoyed so if you watch it just keep in mind that Aronofsky wins if you hate it.

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The entire rest of my list has already been mentioned earlier, but before I reveal my rankings I just have to praise my number one pick just a bit more. It’s a gritty western set in a bleak future with no heroes and no hope, featuring amazing performances from three actors representing three different generations. It’s a send off of not just characters but also the actors who portrayed them. The action was awesome and the the story was sad. My favorite film of 2017 is hands down Logan.

This film was powerful and moving while delivering the absolute most brutal action we’ve ever seen from the character. It succeeded in all the ways that The Wolverine (2013) failed and James Mangold has proved himself worthy of his second chance, not that I hated The Wolverine it’s just that third act. I know there were objectively better films then this in 2017, but as a super nerd Logan checked all of my boxes. The full list is as follows.

  1. Logan 10/10
  2. The Killing of a Sacred Deer 10/10
  3. Blade Runner 2049 9.75/10
  4. The Shape of Water 9.75/10
  5. Get Out 9.5/10
  6. Baby Driver 9/10
  7. Brigsby Bear 9/10
  8. Colossal 9/10
  9. Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond 9/10
  10. Mother! 9/10
  11. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi 8.75/10
  12. The Lego Batman Movie 8.75/10
  13. Okja 8.75/10
  14. Spider-Man: Homecoming 8.75/10
  15. Thor: Ragnarok 8.75/10
  16. Gerald’s Game 8.75/10
  17. Wind River 8.5/10

Movie Review: Bright

December 27, 2017

mv5bmtcynzk5ndg1nl5bml5banbnxkftztgwntm5mdqxndm-_v1_uy1200_cr9006301200_al_So critics by and large seem to really hate this film, but I kinda liked it. Sure it’s just End of Watch with fantasy elements mixed in, but fuckin’ I live for fantasy elements. Acting was surprisingly good, I mean Will Smith could play this role in his sleep and still be the most charismatic dude on screen but he’s backed up but Joel Edgerton who’s utterly unrecognizable but completely believable as an Orc Cop. Rest of the cast gets very little to do, Noomi Rapace is just completely wasted as an elf assassin or something.

Directing is well, it’s okay. Pacing is nice and steady and a few shots are nice but it feels like Ayer’s hardly even scratched the surface of what could happen in the world Max Landis scripted. Speaking of the script I loved all the world building and the overall plot was decent, I just really feel like a different director could have elevated it. Either that out flesh it out further into a series.

The song choices ranged from bad to good, real mixed bag in my opinion. Though I must say that I love how all Orc music is Thrash Metal. It’s kinda an obvious choice, but I’m glad they made it. Speaking of mixed bags the special effects were very mixed. The cgi used wasn’t bad exactly, it was just lots of glowing and sparking and other uninteresting cgi effects. The real star though is the practical make up effects that created the Orc clans of the film, and they look pretty great actually.

Overall if your getting stoned and watching Netflix anyway then why not give it a chance? If nothing else Will Smith could likely distract you from how much you maybe don’t like it, he’s charasamatic as fuck you know. 6.5/10

Movie Review: The Shape of Water

December 22, 2017

05shapewater2-master1050So basically The Creature From The Black Lagoon by way of Splash equals The Shape of Water. This film was pretty amazing, and easily one of del Toro’s best. He’s a director that’s always been in love with monsters and this film makes that love more literal in gross but spectacular fashion.

Sally Hawkins is fantastic, her character is mute and she still stands out from an amazing performance. The entire cast is amazing actually, but the script revolves around Hawkins’ character and Doug Jones’ creature both of whom deliver in spades. Also must quickly praise whoever created that stunning fish man costume.

Guillermo del Toro claims to be most proud of this film over the rest of his filmography and his passion is evident in almost every frame. It’s a slow burn love story, but it’s also a Cold War conspiracy and a prison break. It’s exactly what del Toro does best, whimsical fantasy bumping up against the harsh and violent reality of our own world.

The score was beautiful, a classic kind of beauty with it’s piano and strings. It’s the kind of music that makes you feel both happy and sad at the same time. Alexandre Desplat does a fantastic job, but mixing his score with songs like La Javanaise was truly inspired.

Overall this film is for anyone who thought the new Beauty and the Beast was weak sauce garbage. It’s weird and wonderful, it made me cry a little but it also made me very happy. 9.75/10