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Old 02-09-2017, 07:01 PM   #35781
Al_The_Strange Al_The_Strange is online now
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Battles Without Honor Or Humanity (Jingi Naki Tatakai)
(Collectively reviewing all five films as one, since they're all pretty much the same and the five put together forms a collective whole)

World War II ended with a bang that changed the modern world in more ways than anybody could have predicted. After the atom bombs fell, all classic sense of chivalry and honor evaporated from Japan's heart. In its place, a ruthless and terrifying force rose out of the shadow of Hiroshima and swept across the country. To this day, the fingers of it continue to stretch across oceans, instilling terror on the streets and in business boardrooms alike. We see them on TV, in video games, in anime--to the point of becoming their own stereotype. They are the Yakuza.

Between 1973 and 1974, five films came out to chronicle the epic story of how the Yakuza took power and became an untouchable powerhouse on the same level as the Cosa Nostra. The Sicilian Mafia was explored in a different corner of cinema just a couple of years earlier--The Godfather. It shares something in common with Battles Without Honor or Humanity, but while the Godfather exudes class and uses its story to dig into themes of family, Kinji Fukasaku's saga is purposefully rough around the edges and turns the camera away from family to focus on business.

All five films in Battles Without Honor or Humanity are rooted in real-life newspaper articles and manuscripts of genuine Yakuza activity. The first film tracks gang activity arising out of Kure and evolving into full-blown organized groups. Power struggles and clashing interests push the series' main character, Shozo Hirano, in and out of trouble. The second film (Deadly Fight in Hiroshima) becomes more of a stand-alone affair that follows a secondary character's ascension into the Yakuza, before he's betrayed and suffers a tragic downfall. The third film (Proxy War) is often cited as the best of the lot--it sees a little less street violence and more intercharacter drama and political maneuvering. The fourth film (Police Tactics) finally brings the law into the picture with cops struggling to enforce a big crackdown on the Yakuza. By Final Episode, the body count and collateral damage becomes exhausting.

By nature, the film retains a documentary-like style, with very rough photography and editing techniques. Colors are gaudy by nature, and the films overall are painted with a fair amount of blood and grit (and there may be a few shots of vomit or urine at certain moments). All the violent scenes stand out pretty strongly--even without the stylistic flourishes, the characters are often so wild and manic that their murderous tendencies ooze off the screen.

In between the swells of action, the films can become very droll. The biggest issue is that, because of the documentary style, the drama pushing all the stories are very dry and stuffy. There are a ton of scenes where characters sit around in a council or at a restaurant and spout exposition on who's doing what--with as many names and characters as the films juggle, it's impossible to keep track of every single political maneuver, so most of these scenes become tiresome.

However, the films are at their best when they focus on individuals. I could dig the first film strictly because of Hirano's journey from the slums of Kure to the big city--most of the scenes in the first act are pretty intense and gripping, in much the same way as watching how Tony Montanna rose to power among the rabble of immigrants in 1983's Scarface. And as long as Hirano remained the focus, the film remained fairly interesting up to its intense finale, when everybody holds each other at gunpoint and questions of loyalty arise. Similar strengths exist in the second film, and I wound up loving the cat-and-mouse chase at the end because it adhered so closely to one character. The other films have a smattering of good, individual scenes that help define whose these gangsters are. As a whole though, the stories are so complex and told with such a dry voice that it's easy to become burned out.

With a wide range of quality performances, all so full of energy and grit, there are flashes of personality and color at times. It's worth sticking with the series for those specific moments. To me, the first and second films had my attention and I appreciated them. Third, forth, fifth, started to lose me, but still had scenes worth seeing. I wouldn't call this whole thing an easy watch, but if you love crime and gangster films (especially from Asia), it is something that should be experienced once.

3.5/5 Total

Recommendation: Rental.

Arrow released these five films on Blu-Ray. I suspect this is as good as it can be, but the films are not without problems. Fairly sharp most of the time, but many scenes are soft and scummy-looking. Colors are drab and very brown by nature, but some scenes (like the end of the second film) look washed in a puke-green color. Darker scenes look horrid--soft and lacking in definition. Black levels are very light, and don't offer any more shadow detail. Grain is everywhere. On the plus side, I don't remember much print damage or anything weird like that. Sound quality is okay--music is fine, but dialogue and sound effects (especially gunshots) fall a little flat.

PQ: 2.5/5, AQ: 3/5

Last edited by Al_The_Strange; 02-09-2017 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:25 AM   #35782
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John Wick: Chapter 2

"You stabbed the devil in the back. To him this isn't vengeance, this is justice."--Ian McShane
----------------------------------------
First, they took his car and killed his puppy. He made them pay. Now, John Wick comes back to reclaim his car and his life. But as another chapter unfolds in his tragic, blood-soaked saga, Wick is inevitably sucked back into the criminal underworld for another episode of vengeance.

As any good sequel should do, John Wick: Chapter 2 plays off of previous events and escalates the tension to overload. Even though Wick got his revenge in the last movie, his past returns again, this time in the form of an unfulfilled oath he's forced to honor. For the first half of the movie, he goes through the motions of fulfilling his debt--a job that takes him to Rome to assassinate a high-profile target. Things don't go as planned. The hunter becomes the hunted. More people have to pay, but this time it may really cost Wick everything.

Action is what sells this series, and it's just as good as the the first film, if not better. The opening scene alone is loud, fast, and relentless. The respite is short before John Wick takes on a whole army of henchmen. He does so with such skill, speed, and efficiency, it becomes a ballet of mayhem.

What makes it so engrossing is that the story is still quite strong. Even though the personal stakes aren't quite as profound this time, the theme of a man contending with his past and his own violent nature remains. The film finds other strong elements to keep the story glued together--compelling external forces of honor and rules, all of which tie back to the unique universe that Wick works in. The literal criminal underworld is livelier than ever--not only does it have its own currency and authority, but also its own accounting office, switchboard, and council. And it all conspires to kill Wick at every turn, leading up to an incredible finale where there are no safe havens anymore. The cliffhanger ending promises that a third chapter will be a total chaos.

Through all this, the film's greatest strengths are in the way it builds tension through threat. Wick was empowered in the first film, but this time he suffers more. Every fight is a struggle. Every twist could kill him. Every friend becomes an enemy, and possibly vice-versa. It's made all the punchier with the film's diligent attention to realistic gunplay (although other absurdities exist).

On top of that, there's a mythic quality to these films, and it becomes more evident among the streets and catacombs of Rome. Wick, much like Kratos in the God of War video games, defies and fights authorities controlling his fate, in the midst of personal loss. Married with the rules, settings, and world-building, the entire John Wick saga becomes a modern-day epic that echoes Greek tragedy. Thanks to the furious gunplay, European flavor, and nuances of the underworld, this is probably the closest thing we have to a live-action version of the Noir anime series (which not only had some crazy action of its own, but also dealt with similar themes of fate).

Keanu Reeves returns with the same stoic, grizzled demeanor, and his dedication to the stuntwork shines amidst the film's neon colors. In a few amusing scenes, Laurence Fishburne tries his best to chew the scenery, clearly drawing attention to the fact that he and Reeves shared the spotlight in a certain other action film before. Ian McShane fills the shoes of "management" perfectly. Ruby Rose plays a deaf henchman--easily one of the most interesting villains of the lot. Common plays another one, and I was okay with it. Riccardo Scamarcio--a guy I loved to hate. Claudia Gerini--nice. Few other players from the first movie reprise their roles and help maintain the continuity seamlessly. The script is as solid as before. This production boasts fantastic-looking sets, props, costumes, and locales. Music score by Tyler Bates and Joel R. Richard reprises the same sounds as the first movie, and it's still one of the most awesome soundtracks I know of. New songs sound fairly cool.

A far better continuation than I initially expected--John Wick's continuing struggles are harder, grittier, more intense. Not only because of the sheer body count (which is through the roof), but also because of the nature of the story and the way it pushes Wick deeper and deeper into his own personal Hell. It's a must-see for action-fans.

Even if you missed out on the first movie, don't sweat it. These films have a fantastic way of showing you all you need to know, and the minute you see Wick in the opening scene, you'll know he's not a man to mess with.

4.5/5

Recommendation:
YES!!!

Last edited by Al_The_Strange; 02-22-2017 at 04:29 AM.
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Old 03-02-2017, 04:08 AM   #35783
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The Handmaiden



4.5 out of 5

In Japanese occupied Korea, Sook-hee (Kim Tae-ri), an orphan pickpocket is recruited by a con man to be the handmaiden to a Japanese heiress (Kim Min-hee) whom has designs on marrying and inheriting her fortune - before ultimately disposing of her. Things become complicated when Sook-hee begins to fall in love with Lady Hideko and she wonders if she can go through with the plan. I didn't know much about this film other than it was supposed to be quite risqué, and the director is generally regarded as a brilliant newcomer (to Western cinema at least). Despite the long runtime and despite the Japanese and Korean subtitles I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. My biggest issue is how to categorize it? Is it simply erotica the likes of Emmanuelle? I won't lie, there are a number of scenes that are quite arousing. Is it a thriller with double crosses and misdirection aplenty? Or is it a female empowerment movie the likes of Thelma & Louise? Ultimately it doesn't matter because when taken as a whole everything works to perfection. The narrative is split into three parts with each part showing events from a different character's perspective. Such a structure is needed to fully delve into the plot twists and not leave the viewer feeling manipulated like so many thrillers do. In addition to the twists and turns, the movie is beautifully shot with gorgeous scenery serving as the backdrop to all the emotional violence unfolding all around the characters. A delightfully subversive journey that satisfies on all levels.
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Old 03-12-2017, 06:15 AM   #35784
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Kong: Skull Island is an entertaining adventure film. It takes a somewhat different approach, as it does away with the emotion of the classic Kong story. There's no romance or melodrama here, just some good ol' fashioned monster mayhem. It works for the most part, if you can live with some of the weak characterization.

See, in typical monster movie fashion, the human characters end up being kinda undercooked. Your leads are presumably Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson, but they're as bland as bland can be. Larson at least brings some of her natural charm, and a smile that could light up an entire room. Hiddleston is just a dude. The real saving grace is the supporting cast, namely Sam Jackson and John C. Reilly. They steal the show, especially Reilly, who ends up as probably the best character in the whole film.

But the monsters?! Yeah, they're fun. Monster mayhem is what the film does best, and the action is genuinely exciting to watch. There was a tad too much slo-mo for my liking, and some of the action can get a bit too stylized for its own good, but I can let it slide when it's that visually impressive. Seriously, the film looks gorgeous at times. Some really amazing shots, especially when we see Kong for the first time. The sense of scale is great too, something I really appreciated about 2014's Godzilla.

Speaking as a huge fan of Peter Jackson's King Kong, I wouldn't really place this new film on that level. Still though, Kong: Skull Island is a highly enjoyable blockbuster, with some impressive visuals, a great early-70s soundtrack, and Brie Larson (did I mention her smile?). And make sure to stay after the credits. The post-credits scene is super awesome.

4/5
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:25 PM   #35785
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Alien Nation - 7/10
Never seem this before but I'm a fan of Janes Cann. He is great in this. Good concept and we'll executed. Watched on now tv nut will pick up the BR when subs/price is right.

Lights Out - 4/10
The concept might be interesting for a viral video, but as a film, the derivative scares and characters failed to engage. The alternate ending on the disc is laughable.

Purge Election Year - 2/10
Not sure what happened here but the sequel was quite an improvement over the first. This movie was terrible though. Not meaning to sound racist but these black girl purgers completely ruined the movie. Awful characters. Would have been a solid 5/10 if not for them.
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Old 03-28-2017, 11:38 PM   #35786
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Interesting decision to start off your movie with a joke about a dude "accidentally" jerking off a bull.

I was never really a Power Rangers guy when I was a kid, and I thought the trailer for this movie looked pretty bad. So I was truly surprised at how much I enjoyed this. Like, it's cheesy as f**k and the dialogue can be hit-or-miss (leaning more towards miss), but it was just...fun. And it was certainly way more character-driven than I expected. They really did a good job of making you at least care about these teenagers. The campfire scene in particular was very good.

The ending is the typical CGI clusterf**k we get in most superhero movies, so nothing new there. The Megazord hitting a German suplex on Goldar was pretty amazing though. Oh, and in the midst of all the chaos is Elizabeth Banks hamming it up like crazy. I was a bit iffy on her at first but by the end she was super entertaining.

Was not expecting to say this, but I'm actually kinda looking forward to a sequel. This was good fun.

3.5/5
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Old 03-29-2017, 12:01 AM   #35787
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John Carpenter's The Fog 4.5/5

Oddly, being a massive John Carpenter fan, I found The Fog to be a huge disappointment the first couple times I watched it while finding things I loved about it with each viewing. Apparently third time really is a charm because now I absolutely love this film and it's one of my favorite Carpenter films. I love it's style, mood, atmosphere and cast. It has one of the best classic ensemble horror casts ever with Adrienne Barbeau as the standout as my favorite character in the film. The seaside town and locations are perfect and the great Dean Cundey's amazing cinematography is stunningly gorgeous. Even the wording on the opening and closing credits are gorgeous. I can't think of any other film where the wording on the credits standout and add to the atmosphere and style. Adrienne Barbeau's character of Stevie Wayne is excellent and her radio show from the perfect lighthouse is legendary. If this radio show really existed I would listen to it every night. I'm thrilled that Carpenter didn't have the budget to use known classic rock songs as originally intended and instead had to go with wonderful obscure jazz songs instead which really stood out and added to the mood and old fashioned style of the film. Carpenter's score is also one of his best here as well. This is a very classy, old fashioned, gorgeous looking ghost story that is a lot of fun and rewards every time with repeat viewings. Admittedly it's not one of Carpenter's best in terms of scary but it really is a lot of fun. I just wish the third act lived up to the first 2 acts. It would've been a perfect 5/5 score for me if that were the case but the third act is still good. The first act by far is truly epic making me wish the entire film took place that single night. If you've been disappointed by The Fog in the past I highly suggest giving it another shot and for first timers I recommend going into the film as if it were an extended story of the great horror film Creepshow and you will get the fun of it much better rather than comparing it to Carpenter's masterpiece Halloween or his much stronger efforts in terms of scare factor.

Last edited by MassiveMovieBuff; 03-29-2017 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 03-29-2017, 03:31 AM   #35788
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Hell of a movie watching day today. I was a major couch potato today.

Alien 3- I remember seeing this years ago and not liking. However as of late I've revisited movies and found them much more enjoyable. That unfortunately was not the case here. I just didn't like Alien 3. Such a shame that such a great director like David Fincher was so shackled while making this mess. What a major drop off in quality from the first two. 4/10

Star Wars- What do I really need to say about A New Hope? 9/10

Scream- inside story- This was the documentary covering the making of the first movie. It came on the trilogy Blu-ray set. Decent and informative even if I knew a good amount of it. 7/10

Zack and Miri Make a Porno- it's been a very long time since I saw this...I'm guessing shortly after it came out. Way way funnier than I remember. It was a nice was to break up all the stuff I watched today. And my god Elizabeth Banks is drool worthy. 7/10

Scream 2- One of the best horror sequels made imo. It hits many of the same high notes as the first. And damn this is a star packed movie. Almost everyone in this movie is somebody. 9/10

Scream 3- From one of the best horror sequels to one of the worst. We'll worst is maybe an exaggeration, but it's not good. The comedy, exposition, set up, basically everything just didn't work. They really shouldn't have got cold feet from Kevin Williamson's planned script because it couldn't have been worse than this. Seriously this was disappointing. 4/10
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:51 AM   #35789
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Now You See Me



1 out of 5

Four magicians are brought together by a mysterious summons and end up performing more and more outlandish shows together involving stealing huge sums of money using nothing more than 'magic'. How far can they take things while avoiding the FBI agents determined to bring them down? On the surface this is a fun, entertaining movie. It's got a great cast, Isla Fisher is lovely to look at, it looks and sounds amazing and has decent performances all around. But the entire plot revolves around 'surprise twist' at the end. A twist that anyone with a moderately functioning brain stem will instantly cry out 'bullshit' when revealed. I don't want to spoil it although I'm tempted to because again, this is an absolutely moronic film of the highest order - but here's a tip for would be aspiring screenplay writers: In order for a 'surprise twist' to work, upon reflection the viewer must be able to replay previous events through their heads and go 'oh, ya, ok, I can see how we got from point A to point B. In hindsight there were clues and hints along the way'. But this garbage is lacking such a logical trail. In fact, they consistently throw things in which are such an affront to logic that they're dangerously close to opening a gap in time and space and destroying us all. My mind literally aches at what I just wasted my time watching. According to reviews the prerequisite sequel is rated even worse. I honest to God don't know that's even remotely possible.
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:56 AM   #35790
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pondosinatra View Post
According to reviews the prerequisite sequel is rated even worse. I honest to God don't know that's even remotely possible.
I'd say the sequel is bland--the first one at least had style. Shame about the cliffhanger though, I don't think the sequel really brought anything new or interesting to the table, it's kind of a missed opportunity. I'd say you can probably skip it, especially since you didn't like the first one much.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:34 AM   #35791
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I think I gave the first something around a 2.5-3.5.

The second one is mind numbingly boring in my opinion.
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:25 PM   #35792
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GET OUT

An above-average thriller that'll probably improve upon repeat viewings. 8/10
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Old 04-15-2017, 05:47 PM   #35793
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Rogue One



4 out of 5

Enlisted by the Rebel Alliance to track down her father, the reluctant Imperial scientist responsible for creating the most powerful weapon ever created, Jyn Erso (Jones) joins a misfit band of fighters who would just as soon kill her Dad as save him. Along the way they discover the one fatal flaw in the Death Star. Can they retrieve the plans before it becomes operational and destroys them all? I wasn't sure how I felt about this when it was announced. At some point Disney is going to saturate the viewer with endless Star Wars films and negate their specialness in the process. Still, the first spinoff story is arguably the best entry since the original trilogy. Despite a bit of a muddled and plodding beginning as all the various characters and locations are introduced, when the action finally kicks in it's non-stop and a visual thrill. I was worried when I learned that roughly a third of the movie was reshot months after filming originally wrapped due to concerns from Disney execs. Such studio interference is usually a recipe for disaster (cough, Alien 3, cough). But if nothing else, it gave us a particular scene of Vader (who wasn't previously in the movie) that is awesome beyond words. We FINALLY get to see him being appropriately badass! In addition to the somewhat rambling beginning, I also wasn't a fan of the CGI used for Tarkin and one other character. In the case of Tarkin, where the actor died years ago, I get it, what else were they supposed to do? There seems to be a 50/50 split between those who thought the CGI was amazing and those who thought it was terrible. I tend to be in the terrible camp. I found it distracting and it took me out of the film. On the flip side, the Imperial world of Scarif is the best location since Hoth and Endor and the space battle above the best since the epic battles of Return of the Jedi. This is Star Wars back to basics with the quality and thrilling spectacle that the horrific prequels sadly lacked. May the Force be with you!
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:36 AM   #35794
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Default Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

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While recapturing the magic of the first film would be difficult, I gotta say they did a fantastic job bringing these characters back to the big screen. And there's definitely a big emphasis on characters here.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has a story, of course, but it seems far more concerned with exploring the characters within the team than actual plot. I honestly found this to be a great approach, as there's some truly memorable character moments throughout. There's plenty of humor, but it has unexpected heart as well, and that's what really elevates it for me. Watching the bond between these characters grow stronger is the true selling point of this film.

Above all else though, the movie's just fun. The soundtrack is just as killer as the first, and if anything plays a bigger part in the overall story. Everyone plays their part well, but the standouts have to be Drax and Yondu. Drax is absolutely hilarious, but it's Yondu who might have the best scene and best line in the whole film. It also looks beautiful, and so colorful. Easily one of the best-looking superhero films I've seen.

I think Marvel has delivered again here.

5/5
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:31 PM   #35795
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Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2

"Are we really saving the galaxy, again?"--Bradley Cooper
----------------------------------------
Once upon a time (in 2014), an outlaw, a vengeful warrior, a green woman, a sentient raccoon, and a tree saved the galaxy. It was a colorful, vibrant, exhilarating, and hilarious experience. The imagination and world-building involved pushed it above normal Marvel fare and opened up endless possibilities. What made it a seminal favorite was the heart and soul put into the characters, and their adventures were only just beginning.

In volume 2, the guardians return as mercenaries. They tick off a race of conceited golden people, and are forced to run. In their madcap escape, the gang is divided and ultimately hunted by some familiar baddies (Nebula and Yondu). Inevitably, all these plot strands take orbit around Peter Quill as he finally discovers his true parentage, building up to a action-packed climax where the galaxy has to be saved yet again!

As before, the film entertains the most when stuff blows up and when the characters open their mouths. Action is pretty awesome--lots of zippy space battles set against some big-scale backdrops, and plenty of shootouts and fights and everything. Comedy is pretty funny--plenty of hilarious dialogue, thanks to the colorful cast and all their bizarre quirks. Rocket gets to use a lot of cool new toys. Drax is as blunt as ever. Yondu and his arrow somehow becomes more magical than Mary Poppins. The 70s music is back. Groot is back. Plus, now there's a bug lady who's beautiful (on the inside), there's Stallone, Kurt Russell, and David Hasselhoff. What's not to love?

A few minor things held this back from reaching the same levels of cosmic magic as the first movie. Biggest issue I see is that the pacing takes a huge hit in the middle. After all the initial chasing and before the big finale, most of the film is built on mystery and discovery. A few action and comedy beats break up the tedium, but it's still a long stretch that demands attention to the story and character. And they are interesting, to the point where this could have been an awesome Star Trek episode if taken seriously. But in spite of that, it doesn't feel as effortless as the first film.

Writing is lightweight and fun, but could have been better. It seemed like there was a lot of exposition spouted all over the first act--characters blatantly told each other what was going on (likely to catch audiences up on things), but a lot of it should have remained unspoken. Thankfully, those lines vanish after a while--when the dialogue focuses on character and comedy, it's great again. Some jokes are good, others fall a little flat, and some might be a little too wordy. But it's always fun and it leads to some good payoffs. What makes the movie good is the characters, and there are significant revelations involved, thanks to the way the story pits them against bigger conflicts and how they all play off of each other. The film cleverly pairs off each character (Gamora and Nebula, Rocket and Yondu, Drax and Mantis, and more) to draw parallels that dig deeper into each of them. Some of the film's most profound moments are small gestures and nuances that make the characters feel more real. The biggest surprise may be the arc involving Yondu--a man I thought was a little too mean in the first movie, but is now shown in a sympathetic way, and he emerges as a more awesome protagonist with a heart and soul of his own. By the end, everybody contributes to the theme of family, and the film demonstrates that blood relation doesn't matter nearly as much as heart.

Performances are as great as ever--the cast is big, but everybody becomes their characters comfortably and effortlessly. Chris Pratt is still the man. Zoe Saldana is still tough. Dave Bautista is still oafish and lovable. Voices by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel are fine. Michael Rooker and Karen Gillan are spot-on. I totally loved Pom Klementieff, even if her character was ugly (on the outside). Kurt Russell is still the man, and every other side-character pulls their weight phenomenally. Some of the action scenes can be a little too fast, but most of the film is well-shot and edited. This production is a pure burst of color--lots of vibrant special effects are dispensed liberally (a few might not hold up well though). Great-looking sets, props, and costumes everywhere. Music is decent.

The two-time galaxy savers are still an endearing bunch worth watching. There is a lot of sights to behold and a lot of laughs along the way. What makes it work is the chemistry and dynamics that evolve the characters in new ways--some unpredictable, but all endearing and enlightening. Not as tight or breezy as the first film, but it is still groot. I mean...great. No wait, groot is better, because we are groot.

4/5

Last edited by Al_The_Strange; 05-17-2017 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:15 AM   #35796
Pondosinatra Pondosinatra is offline
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Passengers



3.5 out of 5

Onboard the interstellar starship Avalon, Jim's (Pratt) hibernation pod malfunctions waking him up 60 years early into his journey to a new colony. He is the only person awake on a ship of 5000 passengers. After more than a year spent trying to resolve his hopeless situation he eventually succumbs to loneliness and decides to awaken another passenger named Aurora (Lawrence) despite knowing that doing so is to condemn her to death from old age along with him. I had heard mixed reviews on this one, but I thought it was entertaining enough popcorn fare. I love end of the world/last person left alive type movies and so for the first part of the film I was in my element. Once J Law gets awoken the film turns into a romantic getting to know you flick, before turning once again in the third act into your standard disaster in space story. Throw in Michael Sheen as the always receptive robotic bartender in a setting that's a nice homage to a certain bar in The Shining and you have a satisfying mixture of various elements. My biggest issue was the casting. A top billed actor shows up for just a few minutes of screen time and likewise Andy Garcia is credited despite being on screen for I kid you not, a grand total of 2 seconds. What the hell is the point of that? Studio execs figured they couldn't sell a movie with only a couple stars in it?? That, plus there's some pretty huge plot holes. If you do watch this movie, I suggest afterwards searching YouTube for 'Everything Wrong With Passengers in 16 Minutes Or Less' as it's pretty funny. Still, as long as you're willing to overlook its flaws, you can't go wrong spending a couple hours hitching a ride on a peril filled trip through space.
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:23 AM   #35797
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_The_Strange View Post
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2

...Michael Rooker and Karen Gillan are spot-on...

4/5
Karen Gillan you say????

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Old 06-04-2017, 04:22 AM   #35798
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pondosinatra View Post
Karen Gillan you say????

[Show spoiler]
She looks good with or without hair.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:25 PM   #35799
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T2 Trainspotting



4 out of 5

Twenty years after the events of the previous film, we find Renton (McGregor) returning home after being hidden away in Amsterdam. Despite the passage of time, not much has changed with the old gang. Spud (Bremner) is still addicted to smack, Sick Boy (Miller) has substituted heroin for coke, and Begbie (Carlyle) is as violent as ever having recently escaped from prison. After laying down a beating on Renton as payback for having stolen their money back in the day Sick Boy hatches a plan to screw over his childhood friend. But as they reminisce about the past, will he end up going through with it? Much like the characters in the film, it was another life ago when I saw the original - a brilliant Indie film from an up and coming director. Generally I despise sequels, but here we had the opportunity to truly expand upon the first. Twenty years later both in the films and in real life naturally lends itself to exploring how time changes (or in this case doesn't change) people. And while those themes are explored I just wished they would have delved deeper into it overall. Instead we get the same beloved characters now much older essentially existing as they always have. There's a number of flashbacks but they are well done and not overused and the story and actors are as entertaining as ever. I actually found myself laughing out loud three times. A rarity for me. Being that it's set in Scotland with mostly Scottish actors I was almost wishing the film had subtitles during Robert Carlyle's opening scene, but he either eased up on the accent or more than likely I was able to adapt and it wasn't an issue afterwards. It was also enjoyable watching Johnny Lee Miller in something other than Sherlock Holmes. An enjoyable blast down memory lane that while light on substance is a decent enough sequel.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:13 AM   #35800
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Quote:
Who am I to doubt Edgar Wright? Baby Driver was easily one of my most anticipated films of the year, and it did not disappoint, as Edgar Wright rarely does. It's an absolute blast from start to finish and one of the most inventive films I've seen in some time.

The editing in this film is insanely good. Wright has a knack for great editing in his films, but the way he successfully ingrains the soundtrack into the very fabric of the film is nothing short of amazing. All sorts of little sounds, dialogue and other things are synced up to the music and it's an absolute treat. This style shines brightest during the chase scenes, which are made all the more exciting with the unique use of music.

I do think it's fair to say that, the story itself at face-value isn't particular special. Wright has managed to create some memorable characters though, and the film is propelled by his fantastic audio-visual style. One could say Baby Driver is an exercise in style over substance, but honestly...I think I'm okay with that.

Oh, and in true Edgar Wright fashion, this is a film that almost demands a few rewatches just to catch all the little details sprinkled throughout.

5/5
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