The Official Review Thread of 2017

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5260
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:09 pm

THE BOSS BABY
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Miles Bakshi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Steve Buscemi, Tobey Maguire (voices).
Dir: Tom McGrath.

This film aims to do with babies what Toy Story did with toys. And it's nowhere near as successful. A "boss baby" is sent down from BabyCorp in order to stop puppies from being the number one most beloved thing in the world. Alec Baldwin is amusing as the title character, even spoofing and referencing his "coffee is for closers" thing (a reference/joke which none of the kids and even some of their parents would get). But the film overly relies on juvenile poop jokes for laughs and its attempt at a message, going for the aww factor is predictable. It has its moments here and there and it is entertaining enough. It is ultimately disposable and forgettable.

Oscar Prospects: Long shot for Best Animated Feature.

Grade: C+

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5260
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:19 pm

FAST & FURIOUS 8 (THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS)
Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Scott Eastwood, Nathalie Emanuel, Elsa Pataky, Kristofer Hivju, Luke Evans, Helen Mirren.
Dir: F. Gary Gray.

This is the EIGHTH installment of the long-running franchise (but only the fourth one I've seen) has Dominic Torretto going rogue and teaming up with a female cyberterrorist. The film, of course, ups the ante of ridiculousness with its outrageous and over-the-top action scenes (I mean, a car chase on the ice involving a freakin' nuclear submarine?!?) and I would be lying if I said I didn't have some fun with it. Its attempt to add some substance and build on the earnest "we're family" theme is kind of lame though. The last one only worked because of the real-life tragedy of Paul Walker's death. Here? Not so much. It's okay for what it is. (But I must say, if Helen Mirren is given a bigger part in the next installment, I could be tempted to see it.)

Oscar Prospects: Best Picture, of course. If Vin Diesel's ballot is the only ballot that counted. LOL.

Grade: C+

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5260
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:26 am

SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE
Cast: Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Mandy Patinkin, Julia Roberts, Joe Manganiello, Jack McBrayer, Danny Pudi, Michelle Rodriguez, Ellie Kemper, Jake Johnson, Ariel Winter, Meghan Trainor (voices).
Dir: Kelly Asbury.

I came into this with rather low expectations due to the tepid reviews but I thought I'd give it a shot. And to my surprise, it's actually not that bad. I skipped the other two Smurfs movies for obvious reasons. If they had to make a Smurfs movie for the modern day, I think this is the way they should have went in the first place. The film focuses on Smurfette, the lone female Smurf, her discovering her origins and her journey leads her to the titular lost village. It's no animated masterpiece but kids will like it and adults will be entertained enough.

Oscar Prospects: Animated Feature is a long shot. Maybe Original Song.

Grade: C+

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5260
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:22 am

GHOST IN THE SHELL
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han, Peter Ferdinando, Kaori Momoi.
Dir: Rupert Sanders.

Based on the popular manga turned popular anime film, this is about a young woman who finds her consciousness trapped in a robotic body. I've actually seen the original anime. I liked it but I'm not one of those who think it's such an untouchable masterpiece (though it's been a long time since I've seen it). Personally, I have no problems with the so-called "whitewashing" of the role since the character is after all, a robot (her character is Japanese but her body is artificial so ethnicity is irrelevant). I have more problems with the fact that this is a visually eye-popping "meh" film that's just...there. It's not aggressively awful but it's not something you love. Takeshi Kitano and Juliette Binoche elevate the film somewhat but not enough. Overall, it's beautifully realized mediocrity.

Oscar Prospects: Production Design, Costume Design, Visual Effects and Makeup & Hairstyling are possible.

Grade: C.

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 4247
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby The Original BJ » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:18 pm

Get Out is the kind of movie that I think really benefited from a good release date. Which is not to undersell its merits -- its ideas on racism in contemporary America are a lot more complex than many "capital-S serious" movies on the subject, and its infusion of social issue drama with thriller makes it feel like something fresh, which I imagine is what has turned the movie into such an unexpected hit. But I also think its February release date made it easier for critics to latch on so enthusiastically -- had it been released in the last third of the year, opposite a lot more big-ticket items, I think you'd have seen a lot less fewer people shouting "masterpiece."

For someone with a background primarily in comedy, Jordan Peele certainly establishes his horror movie credentials pretty quickly -- the opening scene is the kind of nervy and tense portrait of suburban unease from the Halloween/Nightmare on Elm Street mode, and other first act sequences (like the deer accident) play pretty effectively at establishing the movie's mood of dread. (Oddly, I thought the portion of the movie that worked the least was the comic relief character -- the TSA agent -- who just struck me as a bit too much most of the time.)

Once the storyline reaches its main location -- the Whitford/Keener house -- it goes into some interesting thematic territory. The movie has been described as the horror version of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and while that's true on a superficial plot level (white girl brings her black boyfriend home), it's also an accurate description of some of the movie's nuances as well. Just as Hepburn and Tracy were proud late-sixties liberals caught off guard by their own reaction to their daughter's new beau, Whitford and Keener are portrayed as completely accepting twenty-first century progressives who seem to have no qualms at all about their daughter's interracial relationship, but who nonetheless seem very self-congratulatory about that fact. (The "I would have voted for Obama a third time if I could" running joke is spot-on, and I loved a Tweet I read about how Get Out is the kind of movie that the white characters in Get Out would be proud of themselves for liking.) The protagonist's increasing uneasiness about his time spent in this house feels like a pretty modern take on the realities of black experiences in white spaces (particularly upper-to-middle class cultured ones), and doesn't feel simplistic. I also liked the way the major white characters were depicted as having degrees of comfort around Daniel Kaluuya's character -- Allison Williams (not unlike Katherine Houghton in the earlier movie) basically acts like she's color blind, Whitford and Keener try to repeatedly put Kaluuya at ease about their progressive attitudes, and the brother seems like he's slightly less cool with it without coming right out and saying it. I think all of this helps make the movie feel like it's tackling its subject matter in a detailed way from a number of different angles.

I don't know if the movie is quite as successful in drawing out its big mystery. This is the kind of story where weird things are happening all around, and you KNOW their meaning will all be revealed eventually. But because the revelations happen in basically a giant info dump at the top of the last act, some of the middle portion of the movie started to feel repetitive to me: Kaluuya sees something weird happen, it's freaky, Williams comforts him and convinces him everything is normal. Wash, rinse, repeat. There came a point when I just started to get antsy for answers.

I won't get into spoilers about the Big Twist, which I certainly didn't see coming, but which I thought was so out there it definitely pushed the movie into territory I didn't take as seriously at the end. I'm not saying I didn't find this portion of the movie engaging -- on a visceral level, it's certainly thrilling and suspenseful -- but it felt like it hit a lot more typical horror movie beats, and its inventiveness started to run out of steam for me.

But, as I said, the movie is definitely something to chew on. And there's a lot of small details that have nice payoffs (the spoon clanking in the tea, the flash of the iPhone, the maid doing her hair in the mirror, the gardener's late-night run), making the script feel pretty cohesive even as the plot goes off in outlandish directions. The ending too, is pretty clever, as it drags the hero from a situation that seemed as if it couldn't possibly have gotten any worse into the ultimate nightmare for a black American, before the cathartic resolution.

All in all, I don't think the movie reaches the levels of greatness some have promised, but I found much of it to be a kick, and certainly within its genre it's one of the better examples in recent memory.

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5260
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:28 pm

I DON'T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE
Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, David Yow, Jane Levy, Devon Graye, Gary Anthony Williams, Christine Woods, Robert Longstreet.
Dir: Macon Blair.

A lonely depressed and much put-upon nurse finds her house burglarized, she decides enough is enough and takes matters into her own hands with the help of her eccentric neighbor. This is the directorial debut of indie actor Macon Blair and it's a pretty darn solid one. The best way I can describe this film is that it's basically a Christian film if it was directed by Quentin Tarantino (with the cursing and the shocking violence retained). Despite things feeling a bit familiar, I mean, we've all seen this type crime film/dark comedy play out before, the film manages to feel fresh thanks to it somehow finding a spiritual angle on the proceedings. It's thrilling and often wickedly funny and the performances are terrific.

Oscar Prospects: I don't know if this is eligible but even if it were, it'd be too small to get any traction.

Grade: B+

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5260
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:24 am

LIFE
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya.
Dir: Daniel Espinoza.

A crew at an international space station recover a soil sample from Mars and discover a dormant alien organism, first proof of alien life. Of course, things don't go well. Okay, this is very much obviously an Alien meets Gravity knock-off but as far as that goes, it's not really bad. It's actually a fun ride.It follows the tropes and the narrative beats but twists them around a bit enough that it doesn't get too predictable and has a couple of decent scares. The special effects are fairly impressive. The ending though will make or break the film for some people. I kind of predicted it as it was happening but it's a neat way to end it.

Oscar Prospects: Visual Effects is a strong possibility. Production Design, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing are possible.

Grade: B.

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5260
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:11 am

GET OUT
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Alison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, Lakeith Stanfield.
Dir: Jordan Peele.

A young African-American man goes to meet his white girlfriend's family for the first time but something weird is going on in this small community. I won't say anything further than that. Yes, this film is remarkable and a very, very impressive feature film writing and directing debut for comedic actor/sketch comic Jordan Peele. It is a sharp (and surprisingly often funny) social satire that gives a lot of viewers things to think about concerning racism and race relations. It is also a genuinely creepy and thrilling horror-thriller that will give you the fun ride you would expect but unlike most other horror films, this will stay with you for a long time. This is the best film of 2017 so far.

Oscar Prospects: You know the critics are raving about this. Mad Max: Fury Road proves that if the film is good enough and/or the critics are loud enough and the studio is supportive enough, the Academy may take notice. I hope they will push this for nominations. It should AT THE VERY LEAST get a Best Original Screenplay nomination.

Grade: A-

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nathan Mack.
Dir: Bill Condon.

Do we really need a live-action remake of Disney's beloved animated classic from 1991 (and a childhood favorite of mine)? No. If I want a live-action Beauty and the Beast, I'd just put on the Jean Cocteau version. But that said, this is actually not bad! It's pretty much faithful to the animated version in terms of plot point with some changes expanding some plot points and characters which I think are largely effective. It is of course beautifully made. The production and costume designs are MWAH magnifique. The performances of the songs are also pretty good. Their version of "Be Our Guest" (my favorite song from the score) is spectacular. The cast is also pretty good (Come on, it's hard to dislike anything that involves Audra friggin' McDonald!)

Oscar Prospects: Strong contender for Production Design, Costume Design, Visual Effects, Original Song (for one of the new songs) and Makeup & Hairstyling.

Grade: B.

dws1982
Tenured
Posts: 3010
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:28 pm
Location: AL
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby dws1982 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:12 pm

A Cure For Wellness

Saw this a few weeks back when I was in Fort Worth for the weekend. Given how completely it tanked at the box-office, it looks like a studio disaster that was relegated to the February dumping ground. But it's not that, exactly. It may be at times a mashup of other movies (The Shining, Shutter Island, Lon Chaney's Phantom of the Opera, several Guillermo Del Toro films) but damn if it isn't endearingly weird and ambitious and gorgeously shot. I felt the same way about Gore Verbinski's last weird mega-bomb--The Lone Ranger. I'm surprised he keeps getting these budgets, but he might as well run with it as long as he can.

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5260
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:17 pm

KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, Corey Hawkins, Toby Kebbell, Jason Mitchell,Terry Notary, John Ortiz, Jing Tian, Thomas Mann, Shea Whigham, Marc Evan Jackson, Eugene Cordero, Will Brittain, Richard Jenkins.
Dir: Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

At the end of the Vietnam War, a couple of scientists and some military escorts sneak into the titular uncharted island and have a run in with the giant ape as well as other horrors. Does this film break any new ground? Nope. It's about as formulaic as you can get when it comes to monster movies. Is it fun? Yes, it is. For all its faults, the film thankfully does not forget to have fun. The actors are in on it too especially Samuel L. Jackson and John C. Reilly. The film in many ways, feels quite old fashioned like a monster movie script from the 50's and 60's mated with Apocalypse Now. All in all, it will not blow you away but it's a good time that won't insult your intelligence.

Oscar Prospects: Visual Effects, Makeup & Hairstyling, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing are possible.

Grade: B.

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5260
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:32 am

T2: TRAINSPOTTING
Cast: Ewan MacGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Kelly MacDonald, Anjela Nedyalkova.
Dir: Danny Boyle.

The sequel to the 1996 film has all the characters reuniting to settle old scores for better or for worse. I've only seen the first Trainspotting once years ago. I considered re-watching it before i see this film but I was unable to. I think I remembered enough of it to appreciate this film (FYI: you sort of need not to have watched it but it would help immensely). It's considerably less dark than the original (no babies die here) and unlike the first film, this is not gonna rock anyone's socks off. All in all, it's simply a perfectly fine supplement to the first film. I suppose there are fans of the first who will refuse to see this and those who can't wait to see it. To both of those of groups of people: This is a fine film that will do nothing to tarnish the reputation of the original. No more, no less.

Oscar Prospects: Unlikely.

Grade: B.

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 4247
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:25 pm

anonymous1980 wrote:
Oscar Prospects: Oscar has never been kind to the X-Men franchise, not even in the technical categories. Though this deserves Sound Editing and Makeup & Hairstyling nods. I heard the studio is gonna try and Mad Max: Fury Road this. James Mangold is no George Miller though.


I'm going to say that a 77 Metacritic is not remotely going to be enough critical support for a genre Oscar has never warmed to for a Best Picture nomination.

But apparently we have to go through this charade every year, so I guess this is just business as usual.

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5260
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:48 am

LOGAN
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Richard E. Grant, Elise Neal, Eriq LaSalle, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Jason Genoa, Quincy Fouse.
Dir: James Mangold.

The third and final Wolverine movie starring Hugh Jackman and, apparently, the final X-Men movie for both Jackman and Patrick Stewart has Wolverine aging and not so super anymore but is tasked to protect a mutant girl with similar powers. After the success of Deadpool, the makers of this film was given the go ahead to make this into a hard-R rated superhero film with more graphic, gory violence and language. I have to say that worked. The filmmakers did not take the R-rating simply as a gimmick to show more blood, tits and f-word, they also took advantage of it to explore deeper, darker themes. It's surprisingly a more introspective film, a more mature film and as it goes along, it has more similarities to neo-Westerns than it does the usual mainstream superhero film. It may not be a masterpiece that some of its fans think it is but it's a step in the right direction in regards to the superhero genre. P.S. Dafne Keen is a star in the making.

Oscar Prospects: Oscar has never been kind to the X-Men franchise, not even in the technical categories. Though this deserves Sound Editing and Makeup & Hairstyling nods. I heard the studio is gonna try and Mad Max: Fury Road this. James Mangold is no George Miller though.

Grade: B+

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5260
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:39 pm

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, Ian McShane, Franco Nero, Lance Reddick, Peter Stormare, John Leguizamo, Bridget Moynahan, Claudia Gerini.
Dir: Chad Strahelski.

The continuation of the saga of the vicious, bad ass titular assassin which has him being forced to do a job as payback for the events for the previous film. Of course this leads to even more stylish violent mayhem. I had a good time with the first John Wick, It was good, pulpy fun and I think contains Keanu Reeves' best dramatic performance on film so far. This is no different. This builds on the stylish, brutal violence and well-choreographed action scenes of the first one and delivers. If you enjoyed the first movie, there's no reason for you not to enjoy this one as well. Suffice to say, I had a blast. It's not gonna win Oscars but damn, is it entertaining.

Oscar Prospects: None but these films deserve a Sound Editing nomination.

Grade: B+

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
Cast: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Hector Elizondo, Jenny Slate (voices).
Dir: Chris McKay.

Batman/Bruce Wayne has his world upside-down when young orphan Dick Grayson/Robin shows up in his Bat Cave. I loved, loved, loved the first LEGO Movie so I was really looking forward to this one. And it didn't disappoint. This is a really, really funny animated adventure that both kind of parodies and spoofs the already famous Batman mythos but at the same time also work as a straight-up Batman story done with a lot of affection and love for the characters. It's probably the best Batman movie since The Dark Knight and I'm not exaggerating. This is one DC Cinematic Universe I'd totally be on board for. It's such a fun film and a strong start in 2017 mainstream film year.

Oscar Prospects: I suppose they will nominate this after the brouhaha of the first LEGO Movie missing out. It's also a strong contender for Original Song ("Friends Are Family").

Grade: A-

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5260
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

The Official Review Thread of 2017

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:09 pm

THE GREAT WALL
Cast: Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Jing Tian, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau, Zhang Hanyu, Eddie Peng, Lu Han, Wang Junkai.
Dir: Zhang Yimou.

A pair of Western merchants/thieves stumble upon the Great Wall of China which is defending itself against a horde of horrific monsters. This is of course China's attempt to conquer the Hollywood market with the help of Hollywood. Director Zhang Yimou works his magic with some Hollywood style special effects and a Hollywood actor. Though a lot of his now signature eye-popping visuals are in full display, this is by far his weakest work. I will give them credit that Matt Damon's character doesn't come off too much like a "White Savior" but overall, it's also one of his weaker performances (what's with that accent?). It's too bad both of them are given a very derivative script to work on. It's too bad. Zhang Yimou has done great work in the past. I hope Hollywood gives him a better script next time.

Oscar Prospects: Production Design and Costume Design are possible.

Grade: C


Return to “2017”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest