The Official Review Thread of 2018

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15818
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:55 pm

Winnie Winkle ran for 76 years from 1920-1996. God help us if The Avengers lasts anywhere near that.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8226
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Reza » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:51 pm

Mister Tee wrote:So...Avengers: Infinity War.

SPOILERS, THOUGH PROBABLY NO ONE CARES BY NOW

What a big, bloated mess. An hour in, and they were still throwing more characters into the mix. It got hard to keep track of which bunch of characters was where -- and I'm not sure that mattered, in the end, because at some point it seemed they all had just the same super-powers: flying around, and whamming the villains. (At least in the X-Men movies, the individual powers matter.) I only vaguely remembered things about certain characters (very hazy on who Paul Bettany was), but, again, that didn't handicap me much, since the plot as usual came down to "Super-bad Villain wants to take over the world, and everyone else fights to stop him".

I was grateful for Chris Pratt's presence in the movie, as he was generally amusing. On the other hand, I'm about three steps past sick of Robert Downey's shtik. Everybody beyond that was so super-serious they bored me senseless.

As for that "ending"...in my youth, there was a long-running comic strip called Winnie Winkle. At one point, somewhere around 1960/61, she was said to be dead -- and I remember my father saying "How long till we find out she's still alive?" Same deal here. If you believe Marvel is ready to kill off half of its franchises -- if you for a moment think there won't be a sequel to the billion-ish-grossing Black Panther...well, your childish faith is adorable. So, why would I be moved by something that I know is going to undone or reversed in time for about a dozen more movies?

Speaking of Black Panther...if it doesn't win visual effects next February, I think we can write off the chances of any Marvel film ever taking the prize. Not to disparage the amount of work done of the effects here -- they're wall-to-wall and, I guess, impressive. But I think there's not a hint of "shock of the new" about them; when such an ocean of effects can seem so routine, even banal, I don't see much chance Oscar voters will ever go that way. Black Panther can win on cultural/critical prominence; after that, I think Marvel is dead except as chanceless nominee.


:lol:

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6580
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:37 pm

So...Avengers: Infinity War.

SPOILERS, THOUGH PROBABLY NO ONE CARES BY NOW

What a big, bloated mess. An hour in, and they were still throwing more characters into the mix. It got hard to keep track of which bunch of characters was where -- and I'm not sure that mattered, in the end, because at some point it seemed they all had just the same super-powers: flying around, and whamming the villains. (At least in the X-Men movies, the individual powers matter.) I only vaguely remembered things about certain characters (very hazy on who Paul Bettany was), but, again, that didn't handicap me much, since the plot as usual came down to "Super-bad Villain wants to take over the world, and everyone else fights to stop him".

I was grateful for Chris Pratt's presence in the movie, as he was generally amusing. On the other hand, I'm about three steps past sick of Robert Downey's shtik. Everybody beyond that was so super-serious they bored me senseless.

As for that "ending"...in my youth, there was a long-running comic strip called Winnie Winkle. At one point, somewhere around 1960/61, she was said to be dead -- and I remember my father saying "How long till we find out she's still alive?" Same deal here. If you believe Marvel is ready to kill off half of its franchises -- if you for a moment think there won't be a sequel to the billion-ish-grossing Black Panther...well, your childish faith is adorable. So, why would I be moved by something that I know is going to undone or reversed in time for about a dozen more movies?

Speaking of Black Panther...if it doesn't win visual effects next February, I think we can write off the chances of any Marvel film ever taking the prize. Not to disparage the amount of work done of the effects here -- they're wall-to-wall and, I guess, impressive. But I think there's not a hint of "shock of the new" about them; when such an ocean of effects can seem so routine, even banal, I don't see much chance Oscar voters will ever go that way. Black Panther can win on cultural/critical prominence; after that, I think Marvel is dead except as chanceless nominee.

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5261
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:19 am

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS
Cast: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Kyle MacLachlan, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Lorenza Izzo, Sunny Suljic, Colleen Camp.
Dir: Eli Roth.

An orphaned 10 year old boy is sent to live with his uncle who happens to be a good warlock but with a lot of secrets. One of the most interesting elements in this film is the fact that it's directed by Eli Roth, a horror movie director known for his hard-R torture porno movies like Hostel (which I'm not a fan of). How did he do in his first foray into a PG-rated kids' film? It's...okay, very okay. He does better with the spooky, horror elements than he does with the fantasy whimsy elements. The entire thing is almost held together by Cate Blanchett who surprisingly does not phone it in. She gives it a lot of humor and depth and even shares some nice chemistry with Jack Black who gives his usual Jack Black performance. It's inoffensive fun for kiddies but there are better options out there.

Oscar Prospects: Makeup & Hairstyling is possible.

Grade: B-

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5261
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:19 am

SEARCHING
Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing, Michelle La, Sara Sohn, Joseph Lee.
Dir: Aneesh Chaganty.

A father searches for his missing 16 year old daughter by tracking her social media activity. This is a film that's pretty much told entirely from smart phones and computer screens. Yes, it's a gimmick and yes, it's been done before but this film has done it the most effectively so far. From the opening montage which, quite frankly, rivals Up in its emotional impact does a good job of setting up the characters and making us invested in them to the gripping, unfolding mystery behind the disappearance. One of the things that struck me when watching this film is the fact that the story is led by an Asian-American character but the story didn't really require him to be one. It does give the film an added layer of character. It's definitely one of the best genre efforts of the year.

Oscar Prospects: John Cho wouldn't be an embarrassing Best Actor nominee. Editing and Screenplay too.

Grade: B+

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5261
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:21 am

THE PREDATOR
Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, Augusto Aguilera, Yvonne Strahovski, Jake Busey.
Dir: Shane Black.

The Predator comes back to Earth to wreck some havoc and he's hunted by a bigger, badder Predator and caught in a crossfire is a bunch of PTSD soldiers, a government organization that wants to acquire Predator weapons and an autistic young boy. Yes, just writing that out made me realize what a narrative mess this thing is. So many different elements going on at the same time that it seems like the executives upstairs can't decide where to go with this franchise they just threw every possibility out there. But....I found it still quite fun. There are some funny Shane Black-style lines and the cast is engaging. So at least it's a fun mess.

Oscar Prospects: None.

Grade: C+

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5261
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:11 am

A SIMPLE FAVOR
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Rupert Friend, Andrew Rannells, Linda Cardellini, Jean Smart, Joshua Satine, Ian Ho.
Dir: Paul Feig.

A mommy blogger's best friend, whom she met because her son is friends with her son, goes missing. That's all I will say. One of the pleasures of this film is the way it unfolds. In a way, it's nothing you haven't seen before in many other classic crime thrillers, neo-noirs and film noirs but what makes this unique is that it's directed by Paul Feig, and being who he is, he adds a layer of humor not seen in a lot of these types of films. And it works. It makes the thrills and twists and the turns more engaging and even somewhat believable. Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are both fantastic and it looks like Henry Golding is here to stay.

Oscar Prospects: None.

Grade: B+

User avatar
OscarGuy
Site Admin
Posts: 12570
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 12:22 am
Location: Springfield, MO
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby OscarGuy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:27 pm

It's hardly a plot irrelevance. It's no different than the absence of Mr. Beale in the musical Grey Gardens. It simply demonstrates that the patriarch is too busy for everything but making money, leaving his wife to raise the child and groom him. That distance is simply a detail that explains the son's upbringing without having to incessantly call attention to itself.
Wesley Lovell
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6580
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:51 pm

Uri wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:Did you pick this up from the movie, or were you acquainted with the book? I'm just curious if I was particularly slow-on-the-draw in grasping all the relationships (I have to admit, several of the peripheral characters I had difficulty placing -- there were thrown at me pretty fast).


It's stated in the film itself - that grand matriarch had 3 children - the unseen father of the leading man and two daughters who are constantly dotting on her, one is the mother of Astrid, the other one of a son we also see in the film. (I'm afraid I'm compulsive when it comes to onscreen genealogy. I've always been a sucker for family trees - from royal ones to the ones I was keeping as a child of the cows in our farm).


I think I missed every bit of that.

By the way, you indirectly raise something else that bothered me about the film: when a big deal is made about a character (the father) having been unexpectedly called away on business, I expect 1) for that to have some role in the plot and 2) for the father to re-appear at some pivotal moment and make a difference to the narrative. Instead, it was a floating plot irrelevance.

Uri
Adjunct
Posts: 1112
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 11:37 pm
Location: Israel

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Uri » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:37 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Did you pick this up from the movie, or were you acquainted with the book? I'm just curious if I was particularly slow-on-the-draw in grasping all the relationships (I have to admit, several of the peripheral characters I had difficulty placing -- there were thrown at me pretty fast).


It's stated in the film itself - that grand matriarch had 3 children - the unseen father of the leading man and two daughters who are constantly dotting on her, one is the mother of Astrid, the other one of a son we also see in the film. (I'm afraid I'm compulsive when it comes to onscreen genealogy. I've always been a sucker for family trees - from royal ones to the ones I was keeping as a child of the cows in our farm).

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6580
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:56 pm

Uri wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:And Gemma Chan, as sister Astrid...I kept thinking, dye her hair blonde and she's a ringer for Ivanka Trump.


She plays his cousin, not that it's mather. And Astrid's face most probably had work done to it by the same plastic surgeon as Ivanka's.


Did you pick this up from the movie, or were you acquainted with the book? I'm just curious if I was particularly slow-on-the-draw in grasping all the relationships (I have to admit, several of the peripheral characters I had difficulty placing -- there were thrown at me pretty fast).

Uri
Adjunct
Posts: 1112
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 11:37 pm
Location: Israel

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Uri » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:12 am

Mister Tee wrote:Leading man Henry Golding's model/pretty boy look weirdly makes him look semi-Caucasian.


that because he is - his father is English, his mother Malaysian.

Mister Tee wrote:And Gemma Chan, as sister Astrid...I kept thinking, dye her hair blonde and she's a ringer for Ivanka Trump.


She plays his cousin, not that it's mather. And Astrid's face most probably had work done to it by the same plastic surgeon as Ivanka's.

The film's esthetics as well as approach to developing plotlines and characters are those of a commercial. At one point I was wishing it was intentional - these people seems to have only consumerism as a point of reference and motivation for their actions, but than you have the heroin and her mother - who are supposed to be "genuine" people, representing our - the plebeians - point of view, alas, they are presented in exactly the same synthetic way, making you realize this empty, shallow take on the world is the filmmakers'.

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6580
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:35 am

Crazy Rich Asians offers up two hours of wealth porn, food porn, fashion porn, even botany porn -- all wrapped inside a romance-among-beautiful-people that follows the most hackneyed of formulas (old-fashioned mother resentful of the woman her son wants to marry). Is it enjoyable? I guess, in the same way downing a bag of Cheetos or a tub of Haagen-Dazs is -- painless, but strictly empty calories. Even in the category of "it's just entertainment", you'd like to think a movie'd offer SOMETHING fresh.

What is distinguishing, of course, is that the film is headlined by Asians, top to bottom, and I guess the insane grosses might open the door to more creative work by subsequent similar casts. But here, the actors are pretty bland (Michelle Yeoh and, I guess, Awkwafina excluded), and almost too beautiful to take seriously. Leading man Henry Golding's model/pretty boy look weirdly makes him look semi-Caucasian. And Gemma Chan, as sister Astrid...I kept thinking, dye her hair blonde and she's a ringer for Ivanka Trump.

And what in god's name was that scene with bride and bridesmaids wading through a river to get to the altar? I can't imagine any bride I know (emphatically not my wife) happy to have a soaked dress-bottom to get married in.

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5261
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:42 am

ALPHA
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Leonor Varela.
Dir: Albert Hughes.

A young man from a prehistoric European tribe gets separated during a buffalo hunt and was thought dead. He encounters a wolf and they become companions in his journey back home. Basically, this is kind of an imagined take on how the dog became man's best friend and even though we've seen this type of film before, it is pretty effective. Kodi Smit-McPhee proves himself to be a great actor, acting just with an animal for two-thirds of the running time and in a fictional, made-up cave man language to boot. Yes, we've seen it all before but this is done quite better than a lot of them. It's overall a solid adventure film, that actually becomes actually moving in the end, especially if you're a dog lover.

Oscar Prospects: This wouldn't be an embarrassing nominee for Costume Design, Visual Effects, Makeup & Hairstyling, Original Score, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing.

Grade: B+

anonymous1980
Laureate
Posts: 5261
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2018

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:16 am

THE EQUALIZER 2
Cast: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Melissa Leo, Orson Bean, Bill Pullman.
Dir: Antoine Fuqua.

The sequel to the first film version of the TV series. Basically, it's Denzel Washington kicking ass and doing good deeds. This time around, he investigates a conspiracy surrounding the death of his good friend, played by Melissa Leo. It's a fairly entertaining standard revenge action-thriller but with efforts put into make it have some depth and substance but it makes it all just a bit too long despite the good efforts of the cast to make it more than what it is (including a nice little part with Orson Bean, who I'm surprised was still alive!). Truth be told, I only saw this because there's nothing else to see in the theater. So it's a diverting time killer.

Oscar Prospects: None.

Grade: C+


Return to “2018”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest