Movie Reviews

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by WillB, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. WillB

    WillB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    In no particular order, here's some reviews I have done recently members may find useful. I have a bunch. I will not post them all here, but this gives a flavor. If anyone wants a review od a specific movie, ask and I will see if i covered it and post it in this thread. My tastes and watching habits are diverse;


    Watching the review, one would conclude this movie was made for younger viewers, and say family entertainment. It's not. As one reviewer said "Kin is darker and far less enjoyable than its publicity materials might have you think." Who is it made for? I have no idea, it's way too dark and weird for kids, too simplistic for adults. The director attempts to give it some depth, Zoe Kravitz can do anything and be enjoyable to look at, and there's some good visuals. It's like Predator meets some Disney movie. Other than that, why this movie was made, and who the intended audience is, I have no idea. Not even the excellent casting could save this dog...C-/D+


    Ant Man

    This super hero movie sort dropped off my radar, so I'm late to the party with this review. It was not on my radar mostly due the fact I can't think of too many super hero concepts less interesting than a suit that shrinks a person down to the size of an ant as their only real power. Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised by Ant-man in that they played it right (cheeky fun), good actors, fun dialogue, character development, and decent action scenes, or as good as two guys in suits that make them the size of ants can be... Plot itself was utterly generic. While the premise did not get my super hero mojo up, this one was worth watching and a fun time. B+


    Ip Man 3

    I'm generally of the opinion you seen one Kung Fu movie, you have seen them all, but not so it seems. Ip Man is loosely based on a real person, the Grand Master who Bruce Lee was a student of. This movie has both emotional depth and a plot, and the relationship with his wife is both a key element of the movie (and quite touching in fact), and balances the action well. Donnie Yen shows some subtle but convincing emotional depth, and the love story between he and his wife got me in the feels several times.

    ‬The martial arts choreography is well done and fun to watch. The characters have depth, and none other than Mike Tyson plays the Boss Man bad guy, and does a fun job of it too. Best way I can describe this movie as Kung Fu with class. B+



    Gringo has all the right ingredients for a good sauce, but something just not right. wants to be a dark comedy, but it's not all that dark nor all that funny. The parts are all there, it just never quite comes together to make it work. The lead character (played by David Oyelowo) is a very likable fellow who has one crappy thing after another happen to him, and there's a few fun scenes, but it feels forced and tries to hard to be dark and funny and just misses the mark. If you like dark comedies and have time to kill, it's not the worst movie in the genre by any means, but the trailer pretty much has the best parts. C+/B-


    Den Of Thieves

    This movie is basically an homage to Heat, right down to the running gun fight in traffic, vs just being a remake per se. Tough cop and tough bank robber with a tough crew go head to head. They attempt to give us some reason to care about characters with the usual fare (tough cop getting divorced and misses his kids, drinks too much, yada, yada) and is generally well done with a solid cast, with a few eye rolling moments that knock down what could have been a really good movie. I expected 50 cent to be terrible, but he actually does a decent job of it. Dialogue is ok, some scenes are tense and taught, and it's an overall fun action movie, but Heat or Sicario it aint... But it's not a bad action flick, just not one you'll be talking about the next day or thinking about past seeing it. B-/C+


    Bad Times at the El Royal in a separate thread:
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  2. Unaynan214


    Dec 26, 2018
    Thank you for sharing your reviews now I know that I will be looking at this weekend! I have already reviewed a lot of movies and TV shows, and I thought that I would not find anything and watch the same movies again...
    WillB likes this.
  3. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    Bohemian Rhapsody ?
  4. WillB

    WillB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Have not seen it yet.
  5. WillB

    WillB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2007


    Moana has an interesting plot for a Disney animated movie. I'm not usually a big fan of the animated movies where the characters break into song out of the blue, but it's not over done and some of the songs pretty good. The Rock is great as the demigod Maui, and there's some funny dialogue. On that alone I'd say worth a view, but where this movie really stands out is in the animation. The CGI in this movie may be the standard setter from now on. It's really impressive and downright beautiful in some scenes. A-


    DP II

    I had generally high expectations for this movie as the reviews and such were quite good. Maybe they saw a different movie. It was predictable, poorly written, and tried too hard to be funny and edgy, and failed. Good action and CGI didn't make up for the attempt to recreate the formula of the first movie, but failed. The trailer is best part of it. I really wanted to like this movie, but the plot was lame, constant X Men jokes and such got old real fast, and just didn't have the dialogue and characters the first did to make it all work. Tons of annoying little details that accumulated to kill the enjoyment. The all inclusive stuff was the nail in the coffin for me. C+



    This is a 2011 Ryan Gosling movie I just saw after it was recommended to me. Never saw it assuming it was yet another generic movie with car chases similar to fast and furious 1-23. Such was not the case. The directing, sound track, acting, etc are top tier. The supporting actors - a who's who of great actors - are excellent all around.

    The movie has a very film noir feel to it and the violence graphic. Sort of Good Fella's meets Miami Vice. This is a tense, taut, tight movie, that takes some time to get into. I did find the ending very unsatisfying, which feels sloppy and rushed; maybe intentional by the director, but it didn't work for me for what's an otherwise solid movie. With just a few tweaks and a better ending, could have been a classic.




    Finally watched this one on the plane going from MA -> FL and I'm glad I did! This movie explores time travel paradox's at a level no other movie of the time travel ilk can match, not even close. This movie is a mind bender to end all mind benders in the time travel genre.

    Ethan Hawke does a solid job as the lead, but the real star of this movie is actress Sarah Snook, who does an INCREDIBLE job in this movie. I was blown away by her and if it was not a foreign made film, if the movie was not sci fi, not so incredibly mind bending and heavy, she'd win every damn award there is for this work. Hollywood and the world in general ignores sci fi as "serious movie" making as rule, and it only took them decades to acknowledge Blade Runner for example one of the finest examples of cinema ever made regardless of genre.

    Very few movies leave me thinking about it all day the next day, and I'm still trying to untwist what I saw for the implications it addresses, the quality of movie making, the acting of the entire cast, and turns and twists I didn't see coming, and the last time I saw a sci fi movie that I didn't see it coming a mile away was "Luke, I am your father..."

    This movie should have gotten far more attention than it did, but the general public won't "get it" so also not surprised it didn't.

    My Rating: A*

    FYI: The movie is adopted from All You Zombies—' " a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein I read as a kid.


    * = Would get an A+ but for a few minor flubs I doubt most will even notice or care, but A+ in sci fi is reserved for reference quality movies such as 2001, Blade Runner, etc.

    Ex Machina

    Ex Machina is essentially a modern day Frankenstein, or Frankenstein meets Google... It's well made, well directed, excellent dialogue and acting. There's nothing to dislike about this movie if you enjoy those stories that explore the deeper meaning of what it means to be sentient, alive, or "human." It relies much more on those aspects than it does on flashy CGI. In fact, the tech is more a background to the story than the main attraction, both rare and refreshing for a modern movie. It's a "thinking persons" type sci fi movie. If you want sharks with lasers, fighting robots, or CGI minus plot per recent sci fi movies, you will not enjoy Ex Machina. I thought the ending felt rushed and attempted to wrap up too neatly and didn't fit the otherwise solid movie, but that's the major issue I had, I'd give this an A- with the caveats.

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  6. kniferbro

    kniferbro Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    I have similar sentiments about Ex Machina. As a whole I really enjoyed it. Definitely a "mouth agape" movie for me :D
    WillB likes this.
  7. WillB

    WillB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Have you seen all the others? Here's some more:


    As the original Jumanji was a stinker, I had no plans to watch this version. I was surprised to see this movie getting generally good reviews from viewers, so I decided to give it a chance. It's actually not a remake, more a whole different approach to the story. It turned out to be a fun and well done movie, and silly good time. The cast does a solid and entertaining job of it, and I was pleasantly surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did. Obviously intended for a younger/family audience, but I'm a big kid and don't care. B+


    Dr. Strange

    Dr. Strange is a visual tour de force. Benedict Cumberbatch does a solid job (per usual) of the lead character, and solid supporting characters all around. The plot is fairly generic:

    "After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under his wing and trains him to defend the world against evil."

    I doubt it's one of those movies people will be talking about or thinking about a few days after seeing it, but it's a general fun romp through multiple dimensions and concepts of space and time and visually compelling. B-


    Big Hero 6

    If you're a fan of good animated movies, you'll want to see this one. The CGI is amazing. Visually, this movie may have just set the bar. The plot is fun, but the script and humor is a bit forced and cheesy in spots (It's Disney after all..) and some times the CGI seems intended just to impress (it does) vs play an important part of the movie.

    I'd give this one a A-

    Fun for kids big and small.



    Chappie is a movie by Neill Blomkamp, best known for District 9 and Elysium (Elysium below) review. His movies attempt to examine heady topics such as what does it actually mean to be human, the nature of consciousness, and so forth. Since District 9, he's essentially used the same formula for each of his movies however. Their strong points are an attempt to examine interesting topics that make you think (vs just CGI and explosions, etc), great characters, and unique visuals.

    The weak points is a serious need for the suspension of disbelief where physical, technical, and plot line issues are ignored in favor of the "big picture" topics (pretty much the same for each movie however...) he wants to examine that makes what could be a great movie, an OK movie. If you enjoyed District 9 and Elysium, you'll enjoy Chappie. If you didn't enjoy those movies, Chappie is more of the same from Blomkamp. For me District 9 by far his best movie, and he's been unable to re capture that magic of District 9 ever since. I liked Chappie more than Elysium at least, but it's time Blomkamp found a new formula as he's becoming very predictable. The ending of Chappie seems to take right from Robo Cop. Not sure if that was intentional or a mistake, but I thought it was very Robo Cop (talk about a great movie!) esk at the end.

    I'd give this one a B-, and it could have and should have been an A, maybe even a classic with some tweaks.



    I had really high hopes and expectations for this movie: written, directed, and co-produced by Neill Blomkamp, who put out a great sci fi movie in District 9. Top notch actors. Great story plot. Big budget...A formula for a great movie, maybe even Blade Runner great, but it was not to be. Had this movie been done right, it could have been in the all time classic Sc Fi category.

    The actors did their jobs commendably, the visuals are very good, but the story line falls very short and I was unable and unwilling to suspend my disbelief over constant stuff that made no sense, or were just convenient to keep the movie moving at the pace the Director wanted. And they attach the cool exoskeleton to him for no other reason than they have an extra one lying around (what?), and he doesn't even utilize it all that much. It tries far too hard to send a social message about the haves and haves nots, but beats you over the head with it. The ending also makes no real sense, but I wont say why as to not spoil that.

    It's not a bad movie by any means. I'd give it a solid B, maybe even B+, but it had so much potential that anything short of great (A+) fell short for me. If you do want to see a really good movie by this director/writer, see District 9. It's a cult classic at this point and rightly so and a better movie (done on a far smaller budget) than Elysium.

  8. kniferbro

    kniferbro Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    I've seen Moana, and maybe Drive? Not into Deadpool. Elysium and Chappie were alright... I cannot get over CGI reskins or reused props (seems super common these days). Chappie is just District 9 CGI with a reskin and the same "suits" are used in Elysium and Edge of Tomorrow. I dunno why it just rubs me the wrong way!
    WillB likes this.
  9. WillB

    WillB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    I pretty much agree with the assessment there. There's not a lot of imagination out there.
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  10. kniferbro

    kniferbro Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    Keep the reviews coming man. Always looking for flix to watch with the Mrs.
  11. WillB

    WillB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Will do. Here's some more:

    The Predator

    The director of this movie should be flogged in public. I have not seen a movie this F-ing awful in I don't know when. I was not expecting much, and it delivered complete crap. I turned it off several times, but slogged through. The lesson is global warming is bad (yes, they managed to work global warming in as a theme) and the rest is the biggest mess I can remember. How this POS got the green light from any studio I don't know. Even the CGI looks low budget in spots. It's so bad, it may go onto be a classic. The trailer almost makes it look not completely terrible, but it was. Anyone part of this movie should be ashamed of themselves. It gets the + only because there's a few good one liners, and it's very pro mil/veteran. Avoid. F+


    The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

    The latest and the last of the three part series of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. I was very disappointed in the first two, which were a real let down compared to the LOR series. This latest is a totally different animal. I'm not sure if directer Peter Jackson took some of the criticisms to heart from the last two movies and made it right, or he'd always planned the last one to make up for the first two, but it does. For lovers of the LOR series (and you'd have to screwed in the brain not to be a fan of those movies frankly...) this latest movie is much closer to them.

    The first two Hobbit movies felt directed at kids, suffered CGI overkill, and just left most serous LOR fans flat. This latest movie is much more adult oriented, CGI used to enhance vs dominate as it did for LOR, solid acting, great battle scenes, and Action from start to finish. It does not have the "magic" of LOR, but it's a solid A- movie that almost makes up for those last two duds.


    The Huntsman

    It's not a bad movie per se, just not memorable in the least. Just pulls from the generic book of similar films, has a few fun moments, is utterly and totally predictable. Too bad as it has a great cast, but they couldn't make this one stand out from dozens of movies just like it. Spoiler, love wins in the end...Pass.

    I'd give it a C- as the visuals and CGI are quite good in places.


    The Hateful 8

    Quentin Tarantino is hit or miss for me, mostly miss. The Hateful 8 is another narcissistic mess from him. It has some good dialogue in spots, great casting, a decent plot line, and is full of gratuitous cheesy looking violence, pushing various taboos as far as he can to show how edgy he is. The movies has it all for taboos covered, and the N Word is used at least every other minute, etc, etc.

    It's dark humor and everyone is covered in blood and brain and other body parts at some point and in various nasty ways.

    If you generally enjoy Tarantino's stuff, you'll like this one too I suspect. If you don't "get" what people see in Tarantino movies, I doubt you'll do any better with this one. C+

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
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  12. WillB

    WillB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    My only TV show review so far:

    The Expanse

    One reviewer said "It's Battlestar Galactica meets Game Of Thrones" and that's spot on. The Expanse is by far THE best made for TV SF for adults I have ever seen. I can't believe my SF loving brethren did not alert me to this show. I'm now middle of season 3, and wow. First season, like any show that of any show that will have various plots and sub plots, characters, etc, is setting up future seasons. It's good, but nothing to put it above other SF shows. Season 2-3 are off the charts good. Some scenes are, dare I say it, Blade Runner Good, which is the highest compliment I can pay to any movie or TV show, SF based or not...The dialogue ranges from good to great, character development ranges from good to great, plot, etc etc, never gets lower than good. Science and CGI, solid. There's real human depth to the characters and you care what happens to them, and some, such as Chrisjen Avasarala (vid below of her best moments) are as good as it gets. I love her character and the writers, director, etc really know how to get the best from her as an actor. Even if you're not an SF fan per se (which in my opinion means you lack imagination but never mind that...) you'll enjoy the Expanse on SYFY channel. Gets a very rare A+ from me.

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  13. WillB

    WillB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Feels like it was made using the Jerry Bruckheimer formula of movie making: lots of action and good visuals, zero character development and generic dialogue from the big book of action movies. Basic plot is at least original, but that's about it. Not a bad action/thriller flick, not one you'll be thinking about the next day. Good mindless fun, and nothing else of substance. B-

  14. kniferbro

    kniferbro Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    Could not get through The Predator either... I grew up on the original Predator, it was the ultimate badass/scary movie to me as a kid, and I've seen all the sequels (?) after. I'm a huge scifi fantasy nerd so even horrible movies I can still get something out of (like the other Predator movies) but this one was just soooooo bad lol.

    Love all of Tolkien and I DO like all of the Hobbit films. I know they get a lot of hate but IDC, I enjoy them (I also like the Star Wars prequels which also get a lot of hate). Definitely not LotR level but good nonetheless. I love lore and they got lore.

    The Expanse is awesome, my friend turned me onto the show... I love the world building and the show definitely sets up some decent lore.
    WillB likes this.
  15. 1234

    1234 Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 13, 2005

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  16. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    I liked The Hateful 8. Solid B for me.
    Dr Strange. Meh. I'll round up to a C.
    The Hobbit. Soooo disappointing. The LOTR trilogy is in my top 5 all time. The Hobbit trilogy fell way short for me. I really wish they had made The Hobbit first and just made it a 2-3 hr film followed by LOTR. To me, The Hobbit and LOTR are a 4 part series and The Hobbit should come first to give background on the ring. A generous C.

    I haven't seen anything else on the list.
    WillB likes this.
  17. WillB

    WillB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Have you seen it? Not sure why the random trailer post. I have not seen it. Will probably rent it, but it reminds me of Player One, which was disappointing
  18. WillB

    WillB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Note positive rating was only for the last one of the 3, which almost, made up for the first two, which were very disappointing.
  19. 1234

    1234 Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    Seen it, and I liked it, hence why I took the time and posted the trailer.

  20. WillB

    WillB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Then I'd say leave a proper review man

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