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Films that nearly cracked the list.
The Last King (2016)
I do appreciate that Norwegian filmmakers makes these kind of films, and explore the Norwegian history. It all has the possibility of being a great cinematic experience. The setting and the production values are all present here, and there are some decent chase sequences. Unfortunately, almost everything else falls flat.
The acting is subpar, although I can't really fault the actors for that, as almost all of the dialogue they've been given is atrocious. The characters are also paper thin and despite the film trying to give you some emotional hook to latch on too, the film fails to emotionally connect to me. Rendering this a dull affair.
Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)
Did Underworld really need a fifth film? I thought the fourth one was pushing it, but this one felt really unnecessary. It doesn't really add or explore anything new in the Underworld lore, while the action and characters felt uninspired. Lara Pulver does chew some scenes, but beyond that, it's mostly boring.
Kate Beckinsale's leather outfit is a piece of art in of itself, and it's enjoyable to see her move around in it. It's just a shame that the rest of the film is not enjoyable.
I'm not that into this property. I don't have any sort of memory of it or any nostalgia towards it. I saw the previous film, and thought it was a bit meh. I find this sequel to be even less interesting. I think the turtles are a bit dull. Their personalities rarely get a moment to shine and I'm surprised by how little they embrace the "ninja aspect". Worse is the human characters. They're essentially useless. In the end, this is just a big, loud and dumb film that bores surprisingly much.
I did have high hopes for this. It¨s directed by Norwegian director Morten Tyldum, and as a fellow Norwegian, I really wanted him to succeed with this. Particularly after his success with The Imitation Game. Unfortunately, Passengers is wasted potential and I'm left to wonder if this film would have been better off if it were in the hands of a director like Paul Verhoeven or David Cronenberg instead. This is a film that opens up rather interesting and starts to go slightly, without giving anything away, in to some really fucked up way with the potential of a fascinating dive into ethical and moral topics. Unfortunately, what we get is the safe and watered down studio version.
The film never seeks to explore its topic or themes, but it does instead turn in to every other standard sci-fi action film. The last act is just horribly boring action spectacle without anything interesting happen, with a plot that ties itself together in such a neat way that it leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
I haven't really seen Alice in Wonderland since it came out, but I did have very fond memories of it, and as with almost every Tim Burton film, I enjoyed quite a lot. Alice Through the Looking Glass is however not directed by Tim Burton, yet the film naturally carries his style and tone over. I found that to be slightly jarring. There was something in this film that felt slightly off. The timing and story beats didn't quite hit where they were supposed to be. Not too mention that the visual effects, production design, costumes and all the make-up were really distracting this time around. I really just couldn't get back in too this world.
Everything else also falls flat. Johnny Depp is a disaster. Mia Wasikowska is dull. Anne Hathaway is sleepwalking. Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen are somewhat amusing though. Particularly Baron Cohen's sort of Werner Herzog impression. The rest of the characters are non-existent. The story is a jumbled mess, and despite the film dealing with time travel, the stakes feel rather low. The film lacks adventure, wonder, excitement and whenever it tries to deal with emotion it fails to achieve it.
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
I've never understood why so many people are so fond of the original Independence Day, and that it ended up with a sequel 20 years later is a bit strange, with a third film definitively coming. While I thought the original was fine at best, Resurgence is a train wreck of rehashing everything from the previous film. It's mess of a nightmare to behold.
The film features about 20 characters or so. Almost everyone from the original (even supposedly dead ones) and plenty of new ones. None of them are developed in any proper way, and few of them are justified for even being there. The film also takes forever to get going with one meaningless scene after the other extending the running time to an unbearable length.
The special effects themselves are fine, as you would expect from a Roland Emmerich film. The action is bigger and more bloated than the last time, but there's no reason to care. It's not engaging. It's not immersive. It's not fun. It's not entertaining. As film goers, we should reject these kind of films. This is a soulless cash grab in its most disposable form.
The Brothers Grimsby (2016)
I'll give this film credits for taking its comedy to the very extreme. Which is essentially the only credit I'll give it. I despised it. It was everything you would expect from a Sacha Baron Cohen flick, but the vile, crass and disgusting humor failed to provoke any laughs from me. Instead I found myself painfully bored.
I don't doubt that this film will find its audience, but that's definitively not me.
With a premise like this, I did not expect this to be a good film. What I did expect was something that was slightly amusing. I did not get that. What I got was an utter snooze fest of a film. A film that is so incompetently made that one starts to wonder if it's made directly for something like Youtube or if it's an actual theatrical release. Poorly written, wooden acting and shamelessly unfunny.
I'll grant Cave one thing, there's some decent cinematography here. Aside from that, Cave feels like a poor student film. The dialogue is atrocious, the characters are poorly developed and just unlikeable. The worst thing is however the story and how it unfolds. It's a film that is solely here to set up for a Cave 2, as the film sets up quite a few potential "threats" or ideas. During its very short running time, the film sets up quite a lot of questions. The problem is that it refuses to answer any of them. Thus making the film feel nonsensical. As it is now, there's nothing in it that makes remotely sense. It's all certainly going to be explained in the sequel, but the filmmakers have given me no incentive to continue watching further installments. This was just subpar storytelling on every level and one of the least rewarding film experiences in recent times.
Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens (2016)
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