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Bml93's Film Diary for 2015: July & August
Movie list created by Bml93
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Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)
The biggest problem with Hitman: Agent 47 is that there's barely any plot or any reason to care about any of the characters in this film. The action sequences are strung together by the bare minimum of what's required.
But this is still an entertaining film with several moments that feels like they're pulled straight out of the game. It's slickly made, and the action beats are well-designed.
I was a massive fan of the previous film, and I'm considering that one as one of the best horror films in recent years. The sequel is a let down. It does come with a lot of atmosphere, but it never unleashes that atmosphere into scares. It looks and sounds like a horror film, but it never truly feels like it.
I also really didn't like how they utilized the woman in black this time. In the first film you really felt her presence and was terrified by her, and the way she appeared. This time it felt more comical whenever she popped out.
It Follows (2015)
Re-watched | Second time.
My opinion still stand.
"Holy shit, what an extremely effective horror film It Follows turned out to be. And what's even more impressive, it succeeded without turning to extremely cheap tricks. It's the scariest film I've seen in a while. Constantly unsettling and creepy with its wildly absurd premise. I was never comfortable while watching it. Always on the edge of my seat and actually rather nervous. Which is probably the best compliment I can give a horror film.
I also loved how technically and visually brilliant it is. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous and the consistent use of long shots have never felt more appropriate. And when it's combined with the films energetic retro score, it creates an atmosphere that most modern horror films doesn't even come close to.
It Follows is basically a masterpiece in its genre. It's terrifying, atmospheric and it's quite likely going to get under your skin. The next time I have sex, I'm probably going to be very paranoid afterwards."
@ Cinema 3D
I liked Pixels more than what I initially thought I was going to do. With all the bad reviews, and it essentially being yet another Adam Sandler & friends vehicle, I was expecting it to be dreadful. Which I didn't think it was. It wasn't good either, by all means, but it was serviceable for what it was and I didn't feel particularly underwhelmed when the credits started.
I do believe that a reason for that might be because I generally avoid Adam Sandler films, so I've never really grown tired of that guy. I essentially don't care about him. Pixels is a dumb film, but it's visually colourful enough for me to grant it a shoulder shrug. (And oh my, Michelle Monaghan is beautiful!)
I, Frankenstein (2014)
The only redeemable factor in this film is Bill Nighy. The way he chews the scenery in these kind of films are a pure delight to witness. But aside from that, there's not much to enjoy here.
One thing that might be worth mentioning is that Aaron Eckhart is very handsome, when you take into account that he's supposed to be a corpse that's sewn together. It's like, I wouldn't mind looking like that when I'm at his age.
Fantastic Four (2015)
There's no denying that this Fantastic Four is a major disappointment. It looked like Fox was on a great run with its superhero properties, after the recent success with X-Men. This was a failure though. Now, bear in mind that I don't think it's as horrible as some people are making it out to be. It's not the worst film of 2015. It's just so depressingly mediocre (slightly below).
I did like some elements of the opening and set-up of the universe and characters. It didn't really pay off in the end, or lead anywhere beyond potential "future movies" establishing, but during the first act I thought it was mostly solid. Then it starts to drag and repeat itself, and doesn't really go nowhere. Nothing happens in it until the film suddenly goes "hey, you remember Doom right? Well, he's still here." Then it rushes you through a final act that came and ends just as quickly.
The whole final act, or battle if you will (no spoilers, there's nothing to spoil in this film. Nothing is surprising here) with Doom is weird. At first it is proper b-movie horror shlock with him going around randomly killing people for some reason. Then he wants to end the world for some reason. Then he fights that lame final battle. But damn, he looks weird. I can accept that they tried to give him a slightly more unique look, but this just didn't look cool or menacing. It felt out of place as he looked more comical than threatening, and seeing as the film went with this darker tone, it felt really odd. He's also really poorly developed and mostly just a throw-away villain. Which is not something you should say about Victor von Doom!
The Fantastic Four themselves are also rather undeveloped and lacking in chemistry. But this is mostly because every scene they're in is all about delivering exposition or lines that are cringe-worthy. But it's watchable, I guess, which is the best thing I have to say about the film. It's not good, but it's probably watchable.
If you're familiar with the animated rendition of Cinderalla or just classic Disney fairy tales at all, this live-feature doesn't offer you any surprises. But that's all right, it still manages to charm me with its dazzling visuals and simple, yet effectively emotional love story.
And to be frank, sometimes, in a world as dark and cruel as this, that is all one need. A fantasy to lose yourself towards, and Cinderalla works perfectly as that.
You might not like Tom Cruise as a person, but as a movie star, there are not many actors like him. He's an undeniable action star with plenty of charisma and likeability in his roles, and particularly in Mission: Impossible. This shows again in Rogue Nation, and when he also gets to act against someone as fierce and mysterious as Rebecca Ferguson, you're bound for a good time. Their chemistry is magnificent, and I love how they always managed to keep her intentions unclear. Making us question whether she's good or bad.
The action set pieces in Rogue Nation are amongst the most impressive in the franchise so far. The plot of the film is fine, but it works mainly as a way to connect one action beat to another. It is however done with such skill that one never feel overburdened or exhausted, instead I felt constantly thrilled and entertained, while eagerly and curiously looking forward to the next scene.
Despite being one of the weirder superheroes in Marvel's gallery, and with a basic premise that could take their cinematic universe to even quirkier heights, Ant-Man does end up following the safe superhero origin formula that we've seen a lot of in recent years.
But thankfully, Ant-Man still have a lot of good things going for it. The performances are excellent and the characters are likeable. Paul Rudd, whom I'm usually not a big fan of, turned out to be perfectly cast as Scott Lang, while Michael Douglas brought in some appreciated gravitas to his role. And Michael Pena does almost steal the whole film with his hysterical supporting role.
Ant-Man is a lot smaller in scale compared to previous Marvel films, as it is very much a simple heist film centred around the origin story. Still, despite its simplicity and familiarity, it's a film that turn out to be very enjoyable because of its consistent humour and dazzling action sequences.
@ Online link
This is the only film that I've decided to donate money towards to. Not only because I was extremely fascinated by the subject, but also because I'm a fan of the director Jon Schnepp because of his involvement on various Youtube channels.
The documentary does go deep into what happened with the production of Superman Lives, and it's interesting to see all the weirdness and bizarre things that actually were happening. There are some people in it who are more interesting than other, and it's a bit disappointing that they didn't get an interview with Nicolas Cage. But this is well-worth a watch if you've ever been curious about this film.
Big Eyes (2014)
When you can say that Big Eyes is one of Tim Burton's more "normal" films, you know you're dealing with a weird director, seeing as Big Eyes is still pretty fucking weird. It's a well-acted and well-directed film with a lot of memorable moments and weirdness.
A highlight for me was the constant scene-chewing by Christoph Waltz. He's delightfully over-the-top in every spectre of his performance.
As with every film dealing with this particular topic, there are definitely plot holes here if you think too much about it or try to deconstruct it in any way. But I'm not going to do that. That serves no purpose, and is not the way to reward a film as original and risk-taking as Predestination. It's a genius film.
Here's the tricky part. I really loved Predestination, but this is really a film that should be seen without any knowledge about it. It's a film that keeps on tossing surprises at you, and prior knowledge about it may cause you to guess something you're better off discovering on your own.
But I will say this. I love the originality and playfulness of it. I love the way it takes it time and properly gets you invested in the characters before the plot fully kicks in motion. I also love how emotionally driven it is. It's also extremely well-acted and slick looking.
There are certain aspects that I think could have been handled a little differently. Like the opening, and parts of the ending, but Predestination is amazing.
Jupiter Ascending (2015)
An imaginative and visually pleasing film. The special effects are essentially flawless and it manages to entertain for a major part of its slightly overlong running time. So I was very rarely bored, and easily distracted by the lights and flashes.
The problem lies in its weak and predictable story. It's basically the bare minimum of what is required for anything to be called a film. The characters are also lacking development beyond tiresome clichés and the acting is bad. Particularly Eddie Redmayne is awful with Lord Voldemort impression. I'll give it an extra point for not killing Sean Bean though. That was a surprise!
It's almost fascinating to see how strange Mortdecai is, yet it's equally awful. This film is a train wreck. A disaster and an embarrassment to the people involved. What quality actors like Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany and Gwyneth Paltrow is doing in a film that uses a stupid looking moustache as a running gag is beyond me.
It's some sort of spoof film, but it's quite simply not funny or clever. A waste of time.
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