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Bml93's Film Diary for 2015: November & December

Movie list created by Bml93 Avatar

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@ Blu-ray

Pay the Ghost is dumber than a pile of rocks, and Nicolas Cage is more boring than lecture at 08.00 in the morning. It does have the premise for a somewhat decent ghost mystery, but end result completely forgets to add any for of atmosphere or suspense. It's just something to yawn at.
2/10

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Re-watched | I don't even know.

@ TV

Arguably the Norway's biggest classic, and despite it not being a Christmas film, it's become a tradition in Norway to see it during Christmas. It's a gloriously charming film made with outstanding stop motion and puppets. It's funny and inventive. Every thing in it is detailed to the fullest, and even the smallest characters are given weird and quirky personalities. It feels like a fully realized world and it is one of the most heartfelt film experiences I've ever had, and keep having every time I see it.
10/10

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People who added this item 494 Average listal rating (308 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.5
Tomorrowland (2015)
@ Blu-ray

With the exception of a few heartfelt moments (Raffey Cassidy is a star in the making), and some moments of awe and wonder, Tomorrowland mostly feel like a chore. It's a film that is full of ideas, but sadly none of them are realized beyond what is necessary to complete its very traditional bad guy wants to destroy the world plot. It's essentially wasted potential.
5/10

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People who added this item 3948 Average listal rating (2478 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.6
Re-watched | Fifth time

@ Blu-ray

One of my few Christmas traditions. It's not Christmas for me until I've heard Bill Nighy sing his horrible cover of "Love Is All Around". It's not Christmas until I've seen Hugh Grant embarrassingly dance down the stairs. Until I've seen Andrew Lincoln stand outside Keira Knightley's door with his cardboards. An overstuffed, overly sugary film. But so loveable nonetheless.

Because there are no doubts that this is a very flawed film, and if decided to, one you could very easily dissect it. But I'm not going to do that. It's a rare "chick-flick" that puts me in the mood for Christmas. I'm won over by the romantic improbabilities. I think it's hysterically funny, and I'm charmed by the cast.
8/10

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People who added this item 3042 Average listal rating (1965 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Re-watched | Fourth time

@ Blu-ray

Gremlins is like just the perfect mix of comedy and family horror. Obligatory Christmas viewing in this household. It's a consistently funny film that thrives in its own lack of seriousness. The bar scene with the gremlins is comedy gold, and also a win for practical effects in films like this.

The only problem I really have with the film is the one scene where the film suddenly stops being free for serious issues. It suddenly goes really dark for one particular moment, and it feels really out of place. But besides that, Gremlins is a blast.
8/10

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People who added this item 382 Average listal rating (250 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.6
@ Blu-ray

Focus is fast-paced and energetic with a charismatic cast. It's all mildly entertaining because of that, but the problem with Focus lies in its own premise. This is a film that is so focused at tried to con and trick you that you'll eventually turn immune to it. If you're going to take your audience by surprise when it comes to twists and turns, you need to let them settle down onto something. When you're constantly on the alert, and start questioning everything that you see, you won't get tricked. Focus falls therefore in its own trap, and the predictable unpredictability of it becomes its own undoing.
5/10

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People who added this item 1017 Average listal rating (718 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
@ Blu-ray

The more I've thought about Ex Machina after seeing it, the more I like it. The slow pace and intelligent writing offers a very rewarding experience, while being visually pleasant to look at all the way through.
9/10

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@ Cinema

After the prequels trilogy, it was clearly important to bring Star Wars back to what it was. Just to kind of remind us of why we love Star Wars, and in doing so, J.J. Abrams have essentially remade A New Hope, at least if you look at the biggest brushes. Which is not necessarily a bad thing as it sort of let them put the biggest focus on the characters, new and old.

Because the thing that The Force Awakens really gets right is its characters. Not only is Harrison Ford really bringing it home as Han Solo, but every new member of the franchise is great. I absolutely adore Rey (is there anyone out there who doesn't have a crush on Daisy Ridley now?), and I think that her chemistry between Finn is amazing. They're instantly likeable, funny, charismatic and relateable. When things happen to them, you feel real emotion. So it manages to capture the essence of Star Wars. Fun and emotionally engaging characters in a massive space adventure.

I've also grown warm to Kylo Ren as the villain. He represents some sort of a change from what we usually see from most of your typical villains, and manages to distinguish himself enough from just being a Darth Vader clone.

Besides the characters, the film looks and sounds awesome. The visuals effects are amazing, and I love the fact that they've gone back to the visual style of the originals. The action is great, the pacing is fast and there's never a dull moment. It's also very funny. Probably the funniest Star Wars we've had. I was surprised by how many of the jokes actually landed. BB-8 in particular is comedic gold.

The Force Awakens is of course flawed. It does mimic a few too many plot points from the original trilogy for it to be put on the same shelf as the original three, and there's one very important scene that I feel could have been handled a lot better. One that didn't strike me with as much emotion as it should have done. There's also a scene in the middle that feels slightly out of place. But besides that, Star Wars is truly back. There are several other positive things I could (and should) have mentioned, but I'll settle on this. It did exactly what it should do, and because of that, it's great.
8/10

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Re-watched | A millionth time.

@ Blu-ray

Most people seem to think that Return of the Jedi is a lot weaker than A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, due to increased silliness with the ewoks and some retreading of the plot from A New Hope with the second Death Star. But I don't have any issues with those things here. The ewoks are mostly just adorable, and the destruction of the Death Star is mostly just a scenery for the real drama, which is the moment that the whole original trilogy have been leading up to. The final confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader.

The original trilogy was ultimately about Luke's journey to be a hero, and about Vader's final redemption. This film couldn't have handled that any better, as every part in the Emperor's throne room is extremely powerful, with Luke unleashing his rage on Vader being the most powerful and the best scene in the whole franchise, and one of the greatest character moments in film history ever.

One side-note. Leia is freaking gorgeous in this film. Not only is she's incredibly sexy in her gold bikini, but throughout the rest of the entire film she's just insanely beautiful. I mean, just look at the image below.
10/10


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Re-watched | A millionth time.

@ Blu-ray

The Empire Strikes Back takes everything that was great about its predecessor and cherishes it, while massively improving upon the flaws that it had. Much of the weak dialogue and directing that slightly detracted from the joy of A New Hope is gone, leaving The Empire Strikes Back as a very strong film, and a perfect sequel.

It have always been my favourite Star Wars film. It's just so filled with emotional and iconic moments that I find myself getting goosebumps every time I see it. It's just so great. It's storytelling and character development at its absolute finest. Even characters that just appears in a few scenes manages to leave a huge impression. Which is why Boba Fett is one of my favourite characters in any medium. I love The Empire Strikes Back
10/10

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Re-watched | A millionth time.

@ Blu-ray

There's not really that much left to say about the the very first Star Wars film. It might be a bit flawed due to George Lucas inability to direct actors and write proper dialogue, but for all of its flaws, everything is elevated to a level beyond awesome due to George Lucas amazing vision, simple story of good vs. evil, world building and its engaging characters.

The story and premise of Star Wars is actually very simple, but it's made so easy to fall in love with because of the fantastic storytelling and because we're constantly given reason to care for our heroes. This is a film that is so successful because it knows the importance of crafting characters that you can emotionally connect with in one way or another, and enjoy seeing them on the screen. Star Wars is fun entertainment in its purest form, and a terrific way to kick of and establish this wonderful universe. Then there's John Williams score. Which is just outstanding.
10/10

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@ Blu-ray

There are some cute, charming and funny moments to be found here. There's particularly one joke that I wont spoil, that made me laugh out loud for a few minutes. But besides that, The Boxtrolls is brought down by way too many annoying characters and a plot that's not as interesting as its premise would lead you to believe. This is the weakest film from Laika Studios so far.
5/10

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People who added this item 642 Average listal rating (439 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.3
Neighbors (2014)
@ Blu-ray

Neighbors is a dumb film that is elevated by the chemistry between Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne. I really enjoyed seeing them together. On the other hand, I didn't really like Zac Efron & co though. But whatever. There are enough chuckles here, but not something that would see again.
6/10

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People who added this item 345 Average listal rating (211 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.9
@ Cinema

Johnny Depp's career was on the edge of plummeting straight to the garbage bin with a string of weak performances in poor films, but Black Mass shows us that Depp can be brilliant when given the right material, and when he decides to be less "showy". He gives a very complex, nuanced and cold performance that elevates this film up from being simply good, to being great.

Black Mass doesn't really offer anything new in its genre, as the rise-and-fall story of notorious criminals, have been done plenty of times before. Martin Scorsese did pretty much master that genre completely. But even if Black Mass does follow the formula very closely, it is still exceptionally well-made, intriguing and fascinating all the way through.
8/10

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@ Netflix

This film is dumber than a pile of rocks, and I was totally fine with that. The strength of Zombeavers lies in the fact that it takes a silly premise, and goes full out with it. It's cheesy, over-the-top and pretty damned entertaining. It's also competently made with some nice practical effects. It's not something I would likely see again anytime soon, but I'm happy to have seen it.
6/10

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People who added this item 1355 Average listal rating (972 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.2
@ Blu-ray

I hated the first 20 minutes of Inside Out. I found it to be annoying, dumb and completely joyless. The something happened. It started to feel imaginative. It got joyful. It took its clever premise and expanded upon it and started to have a lot of fun with it. I went from really disliking it, to absolutely adoring it.

It also came at me with some really powerful emotional punches that left me on the edge of being rather teary-eyed toward the end. For some reason, Pixar seems to be rather good at hitting me emotionally.
8/10

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@ Blu-ray

This is a brutal and merciless film. A cruel and grotesque film that's not for everyone. With plenty of scenes that features graphical sexual violence and real animal murder, it's understandable that Cannibal Holocaust have caused a lot of controversy, and even a cult following for the people who engulf themselves into that sort of things. However, as a film, Cannibal Holocaust falls flat on its face.

The problem is that the film only feels like a display in violence. There is a ham-fisted attempt at some social commentary here, but with the violence being so in-your-face and senseless, whatever point the film tries to make gets lost in it. This causes Cannibal Holocaust to be an unpleasant film to watch, but it also causes it to be a boring, meaningless and lifeless film that will be easily forgotten today.
3/10

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People who added this item 387 Average listal rating (260 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.5
@ Netflix

Oculus manages to craft some genuinely creepy scenes, and it's bolstered by some strong leading performances. It also got a sense of dread and mystery to it that I really liked.

The thing is however that once the final act starts kicking in, the film goes a bit too much of rail, and it never manages to get quite on track again.
6/10

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@ Cinema

I wasn't the biggest fan of Part 1, and thankfully Part 2 is a step up again. It picks up immediately where the last film left off, and it doesn't really provide much exposition for you in order to catch up with what happened the last time. Which is slightly refreshing, but then again, there's not really that much that is going on when you strip the film and its franchise down to its core. It's rebels vs. bad guys. So I'm glad it just went straight to it.

Part 2 is a much more action oriented film. The action doesn't necessarily have the grit and sense of vulnerability that Catching Fire or the original had, but the sense of spectacle is still very much present. It's entertaining to watch. Part 2 also continues the very appreciated trend of adding some emotion to its story. Jennifer Lawrence is once again bringing her best, and despite not always being extremely likeable as Katniss, you always care for her and the people around her. The filmmakers have done a fine job in creating characters that you form a bond with, and that you want to succeed.

A problem with Part 2 is the ending. It feels extremely rushed, and do in many ways come out of absolutely nowhere. It looks like the film is leading up to one final major battle, but then everything is suddenly over. There's also a tacked on epilogue that wasn't really necessary. Now. I do understand that this is probably how it all went on in the books, but this is an example of when you should stray a little bit away from the source material to create a better film experience. Still, this is a worthy conclusion to The Hunger Games franchise.
7/10

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@ Netflix

The Asylum is notorious for making these kind of films. Cheaply, lazily and quickly made films that earn them small profits every time. It's crap. One do hope to get some simple laughs out of the ridiculousness that these films offer, but they are very few and far between. The problem is that they're intentionally made shitty, and thus you can not laugh at the filmmaker's failed intention and effort. So this is just an miserable experience.
2/10

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People who added this item 66 Average listal rating (42 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.1
@ Netflix

The whole premise of the film is extremely stupid, and there are a lot of rather silly moments in the film. It's therefore not a particularly terrifying film (although, I must admit that I jumped a few times.) But what The Den has going for it, that many other films in this genre (found footage horror) severely lacks, is a high level of watchability. It's immensely entertaining.
7/10

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People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.4
@ Blu-ray

A documentary about, depending whom you ask, the best active football (or soccer) player today. It's a well-made documentary that offers an interesting insight to his life and how he thinks. As well as how much he had to sacrifice in order to get where he is now.

But it doesn't feel like a very nuanced portrayal of him. There are few critical things in it, and in certain ways it feels very much like a vanity project by Cristiano Ronaldo (after all, this film was his idea, if I'm not mistaken.) It's not something I would recommend to people who aren't already a fan of him or Real Madrid.
6/10

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People who added this item 4219 Average listal rating (2701 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 6.2
Re-watch | Second time.

@ Netflix

Out of all the various spoof films that we've gotten over the years, I always considered Scary Movie to be amongst the better ones. Not that it's really good, but there are certain scenes in it that caused me to laugh.

Now, a rewatch didn't do it much good, as a lot of the things that caused me to laugh in my younger days doesn't really make me laugh that much any longer. It's a film that's filled with the sort of humor that I despise. Yet, I must admit that some scenes still causes me to laugh a lot. Most of the scenes with the killer is pretty humorous.
4/10

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People who added this item 53 Average listal rating (40 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.7
Hatchet III (2013)
@ Netflix

Hatchet III delivers pretty much exactly what you could expect from a third film in a series that centers around one guy murdering everyone in a brutal manner. It's fun for a while, but eventually it wears off and it doesn't manage to capture the same sort of spirit that made the first film, and even the second one, such a blast.
4/10

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Bml93's Film Journals (33 lists)
list by Bml93
Published 5 years, 11 months ago



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