198 Views Share:
BradWesley123's Movie Journal- October 2018
Movie list created by BradWesley123
Sort by: Showing 23 items
Decade: Rating: List Type:
Netflix- 1hr. 30min.
I knew this would be a turd, but I expected to have more fun with it; i.e. there's incompetent filmmaking, then there's this. There are so many baffling moments that I, frankly, believe that the production team was being held at gunpoint, fearing for their lives with every shot. That's about the only way that anyone could explain the outright shittiness of this film. Steven Seagal is a singular presence; I've never seen a performance that gave me joint pain watching it. Seeing him straining to even, poorly, enunciate words, is a religious experience (hearing him utter "motherfucker" will haunt your dreams, as will his "sex" scene). I can't, in all good conscience, recommend this, but I can say that if you're a connoisseur of terrible filmmaking, like me, it's a must-see.
Monthly Wesley AwardsWorst Picture
Best Worst Picture
DVD- 1hr. 43min.
It's as predictable and paint-by-numbers as cinema gets, but Uncle Drew is amiably diverting. There really is nothing new on display in this film; the setup, jokes, and plot are obvious from the jump. That said, there's a certain amount of comfort that one can take from this; it isn't all that good, but it's entertaining enough to relax the viewer (not quite comfort food cinema though; that would be too high of praise). The acting isn't pristine, though the basketball legend-laden cast don't embarrass themselves, and a few even have pretty good timing (it would be feint praise, but this may be Shaq's finest on-screen performance). Not a great film, but an imminently watchable one.
Monthly Wesley AwardBest Makeup
The Skeleton Key (2005)
Amazon Prime- 1hr. 44min.
It takes a bit to find it's footing, and the last act becomes a bit to obvious for it's own good, but The Skeleton Key is a surprisingly effective supernatural thriller. When the movie works, which is more often than it should, it's mostly do to craft; Iain Softley's lingering direction, which immerses the viewer in the sweat-drenched gothic landscape of Louisiana, with palpable horror around every corner. The cast, too, does some solid work, especially Gena Rowlands, enlivening a pretty standard horror character. These elements are let down by a script that doesn't dig far enough, never digging into the thornier issues at play, as well as being middlingly structured and overly cliched. Still, it's an effective little horror flick that does provide more than expected thrills.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Supporting Actress- Gena Rowlands
Best Production Design (Fantasy)- John Beard and Beauchamp Fontaine
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
The Land of Steady Habits (2018)
Netflix- 1hr. 38min.
It isn't the easiest movie to connect with, but Nicole Holofcener's The Land of Steady Habits is a smart, funny, thought-provoking examination of masculinity at three different stages in life. Expertly capturing a malaise that creeps in at certain points of change in life, the film finds humor and pathos in the boredom and uncertainty of it's characters, with shades of insight creeping through. While Holofcener's script and direction are certainly the catalysts for the film's success, I'd also place a great deal of acclaim on the cast; each finding ways to humanize inert, on paper, characters (especially Mendelsohn, at a low, yet not at all comatose, pitch, that allows each moment to play the way that it's supposed to). Again, that outward lethargy may push some away, but the deeper messages of the film are enough to power through some of the vaguer moments.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Supporting Actor- Charlie Tahan
Best Adapted Screenplay- Nicole Holofcener
Best Ensemble Performance
DVD- 1hr. 40min.
At times, Blue Igana comes close to grazing the quick-footed, breezy caper that it aspires to be. More often than not, though, it's just a lot of botched, poorly paced, setups that don't work. When things actually start moving towards then, there are some genuinely fun moments, including a grisly death, but more this is one that relies on the cast more than story, and it's a mixed bag there, too. Rockwell doesn't quite register, the film constricting his usual charisma, but Ben Schwartz carries the comedic heft here well, and Phoebe Fox is the film's MVP as the inside woman. Gets better as it goes along, but getting there may take too much patience for many viewers.
Hulu- 1hr. 25min.
Bees Make Honey is an odd film. It's not a very good one, for it's first half-hour it's outright awful; one that, presumably, aims for screwball hijinks, but hasn't the energy or material to sell them. That said, there are enough elements that work, and weird moments that hint at a stronger film. It did grow on me as it moved along; the pace gets a bit stronger, and the story takes enough goofy detours (one including a French woman's monologue about an ex-lover) that it does elicit some chuckles. The cast is pretty good too, with Alice Eve nailing every note, even with the script seems unsure of what it wants. I can't fully recommend the film based on quality only, but it's certainly one that will get a broad range of reactions.
Monthly Wesley AwardBest Costume Design (Period)- Francisco Rodriguez-Weil
Netflix- 1hr. 53min.
Exceptionally made is it is, Sommersby is staggeringly dull for such a powerful story. In nearly every scene, Jon Amiel's direction seems off; scenes that should be big and rousing are low-energy, scenes that should be underplayed are blown out of proportion, emotion scenes are cold, etc. The script isn't great, but the material is never really given a chance to breath. It also doesn't help that Gere is miscast, rarely selling his character's ambiguity and overplaying a role that requires more nuance. Foster, on the other hand, gives this thing everything she can, breaking through to the underlying emotion of the film, giving it occasional signs of life. It's also a well-made film, one that, even at it's dullest, is still interesting; you may not care, but you'll be curious where the story's going.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Production Design (Period)- Bruno Rubeo and Michael Seirton
Best Score- Danny Elfman
The Time Machine (1960)
FilmStruck- 1hr. 43min.
While it's not the marvel today that it was nearly 60 years ago, The Time Machine is a fun matinee throwback to a cinematic age where the mere prospect of time travel was enough to stir the imagination.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Classic Picture
Best Classic Cinematography- Paul C. Vogel
Best Classic Production Design- George Davis & William Ferrari and Keogh Gleason & Henry Grace
Best Costume Design (Fantasy)
Best Visual Effects
Apollo 13 (1995)
The American President (1995)
Hotel Artemis (2018)
DVD- 1hr. 34min.
Hotel Artemis has an irresistible setup (that, yes, does take mightily from John Wick) and several pieces of genre brilliance, but they don't add up to a wholly satisfying film. While writer/director Drew Pearce has assembled a strong cast of characters, and cast in general, he doesn't really do much with them. There are so many of them in such a short film, that many get short shrift, never quite reaching their potential; with such strong personalities on display, the film should've reveled in their interactions, instead of using them to prop up a slack narrative. The pace is off too; the setup is long, the middle is mostly plot, and the last act comes too abruptly to work. It has a lot of positives, though; the cast is quite good, especially Foster, and they do a lot of heavy lifting, helping the film, even at it's weakest, be exceedingly watchable. The film is exceptionally crafted, with respectably grimy production design and cinematography that immerse the viewer in this futuristic underground criminal world. Reasonably fun, but never really aspires to be anything more than that.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Modern Cinematography- Chung-hoon Chung
Best Production Design (Contemporary)- Ramsey Avery and Rosemary Brandenburg
Eighth Grade (2018)
DVD- 1hr. 33min.
Breathing life into a stale and overdone genre, Eighth Grade is a smart, perceptive, and painfully funny look at the gap in life between child and teen. While his direction is perfectly intimate, even claustrophobic, the film works thanks to a powerful marriage between Bo Burnham's script and Elsie Fisher's performance; they work, in tandem, to illustrate this story of modern adolescence, showing how even as the technology has changed, there's still a broad awkwardness that permeates all adolescents at this age. That said, the modern touches are what make this movie so specific, so genuine, and Burnham's directorial debut shines because of them, assisted jointly by Fisher's doesn't-really-look-like-acting performance.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Picture
Best Actress- Elsie Fisher
Best Original Screenplay- Bo Burnham
Escape Plan 2: Hades (2018)
Amazon Prime- 1hr. 33min.
While not, at all, a masterwork, Escape Plan 2 makes Escape Plan look like high art. It doesn't start off too badly, but the film quickly becomes an odd exercise in bland, choppily made direct-to-streaming "sequel" filmmaking. Sequel is in quotation marks because the film itself really isn't connected much to the original; Stallone is in it, as his character from the first one, but his story feels like an afterthought, and he's in the film, maybe, a quarter of the runtime. Even there, he really isn't the lead, sharing his time with Dave Bautista (who, probably, does the most credible acting work in the film). The rest of the film is a pretty standard escape flick, albeit technologically souped-up. It's intermittently fun, but mostly just background noise; there's nothing to latch onto here, just unnecessary characters in an barely thought out story.
Amazon Prime- 1hr. 26min.
It's a simple story that's inherently divisive; a two-hander where "toxic" people talk and talk and talk. If that kind of movie isn't for you, Destination Wedding isn't for you. With that in mind though, the film worked for me for two main reasons; the script has some witty observations about relationship, and Reeves and Ryder are quite good together.
The Uninvited (2009)
Amazon Prime- 1hr. 27min.
It's well-crafted and strongly performed, but The Uninvited is about as obvious as horror movies get. Though reasonably constructed, the film telegraphs it's thrills and twists at every corner, lessening the film's urgency as a result. It is involving though, I wasn't necessarily bored at any point, largely through filmmaking craft and acting, with the entire cast gamely attempting to liven the leaden scares (Browning, in particular, sells everything she gets with gusto). Not great, but you could do worse.
DVD- 1hr. 56min.
Despite oozing style and intrigue, 2018 Superfly just can't escape a pedestrian story that's more focused on stylized cool than plot. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun film; one made with a great deal of technical skill. It's style over substance, but the style is damn stylish. That said, it's not revolutionary, or involving, enough to overcome a stolid story with banal characters; the cast tries their hardest, but they can't really overcome their vapid characters and banal story machinations.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Costume Design (Contemporary)- Antoinette Messam
Amazon Prime- 1hr. 47min.
The most memorable aspect of this movie is not the film itself, or anything in it, but, in fact, the trailer for it, where the narrator really goes deep to pronounce DIABOLIQUE. Which is a long way of saying that the film isn't very good. It's reasonably fun, especially if you're in the mood for trashy and exploitative cinema, but not something worth seeing based on genuine filmmaking or storytelling merit. It's well, but unexceptionally, made, and the cast does what they can with it (Stone is pitched perfectly here, as is Kathy Bates), but the story just keeps getting more and more convoluted, to the point where it stops being trashy fun and becomes more annoying. Watchable, enjoyable, but unexceptional.
DVD- 1hr. 37min.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is a film. It hits a feature-length runtime, and features recognizable voice talent. That's about all I've got; the story is a bland rehash of the first two, and nothing in this film is ever very interesting. Solid animation, though.
A Quiet Place (2018)
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Leave No Trace (2018)
DVD- 1hr. 49min.
A bruising, deeply human story about finding, and keeping, your place in the world; Leave No Trace is more a whisper than a shout, occasionally to it's detriment, lending an air of authenticity to every scene to cuts deep in the film's more emotional moments. Though it has a solid script, it's Granik's smart direction that allows the movie to work as well as it does. Her filmmaking style cedes most of the film to her actors and, in doing so, she allows Foster and McKenzie to reach internally to give bone-deep performances that don't even come off as acting (the film could be described as documentary-esque). While that documentary-like quality does, at times, keep the viewer at arms-length, it also gives the film a genuity that makes the film as special as it is.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Director- Debra Granik
Best Actor- Ben Foster
Best Editing- Jane Rizzo
Number of Movies Watched: 23
Newly Watched: 17
Time Spent: 38hrs. 34min.
Best New View: Eighth Grade
Worst New View: Contract to Kill
People who voted for this also voted for
Western Movie Posters: Jack Hoxie
Sexy Black Actress...Lupita Nyong'o
Artwork by Alan Quah
Cigarette Cards: Japanese Series (1904)
Members of Steve Miller Band
WatchMojo's Top 10 Terrible Movies of 2018 So Far
Favorite Movies of 2004
Favorite Movies of 2008
Favorite Movies of 2010
Renny Harlin: The best and worst of
Actors Who Have Played Adolf Hitler
Unlucky Charms: The best and worst of Leprechaun
WatchMojo's Top 10 Celebrities Who Left Scientolog
My Favorite Chick Flick
BradWesley123's Movie Journal- October 2017
Academy Award for Best Production Design: 1990s
BradWesley123's Movie Screenshots: Vol. 16
BradWesley123's Movie Journal- November 2017
The Wesley Awards: 2017
BradWesley123's Movie Journal- August 2016
BradWesley123's Movie Journal- January 2016