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Added by VierasTalo on 31 Dec 2014 10:38
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Film Journal 2015

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This is the quintessential immoral-ish Lolita-story from the 70s Italian "intelligent erotica" -movement told through the lens of modern day hipster film and a female perspective. As such, it becomes a bit tedious. If the perspective was less personal you might accidentally have a thought during the film it didn't intend you to have. For something with such a raunchy subject, this movie sure is afraid of letting go of your hand as it leads you through everything it very specifically wants you to know.
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People who added this item 1074 Average listal rating (785 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.8
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People who added this item 113 Average listal rating (84 ratings) 4.7 IMDB Rating 5.3
There is a deep, inherent stupidity to everything in the Point Break -remake. There are two levels of it. One, there's the reason why it seems to have been made. It appears to exist solely to create the most lavish extreme sports home video ever made. Now, it's lavish. It's gorgeous. Occasionally it's even fun in how ridiculous and out-of-its-way it goes about showing you all these insane stunts. Unfortunately the stunts are all very real. Like, you can see they actually did that, and it's cool and all, but... You know, a few years ago I watched Vin Diesel hop over a canyon by leaping out of a speeding car onto a tank. That was fake as fuck, sure, but in order to make stunts like this – real, normal stunts – work in the context of this ludicrous action film, you need to build some connection to the audience. Make us care.

In comes problem number two. Kurt Wimmer's script seems to have been made in about two hours using, well, Kurt Wimmer's brain. This is the dude who wrote Salt and Ultraviolet, can't really be too shocked he shat out another clunker. But booooy what this is. All dialogue scenes in this movie are basically the equivalent to 9th grade religion class discussions about ethics and morals and pacifistic VS radical activism. It's so fucking dry and dumb for the only thing to exist between the action scenes to try and make us care. Well, at least, as usual with Wimmer's writing, the film goes so far up it's own ass with all this philosophy you kind of do appreciate it trying and going all out by the end.
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People who added this item 325 Average listal rating (213 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.9
Ron Howard makes a Moby Dick -movie the only way he can: Convoluted. They remove the essence of the book – obsession as a theme – and replace it with a very half-hearted enviromentalist propaganda message that's introduced like two thirds into the film. Thank goodness we at least get a lot of whale action. There isn't enough whale action in movies nowadays. Get on that, Hollywood.
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People who added this item 314 Average listal rating (210 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.3
The Walk (2015)
Why film this movie like this when Man on a Wire already exists? I don't mean why film this movie overall. It's a good story, you can make two movies about it. But why the hell employ the exact same narrative framework as the documentary? This movie just becomes a worthless repetition. And, of course, the reason why it was made, is because it's good 3D porn. I watched it in 2D so fuck that. I'm glad Joseph Gordon-Levitt is so damn charming he occasionally obscures the fact that we've seen all this before.
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People who added this item 567 Average listal rating (314 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.3
The concept of film being used as means of maintaining our existence on earth put to film itself. It looks incredible and the narrative makes Birth of a Nation even more pointless than it previously was in my eyes.
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Gee, it only took five bad movies until we got a good one out of the Paranormal Activity -series. I'm sure glad I watched all of them. This one is good, much like what little was good in The Marked Ones, because of things that are outside the usual wheelhouse of the series. The idea of a Project Zero -esque camera obscura appearing in reality to the most haunted house ever is kind of cool, but the real shaky quality of the CGI-ghosts ruin some of the fun. Still, this movie actually has something of an arch and a climax that is much more than a single jump scare. That's cool. As it stands, this is a totally run of the mill ghost story, AKA the highest achievement this series could ever aspire to.
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People who added this item 151 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 4.5 IMDB Rating 5.3
Sinister 2 (2015)
A sequel to a movie I didn't like makes everything about it worse. Yet I kind of like it at some points. For one, this is a film that is chock-full of gross shit happening, eg. kids killing kids and parents on-screen all the damn time. It is absolutely not effective in the least because of how much of it is on screen, but it's kind of hilarious to watch nonetheless. The villain being on-screen quite a bit (mostly as a punchline to jump scares) lessens his efficiency even more than in the previous one because he's a leather-clad Slipknot-reject. On the good side at least this movie harkens back to shitty sequels of Children of the Corn. Why is that good? Well, it's new. At least.
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A teenage kid fights a killer santa in his abstract castle cave home while trying to save his grandpa from the killer santa. It's a bit of a bore despite the concept and novel visuals because it's just so lacking in terms of intensity or action. The opening credits have an "... and Alain Delon" -credit but he isn't in the film; It's a special thanks. Totally not trying to fool you into thinking he's in the film or anything.
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Bill Murray is depressed and sings Christmas songs with people who can't sing for an hour. Three jokes might land if you're in the mood and is this really what Sofia Coppola is doing with herself?
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Jingle All the Way 2: Because capitalism cures all ails
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It's Star Wars, it's pretty good. The music holds up. The transitions and overall structure do not. Still, it's imaginative and filled with enough talent to fill five films. I'm glad they made a sequel because it's a lot better.
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People who added this item 533 Average listal rating (389 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.6
Creed (2015)
The Rocky spin-off succesfully updates the series to have a contemporary feel while maintaining the lower class romanticised nuances, except this time these aspects are aimed at minorities. It manages to do this without being dominant towards the minorities or being preachy to anyone else, which is an accomplishment. The heart of the series, the notion of being a member of the common people while still being their hero by overcoming your very personal difficulties, is very much present despite Stallone not being the director, writer or star.

The lead, Adonis (!) Creed has two concurrent character arcs. One is about living with his fathers legacy and making his own path, and the other is about handling that inner feeling that we all have that forces us to do whatever it is we need to do to feel alive. In his case it's fighting which isn't very good in a not-post-apocalyptic society. It's clearly just a part of him, a tick in his brain. It isn't a want, it's a need. The relationship he has with his soon-to-be-deaf girlfriend is one of the high points of the film, as the thematic relation between their personal ticks and methods of control over them are delicous, and their chemistry is terrific. It delivers the message of those close to us being what we need to gain strength to carry on in life without making it feel cliched thanks to these two. It's a shame the other arch, along with Rocky Balboa's life being a big part of the film, create a bit too much content for the two-hour runtime, and the only one of these three that's satisfying in conclusion is the aforementioned need to fight.
VierasTalo's rating:
People who added this item 274 Average listal rating (163 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5.7
Pan (2015)
I love Joe Wright. His stylistic aspirations shine through irregardless of what he does, be it a Jane Austen -adaptation or the god damn incredible adult fairy tale Hanna. But man, does his Peter Pan -prequel have issues! For one, it has no tone. Hugh Jackman will have a very dramatic, grim monologue about his fear of dying despite admitting it's inevitability, only to have a (very funny) comedic slapstick sequence minutes later with Nonso Anozie (who needs to be in more films). The storyline is nonsense and basically features no growth in the characters but rather just rapid changes in their motives. No scene that isn't action lasts for over 2 minutes. Despite the wonderful visuals and costume design and weird impromptu grunge cover musical scenes, the whole thing is just an incredibly chaotic, yet static mess.
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People who added this item 3183 Average listal rating (1984 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.5
I had some issues with Disney's Pinocchio. Chief among them just how fucking acid-baked a nightmare everything about it is. Seriously, the story takes some insane twists and turns, be it the belly of a whale or a paedophile robbing the innocence of boys in order to turn them into literal asses. Like, there's only so much hard drugs I can digest through celluloid and this touches on that limit a lot more than most of Gaspar Noés work and that's really saying something. That's also why I think it's a pretty fun movie, because you sure can't predict what's coming next. Unless, you know, you've read the book.
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People who added this item 469 Average listal rating (334 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.3
Hey, remember how The Maze Runner was this surprisingly fun mystery that maybe had a dumb ending but you know, at least it was a fun and intriguing ride to get there? Well, here's a sequel to it that has no mystery and is in fact a zombie action movie.

Well, fuck you too.
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People who added this item 41 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 4.9 IMDB Rating 5.2
Tiger House (2015)
A gymnist gets caught under her boyfriends bed while thugs do a home invasion in his house in order to rob a bank. The thugs get uncharacteristically deep backstories, full of Michael Mann -esque monologues about honor among thieves and whatnot, while the gymnist tries to save her boyfriend and eliminate the bad guys. Despite an obviously small budget, it's fairly pretty and certainly quite fun all around, even though the grand ideals it has never really go anywhere in particular. The very, very stark ending feels unnecessary with it's far too many twists.
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The second part of Mockingjay might be the best film of the series, or it at least does it's darnest to be that. It gets very brutal with child genocide and constant murder on and off screen, and the ending is incredibly down to earth, depicting legendary heroes simply running the fuck away from their so-called destinies when they realize what a clusterfuck war conceptually is and how it is a perpetual vicious cycle. Unfortunately the film delivers this message in the context of it still being "one of those movies" - you know, young adult -adaptations with mandatory love triangles and monster action scenes. It's a shame because this is the first film of the series since the first one with a very clear, defined ideological core, and I feel that given enough time and freedom with it, it could go some amazing places.
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Director Khavn opens a can of whoop-ass on the concept of romantic love in the modern age where romanticism exists only in films and love is a thing of the past by necessity as humanity proceeds forward on our soon-ending race to certain death. He does this with a fascinating musical that features practically no audible dialogue and cuts out basically all the important events in the storyline of a gangster falling in love with a prostitute only to be chased down by her former pimp. That story might make you yawn, but trust me, the mezmerising imagery and positively confusing structure combined with real fun and pretty music will not.
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People who added this item 2862 Average listal rating (1802 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3
Ya'll might not know this so brace yourself:

Vertigo is a good film.

Now, there's a lot of cool shit in it. I saw it in 70mm and that print makes it look incredible. It's beyond vivid. The story, eh. It has a lot of intrigue and undertones but it also has a really boring twist and a lot of people driving behind each other in cars. The dialogue carries the Hitchian wit you'd expect, and it's as funny as ever. The film occasionally becomes really dark, such as when our lead becomes practically comatose, or when his best friend just becomes estranged over a very lengthy period of time to the point where we just don't see her ever again.

Then you throw in this general vibe of death and dying being pivotal to existence; The idea that through the deaths of others can we reinvent ourselves, be it monetarily or obsessively fixate on what we want ourselves to be. Then you have the ending with this crazy imagery for a split second where you finally think that this character has been pushed over the edge, to face this literal embodiment of death, this brooding figure that has set out from the netherworld to truly give birth to this new man. Alas, it's all defused a bit too quick, but for a split second this is the best film ever.
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People who added this item 1112 Average listal rating (697 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.2
This movie is crazy bonkers! The story revolves around a group of hackers hacking things. Except that hacking in this movie... fuck, man, I can't describe it, just check out this scene that introduces us to the concept:

Like FUUUUCK how do you go from that? Well, you have more similar insanity coupled with the most insanely androgynous characters in history. Every single outfit in this movie is like the 90s vomiting over cybergoth aesthetics.
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People who added this item 298 Average listal rating (222 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 5.6
Will Forte, I love you so much. Why you gotta do this, man?
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People who added this item 176 Average listal rating (117 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.1
Tangerine (2015)
Two transgender prostitutes search for their pimp so they can kill him. A hilarious comedy shots on iPhones! OK, well, maybe it isn't that hilarious, but it certainly has it's moments. The entire climax in the donut shop, the way all the characters are borderline infantile in their expression... Yet they're never annoying or grating, a great risk in a film that revolves around non-stop screaming. And for something shot on iPhones it looks terrific. Hell, it looks terrific as a film, period, but knowing that's how it was done just makes it look even better. The only real problem is that all the wonderful energy it carries throughout is kind of let go in the end as the whole just drags itself down to being very sentimental rather than continuing to be, well, energetic.
VierasTalo's rating:
People who added this item 458 Average listal rating (259 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8
The Innocents (1961)
CREEPY FUCKING KIDS harass a lady repeatedly. The Innocents has a terrific look and sound to it. The way it shows ghosts in their entirety but somehow manages to also not milk their existence at all to create some sort of added terror is wonderful. It's creepy without rubbing it in your face. The story has it's moments, but I can't help but feel slight disappointment over how the Freudian angle is left in the background (also, it's a Freudian angle which puts me to sleep at this point). Good thing that the overall mysterious vibe from everything is, well, mysterious, so it works as a straight story of what it's about too.
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Hey, would you look at that, they made another one of these and it wasn't complete trash like the previous two sequels. The big deal here is that unlike those sequels this film isn't mired with complete high concept nonsense but is a more down to earth -ish story with five separate heists in it via a dumb story conceit. It also has a very heavily drinking Ray Stevenson which is never a knock against anything.
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People who added this item 39 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.1
I Smile Back (2015)
Sarah Silverman is a supremely depressed lady in this heavy, heavy depiction of drug and alcohol use in a family. It's an oddly compelling setting that we don't see often; actual, hardcore drug and sex use inside the American nuclear family of parents, a kid and a fluffy dog. The mother is the only outsider there, a feeling she has probably had all her life. Cocaine, drugs and random sex fills the void for whatever brief second it happens to work. As a general depiction of this inescapable void that is depression it's pretty good, but I can't help shake the feeling that all this movie is saying is that it sucks to be depressed and it feels like you have nothing despite having something, but that's not exactly revelatory or new. Still, good performances and lots of grit.
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 6.5
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People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 5.6
Bound to Vengeance has it all. I enjoy a good story about underdogs rising up to the occasion of destroying the evildoers in their lives. In this film a lady who has been held captive for six months as a sex slave escapes and decides to save all the other slaves in her captor's operation. The trip across various lairs of bad, baaad people is dark and gross. The film handles it all with appropriate gravitas, rarely even giving the audience the moral high-ground of trying to justify our heros questionable actions. The big problem though is that the film is very heavily edited into this big jumble of events. Nothing is chronological, and more often than not individually tense moments are chopped by other, less tense moments invading them. It's a failed artistic choice, one that doesn't manage to deepen our relationship with our hero but rather distances us from her struggle.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 4 IMDB Rating 7.2
Ten Billion (2015)
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People who added this item 217 Average listal rating (145 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8
Amy (2015)
A wonderful documentary. The key behind a good music doc is that the audience shouldn't need to care about the artist before-hand and with Amy that certainly was the case. But director Asif Kapadia manages to create a very riveting whole depicting Amy Winehouse's life, which seems filled with nothing but one vicious cycle after another, be it the drugs, the abusive father, the fame... All of it comes down too hard on a lady that really just seems to have loved music at one point in her life. It's a shame that that which we hold most dear is usually the one thing that drives us to our breaking point. Kapadia's grand thought of not using any talking heads works wonders because with them the film would not exuberate this wonderful sense of intimacy it currently does.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 8.1
Pels (2014)
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People who added this item 249 Average listal rating (170 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.1
The problem with American Ultra, a hyper-violent action film about a stoner couple fighting the CIA, is that it does spend quite a significant amount of time either discussing the relationship of our leads or letting loose random one-liners and weirdly constructed jokes. The latter certainly fit the tone due to these people totally being stoned all the time, but they still aren't very funny, because, you know, they're random dumb jokes. They don't pack enough of a punch or the film doesn't deliver them with enough punch. Something is off with the humor. In regards to the couple, well, why would you care about this small-town stoner dude and lady? The film doesn't give you enough reason because two people saying they're madly in love does not equal two people being madly in love. Good thing that the action is really, really funny and imaginative. Not since Denzel Washington in The Equalizer has the contents of a hardware store used this well to murder people.
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People who added this item 1328 Average listal rating (912 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Fast Five (2011)
It's still so good.
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People who added this item 1363 Average listal rating (984 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.2
Ant-Man (2015)
This is a completely fine, run-of-the-mill Marvel film with very little to give except for some dumb CGI-tomfoolery with miniature battles.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.5
By Our Selves (2015)
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People who added this item 198 Average listal rating (135 ratings) 4.8 IMDB Rating 5.3
Eli Roth is still making the same type of film; A horror film that is horror only in concept but yet still kind of tries to be horror despite obviously being comedy in terms of being a silly, over the top satire of whatever the heck he's picked this time. The subject is usually western hedonism, which it sort of is in this one too. A rich western lady gets the feeling to do something to stop the mutilation of ladies genitals in the east, but because of reasons she ends up protecting a rainforest. Too bad after the gig she crashlands in said forest with her peers where a cannibal tribe kidnaps them for food. It's gory, but mostly it's Scooby Doo -esque in the ways it sets up and releases jokes from it's grasp. It's very silly and very funny. The ending is more sharp than you'd expect, with our lead having become this ideological weapon she basically spends the entire film trying not to become. This is mostly fun because even the first half, where not much happens, really pokes a lot of fun at people who want to improve the world one tree at a time and try to preach this lifestyle to others. The gore jokes in the latter part are occasionally a bit too serious for a straight-up comedy.
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People who added this item 53 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.9
This movie is so good! It's probably my new favorite in the stranger invasion -genre, excluding You're Next and a select few not of the modern era. The audio is ridiculous (Weinsteins put it out and it shows) but some of the several montages set to modern pop work wonders in setting up our lead character. This allows her a personality and a reason for us to care for her within a five minute song. That's really efficient, and the film doesn't particularly dwell on those aspects after that either, instead building on top of it.

The writing is real sharp for the rest of it too, as the writing is on-par with the best in the genre. The basic structure – introduction, escape, confrontation – lends itself to one of the most satisfying experiences the genre has to offer. It doesn't demonize a group of people just 'cause but actually offers them the proper motive of being brainwashed into a dumb deep web dank meme cult that kills people. The ways our lead ends up fighting this menace are also fun and actually make her seem pretty smart. Haley Bennett does a wonderful job portraying a strong and scared lady who's willing to get her hands dirty.
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People who added this item 36 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 4.5 IMDB Rating 5.3
Visions (2015)
Oh Blumhouse you dumb dumbs.
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People who added this item 803 Average listal rating (527 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
Spectre (2015)
This movie is totally alright. That is not what you'd probably like to hear after Skyfall, but hey, can't win 'em all. Let's hope we never see Daniel Craig as James Bond again because after this that would be really silly.
VierasTalo's rating:
People who added this item 531 Average listal rating (362 ratings) 3.9 IMDB Rating 4.3
I don't know what people were going apeshit about with this thing. It's the same CGI-ladden nonsense most superhero films nowadays are. The big problem is that there is obviously at least thirty minutes of footage on the cutting room floor, begging to be in this film. It skips ahead years at a time into seemingly separate scenes. They mostly form a cohesive whole, but you can just see it. That being said, what is there is mostly alright. The four leads work well together, and the action is at least interesting until the end. Hell, I even think the villain is pretty cool. It's how you do that villain without being campy about it. Alas, then the climax comes and it's basically the same ugly bullshit from the ending of the 2005 Fantastic Four. It's real bad and feels like an afterthought, which, knowing the production of this movie, it probably was.
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I kind of knew I'd like Bone Tomahawk the second I heard that title and that it's about Kurt Russell hunting cannibal natives in the wild west. I mean, if you aren't into that, what the hell? And it's every bit as good as I dared to expect, maybe even more. The story is so full of grit and brawn that the latter is basically what gets a lot of people in it killed. The old west code of men having to be true men, saviors of their kin, drives so many to die for no reason. The Michael Mann -esque theme also lends itself to wonderful scenes of burly-ass guys trying their best not to cry when all they want to do is cry.

The violence is a thing of it's own. The way it's shot is... I dunno. Minimalism isn't the word for it, it's anything but. There's a lot of it, it's detailed, it's gross. So gross. But there's no need to harp on it. The camera never wants to record it in explicit detail. For example; At one point a hand is cut from an arm at the edge of the screen. There's a faint swoosh on the audio track. No screams. Yet the hand comes off. You know it. The person whose hand it once was sure as hell knows it. The feeling this creates is strange. As someone who has bore witness to some amount of violent acts in real life I can tell you that that's exactly how it feels like. Now, that feeling doesn't stay with you here. It's a film. It won't put you into an actual state of shock. But it totally gives you a taste of what that would be like. Usually films elicit these responses from us by milking the visual, milking the audio. Bone Tomahawk does neither and in doing so it succeeds so much better than it's peers.
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People who added this item 227 Average listal rating (143 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.7
Ho-ly shiiiit. I really didn't think you could make a worse film than Hitman, but here you go. The sequel or reboot or whatever is even worse. I should've seen it coming, being written by Skip Woods and all, but I didn't. It's more or less the cinematic equivalent to watching a Youtube video of people doing GunKata-fanfilms intercut with random video game cutscenes that spoon-feed you so much nonsensical exposition you can't breathe anymore. At least this references the video games a lot, but if that's your idea of a good movie, watch Silent Hill instead of this. At least that demanded some effort to put together.
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People who added this item 351 Average listal rating (255 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7
Joel Edgerton's seemingly irrelevant revenge thriller actually has a hell of a punch. It isn't about revenge as much as it is about betrayal, about the unflinching nature of the mark our childhood always leaves on us. People are cast against type, and in the end everyone is sort of a dick. The ending goes too much to the side of melodrama, but for a thriller made in the 2010s and put out by Blumhouse of all folks it has a hell of a lot more thought in it than most of the counterparts.
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People who added this item 508 Average listal rating (388 ratings) 4.5 IMDB Rating 5.6
Pixels (2015)
This is not as much of a mess as it should have been and that's the most compliment I can give it.
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People who added this item 704 Average listal rating (439 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8
Malick's Days of Heaven is a wonderful portrayal of characters who are so full of insecurities it more or less ends up being the literal or mental death of them. There is a very real understanding of the permanence of not only social position (even when the characters transgress their poverty they never expect the change to remain) as well as that of death. Because the latter is so unavoidable, some of the people here dive into it. The worries these issues present, that feeling of not having a point in living in this world, the feeling that your life will never progress past that point where you are right now on the societal ladder, are infinitely relatable.
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People who added this item 794 Average listal rating (559 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 6.4
Minions (2015)
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People who added this item 691 Average listal rating (437 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.5
Crimson Peak (2014)
Crimson Peak is not a very good horror film, nor is it a very good homage to gothic horror. What it does pretty well is be pretty. The storyline is bland, as are the characters. There is very little going on overall which is a disappointment from a Guillermo Del Toro -film, where the problem usually is that there's too much going on. You'll figure out the web of intrigue plot within fifteen minutes and it won't surprise you after that. The ghosts are full-on CGI and as such stand out a lot – occasionally in good ways, but mostly not.
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People who added this item 458 Average listal rating (304 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.2
Dracula (1958)
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People who added this item 232 Average listal rating (141 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7
There is a primal force in Beasts of No Nation. It manages to transcend it's nearly Hollywood-esque tropes of the Malick-narration and the absurdly glistening abs of Idris Elba to provide you with a glimpse of war in a way that will make you physically sick. Few films have managed to do that, and in that sense, the long take in the middle of this film succeeds in the same way that something like Idi i Smotri does. Sure, it has little in the way of, well, stuff to say, but as this not-quite avant-garde experience of terror and fear it's absolutely riveting.
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Wrote comments because I realized I had at least tweeted or chatted about all of these movies. So there.

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