Wednesday, 31 May 2017

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) - Movie Review

2014’s John Wick, one of the first films I covered on this blog, is one that I didn’t give nearly enough credit to the first time around. Largely due to my own inexperience in the art of critique and not knowing how to properly articulate what I think makes for good action beats (neither of which may or may not have improved all that much since), I didn’t end up giving that film its fair due in how stone-cold brilliant it is.
From the sharp-as-a-razor writing that I still struggle to believe isn’t directly based on a pre-existing work, to the excellent fight choreography, the finesse behind the camera, the acting, even the lighting; it is a bona-fide classic film and it finally gave main star Keanu Reeves mainstream recognition that has been long overdue. Needless to say, I was eagerly anticipating this although I honestly don’t know how it could improve on the first attempt. Well, they found a way.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Snatched (2017) - Movie Review

In lieu of trying to make a useful prologue to all this, which would probably just result in a thousand-character sigh on the page, let’s just get into this trash already.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Meri Pyaari Bindu (2017) - Movie Review

For as much as I’ve railed against certain conventions of the genre, I can’t say I have any real issue with romance films as a whole. The genre exists for the same reason any other does, in that it’s a type of story that people want to see, and when done right, it can make for some truly powerful cinema. Whether today’s film fits that mould, I’ll get into in due time, but suffice to say, we’re in for a treat this time around.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Lahoriye (2017) - Movie Review

Given how this film marks easily the most distracting and obnoxious audience experience I’ve had to date, this review is going to be one of the hardest I’ve ever had to write. Kind of difficult to analyse a film when you can barely hear the bloody thing over drunken hollering from the back row. Still, I’m not about to let the Seat Of Shame Lifetime Achievement Award get in the way of my work so let’s do this thing already.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Downfall (2004) - Movie Review (Reader Request)

Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting this. Apparently, one of my followers on Facebook cared enough about my uneducated opinion on films that he asked me to review today’s subject. Now, being outside of my usual purview (films made in 2012 or earlier), I was a bit sceptical about this. But, considering the still-prevalent Hitler meme that this film spawned and how comparisons to Hitler are still coming thick and fast from all sectors of the political spectrum, I figure this would at least be interesting enough to warrant my own brand of analysis. Strap yourselves in for some good old-fashioned depression fuel.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Table 19 (2017) - Movie Review

Even with the amount of hatred I’ve been able to generate over the pretty awful films I’ve covered over the last few years, I have rarely if ever been ungrateful for having sat through them myself. I say that because even the worst films still have enough good grace to give me things to dissect and write about. In fact, it is usually the bad ones that give me the most material, as blind fury is often an easier feeling to express than anything pleasant. This entire blog exists because of my own love for film and writing about film, so I'd be a bit stupid if I was entirely ungrateful for the films that give me the best material to work with. Hell, I'd even go so far as to say that some of my best work has come out of the more egregiously awful films that I've sat through.
However, every so often, there comes a film that is so bland, so dull, so not engaging that I am left struggling to properly articulate how I truly feel about the work. We’ve unfortunately got another one of those today so, as you read this, understand that every single word on this page was wrung out of my brain with quite a bit of effort. tl;dr Sorry if this review turns out too boring to slog through.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Get Out (2017) - Movie Review

This is one of the highest-rated films of the last few years, hyped beyond all rational limits, to the point where any showing of dissent and differing opinion is met with vitriolic overreaction. Yeah, Armond White acted like an entitled douchebag in response to criticism of his own criticism, but that was in response to people losing their minds because the guy they all expected to think differently than them on what they love did exactly that. Hell, I’m actually thankful for his negative opinion because I can’t be the only one who is somewhat confronted whenever I see 100% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes; it makes me feel like I’m being pressured into liking something, and the reactions to White’s comments only solidify that fear.
You might be wondering why I’m even bothering to address any of this. Well, since it seems to be a yearly tradition that there’s at least one film that generates just plain stupid behaviour from moviegoers, I figure it was at least worth mentioning. That, and it should bring some levity to what is ultimately a very, very confronting feature.

Friday, 12 May 2017

A Dog's Purpose (2017) - Movie Review

Even though I have a dog at home myself, I’ve never really gotten the “point” of having pets. I see ordinary life for your standard human as complicated enough to get through without needing to simultaneously take care of a living thing that just barely counts in terms of intelligent life. I mean, people seem to take care better of their dogs than they do themselves; they certainly dress their canines better than themselves sometimes, I’ll tell you that for a fact. However, that’s not to say that I’m against it or anything like that; there’s a reason why cute pet videos still dominate the Internet to this day, and some of them are legitimately heart-warming by showing just how much animals mean to their owners. Such a shame that film never really seems able to translate that properly, with the box-office curse that is the talking animal movie still very much in effect.
So, as I continue dreading the point where I end up watching last year’s chatty-cat failure Nine Lives (or Mr. Fuzzypants as it was retitled over here, because fuck knows that I’m not embarrassed enough to watch the bloody thing), let’s take a look at this recent shaggy offering.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Battle Of Memories (2017) - Movie Review

Have you ever had an experience that you wish never happened? Of course you have; we all have. Would you want to erase it completely from your mind? That question’s a little trickier to answer. Must be why memory manipulation has been a science-fiction trope for as long as it has, dealing with the many implications and philosophical musings attached to it. Now, as I’ve made mention on this blog before, I see memories and the long-lasting effects they have on personalities to be a fairly inherent thing; I’ve been through some rather awful events in my own life, and yet I wouldn’t dare touch any of it in my own mind because, for better or for worse, they helped make me who I am today. Given how part of that includes my attitudes towards media and the real world, feel free to question whether or not that’s such a good thing. For right now, though, we have another psychological thriller to get through; hopefully, my natural affinity for the genre will make this at least worth watching.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Going In Style (2017) - Movie Review

When actors get older, they usually end up as either characters related to the lead or mentor figures that are meant to guide the lead; senior lead actors aren’t exactly the most popular thing in the mainstream. Well, to a point, at least. I say that because, more recently, we’ve been seeing older respected actors getting lead parts in recent films… except it’s usually done to appeal to younger audiences. This means that we end up with these established names basically sacrificing their dignity at the altar of ‘It’s funny because it’s old people doing it”.
Ignoring how I just don’t get the automatic comedy that’s supposed to arise from such an idea, I can’t be the only one who thinks that it’d be a nice idea if this wasn’t the go-to characterisation that filmmakers go to for older actors. Like, at least some stable sense of variety in-between the hard-drinking and weed-smoking seniors would be appreciated. With these preconceptions in mind, is this film going to stick to the status quo or are we going to get something at least a little bit different? This is Going In Style.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Noor (2017) - Movie Review

Even though certain statements have only grown in relevancy over the last few months, feelings of real discontent with one’s surroundings have existed for as long as we have. Whether it’s down to the nigh-on impossible task of being a true populist or just voter’s remorse, no matter how much we try to back the people who have our best interests at heart, there will always be irritation at how the higher-ups run the world. Raging against the machine is a thriving industry, bleeding out of the real world into all forms of art or really anything that involves creative input. Journalism, in one form or another, fits into this category as well, giving people that single bullet to blow the kneecaps off the world as they see fit. I bring this all up because that idea of voicing dissent against the injustices of the world is a major aspect of today’s film. So, with that in mind, how does this fluffy rom-com turn out? If that sounds out of place, it’s only because it is.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

My Pet Dinosaur (2017) - Movie Review

It’s once again time for an Aussie indie production, except this time we’re revisiting an old friend. Well, ‘friend’ is probably overreaching considering we’re talking about filmmaker Matt Drummond. That name may not mean much to most of you, but it’s one that I will not be forgetting any time soon considering he’s the guy who gave us Dinosaur Island, which is still one of the more perplexing cinematic releases I’ve covered on here. Perplexing because its only real positive is how unintentionally hilarious it is due to its very shoddy production values. I’ll admit that I didn’t instantly put two and two together when first watching it but, after reading up on the film and finding out that the same guy was behind both films, it makes a little too much sense. Time to take another trip down the long and winding road of ironic entertainment.

Friday, 5 May 2017

The Fate Of The Furious (2017) - Movie Review

Okay, time to once again address a certain… pattern I’ve been noticing with my last few reviews. Since the GG meltdown, and I swear that this wasn’t intentional, the last three films I’ve covered on here have all involved some form of feminism. Whether it’s the showing of strength in Begum Jaan and Smurfs: The Lost Village, or the misogynistic bullshit of CHiPs, it seems that I subconsciously made a bit of a theme. Time to change that up, with a look at the latest instalment of the most macho film series running today: The Fast & The Furious.
Now, there are very few film franchises nowadays that I would consider myself be an out-and-out fanboy for; the MCU is the closest I’ve gotten so far, and even then it’s more surface level. Fast & Furious, on the other hand? Since Fast Five, I’ve been strangely vibing with this series; I say strangely because, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m really not into car-centric action beats. And yet, between the unabashed and self-aware silliness of the action, the solid character interaction and even a few instances of legit emotional impact, this is a series that I have a lot of respect for. Keep that fanboy bias in mind as we get into the latest instalment of the franchise that restraint forgot. This is The Fate Of The Furious.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

CHiPs (2017) - Movie Review

Many times over the last few months, I have found myself defending what most call separating the art from the artist; basically, the idea of ignoring an artist’s real-world transgressions when it comes to discussing their art. Most of the time, I bring this up as a result of people (particularly when it comes to YouTube, I’ve noticed) performing mass subscription exoduses in response to something or other to do with racist comments. The reasons why, I think, are fairly obvious: Their work has nothing to do with politics or race, so why should it be judged on those terms? Of course, this mindset gets a little trickier when a person’s real-life mentality spills into their art, meaning that separation between the two is pretty much impossible.
Why do I bring this up? Well, for the first time in quite a while, I find myself compelled to look into just what exactly this film says about the guy who made it. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017) - Movie Review

I probably have the worst first impression of the Smurfs possible, as my first full-length encounter with them was through the 2011 film. Directed by the numbnuts that gave us the ever-popular comedic classic Beverly Hills Chihuahua, the live-action Smurfs film is easily one of the hardest films I’ve ever sat through. Thankfully, it didn’t fall into my purview for reviews, because I’m fairly certain it would’ve just been “fuck this movie” repeated 300-some times. I completely skipped the sequel, wanting to keep what little sanity I have left, and then the trailers for today’s film hit… and you cannot possibly imagine how much relief washed over me when I saw that this was not only a full CGI production but that it was a reboot of the series.
Going against what most would consider common sense, those two prospects combined with the phenomenally low bar the Raja Gosnell films set for the IP actually made me hopeful that this would be good. Given how this is the year that has audience expectations in a 24-hour shooting gallery, I can only hope that my optimism isn’t proven worthless.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Begum Jaan (2017) - Movie Review

After my explosion while looking at one of the worst made films in the history of the medium, I figure I’d just get right into today’s film and try and get back to the good stuff. Whether or not this film will actually deliver said good stuff, though, is another matter.