Thursday, 28 November 2019

Eli (2019) - Movie Review

I don’t like getting into spoilers in these reviews. Oh sure, if a film’s ending is particularly noteworthy (usually for how bad it is) and it bends my entire understanding of the film as it unfolds, it becomes somewhat of a necessity to delve into it in order to give my full perspective. But otherwise, much like how I don’t like even indirectly insulting people who like films that I personally don’t, I don’t like the idea of taking away the chance for someone else to experience a well-constructed twist in a work of fiction. But we’ve reached another one of those times where, for reasons I’ll get into, I have to get into this film’s conclusion in order to properly explain just how… baffling this thing is.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Knives Out (2019) - Movie Review

Films like this… intimidate me. As someone who writes about every new movie I watch, I certainly don’t make it a habit of hiding my true feelings in regards to pretty much anything I’ve written about here, whether I love it, hate it, or walked away unfathomably bored. But my come-up as part of the wider YouTube angry critic scene has definitely influenced how I approach all of those features. If something is bad, I hold no qualms in outlying every single way it has failed… but what about the opposite? What about those films that are just so engaging, so well-crafted, so endearingly good?

Surely, a film that is entirely positive is an impossible thing; no film is perfect, and even with films I love, I usually bring up even the most minor of issues to keep things balanced. Then there comes a film like Knives Out where, no matter how hard I strain my grey matter, I struggle to find fault in what it presents. I don’t know if this film is indeed perfect, but holy shit, it's so damn close that there's nary a difference.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

The Dirt (2019) - Movie Review

Even though he hasn’t directed a narrative film before this point (and no, the extended improv skit that is Bad Grandpa doesn’t count), Jeff Tremaine seems the ideal pick for a rock star biopic like this. At the forefront of one of MTV’s last truly iconic pillars with the Jackass franchise, the man knows his gratuitous excess, a phrase that fits the wildness of Mötley Crüe to a T. Especially considering how well the Jackass films did with marrying soundtrack and visuals, putting heavy rock guitars against each grand display of masochistic machismo. And while that certainly fits here to an extent, the growing pains of Tremaine working in this format show through a little too clearly.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Welcome To Marwen (2019) - Movie Review

This film was supposed to have gotten a theatrical release this year. I’ll be damned if I saw any evidence of that, though. We went from fairly frequent trailers for this to just… nothing. Until it popped up for home video release, this might as well have not even come out over here. While the current Hollywood structure is turning this scenario into what looks to be a regularity (what with Disney shelving so many of Fox’s releases after buying them out), this still doesn’t make sense.

This is Robert Zemeckis, one of the vanguards of American cinema and a filmmaker who has always been on the cutting edge of what film technology is capable of; how did his latest feature end up being left at the wayside? Well, while I’m certainly not going to make the argument that this film never should’ve have seen release, I will admit that I at least understand why this film would have been… deprioritised, as it were.

Friday, 15 November 2019

The Greasy Strangler (2016) - Movie Review (1000th Post Special)

Well, this is going to be a very special review. This marks my 1000th blog post, a number that has steadily built up over the past five years, encompassing movie reviews, lists, articles looking at my critical influences, and a few one-off experiments that didn’t really make it off the ground. What began with a spur-of-the-moment trip with friends to see a One Direction concert film has grown (or possibly mutated; the lab results are inconclusive as of yet) into not only an uneven-yet-prolific amount of writing material but also a chance to write for proper publications and even getting into doing podcasts. None of this would have been possible without my dear readers, every one of you who has ever taken the time to read what this uneducated dude has to say about the latest releases. I humbly thank all of you out there, and here’s to a thousand more.

Last Christmas (2019) - Movie Review

Seems like Paul Feig is sticking to his wannabe-European kick. After last year’s quite surprising tribute to French cinema with A Simple Favour, a pretty damn good effort all things considered, Feig’s latest appears to be his attempt at a British rom-com, akin to Love, Actually or Bridget Jones’s Diary. Snagging the co-writer of Bridget Jones’s Baby to both co-write and star in this film is probably part of that attempt, although it’s not as if people need much of an excuse to show off Emma Thompson still being enjoyable after all this time.

Between its Christmas setting, and its main gimmick involving the discography of George Michael (2019 has indeed been the year of the jukebox musical), I can’t say I was really expecting anything from it other than maybe some good laughs and a few feels. I certainly wasn’t expecting a big heap of coal to get dumped in my lap.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Doctor Sleep (2019) - Movie Review

Of all the movies to come out in 2019, including several I haven’t even gotten to yet, this is the one I was most looking forward to. Not because it’s the sequel to one of the most classic horror films of all time, although I am thankful that I rewatched it in preparation for this as I have a much better appreciation for it now than I did before. No, it’s because this is the latest feature from writer/director/editor Mike Flanagan, a filmmaker I have been shouting praise for for as long as this blog has existed.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Hail Satan? (2019) - Movie Review

In my time perusing social media and the many places where the unseen masses congregate to share their views, I have realised a fairly simple equation: The more that a person points the finger at someone for being a Satanist, the less they actually know about what Satanism actually is. Anyone in the mood for a good laugh (and still has the strength of will to use Twitter) should go and check the Church of Satan’s Twitter account, where there are daily iterations of people taking the time to lash out at the Church, while not using a fraction of that time to do some basic Q&A reading so that they know what they’re angry against.

It’s one of those aspects of the modern understanding of religion that always tickles me, and it’s what immediately drew me to checking this documentary out. A chronicle of the Satanic Temple, the more politically-minded side of Satanist doctrine that is more interested in activism than metaphysics, the depiction we are given is one that takes into account the common misconceptions about the movement and, with a devilishly cheeky grin, dispels a lot of the more frequent myths surrounding it.

Friday, 8 November 2019

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2019) - Movie Review

For as rare as this kind of film ultimately is, where a production that languished in purgatory for decades finally sees completion, there is always the same feeling that follows it: The overwhelming weight of its own hype. This is especially true for those who have had the patience to follow the heavily tumultuous production here, captured in part by the classic documentary Lost In La Mancha, as the active want to will this almost-cursed film into existence runs the risk of setting one’s own expectations to such a high that it would take a literal miracle to match them. And while this may not completely live up to its legendary status as a non-film, it feels like a production where its own history adds to its merits.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) - Movie Review

One of the most common hypotheticals in the realm of time travel fiction is the Baby Hitler scenario: Travelling back in time to kill Hitler as an infant before he grows into one of history’s most notorious dictators. There are a lot of ethical dilemmas and potential consequences that spring out of this idea, but one of the lesser-discussed ones is the possibility that making the kill successfully wouldn’t solve everything. That while the very specific threat Hitler posed may be prevented, something just as bad, or worse, could take its place in human history. It is this idea that forms part of the core of today’s feature, and it makes for one of the most welcome surprises of the year.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

47 Metres Down: Uncaged (2019) - Movie Review

Well, after the success of the first 47 Metres Down movie, which was easily one of the most unnecessary features I reviewed in the entirety of 2017, it appears we already have a sequel. Knowing what other unneeded horror cinema have been getting follow-ups (a sequel to The Gallows came out this year; I mean, c’mon!) I should be more irritated at this film’s mere existence… but maybe this could be a good thing.

As I’ve been making a habit of saying around here, I love movies that redeem qualities of bad movies, and while I was largely unimpressed with the first film, it’s not as if it had literally nothing about it that could’ve worked with a different take. Hell, with how well Crawl turned out earlier this year, I’m willing to go into this with some level of optimism. Thankfully, this may not be all that good of a film, but it is markedly better than its predecessor.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Ready Or Not (2019) - Movie Review

A newlywed couple, on the night of their wedding, are brought to the groom’s lavish estate for a family tradition: A night of games. If the bride wins the game, she has earned her place among their ranks of the Le Domas’, an illustrious family that has made a tidy fortune in games of all sorts. But as the game begins, the bride realises that things are more sinister than they already appeared at the start: It’s less fun and games and more game hunting, with her as the prey.