Koma-Mo

IMDb member since August 2019
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Reviews

John Wick
(2014)

An original action flick that takes you for an awesome ride.
The bait and switch that occurs here is fantastic. You start off watching John Wick mourning the death of his wife and rediscovers the meaning of life when he receives a puppy. When things hit the fan, you start to understand that there is more to the protagonist and immediately enter this bloodbath massacre with this complete badass. The plot is simple and yet you clearly understand the motivation and that this is one guy who you don't want to mess with. It's painful to see what happens, but the clear motivation is enough for even us to be onboard and cheering for this awesome character to kill some baddies.

Keanu doesn't get a lot of lines, but I thought he worked perfectly well here being such a tyrant with all of the stunt work and action scenes that he had done for this film. Which leads to one of the best things I can say and that is the action. Everything from the cinematography to the choreography, everything was shot in such detail, making this action flick so stylish and fun to watch. There were plenty of times where I reacted out loud just on how brutal or amazing a certain kill was. Based on the motivation of the character, watching him get his revenge is so satisfying, making this stand out from the more recent revenge flicks we have been getting. With so much memorable moments, it is hard to recall which was the most entertaining or which part of the film I had enjoyed the most. Every single moment brings in that necessary punch and not overstaying its welcome by showing too much action.

What this film gets right is building its world. You enter this world of assassins and rather than having long expositions that explain what goes around there, you are given enough glimpses and hints of the lore that has you intrigued and wanting to know more. The characters are all suave and each have their own characteristics, making this revenge flick all the more interesting. Everyone from the owner Winston, to even a few assassins that John Wick interacts with has such personality to them, making them quite memorable, despite the amount of screentime they have.

Even with its sequels, this film is still so fun to watch and its rewatchable. Definitely recommend this for anyone who loves action.

Captain Marvel
(2019)

An enjoyable, but flawed film that introduces a new character to the MCU
One major thing that people have said is that this film is great for "Phase One" of the MCU and that is absolutely true. The more recent films in this universe either raises the stakes for these heroes, adds more depth to them or does something unique to make it very worth watching. Although, I did enjoy it and want to see more of this character, this film didn't do anything to actually WOW me in any sort of way.

There weren't any cool shots or standout scenes, even though I did enjoy all of the superhero stuff. The moment Captain Marvel uses her powers and starts using her abilities, we understand that she is a big deal and can be a huge asset for the heroes of Earth. Sadly, the characters didn't have enough personality for them to be memorable. For the most part, the plot is interesting by handling Carol Denvers adventure in rediscovering who she is and finding her place in this world, but I thought the execution could have been handled more carefully as the film did have some potential to go deeper with the characters. There was never that spark or flare that I've loved to see in an origin film and felt a little bit bland compared to the others. The characters that we have seen before, such as Nick Fury, is always nice to see as he and Denvers had good chemistry and provided a lot of the humor together. Excluding a few of the new characters, the rest were uninteresting and kind of had nothing to do.

People do complain about Brie Larson and I thought she did fine here. She was able to bring a sense of personality to the character and although she isn't as interesting as the other characters in the MCU, Larson did the best with what she was given. Samuel L. Jackson is always great as Nick Fury and I'm glad we've got more screen time with him as this film provides as a prequel and we get to know who he is as a character. He brings in the humor and liked every single moment with him. One major plus is the special effects team by making him look so much younger, there was never a time where I noticed that it was fake. Ben Mendelsohn is actually pretty good here and I liked all they did with his character. One actor I'm actually disappointed in and not because of he was bad, but because he had nothing to do was Jude Law. I wanted to see more Jude Law here and if they film was able to put him more to build a bond and relationship between his character and Larson's, then it would have made his character even more interesting.

The stuff that happens on Earth is easily the best part of the film as it was able to bring the comedy and entertainment. However, I wished that the film focuses more on the Star Force team which would have helped add more tension and conflict throughout the film. Some of them do appear in other films and it had potential for us to get to know them. Instead, we only get a glimpse of these soldiers and do not have any sort of understanding of who they are and not being able to connect with them. After the first act, they disappear and appear again for the climax in which wasn't executed well as I don't remember their names or their abilities.

One thing that I did like was that the movie had a few twists that surprised me. I expected things to happen a certain way based on discussions I had about the characters and based on the trailer only to have the film to do something unexpectedly. The pacing and the overall story is still fun to watch, but because of the caliber of the previous films, it just feels weaker than usual. Also, one final remark, all of this talk and "controversy" I never had a single moment of Marvel bringing in politics to cinema. I have talked to some people who did not like parts of the film due to the fact that they believed the agenda that Marvel was trying to push. You see what you want to see and I saw a decent, but flawed superhero flick that is enjoyable to watch.

Gedo senki
(2006)

Easily one of the worst films from Studio Ghibli
Imagine that you are watching "Lord of the Rings" for the first time, but instead of "The Fellowship of the Ring" you start off with "The Two Towers." You end up being confused on what was going on and how did things end up a certain way, along with not being invested with these very interesting and wonderful characters. You can feel the importance of this journey, but can't simply be invested because of you not witnessing what had happened before. This is what it was like while watching this film. Instead of starting from the first part of the series, this film combines everything together making a very messy, but beautiful film.

Throughout the story, you follow certain characters on their journey and you are easily uninvested toward their motives and because of that, despite showing a lot of emotion and personality, I simply didn't care for anyone as I didn't know their backstory, along with the lore of this world. The film does try to make these characters interesting, but due to the fact that I don't know much about this world, especially with details regarding on what had happened previously, it is pretty hard to be invested with them and forcing me to go on this adventure with them. This is especially the case of the main girl as she is supposed to be someone special, but I didn't care because her character was very bland and uninteresting. Plus, it didn't help that the person who provided her voice in the Japanese dub was a total amateur, therefore, giving a terrible performance.

Because of this, the pacing of the film really dragged on, making this whole film completely forgettable. I cannot for the life of me remember the characters and on what had happened in the film. Failing to engross me to the world, I was bored out of my mind and found myself staring at the movie thinking about various of ways to fix the movie. This even goes to the point where there is a part of the film where I know that this reveal and twist was supposed to be something very important and breathtaking, but because I didn't have a clue on what was going on, I was blankly looking at the screen, thinking to myself: "Okay..... What's happening?"

Another thing that is missing in this film is the liveliness and entertainment of a Studio Ghibli film. The film is so serious to the point where the journey that these characters must go to is rather dull and uninteresting. Without any humor or at least humor that had worked, I felt like I was on a wagon trail enjoying the beautiful scenery listening to people I don't fully know talk about important topics. Which leads me to the only positive thing I can say here, which is the art. Just like with any film from Studio Ghibli, the drawings, scenery and the look of the characters are very well drawn and is nice to look at.

Sadly, I can't recommend this to anyone due to the fact that it failed to engross me to this fantasy world. Might as well read the book it was based off of instead.

Tickled
(2016)

Bizarre, cruel and definitely worth the watch.
This is a film hard to review without spoiling, so I will restrain myself from saying anything with detail because there are things here that are better understood in context while watching the film rather than me giving away certain details..

Immediately starting off expecting a satire of this tickling event, the film pulls the rug from under you making you think that you were going to watch a weird movie about this bizarre competition. However, you soon discover the dark and cynical side to all of this and it absolutely blew my mind. With each unravelling moment, your jaw will be on the floor to see the corruption and deceit that had been going around. With each interview, you feel the pain that these people had gone through and will sympathize for them because of what happened to them. None of these men who soon became casualties deserved everything that had happened to them. However, with some other people, you will loathe them based on their ideology and how people with power can be so corrupted.

It's like how I felt when I was watching "Spotlight" where you respect the journalists that keep pushing to get the truth, no matter the amount of threats and harm that may come to them. These two journalists in this film kept on going and you simply have to admire all that they have done. They brought all of the tension and thrills necessary to keep this documentary interesting and they follow a story that seems so unreal that you'll be surprised that it actually happened. Providing proper research and dedication, this documentary easily became one of the best documentaries I've seen. This may not suit everyone's cup of tea, but it is still worth watching to see that truth can be more bizarre than fiction and to see the amount of obstacles these men had to go through to get this movie out there.

Also, I recommend watching the short film "The Tickle King" as it continues from after the premier and brings in the same tension that you will see in this film.

Freaks
(1932)

An inspiration film that fans of horror should watch, despite it's flaws.
The film starts off as it will leave you wondering what happened to a particular person and the set up was well executed. This is where the film enters a flashback and you see what had happened and where you are introduced to the Freaks. From there on you are exploited to these characters and you are left with that mystery on what had happened to this person.

This movie is categorized as a horror and I have to say that this feels more like a drama with a small amount of horror sprinkled throughout the story; mostly at the end of the film. The film centers around a few characters and you see their interactions among one another that involves deceit or romance. The most interesting part was following the tragedy that will ensue this character. With just the reaction from the people observing this person, you imagine what this person looks like and you start to imagine what had happened until the ending, in which does not disappoint. I don't know if that was a real person or was done in makeup, but that ending was very effective, especially for its time. However, I can't say that the rest of the film was interesting.

I understand that parts of the film are forever gone, so there may have been some footage that dealt with some issues that I've had. Although I liked how memorable they are, the Freaks actually don't do anything particularly special. They were used as exploits and it wasn't enough to hold up well. You see them and after you react a certain way, they never appear again until the dinner scene with the chant that cinephiles will know. The movie did focus on the human characters well enough to where you despise or like some of them. Focusing on the woman who deceits Hans was well done and I wanted to focus more on what was going on there. However, when it came to the circus leader, I felt that his presence, especially with the female character who falls in love with him was a little bit pointless and caused the film to drag a bit. I understand that this is part of its time, but this subplot did not hold up well. During the climax, they served a purpose, but overall, they weren't really memorable characters.

Despite all of this, based on TV shows and movies, I can tell that this is still such an inspiration that I feel that fans of horror should watch this to see how famous directors were inspired by this film.

Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi
(2001)

Easily one of Studio Ghibli's best work of all time.
With such a huge filmography, it is difficult to consider which one is the best out of everything that Studio Ghibli has released. Just like with Disney, people will have a different, but understandable preference toward why they consider that film to be the best. One thing that people can agree on is that this film is one of the best out of everything that Studio Ghibli has made throughout the years.

Mixing in culture with fantasy, I loved how you become totally engrossed in this world and will be in total wonderment as you go on this journey with Chihiro. Sprinkling in humor and emotional moments throughout the film, this really helped the flow of the film and making it very fun to watch and embracing everything that happens. Never looking down on the audience, this film doesn't spell out everything for you, allowing us to figure things out and to find the answers on our own. Even just by watching the film again, you are able to catch certain details that you may have missed while watching it for the first time. The biggest strength of this film are the characters. For example, you are able to embark on this journey with Chihiro and you see her growth as a character, becoming more mature as the story progresses. Even with some of the sub-characters, you see them grow as well, making this journey very worthwhile, along with making this film very rewatchable.

This film is enriched with very colorful characters who are very memorable and have such interesting personalities to them that has them stand out with every scene they are in. From Yubaba, even with some of the gods that enter the bathhouse, I loved every single character that had appeared and they all helped add life to the whole movie. Surprisingly enough, the voice work here does help as well. I'm judging on the Japanese version here, so bare with me. Many of the actors chosen are not professional and there isn't a single weak point in the acting. Usually, Ghibli films will hire actors who are sometimes really good, but for most of the time are subpar passable or terrible. This is not the case as everyone was wellcasted and I loved everyone's performance.

Mixing such beautiful art with Hisaishi Jo's music helps add more personality to the overall film. I have to say that this may be the most beautiful film from Studio Ghibli. The mix of colors and from the look of the bathhouse to the scenery, the film has such a great look that makes it very beautiful to look at. There are plenty of memorable moments here that can be a painting of itself and mixing all of these great elements together really helps make this film stand out from the other Ghibli films and is still worth watching up till this day.

Inglourious Basterds
(2009)

Tarantino's take on a war film.
This is Tarantino's take on a war film, mixing his style that he has perfected and used throughout his career and it works perfectly well here. The amount of detail that he adds to this movie is splendid and I really liked how much he focuses more on the dramatic side than the action. You still have your over the top violence, in which I enjoy watching, but it worked well here and it never went overboard. What does happen may surprise some people as Tarantino does something that does deviate itself from reality and enters his fantasy. Thanks to his craft, there are also several scenes here that really increases the tension and had me on the edge of my seat thinking what will happen. Because anything can happen at any minute, he expects us to expect the unexpected and when something does happen, you'll end up being surprised with the outcome and maybe get a laugh out of it, as I tend to laugh with the wildness and surprise of what occurs.

One thing that does have to be said though is that this is Tarantino's world, so it's best not to expect this film to follow history to a tee. Just like in "Kill Bill," he tells the story in chapters and he implements these characters together as we get to know who they are, along with seeing them intertwine with each other for the climax. With great pacing and pure entertainment sprinkled throughout the film, fans will be able to enjoy it and be invested in the plot. However, I do have to say that the subplot involving Shosanna was a little weak. Her character is interesting and I am invested in her plan. However, even though the performances were great here, I felt that Frederick Zoller, portrayed by Daniel Bruhl, was fairly uninteresting. His character was a little too oblivious to how Shosanna feels, which made him a bit obnoxious and didn't have anything to do until the climax. Felt more like he was needed for the plot to happen and was not really a memorable character compared to everyone else. You do understand the pain that he feels, but other than that, he felt like the weakest character out of everyone.

I liked that Tarantino went for more of a foreign approach here with the majority of the film being dialogue not spoken in English. As the film has characters involved in foreign lands, it's a pretty risky but smart move to have these characters speak in their native tongue rather than going for the safe route of having them speak English. Most of the cast was not well known to regular moviegoers at the time and they had the most time on the screen. It even went so far to the point of having someone like Brad Pitt not playing a major role and being pushed to the side line until the third act of the film. Not having your top billing actor throughout the movie is a bold decision, but it is also a very nice decision as all of the performances were great and it allows us to see more great actors who we can look forward to seeing. Everyone did a great job, but most of all, Christoph Waltz. His character was very unpredictable and was so fun to see every time he was on screen. When he appears, he steals the show and you know that something is bound to happen with him appearing on the scene. His presence alone adds the tension and unpredictability on what will occur.

There are a few scenes that do feel out of place, such as having a blacksploitation logo pop out of nowhere to introduce a character, along with having some of the minor characters in Aldo's squad being put to the sidelines, not having any major to do throughout the movie; even to the point of disappearing without explanation. Some of these can be nitpicks and I do admit that. But in the end, this film is still fun to watch and is another great film by Tarantino.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
(2018)

An anthology film that fans of the Coens can enjoy.
For fans of their work, this anthology film carries every single element that people have enjoyed from the Coens. Each short story was shot very well and I enjoyed just looking at how great the film looks due to how the Coens were able to capture the feel of a western using different styles that they have incorporated into their films. You see everything from from the comedic side of "Raising Arizona" to the seriousness of "No Country for Old Men."

Not everything was a hit, so I'll go over in order from the best to the worst. Starting from the best, "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs," is a musical that blends well with the absurd humor. Being a great way to start off the anthology, I enjoyed all of the songs and laughed quite a bit as we go on this goofy journey with this outlaw. It's silly and has a great sense of humor that the Coens were able to deliver very well. The other story I thought was the best was "The Gal Who Got Rattled." As it's a more serious tale with a bit of romance sprinkled onto it, you go on this journey with the protagonist and you see the romance that has blossomed. The story is very linear and I did buy the romance that you are witnessing here. However, this story brings such an impact to where when things do go bad, it will hit you hard. I cried at this part and this wouldn't happen if it weren't for the great performances and a well structured story from the Coens.

The ones that were decent were "Meal Ticket, "All Gold Canyon" and "The Mortal Remains." "Meal Ticket" is a very grim and bleak tale that works very well when you see what happens at the end, but the whole story was a little slow and had such a slow pace, compared to the others, to where I had myself wondering what the Coens wanted to do here. I did like how there is very little dialogue here and you can tell what is going on in the mind of the characters based on the expressions from the actors. This goes along with "All Gold Canyon." It was shot very well and the tension that does pop up during the story does give life to the story. However, despite that, there was nothing really going on until the climax and you are just simply watching a man looking for gold, wondering what will happen. With "The Mortal Remains," it does lack the punch that mirrors what was introduced in the first short, especially as it is the last story of this film. I did, however, liked the ambiguity of what was happening and allowed us to speculate what was going on. The tone worked well and the interactions between these characters was mostly nice to watch. The humor didn't hit home for me, but the overall plot worked.

The weakest one was "Near Algodones." It started strong, but lead to an ending that fell flat on its face with a punchline that I thought that didn't work. Also, I thought that James Franco just wasn't able to deliver and felt that he gave the weakest performance of them all.

I'm glad that this film was made and despite some of the hiccups, it's still a great anthology film and I do consider this as one of the Coens best films in their filmography.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
(2019)

Very surprised that this franchise is holding strong.
It's very interesting to see this film that started off as a simple gun-fu action flick has spawned two sequels under its belt. I did like the second one, but felt that it lacked a few things that I loved about the first film. With this third entry, I do have to say that this may be better than the previous film and delivers a whole bunch of great moments that I simply enjoyed to witness. As this continues exactly where it was left off, you see John Wick trying to escape and I thought the film didn't disappoint. I'm still invested in this world of assassins and I liked seeing some of the returning characters. Just like how he was in the previous films, Keanu Reeves shows more of his acton chops than his acting ones. However, he is still entertaining to watch and I'm amazed with the stuff he did here. Despite that, I enjoyed the rest of the cast. Ian McShane is still cool as ever and I really liked how over the top Laurence Fishburne was.

Personally, I thought that the pacing was much better here compared to its predecessor. Loved the first act as tensions were high and just watching John Wick trying to escape was very entertaining. With time ticking, I gripped my hands, just wondering how he would escape and how the film delivers the actions sequences here was absolutely amazing. The second act does slow down a bit and it is provided as a breather, but it doesn't slow down one bit and it still provides the entertainment. This is where we are introduced to some of the new characters, understanding more of the lore and rules that are followed in this world and we get to know more of John Wick's background. I liked the addition of Halle Berry here as with the amount of screen time she has here, I was interested in her character and when it came to her time to shine, she really delivered. She was so cool in this film and watching her shoot down a lot of baddies and kicking a whole bunch of butt was fun. With the final act, you get the full on action sequences that has a bit of good humor sprinkled throughout these fights. It lacked the overall tension in the first act, but I still had a blast and was fully entertained with all of the shootings and fist fights. With great choreography, setting and kills, there were several moments that did have me squirming and just react as if I was watching a pro-wrestling match.

The story is still lacking as this is a full on action flick, but with how everything played out, I rather enjoyed this adventure and really liked how everything played out. However, saying that I did have a few gripes toward the overall movie. With some of the new characters, they come and go so quickly to the point that it had me wondering what other purpose do they have in this movie. Maybe they will be added to the sequel, if it gets made, but with who we were introduced to, I felt that the subplots with them could have been woven together with the plot more carefully to make it a better film. Technically, there is no plot and I understand that this film is simply made to show off some very cool action. However, by having a bit more plot and providing more depth to the characters, it would make it stand on its feet more and allow more opportunities to expand the franchise. And yet, maybe I'm just looking way too seriously into this film.

But still, this is a great action flick and surprisingly still holds its ground. I do look forward to see what they do next and really had fun watching this film.

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
(2019)

Really glad this film didn't disappoint.
I do understand the complaints that this film has been receiving and I do see the criticisms for this film. However, I have to say that despite all of that, I absolutely loved this film and I'm really glad to see that Quentin Tarantino was able to make another great film.

As a fan of his movies, this movie has everything that I enjoy: you have the awesome dialogue, great and memorable characters, incredible cinematography and fantastic directing. Unlike his other films, this is not linear and there is a point at the second act where the plot deviates away from the main plot. However, just like his other films, Tarantino is able to make a film with great pacing despite that and I had a blast. There will be some people who will not have the same enthusiasm as I have as it may bore some people and just may lose interest toward the overall film because of it. Regarding the overall plot, I enjoyed watching the friendship between the two leads and just watching Rick Dalton, portrayed by Leonardo Di Caprio, just trying to put his name out there and still be relevant. One of the things that I have enjoyed was to see Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth, portrayed by Brad Pitt, interact with real life characters of the time period and to see them be involved with this moment of Hollywood. It helped add personality and it allowed us to see some pretty nice and at times, funny moments with these characters.

Surprisingly enough, this film doesn't have a lot of the overly violent scenes and I was overly surprised by the amount of dialogue and comedy that was implemented in this film. I laughed quite a bit and even enjoyed some of the in-jokes that he has about the movie industry and about some of the films from his filmography. Now, the violence is still there and when it hits, I think it was more impactful due to the fact that it was absent throughout the whole film. When it hits, it's shocking, surprising and funny at the same time. Definitely one of the very few times that I have reacted out loud in a movie theater.

From the poster, people will know that Margot Robbie is in the film and she is playing Sharon Tate.. This is a small gripe that I do have toward the film. Sharon Tate is one of the major characters of the movie and I feel that she wasn't utilized in the film well enough. I have an idea toward why Tarantino wanted to focus onto her and in that concept, I think he did the best that he could to make her appearance in the film work. For some people, they may not get the idea and just find her appearance to be rather pointless and some may not find the focus on some of the recognizable faces of Hollywood at the time to be worth watching. Tarantino is making a love letter for that time period so unless you love movies or you enjoy Tarantino's style of humor, this may cause people to not be invested.

Without a doubt, Leonardo Di Caprio and Brad Pitt were the best parts of the movie. They show why they are the best in Hollywood now and I just loved that they are playing actual characters. I tend to see them playing very serious roles and they are still good, but I missed when they were able to show their range of acting. I think they were able to do so here as Di Caprio was very funny and he brought a lot of personality to his character, along with Pitt. They both have great chemistry together and I've enjoyed every single moment they were onscreen.

If some of the scenes were cut shorter and if some of the characters were more well written and used well, then I would have really have no gripes toward the film and would have put this on my top. This is a fun Tarantino film and I feel that fans will have a blast watching this film.

Django Unchained
(2012)

This maybe my least favorite Tarantino film.
Depending on where you stand, this film has splitted moviegoers. From his overuse of the racial term and people simply finding this film frustrating as he doesn't take this matter seriously as other films about slavery, people tend to not like this film. Despite all of this, I still enjoyed it and I do somewhat agree with the complaints that I have heard. He does use that particular word too much and it did become redundant after a while. I loved the majority of this film due to Tarantino's great talent behind the camera as he is able to have some pretty cool shots and bringing in the humor and shock factor very well.

Adding his take on the western with a mixture of blacksploitation, the plot of this film was quite enjoyable. The first act introduces the main characters well, being performed greatly by the actors who made their friendship believable. The third act brought the over the top violence and entertainment factor very well. However, I really felt that, despite the second act having some great scenes, this is the weakest part of the film and it completely halted the movie for me. I loved the introduction of Calvin Candie, portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio and the interactions that he has with the main characters shows how great Tarantino's writing is. It is what happens after this scene that really has me feel the pace slow down. It felt like Tarantino wanted to focus more on the violence of slavery and overpushed the brutality of it with scenes that are very uncomfortable to watch and overstayed their welcome by stretching it out for longer than it should have been. It is when they are having dinner when the film picks back its pace and you will watch an incredible performance by DiCaprio in a scene that is very intense and well shot.

Tarantino brings in great performances and there are two major standouts. Christolph Waltz once again was great as he portrayed Dr. King Schultz. His character is very likable and Waltz is so charismatic to where he is able to bring in a deep personality to the character. The other stand out is DiCaprio as he also brings his charm and that scene I mentioned earlier shows why his character is very menacing and downright scary. I was in awe watching him act in this scene and this scene alone is one of the reasons why I love DiCaprio as an actor. About Jamie Foxx, he was good and I did like his character, but I felt that he didn't wow me like the other two. He made the character cool and I enjoyed watching him shoot up some baddies. It's just that it felt more like a character he played in his previous action flicks. As much of a great actress she is, Kerry Washington was really wasted here. All she did in the film was to scream and react. There were too many reaction shots of her and she was under utilized to the point that it had me wondering if her character was actually important or not. Basically, this character could have been portrayed by anyone.

I'm always debating which film of his is weaker and I tend to lean toward "Jackie Brown" and this film, just due to the fact that there were a lot of recognizable flaws that made me lose interest with the story, which had me wondering when the pacing would come back. But with Tarantino's talent and all of the positives I've mentioned earlier, this film is still worth watching, despite the huge negatives that I had.

A Serious Man
(2009)

Parts are interesting, but definitely one of the Coen's best.
As much as I love the Coen Brothers, they do have movies that end up being a miss. Here is a movie that is heavily influenced by the Jewish culture, to the point that I know that the scene was intended to be funny, but I end up being confused and just didn't get it. This film felt like I was sitting in a bar talking to someone who is full of energy and charismatic, but only told in-jokes.

The most entertainment that I got was watching Larry, played by Michael Stulbarg, go through a lot of mishaps and unfortunate events. I wondered what will happen to him and if things will work out for him in the end. At the same time though, I do have to admit that the overall plot is rather weak. There is literally something that happens at the beginning of the movie that has no meaning whatsoever. It was interesting to watch, but none of what was shown connected to the whole film. You have a very simple story, but how it was paced and how it went from one scene to another worked at times, but didn't with others.

I know the theme revolving around this story, but the pacing was slow at times and there were moments where nothing happened, in which I couldn't help but find myself a little bored. The main character lacks any backbone to stand up, so when you see him get pushed around, it might annoy some people. However, I did like how it ended as it's an ending that only the Coen Brothers can think of.

The main standout of the film was Michael Stulbarg as he provided the humor with great reactions and as some may find him annoying, he is able to make the character sympathetic enough to the point that you wish that the guy would catch a break. I did like the rest of the cast and thought they were just fine. They all did what was necessary and were able to provide the humor without any trouble. No matter if the film is bad, you can always expect the Coen Brothers to give a top quality looking film and this did exactly that. The cinematography is great, along with the way the scene was shot. It is a given and they put a lot of working constructing the shot. With that said, I cannot recommend people to watch this film immediately, unless you are a fan of the Coens.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
(2019)

Better than its predecessor, but the people are not interesting.
This will be a very biased review as I am a fan of the kaiju genre and despite some of the negative reviews that the predecessor received, I actually enjoyed it and thought that this film was a very satisfying and enjoyable sequel.

I understand the complaints that people have made about the human characters and I totally agree with them. All of the characters, other than a few, play a specific stereotype that we usually see in these type of movies. The hard headed character may have a change of heart later on and the villains will usually be the mustache twirling villains. I thought everyone here did a decent job, but they weren't provided with anything to do other than to be a certain role. The film did have some potential of providing plenty of depth to the main leads so that they can justify their actions a bit more, but in the end, they are underdeveloped and other than a scene with exposition, we won't be able to fully connect with and understand the characters. These characters do make decisions that you will not like and the film will have plenty of loopholes that will end up damaging the film. Some of the logic that you see is outrageous and there were things that happened just for the plot. This didn't bother me too much as I thought each character was necessary and they didn't annoy me as other characters have in the previous Godzilla movies; especially with the other negative things that I have mentioned.

There are few things that did bother me such as Ziyi Zhang's character having a sister who appears in one scene, but was not shot well and I thought I was watching this particular scene with the same character we were following throughout the film, only to find out that it wasn't the main sister that was shown. After the movie, I was told about it and it made me not like how that scene was edited. Another one will have to be the soundtrack, which is both awesome and cheesy. They use the iconic song from the original Japanese film and added a few additions such as people chanting the name of Godzilla and adding a bit of chants that you here at a Japanese festival. It's so cheesy and I cringed a bit just because I thought that it didn't work well.

The main attraction for this movie are the monsters and this movie did more with the monsters than its predecessor and it brought more than I expected to see. I have a huge soft spot for watching the classic Godzilla films, even enjoying watching the people in those suits fighting one another. Ever since the first film, I wanted to see Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidora in CG and this movie did not disappoint. I loved the look of these creatures and all of the action scenes are very exciting, which put a huge smile on my face. With more action scenes and providing more of a spectacle, this film did something that the predecessor introduced briefly and tried to expand the universe that was created here. Some may disagree and that is understandable, but I just love these kaiju movies and I'm totally excited for the next film with King Kong.

One of the main reasons that I think Michael Dougherty was hired to make this film was that he is very good of providing a certain feel and being able to focus well on what is popular, which in this case is the kaiju. Sure, the human characters are dumb and they do some pretty dumb things, but I am able to look past that due to other "Godzilla" films doing something more stupid and I just loved every single moment with the kaijus.

The Dark Knight
(2008)

The best of the best.
Nolan brought a very serious tone here, by taking the caped crusader and making him grounded enough to where nothing that happens in the movie seems out of place or feels unrealistic. The whole conflict that is built up here really pays off as you see how these two characters are total opposites and how the Joker challenges Batman to his limits as a human and as a hero. I loved every single second of this movie as Nolan's attention to detail, along with a well structured story, really elevated this movie to its greatness. I love that throughout the movie, there are things happening to where if you miss it, it won't ruin the story in any sort of way, but if you catch it, you'll be able to appreciate the amount of detail that Nolan put into this movie. The whole movie will have you feel tensed as anything can happen at any moment and knowing that the Joker is somewhere ready to strike makes this film even more better.

I think one thing that people don't fully talk about is how Nolan really surprises you in this film. Not only with the character interpretations, but there were a few scenes that I thought would happen one way and totally revealed something that surprised me a lot. It'll be something like two characters are having a normal conversation and then out of nowhere, you're frightened as something comes out of the blue and you see that the chaos is about to start. It can also be where you expect the hero will stand on top only to see that they fall down to the bottom.

I do have a small gripe and it's mostly with the fight sequences. I've seen the making and I know why Batman's techniques are of a certain style, but even up to this day, I still think it doesn't look as cool as they intended and it still doesn't work for me. It puts me out of the film a little and I just wished that would have been fixed. This is not my complaint as I loved every single minute, but some may find the film to be too long and that some parts, rather very few of it, could be cut out of the film.

Although he still does the growly voice, I still think Christian Bale is one of the best actors to portray as Batman/Bruce Wayne. The movie doesn't focus much on the Bruce Wayne persona due to the fact that we have seen that in the previous film, but Bale continues to do a great job. You also have a lot of great performances from the cast with Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Maggie Gyllenhaal, who replaced Katie Holmes, did a better job as Rachel. He doesn't get much credit, but I really liked Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent showing both sides of the character that fans have recognized through animation and video games. I'm not counting Tommy Lee Jones as his interpretation of the character was pretty bad. What they did with Harvey turning into Two Face was shocking and I loved the look. This is where Eckhart shines even more as he starts off as one way, but when you see him become that character, he totally embraces the role and being able to be the same character, but in a different way. But the guy that stole the show was none other than Heath Ledger as the Joker. He was able to portray this iconic character very cynically, bringing in the unpredictability of the character that will make feel scared, wondering what he will do next. The chaos that the character brings to the film easily puts him as one of the most iconic and memorable villains of this generation. I wanted to see more of the Joker and more of his interactions with Batman.

With so much memorable moments and iconic shots throughout, this is a film that has you so focused on what is happening to where you don't want to miss a single moment. It is not a perfect film with very minor flaws that you will notice if you think about it way too hard. Despite that, I still loved this film and I can't recommend this enough. Not only is it a great Batman film and not only is it a great superhero film, but it's a film that will forever be helmed as one of the greats of all time.

Room
(2015)

An amazing movie with so many things to appreciate.
I didn't watch the trailer, so I never knew what exactly was going on. So when I started watching the movie, I was genuinely surprised and shocked with the circumstances that these characters had to go through, along with how deep and emotional this movie was. The film was able to do so much skill from the director and being able to bring a heavy hitting emotional film.

I really liked how the film allowed us to be in the perspective of the child and to see the world from his point of view. You can tell from where they were that something is off about the room the mom and Jack were living in; especially with how cramped and dirty it looked. However, as we see it in his perspective, we understand that since this was the only thing that he knows, we see the beauty and the enjoyment that he has in that small place. Even when they escape the room, you see everything in a new light as we are in Jack's shoes and a simple room in a hospital will look heavenly. You see everything as if you are seeing it for the first time and this is what the director was able to do very well. The cinematography and the overall structure of the scene works perfectly well, allowing us to be in his shoes and to be amazed with the boy.

This is not an easy film to sit through due to the bleakness and how daunting what the mother and son had gone through, along with her parents can be. This film provides so much depth and emotion to all of the characters and I cannot help but give praise for what this film was able to accomplish. As the mom and her son was able to get out of their room, I really loved that we get to see how something like this can ruin people emotionally and that things do not end happily so soon. We usually see the family become happy and the characters who had gone through trauma will miraculously get over it. But this film doesn't do that as it dives deeper into the turmoil of what had happened. The main character is going through some emotional distraint, the boy is struggling to understand the new reality he has entered and we see that the parents of the main character also have to struggle to deal with their new reality. Despite all of this, not everything is a disaster as there were moments of enjoyment and happiness that had me tearing up. Which is another reason why I loved this movie. The film perfectly combines the darkness with the heartfelt moments well, adding more emotional element to the overall story.

Every character here goes through so much and this is all due to the performances. Brie Larson was absolutely amazing as Jack's mom. She has to carry part of the film and the emotion that she was able to deliver was just great. I really liked that we get to see that even after it is over, things won't go back as they were before and you see the inner turmoil that she goes through. She did deserve every praise and awards she has received for this film based on what she brought to this movie. Also, even at a young age, Jacob Tremblay gave such a fantastic performance. Just like with Larson, he provided a lot of depth and emotion to the character as he also has to carry the film and based on his performance alone. I was able to buy that he knew nothing outside of the room he stayed in and that he is totally oblivious to the world around him. You also have great performances from Joan Allen, William H. Macy and Tom McCamus, whom I really liked, especially with what he does in the film.

Even watching it a second time, the emotion and the tension that I felt, the connection I felt with these characters and crying non stop in some of the more emotional scenes really made me appreciate this film and consider this as one of my favorite films of all time.

Kimi no na wa.
(2016)

A beautiful film with a band blasting their music into your ears.
Probably due to how lame and unentertaining these types of movies are, I tend to avoid movies that involve body swaps like a plague. What Shinkai Makoto did here with the story really was impressive as he added a bit of a twist to it and making a very cohesive and entertaining story. Makoto has a very unique style from the other current Japanese animators by providing films that are absolutely beautiful to look at, such as the landscapes and sceneries. He mixed these beautiful scenes with a surprisingly interesting story by having two interesting characters and for us to see them experience what is going on as they constantly swap bodies back and forth. I liked how the movie doesn't focus on certain tropes and used the comedic moments effectively. You understand who they are and end up liking both of them by the end of the film. Also, the twist that I've mentioned earlier is surprising and introduces a stake for these characters to overcome. This is where the emotional part hits extremely well as you end up cheering for them and you hope that everything will work out with them in the end.

The voice acting was surprisingly good, especially as the actors who voiced the main roles are not professionally trained voice actors. Both Kamiki Ryunosuka and Kamishiraishi Mone gave so much personality to their characters and were able to act emotional and funny when it was needed.

Not everything I have to say is positive as there were a few things that did have me not enjoy as much as other people have. First off, as much as I liked the characters, after a certain point, the movie takes a comedic route by going into a montage and the film skips over a few consequences or ends subplots that were introduced at the beginning of the film so quickly to the point where it felt like it wasn't necessary. I wanted to see more of a conclusion, instead of a quick scene to show to know that some problems are resolved and will never come back.

One of the major complaints is that parts of the film felt like I am sitting at a park, enjoying the scenery with someone dear to me, when suddenly, a band pops out of the bushes and starts singing their songs a couple of centimeters away from me. The band, Radwimps, did a great job and made a good soundtrack. However, just like in a lot of Japanese films and dramas, they tend to go very melodramatic and they add the music at the right time to sell their soundtrack, along with forcing people to feel a certain emotion. I instantly got annoyed when they started the movie with an anime style opening and would blast up their music so high that I couldn't focus or hear what the characters were saying. This would happen constantly throughout the film to the point that it got distracting and I wanted to plug my ears until the song had finished.

Despite what I said, I'm pretty sure there are people out there that don't mind those kind of things and they would enjoy the movie more. I personally don't like and still enjoyed it overall. I'm glad this movie was a big hit as we will be able to see more top quality animation from Makoto.

Shazam!
(2019)

It doesn't deserve the high praise it's been getting, but it's still good.
As of late, the DCEU is doing a good job of establishing their universe after how their ensemble film basically ruined everything due to the producers poor decisions. From "Aquaman" to this film, I'm glad that I got to see another superhero done well on screen; although, I do have some gripes about the film that didn't make me like as others have.

It's a big risk and rather difficult task to make a film of a child becoming an adult and I thought that this film did it quite well; it's basically "Big" with superheroes, as people have mentioned. I liked how they introduced the main character and we got to know him on why he does what he does. You understand Billy Batson well enough so when he turns to the superhero Shazam, Zachary Levi does a good job of capturing the mannerisms and the same personality that we saw from Asher Angel. I personally thought it worked fine and that we were able to see his growth and although he was a troublemaker, he still was likable to a point. He does something in the film that is clearly his fault, but he never goes to the point of feeling responsible for it. Instead, we are treated with an action scene and given no time for him to reflect back.

Out of all of the characters, Billy Batson was possibly the one with the most depth and is the most interesting. Everyone else, on the other hand, was not, especially Freddy, played by Jack Dylan Grazer. He is possibly the most annoying and the least likable out of everyone due to the fact that everything that he gets himself involved with is his fault. Sure he is the comic relief, but he never made me laugh and because of how unlikable he is, I wished that the director and scriptwriter would have changed him a bit more to be more involved with the plot and to be more responsible. The other characters just have one note to them and are basically there to be there until something arises and they are given something to do. The villain was menacing and we understand him, but I just felt more pity that that was his main reason for being the villain.

One of my biggest gripes here was that the film deviated away from the subplots of the film. I'm talking about the ones that will be able to add more depth to the characters and to add more impact to a certain situation that Billy Batson wants to do, in order to add comic relief. I did like the comedy and laughed a bit while watching Billy get used to his powers. But the fact that the movie wanted to focus more on the comedy rather than blending all of these elements together kind of hurt the film for me. Since director David F. Sandberg has made more horror films, I liked that he added a bit of a horror element at one scene. Also, when you do see that side story of Billy's take place, it does bring in the impact that I want and it shows how serious this situation was; it's sad that the film had us forget about it until the climax.

All of the superhero stuff is fun and I have to give major praise for that. They were able to blend the action and comedy well, so when you see Shazam fighting, there will be a joke in between the fight and it never felt like the film stopped to tell this one joke. I did have fun and the film did surprise me a bit with how they executed the fight scenes and how things played out during the climax.

I'm glad that this film is not as panned as the other films in the DCEU, but at the same time, this doesn't deserve all of the praise that has been given. There are major flaws here and I couldn't turn the other way and act like it wasn't there. I saw it and it bothered and despite that, it was still a fun movie. I'm glad the DCEU is going on the right track after they crashed and burned.

The Purge
(2013)

A good premise with lackluster presentation.
The film does have an interesting premise that would have been better utilized if it was as a social commentary, but instead, this film is a generic thriller that doesn't go through with what they have introduced in the beginning and delivered a film that was more of a snore than a thrill. The film doesn't do anything with this concept and fails to have us see and develop our own opinion toward this one night event of murder. Instead, we are given dialogue and exposition to know how successful it is.

What would have made this film better was to allow us to get to know the characters a little more by having them react to this event and to see their perspectives of this night. By doing this, we get to connect with them more and to feel for them when things get out of hand later on. What we are treated with instead is a plot of literally nothing going on until the last 20 minutes of the film. I did, however, enjoy a few aspects of the film, such as the climax and how they ended it, but until then, nothing really happens in this film. There are no conversations or conflicts between the characters about killing people, there is nothing at stake and most of all, these people are not interesting.

The film follows a typical trope and doesn't do anything new and exciting to allow people to be invested in it. When things get out of hand, that is where the film does deliver the fun aspect, although the execution was a bit sloppy. There is a bunch of nothing happening here and it's sad to see that despite what they have here, the director didn't do anything with it. Also, the film fails to give a proper explanation toward how and why something happened. Everything happens in order for the plot to progress and because there is no proper explanation, it just feels lazy and further deepens my disinterest toward the film. Even when the characters are faced with a certain dilemma, they either do nothing with it or is quickly resolved in a second without any sort of explanation to why people made the decisions they made.

Each character follows the annoying trope of doing something stupid, even to the point of having one character disappear throughout the movie and just being a waste of presence until this character does something heroic at the end. It's sad as none of the characters stand out, despite having two great lead actors. I did like Rhys Wakefiled, who plays the absurdly psychotic character. He added a strong presence based on his performance and he made it a bit interesting to watch.

Due to the lack of excitement, logic and a properly structured story, I felt that this film failed to be something memorable, despite having a few good scenes here and there.

Brightburn
(2019)

Sad that this didn't go all the way with the horror.
Having a great concept, this presents something that can serve up a good and satisfying horror movie. Many comic book fans want to see a full on R rated film about a "Superman" like character who turns evil. There is something missing in this film that prevents me from fully enjoying this experience and I think this all has to do that the film didn't go full on out with this premise. Yes, there are scenes that did what I wanted to see, but personally, it wasn't enough. There were plenty of things that the film could have done, but it felt that the director played it safe. Once you see some scenes that were able to bring the horror to the movie, I thought this is where the film stood strong. Not only did I enjoy watching these horrifically brutal moments , some of them had me cringing and squirming in my seat. However, I do have to say that the execution and how some of these scenes ended was abrupt and didn't leave my jaws dropping in any sort of way. As those parts of the film did a good job of bringing what I wanted to see in this type of movie, I am a little sad that and do wish that the film would have provided more scenes like that.

I didn't mind that there were subplots that weren't fully answered as it is something you can think about and connect the dots easily. However, one thing that would have benefited this film was to show more scenes with Brandon. We know he is menacing based on the premise, but the film didn't do a good job of making the character interesting. If the film was able to make him more sympathetic and allowing us to connect with him more, then I feel that we will not only feel sorry for him, but will start to fear him a bit more as we see that he is unstable. Right off the bat, the film addresses who he is and there is no change with him. Because of that, I feel that this made the film's overall story weaker than it should have been. Also, having more of a horror element added to it would have satisfied me even more. I do like that the film wanted to focus on the dramatic elements involving the family, but at the same time, the director didn't do a good job of blending these two together, making parts of the film drag a bit which leads to a huge decrease of brutality that we could have seen.

The performances were mostly good and I really did like Elizabeth Banks and David Denman who really gave nice performances as the parents, who had the most depth out of everyone in the film. Jackson A. Dunn did do a decent job, but because his character didn't have a lot of personality, I didn't really care for the character and that he felt more like a generic bad guy with super powers. He had one look to him and he kept that same look throughout the film, as if the director wanted us to fear his expressionless mannerisms. He really needed more personality and allowing us to see who he is would have made him a more conflicting character.

I am slightly disappointed and yet a little satisfied with the overall results. I truly wanted the director to go full throttle and give us a hardcore scary superhero movie. There was simply not enough of gore and horror elements that would have satisfied people. It is worth watching just to see some of the deaths, but other than that, it's nothing special.

La piel que habito
(2011)

A twisted and yet riveting film!
Really liked how director Pedro Almodovar was able to mix different genres and able to make something that is both fascinating and disturbing. This film really caught my attention with the amount of detail that the director has provided, along with bringing a great amount of elements that really made me enjoy this film.

One of the major things I care about most in film is plot and I really liked how the film was structured as it starts off as one way and reveals a truth that I did not expect, in which genuinely surprised me. The whole time you are filled with questions and are just wondering what in the world is going on. It is weird, but yet I couldn't help but feel intrigued. Then, as the film continues on, I started to see what was going on and I was blown away by the twist. Once you figure out what was going on, then you start to wonder what the film would do next and personally, it did not disappoint. I do like the fact that when you look back on the film, you can see the subtle hints that were sprinkled around and it never felt like the surprise came out of left field.

Also, the directing, along with the cinematography was pretty good here. I liked how the director structured each shot and I really appreciate everything that I saw in the film. From the lighting to where he positioned the camera, I really liked every detail that he provided here and did like his craft a lot.

The performances were absolutely great. Antonio Banderas did a fantastic job here as he was able to deliver a performance of a character who has layers to him and provided enough depth for us to somewhat understand the mindset of the character. I do like that he is not playing the typical tough guy that he tends to play and it is a role that I haven't personally seen him play. Also, I thought Elena Anaya did a great job here as Vera. I won't give much about her, but she brought the necessary emotion to the character and gave a strong performance as well.

You do have to be patient with this film as you start not knowing what is going on, but will be more intrigued, along with questioning yourself on the morality of what is going on here. There were so many great things about this film, I do recommend to people who do enjoy twisted movies.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
(2019)

Wished it would have gone more of a dumber route.
With each new entry to the "Fast and the Furious" franchise, it gets more ridiculous and dumber and somehow it gets a lot of money back from the box office and has now started doing spinoffs in order to expand this franchise. I really expected this film to go even more over the top than how it ended up being and I'm actually a little disappointed because of that.There are parts of the film that did have the expected excessiveness, but the whole basic structure of the movie is exactly like a typical action movie that we have seen from both of these leads. The film is still dumb and tries to add a more science fiction feel to it, but it is not enough to make this adventure with these macho men anymore interesting.

This especially goes for the overall directing by David Leitch. His films do tend to have a bit more style added to it, but I really felt that his directing here is simply flat. You do have your typical fighting sequences that you are used to from the two leads here, but you also have the extremely wild chase sequences that were at times good, but with other times, it felt boring due to how stupid it got and by going on way longer than it should have. This is totally different from the other films in the franchise due to the fact that you do not see a lot of car races that you normally see in the franchise. You are instead treated with the big chase scenes that you normally see in a typical action film.

As exposed as Dwayne Johnson is, I do like watching him in films and he does have great charisma, along with Jason Statham who I do like to watch more and does some pretty fun action sequences. The dynamic that they have built up in the previous movies is still there and to see these two characters banter back and forth is probably one of the more entertaining parts of the movie. Watching them go into action and just going along with the ride was enjoyable when it came to some of the scenes. Some of the others went on a bit too long and didn't provide the overall excitement that is more present in the previous movies of this franchise.

Vanessa Kirby is actually a nice edition to this franchise and not on did I like her character, but she is able to kick some, so watching her stand on her own against the baddies was pretty nice to see. Other than his superhuman abilities, Idris Elba as the main villain wasn't all that interesting, but Elba did the best that he could with what he was provided with. There are some surprising cameos that do pop up in the movie and I thought they were the worst parts of the whole film. It really felt like the film went to an absolute halt, just to have the audience react to see them on the screen. They overstayed their welcome as these cameos made their scenes awkward by making very lame jokes.

Fans may get a kick out of it and enjoy this side story involving these characters. As an action film, I have to say that the film doesn't really do anything special to make it stand out and as a film part of the franchise, it wasn't as interesting as the more recent ones, lacking that memorable moment that was present in the predecessor.

Bleach: Burîchu
(2018)

Surprisingly not as bad as other adaptations.
This is really one of the rare cases where that Japan actually made an adaptation that relatively paid respect to the source material and followed the actual arc that it was adapting. I'm not saying it's perfect, but this film actually did do a decent job. The plot was able to go in full circle and able to show growth between the main leads and none of the scenes felt that it came out of nowhere, avoiding some sort of confusion. Now that being said, this film does follow a certain trend that I've been seeing recently in Japanese cinema, which is hiring actors who are not good, having subpar special effects and not bringing any sort of interesting cinematography. This director does have some experience with other manga adaptations, but I felt that his directing was a little weak as there were camera angles and ways he positioned his camera that I thought didn't work as well as he intended.

Regarding the cast, everyone was mostly okay at best and they only sounded like as if they were remembering their lines during the exposition scenes. The only time that you get a sense of emotion from the characters are only when they are surprised, trying to be funny and getting angry. Other than that, their delivery is mostly deadpan. This mostly goes for Sugisaki Hana and Miyavi who were the weakest links of the whole film. Also, the pace was a bit off during the first act where only 30 minutes have passed when it felt that an hour has passed. It does get better and actually becomes more interesting, but I have to admit that I was a little bored for a bit.

What these films tend to do is to capture certain elements well while leaving out other things, such as how they made Fukushi Sota's hair orange and have him look mostly similar to the main character of the manga. The Hollows that do appear look pretty cool and I liked some of the action scenes, especially with the montage. The fights are pretty similar to the "Ruroni Kenshin" trilogy as the characters are doing these wild movements, but it was somewhat enjoyable. What they did leave out is personality because other than the major character, the rest were either following some generic tropes or had one role with no sort of development or interesting characteristic to them. You have the overly serious character who is very uninteresting, the girl who does nothing but to just look at the hero and the bland villains that either cackle or have a blank look on their face. I know what some of these characters will end up doing and the director didn't do a good job of having me invested in them as none of them were interesting enough for me to see what they will do next. Also, since I read the manga, I knew what was going on, but the film didn't provide enough information for the audience to know what was going on and explained blazed through some important details by using boring exposition. There is a scene during the climax where the villain does something, it might come out of left field for some of the viewers who are not familiar with this series and it may confuse them.

Fans may not fully appreciate this, but this is overall an okay action movie. Even with some clunky editing during the action scenes, repetitive jokes and having bland side characters with some mediocre acting, it won't be as much of a waste of time as something like "Death Note" or with other terrible adaptations.

Rocketman
(2019)

Everything I wanted "Bohemian Rhapsody" to be.
I do not hate the film, but I do not like the reputation that "Bohemian Rhapsody" has received (Best Picture nomination, seriously!?) and thought that it was a hugely overrated film filled with flaws. What that film failed to do, this film did it in spades. The film does follow the typical beats of a biopic and it's a formula that is hard to get away from. However, what director Dexter Fletcher did here was to focus onto the life of Elton John as a musical and in a very nice fashion, used various songs of his to tell this story and I thought that was brilliant. I don't know much detail about Elton John, so it was nice to learn a little about this great singer and to know the life that he had lived. If you've seen or heard stories about famous musicians, they tend to tell the same story and had similar problems from addiction to music producers. This is no exception as this film does tell a similar tale, but at the same time, I was intrigued with this film and just enjoyed watching this story. Another great point is that the people involved in this movie did a great job recreating some parts of his life, but to make costumes that are really close to the original. The best thing that this film had done was to have me interested and wanting to listen to his music.

I've always liked Taron Edgerton and I thought he was absolutely phenomenal here as he acted his butt off and actually sang proving how great of an actor he is. Without a doubt, he really deserves an Academy Award nomination for this role. From the first time you see him, he embodied himself as Elton John and for the whole film, he was able to bring so much emotion to his role, allowing us as a viewer to connect and sympathize with him. His singing is amazing and I really liked the fact that he actually sang those songs rather than using another person to sing it for him. Edgerton is not only the stand out role as every single person in this film was great! Jamie Bell was great and I never knew he had singing chops. Richard Madden was amazing and brought a sense of cynicism to his character. Also, Bryce Dallas Howard and Steven Mackintosh as the parents of Elton were such terrible parents, especially the father and their performances were so good that you simply despise them and sympathize more with Elton. I won't say much, but I absolutely hated his father in this movie.

One of the major surprises of the film was that this was a full on musical. I expected to see the basic biopic story, but to tell this story as a musical and actually using his music as a base to tell the story was a pretty smart choice. Most of the musical numbers were extravagant with great visuals and unique shots, along with having a cast who can sing. Each number did allow us to see what Elton was going through, from his ups and downs to showing part of his life that was filled with joy to this downward spiral he had entered due to his addiction.

I'm praising this film a lot, but I did have a few minor gripes. I did feel that there were parts of the movie, mostly in the third act that dragged a bit, which felt that the film had gone a tad bit too long. Also, some of the musical numbers, as well sung as they were, felt a bit too overbearing in the third act and I felt that the movie focused more on the singing rather than the actual dialogue. There are moments where after a song, the characters will briefly talk and then the film will jump to a new song. I would have been nice to have a little breather in between rather than having a slew of songs being sung back to back.

Overall, this is definitely one of the best films of this year and Edgerton does deserve an Oscar nod for his performance here. If you love musicals or are interested in the life of Elton John, then I highly recommend this film.

Hellraiser
(1987)

Iconic looking character with a hugely disappointing and mediocre result.
Ever since I was a child, the image of Pinhead really stuck in my mind. I've always thought that he was up there with Freddy and Jason when I was little, especially looking at mangas like "Berserk" which had character designs that were inspired from this movie. So I finally watched this film getting the answer that I've had toward why this film was never as popular as the other horror franchise and...I get it. This film really missed the ballpark for me and actually kind of disappointed me. The story is actually quite boring, none of the characters were engaging enough for me to root or hate them and the overall film was just bland. I understand that the film is not about these hell-spawns, but he is on the poster and him and his minions only appear briefly at the beginning and at the climax, for at least a total of 10 minutes. The rest involves a story revolving around these extremely unlikable characters.

As I mentioned, none of the characters had any sort of depth to them and the performances were just as bland as well. Andre Robinson plays an oblivious and dull husband who had nothing to do but whine. Clare Higgins is the "attractive" wife whose motives were unclear on what she wanted to do and didn't understand how every male character was licking their lips toward her because her character was bland. Ashley Laurence as the daughter character does nothing special until the climax and Sean Chapman as Frank is your typical villain. There was no one whom I was interested in and none of them were engaging enough to make this horror flick even the slightest interesting to watch. Even when things were hitting the fan, I was just blankly watching the film wondering when it will end.

This may sound sadistic in my part, but I thought the gore and the overall violence presented here was great and it does hold up well. When you see some of the torture scenes, especially with the make up on some of the characters, it looks disgusting and just creepy. Even the look of Pinhead and his minions was pretty cool, for the short time they were on screen. As a horror flick, this is the only satisfying part of the movie. Everything else revolves around this bland story with nothing scary happening until the climax. The plot really lacked common sense as there were things that were not fully explained or briefly described in a quick exposition. The main focus of the film was to leave that scarring image in the back of your mind and when you see it, I think it does succeed on what it does. But regarding the presentation, this film just really didn't do it for me.

I really cannot recommend this, unless you are interested to see some gore and just to see Pinhead give some lines here and there.

The Lion King
(2019)

The same story + CG + blandness = pointless
Yes, the CG for this film is phenomenal and it looks absolutely realistic. Yes, this film is an exact copy of what we have seen in the animated version. Yes, the film totally lacks the necessary emotion and intensity that was present in the original. If you've seen the original Lion King, then there is no point of watching this movie. Unlike Jon Favreau's previous film, this film doesn't present anything new and just follows the same beat and pace of the original with some very minor scenes that I actually thought was both good and bad for the film.

First, the good: This is a bit of a nitpick of mine, but one of my major gripes that I have toward the climax from the original was that the film mixed in cultural references (Pumba saying a line from "They Call Me Mister Tibbs!) and Rafiki going all kung-fu. This movie took these parts out of the film and actually made them relevant enough to the climax and not feeling out of place. Another is that the movie adds extra scenes that explained how Nara escaped from Pride Rock and came to Timon and Pumba's home. Also, their home now has more side characters living there, making it more lively and less empty than how it was in the original.

Now to the bad: Rafiki had nothing to do and the whole scene involving him giving the speech to adult Simba about the past is totally absent; taking away the great message that the film had. Another factor was that, although it is not 100% bad, the characteristics of the hyenas changed. I don't mind them changing Shenzi from a comedic character to a menacing one. What I didn't like was that the other hyenas had nothing to do, had no personality and had one joke that was both unfunny and awkward, especially coming right after the death of Mufasa. One more factor that really disappointed me was that when it came to the big song numbers that people loved to listen to, there would be a lot going on in the scene. However, if the musical number is not so, then it just looks bland and uninteresting to watch. An example is "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" and "Be Prepared." The duet number has the characters going around and has them enjoying their time together, in the daylight. Whereas the latter is just plain and simple, with nothing going on.

The major complaints that people have mentioned was that this film just felt lifeless because the characters do not have any sort of reaction and that is partially true. The characters all look realistic and because of that, they lack the expressions that we've seen in the original. But that is not the only reason why I felt that the movie didn't have the proper emotion. In the original, the characters would not only have expressions that were easy to understand, but the film had great dynamic shots that added an impact when you saw something intense happening to the characters or when something tragic occurs in the film. The directing and in my opinion, most of the voice acting really liked the actual emotions that were present. Even James Earl Jones, whom is always great to listen to, felt like he was just reading the script to him and didn't have that deep emotion that was present before. This really shows as, other than Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner and the kids who played young Simba and Nara, everyone else gave a flat performance and didn't help add personality to the character. Mixing all of these mistakes will make something that has been loved for many years look weak.

Just like some of the other remakes, this really felt like it was only piggybacking the success of the original and because of that I felt that the movie missed out on some potentials to be as successful or surpass the original. I didn't absolutely hate this and I see how many people will feel disappointed or will hate this movie. It's just an okay film and overall I recommend watching the original instead of this. If you want to see some amazing CG, then by all means you should check it out.

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