mike-c-b

IMDb member since April 2007
    Lifetime Total
    250+
    IMDb Member
    15 years

Reviews

The Last Duel
(2021)

Generic american superhero/terrorism, played by robots
It's in the style of Game of Thrones (acting like super heroes & terrorists towards each other, regardless of story).

Everyone acts tough or pretty, instead of being it then acting sociable. No one attempts to preserve relationships between each other, as if it was just declared, now everyone has a license to bark like a dog w/o consequence.

Slow motion also takes the humanity out of it. Trying to make grotesque things look classy and extending it's time, instead of framing it properly for a short time.

Another amateur film by supposed pro's.

No Time to Die
(2021)

Terminator Edition Bond
Original Bond was a human being underneath but somewhere along the way Daniel Craig exchanged all of it to completely embody a robot. Likewise the other actors, directors,.. and the movie is played like it's high quality.

Camera angles are extremely poor and ruin immersion/tense drama, as they're often shot like photos instead of portraying the viewer being there feeling the same thing as the actor. IE. Someone is held at gun point but the camera is from the angle of the gunman, so the viewer feels safe.

The Ice Road
(2021)

Needed improv artists / real people.
Surprised by Neeson & Fishburne getting involved with this. The script would have read bad from the start.

The first scenes involving a methane sensor is dramatic on it's own (due to the consequences), yet the script is written as mindless arguing, and the actors just repeat it smoothly.

Neeson & Fishburne's lines are the same mindless arguing, spoken smoothly.

The premise of each scene is dramatic on it's own (dangers, consequences, lives involved, etc) but it's all thrown away. Improv artists could have made it a hit.

Prisoners of the Ghostland
(2021)

Everything was a fingersign to the viewer. Good film sets.
There are some great actors in this film, but every direction they had was terrible.

A film has to be watchable in some degree, which means real people need real self-preservation, real reactions. The start was a slow motion, confused mess. At other times, people started singing all together randomly (taking the power of the actors away, and sense of reality). Samurai had sympathy faces much of the time instead of flat ruthless faces. Sword fights among samurai were for length & show (banging swords on swords in panic), instead of deliberate. People meeting each other was like contrived funeral proceedings each time.

Jiu Jitsu
(2020)

Where being 'generic' is worse than being amateurish
The other reviewers are more/less right but don't technically explain anything.

The main character is hero worshipped by force (camera angle and slow motion scenes). Fight scenes show agility but nothing special and relies too much on supporting actors waiting for their turn. You have no idea why you're invested in the main character at all. They show no heart & soul - just acting tough/pretty. All talk scenes are generic bickering.

For an example of an amateurish production done right look at Mortal Kombat Conquest (series) from the 1990's. Four-five trained main actors, with everyone else being porn-star hires (big muscles & breasts). Camera angles shot from mid-far range and stayed there during fight scenes. Story. Relationships mattered (not generic bickering to fill time).. poor interactions had consequences. No music/SFX trying to force your emotions.

A Girl and a Guy
(2021)

Artistically honest and better than most
Ignore the cover picture. Although most scenes are about relationships/sex, nothing is obnoxious.

Camera framing, lighting, timing of outdoor/indoor scenes are the best you'll see, and is naturalistic and honest - Australian films aim for this but never reach it.

Sex scenes are upbeat and honest (not in slow motion with a skin doctor/perv cam circling) - Many sex based dramas aim for this but never reach it.

After appreciating these two things. There is a little too much sex, and not enough goals. You can't decide to "like a team and see if they win" or see how somebody's life turns out given obstacles versus their self-preservation... as most characters stare or hug & kiss each other.

Lonely Hearts
(2019)

Watch the film "Series 7" instead
There's a place for amateur Big Brother style films that get out of hand (the film "Series 7" is the best), but this is full of people acting tough/pretty, instead of being themselves.

The majority of the film is switching between an idea of restrained and unrestrained. Restrained being an old uptight couple. Unrestrained being heartless people choking and banging each other while grinning.

Le dernier mercenaire
(2021)

Faux high energy
Best watched in french with english subtitles.

All actors act the same way using the same tone of voice, including JCVD. Either panicked depression or straight depression, with faux high energy.

Stunts are hidden, or done using a stand-in actor whilst using a low angle "hero shots", which is rediculous.

Editor uses "home & safe" feeling music one second after an action sequence, and only holds it for 3 seconds...

Impossible to like anything about the film, except use of colour.

A Castle for Christmas
(2021)

Heart but no brain, backbone, guts...
If you took some real life hostages out of a week long hold-up and put them in this movie they would behave exactly the same way...

Grateful victimhood, no self-preservation, being a good boy/girl, accepting everything no matter what.. and resisting the evil building up to power-boss others around...

All of the acting is the same, almost to the pitch of voice. A blind person would have trouble telling characters apart.

Last Train to Christmas
(2021)

A british themed Michael Sheen acting reel
Michael Sheen plays half a dozen characters on a train at christmas.

All his acting is smooth and timed out exactly the same no matter what emotion he is portraying so you feel like you're watching a bad soap opera.

The Unholy
(2021)

Generic shock & pose film but everyone holds back in faux "mystery"
There's no characters in the film. Everyone stares and pretends to be mysterious. It is impossible to like or care about anyone or the outcome of anything.... Another generic hollywood film where people pose and ask for a paycheck.

Infinite
(2021)

A paycheck for untalented people
Generic "shock & pose" actors mixed with Wahlberg's permanent puppy dog face.

The start is smashed together with action but no sense of character or story so you don't care about anything that happens... After it settles down people just stare at each other and talk in slow motion tripping on power. Still zero character.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
(1967)

Easy to watch
This is an example of a good idea executed well.

Some of the lines are strange.

A women was written to be obnoxious about the black-white marriage, however she half did it (compared to how obnoxious people are on a regular basis in sitcoms), so the whole thing was confusing.

Sidney Poitier's character talking to his father was terrible. He claims he doesnt care what his father thinks and he doesn't own him, then he states the cliche "i'll always love you, and you're my father" slavery line (the opposite), then flips between them several more times before leaving.

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens
(1922)

Great imagery
This movie shows that creepy images and music can replace almost everything in a movie and still be entertaining.

The format is almost storybook as the dialogue is written in letter form on screen.

The wild eyes and faces of the actors (typical of older people in that era), the old brick houses with wooden windows built unevenly, the 1000 year old trees, the old castles... All great imagery.

The King and I
(1956)

Watchable but insulting
One of the few watchable hollywood live action musicals, however portraying the King of Siam/Thailand as an imbecile that needs help in all areas from an american teacher is insulting.

Acting from Yul Brynner is hypnotic, but is more villainous robot than proud, energetic and human.

House of Cards
(2013)

Westworld robots talk to each other without break.
Everybody has the same "depressed god" attitude. Everybody talks the same way. The first episode starts off with animal abuse. Villain characters hero worshipped...

In real politics people work really hard, show humanity, and have genuine character embarressing or otherwise.

The Magnificent Seven
(1960)

The inspiration for Yul as a villainous robot in Westworld
There's acting cool, then there's acting cool with no humanity.

The normal difference between Hero and Villain, is that Villains are cold, do not respond socially to people, requests, no generosity.... with Heroes being the opposite.

In this movie, Yul Brynner's character is exactly this kind of villain but he's sold as a hero and the camera hero worships him constantly.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
(1964)

Great character acting
The one thing missing in all modern films is character acting. This film does it properly 10/10, however the rest is lazy.

The overall concept is believable, but the topic of water fluoridation comes up and the writers use that to say the general is crazy for being against it, which is in effect propaganda.

No Man of God
(2021)

Posing in slow motion.
Elijah Wood plays the lead detective talking to Ted Bundy, however 90% of the film is Elijah portraying an identical "stress" face, and Luke Kirby portaying the same smirk face. The camera slowly zooms in, out and rotates around both of them like a skin specialist looking for spots.

They both talk in slow motion trying to be mysterious instead of "matter of fact" and properly being & defending themselves. Ted has himself to defend, the Detective has the law & public to defend, but all you see is snails and a wildlife camera.

The French Dispatch
(2021)

Robots pretending to be human
As film reviewers lament the lack of art in american superhero films, along comes a 100% artistic american film, with an all star cast, that's just as pretenious with the metaphor "i am god" as the superhero films were.

Cherrypicker
(2020)

Could have been played seriously, but instead was a family-hate condoning cartoon
Children mistake parents sex for a violent attack on their mother and seek revenge. It would work in the 1990's with much changed direction, however in an age where 90% of porn is advertised to be violent, what this movie does is condone it, mix sex scenes with children playing, and make the children ultra violent as if it's funny. The man is then victimised like a cartoon character who only makes mistakes.

What the movie needs to do is highlight the problem by turning (once normal people) violent in the bedroom, including sick grinning, then show the effect on children outside the room and follow them as the new heros. The police can then sit them down and do word association tests about what family means, and what enemies mean...

Don Juan DeMarco
(1994)

More a deliberate play on opposites than a deliberately beautiful film
Most of the acting is believable, but Depp lacks energy in many scenes (sword fighting, and others) making him look like he's "acting cool" or one dimensional. Where you want to believe he's a real passionate guy but all you see is the same act.

The other bad aspect is the story continues to play on opposites all the way to the end, until the movie basically says "believe what you want to believe", instead of a deliberate outcome for such a passionate, driven guy.

Willy's Wonderland
(2021)

Amateur B movie
Great idea but made by amateurs.

The premise should have been a very human character from the start contrasting the mechanical twisted machines - not a tough guy walking & talking in slow motion. Every camera angle was basically the viewers face looking up/back at the hero characters painted like god... The hero god charactes fake argue in a Karpman Drama Triangle with no exit except for filling time...

It would have been better if the viewer felt more like a lonely tag along, even using mid-long shot panning as if the viewer is just looking around. A mechanical monster moves... Nic Cage says did something move? Etc...

Army of the Dead
(2021)

B grade actors arguing & changing locations
Nearly every movie from Netflix is the same... Create a situation that would cause an argument, then have the actors lazy-argue as filler, then go to a new location.

In reality people de-escalate drama to save relationships, especially in times where you need friends, physical defence, etc. This was the main "x factor" in Resident Evil... Now never to be repeated I guess.

Polar
(2019)

B-class movie acting serious
Mads Mikkelsen and Matt Lucas are good actors, but they're rarely seen and have bad lines. 90% of the movie are B-class actors "acting serious".

Sex is stylised as if it's romance and you should feel bad if the characters can't be with each other, but the characters are so generic/cliche you don't even bother remembering their faces.

Violence is stylised as if it's entertaining/fun (lingering, zooming). Mikkelsen does his best to show it's supposed to be quick & serious, but the B-class directing/film work won't allow it, as they glassy-eyed the whole production.

The jumbled whisper-panic music at the end speaks for the whole style of the movie...

See all reviews