Such a great idea for a film, such great actors (except one, I'll talk of that later), such great visuals! But holy dang was that an incredibly amateur attempt at a horror movie. I live in Santa Cruz so I was very excited to watch it. But.... sigh.... it just wasn't very scary. Not to mention how ridiculously long certain scenes dragged on. Not sure if it was attempt at a slow-burn style film, but the slow burn was more boring that tense. We get barely any family dialog, so we dont know or care about the dynamic, which makes certain scenes totally un-effective.
As I mentioned I didn't like one actor, but rather one character. One of the "Us" speaks while the rest don't. I understand there is a reason for this (twist ending) but it just really takes you out of it. It would have been much more effective to have them all silent and grunting. They wanted her to talk so she could explain whats going on, when we don't need context. First of all you don't need an explanation to understand the story, so it made me roll my eyes and think "MOVE ON". Many masterpieces of cinema don't explain anything (just look at Kubrick) because a sense of confusion adds to the mystery of the film.
Solid Technique, But Scares Aren't As Good As Previous Conjuring Films
There was a lot of hype surrounding this one, which often results in over-expectations, and that happened to me. The scenes with Valak in the Conjuring 2 were very well done and highly effective. So I was pretty excited to see this one come out, and with the trailers, I expected a lot. But thats not to say its a 1 star film. The tone was great, kind of felt like an old Hammer film, the mood was good at the beginning but it was kind of derailed by terrible writing. I'd say out of the dozen or so scares, only 2 actually got reactions out of me, and to be fair they were not very intense reactions. Though its predecessors used many jump scares, there was just something that didn't work this time, and that was very disappointing to me.
So I did enjoy some of it, some tension and scares worked, but most didn't, unless you are 14 and new to horror, but this horror veteran was not totally impressed. Also the film didn't represent the religion well. Many of the nuns talk about feeling spirits, visions, divination, all things that are said t not exist according to the tradition Roman Catholic religion. So heres hoping the next one is better.
I've always said that Netlfix nearly constantly puts out some of the best documentaries and docu-series, and this is another accolade to be proud of. An interesting documentary in the sense that it conveys a wide range of emotions, from crying about the horror these women experience, to crying out of joy that they are strong enough to face it and still not give up. Congo has been a nasty place for a very long time, from its dozens of pre-colonial civil wars, to its horrifying compliance in the slave trade, to what we see in this documentary happening today. Congo has faced many civil wars and regular wars in recent years, with a few mass starvations and genocides, so one should understand what they are getting into when they watch this film. Its a tough one, but in a way, a beautiful one.
Not What I Expected, Liked Some Of It, But Very Generic
So for me, and likely many others, the initial draw was Iko Uwais, because I'm a big fan of the movies hes in like The Raid movies and Headshot. And don't get me wrong, I greatly enjoyed a couple of the action scenes, but for the most part it was not what I expected, I felt like I was given a false impression of the movie from the trailer. The trailer gave me the impression it would be a non-stop The Raid-style film, but it wasn't. And while, like I said, I liked a couple of sequences, much of it was generic shooting back and forth. First off, I did like some action sequences, mostly the hand to hand kung-fu and whats known as gun-fu involving Iko Uwais, which clearly had Asian influences, but the other gun play left something to be desired, mostly generic shooting back and forth, interspersed with random interruptions that kill some of the action. So all in all I'd say the action was half and half, some I liked, some not so much.
The story was very textbook, and while parts of the "twist" ending were predictable, some of it wasn't if you don't read a lot of espionage novels. My brother was much more impressed with the ending than I was. I expected some of it. Also, the framing device used is also hit and miss, sometimes there was good writing and good one-liners, but some of it was admittedly stupid, and killed my action buzz a few times.I also did like Lauren Cohan's character, who was more engaging and bad ass than Marky Mark. To avoid spoilers I won't drop names, but the seemingly premature and unnecessarily early death of a character kind of pissed my off a bit because I liked him/her. Most of the cinematography was also pretty textbook blockbuster action flick, not too much that special, not to mention the "drone vision" shots looked very unauthentic.
If you want a generic action flick sprinkled with some very cool moments, go see it.
When I saw the trailer, I just thought they were going to rip off Jaws, and while they technically didn't for the most part, it was still pretty bad. I liked a few parts but most of it was pretty bad. First of all, the attempts at humor were laughable, but not in a good way. Nearly every joke was just plain old stupid and made my roll my eyes. Everyone else was laughing, so maybe its just me, but then again I heard them all saying "this is really scary" so I have a feeling I wasn't in the smartest or seasoned theater group. While some of the action scenes were passable but many were just so terribly filmed and choreographed it didn't catch the eye or even sometimes not allowing you to have a sense of whats actually going on. That sucks because the action was the only reason I went.
The film even mentions 2 battleships, which honestly would have been awesome but the finale they chose was just kind of lame, was hoping for a Piranha 3D beach sequence, but what I got just made me say.... meh.... It was also MUCH longer that it needed to be. A very long intro combined with several false endings, meaning you think its over but its not. It ended up being another 'continually checking the time, Peter Jackson's King Kong' experience. I just wanted it to be over and go home and be upset I spent 8 dollars on this borderline piece of trash. I say skip it.
Lately we've be getting a lot of trashy and poorly made alien invasion movies, with the exception The Arrival and a few others. But I liked this one FAR MORE than the average alien schlock I often see. I'm a big fan of alien invasion films so I'm very picky, and I did enjoy this one. For once the special effects weren't terrible, they weren't spectacular but they were passable. The feel of the film was good too, which is essential for an alien invasion film. Colors, cinematography, atmosphere, its all so crucial to a movie such as this and though it doesn't hit the nail on the head, it was more than passable.
Some of the actors I'm not a fan of, but they did a serviceable job in their roles, I found the relationships between several of the characters to be believable and sort of impacting. Again, no masterpiece, but the acting could have been, and often is, much worse. The story I also found to be well structured, reminded me of many other classic alien attack films, the good ones, not Killer Clowns From Outerspace (though it is a fun movie, not well made though). So if you like alien invasion films, you might like this. But as the kids say these days, haters gonna always hate.
WOW - Not Bad At All - One Of The Best Of The Series
It wasn't perfect of course, but I almost hazard to say its the best of the series. With the last couple films, I went in not really expecting anything extraordinary, but I was very pleasantly surprised. This film wasn't an excuse to milk a franchise for money like so many other franchises that became terrible. I'm also not the biggest fan of Tom Cruise but he gets a round of applause from me for this one. Its been a while since a Mission Impossible movie impressed me so much. The actors all did a perfectly fine job, better than some previous films and the action was just awesome as heck. I don't want to give away too much but this film was definitely worth the price of admission. Better storytelling and action that a great number of action films we see in today's Hollywood machine, a machine that often produces pretty bad movies.
So it wasn't perfect, but it was much better than a lot of the tripe we see in our theaters today. This one surprised me, I say you should go see it.
I went into this expecting it to be another average or sub-par Hollywood thriller that we have been plagued with for so many years. But what I got was a truly well done, non-stop fun action, heck of a film. Once the thrills begin, they do not stop, but even when the action is broken up with story, its not done so badly like its done in so many others who shall remain nameless, it was very smooth. The Rock delivers one of his best performances, and while there were jokes, it wasn't silly and stupid like his other roles have been. And while there were a couple parts that were either fantastical (meaning they are probably not possible) or decisions that I personally would not have made, it really didn't bother me because it was so very cool.
What I liked, and clearly what others have noticed, is that it was very classic 80's and 90's action film. From the gun fights, to the one-liners, to the hair raising scenarios, it all was clearly influenced by films like Die Hard but thankfully it didn't just simply copy it, it was unique in its own right. Asking things like "how would a 90's action flick unfold with today's culture and technology"? And it did this very well. I saw this one a week later because at first I didn't think it was worth the watch. BUT IT WAS. GO SEE IT.
I went into it expecting it to be like the first, which was complete and utter pathetic garbage. But interestingly, this one was better, not amazing, but definitely not as bad as its trashy predecessor. But how is it better? I'd like to say first that while I am saying certain aspects are better, its still not a perfect film. So one of the problems with the first was that it was just plain old boring, the story simply wasn't interesting. But the story in this one was at least a little bit more engaging. Another problem with the first one was that the camera use off putting, too many big faces, but thankfully this one expands on the first's cinematography and did make it watchable. Of course there will be people who won't watch it because of how bad the first one is, but take it from this horror movie veteran, it was passable. While I didn't like it as much as other horror gems of the last few years, I didn't walk out of the theater like I expected I would.
So as you've noticed by the trailer, the film has a unique way of presentation, using the old-school aspect ratio. Its not perfectly clear whether they used real film stock, or created it digitally, but as someone who worked at a film archive, I can attest that they did a pretty darn good job. But is it scary? Is it really like the critics say, that its the best found footage film in years, being a ode to The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby? Well no, its not anywhere close to those masterpieces, but I agree its much better than the found footage garbage we so often see. With a boat load of Hollywood found footage trash, we also get a wave of films made by anyone who has an iPhone, and the vast majority of them are terrible, and while Devil's Doorway is not amazing, its certainly to as bad as I'm used to.
But was it scary? Its hard to say yes or no, I would rather say it was hit and miss, some of it got me, some of it didn't. The atmosphere also appeared and disappeared, sometimes it was effective, sometimes it was either not there or was not as effective. Its no masterpiece, but it most definitely had some cool stuff in there. The aspect ratio adds to it, the story its based on is an interesting one (surprised it has been done to death), and some of the plot points, shocks, and scares were alright. Again, alright, not perfect. So don't go in expecting a masterpiece like some critics say, or are paid to say.
At the beginning it was your average disaster/apocalypse film, something goes horribly wrong, government either can't handle it or won't, characters take problems into their own hands. All is well for a while, special effects are fine, acting is fine, but just like in the story, something goes terribly wrong. Much like that other Netflix film that was atrocious, the "horror" film about home invasion, it appears that the creators of the film either couldn't decide on an ending, or just threw their hands up and said "screw it, I don't know how to end it, lets just pretend to be ambiguous". And its not to say films with an ambiguous end aren't always bad, but this one didn't even bother to create an ending.
As a Californian, we hold the stories dear, stories of earthquakes or other disasters ending civilized society. And for a while I was enjoying it, but somewhere around 2/3rds or half way through it, I just completely lost interest and was also disappointed in its execution. Without giving too much away, many decision made about how to execute certain parts of the film left me bamboozled, not the way I would have. All in all its good for a little while but ends up leaving you unfulfilled, so a warning, maybe just watch the first half, and don't worry, if you want to know what happens at the end, let me tell you, nothing.
So it was heavily advertised that its from some of the people behind "Big Little Lies", which was a masterful show, and its very apparent that this one is from the same people It has a very similar style, but only more sexually and violently graphic. While a couple times there was unnecessary gratuity, pornography and such, it didn't stop me from watching or make me less interested. Some will be upset much like some folks who were upset with the gratuity of The Tale. But for me it didn't turn me off too bad. So its VERY slow burn, so some people will not like it, it seems many people these days can't wait and must be instantly pleased, like people who didn't like The Witch and others like it. But personally I'm willing to see where this goes, because like "Big Little Lies", it took me a couple episodes to be fully engulfed, so I'm going to give it more time.
I asked myself "is this what passes for a film nowadays"? But then I remember many 70's and 80's gore films that I still enjoyed, but weren't in any way good films. So while it is indeed terrible, if you are just looking for a bloody film, then you'll semi-enjoy this one. Everything else is just so incredibly bad, looks like a film made by a group of children. Acting was terrible, story was stupid, wildly historically innacurate, its totally beyond me how film critics could praise this film, probably they do so because it feeds their "powerful woman" and "powerful minorities" quota. This was just so completely laughable, I really was only half-watching it, i would highly recommend you skip this one.
The trailer straight up lied, I watched it and felt like they showed the entire movie, but I was pleasantly surprised to see there were many other plot points that were not in the trailer and kept you interested. Yes the trailer lessened some of the action scenes because you already see it, but there was still plenty here to enjoy, and I enjoyed it very much. First of all, they added a completely unmentioned plot point that was very interesting and in ways kept you guessing. The trailer also makes you think that the film is about Brolin vs. Del Toro, but this could not be further from the point. I would have walked out if it was exactly like the trailer, but thankfully it was not.
And yes, its not necessarily as good as the first one, but sequels rarely stand up to their predecessor, BUT sequels also rarely are as good as this one. Most of the time we either get pitiful attempts at capturing the success of the original, or ones that god completely off the reservation and blow it. BBut this sequel still captured the feel of the first, the emotion of the first, and the great dialog of the first. I can't tell you how many times the theater all clapped and laughed at the wonderful back and forth conversations between Josh Brolin's character and his superiors. All in all this was certainly much better than I expected, and much more deserving of respect than the vast majority of sequels.
Many films like 2001: A Space Odyssey come to mind when viewing this film, but unlike those film, none of it is effective or interesting, I actually had to force myself to finish it because I was so disinterested. The idea is fine enough, especially with the advent of smart technology homes, but unfortunately it is juts not effective compared to predecessors like 2001 and certain episodes of the X-Files. The artificial intelligent being is just plain old not scary or intimidating like HAL-3000, not sure whether it was the silly voice or the way its presented, but I simply did not feel any tension. While I like some of the kills/gore, which is the reason I gave it more that 2 stars, not much else was interesting or effective. I really had many hopes for this film, but the were all quickly squashed by sub-par film making.
The acting was shocking to me, as certain actors have done well in other films, but it was all just so bad, either way over done or it was simply people just being themselves as opposed to playing a character. The use of colors was also completely ridiculous, not at all subtle, the color scheme is in your face and is not artistic in anyway in films like 2001 or The Exorcist. I really can't type more, there wasn't much to this film, and what was there was bad, not pitiful, but bad.
I don't even know where to begin with this one. When I heard that it was being made by some of the same people who worked on The Witch (which some people didn't like, but I liked it), I had high hope for this film, and boy was I not disappointed. Such a breath of fresh air for the genre in a time where Hollywood has prostituted it and released nothing but garbage. Not only was the film scary as hell, but it also had a lot to say about grief and trauma. The way the film is put together is its strongest part. The pacing, the editing, the cinematography, and the sound design all worked together to create a truly unique and hellish vision of horror. I'm a horror veteran, and rarely actually jump or feel tense, but this film made me feel like a horror virgin again, actually frightening me like no other Hollywood film can.
The acting was also superb all around and only adds to the horror being presented on screen. Each character was unique and added their own style to this modern horror masterpiece. I saw many people in the theater jumping and looking away, some being grown men. A couple people even left, and I can't imagine its because they felt it was a bad film, because it was not. I am seriously considering going and seeing it again which hasn't happened since the Evil Dead remake and The Raid. I would say this film is a must see for any horror fan or for anyone wanting to be scared out of their minds.
I am so sad to say that I did not enjoy this movie, it was just so uninteresting. I was excited because Bad Grandpa was such a unique play n the Jackass formula, putting some story in with the laughs and stunts. But unfortunately the trailer showed just about every notable moment in the film. I was waiting for something interesting that I hadn't yet seen, but it never came. Also the attempts at a heart felt start were absolutely pathetic. Normally I write two paragraphs but there is no point, not much to say about this disaster.
Though it was strong in a couple moments, for the most part I was disappointed with this, it really could ave been so much better, especially considering the immense resources of HBO. It goes back and forth between completely ridiculous to somewhat interesting. Unfortunately it is also a pale imitation to the novel its based on, only using the bare skeleton of the story, and not delving into what truly made the novel profound. Michael B. Jordan's character was so completely ridiculous and different than the novel version in the first 15 minutes that I nearly stopped watching it, but thankfully that subsides. There were many things from the book I expected to see, only to piss me off when they were either not there at all, or altered in some way for no justifiable reason. So while many of the basic plot points are there, tough some of them changed, it just didn't possess what the book did.
I did like Michael Shannon's character and his acting, and while Jordan's character is completely off-putting, it does get tolerable as the film goes on. There were a couple of meaningful discussions, but the essential meaning of the book burning is completely missed, it was to create a people void of free thought, and while that is hinted at, for the most part its nowhere near as deep and introspective as the novel, its a very basic rendering of and incredibly deep story. I for the most part was disappointed, it could have been so much better, all the had to do was pay attention to the source material, and not just scan over it. Also the re-writing of many of the characters is inconceivable to me, no idea why they would do it.
When the first Deadpool came out, I, like many people, was enamored with it and it was the first MCU film that I liked in at least 5 years. It was just such a breath of fresh air for the superhero genre, it was fun, silly, violent, and didn't take itself seriously like heroes such as Iron Man and Captain America. This sequel was more of the same but just a little more action, jokes, and hilarity. You've seen the trailer so you know what its about, and the story was just secondary, I came for the violence and jokes, and it darn well delivered. Its like the started where they left on the first one, the tone is exactly the same, this childish hilarity that we all loved so much. The action was cinematic just like the first one, and the up the violence a little so that was nice. This film, like the first, was a unique film in a sea of the same old trash.
When I saw the trailer I was a little weary about this film. I wasn't sure if it would suck like many other indie epidemic survival movies that have been released in the last 5 years. But thankfully I was not right, this film was very good and not your typical infection film. Its about a couple and their infant child dealing with the end of civilization, where a massive epidemic sweeps across the land. I found this to be less about the disease and more about the relationship between parent and child, and the parent doing absolutely anything to help there baby. This really comes through in the film, you really feel the desperation and love, that often is very intense. Very emotional and had me on the edge of my seat a few times. Not to mention the great acting that only adds to the intensity of any given scene. I've always loved Martin Freeman, another great performance from him.
The cinematography is absolutely wonderfully done, and is complemented by the beautiful Australian outback. Whoever did the location scouting for this deserves more than A+. You could almost feel the heat, the thirst, the dryness. I cant describe how well the film portrays helplessness and desperation in such times as a massive epidemic, the emotions come through perfectly. I felt connected to the characters, as little as they are, and I was interested until the end of the film. I also worried it may become too slow, but even in the "slow" parts were interesting and kept me invested in the story and characters. I really was surprised how much I liked this film, it was a welcome change of pace from the typical Walking Dead rip-off junk.
Man, where do I even begin with this one... Story has been done to death, family moves somewhere, something bad happens to them, one of the family members fights back and gets revenge. But this is a disgrace to films that did it well. First off, this film follows the formula so exact that it so obviously predictable. Every plot point, every (attempted) scare, every moment of attempted intensity, I saw coming and expected. Nothing kept me interested. I nearly walked out of the theater (I even saw several people leave completely) but I figured I paid for this mess. Might as well finish it. The film was also highly pretentious, it presents itself as pure and compelling cinema but its laughable to see that, as the film is so terrible. There are still so many this that made me shake my head.
The acting was stilted and boring, something you would see in a Transformers movie, or Tyler Perry "film". I did not connect with any character whatsoever, which is bad because in these types of films you need to feel for the in danger family, as well as wanting the main character to get sweet revenge, and I felt none of that. The actors were talking furniture as far as I'm concerned. Not to mentiona all the ridiculous cliches that really turned me off and made me shake my head. I thought Truth or Dare was bad, but this was REALLY BAD. I mean, the only reason I didn't give this a one because the camera work wasn't bad. But even the cinematography was average at best.
Forget these other reviews that yell about child abuse and sensationalism, this was a very disturbing look at the most innocent victims of America's failed mental health system, children. In the 1920's, America had 30,000 mental hospitals, now we have 13. I'm serious. This film shows the aspects of children under our broken system. A system where children are either forgotten, or are put on medication that either doesn't work, or makes things worse. It shows the sadness of parents who are simply told by psychologists that they don't know how to help. As a person who grew up in the 90's, during a time when kids were force-fed ADHD medications, so in my reputable opinion, this film accurately portrays the calamity of parents and kids in this sad situation.
While the film portrays things well, I feel like it didn't push hard enough. There are some serious question about the roles of parents and psychiatrists in the mental deterioration of our defenseless child. While it appears most psychologists put their hands up in the air and say "I don't know" while at the same time deliberately prescribing medications that will either make things worse, or do nothing at all. At the same time, proper guidance is not given to parents on how to deal with it correctly. So while its portrayed, it doesn't go far enough to ask why and ask what can be done, at least not as much as most HBO documentaries. So while this is a tough watch, but an important one.
Done Before, But Not Too Bad, A Little Extra On The Formula
Over all not too shabby, definitely better than I expected. So yes its been done many times before, person (or in this case; people) break in to someones house for some ulterior motive, only to discover the home owner is either hiding something or is some sort of killer. But it throws a little extra into the formula, some works, the emphasis on the killer and his story was refreshing. But is it scary? Is it a horror movie? Because lately so called "horror" movies are indeed not scary at all. And as far as this film is concerned, I'm not sure what I want to say, because some of it was effective, and some of it wasn't. First of all, I like how they expanded on the typical story line they were telling, and without giving to much away, it creates this admittedly tense cat and mouse chaotic situation for all parties involved, so I liked how it just didn't stick 100% to the "Rear Window" and "Disturbia" formulas.
But was it scary? I'd say it was in places and was not in some, it was as simple as that for me. Some of the scenes/situations/jumps got me, and I got a little tense, but some other scenes just didn't do it for me, maybe because I'm so desensitized to brutal horror movies. The acting was also hit and miss, some actors did a fine job while others, were just... meh... And to be fair some of the good acting added to the intensity. I also didn't like some of the editing choices. I liked the color scheme of the film, the dark and deep colors, something you would expect from a James Wan or Hammer Films movies. I really want to say I liked it, because i definitely did like some of it, but some of it just didn't tickle my horror bone like it could have, but overall it was not too bad, much better than I expected.
So let me start off by saying that I understand the film had its problems, but I still enjoyed it, and if you really don't have anything better to watch, then this is a good time-killer. So the idea is neat, people have brain implants connected to the eyes like a cyborg, and someone hacks it, changing reality to become anonymous. And while this idea is very cool and was interesting for about 45 to 50 minutes, but I feel like this would have made a better short film, because that idea is mostly all they have and its drawn out, the techy tricks only go so far. I like the actors in this one like Seyfied and Owen, and they did a moderately serviceable job in their roles. The first few hacker tricks are neat but it gets old after a while, and I found myself waiting for the ending. I felt the film drags on pulling out the same old trick. But thats just my opinion.
So as I said, I like the tricks and special effects involved, but that was truly the only thing I really LIKED. Everything else was average or above average at most. The acting was fine, considering it had some respected actors in it. The cinematography outside the special effects and what not was also very average, nothing to be amazed at like certain genius cinematographers. Honestly it wasn't a fantastic film, but it also wasn't terrible and 1 star like some people are saying, I enjoyed MOST of it, kind of got bored towards the end, but the first couple of tricks were fun, and I'll give them that.
I was afraid at first, the MCU movies are often not as great as they were in past times, but boy was I satisfied. I found little of the things I dislike in super hero movies, instead I found (finally) interesting dialog and action sequences more unique than others. This was not your typical boring "city destroyed by someone", it was more unique and differently choreographed and I definitely enjoy the action sequences. Don't get me wrong, I personally disliked some things, but over all I was pleasantly surprised by a fun movie going experience instead of another predictable super hero movies. I am normally disappointing by super hero movies, but this one held me more than most, and its definitely well above average as far as MCU is concerned. The humor was also really ood and not corny like previous MCU movies, but I'll explain why later.
So I said what I liked and I will say more, but lets talk about what I didn't like. First of all, I wasn't a fan of Captain America's beard, especially since he's my favorite, but thats my personal opinion. Without giving to much away, I didn't like the alterations to Spiderman's suit. Also I didn't like how they re-wrote The Hulk's condition. In canon, it happens when he gets angry, but now suddenly The Hulk side decides whether or not he shows up, as if choosing what type of angry will trigger him. I LOVED the additions of the Guardians of the Galaxy to the Avengers movies, the truly brought their specific type of humor to the film and I thoroughly enjoyed it, they fit in so perfectly and added a new style to the series. All in all it was much better than the average MCU film, and I would recommend it to people who now dislike super hero movies.