"Judas and the Black Messiah" (2021) is a real movie about real things - so to speak. I was surprised by how this movie that tells a very true story but at the same time a very distant one from were i live got me by surprise and kept me involved in its story from start till finish. This is a universal story i think, and not one made just for specific place and audience.
Performances by Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield were superb. I also liked acting by an always reliable Jesse Plemons - they all deserves awards. Also at running time 2 h this movie never dragged and was superbly involving for me from a get go. All in all this film was a real deal.
I never heard about things that happen, therefore the whole story for me was fresh. And i glad i didn't before, because this movie kept me engaged in it for its whole running time 2 hours. This is a superbly written, acted and directed movie and tells a very true story. Music at the end was also superb. The cast is also amazing - not every day you will see so many great faces in one movie.
Overall, "The Trial of the Chicago 7" (2020) is a superb movie from start till finish. Never was i bored nor not involved. Very good movie overall.
Different then the original and pretty good movie on its own
Greetings fro Lithuania.
"Wrong Turn" (2021) is not a remake of the original flick from 2003. As a one who saw 2003 version many times back in the day, i was surprised that this 2021 version wasn't just a remake but its basically has little to do with the original. This one is way more toned down in reality, and had a pretty interesting ideas on its core. Sadly they weren't explored more, but i liked the idea of Foundation. I also like main valiant who seemed more human that many human but at the same time was doing some pretty heavy stuff.
Overall, "Wrong Turn" (2021) is definitely not a copy / paste of the original. Gone the "fun" slasher stuff i remember, and this one tried to do something more interesting with its villains - and i liked it. I also liked to see Pv. Joker with a gray hear. A descent flick overall.
The first 15 min or so of "Ride Like a Girl" (2019) were not very promising. I thought it was very cheesy and will be by a number movie about a sports i really didn't care at all. Yet despite that, this movie started grow on me little by little. Then somewhere in a middle i caught myself rooting for a main character as well as felt her when things didn't went that good. That is because i think of a very good performance by Teresa Palmer - i like this acctress in most what she usually does. Also it never hurts to have Sam Neil in one of the roles to say the least.
Overall, "Ride Like a Girl" tells a good and inspirational story and does it very well. A very fine, sincere and enjoyable movie overall.
After i read a premise of "Boss Level" (2021) is decided to watch it as a guilty pleasure on a boring evening - i did not believed this movie will be any good somehow but i liked the premise on paper. What i can say after watching it, is that you don't judge a book by its cover, because "Boss Level" really delivers.
This movie was superbly paced - at running time 1 h 38 min it never dragged and was interesting from start till finish. The story here was an interesting one and involving. Directing was very solid and basically because of good directing this movie was actually really good one. Action scenes (and there are plenty of them) were very well made.
Overall, "Boss Level", no matter how stupid its title is and it maybe sounds on paper - was actually a very entertaining flick. Don't take it too seriously and you will be pleasantly surprised.
"Mulan" (2020) was a very pleasant surprise to me. Before watching it i heard a lot of negativity surrounding this movie. And after hearing it i was kinda "meehh..., i will probably skip it". But now in 2021 i finally watched it and i was very surprised of how much i actually liked it.
"Mulan" is a superbly made, very beautiful and entertaining family movie. Set design, special effects, locations, and directing were all very good. Pacing of this movie was excellent - at its running time almost 2 hours it barely dragged. Acting was also very good - no Oscar material, but a very solid from all involved.
Overall, "Mulan" (2020) is a movie that was superbly made in technical department first. And surprisingly it was also very sweet (but not in a "cheesy" way) and very touching, because it touches on themes like family honor, loyalty to your country, to what is right and loyalty to yourself. And this is all there is to this film. Ignore the haters, and watch it open minded like i did, and i hope you will be pleasantly surprised like i was.
"Nomadland" (2020) was a type of a movie I've not seen in a very long time. It reminded me of Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" and some other of his works. It is a slow paced film but not boring for a second because craftsmanship of it was first rate.
In a term of acting, this movie is a tour de force with a great Frances McDormand. She was like a true person that comes alive on screen - you can't really call it acting. In other words - she was brilliant. Were this movie also shines was superb directing, writing and cinematography. The look and overall feel of this movie is a bleak and stark and down to earth real. But at the same time a bit poetic.
Overall, i really liked "Nomadland", but I'm not sure i would like to ever see it again. Its down to earth real account of life and we have more then enough of it each day. But in term of movie making - this is a pure gem.
Doesn't reach the height of "Heat", but its kinda entertaining flick on its own
Greetings from Lithuania.
Without any doubts, "Den of Thieves" really had took a lot of inspiration from "Heat" - from an opening shot till its characters and its theme - it was all there. Unfortunately what it did lacked was amazing characters, terrific antagonist, and perfect shootout sequence - all main things that made "Heat" perfect.
On the other hand "Den of Thieves" was a pretty entertaining movie on its own. It had a good central hero played by always great screen presence Gerard Butler. It had a good looking but unfortunately lacking charisma antagonist -they could give more to this character. Also at running time 2 h 20 min this movie was surprisingly very well paced and barely dragged. The shootout scene at the end was not bad at all. And the ending left me surprised, and in a pretty good way. So at the end of the day i liked this movie - it was good. But it could have been so much better!
Good premise and nice execution with clear metaphor
Greetings from Lithuania.
"El hoyo" (2019) is movie in which our society is reflected in a view which isn't very optimistic to say the least. I liked the premise of this movie. Its execution also was pretty good with pretty good pacing given the place it all transpires. Yet the the last 10 min of this movie made little sense to me, and even if it did i have to say that i liked most of this movie way more then the ending - it wasn't handled as good as the rest of this film.
Acting was descent. Set design was pretty good - i won't spoil anything but creator used this small place very well.
Overall, "El hoyo" is a movie with basically one metaphor and this metaphor is very clear and loud. I'm afraid this movie's idea and reflection of our society is pretty much accurate, and that what makes this movie even more scarier.
"Ang-ma-reul bo-at-da" (2010) is an extremely violent thriller about a serial killer on a loose (sort of) and a cop on his trail (sort of). Yet there is twist to this formula which i won't spoil. Killing were extremely visceral and brutal, so i wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone with weak stomach or heart - be warner.
Overall, although "Ang-ma-reul bo-at-da" was one of the most violent movies i have even seen, its also a good story and serial killer movie but with an interesting and well realized twist. I'm probably will never going see this movie again, but for one time I'm glad i did.
As a one who has seen and kinda enjoyed "Knives Out", I was blown away by "Contratiempo" - a masterpiece detective story made in Spain. I did not knew anything about this movie prior seeing it - only that it was a drama / thriller and it was on IMDb 250 list. After seeing it I can only say this - watch this gem if you have at least a small spot in your heart for Agatha Christie's works - and i believe that everyone has at least a bit of it. This picture puts all fancy Hollywood detective stories seen in years to a shame. This movie is a pure detective driven story heaven.
"Contratiempo" is like "Knives Out" but 100 times better because of its focus on story and because it is stripped away with all off fancy and eccentric characters who belonged more in a cartoon then in real life - "Contratiempo" is a pure detective. But made with such a breathtaking pacing and a skill in writing, directing, editing and acting that it makes its running time 1 h 40 min simply disappear - i was caught into this movie from its opening till closing titles - you hardly can get better then this.
Overall, "Contratiempo" is a simple yet such a skillfully done detective movie that sucks you in from a get go and never lets you off its hook. And the ending is a kind reminder of why "The Usual Suspects" was such a memorable story. I can't recommend this movie any higher.
The first movie I enjoyed quite a bit. And while it wasn't highly original and borrowed heavily from other movies and stories, it still was a bit fresh flick, funny and just fun overall.
"Happy Death Day 2U" or simply a second part was nearly half as good as the first one. Like first 30 min were pretty interesting, but then it just was becoming more and more stupid and ridiculous. There was absolutely no horror whatsoever - to even put a horror genre near this flop's title is a disrespect for horror genre itself.
And there was an eye rolling sequence between our hero and her mother (which by the way has absolutely zero charisma or anything to remember her for) near the end. This scene was so cheezee and so eyes rolling and so long and melodramatic in a bad way, that it even reminded me of some very bad version of "Beverly Hills 90210" - I couldn't believe I was watching a horror flick.
Overall, Happy Death Day 2U isn't horror movie nor it was fun movie to watch in general. Its a science fiction flick for kids with no science in it. Everyone is just running, screaming and trying to be funny with lame script in their hands.
This is poor flick overall and its even more sad realizing that once brilliant Jason Blum is releasing this stuff more and more often instead of trying to make anything similar to his masterpieces like first "Insidious" or "Sinister" or first "Conjuring". Hopefully he will come back on track.
The first reason I really wanted to watch "News of the World" (2020) - a very good new movie with Tom Hanks was a name of Paul Greengrass - this man has made of my favorite movies in the last two decades - you name it. And i wasn't disappointed of "News of the World". This was an old fashioned, characters driven western were at the center were characters. This western reminded me sometimes of "Unforgiven", Clooney's "Midnight Sky" and some other road movie were some world weary person takes sort of father duties he had never had before. Its not an action western, but there were some "action" scenes, particularly memorable because of characters and some in genuine ideas - and i will say no more.
Overall, "News of the World" for sure has a common days agenda as well despite its western setting. But what this movie really was as well is and old fashioned road movie - western and even character study drama. A very solid movie overall.
A superb, visceral and very effective horror movie
Greetings from Lithuania.
"Aterrados" (2017) was a one helluva surprise - and in a best possible way. This horror movie is a real horror movie for those who lover effective and visceral horror movies - and you don't see does very often to say the least. This movie just kind of throws horror stuff in your face when you don't expect it - and i loved it. It even reminded me a bit of Sam Raimi's style, even movie like "Drag Me to Hell".
Overall, "Aterrados" in my opinion is a one badass horror film. Its a bit different, because it barely uses the mechanic when there is a long and slow buildup and then short horror outcome. This one just shows a short buildup scene and then it throws horror scene just right in your face. And i loved it.
The worst part that at the end of "Relic" (2020), a very bold and kinda unique ending, i was left not with wonder, but rather with confusion. I did not get the ending to be honest - i did not understood the resolution - if there was any. Also this movie isn't that much scary in a common sense. Performances were OK, but nothing to write home about. And at running time 1 h 25 min this movie did drag, and its very slowly paced. Slow pacing isn't a problem for me if its done good, but unfortunately this movie at the end of the day just did not work our for me.
"Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" (2020) was a pretty interesting story about pretty interesting guy, names Joe Exotic (not a real name). I won't go into details, but this show is more biopic about him then a real take on wild animals and their problems. This topic was also in this show, but not that much, nor you won't see many new things about animals - this is a documentary about very colorful people, the ones you won't see on some animal shows.
Pacing of this show did suffer for me, especially in the middle when i was starting to lose my interest, but it picked up again at the end. Directing was good and as a documentary itself it was pretty descent overall.
"The Noble Thing to Do", 6th episode of "Tiger King" was very involving and very well made. Its kinda even scary to think that people actually behave themselves as they do in here, like planning to kill a person in cold blood.
Pacing of this episode was very good and at running time 41 min it was one of shortest episodes, but one of the best actually.
For my personal taste "Crazy Rich Asians" (2018) was a bit too sweet. I was kinda expecting a bid darker, maybe even more sophisticated romantic comedy - there are plenty great examples. Sadly for me "Crazy Rich Asians" was just too predictable and sweet and melodramatic. The good things about this movie - it looks great, actors are good looking as well as everything else - its a very good looking movie. Also Coldplay's masterpiece "Yellow" sounds amazing in all languages. It also has a heart but sadly not a real emotion - everything just felt to true to be good and just way to predictable, like in a soup operas.
Overall, "Crazy Rich Asians" was a bit of a disappointing movie for me, but its not a bad one definite by any means - someone looking for exactly movie like this will enjoy it for sure.
The first mistake of "Host" (2020) i think that in its 56 min. length it was hardly possible to establish 4 or 5 characters at the same time. There was only a situation and jump scares - and that is it, that is the whole thing (I can't even call it a full feature film). In "Host" you get a premise as old as a Blair Witch herself. And we have seen all this stuff being done so many times, and in a so many better horror film. Even a first "Paranormal Activities" movie was a masterpiece in comparison with this one, because it took its time to establish situation and characters. Unfortunately "Host" doesn't have any of this. And there is also one dude Teddy i think was his name, who was so obnoxious that i was pretty happy when he was out of the picture at the end so to speak - literally.
Overall, "Host" isn't a terrible movie, and you can see an attempt to make something good on a very low budget and premise. That is not a bad thing, if its done right. But in 56 min. you only get bunch of jump scare scenes with some faces on a laptops. This is what "Host" basically is.
"Felon" (2008) was a type of a movie i was expecting to see from a very talented writer director Ric Roman Waugh, after i saw his superb "Shoot Caller". Then i decided to see "Felon" and i was not disappointed to say the least. Again (or in a first place, because "Felon" was made earlier) here is a simple yet powerful story were at the center of events is a good man, who will do anything to protect his family even when everything seems to be against him. There are excellent performances in this movie by Val Kilmer and Stephen Dorff, as well as Harold Perrineau. Directing and writing are smart and seemingly simple, and the same time involving. During its running time 1 h 40 min i was never bored and was cared about characters, story and its outcome. This what makes "Felon" a good movie.
It wasn't bad, its just that it lacked someting to be good
Greetings from Lithuania.
"The Rental" (2020) is a nice little drama thriller flick. It is by any means a horror movie - do not be fooled. It plays more like a soup drama to be honest. I liked performances in this movie, especially by Dan Stevens and Sheila Vand. Set up was not original, but I bought it - i was into. But its the third act that kinda felt off for me. I liked this movie way more before the third act - I was involved into these characters story and then it just kinda did not deliver it for me at the end. There is a great idea somewhere done here, unfortunately it was not delivered in this movie fully.
The strangest feeling i constantly had when watching "Zwartboek" (2006), a terrific film by a legendary film maker Paul Verhoeven is that this movie which is set during World War II is a very entertaining movie. And what is strange is that movies set in WWII shouldn't be entertaining, right? They tell horrific truth and etc. but in case of "Zwartboek" its way much more complex. This is a thriller, mystery, action, drama, love story and even detective story - all wonderfully mixed together to tell this incredible story. I was involved into this movie from the get go and couln't take my eyes from screen from a wonderful performance by Carice van Houten who was nothing short of amazing. If this movie was made in Hollywood some 30 years ago with some Julia Roberts in this role, she would have won an Oscar for this kind of performance. But unfortunately Ms. Carice was not even nominated.
Overall, "Zwartboek" is a highly involving and entertaining movie with terrific script, directing, cinematography and acting. At running time 2 h 20 min this movie was involving in every second. Great movie.
"Hellraiser" (1987), as first time watched by me in 2021 wasn't particular scary for me - it was more a body horror movie which is very dark, disturbing and goory, but not disgusting strangely enough given what is being show. I saw way more disgusting horror movies - trash like "Hostel" and some other stuff - "Hellraiser" was way much better then that. I also found this movie to be oddly involving - at running time 1 h 30 min this movie barely dragged and something, i do not know what exactly but it kept me watching it. Make up effects were truly great - even for 2021 this movie hold up pretty well in my opinion. Also story itself is pretty original - you won't see horror movies this visionary these days for sure.
Overall, i did not excepted to like "Hellraiser" before watching it. I'm glad i did because i did enjoyed it. Surely I wouldn't recommend it for anyone with weak nerve or stomach because it is very goory movie. But also a pretty damn good and original one.
Not "The Shawshank Redemption" type of story for sure
Greetings from Lithuania.
"Shot Caller" (2017) is a movie that works as a good thriller but at the core of it is a character study film. It shows you brutally of what happens with a good person (seemingly) when he is thrown into brutal prison system. First he has to do all to survive himself. Later, well I won't spoil anything of what happens later.
"Shot Caller" is a strong movie with excellent performances by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (a pleasant acting surprise), an always entertaining and raw Jon Bernthal and other actors who did I think an excellent job. Directing was also superb by Ric Roman Waugh because at running time 2 h this movie barely dragged and was involving from start till finish. Music at the end also was very good.
Overall, "Shot Caller" is a pretty brutal movie that shows realities of what happen with a descent person who is being thrown into prison system. Keep in mind that this is not "The Shawshank Redemption" type of story - there is no redemption here just a brutal reality. If you are up for a ride, "Shot Caller" is not to be missed out.
A very solid disaster film more in common with "Deep Impact" rather then "Armageddon"
Greetings from Lithuania.
"Greenland" (2020) was way more better then i excepted it to be given its premise i read before watching it. To be honest, its an excellent movie more in a theme with "Deep Impact" and rather "Armageddon" which at the end kind of forced a tear or two from me, because at the center was always a one family and its struggle to survive. And while this movie was at the brink of clichés it actually never went farther and it was always very well acted by three leads - the young boy was very good and not a usual movie child which creates problems in this type of flicks - rather he was i as rooting for as well as whole family).
Overall, "Greenland" is a mid budget very well made disaster film told from a point of view of one family. Its not dumb, not clichéd and from beginning till end i was involved into story and its outcome. A really good movie.