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Don't Breathe 2

Please, just stop!
The original, writen and directed by Fede Alvarez was good. Some overdone ideas, but very good directed, and I like that one very much.

This sequel has nothing to do with the original besides its main character. It's a whole new story, all set in a different time and space. At first may seems a bit confusing but doesn't take long for the main plot to emerge.

But here's the thing... A movie has this freedom to build situations that in real life wouldn't happen at all. The problem is when the high level of absurdity is there only to justify things that the writer was unable to create by other means. And that is very much obvious when the iron box is filled with water and no water scapes at all. Then, Norman breaks its door when it's supposed to be unbreakable from the outside.

Entire conflict is around a girl who was stollen from their parents by Norman. They kill and burn down entire Norman's house because of her. After taking her back, her real dad gives her the option to stay with them as a family or leave, and she decides to leave, but then she is kidnapped again by her own dad because her real mother is dying from a heart condition, and the only way to be saved is transplant her daughter's heart to her.

That's so insane that I just couldn't keep watching this freak show after that. Please writers, stop doing things like that.

And please, stop making sequels when ideas are as bad as this one. Seeing a lot of beople rating this movie as "good" makes me think about when people did start enjoying stupid plot twits and decisions that lead nowhere but only to serve the free gore and violence.

This movie is crap, and the creepy main character, which was a criminal in the first movie, is now a hero. Well done people!

Years and Years

Must be seen
Living in Brazil, seeing all the political and social throwback we've been facing in the last 6 years, believe me, I know exactly what this show is about.

The most impressive thing about watching Years And Years in 2022 is that most of the events it points aren't that fictitional as they might have seemed back in 2019. The prediction of the writing turned out to be frightening. The Russian invasion in Ukraine; the allegations of torture suffered by the ukrainians; the far right wing rising into power; the retake of nazi and fascist policies; the xenophobia afflicting refugees; the lack of respect and understanding of human rights; the technology invading our lives to control us; the denialism affecting every aspects of society; the narratives created under media control and fake news propagation; even a pandemic crisis, are some of the subjects developed through 6 episodes that became a reality over the last 3 years.

Any resemblance to reality isn't coincidental at all now.

It's definitely a show thas must be watched delivering a profound level of reflection. Viviane Rook (Emma Thompson) represents the most disgusting human being. Her dissimulation, her most obscures intents, her populist speech deceiving people from her true interests, all makes her a wolf in sheep's clothes. The character is never trully present in the story, always appearing in medias, folders and outdoors, like an entity, a myth build to live above us all, empowered by the distance she creates between the celebrity skin she wears and her followers that never question any of her most absurd acts.

The Lyons family represents us as the most diverse way as possible and what happens to each one of them though the course of 15 years is so sad that makes our own reality disturbing because they are reflecting our troubles, fears and a reality turned upside down. A family that seemed very much secure in the middle class position they were, which most of them didn't care about what could happen next. But suddenly one by one is taken by surprise by things that were coming insidiously but they haven't noticed.

Actors are brilliant performing ordinary people, and writing makes character's individuality meaninful and respectful within the so welcome diversity each one represents.

There's a nihilistic sense that grows harder when some of them find themselves facing a tragic destiny they where so desperate fighting to avoid, smashing the last bit of hope they had, affecting everyone else's life, but not even a slight sense of empathy by those ones who are responsible for the tragedies around. Instead, the victims are turned into vilains by the oppressors.

The direction is amazing and the fast paced editing puts audience into constant anxiety and desperation because chaos is wrecking everything apart.

Fortunately the last episode hits back, and there's still hope and no one can control society's evolution even if some believe so. The last scene of Edith Lyons (Jessica Hynes) is one one the most beautiful and emotional scenes I've ever seen since Six Feet Under series finale. Beautifully executed and performed.

The 355

Just an ordinary predictable action movie
First off... Some people insist to underrate movies when lead by an ensemble female cast as a lot of comments are doing about this title. I'm still trying to figure out why people are reluctant to accept women taking front of action movies and refering to this as "consequences of Hollywood feminism" in such a misguided context only to make others believe that the lack of quality is related to a specific gender. I don't remember seeing anyone diminishing movies by the excess of testosterone, or blaiming a bad movie for having a male ensemble cast. As an example, when Ocean's 12 was released it was bad rated by every argument possible, except their gender. So, when I see that happening to women, it's very clear the misogynist and sexist behavior, otherwise they wouldn't bother.

The movie isn't good as it could be, and the reasons are very much the same why Ocean's 8 isn't good either: it's a technical matter and not about gender. If screenplay doesn't work, if characters aren't developed, if direction is ineffective, if editing can't make it right, any movie is faded to disgrace. The problem is always about those matters, so think about it instead of just point women protagonism in the industry as an obstacle. If you feel uncomfortable by women leading action movies or whatever genre the problem is you, not them.

This movie itself has a lot of problems, starting from the director. The bad reception of Dark Phoenix haven't make Simon Kimberg get any better. There's no authenticity by his side again. He takes Paul Greengrass's manual of how to make chasing and fighting scenes but fails putting it on practice. That could work if he did know what he was doing, but seems to me he felt that copying other's style is enough on directing, the same he did in his previous movie trying to copy Bryan Singer's style. I don't understand why this ensemble cast did accept a so bad screenplay as it is. The dialogs are poor, characters narrate their own actions right after events happen or make obvious statements as if audience's constantly unaware of what they are watching. Really, that's dull and makes Simon twice bad for the fact that he's also one of the writers.

Then the editing, another big problem that messes with any other experience this movie could provide. Seems that they were running out of time and made cuts without paying any attention to the damage they were causing when cutting important moments in the wrong time or keeping excesses like happens in most of the fighting scenes, in some of them we can obviously see actors waiting for the action to start making it all seems fake and sequences lose their power. If for any reason a director cannot make a fighting scene in a long take, then at least make the editing works. This is a rule in filmaking. Although I don't think that would've help this movie so much.

This movie had great potentials, but again, Simon Kimberg isn't prepared yet to take so many responsability by his own. I can see his efforts to succed as a director, but he needs to find his own pace and style, and also learn from the mistakes he made. On the contrary of what most people are saying, the actresses are the ones who save this movie from a total disaster, exception of Penelope Cruz's character, that could've be very much scratched from screeplay as she's always serving as a disposable element of distraction. Maybe they had plans for her in a follow up movie, but I don't thik that would ever happen considering the bad reception of this one.

By the way, I can't accept the fact that Lupita's character, a cyber electronic specialist, wasn't unable to register any other digital to the tracking device, while just before that another one could make it in seconds before dying. And that pretty much resumes how much bad the writing is.

The final part was more exciting than all that preceded, but a lot of it was incredibly predictable because screenplay has some plot twists but both direction and editing couldn't be able to avoid them from being lame and cliche.

A shame that once more good potentials were entirely wasted. At least the movie can be entertaining if you don't care about all that have been pointed.

Archive 81

This show trully deserves a second chance
Archive 81 is based on a homonymous podcast. The show uses a lot of sci-fi and supernatural elements to create a terrifying experience together with so meticulously used technics from the classic horror genre. That atmosphere is brilliantly explored since its first episode and as they goes on, references from the likes of The Exorcist, Poltergeist, The Blair Witch Project, Hereditary, Midsommar, original The Twilight Zone, Stranger Things or even Silent Hill games may pop to our heads. Authors like Dante Aligieri, H. P. Lovecraft, Edgard Alan Poe and Stephen King are also very much related to the way writers develop characters, myths, unfortunate events and its own narrative pacing. Sure that there may be much more than that - on purpose or not - but those aforementioned references are the ones I could remember while watching. The mix works in a way that few shows are capable of and it succeeds mostly for its production values and performances.

The story seems simple, about a man that is hired to restore damaged recording tapes found in a residential building entirely destroyed by a fire incident, and the author of those found footages is believed to be one of the many victims of the disaster. But as its main plot unfolds the complex layers are also revealed.

The story's build upon two different narratives, the third person to set the present, the first person to set most of the past events. It's not a rule though, since those approaches sometimes can blend at each other but never making the different time frames confusing. In a time that a lot of productions are using flashbacks tirelessly much more as an element of distraction than as a real complement part of the storytelling, it's a relief notice that's what does not happen here. And the found footage situations, even though sometimes overused, are forgivable because the narrative explains it by the character's intentions.

It's unfair discuss more about its plot and subplots because anything may spoil the experience.

The most interesting thing about this show is how it builds the horror atmosphere as a living character and not as a momentary object to only scares audience randomly. James Wan works better here as a producer than on titles he has directed or written maybe because he's not the main person behind it, while creator-showrunner-director-writer-producer Rebecca Sonnenshine (The Boys) develops entire show with coherence and elegance knowing exactly that horror isn't about gore, jumpscares, monsters or computer effects but a concotion of subtle unseen elements that together grows slowly escalating to an unbearable distress that is only noticed when we get ourselves uncomfortable without knowing exactly why.

Although not a horror show, the last time I could feel this way was watching Homecoming's first season, another very good example of how images, effective edition and sound, when precisely combined, can make us feel threatned even when everything seems to be pleasant and ordinary.

The same happens here masterfully. The score is never intrusive but is there all the time to make us unconsciously apprehensive. The cinematography also pushes that forward with absence of light to increase the claustrophobical environment and the sense of loneliness of the characters. The industrial architecture of the house Dan's located (also the snowy woods that surronds it), or the 70's architecture of the Visser building, entirely covered by wallpapers on pastel tones, both locations intensify the coldness of it all, or the lack of empathy of others and how much vulnerable the characters are.

The cast is amazing. Mamoudou Athie and Dina Shihabi are the ones who carry the show effortlessly making every single aspect of it works, having great dramatic and frightening moments that are never overacted. Great versatile actors. The same about the supporting ones.

Unfortunately it loses a little of its pace when answering most of the questions in the last two episodes and keeping some others ones unsolved. The writing doesn't help maintain the same tone of quality that is felt until then and characters start rushing into events. Some lazy plot twists that could have happened earlier takes the front and a predictable ending happens, one that we've already seen before. A cliffhanger moment that probably will never happen to reach its conclusion as Netflix canceled the show a little after it's release date without further explanation or even without trying to promote it as deserved.

In fact, doesn't matter if you get the story or not, if you feel it's developed in a satisfactory way or not. It's one of those rare shows where the brilliance of it is entirely upon the horror experience that it provides. For the first time in years I could get chills while walking alone at home between watching breaks at dawn. That's what truly horror productions are about.

And if Netflix is interested on increasing its values on the horror genre, the streaming service should give the show a second chance for sure.

The Batman

Less should be enough
It's reapectful how Matt Reeves construct some ideas in The Batman. Bruce Wayne's alter ego is only 2 years old in this movie. A baby born by an entitled Gotham Project. Wayne is in a complete dark place, still figuring out how to overcome the trauma caused by the murder of his parents. There's a slight piece of humanity still, and positiveness, but opressed by rage and vengeance. I like the fact of bringing the detective persona back from old comics, the neo noir atmosphere instead of the action paced aproach of previous movies. Robert Pattinson does it as expected. His grieve, silence, glances and contained manners are louder than words.

But it's also evident how Reeves sometimes gets lost or trapped in his own ideas. The increased number of characters and subplots doesn't engage the story as it would if a less number of it all had been used instead. Seems to me that he didn't know how to develop entire story with few elements, that's why a character is pulled out his pocket everytime he needs to solve a problem, messing with any element of surprise he intends to create.

Reeves builds huge spectacles over simple things only to distract audience from his inability to deal with things that were already interesting by their own merits. He gets lost dealing with so many elements at the same time, disposing characters when they were getting stronger and retaking others when he feels they are being forgotten. And none of them actually working as a crucial element of resolution but chaos. Not in a positive chaotic approach devoped by Nolan's trilogy, but yet about the excesses he doesn't get to handle well.

Oswald Cobblepot, brilliant performed by Colin Farrell, is underused. The same about Selina Kyle. Both characters were brought back when any other supporting could have done the same things or better if those thigs didn't even existed. What he does to Catwoman is not fair to a character that, since Burton's Batman Returns, is struggling to survive with dignity. Nolan and Reeves tried so hard to distance the character from Pfeiffer's iconic performance and character's development that they created two different Selinas that can only be related to the character because we are remembered of that all the time and not by the merits of a well written screeplay. Catwoman is there only to serve Batman, and her own story looks dull and drowned by so many distractive things happening around. Better if she wasn't there, because if the character is imagined taken away from entire movie, her absence isn't felt.

Riddler is another character that starts very strong but fades gradually. The opening sequence is so well done that gave me chills. But his further riddles are so desperate to make audience overwhelmed again by the spectacle that audience itself never feel as part of it. The existence of Ridller was to kind of break the 4th wall, making readers feel interacted and immersed into the story at the same time they try to solve riddles together with Batman. This opportunity is completely wasted here and Reeves better option was to make more of the same only to include tastes of Saw's sadism instead. Again, the spectacle overshadowing lack of abilities.

But I did like how the screenplay deals with the hero/vilain sides. That was one of Nolan's premises throughout his trilogy, but Reeves do that more prominently here. I mean, he's more explicit about the idea, like on the opening sequence, making audience kind of in doubt if that figure is Batman before being Batman, or someone else. And that represents entire idea of misteps characters take putting them in a place different from being just a hero or a villain.

The movie isn't bad. It fails when excesses are extensively used, but succeds when main great ideas are respected. Reeves is a competent director, but his writing really needs to stop dragging people to constant elements of distraction everytime he gets trapped by his own ideas.

The Lost Daughter

Good, but sometimes confusing
I read an article a few months ago about women who suffer from the violence of the lonely motheerhood and how this subject is a taboo for the fact that society demands them to be in a place where they cannot question that, neitheir can they express the burden of it or how demanding that place is when raising children alone, with partial or total absence of the other parental figure that, by neglecting the same responsabilities they also have, overcharge mothers for personal and sexist reasons. The same article says how mothers must have to suffer on silence because society is always misjudging those issues and is never open to discuss that, triggering psychological problems as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, among others, leading them to extreme measures as suicide or family abandonment.

The number of men that run away from their responsability as fathers, abandoning their children to be raised only by their mothers is huge, but society accepts that easily, never questioning how women are dealing with that by themselves. The same about men that impose their position of household providers, not giving any opportunity to mothers also have a professional life or simply enjoy leisure time.

That's what I could feel the movie is about from the different and similar stories of Leda (Olivia Colman) and Nina (Dakota Johnson), both women who became mothers at very young age. The difference is that Leda tried to raise her children almost by herself while struggling to achieve her academic and professional objectives, and Nina is about to have a nervous breakdown at any moment when she feels that entire responsability of her child is on her own even when surrounded by her partner and relatives.

The situation is very sensitive and Maggie Gyllenhall develops those matters honestly as a writer-director. She never hides the mixed feelings of being a lonely mother, making clear that although the burden is felt by them, their love still unconditional. However the exaustion leads them to a burn out syndrome situation or whatever.

Maybe there's more within the story than I could get, but being a single man that doesn't put me in any of these situations makes it impossible to imagine how difficult that can be for mothers around.

I could also feel some psychological violence that both charaters suffer. How Leda is emotionally blackmailed by her parter whenever he feels that his personal wills must be deferred in favor of his equal responsability as a father, making her feel guilty all the times he doesn't get away from that; or how Nina is suffocated by her controlling husband and relatives. Situations that together with lone mothering are depriving both of living their lives or crave for a different future together with their children in a healthy environment.

But even director developing those issues pretty well, the same cannot be said about subplots that emerge throughout the story line. First, the flashbacks as they are put slows the pace of the story to a point that seems that we are watching two different movies. Leda is hosted at a greek beach where she is attempting to enjoy her vacation, but takes a long walk to understand the reasons why she's emotionally triggered by Nina's arrival with her family. Kind of confusing in fact, and audience is sometimes misguided because some events happen in a way to build up the thrilling aspects of the story, but never achieves its intention.

Also confusing is Nina's family behavior over Leda. The menacing atmosphere is created without any coherent reason or a satisfying conclusion, and suddenly the movie reaches its end in a discussion that doesn't lead any of the characters to a fair comprehension of their attitudes, which could be very interesting based on the problems and personal traumas they are facing.

The very ending was intense and meaninful to Leda's emotional journey and over her doubts about the unconditional love that bond her to her daughters, but again could have fit better if screenplay had developed some of previous conflicts better.

Olivia Colman is awesome as always, but her incredible talent seems sometimes overshadowed by a directorial debut that is distant and not commited to clarify some of the confusing present events, nor making audience feel close enough to be trully empathized by her character's troubled past.

The Matrix Resurrections

Worst than expected
Some die hard fans of the trilogy are claiming Ressuractions so clever and intelligent that ordinary audience won't be able to get it at first. That's why the frustration of the latter led the movie to a free fall rating. Truth be told, it's not the majority of people that are uncapable to understand such a masterpiece, but the fact that it isn't a masterpiece at all. After 20 yrs, Ressuractions is light years behind the 1st one in storyline, relevance and quality, proving that the original idea could live by its own but was so exploited by all different medias in the past that nothing new has left, or maybe the lazyness to expand its universe to a different approach left it in a comfort zone by the writers.

For those ones who did watch Scream (2022} will surely notice some resemblances between both movies. First, the idea of retelling the same story in a different way (the 'requel' thing), a superficial argument to overshadow the fact that, on its core, the movie is a poor and disposable remake of itself. Second, the metalanguage, used to explain by didactic means the reasons why ideas are being recycled. Translating, It's like an apology in advance if audience faces the fact that all of it sounds familiar and much like the same.

That's why new Mr. Anderson is now a game programmer who created a virtual reality called The Matrix; that's why the original trilogy is now presented as a trilogy of games used tirelessly as flashbacks and deja vus; that's why "Warner wants a sequel after 20 years", as one of the chacters say. The meta justifying the requel.

My problem with this movie is that Lana Wachowski seems completely lost as a director and as a writer. It's never clear what's the point of it all. And to fill gaps that would be hard to be filled, she uses aforementioned arguments to stretch the story to the unbearable.

120 minutes of a pretentious movie that never equals the original, nor the inferiority of the sequels. Full of boring undeveloped one dimensional characters facing redundant events. Most of the times with terrible dialogs that pretend to be funny but never is, like when Morpheus makes his 'homage' to Fishburne's classic appearance, or moments when the movie tries hard to rescue some old references once more raising irrelevant discussions about human existence.

Another one said that Ressuractions looks like a bad Scary Movie of itself. Comprehensive. I mean, why would someone mock or make a parody of their very own praised work as Lana does all the time here? Fells like she's taking the legacy she created with her sister Lily as a curse, and to make new movie interesting, previous ones must be trashed somehow.

The pace is terrible and action sequences are misplaced all the time. The original was interesting because it was a cyberpunk action movie, with great doses of sci-fi, gaming culture references, dark humor, jaw dropping fighting scenes and one of the greatest unpredictable romance tales ever made leading entire story to another level, a combo that made it a true reference to the pop culture, so strong that it's impossible to be replaced. But now it's just a movie based on main characters' personal dramas full of empty quotes with the same love theme that's there only to justify once more why they are bonded to each other, messing with entire experience of the original. It's so boring to a point that 180 minutes of Cloud Atlas feels like a joy.

They mock the success of bullet time effect, as if at any moment audience would be pleased with an amazing new experience. Instead, they use one of the worst camera effects ever made to dissociate time and space. The make up is also horrendous, and all the mythology created is entirely wasted.

The acting is good, but never elevates the lack of arguments for one of the worst sequels I've ever watched. It's not even a movie that I could ignore its flaws and have some fun watching. If that makes pinnacle fans satisfied, it's pretty much obvious that ordinary audience does not feel the same because a movie does not survive only by easter eggs and hidden trophies. That does not make any movie remarkable, just annoying.


An inferior remake
On the contrary of what the majority of people are saying, this isn't the most violent, or intelligent, or metacritic installment of the series, nor does make Ghostface the most challenging of them all. Instead, it's pretty much the same of the previous ones. And writers use the 'requel' argument to justify the lack of originality that's so obvious during entire movie.

Not a reboot and not a sequel, a movie to embrace a new generation of fans while its familiar characters and twists are there only to please the older ones. That's just a retell of what Craven and Williamson did with the "cliches are the new cliches" plot in 4th movie.

The problem is that 4th movie failed to hit at the box office, that's why no one seems to remember that one or just ignore the fact that Scream 4 was much more violent and gore, made not only to redeem the series from the awful 3rd movie, but also to make any further sequel be able to restart the series from a new point without losing its trademarks.

James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick may be one of the hardest fans of Craven's movies, but that doesn't mean that the results here makes it one of the best of the series.

The opening sequence, which has always been franchise strongest trademark, is too simple and predictable. A let down when compared to other ones. It cannot even being called a homage, since 4th movie has alredy done that in a brilliant and nostalgic way.

New characters are interesting, but their development never achieves the same consistent sense of fraternal comunity that previous movies show. Of course that writers are probably just paving the way to further sequels, but even though Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega offer great performances none of them seems to fulfill the expectations to replace Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox great partnership or Sidney Prescott and Gale Weathers's importance.

Vanderbuilt and Busick play safe entire movie, revisiting ideas, events and dialogs all the time. Yes, on its very core, Scream is not a reboot and not a sequel, but a remake of the original. Thankfully they do not mess with the original but also they don't bring anything new either. Even self criticisms being there all the time like "the killer is never unmasked", they still cannot avoid redoing what the series already did over and over. So what's the point? The same way, what was the point to bring some characters back if their importance to the story is resumed to a few decisions that any other character could make? In fact, their presence is only a cosmetic to the "requel" argument, having no significant impact at all to the final part, which is frustrating.

And it's time to let go the idea that everything runs in the family. First was Billy's mother, then Sidney's half brother, Sidney's cousin and now Billy's daughter? What's going to be next? Stu's grampa? What about ordinary people? What about exploring the dark web idea? What about hints that there are a lot of Ghostfaces spread all around than just makes us believe that a teenage could have the strength to rip a strong man of double her size?

Scream franchise never was to be taken seriouly, and it's very known for the worst decisions made by the characters, but it's time to take it to another level from now on, because that seemed to be the intention of directors-writers, but they did not accomplished that as promoted and expected.

The Suicide Squad

Unauthorized GOTG Vol. 3, sort of...
Previous movie was kind of watchable because Margot Robbie has this incredible powerful presence. She stole all the scenes and carried entire movie on her back, making all the others as supporting as they could be. If wasn't her, surely would be one of the worst movies I've ever seen. So it's kinda understandable why her character is in a so supporting role this time, clearly because Gunn wanted to give space to all other characters to shine. But that didn't work as well. The movie tries so hard to give a deserved attention to each one of them that they all lack of a good development, and great potentials are wasted, in a way that they get in and out of scenes so randomly as Louis Lane in Batman v Superman.

King Shark is Gunn's attempt to bring once again a CGI character of few words to be used as a comic relief the same way he did with Groot in Guardians Of The Galaxy. The result is that Shark's dumbness is weird and annoying and he's only there to fill gaps between scenes. In the beginning is told he was crucial to the mission, but turns out to be the most useless of them serving basically to make audience feels just entertained by his clumsy personality instead of a true importance he should have to the story.

They didn't bring Deadshot back this time, but Bloodsport works alike. His background family drama issues with his daughter is also very similar. More of the same stuff, but fortunately story doesn't spend so much time on it more than a couple of scenes. But on the other hand there's Ratcatcher 2 to squeeze some unnecessary drops of drama from the plot working as this lovely sweet tie that bonds everyone together because they are crazy and suicidal but they will all live happily ever after.

The biggest problem for me this time is pretty much the same of previous movie, the need to turn villains into likable trusty heroes, giving plenty of moments to make audience feel empathy by their endless moments of redemption, making their villainess be completely forgotten even when they are killing innocent people, which isn't exactly what some would expect in a R rated movie considering their nature. In other words, it's a teen movie filled with free violence and gore, far from being a dirty action packed comedy flick as interesting, clever and entertaining as Deadpool is, a character that is likable even though having no morality at all.

I see the movie as a completely fan service so Warner and DC can desperately avoid the departing of what's left of their cinematic fanbase, which is ok, and that's why the movie's being so overated. But for those ones who know only the few necessary of the comics, like me, and are interested to have a great time and feel intrigued by their story, it isn't exactly what it offers. It's not memorable, nor entertaining. It was really hard to keep on its 120 minutes, not fun at all also because all the jokes felt flat. I could see the jokes were there and they could be really funny, but somehow they were very bad timed and didn't work most of the times. And the dialogs were painful when there were some. Mainly because there are no chemistry between characters or actors. Of course they have different personalities and they don't have any motivational intent to work as a team facing the fact that all of them are doing the work because otherwise their choices are limited to a life in jail or death sentence if Amanda Waller feels like it. But either way, writers should have created a better reason that could make them realize at some point that their efforts on working together - even at first hating each other's presence - could turn into something they could stand to rely on.

I really enjoyed both volumes of GOTG and Gunn is a very talented director, but his attenpt to reprise the same formula, now using DC characters, have not worked for me as I expected.

Army of the Dead

Bad z-movie, very bad.
Snyder stated that he was in a very dark place when he made this movie. Indeed he was because this movie is so bad that hurts.

For someone that was responsible to remake Dawn Of The Dead and be praised by George A. Romero himself for doing that, it was kind of natural imagine that Army Of Dead would be entertaining at least.

Instead it's a movie full of bad choices. Story is awful, the number of characters is huge with no purpose, every single one of them lacks of good development and the movie leads us to nowhere because every single objective presented in the very beginning isn't completed at all, which makes entire movie has no reason at all to exist. The conflicts are dull, mainly between Scott and Kate's father/daughter confusing relationship. Kate, as any other character, is completely forgetable, but what did make her the worst one is the fact that she's not just useless, but an element that leads entire story to its dead end. Not even the true reason for her to be there was achieved at all because writers did forget to conclude it (Geeta, where are you?). Pointless.

The dialogs are misplaced all the time with a writing that tries really hard to bring comic relief as an old trick to fill gaps when consistence lacks. Or bring long melodramatic moments with background music to make story longer than it could be. The world is falling apart, but they have plenty of time to discuss issues that we don't care at all while a generator must be turned on so a guy can open the safest safe on the planet using only his hearing powers.

Now is the time for those ones that should be the most important characters of entire movie: the zombies.

The only thing I must say about them is that I cringed myself all the time they appeared. The idea of making them a population of an intelingent kind that can communicate, have leaders and... babies (!!!). There's nothing I can think that can be worse than that. Romero did that once with Land Of The Dead, but the mess Snyder and his writers do here is far away from the acceptable.

Snyder never was part of my favorite directors and I persistently watch his movies hoping for the best, but I'm always disappointed.

Hillbilly Elegy

Great acting, and that's it.
The thing about Ron Howard is that he likes to take people by the hand too much, leading them all the way through the rollercoster instead of just put them on the rail so they can enjoy it by themselves. A family drama like this one, so much layered by problems and traumas of at least 3 generations could've been so much better if the director had chosen a less obvious path, which should have been a more honest one, and not driven entirely by drama formulas like Howard is so used to for so many decades. Screenplay by Vanessa Taylor doesn't help either. The overuse of flashbacks throughout the story to homeopathically reveal important matters for no other reason than tie audience thru its never ending 120 minutes is also what makes this movie never works as it could.

What does make this movie enjoyable is the acting and make up. Owen Asztalos is magnificent as young J.D. I'm a huge fan of both Amy Adams and Glenn Close's work, what a great partnership. Although Amy's character is so lost in the writing that feels like she was cast for it only because she's so talented that no bad writing can stop her from raising so low bars. Screenplay wastes most of its time trying to justify all the time every action and reaction of the characters instead of developing a coherent arc that could make us understand more clearly the reasons that made that family trully dissolve. Screenplay makes Bev takes most of the responsibility on her back, which obviosly is not. All the answers are thrown randomly and in the end feels like nothing makes much sense at all. Howard never puts audience into the emotional journey of reconnection efficiently, and all the efforts feels meaningless.

There's a moment when Mamaw is watching a 90s movie, drinking soda and eating mints. Every single brand is precisely turned to the cameras to make people understand that the story is set at that specific time, and entire direction and production is like that. So didactic that hurts.

When Owen is in the car, at the phone with Usha, which was one of the few most interesting moments I could find during entire movie, I couldn't stop thinking that the movie should have started from there, and entire story being revealed during this phone talk while he travels.

Game Night

Great time
I must say that I didn't like some of its plot twists. So my piece of advice is: don't care about it, just enjoy, coz you gonna have a hell of a good time watching this action mystery flick.

The movie is entirely nonsense, and it doesn't hide it from the audience since the very first sequence. It's pure entertainment and also a homage to different modern cult classics.

McAdams and Bateman chemistry is amazing. One of those couples that no one would ever imagine that could work so well together. The same about the other supporting characters. And all of them aren't trying to give stand out performances but just enjoying the nonsense of it all.

The fast paced scenes and situations are over the top and that's the great fun of it, the wit dialogs and characters development too.

It's like a mix of Jumanji and Big Trouble in Little China, keeping the absurdity but ignoring the fantasy. Anyway, I don't remember watching anything like that before.

Just enjoy it!

Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer

From Basic Instinct to Gone Girl
For those who followed the media circus at that time, the 3 episodes mini series won't be a surprise as it was for me that don't remember anything at all of the case.

The story shows all the patterns of a psychopath behavior: isolation, lack of emotions and regret, extremely inteligence, narcissism, lying talent, violence starting with defenseless animals and progressing to humans, among other characteristics.

For those who are familiar to We Need To Talk About Kevin will get it all as a snap of fingers. These people that start showing these patterns so soon are kind of asking for help and attention. And no matter how much we talk about it the society still ignores the problem at the core.

People like him are different for biological matters and not because they are influenced by anything else. On the contrary, things around them motivate them to create a narrative for themselves that they are eager to find. So, by that, there's a big difference between influence and motivation, and we must get that before judging it by any other means.

It's not a movie or a book to be blamed. Anything can motivate a psychopath to bring colors to a world that he already lives.

I'm not defending the murderer at all, but when we analyze it from the distance without any prejudice it's not wrong to say that they are also victms. He is a victim of himself and of a mind that doesn't work as ordinary and as ordinary people could never imagine, and the documentary shows it the same way like the aforementioned book/movie also does.

The other very important thing that the documentary tell us all about is that we indeed feed people's distorted purposes in social media, and at the same time that internet is an amazing space, we can also be trapped into nightmares of narratives that we also seek and put ourselves into.

Yes, the result of it all is that the murderer succeeded. He got the attention and all the fame he did pursuit by his own means. And here we are again consuming it superficially instead of ignite our perception about society.

As an entertainment, the documentary succeeds as one of the most thrilling movies I've seen. The development and the story progression are built on a way that sometimes we forget that it's a real life narrative, creating disturbing sequences without showing explicit images that a lot of people around the globe consumed and still consumes, like the moment that the police chief describes visiting the crime scene for the first time. That moment for me was so dark and disturbing in a way that not even the best horror movie could do, because real life horror is much more obscure than fiction.

Life imitates arts and arts imitates life. A never ending circle, and that's why I remembered Gone Girl while watching the documentary, a book written by Gillian Flynn few years later that describes a similar psychopath mind that clearly was based on this real life story.

I'm impressed by it all, as a real life horror story and as a well developed documentary.

Little Women

Unexpected ending worth it all
It's tradition in Hollywood readapt Louisa May Alcott's classic time to time. But we had an overdose of it for the last three consecutive years.

Beginning in 2017, a three episodes mini series starring Emily Watson and lovely Maya Hawke was fairly adapted by Heidi Thomas and directed by Vanessa Caswill. In 2018 Claire Niederpruem failed badly to bring to current days the story for a TV movie starring Sarah Davenport and Lea Thompson. As if it wasn't enough, Greta Gerwig was probably approached to develop her own adaptation between both releases after 2017's directorial breakthrough and Academy Award nominated Lady Bird.

The approach was a very wise move by Sony's former chairwoman Amy Pascal and Sony itself to respectively produce and distribute the movie for three reasons that I personally believe. First because it was interesting for Sony to promote its brand under a female themed movie in a time where women are demanding more creative control and equalty, second because Greta is kind of an unnoficial face of this new gender equalty era of Hollywood, and third because it would be a great opportunity for Paschal to repolish a scratched image after 2015's email leaking scandal.

It's good to know - or at least believe - that Greta had total control of what she was wondering for the adaptation, as she stated that the book is so important not only for the american culture but also to herself. But at the same time oddly to believe that she was unnaware that Pascal's leaked emails made clear at that time that she, as a chairwoman of one of the major studios in Hollywood, was also supporting the gender inequalty disservice in the industry, among other issues.

Anyway, I understand that to achieve certain objectives sometimes we must pay bitter prices for it. And I don't disqualify Greta's work by that at any means. I just think that, as this kind of gender spokesperson that Greta naturally embraced, accepting work with Pascal is not necessarily what I expected and I felt the need to point that.

Lola Versus, Frances Ha and Mistress America were three movies that made me believe that Greta was building an amazing career as an actress and as a writer (the last two she co-wrote with her husband, Noah Baumbach).

And I wasn't wrong after all.

Her adaptation of Little Women is old and new at the same time. Unlike the 2017's TV movie, Greta didn't have to bring the story to the present to make it fresh. The mainly concepts of the story are there, the characters and their respectively personalities were maintained, only the story development suffered minor changes together with free dialog interpretations that added more depth to the social criticism that makes Alcott's classic survive throughout time.

Her direction is simple but targeted, she has a solid concept in her mind and does go for it, even if sometimes some scenes feel corny or cliched. Her freewill spirit is everywhere since the beginning, like when Jo is running happily thru the streets after getting some cash for her own work, the same way Greta does in Frances Ha for similar reasons.

The majority of the cast is great, but imo some of them feel misplaced. Chalamet never makes his character believable, not about lack of talent at all, but because he always seems too young for his role. Louis Garrel should have fit better, and James Norton should've fit better on Garrel's role. The same I think about Saorsie Ronan and Emma Watson, because Watson never gives the feeling that her character is the older one, which is important for the story for the fact that Meg is the 1st of them to feel the social consequences of getting older and still single.

For sure the best achievement of Greta is the amazing and unexpected ending she beautifully created. Trully a gem that will please even the most hardcore fans. That ending expresses a lot of that modern concept she was so eager about being respectful to the original source at the same time.

Trying not to make comparisons, but doing it anyway, I still prefer Gillian Armstrong's version because it is sublime in a lot of ways, being hard for me to now watch Little Women and avoid remembering Winona Ryder as Jo, Claire Danes as Beth, Kirsten Dunst as young Amy or Christian Bale as Laurie. The entire cast was such perfection! And Thomas Newman music is undoubtedly an unforgettable classic.

Greta did a respectful work for the current generation, and I did enjoy a lot. But for those ones that was graced by 1994's version, it's gonna be hard to replace such masterpiece in our memories.

The Witcher

Great show
Netflix is betting high on The Witcher, and probably assertively because the fans of the books and games are massive. For those ones who doesn't know neither, things can be a little confusing at first, but story development will fill those gaps slowly and satisfactory throughout the episodes and further seasons (the streaming service stated that 2nd season is already in production).

Here's an advice: the show is based on the books. So, if you are a fan of the games only, don't expect the story to follow the same chronology, development or facts that are presented there. The fewer things of the games that inspire the show are mostly visual because all the design concepts are very solid, and also because production wants to please the game fanbase too.

Either being a fan of the books or the games (or both), the first thing to notice is the important characters that cross Geralt's path. Some of them being regular ones, some of them just making guest appearances like easter eggs. For those unfamiliar to the original sources, pay attention to all of them, because every single one is very important to his development as a character and as pieces of the narrative in general. Also because some of them become important friends and allies of the lonely white wolf, making him not so lonely anymore as he always pertended to be.

Geralt's past is unknown, but don't worry about that, audience will have plenty of time to discover why his personality is so unique.

The basics about the character is that, as young man, he went thru a blood mutation, being trained physically and psychologically to become a witcher and hunt monsters and entities that cannot live among humans. And that's what he's been doing for generations until he finally meets princess Cirilla, a young orphan girl that, among every other ones, crosses his nomad path, but will be responsible to twist his destiny forever.

Even Henry Cavill being the most famous one, the others from this very unknown cast are not overshadowed by that. First because each one of them fits perfectly into their respective characters and also because all of them are strong enough to live by themselves in the story, having all of them opportunity to shine. Which means that they are very well written in the show as well as in the books.

It's so that way that even Geralt being the main character we almost never notice his absence or miss his presence when subplots emerge.

I never considered Cavill a great actor, but his commitment here is something I haven't seen before on his career. I never doubt that he could do it as some fans of the character did, but I also never expected he would fit so well as he does. His commitment is solid like Matt Damon as Jason Bourne or Keanu Reeves as John Wick, travelling well trhu the nuances of the character and also delivering great demanding action scenes. And by that, don't expect just an actor posing with a sword swinging it like any kid role playing around. The fighting scenes are one of the best choreographed ones I've seen in the last couple years, mixing sword fighting techniques and calculated movements when character is casting spells, giving brutal and organic feelings at the same time. The visual effects and editing aren't overused during those scenes, which is a relief, bringing realism to a fantasy that could easily feel clumsy or artificial as usually happens on themed shows like this.

The only thing that bothers me a little is that Cavill should be more contained about character's feelings and emotions, because witchers don't have emotions, as it's said by some characters during episodes. They lose them during the mutation process so they can handle all different situations rationally and not emotionally. The emotions exist in their concious, but it never takes over physically. It's a very complex situation that sometimes Cavill quite doesn't do as it should sometimes. It's something that the games do better I must say, making Geralt a very funny character with all that poker face and unfitted social behavior. For example, in the games he does jokes and understands them too, but his apathetic behave makes people often mistake as if he's being rude or provocative, so he always have to explain it all the time. But that's ok, otherwise I think that audience wouldn't get it and mistake the character's personality with lack of actor's talent, which wouldn't be the case. Also, that constant moaning shouldn't be overused as it comes to be after 3rd episode. It's part of the character, but feels annoying when used all the time.

But those are just personal observations, the show in a whole is promissing. Story and characters are so rich that the show has more than enough material to last for seasons.

This first season works as a presentation of this dark phantasy universe. By each episode beginning with a particular one, followed by a single symbol opening its chapter, culminating to a last episode that finally completes its title opening, meaning that entire story finally reached a common storyline. The non linear story is very important to audience notice what was said above, that no matter which way it goes, Geralt's destiny, as well as about other characters, will always be linked to each other someway. So, I hope writers keep it linear for 2nd seasons, developing story, dramatic arcs and character's background more consistently.

Avengers: Endgame

There's a moment in one of Scream franchise openings that a girl makes a comment about the Stab franchise (the movie series within the movie). She says that even Stab series used time traveling because that's what they do when there's nothing else to tell.

Funny enough, some of the Avengers makes a quite similar observation when Ant Man comes with this cliche idea. That was exactly the moment that I did remember that quote from Scream. And I couldn't expect anything different from that on.

Infinity War was an amazing movie, first because it gave us all the feeling that heroes can fall, and villains can be more than just bad guys without purpose.

Thanos is a villain because he was created that way, but his vision about the world and universe are unique and makes sense in his mind. When he snap his fingers and random people start disappearing, Infinity War made its point.

At first, Infinity War was to be a movie divided in two parts, and the second part being the consequences and resolutions about the world after Thanos. A new era was about to be born, but suddenly it was stated that the 4th movie wouldn't be that way anymore.

After finally watching Endgame, the reasons for that changes are very clear to me.

First thing is that most of the fans couldn't stand the fact that some heroes have died, so writers had to think about a differet resolution to please them. Second is that Marvel failed to use it as an element of surprise to Endgame.

What we see during 3 hours is an empty movie struggling to keep the pace of an entire cinematic universe created throughout a decade.

As a whole, Endgame is only a redone version of Infinity War, and not exactly a follow up as it might seems. The consequences and resolutions are redundant when compared to the tragic ending of previous one. And yes, the time travelling plot was nothing else but a comfort zone to retell a story in a simpler way for the sake of a true ending.

So, the clueless girl from Scream was right.

Endgame had much more to tell than the way it was done. The plot development could have had dozen of different paths, and each one would have been much more interesting and still satisfying.

I really don't understand how this movie became the biggest box office in history, because together with Age Of Ultron, is the weakest movie of the entire saga and entire MCU.

The Movies That Made Us

The reason why behind the scenes facts have so much to tell about a movie
I always loved to know the history behind the scenes of movies that I watch. Sometimes I spend hours reading trivia sections and also searchin other references on the web. Audience sometimes must know the facts behind a movie to fully understand their concepts, because sometimes there're more about it than some movie hours can tell.

Yeah, there are a lot of movies that made us, more than the 4 choosen for the 1sr season of the Netflix original, a spinoff of the also great Toys That Made Us.

But the thing about these movies aren't exactly just the fact they were box office hits, or movies that survived thru time and became strong references of the genre each one represents, but the behind the scenes facts that most people doesn't know and how these productions were this close to never been made, or not be made exactly as it should.

For me, the highlight of this 1st season definitely is Dirty Dancing. If you already took time reading its trivia and curiosities, you'll already know most of its behind the scene facts, but it's very interesting get to know all of it again from the ones that lived it for real. I only missed Jennifer Grey, but she talked so much about the movie over the years (and still does) that her absence is understandable at some point. But either way, she could be there.

Home Alone's behind the scene facts are also very interesting. For those ones who always believed that the movie was ordered by studios bosses to exploit younger audience, will be surprised to know that, for sure, the producers idea was to make it a big hit, but studios never believed that it could make it the way it did.

Like is well said, sometimes we must believe that there are movie gods somewhere to make great ideas in the industry happen. That's why Dirty Dancing is, for me, the best example of it. A movie that all the odds were against it, but in the end everything happened the way it should, all the production gaps were filled flawless by the passion of each one involved and they did made it one of the greatest movies of all times.


Shyamalan desperately needs help
This movie is so frustrating and disappointing that is sad.

Shyamalan stated that Glass is the final part of a trilogy imagined after some concepts for Unbreakable have had to be put aside. And conflicts between studios and lack of positive ratings regarding his movies after that postponed the idea indefinitely.

He also defines Glass as the first real adult superhero movie to hit theaters since the raise of popularity of this genre, but he's completely wrong about it. First because the fantastic elements he uses and his original concepts about the story itself doesn't lead neither story or characters to a mature appeal. Logan, for example, uses basically the same tragic elements, but James Mangold succeds when distancing the story from the universe it is set, creating a parallel one that works effectively with a consistent plot, action sequences, valuable drama elements and pinches of metacriticism about how far heroes can go in the genre itself. And even though Shyamalan tries hard to develop similar issues, he never achieves a higher level.

The thing is that problems start when Shyamalan oversaturates the story with unecessary things. A recurring problem on his writing already pinned not only by critics, but also by audience in general.

Split is interesting until audience feels completely lost between Kevin's 9 different personalities, questioning the true relevance of that, also getting to know later that there are a dozen more the movie hadn't time to show. Because, you know, 3 or 4 wouldn't be enough.

Instead of beying a movie to extend McAvoy's talent, in fact was a particular freak show. Not that McAvoy wasn't able to handle it by his own merits, but because Shyamalan's overuse of fantastic elements overshadowed every single element that could make the movie a relevant back to form to a director's career filled with bad choices over the years.

Now, once again, the story is interesting, and the plot was promissing after the cliffhanger ending of last movie, but the whole process was underdone. For a trilogy that he stated to be developing for over a decade, the feeling is that he made up everything in the last minute.

First of all, screenplay never develops a dramatic arc effectively. It's always bland and superficial. No consistent conflicts, no relevant dialogs. There's no compelling narrative at all. Just a bunch of characters imprisioned, trapped on their own flashbacks over and over to remember audience who they are instead of put their very own abilities to test and how that could impact within a whole system for real, and not just theoretically as screeplay does.

Characters are arrested by someone that wants to convince them all the time that they are a product of their own mind, and also an effortless disservice when trying to convince us that what we've seen so far on previous movies was just a delusion. And entire movie keeps the same tone until the final act. What a waste.

The acting also reflects director's inability to convice them to take their individual roles seriously. Willis seems to be just doing a favor to an old friend in need; Jackson's "is-but-isn't-there" situation is like a bad joke; Paulson is just doing her job, no hard commitment; Anya Taylor-Joy... I don't even know why her character is back, maybe just to say: "Hey, everyone! I have Stockholm Syndrome and I'm proud of it!".

Shyamalan wasn't satisfied to split his character into twenty-F-something personalities. He was so unsatisfied to a point that - and I don't know how he managed that - he also succeeds splitting those ones that already exists. When Beast has his redeeming moment after some truths come to surface was like there wasn't any more cards to play, so Shyamalan just turned the table upside down. The plot twist was so predictable that, if that was supposed to be tragic, well, it fails badly.

And that Shyamalan's traditional way to uncover the true-truth is so overdone that is outrageous.

And I will end this with a special comment about the "incredible" one responsible for that monstrosity on Charlayne Woodard's face that anyone should dare call it a make up.

Hopefully this small universe Shyamalan created in the last minute didn't last longer than a couple hours.

Long Shot

Yeah, this is a different romcom from those ones we are used to watch.

We get that most romcoms have something strange and abusive for the moment Seth Rogen's character asks if Charlize's wants him to be her Marilyn Monroe.

That question is crucial to understand a lot, mainly how women are truly positioned as the ones that always have to accept the worst offers and the worst consolation prizes to achieve happiness, romantic or professional objectives. Not only that, women are usually portrayed in movies (specially romcoms) as the ones that always have to be open for men's decision, never the contrary. And thankfully, Charlize's character doesn't fall on that trap easily.

And we must watch the movie from that perspective too, so we can understand for how many decades women have been told what to do.

Charlotte is not Fred's wardrobe ornament, that one he can pick up and use whenever he wants. And even if screenplay wants to reverse some classic romcoms rules, Fred isn't treated like that as well, making it clear that feminism doesn't mean that men need to face the same issues that women face everyday, instead, means that decisions in life fits well for both sides.n

The dialogs are funny, and the chemistry between Theron and Rogen is the highlight. I like both. I'm a huge fan of Theron's work. And even though I like Rogen's free will and improv skills, I think that he should just turn his volume down a little bit sometimes. He's always yelling, always overacting and overreacting on camera. There are scenes between he and Theron that I asked myself why he was yelling so much or overusing physical comedy, shaking and raising his arms everywhere, when there was only the two of them in the scene. Moments that made his character pretty annoying instead of charismatic.

"Oh, that's his comedian style". Give me a break about that. He acts like a clown most of the times because it's the easiest way for him, a secure zone that we know he can step out, doing things differently and at the same time still funny. Watch Take This Waltz and you'll what I mean.

There are some sequences that really messed with this new romcom experience, although does not impact negatively in a whole. Like the moment they are attacked and the pre-credit scene (that one between the end and the final credits). The pre-credit scene can be funny, but does not fit in the movie as a whole because Fred is acting stupidly and Charlotte's condescension over his behavior doesn't fit to the character at all.

Anyway, a pretty decent and funny romcom, full of honest moments delivered by a great cast (main and supporting). A breath of fresh air in a genre that always have something more to tell, but industry's always afraid to explore and break some traditions that doesn't fit anymore in our reality.

Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist

Best adaptation so far. Really!
When we talk about Street Fighter live adaptations it's almost impossible not cringe. The opinions unanimously travel from laughable to awful.

The reasons for that are obvious. The game is a fantasy driven fighting genre. Stereotyped characters, over the top vilains, lack of story and characters development. All elements that together may not be important for a fighting game, but doesn't make a live adaptation consistent enough.

Some fans dare to say that Street Fighter games has a story, and the same about each character. Well, in fact the game never had a story, neither its characters. What the game had was a brief information about each one, the necessary to give them reasons to be in the tournment and to give players reasons to have a personal interest for a specific character. And that's all.

Of course that, as the game series evolved, the same happened to its story and characters. Either way, all the fantasy surrounding its universe can make live adaptations dread easily.

But Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist is a special case among live adaptations of the game. Curiously the cheap production is never a reason to call it a bad adaptation. The poor costume design and make up incredibly never overshadows other qualities too.

When I pressed the play button on Amazon Prime, I did it because I was sure that I would fall asleep easily. I had in my head that no way that production would caught my attention. And I was wrong about it.

Yeah, at the very begging, when sansei screams the attack movement, I laughed out loud and I though: the horror show begins.

At first I couldn't stop looking at that awful wig on Christian Howard's head, or some bad acting between them, no matter how much they wanted to make it right. The colors of Ken and Ryu's gloves were so cartoon-ished that looked like being made of paper.

But then the story was revealing itself, developing each character as it should. Filling gaps and showing some consistency. The relationship between Ken and Ryu was exactly how fans created during the decades, and the same about their personality.

I don't know if Christian Howard is a fan of the games, because he knew exactly what he was doing on screenplay. The self centered and well educated Ryu; the impatient and arrogant Ken; the friendship filled with pinches of an unharmy rivalry. Both characters building the same path but by different means, giving reasons to understand why their fighting styles are the same and their strength are equivalent, more than believe that game producers did that only to reuse game's special effects sprites. Something that no adaptation have done properly until then.

The great surprise about it all was the fighting scenes. No stunt actors, no editing tricks abuse. Most of the fighting scenes were real movements from different martial arts, even the classic air kick given by Christian in the 1st fighting scene was real and felt incredible on the camera. It was just about muscles and techniques exposed, well crafted choreographed fights, some of them with real body impacts.

Really, the internet mini-series turned into a 2 hours movie is the best live adaptation of the game that no big studio dared to make. Don't pay attention to its cheap look or lack of art design, what you need to be entertained on a way that few fighting movies do are there.

Impressive, and congratulations to Christian Howard for the incredible consistence he gave to the story and characters with so few on his hand.


Give It A Try
Greta is a lonely old woman, and Frances is a young woman that lost her mother a year ago. The younger one has problems with her father because he's moved on with his life after his wife's death, and she stills struggling to accept both situations.

For that reason, Frances now lives with her wealthy friend, and one day a purse crosses her path. She looks after the owner, and suddenly a simple visit to deliver the forgotten purse to the unknown Greta Hildeg becomes what she believed to be an honest friendship.

Despite some obvious cliches of the genre, the movie isn't that bad as some user's review might say.

The good thing about the screenplay is that even if its slow pace may not please some people, on the other hand the truth doesn't take too long to unfold and so some plot twists. There are some subplot holes that may come to surface for those ones who cares too much about everything, but the tension between the two main characters is what really holds attention and also some classic techniques Neil Jordan uses to construct the thrilling atmosphere.

For sure they try to keep Greta's past as mysterious as it should and that's what is probably the most frustrating thing about the screenplay because when the final credits appears her truth is still blurry and never explained to fulfill psychological gaps, which makes the psychological side of this thriller falls apart becoming an ordinary genre movie.

Isabelle Hupert and Cloe Grace deliver solid performances, and is finally good to see a movie that a victim isn't treated as an insane person that is only imagining things while the psychopath one is never put on doubt until the last minute. I like that.

Until second half of the movie Frances does right decisions, but after that writers puts her on absurd situations to pull the plot back and force conflicts to a higher level leading to the final clash they so desperate want people to expect. Yeah, Neil Jordan and Ray Right should have done differently.

But anyway, the movie can be entertaining and surprisingly for some moments and better than a lot of titles out there that tries the same awfully.

In the Tall Grass

Intentions Are Good, But Fails...
When we think about Vincenzo Natali, we think about Cube. When we think about Cube we expect that Vincenzo would be the perfect one to direct and adapt In The Tall Grass coz the feeling that the characters are trapped forever in a loop is the same. So, the deja vu is pretty clear and obvious.

Vincenzo would have been still the perfect one, but the problem about this production is that it probably takes the metaphors not too seriouly to a point that audience never gets the references because, like the characters, they get trapped in a loop of trying to understand things and solve mysteries that are pretty unimportant at first.

For those who are already familiar to Stephen King's writing will know that religion, faith, mental and physical violence, family concepts and social issues regarding those references are the base of most of his creative process, bringing them to life as disturbing fantasy and horrifying icons.

The church is there to represent heaven, the field of tall grass the purgatory, and the characters the sinners that get far away from their faith as deeper they dive in the grass, while they must discover by themselves what could finally bring them to a spiritual freedom. That's the basics, and the nuances lies among those major metaphors.

The problem is that the movie never creates an honest dialog with the audience to make references clear. It tries hard to make it a tortuous gore flick instead. Vicenzo is too worried to impress the audience with horror elements instead of creating a relevant journey to a self redeeming conscious.

The screenplay gets lost in itself like the characters in the grass. The icons, the metaphors and allegories are there all the time, but we never feel them and neither get connected to them.

That's a shame because 1922, also based on a King's novel and also filled with the same elements, does it amazingly well. The director's intentions were good, but he loses the connection when he forgets that Stephen King is much more subtle and delicate constructing an entire ecosystem on his writing than Vincenzo does on the screen. And the most important thing, King always create a dialog with his readers.

Tales of the City

Not the same show I fell in love
I was curious about the new Tales Of The City.

I never read the books, but I do know Maupin's intentions with them, and how important the book series became to pop culture as a social registry about San Francisco since middle 70's, which also reflects much of other societies and LGBT communities around the world.

The very 1st season is simply amazing. The references of that time, the sexual liberation, and the shock of different cultures and sexualities were all within loveable characters. Really, what did cach my attention was that none of the characters was unpleasant. Yeah, except very specific antagonists, necessary for plot twists and mysteries solving.

The main character, Mary Ann, is just that kind of character that everyone feels related somehow, because she represents the conflicts between different social cultures and how maturity knocks at our doors in some point of our lives. You open it, or you keep it locked. Is totally up to you how you expect to face reality, and Mary Ann simply wide opened it beautifully. And beautifully is how Laura Liney developed the character as well.

Other Tales and Further Tales, both tried to keep the same pace of the original, and kind of did it nicely and respectfully even with recurring production problems about cast members and years that separate one season from another.

But I must tell that, after watching the first 3 seasons, the new Tales are very disappointing in a lot of ways.

First of all is that Mary Ann became a kind of character that I could never expect. After so many positive changes, pursuing real reasons to be a better person and dreaming about a meaningful life, she comes back to San Francisco after 20 years being everything she tried not to be for so long. Now everyone is bashing her selfishness, claiming all the time that she "runs away from everything, as always". That is awful. Seems that she's a completely different character, because it doesn't make any sense. The character's transition from the naive and conservative Cleveland girl to a brave open minded young woman was very authentic and believable through the years. And if there's something Mary Ann never was (at least in the show) was selfish or coward. She's now unpleasent, unfunny, yelling all the time, someone that no one is comfortable being around, when she was completely the opposite. Yeah, 20 years make a hell of change in someone's life, but the way writers did were unfair to the character. Maybe the books have a better development for that (I don't even know if they do), but in the show it makes no sense at all. From a loveable character that Mary Ann was, now she's there just to push the humor to cringe moments, or the drama to a constant and superficial self pity.

Characters in a whole have no more that sweet honesty, or that heartwarming presence. There are no enjoyable dialogs about life and ordinary things like past seasons did, and characters are thrown randomly to the scenes for the sake of representativeness more than their real relevance to the story. Also, the way the show changed the personality of some of them, as already mentioned, created lame conflicts to put it into a modern pattern. Also, it's not necessary show mobile apps all the time to the camera just to state that the story is happening in a modern and connected society. I never understand the relevance of that. We've been there from over a decade now, and when writers try to bring relevance to that, it just feels they are treating audience as primitive people that finally discovered the fire. Really?

Yeah, entire Tales TV show was like a soap opera, but this time looks like a very bad one, and all that enlightening humanity is gone.

The most annoying thing for me is Ellen Page. I read a lot of people claiming that her character in the books is completely the opposite of the performance she delivers. True or not, her performance is painful. I would not only blame the writing and direction, but mostly Page herself. As another one noticed, she is locked in a self character forever. Really, she's always making clear that she doesn't even try, as an actress, to deliver something slightly different from what she did before. Her presence is always unexpressive, like she is deceiving the audience all the time, making it clear that she doesn't care about the kind of performance people expect from her. Pick Umbrella Academy and Tales, she is exactly the same in both shows, even the shirts and caps. Maybe she filmed both in same days just to avoid changing clothes.

Wardrobe would never be a problem if her performance was different one from another, I must say. Which is not the case.

The original series is considered the first show to talk openly about social diversity in a decade when TV was affraid to approach those issues in a very positive and natural way as the show did. It was something new and controversial for that time, which is not today. Diversity is all over the place now, and Tales could feel a little outdated if they maintained the same structure of the past, but at the same time wouldn't be bad at all keep its roots. Showrunners lead the show to a different path to make it feel relevant and connected to new and younger audiences, while original characters feel misplaced, doing ordinary actions only to reinforce some strong ageisms. Yeah, Tales doesn't seem the same anymore. The name is there, but all the character and atmosphere is gone.

Dark Phoenix

I went to the theater expecting the worst. It's now public known that production had problems, and here are some of them: It all began with X-Men rights coming back to Marvel/Disney in the meantime production started, forcing the story to be rewritten as a closure to X-Men/Fox era before mutants migrate to Marvel Cinematic Universe, instead of making it the 1st part of a new series, as it respectfully should've be; then, Kimberg's debut as a director, a bad choice for for him and for the franchise; Also (rumor or fact) dailies were disastrous, as some insiders stated during filming. Reshots, postponed release, and actors reprising their roles for the sake of their long term contracts.

Every single thing was telling us what was to come since the beginning.

The result isn't that bad as I expected, but it's very far from good or, at least, acceptable. It's not the worst movie of the franchise (Apocalypse still holds that title, imo), but it trully makes The Last Stand respectful when compared, as someone stated.

So Dark Phoenix, in a whole, is an inert product. Disposable in essence, that lives in a limbo between disinterest and lack of commitment.

The main problem of the movie isn't the movie itself, but the consistent changes that entire X-Men universe suffered on each new installment since the 1st movie, coming to an unbearable situation where chronology mistakes and character misinterpretation stopped being incidents to become part of its self destruction. Days Of Future Past did a good job trying to correct some of those, but it was totally ignored after that, leading the franchise to a predicted dead end.

Storyline was OK until Jean takes that cosmic energy bath. Supposing it was Phoenix energy, what was Apocalypse ending all about? Phoenix already lived inside her, it's not a power that can be consumed or transfered. Also, when she loses herself and characters react like Jean Grey was only bad behaving was like throwing away entire X-Men existence as a unity. Turning themselves against each other without consistent purposes was an awful plot development.

In the comics the conflicts between mutants emerges beyond their own differences when Phoenix entity finally reveals itself and basically split them in two opposite groups: those ones that believe Phoenix must be stopped even at the cost of Jean's life, and those who believe that it can be contained/controlled. X-Men decides to stand for Jean's side until the end for the reason already mentioned, and that Kimberg forgets completely until the last 30 minutes: they are a unit. That's when The Last Stand get kuddos, because that conflict, as it is, was preserved.

The story development is poor, and the aliens are there just to give an easy twist on everyone's behavior.

Particularly I think that Sophie Turner did a better job now than Apocalypse, but Kimberg definitely was more worried about closed 3rd person shots and dollying than on what the cast could offer. For that reason, seems that Turner sometimes doesn't know what she is doing. Most of the cast has no order of appearance or importance at all, some simply disappearing throughout storyline, and Lawrence appearences are only to fill innocuous scenes in a monstrosity called make up. Really, her make up gets worse and worse each new movie. There's a moment that a girl is holding her doll. Both Lawrence and doll were the same, but in the worst way. Lawrence was like dressed as evil Polly for the Halloween. That's why we must thank Rebecca Romjin and make up artists of the original trilogy every single day of our lives.

What Jessica Chastain is doing there is also a mistery. What she did any other support could have done and would have make no difference at all.

A movie that steps to nowhere. Something that we surely could have lived without.

Some X-Men sagas and vilains cannot be adapted for 2 hours. Dark Phoenix saga and Apocalipse are examples. Apocalypse was supposed to be for X-Men franchise what Thanos is for The Avengers. And Phoenix/Dark Phoenix Saga is not a problem to be solved by half dozen mutants. Phoenix is an entity observed by different civilizations across the universe. Make it so small and unimportant as Kimberg and Fox did is disrespectful for entire Marvel and Stan Lee legacy.

At least the 90's animated series did a fantastic adaptation of Phoenix/Dark Phoenix Saga. An adaptation that was so perfect that was pretty much ready to be live adapted, and seems that they never gave it a glance.

A shame.


Great potentials...
When I watched Hanna (2011), the first thing I thought was: I would love to see her again 10 years later.

There was something about its brutality that was somehow comforting, maybe because director Joe Wright did dare to mix elements from childhood and adulthood perfectly to develop a story that lives in a complex between. He balanced things in a way to make audience feel like the character, confused about someone so young having to be cruel to survive amongst the cruelty of others. Wright did an incredible job that most people forgot, or did not care about at that time.

Now I somehow see my wishes come true. I'm not seeing Hanna 10 years older, but I will be able to see more.

Yeah, we can make some fair comparisons to the movie. First about the cast. The cast here do an amazing job the same way Ronan, Blanchett and Bana did in the movie. Sometimes I think that Mireille Enos explores Marissa deeper than Blanchett did, and sometimes Esme Creed-Miles brings to the surface a sweetness that Ronan could not explore in the movie too much because the pace of the story was different and its development was darker. Of course that I prefer Eric Bana, but Altered Carbon's Joel Kinnaman does a fair job to the character too.

There's drama, there's action. Sometimes a spy thriller, sometimes a heist-ish atmosphere. The pace is good, intense and able to maintain audience interested and expecting more.

The first problem I see is that they rushed some themes and subplots that wasn't that necessary too early, like when Hanna meets a girl and suddenly both are like long time BFFs. That should have happened in a similar way as happened with the first boy she meets, one step at time, carefully and slowly till both girls finally trust each other. In an eight episode show, that could have been possible.

Also, it's hard to believe that in a 21st century show an elite squad using heavy weaponry and submachine guns let their main target escape in a car without a scratch or a bullet hole, and just one person backing up and facing the entire squad with a pistol. I mean... Really?!

These small things makes all the efforts to make the show a top notch drama fails to an outrageous absurd at times. And the storyline, as some has already said, waste too much time on redundant and superficial drama, when the plot has much more to offer.

Kudos for the cast, but not so much for the writing that sometimes seems corny and below the avarage, trying to offer impact dialogs all the time, but not always achieving the objective.

The way they tried to develop the past of Erik and Hanna's mother wasn't as good as it should, but instead looked like an ordinary soap opera that doesn't justify too much either. The episode that Johanna asks Erik to undo what she's done was a complete disaster, very bad directed and acted.

But the show, in a whole, has a lot to offer in the future, but the production should push it more to the limits as the characters and the main plot deserves, and as the original 2 hour movie does brilliantly.

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