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The Hateful Eight (2015)
Average in a sea of spectacular Tarantino films.
It seemed like Tarantino movies were on the course to the stratosphere. His new movies out performed his already amazing previous movies in creative and brilliant ways. I walked out of Django Unchained saying to myself, it's a treat to be alive as we witness Tarantino continue to do what only he can do. As you can imagine, my expectations were at their all time high for The Hateful Eight.
In my opinion, this movie was missing Tarantino's signature. The dialogue, plot, and acting performances were all missing a level of his style of cleverness. Cleverness is replaced with explainable logic and reason due to previous events in the back-story. Nothing seemed to happen that was not expected. There was no character development, no clear protagonist or antagonist, and no character to identify with or particularly like. The story seemed to unfold mostly in one afternoon, on a mere few dots on a map.
Did I miss something? Maybe I was too distracted by the details and didn't get the social commentary, overall message, or the new frontiers reached in cinematography.
Indiana Jones and the something something of the Cyrstal Skull
From the first 15 minutes of the movie, it was so over the top cheesy, I expected to hear "cut" because any minute now, the lens would zoom out to reveal that Indiana Jones was doing movies because his fictional character had become famous. No, it wasn't going to be the case.
And then for the next 15 minutes we are back in Fast Times in Ridgemont high in the 50's where Lucus is just doing his *thing*. The movie just continues on developing from a 50's diner. Something different I suppose. I am still giving the movie a benefit of doubt that it'll get better.
For a moment when Indiana gets sent off on a rocket with wheels, I really thought Indiana was gonna travel through time. Did they really use the same prop from the movie "Timecop" with Jean Claude Van Damn? I know its supposed to resemble rocket testing equipment, but all I can think of was Timecop and traveling through time. Timetravel and Indiana Jones definitely could happen the way the movie was heading. Still hoping that things will get better...
Then came the refrigerator scene...ask me to think about something unbelievable in a movie...and the closest thing to it might be that movie where they increase the size of a sharks brain and it becomes super smart. But really, that could maybe happen if you're really really looking to stretch. The refrigerator scene in Indiana Jones 4, no. Never in a million years. Terrible. When Indiana Jones gets out of the refrigerator, someone in the audience yelled, "yeah right". Which was what everyone was thinking. I think an explative in the tune of "what the heck?" would have worked just the same on the crowd.
There was this overhead shot of this cemetery scene that is so obvious that its shot from a miniature...I really wonder why they didn't decide to redo it...add a filter...add some CGI. Do "something else". And maybe I realize its Lucus again trying to go back to the golden era of where miniatures was the hot new way to shoot. And he goes as far as to make it look extra *miniatury* so that people don't miss that its being shot at an miniature set. Lucus might have thought it was cool, but it literally just killed the movie. If a boom mic hit Indiana Jones on the head and they just kept rolling, it wouldn't have made a difference anymore. From this moment on, I am done making excuses for the movie and it felt like I was stuck watching a bad play.
Movies are good when you get lost in the story and in the character's reality. And it should never break the reality the characters are in. You should never be reminded that you are watching a movie. But it was done many many times, and sometimes on purpose. Because I know if my friends and I can easily spot when something should be re-shot, a professional would have realized that it needed to be redone.
Probably the movie wasn't too bad, but I expected A LOT more from Lucus and Spielberg. Or maybe it was really this bad, and if it wasn't a movie about a hero everyone loved directed and written by Speilber and Lucas of all people (and watching with friends), I might have considered walking out. It was across the board bad. The story was poor (pick a story about something that is not associated with a phony legend, and put some witty/smart/good humor that is the magical formula in the Indiana Jones movies). The props were poor (miniature set sucked, don't borrow from Timecop). And directing was poor (a lot needed to be re-shot and reprocessed, the acting was over the top, think Frau Farbisna of Austin Powers....about the same level of over-the-topness.). They have no excuse. Why do they do this to their loyal fans? I like complete collections, but I wouldn't add this movie to my collection just because its part of the Indiana Jones series.
I wanted to more than like it. I wanted to love it. I wanted it to have some scenes that would randomly pop into my head (months and years after I've watched the movie) when I'm driving in my car, so it can tickle my funny-bone and lift me up. I want to be able to reference the lines like "No Ticket!" when I accidentally kick someone out of the car. Or say "I'm sorry son...They got us" when I accidentally destroy a part of the vehicle we're using in a team race. It would be hysterical because everyone would understand the reference. The Indiana Jones movies 1-3 had that. This one does not. There should be scenes where things are funnier when its left unsaid but everyone understands the reference. In this movie they seem to say it just in case we missed the joke. (knife to a gunfight. falling down the waterfall scene). Instead of Indiana saying, "Sorry kid, but it looks like you brought a knife to a gun fight." It is funnier if he would have said something to the tune of, "We all know how this is gonna turn out." with a smirk. Its not that hard to fix these problems, but they made no attempts.
The hat scene at the very end of the movie is a good analogy. The hat falls off the coat hanger, and lands at the feet of the guy the guy that could follow in Jones' footsteps. As he's about to put it on his head, he doesn't get to. As if Harrison were saying, "We tried to pass the torch, but after the end result of this movie, we've all realized there probably isn't going to be a sequel. I'm keeping my hat to keep whatever's left of my (and the series) dignity. Sorry but we tried."
Kangaroo Jack (2003)
This movie deserve better
I doubt most of the near 700 people that voted 1/10 on this movie obviously haven't seen this movie. A movie with a talking kangaroo, deserves a 1 right? Well, the kangaroo doesn't talk. And the plot is just as good as most action movies, which doesn't really mean much. I'm just saying this movie deserves better than a 2.7. I would say this movie is between a 5 and a 6. If you take out most of the bogus votes for 1, thats what the rating would actually be.
The biggest mistake they made was making it seem like the kangaroo talked during the movie. But the kangaroo talking is actually just part of a hallucination sequence. But when everyone saw the kangaroo talking in the trailer, everyone was just stupified how ridiculous the movie seemed. This should be a lesson for people making trailers thats for sure.
Mission: Impossible (1996)
I think the only problem with this movie was that the plot was too advanced for a one time viewing. What made it more complicating were the names that they used. But if you watch the movie a couple of times, you will discover that there is a good strong plot, and that there are no missing holes in the story. Everyone seems to say that this movie has no plot or doesn't make sense even though everything else about it makes sense. After you understand the plot, the movie will be so much better.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Something Different? Something real.
This was a change of pace from every other movie that has come out this summer. I went in to see a lot of action, then found a movie with historical backgrounds and moral issues of war. I heard how violent this movie was, but I was still caught off guard. I think this was the most violent movie I've ever seen. All in all, the movie was excellent. You might want to stay away from the hot dog while viewing this movie.
Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
Just another Lethal Weapon?
This movie makes a great addition to the Lethal Weapon series. I was having doubts about the movie going in, because hardly any movie after the third passes it's prime. But not this movie. I would go see the next one if they decide to make it.
There's Something About Mary (1998)
To be honest, I was expecting too much from this movie going in. I had heard too many comments on how this is the funniest movie ever, and great it is. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much. I would recommend this movie to anyone.