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Alien: Covenant (2017)
break out the kitty litter
If you are able to see past the slapstick, the lapse in judgment, the trite, conceited moments - _especially_ in how Shelley-Byron is somehow used to make the viewer see how intelligently everything is when cast in a British-English accent - there's actually a lot of fun here.
With "a lot of", I mean two things:
1. James Franco turning into KFC near-immediately after the film started, which was A LOT of fun 2. the Alien scuttling about like a cat on fire
So, there was more alien-on-human touchiness than there was in "Prometheus", and although I'm sure there was a lot more processing power here than in all of the LOTR films together, the first made Alien films churned out more scariness per minute than this one. And that alien was practically made out of a cardboard box! And was seen about three times during the entire freaking run!
The android stuff was utterly predictable, and you don't need the combined powers of Google, Apple, and Microsoft to calculate that. DREADFUL. It's Philosophy 101 but crude in the extreme; like seeing Matt Damon's character in "Good Will Hunting" marring the college dude while getting the girl's number - oh, I'm so intelligent, look at me.
What about that murder-in-the-shower scene? Oh god. Where's Freddy and Jason when we need them? Didn't they make a film with both of them already, and Predator? Wait...
To me, the best bit about this film is the part where Fassbender raises his arms to the newly-born alien, which in turn also raises its arms.
Thank Bog for a lot of money and very little to show for it.
Can anybody allow Ridley Scott to make the next alien flick for a maximum of 1000 USD? That way they may have to be creative and get back to using brains to think this ish through before it's somersaulted against the public.
T2 Trainspotting (2017)
Carlyle sparkles, film's too much of a bad caricature of itself
This is more a film, I think, which is about aging and repeating your past than anything else. Sure, the characters are older, but I cringe a lot as Boyle has chosen to have them repeat some of their "fave lines" from the first film, 21 years later, for no apparent reason.
The slow parts move best, for example, where Renton visits his father, despite that one being sappy. The "new girl", basically a Renton, doesn't bring much to the table.
However, Robbie Carlyle steals the show; where Ewen Bremner's "Spud" previously did, by being a comedic maestro with his movements and druggy cadence, he is now converted into a caricature of himself - and yes, I am aware that druggies who have been on dope for more than two decades tend to turn into caricatures in more ways than one - while Begbie offers more. A lot more.
Carlyle's acting is so strong that even Begbie's most obvious characteristics - e.g. as displayed where his son stands up against him by wanting to go to college to learn hotel management instead of joining his dad in a life of crime - turn interesting. He's a tour de force.
Still, while this film is interesting and entertaining, it is too much of a parody of itself to become a truly interesting introspective. And the plot turn at the end was really a bit too tell-tale and boring to me.
Abhorrent and self-indulgent pap in the extreme of what is even INtolerable
A car crash where your newborn child dies would be a less hurtful experience than watching this film. I'm kidding, but there is some truth lodged in that statement.
This film is very "inspired" by "The Devil Wears Prada". By this I mean Nutley and his writer cohorts have concocted a story about an abhorrent person - played by Bergström, despite many doubts on my site as to what "playing" could be, according to herself - who starts ingesting a medicine that seems to change her life.
Naturally, this medicine is a sugar pill.
The medicine is also the only thing which is sweet about this film.
The script is so poorly written that any, and I repeat, _any_ breathing thing - or dead - could easily excrete something which would improve and best this depressing piece of scatological experience, which all should avoid at all costs.
Actually, I could go on forever about how bad everything from the direction to casting, acting, the soundtrack and segues are, but I will not. I refuse to.
This is on par with Nutley-Bergström's "Angel", which also marked a new milestone in the string of eulogies to Swedish cinema that seems to be their goal.
I'm angry to know the couple seem to use films as an excuse to a) go abroad and senselessly film scenes that have none or very little function for a film and b) have Bergström cry and copulate.
Don't see this, even for "fun", which was why I saw it. I will never, ever see this film again, and I hope Bergström-Nutley never, ever make another film, write one nor act in one for the sake of humanity.
I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016)
Poor, some good acting but still memorable
This film is succinctly different from most others that are about serial killers in the sense that it's using silence and music well. Apart from that, this is a b-movie in several ways: apart from the two main actors, there's not much to use. The plot is quite simple, but at times I - a serial killer fan, so to speak - drifted away because the film didn't entice me more; the flow of the film feels contrived, making me feeling something that's very different to what often comes naturally when seeing works of directors such as Terrence Malick, Woody Allen and Richard Linklater. Also, the name-dropping of serial killers and such is more effect-seeking than anything else, more about trying to spook the viewer than create solid characters. Still, as a low- budget film, it works in creating a kind of solemn street-life atmosphere, the kind that came natural to director John Cassavetes, that very few high-budget films have. All in all this is not a particularly well-made film, but it's memorable.
Hardcore Henry (2015)
A litany against growing up and women
he trailer for this film doesn't spoil anything: it tells almost everything about this film, which (surprise) doesn't pass the Bechdel test. In fact, women aren't merely used as objects in this film, but as pins designed to strike down. When you see women who stand up for themselves, they're denigrated into stereotypes, e.g. whiny, hen-like smithereens of the True Heroes, which, of course, are The Men. The Strong Men with Big Muscles and Bits Of Robot Inside, but with Some Kind Of...Pathos? There's no pathos. There's nothing veiling the fact that this is a film which seeks to emulate Neil Blomkamp's films, going as far as casting the very limited actor Sharlto Copley in a slew of rôles designed to be funny and show his breadth, which is wide enough to require a microscopic lens that only scientists at CERN have access to.
I can't stop coming back to how this film views women. How the director and writer, and, indeed, every single being who has been involved with this muck, must see women. Sexy things, or disparaging must-haves? Both? When two women actually speak at the same time in this film, the man who is speaking with them just says something to sedate them and then, to another man, says "Sometimes it's just easier to say yes".
There's one attempt at psychology in the film, apart from one scene where, naturally, a woman is displayed as highly deceptive and deserves to die. Some kind of recurring psychological theme in this film, is invoked as the lead character remembers being bullied in his childhood. A slow-motion shot of his robot being thrown into a brick wall. Actually, that scene is kind of the leitmotif for this film: something shiny being destroyed.
Oh! There's even time for a homophobic two-line rant in this film! As one of Copley's charades is vented towards the viewer, he says something akin to "There's a certain stigma attached to blokes who like musicals. I just wanna get it out there that I'm as straight as an arrow, get it?" and then he kills people. Thanks for letting us know.
Then some scenes of women being prostitutes. These women are in the middle of a group sex scene with another of Copley's characters, but the lead character's entrance doesn't disturb them in the least. Neither does his apparent dying, which only entices them to feeling him up and suggesting sex. Naturally, as they're women, the plaything for Man. The Man. The Big, Strong Man.
The first-person-shooter point of view in this film was quite enthralling at times, but that's about it that made me like the film. I'd rather spend time hanging out between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump and watch fireworks go off in the sky, than see this film again; it'd be quite the same experience, I'm sure.
The violence is another thing. I have nothing against the showing of violence, if it serves a purpose. This is merely here to look cool, and give people kicks. Well, if watching people dying to bad music - apart from Devendra Banhart's music, which somehow has crept into the soundtrack in the form of two very good songs - is your thing, good luck with staying human. That's it. Oh, and if you think I'm spoiling this film through this review, don't play "Max Payne", as that will basically have ruined this entire film for you (apart from the fact that the game is far better than this film).
The people who have made this film - yes, including your one-minute join, Tim Roth - should have seen "Mad Max: Fury Road". By all accounts, they probably have, but deflected everything beauteous and fair about it.
I'll let the very last line spoken in the film ring out as a kind of air around this sycophantic, anti-feministic clownboat of a film: "Listen to your heart." Do not see this film.
Sad and not well-made in the least; very weak lead character/actor
What a heap of troubles.
Sweden often combats crime; one may say it's "our" forté.
Trouble is, the same actors adapt the same dour, sour stance when affronting the crimes perpetrated by other film-makers and actors, all from Sweden. It's a downward trajectory.
Here, the biggest crime is courtesy of Jacob Eklund, who would not be able to act his way out of a paper bag; he's far too lackadaisical and apathetic to be a lead guy, and his character's simply not believable.
This story is somewhat interesting as one specific criminal quickly proves to be an informant for the police. That's about it, really. The action is questionable as I kept looking at my wall behind the TV at times, for more exciting stuff; I'm not exaggerating when writing it.
Fingers crossed for more excitement.
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
Pretty, free-flowing and Jarmusch-ian all the way
This is quite the calm film that's much more about humanity, rather than anything else.
I put this film off for some time due to the fact that I'm allergic to vampire flicks. Hence, I did something wrong.
This is, mainly, a Jim Jarmusch film. If you haven't seen his stuff, do. This is a great addition to his little canon.
Swinton and Hiddleston play two vampires, 3000 and 500 years old, respectively, who live in our current day. This does _not_ mean they'll start sprouting a lot of awe-inspiring Shakespearian words, and their history is surprisingly left to its own devices, i.e. letting the viewer think rather than have everything served on a platter.
You get to do a lot of thinking on your own in this film. Not that you have to. The film flows and drowses through time, radially, even from the very first scenes.
It's more an experience than a film. The music's great. It's almost existential, this one.
Fun, funny and not your typical SNL-alumni flick
I'm a sucker for Fey/Poehler, and this time they've managed to be as brash and simultaneously fun as they should always have been; I mean, they've obviously honed their craft. They play sisters who walk down memory lane, and what keeps this from being a regular haw-haw SNL showboat is how they keep their eyes on the prize, story-wise. It's a complete film, lavish with jokes that not only prey upon the remember-when-we-were-young? thing, but show-cases humor in its simplest forms. There are not that many gimmicks, really, but mostly humor. Things work because of the words, not the context, e.g. in comparison with films like almost everything Adam Sandler has made. All in all, fun and funny, they make it work.
Fuk sau (2009)
Film noir meets "Blade Runner" and "Memento": great!
This is a pure action-and-vengeance film, from start to finish. There's really no logic to some things, e.g. why the main character does not visit his estranged and brutally hurt (physically and mentally speaking) daughter in hospital, but is on a mission. Apart from that, though, this film is a study in cinematography, vengeance, neat tricks and sheer love for the kind of drama that I think all vengeance-based films should carry. There's a lot of fun too. What Hallyday keeps back because of his limited performance - just imagine if Alain Delon would have played the main character, which is what the director originally wanted - the sidekicks and the beauty of the film gives back. It's a bit like "Blade Runner" meets "Memento" and some ancient John Ford/Akira Kurosawa thing going on. A must-see for all action/vengeance flick buffs.
Wondrous, breathtaking; horrible humanity
This is a masterpiece.
Where William Shakespeare's tale of betrayal, greed and blindness leaves much room for interpretation, this cinematic version goes beyond what could easily have been a flat, drab interpretation, and makes it come alive and breathe new air into the tale.
I hope this adaptation goes around and is seen by all.
Fassbender is really involved in this film, as previously seen in "Shame", as opposed the crappy role he had to play in "Prometheus"; Marion Cotillard elevates, both by herself and together with Fassbender.
The calmness before the storm, breathtakingly filmed and shot first during the initial scenes, is cinematography, acting and direction in wondrous collaboration. It seems all actors are on-point, with one singular goal.
This is truly brilliant. The language comes alive, through death and humanity.