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Mr. Robot (2015)
Love it so far
I liked season one, with putting into narrative the alienating nature of modern life and capturing the zeitgeist pretty well. The parallels with Dexter are pretty obvious (mainly the style of storytelling and some resemblance between the protagonists), but Mr Robot says a lot about society as well. In the first season we witness the preparations of a revolution and we see how the plan is put into action, with quite interesting side story lines. Great characters, well written. I didn't know, what to expect for the second season, but it exceeded all my expectations. It feels like Mr Robot fully realized its own style and dares to do more, than pleasing the crowds. The story flows quite slowly and it's clear, that it aims deeper this time. There aren't constant fireworks, but a lot of buildup instead. When something meaningful happens, you know it because the language of Mr Robot is clean, does not try to dazzle you in a way, like cheap entertainers would. You get meaningful drama, deep cynicism and great humor. I hope it continues this way, dares to be experimental, exceptional and stays away from cheap tricks and won't become a crowdpleaser. 10/10
Crimson Peak (2015)
Aren't ghosts supposed to be scary?
I watched this with a friend, who is generally terrified of horror movies and she was laughing the whole time. I think, it sums it all up. Has Guillermo del Toro forgot how to create tension and to write an interesting story? What happened since The Devil's backbone? As a fairy tale it's not so bad, though the story is kind of weak. A naive girl who's an aspiring writer is scammed by a brother and a sister for her family's fortune. They kill her father who previously banned the guy from seeing her, then she marries the guy and they move to a ruin in a middle of nowhere, with the sister, just the three of them. There are ghosts in the house, who are there to... look scary... They add almost nothing to the story and fail hard at being disturbing. We miss a lot of subtext and explanation, especially why the guy falls in love with this specific girl, though he made his living by scamming and killing women, with the aid of his batshit crazy sister beforehand. Of course they keep all the evidence of their deeds, neatly packed in a trunk (slow sarcastic clap). This whole mix just couldn't be taken seriously. Style over substance.
The lack of originality is strong with this one
I watched this movie today and the more I think about it, the worse it seems. As a lot of people said it before me, it's the shameless recycle of episode IV. JJ ruined Star Trek and now Star Wars, but in a different way. Let's face it, this whole show was a huge marketing stunt and not much more. The story lacks depth and very uninteresting, given that we've seen it all before. It's simply unbelievable, that they couldn't come up with anything original. Or is this what the masses wanted? The rating shows, that apparently they wanted this, indeed. So everyone who worries about spoilers, just chill, because it's a remake, with technically more advanced visuals and without the charm. Horrible pacing, not very good acting, lame Darth Vader wannabe evil guy and no memorable moment to mention. Not even the death of Han Solo... sad. To say something positive: the design is great, I liked very much the practical effects and the movie looks very good overall. It definitely doesn't belong to the list of the best movies of all time. I won't hurry so much, to see the next one. Hugely disappointed...
Open Water 2: Adrift (2006)
I watched this film for the first time a while ago and for some reason I watched it again tonight. I have to say, that it is much better, than I remembered. The pivotal moments stayed with me, but seeing it again, left a stronger impression. The accident is so unbelievably dumb, that makes you think how easily we can get in dead serious trouble. All it takes is one irresponsible, dumb friend. In such a surreal situation disbelief and panic kicks in and I imagine, that staying cool and rational is a privilege of a very few human beings. Of course after seeing how the whole story plays out, it's very easy to be smart and to know better... The group dynamic in my opinion was well written. One nervous irrationally behaving individual can derail all the efforts of a team. And they had more of that kind, so failing at their attempts felt natural for me. This film makes you think about how easily faith can cross one's path and throw them the test of their life. In the end I felt a little drained seeing this all too human tragedy. Just as sad as the predecessor. Not an easy watch, but I would recommend it to people, who can place themselves in the situation and humble enough to know that they are not smarter than anyone else.
Wasn't that good
I went to see this based on the hype and hoping for a great monster movie. Well, it was kind of OK, but has a lot of flaws and it definitely falls in the mediocre category. The CGI and the monster fight at the end was good but that is all the positive stuff, I can say about this film. The characters are pretty shallow, I did not care at all, if they live or die. But of course not one of them dies (Walter White is not a main character and he dies pretty soon) and the writers didn't manage to create any tension whatsoever. The story is flat and dumb as it usually is in this kind of films. Silliness is all over the place, don't have to look hard for it. 15 years after evacuating a city and the skyscrapers are overgrown with vegetation.. The army can't spot a giant monster in the desert, because it's on the other side of an elevation.. The mating ritual of the monsters consisted of one giving an atomic bomb to another and so on... At the end there's no real climax, I was happy that it was over, because it's very long despite the lack of real content. I have to say, that I liked the 1998 Godzilla more than this one.
The Walking Dead (2010)
I watch The Walking Dead from the beginning and at this moment this is my favorite show. I also read the comics and I like it too, very much. The greatness of the show lies in the subtle critic of the society we live in these days, the writing and the overall execution. In my opinion the theme of the zombie apocalypse is so intriguing, because we see the whole of society as a bunch of zombies doing their stuff killing the planet and each other and lead dead end jobs which don't help the human race at all, but because we get paid for them we do the dirty work anyway (and I'm not speaking literally about dirty work). Anytime a telemarketing person calls you on the phone to sell you underwear you have that feeling that the world is so sick, not to mention the wars all around, which soldiers fight for the falsely generated needs, people think they have. A lot of us feel as we are survivors of a world, that is fallen, we live in a suspended state of existence, but we really just as the same as the others we think of as zombies. We do what we have to do, to stay afloat... the show for me describes this feeling so well, that is why I think it's so great. The characters feel realistic and they are very well written, I rarely notice when they do stuff, that is not explained enough or illogical for the person because the lack of motivation. Just think of real life, when people who think you know, do things that were unexpected, out of the blue. Of course as in every show, they use forced dramatic elements, even when they aren't needed or explained, but I'm willing to overlook these, because the overall good quality. The only time I felt the show is going seriously off rails, was the ending of the first season. Luckily they went back to follow more closely the storyline of the comics. Which brings me to another aspect, which I like the series for. The outline of the story is very close to the comics, yet it's different in many ways, so I want to know what happens in this alternate version of events. The pacing is relatively slow and it's a good thing in my opinion. I don't like series which try to cram as much stuff in one episode as they can. The Walking dead flows slowly but gives the space for human relations to evolve, to take their course, to have the really important moments explained and satisfying. I hope TWD will go on for a long time, without abandoning it's core elements, which make it great. As a footnote: I don't understand the haters who still watch the show as someone was forcing them to do. That also shows, how people are bored out of their minds, they can't spend their time on stuff, that makes them feel good...
Chernobyl Diaries (2012)
Solid, well crafted thrill ride
Chernobyl diaries is a really underrated film. Seeing the reviews I wasn't expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. It seems to me, that many of the "critics" want to compare this flick desperately to recent entries in the genre. It doesn't quite fit so they have a hard time understanding it's true nature. This film has pretty much everything what a good horror film needs. The setting is great, it creates an eerie atmosphere and it's used very well. But we know that good setting doesn't make a good movie in itself. The characters are likable and their reactions to situations are pretty realistic. I often thought what would have I done differently and I found that not much. You have this sense of realism from the start and it's kept nearly until the end. There are a few jump scares, but those are not the main elements this film relies on, to keep you tense. There aren't any moronic moments, which ruin most horror films with good premise. Also avoids most bad clichés successfully. It's well crafted, I would give the director more money to make an even better film. Really enjoyed it, recommended to horror lovers.
Flirts with mediocrity too much
As a true fan of the Alien franchise and Ridley Scott, I wanted to like this film very much. I didn't want to believe the bad reviews, yet they are right when they say this film is mediocre in a lot of ways. In certain aspects the viewer feels that if a little more thought went into them, they could have turned out much better... like the characters for instance. The smallest problem with them that they are very cliché, the bigger problem is, that they are really dumb. Not for scientists, but for average people. It seems like they lack common sense in several situations. Thanks to the bad writing, you never have the sense of reality which helped significantly the first Alien film to gain its cult status. In short, the whole film is watered down to the level of your average Hollywood popcorn flicks in terms of character interactions. Another huge let down is, that there are annoying plot holes all over. You get the feeling, that they had to cut out important scenes at the expense of making sense. And I'm a guy who usually willing to look over this kind of stuff, if its not downright insulting to intelligence. Now let me write a few thoughts about the design. Stuff that worked before, still works. The Prometheus, the suits and the gadgets are okay. But at some scenes I felt, they were made only to show, "look guys how much stuff our computers can render"! Simple case of overdoing stuff, because they had the budget and resources. Prometheus isn't all bad, it has some really worthwhile scenes where I felt, that Mr. Scott still has it. Unfortunately these are greatly overshadowed by the flaws. Michael Fassbender is definitely the best among the acting crew, his performance alone worth seeing this film. Overall my opinion is, that Prometheus could have been much better if it didn't want to impress the widest audience possible so badly and just a little more thought went into the writing. Still enjoyable, but a lot of us expected more.
Yes, we have seen these arguments, theories and facts before, yet it seems people are unable to learn them. They rather watch Discovery Channel which instead of showing documentaries of discoveries, is a day long automobile commercial (not to mention the much worse channels out there). So this kind of documentary can't be done too many times. It must be repeated until it sinks in and people starting to make their decisions with responsibility. And it also would help if more people see it. The most positive aspects of this film are:
-Its narrative isn't too complex and strictly sticks to the essentials -it hasn't got extra ideology in it like Zeitgeist (however its style is very similar).
-It offers at the end a very good solution since not much else you can do to affect things. But if you are not an obsessive consumer and have a common sense, you have probably already figured that out.
-Woody Harrelson is a great host
Looking forward to the day when a documentary like this will be broadcast on major prime time televisions. I know it's naive because they are all owned by corporations or the state (which is owned by corporations). So the best thing is to spread the word. Very good documentary, highly recommended.
My feelings are mixed about this movie. Definitely had it's moments, but the weak script and the cardboard characters are totally ruined it. I liked that it was building relatively slowly, but if you have spoiled materials you cannot build a strong house. A bunch of interesting stuff left unexplained and there were a lot of dull parts that I could live without. I won't detail how it stomped on the mythology that it tried to portray (it felt like more of a weak excuse for the film), because I think all knew, it will be like that who wanted to see this. The whole production was so over stylized that it reached the point of ridiculousness at some parts. Like the gods looked like if they were some underwear models from a fashion magazine. I mean, what was that all about? But somehow this aspect also saves the film from total failure. Simply because it's unique and memorable. There were some moments which you will remember because they were awesome. The fights were well choreographed at most parts, also over stylized but not the video game trailer style of the new The clash of the titans. All in all Immortals has some epic qualities but fails to deliver. If you looking for some slow-mo dismemberment on a rainy afternoon give it a chance.