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Interesting war story concept, but there was something off about it
Casablanca, Germans, spies, La Resistance... how can you fail with that? Well, something about Allied was off, whether it was the chemistry between the actors or the long setup before anything actually happens or simply the bleak and understated finale. I don't know what I didn't like, I just know that it was a movie I expected more of until it ended and left me disappointed.
Now, I can't say Brad Pitt didn't act well, but I am so used with his smiling persona that I felt the icy spy role didn't fit him, made him look old and sick. Marion Cotillard was OK, but something in her acting threw me off at almost every scene. Jared Harris was awesome as always, but didn't have much of a role.
The only thing remaining to discuss is the story, and I can't spoil it here. It's intriguing and I believe it could have been developed into something more intense and interesting. As such, it was a movie with mostly exposition and very little character development.
So Russian it hurts
The effects are good, the story is ridiculous, but has interesting elements, the acting is atrocious, but the girls are amazing. I mean, half of the movie I was humming "Russian Girls" instead of critically analyzing its qualities. The hell with those! Alina Lanina and Valeriya Shkirando, even the extras in the background, all were impossibly beautiful.
That being said, having no English translation other than some automatically generated one may have hurt my impression of the movie, but it also focused me on the way the people acted and behaved. And, man, were they bad! I think the best acting was the villain, who mainly shouted, growled and killed. That's probably the reason.
So, about the story. Secret research program creates people that have superpowers and do not age. Determined to get revenge (why?!) on the man who did this to them, who also gained super strength, they let the same military organization that created them control them into killing their nemesis.
Now for the superpowers. There is a guy who can turn into a bear. Another guy can control rocks (but only if they are freely available around and only rocks). A chick can become invisible, but only in the presence of water. The last is a super fast, almost teleporting dude with weird swords. In the end all these powers are used together, because by themselves are completely ridiculous, and combine into Captain Planet! No, actually they combine into something that makes their individual powers pointless.
Bottom line: the one girl who did not need to disappear from the screen one second of this movie has the power of invisibility. Great planning, Russian writers! As a whole, the movie was stupid, but it had some interesting elements: great effects, some interesting heroes, the possibility of improving and evolving into something palatable. As such, it was almost impossible to enjoy.
Baby Driver (2017)
Meticulously technical movie, but just a typical heist plot
I am not one to notice details, but I do care about them when I do. This movie is very carefully crafted, a choreography of sound, action and movie edit. All the acting is beautiful and, if you are into movies, you should definitely watch this.
However, if you care about the story, it is as plain as it could be. It is the story of a getaway driver, stuck against his will in a mobster's contract. Everything that happens is pretty much obvious. If you are not one for details, but care about the story, it will probably not excite you at all, even if there is nothing wrong with it per se.
Bottom line: watch some actors have fun in a movie where the writer/director had some fun. That's always good. Try to have fun as well, because at times it just feels like a movie for movie makers.
Los cronocrímenes (2007)
Episodic story that feels too long for a movie
I liked the story, even if it had obvious production flaws, but not everybody can do Hollywood like films. The problem is that it is just a gimmick, with a few characters which don't really evolve in any way. The hallmark of a good story is that something changes, becomes more. In Timecrimes everybody stays the same, even when faced with time travel and multiple versions of themselves. That was disappointing.
Also, since there are basically four people in the entire movie, if feels like a play, with the revelatory twists that someone expects from an episode of Outer Limits, not from a full feature film.
Bottom line: interesting, low budget, way too long for its content. Maybe worth a watch, but I wouldn't recommend it.
I loved it!
Low budget, but high quality sci-fi film. It focused on the characters and the story and it had real world building - no pun intended. The ending was really great, can't say why or I will spoil it. Enough to say that it leaves room for more volumes.
Imagine a cross between Alien 3, Screamers and Elisium and you get this film. The acting was solid, the effects really well done, yet minimal, the plot kept me going and the structure of the movie, with out of sequence episodes gave it a fresh feel.
If it weren't for some clichés, this could have been close to perfect in my book. You need to watch it.
Wonder Woman (2017)
It's a superhero movie, what did you expect?
I went in with low expectations, therefore I wasn't disappointed. However, if I were to have lent ear to all the reviews and commentaries, I would have been quite annoyed. This is NOT a good movie. I barely rate it average.
There were good parts in it, mainly the feminist aspects of the film. Diana is tough, but also a woman, with a strong personal and cultural desire to help, mend, love. Of course, it is taken to ridiculous heights and made completely worthless in the end, when she kills a bunch of people, but still, it was a refreshing, if badly implemented, point of view.
Other than that there is a lot of bad characterization, starting with the Amazons and Ares and ending with the three "sidekicks" that do almost nothing the entire movie. Even the villains are underused, in a movie that somehow managed to total over two hours. There are some scenes that should make the director cower in shame (see the "they don't know that" scene, ugh!) and some bad acting here and there.
Gal Gadot is beautiful, but not an extremely talented actress. She did her best, though. Chris Pine played Captain Kirk, complete with motorcycle and the scene where he stops, thinks a little, then rides another way, plus the obligatory self sacrifice scene. I think it was some sort of tribute, but that part wasn't good in Star Trek either.
Bottom line: you can watch it just like you would a Batman or Superman movie and expect just as much. "The savior of DC franchises" is no worse or better than the things people called disasters before. It is not fun, merely time consuming.
That's what you get when you watch a lot of Doctor Who
The premise of the film was brilliant. I liked the idea, the motivation, the characters. But when it came to the resolution, it all fizzled. It's the classic "boy protects girl from bad guy", but when push comes to shove, all good characters get really wimpy. Perhaps it's a British thing, I don't know.
There were also some weird situations in which one solution could have solved several problems, but they were used only for one. Several things that got the henchman, for example, were never used on the final boss.
Bottom line: it was a great premise that got suffocated by clichés, even while attempting to be original. I would call that a failure.
The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017)
Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson should have done better
The film was amusing, but overly long and way below its real potential. Ryan Reynolds is a comedic powerhouse and Samuel L. Jackson, even from his casting hole as a loud black man that swears all the time, is funny as hell when his heart is in it. But the movie was just a predictable buddy not-cop comedy, with little of the possibilities of the two main leads. I mean, just let them improv for two hours off each other and it would have been funnier.
The action itself was mediocre as well. A lot of standing in open spaces killing people hidden under cover or car chases where no one other than our guys seem to know how to shoot.
All that remains is the story. The bad guy was established, the mole was obvious even before being revealed so crassly and the subtleties that the plot could have brought, considering we are talking about a desperate law man protecting a contract killer, were completely ignored.
Bottom line: amusing as designed, formulaic as hell, not a good movie, not very funny, average. And there was another Samuel L. Jackson movie with a similar plot that was way better: Big Game.
Good graphics, science out of the window, decent acting, formulaic
I don't know what Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and even Hiroyuki Sanada (I love the guy, but he played in some really awful stuff) were doing in this film. The film isn't bad, but it did not require actors of their caliber other than for baiting people into theaters, and that is a big sin for a movie.
I have to say that I liked the alien design and the direction. Some of the scenes were amazing. Unfortunately, the story is dumb and formulaic, going for the same cheap "we are the good guys, so we must feel and shout and do stupid things to prove it" and an implausible form of life that defied any possible scientific rule (or space station design feature). It probably is in the interest of film makers to not make horror movies too plausible, but I hated that.
Bottom line: you get to feel for the characters, mostly because of the sound performance, but the "oh, come on!" moments ruin the mood to the point of annoyance. If you think just a little bit and you know what possible facts they are portraying in the film, the possibilities are both more interesting and more terrifying. Too bad the movie was not made for people who think a little bit.
Before I Wake (2016)
Great potential, but cardboard characters. The ending was intriguing.
As horror/thriller movies, this wasn't bad, but the characters' shallowness messed it up. The underlying idea was fresh and interesting: what if the dreams of a little boy would become reality? Unfortunately, they kept the dreams and nightmares to the basic things the boy saw the day before sleeping plus one recurring nightmare. Try to remember what little boys dream and imagine how much more impressive (and scarier) this could have been.
To me the worst part of it all was Thomas Jane's character. A nondescript dad, whose only role in the plot is to be a fun father and a placeholder husband. He played it OK, but man! what lazy writing.
The movie started somewhat slow, only to accelerate to unacceptable levels at the end. If this would have been more than an interesting idea with sub par implementation of the details, it could have been a classic movie to be remembered by the fans forever. As such, it's forgettable and uninspiring.