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I gave this movie a 7 out of 10. I probably would have given it a 9 before I saw the ending. For the most part, it's a superb psychological thriller. The suspense is great. The lead actors and even the supporting actors (such as the other 2 teenage girls) are brilliant.
That ending though...
The movie spends a lot of time as a thriller. Toward the end we get some sort of supernatural elements creeping in. A little jarring but it was done well enough.
Then at the end though there's a brief moment when the film's title appears on the screen before another 2 or 3 minutes of story are added before the credits. I would have been quite happy to stop watching it before those last couple of minutes.
I'm think I know what the director was trying for with that ending but it was poorly executed and completely unnecessary. If you haven't seen it, my advice is to stop watching it when that title comes up and skip those last couple of minutes. It tainted what was otherwise a superb film.
Suicide Squad (2016)
Pretty decent superhero movie
First up I'm gonna say I'm a bit sick of superhero / comic adaptation films. They've dominated action films for a decade and I'm a bit over them.
Having said that, I quite enjoyed this film. The characters were entertaining. Good action. Will Smith, Margo Robbie and Jared Leto were all superb in their roles. I thought the character of Amanda Waller was pretty good too though I found her level of ruthlessness was excessive and spoiled my enjoyment of that character a bit. Having known very little about the film before seeing it, I thought the cameos were a very nice treat.
My one real complaint is that it all felt very rushed, especially in the earlier part of the film. As I was watching it there were many points where I felt that something had been cut that might have been better left in. I feel that a director's cut could very well be a lot more enjoyable than the version I saw in the cinema.
A faithful and entertaining adaptation of a popular computer game series
Many popular video games have been adapted to the big screen over the years. Some, like Tomb Raider, have been reasonable. Others like Mario and Wing Commander were terrible. Warcraft is the first one that I think was genuinely not only a very good movie, but also a faithful adaptation of the game it was based on. With a story based primarily on the first of the Warcraft games, the film included elements that would be familiar to players of later games also including World of Warcraft. Locations in the game are faithfully reproduced so that they are instantly recognisable in the movie. Costumes, buildings, even the way magic is portrayed looks very much like in the games. This is very much a film for fans of the game. As a standalone movie it also works well. Though of course many of the game's references will be lost on viewers not familiar with the game, it still works as a solid action film. My one complaint is that in some parts of the film, especially early on, things felt a little rushed. I found myself on more than one occasion wondering if there were some deleted scenes there since some parts seemed a little disjointed. I'm no expert on film editing but the pacing just seemed a little off. Over-all, I found it a fun film. Great effects, great action and a real treat for fans of the game. Good enough perhaps, to make up for how disappointing the game itself has become in recent years.
Pretty good but not groundbreaking
I've seen every starwars movie while it was in the cinemas and from the special edition releases onward, I've seen each one at a midnight opening screening. This one was no different.
I The Force Awakens, but it but it didn't really blow me away. I'd made a point of avoiding spoilers before seeing it but I still found a lot of it to be pretty predictable. Some parts of the plot seemed a little confusing too I thought. I couldn't really explain why I thought that without spoilers.
Anyway, I enjoyed it. Watching it again might make it grow on me more. After one viewing, not my favourite film in the series but a worthy addition.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Good but lacking something
I quite liked this movie but perhaps not as much as I expected. I'm generally pretty cynical when it comes to sequels these days because there are so many (and a lot of them are terrible). I was genuinely expecting this one to be good though. I did enjoy it but it just seemed to be lacking a certain something. I'm not sure exactly what. The action scenes were every bit as good as what we've seen in previous Mad Max films. The look and feel were consistent with previous films so it definitely 'felt' like a Mad Max film (using plenty of Aussie actors like in the originals helped). The story was a bit light but honestly I think the same could be said about the other Mad Max films. I thought the acting was pretty good. Theron was superb as always. Tom Hardy had some very big shoes to fill as Max. I thought he was good but he somehow seemed to lack Mel Gibson's presence in the role and faded quite a bit in comparison to other main characters. The villains I found a bit underwhelming. There was the main villain of course but I think that perhaps there were far too many lesser villains and it got to the point where you almost lose track of who the good guys are actually up against.
Not bad but greatly over-rated
I enjoyed this movie but not as much as most animated Disney movies. I certainly don't think it measures up the classics like Snow White and Cinderella, or more recent ones like The Lion King and Beauty & the Beast. The story was pleasant but fairly forgettable. Likewise the characters. There were some funny moments but no laugh out loud moments like Disney movies often deliver. The token comic character (the snowman) was terribly cliché. A lot of fuss was made over the movie portraying a strong female character. To be honest I think Brave did a far better job of that. Rather than the giggling girl gushing over a handsome prince we got in Frozen, Brave gave us a strong young women who was completely capable and independent. Brave also didn't have female leads who looked like Bratz dolls. A lot of fuss was also made about the Let It Go song. Again I thought it was a decent song but nothing terribly catchy or memorable. Certainly not up to the standard of songs from The Lion King or The Little Mermaid. Overall I found this movie to be pretty mediocre. Fun viewing but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again. Most Disney movies I'm happy to watch multiple times and often have. Certainly don't think this movie warrants all the praise that gets heaped on it. Below par for a Disney animated film.
Johnny English Reborn (2011)
Not a patch on the first one
When I saw the first Johhny English movie, it quickly became one of my all-time favourite films. This one wasn't 'bad' but was very forgettable. There were several amusing parts but none of the laugh out loud moments that filled the original. I saw it in a cinema and you normally expect people to laugh loudly more often in a cinema with so many others around. Well the audience didn't seem to dislike it, but there was none of the loud laughs you'd normally expect when a truly good comedy is screened to a large crowd. From listening to the crowd you might not have even guessed that what they were watching was in fact a comedy since you'd get just as many laughs from a typical action film where humour is secondary. My first thought when the film started was that it seemed to be ripping off the second Ace Ventura movie (which while also not as good as its original, was probably a better sequel than this one). Those elements that seemed so similar to ace ventura continued through the rest of the film. In the interests of avoiding spoilers I won't be specific. Many of the jokes were very predictable and cliché. The storyline and ending were also very predictable. You could guess what was going to happen often enough that it took a great deal of shine off the humour. If you're going to see this film, make sure you at least sit through the credits. Those who don't will miss what is probably the one truly funny scene of the film.
Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965)
For the fans
This is a movie for fans of the original Doctor Who series. I don't mean people who grew up watching Tom Baker or who have only seen the recent series. When I see criticism of this movie it usually amounts to people not liking it because it's not like the doctor who they're used to. This movie was made when the TV series hadn't been around very long and was still on the first doctor (William Hartnell). In fact Peter Cushing's portrayal of the doctor is very much like the elderly William Hartnell's portrayal. The story an almost exact retelling of the second doctor who episode where the Daleks first appear in the series. Many scenes including dialog are almost identical to that episode. The beginning is different from the TV show but that's to be expected since the TV series had a whole story before this one to introduce the characters. There are some differences in the relationships between the main characters which only fans of the early episodes would pick up on. A few minor differences in special effects - for instance the familiar tardis sound is missing but back then, the TV show wasn't established enough for it to really be 'familiar'. The makers of the film would have had no idea that the TV series would endure for so long and gain such a huge following. What they have come up with in this movie is a good job of bringing a (then) little known TV show to the big screen. They were bringing a little known black and white TV show to a wider audience - in colour no less!
Astérix et les Vikings (2006)
Not bad at all
I was a huge fan of Asterix comics when I was a kid and watched every one. I never heard about this movie when it was released but I watched it with my kids last night. I remembered the comic well enough to know that a lot was added to the story for the film. Some of the changes I thought were a bit corny (like the nephew's 'modern' dancing, and the viking chief's daughter - almost everything about her), but I found most it amusing enough. Most importantly, seeing the reactions as my kids watched it, confirmed that the film pleased its target audience. As a family film it works better than other Asterix titles I've seen. Many of the names that weren't in the book I found had the same appeal as ones that were. Overall, an enjoyable family film, regardless of whether you're an asterix fan or not.
This is a rare case of a film where I thought the movie version was better than the book. Generally I hate films based on books that modify the story but in this case I didn't mind. I thought the novel was not a bad read but I also thought the novel was hugely overrated and in many regards was a big of a rip off of Tolkien, Feist and other authors (at least more so than the 90% of other unoriginal fantasy novels). While I didn't think the movie was one of the best I've seen I did find it pretty enjoyable and less cliché than the book. If what I've heard is true there won't be any further movies which would be difficult anyway since the movie kinda contradicts things in the later books. For anyone who hasn't read the books it's a decent film. For people who are fans of the book, it departs from the book enough that it might not satisfy. For the people like me (admitedly rare most likely) who thought the book wasn't all it's cracked up to be, give the movie a shot.