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75 Minutes of Non-Developing Exposition for an Unsatisfying End
I don't understand why "The Witch" is supposed to be so "critically acclaimed". Amateur critics don't count. Won 5 awards... 4 were from people that live in their parents' basement and run awards nobody ever heard of and one was from Sundance, if that tells you anything about from where this acclaim is coming. Granted, a film doesn't need awards or recognition from major groups to be good (the reviews I most trust come from some cynical film fans on the YouTube), or even come from a major studio. But I think some people view these "outsider" type films as being instantly high art and great films just because they're not some "cold, materialistic ad space" or some other stereotype of major production films.
I don't want to say it was bad really... the acting was good and the idea was good, it was even well shot for what it was. The problem was the writing/directing with one of the poorest executions I have seen in a long time.
Without spoiling the film, there's a lot I can say. They try too many angles at once for the story and don't really develop any of them. This, I wouldn't even classify as horror, though luckily it did stay away from the modern "horror" tropes of not being horrific at all and relying on cheap gore or "jump-scares". If anything, it was more like a suspense film... but with all the suspense removed.
The whole thing is one long build up, touching on all these details very superficially and not developing them until the last 10 minutes. Actually, about half-way through, there's a scene that makes you think: "finally, the exposition is over". Then it immediately ends that rising drama to go back into more exposition. They should have picked an angle or one underlying cause for the drama and developed it. But this goes on until the final 10 or 15 minutes of the film where the story just sort of hits a brick wall at 5 miles per hour. "Wait, that was it? I sat through all of this for that?".
It is a shame that such good acting and shooting had to go to waste on basically zero story development. The only thing horrifying about this film is how positive the reviews seem to be.
Teen Titans Go! (2013)
The Hatred of this Show is Unjustified
I tried to get people into this show, but they absolutely were appalled even at the concept if they ever saw the original series. I saw the original series and let me tell you, this is in NO way a reboot of the original. It is a totally different show based on the same characters.
Nostalgia is a really stupid emotion and having it is not justification for hating something awesome that was based on something else from your past that you're probably over-romanticising and misremembering as being better than what it actually was.
This is really cute, but funny at the same time. I mean HILARIOUSLY funny, and that's not easy for a PG show to do for a 27-year-old. There's even a ton of in-jokes for those who watched the original or that read a lot of comics. There's also a lot of in-jokes for people who know the work of other voice actors. Another thing to mention is the level of genius that these jokes reach.
The animation is excellent as well. Very clean and consistent. The voice acting is also on par with the rest of the quality of the show. There really is no reason to hate this show, because it is good and effective for what it is attempting. Just because you happen to not like it doesn't mean that it's not good, it's just maybe not your style? That is understandable, but that doesn't make it a bad show and doesn't deserve bad ratings and reviews.
I've yet to hear anyone that actually watched the show say it was terrible. The only people that I have seen that claim that are those who are still too stuck on the original and did not even give this show a fair chance. I'm sick of seeing this show get a bad rep because of elitism from hipsters that feel like the sanctity of their old show has been ruined.
The Batman vs. Dracula (2005)
Probably One of the Worse Adaptations of Batman I've Ever Seen
Maybe I am being harsh here? I know I gave it a 1, but it is not so terrible in every way that it is deserving of a 1. The voice acting for instance is great. The animation is pretty good too, though it's not my style at all (not even close). No no, it is the story and the dialogue that is just so atrocious, so blasphemous, and a total bastardization of Batman in every way that even the lowest rating on here of a 1 is not low enough to truly rank this where it should be. Then again, maybe I'm just too much of a fan of Batman comics? Bruce/Batman has a few key things that sets him apart aside from the fact he has no actual super powers - indomitable will and super genius. Another feature of Batman is that like him, the villains have no super powers either. Only a handful ever have, and then they were enhancements via chemicals or technology/DNA splicing (Bane and his Venom or Clayface's shape-shifting).
As you can see, there is a pattern to it all. This film just takes that pattern and throws it out the window. *spoilers* Look at the escape in the beginning. Joker's is nothing special, but notice Penguin in his escape, displays great physical abilities for his size and shape that have never been seen, jumping as high as the guard's head and kick him with enough force to send him two or three meters away. Penguin does have martial arts training, in Judo, which is like wrestling, not Krav Maga. Bruce has decided to go on a date with that reporter, which is way out of his staple (Bruce is extremely solitary - in the comic's 70+ year span, he's only ever been in 2 or 3 relationships). Dracula himself, or Alucard as he introduces himself to Bruce. Dracula is truly supernatural and born with innate abilities, very out of the Batman staple. Bruce is quite easily mentally/psychically manipulated by Dracula at his party, which defeats one of the main aspects of who Batman is. It also takes him half the film to find out that Dracula spelled backwards is Alucard. I mean really, who today doesn't know that?
I could keep going but, really, you get the point by now I think.
Could Have Been a Ten Star, but I Just Can't Do It
I give it 8.5. This is probably DiCaprio's 2nd best performance ever in my opinion (best being in Shutter Island). I'd say everyone's acting was good, with DiCaprio's second best at a solid 9 with Marion Cotillard's performance being the absolute best at a 10. The only person who bothered me in performance was Page. Some scenes, she nailed it great, like the one with her and Cobb in the dream state for the first time and she's learning how to work on building the environments, and the scene where they first meet and he makes her draw those puzzles to test her. Then in other scenes, her performance was very mediocre. Well, mediocre might be giving it a too much credit. Like the scene where she pulls Cobb aside and wants to talk to him about Mal. Her dialogue heavily suggests that she's very concerned/worried, but her tone of voice, body language, and facial expressions exude apathy, and a lack of care and interest. She really bombs the scene toward the end where they are in the mountains inside the base and they're going to go down one more level in the dream, she is sitting there with the dying Saito. She just seems so carefree and at ease in all the things I said before just like in the other scene she bombed.
As far as the special effects, they were great, which is typical and to be expected of major movie productions of today, so while it's awesome they were good, it's really nothing special these days. I can say Nolan did direct it in some ways that other directors wouldn't have, which impressed me. Take the scene where she's in the dream world for the first time, she finally gets that she can recreate the world however she wants just by thinking. She decides to take half the city and bend it up and then bend it again so that it goes over itself. Most other typical directors of today would have just had that flip over instantly. Not here, it starts off kind of slow, uneasy, then moves more freely, which is what you'd expect from somebody doing it for the first time.
Page's performance coupled with this next thing is why I gave it an 8.5. I really loved the story, it was good, fairly original, great concept, decent execution, great dialogue, but some parts of the movie seem a little too rushed. I understand that the things going on are kind of fast paced, like the fight scene in the hallway of the first level of the dream where the room rotates and they start floating in no-gravity, that scene works fast paced, but some of the others are just a little too rushed for what they are - the scene with Mel's suicide, the last half of the scene where they are first in Saito's mind, and Mel starts to mess that up, the scene where Ariadne tricks Cobb and runs down in his deepest level to see Mal. Sure the chase is fine fast like that, but the whole scene where Cobb is trying to get Ariadne to drop it and get out before it gets too unstable all the way up to the point where she finally quits being an idiot and drops off the edge is too rushed.
I really don't see it as being too complex, twisted, or bloated. Now, I do agree that it is more of that than most movies and that it won't appeal in that aspect to some people. Then again, I might be biased because I like that stuff, I mean I'm a huge fan of David Lynch and Ghost in the Shell, and believe me, GitS is way more convoluted, complex, and hard to follow than this was. It is quite ambitious and I'd probably have rated it a 9 to a 9.5 had it been extended to a good 3 or 3.5 hours to back off on some of the rushed scenes and give them a little more time to develop as well as giving you enough time to absorb what just happened before moving on to the next thing. If that was there and Page's performance was excellent, I'd have gone with a 10.
The ending, I don't know what to think of it. I mean sure, that kind of ending where there's unresolved conflict has been done before, quite often. However, the alternative (having a concrete conclusion) has been done much more. Just because it has been done before, I don't really think that should count against it, pretty much everything has been done before. Based on what I've seen from Nolan before, I don't think he'd have made that ending just to increase the fanbase and loyalty, then again, people have surprised me before, and I am cynical. I try to not factor the ending into it, even though that seems to be the biggest thing talked about with this movie. I mean come on, that's kind of the point of the ending, you make it what you want it to be.