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Live by Night (2016)
Not exactly of course. And if you want to get a high position in a criminal organization, you probably should never sleep, let anyone out of your eye sight and be strapped all the time. But this may make this sound a lot more action paced than it is. This actually takes a page (or more) from older crime movies, especially when it comes to its pacing and storytelling in general.
That may not be everyone's case of course, so that will be up to you. Still you can't fault the movie for its quality and while it is not another "Town" (though that eventually happens too, no pun intended), this does move correctly into a different territory and shows off Ben Afflecks other qualities. A strong and stellar cast in a slow burning movie ... sounds good?
So people/characters in this may seem cold and this may seem a bit too much for some. And it has its flaws, but it still builds a stellar case in the thriller department (though many will also put in Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy territory). The movie is not for everyone and I did cringe at times.
But there is more to it than meets the eye (no pun intended). And if you allow yourself to take the journey, you may not understand everything, but you will have a tension filled film. Now that sounds vague, but don't expect the movie to do all the thinking for you either. Well lit and photographed, this is a trip of a different proportions
The end is nigh ...
When they called one of the Jason Vorhees movies (Friday 13th) the Final Chapter - they didn't keep their word and many more came and a lot more are sure to come in the future. Now this may actually be a Final Chapter related to Milla Jovovich and her involvement. I guess that story is through. But that doesn't mean that sometime in the future we'll see a reboot or whatever they'll call it.
This does what the other Resident Evil movies did too. It's here to entertain not to make sense. It's here to give us some characters we've learned over the course of this franchise. The first Resident Evil could've been different of course (George Romero was attached at some point) and some may argue that this removed itself from the games quite a bit (for better or worse). We're here, so let's try to enjoy the one last ride (effects are neat, though for a Final Chapter there wasn't enough closure for my liking)
Kill Ratio (2016)
Killing in Russia
Oh well ... B-movie action. I mean one should know what to expect right? I guess so. But this Die Hard in a Hotel bargain bin thing really doesn't cut it. The main actor really does not have enough charisma to carry the whole movie. The story is simple enough, there is also action involved, so I guess there are a few things that be put on the plus side of the equation.
There's a bit of nudity and a lot of action. There's also a lot of CGI, that tries hard to look as real as possible. But short from going "bang bang", the shots fired from guns are obviously not real. Now I know, I shouldn't have time to judge that ... but what else was I going to do?
Rogue One (2016)
Star Wars 3,5
So before we continue with Star Wars 8 (or VIII to be more exact), we get this solo movie. And after Episode 8 we'll get the next (Han) solo project to fill the time until Episode 9. This one concentrates on the story before New Hope, which was made fun of on the internet as many can imagine. People were talking about leaked pics of the sequel to Rogue One, posting pictures of Episode 4 (A new Hope).
If you are not too invested in the time-line or the franchise, you may not see all the small details and hints to the other movies, but you will still able to enjoy a Science Fiction movie that is suspenseful enough and which does what it set out to do (no pun intended). A nice assemble of actors and a pretty neat story ... effects are great as always
xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)
Just the (re)introduction of Xander Cage is insane. At the very start of the movie, you get a fun cameo (especially if you are into soccer or football, depending on where you're from and what you call it), but then it's Cage. And if you mind him taking a "leap of faith" (let's call it that) and not getting hurt, doing a stunt "drive" that can be called insane, for a reason that is amusing at best ... well then this movie is not for you.
But if you can just lay back and enjoy this for what it is, you will have a lot of fun. I mean a lot of fun! I mean just the fact you have Tony Jaa and Donnie Yen in the same movie is amazing. You could call this "trying to get as many different demographics" into your movie or diversity (also a Bollywood actress and many other people get put in here). It's up to you: Fun ride or incredible insane? And why is that a bad thing? Don't expect a story or a movie that takes itself seriously. This knows what it is and winks constantly at the audience. On this level it does work as it should ...
Time Travel for beginners
Well that's not entirely true. Actually the story gets very complex at times and you may be lost for a moment or two, trying to figure out where you are and what is happening. But the characters are so affectionate and so lovable that you won't have a problem sticking with it. That doesn't mean they don't have flaws, quite the opposite, which is what makes them feel so "real".
The beginning episodes may feel a bit "boring" or at least not as exciting as the rest becomes, but you shouldn't have a big issue with that. Also this is necessary for character building/introduction and other reasons. It really delivers on many levels, comedy wise, drama wise and thriller wise. It doesn't shy away from violence either. Though it's not a big part, when it happens you can feel the impact immediately.
Weird, nerdy and uncomfortable at times, this really knows what it wants. Great anime show, that produced a couple of games and has way more to explore than just this TV show ...
Assassin's Creed (2016)
No upgrades for you
Apart from the action part, the first Assassins Creed games did have a lot of story and a lot you could tell in a movie. So it did seem like a good idea (especially visually) to go for it. And Michael Fassbender might not have been my first choice (though he is an amazing actor and I personally don't blame him), but this is what we get.
The story is not really great either, we get a father-son thing and some other clichés thrown our way, but nothing really sticks. So the effects do their trick, but that's about it. Other characters are thrown into the mix and the movie tries to do something, but you're better off playing the games. Or watching a compilation of the cut-scenes from the games that surely someone has made available.
Right down the middle
Splitting hairs is nothing compared to this. Of course Split refers to our main character. Although M. Night has had some diverse reactions on his last outputs. But mostly people did like this and it almost seems like he made a comeback. If you thought he vanished that is of course. The script is tight and the movie has a lot of memorable moments (most of them being weird), although one of the biggest can be seen in the trailer, which is unfortunate.
There's also another scene where M.Night can be seen. His Hitchcock moment as some call it (I think he himself too). Letthis argument not spoil the fun you may be having with this one. The overall acting is good (apart from the one cameo I just mentioned, which is cringe-worthy) and the tension is there until the end. And after it, because there is a stinger in the credits ... a nice one at that too!
Making things ... appear
Have you seen the movie "Body"? The one that was made before that. It's a great movie and was just an exercise if you will or training session for this one. A much bigger scope, a constant guessing game and tension that is filled to much, that it almost burst through the screen. The characters are well drawn and this does warrant repeated viewing, just so you know what you might have missed.
Story wise I will not tell you anything other than it's about a murder. A "whodunnit" as they like to say. It's best watching this with as little pre-information as possible. Just let the movie work its magic on you. And it will be really good magic it has to offer, if thrillers are your thing that is of course