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The Predator (2018)
Worst predator movie in the series
13 September 2018
Just watched it at the cinema, premiere day.

I didn't think it was possible but Shane Black actually managed to make a Predator movie worse than "Predator 2".

This movie is a mess. It's silly, it tries to be half a comedy, it tries to continually reference the original movie but fails.

Technically, the movie is dark, the action editing is awful - to the point you can't understand what you're seeing on screen - the CGI is awful.

Plot wise, you can see right from the opening scene that the movie takes the wrong direction: This time you see everything from the predator side. There is no mystery like in the original (and the sequels), no build up, no tension. The plot is stupid and the third act completely jumps the shark. The last scene is cringy.

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Victims of Each Other
21 June 2018
A documentary about a Munchausen By Proxy case that ended in a murder.

Gypsy and her mother Dee Dee are both victims of each other: Gypsy is psychologically and physically abused by her mother who gives her endless medications and medical treatments since she was an infant. A loving mother on the outside, she's actually keeping her daughter an emotional captive and physically disabled. Gypsy gets in touch with a young man, develops a romantic relationship with him and finally manipulates him to kill her mother. After the murder Gypsy writes posts on Facebook about the death of her mother and the couple go on road trip and have a good time.

Are these the actions of an abused child that had enough or the acts of a manipulative cold hearted murderer?

This documentary constantly keeps you ambivalent on Gypsy's actions. Especially when you hear Dee Dee's parents talk about their daughter like she was the devil and are actually glad she is dead.

Gypsy escaped the death penalty and probably got the best outcome she could have had under the circumstances.
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Hotel Artemis (2018)
8 June 2018
The movie starts very well. It goes right to the chase: Short intro, good action opening and then to the main location and character.

In the near future (2028), Los Angeles is under heavy riots as a private company limits the water supply to the population. Several "high profile" criminals are taking shelter in a private hotel/hospital which specialized in this sort of service and is managed for over 20 years by a nurse (Judy Foster in good makeup) who keeps strict rules.

The movie starts really well (6.5/10) but loses momentum in the second act (5.5/10) and finishes in an anti-climax (5/10). With the exception of the plot, which doesn't hold this movie very well, all the other elements work great here: Good atmosphere, good pacing, good direction, good cinematography, good score, good acting and interesting characters.

This is like the little brother of SMOKIN' ACES (2006). I also got some vibes from THE SHINING (1980) and PANIC ROOM (2002).

Pretty good job for first time director Drew Pearce, who also wrote the script.

All in all, this is a pretty good movie. It could have been much better if the plot held through.

Too bad this movie doesn't have a wider release.
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Borefest, only for the fans of the series
7 June 2018
I was never a fan of the Jurassic Park series. I didn't even think much of the original. Each of the movies in the series has the most basic plot you can think of - and it's rehashed here for the 5th time.

Dinosaurs are in danger, humans try to rescue them, they escape and chase humans, happy ending.

All the rehashed elements are here: Dinosaurs run, dinosaurs roar, dinosaurs chase humans. Plot is kept to a minimum.

Bryce Dallas Howard can't act if her life was dependent on it, she's simply the most generic actor possible. Chris Pratt, usually a charismatic actor, is flat and almost transparent here - I really got the feeling he did it just for the money.

There are endless possible drinking game with this movie: Drink every time someone is in danger so he stops and slowly looks at it instead of running; drink every time someone says: "run"; drink every time someone is raising his hand to control/slow a dinosaur.

So... boring... and so long. During the movie I looked at the clock and couldn't believe there's still a full hour to go. I think the people were happy this movie was finally over.

The theme seems to rip off Joseph LoDuca's theme to ARMY OF DARKNESS (1992) (which was also ripped off in GODZILLA (1998)).
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Highly recommended
12 April 2018
A documentary about holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor, who publicly - and very controversially - forgave all the Nazis. This documentary is very sad and moving and provides a lot of information about the concentration camps and the human experiments of twins by Dr. Josef Mengele, through the stories of Eva and three more holocaust survivors.

The film begins and ends with the trial of former Nazi Oskar Groning (who died last month) but it's not really the focus of the film. Seeing Eva hugging and kissing him during the trial is difficult and understandably, most of the holocaust survivors didn't take these actions kindly.

Very interesting documentary. It's very sad but gives a lot of information about the holocaust, through stories and archive footage.
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28 March 2018
Let's start with the bottom line: This is the most enjoyable Spielberg movie in the past 15 years. Notice I wrote "enjoyable" and not "best". It's still a kids movie - the plot is simple (it's about literally looking for a MacGuffin - an Easter egg), stuff is spelled out, spoon fed to the audience and repeated twice (even the secret of the 3rd challenge is revealed twice!), so don't expect anything smart. However, it's visually stunning and I regret watching it in 2D because it seems to be the only movie since "Avatar" to be worth watching in 3D. Sound is also impressive.

There are tons of pop culture references and for us 80's kids, this is a delight. I bet the kids watching this will miss many of those references but for us they are obvious and straight in the face. And there's one big gem in the middle of the movie which I won't spoil, so I'll just say that Kubrick fans will have a blast - I don't know if it's part of the original book but i'm quite certain it was a treat for Spielberg to handle.

With references to movies, songs and games appearing almost every two minutes, I have no idea how they could have afford it - I know it's a blockbuster movie but still, the royalties were probably huge (unless the studio owns the rights).

The music was an obvious Alan Silvestri work. I thought perhaps it was John Williams trying to imitate Silvestri because it's a Spielberg movie and there were so many 80's references, but checking the credits, it's really him.

Mark Rylance was brilliant as Halliday and I honestly didn't recognize him until checking the IMDB credits now. I also didn't recognize Simon Pegg.

Aech's voice was terribly miscast (but there's a reason for that, revealed later).

All in all, it's a fun movie. If you're an 80's kid and if you liked "Avatar" and/or "Wreck it Ralph", you'll enjoy this film.
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Not awful, just "meh"
22 March 2018
It's exactly what you'd expect it to be from watching the trailer. It's more of a TRANSFORMERS movie than PACIFIC RIM. Giant robots fighting each other, quick cuts and shaky cam.

Basically, John Boyega is Finn again and the girl (Cailee Spaeny) is Rey or just a general Mary Sue. Scott Eastwood unfortunately didn't inherit his dad's acting genes and he's just an average actor.

Three actors from the original movie are back but they are shadows of themselves and not nearly as interesting as in the first movie.

With the first revelation of the movie, the plot started to remind me a bit of the plot to "Robocop 2". The second revelation, which happens after the middle of the movie, was actually pretty good and I felt the movie finally starting to be interesting but it was a missed opportunity to make it something more.

The result is a brainless movie. A sequel that doesn't come close to being anything like the original. It's watchable but only if you turn your brain off and want to see mindless movie about robots.
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Method acting taken to the extreme
19 November 2017
A documentary about Jim Carrey playing Andy Kaufman and Tony Clifton in "Man on the Moon (1999)".

Jim Carrey stayed in character throughout the production, in and out of filming. This is a combination of both Method Acting taken to the limit and channeling Andy Kaufman who took his jokes way beyond where most people would, as seen in the movie itself.

The documentary not only shows the production but goes into analyzing Jim Carrey as an actor and as a person. It explores his career from a very early age up to present day and the influence it had by both his father and Andy Kaufman himself. It also shows Jim Carrey's current state of mind which is miles away from where he's been some 20 years ago.

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What a nice surprise!
12 October 2017
In a year of disappointing movies, it was refreshing to actually sit at the theater and actually enjoy a light action movie. That is not to say we're dealing with high art here. In fact, some of the scenes were borderline cringeworthy, a combination of bad acting, bad script and bad direction. You know those movies that put an actor without giving him any lines and he has to listen to the main character and put a weird smile or node because he isn't allowed to speak? This movie is full of those. There were some clichés and the CGI was also average.

Still, it was fun. Nonstop over-the-top action that doesn't take itself too seriously and is very enjoyable. The movie doesn't waste any time and starts the action right from the first minute. There is a subplot involving a main character that in my opinion was completely unnecessary and could have been discarded.

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Disappointing. For fans of director Denis Villeneuve
5 October 2017
Like director Denis Villeneuve's other recent films, this is a simple and empty movie. It's pretentious and disguised as something clever and artistic. It's extremely slow and although I went to see it in the earliest show (in the morning) on the premiere day, I still had to keep myself from falling asleep. The audience was silent but when the end credits rolled I could hear the disappointment of others too.

It's extremely long (163 min) and painfully slow and nothing much happens in it. Every scene and every shot is stretched endlessly, like watching an entire movie in slow motion. Ryan Gosling, a very talented actor, unfortunately once again plays the same character which seems to have sticked to him since DRIVER - extremely slow moving, minimum dialog, lots of staring (yeah, Red Letter Media were right in their satire of the trailer). There are bits of interesting scenes sprinkled throughout the movie but they just seem random and don't create any coherent story. It's like scenes and shots made to be put in a trailer.

On the good side, there is a good production, good sets, impressive cinematography by veteran Roger Deakins, and they really tried to replicate (no pun intended) the world create in the original movie. If you watch closely, you'll even notice an ad for Pan Am, just like in the original movie. The music is also similar to Vangelis' style at times (including "Tears in Rain" at the end). I should mention that this is the second time this year that Hans Zimmer uses the Shepard tone and as much as I like Zimmer, the use of the Shepard tone here was too obvious.

I was also very impressed by Carla Juri's scene as Dr. Ana Stelline and I liked the Joi/Mariette scene.

All in all, this is a very disappointing movie with some good visuals. I kept my expectations low and I was still disappointed.

4-4.5/10 Disappointing. For fans of director Denis Villeneuve.
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23 August 2017
A 67-min documentary about Chen Si, a volunteer trying to prevent people from committing suicide by jumping from the Yangtze River Bridge in Nanjing. This bridge is one of the locations with the highest suicide rates in the world (more than 2000 suicides from 1968 to 2006 according to Wikipedia). Chen Si has been doing that for years, riding his motorbike on the bridge, looking for people who are about to commit suicide and helping them by talking to them, offering them food, shelter, work, money or an advice.

This is a very "raw" documentary. No fancy editing and no glamour. The film shows the poverty of the region and the stress people are having.
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Wind River (2017)
13 August 2017
Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan. This is the guy who wrote HELL OR HIGH WATER and SICARIO, so you know what to expect. It's a very slow movie, taking place in a snowy Native American reservation. A young FBI female agent is sent to investigate a death.

It's not that bad... but it's not that great either. It's slow in a good way, but also slow in a bad way. It has a good snowy isolation atmosphere, some good emotional situations. But still, it was too slow and too little happens. It's only 107 min long but it felt like a 2.5 hours movie.

With Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen who looks like a young Michelle Pfeiffer.
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Atomic Blonde (2017)
1 August 2017
Late 80's. Charlize Theron is a British spy sent to East Berlin just before the fall of the wall. I wouldn't have mention it, but the wall takes a dominant part during the entire movie and everyone who grew in the 80's would have a great nostalgia, mainly due to the wonderful 80's songs played throughout.

The movie starts well, but unfortunately it's tedious. I expected a light action film, not an over-complicated story that tries to outsmart itself every ten minutes. Combine that with the fact that I was tired and you get me dozing several times in the middle.

The action scenes are long, violent and brutal. They are realistic and the camera-work is original, replacing the now-formulatic hyper-cuts with long continuous shots, which is a good thing, although some of it is just too shaky and/or rapid for a cinematic viewing. One scene stands out as very impressive: It's one long shot that takes place outside and then inside a fast moving car while the camera travels inside the car. If it sounds familiar, then yes, it's definitely similar to the scene in CHILDREN OF MEN and it's just as impressive.

The movie is just under 2 hours, but it felt a lot longer and more than once I thought the credits are about to roll.

I really wanted to like this movie, but unfortunately I didn't.

With James McAvoy, John Goodman and Toby Jones.
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Dunkirk (2017)
I had low expectations and it was still disappointing.
30 July 2017
I always said that Nolan knows how to handle films technically and this one is not different. But this is a 100 min battle scene with almost no structure and very little character involvement/development and almost no emotional connection. Some of the scenes are impressive (I really liked the aerial footage) and the sound blasted the cinema. But it's not enough to make a good film. I didn't feel involved and even though the movie is only 100 min (pretty short in today's norm, which has become AT LEAST 2 hours long) it still felt pretty long.

I should probably mention that the hand-held camera (especially in the beginning of the film) was way too shaky for my taste and felt very uncomfortable.

Nolan has his hits and misses. He's very capable, but I still think he's one of the most overrated directors and whatever he'll do people will praise as the best movie ever made.

4/10 Disappointing
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Incredible CGI
27 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
* I put a spoilers warning although I don't think that any of them actually spoils the movie *

Let's start with the good stuff: The CGI. Absolutely incredible. Technology has reached a level you simply can't trust what you see anymore. The apes rendering is just flawless and it's done in nearly every frame of the movie. It's only the movement that seems slightly off at times. It's worth seeing this movie at the cinema just to appreciate the level of achievement of the CGI on the big screen. IMO it deserves an Oscar for visual effects.

I liked this sequel better than the previous one. It's not as good as the first in the new trilogy, but it's surprisingly dramatic and emotional. While there's plenty of action, those scenes are there to serve the plot and dramatic parts, not just action for the sake of action.

Having said that, the movie is not without its shortcoming. First of all, like all blockbusters nowadays - it's way too long. It should have been 20-30 min shorter. The plot itself, like I said above, is quite emotional and dramatic at times but something is missing for me, the story is quite simple and missing some more elements.

There are plenty of references to the original 1968 movie and - like in Rogue One - an attempt to explain some elements seen in the original movie (especially why the humans can't talk) and perhaps tying the end of this movie to the beginning of the original movie (although the latter takes place in a much further future).

Also, there are plenty of references to APOCALYPSE NOW.

All the actors are very good in their roles: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn (Bad Ape), Amiah Miller (the girl) and Karin Konoval (Maurice).

All in all it's a pretty good movie.

Worth watching
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The step- and slightly retarded brother of The Fifth Element, Avatar and Contact
24 July 2017
It's not bad, but like all blockbusters nowadays it's way too long (137 min) and should have been cut by half an hour. It's a light SciFi, don't expect anything smart. Just put your brain in neutral and enjoy the visuals, score and sound.

The entire Rihanna scene is cringeworthy and really a pathetic excuse to squeeze her into the movie in order to gain more young viewers.

Cara Delevingne is beautiful but still not a great actress. She has a very cute smile but smiling ALL the time in a movie is just annoying and makes it impossible to take the character seriously.

Also, the dialog suffers from the familiar disease of repeating the lead character's name in every sentence. So annoying.

With Ethan Hawke, Rutger Hauer (older than ever) and John Goodman's voice - all in very small roles.

This movie feels like the step- and slightly retarded brother of THE FIFTH ELEMENT, AVATAR and CONTACT. Is it worth seeing? If you're in the mood for a summer blockbuster with good visuals and sound and no brain, you should probably go watch it. Just prepare yourself for a movie that feels like 3 hours.
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Baby Driver (2017)
Rubbish - Don't Believe the Hype
29 June 2017
I watched it at the cinema (premiere day) and couldn't wait for it to be over. It's less than 2 hours long (which is rare nowadays) but it felt like 3 hours.

Ridiculous dialog, boring plot. The "love story" is not just bad - it's pure offensive, I haven't seen such awful dialog since STAR WARS 2, this is something Tommy Wiseau could have written, it's like something made by an alien who doesn't know how human interaction works. And the clichés... oh god.

The action scenes were bad. Ultra-fast cuts and close-ups which don't let you see anything and make your eyes travel back and forth between cuts (sitting at the second row didn't help). This is Michael Bay style and I can't stand it. I blame the director and especially the editor - I can't blame Bill Pope since he's a wonderful DP. I can't believe people like this movie so much. Several reviews on IMDb praised it as one of the best action movies and this summer's best blockbuster. Did I see the same movie?

I've seen worse films in my life, but this one was just offensive for my IQ. Any person with half a brain cell and a minimum knowledge of film should be offended by this movie.
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The Believer (2001)
Interesting subject with good acting by Gosling
10 May 2017
Loosely based on a real person, Ryan Gosling plays a right-wing Nazi who is actually Jewish. While he spends his time hating Jews and joining a Jew-hating group, he struggles his internal conflict. On the one hand he has a lot of respect to his religion and culture, on the other hand he hates it and his people. While many of the people in the group are just ignorant thugs, he is obviously one of the most intellectual people in the group.

Very interesting subject (even more when you know it's actually (loosely) based on a real person) which raises some interesting questions.

Ryan Gosling is very good in one of the earliest roles. While the movie is interesting, it shows the lack of budget and lack of experience by a first time director. The script itself could have also use some polishing and I didn't like the cinematography which uses close-ups way too often.

Still, it's an interesting story with good points, good questions and good acting by Gosling - and the fact that I saw it at least 3 times by now proves something too.
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Biloxi Blues (1988)
Highly recommended
11 February 2017
I always thought 1988 was one of the best years at the cinema (together with 1984, 1990/1991 and 2000).

I've seen this movie several times before, but not in a very long time. It's just as good as I remembered, perhaps even more. Excellent semi- autobiography comedy/drama about recruits in boot camp during WWII. Excellent writing by Neil Simon based on his play. Excellent cast - Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken and many unknown others, all perfect in their roles, even the supporting cast in tiny roles (the girl playing the hooker and Penelope Ann Miller who is damn cute). Good production and good direction by Mike Nichols.

Like GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, this is a great example of taking a play and making it into a GOOD cinematic presentation. The writing has a perfect combination of comedy and drama and all the characters are well defined and interesting - not like in many others movies in which the supporting characters blend with each other.

I just realized that the play and the Eugene Morris Jerome character are part of a semi-biography trilogy by Neil Simon. Corey Parker, who plays Arnold Epstein "the intellectual Jew" to perfection, also played Eugene (Matthew Broderick's character) in a later TV production, Broadway BOUND (1992) with Jonathan Silverman who himself played Eugene in BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS (1986). And to close the loop, Matthew Broderick played in BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS on Broadway.

I give 7.5/10 for the first half and 7/10 for the second half.
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Jackie (V) (2016)
Extremely uncomfortable to watch
27 January 2017
This movie has the worst score I've ever heard in my life. Seriously. It reminds me of a military siren. Just awful.

I find Natalie Portman's acting and especially her accent extremely unnatural and distracting. Sorry, but I think it's far from an Oscar worthy performance.

The entire movie feels extremely uncomfortable to watch. You need to see it yourself to understand what I'm talking about. Plus, it got a strong sense of Oscar bait and I don't bite it: An entire movie revolving around one actor, reenacting events of a historical figure. And for me it fails flat. It feels like a student project.

Watching the real "White House broadcast" (which was recreated in the movie), Jackie's accent and way of talking (and general way of behavior throughout the entire broadcast) is extremely unnatural too. Still, I think Portman makes it even MORE unnatural and uncomfortable.
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Too long, too slow and too lacking
27 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
(Major spoilers are indicated below, the rest is spoiler-free)

An animation about a castaway on a deserted island. It got some good reviews and is nominated for an Oscar, so I expected a lot more from it.

The animation is too minimalist and too static. Since there is no dialog at all, sound editing and music are essential. Unfortunately, they are both extremely lacking. Many scenes have no sound at all (or it's so minor that you can't even hear it) and there isn't enough music.

The scenes are way too long and repetitive and the pacing is very slow, but not in a good way. Zemeckis' CASTAWAY was slow too, but didn't have any boring scenes like in this movie. Zemeckis' movie not only had Tom Hanks talking to himself, but was even smart enough to add the volleyball which allowed Hanks to convey his thoughts and feelings. I'm not saying that a movie needs to be dumbed down to spoon feed the viewer, but it needs to make it interesting and moving.


The ending is both good and bad. It's poetic and moving, but makes no sense on a literal aspect. Are we really supposed to believe that the guy had one long hallucination through his entire life? And doesn't it make the entire story of the son meaningless?


The movie would have worked a LOT better as a short. Even at 76 min (excluding the credits) it's way too long for its premise.

For a movie that needs a constant fast-forwarding I'd usually not give more than 4/10, but for this one I'll give a pass for effort.
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Split (IX) (2016)
Only worth watching for James McAvoy
27 January 2017
I guess the fact that I actually wanted to watch an M. Night Shyamalan movie (haven't done that since THE HAPPENING (2008)) and actually sat through the entire movie (losing interest while watching it) is an achievement by itself. Still, it was everything I expected from a Shyamalan movie and from watching the trailer. James McAvoy is too talented for this silly movie, which had a big potential in terms of plot, but it was reduced to the regular Shyamalan garbage. It starts well, but gets worse and worse until it reaches the awful silly ending.

BTW, although Anya Taylor-Joy is a main character, I think she has less lines of dialog than Arnie in the first TERMINATOR.

As always, Shyamalan has to give himself a silly cameo. And the last scene... oh, god, the cringe.

This film is only worth watching for James McAvoy.
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Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Worth watching on the big screen
15 December 2016
The first part of the movie was absolutely terrible. Full of clichés, religious nonsense and a love story less believable than the one in STAR WARS EPISODE 2. If the movie continued like that I would have probably given it a 3/10 or a 4/10.

Then comes the military part of movie and it was just excellent. I don't remember seeing such believable war scenes since SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Excellent sound, excellent score, great war pyrotechnics, good cinematography.

I wasn't impressed by Andrew Garfield's acting. His constant silly smile is so annoying. Ignoring the smile, he was OK in his role - not more, not less.

If you manage to ignore the awful first part of the movie and Mel Gibson's regular nonstop religious themes, you better try to catch this movie at the cinema if it's still playing - that's a movie to watch on a big screen with good sound.

As much as I hate Mel Gibson on a personal basis, this was a good movie, if just for the authentic war scenes.

Vince Vaughn, who I usually hate, was surprisingly good (perhaps the best actor in this movie) and it took me a while to recognize him. Although the military training had some FULL METAL JACKET ripoff vibe, he was good on his role.
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Rogue One (2016)
Total borefest - I almost fell asleep
15 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
(Minor spoilers are indicated)

It's pretty bad, but I guess STAR WARS fans would enjoy it. It's more of the same. Lots of shooting, lots of bombing, lots of starship fights. All pointless. I was waiting for the movie to be over. You know how Peter Jackson loves to release extended versions in which he shoves more and more unnecessary stuff just to fill up the time? It feels the same. This is a 90-min movie (at best) "squeezed" into 134 min. You saw EPISODE 3 and you saw EPISODE 4, so you already know what happened before and after - you can't spoil the plot and this movie just serves as an unnecessary filler that adds nothing.

And if you're waiting to see Darth Vader, you're in for a huge letdown. His appearance in this movie is less than 5 min and it's easily the worst Darth Vader costume I've seen. Actually, all the costumes looked pretty amateurish. The CGI was pretty good and some good one-liners here and there. That's it. A pointless movie just to grab more money and fill the gap between the main STAR WARS movies.


What I liked about the plot is how the writers managed to find a good explanation (excuse) for the biggest plothole in STAR WARS (i.e.: Why would the Empire build a Death Star with a backdoor to blow it up) and the ending which, although expected, was nice for tying it with the beginning of STAR WARS 4. I also liked that they DIDN'T try to turn this into a feminist propaganda - the female lead was just there and they didn't make a big deal out of it. K-2SO was a nice sidekick.


The audience pleasantly surprised me. It's the first time I attend a movie on its first day of screening and I expected lots of noisy kids. Nothing like that. Total silence, except for some nice cheering at the beginning, at the middle and at the end.
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27 November 2016
The only reason to watch this film is to appreciate James Cameron's amazing talent in THE ABYSS. All the energy and credibility that Cameron created in THE ABYSS is lacking here. The boat looks like a studio set, the acting is drained of any energy and credibility and all the CGI makes it very hard to suspend your disbelief. Everything that made The Abyss a masterpiece is missing here.

Casey Affleck is absolutely terrible. Just try to think of his performance next to Ed Harris' - it's impossible to compare them.

And the clichés, oh, the clichés. The movie opens with 15 minutes of establishing that the protagonist got the case of the not-gays and it's more and more clichés from there.

Oh, and how the hell did LARRY KUBIAC become an old man Brian Dennehy all of the sudden?
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