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A brilliant epilogue to a brilliant show
12 October 2019
Warning! If you haven't watched Breaking Bad and are planning to watch this masterpiece of a TV Show in the future, then you should not be reading this. However, if you are a true fan of the show then prepare yourself for a trip down memory lane that will make you want to rewatch the show all over again.

Breaking Bad was a phenomenal project by AMC which captivated millions of people with its style, realism and the portrayal of the fact that all actions have consequences. What's more, unlike many shows it actually had a satisfactory ending. The only question on everyone's mind was: What happened to Jesse? When they announced the development of El Camino, I knew that Vince Gilligan and the team would not just resurface this project for a simple cash grab. I knew they had one last story to tell, a story that would be a true homage to a colossal TV Series.

The most impressive part is of course Aaron Paul who somehow managed to recapture his absolute and utter derangement as if the series has ended last week and not 6 years ago. He showed why he won 3 Emmys back in the day. Despite switching the networks, the movie still maintained the look, feel and atmosphere that we have grown accustomed to.

What I truly loved is that they did not try to cram content and myltiple plotlines for the sake of pouring it all out on the viewer and opening doors for future projects. Instead, they took their time, maintained the standard and used the 2 hours to wrap up loose ends by having a simple, yet interesting plot with plenty of unexpected and pleasant moments that make this into a delightful epilogue to a fascinating story.

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Gemini Man (2019)
Wasted potential...
9 October 2019
I had zero expectations for Gemini Man and the movie delivered just that because unfortunately, having two Will Smiths doesnt mean that the film will be twice as exciting. Its not all bad but neither is it particularly good which makes it seem like a Netflix movie where the creators have big ambitions but end up with a bland plot and half way execution.

There are some good points like the CGI that was used to make Will Smith look younger and he did a decent job acting a 50 and a 20 year old in the same film. There were good moments of action with good choreography and camera work but sadly most of the film is so dark that I had to strain my eyes to discern what was happening. A predictable narrative with some out of place jokes and some real head-scratching moments that nearly turned the film into a parody.

All in all, Gemini man felt like a poor man's Jason Bourne movie which lost its momentum too soon due to poor pacing, flat dialogue and weak storyline. Nevertheless, some good parts are there and they kind of balanced out the entire experience. I would not recommend wathcing it in the cinema, unless you are a Will Smith fan, but if you do, take into account that David Benioff wrote this.
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Joker (I) (2019)
Ledger was a sane man acting crazy, Phoenix is properly insane...
2 October 2019
Smile and put on a happy face! This is what we are told when something bad happens or when we are having negative thoughts. But what if everything that happens is bad and all the thoughts are negative? In a city where every layer of society is bad in one way or another whether it is the poor, the rich or even the children, Arthur's sole dream was to make people laugh. Unfortunately, no one was laughing except him and his laughter was filled with pain...Pain that has been building up over the years and now Gotham is about to feel it.

While Heath Ledger was a sane man acting crazy, Joaquin Phoenix is properly insane in his behavior and actions with The Joker simply being a tool that he used to justify his madness and make people notice him. He is not a comic book villain who wants to a be menace for a hero or achieve some aspiring goal of wickedness. In this movie, there are no heroes, there is no good...only the bad and the ugly. Arthur has no ambitions or reason and this is what makes him different and turns him into a movement that will erupt in an inferno changing Gotham forever.

Joker is not a blockbuster movie. It is a hyperbolized portrayal of our society in which fear acts as fuel for hypocrisy, bigotry and jealousy that occupy people's minds. Fear of being oppressed by the rich. Fear of the poor taking over. Fear of one madman becoming a symbol of a rebellion that might have a catastrophic aftermath making things worse than they are. Joker will create plenty of noise and discussion with people arguing whether it is a masterful depiction of societal issues, a meaningless joke or maybe something in between. One thing is certain, comic book villains will not be the same.

From the opening scene until the chillingly memorable ending, the film is a work of art in every aspect whether it is cinematography, music or acting. Joaquin squeezed everything out of himself to bring the madness on screen that made us feel sympathy towards Arthur and his struggle; in reality though, he didn't really care for it.

P.S. I would recommend not to look at any ratings and not to view it as "movie of the year". Experience it in your own way and draw your personal conclusions.

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Ad Astra (2019)
A soul seeking adventure
21 September 2019
This year's big space movie is quite different from Interstellar, Martian and Gravity. As a matter of fact it is less of an epic sci-fi adventure with a clear goal and more of an artistic soul searching quest that will be interpreted differently by all those who see it. Personally, I saw it as a portrayal of psychological problems that arise from isolation of humanity due to the progress of technology. Space is used simply to amplify the message of tragic solitude filled with chilling silence and endlessness of space.

The entire film is about Brad Pitt's journey of emotional growth as he traverses not only the solar system but also his mind. The camera was on him the entire time and he took full advantage of it by delivering a mature and a heartfelt performance that brought out his acting range in different way than Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He was not heroic but was willing to take on a challenge when he had to and while doing so demonstrated a crucial skill of being able to move on after making mistakes.

When the camera wasn't on Brad, it was unravelling the gorgeous views of the cosmos thanks to spectacular cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema which was supported by beautiful music. Ad Astra is more of a Space Odyssey and Solaris than it is Martian and Gravity. It is a movie that speaks differently to each person in a language that not everyone will understand. Nevertheless, if you do decide to see it, it must be in IMAX in order to let the film absorb you in a way that a small screen simply wont be able to.
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The Legend of action is back and is more violent than ever!!!
18 September 2019
Rambo Last Blood (2019)

At 73, most people prefer to sit at home, relax and reminisce their youth while being surrounded by their family. Sylvester Stallone was not built that way and this year he made a movie to prove that action stars of the 80s simply don't age. Obviously he has lost a step or two and is not flying around the screen like he used to but at bloody 73, he is still a one man army and the living proof that age is just a number.

Rambo Last Blood is a no nonsense grim action movie with a cliche plot that does not pretend be bigger than it is. Nobody is saving the world from mass enslavement, spies or nuclear threats. It is a simple revenge thriller with loads of action, grit and violence that can easily rival John Wick in terms of creativity. Stallone is a lone wolf who still has sharp fangs despite his gray hair and his enemies will find out just how sharp these fangs are.

Very similar to previous Rambo films, just on a smaller scale, so it goes without saying that if you are a fan of the franchise, 80-90s action or Stallone in general then you will feel right at home. Fast pace, simple narrative, grim settings and plently of violence give Last Blood a genuine throwback feel to the golden days of action.

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3 hours of pointless drama and cheap scares in a so called "horror"
7 September 2019
Sequels to good movies can be challenging to make because of audience's expectations and it becomes the director's job to craft a new movie that upholds the standards if it's predecessor while delivering new content in an enjoyable manner. It Chapter 2 received a bigger budget, a solid cast and for some bizzare reason a whopping 3 hour runtime that proved to be its biggest fault.

The problem with It 2 is that it tries to be a psychological dramatic comedy with pop scares and ends up failing miserably at all of them, except maybe the comedy. It is the exact same movie as part one with new scares and jokes minus the chracter chemistry and the overall pleasant vibe of Part 1. A lot of time is wasted on pointless drama, reminiscing about the past and soul searching to a point that by the time the interesting part starts, I have already lost all interest in the plot.

Despite following a source material, the entire film feels forced and pointlessly long. The film does have good acting and some hillarious laugh out loud moments but it all gets lost in the excessive talking, thinking and building up for cheap scares. I could not wait for the movie to end and that doesn't normally happen when I go to the cinema.
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Dont think that Guillermo name will make it good.
15 August 2019
I was very excited to watch this one because I love anthology series and I love anything Guillermo. Sadly, the overall excitement fizzes out as the central plot is weak and the cast is not impressive. The monsters look good and one of them is actually very creepy but it is all very childish. They missed so many opportunities to make this into a decent horror but instead chose to make a kids film instead.
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How dumb can action get before it becomes uwatchable?
1 August 2019
There are well done action movies where action is slightly unrealistic but I give them the benefit of the doubt for the sake of the plot. Then there are Fast and Furious movies where both plot and action defy the laws of nature but at least it looks good. Now, there is Hobbs and Shaw where the word common sense does not apply and things just happen for the sake of happening to the point where I felt my brain melting from the plot, dialogue and action.

The ride starts off nicely with cool character introductions, solid fight sequences and snappy one liners that made the movie look promising. Unfortunately, the fuel ran out pretty quickly and they decided to fill up the tank with a mixture of Redbull and expired milk. As it progressed, the crazy sequences kept on piling on top of each other in an attempt to create some excitement not knowing that the audience has already left the car and is watching it drive off the cliff.

What carries the film is the chemistry between Rock and Statham combined with hit and miss humor plus some surprising appearances; oh, and very cool motorcycle. Hobbs and Shaw is a nice movie to watch with your friends and make fun off if you are a fan of the franchise. It felt 3 hours long from how much it tried to be about saving the world and nonsensical ideas instead of just being a proper action movie. I understand that it is meant to be dumb action, but how dumb can action get before it becomes unwatchable?

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The Lion King (2019)
Even worse than what you think it is
24 July 2019
Naaaaaaants ingonyamaaaaa bagithiiii Baba!!! These words stir up a fire inside of me and the animation that comes after it along with the beautiful music and songs create a whirlwind of emotions and pleasant feelings that have a special place in my heart. With the way re-makes have been going for Disney, I was expecting it to be subpar to the original but I was not expecting to be that dissapointed.

To be fair, the animals do look good as long as nobody talks but as soon as they open their mouths, the facial expressions and animations simply lack any emotions which were the strongest point of the original. The Pride Rock itself has lost all of its grandeur and feels small and unimpressive making it look like the movie is happening in a zoo. The musical performances are weak due to the above mentioned reasons coupled with poor editing and transitions that take out all the magic and that breaks my heart more than anything.

The thing that vexed me was Scar who looks like he has been subjected to intensive shock therapy and was forced to work in the sewers before being in the film. What made me rage, was the fact that "Be Prepared" which is one of the most electrifying songs and performances in Disney history has been flat out reduced to ashes. There were two good points though. First is Seth Rogen who was a hand-in-glove fit to voice Pumba and probably the only character who looked organic in his role. Second are Hans Zimmer soundtracks simply because you can't mess them up. I just hope Disney will stop ruining the classics and will focus on new ideas from now.

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We have lost Spider-man forever...
4 July 2019
Spider-man has always been one of my favorite superheroes. I have watched cartoons, played games and loved the original trillogy. Since the reboot, spiderman went from the world's top 2 supehero to a mere cog in the MCU who got "chosen" by Tony Stark to take orders from obnoxious Nick Fury like a soldier and not a hero.

Gone are the days when Spider-man had to figure out how to solve problems on his own and be courageous to get back up every time he got knocked down. Now, like in Homecoming, everything can be solved with nifty gadgets and infinite budgets. There is no sense of danger and we never fear for Spider-man's life as everything is formulaic and weak simoly to fit into MCU. The movie had potential but instead of focusing on serious topics, it wasted it's potential on irrelevant parts.

Jake Gyllenhaal did not dissapoint and Mysterio was spectacular from the look to the awesome special effects but even he couldn't save this mediocrity. The school trip plot was a collection of nonsensical moments full of irritating characters supplied with patheric dialogue and cheap jokes. Any time one of the kids opened their mouth, I wanted to take out my eyes and plug my ears with them so I wont have to see or hear them. Somehow after fighting alongside Avengers, Peter managed to become even more awkward to the point of absurdity. As a fan of original Spider-Man, I am extremely saddened by what was done to my beloved character.

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Pavarotti (2019)
More than Music
2 July 2019
When it comes to opera singers, there aren't many household names that people know or actually talk about, with the exception of one person, Luciano Pavarotti. Few documentaries make it all the way to the cinema, not to mention having a premier screening, so I was curious about what made this one so special.

I knew who Pavarotti was before watching this film and I have heard his performances, but I had no idea what kind of man he was and how people loved him for his voice, charisma, generosity and his big joyful smile. Ron Howard seamlessly blended the footage of Luciano's life to make it flow like a regular film while accentuating on the musical parts that left me in awe of how talented and impactful he was, specially hearing it through Dolby Surround system.

This film is more than just a documentary about a singer; it is a story of a man who worked tirelessly to achieve worldwide fame and yet not once did he lose himself in the process and that is how he will be remembered. He loved life, he loved the ones around him and he loved helping others. Luciano is one of those people whom I would love to meet just to bask in his grandeur and absorb some of his happiness, positivity and energy that he radiated.
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Much better than expected
26 June 2019
After the fiasco of The Nun, I was about to lose all hope in the Conjuring Universe but this one pleasantly surprised me. Enough to watch their next film.

A small time plot where everything happens in one house with a bunch of children running around trying to fix the mess they made. Good blend of Suspense and Jump scares with occasional creativity.

What surprised me most is the solid performance by Judy and the humor aspect of this film which was highly enjoyable. Fans of the franchise and horror casuals will like this one. Horror veterans can pass on it.

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Toy Story 4 (2019)
Good, but not near the level of it's predecessors
21 June 2019
Toy Story 4 (2019)

Watching this animated film as an adult, I was thinking during the first half an hour why was this even made? Why am I watching a cartoon about a pathetic looking spork made of chewing gum and why all the fuss about it? Couldn't they come up with something better in 9 years? As it went along, the story improved and at the end I did enjoy it but no way near as the previous ones.

The new toys are different from what we saw in the earlier movies and have some interesting personalities which lead to good toy-chemistry and some funny moments. The plot has some originality but at times feels repetitive with decisions being forced and characters acting inconsistent to their personalities not to mention some of them being left behind as a whole. Also, the fact that the entire plot hinges on a spork, makes it difficult to fully appreciate despite the philosophical points and messages that it sends.

I did enjoy the first 3 Toy Stories but I felt that this one fell short of its predecessors in establishing an emotional connection and leaving me with a feeling of overall wholesomeness by the end of the story which is sad because this is what Pixar has always been known for. As an adult, I would not say that this one is a must watch unless you are a die hard fan of the franchise or have children. Its good but not as phenomenal as everyone is saying.

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Rocketman (I) (2019)
I hate musicals but I liked this one
15 June 2019
Hh Rocketman (2019)

Normally, I don't watch musicals. The dancing and singing always look out of place and do nothing but distract me from the plot. I couldn't imagine that Rocketman would be a musical so when they all started singing I automatically lost 90% of the interest. However, as it went along, I saw that this film is not simply a story about music and the actual "musical" elements are different from what I saw in other films.

Rocketman is not on the level of Bohemian Rhapsody, simply because Elton and Freddie are different kinds of musicians. The objective here was to show his early life, his incredible talent and the choices that he has made along with valuable lessons that he learnt from them about the messed up world of music and people in general. Taron was outstanding and energetic as Elton aided by musical performances that were crisp, colorful and to the point instead of becoming 5 minute dance shows.

A lot has been shown in the film and yet it feels like even more is missing with many interesting parts of Elton's career being omitted. Questionable story telling with the plot often jumping through time and forgetting the audience behind but that does not damage the film too much. The movie has a LOT of music and songs that make the 2 hours feel like 20 minutes of one big concert that makes this drama come alive.

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Dark Phoenix (2019)
The worst X-Men movie
7 June 2019
I love X-Men, I watched every single one in the past 20 years multiple times and while I did enjoy some more than others, I never hated any film. I closed my eyes to small mistakes and forgave them anything. Not this time.

Instead of going out strong and leaving a good impression after so many years, they did the exact opposite. The movie is distorted, rushed, predictable, flat and overall unimpressive. Everything looks cheap from the costumes to the decorations. The actors are uninterested in the movie and look like they just want to deliver their weak lines and get done as soon as possible. Nobody at Fox cared about this movie so why should we? I am sad for what was done to my beloved franchise.

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Aladdin (2019)
An insult to the original
25 May 2019
What....a....joke! I was expecting this movie to be bad but nothing prepared me for this mess. To take one of the best Disney Cartoons that everyone loves and turn it into this?!? How did Guy Ritchie sign up to direct this abomination?!? No inspiration, no joy and no heart.

Everything from the costumes and decorations to singing and dancing looks cheap and feels like a TV movie despite its vibrant colors and CGI. This remake feels more like a parody where questionable actors don't have chemistry or know how to act for that matter. Jafar is flat out pathetic. Why are you singing Arabian nights in the start if it is all going to be Bollywood? Why does everyone except the main characters have an accent?

They adjusted the story and I can certainly get behind Jasmine's new arc since she is intelligent, independent and should be able to rule but the way they present it is forced and rushed specially with her song which feels out of place and breaks the flow of the film. Last and Main point: you can NOT replace Robin Williams. NO, NO and NO. This is an iconic character with gigantic magical boots that Will Smith sinks in despite his effort.Yes, the movie has one good musical scene but it is not enough so avoid it and watch the cartoon instead.
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Just stop this...
19 April 2019
NO, NO and once again NO. No originality, no plot and no fear for that matter. Not one moment of proper suspense, not one proper jump scare and not one elevated heartbeat. This was made for people who have seen 3 horror movies in their lives; otheriwse avoid at all costs! Stop feeding the Conjuring machine with the same formula and please make some creative and trully terrifying horror.
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Hellboy (2019)
13 April 2019
SEND IT BACK TO HELL! Another remake and another trainwreck. Seems like nothing is safe nowadays even terrific, stylish and immersive movies by Guillermo Del Toro. I almost felt like I was watching Transformers the Last Knight.

From the cheap looking prologue all the way until the credits there is an absolute lack of pacing. The writers tried to cram waaaaay to much into this movie mixing everything from King Arthur to Russian Folklore with Hell and iPhones in the middle of it. The movie cant establish an atmosphere or flow by constantly transitioning between places, colors, light and darkness. Everything is rushed, half-hearted and poorly executed.

While David Harbour does look like Hellboy, he lacks any character or charisma that Ron Perlman had. He is supposed to be from HELL, not a whiny boarding school. The film is full of excessive and poorly used profanities and violence that just feel out of place and make it look even worse. Humor is flat and cheap. Fight sequences are done well and that is it! Colossal disappointment and an insult to the original film. Watch at your own risk.

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Shazam! (2019)
A 90s movie for 11 year olds
5 April 2019
Marvel made Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man, both were were unexpectedly good and funny. DCEU made Suicide Squad and Shazam but instead of pending time to work on the movie quality and actually humor, they decided to spend their time hyping it up and while Shazam is definitely better than SS, it is not even close to the level of Marvel and it truly breaks my heart because of how much I love DC.

Shazam is a cool superhero with cool looking superpowers and cool charisma about him but that doesn't make a 130 minute movie. The whole experience felt like a 90s TV movie/cartoon about a 2nd tier hero and villains. The background is there, the hero is there, the plot is there but it all feels so "cheap", basic and all over the place. The writers were too lazy to take an interesting story and shape it to look original and exciting. The bullies, the wizard, the villain, the 7 sins, the fight scenes are all done half-heartedely.

Yes, the jokes are there and some hit the spot but they get lost in the overall mess. Shazam feels like it is made for 11 year olds and it has good messages about overcoming adversity, friendship and getting superpowers. Sadly DCEU is not in the position to make movies for specific audiences. Aquaman had a weak plot but it was confident in appealing to everyone and was a BOMB visually, Shazam also has a weak plot but feels insecure of itself and in the terms of humor it is merely a Firecracker.

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Us (II) (2019)
Onyl good if you are a horror/thriller casual
22 March 2019
Personally, I was very dissapointed with Us. One word to describe it is underwhelming, specially after all the hype. Technically, the movie is very solid with good cinematography, nice pacing and excellent music. Lupita's performance is good but overall its not enough to carry the movie.

The problem is, after Get Out, which had a great storyline with an awesome twist, Us fails to do the same. The plot is seemingly meaningless and quite predictable without any "wow" surprises. The "creepiness" looked more cringy that scary, except the girl, and was laughable at times. Violence is a big part of this movie but its all done so poorly by horror standards. Finally, in the fear department its flat out pathetic.

Overall, Us is an OK movie made for horrror/thriller casuals who are new to the genre. I dont hate it but after Get Out its just extremely disappointing specially for a horror movie veteran. I was expecting fear and violence aspects to be weak but I was counting on the plot and twist to blow me away; sadly, that wasnt the case.

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19 March 2019
You Traded Walking Dead for this?!?! There you had a fan base and now it is just an average show that nobody is going to watch.
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Capernaum (2018)
If you have a heart; this is for you
16 March 2019
Capharnaüm (2018)

After exiting the cinema, I couldnt say a word for 3 hours and I probably wouldn't have spoken the whole week if I didn't have to leave the house. I simply was not able to produce a single sound, I only wanted to sit quietly and think about it and try to build my heart back together.

Capharnaum can be compared to jumping in a frozen river, sitting there for 2 hours and then walking home in a snow storm so that all you can think about is that experience. Absolutely heart wrenching movie that talks about so many things that it will take hours to write down. One of the most emotional and gripping films that I have seen in my life and I don't think I am ever going to forget it.

Nadine Labaki created something truly special that touches the soul. Zaid brought this story to life. This should have been last year's best foreign film. This is as real as life gets and the fact that it happens every day is devastating. If you liked Schindler's List, Pianist, Lion and Room; this is for you. If you liked Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns; this is for you. If you have a heart; this is for you.

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Sharp Objects (2018)
Slow and depressing but that is the whole point
9 March 2019
Sharp Objects (2018)

Slow... no, very slow and depressing too, to be honest not a single happy moment in all 8 episodes. Atmosphere of the show feels like walking through a swamp where you dont really sink but at the same time never forget where you are. You still here?

Similarly to Big Little Lies, Night Of and True Detective, Sharp Obejcts takes its time to develop the character's personalities so that we can be fully absorbed and feel the pain and suffering that they have been going through all their lives. It frequently and effectively uses silent 2-3 second flashbacks that make you pay attention to little details and force you to make your own conclusions. There is a serial killer investigation going on and there is also a good twisted ending but its not the main point.

It is purely a mood show with terrifically believable acting, specially from Adams and Clarkson, mystifyingly haunting cinematography and superb editing. The soundtrack is hypnotizing and puts the show in a state of trans. Once again, it is very slow paced but I got sucked into it and finished the show this weekend. If the above has intrigued you or if you are a fan if Amy Adams then you will enjoy.
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Suicide Squad of Marvel
7 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The WORST Marvel movie to date!!! How could you Marvel?!? How could you do this to your fans?!?! We know you guys like money but at least in your other "Origin Stories" where new characters got introduced to compliment the Avengers you put the effort to make it interesting, entertaining, action packed and humourous. None of that here.

Here is a quick spoiler free summary to save you 2 hours: "Some planet, green and blue alien mumbo jumbo, amnesia, nick fury, cat, pager, miraculous super powers, BOOM credits, post credit scene, end." Literally a bunch of random events about non developed characters that we dont care about stapled to weak action scenes and some cheap 90s references and bad songs poured all over.

The worst part is what they did to Nick Fury, I felt like he was a junkie college student and not a shield agent. Poor Bree Larson got involved in this; how the mighty have fallen. I laugh at the thought that this Garbagio was supposed to rival Wonder Woman, it is more likely to rival Suicide Squad. I couldnt find anything likeable except the Stan Lee intro, shame it had to be in this wreck.
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True Detective (2014– )
The good vibes of season 1 are back
27 February 2019
True Detective Season 3 (2019)

Four years in the making and it is finally here with the same dark and rough feel of Season 1. Small rural town in US, mean people and a twisted crime that takes 35 years to solve. The narrative seamlessly transitions between 3 different timelines and gradually reveals small pieces of the plot.

Mahershala Ali grows with every role that he takes and here he embodies the entire series and I dare say that this is his best acting. As the plot moves between 80s, 90s and present he moves along with it depicting 3 different personalities and living the role. Bravo Sir!

Overall a seemingly simple tale at first but like all good things, biggest mysteries take time to unfold. Superb production and cinematography with fantastic acting and dialogues. Obviously it is not better that S1 but it does have a very similar feel so you wont be disappointed. If you have never seen the show then check out the trailer and dive into the world of true crime.
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