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Mute (II) (2018)
6/10
Minimalist film that doesn't try too much and achieves even less
8 December 2019
At its time, Moon was a revelation. A minimalist sci-fi with just one actor , Sam Rockwell, doing a great job and supported by Kevin Spacey's voice in the form of a robot. It didn't matter that the story was little more than an Outer Limits episode, it had what it took to be enjoyable. Now the same writer/director creates another minimalist movie, set in a near future Berlin that looks a lot like something out of the original Blade Runner and also with a few good actors like Alexander Skarsgård and Paul Rudd doing a fantastic job and also with a silly little story that didn't bring much to the table. Yet it didn't work.

First of all, there is no reason why the story was set in the future. It also brought a lot of inconsistencies between the present and that future that could only be solved by some parallel world stuff that was never explained nor, again, required. Then the main character is an Amish mute man, played by Skarsgård. Does this bring anything to the story? Again, no. But worse than both those issues and worse than the pointlessly meandering plot that the viewer can't be bothered to care about is the ending. It brings everything to a close, yes, but in a way that no one is happy or interested in. The ending is utterly boring.

Bottom line: It's Crash set into the near future, with euro actors and a boring finale. A decent effort, but ultimately a failure.
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7/10
A beautiful portrayal of an era in cinema, in a film that has absolutely no story for two hours.
1 December 2019
There are so many famous actors in this one, so many characters, and for two hours of the movie you get them built up, as they act very well in a wonderfully directed panorama of 1960's Hollywood. Then they do nothing. All that build up goes nowhere. There is a WTF Tarantino style ultraviolent scene at the end, but that has absolutely no bearing on the rest of the film and clearly does not provide closure. Tarantino movies are all well made, but some simply suck, as was the case of Death Proof. This film is very similar to that one, only it lasts for 2 hours 40 minutes. If you are the kind of person thinking that the journey is more important than the destination, you might like it, though. It's like 10 for acting, 9 for directing, 10 for the sets and atmo, 1 for story. It's that weird...

I don't recommend it.
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Gantz: O (2016)
7/10
Gantz reboot! Yeeea... wait a minute
17 November 2019
If Gantz 1 was mediocre and Gantz 2 terrible, they thought: let's redo it, not as anime, not as live version, but as 3D CGI animation! And yes, it works, however it has some major flaws. First, the story is slightly changed, so you don't know where this is coming from. Is it a sequel, a prequel, is it the manga story, the anime story, the live version story? In the end it's like a Final Fantasy based on Gantz movie with extra heroic heroes and bigger guns.
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5/10
Jesus, what a mess!
17 November 2019
Nothing in this film made any sense, from people who claim their highest wish is to resurrect someone, but then they call forth another, to weapons that work so bad that regular pistols are way better and people have to fight (badly) with swords, to fake (and bad) philosophical questions that mean nothing to the story or the characters. If Gantz 2010 was merely mediocre, the sequel is a piece of crap.
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Gantz (2010)
7/10
What if you were in a 3D shooter you can't get out of?
17 November 2019
Gantz is a black ball that recruits people that have already died in order to kill random aliens that are hidden on Earth. It does it completely randomly and to make it fun it presents it as a game: make 100 points and you can be out. The catch is that the threats are usually so bad that you can't reach 100 or if you do, you also get the option to revive a dead mate. The manga is full of crybabies that never find the time to deal with their emotions before they get killed and the film is not very different either. As others have said, if the ball tells you to kill something and it gives you a gun, use it, then consider your damn feelings and moral judgement.

All in all a good live adaptation of the beginning of the Gantz manga. There are at least two other movies in the series and they will probably continue where this left off without any closure whatsoever.
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Good Boys (II) (2019)
7/10
Started great, then went overboard
11 November 2019
The worldview of children is always hilarious, especially when they try so hard to be cool and pretend to know everything about exotic things like sex, number of sips of beer, parties and so on. So imagine three kids who go through this adventure in order to learn how to kiss, because they were invited to a "kissing party". The concept is both funny and really sad, considering we are talking about social pressure applied to 12 year old children. Anyway, the movie started great. It was endearing, funny and had a good premise and reasonable actors (and we all know how hard it is to find decent child actors). However after just 20 minutes it went completely off the rails. Instead of surfing the funny vibe, the makers of the film just ramped everything up to 1000%. Smiles became exaggerated, shouts hysterical, skewed childish worldview grotesque and everything unnatural and feeling fake.

Bottom line: after a great start, I just couldn't continue watching it. The attempt to make it all larger and funnier made it creepy.
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8/10
Better than it was reasonable to expect from a children's movie
7 November 2019
British folklore (Arthur and his pesky knights), family friendly with a good moral, kiddie adolescent protagonists and it feels like the good episodes of Doctor Who. Don't expect something spectacular, but consider the quality of other kids movies, the money grabbing condescending crap that assumes all children are morons. This is not like that. Top marks to Angus Imrie, who played a great kid Merlin and who I don't doubt would make for a good Doctor some day? Reminded me of Richard E. Grant.
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Wolf Children (2012)
8/10
A metaphor for raising children
27 October 2019
In a Japan that closely scrutinizes people's behavior and wants to make everyone the same, a woman moves in the countryside to raise her two children. The wolf thing is a metaphor for how different people need to live their lives according to their own beliefs and feelings. The animation is very nice and the story has many great moments, however the pace is very very slow. Other than the mother raising her children by herself and the things the children do, nothing much happens, but it's a beautiful movie.
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Stan & Ollie (2018)
8/10
A tear jerker
27 October 2019
This is the story of the relationship between Laurel and Hardy as seen in their last tour together in 1953-54. They are old now, people are not into their shows anymore and old wounds keep them apprehensive of each other. But they are still going, because what else are they going to do? In the end, their friendship is what matters.

It was a nice, but uneven story. John C. Reilly's Hardy was good, but Steve Coogan shone as Laurel. This movie made me want to see the old films they did such a long time ago. There was this scene where Laurel says that in their movies they only knew each other, not the other people in the sketches, and vice versa. I didn't think about it until that scene, but their comedy was terribly lonely and this film gets to the heart of that.

A very well acted film decrying the undignified finale of the duo that put smiles on the faces of Americans during the Great Depression, yet showing that their strong friendship had always been the point of it all.
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Tolkien (2019)
6/10
Doesn't do anything
26 October 2019
Imagine a story about the man who singlehandedly invented Anglo fantasy, who wrote Lord of the Rings, invented at least one language, influenced all fantasy computer games ever made. What would you put in it? The feelings of fellowship to his closest friends? The heart shattering love for a woman that seems more magical and alive than any other? The battles he fought? The evil that seemed to permeate the world and that had to be fought, regardless of consequences? Maybe his thoughts as he wrote his works?

Well, this movie tries to do that, only it doesn't go anywhere. His friendship with his colleagues is the most prominent thing, but without presenting anything that made that friendship strong except getting drunk with his mates and talking geek. Then there is the love for his lodging mate Edith, which he ends up marrying, also episodic and chaste. His children only appear at the end. The war is shown from a fever induced quest in the trenches of the battle of the Somme to find his friend. The film moves from him almost being expelled to him being a university professor in a few scenes. The story ends just as he starts writing The Hobbit, so his writing years are not even in this. The most personal conflict you see in the film is when he punches his friend and immediately apologizes.

It's not that the movie wasn't accurate, I have no idea if it was, but it felt as if Tolkien was a really really boring man and the most exciting part of his life, even dramatized and stitched together was still really boring. There are no bits in the film that made me feel anything for anyone. Capitalizing on the Tolkien name, this movie goes nowhere.
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Escape Room (I) (2019)
6/10
Escape and don't watch it
26 October 2019
The movie is not bad in itself, it's just that everything in it is a cliche. If you didn't think escape rooms are dumb before, you will certainly feel this way now. The thrill of the ordinary guy caught in terrifying circumstances fails to make any impact when you don't have any characterization, when you know it's a game, when you get information as you go along, so you can't feel you're part of it and when you know it's a game inside a movie! And that ending...

Bottom line: couldn't feel a thing for any of the characters except the obvious final girl. They wouldn't let me. The game was rigged.
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7/10
The bastard child of F&F and The Expendables
25 October 2019
You get the charismatic meat heads, you get the hot lady, you have the geeky scientist and the evil villain that fights against humanity. It's a team up thing, and it occasionally has cars, and there are a lot of punches and things hitting faces and some scenes with Deadpool in them and many red shirt StarTrek guys. It's fun, even when you know it's completely stupid, that physics doesn't work like that, that when you identify with the strong champions of humanity who protect the weak, the makers of the film identify you with the weak, and they are right. Mass media doesn't work like that, weapons don't work like that. Hell, women don't work like that. Viruses don't work like that.

Bottom line: occasionally funny, lots of testosterone, no sense whatsoever, two hours long.
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5/10
The origin story in Wonder Woman, but bare bone with stupid villains
22 October 2019
It could have been interesting, but it failed by being a clone of all the DC animated technological animations, where everything is badly drawn, computer animated and everybody and their grandmother have some shiny tech that is neither explained nor used to its full potential. If you stop to think about it, with that tech they don't need superheroes at all.
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9/10
An almost perfect movie, from cinematography to story
19 October 2019
I had no expectations starting to watch this film. Then it seemed like a sword fighting for revenge (and protecting things, It's a Japanese movie, after all). Then it morphed into something more, where every person involved is a human being, with their own reasons for doing things and their own principles, even the villains. If it weren't for some cringe inducing scenes (the women in this film can't seem to know how to act) it would have been a perfect movie.

Bottom line: came for the swords, stayed for the story.
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6/10
If you ignore the terrible animation, it's fun.
19 October 2019
It all felt like someone strung up all the scenes from a game to make a story. I asked myself if it were fan made. The animation wasn't only weak, it was slow. The whole thing's an hour long, but at what I consider normal speed, it's probably more like 45 minutes. I watched at 2x and it was OK. Also there were some scenes that were perfect candidates for eye candy, like the explosions of ships and the fights. They had no budget for those.

Now, about the story, it's an origin story of this character in a game called Halo that I have never played or seen played, so I can only comment on it as an independent thing. Young children are abducted and turned into supersoldiers just in time to fight an aggressive alien species. I don't know why they called it The Fall or Reach, since nothing fell. Just as I was getting invested in the story the film ended.

Bottom line: nothing spectacular, not in terms of production or storyline, but it is an animation probably made using a game engine for a novel written for that game. What did you expect?
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Aladdin (I) (2019)
7/10
Good direction and acting, but it felt a bit off. Plus, a musical.
12 October 2019
The story was the bare bone Aladdin: thief and princess fall in love, evil vizier, placeholder sultan, funny monkey and evil parrot. Lots of bling, stupid songs and dance, the end. It must be an American and Indian thing to sing and dance during a movie and think it brings something positive to it. For me it just made it all silly. No depth of story, character, nothing to learn from it, a waste of the talents of the actors and the director, which clearly did a good job. Also, Will Smith must hate blue face paint, because all of his genie routine was really really really bad face CGI.
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6/10
A formulaic plot, but exactly what I was expecting
1 October 2019
When I think Doom, I always have in mind Doom 1 and 2, the original games, with the silly pixelated sprite animation and the weird sounds and music. It wasn't so much horror as cheesy action. So when you get another low budget movie called Doom, you can't really expect much. Silly weapons, evil demons, lots of shooting. And that is what you get, with some typical horror plot thrown in of experimentation with alien technology on Phobos, the compulsory arrogant scientist with a British accent, the brave soldier - which in this case is the really cute Amy Manson - and some bad CGI.

Is it scary? Nope. You see everything coming a mile away. Is it funny? No. It takes itself seriously for some reason. It borrows the game elements: the levels, the weaponry, the colored key cards, and uses them in the plot, like they were supposed to make sense. Is the action amazing or the background story captivating? No. Like a blockbuster or a McDonald's burger, It's exactly what you would expect, with absolutely no surprises. The best part of the movie was how cute Amy Manson was.
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Anna (II) (2019)
6/10
On its own, average, but coming from Besson, awful
24 September 2019
Besson seems to be fixated on this story of the super sexy killer female spy. Anna is the rehash of Nikita, with only minor changes and a lot less style. It's basically the Ocean 11 version of the original, with less realism and cruelty and a higher body count. Just watch the 1990 movie and forget about this. I know everything gets remade after 30 years, but who the hell remakes their own movies?

The acting was good, the action scenes were solid, Sasha Luss was beautiful, but I would have much preferred a Rocky/Rambo style sequel with Anne Parillaud than this crap of a film.
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Easy Virtue (2008)
7/10
Painfully based on a play, starts well, ends in overdrama
15 September 2019
I love most actors in this film. They are all grand and their acting here is top notch, too. And yes, that includes Ben Barnes who showed real talent in The Punisher series. Yet the plot is so obviously based on a play, with all the melodrama and panache that are typical of theater. There is no movie adaptation, it's just a very well acted play on a very expensive set and filmed. And while the setup was grand and showed so much promise, the ending kind of fizzles. Maybe I am spoiled by all the films that build up tension and solve it in the end and it's hard to appreciate something that builds tension then doesn't solve anything at all. No character arc worth mentioning except for maybe Colin Firth's character.

To summarize, Jessica Biel exudes a wonderful presence, both sensual and grounded, to contrast the fanciful charade of lordly British pretense, but the confrontation only brings forth a few amusing situations and no character development. Imagine taking your new wife to your mother's and them not getting along. That's the whole plot, with some extra flamboyance added to make it seem interesting. Alas, it was not. Too bad of all the good acting: both the adaptation and I dare say the source material were sub par. Oh, and if you feel that my language is ridiculously pretentious, that's how they speak in the movie.
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7/10
Quite adequate
13 September 2019
I was quite dissatisfied with the story. The plot was convoluted, with a lot of personal issues that either went nowhere or went really off-book (can't say much about it without spoiling it, but you'll see). The ending was a bit predictable, then was somewhat invalidated by the end credits scenes. Technically it was great, the acting was top notch - maybe except for the annoying sidekicks that brought nothing to the film, but it felt off. Too technical, perhaps, I just didn't feel it. The jokes fell flat, the action was pointless because there was no back story and the big reveal came after the credits. Seriously, you just have to watch the end credits scenes to understand much of the film.

Bottom line: merely average.
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8/10
A slow indie examination of our motivations for living plus a love story
1 September 2019
You know that guy who can't live without a woman who can barely acknowledges he existed? What if he killed himself and went to another world, only a duller and even less worth living in? And what if he found himself and also reasons to live, even there? This is a funny little film, with good acting and a lovely script. Attention to details and people clearly loving their work adds to the cool calm feeling of the movie. I recommend watching it, but don't expect anything grand; it's something understated and thoughtful.

The funny part is that the ending seems to be optimistic, but if you think about it a little, our hero is back where he started.
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5/10
Pure Magic!
1 September 2019
You know when something makes so little sense you just know it has to be magic? That's King of Monsters for you. I know people just want to see monster fights and the hell with everything else, but even there it kind of flopped, since we have all that backstory that makes. no. sense. I mean, can't we just do a lot of CGI, say "Godzilla, king of monsters, in the red corner. Whatever, in the blue corner. Fight!". Really... just... let them fight! Why waste my time with anything else than pure magic: CGI monsters battling each other, with no regard to their shape, characteristics or abilities, just random attacks, like 5 year olds playing MK.
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Critters Attack! (2019 TV Movie)
4/10
**** you!
1 September 2019
The four stars rating does not mean it's better than a one, it means it isn't even funny, even when drunk with friends. From what I barely remember from Critters it was tongue in cheek and while very gory, also really funny. This movie is none of them: stupid puppets, bad CGI, nothing funny, wooden acting, lame gore, but what is worse than anything: its story is that a good black and white critter comes to save us from the evil toothy ones. How dumb do you need to be to steal wholesale the plot from Gremlins? But what tops it all is that the "savior" is female! Seriously? You managed to destroy the Critters concept, plagiarize Gremlins, make a complete garbage of a movie, but squeeze some feminist agenda in there, just to that you hurt that, too?

Bottom line: this movie is not just bad, it's toxic. It should put people in jail.
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Brightburn (2019)
6/10
Dunn Dunn Dunn Dunn Dunnnn
1 September 2019
A movie written by the Dunns in which Jackson A. Dunn is the lead actor portraying an anti-Superman. In a world that has not heard of DC, a family finds an infant alone in the woods next to an alien spacepod and decides to adopt him. Yet, when his alien powers manifest, he is just a weird, frustrated and homicidal kid. The film doesn't really end anything other than kill a bunch of people for no reason and the recipe is classic horror movie: the distraught faces, the dumb ideas, the country town in a flyover state, the "I love you but I fear you" bull, the jump scares.

In short, this film is a classic jump scare horror with absolutely no story and just a basic idea to go on. It could have been one of those "The Haunting of..." things and you wouldn't have known the difference.
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Dark Phoenix (2019)
5/10
A real failure to capture any feeling of story
30 August 2019
The more I think about it, the least I think of this movie. A story about something that is not named merging with Jean Grey, aliens that are not named coming to take control over it - by using sheer number and physical strength, obviously, a government that goes from hailing the X-Men to mutant detention facilities in a day and characters that switch from love to murderous hate in seconds. Nothing makes any sense! The film connects to none of the previous films, has actors in it just for the sake of killing them off or doesn't have them at all, in some cases. It's just a standalone X-men-like film that just doesn't seem to be part of the same thing. It looks like someone tried to make a Mutant-X film and randomly got the rights for the X-Men in the process. Why was this done at all?
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