Reviews

2,024 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Opening Night (II) (2016)
6/10
A film made for Broadway people
21 January 2021
Occasionally you get the movie about movies, or the play about plays, or - as it is in this case - a musical about musicals. I will give it what it's due: the music didn't feel out of place until the very end. I mean, it's a film about the musical business, of which it makes fun of for having people breaking into song for no good reason, so it makes sense to have people break into song all the time, especially if you like circular reasoning. And the acting was OK, although I really feel Topher Grace was pretty weak as a lead and the show was stolen by Taye Diggs, as always.

Other than that it is a straight stage movie, with the high stake opening night as a background, the fast pace of everything, having to work with people that are very different and often overdramatic, the obligatory romance between coworkers and the eventual stand-up ovation that was cringeworthy at the end.

So, I didn't feel the film opened any new world to me. I still dislike musicals and all they stand for and the antics of over-drugged drama queens are of no interest to me. If you like that kind of thing, you might enjoy this. Still I rate it low because I just thought it was a weak movie, not because of the subject matter.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A smartly made movie, although that may just be the merit of the book
21 January 2021
I have not read the book, but if I am to understand the movie's claims or the background information I collected, this was based on a true story. The movie just... errm.. spiked it a bit.

Anyway, I liked the movie. It was smart. It showed Black people in ideological opposition to White people, which made the two groups more similar, not more different. It showed the good people of the police, as well as the bad. It showed the violent, dumb, impulsive people as part of larger groups of people who are not like that at all. Even the Klan was presented in a reasonable light, in the sense that it was made of people which were different and had different reasons for what they were doing.

It contained a lot of not so subtle attacks on Trump, which I found rather stupid. You take a book about 1978, first published in 2014, that contains a well balanced story and beautiful timeless characters and you turn it into a timelocked attack on the current president. The things that were added to the basic story didn't work so well either, trying to bring tension or humor where the story was discussing human nature and group dynamic.

So I have no idea if this was a bad adaptation of a good book or a good adaptation of a mediocre one. I liked the movie. I don't think John David Washington did a great job, but he was decent and the supporting cast was awesome. Ignore the more heavy handed ideas that the film tries to make you swallow and you will find this is a fun and complex examination of people being people and only then about racism, which is always welcome.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Artemis Fowl (2020)
5/10
An utter mess for anyone that has not read the books, like me
16 January 2021
So imagine my surprise to find that this mess was directed by Kenneth Branagh. I expected them to be one of those woke 13 year olds fighting to make a mark in the big bad world who won't acknowledge their nonexistent accomplishments. I have no idea who Artemis Fowl is and, after seeing this film, I still don't. I wanted to complain that if they're going to make a movie about Irish Celtic mythology, why not get some good Irish people to do the job? And they did! Writers and directors and a lot of the lead actors are Irish or maybe Scottish. More McPeople than I've ever seen in one place. And it felt like a McDonalds meal. You mucked it all up! You failed in expressing your own culture, you did!

The only positive in the film are the visuals. They are quite well done. And the cast, if one can call it an achievement, since many of the actors in that cast are misused or not used and simply put there to attract people in the cinemas. The joke is on them. I mean, look at this: illustrious director - check, stars like Colin Farrell, Judi Dench and Josh Gad - check, children story from acclaimed book about hidden magical worlds - check. Beautiful girls that may become media idols in the near future like Tamara Smart and Lara McDonnell - check. Cha-ching! Nothing else deserves any attention. Characterization, none. Story, none. Feeling, none. Editing: abysmal - those guys should be fired.

Why does the black guy have blue eyes? Why is Juliet in the film at all? Why is a world of technomagical fairies that live centuries and have a skeleton key to the universe afraid of the human world? Why can't we even see the face of the villain or know anything about her other than she is mad humans make fun of fairies? None of that is explained in any satisfactory manner. And the main character? An annoying kid who has not acted in ANYTHING before this. And it shows! The best actor in the whole movie was Lara McDonnell. She's 17! And I may have been mesmerized by her eye magic thing when saying that.

Bottom line: typical Hollywood condescendence for viewers when making children's movies. I mean most of the movies they make assume the viewer is an imbecile, children movies are a notch worse. And worse, it puts people off from reading the book. Even if I had any inkling of an idea to read it, that's gone now. This film makes the writer and publishers of the book lose money!
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Howl (I) (2015)
8/10
A nice addition to the British werewolf genre
16 January 2021
I always rate movies based on their genre, otherwise I would just compare apples with pinball machines. This is a werewolf movie and as such it is great! Not as good as Dog Soldiers, perhaps (that Sean Pertwee gag was funny, I guess), but still well acted, scary without having to rely on jumpscares or absurd characters and well done overall.

The problem comes at the end, when the tension breaks and we see the weres, which are kind of makeshift and ugly and not so impressive as when you don't see them. And it really gets worse towards the very end, like they lost any interest in keeping it tight. However, overall it is a good low budget horror film which doesn't feel clichee and made just for the money, as most horror films are today.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
By the numbers movie, well acted, but not very entertaining
15 January 2021
This is an unscrupulous attempt to combine Training Day with something like Monsters of Man (or any other mediocre recent robot related CGI laden money grab).

And it was a perfect job. The movie pushes all the buttons, does everything that was in both genres of movies, but without any feeling. Ironically, it felt like a machine created the script - when I know for a fact that if a machine did it it would have been more creative.

Bottom line: you may enjoy it, but it doesn't bring anything new and it's pretty boring.
35 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
This is a documentary about how the War on Drugs has and is being used against Black people. Not much else.
15 January 2021
This is part of a bunch of movies that Netflix put up which are reportedly about drugs, but they are more about the way politicians and the media have used the concept of drugs to promote their agendas. Some are good, like the Cocaine one, some are bad, like this one. It's not badly done, you see, it's just monochromatic - pardon my color bias. It talks about the drug being inoffensive, then getting in the attention of media and government and how minorities are being oppressed using weed as an excuse and it doesn't stop. It just goes on and on to the point where in the end they complain that people of color with "knowledge" of marijuana who have been imprisoned because of that are now not part of the marijuana boom that came after legalization. So I kind of downrate this film because it is misleading, telling me it's about grass, but in fact being about racism.

So yeah, War on Drugs is awful, prisons making money off of Black detainees that shouldn't be there are awful, capitalism is awful too. It's all about the money. If you're poor and in the system, you don't stand a chance. And yes, fight racism, minimize inequality, but for crying out loud don't complain because you are missing out on that sweet ganja money!
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
What politics and money can do to people
14 January 2021
The information in this documentary is not new. I've been reading or hearing about it on and off for a while now. The gist of it: Cocaine got really cheap and easy to use, moved into poor neighborhoods, predominantly black, then started making money for people. With money came greed, territory disputes, violence, addiction on a large scale. And the response of authorities was first to let the animals kill each other, then use cocaine to finance their own little war in Nicaragua (which also involved selling weapons to Iran), then use it as political fuel for presidents and switch the opposite way virtually overnight, putting everyone and their grandmother in jail - but only if they're black. The situation isn't much improved now.

There are people here who considered the documentary biased, but I didn't feel it was. It was backed by personal testimony from users and dealers, statistics that show what is happening at scale. It was leaning a bit more towards the Democrat debate (Democrack?) but it wasn't too bad. If they would have tried to make it a debate with the people from the other side it would have felt confrontational and taken too long.

I liked that it wasn't really about race or the political parties or any of that bull. Instead it showed the aftermath of money, power and politics left unchecked. And it was a calm, if emotional, exposition. None of that fashionable social media outrage stuff.

As for racism, when Black people start marching in the street because they are descendant of slaves you scoff - this happened centuries ago, get a life! - but this thing happened in the 90's and it's happening now. The elected authorities didn't care about you and me, they only cared about their own agendas and they destroyed people to reach their goals. Maybe not your people, but someone's people. If they change their racist ways it won't be to help Black people, it will be to also put Whites in jail, as long as they're poor and helpless. That's what the film is about and I recommend it.

Bottom line: a documentary that is short, to the point and presenting information that must be known.
15 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Another mediocre film made by someone who doesn't get comic books
13 January 2021
I am no expert in comic books myself, but what I expect from a comic book movie is to be striking, visual, stereotypical and above all, consistent with its past and its planned future. WW84 was neither of these! It wasn't awful for a random movie made by students, but it was really bad for a film made by a major studio and starring talented people and having so much material to draw inspiration from.

First of all, Gal Gadot had a supporting role in this film. She may save the day at the end (well, sort of), but the main character of the story was Max, the villain. Then every other supporting cast member had a development arc, while Gadot had about half of one if I am being generous. Second, the story pushed in the invisible jet and that Wonder Woman can fly (!?) in a clunky and hard to stomach way. You almost saw the outline of the executive shouting "she needs to fly in the next movie!!!". And third I am wondering if this film was misandric or not. Men were consistently portrayed as weak, abusive, violent, lacking impulse control and heartless. If it weren't for three male characters whose only quality was they were not evil - and that includes Steve Trevor and the random guy he inhabited, I would have seriously felt under attack the entire film.

The result was something that felt like a draft story for a writer class, with bad CGI, improbable deus ex solutions to problems that were hard to swallow in the first place, underwhelming characters, poor action scenes, pointless Trevor appearance, unnecessarily physical solutions to problems that could have been tackled by simply talking to a person on a phone or something and so on. And the ending was about how nice the holiday season is after a catastrophe that affected every person on the planet and almost destroyed the world!

So no. No! I am not taking it anymore. I am tired of movies that are not made for children but assume I am one, and a dumb one to boot. I want good stories, I want compelling characters, I want people who do their damn jobs!
4 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Funny little Irish comedy, but with hit and miss quality and too light a spirit
12 January 2021
Another film that doesn't know what it wants to do. It mixes Irishness with the low budget horror/sci-fi/fantasy humor that is in fashion today, then adds a bit of satanism and romance for good measure. It felt like someone wanted to mix Truth Seekers, Ordinary People and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina into a single movie. And while it was pleasantly funny, it wasn't anything worth mentioning.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Fatman (2020)
5/10
The Christmas action film we never knew we didn't need
11 January 2021
This film has no idea what it wants to be when it grows up. It's about an American Santa who is paid by the government and the assassin sent to kill him by a spoiled and rich brat. There is no moral to the story, no character development, the movie just is and then it ends. The depths to which some actors can fall... The movie deserves no attention whatsoever.
1 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A contrived story about a man who finds out he's a character in a book written by someone else
11 January 2021
This movie is good, that's certain, and judging by the reaction of several people I know, you might like the hell out of it. To me it was so and so, probably because my expectations have been set high by a friend. You see, I would not have seen this film my myself for the sole reason that it stars Will Ferrell, but this friend was adamant that this was his all time favourite movie. While I give it a 10 star originality rating, the rest of it wasn't really that exciting and some parts I found borderly offensive.

One clear example is when the character, a by the book (or should I say watch) guy who lives his life according to a precise schedule just has to be "saved" from his bland life by the story of the film. I understand why most people would hate that kind of life, but people living their lives according to their choices do not hate their life, nor do they appreciate other people critiquing it like it's a piece of consumer product. Another is the character of Ana, who is a beautiful rebellious kind and energetic woman, the perfect romantic interest... and absolutely nothing else. In fact she may be more bland than the main character who was designed to be that way.

Was this an interesting gimmick? Yes. Was it fun to watch? I didn't get bored watching it. Was it acted well: I love most of the supporting cast and they did a decent, if not stellar, job. So if you like the kind of self referential stories about writing stories which in fact determine the outcome of one's life, then you're in luck. I found it merely above average.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Formulaic star driven movie about a British whistleblower that exposed British subservience to US interests
9 January 2021
It's good, but formulaic, like all movies of this sort. I wonder whether the ultimate goal is to inspire people or to let them be brutally aware that leaking secrets relevant to public safety means that:
  • entire governments will come after you and everyone you care about
  • special laws will have been written for people like you that only apply to you
  • reporters will check that the people involved exist (which will be denied on grounds of national security)
  • reports will check that the info is real (which they will not legally have access to)
  • the media organizations you contact will not have expressed an opinion opposite of what your information leads to
  • the media organizations and reporters you contact are not under surveillance themselves
  • the media organizations and reporters you contact are not going to crack under pressure
  • the reporting itself will be allowed by the apparatus of law
  • you have nothing to gain personally and everything to lose
And every time someone succeeds, they pour unlimited resources to study the case and stop anything like that happen again. Luckily, state organizations are also incredibly bureaucratic, slow, nepotistic and inefficient. But imagine having this as the only positive reason to believe your government will not overstep or succumb to corruption.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Slender Man (2018)
3/10
What a pile of foul smelling garbage
8 January 2021
I really have nothing to say about this film. It's that bland. The difference between it and TV static is that I don't have any hopes from static. Imagine some guys doing scary video bits on TikTok, like five or six of them, then thinking about how to turn them into a full feature movie. So they take a bunch of teenage looking girls, write a nonsensical script and have them run around like headless chickens. At random intervals they add the TikTok videos. Film done!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Moralist Christian propaganda disguised as sexual exploration
6 January 2021
The documentary starts with a few good looking children, all perfect and blonde and white skinned, loving to play together on a paradisiac beach. Then we fast forward to a beach in California U.S.A. where young people come to party. We quickly go through some of the young there, mostly males who boast their sexual prowess and some women who validate that behavior as the new normal. In this place, people meet and have sex 15 minutes after, then forget the other exists. Young people were drinking and having sex and loudly and communally enjoying themselves while honestly talking to the film crew.

I was a bit put off, but OK, let's see where this goes. Let's discuss the historical and economical reasons why sex has become as it has. Let us understand the people involved as well as the forces that created this sexual liberation. Let's discuss benefits and consequences. Let's talk about the frustration of being denied something just because old people don't feel like having sex anymore, then reaching an age when no one can do anything about it anymore. But no, after a while of exposing the pressure from everywhere for these kids to have "meaningless" sex, it goes into full blown feminist agenda and some old people who were deploring the way being sexual somehow makes us less human because all of us, but especially women, need that special connection.

I just couldn't believe the bait and switch! They went from almost soft porn to gospel preaching in a few scenes. To make it all worse, they end the whole thing with a gang rape and some girls crying that their little sisters were going to be put through the same pressure that there were put through, to go to a beach and have sex as much as they want.

The message that the way young people interact changed over what we knew as kids is important, but this documentary was not trying to send any other message than that sex is bad, you need to wait for "the one" and embrace the dignity of women, especially if they want to bone you silly. It blew out of proportion the pressure that these kids feel, blamed society without suggesting any solutions, and completely ignored (and denied) the right of young people to choose for themselves. Somehow, in the mind of writer/director Benjamin Nolot, all young people were subsumed as part of the crowd of drunk idiots that came to that particular beach in California for the specific purpose of letting it all out.

And then it ends with the beautiful children again, lost in their manufactured paradise, loving the sea and the beach that was rented for filming by the makers of the documentary and where they wouldn't be allowed to play even if it were empty and available because of people like the makers of this film.

And why did they focus in particular on California? Why did they make this horrid propagandistic and deceitful piece of garbage? Because Benjamin Nolot is an American CEO and founder of Exodus Cry, a Christian social activist group focused on the issue of human trafficking and an IHOP ministry based in Sacramento, California. Yes, it was all self serving, a Netflix paid Christian promotional material.

Avoid and warn others.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Hustlers (2019)
5/10
Unsympathetic characters, bad acting, bad movie structure, boring. The only save is that is based on real events.
5 January 2021
This was just a bunch of women complaining about how the game is rigged while they were stealing as much as they could then doing nothing with whatever they got, then repeating the cycle. In the end reality catches up to them and the movie ends. The main character is stupid as hell and when it is time to show she has some moral fiber she blows it. I was waiting for the big reveal or drama or whatever happens in the third act to keep you interested in the characters that were presented in the first part of the movie. And it never happened. This was just... not interesting or appealing in any way. Even the strip club scenes were ruined by either bad editing or choosing to focus on an obese stripper for some reason.

And the cast... so many people I recognized that had absolutely no relevant roles: the one eyed crazy lady from Handmaid's Tale, Julia Stiles, Frank Whaley... even Usher made a 2 minute appearance. What were they doing here?

It felt like a PSA film about how not to be a stupid whore. And I am not being offensive here, just descriptive.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
While I sympathize with the message of these movies, I find it hard to emotionally attach to such one sided and partizan work
5 January 2021
Ah, Aaron Sorkin, the king of U.S. coast progressives, always showing intelligent articulated people standing for what they believe in, in the face of insurmountable odds. Who would not love these heroes? Only it gets harder and harder to do that when all of these films kind of blend together. It's the same formula: the great cast on both sides of the argument, but all working to making just the liberal one appear sympathetic, the arrogant powerful fearful and mindless opposition, almost cartoonish in their villainy, with at least one member who would switch sides at one moment or another, the intellectual sarcastic humor delivered at high speed, the heroic musical moment at the end which shows good prevail. It's preaching to the choir, is what this is.

There is one more element that is common to recent films about the great American historic past: they are all reinterpretations for dramatic purposes. Starting with celebrity biopics, going through the war hero movies and ending with the kind of political manifesto genre in which The Trial of the Chicago 7 belongs... they are all gross exaggerations, elements removed, added or rearranged to fit purpose. I mean, yeah, it makes me feel good, but it doesn't convince. This did not feel historical, but caricaturesque.

So while I enjoyed the performance, it is nothing outside the realm of the expected. People who already believe in what the film has to say will watch and enjoy this, people who do not believe won't even watch it.

And in this particular case this is even worse, because what the story actually says is that because of sheer incompetence, a politically motivated plot against advocates for change failed. It's just like those films where the hero is close to death at every moment of the film and still he prevails. He does it because he is the hero of a movie, statistically everybody else would have failed miserably! If this film makes you think, as I believe Sorkin wants it too, then it gets you incredibly depressed and paranoid about the American system, always on the brink of autocracy and becoming a police state.

Bottom line: It makes us feel good to see how the Allies defeat the evil Nazis, who are presented as barely human, because of the stark contrast between us and them. How many of us stop to think that the same kind of logic lead to the Nazis in the first place? I wish films would be more about actual people and less about the one sided ideas they want to promote.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Soul (2020)
8/10
A beautiful Pixar animation almost on par with Inside Out
1 January 2021
The film explores the things that make our souls tick and spark joy in our lives. And it does this by analysing the life of this wannabe jazz musician who teaches in school and dreams of his big break. But what does that mean? What does he actually need? The story is quite complex, with multiple entities in different dimensions playing their roles and the animation is very well done. Yet there was something missing. The plot was predictable, telegraphed minutes before something was happening. Being animated made it entertaining, but if it would have been a normal live action film with a bit of CGI sprinkled in, many scenes would have felt a bit flat. A lot of what was meant to be deeper meaning stuff was drowned in the comedy and the actions of the quite superfluous Roquefort-like character.

Now, this is a good film and it is not my intention to dissuade you from watching it, quite the contrary, but while the approach was innovative, the story told is just one I've seen before and the moral is the same old Carpe Diem and enjoy the little things and journey before the destination crap.
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Meteor Moon (2020)
2/10
Totally unwatchable
1 January 2021
I've seen a lot of bad stuff in my life, enjoying the little gems I occasionally find in the mud, but this one was uniformly awful. Don't watch it.
7 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A stunningly depressing view on the lives of Afghan women under the Taliban
1 January 2021
This is not a cartoon for children. It shows a land where everybody is dirt-poor and women are treated as cattle, OK to be abused by any man, not allowed to move without male escort and anyone teaching or serving them being accused of being against Islam. Welcome to the wonderful land of Afghanistan in the 2000s and explore the lives of a family of five: a teacher, a writer, two girls and a little infant boy. The animation is very nice, if a bit too stylized, the characters are very compelling and you are guaranteed to get angry at the helplessness of people in this bleak story.

The story is based on the first book in the Breadwinner series, by Canadian writer Deborah Ellis, and you can see that the story is written by a Westerner, yet her work was directly inspired by interviews with real people. There are four more books in that series, if you want to explore that world more.

I am beginning to love Tomm Moore's work and if I were to rank The Breadwinner, then it would be on a close second place after Song of the Sea.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Wolfwalkers (2020)
8/10
If you loved Song of the Sea, you will like this, too
30 December 2020
I started with Song of the Sea, then WolfWalkers. I wish I would have done it in reverse, because I do believe Song of the Sea is the superior movie: the characters more layered, the animation better and more beautiful, the story a bit nicer. Wolfwalkers is kind of the same thing in the sense that the protagonist is a young only child who has to push pass their overbearing father to define themselves as a person. Here the metaphors are more heavy handed, with the ultimate goal being more about gaining freedom than evolving as a person, but you get the beautiful animation, the celtic folklore, the nice Irish music and the hero's journey.

I noticed other people comparing Tomm Moore's work with Miyazaki's and I concur that he kind of goes the same way: stories with a lot of national or traditional motifs, young children as heroes in very natural or magical environments going through a transformative journey that also tells things about us as people. Now I wonder if Breadwinner will be as good or not.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A beautifully animated Irish folk tale. Totally worth watching.
30 December 2020
The story revolves around the myth of the selkie - a magical mermaid, basically, but the main character is a small human boy who misses his mother and begrudgingly protects his little sister. The animation is very beautiful and the celtic mythology seamlessly integrates with the modern world via compelling and layered characters. The film is entertaining to both adults and children.

There are other animated films by the same guy, Tomm Moore, and I am going to watch them all. He's like an Irish Miyazaki!
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Replicas (2018)
3/10
Another story about a mad scientist solving ALL of humanity's problems, but caring about stupid things instead
16 December 2020
Against all odds, I like Keanu, and not because of the John Wick series and not because of a nostalgia for Bill and Ted, yet the only possible reason they had him in this film is his proficiency with silly augmented reality interfaces. In other words, he is good at hand waving in the air while looking very serious about it. His casting is almost as bad as Alice Eve's, who seems even more of an introvert and that in a movie about people dying and being resurrected in either robot or clone bodies against their will and with no preparation. She takes it all in with a British stiff upper lip and no emotion. "We will have words over this!" There is a particular scene at the end (the beach scene) that is hilarious because of all of its implications, but was not meant as such.

Anyway, this film is about a guy who struggles to transfer human consciousness into robotic bodies, but because of a sudden crisis, he not only does that, but he solves the riddle of death, transferring it to fully grown clones that he can create in a week, complete with muscle tone, skin tan and perfectly cut and painted hair. And he has to stop and run because his boss wants to use all of this... to make weapons.

In conclusion, it is a really bad story, with a really wrong cast. The acting is not bad, but it's just completely wrong. It fails on so many levels that I had to move the movie to a "so bad it's funny" rating. I can only imagine that, by being completely wasted, one would find it hilarious. With the same actors and the same technology and probably the same budget, but a completely different story, this could have been great. Instead, it's just one of those meh films that is closer to Sharknado than to Surrogates, the movie that it presumably tried to ... ahem... clone.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Mank (2020)
7/10
An era movie about movies
16 December 2020
Hollywood likes to portray Hollywood, like the narcissistic city that it is, and so from time to time you get these high budget, grand cast extravaganzas that do nothing but explain their place of origin. Mank is a black and white ode to the 30's Hollywood era, all wrapped around a conspiracy theory core. You get Gary Oldman playing the cowriter of Citizen Kane, the most important and beloved film that no one really watches anymore, and the story of how the story of this film was written. It wrongly assumes that you not only have watched Citizen Kane, but you are also familiarized with its history, the importance of the little details and the big personalities of the era. And therein lies its failure to connect to the audience.

If you ignore that and you don't give a damn about Citizen Kane, you can enjoy a fast talked snapshot of an era film, very well acted and complete with references to events and political strategies that mirror the present. You need to watch it even if only to see that fake news is not something new to 2020. It may be a little too presumptuous, a little self absorbed, but a good film nonetheless. I am sure it's better if you know what the hell it is referring to, though.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Another mediocre Batman Beyond film
15 December 2020
I don't know why, but I hate all these futuristic Batman films so much. Batman barely made sense 60 years ago, he makes little sense now and he definitely has no place in the future, yet they keep revamping the same old punching and jumping fests with improbable devices and huge explosions. What's the point? The hole idea of placing a story in the future is to be able to explain parts of the story, but instead they now have to make an extra effort to explain how the same stupid things even make sense in a sci-fi setting. And they take themselves so bloody seriously!

In this film for example large swaths of the city are destroyed by a space laser, but they keep punching and bringing people to jail and never mention what it must have been the deaths of hundreds and the destruction of the city infrastructure. And the characters are caricatures of the originals, because now those are 80 years old and acting responsibly, so there is absolutely no emotional involvement at all.

The animation and the voice acting is good, so that's why I will rate this as average, but I had so much more fun with silly Return of the Caped Crusaders or Batman and Harley Quinn than with this slick yet soulless film.
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A really funny and touching tribute to the old series
15 December 2020
Old timey Batman, Robin and Catwoman are back! And voiced by the original actors no less. In fact, Adam West, 88, died soon after voicing this animation. The story is completely wacky, with criminals making all possible effort to gain Batman's attention before committing the crime of the century, which is actually just a smokescreen for petty theft, of course. Then Batman goes bad and takes over the city and the criminals must save it. And everything is ridiculous! From the one liners that one has to google to get their meaning to the gadgets and vehicles that make no freaking sense.

Bottom line: leave your sanity at the door and enjoy this to the fullest. Not only does it not take itself seriously, it revels in its goofiness. I found it oddly touching, considering that they made the effort to cast octogenarians just as a tribute and a crowning of their original achievement in starting the Batman universe. It was terribly funny, but I doubt young people will be able to truly enjoy it.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

Recently Viewed