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Well executed mess
Welp wastes a high-end execution on a witless mix of incompatible elements and wildly incoherent tone featuring everything from a fat, dumb policeman, a grossly burned thug, kids knifefighting, goofy boyscout comedy, hardcore slasher kills, oral sex and infanticide without any sign of wanting to be anything but a regular slasher.
Writer/director and possible sociopath Jonas Govaerts has no idea where he's starting from, where he wants to go and above all what in god's name he wants to say but the main dealbreaker probably is the total lack of motivation to any of the characters. Bad guys are bad, good guys are good, it's totally unexplained and without a goal. The only thing even halfway set up in this movie is a wide array of different bullies and I swear to f*cking god, every other person in this movie is a bully for no reason too. Then the killing starts and every f*cking person in this movie dies a pointless death and let me stress that most of the victims are 10 year old children. While I'm not touchy when it comes to gore films, I think most scriptwriters would agree that you better have a good f*cking point to mass- murdering children, as opposed to Govaerts who has them casually run over by a truck while standing in a tent, without most of them having had half a line of dialog to precede their untimely deaths. I found my self staring cluelessly at the screen asking myself who would even want to shoot something like this.
Even with the partly crowd-based funding, I have no idea who read this script and thought this was an idea worth financing.
An insufferable piece of crap this was, I swear I have never seen something this well executed be so disjointed and pointless.
Mildly entertaining with mind-blowing musical scenes.
Now despite of what I'm going to say, I want to make it clear, that I don't think this is a bad movie at all. As usual, it's just the script, that fails to live up to it's premise and indie movie or not, Whiplash is being harshly overrated in my opinion.
First of all, while J.K. Simmons' performance is highly enjoyable his character development is being entirely neglected throughout the movie, leaving me unable to comprehend his implied ambiguity at all. This is a major drawback, considering his motifs are a big part of the movie. Apparently I'm not the only one who noticed this, writer (and director) Damien Chazelle takes the cheap way out nevertheless and instead of giving Simmons some actual scenes to develop trough he just blatantly bashes in a monologue at the end trying to clarify the characters motifs. Chazelle instead puts all the focus on the character of Andrew Neyman and his rather trivial coming-of-age problems which are appropriate for an upper-middle class boy his age but nothing even in the ballpark of justifying a whole movie. He's studying music at an elite school and has to prioritize. His family doesn't quite get him. So what?
The other thing being totally neglected is the chemistry between the two main characters. This might be understandable in context of the plot but in order for me to be able to connect with a relationship there first needs to be one. This unfortunately means Whiplash falls short on it's premise exactly where it matters, trying to be an underdog movie without a real underdog or a real mentor or real stakes making it impossible for the movie to live up to it's potential.
These are just bad writing choices easily explained by simply not neglecting that Chazelle was the writer behind "masterpieces" like Grand Piano and The Last Exorcism Part II as well.
Now while I feel the movie is being praised rather for what it could have been then for what it actually turned out to be I would still recommend it for most viewers. Teens and casuals probably won't be bothered by the shortcomings of the script and everyone is set to enjoy the musical scenes that are nothing short of amazing and fortunately receive major attention. The rest is kept together neatly by solid craftsmanship from everyone involved.
All in all, Whiplash is mildly entertaining without any real lows and some amazing highs every time Andrew picks up those sticks.
Saat po long (2005)
Must see action sequences, the rest is only for die-hard b-movie fans
I somehow totally missed this flick in the 90', having seen it now in 2015 I'm pretty damn amazed at some of the stuff that can be witnessed here. The fights are top of the list to this very day, really the kind of stuff that every martial arts junkie has to see before dying a slow motion death from a spinning wheel-kick. Some of cinematography is pretty artsy as well. All the rest is pretty clunky, but easier to swallow if you can manage to concentrate on how bleak and inordinary this movie is rather then the terrible writing and acting. As you might have heard, the ending is pretty f*cking dark too.
B-Movie fans will know what to do with this.
Very little Godzilla for a movie called Godzilla.
It's clear why Gareth Edwards was brought on board and his efforts are appreciated. Godzilla wants to be a serious movie but unfortunately the script just doesn't cut it. Dialog is thin, the characters have little to do besides worrying and being startled. Brian Cranston's mini-role is a trap, Godzillas screen time doesn't even match that of the malevolent creatures, making him become a supporting character in his own show, the action movie this promises to be never really happens and the enigmatic shots of tailtips and monster hips are really pointless and annoying 40 minutes after having exposed the creatures in their entirety. I do see a tendency of slow betterment in American cinema, but Hollywood really needs to hire better scriptwriters at this point.
Very well done movie and then there's also god
As far as the script, the acting and generally the whole execution of the movie goes I have nothing to complain about. Robert Zemeckis is one of the few directors who still do the stuff that we once knew and loved Hollywood for and Flight reminds one of the good sides of American filmmaking. And then for some reason there is also a lot of god going on, an aspect of the movie that I can barely see any point to. Denzel Washington's character study is so sharp and authentic, at no point did I need any kind of religious input to make this movie more profound. So this part of the movie, from my point of view, is extremely obsolete and I felt kind of annoyed that it distracts from the movies essence. Now I can't really decide, but if this was supposed to be some sophisticated shot at Christian apologetics, nice try, but no thanks. While I would be able to see a message here that goes something like "the lord works in complex ways", the argument made by this story is still not valid from any logical point of view. Whatever happened here, you can see and do so in much detail, how it is pushed forward by the personal skills and decisions of the protagonist. At no point is the insertion of a god necessary or logically coherent. Washington's character does make a moral choice, but moral choices are not a copyrighted divine exclusives. I'm sorry Christians, I'm not impressed. However, while there's a lot of this going on, in the end it really doesn't do too much and fortunately doesn't overshadow an emotionally compelling, refined movie. I give this an 8/10.
A Lonely Place to Die (2011)
Disfocused, pointless and morally totally incomprehensible
The movie starts out as the the mountain-climbing-survival-horror you might expect after seeing the DVD cover as your familiar set of city people on their holidays on Mount Nophonesignal in Farfromcivilisation County gets introduced (badly), finding a child in the middle of nowhere. You will be surprised when after the blunt first half of the movie it suddenly switches genres and you find yourself in the city of Bruges in a third- class gangster movie, with an all new set of people that you have no reason on earth to care about either.
I usually don't devote so much time to a B-Flick, but this train wreck of a script deserves detailed analysis.
So - as Director and writer Julian Gilbey has no idea what to do with any of his characters, besides showing them chit-chatting about irrelevant, mindless crap - people that you know next to nothing about are chasing this child that you know next to nothing about while other people that you know next to nothing about are protecting it with all their lives for no apparent reason besides the fact that you don't just leave a child alone. Which is a valid point, but doesn't work out, if you have no actual reason to emotionally connect with the child, or with the people who now one by one sacrifice their lives for her. And not even their deaths matter as Gilbey is killing even his more "important" characters off like extras in a Chuck Norris movie. It just happens and we never see them again and not just the director and you, but not even these people seem to care. Appearantly, besides one couple, these people aren't even bonded, apparently they don't even like each other too much, which - besides the fact that five of the four mountaineers don't like humor and one doesn't like smoked fish - is just about the only thing computable from Gilbey's dumb, pointless interludes. Now meanwhile it also turns out that the girl is the offspring of an easter-European war-criminal responsible for the deaths of millions or so, who already arranged a hand-off, willing to pay a lot of his abundant drugmoney or whatever, making her involuntary rescue team, as well as both kidnappers, two random hunters, an innocent police officer as well as some civilians basically having died to save the retirement fund of a mafia boss. As Ed points out: what if the only thing they have done is prohibiting a clean handover? And this is exactly what happened, flushing the significance of all these deaths right down the toilet.
But Gilbey apparently has no idea about the basic rules of scriptwriting anyway, as he produces detailed setups frequently, spending significant screen time on them just to nullify them minutes later, basically just adding totally redundant crap to an already pointless movie. Here, a whole scene on one person showing a picture of a mountain, proposing to climb it, giving detailed background information on it, to the point where he explains how long you fall from it's top. Will they climb it later? No. Will they even see the mountain ever again? No. Will the guy when eventually falling from another mountain think over his life in mid-air? Of course not. So here, a minute of screen time for the lead mixing different alcoholic beverages, against the warning of her colleague. Will she be incapacitated for the rest of the movie due to a severe hangover that she'll have to overcome to save people's lives? No. A minute later she explains, that she took aspirin, so she's fine. So what was the point then? Product placement? Mere stupidity? Here, a scene of two hunters inserted in a way so you think they are the kidnappers, but then they aren't. A red herring? Not really, as a minute later, they get killed by the actual kidnappers, I guess cause they're potential witnesses. But then why introducing them in the first place? Just so the kidnappers can steal their guns? Appearantly they are pretty cunning guys, don't they have money for their own guns? Here, guy breaks his leg. But he can still walk. Then he offers to stay behind anyway. Then heroine convinces him not to, so he doesn't and can walk again. What difference did it make that he broke his leg? Why was it necessary? Here, a whole plot device on the assumption that the police officer is corrupt, because guy mentioned above accuses him of being corrupt. But then again, he really isn't. Guy was wrong. But now, that you assumed he's corrupt and don't like him anymore, lets suddenly kill him. Let's also kill guy. Let's now kill a civilian for no reason. Here, let's set this house on fire, so heroine throws the child out of the window and then rather stays behind then breaking a leg by jumping out herself, now appears to burn in it, but then she doesn't. She wakes up and is now safe, as meanwhile the fire department arrived. Child waited outside I guess. Here, a guy assuming that he's being ambushed as he hands over the kidnapper. But then he isn't. He was wrong. He gets a new car instead. Was this to show he has bad instincts? In the last scene we see him in? Was it to show that black people are paranoid when seeing white people? Should I just not connect the dots???
Gilbey closes with the child saying thank you (well you're f*cking welcome) and then adds a line of the medical assistant calling heroine 'sweetheart' (lesbian? important fact?) before meaningfully rolling up the credits. He's also showing footage along with it - apparently Super9 video recorded with the digital camera shown breaking in the beginning for no reason - of the people we never cared about having a good time. Now, that it's over.
Great job dude. 1/10
Premium Rush (2012)
Though rather generic, Premium Rush provides an extraordinarily entertaining ride. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, though not having to much to do other then ride his bicycle still is a truly likable hero and Michael Shannon, who's screen time seems a bit out of proportion to me makes for an entertaining semi-psychopath. All this is skillfully delivered by director David Koepp who apparently knows how to write a screenplay too, finding breakneck pacing for the movie while twisting the plot with some timeshifts really makes the ride premium to some degree. If you are looking for some quality entertainment, look no further.
Unimaginative waste of an interesting premise
Despite the great premise director Neil Burger does next to nothing with the opportunities Alan Glynn's interesting novel proposes, while Leslie Dixon puts forward one of the laziest screenplays in recent film- history. As if advancing the plot trough an insane amount of narration wasn't enough, most of the dialog is still used up for exposition giving you the feeling that you are listening to a dumbed-down audio book. The rest of the dialog is just plain uninteresting. The great central idea of a perfectly functioning brain that is supposed to be the main point of interest in this movie is wasted in the most unimaginative way, almost exclusively on short montages repeatedly utilizing the same visual effect, providing what is merely a video background while the lead is reading the story to you.
If you want to get this certain experience and don't like to read, I'd honestly recommend the audio book if there is one. Don't waste this story by watching this cheap transcript.
Tight, witty thriller with moral ambitions. An absolute win.
Wow, wow, wow, what a surprise win from newcomer Nicholas Jarecki. I am pleased to announce his theatrical debut as a director is an all-round success. Arbitrage is a tight, suspenseful thriller based on a fleshed-out story full of turns and a great performance from Richard Gere, also delivering a surprisingly uncharitable view on the world of the rich and powerful. Gere has a lot to work with too. Anti-hero Robert Miller starts simple with little of his features and motivations revealed in the first act. Instead the character study develops organically throughout the entire movie, revealing the full picture only at the very last scene of the movie. But that's not all. Arbitrage even asks some unusually sophisticated questions about money and morality so even a truly interesting existential agenda can be found within the suspenseful plot leaving little to be desired. I think as the thriller that it is, this absolutely deserves a 9/10. I am looking very much forward to Jarecki's next movie.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Lazy, joyless, unimaginative - Nolan.
I'm sorry people of the world, but apparently my finger is so not on your collective pulse. When it comes to anything besides making something look expensive, Nolan fails utterly and this movie is his coup de grâce on the importance of intelligent scriptwriting. Overtaking the god-awful Inception and the frustratingly dumb Prometheus, the worst written script of all time that received a 9 digit funding is now this mindlessly bashed together piece of what would be used as toilet paper for a week obligatorily worldwide in any universe which I am the ruler of. After I wrote a stupid essay on the previous installment - that now appears like art-house to me - blaming the movie for the rising popularity of pseudo-intellectualism in mainstream cinema, I have to stand in awe as where Nolan was at least just a pretentious, talentless prick with rich friends he now is a lazy pretentious, talentless prick with rich friends. My god, he was a horrible, infantile scriptwriter so far, but now he just doesn't seem to even give a rat's ass about it anymore. Was it lack of inspiration? A creative dilemma? Did he watch his former movies? I don't know. Nolan's basic lack of ability to efficiently pace the happenings of his movies, progress his stories trough anything but his South-American soap-opera style, exposition-only dialog, his disregard that his protagonist is a pathetic, mumbling, repulsive, shallow dick with nothing to go for, who looks like sh*t in his stupid costume and fights worse then I do, his psychopathic addiction to mindless, melodramatic bullsh*t sum up to one of the lowest quality, most embarrassing blockbusters I have seen in my whole life. I've spent the last 15 years ranting about action movies ruined by stupid comic relief and stereotypical crap, but not even the writers of Independence Day allowed themselves the thoughtless disregard of everything that is the art of movie-making at the degree Christopher Nolan dares putting forward. If there is a labour union responsible for QA in modern cinema, I demand Nolan be shot to the moon or deported back to filmschool with an F- before he can do more damage then he already has done.
This movie deserves a 0/10.
Well, I have some ambivalent feelings here. Surely Snowtown Murders deserves several awards for what it is. The raw portrait of psychopathy is fleshed out and probably perfect, delivered trough profound performances and classically skillful direction. Also, the agenda works on a level that few directors dare to, or even can work on, reflecting information in a way that it actually appears as meaningful as it can and should be. Also director Justin Kurzel refrains from any voyeurism where most other directors would have given in to the temptation. This is a serious theme and Kurzel threats it as such. And this is exactly the point. Putting some queer sense of enjoyment beside, this movie is not meant to be enjoyed and it probably can not be for most people. This serves it's agenda and it works, but you must ask yourself: is there entertainment for you beyond entertainment? Obviously, if you are a film student, there is a lot to gaze on here, but besides that, is there anything you can really get out of this movie that is worth voluntarily spending two hours of your life on? Unfortunately, to know, you must see for yourself.
Killer Joe (2011)
Good but not quite 100%
Not sure what exactly to make of this. The cast is extremely well assembled and the actors are really playing the hell out of their roles. If that's not enough Matthew McConaughey's sexual deviant is more refined than ever while also having a lot to work with, so he is simply dominating this movie. I did feel some lack of completeness though. Might have been something lost during the translation to the screen, maybe due to parts that needed to be excluded from the final script, I haven't read the book, so I don't really know. But the characters - though well written - are missing depth, which is not necessarily a problem given the caricaturistic nature of the material, but without characters that we really know or truly care about the conclusion for one didn't work for me, making the movie end on a somewhat disappointing or at least unsatisfying note. Nevertheless, this is a great film, a lot of fun, great performances, very entertaining and if you are into this Cohen-ish, dark-comedy-satire-thriller kind of stuff, you should definitely not miss this one.
The Grey (2011)
Profound, frightening movie
While melodramatic CGI wolves with a peculiar sense for theater are pretty disillusioning, fortunately this is about the only real failure of the movie. It might not be the most intelligent flick around, but it's very stimulating nevertheless. Be assured, The Grey is not PG-13 popcorn cinema. It's raw, brutal and frightening with a surprisingly philosophical agenda that actually even works, now that's something new. It also looks amazing with great work from the crew responsible for the lighting, but there is more. This movie has a genuine ace up it's sleeve. If you ever wondered what it is like to crash with a plane at 500 mph into an ice desert, fall trough a pine tree to solid ground, be attacked by a wolf, drown in an icy river or bleed to death, look no further. As far as I'm concerned Joe Carnahan's simulation of death is as close to the real thing as a movie can get you and a profound experience. This one will certainly have a special place on my shelf.
Total Recall (2012)
I am genuinely amazed
While it happens just all to often that I don't like or straight out despise an amazingly popular movie, it never happened before that I was genuinely blown away by anything so critically unacclaimed as this one. Given that Total Recall is currently rated 30% on Rottentomatoe's critics-meter I am going to do intricate research regarding the parts that I apparently missed while I sat trough this movie hypnotized.
But it could be just me and I can explain that. Maybe I had the privilege to just accidentally view the movie exactly as what it really is about. The the ride that Rekall provides, optimized exactly to one man's fantasies and boy do they do a great job. I would agree that keeping this fact in mind at any time does compensate for some of the flater parts of the movie and also gives it a certain dimension that is not there if you take the trip for real. Take the undeveloped side- characters for example. Surely they could have been given more attention, but knowing, that they are merely props of this ride, with their specific little uses, there only to deliver the right impulse at the right time to the "subject", they work just fine. This is also thanks to Colin Farell who does a great job playing the buffled protagonist in the wet-dream of his life. For me - watching it that way - the mind-games, the performances and the smart, well choreographed action sequences all worked pure wonders, while the visual experience was nothing less then mesmerizing, meaning not only the mind-boggling quality of the CGI but also the amazing visual design of the new world and its technologies. There is a slight, temporary decline in quality at about the beginning of the third act, still, this does not manage to overshadow one of the most genuine, most intense movie experiences I had in my whole life.
David Fincher is directing what is merely a marketing stunt here, not a movie on it's own right. This is the optimized version of another movie that barely needed any optimization, not even for the American market. It didn't need any and it didn't really got any, so Fincher is right to appear bored as the whole effort basically is only necessary so people don't get confused by Noomi Rapace, who does look terrifying in the original, which was kind of the point. Now while this is certainly not the worst movie ever, I don't quite see where I could start praising it. Americas version of the not quite ingenious, but nevertheless somehow outstanding Scandinavian original is generally unintense, the performances are mediocre at best, the accents suck ass (if already converting it, why not start by putting it into America??), Trent Reznor Music is off, the Fincher look is unnecessary and the whole movie just appears pointless without it's human edge which was kind of the only real thing to the original. This definitely is Finchers weakest movie up to date.
À l'intérieur (2007)
No doubt, Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury are skillful directors but what's way more dominant here is the visual experience. The team responsible for the lighting does an amazing job, perfectly complemented by cinematographer Laurent Barès, a name that will be worth paying attention to in the future. The real edge are the gore effects though. The make-up department simply outdoes itself, as far as I'm concerned, this is as good as it gets. Also the performances by the two leads don't leave any room for complaints. This truly is an exceptionally well executed movie.
Still, it didn't work for me. As a scriptwriter, director Bustillo leaves a lot to be desired. First off, the movie has next to no plot. The setup and the climax are suitable for a flick like this, but there is really not much in between, leaving you utterly uninterested in where this is going, or why it is not going anywhere at all, ever. Nor does Bustillo really try to produce any character development. The protagonist is a depressive, bad-tempered woman who doesn't care about anything (including the child in her womb, making it little more then a plot device for reduction of her mobility) and the fact that her agony is justified doesn't make her any more interesting as a lead either. The antagonist on the other hand has about one line of informative dialog all together. Nevertheless, the death toll is over the top as Bustillo mindlessly throws one puppet after the other into the blender to be slaughtered within minutes to seconds without ever giving us the slightest reason to shed a tear for them. They really are just sacks of blood wandering up and down a set of stairs before tearing open, spilling their content on the walls. If nothing else, this fact makes the movie feel like a film-school experiment concerning make-up effects.
Now watching the last shot, I can't deny, at this level, the visual experience does to some degree substitute for the lack of script. With all the gore, the seas of blood, the perfectly composed lighting and shots, the agonizing atmosphere and generally the direction itself the movie has a certain poesy about it, which probably was the directors goal.
If you are a rather sensitive person, the visceral stimulation might blow your mind and you won't care too much about a plot all together. If you are a fan of horror flicks, the movie really has the gore and some uniqueness going for it. "Experienced" audiences might feel a bit too much to be desired. Nevertheless, an interesting experience.
Okay, but slim
Ted is an okay movie. Some of the jokes are really hilarious and in a peculiarly intelligent manner. Seth McFarlane's humor is really one of a kind and his easy approach towards movie-making is something that is worth appreciating. He's just consequently himself without all the BS and that's very refreshing. Ted has a few downsides though. Some of it only got clear to me a few hours after seeing the movie and realizing how kind of forgettable the whole thing is. This might be due to the fact that the script is not particularly rich in content. Compressing character development into feature film length might be unfamiliar territory for McFarlane and most of the characters are pretty slim, with the female lead appearing particularly one dimensional. Joel McHale's character and the promising antagonists of the movie fall unfairly short too and the movie really could have used a lot more work on them. This is especially frustrating seeing so much empty space throughout the movie just screaming for ideas to be inserted and one gets the feeling that McFarlane just didn't really try too hard all together, kind of disrespecting his devoted fanbase. Also, the moral standpoint of the movie was a bit unclear to me and could have been worked out more. I'm not saying that it couldn't have done without one, but if you do have a position and you center a whole plot around it, please make it at least a clear one. Also McFarlane is not a professional director. Considering that, he does an OK job, but it's really not Spielberg.
All together, Ted is not a bad movie by any means and it's kind of lovely, with a lot of good jokes. It's just a bit slim, especially for it's premise.
For the same concept Simon Pegg/Nick Frost vehicle Paul comes to mind as a much more profound movie.
Solomon Kane (2009)
Doesn't really have anything going for it
For a movie that is about as predictable as a funeral Solomon Kane is extraordinarily keen on exposition dialog. I can't remember one line that was not there to verbally advance the plot or unnecessarily explain the shallow emotional aspects. James Purefoy as Kane doing a horrible acting job here bounding with the odd looking peasant girl wasn't too convincing either, making pretty much of the overly serious pursuit for her rather incomprehensible for me. Unfortunetely there is no refuge in the utterly uninteresting action scenes either and even the CGI looks kind of lame. If Solomon Kane has anything going for it, it would have to be the story, but as badly executed as it is, I rather tried to imagine it as the original graphic novel, which worked much better for me. Maybe rather read those? 2/10
The internet has done a fine job dissecting all the nonsense in this movie, so I'm not going to go into much detail. If you want a list of what's wrong with Prometheus I'd recommend the "Red Letter Media asks questions from Prometheus" video or the "Prometheus Honest Trailer" from Screen Junkies.
So humanity faces its most important mission, yet the HR department of Weyland industries, the single most powerful company of the planet, assembles earths dumbest, most incompetent specialists to go on it. These people bitch, moan, misbehave and generally mess everything up, nearly bringing about the eradication of mankind. Writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof unintentionally create a huge parody of todays intellectual decline. If this is our future, I have no questions why the 'Architects' want to eradicate us. Ridley Scott has shown us an authentic spaceship crew in 1979, yet he is willing to roll with retarded teenagers 33 years later. The other huge downer is the onslaught of plot holes. Don't you get fooled. Prometheus is a mystery exactly in the same way Michael Bay movies are. It just doesn't give a crap about logic. The anti-intellectual pseudo-philosophy dealing with faith randomly scattered throughout the movie doesn't help either. Honestly, I have no problems calling this one of the worst scripts that have made it into mainstream cinema - ever. How Ridley Scott of all people agreed to this is simply beyond me.
Nevertheless - as usual - he does a perfect job with the execution and the CGI is truly the best the present-day industry has to offer, so oddly all this is fantastic to look at. Nevertheless, as a movie Prometheus is simply insufferable.
Basilisk: Kôga ninpô chô (2005)
Up until episode 12 this is a fantastic series keeping you in genuine anticipation, satisfaction and then anticipation again. The action is not the very best you have ever seen but it's okay and there is plenty of it around. The game with the truly exciting special powers makes up for everything though and you'll find yourself on the edge of your seat every time a new technique is getting revealed. These episodes are fairly well written too, featuring an interesting plot and also doing a fine job with character development and in setting up emotional attachment to most characters.
Now after getting you hooked I suppose, indicated by a token flashback episode a very different series emerges. The animation now becomes minimum effort most of the time, meaning a heavy decline on action scenes by definition and a lot of mere shaking of static pictures. This would be party acceptable saying that we'd have arrived at a more talky, story centered bit but unfortunately this is not the case either. The thing just runs out of steam and starts kind of going nowhere, doing that with a critically slow pace too. Ideas barely emerge anymore and everything just becomes very incoherent. Worst is that also the fights and deaths of the characters become disappointingly anti-climactic blowing a fantastic premise right out the window.
Now this doesn't stop me from genuinely recommending those first 12 episodes as they rocks quite hard nevertheless. I really can't recommend you to waste your time enduring the rest as there really is barely anything to look forward to, but maybe just reading the story (fighting those battles in you're head) on wikipedia and then cut to the final episode right away might be a good solution.
I'd give a 9/10 for the first half and a 2 for the rest.
The traces of amateur filmmaking are hard to ignore
There is plenty of Star Wars stuff going on here, but so much of everything else borders on amateur filmmaking, that it becomes harder and harder to just endure the talky parts. Or to be totally precise, almost every part where there is any talking going on. I suppose after so much appreciation along the preceding 22 years George Lucas couldn't resist but to take his place in the directors chair again, maybe forgetting, that while he might be a visionary, he did not collect any profound experience as a director since 1977. Liam Neeson and Evan McGregor kind of keep tight, but from the horrible delivery of the blunt lines by the supporting cast, to all the stupid little nuances of the extras, the discoordinated settings, to the messy cinematography and editing, everything is a testimony to Lucas' inability to run a tight ship. Or generally a ship at all. If this wouldn't be a Starwars movie, with tons of expensive, state of the art CGI overshadowing clumsy filmmaking, the movie wouldn't have made it into the B category.
Cortés has nothing.
Having an idea that is so ingenious that it might get you trough 90 minutes spent in a box is one thing. Having no idea at all and then bombarding an inevitable failure with magically appearing snakes and the gratuitous switching of an implausible number of light sources is something totally different. The idea, of making a movie that plays entirely on 2 square meters might sound brave and experimental, but if you start something like that, you better be a genius. Chris Sparling, the writer of this childish thing is not. There is no ingenious concept, no fantastic story, no twist, NO IMAGINATION behind this at all. Instead you get a story that is compensation only, with everything from total implausibility, to cheap scares and cheesy melodrama. It's unimaginative, unjustified, severely implausible, pretentious and cheap. This is a fake art-house movie. Avoid it.
Simon Pegg (together with Nick Frost this time) yet again shows real writing talent with this script, that is crafted with so much finesse and love while Greg Mottola does a fine job translating it to the screen. The humor - as always - reflects Simon Peggs unique style, the jokes are smart, Paul and the other characters too are all very developed and likable and the whole thing just goes down really smoothly at a fine pace and with a fantastic, positive energy all around it. Really great and entertaining movie, loved this one. Meanwhile I consider Simon Peg being one of the last genuine comedy scriptwriters and I can't wait to see his next vehicle.
The Onslaught of Horribly Written Dialog.
This is a Norrington movie and most of what is working here can be attributed to his talent as a director. From what I've seen, this movie eventually ending his career was probably not his fault. I say this because whatever he did wrong, he wasn't the one writing this sh*t. Dialog exclusively consisting of stupid, trivial oneliners and banal entities like special fu*king agent Tom Sawyer inserted forcefully so 'mericans can wave their hot dogs at the screen take a serious toll on an otherwise promising and generally sufficiently well executed movie, making LXG hard to watch. Thanks to some pretty cool scenes and a tight narrative, it's not unwatchable though and in between the frequent facepalming there is a straightforward action movie to be found here. I give this a 5/10.
Underworld Awakening (2012)
Soon after finding myself excited, only missing a certain finesse ten minutes into the thing, upcoming B-movie stupidity quickly devastated my hopes of this turning out to be a straight forward, crystal clear, quality action flick. Besides delivering a promising kick-off and a thrilling finale (both prolonged action scenes with Kate Backinsale kicking some ass) neither of directors Mans Marlind or Bjorn Stein nor writers Allison Burnett or Kevin Grevioux really manage to deal with anything in this movie, including characters exchanging two lines of consistent dialog or wrapping up the most simple scene. While there is a certain flair (mainly established by the preceding Undeworld movies) present, I'd need to search my mind for a while, to mention three other movies showing off so little talent from side of their directors or writers.