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1 - Beyond awful - Films that make me regret wasting my time on them.
2 - Awful - Films that need massive improvements to be mediocre at least.
3 - Bad - Films that might be fun in some occasions but ultimately fail to impress.
4 - Below Average - Films with more wrongs than rights, might be fun but forgetful.
5-/5/5+ - Average - Films that I enjoy watching (mostly) but films that don't leave a mark.
6-/6/6+ - Good - Films slightly above average that are nothing considerable but usually I have no major complains.
7-/7/7+ - Very good - Films that I enjoy watching and films that leave an impression.
8-/8/8+ - Amazing - Films that get my attention, they might not be breathtaking but are worthy of high praise.
9-/9/9+ - Beyond Amazing - Films with minimal flaws that stick with me for a long time.
10 - Close to Perfection- Films I see very rarely and films that inspire me.
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How to Irreversibly Ruin a Legend - A Step By Step guide by Guy Ritchie
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is directed by Guy Ritchie and is yet another film about the Arthurian legend.
Legend of the Sword is a horrid and vile excuse for a film. It's completely devoted from any form of realism or reality mostly made up of horrible CGI (for a $150 million budget), music that made my ears bleed and dialogue that is way to modern for a late 5th and early 6th century film. If you're not dead, or at least deaf from the music, you're most certainly going to have a seizure when you see the heavily (and very poorly) editing action scenes. Filled with slow motion, fast cuts, explosions and flying objects, the action set pieces in this film are embarrassingly bad. As a matter of fact, almost every aspect of the film is embarrassingly bad and I haven't even mentioned the acting. You'd think that a film starring Academy award nominees Jude Law and Djimon Hounsou would at least have good performances, right? If so you're in for a treat because every actor in this film acts as if they have a broom up their rear.
Conclusion? King Arthur: Legend of the Sword can be an enjoyable film if you're on the right drugs.
Final Grade - 1/10
All hail the King... of bad writing
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the sequel to Godzilla (2014) directed by Michael Dougherty. It's satisfying enough to be considered a Godzilla movie but doesn't live up to its predecessor.
What made Godzilla (2014) an above average Hollywood blockbuster is the interesting dialogue and interactions between the characters which King of the Monsters fails to accomplish. For example, the scientists and the military are given comedic traits often resulting in painfully unfunny and out of place humour. Protagonist characters (the Russel family) are given bare minimum characterization which is a blockbuster standard by now. As a matter of fact, not a single character or character interaction is interesting and not a single joke lands which are the films biggest sins.
To give credit where credit is due the King of the Monster nails the VFX and the over the top battles make up for most of the poor writing. To be honest I can't entirely blame the writers for this. Ever since the perfection of CGI Hollywood started thinking that good VFX make up for bad writing, which obviously isn't true. But even with a bad screenplay the actors do a good enough job to be entertaining when they need to be.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is ultimately a fun movie with great visual and sound effects, but with mostly forgettable characters.
Final Grade: 6/10
Chappie is the third film from Niel Blomkamp, the director of District 9 and Elysium. Like Blomkamp's previous films Chappie is filled with messages regarding the Earth and it's future but unlike District 9, the messages in Chappie ultimately come off as inadequate.
Chappie has its moments and some great ideas but unfortunately not a single one of those ideas is fleshed out properly. Chappie's biggest problem is its writing. The characters, their conflicts and interactions, a lack of consequences, rushed and ignorant decisions are what's saving Chappie from being a great film.
The ending is weak and like the rest of the film, it has no consequences. Not a single point is proven and not a single character dies, for no longer than a few minutes at least. This film handles death like a minor inconvenience after which characters pretend like nothing happened.
Chappie does however have its positives which are mainly the acting and the VFX. Sharlto Copley's motion capture performance is easily one of the highlights of the film. Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel and Sigourney Weaver also do a fine job with their characters.
Overall Chappie isn't a bad or unwatchable film by and means however it is a big decline from Blomkamp's masterpiece District 9.
Final Grade: 6-/10
Lady Bird (2017)
Fantastic debut by Greta Gerwig
Lady Bird is the directorial debut of Greta Gerwig revolving around a seventeen-year-old girl played by Saoirse Ronan coming of age in Sacramento and without a doubt it instantly takes the spot as one of the greatest directorial debuts of all time.
I wouldn't exactly call the premise of Lady Bird original due to clichéd coming of age movies being made almost every year but the story and dialogue are realistic enough and with masterful directing and all across the board fantastic performances Lady Bird easily makes up for it. Also Lady Bird is mature enough to learn from and it doesn't use annoying and cheesy clichés which makes its plot least seem original. Aside from the acting and directing the presentation of this film is beautiful as it explores a few cities and a lot of well shot locations thanks to the wonderful and underrated cinematography by Sam Levy. The best part of Lady Bird is its social commentary which is very relevant to the 2002 setting.
Overall Lady Bird is a great coming of age movie filled with well written characters and great performances. I would recommend it to anyone accept to the people that get easily bored with Oscar-bait dramas.
Final Score: 9/10
Get Out (2017)
Refreshing and original
From hit or miss comedy to Get Out, Jordan Peele proves to us that he has certainly matured as a film maker.
Get Out is one of the best and most refreshingly original horror movies in the last decade. Rather than having in your face predictable jump scares and cheesy music, Get Out dwells on the mind and relies on the fear of the unknown while giving subtle messages on racism and what's it like to be black in America and for an anti-racism movie everything is handled very well due to Peele's great writing. As I've already mentioned the best aspect of Get Out is the writing; the characters are intelligent people and behave like logical human beings instead of cliché horror movie idiots. Everything happens for a reason and there is a meaning behind everything. Also unlike other horror movie clichés Get Out doesn't fake its scares or replaces them with needless humour. Instead the humour (mainly Lil Rel Howery's character) is perfectly balanced with the story and shows up at adequate times.
Creepy, unsettling and filled with brilliant performances (primarily from Daniel Kaluuya) and even better writing, Get Out perfectly represents the US society in its current era.
Final Score: 8+/10
Nolan's latest masterpiece
Dunkirk is one of the most visually stunning films of 2017 and one of the most realistic depictions of tragic events shown on cinema.
One would think that without any proper characterization or backstories of any of the characters Dunkirk would present itself as a dull excuse for endless action but it's the exact opposite. The characters are shown to us in a way in which we understand them and their purpose by only glancing at them which is one of the best aspects of Dunkirk. However, it is also one of the worst. The only minor issue with Dunkirk I have is that the actors aren't given much to do which the production quality easily outweighs. With a 104-minute runtime Dunkirk perfectly balances two stories and lots of action and unlike films with twice the runtime it doesn't drag for a second. Dunkirk is also one of the best sounding films in the last few years and rightfully so earned itself Oscars in both sound mixing and editing as well as film editing.
Dunkirk manages the be entertaining and emotional with little to no characterisation and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see a compelling story or just some good action.
Final Score: 9/10
La La Land (2016)
A sight for sore eyes
La La Land is a cinematic marvel. It's nostalgia, meticulousness and joy captured my heart and earned itself the title of one of the best musicals of all time.
Almost every aspect of La La Land is close to perfect making this not only one of the best movies in recent history but also one of the best looking films and a very memorable cinematic experience. The cinematography is lively with phenomenal long takes, different location and gorgeous colours thanks to the production design. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone make a wonderful musical duo with serious chemistry as if the roles were made for them. The music feels alive at any moment and the sound track is definitely consistent. After Whiplash, the stakes were high for Damien Chazelle and La La Land undoubtedly lands him a spot on Hollywood's best directors. Pulling of two films of the same genre and making both of them seem unique and originally is no easy thing to do and writing a film can be agonising so Damien Chazelle deserves all the praise he's getting.
La La Land is a genre defying masterpiece which I would recommend to anyone a fan of musicals or not. It's colourful joyfulness is a sight to see.
Final Score: 9+/10
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
A thrill to behold
The Silence of the Lambs is a timeless classic, whose more than adequate storytelling never ceases to amaze.
The Silence of the Lambs is one of the most entertaining but least fun films to watch all because of its disturbingly genius atmosphere. It's masterfully acted, especially from Hopkins's side turning this film into a clever and unforgettable masterpiece. Even though Hopkins and Foster don't have much screentime together they still put on a show to remember. Aside from top of the line acting and the directing the script from Ted Tally's (based on the novel by Thomas Harris) is career defining. From thriller to psychological horror, this movie handles the tone and atmosphere perfectly while switching between the two. In terms of being a psychological horror movie it does it perfecting as it wraps itself around the viewers' head and proves that gore and blood isn't needed to scare an audience. Surprisingly (and deservedly) this film swooped all five major Oscar categories (Best actor, actress, director, screenplay and picture) even though it was released in February, a whole year before the academy awards.
The Silence of the Lambs is a remarkable feat in film making and you be seen by everyone, a film lover or not. Shocking and suspenseful it is a thrill to behold.
Final Score: 9/10
The Departed (2006)
Scorsese at his best
The Departed is one of the rare cases when the remake is better than the original.
It's succeeds mainly because of Scorsese's vision and ability to bring this project to life. Scorsese works with his cast turning DiCaprio, Wahlberg, Nicholson into a perfect trio and turning this film into of the best of the 00s. Like most of Scorsese's film The Departed is very bloody and very violent but very entertaining in the process. Right from the opening line to the end credits The Departed shows of its style and keeps it consistent trough the 151-minute runtime. However, the 151-minute long runtime is the only thing preventing The Departed from being a masterpiece. At some moments in the film (not many) it gets somewhat annoying, but not annoying enough to make me lose interest. In other words, the strongest point of The Departed is also the weakest point. The Departed despite being a remake has enough charisma and energy to make it seem original. The Departed is a triumph of its own kind, it works its way up and hits on an emotional level.
There is something everyone in The Departed whether you're a Scorsese fan or not but if you're familiar with his work this is a must see.
Final Score: 9/10
A pleasantly risky surprise
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is more than a pleasant surprise, which was at first a risky move for Sony judging by their recent "successes".
From the presentation alone it is easily decipherable that a lot of love and passion was put into this project, making it the visual masterpiece that it is.
The story, while being mostly formulaic still does enough to satisfy new and returning audiences to the superhero genre. Combined with the visual style and presentation, Into the Spider-Verse almost feels fresh.
The biggest issue, which is more of a personal preference is the music. The film chooses today's hip hop music over an actual musical score which is understandable but still managed to take me out of the film.
Another slightly smaller issue is the epilogue, rather the way the film sets it up. Press a button and save the world. It's as silly as it sounds.
In terms of comedy, Into the Spider-Verse does a solid job, but manages to be annoying at times with its usage of Spider-Ham.
On the contrary Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is worth a watch solely for its visual style and presentation. The story is just an icing on the cake.
Final Grade: 8/10
Ready Player One (2018)
Ready Player One is inoffensive enough to be entertaining but gets a bit stupid when thought is put into it.
Ready Player One is a very fun movie with the very experienced Steven Spielberg behind it. Visually its stunting, full of glaring moments and Spielberg-esque choreography and sound. The musical score too is done in a similar fashion, adding to the aesthetic pleasure of the film.
That is when Ready Player One starts to go downhill. The first major issue are the spoon fed pop culture references (especially the 80's) to today's adolescent audience. The film thrives on them and it starts getting overwhelming and annoying after a few.
The second issue is how much watered down the film is from the book. All of the sticking points of book are completely ignored making the books relatively dark narrative feel soft in the film which is almost insultive to the book.
The final major issue is the illogicality of the plot. How is one kid able to find all the answers to the OASIS but a whole company of man and women working together isn't?
Besides from the film being stupid and illogical it still manages to be mostly fun from start to finish is and worth of some praise for it vigorous visuals.
Final Grade: 6/10
A Quiet Place (2018)
A Quiet Place is a flawed film with many illogical decisions but non major enough to be considered brainless.
The films main flaw are its own creatures (who kill whatever makes a sound) and the lack of explanation behind them makes the concept fell rushed. The film fails to clarify what those creatures can or cannot hear and how they move or function.
Another flaw is the family's lifestyle. We know they've become skilled at being quiet and we know they live on a farm in the countryside. Inside their house is a basement which muffles the sound yet the family doesn't use until ¾ in the movie. Other illogical flaws beg a few questions; Why doesn't the family have a house near the river? Who don't they apply soft fabric to their shoes instead of using sand to muffle sound?
Accept those and a few other issues A Quiet Place does a fantastic job making use of its visual and sound effects as well as having minimal dialogue. All the actors, especially Emily Blunt give realistic enough performances.
Ultimately A Quiet Place fails at being scary and is quite illogical at times but its tense enough to be entertaining and its originality are a nice change of pace for horror/thrillers good enough for a second viewing.
Final Grade: 7/10
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
For a film portraying a band as wild as Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody plays itself to safe for its own good.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a roller-coaster of a film, at times being a painfully low key and factually incorrect drama and at others redeeming itself with its recreations of classical Queen concerts (especially Live Aid). Another play it safe issue is the films focus on Queens biggest songs and the lack of focus on less popular songs. In terms of Queen as a band the film focuses itself mostly on Freddie Mercury but still manages to make his private life and personal issues seem glossed over and rushed thanks to horrible pacing and unfavourable writing. Speaking of Freddie Mercury or Rami Malek in this case, he was phenomenal. Other than that there was nothing particularly breath-taking, nor was there anything arousingly pitiful.
On the contrary Bohemian Rhapsody isn't a bad film. It does just enough to entertain general audiences and fans of Queen although it doesn't properly function as a drama.
Final Grade: 5/10
The Dark Knight (2008)
Superhero Genre - Alive and kicking
First I'd controversially like to point out that this movie wouldn't have gotten as much hype as it did if it wasn't for Heath Ledgers death before the release and the Academy not being afraid to give an Oscar to a corpse.
Nevertheless his performance is easily the best one in the superhero genre and the crafty, well put together New York accent confirms he put a lot of dedication and effort into his methodical role and deserved what he got (an Oscar). This isn't just another Batman movie anymore. Yes, there is action, explosions and stunt work but between that is masterfully crafted dialogue that dwells deep.
Batman is his definitive self now, we finally see the fullest of his character and Christian Bale does him justice. Christopher Nolan, praised be created complex characters and given each one justifiable treatment. That's the reason the cast works, everyone holds their own, there are no lazily written or neglected characters.
With beautiful cinematography and presentation of Gotham, the visuals and obviously the endeavours cast The Dark Knight is a film that easily gets on top of every superhero list and is certainly one to remember... remember for a long time.
Final Grade: 9/10
Batman Begins (2005)
Batmain Begins is a satisfying and mature take on genre that more often than not gets treated with quantity over quality in mind simply showing that comic-book adaptations are feasible movies for all ages.
Batman Begins is monumental not only for the superhero genre but for the film industry as a whole and that becuase of Christopher Nolan, who (finally out of all the directors) got it right. Unlike Michael Keaton films Batman Begins made me care about Bruce Wayne. The whole first hour of the film is about Bruce Wayne, not Batman which puts lots of trust on the audience on Nolan's behalf. Christian Bale as Bruce does a noteworthy job despite sounding like he's batteling with throat cancer as Batman, nevertheless an acceptional job.It's hard to find a problem with the performances but there is one; Katie Holmes. I wouldn't consider her performance distractingly bad but she seemed too poorly prepared and too unconvincing to play Rachel.
Hanz Zimmer and James Newton Howard compose some of their best soundtracks, most of the time it's very subtle and other times it utilizes with characters emotions flawlessly. Wally Pfister does an extraordinary job cinematographying and mixed with amazing fight choreography it's beautiful.
As much as I love Batman, I love quality film making which Batman Begins is accept for one big plot hole. Near the end of the film Batman grapple hooks onto a moving that so that he can stop Ra's, but just before that Batman send Gordon to destroy the monorail supports so the train wouldn't reach Wayne Tower and crash. If he knew that why did Batman get on the train?
On the contrary Batman Begins, aside from dry humor and the mention plot hole, is a must-see for the superhero genre. Thank you Christopher Nolan.
Final Grade: 8/10
A Guide To Making A Classic: Sci-Fi Edition
Aliens is as good as its predecessor but not quite the same as its more action and less horror. Director James Cameron does an eminent job as well making Aliens a exhilarating, quotable and ultimately unforgettable.
The plot is simple, Ripley wakes up after 57 years of hyper sleep and find out that the moon she previously visited is colonised but by whom... The eeriness and fear is replaced with intense action and larger than life marines. Replaced for good? Yes and no, What made Alien great is its eerie music tone and sound design with the alien being more feared. However what makes Aliens great is the exact opposite, more aliens result in more action and more intensity as if its a new lease on life.
We're introduced into a brand new Ripley, she's a survivor now and Sigourney Weaver does a nearly flawless job utilising her character. The technicalities are kept and the sound design is overhauled in an impressive way.
Like all movie Aliens isn't flawless and it does have one slightly major plot hole: Hicks knew the aliens were going to breach their perimeter sooner or later yet no one suggested going to the other dropship until they learned about the nuclear disaster. Meaning they were going to sit in that same room for seventeen days with barely any ammo and 100+ aliens breaking in only if the reactors didn't go critical.
Aliens knows what it wants to be and makes a genre defying attempt doing it.
Final Grade: 9/10
A horror classic
What makes Alien great is it's synchronization of sound, visuals and showing great attention to detail. Not only that but Alien has an unnerving atmosphere right from the beginning. We're introduced to a crew who is not exactly too friendly to each other add to that the ship. It's huge, and with its halls and corridors it feels almost like a maze.
Enter Alien, a ruthless parasite with humanoid form yet it lacks any civilised traits of a human. It does have humanoid form but it doesn't give a single emotion. The design of the monster is what's the most terrifying (and it still holds up despite Alien being released in 1979). The creature is also better adopted to the ships interior making a big part of movie feel like a sinister game of cat and mouse.
What I particularly like is how the characters are written. They are not Hollywoodized heroes, in fact there is no hero. They're just people which makes them even more threatened. The performances are all equally realistic and do deliver. Kudos to director Ridley Scott for using crafty cinematography and combining it with shadows and lights in an eerie way. The music is unrelenting and combined with Scott's cinematography, sound and visuals it adds to the eeriness.
The plot is also not another Hollywoodized cliché. It's more like "survival of the fittest". The characters battle true terror as they race to survive or outlive each other, they're all just a part of a race to see who will prevail and who will die.
Final Grade: 10/10