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Good start - bad finish
Wildling has a promising start even though it is very reminiscent to The Room in its early scenes. As the story unfolds, the film basically disintegrates before finally stopping with a badly written ending. At times, you could also connect the story to the one of Raw, the French film from 2016. I would advise you to see that one since it is incomparably better than Wildling. The acting is quite decent but the story feels underdeveloped, sloppy and it also contains some unecessary cheesy teenage romantic moments. There are not many special effects, but even the ones present are poorly executed. I know this is a harsh review and I wish I could list some more positives but they are simply not there. It is a shame since the opening minutes are not bad.
The Terror (2018)
Very very good
If you are a fan of mystery/horror/supernatural tales, you will definitely not be dissapointed. This show delivers in every area. The premise is intriguing and it pulls you in right from the start, every single actor does a brilliant job, the sets, the costumes - everything works. The characters are well written and as the story unfolds, you also get to know their background stories. You will root for some characters and you will hate the others. Another thing that every decent horror film or show should have, is the always present sense of dread. The fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all they say and it also creates suspense and confusion among the characters. Not only they have to battle the harsh elements but something even more sinister is after them. The Terror succeeds in that area as well. Hats off to everyone involved in bringing this story to the screen.
An average comedy
Blockers is a type of comedy you might enjoy if you wish to kill some time and watch a film where you can put your brain on pause for a bit. Do not expect too much, it is not a terrible film, but it is not that great either. There are some funny jokes and some that feel somewhat generic. The pace is a bit uneven as well. It starts of nicely and it does draw you in, however, the last 30 minutes simply drag too much and the film will probably seem much longer to you than it actually is. The ending brings no surprises either. The characters are quite likeable though and the cast deliver decent performances. As mentioned, it is an average film but it might appeal to those who enjoy these type of raunchy R rated comedies.
Taeksi woonjunsa (2017)
A Taxi Driver is a film you should not miss. It is based on real events and it is impossible to stay indifferent when watching it. To be perfectly honest, I was not aware of the tragic events at the protests in South Korea in 1980. The complete disregard for human life will send shivers down your spine. It is impossible to understand why humanity never learns anything from its darkest mistakes. Throughout the history, similar things have happened and will unfortunately continue to happen in the future for sure. The story of the two main characters is inspiring. They risked their lives to bring truth to the world. You really get to care and root for them until the end. The acting is top-notch; wonderful, natural performances from everyone. And if you are an emotional person, the ending will definitely bring tears to your eyes. Strongly recommended.
Red Sparrow (2018)
Simply too unrealistic and predictable
Red Sparrow is a type of film that would be nice to watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon when you have to kill some time with an average flick. As mentioned in the title, it is simply too unrealistic. There is no way that most of these things would ever happen in a real world espionage scenario. And since the goal was - I assume - to produce a serious film, the creators unfortunately failed in that department. It is also super predictable. I am sure you will know how it ends from quite early on and therefore the twists in the final minutes of Red Sparrow will lose the desired effect. Also, almost 140min runtime is a bit too much and I saw quite a few people in the theatre checking their phones which is never a good sign. Not everything was bad though. The direction is solid and the performances are first class. It is hard to expect anything else from such a stellar star. But that is pretty much it when it comes to the positive sides and with everything else, it adds up to an average film.
Something quite original
Annihilation received completely mixed reviews and in my opinion there is nothing better than that since it only makes you want to see it more and find out what certain people did not like at all and why it also received quite a lot of praise.
I believe it is quite an original film. Slow paced but never boring with lush photography and solid performances. It will probably appeal to fans of films with a dark and ominous atmosphere and beautiful visuals with mild elements of horror. But if you expect a full on action packed sci-fi than this is probably not for you. There have been some complaints that it does not make much sense. It is true that a lot is left open but the film was obviously deliberately made that way. It actually makes you think about what you have just seen and you have to make sense of it. Not many films these days actually do that and offer something a bit abstract.
All in all, since the reviews are so mixed, I suggest you see it and make up your own mind about it.
Complex issues well handled
Novitiate is a very solid debut film for Margaret Betts. It covers many themes from religion, faith, doubt, love, and internal turmoil of young girls who decide to devote their lives to God. The writing is good and the story moves fluently throughout the entire film with the exeption of maybe the last few minutes where things slow down a bit. Another positive thing about the writing is that it does not try to attack the church or ever turns into an anti-religion type of film. Everything is explored realistically. Especially the feelings of young girls who sometimes question their choices and ask themselves if it is really worth it. It is essentially a story about love, giving love, sometimes losing it and receiving it back. A vast topic but handled really well in my opinion. Another thing worth mentioning are the performances. All the actresses give great performances with Melissa Leo and Julianne Nicholson being the standouts. Recommended for that, good writing and solid direction.
Not much of a plot but great suspense
Maniac does not have much of a plot or even dialogue. The short summary on this site pretty much describes the entire film. What works really well in Maniac is the suspense that does not let go throughout the entire film. The psychotic villain is amazing as well. He is brilliantly portrayed by Joe Spinell. All the effects when it comes to killings and gore still look very good today which is quite an achievement for 1980 and thus Maniac never looks that dated. A few things in the script seem completely unbeliavable especially the relationship between Frank (the maniac) and Caroline Munro's character Anna. Nevertheless Maniac is still an enjoyable classic that will appeal to fans of old-school horror.
Golden Exits (2017)
A little diamond of a film
Golden Exits is one of those gems you feel very happy to come across every now and then. A film with real characters with real life problems that I am sure many people can relate to. One of the characters says that there are not many films made about ordinary people and that is what Golden Exits is basically about. The dialogue is fantastic and some of it might stay with you long after you have watched the film. It delas with feelings of unhappines, doubt, being stuck in life, seeing the world bleaker than it actually is etc. There is also a nice contrast between how simple the film seems to be when it comes to technical aspects but at the same time contains such heavy and deep content that grips you strongly. Good direction and top class acting are accompanied by a simple piano soundtrack that fits the mood of the film very well. Truly a little diamond that all fans of good drama might enjoy and appreciate.
One of the darkest supernatural love stories
Thelma is a hard film to categorise. It contains everything from drama, mystery, supernatural elements, a bit of horror and is essentially a story about love, self-discovery and the fear it may be attached to it. It is a very slow film but the pace is even enough so it never gets dull or drags. The opening sequence is perfect and sets the tone of the film right from the very first seconds. All the performances are simply top-notch and photography stunning. There is also a bit of symbolism present so you will get your share of food for thought. The symbolism nicely compliments the film, it is not the focus of it and thus does not make Thelma a full on art-house film where you can't decipher or understand what is going on. It is very well written although it is very hard not to think of or compare it to Carrie since there are similarities.
Everyone who love dark films and stories with haunting atmosphere, good performances and beautiful photography should not miss this one. Recommended.
A nice love story
These are quite good times for LGBT films. 2017 saw a lot of solid releases and Becks can be easily counted amongst them. It is a simple, honest story that deals with sometimes complicated feelings of love, confussion, heartbreak and being stuck in life. The characters and situations all feel real and authentic so you do care about them and wonder how it is all going to end for them. Do not be worried by the sudden drop of rating on this site. It is currently at 5.7 and definitely deserves more, plus, the rating is much higher on most other film sites. The performances are really nice as well and another thing that especially stands out are the heartfelt, good music performances by Lena Hall. Kudos to the songwriters. Becks will appeal to everyone who enjoy small character driven indie films that deal with real feelings and real-life situations.
Bomb City (2017)
The ending will make your heart race
Bomb City is not a perfect film but it is a solid one nevertheless. It takes a while for the viewer to get sinked into the story but when it does it will surely stay in your mind for a while.
One of the strongest points of the film is its portrayal of the differences between two completely different groups of people. They might be a bit stereotypical at times but are certainly not far from reality. The system or the machinery that runs our society does not support people who are different, defy and question authority and who are not afraid to stand by their principles, we all know that, it has been proven hundreds of times. If some injustice happens to these people, justice and the system are not always to be counted on. It is very sad and upsetting.
As far as the performances and direction are concerned, it is all solid. The opening and closing narration by Marilyn Manson is worth listening to as well as he makes some great observations. As mentioned before, it is not perfect but definitely worth seeing.
Great story, stunning performances from the entire cast, perfect blend of comedy and drama, good ending, real characters saying real things and dealing with real emotions of loss, anger, hate, vengeance, love, change and redemption. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri covers all that and deserves all the praise it received. Not much more needs to be said in my opinion. My advice to you is simply to watch it and have a good time.
Darkest Hour (2017)
2 happy hours watching this
Darkest Hour is a very well made film with an outstanding performance from Gary Oldman. The rest of the cast shine as well. Another nice thing about the film is that it feels quite light despite the very serious topic. Winston Churchill's remarks and jokes will make you laugh and his speeches will give you goosebumps. He practically had the weight of the world on his shoulders and felt pressures from all sides. Nevertheless, he made the right choice in the end and it is horrifying to even think what would have happened with Europe if peace negotiations would take place. If you are well familiar with the history of this man, you will enjoy this for sure and if you are not, you will enjoy it as well and at the same time learn about this great man.
The Shape of Water (2017)
Could have been really good
The Shape of Water is not a bad film and definitely does not deserve to be ignored but it is not that good either. Something is simply missing. Guillermo del Toro, Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins are all masters at their work and deserve all the respect. Direction is good and photography lush. The story itself however, is a romantic fairytale and does not go very deep, it could move and affect the viewers much more if done differently, the characters are pretty one-dimensional, we have the good girl, funny friend, another old funny friend and the villain. Throughout the film the story is trying to present many social issues and even though the film is set in the 1950's, many of the issues are still reflected in our society today. We have racism, sexism but the main thing that the film is trying to tell us is that it is important to accept and love anyone who is good, no matter how different they are. It is a beautiful message but it all feels a bit to forced, it could have been more subtle. The main problem is that the entire film feels like a big Oscar bait. It seems to have worked quite well. Another thing about the Oscar nominations, Michael Shannon should not have been left out. All performances are good but his especially stands out. Could have been really good and it is a shame since there is so much talent involved in the film.
The Eagle Huntress (2016)
The Eagle Huntress is a true soul candy. An inspiring story beautifully filmed. It is very interesting to see how different life is in the Altai mountains, unaffected by time and the modern world and yet, the people seem to be happy and get by despite living in harsh conditions. It is also the story of hope, dreams and change of tradition. A young girl who wishes to become the first eagle huntress and breaks traditions that are hundreds of years old. Her loving father fully supports here on her journeys and the bond between them is truly touching. It would be a shame to lose more words over it since it would be best if you start watching it a soon as possible. You will not regret it.
I, Tonya (2017)
What a story
I have to admit, I was not familiar with the story of Tonya Harding. It might even be a good thing since the events of the story seem even more unbelievable and have a bigger impact. All the characters are a bit crazy but still very interesting in their own way. And you really feel for Tonya Harding since after all, she only wanted to skate and be successful. She achieved success but had to overcome endless hurdles along the way proving that you should never give up on your dreams no matter the odds. Performances are great, especially from Allison Janney and Paul Walter Hauser who played Shawn and captured his delusional character with perfection. Another positve thing about I, Tonya is a really great soundtrack containing classic songs from the 70's and 80's.
Definitely recommended and you do not have to know anything about figure skating to enjoy this film since the story itself, characters, good performances and music will take care of that.
Last Flag Flying (2017)
Linklater does it again
Last Flag Flying includes everything Richard Linklater's films are best known for: interesting characters, witty dialogue that will make you think about certain things and the realistic feel of the content. The story is very simple and moving. I believe it was quite brave to authenticly show how things proceed when someone's son loses his life in a war far from home, how the government deals with it, how parents deal with it and was it even worth it. Even though the story itself is serious, Last Flag Flying has some fun moments that will make you laugh. Bryan Cranston's character Sal is really hillarious at times and there is a great train scene in the second half of the film where all the main characters talk about misdemeanours from their youth, Vietnam and how certain things change as you get older. Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne can hardly ever dissapoint and Steve Carell proves once again his versatility as an actor.
Recommended to everyone who enjoy Richard Linklater's work and like life stories that feel real and maybe even hit close to home for some viewers.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)
Not as bad as some say
The Killing of a Sacred Dear will find fans with people that enjoy different, strange, offbeat and daring films. If you do not fall into that category you will probably not like it. It is hard to put this film in a particular genre or even describe it. I believe it is a simple, strange revenge story and it touches the themes that usually come along with it such as guilt, fear, denial, sacrifice, etc. The film is quite slow and the pace is not exactly even so you will need a bit of patience to get through it. Direction and acting are great. Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman both deliver strong performances but the real star would be Barry Keoghan who portrayed Martin brilliantly. Give it a try and even if you do not like it just remember, it is better to lose 2 hours on a film than some other painfully annoying activity.
Listen to Me Marlon (2015)
What an extraordinary man
Listen to Me Marlon is a fantastic documentary about one of the best actors in the history of film. A treat for every film lover and everyone who enjoy learning and getting to know about genius people who changed and revived things in their field of work and were never afraid to be themselves.
The narrator of this film is Marlon Brando himself. The audio material was taken from hundreds of hours of private recordings that he made and were never released to the public before. It was wonderful listening to some of the things he said about acting, life itself, his views on Native and African Americans, film business, success, his troubled youth and many more. I believe thet every person who is thinking of trying to get into acting should see this. Grat film about a great man.
Lady Bird (2017)
Good film with great performances
Lady Bird is definitely one of the best coming of age films made recently. The Edge of Seventeen from 2016 could be put in the same category but this one is still better in my opinion. It will really hit close to home with everyone who live and grew up in a place where not much happens and can't wait to leave it and enter the world of excitement to try to live to the fullest someplace else.
The thing that sets Lady Bird apart from most coming of age stories is that it feels much more realistic. The characters are wonderfully written, you really care for them, feel what they are feeling and you sympathise with them. The struggle of teenage years and how difficult these times are for the parents as well, falling in love and getting heartbroken for the first time, applying to colleges in a family that is struggling financially are all themes that Lady Bird covers with great authenticity. Saoirse Ronan shines in her role and is proving once again that she is one of the best young actresses working today. The supporting cast really deliver as well.
If you love stories about young people growing up, you like films that make you feel something and are full of witty dialogue and real characters, you should not give this one a miss.
Min lilla syster (2015)
My Skinny Sister bravely tackles a very serious mental disease that is more and more common in our society nowadays. The film does not explain the disease itself, where, when and how it starts but merely focuses on what life is like when a close family member gets severly affected by it and that is the painfully realistic part. Nothing is held back and strong performances from the entire cast might be quite painful or sad to watch for everyone who are all too familiar with eating disorders. We know that the pressures from the media and society are particularly harsh on girls and young women since we live in a youth and beauty obsessed culture. What parents and siblings go through is extremely difficult due to the fact that it is a very challenging disease, it is unfortunately still a taboo, it may take years to recover from it and even then it may only be dormant and come back again someday.
The film is very well made and if you get a chance to see it, do not miss it. Eating disorder is a topic that people should know more about in order to be able to help someone who is dealing with it in a better and more prepared way.
Inspiring and well done
Kenny is a very well made documentary about a football legend Kenny Dalglish. The film does not only present his life story as a player and manager but also goes quite deep to show what he was like as a man, husband, friend and a father. One other great thing that this film managed to do is to give a viewer the idea of what football really means to people, the loyalty, how it brings them together in difficult times, how it lifts spirits, gives hope, brings joy and makes everyone forget about their problems for those 90 minutes. It is truly a magnificent sport and not many sports, if any, can compare to that. Even in the darkest of times such as the Hillsborough tragedy in Sheffield which will never be erased from the memories of those who lost someone as well as football fans all around the world, you will see how people and an entire city can come together to support each other and how long the road to recovery is sometimes.
Recommended to everyone, not just football fans and Liverpool supportes but to everyone who would like to have a better understanding of what football is all about and what Kenny Dalglish is like as a character and as a man of inspiration.
Hollow in the Land (2017)
Hollow in the Land is quite an entertaining film. It will appeal to everyone who love watching small, low budget indie films. You also might like it if you enjoy films that have a darker, melancholic feel and are mostly character and performance driven. The story explores feelings of love, guilt, bravery, dedication and vengeance. If you live in a small town where everyone knows or want to know everything about each other then you will be able to feel a story even better in my opinion. The performances are good, characters feel real, the story is gripping, pace is even and there are some nice twists. I know Hollow in the Land did not receive many positive reviews so I suggest you see it and decide for yourself, you might be surprised.
Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)
Fun though not as good as the first two
Bellas are back for the third time and while the film is fun to watch, it does not bring anything different and original than the first two. The girls are still likeable, funny and portrayal of their characters is still on form. What you might miss is the wit, the level of good singing performances and some great song choices from the first two films. They are not bad in this one but they are not that great either.
Nevertheless, Pitch Perfect 3 is in my opinion still a good choice for a nice relaxing, feel-good film where you can rest your brain a bit. The nice thing about all Pitch Perfect films is that they are what they are and are never trying to pretend to be something else.