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This ain't your Disney Jungle Book, and that's wild
In performance-capture maestro Andy Serkis' hands, Legends of the Jungle is a darker, more surprising version of The Jungle Book. Get ready to leave behind the jungle of your childhood imagination. You know, the one where you slumber peacefully in a tree bough, waterfalls ain't nothing but slides and you can float downstream resting on the upturned belly of an amiable bear.
It's impossible not to keep comparing Serkis' version of this classic story to Disney's 2016 live-action remake of its own 1967 animated family favorite. In Disney's remake, the animals are remarkably photo-realistic. But Serkis is purposefully trying to achieve something entirely different. The motion capture is used to make the animal characters deeper, richer and almost more recognizably human.
This no doubt presents more of a challenge for the actors than straightforward voice work, and as a result the animals are expressive and affecting. They're more well-rounded and relatable than their Disney counterparts, even if they're not as instantly charming. Christian Bale's nuanced performance as Bagheera the panther and Benedict Cumberbatch's ferocity as tiger Shere Khan are standouts that translate particularly powerfully through the performance capture.
But as you'll have guessed from the film's title, it's not all about the animals. In Disney's version, Mowgli felt more like a narrative device drawing the animals of the jungle together so we could hear their stories. In Serkis' hands, Mowgli is less of an ensemble player. His character development is central to the plot, especially in the second half. The movie feels like a coming-of-age tale as the man-cub seeks to establish his identity as not quite human, not quite wolf -- simultaneously both and neither.
It did come as a surprise when, bang in the middle of the film, the plot veered wildly off course from the familiar narrative the Disney films established atop Kipling's work. Some may hate this startling divergence, but I enjoyed the sudden realization that I didn't know exactly what was going to happen next, especially after being lulled into a false sense of security by familiar opening scenes.
Serkis has made a visually arresting film that Netflix is lucky to have gotten its hands on. It has more than the bear necessities required to put it on your watch list, even if it is lacking the music.
Dragged Across Concrete (2018)
Mel Gibson returns with an idiosyncratic cop movie masterstroke
A sprawling, gritty action noir, gorgeously lit and morally challenging, where, as always, it is survival of whoever, beneath their mask, happens to be the fittest (and the smartest). Potentially one of the most engrossing 158-minute films you'll ever sit through.
Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
A massive disappointment if you loved the first movie
I watch this movie because I remember how deep and meaningful is the story of the first one.
This time? I'm utterly disappointed with the storyline.
As far as I can understand, this movie talks about insecurity which puts their friendship at stake. The typical classic Disney's way of establishing insecurity is to let us audience feel and experience what the characters feel and experience throughout the story. This time Disney truly fails me for they are trying to show what the character's feeling through DESCRIPTIVE dialogue. TRULY UNBELIEVABLE! What an innovative and ground breaking move, Disney! The only heartfelt moment I can recall is when they have to be separated. That's the only truthful moment in this movie. The rest? CHEESELY FABRICATED! Never seen Disney willingly produce such a shallow storytelling for a show of "fragmented relatable internet elements" SHAME ON YOU!
The Nightingale (2018)
Awful & awful
Another man-hating propaganda movie in which feminists fill their fantasy of hurting and killing white men and justify it with the classic excuse that white men have oppressed them. Don't be fooled, these movies are all the same, all part of the same agenda that wants men to feel sorry about themselves for what they are.
Another unoriginal drama that is based on a 1980s series!
Liam Neeson is really willing to sink himself so low? First all that silly nosense b movies and now this? This movie is a bad joke. McQueen's artful slow-take style, in films like 12 Years a Slave and Hunger, would seem to make him an odd choice for the ticking-clock pace of a caper pic, but don't be fooled. The plot branches out so much that the movie loses sight of what and whose story it's telling.
As if a bunch of wives could just pick up the plans for a heist and execute them successfully. Such fantasy but feminists draw their fictional strength from Hollywood.
Breaking In (2018)
You can still believe in equal rights and think this movie sucks
Because it definitly does. Nothing works. Bad actors, bad script, unrealistic and unconvencing plot, unrealistic characters, nothing work. It steals everything from much better movies.
Tell Me a Story (2018)
How to not tell a good story
To fill its empty soul, Tell Me a Story tries to capitalize off of time-honored fairy tales and timely anger surrounding Trump. And that, my friends, is a horror story made for no time whatsoever. It's just impossible to point to a single element that works.
Disney's 'The Nutcracker and the Four Realms' is as bad as you think it is
Copeland provides a perfect example of why some classics shouldn't be messed with, even when you think you have something fresh to contribute. The film attempts to upend your expectations of the story, but each and every revelation or twist falls completely flat.
"The Nutcracker" simply took tropes, character traits, and plot points from other movies that no one asked to relive, including "The Chronicles of Narnia," "Alice in Wonderland," "Peter Pan" - and, weirdly enough, "The Santa Clause 2."
The film offers two major scenes, ostensibly meant to serve as emotional anchors, as moments of growth or self-realisation. But they're so painfully cliché - don't be surprised if both cause the adults in the audience to laugh out loud.
It seems that Helen Mirren, as pseudo-villain Mother Ginger, and Morgan Freeman, as Clara's mysterious godfather Drosselmeyer, are simply thrown in to make the film more intriguing to older audiences. It doesn't work.
It also complicates the film itself: Was it made for children? Families? Fantasy buffs? Adventure enthusiasts? It's unclear.
I almost feel bad trashing (what I take to essentially be) a kids' movie with perfectly likable 17-year-old lead, but there's just no reason why this adaptation should exist.
It feels like even children - especially in this era of on-demand entertainment and content saturation - will find the film annoying and predictable. Its recycled plot, garish costume design, and half-hearted callbacks to the original add nothing to the beloved story of "The Nutcracker." You'd be far better off watching the ballet again.
Yet another men-hating show
The premise of this show is simple: anyone who is not a white male is oppressed by society so they must turn on witchcraft and sell themselves to the Devil to defeat the evil white pathriarchy. It doesn't make any sense? Of course it doesn't. Neither does it make any sense that someone that it's clearly a human male goes around saying "I don't belong to any sex". Of course you do. Gender is a biological fact, wheter you like it or not. This show perpetuate the extreme left-wing idea that white males are ruthless evil dictators that force women and "minorities" to leave in fear and they must use violence to destroy their oppression and be cheered as heroes for that. It's a cultural suicide. What's even worse is looking at all these praising reviews. Kids of my generations are really brainwashed.
Get off your high horses
Does every movie need to have an agenda like this? I mean Ghostbusters remake was an absolute feminist trash pile, yet when someone (a male) said they didn't like it, they were immediately attacked for being sexist.
Can I just go see a movie without agendas having to be thrown in my face? Halloween is a horror movie; that is literally the only reason I would want to see it. I want to jump, have a giggle, then leave the theater with friends and discuss whether it was good or bad or our favorite parts. I don't want to ever leave a horror movie to discuss how feminist is was or wasn't because I simply don't care.....that's not my reason for going in the first place. Period.
PS Feminism shouldn't be about revenge. It should be about equality. This is a movie. Not real life.
The original was feminist, this is misandric
My biggest issue with the reboot, as the original actors have expressed, is that the new series has been continuously marketed as "feminist" since its inception as if the original was not. The feminism in the original was subtle, strong, and deeply embedded in everything the three women did. It didn't have to be the entirety of dialogue for one of the sisters to be a major part of the series, which is what I hope gradually happens with the reboot, so the message feels more genuine. For premiering in 1998, Charmed was very ahead of its time, so why is the network constantly dragging the show down as if it isn't still relevant today?
In the pilot of the reboot, Mel, the middle sister, has such terrible dialogue that everything that comes out her mouth feels incredibly forced and almost like it's there to prove the series is conquering feminism, whereas the lines should feel like a natural part of the story. She's extreme to the point of it almost coming across as disingenuous and satire, which is counterproductive to the message the show was trying to send. And, at times, her lines about consent and empowerment came across as a mockery of very real issues.
The family dynamic doesn't feel the same either. It's been teased that the oldest sister, Macy, was given up at birth by their mother, and the premiere doesn't give any insight into this, either, which makes the show feel less about the familial bond and more about being witches.
Charmed is supposed to be a show about three sisters who happen to be witches, not three witches who happen to be sisters.
The change of one sister's powers was an extremely poor choice. Premonitions were arguably the most important power for the Halliwells as it helped them save hundreds of innocents from death.
Maggie's ability to read minds seems like a way to make identifying demons a bit easier, but will lead to much more death. Without premonitions, these girls are much more open to demons ruling their life because they're not going after the demons before something bad happens.
Hilariously Awful in Every Respect
It's hard to start anywhere else than Dick Grayson's casual "F**k Batman" one-liner, an attitude that doesn't really make a ton of sense, given that he's still going by Robin rather than his adult incarnation as Nightwing. But at least Robin looks alright, yeah? Brenton Thwaites, despite being a 28-year-old "teen" and a veteran of such terrible films as Gods of Egypt and Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, at least fills out a decent-looking Robin suit in the ways that you would expect. The rest of the team, though? It's one disasterpiece after another.
Look at Starfire, for Christ's sake. An orange-skinned alien named Koriand'r from across the leagues of space, she's here portrayed by ... a woman in a horrendous, curly wig, firing generic balls of fire rather than anything looking close to her signature "starbolts." Beast Boy receives similar treatment-instead of being green-skinned and, you know, animalistic, he's instead rendered as some white kid with green hair. Hey DC Universe, here's a thought: If you have no money in the budget to portray characters that look, sound and feel anything like their popular comic and animated source material, maybe don't go through with an adaptation of that property?
The cheapness, in fact, extends to every inch of this maddeningly dark, shadowy trailer, in which there doesn't appear to be a single well-lit daytime scene. It flies in the face of previous animated adaptations of the Teen Titans-including the feature film that is about to hit theaters, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies-by reimagining the series as yet another dour, hopeless series about attractive, pouting teens, drenched in a Zack Snyder-esque wave of GrimDark.
One can only assume that the source of Batman and Robin's falling out was that Bruce Wayne got a look at Titans and disowned him. And we've got to side with the Caped Crusader on this one.
The Predator (2018)
Please Shane Black just stop making movies.
After Shane Black made the god-awful Iron Man 3, only a fool could entrust him with another franchise.
One of the film's most notable missteps comes in the form of its cast and characters. Boyd Holbrook portrays Quinn McKenna, the Army Ranger and sniper in the center of the film's plot. Holbrook does his best to make McKenna compelling and likeable, a difficult task considering how poorly written the film is as a whole. He is joined by a large collection of forgettable supporting characters, the highlight of which is Keegan-Michael Key's Coyle, a wise-cracking ex-soldier who drops some memorable jokes and one-liners. The remainder of which - a group of quirky military criminals with annoying character traits, an evil government agent who order the deaths of people without much reason, and an evolutionary biologist who manages to survive every ridiculous near-death situation because of her pretty face - are all forgettable and thinly written. This makes the plot uninteresting, unfunny (I say this because the film attempts to make a LOT of ill-timed jokes), and void of tension.
The issues with the characters in The Predator, however, are a result of a bigger problem that plagues the entire film: the writing. The Predator features some of the most scattershot, lazy, and brainless writing that I've seen in a film in some time. Granted, I don't make my way into subpar action films very often, so as far as I know, the writing could actually be thoughtful and well-crafted compared to other movies of the same caliber (although I doubt it). Throughout the film, characters make decisions that have no reason behind them. Things happen without any sort of explanation. Plot points are treated as important but are then completely ignored later. Major events occur without any sort of repercussion. Etc., etc., etc. The script seems to be constantly struggling to coherently lead the characters to the film's action scenes, filling the gaps in between those scenes with nonsense and half-assed references to the Predator franchise (its "homage" to Schwarzenegger's "Get to the chopper!" line is horrendous). And even when the action finally happens, it is underwhelming, bogged down by poor camerawork and hard-to-follow editing.
I Feel Pretty (2018)
Expecting a good movie and being disappointed isn't being a hater
Don't let this latest Amy Schumer flick fool you. "I Feel Pretty" is neither funny, nor earnest in what it's trying to say. In fact, lemme' ask the question - what the hell is this movie even trying to say anuway? "It's okay to look however you want?" Well, the fat jokes and gluttony humor seem to squelch that theory, don't they? Okay, well, what about - "it's okay to be insecure?" Well, the movie seems to think so, but only if you're "ugly." In fact, if you're "attractive" and are insecure, your insecurity isn't legitimate, you aesthetically privileged **** This movie is disingenuous, soulless, and thematically confused to an almost abhorrent fault. Also it's just not funny. It's a boring, overlong mish-mash of better movies. "Big," "What Women Want," "Shallow Hal," even "13 Going 30" has more of an honest sense of theme than this. Just don't watch. Don't do it.
The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)
An asylum movie
The lack of chemistry between the leads and the weakness of the comedy hurts Fogel's cause. The Spy Who Dumped Me isn't quite sure what it wants to be, though that's not always the worst thing: You might call it an ambitious hybrid. Girls can't act, jokes are not funny and the plot is no-sense. There is nothing to save. But you know... feminism, isn't it?
I Kill Giants (2017)
Giants are barely killed but your boredom is quite alive
Unsurprisily, this movies is not at all like the source material. If the graphic novel is a funny no-sense splatter, the kind that doesn't need an explanation because it doesn't take itself seriously, not even for a moment, this movie try to take a concept not designed to be serious and make it serious. This movie is basically a ripoff of A Monster's Call rather than Pan's Labyrinth. A girl life sucks so she stuck her mind in a fantasy world where she can kill giants with a hammer because her surname happen to be "Thorson" so she believe to be the daughter of Thor. Do not expect anything good from this movie, 99% of it is the girl acting mean to everyone but the strange little girl who decide to befriend her while everyone but the little girl acts mean or pitiful to her. A pointless waste of money, not too much money, however, judging from the awful CGI.
This is not Star Wars
Star Wars ended with Episode VI. We need no sequels. But since Disney decided to make more, everything went downhill. This movie is all about the destruction of everything we knew and love about Star Wars.
Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Kong the Otaku King
Skull Island is basically what you get when you pick an amateur director who is a fanboy of anime and give him free rein over an established American legend. Everything from the look of the monster to the (absent) characterizations of the characters scream "anime fanboy". Too bad Kong is an American legend. And it's not a matter of patriotism, I'm not American. The matter is that there is nothing about this movie that screams "King Kong".
Now let's take a look at his many problems. 1) the characters are so wooden and uninteresting that I can't remember the name of any of them except for Hiddleston's because it is a famous name (not because I liked the character). 2) Speaking of Hiddleston, he is completely miscast in the role of the average American action hero. There's a reason he was cast as Loki instead of Thor, don't you think? Samuel L. Jackson is basically playing his soldier character that we saw him playing in so many many movies except a lot better (for example Basic or Rules of Engangement). The blonde woman, the black idiot (because he's playing an idiotic character) and the Chinese woman are forcefully put in highlight because.. SJW. And John Goodman, one of the greatest actors still around, plays such a useless character that you'd get to ask why the hell they'd cast him. 3) The title character Kong is basically built up to fight Godzilla. Actually the whole movie is basically built up to lead to a Godzilla/Kong fighting movie. Which is a problem per se since a movie should have his own reasons to exist and being awesome instead of just serving as an excuse to make another. This Kong is supposed to be the biggest Kong ever seen, but his greatness is only so so. He is defeated easily by the army and need the humans help to save his butt. Then when fighting the lead bad guy.. he need humans help again! Sorry, Peter Jackson King Kong did not be to 100 feets tall to kick three dinosaurs assess at once and being totally bad ass. 4) The fighting scenes are nothing compared to his predecessor. Plus if you have seen the trailers, you basically already saw the whole fighting scenes. All of them. 5) The director pushed the premise that you actually see a lot of the monster in this movie. And how much screen time Kong actually get? 9 minutes. No kidding. 6) Instead of the iconic dinosaurs, we get a cliché giant spider, a monster who I can't even know how to define (he's basically a living tree trunk with legs..), some bad copies of Peter Jackson's Terapusmordaxs but much smaller and easier to kill, a giant squid (because the director is an anime fanboy remember?) and the lead bad guys are... basically serpents with skinless heads and arms bigger than the rest of their bodies. That's right: humongous beasts came out from an anime instead of the legendary dinosaurs Kong is used to. But hey that's what you get when you watch too many anime. Kong itself is ugly: he doesn't even look like a gorilla. Make him bipedal made him look even faker. The natives too looks like a bunch of punk hippies. 7) They made Kong 100 feets tall who is a dwarf compared to Godzilla. But since this Kong is supposed to fight Godzilla one day then he has to grow up.. how? They said he's still only a teenage.. and here comes a big plot hole. The movie states that Kong's kind has been wiped out by the serpentine monsters. Who are exterminated in this very movie by the teenage Kong. But if the monsters succeed in wiping out Kong's parents that means that they weren't so bigger than their son. So even as an adult, how can Kong become big as Godzilla when his kind clearly wasn't?
Kong Skull Island is a useless spot commercial for a future King Kong vs Godzilla who has no reason to exist on his own. You want to watch a movie with a memorable plot? This movie has not. A movie with interesting, lovable or at least funny characters? Neither. A movie with a bad ass giant monster that kick ass in cool action scenes? There are a lot of movies that did it better than this.