June 2015 Movie (And Spoiler-free Game of Thrones!!!) Round-up

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I’m cheering for the horse, personally.

There’s not much to report in this month’s round-up, mainly because I already did a round-up earlier this month. 

That said, I did see one movie, so I kind of have to review that, and I also figured that now would be as good a time as any to give my final thoughts on the latest season of Game of Thrones. I was planning to do a full-fledged review of the whole season, but considering I’ve already devoted around 10 000 words to that season, I figure I can half-ass it just this once.

Onwards!!!

Game of Thrones– Season 5 (No Spoilers, don’t worry)

Oh god, I’m getting a nervous twitch and random twinges of depression just thinking about it.

Directed by: Michael Slovis, Mark Mylod, Jeremy Podeswa, Miguel Sapochnik, David Nutter

Written by: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Dave Hill, Bryan Cogman

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Kit Harington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Natalie Dormer, Stephen Dillane, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Jonathan Pryce, Aidan Gillen, Carice van Houten, Liam Cunningham, John Bradley-West, Jerome Flynn, Alfie Allen, Gwendoline Christie, Indira Varma, Conleth Hill, Hannah Murray, Michiel Huisman, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kristofer Hivju, Tom Wlaschiha, Dean-Charles Chapman, Michael McElhatton, Iwan Rheon

Plot: Let’s face it, you’ve seen it by now.

This is the first Game of Thrones season that is really diverging from the framework that the books set out. How do I feel about this? Well, to put it as open-mindedly as possible, I don’t give a flying fuck and neither should you. The show and the book are different. I don’t give a shit about Lady Stoneheart (Don’t look it up. That’s a book spoiler), if she doesn’t appear, she doesn’t appear. They can only cram so much shit into a show before it collapses under its own weight.

So, yeah, this is another great season, if probably the weakest of the five so far. Some of the storylines don’t go anywhere (*Cough* Dorne *Cough*) and some of the characters fall flat (*Cough* Sand Snakes *Cough*) and weren’t written particularly well.

My name is We are Inigo Montoya the Sand Snakes. You killed my our father. Prepare to die.

That said, even the worst Game of Thrones season is better than many show’s best season, so I can’t complain too much.

  • Tyrion meeting Daenarys is the best thing ever (It’s not a spoiler. Look at the fucking poster).
  • Cersei Lannister’s fall from grace fascinated me. Only a Game of Thrones story arc could make me feel the utmost hatred for a character, take the next logical step to schadenfreude once things start to go wrong for them, and then have those feelings turn to outright pity. You know, even if everything that happens to her is her own goddamn fault.
  • As weak as the Dorne storyline ended up being, there are three scenes I did like, two of which came at the end, and one of which I like for purely shallow reasons. If you’ve seen the episode, you know which one I’m talking about.
  • –  The storyline in Meereen is actually one of the stronger parts of this season. that doesn’t make some of Daenarys’ decisions any less puzzling, though.
  • If you’re actually upset that a show that is known for being overwhelmingly dark is being overwhelmingly dark, then I don’t know what to say to you. Be serious, maybe.

Rating: 8.5/10

Mortdecai

Oh, fuck off.

Directed by: David Koepp

Written by: Eric Aronson

Starring: The soulless husk of Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany, Olivia Munn, Jeff Goldblum

Plot: Charlie Mortdecai (Depp) is a sleazy, pompous English art smuggler who is deep in debt. To recoup his losses, he agrees to help a secret agent (Ewan McGregor) find a stolen painting.

You know that an actor’s in a rut when their best performance in a while has been the cameo they made in a reboot of their old TV show.

That was legitimately amazing, though.

  • Uh… Paltrow and McGregor are alright, I guess.
  • – Seriously, Johnny Depp is too good of an actor to rehash his Jack Sparrow character every performance… Right???
  • –  This movie’s 106 minutes long, and it feels three times that length. Unfunny comedies tend to do that.
  • – Repeating jokes aren’t usually funny, but they can be. This movie tries around three or four repeat gags. They’re all spectacularly bottom of the barrel.

Rating: 2/10

Quote of the Day- June 26, 2015

I woke up this morning to a thoroughly awesome piece of news, and I thought this quote seemed appropriate (If, admittedly, kinda darkly inappropriate).

“If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door in the country.”

-Harvey Milk

“And also, let Sean Penn and Gus Van Sant make an Oscar-bait movie about me. Especially that last one.”

Inside Out (Movie Review)

“Wanna put my tender heart in a blender, watch it spin around to a beautiful oblivion…”

(This has nothing to do with anything, but another reason why this post is so late, besides Father’s Day, is because my piece of shit McAfee software keeps sending pop-ups that turn off my Google Chrome tabs. I got seven hundred and fifty words into the review on Sunday and Monday before McAfee struck. It’s partially my fault for not saving frequently, I suppose, but still, fuck McAfee.) 

I got out of my French diploma at ten-thirty on Friday. I’m not usually one to compliment Edmonton weather, but late Friday morning was absolutely gorgeous, with beautiful mid-20’s temperature (That’s Celsius for those of you unlucky enough to live in a Fahrenheit realm, or whatever) and the slightest of cool breezes.

Before I gained a barely steady cash flow, I might’ve sought out my friends, or gone home to play catch with my brother. Now? I went on my own to an air-conditioned movie theatre, where I watched a movie aimed at children, where I was the only person in the theatre who was neither a six year old, nor a parent of a six year old.

Needless to say, the minutes leading up to the movie starting were not the most comfortable for me.

 Inside Out

Directed by: Pete Docter

Produced by: Jonas Rivera

Screenplay by: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley

Story by: Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen

Genres: Animation, Comedy, Drama

Starring: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Richard Kind, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Kaitlyn Dias

Music by: Michael Giacchino

Plot: Riley Anderson (Kaitlyn Dias) is more or less your typical eleven-year old Minnesotan girl. She loves her family, friends, the great sport of hockey and couldn’t be much happier with her lot in life…. That is, until her dad’s job forces the family to move to the relatively hockey-unfriendly (Unless we’re counting San Jose) city of San Francisco, throwing the cartoon emotions inside her head into disarray.

See, when that happens to a Pixar character, it’s “kid’s movie material.” When it happens to me, it’s “A violent schizophrenic episode.”

Oh, right, the cartoon emotions. Almost forgot about that tiny detail that’s also the premise of the entire movie.

Any smug hipster scrambling to proclaim that this is a rip off of fucking Herman’s Head should probably go ahead and blow their brains out right about now.

The five emotions that guide Riley through her tumultuous life are Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Fear (Bill Hader) and, when shenanigans ensue because of the move to San Francisco, the emotions have to work together to get Riley through this ordeal emotionally and physically unscathed.

God, this movie is fucking awesome.

I’m not going to surprise anybody when I say that I love Pixar. At this point, they’ve influenced pop culture to almost, if not the same, extent as their parent company, Disney.

That being said, I’m also not going to pretend that they’ve had a perfect go of it. In fact, since Toy Story 3, Pixar has released, at best, Brave, a movie directed by two people with different visions (And boy does it show!!!) and at worst, Cars 2 or Monsters University (Unbefitting of their predecessors. Well, actually, Cars kinda blows, but Monsters Inc. holds up beautifully).

So, I don’t know if I can really be blamed for not being all that excited about Inside Out when the movie was announced. Sure, it was an interesting concept, and the fact that Pete Docter was director, and the concept was intriguing, but… I dunno, the character designs seemed kind of lazy to me, and I thought that child psychology might be a bit of a lofty aspiration, even for a generally smart studio like Pixar. Sure, I get that they’ve done very smart movies before, but… I dunno, as deep as they’ve gone in Up, for instance, I don’t know if you could really call it as profound as, say, the psychology of a prepubescent child.

…I stand corrected.

And then they announced the voice cast. Holy crap, was I ever on board. The casting director for this movie deserves a lifetime supply of coke and hookers. Or, y’know, whatever it is that people besides myself consider to be sources of joy.

You could not ask for better personifications of joy, fear, sadness, anger and disgust than Poehler, Hader, Smith, Black and Kaling.

Huh. I just realized that every main cast member besides Poehler and Black appeared on The Office in some capacity. Cool.

I guess you could make the argument that Kaling, Smith and even Black are underused, but they don’t receive that much less time than Poehler and Smith, and they’re still terrific. So are Poehler and Smith, who do receive the most of the screen time. Off the top of my head, I would say that Smith as sadness is my favourite, although Lewis Black could pull ahead, the more I think about it.

How the hell did Disney ever green-light hiring Lewis Black?

Inside Out delivers on every level that you could ever want a great Pixar movie to deliver on, at least before Larry the Cable Guy voicing a tow truck was considered par for the course Pixar. The animation? Terrific. The score from Michael Giacchino? Terrific. The character design? Actually, despite my reservations, they work incredibly well during the movie, as, while the designs themselves may not be anything special, they’re animated (And voiced, and written) in such a way that gives them  way more personality than the designs let on. The comedy, drama and script in general? Well, it’s not laugh-a-minute, but it’s still a brilliant, touching script.

Also, Richard Kind’s character.

Homeless Snuffleupagus at a gay pride parade? I like to think so. 

Didn’t appear at all in the marketing (That I could tell, anyways), but contributes a lot to the story. He can come off as kind of annoying, but  I guarantee that he grows on you.

What I appreciate the most of this whole movie though, is the fact that, not only does it handle the deep elements inherent to a movie about goddamn child psychology, it also refuses to talk down to children. Too often, I think we’re seeing kids’ movies cater more and more to the demographic of “adults who just want something amusing to distract their kids for two hours while the parents pop vicodin in the bathroom.” Instead of making great, inventive fun movies that still manage to teach a great lesson and leave an impression on the audience, it’s becoming par for the course to shit out a movie about cartoon animals and bright colours, load it with adult jokes that wink so hard and often at the adult  audience that they would be breaking a blood vessel if they were human, and cap it off with some half-assed, generic lesson that we’ve heard a million times before. It won’t leave any worthwhile long-term impression on the audience, old or young, but the studios won’t give a shit, because people are still going to see movies and because the idiot kids don’t know any better!!!

OH, FOR FUCK’S SAKE WILL ARNETT, HAVE SOME GODDAMN SELF-RESPECT!!!!

In that respect, Inside Out is the great redeemer for the recent slew of terrible family movies. Not only is this story all those positive qualities I mentioned above, but it’s maybe the smartest family movie ever made in a long time, and almost certainly one of the better depictions of the elements of childhood and growing up ever put to screen, capturing in ninety-four minutes what Boyhood couldn’t do in a million hours, or however long that fucking movie was. It’s joyous (Pun intended) but also bittersweet. It’s simple and carefree, but also confusing and difficult to get your head around. You can feel on top of the world one day and have it all crumble down in mere seconds. Multiple times. It’s good to see that Pixar not only rebounded from their rut, but rebounded with a movie that is going to mean so much to so many.

 …

That said, I don’t like the character design in The Good Dinosaur. Let’s see if Pixar makes me look like an ass again.

Overall: Brave is no longer the best Pixar movie since Toy Story 3. Thank Jeebus for that.

Rating: 9.5/10

Now, who’s excited for Ice Age 5???

Quote of the Day- June 21, 2015

Sooo…. Guess who’s going to be a day late with his Inside Out review!!!

Eh, whatever. I’m not about to feel bad for spending Father’s Day with my family and not cooped up in my room, trying to articulate my feelings on a movie in which Lewis Black voices Super Meat Boy.

Right?!?!?!

Anyways, here’s a heartwarming Father’s Day quote from one of the men who brought us Caddyshack.

“Me and my dad used to play tag. He’d drive.”
-Rodney Dangerfield

For the record, while we’re talking about Inside Out, I’d like Rodney Dangerfield to be resurrected for the sole purpose of voicing my “Relentless self-pity” emotion.

Game of Thrones- Season 5, Episode 10: Mother’s Mercy

MERCY!?!?!?!?!

My life since five o’clock Monday has been an endless string of heartbreak and disappointment. After I got home, I turned on the Blue Jays game, hoping to see them continue a eleven-game win streak.

They blew it in the eleventh inning.

Then, I watched Team Canada play the Netherlands in the Women’s World Cup.

The Dutch scored in the last ten minutes to tie it.

I watched Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event, where they announced a new Metroid Prime game!!!

Except it looks like a generic space shooter piece of shit that doesn’t even have Samus Aran.

And then, I got to watching this latest Game of Thrones episode.

After it ended, I promptly turned off the TV, quietly returned to my room, stared at my House Stark shirt for a while, and blew my brains out.

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

Winterfell

Stannis Baratheon’s sacrifice of his daughter has had a mixed effect on the war effort. On one hand, the weather has improved noticeably, meaning that Stannis will have no trouble marching on Winterfell. On the other hand, half of his army and the entire cavalry have deserted, because, as it turns out, burning your daughter at the stake to appease a demon-god isn’t exactly all that encouraging to an army fighting for your right to the throne of a country. .

“Yeah, these seems like the actions of the guy we want as the king of seven kingdoms.”- Insane people.

Also, his creepy wife has hanged herself, And Melisandre has fled, because she’s just a coward, when it comes down to it. Despite all these monumental setbacks, Stannis decides to march on Winterfell, because if I was gradually realizing what a stupid, horrible, irredeemable human being I was, I would probably have a death wish too. It goes about as well as one would expect.

Meanwhile, in Winterfell, Sansa escapes her room while Ramsey is off at the battle. She lights the signal for help from Brienne and Podrick (Who juuuuuuuuuust miss her, of course), but is caught by Reek and Myranda, the latter of whom threatens to mutilate her until Reek, hopefully beginning the long road to redemption, shoves her off the ramparts so we can see her crazy psycho head crack open on the cold ground below. When they notice that the Bolton army is returning to Winterfell, Sansa and Theon…. Jump off the castle walls…?

Sure, that seems survivable……Maybe?

Anyway, Stannis is wandering half-dead in the forest, still somehow murdering the shit out of Bolton until he collapses against a tree. Then Brienne appears and…Yeah. Another one bites the dust.

Somebody should get on a “Another One Bites the Dust”/Game of Thrones crossover video, by the way.

I guess there is the small possibility that he is alive, just because they never actually showed him getting offed, and they’ve never been big on cliffhangers, but… I wouldn’t bet on it.

Shit, for all we know, Sansa and Theon are dead or crippled at the bottom of the castle walls.

..Maybe the next segment won’t be so depressing?

King’s Landing

Ugh…

Cersei confesses her sins to the High Sparrow, admitting to having sex with Lancel, her cousin, but not with Jaime. The Sparrow says that she still has to stand trial for the crimes she denied, but that he will grant her the Mother’s Mercy and allow her to go back to the Red Keep…. On foot, escorted by the Faith Militant, with her hair chopped off and naked, with the unwashed masses screaming abuse at her.

I’m at the point with Cersei that I think I’ve gotten all the joy I can from Cersei’s misery. I legitimately felt bad for her this time around, if only because I hope that this is the next step towards her redemption, but knowing Cersei, she’s probably gonna start drowning puppies and staking the hearts of orphans the minute she stops crying. Or, at the latest, when she learns what went down in Dorne.

Oh, also, The Mountain is apparently Frankenstein. Joy.

Spain Dorne

After a goodbye kiss with Ellaria Sand (I love Dorne), Myrcella and Jaime chat with each other on the boat. During this conversation, Myrcella reveals that she knows that Jaime is actually her father as well as her uncle, which was actually a really touching scene, for one that centres around incest, and throws another wrench into what was already a really complicated fam-OH MY GOD, ELLARIA, YOU FUCKING BITCH. 

Shit, talk about salvaging a storyline at the last minute!

I guess that leaves Tommen as the last of Cersei and Jaime’s kids. What reputations for Tommen to live up to: a weird-looking psychopathic brat, and an amorous tween who got murdered by a vengeful Spaniard.

Oh, shit….She got Inigo Montoya’d!

Braavos

Oh, Jesus, what the hell did happen in Braavos?

Well, I do know that Arya sliced the absolute shit out of Meryn Trant. That was awesome. I don’t care if it was essentially torture porn, I enjoyed every minute of it.

Then, Arya goes back to the House of Black and White, and this is when things got a little confusing for my primitive lizard brain. So, Jaqen is mad at her for killing Trant instead of the Thin Man, and he’s about to kill her because “a life for a life” ‘n shit, then he kills himself instead of her, and then the blind girl turns into Jaqen, which is weird, and then the dead guy is No One, which is already an abstract concept, and does that mean that Jaqen is the Many-Faced God oh, god, I’m so confused and Oh shit Arya, what the fuck is happening to your eyes?!?!?!

Meereen 

Team-up time! Yaaaaaayyyy I love team-up time!!!!

And Varys! Yaaaaayyyy! I don’t completely despise Varys!

The Wall

….Fuck Olly and fuck his dead parents.

Overall: …………….Ugh…….It’s still a great episode, but….Ugh.

Rating: 8/10

So, I’m planning a more formal (Well, for me) review of the entire season, but it probably won’t be out for a couple of weeks, as I wanted to review Inside Out this weekend without worrying about another big review, and, while I am moderately excited for Ted 2, it’s not that big a movie for me, so, yeah. The Season 5 review is coming in two weeks. Be there or…..I don’t know, don’t I guess. God, I’m dead inside.

Ugh, fuck you Olly. Just fucking die already.

January-June 2015 Movie Round-up

A round-up is like a rodeo thing, right? Eh, whatever, I don’t care.

Last Friday, I took the day off of school (Because I am a goddamned adult) in order to catch an early showing of Jurassic World. I thought this would work out well for me, because a) I would see it before the theatres got a chance to fill up in the evening (When I usually see movies on opening night) and b) I would have ample time to get my review out on Sunday, when I like to have movie reviews out by.

I watched the movie, made my way home, and spent the rest of the day and Saturday working non-stop on a rough draft, in between watching soccer games and watching the Jays absolutely wreck the Red Sox (John Farrell can suck it) and eventually finished my 1000-word review. I was feeling pretty good about myself.

And then I read the review.

Then I re-read it.

Then I stared at the five pages I had written on in absolute shock at the fact that I could write something so hackneyed, boring and all-around half-assed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware that I’m not exactly Peter Travers or Roger Ebert, but I’d like to think that I can at least hold somebody’s interest for the ten minutes or so that it takes to read a review. It’s been a while since I put out a review that I would classify as truly bad, and I’m not about to start now. All three of you who occasionally glance at the site on the WordPress Reader deserve much better.

So, with a heavy heart, I tossed the rough draft to the curb and fell into a deep depression… That was instantly alleviated when Russell Martin hit a home run in the eleventh inning.

I’m not going to stop using that link. Like, ever.

Anyways, I did scrap the post, but I also wanted to get my thoughts about the movie out, even if I wasn’t going to get around to a full review again. So, because we’re just about halfway through the year, I’ve decided to do quick reviews of all the movies that I’ve seen this year, but that I didn’t get around to reviewing, because I either saw them too late after their release to really warrant a review, or because I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing or reviewing them when they first came out.

And when I say these are short reviews, I do mean short. I mean a few sentences of plot summary, a paragraph or two summarising my feelings on the movie, and then some quick bullet points, followed by a half-assed rating.

And.. That’s it! Let’s get started.

Paddington

I want one.

Directed  by: Paul King

Starring: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Nicole Kidman, Peter Capaldi for some reason

Plot: A clumsy talking bear from Peru (Ben Whishaw) immigrates to London, where he is adopted by a family (Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins). Shenanigans ensue.

As family comedies go, Paddington isn’t breaking any new ground whatsoever. It’s completely predictable through and through, the characters are either stock characters (Bonneville, Hawkins) or cartoons (Kidman, Capaldi, Jim Broadbent) and not a swear word was uttered throughout the entire runtime.

That said, British humour will make up for many shortcomings, and aside from predictability, this movie is completely harmless fun.

  • Great performances all around from Whishaw, Hawkins, etc. Bonneville does an excellent job with a stock character, while Kidman and Capaldi are downright hilarious.
  • For being obviously computer-generated, Paddington looks terrific.
  • – Paddington is one of those characters that you either want to hug forever because of his adorable ness, or violently strangle to death because of his complete and utter stupidity.
  • Colin Firth was originally going to voice Paddington, but he was dropped when the studio decided his voice didn’t really work for the character. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that a movie in which he massacred people in a church was coming out several months afterwards.

7.5/10

Jupiter Ascending

Wow, how was I ever optimistic for this?

Directed by: Lana and Andy Wachowski

Starring: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth

Plot: It’s The Phantom Menace with better performances, more heavy-handed political bullshit, and less action.

And Mila Kunis falling. All. The. Fucking. Time.

The Wachowskis are the kind of filmmakers that I want to like, artistically speaking, because they’re gifted with more creativity than I could ever dream of possessing, and have a genuine love for creating art that rivals the greats. Too bad every movie they’ve made since The Matrix has royally blown. Granted, it’s debatable how involved they were in directing the excellent V for Vendetta, and I would argue that Speed Racer is a better movie than people give it credit for, but maybe it’s time to quietly put the Wachowskis in the same category as M. Night Shyamalan. They had a nice run, but don’t expect much from them anymore.

Whatever, maybe Sens8‘s alright. Jupiter Ascending is pretty fucking awful, though.

  • This movie is actually quite aesthetically pleasing, with a terrific score from Michael Giacchino and downright amazing visual effects…. For the most part.

BAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Channing Tatum and Sean Bean are really good in this movie. In fact, none of the actors really embarrass themselves, with the exception of uh… The subject of the next bullet point.
  • EDDIE REDMAYNE IS FUCKING TERRIBLE. HOLY SHIT, I WANTED TO SLIT MY WRISTS WHENEVER HE APPEARED ON SCREEN.

mumblewhispermumblewhispermumblewhispermumblewhisperOH GOD, I’M YELLING FOR SOME REASONmumblewhispermumblewhispermumblewhispermumblewhisper- Every Eddie Redmayne scene

  • – “We can’t be together because I’m part dog, or whatever.”

“Oh, that’s okay, I love dogs!”

That is an actual line in the movie.

  • While Jupiter Ascending was either despised or disliked by most critics, some female sci-fi fans, have grown to appreciate the movie for it’s female protagonist and campy feel. While I think Mila Kunis’ character was total shit, I can definitely understand the latter.

Rating: 4/10

 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

It’s like they actively wanted people to sneak “special” brownies into the theatre.

Directed by: Paul Tibbitt

Starring: Tom Kenny, Mr. Lawrence, Clancy Brown, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Carolyn Lawrence, Antonio Banderas for some reason

Plot: When the fabled Krabby Patty formula is stolen by an unknown thief, SpongeBob and co. must team up to find the criminal and save Bikini Bottom, which has fallen into disrepair.

It’s hard to judge something as inherently stupid and obviously made for children as SpongeBob. I guess I could say that, as a fan of the older seasons of the show, I was kind of disappointed that they didn’t incorporate more of the edgy feel from the early days of the show. Then again, I’m obviously not the target audience anymore, so I can’t be too upset about it at all. Oh, god has it really been that long since the early days? I feel so old.

Oh, how I miss you, disgusting Squidward.

  • While the promotion really hammered in the whole “CGI blended with live action” gimmick (A la Smurfs), it’s really only the last third or so. The rest of the movie is terrific hand-drawn animation, thank the gods.
  • “It’s the apocalypse, Mr. Squidward. Hope you like leather.”

That line makes me piss my pants with laughter.

  • – It’s a good thing that those CGI sequences were so short, because they’re the weakest part of the movie by far.
  • Seriously though, if you enjoy watching movies under the influence of what out-of-touch white people call “The Wacky Tobacky”, then you’re gonna adore this one.

Rating: 6/10

It Follows

I’m not much of a horror film guy, but that’s a terrific title.

Directed by: David Robert Mitchell

Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe, Daniel Zovatto,

Plot: After a super bizarre sexual encounter, college girl Jay (Maika Monroe) discovers that she’s being constantly pursued by a monster that takes the form of anybody, and follows her constantly, prompting those 80’s slasher shenanigans that everybody enjoys, for some reason.

I’m very open about the fact that, I despise the vast majority of horror movies, even the ones that are critically acclaimed hold little to no appeal to me. I would rather be disturbed by a dark fantasy movie like Pan’s Labyrinth than scared shitless by Nightmare on Elm Street, only to have it leave little to no impression on me.

I was intrigued by It Follows, though, because I thought the premise was cool, and it was getting an amount of praise similar to The Babadook, which I really enjoyed. And I also thought the main character was cute. Whatever, I’m shallow.

So, what did I think? Well, it was more or less what I expected. The premise was executed mostly alright, but the slasher conventions and writing really bring the movie down as a whole.

  • Maika Monroe is a future star. I feel pretty safe making that assumption.
  • While stupid jump-scares are still moderately easily found, the movie makes a point of utilizing them well a lot of the time as well (For example: Instead of getting freaked out by her boyfriend sneaking into the window or whatever the fuck, she gets freaked out by the the tall, naked man with gouged-out eyes sneaks into her bedroom).
  • For being another generic slasher movie, it sure is a surprisingly deep one, bringing up questions about sexuality and the loss of innocence that I’m much too lazy to go into now.
  • – If this demon is so dangerous, why the hell does it walk everywhere?
  • – If making sure that this thing doesn’t hurt your friends is so important to you, and the demon comes after the person you have sex with, WHY DO YOU KEEP HAVING SEX WITH YOUR FRIENDS????

Rating: 6.5/10

The Cobbler

After Grown-Ups 2, we can only go up from here.

Directed by: Thomas McCarthy

Starring: Adam Sandler, Dan Stevens, Dustin Hoffman for some reason, Steve Buscemi for obvious reasons, Melonie Diaz, Method Man

Plot: Max Simkins (Adam Sandler) is a cobbler living on the Lower East Side of New York, and is kind of miserable until he discovers a stitching machine in his basement that, upon repairing a shoe, grants Simkins the ability to actually become that person while wearing the shoe.

Do you smell Oscars? I sure smell Oscars!!!!

While The Cobbler is definitely a step above recent Sandler efforts, it’s still downright terrible, stupid, and tone-deaf. I’m not going to dignify it by reviewing it further. The only movie that I’ve seen this year that can claim to be worse than The Cobbler is Chappie, and even then, there’s room for debate.

  • While, he’s not particularly good, Adam Sandler is at least much better in this movie than literally anything  he’s been in since Funny People. He’s trying to do a more dramatic role this time around, though, and that’s admirable, I suppose.
  • – The ending is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. Up until then, this movie was just bad. At that moment, it becomes straight up dogshit.
  • – Why does Steve Buscemi appear in every Adam Sandler movie now? This displeases me.

Rating: 4/10

Cinderella

You know, for a movie that has no business existing…

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh

Starring: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Sophie McShera, Holliday Grainger, Nonso Anozie, Derek Jacobi, Stellan Skarsgard

Plot: It’s Cinderella.

Everything you’ve heard is true. It’s essentially the animated movie, but live-action and not a musical. There isn’t much more to say about it. If you like the animated movie, you’ll probably enjoy this one.

Rating: 7/10

Ex Machina

Or “Robophilia: The Motion Picture.”

Directed by: Alex Garland

Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac, Sonoya Mizuno

Plot: Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) is a programmer for Bluebook, the world’s biggest Google surrogate. He wins a contest, the prize being a trip to the secluded cabin/research facility of the company’s’ founder, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac), who wants him to examine his new breakthrough: A bona fide A.I. (Alicia Vikander). Shenanigans ensue.

This movie has been getting all sorts of critical praise, and it’s definitely warranted, at least mostly. The performances are all excellent, the CGI on Alicia Vikander’s character is some of the best I’ve ever seen, and the sense of dread that permeates throughout reminds me very much of a Kubrick movie, actually. Down to the pace that can get a bit too slow sometimes, unfortunately. Is it a legendary movie? Nah, I’d say it’s merely terrific.

  • Domhnall Gleeson is very good, but Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander are downright terrific. I’m not sure what Vikander is doing next, but Isaac is really getting me hyped up for X-Men: Apocalypse, where he’ll play the titular bad guy.
  • The A.I. robot (Vikander) looks amazing. It would have been so easy for her to look like some cartoon piece of shit, but I was fully convinced the entire time.
  • There is a scene in which Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson discuss the functionality of Alicia Vikander’s robot vagina. And it works very well. That should give you an idea of how good the writing is.
  •  Fun fact: Alicia Vikander is Michael Fassbender’s girlfriend (Lucky girl).

Jurassic World

Chris Praptor.

Directed by: Colin Trevorrow

Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy, B.D. Wong

Plot: It’s been twenty years since the events of Jurassic Park, and, despite all evidence that would suggest that it’s a terrible, terrible idea, John Hammond’s vision has been fulfilled. The park has now opened, and- ah, fuck it, it’s late, I have a diploma exam tomorrow, and you’ve probably seen a trailer by now.

While I enjoyed Jurassic World, I realize that it’s not a great movie, or even a particularly good one, but it’s a fun movie, which, honestly, is more than I was expecting. The characters are shit and the story is predictable, but it’s worth it for Chris Pratt, the action and the dinosaurs.

  • +While it’s undeniably flawed, Jurassic World is worth watching for the last ten minutes. Trust me on this.
  • +Why’s everybody complaining about the CGI dinosaurs? I thought they looked great.
  • They make Chris Pratt and the raptor’s relationship work. That is no small feat.
  • – No fucking way Bryce Dallas Howard’s character goes through that entire movie wearing fucking heels. That’s straight-up bullshit.
  • – Vincent D’Onofrio’s not bad in this… But his character is the biggest fucking idiot. Weaponizing velociraptors? Seriously!?!?!?

Rating: 6.5/10