Saturday, September 7, 2019

Film Review - Angel Has Fallen (2019)

Angel has Fallen is the third in the Fallen series and once more stars Gerard Butler as Mike Banning who is guarding the President (Morgan Freeman) when a Drone attack comes and the President is in a Coma and Mike is framed for the attack and though he says the One Armed Man did it-sorry-He didn’t kill the President, the Authorities response is I Don’t Care and he has to now clear his name.

Angel has Fallen has got to be one of the big surprise movies of the year for me as I expected very little going into seeing it and I had a great time watching it as this is a fun, top of the line B movie that delivers on exactly what it promises on the box, Mr Butler is a lot of fun as Agent Banning as he fights everyone around him to clear his name and sure the plot has some similarities to the Fugitive but I had fun with that and even imagined Gerard “THERE WAS A MAN IN MY HOUSE.”

Danny Huston is also really good in the film and though his plot line is very predictable I still enjoyed it as is Mr Freeman though the one person I enjoyed seeing the most is Mr Nick Nolte who looks very frail and he was shaking a lot in his scenes but he’s still as grouchy as he’s ever been and I had a lot of fun watching him and Gerard growl at each other in their scenes.

And lastly the film has a lot of great action scenes with what look like proper blood effects.

And so that was Angel has Fallen and its terrific fun for old school action film fans like myself, 3 and a half out of 5.

Film Review - IT Chapter 2 (2019)

It: Chapter 2 is the second part of the IT adaptation and this time the Losers are now Adults (James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone and Jay Ryan) who return to Derry, Maine when word of Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgard) comes back to haunt the town once again.

It 2 is okay overall, its not a bad movie in any sense of the word but its not a film that really to be honest justifies its existence but before I delve into those elements I want to talk about the good and there is some quite good stuff here.

Firstly the Horror element works much better than it did in the first film as its much less of the jump scare/quick cut/loud noise variety and more of the rollercoaster of darkness variety where all kinds of crazy stuff happens to scare the smeg out of the audience and I really liked a lot of those scenes as they justified the MA15 rating.

Secondly Mr Hader is really good here balancing the drama and the comedy really well and the film itself does have some good ideas in it regarding childhood trauma and how it can manifest itself in adulthood through conditions like Anxiety and Depression and Mental Illness.

But sadly this film has some major problems in it as I mentioned above briefly well here they are in more detail:

- First the use of Comedy in this movie really didn’t work too well for me and I am someone who can be very mixed on the use of Comedy in a movie as it feels like most of the time it’s the actors trying to get a laugh out of a packed crowd in a cinema and when that works it works very well but here it feels too overplayed as it comes after virtually every horror moment and as a result its attempt to give the film some levity fell flat, if this is going to be a Horror film make it one and don’t throw a Fucking Fuck bomb into every Fucking moment so people might laugh it didn’t Fucking work.

- Secondly there are far too many callbacks to IT Chapter 1 in this movie, almost every major part of the film does this flashback to the younger actors who were wonderful in that first film and really did a lot to lift up that film for me that it highlights how weak the older cast outside of Mr Hader are and they have some good moments but they just do not hold a candle to the kids from IT 1 and again if your going to make this from the point of view of the adults then Fucking Do IT! Okay don’t try to cut back and forth as like the comedy it doesn’t bloody work.

- And lastly the ending is very anticlimactic and when it was going on I just sat there thinking “Is that It, is this what we really built up to all this time?” and when I think on this ending I keep thinking that you could in all honesty put it onto the end of the first film and that would be totally fine as what it does it make this story of the Adults fighting Pennywise feel almost pointless and given its 169 minute running time it is not the feeling you want to have after that long in a cinema seat and you walk out of it.

And so that was IT Chapter 2 and its not a bad movie but its also one that really isn’t anything much either but fans will go and see it and I hope they like it more than I did, 2 and a half out of 5.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Film Review - The Kitchen (2019)

The Kitchen is based off of the DC/Vertigo and stars Elizabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish and Melissa McCarthy as 3 women who’s husbands end up in prison after a bust so they decide in order to avoid starvation to take over their husbands work with runs them afowl of the Mob.

The Kitchen is not a very good movie really at all and its for these key reasons:

- Firstly the films tone is all over the place, some scenes are very serious while a lot of the others just feel like your watching a cartoon and that cartoonish feel is all over this movie, so much so that for a lot of it I thought to myself “I am struggling to take this movie seriously” because instead of watching a movie you just feel like your watching an Adult Swim adaptation of this story and it really got me bored with the whole thing after a while.

- Secondly Ms Haddish and Ms McCarthy are woefully miscast in this movie, every time they opened their mouths to talk I was reminded of the cartoonish tone the movie had as their comedy instincts became more and more apparent every time they were on screen and I am a fan of Ms McCarthy I am but between this and the Happytime Murders from last year I am really starting to see that fandom of mine tested in a big way.

As for Ms Haddish every time she was on screen I kept wishing that Jada Pinkett Smith was playing her role as she would’ve brought much more of a dramatic weight to that role and it would’ve made for a better movie I feel.

- And lastly Ms Elizabeth Moss is wasted in this movie, this lady is more than capable of carrying any movie or TV show you give her to do and she does have the most compelling character arc of the film but the sad eye performance she gives kind of takes away from that and again after a while I didn’t really care all that much.

And so that was the Kitchen and it has reaffirmed in my mind what a disappointing year 2019 has been on the movie scene, hopefully the last quarter will turn things around but I don’t have high hopes for that, 1 out of 5.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Film Review - Palm Beach (2019)

Palm Beach is written and directed by Rachel Ward and stars her husband Bryan Brown and their daughter Matilda as well as Sam Neill, Richard E Grant, Greta Scacchi and Jacqueline McKenzie among others who come to Palm Beach on the Northern Shore of Sydney to celebrate Richard (Bryan Brown) and his Birthday but in these kinds of celebrations all sorts of secrets can come tumbling out.

Plam Beach reeks of that family (Bryan, Rachel and Matilda) having an idea for a movie, casting a lot of their mates and then filming their good time for what they hope will be our amusement and well it isn’t any of our fucking amusement as I just sat there goddamned bored almost the entire time it was being played in front of me.

And the main reason I was so damn bored is that I just didn’t really care about any of the characters this wonderful cast of actors some of which have starred in huge favorites of mine and their struggles and some of the struggles they do talk about (Loss, Regret, Failure among others) are very human traits that people feel in their daily life especially as they get older but amongst this picturesque setting of what really feels like an Island off the coast of Sydney its hard to care as a lot of the drama just feels so fucking monotonous.

And when you think about the best of Australian Cinema it works because those who really get something out of it have that feeling because they feel like something of themselves and their life is being reflected in front of them on that big cinema screen and even Danger Close about brave ANZAC soldiers fighting insurmountable odds makes sense as does movies like Mad Max, Muriel’s Wedding, Priscilla, Strictly Ballroom and even Romper Stomper.

Those movies to name as a few examples were either action films that tapped into Car Culture, movies that tapped into the working class at a time of a deep recession or where the perception of Homosexuality in the community was starting to shift more positive and it makes this movie feel like a step back in a big way as Palm Beach is so isolated from the rest of Australia its hard to sit in somewhere like Country South Australia where I saw it and come to care all that much.

And so that was Palm Beach a movie that just bored me no end and I don’t want to talk about anymore, 1 out of 5.

Film Review - Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan (2019)

Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan takes place in South Vietnam in 1966 where an Australian regiment of soldiers took on a huge force of over 2,000 Vietnamese soldiers as they look to surround a nearby Australian base but those soldiers will not go down without a fight.

Danger Close for most of the time is trying to replicate the “You are there” feeling of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk from 2017 where you mainly follow this group of soldiers stuck behind enemy lines with time and supplies running short while home tries to mount a desperate rescue and for the most part it works fine enough and has some good action scenes but it doesn’t quite pack that same punch that Dunkirk had.

And that’s really due to the filmmaking on show (and its handled by good people in Kriv Stenders the director and his screenwriter Stuart Beattie) not being up to par and look its hard to match Mr Nolan who is a real master of his craft and made Dunkirk really special but here the pace at times drags out and the character moments become a bit predictable where those who talk about their lives at home may as well have a bullseye painted on them the entire rest of the film.

That said there are some good performances by people like Luke Bracey, Richard Roxburgh among others but their just fine and as Mr Nolan showed so well in Dunkirk sometime its better for people not to talk and just pass notes around and lastly the jungles of Vietnam probably isn’t best to be shot in Queensland as the Wetlands are pretty obvious in some shots.

And that was Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan and its fine it has some good action and a nice enough war story but watch Dunkirk instead, 2 and a half out of 5.

Film Review - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is the new film by Quinten Tarantino and takes place in Hollywood 1969 and concerns Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his best friend/stunt man Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) who drive around sunny LA, Rick struggles with a career transition from Television to the Movies and meanwhile Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) is also enjoying life in LA during this time.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is for me a very fun movie and a lot of that fun comes from the chemistry and performances of Mr DiCaprio and Mr Pitt the two of them here are extremely good and have great chemistry and when they are doing their thing they are fantastic to watch and you can’t take your eyes off them.

I also really liked all of the scenes on the movie lot and seeing the day to day life of all the actors and the crew and there are like a lot of Tarantino films a slew of great performances such as the late great Sideshow Luke Perry, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning and Timothy Olyphant among others and the production design and cinematography are also superb.

Sadly however Ms Margot Robbie is wasted as the late Ms Tate and a lot of the time her scenes in a deeply regrettable way feel disjointed from the main storyline of Rick and Cliff and for a good hour and a quarter Ms Robbie has no lines of dialogue at all virtually and it just feels like a waste as Margot radiates screen presence and reminded me of why I thought to myself “She will be Big” after Wolf of Wall Street and given the very sad real life circumstances of the woman she is playing there is a part of me that wishes this had either been a much bigger side plot in the movie or its own movie outright but that’s Tarantino for you.

And so that was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and it’s a fun movie that encapsulates both the best and the frustrating of Tarantino’s work and while it’s a more fun movie than either Hateful Eight or Django Unchained it still doesn’t quite reach his 90s and 2000s heights of Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill or Inglorious Basterds, 3 and a half out of 5.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Film Review - Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw (2019)

Hobbs and Shaw is the new spin off movie in the Fast and Furious franchise and sees Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) teaming up albeit reluctantly against a mad industrialist (Idris Elba) who plans to use a lethal virus embedded in the DNA of Shaw’s sister (Vanessa Kirby) to cull the world’s population.

Hobbs and Shaw for the most part is good fun that really falls on the chemistry between Mr Johnson and Mr Statham to carry the film and they carry the film well as their chemistry for the most part works, the 2 have some great lines, gags and attempts to one up each other that for the most part made me smile and made me laugh which is more than I can say for a lot of other big movies released so far this year.

They are also nicely backed up by Mr Elba who is a lot of fun as the villain and when he gets the chance to shine on screen his own natural charisma comes across well and should he get the chance to succeed Daniel Craig as James Bond after he leaves the role I feel he will do a very good job in that part and become embraced in that role meanwhile Ms Kirby who you might remember as the White Widow from last year’s Mission Impossible: Fallout is pretty good here but she is mainly a walking plot device outside of a few good fight scenes.

Sadly however this movie is simply far too long for its own good and as a result of that I began to not only get a bit bored with the film but also feel that it was going to be a predictable outcome, the film runs about 2 and a quarter hours and it felt more like 2 and a half hours at times and movies like this one or Shazam or even Captain Marvel from earlier this year which I thought was pretty good if nothing overly fantastic they so want to capture that Top Gun/Lethal Weapon/Big and Tango and Cash vibe from decades past.

But those movies were not these 2 hour plus behemoths they were for the most part 90 to 115 minutes and as a result they were much stronger in terms of their balance as movies because they had a tighter runtime to play around with now it feels like that tightness is gone and whatever goes if the actors are sitting/standing around on set and improvising and I’m sorry but I don’t like my movies as a fucking comedy club for the most part sometimes it works but most times it doesn’t and I just want a goddamn editing machine to cut the damn thing down cod sarn it.

And so that was Hobbs and Shaw and it’s a fun movie with a good villain and fun leads but its 2 hour plus runtime saw it overstay its welcome for me, 3 out of 5.