Posted in 1½ Stars, Film Reviews

The Bad Batch – Review

✯½

Although I wasn’t so much a fan of Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night I had a great feeling from the style that she would only build up to become something more but from her second feature, The Bad Batch, I’ve only found myself growing increasingly cautious in approaching her future work now. For as much as I found myself able to admire A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night as a form of visual experimentation, there seemed to be something far more restrictive coming in regards to what The Bad Batchwas trying to do with its own narrative – for at its worst it either becomes needlessly disgusting or outright boring, yet at its best we have a charismatic performance or two. If anything felt more fitting in describing what The Bad Batch felt like, it was an exploitation film that seemed to overreach beyond what it really was at its core.

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Posted in 1½ Stars, Film Reviews

Kingsman: The Golden Circle – Review

✯½

I never felt that the first Kingsman film deserved the praise it received so the idea of a sequel coming this soon had little to no appeal to me. Even less appealing was the idea that Matthew Vaughn was returning to direct based on how he has previously blended action and comedy from another Mark Millar comic (Kick-Ass, which I also find rather off-putting to a degree), so my expectations were never high. And even with my expectations placed at a low, I thought to myself about how much I’d rather sit through the first Kingsman again because it seemed like a more focused piece of work right next to this sequel. Not that it makes the first film any better than it is, but all the better aspects of it shine out when looking at how much of it is done far worse in this sequel.

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Posted in 1½ Stars, Film Reviews

Black Swan – Review

✯½

I’ve soured on Darren Aronofsky heavily over the years: I remember when I first saw Requiem for a Dream and initially I thought that it was an emotionally draining experience and now it only ever manages to ring me as exploitative of its own characters’ misery at the hands of an agreeable message. But this was not something I found to be exclusive towards said film, because Black Swan, which may very well be his worst film yet, only manages to rub me in the wrong way for similar reasons. But for the many shortcomings of Requiem for a Dream, it never felt condescending in the way that Black Swan was, among many reasons it has only ever managed to leave such a bitter taste in my mouth. It seems so insistent that perfection leads to equally perfect art, and it’s a product so explicitly mechanical its own message only falls down upon itself and the one thought that came to my mind after finishing up read: “this is why I hate Darren Aronofsky.”

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Posted in 1½ Stars, Film Reviews

The Belko Experiment – Review

✯½

My best guess about how a concept like that for The Belko Experiment was conceived comes from James Gunn watching Battle Royale numerous times and attempting to have at a go at it himself. This doesn’t seem so much like a bad idea because I do think Gunn can actually make something entertaining out of the concept but what I got from here quickly went from being something promising to just flat out unimaginative and monotonous. I don’t want to come down to comparing this to Battle Royale because said film isn’t even the first one to take a similar idea and The Hunger Games won’t end the concept as a whole if films like The Belko Experiment are around, but because of how beaten down it has become, I’m only waiting for the day it becomes exciting once again for Battle Royale helped revitalize interest in such a clever concept.

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Posted in 1½ Stars, Film Reviews

A Dog’s Purpose – Review

✯½

I’m not a fan of Lasse Hallström (the only film I remotely like being My Life as a Dog) because I consistently find his work rather sappy and manipulative in the worst sense, so upon the notion he would direct another dog film after especially resentful feelings from Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, I would only expect something along the same lines – a sappy drama that panders towards dog lovers and for kids at the same time, but can sweetness save everything like it did for some moments of Hachi? Whatever there is to say there, it’s unfortunately not the case here for I would have expected from the premise something fascinating with its existence in the vein of Nine Lives (which I’m kind of glad exists), but A Dog’s Purpose sadly isn’t that.

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Posted in 1½ Stars, Film Reviews

Natural Born Killers – Review

✯½

Oliver Stone’s films have been loud about whatever subjects they wish to carry and in some cases they have been beneficial but me not being a fan of his generally speaking, there’s a level to which they just come off as meaningless shouting. One of the most evident cases of such is Natural Born Killers which quite evidently wants to be something more clever deep down (Quentin Tarantino developed the story) but everything soon enough just goes nowhere. I understand already it’s supposed to play as a satire upon media’s fascination with serial killers but even on that count it never works well enough and instead it takes comfort in an ugly aesthetic.

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Posted in 1½ Stars, Film Reviews

Blair Witch – Review

✯½

The original Blair Witch Project isn’t necessarily a film that I like but I get the appeal it has and I do carry my own respect for it, and in the hopes of finding some surprise out of a new Blair Witch film, anticipation only increased when Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett were directing and writing. Wingard and Barrett have shown themselves to be able to give horror a new voice in a modern age especially with a repertoire of short films as part of the first two V/H/S films and The Guest, so did it all pay off with Blair Witch? I’m sad to say the answer is no.

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Posted in 1½ Stars, Film Reviews

Absolutely Anything – Review

✯½

Honestly not sure who exactly to feel sad about more in this case, but with Absolutely Anything it’s hard enough: on one end it’s Robin Williams’s last film and on the other it’s the last we’ll ever see of the remaining Monty Python members inside of a film together. But why exactly is it a sad thought in the first place on either end? It’s a sad thought that this may be the last we will see on both ends (certainly the last on Williams’s end) because Absolutely Anything is just a flat out terrible film. If Absolutely Anything turns out to become the last that we’ll ever see of Terry Jones as a director, then it’d only pain me even more to see the Python leaving on such a distasteful note.

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Posted in 1½ Stars, Film Reviews

Inferno (2016) – Review

✯½

We’ve gotten this far ahead inside of a world where Robert Langdon is thought to be potential for an iconic film character and yet his previous two films are either laughably ridiculous with the turns of their mysteries or horrendously boring at their worst. Inferno, while not nearly as tedious the experience that The Da Vinci Code was, just goes down the way Angels & Demons had suffered in the sense that they twist far too much either it can get too ridiculous for their own good, stinting itself from retaining one’s interest. We’re three films into this series already and they forgot what is the key element to Robert Langdon that should have been present with The Da Vinci Code.

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Posted in 1½ Stars, Film Reviews

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III – Review

✯½

Now that Tobe Hooper’s gone off the Texas Chainsaw Massacreseries, the film had ended up landing within the hands of Jeff Burr – someone who seems so relatively unknown prior to even having his own hands laid on what would eventually grow to become one of the most iconic titles in horror movie history. The removal of Tobe Hooper is one step already for what would already become a big step down but the hole has proven itself to have become much deeper when an inexperienced director is given responsibility, as Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre IIIshows the very worst tendencies of what happens when something that started off in a minimalist manner ends up getting overblown to the point, the wrong ideas of handling it come about – and something messy is to come by. Continue reading “Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III – Review”