I could only have guessed as much that Belladonna of Sadness had played a critical factor in bringing attention to adult animation back when it had come out but for as beautiful as it may have looked, I also had found it extremely unappealing. It was a troubling experience because I recognized that there was so much about Belladonna of Sadness that was absolutely masterful, but it also mixes together with so much that also did nothing else but leave a bad taste in my mouth as they went on. Considering how this subject matter was taboo at the time for an animated feature, there’s still a reason to find one’s interest in Belladonna of Sadness growing because if went beyond such for the time, and it still does feel provocative but not for the best.
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At the hands of the much publicized sexual misconduct allegations against writer, director, and star Louis C.K., I Love You, Daddy feels difficult to look at without said context. Evidently, this film is a very self-deprecatory look at its own creator commenting on the idea of idolizing celebrities within the entertainment industry, but when I’m still trying to adopt a neutral perspective when looking at I Love You, Daddy, I haven’t found myself getting much out of Louis C.K.’s odd and outright uncomfortable project. It really isn’t possible to remove the icky taste of Louis C.K.’s personal life out of I Love You, Daddy upon watching this considering where the film seems to build itself on, the discomfort is only set to make oneself want to distance themselves from the work and it isn’t helpful in this scenario.
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My friend Noah Miles wrote in his Spider-Man: Homecoming review, “I don’t know if Jon Watts is a good director. I really don’t. It’s impossible to tell from this, although the direction here is probably the worst I’ve seen so far this year, because Marvel reshoots everything and rarely allows directors creative freedom to take risks and do something visually interesting.” It was the first thing that came into my head after having left Justice League, because from the many reshoots that came along since Zack Snyder left the production after the death of his daughter, you can really tell this isn’t so much of a Zack Snyder film. As a matter of fact, it seems more like the traces of a butchered plan that were haphazardly stitched together as a means of trying to appeal to the masses. The sad thing is, there’s barely enough about Justice League as it stands that truly works.
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For all we know this probably isn’t going to be the last adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express but after having already been adapted for the screen as a theatrical film in 1974 and twice for television, one can only expect that a recent spin would at least feel distinguishable because it would at least try to find a way to introduce the story to a newer audience. In some sense it would seem that Kenneth Branagh would be both the perfect choice not only to direct but also to star in the film as Christie’s Hercule Poirot, but quickly enough I was asking myself who exactly was this film being made for. For as appealing as the idea of a stylized period piece based on Agatha Christie can be, the marketing gave an idea it didn’t seem to know who it was for from the inclusion of an Imagine Dragons song. For as much as I’m thankful that awful song isn’t in the movie, it still rings off as exactly what I described prior; a new adaptation that has no idea who it’s for.
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I’m still baffled how a product like The Snowman ended up becoming as ravaged as it is despite the amount of esteem that its crew seems to have, whether it be the fact that Martin Scorsese was an executive producer who was signed on to direct, to have Tomas Alfredson take over. I would only have expected that from the fact Tomas Alfredson had directed the excellent Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy he would only have transitioned rather smoothly when directing another mystery film of a smaller scope with The Snowman, but clearly something had gone wrong. If I were to get something out of the way, The Snowman as it is does not work, but it isn’t wholly bad – rather just a film whose potential is evident but never expressed properly. So how exactly do you pinpoint where everything went wrong with The Snowman?
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Most certainly a product of its time, but not in a good manner at that. Michael Winner’s nihilistic Death Wish is a ruthless film on all counts where it is expected most, but in the end, it never seems to be a film that goes beyond that. That wasn’t the worst thing I found about Death Wish, but it was also difficult enough trying to keep myself staying invested. It was difficult to stay on board with all of the ugliness that was on display, for apparently the philosophy wasn’t what Brian Garfield had intended with his original novel – and that isn’t even the worst part of Death Wish from my own perspective. Perhaps it already has found itself speaking to what America had been going through at the time, but considering how quickly have times changed decades within its own release – it’s clear how much of this does not hold up.
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Less offensive than Forrest Gump in terms of how it alters history for the sake of its own self-important sense of sentimentality, but at the hands of David Fincher – it was the most that one can hope for with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Granted, Forrest Gump will be among the first films that one will think of when one talks about David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button because the similarities within the sort of narrative experimentation which they are working with are not limited from the fact that the two of them share Eric Roth as a screenwriter but also from what they make of their setting. And for as much as I love the work of David Fincher, this was always one of my biggest struggles in regards to his filmography for by my own personal experience, it took me three attempts to make it through The Curious Case of Benjamin Button without feeling a need to fall asleep, but even describing such a film as “bloated” doesn’t even begin to cover why it’s such a frustrating, even annoying experience.
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I was never a fan of Spider-Man growing up, the comics never grabbed me and I was never a fan of either film franchise whether it be Sam Raimi’s original trilogy (minus Spider-Man 2, which I do really like) and Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man films. The idea of a Spider-Man film being made now as another entry for the Marvel Cinematic Universe sounded even less appealing to me, with the lack of a real impact of Tom Holland’s own presence in Captain America: Civil War (which was already difficult enough to sit through) and the especially dreadful marketing. Now that an entire movie was set to be centered around him during the prime of his own life at high school, within the homecoming period – maybe it would be about time something more would strike me that would have me attached to Spider-Man’s arc like Spider-Man 2but I’ve expected a tad too much afterwards was what I thought. It was purely Spider-Man the way I’ve always seen him, just angsty and uninteresting.
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I must admit I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this mainly because Help! has always been one of my least favourite Beatles albums. Even the involvement of the Beatles themselves as leading stars together with Richard Lester of the brilliant A Hard Day’s Night, my interest in Help! was never the highest because it was one of only a select few Beatles albums that I found unremarkable as a whole (except a few songs). Among many things that goes without saying in regards to Help! is that A Hard Day’s Night is a far better satire about the “regular lives” of The Beatles and it’s not only from having better music in general, but because it seemed like it offered a great commentary on the fandom that they have inspired at the time, and what it has done for people trying to find an identity for themselves. Help! seems to have taken a different route from that and the results never really are enough to provide much satisfaction.
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For as many films as the Alien franchise has managed to spawn, only Ridley Scott’s original film has maintained where it was at its very best. That’s not to say James Cameron’s Aliens isn’t fantastic in its own right, but it sets up what’s brought the franchise down as more films had come along: the whole universe ended up becoming far too big for its own good and thus it began to progress far too much like a video game. Now with Ridley Scott’s prequels coming along, we have Prometheus only being as broad as ever and adding to this problem even with my own enjoyment of it, so that’s where my skepticism for Alien: Covenant had rose higher. But I wasn’t merely disappointed with Alien: Covenant, I was so frustrated with what it wanted to be, even to that point it managed to leave a rather bitter taste in my own mouth by the time it was over, because of what it wanted to be all at once, and overall, how little I ended up caring for the final product.
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