Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Review

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I can’t say I expected much out of The Hitman’s Bodyguard because I knew not so much about it other than the pairing of Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, a pair of actors that I’ve always enjoyed depending on the sort of role that they’re playing. To see the two of them being themselves and put together only would have made for something entertaining but the notion that Patrick Hughes was going behind the camera had me skeptical after having been left a bitter taste from The Expendables 3. I suppose having all of that in mind would have only kept me waiting for what to expect out of The Hitman’s Bodyguard overall and it was exactly what I had received. A movie that spends nearly two hours with the two of them getting within shenanigans and not much beyond that. I had only supposed the pairing of the two would only provide such as a means of killing time for said length.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Godzilla (2014) – Review

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Was hoping to enjoy it more on this go after having been disappointed from a theatrical viewing, but on a revisit my opinion nevertheless remained the same. Gareth Edwards, a director only known at the time for a small scale science fiction film, Monsters, started off Legendary Pictures’s MonsterVerse on a more middling note than anything. Being the first American Godzilla film after the atrocity that is Roland Emmerich’s film, Edwards seems to have a grasp on what made a great monster film as a whole at least by remaining within the spirit of the original Japanese films – and yet it’s still somewhat lacking. As a star for the MonsterVerse it was intriguing to see what would have come out as a result from Godzilla but the most it evokes is that it’s just desperate to start up an entire series of films rather than standing out on its own: which I suppose I can get behind with what more it teases.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

The Mummy (2017) – Review

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It already seems as if we’re getting cinematic universes after another at this rate that stretch outside the likes of Marvel and DC, for now we also have Legendary’s MonsterVerse and now Universal is chiming in by reviving classic horror movie icons for the Dark Universe. To say they’ve started things off interestingly is one thing, because I’m still struggling with trying to deconstruct what it is that I’m really feeling about The Mummy right after having seen it because it only seems like this new cinematic universe will probably not go the way it was planned to be; and yet somehow that’s a part of why The Mummy only resulted in such a baffling experience. I was far too busy laughing at the stupidity of where it was going to the point I couldn’t say I was ever finding myself getting bored, yet at the same time that’s a part of why it’s difficult enough for me to even say it allows the Dark Universe to show promise.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Little Odessa – Review

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Feels at its very core like groundwork, but it isn’t especially surprising to me considering the fact it was only James Gray’s debut film. Considering his own tendencies were still in growth here, it was only fitting that Little Odessa was in fact his own debut but it shares a common trait that has always bothered me so greatly about his work. They aren’t badly made films at all, but I try my best and no matter what, I just can’t find myself getting into them. Little Odessa is yet another one of those cases but the fact it’s only his debut feels very clear because right next to his other films, it still feels just like he’s working to form his trademarks on the spot. It hints only at what would be a promising filmmaker but on its own it doesn’t really stand out or do anything fairly remarkable. This won’t be the last James Gray film I watch after my fondness of The Lost City of Z, but I’m not sold in on his work yet.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Review

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For once I found myself skeptical of a Marvel Cinematic Universe film because the first Guardians of the Galaxy actually proved itself to be something that stood out amidst the rest of the crowd because it surprisingly happened to be one of only two films thus far from them that I really liked (the other being Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Naturally, the thought of a sequel would actually be met with warmth compared to the rest of their output but skepticism would also rise in regards to what it would end up turning the film into, and to some extent it’s what I got as always from the most typical MCU film. As promised from the return of James Gunn as writer and director another vibrant and colourful film would come back like the first but perhaps sticking to the same schtick that the first one carried only wore out the charm it had, at the film’s very worst moments.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Chaplin – Review

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Film lovers should already be familiar with the name of Charlie Chaplin considering the huge impact he has laid upon the comedy genre over the years. Richard Attenborough’s biopic comes along the same veins where his Oscar-winning Gandhi has come from and although not nearly as long, it’s in part an entertaining one but at the same time too by-the-numbers for its own good, which is the last thing I’d even want for a film about Chaplin. I don’t wish to dismiss Richard Attenborough’s Chaplin as the sort of film that does present itself as a disservice towards Chaplin’s legacy because in part it feels like it can excellently recreate that joy, although there’s another degree to where I’m not even sure what Attenborough intended his viewers to make of the life of the man behind the Tramp himself. What may have worked for Gandhi didn’t transfer well for a tale about Chaplin.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

The Last King of Scotland – Review

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General Idi Amin’s rise to power and his own erratic behavior can already make for an interesting subject to capture on film, which is exactly what Kevin Macdonald aimed to capture in The Last King of Scotland. Yet for every trace this film has that can signify something far greater it unfortunately falls down at the hands of another story being told at the exact same time, and this portion isn’t nearly half as interesting. That’s not to say a bad film is what we’re left with but rather instead what we have been given is in part something that could have been great because of the craft behind how a story like this is being captured on film. Then amidst all of that, it stops to tell another. The mix that we are left with is exactly what Kevin Macdonald provides in The Last King of Scotland, forming a product that feels only serviceable at its very best.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Review

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As I was about to watch Bill Condon’s new take on Beauty and the Beast a growing skepticism was only arising on my own end with the fact I had only recently rewatched Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise’s original film, for it not only remains my favourite of Disney’s animated films but one of my own all-time favourite films. Therefore with Disney’s recent trend of live-action reboots of their animated classics I felt that there was a possibility that something new could have only been brought to the table but I’ve had a running issue with these films as they can’t seem to find much about themselves in order to allow each entry to stand apart from the original. It seems to have run again with Beauty and the Beast, a fairly competently made one but to some extent what I thought it would be overall.

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Hidden Figures – Review

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In truth my expectations were never going to turn out incredibly high for Hidden Figures because it seemed like a rather safe approach upon a subject whose importance still remains intact with America’s history and I got exactly that. In some ways, Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures just came out to remind me of Tate Taylor’s The Help, in the sense that I was getting a feel-good film for American people that would make modern audiences feel better about what direction they’ve gone since, but in another it was a film whose good intentions went blanketed by stereotypes of the period appearing so bluntly – and it never sits well with me when these conflicting messages come about.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Frozen – Review

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Of all Disney’s recent animated fare, it would probably be easy enough to note Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s Frozen as the most overexposed from the bunch especially with the popularity it has acquired from females of all ages. Sadly this apparently has turned synonymous with the actual film’s quality even with the many admirable things to have come about from it. There are many calls back to what had made Disney so great during its Renaissance era (now going back to a Hans Christian Andersen tale again after The Little Mermaid) which allow for Disney themselves to live within what had made said musicals as impactful (something which their previous, Tangled, had managed to capture with ease). But all of this joy should call for me to love it and instead I just find it so lacking – then again I was never a huge fan of this particular musical from the first day.

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