Tag: Suspense

Dunkirk

The hype surrounding Dunkirk has lasted a little bit over a year. A historical war movie from Christopher Nolan? A war film on IMAX or 70mm screens!

Bombs and sadness!

Because the real life Dunkirk really fucking sucked. A whole lot of Allied soldiers in World War II were surrounded. It was one of the major setbacks of the war and could have lost the entire war if things didn’t slightly work out.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about some war things.

Bridge
Tightly packed, little soldiers, just trying to get home.

War. War never changes. Except for World War 1. That changed a whole lot of things. The number of soldiers to die in this war was far higher than any war before it. They had less swords and horses, instead focusing on technology could kill. And it in World War II, that technology could now fly, dive under water, bomb, and more.

And in the city of Dunkirk, France, the allies were completely fucked. The French and British forces were surrounded on all land sides by the Germans. The sides without Germans had water. Sure, on the other side of that water was Great Britain, but it was far away.

The soldiers could only bunker down and hope they could get rescued, because every day the enemy came closer and took out more of their supplies. But even the water wasn’t safe. The Germans had U-Boats, and of course planes dropping bombs. Soldiers just wanted to get home. If the armies were wiped out, the Allies would have lost the war and there would not have been a second chance to come back and take over.

So how are they going to rescue so many soldiers? And how many aren’t going to make it? Well, either way, people are not getting out of there happy.

Featuring three main plot lines, and a lot of dudes mostly. Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan, Cillian Murphy, Damien Bonnard, Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles, Jack Lowden, James D’Arcy, Mark Rylance, Tom Glynn-Carney, Tom Hardy, Will Attenborough, and Kenneth Branagh.

Soldiers
French? British? Doesn’t matter. Basically everyone there was whiter than the sand though.

Dunkirk has potentially been one of the more hyped films of 2017. More than the superhero movies, more than whatever Leo DiCaprio might find himself in, more than the return of the NFL (probably not true). It is a summer blockbuster, that is Nolan directed, and probably headed straight for several Oscar nominations despite not waiting until the end of the year.

And yet, here we are, I am giving it a 2 out of 4.

First of all, I will openly acknowledge it is technically a wonderful work of art. The camera use, the cinematography, the explosions and a bit of the thrill.

But the biggest issues I heard about it ahead of time that I blew off came full force and hit me hard. The story just was weak. It relied entirely on tense sequences and not knowing how the different plot liens interacted to build the entire story. It was a good idea for a story, but the big story elements were mostly missing.

It took me weeks to write this review, partly because of how daunting writing the plot summary portion would be. For example (and probably realistically so), we barely hear character names. I remember only one or two after the film, everyone else is just a soldier or citizen doing their best. The rescue is the story, but the rescue is only so strong.

The other reason it took me awhile is because it just took so long to figure out my feelings behind it. I went in expecting a 4 out of 4, figured it would be a 3 out of 4, but then realized that to me it ends up being just a bit more mediocre in the long run. I am shocked, I am confused, and I really just wanted something much, much more.

2 out of 4.

The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death

Are you excited? They made a sequel to The Woman in Black!!

Why do I hear crickets? Must be my refusal to try to buy more bug spray. I personally have no idea what anyone else thought about The Woman In Black, and I am far too lazy right now to look something like that up, but I thought it was a dull. Harry Potter did nothing for me. Just was an period piece British film, with a shitty ending, and a shitty everything else also. I would have never guessed a sequel could have happened.

Because now we have The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death. I have to assume Great Britain went bananas over the first film. I am pretty sure it was a remake or a book or something first, and they probably like anything set in their country.

From what I can tell this thing isn’t even really related to the first movie. Different actors/characters. Maybe a different ghost, but that would be Troll 2 levels of dumb. Honestly, if it has anything to do with the first film, I wouldn’t even remember.

boyyy
Oh it’s a creepy looking doll that a kid likes. That’s normal in horror now, I guess.

This sequel takes place in World War II, which is either before or after the first film. Again, I remember jack shit about it. We have a very universal concept here. Britain is getting bombed occasionally, so a lot of kids have lost family. Orphans and double orphans. Eve Parkins (Phoebe Fox) is a teacher of orphans, and their school is going to go leave the bustling city of London to live in the countryside instead. You know, where the Nazis should not be bombing. Her headmistress (Helen McCrory), Eve, and a bunch of kids head out to live in an abandoned building, to be safe.

But of course they won’t be safe. This is a horror movie sequel. And it is the country so we have inherently creepy looking people like Hermit Jacob (Ned Dennehy) running around. Thankfully there is a hunky man, a pilot, Harry (Jeremy Irvine), and another guy, the air raid warden (Adrian Rawlins). Gosh, could they be anymore safe?

Anyways. Haunted mansion type movie. Little kids going missing. Mute kid (Oaklee Pendergast) is of course involved, cause that bitch can’t talk.

Scream
But oh nelly can he scream. Suuu-eeeee! Suuuu-eeee!

Yawn yawn yawn. No surprise. A sequel to a movie I disliked I didn’t find great. But man, it was just so dang boring. And British. Not that British things can’t be scary. But this doesn’t at all feel like a concept worth even creating. They didn’t add anything new to the horror genre.

It just seems like a ham fisted concept, that vaguely is related to another film, to make money. It is literally Troll 2ing us. Right in front of our eyes. Oh, the ghost is a woman in black, who hates kids? Fits. Done.

Fuckkkk. It is just. It is full of boring characters, boring plot, boring scares, and nothing new. Throwing in a bad ass subtitle doesn’t make a bad ass film. It makes it generic.

Generic horror is maybe worse than generic comedy. Maybe. It’s just the level of mediocrity that we should all avoid in order to make it through the night, actually entertained. Boooo boring. Yay entertainment.

1 out of 4.

Gone Girl

It is October, and apparently what that means is some highly anticipated films are finally coming out. I feel like every week of October that there is something I define as a must see.

Gone Girl has had a lot of buzz, rightfully so. After all, it is a David Fincher movie, and everyone fucking loves David Fincher. Fight Club, Se7en, The Social Network, Benjamin Button.

Okay, maybe not that last one.

But more often than not, he is hotter than hot, in a lot of good ways.

Boy
And yet this is really the only picture they gave us to advertise the bad boy ahead of time.

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike) have been married for five years. How wonderful. They don’t have the perfect relationship, not anymore. Things have gotten bad and Nick is sick of her shit. She is miserable and judges him. He isn’t perfect either. But on this, the morning of his anniversary, he can only find himself bitching to his twin sister Margo (Carrie Coon).

Unfortunately, when he gets back to his home, he sees a table overturned, Amy missing, and a lot of confusion.

So of course he calls the cops, and based on the scene and some blood spatter, Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) and Officer Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit) have determined that despite the little time missing, it is a full fledged missing person case. They want to do a press conference and get people on it pronto. Thankfully, Amy’s parents (Lisa Banes, David Clennon) are rich from a children’s book series, so they bank roll the entire thing. Flyers, advertisements, posters, websites, volunteer centers, phone lines. The whole nine.

But as the clues start to get unraveled, and secrets about Nick’s life get revealed, the signs begin to point that Nick did it and is undergoing a cover up. But did he? Did he?

Also starring Casey Wilson, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Missi Pyle, and Emily Ratajkowski.

Girl
Maybe she is just upset because she was cast in a movie with the main naked girl in the Blurred Lines music video?

I find myself at a loss of words.

Gone Girl was awesome, amazing, awesome, and amazing. Synonyms are hard.

The movie is about 150 minutes in length and the time flew by. It flew by so fast, I was left just wanting more. I went from edge of my seat to cackling in laughter to holding my hands over my mouth. You know, because it opened in shock and I couldn’t believe what was happening.

Everyone acted so well in it. I heard Affleck was chosen because he was used to public scrutiny from being Batman to J-Lo. I really liked the detectives. Neil Patrick Harris was interesting. Tyler fucking Perry did great as his role. And holy shit Rosamund Pike. That is some Oscar winning stuff right there, so expect to see her name being thrown around a lot.

I want to throw money at this movie. And awards. And watch it again and again.

This was a book first, so I can’t wait to read the book later. That’s right. Me. Books. Aggghhhh. Go see Gone Girl.

4 out of 4.

Gone Baby Gone

I feel like a bad Ben Affleck fan. Here I am, talking about his greatness, despite having finally seen Pearl Harbor, but I have not seen a third of the movies he has directed. That means the first movie he directed, Gone Baby Gone. I might not have really known it existed. Whoops. Of course he has his brother in it, but it is nice to know his first work that lead up to Argo, right?

Damn straight. Forgive me Affleck Fans 4 Lyfe, my former Myspace group that I was in. I have redeemed myself in your eyes I hope.

Couple
But maybe not in the eyes of Ben’s brother.

Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) is a private investigator, with his long term serious girlfriend Angie (Michelle Monaghan). On the news, there is a story of Helene (Amy Ryan) who’s child has been abducted, and she is pleading for the police to find her quickly! The police chief (Morgan Freeman) is super sympathetic to the cause, because he has lost a child himself, and has made child protection his number one goal as head of the department.

The next day, Patrick and Angie get a visit from Beatrice (Amy Madigan), the sister of Helene, wanting to hire them to find the child. This is a special case, they do specialize in finding missing people, but that means people on the run, not people who have been kidnapped. The last thing they want to do is find the child in a ditch somewhere, kind of ruins the mood. Eventually, they agree to help Beatrice, Helene, and Beatrice’s husband Lionel (Titus Welliver), while also trying to not get in the way or ruin the police investigation at the same time.

What follows is the dark paths their investigation take them on, the reprecussions that follow, and the many months of aftermath of uncertainty and grieving. You know, without giving too much away. Ed Harris and John Ashton play cop guys, and Michael Kenneth Williams is of course a drug dealer.

Gone Baby Blloooood
OH GOD I HAVE SPOILED THAT THERE IS BLOOD IN THIS MOVIE. MY BAD.

To fully enjoy Gone Baby Gone, you definitely can’t multi task through it. There is a lot going on in this thriller, with many layers of information coming in at different rates. But it is also not your typical mystery to figure out the ending, because it is actually the last thought on your mind while watching it.

Nay, loyal readers, the main point of this is the characters themselves, and their lives as they are all affected by this simple child abduction story.

But then again, personally, I did think it was going a bit slow early on, after they agreed to take the case. You know, because clues are hard to find then. I just didn’t expect so much of the movie to take place after the case had been “solved”. Solved in quotation marks can mean lots of things, so stop guessing!

Either way, it is a well acted drama/crime movie, I just think it could have been a little bit more entertaining (or quicker?) with certain developments.

3 out of 4.

Broken City

For my initial impressions of Broken City, I obviously can only look at the trailer. Lot of high energy music, camera flash noises, very exciting. Sexy scandals! Government cover ups! Black mail! Potential boredom!

To be honest, the strange flashing parts near the end of the trailer gave me a bit of a headache. Thankfully, as we all know, trailer music never makes the actual movie. Presumably there wont be awkward shutter noises either.

Cars
Here is the most actiony shot of the movie I could find on the internet. Consider it an action epilogue.

Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) has done a bad bad thing. He killed a man, multiple shots. He claims he was defending himself, the other man had a gun. He was just a cop at the wrong place at the right time. The town claims it was cold blooded murder, but they had no real evidence. He was found innocent, but the public outcry was so strong, and new evidence was covered up, so the police chief (Jeffrey Wright) and mayor (Russell Crowe) had to let him go anyways.

Well, seven years later, he is a PI with an office and an assistant (Alona Tal) and a huge debt! Well, the mayor said he would remember his name, and he gives him an offer. $50,000.00 to tail his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), take pictures of who she is sleeping with, and find out the name of the man. Half now, half later. He also needs it quickly, because the election is a few days away, and the new guy (Barry Pepper) is giving him a lot of crap.

But why would the mayor care so much about the affair this close to an election? There has to be more important things afoot, damn it. Also featuring Kyle Chandler as the campaign manager for the new guy, and Natalie Martinez as the long term girlfriend of Billy.

Drinkers
“Women be cheatinnnnnnnnnnn” – Crowe

Don’t watch the trailer, don’t watch the trailer, don’t watch the trailer? You saw the trailer? Don’t watch the movie. No point.

Turns out the trailer gives a lot of it away, in terms of how the movie is going to end. It is sparse on the actual plot details and many of the characters, but outside of that, the jig is up. When the movie ended, I was mad. Why would they do that, given the trailer?

I am supposed to judge a movie on its own, but I feel like if the trailer gives you too much information, and is plastered everywhere, it should be included if it does something so egregious. I was disgusted and appalled. Heck, after the movie I found myself more confused because the trailer had scenes that were not in the movie. I had to go back and watch it to make sure. They were there, but the context was so out of place, it was pointless.

Yes, I am saying the trailer both gave too much away, and created scenes that just were not true. It can do both.

I didn’t hate the acting from Marky Mark either. Zeta-Jones felt wasted in the movie, Crowe looked weird with that skin tone/hair.

However, a lot of the plot bugged me. The actions of the characters confused me. I don’t think they explained why he was just invited into a murder scene by someone completely random. Why people let him stick around. I had no idea what was happening in the plot, and yet the whole time I felt like I knew the ending. That is a strange way to see a movie.

Confusion is not a substitute for suspense, movie makers.

1 out of 4.

The Roommate

The Roommate tries to capture that niche audience of people who have ever had a roommate. Which I would guess is a lot of people. It takes the sentence “You think your roommate is bad, well check out this bitch!” and runs with it.

Movie
Oh god, she is so crazy!

So Minka Kelly goes to college! Yeah! Far from home. Has a dead older sister too. That is important. Her roommate isn’t there when she moves in, so she goes out to party, with other hall mates, like Aly Michalka, a drunk slut, and meets Cam Gigandet, a fray boy in a band.

When she gets back, she hits a bag, and bam! Leighton Meester is all chirpy and whats up! Wooo! So Leighton seems to be needy, and lonely. She wants to hang out a lot, and doesn’t approve of Minka doing bad things. In fact, they made up a social networking thing for their laptops, just to show that she was crazy by already making her roommate in the “best friend” spot.

I feel like that is enough of the plot. Eventually crazier and bad things happen, until (spoiler?) the roommate is killed and they can all go on with their lives.

Here are some things I dislike. Its rating is again PG-13, so although everyone can be promiscuous, and slutty, nothing is shown, so its like a tease the whole film.

kiss
Also shit like this. And 2 or 3 shower scenes. What?!

But this movie advocates something also that is horrible, and so you shouldn’t watch it. In the movie we find out that Leighton DOES have a disease/disorder whatever, making her all weird. In fact, apparently it is curable, if she takes pills she will be fine. We learn all of this. It is assumed she never takes the pills though, and that is the problem.

ASSUMED. But also once the discovery of the pills comes up, it is NEVER talked about again. Not even taking the roommate aside, especially if Leighton is fond of Minka, and going “Hey look, lets take the pills” and being there for her, or something. They never tell her to do anything with them. Instead after they find out, more weird stuff happens, so Minka leaves the room for good, causing Leighton to flip out and go real crazy, until she dies.

This movie condones killing people with disorders, even if a cure is readily available.

That is all.

1 out of 4.

Buried

This movie stars Ryan Reynolds and he is Buried in the ground, unsure why, and left with his phone and lighter.


You are now caught up with the synopsis.

There is also eventually a flashlight, some glow stick shit, instructions, and other stuff that happens. I feel like if I say any of it, I am spoiling part of the movie.

I can say that we thankfully get to hear other people talk, in his phone conversations. I figured this movie would be partially told through flash backs, like all those other things, but nope. We get Reynolds in a box. Just him! I like that. Flashbacks is the lazy way out.

This film is probably banking off of the success of 127 Hours, much like the horrible Wrecked tried to do.

There is one part near the end that bugged me. It showed the camera zoom out and I guess it did that to make him seem even more helpless, but then it made it look like there was no ceiling. When there obviously was a ceiling. So that was just dumb. He had barely any room over his head, not this 8 feet or so that it made it seem out of no where. They made that clear when he had to scrape his head in order to turn around.

What this movie does a good job of doing is make you hate people, assuming you didn’t already do that. You won’t be too mad at Ryan, as really, its hard to find faults with any of his actions. Aside from that previous pan out frame, it does a good job of making the viewer feel trapped in a box the whole time too. Normally I hate that feeling, but that is usually with boats. You are supposed to feel trapped in this movie.

Mad at the TV
“Why must people be so stupid!”

As a side note, his birthday is apparently March 23rd. One day before mine, cool! Also, it had a very wow ending.

3 out of 4.

The Taking Of Pelham 1-2-3

You have to ask yourself. In the URL, why is there not double dashes between the 1/2/3 given my title? The world may never know. The Taking Of Pelham 1-2-3 is more or less your typical negotiator + pseudo terrorist hostage situation movie. Of course the negotiator is not trained in negotiating, that way the bad guy wont have mind games played on them. But here is a different twist. This hostage situation takes place underground.


Damn it. Not like that, you hipsters.

By underground, I mean they took a part of a subway in NYC, and have themselves sealed underground where cell phones don’t work in one or two cars (You know, movies have to explain the cell phone stuff now in bad situations). John Travolta plays Crazy McCrazy, wanting 10 million within an hour or people die. People dieing sucks!

But thankfully Denzel Washington is now just working at a station, making sure trains are on time. Like Italy. And because he is the first person to communicate with Travolta, that is the only person he trusts. Basic hostage situation stuff happens, but this time the overall escape with the money scene afterwards seems to take a long time. Normally that is only a short bit of the film, but this thing is planned out and detailed. I found the escape the most boring part of the film. I kind of got lost with it too, as it involved tunnels and other ways of hiding. Since they no longer had hostages, it is kind of just like an action crime movie at the end (if you call Denzel a cop (he isn’t). In case you cannot tell, the ending was pretty meh to me. That makes the overall movie just okay, not great.

There was interesting dialogue too in the movie. When you find out Denzel’s secrets it gets super awkward, and thus interesting. Also, not sure if they answered how a dude got internet underground like that, nor do I think it lead anywhere either.

2 out of 4.

The Entitled

When I first saw this movie, something crazy happened. It has zero ratings on Rotten Tomatoes (a site I never check, by the way. Who cares about other people’s opinions on movies? (Outside of you lovely people.)). IMDB was very similar. So as far as I could see, my first review of this movie may have been one of the…first reviews of this movie. It also lets me realize that most likely no one has heard of it!

Moon Landing
This must be what Buzz Lightyear and Lance Armstrong felt when they first landed on the moon.

This movie is about an underprivileged college student, Kevin Zegers (of AIR BUD fame. Bit more sinister in this movie) who teams up with two anarchists to kidnap the kids of three rich people (aka The Entitled). One kid each! Oh very exciting, I know. The three kids were on the way to meet their dads in a cabin for the weekend, before the kidnapping takes place. So throughout the movie it switches between the different groups, and we learn that not everything is as great as it appears to be. Two of the dads are also Ray Liotta and Victor Garber.

I will admit the beginning of the movie was kind of slow. It had a bunch of set up that didn’t make as much sense until the end. Kind of felt patchy and confusing. But about 30 minutes in, shit. got. real.

From then on I could only describe myself as being at the edge of my seat. I didn’t know what would happen, and couldn’t guess anything right. It was well paced at that point and had a lot of great conflict between the characters. And yes some people. Great movie.

3 out of 4.

The Perfect Host

Wow. The Perfect Host movie comes completely out of nowhere and just, wow. It is kind of a psychological thriller, kind of a dark comedy. Kind of WTF?? Definitely surprising.

Hanks Lady Killers
“Well… uh… properly speaking, madam, we are surprised. You are taken aback. Though I do acknowledge that the sense that you intend is gaining increasing currency through its use, yes.

The story tells of a con man (played by Clayne Crawford) who, after recently robbing a bank (kind of a straight forward con there), is looking for a place to hide out. He goes around to a bunch of rich houses, and finally finds one who will let him in. Sure, he read the mail in the box and pretended to be friends with a friend of his in Sydney. BUT LITTLE DID HE KNOW that David Hyde Pierce (NILES!!) is actually kind of a weird guy. Not a perfect host. Just a weird guy.

If I had to split this movie into 7 parts, I would say part 1 was slow, part 2 was interesting, parts 3-5 were WHOA OH MAN, part 6 was dumb, and part 7 was interesting. The last scene makes you question what is really going on. If certain people are going to change. This is all pretty vague. It is just such a weird movie that telling you what happens gives away a lot of the surprise. I heard watching the trailer spoils everything in the movie, so you better not watch it. Niles is just so fucking crazy.

The movie almost reminded me of the movie The Last Supper, which, well, no one here has probably seen.

last supper painting
The movie has nothing to do with this random picture.

2 out of 4.