Tag: Colin Farrell


I don’t know how I can take seriously someone with the last name of Burger. Talkin’ bout Neil Burger that is, director and writer of voyagers. He has been around the block once or twice in movie land. I have reviewed a few of his films before. He did The Upside, Divergent, Limitless, and even The Illusionist way back ago, which he also wrote unlike the previous few.

None of his films I have loved, some of them I have disliked, but at least one I did like overall. It just didn’t go as far as I had hoped (but it did launch a TV show eventually, so good on him).

Now going into Voyagers, I knew nothing about it. Some movie set in space. So what? That isn’t special. Earth is in space, so everything set on Earth is also set in space. But seriously, I heard about this movie two days before watching it, only seeing a single poster, so going in almost as blind as possible to this one, and I hope this one will not muddle about and get me into that “love” territory for one of his films.

Picture of me teaching how to love movies during the pandemic.

In the future, our Earth is gonna be fucked. We know this, and all the movies know it, because it is a popular topic. So we have to get off this rock and find a new rock that could support our life, but this time, try not to screw the planet up. But we haven’t gotten that sweet cryosleep technology figured out yet, so any travel to the planet would have to be real time, with those at the start not going to likely see the planet in their lifetime, with over 80 years of journey time.

So what is the human race going to do? Well, the plan is to send a big group of kids, slightly genetically picked to be smart and efficient. They will be test tube babies. They will under go schooling and training together. And then they will be sent in the rocket. And one adult (Colin Farrell) as a guide, so they can go earlier than planned, and he can help out, knowing he definitely won’t see the new planet.

And sure, things go well for a bit. But once a student discovers one of their supplements was a lie, and actually used to suppress their hormones to keep their emotions and sex drives very low, things start to get bad. Distrust begins to happen. And a death. And now with no trust, and factions, and SO MANY EMOTIONS, they are going to have to see if they even want to continue this mission at all.

Starring so many young actors and actresses! Like Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead, Archie Madekwe, Archie Renaux, Chante Adams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Madison Hu, Quintessa Swindell, Viveik Kalra, and Wern Lee.

bad touch
This is not a good touch, get your puberty off of her! 

Sure enough, this ended up being one of those movies where I really got into the story and dug it, and found myself along for the ride at several points. The beginning had a good chance of dragging on too long with the set up, but it zoomed through everything pretty quickly. Before and after sexy puberty time, the aura of the ship was noticeable and getting darker.

Is this movie saying sex emotions are bad?! Nah, it is just telling a story with some thrills (and just a little little bit of sex, it is just a PG-13 flick), on a very unique ride through space. I will say the movie got really close to making a really good point about growing up, or “society” or whatever, but never seemed to land that point just right, which is probably why a lot of people left this movie annoyed.

Basically, it feels like Lord of the Flies, in space. And honestly, I had to pause it multiple times just because I was getting  stressed out for some of the characters who couldn’t get out of their situation. They were literally trapped on the same ship, and I didn’t know if the movie would end on a good or a bad note.

And hey, maybe this movie is just an allegory for pandemics. A few selfish people who don’t want to listen to the rules can ruin things for everyone. Literally the future of our species too.

Oh yeah, come on director. Gonna have a lot of test tube babies and can’t get more diversity in this film? It has like the bare minimum, but we are talking about a future colony going to settle all the humans. I’d expect a bit more of an effort.

3 out of 4.

The Gentlemen

Let’s start this review with a little bit of a confession. Later this year we are getting a Kingsman prequel movie called The King’s Man. That makes a lot of sense to be the title of a Kingsmen prequel film. No one should get that confused.

Enter me. Movie reviewer. Reviewer who tries to not watch trailers or too many other notes about films before seeing it. I remember that the Kingsman prequel had a really obvious name for the series, but didn’t remember exactly what.

So, when I saw I had a screening upcoming for The Gentlemen? My mind went only one place. Ah yes, the Kingsman prequel.

And let’s just say, this movie had me pretty confused for about 20 minutes about how the heck this was at all related to those other films. When they started making a lot more modern references and talk about cell phones, I knew I must have just been a dumb fuck at that point. Anyways, that movie comes out in September. This one is an original and it comes out now.

But wait, there’s more!

Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) is a weed dealer on a grand scale in Great Britain, and he isn’t even a citizen. Damn Americans. He has so much weed, making so much money, no one knows how he does it. Where does he hide his crops?

Well, he wants out of the game. He is getting older, less likely to go killing people and defending his territory. If he can sell out his whole operation to someone else, he will have enough money to retire the rest of his life with his comfy and rich friends.

But a simple idea dealing with illegal things will never be that easy. We have a very good and nosy reporter (Hugh Grant), the owner and operator of a gym for formerly bad people to make them better (Colin Farrell), Pearson’s number 2 man (Charlie Hunnam), and an ambitious Chinese gangster looking to make a break in the business (Henry Golding) that are all going to make things more complicated.

People will turn on everyone if it means survival in the end.

Also starring Jeremy Strong, Michelle Dockerty, Eddie Marsan, and Tom Wu.

Success is always measured in dollars, nothing else.

The Gentlemen is definitely a return to form for Guy Ritchie, and is definitely not a prequel to that one franchise I will stop talking about.

This film felt like his previous great works that people think about when they say Guy Ritchie. Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and sure, RocknRolla, This is not like most of his trash from the last decade.

We get twists and turns, hard to understand accents, shocking moments, extra action when necessary, and surprises. A lot of what I said could be considered the same thing, and I don’t care about that.

It was very entertaining, if not hard to follow at the beginning [Editor’s note: That could be because this viewer was a dumbass, see the beginning of the review.] of the film. I did get annoyed at the seemingly excessive racist Asian language that happened at multiple times, although I accept that as bad people going against other bad people, it makes sense for the characters to be…racist. That was hard to type. Still can be frustrating as a viewer.

I give the most praise to Hugh Grant. He went really out of his normal style for this role (except for his general flair for the dramatics that he always carries) and killed it. I also quite enjoyed Farrel and Golding, Golding in particular is on the rise out of seemingly nowhere.

The Gentlemen is just going to be a fun time, with a little bit of death and mayhem.

3 out of 4.


The first of the three Disney remakes this year, Dumbo has always felt like an odd choice for several reasons.

First, the original Dumbo doesn’t have a whole lot of plot going on for it. It is a simple story, so they will have to expand a lot of it in order to be worth a revisit.

Second, it was going to be directed by Tim Burton. For the most part, everything he has touched lately has been pretty shit. It has been five years since Big Eyes and 12 years since Sweeney Todd. A lot of forgettable things in between. Could he reimagine it, or will he just make it his basic Burton brand?

And thirdly, like…who the hell cares about Dumbo? Honestly? I can honestly understand most of the remakes, but I can’t imagine Dumbo was high on the list of the average viewer of something they wanted new and updated.

That doesn’t include the people who say no to every remake.

Our main-est adult character is Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell), an amputee from World War I (not called that during the movie) has returned home for work, and well, is going to work for the circus. His old boss (Danny DeVito) gives him the job to take care of the pregnant elephant, and Ms. Jumbo gives birth under his watch to a strange, large ear having elephant baby.

What a weirdo! And when they show him off eventually, the crowd makes fun of him, calls him Dumbo, and that makes his mom so mad, she gets angry and causes a ruckus, so they have to get rid of her. Damn.

Well, Holt’s kids are with him, and Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) take a liking to Dumbo. Shit, they find out he can fly if he has a feather. That sounds fun. That sounds like something that can be exploitable!

And exploit the circus does! More and more stunts, bigger and bigger audiences, more and more money!

Also featuring Michael Keaton, Eva Green, and Alan Arkin.

This frame went on to inspire the film Joker.

The original Dumbo came out in 1941, so that means two things. Honestly, a lot of people have probably never seen it. And sure, 78 years is probably long enough to wait for a remake. Much longer wait for more films. I won’t hurt them for that.

For those that saw the original, there is not a lot of film after Dumbo both learns to fly and learns to do it whenever he feels like it. So a lot of this film takes place after that, which is great. I need expanded stories.

However, they sure picked a dull way to expand his story. Just more exploitation and sadness, and corporations taking over corporations as some weird meta explaining what Disney is doing to everything.

The cast of characters are completely ones that no one will care about. Our lead girl to help inspire the youth of the world has the personality of “liking science” and apparently that is good enough.

And honestly, this whole thing was unappealing to look at. It felt too dark physically at times.The animation never grappled with me, and yes, this film oozes Burton.

I would say this is the biggest live action mistake Disney has done, but I would watch this film a dozen more times before I ever watch either of the Alice films again. Which are directed or produced by Burton too. Ah, now we know where the major problem lies.

0 out of 4.


Being a Widow must suck. You know, getting married, being in love maybe, marriage for decades possibly! And then your spouse dies. I also learned recently that the term widow only refers to a woman who lost their partner. I guess that is good, because then I never have to be a widow. And you know, I just talked about how that must suck.

Widows is a movie brought to us by Steve McQueen, who has not been too busy since he had a movie win best picture. He famously directed 12 Years A Slave for a 2012 release, and since then this is his first theater film. Someone clever might say 6 Years NotInTheSpotlight for McQueen. Does this mean that Widows is going to be 3 times as good as 12 Years A Slave (because 12 Years came out 2 years after his previous film)? Yes. It has to mean that.

You can’t argue with science.

Having the funeral really cements in the widow status.

Veronica (Viola Davis) is wealthy, giving, and in love with her husband (Liam Neeson). He might be into some corrupt shit, working with political campaigns an doing jobs, but she doesn’t know the specifics and it does put her life in a good place. And then? Well, a job goes poorly, and he gets killed dead along with three other men, leaving her to feel quite sad, notably poorer, and alone.

But she isn’t given time to grieve. It turns out in this final job, her husband stole from some powerful people, and they know who robbed them. So they have to now harass Veronica, to look into their savings accounts or whatever to pay it back. Or else.

Unfortunately, nothing like that really exists, as far as she knows. She does end up finding a notebook, with plans on robbing an even bigger fortune. If she can pull off this heist, she will be able to pay off the goons and have a lot left over to live comfortable and worry free after that. She just needs a team, and she isn’t the type to know about this sort of stuff.

There is an idea for a team though. She wants to find the other women who just lost their husbands. They are probably hurt and need funds as well. Maybe they are all desperate enough to join her.

Starring Michelle Rodriguez, Carrie Coon, Elizabeth Debicki, and Cynthia Erivo. Also starring Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Molly Kunz, Jon Bernthal, and Robert Duvall.

It is impossible for the guy in purple to be a Widow. We talked about this.

If you are thinking about 12 Years A Slave still, which scene do you think about? It is likely the one where the main character is being hanged by his neck for a few minutes, with kids playing in the background, him struggling to breath, and of course, eventually not dying. It was scary, and intense, and the camera did not move away.

I love a long scene that doesn’t cut, and there is one very exciting scene in Widows that is similar. It doesn’t show violence, and it isn’t scary, but it is just a long cut of a very short car ride in Chicago, showing how quickly it takes for one to go from a poor to a rich district. During this scene is a conversation as well, and it would be one of the best scenes of 2018, if we got to see the characters talking as the drive occurred. The camera didn’t focus on them, just on the scenery, so it is most likely that they did the conversation later and just edited it on top. But it is still a great scene and shows that McQueen has a lot of tricks up his sleeve.

Davis is the star of this film and has to carry a lot of it with her face and eyes. There is no doubt she is a great actress and does a fantastic job in this one. I do want to point out another actress though, because it was a surprise. Debicki, who has been in plenty of films, and never been the one reason you want to see it. Her character had a lot more going on than her normal characters, and by golly, she felt like a real actress and not just a model who is in a bunch of movies. Hell, she could have a best supporting from this for all I know. It was also great to see Erivo in this film, who was one of the best parts of Bad Times At El Royale. She is having a great year and she came out of nowhere.

To highlight one male actor, I will point out that Kaluuya was scary. He felt like a wildcard in the realest sense of the word, and I loved seeing him on the screen.

Widows is suspenseful, with a few twists that I didn’t fully expect. It hits hard and is not afraid to throw any punches. It could have been better, but the over two hour film just flew by and it was good enough for me to just love.

4 out of 4.

Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Director Dan Gilroy did something amazing a few years back. He directed for the first time a feature length film. That film was Nightcrawler. And Nightcrawler was bananas good. I am disappointed I did not see it in theaters and I am disappointed it did not win things.

He quickly became a director to watch out for.

This last year, Roman J. Israel, Esq. came out with little fanfair. Very little advertisement, was barely on screens. I did not feel like watching it because of the mixed reviews and figured I could just wait until it was on DVD. Then it had to go and get nominated for an Oscar.

Just one Oscar mind you, an acting one. And it makes sense, because the star who was nominated has been nominated plenty of times, the Academy loves him, even on roles that do not warrant awards. That is when I found out who the director was, once again, kicking myself for not seeing it earlier in theaters.

All good now. It is out, it has been seen, and it is not as good as Nightcrawler.

But it is certainly more funky.

Roman J. Israel, Esq (Denzel Washington), is a lawyer. He doesn´t go into the court room to grandstand and holler. He is a guy who works in the office. William Jackson is his partner. Jackson handles the courtroom drama and is a professor. Israel handles the memos, gets the ideas, writes the briefs. He is really good at that.

You see, Israel is probably autistic, has a perfect memory of law codes and knows what argument to make and what precedents exist. He just cannot deal with people for the most part. When he sees an injustice he has to comment on it and explain it, which can cause him ire with other workers and judges.

And then Jackson suffers a heart attack, has a coma, and leaves a lot in question. Israel starts to working the cases, not looking for deals and not wanting to delay things further. But Jackson´s daughter becomes the owner of his estate and is looking to liquidate everything, knowing Israel cannot do it on his own.

This brings Israel to a real firm, run by George Pierce (Colin Farrell), who is maybe a good guy, maybe not. Either way, it is change. Change is hard. Change can do a lot to man. It can even make a man go against his morals, thinking his life has lead him to the bottom. It can make a man go against everything he has fought for, just for a quick payout. It can lead to a man becoming his own worst enemy.

Also starring Carmen Ejogo and Amari Cheatom.

And perhaps, binders of women? Hmm?

Gilroy probably starts his movie ideas thinking of a character who is very passionate about something. In Nightcrawler, that passion is being a sociopath who will do anything to get to the top. In Roman J. Israel Esq., we have someone who has a perfect memory and is autistic who is afraid of coming out of the shadows. He wants to fight for human rights and for equality, but he always had to help other people do the talking for him. An extremely moral man who when put up against tragic events, unfortunately, turned into an immoral man.

An interesting character study and a relatively fun character. It is definitely something different for Washington, who never once felt like a badass in this film. A great surprise for all of us.

I think the biggest problems with this film come from the ending. It brought a great twist of events to us and it just did not seem to follow through. I thought it was ramping up to turn into an almost completely different genre, but instead it petered out. If this was based on true events it could be a fun movie as there is at least some conclusions after the fact that we can see. But to bring about these ground breaking ideas and then do nothing with them? The film just runs out of steam.

Again, Washington is totally find in this movie. I can see why it was nominated, while also still wanting to give nominations to several other actors above him.

The film is better than I imagined it could be, but several parts will easily turn other watchers off and possibly lower their overall opinion accordingly.

3 out of 4.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

I am frequently reminded that I should be watching more of Yorgos Lanthimos‘s movies. And not just because he is a guy who keeps bringing some out.

My first experience with his film was The Lobster a year ago and it definitely was an experience. I hadn’t seen any of his previous work, but The Lobster was so far out there that I knew this was a director who wanted to do his own thing and not give a shit about what people thought about it. This is the same thought that Terrence Malick must have, but I don’t like his work.

And now he has The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which is wonderful on its own thanks to the trailers. They told me nothing about the movie, but it was visually sexy and clearly different from The Lobster at the same time.

I really should get around to watching Dogtooth, but he has another movie coming out next year, so we will see if it ever happens.

Damn right you eat that spaghetti now. Don’t want it falling out of your pockets later.

Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) is a really good surgeon. Well, most surgeons are good. I only assume he is good because he is rich, and surgeons are generally rich after they pay off those loans. He has a wife (Nicole Kidman) and two kids (Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic), the typical American household and life. Everything is going so swell.

Steven is also friends with some boy named Martin (Barry Keoghan), who is older than his kids. Martin is a bit slower developmentally, but he lives with his mom only. He had a dad, but the dad died several years ago in a car crash, and Steven has been sort of a mentor to Martin ever since.

But Steven starts to act a bit stranger than normal, and he has already been a strange kid. After introducing Steven to his family, strange events start to occur to his family. A paralyzation affects his son so that he cannot walk and all of the big fancy doctor tests cannot tell them why. That is only the beginning of the problems that affect their family and it seems to have to do with Martin. But why? Why is the big question.

Also starring Alicia Silverstone and Bill Camp.

This might be right after his heart was with a text message.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a quiet film with an unsettling plot behind it, that I chose to not fully reveal. Given the choice our main character ends up making it is something ripe for sadness and anger by many viewers. Good, good, let the emotion flow out of us.

I honestly had no idea where the movie was going on, and once the plot gets fully revealed (which is does VERY quickly and seemingly out of nowhere), every moment gets a little bit scarier. Keoghan has one of the more punchable faces I have ever seen in film, true here and in Dunkirk, but it really works with the character they created. He is unnerving, but not in a cartoon villain sort of way. I will say the film didn’t really do enough to explain his actions or his own mental capacity, so it should definitely be dinged for these reasons.

But let’s just say, some shit is up, it affects this family quite unfairly, and we have to watch most of a film as they deal with shit that continually escalates until a final decision is finally reached. After all the build up, the ending itself was pretty shocking when it came to the hows, the whys, and the whos, but it also makes sense in an eerie way. After all, it is an eerie movie about some people with some strange feelings about reality, so it is also fitting.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a creepy film with some horrifying moments, but one that could have been better with a lot more backstory and explanation when it comes to a few characters. Less can be more, but I think this film had too much less.

3 out of 4.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

It has been five years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 hit our theater screens and ended the Snape is great series. Seven books, eight films, and honestly, it ended it a bit lamer thanks to the split in my mind. But I am over there.

But what if there were more books out there to milk the franchise? I remember when I was a kid when the books were only four volumes deep. My parent gave me Christmas presents, and in them included Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and Quidditch Through The Ages. Two strange Harry Potter spin off books, one basically just talking about made up creatures, the other talking about a made up sports history. I read them, forgot about them, and moved on with my life.

And now look. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is now a movie, a movie based on a book of just made up creatures with no plot whatsoever. Not only that, but it will be FIVE films. And I am okay with it. Mostly because it basically can be whatever it wants to be without getting in anyone’s way. People who read the bestiary won’t get angry that it doesn’t match the book, because there is nothing to match. We can get more magic, without going about it in a weird way, and not involving Potter at all. Awesome. Well done.

Ah, there is a beast right there! I found it!

FBaWtFT is set in the mid 1920’s and in America! Yay America! Our hero is Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a slightly weird looking wizard with a weirder suitcase. It keeps coming undone, has a broken lock, and of course it is magical. Inside that briefcase he has a large collections of, well, fantastic beasts. They are creatures he has saved or is studying. He has gotten to America in order to bring one of his biggest specimens to Arizona, for its wide open skies and climate.

But things immediately go wrong when one of his creatures gets out. This leads him to bumping into Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), a Non-Maj (non magic user, american wizard term for muggle). A guy who just wants to get a loan to become a baker. Their suitcases get mixed up, and Kowalski unknowingly lets some more beasts into NYC. They are followed by Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson), a government magic employee who wants to bring Scamander in for his suitcase and for being undocumented. Needless to say in the mix up, she ends up helping Scamander and Kowalski get the beasts back, along with her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol).

While all this is happening? There is a bad wizard out there, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) and causing problems. There is also a magical bad creature wrecking havoc occasionally on NYC, who the magic president (Carmen Ejogo) is going to go and blame on Scamander too.

There is also a relevant plot of a anti-witch woman (Samantha Morton) who is using her orphans or real kids (not sure) to spread witch hysteria. She is also mean to the kids, including the oldest and most emo looking (Ezra Miller). Also there is a littler girl who is important (Faith Wood-Blagrove).

Also featuring Colin Farrell and a heavily CGI’d Ron Perlman!

Heavily CGI’d because Ron Perlman plays that suitcase!

Fantastic Beasts has a lot riding on it. It is the first film of a franchise they want to start, and if it bombs or fails to set up the world they aren’t going to get filthy rich! Also, thankfully, Harry Potter fans eat up anything world related regardless of quality, which is why some shitty book like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child* can somehow win best fantasy book on Goodreads.

With that introduction, Fantastic Beasts wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t amazing either.

The cast was eclectic, but also felt over stuffed. We had four protagonists really, of which Queenie didn’t seem to do a whole lot. Our Non-Maj was funny, but even he didn’t help with the final encounter (despite a conversation with Queenie about how they were all in it together). They didn’t even show him at the same scene, so I am not sure what the point was. Tina was a character that had her backstory eluded to and explained, but she really had the personality of a wet noodle. It isn’t a bunch of exciting leads like it was with Harry Potter.

In terms of twists, there are technically two of them. The one more important to the plot I didn’t see coming, but the other one by the end felt extremely obvious from one of the first real scenes. It was an annoying reveal, given the circumstances. The ending had a few deus ex machina moments, and was extremely rushed given the overall pace of the film. Editing was surely an issue, given that it was over two hours but still felt like it didn’t give all the important details.

On all of those notes, I did enjoy Redmayne as the lead. His character felt different but not over the top. The beasts shown were diverse and fantastic looking. But I don’t appreciate that the answer to “where to find them” is apparently in his brief case. There is no hunting of beasts in their natural habitat at all. Well, maybe one. The visuals were fun, the briefcase gag was used well, and there were a few cute moments.

Overall, I have no idea where this franchise is going, but I am certain soon it will eventually give us a young Dumbledore, so that is fun.

2 out of 4.

* – I haven’t read this one yet. I am assuming it is bad though. Judging a book by its cover. I can do that for books, just never movies!

The Lobster

The Lobster is weird. That is the only thing I knew about this film going into it. I only know that because that is what everyone says about the movie. And if everyone says something is weird, then it must be weird, and that excites me.

The Lobster also came out in Europe and everywhere else in the world like, last summer/fall. Seriously, everyone has seen this movie but US. It was already released on their DVDs I believe before it came over here to theaters.

That made it really tempting to just watch it online, but I am happy to say I held out and wanted to see this movie in theaters, knowing only it was weird and slightly foreign. Let’s do this!

“Only foreign people run through fields like this,” he said, maybe racist-ly.

The Lobster takes place in a near future setting, somewhere in the United Kingdom, and the world is different now. Or at least this unnamed city is different.

Basically, if you aren’t with your family as a child or currently in a relationship, then you are wasting space. The world doesn’t need loaners. It isn’t as safe with them. They aren’t being productive members of society. David (Colin Farrell) is now single after his wife left him for another man.

This means that David has to go to The Hotel. He has to leave all of his possessions behind, except for his dog. The Hotel stay is only temporary though. If he doesn’t find someone to love and marry in 45 days, someone who shares a trait with him and can live with him for a few weeks without major issues, then he can move back into the city.

Oh yeah, what happens if your time is up and you don’t find someone to love? You get turned into an animal of your choosing for a second chance of life. Yay!

Also featuring the Short Sighted Woman (Rachel Weisz), the Limping Man (Ben Whishaw), the Lisping Man (John C. Reilly), the Biscuit Woman (Ashley Jensen), a Heartless Woman (Angeliki Papoulia), the Nosebleed Woman (Jessica Barden) and her best friend (EmmaEdel O’Shea).

As for people not named after physical traits, we have a maid (Ariane Labed), hotel manager (Olivia Colman), her husband (Garry Mountaine), and the Loaner Leader (Léa Seydoux).

Defining Characteristics
Bet you can’t figure out what David would want to become.

Hey! Did you read my intro? If not, The Lobster is a weird movie!

I haven’t seen any of the other films by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, but everyone is telling me I basically have to see Dogtooth if I liked the absurdness of this film. It is clearly done by a director who knew what he wanted for absolutely every moment of the film and put a lot of effort into the message.

The acting is a strange thing to talk about, because everyone on purpose tends to be emotionless and straight faced, as if they are walking talking dating profile pages. It took awhile to get comfortable with, but it produced some of the hardest laughs in the film. Sometimes I laughed due to pure jokes, sometimes due to the awkward moments, and sometimes to keep myself from crying at the darker parts of the movie.

The Lobster does seem to drag a bit though. Most notably when David leaves the Hotel. In the forest we meet interesting characters, but it just feels repetitive and, honestly, I don’t fully understand the reasoning behind all of the rules. The two hour film feels a half hour longer. The final scenes are interesting at least and say a lot about the world they are living in.

If you can make it through the forest, you can make it to the end of a pretty good and unique movie.

3 out of 4.

The Way Back

It took a few years, but today I finally get to finish a trilogy of reviews on this site. I don’t know why it took me so long to see The Way Back, as I got it probably two years ago. Just needed the right moment.

Although un-officially, The Way Back is the second movie of a trilogy. The other two are of course The Way and then The Way, Way Back. I know I watched them out of order, my bad. But those two movies made me really excited about this one, mostly for the fact that I gave them both 4 out of 4.

I don’t necessarily enjoy watching bad movies (despite the number that I do see), so anything to give me hope that a movie might be amazing is fine in my book. Even if the logic is absurd.

If I remember correctly, no other movie in the “Trilogy” uses the word Gulag.

Life during WW2 was probably hard. Not too much Freedom in Europe, people dying, and if you were really unlucky, you might have been sent to the middle of nowhere Siberia to live in a Gulag. A Gulag was a nice labor camp where people had to work and eventually die. You may have saw one in Muppets Most Wanted. They aren’t too hard to get out of either, because there is generally no way someone could survive the harsh weather and get anywhere safe. There are many animals who would kill you, and communities all around know they will get a bounty if they return any escaped criminals.

But that’s not to say that people didn’t try anyways.

Like Janusz Wieszczek (Jim Sturgess), a Polish POW who was sent to the gulag and definitely doesn’t want to be there. After some cruel conditions, lack of food, and harsh weather, he finally gets a group of people to escape with.

We have an English engineer Mr. Smith (Ed Harris), an actor Khabarov (Mark Strong), Zoran (Dragos Bucur) a Yugoslavian accountant, Voss (Gustaf Skarsgard), a Latvian Priest, Tomasz (Alexandru Potocean), a Polish artist, and Kazik (Sebastian Urzendowsky) a Polish man with night blindness. Hmm. Who else who else. Oh of course, Valka (Colin Farrell), a Russian criminal.

I would like to thank Wikipedia for giving me their ethnicity and work information because there is damn no way I would remember most of that.

Unfortunately, after traveling through the winter storm areas, with some men dying along the way, they find that Mongolia seems to be under Communist command. That is just escaping into more enemy territory. No, it looks like they might have to walk even further from Siberia. They may have to walk to India, through the Himalayas and Tibet, through a grueling desert and treacherous mountains. Oh boy. That is a long way back.

Also, at some point they meet Irena (Saoirse Ronan), a young Polish girl with questionable back story.

My theory is that she used to be that stick.

The Way Back is not run of the mill action escape movie. It also isn’t necessarily about the initial escape either, so there isn’t an hour of lead up before they break out. The movie is about the journey after they escape and their long walk to freedom.

It could be considered an Epic of sort, because it is literally a hard drama about people trying to survive in harsh conditions. Everything felt so realistic with their journey as well, from blisters and swelling, to dry caked lips. It was hard to watch at times, knowing that if I was in a similar situation I probably wouldn’t have made it out of Siberia.

I see it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Makeup and it was extraordinary. That, coupled with the excellent cinematography and scenic views really draw you into the film and make it a memorable experience.

At the same time? Eh, it lulled a few times in the movie. I can’t tell really if this is supposed to be a true story, but it is inspired by a book. I think the film suffered from too many characters early on. They might have needed them just to kill some people off and showcase more the harsh conditions, but it became a bit harder to tell who was who (when they were all bundled up and frost bitten) and who would just be movie fodder.

Overall a really well done film though.

3 out of 4.

Winter’s Tale

Winter’s Tale has the honor of being the only movie released this week of four that is not a remake. No, but it is based on a book that came out from the 1980’s (The three remakes all come from 80’s movies too!).

This one also had the most advertising of the four, with a trailer that just…well, was just weird. It looked messy, or vague. It was either about magic, or religion, or coincidences. Really had no idea going in.

Yo, Colin, why is your hair so weird in this movie?

Winter’s Tale is definitely a hard movie to really describe. But let’s just say some of the basics.

Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) came to America from (German?) immigrants who weren’t allowed in. So they floated him in on a tiny boat.

He grew up on the streets, so he became a master thief, raised by Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), who now wants to kill him. Apparently Peter isn’t evil enough.

While on the run, Peter decides to rob one last house. There he finds Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), a sick girl who is literally too hot. Her sickness is killing her, because she is so hot, she can literally melt the cold winter snow around her. She is so hot, she has to sleep on the roof of her house in a tent, or the whole thing might burn down and kill her. She is so hot, she is a virgin, because sex would be her hotness squared.

Anyways, she is sick, Peter is in love, Pearly wants to kill him or her (he is kind of unsure), people are agents for angels and demons, miracles and chaos, the universe loves everyone, and eventually Peter goes 100 years into the future.

Kevin Corrigan (and later, Kevin Durand, but much shorter time frame) plays a lackey, William Hurt plays Beverly’s dad, Jennifer Connelly is the future adult female, and Will Smith is the man in the very very black shorts, Lucifer!

See? She is wearing white. That’s how you know she is innocent.

A-ha! This movie is slightly religious and magic based! A-ha!

That means nothing to me though. Because to me, this movie was a lot of confusing. Unfortunately anything that might be considered a plot hole or vague area can be wiped away with “magic” which plays a huge deus ex machina element. So I won’t complain about the inconsistencies that I saw.

The acting itself was okay mostly. I thought Connelly was terrible in it though. Thankfully her role was much smaller.

I think the movie wanted to go for this huge, philosophical and magical plot line, but just never reached its extremely lofty goals. I can’t tell if it was meant to be a comedy, but moments had me laughing out loud with how “bad” it all was, including the drawing of the red haired girl that was floating around. The vaguest, most nondescript image ever, leading to such big conclusions.

To me, this just goes to show my point. Colin Farrell is still a 50/50 hit or miss good movie actor. No middle ground, just good or bad.

1 out of 4.