Tag: Sci-Fi

Occupation: Rainfall

See my interview with the director/writer of the movie here!

A couple of years ago, a film called Occupation released out of Australia. It starred Australian actors, was directed and produced by Australians, and hell, surprisingly, was shot and set in Australia. It was so Australian, a rugby match played a pivotal part of the film. Mmmm, non American sports.

Well, it was hit with relatively big success for an independent film about an alien invasion and a small community coming together to fight the scary aliens away.

And now we have the sequel, set a few years later, starring the same people, and also coming out a few years later. Hey, it is wonderful when that works out like that. Occupation: Rainfall is updating us on the war, years later, with more explosions and pew pews.

snow
Posing before shooting is the coolest thing you could ever do. 
For real though, aliens invaded, but they aren’t like, that much better than humans. Yes, their guns and ships are better, but they weren’t able to take over the entire world. Last time was saw one community stand up really well on their own against them (and probably had a small force to try and take them out, they weren’t Sydney). But it turns out, a lot of places in the world were able to shoot them and take them down.

So where do we find our heroes now? Well, still in Australia, still working together, but with more tech. And hey, they got some alien deflectors now. They got aliens who are giving them intel and helping them strike back and go for bigger and badder tactics. And they all have responsibilities over larger amounts of people. It is nice they didn’t get fully swept up in the bureaucracy of defending their planet.

Before their issues were about just finding loves ones, but now we have to worry about the survival of the species. And hey, we got some other countries people helping us this time! Will this be the end of the alien scum, will our heroes finally lose, or will neither happen and will we get a third film?

Starring Dan Ewing, Temuera Morrison, Daniel Gillies, Lawrence Makoare, Mark Coles Smith, and Jet Tranter. Also featuring some newer bigger names like Ken Jeong and Jason Isaacs.

space
Yep, looks like they got all the lasers and pew pews right here.

The first Occupation film, from my point of view, was surprisingly well done. This was based on my already low expecatations however of an indie film trying to recreate a bigger budget film with clearly not the names or budget behind a normal big budget movie. It was solid, but it did stall out and feel a bit generic in action department by the end. So with the sequel, they are given some bigger names, the same cast and crew, and a lot more money to do the bigger bangs, more aliens, more ships.

And does the sequel deliver on that front? Yes for sure, they amp up everything in this franchise being made from the ground up.

However, with that being said, and with real tactical things being done in the movie, and betrayals and twists and action, it will be great for those who want that in a movie. But I always want something more in my action film and this one doesn’t seem to deliver it to me on that level. It is, unfortunately, chock full of the sort of action that would put me to sleep. The tension created didn’t transfer over to me or put me on the edge of my seat in any way. I did care a little bit about the story elements, and whether some would live or die, but that wasn’t enough for me to fully care about the final results.

I won’t take away the technical achievements this movie has made though. With a bigger budget, it still wasn’t astronomical, and they did a lot with what they had, just like the first film. And the crisp new cameras really help you get immersive in the final polished piece. But from start to finish, I couldn’t tell you after the fact what action scenes happened in this or the first film, and I would describe them all relatively similar because unfortunately none would stick with me.

2 out of 4.

Thunder Force

“Shit we better get into that super hero genre game” – Netflix, probably, after losing their Marvel Shows. They didn’t want to get bamboozled again, so they figured they would just buy a movie by someone who was making their own. Enter Ben Falcone, ready for his next bi-yearly (usually) basic comedy starring his wife, Melissa McCarthy.

Their last film, Superintelligence, made my worst of the year list. I don’t remember fully how the other ones did, but I don’t recall it ever being met with high amounts of laughter or praise either, so there is that. 

Honestly, based on the cover of Thunder Force, it just seems like a movie they would put out entirely to make fat jokes with their heroes? I fucking hope not. I can hope they can do better than that overall. But I still wouldn’t put it past them given the people involved with it. 

steal
Pickle jokes too. Definitely gotta have some pickle jokes. 

Back in the 80’s, some sun shit happened, that gave some people super powers! Unfortunately, this only went to people who would be classified as sociopaths, which wasn’t a good thing for anyone out there. They were named Miscreants, and began to take a toll on society, and make things unbearbale. 

At this time, young Lydia and Emily became unlikely friends. Lydia was crass, but protected Emily, who was smart. Emily’s parents were killed by Miscreants, and she had to live with her grandparents. Emily dreamed of one day figuring out how to give powers to the good guys, and that was her life goals.

Decades later, these two eventually grew apart. Now barely functioning as an adult, Lydia (Melissa McCarthy) is an adult construction worker and has nothing important to say about her life. Emily (Octavia Spencer) is rich, a scientist, a mom, and really close to getting some super powers. Once they get reconnected, unfortunately, Lydia gets given the special juice to make her super powered, so now she is in the experiment. Their first goal is to just control these powers, but stopping crime seems like a necessity. In fact, the Chicago mayor election is happening, and one of the Miscreants, The King (Bobby Cannavale) has been in charge of the city to put a leash on the other super powers, but he doesn’t like the idea of any sort of super heroes trying to stop them, or him. 

Also starring Jason Bateman, Pom Klementieff, Melissa Leo, Taylor Mosby, Marcella Lowery, Melissa Ponzio, and Ben Falcone, of course. 

science
Actual footage of Cerebro trying to find more Melissa’s to put into this movie. 

This film doesn’t really need a long in depth review to fully understand it, I imagine, but I will still go for it for a bit. First off, on the fat joke department, there was only actually one, which was surprising. I think I only laughed at one joke the whole film, a dinner scene freak out about sea food, because it was a good set up with the characters. At the same time, that scene was very slow and messed a lot with the pacing of the film. Why add that romance at all to the story? Not enough filler?

I was hoping as these two ladies were costars that it would feel like Spencer was getting a bit out of these supporting actress roles where she is there just to help the protagonist realize their true potential, or some shit. But it doesn’t. Despite the costarring, she still feels like second fiddle to McCarthy’s character, and thus is just supporting the crass member of the team into being the star. They also decided to do almost nothing with her powers. One gets super strength, the other can turn invisible and then…taze people. That is about it. Weak.

McCarthy’s character isn’t just annoying, but I have to wonder why she didn’t get powers as a kid. Her character, although not fully a sociopath, is a huge asshole. When this is a movie about good people getting powers to stop crime, but one of them isn’t really good? It is very uncomfortable. McCarthy’s character is showboaty and egotistical. She also uses her powers to get free food from places that were just getting robbed? Like. It left a big sour taste in my mouth, as she prevented a robbery, while then technically robbing at a smaller scale. 

This film has very low stakes, and these people who have superpowers rarely act like sociopaths. Is this something that affected the whole world or Chicago? Because in 20-30 some years, I would expect a whole lot more bad stuff going on than just mostly normal Chicago with the occasional gas station getting robbed. What is happening else where? Actual bad stuff? 

Low concept, low thought out film, but thankfully the humor isn’t completely bottom of the barrel. 

1 out of 4.

Stowaway

I have never been a stowaway before, but I have been a part of a stowaway situation. Kind of.

Once, when I was a young lad, barely in high school, I went on a trip with my older brother and four of his older friends. I was the smallest person, and we had to travel in a small car. I was afraid that they would want me to go into the trunk, being the smallest person, but my brother, the driver, didn’t let it happen. Someone volunteered to go in the trunk and was in there for an entire hour car ride, just to go play some magic cards. And he found a different way home later that night.

So, it was a stowaway situation but we were all aware and knew about it. Most of the time stowaways are secrets from someone. So let’s assume Stowaway the film has some secrets in it as well. 

sad
In space, no one can hear your secrets. 

Three scientists are on their way to Mars for some science yeahhhh! Most astronauts are scientists, but in reality, this is like one astronaut that is a scientist, and two scientists who are now astronauts. Marina Barnett (Toni Collette) is the leader of the crew, this is not her first rodeo, she knows how to get things done. Our other two crew members, David Kim (Daniel Dae Kim) and Zoe Levenson (Anna Kendrick) put in proposals for research and got accepted, trained and are excited to be there!

And sure, during blast off, more fuel got used than expected. A little weird, but not unheard of in the exact science of space travel.

It doesn’t take long before they find out what went wrong. Turns out there is an extra person on board, and he is hurt. Once they get him healed and talking, Michael Adams (Shamier Anderson) is shocked and freaking out. Just an engineer who worked for the space company, an accident knocked him out and on board, and things are going to get weird.

It could have been “fine” overall. They had food and supplies and he would pull his weight. But that same accident seems to have damaged a CO2 converter. You know, one that makes Oxygen. And if they can’t make enough Oxygen for the journey for four people, then some really hard decisions are going to have to be made. 

health
This is a great time for an emergency meeting. 

When I first saw the description, I laughed. What do they mean running out of oxygen? I am pretty sure space stations have so many extra reserves of things and supplies, so they can take five times as long at least to keep things safe. The Martian taught us that. How could one man ruin that? Well, the film goes out of its way to explain all of these things. The reason oxygen is low, why they can’t easily get more, and their attempts at plan B and plan C to make it work.

But the whole point of this movie is like a very expensive trolley problem. Can they kill one or two people to save the rest, or should they risk it to save them all or none of them? (Note, they know the science and know that the risk can’t possibly work out either). 

And who is it to die? The stowaway who technically caused the issue, but is not his fault. Or one of the crew members who signed up knowing the risks that they would face. Could they live knowing they let someone die for them? 

I liked the questions posed in this slow space drama, and it gave me a slight ever tiny cry near the end. The effects are fine, but the acting is stellar. I expect a lot out of Kendrick, Kim, and Collette in a film like this, and barely have seen Anderson in anything else, but they all deliver. They are believable, they are different, and they are smart. This is a no dummy space flight. And it is annoying I have to mention that, given how many space movies send morons out into space apparently. 

Stowaway wanted to ask a hard question, and it gave some hard answers. I appreciate it telling the story it told. 

3 out of 4.

The Mitchells vs. The Machines

The Mitchells vs. The Machines is one of those films that you are hopefully going to hear about from word of mouth. I know I didn’t notice it pop up on Netflix. I know if I did, I would have just ignored it most likely for a bit, and watched it by myself a week or two later. The cover for it on Netflix doesn’t look appealing to me at all. It doesn’t do the actual animation style any justice, and just looks like a cheaply made piece of crap. And let’s be honest, The Mitchells vs. The Machines is not a title that screams out “watch me.”

I don’t know the Mitchells. Why should I care about the Mitchells?

I guess every famous cartoon family has its start, and if their goal is a franchise, they can constantly have them battling other entities. I guess.

I am getting off track. I didn’t want to watch this movie. I was told I should watch this movie. I am glad I watched this movie. You should also watch this movie. And now, here is a review.

pose
This is apparently an action film with guns, dinosaur bombs, and a dog faced pirate. 

The Mitchells are apparently going to have to save the world. And they are not a perfect warrior clan. They all have faults, barely have any cohesion, and sort of hate each other depending on the circumstances. Katie (Abbi Jacobson) feels like an outsider from her family. She has always been into films and creating her own strange movies, that her parents just don’t understand. Her dad (Danny McBride) is Mr. Nature, doesn’t do anything with tech, can fix a lot of problems, and loves to build. Her mom (Maya Rudolph) is pretty mom stereotype, caring and all of that jazz, believes in everyone. Her younger brother (Michael Rianda) is just super into dinosaurs, starring in his sister’s movies, and is afraid of being alone. Also they got a dog that is barely a dog. 

Katie got accepted into her dream school in California, for Movie makers and is exited about leaving her home and finally being with people in her life who get and understand her. The “weirdos” and such. Unfortunately, she gets into a big argument with her dad the day before they leave. And his solution? To cancel her plane ticket away from this dump, so they can road trip to College, making her miss out on orientation, but letting them bond one more time.

And unfortunately, during that time, a big robot rebellion begins! Fuuuuuuu. And purely by accident, they find themselves to be the only group of humans not captured. I guess they gotta figure out how to save our entire species. 

Also featuring the voices of Eric André, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen, Beck Bennett, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, Charlyne Yi, Conan O’Brien, and Blake Griffin

stare
You know, I am not even sure that is a dog…

If I had done my own research I would have found out that I definitely wanted to see this movie. Besides the stacked voice cast (including McBride doing a great impression of Seth Rogen has a father role, based on my confusion on checking IMDB, I would have been able to see that the executive producers of this are Lord/Miller, and I have never not loved something they produced or helped create. 

As for the actual film? Damn, what a roller coaster. But it is a roller coaster that just keeps going in loops and is mostly full of really exciting ups. This is a bad metaphor. It has some strong messaging about reliance of technology. Pretty obvious stuff overall, but it doesn’t harp on the message and say that technology is evil. It is necessary for our hero after all to follow her dreams, and allows her to do something she wants in life, so it is awesome still. It is more the corporations who suck, and we can all agree on that.

This film was surprisingly funny. I really didn’t expect to laugh as much as I did, especially out loud. My kids could enjoy it too, for similar reasons. It had jokes for all, and some good throwback jokes to technology issues in life. It is also full of colors and perfect for the ADHD riddled world we live in, but never really annoyingly so.

I was surprised about halfway through the movie (with a plot point that felt like it would be close to the end) to find it had so much more movie left to go. But it didn’t really feel boring, if not a little too long near the end in the final scenes. A small amount of editing/cutting near the end would have been fine. But again, I still love the movie overall.

Give it a watch. I believe it went to theaters for a bit, so it should be eligible for awards next year. Raya and the Last Dragon was good, and now this. Shit, is animation back this year? Will Luca actually be good?! 

4 out of 4.

Se

Doors

You know what we need? More beautiful and glorious independent sci-fi film. I think Arrival counted as indie. Maybe it wasn’t. It felt indie at least.

And Doors, at least by cover art and plot, looks like something that could be confused with Arrival.

So I will go in expecting Arrival level quality, or else I riot and walk.

kids
Arrival had some kids in it, sure. 

Doors is actually a sci-fi movie with four related yet independent parts (the last one is very short). It involves suddenly these black alien entities that appear all around the world in random places. They get nicknamed as doors (even though they don’t look like doors), but you can walk into them and go somewhere. And they also talk to some people.

The first segment, Lockdown, is when they first arrive, and centers on some students taking a test. That one stars Kathy Khanh, Julianne Collins, Aric Floyd, Rory Anne Dahl, Christopher Black, and Saman Kesh.

Then a few weeks later, we have the Knockers segment, named after people who go into the doors to investigate. They have a limited amount of time to gather any intel to report back, before being trapped or losing their own minds. This one features Josh Peck and Lina Esco.

The third segment, 100 or so day after the doors, we focus on Jamal, a lone scientist who thinks he has figured out how to actual communicate with the doors. Hearing them and letting them hear him. Starring Kyp Malone, Kristina Lear, Bira Vanara, and Wilson Bethel.

The last segment is a quick zoom interview, with a conspiracy DJ and a famous alien scientist, featuring Darius Levanté.

knockers
Even got fun containment costumes. Will it make me cry? 

Doors was nothing like Arrival, of course, and I only have myself to blame for that. With four different stories though, unfortunately, it would require most of them to be good -awesome for the movie to be worth it. From my count we have two average stories, and two below average stories, which is a huge disappointment.

The first two were the okay ones. In the school, it had a couple nice moments, but that was about it. It kept up the mystery which is nice. The second story, with the knockers, had the potential to be fun. It had a lot of mind fuckery going on inside the doors. But mind fuckery for mind fuckery’s sake is not worth it if there is no real purpose behind it. I mean, maybe the purpose is evil aliens. It however still needs something to give it meaning or reason and it chooses not to.

What I am saying is, I can’t overall like it, if I don’t eventually find out a reason for what was going on. And they don’t give a good reason, besides Alien space magic tech and that is it, which is a sort of boring answer.

The last two stories? Well, one didn’t seem interesting. It had a guy be able to communicate back and forth with a door for others to hear. But we also already knew they could communicate in some way. Was that more interesting? Nope. More just silly door shenanigans. And the last one felt like it wanted to be a scene out of a Paranormal  Activity movie.

Doors could have been great. It could have tried to give any answers to it. It could have gone for some deep psychology. But it went for a couple of scares and a couple of snoozes instead. Yawn.

1 out of 4.

Voyagers

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.

kids
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.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla. King Kong. Lizard. Ape. Will buildings get destroyed? Yes. Buildings will get destroyed.

The attempts to combine these franchises (well, one recent Kong Movie and two recent Godzilla movies) into one ultimate destruction battle was a lofty one, but clearly not one unheard of in our connected universes strategy of films. It was a guarantee, I imagine, to one day occur. I tried to come in ready for it, but honestly, I still never saw Godzilla: King of Monsters from two years ago, and at this point, I can’t imagine I will.

I was hoping that seeing the other two intro films would be enough, but it looks like this film made mostly throw backs to that last one, versus the other two. Damn it.

In Godzilla vs. Kong, the director promised there would be an obvious winner and not some bullshit tie overall. That is an important claim to make and really one of the main reasons I decided to even watch this one.

blast
Oh, Rave Godzilla has to be one of my favorite Godzillas. 

Rawr! Let’s get it on! Wait, no, not yet. First of all, Godzilla has been firmly established as some sort of Alpha Predator, whose sole purpose and existence is meant to make sure no other threats ruin the world. Godzilla doesn’t want to destroy, it wants to keep the balance and go back to the depths.

Kong though is another alpha predator thing. So some people are worried that this means Godzilla is going to come and destroy him at some point, so they have him in hiding, sort of.

There are also some corporations doing corporation things. There is a theory of a Hallow Earth where these beasts must have come from, that is likely to have huge power sources. So some companies want that power. Some want to just return Kong to his home. Some want to destroy all the monsters. You know, typical stuff.

Overall, they are going to have to fight, multiple times, and we are going to have to see things get fucked up along the way.

Also starring some humans like Alexander Skarsgård, Brian Tyree Henry, Demián Bichir, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Kaylee Hottle, Kyle Chandler, Lance Reddick, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Shun Oguri.

kong
Is this his “fuck around, find out” face?

Hey? Do you like monsters fighting? Then this film has some of that! Honestly, I did think there would be more fighting overall, so I am surprised that there wasn’t even more. But I guess only two main monsters can wail on each other for awhile. There are some minor monsters in the Hallow Earth area too, but they don’t do much for the action or the plot.

Of course the plot is weak. And again, I am disappointed about how much of it is based on the King of Monsters film, just because I hadn’t seen it. Literally any returning characters (outside of the giant ones) were from that movie. It did have some surprises in store, which helped keep things interesting. But at least early on, the slowness of the plot, and even the first battle, failed to keep things super interesting for me.

Now one major plus is that the fight scenes were all incredible visible and detailed, and I loved that. Giant monster fights and CGI have usually meant a lot of dark fights, or messy blurs, where your mind has to put in the action, but that only happened a little bit in the first major fight, due to the underwater aspect. The major fights that mattered where very clear and that added a huge amount of awesome to the film.

And what about the winner? Did the director lie? No. Not really. I can understand the moment they are saying that there would be clearly one winner, no takeaways. But we still had to fall into some similar versus film tropes that I also wanted out of my movie. From what the director said is the definitive answer, I agree with who was chosen, as it is the one that makes the most sense.  However, again, still, they make it super definitive either. It isn’t as final as I would have hoped based on the remarks, so really, the director remarks set up my expectations to be higher than they would have been otherwise.

Godzilla vs. Kong is still a lot of fun, especially in the last third. Just have to slog through the human stuff, and the early battles.

2 out of 4.

Boss Level

Alright, this is where I say things that are contradictory.
I am pretty certain, at this point, we need to calm the hell down with the “repeat a day forever” movie concept. Take an entire chill suppository.

Yeah, sure, Palm Springs came out last year and it made my top of the year list. But it tried something different, and we already got a similar movie to that one this year with The Map of Tiny Perfect Things.

And now we have Boss Level, which is supposed to be like a video game? You know, like how Edge of Tomorrow was sort of like a video game.

We definitely have too many in the genre coming too fast, which means we are about to get a slew of bad repeat day movies. Like what happened to the found footage concept. Then people will automatically hate them without giving some a shot, and some of them will rise to the top and be good.

All of this to say, I did like Boss Level, so uhhh. I guess I am happy it came out.

 

sword
I normally put regular words here, but I kind of want to put s-words instead.

 

Every morning when Roy Pulver (Frank Grillo) wakes up, it is because of an assassin standing over his bed with a sword, and a woman in his bed screaming. 

And after him, comes the helicopter. And after the helicopter, comes any number of other assassins. He has been doing this for over 100 days, he has no idea why people are going after him, he never really makes it that far in the day, and he is ready to give it all up. Unfortunately, giving it all up means just doing it again, a huge torturous shit hole.

What can he do to find the secret? What can he do to get stronger and survive? What can he do to find his ex (Naomi Watts) and see if her science shit is behind this whole thing?

Starring a lot of people, and more than I am tagging.  Rio Grillo, Rob Gronkowski, Ken Jeong, Meadow Williams, Michelle Yeoh, Selina Lo, Sheaun McKinney, Annabelle Wallis, Will Sasso, and unfortunately Mel Gibson

 

 

games
No, they don’t get to play the video game this one I guess pretends to be. 

 

The only way Boss Level works is through the charisma of the lead, Grillo. Without him, or an equally charismatic lead, this movie would be bargain bin trash.

Look. The plot is pretty low. It does explain the “why” this situation is occurring, for sure. But it doesn’t mean the explanation is that great. This is also a movie that wants classic Mel Gibson to be the big bad guy, but it feels like Gibson is barely in it. Is he the top of the bad guys? Sure. Do we need him in this movie? Not really, anyone could play that spot. And I’d definitely prefer someone who wasn’t anti-Semitic. 

Also, this film in no way feels like a video game at any point. The title implies it, the intro implies it, the screen they show when a new day implies it, but it never feels like a video game from the show of it. We don’t have…well, any video game aspects at all that one would expect. It feels a bit strange to imply it all while providing no actual video game elements in the story, and that is disappointing. 

But again. I still gave it a 3 out of 4 despite its many flaws because I had tons of fun. Grillo went full Grillo here. He was extreme, he was loud, crass, and somehow really deadly, until he died himself. I think a lot of the assassins could have been better given distinct personalities, but most are pretty basic. 

A fun movie. But hey. Stop doing these things. For a little bit. I don’t need to see trapped in a day films for some time. Let’s make it until the end of the year, okay? 

 

 

3 out of 4.

 

Cosmic Sin

To sin is divine and to err is human. Is that a quote? Probably.

Strictly speaking, sinning probably refers generally to doing bad stuff in the Christian religion that their god said was a no-no. Whether it is one of ten things or one out of hundreds is debatable. So what would a Cosmic Sin be?

Can you be a Christian on another planet? Does their god care if you keep the Sabbath holy if you are on another planet with different lengths in days? Do you have to keep track of Earth Sunday’s regardless of the time or day of your planet?

Or is a Cosmic Sin just a generic term to mean something so bad, that it is bad on a galaxy plus level? What could be that bad? A double forgetting of the Sabbath maybe?

bruce
Is wearing space armor after some space holiday a cosmic sin?

After some initial plot, it turns out we are hundreds of years in the future, the world united due to some past nonsense as a federation power. And now? Now there are aliens that we have to deal with.

Initially they don’t know if they are good or bad, but the aliens do start attacking our side, so of course, they must be bad. Ideally, this won’t start a big war between planets, that is costly and sucks. Can’t we just end the war really quick with a small force? That’d be nice.

That is why they get James Ford (Bruce Willis). They want him to un-retire so he can lead a small team of people to the planet and maybe put an end to this thing. And hopefully they don’t start an interstellar war by going, that would be the opposite of their planned outcomes.

Also starring Frank Grillo, Brandon Thomas Lee, Corey Large, C.J. Perry, Lochlyn Munro, Perrey Reeves, Costas Mandylor, Eva De Dominici, and Adelaide Kane.

army
The good news about space armor is that you don’t have to protect your head.

That was probably one of the worst plot descriptions I have ever written. I definitely watched Cosmic Sin. But it is not a plot that sticks with me. The movie felt like a complete drag. Hours later, after I had seen it, I realized I forgot almost every aspect of the film. I remembered the ending in the bar, and one scene when the aliens first start attacking,  and that is about it. That isn’t enough for a great plot analysis.

But the gist is there. And hey, you know I was bored as all could be.

For a moment I did think this might be something where Grillo/Willis was noted as the leads, while also barely being in it. That is only partially true. They are for sure in it, and have main parts. But I will also say that that there for sure a lot of scenes, relatively long in length, where they are not present as all. They were probably limited in some amount for actual time to do shoots, but the film did the best they could around it, if I had to imagine any scenario.

Overall, Cosmic Sin is forgettable enough that I would probably forget to write the review if it came out a week later. I had high hopes, because damn it, this movie had Lochlyn Munro, and I like the guy. His part was limited too.

1 out of 4.

Chaos Walking

Chaos Walking is obviously not the only movie to be delayed recently, but it is notable that it was delayed before the Pandemic! It finished shooting in late 2017, but they announced it needed reshoots in mid 2018 due to people hating it, and they had to wait a whole year to do reshoots, thanks to the leads being in major franchises and having full schedules.

Then it was delayed March 2020, and you know the rest there.

It turns out this is based on a book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, in the Chaos Walking trilogy. I really like that title though. It reminds me of Never Let Me Go. And it puts the future of this trilogy into question. Too many YA novels have an issue where the trilogy name is used for the first book, meaning future books/films have awkward naming conventions. And for this, they used the trilogy name instead of the book name.

Huh. Interesting. Okay. Well, future movie’s will worry about that issue then, if they get any.

running
Okay, this is Chaos Running actually.

Todd (Tom Holland) is just a kid living a world that has gotten pretty fucked over. First of all, no women! Boooo. Second of all, only men! Boooo!

Now this world isn’t our world, it is New World. And at some point a virus came and killed everyone on it called The Noise. The Noise was fatal to women, and for men it just made it so their inner thoughts were all audible to those around them, and creating a visible cloud around their head. Also there is some alien stuff.

Todd is set to being a new warrior or scout or whatever, as he gets older and learns to better control his thoughts. But then he discovers a crash landing on his planet and finds, a girl?! Viola (Daisy Ridley) and a crew crashed down, not good, but she is the only survivor, and they have no clue about this Noise stuff.

And a few plot shenanigans later, Todd and Viola are on the run from his city, who want to capture the girl, and look up settlements that are rumored to exist, even though Todd thought he was in the only real community left in the world.

Also starring Demián Bichir, David Oyelowo, Kurt Sutter, Cynthia Erivo, Mads Mikkelsen, Nick Jonas, and Bethany Anne Lind.

thoughts
No, he is not thinking of the movie The Color Purple

Jeez, I wonder what they changes with this version versus their initial version? I hope it wasn’t adding in MORE ACTION because honestly, that was one of their weaker points. The action, and fighting, especially near the end. I was a much bigger fan of the drama and suspense before that. You can have a big fight between communities without needing to bog us down in the fighting.

I am not anti violence, it just felt like a lot more at the end versus any point earlier, even if the threat was already there. I was more curious about the mystery, and the aliens, and the virus, all of that, and it just never delved enough for me.

The acting is fine, but for a movie with stars like that, this is not good enough.  I do think Bachir probably did the best of the bunch, but he was also limited in his role.

This is supposed to be a fantastic book and trilogy, and honestly at this point, I can’t see how the book would be good for me. I feel like the movie not really being great, while also telling me about the secrets (unless they are different) would ruin the appeal of the book and I have no reason at all to seek it out. I certainly don’t read everything, and I try not to read things before movie adaptations, but I do get quite annoyed when a movie takes away my desire to ever read the story.

A potentially riveting plot line that is ruined with mediocrity and forgettableness.

1 out of 4.