Movie Review: Horrible Bosses (2011)

The life of the worker has it’s ups and downs. On the one hand, you get money and you have something to do. But on the other hand, getting up in the morning to go to a job you might hate to begrudgingly kiss the ass of a horrible boss… yeah, that’s life.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Horrible Bosses”.

Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day), and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) are three friends who have something in common: Their respective bosses are fucking horrible. So during one night at the bar they come up with the plan to kill each other’s bosses. And that’s pretty much the plot of the movie. And it’s quite enjoyable. It’s fun seeing these guys going through this journey to do something that a lot of people have thought about doing. It’s really just a simple and fun crime-comedy plot that doesn’t do anything groundbreaking or fantastic, but it is quite enjoyable and I had fun.

The characters in this are interesting and entertaining. Jason Bateman in this plays pretty much the straight man in all of this craziness, basically the character you’d expec Jason Bateman to play. But he does give a good performance and he is pretty funny. Charlie Day in this plays a really dim-witted guy, and he’s quite good at it… funny too. Jason Sudeikis plays the guy who is kind of the middle ground between Bateman and Day, he’s kind of the straight man, but also kind of an idiot. And he was good in the role, he was funny. Kevin Spacey in this plays Bateman’s boss, a total psychopath asshole, and he is great in the role. Jennifer Aniston plays Day’s boss, a woman that is constantly sexually harassing him, and she was really good in the role. Then we have Colin Farrell who plays Sudeikis’ boss, a sleazy cunt of a man… and he was great in the role. We also get a quick cameo performance from Jamie Foxx as a criminal named Motherfucker Jones (best name ever), and he was really good in the role. Overall it’s a well acted movie filled with plenty of talented people.

The score for the movie was composed by Christopher Lennertz and it was really good. It was pretty much a mix of various genres to create something unique that fit the movie, mixing stuff from rock, jazz, hip hop, and crime movies (if that makes sense), and it all sound great, fitting the movie very well. There were also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout that fit very well. So yeah, this movie has some really good music.

This movie was directed by Seth Gordon and I think he did a good job. While not visually unique in any way, it still looks fine and is directed with a good amount of energy to make sure it never feels dull or boring. And since this is a comedy, we should talk about… the comedy. So how is it? It’s funny. Admittedly, not all jokes land, and the ones that do aren’t really gut-bustingly hilarious. But I did laugh at a good amount of the jokes here, even if it wasn’t a “LOL” moment at any point.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 68% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 57/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Horrible Bosses” is a fun crime-comedy. It has a good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, good directing, and really fun comedy. My only flaws come from the plot just being kind of there, never being as great as it could be (not judging it dramatically, just saying that it could’ve been a bit better). Also, while I did laugh, I never thought the jokes were hilarious (with some not even landing). Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Horrible Bosses” is an 8,78/10. While flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Horrible Bosses” is now completed.

“Motherfucker Jones”… still cracks me up.

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Movie Review: Dark City (1998)

You know how we all want weird, original movies? Yeah, sometimes that happens.

Ladies and gents… “Dark City”.

On a dark night, John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) finds himself waking up in an apartment with a dead body, not remembering anything… not even who he is. So he starts going on a quest to find out who he is, what the hell is going on, and why these weird/pale/supernatural motherfuckers are chasing him. So now we have our twist-turny memory-altering noir. And I think this plot is great. The clever ideas about memories and and reality being messed with, combined with some really solid twists and turns throughout is what makes this plot so great. I know this explanation might seem a bit vague, but that is only intentional as I don’t want to spoil it too much. But trust me when I say this: I thought the plot here was great.

The characters are layered and interesting. Rufus Sewell is great as John Murdoch, playing him constantly on edge as he is chased when he’s trying to figure all this strange shit out. And can we just take a second to appreciate having Rufus Sewell in a leading role, ’cause it’s not every day we see that happening. Anyway, like I said, he’s great in the role. Jennifer Connelly plays Murdoch’s wife, Emma. As a character she’s trying to figure out what the hell is going on with her husband. And Connelly is really good in the role. William Hurt plays a detective that is trying to solve this whole Murdoch case, and he’s really good in the role. Kiefer Sutherland plays a weird scientist that is important to the plot in ways that I don’t want to to ruin here, but I can at least say that Sutherland was great in the role. Then we have the main three of the aforementioned pale/weird people, played by Richard O’Brien, Ian Richardson (R.I.P), and Bruce Spence. And they’re all great. Really, all actors in this movie do very well in their roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Trevor Jones and it was great. Dark, eerie, tense, epic, inspiring, and just overall very well composed. It perfectly worked for this dystopian sci-fi-noir-weirdness. Then there are also a couple of song covers in the movie, performed by Anita Kelsey, and they’re great. Yeah, this movie has some great music.

This movie was directed by Alex Proyas and I think he did a great job here. His directing is atmospheric and tense, keeping me invested and slightly on edge throughout most of the runtime. There are also a couple of action scenes in this and they are handled very well. They’re not the shooty-bang-bang types of action scenes, but instead relying on other types of action scenes. It’s difficult to discuss without spoiling it, but let’s just say that it’s some really solid stuff. I also feel like I have to mention that this movie just oozes atmosphere. From the directing, to the cinematography, to the art direction, to the set design… it is all a visual treat.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 74% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 66/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars and put it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10.

“Dark City” is a great piece of science fiction-noir weirdness. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and directing. Time for my final score. My final score for “Dark City” is a 9,87/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Dark City” is now completed.

Why do I get a feeling that Christopher Nolan likes this movie?

Series Review: Ozark – Season 1 (2017)

Netflix seems to be taking over the entertainment world. Sure, Amazon and Hulu aren’t doing too poorly either, and HBO gets all the viewers thanks to “Game of Thrones”, but it really feels like Netflix is the ruler of the watchable media.

Ladies and gents, welcome to… “Ozark”.

Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) seems like your average man. He has a wife (Laura Linney), two kids (Sofia Hublitz & Skylar Gaertner), and a steady job as a financial advisor. However, he has secretly been laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel. And when his dealings with them goes to hell, Marty decides to quickly move him and his family out to the Missouri Ozarks to try to try to sort this shit out. So now we have our crime-drama plot. And is it any good? Yeah, I’d say so. It’s very serious and surprisingly deep. Not deep in a mindfuck kind of way, but it just has layers to it. My only problem with it is that the pacing at times can get a little too slow. I have no problem with a slow burn, and for the most part this show’s slow burn is just fine, but there are times where it drags it’s feet a little bit too much. Mainly in a couple of episodes near the middle of the season. But like I said, for the most part it’s fine. And the overall plot is solid enough that the occasional pacing problem doesn’t hurt it too much.

The characters here are all troubled, layered, and just overall interesting. Jason Bateman is great as Marty Byrde, this highly intelligent and cunning man who just wants to protect his family (and his life). He can at times seem like a dick, but then I remember “Oh yeah, Mexican gangsters might kill him and his family”, so it can be accepted. And like I said, Bateman is great in the role. Laura Linney plays Marty’s wife, Wendy, a woman who has secrets of her own as she’s trying to accept this situations with Marty and moving and all that. And Linney is great in the role. Sofia Hublitz and Skylar Gaertner as Marty’s kids are really good in the roles, going through some interesting situations/arcs of their own throughout the season. Julia Garner plays Ruth Langmore, a local girl who is clever and constantly conniving, and she was probably my favorite character in the show. And Garner was great in the role. We also get Jason Butler Harner as Roy Petty, an FBI agent investigating Marty’s activities. He’s quite the interesting dude, and Harner is great in the role. I also want to mention Esai Morales who shows up at a few points in the season as Del, the main gangster that wants Marty’s money. The dude is a great mix of charming and intimidating, with Morales giving a great performance. Every actor in this show does a good job.

The score for the show was composed by Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans amd it was great. Dark, chilling, eerie, and overall well composed, it often helps elevate the suspense in a lot of scenes. There’s also a good amount of licensed tracks used throughout the show that help set certain moods too, which I liked.

This show was created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams (not the Mr. Weasley one, totally different Mark Williams). And it was directed by a whole bunch of other people, including Jason Bateman who did a few. And the show is tightly directed, with as muc hsuspense as possible being squeezed out of a lot of scenes. It’s also a good looking show, with an often cool blue hue that gives the show a cold and eerie feel. There’s also a little bit of dark humor to it which I thought added a little bit to it.

This show came out fairly recently, but it has still been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 65% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,8/10 and is ranked #166 on the “Top 250 TV” list (as of writing this, as I refuse to update this in case of change).

“Ozark” is another solid show from Netflix. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. The only problem is the previously mentioned pacing issues. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Ozark” season 1 is a 9,21/10. So while it has a few flaws, I’d say that you should still watch it!

Season 1 of “Ozark” is now completed.

If you’re still in denial about Jason Bateman’s dramatic talents, go watch “The Gift”. He’s great in that.

Movie Review: Street Kings (2008)

I’m all for the police. They’re needed to uphold the law. But then we have some cases of corruption within the department, which makes some people blame the police in it’s entirety, which I think is unfair. Just because you find one spoiled apple in a bunch, do you throw away all of them? If you are, then you’re wasting a bunch of perfectly good apples, you fucking dick. Point is, don’t blame everyone… just the individual.

Ladies and gents… “Street Kings”.

Detective Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) isn’t really what you’d call a good cop, as his methods for taking bad guys down are usually a bit… extreme. And when an old partner of his gets killed, he goes on a quest to find the assholes who did it. And to do this he teams up with a young and less corrupt cop named Diskant (Chris Evans). So now we have a gritty cop story about corruption and death and cover-ups and revenge and such. And is this plot good? Eh. I see a lot of potential in this story, and at times it grasps for the greatness… but doesn’t quite reach it. It feels like they just kind of skimmed the surface of this plot, not quite getting there. Maybe it’s the runtime/pacing? It’s only about an hour and fortyfive minutes long, and it never really takes a break to develop the plot or let moments actually simmer and have any effect. I could definitely see this as a show on HBO or Netflix where it could get some time to develop. But overall it is… fine.

The characters here are for the most part just a bunch of unlikable assholes… so it’s hard to get invested when you don’t really like any of them. They’re not even really that interesting, they’re just… unlikable assholes. Keanu Reeves in this… I usually love Keanu, but here he is one of those previously mentioned unlikable assholes. Though I’ll say this, he gives a really good performance here. Forest Whitaker plays Keanu’s boss in this, and he’s probably one of the more likable characters in this, even if he is a bit of a shady dick. His performance is great though. Chris Evans in this plays one of the less shady cops in this, and he’s also not a total dick, so that’s great. And he gives a really good performance here. Hugh Laurie plays the captain of internal affairs in this, and he is great here. Jay Mohr (first time he’s mentioned on the blog… weird) plays one of Keanu’s colleagues, and he’s also kind of a dick… and he gives a good performance. Amaury Nolasco plays another one of Keanu’s colleagues, and he’s also a dick in this… and he gives a pretty good performance. Then there’s a bunch of good supporting performances in the movie too, including from Naomie Harris, Common, Terry Crews, John Corbett, and more.

The score for the movie was composed by Graeme Revell and it was pretty good. It was serious and gritty, fitting the urban style of the movie. Really, there isn’t a lot to say about it. It’s not very original, and it’s not very memorable. It’s just some okay music that worked pretty well for the movie.

This movie was directed by Daivd Ayer and I think he did a pretty good job. While the movie isn’t visually unique, it does actually look good. His direction has (in lack of a better word) grit to it, really capturing the dangerous and unpredictable feel of this world. And the action scenes in this movie are good. They’re badass, brutal, and pretty exciting. Definitely the highlight(s) of the movie.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 36% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 55/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

Despite the great idea it presents, “Street Kings” is quite shallow and becomes just… fine. It has an okay plot, meh characters, great performances, okay music, and really good directing. As previously mentioned, my flaws with it comes from the plot not being great and the characters being unlikable. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Street Kings” is a 6,98/10. So while flawed, it’s worth renting.

My review of “Street Kings” is now completed.

Who’s coming with me to reboot this as a show?

Movie Review: Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017)

As I’ve made clear on this blog a couple of times, I really enjoy the animated “Resident Evil” movies. The live action ones can burn in hell, but that’s a different story for a different day. So I was of course excited when a third entry in this series was announced. So I waited and a couple trailer came out and they got me excited and now the movie’s out and I’ve seen it so now it’s time to talk about it.

Ladies and gents… “Resident Evil: Vendetta”.

When a vengeful black market dealer is about to unleash a deadly virus upon New York City, BSAA agent Chris Redfield (Kevin Dorman) has to enlist the help of Leon Kennedy (Matthew Mercer) and Rebecca Chambers (Erin Cahill) to try and stop the villainous man. So now we have our standard “Resident Evil” plot. And using the word “standard” doesn’t have to be a bad thing, because every “Indiana Jones” movie follows the same formula (and you know it), and people (mostly) love them). Same with “Resident Evil”, you can usually guess the story beats of each one, and that’s fine because they always find some way to hold onto you. And while the plot here isn’t bad, I just found that it didn’t really grab me. I was entertained, and thanks to the short runtime the pacing never let up more than it needed. But this plot overall just went by, never really grabbing me along. It’s just… fine.

The characters here, while not as great as in the last animated “Resident Evil” flick, are still interesting and pretty entertaining. Chris Redfield here is still the tough, determined, meathead that he’s always been. And while it’s weird not hearing Roger Craig Smith doing the voice, I do think Kevin Dorman does a good job in the role. Leon Kennedy in this is still the badass motherfucker that we know him as, with some of that cocky attitude still intact. Sure, they play him a bit more serious in this than in the last two movies, but he’s still entertaining as a character. And Matthew Mercer is of course once again great in the role. Rebecca Chambers is a character that we haven’t seen since 2002’s “Resident Evil: Zero”. And in this, instead of being a member of the STARS team, she’s a scientist. And she’s pretty cool, even though she doesn’t get to do a lot of cool stuff. And Erin Cahill is really good in the role. And the villain of the movie, Glenn Arias, they try to make sympathetic in a way that I won’t spoil here. And while I kind of understand his reasoning for doing what he does, as a villain he was just fine. John DeMita was good in the role though. So overall it’s a well acted movie (even if the dialog is often… not great).

The score for the movie was composed by Kenji Kawai and I think he did a great job with it. His score is cool, tense, and badass, often elevating scenes that wouldn’t have been as great without the music. And overall the score is just great, making for some good ear candy (the end credits song being a standout).

“Resident Evil: Vendetta” was directed by Takanori Tsujimoto and I think he did a solid job. Sure, he doesn’t build a lot of suspense with his directing, but he still brings a lot of flair and energy to it. Which also brings me to the animation and holy shit, this animation looks awesome! It’s detailed, fluid, and just looks all kinds of great. Especially in the facial animations which look terrific. And the action scenes too, while not subtle in the slightest (in fact they’re loud and kind of ridiculous), look awesome. They’re so much fun and just brought a big, dumb smile to my face. And is this movie scary? Fuck no.

This movie came out very recently and is very niche, so it doesn’t have a lot of scores on the sites I usually go to. Sure it exists on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, but it has no score on either site. And if scores are added to the sites, then I won’t edit this post. But on imdb.com it has a score of 6,3/10.

“Resident Evil: Vendetta” is a dumb action-thriller for fans of the games and animated features, and as one of those people I thought this movie was really fun. It has an okay plot, good characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great animation. My only flaw with the movie is that the plot didn’t really grab me in any way. Time for my final score. *Zombie moan*. My final score for “Resident Evil: Vendetta” is an 8,99/10. So while it’s flawed, I’d definitely say that it’s worth buying!

My review of “Resident Evil: Vendetta” is now completed.

Good to finally see Chris in one of these. I love Leon, but it’s nice to get good ol’ Redfield in a movie.

Movie Review: The Homesman (2014)

Something something, Markus likes westerns.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Homesman”.

After three women goes mad from living very tough lives they have to be transported to Iowa. So a woman named Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) volunteers to take on this daunting task. However, she soon realizes that she might not be able to do this alone, so she employs a low-life drifter named George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones) to help her out. So now we have our western-drama. And I’d say that it’s an interesting plot. It’s very serious and and at times even a bit disturbing, and overall it is very well told. My main issue with it is the first half which meanders quite a bit. I get that this is a simple road movie set during the old west, but even I feel like it doesn’t get very far plot-wise during that first half (a little less than half to be a bit more fair, but shut up). But when we get into the second half the plot picks up a bit more and I found myself really invested in the journey. And just to be clear: The first half isn’t bad… just a little bit too slow… a little bit.

The characters in this are layered and interesting. Hilary Swank is great as Mary Bee Cuddy, giving a vulnerable yet determined performance. Tommy Lee Jones is great as George Briggs, playing him as a kind of pathetic but still tough and semi-honorable man. Then we have the three crazy ladies (that is what they are, shut up), played by Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, and Sonja Richter. And they’re all great in their respective roles. They don’t say a lot, but they give great performances nonetheless. Then there are a bunch of good supporting performances throughout from people like Evan Jones, William Fichtner, John Lithgow, James Spader (his Irish accent isn’t very good), Jesse Plemons, Tim Blake Nelson, and Meryl Streep. Most of these actors aren’t in the movie for very long, but when they are… they’re good.

The score for the movie was composed by Marco Beltrami and it was really good. It was very dramatic and emotional, often adding to the quality of the various scenes in here. Sure, a lot of the music sound like stuff we’ve heard in other western-dramas, but that doesn’t make the music any worse… ’cause it’s really good.

This movie was directed by Tommy Lee Jones and I think that he did a really good job. The movie is directed with a lot of confidence which makes for an investing watch. It’s also a really good looking movie, having a bleak style that doesn’t feel too depressing and sad. I also feel like I should mention that this isn’t an action packed western. It’s a slow drama, with very few shots being fired. Just thought I’d mention that.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

“The Homesman” is a really solid western-drama. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and really good directing. My main problem with the movie is that first half which meanders a bit too much. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Homesman” is an 8,84/10. So while it is flawed I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “The Homesman” is now completed.

Sloooooow burn.

Movie Review: Live by Night (2016)

I’m gonna be very frank with y’all: I love Dennis Lehane’s “Live by Night”, it’s a fantastic book. So I was both skeptical and excited when I found out that Ben Affleck was directing a movie adaptation of it. Then the trailer was released and it was great, but I still held back any hype because of my love for the source material. Then the reviews started coming out and they were not merciful. So my reservations weren’t exactly lightened by that. And here we are… let’s see if the critics are right.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Live by Night”.

1920s Boston. As the son of a popular and beloved police chief, Joe Coughlin (Ben Affleck) has had a lot to live up to. However, Joe has found himself operating on the other side of the law. So we follow him as he rises from petty robbery to taking on the rum trade in Tampa, Florida. We also see him as he struggles with this life, trying to balance running his business with taking on competitors and other factions who want to do him harm. So now we have our gangster story. And the basic setup is interesting enough, with a few parts in the story giving us some pretty good drama and suspense. But for the most part this plot lacks a lot of the nuance needed to make it great. Especially during the middle when it starts meandering quite a bit. And while I shouldn’t compare this to the book, I do have to mention that the plot here in the movie lacks some of the flair and nuance that it had. So overall the plot here is… fine.

The characters in this are for the most part pretty interesting. While not a physical match to Joe, Ben Affleck is great in the role. He’s a smart, even-tempered, and interesting individual, and Affleck does give a great performance. Chris Messina plays Joe’s friend/partner in crime Dion Bartolo, and he’s a fun and cool guy that I thought was prety interesting. And Messina is great in the role. Sienna Miller plays Emma Gould, a woman that Joe gets involved with, and while her Irish accent if a bit off, her overall performance is pretty good. Chris Cooper plays Irving Figgis, a police chief that Joe has some interactions with throughout the movie. And Cooper is great in the role, getting some of the best dramatic moments in the movie. Elle Fanning plays Cooper’s daugher, Loretta, and she’s great in the role. Brendan Gleeson shows up for a bit in the movie, playing Joe’s father Thomas. And he’s really good in the role. Robert Glenister plays gangster Albert White, and he’s great in the role, giving quite a menacing performance. We also have Zoe Saldana as Graciela Suarez, a Cuban woman that Joe gets involved with down in Tampa, and she’s really good in the movie. Shit, this movie’s filled with solid performances.

The score for the movie was composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and it was really good. It really doesn’t do anything unique, and isn’t overall something I’d find myself listening to at any time in the future. But it is overall dramatic, tense, and well composed, fitting the movie very well.

This movie was written and directed by Batman, I mean Ben Affleck. And I think he did a really good job with it. He manages to bring tension and a lot of flair to it which I really enjoyed. And the action scenes in this movie are tense, exciting, and just overall great. I also feel like I have to mention Robert Richardson’s cinematography, holy fuck it is gorgeous. Really, this movie is a visual treat. From a purely technical standpoint this movie is quite great… it’s a few other factors that slightly brings it down (you read them earlier).

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 34% (ouch) positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 49/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,4/10.

“Live by Night” is a bit of a disappointment, but it’s still a competently put together gangster flick. It has an okay plot, pretty good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/cinematography. But it (like I made clear) has some flaws. the plot gets quite meander-y near the second act, and with the plot overall feeling slightly dull. Also, Sienna Miller’s distractingly off Irish accent bugged me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Live by Night” is an 8,21/10. So while it is quite flawed, I’d say that it’s worth a rental.

My review of “Live by Night” is now completed.

The movie kept the book’s best dialog exchange at least… kudos for that.

Movie Review: Following (1998)

“Dunkirk” will be Christopher Nolan’s tenth feature film. And with the upcoming release of that movie I thought I’d go back in time a bit and check out/review his very first feature film. So here we go.

Ladies and gents… “Following”.

We follow a young writer (Jeremy Theobald) as he follows people around, just observing them. Then one day one of his targets, a man named Cobb (Alex Haw), notices that he’s being followed and confronts the writer. But he doesn’t threaten him or anything, but instead offers to take his stalking even further. And by that I mean Cobb helps the writer break into places, checking out people’s possessions and homes, just to get a better picture of their lives. So now we have our small noir story. And I’d say that this story is very ambitious for someone making his first feature film. But the plot here is handled surprisingly well. It even has a fractured narrative that is handled decently. However, the plot isn’t great. Since the runtime is so short (less than 70 minutes) the plot doesn’t really get time to properly develop. And the fractured narrative, while ambitious, wasn’t as good as it could have been. But overall, for such a short plot with the flaws it has, I have to commend Nolan for trying this for his first feature, especially since it didn’t turn out to be garbage. It’s pretty good.

The characters in this aren’t particularly well developed, but they’re decently interesting for this movie. The young writer in this movie is kind of a paranoid little guy who grows obsessed with this breaking and entering gig that he gets introduced to. And Jeremy Theobald is good in the role. The character of Cobb is a sly and cunning man who clearly has a lot going on behind those eyes of his. And Alex Haw is good in the role. Really, all actors do a fine job in this. None really made me go “Oh yeah, that was great”, but there were also none that made me say “Boo, you suck”. They’re passable. Even good.

The score for the movie was composed by David Julyan, a man that Nolan would work with for a couple more movies after this one. And I think Julyan’s score here is great. It is dark and eerie and actually makes my skin crawl at times. It is suitably creepy for this movie not-horror movie. Really helps elevate the movie.

As previously stated in this review, “Following” was directed by Christopher Nolan. And for being made on a ham sandwich budget, this was pretty well directed. You can see some of the things here that laid the groundwork for his style in “Memento”. Like the previously mentioned fractured narrative, and how he handled it. And while “Memento” had different color schemes for different scenes, this doesn’t really have that luxury with this movie since it was all shot on an older black and white camera, with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (makes no sense, but let’s just say that it’s small and tight). Instead he had to rely on *gasp* the audience noticing differences in clothing/haircuts. Really, he showed a lot of promise with this film, even if some things aren’t great in it. For example, there are a couple moments of action that aren’t great. And that’s not entirely on the budget, you could tell that he hadn’t really learned how to properly do that stuff yet. So that stuff bugged me a little. But overall his directing is solid, especially for a first feature film made on a ham sandwich budget.

This movie has been decently well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 60/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“Following” is quite impressive in terms of ham sandwich debut features. It has a good plot, okay characters, good performances, great music, and really good directing. My problems with it comes from the plot not being the most well developed, the performances being a little hit and miss, and the previously mentioned action scenes. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Following” is a 7,98/10. So even though it has flaws, I’d say that it’s definitely worth renting.

My review of “Following” is now completed.

Nolan’s come a long way.

Movie Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, rebooted often like no one can. Now with Marvel, he tries again. And have to fight the Batman. Look out… here comes the Reboot-Man.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Spider-Man: Homecoming”.

Set two months after “Civil War”, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is back in New York, just trying to live his double life as a high school student and as Spider-Man. He also wants to prove himself to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to show that he too can be an Avenger. And as Peter is dealing with school, romance, and helping the community out as Spidey, a villain not called The Vulture (Michael Keaton) starts making a lot of trouble. And Peter sees this as the opportunity to really prove himself to Tony. So now we have our coming-of-age superhero movie. And I thought the plot here was great. You not only have the fast-paced parts of Spidey trying to figure who this Birdman (HA!) is and how he could stop him, but you also have slower moments developing the story of Peter Parker and how he deals with everything in his life. And I thought this was all really well handled. I felt invested in the plot, it really managed to have a good blend of superhero adventure and a John Hughes-ish coming-of-age dramedy. It was great.

The characters in this are fun, entertaining, and really interesting. Tom Holland showed in “Civil War” that he could be a really good Spidey (and Peter Parker), but his screen time was limited. Now that he has a full movie he really got the opportunity to show what he could do, and it paid off. Holland is fantastic as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man, showing both the relatable and dorky side known as Peter Parker, and the fun/cool hero that is Spider-Man. He does the one thing the two previous actors couldn’t: Perfectly portray both sides of the character. Michael Keaton as The Vulture was great. Usually the MCU has villains that are passable at best, but they really managed to make him interesting. They give him a backstory and some understandable motivation which just makes him so much more interesting than most of teh generic MCU villains. And Michael Keaton is fantastic in the role. Jacob Batalon plays Peter’s best friend Ned in this movie and he’s funny and charming. And Batalon is really good in the role, sharing some great chemistry with Holland. Marisa Tomei as Aunt May was great, she was fun and I really believed her as a mother figure to Peter. Robert Downey Jr. isn’t in the movie much, and when he is there he doesn’t steal the spotlight. He acts as a sort of mentor to Peter and gave us both some funny lines and some okay drama at times. And I don’t think I have to mention that he was great here… dude’s been doing this since 2008. Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson… yeah, he was great. I never thought he could play an asshole, based on his performance and overall appearance in “Grand Budapest Hotel”, but he played an asshole very well in this. Also, welcome back Happy Hogan! That’s right, Jon Favreau returned to play Tony’s assistant, this time acting more as Peter’s supervisor, and he was great. Alright, quickfire round of this movie’s great actors: Donald Glover, Bokeem Woodbine, Laura Harrier, Zendaya, Angourie Rice, Michael Chernus, Logan Marshall-Green, Martin Starr. Wow, that’s a lot of names. And there are more, but I don’t want to spoil them here in case you don’t already know about them.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Giacchino, and can we just take a second to talk about this man… or machine as I’m inclined to believe that he is. He puts out like 50 billion scores a year… Jesus fucking Christ, man, take a break! Anyhow, his score for this movie was really good. It’s the usual big/fun superhero action stuff, but there are also tracks for smaller scenes throughout and that too sounds really good. There are also a bunch of licensed tracks used throughout this movie. And not only are they overall really good, but they are used very well in their respective scenes.

This movie was directed by Jon Watts, the man behind the very small but still really good “Cop Car”. And I think he did a great job directing this movie. His directing here has a lot of energy and charm to it, making for a pretty fast-paced and fun watch. And the shots do look really good. And the action scenes are pretty clever and really fun, and even a little more violent than I thought they’d be. And I don’t mean violent in the Marvel/Netflix way, but it packed a bit more punch than I was expecting. There’s also a lot of comedy in this movie and I laughed a lot. From simple chuckles to full on belly laughter, this movie brought the laughs. It’s also filled with fun easter eggs and references, both to the MCU and other properties, so have fun discovering them all.

This movie just came out, but it has so far been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 73/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,2/10.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is the best “Spider-Man” movie we’ve gotten since 2004. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, great directing, and hilarious comedy. Time for my final score. *Thwip!*. My final score for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is now completed.

Spidey is good again… I’m so happy!

Series Review: Castlevania – Season 1 (2017)

I’ve been anticipating the release of this show for a while. From when the teaser poster and such was released, to when the first trailer dropped, it all seemed like it could be good. Could Netflix bring us a good video game adaptation? Well, let’s find out.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Castlevania” season 1!

After his wife gets burned at the stake, Dracula (Graham McTavish) unleashes an army of dark creatures upon the city of Gresit. So when Trevor (Richard Armitage), the last surviving member of the Belmont clan, shows up in town he has to try and save the city from this evil. So now we have our medieval fantasy. And while it’s only four episodes long, they manage to develop the story pretty damn well. They manage to establish backstories without getting too heavy with the exposition. And it actually creates some solid drama at times, giving the world and plot a little extra weight without sacrificing the fun and interesting fantasy elements of the plot. There’s also time dedicated to showing what a bunch of dicks members of the Christian church was at the time. Sure, there were no actual demons back then, but a lot of the bullshit they’re up to here actually happened in real life. So yeah, it’s a surprisingly layered story that stays true to the source material while still making it feel fresh and different.

The characters here are all pretty interesting. Trevor Belmont as a character is kind of an arrogant asshole, but he’s actually given a good reason in the show, so he’s not just an ass for the sake of being an ass. And you can tell that despite his arrogant façade, he is a good person (and badass warrior). And Richard Armitage is great as the character. Dracula doesn’t appear much in the show, but his presence is always felt. I also like that he’s not just a generic evil-doer that just wants to kill people because he’s the villain. They give him good motivation for doing it, making him a much more interesting antagonist. And Graham McTavish (again, despite not showing up a lot) kills it in the role. We also get Matt Frewer as a bishop who’s a huge dick, and Frewer is great in the role. We also get Tony Amendola as an elder that Trevor runs into/befriends, and Amndola is really good in the role. Really, every actor heard in this show does a good job.

The score for the show was composed by Trevor Morris, who also did the score for “Iron Fist” (*cough* read my review *cough*). And while that was good, I think this score is even better. The music in “Castlevania” is dark, eerie, epic, badass, cool, and just overall fits the dark and haunting atmosphere of the show. Morris composed some really solid stuff here.

“Castlevania” was produced by Adi Shankar, animated by Powerhouse animation & Frederator studios, directed by Sam Deats, and written by acclaimed comic book writer Warren Ellis. And it’s, as I’ve made pretty clear, an adaptation of the “Castlevania” video game franchise from Konami. And in terms of animation/direction, this show is very well handled. The animation is beautiful in a dark and haunting way, perfectly helping to create a dark and often eerie atmosphere for this show. The show shines especially in the action scenes which are badass, intense, and quite brutal. And I really mean it when I say brutal, there’s blood and dismemberment in this show. So yeah, this show has some fucked up visuals throughout, which I do think works for the show. Still… don’t bring grandma.

Seeing as this is a pretty niche show that just came out, there’s not much in terms of reception on the sites I tend to use. Keep in mind, i only report the reception as it is at the time of review… I refuse to edit. Anyhow, it does exist on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, but it has no critic scores at the time of this review. But it does have a score on imdb.com (based on very few votes at the time), and it is an 8,7/10.

Season 1 of “Castlevania” is one of the best video game adaptations available out right now. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great direction/animation. The only minor flaw I have is that it is so short (four episodes), but it’s not a deal breaker for me. Time for my final score. *Stabs demon*. My final score for “Castlevania” season 1 is a 9,65/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Castlevania” season 1 is now completed.

There is a season 2 planned… for 2018… fuck.