Movie Review: Suffragette (2015)

Women. Half the world’s population. The main reason that any of us exist. Without women, the world would be completely fucked. So when I look back on history, I find it quite disheartening that these essential and amazing beings have had to go through so much hardship… and that they still kind of do these days. Hopefully we can better ourselves soon.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Suffragette”.

London, 1912. Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) is a laundry worker. She soon finds herself getting acquainted with the suffragette movement, and eventually joins them in their quest for voting rights. So now we have our historical drama. And is this plot any good? Yeah, it’s really good. It’s an engaging and at times even disturbing narrative, showing what kind of hardships and horrors these women had to go through, just because they wanted to be able to vote. At times it almost slips into pander-y Oscar bait, but it never falls into that trap, succesfully keeping a good balance of historical and emotional storytelling.

While I don’t think any of the characters are necessarily bad, I just didn’t find myself fully interested in all of them… found several of them a little undercooked. Carey Mulligan plays Maud Watts, a young mother and laundry worker who gets involved with the suffragettes. She’s determined and smart, but she does also show a more vulnerable side of herself, giving her a bit more depth as a character, and I actually cared about her quite a bit. And Mulligan is of course fantastic in the role. Helena Bonham Carter plays Edith Ellyn, a pharmacist and suffragette. She’s tough as hell and is always willing to stand up for her rights. And while I applaud those traits, I never found the character to be the most well realized. But I can say that Carter is great in the role. Ben Whishaw plays Sonny, Maud’s husband. While he is supportive of his wife, he is quite torn about her getting involved with the suffragettes’ protests. And while that could be interesting, they don’t go the full length with that and it becomes okay at best. Whishaw is really good at least. And I’m just gonna say it, what I said about Whishaw’s and Carter’s characters kind of goes for all the other ones as well… not bad, just slightly undercooked. At least we get some damn solid performances throughout the movie from people like Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Meryl Streep, Geoff Bell, Romola Garai, Finbar Lynch, and many more.

The score for the movie was composed by Alexandre Desplat, and I think he did a great job with it. What I liked most about it is that whether a track goes for sweeping and dramatic, or smaller and more personal, it always has a solid emotional core that makes the score some real ear candy. Seriously, it’s fucking beautiful.

This movie was directed by Sarah Gavron and I think she did a really good job with it. What I like about directing is that it’s versatile. When things are a bit more calm and contemplative, the camera is steady. But when things get more intense and (for lack of a better word) action-packed, it gets a bit more shaky, but never so much as to be a pain. I saw one guy describing it as a bit Paul Greengrass-ish, and I think that’s a pretty good description of it. And I think it really adds to the movie.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 72% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

While flawed, I still think “Suffragette” is a really good and important movie. It has a great plot, some okay characters, great performances, great music, and really good directing. As previously mentioned, I found some of the character work here to be a bit lackluster, but that’s about it for flaws. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Suffragette” is an 8,87/10. So while flawed, it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Suffragette” is now completed.

Nice to see Helena Bonham Carter going for a more “normal” role for once.

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Series Review: The Tick – Season 1 (2017 – 2018)

Whereas Netflix is currently known as the king of streaming these days, I feel like we should give some major cred to Amazon. Mainly because they’ve produced quite a diverse range of shows and movies, and a good amount of them I have enjoyed. So let’s talk about one such show today.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Tick”.

Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman) is a very nervous young man with a tragic past. And one day his life changes when he meets a mysterious man in a blue suit, simply known as The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz). And soon the two find themselves teaming up to try to stop the evil villain known as The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley). So now we have our superhero story. And what I liked about it is that compared to a lot of other modern superhero stories, it isn’t concerned with being gritty or grounded or overly serious. Instead we have a more tongue-in-cheek superhero story that aims more to entertain and inspire. It’s almost like a parody of superheroes, while still indulging in a good amount of classic superhero clichés. And I found this plot to be pretty damn great.

The characters here are layered, unique, interesting, and endlessly entertaining. Peter Serafinowicz plays The Tick, the titular blue hero. He is a bit lost in life, because he has no memory of his life before meeting Arthur. All he really knows is that he’s a superhero and he’s called The Tick, and I think it works for his character, you don’t always need a definitive origin. He’s also a very fun hero, he’s a very aloof and optimistic man who always looks on the bright side of life. Inspiring with a side order of silly is how I’d describe it. And Serafinowicz is fantastic in the role. Griffin Newman plays Arthur, the neurotic young man at the center of this story. Due to something that happened to him during his childhood, he’s a very nervous person and a little bit of a conspiracy nut. But we see him go through an interesting arc in the show after he meets The Tick and starts investigating The Terror with him. And Newman is great in the role. Then we have Valorie Curry as Dot, Arthur’s sister. She’s may look small and frail, but she’s actually quite tough and is doing everything to help her brother lead a normal life. And Curry is really good in the role. Then we have Scott Speiser as Overkill, a very grim and violent mercenary that Tick and Arthur run into during their adventure. He makes for an interesting contrast within this generally silly story, making for some very enjoyable scenes. And Speiser is really good in the role. Then we have Jackie Earle Haley as The Terror, the main villain of this story. The best way I could describe him is that he’s a little bit like Aku from “Samurai Jack”. A menacing and capable villain that also has a fun and enjoyable personality, making him stand out among all the villains in movies and TV. And Haley is great in the role. The final person I’m going mildly in-depth with is Yara Martinez as Ms. Lint, the henchwoman of The Terror. She’s got lightning powers, and that’s all I’m gonna say because her story and other personality traits are better left experienced. And Martinez is really good in the role. We also get some supporting work from people like Devin Ratray, Alan Tudyk, Brendan Hines, François Chau, Townsend Coleman, Michael Cerveris, John Pirkis, and many more. All doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the season was composed by Chris Bacon, and it was damn good. It’s fun and jazzy at times, but at other times it’s fairly serious and sounds more like something you’d hear in a typical superhero action movie. But I feel like all the music works quite well here, as it often elevates the show in certain ways. There are also a few licensed tracks used throughout and they work quite well too.

Based on a comic series by Ben Edlund, this show was created by… Ben Edlund? Yeah, he made a show out of his own comic… not gonna lie, I think that’s kinda cool. Anyway, he also got help with writing and directing from a whole bunch of people. And I have to say that it all works out marvelously. The direction is fun and fast-paced, which means there’s never a dull moment, even when they slow down for character stuff. And the action scenes are fun too. Sure, they’re not the most epic or overly choreographed things, but they’re pretty fun to watch. Admittedly there are some visual effects in this show that look a bit corny, but I think it kind of works for this since they’re not taking it as seriously as a lot of other superhero things. And since this is a comedy, let’s talk about the humor. It’s fucking hilarious, I laughed quite a lot throughout this. And I’m not just talking about simple chuckles, there were a lot of loud laughs coming from me throughout the season, which is rare for me to find these days.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“The Tick” is a ton of fun and is also one of the best superhero shows available right now. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, good music, and great directing/action/comedy. Time for my final score. *SPOON!*. My final score for “The Tick” season 1 is a 9,88/10. Which means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Tick” season 1 is now completed.

This show is so refreshing.

Movie Review: Mute (2018)

I’ve been looking forward to this movie for quite a long time. The director is one whose movies I’ve enjoyed quite a bit, so a new movie from him is something I of course was hyped about. And now it’s finally out, and I have now seen it. So let’s talk about it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mute”.

Berlin, 40 years from now. Leo (Alexander Skarsgård) is a mute bartender living a seemingly happy life. But after his girlfriend disappears, he goes on a mission to find out what happened to her, which leads him down the seedy Berlin underground. So is this plot any good? Parts of it are. The problem(s) with this plot is how tonally inconsistent it is. Because at first it seems like it’s just gonna be an emotional and gritty character drama, but then it throws in  bunch of more lighthearted and almost silly scenes featuring a pair of surgeons (Paul Rudd & Justin Theroux) as they go about their lives. Yes, the surgeon stuff is important to the plot, but it’s so tonally different to Leo’s quest. The pacing is also inconsistent. At times it moves at an acceptably slow-ish pace, but then there are times where some unnecessary stuff happens that pulls the pace to a bit of a crawl. Really, the best word I can use to describe the plot of “Mute” is inconsistent. Not necessarily bad (though some bits aren’t that great), just very inconsistent.

The characters in this are (you guessed it) inconsistent. Alexander Skarsgård plays Leo, the mute bartender at the center of this story. He’s clearly a damaged person, and seeing him go through his journey is compelling as he’s a fairly interesting character. I’m also really impressed by Skarsgård’s performance, because he has to convey so much emotion without being able to utter a single word… and the dude kills it in the role. Paul Rudd plays Cactus Bill, one of the two surgeons that are a large part of this story. He’s a dickhead, but he also seem to have some morals (mainly relating to his daughter), so he’s somewhat grounded (even if I don’t always like the character). And Rudd is good in the role. Then we have Justin Theroux as Duck Teddington (best name ever?), the other surgeon. He’s a bit of a hippie that we learn some interesting stuff about through the movie. And he’s one of the reasons for the “tonally inconsistent” things I mentioned before. Theroux is good in the role. Then we get supporting performances in the movie from people like Noel Clarke, Rob Kazinsky, Dominic Monaghan, Seyneb Saleh, Florence Kasumba, and more, most doing a good job (though the characters could use some more work).

The score for the movie was composed by Clint Mansell, and now we finally have something that I can give some high praise to! His score here does take some cues from “Blade Runer” (and a few from “Moon”), but it does enough unique stuff to stand out in a crowd, and ends up being a fucking great score that elevates a lot of scenes in the movie. There are also a few licensed tracks used throughout, and they work decently in their respective scenes.

This movie was written and directed by Duncan Jones, and this is very clearly a passion project of his. But did he do well? For the most part, sure. The direction here has a nice flow to it, and I was fairly sucked into it. It also helps that Gary Shaw’s cinematography is really fucking gorgeous, this movie has some really great eye candy in it. And any and all visual effects in this look really good.

This movie just came out, but it has already received some less than stellar reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 6% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 36/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Mute” is a mixed bag. It has a tonally inconsistent plot with some pacing issues and some lackluster character work. But it does also have some good ideas, a few okay characters, great performances, fantastic music, and good direction/cinematography/effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mute” is a 6,31/10. While very flawed, it could still be worth a watch.

My review of “Mute” is now completed.

At least this movie has a really cool easter egg in it…

Series Review: National Treasure (2016)

Sexual assault. A horrible thing that I wish never existed, but unfortunately is all too common in our world. It’s a very uncomfortable, but very important topic that needs to be discussed if we want change. On that note, here’s a show about being accused of such things.

Ladies and gentlemen… “National Treasure”.

Paul Finchley (Robbie Coltrane) is a comedian with a very long career, beloved by many people, a bona fide national treasure. But he soon finds himself in hot water when he’s accused of sexual assault. So we follow Paul as he tries to deal with these accusations and how they affect not only his life, but the lives of the people he loves. So now we have our drama. And I have to say that I found this plot quite compelling. Seeing Paul’s life go through change because of these accusations makes for some really solid drama. Another great element of the plot is that you never really know if Paul actually committed the acts or not, which makes you doubt everything, which adds a layer of tension to it all. I don’t wanna say too much because I don’t wanna ruin anything, but I’ll end this part by simply saying that this plot is great. Tense, emotional, and utterly compelling.

The characters in this are all layered, damaged, and really interesting. Robbie Coltrane plays Paul Finchley, the man at the center of this story who finds himself accused of sexual assault. As previously mentioned, Paul is a comedian with a very long and successful career, leading to him being loved by many people. So seeing that slowly peeled away because of these accusations leads to some great character stuff, especially as we learn more about his life and see how all these things affect his life. And Coltrane is fantastic in the role. Julie Walters plays Marie, Paul’s wife. She’s a tough, take no nonsense woman, but she does show a few more vulnerable sides to her as well throughout, which of course happens because of the accusations against her husband. And we do learn some things about her too throughout that adds to her character. And Walters is just absolutely fantastic in the role. Then we have Andrea Riseborough as Dee, Paul’s & Marie’s daughter. She’s a former addict now trying to get through the aftermath of that while also getting tested emotionally because of the accusations against her father. And Riseborough is fucking great in the role. Then we get some supporting performances from people like Babou Ceesay, Tim McInnerny, Mark Lewis Jones, Trystan Gravelle, Susan Lynch, and many more… all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the show was composed by Cristobal Tapia De Veer and it was good. While the style wasn’t my cup of tea, I can acknowledge that it was well composed and worked well within the show, using a very electronic style that often helped create an uneasy and emotional feel within the show. It’s not something I would find myself listening to during my spare time, but I think it works for the show.

The episodes were written by Jack Thorne, and directed by Marc Munden. And the combination of those two is quite good. The direction somehow manages to capture the feel of unease and confusion of the characters. Combine that with the writing and you get some compelling stuff. And the cinematography by Ole Bratt Birkeland is stunning, this is a great looking show. There are a few weird cuts throughout the episodes, but none of them makes me think less of the show… just confused why they were there.

This show has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 83/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“National Treasure” isn’t always an easy watch, but it’s a great and I’d even say important miniseries. It has a great plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, good music, and really good directing/writing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “National Treasure” is a 9,71/10. Which means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “National Treasure” is now completed.

This is not quite how I’d imagine the Hagrid’s and Mrs. Weasley’s reunion going…

Movie Review: 12 Angry Men (1957)

Yes, this was the first time that I had seen this classic. I know, shame on me for being a bit late to the game with it. Well, I say better late than never. So here we go.

Ladies and gents… “12 Angry Men”.

A young man has been accused of murdering his father. In a locked room we have the twelve jurors that have to determine whether the young man is guilty or not. Most of them are convinced he did it, but one juror (Henry Fonda, R.I.P) isn’t quite convinced. So we follow him as he tries to convince the other jurors of why this kid is innocent. So now we have our courtroom(ish) thriller. And I have to say that from the very first scene I was sucked into the plot. What we have here is a claustrophobic thriller, with men going back and forth for 90 minutes over the kid’s innocence/guilt, and it is riveting. There’s quite a lot of suspense built throughout the runtime, and it’s fairly unpredictable. Really, it’s a great plot.

The characters here are all quite interesting, especially as we get pretty clear looks at their respective personalities, and how they affect their thoughts on the case. I don’t have the time or energy to go into each and every one of them, but trust me when I say that we do get some really great character stuff here. And the performances here are all brilliant. Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam, Lee J. Cobb, John Fiedler, E.G. Marshall, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Jack Warden, Joseph Sweeney, Ed Begley, George Voskovec, and Robert Webber (R.I.P all of them), they’re all fantastic.

The score for the movie was composed by Kenyon Hopkins and what I found interesting about it is that it barely shows up in the movie. One bit at the beginning, one bit at the end… that’s it. But the limited use of music works, as it does bring out a lot of tension, and makes those two moments of music feel a bit more special. But the tracks that we do here in the movie are really good.

“12 Angry Men” was written by Reginald Rose (R.I.P) and directed by Sidney Lumet (R.I.P). And the two combined in this way is simply fantastic. On one hand, with this claustrophobic setting, you’d need Rose’s writing to be great to keep the viewer engaged as it has to do a lot of the heavy lifting. Lucky for us, his writing here is mesmerizing. Nothing about the writing feels dated, as some movies/scripts from the era could unfortunately feel… but Rose’s writing is great. And Lumet’s direction is of course fantastic. There’s a lot of movement here to make it feel exciting, almost like an action movie. And his direction here just adds so much tension to it all.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 96/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars and put it on his “Great movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,9/10 and is ranked #5 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for three Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best director, and Best adapted screenplay. 

“12 Angry Men” is an absolute classic and deserves all the praise given to it. It has a great plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, good use of music, and great writing/directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “12 Angry Men” is a 9,88/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “12 Angry Men” is now completed.

Review is adjourned.

Movie Review: Mudbound (2017)

This movie is a fairly unique case. Mainly because it’s a Netflix original movie that somehow has gotten multiple Oscar nominations. Not saying that it shouldn’t have gotten the nominations, just saying that it’s very interesting. Anyway, let’s just get into the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mudbound”.

Mississippi, the 1940s. We follow the McAllans and the Jacksons, two families who live in close proximity to each other in a farmland. And throughout the movie’s runtime we see them have to deal with everything from the struggle of farming, to racism, to adjusting to life after being in a war. What we have here is a very rich and layered plot. Yes, it’s a fairly lengthy movie, and it does move at a fairly slow pace. But there’s enough payoffs and beautiful nuances to the plot here to make it all feel rewarding. The plot here is emotional, engaging, layered, and at times even disturbing. It’s absolutely fantastic.

The characters here are kind of like the plot in that they are quite layered and interesting. I will however not go too in-depth with each and every character as I feel that they’re best left experienced rather than explained… also, I don’t want to make this post too long and rambly. So here’s just quick overviews of the two central families and their most essential members (essential for the plot, that is). First we have the McAllans, featuring the likes of Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Garrett Hedlund, and Jonathan Banks. They’re a white family who’s lived a relatively easy life until they move out to the Mississippi delta, where they have to start their new farm life. And they all get some really interesting development/moments throughout. Then we have the Jacksons, featuring Mary J. Blige, Jason Mitchell, and Rob Morgan. They’re a black family that kind of has to live with the McAllans, which of course leads to some solid drama throughout. And the Jacksons are an interesting bunch of characters. I will now also say that all the actors in this movie are running on all cylinders, there’s no weak link within the cast, they are all absolutely fantastic in the movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Tamar-Kali, and had I not done that research I would’ve just assumed that the score was composed by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis. The score here is at times reminiscent of the score from “The Assassination of Jesse James” in that it takes a dark, emotionally charged, and even kind of eerie. But it still has a very unique sound and it’s just overall great. And before you ask, the song “Mighty River” by Mary J. Blige is fucking great.

Based on a novel by Hillary Jordan, “Mudbound” was directed by Dee Rees who I think did a great job. Her direction is sweeping and confident, at times feeling like a lot of old school dramas while still feeling new and unique. I also want to talk about Rachel Morrison’s cinematography for a second, because it is fucking amazing. There were a good amount of shots in this movie that made my jaw drop. What’s also cool about it is that none of the shots felt like a “just there to be pretty” type of shot, all of the shots had a purpose while also being pure eye candy. Speaking of images, there’s some disturbing imagery at a couple points in this movie… just thought I’d give you that warning in case you’re a bit sensitive… I don’t judge.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10. As previously mentioned, this movie has been nominated for multiple Oscars. Four of them actually, in the categories of Best supporting actress (Blige), Best adapted screenplay, Best cinematography, and Best original song.

“Mudbound” is a big and sweeping drama that shows that Netflix isn’t playing around. It has a fantastic plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic direction/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mudbound” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Mudbound” is now completed.

I got nothing to put here. This isn’t the kind of movie you joke about afterwards.

Movie Review: Maggie’s Plan (2016)

Since it’s valentine’s day, I thought I’d watch a romance movie. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Maggie’s Plan”.

Maggie (Greta Gerwig) has a plan to get impregnated, but without getting married, and raising the child on her own. But her plan and life gets a bit messier when she gets romantically involved with a married man (Ethan Hawke). So we follow Maggie through the ups and downs that come from this situation so now we have our romantic dramedy plot. And is it any good? For the most part, sure. It has some interesting ideas, and I was somewhat invested throughout the entirety of it. But I was also slightly bored. It was interesting enough to continue following through the entire runtime (a little over 90 minutes), but I somehow found myself a little bored by it all. It’s quite the enigma. So I guess it was… fine.

The characters in this are pretty interesting. Greta Gerwig plays Maggie, the titular lady whose plan gets a bit fucked. She’s a very kind and intelligent young woman with a lot on her mind, and it’s interesting to see her characteristics tested throughout everything that happens. And Gerwig gives a great performance. Ethan Hawke plays John, the married man that Maggie gets romantically engaged with. He’s an author and college professor with a lot on his plate. And he’s generally an interesting individual. And Hawke is great in the role. Then we have Julianne Moore as John’s wife Georgette. I’m not gonna say too much about her as she’s best experienced, but she’s quite a unique character. And Moore is really good in the role. Then we have Travis Fimmel as a guy named Guy (yes, really), and he’s the guy that Maggie more or less chose as donor for her pre-conundrum baby. And he’s a sweet guy with understandable ambitions. And Fimmel is good in the role. Then we have Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph as Tony and Felicia, two of Maggie’s closest friends. I’m lumping them both together since they kind of serve the same purpose, which is to deliver truth bombs to Maggie while also being a bit self-deprecating, which leads to a good amount of funny humor. And Hader & Rudolph and really good in the roles. It’s a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Rohatyn and it was good. It’s a pretty quirky and fun score with tracks that fit pretty well within some of the quirky romantic comedy scenes. At times it isn’t a perfect fit, but for the most part it works. There’s also a whole bunch of licensed tracks used throughout, and they work pretty well in their respective scenes.

This movie was written and directed by Rebecca Miller and I think she did a good job. Her direction here is competent, even though it doesn’t do anything unique with it. It looks pretty good, but never really stands out in direction. But it’s still good enough to get the viewer (me) a bit more invested in what’s going on.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10.

“Maggie’s Plan” has a lot of good things going for it, though it has flaws. It has a fine plot, good characters, great performances, good music, and pretty good directing. As previously mentioned, the plot here is a bit of an enigma, somehow being both boring and interesting at the same time. And some of the music doesn’t quite fit perfectly. Time for my final score.  *Ahem*. My final score for “Maggie’s Plan” is a 7,77/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it’s definitely worth a rental.

My review of “Maggie’s Plan” is now completed.

Happy valentine’s day or something.

Movie Review: Fruitvale Station (2013)

I don’t have anything witty to put here. This movie broke me. Ummm… “Black Panther” out this Wednesday (or Friday), I guess.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Fruitvale Station”.

New Year’s Eve 2008. We follow Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) as he goes about his daily business, running into friends, family, and strangers along the way. And really it’s just a sort of look into the life of this young man. And it’s an incredibly interesting and highly affecting story we’re dealing with here. Very early on I found myself sucked into the story, but not because some grandiose event, but rather because of the realistic human drama that this movie portrays. There’s a lot of care given to how this plot is handled. Instead of it feelings like a very typical drama it feels more real, like you’re a fly on the wall in this man’s life. And I found myself truly invested in this plot. It’s engaging, interesting, and at times devastating.

The characters here are all fleshed out, interesting, and fairly realistic. Michael B. Jordan plays Oscar Grant, the young man at the center of this story. He is a person who has done some criminal things in his past, but he’s trying to put that stuff behind him. He’s generally a good guy who has taken some bad turns in his life, and he’s overall a very compelling character. And Michael B. Jordan is fantastic in the role. Then we have Melonie Diaz as Sophina, Oscar’s girlfriend. You can tell that she’s a bit annoyed by some of the things from Oscar’s past, but she still loves him and wants what’s best for him. She’s overall an interesting character. And Diaz is great in the role. Then we have Octavia Spencer as Oscar’s mom Wanda. She gets some powerful scenes in this and is pretty serious and worried about her son, but she does love him and she wants him to be a good person. And Spencer is of course fantastic in the role. Then we get to see people like Ahna O’Reilly, Ariana Neal, Trestin George, Kevin Durand, and many more in various supporting roles, all giving really solid performances.

The score for the movie was composed by Ludwig Göransson and I think he did a really good job with it. What’s interesting is that it isn’t very intrusive, staying more in the background almost more as ambient noise rather than a blaring score. But it also doesn’t disappear, as it’s still heard and often helps add some extra emotion to various scenes. There’s also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout and they work pretty well in their scenes.

This movie was written and directed by Ryan Coogler (which is why I alluded to the “Black Panther” release at the start), and he did a really good job with it. Remember the part where I said this felt more like a fly on the wall type of story rather than your typical Hollywood story? Yeah, the directing and camera work kind of adds to that argument. The camera work here is handheld and a little shaky, making it feel a bit like a documentary at times. It also adds a sense of realism to it (hence, fly on the wall) that made me feel even more invested in it all. There’s also a part in the movie where it manages to build a lot of tension in a way that got me even more engaged. No shootout. No car chase. Just pure dramatic tension created by the direction. It’s great.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“Fruitvale Station” is a stunning portrait of a very important day in this young man’s life. It has a great plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Fruitvale Station” is a 9,86/10. Which means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Fruitvale Station” is now completed.

That’s one hell of a directorial debut.

Movie Review: Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)

This is exciting. First new DC animated movie of 2018. Even though there have been a few less than stellar ones over the years, I will always be excited for them. Anyway, let’s get on with the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight”.

Set in an alternate, Victorian era Gotham city, we follow Bruce Wayne (Bruce Greenwood) as he is stopping crimes in Gotham. And soon he has to find and stop a very dangerous serial killer known simply as… Jack the Ripper. So now we have our steampunk/Victorian era mystery starring Batman. And is this plot any good? Yes and no. On one hand you have this really cool idea of a steampunk Batman chasing after a killer, that’s a really cool idea. The execution here however is kind of average. They never let moments sink in, and I never felt fully invested in what was going on. There is a pretty good twist near the end of the movie that I won’t spoil, but let it be known that aside from that twist and also the overall idea, there isn’t too much about this plot that says “That’s actually really cool”. I wouldn’t call it bad, just kind of… okay.

The characters here do get some moments that make them a bit more interesting, but overall they don’t do too much to make us care too much about them. First up we of course have Bruce Wayne, rich playboy/philanthropist who at night dresses up like  grumpy bat-person and beats up criminals. He’s the same here as in most mediums, they do nothing new aside from the change of era. But I still enjoyed following him as he is decently likable. And Bruce Greenwood (Sidenote: His third time voicing the character) is great in the role. Then we have Selina Kyle, a sexy and charming yet tough woman. In this she’s an actress/entertainer rather than a cat burglar, and the stuff that she gets to do in this movie is pretty interesting. And Jennifer Carpenter does a really good job voicing her. Then we have James Gordon, still the commissioner of Gotham PD, still a very respectable man. They do some interesting stuff with him throughout the plot. Scott Patterson does a good job voicing him. As for the rest of the characters, they do nothing too noteworthy with them, but they work in this I guess. The cast, consisting of people like Anthony Stewart Head, Yuri Lowenthal, Grey DeLisle, John DiMaggio, William Slayers, and more, all do quite well in their roles.

As with most DC animated movies these days, the score was composed by Frederik Wiedmann. And once again he has composed a score that is exciting, tense, emotional, and just overall very fun to listen to throughout the movie. There was a scene in the movie that I only was somewhat invested in because of Wiedmann’s score. Dude’s really talented.

DC animation regular Sam Liu directed this, and I think he did a pretty good job. The animation looks pretty good, the action is pretty well handled and quite fun to watch at times. What I have a problem with most about the animation/direction are the designs of the characters. I haven’t read the comic that this is based on, but looking up panels and pages from this on google makes me think that they kind of missed something here. The characters stand out quite a bit here as they are quite cartoony, compared to some of the darker and more grimy backgrounds. Also, this of course doesn’t hold a candle to Mike Mignola’s art, but they could’ve at least tried a bit more in recreating the comic’s style. Oh well, I guess the animation/direction still works.

This has been decently received (I guess, data’s pretty limited). On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” isn’t one of DC animation’s strongest outings, but it’s still an entertaining little adventure. It has an okay plot, okay characters, great performances, great music, and good direction/animation. It is of course dragged down a little bit by a not very engaging plot and some characters not being the most interesting. Time for my final score. *I’m Batman!*. My final score for “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” is a 7,34/10. So while very flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” is now completed.

Nananananananana Steampunk!

Movie Review: Mr. Right (2016)

Love is hard. Some find the one, some find assholes, and some find a person who just isn’t a perfect match. Really, love as a concept is a fucking mess.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mr. Right”.

Martha (Anna Kendrick) recently went through a really bad breakup and it has sort of messed with her head quite a bit. That’s when she meets Francis (Sam Rockwell), a kind of eccentric guy who just seems like he’s the perfect guy for her. What she doesn’t know is that Francis is a world-known hitman. So we follow their relationship evolve as Francis tries to avoid local gangsters and a ruthless agent (Tim Roth) who seems to have a connection of sorts to Francis. And look, I’m not gonna sit here and pretend like this thing is the most well written or most original plot ever… but I also don’t care, because it’s just a fun and entertaining plot. It’s just a fun and fast-paced romantic comedy/action-thriller plot. And in that way I think it works quite well.

The characters here are all interesting and entertaining. Anna Kendrick plays Martha, a young woman who’s become a bit weird after a really bad breakup. And through the movie we see her evolve a bit as a character, while still being overall fun throughout. And Kendrick is really good in the role. Sam Rockwell plays Francis, the strange man/hitman that Martha forms a relationship with. He’s charming, he’s funny, he’s badass, and just overall a really interesting character that we learn a couple things about throughout, deepening him a bit. And Rockwell is just awesome in the role. And I have to say that Kendrick and Rockwell share some really solid chemistry here, making the scenes they have together much more entertaining. Then we have Tim Roth as Hopper, a sort of agent on the hunt for Francis. We learn pretty early on that he has a connection of some kind to Francis, making his chase a bit more intriguing. And Roth is great in the role. Then we get some really solid supporting work from people like James Ransone, Anson Mount, Michael Eklund, RZA, Katie Nehra, and more. ’tis a well acted movie with fun characters.

The score for the movie was composed by Aaron Zigman and I thought it was good. It’s not mindblowing in any way, but it’s fun and exciting enough to help the movie in elevating certain moments throughout. There were also multiple licensed tracks used throughout, and they too worked quite well in their respective scenes.

This movie was directed by Paco Cabezas, and I think he did a really good job with that. While the direction in quieter moments never reaches above average, it’s in the action scenes that Cabezas direction truly comes alive. His direction for the action is fast, stylish, and just overall has a great sense of fun about it. Whether it’s a melee fight or a shootout, the action here never failed to keep me entertained. Sure, I would’ve liked the amount of cuts within certain action bits to be reduced, but it wasn’t too bad. And let’s talk about the humor in this movie, since it’s a comedy. It’s funny, I laughed. Sure, it’s not the funniest comedy ever, but it got a fairly consistent amount of chuckles and laughs from me.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 43% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 52/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,3/10.

Is “Mr. Right” one of the best movies ever? No. But it’s a highly enjoyable romantic comedy/action-thriller. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, good music, and really good directing/action/comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mr. Right” is a 9,53/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Mr. Right” is now completed.

Now you got something to watch for valentine’s next week… other than “Black Panther”.