Movie Review: It (2017)

And the Month of Spooks continues! And today we’ll be talking about a Stephen King adaptation. How fun.

Ladies and gentlemen… “It”.

Maine, 1989. A group of outcast kids have to come together during their summer holiday when an evil clown (Bill Skarsgård) starts haunting them and wreaking havoc. So I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, when this story focuses on the drama of the Losers Club (the kids we follow) and their personal issues, that shit is compelling, it is insanely well written and it had me engaged. There’s a lot of nuance to that stuff, and it really adds to it all. But when it focuses on the horror shit… meh. I’ll get into that in more detail later, but for now… this plot is a mostly positive mixed bag.

The characters in this are flawed, layered, colorful, and overall really interesting. The kids feel real, I love their camaraderie, and they have great chemistry. Jaeden Martell, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Chosen Jacobs, and Wyatt Oleff, they play the Losers Club, and they were all fantastic. And then we have Bill Skasgård as Pennywise. I really liked his performance, but I’m not sure if that’s for the reason the filmmakers wanted. They wanted him to be terrifying, and at times he does have a creepy gaze. But for the most part he’s just an absolute fucking ham, and I loved watching it, because I live for hammy shit. But seriously, that was a great, if a bit goofy, performance.

The score for the movie was composed by Benjamin Wallfisch, and god damn, it was great. It has many layers to it, and it helps build a strong emotional core that really manipulated me at points. Usually with horror movies, my expectations for the music are often kinda low, so I’m glad the Wallfisch proved my ass wrong by giving us some really stunning tunes. And some decently creepy ones. Good job.

Based on the beloved novel of the same name by Stephen King, “It” was directed by Andy Muschietti, and I think he did a great job. His control of the camera and flow a scene can’t be understated, it was truly some damn good stuff. Even built some decent creepiness to it at times. And the various effects in the movie, both practical and digital, were damn good. Buuuut then we get to the “scary shit”. Yeah, I wasn’t scared by it. And that’s not me being a douche about it, I would’ve loved (for lack of a better word) to have been scared by that stuff. But it never got to me. Like I said, there’s some decently creepy moments throughout, but when it tried to full on scare me, it never really worked. Partly due to the hamtastic Bill Skarsgård, and partly due to some of the audio cues added to certain scares. So the craft here is great… I just wasn’t scared.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 69/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

While it fails at spooking me, I still think “It” is a damn good movie. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and really good directing/cinematography/effects. Time for my final score. *Boo*. My final score for “It” is an 8,78/10. So while flawed, I’d say it’s still worth buying.

My review of “It” is now completed.

I am so mixed on this movie.

Movie Review: Deadpool 2 (2018)

In 2009, we got the big screen debut of comic book character Deadpool in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, and it was a fucking disgrace. Skip forward to 2016, Deadpool gets his own movie called… “Deadpool” (fucking unpredictable title, I know). And in 2018 he got a sequel. And now I finally watched it. So let’s talk about it.

Ladies and gents… “Deadpool 2”.

Super-powered mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) has to create his own mutant team in order to protect a young mutant (Julian Dennison) from a time traveling super soldier called Cable (Josh Brolin). So now we have our big comic book sequel plot. And it’s good. It does lack some of the focus that the first movie had, but that is not very surprising considering this is trying to be bigger than the first one. But I don’t dislike the plot here at all, as a matter of fact, I found it to be a lot of fun. Sure, it does jump around a bit, but it’s not enough to annoy me. It embraces the silliness of superhero comics, while still subverting a fair bit of expectations one has for them. And I thought it all had a fair balance between silly comic shit and heartfelt character drama. ’tis good.

The characters in this are fun, badass, surprisingly layered, and overall very entertaining. Ryan Reynolds of course returns as Deadpool. But this is a slightly different Deadpool to the first movie, this one has suffered a little bit, this Deadpool is going through some shit. But he still retains the insanity that we’ve come to know from him. And Reynolds is once again fantastic in the role. Next we have Josh Brolin as Cable, the time traveling soldier out for blood. He’s a tragic, unrelenting badass that I found quite interesting. And Brolin is great in the role. We also get Zazie Beets as Domino, one of the mutants joining Deadpool on his quest. She’s an interesting foil for Wade’s antics, and she’s just overall a fun character. And Beets is great in the role. Julian Dennison is also great as the tragic mutant kid that Wade wants to help. WE also get supporting work from people like Morena Baccarin, Karan Soni, Stefan Kapicic, Leslie Uggams, Eddie Marsan, Brianna Hildebrand, Rob Delaney, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Tyler Bates, and it’s good. It does include some good ol’ heroic brass, but it also takes inspiration from rock to create a score that captures the film’s mostly irreverent vibe. There’s also a lot of licensed tracks used throughout the movie, and while there are several I wouldn’t find myself listening to on my own, I thought all of them worked well enough within the movie for each scene.

Written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds, this movie wasn’t directed by Tim Miller. Instead, David Leitch took the director’s chair for this one. And I think he did a great job. Sure, quiet scenes don’t have much to speak of, all the magic in those come from the actors. But the action scenes, holy fuck, they are great. Fights, shootouts, chases… this film has all kinds of action, and all of it is well shot and incredibly entertaining… and violent as hell. And just like the first movie, “Deadpool 2” is in large part a comedy. So is the humor any funny here? I think so. Fourth wall breaks, references, sight gags, deprecating jokes, it’s all here, and I laughed like an idiot at most of it.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 83% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 66/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

While I probably prefer the first movie, “Deadpool 2” is still an absolute blast from start to finish. It has a good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, great directing/action, and hilarious comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Deadpool 2” is a 9,75/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Deadpool 2” is now completed.

Can beauty come out of ashes?

Movie Review: Atomic Blonde (2017)

Spies? 1980s? Charlize Theron? “John Wick” crew members? This sounds fucking sweet, so let’s talk about it.

Ladies and gents… “Atomic Blonde”.

Germany, 1989. Mi6 agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) has been sent on a mission to retrieve a list that has the names of undercover agents on it. And that’s the basic idea behind the plot. It’s something that’s been seen in movies and such before, but I would’ve been okay with it here had they done something fun and clever with it. But this plot has some issues. Firstly, it’s told as a series of flashbacks with Lorraine reporting to two agents played by Toby Jones and John Goodman. The problem is that this immediately takes the tension out of the plot, since we know where the hell she ends up. And secondly, for such a simple-ish idea, this plot is messy and kind of convoluted. I get that a spy movie needs to have twists and turns, but this thinks it’s clever in how it layers twist on twist on twist, but it just comes off as messy and convoluted. So the plot here is quite meh.

The characters here are… okay, I think. You don’t learn a lot about them in the movie, which made me not care too much about any of them. Charlize Theron plays Lorraine Broughton, the eponymous hero. She’s a highly skilled badass that can kick all sorts of ass while also being good at sneaky spy shit. However, you never really get to know her a lot. You get hints of things that have happened in her life, but nothing solid enough to make her compelling. But Theron gives a great performance here and I did enjoy seeing her kick ass. James McAvoy plays David Percvial, one of Broughton’s contacts in Berlin. He’s a bit less serious as a character, but he still gets to kick some ass. He’s charming, but not that deep of a character. McAvoy is great. Eddie Marsan plays a German man called Spyglass in this movie, and he might be the most compelling character in the movie despite not being a main one. That said, he’s not too deep. Marsan is great in the role at least. Toby Jones and John Goodman as the two agents that Broughton tells her story to are fine… they don’t get too much to do. They’re both good in the roles, but they’re not that interesting. Then we get some really solid supporting performances from people like Sofia Boutella, Til Schweiger, Bill Skarsgård, and more.

The score for the movie was composed by Tyler Bates and it was good. It’s heavily electronic/synth-based and definitely fits the late 80s setting, and it’s quite fun to listen to. Then there’s a whole bunch of licensed tracks used throughout and I have mixed feelings about them. I like most of the songs here, my problem with them comes with how some of them are used within the editing of the movie. They often make it sound like the music comes from a source within the scene, whether it’s a speaker or a boombox, but then they cut it out like a regular background soundtrack. And those edits don’t really work that well as they distract quite a bit from the overall experience. But I admit that some are used well enough throughout the movie. Good music.

This movie was directed by David Leitch, one of the two men behind the first “John Wick” movie. And for the most part I think he did a great job. His directing is slick and everything has good energy to it, keeping it from feeling boring. And the cinematography by Jonathan Sela is absolutely stunning, he really make the movie look stylish hand cool. The action scenes here range from pretty good to fucking incredible. They are all a lot of fun to watch as it’s clear how much actual stuntwork is done here, both by stunt people and the actors themselves, which is so great to see in today’s computerized movie environment. Especially during an action scene during the second half of the movie. I won’t say what happens exactly, but it’s fucking amazing.

This movie has gotten some mixed-ish reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 76% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

Weird title and flaws aside, I enjoyed “Atomic Blonde”. It has a meh plot, okay-ish characters, great performances, good music, and great directing/cinematography. A previously mentioned, the plot is very messy as hell, and the characters aren’t great. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Atomic Blonde” is a 7,87/10. While flawed, I’d definitely say that it’s worth renting.

My review of “Atomic Blonde” is now completed.

Cool.