Movie Review: Case 39 (2009)

Can you believe that tomorrow is the final day of the Month of Spooks? Time sure flies when you’re having fun. Oh well, it’s not over yet. We still got some shit to talk about. Some shit indeed.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Case 39”.

Social worker Emily Jenkins (Renée Zellweger) saves a young girl (Jodelle Ferland) from getting killed by her own parents. And after she starts looking out for the girl, she soon starts to realize that there’s more to this situation than meets the eye. And no, that isn’t code for the girl being a Transformer, though that would’ve been fucking rad. No, there’s some… spooky stuff going on. Look, I do admit that there’s some decent ideas throughout, and even one or two moments that I thought were decently clever. But for the most part this is a bland, poorly written, and worst of all, boring story that neither thrills nor chills.

The characters are cliches. They try to give the main character some depth, but they barely reach what they’re grasping for. Renée Zellweger, she tries, god does she try, she tries so much that I’d be willing to call her performance… fine. But she doesn’t get any good material to work with, and I’m not sure about her direction either. Ian McShane isn’t bad in this movie, because it isn’t possible for him to be bad in something… but god damn, he’s drab in this. They somehow made Ian McShane boring. Jodelle Ferland as the kid, she’s okay, even if her direction is a bit… eclectic, at best. Bradley Cooper’s in this, he’s okay. Callum Keith Rennie is fine. Adrian Lester is… fine. Good cast, less than stellar material.

The score by Michl Britsch (great name) isn’t very good. At moments it sound okay actually, but then it takes a turn into somewhat obnoxious. It thinks itself emotional and suspenseful, but just ends up being… not particularly good. I can usually find nice enough things to say about a score, but in this case I am sad to say that I really can’t.

“Case 39” was written by Ray Wright, and directed by Christian Alvart. And I have mixed feelings here (writing is obvious, if you’ve read the previous sections). But in terms of directing, I don’t have one clear opinion. There’s some good camera movements, and you can tell that Alvart isn’t incompetent. But he somehow fails to build suspense, which is, you know, kind of important in a horror movie. What’s worse is that lighting/color correction in this isn’t great, which makes otherwise decent shots come off as a bit.. not great. And any supposedly scary moments, not really that scary.

This movie hasn’t been that well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 21% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 25/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10.

I think it’s clear by now that I thought “Case 39” was quite bad. It has a plot, bad characters, okay performances, not very good music, bad writing, and meh directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Case 39” is a 2,91/10. So yeah… I’d definitely recommend skipping it.

My review of “Case 39” is now completed.

HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO MAKE IAN MCSHANE BORING?

Movie Review: Born to Be Blue (2016)

Jazz. Some like it, some don’t. Me? I like some jazz. so let’s talk about some jazzy stuff.

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… “Born to Be Blue”.

The story here is about jazz musician Chet Baker (Ethan Hawke) as he has fallen from grace due to his drug addiction. And we follow his journey as he tries to find love, redemption, and maybe one day make a comeback. So now we have our musician story. And while the basic setup shows some familiar ideas, ultimately it has a slightly different vibe than most biopics. Most biopics do everything to make the characters and his/her story seem big and romanticized in some way, but this doesn’t do that. It feels smaller and more personal, flaws of the people intact. It’s kind of refreshing to see a biopic plot that isn’t so hagiographic.

What I like about the characters here is that they feel real. They have flaws and layers to them, making them a bit more interesting. Ethan Hawke plays Chet Baker, the troubled musician. He’s a former addict who wants to find love and redemption. He has a lot of determination which is something I respect about him, but they also show that he is far from flawless, making him a bit more believable as a character. And Hawke is fantastic in the role. His performance is less about the big, explosive moments (though he gets one or two in the movie), but more about the subtle nuances in his faical expressions and gestures. Carmen Ejogo plays Jane, an actress that Chet meets and forms a bit of a relationship with. She wants to see Chet do well and get better, but she also wants to do her own things, making her slightly conflicted. And Ejogo is great in the role. Then we have Callum Keith Rennie as Dick, a friend/producer of Chet’s. He wants to see Chet do well, but he can also see that Chet is a troubled man. And he’s decently interesting. And Rennie is really good in the role. Those were the ones worth going more in-depth with, but let it be known that every actor does a good job in this movie.

The score for the movie was composed by David Braid (with some help from Todor Kobakov & Steve London) and I think he did a great job. What we have here is a score that is rooted in jazz (which is fitting since this is about jazz). And I found that the score here often helps to elevate the emotion or overall drama of a scene. So yeah, it’s very well composed and fit the movie perfectly. The few licensed tracks used throughout are also well implemented.

This movie was written and directed by Robert Budreau and I think he did a great job. His directing is pretty chill, complementing the smooth jazz of the movie quite well. And his directing combined with Steve Cosens’ cinematography creates this great mood for the movie that I really liked experiencing. It also looks great, it’s a visually striking movie.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Born to Be Blue” is a damn good biopic. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Toots the trumpet*. My final score for “Born to Be Blue” is a 9,83/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Born to Be Blue” is now completed.

Holy chet, that was good.

Movie Review: Warcraft (2016)

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Before we begin the review itself I just want to say  that I am no fan of the video games that this is based on. So any fanservice in this movie would kind of fly past me and wouldn’t change my judgment of anything. Just wanted to get it out of the way. Now, let’s do this shit.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Warcraft”.

Orcs have gone through a magic portal into the world of Azeroth, because their own world went to shit. The leader of the orcs, Gul’dan (Daniel Wu), will do anything to take over Azeroth. However, one of the other high(ish) ranking orcs named Durotan (Toby Kebbell) thinks that Gul’dan’s ways are wrong, and sort of sides with the humans to try to stop Gul’dan and his evil ways. Now this is some really interesting stuff. The basic idea is really interesting, as it presents both the human side and the orc side of things here. It’s not like “Human good, orc bad”, it’s a lot more grey than that, which is something I really liked about it. However, to be completely honest, the plot isn’t perfect. My main problem here is really the same as my main issue with the first “Harry Potter” movie. It sets up this world, a lot of the mythology existing in it, and the factions/characters, which kind of ruins the pacing a bit. The plot that we get presented is good, but the pacing is not.

The characters here are… okay. I never felt like I truly cared about any of them, except for maybe one of them. And that one was Durotan, the orc we follow for a good amount of the movie. His motivations were good and I did care about him. And Toby Kebbell, with the motion capture and voice acting was great in the role. Travis Fimmel played the main human character, Anduin Lothar, and I think he did a pretty good job. Paula Patton played a half human/half orc character named Garona, and she was good in her role. Ben Schnetzer played a young mage in the movie and he was okay. I felt like he was in the movie a bit too much, not because of his performance, but because there was just something about his character. We also got supporting performances from people like Ben Foster, Rob Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, Dominic Cooper, and Ruth Negga, all of whom did a pretty good job.

The music was composed by Ramin Djawadi and it was pretty damn badass. It was this big and epic orchestral score that worked really well in the movie, elevating a good amount of scenes, making some of them more (in lack of a better word) epic.

This movie was directed by Duncan Jones, a man who not only made two sci-fi movies I love, but who’s also apparently a big fan of the games. So with that knowledge I had hopes that it would be a well directed movie… and I was right. It’s a very well directed movie, the shots look great. Speaking of things looking great, let’s talk about the visual effects. Jesus fucking Christ, the effects here look great. The orcs look very realistic, and they blend very well with the human characters. Which brings me to the action scenes, all being really fun, exciting, and badass. And my guess is that they wouldn’t really have been as good if a different director would have taken it on.

This movie has not been the most well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 28% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 32/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

“Warcraft” is far from a perfect movie, but it’s definitely one of the better video game movies out there. I can see the potential in a film franchise here. It has a good plot, okay characters, pretty good performances, really good music, great directing/action, and great visual effects. However it is bogged down a bit by poor pacing and the fact that I didn’t care too much about msot of the characters. Time for my final score. *rwlrwlrwlrwl*. My final score for “Warcraft” is an 8,55/10. So I’d say that it is worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Warcraft” is now completed.

Weird to see both Jesse (Dominic Cooper) and Tulip (Ruth Negga) from “Preacher” in this movie…