Movie Review: There Will Be Blood (2007)

Whenever I find myself watching a critically acclaimed movie, I get a bit nervous. Because of the acclaim and the hype around it, I get scared that I might be the one asshole that doesn’t like it. I mean, everyone has opinions and we should respect that, sure. But I like liking things. And if I don’t like the thing that I hope to like, it’s both disappointing and disheartening. This movie was one of those hyped up movies… so what did I think? Well, let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen, might wanna call a medic, because… “There Will Be Blood”.

Set during the early 20th century, the story follows prospector Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he deals with trying to drill up oil, raise his son (Dillon Freasier), and try to handle his less than friendly relationship with a local preacher (Paul Dano). It’s a movie about family and legacy and greed and what this kind of rough life does to a man. And damn, this plot was electrifying. I mean, it’s a slow burn, but I was never bored throughout any of it. They weave a narrative that is complex and layered, but still very easy to comprehend. Great stuff.

The characters in this are flawed, layered, nuanced, and very interesting. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Daniel Plainview, the prospector with the oil and the son and the troubles, oh my. While he at first can seem like a very calm, polite, and reasonable man, we get to see throughout that there are some darker sides too him, especially after certain things happen to him. And Day-Lewis is absolutely amazing in the role. Paul Dano plays Eli, a preacher that Plainview strikes up a bit of a friendship with, even if it’s not always portrayed as the friendliest of friendships. Eli is also one of those who kind of sees himself in a somewhat high regard, as the emissary of god, which is quite an interesting contrast to Plainview. And Dano is great in the role. We also of course get supporting work from people like Dillon Freasier, Ciarán Hinds, David Willis, Kevin J. O’Connor, David Warshofsky, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Jonny Greenwood, and it was really good. It takes a lot of cues from old school scores in the way it builds grandeur and emotion, which works incredibly well for the movie’s pretty unique tone. It also just sounds great, with plenty of strings leading the charge. Good stuff.

Based on a novel by Upton Sinclair, “There Will Be Blood” was written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, and I think he did a great job. The direction had a way of keeping me on edge the entire time, even when there wasn’t anything really suspenseful going on. Damn fine direction. And the cinematography by Robert Elswit is pretty damn good too.

This movie (as you probably got from the intro) has been incredibly well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 91% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 93/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,2/10 and is ranked #158 on the “Top 250” list. The movie won 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Actor (Day-Lewis) and Best Cinematography. It also got an additional 6 nominations in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction, and Best Sound Editing.

I am so glad to say that I agree with the hype for “There Will Be Blood”. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, and great writing/directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *AHEM*. My final score for “There Will Be Blood” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “There Will Be Blood” is now completed.

All of a sudden I want a milkshake.

Movie Review: Justice League (2017)

Cinematic universes. Something every studio is trying to pull off after Marvel’s success with it. Most notably we’ve had DC/Warner Bros trying to catch up with their own DC Extended Universe. And it’s been a bit hit and miss for critics and general audiences alike. So let’s see if their big team-up movie is any good.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Justice League”.

When our world is threatened by the evil alien Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) have to create a team of superpowered individuals to try to stop this dangerous new enemy. And that’s really all this is about. Okay, there’s a bit more to it, but I prefer to keep plot details relatively vague. Now is this a good plot? For the most part I’d say so. It’s a very straight-forward plot compared to some of the earlier outings in this franchise. I think my only problem with it is that it feels a bit choppy during the first act, like it’s been cut down to fit in a two hour runtime (which it most likely has). But that choppy start aside, this is a fun, fast-paced, and highly enjoyable comic book adventure plot.

The characters in this vary a bit in their depth, but I found most of them to at least be quite enjoyable. Ben Affleck reprises his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and we can tell that he has changed a bit since “BvS”. After what happened at the end of that movie, he has become a somewhat more light-hearted, less homicidal hero. And I liked seeing him as he worked to getting the team together to stop the end of the world. And Affleck is once again great in the role. Next we once again have Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. She’s once again a fiercely inspiring, fun, and warm character that I’d follow to hell and back. Seeing her working to get the team together and all that is really interesting, and she’s once again a really cool character. And Gadot is once again great in the role. Next up we have Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash. He gets some decent character development, but for the most part he’s there to be the comic relief, and he works really well for that while still getting some badass moments. And I thought Miller was great in the role. Next we have Ray Fisher as Cyborg, the genius, yet damaged mechanical member of the gang. He gets a decent amount of character development here and I thought he was a really cool character. And Fisher was really good in the role. Next we have Jason Momoa as Aquaman, the half man/half Atlantean warrior. He is very much a superpowered version of Jason Momoa, and I think it kind of works because I find that persona quite enjoyable. So yeah, Momoa was really good in the role. Henry Cavill returns as Superman, and the little we see of him here is my favorite appearance of the character in this franchise. And Cavill was really good in the role. Now, let’s talk Steppenwolf (no, not the band). As a villain he’s… fine, I guess. He’s a big CGI monster with some lines hinting at some deeper stuff, but ultimately ends up becoming kind of generic. Thought Ciarán Hinds did a really good job voicing him though, suitably menacing. We also get supporting performances from people like Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Billy Crudup, Connie Nielsen, J.K. Simmons, Amber Heard, Joe Morton, and more… all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Danny Elfman, and it was pretty good. Nothing special, heroic big brass tunes with some strings thrown in for added effect. It’s far from bad, and the various tracks work well within their respective scenes. And for those wondering about that “Danny Elfman to use Batman and Superman themes in the score”, it does occur, but it’s more snuck in rather than just overtly used as their own tracks… and I think it works surprisingly well.

The movie was directed by Zack Snyder… and Joss Whedon. As most people probably know, this movie had a very troubled production, with Snyder having to leave the project due to a personal tragedy, so Joss Whedon had to come in and do some reshoots. These things considered, the direction here is quite consistent. When a new director comes in to do reshoots, it could feel like a different movie in parts, but it’s remarkable how consistent it feels here. So is the direction in general any good? Yeah. It’s good, it flows pretty nicely, there’s some good shots here. And the action I quite liked. Now, it didn’t leave the same impact as the action in “Wonder Woman”, but it was easy to follow and I had quite a lot of fun with it. What I liked most about it was seeing the various heroes show off their abilities, with The Flash and his speedforce being the standout. And the visual effects here are for the most part damn good. Some things look a little off at times, from some backgrounds, to closeups of Steppenwolf (BORN TO BE WIIIIIILD!), to even Cyborg at times. But like I said, for the most part the effects look great (again, The Flash having some of the best ones).

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 40% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 45/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

Despite a few flaws (that probably stem from production issues), I had a lot of fun with “Justice League”. It has a good plot, good characters, good music, and good directing/action/visual effects/humor. As previously mentioned, the plot is a bit choppy at the start, the villain is a bit bland, and the effects could be less than stellar at times. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Justice League” is an 8,52/10. So while flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Justice League” is now completed.

Come Together…

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

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Guys, we are finally here… the final part in my series of reviews leading up to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. I have had so much fun with this series of reviews, especially since it gave me an excuse to rewatch all of the movie in this series I grew up with. And I thank anyone who has given each review a like and/or a comment, I really appreciate it. So… let’s get into it!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”!!! *sniffles*.

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) are at the final stretch. Only a few horcruxes left to defeat Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) who now possesses the almighty elder wand. And from that we get the final chapter in this huge saga. But it’s not just a big and epic war, there is still a good amount of substance to it. The plot presented to us is very fast-paced but still manages to give us some very solid drama. We even get to learn more on the backstory on a few of the characters and it really helps to give this world we all love even more depth and emotion. So it’s a very solid plot we have here.

The character are as great as they will ever become in this movie. Harry has now fully matured and become the hero and leader needed for the battle. And Radcliffe is as amazing as ever… not much else to say there. Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, they were great in their roles again. Ralph Fiennes, he was great. Alan Rickman (rest in peace you awesome man) got some more space as Snape in this movie and he was absolutely fantastic. Warwick Davis got to play double roles in this movie and he was great in both. For those wondering, he played both Griphook and Professor Flitwick. Matthew Lewis got some good screen time and further got to evolve Neville. We also saw the return of the great John Hurt as Ollivander. Firstly, good to see you again sir. What’s it been? 8 movies? Jokes aside, he was really good. I’d say that every returning actor ranged from really good to great in this movie. So let’s talk about the few new additions to the cast that this movie got. Firstly we get Ciarán Hinds as Aberforth, someone with deep ties to a certain someone in the “HP” universe. Not gonna mention who because there are people who haven’t seen this yet (grrr), so I just want them to experience it. And I just wanna mention also that I didn’t recognize Hinds as this character. I seriously had to look up who played him. But I can safely say that his performance is good. The second one I want to mention is a character played by Kelly Macdonald that shows up pretty briefly. She’s important in the end and her performance was really good. All actors were really good… MOVING ON!

The music (like in the previous part) was composed by Alexandre Desplat and it’s fucking fantastic. Some of the pieces in the score really are something special. And all hte tracks in the movie perfectly fit the scenes and really helped add something to it all. And of course it was amazing hearing some of the classic themes throughout… fucking nostalgic, I tell ya.

David Yates of course directed this movie, he had no reason not to. I mean, if he did Part 1 he had to do Part 2. But enough of the jokey stuff. Was his directing good in this movie? You can bet your ass it was! It’s just as great as in the previous movie. His directing is tense and dramatic. And the cinematography by Eduardo Serra is beautiful. And the visual effects are absolutely stunning. All of these of course make for some absolutely fantastic action scenes. Let me also say that this movie made me cry. Two and a half times. Half as in one time wasn’t a full cry, only like a single tear. But yeah, this shit made me sad. *sniffles*.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% (100% if you go by “top critics” only) positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 87/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #223 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 3 Oscars in the categories of Best makeup, best visual effects, and Best art direction.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is the perfect way to end this magnificent franchise. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, great cinematography, and amazing visual effects. Time for my final score. Shut up, I’m not crying. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is now completed.

This is it, the very end. And since it’s such a special occasion, I want to do something I never really do. I am asking you all a favor. Share this around social media. Friends, family, followers, pets… doesn’t matter. Just share it, let’s make a big fuckin’ deal out of this! Thank you.

Movie Review: Munich (2005)

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Politics is something that I kind of follow but at the same time have a deep hate for because of it’s unnecessary complexity and tendency to start terrible conflicts. That is why I am worried that the world will plunge into the darkness faster than we can sing “We Will Rock You”.

Ladies and gentlmen… “Munich”.

In 1972, several olympic athletes were kidnapped and killed by a group of terrorists known as Black September. This led to the creation of a special task force which was led by a man named Avner Kaufman (Eric Bana). The mission of this task force was to locate the people responsible for the terrible massacre in Munich, Germany and then kill them. And we get to follow this task force on their mission which takes them all across Europe. And it was quite the ride, I tell ya. What we have here is a plot that is set over a good amount of months yet never feels like it’s dragging or rushing or anything, but instead it manages to pace itself in a perfect way that allows for both the suspenseful scenes where they need to take someone out and for the character-buidling moments. It’s a very dramatic movie with a good amount of suspense and excellent drama… kind of like “Saving Private Ryan” which just like this movie was directed by Steven Spielberg. This is also a movie that manages to be very politically even-handed, never pointing any fingers at who is the guilty country here, but rather focus those things at the individuals involved. There is no side taken here, everything’s up for the viewer to decide which side they wanna stand with while they watch the task force do their thing. And I absolutely loved every second of it.

The characters in this movie all feel very real and I think that might be because of the actors. The actors chosen for this movie weren’t really major Hollywood stars when this came out, rather they were good, natural actors… kind of like when they cast “Jurassic Park” back in the day. Eric Bana plays our main character Avner and he was absolutely great in the movie, worthy of an Oscar nomination in my opinion. Daniel Craig was also really good. Everyone in the movie was good, simple as that.

The score for the movie was provided by the one and only John Williams (why am I not surprised?). And once again, he fucking nailed it. Sure, it isn’t as memorable as some of his other scores he has composed throughout his very long career, but it was still really great. Basic explanation: It’s great, but I’m not really gonna remember it as much as the score for “Jurassic Park” or “Star Wars”.

Like I previously stated, this movie was directed by Steven Spielberg and with that said, I think you can figure out what I’m gonna say about the directing of this movie. But for the sake of redundancy, I’m still gonna say it. This movie is very well directed… but what else should one expect from Steven Spielberg? And as with a lot of his movies, he brought in Janusz Kaminski to do the cinematography for the movie and as per usual, it looks absolutely fantastic. And the action scenes in the movie are pretty well made. They don’t aim to be giant action spectacles that’ll entertain you for a few minutes, but instead they aim to be part of this surprisingly action-packed and suspenseful story. I do have to warn however for squeamish people that this is a violent and uncompromising movie that doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to what it shows. So if you don’t like realistic violence and lots of blood… maybe skip it.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie also nominated for 5 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. 

“Munich” is a Steven Spielberg movie that doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves. And I find that weird because it has a great story with a lot of suspense & human drama, great acting/characters, great music, great directing and great cinematography. Time for my final score. *AAAAHHHH*. My final score for “Munich” is a 9,89/10. It definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” is now completed.

Bana Banana