Movie Review: Mimic (1997)

That’s right, more Month of Spooks content. And today it’s from one of my favorite directors. So let’s go!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mimic”.

A few years ago, a special insect was created to eradicate disease-carrying cockroaches. Now, that action is carrying dark, violent consequences. So now we have our horror story. And I am so mixed about it. I can see the strong vision in it, there’s a lot of clever shit going on with it here. But man, there’s something about it, the way it’s put together that just feels off. And I know exactly what that is, which we will get into later. Again, there’s good stuff going on in the background, but the way it’s cut together… it doesn’t really work.

The characters in this, like the story, have some decent ideas to them, but end up suffering due to how this is cut. You have a stellar cast consisting of people like Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Josh Brolin, and Charles S. Dutton… but I didn’t really care so much about their characters on a level other than “Oh hey, that’s an actor I like!”. I can see the foundations for the characters peeking through, and it’s not bad… but again, the final execution fucks with this a bit. So I guess I’ll just say, the performances are very good, but the characters unfortunately suffer.

The score for “Mimic” was composed by Marco Beltrami, and it’s alright. Sometimes it can be slightly overbearing in how it tries be loud and startling. And at other times it’s this low-key and haunting score that adds a very welcome amount of emotional weight to proceedings.

Based on a short story by Donald Wollheim, the movie was written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins, directed by del Toro… and cut to shit by the Weinstein brothers (I told you I’d get around to explaining). Some of del Toro’s vision does shine through at times, which in combination with Dan Laustsen’s cinematography can make for some stunning shots and moments. But if you do a bit of sleuthing on the production of this movie, you’ll find out that there were frequent clashes between del Toro and the producing brothers. While del Toro got to shoot the movie he wanted, thanks to interventions form Mira Sorvino, he had no control of the final cut, which was in the hands of the dumbnamic duo, which is why it feels so weirdly chopped up at times, why it doesn’t quite reach that strong vision that can be spotted in certain moments. Which is a shame, because the little quality that can be gleaned… it’s strong. Fucked over, but strong.

On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 61% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 55/10. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,9/10.

I don’t wanna say negative stuff about movies, especially not ones with one of my favorite directors attached to them… but the producers butchered it too much to give a positive review. It has an okay-ish plot, not great characters, really good performances, pretty good music, and really solid directing/cinematography. However, it all gets undone by a poor final cut. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mimic” (the theatrical cut) is a 4,87/10. Saddens me to say that I’d recommend skipping it.

My review of “Mimic” (the theatrical cut) is now completed.

Apparently there’s a director’s cut that del Toro released a few years back. Might need to get around to that some day.

Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Keanu fucking Reeves. Started out promisingly in comedies, dramas, and various action flicks. Then around 2008 he kind of dropped off the mainstream map after a few… less than critically well received movies. Then in 2014 he starred in “John Wick”, which gave his career the adrenaline boost it needed. And now he seems to be back on top. And I say, good for him. So let’s talk about his latest flick. Oh, and spoilers for the end of “John Wick: Chapter 2”, because that ties into this… sorry.

Ladies and gentlemen… “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum”.

After killing a member of the High Table, the ever tenacious John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is rendered excommunicado, with a 14 million dollar bounty on his head, and must fight for survival as he encounters trouble at every corner. So now we have our constantly moving action story. From a storytelling perspective, these movies aren’t what you’d call “high art”. But I don’t need that. It’s just our hero being relentlessly pursued in an interesting, very comic book-esque world. And that makes for a fun bit of garnish in-between all the shooty-bang-bangs and fisticuffs. The story is present enough that it adds something to the experience, but not so up its own ass that it distracts from everything else. It’s fun.

The characters in this are colorful and pretty interesting. Just like I mentioned with the plot, they feel very much like they’re ripped right out of a comic book. Keanu Reeves of course returns as title character John Wick. A man who lost everything, then is given a new chance, and then shit hits the fan again. He’s endured a lot, and I find him to be a strong and engaging action protagonist that I care about a fair bit. He even gets some decent development here too. And Reeves is really good in the role. And the supporting cast, which includes people like Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, Asia Kate Dillon, and many more, is pretty fucking good.

As with the previous two movies, the score for “Parabellum” was composed by Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard. And like the previous two movies, this score is awesome. It once again takes the approach of mixing very electronic stuff with some sick rock beats and occasional guitar screeching to make a sound that is distinctly “John Wick”. And it’s just as tense, exciting, badass, and pleasing to my ears as the last two times.

Chad Stahelski returned to direct this third entry in the franchise he helped create. And dude’s direction just gets better with each iteration. A clear focus, wonderful long takes, and a great sense of energy. The cinematography by Dan Laustsen is absolutely breathtaking, with some beautiful use of colors. And let’s talk about the thing we all watch these movies for: The action. Fuck me, it is amazing. It’s real, it’s visceral, it’s fun, it’s violent, it’s clear… it just comes together beautifully. You can see everything that happens, which also let’s you see just how much work has gone into the fucking choreography. There are also some rather creative kills throughout the movie too, and they add even more to it. It’s very well crafted, this movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 73/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10.

“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is one of the most impressive action movies of this decade, and I absolutely loved it. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/cinematography/action. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is now completed.

You’d think the people constantly coming after John would take a hint that you don’t fuck with the Baba Yaga.

Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Before we get into the review itself, I have to go into a small rant. After the surprising awesomeness that was “John Wick”, I of course got excited as all hell for the sequel, it was one of my most anticipated movies of 2017. And for the longest time it looked like I would get to see it in the cinema. Then something happened. They took it away from the cinema’s webpage, and they wouldn’t air it. Why? Because the first one “Didn’t make enough money”. What a load of fucking horseshit. Why take away an opportunity to make money, you dumb fucks. Then they chose to show it in theaters… but not in my nearest, which again is fucking horseshit. I was fucking furious when I found out about this shit, and I still kind of am. “Didn’t make enough money”… what kind of fucking numbers were you looking for, you dumb fucks? Not every movie makes as much as fucking “Avengers”. Fuckers. Sorry about that, guys, had to get that shit off my chest before I did anything else. Sometimes assholes need verbal spankings. Now, onto the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “John Wick: Chapter 2”.

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) has to once again come out of retirement, but this time it’s to pay off a debt. And soon he finds himself going on a very dangerous path. And while the plot to “John Wick: Chapter 2” lacks the emotional core of the first movie, it makes up for it by further exploring this assassin underground that was hinted towards in the first movie. And while this plot isn’t exactly award worthy, it still works perfectly for this movie and I never found myself disliking it. I enjoy seeing this underworld, I want to know more about it, and I wanna see John Wick try to survive in this world. So yeah, this is a good plot.

The characters here range from “yeah, that one is pretty interesting” to “meh”. I didn’t exactly think any of them felt out of place, but almost none of them truly interested me. Keanu “Whoa” Reeves returns as John Wick, the semi-retired hitman with a mysterious past. While not the deepest of heroes, you can still relate to him on some level due to the tragic parts that we know of his past. And he’s a gentlemanly badass that will fucking destroy you if you get in his way. And Keanu Reeves is great in the role. Riccardo Scamarcio plays Santino D’Antonio, the antagonist of the movie. He’s a bit a cowardly asshole. And while not the best villain in the world, he works fine for this movie I guess. And Scamarcio gives a good performance. Ian McShane returns as Winston, the owner of the hotel from the first (and this) movie. Here he gets a somewhat meatier role, and in it he is quite entertaining (because that’s how McShane works). And McShane is great in the role. Common plays Cassian a bodyguard/hitman that John seems to have a bit of a past with. He’s cool, charming, and badass. And Common is great in the role. And the role is filled with even more great supporting roles from people like Ruby Rose, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, Peter Stormare, John Leguizamo, and more. It’s a well acted movie.

The score was composed by Tyler Bates & Joel J. Richard and it’s just awesome. Guitars, heavy beats, some droning stuff… it’s really all just perfect. At times it almost even reminds me of a western, with some guitar licks that could fit right in those types of movies. And all the music in this complements the movie perfectly, often elevating certain scenes. There even are a couple of tracks done by other artists for the movie that work well in their scenes.

This movie was directed by Chad Stahelski, one of the two who did the first movie. And his directing here is just fucking magnificent. There’s a lot of energy to his directing, which gives the movie and fast and frantic feel, which I think is how John Wick felt in those action scenes. Speaking of which, holy fuck the action here is amazing. No shaky-cam, no CGI, no quick cuts… just excellent work from the stunt team and everyone involved with the action. From vehicles, to fisticuffs, the shooty-bang-bangs, to knives… the action here is absolutely amazing. What this movie somewhat lacks in story and characters, it makes up for in action. Can we also talk about Dan Laustsen’s cinematography? Because it’s stunning. The use of light, darkness, and colors here is magnificent and makes for some amazing eye candy.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 75/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“John Wick: Chapter 2” is a pretty damn awesome action-thriller. It has a good plot, pretty good characters, great performances, great music, and fantastic directing/action/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Whoa*. My final score for “John Wick: Chapter 2” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “John Wick: Chapter 2” is completed.

The amount of “OUCH” in this movie is crazy.