Movie Review: Ad Astra (2019)

Space, the final frontie- Hold on, this isn’t “Star Trek”. This is something else… so let’s talk about it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ad Astra”.

Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) must go on a potentially dangerous mission across the stars to try to uncover the truth behind what happened to his space-traveling father many years ago. And before you get too many assumptions, I have to tell you that this isn’t really that kind of space adventure. Don’t expect “Star Wars”. This is a slowly burning character study that will test the patience of some viewers. That’s not to say that there aren’t exciting bits in this movie, there are. But the more action-packed stuff is less of a priority here, making way for the slow burn drama. And I found it quite engaging. It’s not my favorite space drama, that crown still goes to “Moon”, but I still thought the plot of “Ad Astra” was very good.

There’s really only one character worth talking about here, and that is Roy McBride, played by Brad Pitt. He’s shut off his emotional as a response of something that happened in his past. Which makes him a very reserved individual, not letting a lot of people in. And he goes through quite an interesting arc in this movie, making him quite a nuanced character. And Pitt is fantastic in the role. Yes, it’s a very subdued performance, but you can read so much just from eyes. And there are some damn solid supporting players here too.

The score for the movie was composed by Max Richter, and my god, it was fantastic. It often has a very dreamlike quality that perfectly complements Roy’s personal solitude, in combination with the desolation that we call space. Synths, strings, some piano, these are just some of the elements that get blended quite wonderfully to create the mesmerizing score.

“Ad Astra” was written by James Gray and Ethan Gross, with Gray handling direction. Gray’s direction manages to be both sweeping and intimate, really giving us some impressive vistas in combination with the tightness to Pitt’s McBride. His direction manages to generate a decent bit of emotion, making me care. Then it also builds some pretty good suspense in parts. And let’s talk about Hoyte van Hoytema’s cinematography, which is some of the most stunning I have ever seen, taking my breath away at many points. Seriously, the craft in this movie is meticulous.

This movie just came out, so scores may change. But so far it has been quite well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 80/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“Ad Astra” isn’t for everyone… but I thought it was great. It has a really good plot, a really good central character, great performances, fantastic music, and great writing/directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *AHEM*. My final score for “Ad Astra” is a 9,62/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Ad Astra” is now completed.

Ad Astra is about Brad Astra seeking his Dad Astra. The movie’s not Bad Astra, in fact it’s quite Rad Astra, which makes me very Glad Astra. 

Movie Review: The Mechanic (2011)

I love Jason Statham, you love Jason Statham, everybody loves Jason Statham. And if anyone says that he/she doesn’t like it, then he/she is either lying or has no soul. Dude’s awesome.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Mechanic”.

Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is a mechanic. No, he doesn’t fix cars, he kills people for a living. Not sure why they couldn’t just call it a hitman, but that is a discussion for a different day. Anyhow, one day he is approached by a young man (Ben Foster) who wants to to what Bishop does. So Bishop takes this young man under his wing, teaching him the ways of the mechanic hitman. So now we have our plot. And is it any good? I wouldn’t call it bad, just really messy. My main problem with it is that it switches tones all over the place, making it feel very inconsistent. In one scene we have our fun Statham action-thriller, and in the next it has a more somber tone, and this tonal shift happens several times throughout the movie, making it feel very messy. The initial setup in the plot is actually quite interesting, and it does take a few interesting turns at times. So overall it is… fine, just really messy.

The characters in this range from interesting to meh. Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop is exactly how you’d imagine him, stoic and serious, but that is also what Statham does best, and he’s really good in the role. Ben Foster as Statham’s protégé, Steve, isn’t let loose as much as he usually is in movies. I’m not holding it against the movie, just saying it. His character is actually kind of interesting for reasons I will not get into here, but let’s just say that he has some okay motivation behind him. And Foster is really good in the role. Tony Goldwyn pops up a couple times in the movie as what I’d call Statham’s employer, and he’s good in the role… bland character, fine performance. Donald Sutherland shows up briefly too, and he’s good… he’s always good. So yeah, overall it’s a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Mark Isham and I think he did a good job with it. Sure, there’s nothing particularly original or memorable with what he composed, but it is overall well composed and it worked for the movie quite well. There are also a couple of licensed tracks used in throughout and they’re used pretty well.

This movie was directed by Simon West, a man who I know for two things: Dumb action and… no, wait, that’s about it. And I think he did a pretty good job here. His directing for the most part flows fine and and overall looks pretty good. In some of the action scenes there is a bit of shaky-cam, but not enough to completely ruin it for me. But for the most part the action works and is pretty enjoyable. And while not a major problem, I still have to mention that the blood effects at times looked really bad. It wasn’t often that I spotted it, but when I did… yikes.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 52% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 49/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

“The Mechanic” isn’t great, but it isn’t bad either. It has an okay plot, okay characters, really good performances, pretty good music, and good directing. However, it is of course brought down by the messy plot, lack of interesting characters, and occasional shaky-cam. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Mechanic” is a 7,34/10. While flawed as hell, I’d still say that it’s worth renting.

My review of “The Mechanic” is now completed.

Well, at least we now know that Ben Foster can rock a flat cap…

Movie Review: Horrible Bosses (2011)

The life of the worker has it’s ups and downs. On the one hand, you get money and you have something to do. But on the other hand, getting up in the morning to go to a job you might hate to begrudgingly kiss the ass of a horrible boss… yeah, that’s life.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Horrible Bosses”.

Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day), and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) are three friends who have something in common: Their respective bosses are fucking horrible. So during one night at the bar they come up with the plan to kill each other’s bosses. And that’s pretty much the plot of the movie. And it’s quite enjoyable. It’s fun seeing these guys going through this journey to do something that a lot of people have thought about doing. It’s really just a simple and fun crime-comedy plot that doesn’t do anything groundbreaking or fantastic, but it is quite enjoyable and I had fun.

The characters in this are interesting and entertaining. Jason Bateman in this plays pretty much the straight man in all of this craziness, basically the character you’d expec Jason Bateman to play. But he does give a good performance and he is pretty funny. Charlie Day in this plays a really dim-witted guy, and he’s quite good at it… funny too. Jason Sudeikis plays the guy who is kind of the middle ground between Bateman and Day, he’s kind of the straight man, but also kind of an idiot. And he was good in the role, he was funny. Kevin Spacey in this plays Bateman’s boss, a total psychopath asshole, and he is great in the role. Jennifer Aniston plays Day’s boss, a woman that is constantly sexually harassing him, and she was really good in the role. Then we have Colin Farrell who plays Sudeikis’ boss, a sleazy cunt of a man… and he was great in the role. We also get a quick cameo performance from Jamie Foxx as a criminal named Motherfucker Jones (best name ever), and he was really good in the role. Overall it’s a well acted movie filled with plenty of talented people.

The score for the movie was composed by Christopher Lennertz and it was really good. It was pretty much a mix of various genres to create something unique that fit the movie, mixing stuff from rock, jazz, hip hop, and crime movies (if that makes sense), and it all sound great, fitting the movie very well. There were also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout that fit very well. So yeah, this movie has some really good music.

This movie was directed by Seth Gordon and I think he did a good job. While not visually unique in any way, it still looks fine and is directed with a good amount of energy to make sure it never feels dull or boring. And since this is a comedy, we should talk about… the comedy. So how is it? It’s funny. Admittedly, not all jokes land, and the ones that do aren’t really gut-bustingly hilarious. But I did laugh at a good amount of the jokes here, even if it wasn’t a “LOL” moment at any point.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 68% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 57/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Horrible Bosses” is a fun crime-comedy. It has a good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, good directing, and really fun comedy. My only flaws come from the plot just being kind of there, never being as great as it could be (not judging it dramatically, just saying that it could’ve been a bit better). Also, while I did laugh, I never thought the jokes were hilarious (with some not even landing). Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Horrible Bosses” is an 8,78/10. While flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Horrible Bosses” is now completed.

“Motherfucker Jones”… still cracks me up.

Movie Review: M*A*S*H (1970)

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War is hell, simple as that.

Ladies and gentlemen… “M*A*S*H”.

In this movie we follow the staff of a field hospital during the Korean war. And with that we get to see how they all handle these tough times by taking part in a bunch of different types of hijinks. But this movie isn’t just used as a way to simply bring laughs out of the audience, but it was also made to comment on the insnaities that we call war and death. And I have to say that it was done surprisingly well. And by surprisingly well I mean that they fucking nailed it and it is perfect satire of it by doing a perfect blend of serious realism and dark humor. And I would say that the plot here is at the perfect balance of comedic and brilliant.

The characters are all unique, interesting and entertaining as hell. What was fun about them too is that they were for the most part played by (at the time) relatively unknown actors who later went on to become pretty big names. Let me mention some of the names and see if it rings and bells in your heads. Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Robert Duvall, Fred Williamson. Yeah… those were pretty small(ish) names once upon a time. And they were all great in this movie. They all fit their respective characters perfectly and gave us some great performances.

The score for the movie was provided by Johnny Mandel and it is preatty great. It’s fun, big, whimsical and at times pretty dramatic. It is based in your typical orchestrations but it all comds together pretty damn well. And I feel like I have to touch upon the original song that spawned form this movie which honestly is one of the best songs I have ever listened to. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s called “Suicide is Painless” and was written by Mike Altman, the son of the film’s director, Robert Altman. And the lyrics are both kind of, sort of funny but also pretty deep and thought provoking and helps make this song as great as it is.

Like I just said, the movie was directed by Robert Altman who at the time of making the movie was a bit of a maverick in the movie making scene, and when making “M*A*S*H” it was no different. He did a lot of shit when making the movie that would’ve pissed off studio people if they actually had any idea what he was doing. I don’t feel like explaining what he did but I will say that it can be found out on one of the special features on the DVD. But everything he did was worth it because it is a very well directed movie that looks really good and flows perfectly even though it really doesn’t have a story that you follow straight up from point A to point B, but instead just relying on a seemingly unconnected series of events featuring these amazing characters. It’s also interesting how they never really followed the script that they had been given. They just kind of improvised for the most part and it turned out pretty great… funny how that can happen.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay. It was also nominated for an additional 4 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Sarah Kellerman), Best Director and Best Film Editing. 

“M*A*S*H” is a classic movie featuring a loosely connected yet well crafted and satirical plot, great acting, great music and great directing. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “M*A*S*H” is a 9,87/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “M*A*S*H” is now done.

THIS ISN’T A HOSPITAL… IT’S AN INSANE ASYLUM!

Movie Review: Hunger Games Catching Fire (2013)

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I honestly expected myself to ignore these movies. I really did. But then my mom wanted to see it and I thought “Fuck it, I’ll do it”. So I did. I thought the first one was…okay. Then one day my mom came home with the DVD for Catching Fire and thought we could watch that some day. And that day came. So what did I think of it?
Well read my review to know.

Ladies and dudes…Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

The story is set one year after the first movie. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) won by being really fucking clever. And they are about to go on their victory tour. But in the background, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the new guy Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman, R.I.P) plan on the Quarter quell where previous winners of the games will be chosen to compete in the Games and then murder each other in horribly brutal fashions. While at the same time a revolution is starting among the districts. More I’m not gonna say because that would be spoilers. But I can say that my personal favorite character Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) is making his glorious return! The story is honestly only good (at least for me) during the parts including everything with the revolution/rebellion. But the romance parts I have no fucking care for what-so-fucking-ever.

The characters are the same as in the first movie. But with a few additions. The only additions I really care for are the ones of Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) mainly because they are awesome in different ways.

The music in this movie are the typical orchestrations that you usually hear in action/adventure movies of this style. So it is…better than okay but so stereotypical for this type of thing that it is difficult calling it good. Even though it is.

One thing I want to mention is the fact that the unnecessary shaky-cam that they used every fucking second in the previous movie is gone. THANK FUCKING CHRIST. Just wanted to mention that…thank you.

The reception this movie got was what you would expect…pretty much every teen who saw this loved it. While adults with a sense of a decent movie were skeptical but still liked it. Roger Ebert unfortunately couldn’t say anything about this because he sadly passed away a few months prior to the release of the movie. 

This movie got a lot of things going for it like action and some good acting. Mainly from Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson and Philip Seymour Hoffman. But everything else are clichés and stuff we have seen/heard a bunch of times. So my score for this movie will be 7.56/10. So I am not sure if you should buy or stream. Eh, what the hell…buy at your own risk. 

This was my odd-ass review of Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Hasta luego.