Series Review: Chernobyl (2019)

Usually I make some kind of cute remarks in these intros that relate to the thing I’m reviewing. But in this case I just can’t. There’s nothing clever I can say. So I guess we should just get into the review itself.

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… “Chernobyl”.

The Chernobyl power plant, Ukraine, April 1986. It’s in the middle of the night. The people working the plant notice something going awry. The core has exploded. So we follow in the aftermath of that, showing how it affects the people either working the plant or trying to stop it from getting worse. We also get to see how scientist Valery Legasov (Jared Harris) tries to figure out ways to fix it, while dealing with all the red tape of the Soviet government. So now we have our historical drama. And man, this is a fucking masterclass in storytelling. Sure, it doesn’t give you any major twists or turns, but it instead takes the relatively straightforward events and tells them in a very nuanced, respectful, and anxiety-inducing way. There isn’t a scene in this show that didn’t have me on the edge of my seat. It may not technically be listed as horror, but it sure as hell felt like it at times.

The characters in this all feel layered, flawed, nuanced, realistic, and overall very interesting. Jared Harris plays Valery Legasov, the scientist put in charge of trying to fix the whole conundrum of the Chernobyl explosion. He’s one of those people who tries to make sense of everything, but also gets frustrated when people won’t listen to him. And it’s interesting to see him go through the various issues he has to deal with in the series. And Harris is fantastic in the role. We also get performances from people like Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson, Jessie Buckley, Barry Keoghan, Con O’Neill, Paul Ritter, David Dencik, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for “Chernobyl” was composed by Hildur Guðnadóttir, and it was fantastic. It’s dark, it’s eerie, it’s emotional, it’s anxiety-inducing… it’s exactly the kind of score that is befitting of the storytelling. So yeah, it fits quite well.

Based on the horrifying nuclear disaster in 1986, the show was created and written by Craig Mazin, with Johan Renck directing. And the craft behind this is stellar. The direction is always eerie, never letting up any of the suspense. It’s claustrophobic, but also intimate with its characters, really bringing you into their personal struggles. And the cinematography by Jakob Ihre is quite eerie too.

This show has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 83/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,7/10 and is ranked #1 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

“Chernobyl” isn’t a fun show… but it is quite fantastic. It has a great plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, great music, and great writing/directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Chernobyl” is a 9,94/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Chernobyl” is now completed.

You know what’s interesting? The guy who wrote this show also wrote the “Hangover” sequels and some of the later “Scary Movie” entries.

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Movie Review: Everest (2015)

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I like being outdoors and hiking… but I don’t like heights. So with that said, you will never see me go mountain climbing.

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, let’s climb to the top of… “Everest”.

Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) is a man who runs a business of leading expeditions up to the top of Mount Everest. So far it has gone pretty well with his previous expeditions. But when he in 1996 takes a group of people up there, the expedition goes awry because of a storm which results in some pretty terrible things. And from that we get a really interesting drama about people trying to not die. Now I don’t want you to go into this thinking that it’s gonna be a survival flick like “The Grey” where they have to use everything they can find to survive. This is not really as action-packed, but instead focuses on the drama of the climb up and then the climb down. But we don’t only follow Rob and his crew up on the mountain, as we also get to follow the team at base camp led by Helen Wilton (Emily Watson). And like I said, this is a really interesting story with a few decent moments of suspense and emotion. Though there are a few pacing issues occasionally, with a few bits where it rushes a little bit. While not the worst pacing that I’ve ever experienced, it was still noticeable and definitely worth pointing out.

The characters in the movie are for the most part pretty well developed. Sure, a few of them are not the most interesting, and that is a little sad since the movie made such a big deal of them being part of it all. Jason Clarke is terrific in the role of Rob Hall, he is such a likable man who just wants everyone to make and also make sure that everyone has a good time. And he did a great job with his performance. Josh Brolin is great in his role. John Hawkes is great as his character. Jake Gyllenhaal is terrific in his role. Michael Kelly is also really good, as is Emily Watson. Then I also have to mention Sam Worthington. I am generally not a big fan of him in movies, but I think he did a really good job in his role in this movie even if it is a relatively small one. And then there are a whole bunch of other great actors in the movie that I will not mention because I don’t want to be hear all day.

The score for the movie was composed by Dario Marianelli and I think that it is really good. It’s a very inspiring set of tracks that really work for this movie and really helps make this movie feel even bigger. I could actually see myself listening to this during a hike… mostly to make it feel more epic even though it isn’t.

This movie was directed by Icelandish director Baltasar Kormákur and he did a pretty great job with that. This reallt feels like an actual expedition, I really felt like I was there with the people who were climbing and freezing their asses off. I also have to give major props to the cinematographer, Salvatore Totino, because this movie looks absolutely beautiful… and terrifying because I don’t wanna fall into that pit the camera is looking down into. Yeah, this shit looks pretty terrific and real, yo.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

“Everest” is a good movie. Sure, parts of the plot are a bit rushed and some of the characters are not as interesting as they should. But the plot overall is good, several of the characters are interesting, the acting is really good, the music is great, the directing is really good, and the cinematography is terrific. Time for my final score. Snow (Hey oh!). My final score for “Everest” is an 8,90/10. So I’d say that it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Everest” is now completed.

Done my fair share of
MOUNTAIN CLIMBING (Mountain Climbing)
Whoa! Its troubles I’ve got ‘em
MOUNTAIN CLIMBING (Mountain Climbing)
Whoa! It’s blues at the bottom!

 

Movie Review: Equilibrium (2002)

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Action movies have gotten…not as fun these last couple of years. Sure, we have movies like “The Raid” and “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” that are actually quite good, but there are not many action movies these days with good action scenes. Most modern action scenes either cut every damn second so you barely see what the hell’s going on or the camera shakes too much so you don’t know what the hell’s going on. The 2000’s have not been the best for action, let alone sci-fi/action. Not even the “Matrix” sequels were good enough to change my judgement. So I decided to look for an action/sci-fi-action that might be good. Then I found this that had some fairly good reviews. But what do I think?

Human beings…Equilibrium.

In the future society have changed quite a bit. The world has become a Fascist society where feelings like happiness, sorrow, anger etc. Yup, not feelings at all. As well as all forms of art (Books, movies, paintings, snowglobes etc.). Wow, what a boring world. Basically everything is in one of three colors (Grey, white, black). But to take care of this “no feelings allowed” thing they have made a special medicine that makes you as neutral as you can. You take it a few times a day. But if you show feelings, you get sent to prison. Cease taking your medication and you will be killed. And for the killing there is a certain type of force to do it. The clerics. The story of the movie is mainly set on a cleric…no scratch that, THE CLERIC, John Preston (Christian Bale). After one of his normal jobs where he goes to a place, burns emotion-waking stuff, kills the “sense offenders” and goes away from there, he gets another assignment that happens to be a little more personal. His partner Partridge (Sean Bean) has been found reading an illegal book, and showing a little emotion. Preston shoots him. Then a little time later when he forgets to take his scheduled medication he starts experiencing emotion for the first time ever. Of course he has to hide this since A. He’s a Cleric and B. He would be killed. So on this “new twist on life” for him he ends up opposing the laws and ends up in more shit than most men could handle. So he ends up on a “journey” to overthrow the system. The story is surprisingly good, especially since a lot of times it looks like a fucking video game. It bugs me some times with some of it’s rules and norms, but still kind of holds up.

The characters…no. I do not like them. But that is only since the only one actually having some character development out of them is Preston. Everybody else stay the same fascist fuckers they were from the start. And the development Preston gets is good, but still not the most interesting. That aspect lowers the movie a bit.

The music in “Equilibrium” just proves that this movie still has some dignity (part from the story). It is good, but forgettable…you feel me? It is the type of music you’d expect from this type of movie, techno-y. With a few rock undertones. Good, but forgettable.

This movie is basically a living video game. It gives off the feeling that it wants to be a vdieo game, but it is stuck in a movie. And that feel weird to me. But one thing though is that it looks really good.

Reception for “Equilibrium” was very mixed to say the least. It got a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes which is not very good if you know math. Metacritic gave it a 33/100.
Strange thing is what Roger Ebert gave it, he gave it a 3/4 stars. His quote:

 “Equilibrium would be a mindless action picture, except that it has a mind. It doesn’t do a lot of deep thinking, but unlike many futuristic combos of sf and f/x, it does make a statement.”

It got a 7,7 on imdb.com

So based on everything said I am going to give Equilibrium as a movie 7,67/10. But as something that you just want as entertainment this gets a 10/10, this movie is perfect popcorn material with it’s great action scenes and Christian Fuckin’ Bale being a badass. So that is my opinion.

Review of Equilibrium is now finished.

Goodbye.