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: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

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Folk music, a genre that these days got a pretty mixed reception. Some love it, some hate it and then we have some stuck in the middle type of people. It’s always interesting to know what people think of stuff like that. What are your thoughts? Share ’em in the comments.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us go… “Inside Llewyn Davis”.

It’s the early 1960’s and we follow folk musician Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he deals with all kinds of hardships throughout this week of his life. And I have to say that it was a very interesting and entertaining watch. The stroy really makes you feel for Llewyn as he goes through all of these terrible things. And I don’t mean terrible things in the usual Coen brothers’ sense, but more as in he can’t seem to catch a break. It’s a very personal story that I somehow related to despite not being a shit-out-of-luck musician. It was great.

The characters are all very interesting, entertaining and realistic. Oscar Isaac was absolutely phenomenal as this broken man who’s just trying to make a living through his passion for folk music. After seeing Isaac in this movie and a bunch other over the past two(ish) years I think I am justified in saying that he’s become one of my favorite actors. Anyhow, we have a bunch more great people in this movie. Carey Mulligan (Sidenote: whom Isaac played together with in “Drive”) plays a friend of Llewyn’s and she is terrific in this movie. Justin Timberlake plays her boyfriend and he is also really good in this movie. Then we have a ton of other great supporting actors who I will only mention quickly because otherwise we’d be here all day. *DEEP BREATH*. Adam Driver, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, Stark Sands, F. Murray Abraham and a lot more.

Let’s just get this out of the way: If you strongly hate folk music, you’re absolutely gonna hate the soundtrack to this movie. The entire soundtrack is basically folk music. I personally kind of like it. I wouldn’t say that I absolutely lvoe folk music overall, but I do think the songs used in this movie were really good and fit the movie very well. I guess one of the main reasons why I really liked the songs here is because they are terrifically performed by the actors in the movie. Yeah… they do that. Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake,  Adam Driver… they all perform the songs in this movie. Sure, some songs take help from outside sources (such as Marcus Mumford), but for the most part they are performed by the actors in the movie.

Like I said before, this movie was directed by the Coen brothers and as with everything I’ve seen from them, this is very well directed. It’s a little sad though that their regular cinematographer, Roger Deakins, was unavailable at the time. But the guy they got instead still did a fantastic job with it and the movie looks really great and interesting. And as per usual, the Coen’s sharp writing is here and it’s as great as ever. What I do really like about it is not only that it’s quick and witty, but also how it can so easily switch between serious and melancholic to darkly hilarious without fucking everything up. And every piece of dialogue seems so real and genuine which adds to the greatness of it.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 92/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing. 

“Inside Llewyn Davis” is a very funny yet dramatic movie featuring a great story, fantastic performances, great music, excellent directing & cinematography and terrific writing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Inside Llewyn Davis” is a 9,88/10. That means it msot definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Inside Llewyn Davis” is now completed.

Oscar Isaac, you awesome man.

 

Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

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I will be completely honest with you guys, I am not a Wes Anderson fan. Mainly because I have barely seen anything from the guy. Before this I had only seen “The Royal Tenenbaums” and I wasn’t a big fan. But I still decided to give this a go because I had heard some great stuff about it and it looked like a pretty good movie. I also thought I maybe should check out more movies by Wes Anderson before one of you cut my throat. So here we go!

Ladies and gents… “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

So what is this movie about? It’s about Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham) telling a young writer (Jude Law) about how he became the owner of the hotel and his adventures with the former owner Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes). The main plot around that is how Gustave is accused of stealing a painting and murdering a rich woman whom he was a good friends of. So now he has to find a way to clear his name. And from that point on the level of quirk increases to ridiculous levels and we get one of the most original and clever plots in recent years. The twists and turns this movie has really work and fit perfectly. The situations we see our heroes in are also relly fun and, again, quirky. I really enjoyed the plot of the movie.

The characters in this movie are all unique, fleshed out and highly entertaining. Which is a tiny bit surprising considering there are so many of them in this movie. But let’s start with the main ones and some favorites of mine. First off we have Gustave H. He is strict, he is weird and he is very profane and Ralph Fiennes portrayes him perfectly. He is also a very kind man. Next up is the character of Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) a.k.a. the young version of F. Muray Abraham. He was one of those guys you just liked because… he was a likeable guy I guess. And I do think Revolori portrayed him excellently even though it was only his first movie. Next up we have the character of Jopling (Willem Dafoe). Even though he had a very prominent role in the movie he is here mainly as a favorite of mine. He was a psychotic killer who was hired by Dmitri (Adrien Brody) who is a relative of the dead woman to check things out and maybe “Take care of things”. That’s really it. All the characters in the movie are great and really quirky.

The score by Alexandre Desplat (Godzilla, Harry Potter) is really good and once again, quirky. It really fit the often non-serious tone of the movie and also the serious bits as well because yes those exist. I don’t really know what to say, it was mostly orchestrations and they were all enjoyable… I have nothing else.

I really liked how this movie was directed. When we had the scenes with F. Murray Abraham and Jude Law we had these wide and beautiful shots. But when we had the flashbacks that focused on Ralph Fiennes and friends it was done in a smaller aspect ratio to sort of fit in the time that those parts are set in. He also used paintings as backgrounds in the flashback parts like in old movies. The only part of the direction that kinda bothered me was a part where there was a ski-chase that was really computer generated and not practical, it was really distracting for me.

This is a very well-received movie. A lot of people liked it, not just the critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the movie has a 92% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 88/100. And on imdb.com it has an 8,1/10 and is ranked #186 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also (at the time of this review) nominated for 9 Oscars (Holy crap). Categories: Best motion picture, Best director, Best writing directly for the screen, Best Cinematography, Best editing, Best production design, Best costume design, Best makeup/haristyling and Best original score. That is a lot of nominations!

Overall “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a fun, quirky, entertaining movie with a good story, really good performances, a great score and great direction but is slightly brought down by that distracting computer generated skiing bit. now for my final score. LOBBY BOY! Thank you! My final score for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a 9,01/10. It’s a fun movie that is worth buying.
betala-kassa-butik

Review of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is done.

I got nothing to say.