Movie Review: From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

And the Month of Spooks continues. This time with a strange hybrid. So here we fucking go.

Ladies and gents… “From Dusk Till Dawn”.

A pair of criminals (George Clooney & Quentin Tarantino, yes really) are on the run for some horrible crimes they committed. To stay away from the law, they take refuge in a titty bar somewhere in Mexico. They are however in for a horrible surprise, when they find out that the people at the bar aren’t exactly what they appear to b- vampires, they’re vampires. So now we have our profane crime-thriller/vampire movie. And the story here is fine. Straightforward, but clashing in tones. One moment it’s this Tarantinian crime story, then it’s a family drama, then it’s horror, then it’s a dark comedy. While there are a lot of solid moments here, they don’t necessarily flow that well into each other, creating these tonal clashes. Like I said, there’s a lot of fun moments, and it does entertain in that sense, but the lack of good transitions does distract at times.

The characters in this are decently interesting, if a bit poorly defined at times. George Clooney plays Seth Gecko, one of the two brothers on the run from the law. He’s assertive, strict, bit of a dick, but does at times show a more human side (even if his exterior still screams asshole). He’s clearly the leader of the two, and he’s an interesting character to follow, even if he’s not very likable (which might put some people off). And Clooney is great in the role. Next we have Harvey Keitel as Jacob Fuller, a family man that’s been kidnapped by the Geckos. He’s a former preacher just trying to enjoy a nice trip with his kids, but that of course goes a bit awry. He’s a decently interesting guy, and Keitel is great in the role. Next we have Quentin Tarantino (yes, really) as Richie Gecko, Clooney’s younger brother. He’s a creepy psychopath. That’s all I’ll say, as I don’t wanna get into too much detail. And I honestly think Tarantino is good in this role, it’s probably the best performance I’ve seen from him. We also get supporting work from people like Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Tom Savini, Danny Trejo, Salma Hayek, Fred Williamson, and more, all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Graeme Revell, and it’s good. It’s not too prominent, but when it can be heard, it’s pretty good, creating some decent ambiance. The movie also has a fair bit of licensed tracks used throughout, a lot of them within the blues-rock genre, which not only fits the movie surprisingly well, but also is right up my alley. So yeah, this movie has good music.

“From Dusk Till Dawn” was written by Quentin Tarantino, and directed by Robert Rodriguez (not the last collaboration between the two). And Jesus heart-staking Christ, it’s obvious form a mile away. Tarantino’s dirty dialogue, Rodriguez’ energetic and oft campy direction, it’s all here in spades, and it gives the movie a nice sense of energy that keeps it from getting boring. It also does add a bit to the action scenes that exist in the movie, which are fun to watch, partly due to the stuff I just mentioned, and partly due to the really solid visual effects that are on display here.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 64% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 48/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

So while “From Dusk Till Dawn” has a fair bit of flaws, I still enjoyed watching it. It has an okay story, okay characters, great performances, really good music, and really good writing/directing/effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “From Dusk Till Dawn” is a 7,56/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it’s worth renting.

My review of “From Dusk Till Dawn” is now completed.

Daaaark Night. It’s a Daaaark Night. What? It’s a good song. Even the movie knows it.

Movie Review: Cop Land (1997)

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Hello there, ladies and gents. And welcome to the first part in a series of reviews that I’ve had in mind for a while. I have titled this series of reviews “The Mangoldathon”. The title of course comes from the fact that this series of reviews will cover movies by James Mangold, as a lead-up to “Logan” this March. Now to be clear, I will not review all of Mangold’s movies, just a handful. For example, I will not cover “3:10 to Yuma”, because I already did that back in the day when my reviews were total shit. But who knows, I might cover it again if you fuckers nag enough in the comments/on twitter. Anyhow, with that said… let the “Mangoldathon” begin!

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to… “Cop Land”.

Freddy Haflin (Sylvester Stallone) is a good, honest, sheriff in a small New Jersey town. But soon he slowly discovers that his town is filled with corruption and cops that might have connections to the mob. And now we have a slowly burning crime-drama that kept me legitimately interested throughout the runtime. I found the plot really interesting and intriguing, if slightly predictable at times. There were a few things that I didn’t see coming, but for the most part it was pretty straightforward, which brings it down a little bit. But the plot overall was solid.

The characters in the movie were interesting and entertaining. Sylvester Stallone really impressed me in this movie. His performance was believable and actually pretty subtle, he really did a great job here. Harvey Keitel was great too as this older cop that we see a lot throughout the movie. Ray Liotta was also great as Stallone’s colleague/friend. And Robert De Niro was great as this internal affairs lieutenant. We also got some really good supporting performances from actors like Peter Berg, Janeane Garofalo, Robert Patrick, and Michael Rapaport. All actors did a good job here.

The score for the movie was composed by Howard Shore and it was actually really good. It wasn’t one of those scores that I always noticed, but when I did I felt that it really helped improve the scene. It helped build up the drama/intensity in certain scenes. There were also a few licensed tracks throughout the movie that kind of worked in their respective scenes too.

This movie was (as stated in the intro) directed by James Mangold and for it only being his second feature film, he did a great job. The direction is slow and tense, and perfectly captures the feeling of unease one should expect from the type of situation that the plot is about. I’m not saying that it got under my skin or made me feel incredibly tense, but the situation definitely fent uneasy and like no one could be truly trusted… except for Stallone, but you get the point.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 72% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Cop Land” is a really good crime-drama. It has a good plot, interesting characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing. However it gets brought down a bit by being kind of predictable. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Cop Land” is a 9,34/10. So it’s definitely worth buying!
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My review of “Cop Land” is now completed.

Let the “Mangoldathon” commence!

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.
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Review of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is done.

I got nothing to say.