Movie Review: Army of the Dead (2021)

Hello there, my friends, I hope you’re doing well. So now we’re moving onto the final stretch of the Month of Spooks. Only seven days left. So how are we kicking off this last week then? More zombies? Okie doke, let’s go!

Ladies, gents, and non-binaries… “Army of the Dead”.

The world has gone to shi- actually, most of the world’s fine for once. Really, Las Vegas is the only place that’s gotten fucked by a zombie outbreak. Anyhow, an enigmatic businessman (Hiroyuki Sanada) has decided to hire a group of mercenaries from all walks of life to bust into the outbreak zone and pull off a daring heist. So yeah, part heist flick, part zombie flick… and I had quite a bit of fun with it. The narrative doesn’t ever really do anything we haven’t seen in either of those sub-genres, but it instead just chooses to do them in a gleeful, bombastic, and sometimes insane way that I had a lot of fun with. Now, I’m not saying that the enjoyment was absolute, because there were a few things holding it back a little. First off, this movie is two and a half hours long, and while it for the most part moves at a clip, there are times where it drags a little. And that dragging comes from the second issue, and that’s some of the more serious drama spread throughout. I don’t mind having serious character drama in my goofy action movies, that can be surprisingly effective, but I just didn’t think it quite worked here. Had they given the script another pass and tried to iron it out more, then maybe. But as it stands, the drama just bogs it down for me a bit. Otherwise, I had fun with this apocalyptic heist story.

The characters in this are… fine? I didn’t necessarily mind them, and a few I did actually kinda like. But on the whole they all feel a little underdeveloped and like they could’ve been a little more fleshed out. But what I can happily say is that the cast itself is great. Dave Bautista is great as the tough yet kind leader, Matthias Schweighöfer is great as the comic relief safe expert, and Hiroyuki Sanada (despite very limited screen time) is as cool as always. The rest of the cast, containing people like Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwicke, Nora Arnezeder, Garret Dillahunt, Raúl Castillo, Tig Notaro, Athena Perample, and more are all great too.

The score for the movie was composed by Tom Holkenborg (AKA Junkie XL), and I enjoyed it. Nice mix of brass and electronics to create a score that hearkens back to more old school films, while still feeling quite contemporary. It’s solid stuff. There’s also a handful of licensed songs used throughout, and I have slightly mixed feelings. Some work well enough and can add a nice bit of fun, but one or two didn’t fully click for me, with one specific track eliciting the biggest eyebrow raise I’ve given in a while. So yeah, the music in this is mostly good.

“Army of the Dead” was shot, directed, produced and co-written by Zack Snyder for Netflix. Aaaaand I think he did a really solid job here. The dude knows how to craft some bombastic, fun action set pieces, and he delivered on that front here. When zombie carnage is going down, Snyder cranks it up to 11. It’s generally well shot, insane, intense, and insanely gory. Speaking of which, I love the gore in this movie, as it’s not only well crafted, but also plentiful and quite creative, making for one hell of a fun time. The only thing I didn’t necessarily enjoy about Snyder’s ways here is his frequent use of shallow focus. I don’t mind shallow focus at all, and there were times where it helped create a nice shot in this movie. But he uses it a bit more than maybe needs to be done, which can be a little distracting at times. For the most part I like what Snyder does with his directing and such here, but that part was a little iffy at times.

This movie’s gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 57/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5.8/10.

While it does have its fair share of flaws, I still had a really fun time with “Army of the Dead”. It has a fun plot, okay characters, great performances, good music, and great directing/action/effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Army of the Dead” is a 7.99/10. So while flawed, it’s still certainly worth watching.

My review of “Army of the Dead” is now completed.

Viva Las Veg- AH, IT’S BITING MY LEG!!!

12 Films of Christmas 2019 (Part 2)

Well hey there, everyone. Welcome back to the second part in this series that I really should’ve called “12 Contrivances of Christmas”. Ah, fuck it, too late now. So let’s get into it.

So if you’re a bit of a sci-fi buff, or you just watch a ton of movies, you probably figured out from the top image that we’re talking about “Sunshine” today. Released in 2007, the movie was directed by Danny Boyle, written by Alex Garland, and starring a whole bunch of recognizable people. And it’s about the crew of a spaceship set to deliver a big bomb to space in an attempt to try to reignite our dying sun. So you’re probably wondering how I’m gonna contrive my reasoning for this one. Well, buckle up, because I am ready to deliver my reasoning.

Imagine. The sun is about to die. No sun, no warmth. No warmth, no life. No life, no christmas. So really, this non-christmas movie is all about saving christmas! Easy peasy, lemon contrivanceasy! But yeah, that’s my reasoning. Also, there’s a bit in the movie where you see a photo of the ship’s crew, wearing santa hats, clearly celebrating christmas. Double reason, double christmas contrivance! HAHA.
All joking aside, I love “Sunshine”, it’s one of my favorite sci-fi movies. It’s tense, emotional, exciting, visually stunning, and a feast for the ears.

Have a good one.

Movie Review: The Wolverine (2013)

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Here we are people. The final movie in my “Mangoldathon” series of reviews leading up to the release of “Logan” this coming week. I’ve had fun going through this director’s movies, and I hope you enjoyed reading the reviews that came out of it all. But now we’re here… the last one. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Wolverine”.

After the events of “X-Men: The Last Stand” we find Logan (Hugh Jackman) at his lowest low, hiding out in the middle of nowhere. But one day he gets summoned to Japan by a man (Hal Yamanouchi) he once knew. And soon Logan gets dragged into a conflict which will test him both physically and mentally. And I honestly thought the plot here was really solid. It’s a pretty serious action-drama that touches upon a lot of interesting things regarding the character of Logan, including the themes of mortality and love. And I thought it was pretty damn great… except the last 20-ish minutes of the movie. I mean, that part was entertaining, but it’s such a weird shift in tone from the rest of the movie. Again, the majority of the plot is great, and that final bit of the movie is… fine.

The characters are interesting and entertaining to watch. I think it’s safe to say at this point that Hugh Jackman is awesome as Logan/Wolverine. I mean, the dude’s always been great in the role, but I feel like this might be his best outing as the character (Keep in mind that at the time of writing, I have not seen “Logan”). Here he gets to stretch some of his acting muscles a bit more, getting to show more emotions while also being more of a vulnerable/troubled character. Rila Fukushima plays Logan’s new ally Yukio, and she’s really good in the movie. Tao Okamoto plays Mariko, a young woman that Logan seems to be forming a bit of a romance with, and she’s really good in the movie. Svetlana Khodchenkova plays the character of Viper and while the character might feel a tiny bit out of place, Kodchenkova still did a really good job. And then we also get some great performances from people like Hiroyuki Sanada, Brian Tee, Hal Yamanouchi, Will Yun Lee, and Famke Janssen.

The score for the movie was composed by Marco Beltrami and it was pretty great. It was exciting, it was badass, and fit the location very well. The movie is set in Japan and to help with that, the score did feature some Japanese instruments, and I thought that was pretty cool. And overall the score just fits the movie very well overall.

As stated in the intro of the review, this movie was directed by James Mangold and he really did a great job. He directs the movie with a certain intensity that the other “X-Men” movies kind of lack. Especially the action scenes, which are all really badass and also fairly realistic. Or well, at least compared to other “X-Movies”. And the movie is just gorgeous, there were seriously shots in the movie that made me go “Wow”. Also, this is pretty violent for PG-13… yeah, it’s definitely one of the more violent PG-13 movies I’ve seen.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 69% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 60/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“The Wolverine” is a really solid action movie with some great character stuff for Logan/Wolverine. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. However, I am deducting some points because of that weird shift in tone near the end of the film. Time for my final score. *Snikt*. My final score for “The Wolverine” is a 9,01/10. I’d say that it’s worth buying.
worth-buying

My review of “The Wolverine” is now completed.

And that’s it for the “Mangoldathon”… Hope “Logan” is good.

Movie Review: Sunshine (2007)

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After watching Duncan Jones’ fantastic 2009 movie “Moon” I have gotten a craving recently for “different” sci-fi movies. Not your typical “Pew pew action” sci-fi, but something else. Not that there is anything wrong with “pew pew action”, I love that shit, but I want to see different types of sci-fi movies as well thanks to “Moon”. So now I have watched another “different” sci-fi movie and I feel like I should review it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Sunshine”.

In the future our sun is dying out. Soon it will be dead and then so will we. So they sent a group of ethnically diverse scientists to go out into space and reignite the sun with a giant nuke. But this is also not the first attempt at reigniting the sun, the people we follow is the second team. So it is also a little about them finding out what happened what happened to the first team… while they try to nuke the shit out of the sun. And from that we get a suspenseful and excellently written story that I really liked. I was interested through the entirety of the movie, seeing if our heroes could succeed with their mission. It was also mainly a story about the characters and their struggles as a team, making sure they didn’t hate each other too much in the end. And like I said, I stayed interested the entire time.

The characters are all interesting, well-written and really well-acted. Even if all of the scientists could be considered some form of main character, the true main character really is the one played by Cillian Murphy. And he gives us another winning performance that solidifies him as a great actor. Al otehr actors are great too. There are a fair amount of them so I will not go through them all, but they were all great.

The score for the movie was done by electronic band Underworld and composer John Murphy. And it was great. It helped keep tension and suspense up and was in general also pretty great to listen to. It is a soundtrack that I could probably listen to in my car (if I had one). Also the track “Adagio in D-Minor” by composer John Murphy is one of those tracks that have been used in everything. Kind of like “Lux Aeterna” from “Requiem For a Dream”. It’s jsut funny how everyone has heard the song yet they most likely don’t know it’s from this movie. So now you know!

This movie is directed by Danny Boyle and holy shit is it well-directed! The way he uses different angles and lighting in scenes looks pretty great. And I have honestly never seen anything by him before. I know that I suck, but that’s just how it has gone. But don’t worry, I’ll get to more of his movies sooner or later. Anyway, uhm… topic switch! The visual effects in this movie are pretty damn fantastic. They all look fantastic and feel very real. What I can also mention is that the third act of this movie is one of the most suspenseful ones that I have ever experienced. It is also a little heartbreaking because of *spoilers*. It also has a really great twist in the third act.

This was a pretty well-received movie. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 76% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“Sunshine” is a very different and also pretty awesome science fiction movie. It has a great story, terrific chracters/acting, great music, fantastic direction and visual effects and one of the most suspenseful third acts I have ever seen combined with a great twist. Time for my final score. *Music swells* My final score for “Sunshine” is a 9,84/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “Sunshine” is completed.

Wake up Sunshine, open up your sleepy eyes for me…