Movie Review: The Machinist (2004)

Christian Bale, you crazy motherfucker. Lose weight, gain weight, skinny, muscular, skinny, fat… all that change can’t be good for the health. It’s impressive, but it also has me worried.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Machinist”.

Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) is an industrial worker who hasn’t been able to sleep for an entire year. And his life soon takes a disturbing turn for the worse, when he starts suspecting that someone is trying to fuck with his life. So now we have our thriller. And I thought the plot here was really good. It had a very weird, dreamlike atmosphere that I haven’t experienced many times before. And it gives the plot a decent layer of suspense. And the mystery surrounding Trevor and what’s happening to him is really layered, intriguing, engaging, and at times even disturbing.

The characters in this are layered and interesting. First and foremost we have Christian Bale as Trevor Reznik, insomniac industrial worker. He’s interesting to follow as the paranoia that surrounds him suspecting… well, everything makes him twitchy, and potentially a bit of an unreliable narrator, which I always enjoy seeing in movies. He’s deep, layered, and a fascinating character to study. And Bale is fantastic in the role. Yes, even if you look past the weight loss. And we get some supporting performances from people like Jennifer Jason Leigh, John Sharian, Michael Ironside, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Lawrence Gilliard Jr, Reg E. Cathey (R.I.P), and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Roque Baños, and it was great. It has an eerie, dreamlike quality to it that fits very well with the story of the movie. It also helps to just elevate a lot of the drama and suspense here. It also reminds me of “The X-Files” at a couple of points, which is never a bad thing.

The movie was directed by Brad Anderson and I think he did a great job. His direction is very tight and claustrophobic, which adds to the paranoia of the entire situation. It manages to make it feel a bit more tense and unpredictable, which never hurts in a movie like this. What also helps with this is the cinematography by Xavi Giménez, which both captures all those things I mentioned before, and overall looks fucking fantastic.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 77% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 61/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10.

“The Machinist” is an eerie and incredibly well made psychological thriller. It has a great plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Machinist” is a 9,78/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Machinist” is now completed.

Not a lot of movies these days where you can hear the “ominous clarinet”.

Movie Review: Annihilation (2018)

As much as I like big, action-packed, sci-fi movies, I do admit that I could take less of it in exchange for sci-fi flicks on the brainier side. Luckily for me, it seems like Alex Garland will be the one to provide those types of movies. So let’s talk about his latest.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Annihilation”.

After he husband seemingly goes missing, a biologist (Natalie Portman) signs on to a mission to explore this strange zone where everything has mutated. And as the biologist and her team goes into this zone, they soon experience a journey that is as scary as it is fascinating. So now we have our sci-fi plot. But it’s not just a “go and look at weird mutations” type story, as it’s a deep and layered exploration of a lot of mature themes. It’s difficult to talk about this plot without accidentally spoiling it, so I’m gonna stop explaining the plot here. But let’s just say that I found it all to be quite riveting. The only flaw I have is that it starts out quite slow. But it doesn’t really take anything away from the plot, at least not in the grand scheme of things, especially since it gets going soon enough. Sure, the entire thing is fairly slow-paced, but aside from the start, I don’t mind this slower pace. So overall I think this is a great plot.

The characters in this I will not go too in-depth with, as their development is best left experienced. But I do think most of them get really good development, whether it’s through what we see, or through a piece of dialog. In the core team we have Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, and Tuva Novotny. And they all deliver really good performances. We also get Oscar Isaac in a supporting role as Natalie Portman’s husband, and Isaac is of course damn good in the role. Everyone’s good. ’tis a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow, and they did a really good job with it. The score here is very dreamlike, adding to the strange and uneasy feeling of the environment that the team are exploring. It also helps in building tension and emotion throughout. There’s also a few licensed tracks used throughout, and they work pretty well within their scenes.

Based on a novel by Jeff VanderMeer, this movie was written and directed by Alex Garland (as mentioned in the beginning of the post). And while I can’t compare how accurately Garland captures VanderMeer’s novel, due to not having read said novel, I can give my thoughts on Garland’s overall direction. And it’s really good. Like with the music, Garland gives the movie a very dreamlike feeling throughout, which helps give it a very unique mood that we almost never see in movies. It really helps this strange place feel even more realized and interesting. There’s also a lot of tension in Garland’s direction, both in normal walking scenes, and in scenes where things do happen. Rob Hardy’s cinematography is also really good, this place looks fantastic. And for any sensitive viewers out there, “Annihilation” has some really gruesome imagery in it. The only reason why I’m mentioning this is because I can stomach blood/gore in movies, but the shit you see in this movie somehow got to me. So there’s your warning.

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.

“Annihilation” isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a slow and brainy science fiction movie, then I highly recommend it. It has a great plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/cinematography/effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Annihilation” is a 9,62/10. Even though the start is a little slow, it still gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Annihilation” is now completed.

To quote Winnie the Pooh: Think, think, think…

“Annihilation” trailer!

Hello there, ladies and gents! Time for another trailer talk! So here we go!

We have our first trailer for “Annihilation”, an upcoming sci-fi movie from writer/director Alex Garland. And let’s get it out of the way right now, I’m a fan of Garland’s work. He wrote “Sunshin”, which I love. He wrote “Dredd”, which I love. And he both wrote and directed “Ex Machina”, which I loved. So I’ve been excited to see what he’d cook up next. And now we have our first look at it. So what’s it about then? Well, it’s about a group of scientists (Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh) who go on an expedition into a strange place, and they seem to encounter some sci-fi weirdness. So what do I think? It looks good. Weird, but good. Like I said, I’m a fan of Garland’s previous works, so I’m just immediately excited. Especially since this looks like  very few things that have come before it. And there are some good actors involved. Aside from the three mention above, we also hav Oscar Isaac, Benedict Wong, and Gina Rodriguez. So yeah, I’m excited. “Annihilation” is set to be released in February of 2018.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Annihilation”? And what’s your favorite movie written by Alex Garland? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer.

Movie Review: The Hateful Eight (2015)

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Bitch and moan however much ya like about how this review is up really fuckin’ late compared to everyone else, but I’m not apologizing for having bad luck in not seeing it so soon. Anyhow, time for Tarantino and his second attempt at a western… let’s go.

Ladies and gents… “The Hateful Eight”.

Bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) is going through the freezing Wyoming with his prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). However, there is a blizzard approaching, so they find shelter in a large cabin. In this cabin there are a whole bunch of other interesting people. And without saying too much, soon it’s a bit of a “whodunnit” of all these characters. I think youtube-based movie critic Chris Stuckmann put it the best when he called it an R-rated version of “Clue”. And was the plot any good? Of course it was, what else would you expect me to say? It’s a mystery, set in one location, that also happens to be a western… of course it’s great. But to elaborate it a bit better: the mystery itself (not really saying anything specific for those who might not have seen it) is really intriguing, entertaining and even a bit suspenseful. It’s one of those mysteries that really makes one think who it could have done that did the thing. Was I correct in the end? Not quite, but god damn it, I loved the plot of the movie!

I think it’s safe to assume at this point that characters in a Tarantino film are going to be interesting and entertaining. And “Hateful Eight” really does confirm that statement. All of the characters in the movie are incredibly interesting and endlessly entertaining, thanks to some great writing and of course some great acting. Kurt Russell fucking nailed it, by being both funny, badass and even a bit of a jerk. Jennifer Jason Leigh, terrific as this really terrible person (AKA piece of shit). Samuel L. Jackson is the best he’s been in years, giving a fantastic performance, even getting to give a great monologue about something that happened in his (the character’s) past… he was so amazing. Everyone else was great too; Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern… they were all so damn great!

The original score was composed by none other than Ennio Morricone, a composer who’s done so much great stuff that I could sit here all day talking about it all, but I’m not gonna do that. What I want to say is that the score for “The Hateful Eight” is another masterful thing from the maestro. It’s cool, suspenseful and badass. And since this is a Tarantino film, expect there to be music from other films in here too. One of those films he took music from was John Carpenter’s “The Thing”… also starring Kurt Russell… with music composed by Ennio Morricone… I am starting to see a pattern here, guys. What I’m saying is that the this music has some damn great music.

As I’ve stated about 42 and a half times already, this film was directed by Quentin Tarantino, who also wrote the screenplay (fucking duh). And his directing is as on point as ever… if not even better. While you might prefer some of his earlier films, I think we can all agree that he’s improved a lot as a filmmaker. His direction is slow, tense yet still quick and snappy… probably thanks a lot because of the snappy dialogue. Because the writing is great, random conversations about the smallest things hold my interest without ever getting dull. There are also a whole bunch of pieces of dialogue that are hilarious in my opinion. But that is amostly because I have a really dark sense of humor and can laugh at a lot of the darkly comical stuff that happens/is being said in the movie. And when it comes to the Tarantino-violence, it’s there, but much more spread out than usual. Also, it’s not as fun as in, let’s say “Django Unchained” as an example. In fact, a good amount of the violence in this movie is really brutal and disturbing… but that jsut kinds of adds to the quality of the film in my opinion. And for the little bit of action in the movie, it’s really good. And the cinematography by Robert Richardson… phenomenal. I can’t wait to see what he’ll do with the cinematography for “Live By Night”.

This is a movie that has received mostly positive reviews. It has a 75% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Original Score (hell yeah!). It also got an additional 2 nominations in the categories of Best Supporting Actress (Leigh) and Best Cinematography.

“The Hateful Eight” is another win for Tarantino. It has a great plot, fantastic acting & characters, fantastic music, terrific directing terrific cinematography and great writing. Time for my final score. *Fires gun*. My final score for “The Hateful Eight” is a 9,89/10. This of course means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Hateful Eight” is now completed.

Long-time followers knows I usually add an extra segment (Gunfights/Shootouts) for westerns, but I feel like it’s superfluous and that it might not always work, as I noticed with “The Assassination of Jesse James”.