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: Thor – The Dark World (2013)

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Superhero movies are honestly one of my favorite types of movies. They can feature fun stories in combination with great action and good acting. Also they are fun to watch because the main character usually has some kind of awesome superpower (That we can never have because we’re regular mortals). Right now the leaders of the superhero movie empire are Marvel. And I agree they make some great movies (My favorite probably being X-Men 2). But a few years ago they came out with a movie based on a superhero comic series based on norse mythology…hmm. That movie was “Thor”, based on the comic series based on the norse god of thunder. It was a movie that got mixed reception. To be honest I was one of those that thought it was fairly good. If I have to put it somewhere within my score system I’d say it is one the “rent” spectrum. But can the sequel to it be better? Or will it just be even worse? Let’s find out!

Ladies and gentlemen…”Thor: The Dark World”.

The story follows both the events of both the first movie and “The Avengers”. In the realm where our hero Thor (Chris Hemsworth) lives he fights some bad guys. In our realm we see his love interest from the previous movie, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), being on a date with this guy Richard (Chris O’Dowd). Their date gets interrupted by annoying sidekick Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) who gets Jane to a place to do science stuff. With the help of some local kids (almost forgot, their in London) they find this weird portal thing. When Jane later discovers this great power after she gets lost, she wakes the dark elves led by the evil Malekith (Christopher Eccleston). So of course Thor finds her and wants to help her (Not aware of Malekith), much to his father Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) dismay. But when they find out about Malekith, it is up to Thor to stop him. But he is not all alone. He has help from a bunch of people. For example the handsome (and now with a different actor) Fandral (Zachary Levi), the beautiful but dangerous Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and his not very trust worthy, but always enjoyable “brother” Loki (Tom Hiddleston). And that is kind of the plot in a nutshell without giving you too many details (given you have not seen this movie yet). And while my explanation of the story is vague, at best…it is actually rather interesting. I like how they use fantasy in mix with science fiction/technology without going full steampunk on us. To sum it up in a short way: Woman discovers plot mcguffin, evil elf wakes from his long-ass nap, Thor has to save everyone. And while that is not my favorite way of explaining things, that is what it is. It is kind of a standard story, but it is like I always say: It is not the concept that is important, it is the execution. And the execution is pretty good.

The characters are…yeah I don’t know really. One example is Thor…I can’t relate to the guy. Why? Because he is essentially a god. Am I a god? No! I am just a dude with a computer. I can relate to human beings…not norse gods. Most other characters are like him…superhuman beings. And most other humans are pretty…nothing special I suppose. I have to complain though about one character…and that is who I called the “Annoying sidekick” Darcy. She serves no other purpose than to be “Comic relief”. Her voice annoying, her lines are lame and just…ugh! But the movie makes up for that…ish by having the always sassy and great Loki. I fucking love this guy! He always has something to say…and everything he says is excellent. That’s it really. So yeah…the characters are like a fruit salad…mixed. You might dislike a few parts…but there are a few sweet and tasty things in there.

The music…here I can return to giving a bit of praise. It is big and epic! And I don’t throw around the word “epic” a lot. Fun thing is that the soundtrack was composed by one of my favorite composers; Brian Tyler. Just listen to the soundtrack for the movie…you’ll know why I like it. Then go listen to everything else by Brian Tyler…do it…NOW!

Thank fucking Christ! Why am I like that? They did a thing with this movie that I like more than the first movie…they got rid of the fucking dutch angle! YES! If you’re wondering, a dutch angle is when you film a movie in a 45 degree angle. It is for the most part used to show a person’s mental instability in a scene (Suc has paranoia or disorientation). Problem is director of the previous movie, Kenneth Branagh, used it a little too much…and it had no “mental instability” scenes. The dutch angle were just there all the time. But thanks to Alan Taylor (the director for this movie) we don’t have it anymore…and I am so thankful for that. Also, the action in this movie is amazing…not kidding. I love watching Thor and the other people kick asses in this movie.

Reception for “Thor: The Dark World” was overall pretty good. Not the best when it comes to the Marvel movies, but still not bad. Rotten Tomatoes holds a 65% positive rating. Metacritic has the lowest score I’ve seen with a 54/100. imdb.com has a 7,2/10 score on the movie (at the time of this review).

“Thor: The Dark World” has a lot of great things going for it. Good story, good acting, great action, great visuals…no dutch angle. But it also has it’s fair share of flaws…such as annoying sidekick Darcy, not the most relatable characters and…not much else really. Just a few thigns in the plot that are only nitpicks. But now that I have ranted on about that…let’s give this movie a score, shall we. My final score for “Thor: The Dark World” is an 8,66/10. While not perfect, it is still a lot better than the original “Thor” and definitely worth buying.

My review of “Thor: The Dark World” is now completed.

FOR ASGARD!