Movie Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

And the 2018 catch-up continues. Admittedly I don’t have a super specific series set up, but catching up on the year’s movies is what one have to do when nearing the end of said year. Enough rambling, let’s shrink.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ant-Man and the Wasp”.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has to once again don the Ant-Man suit, but instead of using it to steal some shit, he has to use his abilities, as well as the assistance of his ally Hope (Evangeline Lilly), to get hold of some tech to try and pull Janet Van Dyne out of the Quantum Realm. But this quest will prove challenging as opposing forces want this technology for their own purposes. So now we have our “Ant-Man” sequel plot. And it’s good, a fun comic book romp. Has a few decent dramatic moments. Not much I can say, it’s just a fun superhero plot. Doesn’t do much, but doesn’t do little either. It’s fast-paced and easy to follow while expanding on a few of the ideas set up in the first movie. It doesn’t do anything special, but it also doesn’t need to. It’s just an easygoing and fun plot.

The characters in this are colorful, interesting, and really entertaining. Paul Rudd of course returns as Scott Lang, the charming ex-con/superhero with a heart of gold. He’s fun, he’s someone I care about, and he is just generally an enjoyable protagonist. And Paul Rudd is great in the role. Next we have Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/Wasp. She was just sort of a tough sidekick/teacher in the first movie, but here she gets to do a lot more, especially since she now has her own super suit to play with. And she’s quite an enjoyable character to follow. And Lilly is great in the role. Michael Peña returns as Scott’s best friend, Luis, and he’s just as hilarious as he was the first time around. Michael Douglas returns as Dr. Hank Pym, and he’s once again pretty great. Newcomer time! First up, Hannah John-Kamen as “Ghost”, a mysterious new villain with a pretty compelling arc that I won’t say more about here, but I found it to be pretty cool. And John-Kamen is really good in the role. We also get Walton Goggins as some shady black market dealer, and he’s as Goggins-y as ever, and while his character doesn’t have much to actually do, Goggins is really good in the role. We also get supporting performances from people like Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale, Abby Ryder Fortson, David Dastmalchian, Randall Park, T.I., Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Pfeiffer, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

Like with the first movie, Christophe Beck did the score for this one. And it’s just as fun and enjoyable as the first time around. It’s bouncy, irreverent, and just overall fits the lighthearted tone that the movie generally goes for. The added use of synth and (for lack of a better word) bouncy percussion really helps keep the pace up. It’s just fun. And there are a few licensed tracks used throughout that work well enough in their respective scenes.

As with the first movie, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” was directed by Peyton Reed and I think he did a good job with it. His directing is fun, fast-paced, and just generally has a certain energy that makes it all quite enjoyable to watch. The action scenes too are quite solid, giving us some good close quarters combat, as well as the shrink/grow superhero stuff we came to see. There’s of course also a lot of comedy throughout this movie, and I found most of it to be quite funny. A few jokes weren’t the best, but none of them made me want to tear my brain out. Some mild nose-wrinkling, some chuckles, a few out loud laughs… yeah, it’s funny.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 70/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is a fun movie… not one of the best of the year, but an enjoyable romp nonetheless. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, really good directing, and funny comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is an 8,76/10. So while not perfect, it’s still definitely worth buying.

My review of “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is now completed.

Baba Yaga…

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Series Review: Fortitude – Season 1 (2015)

I am aware that I’m kind of stretching it a bit here in terms of the Month of Spooks, but there are aspects of this show that kind of work for it. Also, I kind of cheated with “Mindhunter” last year, so I think I’m allowed this one this year.

Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to… “Fortitude”.

On the edge of the arctic circle lies the town of Fortitude, a frozen place with a small population. A town that has been safe for as long as it’s existed. But the peace of Fortitude is disturbed when a violent crime occurs. So now we have our cold as hell thriller. And it’s good. It has an eerie feel to it that makes it stand out from other crime-thrillers out there, and the mysteries it sets up throughout the season are quite intriguing. I was sometimes taken out of the show a bit though. While it is fairly grounded most of the time, there are occasions when it suddenly requires a lot of suspension of disbelief. Now, aside from some of those moments, this is an engaging, chilling (HA!), and overall intriguing story.

The characters in this are layered, flawed, interesting, and mostly all feel pretty realistic. I will however not go in-depth about them because the cast here is so big that we’d be here all god damn day, and none of us want that. But I can say that the cast is pretty impressive. Including people like Richard Dormer, Nicholas Pinnock, Alexandra Moen, Luke Treadaway, Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Sofia Gråbøl, Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips, Darren Boyd, Mia Jexen, Christopher Eccleston, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the season was composed by Ben Frost, and I think he did a really good job with it. His music has a way of capturing the feel of this frozen and remote location. It’s eerie, it’s suspense-building, it’s emotional, it just works incredibly well for the show. There are also a few licensed tracks used throughout, and they work pretty well in their respective scenes too.

“Fortitude” was created by Simon Donald, and written/directed by a whole bunch of people, and I think what they created here is really interesting. For one, it’s a pretty unique location for a show. A remote town in one of the coldest parts of the world, perfect setting for this kind of show. And thanks to the directing and some frankly gorgeous cinematography, they really capture the feel of the location perfectly. They also build a lot of suspense with it, and even capture some imagery that is kind of horror-esque in how graphic and disturbing it is.

This show/season has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 75/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

While not perfect, “Fortitude” still serves up a nice, cold mystery. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/cinematography. Though as previously mentioned, the score if brought down a bit by the show expecting you to really bend your suspension of disbelief. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Fortitude” season 1 is an 8,91/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it’s definitely still worth watching.

My review of “Fortitude” season 1 is now completed.

It still kind of works as horror.

Movie Review: Iron Man (2008)

With the impending release of “Avengers: Infinity War” (Sidenote: I am insanely excited for it), I thought it was time to have a look at the one that started it all. The spark that ignited the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Iron Man”.

After getting captured by a group of terrorists, billionaire genius Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) builds a suit of armor to escape from the cave that he’s stuck in. After he reenters society, he decides to use this technology to fight dangerous criminals. So now we have our superhero origin story, and it’s the one that set the template for this huge franchise. And while we’ve seen this type of origin several times since, the way it’s handled here still stands out. The story has a sense of realism and weight to it that helps make it feel a bit more memorable and interesting than other origin stories out there. It has the fun superhero story, but it also has a good amount of drama that makes it one of the better origin stories out there.

The characters in this range from really interesting to just being entertaining cogs of the machine. Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark, an arrogant yet brilliant engineer/billionaire (#GBPP) who gets to learn a bit of a life lesson after getting captured by terrorists.The arc we see Tony go through is one we’ve seen since this first movie, but it still feels fresh and interesting so many years later due to the brilliant little details in his characterization. And Downey Jr. (who was washed up before this movie) is fantastic in the role. Gwyneth Paltrow plays Pepper Potts, Tony’s assistant/friend who helps with him with various things throughout the movie. And you of course see signs of the whole love interest thing throughout the movie, but they never go all out on it, which makes their relationship feel a little bit more real here. And Paltrow is really good in the role. Then we have Terence Howard (who was replaced by Don Cheadle in the sequel) as James “Rhodey” Rhodes, one of Tony’s oldest friends and a military man. He works as a nice foil to the more arrogant Tony since he helps ground the eccentric engineer a bit. And Howard is really good in the role. Then we have Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane (great name), Tony’s mentor and company partner. And yes, it’s kind of obvious where his character will go throughout the movie, but they still make it work thanks to him having an overall pleasant personality, but with some shadier undertones. And Bridges is of course great in the role. Then in the supporting cat you have people like Clark Gregg, Leslie Bibb, Shaun Toub, Paul Bettany, and Jon Favreau, all doing very well in their respective roles. It is a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Ramin Djawadi and it was epic. Sure, some tracks are hidden in the background as basic background noise (which is a common problem in a lot of modern film scores), but other tracks are really badass, implementing a really cool mix of orchestral instruments with an electric guitar to create this really cool sound that I think works really well for the character of Tony Stark/Iron Man.

The movie was directed by Jon Favreau (and written by a whole bunch of people), and what he did with this movie is amazing. He took this larger than life character/idea and he made it feel grounded in it’s style. He also made everything feel surprisingly gritty, making every action feel like there’s actual impact behind it. Both in quiet moments and during the action scenes, Favreau brings his A-game. And the visual effects are also quite spectacular, especially for 2008. When the movie wants you to fly with the Iron Man suit, it doesn’t half-ass everything, it really feels/looks like there’s an Iron Man suit flying through the skies.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best sound editing and Best visual effects.

“Iron Man” stills holds up magnificently ten years after it’s release. It has a great plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/visual effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Iron Man” is a 9,83/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Iron Man” is now completed.

The MCU. The house that Tony built.

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…

Movie Review: The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

Can we just take a second to talk about how this movie just came out of fucking nowhere? We’ve gotten a few tiny details about it for a while, but we knew jack shit about it. Then last night during the Super Bowl a teaser for it was released that said “Hey, this movie is getting released on Netflix right after the game”. That is unprecedented in the modern film industry. It’s fucking insane. Anyway, here’s a review of the movie.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Cloverfield Paradox”.

The earth is going through a bit of an energy crisis, so a group of scientists work on a space station to try to solve it. But when they test out a device intended on solving it, they accidentally seem to mess with space-time, which means they have to face whatever consequences that come from their actions. So now we have our space-thriller. And is it any good? I’ll give it this, I was never bored of the plot in any way here. My problem is that the space-thriller here, while having some interesting ideas going on, never goes all-out on them and just comes off as a bit undercooked and bland. Then we have the “Cloverfield” part of the title, and this movie is somehow trying to connect all the movies in the Cloverfranchise, and it doesn’t always make sense that way. So overall here we have a messy plot that is undercooked and bland. The space-thriller side of the plot is kind of fun at times, but the entire thing is messy.

The characters here are a bit uninteresting. If you wanted me to go in-depth with them, then I couldn’t do that. I don’t know enough to do that. The only one we get some idea about is Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s character, and even that is a little too weak to fully care. But I can at least say that the cast here is really solid, and they all do quite well (some better than others). Other than Mbatha-Raw, we also have people like Daniel Brühl, David Oyelowo, Chris O’Dowd, Aksel Hennie, Ziyi Zhang, John Ortiz, and Roger Davies, all doing well in their roles.

Like with “10 Cloverfield Lane”, the score for this movie was composed by Bear McCreary, and it’s good… almost too good. It’s really exciting and overall very well composed, and somehow always outshines the scenes that feature it (hence why I called it “too good”). Sure, at times it does kind of succeed in making some moments/scenes more exciting and slightly tense. Good music, doesn’t always fit.

This movie was directed by Julius Onah and I think he did an okay job. Again, when it’s just the contained space-thriller the movie can be pretty fun, even if it doesn’t always work in a narrative way. But he does capture the feel of isolation quite well, making me feel a bit more interested in what’s going on. Though there’s an overall lack of actual tension. And the scares aren’t really scary. Mildly creative, but not scary. The cinematography is good, and the visual effects and sets looks fantastic. There’s good stuff here.

This movie just came out, so it doesn’t have too much data on my usual sites (at the time of writing). But on Rotten Tomatoes it has a 13% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 36/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“The Cloverfield Paradox” is a heavily flawed movie, but it does still have some fun to it. The plot is messy, the characters uninteresting, the performances are great, the music is good, and the direction/cinematography/effects and such is good. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Cloverfield Paradox” is a 6,55/10. So while it’s far from great, I’d still say that it could be worth watching.

My review of “The Cloverfield Paradox” is now completed.

I’m still excited in seeing what the Cloverfranchise could bring next.

Movie Review: Suicide Squad (2016)

I guess now was a good a time as any to watch this movie and review it as I didn’t last year when it came out. And I mean, I could technically use this as a sort of lead-up to “Justice League” later this month. Fuck it, moving onto the review.

Ladies and gents, what are we, some kind of… “Suicide Squad”.

When a supernatural entity threatens to wipe a lot of stuff out, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) decides to put together a team of criminals to try to stop the evil shit. So now we have our action movie plot. So is it any good? Difficult to give a hard answer. On the one hand, unlike “BvS”, it doesn’t have a thousand plot threads that get all tangled up, making it feel a bit more streamlined. And there are some decent ideas throughout the plot, but the overall execution feels a bit weak. I was interested enough to keep watching, but I never felt truly invested in the plot in any way. The stakes were high(ish), but it never felt like that. The plot here was… eh.

The characters in this range from interesting to duller than dishwater. Will Smith plays Deadshot, the most accurate marksman in the DC universe. Out of all the characters in this, he’s given the most development, and I found myself actually kind of caring about him. And Will Smith is really good in the role. Margot Robbie plays Harley Quinn, psychiatrist turned crazy person. She’s given some decent development, and she’s pretty enjoyable. And Robbie is really good in the role. Viola Davis plays Amanda Waller, the take-no-shit-from-no-one woman who puts together this squad. And like her comic/cartoon counterparts, she’s tougher than tough and kind of badass even if some things involving her in the movie are kinda dumb. But David was great in the role. Then we have Joel Kinnaman as Colonel Rick Flag, the non-criminal member of the squad. And while they try to give him some emotional weight in this, he is quite bland and I didn’t care about him. And Kinnaman is just… fine here. Jared Leto as the god damn Joker… I see the potential in him, there are bright spots in his performance, showing that he could be a good Joker. But his rather brief appearance and less than stellar writing doesn’t exactly help him out. But overall I guess he’s fine… could’a cut him out of the movie. Jay Hernandez (who should return to “The Expanse”, please and thank you) plays Diablo, a troubled man with fire powers. He is given a decent emotional core and I thought his character was pretty interesting. And Hernandez was good in the role. Then we have Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang. One of my least favorite actors as a character I have a hard time taking seriously. And somehow, against all odds, I actually enjoyed his appearance in this movie. He was a less serious character than some of the others, and I thought he was entertaining. So yeah, Courtney is surprisingly good in this (who’da thought?). Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje plays Killer Croc, and he gets sidelined for most of the movie… he does almost nothing here. And he’s… meh in the role, mainly due to writing/sidelining. Cara Delevingne plays Enchantress, the villain of the movie (there, I said it). She is clearly supposed to be a somewhat complex and interesting villain, but she just comes off as a dancing idiot. And Delevingne is… okay in the role. Then we have Karen Fukuhara as Katana, she’s got my back, I would advice not getting killed by her, her sword traps the souls of it’s victims. That is an actual exposition dump from this movie. And while she sounds kind of badass, she’s sidelined here. Does jack fucking shit in the grand scheme of things. So I can’t exactly comment on Fukuhara’s performance here other than saying that I think she was fine… I guess. Also, this movie waste’s a couple good actors. David Harbour, Common, Scott Eastwood, Kenneth Choi… wasted. But overall the movie is pretty well acted.

The score for the movie was composed by Steven Price and it was fine. Typical orchestral stuff with some mild electronic sounds thrown in every now and then. Not bad, not great… good. Worked decently well in some scenes, didn’t do much for others. They also used a whole bunch of licensed tracks throughout the movie, from The Animals to Skrillex. Some tracks were used pretty well throughout, actually kind of fitting the scene. Other times it feels like they chose some random tracks to throw in… strangely enough it is the tracks pertaining to my music tastes that mainly felt out of place. So overall this movie has some good music.

This movie was written and directed by David Ayer, but edited by Warner Bros. I say this because I can tell that David Ayer directed a tight(ish) and interesting action movie, and then some WB people came in and edited a lot of it. Parts feel like they’ve been cut to pieces, missing key parts. And then during certain scenes there are these weird edits thrown in that the execs probably thought were “cool”, but just came off as obnoxious and annoying. As for the action in this action movie, it’s not bad… mostly. The battle(s) in the streets aren’t mind-blowing, but they’re still pretty entertaining. The action in dark, close quarters offices were… okay, I guess. The final encounter… not very good, could barely see what was going on. So the action here ranges from good to… shit. As for humor (since they wanted to attempt that here), it is okay. Some jokes land, some don’t. The CGI in this movie is also like that. Some of it looks awesome, and some wasn’t good.

This movie hasn’t been the most well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 25% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 40/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10. The movie won 1 Oscar (wut?) in the category of Best makeup and hair. 

“Suicide Squad” is… fine. It has a meh plot, okay characters, good performances, good music, good(ish) directing, weird editing, and okay humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Suicide Squad” is a 6,22/10. While heavily flawed, I’d say that it might be worth a rental.

My review of “Suicide Squad” is now completed.

Since I’m in the middle, will both sides of the argument hate me now?

Movie Review: Daybreakers (2010)

The Month of Spooks continues! And what’s this, more vampires? Greeeeaaaaat.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Daybreakers”.

The world has gone to shit. An outbreak has caused most of humanity to turn into vampires. We follow Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke), a vampire/hematologist who joins a group of humans to try to find a cure for vampirism. So now we have our dystopian vampire plot. And it is actually pretty good. It sets up quite an interesting and fairly unique world that felt a bit more realized compared to other dystopias, a lot thanks to the attention to detail. It also has some interesting spins on vampire mythology. However, despite some of the cool ideas that the plot has, it is far from flawless. While the world and it’s mythology is interesting, the overall plot is kind of weak. I understood what was going on, it was pretty straight-forward. However, despite the world and mythos feeling developed, the rest of the plot is just there. It never fully engaged me, I just kind of followed along, never really feeling invested. And the ending teases a sequel. It doesn’t bother me that much, I just thought it would be worth mentioning. But overall the plot here is fine.

I’m a bit split on the characters here. Some of them I find quite interesting, even caring quite a bit about them. And some I find kind of bland. Ethan Hawke plays Edward Dalton, the conflicted vampire/hematologist. He does his job, but he also feels sorry for the humans. This personal conflict is pretty interesting and makes him a bit more of an interesting character. And Hawke is great in the role. Claudia Karvan plays Audrey, one of the people from the resistance that Edward decides to help. She’s decently tough, smart, and determined. And Karvan is good in the role. Willem Dafoe plays “Elvis”, another member of the resistance. He’s likable, interesting, and just cool. And Dafoe is of course great in the role. Sam Neill plays Charles Bromley, the head of a huge corporation, and the boss of Dalton. And he’s one of the more bland individuals in the movie. The characters is just your typical bland corporate asshole character with the only twist being that he’s a vampire. And Sam Neill is pretty good in the role. And then we have Michael Dorman as Dalton younger brother, Frankie. He’s a bit of a dick, but you can tell that there’s a heart there somewhere. And Dorman is good in the role. Again, some characters are great, some not so much. But it’s at least well acted.

The score was composed by Christopher Gordon and it was good. While it’s not something I’d find myself listening to a lazy Sunday afternoon, it works very well for the movie. It’s loud, exciting, and just overall works well for this type of science fiction-thriller movie. It never felt out of place and worked fine for the movie.

This movie was directed by Michael & Peter Spierig (who later went on to make the excellent “Predestination”) and I think they did a really good job here. Their directing is tight, tense, and pretty eerie, often making me feel slightly on edge. And the action scenes in this movie are fun. Not among the best I’ve ever seen, but they’re fun and have a good amount of impact to them. And let’s talk about the visual effects. Because some of them look fucking fantastic, and some of them look… meh. That said, for such a small budget it is quite impressive what they managed to create here. There’s also plenty of blood & gore here and it is glorious, especially when most vampire movies around that time were dull, sparkly, PG-13 shitstains that wouldn’t dare go this far. But “Daybreakers” did it, and it’s glorious.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 57/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,5/10.

Will “Daybreakers” be remembered in the future as a classic? No. But for what it’s worth, this is quite an entertaining sci-fi-thriller. It has an okay plot, good characters, really good performances, good music, and great directing. My only flaws with it come from the plot feeling somewhat thin, and some characters being a bit bland. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Daybreakers” is an 8,53/10. So while flawed it is still worth buying.

My review of “Daybreakers” is now completed.

Two Ethan Hawke movies in the span of one week… hell yeah.

“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.

Series Review: The Expanse – Season 2 (2017)

As some of you might remember, I reviewed the first season of this show a couple of weeks back. You might then also remember that I kind of loved it. So, now that season 2 is watched, the question is: Is it any good? Let’s find out. Oh and by the way, there will be some spoilers for season 1 here. So if you haven’t seen that first season, maybe go catch up and come back. Or you just don’t care. Anyhow, let’s get on with the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Expanse” season 2!

After they discovered the Protomolecule and succesfully escaped from Eros, the crew of the Rocinante (Steven Strait, Cas Anvar, Dominique Tipper, Wes Chatham) and detective Miller (Thomas Jane) are once again out in space. So now they have to find out who/what’s behind this infection and also if there’s a way to fully stop it. We also once again follow Chrisjen (Shohreh Agdashloo) as she navigates the tough world of politics, trying to keep the tense relationship between Earth and Mars from brewing into a full blown war. I’m not gonna dilly-dally too much… fuck me, the plot here is fantastic! The conspiracy/mystery behind the Protomolecule that Holden and gang have to solve is extremely fascinating and helps give a bit more depth to the universe. And the political side of the plot is extremely interesting, adding a surprising amount of tension to everything that happens throughout the 13 episodes. That’s right, this season is 13 episode long instead of 10. Increasing the amount of episodes like that can sometimes go poorly, but here they handle it spectacularly. It is overall a bigger season in every sense of the word, and while “bigger doesn’t mean better” can apply to a lot of situations, this isn’t one of them… the expansion of “The Expanse” (HA!) is very well handled.  The plot here is dramatic, exciting, suspenseful, intense, and just overall fantastic!

The characters in season 1 were already quite interesting, and here in season 2 they get even more development, and not just singularly, but the relationships are developed a bit more too. Steven Strait once again played Jim Holden and while he at times can seem a little dumb in his decisions, he’s still an incredibly interesting character. And Strait is great in the role. Dominique Tipper returned as Naomi Nagata, a very clever woman who can let her emotions get the best of her at times. And Tipper is great in the role. Cas Anvar returned as Alex Kamal (my favorite character in season 1), the Martian-born pilot of the Rocinante. Like in season 1, he is quite a funny character, but he’s also given a lot of good dramatic moments that really helps make the character even more compelling, and Anvar is great in the role. Wes Chatham returned as Amos Burton, the Roci’s resident knucklehead. But he’s not just a big, dumb piece of bicep, he is also a character that clearly cares about his friends. And after he experiences something in the season (no spoilers), he gets some dramatic weight to him. And Chatham is great in the role. Shohreh  Aghdashloo returned as Chrisjen Avasarala, the extremely interesting UN politician. She knows how to cleverly mainpulate people to get her will across, without seeming like a villain. And Aghdashloo is fantastic in the role. Thomas Jane returned as detective Miller, the stubborn man out to do his job. I don’t wanna say more about him because there’s some spoiler-y stuff. So I’ll just leave that by saying that Jane is really good in the role. Now let’s talk about the newcomer of the season. This season introduced us to Roberta “Bobbie” Draper, a Martian soldier who goes through some shit. She’s played by Frankie Adams and she’s great in the role. We also get some killer supoorting performances throughout from people like Jared Harris, Chad L. Coleman, François Chau, Hugh Dillon, Shawn Doyle, and various other actors.

The score, like in season 1, was composed by Clinton Shorter and it’s just as great as season 1. Dramatic, tense, epic, cool, and it just overall fits the show perfectly. Really, there’s not much else I can say here.

Like I said in my review of season 1, this show was created by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and written/directed by a whole bunch of people. Season 1 was very well directed, making use of the claustrophobic ships, the futuristic/shit towns, and the big, open space to create a tense atmosphere. And they nailed it once again, making perfect use of their sets/environments. And the shots look great, with some interesting cinematography. And yes, there are some shootouts here and they are very well handled. I also have to mention, in season 1 the effects were great… but here they really upped their game. They seem to have given the CGI some extra polish/work because holy shit, it looks even better than in season 1 (somehow). They even have space battles which are handled in a very realistic but still exciting way. This show really is pure eye candy.

This show/season has been quite well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,3/10.

“The Expanse” season 2 manages to be both bigger and better than the (excellent) first season. It has a fantastic plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, fantastic directing, and fantastic visual effects. Time for my final score. *Space*. My final score for “The Expanse” season 2 is a 9,97/10. This of course means that it gets the one and only “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Expanse” season 2 is now completed.

I’m still stunned that a show this good can come from the same channel as “Sharknado” and “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus”. 

Movie Review: Ex Machina (2015)

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The concept of artificial intelligence is one that both intrigues and scares me a lot. Sure it would be cool if someone managed to create AI because it would be such a leap in science, but it might also go south pretty quickly. I mean, if you have seen “The Matrix” you know what I am talking about. Anyhow, if there is a movie about AI that actually looks interesting, I will most likely watch it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ex Machina”.

Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) is a young and skilled programmer working for the biggest non-google search engine in the world (at least in the movie). One day he gets a chance to get a trip out to the home/workspace of the owner of this search engine, Nathan (Oscar Isaac). When Caleb arrives at this pretty swanky place in the middle of fucking nowhere Nathan tells him that he managed to create the world’s first AI. A very attractive AI-robot named Ava (Alicia Vikander) whom Caleb seems to form some sort of bond with. And then we see how he tries to figure out if she really is a legit AI or if it’s a total fucking bust. And then it all turns into a “Who can be trusted” thriller with a sci-fi element to it. And from that we get a very tension-filled plot about humanity, artificial intelligence, science and trust. And I absolutely loved the plot of this movie. It constantly kept me guessing. And just as I thought I had something good going, it slapped me in the face with a twist that made me have to rethink everything… and that’s awesome! This was such a smart plot and I just really enjoyed it all.

The characters were all entertaining and interesting in their own rights. And I can safely say that the actors portraying them all did a great job. Domhnall Gleeson did a great job as our protagonist. Swedish (yay, my nationality!) actress Alicia Vikander was fantastic as this AI/robot, giving a lot of interesting nuances to her performance that really helped improve from your standard robot performance. Then we have Oscar Isaac as Nathan… holy shit. This is another one of those movies that solidify that Oscar Isaac is a fucking phenomenal actor. He’s funny, he’s creepy, he’s weird, he’s interesting, he’s just great. Every actor in this movie did a great job in the movie, easy as that.

The score for the movie was composed by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow (double teh greatness?). And I have to say that it was actually really good, having a heavy orientation in the guitar department. And I don’t mean as in rock music, but rather to create a sound that would sound intriguing but also giving you an uneasy feeling. They also did that with a lot of droning noises which really worked because it sounded great and fit the movie well.

This movie was directed by Alex Garland and this is his directorial debut… but you wouldn’t believe that when watching it because it is very well directed. He is also the man who wrote the movie, now that is something he has some experience with, being the writer of movies like “28 Days Later”, “Sunshine” and “Dredd”, three movies I personally enjoyed. And the writing in the movie was very good. I can also say that the visual effects were pretty damn great as well. This isn’t an effects-heavy spectacle of a movie, but when there are visual effects (mainly CGI), they’re pretty great.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 78/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10.

“Ex Machina” is one of those movies that just snuck onto my radar out of nowhere and then impressed me a lot when I finally saw it. It has a great and tension-filled plot, great acting, great music, great writing, great directing and great visual effects. Time for my final score. *Bzzzt*. My final score for “Ex Machina” is a 9,88/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Ex Machina” is now completed.

This reminds me, that son of a bitch Jeff had something to show me… I wonder what it is.