Movie Review: The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Happy valentines day, my friends. Hope you’re showing the love today. Whether for your significant other, your friends, your relatives, your pet, it doesn’t matter. Just show some love. Anyway, since it’s the day of lovey-dovey bullshit, let’s talk about a romance movie of sorts.

Ladies and gents… “The Adjustment Bureau”.

David Norris (Matt Damon) is a congressman in the state of New York. One day he meets professional dancer Elise (Emily Blunt) and starts falling in love with her. But their relationship gets halted at every turn by a mysterious organization hellbent on keeping them apart. So now David has to try to outsmart them and take control of his own destiny. And I thought the plot here was… fine. It has a damn good concept, and I did enjoy the chain of events along with some of the fairly unique world building they did throughout. It did however never fully grab me. It felt like they only really scraped the surface of the idea to try to appeal to the broadest audience possible. It’s like if “Dark City” was a bit bland. So overall, the plot here is fine, if a bit toothless.

The characters in this I found to be decently enjoyable. Matt Damon plays David Norris, a congressman with dreams of moving up in the political world, but can’t quite do that while dealing with this whole Elise situation. And we see him get some decent development throughout as he tries to figure out what the hell is going on. And Damon is great in the role. Emily Blunt plays Elise, the woman that Norris meets and falls in love with. She’s a tough, charming, and overall pretty interesting lady that I liked following a bit in the movie. And Blunt is great in the role. We also get supporting work from people like John Slattery, Anthony Mackie, Michael Kelly, Terence Stamp, and more, all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for this movie was composed by Thomas Newman, and it was fine. It was a bit bland, while still being decently enjoyable to listen to in the background of the film. I guess it worked well enough for the various scenes throughout the movie, even though it didn’t bring any real oomph to it.

Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick (why am I not surprised), this movie was written and directed by George Nolfi, who I think did a pretty good job. His direction gives the movie a decent bit of energy and helps it from feeling stale. Sure, the plot is a bit so-and-so, but the directing is still good enough to slightly elevate it.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 71% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 60/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

While it has its fair share of flaws, “The Adjustment Bureau” is still a fairly enjoyable little romantic thriller. It has a fine plot, pretty good characters, great performances, fine music, and good directing. Though as previously mentioned, the plot didn’t really stick with me, and the music didn’t really bring anything for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Adjustment Bureau” is a 7,87/10. So while it is flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “The Adjustment Bureau” is now completed.

Nothing like stories of forbidden love.

Movie Review: The Godfather Part III (1990)

Can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finish this damn trilogy. I watched and reviewed the first part all the way back in 2015. Then in April of last year I finally got to Part 2. And now, nearly four years after that first one, we wrap it all up. So here we fuckin’ go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Godfather Part III”.

The year is 1979. An aging Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) is working to fully go legitimate, after all the sins in his past. But that turns out to be more difficult than anticipated as he has to deal with the other families, as well as reluctantly take his nephew Vincent (Andy Garcia) under his wing. So now we have our third and final “Godfather” story. And god damn, is it a mixed bag. I was actually quite invested at first, as the story they present towards the first act of the film is reminiscent of the other films in the series, and presents a compelling narrative around lineage, atoning, and the various other themes one would expect from the franchise at this point. Then shit hits the fan and it all gets quite uninteresting for a while. It’s not awful, but it’s just kinda boring and mediocrely written. Then towards the end it kinda picks up again. The entire thing is kind of a mixed bag.

The characters in this are mostly quite good. There’s one or two that I just had trouble giving a shit about. I just went “Oh yeah, you’re here too, I guess” any time I saw one of them. First up we have Al Pacino reprising his role as Michael Corleone, head of the Corleone family. He’s a lot older now, getting tired of all the shit going on around him. And he’s still probably the most compelling character in this whole thing. And Pacino is great in the role. Next we have Andy Garcia as Vincent Mancini, Michael’s nephew and now protegé. He’s a bit of a hothead who often gets into trouble, but still wants to really impress his uncle, showing that he can be useful. And aside from one subplot that is just… wrong, he actually has a good arc here. And Garcia is great in the role. We also get Eli Wallach as Don Albotello, a fellow Godfather and generally interesting man with an interesting little plot of his own here. And Wallach is great in the role. Next we have Sofia Coppola as Mary Corleone, Michael’s daughter. She has a character arc in this that is weird, uncomfortable, and not the most well written, making her a character I didn’t care for that much. And Coppola isn’t very good in the role… at all. We also see the return of Talia Shire and Diane Keaton, both doing very well in their roles. We also get supporting work from people like Bridget Fonda, Joe Mantegna, George Hamilton, Raf Vallone, Franc, D’Ambrosio, and many more, all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Carmine Coppola, and it was quite good. IT has that intimate and emotional style of the previous “Godfather” scores without just sounding like the exact same thing being used. It has its own flourishes, and I liked most of them. What I don’t get is the frequent use of a mouth harp. Is this a movie about an Italian-American crime family, or is it about a wacky clan of hillbillies? Other than the weird use of a mouth harp, the music here is damn good.

“The Godfather Part III” is as expected from the title, the third part in the “Godfather” series based on Mario Puzo’s book of the same name. But unlike the last two, this had no real source material, so it was written from scratch by Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, and directed by Coppola. And while the writing leaves a bit to be desired at times, Coppola’s direction is still (mostly) as tight as ever, giving us an intimate, engaging, and suspenseful look into this world. And the cinematography by Gordon Willis is quite good too, giving us some real eye candy throughout.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 68% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 60/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie was nominated for seven Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best supporting actor (Garcia), Best Director, Best cinematography, Best set decoration, Best film editing, and Best original song.

“The Godfather Part III” is a bit of a disappointing end to this trilogy, but it’s overall an enjoyable crime-drama. It has an okay plot, okay characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/cinematography. As previously mentioned, the movie suffers due to a large chunk of the plot being uninteresting, a few uninteresting characters, and one distractingly bad performance from a major player. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Godfather Part III” is a 7,87/10. So while heavily flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “The Godfather Part III” is now completed.

Sometimes the mighty fall. But then they give it one last push.

Movie Review: The Babadook (2014)

That’s right, more Month of Spooks stuff coming your way. So let’s stop it with this dawdling and get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Babadook”.

Amelia (Essie Davis) is a woman who’s had to try to raise her rambunctious son all on her own after her husband’s death. And soon her life is turned even further upside down when a sinister force starts seeping into her life, turning her challenging life into a hellish one. So now we have our plot. And I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand you have a dramatic thriller about the psychological struggles of this mother. And I find that stuff utterly compelling and kind of horrifying. Then we have the monster with the goofy name side with the plot… and those parts take me out of the movie quite a bit. Sure, those bits provide some decent creepiness, but said creepiness doesn’t stop it from taking me out of the experience. Had the plot stuck to the psychological drama, I would’ve given this movie top marks. I know, I shouldn’t judge a movie for what it could’ve been, but I am just saying that the current state of it doesn’t quite gel for me. There is a great plot in here, but there’s also a monster grabbing me and pulling my ass away from it.

The characters in this are all flawed and pretty interesting. First up we have Essie Davis as Amelia, the woman at the center of this story. She deals with a lot of grief and other emotions, even though it’s been so long since the event that caused it. And it doesn’t exactly help that her son is a real troublemaker. All of this amplified when the titular sinister force starts coming into her life, making everything horrible for her. She’s quite an interesting character. And Essie Davis is absolutely fantastic in the role. Next we have Noah Wiseman as Samuel, Amelia’s son. He’s loud, annoying, emotionally dependent on his mother, and just causes Amelia a lot of pain. But you can also tell that he never means any ill will by it all, and it’s interesting to see what effect it has on his immediate surroundings. And Wiseman is… I don’t know how to put it. There are moments where his performance is pretty good, and there are moments where it’s honestly kinda bad. So let’s just chalk it up to “fine”. And the supporting performances from people like Hayley McElhinney and Daniel Henshall are good.

The score for the movie was composed by Jed Kurzel, and it was pretty good. It managed to blend creepiness with some decently emotional beats as well to create a score that just worked quite well for the movie.

“The Babadook” was written and directed by Jennifer Kent, and I think she did a good job with it. The movie is decently shot, and Kent manages to bring in some pretty good dread throughout with her direction. This movie is decently creepy. It’s also quite impressive that this was Kent’s directorial debut, one would’ve thought that she’d been doing it for a bit longer than that. I mean, there are little mistakes here and there, but nothing that babatook me out of “The Babadook”.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 98% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 86/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

While I wasn’t blown away by it like a lot of people, I still think “The Babadook” is a good movie. It has a good-ish plot, okay characters, really good performances, good music, and really good directing. As previously mentioned, the inclusion of the supernatural monster angle didn’t fully work for me. Also, while I judge kid performances a bit differently from adult ones, there were enough bad moments from the main kid that it brings it down a little bit more for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Babadook” is a 7,87/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it’s definitely worth a rental.

My review of “The Babadook” is now completed.

“Fool of a Babatook” – Gandalf, kind of.

Movie Review: Hour of the Wolf (1968)

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s finally time. That time of year that I announced a month ago. One of my favorite parts of the year. LET THE MONTH OF SPOOKS COMMENCE!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Hour of the Wolf”.

When spending some quality time with his wife (Liv Ullmann) on a remote island, painter John Borg (Max von Sydow) begins to have a breakdown as his inner start tormenting him. So now we have our drama that features specks of horror throughout. And is the plot any good? It has a good setup, but ultimately just kind of bores in its first half. I don’t mind slow burners, but very little of substance actually happens in that first half, and I found myself checking my watch quite a bit. Then during the second half it picks up quite a bit and get some really good stuff, both in terms of plot development and overall disturbance factor. So how would I sum up my thoughts on the plot in its entirety? Fine.

The characters in this are all flawed, layered, and overall interesting. Max von Sydow plays Johan Borg, the man at the center of this story, a painter with some inner demons he must battle. And I’m not saying much more other than I find his character journey quite intriguing. And von Sydow is great in the role. Then we have Liv Ullmann as his wife, Alma. A caring woman who just wants to live a good life with her husband, it’s interesting to see her experiencing this breakdown that her husband is having, giving her quite a bit of depth. And Ullmann is fantastic in the role. We also get some supporting performances from people like Gertrud Fridh (R.I.P), Georg Rydeberg (R.I.P), Erland Josephson (R.I.P), and more, all doing well in their respective roles.

The music for the movie was composed by Lars Johan Werle (R.I.P), and it’s pretty good. It’s used fairly sparingly, but when they actually use it, it is quite horrific, using a lot of horrific stings to give off a sort of disturbing and horrific vibe akin to most horror movies at the time. And I find it to be quite effective.

The movie was written and directed by Ingmar Bergman (R.I.P), and I think he did a really godo job with it here. he has crafted such a unique and intriguing mood for the film. Even in the first half, that I said I wasn’t a fan of,  the mood set by Bergman’s direction keeps it from becoming 100% uninteresting. And when we get to the second half, the mood really kicks into gear along with the plot, and we get a truly haunting and surreal ambiance that had me absolutely captivated. This is also where we get the horror stuff, which is more disturbing than outright scary, but it still kinda got to me, so I guess it did something right.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10.

“Hour of the Wolf” pitches some good ideas, and has some effective scenes, but is far from flawless. It has a fine plot, pretty good characters, great performances, really good music, and really good directing. As previously mentioned, it is brought down by the first half being quite boring and uninteresting. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Hour of the Wolf” is a 7,76/10. So while flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Hour of the Wolf” is now completed.

“Werewolf?”
“There wolf”. But there are no wolves anywhere, you lied to me, Igor.

Movie Review: Mission Impossible 2 (2000)

Here we are, the second part in my “Mission Impossible” review series leading up to “Mission Impossible: Fallout” in August. So let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mission Impossible 2”.

When a rogue agent (Dougray Scott) gets hold of a deadly virus, it is up to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) to try to stop him from doing some bad stuff with it. So we go from a complex spy plot to a simple save the world plot. And I’m fine with that… for the most part. On one hand, sometimes you just need a “hero trying to stop a villain from doing bad shit”, and when it focuses on that it’s actually fun. But on another hand, this movie can be quite boring. The first half to be a bit more exact, as it meanders a bit too much for my taste. But when the second half kicks in, we get the fun, fast-paced, and focused action plot that we want. So overall this plot is… fine.

The characters in this are… well, they are… how do I put this… flat-ish. The first movie had tons of good character development, and this… doesn’t. Tom Cruise of course returns as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, and unlike being a vulnerable and interesting character, in this he’s kind of like James Bond. He went from a complex character to a badass archetype. And while he can be fun to watch, I feel like something’s kind of missing here. Oh well, at least Tom Cruise is really good in the role. Next we have Dougray Scott as the villain, Sean Ambrose. He’s not one of the greatest villains of all time, but he works quite well for the story being told, being an enjoyable foil for Ethan. And Scott gives a really good performance. Next we have Thandie Newton as Naya, a thief that Ethan recruits for the mission (impossible) and even falls in love with. She feels less like a fully realized character and more like a somewhat generic love interest/prop. But she does get some decent enough moments throughout to make her feel somewhat useful. And Newton is good in the role. Then we get supporting performances from people like Ving Rhames, Anthony Hopkins, Richard Roxburgh, John Polson, Brendan Gleeson, and Rade Serbedzija, all doing okay in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Hans Zimmer, and it’s pretty good. It uses an interesting blend of orchestrations, acoustic guitar, and slightly distorted electric guitar to create some pretty cool sounds. It actually helps to make some bits a bit more exciting. As for the theme by Limp Bizkit… it’s actually okay when there are no vocals, as the instrumentals are fairly competent.

This movie was not directed by Brian De Palma, but was instead helmed by John Woo. And I think he for the most part did a good job. The shots look good and he does make the edit quite interesting. And when we actually get to the action scenes Woo shows his true colors… and man, that is a good thing. The action scenes in this are fast-paced, badass, brutal (for PG-13), and tons of fun. Say what you want about his pigeon fetish, but you can’t deny that Woo knows how to handle action sequences.

This movie has gotten a lot of mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 57% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 59/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,1/10.

“Mission Impossible 2” is a mixed bag of things, but ultimately works if you want some enjoyable action. It has an okay plot, meh characters, really good performances, really good music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mission Impossible 2” is a 7,01/10. So while very flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Mission Impossible 2” is now completed.

SLOW-MO PIGEONS DUAL-WIELDING PISTOLS.

Movie Review: Ocean’s Twelve (2004)

As I promised last week, I am still going through with reviewing the “Ocean’s” trilogy. So let’s jump into the second part in the series.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ocean’s Twelve”.

After successfully stealing 160 million dollars, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) decided to settle down and life an easy life with his wife Tess (Julia Roberts). But that relaxing life gets halted when Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), the man they stole from, threatens to kill Ocean and his friends unless they can give back those 160 million (plus interest). So Danny has to team up with his gang once again to pull some heists in Europe in hopes of paying back their debt. All while a Europol agent (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is on the hunt for them. So now we have our heist sequel plot. And it’s not great. It lacks the tightness and suspense of the first movie’s plot, often feeling a bit disjointed. It’s also pretty boring in a lot of parts. Admittedly this isn’t the worst plot ever, since there are some fun moments throughout to keep it from becoming absolute shit. It’s… meh.

The characters in this don’t really get any significant development, but what I can say is the returning cast are all still a lot of fun to watch as they share some damn fine chemistry. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Elliott Gould, Bernie Mac (R.I.P), Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Qin Shaobo, Carl Reiner, Eddie Jemison, Julia Roberts, they’re all fun. Even Andy Garcia who, despite a relatively small role, still gives a quietly intimidating and charming performance. Catherine Zeta-Jones is pretty good as the agent that the guys have to avoid throughout the movie. Again, not a lot of interesting character development here, but I did enjoy the cast.

David Holmes returned to do the score for this, and once again it is really good. It’s fun, energetic, and just helps bring something to the movie to keep it a little more interesting. The licensed tracks used throughout are also pretty good. Not the most catchy or memorable, but they still work pretty good within the movie.

As with the first movie, “Ocean’s Twelve” was shot and directed by Steven Soderbergh, and his direction is kind of what stands out here. While his direction can’t bring suspense to the heist like in the first one, I do admit that no shots he had were uninteresting. As a matter of fact, there are some shots in here that I thought were really good. Again, no real suspense is built here, but his directing is solid enough to keep me interested.

This movie hasn’t been the most well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 54% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,5/10.

“Ocean’s Twelve” isn’t great, but there is some fun to be had throughout. It has a meh plot, good characters, really good performances, really good music, and good directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Ocean’s Twelve” is a 6,12/10. While not great, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Ocean’s Twelve” is now completed.

“Ocean’s Thirteen” next week.

Movie Review: Batman Ninja (2018)

I like Batman. I like anime. I like DC animated features (if you didn’t already know that from all the DC animation reviews I’ve done). So hopefully this’ll be something pretty good. Let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman Ninja”.

After he tries to stop an experiment by the villainous Gorilla Grodd (Fred Tatasciore), Batman (Roger Craig Smith) finds himself transported to feudal Japan. He soon finds also finds out that multiple of his allies and enemies have been transported there too. So we follow him as he tries to find a way back home, while also having to deal with the villains who infest Japan. So this plot is batshit (pun intended) insane. I’m okay with doing different things with established characters, it can lead to some really cool stuff. And at first I thought the ninja Batman thing sounded kind neat. And at times it is. But the plot has a really weird pace, often feeling very start-stop in it’s approach. When a part of it gains momentum, we cut into the next part, with no natural transition. It’s not a bad plot, as it has some fun ideas to it, but overall it’s kinda messy.

The characters in this I will not rally go into, as they are all just as you know them. There’s established Batman heroes/villains here, and only like one new character. And the already established ones act as you would expect ’em too. Roger Craig Smith plays the caped crusader. It’s his second time in the role after the underrated “Arkham Origins” video game, and I think he’s a great Batman. He does sound a bit like a younger version of Kevin Conroy, and that is just awesome. And the fact that he still makes the role his own is even cooler. So yeah, he’s great. Next up we have Tony Hale as the Joker… yes, really. At first I was unsure about him, as he just sounded like some high-pitched goofball. But as the movie went on something happened. I started enjoying his performance, which starting sounding a bit more sinister and more like the god damn Joker. So yeah… he’s pretty good. Then we have Grey Griffin as Catwoman, doing the same sexy and confident performance she has given the character in other things. And she’s great. Then in other roles we get people like Eric Bauza, Adam Croasdell, Will Friedle, Fred Tatasciore, Tara Strong, Yuri Lowenthal, and Matthew Yang King, all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Yugo Kanno and it was good. I like how it blends the typical superhero brass with some more Japanese sounds to create something that gives the movie a more unique feel. Not gonna say that it’s one of the best scores I’ve ever heard, and it’s not one of the most memorable, but it certainly works well for the movie.

The movie was directed by Junpei Mizusaki and I have mixed feelings. The movie takes on a cel-shaded 3D animation style, and I don’t like that style. It looked bad in “Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters”, it looked bad in the trailer for this, and in this finished product it’s a mixed bag. When it’s mostly talking or slow walking or just generally “calm”, it doesn’t look great. It’s a weird style that doesn’t quite work, especially since it is quite jittery. But when we get to the action scenes, it looks kinda cool. Fast-paced fights between characters in this look interesting and they are are fairly enjoyable. Then there’s a scene with a sudden and weird shift in art style that I didn’t like too much. So I’m not sure what to say… Good action, meh everything else? Sure, let’s go with that.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception (based on the limited data I go by). On Rotten Tomatoes it has no critic rating, but the audience score is at 55%. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist at all. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,9/10.

“Batman Ninja” is a fucking weird movie that has a few good things going for it. It has a meh plot, okay characters, really good performances, good music, mixed direction/animation, and good action. Flaws (as previously mentioned) come in the form of a messy plot and the animation being weird. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Batman Ninja” is a 6,45/10. So while very flawed, I’d say that it’s worth renting.

My review of “Batman Ninja” is now completed.

Why do they keep insisting that they should use cel-shaded CGI? Stop it.

Movie Review: Hope Springs (2012)

Marriage. A bond between a man and a woman. Or a man and a man. Or a woman and a woman. The point I’m trying to make is that it’s a bond, connecting to people (sometimes out of love, sometimes because of horrible shit) in a more powerful way. But even the happiest of marriages can show cracks, especially after a really long time. Let’s explore that.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Hope Springs”.

Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) have been married for a long time. And while they have a nice and easy daily routine, Kay feels like their marriage has gotten a bit stale. So she books tickets for them to go to intensive couples therapy to see if she can’t fix their situation a bit. Stories about sexless marriages isn’t anything new, and the plot here doesn’t do anything new or totally unpredictable. Overall I’d call it… fine. It’s breezy and enjoyable enough, with only a few moments of melodrama that sometimes work and sometimes don’t. It’s a harmless enough plot that I’d call fine.

The characters in this aren’t the deepest, but I also don’t hate them. They’re fine. Meryl Streep plays Kay, the one of the two who gets the plot started, the one that feels like something’s off about the marriage. She loves her husband, but she wants things to be less… dry. She easily gets emotional, and it’s a bit hit or miss for me throughout. But I can safely say that Meryl Streep is great. Tommy Lee Jones plays Arnold, the Tommy Lee Jones-ian grouch who seems to be perfectly fine with the dry and sexless marriage that he’s part of. And it’s interesting to see him get some decent character development here. And Jones is really good in the role. Then we have Steve Carell as Doctor Feld, the therapist that Kay and Arnold see during their little vacation. You can tell that he’s actually interested in what’s going on, and he seems like he genuinely likes helping people. He mainly serves as a plot device to get the Kay’s and Arnold’s plot moving forward, but he’s also an enjoyable presence. And Carell is really good in the role.

The score for the movie was composed by Theodore Shapiro and it was fine… I think. I almost never really noticed it. I could at times kind of hear it, but those tracks felt more like fodder rather than any actual mood-setter. Then there’s also a bunch of licensed tracks used throughout and I have mixed feelings. While the songs themselves were pretty good, the way they were used was a bit… sledgehammer-y. Like they used songs “appropriate to the situation”, meaning lyrics exactly explaining what was going on with the characters, things we could’ve picked up on without the “YOU HEAR THIS SHIT, WE SO CLEVER!” use of music. So the music in this movie overall is… fine.

This movie was directed by David Frankel, and he did a pretty good job. Like I said about the plot, it’s quite fun and breezy, and there’s no shot that lingers too long. And the camerawork in general is fine. There are also some jokes here that are fine. I never laughed out loud, but there were a bunch of chuckles throughout.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 75% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,3/10.

While “Hope Springs” is far from a great movie, it’s still an enjoyable enough little romcom. It has an okay plot, okay characters, really good performances, okay music, good directing, and okay comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Hope Springs” is a 6,23/10. While very flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Hope Springs” is now completed.

Seen better, seen worse.

Movie Review: Maggie’s Plan (2016)

Since it’s valentine’s day, I thought I’d watch a romance movie. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Maggie’s Plan”.

Maggie (Greta Gerwig) has a plan to get impregnated, but without getting married, and raising the child on her own. But her plan and life gets a bit messier when she gets romantically involved with a married man (Ethan Hawke). So we follow Maggie through the ups and downs that come from this situation so now we have our romantic dramedy plot. And is it any good? For the most part, sure. It has some interesting ideas, and I was somewhat invested throughout the entirety of it. But I was also slightly bored. It was interesting enough to continue following through the entire runtime (a little over 90 minutes), but I somehow found myself a little bored by it all. It’s quite the enigma. So I guess it was… fine.

The characters in this are pretty interesting. Greta Gerwig plays Maggie, the titular lady whose plan gets a bit fucked. She’s a very kind and intelligent young woman with a lot on her mind, and it’s interesting to see her characteristics tested throughout everything that happens. And Gerwig gives a great performance. Ethan Hawke plays John, the married man that Maggie gets romantically engaged with. He’s an author and college professor with a lot on his plate. And he’s generally an interesting individual. And Hawke is great in the role. Then we have Julianne Moore as John’s wife Georgette. I’m not gonna say too much about her as she’s best experienced, but she’s quite a unique character. And Moore is really good in the role. Then we have Travis Fimmel as a guy named Guy (yes, really), and he’s the guy that Maggie more or less chose as donor for her pre-conundrum baby. And he’s a sweet guy with understandable ambitions. And Fimmel is good in the role. Then we have Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph as Tony and Felicia, two of Maggie’s closest friends. I’m lumping them both together since they kind of serve the same purpose, which is to deliver truth bombs to Maggie while also being a bit self-deprecating, which leads to a good amount of funny humor. And Hader & Rudolph and really good in the roles. It’s a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Rohatyn and it was good. It’s a pretty quirky and fun score with tracks that fit pretty well within some of the quirky romantic comedy scenes. At times it isn’t a perfect fit, but for the most part it works. There’s also a whole bunch of licensed tracks used throughout, and they work pretty well in their respective scenes.

This movie was written and directed by Rebecca Miller and I think she did a good job. Her direction here is competent, even though it doesn’t do anything unique with it. It looks pretty good, but never really stands out in direction. But it’s still good enough to get the viewer (me) a bit more invested in what’s going on.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10.

“Maggie’s Plan” has a lot of good things going for it, though it has flaws. It has a fine plot, good characters, great performances, good music, and pretty good directing. As previously mentioned, the plot here is a bit of an enigma, somehow being both boring and interesting at the same time. And some of the music doesn’t quite fit perfectly. Time for my final score.  *Ahem*. My final score for “Maggie’s Plan” is a 7,77/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it’s definitely worth a rental.

My review of “Maggie’s Plan” is now completed.

Happy valentine’s day or something.

Movie Review: Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)

This is exciting. First new DC animated movie of 2018. Even though there have been a few less than stellar ones over the years, I will always be excited for them. Anyway, let’s get on with the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight”.

Set in an alternate, Victorian era Gotham city, we follow Bruce Wayne (Bruce Greenwood) as he is stopping crimes in Gotham. And soon he has to find and stop a very dangerous serial killer known simply as… Jack the Ripper. So now we have our steampunk/Victorian era mystery starring Batman. And is this plot any good? Yes and no. On one hand you have this really cool idea of a steampunk Batman chasing after a killer, that’s a really cool idea. The execution here however is kind of average. They never let moments sink in, and I never felt fully invested in what was going on. There is a pretty good twist near the end of the movie that I won’t spoil, but let it be known that aside from that twist and also the overall idea, there isn’t too much about this plot that says “That’s actually really cool”. I wouldn’t call it bad, just kind of… okay.

The characters here do get some moments that make them a bit more interesting, but overall they don’t do too much to make us care too much about them. First up we of course have Bruce Wayne, rich playboy/philanthropist who at night dresses up like  grumpy bat-person and beats up criminals. He’s the same here as in most mediums, they do nothing new aside from the change of era. But I still enjoyed following him as he is decently likable. And Bruce Greenwood (Sidenote: His third time voicing the character) is great in the role. Then we have Selina Kyle, a sexy and charming yet tough woman. In this she’s an actress/entertainer rather than a cat burglar, and the stuff that she gets to do in this movie is pretty interesting. And Jennifer Carpenter does a really good job voicing her. Then we have James Gordon, still the commissioner of Gotham PD, still a very respectable man. They do some interesting stuff with him throughout the plot. Scott Patterson does a good job voicing him. As for the rest of the characters, they do nothing too noteworthy with them, but they work in this I guess. The cast, consisting of people like Anthony Stewart Head, Yuri Lowenthal, Grey DeLisle, John DiMaggio, William Slayers, and more, all do quite well in their roles.

As with most DC animated movies these days, the score was composed by Frederik Wiedmann. And once again he has composed a score that is exciting, tense, emotional, and just overall very fun to listen to throughout the movie. There was a scene in the movie that I only was somewhat invested in because of Wiedmann’s score. Dude’s really talented.

DC animation regular Sam Liu directed this, and I think he did a pretty good job. The animation looks pretty good, the action is pretty well handled and quite fun to watch at times. What I have a problem with most about the animation/direction are the designs of the characters. I haven’t read the comic that this is based on, but looking up panels and pages from this on google makes me think that they kind of missed something here. The characters stand out quite a bit here as they are quite cartoony, compared to some of the darker and more grimy backgrounds. Also, this of course doesn’t hold a candle to Mike Mignola’s art, but they could’ve at least tried a bit more in recreating the comic’s style. Oh well, I guess the animation/direction still works.

This has been decently received (I guess, data’s pretty limited). On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” isn’t one of DC animation’s strongest outings, but it’s still an entertaining little adventure. It has an okay plot, okay characters, great performances, great music, and good direction/animation. It is of course dragged down a little bit by a not very engaging plot and some characters not being the most interesting. Time for my final score. *I’m Batman!*. My final score for “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” is a 7,34/10. So while very flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” is now completed.

Nananananananana Steampunk!