Series Review: Devs (2020)

Technology is fascinating. The way it’s evolved in the past hundred years alone is fucking insane and amazing. And I am always fascinated by how they use it for storytelling. So let’s see if this little tech-drama does that well.

Ladies and gents… “Devs”.

When her boyfriend disappears after starting work at a mysterious tech department, Lily Chan (Sonoya Mizuno) starts investigating what happened, leading her down a dangerous and complex path. Talking about the plot of “Devs” without revealing too much is challenging. It’s a nuanced show that tackles a fair bit of complex and mature subject matters in interesting ways. The show’s slow pace might test the patience of some people, but I feel like it adds to the storytelling, as it gives a lot of moments time to breathe. It’s a clever little thriller that’s more about the brains than pure thrills, making for a unique kind of cerebral experience that we haven’t seen much of in tv before.

The characters are flawed, layered, and interesting. Sonoya Mizuno plays Lily, our protagonist. She’s a computer engineer with some baggage, trying to deal with the recent developments in her life. Seeing her develop throughout the show is quite interesting, and Mizuno does a really good job in the role. Next we have Nick Offerman as Forest, the enigmatic CEO of the tech company at the center of the story. He’s generally a quiet and kindhearted dude, but who carries some shit with him that makes him a bit more complex in his morality. And Offerman is great in the role. We also get supporting work from people like Jin Ha, Alison Pill, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Cailee Spaeny, Zach Grenier, Karl Glusman, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the show was composed by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury, with assistance from experimental jazz group The Insects. The score has a very interesting vibe, at times sounding a little “Blade Runner”-esuqe, but never feeling like it’s ripping that off. The sound is very dreamlike, helping in create a really unique and eerie vibe that stays with the viewer after an episode ends.

“Devs” was created, written, and directed by Alex Garland for the FX network, and I think he did a great job with that stuff. His directing is slow and very deliberate, going for that almost dreamlike vibe I mentioned in the music section. And when combined with the immaculate set design and Rob Hardy’s mesmerizing cinematography, you get one of the mot stunningly crafted shows I’ve had the pleasure of laying my eyes on in a while. There were a lot of scenes in this show that made my jaw fall to the floor. I still have trouble keeping it on when thinking about those scenes.

This show has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 70/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7.9/10.

“Devs” is an excellent little tech-thriller, featuring a great plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great writing/directing/cinematography/etc. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Devs” is a 9,87/10. Which of course means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Devs” is now completed.

Alex Garland will basically get my time anytime he releases something.

Movie Revisit: Fight Club (1999)

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The other day I created a poll for you guys in celebration of reaching over 1000 views. Well now the deadline is due and it is time to show you the result which if you didn’t read the title is a review of the 1999 movie “Fight Club”. I have made references to my opinion on “Fight Club” in many of my other reviews but I will still review it for you guys since it was the one with the most amount of votes at the deadline.

So sit back and relax as I take you on a review of David Fincher’s 1999 movie, “Fight Club”!

The movie follows a guy who is simply credited as “The Narrator” (Edward Norton). He is just miserable. He works at an office (which is boring) he got nothing exciting in his life… and on top of that he has insomnia. So when he goes to the doctor for help he is told to go visit a support group for men with testicular cancer (the movie explains why). And at these meetings he notices that when he can cry along with them he can actually get some sleep. But it gets ruined when another faker named Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) enters since he knows she is also faking. But one day he meets this guy named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) who is basically the exact opposite of what The Narrator is. And in turn they start… a “Fight Club”. This story is very difficult talking about without getting into spoilers since there is so much to talk about. Now anyway, the concept of the story is different and pretty cool. But the execution is even cooler. I honestly did not know what to expect when I watched “Fight Club” for the very first time, it caught me completely of guard. From the moment the opening credits start to the very end I was invested in the very detailed and weird story. What I also like about the story is that it manages to get so many events and things in there without making it all feel forced and make it all relevant in one way or another. The story in both concept and execution gets a big thumbs up from me.

The characters I would say is what really makes this movie. Sure the story is different and really cool but the characters is really what brings it up a lot. The story is the bone and the characters are the meat. But back to the explanation of the characters themselves…ish. They are all fantastically written and are also incredbily well-acted. Let’s start with the Narrator. He is miserable, he is not happy with his life and Edward Norton brings it out perfectly with his performance. The next (and final one) I’m gonna talk about is Tyler Durden, who I swear is the coolest motherfucker ever! He is what I would call the embodiment of total freedom, which can be both good and bad. He is just free in every way possible. He doesn’t give a shit about anything and that is what makes him so interesting… and unpredictable. But he is also surprisingly deep for a chaotic genius played by pretty boy Brad Pitt. Overall the characters are very good in  both writing and acting.

The music by The Dust Brothers (Not to be confused with the Chemical Brothers) is fantastic. The tracks really help create the feeling of how ddark and dirty this town the movie is set in is. The music feels very dark and cold but even a little groovy. It really help build the atmosphere of the scenes the respective songs are used in perfectly and it just makes me want to buy it… like, right now. I also have to give a little praise to the creators of this movie for the fantastic use of the song “Where is my mind?” by The Pixies in the movie. Yes they only use it once, but they do it in the best way they possibly could.

The camera work and overall cinematography in this movie is in lack of better words… FUCKING AMAZING! The look of the movie is (like the music) dark and dirty which just helps build everything from atmosphere to important story points to perfection. This movie is also really funny… if you have a dark sense of humor, that is. And it isn’t the type of slapstick/under the belt humor but rather very dark and almost a little sophisticated. This movie will really test what you can laugh at. This movie is also one of the most well-written movies ever made and I am not afraid to say it. The dialogue and philosophy of this movie is fantastic and just helps make the movie even better than it originally was. I was also surprised to hear the fact that this movie is based on a book… yeah. The author’s name is Chuck Palahniuk (pronounced Pa-lah-nick apparently) and he have made more books than “Fight Club”. And no, I have not read the original book even though I wish to do it since I want to see how this movie started in book format.

This movie when it first came out wasn’t that well-received. Most critics didn’t like this movie at first. It also didn’t make too much in the U.S. domestic box office. But later on critics changed their minds and they started saying they liked it. But anyway, time for what the movie got on different sites. On Rotten Tomatoes “Fight Club” has an 80% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. Like most times, Metacritic got the lowest (based on the major movie sites I reference) score for this movie with a score of 66/100. Then we have what Mr. Roger Ebert said about this movie… he didn’t really like it. He gave it 2 out of 4 stars. And while there isn’t really a good quote I can find to show what he thought I can at least say his review was kinda mixed in opinions. But that isn’t important. And finally we have how this movie is rated on our good ol’ friend imdb.com. On imdb it has the score of 8,9/10 and it is ranked #10 on the “Top 250” list. “Fight Club” was also nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best sound effects editing.

“Fight Club” got an interesting and different story, tremendous acting, great music, fantastic camera work, amazing atmosphere, great comedy and one of the best twists in any movie ever (Not going to spoil it). So now it is time to once again hand out my final score for “Fight Club”. My final score for “Fight Club” is a 10/10. This movie is in my opinion perfect in every way possible and couldn’t be better even if it tried. In other words it of course gets the one and only… “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“Fight Club” is once again reviewed here on the blog.

The existence of this review is kind of ironic considering the first and second rules of “Fight Club”.

Movie Review: Fight Club (1999)

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You know how many mainstream movies get so much love from a ton of people who will then try to decapitate you if you say anything bad about it? It happened to me once when I gave a little negative comment on “The Avengers”. Some if not most of these movies are usually hit-ot-miss. Either you love it, or you hate it. This movie has been on my watchlist for quite some time now and I finally decided to sit down and watch it. This is one of the most popular movies of all time.

Men and women…”Fight Club”!

The movie follows an insomniac office worker simply credited as “The Narrator” (Edward Norton). He is not very happy with his life. Why? He can’t fucking sleep, that’s why. He thinks it is because he does the same stuff all the time. So he joins a support group for testicular cancer (even though he have not conducted that disease). In there he meets his new friend Robert “Bob” Paulsen (Meat Loaf). Bob got his testicles removed because of the disease and have become more feminine. He became so feminine in fact that he *sigh*…grew boobs. But the Narrator likes this support group thing since it helps him cry which apparently helps him to get sleep. So he starts attedning even more of them. Everything goes fine and dandy…until the chain smoking woman Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) starts attending them and it just fucks everything over for the Narrator. He confronts her and they make a deal about who will attend which support groups. Oh and on every group, the Narrator chooses a different name, like Cornelius…yeah. But a while later on a plane, he meets this strange man Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). And he IS weird, I mean…he talks about how to make napalm with regular household products. But when the Narrator after the flight finds out his apartment was blown up…he calls for Marla, but she does not want him in her place. Then he tries calling Durden, and gets no answer. Then suddenly, the payphone rings…and he answers it. And guess who it is, it’s motherfucking Tyler Durden. These two guys talk and decide to go out for a beer. Then the Narrator asks if he could stay with Durden. And he can, on one condition: He have to hit Durden as hard as he can. Of course he questions why he has to do that, yet he does it…on Durden’s fucking ear. Then he hits him back…and they start fighting. After the fight they decide to start doing this little fight thingy again. Then we come to Durden’s house. A rotten-ass house it sure as hell is. Things seem like they can break at any second and it is just the worst fucking place ever. Believe me, you would not like to live in that place. It’s a good ol’ shithole. Remember earlier when I said the “do the fight thingy again”? Yeah they do that and get quite the audience…which later turns into a big sort of underground Fight Club. Now, all this does not sound like simple plot, ’cause it ain’t. This movie and its plot is just to me…perfect. Throughout the movie, it gets more complex and I fucking love that. The more complex a plot is, the more I will probably enjoy it…I love complex thinky stuff. Also, this movie is very brutal…just sayin’. So if you’re squeamish…yeah.

The characters of “Fight Club” are odd, flawed and complex. And in my book that is something good. They are very varied in style. For example, the Narrator is…well he is like every Edward Norton character ever…intelligent but very troubled and even a little fucked in the head. Tyler Durden is a mystery with a leather jacket and a pack of cigarettes, he is complex and just so damn entertaining. Then we have Marla…who is a nutjob who chainsmokes. But she is like everyone else in this movie…complex as all hell. Even though she is not nearly as complex as let’s say the Narrator or Tyler Durden. But still complex in her own way. I mean, she has to be complex…she is Helena Bonham Carter…she has more layers than a three foot cake.

The music is just fucking fantastic. At a lot of points it is dark and chilling, like a lot of parts of this movie. But at some points it can be quite light hearted, for the more light hearted parts that is. But in general, I love the soundtrack for “Fight Club” since it fits so well for this strange/weird movie.

Remember when I said this was brutal? Well, it is. Too brutal for a whole lot of people I would assume…but I don’t fucking care, the fight scenes may be brutal, but they are still very well choreographed and shot. Speaking of how scenes are shot, this movie is very well directed and incredibly well shot! This movie is one of the most good looking ones I have ever seen. Also, the action scenes doesn’t use unnecessary shaky cam…and I love that, you can actually see what’s going on.

Reception for “Fight Club” was incredibly mixed. A ton of people loved the shit out of this, and some hated it. This is probably one of the most, if not the most, debated movies ever. Rotten Tomatoes holds the rating of 80% on this and have certified it “Fresh”. Metacritic gave this movie the rating of 66/100. Roger Ebert wasn’t the biggest fan of this, giving it only 2/4 stars. He said it was

“Beloved by most, Not me”

imdb.com has the rating of 8,9/10 on this and it is ranked #10 on their Top 250 list.

I have thrown out some major stuff on this very beloved movie simply known as “Fight Club”. And now I will give it my score…*Takes deep breath* I am giving this the 10/10 rating. This movie is to me…fucking perfect. Everything from the story, to the characters/acting, to the music, to the…EVERYTHING! This gets the “Seal of Approval”. This movie is a must buy! For any movie lover and anyone who likes movies in general! This is now my all time favorite movie of all time.

“Fight Club” is now at last…reviewed.

It’s kind of ironic that I talked about this movie when the firs rule of it is…HEY!