A Quiet Place – Movie Review

John Krasinski made a masterpiece.

“A quiet place” was anything but quiet. Every emotion managed to pass to the viewer through every facial expression of the 4 excellent protagonists. No sound needed. Emily Blunt’s muted pain in particular was Oscar-worthy.

Story-wise, the movie was interesting and unique to me. Though if anyone went to the cinema expecting a horror movie full of gore was surely disappointed. It was more of a psychological thriller; an excellent one at that.

The last five minutes or so, after !!SPOILER!! the father’s death !!SPOILER!!, was the only negative for me and only because the film turned into a cliché of its kind.

Go see this movie and hope to bump into a quiet audience for better effect.

 

I rate this movie with 8/10.

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Black Panther – Movie Review

It was really refreshing and equally beautiful to see a movie full of black people where women are treated solely as queens, soldiers or science geniuses. Unfortunately, as far as exceptional things go, this is where this movie stops being a marvel and walks into every cliché of its genre.

My biggest objection is with Black Panther/T’Challa himself. He has no depth at all. Even when towards the end of the movie he decides to right his father’s wrongs, his main concern is to be back on the throne. “I’m the king! I’m the king!” Anyway, he has a beautiful scene watching the sunset with his fallen enemy.

I especially enjoyed Letitia Wright as Shuri and Danai Gurira as Okoye. Lupita Nyong’o on the other hand had nothing to show, acting-wise or character-wise, though the latter wasn’t her fault.

Disappointed after the hype created around this film, I rate it with 7/10, solely because of representation.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Movie Review

I’ll try to keep this post spoiler free but please proceed with caution.

I went to the movies with the notion that The Last Jedi is the best film in the Star Wars franchise. Indeed, although it didn’t have the nostalgic aspects of The empire Strikes Back, this film was really epic.

Kylo Ren’s wavering loyalties and his relationship with Rey is what fuels the movie. I just hope he will remain the bad guy because, at this point, an atoning action will be such a cliché (see Darth Vader). Kudos to whoever cast Adam Driver by the way. The guy is just goosebumps-inducing.

Mark Hamill is back as Luke Skywalker and he is amazing, the sturdy pillar around which the film was built. His scenes with Rey and Kylo, especially the one towards the finale, are in my opinion what made The Last Jedi so special. He knows he screwed up, he understands that a “hero” is a relative concept and, even when he tries to do the right thing, he does it in a way that doesn’t bring him back to the people who need him and love him.

Slightly in the background, Poe, Finn and Rose (new character, awesome Kelly Marie Tran) realise that their half-assed plans don’t always save the day, a fact that balances out the heroics of Leia and Vice Admiral Holdo. Carrie Fisher will be missed greatly.

General Hux is the comic relief of the film and it was interesting to watch Domhnall Gleeson being a stern coward.

The scene of the last fight is monumental. The contrast between red and white, blood and hope, quite inspired. You will have to see it to understand what I am talking about.

I’ll stop this here before I manage to spill any beans.

I rate this movie with 9/10.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle – Movie Review

Kingsman Number Two received mixed reviews. I wouldn’t believe the bad ones because I was so excited about this movie. My only concern was Channing Tatum in the cast but, in the end, his Agent Tequila was a revelation.

The whole cast was actually pretty brilliant. From the -always amazing- Colin Firth and Julianne Moore to Taron Egerton and Mark Strong and Elton effing John, the hilarious moments were never out of stock. Personal favourite was Pedro Pascal and his lasso.

The differences between Kingsman and Statesman (their USA branch) were knee-slapping. The  portrayed contrasts between both the characters and their world which could have easily been treated as a taboo or a source of prejudice, were instead the whole movie’s core around which the most hilarious moments were built.

Awesome soundtrack, amazing dynamic between Egerton and Firth, a beautiful scene with Mark Strong towards the end and, ultimately, one of the best movies of 2017.

I rate this movie with 8.5/10.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – Movie Review

As an avid fan of the Arthurian legend, I have watched every movie scene there is out there with Arthur drawing the sword from the stone. Guy Ritchie’s version doesn’t fail to deliver.

Charlie Hunnam was an excellent choice to portray King Arthur.  Jude Law, whose overly intense expressions never sat well with me, was a disappointment but the rest of the surrounding cast turned out good, Eric Bana as Uther Pendragon in particular.

This is not the classic myth of King Arthur and his knights. Guy Ritchie has an unique way to tell the story and whoever sat down to watch this movie hoping to see the well-known tale will be disappointed. Personally, I could do with less extravagant magic monsters and less Lord of the Rings vibes, e.g. the oliphants and the Great Eye and the Tower of Mordor collapsing.

The soundtrack was goosebump inducing, the scene about the round table hilarious and Arthur’s monologue about his origins while he is killing his uncle awe-inspiring.

I rate this movie with 7.4/10.

Deepwater Horizon – Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon, the movie about the worst environmental disaster in USA history, was surprisingly gripping.

Admittedly, it had a slow built with too many silly family moments. Okay, I understand they were needed to build on the later drama but they could be less concentrated on a single character.

I’m not a fan of Mark Wahlberg and my suspicions about him were confirmed. Colourless and stiff during the action but kudos on his performance when he’s supposed to be on shock after the rescue. Well played.

Kurt Russell and Gina Rodriguez were amazing and the few scenes Dylan O’Brien was in were well executed.

The finale with the tribute to the real heroes of that dreadful day was really moving and fitting.

I rate this movie with 6.9/10.

Manchester by the sea – Movie Review

The most realistic movie I’ve seen this year, passing a very human message: Shit happens in life and there aren’t always some good stuff to come along and make everything better.

Casey Affleck’s character, Lee Chandler, is a man destroyed. Losing three kids in a house-fire he caused, there is nothing left for him to go on. Despite the fact that he still lives, he is frozen in a state of self-deprecation that not even his recently orphaned nephew can help him overcome. Affleck carries a sad quality with him that manages to portray all that perfectly. An Oscar well-served.

Kenneth Lonergan wrote a beautiful script and directed it as coldly as it left you feeling. An amazing feat if you ask me.

What I can’t understand is Michelle Williams’ Oscar nomination for supporting actress. She was on screen for barely five minutes, half of it spent on cursing and the other half having a badly performed psychotic break.

In the end, two and a half hours well spent.

I rate this movie with 7.5/10.

Wonder Woman (2017) – Movie Review

A lot of buzz around this movie so let’s see…

Director Patty Jenkins did an exceptional job. She kept moving among the Amazons and their battle moves giving us an awe-inspiring perspective, only a bit reminiscent of the movie “300” by Zack Snyder who actually was one of Wonder Woman’s writers and was on the driver’s seat for other DC movies like “Man of Steel” and the awful “Batman v Superman”.

The writing team behind Wonder Woman delivered an appropriately funny and inspirational script that Chris Pine, playing Steve Trevor, managed to elevate with his subtle acting that let the women of the film shine and kept our attention to them at all times.

The supporting cast was also kind of awesome, especially David Thewlis and Robin Wright.

BUT

Gal Gadot is a beautiful woman and kicked ass in every action-filled scene. Her posture, the way she held herself with confidence, was amazing and her husky voice, tinted a little bit by her accent, gave her a more exotic vibe. Sometimes though, mainly during the scenes with only dialogue, it felt like she was trying too hard to act, like “What am I doing here exactly?”

 

I rate this movie with 8/10. Better than anything DC we have seen lately.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Movie Review

!Beware of the spoilers!

 

Let’s start this review making perfectly clear that, although Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had very thin plot, it was much more enjoyable than Vol. 1.

The movie started off with some awesome dance moves from baby Groot who is, literally, the cutest creature that has ever adorned the big screen, and went on reminding us the hilariousness of the universe. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and even the voice of Bradley Cooper had excellent chemistry, exchanging brilliant quips that made everyone laugh hard every ten seconds. Kudos to the assembly of writers for that!

The most epic scene for me was with Michael Rooker’s Yondu, where the character escaped from the mutineers that had commandeered his ship, whistling his red arrow around under the soundtrack of the Awesome Mixtape. Brilliant! A pleasant surprise was also Yondu’s atonement scene where he died after saving Peter Quill and calling him his son. “He may have been your father boy, but he wasn’t your daddy,” he said for Kurt Russell’s “Ego” who portrayed Quill’s biological father and was the basic theme of this movie: Exploring Starlord’s origins (=he is a demigod with a conscience).

Awesome Mixtape #2 was, as expected, an excellent collection of classics tailored nicely to the onscreen shenanigans. Even the special-effects where suitably handled, giving the film the needed super-hero vibes but keeping the characters in the centre of each scene (see for example Quill resisting his father’s torture by remembering his mother).

More than one post-credits scenes this time. The best was, hands up, the one with teenager Groot and Quill telling him to clean his room. Hilarious!

All in all, an excellent night at the movies.

I rate this movie with 7/10.

 

PS: Watch out for David Hasselhoff!

Power Rangers (2017) – Movie Review

I had low expectations for this movie, anticipating something between “Transformers” and “Age of Ultron”. Thankfully, I was wrong since the movie concentrated on building the relationships between its five protagonists first and falling back into the familiar special effects recipe only towards the final half hour.

The young cast did exceptionally well, especially RJ Cyler as Billy, the Blue Ranger, while Dacre Montgomery as Jason, the Red Ranger, managed to manoeuvre his character between the landmine that is playing a jock pretty notably.

Special moments for anyone, like me, who grew up watching Power Rangers:
1. Alpha 5’s “Ay Ay Ay”

2. The zords

3. The Megazord!

4. The Go Go Power Ranger song moment

and something extra:

5. The “Stand by me” included in the soundtrack (the scene where Billy dies)

The suits were a bit too flashy but it had some original battle scenes that were really impressive, especially the underwater one where the Rangers fight together for the first time.

For a pleasant evening, and the memories, I rate this movie with 7/10.