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Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

Back when this movie was announced I had absolutely no idea what it was going for, exactly. I think most people would agree that there's potential to a live action Pokemon movie but I don't think that a buddy detective movie was the first thing that came to anyones mind. But either way, it's what we've got ao I'm gonna judge it on its own merits.

Detective Pikachu is the story of Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), a young man living in a rural town whose childhood dream of becoming a Pokemon trainer never quite worked out. Hearing that his estranged father, a police officer, has died while working a case he travels to Ryme City, a large city where Pokemon and humans live together as equals, where he meets a talking Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) with an interest in solving the mystery of Tim's fathers murder. Detective Pikachu feels, mostly, like a Pokemon themed riff on Roger Rabbit and Dr. Doolittle and there's undeniably something charming about it. Seeing the Pokemon world brought to life is certainly appealing, the story they chose to tell in it, on the other hand, falls short. Maybe I' being too harsh on what is pretty obviously a kids movie but chances are you'll be able to tell who the villain is and what the talking Pikachu's deal is less than halfway through the movie. And that being said: It's not a very long movie, which is another one of its main issues. The story feels a bit rushed and seeing how the world it creates is definitely its best feature it would have done well to give that world a bit more time to breath.

The acting is, mostly, fine, with one notable exception. That being Kathryn Newton's Lucy, an aspiring journalist hoping for her first big break. She's likeable enough as far as love interests go but the perfomance she's turning in is very much a "kids movie" one that sticks out, seeing how everyone else is playing their roles pretty straight. I'd also argue that the titular talking Pikachu is a bit overwritten. Reynolds is a good enough comedic actor but his constant snarky wiseassery often make Pikachu feel more like a fuzzy yellow commentary reel than a compelling character.

There are some more things I could complain about if I felt like it, like the villains plan not making a lot of sense, there being a severe lack of Pokemon battles (budget constraints, I imagine) or that I don't feel like Mewtwo was very well utilized but all of that aside, Detective Pikachu is still... fine. A proof of concept that Pokemon can be translated to live action it's certainly a success, as a standalone movie it doesn't live up to its potential. For what it's worth, I would like to see more live action Pokemon movies.

PsychedelicDiamond:
As far as we know at this point, anyway. I think what Captain Marvel is going for is a Demolition Man, early 90s action Sci-Fi vibe, as a matter of fact it's even set in the early 90s

Is it ever addressed why (with it being set in the 1990s) Captain Marvel isn't called upon any of the other times the world was going to end (i.e. Avengers 1 and 2)? It's on my to-watch list, but I'm all Marvelled out at the moment.

A binge post.

Kubo and the Two Strings
Stop-motion animation at its best, though I have to say some of the faces are a bit uncanny. The adventure runs on MacGuffins, but in the end we get a good message. Maybe. 6/10

Hell or High Water
Plenty of long takes, nice cinematography overall, Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham are excellent and the bank-robbing brothers aren't bad either. The characters make this film, they react believably to the events happening around them, and though some of their motivations are explained out loud there is way more show than tell. 9/10

Fast & Furious 8 AKA The Fate of the Furious
Oh dear. I thought the two previous Fast and Furiouses had shown the dumbest crap possible, but no way. Are these people acting? I don't like Charlize Theron anyway BUT WHAT?! Why in the fucking hell is Oscar-winning Charlize Theron in this piece of high-octane shit!? This movie is intentionally ridiculous, I get it. It's also unintentionally fucking hilarious! Dominic Toretto just frowns really hard and all the cars he drives become Heavenly Supermobiles capable of anything. And there's this fucking ""hacking"" duel between Theron and Missandei I mean Ramsay I mean... Her name actually is still Ramsey. The duel is like from a parody video holy shit. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have a couple of good insults towards each other and there is some series continuity which throws new viewers off the wagon MCU-style. 3/10

And the main event: X-Men: Dank Phoenix
Parts of the movie are awesome. The climactic action scene, teamwork between the X-Men, especially the CGI which is technically (not artistically) all excellent (for some reason the effects are apparently panned by critics), and James McAvoy gives a good performance (the others are passable).

But what ties all of it together is a mess. The plot is all over the place like the characters and their motivations -- Jean Grey's mental instability must've leaked into the script. The X-Men costumes are ugly (and so simple I could see them being sold as regular sportswear). There are so many close-up shots you can't possibly imagine! But on the good side some of those close-ups show Sophie Turner's oh so beautiful face. Her smirk is dominating even the strongest men :^) Also if you like another set of full lips prepare for Tye Sheridan's -- it's not like you'll be seeing his eyes.

A couple of details in spoilers:


Anyway, the last X-Men movie because it's all MCU from now on. The continuity was okay in my opinion, but the loose timeline from 1962 to 1992 which saw the characters age so little between movies is wonky to say the least. They should've been more retro with the X-Jet here, because it has touch-screens and vibrant LCDs that aren't invented for another fifteen years. It's still 5/10.

Baffle2:

PsychedelicDiamond:
As far as we know at this point, anyway. I think what Captain Marvel is going for is a Demolition Man, early 90s action Sci-Fi vibe, as a matter of fact it's even set in the early 90s

Is it ever addressed why (with it being set in the 1990s) Captain Marvel isn't called upon any of the other times the world was going to end (i.e. Avengers 1 and 2)? It's on my to-watch list, but I'm all Marvelled out at the moment.

Not really. It ends with her leaving earth and giving Nick Fury a device to contact her in case of an emergency. We just have to assume that Fury never felt it was necessary until the end of Infinity War.

2040 (6/10)

2040 certainly isn't the worst film I've seen all year, but there's a strong chance it's going to end up as the most disappointing one.

Is that on me? Like, I've so little hope for the planet in regards to the next century, I was desparate for some good news. Maybe, maybe not. But regardless of my expectations, 2040 has a number of flaws that I can't ignore.

Basically, this film isn't An Inconvenient Truth - not in that it's more positive, in that it's not nearly as in-depth. It's around 90 minutes long, and it subsequently struggles to go into detail for those 90 minutes, while also feeling like it runs out of things to say. It jumps from solar power, to farming, to economy, to permaculture, to climate denial, to kid stuff, to...more stuff. Like, there's little sense of organization here, and I feel it would have been better off as a TV series so it could have gone into these things individually. Because on one hand, I was left starved for more information. On the other, when you try tying in teaching methods to climate change, it feels tangental at best.

The other problem, least for me, is that the film feels geared towards children. It's framed as a conversation with a child (sort of), kids feature a lot, and there's a lot of gimmicks and cutesy stuff. Looking at YouTube, a lot of kids mention seeing it in class, and...yeah. Like, I got to see AIT in class, but apparently this is the new standard. So, while some of the gimmicks are okay, there's a lot of flashforwards to 2040 that just aren't needed in the sense of narrative.

But above all, after seeing this...sorry, I still don't have hope. Even if every suggestion in the film was implemented (and that's a big if), I don't see us avoiding climate catastrophe. At this point in time, we not only need to get rid of carbon emissions, but actively remove carbon from the atmosphere, and since there's only so much land available (the divide between agriculture and forestry), I fear that this is going to require technology we don't have yet. The film restricts itself to solutions/tech that already exist, and good on it for doing so, but while it's not its intent, it highlights (to me) how screwed we actually are if something doesn't change in the next 1-3 decades.

The film concludes with saying "find your 2040." To me, that world isn't one I want to live in, and the only comfort I can take is that I'll be better off than the people climate change is really going to affect. When I consider that those people are the least responsible for it however, when I consider the loss of flora and fauna...yeah, that comfort becomes very cold indeed.

Shame. :(

Baffle2:

PsychedelicDiamond:
As far as we know at this point, anyway. I think what Captain Marvel is going for is a Demolition Man, early 90s action Sci-Fi vibe, as a matter of fact it's even set in the early 90s

Is it ever addressed why (with it being set in the 1990s) Captain Marvel isn't called upon any of the other times the world was going to end (i.e. Avengers 1 and 2)? It's on my to-watch list, but I'm all Marvelled out at the moment.

Yeah, no reason. Fury could have called

Skiptrace
It's like Rush Hour but Jackie is an old man and his buddy is a lying white man instead of a black cop. The stunts are obviously not as clean as they once were, but Knoxville manages to give a ridiculous performance and his character is suitably pathetic for his whiny acting. But it's also a Chinese film, so we essentially get a bunch of travel postcards from Macao, Hong Kong, Mongolia, and the Chinese countryside. As much as I love watching these gorgeous Chinese actresses (Fan Bingbing in this case) they aren't usually good at acting especially in English. Also in this movie: another braindead """""hacking""""" scene. 5/10

Hawki:
The film restricts itself to solutions/tech that already exist

Is it still the big ice cubes?

PsychedelicDiamond:

The acting is, mostly, fine, with one notable exception. That being Kathryn Newton's Lucy, an aspiring journalist hoping for her first big break. She's likeable enough as far as love interests go but the perfomance she's turning in is very much a "kids movie" one that sticks out, seeing how everyone else is playing their roles pretty straight.

I asked it in my own review, and I'll ask it here - why's Lucy in this movie, like, aside from being the FRI? She doesn't really accomplish anything (e.g. she gives a report on the gas WHILE THE GAS IS BEING RELEASED, and whatever she contributes to the plot could ahve easily been handled by Tim and Pikachu.

McElroy:

Is it still the big ice cubes?

I said real-world solutions, not Futurama solutions.

So, no. Fraid not. :(

Hawki:

McElroy:

Is it still the big ice cubes?

I said real-world solutions, not Futurama solutions.

So, no. Fraid not. :(

Gore stole that from Futurama? My life is in pieces.

The new Godzilla movie. Loved it. Pretty much did most everything right. Could have focused a bit more on the awesome monster fights that were much more prevalent, instead of doing mostly views from the main humans around them, but otherwise like, its the best Godzilla movie to exist.

I really cant see how Godzilla vs King Kong is supposed to follow this.

Also this movie was a better Season 8 of Game of Thrones than GoT was. Seriously, the parallels were so numerous its crazy. Charles Dance needs to be a villian in everything.

Men in Black: International (4/10)

There's a point in the movie where a character crash-lands in the middle of the desert. They get up and say "I hate sand".

Johnny Novgorod:
Men in Black: International (4/10)

There's a point in the movie where a character crash-lands in the middle of the desert. They get up and say "I hate sand".

To be fair, it is coarse and rough and gets everywhere.

PsychedelicDiamond:

Johnny Novgorod:
Men in Black: International (4/10)

There's a point in the movie where a character crash-lands in the middle of the desert. They get up and say "I hate sand".

To be fair, it is coarse and rough and gets everywhere.

God damn it, you beat me to it.

You've also got me thinking about Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson...well, y'know... (or at least their characters).

Johnny Novgorod:
Men in Black: International (4/10)

There's a point in the movie where a character crash-lands in the middle of the desert. They get up and say "I hate sand".

After writing the line to end all lines, the writer of Men in Black: International leaned back, confident that he's done it again and Christmas would come early. "What do you think?" he asked. The prostitute who was blowing him seconds before says it's lame. "Bitch, who asked you? Now get back to sucking."

He then proceeded to stuff an entire kilo of coke up his nose, ass and eyeballs. Each.

Chimpzy:

Johnny Novgorod:
Men in Black: International (4/10)

There's a point in the movie where a character crash-lands in the middle of the desert. They get up and say "I hate sand".

After writing the line to end all lines, the writer of Men in Black: International leaned back, confident that he's done it again and Christmas would come early. "What do you think?" he asked. The prostitute who was blowing him seconds before says it's lame. "Bitch, who asked you? Now get back to sucking."

He then proceeded to stuff an entire kilo of coke up his nose, ass and eyeballs. Each.

My coworkers would like to know what's so funny over here... That awkward moment when you simultaneously cannot tell them and cannot stop laughing.

Aladdin (5/10)

Is it fair to say that the original Aladdin's theme is to be yourself, that preending to be someone you're not isn't a path to long-term happiness? If so, then it's a theme that the remake fails to grasp. Oh sure, it delivers lip service, but it's undercut by the fact that it's a live action remake of a great film, that fails to live up to it in almost every way, and is at its best in the times it does its own thing. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen very often.

I can't say too much here. If you've seen the original Disney Aladdin film, good for you. Now imagine a lesser version of that film. Get it, got it, good? Now you have Aladdin 2019. The only things really worth discussing are the things it does differently. Jasmine's given a more active role, which is okay. Jaffar's made to be a more sympathetic figure, and while that's neither here nor there, it's a better attempt at moral greyness than Gaston in the Beauty/Beast remake. Also, Genie's set up with a servant who's implied to be not all there mentally, so...yay for taking advantage of a potentially vulnerable woman? Like, I get that this is trying to empower Jasmine (a character that was never passive in the original), so good on it there, but that's no substitute for sub-par writing and pacing. The only thing I can think of that this film does better than the original when done 1:1 is the Arabian Nights song, and that's a case of "maybe." Will Smith is fine as genie, but he's in a weaker product. He can't compare to Robin Williams because of bad acting, he can't compare because the film can't compare. As live action, it's hamstrung, unable to get away with as much (no climatic battle at the end I'm afraid), but it doesn't really have anything to fill in the gaps.

God damn it, part of me actually hates this film. I hate that Disney's doing live action remakes of already successful films. I hate that this films, with the exception of The Jungle Book, differ in minute areas to justify their existence (remember Beauty and the Beast trying to clear up plotholes that no-one really cared about? This film has the same problem). I hate that they're making bang over buck. And I hate that I'm part of the problem there. But at the end of the day, Aladdin is probably my #3 DAC film. Aladdin 2019 is my least favourite Disney live action remake that I've seen. FFS, even Beauty and the Beast irritated me less. Ultimately, if you saw the original, there's no real reason to see this film.

The Next Three Days: 7/10

Apparently released in 2010, I'm surprised I'd never heard of it before; my girlfriend found it on Amazon Prime and man... that was intense. Stars Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks play a happily married (and lustful) couple who're parents to 6 to 7-year-old boy, and one morning, a knock at the door turns their idyllic lives upside-down as Banks is suddenly hauled off by the cops on a murder charge. Without spoiling anything, what follows is an unraveling of the moral fibers of Crowe as he goes to "lengths" to free his wife. Taken with a grain of salt (i.e.: suspend your incredulity,) this movie is great; it does well exactly what it sets out to do in its suspense thriller skin.

Toy Story 4 (9/10)

Great movie on its own right, though slightly pales when measured up against the preceding ones. 1 through 3 felt like the natural progression of a story guided by characters searching for their purpose in life. There's more of that here, but for once it rather feels like they were really working backwards from "we gotta make another!". Especially considering how perfectly 3 wrapped things up. So does 4, again, in its own way, though the big emotional ending doesn't feel as conclusive or powerful as the last time. Other than that: lovely movie. Liked the story, the animation and the new characters (including Bo Peep, who might as well be a new character, reimagined as she is into a Disney-chick kickass). Toy Story remains top-game Pixar.

Johnny Novgorod:
Men in Black: International (4/10)

There's a point in the movie where a character crash-lands in the middle of the desert. They get up and say "I hate sand".

Didn't Aquaman do the same thing earlier this year. This happens in so many movies that involves a desert, that Penguins of Madagascar threaten to do it but instead bounce on a blow up castle from the wreckage, just to be subversive

trunkage:

Johnny Novgorod:
Men in Black: International (4/10)

There's a point in the movie where a character crash-lands in the middle of the desert. They get up and say "I hate sand".

Didn't Aquaman do the same thing earlier this year.

No idea. All I remember from that scene is Africa by Toto was playing and I wanted to go fetal on the floor.

Johnny Novgorod:

trunkage:

Johnny Novgorod:
Men in Black: International (4/10)

There's a point in the movie where a character crash-lands in the middle of the desert. They get up and say "I hate sand".

Didn't Aquaman do the same thing earlier this year.

No idea. All I remember from that scene is Africa by Toto was playing and I wanted to go fetal on the floor.

Oh, not just Africa by Toto, but the remix by Pittbull.

Johnny Novgorod:
Men in Black: International (4/10)

There's a point in the movie where a character crash-lands in the middle of the desert. They get up and say "I hate sand".

So the pointless, annoying, CG sidekick isn't the only thing this movie has in common with the SW prequels?

Wild Rose (6/10)

This film ends with Scottish Celtic singers performing American country music. Something some thing cultural appropriation, something something outrage.

Snark aside, the ending is part of why this film gets a 6 rather than a 7, but that aside, let's look at it. So, on one hand, this story is fairly typical - rags to riches country singer, living in Scotland, little interest in the genre in the UK, wants to make it to Nashville, yadda yadda yadda. So, typical story right. Well, yes, and also no. I wouldn't exactly call this a subversion of the genre, but it does take some left turns along the way. Like, not only does our protagonist need to go from rags to riches, but she has to deal with two kids, the first of which she had as a teen, a grandmother who's looked after them, and that she's lying to her employer about not having kids, who recognises her talent, but whose husband knows about her criminal record and drug use, and is breathing down her neck. Basically, the question is poised as to what's more important - family or dreams. Now, that isn't the most original question in the world, but the way it's presented, the way it takes the toll on the children, as well as her employer, who becomes her friend, who isn't exactly happy to find out our protag has been lying to her.

Problem is, the film doesn't know when to stop. If it ended at the point where she goes back to her kids, sure, maybe. But then it gets another act where she goes to Nashville, and finds that she's just one of hundreds of starry-eyed dreamers trying to make it big, and that there's little point in staying there when there's so much competition. So, alright then, I thought, as the screen faded to black; fair enough. You've had an extra 20 minutes to say what the film up to this was saying, that you can't always pursue your dreams, because the people around you are more important. Except then it cuts to a "1 year later" scene where she's made it big back home. Somehow. No idea how, it's just happened, because God damn it, this film needed a happy ending.

Now, this isn't the worst 180 I've seen a film do in regards to its themes/motifs (cough*Terminator 3*cough), but it's a 180 all the same, and I really have no idea why. Maybe I was misinterpreting the theme of this film, but to me, you can't spend 95% of a film trying to establish a theme, then at the last moment turn that theme on its head. Or, you can I guess, but don't expect me to be onboard with it. So, I like this film more than some of the others it reminded me of, whether it be La La Land or A Star is Born, but that isn't to say this film is "good." Even discarding the ending issue, it does have some pacing issues, and sometimes our protag is too dislikable for the film's own good. Flawed protagonist, good. Completely flawed protagonist? Not so good. Still, if you like country music, guess you could get some enjoyment out of this.

Teen Titans Go! to the Movies (7/10)

This film is...actually good?

Don't get too excited; it's not "great" by any means, and it gets to be "good" by a slim margin. Still, I enjoyed it. Having come off Titans, I'll take Teen Titans Go! over that any day. Though granted, of what I've seen of TTG, I've found it enjoyable already. I know there's a fanbase who hates this show and wants the old one back, but I don't have any skin in that game. I see cartoon, cartoon makes me laugh, let's have a cold one.

Course I'm not laughing all the time. One of the first jokes is a fart joke, and it overstays its welcome. Luckily, jokes of this 'calibre' account for only about 25% of the movie's comedy, but that's still a significant portion. But still, I did find it funny. Thing is, the film's taking easy shots at the superhero film industry, mainly DC, but also Marvel (yes, there's two Stan Lee cameos, and Deathstroke/Slade is compared to Deadpool), and while I'm all for those shots being taken, that's like shooting fish in a barrel at this point. Still, that the superhero craze has reached rediculous proportions is actually interwoven into the film's plot, with Robin wanting a movie, and willing to throw his friends to the wayside to get it. Gee, will he understand that being a hero is more important than being a star? Will he discover the true meaning of friendship? Well, yes, but the film knows it's a trite cliche, and ergo, actually makes a point of not dwelling on it. The film's self-aware, and luckily, uses its self-awareness to its benefit. Also helps that what action there is is actually pretty decent. Like, Slade is more Slade rather than Deathstroke, but we get some good fights out of it.

One thing though - the section where they go back in time to remove all superheroes so they're the only ones left, so that a film will have to be made about them? Completely pointless. Fun, but you could cut out the entire sequence and the film would lose nothign except running time. It's academic to the plot, and academic to character development. Like, it's fun, but it's a tangent, and a pretty obvious tangent at that. That said, it does have the darkest joke in the movie, that led me to ask "wait, they were able to get away with that?"

Maybe that's a perfect metaphor for this film. Disposable, but enjoyable. Also helps that the soundtrack is pretty good too. So in honour of that one particuarly soundtrack...

"Crack an egg, on it! Caw caw!"

The Beach Bum

Harmony Korine, the most full of shit arthouse director this side of Terrence Malick (You heard me.), presents us his newest indulgence, a 90 minutes long character piece named "The Beach Bum". This might sound like an overly snarky opening line, and it probably is, but Korine was always a director who simply... rubbed me the wrong way. There is something to be said about the fact that the closest he ever came to genuine sincerity was when he shot a movie about people humping trashbags on a cheap digital camera. Korine is a cynical Gen X relic, a kid who got his big break as a teenager, in the 90s, and kept falling upwards ever since and I... simply never saw the appeal in what he did. I still don't. I don't think the guy's very talented.

Beach Bum is the story about a South Florida Bohemian named Moon Dog, played by Matthew McConaughey. Moon Dog is living the sweet life down in the Florida Keys, being financially supported by his rich wife (Isla Fisher)that he's in an open relationship with, having sex with various women, taking various drugs, hanging out with various burnouts and, whenever he feels like it, working as a freelancing writer. In other words, he's living the life everyone who writes, either for a living or as a hobby, would like to live. When he returns to Miami to attend the wedding of his daughter, his rich wife dies in a car crash and Moon Dog is left to his own devices. Sounds like fun? It isn't, really. Much like John Waters, Korine likes to make movies about weird and sleazy people. Much unlike John Waters, his view on them is so cynical and devoid of any genuine sympathy that watching them feels like a chore. He doesn't give his characters depth because he doesn't tream them as people but as circus freaks to be pointed and laughed at. Spring Breakers might very well have been one of the least enjoyable movies I have ever seen, Beach Bum wasn't nearly as hard to sit through, mostly on the virtue of being presented as a comedy. Where watching Spring Breakers mostly felt like being the only sober person at a party, Beach Bum mostly makes up for not being very good by also not being very memorable.

Beach Bum is exactly what anyone can expect from a Harmony Korine movie at this point. There are people who see things in his sensiblities that I don't, I'm sure, but to me its exploitative drivel by an edgy deadbeat. "The world has conspired to make me happy", claims Moon Dog towards the end of the movie. It seems to have also conspired to give Korine a succesful career and he can surely count his blessings. because it's built on, for lack of a better term, shallow cinematic shitposts. Korine's most entertainings works remain his stoned appearances on David Letterman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRO6jZgQ6i4

Vice
Took its bloody time getting released on this godforsaken island, but finally it arrives upon our plastic shores, nestled between Tesco bags and ring can holders almost managing to cover the inconvenient view of the most recent migrant casualties. Hollywood's favourite puffer fish, Christian Bale, has embraced big puff this time to become Dick Cheney in what could be described as a biography/comedy/drama. In all, pretty good, does what it intends to do very well. There were moments where it felt a little too close to being in a classroom with an eccentric teacher skirting the edges of patronisation, but then looking over to the people watching it with me who are very much not politically aware or motivated, despite my utter best subtle attempts at etching "vote, you goddamn fools ..your lives are getting incrementally worse! No, not for them!" on all their coffee mugs, windows and children's foreheads, they were not bored and appeared to be taking it in rather well. So it's evidently doing an admirable job with the sweet spot between entertainment and education for people lacking investment, for various reasons, in the subject. The film also finds a balance with portraying the familial instincts alongside the political darkness that doesn't portray those bloodline devotions as some sort of 'humanity points' that serve to water down the the seriousness of their professional legacy, which too many films indulge in. Depending on how much one already knows going in on this, it will either be light entertainment or entertaining education. Not all humour lands though, but it isn't a priority. Great supporting cast too. Getting largely curious on what Bale is eyeing up for his next metamorphosis. Chronic hives, maybe?

Byzantium
Huh...all the way through this it felt like a feminist, Brit (for better or worse) take on Interview with a Vampire. Then post-watch curiosity inspired interweb looksies only to find it was considered to be, with the same damn director of all things! It's not going to be for everybody, lacking the sweeping grandiose nature of the former flick, and perhaps the big star names. But the ponderous, meandering, mildly depressed nature of the film was personally quite appealing.

Ladybird
Ponderous, meandering and mildly depressed? Why yes, another one please! With less Britainnial vampires, but no less Saoirse Ronan this time. It's a coming of age, a genre I find myself repeatedly drawn to for reasons am starting to suspect may have something to do with subconsciously trying to connect to a missing childhood. But whatevs. It's very empathetic, treating every character as human, flawed and troubled. There's a particular scene of someone portrayed as usually stern and stoic slowly breaking down as they try to focus continuing their mundane task, which was, umm...quite effective. Similar limitations to recommendation as the above movie applies, so again, it was worth the time for this worthless observer.

Journeyman
All single word titles today! Written and directed by the person responsible for Tyrannosaur, another highly recommended film (oops, spoiled the opinion already), to do with a boxer (Paddy Considine) suffering brain damage after a fight that renders them seemingly reset into a childlike and almost autistic state while their marriage partner (Jodie Whittaker) is left to care for him along with their baby daughter (fuck knows). The absence of any music during the more emotional scenes is highly respectable; don't overplay sentimentality when the situation and talented actors can portray everything necessary on their own... a recurring issue I see a lot in American media, but of course not limited to just there. It feels far more real and raw when presented that way. There's a lot of potential choices that could go wrong with this type of subject matter, but somehow this film avoids them all. Splendid job, but am feeling pretty dehydrated now.

...

Uh oh, no bad films. Don't want people thinking am too easily pleased. Quick...a rummage through the pockets for some trash to review for glorious balance! Errrrrm, ooh, got...one?

F4: the ending
Fucking wow. Glad I never saw the rest of this. I feel sorry for fantastic four fans (four Fs! Ahah!), all they got is The Incredibles for their fabulous fantastic four frolics. Ugh, the alliteration bug is gaining power again, i must quit before it takes full control. Again. The point is: bad movie is bad. Everything else good. Contrast. Mountain. Canyon. Morphine.

Jason Bourne 6/10

Paul Greengrass delivers a couple of exciting action scenes focusing on crowds and traffic as well as one ridiculous car chase in Las Vegas that would be totally fine in a F&F movie. The characters are simple, so is the plot, Matt Damon and Tommy Lee Jones deliver good performances while Alicia Vikander is only barely convincing with her American accent. It tries to bring in some modern Facebook-style surveillance vs freedom conflict but it already looks like the CIA has godlike spying power almost globally. Why even bother with social media if you can just access traffic camera feeds from half a world away?

The Wandering Earth - 8/10

The basic premise is that the Sun has turned red giant and is expanding. To prevent the Sun from swallowing Earth, mankind came together and built thousands of giant rocket engines on one side of the planet to fly Earth out of the solar system to Alpha Centauri. Then a gravity spike from Jupiter causes earthquakes on Earth that knock out most of the thrusters, so now humanity must race to get the engines running again before the planet plunges into the gas giant and everybody dies. Our protags are two Chinese teenagers that get caught up in the rescue operation to deliver the ignition keys to one of the engines.

If that sounds stupid crazy, it's because it is.

The plot is ludicrous, the characters one-dimensional, the humor cringeworthy, the logic holes planet-sized, the exposition baffling. But it's the right amount of stupid crazy. I'd never call it a good movie, but it is a really enjoyable one if you turn your brain off for about 2 hours.

Toy Story 4 (7/10)

TS4 is, without a doubt, the weakest Toy Story movie. That the weakest still manages to be "good" does say a lot about Pixar's pedigree, but even so, TS4 is kind of the odd duck of the franchise at this point. Kind of like...okay, imagine if Tolkien had written Lord of the Rings first, then the Hobbit afterwards, setting it after LotR. It's the same universe with the same characters, but one's clearly different from the other three. And I use the Hobbit as an analogy because while TS4 is the most humourous TS film, it's also got the least "heart" to it. Like, I got "the feels," but nowhere near the level of TS1 or 3. And 2, while I'm not that fond of it, still works as a good bridging chapter. At this point, I think it's best to look at Toy Story as "the Andy Trilogy" (TS1-3), and "the bookend." Whether that bookend undermines the previous films is something people have discussed (I personally think it doesn't), but, yeah.

Still, like I said, the film's good. It's noticable however that while the previous films were ensemble ones, Woody is THE main character here. Even Buzz is relegated to a supporting role here. That isn't inherently bad, as Bo Peep effectively takes his dutragonist role. That said, it does feel kind of off. Woody's arguably always been THE protagonist of the former films, but Buzz was always a close second. Here...well, it's different. Bo Peep's different, but her differences actually make sense in context. And besides, how much character did she have before this? If anything, Bo's easily one of the best characters in the film. Forky, on the other hand, isn't - despite what the trailers might have implied, he isn't that major a character, more a catalyst for major characters to do things. New characters are quite good as well, both protagonists (e.g. Duke Caboom) and the antagonist, who's kind of an amalgamation of Stinky Pete and Lotso, but also goes off in a new direction. I think she's weaker though, in that Pete and Lotso were revealed as antagonists towards the end of their films, while Gabby is presented as an antagonist front and centre. Again, not a bad antagonist, but a weaker one.

Also, minor note, but as weird as this is, I think this film is the one that explains "toy culture" the best. Like, how and why toys want to be played with, and what happens when they aren't, or in cases, what happens when they just want to live their own lives free of owners? Like, not exactly deep, per se, but still, noticable.

So, again, TS4 is "good." It's more an addendum to a trilogy rather than extending that trilogy to a quadrilogy. To be honest, I wouldn't mind a Toy Story 5 at this point, provided Pixar could get a solid story, because again, I don't feel TS4 undermines the prior films, but it does bring Woody's character arc to a definitive end. Granted, I thought TS3 was THE definitive end, so a TS5 with Woody? Well, it could work.

So, yeah. GOod, but not great. Worth a watch, but don't expect something on the level of TS1 or 3.

Far From Home. Mysterio was pretty cool but if you know anything about Mysterio, the movie is ruined for you. Homecoming didn't relay its intentions as clearly as Far From Home, which is funny when thinking about the subject matter. I laughed more in this one than the first, and I think this had more heart and an actual challenge for Peter. There were some interesting effects around Mysterio's powers but I thought this could've been done better (see Spiderverse.) Is there a point to Ned? He's only comic relief - give him something to do other than being a damsel.

It's an improvement over the first one, and I think Holland is really taking the role and making it more his own. 8/10

Hawki:
Toy Story 4 review.

I was going to do a review but I see someone already read some of my notes. I don't know why this needed to exist, I don't think it added anything and they quickly got rid of the story that was actually interesting to follow Woody on heist hijinks to be then shuffled off to a very slow chase scene that was totally unnecessary based on where the characters ended up. Least it for 10 years before trying again please. 6/10

trunkage:

Wait what? Holy crap I'd say that's worth the price of admission in and of itself

Palindromemordnilap:

trunkage:

Wait what? Holy crap I'd say that's worth the price of admission in and of itself

It's only a few seconds but it was worth. In fact, all the stingers were great. It was actually worth sticking around.

Edit: just wanted to talk about those stingers. These are maybe spoilers for the MCU not specifically for Far From Home.

trunkage:
I was going to do a review but I see someone already read some of my notes.

Ha! You can't prove anything!

Just got back from Spider Man Far From Home. Its about as good as Iron Man 3, which is in the bottom 5 of Marvel movies. I'd say Spiderman inks out the #6 worst Marvel movie. It had like 3 good scenes, and maybe 1 good idea.

I recently watched Toy Story 4 and believe me I fell asleep for a couple of minutes! Hahahahahaha!!

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