The Movie Reviews & Discussion Thread
For the past few years I have made threads for that specific year's activity in the film industry. Instead of having a 2017 In Film thread, we should go back to having it all in one topic again. One big discussion on the upcoming releases, reviewing new films as they come out, talking about older films, as well as the part that fascinates me the most which is the breaking of financial records in film. All in one spot.
This topic will follow the same vision as the older "In Film" yearly topics did, just no longer restricted to that specific year. So if you want to review a movie, talk about the upcoming releases, predict/discuss records getting broken, do it in here. Just make sure to stay on topic and follow the forum rules.
I don't think I've ever had a movie discussion here at WrestleZone. That's kind funny, since I work for a big movie magazine in my country. Anyway, thanks to that work I was talking about, I caught an early screening for Martin Scorcese's "Silence" and even though it isn't going to be the magnum opus that the early buzz made it out to be, it was still a great movie.
The master has lost a step in many aspects, but there's always that little thing that's just better than anything else in the market and in Silence, more than the complexity of the script or the ideology behind it, I gotta tell you I absolutely loved the japanese's in this. This is not an official review and just a discussion with a bunch of people who love movies, so I did not look for names or anything because, seriously the drama was all set thanks to our asian friends and I mean all of them.
Andrew Garfield as the lead for this movie is actually what's wrong. He's a talented actor, but terrible miscast in this one. I would totally have bought Adam Driver a lot more as the lead. Liam Neeson just needs to be there and speak, so don't expect any awards for him too. If you're a fan of Andrew Garfield, seriously stick to "Hacksaw Ridge" or "The Amazing Spider-Man" movies. In here, he just doesn't fit even though he tried his best.
Also, I'm portuguese and I've studied the subject of christians in Japan so as an historic piece, it's an amazing experience. Americans seem to be more religious than most, so you'll probably get rilled up for the whole step on Christ's face and stuff.
My official star review would be: 3,5/5.
I'm catching La La Land tomorrow (hasn't even premiered here!) and Manchester By The Sea next weekend. Really excited for it.
First and foremost this movie does live up to the expectations. Amazing script, amazing score and songs. Damien Chazelle outdid his amazing work on "Whiplash" and I feel honored to have seen this movie. Absolutely my favorite so far, even though I still need to see "Moonlight" and "Manchester By The Sea".
The task of delivering an original musical is bigger than a good drama and for that reason, I do believe this one should take the Oscar for Best Picture. It's also a love letter to Hollywood's golden age and it obviously work to deliver the director's passion for jazz music in a significant way.
The movie is carried, mostly, by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. There really isn't secondary characters in it. It's just a good old fashion romance, filled and I mean absolutelly filled with amazing metaphors.
Go watch this movie with your significant other. I'm telling you, you'll laugh, you'll get frustrated, you'll cry and you'll be thinking about the true meaning of love. It's a very current subject or at least, a current interpretation of what love is and it's position in today's society.
Denzel was on 60 Minutes a little a while ago to talk about this movie, and I remember him talking about making an adaptation that stays true to the source material and August Wilson's work. Maybe I'm in the minority, but at certain points, Fences staying within the confines of the play format kind of hurts the natural flow of the movie.
Still, Denzel is at his best here, Viola Davis delivers a strong performance, and together the collective efforts from the cast are more than enough to help Fences rise above the status of another conventional drama. I wouldn't call Fences an uplifting film, because it's all about the hardships facing Troy and his family, the struggles they go through week after week, and a family that's slowly falling apart. Troy Maxson (Denzel) has so many layers as a character, and Denzel nails each one. He's a strict father, an alcoholic, and he's an angry, bitter man, who can't let go of the past. But Troy breaks his back for his family, as a responsible working man, and he takes his role as the man of the house seriously.
Troy is a walking conundrum, because on one hand, you kind of want to feel sorry for a guy, who tried to chase his dreams, but he couldn't make it. On top of that, he might be an asshole, but he's doing the best he can do. But you also see a broken and frustrated man, who lashes out at his son, a kid, who's just trying to live his life, and Troy is haunted by his past, and the Grim Reaper's looming shadow.
2016's year in film has all but wrapped up. Rogue One and Finding Dory are still being shown. The former is currently the 5th highest grossing film of that year and could still climb further. The Secret Life Of Pets is also still being shown.
Not much going on for films in 2017 just yet though the years always start off slow when it comes to movies. The biggest release in January looks to be the third XXX film. A Dog's Purpose might also be good, I'm thinking of seeing that.
Recent & Upcoming January 2017 Releases
1/13: The Bye Bye Man
1/13: Monster Trucks
1/13: 100 Streets
1/13: The Book of Love
1/20: XXX: Return of Xander Cage
1/27: A Dog's Purpose
1/27: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
It's not new per say but I wanted to give my thoughts.
It was a highly enjoyable movie. I've always wondered why the put a reactor vent on the Death Star and now I know. The characters were some of the best I've seen with my favorite being K2. I loved the cameos by R2D2, 3PO & Leia. A New Hope was set up perfectly which what this movie was supposed to do. The only part that I didn't enjoy even though it was necessary was the ending which was depressing, especially after I got emotionally invested in all the characters.
My rating: * * * * 1/2 out of 5.
Manchester by the Sea is a slow movie. It's a great story with a great script, no doubt. It's shocking, it's depressing and somehow funny at times. To top that, you have a really great organic and natural performance by Casey Affleck who absolutely shines in one of the best characters in movies as Lee Chandler.
There's just a problem. The movie is a drag from scene to scene. The brilliant backstory of the character really holds the movie up, while the rest of it, pulls the movie down. It's not a great experience in the big screen and it refuses to tell the point of the story until 1 hour after it begins. I wasn't a fan of the score either, it makes sense at some points, but at others it's really forced to give it a somber tone.
I think if you have the time, you should definitely check the movie out. Do it at home, though. Also, do it alone and feel it to really take everything away from it. It just doesn't work with friends or the girlfriend at the movies.
The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man
Imagine if you will a delicious steak. It's tender, juicy, everything you could possibly want for a slab of meat. Now sit down and watch the waiter mince it up into the tiniest pieces one can detect with the human eye. Watch as the waiter throws 90% of it away. Do not look away as the waiter stands up on the table, pulls his pants down, and shits on what is left of your steak. He hands you a fork and tells you Bon Appetit. This is what the movie was like.
It starts off fairly well I thought. Jarring opening, which totally threw me off my expectations and I liked it. We get some interesting tidbits on the titular character, and how he has been a problem since the 70s. In fact, I'd argue that this would have been a decent horror film if it was a period piece. But it's not. Instead, we are thrown back into the Modern Day. Teenagers from college move off-campus in an old, pretty much haunted house. As the viewers settle in, the movie then proceeds to throw every horror movie cliche known to man at the viewer. Just think of some. They're there. When I attended the premiere, the audience that came with me laughed at the more serious moments. Why? The actors sucked at acting. Like, it was noticeable that they weren't really trying.
The monster itself was sorta interesting (minus the ridiculous way to summon it), therein lies the 10% steak. But what makes the antagonist shine is undermined by not giving the viewer any information on their uniqueness. I know this sounds odd so I'll give an example. We all know why Freddy Kreuger looks the way he does, even from the first movie. He wears a bladed glove for a reason. Even his sweater is explained. The Bye Bye Man has several little oddities like Freddy has, but none of it is explained. The closest you'll get to an answer to his quirks is that he is a Grim Reaper-like character, which is really the height of horror monster cliches.
It would seem like the movie was setting itself up as a new Horror franchise since the ending hints at it and little to no backstory on the titular character screams sequel to me. If so, fuck me.
This is just another horror movie that probably would have been fantastic if not for the PG-13 Rating. I sincerely think that's a major problem in enjoying a good scare anymore, because directors have to settle for the same setups, jumpscares, flat characters, etc. They can't all try and be The Ring.
I don't really advise seeing this movie if you plan to pay for the ticket yourself. Just wait until it's on Netflix where its rating will be about equal to mine. Too many unanswered questions really takes the viewer out of enjoying the film.
Spidey Rating: 1.5/5
It's the third collaboration between Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg and the third solid movie based on true events. "Patriots Day" works exactly the same way that "Deepwater Horizon" did. It's the same style of cinematography and acting, with the same cuts to real footage of the event in question – in this case, the Boston bombings. People usually say: "if ain't broke..." and it's totally fine for this film. Mark Wahlberg was totally the best choice to play the fictional Sgt. Tommy Saunders, he's easy to relate with and he does move some of the powerful drama in it. The remaining of the cast was really solid too, specially Kevin Bacon who just has that vibe to play a FBI agent.
The best thing of the movie though is the score and sound. It's not obnoxious, it's not forced and it really helps you get into that awful situation.
The love birds, the father, the fatalities... all of it helped the all direction of the movie shine. I enjoyed it, even though it's obviously and an annoying american propaganda.
I'll give this a thumbs up, but I hope that the duo takes a vacation. I want to see Peter Berg take on another projects, I fairly enjoyed "Hancock", so who knows? He has the potential to put together an worthy Oscar movie, if given the chance.
I was on the fence with watching The Bye Bye Man in theaters, but now I think I'll wait for it at home. It's never a good sign, when a studio changes the release date (two release date changes before they settled on the January 13th date) for a movie. You know something is wrong, when they're basically backing away from competition, and after all that, they dumped The Bye Bye Man in January, the annual graveyard for lousy and mediocre horror films. The teasing for a sequel doesn't surprise me, but I'll be shocked if it happens after all the bad reviews.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (in 3D!)-8/10
Darth Vader is the main reason why I went from a 7/10 to an 8/10.
It's better than The Force Awakens, and Rogue One is one of the rare examples for a film series taking a chance on something different, or what we're used to seeing, and the changes with a more brooding tone actually working out. Jyn was kind of a flat character for me, but the hilarious banter between K-2S0 and Cassian was great, and Rogue One really works as a more emotional film. Of course, a lot of that comes from knowing what's going to happen, and how the team is basically going on a suicide mission.
A Monster Calls-9/10
I can understand the complaints about A Monster Calls trying too hard to do too much, and AMC being a messy film storyline wise, but it's definitely one of the more unique and unconventional coming-of-age films I've seen.
There's a good balance between the coming-of-age side of the movie, the dark fairy tales, and a drama about a boy, who's losing his mother, and everything blends together for one hell of a movie. It's a moving and heartfelt story about a boy, and his whole world falling apart around him. He needs to let go, and there's nothing he can do about it, but The Monster comes along at the right time to be the support system and the voice of encouragement he needs.
I'm also glad they didn't try and turn The Monster into some whimsical oaf. The Monster has a sense of humor, and the presence of a larger than life figure, but he also has his moments as a big brother for Conor.
Solid performances from Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, and Sigourney Weaver, and I know I need to catch up, but so far A Monster Calls is one of my top picks for the best films in 2017 (limited releases in 2016, but A Monster Calls didn't receive a wider release until 2017).
January 20-22 & The Upcoming Weekend
Split debuted at #1 in the week-to-week charts with $40,010,975 ($45,931,560 for the current worldwide total), and that's off of a reported production of $10,000,000. Meanwhile, xXx:The Return of Xander Cage debuted in the #2 spot with $20,130,142 ($70,630,142 for the current worldwide total), and that's off of a reported production budget of $85,000,000.
I haven't seen it yet, but I'm glad Split is doing well at the box office, and the movie is receiving a fair share of positive reviews. The Visit was a good horror/thriller, and hopefully this is the start of a comeback for M. Night Shyamalan. The guy is a talented director, but his habit of building up to this big twist ending, and the big twist not delivering a satisfying payoff was getting annoying and tiresome. That, or suspending disbelief and buying into it was damn near impossible, because the big twist was so preposterous (i.e. The Village) and over the top more often than not. Also, Shyamlan directed After Earth, a dull and boring post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, featuring one of the worst cases of nepotism you'll ever see.
The Return Of Xander Cage is on its way to being one of the early flops in 2017, and I can't say I'm all that surprised. Honestly, it looks like another failed attempt to launch an action franchise, and the trailers and the commercials made The Return Of Xander Cage look like another random and generic action flick. You also have to believe a long hiatus killed any anticipation for another xXx film. The first film was released in 2002, and after that, you had the awful sequel with Ice Cube. That, and it's more proof Vin Diesel is not a strong draw on his own.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is the big release for Friday, but I can't say I'm too excited about it. The Resident Evil series is basically a guilty pleasure trip for watching gory action sci-fi/horror flicks and stylized, over the top action sequences and fights, because I honestly can't think of one film in the series that's truly good or great.
Gold will receive a wider release this week. After watching the trailers, it was easy to see Gold as an Oscar contender, but there's almost no buzz for it, and Gold continues to receive more negative reviews (a 42% on Rotten Tomatoes).
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