Rate the Last Movie You've Seen!
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

    It is good, but I was disappointed.  Worth seeing on the big screen, some really beautiful scenes.  What made the first one so refreshing was the originality.  This just takes all the stuff that worked in the first one and does that stuff over and over again.  Every battle is a 70s tune.  I love the Groot titles, but by the third battle, I was like, "Another AM tune?  PS not all these songs are totally awesome."  They end on Flashlight, which a classic now, never got much radio time when it was released.  The number of post credit scenes is out of control.  They are funny, but again, too much of the same.  The middle kinda drags and just way to much unimaginative exposition.  At one point, we actually got a HALL OF EXPOSITION, complete with visual aids.  Villian power point is the opposite of good writing.  It does go for it on the jokes.  They did not all land, but the effort was there.  "Ahhhh! my nipples!"

    Ninja Assassin (2009)

    Another good film that seems like it should be better.  An ignored B movie jem, and one of the best Ninja movies ever made.  Seeing Sho Kosugi read JM Straczynski dialogue is a real treat.It's biggest problem is that it cannot settle the rules for ninjas.  Sometimes they are invisible, invulnerable, teleporting demons; sometimes they die by the dozens.  Great fight choreography, worth seeing.
  • Captain Fantastic - 3 cremations out of 5.
  • Logan

    It was good. Everything just fit, unless you nit-pick certain details, and the comparison between the comics. 

    Ninja Assassin's awesome.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 -- 7/10

    I honestly wasn't a big fan of the first, which had a overdone ending and never felt as funny as the trailers suggested it might be. Most people seem to like the first more, but I appreciate the sequel's wholesale leap into Technicolor dreamscapes, and a bizarre, almost Hitchhiker Galaxy feel to everything, where everybody, no matter the circumstances, is a wisecracking smart ass. Villains included.

    Other than a trite opening scene that sees Baby Groot dancing while calamity ensues, and the fact that needle dropping old pop songs while violence flies stopped being as humorously ironic as it was when first seen in the 90s, the beginning two-thirds of this film are really snappy. The humour is on point, the tension between Rocket and the rest of the crew is apparent but never overdone, and the movie zips along. Both Drax and Gamora are great, and Starlord is well-worn by Pratt. It's the last third things become a bit overburdened with exposition and Sudden Revelations. Why, for instance, does Ego spit out the thing about the tumor? How does Rocket actually know there'd be a chain reaction? 

    There are things that feel a bit off, too. The Sovereign are kind of interesting in the beginning and might have made a funny antagonist, but they're quickly pushed aside. The whistle dart thing goes from "pretty OP' to "non-creative means of escape in any and all situations" and that's a shame. And the 5 - yes, 5 - credit scenes are just about 4 too many, nor are they very interesting, anyways.

    All that said, it's a fun movie. Worldbuilding a galaxy where everyone has a joke to make isn't easy, but it feels right at this point. It's a full frontal visual and audio assault that succeeds more often than not.

    Captain Fantastic -- 5/10

    This is a decently acted piece that never really manages to say perhaps as much it could and does definitely feel like the kind of movie some holistic rich white 22 year old would make. It takes place largely in Washington wilderness where a father raises his kids living off the land, espousing Trotskyist ideology, railing about capitalism, religion, business, and more, and self-teaching physics, philosophy, quantum mechanics, etc. While watching the movie, I was frequently assaulted with a feeling of nothing important happening. A character's suicide happens so fast that it becomes a major plot point is a bit weird. The characters involved notch every stereotype you could hope, including one deciding to travel to Namibia because he spun a globe and that's what his finger hit. They even have super wealthy family to fall back on if the whole anarcho-syndicalist thing didn't work. 

    There are some definite positives. Viggo Mortensen is really good. The youngest actors in the movie are surprisingly really good, too. The one sexy romance scene is funny and awkward. The soundtrack is airy and dreamy and features Sigur Ros, giving an sense of thoughtfulness. The scenes when the family has divisions or disagreements are well done. But the entire ending doesn't really make much logistical sense, with a whole bunch of legal and practical realities thrown out the window.

    There's just nothing really the stands out, nothing that breaks from stereotype, and even the ending message the movie portrays feels like genuflecting to all parties involved. It's not bad, it's just not really good, either.
  • Dallas Buyer's Club -- 7/10

    A ridiculously well acted piece that veers into pseudoscience and sadly casted a white straight dude as trans. That's no knock on Leto, who really did, in pure technical terms, act exceptionally well. But it is demeaning and lazy. McConaughey was tremendous too. A slight theme in some of these movies; over the top foreshadowing and visual metaphors. At one point, McConaughey's character asks for a sign from god. A few minutes later, he hallucinates a sad clown in a barrel in an empty rodeo arena. Excuse me? This movie is littered with moments like that, and has a really, really cheesy ending. It's a shame. The character study side of things is tremendous. The tragedy of how America reacted to AIDS is never smashed over our faces but constantly and depressingly present. A movie that is simultaneously brilliant and also flawed and unimaginative.

    Wonder Woman -- 9/10

    A tremendously earnest piece the feels like it fits into the superhero archetype without also feeling like Marvel's by the numbers formula at this point. It's a superhero movie that we all needed, even if it's message of hope and love isn't necessarily new to the genre, and the idea of someone brought into a new world isn't either - Gadot and Pine deliver it so convincingly I can't really complain. Does some of the action not really make sense? Yeah I guess. And if Wonder Woman thought Ares' creation of World War 1 was awful, wait until she sees the sequel, World War 2. But there's a bit of boundary pushing here, a reflection on death and grief and suffering that Marvel only started daring approach in Civil War (and even then they largely framed it poorly). It's nice to see a woman in the lead role and it's nice to see some (admittedly short and offhand) comments about race. It's just sadly surprising that we don't have a whole lot of super hero movies, all of which are laden with action, come out this strongly against war and suffering and violence. Captain America always treated it a bit like a celebratory good old American romp. Iron Man is too smarmy until Civil War to even dare reflect on anything. In fact, that was really the first time Marvel reflected on any of the wanton destruction. I appreciate the more nuanced view here immensely. 
  • Wonder Woman - 3/5 

    A refreshingly honest movie, with a message that goes a long way even today. Sadly marred by some really rough effects work, an absolutely horrendous third act that ends the entire experience on a sour note and an evil "McGuffin" that somehow makes less sense than the usual superhero fare as it actually tries to root itself in real chemical warfare.
  • Raw -- 4/10

    Yucks and schmucks abound in this decidedly French art body horror film that suffers from a distinct lack of tension and a lot of questionable scenes. The world the movie creates is weird and otherworldly but by not following through on any realism or causing other characters to react to the horrors around them, the entire thing comes off as surprisingly nonthreatening. None of the characters express that they're in danger so why should a viewer think they are? The lead actress also has a tendency to over act, glaring and burrowing her brows when wanting to display aggression, all with frequent slow closeups and a ridiculous soundtrack to go along with it. A sisterly peeing scene, a repeated car crash scene, and others all feel unnecessary. The main character's sister is the most compelling here, coming off as cocky and simultaneously caring and also threatening, she swaggers through scenes like she owns the place. All in all, it feels like a missed opportunity. It's never scary, and never tense, and needed a bit more of the cannibalism elements and less of the pee/poop/pubes elements.
  • Dune -- 1/10

    I've seen it a couple times now and I still can not even begin to wrap my head around how amazingly, excruciatingly bad it is. Multiple voice over narrations that often are pointless and beyond painfully awkward, incredibly disconcerting acting, a hack job of the book, and atrocious effects even given the time period. It goes beyond bad, past so bad it's good, and straight to "holy shit why does this exist" bad. The final line of the movie, however, gets me every time. It's like ending a book in the middle of a sentence.

    300 -- 1/10

    I was bored and sat through the first hour. Why? I do not know. It's aged horrifically. What was a stunted, crude, pointless racist two hours of thin plot and ridiculous gore is, well, still all of that and even more glaringly racist and unnecessary. Even putting aside that issue, it serves no function but to hack limbs. The plot is more meager than a Michael Bay movie, and the action way less compelling. Any instance of attempted drama and emotion is so overdone and rushed it's almost laughable, but it's too crappy to even do that. The sound mixing is completely bananas, in a bad way. No redeeming aspects to this film.
  • San Andreas - 3/10

    Boring as all fuck. Paint by the numbers disaster film. The Rock is The Rock.
  • Wonder Woman 

    Good, not great. Way better than all recent DC. It paints an actual character has some sense of fun. I thought it tried to be a little original at the end and might look muddled to some. Somebody has got to go to Warner Bros and burn all of their blue filters.  Holy crap, way to many dark dreary shots after we leave the island.  Gadot was way better at the role than I would have guessed.  Mediocre, but mediocre is miles ahead of Murder Man vs Mopey Man.  I still have little hope for Justice League.  The trailer for Black Panther was way more exciting and that Killer Mike beat is awesome.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 -- 5/10

    I still think this is silly and over-done and cheap at times, particularly the final 45 minutes or so, which just sort of loses the smarminess for more straight laced, rote humour and over-the-top drama. The rest is fine, particularly Drax. Still not high on Groot. All the tears at the end in a movie that up until then never takes itself seriously are kind of painful to sit through.

    Mystery at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian -- 5/10

    It's cute, cromulent kid's movie stuff. Some funny lines, some silly lines and over-acting, and weird crossovers with Star Wars and Sesame Street. The action is mostly bad. Ben Stiller is a decent 'everyman' type guy in this movie and keeps it grounded. You could do a lot better and a lot worse.
  • War Machine -- 8/10

    This movie is getting mixed reviews from critics but has been super popular in the halls of the Pentagon and DoD, which is surprising, considering how utterly critical this is of, well, everyone. Nobody escapes it here; soldiers, the president himself, the American people, but especially generals. The American obsession with a strong leader, with winning, with kicking ass, even when all the evidence says we can't is on display here. General McMahon isn't a bad guy, he's just incompetent, surrounded by incompetence, commanded by more incompetence, and all for fucking what? 60 years now of Middle East policy that has relied on bombs and missiles and coups, and no stability, democracy, or security to show for it. It's a funny film, sometimes darkly so, and has a streak of Heller's Catch-22 running through it. And like many good post-modern war films, it has little actual war. Instead, it's about hearts and minds (on all sides), on projection, on politics, on... it. Whatever it is. It being why America keeps invading Middle East countries. We still seem keen for it. This movie lays bare why it shouldn't even be a thing at all.
  • Spider Man Homecoming

    It's good.  Maybe nothing could have lived up to my hopes.  So much better than the last three Spider Man films that there is nothing to complain about.  I suppose I will have to rewatch Alfred Molina in Spider Man 2 for comparison, that has been my favorite Spider Man film, up to this point.

    It certainly brought into jarring relief how much the movie MCU has diverged from the classic silver age comics on my shelf.  Spider Man used to be the Mickey Mouse of this world and Iron Man was at the Chip and Dale level.  In the comics, Iron Man would be one of those Avengers in the background, like maybe a little ahead of Scarlet Witch.  Anyway, it is weird to see Peter worship at Tony's feet for me.  The Movie does this well, and it really works hard to keep Spider Man distinct and true to his roots.

    The most impressive thing the film does is try, and succeed, to make an MCU movie that is half John Hughes.  I never thought the MCU needed more Pretty in Pink, but I was wrong.  It is a coming of age movie.  Peter spends most of the movie being a well meaning Spider Boy, and there is a moment where he sees he must be a Spider Man now, or never.  There is no one else coming, if he is not the hero needed, then there is no hero and evil triumphs.  I also like the twist and did not see it coming.

    Folks have been raving about Keaton as the villian, and he is good, but not rave worthy.  Vulture is better than most MCU villians, but not as good as Loki, and nowhere near the sublime Kingpin and Purple Man on Netflix.  The action gets confusing at times, do not see this in 3D.  That is the show time I went to and the final action sequence suffered in 3D.  The new actor for Spider Man is great, but all three actors have been universally great.  I like that they are going old school with super young Spidey.  I was bummed his in fight banter was not as good as Civil War.  All of Spideys dialogue in Civil War was pretty awesome, hard bar to meet for two hours.  Finally I like that we pick up right after Civil War, we do not do any origin story from the beginning.  I fucking hated how much origin we got in Murder Man vs Mopey Man, I never need to see the pearls pop free again.  We just had a Spidey reboot, I don't need to see the bite or Uncle Ben again, and I am so glad this movie did not drive that into the ground.  Anyway, great to see my man in the MCU, even if the MCU has had better movies.
  • Norm of the North

    What appears to be a colorful representation of the arctic regions and city landscape, it is unfortunately a poor contender to match the indelible, life lessons that DreamWorks and Disney/Pixar depict; a wasted potential. It borrows elements from more successful titles (i.e. Ice Age for the environment and Despicable Me with the lemmings) and exerts too many subtle references about climate change and real estate for children to be curious about and comprehend its subject matter.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

    I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it more than the Andrew Garfield led films and I enjoyed it more than the Tobey McGuire led films. Tom Holland is the perfect Peter Parker and the perfect Spider-Man all rolled into one. The highschool stuff is actually done well and believable since for the first time ever in these Spidey films we have a teenager playing Spider-Man.

    I really enjoyed Michael Keaton as The Vulture and he just killed every scene he was in and took a sort of lame Spidey villain and made him seem dangerous for the first time ever. I'd personally rate him tied with Loki for film villains but on a whole different caliber. The actor playing Flash Thompson really bugged me and his scenes were the only ones of the film I didn't exactly enjoy. 

    It also needs to be said that this suit is probably my favourite of the live-action suits we've seen and that certain thing we see at the very end of the film is great and I'm sure will play into future films, most notably the next couple Avengers films since Spider-Man is confirmed to be appear.

    It's so good to see Spider-Man home in the MCU and the title Homecoming really suits Spidey's return. God, I enjoyed this so much.

    9/10

    This is my favorite MCU film since the original Avengers, so that's good too.

    EDIT: Also, the few scenes with Iron Man are really well done and actually have merit and reasons for being in the final film. I know some people worried there may be too much Tony Stark/Iron Man in this film but he was used perfectly.
  • Paterson -- 5/10

    I went in with pretty high hopes but spent most of the film feeling like either I was missing something or the film was missing something. Subtle revelations are not really revelations if they're not revelatory. The routinely repeated poetry, with Adam Driver's pained delivery, is never good, nor interesting, nor endearing in a "well he tried" kind of way. It's just dull and trite and so plain. Plain describes most of this movie. There are plenty of understated love and ennui movies that are better (and, in fairness, plenty that are worse). Paterson, much like the town it takes place is, is entirely inoffensive. It's just, sadly, entirely forgettable.
  • Spider-man: Homecoming -- 9/10

    I've spoken a bit about how the Marvel Universe has sort of capitulated to having multiple superhero storylines have the exact same aesthetic and mood, most notably Captain America and the Avengers and Iron Man, which all have the same visual and thematic sense and similar humour and everything. One reason I appreciated Guardians 2 more than others seemingly did is because it went full-throttle and amped up everything to the point of ridiculous, imbuing colors galore and wise-cracking galore. Since Marvel's only attempt at something with a bit more grit was the last Wolverine movie and thus well outside the realm of the Avengers collection/clusterfuck/whatever, I never have much hope that something will feel at least mildly different from the others. But lo and behold, Spider-man does, by way of being, unabashedly, a teen movie. And what it does at other times works well too. This could have been a trip down white adolescent power and sexual fantasy street, but the movie constantly winks and nods you through saying "nope" to that, even if it knows some people will see right through the facade. I mean, yeah, it's still Spiderman, but like other good superhero movies before it, it's really a celebration of doing the right thing, whether you can shoot webs or not. Outside of that? Fun, really diverse cast, finally reflecting the Bronx unlike previous Spidey movies. Once again they tease some subversive social humor a bit. I like how it ended, without a wish-washy everything is good sense. Even Iron Man's role is lifted up by this film as a sort of father figure. Really, other than a terribly disappointing final fight, where the evil genius villain does something very stupid, this is just a silly, likable film that jumps right into teenage angst and romance and discovery without becoming overburdened or resorting to cheap parlor tricks. Possibly my favorite Marvel to date, although I am a lot lower on Iron Man and the Avengers than most, so take that with a grain of salt.
  • Dunkirk - 9/10

    I'm surprised this film hasn't polarised critics a bit more. It's an unusual 'war film' and to even call that might misrepresent it somewhat. Yes it's obviously based on a real event during WW2, but because it's less of a battle and more a story of survival it allows Nolan more flexibility. You never see a German soldier in the flesh (apart from a small shot at the end) or scene cuts to a room of generals - Instead Nolan grounds the story only on what the British and French armies would have experienced. It's a film of little dialogue, but of sound and sweeping wide shots. It acts more as a thriller showcasing the fear at land, air and sea. Soldiers no longer bearing arms, but doing everything they can to survive as the German noose tightens. The battles of air, land and sea are interwoven to showcase the sheer scale of the seemingly imminent disaster facing the Allies, but grounded in reoccurring characters. The problem with the focus on such a small period of time is it allows little for much character development or back story, but I think that's mitigated by making the event the focus. There's some cheesy British patriotism towards the end, but understandable considering the evacuation's importance in the context of the war. 
  • I liked Dunkirk. It is tense and very emotional. If you ever wondered what a fish in a barrel thinks of its lot, this is your movie. The stoic father and son in the boat were my favorites. That father is a man of few words, but mercy is even more important than strength to him. Hardy's pilot is a badass to end all badasses. The best thing about the air battle is how they make it so clear this is not Top Gun, these are not jets. These are guys flying around in sewing machines, trying to kill each other. Of course you are going to get a big dose of patriotism, it is fucking Dunkirk. They do try to downplay that for raw survival, but it is fucking Dunkirk. I think Dark Knight is overrated, but Nolan knows how to make a movie. I am just waiting for him to write something as great as Inception again.
  • Star Wars: Rogue One
    I honestly found it boring as all fuck save for the last scene of the movie. Like it's not awful, but I just couldn't invest myself into any of the characters minus like that reprogrammed droid. Force Awakens was a better movie unfortunately.

    6/10
  • Atomic Blonde

    Big stupid fun.  The action is very good, but John Wick does it better.  I love the 80s setting and music.  The cast is top notch.  I was really digging the first hour, but act three falls apart in terms of plot.  It just throws twist after twist after twist at you, and counts on you to not think about it.  Basic, with John Travolta is the god king of this sort of stupid movie; where by the end nothing makes sense because why would they have gone to so much trouble if the goals had actually been so straight forward.  Some good action sequences mixed with poor pacing and an attitude that it thinks it is a way way smarter movie than it actually is.
  • Colossal -- 8/10

    Really charming example of mood shifts and genre busting. Marred a bit by some predictable and corny lines, and Paul Giamatti isn't as believable with his character as I'd like, which is a definite distraction, but still good overall package. Parts funny, parts quirky, parts horribly, horribly dark, it is short and effective and has no right being as solid as it is given how it routinely dances between moods, aesthetics, and genres. Hathaway is great. Could also be renamed "Deadbeat Guys" since it's full of them. Endearing closing shot, cute idea, fun film. 
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

    Finally got around to this. More of the same, and that ending man. It's a real tear jerker. As much as I love the character, I hope that ending sticks. We need more stuff like that in these superhero films. Not as good as the first in terms of scope or anything but I did enjoy my time with the film. The stuff with Star Lord and his dad Ego was cool but unfortunately I had the twists spoiled for me, but what can you do?

    Curious to see what they do with Vol 3. Adam Warlock is rumored to be in it, so there ya go.

    8/10
  • Kong: Skull Island - I have a soft spot for Kong. It was big dumb fun. If you like the old Kong movies, or like watching giants beat the shit out of each other (Pacific Rim, Godzilla vs whatever) you will probably like this one too.

    Edge of Tomorrow - I've seen this movie before and enjoyed it, but this time around after playing Dark Souls and The Surge all I could think was how good and easy it would be to do a Souls-like game in that universe. For the first time the respawning at the bonfire after death would make sense too.
  • Kong Skull Island is SO good.

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