Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049

Sometimes to love someone, you got to be a stranger.

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Blade Runner 2049 is the sequel to the 1982 cult classic Blade Runner. Directed by Denis Villenueve (Arrival), starring Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, Ana De Armas, Jared Leto and Harrison Ford.

Set 30 years after the first Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049 follows K, a Blade Runner set to find older model replicants. Along his finds he follows a dangerous path with a very dark secret.


The Good

One of the most striking aspect of the movie is the cinematography. This movie is gorgeous, from the misty cyberpunk cityscape of Los Angeles to the red desolate desert of Las Vegas, this movie looks incredible.

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Accompanying the great cinematography is the performances from some of your notable characters characters. Though one performance that stood out is Ana De Armas, who plays Joi who is very good in the film. However the CG that accompanied her character is also visually impressive.


The Bad

The movie is almost three hours long and unfortunately you feel the length of it. There are plenty of scenes that drag and some moments where there are plenty of talking. Though the movie is visually striking, there are scenes that are hard to get through due to it’s slow pacing.


Rating

Overall Blade Runner 2049 is a visual masterpiece. The cinematography of the movie is incredible and Roger Deakins who’s the director of photography will surely get nominated again for an Oscar and could possibly win it. Your performances are mostly decent and even characters with smaller roles played by Dave Bautista and Barkhad Abdi were great.

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However with the long running time this can be a tough movie to get through overall. But if you’re a huge sci-fi fan who enjoyed the first Blade Runner and doesn’t mind movies with slow moving pace Blade Runner 2049 is for you.

Good Bad 4.5/5
  • Incredible Visuals
  • Ana De Armas as Joi
  • Trippy Ménage à trois
    • Long Running Time
    • Unnecessarily Loud
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Movie Review: It

You’ll float too

It is the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s famous novel It. It’s directed by Andy Muschietti (Mama) and it stars Finn Wolfhard, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis and Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise.

In the small town of Derry, Maine a string of disappearances are plaguing the town. However when a group of kids detected a pattern they are determined to stop the cause behind it,  a demon clown called Pennywise.


The Good

This movie was a lot of fun, one of the most surprising elements of the movie is the amount of comedy it had. One might think It will be a straight up horror movie but the amount of genre that this movie tackled was impressive, from comedy, drama, thriller and it can be considered an adventure film as well as a coming of age story and not to mention the horror side of it. It balances all these elements and it creates a meaty and and thoroughly enjoyable film.

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Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise was great, his creepy and scary portrayal of Pennywise was very fitting and he’s terrifying. Though the loser club also deserves a praise as they were all great, with seven characters to juggle from the movie manages to give each character a moment.

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However three actors stood out having performed great range of emotions. Sophia Lillis, the lone girl in the group was great, she represents a very mature side of the Losers Club while the comedic side was handled perfectly by Finn Wolfhard who plays Richie Tozier. On the other hand Jack Dylan Grazer who plays Eddie is the most sensible one and all these three actors were amazing.


The Bad

There’s not a lot of bad things to say about this movie and if there are it’s very minor however one subtle flaw of the movie is it does every other element of it good, to which the horror part becomes underwhelming. The movie delivers plenty of jump-scares and terrifying imagery. But at a certain point of the movie, you stop being scared as you become invested in the story.


Rating

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Overall It is a hIt, see what I did there, the surprising amount of humor in the film worked a little too well but it did help the movie’s pacing. The Losers Club was fun to watch the raunchy dialogue of the kids will have you laughing throughout the movie however Bill Skarsgard’s fantastic take on Pennywise will leave you terrified. Andy Muschietti is slowly cementing himself as one of the better horror movie director and with this being a huge success we will surely be hearing more about him.

It is a fun, scary and thoroughly enjoyable movie. It’s violent and humorous but it will also make you keep wanting more.

Good Bad 4.2/5
  • Pennywise
  • Terrifying Imagery
  • Hilarious Dialogue
    • Underwhelming Horror

 

Movie Review: Death Note

Shall we begin?

Death Note is based of the 2006 anime hit with the same title. It involves a high school kid, Light, who picks up a death note, where whoever’s name is written will die.


The Good

Starting with the positives, one of the coolest aspects of the movie is Ryuk, the death god, voiced by Willem Dafoe. Though we don’t see very much of him, Ryuk is one of the characters they got right. His enigmatic yet humorous take on the events around him makes us like the character and with Willem Dafoe’s voice acting, it’s fun whenever we see him on screen.
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Another fun thing about the movie are the deaths themselves. If you’re someone who enjoyed the final destination series. The deaths and gore are very reminiscent of that. Some of the death scenes deliver impressive imagery but brutal at the same time.


The Bad

Unfortunately the movie is filled with flaws and incredibly dumb character decisions. Light, played by Nat Wolff is one of the most inconsistent characters in the movie. Being built up as one of the smartest characters in the movie, he’s easily swayed by his emotions allowing him to create decisions that makes you rip your hair out.

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Another problem is Lakeith Stanfield as L, even with a physical death god in view, the movie manages to stay grounded. L on the other hand felt like he’s a part of a completely different movie. His over the top mannerisms are not only distracting but it makes hard for the audience to believe that he’s working with the FBI or the CIA. Lakeith himself is a good actor however the over the top writing of his character didn’t do him any favors.

Lastly Mia Sutton, played by Margaret Qualley, is one of the most unnecessary characters they have in this movie. Her overreaction to the events around her makes her character unbearable. Not to mention she has moments that make you scoff and roll your eyes.


Rating

Lakeith Stanfield and Nat Wolff in the Netflix Original Film "Death Note"

Overall this version of Death Note isn’t very good, though it has some great moments our three leads were poorly written and even the story in itself is isn’t good. The movie felt like there were plenty of conflicting ideas and decisions that went in it and it shows. It’s incoherent script dragged this movie down and with very little saving grace, the fans of the hit anime will surely be disappointed.

Good Bad 2/5
  • Ryuk
  • Cool Death Scenes
  • Insufferable Leads
  • Dumb Character Decisions

Movie Review: War for the Planet of the Apes

Apes Together Strong!

War for the Planet of the Apes is the third movie of the Apes series. It’s directed by Matt Reeves and it stars Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller and Andy Serkis as Ceasar.

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After the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Ceasar and his people are trying to live a peaceful life in the woods. Unfortunately for Ceasar, a tyrant with a battalion of soldiers is hell bent on eliminating Ceasar and his kind.


The Good

One of the strongest points of War for the Planet of The Apes is it delivered some of the most convincing CG effects this year, the Apes looked incredible. The emotions and expressions showed by the apes are convincing and it empowers the movie tenfold.

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Andy Serkis is also to be given credit, once again delivering a powerful performance as Ceasar. Having followed Ceasar’s story from the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. You can’t feel anything but admiration to his character.

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A surprise hit in the movie is Bad Ape. With the dark gloomy tone of the movie, Bad Ape played by Steve Zahn, delivers some much needed humor which in return alleviates some of the serious tone of the film. The character itself is tragic but Steve Zahn managed to make it lovable.


The Bad

War of the Planet of the Apes will not be an easy watch for some, it has a running time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. There are some scenes that drag and though the scenes themselves are good you can’t help but feel the movie’s length.


Rating

Overall War for the Planet of the Apes delivers a blockbuster with strong characters and more importantly a blockbuster with a deep story. Andy Serkis as Ceasar deserves a recognition for his motion capture performance. Woody Harrelson is also great and gives a strong argument as to why he wants to eradicate the apes and all of it makes a compelling conflict of interest.

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War for the Planet is easily one of the better movies that came up this blockbuster season and if you’re someone who’s followed Ceasar’s story from the beginning you will have a deep appreciation for this movie. War for the Planet of the Apes is highly recommended.

Good Bad 4.8/5
  • Andy Serkis as Ceasar
  • Amazing CG
  • Deep Story
  • Long Running Time

Movie Review: Spider Man Homecoming

Can’t you just be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man?

Spider-Man: Homecoming is the 16th feature movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car) and it stars Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr, Michael Keaton and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming tells the story of Peter Parker after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Recently given a new suit by Tony Stark, Peter tries to balance his life by juggling being a high-school kid by day and superhero by night. Hoping to impress Tony Stark and to officially become an Avenger.


The Good

This is the 6th big budget Spider-Man movie that we’ve seen on screen and it is safe to say that they got Peter Parker AND Spider-Man right this time. Tom Holland as Peter Parker was great. He captures the witty & clever banter that Spider Man possess and for once we get a Peter Parker who’s excited to be Spider-Man.

One of the things that impressed me is how they got the minor details right. Often times we’d wonder what happens to Peter’s belongings when he webs them in an alley and go about his day as Spider-Man or what if he’s in an area without tall buildings to swing on, they answered most of that.

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More great things about this is there are no badly written characters. Peter’s friends felt like real kids in a real high school. Especially being set in New York his group of friends are multicultural, and they tease each other like most circle of friends do.

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Surprisingly the villain, played by Michael Keaton, doesn’t fall into the villain problem that most of these types of movies have. His villainous nature has a very human motivation in which he’s just trying to provide for his family.


The Bad

Though the movie is fun through out the whole movie, the only thing that’s a complaint is how the CG looked at the very beginning. At certain times we can tell that the Spider-Man is CG and not a guy in a suit. Though very minor, it can be distracting.


Rating

Overall Spider-Man: Homecoming is easily one of the best super-hero movies this year, it is perfect as a Spider-Man movie and it’s the best we’ve seen the character on the big screen. Tom Holland is a joy to watch, he captures the excitement of what’s like being Spider-Man and his excitement is infectious.

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This movie is incredibly funny, the action sequences are great and your supporting characters are also great. There are tons of easter eggs through out the movie and not to mention a running gag that’s easy to miss but still cleverly put. As a movie in general, it’s not perfect but it is perfect as a Spider-Man movie. Make sure to stay after the credits as this has one of the best post credit scenes ever.

Good Bad 4.5/5
  • Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
  • The Vulture
  • Hilarious Story Telling
  • Hot Aunt May
  • Bad CG at the beginning

Movie Review: Wonder Woman

only love can truly save the world.

Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins, it stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright.

Wonder Woman is the fourth movie in DC’s movie universe and it deals with Diana Prince’s ventures into WWI as she discovers the world of men for the first time and deals with other imposing threats.


The Good

Glad to say DC has finally got one right. Not only does Wonder Woman break DC’s disappointing movie streak but it does it strongly. Wonder Woman offered a much needed rejuvenation from the dark moody environment that Zack Snyder has set up for the DC Universe.

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One of the highlights of this movie is your lead, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was great. She pours in a much needed emotion into the role and through her actions Wonder Woman proves herself to be a superhero with compassion and willingness to help.

Chris Pine is also great and even with this being a superhero movie, both leads delivered great acting with plenty of dimensions to their characters which made it easy for the audience to relate.

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The movie delivered some jaw dropping and incredibly heroic action sequences but likewise offering some subtle and genuine humor to the movie. There’s even a small romantic element between the two leads and it was played cleverly.


The Bad

The movie is not perfect and like most superhero movies, Wonder Woman, is not exempt from having a villain problem. With one dimensional villains who are evil just because they’re evil and ridiculously cartoonish, it dragged the movie down a bit.

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Another issue is the amount of slow motion used, plenty of the slow motion sequences felt unnecessary and it just made the movie a lot longer than it needed to be.

The biggest issue however is the climax, which doesn’t feel like it was a part of the movie at all. From going to grounded and compelling story ending with a saturated lightshow, the climax felt random.


Rating

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Overall DC finally got something right with Wonder Woman. It’s a great superhero and it empowers females without beating you over the head with it’s message. The action sequences were amazing and the chemistry between Chris Pine and Gal Gadot was great. Even with stock villains and a ridiculous climax, Wonder Woman is still a great superhero movie and it’s definitely worth checking out in the big screen.

Good Bad 4/5
  • Great Characters
  • Amazing Action Sequences
  • Clever and Humorous
  • Too Much Slow Mo
  • Cartoonish Villains
  • Silly Climax

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

There are two types of beings in the universe: those who dance, and those who do not.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is the sequel of the hugely successful Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s directed by James Gunn, and it starts Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell with Bradley Cooper returning as Rocket, Vin Diesel as Baby Groot and Dave Bautista as Drax.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 continues the adventure of the Guardians and along the way they meet a man who claims he’s Peter’s dad.


The Good

One of the highlights of the first movie was how funny it was, and good to say they haven’t missed a beat. Vol 2 is hilarious with everyone seems to have their own comedic moments. The jokes were a hit most of the time and it helps with the movie’s progression.

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Surprisingly there’s plenty of dramatic moments, especially around Peter’s backstory but overall almost everyone in the Guardians have a sad story to tell. One of the stand out characters is Yondu, Michael Rooker, which was just a side character in the first movie, but he’s got a bigger role in Vol 2 and he’s great.


The Bad

Unfortunately the movie is not as great as the first movie in which the first movie had more of a cohesive plot, it didn’t feel the same way with Guardians Vol 2. The plot is almost split into two, with the movie telling two separate stories and sad to say this didn’t work out quite well. There’s a feeling of disconnect between the two plots and though they connect at the end, the progression felt rushed.

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With the plot going more into detail about everyone’s backstory this took a toll on the action side of things, we do get the Star Wars-esque spaceship battles, unfortunately we don’t get a lot of action from the Guardians themselves and it’s disappointing.

Another issue is how overbearing the music is, a lot of people loved the music from the first movie and though they used the same 80s feel here, the movie gets out of it’s way to play a song every five minutes and sad to say it becomes distracting.


Rating

Overall Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the better sequels in the MCU, it’s better than Thor 2 and Iron Man 2, that being said, it’s not better than the first movie. It’s still very humorous and it still highlights the camaraderie between the Guardians and the chemistry between them is infectious. Kurt Russell is decent, but without a doubt Yondu stole the show.

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The lack of real plot however hindered this movie and with a poor execution the movie felt rushed. That said, it’s still very entertaining and and still a lot of fun.

Good Bad 3.8/5
  • Amazing Visuals
  • Yondu
  • Hilarious
  • Overbearing Music
  • Lack of Plot
  • Not Enough Action