Top contender for the best film of the year that nobody will see, not least of all because it seems like its theatrical run has been cut to less than two weeks.
That is a baffling choice, because this is a great film! At once tiny and intimate, while still presenting grandiose and epic storytelling in fine form.
It goes like this: a woman who wants for nothing discovers a Djinn in a bottle, and he spends days with her recounting his life to convince her to make the obligatory three wishes.
The longer it sits with me, the more I appreciate all the detail and nuance.
It’s beautifully constructed; wonderfully imaginative in design, narrative, composition and performance. Set design and VFX are fantastic and magical in a distinct, unique fashion. The simple chemistry between Swinton and Elba alone elevates this to something special.
Not perfect, but a sincere and genuine piece of creative filmmaking executed with the kind of seasoned confidence and flair that only George Miller can.
It’s unlikely you’ll be able to enjoy this in a cinema now, but it’s definitely worth your time when it hits streaming.
A solid little monster film, and probably the next-best Predator film after the original.
Proves definitively that the franchise works best when stripped right back to simplicity: take a ruthless alien hunter, drop it in a random time period. They’re slasher films! In this case, it’s the 1700s on the Comanche nation.
Amber Midthunder (Legion) is a badass, the action is well choreographed, cinematography is gorgeous, the creature design is awesome and it’s got a sweet dog!
It’s actually kind of impressive that a movie directed by the Russo Brothers, and starring Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Billy Bob Thorton and Jessica Henwick could be so utterly mediocre and forgettable.
Evans should absolutely be playing more villainous roles, he seems like he’s having a ball. But other than that, The Gray Man is little more than a mishmash of ideas from other action movies that have all been executed better elsewhere.
The result is something with no definitive personality of its own — just overlong shootout after overlong shootout with aimless, scattershot pacing. It feels solidly half again longer than it actually is.
There’s much better action films out there, don’t burn two hours on this.
Another banger from Jordan Peele! If Get Out was his Sixth Sense, then this is his Signs.
The trailers are somewhat deceptive as to what kind of movie this actually is, and the film itself is quite cryptic about it for the first half, before properly settling and letting you know for real what you’re watching.
It’s very well written, shot with creativity and style, and brings enough unique character, humour and strange flavour to the table to make it really stand out. Minimal locations, clever and striking low-key production design.
Less horror film, more creature-feature. It’s really fun, definitely worth a watch.
Absolutely lives up to its reputation … as one of the worst movies ever made.
The writing is staggeringly awful, with characters introducing themselves by name and profession, entirely unprompted. Not a single line of dialogue feels natural, it’s all hilariously stilted and weird, even coming from notably excellent actors. Characters are so badly written and shot that it’s easy to forget they even exist when they’re not in frame.
Plus, the coverage and camera choices are baffling. Frequently the person speaking will be blocked or half out of frame. Important plot points are delivered off-screen as if hastily added as an afterthought (“The dog has died!”) and then never brought up again. Sometimes the camera will do these long, 360deg tracking shots with literally zero motivation. Nothing is happening that the camera is capturing. Maybe the cinematographer wanted to spice things up, after being sick of shooting the entire thing in mid/closeup.
There’s several shots that just slowly track or zoom into nothing! Three characters talking and the camera just drifts off to empty sky like it can’t be fucked paying attention to them. And why would it? The idea of a beach that makes you old is hilariously dumb in its own right, and the “explanations” never add up to anything.
People rapidly aging—the entire premise of them movie—is wildly inconsistent. Two six year olds rapidly mature into teens, get pregnant and have the child (yes, it’s a weird and gross as it sounds because they’re mentally still basically six) before one man who has been on The Beach That Makes You Old for hours ahead of them even shows a single wrinkle. Oh, and then the baby dies a minute later and is dust by nightfall. Note again that this happens to someone that was literally a child themself barely six hours earlier. Old seems to think hiding people off camera is a clever way to disguise their changes, but all it does is make for a confusing, disjointed mess. The only saving grace is that it’s so bad that it becomes fascinating.
Maybe they could have improved things by having the twist (because of course there’s a twist) be interwoven throughout, ala Cabin in the Woods, but really that’s just putting a bandaid on a whole pile of bandaids. The idea that the beach is inescapable begs the question: well then how do people know it exists?
But asking questions of Old just opens the floodgates of questions on questions on questions. Why doesn’t their food rot immediately? Is the kid autistic? Does he just grow out of it, then? Wouldn’t the rush of hormones into a teenager’s body cause hair to spring up everywhere? How does a cop on holiday somehow mount an international investigation based on some random book he’s given? What happens to the survivors, who have now had 50 years of life taken from them and have to reintegrate into the world with no identification, record of their existence, and what are functionally and experientially the minds of children? How does M Knight get reputable actors to be in this insane trash?
It also continues the tradition of Shyamalan casting himself as an important genius in his own films. It’s really hard to tell if he genuinely thinks he’s making something clever, or if this was just an excuse to write off a trip to the Dominican Republic during the pandemic.
Falls firmly into the category of awful films that are incredibly entertaining for being grossly incompetent at everything they set out to do. A perfect movie to drunk-watch and heckle your outrage at with mates.
Excellent seafaring adventure, kind of in the same tonal vein as How To Train Your Dragon.
Animation, performances and production design are all top-class, with great action and colourful creatures for the kids, and elements of historical revisionism and imperialist undertones for the adults.
Would be genuinely surprised if this didn’t turn into Netflix’s flagship animated film franchise, since there’s plenty of room to grow from here.
I think this is the first time that an MCU film has been soundtracked by a single band, and Guns ‘n’ Roses fits the 80s Flash Gordon heavy metal kinda vibe perfectly.
Probably the most symptomatic of the Marvel “pandemic” phase, where things feel rushed to fit with unreasonable scheduling pressures.
Messy in tone, writing and pacing, BUT it’s also a lot of silly, irreverent fun. It’s choppy on both the micro and macro level — could have been improved with another pass on the script, less reliance on improv, and a bit more time given to the villain.
Still, it’s a light, campy escapade. Jane Foster gets a cool power set and a tragic arc, the production design is excellent, and the villain is creepy (even if Christian Bale is underused).
A good time, despite being undercooked and feeling like it was assembled too quickly.
It’s middling as an action film in its own right, and alters so much about the characters and lore from the games that it’s certain to irritate its established fanbase.
CG is wonky, performances don’t fit, characterizations are wrong, plot is so full of holes and leaps that it limps from one sequence to the next. Almost everyone is miscast, and those who aren’t are wasted.
Steals a few famous sequences from the games, but forgets that the joy of them comes from the interactivity, so having badly chopped recreations slapped together completely fails to capture any of their kinetic excitement or snappy writing.
The Uncharted games exist as a way of modernising classic Indiana Jones-type movies, which themselves were modernisations of pulp adventure serials. Taking the games and putting them back on film feels like a copy of a copy of a copy.
Apparently this was successful enough to declare it a franchise, so look forward to a bunch more utterly benign movies completely missing the point, I guess.