Mini-Reviews #16

2017-01-02

Better late than never: More opinions on some of the things that I’ve watched since the last time.

Film

300: Rise Of An Empire
Technical not as revolutionary as the first film, since it is more or less shot in the very same style. The film is again essentially just a series of very bloody battle scenes — but still, I felt entertained (while all the action in the original “300” became a bit repetitive at the end).
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
Ugh, crap comedy, usual Hollywood dreck. The first one wasn’t gold either, but this one is scrap metal. As usual, all the funny bits are in the trailer anyways, so just watch that one.
Captain America: Civil War
There’s a reason why this movie has jokingly been dubbed “Avengers 2.5”. After the great (great!) “Winter Soldier” a hefty letdown. All the main ingredients of the common Marvel Blockbuster are there, of course, but really: How long will this formula work? Marvel movies have become so dull.
The Legend Of Tarzan
Just stay far away from that one.
Cold Comes The Night
I was interesed in this little movie because of the cast, but the (lack of) plot, weird characterization and so forth made this a really bad choice. Completely unremarkable.
Central Intelligence
Dwayne Johnson has just incredible charisma as an actor and that rescues this comedy. Hoped for a bit more funny stuff, given the premise. A pretty tame ‘play-by-the-numbers’ comedy.
Slow West
Very interesting modern Western. It’s indeed a small scale, slow-burning film, but with
a great cast and story. Highly recommended!
The Shallows
Shark thriller from a different perspective and with nice visuals. As for many horror movies, the first act, if not half the movie, is actually a rather uninteresting build-up and the end is a bit over the top. But still a nice watch.
The Nice Guys
Oh man, when I saw the first the trailer for it, I was absoultely sure that this would be the action-comedy sensation of the decade. Unfortunately, the full movie was not quite up to that. Although I’ll have to watch it a second time (with now curbed expectations) to really make up my mind.
Star Trek Beyond
Better than the predecessors from the rebooted series, but still not my Star Trek. It works as an entertaining Hollywood mainstream action flick in space, but don’t expect more. I guess Trek just isn’t meant for the Silver Screen (fingers crossed for the upcoming new TV show).
Crimson Peak
By director Guillermo Del Toro, so one can be assured that at least the production value, setting and atmosphere is top notch. And while I think the story had some gaping holes and the action of many characters were illogical, it was still an OK film.
The Secret Life Of Pets
Some funny scenes, but a generic storyline. Watchable, but forgotten as soon as the credits roll.
Suicide Squad
Again, what a mess. DC superhero movies still haven’t found their groove. And despite the novel idea behind this, it plays it very safe, while being extremely chaotic and bland at the same time (also a kind of accomplishment).
Mascots
Catched this by accident, shortly after reading a positive review. But it turned out to be very, very underwhelming.
Jason Bourne
Please forget that this one exits. Even ‘Legacy’ is better. Given that both Matt Damon and Paul “Shaky-Cam” Greengrass claimed that they needed a very good story for a new installement, this one is laughable!

TV

The Shannara Chronicles — Season 1
Only knew the novel series by name, but never read a book of it. The show is alright, but didn’t grab me enough to continue with it: Bit too generic and too focused on a Young Adult target audience.
The Strain — Season 1 & 2 & 3
Campy beyond believe, althought entertaining enough for a quick fix every now and then. Don’t expect too much from it and you won’t be disappointed.
The Knick — Season 1 & 2
Great show. Hopefully it will get more seasons (even though the primary story arc is now complete). Highly recommended!
Silicon Valley — Season 3
Has still some laughs in it. Occasionally a bit over the top, but then again I can’t really judge it (maybe it isn’t). And since it’s an US comedy, that seems normal. I’ll stick around for the next round.
The Night Manager — Mini-Series
Boooring shit!
Dark Matter — Season 2
Hm, still not sure whether I should continue it. This season was all over the place, without going anywhere really. Additionally, the characterization is still mediocre and the lack of budget is showing.
Mr. Robot — Season 2
Wow, just wow: A must-see. But the plot starts to tread on thin ice; the next season might be another revelation — or the show will jump the shark (doubt that).
Preacher — Season 1
What the fuck was the point, exactly?! A whole season as a preamble…?! Maybe I’ll proceed… but with caution!
The Expanse — Season 1
Good production value, interesting characters and a not so obvious plot. This first half is a bit slow, but I think it’s worth it.
Marvel’s Daredevil — Season 1 & 2
Now that is a superhero treatment that I can get behind. The first season was simply amazing — while the second dropped the ball here and there. Anyways, recommended!

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