Mini-Reviews #20

2018-08-18

Welcome back to another batch of my concise opinons about some recently watched movies and shows.

Film

Bad Moms
Obviously, I’m not part of the target audience for that kind of humour, but I was (again) fooled by the trailer, which had most of the few working gags already in it.
Hitman’s Bodyguard
Entertaining flick, thanks to the two main actors. Without them, it would have been a pretty forgettable mid-budget movie.
Baby Driver
Being a movie by Edgar Wright, I honestly hoped for a bit more. Nice idea, with all the music stuff, but doesn’t make it really good.
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Not quite an orgin story, but also not too far from it. Spider-Man now comes with the usual Marvel-Franchise ingredients. And sadly, they turn him into a sort of Mini-Iron-Man 🙁
Atomic Blonde
That was entertaining, watched it twice by now. And although not really looking like the 1980s, it was a hell of a stylish film.
Heat (1995) [rewatch]
To be honest, the reputation it earned in the public memory seems nowadays a bit exaggerated. Especially the shoot out in the city is not as well done as I remembered it to be.
Mother!
Seen without any knowledge beforehand, it was a weird and crappy movie. After reading about the metaphorism it represents, it makes more sense. And maybe I’ll watch it again in a few years, through different eyes. But at the moment, the first impression lasts; and that was not a good one. Prime example of an arthouse film.
American Made
Yeah, well, Tom Cruise is a bank you can count on. But other than that, a mediocre play on the from-rags-to-riches/rise-&-fall biopic theme.
Justice League
So very bad. Just stop it, DC, please. Before you hurt anyone.
It (2017)
Hm. The coming of age plot points were more interesting (but also pretty much routine work) than the horror aspect. OK’ish.
Thor: Ragnarok
Surpringsly entertaining and funny action movie. I didn’t like the first two Thor movies, but this one was cool and different stuff. Of course, Marvel shouldn’t play it this way all the time, but it was a nice detour.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Episode VIII)
I am not a big Star Wars fan. But this part destroyed all the good will that episode VII had built up, even with me. And since endless articles have already been written and countless video blogs have been made, I’ll point you in that direction for more detailed breakdowns why it simply is not a good film, let alone a good SW movie.
Blade Runner 2049
Interesting sequel: A new and updated interpretation of a well known universe, with better pacing, but almost the same style. But yet, somehow lacking a bit of deeper meaning and substance. And since it’s a continuation, not as ground breaking as the original Blade Runner. But still very good.
Bad Santa 2
I fondly remembered the first Santa, even though I haven’t see it for years. But that rose-tinted nostalgia and the fact that in the years since, more and more such raunchy comedies have been released didn’t help this incarnation. That — and the simple fact that this one was a badly written and acted crapshow. Skip this one, watch the original instead!
Mute
Supposedly a sci-fi thriller(?) in the same universe as the director’s (much better) movie Moon (don’t know, why or how). Steals a lot of setting and atmosphere from cyberpunk dystopias like Blade Runner, without getting even getting close. And could as well play in the year 1970, 1990 or 2090. And the plot is also utterly pointless. Just a waste of time.
Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017)
Totally watchable and completely forgettable. If you have to kill an hour or two, it’s OK.

Annihilation
Crap, crap, crap. Stupid scientists (in a SF movie, again — who is writing this dreck nowadays?!) doing stupid things. And speaking of stupid: I might very be a rather dumb guy, but the whole meta-meta-just-hinting-screenplays of recent past are getting on my nerves. I’m all for gray areas, complicated characters and story twists, but that doesn’t happen here, neither. It’s just not-meta-just-very-plain bad, except for one or two ideas and short scenes. Damn, spent already more words on this than it is worth!
Miss Sloane
Now, that’s a good one, like the premise, like the cast. Recommended!
Den of Thives
Like Jumanji: It’s OK, it fulfills its purpose, you could view worse (but also much, much better) stuff. A generic, but slightly entertaining mediocre flick.
Black Panther
Political correctness aside: Bad (Marvel) movie, bad special effects, bad action scenes, bad plot (some nice ideas, but leading to nothing).

TV

American Crime Story: OJ Simpson — Season 1
An anthology series centered around America’s most notorious crimes and criminals. Being not an american citizen, I only heard about the OJ case over the news, years ago. Nice series to get a closer look.
Mr. Robot — Season 3
Again a very good season in a very good and unique show. After the second season, which focused more on Elliot, this one concentrates again more on the overall plot. Thumbs up!
Star Trek: Discovery — Season 1 (Episodes 10-15)
Oh boy, sooo bad. Only Trek by name and some core items, but not by ideology. And it’s again a prequel, set in the past of the SF storylines. What happend to the “Where No One Has Gone Before” spirit?!
A Series of Unfortunate Events — Season 1
The show is very much in the style of the feature film from 2004, which is quite good. Only complaint I have, as a non-native english speaker: It’s a bit hard at times to understand the fast and not so simple dialogues and word-plays for me on first viewing. But hey, that’s just me. Good show!
Altered Carbon — Season 1
I dimly remember that I read the (first) book years ago. Wasn’t wow’ed by it. Same with this TV adaptation, just worse: A mix of Blade Runner’esque environment, some hinting of esoteric themes about technology-enabled immortality… But all in all: More show than substance. In case more seasons follow, I will not watch them.

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