Mini-Reviews #21

2019-02-15

It’s been a while, but here we go again: A quick recap and short opinion piece of some stuff I’ve seen in the last couple of months.

Film

Please Stand By
Read a postive review about it, sounded interesting; but it was not, really.
Avengers: Infinity War
Oh well, I’m just viewing theses big popocorn blockbuster razzmatazz movies now more as a “geek duty”, not because I find them particular entertaining. Especially these best of (worst of?) crossovers that now come out each couple of years (I guess my opinion about this flick comes across clearly).
A Cure For Wellness
Interestingly filmed, although long and slow paced psycho horror. The final act/resolution is a bit dull, but the way to it was alright.
Tomb Raider (2018)
I can’t even remember the 2001 incarnation, so no comparision on that front from me. This was a adequately filmed action-adventure. But completely uninspired and generic affair (expect maybe for one or two scenes, the plane for example). Watchable only on a rainy afternoon, and if the rest of your streaming service backlog has been finished already.
Red Sparrow
Interesting premise, but bad execution and convoluted plot. (By the way: Why are the actors, portraying russians in russia, speaking english with a russian accent to each other?! Makes no sense!)
The Gift
Nice little psycho thriller.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Again: Praised by critics, but not really my cup of tea. Not bad, and with a few interesting characters and scenes, but just not mine.
Logan Lucky
Meh. I hoped for (and expected) more, considering the director and cast. Just meh
A Quiet Place
OK, a slightly different take on the genre. I wouldn’t hand out awards for it, but it was not too shabby.
Deadpool 2
More or less more of the same, for better or worse. Obviously, the wow-i-can’t-belive-they-did/said-that effect has suffered a bit, but if you liked the previous part (like I did), then you will also like this sequel.
The Commuter
Another of Liam Neesons “paycheck for the rent”-jobs: In a different vehicle of course, in which the elder action hero (with a special set of skills) has to save the day. I’m still surprised by myself that I think that they work on a certain level. By now, you know what to expect, and you get exactly that by these kind of movies; and not an ounce more.
The Shape of Water
With films by Guillermo del Toro, it is often a hit (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Blade II, Crimson Peak) or miss (Pacific Rim, Mimic, this one…). Which sums it up already: I wanted to like it, but I found this film (although loved by critics) to be totally terrible!
Molly’s Game
Yay! #1: The writer/story; Yay! #2: the director/writer; Yay! #1: the cast. Recommended!
Hereditary
Whatever this was supposed to be (a family psycho drama? A horror movie?), it failed. Don’t bother with it, it’s a time waster.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
It was not really needed, had a lot of flaws (why so dim? why explaining the name?!) and thus totally unnecessary. No the biggest debacle in Hollywood’s history, but the very definition of fluff.
Brimstone
I’m a sucker for modern western. This one was not a revelation, but yet a very fine film with a different focus on things.
I, Tonya
Of the ‘true story’ that it is based on, I only knew some basic facts. If and what and how much of what was told here is the truth, I can’t judge. But it’s a film with an interesting way of telling the story and with a good cast. Recommended!
Moana
A nice little Disney animation adventure “for the whole family”. And luckily for me, without too much singing in it. If you like Disney animations, you’ll probably like this one.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
… and another entry in the seemingly never-ending MCU series. If it were a TV show, this might be nice, humorous filler episode.

TV

Vikings — Season 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.A
Very fine series! (I more or less binge-watched seasons 1 through 5.a). Off to a little rough start for the first couple of episodes, but soon after it found its footing (or I found mine with the show, hard to tell). From season 4 on, the count of episodes doubles… that’s not always for the better regarding storytelling pace: It drags occasionally. But other than that, highly recommended!
Taboo — Season 1
Uh, absolutely not my cup of tea. I was lured into it by the trailer and Tom Hardy, but it completely dissapointed me.
Westworld — Season 2
Well, despite all the hype surrounding, I found season 1 just OK’ish. With season 2, it’s more or less the same. But this season now also feels very overstuffed and hard to follow (time jumps). It was good enough that it will keep me for the next season, but I don’t think it’s very good and you notice it tries too hard to be the cool new show.
The Terror — Season 1
Interesting premise. Some pacing issues and some unexplained developments in the plot hold it off from being great, yet worth a watch. (And as far as I know, this might become an anthology series: Each season would have its own concluded story.)
Silicon Valley — Season 5
Another good season. What else can I say. Although I start to worry a bit about how long they will be able to stretch this scenario until it begins to drag or become repetitive…
Homeland — Season 7
Hm, OK, I guess. Now that the end is near (season 8 will be supposedly the final one), I’ll stick around. But I have to admit, more out of habit than real interest.
Into The Badlands — Season 1
Not sure what to make of it yet. Some inconsistency in the world building irked me, but I will test the second season (in some time, this show is admittedly not very high on my priority list).
A Series of Unfortunate Events — Season 2
Again, great! (If you like/can accept the style of heightened reality and the wordplays). Highly recommended!
Marvel’s Iron Fist — Season 2
I skipped the first season (no interest in the premise/character, bad reviews, etc.). I now took a look in this second season because many online outlets wrote about the improvements of the show. That might very well be, compared to a substandard season one. But doesn’t change the fact that this (was) a very, very boring show!
Castlevania — Season 2
Season one didn’t really grab me. And the second one, with more episodes, doesn’t fare much better in my eyes. Made not yet up my mind if I would watch another season; at the moment, my gut feeling is “no”…
Better Call Saul — Season 4
Great (slow) season again. Highly recommended!
The Walking Dead — Season 8
This is also a show that I continue to watch more out of habit than a real urge. Although I still dig some of the characters and character developments.
Marvel’s Daredevil — Season 3
Wonderful season. A slightly slower start than expected, but with good reasons. On the one hand, I’m very sad it has now been cancelled, on the other hand, it does not end with big chliffhangers or too many lose ends. It also might be a good decision: Even though I like the portrayal of Wilson Fisk, for how many season could they put him into jail, let him out again, in again…?! And as one saw with the mixed bag second season, some things work better (Punisher), and some work worse (The Hand, ninjas) when Fisk is not around.
Bodyguard — Season 1
A short crime drama (just six episodes). Since it was a big hit in the UK, more seasons will probably will follow. It was kind-of-OK while it lasted, but I honestly don’t need more. Watchable on a few rainy days when nothing else is on.

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