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An even bigger cracker than I was hoping for. Eli Roth has made his best horror film and his best slasher in quite possibly a decade. A vicious carnage that puts all the Screams, Halloweens, Fridays the 13th, all the PG-13 slashers and all the wannabe meta slashers to shame. The film doesn't try to bring anything new to the genre, it just works with what's proven, but it's so fan-friendly that everything is done with a love for the genre, and I enjoyed the whole thing immensely. Just the setting alone in the famous American holiday of Thanksgiving is very cool and more enjoyable than Halloween or Christmas. Anyway, here's to a great slasher franchise, which I hope this will be. The very opening opening sequence, which I'd call the Black Friday opening gory madness, will a legendary scene in the horror archive that will earn the film a cult status. Let's move on to the individual elements, where I won't spare any praise. The Killer is perfect, with amazing design and costume, an iconic character who has skill and the set-ups are amazing. To my surprise the reveal of the killer and his motive works, which I also applaud. It's packed with hyperbole and a nice dark humor. It also works well as a whodunit about the hunt for a serial killer, where we follow a little investigative work. It's nice that the target is not just the central group of teenagers, but a host of other supporting characters. The city is consumed by terror and no one is safe. The body-count is decently high. I must also praise the well dosed jump-scares, one of them almost gave me a heart attack, and is one of the best this year (shame on all the ghost movies, when a slasher is doing a better jump-scare job). I also liked the retro 80's feel and the characters are cool too (the main character is really cute and hot). I must also highlight the fact that it's not completely silly. The behaviour of the characters is definitely more natural than in other slasher horror movies. And now the main thing , the gore and the execution of the murders is top notch. Here Eli Roth is really unleashed and all the murders have a twist, they are properly brutal, very creative, literally unpleasant and very nasty sometimes. He uses a variety of weapons and fatalities and I really enjoyed all the kills. There were guts, hammering, frying alive, scalps, decapitations, severed fingers, in short something from everyone and it's great. The finale with the dinner is also interesting, though I think the potential could have been used a bit better, it pointed to the ultimate torture mayhem, but stayed halfway, too bad, there could have been two legendary scenes in one movie, you just don't see that. Of course, there's plenty of tension and the whole thing is so much fun that when it's over you want to watch it all over again. 8.5/10.
A surprisingly enjoyable horror thriller working with a familiar template, and even if it doesn't try to bring anything new, it works fine. I like these movies where a stranger shows up outside a house in the middle of nowhere at night looking for help and you don’t quite know who to trust at first, who's evil and who has what plans. A mother, a daughter and a sick father are disturbed by two guys during the night. One of them is injured and looking for help and I won't tell you more. Filmed decently, the acting is fine, and there are a few surprises (some expected, some unexpected). It really holds the attention and and keeps the viewer suspenseful as to how it all turns out, which counts. The ending is sharp too, so that's fine. Add some proper gore and I wouldn't hesitate to rate it higher, but it's worth a watch for those who like films like this. 6/10.
I was expecting another new world adventure and instead got a wildly edited, plodding three-hour procedural with elements of an inside job at the end. All to the sound of monstrously thumping music and artsy black and white flashbacks. I'm not disputing the dense premise, or the decent performances, but the film only has two sparks in 180 minutes. One when the bomb goes off and the other when the camera is trained on Florence Pugh – with or without clothes on, it doesn't matter, both work.
Brilliant. To capture the current social state of the world so perfectly. Apt one-liners the hold the truth lying dormant, and the decline of civilization hidden in the inability to fix the hinges of an electric oven. A frighteningly funny vision where Cartman is transported to a parallel universe populated exclusively by black lesbians and Kathleen Kennedy instead of patriarchal white men. The point about laziness is not without merit. Disney is now thinking.
I would never cast young Washington in a leading role again, his acting bad (and I'm taking off one star for that). Otherwise I found this film terribly rich, both visually and emotionally. Gareth Edwards takes us through several locations with a succession of gorgeous images, whether it's a city with dozens of glowing neon signs like in Blade Runner, an Asian landscape where ancient Buddhist culture clashes interestingly with modern sci-fi elements, or the Nomad super spacecraft that Kosinski seems to have invented for Oblivion. I was especially impressed with Asia and how thoughtfully and seamlessly the modern architecture builds on the old buildings, creating such an interesting contrast, and the viewer immersion is incredible. I'm not a fan of AI, but I still didn't mind that Edwards relativizes it and actually puts it in the position of a positive element, just like Blade Runner did 40 years ago, the story thus gets a charge that kept my attention throughout and the few logical lapses didn't ruin it for me. Unfortunately, Edwards is a misunderstood filmmaker. Whether it is with Godzilla, which was a clever homage to the TOHO's films, or here, with the heavy-duty sci-fi that isn't being made much these days. I can only be comforted by the fact that Blade Runner was also critically panned and rejected by audiences in its day, so .... maybe it'll come out in a few decades too, Gareth.
I don't like show business, which might have something to do with me having worked backstage for some time. While at university, I worked as a stagehand, which gave me the opportunity to be involved in various TV contests. It allowed me to get a pretty accurate idea of many of the celebrities as well as the whole entertainment industry, and the masks that are put on when the camera lights up or when someone truly important is watching. Just like anywhere else, it depends on the person. You get to meet amazing people who appreciate your hard work and never forget to personally thank you after their show. Or, when their show gets canceled, they buy you sandwiches and something to drink. However, there are many of those who look down on you, egomaniacs who use their influence to heal their own insecurities and feel entitled to judge everyone. The nice old lady on the screen turns out to be a greedy old woman, stuffing her handbag with things from the buffet when she thinks no one is looking. I don't like idol anime either because almost all the ones I’ve watched portrayed show business as an amazing sunlit path that always rewards those who try the hardest. Finding an idol-themed anime that even slightly touches on more serious issues or attempts to portray characters as real people rather than cheerful Duracell bunnies making their dreams come true is nearly impossible. Sure, there's Perfect Blue, which turns a potential problem into a horrifying experience. However, Oshi no Ko is the first show I’ve seen which offers a more comprehensive look at various issues, explaining that it's all about people who are each different, and even the idols, actors, and other celebrities are just people with their own problems. It shows everything from a broader perspective, while also presenting it in a way that is understandable, dramatic, and memorable. Of course, the way show business is portrayed here may not be exactly true to life. This perspective clearly caters to those who dislike show business and are prejudiced against it based on a few news stories. But if you want to tell the whole story, you have to show the dark side too. Just showing the good parts isn’t enough. If you do that, it'll be just another silly show about idols that nobody takes seriously. If you dare to show everything, the series might not be as cheerful and full of hope but show business isn't like that, life isn't like that! Things need to be shown from multiple angles. What is enchanting about the series is that it doesn't only deal with the issues of show business but also its consumers and the mutual synergy between them. Idiots and crazies are everywhere, not just among celebrities but also among their fans – we already know that from Perfect Blue, but even herd mentality or just one random "hero behind a keyboard" can be dangerous. This series hits home, you'll fall for it hook, line, and sinker, and it might even make you reflect on yourself for a moment. That’s how good it is! The characters are wonderfully fleshed out, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, sometimes struggling with insecurity, at other times knowing exactly what they need to do. Aqua is sometimes Jekyll, sometimes Hyde, and the way he’s portrayed is incredibly intense, enhanced by the color of the sparkle in his eye. It works so well that you're sometimes even afraid of the main character – it's like a theater in a series about an actor. The atmosphere and overall mood switch between extremes. One minute you're on the edge of your seat, next you’re laughing out loud, or intently listening to one of the characters' explanations about a certain aspect of show business. Everything works as it should. The show is enjoyable, and the characters are likable in all the right moments. The animation is also great. It may not be the best I've seen this season, but it's still an amazing sight. I wasn’t that impressed with the final concert, and, in terms of choreography, what Aqua did in the audience outshined the girls' entire performance. What to say about the music? The opening is making its way up the global charts, which is not typical for anime, and the rest of the music is also very good, including the concert. There isn't much to criticize here, at least not for me. Maybe it's because I don't like show business and idol anime, and this is nothing like your typical idol anime; it's a complex insight into the background of show business, which is also a psychological drama, and sometimes even a romantic comedy. My only quibble is that the series hasn't fully sold me on Ruby. Her backstory helps to create a good impression, but, given the fact that she is the second most important character, she is somewhat overshadowed by Kana. The same goes for Akane, although it's clear that her strong moments will come, probably in the announced second season. Nevertheless, such a minor issue couldn't possibly spoil the whole impression, which is almost perfect (I’m saying "almost" because I want to leave a little room in case the second season is even better). 9.5/10.
A mix of Oblivion, Blade Runner, Elysium and Independence Day, with a meditative Asian setting and a completely uninteresting script and characters. It's a huge shame. The Creator demands big emotions from the viewer, but is unable to offer adequate material to make them happen. That said, the technical aspects are top-notch and the plot premise itself – the clash between A.I. and humans – is very timely and interesting. Untapped potential and Clair de Lune certainly doesn't save it.
Wonderful! Miyazaki's graciously poetic mind has conjured up a fantasy fairytale fable from post-war Japan, a bit in the style of Pan's Labyrinth. It is perhaps impossible to watch except with a permanent smile and the occasional tear in the eye. The animation is breathtaking and, in comparison, the Pixar, Disney and Sony trailers that preceded it are truly pathetic. It's not that I don't like CGI animation, but The Boy and the Heron simply took my breath away, something that didn’t happen (yet) when watching those other films.
I don't really fault the makers of 65 for wanting to make anything other than a fun flick that isn't completely stupid. And they succeeded. The problem is that Adam Driver is a bit wasted in films like this. But he did go for it and it's a good thing it didn't end up being a disaster despite all the problems. And Ariana Greenblatt is a sweetheart!
Basically, Napoleon has everything I was looking forward to, but it's always too short. The film jumps from scene to scene for two and a half hours, but gives little space to make an impact. Phoenix's Napoleon is the same (or rather, just as unpleasant) from beginning to end and doesn't surprise in like Vanessa Kirby's Josephine. The other characters are unfortunately stale, however interesting they could have been – Napoleon's brother and their mother, Josephine's lover, Wellington... I believe that in the long version they will be given their due space, but I would also like to see those promised spectacular battles get their due space, because we didn't get much of those either. What I wouldn't give for the whole film to take place during the Egyptian campaign, for example! But no, we're here for a while, there's no time for a tactical demonstration, the scenes need subtitles with years so they don't blend in. Ridley Scott doesn't really show his hand until the end, at Waterloo, where I got everything I wanted, but I'm not going to lie when I say I was already wishing for the film to end about half an hour before that. I'm sorry, but I rate it as I rate it. If you want to see a really good cinematic Napoleon, check out Bondarchuk's masterpiece, the Czech Waterloo with Rudolf Hrušínský if you're in the mood for a TV psychological treat. And if you want to see a long film about a controversial warlord who deserves every minute of its runtime, Patton is for you.
As far as songs go, it's weaker, but otherwise an excellent Sandler rom with a nice message. Leo is a tired old iguana living the quiet life of a school pet and suddenly becomes a mentor to all the kids after an unexpected change in class teacher. The kids are likeable, no jerks just a simple kids with normal problems that need someone to lean on.
On the occasion of his almost seventieth birthday, Gojira got a film that goes down well with the majority of the audience. That isn't a bad thing, but if you're expecting a procedural social critique like Shin Godzilla or over the top giant kaiju like in later Japanese works, you'll come away disappointed. A more fitting title would have been "how my post-war life was repeatedly affected by a monster" (the inspiration in the concept from the Godzilla comics: “Half Century War” is evident), because this time around it's stingy on Godzilla, he sort of plays third fiddle. When he does arrive, it's worth it (traditional design, origin and abilities, scale and action), but for most of its running time it's a tear-jerking melodrama about a kamikaze who failed in his duty and suffers from post-traumatic syndrome. He struggles to piece together a life in the ruins of Tokyo and a decimated post-war Japanese society that is also undergoing a fundamental transformation. Only that occasionally they (he and Japan) are shaken by Gojira's claw. Ironically, it's closer to the Pohlywood-ized kaiju variant on Jaws mixed with Pearl Harbor than to the previous Japanese Godzilla films (but the serious ones and the B-movie ones). Another installment is on the cards, but I'd personally prefer a sequel to Shin Godzilla. Perhaps as a satire on the Japanese government's bureaucratic mishandling of covid and the Olympics.
A pretty fine comic-book flick. An old-school origin story that seems to have fallen out of a time twenty years ago. The protagonist is likeable, the villains are one-dimensionally evil, and the family element brings some unexpected chaos. It’s a bit of a blue Green Lantern with some Latino spice.
Ridley Scott and another historical romp. This time he chose the historical icon Napoleon and, according to the previews, it was expected to be an adept for the film of the year, but according to the current rating of 72%, it will definitely not be and I was expecting more. It is still a great cinematic and genre event, though, especially since we don't get many huge historical films (when we do get one, it's usually without battles), so I thank Scott for this one. But the film suffers a lot from being a shortened version (it would have benefited from being split into two films), because even at 4 and a half hours, I don't think it can fully hold your attention. Joaquin Phoenix is of course excellent, he gives a great performance, and Vanessa Kirby follows suit. Surprisingly, the rest of the characters don't have much to work with here, they have small roles and no one else manages to impress in such a small space. The production design and craftsmanship are of course top notch, what the film presents historically seems to be true (the traditions, the coronation, the wedding, the paternity test). The are only three battles are they could have been longer (I'm sure they will be in the extended version). I was most impressed by the battle of Waterloo, where the strategy and tactics were nice. The battle itself is not that gripping, it's spectacular, but I missed proper gore, dirtiness and a bleak atmosphere, it's just not the same as the wrestling as with knights or vikings (at least there was one awesome gore scene with a horse right in the beginning, that was over the top), in short I've seen better, but I'm glad for this one too. The politics are dealt with rather quickly, with unfortunately no big intrigue. But what disappoints the most is that the emotions are completely absent, the film doesn't do much with the viewer. Napoleon's relationship with Josephine is cold, and I missed a downright memorable moment. I had a great time though, the film held my attention for the whole two and a half hours (maybe I was more entertained than in Oppenheimer), and it's definitely better than Fincher's The Killer – I haven't seen Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon, but I don't trust it to justify the running time at all. We'll see what the extended version brings. While this is not the movie of the year, it's still above average and deserves the big screen. 75%
A psychological drama with elements of a thriller and social overtones. Those who like the North and especially women with children, can easily add a star. The story focuses on 9th grade students, one of them, while filling out a questionnaire, suddenly declares that life has no meaning and takes himself out of the classroom, climbs a tree and refuses to come down. His classmates gradually start sacrificing various things to convince him to come down. The premise is quite interesting, it shows again that Scandinavian kids are kind of weird (we've seen plenty of films with children's institutions that come from the North). It starts off lightly and begins to get heated towards the end. Admittedly there is nothing too explicit, violent or shocking to expect, but at least you get the cutting off of a finger and the decapitation of a dog. Fortunately, it has a running time of 90 minutes. It's quite intimate and minimalistic, about a few characters, and it's more of a thought-provoking film, but it can throw the weaker characters for a loop. I honestly didn't enjoy it enough to go higher with a rating, but it has something going for it. 6/10.
A reflective Fincher. Technically still on top of his game, directorially still as methodical and minimalist with attention to every detail. That the screenwriter chose a simpler plot without unnecessary twists or shocking points doesn't matter much. It doesn't have to be in every one of his films. In fact, Fassbender's assassin is such an interesting and well-portrayed character that it is he who is the center of the film, and around him revolves a kind of plot with changing locations and meeting interesting people. Worth mentioning is the fantastic action in Florida, which I wouldn't have expected from Fincher. A meditative, simmering crime drama where everything works very well, just not brilliantly.
The cinematic cut turned out as it probably had to: as an obviously incomplete fragment of a larger work. It's hard to rate it, it's like reading a novel and skipping every ten pages. What is in the cinema cut is fine, but it doesn't coalesce into a comprehensive experience. Napoleon's personal life is there, the battles are there, but the "politics" between them are missing, so you don't really know why any given battle is happening. Quite absurdly, from the cinematic cut, the character of Napoleon doesn't actually strike me as an active instigator of all this wartime fury, nor as a figure that the rest of Europe feared.
Despite the obtuse criticisms of the time, Věra Chytilová did not create a Troška-esque farce. Nor did she lose her sound judgment or sell out to commerce. However, contemporary and, unfortunately, later viewers were unable to tell the difference between satire and communal comedy. Chytilová was the only one to not go for superficiality, but instead created a timeless and unflattering – and thus all the more chilling – freak show in which she exposed Czech society drunk on a feverish vision of wealth, freedom and power in all its nakedness. Unfortunately, an inherent drawback of every satire is that some people see it as a confirmation of their own values and preen in front of the mirror that has been set in front of them instead of being horrified by what they see. And particularly the image reflected in The Inheritance is utterly, terrifyingly monstrous, though it is also a meaningful statement on more than just its own time and the deterioration of its values.
A love letter to the American western. Taylor Sheridan does with cowboys and untamed nature something similar to what Christopher Nolan did with Batman: he gives it a third dimension – the human dimension – making him flesh and blood, vulnerable, mortal. Sheridan works in a similar way with the heroes here. It's not just about gunslingers in cool clothes and classic shootouts in saloons, or in the streets in front of them, as we know from most gunslinger flicks, save a few honourable exceptions. 1883 goes much deeper, and is much more visceral, and sensitive, than it first appears. Fans of Yellowstone will love this one, but all the attributes and directorial touches suggest that this miniseries will appeal to everyone in general. A uniquely blended collage of fragility, poetics (voice-overs), and uncompromising wilderness survival with a yet-to-be-formed society.
Creator was supposed to be the sci-fi hit of the year, but the actual result was almost unwatchable, I suffered unbelievably. In short, Gareth Edwards made a film that, in its style, evoked the Star Wars I hated. I was kind of hoping it would be something along the lines of Independence Day, only with UFOs replaced by an artificial intelligence, but I was sorely mistaken. The film gave me the impression that with 40 minutes gone by, I still didn't know what was going on, there was no introduction to the characters or plot, just one scene after another, with zero viewer engagement. It's like putting episode 6 of a random series and trying to get my bearings on the plot. I was absolutely not entertained by Washington, and the rest of the characters didn't engage me either. The action was dull, I found it to be childish and unexciting. There’s nothing epic, no wow moment, no suspense or atmosphere, just something happening and I didn't really care by halfway through the film, I just wanted it to end. In the end I'm glad I didn't go to the cinema, I've never seen more boring action sci-fi. Disappointment of the year. 3/10.