I’m going to try and not give much away because I think if you’re watching this film for the first time, you should go into it without knowing much about it. It works better that way I think. I wanted to see it and had no idea what it was about, and it made an amazing impact.
Summary: A poor family, the Kims, con their way into becoming the servants of a rich family, the Parks. But their easy life gets complicated when their deception is threatened with exposure.
Cast and Characters. Let me just say, this movie of course is an international film and if they didn’t have subtitles, I think it would be okay. The acting is so great, and the story is pretty clear that if you didn’t know what they were saying (even without subs) you would totally get it.
The Kim Family. This is the main family of the film and we spend the most time with them. We get to see them as a family and then in other places in the film.
Song Kang-ho as Kim Ki-taek. He is the father of the Kim family and I think he really gets a lot of “stuff” in the latter half of the film. He’s the patriarch of the family but he really just falls into line with their plan. It’s the later stuff that he does that’s intense. This actor is amazing. The subtle things he would do with his facial expressions whenever he felt some type of way was super great.
Choi Woo-shik as Kim Ki-woo. He is the son of the Kim family and he’s the one who starts the whole thing basically. He gets introduced to the Park family by a friend and things go on from there. I think he’s the youngest, feels like it lol but I think he’s the one who is the most sympathetic in the family due to some of the choices he makes later. I really liked him, the young actor was great and likable.
Park So-dam as Kim Ki-jeong. She is the daughter of the Kim family and my favorite character. She was just the most interesting and I wish we got to see more of what she was doing while in her therapist position. But she was so quick to think of solutions, she was pretty ruthless and always mellow, it came off a little uncaring at times. That’s what made her so interesting, she wasn’t as emotional as the others in her family when it came to certain situations. The actress was great, watching her react to things or even her delivery was amazing.
Jang Hye-jin as Kim Chung-sook. She is the mother of the Kim family. She gets brought into the plan later but like the others she adapts to her role. She was probably like the daughter in being a little less emotional then the father and son, which worked out for her mostly. She also was quick on her feet and adaptable. The actress was great, she felt like the mother and while her kids were obviously super smart, she was the one who had to do the most interacting with the Park family.
The Park Family. Outside of the mother, they’re supporting characters, so I won’t get into each of them. This will include their housekeeper as well.
Cho Yeo-jeong as Choi Yeon-gyo. She is the mother of the Park family and they do describe her as being a little simple and she is with the best of intentions. She wants the best for her family, especially her kids. She is likable and sweet. You root for her. The actress was great, she really gave off this innocent vibe and had great chemistry with everyone since she literally interacts with everyone.
Lee Sun-kyun as Park Dong-ik. He is the father of the Park family and we don’t see him for a little while but when we do, he’s not a terrible person or anything. He also loves his family; he might be a little distant with his work, but he cares about his kids. This is evident when he allows his son to camp outside in the storm and he has a walkie talkie to stay in contact.
Jung Ji-so as Park Da-hye. She is the daughter of the Park family and she mostly interacts with son from the Kim family. I have some questions about this little girl lol
Jung Hyeon-jun as Park Da-song. He is the son of the Park family and there isn’t a ton to say about him. The kid is smart and perceptive.
Lee Jung-eun as Gook Moon-gwang. She is the housekeeper of the Park family and it’s clear she is a problem once we start to realize what the Kim’s plan is. She just does her job in the beginning, but she becomes a bit more important during the second half of the film.
The Story! Again, had no idea what it was about but the title becomes super clear and I was into it. The Kim family isn’t that well off and they’re smart enough to try and figure out ways to make a little more money. Yep, that’s all I’m going to say because it’s just so good.
The Second Half. The first half is great as it sets up a lot stuff, but the second half is when shit really hits the fan and things just get out of hand. I was already into it before, but it just went off the rails and it was wonderful. This is also where Mr. Kim really begins to shine.
Cinematography. I don’t know if this was just me, but I loved how the film looked different depending on where they were. For example, whenever the Kim family was in their own home, it looked “gritter, darker, grimy and dirtier” but whenever they were in the Park home, it seemed brighter and more open. Like I said, it could have just been me, but I love when films make use of color and light to indicate different places/social classes or whatever.
Wildly Entertaining. There’s never a dull moment. Even when the film slows down (which is not like it’s super-fast paced) it doesn’t feel like it’s slowing down. Yes, the film is long, and I think you can feel that it’s long but it’s not a bad realization of the length. It’s so great!
Kind of Dumb Characters. When I say this, I don’t mean that they’re horrible or anything, clearly as the glowing review I gave in the pro section of this review. By “dumb”, I just mean that they do some stupid stuff when they’re so smart throughout the movie. I suppose they’re human, so I get how they got to where they were. But the part in the house where they trip down the stairs, none of that would have happened if they weren’t being nosy lol. Or if they didn’t open the door in that same sequence. It was still great stuff, but I was like ‘y’all too smart for this nonsense.”
Overall, this movie is amazing. If I’d seen it in 2019 it would have been the #1 film on my Best of the Year list because it’s just that good. I mean, I have one con but it’s super minor to me because people are people and will make stupid decisions lol. Even the smart ones. The cast is amazing and so magnetic to watch. The characters are well written and super interesting, every single one of them. The story is awesome and sure it’s not original BUT it just feels fresh and way more interesting than I’ve ever seen it. The cinematography is cool, especially if they did what I thought they did lol. It’s such a great, wild and entertaining ride, a must watch film.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Parasite? It was awarded the Best Movie of the Year at the 92nd Academy Awards. Well deserved.
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Summary: A physician discovers that he can talk to animals.
The Actors/Voice Acting. Most of the characters are CGI animals with only a few humans we see or interact with throughout the film. But overall, the voice acting is really good.
Robert Downey Jr. as Dr. John Dolittle. He is a veterinarian who has the ability to speak to animals. I think RDJ is great and he’s always fun to watch. Whatever accent he was doing, I thought was a little weird, I needed subtitles and I’m usually pretty good with accents. BUT he was fun to watch, I liked his humor and the faces he made and he had great chemistry with the CGI animals. He also had pretty good chemistry with Harry Collet as Stubbins. His character starts out as a recluse when we see him, and he’s very much an oddball and he does things that make sense for who he is. I thought all of that was fine. I mean, he was fine. I think he was a great choice, I just wish he had better material.
Antonio Banderas as Rassouli. I’ve always loved Antonio Banderas, it was great seeing him. His character should have been more involved. He would have been really cool to see more throughout the film. But he was great.
Michael Sheen as Dr. Blair Müdfly. He is an old schoolmate and rival of Dolittle. I find Michael Sheen really funny and he’s a great actor. His character is a trip and over the top which I guess worked for this film.
Harry Collett as Tommy Stubbins. He is Dolittle’s self-appointed apprentice. He grew up in a family of hunters but can’t fit in because he doesn’t want to harm animals. I guess he was needed so RDJ isn’t working off of CGI animals the entire time, and he was okay. I didn’t mind him. He was cute.
Emma Thompson as Polynesia. She is a wise and headstrong macaw and Dolittle’s most trusted advisor. She is his right hand and she often puts him in his place. Honestly, Emma Thompson’s voice is always perfect lol and I think she fits this sort of role so well. She even comes to the rescue a few times. Poly ran the show lol.
Rami Malek as Chee-Chee. He is an anxious but noble gorilla. I love Rami Malek, he can literally do no wrong for me. I knew his voice as soon as he started speaking lol. I liked his character because he has the potential to be strong but he’s always worried he’ll mess something up. I think he was a captive at some point which I think lends itself to that. I wish it was talked about more since he was a major character. But while I know his voice, he almost didn’t sound like himself lol.
John Cena as Yoshi. He is an upbeat polar bear who wears a bashlyk. He doesn’t like the cold, which is his thing. I liked him too. He was cool and I liked his chemistry with Kumail Nanjiani’s ostrich character. He came through in a lot of intense moments and we got some funny physical comedy with him as well. Polar bears are huge.
Kumail Nanjiani as Plimpton. He is a cynical and fussy but well-meaning ostrich who wears stockings and quarrels with Yoshi. I liked him a lot lol, I didn’t recognize his voice, but I’m not that familiar with him yet to know his voice off jump. But I liked the friendly rivalry he had with John Cena’s polar bear.
Octavia Spencer as Dab-Dab. She is an enthusiastic and crazy duck with a wooden leg and she’s pretty great. She has some great lines.
Tom Holland as Jip. He is a loyal dog who wears glasses and I wish we got to see more of him. He seemed like he was Dolittle’s left hand which was nice to see him be trusted as was but I feel like he should have been human though.
Craig Robinson as Kevin. He’s always funny so him playing a crazy squirrel who throughout the movie has a vendetta against humans, because he was shot (by accident) is probably the highlight of the jokes.
Ralph Fiennes as Barry. He is a ferocious tiger with gold-tipped fangs who has a past with Dolittle. This should have been explored more and it wasn’t, the potential was amazing! So much could have been done here. Ralph Fiennes has a great voice so there’s that.
Selena Gomez as Betsy. She is a friendly giraffe who is hardly in this movie and I really didn’t recognize her voice lol. But I think she does great with voice overs.
Marion Cotillard as Tutu. She is hardly in this movie lol, but I love her voice. She’s a French fox who is friends with Betsy.
Jason Mantzoukas as James. He is a wisecracking dragonfly who meets Dolittle in a prison cell from which he helps him escape. I find this actor funny most times and his delivery is great. His moments on screen were pretty funny.
It’s Entertaining/Cute. This movie is really cute and entertaining. I had a good time. I didn’t hate it while I watched it. The animals were cute, I thought the voice acting was really good and oddly enough RDJ had great chemistry with CGI animals lol. It has a feeling there should be a moment of wonder and awe and those instances are there, it just doesn’t make it. I guess that turned negative but I can’t help but to say there’s so much potential but clearly something wrong happened behind the scenes. I just… *sighs* I had a good time, but I feel like it might have been because I saw it with my mom.
Tons of Potential. It’s really annoying how much potential this movie has! Sure, it’s not going to be like Rex Harrison’s film or Eddie Murphy’s but I feel that it could have been a bit more… serious. Not that it has to be gritty or that it can’t be silly, but I felt like there was this filter over it that it didn’t need. I really wanted the story to involve the mystery woman we learn about in the opening. T
The CGI Animals. I think overall, it was done really well. Before the animals started talking, I’m sure they used real animals because once they started talking, it was like this weird shift of reality to animation. It’s really obvious. But outside of that, I thought it was done really well. It’s not like photorealistic or anything but in terms of having their mouths actually move and moving around without being too crazy.
Needed a Better Adventure. This adventure is super pedestrian and something we’ve seen fifty million times and while I had a good time, I thought it should have been something else. We learn something about a woman and she plays a large role even though we rarely see her, but I think she should have been the adventure. Finding her, finding out she’s a villain or something else that would have been more interesting. But I guess because it’s geared towards kids, that might have been “too complicated” but ya know, kids are smart. Just saying.
For Kids. It has this “for kids” feel to it and I think that’s a problem I had throughout. It feels very pedestrian and almost like my hand is being held. I mean, I guess I wasn’t the audience for the film, but I didn’t think it would be like that exactly. If you put it on for your 3-7 year old, they could enjoy it without a problem because of the funny polar bear and ostrich and the jokes from the squirrel and duck. I just wish studios would make movies like this more “mature” because younger kids can clearly watch movies that may be geared towards them but are smarter. I mean, have you seen Coco? Or Zootopia? Sheesh. I’m sick of fart jokes! Maybe it’s funny once but it’s not funny anymore times after that. It’s stupid.
Nitpick: Narration. This is minor but I say this all the time, I REALLY DISLIKE NARRATION. It’s a cutesy story so of COURSE there is friggin narration. UUGGGHHH!! Emma Thompson’s parrot Poly is narrating the story since she’s Dolittle’s right hand. There’s really cute animation at the beginning that tells us up to the point of the movie start and I don’t think she needed to narrate. I actually wished it was just music and animation. It was clear enough to understand and I think it would have made more of an impact, especially if they went with my idea of the mystery woman being a villain or misunderstood or something later. *sighs*
Overall, I saw this movie with my mom and we had a good time. She loves RDJ and I really like him as well and he’s always fun to watch. We laughed a lot together and I think there is a lot to like about it. It’s bright, it has a beautiful look to it, the CGI animation is really good for the most part on the animals, except that dragon. I didn’t think that was as good as it could have been. The voice acting is good and this group seemed to fit well together. There was a ton of potential in the film and it’s a good time. If a family goes to see it, especially if they have younger kids, they’ll most likely have a great time. Now, I do think the CGI in some places wasn’t so great as I said before lol. It’s for kids and it really feels like that when I think it shouldn’t feel like a kids movie. I also think the adventure was lame. I get it and it had some stakes… I guess but it was too silly. In the end, sure, it’s okay. I had fun.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Dolittle? What are your thoughts on it? RDJ has played Sherlock Holmes and now Dr. Dolittle, what classic character would you like to see him take on? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!
Summary: A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of people in this movie. I’m not going to go into all of them as I would some but I’m still going to include them all because what’s in this picture is really what we see.
Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc. He has great eyes lol, but he is a private detective called upon to investigate Harlan’s murder. He mysteriously received money and a tip that Harlan’s murder was not a suicide so now he’s upended this family, but he’s determined to figure it out. His southern drawl killed me the entire film it’s so funny and I think he had fun doing this role. He always looks so disinterested when I see him, but I think he had fun here. He’s smart but there are times where you think he’s going to be outsmarted by whoever did the murder, but we then learn that he’s been on top of it the entire time even if he didn’t know all the details lol.
Chris Evans as Hugh Ransom Drysdale. He is Harlan’s grandson, Linda and Richard’s son, and a spoiled playboy. I love how people were shocked in the trailer to see him play this kind of role “it’s against type” and I know people are used to him playing Captain America but if anything, Cap is against type. He’s played this kind of role far more than the “straight man”. Anyway, he’s a jerk lol and we meet him officially about 20-30 minutes into the movie. He ends up partnering up with Marta to do some digging. We learn that he’s really smart, like really and I would have loved to know more about his character. I love Chris Evans, I always have (Cap has made me love him more though and he made me love Cap). But he’s so good in this movie and he gets to do a couple of different things and he is clearly having fun in this role as well. It was so weird to see his hair so dark though. I was like “wow, he looks so different” when his hair is not even as blond as it is when he’s Steve lol.
Ana de Armas as Marta Cabrera. She is Harlan’s nurse and caretaker who had a close relationship with him. I kept thinking she was Linda Cardellini because she looks a lot like her. Anyway, I would argue she’s the lead of the film. She knows this family well and most of them know her, even though they are very ignorant as it’s a running joke that no one except for Meg, really knows where she’s from. She’s a good person and it sucks what she must go through in the film. But Ana de Armas is very likable, you’re on her side really in the movie and it’s fun to watch her interact with Daniel Craig, especially with her quirk of literally not being able to get away with lying.
Jamie Lee Curtis as Linda Drysdale. She LOOKS so good! As soon as she came on screen, I was like ugh beautiful! She’s Harlan’s eldest daughter, Ransom’s mom and Richard’s wife. She is a real estate mogul who runs her own company with her husband’s support. Being the oldest, she has a lot to say about the others and what’s best for the family. JLC is great, I thoroughly enjoyed her character and I thought her, and Don Johnson worked really well together. She also had great style.
Michael Shannon as Walter “Walt” Thrombey. He is Harlan’s youngest son, Donna’s husband, and the CEO of his father’s publishing company. He has a lot of motive in the film and he comes off weird and creepy at times too but that’s also just Michael Shannon because I find him scary in general lol. But he’s a great actor.
Don Johnson as Richard Drysdale. Harlan’s son-in-law and Linda’s husband, who helps run his wife’s company. He is a nut. Don Johnson is still handsome lol and he was hilarious.
Lakeith Stanfield as Detective Lieutenant Elliot. He is a local detective involved in the investigation. I LOVE HIM. He’s such a good actor. His role isn’t big or anything, but he works with Daniel Craig on solving the mystery. It’s clear he thinks the family is crazy lol, but he just wants to move on and close this case.
Toni Collette as Joni Thrombey. She is widow of Harlan’s deceased son Neil, and Meg’s mother who is a lifestyle guru and influencer. She’s funny with the voice she was putting on, not to mention, her entire character was like… Paris Hilton in how she talked lol. I loved her style though.
Katherine Langford as Megan “Meg” Thrombey. She is Harlan’s granddaughter, Joni and Neil’s daughter, who studies at prestigious liberal arts college. She’s cool, very outspoken and has a friendship with Marta. I like Katherine Langford, even if her characters are unlikable, she’s likable to me.
Jaeden Martell as Jacob Thrombey. He’s Harlan’s grandson, Walt and Donna’s son, who holds alt-right views and is always on his phone. He doesn’t get many lines, he’s always in the background looking at his phone, which is a running joke, not to mention his views. I swear they call him “little Hitler” or something along those lines and I laughed each time lol. I like this kid though, everything I’ve seen him in, I’ve thought he’s good at his job. I hope to see more of him.
Christopher Plummer as Harlan Thrombey. He is a wealthy mystery novelist who invites his family to his 85th birthday party and is found dead. He has three children — Linda, Walt, deceased Neil, and three grandchildren. He is a legend to me, Sound of Music will always be the movie I know him for, even if he hates it lol. But we only see him in flashbacks, and I love how he interacts with his family and Marta. He cares about them all, but he has his reasons for the things he does. Christopher Plummer is always good.
Intriguing Mystery. I love mysteries, I love puzzles, this is the kind of stuff that I thoroughly enjoy because you can make your own theories, think you know who did it and then the movie could shock you with its twists and turns. Harlan Thrombey’s death was ruled a suicide but it’s revealed that it might not be and now everyone is on edge trying to figure out what it could be. Everyone has their secrets, as usual, everyone has motive, so you’re not sure who to trust and I think this mystery is so straight forward but so smart that as it unfolds and then revealed later, you’re like WHAT even if you figured out who did it lol.
Great/Entertaining Writing. The writing is super smart and entertaining. The dialogue is great and the way the story unfolds doesn’t feel childish or convoluted in how it’s presented. There are flashbacks as characters think of moments that’s happened previously and what not, but it’s not annoying or out of place. It makes sense. The characters all have great chemistry with each other, their lines are smart and quippy. I liked it. I think it’s very well written and as it unfolds, it makes sense. I was never once confused. This is what Murder on the Orient Express (2017) tried to be.
Cinematography. This movie looks really stylized. It’s set in current times, but it has this 70’s look to it with the clothing choices and the glossy look of the film. I think it’s beautiful.
Feels Too Long. I do remember feeling like the movie felt really long when we were watching it. It’s like two hours but at some point, it felt like they were dragging it out and I wanted them to go ahead and tell me I was right without dragging it out more.
Overall, I really liked this movie a lot. It’s one of the best of the year and it’s going on my list. I liked the characters; the cast was great and clearly had a ton of fun playing these roles. The story is written really well written, with smart and funny dialogue. The film also has a great look to it. My only problem, that I could think of was that it feels too long, it’s probably not too long but it felt like it. But in the end, Knives Out is a fun and smart murder mystery that allows the viewer to be interested in the characters while also working with the detective to figure out just who murdered Harlan Thrombey. Worth the watch.
Rating: 4.89 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Knives Out? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!
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Summary: A married couple is forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son, adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher threatens his status as an all-star student.
Cast and Characters. We have a few people we get to meet throughout the film, some who are around more than others but I’m only going to talk about those who this movie is really focused on.
Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Luce Edgar. He is our lead character, he was adopted by Watts and Roth after being rescued from a foreign country. He is the shining star of his high school, he plays sports, he gives the speeches, the other students look up to him… all around perfect kid. However, we see around this perfect persona as suspicious things happen that he seems to be involved with, but it seems like he’s not. Luce’s character has a lot of things he goes through and you’re never sure if what he’s saying or doing is true. It’s up for your interpretation. But this is the second time I’ve seen this young actor and I’m really intrigued by him, I thought he was fantastic, and I’m very much interested in his future.
Octavia Spencer as Harriet Wilson. I think she is always good no matter what she does, but she is the History teacher and it seems that she puts students into a box that suits her narrative. But she also seems to be someone who has her students interests at heart. She is very ambiguous just like Luce is, so it really depends on how you feel and what you think. I found myself on her side a lot of the movie but at the same time you doubt her too. But Octavia Spencer is amazing and when she has the scene with Luce, his parents and the principal she does so well! OMG! It’s so amazing. Not to mention the scene with Luce in her house. She’s fantastic.
Naomi Watts as Amy Edgar. I mean, she’s Luce’s mother so she’s automatically on Luce’s side even though there are plenty of times where she doubts him, but she goes through this movie going back and forth between being loyal to her child and being a good person lol. She really goes back and forth, and you can’t help but wonder just what you would do in her place. Naomi Watts is very sympathetic though and I understand her struggle but of course being on the outside, I was very frustrated with her lol.
Tim Roth as Peter Edgar. So, he’s not as prominent as Watts’ character but he’s just as important. Being that he’s the father, there is a slightly difference approach he has to Luce compared to Amy. He’s a bit more straight forward and less worried to make Luce feel any kind of way. He even flats out just as Luce questions whenever there’s a question he has. I held out for him to be the voice of reason throughout the movie but it’s up to the viewer to decide where he might stand in his last scene. Tim Roth is great, but I can’t say I’m aware of his acting talent from other movies outside of The Incredible Hulk lol, but I liked him a lot and I was expecting him to be the opposite of the mother by being less “sympathetic” to Luce’s nonsense.
Intense Scenes. Ya’ll this movie is intense, the tension in the room between the characters and the dialogue creates such intense moments that I rewound a few scenes just to hear the dialogue again or to see the acting again. There are two that really stood out to me. The scene in the school with Luce, his parents, the principal and Ms. Wilson where she’s basically trying to get everyone to understand what Luce has said and done to her, while he’s feigning innocence is such a great scene. Everyone did such a great job and according to the director commentary that was the first scene they filmed. Excellent. Later, there is a scene with Luce and Ms. Wilson in her house and that was THE BEST SCENE in the movie. I rewound that part because I just could not lol. It was so good. There is also a scene with Ms. Wilson and her sister Rose in the school, my eyes were wide the entire time. There are a few more of these in the film, very hard hitting with great dialogue and fantastic acting.
Ambiguous Narrative. Sometimes it’s super annoying when movies aren’t clear in anything that’s going on, but I think this movie does it so well that I was so into it. You’re not sure what to really believe and I think even if you do decide whose side you want to be on, if you watch it again, you might find yourself thinking about the other person’s ideals even more. I didn’t watch it twice, but I went back and forth a lot. So, while I agree with Ms. Wilson for the most part, I also found myself understanding the hill Luce was climbing about her.
Interesting Story. So, this feeds right into the one above it, but the story is straight forward. It’s basically Luce vs. Ms. Wilson but there are things that happen that are questionable on both characters’ parts. Is Luce hiding terrible information and tormenting this teacher? Is this teacher trying to use her power to tear some students down while lifting others up? Even though she says something about that, it doesn’t seem like her intention is to ruin anyone’s life… I don’t know it’s just so interesting and I think left to the interpretation of the viewer, at least to understand what her actual intentions are. Plus, you have Amy and Peter as Luce’s parents who want the best for him, they think he’s perfect and they go back and forth on believing their son and by the end, their choices are understandable but a little shocking.
Frustrating/ Ending. For the movie to build up how it did, with all the details we were given and then for it to just end. I get the point as it mirrors the opening but it’s different this time, the meaning behind it is different, that point in his life is different and the emotion is different, but you now must take the point and what might have happened for yourself. It’s a little annoying because I was going back and forth throughout the film and things are confirmed for Ms. Wilson, but Luce’s parents are just… ugh I don’t know. I’m not even sure if that makes sense lol.
Ambiguous Narrative. Now, I’m praising this aspect, but I can also imagine it being super frustrating for others because you’re not quite clear on who to believe or what’s really going on. It’s all very stylized and it may feel like the narrative is lost in the music and the shots and what not, which at times I did feel that, being that it’s based on a play, that might be part of the problem so I can imagine it being a tad frustrating.
Overall, I think this movie damn near perfect for me. I mean, the acting is phenomenal from everyone, the characters are well written with smart and interesting dialogue. They have great moments where you wonder their intentions or if they’re being honest and truthful. The movie tackles some hard-hitting topics and I think it handles those topics in a way that feels so real and raw and I understand the characters points of views from that. I didn’t give this its own point but the music in this film is good. The director talked about it on the commentary and how they incorporated it into the film. There are a lot of intense scenes where the actors really kick that dialogue in the teeth and delivers great stuff! Just wow! The narrative is ambiguous and usually that bothers me, but it didn’t here, but I can imagine it bothering someone else, not to mention the ending is frustrating. But wonderful movie, worth all the watches.
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Luce? If so, what did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Summary: An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself.
Minor spoilers ahead…
The cast. Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong are all good for the most part. There are times where it seems like no one cares what’s going on or about the story, but I think because they’re all interesting and good actors, the lame acting is overlooked. Will Smith is always fun to watch, he’s funny when he needs to be, and since he plays two characters, he gets to be a little brash, impulsive as Junior and he gets some emotional moments. As Henry, he’s “over the hill” but still very competent at his job, he’s pretty cool, as Will Smith’s characters generally are, and he gets some humor in there too. I’ve always liked Mary Elizabeth Winstead, she’s fine in her role, I think she might have been a little miscast but she’s fine. Benedict Wong serves his role well, he’s the “wingman” type and he’s funny when we need him to be.
Pretty Good Action. This pertains to the quick fight scene in the boathouse with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and some thug. It was brutal, she got her butt kicked but she also kicked butt too. I wish the action in the rest of the movie was more like that. The action sequence at the end was pretty good too, with Will and Mary having to face down a ton of shooters. They both were badass in that sequence. Not to mention, the fight between Will, young Will and the ninja lol. Those two moments were the only times I felt any stakes.
So Much Potential. This movie has so much potential it physically hurts me. I wasn’t holding out for a good movie when I saw the trailer, but I thought it could be interesting. I investigated it, and this movie has a long history of trying to be made. It was supposed to come out in 1997 with an original script back then with a ton of well-known actors attached to the role: Harrison Ford, Robert de Niro, Al Pacino, Michael Douglas, Chris O’Donnell, Mel Gibson, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Pierce Brosnan, Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Jon Voight, Denzel Washington, Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood, Gerard Butler, Nick Nolte, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Sean Connery. I wonder what exactly happened and if all these actors were attached or in talks or something. But the idea of this man being the best at his job to the point where he’s unknowingly cloned so his skills never die is cool, but I think if this movie would have explored the interactions with Henry and Junior more, or if they went a different route with the story.
Really Bad CGI. Every time after young Will’s first appearance was too much. It was very uncanny valley and it wasn’t good. It’s clear it was motion capture CGI and it wasn’t good CGI. I could not suspend my belief that Will Smith had a 23-year-old clone because it was so bad. Particularly when he talked. It was the mouth area a lot of the time and even with his eyes, it was very robotic. I would have believed it more if it was a cyborg copy instead of an organic clone. There is a scene at the end, when Will Smith, MEW and young Will is walking together and it’s clear, there are two real people and then a photoshopped CGI young Will Smith. It was bad. Really bad. The entire movie, whenever young Will came on screen, I could not take it. When he yelled at Clive Owen, his mouth… you have to see it to believe it. They should have just cast Jaden Smith as Junior or something and have it be like his “son” or something lol.
Also, the chase scene at the beginning with the motorcycles also had bad CGI. There is a shot where Will Smith is riding the motorcycle, and the camera is directly in front of him and its clearly green screen lol. I also don’t know if it was just me or not, but some characters also looked like they put some CGI on them or did some photoshop in trying to smooth out their faces. Mary Elizabeth Winstead looked a little weird sometimes and Clive Owen, though it might just be him not aging well, but he looked like playdough lol.
Lackluster action. In our first chase scene with old Will and young Will, the only thing I could think while watching was that they needed to take lessons from Tom Cruise because the choreography for the fighting wasn’t that great. First, there were times where I thought Will Smith looked funny with that big gun he carried during that scene. I think I laughed a few times. I know he can pull it off because he’s done it in other movies. Then when he was on that motorcycle, whenever it was a frontal shot of him riding, it was clearly CGI. It was just bad. Then later, old and young Will are fighting in a crypt and MEW is watching them, and it was an okay fight. It was hard to see at times, but she had plenty of chances to shoot young Will in the shoulder or in a spot that wouldn’t kill him. I don’t care if old Will is saying don’t shoot him, he’s kicking your butt. I’m shooting him. She waited till the last minute. Lame.
Weak Story/Cheesy Dialogue/Feels Dated. The writing wasn’t good. I think three people worked on the screenplay and I think it shows. I want to know what the original script was like back in 1997 because the story is weak, the dialogue is cheesy, and the movie feels old. It feels like it was made during that time of outrageous 90s action movies and it didn’t age well. There’s a part where Henry is telling Dani about stuff Clay did to him while he was being trained and even Will Smith couldn’t make me believe in that dialogue. Not to mention, the weird banter Henry and Dani had throughout the movie. It was so awkward! I don’t know if they were trying to be clever or funny, I don’t know but I wanted to physically cringe.
Emotional Stakes. I think because the story was weak it prevented us from really being invested in any of these characters. We’re supposed to care and like Henry, Dani and then sympathize with Junior and while it’s not impossible for any of this, it’s just not that interesting. Clearly, Henry ends up caring for Dani, but I never thought she was in any real danger. Then later, that first moment when Henry and Junior have this intense moment in the crypt, it’s supposed to be intense and I was like meh. Plus, the dialogue was so bad! Then later Junior and Clay have this “emotional” conversation but between the bad CGI, the bad dialogue and Clive Owen looking so disinterested, I felt nothing. I think this movie could have had a lot of emotional moments, especially with Henry/Junior and Junior/Clay but it didn’t work for me.
Overall, I really didn’t like this movie. I came to terms with it as I continued writing this review. I don’t think it’s good. Sure, the acting is okay for the most part and there are some minor positives in the action and the potential but the bad outweighs the good so much that I can’t even. The CGI is overall bad, and I’ve seen plenty of actors de-aged in movies, but this was bad. ALADDIN DID A BETTER CGI WILL SMITH. The action was lackluster, the movie feels dated, the dialogue was cheesy, and the story was so weak that when it was over, I completely forgot what I just watched. All I could think about was the bad CGI Will Smith face. The emotional stakes did not land and as a side note, I thought there were a ton of weird “technical” issues like some odd transitional choices, like that scene where Dani and Will are talking, then they both look to the side, music starts to play, and we get a transition to them on an airplane. It was so weird! I’ve seen that kind of transition work before, but it did not work here! Plus, all the random shots of the actors being close to the camera while they’re talking to another person… this movie is ugly. There you go, it’s ugly lol. Gah! That’s all, I’m done lol. If you like Will Smith and you want to see all his movies, then sure, check it out but at least wait till it’s streaming or something. Oh, this movie has a higher frame rate… that’s probably why I didn’t like how it looked lol. Look it up. lol.
Rating: 1.9 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Gemini Man? If so, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
Summary: In Gotham City, mentally-troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: “The Joker”.
So y’all, I have had some weird movie theater experiences and I’m starting to wonder if it’s me… lol. My friend and I saw this movie and towards the end, when Arthur is talking to someone, he starts laughing. I heard laughing but it sounded like it was coming from somewhere else, not the screen. But I ignored it, thinking it was the speakers or something. Then, I hear it again and I realize it’s coming from the guy sitting in the row before us. There was only maybe 20 of us in the theater, an entire row towards the front was taken, there this one guy, me and my friend and then two girls behind us. So, I thought maybe there was a special needs person with someone, and their friend was trying to calm them down or something because they were laughing loudly. I realized this person was by themselves. I tentatively lean back but then I saw smoke start rising from that row. I lean forward again and notice this guy has something in his hands that’s burning, not sure but it might have been a blunt or a cigarette, but I don’t know. So, I looked at my friend and said, “We need to leave,” and I hopped up and went for the door. I was already a little nervous because you never know with movies like this, but everything was fine up until this point. She has a delayed reaction but followed me and we finished the last two minutes at the stairs. The guy was by himself though. When the credits started to roll, we left lol and the two girls from behind us had got up as well when we did lol. We all started laughing and they said they heard the weird laughter and then saw us get up, so they got up to leave too lol. I DON’T KNOW MAN! But super weird. I did inform a worker about the guy, don’t know what happened after but man.
Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur. Honestly, he is really the shining light of this movie. He is so good and so disturbing that I do understand the “Oscar buzz” around his performance. His character is sad too. So, Arthur Fleck is a mentally ill, impoverished stand-up comedian, disregarded by society with a history of abuse. He works as a clown in a business that loans out clowns, so he can feel “part of society” and of course “bring smiles to people around him” but life just doesn’t want to work out for him. I get it my dude, I do. He must deal with teenage hooligans stealing his twirling signs, getting beat up by them, his unstable mother, teasing coworkers, a super extra boss and with his uncontrollable laughter, which makes people uncomfortable but it’s also clearly a pain for him. It’s just so much he must deal with that you really feel bad for him. Life is just crapping all over him. He begins to spiral into darkness and he unintentionally started a movement and it just happens without him for a while. Joaquin Phoenix is phenomenal. He does a physical transformation and the way he moves in the movie is very deliberate and interesting and weird a lot of times. I like his dance moves lol. I think he portrays each layer of Arthur very well. The fake happiness he tried to have, the moments of sadness or the moments when it seems like he’s with other people, but he’s just imagined it. This movie is such a character study so it’s so interesting to watch him just exist. It’s uncomfortable in a lot of ways but it’s so good.
I think if you go into this movie thinking you’re going to see a familiar Joker you’ve seen in other comic book movies or adaptations, I think you’re going to be disappointed and you’re mistaken. Don’t get me wrong, you can see the connection with mentions of Thomas Wayne (Bruce’s father) and of course it’s in Gotham but don’t go into this movie thinking you’re getting a true or definitive backstory.
Supporting Characters. Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz and Francis Conroy play a large part in Arthur’s life in different ways. They’re very much supporting characters so I did not want to go into each of them like I would with other films, but everyone does a great job in their role. They all play parts in Arthur’s downfall but in different ways. Some less than others.
A Character Study. This movie is very much a character study for Arthur Fleck. I don’t think it’s an “origin story” or any kind of grand film. It has a very small and contained feeling to it and it very much focuses on Arthur and what he goes through, the choices he makes and how it affects him and the people around him. I think it works and is interesting that way because I can’t imagine it working any other way, with this version of Joker.
Great Musical Score. The music is so well utilized in the film. I mean wow. Especially towards the end. It worked in indications of moments where he’s imagining things in his head, or when he’s about to do something crazy, or anything along those lines, it really worked. I was pretty caught up in the score quite a few times throughout the film.
Rushed Plot Information. So, a big problem I had with the movie was the information dump we got in the last act of the movie. Arthur learns something from letters his mother wrote Thomas Wayne, they talk, he believes her, even though she clearly is unreliable with her own mental illnesses. He makes some questionable choices that continue to push him further down a path. Then, we find out more stuff about his mother that is just given to us in some quick flashbacks, some information read from files and it’s just a whole lot of unconfirmed and horrible stuff. Not to mention, it just feels like the movie gives it to you but does nothing with it. I didn’t like that we get a section of an information dump and then that’s it. It gets glossed over and I think that’s a problem. I feel like this stuff should have been introduced earlier on and been part of his story as well.
Political Aspect. I might be in the minority here among casual movie watchers but there was a lot of this movie that I just found super boring and cliché. The entire subplot that dealt with Thomas Wayne and the train incident and everything that was grouped with that, I found to be silly. Or at least heavy handed. I mean, I get it, and being that our main character turns out to be a villain, it’s not surprising that things go in his favor when it comes to political and world views, but it was happening and because he wasn’t involved or even interested in it, any time it was brought up, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes or wonder why the movie was even spending so much time trying to showcase it. It just felt like a paper-thin reason and I just couldn’t get with it.
A Better Ending. So, there is a part of the film where Arthur has access to a camera after he just did something horrible and said some crazy things on television. He grabs the camera and he start to speak, and the camera cuts out. I thought that was a great ending. I wish it ended right there because it leaves way more mystery and leaves the insanity there but nooo we had to get more political stuff. I don’t care about any of that. I understood the point, I knew what they were trying to do, I respect all of that. I just think, the movie would have benefited from being shorter and ending right when that camera cut out. Man, it would have been beautiful. Then the stuff with the news reporters, put it in the credits so we see the world has unraveled.
Overall, it’s hard to say where I stand with this one. I think Joaquin Phoenix was fantastic and the reason to see the movie. The supporting cast is good, and their characters have a lot of interesting relationships and connections to Arthur. The musical score is great and works alongside the movie well. If anything, this movie is a character study of a man who feels forgotten by society and decides to stop trying to be part of it. Now, I do think the movie has an issue with how it presents information, especially stuff that appears to be important but it’s unreliable and that didn’t work for me. I didn’t care for the political aspect, it felt unimportant and extra stuff I didn’t need. Then, as a personal preference, I wish the ending was at a different spot. It would have been perfect. I think the movie is okay. It’s worth the watch for Phoenix’s performance alone.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Joker yet? What are your thoughts on the film? Let me know in the comments below!
By the way, this is like the 25,000 time I have seen Bruce Wayne lose his parents.
Summary: Beneath Anna Poliatova’s striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of the world’s most feared government assassins.
This will be a short review.
Action Sequences. If there is anything this movie has going for it, it’s the action sequences. They are handled and choreographed well. The scene in the restaurant was great. She walked in confident like and then goes to crap and she must fight for her life against her mark’s henchmen and she only has five minutes to prove herself. I thought it was great because she kicked butt. I mean, she got her butt handed to her a few times, but she held her own and it was cool! She killed someone with a pole from the bar or something like that, it was crazy. My friend and I were like “Oooo, wow!” the entire time. She also has this big fight at the end, after she completes a major assignment, she must escape the building and pretty much encounters a ton of guards and she fights each one she meets. She has great prowess with a gun.
Entertaining/Fun. I don’t think this movie has great writing or anything but it’s fun. It reminds of Red Sparrow, but I enjoyed this movie way more because it’s just fun to watch. The story isn’t anything special but watching Anna’s montage of her missions, how she kicks butt and some of the story elements are entertaining, so it makes at least enjoyable. Keeps your attention.
Helen Mirren. She is a national treasure and is literally amazing in everything she’s in, even if the movie isn’t that great. Her character Olga is complicated. She’s part of the KGB and very much a Miranda Priestley type. She’s intimidating and observant and you wonder just how much she knows and what she’s keeping from Anna and by extension the audience. There are some character surprises from her later but if you’re paying attention, they may not be surprises at all.
Luke Evans & Cillian Murphy. We see them both a bit at the very beginning. We’re later introduced to Luke Evans when he tries to recruit Anna for the KGB. We see Cillian Murphy a few more times but he meets Anna much later. They both end up creating interesting relationships with her and maybe it’s because I like both actors, I was interested in seeing what happens with them. Particularly Luke Evans because we didn’t get to learn a ton about him, and I just wanted to follow him more. They’re both good in their roles, almost the same person just on opposite ends with kind of different personalities but ultimately the same kind of person.
Great Cinematography. Beautiful looking film. The colors are very vibrant when they’re there and you can pretty much see everything. All the fight scenes are well lit and shot so you can see what’s going on.
Sophia Luss as Anna. I don’t quite think the character was bad, but the actress was just okay. Yes, she’s pretty, but I didn’t quite believe her as this character. She’s inconsistent. In the scenes when she’s in her apartment when she first meets Luke Evans, I quite liked her then. I don’t know if it was because she wasn’t that into her whole “spy” thing yet or what but I all the emotional stuff she had to do just didn’t do it for me. Plus, she cried too much at certain points, or she was whining too much.
The Story. Majority of the story was Anna doing things to get out of her situation. She was found and offered a solution to her bad life, but she was entering a questionable life. Then it was her always talking about being free and constantly asking people how she could do it and what she could do in order to be free. I mean, honestly, she wasn’t that interesting to me to be invested in her story and there wasn’t an interesting or strong enough story to really help elevate the action we got to see. I mean, the beginning was interesting by showing us all these undercover agents being rounded up, but we don’t hear anything about them until about halfway through the movie. I mean what?? Lol, the movie should have followed one of the agents that got rounded up, or maybe an agent that managed to not get rounded up, or they should have just followed Cillian Murphy’s character.
Overall, Anna is mindless fun. There isn’t much of a story to really catch your attention or keep it. You’ll probably come for the actors and for the action and I think both of those things are positives for the most part. There are two distinct action sequences that are fun to watch, very well shot and choreographed and Sophia Luss does a good job in selling the action… probably because she doesn’t have to do much acting if the camera isn’t focused on her face. Helen Mirren is always great, and her character is probably the most interesting in the film. Luke Evans and Cillian Murphy are also good in their smaller roles. Sophia Luss is okay, she doesn’t do it for me when it comes to acting, she was too inconsistent for me to be that invested in her character. But if you’re looking for a spy thriller that will at least be entertaining, then you can check out Anna.
Rating: 2.30 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Anna? What are your thoughts on this film? Let me know in the comments below!
What is your favorite spy movie?
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