Wednesday, 29 April 2020

The Grodge

I'm pretty clearly on the record for loving the Ju-on movies, so I was savouring watching the 2020 version. Okay, sure, small hitch with certain events closing down cinemas, but we live in a connected world so it wasn't that much a problem.

After having been to a certain house in Japan, Fiona Launders returns home, and a new cycle begins. Later there's a cop, and she investigates Fiona's house. And there are other people living there. And there is someone else in a car. And there's another detective, who is obsessed with what happened. And there are other people too.

What you might be able to tell is that there is a lot of people in this movie. What you might not be able to tell is there is not a lot of scares or deaths. By halfway through a normal Grudge movie, half the cast would have been killed in gruesome ways! In this, we're still introducing new people! (The movie jumps about in time.) This is sort of saving up the death scares for the end, but... what we actually get is a really boring movie with just a whole of people and not much happening. A Grudge movie shouldn't be boring, but this is!

There is the usual palaver of ghosts sort of being seen and random jump scares, but they aren't effective. Well, except one. Otherwise they are all telegraphed and you just wait for... there it is!

The director, Nicholas Pesce, has ideas for a sequel. And this was supposed to be a reboot, but he tied it in anyway. After this, then yes, let's reboot, but give it to someone else.


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Wednesday, 15 April 2020


This was one of the last movies in the before times, but I only got around to watching it now.

We have Vin's character... I don't recall his name, and frankly it's just Vin the whole time, so I'm not going to bother, we have Vin's character be a kick arse military guy, who's wife is killed, then him, then he comes back as a supersoldier and kills for revenge. Then we find out this was a fictional set up, and the bad guys are just created digitally. So far, this is what is in the trailer. And we take about half the movie to get this point which, again, everyone knows because of the trailer. Then Vin has to deal with the company that did this to him, and that is the rest of the movie.

When this movie was coming out, I grabbed the comics so I could get the story and see how well the movie did. What the movie does it just the first two (approximately) of the comics, although with more action/violence pumped in because this is an action movie. The rest of the comics deals with "what happens next". Which I guess this means this could be a whole series of movies? And the comics also crossed over with other comics, so this could spin out into its own Valient Comics universe... but I doubt they're going to go that far.

What we get in this movie is the basic set up of the character, and that's about it. Frankly, a lot more could be done with the character, but given the focus of this movie is "let us do action sequences with CGI bits", I don't get the feeling the producers actually cared beyond "action movie vehicle for Vin, check".

To be honest, the most interesting part of the movie was noting that one of the leads was Guy Pearce and this easily could have been his AIM character and this movie fitting in that quite easily.


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Wednesday, 8 April 2020


Well, it's Pixar, so of course it's going to be the greatest thing ever. When has Pixar ever failed?

It's a literal coming of age story as Ian becomes of age, 16, and goes on a quest with his older brother to make a man... out of his dad. Because it has to be about father issues. Which isn't to say the mother isn't in this, but it's about the guys dealing with their father who has been gone for a while, but hey we can say that at least this movie has a plot featuring women in it. And I guess it passes the (low standard of the) Bechdall test in that they talk about a curse, but it is about getting an item to help the boys with their father, so it's in service of a man? Not sure about that one.

Anyway, this is a road trip movie, where the gimmick is that these are DND style creatures, and aside from the magical staff, the fact that these are different creatures isn't really relevant to anything. Could just have easily been different flavours of humans.

I'm not saying this is a bad movie (it's not in the Cars franchise after all), but it definitely didn't feel like anything amazing to me. It just feels... generic. Standard storyline you can get anywhere. Pixar can do some really moving storylines, but this...

It's not terrible, but I've seen better.


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Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Da Hunt

With it going straight to VOD, let's check out this masterpiece that was too controversial for its original release date.

You remember the trope of "the most dangerous animal is man", and the many many many films made around "let's hunt man", well, what if you made another movie that was that? But this time, it was class divide, but only using the most over the top trope stereotype characters. Are you rooting for everyone to die? Most likely, I know I was.

The big deal for this movie seems to be Betty Gilpin... but since I don't know who that is, that isn't really a drawcard for me. The actress playing Athena is shown as really mysterious, so lots of shots from behind until a big reveal later to show it was... actually I had to look up the cast to realise who it was, so that wasn't a big moment for me either. I may not be the target audience for this.

That said, this is a very goofy movie. It isn't subtle, but it is fun with it, so that works more me. As such, sure, check this movie out, it's watchable enough.


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Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Indivisible Mon

Gaslighting the movie? Well, at least Abusive Husband The Movie.

Cecilia wants to get away from her abusive husband... who then dies... and leaves Cecilia a lot of money... and then proceeds to stalk her. Why he needed to leave her the money? Who knows. But she isn't stupid. While people turn against her on the slimmest of excuses, she does some rather intelligent things to deal with him, as best she can. And the gormless guards don't help. But does she finally over come him?

There is a LOT wrong with this movie from a science perspective. Somehow he doesn't make any noise while moving about. And can get through doors etc without disturbing them. And is a master of combat. And can also somehow see (which is a perennial issue with invisible men). However, and I kept reminding myself of this, from a movie/story perspective it doesn't matter. He can do that, for the story to work, so he does do that.

Elizabeth Moss goes through a lot of acting chops, but hey, Aldis Hodge! I kept being distracting by trying to remember where I saw him from (Leverage) that I didn't quite pay full attention to his acting abilities. The effects are pretty good, the main stage being when Elizabeth has to fling herself (or however they did it) around the kitchen. I guess keying out is getting better?

But that ending... I like how they went for more ambiguity, but... it does undermine certain characters. Although the movie could be setting up for how the sequel will go? I'm not sure.

As a horror movie, not terrible. It had a good pace. Is this going to spark a new Dark Universe, or are they going to just revive the monsters one at a time for now? We'll see.


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Saturday, 21 March 2020

Washmister 4

This is it, this is the end. How could it go like this?

Young love has trouble after an accident, he breaks his legs, she is still attractive. The lawyer gives her a box that contains a red gem, but she doesn't want it. However, she has unleashed a djinn, and he takes over the lawyer. The lawyer gets her to make some wishes, and so three wishes are wished. Which means at long last the Djinn are released! One small problem...

Yes! Finally! All this time, I've been saying go 'softly softly' with the wishes, and this djinn does. But then she makes the third wish, which only she can grant? What? The djinn can't force it? Like he does every other wish, twisting them into weird things? Wha? That is extremely convenient. But hey, so is the idea that another creature turns up to stop the Waker, somehow after the third wish has been made but not granted? That doesn't really work. But hey, at least there's now a weapon that can conveniently end the issue.

So this movie is far better than the third one, but the unnecessary boobs and rather lackluster deaths mean it only rates third overall. John Novak does better as the djinn than in the third movie, but the sudden turn towards romance does not work well and he doesn't sell it well either.

Which means that fortunately this series ends on a better note than the previous movie, and I'll take that considering how Direct-To-Video it is.


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Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Samic the Hofeheg

It's that movie they patched following pre-audience feedback... (as opposed to the one that patch post release).

A creature from another world comes to this one, and after a moment of existential crisis brings danger to the world. He tries to run away, fails immediately, and has to get help from the humans to retrieve his 'get away' mcguffin. Meanwhile, Evil Human(tm) is after him because ... mainly because he's Evil(tm), but something about power? But not really. There's lots of running at various speeds, but it's all in aid of... Sega making money, I think.

Okay, so I have never played the games. I am barely aware of the range of games, have seen snippits at best, and whenever I've watched Let's Plays, it just looks severely annoying. Which is to say, I'm not a Sonic fan, and so am only really aware of all the references because various people have been "Hey, look at this reference!" such as Sanic or his shoes.

Ignoring the video game background, this is otherwise a fine low grade buddy comedy movie. One person is super fast but hasn't lived, the other is more worldly but feels stuck in place. Together they can find the power of friendship to... I can't even really say complete their arcs. James Marsden gets an arc, but Sonic? He has to leave, but then decides not too because... he doesn't want to. Despite the fact that he is the direct reason for all the trouble in his movie, and the sequel bait doesn't indicate that's going to change.

We also get Jim Carrey tapping into his "let's act bizarre" self, but considering he sides with Jenny McCarthy, fuck 'im.

So a fine movie, but I was never really the target for it.


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