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davidm

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ha ha, just watched that Artemis Fowl movie on Disney+

Context : its clearly not aimed at me, I've never read the books, don't know a thing about them (have read one book by the author, but that was the strange HHGTTG sequel thing ; was ok). But what I knew about this movie was that it was meant to be a "big thing", big name director, some stunt casting and they clearly had spent a LOT of money on it (tons of SFX) and I assumed it had just been bumped to D+ rather than theatrical release because of all the covid stuff. Hadn't read *any* reviews of it before I watched it either.

But boy was it a big mess. Some truly awful performances (apart from the lead fairy girl, she was good). It kinda all didn't make sense in the same way that the original version of Highlander 2 didn't make sense ; plot just jumped around, whole bits seemed to be missing, time spent on stuff that just didn't matter and so on.

Just looking on twitter now, and everyone seems to hate it too.

Only saving grace was that it was only 90m.

Explains why they were happy to demote it to D+ then.
 
With the cinemas being reopened in the UK I have finally seen a few new films. No spoilers/spoiler free reviews

Unhinged

It's what you hoped a chase thriller starting Russell Crowe to be like, his character "Tom" is a "not so lean", but mean, killing machine. Story wise it's nothing new, but the execution is done well and works as the popcorn thriller that it is. The film social messaging about driving awareness is over the top at times, but that doesn't stop the enjoyment and excitement of this 90 minute thrill ride. 8/10

BabyTeeth
'Babyteeth' is an Australian film, which surprised me as not many international films get shown at my Cineworld (America doesn't count)
It is slow moving, and some bits feels stereotypically "indie" like a girl who befriends an old man and listens to alternative dance music while her parents are liberals in a conservative environment, yet the film still had a few interesting things to say about drug dependency and the ending is raw and pretty moving. I'd give it a 7/10

Tenet
I am a big Christopher Nolan fan and I have admired most of his works, His films bring high concept and artistry into Hollywood blockbusters, as Mark Kermode said "He makes arthouse films disguised as summer blockbusters" and with Tenet the same tricks and tools are used. In all honesty I think it is more complicated than it needed to be, I won't say what it is, but the visual mechanics are simple, but the explanation of the mechanics are very complex. I enjoyed the Nolan's signature suaveness, with Robert Patterson playing someone who is a calm as a Hindu cow in light of the films events. The actions sequences are pretty cool, but not nearly on the scale of inception or The Dark Knight films, in some ways the film feels quite small despite it's high concept, as they are not many characters or that many locations for 2hr and 30 minute film. The score is distracting, some of it works well, but there are scenes which it just sucks all the momentum out of the dialogue with it's loud distracting THUMPING. Overall 'Tenet' is not Nolan's best work, I will say that it is well paced in that the film moves on before you have time to overthink anything and the action set pieces kept me entertained, It's a overloaded and convoluted , but also an engaging film. I'm feeling it a 6.5/10

It was good to get back to the cinema. I am seeing Tenet again this Monday so maybe I'll enjoy it more.
 
Tenet (2020)
Not a big Nolan fan at all. I only really like his Dark Knight movies. In fact I love them.
To me this was more of the same stuff he does in his other movies: little emotion, no humour, too much tell and not show (a real movie maker sin to me).
There was far too much muffled unclear dialogue which I think is intentional. BOOM music at times. The style fits The Dark Knight and really worked there but here are you are often left with the sense that you should care because things are getting hectic but you just don't. Several MacGuffins which I think are there because Nolan writes himself into a corner at several times (same as in Interstellar). A very boring villain and boring female character who doesn't give a damn about anything except her son who you never see or see that she has a bond with. A few changes to the script could have solved that.
The movie clearly takes some inspiration from James Bond but for me (the perhaps more braindead to be fair) Mission Impossible series is the only one left of the three that I can actually enjoy (even the new Bond trailer itself looks bad somehow).
A 4/10 which is pretty much exactly what I was expecting. No fun or joy at all. Even Schindler's List has more jokes. There is light even in the darkest of times in human history. It's ok to show that in a movie I think.

If you like Nolan you will probably like this or enjoy yourself mostly. It definitely has an audience. I'm just not part of it and I don't know why I keep torturing myself going to see Nolan movies.

Not Nolan's fault but wearing a mask in a cinema for 2 1/2 hours is too much for me I found. This is not working for me sadly.


I also rented Onward (2020) the other week. That was superb! Another Pixar gem. 9/10
So much character development. Strange things that actually work really well in the end. A realisation that what is being longed for was always there. I love these type of messages. So up-lifting. The title takes on a special meaning after you've seen the movie.
I wish Nolan's non Dark Knight movies had more of all that sort of stuff.
It is what it is. I should probably watch more Pixar in the cinema. They hardly ever disappoint.
 
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Tenet - re-review

Sorry to bump the thread, but after watching
tenet again, I do like it more than my first viewing, the plot for one makes alot more sense and the action and visuals just seemed better. I still have issues with it, such as the editing, sound design and some of the dialogue, but it is a good film and it is worth seeing if you need to get out of the house. 7/10

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gavin

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I've watched a bunch of random **** over the last few months which I can't really remember enough about to bother posting about.

Finally got back to the cinema today though (they've been open a couple of weeks, but without anything new being released until the last week or so).

Antebellum

Decent enough, but nothing amazing. It's hard to describe it without giving too much away. The idea behind it was decent, but it felt like it didn't take full advantage of it, instead wasting time on a bunch of filler scenes. They could have either pared those back a bit, or made the film a bit longer maybe.

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gavin

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Double post since I just watched another one.

Tenet

Total bollocks. Two and a half hours of crap, an hour and a half of which is monotonous car chases, gun fights and CGI smashy smashy.

Despite the obvious attempt at mind-f**kery, there's only an hour's worth of actual plot. Ooooooh look, we've got these cool "backwards" special effects; let's do that for over two hours.

F**king s**te.

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Double post since I just watched another one.

Tenet

Total bollocks. Two and a half hours of crap, an hour and a half of which is monotonous car chases, gun fights and CGI smashy smashy.

Despite the obvious attempt at mind-f**kery, there's only an hour's worth of actual plot. Ooooooh look, we've got these cool "backwards" special effects; let's do that for over two hours.

F**king s**te.

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My frustration with the movie has actually grown since I saw it.
It really annoys me as Nolan more than thoroughly entertained me with his Batman movies. In fact I think they are on par with the original Richard Donner Superman movies and only Infinity War from Marvel was ever as good as all that too.

I felt NO emotional connection to ANY of the characters in Tenet, unlike in the Dark Knight and Rises, one minute you agree with Alfred, then Bruce, then you root for Gordon, you are surprised at Joker and Bane's cleverness, tricks and double plays or pure strength or will. So many things are thrown at you.
In Tenet you don't feel anything for anyone or care about a god damn thing.
It's as if some computer autocomplete algorithm wrote the script.

-----

Toy Story 4.
I rewatched it last night. I still think it is somewhat unnecessary but it is mostly well done. Some of the animation is SO beautiful. The music brings it all home.
It deserves an 8/10 but I still think leaving it with Toy Story 3 at a 10/10 would have been a bit better / complete.
The emotion works well, good jokes and the story is probably one of the best it could have been after 3.
 
Spiderman: Far from home (2019)

Really bad. It all seems very childish to me. Some of the stuff such as the mid and post credits scenes were just eye rolling annoying I thought - yes I made it that far, not sure how. Quite patronising towards the audience with almost every character intentionally behaving like an idiot most of the movie (see the teachers / classmates etc) No one takes anything seriously, even referring to the horrific events in Infinity War as "The Blip". The movie makers treated the gorgeous Zendaya actress like an afterthought, probably had to pay her a fortune, and placed her in bland clothing. She even presses her lips together most of the movie looking like a disinterested duck.

The movie makers treated its audience as if they are only 3 year olds. Far From Home makes an average Pixar pic seem like a Shakespeare play.

It all moves fast, constant CGI. Little emotion and the stakes don't seem to matter as the revelation of what the bad guy is doing comes too quickly (Iron Man 3 esque horrible). No stock taking (or at least very little) Peter Parker feels down, hears a few lines from Happy and then turns into Tony Stark. Ugh.

An awful take on the superhero formula. I don't like this at all.

Tom Holland is a pretty bad Spiderman. As Downey Jr's silly sidekick he sort of worked but on his own this new Spiderman is mostly irritating with a very vague line of skills what he is capable of doing exactly. I used to see Spiderman (Toby Maguire) as sort of strongish (to a certain extent), fast, with webbing skills but also sort of vulnerable like a real spider. Amongst the menacing guys he sort of was vulnerable at least, I thought. There is none of that anymore because of added Tony Stark tech skills. The superhero's are becoming too similar now. So there is no cleverness or whit in overcoming the bad guy. It is just bang bang, "I am stronger and can resist everything" type of stuff. Seeing Wonder Woman in a golden iron suit doesn't bode well either. These two Spiderman movies have been the worst out of the 7 over the last 20 years by far. It is time to either take Peter Parker out of high school or stop making these childish movies altogether I would say.

On the Blu Ray I rented there is a glaring problem with the 5.1 sound mix with the sounds from the speakers at the back being FAR too loud at times. I have a decent balanced system and somewhat sensitive ears so it was quite obvious.

2 / 10

Literally one point for the effects crews. Even Michael Giacchino's score sucked - repetitive, he's normally great. I guess he didn't have much decent footage to score to, to be fair. Compare it to his stellar Rogue One score for example. Now THAT was a movie: grit, emotion, darkness, menace, clever nostalgia, great characters all treated with respect, no one behaved like an idiot, but still lots of fun. If you want the opposite this latest Spiderman is the ticket.
 
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