So, I watched a bunch of movies in the last few days:
Alita: Battle Angel
What a fuck is this. The effects are on point but nothing else works. The entire movie comes off like they spent 3 years on effects and 3 days filming it. Every actor seems confused as to what sort of movie this is. It's like they haven't been properly told, as all of them produce some of the worst acting they have done in their careers. I suspect the production didn't properly convey the universe to the actors, or they didn't get enough time to re-shoot scenes where the acting is clearly not working. There were scenes where my brain didn't want to believe what was going on, it was all so odd, the movie rushes through things at a blistering pace. Suddenly she is fighting some random robots, then she is going into a bar to give some bizarre inspirational speech, then she enlists in a rollerskating death race. All of it just slapped unto each other with no developments, rushed nonsense on top of rushed nonsense. And to top it off, she is a tiny robot girl with big eyes. She looks like a weird robot anime girl, but she is also a super soldier that easily destroys everyone. It looks so weird and out of touch, it's like a Scooby Doo character in a Terminator movie. James Cameron has completely lost his touch.
Terrible movie. 2 out of 10.
All Quit On The Western Front
One of the frontrunners for the Oscars, it's a war movie that, like many war movies, tries to be as grisly and brutal as possible. In this film, they juxtapose the violence with the out-of-touch leadership that sends hordes of these youngsters to their deaths for little more than prestige. I understand that they want to highlight the hardship of the soldier, but they overdo it and it feels unrealistic. He fights in the trenches and witnesses his friends die over and over, he watches someone get run over by a tank, then another one of his friends gets put on fire, then another friend kills himself with a fork, etc, etc, etc... it gets too much, and while I don't doubt all of this was witnessed by someone, the movie comes together like a collection of evil scenes to shock you rather than the real life of a WW1 soldier. It's still good though, with some great effects.
Worth watching. 7 out of 10.
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Creativity is nothing if it doesn't add to the product. While I find a lot of the scenes fun to watch and the effects great, I struggle with the humor. This movie wants to be funny, desperately, and I just didn't find it funny. This weird comedy they go for just ain't sharp enough to make the film that interesting. I found the first 10 minutes, before the craziness starts, to be the most interesting. Just a woman trying to make it in a stressful world. I also thought the first hour is too stuck up with explaining everything, it feels like a tutorial. And when she finally gets the hang of it, the movie goes into the end part. I wish they got there sooner. But, the end was beautiful and saved the movie for me.
Good, but thinks it's funnier than it really is. 7 out of 10.
I never watched this, and with the sequel out, I gave it a shot. People say it's fine and it got some good reviews. But I felt let down. Half the movie is the orphan kids running around, and they aren't that interesting. The main kid also struggles with his acting and was easily the worst of the bunch. The "sin" monsters were incredibly lame, and the Shazam wizard and his "lair" didn't work well either. I thought the villain was bland as fuck. The superhero fighting was just Shazam and the bad guy throwing each other around. I thought the entire thing was weak, and I don't understand what people see in this one. Maybe it's the dynamic of Shazam being a kid in an adult body? I don't know.
Disappointing. 4 out of 10.
The Banshees of Inshiherin
Another frontrunner for the Oscars. It's a beautifully shot film, it's very laid back. It all takes place on some island in Ireland, where two friends butt heads. One of the friends doesn't wanna hang out with the other anymore and refuses to talk to him. He thinks the other one is dull and feels he is wasting his life talking to him. This sets in motion a bunch of events that took me by surprise. There were times in the movie when I was honestly shocked at how stubborn and crazy these 2 guys got. The only complaint I have is that it's a tad too long.
Great movie, relaxing and different. 8 out of 10.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
A classic John Ford movie with John Wayne as the typical gunslinger. There is a lot of commentary about the nature of law and order in this movie. An attorney gets caught up in a conflict in a small town, where a bandit called Liberty Valance is terrorizing everyone. He also stumbles upon John Wayne, and forms a give-and-take relationship with Wayne, as they argue about what is right and wrong in various ways. The attorney guy is a great actor, and John Wayne and his charismatic style always shine in these old John Ford movies. And, in typical John Ford fashion, it is filled with stunning sets and cinematography. It's not as action-oriented as I expected, but it has a solid story and a classic sad hero archetype that works.
Damn good western. 8 out of 10.