More Movie Reviews

Logan
Loved it. The aging superhero whose every joint hurts was a new twist not seen before. I’m a huge Patrick Stewart fan and it was hard to see Xavier go. At times it was a bit of an overkill with all the suffering and hats off to Hugh Jackman for suffering through two hours of movie time 😉 The little girl was wonderfully annoying. So, if there are sequels in demand, here is your new set of x-men and x-girls. It was a mature movie for not only aging super heroes but also the audience who aged with them 😉 Great piece and a long lasting series has come to an end, maybe.

Guardians of the Galaxy II
Hm. It was fun, yes, and I enjoyed it, yes, and I even squeezed out a tear for Yondu, yes, but I kinda had expected more after the hype that the second guardians movie is supposed to be soooooo good. Hm. Yes, it was good, but it wasn’t epoch making. While Kurt Russel was great as the nasty Ego, the appearance of Sylvester Stallone totally threw me out of it. He just doesn’t belong into that universe! Lol. The wicked golden lady was fun though and I hope we will see more of her in the movies to come. Maybe I was also a bit “bored” by Gamora and Nebula reconciling. That made it so normal, so American, somehow, family is our greatest value and all that blah. It felt like: because they had to kill off Star Lords daddy, they needed to confirm the American family values via reconciling Nebula and Gamora. I found them hugging pretty damn lame. I was also annoyed by the pressing on the lacrimal glands for Yondu. The dude is a killer, who just wasted half of his former crew in the most brutal fashion and then they make you cry for him. I didn’t like that manipulative side of the second guardian movie. It was fun, yes, but not as fresh and mean as the first one, being watered down by too many traditional “values”.

Assassin’s Creed
Let me say I found this movie watchable. I’ve never played the game and cannot judge whether it represents a fair image of the game. Michael Fassbinder is a cool guy though and managed to pull it off. Jeremy Irons is always lovely, especially as the bad guy. The movie won’t go down in the annals of history, but if you wanna switch off watching some action for two hours and pretty people, it’s fine.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
I apologize to all Star Wars fans, but the movie bores me out of my mind. In my defense, I’m more of a Trekkie than a Star Wars fan. But come on, what was new about this movie? Nothing. It was a replay of “a new hope” kinda with other heroes and bad guys. The space battle was more or less the same that we have seen in previous Star Wars movies. The bad guys were copies of other bad guys from previous movies. I also found it disturbing that the movie was entirely humorless. Further, you knew at every instant what was going to happen next. While I’m interested in the continuation of the Luke Skywalker plot, this was just a complete remix of stuff we have seen before.

Movie Reviews

Arrival
I watched Arrival twice, once on a plane, then in the theater. Arrival is great. A solid, intelligent sci-fi movie with cool space ships, nice mysterious aliens and interesting lead characters. Xenolinguistic is a fascinating topic which is too often neglected. Yes, not all aliens who might visit us in the future will speak English. 😉 The sentences as different circles is a clever and cool idea how to express language and I bet Ted Chiang, the original author, put a lot of effort into the Xenolinguistic aspect of his story. How to remember the future was another well spun aspect of the movie, which worked out logically to an amazing degree. Great movie. A must see for sci-fi fans.

Shin Gojira
We all know that the Japanese love their Godzilla 😉 It was only a question of time until also the Japanese would decide to do a remake of the story.
All in all, I think the Shin Gojira movie is pretty damn good, only one thing was awkward about it. It happens in 2016 kind of and it presumes that nobody ever heard of Godzilla. It’s a bit of a weird decision to deny the 70 years of Godzilla culture and to pretend this is a new invention. But that assumption was kinda necessary for how the film is structured. It’s designed as a documentary, focusing on the actions or non-actions of a fictitious government. Being true to its 1954 original, there are side kicks against the US. That Japan is only a half free state and that the US decides anything for them. What was new was that Godzilla mutated a couple of times. He’s been feeding on nuclear waste dumped into the ocean and comes ashore as a crawling thingy before he goes back into Tokyo bay for a while and mutates some more. Only in the end does he look like the familiar Godzilla. The US wants to solve the problem by dropping a thermonuclear bomb onto lovely Tokyo. The inventive Japanese, surrounding one young politician who organized a “nerd” think tank, however come up last minute with an idea to “freeze” Godzilla with a cooling agent. In the end the frozen giant stands around in town as a new monument.

Ms. Pellegrin’s home for peculiar children
In principle I like Tim Burton films, although his style is very repetitive. My favorite is and remains Beetlejuice and also Sleepy Hollow (solely because of Christopher Walken). While the style of the peculiar children is clearly Tim Burton, the story is a bit more sophisticated than much of his other stuff. I haven’t read the novel it’s based on but it looks like it’s a well done recreation. The abilities of the children are fresh and inventive, setting them nicely apart from super heroes or X-men characteristics, although the X-men abilities come close to what we have here. The bad guys are nicely done, too and Samuel L. Jackson as their leader is a worthy bad guy indeed. Those white glowing eyes are pretty damn scary. If you are into fantasy this is well worth watching, but I can also understand that a movie like this is not everyone’s taste.

Some More Movie Reviews

Manchester by the Sea
At first, I must admit that I was confused. I thought this would happen in England, but I was already wondering, because the British Manchester is not exactly by the sea. It took me a bit to realize that there is a town called Manchester-by-the-sea in the US and that’s where the story happens. It’s a drama about a guy who lost his three children to a fire accident because he was drunk and who cannot forgive himself, who is confronted having to take care of his brother’s son after the brother dies. That’s it. Nothing more and nothing less. The film also has no resolution, at least none that I found satisfactory. Though the main character grows a bit, his grief is not dealt with at the end and he stops taking care of his nephew unable to deal with the situation. Hm. Realistic perhaps, but what’s the point? The acting is fine, but the story left me unsatisfied.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Finally saw that one. Don’t get me wrong, I like Eddie Redmayne and I think he is one fine character actor and he was excellent portraying Stephen Hawking or in the Danish Girl, but for me he is not a lead character that can carry an “action movie” like this. There are some nice J.K. Rowling ideas about fantastic creatures, and the whole world in a suitcase was lovely, but all in all the piece left me quite unaffected and unmoved. I best liked the side kick Kowalski who was very nicely portrayed by Dan Fogler and I rooted more for him than for the main couple.

A Hologram for the King
That movie surely wasn’t a big box office hit, I never heard of it before it showed up on the plane’s choice of movies. I have very mixed feelings about it. It’s set in a supposed Saudi Arabia and mid-life-crisis American business man played by Tom Hanks travels there to close a business deal with the ruling family involving holographic projections.
Modern day Saudi Arabia is rarely featured in movies, but I strongly wonder how much of the movie depicted reality over there and how much of it was fiction. I think a movie like that does have a certain responsibility towards reality despite being fiction, since its sole reason for bearing any kind of fascination is the portrayal of that hidden world.
The love story with the female Saudi doctor was very cheesy and the portrayal of the hard-partying foreigners in the country also too black and white for my taste. Because the world portrayed is so far away from what we westerners know, it kept my interest, but I really wanted to know how much here was fiction and how much was supposed to be “documentary”, showing us the life in a country so hard to imagine for someone who has never been there.

Recent/not so Recent Movie Reviews

Because of moving and new job it’s been a damn long while since I’ve been to my beloved movies, but at least I got to see some stuff on the plane rides back and forth from Germany.

Star Trek Beyond
Hmpf… whilst I am a huge Star Trek fan (especially Next Generation) and whilst I think the new/old crew is excellent, and whilst I enormously enjoyed their first get-together and so/so enjoyed “Into Darkness”, “Beyond” deeply disappointed. This thing felt like an average TV episode and totally failed to inspire. While there were some nice moments between Bones and Spock reminding of their original series days, that was about it. The villain was lame, the story elements all of the kind: seen them a million times before.
What the new crew desperately needs is a big picture, some story ark that spans over a couple of movies, that connects it to the rest of the Star Trek universe, hints at the Borg, or starting to meet the Klingons, or the Romulans, or Q, or something-anything! not lame villains that get defeated and that we will never hear of again… I hope the writers will find their way back into the bigger picture of the Star Trek universe…

Warcraft
I am not a Warcraft player at all and I don’t intend to become one but, hey, I liked this movie. It was, in contrast to Star Trek Beyond, much better than I had expected. I played my fair share of fantasy role playing games and they captured the atmosphere quite nicely in that movie. Cool villains, magic that’s dangerous and corrupts, heroes with some dents in their armors. The orks were real characters, not mere monsters and there were some deaths to report too that I had not expected in that form. On top of that a well fitting Travis Fimmel, who I already like a lot as our Viking overlord Ragnar Lothbrok. I hope they make more Warcraft movies.

Money Monster
The movie is a bit hard to watch at times, at least for me, since it’s too loud, too over the top and too TV-preacher like. The movie felt though, involuntarily, very close to the Trupfuckistan disaster that started a month ago. Idiots who believe every crap that other idiots broadcasts, sensationalism, false, unverified news, materialism… the whole Trumpfuckistan show. And in the end the bitter pill that the little man gets killed, and the rich fucks become richer on the backs of others. Very nice performance from George Clooney also.

Independence Day: Resurgence
Yawn. I never would pay a single dime for such a movie at the theater. The original wasn’t that thrilling to begin with and why the hell do you have to rehash it and make a sequel? Emmerich said himself once the original is more a disaster movie than a science fiction movie and disaster movies have no sequels. He should have stayed true to himself and not have wasted tons of money for the production of this lame remake. Not worth seeing, not worth remembering and sorry, I can’t find anything good to say about this one.