In this edition of my monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I recommend an underseen horror film that I, however, have mixed feelings on, and then I tell you about my experience of watching the second season of Apple TV+’s Servant, which, I thought, didn’t advance the plot all that much.Continue reading “Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Mar. ’21: ‘The Empty Man’ and ‘Servant’”
The following is a review of ‘Ser Du Månen, Daniel?‘ (also known as ‘Daniel‘) — Directed by Niels Arden Oplev and Anders W. Berthelsen (co-director).
Although the Danish entry — May el-Toukhy’s outstanding film, Dronningen — was not, ultimately, nominated for the Academy Award for Best International Feature, 2019 was a pretty great year for Danish films. Outside of the aforementioned May el-Toukhy film, last year also saw the release of other great Danish films like Michael Noer’s period piece Før Frosten and Rasmus Kloster Bro’s claustrophobic directorial feature film debut Cutterhead. Mads Brügger also released his award-winning documentary Cold Case Hammarskjold. Continue reading “REVIEW: Ser du månen, Daniel? (2019)”
The following is a review of Destroyer — Directed by Karyn Kusama.
In the first scenes of Karyn Kusama’s Destroyer, a seemingly inebriated LAPD detective, Erin Bell (played by Nicole Kidman), walks onto the scene of a crime to investigate what colleagues of her’s think of what happened to a murder victim with three dots in the back of his neck. What follows is a labyrinthine narrative complete with twists and shoot-outs as we learn what events made Bell, a former undercover officer, into a disheveled and visibly weathered revenge-seeking rogue detective. Continue reading “REVIEW: Destroyer (2018)”
The following is a review of Kong: Skull Island – Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts
In 2014, no film disappointed me more than Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla. It’s not a bad film, per se – and I do think Gareth Edwards is a talented director – but it remains one of the biggest movie disappointments over the last few years, for me. Therefore, I was, obviously, apprehensive about the next film in Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment’s monster movie cinematic universe.
My main issues with Godzilla were that Godzilla, essentially, had a story that was populated with mostly uninteresting characters, and that I also felt the marketing had promised me much more of both Bryan Cranston and the titular monster than we were given. Does Kong: Skull Island share those issues? Well. Yes and no. Continue reading “REVIEW: Kong: Skull Island (2017)”
The following is a review of Warcraft (also known as Warcraft: The Beginning), a Duncan Jones film.
I’m somewhat familiar with Warcraft. I think I’ve only played 5 to 10 minutes of World of Warcraft – definitely not more than that – but I did play Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos a lot. But while I’m somewhat familiar with the franchise, I don’t remember the story at all. To be perfectly honest with you, I haven’t been a fan of the trailers for the film, but I have a lot of faith in the film’s talented director, Duncan Jones. Continue reading “REVIEW: Warcraft (2016)”
The following is a review of 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four (2015)
Fantastic Four is the updated Marvel Comics origin story about its First Family – the Storm-siblings, the incredibly intelligent Reed Richards, and the strong-willed Ben Grimm. Together they team up to defend Earth and its citizens. But before becoming a team, they changed in more ways than one. Does the newest 20th Century Fox superhero film live up to its title? Sadly, no.
However, it did start quite well. This film is loosely based on the 2004 Marvel Comics reboot, Ultimate Fantastic Four, and you definitely see its roots if you’re familiar with the ‘source material.’ Reed Richards is a child prodigy, who is ultimately invited to study and work in the Baxter Building, and he is aided by his good friend, Ben Grimm, who, in spite of his involvement in Reed’s school project, has no real attachment to the Baxter Building.
In fact, I loved this part. There was a certain Batman Begins-feel to the film, and everything worked for quite a while. There can be no doubt, the best character in this film is Reed Richards – as he should be. Also, while I was afraid of what tone Fox was going with, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the film was less grim than the trailer made it out to be.
It is not that the film was perfect for the first hour, or so, but it ran rather smoothly. Sure, the dialogue was a bit wonky and cheesy at times – but it didn’t really hurt the film in its first half. But then things started to fall apart. I can tell you that there is a handful of comic book movie sins in this film – but no sin is bigger than the one they commit at its halfway point. Reed Richards’ reasoning for using the Quantum Gate is extremely dodgy and out of character.
After having reached the point of no return, you start to notice the film’s clear errors. The look of the ‘other dimension’ is not done well, Kate Mara is wearing what looks to be a wig for half of her scenes, and the pacing is awful. When I started to think about the villain, then the film started to be upsetting.
Victor Von Doom (Not ‘Domashev’; apparently, they chose to keep the original name after fan backlash) is obviously the villain. And I’m not just saying that because I know of the comic books. The film hits you over the head with the obvious fact that Toby Kebbell’s character is the villain. He is referred to as ‘Dr. Doom’ sarcastically – as well as ‘Adolf’ (no, I’m not kidding). Sadly, Doom is a forgettable character and his look is awful. Doom should not look like a silver-and-green mannequin.
Josh Trank, Simon Kinberg, and Jeremy Slater had a great plan for this film, but while they handled Mr. Fantastic and the first half of the film amazingly, they ultimately fall short. In the end, the pacing of the final act is what kills this film. The big battle is rushed, the villain is wasted, and Marvel’s First Family doesn’t really live up to its name. An awful reboot for the Fantastic Four.
Final Score: 4.9 out of 10 – Though promising at first, Fantastic Four completely falls apart in the poorly paced final act.
I’m Jeffrey Rex
This week’s Marvelous Monday focuses on the potential of the newest Marvel Comics-based superhero flick coming this summer. Fantastic Four is the last superhero film of 2015. But this isn’t a Marvel Studios film. No, this is one of Fox’s attempts at a stronger superhero universe. The film has had a lot of problems in the press: rumors and comments about the script, Dr. Doom, and the director have stopped the hype-train somewhat. So, today we need to make up our minds: What are the dos and don’ts for the returning Mister Fantastic-led franchise? Continue reading “Marvelous Monday #29 – Dos and Don’ts for Fox’s Fantastic Four”
Soon we’ll see the first trailer for The Fantastic Four by Josh Trank. The movie premieres this August, yet we’ve seen nothing from it – except for a few supposed leaked photographs. Now, I’m all for people trying to hide plotpoints from the trailer – I’m all for people keeping their film secret, like J.J. Abrams and Christopher Nolan have done in the past. But something’s up with The Fantastic Four.
Throughout this post I’ll voice my concerns, but before doing that – let’s get something clear. The Fantastic Four team has not had a fun ride in Comic Book Movies. They had a film made that was never officially released, two films that were negatively reviewed by most, and they cannot participate in the critically acclaimed Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While I really disliked the second Tim Story Fantastic Four-film, I actually thought the first one was okay. In my opinion, Chris Evans was the best part about those two films. Now, I would never ask for a third one with the same director and cast – but I am really worried about what they are doing to the characters that kept Stan Lee in the comic book business.
The following is a quick spoiler review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Directed by Matt Reeves.
In 2011, I quite enjoyed Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I must admit. And that was in spite of some mistakes that I had found in what I found to be a rather simple story. I liked that movie, but it pales in comparison to its 2014 sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Gone is Wyatt, Franco and Pinto – in stays the amazing Andy Serkis. Continue reading “REVIEW: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)”