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X-Men 8 - Apocalypse (2016)

X-Men 8 - Apocalypse (2016)

What happens when a super-mutant - a God of days of futures past, wakes up to a new world and decides to take over once again? Only now the world has cities, and machines, and meta-humans - sorry, mutants, and not all of those are that fond of giving up a world they've just started getting accepted in.

It turns into a vicious battle, and Oscar Isaac plays a convincing villain, as the first-ever mutant and destroyer of worlds, the one introduced already within the title: Apocalypse! Or En Sabah Nur, as is his real name. Apocalypse is his nickname outside of the movie, and it reminds of the recent Superman/Batman Apocalypse. Intentional or no? They're competing blockbusters on a lot of fronts, these two.

A lot of the mutants who have been with us a long time before this get properly introduced with this movie, and Charles goes bald, and for a while Magneto joins the dark side again. In the end it feels like he almost gets over the deaths of his loved ones too easily, but that's a minor thing. When it matters, he pours out emotion, and considering the circumstances maybe it's not so strange that he sways from one side to the other - teetering on an edge between darkness and light.

The plot moves beautifully, the special effects are off the charts, and a close knit group of X-Men really work together to bring order to the world. Most importantly: this time it goes how it feels like it was supposed to go with the Last Stand, and we see the Phoenix we really wanted to see. At least so far it seems to be looking hopeful, and a little glimpse of a promised sequel to be shows up at the very end.

I am looking forward to that! Logan. Will this be our final figuring of Wolverine - as he is now, or is all of this just getting started once again? Time will tattle.

The intros are almost getting too elaborate at this point, but I do like each one so far, and the new intrigue. I like the references to a past time as well - one of myth more than science. And I like that Mystique's a frontline figure now. All in all it's a grand movie, maybe not as thorough as the last, but intense, inspiring and emotional. I'm looking forward to whatever comes next.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Finding Nemo (2003)

Finding Nemo (2003)

It starts with a school of fish. Yupp, a school of fish! And from there on it just gets wittier and wittier.

It was better than I remembered it, and emotional right from the start, too - more like Finding Dory than I thought it would be. The animation's not quite on par with the latter, but considering it's been a decade and more it still feels surprisingly fresh, and the red line is easy to follow all the way through.

For those of you who don't know the story, it's about a dad (Marlin) and his kid (Nemo), and Nemo's willingness to prove himself - as well as his dad's refusal to let him go, and how this leads to him being swept away into a dentist's aquarium, and his father to roaming the seas searching for him. The further he gets, the crazier it gets - but the stories of his search that precede him get even crazier! Eventually, the stories even reach Nemo - who struggles to escape his watery cave.

Along the way Marlin meets Dory, who has a highly short-term memory, and yet as the journey moves onward she starts to remember more and more, until the crisis comes where she goes her way, and Marlin goes his - and all the while Nemo's facing a different kind of dilemma in his pool of water. The dentist's adorable daughter is about to be given him as a birthday gift, and she doesn't have the best hand with animals, to say the least.

It's a race against the clock, though Marlin doesn't know it. And it's a race against the mind, though Dory quickly forgets it. Overall it's a great movie; greater than I remembered! I do feel like the sequel's a few steps above this not only in terms of animation, but in much else, and in building up the mood in particular - but this does come close. And did you know Ellen DeGeneres voices Dory? Definitely the best voice actress in the bunch, though they're all good. And when it's all over: it's all good. It's a good movie and all.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Finding Dory (2016)

Finding Dory (2016)

What a beautiful soundtrack! Befitting an oceanic voyage. Such wondrous animation too. The plot may be cliche by now: a fish is lost, and wishes to find her parents - but the visual experience this time is worlds apart from the last one! Or at least that's what it felt like.

The characters have evolved too, and though the setting at times feels very spontaneous and random (because Dory), it's sometimes also surprisingly somber and melancholy. You'll know the despair and isolation you feel when lost in a strange world, in a haze of memories, forgetting all those you ever knew and held close - one by one.

The melancholy moments are short-lived and far between, and there's only one that really grips you, but the emotions are palpable, and the grimy water sets the mood.

Though there are moments like that, most of it is however bright and light-hearted, and as last time: it's one entertaining adventure from start to finish, with a few creative and uninspiringly authentic character introductions along the way - like Hank the Sectapus, Destiny the Whaleshark, and many others. They play with words as well as traits, and all animals are both so incredibly animated and incredibly lifelike - in motion and in appearance, though apparently it may not seem that way to a real Marine Biologist (judging by IMDB's list of Goofs).

I don't mind though. They look real to me.

It's beautiful. An adventure for all senses. Pixar for sure. Only the plot itself leaves no ending unexpected, though there are plenty of surprises along the way. Even if the plot follows an old pattern, it turns out the last just wasn't enough. It feels like this brings about the closure I missed.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Bad Moms (2016)

Bad Moms (2016)

^ Words for the witty, albeit best not lived by! :D

If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a mom... you probably shouldn't rely on a blockbuster Hollywood movie to paint an appropriate picture, but this one does at least get out the message that it's not easy, and that we should not underestimate these much-needed maternal pillars that push up society as we know it and turn as all into the wonderful people we eventually become (thanks mom)! Or at least some of them: the mothers who do their job - like the one main character mother in this movie. The title? Highly misleading.

The movie is about Amy (that's Mila Kunis), and her stressful life: working a part-time job, and raising kids, and living with a cheating husband, and attending PTA meetings she doesn't want to attend, and all that shizzle - until she hits a wall. Suddenly she just can't do it anymore, so she goes to a bar, and finds two burnt out moms like herself, and they go on a rampage.

I'm not so sure the moral of the party is the best one, but the movie thankfully never really delves into the drunken craze - it goes beyond that, and as the post-movie credits roll and all the main actors get interviewed together with their moms - talking about how it was to raise them, I feel pretty good about life in general. I'm not a mom, but it's still a nice slice of life comedy drama that everyone can relate to. Maybe because we all have moms. Or because we all work hard. Life gives you lemons and you give them back. Don't try to be something you're not. Just do as well as you can, and mean well, and after a few crazy ups and downs it'll all work out for you. That's what the story tells us - and there's a little bit of romance too.

This really is not the type of movie I usually watch. Girls are clearly the intended audience, but just like the recent 17 Again it's one of those movies that anyone should be able to derive something from - especially laughter, and I do like Mila. She shines, and seems like a genuinely appreciative and happy individual, even if it gets a bit irritating how the worth and capability of every male around her is played down and they're made to look like totally useless dudes. They do empower the plot in their necessitating her to rise up and do stuff, but why do all guys have to be bad in movies like this? Why?! Even the principal is useless. I don't mean the alpha-male type bad - which would be expected: I mean in their playing on male stereotypes as to bring down our image. I feel like they could do all this without doing that.

But anyway, that's just a little something that irks me. As a guy, you know. As one not within the intended audience.

Overall, it's no-nonsense entertainment with a message. Good stuff.

 rated 3/5: not bad

End Of Days Inc. (2015)

End Of Days Inc. (2015)

Well this was different! It's a story about the end of the world - told from within an office that is actually in charge of ending the world (End of Days Inc. - thus the title) - though the employees are at first totally oblivious as to the role they play.

It's the last day of work for this small group of employees, and they're plotting ahead, planning their futures, and pondering if they should accept invitations to the office party this night... but there's a big bonus to be given to everyone that attends, so of course they all attend! Well at the party the plan changes, and they're told to work just one more night to get that final cheque. The deadline is dawn, and deadline is coming up fast... but as they work they soon start to suspect that not everything is how it used to be... and when Mort suddenly dies at the party, well you'd better watch the movie to find out what happens then because I sure as Hell ain't spoiling it even within this tempting spoiler tag?

It's a pretty creative idea, with decent actors and a solid performance, despite somewhat limited locales and (I assume) budget. It's not perfect, but the devil's in the details, right? Good watch.

 rated 3/5: not bad

The Mother & The Whore (1973)

The Mother & The Whore (1973)

This one was a weird one. Black and white - even though it's the seventies. Artsy. One review on IMDB introduces this as one of the last classics of the French New Wave, and many reviews praise it for it's simpleness, intimacy and lack of superfluous effects and angles, but I'd rather go with not as optimistic comment, suggesting it may as well be called the Overrated and Dull Sexual Adventures of a Pedantic Chauvinist. To me... it didn't feel all that impressive.

It's about Alexandre and his mate Marie, and another girl, in France. I follow along, and to some extent I'm intrigued, and entertained, but at the same time it all feels slow and pointless. In the end it doesn't lead anywhere, and though you might say that's also what makes it authentic, it also makes it feel like one of those stories I could've been without. The actors do their job, and the filming's not bad, but it wasn't all that special. Not all it's hyped up to be, though apparently enthusiasts of the genre would argue otherwise.

The story? It's about Alexandre and his mate Marie, and another girl - in France.

 rated 2/5: decent
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