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Life Of The Party (2018)

Life Of The Party (2018)

A girl's starting collage, her mom and dad argue and get a divorce (dad's fault), and the mom decides to go back to the collage she dropped out of when she met him, on her last year, and finally graduate!

The same collage her daughter just started in.

It makes for: less awkward moments than I'd expected! Less clashing between generations too. It was really pretty welcoming. All of it. Like they're trying to show that moms and daughters really can get along. Or old and young people. Stuff like that.

I'm not usually that much for Melissa McCarthy (who plays the mom) comedies, but this one wasn't bad. The humor's still not all my style (maybe it's how so many of the characters are portrayed so dumb), the dialog ditto, and the mom and daughter relationship is a bit weird sometimes, but I like how warm it all is. It goes out with a message in the end, and that is... well watch the movie, you'll see.

It wasn't spectacular, but a fun premise done alright.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Born To Race (2011)

Born To Race (2011)

I watched the sequel to this one years ago, now finally: time for the first!

At this point I don't remember much regarding the second, but this one was so much like Tokyo Drift (Fast & Furious). It's pretty much like they copied it, and since this is the one that came after the other, that doesn't sound impossible.

The story is that of a boy who has to live with his father, who's into racing, who meets a girl, who goes to school and gets a rival and does a lot of stupid shit - which is the exact same story as in the aforementioned movie. Even the place and cast look familiar.

It doesn't feel as streamlined though, and they don't have the same sense of 'progress' before the big face - just a lot of going back and forth between the rivals, and the dad, rather than actual track practice. It feels messier, but at the same time a bit more authentic that way, and both characters and location are definitely more like real-world characters than in the blockbuster alternative. The cars are mostly normal cars too. I mean they're race cars but: race cars with a budget.

But it was still better than I'd expected. I enjoyed the terminology especially, and maybe the people behind this movie know a lot more about cars than the ones behind the one it was based on. Maybe they got cheated out of that deal, somehow, and chose to take revenge by making this alternative version of it. I'd like to imagine there's a noble purpose behind the clone work.

I appreciate that they actually crashed the rival car too. The ending really packed a surprise punch with that.

Clone or no it was fun to watch, and looking at my review for the second: seems like script writing may not be a skillset of this particular director. It sounds like pretty much the same thing, but on the track instead of the streets, and it does seem like this is the best of the two, if you only want to watch one. It's got Tech N9ne on the intro, too! Hell yeah. Starts good. End good too.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014)

A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014)

Ready for a Western Comedy/Romance movie making fun of all things the west was not known to be fun for? It's the story of a sheep farmer and man with bad confidence, and a bad girl, who belongs to the hardest gunslinger in the area? Played by Liam Neeson no less!

It might not be as noble, or pompous, as the above makes it sounds like, but it was pretty fun. From the start I wasn't expecting it that. My brother recommended it saying it was really pretty fun after all, in a way that made it seem he hadn't been expecting it either - so I guess I should have expected that I wouldn't expect that from the start. In those first moments I was expecting to just really not like Seth MacFarlane as a main character, even if the movie seemed alright otherwise, and it turns out... I didn't. Not really. His style of humor (or the style of the character he acts) just isn't my style... but at least the girl was likable (Charlize Theron, hey!). Giovanni Ribisi makes a decent sidekick too, along with the silly Sarah Silverman. The story too. Not bad.

Actually a lot of the jokes were terrible but despite that it was a pretty enjoyable Western with decent characters and a sprinkle of romantic comedy. Also better brace yourself for some unexpectedly explicit moments along the way! Cheap jokes. Good watch. Dubious about the score (aren't I always?), but I'll give it an appreciative but weak...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Lady Bloodfight (2016)

Lady Bloodfight (2016)

An American female fighter in an all-female version of the sacred Kumite! Why not. It's to Bloodsport was Merceneries was to Expendables, but with what seems to have been a slightly more limited budget.

Amy Johnston is unfortunately not that good at fighting, but she does look good, and in the last few minutes of the film her spirit sure shines through. If just for a moment it turned out way more inspiring than I thought it could! Far from a perfect movie, but sloppy in a forgivable way when you reach the end of it. Lady Bloodfight. She fights with honor.

Good cast. Good fights. Budget audience. Lazy choreography. I'm also trying to imagine what this might've been like with Jenny Wu in the lead role instead, and I don't think it would've been worse... even if, of course, the main character's gotta be American. Or how about Gina Carano? That would've been... totally different. Not that I don't like Amy Johnston, but as the movie plays you question her skills and training. She might have the spark, but I wonder if she really can fight. At all.

Also what's up with those fighting clothes? Some things...

 rated 3/5: not bad

Frozen (2010)

Frozen (2010)

Here's a movie about three guys (one of them a girl - the guy term's ambiguous right?) trapped in ski lift. I think I saw it the year it came out, and didn't find it that particularly great back then, but still it's stuck with me since then. From time to time - years later - it still comes to mind occasionally. Small bits and glimpses. The more heartfelt scenes, or embarrassing scenes, or hopeless scenes, more so than the violent ones with the wolfs and broken legs (honestly those weren't all great).

It starts cliche, but the sights were cool, and I didn't remember how emotional it really got on that lift. How hopeless everything seemed. The effects of frost and cold come across well too, even if they're somewhat inconsistent. As the day warms maybe it's natural some of the icing fades away, yet sometimes they seem to really be freezing their ass of, yet other times they speak in a normal tone, and lean towards a cold metal pole, and she really should've felt more pain in that hand, right? Then again maybe you don't feel pain when it's totally frozen.

Overall this is probably one of the eerier movies of the sort, though. Well made, with a sometimes really perceivable sense of isolation and despair, yet some moments that bring down the bar (like his clearly fake legs after the fall). The wolves were pretty scary too. And real. Props on that, and props on keeping the tension high all the way, even though most of the scenery we see is those three characters on a lift.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Armstrong (2017)

Armstrong (2017)

One normal, peaceful night, two paramedics pick up a stranger with a strange prosthetic arm with superpowers, and suddenly they're chased by people from the future wishing to vaporize them.

The atmosphere builds up pretty good, and even if it's low-budget it's not bad. Both Shawn Parsons and Vicky Jeudy overact a bit, and there's a bit too much dialog - unnecessary dialog - just like this particular bit of writing is pretty unnecessary to be honest, but otherwise they make a good run - and I do like the suit, and the special effects that come with it. Not so much the other special effects.

I really like the cover too! Unfortunately it gives a bit too grand a first impression for what turns out to be a sometimes somewhat dull movie, while they talk and ride around in the ambulance and the threat's always near but not really that perceptible. It's good, but imagine this same thing with a bigger budget, and say Stallone in the lead role? That would've really been something to see. This was alright.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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