Darkest X-Man movie yet? Definitely.
I don't know what happened between the last X-Men movie I saw - and this, to merit such a change, but things have certainly changed.
I'm both depressed and impressed with the change too. I'm depressed at the change, but I'm also impressed with how the actors handle it. I've yet to be disappointed by any X-Men movie, but this one really goes over and beyond with regard to what you'd expect of the actors, and it doesn't even have Michael Fassbender.
Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman impress thoroughly, and Dafne Keen helps. When there's suddenly a group of kids involved - all but one of whom seem to harness amazing powers, they're suddenly disappointingly bad at handling those powers (as such the opposition is more of a threat to them - necessary for the script but so unsuitable), and it doesn't all feel as awesome as it did during the first phases, but it was great.
That's just a little part of the movie too so let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Boyd Holbrook played a good villain too, even if the doctor is definitely the bigger one.
Feels like there's still one big mystery left, as to whatever happened before this to merit such a movie, but you'd better go into this expecting something dark. And it does deliver. Good special effects, good sound design, great atmosphere and acting. The story's more of a road trip than anything else once you get over the initial phase of melancholy and misery, at which point they head out into a wondrous greenland of fantasy and promise, but the beginning lays the foundation for the rest of it well enough. You already know this is Logan's last movie so... treasure it. It's a worthy end, unwantable as it may be.
Though: top score will probably only feel merited among those who've followed the franchise this far. Otherwise it'd be a solid four.
rated 5/5: friggin awesome
Ocean's Eight (2018)
Ocean's Eleven but with girls only? Why not! Led by Sandra Bullock no less, starring also Cate Blanchett, Midori Francis, Charlotte Kirk, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling and Helena Bonham Carter. I think that's them.
I don't recognize all of them but I do recognize a few, and it was fun to see Common have a cameo in the gala intro too. Overall though it comes across as just one more heist movie, and though it is elaborate enough I can't help feel like it just doesn't go as deep as the original movies did... maybe my memory paints a better images of them, but maybe they really did. Maybe they revealed the twist a bit too early here? Overall it also never felt like there was a very overhanging threat here. It all went smoothly... you just didn't know how smoothly until the end.
It copies some of the formula from the previous with the jazzy music, the con stage, the planning stage, and the gathering the guys (gals?) together but... even with the new sparkle and expensive stones it just didn't feel as expensive, did it? The gala did though. That was nice.
I enjoyed the movie, but as with so many other sequels these days it felt more like just a sequel than anything really new. It goes how you expect it to and then that's that. Good entertainment, no more no less.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle
The Towering Inferno (1974)
This might've been the movie that inspired Skyscraper! It feels like one of those movies that might've tread new ground entirely at the time, and yet it did so surprisingly well. The fire, the way it spreads, the way it affects the people... it might not be the most realistic at all times, and especially during the early stage of the film when it's just burning away a storage room without spreading, but when it does get started they really portray it the best possible way! Fierce and unconditional. A true force of nature.
The smoke and flame rise high, the shots of enclosed smoke-filled corridors and outside-view of the tower of fire flicker past, as helicopters crash and people climb through the wreckage, all the while people on the top floor are doing their best not to panic and jump through the windows or plunge into the fires that rage around them to escape their cage. It feels slow, overly-dramatic and cheesy sometimes, but convincing too.
It's still a proof of concept for the movies of today, and with a more emboldened message regarding these death traps in the sky. Don't build them, or if you do: do it the right way. It' may be old but it holds well.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle
Chris Tucker's got some of that Fifth Element style in this one! Both movies are from the same year, but what a contrast between them otherwise. One's a blockbuster, and one's low-budget. One's big and spacey, and one's very ordinary and day-by-day. I wonder which act inspired which...
Overall though this is a hood movie if there ever was one, detailing one particularly eventful (or not, considering they're mostly at home, chilling) day in the life of best buddies Craig Jones (Ice Cube) and Smokey (you know who). And their families. And their neighbors. And everyone else.
Their day and dues revolve around the basic aspects of life. About getting a girl. About getting a job. About getting the two hundred dollars Smokey needs to get Big Worm lest they both get killed, and there is actually one particularly fiery scene in the movie.
The slice-of-life-like flow that leads up to it doesn't let you expect it, and though it was entertaining to just listen to these two dudes and the various personalities who surround them talk, and watch people do stuff, and spend their day smoking a blunt (Ice Cube not so willingly) this particular Friday afternoon, it does all come off awfully laid-back apart from that one final scene.
Still people seem to rate it highly. Still I seem to like it. Is their chemistry really that good? Is the script that good? Is the message really that good? None of it really is, and it's both low-budget and basic, but still, there's just something about it. It's just another day in the life but... what a day.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle
Taxi 5 (2018)
Daniel is gone. Apparently he quit his job as a cop/former taxi driver and now lives the good life in Miami, so they found a French Vin Diesel look-alike instead (Franck Gastambide) - a cop from the big city with an affinity for driving, and due to certain circumstances they take him to Marseilles... where that very personality-rich police force of old is waiting, with a few new additions, and a couple vicious crooks to catch.
It's fun, it's fast, and the hiphop music's blasting, but it's also a bit over the top. And a bit old with the mold. The vomit scene in particular seemed to wash away the class of the old ones, and even though all other elements breath relatability and entertainment it's just not like the old ones anymore. Even if it seems to play by the same formula entirely.
It's not the new guy's fault. It's the story. It's the superficial tone of it all, and the lack of notable drive. It just all seems to follow a road of old, without really contributing anything new to the franchise except for a few faces.
They even steal a Fast & Furious ending for the final scene, and do some clone work on the Bad Boys character chemistry. But it's not enough. Too much cops, too many stupid moments, too little story, too little progress. It's the same old place too. The same old pace. There's really nothing new. Bear with the repetition here because it's a lot like the movie.
If you haven't been previously introduced to this franchise though maybe you won't be as disappointed. It'd stand its own ground well as an above-average cops and robbers comedy with a fair share of driving... it just doesn't match or move past the prequels at all.
rated 3/5: not bad