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Peppermint (2018)

Peppermint (2018)

The girl from Alias, Jennifer Garner? She's got a lead role as bad-ass chick with a thirst for vengeance, and oh boy does she have grit.

You can feel her desperation. You can feel the cold in the world. You appreciate the villain. The action's heavy. The shots are good. This was all I hoped and expected it'd be, and yet it somehow feels oddly inapproachable, like nineties action movies did. It plays out well, but they miss a layer. They get the action, they don't get the... not sure what.

I REALLY liked this though. The choreography's great. Action scenes are brutal. The villain's don't compromise either. It's female empowerment done right, though I do wonder how it would've been with a tougher-looking chick, like say Gina Carano. And why this name...

Cold like a mint, hot like pepper? Breath of fresh air? It still doesn't really fit at all. Not serious like the movie.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

Friggin' masterpiece. The details! And how elegantly they repeat certain ones from different angles. You'd better start paying attention from the beginning!

Everything serves a purpose. Everything has a place. The items, the people, the Mona Lisa smile when it's all over...

I did hear positive things about this one before I saw it, and it STILL managed to surprise me.

I wasn't sure what I was in for. I knew it wasn't action. I knew it was different. The title clued me in early on that it was a mystery, and yet I still wasn't prepared for this! They just breathed new life into the genre.

Love EVERYTHING about this. Hope it sparks a new wave of detective action, and that Daniel Craig lives beyond Bond, and that Bautista is doing blockbusters like this now, Norton is great as always, and stuntwoman Zoe? Wasn't expecting to see her here either!

This is a treat in so many ways. I don't think I need say more, just give it a shot. You won't be disappointed. It's movies like this movies were made for. Delighting, surprising, wholesome, dramatic, stylish, FUN. They save no expense, yet they don't go overboard either. What a ride. What a run. Feels like magic.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Black Adam (2022)

Black Adam (2022)

DC does it again! They manage to make something so visually amazing... yet so without a soul, with way too much surplus slow-mo and sound, with a breakneck pace that never lets you rest or truly stretch your senses... and they throw a small but versatile cast at you right off the bat with no prior introduction.

For a while I thought it'd be Harley and the squad again.

Yet it was awesome to see Pierce Brosnan as the wizard, and The Rock as Adam even more so, and the whirlwind sidekick was a breath of fresh air. The atom smasher looks a biit like Ant-Man and Deadpool combined hmm? And a villain straight out of Hellboy.

Ending was just too predictable... though you do wonder what other superheroes lurk there in the underwater prison.

But enough about them! The Rock.

He's a bit too quick to catch up on catchphrases isn't he? And a bit devoid of personality at times. And with certain mannerisms that remind you more of the mab than the hero... but for the most part he WAS hella great.

Loved the early skateboarding music too. Loved the kid, and the mom.

It's a blast, and the visuals really are a treat, yet it's also easily forgettable. It could've been twice as long. No room for characters to grow and settle. No Oscar-worthy emotional outbursts. Too rapidfire and quick witted - leaching off the Marvel formula but not fully managing.

That's what it feels like, to me.

They may have been the originators but this... feels somewhat sub-par.

Once upon a time... They really had this under lock. The perfect formula for a superhero movie.

Also feel like fall CGI in particular looks off. The angles are messy. The motion's messy. The slow-mo breaks fights, and makes it more of a visual demo. They have a killer cast though, and great engineers with both props and artistry.

They could do so much more with what they have. And the cold-blooded Rhikes is unnecessary to this story.

All that said: Still can't wait for the sequel.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Night At The Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again (2022)

Night At The Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again (2022)

Same Shift, Different Night. - Love the tagline!

Disney's got some good things going on again.

I'd heard the business was in a risky state of being lately. Finances not great see. But with movies like this it seems they still have a gold on the mainstream. Still a golden a taste see.

This was great. Adventurous, fun, with an animated style that feels both expressive and comical in nature - but in a good way. Everyone's eyes are round and open and innocent to the world in a way. Only the bad guys have a bit more slanted ones. or are there exceptions...? Not sure, but the protagonist do have lively eyes. It's a nice style.

The story follows Nick - son of the previous watchman in a magic museum where the statues and exhibits come to life at night - who's dealing with certain issues of confidence, but gets the chance to take over his dad's job for the summer, and of course the first night turns into a grand adventure! a potentially end-of-the-world type one, but... well I shan't spoil it. Go watch it.

It's both feelgood and exciting, with a suitable villain and sidekick - they're nefarious in a cartoonish kind of way, and definitely add to the excitement, but without making anything feel overly violent and dark.

The Night At The Museum movies all have that effect really. They reel you in. They're adventurous and imaginative, and the very idea of exhibits coming to life as soon as you're not watching them, like they were frozen in time only for a moment... it's a nice one. It breathes life in your imagination too.

Good fun. It's a little simple and predictable sometimes, but I don't mind. They've paced it well, and the cast is one masterful weave of varied but noble individuals gathered through the ages.

I was expecting a live-action movie here btw, and was originally a little disappointed it was animated but... it doesn't disappoint AT ALL after all.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

Detective Knight: Redemption (2022)

Detective Knight: Redemption (2022)

Bruce Willis is back at it again! I'm a little baffled, since he does speak, and seems to speak decently when he does. Why not more lines? Why can't they piece together something that seems like a natural conversation? If he has difficulties they manage to hide them well, but it does halt the flow of conversation sometimes. It feels like one of the things this movie lacks: proper dialog.

The other part is believable pace and script. Like how did Conlan not have a better safeguard for the family? Why did he let his B-team get busted if he overheard the conversation? It's a little disappointing they bring back the one guy from the dead - who was clearly shot to death in the last movie - just so he can die again. It's a little disappointing we don't see the female detective again at the end too, and hear her redeemed opinion on Knight as well. It's a little disappointing the vault of the 1% wasn't a little bit bigger too...

It started so promising, but leaves off unfortunately disappointing. Again. Like with the latter it feels like it could've built to a better showdown considering how brutal the intro was, but alas it's more like a TV soap opera after all. I'm still happy to see Bruce Willis, and it's nice things all work in the end, but wholesomeness of this movie...?

Not 100%.

 rated 3/5: not bad

The Creator (2023)

The Creator (2023)

What makes us human? Is AI really a threat? Is it the thing that will save us? Are they intentionally portraying USA as the ultimate evil here - or are they highlighting the human error? That just like how the original catastrophe was started in error - so is the reason we keep fighting. That maybe we could resolve all our wars if we just set our differences aside and changed the way we see the world...

These are questions that swirled through my mind after I've watched this... though I didn't really have time to let them circulate properly since I saw Avgrunden right after - at the cinema too - and it was equally jostling. Well maybe not equally, but similarly. I'm glad they're starting to let good characters die. I mean I'm not glad, but it amplifies the sadness so much. When some of the ones you become the most attached to meet such an untimely demise. When you don't expect it, especially. I mean maybe after a while you start suspecting but... you still wonder if by some miracle chance they won't scrape by and make it unscathed after all.

This ain't the eighties though huh? Things are different now. Things are deep. Things are tragic. Things are real.

The sci-fi world they paint up here feels strangely real too. Both special effects and sets are impeccable - I can't remember the last time I saw a movie that starred sceneries that weren't real to the extent this one does and still managed to make them look good! And I mean they REALLY look good. They don't hide things either. You see all. They went all out with the CGI. Reminds me a little of Alita: Battle Angel. Though wasn't that one animated... partially, was it...? Gotta get back.

I'm also reminded of Elysium. Great movie too if you haven't seen it - and not so similar you won't enjoy both - and notice the similarities between them when you have. There's a similar theme of self-sacrifice for one. But also the great thing up in the cloud. With Alita, too.

Another thing to praise and highlight: the soundtrack. Like the music that plays when they're embarking on their mission, to find Maya, and the ultimate weapon? God damn man. It's otherworldly. I don't recognize the language. I don't know if that just makes it better. It's alien and futuristic in the best possible way.

The characters don't always speak English either. And they don't ALWAYS translate - even if the do have those handy tools to automatically translate key items. And that's real. And futuristic. And the design of some of the other tech they use...

This movie blew me away for real. It reignited the sci-fi realm in my book. It refreshed my interest for the genre.

It came with such a turbulent and potent mix of emotions too that I... think I need some time to process it all.

Plus the backstory itself is pretty damn interesting! And intriguing. And relevant. And every single notable character has such a strong persona and/or memorable appearance. AND they managed to make those flashbacks in the beginning so real! I'm impressed with that too. Not just with the filters but with the actors they chose there too. How they articulated speeches and commercials. How perfectly everyone and everything seems selected for their roles.

Both the premise and structures here are bigger than life on so many levels. Whenever I feel like I'm starting to fall into critique mode and notice inconsistencies or scruples with the script they blow me away again with the designs, or the unexpected comedy, or strength of character, or raw punch of emotion that makes me tear up and lose my direction of critique...

Best sci-fi movie in a while! Maybe one of the best ever. I can't wait till I forget this enough to give it another watch and see if I still stand by it - cause this was grand.

What an experience. It excels in any way I can articulate it.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

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