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The King's Speech (2010)

The King's Speech (2010)

Here's the story of King George VI, initially the Duke of York, his speech problems, his improbable therapist, his rise to reign, and their overcoming.

It's a true story, and a simple tale, but they make the most of it. Colin Firth takes on the role of King - with a commendable stutter, and Geoffrey Rush the one and only Lionel Logue, who starts out a mere mortal but ends up closer to the throne than most. There's also Helena Bonham Carter, the Queen, and they paint a picture of the monarchy as I wish it was: passionate, compassionate, and with great responsibility.

They're a charming cast - mostly the king and his therapist, and the story itself was way more emotional than I'd expected. It starts off a bit slow, at a packed stadium, with a speech that George just cannot call forth no matter how much he wants to. There's no rush during those moments of awkward speechlessness, and both frustration and pity are clear as air, so after all the trials and tribulations with the odd, unconventional, inconvenient and sometimes totally preposterous practice methods Lionel devices, there's no greater victory than the slow, but unwavering speech the King delivers at the very end, when Great Britain has just declared war on Hitler and the world stands on the brink of war.

The entire movie prepares for that one speech, and I guess I should have prepared too, because it was a teary moment. The acting's impeccable, as are the sceneries and script. It feels authentic. It feels difficult. I started fearing I'd develop a stutter too. Wonder how easy it was for Colin to move out of the role, and speak normally? How did he do it? Did he share the fear?

There's no action, but there is tension, and drama. There's no romance, but there is affection. There's some comedy. There's character. There are nuances. I feel like seeing this I'm discovering what qualities don't exist in the ferocious; fast-paced flicks I usually do like to watch, and how they can make even a story as devoid of physical drama as this so worth watching. All the fine-tuned components that make up a good movie.

The king's speech: you really ought to hear it! It was pretty inspiring.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Next (2007)

Next (2007)

A Las Vegas magician who can see into the future is pursued by FBI agents seeking to use his abilities to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack.

That's the basis! There's fancy magic tricks, there's action, there's tricks of the trade, and time and mind, and there's a girl.

In the words of the wise: I'm a not a huge Nichalas Cage fan but... and I think the same goes for Jessica Biel. Neither's an incredible actor, but they've got the charm and intensity. They're easy in any role they get, and they play these convincingly. The CGI is crap, but it's a good story, and I like the characters.

It's the second time I watch it, and unfortunately it's one of those movies where the surprises enhance the plot, but even with the plot made clear it's not a bad movie. First time's special, though.

It's an action thriller with plenty of deja vu and romance, but not all too cheesy-like. It feels like the typical Nichalas Cage type of movie, though maybe these are just the types of movies I usually watch, and he just happens to be in a lot of them. Not bad at all.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Assassin's Creed (2016)

Assassin's Creed (2016)

A movie for the video game with the same name? You know how these movies usually turn out right? Usually... not all that good.

Though I've never played the game with the same name, I think you could say the same thing about this one. I have a hard time believing this is what the game is really all about. It seems to play with the narrative of the game from a more 'modern' perspective, like half the movie takes place outside the game - looking into the game, and though it's an interesting approach it also takes away from the first-person perspective.

You don't relate as much. You're outside the loop. It's like the main character's just living someone else's life until the end, and when it really begins... it's over. Too much time's spent in the machine - on delving into the past, and too little on the present.

People say (at least one good buddy does) that Michael Fassbender never disappoints, but even if he is intense I don't feel like he's the right person for this role. He doesn't have the moves. The fighting choreography feels fake and stylized. The motions between real, and DNA (fake), feels... well, fake.

The whole movie has a somewhat saturated and fuzzy tone, like they tried to emulate the graphics from the game, and I wish they hadn't.

The plot and style remind of Tomb Raider a bit (Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, discovering he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society), but without the comedy to contrast the darker moments, without clarity and good character, and with that sort of sci-fi haze that seems to stay through the entire film.... it's not as good as Tomb Raider at all.

As far as games turned to movies goes that's one of few titles that did it right. This did have it's moments: certain characters, the old, and the ending twist... but it's not enough. It just wasn't done the right way.

 rated 2/5: decent

The Hollow Point (2016)

The Hollow Point (2016)

Here's a regular, small-town, country-side action thriller. Dark and gritty. About a guy, and a girl, and a whole lot more. In a small town. Out in nowhere. Near the border of Mexico.

It didn't seem all that special at first, but it felt authentic, kept the tension all the way till the end, and provided some surprises along the way. I didn't expect the main character would have his hand chopped off, for one.

In the end I guess it was a bit more than ordinary after all, in all it's ordinary, messy but orderly fashion. An action thriller with a few skeletons in the closet and plenty of gun smoke. Well-choreographed, well-filmed, heartless... with a spark. Apart from a few memorable scenes it wasn't all that (memorable), but not bad.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Midnight Special (2016)

Midnight Special (2016)

This is probably the best modernization of the Christian angle I've seen so far! A boy, with special powers, who one day sees a world above our own to which be belongs... that's the simple summary of it, but the way they present it is pretty amazing, as is the chase. It's cryptic, serious, full of love (the parental kind), and sometimes psychedelic background music, but it's also amazing. A movie unlike others. It's special, and the twist is it's all but midnight! (I like the suggestive cover too.)

It's not all action, and not all religion, but it's an inspiring, ambiguous and promising mixture between the two. A new breed of sci-fi with a religious branch, like a human E.T. It's down-to-Earth and alien all at the same time. You'll probably take it differently depending on what you believe, but whichever way you take it it's something new. Nicely done.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Blue Lagoon 2 - Return To The Blue Lagoon (1991)

Blue Lagoon 2 - Return To The Blue Lagoon (1991)

I watched The Blue Lagoon a while ago, and discovered during my thorough Googling on potential ending theories (did they die or didn't they?) that there was actually a sequel! So I watched it, of course.

If you found the ambiguous ending in the previous inspiring you'd better avoid this. If you liked the previous and don't want it to lose it's magic you'd better avoid this too. If you didn't like the previous you probably won't like this either, because it's pretty much the same thing, only now there's a mother with the kids instead of an old sea dog, and one of them just so happens to be a survivor from the prequel. You could say it's the Black Lagoon Legacy.

Compared to the previous this one isn't all that dark, and the sense of isolation feels further off. The characters (a boy and a girl, of course) grow up and go through puberty similarly to the pair in the previous movie, but they do their best to switch things up a bit.

It's not bad, and the sceneries are as beautiful and exotic as they were before, but the mystery isn't there anymore, and the love feels a bit shallow... or forced. The mood's not the same. The magic's gone. It does have a more conclusive ending, a bout of action, and a few twists over the old as well as a message relevant to our our modern time... but it's not the same, even though it feels like that's all it tries to be, and maybe it tries to cut off all lose ends and explain things too much, because when it's over there's really nothing left.

The indigenous people. The bad guys. The good guys. Marriage. Death. Family. Everything's in black and white now, and mapped out so clearly there's nothing left to the imagination. No uncertain white blotches beyond our character territory. It's an exploited tropical paradise now.

It's like both sequel and remake in one, and if you've ever watched either one or the other you'll know neither sequels nor remakes tend to be better than the original. If you were content with that one, feel free to leave this one be. Apart from a young Milla Jovovich and Brian Krause you're not missing anything particular.

 rated 3/5: not bad
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