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MacGruber (2010)

MacGruber (2010)

Former special operative MacGruber is called back into action to take down his arch-enemy, Dieter Von Cunth, who's in possession of a nuclear warhead and bent on destroying Washington, D.C.

SNL comedy gold right here, and apparently the last legit Saturday Night Live feature film. After a couple blockbusters and a lot of movies that didn't do so well (this one almost broke even on box office revenue) it seems they might've decided to close shop with these. For shame...

I think I watched this one back in the day too, but I had no idea then that it was a movie spurred by a collection of skits. I had no idea who Will Forte was. SNL was an at the time a maybe seen but if so unrecognized abbreviation of which the implications to me were not known.

I went into this with an older mind now and way more background knowledge thereof, and just like with Popstar (Are SNL features back? New studio? Standalone production?) you appreciate it all the more when you know who's in it!

Though that applies to everything. Of course. The more background the better. Usually.

Anyhow: Unfortunately this movie suffers slightly from the too-much-hype-in-beginning-of-movie syndrome, they build it up depressingly well, and though I know that's a part of the comedy it's still a disappointment when the rest doesn't maintain standard. Though it does get better again, eventually, and it ends well.

If you've seen the sketches you'll appreciate the bomb scene in particular, and MacCruber's relation to Vicky, and all those things, but overall... I'm not totally sold. It's fun, but it's not as fun as I expected it to be.

In the end I feel the sketches had more of that. They were all the more ferocious with the limited time allowed for each, whereas this one spans a whole movie... span, and it feels like they have to drag things out a little as to fill the duration thereof.

I didn't think Ryan Phillippe would really do the celery thing though! Wonder if he joined in the movie voluntarily or no. And getting people like Val Kilmer, Power Boothe and Chris Jericho involved, not to mention SNL icons like Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig sure amplify your expectations. And the number plate thing. I love how far they took that.

Good watch, just overall not as good as I hoped. Could they have had a bit more explosions? A bit more action? Been a bit more like a Machete of comedy, maybe? Maybe that'd have been more as I expected?

But it definitely was a blast, with a limited but solid cast.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

If you've ever listened to The Lonely Island you might want to see this!

Samberg and the boys got together and made a movie! About a pop star's career that spirals out of control, a test of friendship and ultimately a catapult back to the top... though that's where it stops.

It was great. It was crazy - as you'd expect, but not too much so, and the various famous people cameos are all the more entertaining when you know their prior collaborations and connections, like Timberlake the carrot chopper, and Bolton the show stopper at the end.

I'm not sure I really prefer the fake documentary form over a real fictional movie with the same story though, and though they had a few really catchy tunes I also wish they'd had more. Feels like they did have room.

The attention to detail's great, it has its moments (that flamethrower scene comes to mind) and comes across a thorough watch, but not the most ferocious; not as musical as I expected considering their track record...

I wish they'd upped it just a little.

Watching promo material and cut scenes before this I feel like they missed some good material. it could've all been here.

Can't knock their attention to detail though, and the message:
friendship over all.

It ends well, and was fun to see, just not as amazing as I hoped it'd be.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Popstar (2005)

Popstar (2005)

A teenage girl's life gets turned upside down when a new school friend turns out to be a pop star.

It's a little cheesy, it's a little easy, the main girl looks way older than the boy she's dating and I'm not really the right audience for this movie at all but... it ain't all bad.

Janitor spitting facts. People falling in love. Learned a new term: testophobia! It really is a real thing, not just a real thing in the movie! Which enhances the realness of an otherwise not-all-that-real-seeming movie. There's a phobia for everything huh.

In the end it's superficial and simple but feelgood, from an era where everything just looked so bright and warm and friendly. How far have we gone from these early twothousands? Not bad.

 rated 3/5: not bad

And yes btw that is Aaron Carter.

Birds Of Prey (2020)

Birds Of Prey (2020)

The trailer might've been totally misleading, but the movie? Hell yeah.

Harley seems a bit different here. A bit softer. She talks and acts a bit differently too, and I try to feel like it's a new side of her, but it feels more like she sometimes just moves outside her role a bit.

But then we have things like the dock scene with the grenade, and the rollerskate (not blade) chase, and all sorts of awesomeness that leave you hoping for a sequel... and appreciating the prequel to ditto if so. Of course.

It might not have the same level of wittiness as the Marvel movies do, but it's got a good kind of crazy, good fight choreography - even if they sometimes try a bit more than they can handle with the collaborative ones (like how you can see Harley clearly wobbling on the skates in the background while Canary beats up bad guys), good personas, and just a satisfying tale of revenge, and breaking free, and all that shizzle at once.

This is female empowerment done right. Doesn't belittle anyone, even if all the bad guys happen to be just that. Guys. Not that 'guys' seems to be gender-specific these days anyway. But anyway. Just goes all out.

Nice work DC.

These Gotham tales lately are getting pretty fun to follow.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Conspiracy (2008)

Conspiracy (2008)

Val Kilmer gets to play out his most unresponsive face ever in a movie with a somewhat generalizing and cliche name considering it's really a captivating tale of vengeance and justice, and the final showdown left me in a dilemma when I reached it, as I really had to go to bed and get up early for work but could barely leave this for another day... when was I last that captivated by a fight that hadn't even started?

It takes a while to build, and I doubt Kilmer's acting capabilities for the longest time (didn't realize it was him!), but when you get into this for real then there's no stopping it. Good ol' Western vibe too, but with a modern twist, and Gary Cole plays a convincing - albeit maybe not overly strong and emotional - villain.

I guess the movie is like that too. It's great, all the way, just never so overly strong or emotional it stands out as much as it maybe should.

There's a very stylistic; sensual bedroom bit in the beginning too. And a well-deserved nod to the consequences of PTSD. And war overall. The motives. The everything behind it. It's got good things going for it from the start, and it builds up nicely.

They just took it a bit further than they needed to with the title.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Tokyo Raiders (2000)

Tokyo Raiders (2000)

Spy movie a la Hong Kong be here!

I've spent so many days watching through this one that it's getting pretty stupid at this point. Think I started on it about three months back, and have had sporadic catch-up sessions since - whenever time allowed. Since when did I ever have this little time in a month?! (That was last month btw.)

It's not an amazing movie really, but it's a feelgood one if you want to escape a bit, with the occasional good fight - especially in the beginning, and a little romance action love story drama that never gets all that serious or dramatic even when it has potential to.

I like the gadgets (diesel-driven skateboards?!). I like the locales (more so in the beginning too - did they start running out of budget towards the end?), but though it keeps you watching it feels like it misses the mark when it comes to both the tension and the relation. It doesn't delve deep enough. Maybe it doesn't move fast enough. The highway chase was on the verge of making it all feel pretty intense but then... it didn't after all.

Missed opportunities in all areas, traditional music mixed with techno that doesn't always do the best to build the mood, I assume a little budgetary restriction and an end that doesn't feel all that satisfying... not to mention a bit too much slow and shaky camera work. But it has its moments, and a charismatic cast, and Hong Kong!

Ain't so bad after all.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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