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Contract To Kill (2016)

Contract To Kill (2016)

It's another Steven Seagal movie! With a bit too much backstory explained via too much dialog, and way too much trying-to-look-cool without doing all that much of value.

I'm starting to recognize that as maybe the main reason Steven Seagal's B-movies are exactly that: B-movies.

Maybe the problem isn't the dialog though. The problem is they're always standing or sitting still during the dialog, and there's just too much dialog. Lack of motion? Too much. Even when they don't speak they're usually waiting, sitting, standing, panning or moving in slow-mo.

There's nothing wrong with the action, or the quality, but those parts are drawn out and superficial too, and all of this is why it's a B-movie.

They dove in deep with regard to the script, and yet that drone should've been an immediate giveaway too. Inconsistencies and 'lack-of-authenticity's.

Those aren't all that A either.

I do commend them on the lack of special effects and such stuff that fucks up so many a modern movie these days, but the superficial level of cool, the occasional misstep, and the massive plotting: there's just too much.

Maybe this would do better as a book than as a movie.

 rated 2/5: decent

Movie Rating Times

I'm almost a professional reviewer at this point, right? I feel that way sometimes.

I feel that in how sometimes I'm just so overly critical even of movies that I enjoy, like I have to give them a worse score just because they don't have the groundwork that movies with higher scores should require. The effects are bad. The acting sucks. I still love them but I'm a professional reviewer now so how can I not take those notable flaws into consideration, too?

Then again I'm probably rating movies with way more bias than the average critic is, and that's the one point I pride myself in with regard to all this reviewing stuff. That I'm not stooping to stereotypes and norms. That I don't care if a movie's on a budget or no, as long as it's enjoyable, and yet lately it seems more often than not I come across a movie with a HUGE budget, and I love it, and critics are cracking down on it HARD.

Has everyone become me? Is everyone opting for Indie movies, propagating what's artsy and abstract, rather than what's explosive and awesome - something that used to be a B-movie trait but now seems to be a blockbuster one?

How can you not appreciate that too?

My impressions compared to other people seem to keep clashing whether I want them to or not, but I used to feel good that they clashed when I was up-rating the underdogs. Now I'm defending the blockbusters instead. Not all but: Aquaman. Need I say more? How can people not like Aquaman?!

It's strange how social norms and movie expectations go in waves like this, where a decade ago people would've looked at Aquaman in awe, if for naught else but the technical prowess with which it was made. The whole thing acted out in harnesses, right? Pretty cool, right?

And no matter how things change I'll probably look back at my reviews a decade from now and not understand why I rated some things like I did. But maybe then I can read this and understand. That I was just being me. And that's what I felt at the time. And maybe the critics will love the movies I love in the future too. Maybe I'll hate the ones they hate. Maybe we'll have a human hive-mind in regard to movie favorisms... or maybe we'll hate everything because it all sucks, but we just don't know it yet. The movies of the future are finna blow our minds... or blow. Simply put.

Guess all I'm saying here is that times change, and we change with them, though considering I haven't mentioned more than one specific title in this post maybe at least this one might be timeless.

The Avengers 4 - Endgame (2019)

The Avengers 4 - Endgame (2019)

So it's time for the one. The finale. The end of the line.

I guess I should've expected that nothing could really compare to the last one though. They had the element of surprise there. Of shock. This one held a boatload of emotions, but it just didn't have the same factor of the unexpected, and Thanos is once again turned into a simple villain, from just recently the inconceivable victor and visionary.

Meanwhile humanity can't adapt. It feeds on hate. On love, too, but hate based on love more so than anything else.

You'd also think that cities with half their inhabitants wouldn't be quite as barren as they were here. It was like the end of the world, basically, and Thor's jelly belly doesn't hold. Not good enough, Marvel! Not good enough!

That said I did enjoy the journey, the epic battle at the end of it all, the twist and turns and bits of comedy, and wisdom, and the wondrous special effects along the way there.

There's really nothing like it. It hit me in the feels time and time again, and nothing more so than the ending... or beginning. One of those. Even if I knew what was coming with the both of them.

So I have mixed views on this movie, and not least because I had incredibly high (albeit a bit hesitant - knowing it'd be hard to match) expectations of it. And I was right - it didn't hold up to my expectations.

I believe that's all mostly because it took the expected route. This is how a movie like this usually ends, and that the last one didn't: that's what really made it stand out. I think that'd still hold true if I watch the previous right after this one.

I feel like I should be noticing more nuances too, but maybe I did; I'm just not coordinated enough to pinpoint them. It was fragmented and predictable, but also an emotional and worthy finale, and those three hours really didn't seem like more than two.

Feels like they could've thrown in another hour and that would've been OK too. So much to tie together. So many personalities. Such an epic battle done in such haste - but then again so much time spent up on tear-eyed meetings and build-up.

And yet I wouldn't have complained had they had some more of those too... it was great. Overall it was all great.

That's gotta be the consensus when it was hella long but still: just not long enough after all. Ain't that how life always is. Always the endgame.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Free Solo (2018)

Free Solo (2018)

Free Soloing doesn't have anything to do with Han Solo if that's what you were thinking. It's about climbing. It's a documentary about Alex Honnold, his attempt to free solo El Capitan, and the exciting times leading up to it. Free soloing: climbing without ropes.

It's an exciting journey but also... scary! They make me realize I really wouldn't be one to take on this particular occupation, though I can see why some do. Not so much for a thrill as for just plain: feeling. Challenge. Fulfillment. At least in Alex case.

I guess it is the thrill after all.

On the flipside it seems like everyone who really becomes passionate about this particular sport ends up dying - and not of old age.

It must require a certain kind of person to choose this route, but here's one of those people. He seems like a pretty humble dude too.

Interesting glimpse... what I wrote when I'd watched the first half of the movie, but after the other half I'm on a whole other plane of appreciation, and inspiration, and fear. Or maybe unease is a better word for it. I feel faint. Awed. Strange.

How does someone ever seek to do such a death-defying thing? How do they persevere? How do you climb a mountain like El Cap without so much as a slip of water, or an extra bag of powder in case you drop it, or most importantly a safety net of some sort.

The final trip really had me on the edge of my seat.

I imagine I get as much a thrill out of watching this as Alex seems to get out of the climb - without having to go to such extremes. But he doesn't seem like a fatalist either. It's just the way life led him, and so he does what he does... and that's what it feels like this movie seeks to explain. And does.

I can't convey it. My words feel wrong. You'd better just watch the movie.

Action movies? Forget that. Documentaries. That's where it's at. When the final music kicked in I didn't know if it was foreboding or not. I didn't read up on the movie beforehand. I didn't know if he was going to live or die. And after the movie was filmed I still don't know... had to Google.

I'll leave the surprise to you, though. It's an intimate, and both inspiring and SCARY display of... I don't know if it's bravery or foolishness, but it's something special. A performance I'll definitely remember.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Alita was so much better than I expected! Early in it felt like a blend between GITS and Elysium, with a little Ready Player One or Wreck-it Ralph in the second phase (in regard to graphics too) - but those came after. Alita's been around. In anime before the movies.

The real world and animated mix together well, and the battles get intense fast as soon as the learning phase is over, but it's not just that. It's emotional. And yet they don't really push it as far as they could have. I'm so happy they kept the FUCK though. So much else was just left out. Potentially unnecessary profanity, and violence, but still. That one word made it feel like it was still free. Kept it true to origins.

The pace was a bit high too - too much to fit in two hours maybe. Feels like they could've easily made it three, and made it epic at the same time.

All the greatest movies seem to be a little bit longer, and when this was over I felt like I wouldn't have minded some more. I hadn't had enough yet. More!

But holy shit, flawed or not this was Ready Player One level stuff on a next level. I left the room feeling... woke. It did something with my emotes.

If you don't have anything against sci-fi - both in plot and visuals - this was straight up fantastic. Could've been one for the memoirs if the ones who steered the budget of it believed in it as much as they should have. But it was still awesome.

Hope there's more on route.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Captain Marvel (2019)

Captain Marvel (2019)

They're back on track again. :) Right back on. Venom left me a little disappointed, but I like where they've picked up. The special effects are top notch and flashy, Brie Larson is great as ever, Samuel Jackson is young again, and Stan Lee's in the intro!

That 'thank you' might've been the most emotional moment of the film. Seriously. So emotional.

The story's about an epic fight between alien nations, about personal development, and about the very foundation of S.H.I.E.L.D. In the old days, when it all started, and as a little bonus there's the story of how Nick Fury lost his eye. Among other things.

As usual Marvel manage to mix their trademark wit and comedy with some pretty epic sci-fi space battle sequences, and there's nothing I can complain about with regard to the cast either, I just wish... that one character (was I thinking of Nick here? I don't know. Never leave a draft lying too long) had a bigger role to play in the Marvel Universe. Who knows. Maybe he will.

And maybe Monica's daughter actually did build that ship too. I guess we'll see in the sequels.

It feels like this will all tie in with the rest of the universe in a good way.

Overall I loved this, but that said there are some almost unsuitably Star Wars-like chases in the midst, and one particular flight scene (the first encounter with that alien race) where the Transformer effects were way out of style. Small things like that.

Actually that's an annoyingly huge thing considering the beginning of the movie had me impressed not just with the visuals but the sound design too. But maybe they rushed some bits of this after all. Maybe they do have their hands full with this whole character-building universe expansion they're doing right now before the Endgame. Maybe.

I still love it though. Big fan of Brie too, if I didn't mention that. I'm both dreading and looking forward to where she'll lead the battle in the great finale that now looms. Soon. The time is soon.

Marvel's Wonder Woman: way cooler.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

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