Kong: Skull Island Review

Grades:

1 Star: Horrible! This movie makes me want to quit watching movies.

2 stars: An OK movie that could’ve been good, but it was sunk by some major flaws.

3 stars: A good movie that just misses being great.

4 stars: A can’t miss movie, a movie that you need to see.

Some movies are bad and some are good. There is no in-between. They are either good or bad. This makes it simple to review movies, but it’s those movies that are in the middle that make it hard to review movies. Kong: Skull Island is one of those. Sure, it has some good creatures, special effects and one character you can like, but the rest of the movie is a mess. The rest of the characters suck, the story is bland, and the directing is mediocre at best. That is why this movie is so frustrating. This could have been a great movie, but we got a mixed bag instead. Let’s get into the review.

The acting:

I know monster movies aren’t known for their acting, but there are ways to act in them without effecting the movie. That strikes Kong: Skull Island out. Samuel L. Jackson’s acting is too over the top, Tom Hiddleston is boring, he looks like he is reading off of a badly written q-card, and John Goodman just grunts and yells his way through the movie. OK, there is one decent performance. That would be Brie Larson, who does a decent job of making you feel for her character Mason. You don’t want her to get crushed by the monsters. The rest of the characters, you can’t wait for Kong to squash them so he can put you out of your misery dealing with these downright annoying characters.

Directing:

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts isn’t without talent. Some shots are very well done, but he is very inconsistent. Some of the action scenes are well done. He does a good job of keeping the camera focused on the characters, but he does too many unnecessary cuts that make Michael Bay look like Orson Wells. The giant spider scene is a perfect example of this. When our “heroes” try to tangle with the spider. Some of the angles make it hard to know what is going on in the context of the scene. You want to scream at the screen and tell the director to focus the camera. Some scenes that should’ve been on the spider were on the humans, and vice versa. The final fight in the movie is well done, but the overuse of slow motion is a bit of a distraction. See what I mean? This movie is so frustrating! They can’t keep the consistency.

Screenplay:

This movie had four writers, think about that. That should tell you why this movie was a mess. The writers, Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly, and John Gatins are like the movie itself, a mixed bag. Some scenes that try to come off a dramatic, come off as goofy, and the story is so paper thin. I wish some depth would’ve been added to make it more interesting. Also, whoever wrote the scene that King Kong should have a stare down with Samuel L. Jackson, needs to work at Pizza Hut instead. Never mind, if their pizza making skills are as half baked as their writing skills, then we would all get sick from under-cooked pizza. The writers don’t know how to balance action, with character development. Good action movies know how to do that. Even 2014’s Godzilla did a very good job at balancing character and action. This one relies too much on the monsters and not enough on the characters to carry the movie.

Characters:

Typical military characters who don’t have a lot of depth. The best character (Mason), isn’t a great character, but she does give you one person to root for. The difference between a mediocre special effect movie like this and a great one like Aliens is in Aliens you still remember the characters, (Ripley, Newt, Hicks, Hudson, Apone and more). Special effects shouldn’t overshadow the characters, they should help propel the story and the characters.

Flaws:

Were to begin! The forgettable characters, the silly dialogue, wooden acting, and wasteful story bring down the one good character, a few decent action scenes, and the cool looking monsters. This movie is a complete mess. It is worse than a bad movie, it is a frustrating movie. I would rather spend twenty four hours lost in the Forrest being chased by bugs (I have a phobia of bugs) with no map or compass. That would be less frustrating than watching this movie again.

Final Thoughts:

This movie is so frustrating that it made me want to stop watching it and go watch Fox News! Kong: Skull Island could’ve been a great movie, but most of the characters, bland story and inconsistent directing make this movie a chore to watch. There are some good scenes in the movie, but there are too many bad scenes that hurt the movie. Some action scenes are thrilling and the monsters look very impressive, but no amount of cool monsters can make up for the huge flaws of this movie. Go watch Godzilla 2014 instead. The end credits of that movie are more thrilling than anything in this mess of a movie. Kong deserves better and so do we.

My grade: 2 stars

500 Bucks For PS5?

There is a rumor going around that Review Tech USA did a video on. There is a rumor that the PS5 will cost 500 bucks when it comes out. This is a rumor, so we do not know if it’s true, but if it is, then the PS5 will cost 500 bucks. It seems like Sony is getting too arrogant, and they think they can do whatever they want. This is more anti-consumerism from Sony. Will you buy a PS5 if it is 500 bucks? I will put the links to the video and articles where this comes from.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wYd0MQS9SA

Links: https://comicbook.com/gaming/2019/04/15/ps5-playstation-5-price-release-date-specs/


https://money.cnn.com/2006/05/08/technology/ps3_pricing/

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.animatedtimes.com/rumor-playstation-5-price-leaks-and-it-aint-cheap/

BTW, the image is NOT what the PS5 looks like, they are only guessing. It is a mock up of what it might look like.

Review: My Dinner With Andre

Grades

1 Star: Help! Save me from this crap!

2 Stars: It’s an OK movie that could’ve been better, but it was sunk by some major flaws.

3 Stars: A good movie that works, but isn’t quiet great.

4 Stars: A winner. A real triumph of cinema, a movie you need to see.

If you are a fan of Michael Bay movies, stay far away from this movie. My Dinner With Andre is NOT for you! The slow cuts focus on character and no special effects will bore you to tears. For the rest of us though. (real cinema buffs), you will find this movie fascinating. This review is about a wonderful movie that time has forgotten among the masses. I hope this humble review will bring in some new viewers for this wonderful movie that is in my top fifty movies of all time.

The Story

The story is as simple as a story can be. Wally goes to dinner so he can meet a colleague of his Andre, (hence the name of the movie). When Wally arrives at the restaurant, he informed that Andre will be late, so Wally takes a seat waiting for Andre to show up and soon Andre joins him and that is the story. No shocking twist, or plot development. Just a simple, but the wonderful conversation about two friends who try to figure out, what is life. The dialogue is what propels the story, which. Does the story work in the context of the film? Does the mini-series of the Shinning suck more than a black hole? Yep.

Directing

The directing is perfect. Louis Malle takes the minimalist approach. Thank God for that! He lets the characters talk and holds shots for minutes at a time. Malle doesn’t try to do any tricks like some directors do, (McG, please watch this movie and learn that cameras do not need to shake and do fancy tricks every five seconds to tell a good story). By letting the camera focus on the characters and the restaurant, Malle creates a wonderful sense of calmness that makes us feel like we are there with Wally and Andre having dinner with them. The details are so clean and crisp, you want to clean a plate anytime someone eats off of it. Malle should’ve gotten an Oscar-nominated for his wonderful work.

Characters

Wally and Andre are great characters. We get to learn about them through dialogue and wowzers is it wonderful dialogue. Wally and Andre are so interesting, you could listen to them talk for hours. Wally is hopeful about life, whereas Andre seems to be the more cynical of the two. Then you find out why Andre is more cynical, and another layer is added to each mesmerizing character. The performances are spot on. No one breaks character and the actors do not try to upstage each other. They just let it flow and it works to perfection.

Writing

Here is probably the strongest suit of this wonderful movie. The writing. The brilliant screenplay was written with so much love and care by the two main actors Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory, it makes the movie so enjoyable to watch. I think they knew that since most of this movie is spent on the dinner listening to these two talk If they weren’t fascinating, or if the conversations they were having were not intriguing, then the whole movie would have sunk. Thank goodness it didn’t. The writing is sharp, on point and philosophical at times. The deep conversations these two tackle make most movies look lightweight by comparison, (cough Green Book). I have a cough. I just got out some bull crap dialogue from a movie that didn’t even have one meaningful conversation. In this movie though, I was enthralled by every word that came out of both of these brilliant actors mouths. This should have won best screenplay hands down.

Flaws

No movie is perfect, and neither is this movie. I think the voice over went on a little too long for my taste. I understand why they put it in the movie, but I think at a certain point, they should’ve stopped. Also, I think a couple of shots should’ve been held for a little longer. It seemed like the person talking was cut off a little too soon, but it is hardly noticeable. That is all I can find in the flaws of this movie. This is close to a perfect movie.

Final Verdict

This is one of my favorite movies of all time. The clean direction, focused story, brilliant writing, and fascinating characters make this one of the best movies I have ever seen. Some people may find it a bit talky, but not me. The time went by so fast, I didn’t even realize the movie was coming to an end until it was over. I cannot recommend this movie enough. If you want something quiet, (we all need that, even from good special effects action pictures), then My Dinner With Andre is for you. A grand slam of a winner.

My grade: 4 stars!

Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker

Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewie, 3PO and BB8 are ready for battle!

Finally! The first teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode 9 has been released! I think the trailer is epic and sets the tone for the upcoming movie very well. The title of the movie is The Rise of Skywalker. This is a very intriguing name that raises a lot of questions. I am gonna give a few guesses as to what the title means.

  • Luke comes back. I know it sounds crazy, but in this trilogy, the force is becoming more powerful and who is to say that Luke cannot come back. Yoda was able to hit Luke with his staff in The Last Jedi. Who’s say that Luke cannot find a way to come back and help the Resistance put an end to the First Order, that’s a possibility.
  • Ray is a Skywalker, oh I know in TLJ, Kylo told Rey that her parents were losers and they didn’t mean anything. Here is the thing, Kylo is EVIL! Who’s to say he wasn’t lying to Rey just so she would feel vulnerable and lost. He wanted to pray on her weakness, so she would join him. Here is a question though, is she Luke’s daughter? I doubt it, she could be, but she could be a Skywalker who we haven’t heard of or seen in a Star Wars movie in awhile. Remember Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru? She maybe a Skywalker, but not Luke or Leia’s offspring.
  • Maybe the Rise of Skywalker simply means the Rise of the Resistance. Luke’s revenge on Kylo and Snoke for trying to destroy what he holds dear. I know, that one sounds the least likely, but you never know.

I only got three theories, but at least I hope it gives you some insight on why Episode 9 is called The Rise of Skywalker. There is only eight months left before the movie opens, so we don’t have too much longer to find out. I will put the trailer below. Remember, if it ain’t no good, it stinks!

Link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adzYW5DZoWs


The Killing of a Sacred Deer: Review

Grades for reviews

1 star: A horrible movie that is best forgotten. Take a shower to feel clean after experiencing this crap.

2 stars: An ok movie brought down by some glaring flaws. An ok product that isn’t terrible, but it isn’t good or great either.

3 stars: A good movie, it may not blow you away, but you’ll like it. Just don’t expect it to blow you away.

4 stars: An excellent experience that you shouldn’t miss. Even with a few minor flaws, this is something you need to experience. You will not regret it.

If you want to see a movie that lifts your spirits, makes you want to jump for joy or go running into the streets hugging everyone you meet, well, here is some bad news for ya. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is NOT one of those movies. This is not a movie that will make you feel good after watching it. However, you will feel like you just watched a great movie. Sometimes we need a movie that teaches us a lesson, even if we don’t think we need it.

The Story:

The story starts off innocent. Steven is a surgeon who meets a young boy named Martin who seems to look up to Dr. Murphy, but things get dark. How dark? You have no idea. This movie can make Titanic look like an episode of Blues Clues. The story does a good job of not sacrificing the integrity of the subject matter. You know how some movies (Hello Get Out), will cop out at the last second just to make the audience happy and feel safe? This movie doesn’t do that. Just when you think, “They won’t, they can’t, they did.” This movie pulls no punches. The story also has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.

The Characters:

Both Anna and Steven are relatable characters, which makes it easy to care about them. They don’t look like your typical Hollywood couple either. Nicole Kidman, (who is one of the most beautiful women in the world), goes mostly make-up free and it helps make Anna look like your regular working mom instead of a Victoria Secret model. Steven is a nice family man, Colin Ferrell brings humanity to a character who can be a bit cold at times. Martin could’ve used a little more fleshing out, but his character does drive the story and Barry Keoghan does a fantastic job playing Martin with restraint and that makes him an unforgettable character. The main 3 characters have some depth to them making them better than the regular cliche characters.

Directing:

Do you know who Yorgos Lanthimos is? Don’t feel alone if you don’t. He hasn’t done a lot of big movies. He has done a very polarizing film called Lobster, (which I haven’t seen yet, but I will soon) if this movie is anything to go by, he is a very good filmmaker. Most of the time in horror movies, the camera is kept close, this makes the scares easy to do since you are only seeing what the character sees. But, a few movies such as the Shinning, will use wide angles. Lanthimos does this as well. He uses wide angles brilliantly and it doesn’t take away from the scares. He does a good job with timing and there aren’t any cheap jump scares THANK GOD! Those are way overused and Lanthimos goes for more mental scares with some visceral scares. A lot of the scares are in your head and this makes it all the more terrifying. He also holds shots for a long time. It is no secret that a lot of modern movies love to use quick cuts. Don’t get me wrong, quick cuts can be effective, but some directors (COUGH, Michael Bay), overuse them! Lanthimos doesn’t. Most of the shots are held and this gives scenes a chance to develop and you get to see some great acting from the principal actors.

Screenplay:

The screenplay is very well written. Lorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou did a great job of avoiding some of the cliches in the story. The pacing is a little slow, but not in a bad way. This is meant to build a solid foundation for the characters and you will feel for their pain and suffering. Great job on not overstuffing the plot with twists just for the sake of surprises, but it knows when to bring an extra element to the story to keep it interesting. I would have given this brilliant screenplay a nomination for best screenplay. It’s a shame that it didn’t get one.

Flaws:

This movie isn’t without its flaws. The biggest flaw is the misuse of music. Oh my God! Some of the music is so loud in scenes that didn’t need it. It is so loud that a heavy metal concert called and complained about the noise. This takes a little away from a few scenes that would’ve been much more effective with subtle use of music. Another flaw is Lanthimos holds on a shot a little too long. Steven is performing heart surgery and the shot stays on the heart WAY too long. This 10-second shot is turned into a 2-minute one and it gets a little distracting. I wish some characters got more screen time. One of Steven’s best friends and Murphy’s kids could have used more screen time. Lastly, there is a hole in the plot. It isn’t that bad, but you wish the writers would’ve explained one scene more. I don’t want to give it away, but it makes you wish the writers had given more information on how this was happening.

Final thoughts:

The Killing of a Sacred Dear is one of the best thrillers I’ve seen in a long time. The stirring performances, engaging plot and incredible direction (how did Lanthimos not get an Oscar nomination)? Will keep you wanting to watch it. In a landscape of cookie-cutter thrillers and play it safe dramas. The Killing of a Sacred Dear goes big and bold with a dark story that doesn’t compromise its premise or the audience’s intelligence. If this is what Lanthimos can do, I want to see more! His knowledge of movies and love of art shines through. If you love good movies, you’ll love this terrific, horrifying and thoughtful thriller.

Review: 4 stars!