Film Reviews - what have you seen lately, what did you think?

Detroitgator

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The Equalizer 3 (2023) <Netflix>

IMDB: Robert McCall finds himself at home in Southern Italy but he discovers his friends are under the control of local crime bosses. As events turn deadly, McCall knows what he has to do: become his friends' protector by taking on the mafia.

TLB: Stars Denzel Washington, and while Dakota Fanning also gets headline her role is supporting (she is the only other well known name). If you know the core story line and come here looking for another cool guy kicking ass flick...meh. If you find watching subtitles for a half-in-Italian movie is a nice change of pace, they have you covered (I'm fine with subs). I did not realize until afterwards that this was intended to be a trilogy, and this the final chapter. I was a bit put off throughout by Denzel being older, slower, facial expression of a post-stroke victim. I wasn't sure if that was the actor getting old, or him portraying an aging McCall character - either way, it detracted from the desired kick ass role. Along those lines, fight sequences and any action are much more muted than they would be for a standard film, much less for an 'action' film.

Final: Ok, if you want to finish the trilogy. Don't watch as a stand-alone - not that you miss much, as the story does mostly stand on it's own, but it kinda sucks as a stand alone film as opposed to being part of the arc. 6.5/10
Watched it last night and I agree with you. It actually could have been a REALLY good movie... beautiful scenery/filming, and really good actors except for the over the top bad guy, but it just wasn't quite there. For me, it also felt a little too much like I was watching a not as good version of The American (which I really like, and is based on one of the best written books/use of English language I've ever read).
 

Spectator

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Brad Pitt is in Daytona for a few weeks filming. One of the GTD cars this weekend will be a movie car. The film is not yet titled, its about F1 racing, produced by F1 driver Lewis Hamilton.
 

TLB

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Chronicle (2012) <Netflix>

IMDB: Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery underground. Soon they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.

TLB: We start with a high school senior, loner guy, who buys a camera to video his everyday happenings (to include his dad beating the crap out of him, and his time with dying mother). Add in his cousin, only real social contact he has but the cousin is just 'normal' and average. One of the cousin's friends is a football star and running for class president. This mixed bag trio go to a party at an abandoned place, discover a hole in the ground, and go explore. They find some massive gem like object pulsing underground and it gives them powers.

As we follow them exploring these powers, our loner starts flipping out thinking he may be the next evolution of mankind whereas his two buddies are more about goofing around with it and keeping it quiet. Things do spin out of hand and lead to a final battle among them.

Special effects are very 2012 - good for it's time with CGI, but dated today. Characters are ok, but not deep...nothing is real top notch quality, but we do have a slightly novel take on super powers. They do end the film with some reconciliation, and allude to a sequel which to date hasn't been made, and likely won't be made. Filming alternates a lot initially between normal film mode vs blair witch angle with the loner's camera, somethings that seeds the film title 'Chronicle' but isn't maintained throughout nor is it a real significant point (though it is brought back up at the end).

Final: Ok to kill some time, but there's a lot better out there to spend time on. 4.5/10
 

TLB

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Them (2021) <Netflix>

IMDB: Humans live in a comfortable dream that repeats itself. They control the dream. They were humans once too. Some humans wake up, most don't. Daniel wakes to be told that things could be different. Daniel believes it. For a while at least.

TLB: I've only quit on 2-3 films in my life. Maybe I'll make it back to finish this at some point where I feel I should be punished for something I did. 2/3 of the way thru, it is incredibly slow, boring, sparse dialogue to help convey wtf is going on or why. Lemme point to this review from IMDB that kinda sums it up:

Powered through it
I powered through the movie and came here to find out what it was about. No one seems to know, not even those who made it. At least some actors were employed for a while...well, I hope they got paid something.

I also hope that this "movie" doesn't hinder their acting careers in the long run. I imagine they won't list it or if they do, some may assume it's a reference to infinitely better works by the same name.

Right now, I'm trying to convince myself that the people died and became watchers of the human race. It seems that's literally all they did....watch. It was like watching water boil and about as interesting.

Final: 0.5/10 'nuff said
 

TheDouglas78

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Five Nights at Freddy's (2023)

IMDB: A troubled security guard begins working at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. During his first night on the job, he realizes that the night shift won't be so easy to get through. Pretty soon he will unveil what actually happened at Freddy's.

Fuch this was dumb. The game was at least atmospheric and tense, this was just fuching stupid. They tried to mix so many different diverging plots to try to make some kind of story, but none of the characters were likable. The plot or attempt there is was boring. Not to spoil anything too much, but a lot of the plot is about child abduction. The game it is based on is about murdering animatronics in like a Chuckie Cheese restaurant. Which is plays off of some, but the majority of the movie has nothing to do with it. It should have been scary at least a little bit, but it was a complete missed opportunity.

Final: 1/10 (no boobs, ass, etc....)


To see a better version of this movie watch Nic Cages Willy's Wonderland.
 

wrpgator

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1944
A 2015 WW2 film about Estonians conscripted into the German army (foreign units that is), and into the Red Army of the Soviet Union.
Both sides had some who volunteered.

Most solders have little regard for either side and find themselves in brutal but reluctant combat against their fellow citizens as Germany occupied Estonia until the Red Army pushed them out, late 1944.

This is an Estonian production and they treat the Soviets in a more brutal light as they no doubt remember the watchful eyes of the always suspicious, murderous NKVD. Production is excellent and the battle footage is brutally realistic (unlike much of Hollywood fare). The dubbing in English is probably the weak point, but overall this film is very good.
 
Last edited:

Detroitgator

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1944
A 2015 WW2 film about Estonians conscripted into the German army (foreign units that is), and into the Red Army of the Soviet Union.
Both sides had some who volunteered.

Most solders have little regard for either side and find themselves in brutal but reluctant combat against their fellow citizens as Germany occupied Estonia until the Red Army pushed them out, late 1944.

This is an Estonian production and they treat the Soviets in a more brutal light as they no doubt remember the watchful eyes of the always suspicious, murderous NKVD. Production is excellent and the battle footage is brutally realistic (unlike much of Hollywood fare). The dubbing in English is probably the weak point, but overall this film is very good.
I really liked it. Try Come and See for brutal, T-34 or White Tiger (and a few others) for “fun.” The Baltics and Russians have made a bunch that are worth a watch.

I prefer subtitles to dubbing for most because yes, the dubbing is bad/corny
 

wrpgator

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I really liked it. Try Come and See for brutal, T-34 or White Tiger (and a few others) for “fun.” The Baltics and Russians have made a bunch that are worth a watch.

I prefer subtitles to dubbing for most because yes, the dubbing is bad/corny
Thanks Detroit, I’ll check those out.
 

Detroitgator

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Thanks Detroit, I’ll check those out.
Here's a quick breakdown (my IMDB rule is "anything 6 or higher is usually fairly solid if not good, but schit posters have dragged the rating down:

  • With any Russian/Eastern European movie, remember, you are going to get a healthy dose of propaganda tilted in their direction, no different than Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers or anything we have ever made. The other thing you have to understand in a lot of them is Eastern Orthodox religion has influenced them heavily and they are very superstitious. When I say "Merry Christmas" on the Orthodox day, I add "to my strange and mystical friends!" See White Tiger below.
  • Come and See (Russian, 8.4 on IMDB): this was made in '85 before the collapse. It's a WW II anti-war movie. If you are looking for tons of action, this ain't it. If you are looking for how schitty war and life is in a war, it's a great movie, and a universally accepted classic now.
  • The Last Frontier/The Final Stand (has both titles, Russian, 6.5 IMDB): from 2020 about Russian cadets defending the approaches to Moscow in 1941. This one has a lot of story and action like 1944.
  • T-34 (Russian, 6.8 IMDB): from 2019. About a T-34 crew that is captured by the Germans, then the Germans make them train German tankers on Russian tactic, but they bust loose with their T-34. VERY cool CGI and someone actually did understand tank gunnery with this one.
  • White Tiger (Russian, 6.1 IMDB): from 2012. This is the "strange and mystical" one, but so what. About a T-34 commander haunted by the "White Tiger" tank. If you understand that they are superstitious/mystical Orthodox people, you can just enjoy the movie for what it is.
  • 9th Company (Russian, 7.1 IMDB): from 2005 (Rev told me about this one), not WW II. Follows a group of guys from recruitment through their fighting in Afghanistan.
  • Sisu (Finnish, 6.9 IMDB): from 2022 about an old Finnish soldier who is now a loner prospector in Lapland minding his own business until the Germans fuk with him. Again, suspend reality and factor in mysticism, it gets way over the top Rambo style, but whatevs. :lol:
  • The Cranes are Flying (Russian, 8.3 IMDB): from 1957. Another no action anti-war movie about schitty war, but a good one. No where near as schitty as Come and See, but a good movie.
 

gingerlover

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Five Nights at Freddy's (2023)

IMDB: A troubled security guard begins working at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. During his first night on the job, he realizes that the night shift won't be so easy to get through. Pretty soon he will unveil what actually happened at Freddy's.

Fuch this was dumb. The game was at least atmospheric and tense, this was just fuching stupid. They tried to mix so many different diverging plots to try to make some kind of story, but none of the characters were likable. The plot or attempt there is was boring. Not to spoil anything too much, but a lot of the plot is about child abduction. The game it is based on is about murdering animatronics in like a Chuckie Cheese restaurant. Which is plays off of some, but the majority of the movie has nothing to do with it. It should have been scary at least a little bit, but it was a complete missed opportunity.

Final: 1/10 (no boobs, ass, etc....)


To see a better version of this movie watch Nic Cages Willy's Wonderland.
I feel like they made it for the pre-teen age kids that are a big part of the fan base so everyone could see it. My kid and his friends love this thing. I'm like you and was just like MEH. Only thing cool in my opinion was the practical affects as opposed to CGI
 

wrpgator

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Here's a quick breakdown (my IMDB rule is "anything 6 or higher is usually fairly solid if not good, but schit posters have dragged the rating down:

  • With any Russian/Eastern European movie, remember, you are going to get a healthy dose of propaganda tilted in their direction, no different than Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers or anything we have ever made. The other thing you have to understand in a lot of them is Eastern Orthodox religion has influenced them heavily and they are very superstitious. When I say "Merry Christmas" on the Orthodox day, I add "to my strange and mystical friends!" See White Tiger below.
  • Come and See (Russian, 8.4 on IMDB): this was made in '85 before the collapse. It's a WW II anti-war movie. If you are looking for tons of action, this ain't it. If you are looking for how schitty war and life is in a war, it's a great movie, and a universally accepted classic now.
  • The Last Frontier/The Final Stand (has both titles, Russian, 6.5 IMDB): from 2020 about Russian cadets defending the approaches to Moscow in 1941. This one has a lot of story and action like 1944.
  • T-34 (Russian, 6.8 IMDB): from 2019. About a T-34 crew that is captured by the Germans, then the Germans make them train German tankers on Russian tactic, but they bust loose with their T-34. VERY cool CGI and someone actually did understand tank gunnery with this one.
  • White Tiger (Russian, 6.1 IMDB): from 2012. This is the "strange and mystical" one, but so what. About a T-34 commander haunted by the "White Tiger" tank. If you understand that they are superstitious/mystical Orthodox people, you can just enjoy the movie for what it is.
  • 9th Company (Russian, 7.1 IMDB): from 2005 (Rev told me about this one), not WW II. Follows a group of guys from recruitment through their fighting in Afghanistan.
  • Sisu (Finnish, 6.9 IMDB): from 2022 about an old Finnish soldier who is now a loner prospector in Lapland minding his own business until the Germans fuk with him. Again, suspend reality and factor in mysticism, it gets way over the top Rambo style, but whatevs. :lol:
  • The Cranes are Flying (Russian, 8.3 IMDB): from 1957. Another no action anti-war movie about schitty war, but a good one. No where near as schitty as Come and See, but a good movie.
Thats a great lineup. I have lots to look forward to. Thanks for putting that together Det.
 

TheDouglas78

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I feel like they made it for the pre-teen age kids that are a big part of the fan base so everyone could see it. My kid and his friends love this thing. I'm like you and was just like MEH. Only thing cool in my opinion was the practical affects as opposed to CGI

Check out Willy's Wonderland.... it's Nic Cage with practical effects. It's stupid, but it's Nic Cage being crazy silent Nic cage.
 

Detroitgator

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Lol. I'll put it on the list. My wife already looks at me with scathing eyes when we watch it. We had the "talk" recently so I don't have to fast forward as much.
You might want to watch a YouTube clip privately first… it’s definitely a “how the f is this on tv???”
 

gingerlover

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You might want to watch a YouTube clip privately first… it’s definitely a “how the f is this on tv???”

Holy crap. Yeah hes not there yet, but maybe in a few more years. He's already asking about Family Guy and South Park (watched the Only Fans special last night). I'm like look dude. You're 11 and even though I grew up with a dad that paid no attention to what I watched at 5, there are some things your not there yet on.
 

gingerlover

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A few I have scene over the last few months. Unfortunately nothing very great for the most part.

Lift (Netflix) - Kevin Hart stars. They are international art thieves that steal from people they feel deserve it. Caught by his ex-girlfriend/interpol agent and forced to help stop a terrorist. That's pretty much it and not much other than Hart fulfilling his Netflix contract. Watching him do fighting scenes is something else. 5/10

Finestkind (Paramount +) -
Tommy Lee Jones & Ben Foster. Foster is a fishing boat captain, his half brother is along for part of the story, that is always making bad decisions. Starts out with them having to bail on a boat and even though he claims it was maintenance is blackballed. His sick dad (Jones) asks him to keep his boat going. He of course does something stupid and does something even stupider trying to fix everything. From there is how they deal with it.

None of the characters are likable and they tried to cram in Jenna Ortega since shes the new "it" girl. Not sure why we are supposed to just automatically like people with a Boston accent when they are crappy people. The only thing that sticks out is Jones at the end giving a speech about a fathers love. 5/10

Expend4bles (Free Rental) -
To say this was unnecessary is an understatement. Some of these have been fun, but this one was bad. Should have known when half the guys wouldn't come back and even Sly was absent 70% of the movie. Its was just something for Jason Statham to look cool in. 3/10

Sound of Freedom (Prime) -
Good movie that everyone should know the backstory of. Rough to get through in some parts if your a parent. 7/10

No Hard Feelings (Netflix) -
Outside of seeing Lawrence naked not much to this one. Had 1 or 2 funny parts. 4/10

Gran Turismo (Netflix) -
Actually not a bad movie. Orlando Bloom and David Harbor are the big stars. Based on a guy who wins a video game tournament and gets a chance to become a real F1 driver. Then you actually read the true story and find out he wasn't the first and was average at best when they made it seem like he lit it up in his career. 6/10 but 3/10 after finding out the true history.

Family Plan (Apple +) -
Marky Mark is a former assassin now living the suburban life in hiding. His cover is blown and he takes his family on a spur of the moment to try and buy time before telling them. They fight, they get mad, they help each other, they love each other, etc, etc, etc. Has a few cute moments, but feels like once again someone is just fulfilling a contract. 5/10

Old Man Indiana Jones (Disney +) -
Just kill him off already. The new side girl was absolutely horrible. 3/10

Dumb Money (Netflix) -
Paul Dano and the story of the Gamestop stock thing. Fluffed up but interesting. Nothing ground breaking here either. 5/10
 

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