Thursday, September 3, 2015

August 2015 Update

Sorry I missed posting for July, I saw too many movies, and as a result was too busy to post anything.  The main highlights however were Spy and finally getting around to watching the complete and awesome Rambo films. 

Below are my movie watchings for August. I have supplied bite-sized reviews for new films, and quick ratings for older ones. The ratings are based on a 5-Star system.
I hope you enjoy!

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Oddly paced for the last act, but it pays off in a stealthier and classier way than the previous films. This fifth entry piggybacks off of the cartoony fun of the fourth, but injects more mystery and a strong female character who adds a nice balance of gravitas. We still get the Tom Cruise stunts, the nearly impossibly planned out missions, the cool spy gadgets, and still stays true to its spy genre origins (like the first film). To keep you on the edge of your seat, the action is visceral and varied throughout. The opening Evel Knievel stunt, a physically impressive brawl, the cat & mouse opera scene, an ugly yet intense underwater heist, an outstanding extended vehicular chase, and a stealthy and shadowy final chase. 

Straight Outta Compton
Sublimely entertaining for the first 2 acts, but it tends to drag on in Biopic Boredom Land for the last set. A half-hour's worth of 'beefs' could have been tightened up, and would result in a more even and well-rounded story. Nevertheless, there is no denying the power of this film and the freshness it gives to the 'artists rising and falling from fame' stories. The depiction of NWA's upwards climb and their success is a fantastic whirlwind of energy present in every scene, every dialogue quip, and in the editing (again, for the first 2 thirds). Taking advantage of glorifying each integral step in their career, the director even delivers 'hero shots' when they are in the recording studio. A must see if you can handle the language, and a film made with true love and care for its subject.

Fantastic Four
A pretty normal and on-par origin story for the first hour and 20 mins, and then you realize there's only 15 mins left and nothing has happened but ponderous intrigue. There had been so much bad buzz around the production of this movie over the past year, and aside from some silly writing, I saw nothing worse than any other conventional superhero movie. With the notable exception that there had been ZERO action. Then in the final section of the movie, it seems as though the studio hacked apart what would've been a 2nd hour, into a 15 minute haberdashery. Everything and nothing happens. It's as if the studio wanted to cut making the film altogether and slapped together a lame first & final confrontation fight with some terrible denouement dialogue to put a cork in it. A complete failure that is a fascinating example of how a studio production can fall apart.

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932) 2
Lolita (1962) 3.5
What's Up Doc? (1972) 2.5
The Maze Runner (2014) 2.5
The Dead Lands (2014) 3
Two Days, One Night (2014) 4.5
Creep (2015) 3

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