Monday, 26 June 2017

Alien vs. Predator (2004)

Genres

Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

Director

Paul W.S. Anderson

Countries

USA, UK, Italy, Canada

Cast

Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Raoul ova, Ewen Bremner, Colin Salmon, Tommy Flanagan, Joseph Rye, Agathe de La Boulaye, Carsten Norgaard, Liz May Brice, Glenn Conroy, Karima Adebibe, Sam Troughton, Ian Whyte, Tom Woodruff Jr., Petr Jakl, Pavel Bezdek, Kieran Bew, Carsten Voigt, Jan Filipensky, Adrian Bouchet, Eoin McCarthy, Andy Lucas

Storyline

During an archaeological expedition on an island in the Antarctic Ocean, a team of archaeologists and scientists find themselves caught up in a battle between two alien races, aliens and predators. 

Opinion

It could have been worse. That's what I kept telling myself as the ending credits for Alien vs. Predator rolled out. Sure, it could have been better considering it's and Alien and Predator crossover, but despite all its flaws it still was fun to watch. 

And I'm really surprised because this film it's kind of a mess. The plot is uninspired and there are so many holes it's impossible to keep count. Wait, actually I'm not even sure this film has a plot. So no plot no holes I guess. Anyway, it's just terrible.

The characters aren't any better. They are paper-thin, uninteresting, stupid and they soon become boring as fuck. The character development is so little, they are dead and you barely know their names. I remember only two names, Lex  - because of Lex Luthor - and Sebastian - because I've never met or heard of any Italian named Sebastian. And the wooden acting surely doesn't help. 

However, he most surprising thing, script-wise, is the dialogue. The two franchises kind of have good dialogue; here it's just a mess. If feels like watching a parody of a sci-fi flick, that's how bad the dialogue is.

But it was fun. Well, at least the last part was. After a very long and tedious first part with the annoying humans, the aliens and predators show up, killing humans and each other, and the fun begins. The action sequences and special effects aren't anything special - they are average - but if compared with the rest of the film they really are great, and they make the watch more bearable. And although it's just your typical action flick action, it's fun. 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

The Boss Baby (2017)

Genres

Animation, Comedy

Director

Tom McGrath

Country

USA

Voice Cast

Alec Baldwin, Miles Bakshi, Steve Buscemi, Tobey Maguire, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Conrad Vernon, James McGrath, David Soren, Nina Zoe Bakshi, Tom McGrath, Walt Dohrn, James Ryan, Eric Bell Jr., ViviAnn Yee, Edie Mirman

Storyline

The life of seven-year-old Tim Templeton (Miles Bakshi) was all peaches until his new brother names Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) arrived home in a taxi, wearing a wearing and carrying a briefcase and stole his parents' attention. The two instantly hate each other but they'll have to put aside their rivalry as it turns out Boss Baby is a spy on a secret mission and needs Tim's help.

Opinion

I've seen The Boss Baby's trailer like a million times and it didn't appeal me a bit. Which is crazy because now that I've given the film a chance, it isn't half bad. Actually, and I'm kinda embarrassed to admit this, I really enjoyed it. Probably more than I should have.

What I liked the most about it was the story. It is simple and predictable as in any other kid/family film, and it does get a bit ridiculous (the villain creates a puppy that never dies so that people will buy one instead of having a kid. But if people don't have kids anymore, everyone is eventually going to die, so who's gonna buy the puppies?) but at least it's different and original. And it's also engaging interesting and funny.

Which brings me to the characters. They are likeable and fun and they have some development. And easily stealing the show is Boss Baby. He is the coolest and cutest baby I've ever seen - and I'm no baby lover -, and what makes him so good is Alec Baldwin. Yes, Alec Baldwin voices a baby and he does a fantastic job with his sarcastic delivery. The villain isn't a very strong character but he's voiced by Steve Buscemi which is awesome.

There aren't a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, but the film still has enough humour to appeal kids and adults - I'm still amazed by how much fun I had watching this. The vivid and colourful animation is also worthy of a mention, and I regret not seeing this in cinemas in 3D. 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Miss Evers' Boys (1997)

Genre

Drama

Director

Joseph Sargent

Country

USA

Cast

Alfre Woodard, Laurence Fishburne, Craig Sheffer, Joe Morton, Obba Babatundé, Ossie Davis, E.G. Marshall

Storyline

When she is chosen to work with doctors on a federally found program to treat syphilis in African Americans, nurse Eunice Evers (Alfre Woodard) is more than happy to help. Over time, however, the study becomes a sick and twisted human experimentation in which patients are denied a cure and just allowed to die.

Opinion

When I read about Miss Evers' Boys on Dell's post, I was shocked. I just couldn't believe something like this happened and I wanted to know more about the matter, so I promised I would watch it. And so did I and it is a very good film.

The film gives a "beautiful" insight into the experiments most people don't know about and gives a good view of how things were back then, The powerful story Joseph Sargent brought to the (small) screen is engaging, appealing and quite moving. Also great is the choice to tell the story through a Senate hearing and from the point of view of Eunice Evers, the nurse who helped in the study that eventually became a twisted experimentation.

At times, however, it feels like telling a dark part of American history isn't really what the filmmakers are trying to do. It almost feels like they are defending Miss Evers's for what she did. I mean, she basically betrayed her people, and she did something she knew was wrong and yet she defended the completion of the experiment. Still, she had a purpose for doing so, she wanted to prove that there is no difference between black and white men, and that's exactly what she did. And I think it's her purpose that makes you sympathize with her character in spite of what she has done (and before you say anything, I'm not blaming her for what happened; I'm blaming the US government because they did this, and they knew it was wrong and inhuman, otherwise President Clinton would have never apologized, but they did it anyway). 

The aspect of Miss Evers' Boys that surprised me the most is the acting. I sure wasn't expecting such good performances in a TV movie, but I guess that's what you get when you have Alfre Woodard leading and Laurence Fishburne and Joe Morton supporting her. These three give such great performances, especially Woodard. 

Friday, 23 June 2017

Eloise (2017)

Genre

Horror

Director

Robert Legato

Country

USA

Cast

Eliza Dushku, Robert Patrick, Chace Crawford, Brandon T. Jackson, Nicole Forester, P. J. Bryne, Ricky Wayne

Storyline

Four (almost) friends break into an abandoned insane asylum in search of a death certificate which will grant one of them a large inheritance. However, finding it soon becomes the least of their worries.

Opinion

Why do I always let myself condition by a pretty face? If it wasn't for Chace Crawford on whom I have a crush on since Gossip Girl, I would have never seen this film. Sorry, I meant this pathetic thing that pretends to be a horror film, but that really looks like a series of disjointed videos put together by some student for a high school project. 

There isn't a single aspect of Eloise that makes sense, starting from the story. The plot is illogical, plenty of loose ends, plot holes as big as Lunar craters - I could write a whole post talking only about those holes if I wanted to -, it's impossible to follow and equally impossible to understand. In other words, it's not a story.

But a number of horror films without a solid story, well, it's plenty out there of those horrors. Despite that lack, some still manage to be decent if not good movies. Of course, that's not Eloise's case. There isn't a single scary thing here - probably the filmmakers forgot that's a quality requested in films of this genre -, there isn't any tension or suspense, There isn't a disturbing scene in the whole thing. 

The acting, however, is in line with most horrors, it's truly horrifying especially from Eliza Dushku and Chace Crawford who are as bland as water. And the poorly written and so not developed characters sure didn't help. 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: The Woods


Hello there, it's Thursday Movie Picks's time, the weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves where you share three movies to fit the theme of the week each Thursday.

It's probably because they are kind of scary and mysterious, the fact is that in movies woods get along with horrors. That's why I picked three films involving the woods that are not horrors. 

A Walk in the Woods (2015)

It follows an old travel writer as he decides to hike the Appalachian Trail. I watched this because there's Robert Redford, but it's a waste of time. This is a slapstick film that isn't even funny. Although true, the story feels flat and lacks credibility; the characters aren't that interesting and Nick Nolte's is utterly annoying.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

When a rebellious kid and his foster uncle go missing the New Zealand bush, it's ordered a national manhunt because everyone thinks the uncle kidnapped the kid. It's hard to put down in words how much I love this film. It's charming, funny, entertaining and probably the best adventure film I've ever seen. It's got great characters, it explores themes such as mourning and loss without being heavy, it's beautiful to look at and the cast is great too.

Into the Woods (2014)

The tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel are tied together by a couple cursed by a witch. It kinda sounds like a mess, but it's a pretty solid musical that puts a good twist on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Too bad there's Johnny Depp playing a drunk pirate disguised as a pervert wolf.