Review : A Star is Born

“A musician helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.”

There are three things here to really explain what this movie is. The first thing is the directing. Cooper himself directs this movie, and what a job he does here. He really makes great use of camera motivation and the way he blocks out his scenes, that you really do become enveloped in the story. The story here isn’t even a new one as this is the fourth telling more or less of this tale, but they modernize and make the story here so much more relatable to a 2018 audience that it still feels fresh enough. The second thing is the acting. Cooper and Gaga are both simply stunning, they’re both totally turned on and on their game throughout this entire movie. Their performances are really so well nuanced and detailed, that allows them to carry so much of the chemistry and emotion that this movie needs to really work as it should. The supporting cast is also very good, when they need to stand out and shine they really do, and those small moments just add to everything, and let Cooper or Gaga take a back seat in some scenes, which makes you just appreciate them more when they are back in the spotlight. The third thing is the music. I don’t think anyone will be surprised to know just how good Gaga sounds and her vocal ability, but the sound editing and mixing is done in such a way that you really get a better understanding for what great singing is, and why it’s special. They also do a really great job of compiling some great songs here, that would stand on their own as great songs, so they lend even more authenticity to this movie. There genuinely isn’t much of anything wrong with this movie, I guess if you don’t getting some feels thrown at you, you might like it less, but the quality here is really good no matter what. All in all, this fourth incarnation of A Star is Born really delivers on what it promised.

Review Score : 9.5 out of 10

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Review : Venom

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“When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life.”

Hmmmmmm, this is a tricky one. So Venom, as a movie, really goes for it, while trying to keep its hands clean. This movie starts at a really break neck pace, to try and get all its setup done and established as quick as possible so we can get into the fun stuff, and thats all great, but it also means a lot of this movie is going to be very surface level. That being said, what you end up getting is a movie you can really view two ways. In one way, you can just take it as it comes and try to enjoy the none stop ride here, or you can look and hope for something deeper and probably be disappointed. Venom does look the best he’s ever looked here, and its genuinely nice to see him look so comic accurate in both his size, movement and powerset, and you do get a lot of screen time for him here. If I had to pick my real main gripe with this movie though, its that anytime they create characters like Venom, they don’t fully consider what the end result of the movie will be, when all you’re going to get is yet another CGI smash fest, that doesn’t feel fulfilling at all. Even the way that final fight ends, it comes off so anti-climatic to me, where I felt like the peddle to the metal style of the film set me up for a much more visceral and exciting ending. All in all, I feel like Venom in this current form has the best chance to make some money and earn itself more movies, but I’m not sure how the hardcore fans will feel about this one.

Review Score : 7 out of 10

(Also definitely wait till the very end, you won’t be disappointed.)

Review : Night School

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“A group of troublemakers are forced to attend night school in hope that they’ll pass the GED exam to finish high school.”

At this point, there’s more or less a formula to these kinds of movies, especially when we get this repeat pairings like Hart and Packer. In that way, this movie is more or less exactly what you probably expect from it, and thats good and bad. On the one hand its really hard for these kinds of movie to surprise you, but on the other hand, you know you’re probably guaranteed a certain amount of laughs, and those laughs are here. This movie definitely has some good comedic moments, especially from Romany Malco, but the film around it is really pretty average. Thats really the story here, an average movie, with a decent amount of laughs, that are going to be more or less depending on how you feel about this style of humour and the cast here, because they all play it pretty safe with their comedy for the most part. The directing is nothing special, and there isn’t really too much of a stand out moment or moments, but you can enjoy yourself watching this movie especially if you have your expectations in check. All in all, Night School is one those average comedies that if you like the talent attached you will have fun with it, if not, you might need to go with a group to have as much fun with it as possible.

Review Score : 6 out of 10

Review : The Predator

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“When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal hunters’ return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.”

The Predator is a direct sequel to the previous predator movies that have come before it, or at least the ones that don’t also involve xenomorphes. This movie takes the super hunters into some residential territory that they have been seen in before and they also add some new little tricks to the predator arsenal. This movie though is a really major departure from those movies. This franchise started as a real horror and survival movie, and fast forward to 2018, and this movie is basically an action comedy. There is some of the classic blood and gore we expect from a movie like this jokes, but this is a Shane Black movie, and he brings the things he usually does this movie also. The only difference this time is that to me at least, a lot of the jokes don’t work for me, and they fall flat, when I’m used to his humour being so much more sharp and on point. It really makes this movie feel kind of disjointed. One minute its all blood and guts and predator action, the next its all fun and games (and cunnilingus jokes), and those make this feel like different movies at different times. Then theres the actually here, which to be honest, is full of holes, but I wouldn’t even had minded if I felt like I knew what this movie was really trying to accomplish. All in all, The Predator is the 2018 attempt at making what studios think we want to see (and by that I mean make the most money), and all we get is a really average movie with a name and some characters we know already.

Review Score : 5 out of 10

Review : Kin

“Chased by a vengeful criminal, the feds and a gang of otherworldly soldiers, a recently released ex-con, and his adopted teenage brother are forced to go on the run with a weapon of mysterious origin as their only protection.”

In many ways, I think the best way to describe Kin, is to compare it to some other movies. One of those movies is Upgrade. This movie “feels” very much like that movie, in many different ways. On the one hand they both feel like none big studio fare, and they have a real focus for the main cast. They both also have some major science fiction through lines and plot devises they use or draw from. This movie if anything has the one up on Upgrade in terms of acting talent, but it falls short of that high mark in most other ways. The real best way I think to describe this movie is that it’s unfulfilling. So Kin as a narrative definitely has some issues, as it sometimes wants to be one thing, and then at other times, another thing and that can make feel kind of jarring at times or a bit disjointed. It also seems to send some really mixed signals about the actual messages it’s trying to send, all of which distract from the actual A story line, that is probably this movies strongest aspect. I’m not sure what the budget of this movie was, but like upgrade I’m sure it was on the smaller side, but whereas that movie never felt like it was holding back, this movie feels like it really tried to pick its spots of when to use that money, and when not to. All in all, Kin is the kind of movie that will really appeal to people who are fans of a more sci-fi fare, but general movie goers I think will be a bit underwhelmed, and unfulfilled by the way the movie itself ends up.

Review Score: 6.5 out of 10

Incase You Missed It!

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Upgrade :

I have to say, Blumhouse has does it again. There is honestly no other studio right now, that is doing more, with less money, than Blumhouse productions. This movie was made for 5 million dollars, and there really isn’t anywhere in it where you could be like, yeah I see where they cut some corners there. Baring the money they would have saved on the cast (in payment not talent), this is one of the best uses of 5 million that I’ve seen in the cinema in a really long time.

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Upgrade tells the story of a man who gets into an accident and has his entire life changed through injury and other circumstances that eventually lead him to trying an new experimental program to regain control of his life. That being said, even where this movie can be a bit of something we’ve seen before, everything about this movie is done so originally and so well executed that it totally makes up for any possible lack of originality in any of the story aspects. It also does manage to hold some cards close to its chest and keep some things secret till the end.

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One of the biggest ways in which this movie makes it mark and carves its own path is in its visuals, and thats not just about how the movie looks. A perfect examples is the way the swiftness and precision of the camera changes the more he changes. When things have to be very mechanical, so is the camera, when things needs to be really human, the camera also emphasises that. In many ways it becomes its own character and one that really helps to tell the story of this movie without adding an extra layer of exposition.

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Upgrade is a really smart and really well done movie. It cuts all the fat, and manages to make what really is technically a small movie, into one that didn’t feel restricted at all. A great combination of acting, directing, editing and even score, Upgrade really punches above its weight and shows why creators need to be given a chance to execute their visions.

Review : The Happytime Murders

“When the puppet cast of an ’80s children’s TV show begin to get murdered one by one, a disgraced LAPD detective-turned-private eye puppet takes on the case.”

The Happytime Murders, is one of those movies that’s going to have a great appeal, to a really small subset of movie goers. If you’re in that set, there’s is a lot of entertainment to be had here, if you aren’t, you’re not going to have the best time. Everything about this movie hinges on how much you buy into it, it’s all about just how ridiculous you can be and accept. And trust me when I say, this movie is very ridiculous, and it goes there from the very start, till the very end. It also has some genuinely very funny moments, but again they mostly depend on if this brand of humor is something you like, and not something you think is just stupid. That’s also not to say that a lot of this isn’t stupid, but stupid doesn’t have to mean or be bad, it’s just not for everyone. That is probably the best way to describe this movie, it’s not for everyone. Puppet sex, puppet drug use, murder, language, it’s all here, and none of it is held back in the slightest. And it shouldn’t be, this movie knows what it is, and it plays that up to the fullest. It’s not going to break any ground as far as comedies go, but it would be a breath of fresh air to those who haven’t seen a movie like this in a long time. This may well one day go down in the same cult classic way that a movie like Who Framed Roger Rabbit did, but only time will time how well it ages.

Review Score : 6 out of 10