Monday, December 25, 2017

Bright (2017)

Few months ago I saw trailer which reminded more than little Shadowrun. Shadowrun is role playing game series in science fiction/cyberpunk world with magic and fantasy races like elfs and orcs. Similarity to Shadowrun peaked my interest. Trailer didn't look that bad.

Bright is not related to Shadowrun. It just uses fantasy races and magic in different genre as Shadowrun does. This is about dirty cops and two police officers having really bad night. And magic and fantasy races of course. I am not sure if I liked it because it is similar to Shadowrun or was bit disappointed because it wasn't as good as Shadowrun. This is last time I mention Shadowrun in this review.

Bright has little tone problem. It has moments of grittiness but it isn't gritty enough. In first act movie shows police violence and racism. It hits you in the head with them. After first twist these are dropped completely. Movie becomes two police officers and elf trying to survive the night. There were reasons to tone down racism angle but not forgetting it almost completely. It wasn't only thing totally forgotten.

Movie expects sequel. It introduces groups and people only to forget them and it forgets to introduce some concepts. Somethings just happen without us being given any head up or reason why they happened. I enjoyed the movie for the most parts. There were even great moment. Bright looked like great movie at one put but then something happened. I can't say what in spoiler free review but you can probably guess at which point I thought this was great movie only to be disappointed moments later.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (spoiler review)

If video is not show you can find it here.

This is spoiler review. You can find my spoiler free review from here.

Original plan was to make spoiler free video review last week. It would have required me do shoot and edit during night and get very little sleep. Spoiler review makes more sense in long run. That is why spoiler review. I know another camera looses focus few times. I don't know why it does that. There isn't anything interesting besides my head in shot. Next time I will use smaller aperture.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

This is spoiler free review. Spoiler review will come Thursday.

The Last Jedi is best Star Wars movie since original trilogy. Right after the movie I wasn't sure if I would put it before Return of the Jedi. After some time to think I say it is not on level of Return of the Jedi. It has too much problems. Main ones being there is too much from Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi which makes it have too much content. It is too much like Star Wars fan film. Unlike The Force Awakens this has something of its own.

I will get to too much content part in spoiler review. Explaining what I mean requires spoilers. Story follows bit too much of Empire Strikes Back. It even brings some of the Empire's problems. Getting into that in spoiler review.

I liked what was new and different from earlier movies. Rose was great addition to main cast. Her introduction was one of the best scenes of the movie. Heroes making errors was fresh addition. Usually in this kind of movies heroes can do nothing wrong. It made movie more interesting when you knew they could fail. Few jokes could have been dropped. They made it movie feel too much like parody of Star Wars.

The Last Jedi goes bit too much of epic route. It would have been epic with less epic scenes. Some scenes lose impact they needed because there were too many epic scenes. John Williams' music saves most scenes but too much was too much even for one of the greatest film composers. Some scenes worked only because of John Williams' music.

The Last Jedi gives you everything you expect from Star Wars movie. It could have been on level of Empire Strikes Back if it didn't give everything you expect from Star Wars movie. It is still enjoyable movie. It will probably be best of the new trilogy JJ Abrams will return for next one. His work with existing franchises have been copying old material with minor changes. Sometimes making things worse in process. The Last Jedi left everything open for something new. Thanks to JJ Abrams I expect next movie to return to same old.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Let's Be Evil (2016)

Terrible name. Interesting premise. Doesn't work. Somewhere along creative process the point was lost. Premise is much more interesting than what we got. I might be painting too bad picture but I didn't like how movie ended without answering anything. The whole story was there to showcase what director can do and ending was "It was me all along Austin" level disappointment. There were moments when movie looked like it started to work but then all hope was taken away.

Let's Be Evil follows three young adult caretakers in top secret underground facility. Facility tries to unblock intellectual potential of its child subjects. Inhabitants of the facility have to wear augmented reality glasses all the time to see anything. Once movie enters the facility everything is seen through augmented reality glasses. There were couple scenes where writers understood what potential this setting had but there were only those couple moments. Which makes me think they were lucky those times.

Highly intelligent children taking control of high tech facility was clever idea. Making these kids physical threat to adults wasn't. It made big dramatic scenes look ridiculous. Showing everything through augmented reality glasses made movie look like video game. I though that was point and it would pay off. Movie never used the fact everything characters saw was augmented reality. There was one point where it look like it used but I guess that was mistake. Augmented reality glasses were there as cameras and on plot wise their only function was to let characters see in facility.

I wanted to like this because of the premise but this was horror movie in science fiction setting. Science fiction movie with horror elements would have worked better for me at least. As it is movie drops interesting science fiction concepts to use its time creating horror elements with visuals and audio.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Space Truckers (1996)

Space Truckers has really boring name and quite low IMDB score. I was bit interested but not enough to watch it before this. It is low budget scifi movie about one independent space trucker. Movie is mix of comedy with some action and horror elements. It looks like average low budget scifi movie at first. Until half way point it is that with some clever bits. When action starts it start to work better.

Space Truckers have better world building than story arc. Story arc is quite simple story of space trucker, his love interest and youmg space trucker taking mysterious cargo to Earth. It is enough to make us care and take movie to different places. Those places and characters there make movie interesting. Main arch is pretty lighthearted. World where it happens is not. It is really dark world where little people try to manage somehow.

I would put this somewhere along Outland (1981) as a lower key science fiction movies. Unlike serious Outland this is lighthearted action comedy but both have this same unspectacular science fiction feel. Science fiction isn't about big visuals and grand space battles. Worth checking for any science fiction fan.