Monday, April 16, 2018

Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)

DC superheroes have done better on animated movies than in DCEU. Movies like Batman and Harley Quinn show how these characters should be used. Movie has terrible name but it shows how you should use Harley Quinn. Wonder Woman is best DCEU by far. This beats all the other movies. If I had to put movies in order I probably put this even ahead of Wonder Woman. I enjoyed this more.

I complained how Justice League Dark had problems with tone. This too has different tones but it works. Beginning has serious Batman comic book tone. When Harley Quinn joins the movie she takes the main stage. Harley Quinn has crazy juvenile tone with moments of adults' world problems. This works because these tones fight each others when Batman and Harley Quinn try to get upper hand. Movie has only farting scene I can approve. It works because different tones are fighting each other.

This Harley Quinn is more interesting character than one in Suicide Squad. Suicide Squad version was just Joker's crazy girlfriend. This one is still crazy but she has got over Joker and tries to live normal life. It is bit difficult because former super criminals won't be hired to good jobs. She is clever woman who has to work at lower paying jobs. She is still crazy when it is needed. I want to see more of this Harley Quinn.

You can find several reasons to complain. Like musical scene at the middle but it is not that important. Most important is the movie is fun. It is fun to watch. It makes fun of superhero tropes. Batman movie where one of the main characters jokes how Batman and Nightwing (former Robin) doesn't like girls is fun movie.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Justice League Dark (2017)

DC superheroes have done better in animated movies than live action movies. Wonder Woman was exception to this. It is easy to find animated movie which does same thing better than DCEU movie even when those movies haven't been that good. Without Wonder Woman this would have been better than all DCEU movie even when this is not that good movie.

Justice League Dark is based on comic book of same name. There was supernatural version of Justice League led by John Constantine. Movie starts as Justice League movie but soon Batman goes to John Constantine and they join with members of comic book team. I assume story is not from comics because they don't form team. They just hang together. Movie start like Supernatural but when Batman joins rest of the team it gets more of animated DC movies' silliness

Not having consistent tone is biggest problem. Movie has really dark and violent moments but it also has the silliness. Like it needed to have tones of two different superhero teams mixed. Humor doesn't work. It is mostly based on how nobody likes Constantine. Movie relies too much on us liking Constantine. The character didn't work well enough. I didn't know him or others well enough to know who characters are and what they can do. It didn't help story has three different villains. Just pick one and concentrate on introducing characters most of us don't know.

Other problem is some characters look like they have spend all their time at gym and eaten something more than just whey protein. It was distracting. Not everyone was like this but whose few were too much.

I don't know who this movie was made for. Most animated DC movies are aimed for teens. This has some of that tone but it is too violent and dark to be for younger teens. It is too silly to be for adults. It is ok as it is but going more adult territory would have worked better. Movie works best when it goes there.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Psycho-Pass season 1 (2012)

I heard about this on random Facebook conversation. Premise sounded interesting and when I saw first season on sale I had to check it. Psycho-Pass is person's psychological profile which defines persons criminal potential. It is defined by central system called Sibyl. If Psycho-Pass score goes too high person has to go to therapy. If it stays high too long or goes too high person is defined as latent criminal. If you are latent criminal you are treated like real criminal. If score goes high enough you are killed.

Person's whole life is planned by computers which define what they can do based on different scores. Psycho-Pass follows rookie police officer who learns on her first day at job system might not be as fair as she thought. First episode shows series has no problems going really dark, gritty and violent. It is not that all the time but it goes there when story requires it.

Antagonist was like Joker without being insane.He talked like he had deeper message but all was just a game to him. There were times when you could agree with what he was saying. Few moments later he became guy who just wanted to see the world burn. It was shame because premise allowed antagonist to be someone you agree and protagonists being ones you disagree with.

Series had deep characters with individual story arcs. There weren't clear good guys or bad guys unless you count rookie police officer. Even she is not perfect. She is not sure if she is doing the right thing. Series have few strong scenes and good twists. It might be little too much of two almost perfect pretty boys going against each others. It is not the main thing but little less of it would have made this better. But I guess that is something anime is supposed to have.

Psycho-Pass is good science fiction which creates believable world and studies it. I am on fence if anime tropes could have been toned down. Watching best anime you don't think you are watching anime. This reminds from time to time you are watching anime. That is the only complainant I have. You should check this if you like science fiction and cyberpunk even if you don't like anime that much.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Justice League (2017)

I didn't see this in theaters because I have no faith in DCEU at the moment. Now I have seen it. This review has spoilers. If you cared you have already seen this or being spoiled by someone else. There wasn't big unexpected twists anyway. Everyone knew Superman will be back, Justice League will assemble and beat the bad guy in the end. Writers were content to have those happening during the movie. There wasn't much else. Yes it looks good at times but the writing is not at bar. I write this next day after seeing the movie but I have almost forgotten what happened.

There was moment when I wondered why this got so much hate. It was at the beginning when Batman fights parademon at Gotham. It looked interesting. Then Batman calls Alfred by his real name next to criminal who hears the whole discussion. It wasn't only time they used real names before other people. Superheroes have this secret identity thing. That is why they use masks. Calling each others with real names this often makes their identities not so secret in short time.

Steppenwolf is worst villain of all the time. He didn't have any personality. I have no idea what his powers were. He just wanted to destroy earth. He reminded little bit of Sauron from Lord of the Rings movies. Sauron works because he is mysterious. He doesn't say anything. Steppenwolf talks which destroys the character. His voice doesn't suit the looks and words doesn't suit his actions. Everything not Sauron ruined the character.

Story and characters are all over the place. Dialog is terrible at times. Character arcs miss parts where they decided to join the group. Flash doesn't even think when he says he wants to join. I honestly don't remember when or why Cyborg joined. Aquaman joined after they lost their motherbox. He just appears when others fight Steppenwolf. Characters just do things and say words.

Batman's suicide mission at the ending wasn't built at all. He made plan which would have killed him if others had followed his plan. There was no build up Batman being suicidal. Wonder Woman told others to save Batman. Otherwise he would have died fighting group of parademons. This is not my own thinking. Movie says this. I haven't seen anyone else complaining this. Maybe because it was during the best part of the movie.

Ending was best part of the movie because the action worked. I wish I cared about these characters. They worked together and used their powers. Other action scenes worked if you didn't think too much. Amazons had stupid way to shut doors to their motherbox vault. Shutting doors meant six people had to starve to death between closed doors. Two of them got easy way out because they closed door too early and they had to keep the door open long enough to their leader to escape. Then they were crushed under stone door.

Justice League is a mess story and dialog wise. I can understand why Ben Affleck wants to leave after I heard the lines he had to say. Movie looks good and action scenes work mostly. There were couple posing parts which I didn't like. Movie is step up from Batman V Superman but nowhere near to Wonder Woman.

And Henry Cavill's upper lip thing. I noticed it in first shot but not after that. Maybe I had lost interest at that point.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Boogie (2015)

I am not sure is Boogie tries to have some kind of message or is it just ultra macho fantasy. Main character is hitman who doesn't care about anything but money. He is rude and violent. He kills people all the time. Did I mention this was really bloody and violent animation? It makes it easier to disconnect what is happening.

I assume this is based on one of those ultra violent comics. Movie wasn't originally in English. I watched English dubbed version without subtitles which made me miss few texts. But I don't think those made movie different. This is story of best hitman there is when his customer want to use cheaper competitor and he doesn't like that. This is a movie where main character and antagonist kill about 80% of anything living. Our hero kills more than antagonist. This is that kind of movie.

If there is a message it is you shouldn't be around this kind of people. Almost everyone who talks to Boogie or even is near him suffers from it. I think that is too clever for this movie. It was made for ultra macho fantasy with hero who likes violence and does what ever he feels like at the moment. Everyone else is just there for him to abuse.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Death Note (2006-2007)

I was going to tell Death Note (2006-2007) is one of best tv series ever made. But I didn't write this when I was watching the series or right after watching it. I have same problem with J.J. Abrams' work. When I watch his tv series or movies I enjoy them but afterwards I forget why I enjoyed them or what happened in them and don't even want to see them again. Death Note is the same. You want to see what happens next because how the story is told but the story is not that interesting in the end. This has more to tell than Abram's work though.

Death Note tells about notebooks which kill anyone whose name is written in them. One student, Light, founds one and start to kill criminals with it. Soon he gets task force trying to catch him after him. Series becomes mind games between Light and L, the leader of the task force. These mind games are driving force of the story. However they lose impact by the end when characters have to be really stupid to not see what is going on.

Series is bit too long for its own good. Settings change enough in every few episodes to keep the story interesting but you can do it only so many times before it starts to lose impact. Biggest problem was the ending when mind games went too far to be believable. Series has few amazing moments. My favorite was when Light tried find real name of a woman who had information which could get him caught. It happened early on which might be reason it was so impactful.

This was better than Netflix's Death Note but if I feel like watching Death Note I will probably watch Netflix's one because it is shorter. Some people hated it not being like this but I see it as good thing.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Annihilation (2018)

Annihilation is best one of current dumped to Netflix movies. It is shame something like this gets theatrical release only in United States because someone thought this was too clever for general audience. It probably was but it should have given theatrical run other countries too. It looks amazing. I hope one movie festival in Helsinki picks this to their program. I really want to see this on big screen even after seeing it already.

Annihilation is really weird. Some say it is one of the best science fiction movies lately. Being weird is not enough. Director Alex Garland's previous movie Ex Machina is better than Annihilation. There are few others too. Annihilation is close to best science fiction movies. After second viewing I might put it among the best. I wouldn't be surprised if this will become cult classic.

I want to tell as little as possible because story revolves around mystery. If you need reference what to expect you can think mix of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Apocalypse Now, Solaris and Alien movies with all female cast and without too much action. I didn't realize it had all female cast until I watched Red Letter Media's review which pointed it out. Don't worry about all female cast. It doesn't matter. Movie doesn't make it a big point. It isn't even explained why the group contains only females.

Annihilation is almost among best science fiction movies. It had many elements I don't remember seeing before. It looks amazing. But there are couple things which prevent it from being among the best. There were few plot holes and I didn't last moments. I won't spoil last moment. If you have seen the movie you can probably guess why I didn't like it. Those are little things in otherwise great movie.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017)

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming is fifth annual Sharknado movie. I have already reviewed firstsecondthird and fourth movie. First was ok but by the third one they stopped caring. They didn't start caring for this one. They know there will be next movie no matter how bad this one is. This even ends with cliffhanger.

This is first Sharknado movie I hated. It is just 90 minutes of waste of your time but you need to know the ending in case next movie is actually interesting. I will get to the ending. It was only interesting thing and then movie ended. 85 minutes before that was same sharknado bs every sequel have been. This time difference is they reference other movies all the time and get transported from country to country.

Movie starts with Fin and Nova indianajonesing ancient artifact from shark god's temple. This starts global sharknados. Movie becomes series of short cameos one after another before they get killed by sharks. There are no characters. Only people in front of camera saying something before they get killed by sharks. Space between camoes is filled with bad cgi and action. It is just scene after scene. Some scenes are stolen from other movies.

I hated movie before ending but ending made me hate it even more. I might have stopped watching Sharknados after this if this didn't have ending which set interesting premise for next movie. I don't go through everything what happened. Sharknados destroy everything and kill everyone. April dies stopping Sharknados. Only her head is left behind. Fin search around the world other survivors carrying April's head. Adult version of Fin's son Gil comes there with backtothefutured car.

Before I wrote this I could see how next movie could be interesting. I visioned post-apocalyptic movie without constant cameos. But there is time travelling which means they will jump from one place to another. Time travel means they can steal scenes from historical movies not just current movies. Same things I hated in this movie but more of them.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2017)

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is first part of Netflix trilogy. I assume it is collaboration since this was seen in Japanese theaters long before it entered Netflix. In Netflix it is called Godzilla. Mankind has left Earth when they could not stop Godzilla and other monsters. They tried to find new home but they haven't been successful. They come back when one of them has idea how to beat Godzilla.

I liked space part more than fighting Godzilla part. They were refugees desperate to find new planet before they run out of resources. I would have liked to see whole movie or few episodes of longer series of that. When they get back to Earth it is mostly exploring and fighting. All the interesting themes we had in space are forgotten.

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters mix two anime styles together. Monsters look old cgi and almost everything else drawn. I have never seen this works. This is not exception. This is tried every now and then with similar results. It looks too distracting. Second part comes later this year. End credit scenes showed not all human left Earth. There might be something other than fighting in it.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Mute (2018)

Mute was marketed wrong. It was marketed as scifi action movie when almost all action is cut away and story didn't have anything needing to be set in science fiction world. This happens in same world as Moon (2009). Connection to Moon was little footage shown on television couple times. If you didn't pay attention you missed it. I am disappointed movie being so little science fiction. Nowadays you should have strong reactions to everything but I don't hate it. I am only disappointed. Disappointed it not being science fiction.

Protagonist is mute Amish bartender whose girlfriend goes missing. Mute reminds me lot of far eastern crime movies. It could easily happen in Tokio or any another Japanese, Chinese or Korean city. It happens in futuristic Berlin. There are some science fiction technologies but those have no impact on the story.

Mute is like those art movies you go to see at film festivals. It might not be the most entertaining or best ever made but you enjoy it because it is something different. I was disappointed it not being science fiction but I enjoyed it. It should have ended about fifteen minutes before it ended. There was perfect ending point. If this was far eastern movie it would have ended there. It might miss audience who would like it because it was marketed as scifi action movie which it is not.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams (2017)

There was a time when I had all English language movies based Philip K. Dick's texts. There was one with other language which I didn't have. I collected them because even if the movie wasn't that good there was at least interesting story elements in it. Best known of those are Blade Runner and Total Recall. Later more movie adaptions have come with various levels of quality.

Tv series based on Philip K. Dick's text was must see for me and I wasn't disappointed. Like in earlier movie adaptions each episode had at least something interesting in them. There were ten episodes out of which six were really good. Other four not so much. Amazon Prime had them in order where series started and ended strongly. Those not so good one were in middle. Other places have shown episodes in different order.

Order doesn't matter since episodes doesn't have anything to do with each others. Each have different story happening in different worlds with different characters. I would like to see more from worlds of Autofac and The Hood Maker. These episodes had ending which left me wanting to know what happens next and after that.

Unevenness is bit of a problem. Those not so good episodes had something interesting in them but writing didn't support the story and twist was revealed too early. But good ones were really good. You have to solder through only four episodes to get six really good episodes. You might enjoy those episodes I didn't like that much and after two not so good episodes there were always really good episode.

I didn't say anything about the stories because you should see them unspoiled.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

I rarely like science fiction horror movies. Most of them don't get most important thing in writing science fiction. You can do anything but you have to establish rules you follow. If you do that you can make classics like Alien and John Carpenter's The Thing. If you don't you end up being like The Cloverfield Paradox or Event Horizon.

The Cloverfield Paradox wasn't always meant to be Cloverfield movie. Cloverfield was added later for marketing purposes. It is hard to say how much Cloverfield changed the original story. Even harder when you haven't seen first two movies and don't know what Cloverfield actually is.

Spoilers from this point on. Movie tells about space station making experiments. They end up going to alternative universe destroying alternative universe version of the space station and getting one alternative universe character to the space station. All well and good to this point. Them being in alternative universe change all the rules. Alternative universe have same laws of physics but weird things start to happen when story needs them. If writing wasn't so lazy weird things could have been replaced by something more realistic.

For some reason one guy loses his mind and gets all sorts of stuff inside him. Including spaceship's component they lost when they went to alternative universe. They learn about that when ship eats other character's hand and then spit it out. Hand start to live on its own and tell crew to open the first character. Movie like to have hard science fiction tone but then you have plot twists like these. There was no point of being invested into the story because anything could happen. It didn't even have to make any sense. Ship started to actively kill characters because that needed to happen.

It is shame lazy writing ruined the movie. It was made by competent people and most of it was actually good and interesting. Then they threw it all away. Replacing all supernatural with story arc of alternative universe character she already had would have made this really good. If all the supernatural came from Cloverfield making this Cloverfield movie ruined it.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Altered Carbon (2018)



Short spoiler free Altered Carbon review. I wasn't feeling too well when I shot this but it shows what I thought about the series.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Resindent Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter never came to cinemas in Finland. I don't know the reason. I don't think it was really that bad it shouldn't be in theaters. Don't get me wrong. It is not good. Each sequel has been worse than previous movie. This might change that only because previous one was really bad. This is really bad too but not that bad it shouldn't be in theaters.

Something has happened between end of last movie and beginning of this one. Prologue sequence talks about betrayal but nothing more is explained. Maybe they couldn't write anything based on ending of last movie so they forgot everything they build at end of it. Almost anything could have been better than this. First half is loosely connected action scenes one after another and wondering why would any of this make sense. Because almost nothing makes sense in the end.

Spoilers. The Final Chapter explains why there is apocalypse. Umbrella corporation decided to cause apocalypse before other apocalypses became reality. They decided to destroy the world and all their customers in it because they were afraid of nuclear war and climate change. This was supposed to save the company. This was better option than adapting to the changing world.

Whole movie is full of similar logic. Only thing important is making Alice look good and have cool looking shots. Only interesting moment was when Dr. Isaacs met his clone or should I say the clone met him. That was only clever moment in whole movie. It might have made this second worst Resident Evil movie. I might have been disappointed if I saw this in theater. Maybe that was reason this didn't see theaters in Finland.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman is only good movie in DCEU. It is most positive in series and it happens during first world war. I didn't see it in theaters. I had lost all hope with DCEU. This one movie didn't give me hope for DCEU but I might see sequel in theater. Even if I hadn't lost hope I might have skipped seeing this in theater. I didn't like idea of superhero movie located to world war. World war parts were the other part I didn't like. Other was main villain.

World war part was done better than I expected. It wasn't made too much like adventure which made Wonder Woman's action scenes feel little bit out of the place. Other thing out of place was main villain or should I say all main villains. They were too comic book villains in movie which tried to be serious when they came to man's world and war.

I liked everything else. It had humor. Tone changes worked outside Wonder Woman's fight scenes during world war. It did many things I didn't expect to see in superhero movie. It took changes which worked. I would have preferred the movie to be located some other period than world war. It has couple similarities to first Captain America but nothing too distracting.

Wonder Woman shows what DCEU movies could be. Without world war this could have been really enjoyable movie but in DCEU everything has to be super dark and gritty. Maybe next one is really good. I mean next Wonder Woman movie. I have no expectations for other DCEU movies.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Jason Bourne (2016)

Jason Bourne is far from first Bourne movies which changed action movies. This is fifth movie in series. Seems like there is nothing to be said but movies still make money and there have to be another movie. I have seen first three movies few times and fourth once. I don't remember much about them any more. I would have liked to have introduction what is going. There was almost none.

This has same problem as John Wick: Chapter 2. It expects us to know what happened previous movies. I can't say if we knew any other character than Jason Bourne from earlier movies. Movie treated them like we knew who they were and what their motivation was. Movie surely didn't explain anything. It expected style of the genre being enough.

I know Alicia Vikander is good actress. She was good in Ex Machina. Here she wasn't given anything. Same with Tommy Lee Jones. Movie had good actors but it was content having style of the genre. The style first movies in series helped to define. Style was more important than the story.

Story might have checked several writing 101 boxes but it didn't work. "Asset" didn't need to have as much history with Bourne. He was guy wanting to kill Bourne for understandable reason. Bourne didn't need historic reason to kill him.

Jason Bourne is waste of time. Watch only if you want to watch the whole series. I can't recommend it even for fans of genre. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

I didn't like John Wick too much. Review got angry comment because I didn't like it enough. I like sequel less. With first one I could at least see what was good. Second one looks good and I wonder how much planning and work scenes in mirror house required. Soundtrack is good too. I hope there will be another John Wick for the soundtrack. Otherwise I couldn't care less.

Chapter 2 expects you have seen the first movie and know what the story is and how this world works. There is very little story to hold the movie together. Everything is there to give John Wick reason to kill lot of people. Movie jumps from action scene to action scene. What is in between concentrates looking good. Looking good is main priority. Second is to add as many kills as possible. It gets boring after a while.

If you liked the first one you might like this. Only might. First one was better. This is just more of the action and less story. Movie ends with sequel bate. If this did well emough we will another one.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Star Trek Discovery: Season 1 episodes 1-9 (2017)

Star Trek Discovery is best Star Trek since Star Trek Voyager. Voyager got better after Seven of Nine joined the crew. Without her Discovery would have been better. It could still become better. I wouldn't put it before Voyager after only nine episodes. It has potential. Voyager is set time before original series. I am not sure how this and Enterprise connect to each others. Enterprise explained why Klingons looked different in original series and next generation. Klingons in Discovery have different look than other Star Treks.

It is probably spoiler to tell what happens after pilot episodes. So I be vague about the story. At first it looks like they have something which they should use in future where most series happens. As series goes onwards it appears there is a reason why their technology is not used in future. Mid season finale hints there might be more reasons why they don't use this technology.

Discovery is closer to old Star Trek than rebooted movie series. It remind lot of Babylon 5. It might be closer to Babylon 5 than old series. It doesn't have comic relief characters Voyager and Deep Space 9 had. It has flawed characters like Babylon 5 had and something tells me it could have similar long and short story arcs like Babylon 5.

First nine episodes have been promising. Only minor complaint I have is Michael's backstory. She didn't need to be so tightly connected to original series. It highlights problem of stories happening before something we have already seen. Why they didn't mention Michael in original series if she was so connected to one key member of original series? That was done to connect this series to original but it becomes problem if you want these connections to make sense.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time (2017)

I guess I have to say something about this. I have almost forgotten I have seen it. Twice Upon a Time is Doctor Who's Christmas special and last episode for Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat. I would have liked to see Capaldi's Doctor under other show runner. Being last episode for both theme of episode is ending something to start something new.

Almost only positive thing I can say is I won't be missing Moffat after this one. He has written good episodes but this is not one of those. This is what is worst in his work. It makes everything huge and important without stopping to think if any of this makes any sense. It starts with two incarnations of Doctor trying not to regenerate. Then time stops and nothing makes sense anymore.

Episode have some kind of idea but it doesn't stop to study what is interesting in that idea. Glass people could have given much more interesting story. Now they were there to show us familiar faces. We should like this episode because we see so many familiar faces and throwbacks to previous stories. Ending underlined how little continuity was considered. Time stopping thing wasn't explained at all. Ending shouldn't have fixed it. Previously messing time brought demons or something like that. Was that only that one time. It was during ninth Doctor's run.

Peter Capaldi deserved better send off and Jodie Whittaker better introduction for her Doctor. She mess things up really badly moments after her regeneration. I guess that was inside joke we couldn't live without.