Been watching a lot of futurama?
For global box office, I agree. I didn’t think the domestic box office would beat Black Panther, but after the returns this week, I’m walking that back. IW beat out Justice League’s entire run in three days, passed Wonder Woman, Spiderman, MCU’s 2017 entries in less than a week, and passed a billion today.
BTW, Black Panther has grossed more than any single Batman movie and any single Bond movie. It’s also passed Thunderball’s inflation adjusted gross. I’d still be surprised (pleasantly) if Infinity War is as leggy as Black Panther.
I watched an old enjoyable Disney film called “Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue” starring Richard Todd and future Bond supporting player Fredrick Grey himself, Geoffrey Keen.
re: Avengers - Infinity War
Marvel knows how to craft an entertaining blockbuster and proves it again and again. No doubt about that.
But seriously, the “shocking” ending to this one… does it really shock anyone when you know that the death of some characters will be reversed in the next one since there are many more films already announced starring these?
And even if you did not know that there will be more films for these characters - if the death of a character being sold as shocking and proof for the courage of the creators to constantly surprise actually is only a deception, it takes away all the dramatic impact.
I sincerely hope that BOND never will stoop so low.
Not sure if it’s a good thing, or bad, but i rooted for the bad guy more than the hero.
This is because they gave the bad guy a great, plausible and highly sympathetic back story. Plus his end game - to redistribute power to the powerless around the globe was something worth rooting for.
This made proceedings a little more complex than your average super-movie which is great. But that’s at odds with the machismo of the action genre it adheres to.
Very enjoyable, though.
The villain definitely had a point in Black Panther. But I kind of see it as him doing the right thing, the wrong way. But it had an effect on T’Challa, who decides to open wakanda to the rest of the world.
Watching “The Quiller Memorandum” again tonight;
assume all the Bond fans on here have seen it,
but if not it’s one of the best of the mid 60s spy genre than Bond ignited,
and contains a terrific John Barry score and a villain (Max Von Sydow) who would have fit perfectly in any 60s or 70s Bond fim
I think that’s mostly Marvel’s fault. They cant help but to lay out their plans for the whole world. Actually, they’d make pretty decent Bond villains. At least, they’ve got the explain the plans part down.
Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem
Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer
dir. Darren Aronofsky
Had no idea what to think about this one going in, as Aronofsky has been very much feast or famine for me, but I must say that I walked away from his latest, mother! very impressed.
The film is the story of Him (Bardem) and mother (Lawrence) and their seemingly idyllic life in the house they are renovating in the middle of what they refer to at one point of the film as “paradise”. Bardem’s character is a poet who is suffering from writer’s block, unable to come up with a new masterpiece to rival his previous ones, which, as we come to learn, have touched the lives of many. Lawrence takes it upon herself to oversee the renovation of their home and things seem happy until the arrival of an older couple, man (Ed Harris) and woman (Michelle Pfeiffer).
Where mother! was ultimately done in at the box office is that the studio, in its infinite wisdom, sought to sell the film to the general audience as a horror film, a home invasion film of sorts in which the visiting Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer bring about the end of this couple’s peaceful existence with their arrival on the scene. While, in some manner of speaking this is true, mother! is not the horror film that the studio desperately wanted it to be. It IS a horror film in many respects, but on a deeper and more cerebral level, certainly not the borderline slasher, gore-fest that the studio wanted to try to trick the general public into believing it to be.
It’s hard to really delve to far into a review of mother! without getting into any spoilers, but suffice to say that the film, rivals the best work that Aronofsky has done to this point and features terrific performances from its cast. Lawrence deserves particular praise, as the camera spends literally half of the film’s run time either staring directly back at her or following her from behind, so on a certain level, she’s tasked with carrying the film in a way that we’d come to expect from a film that only features a singular actor (such as Ryan Reynolds’ Buried a few years back). Even when the film reaches the heights of the craziness that it does reach for in the film, Lawrence manages to keep it somewhat grounded so that we feel her fear and despair as the situation around her dissolves in a truly magnificent manner.
The only critique that I think I could come up with without delving too far into spoiler territory is that I wish we got to spend a bit more time in the house as it stands just a few moments before the film’s climax. Given that mother! is sold to the general public as a horror film, there are some truly nightmarish images thrust upon the viewer and, just in terms of the way the house itself looks in those final moments, that’s something I think could have had some more time spent exploring. The final act of cruelty against Lawrence’s character, the one that acts as the catalyst for the characters bringing about the end of the film, is a truly horrifying one and will be a massively divisive image that will threaten to turn off even the most hardened of movie-goers, but the imagery leading up to that moment was particularly creepy, much moreso than anything you’ll be likely to see in a mainstream horror film anytime soon.
“Paradise”? Is Bardem, by chance, on an island that you could walk around in an hour?
“Mother” was an exceptionally polarizing film, one of the most divisive of the last few decades, (not surprising given Hollywood’s propensity to try and appeal to the masses with every movie) but I loved it;
Couldn’t stop thinking or talking about it for weeks afterward. I think that’s as high a praise as I can think of for a movie.
Great review, well written as always.
Personally, I did not enjoy the film, due to its conception as allegory which made me think of it as very on the nose and heavy-handed, despite the A-list efforts of everybody involved. Then again, I have to admit that I never really liked an Aronofsky film. But that’s just me.
Aronofsky is very much hit or miss for me. Loved Black Swan but just couldn’t find a way into Noah, although that one does seem to be the film that garners the most consensus among viewers in terms of it not being particularly accessible.
The allegory in mother! is very heavy-handed, which made me somewhat surprised to find that there were quite a few who didn’t seem to get it. Still, I thought that it worked well enough to serve as almost a retelling of sorts of particular moments in biblical texts while also offering up a critique of man and his role in the downfall of nature and ultimately earth itself.
Amityville: The Awakening (2017)
Bella Thorne, Jennifer Jason Leigh
dir. Franck Khalfoun
Having seen its release date announced, pulled, re-announced, and then pulled again several times over since 2015, Amityville: The Awakening finally was dumped into theaters and, more famously, for free onto Google Play late last year. Surely, this is the sign of a movie that just isn’t good and, for the most part, that sentiment would be correct.
This particular film in the Amityville universe finds a family moving into the house at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville (shocking turn of events, I know). In another spark of originality, the kids who are moving into the house don’t know about it’s dark past.
What does make Amityville: The Awakening different from its predecessors is that this film takes place in a world where the Amityville films exist. Belle (Bella Thorne) and her friends even watch the original The Amityville Horror at one point during the film, bringing the film some meta properties that could have been fairly interesting had they been handled well.
The other aspect in which some originality is brought to this film is the dynamic of the family. In addition to her two daughters, Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character has a son who is confined to a hospital bed due to a tragic accident that we learn about later in the film. He can’t speak, communicate, breathe on his own, leaving Belle to consider him to already be dead. Played by Gotham’s Cameron Monaghan, James is the highlight of the film. Monaghan is doing what can easily be considered the best work of anyone in the film, and he brings out better acting from the rest of the cast when they share the screen with him. His character’s plight is rightfully the focus of the film and often brings with it some fairly creepy moments.
Where the film goes wrong is in what it decides not to do rather than it what it does. On its face, the film is just your standard, run-of-the-mill horror film. The disappointing thing here is that there was an opportunity to really do something great with this, but ultimately they decided not to go there with the film. Monaghan’s character could have been used to examine the ethics of the decisions involved in the care for those with sever brain injuries. He could have also been a window into the film for a religious element or something where the series is turned on its head a bit by the fact that maybe the house is actually helping him in his recovery while those around him struggle with those implications. A lot of things could have been done with this plot that would have been interesting and truly thought-provoking, but instead, we get the standard, been-there-done-that tropes and jump scares that end up exactly where you’d think they’d end up with such a character at the film’s center.
Where they also drop the ball here is with the house. The house itself is supposed to be a character in these films, going out of its way to frighten the occupants into leaving or going mad. The house doesn’t do anything here at all, save for a couple of shots of the Red Room. I mean, it literally does nothing. All of the scares are brought to the film through Monaghan’s character and the others’ interactions with him. This film could have literally taken place anywhere.
Aside from Monaghan, the rest of the cast is just kind of there. Jennifer Morrison is on hand as a relative of theirs, but she just kind of comes and goes without any announcement or explanation. This film was clearly designed to be starring vehicle for Bella Thorne, and while she’s not outright terrible, she’s just kind of there. She’s never distractingly bad, as one might expect her to be, but she never rises to the occasion either.
Hopefully, whenever we get the next entry in this increasingly diminishing franchise, they’ll look to do something interesting or thought-provoking with it. They kind of brushed up against that possibility here, but ended up not going the distance to do something special with this film. Hopefully they either go the full distance next time or just leave this franchise to rest.
Watching “The Final Countdown” from 1980
Haven’t seen this in several years;
actually has a couple of random Bond connections…
Tomorrow Never Dies.
The film was much better than I remembered. It is faster paced than GoldenEye and has a far better musical score courtesy of David Arnold. The action-adventure is non-stop with the ever-cool Pierce Brosnan blasting bad guys away inside the so-called stealth ship. Characters like Elliot Carver along with a good supply of one-liners make for a genuinely funny movie. I’d say this is Brosnan’s best installment by a mile, and better than any Bond movie that has followed it so far.
For me, Tomorrow Never Dies is right there with Octopussy as the most underrated films in the franchise. Additionally, I think Elliot Carver is the most underrated villain. You can just tell that Jonathan price is having so much fun as is Brosnan. They could have toned down the news puns just a tad. The whole third act is literally just pun vs pun. But agreed, this is Brosnan’s best film and easily one of the most watchable and fun entries in the whole franchise.
I managed to watch half of TWINE. I’m now tired so I’m going to sleep. The movie was better than I remembered, but it was more plot oriented than TND. The action scenes aren’t as impressive. The movie spends more time trying to build up the significance of the relationship between Bond and Elektra King. As far as bad guys go, I don’t particularly like Renard. He’s sort of a letdown after Elliot Carver. The constant puns and one liners get tiresome after a while. The best thing about the movie is Pierce Brosnan. I think I may like him better than Lazenby and Connery now. Anyway, I never liked the big pipeline chase, so I stopped the DVD right before it. I’m not interested in finishing the rest tomorrow. I think I’ll watch DAD instead.
I saw this last weekend. It’s got a title sequence that fantastically spoofs James Bond movies. Also, stay for all five post-credits scenes. Hilarious!
Do take the R rating seriously. This is not for the kiddies. (gore and subject matter.)
Tomorrow Never Dies. I still dont understand why this one is seen as a bad Bond film. The film is the shortest of the Brosnan era and not overly stuffed. It has a top 5 Bond leading lady in Wai Lin. Jonathan Pryce hams it up as the Elliot Carver it a very Christopher Walken/Javier Bardem way. The gadgets are fun and the locations are exotic, even if Hamburg is more or less wasted. It even has one of the most fun PTSes of the series. Though. So. Many. Puns.