Mini-Reviews #24

Time for another quick run through the films and series that I’ve watched over the course of the last couple of months.

Film

The Secret Life of Pets 2
The first one was a funny trailer streched to movie length, the usual way how it goes for these kind of films. This second one is similar, but less funny. The usual way how it goes for these kind of sequels.
Dragged Across Concrete
From Writer/Director S. Craig Zahler. Like previous films of him, I found this one a bit too long, a bit too slow and not with enough… something. But, for some reason, I’m not yet totally fed up with his style. That might come soon, though, because the bonus he got from me by starting with the not-too-shabby “Bone Tomahawk” will soon be exhausted…
An American Werewolf in London [re-view]
Still impressive make-up and special effects, with a dark-humored bittersweet story. Recommended.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Not really what I expected after what I heard about this. If you’re interested in the inner working of actors’ minds, this may be a film for you. Also, some nice visuals (especially at the end), but all in all, not so great.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
The positive: Fits right into the style and atmosphere of the series. The negative: It was not really needed; it’s a nice, but non-essential coda to a great TV show.
Joker
A surprisingly good movie. Yes, it has a lot of building blocks of other movies from the past with similar themes, but still: Rather good.
The Hustle
A sort of a female remake of the classic “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”. I was lured into watching this by the not-so-bad trailer – big mistake (it usually is, when it comes to mainstream Hollywood comedies). Watch the orginal instead and ignore this smut!
Thoroughbreds
Well, that was kind of weird and not really what I expected (from the trailer). Not really bad, but not very interesting or fullfilling either. Meh.
Mary Queen of Scots
Again, less than I expected. I’m not the biggest fan of these kind of historical biographical dramas, but I’ve seen a share of good ones. This one is not really one of them. I also had hoped for more (shared) screen time with Margot Robbie…
Game Night
A surpringly good Hollywood comedy. Of course, not made for the ages and it will not show up in any best-of list, but still: quite entertaining.
(And by the way: The car chase scene, just a gimmick in a comedy, was very well made for some reason.)
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Also, quite entertaining, considering the genre, origin and involved people.
Dolemite Is My Name
I wanted to see Eddie Murphy again in a role in which he might give a damn, and here he does; kudos to him. Unfortunatley I couldn’t relate to the movie at all (I guess for several traceable reasons) and it was at times a bit of a drag. At its core, it’s the usual “from rags to riches” story by the number…
6 Underground
Holy shit, that must have been the worst Michael Bay movie ever! Screenplay/logic (was there any?!), action scenes, dialoges and the actors were all at their very lowest point. On the other hand, somehow one would see where he and Netflix spent (wasted) the budgget of hundred millions of dollars. Still, if you put lipstick on a pig, you still have a pig… (Netflix, I understand your need to create content to attract customers – but you’re still not good at it, most of the time.)
Midnight Run
Classic 1980s buddy action comedy – and I liked it, very much.
Die Hard
The first one, of course. The classic, the one and only…
It has been a very long time since I’ve seen it the last time. Still holding up after all these years!
Crawl
Hm, I hoped for some more originality. Granted, the premise leads to movies like these, but by the trailer, I expected a slightly different movie. OK’ish.
Gods of Egypt
Unintentionally funny, very bad effects and in general a bad movie.
Stuber
Hm, already the third US comedy in this list that I found to be adequately funny and entertaining. Are my standards sinking or is the quality of Hollywood’s humor rising?

TV

Game Of Thrones — Season 1-8

So, I started with season 1 when it was new, was fond of it, but then lost track of it, while waiting for the next season. And after a while, I decided: Oh, well, I’ll now just wait until it’s done and then will watch in “one go”. And that’s what I did now, after eight years: Watching the whole show over the span of few months; quite an experience.

And, like most reviews I saw by now, I’m torn: The first seasons, 1 to 5, are really, really great, wonderful, epic, brutal, you name it. Good characters, dialoges, storylines. But, I’d say starting with season 6 (I think that’s when the showrunners had to diverge from the books, because the author wasn’t done with the new material), and then definitely with season 7 and 8, they botched it!

Not so much the what and why (although there was also more than enough that I don’t like), but in particular the how: Two very short seasons, more interested in epic battles, and presenting incomprehensible plots and out-of-character decicisons, instead of taking its time to breath and let this great epic come to its deserved conclusion; very sad.

So, great show, but with a really bitter aftertaste.

Santa Clarita Diet — Season 1-3

Wonderful little show. At the beginning, it wasn’t on my radar: The whole zombie topic was overdone, IMHO, the main actress: not a big fan of Drew. B., but she’s doing good here, the main actor: I really like Timothy O., but just couldn’t imagine him in such a role: How wrong I was, he’s great here, too. And also the rest of the cast, the witty dialoges and plots… Too bad it wasn’t renewed for a 4th season (also because the end of season 3 has quite a cliffhanger).

Veronica Mars — Season 4

Years after the subpar movie, and even more years after the third season, we now got season 4. It was OK, but not quite the revelation one might have hoped for. Still, good enough for me to stick around for another season (if one is made, not sure).

The Haunting of Hill House — Season 1

So, some kind of mystery going on here, but more family/psycho drama then horror. Interesting, different. But don’t know if I’d really need more of that (there are talks of a season 2).

Dead To Me — Season 1

I’d categorize this roughly as a dark crime comedy…? Anyways, it was fun and I’ll be here for season 2.

The Walking Dead — Season 9

More of the same, the old cast is getting thin. I guess now I can also stay until the end (which hopefully is not so far in the future).

Goblin Slayer — Season 1

OK for a few quick 20min anime fixes; in parts distressingly brutal, in other parts made out of all the cliche plots, characters and dialogues one could ever find in a RPG handbook.

Z Nation — Season 5

And that was it (thank $DEITY), the end of this weird and campy trash show. These final two seasons tried, in my opinion, a bit too hard to be deep, meaningful and political. The first, more crazy seasons were more of my liking.