Another round of mini-reviews for films and series that I found noteworthy enough to mention here…
- Jojo Rabbit
- Liked this very much. It’s a weird mix of dark, wacky humor in Nazi-Germany, but also some tragic
drama to it.
- Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
- A new film based on the novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. Can’t recall if I ever saw
(knowingly) any previous adaptation. Was not really my cup of tea: The story didn’t grab me,
the setting and production value was a kind of “glossy but cheap”, and the all-star cast was
maybe filled with too many bored A-listers…
- Mission: Impossible III [Rewatch]
- As I predicted the last time, when I reviewed part Two: This third instance gets all the hate,
but I guess it was just colleteral damage after the terrible, terrible, terrible M:I-II.
This one, in contrast, was great fun and already hinted at (and even had) some of the heights
(as far as action movies are concerned) that the following parts would reach.
- Very, very generic and bland.
- Gladiator [Rewatch]
- A rewatch after many years. Well, I didn’t remember it as a masterpiece then, and I only think
of it as quite OK now, too.
- The Perfection
- For a Netflix release (not production) not quite as bad as I feared; but also not really good.
A psycho thriller with a twist and sadly also a major letdown in logic in the final act.
- “Don’t believe the hype!” – except when you should. It’s as good as they all say it is 😄
Highly recommended! (And the less you know about it before watching, the better. So skip trailers or detailed reviews.)
- I like all of the actors, but the film itself is sadly a very generic action thriller. Not bad,
not good, just mediocre.
- The Beach House
- Complete and utter waste of time. Garbage (with a capital G)!
- Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol [Rewatch]
- Again, very much fun to watch. Of course, by now the franchise has found its groove and except
for better and better (special) effects and stunts, nothing really earth-shattering or
brain-teasing can be found here. But it’s a very good way to spend time if you like these kind of
- Near Dark
- I’ve heard it’s considered a ‘lost gem of the 1980s horror’ by some. Well, I think it’s just crap
with a 1980s patina on it.
- Prince of Darkness [Rewatch]
- Again a case of “in my memory, it was better back then”. Well, it probably was, because at that
time, hundreds of hours of other similar material did not yet exist and also I hadn’t known much
horror. But now, with the passing of time and gained (media) experience: Not so great anymore.
- Men in Black [Rewatch]
- Reeks of 1997 summer blockbuster, in a bad way. One can watch it without feeling dirty, but my
main impression of it nowadays is just: Meh…
- Freddy vs. Jason [Rewatch?]
- Found this one (and the Freddy remake) while browsing on Netflix. Ran mostly in the background.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street [Rewatch]
- Can’t remember much of the orginal Nightmare (which I probably saw, as a cut version, back then on TV),
but this one simply looks darker and more grim, but just doesn’t have any real identity of its
own or charisma (if a film can have that…).
- So, the downward spiral of Luc Besson continued: The first ten minutes or so of this botch are
actually promising – but then it goes totally bonkers and off the deep end.
- A family-friendly animated feel good movie. OK for what it it.
- Hellboy II: The Golden Army [Rewatch]
- And yet another case of “worse than I remembered it”. Even the character of Hellboy himself is
not as much fun as I thought it was. The rest is also just so-so.
- The Mortuary Collection
- Now that was a pleasent surprise: Horror anthology films are almost always a mixed bag
of quality, but this one actually is pretty good from beginning to end.
- Black Water [Rewatch]
- Back then, I picked it up on late night television and was positively surprised. And now, after
a second viewing, my verdict is this: Yes, nice, a low budget horror thriller – but unfortunately,
with a couple of very bad decisions in the screenplay near the end. And through that, the “suspension
of disbelief” is stressed simply too much for my liking. That brings the rating down from ‘good’
- The Boys — Season 2
- Of course, the wow-effect of the first season has worn off and this season also starts a bit slow
(especially in regards to the actual Boys), but by the end, it was again a bloody fun.
- Gangs of London — Season 1
- Very classy looking gangster-family series, with a good amount of action. In the last third of
the season, a few weird decisions and developments happen, with which I’m not totally happy,
but if this show gets another season, I’ll watch it.
- The Alienist — Season 1, Episode 1
- I only watched one epsiode of it: Although I like the setting and time: The plot, the pace, the
characters, the actors and everything else just felt off to me. Normally, I give a show more time
(there are enough cases when something needs some time first to come to full bloom), but here the
combination of all the negative points that I mentioned before was just overwhelming.
And since there’s too much else on my watchlist anyway, this one had to go.
- The Expanse — Season 3 & 4
- Funny, how some things evolve: I know that this show is highly praised by many SF geeks (but doesn’t
seem to find a mainstream fanbase), and I could see why that is when I watched seasons 1 and 2 a while ago.
I did like it back then, but for some reason, I was not really hooked by it. So, I paused for a while after those two seasons. And now, a few years later, season 3 and 4 had been released in the meantime, and season 5 is now pending for publication in a few weeks. And what can I say: I more or less binge-watched those two recent seasons and am now totally hooked!
In my understanding, the show hasn’t changed that much to the first two seasons, so I guess it’s my state-of-mind, my mood, point in life, or whatever in comparison to before.
Anyways, back to the show itself: Interesting story arcs and plot points, a rather dark/gritty/real setting. Almost all characters are drawn in shades of gray when it comes to motivation and ethics/morale; and they are not acting ‘dumb’ (I find that is often enough the case in “Hollywood Stories”: In many other films or shows, things only happen because the characters are written that way and don’t communicate properly).
So, I can hardly wait for season 5! Highly recommended!
- The Politician — Season 1
- It had a few nice ideas, but not enough for a full (but short) season and the absurd and dark humor
also only briefly flashed up here and there (and less and less, as the show progressed). Also,
the plot points didn’t seem to be thought out well enough or maybe the creators didn’t have enough
material: The ‘political campaign’ is done after half of the season and then the second half of
this brief season wanders off into nothingness.
After the last episode (which gave a insight into the second season) and reading a few reviews for season 2, I decided that this one was enough; good riddance!
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