mini movie reviews · Movie Reviews · Nerdy Basement

Mini Movie Reviews – fast cars, superheroes and vampires

Kuvahaun tulos haulle wiki poster the fate of the furiousThe Fate of the Furious (2017)

The Fast and Furious franchise is not even my guilty pleasure. I was proud of being its super fan, as it was apparent in my review of “Furious 7” few years back. I actually expected it to be the last movie of the franchise, forever gone with Paul Walker. I wasn’t a least bit excited when they announced the coming 8th film, because while Walker wasn’t my favorite character in these movies, he was undoubtedly the heart of the franchise. I didn’t go to see the 8th installment in the theaters like I did almost all the others, because I’ve lost faith in it. And coming from the biggest FF fan I know (aka yours truly), it’s saying something. I watched it at home later and to put it shortly, it was absolutely terrible. FF has always been about the car chases and the stunts, stunts that are absolutely crazy but still somewhat believable, balancing on a really really thin line between awesome and ridiculous. Finally, after seven movies, on the 8th, they crossed that line. I found myself calling bullshit on almost every action scene, and especially the whole video-gamish car chase in the center of the city and the ending scene aka chaos on ice, they didn’t only crossed the line, they crossed it by miles. The story was also so weak it was painful to watch, managing to waste Charlize Theron, The Rock and Jason Statham. The hand to hand combat, and I usually have a very high standard when it comes to fight scenes, they were mediocre and downright boring. I sincerely have not one good thing to say about this installment. It reeked money milking, not that the previous ones weren’t but this time around they weren’t even trying. It’s a sad day when a good franchise comes to this. I’ve heard they are making the 9th installment and even a spinoff for The Rock’s character. Sad to say, I won’t be watching out for those.
My IMDb rating: 4 stars out of 10 

Kuvahaun tulos haulle wiki poster kingsman golden circleKingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” was my absolute favorite movie of 2015, earning ten out of ten stars from me and my undying fangirly love (which was apparent in my review). Naturally, I was super excited about the sequel while being aware that it’s very rare for a sequel to surpass its predecessor. In that sense I was right. “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” was not as good as the first one, one of the biggest reason was that I have expectations now. I wasn’t aware of what I was walking into at the first one. Both the original bar and church scenes are extremely hard to better, but not from the lack of trying. Oh man did they try hard. I would just concentrate on the things I like in the sequel. I really like the relationship between Eggsy and the princess, because again, I wasn’t expecting that at all. But it forever endears Eggsy further in my heart that he stuck with his first ‘conquest’ and fell in love too, unlike so many spy movies where spies just hop from woman to woman. The choice to bring Colin Firth back, because this would have sucked hard without Firth grounding the whole movie. I just wished that they could have kept it all under the wraps so that I would be genuinely as surprised as Eggsy was upon seeing Harry. That’s the problem of movie promotion and marketing these days, they just have to reveal absolutely everything, which has turned a trailer-lover like me away from trailers slowly but surely. But come on, they even put him on posters… Anyway. I actually like Julienne Moore as the villain. There are of course some miscast too, like Pedro Pascal as Whiskey, even with his best attempt to imitate the American southern accent, it was horrendous, making his character hard to believe. The action and fighting scenes are as flashy and entertaining as ever, but I actually didn’t like the taxi scene that so many said were their favorite. I found it blurry, hard to follow and fake-looking. Points for being freaking ambitious though.
My IMDb rating: 8 stars out of 10 

Kuvahaun tulos haulle wiki poster what we do in the shadowsWhat We Do in the Shadows (2014)

While waiting for Thor: Ragnarok to hit the theaters, I decided to watch a movie from Thor’s director Taika Waititi , this tiny movie about the mundane lives of the undead. Movies and TV shows always depict the vampire lives to be dramatic and mostly glorious, or torturous in a sparkly way, ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ is anything but. It’s about some really real problems about vampires’ everyday lives, like washing the dishes and finding food aka humans and trying not to get the blood everywhere while dining. Shot in a documentary style, the small-budget movie did some pretty impressive and down-to-earth looking CGI with the vampires (not so much with the werewolves though). The humor is black and as-matter-of-fact, which makes it even funnier. It’s the not trying to be funnily funny, which really is my favorite kind of humor. The audience would quickly come to care about these bloodsuckers, never have they been more relatable and lovable, especially the co-writer and -director Taika Waititi’s character Viago, a hopeless romantic and a nice and gentle guy who took care of the household. After watching the movie, I was very confident at Waititi’s skills to transform the Thor franchise for the better and I was very sure that the humor is going to be off the chart. I also believed that Waititi was going to bring some much needed realism to the shiny and colorful worlds of Thor, and hopefully to the action scenes that could also easily go overboard like say in the Spiderman Homecoming.
My IMDb rating: 9 stars out of 10 

Kuvahaun tulos haulle wiki poster thor ragnarokThor: Ragnarok (2017)

[SPOILER ALERT] Then came the day for Thor. He is not my favorite avenger, but I’ve always enjoyed the Thor movies, because they would always mean Loki, and I’m a slave to Loki’s charm. As mentioned before, director Taika Waititi did manage to inject some freshness into the franchise, adding humor and color to the worlds and innovation to action scenes. While Thor is definitely a lot of fun to watch and it was one of the most, unless the most entertaining MCU movie so far, it suffered from the same problem that has bugged MCU movies for a while now, and it’s the abundance of humor, downplaying any dramatic scenes to the point that I no longer feel a thing. I live for those dramatic moments, for me, they are the bread and butter in superhero movies. They are the soul and the heart. It all started with Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. I’m definitely not blaming Joss, it’s that Hollywood fails to understand what makes Joss Whedon’s creation great. His humor and nerdy jokes are marvelous, but it’s also his ability to make these superhumans more normal, more human with heart-felt moments and dramatic scenes. Joss Whedon’s style is not easy to master, that’s why Joss Whedon is Joss Whedon. But ever since Avengers, they are trying to duplicate the same atmosphere in every movie, injecting humor every chance they got. But like jump scares in horror movies, humor and jokes would defuse a dramatic moment, crushing all the emotion except laughter. And that was my main problem with Thor: Ragnarok. I felt nothing. I felt nothing when Thor and Jane broke up, or when daddy dearest die, or when Hela killed half of the Asgard, or when the whole Asgard goes poof. Where are the feels? With the feels, Thor: Ragnarok would have been a perfect superhero movie.
My IMDb rating: 8 stars out of 10 

Kuvahaun tulos haulle wiki poster justice leagueJustice League (2017)

What a long winding road to this day. I watched Justice League on its premiere night. It premiered on a Wednesday in Finland, and maybe because of that, the theater was half empty. Still, some nerds on the back row actually clapped when it ended. I laughed with a tinge of sadness, cos it was terribly sad that DC got some claps just because JL didn’t suck. It’s time to stop holding DC on different standard, especially when they actually have better heroes than its nemesis Marvel. There, I said it. DC has always had the more interesting heroes and backstories but they seemed to be continuously challenging to convey them successfully to the big screen. The biggest problem with the DCU is indecissiveness, mainly on its tone. It’s either too dark, sometimes literally, or too light (like the 90s Batman movies). I guess DC listened to the audience when many complained Batman vs Superman to be too dark. Their solution? Copying a page from Marvel and dropping jokes here and there to lighten the mood. The result? A gringe-fest with forced humor and out-of-character one-liners that were absolutely terrible to witness without facepalming. The only character that did the jokes well was Barry Allen, but with all the jokes, they made him clownish. Many, including me speculated that not giving all its heroes their own movie first before the team-up is going to be a mistake, and it totally was. Especially when DC wasted its screen time on stupid jokes instead of giving the time for some dramatic scenes. Like giving two minutes to show how isolated Wonder Woman was for a century, or how alone Barry feels in this slow world, or even Batman’s struggle with his aging body. I know they are going to give Aquaman his own movie, but what was included in Justice League was not enough for me to care about the king of fish. All in all, Justice League was written and shot like a kid movie, straight line, utterly predictable and at the end, it made zero impact on me. And just when is DC going to realize that what makes a superhero movie great is always going to be the villain. And the last great villain that DC had was Heath Ledger’s Joker almost a decade ago. And that was because of Ledger was phenomenal. Suicide Squad proved that much. Joker is a character that can go either way. Justice League was slightly better than BvS, but not as good as Wonder Woman. I would’ve given it 5.5, but since half stars are not possible in IMDb, I rather pull it down to a five than push it up to a six.
My IMDb rating: 5 stars out of 10 

mini movie reviews · Movie Reviews · Nerdy Basement

Mini Movie Reviews – beauty, beasts and Ralph

Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Remember Godzilla from a few years back? A movie about the famous monster that no one asked for so it did only okay at the box office for a movie that caliber. But I remember being pleasantly surprised of how good it was. Not great but pretty good and entertaining and I felt like that they did justice to the sea monster from Japan. One thing was for sure, it was ten times better than the 1998 Godzilla. Fast-forward three years to 2017 and another monster flick that no one asked for hit the theaters. This time it was about the beloved giant gorilla Kong. I didn’t go to see it, I waited for it to come out on DVD. Again, it was surprisingly good and entertaining. And now they are saying that there is going to be a versus movie of these two legendary monsters. And ladies and gents, a franchise is established without us even realizing it. Universal Pictures, that is how you revive an old franchise, you and your Mummy should learn a thing or two. Both monster movies left me in awe of the sheer size of the monsters. I mean, I knew Godzilla should be huge, but the size of Kong, holy shit. With big A-list stars supporting the monster and some exciting fight scenes, it was such a joy to watch it. Sympathy for Kong check, great acting check, a crazy yelling Samuel L. Jackson check, giant monkey fighting giant lizards check, amazing CGI check. Kids, that’s how you make a good creature feature in the 21st century, a subgenre of horror that is way under-appreciated.
My IMDb rating: 7 stars out of 10 

Kuvahaun tulos haulle colossal wiki posterColossal (2016)
Colossal might be the weirdest movie I’ve seen in a while. And not in a good way. The premise is pretty interesting, although what became the demise of Colossal was the way it was promoted. From the trailers alone, I thought it was going to be a comedy about a woman controlling a giant monster across the world. So it didn’t turn out to be a comedy, that much became clear in the beginning of the movie already. While looking for something light to cheer me up, instead I was tricked to watch a movie quite depressing. And in the second act of the movie, it changed once again into… I don’t know what it was, but just let me tell you, I had never disliked Jason Sudeikis more than I did in this movie. I don’t usually mind him though he is quite annoying in most of his movies, but this time I was kinda disgusted by his role and it didn’t even make any sense. His character did a 180 all of a sudden and it was so out of place that I honestly got a little mad. I’m not sure whether Sudeikis is just a terrible miscast or whether the plot would even get any better with a different actor. The ending was really silly. Anne Hathaway’s performance might’ve been the only saving grace, otherwise I can even say that I hated this movie.
My IMDb rating: 5 stars out of 10

Kuvahaun tulos haulle the circle wiki posterThe Circle (2017)
What is up with unsatisfying endings these days? I always imagine scriptwriters coming up with a great idea to pitch but they haven’t figured out the ending yet. They just pitched their ideas and when they get picked up, the writers are completely caught off guard. But The Circle is based on a novel, so that shouldn’t happen right? I haven’t read the book of the same name myself, but I’ve heard from those who had saying that the movie made a lot of changes and not necessarily good ones. So in this review, I’m only going to talk about the movie on its own. In short, it sucked. Because the ending was so anti-climatic. The build-up was very interesting though, giving out an impression that it might be something insightful about the surveillance society we now live in and how far companies like Google has the potential to take it. I was born in the 80s. I remember the time without the Internet and computers and smartphones. I have a very clear concept of my privacy and I will always feel paranoid about announcing my whereabouts on social media or even showing my face. My motto about the Internet is ‘what goes online, stays online’. So understandably, the scenario that The Circle depicted is almost nightmarish to me. For me The Circle is a horror movie. But as I said in the beginning, the ending was very bad and disappointing and it left a bad taste in my mouth. The Circle had potential, but obviously the script writers didn’t watch enough Black Mirror episodes to know how to write a decent ending. What a waste of a good idea and great actors.
My IMDb rating: 5 stars out of 10

Kuvahaun tulos haulle beauty and the beast wiki posterBeauty and the Beast (2017)
I honestly don’t understand the need to make live action versions of the old Disney classics, but I guess we can all agree on the driving force behind it all: money. It’s a way to create huge cash cows without even having to come up with new stories, it’s a win-win for all. I mean, look at Beauty and the Beast, it’s one of the highest grossing movies of the year. The live action follows closely its animated original, with a few twicks and new songs added. The heavily animated furniture characters are almost too creepy and realistic looking. Where did those giant horns of the Beast coming from? Emma Watson is a good actor, but I’m sorry, Belle is one of the most beautiful Disney princesses ever, and Ms Watson is just not quite there. I actually think Emmy Rossum would be a great fit, although I guess she lacks the star power of Watson. And then the Beast… it was a mistake on my part to find out which actor is playing the Beast. Dan Stevens is nothing like I imagine the prince to be under all those fur. I mean, I remember the prince in the animation to be quite hot. He was blonde and he was huge. I mean super wide shoulders and tall and you can tell where the size of the beast mode coming from. And Dan Stevens had none of that. I think it was a mistake to show him right in the beginning of the movie. And Dan and Emma had zero chemistry together in the end of the movie. What I really enjoyed about this was Gaston and LeFou. They were on point! I mean, when I have the hots for Gaston more than the prince, there is truly something wrong with the casting. I mean, I even like Lumiere more than the prince. 😀 And the additional subplot about Belle’s childhood was… well, unnecessary. So basically, everything else except the beauty and the beast was pretty good. 😛
My IMDb rating: 6 stars out of 10

Kuvahaun tulos haulle wreck it ralph wiki posterWreck-It Ralph (2012)
I have no idea what took me so long to get around to seeing Wreck-It Ralph. I used to love arcades. Well, I still love them, but there aren’t many left in Finland anymore. So there was a deep sense of nostalgia while watching especially the beginning of Ralph. The world they created was entertaining and so colorful. I simply love the concept of it all. It made me think of the Wall-E. I loved the first 30 minutes of Wall-E, it was perfect, a masterpiece. I could watch for that little robot doing mundane things for hours and not get bored. The same thing with Ralph. It’s the story part of both of those movies that weakened their appeal a bit. I mean, Ralph’s story is nothing revolutionary, it was actually quite predictable. You could see what’s coming miles away, but it’s still very entertaining and the style the movie was done was admirable. I’m not sure whether it would appeal as much to those who had not spent their childhood in arcades or don’t care much about video games. Ralph 2 is due to come out next year, and I can say that I’m pretty excited about it.
My IMDb rating: 8 stars out of 10

mini movie reviews · Movie Reviews · Nerdy Basement

Mini Movie Reviews – zombies, crazies, some magic and John Wick 2

If it’s your first time here, welcome. Here’s a few words about my style of writing movie reviews. I hardly ever talk in details about the plot, cos you can google that. I usually don’t spoil anything major, I will warn beforehand if I am about to. Since I do know how to enjoy movies from many different genres, my rating consists of two parts: whether a movie had fulfilled its purpose and how well (did a comedy make me laugh or did a horror scare me etc); and whether a movie is good one as a whole. Which means if a comedy doesn’t have a life-changing, earth-shattering effect on me but managed to make me laugh my socks off, it’s going to get a higher than the Rotten Tomatoes average.

As few movies as I’ve watched this year, it was pretty easy to pick a few to write mini reviews of that I haven’t had the time to write earlier. I feel like I’ve become more and more critical and I’ve started to expect a lot from movies, especially those that had got a good review. Sadly, most of the time, great reviews would just hurt a movie, so I actually try to not look up reviews before watching a movie. Let’s begin tearing these up. 😛

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