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
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
The 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
Beauty 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
Wreck-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