Atomic Blonde (2017)

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

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Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde is a 2017 action spy film starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy. It is a solid, fun action flick.

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You’ve got some balls breaking in here.

You should see my balls.

Then you’d be really impressed!

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Atomic Blonde Movie Review

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Atomic Blonde is not a movie you watch for the plot. It certainly isn’t. That being said, even with the low expectations of a spy action genre, this was still a very weak storyline which sometimes made no sense, it tried to be cool too many times and it had too many twists and turns which felt silly and unbelievable instead of the intended cool factor.

Also, the characters are not great. The actors are great, but the characters they play are mostly very slim and underdeveloped. David Percival is somewhat okay and interesting, Delphine being out of her depth in this spy business was well explored and the protagonist is kickass, but definitely an underutilized entity as we do not learn anything about her. All of the others are forgettable.

James McAvoy gave a reliably strong, menacing performance and Sofia Boutella is also pretty good and memorable. This is definitely Charlize Theron’s movie to shine and she steals the whole thing easily. The movie basically has her be naked and have sex half the time and kick the asses of communists the other times and it worked despite its sensational approach as she truly is badass. Her performance is good and her fighting was awesome. She truly has become a very strong action star.

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Atomic Blonde Movie Review

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Atomic Blonde needs to be seen for its action. The action sequences here are exhilarating in their quality and stupendously exciting and entertaining. And also consistently badass and cool. I loved how she had to use her brain against the stronger men and that was very cool and realistic. The highlight was the scene with the rope which was a lot of fun and very inventive.

The movie is very entertaining and thus it flies by quickly although it definitely lacks structure, strong story and characterization. But it is very well filmed with some great location work and of course a very cool, strong late 80s soundtrack that fitted the mood of the movie so well.

The plot and characterization are weak in Atomic Blonde and some scenes felt too silly. However, this is the movie you watch for the action as it is a spy action flick and it succeeds in that department as the action sequences are exhilarating and incredibly entertaining. The score is also pretty cool. Charlize Theron entirely steals the show here. She is incredible, kickass and is quickly becoming one of the biggest action stars today.

My Rating – 3.5

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RoboCop (1987)

RoboCop Movie Review

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RoboCop Movie Review

RoboCop is a 1987 science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. It is a campy, but surprisingly solid genre flick.

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I’d buy that for a dollar!

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RoboCop Movie Review

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I actually enjoyed this movie for the most part and that I did not expect at all so it was a pretty pleasant surprise over all. In particular the storyline is the strongest aspect here along with the emotional resonance. The film has some quite moving moments and I really liked the main character and his solid development.

Officer Anne Lewis is also pretty solid and those two share the best moments with all of the other characters being forgettable. The acting is nothing to write home about, but at least the characterization is pretty solid.

I do not know what critics find that is clever or thematically rich in RoboCop as to me it is just a sci-fi action flick and there is nothing wrong with that but I do not like when they assign more to a pretty straightforward film which has pretty good storytelling and many memorable plot points and scenes, but it is just never smart.

As for its problems, well RoboCop is basically your regular eighties movie and by that I mean that the camp excess is evident from the get-go. The film is very campy, very silly and at times quite cheesy too. The scenes where he fights crime were easily the worst offenders here as they were beyond silly and campy.

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RoboCop Movie Review

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But it is mostly a very well made film which takes its time to get there owing to a somewhat standard first act, but the third act is the highlight and the second act is fun despite it being very dated and silly in approach.

The special effects are not the best and the android does not look great at all. He is memorable in his design, but not really great or inspired. I also thought that the action was fun, but definitely dated in execution. The pacing and editing are solid and the direction is fine. It is mostly a solid blockbuster flick which is as good as these 80s action flicks can be.

RoboCop definitely is incredibly silly, campy and cheesy in a typical 80s fashion, but it is actually a surprisingly solid, even charming sci-fi action flick with solid characters, fun action and a particularly entertaining and at times even emotionally resonant story with a couple of memorable plot points and sequences.

My Rating – 3.5

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Cars 3 (2017)

Cars 3 Movie Review

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Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 is a 2017 animated film which is the third installment in the Cars franchise and the overall 18th Pixar film. It is a solid and at times admirable, but flawed sequel.

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Don’t fear failure.

Be afraid of not having the chance,

you have the chance!

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Cars 3 Movie Review

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The story is actually very strong this time around and that is one of its biggest strengths and the reason why it is so much better than the previous film which remains Pixar’s absolute worst entry. It is still quite weaker in comparison to the first, very underrated film, but it least it is a step in a good direction.

Lightning cannot adapt to new technology and newer, advanced racers and he starts losing his matches. He doesn’t want to quit racing yet, but eventually he doesn’t have a choice and he thus becomes a trainer and his student takes over the race herself with him in training charge. And of course they win.

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Cars 3 Movie Review

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Now even though Cruz is just a basic Mary Sue and there is no way she could have won her match that easily, this was still a terrific ending that made the whole somewhat weaker journey to get there quite worthwhile. I loved the film’s message. In the real world, sports players get old and cannot continue playing but most continue their legacy through training or managing. That is exactly what happened here and it was very realistic and just perfect for this character.

So I loved how they took a different, more serious instead of sugarcoated approach and it worked fully in the film’s favor. I also really liked the film’s beginning as it was again a very realistic story of dealing with new technologies and new obstacles and how you should constantly strive to reinvent yourself in order to stay in the game. Again a great message and I admired the use of branding and merchandise in this movie which were again so well touched upon.

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Cars 3 Movie Review

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But, and this is a big but, the second act was just such a bore to sit through. The other two are so good that the movie would have been very strong if the second one delivered but it did not unfortunately. It was a typical journey with not a single memorable sequence and it utilized on the more forgettable characters there. It was very slight and forgettable and it ruined the film for me.

Cars 3 makes the fatal mistake of introducing too many new characters and relying too much on them instead of having bigger roles for the older crew. I thought that was a very poor, unfortunate choice for the third installment. Cruz Ramirez is your typical Mary Sue as she became a major racer just like that – basically for a very short time she went from being weak to being awesome. That was some very lazy storytelling and characterization. And I just did not care for her whatsoever as she could be quite annoying.

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Cars 3 Movie Review

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Jackson Storm is also not great as he is your typical bad guy and new competent racer and he is actually quite underutilized in the movie. Sterling is fine and he has his moments, but the rest are just so forgettable. Lightning McQueen is great and his journey in this franchise is actually superbly told and excellent. Here he gets to grow quite a bit and he has to learn how to continue staying relevant in the business. Excellent characterization for him, but the others from the old crew are basically missing here as Sally gets only a couple of scenes as does Mater. The former is boring and the latter is annoying.

The animation is strong here, but far from the studio’s best works. The models are very well animated and detailed in execution, some of the scenery was quite wonderful and the film looks polished and modern. But there is nothing truly remarkable in terms of animation here and the film is just very competent without ever being breathtaking and not to mention artistic.

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Cars 3 Movie Review

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Cars 3 is very weakly directed by a weak director and the pacing is just so mediocre. The film features some very strong dialogue, but the humor is very weak and unfortunately rarely hitting the mark. The action is okay but for a movie about racing, it should have been stronger. The adventure elements were lacking and only as a drama the film succeeds quite a bit. In the end, it is one of Pixar’s weaker films, but still a solid movie that has a lot to offer from time to time.

Cars 3 is undone by its very dull, slight second act and a very unfortunate reliance on new characters instead of the old crew. Most new additions are not that good and Cruz Ramirez is the worst offender being basically a giant Mary Sue. However, the film is actually very clever in its first and third act as it explores branding, merchandising and constant reinventing to stay relevant in the changing industry. The ending is (discounting Cruz being too great of a racer) absolutely terrific as it shows Lightning having to give up racing and start training and continue his legacy that way. I loved that message as it is very much grounded in reality and the film thus avoided sugarcoating. It’s a shame that the rest of the film wasn’t as great.

My Rating – 3.5

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Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

Wreck-It Ralph is a 2012 animated fantasy adventure film which is the 52nd Disney animated feature and one of the best of all time.

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Because if that little kid likes me, how bad can I be?

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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Yes, I absolutely love this film!! This is one of my favorite Disney movies which is definitely in the top 15 Disney films list for me. The greatness of this movie lies in its great replay factor. This is the third time I’ve watched it and it is even better now than it was before and every next time I watch it, I put it a little bit higher on my Disney list.

It is about an arcade game villain who wants to become a good guy and be respected as everyone else. He sets out to get a medal in another game, befriends a young girl and uncovers the conspiracy behind the whole Sugar Rush game. To me this film has that wonderful, traditional friendship and heart at its core, but is set in a modern video game world and thus it achieves a perfect mix of contemporary and old-fashioned.

It is without any doubt one of the most original films of the decade as its plot is absolutely brilliant and so incredibly authentic and inventive. It is an action-packed, but always entertaining and heartwarming film and always so original in almost every way. It features some of the best and most intricate world building that I have ever seen as every little detail is thoroughly thought out here and all of those 80s video game references should prove delightful for their fans.

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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The beginning features narration, but is essential here and thus a good choice. I loved everything about that Game Central Station as it was brilliantly conceived and I just loved the rules of this universe. The human players play them and everybody has their own role but if they step outside of their own game, they could die for real and not regenerate. Great rules.

Hero’s Duty is not my favorite scene as it was too dark but still refreshingly so for an otherwise lighter film. The danger there was well conveyed and the first person shooter elements are so well realized. I loved how Ralph and Venellope met and those scenes where he builds a kart and teaches her how to race were wonderful.

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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Ralph breaking her kart was such a dark, unexpectedly brutal sequence which was emotionally devastating and one of the movie’s highlights for sure. I loved the mystery here and how Ralph uncovers it, the twist with the villain is actually very interesting and well executed. The final race was fine, but the twist with Venellope being a princess was actually fantastic. The fact that they managed to sneak in their usual princess formula into this different, non-princess film is highly admirable as that development honestly worked. Loved it. And of course the ending is one of my favorites as seeing Ralph watch Venellope from his arcade and the two smile and wave was just so emotionally rewarding and I was incredibly moved by it which is a testament to how strong emotion and characterization here is.

Yes, the character development is superb across the board as is the voice acting. Ralph is one of the best Disney protagonists in my opinion as he is that great. He is relatable, very well developed and likable without being too heroic. John C. Reilly was perfectly cast for this role and he did a phenomenal job.

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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Venellope von Schweets is even better! She is again not too likable and a realistic modern kid, but so well developed and I admired how the two shared the same dreams and goals and that strengthened their relationship. She is such a moving character with a terrific backstory and their friendship is the heart and soul of the entire film and its driving force. Sarah Silverman’s husky voice bothered me at first, but then I grew to like it and she really did an outstanding job in the role.

Fix-It Felix Jr. could have easily been an insufferable, one-note character owing to his inherent heroism but I loved that Ralph was the protagonist and he was in the back and he definitely became better and better as the movie progressed. His relationship with Sergeant Calhoun is so silly, but it honestly works. She is a very memorable, strong female character and they are the exact opposite of each other but that is maybe why their relationship felt so entertaining and strong. And I loved her backstory. This movie is a textbook example of how to properly do character backstories.

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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All of the other characters are not all that memorable though they did serve their purpose really well such as all of those bratty girls, henchmen and of course the various famous video game characters were so well incorporated with the highlights being Q*bert who is so cute and tragic and Zangief who is absolutely hilarious.

As for King Candy, I honestly wasn’t thrilled with him. I have to be honest. He is the weakest aspect in the film and he really held it down quite a bit. Now I loved his backstory which was once again very strong and the twist that he is Turbo is great, but the problem with him is that he is obviously meant to portray a feminine gay guy stereotype and this is the 2010s and this type of villain is no more excusable.

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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The animation is fantastic in Wreck-It Ralph, absolutely gorgeous. It is undoubtedly the finest computer animated film so far from Disney because the character design is very strong as all characters look very authentic and the way they movie and look is very much like a video game character fittingly. But the film is so polished, it looks fittingly modern and high-tech and I adored how colorful it is, especially Sugar Rush. The film looks beautiful and is a rare movie that gives CG animation a good name. Plus those video game scenes were fittingly very retro and realistic.

Wreck-It Ralph isn’t perfect. The villain is weaker, the action is at times slightly overwhelming and the humor could be immature (some of the banter between Venellope and Ralph was too childish). But most of the other humor is actually very strong and the action is mostly fantastic and a lot of fun to watch. The film is briskly paced, but never rushed and it is an absolute blast to watch. It is unfortunately over too soon and you want more so I am glad that we are getting a sequel as this world is just so rich with endless possibilities.

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Wreck-It Ralph Movie Review

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The film has no songs but it doesn’t need them as it isn’t suited for a musical. That one song from Rihanna is here (Shut Up and Drive) and I wasn’t a fan of it nor was I the fan of the other songs with the only exception being Celebration which was well incorporated. The score itself is terrific and pleasantly retro which I loved, especially in those earlier scenes. It is a memorable film with strong dialogue, amazing world building and very high emotional engagement as some scenes moved me so much. Needless to say, it is, along with ‘Tangled’, the best modern Disney film.

The characters in Wreck-It Ralph are amazing despite a weaker villain. Fix-It Felix Jr. and Sergeant Calhoun are such a fun couple and of course Venellope and Ralph are the heart and soul of this film. The animation is so beautiful and so phenomenal that it gives computer animation a good name for once. The emotion is overwhelming and some scenes moved me tremendously. And above all else, it is fueled by one of the most original and intricately plotted stories in recent memory filled with excellent character backstories and simply extraordinary world building. It has its small flaws, but it is mostly a brilliant film which is, along with ‘Tangled’, the best modern Disney film and one of the best of all time as well. A future classic that only gets better with each subsequent viewing.

My Rating – 4.5

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Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver Movie Review

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Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver is a 2017 crime action film directed by Edgar Wright and starring Ansel Elgort and Lily James. It is a surprisingly solid flick.

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I just can’t believe your real name is Miles

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Baby Driver Movie Review

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I honestly was surprised by this film, positively surprised. It is still just solid and definitely not great meaning that it is very overrated. However, it was not bad as I definitely expected it would be judging by those horrible trailers. So me liking it in the end was highly unexpected.

The movie has such an incredibly cliched storyline where the protagonist is in the crime unwillingly and he wants to get out, but he can’t as now his girlfriend is also involved. This is a giant cliché that it is baffling how others do not see that.

So in terms of storytelling, this film fails. But having in mind that it is style over substance, it does succeed as a kinetic experience and even for people like me who do not favor overwhelming action, it was a pretty fun flick as it had some exciting action scenes and high energy leading to an overall pretty entertaining movie.

Baby Driver also has highly typical characters. Ansel Elgort did the best he could, but I still did not find his character as likable as the film needed him to have been. He was too cocky in my opinion. Lily James is fine but her character is a typical, traditional female interest. They are not great individually, but together they are pretty good as they share a good romance.

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Baby Driver Movie Review

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Jon Hamm is sometimes fun, but Jamie Foxx is standard and boring. And although this is far from the best Kevin Spacey roles, he was still memorable and sometimes even fun in here. And all of the others are forgettable.

Baby Driver definitely has that musical gimmick to it which doesn’t fully work as I wasn’t a fan of these songs and the volume was too low. Music is an interesting plot device here in a way, but it still still very gimmicky to me. The film sounds and looks good. It is well acted and very well directed by Edgar Wright. The dialogue and humor are solid and the film has some emotional scenes as well, But although quite solid, it still is overly praised in my opinion.

Baby Driver surprised me. I expected horrible things from it judging by those awful trailers, but the film wasn’t nearly as insufferable as I thought it would be and is actually quite solid. The action is fun, the film is quite entertaining and it has good dialogue, humor and emotion. It definitely is a solid flick, but still highly overrated as it is basically a gimmick movie with style over substance and with both its plot and its characters being immensely cliched.

My Rating – 3.5

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Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Movie Review

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Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Movie Review

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is a 2007 science fiction action film and the sequel to ‘Alien vs. Predator’. It is the weakest entry in both of these respective franchises.

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Look, asshole, unless you can fly the helicopter, shut the fuck up

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Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Movie Review

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Yes, I really disliked this film. The first film was actually a lot of fun – silly but fun. This one however is no fun. It is the opposite of fun. It is the kind of modern blockbuster which I am really tired of. I am speaking about its whole execution from terrible visuals to bad action.

As the critics and fans, everyone really, have pointed out, this film is visually horrendous. Nothing can be seen properly as this grained, overly dark and simply awful look prevented it from being enjoyable in any scene and thus I was bored and frustrated.

Because I could not see the action properly, I cannot comment upon it all that much except that it looked bad. What little I’ve looked mediocre and there is not a single great fight or exhilarating scenario to be seen here whatsoever. Really unfortunate.

I do not know why this movie is called Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem as its plot has no requiem at all. The story here is overly simplistic, silly and entirely uninspired and boring. The same goes for the characters which are so incredibly thin and tedious. At least they tried to have some humans and at least some development, but they did not work for me.

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Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Movie Review

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The concept of Predalien is interesting and some of his scenes were the highlights here but still it was a missed opportunity for great action that we just never got here. The whole movie is a missed opportunity as its predecessor was a lot of campy and silly fun whereas here we do not even get that entertainment, let alone a plot or characterization. It is easily the worst entry in both of these franchises and the only one that I entirely disliked.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is the worst entry in both of its respective franchises and such an inferior sequel to the original which was infinitely more entertaining. This one is too dark to see a thing with a horrible look to it. The characters are so boring, the plot is silly and the action is lacking leading to a big mess and a total bore.

My Rating – 2

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Alien vs. Predator (2004)

Alien vs. Predator Movie Review

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Alien vs. Predator Movie Review

Alien vs. Predator is a 2004 science fiction action film directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. It is a fun, though exceedingly silly endeavor.

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It’s a bomb. Well, I hope it kills every fucking one of ’em!

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Alien vs. Predator Movie Review

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The critics should not be reviewing blockbuster movies like this one. Certainly AVP is not that good and it is ridiculous when you think about it, but it isn’t a bad movie, at least it wasn’t for me. That’s because the movie is extremely entertaining and that was its main purpose which it fulfilled so that is why I give it a slight edge to the fresh territory unlike Rotten Tomatoes.

Now I really enjoyed that first act, really well done. The movie started in such an intriguing, adventurous manner with no action sequence in sight which was unexpected and ultimately it led to a rewarding, positive experience. It was well setup, it looked good and I loved the Antarctic setting which was beautiful to follow and original for the series.

But then it went to typical action territory for better and for worse. The action sequences should have been better executed for sure, but they were still mostly fun and watching these two creatures clash against each other was definitely very entertaining.

That is why I don’t understand the emphasis on humans for more than half of the picture. I came for Aliens and Predators and I got humans which was a stupid choice made all the worse by their bland and poor characters with no personalities in sight.

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Alien vs. Predator Movie Review

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The acting is also not the greatest, I have to say. The actors and actresses look good physically and that is the only positive thing I can say about them. As for Alexa, her befriending one Predator and them taking on Aliens together was definitely a lot of fun to watch, but still way too silly to be taken seriously. The entire movie is awfully silly and although mostly it was positively ridiculous and done for fun, I still had a problem with its logic.

AVP is not well directed and acted at all, the pacing is so-so and the film has a weaker dialogue. But the special effects are very good and the set designs are particularly effective and memorable. The film is quite atmospheric at times.

Alien vs. Predator is of course not a great movie, but it isn’t bad as the critics say either. This is a silly blockbuster that was meant to entertain and it did just that as it was hugely entertaining to me so it ultimately succeeded in what it was trying to do. The action was not greatly executed, the humans are bland and some plot points are surely ridiculous in their lack of logic, but the movie is still fun from start to finish and with a particularly strong, atmospheric first act accompanied by memorable set designs and a great use of its intriguing Antarctic setting.

My Rating – 3

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Predator 2 (1990)

Predator 2 Movie Review

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Predator 2 Movie Review

Predator 2 is a 1990 science fiction action film starring Danny Glover. It is the second entry in the Predator franchise.

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It’s all right! I’m a cop!

I don’t think he gives a shit!

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Predator 2 Movie Review

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I actually liked this sequel. It isn’t a great film and certainly the original is so much better, but it is a pretty solid film nonetheless that surprised me how fun it ended up being. It surely deserves its cult status as the critics were overly harsh to it in the first place. Again it is nothing great, but as sequels go, it is above average.

The movie at first annoyed me as the first act was very frustrating as it started abruptly and Jamaicans and Colombians were pitted against each other in the streets of Los Angeles in the near future. That felt entirely unrealistic, stupid and not to mention racist. Also, I wasn’t the biggest fan of taking the action to the streets in the first place.

But I eventually warmed up to the idea as it felt different from the original and I guess having a jungle again would have been repetitive and rehashed. But because the city was so well utilized for its action, the end result was quite solid and worthy. The movie was a bit too violent, but I liked how this Predator was again very competent and such a great villain.

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Predator 2 Movie Review

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The characters and actors are forgettable besides Danny Glover of course who is very good in the lead role and honestly a surprisingly solid substitution for Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was a bit too heroic and competent, but again that is necessary if you want to take on this creature and he did fight him really well and the final third was honestly very entertaining and I loved it. It certainly made the movie much better than it would have been without it.

Predator 2 has some great action scenes. Not as inventive or as fun as in the first movie, but still pretty solid and again his gadgets are very well utilized in the fights. But let’s talk about that very interesting, thought-provoking even ending.

So he found his way into the creatures’ spaceship and after killing the Predator in a great fight, others arrive to take his body and they give him a pistol as a trophy. That reminded me a bit too much of how Arnie was deemed worthy and thus spared in the original, but it still worked here and it was a great scene as it showed us that the Predators have been hunting humans on earth for at least three centuries as the pistol is from 1715. That was interesting as well as the Xenomorph skull Easter egg which showed us that they have been killing them as well. A lot of interesting hints were given here.

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Predator 2 Movie Review

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Predator 2 is weakly paced and again the film is so uneven as some parts work stupendously but others felt either racist or annoying or even dated. The police was forgettable as were those gangs and those humans who wanted to use the Predator for his weapons were overly typically in their goal. But the film is quite entertaining and even intriguing at times that it does succeed as a pretty solid sequel in the end.

Predator 2 is very annoying in its first act. The war on the streets felt stupid, unrealistic and even racist. And the setting of Los Angeles was unappealing to me at first. Eventually, I warmed up to this idea as the city got utilized in the action scenes so well. Danny Glover is very good as the hero here and the final act was excellent and very intriguing in its imagery and Easter eggs. So it is in the end a flawed, but definitely quite a solid, fun sequel.

My Rating – 3.5

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Predator (1987)

Predator Movie Review

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Predator Movie Review

Predator is a 1987 science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is such a good, memorable action flick.

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You’re one ugly motherfucker!

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Predator Movie Review

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I loved that the film revolved around an Central American jungle as that was a very good, interesting setting for an action film. The plot is simple, but good. The men get taken down one by one by an extraterrestrial creature. Now the main reason why I really enjoyed the film lies in its structure. So it basically follows an action video game structure where you have a lot of the stealth elements, many fights and even with the full-on boss fight at the end. A very interesting choice that paid off significantly.

So let’s talk about the characters. They are the weakest part of Predator, I have to say. Very weak, underdeveloped and basically disposable. The protagonist is your typical Arnold Schwarzenegger macho guy and he is so underutilized and we do not learn anything about him. I liked how smart he is along with being physically strong, but still he was shallow even for the genre standards and I continue not being a fan of Arnold’s acting.

Carl Weathers is much better, but even his character is boring. Anna is memorable, but typical. I also liked Billy Sole and the film is interesting for being very diverse as it has two African Americans and even one Native American in its cast. Mac is the best of the bunch as a relatably scared member of the team and he got some really moving moments.

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Predator Movie Review

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But this is all about the Predator and he is the most unforgettable part of the film. I love this creature. Now the Xenomorph from ‘Alien’ is still much more original and even more formidable an opponent in my opinion, but Predator is interesting for being an extraterrestrial human and not an animal while also strongly relying on technology. His gadgets are a lot of fun and so well utilized, I liked his “ugly motherfucker” face and of course his vision is so great. All of the thermal sensor scenes were my favorites as they so effectively built up suspense.

Now Predator does have a less memorable first act, but the second and third ones are great. There is too much action here and not enough calmer moments, but still this is as great of an action film as they come as the action is exhilarating in quality and so perfectly executed almost in every scene.

The highlight is definitely the ending. It was a prolonged fight, but very well choreographed and very well thought out as the two tried to best each other with incredibly entertaining results. I loved how smart the protagonist’s tactics were, but still not too smart and the film ended really well. The action was also realistic as one Predator couldn’t have possibly killed all of these people and he did get hurt and eventually killed.

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Predator Movie Review

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The film is so well filmed and its jungle setting is a lot of fun and perfectly used for bigger suspense. I also thought that the film was mostly very lean and deft in direction and pacing. The score is also excellent, very effective and memorable. So I liked this movie much more upon my second viewing and it truly was a great start for the franchise and it gave us an unforgettable alien creature.

Predator has very weak and underutilized characters, but apart from that, it is actually as great of an action film as you can possibly get. The jungle setting is used to great effect, the score is memorable and the action sequences are so well thought out and all are a lot of fun and exhilarating in quality. Its action video game structure is interesting and the standout is of course the creature himself who is unforgettable and so well imagined with his look and his many gadgets and weapons.

My Rating – 4

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Aliens (1986)

Aliens Movie Review

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Aliens Movie Review

Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action horror film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver. It is a good, but far from great sequel.

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Get away from her, you bitch!

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Aliens Movie Review

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First, I’ll state the positives. I really liked the film’s emotional approach. It made the movie quite relatable and very touching in certain scenes. The choice to basically give Ripley a new daughter after she’d lost her own really paid off in terms of characterization and emotion. Ripley here is at her best and this is one of the best action heroes of all time as she is badass, but also human evidenced by her post-traumatic stress disorder and at first unwillingness to go back.

Sigourney Weaver killed it here and entirely deserved her Oscar nomination. She truly became Ripley and cemented her status as a strong action heroine in the process, in my opinion the strongest one ever. I really liked Newt as she’s such a cute, yet also brave and capable kid and the interactions between the two were wonderful.

Vasquez is underdeveloped, but quite funny at times and quite memorable as this butch private. I really liked how they made Bishop a hero now as Ash was the villain in ‘Alien’ and having the android be the villain again would have been repetitive. But Burke just isn’t all that compelling as the new villain, though solid for sure.

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Aliens Movie Review

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There are a lot of memorable scenes to be had in Aliens. I naturally loved the line “Get away from her, you bitch!” That scene stole the show and Weaver’s delivery is priceless. I also really liked the portrayal of the queen, very memorable and it led to more world building for the series and was honestly a natural choice given the creature’s design and reproduction.

So Aliens is a good film, very good indeed. But what is it that leads to it not being great? Well, in short the answer is two words – James Cameron. Let me explain. I have never been a fan of this director and this movie really cements that feeling for me. I love the Alien franchise and this movie would have been great with any other director, but Cameron brought his typical approach to it and ruined it in my opinion.

I am talking about the action. It is just overwhelming. The choice to turn an Alien film into action and not horror film was not a particularly good one in the first place and the execution is even worse. There are some great action set pieces here, for sure. But whereas the original film was so calm and thus all the more effective, this one is overly bombastic and the second half is just ridiculously fast paced and filled with spectacle. It definitely ruined the suspense and enjoyment for me.

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Aliens Movie Review

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I also found its first half a bit too long and slow. It was prolonged in order to strengthen the character development, but they weren’t all that successful with it given that we only have a couple of well developed, strong characters here. The ending is also ridiculously rehashed from the first film. The editing is surely not the greatest and I don’t know why the Academy nominated it. As for its other six nominations, they are all pretty much deserved as the effects are definitely terrific, but I thought the score wasn’t as memorable this time around.

It seems that Mr. Cameron thought that bigger is better evidenced by this film’s overabundance of action scenes whereas the original was so wonderfully restrained in that department. And that is why I honestly cannot comprehend how anyone could deem Aliens to be better than Alien. It does have an excellent performance from Sigourney Weaver and Ripley here is at her strongest, I love Newt and their relationship brought a lot of heart to the film which also features some memorable scenes and funny lines. It is a good film, but it just never reached the greatness that its predecessor reached and Cameron is to blame of course.

My Rating – 4

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