Here’s a list of movies I’ve seen recently and my quick reaction afterwards. No film school critics analysis-paralysis. Just quick impressions. I find that I have to see a lot of turkeys to find a gem worth watching twice.
I’m using a 10 star scale, like IMDb. Its just that I don’t know what a “10” star movie is. In the interest of not over thinking this, I generally go with these ratings:
- 9 Stars – Yeah, these are really, really good, clever and well done. From story to dialogue to twists to cinematics (whatever that is). I’ll remember these and expect they are on the Oscar-watch. Yeah, I’ll see this one again because there are details I probably missed and its so worth a second look.
- 7 stars – solid, entertaining and enjoyable. I really liked it. These are where I rate most of the Marvel Universe. Despite their familiar storyline, they are simply well done; so cheers to them.
- 5 stars – yeah, basic and average. Covers the check list for a movie but isn’t special. Follows a pretty obvious flow; so, nothing special. Take it or leave it. Generally, I should save my money. As I leave the theatre, I’m feeling disappointed. Maybe it was over-hyped, but it just didn’t work.
- 3 stars – wow, definitely bad from start to finish. What were they thinking? Who let this movie get released? I’m pissed I sat through this. But maybe the cinematic qualities and/or actors made me stay. I feel bad for them.
- 1 star – OMG! Now I’m pissed. Hey Producer AND Theatre Operator! You stole my money! This is awful! But I’ll give you a star for spelling.
If I rate it in between these levels, its because its just a bit better/worse than my rating scale. Here goes, in order of when I saw them (most recent on top):
BRIAN BANKS [7 stars]
Interesting story. I was familiar with Banks, a USC football recruit falsely accused of rape and his struggle to clear his name and reclaim his life in football. Just sad he lost a critical 10 years, which in football is nearly impossible to overcome.
SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK [6 stars]
Decent but familiar scary stuff of childhood. Probably will play well to the 12-14 year olds. Good tension and frights at times. But saying “boo!” gets you only so far.
HOBBS AND SHAW [6 stars]
Good jokes. Good banter. Good action. Over the top. But not really in the Fast and Furious tent. Where’s Dom? Just an excuse for a buddy movie and follows that path. Ryan Reynolds needs to expand his range. Getting tired of the schtick. Sorry.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD [8 stars]
Well I loved it. Interesting story. Great acting by DiCaprio and Pitt. I expect Oscar noms for them and the movie. Typical Tarantino, except less gore, until later in the movie. Clever. If you like Tarantino, you’ll like this.
STUBER [5 stars]
Both clever and boring, wrapped into one story. Clever idea but dragged. Nanjiani as the Uber driver was very good. I’m going to keep an eye on him. And Bautista (of Guardians of the Galaxy), as the big loveable dimwit was alikewise good. So, yeah, I guess the casting kept me watching this one.
THE ART OF SELF DEFENSE [5 stars]
Man, sort like Stuber, both clever and boring at the same time. Jesse Eisenberg was perfectly cast, as if they writer wrote it with him only in mind. At the end of the day, forgettable, just as a 5-star movie should be. Oh well.
CRAWL [6 stars]
It teases me with tension but at the end of the day, its just a spin on the Sharknado movies, except with gators. Enjoyable and forgettable, but I felt I got my money’s worth for this carnival ride.
MIDSOMMAR [2 stars]
Kinda disgusting. Definitely disturbing. Completely immoral. It revolted me to my core. Wish I didn’t see this one! Trying to forget it. I’m so pissed. Any questions?
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME [7 stars]
I’m a Spidey going back to Toby. Liked this one very much. A lot of promise with this new cast. The movie was thoroughly entertaining. Delivered what you expect from this Superhero. Also, explained the world after Avengers and what happened. So there is a bridge story back to clarify things a little.
YESTERDAY [6 stars]
Music was the star of this and really showed the depth of what the Beatles did and the music sounded fresh today. The story was clever with this nobody pub singer singing covers of the Beatles songs, except in his world, the Beatles magically didn’t exist. Strange idea but entertaining and fun to imagine. “Imagine if there were no Beatles… Its easy if you try…” Groan… but you get it.
ANNABELL COMES HOME [4 stars]
Just barely above a waste of time. Nothing new here. They got me in the door because I sorta like this kind of movie. But actually, I’m tired of it. Absolutely nothing new. They are beating a dead doll here. Save your money.
THE DEAD DON’T DIE [3 stars]
OMG. What a waste of time. Cameos. Weak jokes by Bill. Everybody dies. Typical zombies movie only worse. It was trying to be funny. Put a stake in this one. Walk away. Bad. Bad. Bad.
ANNA [5 stars]
Good. Spy movie where a super-model gets the bad guys. Okay, maybe unrealistic in every way. But the movie had a good pace, kept me interested and the Anna is, well, hot.
MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL [5 stars]
A lot of people didn’t like this one. I guess that’s why I didn’t think it was bad. It was okay, watchable and … shrug.
SHAFT [6 stars]
Its got Samuel L. Jackson bringing the attitude. He’s so good, and lifts this average installment in the series. The original Shaft is the grandfather. And Sam’s kid is, well, “violence averse”, but Samuel brings him up to speed in the family business – a$$ kicking bad guys. Fun movie. No masterpiece though.
DARK PHOENIX [6 stars]
Really didn’t get a lot of press; so I didn’t know it was coming up. In the Marvel X-Men series. Men? Well, or course, this is a woman-driven hero. Or is she the nemesis? I enjoyed discovering who these character are. After years (decade really) of Avengers, the X Men story seems to have slipped away. Thing was a good movie, but who really cares. Where’s Ironman, etc.? Not here.
MA [4 stars]
My, my, my. Crazy story but decent. Didn’t know what to expect. Watchable. Forgettable too. But not the worst thing I’ve seen.
GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS [3 stars]
I may be a little harsh in my grade, but I just didn’t like it and I don’t care at all about Godzilla. What was the point here? Why do we care? Good special effects though. 3 stars for that.
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 [6 stars]
And you wonder why there is such violence in society? Wonder no more after you see guns, violence and carnage glorified. Hey, Hollywood? Hello? But this one gave me heart palpitations. Pure adrenaline. And, yes, I enjoyed it. But I don’t own a gun.
ROCKET MAN [4 stars]
I love Elton John music. And this movie, of course, was satisfying to listen to. But, I’ll be honest, the story made me cringe a little. I’m not the target audience for this one. I’ll stick to Spotify for my Elton John fix.
THE HUSTLE [3 stars]
Oh wow. So bad. Embarrassing. I’m a Rebel Wilson fan, but this one didn’t work. Pairing her with Anne Hathaway. Zero chemistry on top of lameness in everyway. Aptly named move; I was hustled in seeing this. $8? Sure, here you go. You’re welcome.
POMS [4 stars]
Complete waste of a talented cast. They did what they could with this tur…key. Man, I never want to end up in a retirement village. Just a sad story.