Flatliners (2017)


I heard all the bad reviews for this movie but I’m too damn stubborn to listen. I needed to experience the awfulness for myself and experience it I did. Flatliners is about medical students who kill themselves to see what the afterlife is like before they’re brought back to life. I love the premise for this movie and was actually pretty excited to see it, but once Ellen Page was revived things started to take a turn towards the dumb and unbelievable. She suddenly knows the answers to all these medical questions and can recall the smallest details from things she read years earlier. I almost broke my nose I facepalmed so hard. That part was really stupid, but it wasn’t the part I liked the least. I couldn’t stand the supernatural, horror aspect that started about half way in. How in the hell do these people actually get hurt by these hallucinations? It’s explained that they were actually doing it to themselves, but that makes no sense. Let’s just go through one of these hallucinations, shall we? This is what would have happened when Jamie is having his hallucination on his house boat: he puts down the knife, then picks it up again, then goes to grab the knife but is shocked that it isn’t there, he then throws himself off of his boat into the water, while pulling himself up onto the dock out of the water (using both hands mind you) he stabs himself in the hand using his other hand. I refuse to suspend my disbelief for this… I refuse! This explanation doesn’t make sense, so I guess they’re being haunted by real ghosts and in that case how come all the people who’ve had near death experiences never claimed to see ghosts before? No matter how you spin it, this movie completely lost all credibility in my eyes.

Another thing I noticed but don’t usually care about is the editing. After Jamie has his hand stabbed it just cuts away to Ellen Page recording a video of herself. What the hell? What happened to Jamie? Ok fine I can give the movie one free pass. So now Ellen Page is taking this video and some supernatural stuff happens to her and you see Jamie standing outside her building until it, out of nowhere, cuts to people swimming in a pool. The next scene had nothing at all to do with what happened to Ellen Page. It didn’t need to go here… resolve what happened to her and put this somewhere else in the movie! My free pass was already used up so at this point I was starting to get annoyed. Now Jamie is talking to his ex and he’s standing in the street like maybe she’ll say something or something important will happen… then it cuts away to Marlo in her bed. What happened to Jamie?! Stop cutting away when things are happening! You’re given no resolution or time to process anything because they immediately cut away to something else entirely. I don’t normally notice these things, but it really bothered me here and it took me right out of the movie.

You should just trust the reviews on this one, it isn’t worth your time. It’s a jumbled mess that doesn’t seem like it really knows what it wants to be.

Verdict: 5.3/10 Flatlined half way in and couldn’t be brought back… RIP


Weekend Binge #2

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)war_for_the_planet_of_the_apes

I like the Planet of the Apes franchise, in particular I enjoyed the originals a lot, but I couldn’t really get into the new trilogy. This was an ok movie, but I only watched it for completion’s sake so I wasn’t expecting too much. See I find it extremely difficult to follow the plot in movies that are live action but mostly CGI because my brain just zones out.  I thought it was almost interesting trying to come full circle by introducing Nova, but it didn’t really work for me because if you watched the first Planet of the Apes right after this, it wouldn’t make any sense. In that movie she’s put in a cage like another animal, so if she was originally like a pet to them or someone they cared about how come they treated her like any other human? It felt like a quick last minute tie in and not something that was very thought out. The effects are pretty great obviously, and they did a good job trying to evoke emotion from the audience. I couldn’t really empathize too much with CGI though, so it was sort of lost on me. Now try and stay with me here… what I’m about to say in no way reflects the quality of this movie, I’m merely trying to compare the ideas. This was sort of like the Star Wars prequels in that it tries to explain things that I never really wanted to know. Personally, I never cared why humans couldn’t talk or how apes took over the world so this just didn’t appeal to me in any way (just like how I don’t care about Midi-chlorians!).

However, this is a well done movie with some emotional moments and I can understand how it was so highly praised. If you liked the first 2 movies in this trilogy I’m sure this won’t disappoint you.

 Verdict: 7/10 Don’t forget the subtitles or you’ll end up listening to monkey grunts for 20 minutes and have to rewind

Stronger (2017)stronger.png

I looked at this movie and thought it was some tear jerking Oscar bait movie and didn’t want to waste my time on it, but then I noticed that Jake Gyllenhaal was in it and I pretty much had no choice. He hasn’t disappointed me in a long time so any movie he’s in, I’m there. Thankfully this ended up being so much better than I thought it’d be. I thought it was really respectful of the event and the survivors and it didn’t feel like it was just trying to cash in. One of my favorite scenes is when Jeff is in the hospital and he’s getting his bandages changed. The focus of the camera is on his face and his pain, while his legs are out of focus in the background. The point of the scene is to show what he had to endure, not to show the gore for shock value or flaunt off the special effects. It was unexpected, but I liked how they handled that a lot. They did something similar when he goes to wave the flag at the hockey game. That whole scene was incredible with the way they handled his PTSD and the emotion between him and his girlfriend, Erin.

Overall this is a pretty good movie. The acting, effects and handling of the tough subject matter was all done exceptionally well and this is well worth checking out.

Verdict: 8.1/10 Bring some Kleenex

mother! (2017)

The only thing I knew about this movie going in was that it was really weird and you’ll either love it or hate it. For some reason, I thought Jennifer Lawrence was supposed to be a robot and I spent the whole movie waiting for her to plug herself in to charge or something. Maybe if she was a robot I would’ve liked it more than I did. The first half wasn’t bad, but the second half was just too WTF for me. There was too much going on and none of it really made sense. I don’t even have a favorite image to screengrab here so all you get is text!

As a fan of Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan, I thought I might enjoy this but oh well… you win some you lose some. Maybe if you liked The Fountain you might like this.

Verdict: 6.4/10 She’s definitely NOT a robot…

Sing Street (2016)

sing_street.pngThis is another musical with another great soundtrack. This one takes place in the 80s and stars a 15 year old boy who starts a band to impress a girl he likes. I was a little skeptical at first after hearing the boy’s voice, but he started to get into it and I thought he sounded great. Some of the songs were catchy and they were a lot of fun to listen to. The brother was really great in this movie; his character was so deep and well written, and the actor who played him gave a fantastic performance.

If you like musicals then I’m sure you’ll like this. If you grew up in the 80s, I’m even more sure you’ll like this.

Verdict: 7.8/10 Get ready for a good time!

Lovesong (2016)lovesong.png

I’m not totally sure where I heard of this movie but it somehow made it on to my “To Watch” list, so when I saw it on Netflix I thought I’d give it a go. This movie is about 2 friends who sleep with each other once then don’t see each other again until one of them gets married. It’s a little awkward, but also kind of sweet, but also kind of sad. This movie was a child size roller coaster of emotion. That kid was so adorable I thought I was going to die whenever she said something and there were some really good laughs, namely “Anal Saturdays”… man was that a great scene. I liked the movie up until the ending then I got sort of annoyed. Watching people being stupid just makes me mad. I wish I could’ve reached into the movie and slapped them. Look at that image! Don’t they look happy? I think so. Ok… well out of context that doesn’t look too happy, but in context it was really sweet and I liked it.

Overall, this is a slow, mediocre “romance” type movie and I’d say it probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you have nothing else to do on a Sunday afternoon, maybe give it a whirl.

Verdict: 7/10 Anal Saturdays

45 Years (2015)

I heard good things about this movie and I had it queued to watch on Netflix for months despite it not looking too interesting to me. My instinct happened to be right in this case, and I didn’t enjoy it at all. It’s about this couple who are just about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary when they receive some news that will change their lives in a big way. I won’t give away what the big news is because I think learning about it as the characters do helps you feel the emotions right alongside them. As far as how it made me feel, well I can understand the heartbreak and how it’d feel to have your entire life put into question, but maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to really have it hit me emotionally.

I found myself really bored through long stretches of this movie. Perhaps if you’ve been married for 44 years and 11 months you might be able to relate a little more and will enjoy this… otherwise I can’t really say I’d recommend it.

Verdict: 6.4/10 Ehhhhhhh


TSPDT Double Feature

This week I gave myself a double dose of They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They? with the movies Storm Over Asia and Das Boot. My desire to watch each of these movies couldn’t have been any more different, but without further ado let’s get into it.

Storm Over Asia (1928)

Starting off with #989, Storm Over Asia or Potomok Chingis-Khana if you prefer original titles. This is a silent, historical, 2+ hour long Russian movie about uhhh, trying to sell some furs, getting in a fight, then being mistaken for Genghis Khan. I judge books by their covers, and I thought this would bore the pants off of me. I psyched myself up and hit play. The first thing I noticed was the music which was so different from other silent movies I’ve seen. This one was Asian themed and I liked it a lot actually. I think it fit well with the movie and I didn’t get sick of it after the 2 hour runtime like I have with other silent movies I’ve watched. The effects were also pretty good for such an old movie. They actually showed blood that looked like blood which I found somewhat shocking for a movie from the 20s. It was also very impressive that they shot the movie in Mongolia and hired Mongolian actors to play many of the parts which added a lot authenticity to the movie.

Overall, this wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be, but I did zone out a little in the middle. Even so, this is in my personal top 5 silent movies… out of the 10 or so that I’ve seen…

Verdict: 7/10

Das Boot (1981)das_boot.png

Next let’s fast forward to 1981 with Das Boot, a movie about Germans on a U-boat in WWII. This would be #988 on the list and is my second time seeing it. I was so excited to re-watch it and it didn’t disappoint in the slightest. I think the first time I ended up watching the nearly 5 hour version, this time I watched the 3 and a half hour version but boy did it not feel that long… there wasn’t a single moment when I asked myself when this was going to be over.  This movie is so intense, it had my stomach in knots. I had the added bonus of not remembering how it ends and the ending just blew my mind. I loved it so much that I won’t dare spoil anything, even though that’s the tagline of my blog. As far as special effects go, they built scale models to do some of the outside sea shots which held up really well almost 40 years later. They even built a life sized U-boat set to use where you can see how insanely small those things were for the amount of people they carried. You can just imagine the filth and stench inside that boat after months on sea. I just can’t get over how well this movie was made. I loved every minute of it.

This movie is suspenseful, emotional, claustrophobic and beautifully made. I can’t stop praising it enough, and because of that I decided that it’s earned a place in my top 20 movies of all time. Don’t be scared of the runtime for this movie because it doesn’t feel long at all. But if you still can’t stomach watching such a long movie, there’s a shorter one at around 2 and a half hours that just might do it for you. So turn off the lights, turn up the volume and enjoy!

Verdict: 9.5/10




Oh, hi there, nice of you to still be reading… here’s a bonus movie just for you.

Miller’s Crossing (1990)millers_crossing.png

I had this one laying around for awhile and decided to finally give it a watch and it was just alright. It’s about this guy who keeps trying to play both sides of this mobster feud. The plot is interesting I guess, but personally I don’t find that Gabriel Byrne can really carry a movie. The movie just felt small and could’ve benefited from some bigger name actors in it. There were some great scenes, but I couldn’t help but feel like something was always missing. I really can’t say what it was though. This is a decent Sunday afternoon movie, but I wasn’t too blown away with it.

Verdict: 6.8/10




Marjorie Prime (2017)


I’ve been putting off writing this review for days now because Marjorie Prime is a movie I really thought I’d like. I waited for it for months before I finally got a chance to watch it and not surprisingly, I didn’t really like it. It’s basically about some version of our world where you can get holograms of someone who’s passed away. You talk to them about who they were, tell them stories about their lives and hopefully try to get some closure. Very interesting premise and I thought it’d be right up my alley, but it wasn’t and I’m not even sure why.

The first 15 or 20 minutes were just so boring and slow that I didn’t even want to finish the movie. I held out for a bit longer and then the movie took an unexpected turn that made it much more watchable. I figured I’d be following the first hologram’s progression through most of the movie, but you don’t… you end up following several. The first hologram you’re introduced to after it’s already learned who it is; it’s been “alive” for days or weeks at this point. You’re able to witness the ideal moment in the hologram’s existence where it feels like the person you knew. Then the second one is introduced much earlier in its life and you start to see how it has to learn things about itself before it can feel real. The third one is even more raw because it’s brand new. It has to be told who it is, how it died, what their relationships are like and so on. It’s in this last hologram that we really start to see the flaws in this system.

What I got out of this movie is that, while it’d be great to have your loved one back, it isn’t really them and can’t ever be them. All they are is who you imagine them to be in your head. If you loved them you might tell the hologram all of the happy memories you have, while if you have some deep resentments towards that person you might tell it stories that really hurt you. If that person wronged you, it could be very therapeutic to talk it out, but if they didn’t then to me it’s just a way for you to never let go and I don’t think that’s healthy.

This was an interesting review. I didn’t want to write it because I had nothing to say, but as I struggled to come up with something to write, I started realizing that, while the first 15 minutes were sort of boring, the movie as a whole had a lot to say. I guess it’s a movie you really need to think about. Would you ever use this service? Who would you use it on? Would you use it to hold on to the happy memories or try and resolve the unhappy ones? Can’t say if I’d recommend this because obviously I found it a little boring, but if any of these ideas or questions intrigued you then maybe give it a shot.

Verdict: 6.5/10 At least in the holographic AI revolution there’s no way they can murder us