Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

Midsommar – (*)

Posted: December 27, 2019 in 1/2, 2019, Fantasy, Horror, USA

Ari Aster keeps getting rave reviews for his movies. Not sure why. Hereditary is the most over-hyped movie of 2018. And this one. Well, it’s better, but still.

Of course, these pictures will never be nominated for a razzie award. They are considered arthouse. And arthouse movies can’t be crap. Only mainstream blockbuster movies can be viciously attacked and ridiculed.

Four American students get invited by a Swedish friend to experience an ancient pagan ritual, held every 90 years, in the north of his home country. The guys study anthropology and one of their girlfriends studies psychology. So far so good. So far, an interesting premise.

However, the movie starts with a focus on the girlfriend, months before the trip. Her sister just committed suicide (and killed her parents in the act) and she’s not getting enough support from her boyfriend (one of the anthropology students). This takes up about 20 minutes and is already boring after ten.

Then the action finally takes places in Sweden (even though it’s filmed in Hungary). The imagery is nice, the costumes as well. It’s an interesting setting. Until the pagan community turns out to be a sekt with strange rituals. And then it’s really downhill from there. Nothing makes sense. There is no horror. There is no tension. There is no humor. There is bad acting. The dialogues are crap. The plot twists aren’t twists at all. The surprise elements are predictable because of the slow scenes leading up to them. It’s terrible.

The whole explanation of the circle of life which ends at 72 is ridiculous if the makers stress that the festival only takes place every 90 years.

Utter crap.

But still (*) for having finished it and because so few movies get that rating.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8772262/

This came on tv this afternoon. Decided to watch a bit of it. Ended up finishing it. Hey, it’s been more than 30 years !

What a silly movie. Those special effects are BAD. And the acting isn’t particularly good either. Neither is the story. In fact, this is really quite terrible.

But it’s nostalgic… And Bill Murray is great being Bill Murray.

However, this did not pass the test of time. I used to LOVE this movie.

Ray Parker Jr’s title track is still cool though. (it was the first 7″ inch single I ever bought).

www.imdb.com/title/tt0087332

 

Jumanji: The Next Level – *(*)

Posted: December 22, 2019 in 2019, Adventure, Fantasy, USA, X1/2

Lame action. Lame jokes. Lame acting.

Apart from The Rock and Danny Glover maybe, who kind of make this still worth watching.

This may appeal to very young kids, who will love the action and the slapstick and the weird avatar swaps. But if you’re not a kid, this is a really dull.

www.imdb.com/title/tt7975244

It’s not a great movie. It’s entertaining. A lot of things happen. But it’s not a great episode. The story just isn’t captivating. Lots of things don’t make sense. And by episode three of this new trilogy you should at least have one new character to empathize with. But you don’t. Rey isn’t particularly interesting. Kylo Ren neither. Yet both should be having every single member in the audience grasp for air whenever they meet on screen. But they don’t. Finn has a very small part. Rose doesn’t even have five lines in this one. Poe is annoying. Then there’s all these cameo’s of actors who passed away a while ago or characters who were killed off in previous episodes and return. Yawn.

Oh well. It’s over now.

www.imdb.com/name/nm4511652

Too much product placement. (Is this show sponsored by Burger King and New Coke?)

Too many characters. (who again are siblings ?)

Too many references. (A corrupt mayor… Events leading up to the 4th of July… A chief with lines like “I can do anything I want, I’m the chief of police” … Jaws isn’t even eighties)

Too many repetitive scenes. (We get it. El can move things. El can locate people after being blindfolded.)

Contrary to other fans of the show, this guy here was disappointed in Season 3. Even got bored at certain moments. And the end doesn’t promise anything better for Season 4.

Oh well.

Still a great show though. Eighties forever!

www.imdb.com/title/tt4574334

Aladdin – **

Posted: July 24, 2019 in 2019, Children/Family, Fantasy, USA, XX

Visually a blast, this is quite an entertaining movie.

However. This live adaption of the animation classic is very flawed.

First there’s the setting. This is supposed to be an Arab folktale. Yet, it feels like the movie is made in Punjab or so. The market kinda looks middle eastern maybe. But the whole atmosphere is more Bollywood than anything else.

Also, why on earth would a Scandinavian-like prince speak with a German accent and look for an Arab princess to marry back in whatever era this tale is supposed to take place? Sure, it’s a fairytale, but even fairytales should make sense.

Then there’s the acting. It’s not good.

And finally, the music sucks. There are way too many songs and they all sound dull. About from that one hit maybe (A Whole New World).

However, as mentioned before. It’s an entertaining movie that doesn’t bore a bit. It baffles and annoys.

Makes you want to watch the animation movie though.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6139732

Gräns – **(*)

Posted: July 20, 2019 in 2018, Fantasy, Romance, Sweden, XX1/2

Not half as bizarre as critics want you to believe, this romantic drama will keep you intrigued until the very end.

Tina looks different. She’s been told that it’s due to a mistake in the chromosome system. She has some traits that others don’t have though. She can smell emotions and feels much more united with nature. She works at customs and can ‘sniff’ out those passengers with illegal merchandise. Then, one day, she meets a passenger that seems to suffer from the same medical injustice. It turns her world upside down. He claims not to be human.

It’s a movie about a troll woman figuring out who she really is. And it’s a good movie. Sure, there are some scenes that may be disturbing, but they fit the narrative. It’s a bit predictable though. You may not smell it, but you can still anticipate what’s coming. Maybe that’s why in the end it’s a bit disappointing, after having read all the raving reviews.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5501104/?

Three more episodes of this fascinating series of standalone near future dramatic thrillers. Not so thrilling or scary or thought provoking as before, but a good watch nevertheless.

Striking Vipers (***) isn’t half as scary as other episodes. In fact, the technological novelty kinda looks appealing. It’s a virtual reality game console that makes you become the character you chose. The idea could be frightening, but this time the makers turned it around and made it something more sexual and romantic. Quite intriguing. Well acted.

In Smithereens (**) a man kidnaps an employee of a major social network company in order to be able to speak to the founder of the company. He manages to do so and the end is a bit of a disappointment. It’s the kind of kidnapping show that makes you wonder why the person being kidnapped is not cooperating with the police to being rescued.

Miley Cyrus plays an unhappy pop star in Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too (**). Her manager controls every aspect of her life and just wants the business to boom. Just as a new A.I. lookalike robot is launched on the market, things get ugly. But thanks to one of the robots and the owners of it, the pop star is saved.

www.imdb.com/title/tt2085059/episodes

 

Dumbo (2019) – **

Posted: April 2, 2019 in 2019, Children/Family, Fantasy, USA, XX

Whatever happened with Tim Burton? The last good film he made was Big Fish from 2003.

This isn’t really bad. It’s just not exciting or original or funny.

It’s interesting to see how they adapted the animation story from 1941. In fact, the original movie is told in maybe 30 minutes or so. And it’s clear that the makers changed whatever felt wrong in that version. The references to some of the main characters in the original are subtle. The mother elephant is brought to the circus, already pregnant. There’s a stork flying by, but he’s not ‘bringing the baby’. There’s a mouse dressed as a ringmaster as well, but it’s only briefly on screen. They did a great job making Dumbo look like a clown. The pink elephant parade is well re-interpreted. When the mother is locked up in train carriage, it looks exactly the same as in the Disney classic. But where are the crows? Was Disney afraid for ‘racial’ controversy ?

But once the original story is told there’s more drama and action coming. The original ends with Dumbo realizing he can fly… This movie focuses on whatever happens next. It starts with two children being reunited with their father who returned from the war in Europe (missing an arm). He’s appointed to be in charge of the elephant show, but already has trouble when the new animal gives birth to a ‘freak’. Once the freak becomes the star of the show, the whole circus moves to some kind of amusement park and that’s where more trouble starts.

They managed to make a decent live action movie of a pretty sad children’s story. But it’s not enchanting or charming. No matter how cute Dumbo looks. None of the new (human) characters excite.

www.imdb.com/title/tt3861390

US – **(*)

Posted: March 29, 2019 in 2019, Fantasy, Horror, USA, XX1/2

The horror hype movie of the moment: US. 

Hyped horror movies! They normally turn out to be big disappointments (Hereditary? It?). But you know what? This is actually not a bad movie at all. It’s not scary and it’s slow. But it’s originally weird. A lot doesn’t make sense, but it’s entertaining from start to finish.

The story is simple. Somehow there’s an alternate world of shadows living in abandoned tunnels and empty undergrounds. They’ve been hiding there for decades (or centuries.. who knows), but now they’re ready to come out of their shelters and take over the world. By killing the humans they are identical shadows of.

The focus lies with one family who you can easily relate to. The dorky dad. The bossy mom. The bored teenage daughter. And the imaginative younger son. The director takes his time to introduce them. They are a close family, but each live in their own little world. Once they are confronted with their shadows, who try to break into their summer home and kill them off, the movie gets rolling. And it doesn’t stop.

Plus: there’s a great scary instrumental version of Luniz’s “I Got 5 On It” in one of the scarier scenes. A highlight.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6857112/