Review: Doctor Strange (2016)

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“Death is what gives life meaning. To know your days are numbered and your time is short.”
– The Ancient One

SYNOPSIS: A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts. – via IMDB

Goodness, it only took me forever to get to this! Finally I did so, and I must say, it is a Marvel film. It’s just what you expect. Good actors, decent story, decent effects, a silly love interest thrown into the mix, and some humour… you know, the regular recipe. This felt like your average Marvel film, which is both a good and a bad thing. It means you get a consistent viewing experience on the one hand, and on the other, it’s pretty generic and won’t stay with you forever. Yes. I said it.

I didn’t buy into the hype when this came and people lauded it. That is done for all Marvel releases, and only some of them are actually worthy of it. That being said, I was still interested to see what the studio would do with this, especially when I heard it get compared to things like Inception and The Matrix. I needed to see. I agree I can see where some of these comparisons come in, but unlike the other movies, there is not real stroke of brilliance here. For all the magic and sorcery that was spoken about, it just didn’t have the same vibe and feel here. It felt like things were rushed a bit, yet the movie felt overly long – yes, the pacing was a bit of an issue.

Doctor Strange did look good though. Really good. There were actually way too many effects going on for me, but I also think it was handled really well and looked awesome. The movie was also carried by an exceptionally good cast, and they all performed as best they could with the material they were given.  I think Cumberbatch was a fantastic choice to play Doctor Strange. There was the super awesome cape (I totally need one of those), and I enjoyed some of the humour. Wong was the best, and there was all sorts of mystical knowledge to be explored. It even had Mads Mikkelsen in it, peeps. But all of that could not save the movie. Ultimately it is rather forgettable. There is a very unfortunate love story squashed in, the pacing is all over the show, the story is actually pretty damn weak, and it never really goes for gold. Well, it feels like it doesn’t.

At the end of the day I was not bowled over as most people were. It is not a bad movie, not by a long shot. It is entertaining, looks good, and has an awesome cast attached to the project, these things cannot be denied. But the experience is pretty flat, there is nothing really new brought to the table, and it will not stay with you after all is said and done. For popcorn entertainment, it wasn’t bad, but it isn’t something I will be rushing to rewatch.

February Blind Spot Review: Moon (2009)

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moon poster

“Gerty, is there someone else in the room?”
– Sam Bell

SYNOPSIS: Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet’s power problems. – via IMDB

moon sam bell

GRADE 8.5So I decided to check out Moon this month because I have very little time on my hands, the movie didn’t have a long run time, and I am so involved with the whole X-Files thing at the moment that space just ticked my boxes. Space and conspiracy, and I got both, which was highly unexpected. Sam Rockwell, right off the bat, deserves all the praise heaped upon him for his performance as Sam Bell. I mean wow. I went into this movie as blind as I could, and thought I was seeing a movie about a man who was losing the plot, having fallen out of touch with reality after almost three years in isolation on the moon. Instead, I got this great story that you are constantly wondering about – what is real, what is in his mind, what is going on? It is not as straightforward and simple as you would initially think. Rockwell carried the majority of the movie MINOR SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS and I was quite a fan of the way that he portrayed two Sams, both who had things in common, and yet on the other hand were so completely different that you could tell on sight which Sam we were dealing with. Not only that, but the fact that he managed to make both Sams work together is another thing, too, that was impressive. Kevin Spacey voicing Gerty was fantastic. His voice made Gerty creepy (because seriously, who the heck is this robot?!) and soothing and calming all at once, so Gerty’s character successfully keeps you on edge, and you never really know how you should feel about the robot. Considering all that is done with a voice alone and then the emoticons displayed on Gerty’s screen, credit is due. Moon looks beautiful and is shot well, and has a score that complements the movie every step of the way, making it an experience, but never taking over or missing a beat. I really, really enjoyed this movie and I think that it was crafted well. The pacing was great and the story moved along, never losing you along the way, but never getting bland, either. When the movie brought the heart to the game, it did so with finesse. Moon is a thought provoking affair, no doubt, and while a small, simple film on the surface, it is merely the tip of the iceberg at the end of the day, there is so much more to this. Also, the miniscule touches of humour thrown in at times were so well implemented that they never felt forced or out of place in such a dramatic movie. Wow, this is actually a lot to say about a movie you can’t really say anything about in fear of spoiling too much. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed Moon and would highly recommend it if you have not yet seen it, it’s truly a solid sci-fi drama.

Review: Prometheus (2012)

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prometheus poster

“How far would you go to get your answers?”
– David

SYNOPSIS: Following clues to the origin of mankind a team journey across the universe and find a structure on a distant planet containing a monolithic statue of a humanoid head and stone cylinders of alien blood but they soon find they are not alone. – via IMDB

prometheus david

The first time that I watched Prometheus I was exceptionally underwhelmed. Like, to the nth degree. There are plot holes and super flaws and so many subplots that are introduced and never wrapped up, there is just too much wrong with this film to make it great. It did have a stellar cast, and they worked with what they had and did a pretty good job.

I thoroughly enjoy Idris Elba, so to see him as Captain Janek was awesome. Theron grated (har har, imagine this) on my last nerve, again, though I expected no less. Guy Pearce could certainly have been used better, I wish we had seen more of Benedict Wong’s Ravel, and Noomi Rapace did just fine as the ill-fated Shaw. I think the one actor that truly think shone from the off in this film was Michael Fassbender. His David was charming, freaky, strange, something you couldn’t quite understand, more layered than any of the other characters and his performance was excellent and consistent. I had a blast watching him.

Let’s talk about something that really bugged me in this movie: nobody bats an eye for any of the messed up stuff going on. Heck, Vickers uses a flamethrower on Holloway, killing him in front of his lover, Elizabeth Shaw, and nobody bats an eye. Then there is the whole David betrayal, again, not a word, and what about the fact that Shaw is limping around later, abdomen gashed open and all that? Nobody bats an eye or says anything. I cannot buy into it. Someone will have to ask something sooner or later, no matter what.

Pity this was one of those films that had a trailer that was infinitely better than the final product – and before people get iffy about it, it is the truth. The trailer was intense, there was so much happening, there was urgency and fear and a real dangerous problem, by the looks of it. In fact, it pretty much gave away anything and everything of interest in the movie. Now, as for the film itself? It was languishing, there were holes in the script, there were things that just did not make sense, there was nothing so completely awesome in there to blow your mind, it was slow and trundled along, never really creating serious tension or delivering anything… it was just another movie. Simple as that. No more, no less. It explored big themes, or tried to, but delivered nothing.

I didn’t hate the movie like I did the first time around (because hell, I despised it), probably because I knew what to expect this time around, but it remains extremely flawed and doesn’t really offer anything. There are places the story can be taken from here and some exceptionally interesting premises that were granted and concepts that could be a thing of beauty, but what we got from Prometheus, on its own? Nothing, nothing at all, because nothing was ultimately realised. Aside from all that, the movie was shot well and looked pretty good, and the Engineers were interesting though incredibly underutilised, though I suppose this will help set up for a sequel. Uhm… I don’t really have much else to say, so I will just end it here.