Inside Out (2015)

Inside-Out

Dave’s  3-Word Review:
Art  imitating life.

You’ve got to appreciate Pixar for everything they do. Out of every animated movie studio around, I’ve only ever seen Pixar work the hardest at creating something so deep and relevant to its target audience as well as creating something that’s equally as entertaining to anyone else watching. It does this in a particularly interesting and bold way, by mixing emotions and themes that are naturally polar opposites. Inside Out paints a portrait between light-hearted humor and sickening depression, and I love the outcome.

Meet Riley, an average American girl with an average American family that loves her. When she moves to San Francisco, Riley hits an all-time low, coming face-first with the effects of depression. Controlling her every action in her brain are the very colorful characters of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. When Sadness and Joy go missing, Riley was only ran by Fear, Anger, and Disgust, fulfilling that  depression further.

This movie is just one gigantic metaphor about adolescent depression…or maybe just depression in general. They weren’t trying to hide that or anything, but the way it was made was ingenious. I truly believe that this is without the doubt the smartest movie Pixar has ever done. Period. Why? Because no longer do kids have to feel they are alone or confused about why they feel so bad. There is an infinite amount of things going on in your head that are hard to completely explain or  understand, and this  movie does  it through a perfect metaphor. No there aren’t actual characters going around in your head,  but what they represent does.

What they represent  and how they work with each other continually impressed me throughout  the film. Sadness affects everything like a cancer and drags on about things that don’t really matter, even when you try to focus on the good, joyous things. You could ruin the “islands of your personality” depending on the actions that you take and how you feel about them in general.  Rash decisions can make or crumble your world, and your happiness could be lost because of it. This is all shown through funny characters making jokes throughout the thing, but it’s not hard to find the core  messages in the movie, and it is impossible not to love it when you see them .

Past the intelligent writing and metaphors, what else did this film have? Visuals. Pixar has always been known for their impressive arrangement of visuals that people can’t forget, and this movie is no exception. Everything about this movie is memorable in multiple ways, making it an impeccable and nearly perfect experience at the cinema. Now, as far as negatives go, I clearly gave it a near perfect score – so why not the whole 100% Partially because I’m not personally in the target audience range and partially because people kept saying how it made them cry – and I can’t understand why. This tells me that maybe I missed out on something important. It’s not a big deal, but I don’t like not knowing.

The Good:

Everything, but if I had to pick one thing, it would be that Inside Out is the smartest movie I’ve ever seen Pixar do – that it’s ability to explain something difficult to children in a fun way…it’s incredible.

The Bad:

The fact that you haven’t seen it!

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Mission-Impossible-4Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Spy liked it.

I was going to go back and watch the entire series, but according to some critics, Mission:Impossible – Ghost Protocol is the best film out of the entire set. Not only that, but for the most part, it is also a standalone film – meaning…you don’t need absolute knowledge into everything else – though that does significantly help matters. Personally, I’ve seen them all and like them all – but there are truly some remarkable things that happen in this film. That being said, I still have to see the rest one more time before I come up with an opinion. Other than that, yeah – Ghost Protocol is amazing.

Why is it amazing? Good question – let’s first talk about this impossible mission. For the most part, IMF is targeted and framed for a terrorist attack – which forces them to be shut down in what is called Ghost Protocol. While they are shut down, Ethan and friends have to complete a task under the radar before a nuclear attack happens. The only problem is – they only have each other and not an entire team to back them. Can they do it – well only time will tell.

I don’t know how they do it, but these movies do a remarkable job at creating missions that are, for a lack of a better word, nearly impossible. They shouldn’t be able to complete the missions, but by sheer luck and intelligence, the team always figures something out – and the stuff they come up with in this movie was insane. I know it’s a spy movie and there’s always some creativity involved – but I was honestly floored with how impressive this movie was at creating new ideas – in both a fantastical design approach as well as the practical effects.

If you weren’t already aware, Tom Cruise did his own stunts here, including the scaling of the Burj Khalifa building – that was real. All of it. In fact, Tom Cruise fired the film’s original insurance company just so he could do it. Call him the craziest man on the planet if you want, but I’ll call him a hard-working and devoted actor that wants his movies to have that sweet, sweet perfection that they so richly need. Not only that, but the day of practical effects has virtually been long gone from the cinema realm. Back in the day, James Bond would actually twirl his car in the air, and legitimately jumped on live alligators to make the movie incredible. Can you imagine if we side-stepped technology for a second and went back to the dangers of practical effects? What else could they come up with? I’d think after several years of exclusive and limitless CGI – you’d come up with some stunning sequences – like the scene in this movie.

That scene doesn’t last too long, though. I want to make sure to point out that the whole movie was stitched together remarkably well. The stunts were obviously great, the “spy gadgets” were original, the introduction of the new characters was refreshing, and the fight choreography was memorable. There’s very little to actually complain about this film – other than maybe some people just don’t like Tom Cruise anymore.

The Good:

This movie wasn’t only just a lot of fun, but in my opinion it was really smart too – and quite possibly the best Mission: Impossible movie that’s ever been.

The Bad:

I can’t really think of anything – maybe the amount of excess stuff that happens. At the same time, though – every film in this franchise has the same problem, it’s just part of the formula.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Mad-Max-Fury

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Delicious Valhalla Chrome.

As many movies that I’ve seen come from Mel Gibson’s career, the Mad Max franchise was never one of them. I know absolutely nothing about this series other than two basic things: It’s post-apocalyptic, and Australian. In the scheme of things, that’s my entire knowledge – so what do we have here? Mad Max: Fury Road revitalizes the series with Tom Hardy in the lead – with all his Bane voice glory. Before I get into the plot analysis – just imagine a violent Super Mario Kart on steroids filled with explosions, flimsy bouncy sticks, and flame-throwing guitar solos.

It may take you a while to understand the plot of this film for two very basic reasons: 1.) The loud adrenaline-laced scenes and sometimes unique character vocabulary make it difficult to understand what’s being said. 2.) You’re just thinking too much. The story is very simple because it doesn’t require anything heavy or deep. Our main baddy, Wario…I mean Immortan Joe gets angry at this chick who steals his property (more chicks) – so he chases her down to get her back. This chick (Charlize Theron) basically wants these other chicks to get to a better place – and…Max is thrown into the mix a bit randomly. He’s on his own side, but decides to help the women out anyway.

This is quite the interesting film. It’s high-octane/adrenaline scenes were interestingly shot in a way that clearly looks sped-up, but used during beneficial scenes that feel heart-pounding and intense. We’ve seen this used before in things like Jason Statham’s Crank series or even the first Bourne Identity film – but not much more than that because in my opinion…it’s a risk. Slow motion can look really fun and even beautiful, but fast-motion can almost make you feel like you’re missing out on some things. I mean…blink and it’s gone. On the plus side, it helps the film intensify the shots in the film that are already intense to begin with. I think this effect immensely helped this movie.

It helped because when you think about it, the story of this film is so basic that it’s weak. In fact, Max’s entire role in the film is bordering upon unnecessary. It’s only about the big bad man against the girls…that’s it. He may have helped them, but it’s not super far-fetched to think the strength and independence of the ladies was strong enough to actually carry the movie without him. Instead, you watch this movie for the excitement and visuals…and that’s pretty much it. The film is both insane and visually beautiful in so many ways. It creates an entire world on the shoulders of a very plain and basic concept. For something to do that so efficiently is a rarity in film. When it comes right down to it, that’s the reason you watch it – to have fun at the movies. Undoubtedly, this film is just loads of fun.

The Good:

This film is exciting, beautiful, and just a ton of fun. It created an entire universe of characters in a deserted world that clearly took a lot of thought in their creation. If nothing else, it’s just fun to watch.

The Bad:

It’s mostly a weak story where our main “hero” isn’t as necessary as you might like him to be. It can also be a bit confusing at times.

Poltergeist (2015)

Poltergeist15

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Complaints? They’re coming…

I have a confession. I haven’t seen all of the original classic horror films. While I think I have seen the original Poltergeist film, it wasn’t since I was a little kid – so I really don’t remember much of the plot – so this viewing of the remake of Poltergeist is more or less blind and comes from a blank slate. That being said, I believe it suffers from something many horror flicks nowadays suffer from…flashiness. Yes, you couldn’t really show much of anything back in the day, but sometimes simplicity is scarier than complexity. If you’re forced to use your head to concoct a frightening image, it’s more than likely come up with something scarier than what a production can create, don’t you think? Oh well, let’s talk plot.

So, a poor family of five without jobs moves into a really nice house. They can do it because of multiple foreclosures in the housing complex – making the house pretty inexpensive. Well, as it turns out, the complex was built on top of an old cemetery – one where people simply moved headstones, not (bleh) the bodies. So guess what happens? You guessed it, there is a poltergeist that speaks through television interference and sucks people into closet voids. Which means only one thing – they have to get paranormal experts to help cleanse their home.

Not scary! I’ll say it upfront, since this is a horror film. This entire movie lacks not only creative gusto, but also anything remotely scary or even creepy. Even the cheap jump scares aren’t even there…and all I can really ask myself is why not? This is considered based off of one of the biggest horror franchises of film’s past – and they couldn’t do anything right? The best shots in the film were simply taken straight from the original film, which is fine – but the rest of the movie is very, very flashy. I mean it, out of all the horror remakes out there, this one wanted to show you the most fanciest of shots. Does it look interesting? Absolutely…but it wasn’t scary.

A visionary behind the film isn’t always a bad thing, but some of those older films worked so well out of simplicity. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you’re brain is capable of creating the scariest image. After all, we all have had nightmares in the past, which are scarier than any movie demon or ghost. Give us an idea, explain what is happening, and stop, for the love of god, stop showing us absolutely everything. If that wasn’t enough, Sam Rockwell kept being more sarcastic than scared in this film – when you see a chair being sent violently across the room, shattering into pieces, you freak out – NOT make a quick sarcastic remark without any real reaction before walking out of the room. Funny – but since this isn’t a parody or the next Scary Movie, let’s try to take things a little more seriously, shall we?

To be honest, I like remakes. I understand their purpose. It’s definitely fun to see your favorite series being revisited and changed for a modern audience…but as far as horror films go, the importance doesn’t go further than a “fun to watch” status. That means any horror film remake, and I’ve seen a few in my day. So for me, there’s positives as well as negatives for these remakes…unfortunately, the positives are basically for nostalgic and curiosity reasons.

The Good:

I always thought the concept of this film was interesting, and something that should be used in film a little more often than it has been – and a lot of the shots in this movie are very well done.

The Bad:

It just doesn’t work that well as a horror film. Maybe as a movie in general or something to watch just for fun, but scary it is not.

Jurassic World (2015)

JurassicWorld

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
They never learn.

You may or may not consider the Jurassic Park series to be part horror, but the formula of each film certainly plays out like one. As Jeff Goldblum, or Cool Guy as I like to call him, once stated in the second film, “ooh ahh, that’s how it all starts. Then there’s running…and screaming.” That’s Jurassic Park in a nutshell – greedy people playing god for profit, dinosaurs gain the upper hand and chase/eat people, survivors run around aimlessly trying desperately to contact a rescue team. That’s really it, and even though we expect it and consider it predictable, we still crave to see more of it. In that regard, does Jurassic World deliver? Yes. It definitely delivers.

If I could explain the plot of this film, other than what I stated above, it would mostly be this: Jurassic Park is no more, no that park was a failure. Instead, Jurassic World was born – a resort that’s basically the same thing – only this time…it’s fully functional. Several thousand customers are walking around this island…which you are just waiting for things to turn ugly. The creative team of the resort is losing money. People are so used to dinosaurs by now, that they basically just see the place as a zoo…so they created a new dinosaur from scratch to up that entertainment level…and they had no idea how to contain it. Their only hope is raptor trainer Chris Pratt!

I’ll start with what I didn’t like about it, because I keep seeing that a lot of people really like it. It’s definitely an entertaining flick, no doubt, but it is definitely flawed – mostly in its creative writing. It has elements of all three films in it, but not much more. Yes, it technically ignores the fact that there was ever a second or third film…but it instead steals the plot lines from those films and incorporates it into this one. Here, let me point out what they use:

  • The general concept (Jurassic Park)

  • An army of InGen troops come in and take over, and make really stupid choices in the name of greed. Also, the basic idea of animal abuse/human villains (The Lost World: Jurassic Park)

  • The possibility of communicating with raptors/raptor intelligence. Also, a new dinosaur bigger than the T-Rex as the main focus dino. Finally, the Pterodactyl attacks (Jurassic Park III)

The entire thing seemed to mix and match the stories of all three films into one super-movie…but now I’m wondering what was original here? The lack of paleontologists, or just the concept of an operational park? Perhaps the characters? Maybe a few things here and there, but not enough to feel fully original – and after what? Twenty years, that’s a little disappointing. If I could relate this to one of the movies, I’d definitely point to JP3, which is fine…I liked that better than Lost World anyway.

Another fault I found in this movie lied in the setting. Most of the movie takes place during daylight, which for me felt oddly off-putting. It’s not a huge problem or anything, I just find movies more suspenseful and frightening when everything takes place at night. Is this movie scary? I’m sorry, but as entertained as I was watching this, this doesn’t exactly scare me in any way. I wasn’t completely convinced that the characters were actually scared. When I saw the first film in theaters, the raptors freaked me out so much I kicked the seat in front of me…where was that in this film?

One more complaint, and I swear I’ll stop. There was too much comedy. I lost count at how many jokes people kept trying to crack while others were getting eaten like a Thanksgiving turkey. Yes, the older films also had a sense of humor, but not this much. That, combined with the daylight…just made this movie more lighthearted than I would have preferred.

Now onto the good. I expanded on the negative details because a movie like this carries hopes and expectations after so many years. You know what a Jurassic Park movie is, and there are certain things you want to see from it. Some of those things aren’t seen here…but what is? I’m glad you asked. What is actually apparent here is spirit. The spirit of every single JP movie is obvious. The score, while completely revamped, still had the bits and pieces that you wanted to hear. It obviously had the best graphics, and I’m sure if you watched it in 3D (I didn’t), you would have some major advantages. I could tell while watching it in 2D that there were 3D moments that I missed out on. There are also some really fantastic action sequences. You don’t know who will live or die, but believe me, if you watch this film…there will be blood.

It may have some flaws regarding plot, but it makes up for that in how fun the movie is. If you never watched any of the Jurassic Park films, than guess what…you’re in for a treat, because you don’t even need to know anything about the originals. It’s just a fun ride in general. So ignore my complaints and just watch the movie as is…it’s really not that bad.

The Good:

This still feels like Jurassic Park. It’s not as good as the first, nor was it ever going to be to begin with…however, this is still my second favorite in the franchise and not one you should miss.

The Bad:

In a nutshell, the story just takes everything from the original films and makes a mix-tape of sorts.

Cinderella (2015)

Cinderella

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Classic and precise.

Who loves Disney anymore? Of course I’m kidding, because you can’t just dislike a Disney movie. No matter how predictable or typical they tend to be, they somehow almost always come out really well, and they make you feel really good too. It’s without surprise that Disney is remaking those classic Disney princess movies in live action. It makes sense, these were their biggest movies ever…why not redo them in a more realistic and live-action manner? Personally, I’m still waiting for Aladdin, but for the time being, let’s chat about Cinderella.

In a lot of ways, Cinderella was basically the follow-up to Alice in Wonderland. It has the same basic idea, there’s just much less fantasy, and a touch more magic. You should know the story already though, seeing how it’s the most-told Disney story ever. There are so many versions of this same story that telling it seems moot, but here you go – once upon a time, there was a girl named Ella. When her parents die, she’s forced to live with her cruel step-mother and step-sisters who won’t let her go to a ball, where she really wants to find her friend (who is really the prince). So magic allows her to…yatta yatta.

The story isn’t important, but the lead up is. I was astonished at how believable the story was, and how well it was able to portray characters that you could connect with. The cartoon was very simple, which worked back then, but basic doesn’t include the type of character development this film took advantage of. The build-up of the “evil step-sisters” actually made sense. It was a little exaggerated, but from a real-life perspective, it really just boils down to jealousy and selfishness. You might mention magic isn’t believable, and you’re right. But there wasn’t as much magic in this film as you might expect, instead you have a lot of love and kindness from Ella’s character, which is almost magical all on its own, and something you can actually achieve in real life. I love that they took special care to really make her character physically there and complex…making her ultimately feel like a character that you can love.

Changing her name to Ella was a curious move, but one that made sense by the time the film ended. The name Cinderella is used about half as much through the movie, but it’s origins are really unique and in my opinion…smart. They used manipulation and cruelty and transformed it into a form of acceptance and forgiveness. As far as kids movies go and hidden, underlying messages go…this one was very strong, and definitely a movie little girls would love to go see. Even the entire family could benefit from this film…surely no one would watch it and say that it was a bad movie. It was good – just focused more on little girls as a target audience…for obvious reasons.

The Good:

To be completely honest, Cinderella was solid. There must be hundreds of versions of the story by now, and this has been my favorite variation out of the bunch. It keeps to the classic tale, and adds some respectable material that makes the story feel more grounded, but still just as magical. This one gets a Dave’s Seal of Approval!

The Bad:

I can’t find many bad things about this other than your very typical target-audience thing. I can’t rate kids movies super highly for the most part, because they still feel more like kids movies than Oscar-winning well done films. Not everyone will love this movie, and for the most part, only females will. It’s flawed in the most basic of ways, but it’s still a very entertaining movie.

Get Hard (2015)

Get-Hard

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Nothing new here.

I have mixed feelings when it comes to Will Ferrell. Some hate him, and I’m sure a small crowd of people still love him, but I’m one of those guys that hopes for the best…but still ends up being a bit disappointed regardless. Get Hard is a film starring not only Will, but also Kevin Hart, and typically speaking, I really like Kevin Hart’s comedy, so once again, I was looking forward to a Will Ferrell film. Especially since I didn’t see any sports-related film…needless to say, I was once again game. How did it turn out. Let’s just say it wasn’t terrible by any means, but it also wasn’t exactly…funny either.

Get Hard is pretty basic in terms of the plot. A rich white boy is sentenced to prison, is given a month to put his affects in order, and he then decides to get tutored on how to survive in prison by the first black guy he comes into contact with – who has never been to prison. You can pretty much guess everything the two will go through, especially if you think about Will Ferrell humor. In a word, it’s predictable, but how is it presented? Exactly how you’d expect.

I don’t call this film funny. I don’t think it’s necessarily boring or anything…maybe slightly racially offensive, but I don’t think I laughed at any point at the same time. Now, I don’t immediately call comedies bad if they don’t make you laugh, because I still have to think about how smart it was, and I think it wasn’t half bad in that department. The concept for this film is very simple, and simple is good. Racial comedies are a dime a dozen, and the plot in general, was a great one for a great comedy…if it was done right. They just didn’t do what they could have done with it. That doesn’t immediately mean: BAD. It means typical, and washed out.

You can tell that, at times, this film tries pretty hard at making you laugh through inappropriate means. IE, using profanity or graphic visuals that most films usually don’t just to do something different. I’m glad they tried something out of the box, but once again, it still wasn’t funny. Things like that aren’t inherently funny – instead it’s more like grasping desperately for material…any material that people might be amused with, instead of taking the time to think about jokes with substance. Jokes that people will go home with and tell their friends and family to go see that funny movie. That just doesn’t happen here. Kevin Hart has some good moments, but for the most part it wasn’t funny and certainly was not original in any sense.

I wish I could write a really long and detail-heavy review on this film, but when you have unfunny comedies that are typical from the actors involved with a straightforward and predictable plot…there’s really not that much to say about the subject.

The Good:

Bits and pieces of the plot wasn’t bad if you really think about it.

The Bad:

In a word…bleh.

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)

StarWars3

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Impressive. Most impressive.

When it came to the prequel Star Wars series, I wholeheartedly believe each one got better and better, yet still continued to hold certain…avoidable flaws. Not only that, but the writing in these movies regarding the pacing all seem to be different – not necessarily bad, but different than what you’d typically expect to find from Star Wars. Is that a bad thing, is that a good thing…well that clearly lies on your personal preference. As a movie on their own, it’s not horrible, but if you really think about it, every one of the prequels has the same issue – including Revenge of the Sith.

Okay, so what’s this third episode all about, you ask? In a sense, it’s about a lot of things, lightsabers, wookies, betrayal, kidnappings, fear of death, but the main point of the film is without a doubt Anakin’s descent into the unforgettable movie bad guy, Darth Vader. The entire series is about the same thing, but it all comes to a point right here. Unfortunately, the plot other than that is really not that good – but you barely notice because you’re so invested in only Anakin’s storyline…which you’ve been waiting to see for years anyway.

This is probably one of the prettiest movies in the entire series. There is simply so much going on in the film that they definitely lucked out and found some truly remarkable looking scenes. Does it feel like Star Wars…depends on who you ask, but I definitely say it looks like a very well done sci-fi hit. There are also a lot of lightsaber fights in this film…more so than probably all the movies combined, and the thing is…I don’t care if they focused so much on that. These duels were expertly choreographed and look unbelievably amazing against the backdrops. I will always say the fights in this movie, specifically, were the best of the series hands down. What does that mean, however, with the rest of the film?

The rest of the film is a little forgettable, in my opinion. You’re so invested with the Vader storyline that you might actually forget all about what Obi-Wan is even doing in the movie…which while exciting, serves very little actual importance to anything. Instead a lot of these scenes feel forced and maybe even a bit filler. Obi-Wan is sent chasing after a droid that wields sabers, sure, but that’s not why I’m watching it, and I’m not really understanding how important that is to the movie anyways. It’s basically just there to have more exciting action sequences.

As for the scenes with Padme, I’m forced to ask myself what happened to this girl? She used to be the Queen of Naboo, someone with equal parts of intelligence and empathy to be strong and independent. Nowadays, she is just a really pathetic character…no offense to Natalie Portman, she was just dealt a poor script. She basically whines throughout the movie and relies heavily on Anakin for everything. How do you go from the independence and responsibility of royalty to a needy and clingy little girl? If you want us to love this love story, you have to continue with the idea that she’s the same character as before.

How do I say this the best way – this is a great movie if you don’t care to nitpick. The fight scenes are seriously intense and equal the culmination as to what we’ve been waiting for – for years. Who cares that some of the plot isn’t fully needed here and there, it was still fun. Those that do nitpick – this won’t feel so much like Star Wars. It’s without the doubt the best of the prequels, no matter who you ask, but that still doesn’t mean much when it comes right down to it.

The Good:

Obi-Wan vs. Darth Vader. Yeah – that fight was so much more epic than their next, pathetic duel in A New Hope.

The Bad:

I mostly had an issue with the pacing, along with filler scenes that probably could have easily been left out – and the entire representation of Padme – and how that shifted into something basically unrecognizable. But other than that, it’s still a really fun movie.

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)

StarWars2

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
It’s getting there.

Star Wars is an interesting series. No matter how much people hated the original series, they continued to go to the theaters hoping it would get better – which in my opinion, it did. At the same time, the original trilogy should stand a bit separate from the prequels in general, because the stories in the original were more, almost post-apocalyptic in nature, while the prequels were the political stories that got them to that point. That shouldn’t really be an issue, but it is for a lot of people. I may have agreed with the majority of people about the first episode, but to be honest, I honestly enjoyed Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. It was really important for the overall Star Wars collection, and it was quite fun.

This time around, Senator Amidala’s life has been targeted, as she plans to participate in a certain political vote that would hurt the empire. Anakin, now ten years older, is tasked with taking care of her while Obi-Wan investigates who was behind the attacks on her life, which leads him to discovering a hidden planet manufacturing clones…apparently for the republic, but Obi-Wan is weary of that. As Anakin cares for Padme, the two grow intimately closer together, but nightmares of his mother plague his mind.

This film can be separated into two basic stories that focus either on Obi-Wan or Anakin. The story with Obi-Wan feels very much like Star Wars, but Anakin’s story doesn’t…but they couldn’t get away without telling it. This film is part romance, the only film in the whole saga that is part romance – and I’m not saying they did it wrong, but it does feel a little foreign to see it in Star Wars. Not only that, but they switch it between the romance and action a lot – which feels a bit strange. John Williams does a great job transitioning the two polar genres together with his score, but you just can’t escape how wrong some of the romance feels. Like I said though, it was important to the series that it happened.

What I wanted to mention most of all, though, is that the story is much more grounded than the last. The last movie didn’t really even make sense – they needed to introduce Anakin, and get him to the point of being Obi-Wan’s padawan – but past that, the movie was more or less annoying and unnecessary. This one makes sense, and takes you to a place that’s important for the series – including the introduction of the clones – later to be known as Storm Troopers and even Boba Fett. It may not be the best Star Wars film, but it’s not one that you should miss, either.

Some people might have issues with what they did with Yoda in this film, let’s just say they made him more active in this one. Some may say it was out-of-character, but once it happens, I was blown away in the theaters – and I thought it was the coolest and smartest thing I’ve seen them do in a while. The lightsaber duel in this movie wasn’t the best…it was against a really old actor that has trouble moving around…kind of like in the original Star Wars film, but there are some nice visuals to make up for it.

The Good:

For the most part, Attack of the Clones is highly important for the entire saga, and has a lot of unique and original content that basically feels like a very fun science fiction film.

The Bad:

I hate to say it, but Hayden Christensen isn’t the best actor – he’s loads better than Jake Lloyd or Jar Jar, but I still think they could have hired someone else. I also had a problem, somewhat, with the balance between the action/adventure/mystery and the romance – especially when they kept switching it back and forth constantly.

The Random:

Paul Walker auditioned to be Anakin Skywalker?!!

It Follows (2015)

it-follows-555a4c61bfc7c

It-FollowsDave’s 3-Word Review:
Paranormally Transmitted Diseases.

If horror is normally one thing, it would be predictable…and hardly ever scary. The horror genre has been striving to do something different, but they always end up in the same, safe spot. Unfortunately the number of truly creepy and/or scary films out there is slim to none in my opinion, and I can count them all one one hand…but I think I’ll have to start adding on another hand when it comes to It Follows, which heavily deserves to be known in this genre. I’ve been waiting for a while to see this one…and now that I’ve seen it – I’m pushing it onto you to watch it as well.

It Follows follows around a young girl, who after a sexual encounter, begins seeing…things. We’re talking about really creepy people who no one else sees that slowly make their way towards her – presumably to kill her. However, they are slow and there can only be one of them, but if you get locked in a room with only one exit…you might be in a tight bind. Anyways, the only way to get rid of it is to “pass it on” to someone else through sex – but if these things find them and kill them, they make their way back to the original host.

This movie is about STDs. It doesn’t exactly try to hide the fact, but this is a completely metaphoric and obvious nod to the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases. You can’t escape it or ignore it, and even after passing it on…you’re not free, you’re never free. I love the entire inside joke as far as how the movie operates, but even as a horror film in general, this movie is off the chain. I don’t think I was genuinely ever really scared of anything happening, but some of the scenes throughout the movie were definitely creepy and have you physically telling the characters not to do this or that before they go and do it. If you ask me, that’s a classic feel that horror films are supposed to give you, and It Follows delivered furiously.

Part of why some of these scenes are creepy is how they were shot and edited. You’d be surprised at how important some sound editing and photography direction is to the horror genre. To give you an idea of how it affected me, some of the scariest scenes in this film were accompanied by what sounded to me, like natural house-settling noises, but not in a house-settling setting. I’m talking about the air conditioner, or the slight buzz of the fridge, or light noise that comes out of electronics – like computers. Stuff you don’t pick up on until you start to go to sleep, and because the movie did such a good job with sound editing, it brings you right back to the moments in the film…and guess what…you can’t help but think what if someone slowly walks into this room to kill me.

Yes yes yes, this movie was a slow and furious scare ride. It gives you an interesting after shock that leaves you contemplating on whether you should shut the bedroom door at night…and whether you should ever have sex. Seriously, this movie was smart as both a horror film and as a public service announcement. I haven’t ever seen a movie quite like this, and I doubt I ever will again – but if you can help it, I definitely recommend watching it – even if only once.

The Good:

This movie was smart, very smart in regards to both the horror genre (which is hard to do in and of itself), as well as a metaphorical PSA about STD’s. I can see this scaring the crap out of a lot of people for a lot of reasons, so my props to the people behind the movie for making something truly distrubing.

The Bad:

I can easily still say it didn’t scare me, at least not during the movie itself. I thought it was very interesting, smart, and even creepy, but I wasn’t looking away or holding my breath at any point. If I could rate it on how it made me feel at night when I was getting ready for bed, that’s another story. Then again, I did sleep through the night. I’ve watched horror films in the past where I just couldn’t sleep. Correction: I’ve seen one movie that had that effect – this wasn’t that.

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