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Ghost in the Shell is directed by Rupert Sanders, and it stars Scarlett Johannsen, Pilou Asbæk, and Takeshi Kitano. It tells the story of Major, a cyber-enhanced soldier that is designed to be the most effective agent out there.
This new Ghost in the Shell is like food from a good restaurant reheated in the microwave. It’s something that was once great, and you felt like your money was well spent on it when you had it the first time around. Now, however, it’s unevenly cooked, it tastes really bland, and you end up not finishing it and throwing into the trash.
This was one of the most boring action movies that I have ever seen. Throughout the entirety of the film’s runtime, I never found myself entertained. Not once does it feel like a cohesive film. It feels like the people behind the scenes threw a collection of scenes together, said “Good enough!”, and then put it in theaters for the world to see. While watching this film, I had to actively focus on the movie, not because it had a complicated plot, but because the film was so monotonous and disinteresting. Watching a movie should never feel like a chore! The feeling of sitting through this movie is not unlike that you get from watching a documentary in your High School History class. Except, in this case, you have the choice as to whether to watch it or not (You shouldn’t.)
It wasn’t just the audience that was bored with this movie, it felt like the cast was too. Almost all of them gave extremely wooden performances, especially Scarlett Johansson. I was torn over whether or not she was being purposefully robotic or not. I get that her character is cybernetically enhanced, but if she was trying to be robotic, then she failed, and if she was genuinely trying to act like a human being, then she also failed. Her performance was somewhere in between human and robot. Which sounds like a good thing. A happy medium, right? Wrong. It came off as her just giving a really bad performance that you'd expect from a straight-to-DVD movie.
Not everything in this movie was bad, though. In fact, there was one thing that I thought was genuinely pretty cool. That was the overall visual appeal of the movie. This was an interesting movie to look at. The design of this futuristic world was one that I would’ve liked to explore a little more. The use of color in this movie was something to complement, and the visual effects for the most part, while not Planet of the Apes level, were well done. That's my one compliment to this movie.
One hot topic surrounding Ghost in the Shell is that of Hollywood Whitewashing. In the original film, the main character of Major is Japanese. As you might well have guessed, Scarlett Johansson is not Japanese. Their explanation for this was that the look of Major wasn’t inherently Japanese since she was basically a robot. However, in the film, a majority of the characters are Asian, and the future city they are in is in Japan, which made me really question why a Japanese actress wasn't cast. I understand from a business point of view that Johansson’s name will make the film a little more approachable to mainstream audiences, but I think that her casting ultimately ended up hurting the film, not helping it.
Ghost in the Shell isn’t an actively awful movie such as Independence Day: Resurgence. This is an entirely different version of bad, more along the lines of Free State of Jones. This movie was a bore-fest from beginning to end. The performances throughout were really wooden and uninteresting, and the film never managed to do it’s one job. Be entertaining. Visually, it was cool to look at, but visuals only go so far. I would not recommend Ghost in the Shell, under basically any circumstance. Even for background noise, there are better things to watch.
So what did you think of the new Ghost in the Shell? How would you compare it to the original? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Life is directed by Daniel Espinosa, and it stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, and Rebecca Ferguson. It tells the story of a group of scientists on the International Space Station, as they study the first discovered form of extraterrestrial life. This organism quickly turns hostile, and the crew finds themselves trying to stay alive and keep the alien from reaching Earth.
I was really looking forward to seeing Life. The trailers looked really intriguing to me, and the press interviews that Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal were giving were absolutely hilarious. Unfortunately, the film amounted to nothing more than a bad rip-off of Alien. There were a few things to like in this movie, but for the most part, this film failed to be original, and even more importantly, it left no impact on its audience. Leaving the theater after the film’s conclusion, I overheard somebody say to their friend “That was ridiculous”, and I don’t think they meant it in a good way.
One of the areas where this film succeeds is the cast and the performances they give. Ryan Reynolds was his typical Ryan Reynolds character, and that was entertaining enough. The best performances came from Jake Gyllenhall and Rebecca Ferguson. They both gave this film their all in this film, and they really sold every scene they were in. While their characters may not have been the most interesting people in the world, the performances given by the actors in these roles made them at least slightly enjoyable to watch. Side note: Who would’ve guessed that the new Power Rangers movie would have better character development than Life?
Oddly enough, the most enjoyable part of this movie was everything that happened before the alien entered the scene. The alien in this movie looked unique and interesting in the trailers. The idea of this very basic organism becoming something that these astronauts fear was a really cool idea. Unfortunately, they almost immediately turn it into a cliché movie alien. Even the design of the alien in this film was hackneyed; initially, it resembled the look of a “facehugger” from the Alien movies, then they just added a face onto it. That was about it. Also, the way they had the alien escape its original containment facility was incredibly stupid. I legitimately caught myself rolling my eyes.
I do have to admit that there were a few scenes and sequences in this movie that were pretty good, particularly those that were there to scare the audience. This film didn’t rely on just jump scares, which was a relief. In fact, I’m not sure if there was a single jump scare in this movie. The film did a good job building a sense of suspense in the scenes with the alien. I found myself on the edge of my seat a couple of times throughout the film. Though that tension that was built didn’t last continuously throughout the film. It was there in a couple scenes, and then it was nowhere to be found in the rest of the movie.
Though the film had quite a few flaws, I still found myself enjoying it. In fact, I was ready to give this film something along the lines of a 5 or 6/10. That was, until the end of the movie. The end of this movie was probably one of the stupidest and most predictable endings to a movie I’ve seen. A couple minutes before the conclusion, I found myself thinking “Please don’t go in that direction”, but they did it anyway, and I had to resist the urge to audibly groan in the theater.
There’s something to be said about a film when the most enjoyable part of it is when Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” starts playing in the credits. Life was a big disappointment. The actors gave good performances, and it had some thrilling moments, but ultimately, it feels like a dollar store Alien. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend seeing Life. If you’re really into scary space movies, then maybe check it out when it comes out on DVD, but don’t bother seeing it in the theater.
So what did you think of Life? Did you enjoy it more than I did? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Power Rangers is directed by Dean Israelite, and it stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Elizabeth Banks, and Bryan Cranston. It is based on the incredibly popular TV series that began in the 90s, and it tells the story of five high school students after they discover ancient stones that give them incredible powers. Soon after, they discover that they must now become the Power Rangers to save the world from an evil sorceress known as Rita Repulsa. When this film was announced, many people dismissed it out of hand, but I actually wrote an article defending the idea. Was it worth it? Definitely.
This new Power Rangers film is a great example of how to balance nostalgia and the quality of a film. First and foremost, this film is tons of fun. All the action sequences are over the top (in a good way), and the humor consistently hits well. I had a big smile on my face from the moment this film started to the moment the credits rolled. In addition to the immense sum of fun, Power Rangers also has a surprising amount of heart to it. Throughout the film, I found myself legitimately caring about what was going on. I wanted to see what happened next, and I was rooting for these characters to succeed.
Speaking of the characters, they are a large part of what gives this film so much heart. In the original series, for the most part, they were cliché cardboard cutout "Let's save the day!" superheroes. This film takes what people loved about those characters and adds to it without changing who they were at their core. Each of the five Rangers in this film was a fully fleshed out three-dimensional character. They had good things about them, they had flaws, and they had motivations. They felt like actual teenagers, which is the best compliment I can give to them. Since I became so attached to these characters, I cared about what was happening to them, and it added another layer of depth to the film that is missing too often in films like this.
The most surprising thing in this film, to me, were the performances given by the cast. The entire cast that plays the Power Rangers in this film are complete unknowns to the general movie going audience, and they were all great! They each played their character extremely well and helped to differentiate the characters from one another. In the original series, it was just people in brightly colored suits kicking butt. In this new film, each Ranger had their own unique character traits, and those traits were portrayed wonderfully by the cast. All five of these actors and actresses, if they play their cards right, could become big names in Hollywood!
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, Power Rangers shows how to perfectly balance nostalgia and the quality of a film. This film mainly concerns itself with actually making an enjoyable film that can introduce these characters to a new generation, but it also works very hard to keep its original audience happy. There are many moments in this film that are callbacks to the original series. Whether it’s a cameo from an actor or actress, a visual or audio cue, or an obscure reference, there were several moments in this film where I found myself and several other audience members really geeking out.
Overall, I thought Power Rangers was really good! I went into this film hoping to get some fun and a little bit of reminiscence out of it, and I was pleasantly surprised when it actually had well-developed characters, an interesting plot, in-depth world building, and an incredible amount of heart. Power Rangers is a really fun time at the theater, especially if you’re a fan of the original series. I would definitely recommend this film if you enjoyed the show. If you haven’t seen the show, I still think you can have a lot of fun with it. I loved Power Rangers, and I really hope to see this become a big film franchise!
So what did you think of Power Rangers? Did you love it as much as I did? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
The Hellboy film series is one that has developed a sort-of cult following since the release of the first film in 2004. There is something about Guillermo del Toro’s hyper-stylized take on the Dark Horse Comics character that many people can’t help but love. The 2004 film’s sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army was released in 2008 with talk of a third film following closely after. However, that third film never came about. Why was that? Is it still happening?
To put it bluntly, chances are, we’re not going to see a Hellboy III. Unfortunately, the film has faced a few too many issues in its development stage. There’s one thing that’s really holding it back, and it might not be what you expect.
First off, are people even interested in seeing a third Hellboy film? Yes. They are. In fact, the lack of a Hellboy film for almost ten years now has people really wondering where the next installment is. A lot of people absolutely love the Hellboy films and would do anything to see a continuation of that franchise. I’m still surprised by the amount of people that have actually seen the Hellboy films. If you haven’t you should definitely do that. The first one is on Netflix, and you can find the second one on a variety of digital streaming services.
What about the party involved? Fans may want to see it, but if the people making the movie don’t want to do it then it definitely won’t happen. Fortunately, that’s not an issue with this project. In fact, the biggest cheerleader to make a Hellboy III is probably Guillermo del Toro himself. He’s been talking about it almost non-stop since the last film that came out. Hellboy star Ron Perlman has also been pushing for a sequel. Perlman once even went as far to say “I, for one, would love to see how the Trilogy resolves itself. And I will fight for Hellboy III as long as my cold dead hands are not cold and dead.”
So, if fans want to see it, and the people behind it want to make it, what’s the holdup? Well, as it is with far too many projects, the film has fallen victim to what is known as “Development Hell”, meaning there are too many kinks that just can’t be worked out. The biggest of which deals with the financials of the first two films. They were both decently successful at the box office. The first made just shy of $100 million globally on a $60 million budget, and The Golden Army pulled in $160 million on a $75 million budget. Unfortunately, with the spectacle increasing with each film, the third chapter in the series would probably be much more expensive to produce than the first two. Studios aren’t willing to dish out that kind of money on a project that isn’t a huge guaranteed success, especially if it’s true that del Toro wants a $200 million budget for the third chapter.
Is Hellboy III ever going to happen? Probably not. According to a tweet about a month ago from director Guillermo del Toro himself, “Hellboy 3 Sorry to report: Spoke w all parties. Must report that 100% the sequel will not happen. And that is to be the final thing about it.” Despite what del Toro says, nothing is 100% in Hollywood, however, the chances of Hellboy III not happening are about as close to it as you can get. Never say never, but we’re most likely not going to see it. Maybe some studio will see fit to reboot the franchise sometime, but not in the way fans want, unfortunately.
So what do you think about the prospects of Hellboy III? Is it something you’d want to see? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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