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Atomic Blonde is directed by David Leitch, and it stars Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, and Sofia Boutella. It tells the story of an undercover agent for MI6 as she is sent to Berlin during the peak of the Cold War. While there, she must investigate the murder of a fellow agent and track down a very valuable list that could change the tide of the Cold War.
Atomic Blonde may not be a masterpiece of a film, but it is a very enjoyable one that can provide a great experience in the theater. The film is directed by one of the co-directors of the first John Wick film, and that definitely shows through. This film has a lot of the same vibes that John Wick did. So in general, if you enjoyed John Wick, I think you’ll enjoy Atomic Blonde as well. Despite the stories being very different from one another, the two films almost feel as if they could take place within the same universe.
The most notable similarity between Atomic Blonde and John Wick comes in the form of the action sequences. Never in the film is it more obvious that this is a David Leitch film than in the action sequences. They were all so insane and over-the-top, yet they were executed in a way that the audience could follow everything that happened. There’s one sequence probably about two-thirds the way into this film that was particularly impressive. It very heavily involved a staircase, and the most notable thing was how it was all one continuous shot. If I had to guess, it was at least five minutes, probably close to ten in length. The fact that they managed to get that entire sequence in one shot, or at least hide the cuts well enough that it looks like one shot, is a feat in and of itself.
The soundtrack in this film was one of the most surprising things to me about it. The soundtrack in Atomic Blonde features the likes of Depeche Mode, David Bowie, The Clash, and Public Enemy. Pretty much every time a song came on in this film, I found myself really getting into it. The soundtrack to Atomic Blonde is probably one of the best soundtracks to a film I’ve heard since the first Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s a shame that it won’t get as much love Awesome Mix Vol. 1 since this film isn’t nearly as big as that one, but the soundtrack certainly deserves a listen.
Where this film faltered quite a bit was in its story. The story of Atomic Blonde was too complex and overcomplicated for its own good. At times, it actually became hard to follow because you feel like you’re missing details of the story. That would be okay if the film purposely left out details to keep the audience engaged, but at times if feels like Atomic Blonde just assumes you know certain things, even though you don’t. I understand the appeal of letting the audience figure out things on their own, but when you give them such little information to go on, it becomes more of a nuisance. In the final minutes of the film they do kind of break it down and explain everything, and when they did, it made more sense. However, that doesn’t deny the fact that the plot through the entirety of the film was distractingly complex.
Atomic Blonde and John Wick are the only two films released so far that Leitch has directed, and if you look at those two, it’s easy to tell that Leitch is certainly developing a visual style. He uses a very vivid color palette but often sets that against a bleak background. It creates a very strong contrast and is very interesting to see. His style works very well with Atomic Blonde. He frequently uses white neon lights and brightly colored spray-paint to give the audience information. It was different from most films, and it made this film a very cool film visually to watch. Leitch’s next film is going to be Deadpool 2, so I’m curious to see how much of his style will carry over into that.
Overall, Atomic Blonde was a very enjoyable film. It had a fun soundtrack, intense action scenes, and it is certainly a very interesting film to look at. The story does become a little too complex at times, but by the end, it does make sense for the most part. This film has a very similar vibe and tone to the first John Wick, so if you found yourself enjoying that film, you’ll probably enjoy Atomic Blonde as well. I would recommend Atomic Blonde if you're looking for just a fun action film to see in the theater. It’s well worth your time.
So what did you think of Atomic Blonde? Do you think David Leitch’s style will mix well with Deadpool? 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 other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is directed by Luke Bassan, and it stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevigne. When Valerian, an agent for an intergalactic government, has a mysterious vision, he and his partner conduct an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of an alien species. On their quest, they visit tons of other alien species and frequently find themselves in less-than-desirable situations. We don’t get very many straight-up sci-fi movies anymore. Is Valerian the one to make them popular again?
While Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets does have a lot of issues, issues that prevent it from being a great movie, at the end of the day I had fun with it. Is this one of those movies that the more you think about it, the less sense it makes? Yes, definitely. However, it’s still an enjoyable enough experience that I wouldn’t be opposed to casually watching this movie on TV or Netflix one day.
The biggest problem with this film is undoubtedly the script. There’s no sugar-coating it, it’s a bad script. When the dialogue isn’t being extremely cheesy, it’s too poorly written to be even remotely believable. Pair that awful dialogue with mediocre-at-best performances from the whole cast, and you do not get good results. In addition to the dialogue, the script in general often makes no sense. The characters seem to be stuck in an endless loop of side quests that add very little to the overall story. They spend most of the movie doing these little tasks for people or searching for something on their own, and it barely adds anything to the main plot of the movie. The story of the film is basically introduced at the beginning, touched upon briefly throughout the film, then they use it as a conclusion.
I’ve never really been a big fan of either Dane DeHaan or Cara Delevigne. The only thing I’ve ever actually liked DeHaan in was his breakout role in Chronicle. As for Delevigne, I suppose she was alright in Paper Towns (I guess?), then I’m assuming most of you saw her as the Enchantress in Suicide Squad, so that’s that. Needless to say, the two of them together did not make me look forward to this movie any more than I already was, which was very little. While I will say that Delevigne actually gave a decent performance in her role, DeHaan did not. Although, I will admit that it might not be entirely his fault. This is a blatant case of miscasting. DeHaan’s character is supposed to be this smooth-talking playboy type. In case you haven’t noticed, that’s not really Dane DeHaan. He’s not a very charismatic guy. Why they cast him in this role baffles me. DeHaan and Delevigne together didn’t make anything better. They had absolutely no chemistry together, and it became really obvious that they were just actors reciting lines.
Sci-fi heavy films like this are tricky because you want to give the audience an idea of what the universe is like, but you don’t want to drown them in exposition. It’s a fine line to walk, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets refuses to walk it. A vast majority of the world building in this film is done through poorly written exposition. They might as well have looked into the camera and told the audience directly because it was really obvious that was what the point of many scenes in this movie was. In addition to that, the film is way too long for its own good. It feels like it should’ve been about half an hour shorter. Had it been shorter, I feel many useless scenes could’ve been cut and the main plot could’ve been more focused. Instead, they decided to let this movie have a runtime of almost two hours and twenty minutes.
Despite all of these negative things I’ve said about Valerian so far, I can’t lie, I had fun with this movie. When this movie is going full-on sci-fi with its action sequences, they are actually extremely enjoyable. Granted, they probably would’ve been even more so if we cared about the characters, but what can you do? The action sequences were quite thrilling. They were more intense than I was expecting, and they were actually really unique. They utilized some things in their action sequences that I’ve never seen done before. So for that, good job Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
Overall, Valerian wasn’t a very good movie. It had a bad script, less-than-stellar performances, Dane DeHaan was completely miscast in the lead role, and it’s too long with way too much exposition. Despite all of that, I actually walked out of the theater having enjoyed the film, and I would recommend it if you're just looking for a fun sci-fi movie to watch. That’s because the film’s action sequences and big sci-fi scenes were very enjoyable and even thrilling at times. I’m not going to go out of my way to see Valerian again, but maybe one day.
So what did you think of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets? Who would you have cast instead of Dane DeHaan? 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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Dunkirk is directed by Christopher Nolan, and it stars Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Fionn Whitehead, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, and Harry Styles. It’s based on the true story of the Dunkirk evacuation that took place during the second World War. The film tells the story of the evacuation from three points of view, a soldier on the beach, a pilot in the air, and a civilian on his boat. There has been a lot of anticipation surrounding this film, so was it worth the wait?
Many critics out there are calling Dunkirk the best film of the year so far. That’s a sentiment that, unfortunately, I do not agree with. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed Dunkirk. It’s a great movie, but it has issues, and it’s certainly not the best movie of the year. The great things in this movie (of which there are many) easily out weigh the bad. I wanted this to be a fantastic movie. I wanted to think all of the things that many other critics out there are saying, but unfortunately, that’s just not the experience I had with the movie. It’s undoubtedly a great film, and I’ll definitely see it again at some point, but that doesn’t make it the best movie of the year.
Let’s talk about the things that I really liked about Dunkirk. First and foremost, it’s a beautiful film to look at. The cinematography here was absolutely breathtaking. Nolan, throughout all of his films, has really learned how to craft a perfect shot. There are many shots throughout this movie that I really found myself blown away by. It’s not because they were crazy and complex shots. No, they were very simple. There’s one in particular that I want to reference, but in fear of spoiling the movie, I won’t. Hoyte Van Hoytema was the Director of Photography for this film, and he did a fantastic job. He’s worked with Nolan before on Interstellar, and I hope to see the two of them work together again.
One of the best things about this film was the massive amounts of tension that it built. Dunkirk was one of the most nerve-racking films I’ve seen in a while. From start to finish, this film keeps you on the edge of your seat. Legitimately, Dunkirk was a more thrilling than many of the “scary movies” that come out today. Over the course of its runtime, it builds an incredible amount of tension, particularly in the scenes involving the air force pilot.
While the original score by Hans Zimmer isn’t one you’ll be getting stuck in your head or that you’ll be going out of your way to look up and listen to again, it was very effective in the movie. The score in Dunkirk frequently makes use of the sound of a ticking clock, which in and of itself will make people nervous. The sound of a ticking clock, for some reason, just really gets into peoples’ heads, and Zimmer really played with that in his score. The film already had immense amounts of tension in it, and Zimmer’s score only added to that. Hans Zimmer has undoubtedly become one of the best working composers we have today, and he almost never fails to deliver a fitting score to the films he works on.
Where this film let me down a bit was in its story. The odd thing is, it didn’t let me down with the story that it told. The story they were telling in this film was an important and interesting one. What let me down was the way they told it. As I mentioned earlier, the film is told through three perspectives, a soldier on the beach (Fionn Whitehead), a pilot in the air (Tom Hardy), and a civilian on his boat (Mark Rylance). All three stories were interesting, and I was curious to see what was going to happen with them, but when put together, these three stories made the film feel disjointed. Each of these stories was told on their own timeline. One took place over the course of a week, one was in a day, and the last was in only an hour. Despite that, all three stories are being told side by side as the film moves forward. That could’ve worked had they kept the timelines separate, but at several points, they (almost unnecessarily) try to tie them together with certain characters or events. It made the timelines a bit confusing, and in all honesty, the whole thing felt a bit gimmicky. It felt like it was a Christopher Nolan film struggling to be a World War II film, or vice versa. Nolan's films are often very complex, and feature interesting storytelling methods like that. That's a big reason why Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors. However, I don't think that was the best way to go about telling this particular story. I can't help but feel like Dunkirk would've worked more if they had picked one of these three stories to tell, or if they had shown us the events of all three in chronological order.
Dunkirk is a technical masterpiece. The cinematography is breathtaking, the score works brilliantly in the film, the sound design was very well done, and the actors give great performances. I would recommend seeing Dunkirk on the biggest screen with the best sound you can find, because as far as the technical aspects go, this film is an experience. Is the film perfect? No, not by any means. The way the story was told made it seem a little clunky and confusing. I would still highly recommend Dunkirk, especially if you’re already interested in it. Christopher Nolan is a masterful director, and that really shines through in Dunkirk. This may not be his best film, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Nolan finally got some Oscar love for this one.
So what did you think of Dunkirk? Do you believe it’s the best film of the year so far? 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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Wish Upon is directed by John R. Leonetti, and it stars Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, and Ki Hong Lee. It tells the story of Clare, a high school girl that doesn’t really have a lot of friends, and she doesn’t really fit in all that well. When her dad finds a Chinese box while dumpster diving, he gives it to her. She soon discovers that this box will grant her seven wishes, but those wishes often come with a terrible price.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about Wish Upon. It’s the type of scary movie that people make jokes about in other, much better films. Everything in Wish Upon was the traditional horror movie tropes that we’ve all seen time and time again. The story is pretty much just being a Monkey’s Paw rip-off that features stupid characters that seem to have no basic survival instincts. Wish Upon was, to put it simply, was pretty awful. It was cliché, unoriginal, silly, and most of all, forgettable (thought that might be a good thing?). Legitimately, I forgot the name of this movie several times while writing this article. I can’t even imagine people who are really into scary movies liking this. It’s a PG-13 horror movie, so it’s made for the crowd of middle school students that think they’re super edgy for going to a scary movie, and it’s exactly what you would expect it to be.
At times, the film even becomes laughably bad. So in that aspect, there is some fun to be had. I saw this film with one of my coworkers, and we both had a pretty good laugh about it for about five solid minutes afterward. Is sitting through an hour and a half excuse of a movie worth five minutes of laughter? Maybe not, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
The worst thing about this film was how predictable it was. When the film began, and they set up the premise, I made a sort-of checklist in my head of what I thought was going to happen. As the film continued, I checked every item off of that list. There are no surprises in this movie. What you think is going to happen is exactly what happens. The film plays out beat-for-beat how you would guess it would.
Wish Upon is a bad movie. There’s no getting around that. It doesn’t really have any redeeming qualities. The characters are dumb, the plot is recycled, the entire film is extremely predictable, and in general, it’s one of the most cliché films I’ve seen in a while. Please, don’t see this movie. You deserve better than that.
So what did you think about Wish Upon? What do you wish you had seen instead? 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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