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nicky last won the day on March 5

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About nicky

  • Birthday October 7

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  1. It was pure bonkers. It was like if The Cohen Brothers took acid and made The Matrix.
  2. TOP GUN: MAVERICK (2022) 3/5 (No spoilers) Being a fan of the original I felt this was overrated. It missed a lot of what made the 1986 film great (machismo, homo-eroticism, music-video vibes) but even as a stand-alone film I thought it was just OK. It was very cheesy in places, the first film was too but it felt at home there but here in the sequel it doesn't fit. The plot is thin again, Maverick is back to train new pilots for a deadly mission and one of them is his dead best friend's son (Miles Teller) who has a beef with him. Its less about being a pilot and more about Maverick coming to terms with his past. But this is a slightly more mature boring version of his younger self, even the love story is non-existent. There's too many characters here to try and keep up; the new pilots hardly do anything and the team lacks camaraderie. Their introductory scene is just cringe, so is Jennifer Connelly's flirting. Even Miles Teller as Goose's son doesn't do much, he's just there cos you must have the cliche angry son give Maverick a hard time. This is why the film reminds me of HOT SHOTS! (1991); it becomes a lite parody of itself with all this "I flew with your old man" sentiment, something that Maverick already had with Viper (Tom Skerrit) in the original. The relationship between Cruise and Teller should've been the focal point giving more impact to the ending but it just fell a bit flat and predictable. There are many repeated beats from the first film drawing on nostalgia/homage, even as far as creating new younger versions of the same characters such as Hangman, another cocky rival like Ice-Man (Val Kilmer). Not subtle at all. The last 20 mins of action is very good though apart from the two cop-out moments that happen within 10 mins of each other. And another thing: The ending of the first film was inconsistent with the sequel. SPOILERS: Maverick had let go of Goose's death and was happy but here he's still haunted. If you watch both films back-to-back its especially distracting/jarring. I get feelings come back but the filmmakers could've at least acknowledged it, if not for the purpose of exposition then at least as a wink to the audience to say, "Yeah, we know it's different but we're changing it now". They basically retconned the first film's ending, at least Army of Darkness had a recap and narration to cover the inconsistency with Evil Dead 2 but here there's nothing. I also thought the scene showing archive footage of Goose playing piano was unnecessarily over-done and treating the audience as dumb, so was the archive footage dying in the sea - we get it, Maverick is haunted.
  3. MORBIUS (2022) 3.5/5 (No spoilers) Every now and then a critically panned film comes along and its always fun to see how bad it really is. But sometimes you watch it only to be 'disappointed' that you actually enjoyed it and end up feeling guilty or stupid for not sharing everyone else's opinion. For me, this year, that film is MORBIUS. There are FAR worse superhero films eg WW84 (2021), VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE (2021), the last two or three X-MEN films and both SUICIDE SQUAD films. I didn't think MORBIUS was great but it was a nice blend of superhero and horror although it really should've been rated R so more horror and gore could be brought in - its always gonna be tough trying to make a PG vampire action-horror movie especially when he's a goodie. There were quite a few plot-holes and WTF moments but they're relatively minor and for me weren't so bad that they spoiled the main plot - it just took a decent amount of acceptance. With comic-book films, things often don't make sense anyway since they're fantasy-based so it's easy to forgive imperfect writing. The ending felt a bit rushed though and was unsatisfying. It's obvious Sony really wants this to connect with Spider-Man and Venom so there are more than enough references which kind of get in the way - it almost feels like Sony didn't have that much faith in Morbius as a solo character in his own movie.
  4. It's been panned. I think it lost a lot of people by casting Zac Efron as a father. I've not seen it but it has encouraged me to seek out the Drew Barrymore version which I've not seen since the mid 80s.
  5. BENEDETTA (2021) 3.5/5 (No Spoilers) I love Paul Verhoeven films. ELLE (2016) was a disappointment to me and I feared this new film would be another with its lesbian nuns premise. Thankfully BENEDETTA is a surprising return to form and is filled with the director's trademarks - there's plenty sex, plenty Christianity and some violence. The film's medieval setting amidst the plague and Christian themes reminded me of Verhoeven's first Hollywood film, FLESH + BLOOD (1985). But sex isn't the main focus of the the story although it does seem to be the film's main marketing point - of course, sex sells. The story is more about Christianity and whether Benedetta herself (Virginie Efira) is what she claims to be. It takes a while before the two nuns start having sex and the seduction itself could've been fleshed-out more as there's very little justification as to why the frolicking begins other than just simple curiosity and experimentation. But I guess for some, experimentation and curiosity is a common impetus for engaging in homo-eroticism. There's a (sexual) torture/interrogation scene which is pretty hard to watch even though you don't see anything apart from the torture device itself but that alone and the screaming is enough to make you squirm. Equally memorable is a particular character's death and the reaction of another's. It's all powerful stuff and the story makes clever comparisons to Joan Of Arc and leaves you asking "was it or wasn't it real?" much like Verhoeven's TOTAL RECALL (1990).
  6. WEST SIDE STORY (2021) 2/5 (Spoilers!!) I've never seen the stage-show or the original film, all I knew was that it was loosely based on Romeo & Juliet. The musical sequences are good and the costumes and sets look great but I just found it a bit boring especially the first 20+ mins. I realize the two leads have to fall in love quickly as the film is "only" 2.5hrs long but the whole love-at-first-sight scene was just too unbelievable, they could have at least fallen in love over singing a song together (like in MOULIN ROUGE). But that was only the first thing that troubled me, next up was the fact Maria forgives Tony for killing her brother! Not only that but Anita then forgives Maria and allows her to run away with Tony, her husband's killer! And then for some reason, Anita tells everyone Maria has been killed.
  7. THE DIRT (2019) 4/5 (No spoilers) I had been listening to Motley Crue's Greatest Hits album a lot lately so I looked-up this rock biopic. I really enjoyed it... even though I know it didn't do well with critics but I do agree with their negativity in that it focuses too much on the rock-star party-lifestyle rather than the drama within the plot but I think that's what makes the film more fun to watch. Unlike other rock biopics THE DIRT is more light in tone and has even been classed by some as a comedy. It's no surprise to learn that the director is the same guy behind JACKASS so the crazy antics within the band are at the forefront. Of course sex and drugs play a heavy role in the film but they're presented in such a way as if to glorify the rock n' roll lifestyle and not treated with the same gravity as you'd expect in STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (2015), BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (2018), WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT (1993) and ROCKETMAN (2019) etc. The serious issues in THE DIRT like addiction, illness and death could've been given more time to explore but it seems that the writers want to keep the focus on the band's unity so its not a serious heavy hard-hitting drama like those other biopics. There's no 'Pamela Anderson' in this unfortunately but 'Heather Locklear' is in it - I would have liked to have seen more of her and the band's relationships with their families but I guess if I want to see that I'll have to watch PAM & TOMMY.
  8. I like both in the role but you have to remember the Clarice you see in Silence Of The Lambs (1991) is a rookie and in Hannibal (2001) she is an experienced tough agent and a much more mature action-woman so they naturally don't feel like the same character. Hannibal himself on the other hand seems to have become more jovial since being on the run in the latter film, something Hopkins wanted to get away from in subsequent iterations.
  9. I thought it was one of Roland Emmerich's worst films so far. You spend the first 90+ mins impatiently wondering WHY the moon is out of orbit and breaking - WAY too long for the big reveal, I started to get bored in the run-up and the textbook characters couldn't make up for it. The characters are pretty much the same as every Emmerich film: The Action Man, The Scientist, The Estranged Loved-one, The Ex. Then there's the same old Emmerich story-structure where you have one group of characters' narrative running parallel to another group. The film's premise was basically, 'What if such and such conspiracy theory was true?', everything else in the plot you've already seen before and is very unoriginal. It seemed to be aimed at Scientology and reminded me a lot of PROMETHEUS (2012). The ending especially was like THE ABYSS (1989) and ARMAGEDDON (1998) - it was quite predictable.
  10. I liked it until Zoe Saldana showed up - after that the plot got a bit up itself and played-out like a cross between BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985) and TIMECOP (1993). I thought the same as you about the Marvel-heavy casting too; you got Deadpool, Hulk, Gamora and Elektra. I didn't think Katherine Keener was a very good villain but that's not her fault, her head henchman was even worse though and was just a cliche. And they kept playing upbeat vintage rock over the action scenes which reminded me of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2015) - the rock tunes also took away the suspense and threat you should be feeling in an action scene. Overall the film felt like one of those 80s sci-fi kid adventure films like FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR (1986) and D.A.R.Y.L (1985) complete with the typical single-mum-struggling-with-son-who-misses-his-dead-dad trope just like in ET (1982). I was about to watch RED NOTICE (2021) but I'm starting to get tired of seeing Ryan Reynolds in everything lately FREE GUY, HITMAN'S WIFE'S BODYGUARD, RED NOTICE, ADAM PROJECT, 6 UNDERGROUND. The last three of these are Netflix films too so he's all over my Netflix browse page.
  11. THE SILENCE (2019) 3/5 (No Spoilers) It wasn't THAT bad, I actually liked it except for the 3rd act when the cultist shows up. Some of the acting was sub-par (eg. 'Uncle Glenn') and the main kid just looked too much like Emma Watson. Some of the editing was a bit s*** too and it wasn't well-directed, it was kinda shoddy. And it felt like there was still a lot more to come. I liked the creatures more than the ones in A Quiet Place (2018) though.
  12. All I wanna know is, is it boring like Nolan's films? Would a little kid like it and understand it?
  13. THE POWER OF THE DOG (2022) 1.5/5 (No spoilers) Jane Campion basically re-worked her script for THE PIANO (1993); a 'sick' widowed piano-playing mum aided by her kid re-marries into wealth only to form an awkward bond with her new hubby's rugged bro/friend. He gets his knob out. Just like THE PIANO. It's not a film for everyone, including me, and it's very slow and yes, it's boring. It's one of those films. You have to really pay attention or else you'll miss some very subtle plot-points as I almost did. Nicely shot and acted though. It has 12 nominations at the Oscars this year and I'm sure it will do well but since it's so similar to Campion's previous Oscar hit THE PIANO I personally don't think it should be awarded Best Adapted Screenplay.
  14. TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2022) 2.5/5 (No spoilers) I was surprised to learn the makers of EVIL DEAD (2013) and DON'T BREATHE (2016) wrote this. I didn't think TCM was that bad but I didn't enjoy it either. It is very much like the new HALLOWEEN (2018) in that it ignores the previous sequels in favour of picking up from the first film while bringing back legacy characters. To coin the term used in SCREAM (2022), it's another "requel". It's also an unnecessary hollow addition devoid of anything fresh despite being nicely shot. Gore fans will be happy but there isn't much that connects this film to the first - yes, it features Leatherface with a chainsaw and the original's heroine is back but the chance to do something cool with her is wasted as she's reduced to being an extended cameo. Of course the other characters are just fodder...apart from the lead who has this typical back-story in an attempt to make her appear more 'emotional' but to it's credit it's better than most. Even Leatherface himself lacks any kind of personality and what he's been doing the past 5 decades remains a mystery. Take away the chainsaw and skin masks and it could've been anyone. And isn't he supposed to be in his 70s by now?! The film is pretty short and the pacing reflects this; it's rather slow but not boring at least, it's just parts seem to drag-on especially the scenes with people hiding from Leatherface in cupboards etc which as a result make the film less scary because tension is lost. It's 50 years since the first film and we're reminded of this a lot as the story tries to introduce modern technology into the plot (streaming, self-drive cars, cancel culture etc) but it comes across as a bit goofy. The film is a guilty pleasure at best but only just. I liked the ending.
  15. SCREAM (2022) 3/5 (No spoilers) I was really surprised a fifth film was being made, not because director Wes Craven has now died but because I didn't think there could possibly be anymore stories to tell. But I failed to realize that these films aren't even about the stories anymore, they're about the trends going on in Hollywood - in this case the trend is "requels". The only SCREAM films I liked were the first two. This latest one is only alright but it's at least better than films 3 and 4 despite being a lite rehash of the original 1996 film. However, SCREAM 5 also suffers by being a sequel to just simply just 'pass-the-torch' to new characters and in doing so wastes no time in unashamedly letting audiences know what it is; an excuse to keep the franchise going "to please fans" (aka cash-grab). There's actually a generous amount of kills and it even goes as far as to make fun of cliche horror tropes (eg. doors closing to reveal the killer) but its ultimately lacking in tension - you don't care enough about the characters when they're being chased and some are obviously created just to be fodder or 'suspects' so guessing 'who-dunnit' is more of a challenge which has become one of the franchise's main devices. Just look at all the people on the poster and the tagline, "The killer is on this poster". There's also a STUPID bit where the characters have the PERFECT chance to unmask the killer while he's unconscious but the writers waste the opportunity to have a great tense moment and just f*** it up instead. Without Craven directing and this being the fifth entry (after an 11 year absense) it just feels a bit...lite. It's not quite a cheap imitation but the more time passes from the original trilogy, the more it all seems a bit desperate (like INDIANA JONES 5). The horror name checks are also getting really tiresome too eg. Wes, Carpenter, Loomis etc and Courtney Cox doesn't look like Courtney Cox anymore.
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