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nicky

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nicky last won the day on December 27 2021

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About nicky

  • Birthday October 7

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Assistant to Director (21/23)

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  1. I thought it was horrible, unnecessary and way too complicated - whenever they tried to explain the plot it was just very clunky and drawn-out (the scene when Bugs first meets Morpheus). Wachowski herself didn't even want to make the film and seems to have sabotaged it just to get back at Warner Bros for making her do it hence the cringey comedy and post-credits scene. The film looks nice but that's about it. Weaving, Fishburne and even Yeun Wo Ping (fight choreographer) are sorely missed and the kung-fu is pretty meh and mostly replaced with Neo just using 'The Force'. The cute little robots were stupid too, it was becoming Transformers at that point. Even the end titles song, a throwback to the first film's end credits, was an assault on the ears.
  2. RESIDENT EVIL: WELCOME TO RACOON CITY (2021) 2.5/5 (No Spoliers) There's so much RE media coming out regularly from games to animated movies and a series that it's a shame Sony didn't take more time and care with this reboot coming only 5 years since Paul W.S. Anderson's films. But this reboot was always doomed; after Anderson, directors will only get worse as no one better will wanna take-up the baton. Enter Johannes Roberts, director of 47 METRES DOWN (2017). Gulp. To its credit, the new film is very atmospheric and at least tries to be a horror film (unlike Anderson's style-over-substance action-fests) however director, Roberts, relies quite heavily on cheap jump-scares, dim-lighting and being faithful to the games in order to be entertaining. It's also quite a slow start and it takes its time to introduce characters with loads of expositional dialogue but the "villain" isn't made evil enough (he's a nice family man) and his motives are unclear. The plot also lacks direction and doesn't feel like a complete self-contained story much like a first episode of a new TV series. Its a humble film and quite small in scope - even the cinematography and Raccoon City itself, feels more like a little town and the zombies in the mansion/police station setting reminded me of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) and ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 (1976) - John Carpenter was obviously a heavy influence on this film right down to the score and end titles. It's not a terrible film, but rather an OK-ish SyFy Channel film with slightly higher production values.
  3. SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME (2021) 4.5/5 (No spoilers) This is my favourite MCU movie so far for the same reasons that I enjoyed AVENGERS ENDGAME (2019); both recalled previous films in the series but NO WAY HOME went as far as to bring back characters from decades ago thus adding nostalgia. Nostalgia however, is unfortunately what this film relies very heavily on and without it would have been a very different experience. I love Alfred Molina as Doc Ock and Willem Dafoe is clearly loving being back as Green Goblin but I wish Sandman and Lizard had more to do; 99% of their role is CG and we hardly see Thomas Haden Church and Rhys Ifans's human faces. I wasn't a fan of Jamie Foxx's Electro before but here he's a welcome and funny addition. It's actually quite a crowded film but it still works although I think more weight could've been added to Aunt May and Peter Parker's relationship as I wasn't invested in her, especially that one scene. The only gripe for me is that some beats were overly-emotional, they just felt over-drawn and slowed-down the pace too much - the same can be said for one particular moment which was simply fanboy banter...or was it dick-measuring? Nevertheless the good out-weighed the bad and it was a solid fun film with an interesting ending leaving you excited for the next film. BONUS: The MCU already started the trend with films set in a shared-universe, perhaps we'll see a new trend with shared-characters in those universes eg. Micheal Keaton's Batman is already returning to the DCU in the new FLASH film. Maybe Mark Whalberg will return in the next PLANET OF THE APES?!
  4. Magnum Force was written by John Milius and Micheal Cimino (Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter between them) so it was always gonna be a more fleshed-out story than the first film which was basically written with a focus on setting-up the character of Harry. I like the first two films but the subsequent Dirty Harry films didn't have the same impact.
  5. I see. Doesn't make a great deal of sense but then the audience is just meant to go with it as he did say it was "insane". Kinda like how just saying 'nanobots' equally leads to audiences just going with it as per Screen Rant's NTTD Pitch Meeting.
  6. NO TIME TO DIE (2021) 4/5 (No spoilers) I'm not a Bond fan but I surprisingly enjoyed this film a lot more than I thought I would mostly because the plot felt more straight-forward than Craig's previous outings. Usually all this international espionage stuff makes my head spin but the coupling of a WOMD and interesting characters made it all more accessible. Most Bond films are generally formulaic and when you've seen one, you've seen them all but NTTD pulls a few new tricks I wasn't expecting. For a start it seems to rely more upon Bond's relationships with certain characters thus shining a new light on him we've never seen. Elsewhere the bio-weapon/rogue scientist plot reminded me of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 (2000) even as far as naming the WOMD after a figure from Greek mythology again. I loved the two opening scenes before the main titles finally arrived and even after that the film didn't slow down as the action was evenly spread-out and the comedy kept to a minimum. However, it almost felt like I wasn't watching a Bond film because it's so far removed from the usual pre-Craig era fare. There were a couple of plot-holes though and worse still no clear motivation why the big bad, Safin (Rami Malek), wanted to unleash the bio-weapon upon the world or even why he was disfigured (all three key baddies are disfigured). Not sure why Bond is allowed to keep a fully-armed and operational Aston Martin after his retirement either.
  7. SPENCER (2021) 1/5 (No spoilers) A pretentious load of whack, dull as dishwater and annoying. And that's just the score; a painful assault on the ears. SPENCER is less a biopic and more a psychological exploration of Diana's mental state, a rather one-sided affair as none of the other Royals do anything bar her sons. It kind of reminded me of JOKER (2019) only that film was good. Set over 3 days during Christmas 1991, the film is a fictional account of Diana crumbling beneath the pressures of the Royal family. Yes, Kristen Stewart is good but she babbles and does this thing a lot where she keeps turning her face away coyly when talking to people she's not relaxed with, almost like a parody of Diana. She also comes across as being 'whiny' and insubordinate and avoids the family much like a sulky kid who won't come out of their room for dinner. If you sympathize with her it's only because of what you've heard in the news or Martin Bashir's infamous interview and not the screenplay. That said, the film only sells because it's about Princess Diana, replace her with a fictional character marrying into wealth and no one would care. Not only was the experimental jazz score irritable but there also seemed to be an unnerving use of hand-held close-ups too, perhaps a reflection of the intrusive paparazzi but it didn't really work because it wasn't applied to appropriate scenes. As well as JOKER, the film also seems heavily influenced by THE SHINING (1980) complete with long dolly-shots down hallways, isolation, a crumbling mental state, a big house, an informant head butler, hallucinations and a ghost. SPENCER does it's best to be 'haunting' too. The film was boring, nothing happens; Diana just cuts herself away from the family and defies them, her sanity is questioned and she leaves with her sons. The end. Cue horrible screeching string arrangement or avant-garde jazz score.
  8. VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE (2021) 2/5 (No spoilers) Oh dear, this wasn't very good. It's not terrible just a bit urrrgh...but that hardly came as a surprise to me since it was directed by an actor-turned-director (Andy Serkis is no Clint). I enjoyed the first film because to me it was more like a sci-fi film but this sequel is just a bit camp and the tone is all wrong; it tries to amplify the comedy between Eddie (Tom Hardy) and Venom only to fail. Woody Harrelson is a bit weird in this film and he seems to be wearing a wig throughout - it was quite difficult to take him seriously as a formidable foe. On the other hand, Woody's fiance in the film, Naomie Harris very conveniently has loud shrieking-powers (that can hurt Venom/Carnage) but it's not explained WHY or HOW. And I really don't see why Woody and Naomie were in such a rush to get married either (in a church complete with a huge loud bell tower of course), didn't they have bigger fish to fry like defeating our heroes?! Worse still, we're not told why Carnage is so against Venom/Eddie making it difficult for us to really see him as a solid villain which in turn makes Venom hard to root for. This film is a bit of a mess and the editing is kinda jarring seemingly skipping huge chunks of needed character-development and exposition/explanation - it's not a fun film and the ending was lame. This is one of the worst stand-alone Marvel superhero films in recent memory.
  9. ROCKY IV: ROCKY VS DRAGO - THE ULTIMATE DIRECTOR'S CUT (1985) I've always liked ROCKY IV but this so-called "Ultimate Director's Cut" was sooo unnecessary. It boasts 40 mins of new footage BUT the 'new footage' is mostly just alternate takes of the SAME OLD scenes. There is nothing significantly different here to justify MGM throwing money at Stallone to re-cut this film. The handful of brand new scenes that are there add very little; they just unnecessarily emphasize what we already know. The new cut also reduces the roles of Paulie and Rocky Jr and Mrs Drago especially very heavily, perhaps Stallone is still bitter at ex-wife Brigette Nielsen? It was claimed the Apollo Vs Drago fight was more brutal but all I noticed was a bloody nose and no doubt Stallone just re-inserted some alternate angles. Elsewhere, Rocky gives alternate speeches at the funeral, to his son in his room and after the fight. Also 'Gorbochev' has a different reaction at the end, Rocky meets the boxing committee, Drago gets an extra line ("Yes"), the ROCKY III recap at the start is re-cut and the final song is replaced. Despite the new 40 mins, the new cut is still 90 mins. The original film was fine as it was and didn't suffer from wonky editing unlike the new version. If Stallone wanted to re-cut one of his films it should have been COBRA (1986) which George P. Cosmatos ghost-directed for him and fell victim to studio interference. The director's cut of ROCKY IV is a major disappointment and I felt cheated; ALIENS, T2 or BLADE RUNNER it ain't.
  10. SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS (2021) 3/5 (No spoilers) I was so sad to hear so many people wanted this film to fail simply because it was an Asian superhero film, even after it was proved a big hit. There seems to be both a fear of minorities knocking White off the top of the racial ladder (in mainstream media) and a hatred for anything 'woke'. How is this film woke? It's been in development since 2000 and Stan Lee even tried to get a TV show made in the 90s. And as for 'no one asked for a superhero they never heard of', how many of those people had heard of DEADPOOL, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, BLADE, CAPTAIN MARVEL or THE CROW?! No one had heard of DARKMAN, he was made-up for the movie! I really wanted to like this film but to me it was only 'alright'. It didn't feel like a superhero film cos Shang-Chi doesn't actually have any powers. It felt more like a kung-fu fantasy film like FORBIDDEN KINGDOM (2008) or Stephen Chow's THE MERMAID (2016) and JOURNEY TO THE WEST (2017) with a hint of Vader/Luke-style family-drama thrown in. The action was OK but I wanted to see more 1 on 1 fights with actual baddies that were a threat (Death Dealer's fight was too short), not family-members. Tony Leung is the best thing in the film (finally making his Hollywood debut) but I thought the mid-section took a bit of a dip and the climax just dragged on for too long once the big bad appeared - it was further spoiled by CG overload in the form of mythical beasts and green-screen. Casting-wise, I like Michelle Yeoh but just cos she's Asian does she (and Awkawfina) have to play every older Asian woman in Hollywood now?! She was already in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 (2017) plus she, Awkwafina and Ronny Chieng were also all in CRAZY RICH ASIANS (2018) - is Hollywood really so unimaginative that they can't cast anyone outside of the Asian 'Brat Pack'? Incidentally Akwafina does nothing in the film, she's just there for exposition so characters can explain the plot to the audience so I'm curious what her future will be in subsequent MCU films.
  11. Ohhh, great price for this guest. I'm tempted to come out of con retirement so he can sign my X2 poster. Would feel a bit weird now that I've worked as an extra on the first season of Succession.
  12. SQUID GAME (2021) 4/5 (No spoilers) I just watched all 9 episodes of Netflix's most popular show ever and although it didn't disappoint I didn't think it was the best thing ever as some have made it out to be. It is however very good and has some really great characters but I found the episodes rather inconsistent in quality and some quite dragged-out. It reminded me of The Running Man (1988), Eyes Wide Shut (1999) and 90s game-show The Crystal Maze only a lot more violent and no humor at all. It was intelligently written and touched upon many themes such as kindness, humanity, greed and survival all wrapped-up in an intriguing dystopian science-fiction bow. I still think Kingdom is the best Korean thing to come out of Netflix though.
  13. HALLOWEEN KILLS (2021) 3/5 (No spoilers) There's very little difference in each of the HALLOWEEN films (except the 3rd one without Micheal) but this new sequel does have an interesting take with the addition of a lynch mob set on hunting our killer. However, the tone of the film is quite a shift from previous entries and has divided fans. There's a lot of characters, of which some are brought back from the original but they are totally wasted apart from Anthony Micheal Hall whereas Charles Cyphers as the original's Sheriff Brackett (and Carpenter regular) is reduced to nothing but a pointless extended cameo. Jamie Lee Curtis takes a huge backseat in this film and does practically nothing - I wish the same could be said for her family in the film cos they came across as just boring and annoying. The film seems to verge on action-horror with its glossy style of film-making; it's not very scary and seems more concerned about gore, flashy kills and making Micheal look cool (eg. Micheal vs the firemen). The story also relies VERY heavily on the events of the original film and inserts 'new' flashbacks leaving this new story in the 1978 film's shadow instead of making a fresh new plot of its own. Furthermore the back-and-forth of flashbacks to the present (in addition to all the different characters within) seems quite jarring and makes for bad editing. They even retconned the end of the first film too, probably the most sacrilegious thing a reboot-sequel could do to a CLASSIC. Silly things happen in the film of course; there's a questionable absence of the police, people shooting Micheal when they should just LEAVE, some dodgy exposition and the lynch mob shouting "EVIL DIES TONIGHT!" as if they're protesting at some political campaign. Its a guilty pleasure; I liked the gorey kills but didn't like the use of characters.
  14. DON'T BREATHE 2 (2021) 3/5 (No spoilers) My expectations were high since producer Sam Raimi said a few years ago, "this is only the best idea for a sequel I've ever heard. No kidding." He must've been talking out of his ass or drunk. Opinions of the first film were split mostly cos viewers were expected to root for petty thieves. If that was you, you'll hate the sequel even more cos this time the villain is the hero. The sequel takes place 8 years later so we could assume The Blind Man (Stephen Lang) has learned to regret his evil ways but for the most part he's still the same character with the same motives. If you can get past the villain-hero switch, the film is actually quite enjoyable with some great tense moments...at least for the first half BUT once the villains' motives are revealed it just gets dumber. I found the first death unnecessary and it left me confused while there was some obvious exposition and no sign of the emergency services whatsoever. The writing is fairly clunky with ideas strung together with not much substance to back them up (there's plenty gaps that need filling). Yes, its a dumb film yet still manages to be enjoyable up to a certain point
  15. Actually, yes, you're right. I just remembered there is a clip of private footage where he jokes to the camera about the film's director, "he can shout 'action' and 'cut' all day long but it won't make him a director." And there is also footage of a suppressed/subtle heated exchange between the two. But he doesn't address it in his new narration is what I meant,
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