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nicky last won the day on March 5 2022

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About nicky

  • Birthday October 7

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Assistant to Director (21/23)



  1. THE WHALE (2022) 3.5/5 (No spoilers) Now this was an Oscar performance worth raving about, forget Joaquin Pheonix. Brendan Fraser does SO much in his role as Charlie; an obese gay divorcee who works from home as an online English teacher trying to re-connect with his angry estranged teenage daughter (Sadie Sink) despite her best efforts to resist him. It's a film about people; about love, forgiveness, honesty and reconnecting - real things people can relate to and none of this fluffy superhero s***. It's beautifully done but also rather depressing (like I hear other Darren Afronofsky films are). The film is set in one location; Charlie's home, so its no surprise that the screenplay is actually adapted from the play. I think that's why I didn't like it more as its easy to get bored of the same environment so its important for the characters to really shine and carry the film since it's all dialogue. Some of the characters I didn't like such as the daughter and the missionary (Ty Simpkins) and I wish there was more backstory or glimpses into who Charlie's dead boyfriend was. But Fraser really carries this film and its such an intelligent insight into obesity and isolation and it's affects on others. Not only that but the LGBQT angle actually felt really natural and had purpose. I loved the film's emotional ending and how it connected all the dots - throughout the film you're thinking "what's that all about?" and then suddenly it all becomes so clear giving the build-up beforehand some meaning and insight into the film's title. I'm surprised it's not up for Best Adapted Screenplay.
  2. WHITNEY HOUSTON: I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY 2/5 (No spoilers) I was looking forward to this coming from the writer of BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (2018) but was very disappointed. It may not have been totally the filmmaker's fault though but more so because Whitney didn't really have that much of an interesting life to begin with, at least that's how it comes across in the film. Yes, she had a rocky relationship with Bobby Brown and struggled with drugs but those parts of her life are not given the emphasis they deserve. It's a long film and out-stays it's welcome especially the over-stretched boring finale. The filmmakers try to fit a lot of plot-lines into the film but the script annoyingly never really spends much time on each individual line beyond more than one scene - the film plays very much like one random event after the other without having much connection. There's not much of a story really here at all and instead the screenplay is just a bunch of stuff strung together. Biopics should have an angle and stick to it but this film has none of that, it feels like a bit of a cash-grab because I can't see how this appeals to anyone but Whitney's fans. I didn't like the casting of Naomi Ackie as Whitney either - nevermind her not looking like Whitney but not even being anywhere near as attractive as her was distracting. Whitney was known for her amazing looks and its mentioned a lot in the film but you never buy it cos you look at Ackie and think "Whaaat?!" - especially the scene when her dad's HOT secretary compliments her. The title is horrible too, should've just called it "Whitney". Stanley Tucci though was very good as her manager.
  3. PLANE (2023) 3.5 (No spoilers) Gerard Butler has always been an underwhelming action star so you'd be forgiven for thinking PLANE was another mediocre thriller, even more so with such an oddly imaginative title. However, the film is surprisingly entertaining, filled with good action and some interesting characters but it's biggest flaw is it doesn't use them and so ends up treading closely to being "just another dumb action movie". At best it's a good straight-to-DVD/streaming movie. The plot makes the mistake of not focusing on the characters; what we have essentially is the hero-pilot (Butler) teaming-up with an extradited prisoner (Mike Colter) to save hostages after their plane crashes in hostile land but there's no tension or anything between the two; no bickering, no banter, no building respect or forming a friendship like other 'buddy movies'. Plus half-way into the film you soon forget the prisoner is actually a threat or concern to anyone - its as if the writers just decided to ignore he was a prisoner since its hardly mentioned as the film goes on. It's definitely not like Connery/Cage in THE ROCK (1996) or even Nolte/Murphy in 48 HRS (1982) or even ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 (1976) (the director of PLANE did the remake) so PLANE is a wasted opportunity to have chemistry between the two opposing leads. The premise is good but the plot is so thin and the ending feels quite rushed - I thought, "Is that it? Is that all they had to do?!" It's a quick simple 90 mins action romp which could have had much more meat added to it if only they focused on the prisoner and not the situation. They really wasted the potential to do something with the hero/prisoner team-up and the baddies just seemed to be baddies for the sake of it without giving them much motivation other than them being just scum.
  4. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT 3/5 (No spoilers) Its easy to compare this Oscar-heavy WWI drama to 1917 (2019) and every other war film before it but of course AQOTWF has the uniqueness of showing us the story from the other-side. What we have here is a story about a young man's journey into the German army and how he goes from raw recruit to experienced killer and the life-lessons he learns along the way - in that sense its similar to PLATOON (1986) but AQOTWF is a much more political film with the soldiers' stories sharing the run-time along with the anti-war message and negotiations for peace. The first 45 mins are great and the cinematography is really something special (particularly the opening scene) - I really enjoyed the story of Paul entering the army, making friends and experiencing war for the first time and for a while I actually thought we were getting a story about friendship and Paul's group of friends going to war together but this wasn't the case at all unfortunately. The rest of the film kind of dwindles a bit as Paul's story momentarily takes a back-seat as the script darts in and out focusing on the military's negotiations for a cease-fire. The battle scenes throughout are great.
  5. True. I was actually specifically talking about killing and the taking of human life.
  6. THE FABELMANS (2022) 3/5 (No spoilers) This is basically Speilberg's version of CINEMA PARADISO (1988) in which we follow a semi-autobiographical tale of a boy's love of film-making while dealing with family drama and adolescence. The core theme here seems to be family getting in the way of art and vice versa - something that the Uncle Boris character (Oscar nominee Judd Hirsh in a 10 min role) make a huge point of halfway through the film. It didn't really feel like a story worth telling but rather an excuse for Speilberg to make a film loosely based on his young life - that's probably why it bombed. It's long and although not completely boring it still struggled to keep me invested until about half way into the film so it certainly feels inconsistent. The latter half of the film is much better as we follow Sam (Gabriel LaBelle) through his journey into high school but even then it starts to feel like a basic teen-drama. But in general the film seems to be more focused on being a pretentious ode to film-making rather than telling an interesting story about people although it does have that familiar Speilbergian trait of a broken-family. Michelle Williams as the mum is very good and my bet is she'll win the Oscar, possibly Judd Hirsh too but the rest of the film is pretty bland and not quite the romantic portrayal of cinema that Speilberg had hoped for.
  7. (2022) 3.5 (No spoilers) Another killer-doll? Don't we have enough of them already? We just had the updated A.I. doll in CHILD'S PLAY (2019) so what could M3GAN possibly offer that we haven't seen before? The answer is, nothing much - even the 'robot learning to love a human' angle has already been done to death in TERMINATOR 2 (1991), A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001) and BICENTENNIAL MAN (1999). I actually enjoyed the film more for it's science-fiction elements (rather than horror) such as the idea of humans relying on technology for emotional support - this would have made a very interesting film on its own but of course this has to be about the killer-doll. I also liked the tug-of-war the robot and the aunt (GET OUT star Allison Williams) had over the kid but again, this was sidelined in favour of horror. It's a bit of a slow-burn which isn't good for a 90 mins film; it took too long before the robot was actually brought home and the build-up wasn't that great. I didn't like some of the supporting characters either like the boss (Ronny Chieng) who tries to inject his humor but isn't really funny at all - in fact a lot of the humor throughout was lost on me so I was surprised to find out later this was labelled a horror-comedy. The choices of music in the film I didn't find a good fit either especially the end credits. It's not original of course but it is at least a fun little horror and I preferred it to CHILD'S PLAY (2019) but mostly due to its science-fiction angle. Having said that, if these domestic robots are SO advanced why is it so difficult to teach them the difference between right and wrong and why are they always made so strong and indestructable?!
  8. THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN (2022) 3.5 (No spoilers) This Oscar-heavy contender is perhaps one of the most simple films you'll ever see - there is absolutely nothing more to the plot other than one friend (Brendan Gleeson) suddenly deciding to end his friendship with the other (Colin Farrell) while being a subtle metaphor for the Irish Civil War going on in the background. This simplicity can be seen as both a good and a bad thing but it was certainly a lot better than Martin McDonagh's previous film with Farrell and Gleeson, IN BRUGES (2008) It's well-written and the dialogue is sharp and funny but since the story is so straight-forward it could easily have done with editing-out a few redundant scenes. There are a couple of great supporting characters (eg. the town idiot played by Oscar nom Barry Keoghan and his abusive father) but sadly they don't really have a lot to do in the story apart from supporting the two leads and adding colour to the film - also their stories are kind of left in mid-air. Kerry Condon, as the sister, also ultimately suffers from this "gap" in the writing. It's the characters and witty dialogue that really makes this film, even more so hearing it in thick culchie Irish accents with a 'f€ck' here and a 'sho!te' there. Also events in the story (particularly Gleeson's behavior) slightly draw from the absurd and extreme in a random Monty Python-ish way which makes you question what kind of a world this is set in. Lastly, the final act was a little underwhelming (and sudden) and could have done with more weight.
  9. VIOLENT NIGHT (2022) 2.5 (No spoilers) Imagine if DIE HARD (1988) was an actual Xmas movie and instead of John McClane on the loose in Nakatomi Plaza you have Santa running around a mansion. BUT in order to avoid accusations of ripping-off such a classic action film the filmmakers instead try to pass if off as a homage to HOME ALONE (1990). Yep, VIOLENT NIGHT is sh!te. David Harbour is Santa - a tired, reluctant hero with a strained relationship with those close to him. Sound familiar? Elsewhere John Leguizamo is the leader of a machine-gun toting gang of European mercs intent on robbing a vault. Deja vu. Familiar even more was the constant use of walkie-talkies between the hero and another character (who of course loves HOME ALONE) offering encouragement which was just going too far. It wasn't original of course and throughout all I could think of was DIE HARD only this was obviously weak in comparison. It's very unfunny especially the supporting characters who are annoyingly cardboard including comedy veteran Beverly D'Angelo as the cliche and overdone foul-mouthed grandma. The overall plot is also just thin. Even the action, from JOHN WICK's David Leitch, was messy.
  10. BARBARIAN (2022) 4/5 (No Spoilers) The less you know about this film, the better - I didn't watch the trailer, I just knew it was about an Airbnb house where one tenant (Georgina Campbell) arrives to find someone else (Bill Skarsgard) already in it. It's very original, surprising, tense, scary and filled with suspense - it's what every horror film should be without relying on gore, cheap shocks or a nasty villain to do the work. It's solid horror ruined only by its plot-holes and an annoyingly unsatisfying ending. Director Zach Cregger does an excellent job keeping you on edge and maintaining mystery through-out but the writing suffers not only due to plot-holes but also redundant character backstories. It's fine to have backstories but it often feels like they're only there to pad-out the 100 mins runtime despite how great Justin Long is in the film. I really wanted to know more about the antagonists and their backstories and why this s*** was going on because what we are told is just a bit weak. Also as ever with mystery-suspense thrillers, once you know everything it takes the enjoyment out of future viewings and gets boring very quickly with each watch. DON'T BREATHE (2016), THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS (1991) and even RESIDENT EVIL VII (the game) are other trapped-in-a creepy-house stories that reminded me of BARBARIAN but unlike them this film puts much more emphasis on mystery which it excels at - it had me guessing all the way through just who was the villain (is it Bill Skarsgard or not?) and what was happening. I'm hoping for a prequel.
  11. WEIRD: THE AL YANKOVIC STORY (2022) 2.5/5 (No spoilers) Who asked for a movie about this guy?! OK maybe he was huge in the USA but in the UK I seem to recall only 3 one-off novelty music videos and his cameo in THE NAKED GUN 33/3rd (1994). Of course I wouldn't mind if the movie was good but it sucked, never-mind weird. The core message of the film is, "just be yourself and do what makes you happy - even if you're weird" but it's not done very well - there isn't even an interesting story here let alone one of struggle like other biopics. There's heavy emphasis on Weird Al's longing for his dad's acceptance but its hard to take seriously when the film is a comedy - what's worse though is it isn't even funny. The film isn't really a biopic because it shoots off on massive tangents with so many events that you know obviously DIDN'T happen (Eg. the origins of 'Eat It', the Pablo Escabar incident). Evan Rachel Wood is good as Madonna and Jack Black makes a great appearance as Wolfman Jack. Radcliff is fine but does he have to be ripped to play Weird Al??!! I get that he chooses these low-key/lo-fi films and plays odd characters (like Johnny Depp does) to get away as far as possible from his Harry Potter image but in this one he just ends up looking like a Scouse - I just kept waiting for him to say, "Alriiight, alriight, cam down, cam down!!"
  12. HALLOWEEN ENDS (2022) 2.5/5 (No spoilers) This is the most unsatisfying conclusion to a trilogy since THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (2019) - HALLOWEEN ENDS isn't even a continuation of the previous instalments and had no connecting plot-points. It's as if the writer's desperately wanted to do something different so made-up this half-arsed rushed love story and tried to fuse it with a 'post-modern' slasher film. The first few minutes are surprisingly fresh but what follows is just clumsy, goofy and rushed (the radio station, dancing on the floor, the bullies, unrealistic romance, Laurie's line about her grand-daughter getting her titties out). It's also boring largely because so much time is focused on characters we don't care about - we want to see Laurie Vs Michael Myers and their big final showdown, THAT's what was promised in the last two films but what we get is something that just doesn't belong. This storyline would've been more suited to a stand-alone HALLOWEEN sequel and NOT the end to this particular trilogy...but even then it would still be crud. Micheal has a connection with the lead character much like Freddy and (sort of) Jason did in one of their films but they did it far better. Here its just stupid and compromises Micheal's whole existence in the film. Furthermore, Micheal's role is...I won't say but it's easy to see what the problem is and I think from this massive flaw it's evident that this trilogy wasn't fully mapped-out from the start and instead was just made-up as they went along. I can't believe they had this in mind for the end of the trilogy back in 2017.
  13. ELVIS (2022) 2.5/5 (No spoilers) I think I might've liked this film more if it wasn't directed by Baz Lurhmann - he brings to it his usual flamboyance and flashy editing like he did with MOULIN ROUGE! (2001) and ROMEO + JULIET (1996). I wanted ELVIS to be a serious, entertaining and dramatic bio-pic like BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (2018) but instead it was a disappointment that focused on the singer's relationship with his manager played by Tom Hanks. The most interesting scene to me was when he first sings to an audience and the girls go crazy - everything else was just fluff. I still don't know why Elvis started popping pills or how his marriage broke-down or why he was so devoted to the stage. And why the hell was modern hip-hop music used in the film???!! Even the title of the film was unimaginative and lazy. Baz isn't really a great story-teller, at least not when you have serious character-driven stuff at hand - he should stick to romantic musicals and other poncy films that your gay best friends love. I fell asleep briefly halfway.
  14. DAY SHIFT (2022) 1.5/5 (No Spoilers) Not much to say really. It was s***e. Wasn't funny at all; the jokes just fell flat and they were clearly desperate to make us laugh. It was pretty cringey. Dave Franco is pretty annoying and Jamie Foxx can do so much better than this whilst the villain was totally forgettable like a 'discount' Salma Hayek. And Snoop Dogg, OMG; he makes a total embarrassment of himself - it reminded me of Ice-T in the God-awful action flick 3000 MILES TO GRACELAND (2000) where he also played this super bad-ass cool loner mercenary but just ended up looking ridiculous. The vampires' fighting-style is very MCU-inspired and not what you expect of the undead and the whole 'secret underground vampire-slayers for hire' thing reminded me of JOHN WICK (2015) . I fell asleep briefly after the first 25 mins.
  15. I didn't like it - it seemed a slow start and the mystery surrounding the phenomenon was what kept it going but it wasn't enough. Daniel Kauuya seemed to be mumbling his lines and Keke Parker talked too fast while the Fry's sales tech guy was just annoying (no one is allowed to talk to customers like that while working). Micheal Wincott and Steven Yuen were wasted opportunities. I loved Jordan Peele's first film GET OUT (2017) and US (2019) was alriiight but NOPE was disappointing. I agree it was too long and tried to be too 'smart' (esp with Steven Yuen's unneeded chimpanzee backstory) and the climax just went on too long.
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