Us

POSITIVES…

  • As a horror suspense thriller, Writer-Director Jordan Peele has given us an exhilarating and entertaining movie.

  • It’s not the scariest movie around, but Peele knows how to build up and create tension, and successfully put me on the edge of my seat for a lot of it.

  • Set pieces. Fantastic thriller set pieces here, and there are several of them.

  • Visually, the movie is amazing to look at. From the cinematography, the symbolically iconic looking images, to several memorable moments that I won’t be forgetting. Gotta love some of the camera angles chosen for certain scenes that I’m not going to spoil.

  • Story-wise, this has a great premise. The idea of a plot that you might have in your head just based on the promotional trailer isn’t enough to describe what actually happens in the movie. I was definitely invested to see the whole movie through.

  • In terms of themes, metaphors, symbolism, this movie is layered as heck. There are so many things to discuss with what happens in the story, to what it’s really all about.

  • Amazing cast of actors here, with a stand-out dual-role performance by Lupita Nyong’o. Evan Alex, Shahadi Wilson, Winston Duke, Tim Heidecker and Elisabeth Moss, were all fantastic! As expected, Winston Duke gets to be the funny one most of the time.

NEGATIVES…

  • As much as I liked some of the humor bits, it felt out of place at times, and took me out of the movie.

  • There were moments that I just didn’t believe what the characters were doing, which also took me out of the movie.

  • I have to point out that there is one particular plot point that I wished was actually addressed, because it felt like a glaring plot hole to me that fundamentally would have changed the film.

P.S….

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Climax

POSITIVES…

  • This movie opens up with a beautifully framed shot, with a hint that something horrific happens, and successfully puts you on guard to be weary about what you’re about to see.

  • There’s an ominous tone throughout that is established from the opening shot, as well as an unnerving feeling like you’re watching real life video evidence of a terrifying event that you shouldn’t be witness to.

  • Those familiar with Gaspar Noe films should be pleased with the downward spiral of the narrative, from the mesmerizing beginnings, into the twisted and traumatizing plot turns.

  • One of the main highlights of seeing this are the electrifying dance sequences, and the energy the dancers put on screen; especially considering the majority of them are not seasoned actors.

  • We’ve got electro dancers, voguers, krumpers, and waackers here, and they perfectly fit with the toe-tapping head-bopping soundtrack of the film.

  • This movie is visually hypnotizing, and contains incredible imagery, with some creative camera work and editing that brings you further into the experience. It’s especially effective during the more nightmarish scenes.

  • Kudos to Gaspar Noe for once again creating an unforgettable film. A film that parents can use to scare their kids into avoiding going to dance parties, because bad things could happen there.

NEGATIVES…

  • There were several shocking scenes and dialogue in this movie, but sometimes they felt shocking just for the sake of being shocking.

  • Due to the very shorthand way of developing the characters, I only really cared for possibly less than a handful of them. The impact to the tragedies did feel a little diffused because of that fact.

  • Some people will not have the patience to put up with the narrative structure of this movie.

  • Speaking of patience. Expect a lot of indulgence given into several scenes, and that includes a nine minutes long dance sequence, to characters sluggishly walking back and forth through the hallway going out of their minds.

  • Is this simply style over substance? In many ways yes, but in some ways no.

P.S….

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Captive State

POSITIVES…

  • There are some perfectly acceptable plot ideas in this story.

  • The huge ensemble cast sure seem to be super committed to their roles.

  • I liked the alien creature design.

  • I also liked the look of the alien spacecraft, which is like a flying rock.

  • I dug some of the alien sci-fi gadgets featured in the movie.

NEGATIVES…

  • The premise isn’t exactly the most original thing around. However, it’s so meh, I didn’t really care.

  • There is so much plot and parallel storylines going on here, that I still couldn’t find myself caring about any of that in the movie.

  • For a huge ensemble cast working their ass off here, I still didn’t care what happens to any of them.

  • There are two tones in this movie. Despair, and suspenseful tension. Nope. Still didn’t care.

  • Stupid things happen. Didn’t care for it.

  • Plot reveals that should have been clever, but really wasn’t. Care, I did not.

  • For those of you looking for some cool humans vs aliens action sequences will be disappointed. Who cares?

P.S….

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Triple Frontier

POSITIVES…

  • Super strong cast here, and they are all good in their roles. Oscar Isaac, Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal, Garrett Hedlund, and Adria Arjona. That’s quite the casting.

  • One of the main strengths of this movie is how these five ex-special forces unit, interact with each other. They have good chemistry together, so that’s always a good thing.

  • As a heist film, I thought the movie offered some good ideas for it’s plot progression, and for the themes it wanted to showcase.

  • The opening sequences, and the heist itself was entertaining enough to watch.

  • What happens after the heist is arguably the most interesting, suspenseful, and dramatic thing about this movie.

NEGATIVES…

  • People going into this thinking it’s going to be an action-fest will be disappointed.

  • It’s a slow burn the majority of the way until the end, and some people are not going to dig that.

  • Although I think it was necessary thematic-wise , I’m still disappointed with some of the stupid decisions some of the characters make in this movie.

  • As interesting as the premise and characters can be, I don’t think the movie completely sticks the landing, for me to get fully invested with it.

P.S….

loveditenjoyedit LIKED IT itsokayitsmehitsterrible

Available to watch on Netflix

Furie

POSITIVES…

  • Easiest description would be that this is the Vietnamese Female version of “Taken” and “John Wick.” That’s obviously a big compliment for fans of action movies.

  • Veronica Ngo is amazing as Hai Phuong. The Mother you don’t want to cross because she can and will kick your ass.

  • Cat Vy also deserves credit for playing Hai Phuong’s daughter; Mai. Gotta love her spunkiness.

  • Besides the ass-kicking, Veronica Ngo actually gets to showcase a whole range of emotions in her acting. Incredible performance here.

  • From chase scenes, hunting scenes, to those hand-to-hand martial arts scenes, this movie is an exciting action thriller, that is oh so enjoyable to watch.

  • The plot is admittedly not that unique or deep, but it serves its purpose to string along the fight sequences.

  • Besides the simplicity of the story, it has a really strong thematic message that I really appreciated.

NEGATIVES…

  • There are some scenes that I felt were kinda manipulative.

  • There are definite moments of plot conveniences and situations that require a heavy dose of suspension of disbelief.

  • There are also some scenes that I thought embarrassingly panders to the audience.

  • There’s a certain character in this movie that I thought embodied a predictably familiar plot device that this movie could have lived without.

P.S….

  • Even after all these decades watching action flicks, this might actually be the very first Vietnamese martial arts movie that I’ve ever seen.

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Captain Marvel

POSITIVES…

  • Brie Larson gives Captain Marvel a good bit of cheekiness, playful irreverence, and cockiness. I liked her character. Definitely made me want to see more of where she goes beyond this movie.

  • Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury is as good as you expect him to be in the role. Loved the sense of humor that he contributes here.

  • For a good chunk of the movie, it essentially became an enjoyable buddy style picture, but with a woman from space, and a covert secret government agent. The chemistry between Larson and Jackson here is easily one of the main highlights of seeing this film.

  • Ben Mendelsohn as the main Skrull character is simply excellent in the role!

  • Goose the cat! Best new character for the MCU ;-)

  • That Stan Lee cameo. Shout out to Kevin Smith!

  • There were several entertaining action sequences throughout the movie. From a sparring match, an escape fight sequence, to an altercation on a train, and several more. Fun stuff.

  • Some of the more quieter dialogue scenes were good as well, between Brie and Sam, Brie and Ben, Brie and Lashana, Brie and Akira, Brie and Jude, plus Brie and Annette.

  • The de-aging technology for Samuel L Jackson and Clark Gregg is just mind blowing. Wow, was it impressively and effortlessly executed on screen.

  • All the 90s references may be accused of just pandering to the audience, but I thought they were delightfully fun and entertaining in the movie.

  • Genuinely liked the general thematic message of this film. Very fitting for Captain Marvel’s character arc in this particular story.

  • It feels like it’s straight from the “we’re still learning how to do these kinds of movies” Phase 1 MCU film days, which gave me a bit of a comforting feeling and acceptance to how unambitious the general plot really is.

NEGATIVES…

  • It feels too much like a Phase 1 MCU movie. Fun and entertaining, but not completely meeting it’s true more ambitious potential. Some will say it’s underwhelming because of this fact.

  • The movie feels a little too straight forward in it’s directing, and may seem a little too generic for it to stand out among the other more “epic” MCU films.

  • This is just barely scratching the surface of giving Captain Marvel a fully formed character.

  • Some will complain that there isn’t enough screen time for several of the supporting characters.

  • Certain themes in the movie were a little too on-the-nose with it’s messaging.

  • There are some plot conveniences here and there that you’re just going to have to suspend your disbelief with.

P.S….

  • The “custom” Marvel Studios opening logo shown in front of this movie was just perfectly done.

  • I would argue that this movie exaggerates a little too much about how slow a computer from the 1990s is. It was a funny moment though.

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Apollo 11

POSITIVES…

  • Most people today likely doesn’t know what it must have felt like, during that time the Apollo 11 went to the Moon and back. THIS documentary film is the closest thing you’ve got to experience it.

  • It’s simply incredible how clean the 50 Year old footage looks here. The stark clarity makes the whole experience even more immersive, and truly made me feel like I was there in 1969.

  • Seeing this movie in IMAX only made it even more captivating to watch.

  • Despite already knowing the outcome, this movie still successfully conveys that sense of wonder, excitement, and triumph. It practically dares you to not be inspired by this film.

  • For you space race nerds, there’s a ton of unseen footage here that you will really appreciate getting a chance to see for the first time.

  • Footage after footage after footage, this film relies on letting all the footage shown in sequential order tell us the story. There is almost no traditional narrative device here, besides letting the visuals speak for themselves. This really wants to make the whole thing immersive don’t they?

NEGATIVES…

  • Some people might prefer a more traditionally told documentary.

  • The narrative doesn’t exactly dig real deep into the informative details of the space program, or the astronauts themselves.

P.S….

  • Probably one of the best companion pieces to the movie “First Man.”

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Greta

POSITIVES…

  • Isabelle Huppert is really good in this, and seemed to have gone all-in with the intensity of her character.

  • Chloe Grace Moretz does a good job playing the naive and scared young Woman.

  • The movie itself does a great job of being creepy and tense, with an amazing suspenseful tone to keep you on the edge of your seat.

NEGATIVES…

  • Unfortunately, the characters in this movie constantly make really bad and stupid decisions that really ruined my suspension of disbelief over and over again.

  • It’s got an interesting but boring first act.

  • It’s got thrilling but frustrating middle acts.

  • It’s got an exciting but idiotic final act.

  • So much in this movie really made me do multiple face-palms and eye-rolls.

  • While there were some clever moments, the movie never really earned them.

P.S….

  • Remember folks. If you see an unattended bag, always first assume that it’s a bad thing.

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Arctic

POSITIVES…

  • Mads Mikkelsen does an incredible job here, especially considering he doesn’t get many lines to say at all.

  • The mostly dialogue-less nature of this film, really adds to the tone of isolation to the premise.

  • Considering what this movie is about, I was definitely invested to see how it was going to end.

  • As a story about survival in a harsh climate, it’s always impressive to see clever / practical survival skills demonstrated on screen.

  • There are certain story beats that happen throughout the movie, to grab your attention just in case you are starting to get bored with the methodical slower pace of the narrative.

  • I thought the final act was incredibly emotional to watch, plus that final line said in the movie was just so very heartbreaking.

  • No, the trailer actually does not show how this movie ends.

NEGATIVES…

  • People might get frustrated and bored with the narrative. Even at 90+ minutes, there’s still a little bit of patience required to watch this.

  • Some might have conflicting thoughts on how they feel about the character that María Thelma Smáradóttir plays.

P.S….

loveditenjoyedit LIKED IT itsokayitsmehitsterrible

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

POSITIVES…

  • The visual graphics and animation never looked better in this franchise than they do here.

  • Hiccups connection with Toothless; and also Astrid, are this movie’s strengths.

  • The whole thing with Toothless trying to woo the Lightfury definitely entertained me, and are probably the main highlight of this movie.

  • Concluding last acts of this movie, should be enough justification for fans to see this. They are going to want to see what happens.

NEGATIVES…

  • Kinda wished the main plot was more engaging than what we got.

  • For that matter, I wished it didn’t feel like such a generic story.

  • Expect the cliche moments and predictable plot tropes.

  • On that note, the villain voiced by F. Murray Abraham; while he had his moments, also felt generally wasted in this movie.

  • I couldn’t help but think that this movie felt more like it was made out of obligation, than out of inspiration.

P.S….

  • I’m not holding my breath, but I wouldn’t mind seeing another Dreamworks Dragons TV series; as they were enjoyable for what they are. Maybe a new show that continues on from where this movie ends.

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