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SPIRAL
FROM THE BOOK OF SAW

(2021, Bousman)
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"John Kramer was right. The spiral: a symbol of change, evolution, progress."

Spiral follows Detective Ezekiel Banks (Rock) as he pursues a serial killer that seems to be inspired by John Kramer, a.k.a. Jigsaw. He is reluctantly partnered with rookie cop William Shenck (Max Minghella) as they start investigating the murders. This is complicated by the fact that the killer seems to be targeting cops, especially those close to Banks, all of which seem to be corrupt at some level, something that Banks had uncovered before, earning their repudiation.

I won't deny the fact that I found myself intrigued by Rock's involvement, and the potential for change, evolution, and progress in a spin-off. Unfortunately, there is little of that here. The film does take a different approach, focusing more on the "cop" angle, but the plot is too predictable and director Darren Lynn Bousman shows little skill building tension or creating genuine intrigue. So the film ends up in a weird, awkward middle ground, where it is too bland for a Saw-related film or too dull for a crime thriller.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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You mean me? Kei's cousin?
Big Hero 6 (2014) - First Time on Google TV

Yeah, I saw this a few days ago, a good four years after Movies Anywhere gave it to me as a free movie just for signing up back in 2017. If we're being honest, I liked it a lot more than I expected to. I'm usually skeptical of Disney's animation, but this one does pretty much everything right. It's a fun and exciting film infused with a surprising amount of depth. The animation is stunning, the voice acting is excellent, the principal characters are likable, its story is well worth following, and Henry Jackman's musical score effectively creates a sense of excitement while it's pretty much impossible not to feel pumped up after hearing Fall Out Boy's Immortals. I'd say more, but it's pretty hard for me to focus on this sort of thing right now since there's a lot of (way too much if you want my honest opinion) idiotic craziness going on with 37-year-old female Tetsuo Shima—I mean, my idiotic sister who only cares about herself, so I'll just say I really enjoyed this one, and I can easily see myself coming back to this one many more times in the future. Later, y'all.
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Recently saw few movies.....

Godzilla vs. Kong
Rating 8/10


Raya and the Last Dragon
Photo : Disney
(March 5)

Featuring the voices of Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina, Walt Disney Animation’s upcoming animated feature is its first to center on a Southeast Asian heroine and will premiere both on Disney Plus and in theaters. It will follow the journey of Raya, a passionate warrior on a quest to find the last dragon to restore peace in a mythical world. Watch the trailer here.


Coming 2 America
Coming 2 America Eddie Murphy
Photo : Courtesy of Amazon Studios
(March 5)

Eddie Murphy is back as Prince Akeem in this long-awaited sequel to the 1988 film. Directed by Craig Brewer from a screenplay written by Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield, Prince Akeem is set to become King of Zamuda when he discovers he has a son in America (Jermaine Fowler). Of course, hilarious antics ensue. Watch the trailer here.

Godzilla vs. Kong
Godzilla King Kong
Photo : Warner Bros.
(March 31)

Set to debut on both HBO Max and in theaters, the crossover sequel to “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and “Kong: Skull Island” will see the iconic monsters square off in an epic battle for the ages, while humanity hopes to wipe out both of them in order to take back the planet.


Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat
Photo : Warner Bros.
(April 23)

Adapted from the popular video game, MMA fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tan) seeks out the Earthrealm’s greatest champions to stand against the forces of Outworld in a high-stakes battle to save the universe.

The Water Man
The Water Man
Photo : KAREN
(May 7)

David Oyelowo’s feature directorial debut follows Gunner (Lonnie Chavis), a boy who sets out on a quest to save his ill mother (Rosario Dawson) by searching for the Water Man, a mythic figure who holds the secret to immortality. Gunner and Jo (Amiah Miller), a mysterious local girl, journey into the remote Wild Horse forest and discover that the deeper they venture, the more dangerous the forest becomes. Their only hope for rescue is Gunner’s father (Oyelowo), who will stop at nothing to save them.


Above Suspicion
Emilia Clarke- Above Suspicion
(May 7)

Based on one of the most notorious crimes in FBI history, Emilia Clark stars as Susan Smith, a young woman desperate to escape a seedy life in a Kentucky coal mining town. Enter Mark Putnam (Jack Huston): a new FBI agent who may be the answer to changing her bad luck. He recruits Susan as his informant for a high-profile case, but as their relationship deepens, so does the danger. The cast includes Sophie Lowe, Austin Hébert, Karl Glusman, Chris Mulkey, Omar Miller, Kevin Dunn, Thora Birch and Johnny Knoxville. Watch the trailer here.

Spiral
Spiral Movie Chris Rock
Photo : Courtesy of Lionsgate
(May 14)

Do you wanna play a game? Tobin Kramer might not be back to play the primary villain of the “Saw” franchise, but the ninth installment of the series is back this spring and finds a stacked cast in Chris Rock, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, Samuel L. Jackson and Zoie Palmer. This next chapter of “Saw” is rocked by a new criminal mastermind who unleashes a twisted form of justice. Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks (Rock) works under the shadow of his father, an esteemed police veteran (Jackson), with his rookie partner (Minghella). Ensuring his own legacy, Zeke and his partner take charge of a grisly set of murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past. However, it’s only a matter of time before he is trapped in the middle of the killer’s morbid game.


Woman in the Window
Rating 8.5/10


Army of the Dead
Rating 9/10




By Fox Searchlight - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5827916/, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60845818

A Hidden Life - (2019)

I got my first taste of Terrence Malick with The Thin Red Line in the late 1990s. He seemed far more accomplished for it to be only his 3rd directorial full-feature effort, and then there's the question of the lengthy period between Badlands, Days of Heaven and Thin Red Line. It's something of a mystery why his hiatus lasted so long - I haven't come across any explanation. The films were released in 1973, 1978 then 1998 respectively. I was struck by the poetic nature of having characters just wax lyrical or philosophize while they're onscreen doing something else or even talking to other characters. I was also struck by the beautiful cinematography by John Toll - but it seems constant across Malick's work whomever his cinematographer is. As I waded through The New World and Tree of Life I saw that his style was consistent. I can only think of Wes Anderson as another filmmaker who would be easily recognized by many people just from watching a few scenes.

So, on to A Hidden Life, a stab at Nazi Germany and the question "If you were to make a choice between good and bad, where you'd be punished for the good and rewarded for the bad - and nobody would ever know which decision you'd made - would you choose what you think is right, or do what is bad and just go through it?" Here we have the dilemma of farmer Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl) - A man who simply cannot do what he feels is the wrong thing - no matter what. No matter if he's to be executed. No matter how badly his family is treated. No matter how little the rest of the world will care. The movie itself is something I could pretty much expect from a Terrence Malick film, and I have to decide if that's a bad thing or a good thing at this late stage. On the one hand it's appreciated having a beautiful, poetic movie. On the other it felt like watching The New World With Nazis. You have to add in the typically bone-crushing running time of 174 minutes, another Malick staple.

I'm going with 'it's a good thing'. It's appreciated - having a good movie - no matter how much it resembles something else. It's a striking film, with something to truly ponder for days after having seen it. We get to see Bruno Ganz for one last time. We get a whole slew of recognizable German talent - all in aid of an English language film (Karl Markovics getting older, Ulrich Matthes also from Downfall.) I'm sure I'll want to see something of Malick that's a little bit different with The Last Planet (now The Way of the Wind) - although, at 77, I'd understand if it turns out to be The New World With Jesus and I'll definitely see it as a glass half full instead of a glass half empty.

8/10



Does this qualify as a 'Foreign Language' film? If so I need to watch asap.
Although some background characters speak German, this is definitely an English language film - surprising considering the overwhelmingly German cast.



Army of the Dead -


I made a vow to swear off Zack Snyder movies after being let down with Batman v Superman, but this movie's cool trailer and premise swayed me. I really should have kept that vow. Where to begin? Firstly, it's too much like Aliens. Besides essentially having the same plot, there's a Burke-like company man (Martin), a strong, silent Hispanic woman (Maria), an audience surrogate (Dieter), etc. Individually, the performers do the best with what they must work with, but even if you find diamonds in a cowpat, at the end of the day, it's still a cowpat. Also, I'm not sure if these similarities making the movie too predictable or the direction are to blame, but it's largely a tension-free affair. Watching zombies get blown away or cut to pieces usually fills me with adrenaline, but I disappointingly reacted with passive disinterest. There are other faults from bad science to plot holes to needlessly excessive length I could pick apart, but I won't. I'd rather call out its biggest offense - to me anyway, because Las Vegas is one of my favorite places to visit - is that it wastes the potential of its setting. The heist might as well have occurred at a bank in Wichita, Kansas, in other words. Since I have nothing good to say about it, why didn’t I give it one star? I feel that rating belongs to movies that fail spectacularly. This movie, on the other hand, merely fails mediocrely. If credit goes to anybody, it's to Netflix's marketing team for producing a trailer so good that it made give Zack Snyder a second chance. My advice to you is to watch it, especially since it's free to do so, and dream about what a better director could have done with this material.
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Last Great Movie Seen
Silent Running (Trumbull, 1972)



Army of the Dead -


I made a vow to swear off Zack Snyder movies after being let down with Batman v Superman, but this movie's cool trailer and premise swayed me. I really should have kept that vow. Where to begin? Firstly, it's too much like Aliens. Besides essentially having the same plot, there's a Burke-like company man (Martin), a strong, silent Hispanic woman (Maria), an audience surrogate (Dieter), etc. Individually, the performers do the best with what they must work with, but even if you find diamonds in a cowpat, at the end of the day, it's still a cowpat. Also, I'm not sure if these similarities making the movie too predictable or the direction are to blame, but it's largely a tension-free affair. Watching zombies get blown away or cut to pieces usually fills me with adrenaline, but I disappointingly reacted with passive disinterest. There are other faults from bad science to plot holes to needlessly excessive length I could pick apart, but I won't. I'd rather call out its biggest offense - to me anyway, because Las Vegas is one of my favorite places to visit - is that it wastes the potential of its setting. The heist might as well have occurred at a bank in Wichita, Kansas, in other words. Since I have nothing good to say about it, why didn’t I give it one star? I feel that rating belongs to movies that fail spectacularly. This movie, on the other hand, merely fails mediocrely. If credit goes to anybody, it's to Netflix's marketing team for producing a trailer so good that it made give Zack Snyder a second chance. My advice to you is to watch it, especially since it's free to do so, and dream about what a better director could have done with this material.
I'm neither a Snyder fan nor hater, but I do appreciate his flair for eye candy. Is Army enjoyable on that level at least? Haven't heard a lot of people mention that aspect.

I don't remember a lot about my one viewing of Aliens, so any similarities aren't going to bother me.
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I'm neither a Snyder fan nor hater, but I do appreciate his flair for eye candy. Is Army enjoyable on that level at least? Haven't heard a lot of people mention that aspect.

I don't remember a lot about my one viewing of Aliens, so any similarities aren't going to bother me.
Despite some obvious and not so great CGI, it doesn't look too bad, so if you don't think the Aliens similarities will bother you, you may enjoy it more than I did. Again, though, besides the opening montage, it's not very Vegas-y despite being set there.



I'm neither a Snyder fan nor hater, but I do appreciate his flair for eye candy. Is Army enjoyable on that level at least? Haven't heard a lot of people mention that aspect.

I don't remember a lot about my one viewing of Aliens, so any similarities aren't going to bother me.
There are some nice looking wide shots, but a lot of the movie is shot in shallow focus closeups and his usual drab colours. I think the choice works for the movie, but it doesn't exactly make for pretty images.



Please Quote/Tag Or I'll Miss Your Responses
Gegen die Wand - 7.5/10
Definitely a unique movie. Pretty dark but has a modern comedic feel. I would have liked more exchanges with the "couple".... I viewed this for free (trial) through Prime.





The Verdict (1982, Sidney Lumet)

Excellent courtroom drama beautifully written by David Mamet and featuring an impressive cast including James Mason, Charlotte Rampling, and of course, Paul Newman in one of his best roles.
I love this movie.



"The Sound of Metal" - 8/10

Love the lead actor. Riz with "Four Lions" , "Nightcrawler" and now this. He's got a nice run going.
Rogue One...