Today I watched the news as Britain declared their “independence day”. I then went to the cinema to watch a movie about the whole world coming together, putting aside their petty grievances, and defeating a real threat to earth. No one can predict what will happen as we live through these interesting times, but I’m pretty sure I can predict that Independence Day: Resurgence won’t last long in cinemas.
I’m coming at this film with nostalgia goggles at coke bottle thickness. I was ten when I first saw it, at a time when nothing like it had been seen before. I’m sure many of my generation remember the absolute awe at seeing the White House destroyed in the promos. Could a movie even do that? When our dad installed a new sound system a few years later, we knew exactly which movie we wanted to test it with, because the sound of those ships coming overhead was seared into our brains. Thankfully, I wasn’t all that hyped for the sequel. Considering the too-late-sequels and reboots we’ve gotten over the years, absolutely nothing could get my hopes up.
I’m not going to whine about how this ruined the old film’s legacy, because it wasn’t offensively bad by any stretch. But there is really no way around the fact that the sequel fails to live up to the original. There were certainly moments I liked. There was some great design here and there. I had a few laughs not based on referencing old material, but it wasn’t enough. The movie doesn’t work as an Independence Day sequel, and it doesn’t work as a sci-fi destruction-porn movie.
What follows below has ALL the spoilers, because I want to explain exactly what I mean.
After the belly flop of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, I wasn’t feeling very confident in comic book movies. There were a few reasons to maintain my optimism. In my ranking of favourite comic book movies, I think Marvel holds at least five top spots. Avengers: Age of Ultron wasn’t anything to jump for joy about, but it kept the pace up, and introduced new interesting characters. Still, I was feeling more than a little apprehensive. Would Marvel’s incredible franchise finally crumble? Would my interest finally exhaust itself? No, and hell no, are the short answers.
The story of Civil War unfolds organically. The Avengers are under metaphorical fire from the international community after several civilians were killed and injured during an incident in Lagos. The US government, along with 116 other countries, want to put the Avengers under the control of the UN through the “Sokovia Accords”. Lines are drawn between those who sign the agreement, and those who want to remain independent. At the same time, Bucky, aka the Winter Soldier, is being targeted.
The review contains some spoilers
While I’m a great fan of the British tv-comedy Peep Show, I’ve never been overly enthusiastic about its format. It took quite a few episodes before I could overlook the perspective filming, the constant staring into the camera from the actors, and the sometimes awkward and nauseating camera movements. Hardcore Henry is basically the last few minutes of the film Doom (2005) as a whole movie. I wasn’t convinced I could avoid throwing up, but the trailer did get me into the theater because this one I had to see.
My expectations had been thoroughly put to rest after a week of seeing different versions of the headline “What Batman vs. Superman did wrong.” Hopes already dashed, I was still going to try my damndest to like the movie. Hell, I will still defend Man of Steel (and even Superman Returns in my drunker moments). Without even having seen a trailer, I was still ready to defend this film. Oh boy.
This review contains spoilers.
The Revenant is a feat of strength, a relentless story of pure willpower. Almost all of it is filmed in the wild, with natural lighting. The violence is in a way too realistic to actually be realistic, if that can be understood. By the end I was exhausted. In fact I was silently pleading with the movie to end at least ten minutes before it did. I was quite literally squirming in my seat. Despite this, there is no denying it is an incredible production worthy of recommendation.
Below contains minor spoilers.
When Tomorrowland – A World Beyond was first announced I, like many others, became excited. The project had a lot of good and interesting names attached, I was a fan of Brad Bird, and it seemed like it could show off everyone’s creativity. When it hit theatres, however, I was surprised at how “meh” everyone reacted. So much so that I decided to skip the cinema experience and let everything stew until it came out on Netflix (or in this case Viaplay). I think this was the right decision as it put distance between me and the initial reactions. I found the film surprising in that it took a few turns I did not expect (mostly because of the reviews I had read), and because of the creativity I could plainly see. Although, there is a lot of “meh”-ness as well.
A few spoilers follow.
The bar was low. I was one of those who had been burned before. One of the disappointed ones of 1999. I had my own reasons for hating the prequels, though I must agree with most of what RedLetterMedia has put out, and Belated Media’s “alternative version” made me quite emotional. But, when the crawl started I was twelve years old again and JJ Abrams would have to make his worst movie ever for my hopes to be crushed. An average adventure film was all that was needed.
Warning: if you are even worse than me and haven’t seen it yet, get your arse to the cinema. SPOILER WARNING.