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Average User Score: 4.1Jun 22, 2017I'd actually rate it a 7 but I want to counter-balance all the hate. This film is not worthy of being trashed so badly. It knows what it isI'd actually rate it a 7 but I want to counter-balance all the hate. This film is not worthy of being trashed so badly. It knows what it is and it delivers on that promise entirely. It's a film about robots that turn into cars and planes bashing each other. What more do you want? If the premise of King Arthur's victory being due to a giant three-headed alien transformer dragon raining fireballs upon a medieval battlefield does nothing for you, then you aren't this film's target audience. Sorry, goodbye. Go watch something with more of a pedigree.
The one thing I would have changed in this film would have been to have more/bigger/better one-on-one duels in the third act (other than the Optimus/Bumblebee fight, there aren't any drawn-out epic one-on-ones to compare to the climaxes of TF2 and TF3). The big climactic scene is really well-done otherwise, and the humans get a chance to shine in the battle as well, but it still feels like something's missing in the payoff. Other than that, this is definitely not that bad of a film. The budget really shows and the technical aspects really shine (visual effects, sound design and editing, etc). Sir Anthony Hopkins really dives into his performance in a way that classes the whole thing up, and his Transformer butler provides a really fun comic foil. The cast in general was pretty solid, and even if the writing wasn't always up to the challenge of providing them with fun things to say, it's definitely a step up from "Age of Extinction".
The story in general is quite fascinating in how far it goes for broke and, much like previous films in the franchise, there's plenty of ridiculous references to aliens molding/shaping human history, conspiracy theories, secret societies, Stonehenge being the center of a portal, etc. I enjoyed all of this stuff, though, maybe because I'm okay with occasionally turning my brain off to enjoy what I can out of a stupid movie that knows it's stupid and only wants to unabashedly entertain and dazzle with audio/visual magic.
Also, there's apparently a scene after the credits that I missed that is really weird/silly.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.6Dec 17, 2016This film was entertaining but ultimately adds up to less than the sum of its parts. The Good: The insane (amount and quality of) action,This film was entertaining but ultimately adds up to less than the sum of its parts. The Good: The insane (amount and quality of) action, cinematography, and some performances. Felicity Jones and Ben Mendohlson did a lot with weak material and were seriously great. Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen and Diego Luna's characters are cool. Certain cameos work really well. There's some poetry and clever visual ideas in the prolonged conflict in the third act, which almost makes up for the terrible first 1/2 of the movie (Jyn dispatches Stormtroopers with a stick... OK...). The action kind of feels like a kid playing with Star Wars action figures, in both good and bad ways. Oh and there's a monkey Rebel gunner.
The Bad: Everything else. The script tries to be darker and more realistic but there's hardly any depths of conflict beyond "good guys" VS "bad guys" where one good guy is only slightly more morally compromised than the others. There's no character development whatsoever. The story overall is paint-by-the-numbers. A total missed opportunity there. Forest Whitaker's character dies early on for no reason. The score is weak. There is little dramatic drive because we all know how this story will end. Too much "fan-service" and nostalgia. Callbacks to the original trilogy can only go so far.
The Ugly: How much money this is going to make, undeservedly. Unless you REALLY need to see the epic finale on the big screen, just wait for it to hit home video.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.0Sep 29, 2016This is in my top 3 of the year so far. A truly beautiful film that strikes just the right tone and features some strong performances fromThis is in my top 3 of the year so far. A truly beautiful film that strikes just the right tone and features some strong performances from Streep and Grant (who gives his first real performance in a LONG time). Simon Helberg also does very good work as Cosme Mcmoon. Florence is truly a lovable character whom you just can't dislike. I felt this film was very warm-hearted in that even though it's extremely funny, it treats the title character with respect and portrays her life and relationships with complexity and realism. The dichotomy between the "scoffers and mockers" and the pure naive heart of Streep's Jenkins, who loves to sing for the pure joy of performing (no matter how terrible she is) and is a true patron of the arts brings up some interesting questions about art and happiness (and which one is more important), about the subjective quality of music, the way love takes different forms, and about the bubbles that many people end up living within, perhaps without noticing it. I left this one with a warm and happy feeling in my heart. This film is a classic, IMO. You don't need to be a lover of art or music to appreciate it but if you are you'll likely love it on a very deep level. The ending was also very strong.… Expand
Average User Score: 2.9Jul 27, 2016Yeah, it's bad. But there's some charisma in there between the 4 leading ladies. Leslie Jones' Patty was surprisingly the most human-seemingYeah, it's bad. But there's some charisma in there between the 4 leading ladies. Leslie Jones' Patty was surprisingly the most human-seeming of the group. Kate McKinnon is entertaining as well. Chris Hemsworth is also fun in his "dumb blonde" schtick but the script is just NOT there. I don't know if it's a case of too much improv, not enough writing, or a sheer lack of foresight but this movie just isn't very funny. That would be fine if it weren't trying SO HARD to be funny but falling flat much more often than getting laughs. It's like Paul Feig forgot how to make comedies or something. Even putting aside the "Ghostbusters" license, this simply isn't a very good movie. The third act turns into an action and CGI-fest, which wouldn't be so terrible if everything that proceeded it wasn't bland and seemingly aimless. The only character who has any semblance of an arc is Kristen Wiig's. Attempts at fan-service such as including familiar ghosts come too little, too late, as do the celebrity cameos. The whole thing is uninspired. I wish I could say I was very disappointed but pretty much from the first trailer we knew what we were in for. Sorry, Sony. Try again on the "reboot-a-franchise-roulette".… Expand
Average User Score: 6.7Jul 24, 2016Ah! Director Justin Lin and writer Simon Pegg breathe new life into the reboot series that JJ Abrams and Bob Orci nearly killed in the water.Ah! Director Justin Lin and writer Simon Pegg breathe new life into the reboot series that JJ Abrams and Bob Orci nearly killed in the water. What an improvement over the plot-hole ridden, willfully stupid "Into Darkness"!
This is the first film of the "Star Trek" reboot that really seems like it gives two craps about the traditions of the franchise instead of rehashing them to pander to the audience, and it also happens to have a decent and not overly complex story, a ton of action, very good interplay between the iconic characters, and the old-fashioned pulpy adventure feel of the original series.
Unlike the ponderous rehash-riddled plot of "Into Darkness" or the over-the-top retconned AU fanfic origin story of the 2009 "Trek", this one drops the audience into a self-contained story right in the middle of the five-year mission and is all the better for it. Characters like Bones and Spock feel like they already have history, and the writing for them is especially on point, something that can't be said about "Into Darkness".
The action was silly and fun. The villain was interesting. The alien tech on display is also quite awesome. It truly seems like everyone was having a good time making this and I felt it was very entertaining. Even though at times the plot was predictable, no one thing took me out of the film and the performances alone were totally transporting. I can't say enough about how much more I enjoyed this than the ridiculous first two films in this reboot series. It really feels like this reboot has finally found its groove and I hope they keep it up for the recently-announced fourth film.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.4Jun 26, 2016I'm puzzled at all the love for this because I was extremely disappointed. The story, script, characterizations, everything was just slipshodI'm puzzled at all the love for this because I was extremely disappointed. The story, script, characterizations, everything was just slipshod and lacking in the quality we all expect from Pixar. That it was directed by Andrew Stanton makes no sense to me, because normally his films have a polished look and feel to them, and with the exception of maybe one or two revelatory moments, that is simply not the case here. This is his weakest cinematic effort thus far, and I blame Pixar's storyboard-by-committee approach 100%. Whereas one of Finding Nemo's strengths was in its realism (remember how tough it was for those fish to find a way out of that fish tank??), in this film the characters become involved in ridiculous set-pieces where the audience is asked to suspend a HUGE amount of disbelief in order to accept what's happening on-screen. Without spoiling anything I will say that there were far too many scenes where I was asked to turn my brain off, or was straight-up reminded that I was watching a kids' movie that can pick and choose whenever it wants to be taken seriously, rather than something that actually makes an effort at immersing the audience, or at least attempting to immerse the audience, in a semi-believable universe.
Also, the writing is weak. The story takes some very predictable turns towards the end, the dialogue is nothing special, and very few characters from the original film return. Marlin and Nemo have hardly anything to do and the film IMO places way too much emphasis on Dory, with maybe one too many unneeded flashbacks, and going so far as to spend far too much screen time milking the character's journey for emotion. Of course it's going to be a tough emotional journey getting one's memories back, but that doesn't mean the writing and plot have to progress at such a slow pace. Also, Ellen DeGeneres gives her heart and soul into the performance, but Dory as written is really not all that compelling. There was clearly a missed opportunity here for real character development.
The single best part of the movie is Hank the octopus, hands-down. He's not only the coolest character in both these films, he's one of the more memorable Pixar characters in the last decade. Sadly, the film is not about Hank and he is only a supporting character. The sea lions were great as well. "Gerald!"
I woke up the next day wondering what went wrong, and why this film seems to be so critic-proof when there are so many issues with it. Sure, there are some decent emotional scenes and two or three laugh-out-loud moments (including one gag that nearly had me rolling on the floor), but for the most part this film is boring, sloppy, predictable, and utterly lacking in the wonder, world-building, and emotion of the original, much superior Finding Nemo. O Pixar, how the mighty have fallen...… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Jun 12, 2016How this film got such a low critic score is beyond me, but then again these days critics are so jaded and conditioned by certain types ofHow this film got such a low critic score is beyond me, but then again these days critics are so jaded and conditioned by certain types of films that they can't even begin to think about embracing something out of their comfort zones. I have never played WoW and my limited experience with Warcraft 2 and 3 aren't much to go by (not to mention I'm hardly even a Blizzard fan after I found Diablo III disappointing), so I didn't have much invested in this movie or universe, but rather went in with an open mind, ready for an interesting story to unfold, and I wasn't at all let down - you might even say I was shockingly surprised at the quality of this film.
Warcraft is something new, something spectacular, and most importantly, something that uses the tropes of high fantasy to full effect, with insanely powerful magic spells, giant mounts, brutal action sequences (cleverly filmed so as to garner the PG-13 rating), and compelling storylines, bolstered by some of the best motion-capture work this side of the Planet of the Apes films. The visual effects are stunning and the pace rarely ever lets up as the viewer is whisked away to and from the many locales of Azeroth. The fight scenes are well-shot and the magic in particular stands out as being especially well-realized. For those seeking eye candy, the attention to detail in the visual effects, characters, armor, sets, and weapons is nothing short of magical. Weta Workshop's work on the armor and practical effects deserves every commendation it can get.
The worst thing I can say about this film is that it definitely feels like it was trimmed way down by the studio. Allegedly, 40 minutes were left on the cutting room floor, and I get the feeling they would have gone a long way towards fixing the rushed nature and lightning-fast subplots that marred the film's second act. I'll gladly watch a director's cut with the restored footage. If I had one other major complaint to lodge, it's that the performances are somewhat uneven, and on whose shoulders the blame rests will vary from viewer to viewer (Khadgar and King Wrynn could have been better cast, IMO).
If you're at all interested in high fantasy, even if you have no prior experience in Azeroth, I highly recommend this film. You'll likely find much more to love than to hate.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.6May 28, 2016I really have to say, this one was a mixed bag for me. I felt like they had set up Apocalypse well enough, when it came time for the payoff,I really have to say, this one was a mixed bag for me. I felt like they had set up Apocalypse well enough, when it came time for the payoff, the film sort of dropped the ball and he became like any other generic villain. I expected more from him, to be honest.
That said, I appreciate how seriously the movie took itself, and they found a good balance between action, humor, dread, and character moments. I think I liked it more than Days of Future Past (which did right by the characters but had way too many plot holes). It also ties together the two timelines pretty well, but on the whole, the plot was rushed and kind of all over the place. Another issue with Apocalypse: his powers are not carefully defined by the film, so while he appears insanely powerful at first, you're not sure just how much he can handle, or what he's capable of when pushed his limits. Also, his motivation comes off as quite generic and even uninspired for someone with such grand designs. I felt like they didn't do the character justice.
The other new mutants introduced are a treat though. Olivia Munn's Psylocke is bad ass, though I wish there were more of her before the last act of the film. The only one who was so-so for me was Angel. This film has a lot of good ideas and memorable scenes, but because they have to juggle so many characters with their own backstories, motivations, etc., the level of dramatic shorthand used (cough Auschwitz cough) kind of keeps the film's beats predictable and holds it back from the greatness it wants so desperately to achieve. Fassbender as Magneto and McAvoy as Xavier are just spot on as always however, no complaints there. Sophie Turner pulls off a pretty good American accent and does justice to the character of Jean Grey, and the dude who plays Cyclops also does a bang-up job. It's amazing seeing Jackman return as Wolverine, even if it's just briefly. The only character who I could have used less of was Mystique - it feels like her role was beefed up due to Jennifer Lawrence being more prominent in Hollywood. Sadly, her character arc is extremely boring and she looks like she's about to fall asleep in every scene she's in. Another complaint I have is that it's hard to imagine the first X-Men movie taking place AFTER this one, since the stakes are raised so highly and so much has happened by the time the world is "saved" at the end of the day here. I can't imagine what the body count must have been. Anyway, it's a pretty good movie. I went in with low expectations and I feel like I got more than what I paid for. I just don't know how rewatchable this is because gosh does that second act drag on. Maybe they should put Matthew Vaughn back in the director's chair next time, though.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.9May 28, 2016This movie really surprised me, especially because I didn't really like the first one. Visually this movie is a real treat. I enjoyed theThis movie really surprised me, especially because I didn't really like the first one. Visually this movie is a real treat. I enjoyed the lighthearted performances, especially Mia Wasikowska as the plucky Alice, and of course I fell hard for the visual effects, Dan Hennah's production design, and Colleen Atwood's costume designs. Sadly, all the world-building that was set up in the first film took forever to manifest into a sequel, and so when we get answers to certain questions posed by the first film as well as the Caroll lore, they don't feel revelatory so much as just "oh, so that's why such-and-such".
Still, I think the wait was worth it. This time around, it actually feels like there's a heart beating at the center of all the eye candy. Last time, the story was so straightforward and predictable the visuals were the only thing holding the film together. Now, the themes are more clearly presented and Alice's adventure in Underland is more of an inner journey. Underneath all the shiny gloss, this movie actually has strong personal growth messages and deals with difficult topics such as loss and acceptance. As someone who has lost someone precious recently, at the end of the film I came out feeling inspired.
The filmmakers tap into both the darkness and the lightheartedness of Carroll's world in broad strokes, even if they don't really get or even attempt to do justice to the deeper social allegories. Linda Woolverton's script is more blunt and brute force than it is subversive, but the film's feminist touches are thankfully not as ham-fisted as they were in the first film. Wasikowska is wonderful, Depp is... well, Depp, Hathaway is pleasingly fairy-like and subdued, and Carter continues to chew scenery. But the real MVP here is Sasha Baron Cohen, whose portrayal of Time is an obvious highlight.
Little bits and pieces of Carrollian lore are much appreciated. Humpty Dumpty as well as the large talking chess pieces make a brief appearance, and the fish and frog people are more prominent. Some of Carroll's trademark words and phrases appear especially early on, but the world-building doesn't get too in-depth beyond that. We see the origin of the rivalry between the White Queen and the Red Queen, as well as the reason why it's always one minute to teatime at the Mad Hatter's table when Alice first arrives in Underland.
I can see why this film might not cast its spell on everyone because it's so fast-paced and often feels like a movie for kids rather than for those well-versed in this universe. But if you're on the fence, you may end up liking or even loving it! There's more to the story and themes than what's just on the surface. I wasn't at all disappointed and will watch this again in the future.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.0Mar 25, 2016This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Yeah so I'm still digesting this and will continue to do so for some time. I really enjoyed it but I expect I will be in the minority because this movie hits my ponderous/angsty/philosophical pleasure centers and its brooding tone probably won't work as well for most. I'll acknowledge that WB's ambitious attempt to introduce a bazillion characters all at once and lay the groundwork for a Justice League movie was over-reaching and sloppy at times, but I appreciate immensely how boldly the filmmakers dove into deconstructing these characters (on a mythical level in the case of Superman and a personal level in the case of Batman, with Lex playing an almost meta-role as the ringleader and Greek chorus since he is the only guy with the Big Picture in mind), which is not something anyone was asking for but it's the kind of work I'm personally interested in. This might have been my favorite superhero movie since Watchmen and my favorite comic book movie since Scott Pilgrim if the editing and third act had been more on point. The story happenings in the last 45 minutes of the film NEEDED to be better thought-out and right now the last act knocks the movie down from “great” to “really good”. There is a spoiler-free TL;DR at the end.
MANY CONTEXTUAL SPOILERS AHEAD.
I really, unabashedly, enjoyed about 65% of it (the action was sparse but solid and the performances were great all around - Affleck was a fantastic Batman, Cavill does a really good job conveying Superman's conflicted emotions, Eisenberg makes a fitting Lex with just the right amount of smarm, wit, and menace, Adams' Lois is the heart that holds it together, Jeremy Irons' Alfred is the voice of reason, etc.). The other 35% ranges from tolerable (Diana Prince) to unnecessary padding (Lois) to just plain bizarre (Batman's desert dream). You could have cut 20~ minutes from this movie, made MINOR script changes in 2 or 3 scenes, and gotten a much tighter and more cohesive story with a character arc for Superman, all without losing the thematic content.
On to length. This movie is such a mixed bag in the sense that it aces the thematic/mythic/character moments that are my favorite part of these movies, but fumbles what should be incredibly simple/routine plot tasks by stretching them out over MANY scenes (Lois' bullet investigation, which was maybe 5 scenes, could have been accomplished in 2, and how many times did we need to hear Perry wondering where Clark ran off to?).
The thematic content (the contrast between a "God" trying to live as a man doing right by his own moral code, a man trying to fend off his own mortal fears and demons by taking on an alien that represents a power no man can fathom or handle, and a man trying to create a devil to kill "God" and achieve power over all men) was ON POINT. The character interactions and portrayals of brooding Bruce/Batman, conflicted Clark/Supes, over-the-top Lex, and the mysterious but upbeat Diana/WW were all superbly done, but when it came to tying these thematic elements together with the plot, the work failed to become more than the sum of its parts. It seemed like the film was building up to a cohesive, operatic finale but everything fell short around the last 45 minutes or so. That's when it became clear that neither of our heroes would be allowed to overstep their boundaries and the title fight was going to be waged based upon a series of misunderstandings, obvious false flag attacks, and blackmail incidents that led to both characters playing right into Luthor's hands.
The issue is that Batman and Superman don't fight because either is truly motivated to take the other out. They fight because the plot demands it: Luthor has cornered Superman and emotionally manipulated Bruce (especially after that last scene with Finch, I found it out of character to the point of incredulity for even an unstable Bruce to have not seen through Lex's ploy here). It's as if WB suddenly decided that rather than risk having one or both of their mascots go too far, it would be easier for them to both be played like saps.
As for the action, hey, I really enjoyed it. The Batmobile chase was great and I prefer this version of the vehicle to Nolan's. The title fight is surprisingly understated. It isn't drawn out, nor is it flashy, but it follows a solid progression with good choreography and it didn't seem like any poor choices were made on the parts of the combatants or filmmakers. **** was clean. Batman has a solid solo fight sequence against some thugs. But the climactic Doomsday clash is the centerpiece and it didn't disappoint. Synder and DP Larry Fong don't opt for much speed-ramping and much of the action is surprisingly done in real-time with less slow-mo than we expect from Snyder..
I really wanted to love this but I can't get past just really liking it. There's so many things they got right but ultimately it's the unnecessary length and aforementioned motivation problems that hold it back from classic status. 8/10… Expand