It’s that time again… as always, reminder about the post on how I rate movies.
And spoilers will happen.
Alien: Covenant (6/10) - As I said in the April reviews, I get Alien: Covenant and Prometheus mixed up a fair bit, especially at this point since I watched both of them quite a while ago. They’re both worthwhile watching if you’re interested in the Alien universe, but not really strong stories, and have the usual “let’s do stupid things” behavior of people encountering the unknown that’s the hallmark of these movies.
Justice League (4/10) - Ah, finally, I get to this one. So… it was pretty bad. I’m still annoyed that the big three characters got full movies as backstory first, and the others just kinda got thrown in to sink or swim (haha, Aquaman joke) in thin scenes that don’t always make a lot of sense, and then finally get movies later. This is also the first time we’ve had characters in the DC movies overlapping with the entirely separate DC TV universe (aka Arrow-verse). Ezra Miller seems like a reasonably good Flash, but I’ve gotten used to years of Grant Gustin on TV doing it at least as well, with a much less goofy costume. Anyway, overall the plot is stupid, the acting is meh, the effects are way too over the top, and – as far too often with DC – the deus ex machina is Superman.
The Osiris Child (6/10) - I actually rather enjoyed this movie – it has a great new sci-fi universe, some very interesting characters put into interesting positions, and pretty good effects and cinematography. Unfortunately it also has some huge plot holes, and several times characters not behaving how they should based on their established behavior/backstory and without additional explanation. So… yeah, generally fun to watch, just don’t go in with high expectations, and I’d like to see better written movies in future in this universe.
The Cloverfield Paradox (7/10) - I didn’t particularly enjoy Cloverfield, found-footage camera work tends to make me ill. Luckily, this movie is pretty much entirely different, though set in the same universe as a prequel. A solid sci-fi thriller with good cast and moderate character development. The plot and pacing are pretty good, though it unravels a bit toward the end. And I’m still not entirely sure how the events in this movie actually result in what happens in Cloverfield.
The Titan (6/10) - This was not what I expected, it’s about a group of families of astronauts who are genetically manipulated to allow them to survive on Saturn’s moon Titan. It’s much more a drama/thriller with sci-fi setting than a pure sci-fi movie. Quite good until the third act, then it goes downhill fast, and leaves you wondering what the whole point was. Possibly the first thing I’ve seen Sam Worthington in where he hasn’t annoyed me.
Thor: Ragnarok (9/10) - Thor was not a particularly entertaining Marvel comic character for me, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done a great job reinventing Thor’s character – though the Thor movies themselves have been hit or miss. This one is a hit. I liked the idea of partnering with The Hulk and especially the arrival of Valkyrie, and the use of Loki is also great. The overall plot was quite good, lots of entertaining cameos, secondary characters and protagonists, the handling of Ragnarok, and showing Thor as a citizen of the galaxy not just a guy who hangs out in Asgard and vacations on other planets sometimes. The direction of Taika Waititi shines through, this is a cut above the normal MCU movies churned out of the machine, though it certainly benefits from the high production quality they’re known for.
Annihilation (4/10) - Soooo, Natalie Portman as a biologist following her military husband into an area of swamp in the Southern US that seems to have been taken over by an alien presence. I’m still not sure the point of this movie, aside from dramatic tension and weird alien freaky stuff. It doesn’t seem to actually arrive anywhere at the end, and the journey there isn’t too smooth either. Meh.
Fullmetal Alchemist (5/10) - I’ve only watched a few episodes of the anime, so I have basic ideas about the plot but I’m by no means an expert. Presumably if you’ve watched all of it and are a huge fan you might be a better audience – for me the basics worked, but once we started rolling along the plot got kinda weird and at times I wasn’t sure why characters were doing what they were doing. Some of it might be the issue of trying to stuff too much plot from a TV show into a movie’s timeframe, but I’m no expert on the show so I can’t tell. It felt alternately slow and rushed and I didn’t feel particularly engaged for most of it, but it did have some entertaining ideas/scenes.
Ex Machina (7/10) - Not at all what I expected, I was pleasantly surprised. A slow-paced sci-fi thriller movie about an AI in an android body being put through the Turing test. I was expecting something more like The Machine (which I reviewed almost exactly 3 years ago), but it’s quite different and much better. I wasn’t really onboard for Oscar Isaac’s portrayal of the crazy dot.com billionaire, seemed more like a caricature than a real character, but the two other leads were on the mark. I found the final scenes a bit weak and seemed tacked on, but still overall an entertaining use of time.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (8/10) - I mean, it’s Guardians of the Galaxy, another keystone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It lives up to expectations, but doesn’t exceed them. The story chosen for this movie was good, but not great – my guess is they wanted to get Star Lord’s origin story out of the way and get Pom Klementieff’s Mantis into the roster before the Infinity War arc. Good solid delivery of characters most people like. No surprises, entirely as expected, but I enjoyed it.
That’s it for now. Hopefully over the winter holidays I’ll have time to both watch more movies and write more reviews!