Movie reviews

[Page published by Liviu, on Liviu's [Personal] Blog]

Starting 2015, instead of creating standalone posts with movie reviews only for the best that I watch, I have created this page to contain short movie reviews for everything. Some movies still get their own post - I'm not sure which ones or why :D (sometimes, it's really good movies, but other times it's bad movies which get a standalone post :D). All others get indexed on this page, with shorter reviews, which is better than not being mentioned at all, as it has happened so far.

Argylle (2024)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Is it a comedy or a parody?

Totally unrealistic action & fighting and depiction of intelligence & spies.

Slightly stupid story.
However, I do like the twists.
The movie makes a clear habit out of dragging from time to time.

Sometimes it's entertaining, sometimes boring.

Rather bad & cheap special effects & cgi, including the fake scenery (you can just feel the actors are just not there in that cool location they pretend to be in).

Rather bad acting.

It's essentially a Bryce Dallas Howard and Sam Rockwell movie, with Bryan Cranston and Catherine Anne O'Hara in supporting roles.

Those high-profile actors (or wannabe actors) - Henry Cavill, John Cena, Samuel L. Jackson, or singer Dua Lipa - get little screen time... technically, they just act as bait: one may either see them in the trailer, or right in the center in the official poster, or both... but very little on the big screen :D

...but you know what?
I liked it!
I enjoyed it!
It was fun to watch...

A budget of $200 million? Are you kidding me?! What for?!
I mean, I can clearly understand why Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One [Liviu: review] has a budget of $291 million... but $200 million for Argylle?! I mean, I sure hope they've been laundering $150 million out of the $200 million! :))

To conclude, I may have quite a few objections & complaints against Argylle... but still I have to admit I liked it & I enjoyed it... so, I do recommend it.

Haunted Mansion (2023)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

I must admit I had lower expectations, but Haunted Mansion (2023) turned out to be quite good, unexpectedly good in fact :)

Predictable, yet nice & sweet - once you start watching it, you are somehow hooked and just wanna enjoy the show and feel entertained over and over, again and again...

I couldn't have imagined I would get to like it more and more by the end :)) and not wanna end :)

Good story.
Just nicely keeps going and going...
Predictable, indeed, yet sweet and for some reason flows so nicely.

It feels like a classic 18th century or 19th century or early 20th century story.

Good special effects.
Predictable, nothing fancy, yet there's a lot of them, at the right time, all working together perfectly to deliver that sweet & entertaining feeling.

My only objection would be the rather bad/fake/superficial acting :)) which seems quite funny given some of the actors performing: Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish, Danny DeVito, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jared Leto...

Anyway, all actors seem to act as if they are either feeling ashamed / embarrassed to be part of this project or they just want their money as soon as possible (and then go home) or they have something completely different on their mind (and would like to focus on that other thing instead).

Take any of them in any combination/scene - there’s little chemistry between them.
It feels rather hard at times to connect with their performance & characters.

Yet, the movie turns out nice & sweet overall :))

Too obvious product placement, too direct.

$150 million budget according to wikipedia? Wait a sec, that's way too much!

To conclude, Haunted Mansion (2023) is a good watch.
A good, classic, sweet, entertaining story.
Predictable, indeed, but once you start watching it, you are somehow hooked and just wanna enjoy the show and feel entertained over and over, again and again...
Time well spent, money well spent.

The Flash (2023)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Good special effects.

Incredibly good story for an action movie :D
I've read (comments, reviews) that many people don't like the story because it's not sweet enough, not straightforward enough, not having a big & bad & obvious villain... but you know what?!... I like the story, I'm really happy about the story exactly as it is, I wouldn't change anything about the story!

All the actors deliver a really good performance.

As a side note, I really appreciate & like the effort & money they've invested into bringing for just a couple of scenes Jeremy Irons, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Nicolas Cage, George Clooney, Jason Momoa :)

To conclude, The Flash (2023) is a good watch if you ask me. Time & Money well spent.

Hypnotic (2023)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

The first half feels like Inception [IMDB] done wrong and on a low budget with respect to storyline, special effects, acting etc. :)
...but then... the second half... takes off, all the pieces of the puzzle start to fit perfectly, everything starts making sense... any plot hole that one may have noticed turns out to have been on purpose and part of the story... basically, the movie finally develops an identity of its own! - Indeed, it was about time! :)

If one has the patience to survive what seems a bad & monotonous & boring (i.e. feels like one has seen it before so many times) first half, then they shall be rewarded by an entertaining and mind-blowing second half.

It resembles Shutter Island [IMDB] and Fight Club [IMDB] with respect to how it reinterprets (reveals another angle to look at) the original events and characters and interactions...

It also resembles The Game [IMDB] starring Michael Douglas.

Good pace.
Fast paced, even that I-feel-like-I've-already-seen-it-so-many-times first half.

I like the villain played by William Fichtner, whom I've already noticed long ago in the Crossing Lines TV Series [IMDB] - ok, I don't watch TV series, but it just happens that somehow I've watched 2 (or 2 and 1/2 :D) episodes of Crossing Lines :))

Average cinematography.

Cheap & Dull scenery, background, props... technically everything part of (or related to) the movie set.
The only plus to all this is it offers one a glimpse / sneak peek to what an old style movie set used to be like :)

Is there a real soundtrack?! Not sure :)

There's no climax, really. No moment is intense enough to hold your breath... but one can say that about all of Ben Affleck's movies: Argo (2012) [IMDB], Air (2023) [Liviu: review] etc.

To sum up, I consider Hypnotic to be worth watching given the entertaining & really good & revealing second half.

Air (2023)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Sort of kissing the ass of Nike, just like Ford v Ferrari (2019) [Liviu: review] kisses the ass of Ford + Matt Damon plays the same character supposed to be the driving force & the inspiring force & the magician behind everything etc., yet this time he seems confused at times or not knowing what performance he's supposed to deliver...

They make & tell a story out of very few details and by being really vague most of the time.

Honestly, they over stretch the few insights (confirmed true info & events) they could index for the movie, i.e. they build a story around some of the few insights they could get their hands on.

I'd say they make & tell a story quite out of nothing, but that would be mean of me to say it, wouldn't it? :)

It's exhausting to keep track of how hard they constantly avoid taking sides or offending anyone. They do succeed, but at the expense of delivering a rather dull & monotonous movie.

Good storyline though.
Coherent, but superficial.

Almost good cinematography - good enough for streaming services given it's Amazon Studios putting the money behind it, right? - but not so good for cinema.

The movie is slow paced, much too slow paced... almost drags & briefly gets boring at times... kind of like Ben Affleck's Argo (2012) [IMDB]

There are a few moments when you can just feel they strive to deliver some tension or some good joke, yet they fail, they just cannot deliver tension or a climax or a truly funny situation - sorry to say it, but they kind of deliver 60% of what you'd expect them to deliver in that very moment.

Nothing special about the sound, no Foley sounds, no original soundtrack... just some remixed mainstream hit songs of the '80s from time to time... which I wonder whether some subsidiary of Amazon (like Amazon studios) holds the rights to? :)

Good acting overall.
My only objection would be Ben Affleck - the director himself who's confused as to how to direct himself in his own movie! :)

Good thing they don't quite show Michael Jordan - the actor playing him gets filmed just a couple of times, always from the back - since the movie is not about him, but about the shoe bearing his name. They brilliantly avoid the debate of casting a Michael Jordan to please everyone (plus their performance & their screen time etc.), so great choice of simply almost not showing Michael Jordan in the movie!

There's no climax, really.
No moment is intense enough for one to hold their breath... but you can say that about other of Ben Affleck's movies: Argo (2012) [IMDB], Hypnotic [Liviu: review] etc.

Resembles some other movies:
  • Jerry Maguire (1996) [IMDB] - the attitude & desire & stubbornness & craziness of one to follow & fight for their vision - Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) feels like a low energy version of Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise).
  • Ford v Ferrari (2019) [Liviu: review] - as I’ve mentioned above, (1) Air kisses the ass of Nike just like Ford vs. Ferrari kisses the ass of Ford and (2) Matt Damon plays the same character supposed to be the driving force & the inspiring force & the magician behind everything etc., yet this time he seems confused at times or not knowing what performance he's supposed to deliver...
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) [Liviu review] - a bit of Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) and a bit more of David Falk (Chris Messina) feel inspired by Jordan Belfort (Leonardo di Caprio)
  • Don't look up (2021) [IMDB] - Matt Damon's performance (movement, breathing, confusion as to whether to give up or not) and portrayal of a middle aged fat man feel inspired by Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo di Caprio)
  • The Founder (2016) [Liviu: review] - although I cannot put my finger on it, it just feels like it, maybe it's the general slow pace of the movie?

Good enough for streaming services - it's Amazon Studios putting the money behind it, right? -, but not so good for cinema, it simply does not deliver an entertaining enough cinema experience.

It's ok to watch (stream) at home on your TV, but you should consider other options for going to the cinema.

All in all, Air is almost ok. Can be considered borderline worth watching.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves (2023)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Delivers what the trailer promises.

Enough action - one may make the case that it's not that smart, but it's good action nevertheless, so I'm ok with it.

Plenty of special effects - some obvious and some very subtle, all going hand in hand beautifully.

Decent story.
Decently consistent & coherent storyline.
Slightly confusing at times.
Sort of bloated, sort of artificially lengthened, yet it's ok.

Entertaining overall.
Fun to watch.

Good acting overall.

However, must note the rather bad/average/unconvincing performance of Chris Pine. He seems a bit confused about what & how exactly he's supposed to act & deliver.

Hugh Grant seems a bit confused, too but just a bit. At least he's funnier than Chris Pine :)

Michelle Rodriguez is so straightforward & linear & boring... and angry at everyone & everything around … but that’s just the way she is :)... so I’m ok with that :)

Other than that, all actors deliver good performances or even better than one would expect.

You can safely watch it on TV.
The cinema experience does make it somewhat more fun to watch, but TV is ok, too.

All in all, a good enough watch. Good enough to call the movie good and consider my time & money well spent.

65 (2023)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

It's ok. It's not bad, but it's not that good in order to call it good.

It's just ok enough to watch at home on TV after a hard day, in order to put yourself to sleep fast & smoothly :)

I've been expecting more...
They could & should have delivered more...
, yet it just feels like...
  • The writers have either chased or explored too many ideas (or variants of the same idea)... or lacked true creativity... or they didn't dare to implement their original ideas... and eventually haven't selected in the final cut anything good enough to be really worth watching & entertaining & enjoyable
  • They realized they couldn't afford to make the movie they envisioned, therefore they made cuts to everything: special effects, costumes, soundtrack, props, technology etc.
  • They imported leftover special effects from wherever they found them and/or anyone willing to sell anything

I mean...
  • Those costumes are so ugly, just terrible
  • The technology of the supposedly advanced civilization from 65 million years ago sucks big time
  • Very few props... Come on, props at least are cheap & easy to insert in a movie, so please do!
  • The special effects feel like leftovers from other movies...
    Those dinosaurs - I bet they've imported them from some other dinosaurs movie, e.g. The Jurassic Park franchise? :))
    At the very end when watching from orbit the asteroid's impact on Earth feels like they have just imported a huge nuclear bomb explosion from some other movie - ok, I know it's supposed to look the same, but the scene just seems imported :)

Please don't tell me the final cut leaves out some interesting & entertaining bits and pieces!
Just don't!
It simply is not possible to persuade me they had anything better than the average & dull & boring content they delivered.

My favorite plot hole - who would be crazy enough to not wear a helmet on an uncharted planet with a lot of beings willing to kill them?
I mean, Mills kills some sort of a giant spider or scorpion on the back of his neck and... and... he still does not consider putting a helmet on or something to protect his neck and face? Not very bright for a pilot who’s supposed to be smart, by the way!

The movie drags. Drags badly.

There's not much of a story.
There's not even a linear story or a boring story.
There's almost no story at all.
There's just an idea sketched on the back of a napkin/envelope hoping for some inspired director to sort all the details :)... which never happens, obviously.

Slow paced with sudden bursts of (sort of intense) action.
65 is so slow paced that at times nothing really happens for 1 or 2 minutes.

Technically, it's a short movie - 1.5 hours - yet it feels like a very long movie exactly because (1) there's not much of a story and (2) that pseudo story is so slow paced.

It's frustrating that I can both (1) feel their original vision/intentions and (2) watch the disappointing execution...

Look, if they are going to do a movie like that, then they need excellent cinematography & excellent soundtrack & very many subtle excellent special effects, e.g. Interstellar [IMDB; how come I have not reviewed it?!] or Ad Astra [Liviu review].

To some extent, 65 resembles After Earth (2013) [IMDB], which is sort of terrible if you ask me, something’s really missing in that movie.
I’d say 65 manages to be slightly better than After Earth overall, although After Earth has a better story, better visual effects, better sound & soundtrack... basically has better everything.
Indeed, it's funny to consider 65 slightly better than After Earth, I know, yet it's true - maybe because 65 has better acting?

To sum up, 65 does not deliver what the trailer promises or what you'd imagine (or hope for).
It's just ok enough to watch at home on TV after a hard day, in order to put yourself to sleep fast & smoothly :)

Cocaine Bear (2023)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

An action packed movie...
A beautiful delirium of special effects & cgi...
The usual/regular superhero movie, you know...
, BUT that's good, right? I mean that's the exact reason I'd watch it, therefore I can confidently confirm it definitely delivers what the trailer promises.

As a side note, I imagine they now have plenty of special effects & cgi leftovers which they can safely use in at least a dozen other low budget movies :)

Not much of a story...
, BUT really who in their right minds would choose Quantumania for the story, right?
Hey, you want a story, go watch something else!
...cause the only reason you’re watching this right now is the action, mate!

Funny how part of the main cast is rather old, yet they perform really well:
  • Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym) - 78 
  • Michelle Pfeiffer (Janet Van Dyne) - 64, but she looks much older in the movie! 
  • Bill Murray (Lord Krylar) - 72 

Frankly, the hypocrite socialist rhetoric that the Cassie Lang character (Kathryn Newton) delivers from time to time is kind of too much! Just saying.

Cinema is a must!
TV shall ruin this movie.

I've heard people claiming Quantumania is a bad movie...
Well, no! No, it's not!
If you enjoy the superhero genre, then it's actually pretty good!
However, if you don't know what you're gonna watch, then yes, it's a pretty bad movie!

Let me be clear on this, that beautiful delirium of special effects & cgi… does a great job should you need your regular dose of action or should you need to brainwash yourself!
Entertaining, too!

All in all, Quantumania is a good watch with respect to action and special effects & cgi... it certainly delivers as promised. Worth watching.

P. S.: I had the option of watching Quantumania in 2D, not the regular 3D as is the case for such movies and which I resent, so I took the 2D option! If there had not been the 2D option on the table, I would not have watched it!

Plane (2023)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Plane is the perfect definition of an average action movie.
Definitely below the regular/usual Gerard Butler action movie. Look, I know Gerard Butler is neither a genius, nor some great talent, but he usually performs better and this time he underperforms by a mile.

Feels like the late ‘80s or early ‘90s.
They could have delivered the very same movie in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s, but starring Bruce Willis or Jean-Claude Van Damme or just pick your favorite action hero in his prime at the time. :)

Cheap, low budget, just like the plane or the sets they use in the movie :)

Average cinematography... the standard of the late ‘80s or early ‘90s, wait haven't I already said that?

Obviously, you need to ignore the plot holes or the mistakes or anything else that just doesn't seem right.

They deliver some story, some special effects, some action... basically, a bit of everything, but not too much and struggling to decently land an average action movie - they're really struggling, you can feel it, yet I'm still not sure whether they've succeeded or not :))

However, it gets the job done and is somewhat entertaining.

You can safely watch it on TV.

If you're an action addict - I'm not saying I am, I'm just saying maybe you are:) - then Plane helps you survive a couple of days, buys you enough time so you can find something else as your next dose which in turn shall help you survive another couple of days and so on! :)

All in all, Plane is sort of ok to watch on TV if nothing better is available. However, you can & should definitely find better options for going to the cinema.

Review de film: Teambuilding (2022)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (2022)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Funny. Sweet.

Good soundtrack - catchy songs.

Good acting - all actors deliver a good performance.
I so much like that Lyle Crocodile character.

However, it’s just good, not great.
I’m upset it’s just good; it could have been great, but they somehow slipped that opportunity of greatness through their fingers!
Yes, you sense right, now comes the BUT part :)
I do have some objections regarding everything that maybe did not actually go so well, BUT they definitely could have done better.
  • They should have had more & longer songs.
  • The VFX and CGI team bringing Lyle to life could & should have done more. This Lyle Crocodile character seems fresh and has a lot to offer, that’s what I know for sure... Other than that, I don't know, when watching the movie it just feels like there’s a lot missing regarding the Lyle Crocodile character.
  • The 2 directors (Will Speck & Josh Gordon) seem undecided and/or confused and/or perhaps frightened with respect to handling Hector P. Valenti (Javier Bardem) and Lyle Crocodile... Let me be clear on this, Javier Bardem _can_ act really well and Lyle Crocodile _has a lot of potential_, so why do they both deliver so little? and by “little” I mean they just deliver a “good performance” instead of a “great performance”!... Look, a great performance has been there on the table the whole time, the directors should have had the vision to grab that opportunity!

Suitable for both adults and children.

I’d recommend the cinema experience. TV might be ok, too but you’re gonna miss a lot of short touching situations that only cinema can deliver.

To sum up, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (2022) is definitely worth watching, I recommend it. I’m upset it’s just good; it could have been great, but they somehow slipped that opportunity of greatness through their fingers!

Triangle of Sadness (2022)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

The trailer is totally misleading.
The trailer misleads one into thinking they're gonna watch a funny Woody Harrelson movie, but in fact Woody Harrelson actually performs in just a couple more scenes, plus a couple more scenes where he has supposedly locked himself in his cabin, hence we only hear his voice... all of which is a total lack of respect for the paying viewer - that's me! - especially given he only plays a drunk person, which makes me think he was actually drunk at the time...

The movie just screams made in Europe
  • Simply too long & Boring & Drags most of the time 
  • Too many characters that they don’t know what to do with and/or they don’t make the best of... plus most characters simply vanish once the yacht sinks! :)) 
  • Bad editing => They should have cut the current 147 minutes of running time to 120 minutes - they could have safely cut around 15-20% of each scene while preserving all the good & relevant content and removing the useless / pointless / shitty content... 
  • Bad directing - all actors speak & move much too slowly => The director should have enforced a faster pace overall... which in turn would have further cut the running time from 120 minutes to 100-105 minutes... making the movie truly entertaining & worth watching... 
  • Too much Gore & Gruesomeness… The movie simply becomes gross & disgusting when the yacht is about to sink - all the vomit, all the feces etc. - they display much too much Gore & Gruesomeness for much too long in order to make their point!... btw, I have no idea what point they're actually trying to make!
  • Soundtrack lacking most of the time... or bad sound for the rest of the time :))

The only huge plus of Triangle of Sadness is its fresh & daring approach against the hypocrisy & political correctness displayed in our society & in mainstream media... and frankly it’s a shame all this basically gets sabotaged by & gets so badly diluted because of everything bad I’ve just pointed out until now...

The cinema experience saves the movie just a bit.
TV (with all the commercial breaks) shall definitely kill it.

To sum up, Triangle of Sadness could have been a great movie, but ends up as a bad movie.
Great idea, great script, decently good actors... but they should have solved (or at least avoided) all the made in Europe problems I've indexed!... or at least should have hired an average adviser like me :))

Black Adam (2022)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

A real cash cow thanks to Dwayne Johnson's well known charm, but does not deliver the charm & magic they promise.

Just a couple of original special effects & foley sounds & sets (i.e. scenery, backgrounds etc.) & props etc. which they use again and again in various combinations.

The story is sort of ok - I have little expectations when it comes to action movies, you know that! - but it does sort of drag at times... and it does display some huge plot holes!
...and please do explain me why all the Intergang references suddenly stop once we reach about 70% of the movie! :)) - Let _me_ tell you why - 'cause they're too busy building/developing options for sequels rather than making this movie good enough, that's why!, just like The 5th Wave (2016) [Liviu: review] does.

Resembles Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) [IMDB]: the kid Amon looks like John Connor and has been raised by the same type of single mother who attemtps to save the world; the kid is in need of a father figure, therefore tries to bond with and "domesticate" the superhero; the kid tries to teach the superhero how to act in the real world and some catchphrases... And, yes! just like John Connor teaches the Terminator the "Hasta la vista, baby", the Amon kid teaches Teth-Adam to call himself "Black Adam" plus some other phrases...

For some reason, when watching the movie I kept thinking that Dwayne Johnson was Vin Diesel, don't know why!

I wish Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has had more screen time and has displayed more of his magic... I'm a huge fan of special effects, either stadalone, or when they empower an actor's talent & enrich an actor's performance, not anihilate them as in this movie.

Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson) does not feel 100% right, just like Bruce Willis's latest movies.

I feel Dr. Fate is a bad copy of Doctor Strange [] + Professor X [].

They seem more interested in promoting Hawkman (Aldis Hodge) and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) and Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), all of which I perceive as fade and bad copycats of other superheroes.

The only characters I feel real and I can resonate with to some extent are Ishmael (Marwan Kenzari) and Karim (Mohammed Amer). That's it, that's all that feels real and worth watching to me... plus just a couple of bits of Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson)...

All in all, Black Adam is ok, but not great.
OK for TV, but please consider other options for going to the cinema.
They must admit they've been more interested in building/developing options for sequels (and turning Black Adam into a cash cow franchise) rather than making this movie good enough!

Tenet (2020)

Dedicated review / blog post.

The Call of the Wild (2020)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Fantasy Island (2020)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Thriller, Fantasy, Mystery, Adventure - yes.
Horror - no. Definitely not a horror movie.

Coherent and Consistent storyline.
Develops nicely throughout time.
I really like how the story threads (both the fantasies and the characters' real life personal history) blend in towards the end.
Chaotic sometimes, indeed, but for some reason I don't mind.
Never drags.

Good acting.

Feels cheap, but not that cheap. It's ok.

TV should be ok to watch it. The cinema experience doesn't bring anything special.

Worth watching. Time well spent.

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Latte & the Magic Waterstone (2019)

[IMDB; only on sv.wikipedia, nothing on en.wikipedia]

Animation - sweet, touching, lovely, entertaining.

Coherent and Consistent storyline.
A linear and simple story, indeed, yet a really good story.
Never drags. The story just keeps on going and going till the end.

Suitable for both children and adults.
Children shall definitely enjoy it, while adults may find it predictable.

The animals are sweet and daring and determined, so the movie just ain't boring.

I recommend the cinema for the immersive experience. However, I admit that TV should be just fine.

An incredibly good movie given it's an European movie :))

Definitely worth watching. Time well spent.

The Gentlemen (2020)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Bad Boys for Life (2020)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Entertaining, good storyline (although sometimes it drags badly), good cinematography etc. Basically it's good enough with respect to everything... if you're expecting an above average movie with an above average cast...

However, if you're expecting that Will Smith and that Martin Lawrence and that Bad Boys (1995) [IMDB; en.wikipedia] and even more that Bad Boys II (2003) [IMDB; en.wikipedia] all of which you watched and loved as a kid and then as a teenager... well, then it's a rather boring movie... and a sad movie, too I'd say given that a quarter of his screen time Marcus (Martin Lawrence) keeps complaining how old both him and Mike (Will Smith) are and how badly he wants to retire...

Oh, wait, what's this obsession of turning the plot into a soap opera?! I mean they've done it recently with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) and long time ago with James Bond 24th movie Spectre (2015) [IMDB; en.wikipedia] etc.
...Ok, spoiler: that Armando Aretas (Jacob Scipio) trying to kill Mike (Will Smith) is actually his son! :)) Oh, gi'me a break!

TV is ok to watch it. Cinema doesn't bring anything extra.

Worth watching and time well spent, I can agree with that... but you must agree that this instalment falls below the first 2 of the brilliant Bad Boys franchise!

Knives Out (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Coherent and Consistent storyline.
Quite a lot of twists and turns.

Ressembles a theater play filmed by a skilled camera operator.

Really good mystery & crime & thriller movie.
For some reason I had the impression it was going to be a comedy, too. Wrong. It had just a couple short funny moments, and that was it.
Definitely not a comedy, although they do advertise it like one.

Good acting. Famous actors doing a good job.

Cheap. No special effects.
I sure hope that half of that $40 million budget has been spent on advertising :)

Cinema is a better option than TV in order to capture the overall feeling. However, TV is also ok.

Definitely worth watching. Time well spent.

Last Christmas (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Sweet. Touching.

Coherent and Consistent storyline most of the time. Weirdly inconsistent sometimes.
Smart, but also stupid at times.
I wish they had either polished the story more or haven't changed it so much during production… because I feel that at one point they’ve lost track of the original story…

Funny from now and then.
Fast paced.
Never drags… but literally tires the viewer when spending too much time on immigration and LGTBQ matters.

Really good acting.

The cinema experience is a must - you really need the cinema in order to fully experience the movie.
TV might deliver the story, but definitely not the overall feeling.

Definitely worth watching. Time well spent.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Coherent and Consistent storyline.
A couple of twists and turns.
Keeps the viewer focused on the story. Never drags.
Somehow, they deliver the perfect pace.
Given it's a 140 minutes movie, that's amazing!

Must note that the story gets more chaotic by each new episode - at this rate, the franchise can successfully become a soap opera! :)) Really!

Delivers the action it promises.

Lots of action, beautiful colors, special effects, cool scenery etc.

The standard Star Wars soundtrack, nothing special about it.

Really good cinematography and post processing.

Worth watching.

Arctic Dogs (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Animation - entertaining, funny.

Good story.
Predictable, but good nevertheless.
Also a bit inspiring.
Suitable for children, while adults too shall find it enjoyable.

I wish I had the opportunity of listening to the original voices.

Why such a low IMDB rating? Don't know, don't care. It's simply wrong.

Worth watching. Time well spent.

Jexi (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

A well done comedy.
They try really hard and they get it right. Congratulations! Good job!

The cinema experience brings something extra that the TV cannot replicate, so choose the cinema…

Definitely better than expected.
Worth watching.

Charlie's Angels (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Delivers the action it promises.

Coherent and Consistent storyline. Some twists and turns from now and then.

Good acting, special effects, soundtrack etc.

My only objection would be that the angels seem so amateur, disorganized etc. - they're definitely not the usual spies or field operatives!

The cinema experience definitely delivers more than the TV.

Must note that they are desperately trying to turn it into a successful franchise, but they just don’t deliver enough to reach the franchise level...

Worth watching.

Midway (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Really good with respect to everything: storyline, acting, special effects, soundtrack, cinematography, post processing etc.

It deserves some Academy Awards nominations.

Better than Dunkirk (2017).

Must note that the Americans seem so unprepared for the war challenge, disorganized, confused etc. - so different from what I'm used to!

Definitely worth watching.

Joker (2019)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Countdown (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Thriller, yes.
Horror, a bit, a tiny bit, but not very much, so don't get your hopes high!
Comedy, a bit.
Entertaining overall.

Coherent and Consistent storyline.
Everything is delivered in the right dose :D - that's a medical reference / inside joke, since the main character is a nurse and part of the action takes place in a hospital, so the story does feel like a well written prescription :))
Obviously, I would have enjoyed more of the horror part, but wouldn't want to get an overdose, would I? :))

Cheap special effects.

Average acting.
However, must mention P.J. Byrne, as Father John, who is so funny with respect to his obsession about demons!
...and Tom Segura, as Derek, the tech guy, who is so funny, too.
These 2 characters make the movie so enjoyable!

It's rather impressive that they can deliver above average quality on a low budget, with cheap special effects, average actors etc. Congratulations for the dedication and hard work!

You can safely watch it on TV.

Worth watching. Time well spent.

Ford v Ferrari (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Coherent and Consistent storyline.
Develops nicely over time.
The pace is just right - sometimes really fast, sometimes slow - just right!
There are a few light/small twists and turns, but the story feels rather linear overall, which is ok due to the really good acting and the catchy story itself.

Great acting.
There's good chemistry between Christian Bale and Matt Damon. Their great performance carries the load and makes everything feel so interesting.
All the other actors do a really good job, too - congratulations to all of them!

Really good with respect to everything else: special effects, soundtrack, post processing etc. All the pieces blend in and complete each other perfectly.

The cinema experience is a must. TV truncates all the good stuff - that's a pity with respect to such a movie!

Might get several Academy Awards or at least some nominations, which it surely deserves.

Definitely worth watching. Time well spent.

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Really good with respect to everything: storyline, acting, special effects, soundtrack, post processing etc. All the pieces blend in and complete each other perfectly.

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) is the right (and direct) sequel to the first 2 movies in the Terminator franchise [en.wikipedia] and it should have been produced a long time ago!

Definitely worth watching. Time well spent.

Paradise Hills (2019)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


The great cast does all the magic.
The great cast pulls the rabbit out of the hat etc.
Congratulations for whoever has chosen the great cast of the original Zombieland (2009)!
Zoey Deutch (as Madison) is excellent. She outbests everyone! Congratulations for the great performance!
Finally a part suitable for Emma Stone :) - I still cannot forgive her for the poor performance in the hyped La La Land (2016) which landed her an Academy Award :))

Storyline? What storyline?
All you get is a shallow, dumb story - some funny situations glued together just well enough to make some sense... it’s like the writers have lacked any inspiration whatsoever, but miracles happen (or they’ve been assisted by drugs? :D - you’ll get that reference after you watch the movie :D), so they managed to write a script which, by some other miracle (or again, helped by drugs :D), some people approved and funded :)

Drags at times.
Gets so close to boring, but it’s the actors’ performance that makes it seem better than it actually is and keeps one focused and igger to keep watching just to find out whatever dumb thing happens next :)

The special effects are a joke. Just a few, from now and then. Reminds me of Deadpool 2 (2018)

Extremely cheap to make overall.

So many explicit/obvious references to the Terminator franchise that they seem desperate to promote the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate (2019).

To conclude, Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) is a good watch; it is entertaining, funny etc., but I wish they have delivered more.

Ready or Not (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Entertaining. Enjoyable. Rather stupid.

Horror - a bit.
Comedy - a bit.
Small bits, not big bits :)

A very straightforward, almost nonexistent, yet rather stupid storyline.
Drags a bit at times, but not too much, not for too long and it doesn't get too boring.
Slow paced during the first third. Then they get the pace right.

Average acting, post processing etc.

You can safely watch it on TV.

Although cheap, it delivers more than its budget :) so, there a high quality/budget ratio there, not because of the high quality, but because of the low budget that delivers an average quality :)

There's so much potential - I wish they would have tried harder. They could have certainly done better!
Oh well, the movie is ok - it is entertaining and enjoyable overall.

Time well spent, or at least most of the time has been well spent :)

Mosley (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Animation - entertaining, funny.
Suitable for both children and adults.

Coherent and Consistent storyline.
To an adult it should feel predictable and slow paced, therefore boring at times.
To a child it should seem entertaining.

Worth watching to a child, but not so much to an adult. Time well spent nevertheless.

Gemini Man (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Coherent and Consistent storyline.
Well paced.
The story develops nicely throughout time. Never drags. It just keeps on going.

Delivers the action it promises.
Good special effects.

Good acting.

I noticed an above average soundtrack.

Definitely worth watching. Time well spent.

Ad Astra (2019)

Dedicated review / blog post.

It Chapter Two (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Rather boring.

Horror? Well, not quite. Tries to, but it's not.
Not scary, but pessimistic...
Displays the same children traumas as in It (2017).

They try to develop a complex storyline, but somehow it doesn't hold, the pieces don't fit together properly.
Spoiler: why would they imagine the clown is a supernatural being from outer space? Seems way unrealistic to me. Seems more like an act of desperation to make the story stand out.

I do appreciate it stars James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain... but they do a poor job, they don't shine, they seem not to know what exactly they are supposed to be doing there :))

Better to watch the movie on TV to bore you fast enough so you fall asleep and not feel bad about it - I guess that's a better solution than to take sleeping pills :))

To conclude, you should explore better options.

Angel Has Fallen (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Delivers the action it promises.

The pace is just right - action and storyline nicely blend.

Coherent & Consistent storyline.
Not very smart, but it's ok. It delivers the action one would expect and develops nicely over time.

Basically, it stays safe by following the classic pattern to deliver an above average action movie. That's why it is so predictable.

Good cast. I really appreciate the time & money they have invested into getting an above average cast. There are good actors there carrying the load and doing a better job than Butler, which really raises the bar - I really appreciate that.

You can safely watch it on TV. However, the cinema experience makes it slightly more fun to watch and also seem better.

A good watch. Time well spent.

Movie review: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Coherent & Consistent storyline overall.

Not as smart as it pretends to be. Tries to build a smart storyline out of standalone supposedly scary stories (or at least scary cliches), which actually are kind of dull and poorly glued together.

Good acting.

Soundtrack? There's some sound there, but that's not a soundtrack...

You can safely watch it on TV.

Enjoyable overall, but not as good as I expected.

It's a good watch, but you should consider other options, too.

The Big Trip (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Animation - somewhat funny & entertaining, but average.

Coherent storyline, but kind of superficial.
Suitable to young children, I guess.

However, the main character (the adult bear), which probably they intended to be grumpy, is actually always nervous and screams most of the time... which kind of ruins the whole movie/story experience.

Also, I have the feeling I have watched a slightly different version than the one described on IMDB - in the version I have watched, there is no moose in the pack that takes the baby panda back to its parents, but there are are a young wolf and a tiger...

You can safely watch it on TV. No need for the cinema experience.

Average (or below average?) animation. There certainly are better options.

The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Coherent & Consistent storyline.
However, it does feel like an artificial drama, a mix of cliches.
The dog is a mere spectator, a sweet companion, only influencing the story when tears up the legal documents regarding the trial settlement.

Good acting and post processing.

The cinema experience is a must. Indeed, there are no special effects or soundtrack, therefore you might safely watch it on TV... but the cinema experience (i.e. the big screen) just makes it all feel good.

Ressembles A Dog's Journey (2019) - it's the same pattern / framework of a sweet dog movie.
That one had a better story - the dog _was_ the story there, but in this one the dog is a mere spectator.
This one has better acting overall.

Worth watching. Time well spent.

The Kitchen (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Entertaining. Smart.

Coherent & Consistent storyline.
Twists and turns.
It's Widows done better.

The pace is just right. The story develops at a constant rate; never drags.

Good acting.
Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss and Domhnall Gleeson do really well.

I'd recommend the cinema experience - it's that feeling & angle that you just cannot get on TV...

By the way it ends, I bet they have a sequel in their minds... Great, but just get Elisabeth Moss back from the dead somehow!

Definitely worth watching. Time well spent.

Stuber (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Average. Ok.
They try really hard, but somehow they don't quite get it right.

Entertaining & Funny, although rather stupid.

Coherent & Consistent storyline.
Drags at times.

Average (or below average) acting.

You can safely watch it on TV.

Not sure whether it's worth watching or not.

Anna (2019)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Vox Lux (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Everything is weird: storyline, acting, soundtrack, cinematography, post processing etc.

...or at least somehow different from what one would expect...

Interestingly, the movie delivers a subtle, consistent and coherent critique of both the society we live in and the entertainment business - it's all split into short pieces scattered throughout the movie.

What's the point of the movie? Why did they make it?
To be honest, I don't know.
It feels like they've had an old script which has gone through so many changes that it has lost its original point. For example, "Vox Lux" means "voice of light", but this meaning is never explained, nor properly exploited throughout the movie... Yet, I bet the original script makes use of it!

Cheap. Seems to have been made of leftovers... kind of like the special effects in Deadpool 2 [Liviu: review] :))

I'm not sure whether it's worth watching or not, or whether it's been time well spent or not... All I know is the movie feels weird or at least somehow different from what one would expect...

Toy Story 4 (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Animation - suitable for both children and adults.


Coherent & Consistent storyline.

I wish to have heard the original voices. The Romanian dubbing is really good, but I still wish for the original voices :)

Pixar does a good job. The movie raises to Pixar standards.

Worth watching. Time well spent.

A Dog's Journey (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Coherent & Consistent storyline - watching it is so much fun!
The dog has a purpose - it glues all the pieces of the puzzle - it constantly aims to protect the little girl turning into a teenager, then into a woman and into a mother. The dog _is_ the story!

Good acting and post processing.
Dennis Quaid really shines. Both him and Marg Helgenberger do a great team.

The cinema experience is a must. Indeed, there are no special effects or soundtrack, therefore you might safely watch it on TV... but the cinema experience (i.e. the big screen) just makes it all feel so good.

Worth watching. Time well spent.

The Hustle (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Coherent and Consistent storyline.
Light & simple story, yet smart enough.
Twists and turns from now and then.

Good acting performance overall.

Some say the movie is bad. Well, it's not that bad...
It's a light summer comedy. Fun to watch. You shall enjoy it, that's for sure.

By the way it ends, they seem a little desperate to turn it into a franchise.

You can safely watch it on TV - the cinema experience doesn't provide anything special.

Worth watching or not? Well, it's a good option.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Well, you know, it's... John Wick... I mean jhohnhn whihchkh :)) as Keanu Reeves would say it :))

The franchise [en.wikipedia] has constantly grown and developed the story etc. - I've watched both John Wick (2014) [how come I haven't reviewed it?] and John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) [Liviu review].

Coherent script & storyline - although they make the story on the go, it is consistent & coherent and develops nicely. Good job!

Well played.

Lots of action as always - some may seem unrealistic, but hey! it's an action movie, right? You pay for lots the action, they deliver it. Congratulations for the great job!

Ressembles a bit Rambo: First Blood (1982) [en.wikipedia]: John Wick sews himself kind of the same way Rambo does, John Wick falls off a high building and survives just as Rambo jumps off a high cliff and eventually falls into a tree etc.

The cinema experience is a must.

Worth watching. Time well spent.

Brightburn (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Entertaining to some extent.

Coherent & Consistent storyline.
They really try to develop a catchy story, but somehow it does not stick to my brain.
Something's missing, but I don't know what is - the only thing I can think of is that they try too hard to build a franchise instead of focusing on the current movie.

Good acting performance.

Horror - it does display some scary parts at the right time to emphasize the story, that's a plus.

Not sure whether it's worth watching or not.

The Sisters Brothers (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

The movie aims to develop a smart & entertaining storyline, but ends up as rather boring, pointless and just a bit above average.

It's not a bad movie, though. It's just not as good as one might expect.

You can safely watch it on TV - the cinema experience doesn't provide anything special.

Worth watching or not? Well, you should consider other options, too.

Arctic (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Mixed feelings about the movie - both boring and entertaining, cannot say for sure which prevails.

Displays a combination of European + American mindset and vision on life, packed in what aims to be the Hollywood style.

It’s the classic survival drama - resembles Adrift (2018), The Revenant (2015), Cast Away (2000) [IMDB] etc.

Definitely to watch at the cinema. TV would ruin the experience and would make the movie seem bad.

Time well spent? Well, I like it... but it depends whether _you_ can enjoy such a movie or not...

Pet Sematary (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Great story.
Coherent & Consistent storyline.

Good acting performance.

The cinema experience is a must.

Worth watching. Time well spent.

Us (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Horror - Great job, Jordan Peele! Congratulations!


Coherent and Consistent storyline.
Twists and turns from now and then.

Great acting.

Really good soundtrack.
A bit different from what I'm used with or I'd expect, but really good nevertheless.

Too slow at first, but constantly goes faster and faster.

Definitely worth watching.

Cold Pursuit (2019)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Fun to watch.

Coherent & Consistent storyline.
A lot of twists and turns.
Really funny at times.

Good acting performance.
Well balanced screen time among all actors - they all do a good job!

Good soundtrack.

Good cinematography.

The cinema experience is a must - the movie is too enjoyable to watch to waste it on TV.

Worth watching. Time well spent.

Vice (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Entertaining overall, yet boring at times.

Coherent & Consistent storyline.
A couple of twists and turns.
Funny at times.

Good acting performance.

Good cinematography.

You can watch it on TV, too. The cinema experience does not add much - you just need a quiet place and a good sound system - Christian Bale uses his voice to the full.

Worth watching. Time well spent.

Glass (2019)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Papillon (2017)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Better than I expected.
Better than most movies I have watched in the past 6 months.

The story is a classic. If you're old enough (but can still be very young :D) you have probably read/watched/heard something similar by now. However, the story is neither predictable, nor boring!
Coherent and Consistent storyline.
Develops nicely throughout the movie.

Fast paced at first. The pace constantly slows down as time goes, but the story never drags.

Really good acting.
Charlie Hunnam (as Henri Charrière 'Papillon') - great acting. Great.
Rami Malek (as Louis Dega) - really good.
I dare to say the movie represents the birth of 2 new stars :)

Good cinematography, special effects (although just a few), soundtrack, post processing etc. They all fit in place perfectly.

You need the cinema experience for such a movie. TV would truncate the experience.

Worth watching. Time well spent.

The Mule (2018)

Dedicated review / blog post.

The House That Jack Built (2018)

Dedicated review / blog post.

(Original title) Santa & Cie (2017)
(English title) Christmas & Co.

[IMDB; fr.wikipedia]


Coherent & Consistent storyline.
A couple of twists and turns.

However, European post processing technology & acting style etc. is far behind Hollywood, so sometimes the movie drags and gets boring for no logical reason.

Worth watching. Time well spent.

Robin Hood (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Good story, I enjoyed it.
Coherent & Consistent.
Some twists and turns here and there.
Smart by action movie standards :)
Indeed, there also are some minor flaws and some cliches, but it's ok overall.

Fast paced. No time to get bored. Those 2 hours feel short :)

Lots of action, just as promised in the trailer.

Good acting. All actors do a good job, work well together. It really feels like there's some chemistry between all of them.

Why the low IMDB rating? Don't know, don't care.

They definitely have a sequel in mind for it by the way it ends. So, go do it! I'm in.

Definitely worth watching at the cinema. Time well spent.

Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Elliot the Littlest Reindeer (2018)


Animation - entertaining to both children and adults.

It also teaches children about modesty, perseverance, honesty etc.
It's the type of movie that I'd want my children to watch.
I really enjoyed it.

Coherent & Consistent storyline.

Why such a low IMDB rating? I don't know and don't care. All I know it also teaches kids about modesty, perseverance, honesty etc., therefore it should have a higher rating.

Good Romanian dubbing.

Worth watching. Time well spent.

Widows (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Entertaining. Smart.

Coherent & Consistent storyline.
Twists and turns.
Probably the best story I've watched in a long while.

Slow paced most of the time.
Indeed, the story drags often, but still is fun to watch.

Lasts too long - over 2 hours.
It would have been great if they had cut it to 100 minutes.

Good acting.

Definitely worth watching. Time well spent.

The Possession of Hannah Grace (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

By what standards do they call it a horror movie? It's a thriller displaying a couple of scary moments, if you ask me :)

Good idea, good implementation, but the movie delivers just too little. There's so much untapped talent & potential that's frustrating to see wasted...

Entertaining, but it's just too little :)

Coherent & Consistent storyline.
Linear. Straightforward. Predictable.
Doesn't feel boring, which is a big plus.

Slow paced. Basically it never really takes off - ok, it takes off a bit towards the end, when reaching the climax, but only for a very short time :)

Too few and rather cheap special effects.

One can safely watch it on TV. The cinema experience doesn't bring anything special.

To conclude, it's ok, it might be an option. I just wish they had done better, though.

A Star Is Born (2018)

Dedicated review / blog post.

The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Rather dumb and boring.
Little magic, few special effects.

Jack Black and Cate Blanchett deliver decent performances.

Annoying character Lewis Barnavelt played by an annoying kid Owen Vaccaro [IMDB].
Maybe the movie is designed for kids in need to believe in something and especially in themselves?

Feels like a waste of both time and money.

Hunter Killer (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]


Coherent & Consistent storyline.
Carefully digs in all details in order for the viewer to understand everything.

Fast paced.
Delivers the action it promises in the trailer.
Feels like using the same framework/patterns as Mile 22 [Liviu review].

Really good acting. Congratulations!
Gerard Butler does a better job than in Den of Thieves [Liviu review].
Michael Nyqvist [en.wikipedia], Common [en.wikipedia], Linda Cardellini [en.wikipedia] and Toby Stephens [en.wikipedia] do a great job. They seem very real. Congratulations!
Gary Oldman feels castrated :) - I just cannot connect to his character for half of his screen time. For the rest of the time, he's good. :)

Worth watching. Time well spent. I liked it.

Johnny English Strikes Again (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Rather dumb.

Basically a collection of funny situations/sketches, no doubt about that, but poorly glued together.
It fails to develop a consistent and/or coherent storyline.

Rowan Atkinson is old and no longer that funny, let's admit it. He can only play Mr. Bean type of characters and he's been awesome for a lot of time, but he's doing it poorly now :( - I have been and shall always be a huge fan of Mr. Bean's glory days.
However, the Johnny English series should be either something better or at least something else...
Must note that I did enjoy Johnny English (2003) [IMDB; en.wikipedia], i.e. the first installment of the Johnny English series.

To conclude, Johnny English Strikes Again might be ok to watch on TV. On the other hand, one can surely find better options at the cinema.

Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Mile 22 (2018)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Night School (2018)


Simultaneously entertaining and boring.
Simultaneously coherent and incoherent storyline.

Rather stupid. Tries to be smart at times and almost succeeds, but overall it's not :))

Superficial characters.
Rather poor acting.


The movie aims to be inspiring / motivating and to plea for education - I really appreciate that, so I wish they had done a much better job! Nevertheless, I do look forward to watching the sequel if/when they do it - I believe they shall do a better job and a even more inspiring movie next time!

To sum up, it's ok. Definitely worth watching on TV, but not so much at the cinema.

Norm of the North 2 (2018)


Definitely an animation for children only, not for adults.

Indeed, the storyline is consistent & coherent and quite a lot of things do happen... but adults shall consider it rather dumb, predictable, boring etc. Children however shall (probably) enjoy it.

Selfish (or rather evil) characters get a chance to redemption and they take it - that only happens in movies for children :)

Cheap animation / graphics.

Rather awful Romanian dubbing.

All in all, probably a good watch for children and surely a rather bad watch for adults :)

The Nun (2018)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Christopher Robin (2018)


Sometimes entertaining, sometimes boring.

Coherent & Consistent storyline.

Winnie-the-Pooh has the voice of a castrated dying European old man. And he surely behaves like a dumb & always hungry old man.
Nota bene: some of Winnie-the-Pooh's lines are meant to be deep - and they are! - but many of them unfortunately end up as silly lines, maybe due to bad post processing and/or directing, dunno.

Ewan McGregor does not shine. He's always stressed and tired, and when he has to act joy he suddenly freaks out or feels fake.

Probably children enjoy the movie better?

All in all, it's ok... but honestly it's a mediocre movie by Disney standards.

Adrift (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Nice. Entertaining.

Coherent & Consistent storyline.
The story is simple, linear and develops quite slowly, but manages to keep the viewer focused throughout the movie.

It's a love story/movie that appeals to / pleases both women and men. There's enough love for women to enjoy it and for men not to get annoyed :)

Shailene Woodley - really good performance. She's pretty enough for the viewer to want to see her with just a couple of clothes on her at times, but ugly enough for the viewer to remain focused on her acting :)

Sam Claflin - good performance. Plays the same type of character as in Me before You [Liviu: review] and he plays it well :)

Worth watching. Time well spent.

The Equalizer 2 (2018)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Ocean's Eight (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

There isn't a single moment when one should be holding their breath.
It just lacks the fun/entertainment parts one finds in the original Ocean's trilogy.

Mindy Kaling (as Amita) & Awkwafina (as Constance) & Rihanna (as Nine Ball) & Helena Bonham Carter (as Rose Weil) & James Corden (as John Frazier) deliver a really good performance.
Anne Hathaway (as Daphne Kluger) and Richard Armitage (as Claude Becker) are just ok.
Sandra Bullock (as Debbie Ocean) & Cate Blanchett (as Lou) & Sarah Paulson (as Tammy) deliver an average performance.
Indeed, post processing helps all of them deliver a better performance than they actually do.

Awkwardly enough, it seems they got cheap with respect to post processing, special effects, soundtrack and everything else.

They have Julia Roberts (as Tess Ocean, in Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Twelve) and Catherine Zeta-Jones (as Isabel Lahiri, in Ocean's Twelve)... so I find it obvious they should have developed the story around the two of them, instead of Sandra Bullock & Cate Blanchett & Sarah Paulson & Anne Hathaway...

All in all, it's ok... but it's by far worse than the original Ocean's trilogy.

Hereditary (2018)

Dedicated review / blog post.

(Original title) Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer
(English title) Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver (2018)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Fantasy - funny, entertaining.

Linear, yet coherent & consistent storyline.
Although slow paced, it does not drag. Whenever it loses steam, it just takes off again. Congratulations, good job!

As with all children movies, evil characters get a chance of redemption. Mrs. Grindtooth dies in the end, but only to turn into the Golden Dragon of Wisdom one year later or something :))

It could have been a brilliant movie if (1) the characters had spoken English and had had the right voices, and (2) the producing studio were Pixar or DreamWorks etc.

I have watched the Romanian dubbed version, obviously - they’ve done a great dubbing job, congratulations!

All in all, worth watching. Time well spent.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Stolen princess: Ruslan and Ludmila (2018)


Animation - funny at times; suitable for both children and adults.

Coherent & consistent, yet linear, storyline.
Follows the classic / well known pattern of a young-man-saves-the-princess story.
Bad guys do get punished in the end according to how bad they have been - that's the right approach, congratulations! :)

They could have and should have dubbed it better in Romanian, or, even better, should have offered the viewer (i.e. me :D) the option of listening the English version in cinema.

Worth watching for sure.

Early Man (2018)


Animation - funny.

Again, suitable for children - they should find it entertaining.

To an adult it delivers a too linear/straightforward storyline, feels boring at times etc. There are no twists and turns. There's not a single moment for one to be holding their breath...

It actually praises football and that's kind of all there is - the movie title should have been "Football during stone age and bronze age" :)

I wish having had the option of listening the original voices when watching it at cinema, e.g. listening the voices of Tom Hiddleston (as Lord Nooth) and Eddie Redmayne (as Dug). They dubbed it ok in Romanian, though.

Funniest character is by far Hognob, the wild boar pet.

All in all, it is an entertaining movie for children, but not so much for adults.

(Original title) Den utrolige historie om den kæmpestore pære
(English title) The Giant Pear (2017)


Animation - funny; maybe a bit dumb; entertaining, especially for children.

Too linear storyline. There’s no moment one should be holding their breath...

It turns out all characters either have a good soul, or they’re not that bad and get forgiven easily - none is truly bad/evil, none gets punished, no one gets harmed etc. - A very childish view on the world...

I watched it dubbed in Romanian. Must say children’s voices are pretty terrible in the Romanian version - they could have certainly done better.

Children shall obviously enjoy it.

Adults, however, may find it boring and/or predictable and/or lacking structure, consistence, vision etc. - dunno, it’s lacking something but can’t quite put my finger on it.

The Star (2017)


Animation - nice, sweet, entertaining, funny.

Coherent & consistent storyline. It nicely develops over time and keeps one focused on the story until the very end.

Suitable for children.
Although it approaches a religious theme - i.e. the birth of Jesus Christ - it has just the right references, stays on topic, no attempts of brainwashing etc., therefore it’s ok, well done, congratulations!

I wish to have had the option to hear the original voices, i.e. in English, when watching it at cinema. My only regret is I could only watch it dubbed in Romanian, but must note they’ve done a really good job :)

Worth watching. Both children and adults shall enjoy it.

Den of Thieves (2018)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Insidious: The Last Key (2018)


Horror? Ok, maybe it's a bit scary, but not that much... and certainly not what the trailer claims the movie shall deliver.

Boring - drags a lot at times.


Cheap. Few special effects and even fewer worth watching.

Rather poor acting.

All in all, a movie to avoid.

Molly's Game (2017)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Singularity (2017)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Suburbicon (2017)


Classic story.

If you've read/watched (or at least heard of) something similar before then you might find the movie somewhat boring and/or predictable. However, if this is new, then you might find it interesting & entertaining.

Coherent storyline.

Matt Damon starts kind of confused as to what his character is all about :), but gets better and better on the way - he definitely does a really good job in the second half of the movie!

Oscar Isaac does a really great part, outshines everyone :) However, I couldn't stop thinking that he clowns just as George Clooney would have done if he had played the part...

Nota bene: George Clooney is deeply involved in the movie: producer, director and 1 of the 4 writers... and (I speculate that) persuaded Alexandre Desplat to join the project - great music for Syriana [IMDB], a movie in which Clooney shines!

All in all, a good watch, especially if the story is new to you.

Happy Death Day (2017)


Horror? Get real, it wouldn't scare even a 2 year old watching a horror movie for their first time... :) Thriller, maybe, but definitely not horror.

Halfway between stupid and smart.
Sometimes coherent & entertaining, sometimes dragging & illogical.

The leading actress, Jessica Rothe [IMDB], kind of annoys me - also the part seems to be too much for her, dunno.

Average. It's not that bad in order to consider it really bad.

American Made (2017)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Coherent & consistent storyline.
The storyline develops kind of slow, though. Feels boring at times.

Fun. Entertaining.

Well played. All actors do their job well.
Tom Cruise finally shines again in his unique Tom-Cruise-style :) and does a good part - given his Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) performance [Liviu: review], I've been afraid he had lost his talent... but he has not :) He still has both the talent, and the determination to perform well.
I've enjoyed a lot the parts of Domhnall Gleeson (Monty 'Schafer') and Caleb Landry Jones (JB) - they do a great job, I'd dare to say they outperform Tom Cruise :)

I would have enjoyed more drama and either more action or a faster paced storyline.

All in all, time well spent. Definitely a movie worth watching.

It (2017)


It's tricky to produce a horror movie starring children, since they cannot be cast in long (i.e. lasting several minutes) emotional stressing scenes specific to adults, e.g. being chased by the evil character(s), slaughtered, crushed, bleeding, torture, claustrophobia etc. - not sure, but casting a child in such long scenes might be considered child abuse?

Therefore, IT has quite short horror scenes and kind of few... Definitely should have had more & longer horror scenes!

Straightforward story line; nothing surprising.
Too many cliches.
The story drags at times. There's quite a lot of dead time from now and then.

Few special effects.
Average imagery / filming style / cinematography.
Feels cheap because of all this.

All that effort to build all the context and focus on children's feelings (and traumas) and/or build children's characters feels more like an excuse to compensate for the lack of long horror scenes and special effects.

It ends annoyingly giving hints about a sequel, just like The 5th Wave (2016) [Liviu: review] does.

All in all, it's entertaining, it's ok. They could have done better - certainly I've been expecting more than it delivers.

The Dark Tower (2017)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Fun at times.

Coherent storyline.

Average special effects.

Matthew McConaughey (as Walter Padick, the Man in Black) does a good part. Indeed, he could have done better and could have had more screen time.

However, the Man in Black character should have been more complex: it has the potential to be evil and funny, really ruin people's lives... McConaughey describes him best as "the Devil having a good time" [en.wikipedia: Randall Flagg], but the script fails to capture that essence :)

Idris Elba (as Roland Deschain) does a better part than I expected, he's a good counterpart for Matthew McConaughey.

Tom Taylor (as Jake Chambers) is the main character - everything gravitates around him, he does a good part, but I was more interested in Matthew McConaughey's and Idris Elba's acting, that drove me to the theatre :)

Claudia Kim (as Arra Champignon) delivers a short & refreshing part.

I wish the story to have been more complex and to have developed only around Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba...

You might watch it on TV and/or at home, there's no real need to go to the cinema.

Atomic Blonde (2017)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Feels like a low budget (i.e. cheap) version of John Wick [Liviu review].

Comparing it against other action movies with spies and action taking place during the Cold War (it's East & West Berlin, 1989, the days when the Wall falls)... makes the storyline feel boring and lacking coherence & consistency etc.
Quite a lot of cliches.
Some predictable twists and turns only occur in the end.

Delivers the action it promises.
Charlize Theron stars in almost all action scenes.
Average special effects, though.

They could have squeezed more & better acting from Charlize Theron - she does a much better job in The Fate of the Furious [Liviu review].

You could watch it on TV as well - there isn't any need to watch it on the big screen (i.e. at the cinema).

Feels like Charlize Theron is the new Angelina Jolie, but prettier :)

All in all, it's ok for a hot summer day - wouldn't have wanted to stress my brain with a complex storyline & awesome special effects, would I?

Dunkirk (2017)


It just doesn't touch me, don't know why.

Other than that, it has excellent cinematography (excellent shot, beautiful landscapes, great post processing etc.), good acting, good soundtrack etc. Can't say anything bad about it...

Definitely to watch at the cinema.

It does not provide a classic and/or consistent storyline, but rather several story threads which nicely intertwine towards the end.

Might even get some Academy Awards nominations...

It ressembles Spielberg's War Horse (2011) [Liviu's review], which I like better :)

Alien: Covenant (2017)


Quite fun, quite entertaining.
Quite a coherent script & storyline.
They could have done better, but it's ok.

One can see lots of aliens this time :)) - really, there are variations with respect to shape, age, size, color, behavior :))

The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Life (2017)

Dedicated review / blog post.

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)


Action delivered as promised.

Quite a coherent script & storyline.
Well played.

+ bonus: the famous (emotionless) face & (hoarse) voice of Keanu Reeves :))



Kind of depressing overall.

Liniar storyline - the story develops so slow that it never takes off for real.

Dull scenery & background.
Special effects are not so special, but rather average.
It all seems cheap.

Only a handful of fade characters.
... and a little girl screaming or displaying rage more than half of her screen time - very similar to War of the Worlds featuring Dakota Fanning screaming and acting hysterical most of her screen time.

Nevertheless, most viewers would probably find it decently entertaining.

All in all, it seems the owners of the franchise are eager to offload the current set of X-men characters and/or storyline.

Rings (2017)


A bit scary, a bit bloody, but certainly... not bloody scary :)) - ha, ha, I'm so funny.
Too straightforward storyline.
A bit stupid at times, too.

Could have used some humour. - could this be my 2nd joke during this short review?

I used to rarely watch horror movies since I have rarely enjoyed them and for a little bit... I think all this is about to change.

Why Him? (2016)


Funny, although somewhat stupid.

Terribly misleading regarding the "technology generation (and/or its subset of young entrepreneurs)" that I am part of. 1/3 of the jokes/ironies on their habits are good/funny, but the other 2/3 is fake/bullshit.

James Franco does a great part.
Keegan-Michael Key does a great part, too. I've watched him on YouTube in the Key and Peele series.
Zoey Deutch and Bryan Cranston - not so good, I wish other actors have been cast.

Go with low expectations and you shall enjoy it.

The Founder (2016)


Nice. Well done.

Consistent & coherent storyline. More tension & drama would have been welcomed.

At some point Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) and Joan Smith (Linda Cardellini) both sing while playing the piano, and a bit later a third character joins their singing performance... can you believe it? 3 voices actually singing beautifully... whoa! this makes it better than the hyped La La Land (reviewed below). Indeed, I mean it: this singing performance alone beats La La Land.

Worth watching. I recommend it.

Collateral Beauty (2016)


Dedicated review / blog post.

La La Land (2016)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Nice. Entertaining.

They call it a musical... hmm...
  • Well, it has music, but mostly played.
  • The actors sing very little and quite badly - they seem to have no voice at all :)). Really. Ryan Gosling sings rather average (I'd give him a grade of 6/10), while Emma Stone sings poorly (4/10). Maybe the songs don't fit their voice, or they don't like them, dunno, but something is clearly wrong with their singing performance...
  • The actors try to dance, but show rather simple moves. It feels like they haven't repeated enough, since they don't always synchronize...

It feels like there's no chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

The movie tries hard to impress, but can't find its strength and/or killer feature and/or something truly entertaining to focus on.

The movie does a lot of ass kissing towards Hollywood and actors' dreams of success etc. - probably that's why it has been and shall be acclaimed by professional critics/reviewers?!

The great thing is that the story and the movie overall gets better and better towards the end (the last 1/4 of the movie), as if the whole team (starting with the scriptwriter :D) has finally learned what they need to do and do their thing well :)

Let me be clear on this, I totally loved the movie starting with the call from the casting company that Sebastian (Gosling) answers on behalf Mia (Stone). That's how the whole movie should have been given the actors' [lack of some :P] abilities :)
Ok, the opening scene is nice, too.

If I were to compare it against Chicago (2002) [IMDB], I'd say "Get real, Chicago beats the shit out of La La Land... Choose any song and/or any actor singing more than 30 seconds in Chicago and they beat all the performance displayed in La La Land".
I could say the same thing if I were to compare it against Grease (1978) [IMDB].

All in all, it's a nice watch, entertaining etc., but not as good as most professional reviews praise it to be - there's something very wrong with this image, really! :D and this one... and what's with all these awards? Well, I guess professional critics/reviewers know it better than I do...

Update 2017-03-06: it has received 14 Academy Awards nominations, out of which it has won 6... Congratulations! I guess me and the critics/professionals have to agree to disagree :)

Allied (2016)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Designed to appeal all tastes.

It's a classic with respect to everything: storyline & story style, action, spy stories/games etc.
Although linear & predictable, the story develops nicely, keeps the viewer connected throughout the movie. It feels beautiful to watch, dunno.

Marion Cotillard does a great part, most likely she'll receive an Academy Award nomination.
The movie overall targets multiple Academy Award nominations.

Well done. Worth watching. I recommend it.

Nocturnal Animals (2016)


Weird. A bit shocking at times.
May make the viewer feel uncomfortable and more tensed (rather than more relaxed/entertained) at the end.

A combination of European & American philosophy and/or storyline obsessions:
  • European: characters land in impossible situations, they get humiliated & crushed, they all are unhappy with their lives and/or loose any hope, sadness/pessimism is the norm etc.
  • American: justice prevails, there's sort of a happy end etc.

Might be too much to swallow for the average [member of the] public.

Snowden (2016)

[IMDB, en.wikipedia]

Linear, yet entertaining.
Some may find it boring.

Far better than Sully (reviewed below); Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a better job than Tom Hanks. - I must make this comparison since both movies are based on real events.

All in all, time well spent.

Arrival (2016)


Interesting approach.
Fresh perspective regarding a first contact with aliens - more plausible for the engineer that I am :))

However, the movie displays quite a lot of empty space and/or dead time - dunno, I've had this continuous feeling of waiting for something else/more to happen...

It kind of screws up regarding world politics:
  • the landing sites map is kind of a failure, if you ask me
    • the only major powers actively participating in the story are the US, China, Russia... and a tiny bit the not-so-major-power Australia
    • the other countries/territories (which are no powers whatsoever) involved are: Sierra Leone, Sudan, Venezuela, Greenland, Black Sea (really, that's what they call it, although it appears to be the Crimean Peninsula shown on map), Kashmir (I speculate that)... and 2 more that are not shown on map :))
    • there's no participation of other major powers: UK (although displayed as a landing site on map), France, Germany, Japan, Canada, Brazil, India (although Kashmir could be considered representing India and Pakistan :D), South Africa
  • tries to subtly promote the idea of global unity, sort of "all nations should live in peace and cooperate and share information... let's all act as one... bla, bla, bla" - ok, let's avoid a debate on that :)

All in all, a good watch.
Most likely shall receive an Academy Award nomination though I'm not sure it deserves it.

The Accountant (2016)


Beautiful. Great.
[A bit] Different :) - you'll understand my joke once you watch it.

It deserves an Academy Award nomination.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)


It delivers the action it promises in the trailer.

Quite a coherent & consistent story. It's good.
There are a couple of things that don't make sense and does have enough cliches, but hey! it's an action movie, right? :)
It only gets sentimental to keep the action going, thank you.

Must note the feeling that Tom Cruise is either getting old, or tired, or has not prepared enough for this part etc.

Inferno (2016)

[official site; en.wikipedia; IMDB]

All in all, it's ok, you might go watch it if you don't find anything better.

Fast paced.

There's enough action for the average viewer, but the Tom Hanks type of action :), not Tom Cruise style :)

The story is kind of straightforward, with a couple of twists and turns, but predictable over all.
However, you don't get bored during those 2 hours, which means they've done a pretty good job, right?

Designed to appeal an international audience. You'll understand when you watch it, no need to throw spoilers here.

Somehow, the magic is missing, there's no fun in the story, everyone feels stressed etc. Ok, they're saving the world, but why so serious? :))

Nota bene: Vayentha is played by Ana Ularu [IMDB], a Romanian actress. She fits in perfectly, does her part great etc., which means the cause for bad/stupid Romanian movies is not the actors, but someone and/or something else: writers, directors, producers, post processing etc.

When it comes to solving mysteries and puzzles etc., I'd rather watch any of the 2 from the National Treasure film series [en.wikipedia] starring Nicolas Cage, than any of the Robert Langdon / Da Vinci Code film series [en.wikipedia].

Hell or High Water (2016)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Mechanic: Resurrection (2016)


They could have done a much better job for sure.

The movie drags (and gets boring) quite often.
Nevertheless, there probably is quite enough action for the average viewer, but I would have preferred more.

Why on Earth have they developed the love story? and why waste screen time with that boring stuff?
This should be an action movie, with no interest in "real acting", love stories, coherent scripts etc. We want the action and just that, ok?
Btw, Jessica Alba does a poor acting job even for the low standards of an action movie :))

The first Mechanic [IMDB] was fun, entertaining, had the right characters (good guys, bad guys) etc.
So, watch the first movie of the series and that's it!

All in all, one could easily find a better movie to watch.
Oh, wait a bit: I wouldn't want to be in your shoes if you had to choose between Mechanic: Resurrection and Sully :))

Sully (2016)


No twists and turns, no feelings, no emotions, nothing intense. All linear.
Neither the storyline, nor the actors did not touch me.


My advice to writers & director & producers et. al.: whenever you try to portrait a hero, but do not have enough material for a movie (or you do, but don't want to upset some parties by making a good & incisive etc. drama), try making a documentary instead, ok? It would honor both the hero and help people remember him.

All in all, one could easily find a better movie to watch.

Me Before You (2016)


You should be glad if you fail to understand it.

Money Monster (2016)


An average Clooney movie. I mean, Clooney can do a lot better and certainly has done so in the past.

Other than that, it's ok, quite entertaining, well paced, with a consistent & coherent script etc. Worth watching, yes, as long as you don't expect any magic from Clooney.

Now You See Me 2 (2016)

[official site; IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Funny. Entertaining.

Lots of twists and turns, most of them quite predictable, but entertaining nevertheless.

Regarding his future acting career, I'd say Woody Harrelson pulls the rabbit out of the hat or plays the ace up his sleeve - hey, I just want to stay in the spirit of the movie, ok? :) - by also playing his crazy & half-evil twin brother. He needs a career boost and this double part might be exactly the thing...

Michael Caine (as bad guy) and Morgan Freeman (as bad guy, but turns out to be a good guy in the end) in the same movie, can you believe it? :) ...and sharing the screen for a brief moment! :)

...and Daniel Radcliffe is back from the dead or from wherever he's been hiding :)) and he's a bad guy also. :)

Definitely worth watching.

The Nice Guys (2016)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Very funny.
Consistent story.
Crowe and Gosling do a great job.

All in all, time well spent. Definitely worth watching.

Triple 9 (2016)

[IMDB; en.wikipedia]

Street life.
Lots of crimes.
Survival of the fittest criminal - sounds weird, I know.
Or just "outmonster the monster".

May give one a bitter taste in the mouth, therefore protest through a politically correct (i.e. stupid) remark like "oh, they're racist here, taking sides there etc."
Sorry, mates, sometimes our society is just screwed up, things go the wrong way...

I expected more nerve, more violence...
There is plenty of violence, indeed, but it's kind of disguised, not very explicit or direct, probably to receive a rating for some minors under 18, dunno.

Nobody's clean / perfect, or playing by the book till the end.
Ok, Chris (Casey Affleck's character) stays innocent till the end. He very elegantly tricks the kid-future-criminal by threatening to seize his gun in order to extract some information. In the end, Detective Jeffrey Allen (Woody Harrelson) shots Rodriguez, but given the storyline till then, Chris should have pulled the trigger...

Funny enough, it is slow paced overall, but has some rapid action scenes from now and then. Again, just like life.
So, some may find it boring, indeed, but it resonates with me.

All in all, a good watch for those with a taste for such things and who understand their logic. Definitely recommend it.

Deadpool (2016)

Dedicated review / blog post.

The Revenant (2015)


Great/Beautiful representation of the strong instincts of survival and revenge.

There's not much of a story, but rather a linear story which develops slowly.
Therefore, some may find it boring... or use it as a substitute to sleeping pills :)
I so much love such a storyline style...

Worth watching. I recommend it.

Same sense of (too much? :D) perfection / lack of magic as in "Bridge of Spies".

12 Oscar nominations [en.wikipedia]. Maybe a bit too many, but definitely deserves several.

The Big Short (2015)

Dedicated review / blog post.

The 5th Wave (2016)


Falls in the increasingly popular genre of movies featuring teenagers fighting against/for something, e.g. The Hunger Games series, The Maze Runner series, Divergent series, Twilight series, Harry Potter series etc.

The story develops in such a manner that at the end they are more anxious about making a sequel than a teenager is about their first date :)

Everything is average quality: average storyline, average acting, average special effects etc.

Certainly better than Spectre, must emphasize on that.

Go with low expectations, as I've gone, and it's ok.

The Hateful Eight (2015)


Beautiful. Well done.
The kind of movie that one enjoys watching, just like one enjoys hearing a good story that one may not want to end. Really, those 160 minutes (i.e. 2h 40mins) pass in no time.

Good screenplay based on an almost coherent & consistent story.
Good acting, image, sound etc.

Since it's Quentin Tarantino... there's quite a lot of blood on screen for short moments of time, from now and then, you know how he does it, it's kind of his signature or something...

It also has some magic in some weird and hard to explain sense, as opposed to "Bridge of Spies" regarding which I objected the lack of magic (see below).

Got 3 Oscar nominations [en.wikipedia]. Fair.

Spectre (2015)


A waste of time and money.

Bridge of Spies (2015)


Nice, entertaining overall. Does drag a bit at times, but it's ok.

It follows all rules (written and unwritten) of moviemaking, nicely re-implements cliches, delivers a good quality etc. with respect to all parameters of a movie: image, sound, makeup, discrete special effects, script/story coherence etc. Anything you can think of - it is good, well done.

Actors deliver a good performance throughout the movie etc.

...BUT there's no magic! Really, I simply have not felt any magic. Everything is too well done, basically everyone is a pro in what they do, so there are no mistakes, no debatable decisions etc. Indeed, no magic - that's my only objection to it.

It probably aims Oscar nominations, and might also win some. - What can I say? The current international political status quo shall help this movie for sure :)

Update 2016-01-17: 6 Oscar nominations [en.wikipedia], including Best Picture.

Le tout nouveau testament (2015)
(en: The Brand New Testament)

Dedicated review / blog post.

Burnt (2015)


The first half is fast paced and focuses on the chef's professional life.
I have totally enjoyed it.

The second half is kind of slow paced, sentimental, focuses on the chef as a human being etc.
I kept hoping that at some point it would change back to something resembling the first half, but it did not... :)

One could swear that the movie has a different pair of directors and writers for each half... well, that's how much different the 2 halves seem to me, at least...

All in all, a good watch. A good choice. Time well spent.

Oh, one more thing: you should definitely watch Limitless (2011) [IMDB], starring the same Bradley Cooper - it's much more entertaining, offers more motivation, it's what I have hoped this movie would also be, but it has not quite been.

Legend (2015)


Entertaining, interesting, nice & discrete special effects, funny at times.
Well played. Basically, it's all about Tom Hardy, since he plays both of the twin brothers... might even get nominated at Oscar for that, dunno.
Well done, overall.

However, I've had this feeling that the story drags at times.
Also, the story develops kind of linear. Almost no magic, very little drama, no major twists and turns that I can remember etc.
It's like there's something missing, but I can't exactly put my finger on it...

A good watch, nevertheless.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)


The sequel of the 2014 The Maze Runner [IMDB].

The first part has had more twists and turns, a more interesting storyline etc.
The second part has more action, at the cost of delivering a linear (i.e. boring) storyline (even if one sleeps half the time, they still understand what's happening because there's almost no story).

Comparing the 2nd and 1st parts of The Maze trilogy is like comparing Matrix Reloaded (2003) [IMDB] against The Matrix (1999) [IMDB]. Same storyline pattern, same feeling, same levels of action etc.

Anyway, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is a good watch, but I personally expected more.

Hitman: Agent 47


Quite a lot of action, although I expected even more :)

The story is simple and quite coherent, BUT the action scenes do not seem glued well together. I constantly had that feeling that the movie is made of bits and pieces badly glued together, instead of a continuous entertaining flow.

It is a good watch, but one may find something better at cinema and save this for TV.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)


Funny enough to be a funny action movie, but not a comedy, which is good news.

Coherent & Consistent storyline.

Worth watching, good choice.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)


Action packed, special effects, twists and turns etc.

Indeed, another Tom Cruise Hollywood blockbuster... well done! Oh, well, what would you want more? :))

Ah, the Ilsa character (played by Rebecca Ferguson)... that's a very nice surprise!

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)


Lots of special effects, of course.

Surprisingly, the story does not feel as consistent as I expected it. Also drags at times. It's like the script had been written and/or changed at times by various authors.

I'd advise you to choose something else, if you have any other options, since they might be better.

Tomorrowland (2015)


Interesting & funny.
Indeed, the story line drags at times, therefore might be considered somewhat boring.

I felt frustrated the first 85% of the time, because I couldn't put the pieces together - really, I couldn't understand what was going on there and/or how the pieces of the puzzle would eventually fit together...
When it finally became obvious what Frank had invented and why Nix had exiled him (Spoiler: in order to use his invention for evil stuff! :D) etc., I could enjoy the movie to the full. Unfortunately, it was almost over.

I liked it, although I admit many people shall either get bored, or dislike it.

Furious 7 (2015)


Lots of special effects.

Quite a consistent & coherent story line, but really, who would go to Fast & Furious for the story? :) Just bring on the special effects and the popcorn...

Definitely worth watching and definitely at the cinema, on the big screen.

Jason Statham - great choice as Deckard Shaw! The man rules. He kicks the asses of both muscle packs characters Dom (Vin Diesel) and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson).
Hobbs enters the hospital after losing the fight and only gets out towards the end :)
Dom gets very close to losing against him a couple of times. Dom wins eventually because the other bad guy Jakande fires a missile into the car park roof portion Shaw is standing on... but he does not die, just gets caught and imprisoned by Hobbs.
To be honest, this is the best part I've seen Statham doing ever, he really shines.

Get Hard (2015)


Pretty good. Certainly better than I expected :)

I couldn't believe my ears when I heard references to Shakespeare (it mentions Macbeth at some point, omg!), Roman/Greek Mythology (I mean, it mentions Ulysses, omg!)... Adults below 30 years should have been restricted from watching stuff like that :))

Focus (2015)


Nice, entertaining, worth watching.

Drags a bit in the middle, taking too much preparing and/or explaining the final scam.

Will Smith is ok.
Margot Robbie did a better part in "Wolf of Wall Street".

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