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comicuniversity
Wednesday, January 09, 2019 1:11:12 PM
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Many of you may remember my Year of Seeing movies post.

Well, my sweetheart and I took a year off but had so much fun the first time that we are doing it again.

I will, as before, be chronicling our adventures here.
comicuniversity
Wednesday, January 09, 2019 1:14:03 PM
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The first movie of the year was part of a Budget Cinema Double Feature.

At about 1030 on January 1st we walked into....


OVERLORD




This was a movie that I had wanted to see in 2018 but we never got around to it. Of course, in a normal year, there are lots of movies we don't get around to. In the Year of Seeing Movies Part Deux, though, I was lucky the local Budget cinema still had this one showing.

We bought our year long refillable bucket of popcorn and walked in, ready for the year to start.

Unfortunately, we were kind of disappointed. But, let me get to it before I go too far.

Overlord was the story of a paratrooper squad during the Normandy invasion that finds a secret Nazi research facility that is turning people into monsters.

THE GOOD:
Overlord had a decent story. Using the Normandy landing as a backdrop was pretty cool, I thought. Also playing and embellishing on the well known fact that the Nazis were, in fact, dabbling in the occult during the war was a nice touch.

The bad guys were really freaking bad. I mean, the filmmakers and the actors did a great job of making the villains hateable. That is a very good thing in a movie like this. I really wanted them to get defeated.

The movie looked slick. The cinematography was solid.

The gore. I admit, I am a little squeamish when it comes to gore in movies. This movie had a lot of opportunities for over the top gore but it never really went there. There was gore to be sure (lol). It was all kinda well done and in service to the plot. There was a scene where the hero walks through the main lab and there is a French woman's head and cerebral system being kept alive and she talks to him. It's creepy, but appropriately so.

THE BAD:
All the characters were, basically, stereotypes. There weren't any shades of grey. There was no real people in the movie. The star was heroic, all the time. The crusty heart of gold corporal was always crusty with a heart of gold. The despicable Nazi officer was always despicable. The actions of the characters was always 100% predictable.

The connection to the actual historical events was tenuous , at best. I know this might be more of a personal issue, but, if a historical event as well documented as the Normandy invasion is your subject matter (even in a movie like this), you have to do a better job.

The acting. I mean, the cast does seem to do their best, but they are C and D list people. I kept mentioning to my Girlfriend that better actors would have raised this movie up.

SUMMARY:

The entire movie was just too predictable and the acting too pedestrian to live up to the very interesting concept and strong cinematography. I mean, this ain't a bad movie so if you want to give it a go, why not? However, it just never rises above the mediocre level, even though there are a few moments where it looks like it might.
I do want to mention the scene where the American soldiers definitively decide to go off their mission to shut down this Nazi laboratory. It was a really good scene. If the whole movie would have been like that scene Overlord would have been special.

I give it a straight C rating.



MoonKnight1
Wednesday, January 09, 2019 1:34:04 PM
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comicuniversity wrote:
Many of you may remember my Year of Seeing movies post.

Well, my sweetheart and I took a year off but had so much fun the first time that we are doing it again.

I will, as before, be chronicling our adventures here.

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To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public - Theodore Roosevelt

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comicuniversity
Wednesday, January 09, 2019 2:52:35 PM
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We followed this up with a truly awful piece of cinema.....


ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE



This was bad.

This is a musical Zombie apocalypse.

I thought I would get something kind of unique and whimsical. I got Unique. That was it.

So, this movie centers around a bunch of high school kids and their adults. A zombie apocalypse happens. They sing songs while dealing with it.

THE GOOD:
VERY little

The movie started OK. The main characters were kind of oblivious and singing songs about average teenage angst while the apocalypse was starting. This part was kinda fun.

Some of the choreography is pretty good in the dance scenes

That's it.

THE BAD:
Unfortunately, the characters realize the apocalypse is happening really fast and any chance for comedy leaves right after.

It's just a joyless, soulless death march. Almost everyone gets killed. Even those that survive haven't really earned it in any real way. Bad people and stupid people do bad and stupid things.

There is a principal. he is mean before the apocalypse and evil after, he still sings songs (badly) It's awful.

The singing itself. it is apparent most of these people are actors and not singers. That's bad for a musical.

The thought process of the people in the movie is dumb. Just dumb. This would be OK if it stayed on it's original comedic heading...but it didn't.

Zombies died too easy. This is nitpicking, but basically, if you punched one in the face, it died.

SUMMARY:

I have little to say about this movie. It sucked. pretty bad. It's only virtue was that it was kind of unique and fresh in a Hollywood with too little of those things. Don't ever see this unless you really like weird stuff that no one else likes.

comicuniversity
Thursday, January 10, 2019 10:01:17 AM
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Later the same day we picked up my daughter and went to see....


BUMBLEBEE




We went to a first run theater for this one, but not our usual. It didn't have the awesome dream lounge seats and spacious theaters. It was more of a conventional movie theater. It also happens to be more of an inner city movie theater.
The first problem was there isn't a lot of space to get comfortable. The second problem was that so many people in the theater were on their phones throughout that I actually had to say something a couple times as my daughter complained. Also, an older couple sat next to us reeking of smoke and armed with a platter of chicken thighs that they proceeded to eat slowly and loudly for much of the movie. It was kind of ridiculous. It will be a while before we go back to this theater.

Also, the movie was the most middle of the road average movie you may ever see. As I like to say, it's not that it was a bad movie because it wasn't. It's just that it wasn't a good movie.

You all kind of know the story because this movie felt like a long episode of the old 80's cartoon or an issue of the early run of Marvel's Transformers comic.
Now, I know that sounds like a good thing...and it WAS kind of cool. But that feeling isn't enough to carry a feature film/

THE GOOD:
The soundtrack was awesome! Their was a selection of 80's music that complemented the movie perfectly. Someone was inspired in the soundtrack department.

I liked the star of the movie and her sidekick. Sitting here I can't remember the actor's names but they did solid work.

I enjoyed the fact that the human characters were important. In the Bay Transformers movie, the humans are basically props. In this movie they were actually necessary and crucial to the plot.

The special effects were solid and real. Do you know what I mean? Everything wasn't all shiny and amazing. The special effects felt like they existed in a real world.

THE BAD:

John Cena. I like John Cena and have been enjoying his career arc (if you haven't seen him in Trainwreck, do yourself a favor. the movie theater scene is one of the funniest things ever). That's what makes this even more painful. He is AWFUL in this movie. First, his role is written poorly. He isn't given much to work with. Beyond that though, his performance is hammy and awful. reminds me of Bill Cosby in leonard Part 6 a little.

The violence is stupid and the consequences are stupid. All of the human characters are beat up so much that they would definitely be dead multiple times over but, of course, they just escape with a scratch. The damage to the transformers, also, is dumb. Like, they get blown up and stabbed and torn apart endlessly with no real consequence UNTIL the plot says there needs to be a consequence. then a mere punch or whatever destroys them. I hate when action movies do this.

There is Too much of nothing happening. I mean, we have alien life confirmed on our planet. But, years and months go by without anybody really caring or doing anything about it. It's weird.

CENTRAL CONCEIT:

I need to talk about this. The star human of the movie, a teenage girl, discovers she has an alien in her garage. What does she do? She drives it around like a car and hides it from everybody EXCEPT the horny boy that she doesn't even know. It's dumb. Really dumb.

This speaks to one of the other shortcomings of this movie. So many people make so many bad choices that people in the real world would never make that it kept taking me out of the movie.


SUMMARY:
Bumblebee had enough warm fuzzies and cool bells and whistles that it wasn't a bad movie. It also had so many inane qualities that it wasn't a good movie.

THE MOST STRAIGHT UP C RATED MOVIE EVER.

Shadowdodger
Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:48:53 AM
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Sooo happy to see you're back doing this.
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comicuniversity
Thursday, January 10, 2019 3:49:31 PM
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Shadowdodger wrote:
Sooo happy to see you're back doing this.



Thanks!

I'm already behind. one more movie to review and we plan on seeing another tonight. (I actually put a crap ton of money on gift cards this year to defray the cost.) Maybe I'm a little crazy but we have a lot of fun with this.
comicuniversity
Friday, January 11, 2019 2:31:54 PM
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We are moving at a breakneck movie watching pace this year. We kind of rushed our usual Monday night routines and plans so we could go, for the first time this year, to our old familiar Dreamlounge theater to see the first new 2019 release of the year that we have seen....

ESCAPE ROOM




Let me end the suspense right off the bat by saying this is easily the best movie we have seen this year thus far.
This is following a recent trend of kind of crowd pleasing horror films that actually can even grab a PG-13 rating.


THE GOOD:

I dig the concept. It isn't anything revolutionary but it's effective. If you haven't done a real life escape room I HIGHLY recommend it. Seriously. They are a blast. Go with enough people in your own group to not be stuck with strangers though. Ok, enough about that.
So, if you have done a real escape room, you know there is a small part of you that wishes it was even harder and the stakes were even higher (not life and death for sure, but just an even greater thrill)
Anyway, this movie takes that concept and puts it into a feature film. SO cool.

Also, there is a real story to it. It isn't just "put people in a scary environment and have scary things happen". There is a thread that connects the main characters. There is a motivation hinted at and then exposed.

The characters......The characters are REAL characters. They don't ever get fully fleshed out, of course. This isn't a drama and there is only so much time to get to know them in the reasonable run time of this movie while all the action is happening, but the characters aren't horror movie archetypes that we don't really care about.

Characters Part 2: Some of the characters become so likeable or hateable that their fates become important to us. That's a good thing.

There are several different rooms to escape before the characters can be free. Each room brings a legit challenge that was interesting to watch them figure out.

The deaths were NOT needlessly graphic. This is really what makes this a PG-13 horror movie. They don't show gouts of blood or burnt faces or anything offputting. The deaths are still solid and impactful despite this. Don't worry
(and....oh yes. people die)

I really enjoyed the set up. We met several of the characters before they got their "invitations" to the escape room and those scenes were well done. Watching them figure out the puzzle invitations was also cool.

THE BAD:

As usual in movies like this, we do see characters acting in ways we would never act. One HUGE plot hole is what they do when they realize the danger in the escape room is real. What would you do? Of course, drop everything and just destroy the place to get out. In this movie they just keep following the trail like good little mice (except for ONE noteable exception I won't spoil).

The ending is very disappointing (and I mean, literally, the very ending). It begs for a sequel that I fear won't be nearly as good as this one. This isn't a concept that can bear a lot of repeats I don't think.

The bad guys come off, at times, as kind of all powerful. That is a horror cliché that drives me nuts. Write the movie better. DOn't just make your bad guy all powerful (again, there is a couple of noteable and refreshing exceptions to this.)


SUMMARY:

This has been a disappointing YEAR OF SEEING MOVIES so far. This isn't a great movie. it is, however, good enough to be the best we have seen this year by a lot. It had strong suspense, realistic characters and a cool premise. I liked it.
comicuniversity
Friday, January 11, 2019 4:43:58 PM
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I HAVE FORGOTTEN TO POST THIS ON THIS THREAD LIKE I ALKWAYS DID LAST TIME


THIS THREAD IS REPLETE WITH SPOILERS. IF YOU DON'T WANT ANY OF THESE LOVIES RUINED IN ANY WAY, DO NO READ THE REVIEW OF THAT MOVIE!
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