Movie Mondays ~ Monday, May 27, 2019

Movie Mondays ~ Monday, May 27, 2019

Well, I managed to get more films into my week than I expected. The only trouble was  some were disappointing and others I had seen before and enjoyed, seemed better the first time around. That leaves me with a hankering for a great film. Why, you ask. Because this week, I sure didn’t see any. But as always, thanks for reading! ~ Chris K.



FILMS VIEWED WEEK OF 05/20/2019 – 05/26/2019

(click on images to enlarge on the screen!)


65. John Wick

Action, Crime, Thriller (2014)
Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen

I really wanted to like this movie. Nope, I really wanted to LOVE this movie. I’d heard so many people say how great this movie series is. And I thought I could catch up and then go and enjoy a good action thriller (the third installment) on the big screen. But…it’s not meant to be. Although I always enjoy the intensity of a very  underrated Keanu Reeves, this movie series just isn’t for me.


It didn’t help that within the first ten minutes, a very disturbing event concerning a new little buddy of John Wick takes place, and left me downright pissed at the film for going there. Reeves is a former hitman who exists in the lowest point of his life and just as he does, someone enters his world to deliver a little bit more darkness. This seems to be just the encouragement he needed to return to his violent, gunslinging ways because now he has only one thing on his mind: revenge.


The film immediately had an enemy in this viewer from that first ten minutes and had to prove itself worth continuing to watch for me — and never did. How do I describe JOHN WICK? Three words — shoot ’em up! And that’s really the plot points in a nutshell. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t have a problem with gunfire in a film. Some of my favorite Quentin Tarentino films are peppered with gunshots, sword slashes and all kinds of nasty business, even removal of useful hearing appendages, but there is enough substance in the rest of the film to keep me watching.


For me, JOHN WICK felt like pointless vengeance and gunfire. There weren’t enough scenes with clever dialogue, intriguing plot twists or fantastically orchestrated effects to keep me interested. This one was a true disappointment because now I can assure you there will not be reviews for #2 or #3 — not on this blog.


Score: 73





66. Analyze This

Comedy, Crime (1999)
Robert Deniro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, Chazz Palminteri

I saw this film at the theaters when it came out, 20 years ago (holy cow, THAT long ago?!) and I recall finding it funny and appreciating it for its comedic acting. Maybe my tastes have changed a lot in two decades but this time around, I didn’t find it as amusing. It’s a similar situation I ran into with MIDNIGHT RUN on a recent re-viewing. (I blogged about that one here.) In the case of that Deniro classic, I must have watched it a half dozen times or so, maybe more over time but this is a film that I’m pretty certain I saw only one time. And yet, it didn’t deliver the wallops of laughter I expected with the combination of these two terrific performers.


In the film, Crystal plays a psychiatrist whose path crosses with that of a mob boss who is experiencing emotional issues as of late, following the death of his longtime friend. Not one to share easily, the mob boss played by Deniro finds it so easy to talk to Crystal’s character that he interrupts the poor man’s life at every turn — even when he’s trying to get married to his lady — TWICE!


I do enjoy Crystal and Deniro for their superb sense of timing and ability to crawl inside characters and become them but for me, this viewing left me pretty quiet on the other side of the screen. I expected there would be much more laughing out loud but I began to feel uncomfortable from some of the hard-to-accept plot twists and especially Deniro’s attempt at portraying emotional outbursts of anguish. I just didn’t buy it this time around. Shrugs. Aah well. Some films hold up, others do not. Sigh.


Score: 82





67. He’s Just Not That Into You

Comedy, Drama, Romance (2009)
Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Justin Long, Scarlet Johansson,  Bradley Cooper Jennifer Connelly, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Connolly

I don’t normally list as many people in the cast as I have here. So why did I for this film? Because I wanted you to see an example of how a good cast does not necessarily translate to a good film. This is another film that I saw once before and honestly, I don’t remember whether I liked it or not. I think I did like it but marginally, and once again, that’s my overall take for this one.


The film reminds me of those corn field labyrinths that you start wandering into and meander your way around with no real sense of direction and eventually find yourself at the end smiling. By the time you reach the end, you are simply happy and relieved that you got there that you forget how arduous the journey was to get there!


This film tests your patience. We meet Gigi. She’s believed every fairy tale and so-called ‘rule’ about love since she was a little child, and as a result of it, she’s still single. But as we watch one dopey move after another we meet this interconnected web of friends who all seem to know each other, date each other, sleep with each other or work with each other. As you watch, you keep wondering what hot young actor or actress of the time will show up in THIS scene. Unfortunately, this film’s storyline meanders, too. It may be based on a successful how-to manual on dating but it needs a little self-help of its own.


Have you ever watched a film and felt like it was aspiring to be another specific film? I ran into that affliction with this one. This is not, I repeat, NOT the film SINGLES, which is a far superior look at single life. Of course, that takes place in a different era (1992) and sure, some of the conversations can seem dated but trust me, it is a far more endearing and charming group of characters, much wittier dialogue and yes, this film does have an ultimate destination for all of them.


See that film instead and skip this one.


Score: 79





68. Game of Thrones: The Last Watch

Documentary (2019)
Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington

I went back and forth on whether or not to include this but this is a 2 hour TV documentary about the most successful TV show ever, and if IMDB lists it, that makes it a movie to me! So…


Yes, I’m a GAME OF THRONES fan, and like some fans, I wasn’t absolutely thrilled with the overall ending of the series. It wasn’t SEINFELD bad, but it just left me a little apathetic. But when I heard they were going to be showing an in-depth documentary about the making of the last season of the hit show, I couldn’t wait to see it!


Spoiler alert — don’t see this film before you’ve finished the whole season. You will learn absolutely every possible major development during that last season of six episodes as the technical crew behind pulling off the show demonstrate how they created those backdrops, characters and special effects that made everything happen.


But I think most fans will like me be somewhat disappointed. I still give it a decent mark (85) because what they do show us is quite fascinating, but I did think we would get a closer look at some of the key actors behind the scenes, too, as well as the directors as it was being filmed and with the exception of Emilia Clarke and her superhero wig wizard and Vladimir Furdik, who plays the Night King, as well as some supporting cast members among the Night Watch and townspeople of Kings Landing, we don’t really get an intimate look behind the scenes for the cast we’ve come to know and love.



Sure, there are some sweet and quite human  moments where we capture Kit Harrington at the reading table learning for the first time (by far the most entertaining part of the film!) and reacting to news of some of the pivotal acts his character would be engaging in during the show’s final episodes and his touching goodbye to the set after his final scene. But overall, while I appreciated what the filmmakers did capture of the dedicated and unbelievably talented group of people who pulled off this Amazon-like feat season after season, I felt like there were some other stories left out that any loyal TV viewer would really want to see and that included a little bit more with other key cast members and SOMETHING with the show’s driving forces David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. They were definitely not featured here much at all, and that seemed like a really odd oversight.


If you are a fan of the show, however, it is still worth seeing just how they made this mammoth of a show. You’ll truly appreciate the details you learn.

Score: 85





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