cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
It's a zombie movie, and it contains many of the familiar tropes (and one or two yelling at the screen bonehead moves), but it comes with a chewy twist involving children. The film starts out tense and ratchets up from there, with plenty of quiet spoops to sink into. This movie is hard choice after hard choice, spiraling in to a death of a thousand cuts until we slam head first into the bonfire of the climax. The ending was unexpected and perfect at the same time. Representation check: three of our main roles are women, and two are persons of color. It's entirely possible that some of them were gay. And the Bechdel test was cleared in the first scene.

Four wags, with a box of lemon Oreos.

People who have seen the movie or perhaps read the book: Why does Melanie eat grub worms? She doesn't seem surprised to find them in her bowl. Do all the second gens eat bugs? Do they like bugs, or is this to keep them from getting accustomed to meat, or something else entirely?
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
Quick and dirty: pretty, but not pretty enough to make up for its failings. This is not a bad movie, but despite the wealth of action scenes it still feels listless. Our leads have no romantic chemistry, and the story does not feel compelling. For me, Luc Besson has been trading on the credit from La Femme Nikita, Transporter, and of course Leon, for a long time. But the aliens were nice and alien-y, the Great Market was pretty great, and honestly the dance sequence on Paradise Alley made up for about half the price of the ticket.

Two wags, but definitely for in the cinema or at home on your 124" screen.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
When I heard people talk about this, I was a bit uncertain. I thought I had recently seen a Korean horror/thriller that took place on a train, but all I could remember were bits from Snowpiercer. And I think I might have seen the first part of it or something, because the baseball team looked familiar. But it was a good watch this time through too. It strikes a lot of the traditional 'zombie movie' beats, with the innocent but ominous opening, the 'alarmed news reports' slowly filtering in through the train television, and then our first infection. They threw an additional bit in there with a character actor I recognized as 'guy who plays the crazy old man' but from there on in there was a lot of tension followed by explodey action and oh so brief moments to catch your breath. We had a few 'people who want to survive get really ugly' moments, and containing most of the film to the linearly-designed set of a train really cranked up the suspense. The ending was a little disappointing, not because I wanted a TPK ending but because how they chose to get there made sense within the metaphor of the story but as an actual plan it was pretty dumb.
Four wags, with caramel M&Ms.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
Now that I'm through the first season, I think I'm ready to talk about it. I was initially pretty dubious about a show with ten minute episodes. But it's kind of like a snow storm, where one flake after another does eventually build to something impressive. Steven is 'home schooled' so a lot of my "wait what wait go back" moments he smiles and nods because that's what normal is. It took about thirty episodes for me to decide I was in for the long haul, and forty to make me cry.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
This was so much better than it had any right to be. Somehow I missed the theatrical release--it may have got caught up in the publicity for 'Sing' or something else animated that looked mediocre--but we had guests tonight who corrected that. This is another Disney effort with a lot of inside jokes, and some really gut-punchy jokes about races and relations. I didn't expect the plot to deliver much because curse of low expectations on animated kids movies, but the story was really good. Plus Idris Elba shouting.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
I was a victim of my own high expectations on this one--it had been built up as an Event, and it turned out to be a pretty good thriller. It's definitely a Jordan Peele project, and I laughed. It's well put together, and they only lean on one jump scare, although its placement is odd. I'd say it's a better made movie than Keanu, although it may not have as much re-watch value.
Three wags, with a fancy recliner seat so it's like watching at home in the living room.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
The summary on the internet I saw would have made a great rom-com. Two high school kids, a boy and a girl, switch bodies from time to time. And I think that plays through about the first half of the film, when suddenly things get a lot more serious. Like 500 people dead serious. And I was distinctly unsure where they were going, but just relax and trust the weird mysticism that you get when you drink sake made from chewed up rice and spit. A lot of the time, you won't know exactly what's going on, and that's okay.

As one of my fellow movie goers said, they're not afraid to lean into the awkwardness of this situation, but it's never in a mean or exploitative way. It's just one of those shows where your little sister says "You really like your boobs." I was taken in by these characters, and I wanted these two to make it work, and the several times when they were *almost* there made it ache a little. This isn't one of those movies where something stupid happens that five seconds of conversation between two rational adults would have cleared things up. There are good, strong reasons they keep pushing apart. And since it was a Japanese movie, there's not that guarantee that they're going to get together in the end. I won't say whether they did or not, but the ending was satisfying for me.

Four wags, with cheese popcorn.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
Last night, at the end of the B5 Death March, we watched Sleeping in Light. It was a long trudge. I found a lot of the first half of the season frustrating in its plot stupids and character frustrations. (Case in point: Garibaldi's descent into alcoholism was at least not stupid, but it was mawkish and patronizing and very After School Special.) I keep trying to pretend that Sheridan and Delenn have any chemistry, and I keep failing. And I have never seen a more prodigious Return of the King phenomenon than the last three or four episodes of tender loving farewells for each individual character on the show. At least SiL was watchable and vaguely interesting, and it was nice to see Ivanova again. And dang the aging f/x were good. Not even the Neil Gaiman episode was worth the time I spent watching it. Meh. Anyway, If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't.

EDIT: Oh, I forgot to mention a point of glee. Londo's birthday gift to the lovely couple's unborn child. That was a nice bit of plotting, even if we never get a pay off.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
I can't recall if I specifically recommended this or not. The first season is on Netflix. It's like the cool dystopic fiction the kids these days are grooving on, but it's smart and clever. This would pair well with a bottle of 'Red Rising', the book I reviewed last year.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
Let's frontload the compliments--this is a very pretty film, and they make good use of that fancy new Technicolor technology. However. If I spend the first three acts of the film not giving a crap about your two shallow self absorbed leads, you probably screwed something up. And if you're making a musical film, one of them should have a strong voice. And around the end of the third act, they started to become less awful people and I actually got interested. If they redid this movie with the fourth act being the first act, I'd be interested in seeing it again. Also, yay for not shoehorning our couple back together at the end. You don't have to spend your whole life with everyone you fall in love with.
All in all, two limp wags.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
I think I would have gotten more out of this film if I spoke Korean. It's an epic hero's path, and there's got to be a lot of allegory and metaphor in this because otherwise strictly from a physics point of view great swaths of this don't happen. Three wags.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
I know it's a beautiful, award winning episode.
But it still pisses me off.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
Not as weird as I was expecting. You have some varying tech levels, like in Bunraku or Death Trance, but that can be explained by the imperialist Japanese forces having better tech than the Koreans and Chinese. It's pretty obvious where it draws its roots from, even without the name. It's a twisted game of catch the MacGuffin, with a handful of factions in play. Which was a little confusing at first, but a mandatory part in this sort of film. Light, fun, and a little bit dark. Four wags out of five.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
I now have a new favorite Doctor Strange movie.
I'm surprised I didn't hear more outrage about the casting. Of the... five or six named/powerful sorcerers, only one of them was Asian (in a tradition that seemed pretty steeped in Asian mysticism). At least one of the secret magical bases protecting the planet was in Asia, but all three were in the Northern Hemisphere. It almost feels like somebody set out to tweak noses with this.
I enjoyed this film, the special effects give it four wags out of five, although I am concerned that the power levels displayed in this film will make it difficult to team Strange up with anybody else in the MCU.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
Best Doctor Strange movie I've ever seen.
Only Doctor Strange movie I've ever seen.
But hey, Jeffrey Combs.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
This film has been on my to-watch list for about ten years. It's about the fine line between super powers and mental illness. I had toyed with this idea as either short fiction or a game, and I thought this would be a comedy version of what I'd been thinking of. It wasn't. And it was occasionally difficult to watch. The film makers treated this with respect, and centered around the potential that people have to do good. Four wags.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
Just a quick overview; I saw this last week and it was good, but I wished it had been better. The characters weren't that deep--you had the creepy pedophile and the vengeance angel. She's always rock-solid about his guilt, there is no wavering or uncertainty, and I think that would have helped some. For a victim of the patriarchy, this could be cathartic or satisfying, but without something extra, this is pretty much just revenge porn.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
This one's been on my to-watch list for years, and I'm glad I got to it. It's very... visceral. Raw, in an emotional way. Love and Death are catalysts for the most volatile of emotions, and they don't shy away from them. I don't think some of the more fantastic elements played as well as they could, but by that time we were far enough into the picture that I could forgive it. Unvarnished truth and metaphor got mixed together and I'm not certain whether the play was subtler than I could hold on to or whether the symbolism got out of their hands toward the end. Love and Death, as I mentioned earlier, Revenge, Family (both genetic and chosen), Lies we tell ourselves and others.
Four wags and Daniel Radcliffe.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
There's a great deal of activity in this film, but none of it seems to have a genesis or a terminus. The central character keeps switching wigs and outfits at each new scene. Everybody has an accent, and I think nobody is using the one they're born with. I'm betting she ends up with the diamonds in the end but I haven't the strength to finish it.
cyrano: (Coyote Cinema)
People make jokes about how European films move slowly and don't so much end as stop. This is part of the reason why. Considering that two people die over the course of the movie, that's kind of surprising. A man who is an awful person does something awful after another man has done something awful. He covers up his awful thing, except that somebody else knows he did something awful but Thin Blue Line says she keeps it buried. All the while, he's getting more and more ragged from lack of sleep because the sun is up all the time, which only adds to the air of ennui and disconnection. And then the awful man drives back to Sweden. Fin.

September 2017



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