January Movies

I didn’t think there was much to be excited about movie wise this month. There was only Joy and that’s because Jennifer Lawrence was in it and the trailer showed her with a shot gun. I didn’t expect to like Creed so much that I went to see it twice (something I’ve only ever done for super hero movies and How to train your dragon). Nor did I think I’d be so bored by The Revenant I’d hate it as much as I do.

Joy

Story:

“A story of a family across four generations, centered on the girl who becomes the woman (Jennifer Lawrence) who founds a business dynasty and becomes a matriarch in her own right.”

Joy

Review:

Joy is the only likable character in the entire movie. Her family are all terrible and I have no idea why she supports any of them. I don’t care if they’re family, they are all awful people, which may make them entertaining but also really annoying if you’re exposed to them in more than small doses.

Her ex husband isn’t too bad once he gets out of the basement and actually manages to help her. But everyone else seems to want her to fail. They’ve done nothing with their lives so they don’t want her to succeed either.

It’s also a bit of a weird movie. There are lots of time jumps and it’s all linked together through narration by her Grandmother. The problem I had with it was I’d get really into the future scene or the flashback and then suddenly we’d be in the present again and I’d forgotten we’d jumped forward or back because it had been a while.

I liked it because it’s got a lot of energy to it and it’s a bit weird giving me a break from the same old stuff you always see. Jennifer Lawrence is always good and she holds it all together.

It’s not for everyone though and my mum hated it, finding it really boring. Not everyone likes weird stuff and it might be a bit all over the place for some people.

Rating: 6 out of 10

 

Creed

Story:

“Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) never knew his famous father, boxing champion Apollo Creed, who died before Adonis was born. However, boxing is in his blood, so he seeks out Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and asks the retired champ to be his trainer. Rocky sees much of Apollo in Adonis, and agrees to mentor him, even as he battles an opponent deadlier than any in the ring.”

Creed

Review:

I wanted to like this movie because the trailers looked good but I wasn’t prepared for how much I would like it. The movie centers around Adonis Creed who wants to be a fighter but never put the time needed into it to go professional. His life is heading in a different direction until he decides to quit his job and make boxing his full time focus.

Michael B. Jordan does great as Creed but it’s Sylvester Stallone that I was surprised by. I didn’t like the first Rocky movie and I haven’t watched the others because of it but in this I was really invested in Rocky’s story.

Stallone and Jordan have great chemistry together. As do Adonis and his girlfriend, even the romance isn’t boring. She’s got her own thing going on and has an actual personality. I have seen so many movies where they substitute personality with being hot, as if that’s a character trait. She feels like a real person and so it feels like a real relationship I can get invested in.

The movie is mostly about legacy. Creed is building his own legacy, while stuck in the shadow of his father’s legacy and Rocky is looking back at what he’s going to be leaving behind. I found the movie a lot more emotional than I expected it to be and that’s down to all the great characters.

I always love movies that show getting good at something is hard work. And after all Rocky has the most famous training montage of any movie.

This movie had me invested throughout the whole thing. All the relationships worked for me and I cant wait to see where Creed goes after this. Because there has to be a Creed sequel. Even if it got ignored at the Oscars it’s better than all crap that got nominated (excluding Room).

Rating: 9 out of 10

 

The Revenant

Story:

“While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains injuries from a brutal bear attack. When his hunting team leaves him for dead, Glass must utilize his survival skills to find a way back home to his beloved family. Grief-stricken and fueled by vengeance, Glass treks through the wintry terrain to track down John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), the former confidant who betrayed and abandoned him.”

The Revenant

Review:

That summary of the plot above is a lot more exciting than the actual plot. The opening scene is exciting, even though we know nothing about these characters as they are graphically killed. So I’m not emotionally invested I’m just cringing at the gore. But a fun action scene is a fun action scene.

And the bear attack is gripping for a few seconds before it goes on too long and I’m sitting there, skeptical he would have survived a bear standing on his head and then jumping on his spine. And that’s after he’s been chewed on and ripped to shreds. Oh and not to forget he also gets his throat slashed. If they were going for realism that’s where they lost me but I was still interested in how he was going to get his revenge when, you know he eventually got betrayed. Except it really is eventually. The movie is so slow.

This wasn’t the movie I was expecting. I was expecting a deeply personal revenge tale that’s heavy on the drama and has a little action thrown in because it’s a western. Instead I got a movie obsessed with over the top violence and making the character suffer (beyond what I think a human could survive) just because suffering is what gets you nominated for an oscar.

I had to look up who directed ‘12 years a slave’ because I was convinced it must be the same director as this. They both have the same long pointless shots that go on way too long. Although at least ‘12 years a slave’ had a character in their long pointless shots, even if he is just hanging from a tree while they try to emotionally manipulate us.

And the same boring main character who is only interesting because you’re beating the crap out of him.

Glass really is such a boring character. I already knew from the trailers that his wife was dead but I didn’t know that that was all we were going to get on his character.

Well done he has the most popular (cliched) back story for a male character ever. I was prepared to ignore the Disposable Woman trope  because I thought there would be more to him than that but there isn’t. And the rest of the movie lacks any depth either so I’m not going to ignore it.

It’s like this director looked at ‘12 years a slave’, decided he wanted to win an oscar too and took all those elements and added them to his story. There is no point to this story.

The main character doesn’t change or grow. The only change is that his son dies and we see that in the trailer. If the point is, revenge is in god’s hands, then that’s stupid because half the movie is him just surviving and has nothing to do with his wanting revenge. He’s struggling his way back to civilization because if he doesn’t he’s going to die. The only choice he makes is to live, everything else just happens to him. He spends the entire movie reacting to what other people, or nature, are doing.

This movie wasted over two hours of my life. It’s so slow (I can’t drive that point home enough). The opening action scene was quick but then everything slows to a crawl and we get long shots of the sky or trees. Like they’re trying to be deep and failing miserably. Instead of adding anything to the movie it takes me completely out of it. I’m sat there wondering if the projector broke.

This movie also suffers under the delusion that you can sacrifice interesting character for torture porn and get away with it, just because it’s a drama and not a horror movie.

I don’t watch the torture porn sub genre of horror because it’s boring. Graphic torture isn’t interesting to me and it doesn’t add any depth to your movie but it does seem to fool a lot of people into thinking it does.

I’m convinced that’s why 12 years a slave got an oscar (that and America seems to be pretty racist), and I’m fairly sure that’s why this has been nominated.

They wasted two and a half hours of my life when you could have cut an hour off easy by getting rid of the long shots of the sky or when his wife appears to him multiple times and keeps repeating the same lines about trees being strong. I get it I don’t need it hammered home.

Of the cast Tom Hardy is good but needs subtitles because I can only catch a word every other sentence. Leonardo Dicaprio probably deserves an oscar for this. His performance is good I’m just distracted by the shitty movie.

It’s a very pretty movie but it doesn’t have much else going for it. It should probably win for best cinematography but not best picture. This is just torture porn for pretentious people who like drama.

Making your main character suffer a whole lot of pain does not add depth. If it did hostel or one of the saw movies would have won an oscar by now.

I was so looking forward to this movie and it so let me down.

Rating: 3 out of 10

 

Room

Story:

“Held captive for years in an enclosed space, a woman (Brie Larson) and her 5-year-old son (Jacob Tremblay) finally gain their freedom, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time.”

Room

Review:

If The Revenant is everything I hate about movies then Room is most of the things I love. It looks at the world from a unique perspective we don’t usually see in this way, that of a child and I found it utterly captivating. From the beginning as the boy narrates his world and you see how his mother has kept him and herself sane, to the second part as he explores the outside world.

The first half is the boy and his mother stuck in a room and it’s all the little things that keep it interesting. She tells him stories about how there’s nothing else but what’s in the room so when it comes time to escape she has to make him understand there is actually a whole world out there and what he has to do when he gets out. Everything depends on him being able to cope with all these new things he’s never experienced before. Like grass, trees, people and animals. It had me gripped. And is an example of how you have only a few characters and keep it interesting without needing one of them to be attacked by a bear.

The little boy is a brilliant actor and Brie Larson has been nominated for an oscar. I’ve seen all the oscar movies now and Room is the only one I think is any good. The rest of them I’m not even sure why they’ve been nominated.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Next Month

There’s Deadpool which is the movie I am most looking forward to this year, Zoolander 2 that I’m not looking forward to, Goosebumps that I hope will give me some nostalgic feels and Spotlight that I hope will be as epic as the trailer promises.

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