Alright, so Netflix once pigeonholed one of my movie tastes as “Cerebral World War II Dramas.” Needless to say, I was embarrassingly awoken to this macabre obsession I have. So when I say this was the good side of “eh,” I maybe have some cred? lol
The cinematography was well done and I did appreciate that part of seeing it in theatres. What I did not fucking appreciate because *problems* were the extremely loud pops and booms of weaponry and explosions throughout the film. And the movie is well done so THAT you are startled. Some people like this; it just makes me angry and anxious. For that reason alone, I probably would have enjoyed it more at home without the BOOMBOOM of the big speakers.
The acting was decent to tolerable. I have to admit I got really distracted once the Last Kingdom douche bag was introduced in the plot. I had a really hard time divorcing him from that other role.
Overall if you’re one of those people that really likes WWII movies/documentaries, this is probably a cool flick to watch to add to all of those other granular details you’ve picked up over the years. If you’re not a WWII nerd and you’re not into actiony, drowny, no really like so many people die movies–you can probably skip it.
Just so we’re really clear, there are SPOILERS in this review–for the books and the movie. Normally I try to write un-spoiler reviews, but I wouldn’t have much meat to discuss with this movie if I couldn’t discuss its contents and the books side by side. So for those of you who don’t want it ruined (books or movie), I give the movie 4/5.
This adaptation had very mixed reviews, to the point that I was a little scared to go see it. I love The Dark Tower series and have been really looking forward to this film because THE DARK TOWER *sigh* and IDRIS ELBA *double sigh*…but here are my speculations on why the bad reviews may have been bad:
- The reviewer is so obsessed with The Dark Tower that they can’t comprehend any adaptation that does not faithfully follow the path of the books.
- The reviewer knows little about The Dark Tower and is overwhelmed by the somewhat bizarre plot and is missing all of the nuanced details that are jam-packed into this film.
For the rest of you TDT fans who left the movie going “huh?” consider this interpretation as a salve for your fandom wounds: The key to this interpretation (and lack of some very prominent main characters) is that partway through the man in black makes a comment along the lines of “this time around the wheel.” Because this movie is not the time around the wheel described in the book series. This is some version after he steps through the door at the top. And as my husband keeps proudly pointing out, HE HAS THE HORN! XD Now I’ve never been a fan of the (in my opinion bullshit) here we go ’round again ending to the books, but at least here it makes sense.
And on a way less nerdy note! The visual working of this post-apocalypse dying-tech world was great!! Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey played their rolls perfectly. Jake was well cast. At the end of the day, if they weren’t going to make 7-8 movies out of this I think this is the best way they could have put that plot into 1. Why they felt they couldn’t make 8 is weird to me, but that’s a rant for another day I suppose. I will say that the special effects are not so glorious that you have to see them in theatres. If you’re more of a RedBoxer, that will be just fine for this one. : )
I really enjoyed this one. And I was very glad it wasn’t the “female John Wick” as some people described it. John Wick is a movie about assassins. This is a Cold War spy-action flick. Very different things.
It also had some not-surprising, but nevertheless interesting sub-points about world politics and in some ways, perhaps showing that the tension in the 80’s was not so different than some of the tensions now.
The shots are all well done and there were some more gimmicky set ups that were very clearly an allusion to the graphic novel it’s based on. I also really loved the use of lighting and specifically the color lighting throughout the film.
I did feel like the girl-on-girl sex scene was a little gratuitous. Especially because they reference the main character having had sex with a male multiple times–all of which are given the kissing-faces-and-you-know-the-rest treatment. But when it’s two girls, let’s have an all out HBO fuck fest?? Ugh. Why couldn’t they have James McAvoy having a full frontal sex scene with some other dude in the movie?! Mmmhm. That’s what I thought.
All in all, glad I saw it in the theatres. Bottom line, the action scenes were worth it. I will look forward to watching this again on one of those call in to work, PMS, rainy days. : D
This was a good movie & I’m glad I got to see it in the theaters…but it could have been better.
For the most part, the casting was done well in terms of balancing actors who look like the real-life people, but are also able to act. My only small gripe was that the chick they cast for Faith Evans was a little too light–I only bring it up because in combination with using her time-appropriate bleach blonde look, it just looked like a white girl & for a second I was like “who is this again” until they started referring to her as Faith. Not a big deal, it was just a little confusing. I was also a little amused at Bonnie Bennett as Jada Pinkett?? Like…let’s look at this…
I’m not saying there’s no resemblance, but like…was Zoe Kravitz not available?? Let’s move on…
The way they were able to weave the hits into the fabric of the storytelling was well done. Not all music biopics do this well and it has the effect of feeling like a VH1 documentary rather than a cinematic endeavor. I also feel like, overall, they did a good job of showing Tupac as a complex man. This was really important to me because it is a huge part of what makes his music and message so meaningful.
One of my bigger gripes with the film were the general treatment of time transitions. They were spanning quite a lot of time, but they way they set up these cuts seemed a little disjointed. My other meh feeling is about the treatment of his death. Throughout this whole film, we see how his decisions to affiliate with the scarier members of the scene contribute to his untimely death. And yet, in the close of his death scene he has choruses singing like he was some fallen angel who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, when in reality he was involved in a world full of gang members who killed people. Not only is it not surprising that he was murdered, but it’s painful to see his demise almost glorified. Was it terrible that such an amazing artist and poet died well before his time? Yes. But it’s not like he got hit by a bus or his plane inexplicably fell from the sky. He was murdered -very probably- due to his interactions with some very dangerous people. My concern is that young folks will watch this movie and see the glory and fame of the rap game and interpret this choral rise to God scene as a glorification of a gangster death. Like that is some sort of height to be attained. And what we don’t need is any more kids joining gangs and ending up in these same idiotic feuds that killed some of our most talented musicians because they are seeing the 90’s gangster aesthetic reinforced in this film.
If you haven’t seen it in theaters yet, it is at the very least worth hearing some great song bumped LOUD. Also the acting was pretty good. If you have to pay more than $10 to see a movie in your town, then you can probably wait until RedBox. : D
Welp, this glorious thing happened…
My mother grew up a bi-racial kid in the 70’s. It was not normal or acceptable. It was hard. When I was talking to her about her experience this week, she told me that growing up her family talked about her blackness like it was a disease–mind you, that wasn’t their perspective or intention, she explained, just that it was always framed as “this is a thing you’re always going to have to live with, but don’t worry you’ll be ok.”
I wish she had had a movie like this. It might be presented in a more simple approach, but it is very reassuring and inspiring to women of color. You can be smart. You can be ambitious. You can stand up for what you have earned and what you deserve. We need more movies like this.
All of the actresses were stellar; moreover, I was really pleased with Janelle Monáe‘s acting skills as I have pretty neutral feelings about her music career. It was nice to see Taraji P. Henson deftly encompass both the sassiness that she’s known to excel in as well as the shy, vulnerability that is crucial to her character in this film.
Any attempt for me to critically analyze this film will probably just devolve into a diary entry, so I’m going to leave it with a “Go See This!!!” Show the movie industry that a film about amazing, nerdy black women can make MONEY. If movies are atrociously priced in your area, at least hit it up at the Red Box.
Black Girl Magic: We go to 11.
I liked it. I will probably never watch it again, but if a friend had it on at their place I wouldn’t complain. I will also probably go see any future films of this series until they no longer bring me joy. : D
There were complaints on the interwebs about over-casting and over-plotting, but I find that confusing. Having spent more time watching people play this fucking game than I ever, ever, EVER would want to, I feel like this movie holds up pretty well for what it is. For point of reference I have also spent large portions of life watching people play Call of Duty and I had less than zero interest in seeing those movies after watching the trailer…
The cast was fine. I enjoyed Omar. I also enjoyed the totally unnecessary shirtlessness of Magneto.
The action scenes were pretty alright and lined up pretty well with the gameplay.
If you’re not a total snob and like actiony-drama movies, you will probably enjoy this.
I enjoyed this movie in the most conventional sense. It had a plot, there was suspense and there were cheeky jokes.
I make a point to see the Star Wars movies in the theatres, but I’m not a like die-core fan. I legitimately enjoyed The Force Awakens, but this one was a little bit of a miss for me. This series has become much more racially inclusive over the years (and not to kick a dead horse BUT), can we have a POC as a female lead already?? Also, I know that everyone dying makes the plot more interesting but I didn’t WANT them to die! It’s not fair…they tried so hard, they got so far…
It was fun to watch, but to be honest it was more of a Red Box-er. Where I live, ticket prices are super cheap, but I would have been ticked if I had paid $12-15 to see this.