Avengers: Infinity War (PG-13)

Starring almost anyone you could name and far too many to name because I don’t want to be sitting here creating hyperlinks all day, Avengers: Infinity War features the The Avengers and their allies sacrificing all in an attempt to defeat the all-powerful Thanos before he puts an end to not just the world, but the universe.

Avengers: Infinity War is a technical masterpiece. I opted for 2D since I saw it at 8 a.m. at Alamo Drafthouse (and there were absolutely no cocktails involved, although they were being served. I guess it was 5 p.m. somewhere…). I wasn’t in a 3D mood at that hour of the morning. Not today. It is stunning to look at and I would imagine the 3D to be a more immersive experience. The CGI and other special effects are literally awesome. The set design, costumes, props, sound, lighting, editing – everything about Infinity War is a visual treat. The choreography and technical aspects and logistics of the fight and battle scenes were most enjoyable. And the weapons were aaah-mazing!

Okay. Let’s cut to the chase. Changing the narrative from “save the world” to “save the universe” didn’t make this movie feel any more fresh than any other movie where a superhero or superheroes work to save the world. The “save the world” story line is tired. At least I’m tired of it (and have been for a long time), so Infinity War wasn’t as much of a life changing experience for me as it might be for you if you are a super fan of the genre, obviously.

If a two hour 29 minute movie can sustain itself using only two cuss words, it can sustain itself cuss free. Just make a PG movie and skip the cuss words, as these couple of words are the only reason the -13 is added on. I am a cussing machine in real life. Ask almost anyone who has ever met me and they can tell you all about it. But this tactic of using cuss words as jokes, movie, after movie, after movie, after movie, is stale. Admittedly, those words get the same audience response every time, but now it feels as though people have somehow almost been programmed to laugh out loud.

And why 2 hours and 29 minutes? Huh? The length of the movie does not directly correlate to its quality. Do studios feel the audience believe the longer the film the more satisfied they will be with the product? There were definite lulls here, times where I shifted in my seat, rolled my eyes and checked the time, as did others around me. Never during the action sequences, of course; but there were times. And that stay until the end of the never ending credits is ridiculous. I don’t look at this hostage situation as the treat super fans seem to perceive it to be. After 2 hours 29 minutes, I’m ready to go. I don’t know about you, but I have things to do… It was bad enough I had to leave home at 7:30 to catch the damn movie in the first place. (Sorry, not sorry. I’m tired.)

The acting, as usual, is what it is. There are no Academy Award winning performances here and there will be no quibbling about anyone being snubbed next year. I must admit that it felt epic to see all these characters in one film. Problem was, at times the movie felt choppy as we shifted back and forth between sets of characters, from location to location to location, and back again. Infinity War has a lot of moving parts that don’t always mesh together so seamlessly.

Avengers: Infinity War earned 8 out of 10 bloops. It’s not a perfect movie, but it is undeniably, technically great. The technical greatness making it better than an average popcorn movie, and one that is without a doubt worth seeing on the big screen. I would recommend 3D if you’re into it and can handle the cost. Try not to sit too close to the front if you can get in at all this weekend without having purchased advanced tickets. Good luck with that!

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing/reviewing next…

I’m too tired to say. Right now, I’m going to take a nap!

Past Reviews

You Were Never Really Here
Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

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You Were Never Really Here (R)

Based on Jonathan Ames‘ 2013 novel, You Were Never Really Here stars Joaquin Phoenix as an underworld contract employee who rescues trafficked girls. Joe (Phoenix) is a traumatized American war veteran whose profession validates him while at the same time helping to traumatizes him further. When a job that seems simple enough spins out of control, Joe is pushed beyond his limits as he pieces together who is responsible for the ensuing carnage.

It takes a good deal of time before the audience learns what is going on in this movie. I started to walk out after checking my phone at 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes in…  in anticipation that it wasn’t going to get much better. But, I hung in there and was pleasantly surprised at times. I am glad I finished it by the end.

The editing, camera work, cinematography, make up, lighting and set design, are all very well done. Technically, You Were Never Really There is an interesting watch with a lot of small details that command attention. The music (by Johnny Greenwood) provides an almost too perfectly eerie backdrop to the subject matter and action. Due to Greenwood’s music, things get “horror movie” creepy at times, providing an almost palpable and nearly physically repulsive intensity to the plot. You may never look at some seemingly innocent standards the same again.

Phoenix, as usual, gives an intense and outstanding performance as this traumatized vet living a double life as a “bad guy” at work and “good guy” – dare I say, a great guy, or. rather, guy being the best he can – at home. Joe vacillates between brutality and tenderness as easily as a light switch can be flicked on and off. And he is bad-ass with it! You feel for him, you root for him, you want him to win at all cost, in spite of any moral issues that may exist, and there are many. Joe is the consummate anti-hero. I had a semi-difficult time finding out the name of the young lady who starred as the child in need of rescue who is at the core of the plot. I found it, but will not publish it because the plot deals with trafficking and pedophilia, so I will assume this is an effort to somehow protect her identity. The identities of many of the other young girls featured in this film are published without pictures. Sadly, there are a lot of sick people in the world, so this is understandable and commendable. The young star did excellent work as this traumatized child and I look forward to seeing her future projects. I cannot even imagine the psychological effects of playing such a role, even though I’m sure You Were Never Really Here was shot and edited in a way to shield her from much, if not all, of the featured violence and the extreme gravity of the subject matter.

You Were Never Really Here, while at times suspenseful and somewhat well paced, comes across as a muddled, disjointed piece. It uses many flashbacks to explain too much of the present. The flashbacks interrupt the pace of the film too often and are not fully explained, leaving the audience to put together just a bit too much of the puzzle of Joe and his current issues, which include hyper suicidal ideation and fixation, PTSD, social emotional issues and how they play into the personal and professional relationships in his current life, what is going on and who is responsible, etc.  This is both the beauty and the flaw in You Were Never Really Here.

There is too little character development of the major players in this job-gone-wrong to satisfy. I enjoy a movie that has moving parts that somehow come together at the end and this is a movie that forces you to think, but the convoluted story line isn’t cohesive enough for the audience to satisfactorily arrive to the climax. (Full disclosure, which I always give – I’ve not read the book, so perhaps the format of the film was meant to mimic the format of the book, similarly to The Girl on a Train, which was the failing of that film. (Here’s my review). You Were Never Really Here opens strong, then takes far too long to get to the point of it all. I’m not sure how much of this can be attributed to direction or screenplay writing, both done by Lynn Ramsey.  So either way, the onus falls on Ramsey. The result is a deflated “aha” moment that could have and should have had much greater impact. The moments of revelation feel weak and full of missed opportunity.

You Were Never Really Here earned 7.5 out of 10 bloops. The acting, score and suspense put it over the top. Phoenix and his co-stars (honorable mention to Judith Roberts) give fantastic performances in a movie that simply over-directed  and too , muddled to come together cohesively.  It is otherwise technically beautiful and worth a watch.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing/reviewing next…

Chappaquiddick
Truth or Dare
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

Past Reviews

Rampage
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Rampage (PG-13)

Rampage, starring Dwayne Johnson and Naomi Harris, tells the story of the aftermath of a failed genetic experiment which takes place in space. Following an explosion, debris from the destruction of the spacecraft on which the experiment was being conducted falls to earth and causes a few animals to become contaminated by pathogens that make them super sized, super strong, super fast and super aggressive. The military, other government forces, and The Rock, try to figure out ways to stop these super beasts and the potential destruction they may cause to the city of Chicago. In the meantime, the evil corporate power responsible for the experiment races to get their hands on these super beasts in the name of profit.

I opted not to see Rampage in 3D, so I can’t say whether it’s worth the extra money or not. I just wasn’t in a “3D type of mood” today. The set design, action and cinematography are wonderful, so I could see it being worth a 3D viewing, perhaps. The effects are fine. And any time there is a fight among giant beast on the big screen is a good time as far as I’m concerned.

The acting is fine with some humor and much intensity and urgency. I mean, we’re trying to save the world here people, but there’s always time for a little joke. Right? If you’re a fan of Dwayne Johnson, you pretty much know what you get with him. He can probably perform these roles in his sleep at this point. Here he delivers more of the same, which is not necessarily a bad thing. He is consistent, and knows how to pick roles that suit him. Big dude saves the day. Again. The end. Jeffrey Dean Morgan  does a great job in his role as the agent who works for the “other” government agency. Naomi Harris is an excellent actress, but there was zero chemistry between these two lead characters. I understand that a check is a check and the opportunity to be in a movie with The Rock is significant, but I don’t think she really “fit” here.

The main problem with Rampage is the writing. Rampage is like a mixture of King Kong, Mighty Joe Young, Jurassic Park, Godzilla, with a touch of Planet of the Apes and a few other movies we’ve all seen before. Animal lovers should enjoy it very much because George, the featured ape, will steal your heart. At times unexpected things occur. I had one really effective scare. It is suspenseful in a sense, but on the same token, it is also boilerplate, with some very predictable scenes that could have been better thought out and more creatively choreographed. There is the same beckoning the “monster” to distract it, continuously shooting at this thing with absolutely no possibility of stopping it with fire power from guns, luring one creature to attack another, one person in charge not taking the good advice, leading to potentially catastrophe results, etc., etc., etc. There just isn’t enough originality here to make Rampage stand out from similar movies that have been done before, and been done better.

Rampage earned 6.5 out of 10 bloops. It’s not bad, but it certainly could have been much better, and falls short of being what I would call “good.” Visually, it is definitely worth a big screen watch (I would recommend you turn off the water on the 4XD chair, unless you enjoy the spray.). Less jaded movie goers, a/k/a the youngsters, will probably enjoy Rampage more than I. Be forewarned, it is PG-13, and not because of foul language, but foul gestures, which are meant to be humorous. If you’re looking for a movie to kill a bit of time over the weekend you could do worse, but I’m sure you could do better.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing/reviewing next…

Chappaquiddick
Truth or Dare
Beruit
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

Past Reviews

A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

A Quiet Place (PG-13)

John Krasinski and Emily Blunt star as husband and wife, Evelyn and Lee Abbott, in A Quiet Place. The Abbotts live in silence with their children, as they try to hide from creatures that hunt by sound. The smallest peep could be the difference between life and death. Millicent Simmonds (Regan) and Noah Jupe (Marcus) round out the cast as the Abbott children.

Written by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, A Quiet Place is unique because it is a horror film with close-to-zero dialogue, yet it manages to sustain its intrigue throughout with the use of music, suspense, jump scares, an interesting premise and plot, and some fine camerawork, makeup and special effects. I can’t say one more thing or it will all be ruined. Go see it. It is terrific.

The entire cast did some really great, heart-felt acting, even during the one or two forgivable times where the plot was predictable. Simmonds and Jupe are absolutely amazing as these children living under the most stressful conditions imaginable in this post-apocalyptic world. The ability to convey such emotion, terror, fear, joy, etc. without uttering a word at such a young age, is nothing short of remarkable. Blunt and Krasinski give great performances; perhaps better than I have ever seen from each of them and at the least, certainly departures from their previous roles. And who knew John Krasinski had sex appeal? Certainly not I! Keep in mind, Krasinski starred in, directed and wrote the screenplay to this thing, so this is his baby and he took great care with it. Kudos Krasinski! Kudos!!!

This movie is nearly everything one wants in a movie, particularly a horror movie, when leaving the comforts of one’s home to pay to sit in a theater and watch. The premise is semi-unique (replace “hunt by sound” with hunt by movement (any zombie movie, but Train to Busan comes to mind, here’s my review), or hunt by breathing (Don’t Breathe comes to mind, here’s my review), or by light, or by body temperature, or whatever – and you can come up with a similar premise that has been done before), but the nearly silent execution of this one is still very, very well done and very, very cool.

A Quiet Place is not without faults, but they are minimal(ish) and I can’t even go into those without ruining it all for those who haven’t seen it yet, so I won’t. You’re probably saying, “What kind of ridiculous review is this?!!” Trust me, don’t read any spoilers, or any reviews where spoilers are mentioned.  If you haven’t seen a trailer, don’t watch one. Just go and enjoy this movie if you’re a fan of the genre. You may not like it as much as I did, but I can very nearly promise that you won’t hate it. That’s the best I’ve got folks. Okay… I will say, people make some really ridiculous life decisions at the most preposterous times. And A Quiet Place could have used more plot twists. Not that there is anything wrong with straight forward story-telling, but I really longed for (particularly since the movie was basically a silent film) something that made the entire audience say, “OOOOOOOOOOHHHHH!!!!!” You know what I mean?!!! That never happened, and it would have been great if it had.

A Quiet Place earned 8 out of 10 bloops. It’s a great movie, that is worth the price of admission and seeing in a theater just for the atmosphere and to see the masterful way silence is used as a terror tactic. The acting elevates the film. The effects, gore and makeup aren’t overdone. And for some reason I assumed it was rated R rather than PG-13. Thinking about it further, there were a couple of people who saw it with children who were about 8 years old and it gave me pause. But it is a good film to take a tween/teen or any adult to see to give them a lesson in going without a cell phone or social media, and silence. It forces one to engaging in the world, or rather, the experience of the movie without modern day distractions. Not that anyone longs to engage with other-worldly creatures in a life or death scenario, or anything; but the silence in the film requires a commitment to attention that may be beneficial to us all.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review or follow me on twitter @bloopbymimi1 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing/reviewing next…

Love, Simon – for some reason this review is taking me for.ever. to write. I’m almost done though and when it is done I will post it.

Blockers

The Miracle Season

Chappaquiddick

Past Reviews

Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
Lady Bird
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Black Panther
Molly’s Game
The Post
Phantom Thread
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster