During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok. (IMDb)
Half build-up, half dino-action: Both acts are well done, with minor flaws: Goldblum’s slick scientist provides both prophetic moral commentary (“What you call discovery, I call the rape of the natural world”) and comic relief (“That is one big pile of shit”) for the first, but Nedry’s side-plot feels unnecessary; the excitement of the second is second-to-none (the camerawork is impeccable; see the first T-Rex scene) but without many breaks from the action it feels much too long and tires a tad.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
Three company workers who hate their jobs decide to rebel against their greedy boss. (IMDb)
The corporate office culture satire of the first half is pure gold (see the TPS reports gag, Cole’s outrageous Lumbergh, poor Milton’s marvelous mumbling, Peter’s unexpected promotion, the consultants). It loses a bit of its unique flavour once a plot is introduced (could have done without the relationship drama), but still entertains. Bonus points for the two gangsta rap-backed slow-motion montages of Peter not giving a fuck and then the three smashing the photocopier in the field.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
When Lou finds himself in trouble, Nick and Jacob fire up the hot tub time machine in an attempt to get back to the past. But they inadvertently land in the future with Adam Jr. Now they have to alter the future in order to save the past – which is really the present. (IMDb)
Extremely crude and sexist party/drugs/sex schtick dominates this film, and it’s way too over the line to ever be funny (only Adam Jr.’s wedding planning ever gets laughs) and despite the ongoing “Lou’s an asshole” thread and a couple of very surprising bits of serious character work (see Lou’s humble self-awareness on the roof, AA idea at the end) it’s not justified from a dramatic point of view either–especially considering how they null it all in the end anyways for a mediocre comedy bit.
The Dragon Warrior has to clash against the savage Tai Lung as China’s fate hangs in the balance: However, the Dragon Warrior mantle is supposedly mistaken to be bestowed upon an obese panda who is a tyro in martial arts. (IMDb)
Unless you’re a fan of fat jokes, the humour doesn’t do much to spice up what is very much a predictable, seen-before “unlikely hero” story, just in a different context. Fortunately, said context is beautifully animated and said story is broken up by numerous large sequences of stunningly rendered and superbly creative kung-fu action. Boosted by Hoffman’s strong voice work, Shifu’s touching arc (see his farewell to Oogway by the tree) also adds a compelling secondary character element.
An estranged family gathers together in New York for an event celebrating the artistic work of their father. (IMDb)
Shifts from a first act packed to the brim with quirky, rapid-fire dialogue (Hoffman’s self-absorbed Harold is the highlight here: “It’s my protest”), entertainingly edited (see the snippets montage) to a downright hilarious second act (see the siblings’ note taking, Pam obsession) and a slower, more ponderous third act that really brought out the complex dynamic between the brothers and The Dad (both Stiller and Sandler are great–see their pre-fight exchange). Well-paced, and never predictable.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
A young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years. (IMDb)
If I was rating individual scenes, this would have a bunch of 10/10s, no question, thanks to some incredible visuals, sounds, turns, and Villeneuve’s impeccable sense of tension and atmosphere (see the opening search, the horse discovery, Joshi vs. Luv, K and dreammaker Dr. Ana, the stunning final fight). Unfortunately, Leto’s cliche villain and Deckard’s return make for a less compelling and more tangential-feeling third act, at least plot and character-wise, keeping the film from perfection.
A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator. (IMDb)
The slow pace is welcome when we’re cruising through the moody city setting accompanied by that unnerving synth soundtrack, but much less so when it comes to the dry plot in between (especially that “romantic” aside cringe-worthy both for its cheese and rape-y vibes). The fantastic rooftop scene that switches up the typical bad vs. good climax (“All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain”), along with the tantalizing scene that follows make for a stellar ending, however.