The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

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The human city of Zion defends itself against the massive invasion of the machines as Neo fights to end the war at another front while also opposing the rogue Agent Smith. (Letterboxd)
There’s a lot of stuff packed into this plot and it’s hard to make sense of it all, but as a trilogy finale it has a satisfying amount of fittingly epic highs and lows (see the grueling battle for Zion, ominous and lonely lovers’ mission to the Machine City, the unique climactic deal and defeat) to go with its hit or miss philosophical quips (Agent Smith’s frustrated post-fight speech was a highlight: “You can’t win. It’s pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you persist?”).
7/10 (Good)

The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

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Freedom fighters Neo, Trinity and Morpheus continue to lead the revolt against the Machine Army, unleashing their arsenal of extraordinary skills and weaponry against the systematic forces of repression and exploitation. (IMDb)
It’s slow to load, with its first half marred by lifeless fight scenes (see the Chinatown fight which Neo just leaves after a while) and too much talking about who knows what (see the convos with the Oracle, Hamann), not to mention that over-indulgent dance/sex scene. On the freeway things pick up speed; the chase sequence is incredible and the final talk actually lands some philosophical punches (see Morpheus’ wind knocked out: “I have dreamed a dream, but now that dream has gone from me”).
7/10 (Good)

The Matrix (1999)

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Set in the 22nd century, The Matrix tells the story of a computer hacker who joins a group of underground insurgents fighting the vast and powerful computers who now rule the earth. (Letterboxd)
A few glitches (some dated VFX, a cheesy romantic arc), but nothing major to make me not want to take the blue pill and escape my reality for a couple hours. The simple premise is juicy steak-scrumptious (see the breathtaking first wake-up scene), and the script walks with sunglasses-cool perfection the line between fun action movie and philosophical sci-fi laced with emotion (see pre-rescue: “[He] believes in something.. I understand that now.. because I believe I can bring him back”).
8/10 (Great)

Predators (2010)

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A group of elite warriors parachute into an unfamiliar jungle and are hunted by members of a merciless alien race. (IMDb)
Sure, the self-serious expository dialogue is a little contrived and cheesy at points (lots of “what’s going on?!”) but when the actual plot is written and directed as well as it is, you can let it slide. Right from the opening pre-title plunge, the unraveling mystery and monster-suspense–while nothing groundbreaking–is presented appreciably well (acting, cinematography, and music are all solid). The first character twist is a good one, but the last one isn’t (where was the motivation?).
7/10 (Good)

 

Red Heat (1988)

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A tough Russian policeman is forced to partner up with a cocky Chicago police detective when he is sent to Chicago to apprehend a Georgian drug lord who killed his partner and fled the country. (IMDb)
Surprisingly serious in tone, for the better–the odd couple buddy cop comedy (see Danko after the interrogation: “Soviet method is more economical”) is merely sprinkled tastefully throughout what is an actually quite solid and well-paced crime thriller set in the gritty streets of Chicago. Nothing crazy (you know, aside from the climactic bus chase), just solid scenes of detective work and bad guy chases. And there’s some subtle character development too (see the humorous final gift exchange).
7/10 (Good)

 

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

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As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past. (IMDb)
The plot leaves a few things to be desired (namely, less of the increasingly convenient and far-fetched tech and its accompanying untethered babble; also, resolving things with the Ghost could’ve been done a lot earlier), but everything around it is quite satisfying: the characters are likeable, the jokes are frequent and funny (see the truth serum bit), and the size-changing action is lots of fun (the visual effects here are excellent and quite clever-see the final reveal at the drive-in).
7/10 (Good)

Mystic River (2003)

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With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one has a family tragedy. (IMDb)
Fantastic turns from Robbins (the troubled childhood victim), Bacon (the steady cop), and Penn in particular (the tough but broken dad) headline this dark-toned, grungy suburbia-set film that fleshes out its tense murder mystery plot with torturous character drama surrounding three old friends brought together by ugly tragedy. The final twist is a little jarring and unconvincing at first but it sinks in with further thought, and its agonizing emotional aftermath solidifies it within the script.
8/10 (Great)

 

Osmosis Jones (2001)

A policeman white blood cell, with the help of a cold pill, must stop a deadly virus from destroying the human they live in, Frank. (IMDb)
The film’s central premise is fun and the screenplay takes full advantage of it with lots of creative spins on the idea of the body as parts of a city, as well as numerous funny “inside jokes”. Murray is good as the super gross and neglectful dad and provides some great bits of humour, but other parts of the live action bits fall flat. The animation also feels cheesy and the plot is pretty bland, but overall the film is worth a watch just for the imaginative concept and witty script.
6/10 (Mediocre)