2019 Movie Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by DaybreakerMC, Aug 26, 2019.


How many 2019 releases have you seen?

1-5 6 vote(s) 54.5%
6-10 1 vote(s) 9.1%
11-25 3 vote(s) 27.3%
25-49 0 vote(s) 0.0%
50+ 1 vote(s) 9.1%
  1. A thread to discuss everything about movies released within the time span of January 1st, 2019 - December 31st 2019.

    I love movies, and I noticed there wasn't a good movie discussion thread going. There were a few attempts throughout the years, but they all kinda failed (no offence to the people who made them). So I want to make a good movie discussion thread that hopefully doesn't fail! I will be "bumping" this thread with a movie review every time I watch a 2019 movie! There are a few things to note about this thread though.

    1. Spoiler stuff. Be respectful to those who might not want spoilers of movies. You can still discuss spoilers for movies, just use one of these:
      because this kind of thing is what they're meant for.
    2. I'll try to add to the discussion the best I can. I'm a big fan of the film industry, and I study the art form the best I can. Which naturally means if I've seen the movie, we can have a conversation about it.
    3. Idk what else to say. Talk about some movies! What did you think? What did you like / dislike? What were you hoping for?
    Now I've seen a lot of movies this year, and so I shall offer my ranked list of them all. Note: This list is absolutely subject to change. I will watch more movies, and some opinions may change. If you're wondering why a certain movie is in a certain place, just ask! I'm more than happy to explain the philosophy behind my rankings!
    1. Avengers: Endgame
    2. Midsommar
    3. Marriage Story (TIFF)
    4. Parasite
    5. Knives Out (TIFF)
    6. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (SWIFF)
    7. The Farewell
    8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    9. Joker
    10. Clemency (TIFF)

    Last updated Nov-28th. To see the full list of 119 movies, visit:
    (It became a lot of work to update and shift around films when my main list is there)
  2. Best of the Decade
    Listing the top 50 films I've seen that were released between 2010-2019.
    Keep in mind I have not seen every film released that may make the list (ex. Boyhood).
    Keep in mind the list is subject to change if I watched an eligible movie I think deserves a spot.
    Keep in mind this ranking is according to my personal opinion.
    If you disagree, agree, or want to share your own list, please share your reply!

    607 and Nickblockmaster like this.
  3. Since there is not an option for this in the poll, I'll post it here:

    0 - That's the number of released movies this year that I've seen.
  4. It's movie review time! The movie: Tolkien.

    So Tolkien is a biopic about J.R.R. Tolkien, the legendary writer behind "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings". It bases itself around Tolkien's life up to the writing of The Hobbit, exploring his friendships, relationships, and experience with the first World War.

    My biggest problem with the movie is that it's just bland. When making a biopic about someone there's a certain expectation that the person's story will be interesting. The best comparison within the year is "Rocketman". Elton John has a very interesting story, and one that translates well to film. Even with Elton John's story, they still managed to make it more interesting with how they handled the movie. Tolkien lacks all of this. There's no innovative film style, and there's no interesting story. It's essentially just a really smart guy from the early 1900s who ends up writing some of the best fantasy novels of all time. Only there's not much of the writing part in the movie.

    Another problem with the movie is it's inaccuracies and avoided topics. This has been pointed out by many who have seen the film. In fact the Tolkien estate issued a message saying they had nothing to do with the film and did not approve of it. It's common with movies based on real life that the filmmakers will change or modify certain events to improve the movie in a critical perspective. I can see certain areas where they did that here. Took a generic story of a writer and tried to make it a cliche movie narrative kind of thing. Other major things like leaving out Tolkien's faith life (which was a major part of his life) just remind me of "Bohemian Rhapsody" handling everything Freddie Mercury so lightly.

    With all that said, the movie isn't bad. There are a lot of really good things about it. The acting from Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins, and the rest of the supporting cast is fantastic. It's also supported by some amazing visuals, and if you're a Lord of the Rings fan some of those visuals might make you excited to see.

    Overall I thought Tolkien was okay. For what it was it wasn't terrible. It just feels like something that didn't need to happen. Tolkien is one of the greatest, but his life story just isn't as interesting as his books. I think I'd rather see the production effort go towards a Silmarillion adaption, or anything more warranted. It's too late to change the fact that the movie did happen though, so I just have to enjoy it for what it is. In the end I give "Tolkien" a 7/10. If you're a major Lord of the Rings fan like I am, it might be worth a watch. Otherwise this movie will just be forgotten with time.
  5. Once upon a time in Hollywood’s ending is the best thing I’ve seen all year besides end game.
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  6. Yeah the third act was truly epic!
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  7. We got a TRIPLE movie review! All are in drop downs, the reviews do not contain spoilers, just put in drop downs to keep it more contained!

    So I avoided this movie when it released based simply off the negative reviews. I heard things like "It's an abomination" or "the worst X-Men film made". To sum it up, it isn't either of those. The movie is terrible, don't get me wrong, but it's not X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

    Since there are so many problems with this movie, I'll start with the best parts. They're names are James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, who are top notch actors in everything they're in, and this is no exception. Another person who's normally really good is Jennifer Lawrence. Unfortunately, her performance feels very "let's just get this over with". Another decent performance is in Sophie Turner who has a lot of weight put on her in this movie. Throughout her performances in Game of Thrones I've never thought she was outstanding, but I've also never thought she was bad. It's kind of the same situation with Dark Phoenix. She's not bad, but not outstanding. Her performance is what it is needs to be.

    Other than those two performances the movie doesn't have... really anything else. It's dull, boring, bland, anti-climactic, or whatever other words you can use to say "nothing really happens". I guess it gets better around the third act (clearly due to re-shoots), but not third act level good. I guess it's just a mess all around. Characters don't feel like they need to be there, other characters don't make decisions they would make, and it's just so boring. Don't watch this movie. Let Logan be the final film of the Fox X-Men franchise for you.

    Sigh. You remember that mobile game in which you flung birds at pigs with slingshots? Yeah well they made a movie about that. Not shocking enough? That movie got a sequel. Still not shocking enough? It's actually not that bad.

    Not that bad doesn't mean it's great though. You can tell early on that the movie has an EXTREMELY short concept to it. Due to it's extremely short concept and the filmmakers not wanting a movie that's only 30 minutes long, they stuff 70 minutes of filler into it. Luckily, a vast majority of the filler is comedy. I can't say it all lands, but a good amount of it does. Unluckily, part of the filler includes a subplot that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie at all, and just takes you out of the movie every time it's on screen. I kept thinking "this would work better as an animated short you could use to advertise the film. Maybe get an Oscar nom if you're lucky, but you won't be."

    Another huge problem I had with this movie is that a lot characters are stupidly obvious. They're either oblivious for the sake of a joke, or the sake of plot convenience, and it just gets super annoying. Irritatingly annoying actually. I get it's a kid's movie, and I understand some of the obliviousness resulted it funny jokes, but it took away more than it added. Some of the best animated films that are just as funny and enjoyable as The Angry Birds Movie 2 have been able to do so without sacrificing their characters like this movie does.

    All in all The Angry Birds Movie 2 is an enjoyable movie. It's just more of a movie kids can watch once and enjoy, and no one else, and no more than once.

    Girl gets married into a rich family. Rich family is weird and has a crazy tradition of playing a game after every wedding. That game might just be hide and seek. That hide and seek might just include the bride hiding and the family seeking. That seeking might just include killing the bride. That's your concept, and now we have "Ready or Not".

    I'll cut to the chase. I loved this movie. I just did. It sounds like a stupid concept, but they did it. They did it really really well. I actually didn't even know about this movie until around two weeks before its release. I'm guessing a lot of other people didn't as well considering it under-performed at the box office. Such a shame because it really is a great movie.

    Samara Weaving is the star of the film and she does a great job. You need to pull off a certain reaction when you find out the family you just got married into is trying to kill you in a game of hide and seek. She is able to pull that off really well and make it feel genuine. There are actually a lot of times in this movie she has to get a reaction and make it feel genuine, and she's able to pull it off each time. I felt like every other performance in this movie is also strong.

    The screenplay is another plus of the movie. The movie feels well paced throughout, and it's consistently entertaining and suspenseful. Another great part of the screenplay is the jokes. "Ready or Not" is full of humour. Dark humour. Not "oh I'll take my 7 year old child to laugh at this" humour. I mean, it's funny in dark ways.

    The movie also looks really nice. They must have put some sort of tint over it, but it looks almost antique. Which fits well with the fantastic production design. There are some good shots as well. Unfortunately, there is also some really shaky camera work at times.

    All in all, as said before, I loved this movie. Ready or Not is a really fun, dark, and suspenseful movie that I think more people should know about. It's definitely a movie I'll continue to recommend and re-watch throughout the years!
    Nickblockmaster likes this.
  8. This seems like a very good thread! :)
    I'm not too interested in films myself, though. I do try to watch them now and then, but that's mostly to get to know the context of their soundtracks. ;)
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  9. Some films do have great soundtracks. Especially when the soundtrack plays an element in the storytelling, I do love that. Also thank you for thinking it's a good thread. I enjoy talking about movies, so I hope to continue my reviews through till year's end!
    Nickblockmaster and 607 like this.
  10. I want to see simba lose his way and scar take over and then have simba come reclaim his home land without people spoiling it for me so please don't tell me what happens. I'd like to see the movie without any spoilers...
  11. Movie review time! This one is for 'Replicas'. The sci-fi something movie staring Keanu Reeves.

    So Keanu is a scientist that works on transferring the human brain (memories, consciousness, all that) from the human body into another lifeform. There's more too it but includes spoilers.

    With that synopsis aside, here's the real synopsis. The movie sucks. I get I like movies and want to watch as many as I can, but this kind of movie makes me question what I'm actually doing with my life. Even Keanu Reeves sucks in this movie. I get it's Keanu Reeves but you know he can do better. It's not just Keanu. The entire cast sucks. Maybe it's half the actors' fault half the script's fault. Maybe it's moreso to one of those two, but it's something. The script doe's suck though.

    "What if something horrible goes bad."

    A character actually says that. It's not even the worst line. Let's talk about the plot though. The entire first half of revolves around a certain incident that wouldn't have happened if Keanu Reeves' character wasn't both an idiot and an a-hole. Then the second half decides to try and pull a surprise on us but just ends up making no sense at all. Bleh.

    Let's see, what else can I complain about... Oh yeah there's a terrible CGI robot. Like I'm talking worse than Attack of the Clones CGI. You think having a robot might make the movie more interesting at least... yeah no. Oh also the editing is very sloppy. If you have a good shot of someone from a certain angle then there's no need to cut shots every five seconds for the same angle just slightly moved. There's also some really bad shots in this movie. When people are having some dialogue for the love of God don't shove the camera up right in their face.

    Y'know what I'm so irritated by this movie I'm even doing a spoiler section. Though I don't see why anyone would have seen the movie in the first place.

    So Keanu Reeve's character gets in a car crash. I'm talking, pouring rain, clearly hard to see, terrible car camera work btw. His wife says "Oh I can't see anything, we should pull over." Transport truck nearly sends them off the road a second later. "Oh man that was close." HE PROCEEDS TO NOT PULL OVER AFTER NEARLY BEING HIT BY A TRANSPORT TRUCK IN THE POURING RAIN. Yeah what do you think happens? A tree falls on his car and he flies off the road into a pond. His ENTIRE family dies except him. That's his wife, his two daughters, and his son.

    This is normally the super tragic moment when you want to have the character express something. Show grief, loss, anything. It's a very important thing to nail when you're implementing it into a movie. In this movie, Keanu Reeves carries the bodies out of the car, and calls his friend from work. Not 911, his friend from work. Who proceeds to steal equipment from work to help Keanu clone three of his dead family members. Y'know, because of plot convenience he can only bring back three not four. "Oh how does a parent pick favourites among their children?" you ask. Throw their names into a bowl and hope one doesn't have bad luck.

    I just want to establish that this movie clones an entire human body, and transfers the memories of the original humans into the replicas, but outside of this company Keanu works for the world seems like it's still in 2019. No technological advancements other than idk cloning humans? At least they're still using the iPhone 8. Glad that didn't go outdated. Anyway here's the major plot twist...

    Keanu's boss orchestrated it all. Well, okay, not all of it. He only came into the picture after the crash, so at least the movie didn't plot hole that badly. It just means everyone in this movie is either a replica or an a-hole. Including Keanu's seemingly long time friend who ratted him and his replicated family out to the obviously evil boss dude who wants to kill the family. He doesn't end up killing the family so don't worry. He does kill the work friend, and Keanu does grieve for the work friend that ratted him and his family out.

    Let's just make everyone's life easier and forget this movie exists. Please. Just don't watch it. There are so many better movies out there. This one is so bad it makes me want to watch an Adam Sandler movie. This is definitely the worst movie I've seen all year, and so I give it a 1/10. The only reason it gets that '1' is because of Keanu. Even though he was bad in this movie, he's still Keanu Reeves,
    Nickblockmaster likes this.
  12. Some fantastic news. I've scored tickets to the Toronto International Film Festival! This means you can expect reviews for the following movies around the tail end of TIFF:

    -Marriage Story
    -Just Mercy
    -Ford v Ferrari
    -The Report
    -Uncut Gems

    And if I get lucky with box office tickets at location, I could add either Joker and/or Jojo Rabbit.

    And and, at the moment I have Marriage Story as my prediction for Best Picture winner at the upcoming Oscars in February. It's most likely too early to tell, but based off it's Venice Film Festival reactions, Marriage Story is one to look out for! It'll be available on Netflix December 6th, 2019.
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  13. Time for a new release! What is that release? OH it's 'It: Chapter 2', and I saw it, so here's my review.

    Twenty seven years after the events of It, the Losers Club gets back together to take on the creature (Pennywise) once and for all. Yeah synopsis amirite!

    Let's get the best part out of the way. That being the cast. Every single person is amazing in this movie. Especially Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader. When this movie premiered, all the early reactions were saying Bill Hader was the stand-out star of the film. While he definitely is great in the movie, for me the stand-out star is James McAvoy. I mean he's great in everything, so it's not surprising, but he's a British actor who has to do a convincing American accent, while also putting on a stutter, and delivering emotionally impactful scenes. Wow is he ever good.

    As far as Pennywise himself goes, Bill Skarsgård does as good as he did in the first film. The character of Pennywise doesn't feel like he's in the movie as much as you might expect, but maybe that's just due to the 2 hours and 25 minute run-time. I didn't mind that he wasn't in it as much though. It gave more time to explore and develop the main characters, while also making the times Pennywise does show up so much more effective.

    That's all I can really say is great though. Let's talk about that 2 hour 45 minute run-time real quick. It isn't an unbearable run-time, but it's definitely longer than I feel it needed to be. I'm very particular about how much time a movie or TV show warrants. It's the entire reason I prefer miniseries over TV shows. Give me a five episode miniseries like Chernobyl over a twenty three episode show stuffed with filler content. If you have a story, use as much time as you need to tell it, but don't feel like you need to use more. Now obviously It: Chapter 2 is an adaption of a book, so I'm sure some of the unnecessary parts of the film were in the book and just brought to the big screen. For fans of the book that are glad to see it there, congrats. For movie realists that know book to movie adaptions need to change things in order to make stories work as movies, you will see problems with the film.

    There are things that happen in the movie that have absolutely no consequence on the story at all. These things could have easily been cut out to shorten the movie. There are other things that are set up for what seems like will be a significant part of the film, then the movie never touches on them again. It makes me feel like the long run-time could have been valued better if they had ignored the parts with no consequences and spent that time with the things they set up instead.

    As far as the story goes, the first act was great in my opinion. It did what it needed to, set up what it needed to, and was just enjoyable. Then act two hits and it suddenly isn't so great. I never imagined It would have MacGuffins, but then again I've never read the book. The way they handle it though, without actually saying how they handle it, just feels so choppy and out of place. Certain sequences are cool, just put together so poorly. The final act does improve thankfully, but it also raises a bunch of questions that a concluding film shouldn't do. I almost want to call them plot holes, but I'm not that harsh.

    One of the biggest problems I had with the first movie was the character of Mike (played by Chosen Jacobs). It wasn't that his character was bad, nor the acting, it was that he wasn't explored as much as every other character in the Losers Club was. Undeveloped, underutilized, underappreciated, all that if you will. I was really hoping that It: Chapter 2 would do more with his character. Unfortunately I think they underutilized him once again. This time played by Isaiah Mustafa, Mike just feels like he's only there to move the plot forward. That's it. There are at least three moments in this movie (that I can think of) where they give every member of the Losers Club a special moment. A moment, a scene, a line, a whatever that just focuses on their character solely and gives them the time to shine. All three of these excluded Mike. It's shameful to be honest.

    All in all though It: Chapter 2 is definitely an enjoyable watch, and one I can honestly recommend. I feel like Steven King fans will be satisfied with it, I feel like fans of the horror genre will be satisfied with it, and I feel like your every day moviegoer can also be satisfied with it. It isn't always the scariest movie, but it warrants the scares it has, and they are effective. It's got a brilliant ensemble cast, a lot of hilarious jokes and moments, and a surprising amount of emotional moments you actually end up caring about. I'm not going to give It: Chapter 2 a numerical rating just yet though. I feel like I still need time to think over it more. The number doesn't really mean anything though, infer what you will from this long review, and if you're thinking about seeing the movie, see it.
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  14. I just looked up the original on Wikipedia, and it turns out this is not a sequel to the original film adaptation, but rather to the first part of another, much more recent adaptation! I had not realised that. It does make more sense, though (I was surprised by a sequel to a 30 year old film).
    Anyway, nice review. :)
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  15. Ah yes the 2017 adaption. I really enjoyed that movie, especially since I thought it would completely bomb like most other horror remakes/reboots. It would've been hilarious though if It: Chapter 2 was just a sequel to the 1990s miniseries though. Just prank us all XD
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  16. Quadruple movie review time! That means four folk! I watched four movies last night, three Netflix, one not Netflix. So here they are:

    Two friends invent time travel to win a science fair, but when they test it something goes terribly wrong. Produced by Spike Lee. The Spike Lee. The one that gave us BlacKkKlansman last year.

    This movie is a mixed bag for me. There are things I really like, and things I didn't like at all. To start out with something I did like, the performances. The two leads of the film are fantastic, especially Eden Duncan-Smith. There are things in this movie that require her to portray a certain level of emotion, and she is able to do that excellently. Which actually brings me to a problem I had with the film. For the things that happen, they do not give the characters enough time for emotional scenes. Don't get me wrong, there are emotional scenes, but not as many as I think would be realistic for this situation.

    Realism is another problem and maybe the biggest problem I had with this movie. Specifically around time travel. You have high school students who live in a middle-low class neighbourhood (by the seems of it) who have all this technology and are inventing time travel. Don't buy it at all. It's similar to a problem I had with Replicas actually. There's this super-advanced technology that only one party has, the rest of the world does not match the needed technical advancements.

    Time travel in itself is another really hard subject to nail. This movie handles it the same way Back To The Future handled it. You do something in the past, it changes the future. At this point, we all know that is an extremely flawed way of doing time travel. If something happens in the past that changes the way your past self will handle the future, then did you even choose to go back to the past in the first place, which means did you even change the past which changed the future. Confusing I know, because it doesn't work. Except the movie's story needs it.

    The story in itself is a good part of the film though. It's a sort of civil commentary on police brutality that you'd expect from something that has Spike Lee's name on it. I just wish they focused more on that side of the movie than the time travel part or somehow made the movie work without time travel at all. Although even with some of the scenes that focus on the social commentary side, specifically one scene, I feel they cut to black or cutaway way too soon.

    Overall "See You Yesterday" isn't a terrible movie. It's a short, fun, and emotional watch. It just feels flawed and unfocused. If you want a social commentary movie, watch BlacKkKlansman. If you want a time travel movie, watch Back To The Future. If you want both combined together in a way that takes away from the potential of the movie, here you go.

    Some kids go to a summer camp and an alien invasion happens. Now it's up to the kids to save the world. Distributed by Netflix, directed by McG, starring those kids that got turned down at the "It" auditions.

    Don't watch this movie. There that is my review. That is it. The rest of this is just a rant. Thank you for reading, good day!

    (very very minor spoilers ahead, nothing too major though)
    I don't even know where to start with this movie. Actually let's start where I normally start, the cast. The main kid with red hair isn't good. He just isn't. It's also the script's fault, but he feels like he got into the movie because the director was friends with his dad. Miya Cech who plays the Chinese girl doesn't have a Chinese accent. Which given the fact that at the start of the movie she literally enters America illegally from China where her character spent 13 years growing up, yes she should have an accent. Alessio Scalzotto looks like he should be the most experienced actor here, but he definitely isn't.

    Let's talk about Benjamin Flores Jr.'s character though, easily the best part of the movie. He is completely over the top, but I feel it is the only one that works. The jokes his character tells are the only ones that are legitimately funny. Every other joke is funny because they are bad and they suck. He also gives a lot of pop culture references which is hilarious.

    Back to the character of ZhenZhen, because I can't rant about her enough. Somehow we're supposed to believe a 13-year-old girl from China, who was unwanted by her parents because they wanted a boy, is able to: Speak fluent English without an accent, sneak into a foreign country, know all the tactics needed perfectly, drive a car like she's from the Fast & Furious franchise, and do whatever else the story requires her to do. No. Just no. Stop it.

    Then there's the character of... I don't know if he even got a name in the movie. Alessio Scalzotto's character. The tallest one in the poster. He just randomly shows up at one point. Completely out of nowhere. Suddenly he's in with the gang. My biggest question about him throughout the entire movie was "why is he even here?" Sort of answered at one point, but not well enough at all.

    So, our main four characters are a collection of different ethnicities. It would seem at face value that this movie is trying to be socially inclusive until you realize every character with the exception of the white kid is a stereotype of their ethnicity. Sigh. Also one of the park supervisors calls ZhenZhen, the Chinese girl, Jackie Chan. Seriously. As if racist park supervisors weren't bad enough, they're also completely irresponsible.

    I mean this movie checks off all the boxes. A ton of dues ex machinas, a ton of cliche "character has to do this because they were afraid of it before" moments, a bunch of "oh you did this before, now this will happen later as a consequence". You know at some points the CGI wasn't too bad for a Netflix movie, but at other times it was terrible.

    Actually there is an alien in this movie. For some reason this movie only wants one alien to be on the ground during this alien invasion. You know, rather than having multiple aliens during a literal alien invasion, let's just have one alien that can heal and break the laws of logic. So stupid.

    You know at one point this movie actually becomes a full-on Adidas commercial. "Oh, the alien can smell our clothes that is how it must track us, how do we ever stop this?" Producers are like: "Product placement!" Sure enough, they enter a mall and you wouldn't be a fool for thinking an Adidas commercial came on in the middle of the movie you were trying to hard not to believe was real.

    Despite the fact that this is movie stars children, this movie is not for children. Keep in mind these kids are 13 years of age. An alien... and this is going to be really weird to type out... an alien sexually assaults a kid by forcing the kid to do an oral act. Or at least that's what the movie implies it is. SERIOUSLY WTF WERE YOU THINKING WHILE MAKING THIS MOVIE?!

    Oh, also there's an entire conversation/debate about which kid will sleep with ZhenZhen (the Chinese girl) when they're bunkering down in a house for the night. Yes. The 13-year-olds have a debate about who will sleep with the 13-year-old female. Yes, what you fear is implied by the film and characters. Not to mention the entire world is getting destroyed by aliens and the only people who can stop the invasion are debating who gets to sleep with the girl.

    The script is also hilarious. Not in a good way though. It's either trying to be serious and it's so bad it's funny. Or it's trying to be funny and it's so bad it's funny in an embarrassing way for whoever wrote it. There is a line that ZhenZhen says in the movie that is supposed to be serious and emotional, but I was just dying with laughter. Honestly watch this movie because it is so hilariously bad.

    I'm trying to think if I forgot anything about this movie, that way I can rant about it then literally forget about this movie. I think that covers the main stuff though. This movie is stupid. It just is. The only reason I don't think it's the worst of the year so far is that you can laugh at how bad it is. So if you want a laughably bad movie, watch this.

    I don't know why I watched this. You won't know why you watched this.

    This movie is a sequel to that 2017 movie called "A Dog's Purpose". Just so everyone who doesn't know now knows. Although, to be honest, I don't think you need to have seen the first movie to watch this one. Especially since this one is better, just not by much.

    Here is my message to average moviegoers responsible for the 92% audience rating this movie has on Rotten Tomatoes: A cute dog does not make an entire movie good. Just because the movie kills the dog does not make the movie emotionally powerful (no that isn't a spoiler. It's the literal concept of both the first and second films). Okay, it is slightly sad when the dog dies in these movies... but still.

    You know for a movie that revolves around a dog, I actually think the dog is the worst part of the movie. It's narrated by the dog, which just means the entire movie is either cringy dog jokes/impersonations or dog exposition. Yes, the dogs are cute, but no it's still the worst part of the movie.

    There's a story going on the human characters that I would've liked the movie to focus more on. Now I feel like I'm reviewing a Godzilla movie and saying "We need less Godzilla more humans". Thanks dog, now I'm the villain. Honestly, though the human side of the movie does have some flaws, I did find it more interesting than the dog's side of the movie.

    The biggest flaw with the human side of the movie is the human characters, Everyone who doesn't own a dog is pretty much a despicable human being. Which in turn means they're not believable at all. If the movie spent less time focusing on the dog, maybe they could have focused more on the characters.

    All performances are good though. I mean with a movie called "A Dog's Journey" you'd think it to be a straight to DVD release with a super cheap cast, but no. There are some really good performances. The main girl, her mother, and her grandparents are all done well.

    It just feels so wrong to say I consider the dog the weakest part of the movie. I am saying that though. So deal with it.
    Nickblockmaster and Stnywitness like this.
  17. Review: The Haunting of Sharon Tate
    Grade: 0/10 - Cinematic Failure

    On August 9th, 1969, Hollywood changed forever. Three followers of Charles Manson (part of his ‘Family’) broke into the home of actress Sharon Tate and director Roman Polanski. Roman was away working on a script, but eight-month pregnant Sharon was at the house that night. She has just returned from dinner with three friends who were keeping her company during Roman’s leave. Then the terrible happened. The Manson followers shot the groundskeeper and proceeded to the house where they murdered everyone. The pregnant actress had been stabbed 16 times. Cut to 50 years later and now “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” exists.

    This film is a disgrace. An absolute embarrassment to the industry. Something everyone that worked on it should be ashamed of. An abomination of disrespect for the victims. A distasteful, pointless mess that exists purely to exploit the victims, the tragedy, and the audience. If all that wasn’t enough to tear this disturbing piece of cinema apart, it also doesn’t help that the movie is just as bad as its concept.

    Sharon Tate is played by Hillary Duff who gives a bland-at-best performance. You wouldn’t be mistaken to think there might be some potential for an okay performance, that possible potential is just all covered up by the terrible directing and writing. It leaves the film with an unenthusiastic mess of a performance for its lead character. A character that even fails to be a character. The character of Sharon Tate in this film simply feels like a plot device to create sympathy and anxiety from the audience for the victims you know will eventually meet their end. This is an absolute abuse of historical events that results in the audience feeling sympathy for the real victims rather than the ones in this narrative.

    This same criticism goes for every other character in the film as well. Bad performances all around, especially with the Manson Family members. Bad characters all around as they seem to just be a cardboard cutout of a human being with a real victim’s name painted on it. If there’s any redeeming quality of the characters, they don’t hide their issues with Polanski.

    The Haunting of Sharon Tate is an ambitious movie. Too ambitious for its own good. The movie opens with the Edgar Allan Poe quotation “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” Despite the fact that Edgar Allan Poe is rolling over in this grave right now, at least the film lets you know right away that it’s in far over its head. Throughout the film Sharon Tate asks constantly about fate and destiny and whether we are “enslaved to our own destiny.'' She questions whether the future is already planned and can’t be changed. Interesting topic. Doesn’t fit in the film. Every time she brings up the question of fate the movie feels reaches its most unnatural feeling points. It just isn’t believable that she would have any concern or fascination with fate, even with the ironical scene for scene nightmares she has of her murder. The ambition of the film is pure of cringe and just feels wrong to watch. The entire movie feels wrong to watch.

    Earlier on in the film, Sharon Tate experiences a nightmare-like sequence. During that sequence, you see the film’s recreation of the events that took place on August 9th. Yes, the Tate murders, recreated, on your screen. At least five people were brutally murdered and the director had the audacity to exploit that fact for cheap thrills and suspense that really only ends up being an utter shame. Showing this scene early on then takes away any care you have when the real night of August 9th comes along. You’ve seen it. It was horrendous to watch, but you’ve already seen the pregnant actress get murdered in the nightmare sequence.

    This isn’t even the only nightmare sequence. There are more and more, and they make less and less sense as they go along. The nightmare sequences become so obnoxiously a part of the movie that it becomes hard to tell whether Sharon Tate is awake or asleep, and not in a good Inception way, in a flawed narrative way. The nightmare sequences add most of the horror elements of the film but just feel like a way to jack up the runtime past 90 minutes. Without the nightmare sequences, you have a short, bland, and disrespectful re-telling of the last few days prior to Sharon Tate’s murder. It’s really just a boring break-in thriller that has fewer thrills than Finding Nemo. Only this one has real history as its catch.

    Beyond the concept, beyond the acting, and beyond the story, the movie still is complete trash. The editing is so deterring and amateur feeling. Scenes flow poorly as they cut to different shots every half second. Also the cut from close up to slightly-closer up, oh the dreaded slightly-closer up. Sure enough, the movie is edited by a first-time editor, and hopefully a last time editor. Then there’s the cinematography. Whoever did the camera work couldn’t hold a camera still for the life of him. From obnoxious close-ups where they don’t fit, to extremely shaky camera work at times, to just disgusting looking shots that somehow made it into the final cut, what happened? Honestly, what happened? The biggest technical flaw is the studio for greenlighting this.

    Debra Tate, the younger sister of Sharon Tate, had some thoughts on the movies portrayal of her sister’s murder. Debra called the movie “extremely hurtful and hateful” and that it was “exploitative and socially irresponsible.” Debra has been working hard to keep Sharon’s memory alive and the murderers in prison. She has stated that even on the 50th anniversary of her sister’s murder, she still gets people knocking on her door saying Manson sent them. What these people are doing to Debra Tate is socially unacceptable. What this movie has done to Sharon Tate’s legacy should also be socially unacceptable.

    The Haunting of Sharon Tate is a low point for filmmaking. With all hope, this movie should get pushed under the rug and forgotten as Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” does the events with more respect (yes, Debra Tate is okay with Tarantino’s take). For The Haunting of Sharon Tate however, it is a despicable disgrace of a film that exploits the victims for the sake of a disturbing and tasteless horror film. Don’t watch it. Never watch it. Watching this movie hurts the victims more than it entertains anyone, and we the audience should not support this embarrassment of filmmaking.
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  18. TIFF - Marriage Story (10/10)
    Marriage Story is everything it has been hyped up to be. A beautiful passion project from Noah Baumbach that explores a topic everyone can resonate with in some way.
    Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson are a powerhouse as they fit their characters perfectly and give a performance to remember. The entire supporting cast is also just as perfect, from Laura Dern, to Ray Liotta, to Azhy Robertson.
    Marriage Story can be very funny, very heartwarming, and very serious. Baumbach is able to balance all of these perfectly as a funny scene can become a serious one seamlessly. Alongside this, there are a lot of subtleties that make the movie that much better. Things such as the framing of the couple as they go through their complications. The ones you pick up on might change depending on how you can relate to the film.
    If you're looking for an enjoyable watch or a heartfelt watch, a comedy or a drama, a best actor or a best actress, watch Marriage Story. It hits American theatres November 6th and Netflix December 6th. Don't miss out on this experience.

    TIFF - Clemency (9/10)
    Clemency is a powerful film that balances social commentary and strong characters while dealing with a highly controversial topic. Rather than just picking sides and becoming political propaganda, Clemency shows a very gritty and realistic telling of the affect death row has on the inmates, families, and prison staff especially.
    The cast is amazing and everyone gets their moment, but Alfre Woodard is the absolute standout. She delivers scenes with perfection and makes you feel a certain sympathy for her character, no matter your opinion on the topic at hand. In a sense, every character is looking for clemency.
    Unfortunately, this feels like a film that will fly under the radar and miss the recognition it deserves. If you get the chance to see Clemency, take that chance. It isn't a cheerful or joyful film, but it is a heavy film with a deep meaning that is surely worth watching.
    Nickblockmaster likes this.
  19. TIFF - Just Mercy (8/10)
    Just Mercy tells an important story of racial injustice and prejudice in the American legal system through the case of Walter McMillian, a black man falsely put on death row for a murder he didn't commit.
    The film is lead by Michael B. Jordan who gives a great performance as usual, and supported by Brie Larson (who is also great as usual) and Jamie Foxx. Foxx is easily the standout of the film, delivering all the emotions and character to make the film feel frustratingly real.
    As the film does deal with court cases it is not surprising there is a lot of time that passes throughout the span of its runtime. This can make certain moments feel like you missed something, which doesn't help the fact Just Mercy is a standard by-the-books (literally) biopic that does the formula well, but doesn't innovate too much. However, it is definitely worth the watch.

    TIFF - Ford v. Ferrari (9/10)
    Exhilarating, thrilling, and fast, Ford v. Ferrari is a must see fall movie whether you care or don't care about racing. Its hard to set out which part of the movie was the standout. Christian Bale continues to prove himself as the best actor in the business. Matt Damon, John Bernthal, and the rest of the cast all give great performances. The racing is brilliantly shot and edited to perfection. All this results in a thrilling experience every time a character gets in a car.
    No movie is flawless though, and Ford v. Ferrari is not an exception. The two hour and thirty two minute movie keeps you entertained, but hosts one or two scenes that feel unnecessary. There is also a stereotypical cookie-cutter "corporate bad guy" character that reminds you it's only a movie every time he gets on screen. Even with these minor nitpicks, don't miss out on Ford v. Ferrari.

    TIFF - Knives Out (10/10)
    If Knives Out isn't the most fun I've had watching a movie all year, I don't know what is or could be. This mystery-comedy is so damn hilarious, intense, captivating, and smart that you'll forgive whatever beef you may or may not have had with Rian Johnson over 'The Last Jedi'.
    Daniel Craig is the standout of an already standout cast, delivering an immensely funny performance for what might just be my favourite movie detective character of all time. Every single other actor is this amazing ensemble is great as well, and every single character feels like they get a moment to shine.
    The best parts about this murder mystery film though: it surprises you, it is extremely smart with its surprises, and those smart surprises are done without creating any plot holes (at least none noticed on first showing at a film festival). Knives Out is going to be an enjoyable watch for everyone, and a movie that should hopefully live on forever.
    Nickblockmaster likes this.
  20. TIFF - Uncut Gems (8/10)
    I don't like Adam Sandler. I've never been a fan of Adam Sandler. Is it that wrong to not like Adam Sandler? Now he's in a critically acclaimed film festival movie that's reaching for the awards season... and he's damn good. In fact, the movie is so extremely loud it feels made for Adam Sandler.
    Uncut Gems is a super high tension scream-fest that manages to be thrilling, interesting, and original (in an odd way). If you can get used to the intensity and volume of this film, Uncut Gems is an anxiety-filled treat with a beautiful score.

    TIFF Afterthoughts
    It was super fun going to the Toronto International Film Festival and experiencing everything there. The movies were amazing and super fun, but that was only the tip of the iceberg. They call TIFF the friendliest festival and after meeting some of the (over 3,000) volunteers, I can 100% say it is. Everyone was awesome and super helpful. They talked with us during rush lines and helped answer any questions we had. Then there's the in-theatre experience, which is amazing. You got a ton of people in these beautiful theatres and everyone loves movies. When a commercial plays showcasing Canadian filmmaking, everyone claps. When there's a joke in a movie, people laugh. When there's a burn in a movie, people go "oooh". When there's a victory in a movie, people clap. It was so amazing. The people's choice award went to 'Jojo Rabbit'. I really wanted to go and see this, and I really tried. Tickets sold out too quickly, and after three hours in a rush line only three made it in. So happy for everyone that worked on that movie though and can't wait to see it October 18th!
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