HELLBOY (2019)

Directed By: Neil Marshall
Written by: Andrew Cosby 
Based on the dark horse comic book “HELLBOY” created by: Mike Mignola
Cinematography: Lorenzo Senatore
Editor: Martin Bernfield

Cast: David Harbour, Sasha Lane, Milla Jovovich, Daniel Dae Kim, Ian McShane, Sophie Okonedo, Kristina Klebe, Thomas Haden Church

Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.


This feels like a dumbed-down version of the story. Though might be more In tune with the original comics.

I am not a fan of the first original HELLBOY movie but can say it was more artistic and beautiful then this film. Even if at the time it played as typical as far as the story went. HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY was better nearly a masterpiece in my eyes.

I at least respected it as it felt lacking a strong villain and instead offered an introduction of characters. 

One of the nice things I can say about this film Is at least it’s Violent and it feels more epic than the original that might end because it actually has more Locations then the original. It also jams in so many creatures that it feels stuffed and cross-referenced many times. Though at least while the Guillermo Del toro version of the first film was more mystical and beautiful even if it lacked a compelling story. This one is more Action oriented and full of story and mythology.

Like many would have preferred a sequel with the original filmmakers but the studio decided to try to modernize it instead and reboot it. Unfortunately with the departure of Ron Perlman in the title role and the director/writer Guillermo Del Toro this comes Off as a desperate copy that is never sharp.

Ron Perlman’s portrayal of the title character felt more lived-in and impressive. David Harbour’s performance seems more laid back.

The reason I eventually watched this was to see Sasha Lane’s interpretation of Alice. She adds to the culture and atmosphere of the film

The film definitely feels otherworldly and is best to watch on a big screen.

This film makes you appreciate the original and it’s more practical special effects. As this is CGI overload that does feel more like a comic book. Though without the texture and depth. So that this comes off more commercial.

Director Neil Marshall supposedly had a hard time making the film and the producers took it over after his initial cut. You can tell as the story gets short-sighted for more Action and effects. Leading to it at times being hard to follow or distracted itself.

The film has a strong mystical fantasy story with a bunch of exposition. That makes it feel overstuffed and too long with stretches of little to no excitement.

The performances throughout are spotty. Considering all the people involved in this movie expected it to be a bit better.

I enjoy Milla jovovich as an actress but with her casting, this feels more like another disposable special effect fantasy horror film

She usually appears in and frankly not as inventive. Though she gives one of the better performances. 

This film already had an audience against it as the original al is so memorable and iconic and this reboot coming so soon that it feels like a dumbe down version and even when it was released

it wasn’t heavily advertised as much as movies like this usually are more In theater advertisements then public ones. I didn’t even know it’s Release date until the week before it actually came out 

Though based on original material this feels like an amalgam Of many fantasy tales and movies out there though al the action, special effects, and horror. It still manages to be boring.

It feels like an animated film come to life or amusement park inspired meant to impress a younger audience. But too harsh for them. 

Grade: C-

STARDUST (2007)

Directed By: Matthew Vaughn
Written By: Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman
Based on the Novel By: Neil Gaiman
Cinematography By: Ben Davis
Editor: Jon Harris

Cast: Ben Barnes, Robert Deniro, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Henry Cavill, Mark Strong, Jason Flemyng, Rupert Everett, Peter O’Toole, Ian McKellan, Ricky Gervais

In a countryside town bordering on a magical land, a young man makes a promise to his beloved that he’ll retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the magical realm.


For the grand adventure that the film is. It lacks an epic feel or grandiose locations and sights. Half the time it feels like the surroundings are sets. The film does end up better then you’d imagine though.

The lead Ben Barnes seems to be miscast. He feels weak and in effect unbelievably when he eventually becomes heroic. Especially when all the supporting characters are much richer and entertaining than the lead. Who lacks charisma and never comes close to being dashing. Though they try to make him so. Maybe that was the intention to go against type but it ends up not working at all.

What I really appreciate about the film is it’s macabre sense of humor and a mean streak to go with all this fantasy. While keeping the film fu adds a general sense of danger rather than films like THE PRINCESS BRIDE. Which while funny feels almost childlike and storybook clean. Whereas this film is a storybook and fantasy fairytale but with a bit of an edge. so that the film plays more for teens and adults.

Words like cute and fun come to mind while watching the film. Though it’s not what I would expect a director like Matthew Vaughn to make especially after his debut film LAYER CAKE a gangster film. He went to make this a full-fledged fantasy adaptation which is a wise choice showing he has range. In his talents though so far all of his films are adaptations. He is showing a diverse resume as he hasn’t made a truly bad film yet. So he has shown his talent which I would expect as a former producer of Guy Ritchie films.

The film is a fun little fantasy that you can get lost into the universe of and enjoy yourself. Which is rare these days. At least without it seeming processed and set up to sell toys.

It’s better than I personally thought it would be. The world they live in is never clearly defined. We never get to know the characters some of whom just seem like ideas more than developed characters integral to the story, Almost like distractions to pad out the story and have us not realize how thin the main story is but letting us get caught up in the situations, though the film is quite likable. The film stays within the fantasy limits but also tries to come off as smarter or more winking to the audience then most films of it’s type.

Though disappointingly another fantasy world that lacks minorities. It’s not a huge point but one I’d like to note probably not entirely the filmmaker’s fault but more could try. Minorities are underrepresented or not represented in most Fantasy Sci-Fi leaving you to wonder are they afterthoughts or in these so-called fantasy worlds are they Aryan wonderlands. Sorry to go off on a rant just a point that needed to be expressed.

Terry Gilliam Also almost directed the film which is a perfect example of the right director with the right material, but after directing THE BROTHERS GRIMM he was wiped out creatively. This would have been actually better for him to make.

GRADE: B

PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES (2017)

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Directed By: Joachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg
Written By: Jeff Nathanson
Story By: Jeff Nathanson & Terry Rossio
Based on Characters Created By: Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott, Stuart Beattie & Jay Wolpert Cinematography By: Paul Cameron
Editing By: Roger Barton & Leigh Folsom Boyd 


Cast: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Branton Thwaites, Javier Bardem, Kaya Scodelario, Stephen Graham, Goldshifteh Farahani, Kevin McNally, David Wenham, Martin Kleeba, Angus Barnett 

Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him. Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

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SHAZAM! (2019)

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Directed By: Daryl F. Sandberg
Written By: Henry Gayden
Story By: Darren Lemke & Henry Gayden
Based On Characters Created By: Bill Parker & C.C. Beck
Cinematography: Maxime Alexandre
Editor: Michel Aller 


Cast: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, John Glover, Djimon Hounsou, Jack Dylan Grazer, Faithe Herman, Grace Fulton, Michelle Borth, Megan Good, Adam Brody, D.J. Cotrona, Ross Butler, Cooper Andrews, Marta Milans 


In Philadelphia, Billy Batson is an abandoned child who is proving a nuisance to Child Services and the authorities with his stubborn search for his lost mother. However, in his latest foster home, Billy makes a new friend, Freddy, and finds himself selected by the Wizard Shazam to be his new champion. Now endowed with the ability to instantly become an adult superhero by speaking the wizard’s name, Billy gleefully explores his new powers with Freddy. However, Billy soon learns that he has a deadly enemy, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, who was previously rejected by the wizard and has accepted the power of the Seven Deadly Sins instead. Now pursued by this mad scientist for his own power as well, Billy must face up to the responsibilities of his calling while learning the power of a special magic with his true family that Sivana can never understand.

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BRIGHTBURN (2019)

Brightburn

Directed By: David Yarovesky
Written By: James Gunn & Brian Gunn
Cinematography: Michael Dellatorre
Editor: Andrew S. Eisen & Peter Gvozdas 


Cast: Jackson A. Dunn, Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Meredith Hagner, Matt Jones, Becky Wahlstrom Steve Agee, Emmie Hunter 


What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister? This film seems to be more about the origin of a supevillian by a kind of reverse morals of Superman. That entices the audience and could have been really strong and powerful, but instead goes more as a fantasy horror film.

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THELMA (2017)

Thelma-review

Directed By: Joachim Trier
Written By: Eskil Vogt & Joachim Trier
Cinematography: Jakob Ihre
Editor: Oliver Bugge Coutte 


Cast: Elili Harboe, Kaya Wilkins, Henrik Rafaelsen, Ellen Doritt Petersen, Anders Mossling 


A confused religious girl tries to deny her feelings for a female friend who’s in love with her. This causes her suppressed subconsciously-controlled psychokinetic powers to reemerge with devastating results.

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LIMITLESS (2011)

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Directed By: Neil Burger
Written By: Leslie Dixon
Based on the Novel By: Alan Glynn
Cinematography: Jo Willems
Editor: Tracy Adams & Naomi Geraghty 

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Abbie Cornish, Anna Friel, Johnny Whitworth, Ned Eisenberg, Robert John Burke, T.V. Capiro 


With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access one hundred percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.

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TALE OF TALES (2016)

taleoftales

Directed By: Matteo Garrone
Written By: Matteo Garrone, Edoardo Albinati, Ugo Chiti & Massimo Gaudioso
Based On The Book By: Giambatista Basile
Cinematography By: Peter Suschitzky
Editor: Marco Spoletini 


Cast: Salma Hayek, John C. Reilly, Stacy Martin, Vincent Cassel, Shirley Henderson, Toby Jones, Hayley Carmichael, Jessie Cave

From the bitter quest of the Queen of Longtrellis, to two mysterious sisters who provoke the passion of a king, to the King of Highhills obsessed with a giant Flea, these tales are inspired by the fairytales by Giambattista Basile.

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THE CLEANSE (2016)

thecleanse

Written & Directed By: Bobby Miller
Cinematography: Michael Fimognari
Editor: Josh Crockett 


Cast: Johnny Gaelecki, Anna Friel, Angelica Huston, Oliver Platt, Kyle Gallner, Diana Bang, Kevin J O’Connor, Loretta Walsh 


A heartbroken man attends a spiritual retreat to cleanse himself and fix his broken life. There he meets a fellow lost soul, and together they discover that “the cleanse” releases more than everyday toxins…a lot more.

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