O@tM: Various Mediocre Flicks

10 – 20 years ago none of the movies featured in today’s roundhouse kick would’ve seen the light of day in any serious movie critic’s resumé. Fortunately I’m not a serious critic but just your unfriendly neighbourhood blogbish. So here comes a collection of movies I’ve recently watched but didn’t find worthy of giving them independent reviews.

Let’s dive right into it, shall we?

ShaunTheSheepPoster
Whom was this made for?

When an alien with amazing powers crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun the Sheep goes on a mission to shepherd the intergalactic visitor home before a sinister organization can capture her.

IMDb: 6.9

A premise as simple as that, seen on screen a thousand times. No spoken dialogue, no deeper secrets or anything to unearth from this movie. No surprises. Must’ve been made for pre-teens, right? Only we know that Aardman Animation are absolutely capable of making movies for a more mature audience. The Wallace and Gromit movies set an example in Aardman’s early years. Unfortunately with Shaun and his flock we’ve sunken to an intellectual low. I didn’t particularly like the last Shaun movie, and this one wasn’t better.

But it wasn’t all that bad. Aardman movies are always entertaining with their fine, lighhearted humour and the lovingly animated stop-motion claymation. They have heart, as some other critic found out. And that is true.

Naive, cheesy, oldfashioned, it oozes charme!

 

 

 




 

 

 

BadBoysfoLifePoster
The buddy genre never gets old, the actors on the other hand …

Marcus and Mike have to confront new issues (career changes and midlife crises), as they join the newly created elite team AMMO of the Miami police department to take down the ruthless Armando Armas, the vicious leader of a Miami drug cartel.

IMDb: 6.9

As always the plot don’t matter in Bad Boys movies. Neither do the baddies or the other cops. What counts here is the chemistry between Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. And of course Bayhem galore! And nothing else.

What worked just fine in the first Bad Boys of 1995, worked much less so in the second iteration, so cratively named Bad Boys II. It came out in 2003, usually much too late to create a franchise from an ok-ish first movie. Thanks again to the duo Smith Lawrence and Michael Bay’s over the top in-ya-face direction, the second one also did well at the box office I guess.

In 2020, with even more time gone by since the second flick, and Michael Bay not at the helm anymore, Bad Boys for life had not much going for it. Plot still doesn’t matter, drama is fresh out of a screenwriter’s college, action and direction is very pedestrian … only Smith and Lawrence are still top notch in their roles. Not that any other actor couldn’t achieve the same – this was never sposed to be a Oscar’s contender – but the chemistry between our two old men is still there.

And that’s the only thing that saves a movie that feels even older than its protagonists.

 

 

 




 

 

 

DarkWatersPoster
Zzzzzz … snore …

A corporate defense attorney takes on an environmental lawsuit against a chemical company that exposes a lengthy history of pollution.

IMDb: 7.4

Awww, it’s one of those movies again, ya? Based on a true story, a much too long dragging story btw., bad screenplay, average direction, exciting like an old sports shoe. If there was ever anything exciting going on in real life, the movie doesn’t show it to us. It doesn’t even do agood job as a courtroom drama.

Absolutely forgettable flick. :/

If there wasn’t Mark Ruffalo. Absolutely adorbs how he isn’t afraid to embody the pretty unattractive middle-aged, slightly overweight lawyer. And he doesn’t even chew the scenery, he owns that man. Pure and simple. Even Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins and Bill Pullman stay pale in comparison.

The pretty high IMDb rating has probaby political reasons because Dark Waters gives the little man the good feeling of winning vicariously against a big pharmaceutical evil corporation. But the ending was quite unsatisfactory as well. 3M payed some moneys out to the survivors, whoopdedoo! I don’t think it changed anything on the political scale, 3M does their shit just in other countries now. And they’ll always have enough spare money to pay for a couple of innocent victims. 😦

 

 




 

 

 

Frozen2Poster
Frozen ideas :/

Having harnessed her ever-growing power after lifting the dreadful curse of the eternal winter in Frozen (2013), the beautiful conjurer of snow and ice, Queen Elsa, now rules the peaceful kingdom of Arendelle, enjoying a happy life with her sister, Princess Anna. However, a melodious voice that only Elsa can hear keeps her awake, inviting her to the mystical enchanted forest that the sisters’ father told them a long time ago. Now, unable to block the thrilling call of the secret siren, Elsa–along with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven–summons up the courage to follow the voice into the unknown, intent on finding answers in the perpetually misty realm in the woods. More and more, an inexplicable imbalance is hurting not only her kingdom but also the neighbouring tribe of Northuldra. Can Queen Elsa put her legendary magical skills to good use to restore peace and stability?

IMDb: 7.0

And again we have a case of not being fast enough. After the roaring success of the original Frozen, they just took too long and are now just trying to milk a dead cow. So Frozen II turned out exactly as feared: A handful of warmed up ideas that were quite charming in 2013 but are old and busted now. Even Olav, the funny snowman’s crazy sidekick’s antics appeared quite tired and listless. Where the first one had us in stitches, this time we couldn’t hardly find a reason to smile.

And the songs were quite forgettable as well. No second “Let it Go” in Frozen II. 😐

Too much time was spent with boring dialogues, not nearly enough time with the hero’s journey. A lame B-movie that tried to relive the first one – and failed badly in all aspects.

 

 




 

 

 

JumanjiNextLevelPoster
Better than the first one, not as good as the last.

The gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. The players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape the world’s most dangerous game.

IMDb: 6.7

Same problems as with Frozen II. People of Hollywood: If you don’t have any really cool movie ideas – how about not making a movie? Isn’t that alternative still better than sinking multimegamillion woolongs into shitshows that won’t even make their investment back?

Fortunately – and contrary to Frozen II – Jumanji Next Level was decent entertainment and still had enough fresh ideas to keep us awake. Could have been so much worse, but could also have been much better.

 

 




 

 

 

SWRisePoster
The wurst of the wurst!

While the First Order continues to ravage the galaxy, Rey finalizes her training as a Jedi. But danger suddenly rises from the ashes as the evil Emperor Palpatine mysteriously returns from the dead. While working with Finn and Poe Dameron to fulfill a new mission, Rey will not only face Kylo Ren once more, but she will also finally discover the truth about her parents as well as a deadly secret that could determine her future and the fate of the ultimate final showdown that is to come.

IMD: 6.7

Absolute shitshow!

 

 




 

 

 

GentlemenPoster
Guy Ritchie back in form?

A talented graduate of Oxford, using his unique mind and unprecedented audacity, came up with an illegal enrichment scheme using the estate of an impoverished English aristocracy. However, when he decides to sell his business to an influential clan of billionaires from the United States, no less charming but tough gentlemen stand in his way. An exchange of courtesies is planned, which certainly will not do without shootings and a couple of accidents.

IMDb: 8.0 !!! 😮

Hold your horses, gentlemen! That IMDb rating is much too high!

Yes, I know times are deperate and we’re happy for every slightly above average flick but contrary to common opinion I don’t think that Guy Ritchie is completely back on his best.

That’s not saying The Gentlemen is bad movie, actually far from, but it doesn’t quite reach the entertainment value of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and other Ritchie films from that aera.

What was anarchistic fun in the old movies was seriously toned down for the Gentlemen. Stellar cast who didn’t convey the raw hunger and brutality needed to portray a gangster, a plot that was a bit too clever and elaborate, almost learned, a loot too expensive to pull us into the British crime scene.

No, I’m mot saying the Gentlemen appeared tired and uninvolved, quite the contrary. Hugh Grant gives his best game since long as a modern Michael Caine. And the rest of the cast – a fukn who’s who of British cinema, sprinkled with some Americans – are all giving their best.

It was really the screenplay that I didn’t like. None of the characters was fighting for survival or had to do the crime. It all appeared more like a game … a gentlemen’s game.

Still a good movie, maybe the best of the year. Until now. 😉

 

 

 




 

 

 

GreatWallPoster
Could’ve been great.

When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within the Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of the world. As wave after wave of marauding beasts besiege the massive structure, his quest for fortune turns into a journey toward heroism as he joins a huge army of elite warriors to confront the unimaginable and seemingly unstoppable force.

IMDb: 5.9

Nearly unlimited Chinese production money, Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau, this was supposed to be one of the greatest movies ever!

But it wasn’t. Far from. It was quite the borer, despite having action pretty much all the time and a gigantuam monster army as antagonists. I was really looking forward to popcorn drama deluxe and grand scale battlefield scenes. But it all looked rather amateurishly made and set in scene. Maybe because the Chinese hired one of their own to helm the project? Or money ran out during production? I have no other explanation, really not.

All I know is that The Great Wall was quite boring. Yimou Zhang wasted his stars by not giving them enough dialogue to develop any kind of chemistry. Everybody just said the bare minimum to get thru the film … which couldn’t be said for me. I needed two tries to get thru the modest runtime of 103 minutes (at least 10 mins of end titles). That’s sensationally short for massive Asian movie productions.

The Great Wall wasn’t a Great Movie. 😦

 

 

 




 

 

 

UnderwaterPoster
“You sweet, flat-chested elven creature.”

A crew of oceanic researchers working for a deep sea drilling company try to get to safety after a mysterious earthquake devastates their deepwater research and drilling facility located at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

An unknown, massive earthquake happens in a drilling station in the bottom of the Mariana Trench. A scientific crew find their way into another station under a dark water, a dangerous of humanoid creatures, and a lack of oxygen.

IMDb: 5.9

Q: What went wrong with this movie?

A: Yes!

Need I say more?  A short glance at the poster already tells us that nobody involved in the production of this shitflick had any idea about what they were doing. Does the poster in any way, shape or form convey “under water” to you? The half portait of a fashionable Hollywood lesbian, famous for being in the yellow press more than in good movies.

And, believe it or not, the flick sinks quickly. After a decent first 5 minutes budget constraints obviously forced the camera operator to mostly show close-ups of faces, and action scenes with lots of cuts and showing actually nothing.

I heard some people applauding young Kristen for appearing in independent movies, which makes her an alternative favourite I guess. I think it’s more because she can’t get any real movie roles. 😐

I don’t know what the filmmakers had in mind, an Alien-like movie under water instead of space most probably. But for that we would have needed stronger characters, a bit more suspense, better acting, better dialogues, better use of the sets, a clearly defined endpoint, and first of all a better “Ripley” than Kristen Stewart could ever give us.

Oh, and the fact that there were 3 years in between wrapping up and publishing of this C-movie catastrophe, should’ve been a clear warning. 😮

 

 

 




 

So, my fraggelz, this was 9 flicks in a row. I’m a really busy bee, no?

I guess I need to prepare some lunch now. Laterz.

And don’t forget to stay healthy and wash your hands!!!

xoxo

 

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