Rants of a deranged squirrel.

May 2021 Reviews (Without Remorse, Voyagers, Kodachrome, Vanquish, The Marksman, Mortal Kombat, The Yin Yang Master)

[A summary of my movie and TV reviews from last month, posted to Attrition.org, mixed in with other reviews.]

Without Remorse (2021)
Medium: Movie (Amazon)
Rating: 1/5 .. and without value
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
After two months of teasing and waiting, this film was a huge letdown. It seems like it was more of a collection of what Clancy thought were cool scenes strung together, with this boring plot that is based on insipid unrealistic assumptions. This movie also had no actual military consultants on it, or their input was ignored, as various aspects of this SEAL team were absurd and made no sense. I sat through a long overly drawn out scene waiting for it to finish so we could get to the finale, only to realize that was the finale. Round it out with plot holes, serious continuity problems, flat acting, and just an underwhelming everything. This movie is without remorse, without value, and full of regret.

Voyagers (2021)
Medium: Movie (Multiple)
Rating: 1/5 boldly going where everyone has been
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
Lord of the flies. That’s really all you need for this one. If you want a spoiler of sorts; there’s no surprise ending either, the movie really is that simple.

Kodachrome (2017)
Movie (Netflix)
4.5 / 5 the film developed nicely
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
I went into this movie thinking “a different take on As Good As It Gets”, with three people in a car and one of them is a jaded asshole. I left the movie really appreciating how different it was, despite sharing that premise. The great cast certainly helps with that, but the pace, music, and scenery bring it all together. Based on a true story, and knowing exactly how this movie will progress and end even without reading it, the time is worth it to experience the tension between Ed Woods and Jason Sudeikis and see the resolution, no matter how predictable. In short, its worth the drive.

Vanquish (2021)
Medium: Movie (Multiple)
Rating: 2.5/5 Languish is more appropriate
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
Halfway through the movie I had a revelation, that this was a John Woo flick, but it had been upgraded from the usual doves to sea gulls. A movie promising action that basically had a couple pedestrian chases, some gunplay, and attempts to cut serenity with the drama… but directed by George Gallo. With Ruby Rose and Morgan Freeman, you would expect this movie to bring some excitement. Unfortunately, both actors just fell short of the depth and range we’ve seen before. Rose as a badass forced back into her previous life, Freeman as a retired cop living in a 10 million dollar home but not arousing any suspicion, a series of tasks that offered little variety and an ending that was predictable. Potential was squandered, but at least we had a scene with birds.

The Marksman (2021)
Medium: Movie (Multiple)
Rating: 1/5 … it missed the mark, obviously
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
Entirely predictable from the first five minutes, down to specific scenes an hour later. Bad writing means they have to spell out every bit of foreshadowing to the point of being insulting. The few places it isn’t obvious you are just left with a simple guess if it is Cliche1 or Cliche2. All of the acting is flat and pedestrian, including Neeson. I’d write more but really, you’ve probably seen the film in different iterations over Neeson’s career so I bet you can imagine what this one was like. Oh the plot? Who cares.

Mortal Kombat (2021)
Medium: Movie (HBO Max)
Rating: 1/5 get away from me
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
On the off chance you didn’t realize, this movie is a remake of the 1995 movie which is an adaptation of a video game, made in 1992. The movie is a shallow absurd plot, because it is based on a video game without a plot, just updated with 2021 CGI. Even then the fight scenes are largely boring, the acting pedestrian, and no part of this movie is really compelling. I’ll take the rest of this review to point out how pathetic the movie studios are in that they pass over thousands of scripts from talented writers and instead, shove a remake of a remake down our throats and over-hype it. These same studios are wondering why movies are struggling in general, losing out to other forms of online content. Gee, that’s a head-scratcher.

The Yin Yang Master (2021)
Medium: Movie (Netflix)
Rating: 4.5 / 5 It’s pretty and fun
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
First, this review is for The Yin Yang Master not The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity, both of which are on Netflix (more info on the difference), which gets more confusing as Netflix calls it The Yin Yang Master while Wikipedia calls it The Yinyang Master. This is the story of three realms; that of humans, spirits, and demons. The scenery and artistic visions of each realm are beautiful making it a visually stunning movie. While there are spells and swordplay, the movie isn’t dominated by that which lends itself to character development and storytelling. The familiars in the spirit world are a tad on the cheezy side as far as graphics, but they are a lot of fun. Except that they keep calling them “the ferrets” when they look more like raccoons. Otherwise, the movie keeps at a good pace and is great to unwind to if you want to enjoy a simple story that looks great on screen.

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