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The Darkest Minds (2018)

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This is not about politics.
It’s about your children.
This is about our children.
We will find a cure and we will save our precious sons and daughters.

If you want to form a sentence with the words “monotony”, “mediocrity”, “clichéd sameness” and “corny”, you can do that without any problems along with the movie title “The Darkest Minds“. Well, I’m getting sick of the concept of dystopian teen films. Even though they mixed it this time with a kind of “X-men” mood. Apart from some crackling electrical flashes, a storm with trees crashing down and flying containers, there’s not much more to see here. And don’t expect impressive special effects either.

Actually, I already had the feeling while watching “The 5th Wave” that after the successful franchises of “Divergent” and “The Hunger Games” we would be flooded with weak duplicates of this genre for years. Duplicates of which they hoped it could be the start of again some successful sequels. However, I’m afraid this is yet again another feeble attempt that will fail. Simply because “The Darkest Minds” is really embarrassingly bad.

Watch out for the orange and red ones.

This time it’s not a devastating war or an alien invasion that makes our planet a place where survival is priority number one. No, it’s a sudden emerging disease (Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration) that actually kills about 95% of young people. I suppose this is a kind of childhood disease of a higher level. And those who survive suddenly have supernatural powers.

They are locked up straight away in youth camps by the adult world. Allegedly to examine them and to find a cure. Ultimately it’s because these adults, like with the X-men, are afraid of mutants and secondly because they are afraid to lose power. There, on the basis of their acquired powers, those kids are divided into groups. Each with a specific color, whereby those from the orange and red camp are considered to be the most dangerous. In other words, persons who’re allocated to these two groups, simply are going to be eliminated. Likewise, the lovely girl Ruby (Amandla Stenberg) who appears to be part of the orange team after being tested.

It’s kind of predictable.

For the umpteenth time, we see how moronic and stupid adults are portrayed in these kinds of films. Orange means that a person has the ability to manipulate someone else’s thoughts. You don’t need to be an Einstein to know how Ruby manages to save herself from this life-threatening situation. The moment Ruby escapes from this concentration camp and joins a group of teenagers, you can get ready for the most sugar-coated and predictable storyline ever.

Let’s meet “The slip kid”.

The group of teenagers, consisting of Liam (Harris Dickinson), Chubs (Skylan Brooks) and Zu (Miya Cech), are looking for a kind of youth camp where children are safe. It’s led by a legendary figure with the name “The Slip Kid “. And before you know it, love is in the air and Ruby finds the ultimate hint to find out where the camp is located. And finally, there’s also a mandatory plot twist. Only viewers who have fallen asleep above their popcorn, haven’t seen that one coming. The only thing I could appreciate was the end. I can’t say it was really original. But it’s kind of daring. But I came real quick to my senses when I realized that sequels with similar nonsense are likely to be released in the future.

Uninspired and mediocre.

To be honest, you can’t blame the film studios to release such films. After all, the profit is the most important thing for them. And when a specific genre is already a hype for a number of years, you have to continue with it until the subject has been completely milked dry. And as long as the theaters fill up with teenage girls (With helmets on because they run into walls while being constantly focused on their smartphones) who dream away while watching a film full of female heroism and who swoon when looking at a handsome Boyband-like wuss, the studios continue to produce these type of movies.

Till one day when those youngster themselves exclaim in disgust (the age of reason probably) that they’ve had enough. And despite the political correctness in this film and the moral of equality (an “It doesn’t matter what color you are”-like message), it still remains mediocre crap with superheroes in it. So even though colors play an important role in “The Darkest Minds“, it’s just a colorless (and also uninspired) teenage film.

My rating 2/10
Links: IMDB

Comic Book Movies

Joaquin Phoenix Stares Into Your Soul As The Joker Via “il venerdì di repubblica” Cover

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“Cinematic achievement on a high level.”

Director Todd Phillips has gone on the record stating, his film is going to piss off hardcore comic book fans. The upcoming ‘Joker’ movie will not follow any comic book plot lines or continuity for the villain, and will in fact be its very own stand alone film. With that being said, the movie is already garnering praise from select audiences. Cameron Bailey, co-head and artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival, went on record with Toronto Sun, hailing the film as “Cinematic achievement on a high level.” Bailey continued on, saying:

“First of all it’s terrific. So it should play on our largest stage. But it’s a really original take on comic book movies and on the Joker character in particular. It’s not based on an existing story, it has one of the greatest actors in modern cinema, Joaquin Phoenix, in the lead, and Robert De Niro is in it as well, one of the best actors that has ever lived.”

Bailey, also went on to say, the film is “Very cinematic,” for a low budget feature.

“Has an interesting tone and approach to it. It’s set in the late ’70s, early ’80s and it feels like it was made then. It’s gritty in its look, it has references to Martin Scorsese’s filmmaking and it feels like a cinematic achievement on a high level. Although it’s working with very populist material, it has great ambition. That’s why it’s a Gala.”

Check out the newest ‘Joker’ magazine cover via il venerdì di repubblica.

‘Joker’ hits theaters October 4, 2019

 

 

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Brightburn – This Superhero Parody Peppered With SF And Horror Elements Is Simply Sublime

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Take.. The.. World.
Take the world.

Superhero-movie-haters unite. Run to a nearby movie theater to see this movie. Because “Brightburn” is the ultimate anti-superhero-film of all time. The moment I realized which direction it was going, I cursed myself because after seeing “Avengers: Endgame” I’d decided to have a little sabbatical. I was going to avoid movies with characters in tightly fitting latex suits and superhuman powers. But as it became clear that it wasn’t what I expected, my enthusiasm grew all the more. My enthusiasm for films such as “Deadpool” and “Ant-Man” (because of a touch of whimsy and the originality) was effortlessly overtaken by this highly original anti-superhero film. And if one also mixes the superhero genre (of which they are continuously producing sequels and prequels) with my all-time favorite genre horror, it simply can’t go wrong. I am indeed enthusiastic, yes. Extremely enthusiastic!

 

Brightburn

 

Is it a plane? A bird? Is it Superman? Uh, nope.

It all starts as a sort of Superman parody or reboot (another favorite Hollywood term these days). Here too, we meet a young couple who have been trying to have a child for years. Even spicy lingerie doesn’t do wonders because farmer Kyle Bryer (David Denman) (and yes, the location is again a big farm) is rather clumsy, which means that his watch always gets stuck in his wife’s hair. BANG! Before they realize it, some object out of space crashes nearby. Right in their back yard. And as if it’s the most normal thing, Tori (Elizabeth Banks) finds an innocent, sweet little guy in this comet or spacecraft. They adopt him instantly and call him Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn). All peace and light, you think. Until the boy realizes that something is wrong. Especially when he tries to start the lawnmower and suddenly the thing ends up at the neighbors. A few meadows further.

 

Brightburn

 

An evil superhero with an attitude.

With the well-known figure Superman, the parents didn’t waste any time and told young Superman to keep his growing powers under control and only use it to help humans. In the 70s this fact was acceptable. But after the trillionth superhero movie, that concept really starts to sound boring. And that’s where “Brightburn” starts to deviate substantially. As soon as it seems as if puberty hits Brandon, and no it’s not about hair growth and other side-effects, and he wanders around the farm at night looking for something that seems to call him, it becomes clear that a constructive parent-child conversation is not really useful. When Brandon feels disadvantaged, it’s best to stay away from him. The consequences of a tantrum can be disastrous. You could end up flying into a closet or have a crushed hand as a result. So they are stuck with a teenage son with issues who has superpowers. A “Dennis the Menace” with an attitude. You don’t have to be smart to know what’s going to happen next.

 

Brightburn

 

Not really horror.

Let’s talk about the horror part. For those who are only used to super-hero films, it will be a shock. For a seasoned horror fanatic, it’s all just ordinary. It’s not terrifying or too bloody. There are some excellent gore effects in it, though. I personally found it simply exciting at certain moments. Exciting as in how the story will continue and end. And they even tried to tackle that part in an original and quirky way. The majority of blockbusters always have such a predictable outcome. In a western, the bad guys always eat dust in the end. A romcom has a happy ending in most cases. And even superheroes on the verge of despair will eventually prevail (such as The Avengers, for example). If you expect this to happen here as well, you’re absolutely wrong. But there’s one thing I’m sure of. The marketing department of Marvel already smells money. I bet they are planning a sequel already with The Avengers trying to beat the unstoppable Brandon.

 

Brightburn

 

Excellent acting.

About the acting, I can be brief and concise. Simply excellent. Especially the mother and son bonding was worked out and portrayed in a proper way. The desperation and motherly love that Elizabeth Banks radiates is simply wonderful to see. And even though Brandon seems incomparably innocent at times, the moment his evil ego pops up, he can conjure up a frightening and impressive facial expression. It’s just a shame he didn’t focus his anger on the annoying class bully as well.

 

Brightburn

 

I repeat it once more: a brilliant film.

Brightburn” definitely will end up in my top list this year. The only downside was the duration. Far too short of course. But otherwise, this superhero parody, peppered with SF and horror elements, is simply sublime. The fact this film has a go-against-the-rules attitude and the idea of a superhero who doesn’t care about humanity is a pleasant and refreshing change compared to the commercial one-size-fits-all releases nowadays. Just something as simple as Brandon’s costume. Has anyone ever wondered who actually made the Spiderman suit? Or did Peter Park have a Sewing and knitting diploma? Brandon uses a piece of woolen textile and a bedspread as equipment. Ingenious anyway. As brilliant as the film itself. I keep repeating it. It is hoped that it will stay with this unique film and that they won’t come up with a miserable number of sequels.

 

My rating 9/10
Links: IMDB

 

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Action

Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Gets First Motion Poster

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“An action epic evolving from the world of international espionage.”

Christopher Nolan’s 2020  film, ‘Tenet,’ has been shrouded in secrecy for quite some time. Recently a teaser trailer was dropped, slightly lifting the veil as to what we can expect from the highly anticipated thriller. The star studded cast includes John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clemence Poesy and Kenneth Branagh amongst others. The recent teaser trailer only gives a small tidbit for fans to grasp onto, showing the lines: “Time has come for a new protagonist” and “Time has come for a new kind of mission.” The trailer is said to depict Washington’s character seemingly moving in a time loop of some sort.

Many fans are going with the idea that ‘Tenet’ is some sort of ‘Inception’ sequel, which is highly unlikely. But based on the plot description, it sounds as though it could be loosely connected:

“An action epic evolving from the world of international espionage.”

Some have pointed out that Michael Caine is listed amongst the cast but is the only character returning from the original film [Inception], which went on to gross $828.3mill worldwide while being nominated for eight Oscars and bringing home four. ‘Tenet’ is set to arrive in theaters July 17, 2020

 

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