The Artifice Girl takes the concept of AI and how it’s rapidly growing then does something quite interesting with it.
The performances from Tatum Matthews and Lance Hennriksen are quite great, they are the sole reason why the third act stands out so well and put so much power into their performances. The first bit of the movie where there’s nothing but a long but very investing interrogation room scene is quite great, while this sort of thing has been done before it still makes for great attention grabbing and really sets up the movie well.
The second act is where the movie fumbles a bit, it starts to show the movie’s low budget with some not very good acting (outside of Tatum Matthews) and writing that doesn’t quite land all that well. However the movie does start to ask questions about how ethical is AI and asks a lot of questions about Tatum Matthews’s character.
The third act performance wise with some very long scenes with Matthews and Hennriksen are quite great, story wise it becomes a bit more of a mess there’s potential here that goes a bit underutilized. Plus the movie does fall into the whole “the AI is taking over and there’s nothing we can do” area that a lot of these very low budget Sci-Fi movies tend to go down.
With that said I do actually think this was an interesting enough movie, it’s heavily flawed but there’s just the right amount of decent performances, questions of how ethical and a solid first and third (mostly) act that warrants a watch.
The Artifice Girl is available on all VOD platforms.
Hypnotic was the May 1st Regal Mystery Movie and of the ones I’ve went to (I missed the ones for Missing and Sisu) this is definitely one of the better ones. There’s definitely a lot to like about Hypnotic and I applaud Robert Rodriguez for doing his own thing.
The performances can be a bit of a mixed bag at times, I like seeing Ben Affleck take on different roles especially these types of roles. With that said I wouldn’t call his performance good but I will say that it’s pretty entertaining at times, the supporting cast such as Alice Braga and William Fichtner are pretty solid especially Fichtner who does give an intimidating performance.
The many ideas of the movie are decently executed during the first two acts, as both acts are very engaging. There is definitely some questionable editing that makes some scenes a complete and total mess, but for the most part it tells a pretty engaging story. Character development is pretty nonexistent here, sure we are given some information about the characters but we are never really given a backstory, who they really are or why they are doing certain things.
What hurts this movie mostly is the third act that is way too fast paced and ends very abruptly, granted there are moments during the third act that are very unintentionally hilarious. But it isn’t quite enough to really save it from being a mess.
If it sounds like I didn’t go into much detail with Hypnotic it’s because the movie is hard to really talk about without spoiling. And I really don’t want to do that because I do think the several twists in Hypnotic are interesting and definitely should be seen going in as little as possible. Overall I definitely liked Hypnotic a bit more the more I thought about it, it’s not anything I don’t think I will ever come back to but it is something worth looking into.
Murder Mystery 2 is a sequel to Murder Mystery which came out in 2019, a movie which I wasn’t a huge fan of. While I found the chemistry between Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston to be charming and it had some comedic moments, outside of that it was a very bland Netflix comedy. Murder Mystery 2 I actually found to be a step up from the first movie but that doesn’t really mean much when the movie itself suffers similar problems that the first one faced.
Once again the chemistry between Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston is really great, they definitely get a lot more room to tell more jokes and they definitely take advantage of that well. While not all of the jokes land there’s a decent amount of them that actually work well, the acting was decent enough and there were a few action scenes that combined comedy and action actually pretty well.
The main issue comes from the mystery itself, unfortunately it’s not very engaging and ultimately doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you think about it for more than a minute. A lot of the side characters are just there to serve as suspects and have no real character to them at all, Murder Mystery 2 is also one of those sequels where it’s very similar to it’s predecessor in almost every single way and does very little to change the formula.
Out of the sea of Liam Neeson movies that have been coming out like crazy, Marlowe stood out as the one with the most potential. It’s based on the 2014 novel The Black Eyed Blonde by Jon Banville who writes under the pen name Benjamin Black. The cast seemed quite good and Neil Jacobs is a pretty solid director.
Marlowe does have it’s good parts which mostly comes from the performances and the style of the movie. While it doesn’t completely nail the film noire style, it does it pretty well and actually has some quite transformative moments that do put you into the atmosphere of the movie. Between Liam Neeson’s performance (one of the best he’s given in awhile) and the atmosphere it does a decent job of creating a film noire type style.
What ultimately drags this down is everything else, the story becomes way too generic and starts to repeat what a lot of better films in the film noire have done already. The writing falls incredibly flat towards the end with a lot of pacing that is just way too slow for it’s own good, by the end it starts to become your usual Liam Neeson action movie. Which would be fine if this was trying to be something like The Commuter, but that’s not the case here as it’s trying to be a film noire mystery.
Overall Marlowe has great style and acting, it’s also better than a lot of other Liam Neeson movies that have been coming out the last few years, but unfortunately it falls short when it comes to just about everything else.
When Knives Out came out in 2019 it was a huge hit, Rian Johnson took the whodunnit genre and did something completely new with, plus the cast just really made a lot of the film. Since then people immediately wanted a sequel and well here we are, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery in a lot of ways is better than the first film. For starters it’s definitely bigger in scale and you immediately get that impression when the film starts, the cast in this film much like the first film is really strong here and blends completely well together. Everyone does a fantastic job here but the standouts include Daniel Craig who once again is fantastic as Benoit Blanc, heck he’s better here than he was in the first film. He delivers even more clever lines, some really great jokes and brings this old fashion whodunnit type of feel to his character. Janelle Monáe is truly great here and blends pretty well with Daniel Craig especially the scenes dedicated to the two of them, Kate Hudson is just having a blast as well as Madelyn Cline who are two very fun characters. Finally there’s Edward Norton who’s character is very well written and the satire element really shines through. The filming is quite well done and really compliments the whole film’s atmosphere, much like I said about Craig’s performance Glass Onion has a very old fashion whodunnit film type of feel to it. Rian Johnson really does a masterful job of balancing the familiar type of elements while adding an incredible amount of new elements that make the film much more interesting, the writing is very clever and slowly but surely builds the whole mystery of the film. Heck the mystery itself is on a bigger scale than the first one, which leads me to how Glass Onion can be best described “bigger scale” something often that a lot of sequels forget to do is how they can make things bigger granted bigger doesn’t always mean better. In certain films it shouldn’t matter much if the sequel stays about the same, but with Knives Out it was interesting to see whether they were going to keep things about the same as the first movie or were they going to make things even bigger and make a lot of character moments, plot development and even the writing more grand? They chose the latter and completely nailed it there’s so much creativity here that really shines through the film and even opens up to more potential in the future with more installments. If you liked Knives Out you are absolutely going to love Glass Onion, it’s everything a sequel should be and should do.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery releases December 23rd on Netflix.
See How They Run is the result when you take the feel and look of a Wes Anderson film and mix it in with the whodunnit it genre, to the movie’s credit it does a pretty solid job of doing exactly that. Although it might not be the most original idea and it does have a few cliches however the film works around that by excelling at almost everything else, for starters the cast is quite strong here particularly Saoirse Ronan who truly gives one of the most hilarious and entertaining performances of the year. Her comedic timing is truly spot on and her dialogue with Sam Rockwell is truly scene stealers, the film quite honestly belongs to Ronan as she really hits the ball hard with tons of film reference and her facial expressions that truly capture each scene. Sam Rockwell and the rest of the cast are quite great as well, although some of the side characters could have used a bit more screen time they are still entertaining and quite a lot of fun. As I said earlier the conversations between Rockwell and Ronan are truly some of the film’s highlights, there’s so much energy and a very strong comedic atmosphere that truly makes it all work. The dialogue is genuinely funny as well as investing the viewer into the mystery itself, overall See How They Run is a very fun film that any fan of the whodunnit genre should watch!
See How They Run is available on all VOD platforms.
I really don’t have a whole lot to say here..Enola Holmes 2 is a sequel to Enola Holmes which came out in 2020, a movie that I found to be pretty okay for what it is, Enola Holmes 2 is definitely an upgrade from it’s predecessor although not that much has changed. There’s still the incredibly charming performances from Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill that completely steal the show throughout the film, where as the first movie felt more of a background movie this one offers more depth to the characters. We actually get some character moments that do add certain character arcs, the fourth wall breaking does get to be a bit much after awhile as it does tend to repeat the same sort of jokes that other movies have. The running time combined with the pacing in some areas also tend to drag a bit, but there’s a lot of genuinely charming bits here that make up for it!
Significant Other is one of those movies that has the right ingredients to make a really interesting little movie, but only meets at the halfway point. Maika Monroe gives a strong performance here, she really turns what would otherwise be a lot of dull moments into something truly interesting. The atmosphere is definitely there as well, the movie quickly establishes a thrilling and haunting atmosphere that works for quite awhile until the movie starts to become a bit too goofy. Especially during the third act where the twist while I can see what they were going for, doesn’t quite stick it’s landing. It’s a bit too goofy and takes away from the atmosphere that made the movie pretty thrilling, there’s a few decent character moments here that really work and the setting combined with the atmosphere works well. The movie itself just doesn’t fully come together in the end.
God’s Country mainly works due to Thandiwe Newton’s performance that is very raw and really keeps the interest of the viewer, the photography of the setting is truly beautiful especially when combined with the atmosphere. Speaking of which the film absolutely nails the atmosphere on so many levels, the film does take it’s time to get going but once it does it actually explores a few themes such as racism. Which the film does a pretty solid job in despite feeling a bit unexplored at times, which the movie makes up for with very engaging writing that really builds the characters with a lot of personal moments between one another. There’s a lot here that is very striking and really adds to the film’s overall atmosphere that eventually leads to a very strong third act. Once again Newton is truly what makes the film shine, just watching her character interact with everyone else is really investing and gives the film it’s personality that is very memorable after watching.
Luckiest Girl Alive has the right material to be a really interesting movie on some very heavy subjects but the way the movie is crafted leaves it very disjointed. Mila Kunis does a really great job it’s definitely one of her best performances in awhile, the movie taking on subjects such as rape and school shootings comes as a surprise from this movie. On the surface it seems like it’s going to be another Netflix mystery movie that falls in line with what they usually release. But when these subjects do come up and are shown it comes as a shock, when the film does tackle these subjects it does a pretty good job of nailing down the point. However mixing these important subjects with a very subpar story is when the movie starts to fall apart, the cutting from the past and present is very messy plus it does not give the viewer nearly enough time to fully digest what exactly happened despite being almost two hours long. Lastly the movie juggles way too many ideas at once, between trauma, the mystery element, school shooting and rape it does well with certain ideas but leaves a lot more to be desired about others. Luckiest Girl Alive isn’t a bad movie it’s just a disappointing one that could have really been a home run.