Movie Review: Steven Universe: The Movie

Details: More information can be found at https://www.stevenuniversethemovie.com/ and https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10515852/

Score: 7.5/10

The Steven Universe movie aired on Cartoon Network a while back and it was a musical. This is unsurprising given the show runner’s penchant for music and it was welcome given how much enjoyable music was laced throughout the show.

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Movie Review: American Psycho

Details: Released in 2000. Stars Christian Bale. About an hour and forty minutes long.

A lot of times when I’m writing these posts/reviews, I want to discuss the substance of whatever it was I watched rather than just review it without spoilers. After some thought, I decided to just review the thing and give it a recommendation or not.

The premise of American Psycho is as follows: Patrick Bateman is a big, investment banking CEO and tries to indulge in his murderous, psychopathic desires while hiding it from those who know him.

This is a very adult movie with some graphic violence as well as explicit sex scenes and nudity. The movie attempts many things and is, in my opinion, mostly successful. One of the things this movie attempts is to offer some insight into the mind of a psychotic individual. Bateman is clearly crazy and the movie does a good job delving into his psyche.

The movie also attempts to deliver an opinion on the financial sector and, to a greater extent, society as a whole. The world Bateman inhabits is a superficial world obsessed with nothing other than greed and status. His friends, coworkers, and lovers all fit this theme and are superficial and contribute to his psychotic behavior.

It’s a wild ride and reminded me a little of Scorsese’s Wall Street film in that it gives an opinionated glimpse at a similar time period and section of society, in this case, the financial sector.

The cast is very good and has a surprising amount of big names in it. Some of these names are Christian Bale, Jared Leto, Justin Theroux, and Reese Witherspoon. There are a lot of familiar faces here whom I’ve since seen in many subsequent movies and television shows. They’re all good and help construct this grim world that Bateman inhabits.

Overall, I would recommend this movie for a watch. It’s a subjective view into the life of a successful investment banker who can barely control his murderous urges. I imagine that many people in finance might be able to identify with Patrick Bateman. I do not recommend this for the squeamish or for kids. Lots of violence and nudity in this film.

Score: 7/10

Movie Review: The Magnificent Seven

Details: Released in 2016. Over two hours long. Stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke.

If you’ve seen trailer for this movie, then you should have a pretty good idea what this movie is going to be. The Magnificent Seven is a remake of an older movie of the same name, which was a movie that took heavy inspiration from the classic Akira Kurosawa film, Seven Samurai.

The premises for all these movies is the same: a town is beset by wrongdoing from a group of bad guys. The town takes all their possessions and go out and hire seven men to help defend the village and defeat the bad guys.

While this movie is unlikely to win any Oscars, I greatly enjoyed the movie. It’s your standard Western, remade with modern stars. Most recognizable are Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D’Onfrio. This isn’t there best work, but they are good and help sell the movie.

The story is your classic underdog facing impossible odds story. I have a weakness for these kinds of stories and as such, I enjoyed this story very much. It doesn’t get more courageous to me than seven bad guys in a bad world putting their lives on the line for a town that has nothing to do with them, to risk their lives for the principle of protecting others. I know it’s a cliche story, but I can’t help getting choked up when being told this specific type of story. There’s a lot of familiar Western action here, which isn’t bad a thing.

Overall, a good movie with some good Western action. If you like Westerns, I recommend it.

Score: 6.7/10

Movie Review: Heat

Details: Released in 1995. Almost three hours long. Stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. Directed by Michael Mann.

I was looking for some movies to watch and I realized that there were a lot of classics which for some reason, I’ve never seen. Movies that could be considered mandatory watching for true movie fans. Heat is one of those movies.

I’ll try to avoid spoilers and keep discussion of anything related to the narrative to a minimum. The premise is this: Robert De Niro plays a career criminal who commit heists with his crew. Al Pacino plays a cop who specializes in bringing down criminals like De Niro’s character. The two clash in a game of cat and mouse as Pacino tries to catch De Niro.

The heart of this story is crime story. This is a heist movie and it’s easy to see how many other works of fiction took inspiration from this film.

There are so many great scenes in this movie. So many scenes which are undoubtedly a part of cinema history. Almost every line uttered by De Niro and Pacino is memorable. Seeing these two legends share scenes together is sight to behold.

While I will keep as much of this review spoiler free, two scenes need to be mentioned: the shootout and the scene where Pacino and De Niro talk. I’ve watched behind the scenes footage and interviews with the actors in regards to the shootout scene. They all trained to operate real guns and I’ve even read somewhere that the armed forces used footage from this film to show trainees the ideal way to reload a weapon. The action in this movie, and specifically the shootout scene, were amazing in their direction and their editing. The sound of the guns along with just how much chaos spills out make this one of the most memorable action scenes in film history. When anyone talks about this film, this scene is almost always mentioned.

The other scene that is almost always mentioned is the talk between Pacino and De Niro. Having two of these Hollywood legends in the same movie and not letting them share at least one scene would have been criminal. Luckily, Mann let the two have that scene and it was amazing. I won’t say anything about what happens there, but the tension, the emotion, just ooze from the actors and even though it’s just dialogue, you aren’t really sure what’s going to happen.

Overall, a great crime film that is required watching for any cinemaphile. Heat is a classic which I would recommend to almost anyone. Except children. This is a very adult film with some graphic violence and adult subject matter. Don’t let kids watch this.

Score: 8.2/10

Movie Review: The Nice Guys

Details: About two hours long. Stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling.

I originally heard about this film after watching some reviews for it on YouTube. It received glowing reviews, which is interesting because it mostly flopped at the box office. After watching this movie, I don’t think it was that great nor was it terrible.

The Nice Guys is a film that attempts to replicate or take inspiration from films like Chinatown with Jack Nicholson, or L.A. Confidential, or any other old noir, detective story. The only difference from those films is the tone; this film is a comedy.

The premise is this: Ryan Gosling plays a private detective and meets Russel Crowe, who plays a thug, while investigating a case. Together they try to solve the case and see where the case leads.

In regards to the plot, the film was very reminiscent of Chinatown in that there was this big subplot involving Detroit and the big three car producers which didn’t really have that big of an impact on the overall story. That’s the thing with noir films, they have all these subplots that don’t really matter. The most interesting part of noir films are the dialogue, the interactions between characters, the surprise twists, and eventually the big reveal of who done it.

While there is certainly elements of suspense and noir here, those elements are not the primary draw of this film. The best parts of this movie are the funny pieces of dialogue between Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling. This movie is essentially two hours of watching these two guys make fun of each other and screw around, which is great if that’s what you’re into. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that entertained.

A noteworthy mention is the actress who played Gosling’s daughter, Angourie Rice. She was good, but good child actors generally creep me the hell out. Rice had a lot of fairly adult lines she was asked to say, which was somewhat uncomfortable. Watching her mostly reminded me of all the child entertainers who tried to make it in show business and mostly grew up into messed up adults. I hope Rice has a better experience with show business.

It was okay. I didn’t find it that funny. The movie tried to be somewhat noir, but noir films generally have a mess of a plot and that was true here. I’d recommend it to Gosling or Crowe fans. I’d also recommend to people who want to see topless women. I saw an R rated version and there was a substantial bit of nudity. If you enjoy seeing young, scantily clad women, you may want to give this film a watch.

Score: 5/10