Sunday, March 24, 2019

Guardians of the Galaxy Review (Project: Henry's Endgame)

Guardians of the Galaxy, 99%, A+, 4.5 Stars
Four and half years later, I’m still hooked on a feeling like never before. Let this go to show that the weirdest content can be the finest.
Plot
-Pacing 10/10
The movie moves nonstop with all the right spaces to breathe. Quick set-up of how Star Lord left Earth, then nonstop sci-fi action and comedy.
-Coherence 10/10
It all makes sense from start to finish: Star Lord leaves Earth in the most tear-jerking movie opening ever, grows up to become a space ace, meets a cool cast of aliens that he becomes best friends with.
Characters
-Relatability 10/10
The main cast of characters is each relatable in their own way. I found Rocket the most relatable, I liked the way he thought outside the box and could come up with great stuff right there. Star Lord also had a great character arc of coming to terms with his mother’s death and moving on.
-Development 9/10
All the Guardians were characters that this movie gave me a chance to give a crap about, and I gave a massive crap about them. The only character I didn’t find I could give a crap about was Ronan the Accuser, the main villain. He’s definitely on the weaker end of MCU villains due to the vagueness of his backstory making it seem like he was evil for evil’s sake.
They say something about Xandar-Kree relations, but don’t really go beyond that. Again, it makes him more of a plot device than anything else.
Picture
-Visual Believability 10/10
The CGI here is better because it’s a completely out of this world experience, and I found myself not really pulled out of the moment by obvious CGI, or if there was, I bought it more because it wasn’t set anywhere near Earth. The practical effects I know James Gunn used also help.
-Purposeful Content 10/10
Everything adds to the tight-paced story, with the Infinity Stone macguffin being less of the focus. While Thor: The Dark World exists mostly to establish the Reality Stone, this movie exists to tell the story of these outcasts coming together to be something bigger than themselves and establish the Power Stone.
Soundtrack
-Emotional Resonance 10/10
Between Awesome Mix Vol. 1 and Tyler Bates’ orchestral score, not a scene goes by without great music.
-Appropriate Use 10/10
Each music piece also feels appropriate to their respective scenes.
Dialogue
-Appropriate Humor 10/10
The humor is plentiful and not overbearing like it can be sometimes. At least the marketing was honest about the comedic tone unlike other MCU films. The dance off to save the universe was more appropriate to this than a certain MCU film’s climax involving Star Lord that I won’t name here, but if you know me, you know what pissed me off about Infinity War.
-Appropriate Cursing 10/10
The naughty levels were perfectly edgy and added to the fun.
2014 was an amazing year for the MCU, I think it may have been their peak. I hope it wasn’t, but despite James Gunn’s Twitter history, I’ll always be hooked on a feeling with this one.

Numeric Breakdown
-1 = That Bad
0. Unbearable
  1. Awful
  2. Really Bad
  3. Bad
  4. Weak
  5. Mediocre
  6. Questionable
  7. Good
  8. Great
  9. Amazing
  10. Perfect
Letter Grade
100%-97% = A+
96%-93% = A
92%-90% = A-
89%-87% = B+
86%-83% = B
82%-80% = B-
79%-77% = C+
76%-73% = C
72%-70% = C-
69%-67% = D+
66%-63% = D
62%-60% = D-
59% or below = F
Star Grid
0%-19% = 0.5 Stars
20%-29% = 1 Star
30%-39% = 1.5 Stars
40%-49% = 2 Stars
50%-59% = 2.5 Stars
60%-69% = 3 Stars
70%-79% = 3.5 Stars
80%-89% = 4 Stars
90%-99% = 4.5 Stars
100% = 5 Stars

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Dark Knight Review

The Dark Knight, 96%, A, 4.5 Stars
The Batman movie fans deserve. The Dark Knight has it all: great action, quality characters, and an epic dynamic, all of which helps it hold up more than ten years later.
Plot
-Pacing 9/10
The movie itself is a bit long, but I can’t think of anything to not cut. The issue is more in presentation, but I digress.
-Coherence 9/10
The overall plot makes sense, but small things slip the cracks or get picked up on so far in that you may have forgotten how it was set up earlier.
Characters
-Relatability 10/10
I felt like these characters represented power dynamics we can all find relatable, especially with arguments of morality and whether we’re all really like the Joker deep down or not.
-Development 8/10
Despite that relatability, I still didn’t care too much for these characters. I care more than in Batman Begins, but Nolan never really shows enough of the human story to make me invest in them. We’re just presented with Jim Gordon’s family, and supposed to care because of Gordon, but we’re not shown enough of them being a family in my opinion.
On the positive side, Nolan develops Bruce Wayne well as the man trying to be the symbol and does a good job of showing how he covers his tracks, even in the face of Coleman Reese trying to expose him.
Picture
-Visual Believability 10/10
The visuals age outstandingly well thanks to minimal CGI. The world feels realer with practical effects and real crowds than any computer ever could make it.
-Purposeful Content 10/10
Everything advances the story of a city on the edge of order and chaos.
Soundtrack
-Emotional Resonance 10/10
Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard give this soundtrack their all, with the Joker’s theme “Why so Serious?” in particular selling the terrifying nature of the character.
-Appropriate Use 10/10
It all enhances their respective scenes.
Dialogue
-Appropriate Humor 10/10
There’s just enough humor to break the tension, such as when Bruce covers his tracks with the ballet dancer boat or when he saves Gordon as Bruce Wayne and asks if he should go to a hospital to help detract any suspicion he’s Batman.
-Appropriate Cursing 10/10
The language is surprisingly clean, but the rest of the movie’s edgy enough for me to disregard it.
Franchises either die a crappy mess, or live long enough to see themselves rebooted and elevated to new heights. In this case, Batman lives long enough to be elevated to new heights. If you take away the suit, then it’s still a great movie about order and chaos, which means it ages very well.
Numeric Breakdown
-1 = That Bad
0. Unbearable
  1. Awful
  2. Really Bad
  3. Bad
  4. Weak
  5. Mediocre
  6. Questionable
  7. Good
  8. Great
  9. Amazing
  10. Perfect
Letter Grade
100%-97% = A+
96%-93% = A
92%-90% = A-
89%-87% = B+
86%-83% = B
82%-80% = B-
79%-77% = C+
76%-73% = C
72%-70% = C-
69%-67% = D+
66%-63% = D
62%-60% = D-
59% or below = F
Star Grid
0%-19% = 0.5 Stars
20%-29% = 1 Star
30%-39% = 1.5 Stars
40%-49% = 2 Stars
50%-59% = 2.5 Stars
60%-69% = 3 Stars
70%-79% = 3.5 Stars
80%-89% = 4 Stars
90%-99% = 4.5 Stars
100% = 5 Stars

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Purge Review

The Purge, 3/22/19, 74%, C, 3.5 Stars.
Painfully average at best, boring at worst.
Plot
-Pacing 3/10
The movie moves so fast, I wondered if I’d missed something. Granted, I did start this when I got home from a long day of doing stuff, but it moved so fast, I thought I missed something, and after checking and confirming I didn’t, I just wonder what why.
-Coherence 7/10
The movie for the most part made sense, but I didn’t really feel invested in this. The ideas presented were interesting, but I didn’t get a sense of urgency.
Characters
-Relatability 7/10
I figure the characters reacted the way any of us would in this kind of context. It wasn’t bad in this regard, it just wasn’t extraordinary.
-Development 5/10
Even worse was the character development. I didn’t feel any reason to care for the Sandins, even when the son brings in the guy who’s the target. There was a lot of room for improvement, such as showing Mr. Sandin as a strict father instead of just saying so, which would make the boyfriend’s motivations clearer.
Picture
-Visual Believability 10/10
The best part of this is the visuals. Maybe I’ve been watching so many Marvel movies off the record, but I really liked how this wasn’t a heavy-CGI blockbuster, and was just more down to Earth with its visuals.
-Purposeful Content 10/10
Everything on screen advanced the story and at least wasn’t pointless.
Soundtrack
-Emotional Resonance 8/10
The soundtrack added here and there, but didn’t go as far as it could have.
-Appropriate Use 8/10
See previous section.
Dialogue
-Appropriate Humor 6/10
I’m a little conflicted on the humor because I’d have liked more, but at the same time, it may have ruined what little tension was there.
-Appropriate Cursing 10/10
The language was appropriate in its context.
While fairly consistent and mercifully short, this clearly needed some retooling, and adding material to develop characters would have helped. To align with the movie, I’m ending this review here as suddenly as possible.
Numeric Breakdown
-1 = That Bad
0. Unbearable
  1. Awful
  2. Really Bad
  3. Bad
  4. Weak
  5. Mediocre
  6. Questionable
  7. Good
  8. Great
  9. Amazing
  10. Perfect
Letter Grade
100%-97% = A+
96%-93% = A
92%-90% = A-
89%-87% = B+
86%-83% = B
82%-80% = B-
79%-77% = C+
76%-73% = C
72%-70% = C-
69%-67% = D+
66%-63% = D
62%-60% = D-
59% or below = F
Star Grid
0%-19% = 0.5 Stars
20%-29% = 1 Star
30%-39% = 1.5 Stars
40%-49% = 2 Stars
50%-59% = 2.5 Stars
60%-69% = 3 Stars
70%-79% = 3.5 Stars
80%-89% = 4 Stars
90%-99% = 4.5 Stars
100% = 5 Stars