Feel-Good MOVIE OF THE YEAR!
- Storytelling: 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡
- Characters: 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡
- Acting: 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡
- Drama, Baby: 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡
- Fun: 🤡🤡🤡🤡
- Humour: 🤡🤡
- Visuals: 🤡🤡🤡🤡
- Music and Sound: 🤡🤡🤡🤡
- Originality: 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡
- Entertainment value: 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡
- Production value: 🤡🤡🤡🤡
- Satisfaction: 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡
«Ad Astra’s» slow pacing and existential themes probably won’t be for everybody. But almost exactly 20 years after «Fight Club», Brad Pitt once again hits me where it really hurts – for completely different reasons:
The focus on life has shifted, as they say. The now middle-aged Rafeman, who – once tempted by Tyler Durden’s nihilism – now understands the suffering of «Ad Astra’s» protagonist’s fear of loss, isolation and regret just all too well.
For what it is – namely an ethereal «Sci-Fi» movie – «Ad Astra» succeeds. Surely not as gut-wrenching, spectacular nor intense as «Project Mayhem» – but as effective and relevant a movie that’s aiming for the stars bound by its own limitations can be: Trying to be the next «Gravity» (with George Clooney) or «Interstellar» (without George Clooney) but ending up feeling more like the slightly disappointing «Solaris» (also with George Clooney).
But, as they also say: «Per aspera ad astra»*
*) «Through hardships to the stars». Just to get that quote in there, too.
So I guess this will be one of those articles:
I DID plan to review «It Chapter Two» but since it has become so cumbersome to catch a not dubbed movie in all its original glory in Lucerne, this will be – once again, after «Planet Terror» – one of those not-really-a-review-but-just-reminding-everybody-there-was-this-great-picture-apology-for-a-review.
This time around Taylor Hackford’s 1997 «The Devil’s Advocate» will be the proof that the nineties where anything but bland, mediocre or unqualified to make an impact in movie history whatsoever.
I will not be able to write anything specific about this picture, ’cause almost anything would be a spoiler to anybody who has managed to not have heard about this marvelous film. And I guess anybody who HAS seen it will have had their mind made up by now – loving or hating the shit out of it.
I just remember how I reeeeealllly loved it when I first saw it in the theatre because I didn’t know anything about it and loved the surprising experience oh so much (not unlike «From Dusk Till Dawn» just one year earlier).
Aaaand… I just lost interest in writing anything more about «The Devil’s Advocate» just watching Al Pacino in my most favourite movie of his (though many critics claim this movie was the beginning of the end of his career). Goodbye, thanks for reading…
One last thought: I’ve seen this movie time and time again, and even after more than twenty years, it still more than holds up – it’s a most entertaining, thought-provoking movie you really should consider to revisit or give it a chance to view the first time around if you have the chance.
Great – just great!
Note to self: Don’t publish this text! It’s not ready and not any good!
Note to yourself: Too late! Nobody will read it anyway. And the ones who will, they might appreciate the tip!
Note to self: But this article is really bad!
Me: I don’t care! We’ve come this far. I won’t let go all this work go to hell!
I: But I have a reputation to uphold!
Me: No, you don’t! Reputation implies readers, you don’t have those!
I: Fair enough!
Me: You sure?
I: Shouldn’t we at least make some effort to wrap it all up?
Me: Well, we could. But wouldn’t it be much less effort to just let it be as it is and call it intentional, maybe even clever?
I: Yeah, all right, but I won’t proofread it!
Me: No Prolemo! Didn’t matter the last time.
I: Ok. But this is the last time we do this.
I: Ok. All I want is people to watch «The Devil’s Advocate». Cause it’s really…
Me: Yeah, yeah, I know: One of our favourite movies that we almost forget it existed.
I: Yeah, exactly…
Me: Ok, Press «Publish» then?
I: Ok. But it’s really the last time we do this?
How fucking cool is this!? 😁🧟
I just felt like destroying something beautiful tonight,… like my taste. So I came around to be watching something different for once right here and now and treating myself with some good ol’ schlock:
«Planet Terror». (Speaking of schlock, the quality of this text will be rough, to say the least)…
«Pseudo-Schlock» I might add. While I’m not a trash-film aficiando* at all, Robert Rodriquez’ contribution to the 2007 Grindhouse Double-Feature (along with Quentin Tarantino’s «Death Proof») is such a B-E-A-T-I-F-U-L over-the-top hommage to seventies and eighties horror-thrillers that I just cannot resist to help anyone to remember this obscure anecdote in movie-history. It came into existence with all the potential of a true cult-classic – but somehow got lost in the stream of time – at least in my own personal movie-mind-palace.
You were warned, this text won’t be your elaborate think-piece nor your standard might-be-funny-might-be-relevant-but-probably-not-rafenew-world-review, but I can’t believe how cool the vibe of «Planet Terror» is.
More than ten years after it’s release the bliss of watching this (intentional) mess has gotten even more eerie and most important fun with time passed, given its «story», style and overall awful-wonderful goodness. (After just witnessing myself writing «goodness», I definitely won’t proof-read nor edit this article more than the bare minimum, so there you go.)
So, after not making no point whatsoever, let’s wrap up:
Nope – no proof-reading today, not even after having googled that it’s spelled «proofreading». No, sir, not today…
*) My way of writing aficionado, told you this text wouldn’t be perfect.
Well I‘ll be damned if «Once upon a Time in… Hollywood» won‘t be triggering and offending a whole lot of people for a whole lot of reasons.
I doubt Tarantino would still be able to make his special kind of movies in today’s climate if he had been creating more output on a more regular basis.
His 10-picture-limit he put on himself seems to be the sensible choice to stay relevant and marketable as the cult-director he has become with his very first movie «Reservoir Dogs» in 1992. Good for him!
Still got to love this quirky, slightly odd movie buff and his «fan films» he managed to weave into cinematic gold.
As for myself, I was just slightly bored during the 160 minutes runtime.
But some outstanding scenes, the classy cinematography, the great art-direction and the wonderful cast make the ticket-price for «Once upon a Time in… Hollywood» still a worthwhile investment.
In hindsight, Tarantino might be one very late addition to the «New Hollywood» of the 1970ies, along with Scorsese, Nichols or Hopper. He might seem like a dinosaur today, but as far as Hollywood goes, his films sure as hell are more interesting, original and cinematic as let’s say the last couple of «Jurassic Park» movies.
Still wondering though if he’ll really be allowed to helm the next «Star Trek» movie in his tenth and (probably) final film and thus incorporate «Starfleet» into his own cinematic universe…
Who’d have thunk? There is a time after Avengers: Endgame! And it’s a jolly good time!
After all the dust has settled, I must say I’m surprised to see, that even after the ultimative comic-book experience that was Avengers: Endgame, there’s still room for movies of this sort.
Of course, «Spider-Man: Far From Home» plays in a whole different ball-park, even a different league than the superhero-movie that should have ended all superhero-movies (but of course hasn’t).
But that’s a good thing!
Thanos may not have undone 50% of all the life in the universe, but consequently, a reset button has been pushed: It’s as if all the pressure and excitement for «Endgame» has been built up and paid off so handsomely, there’s now room for «smaller» comic book films, not focusing on grandeur, but on storytelling, quality, and most important: fun – well aware that there’s no way to go against the humungous undertaking and experience «Endgame» was.
And I must say, they do an outstanding job at it: «Spider-Man: Far From Home» is one of the best written comic book movies in a while – the way they used a known villain (Jake Gyllenhaal at his best), marketed him as a hero and still got the curve to make the whole story work without seeming dishonest is unparalleled and probably the best thing in an overall very satisfying and entertaining movie that even would have worked without this gimmick.
Even for someone like me, who doesn’t really like the very specific sub-genre of Euro-Trip-Comedies,… it was a bliss to see Spidey, or better Peter Parker, reliving all the stale tropes of the genre put against the background of the aftermath of Tony Stark’s death and the legacy it put upon him, using it as a way to develop his character.
«Spider-Man: Far From Home» is the movie I wouldn’t have had the honesty to ask for after «Endgame».
It’s not the movie a now matured audience wished for, but it’s the movie we deserved after the scarring events in the last two Avengers movies.
Let’s enjoy this refreshing, light-hearted summer-breeze – it will get cold and serious again soon enough with «Joker»…
Well done! Go see it!