Tag Archives: Movie Review

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE PROMISE

Yet another good movie that could’ve been fantastic if it didn’t lose focus about halfway through the movie. THE PROMISE is better than official critics are saying it is, but with a film about the last days of the Ottoman Empire and the mass genocide of Armenian people by the Turkish government…did we really need a love triangle at the heart of the film?

That seems like the easy way out. Can’t a screenwriting write a compelling film about one man or maybe a family or a couple of strangers trying to survive the mass Armenian genocide? I mean, do we really need a love triangle, and a predictable one at that. Before the movie even started, I said to my self, “So and so will end up surviving and so and so will end up dying so that way the movie doesn’t seem ‘too predictable’ when in actuality we are so used to the predictable ending that the new non-predictable is now predictable. That sounds confusing but play my little game of who you think lives and dies by the end of the film and if you end up being right you will know what I am talking about.

But some of this film is really magnificent, and just like The Lost City of Z, it’s great when it is focusing on the devastation of the Armenian people trying to escape the Turkish government. The stakes are high, the cinematography is incredible, and the pace is perfect. But when Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon, and Christian Bale go into that “staring contest” on who will ultimately win the girls heart, the film almost comes to a screeching halt. I just didn’t care about their love.

I did however care about the characters, because another great thing this film has is it’s acting, even though Christian Bale is extremely underused. But Oscar Isaac, like always, is masterful. I cared about his character as an individual and when his plight was on his family and trying to get them out, the film broke barriers and was winning me over. When he was escaping after being caught by the Turkish government, I was leaning forward in my seat hoping and praying he would get out through the almost impossible odds. But then it goes back to the love triangle, and I ended up not caring. Just like The Lost City of Z review, when it was in the jungle, it was fantastic, when it went back to the mainland, I didn’t give a shit.

And also just like Unforgettable, the title on this sucks. The Promise is basically named what it is because Isaac’s character, to be able to go to medical school, promises this girl’s family that he is going to marry her in order to get their money in advance. And then he falls in love with someone else (doesn’t this happen to much). And even though he falls in love, he “promised” this girl he would marry her. And this conundrum, in this two hour and 20 minute film, maybe lasts 5 minutes. It should’ve been called The Ottoman Triangle or something a bit smarter. But whatever.

So this movie is actually half way decent, but in my head I saw a better movie between the cracks, and makes me wish someone would actually write and direct it to get it made. I’ll probably never watch this movie again because the slow parts are so slow, but I would say you need to watch this movie at least once because the end of The Ottoman Empire is a important historical event that more people should know and care about. It even says to this day the Turkish government denies this ever happens! Shocking, but it’s also shocking that this movie wasn’t as good as it could be.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: UNFORGETTABLE

I could do the predictable and say that UNFORGETTABLE is ultimately forgettable. But that’s too easy. In fact, Unforgettable is unforgettable. In being at the end of the year I won’t be able to choose between this and The Bye Bye Man as the worst film of the year. Quite a conundrum. But not only is Unforgettable one of the biggest piece of shit films I have ever seen, it just cements my position that Katherine Heigl is one of the worst actresses in the history of motion picture cinema.

Do I really need to explain the plot of this horrid cancer cell? It’s another deviation of Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, Swimfan, etc. etc. etc. The thing that I can’t wrap my mind around is why Rosario Dawson actually acts in this film. In fact, she is the only reason why this isn’t one of the worst films of all time. She looks like she wants to be there and looks like she is actually trying. The performance was too good for a movie of this caliber. Rosario Dawson is a hugely underrated actress, and I feel the only reason why she did this is to get her name more out there. But don’t you think that playing Claire Temple in the Marvel Television Cinematic Universe is enough?

Rosario Dawson aside, nothing about this film is good. The plot is terrible, the film is slow, everything is predictable, it has a shitty stupid obligatory unnecessary sequel set up scene, the ending and fighting between the two girls is laughably bad, all the characters are stupid, the dialogue is horrid. Seriously, the only thing good about this is Dawson. You’ve seen this movie a thousand times since the 60s. There is nothing new about it. In fact, I don’t understand why it was called Unforgettable and not just Psycho Barbie. None of this film makes any sense.

Which brings me back to bashing Katherine Heigl. Because of her attitude in real life, her career has taken a very shitty turn since Knocked Up and leaving Grey’s Anatomy. No one wants to work with her, no network wants to pick up her shows anymore (her last show was cancelled after two episodes), and anything she does is completely toxic. And this movie seems to maybe show how she in real life. Terrible. In a movie like this you want the bad person to maybe be a little bit emotional, or have any sympathy to him or her. But no. Katherine Heigl is just a bitch in this, and her acting is like a live animatronic. It’s horrid.

The whole movie is horrid. If you have any interest to see this movie whatsoever something is wrong with you. There is a weird Heigl riding horse scene with creepy music that made no sense whatsoever I started laughing my ass off. I don’t even know why I’m talking about this anymore. If you watch this film, like me, you’re an idiot.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE LOST CITY OF Z

I know Charlie Hunnam mostly from Undeclared, when he first entered the Hollywood scene and I saw him in Pacific Rim. I have never watched one episode of Sons of Anarchy, and basically just know that he’s the guy that left 50 Shades of Grey and is going to be King Arthur. So when I say his performance was magnificent and his best, you probably can’t really take my word for it , so you need to see for yourself. But I promise you, in THE LOST CITY OF Z, Charlie Hunnam, is so great, that in the 90s or early millennium he probably would’ve gotten nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor and could’ve won.

He is utterly fantastic in this. And Robert Pattinson brings us his best performance to date, but considering he was Edward in Twilight, isn’t really saying much either, but trust me, he’s good too. And the movie is good as well. Maybe not utterly fantastic as some critics are saying (they are saying that it “hearkens back to classic exploration epics),  but much, much better and more entertaining than some other adventure/exploration movies in the past such as Australia and Hidalgo. You probably haven’t heard of this film either, but it’s about a man, who family name was tarnished by his father, goes to map unknown regions in South America only to become obsessed with the Amazon and goes back and back again to try and find an unknown advanced civilization that may have inhabited the region.

When the film focuses on Hunnam, Pattinson, and the Amazon, the film is utterly brilliant. The main problem I had with the film is that when the film goes back to his life with his wife and kids, it loses some of it’s focus and basically becomes a “you are a brave man but you are abandoning your family” cautionary tale. Which is fine too of course, however, it spends WAY too much time with his wife and kids and I just wanted more Amazon.  Director James Gray and the cinematorphy from Darius  Khondji make the entire beauty of the jungle completely stand out with awe inspiring shots. And while it does have some harshness of what happens on an expedition and the mind set it could take on a human being, there isn’t enough of it, and this film is 2 hours and 20 minutes long.

I really really liked this film a lot, and it is a must watch, but I don’t think it is a full on masterpiece like it could’ve been. The movie is at it’s best with Charlie Hunnam, he’s so amazing here that it gives me hope for King Arthur which kind of looks like rubbish. I don’t know how this film would’ve fared without him and I don’t want to think about it. Thankfully the film nails the landing with the end and doesn’t have multiple ending like I have seen in the last couple of films that were supposed to be ‘epics’ as well. Sienna Miller and Tom Holland (who only shows up when there is 45 minutes left and not enough time to care for his character) are good here as well, especially Miller, who I think is still an underappreciated actress.

But do go see it if you like exploration films and such. Don’t expect a lot of action, because there is hardly any, but do expect a lot of awe with filmmaking and the Amazon in general. It’s a tale of bravery, boldness, hope, and confidence. And while it isn’t a masterpiece, it is a very good film that is at least memorable than the other stuff earlier in the year. And if you are a girl and are in love with Charlie Hunnam, yeah, you’re gonna want to see this.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: TOMMY’S HONOUR

Well, unless you somehow read this review, decide you want to see this movie in the next hour and a half (both Legacy and West Plano have 4:30 showings) then you probably won’t get to see it until it hits Netflix, On Demand, etc. Why is it that I’m seeing this so late? I’m really not, considering it just came out last Friday. But like all rarely seen, “I’ve never fucking even heard of that,” independent films, they usually only last one week in the theater, unless it gets a surge of Academy Award attention or box office receipts. Since you don’t know what TOMMY’S HONOUR is, it’s essentially a dramatic golf movie about an older man, who didn’t invent golf but is considered a founding father who invented a shit ton of the courses that still exist today, and his son. His son wants to make his own way in the golf world, even though he is not a gentlemen and just mainly a caddy like his father. The gentlemen place bets on these two and several other people on who will win golf games, and Tom’s younger son, Tommy Jr., wants to be more than that, earn more, find love, literally make life his hole-in-one bitch.

And he does…to a degree. See if I say anything else the film is completely ruined. The movie is around 2 hours long and switches tones very drastically the last 30 minutes. If you look up on who this film is based on, and see their history, you can probably guess what the last 30 minutes are. And it’s a hard last 30 minutes to watch. Any kind of heart broken self destructive behavior usually is, but the acting in this is so superb that it could easily break that of an audience member’s heart as well.

You probably don’t know anyone in this other than Jurassic Park’s Sam Neill (who’s role is more of a cameo), and maybe Tommy’s love interest Olphelia Lovibond (she was Benecio Del Toro’s pink alien assistant in Guardians of the Galaxy and she had a major arc on the last season of CBS’s Elementary). But it’s okay if you don’t know anyone, usually it is better relating to the characters.

So is the film good? I say yes. It barely side steps the typical sports film by conveying a very depressing last 30 minutes. And the rest of it is entertaining, there are some laughs, but it goes from point A to point B like most sport movies go. But this is probably the best golf film since Tin Cup, so there is that going for it. It is a very enjoyable rental if you want to get the family together to watch it. Not really a go out and buy it now kind of thing.

I’m not a golf person so I don’t know if golf people will like it or not. It showed how they make golf balls, the key to some putters and the tricks of some of the trade, but some of the golfing you can tell used a CGI ball to get the point across. Golf history enthusiast might have a ‘ball’ with this film despite some of the fake golf ball scenes.

But I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. The trailer doesn’t really market the film well at all, and in fact really only shows the first 30 minutes of the film, making it seem like one of those “I’m going to show every mother fucker in this room” kind of movie. It has that moment, but it’s fleeting, and has substance like family, love, bondage, and well…honour, to keep it from being mundane.