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Red Sparrow is long on shock and short on engagement (movie review)

They gave me a choice: die or review Red Sparrow. I’m starting to think I should have picked the former.

Did you see Avengers: Age of Ultron? If the answer is no, you’re better off, but on the other hand, the quick montage we get in that movie of Black Widow’s backstory is more interesting and compelling than anything in this movie.

So if my opening joke did not properly set the tone for what follows, consider it now set.

With a 2018 release, Red Sparrow looks shockingly tone deaf in light of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, but the book was released in 2013 and it is true regardless of what year it is that misogyny and sexual misconduct are the rule of the land, so that’s not the problem. The issue is that what’s presented here is often illogical and bizarre.

I also think it’s well known that if you dye your hair blonde, you don’t go to the pool the next day because the chlorine will react to the chemicals in your hair and we’ll turn it green. People know that, right? Well, the people who made this movie didn’t know it or didn’t think it mattered.

But I know it.

That’s not killing this movie. The reason Red Sparrow isn’t a good film is at the heart of its boring plot, slow pacing, lack of chemistry between performers, lapses in directorial judgment, Jennifer Lawrence’s wavering accent, the dozen-or-so 3.5 inch floppy disks that are central to the plot even though this movie takes place in current-day and a million other things, including the delightful performance of Mary-Louise Partner, who does not seem to be aware of what movie she is in, but that’s hardly her fault. And I would be remiss if I didn’t at least hint at a scene that happens early on in the film that is so unbelievable that I just assumed it was a dream that could not really be happening in the context of this movie.

But it’s not a dream. No matter how much I want any of Red Sparrow not to be real, IT IS NOT A DREAM.

At 2 hours and 20 minutes, I think you may be begging for one of Red Sparrow’s assassins to put you out of your misery before it’s over. It has a few moments, but it generally chooses shock value over compelling content and offers little else while it slogs along with a plot that is not particularly difficult to follow but not worth the effort. If you’re given the choice of seeing Jumanji again or becoming a sparrow, probably see Jumanji again.

The Visit and JOY (Baffling Movie Trailers)

For good or ill, movie trailers can be baffling.  Today, we have an example of both!  Also on today’s installment of Baffling Movie Trailers – a gif that sums up my general reaction to seeing a film is in any way associated with M. Night Shyamalan.  Read the rest of this entry

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (movie review)

No Hunger Games in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1? No problem! Read the rest of this entry

X-Men: Days of Future Past (quick movie review)

X-Men: Days of Future Past is, for me, fanservice of the highest order. It gives me a cast to squeal over while delivering a compelling story full of comic book lore. Read the rest of this entry

3 Points on American Hustle (movie review)

We finally got around to seeing American Hustle and it’s fair to say that the build up to watching the picture might have pulled some of the luster off the surface. Nevertheless, I certainly understand why everyone enjoyed it so much but I can also see what people mean when they say it’s two hours of people yelling at each other. Here are three points on American Hustle for both sides of the argument. Read the rest of this entry

All the X-Men movies reviewed!

x-men-movie-posters
I gotta say, X-Men: Days of Future Past looks like fun! Lots of good actors (Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart just to name a few), superpowers, time travel… What else could you ask for in an action movie? Well, it has giant robots, too, so we should be well covered. But probably more so than any other comic book movie sequel, here’s one you need to do your homework for. In effort to get you prepared, here are my reviews and scores for all of the X-Men movies! Read the rest of this entry

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (quick movie review)

I’ll be straight with ya – I liked The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I liked the first one, too. Sure, the movie is close up and hand-held camera heavy (and the idea to back light the kisses gave us a nice clear shot of spit being shared between two young lovers), but at its essence, it’s a good story. That being said, I recommend that anyone who is a fan of action, adventure, visuals and performance check out these movies. I’m giving Catching Fire a 9 out of 10.

But, that doesn’t mean I can’t have some fun at the movie’s expense. Read the rest of this entry

The Hunger Games [quick movie review]

I finally got around to seeing The Hunger Games, and I must say, I was impressed.  The trailer did get my interest, and I’d heard it was a good watch from people I trust, but now that I’ve actually seen it – wow.  The trailers don’t do it justice.  It’s an interesting, gritty story (perhaps even shocking in some ways) with characters that are (for the most part) fun to root for or to hate.  Sure, there were a few of the kids I never felt like I got a chance to know, but you’re so rooted to the protagonist that it hardly matters.  All of the well-known actors give great supporting performances (Woody Harrelson is perfectly cast – but, he’s also just that good) and the newcomers are good, too.

This is a must see for action fans or just anyone who likes a good story.  I’d keep the smaller kids away from this one, though.  I give it a 9 out of 10.

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