Movie Review: Aquaman (2018)

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Plot: Arthur Curry, the human-born heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, goes on a quest to prevent a war between the worlds of ocean and land.

April is such an exciting month! Avengers Endgame AND Game of Thrones! Yup, I’ve seen the first episode, and it was good, I just can’t see myself reviewing per episode on here. Since I am SO ready for Endgame, I thought I would do a quick post on the only superhero movie I have seen that I haven’t put on here yet, Aquaman (although not even in the same universe, ha).

I saw this in the cinema in December 2018. It got some good reviews and reached the billion dollar club (The club which is not so elite anymore, but anyway). Some people thought this was a great film, and that’s okay. For me it was merely decent and while better than some of the other DC flicks, it still left much to be desired.

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I love Jason Momoa – he’s marketable, funny, beautiful and impressively big. I am not convinced he’s the best actor on the planet, but at this stage he doesn’t need to be. He chooses this big and gruff roles because it actually looks like that is who he is as a person. He does fine with Stephen Curry, and even though there are moments where he isn’t utterly convincing, he does remain one entertaining man. And even if he was terrible, you still get to see a really big and attractive man wet and built for two hours and 22 minutes. The love story between him and Mera (Amber Heard) felt really forced and unnecessary. A couple of superhero films have done really well by now without some romantic entanglement, and I think this would have survived without that as well.

Nicole Kidman plays Arthur Curry’s mom and the Queen of Atlantis. She’s named Atlanna, just so that no one gets confused who she really is. It’s a role far beneath her acting abilities and she navigates the sea without much issue. If you can believe that she mothered Momoa’s genetics, you can believe anything.

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Patrick Wilson plays Curry’s half-brother King Orm. He’s a terrible leader in this movie and also has dealing with the pirates Curry tackles in the beginning of the film. Other than Wilson’s deeply upsetting hairstyle, he does a decent (if one layered) villain. This is a nice setup for a second movie to begin with, which I am sure after a billion dollars no one will hesitate to commit to.

At the core, this origin story is nothing new. The release was well timed, in time for the relaxed holiday viewers. The last battle will leave you feeling exhausted because it is just so stupid and long. It’s really not that bad, just cheesy and silly. I definitely won’t commit to a second viewing, but that isn’t because of the quality – I rarely feel that superhero movies need to be watched twice.

Rating: 6/10

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Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

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A condensed version of what happens:

The Author of the book The Grand Budapest Hotel has a statue in a cemetery where admirers can leave souvenirs. The statue is visited by a young lady one day, book in hand. As she starts to read the tale in the book, the tale begins to unfold how the Author got this particular story.

The Author (Jude Law) is still a young man travelling the world. He visits the Republic of Zubrowka, where he chooses to stay in Grand Budapest Hotel. Although still incredibly beautiful, the expansive building has begun falling into disrepair, and there are a few clients. The Author quickly establishes that most guests there want to be left in peace, and he makes friends with the Lobby Boy.

One day, while chatting, lobby boy points out that the owner of the Hotel, Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), is sitting in the reception area. The Author is rather interested in Zero when he hears that the owner of the hotel visits only once a year for a few weeks and then even more peculiarly sleeps in the smallest room in the hotel. No one really knows why, that is just the way it is.

The Author meets Zero in the bathhouse, and after their initial acquaintance they agree to have dinner together, where the Author will here Zero’s story and by default the Hotel’s as well.

Zero’s begins his story where he arrived at the story at the hotel begins in 1932, where starts working as a lobby boy. He is taken under the training of Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), the Hotel’s concierge, a man loved and respected by all the guests and workers in the Hotel. One of these guests is Madame Céline Villeneuve Desgoffe und Taxis (Tilda Swinton) who is elderly, very rich and very attracted to the Gustave. When Celine dies, she leaves Gustave a valuable painting, and her family is in uproar. Gustave is soon arrested for her murder, and thrown into prison. Celine’s son, Dmitri (Adrien Brody), is determined to have everything in his mother’s estate and uses his henchman J. G. Jopling (William Dafoe) to sort out the people who stand in his way.

Will Gustave ever become free? Can they apprehend the real murderer? What will happen to young Zero if his master is in prison? Can they evade Jopling, who delights in killing innocent people?

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 I must say, I find that girl utterly delightful. Flat as a board, enormous birthmark the shape of Mexico over half her face, sweating for hours on end in that sweltering kitchen, while Mendl, genius though he is, looms over her like a hulking gorilla. Yet without question, without fail, always and invariably, she’s exceedingly lovely.

Rating: 7.5/10

Hmm, I really liked this. It is definitely one of the better movies that came out in 2014. Plenty of people found it very weird, and it is certainly eccentric, but it is also arty and comedic, and The Grand Budapest Hotel hit showed a movie didn’t need to be complete drama to get a message across. The message I took away from this is that people who understands what other people need will always be remembered and helped out of a tight spot.

The star studded cast was extremely charming, and didn’t have very annoying people in so it worked out well. I have always adored Ralph Fiennes. He has such a daring, flamboyant way of acting and he is as entertaining as ever in here as Gustave H. Tilda Swinton still freaks me out so much (perhaps she always will?). I did enjoy Jude Law and it was nice because he is often slightly irritating, but his role in here was small enough so he could divide his limited charm when needed and not make me wonder why he is a celebrated actor. I always enjoy Adrien Brody and he was good in here too. I loved the theatrical sounds every time he entered the room and his obvious villainous character! I also liked Dafoe in here – his character was scary and a bit ridiculous at the same time. I loved those short pants!

I definitely have a liking in these artsy type films. I find it beautiful, uplifting and funny. I really also liked that it was only an hour and 40 minutes. I hate wasting too much time on a film if it is not needed, and GBH fit into its timeslot so well.

Recommendation: If you like artsy films, give it a try!