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When I heard there was going to a "Breaking Bad" movie, I was ecstatic. I mean how couldn't I be, this series is easily among the best TV dramas of all time. My love for this series did set the bar for "El Camino" pretty high. While I don't think this movie is as good as the best parts of the series, I still think it's a treat for fans. The best part about the movie is Aaron Paul returning as Jesse Pinkman. His character had one of the most brutal and saddening storylines in the series and this movie does force you to revisit it. I feel there is definitely more closure for Jesse after this movie, and I greatly appreciated that. Also, I thought the movie had some really well shot moments as is expected with Vince Gilligan behind the camera. Despite the closure the movie brings, sometimes the story does feel a bit thin and it does take a while for the movie to get going. Nonetheless, the movie is a treat for fans of the show like myself and brings a sense of closure that I didn't know I needed and is boosted by a fantastic performance from Aaron Paul.
I saw "Joker" last night and since the moment it ended, I have not stopped thinking about it. The more I thought about the film, the more impressed I was. This is unlike any comic book movie I have ever seen in that it's wildly original and disturbingly realistic. Every moment in the story is wonderfully created by director Todd Phillips and the Gotham he creates is grim, dark, and engrossing. As many people have likely already heard, this movie works because of a riveting and unforgettable performance from Joaquin Phoenix. He owns every scene in this movie and his character's transformation into Gotham's notorious clown is engrossing and truly terrifying. While I am aware that this film was intended to be a stand-alone movie, I would absolutely love to see Phoenix in this role again. He truly is the best version of the character since Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight," which anyone who knows me, is really saying something. I also thought the score in the movie was haunting and added a layer of eerieness to the film. Overall, the film is well-directed and masterfully acted cautionary tale with deep and complex messages about the role society plays in creating the world's most despicable people, and that really got under my skin, in the best way possible.
I think there is a potentially great movie trapped inside "Ad Astra." I was pretty let down by this movie as a whole, but I did like a couple of things about it. The most impressive aspect of the film is the visuals that are consistently impressive and at times quite breathtaking. The movie also has a pretty solid first half that got me interested in the story. I also thought Brad Pitt gave a committed performance and displayed emotion from his character well, as he doesn't always have a lot of dialogue, this is impressive. The problem with this movie lies in its second half. It hits the brakes hard and leads to a somewhat dull and unmemorable finale. I think the movie showcases some ambitious ideas and had enough to make me think, but at the same time, it just wasn't that entertaining. Overall, the fantastic visuals and strong lead performance from Pitt aren't enough to carry what is an admittedly decent but also pretty forgettable space movie.
"Hustlers" is a solid crime drama that works well due to having layered characters. I think the movie does a good job taking its time to develop these characters in the first half so that when the heist related plot is happening, I was able to see where the characters were coming from, even if their actions aren't necessarily good or likable ones. The movie is very exciting and engaging at times and then is also boring at times. The inconsistency in pacing would have made the overall experience just an okay movie, but the movie is saved from the fantastic performances from Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. These two actresses bring high caliber performances to the movie and their characters' relationship is ultimately the heart of the movie. The movie isn't going to change the crime genre, as there are better movies like this out there, but it's an interesting story that is elevated with first-rate performances.
Back in 2017, I was genuinely surprised by how I loved the first "It." It was an engrossing thrill ride with great characters and I was a big fan of the movie. I've never read the book, but I was pretty excited for this sequel. I think, for the most part, this is a good movie. I thought the movie had a solid opening and entertaining finale. However, the movie had a middle section that felt repetitive and started to really drag at a point. The movies unnecessary length and messy pacing make it a lesser experience than the first. I don't know how will this adaptation follows the book, but it felt like the movie could have used some trimming in this middle section. Despite some pacing issues, one thing I absolutely loved about the movie was the actors that were cast for the older versions of the characters. I thought they all did an excellent job and it really felt like I was watching grown-up versions of the characters I was already invested in from the first movie. When the movie wants to be tense, thrilling, or terrifying, it does a great job of creating an eerie atmosphere and doesn't hold back just like the first movie did. Even with the thrilling moments, the movie shines in showcasing a truly effective dramatic center with the characters. Ultimately, "Chapter Two" is an overlong and imperfect movie that isn't as good as it's predecessor, but still a very solid and entertaining finale to this immensely creative story.