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Dean (6901 KP) rated Reminiscence (2021) in Movies

Sep 2, 2021 (Updated Sep 2, 2021)  
Reminiscence (2021)
Reminiscence (2021)
2021 | Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi
5.7 (6 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Rebecca Ferguson (1 more)
The score
Misses the mark in a few areas (0 more)
You are going on a journey...
A strange film in many ways. I haven't seen much publicity for it, yet the trailer I saw last week gave me high hopes.
A noir style film set in the near future of a world that's largely flooded, including the location of Miami. Where the rich have built huge dams to keep their area dry while the poor are in flooded areas. So people pay to relive their memories of happier times to experience again with the technology available. The owner of this technology then tries to track down a mysterious woman who has gone missing.
Huge potential which in the main part is not explored at all. Some nice Sfx in places and sets of the flooded Miami but even the setting could have been used more.
The script is basic and what starts as quite an intricate plot becomes rather simple before the ending. The cast is pretty good, although Cliff Curtis is miscast as a tough guy, villian. It's stylish in places and fans of noir, detective films will enjoy it more but others may find it very slow going especially at the start.
A missed opportunity overall, one that might be more popular once available on the small screen. Although not a film many will reminisce about.

Sarah (7794 KP) rated The Meg (2018) in Movies

May 10, 2019  
The Meg (2018)
The Meg (2018)
2018 | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Isn’t even entertainingly bad
You know to have low expectations when watching a Jason Statham film, especially one about giant sharks. I had hoped for something similar to Sharknado, a proper cheesy laughingly bad B movie, but sadly The Meg can’t even live up to these very low standards.

For starters, I don’t think this film has any idea what it’s meant to be. Is it serious, is it silly? It ends up being a bizarre mixture of the two which just doesn’t work as both aspects just seem out of place. Whilst I absolutely love the Thai version of Mickey that plays over the end credits, again it kind of seems a bit confused. The script is awful, and the acting for the most part is horrendous. I wanted it to be entertainingly bad, but sadly it was just cringeworthy to the point I was almost embarrassed for them. The only person who comes out of this relatively unscathed is Cliff Curtis as Mac, who is at least pretty funny although sadly underused. Also, what on earth was going on with Jason Statham’s accent? Was it English or American?! And then there’s the plot. It’s very predictable, the first hour is ridiculously dull and then changes into completely farce and unbelievability at the end, with stupid characters doing silly things that just don’t make any sense. Even the CGI was average and nothing exceptional.

I really wanted to like this, at least in a “it’s so bad it’s good” way, but sadly this is just plain old bad.
The Meg (2018)
The Meg (2018)
2018 | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Not "So Awful It's Good", just Awful
One of the surprise hits of the summer of 2018 was the "so bad it's good" mega-shark movie THE MEG, starring the impediment of modern-day machismo, Jason Statham. So, when I saw that it was streaming on DirecTV, I thought I'd melt into the couch with a blanket and a beverage of my choice and relish in the over-the-top awfulness that is THE MEG.

Well...I am here to report that THE MEG is awful, just not over-the-top "so bad it's good" awful. It's just awful - and that is an awful disappointment.

I can see the pitch now - THE MEG is "Jaws, but bigger, it's Mega-Jaws! What were the best parts of Jaws? Well, we're gonna do that again, just more!" But what these filmmakers failed to realize is that the best part of Jaws isn't the shark attacking, it's the interaction of the 3 men who go off in search of the shark.

And...the folks that are "fish-fodder" for this big shark just aren't interesting enough. The filmmakers give Jason Statham a PTSD backstory that is forgotten about 2 minutes into the film. His nemesis/former crewmate (a forgettable Robert Taylor) hates Statham's character for about 5 minutes...the stalwart captain is...well stalwart and he is played by "I always melt into the background" Cliff Curtis. Rubie Rose is on-board as the "young genius" who's good looks and youth makes everyone underestimate her - even after she proves over and over again that she is young and a GENIUS. And then, there's good ol' Rain Wilson (Dwight from THE OFFICE) who's the megalomaniacal mega-billionaire who wants to capture (not kill) The Meg for profit.

The problem with all these characters (and others like Masi Oka's homesick scientist) is that they are one-note but not SO one note that they are over-the-top caricatures. They're just boring and forgettable.

As for the shark killings (the real reason that The Meg is intriguing), they are just as boring and forgettable as the characters. Most of them are homages to kills ni the Jaws series of films, so there is some fun in that, but none of them are truly unique and original or over-the-top enough.

The blame, I think, probably goes to "the suits" at Warner Brothers or perhaps Gravity Pictures. There are 3 writers on this, so clearly the script kept getting sent back to the drawing board - and 19(!) producers attached. I heard that Eli Roth was attached at one point and he wanted to make it EXTREMELY graphic and bloody - but "the suits" wanted something they could market to a broader audience, so let him go and hired the always mediocre Jon Turtletaub (LAST VEGAS, THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE) to Direct and mediocrity reigns all over.

If you want a "so bad it's good" mega-shark film and check out DEEP BLUE SEA (the Samuel L. Jackson speech in this film is worth the price of admission). And when you see THE MEG on whatever streaming platform you prefer and are prepared to watch it "for a laugh", save yourself the bother (and the boredom) and stream something else.

Letter Grade: C (it is competently made)

4 stars (out of 10) and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
Show all 4 comments.

BankofMarquis (1695 KP) Dec 4, 2018

Rebecca - I really, really WANTED to like it,


Cori June (3033 KP) Dec 6, 2018

I loved Deep Blue Sea. I did like the Meg (autocorrect tried to make it the Meh) but, I have increadibly low expectations for disaster movies. I won't go out of my way to buy it. The ending seemed to drag on.

Reminiscence (2021)
Reminiscence (2021)
2021 | Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi
5.7 (6 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Needed a better Director - like one of the Nolan boys
Christopher Nolan is one of the greatest Directors of our time usually making films that have an attribute of time in them. His brother, Jonathan Nolan, has had a hand in most of his brother’s terrific works as well as the creative force behind such “trippy” TV series as PERSON OF INTEREST and the recent revival of WESTWORLD. In both of these TV Series, Jonathan Nolan was assisted by his wife, Lisa Joy.

Lisa Joy has written and directed her own “trippy, play with time” film, REMINISCENCE that has quite a few of the hallmarks of a Christopher (or Jonathan) Nolan film - but it also has one very unsettling aspect to it - it plays like a twice over copy of something else.

REMINISCENCE is a classic neo-noir with our hero being smitten by the femme fatale which draws him into her world, where murder, criminal activities and low-lifes run rampant all with a downbeat tone.

This sounds like a terrific premise for a Christopher Nolan film, unfortunately, in the hands of Lisa Joy, it is like watching a local community theater production of a Broadway musical.

The first 1/3 of this film is one long, laborious setup for the tragedy that will unfold and it is told at an uninteresting snail’s pace. Reminiscence picks up a bit in the middle with a pretty good action scene - and plot twist - before squandering this momentum with mediocrity at the end.

Joy’s script - which was on Hollywood’s infamous “blacklist’ of scripts for many, many years (a list of screenplays that are generally praised, but for some reason or another have not been produced), is at the core of the problem. The dialogue is not very interesting and dripping with heavy film noire clichés. She does not follow the Hollywood doctrine of “show, don’t tell”. She TELLS the audience much, much more than is needed and never really gives the audience any credit for figuring things out for themselves.

For example, there is a “dirty cop” that is central to the plot (there always is in this type of film). So, how do the other characters in the film address him? “You’re the dirty cop…”

I’d laugh if I wasn’t so bored.

What DOES work in this film is the acting of Hugh Jackman (as our hero), Rebecca Ferguson (as the femme fatale) and - especially - Thandie Newton as the “Gal Friday” of Jackman’s. Someone needs to give this talented actress a true showcase of her talents.

Someone also needs to give good ol’ Cliff Curtis a vehicle for his talents - he is one of the most misused good performers in Hollywood and he is misused in this film as well.

And…don’t get me started on the special effects. If you are going to make a trippy, sci-fi, futuristic neo-noire thriller, you probably shouldn’t cut the corner on the special effects, but this film does that, amazingly.

But…with a good Director at the helm there is enough “good enough” here (especially in the acting) that you should be able to pull something decent out of it.

But…Joy is making her theatrical film directing debut - exactly the type of director that this film does not need. What this film needed wasn’t a rookie director like Joy, it needed a Nolan - either Jonathan or (preferably) Christopher to make this work. But, one will have to be contented with a copy of a copy.

And that’s just not good enough.

Letter Grade: C+ (the performances of the leads almost salvage things.

5 stars (out of 10) - and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
Doctor Sleep (2019)
Doctor Sleep (2019)
2019 | Horror
Thank goodness for retro screenings. I hadn't seen The Shining before but it's one of those things that gets parodied and mentioned so often that you think you might have actually seen it. Cineworld put it on so I made the time to go, there's a review coming soon... you know I'm not logical enough to have done it first!

Dan Torrance has grown up a lot since the events at The Overlook Hotel. The Shining is still with him and his self-destructive coping mechanisms are taking a toll on him. Constantly on the move, he's running from himself as well as a cult that are hunting him around the country.

Dan finds himself in a small town where he meets Billy. Billy recognises the signs of someone trying to find themselves and takes Dan under his wing, finding him a place to stay, a job, and a way to get his life back on track.

The Shining becomes a much more productive part of his life and somehow bring him a message from Abra, a young girl with powers even stronger than his. As the cult gets closer to her he knows he has to help, but that will mean going to a place he swore he'd never go again.

Cinema is going through a very big reboot/franchise phase at the moment, this week at the cinema we were showing 8 things that are follow-ups, spin-offs or reimaginings. I don't think I can commit to saying it's a good or bad thing but it does mean I get to at least see some older films as well. With things like Doctor Sleep, Dark Fate, and Halloween last year, I became very aware that I like the nostalgic homage that these films are for their predecessors. In Doctor Sleep we've got the original locations aged up, the same scenic shots and music, and a sneaky cameo from the original Danny. With The Shining so fresh in my mind it was nice to be able to spot these things.

Ewan McGregor was a top choice for the role of Danny, he's a great actor and every moment he was on screen became very real. Dan starts his journey as a mess, an alcoholic with a severe conscience that tries to set him on the right path. You see his desperation and you get the sense he's almost lost himself. McGregor successfully portrays him from rock bottom to redemption and there's a great balance from him throughout the film.

Pitting off against our good guys is Rebecca Ferguson as Rose The Hat. Rose is the leader of the cult and she has the ability to find people who possess the Shining. She makes a pretty convincing job of the supernatural elements and has got sexy-but-sinister down to a fine art. Most of her role is fairly heavy on the evil side and that was great, but she does get one scene where she's on the other side and, like McGregor, is able to do the polar opposite state so well that it comes across entirely believable.

In support roles we have Cliff Curtis who is consistently good in everything he does (but wronged deeply by this film) and Kyliegh Curran as Abra who I thought did a magnificent job, hopefully we'll be seeing her get more roles in the not too distant future.

There weren't any characters or actors that didn't fit in, the cast overall worked really well together in that respect. There are just two choices that I had slight personal quibbles with... Snakebite Andi gets recruited to the cult after Rose finds out about her special talent, that all worked perfectly well but once she's in the character pretty much vanishes until she's needed for a plot point. That seems like a massive waste of a great thread to me. The second is the bartender, I see what they were trying to do but I honestly hated it, it felt creepily wrong.

The sets and general feel of the film are good, but there's one moment in the effects that made my eyes roll. It's a nice way to convey the power that Rose uses but it is visually terrible, had that been better this could have been a 4.5. I feel that at this point though it's traditional for a Stephen King adaptation to have something that makes me go "WTF?!"

I enjoyed the journey Doctor Sleep took the characters on, I won't be the judge of how it compares to the source material or The Shining, but if you're a new fan like me then this will hopefully come across as a great watch. There are some amazing performances on show and Curran is definitely one to watch in the future.

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