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Entertainment Editor (1988 KP) created a video about Sweetbitter in TV

Feb 4, 2019  

SWEETBITTER Official Trailer (2018) Ella Purnell, TV Series HD

Army of the Dead (2021)
Army of the Dead (2021)
2021 | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
6.7 (22 Ratings)
Movie Rating
A gory Zombie-rich take on Oceans 11.
Zac Snyder’s glossy zombie flick is a valiant attempt, and it has its moments. The story neatly blends a zombie apocalypse with an “Oceans” heist movie. You even get some stirring “Die Hard”-style vault opening music! But a weak script and a flabby running time make this rather hard work to get through in one sitting. If Snyder could get a bit of self-control and come out with a nice 100-minute movie, he’d get more of my vote.

Park brain at door. You gotta love the splatter-fest of a zombie-movie once in a while, and this one delivers a lot of requisite gore and a zombie white tiger to boot! You have to admit that Zack Snyder does have an eye for style. There are some neat moments in this… like when the casino power comes back on and the silence is filled with that familiar slot machine noise and Elvis track that you only ever hear at scale in Vegas!
Dave Bautista is nearly always either in an ensemble piece or a bit-part “heavy” – the only other film I can immediately think of is the (very funny) comedy “Stuber“. He’s seldom the lead. But, understanding that the script is horribly vomit-inducing in places, he’s pretty good in this. I also liked Ella Purnell who plays his daughter, although couldn’t get over how much she looks like Olivia Cooke!
The special effects and prosthetics work is pretty impressive. This would have been good to see on the big screen.

Interspersed amongst the (often entertaining) action sequences are some horribly soupy sections of dialogue where the forward momentum of the movie completely stalls.
Some of the acting is on the decidedly ropey side and makes the glossy piece feel more like a B-movie.
A number of elements of the story really don’t make sense. The most blatant happens at the end: Tanaka could have got the money anyway!
At nearly two and a half hours, it’s another Snyder bladder-tester.
Churchill (2017)
Churchill (2017)
2017 | Biography, Drama, History
6.5 (4 Ratings)
Movie Rating
“We will bore them on the beaches”.
“Churchill” tells the story of the great leader’s extreme opposition to “Operation Overlord”, the Eisenhower-led invasion of Normandy in 1944 that ultimately led – more by luck that judgement perhaps – to the fall of the Third Reich in the following year.
I’m not a historian but am married to one, so know the importance of “sources” in the pursuit of “truth”: one man’s terrorist is after all another man’s freedom fighter from a different perspective. Some sources on the internet (here for example) certainly suggest the The British (led by Churchill as Prime Minister) might have sensibly promoted the acceleration of the Italian campaign to reach Berlin rather than the far riskier Channel crossing.

This film however paints Churchill as a man demonised by his decision to send young men to their deaths in the fateful Gallipoli beach landings of World War One, with this – rather than a sensible strategic one – being the primary reason for opposing the Normandy landings. To further paint him as a bumbling old fool that is “worked around” by his peers strikes you as borderline libellous.

So the film’s script, by novice Alex von Tunzelmann, immediately set the wrong tone with me, and the undeniably strong performances of Brian Cox (“The Bourne Identity”) as Churchill and the wonderful Miranda Richardson (“Harry Potter” and the soon to be released “Stronger”) as Clemmie can’t fill the gap.

Besides anything else, diretor Jonathan Teplitzky (“The Railway Man”) delivers a piece so dull and lifeless, and with so much brooding, that its not remotely enjoyable. You think the introduction of a bullied secretary – Ms Garrett (Ella Purnell) – with a strong personal connection to ‘Overlord’ will add dramatic colour? But this angle too seems to go nowhere in particular.

There are many tales of the Normandy landings that are fascinating, over and above the dramatic sweep of “The Longest Day” (which is surely well overdue for a remake?) and Spielberg’s fictionalisation of the Niland brothers in “Saving Private Ryan”. How about the 2 out of 29 American amphibious tanks that reached Omaha beach after ignoring British advice to not launch so far from shore in rough seas?

So, as a film, it might be “worthy”. But I didn’t remotely believe the depiction of Churchill and it astonished me that such a rivetingly exciting period of British history could deliver a film that bored me. So, sorry, can’t recommend this one. Perhaps Joe Wright will have a better go with Gary Oldman as Churchill in “Darkest Hour”…
Army of the Dead (2021)
Army of the Dead (2021)
2021 | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
6.7 (22 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Took To Long To Get To The Fun Part
I love me a good Zombie flick. I also love me a good Heist flick. So…when I heard that Zack Snyder (JUSTICE LEAGUE) was making a “Zombie/Heist Flick”, I thought “what’s not to like”?

Turns out…plenty.

A pet project of Sndyer’s that has been stuck in “development hell” in Hollywood for almost 2 decades, ARMY OF THE DEAD tells the tale of a group of mercenaries that look to rob $200 million from a vault under the casinos of Las Vegas - one small problem…Las Vegas has been walled off as a way to contain a zombie plague.

My first warning that this was not going to a pleasant experience is that this film has a 2 1/2 hour run time. That certainly seems bloated for a Zombie film and the first 1 1/2 of this flick certainly proves this out as Snyder - ham handedly - seeks to flesh out each of the characters in long, boring exposition scenes that didn’t really add anything to the tension or action. Well…it did add something…restless boredom.

But…I gotta admit, once the group of mercenaries make their way to the vault in Las Vegas, the last hour of the film was pretty darn fun.

Dave Bautista (Drax in the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY films) leads the group of mercenaries and Ella Purnell (Emma in MISS PEREGRINE…) is his estranged daughter. I won’t bore you with the details of why these 2 are estranged…but they are and Bautista insists that his daughter NOT come along on this mission. So you know what happens next…yep, she comes along and I was rooting for her to get killed almost from the start. Neither of these 2 characters work and since they are central to the story they are really at the root of the problems with the first 1 1/2 hours of this film.

The rest of the ensemble, however, are a lot of fun and bring that “B Monster Movie” vibe to the proceedings and they look like they are having alot of fun. Tig Notero, Ana de La Reguera, Omari Hardwick and Theo Rossi are an enjoyable lot and know EXACTLY what type of film they are in.

But the standouts of the ensemble are the always great Garret Dillahunt (John Dorie in FEAR THE WALKING DEAD) who brings his usual “A” game to the proceedings. As does Nora Arnezeder (SAFE HOUSE) as “The Coyote” a survivor who has been in Las Vegas before and - especially - Matthias Schweighofer (RESISTANCE) who steals every scene he is in playing the German safecracker.

I would have loved it if Snyder would have cut the Bautista and daughter scenes (and characters) and just had this ensemble go after the loot - it would have been a much better - and shorter - film.

But…if you can last through the long, boring first 1 1/2 hours, the last hour is “good enough” Zombie action with an interesting “twist” on the genre that I will have to give Snyder credit for.

If you do all this, you’ll have a passably decent enough entertaining time.

Letter Grade: B-

6 stars (out of 10) and you can take that to the Bank(OfMarquis)