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Here's the second set of reviews for movies I watched this week. Previously.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Watched this one because the r/movies Nice Guys thread mentioned it as one of Shane Black's earlier films that was closest to Nice Guys. That's kind of true because half of the movie is also a black comedy about two guys trying to solve a murder. The two guys: a young pre-Iron Man RDJ playing a petty thief mistakenly thrust into the Los Angeles showbiz scene and Val Kilmer playing a gay PI who isn't shy about talking about his sexuality all the time and talking shit about RDJ's character. The other half of the movie is a bit of a romcom involving RDJ's character and his boyhood crush, now an unsuccessful LA actress played by Michelle Monaghan. The two halves of the movie come together reasonably well, although the cases they're checking out end up with a predictable mastermind. Downey and Kilmer have some great chemistry here, perhaps even more than Downey and Monaghan. The comedy is okay, a bit slapstick, but I didn't find it as good as Nice Guys.

Constantine (2005)

Been meaning to watch this one for a while. Not too impressed. Keanu's acting isn't great at the best of times, and this doesn't feel like his best. The plot is a bit hard to follow though Constantine tries his best to explain everything to us. The plot is highly dependent on a lot of Catholic lore (spear of destiny, angels and demons, etc) which I don't have a problem with as a Catholic, but I do find questionable how it would work with people of other faiths. Are they screwed because they don't have crosses or other Catholic iconography to protect them? Why don't demons try to cross over using Jews or Muslims or even heathens who wouldn't think about an exorcism? I've never read Hellblazer so IDK how faithful the film is to the source material, but later portrayals of Constantine that I've seen (such as in Legends of Tomorrow) focus more on his handling of occult and demonology and less on the outright religious references. THe rest of the film is fine. Surprised to see Shia LeBouf, Tilda Swinton and Djimon Hounsou here. Apparently Michelle Monaghan also had a short cameo that I hadn't noticed.

Alien (1979)

It felt logical to watch this one after watching Predator. They're kind of in the same vein of sci-fi crossed with horror, though this one leans harder on the horror aspects while Predator leaned harder on the action scenes. Aside from Sigourney Weaver, the only other actor I recognize here is John Hurt. I like the sets especially all the detail on the ships, it feels a lot more authentic than other contemporary space-faring sci-fi (see: Star Wars). At first I was a bit annoyed that they seemed to make a lot of unnecessary / stupid mistakes in their handling of the situation, but a later reveal made those problems understandable. My complaint is that a lot of the alien scenes are so dark or shot from weird angles, making the action hard to follow but that might have been a conscious decision to make the alien more scary / menacing without exposing the limitations of practical effects at the time. I think I liked Predator better, because I prefer action to horror probably.

X-Men: Days of Future Past Rogue Cut (2014)

This is a rewatch, but also a bit new: I found out recently that this "Rogue cut" of the film exists, where they added a Rogue subplot to the future side of the film (Rogue does not appear in the theatrical cut). Didn't have any comments on it before, so adding a review here. The film held up surprisingly well, it's probably the best of the McAvoy-led set of X-Men films. I loved the battles with the Nimrods on the future side, with the creative uses of Blink's portals. The design of the 70's era sentinels was pretty good as well, mirroring the original Sentinels design from the comics, albeit with a slightly better color scheme. I still find the ending questionable - I imagine the public attack on the president would have galvanized anti-mutant sentiment worldwide, although it might end up taking a different form than sentinels.

Iron Man 2 (2010)

I rewatched this film and the sequel mostly because they're among my least rewatched MCU films; and also I wanted more RDJ and Shane Black (IM3 director) I guess. Adding a review here because I didn't have any notes on it before. This one held up as well, and my opinion of it improved a little even. I think I was a bit down on it before because honestly Whiplash seemed like such a lame villain at the time, he's one of the lesser-known Iron Man baddies. I can appreciate it now as the film giving Tony Stark two different villains for each of his aspects: Vanko/Whiplash was less about the whips and more about the tech genius side, while Justin Hammer was the businessman side. Having also been binging the older Iron Man comics from the 70s and 80s, Tony's destructive behavior in the first and second acts reminded me a lot of his alcoholic breakdown that led to Stane taking over Stark International in the comics. The film doesn't focus on the alcholism but instead palladium poisoning from the arc reactor causes his downward spiral. Stark "rediscovers" a new element to replace palladium, but that element is never named.

My opinion of IM2 has improved, but I find IM3 to be about the same as I remember it (though I had forgotten some of the details and was glad for the rewatch), so the previous review still applies.

Just realized I didn't take any screenshots for these reviews.

Sat, Aug. 13, 2022, 7:05 p.m. / / blog / #movies / Syndicated: mastodon twitter / 976 words

Last modified at: Aug. 13, 2022, 7:46 p.m. Source file

Media this post references:

movies Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) Aug 13 2022 4.0
movies Constantine (2005) Aug 13 2022 3.0
movies Alien (1979) Aug 13 2022 3.5
movies X-Men: Days of Future Past Rogue Cut (2014) Aug 13 2022 3.5
movies Iron Man 2 (2010) Aug 13 2022 3.5