Look, I’ll be honest; I’m not perfect. But, most of the time, when I put out a review my opinion does not change on the film. However, for whatever reason there are a whole bunch of reviews that I look back on whenever I occasionally want to re-read what I wrote about some films—which, considering how long I’ve been doing this is getting harder and harder to do—and wish I’d done something differently. Most of the time my opinion doesn’t really change, though occasionally I’ll either soften my opinion of a film or I’ll actually end up thinking the film is a bit worse; usually or possibly on a second viewing because I’m watching it with a friend, or for whatever reason it just happened to be on. However, there are very few times when I think if you read that review you probably wouldn’t get a good idea of my current opinion.
The following six movies are reviews where I really think if you read now you would not get my current opinion of these films. I don’t want to rank these because I think that’s not going to serve much of a purpose since, again, this is a lot more subjective and personal, so I’m simply going to list these in alphabetical order. The rules are simple: These reviews were ones where some aspect of the review really does not reflect my current opinion at the time of writing at the end of April of 2021. It has to be a film I’ve written about, not just one that I’ve seen on multiple occasions and changed my opinion, and it has to be ones where I kind of wish I had a better perspective on my first viewing. So with that, let’s get on with it.
I gave Alien Covenant a pretty decent review upon first viewing and I think that’s just because I kind of was desperate for something remotely resembling classic Alien films after Prometheus, which is the film I didn’t enjoy at the time and still don’t enjoy now. Alien Covenant, however, is not the answer. I don’t know what I was on giving this film a good review—Alien Covenant fails in virtually everything it tries to do. It’s not exactly, in a sense, Lovecraftian like the original Alien was, and it’s not badass action either. It’s just a kind of weird mess of trying to bridge the plot elements of Prometheus with the larger canonical aspects of Alien. And if anything, it doesn’t succeed in that at all. (In fact, if you want a storyline that does kind of go back to the roots of the Alien franchise, play the videogame Alien Isolation—it really captures the horror elements of the franchise that’s been missing for quite some time.)
The other big problem is the fact that there are no real defined characters in this film. I couldn’t tell you anything about any of them. I just remember one of them is played by Danny Huston, and Michael Fassbender reprises his role as the Android from Prometheus but now he’s playing dual roles. I really like Michael Fassbender as an actor and he gives one the best performances in this film, but it’s also an incredibly self-indulgent idea on the part of the writers, including one of the weirdest moments I have ever seen on film, which raised much more questions than answers. Bottom line: If I reviewed Alien Covenant today, I think I’d say it’s a step up from Prometheus, but even taking that extra step up, you’re still wading your way through the muck.
I think with this one I was so desperate for it to be good I kind of just tried to see some of the good ideas and pretended to myself that they were pulled off well. Everything about Batman v Superman is a failure. It has no idea what to do with any of the characters or the plotlines and is clearly just set up for future films, now most of which will never come. I’m glad Zack Synder finally got to make his version of Justice League at last because people have really convinced me that it’s good that he got to execute it, and while I haven’t seen his cut of Justice League yet because I really don’t have the patience to watch a 4-hour film, I have heard it’s more coherent so he might have been building to something.
But I think it doesn’t address a lot of the fundamental problems I had with Batman v Superman. Synder I don’t think really gets these characters; I think he still kind of sees them on a surface level which I mentioned when I talked about his adaptation of Watchmen. Though that’s not to say there’s not some good ideas in this one. I still kind of like the fact that Ben Affleck is playing a rather emotionally broken version of Batman that’s even less trusting than usual. but I don’t think it helped that this film came out relatively close to Captain American: Civil War, and I remember I was watching a Mitch Benn video where he summed it up best: In Captain America: Civil War, Steve and Tony come to a real disagreement on principles, neither of which are entirely correct or incorrect, and as a result the film becomes a battle of ideals. That makes the whole inevitable conflict between the two so tragic. In Batman v Superman, not only have we not had time to know these characters since we only had one Superman film prior to this and no Batman films, but they can’t even work on the thing they’re building up which is Batman’s distrust of Superman. The only reason they fight in this is because Lex Luther kidnaps Superman’s mum which leads to the scene that would create a million facepalms.
There are also several moments where Synder really doesn’t make Superman all that powerful. He has great x-ray vision but can’t detect a bomb in a wheelchair? Very embarrassing considering that he could detect six bombs across Las Vegas in the Justice League animated series which had a much more serious tone than this film and gave more respect to the characters. And also, why can’t Superman just get his mum back from a bunch of less powerful guards? Granted, it does lead to one of the best action scenes with Batman in live action but I don’t think it was worth the price. Bottom line: my Batman v Superman review would have been way more negative if I could go back over it.
Hereditary is probably the one I’d need to change the least out of this lot, since if you read that review you would get the most accurate opinion. Hereditary is still a great film. The acting is brilliant, the use of editing to create scares is great, and it understands atmosphere better than most horror films that I’ve seen in recent memory. But if there’s one thing I would change, I think I gave the ending much more credit than it deserved. The ending to Hereditary in my opinion is not so good. While I think it nails the plot twist that is being set up, it’s so balls to the wall and out of tone with the rest of the film that it doesn’t feel right per se. But, as a whole, that’s the only thing I would change about the review; I just kind of think if you read that review you’d think I enjoyed it as a whole and wouldn’t get the sense that I thought the ending was a bit off.
Oh, what the hell was I thinking? I was way too easy on this film. It’s unbelievably unremarkable. Seriously, when I was going through this film in my head after seeing it, I couldn’t remember a thing about it. I just remember Chris Hemsworth was in it and they wanted to try to add an extra happy ending on that really bland Snow White film with the girl from Twilight in, and now Chris Hemsworth is here again, and for some reason there’s weird CGI Rob Brydon and Nick Frost giving very cringeworthy performances. And I’m getting this from looking up clips; I seriously don’t remember anything about this film, and the fact I gave it a half-decent review I think was a bad decision. This is just bland and forgettable. I bet most of you don’t even remember this film came out just by my mentioning it. Honestly, I don’t remember the circumstances that led to this review turning out the way it did. Let’s just leave it there.
This is a bit of a change. I don’t know why I was so down in parts on this film because, honestly, Moana has held up remarkably well. I think the comparisons to Frozen I kept making were very unjust considering the two films are thematically very different. Though I stand by that ‘How Far I’ll Go’ sounds way too close to ‘Let It Go’ for it to be pure coincidence, the soundtrack as a whole I think is better than Frozen’s, many because Lin Manuel Miranda has proven that is a very talented songwriter and what he brings to the film works out well. That’s why the song ‘You’re Welcome’ works out so well in spite of the fact The Rock doesn’t suit that song entirely from a vocal performance perspective.
A lot of people say The Rock can’t sing at all, but that’s not the case. Anyone who watched some of his older gimmicks in his time as a wrestler, particularly his Hollywood gimmick, will know that he can actually sing pretty well, particularly on acoustic guitar and folk music. But the thing is that Moana, especially the song ‘You’re Welcome’, is done in the style of a show tune, something that’s very hard to do. This is a similar problem to why Russell Crowe’s performance is rather stunted in the Les Misérables adaptation, though the difference is that Lin Manuel Miranda works much better with The Rock than the music directors on Les Misérables worked with Russell Crowe. It’s also actually amazing how well Moana works out from plot point to plot point. It actually has a really great story structure and cares a lot about its main protagonist. I seriously think I undersold this film when it came out because Moana’s great. You really should see it if you haven’t already.
The final one goes back to very early days. I really liked Patema Inverted when I first saw it. I even said it was the second-best film that came out in 2014, falling short of The Wind Rises by Hayao Miyazaki. But after a re-watch, it would never get that high again. After my real experience with watching a lot more Anime movies, Patema Inverted is just okay. Let me clarify a few things that I still think are great: the animation quality, the concept which is genuinely interesting, and the story between the main characters also works out well. But that’s about where the praises kind of end. As a plot as a whole, it’s kind of a bit all over the place. There’s a lot of unexplained elements that you’re just sort of meant to go along with.
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