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Crunching the Numbers: Year 2

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My reviews.Before we get down to business, I have to say that this was a very weak year, which I guess is to be expected when Impact, Ry, and Water Bottle submitted only 1 film, and Frank submitted only 2 (1 of them at the last minute to fill a blockbuster spot), and a certain player or two lurking and hinting at releasing films but not coming through on the promise (you know who you are).So, this'll be a top 25 list, though really only the Top 10-15 have a good amount of strength to them. There'll be some scattered reviews beforehand, but I won't be taking requests.The fun begins tonight.

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The Good: The Vast Dark: Part Two- The Sacrament

Last year there was a thriller film with a long, ambitious title that proclaimed it was but the first in a series of thrillers. The film was decent and ambitious, though quite flawed in some aspects. Now we come to the sequel, which I must say improves on the first film a fair bit. It resolves the jarring cliffhanger the first film forced onto audiences with some style and ingenuity and the scrambled plot sequence presents a nice mental puzzle for viewers to arrange in their heads as they see how the dots connect, how the characters reach their low points, and where the thrills and schemes are coming and going. It's not a great film, but it's certainly learned from its predecessor what not to do and has fixed many of those errors to become an effective thriller.

The Bad: The War of the Worlds

Say what you will about Steven Spielberg's adaptation for good or for ill, but he did one thing right: He updated the setting to the present-day. The original novel works great as a depiction of the Victorian/Edwardian era completely overturned by an alien invasion, but unless you're making a film whose purpose is a genre clash (like Cowboys vs. Aliens, but imagine it good, and with a decent title), a novel like this has to be updated to the present day in order for it to register well. Then of course we get the musical aspect...yeah, this is The War of the Freaking Worlds, if anything is ill-suited to be turned into a series of musical numbers, it's this story. The genre mash-up here is so grating and so ball-dropping it becomes a real chore to sit through. Sure it might have seemed like an ambitious idea at the time, but like most studio ideas with adaptations, it just failed so bad in theory they should have seen how bad it'd fail in practice.

The WTF: Ant-Man

Ant-Man is the kind of superhero who needs a film to be pulled off very carefully and deliberate in order to be a success. This film does not do those things, in fact this film decides to play it so straight as a generic superhero origin and adventure that it almost comes off like a bizarre parody of superhero films. I mean there is real, strong talent behind this film, but the story and the character progression is just so rote and so by-the-numbers it just doesn't work, because Ant-Man is not a story where a by-the-numbers approach works in the slightest. It's a superhero who shrinks himself! You got to play it creative, slick, and daring to make it stick. Instead we get a film that tries to be so earnest and up-front that it turns into insane pagentry.

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:P Ant-Man got the WTF.Let me explain.I wrote it like that for it to be like an old fashioned comic from the 60s when Ant-Man first debuted. Yeah, I should have made the movie more stylised and slick so it didn't seem so weird. Maybe if it does good money, I will make Ant-Man 2 and it will be more like you wanted Ant-Man to be. :huh:
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Another round:

The Exciting: The Few

After seeing the studio mess up adapting War of the Worlds, I was hesitant to see what it'd do to a story of American pilots in the Battle of Britain. Luckily for me, the film suprised me for the positive with a thrilling and enriching adventure of a small number of brave men fighting against heavy odds during some of WW2's bleakest days. That isn't to say the film lacks flaws, it's main trouble is that it eventually gets too expansive, throwing its gaze to British and Nazi High Commands as well as German pilots who up until past the halfway point had no relevance to the film's story (it seems like they were thrown into the story at the last minute purely for an attempt to "humanize" the other side of the conflict). With a running time just under 2 hours, using this broad a canvas causes some of the story to be spread pretty thin and it detracts a little from the people we're supposed to follow and care about, the Americans (the titular The Few). Even with this hurdle, the film is still a wonderful ride, with an intense second half that focuses on the events of a single historic day. I am left with two questions: Why is this film underbudgeted? (75m for that large cast and big scope means we're treated to only a portion of the epic scale and visuals a tale like this deserves). And why a middle of August release date? Well, too late for those issues to be addressed.

The Whimsical: Subway Nest

There isn't much to this film I'll admit, being a tale of birds for the kids and all, but it still entertained me. In all it's a refreshing, mellow tale that embraces its inner child and whimsy to craft a fun and relaxing cinema experience.

The Insomnia Cure: The Island

Didn't like this film when it appeared in CAYOM 1.0, and I still don't like it now. As a film it is entirely derivative, trying to be a gothic, brooding mix of Shutter Island and Sucker Punch. But instead what results is a middle act of such mind-numbing dullness and character irrelevancy that it'll put insomniacs to sleep fairly easily if they let it. We have depravity for the sake of depravity, sudden out-of-character impulses to commit homicide, and all other assortments of stuff that just globs together in mediocrity. Oh yeah, the fucking dream twist makes everything take a turn for the stupid and pointless.

And the end of the film STILL DECIDES TO RIP OFF THE TAGLINES OF THE RETURN OF THE KING THEATRICAL TRAILER FOR A SELF-RIGHTEOUS FOURTH-WALL BREAKING PLATITUDE!!!

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I had The Few for December, then I moved it to August, because I thought there will be more films coming in. Turned out to be that nothing arrived, so looking back, I should have kept to the mid-December release. The budget is fine I think as it doesn't have any huge, demanding stars, otherwise it would have been 100m just like The Aviator. The running time should have been a bit longer, I agree. Is it too late to change that one slightly?

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Don't have time for more reviews since starting tomorrow I want to begin work on actuals, so I will jump to the countdown.

25. Father’s Quake

24. Delta

23. Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls

22. Guardians of Life

21. Marathon Men

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