Quickie Reviews

Quickie Review 5: Jexi Review

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(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com/camseyeview. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this review!)

I shouldn't even be giving this film a quickie review. This is such a waste of time for everyone on board, and I just can't imagine a movie that could almost beat Loqueesha as the worst movie of 2019, but by george, Jexi, by writers and directors, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore almost beats it! 

 

Where do I even start with this trainwreck? Okay, I know where I need to start, what was this film trying to be? I'm usually on board with clunky, but ambitious films, but this film had no clear idea of what it wanted to be. Was it supposed to be a romantic comedy? Was it supposed to be a comedy? Was it supposed to be a quirky horror comedy with a psychotic phone AI? Was it meant to be this anti-phone commentary? It decides that it wants to be a KFC Famous Bowl and be all of the above. Unlike that thing though, this movie isn't good! You don't care about the chemistry between the characters, the commentary is spring roll wrap thin, the romantic and comedy elements aren't great, the characters aren't likable, and you get the idea. Like, was the moral to live life and throw away your phone? Well, yes, but no, because you still need your phone for our modern-day lives. It's like they had no real idea what to do, but had to turn in something to make a check. 

 

Oh, and let's get this out of the way, Adam DeVine, no matter how charming he can be, and good lord I know he's trying, isn't a male lead. He works as a secondary character to everyone else. He's extremely obnoxious, and it just reminds me why I hated him in Game Over, Man. However, while he is a lot of why this film doesn't work, none of the actors are given any service by being in this movie. The only one I think was almost at the point of making me keep this out of my top 10 worst for the year was Michael Pena. I mean, it's because he's Michael Pena, and he's an actor that can make almost anything work. 

 

Jexi almost beat out Loqueesha for the worst film of 2019, and I can't stand either film. Luckily, it seems like people are avoiding Jexi like the plague, as it's bombing in theaters, and while that sucks for everyone involved, it's just another example as to why people prefer to not go to theaters. Why should I go see something as half-baked and undercooked like Jexi, when I can simply turn on my Netflix and watch The Chef Show? A lot of the actors in this movie like Adam DeVine, Ron Funches, Michael Pena, Rose Byrne, Charlyne Yi, Alexandra Shipp, and Kid Cudi should have been in a better movie together. I almost would rather watch Rambo: Last Blood again. To the shock of no one, this is a movie I will not play again

 Thanks for reading the review! I hope you all enjoyed reading it! If you would like to support my work, make sure to share it out, and if you want to become a Patreon supporter, then you can go to patreon.com/camseyeview. I will see you all next time!

Quickie Review 4: Judy Review

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(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com/camseyeview. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this review!)

It's award season, and it's not award season unless we get some biopic dramas of famous people played by actors who want to win a shiny gold trophy! I know that sounds a bit cynical, but it's hard not to be fully aware of why biopic dramas get made, and why they get released around award season. Still, I can't be angry when this is when we get some of the best performances of the year, and that's no different than with the Judy Garland biopic drama, Judy, by director Rupert Goold. 

 

Now, the biggest problem with most biopics, that sadly is in Judy, is that the lead actor is great, but everything else around it is middle of the road. Well, that's true here. The strongest element to Judy is Renee Zellweger as Judy. Sometimes her voice comes off as a little hokey, but for the most part, she brings it as Judy Garland at the lowest point of her career. You feel for her, and sympathize with how she was treated when she was the hottest ticket in Hollywood. Seriously, you just feel your skin crawl and are held back from throwing a drink at the screen any time her agent and Louis B. Mayer come on. You just want to strangle them for mistreating Garland at such a young age. It was even a surprise to me that Zellweger did her own singing, and she did a good job! The musical moments are another highlight of the film, and that's true with the final one where she sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The supporting cast of Finn Wittrock, Richard Cordery, Rufus Sewell, and Jessie Buckley put in some great performances. It's a well-cast film that was able to let the actors breathe and have their moments in-between the depressing points in Garland's career. 

 

Sadly, that's all the praise I have for the film. Now, that isn't to say Judy is a bad film, because it's not. I haven't seen a biopic that was truly terrible unless it entirely missed the point. No, the biggest problem is that it's another biopic drama during award season that has one really good element to it, but that's about it. The rest of the film isn't terrible, but it's very traditional. Even the performances from Garland's agent and the co-founder of MGM are a touch cartoony and one-dimensional. That's how many of the side characters are treated. There isn't a whole lot to them, and that's a shame. Even Renee's voice for Garland almost teeters into the cartoony territory. The problem is that I can tell this is a biopic more interested in awards than being a movie-going experience. It's not the worst of its kind, but the tropes and execution of these films are, to me, becoming way more noticeable. 

 

Listen, just because I'm calling it another standard biopic doesn't mean I hate it. I liked Judy, and I think it's one of the better biopic dramas that I have seen during the award season. However, it is just another biopic that kind of gets lost in the flood of other award-hopeful biopics. I recommend checking it out if you are curious. I don't think there is any rush seeing it in theaters, but I would rather watch this film than Joker again. It might be another biopic that is aiming to grab at awards, but it's better than most. It's a film I would play once, but never again. 

Thanks for reading the review! I hope you all enjoyed reading it! If you would like to support my work, make sure to share it out, and if you want to become a Patreon supporter, then you can go to patreon.com/camseyeview. I will see you all next time!

Quickie Review 3: Hustlers Review

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(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com/camseyeview. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this review!)

You ever see a trailer for a film, and it makes you worried about how it's going to handle the premise? That's how I felt when I saw the first trailer for Lorene Scafaria's Hustlers. You think a film about strippers scamming huge sums of money out of Wallstreet and rich punks in a heist thriller would be sleazy and entirely male-gaze-centric. Luckily, with Lorene Scafaria's directing and writing, Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu as the leads, you get quite a fun ride! 

 

Much of what makes this work is the dynamic chemistry between Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez. I love how the two work off each other, as you have the young starry-eyed pupil and the veteran who knows what is what. The film has a lot of fun with the entire strip bar heist premise, and while the film is showing the characters in a negative light, and what they did was not okay, it is also executed in a way where you are enjoying the ride alongside them. It's a film that's fun to watch, knows what kind of tone is appropriate for it, and has great acting. While I don't know what the final lineup of Best Actress nominees will be, I can see why Jennifer Lopez is getting buzz. This might be her best role since Out of Sight, which is one of my favorite movies. She owns this film, and while the overall cast is great, she is leagues above everyone else. You also feel for Constance Wu and her situation, because sometimes, life doesn't give you a good hand, and you have to adapt and do what you can to survive or get out of that moment. 

 

I think the issues I have with the film are the same ones everyone else has. It's not a bad idea to do this as a sort of flashback-style story, but it does hurt the pacing, and it feels abrupt when the reporter character chimes in. They could have either told it as a linear story or done something more stylish with how the story was told. Also, any guy being a punk and complaining about Lizzo and Cardi B being in the film needs to just zip their lips. They are only in it for, like, five minutes. This is more of an issue with comments I see for the film, but still. People need to stop having a heart attack with these two appearing in the film. 

While it might not be the most original story told, and I am aware that some parts of the real-life story were changed for this film, I still really enjoyed Hustlers, and not because it has a bunch of beautiful women in it. It's a fun and amusing heist thriller that I would play it again! 

 Thanks for reading the review! I hope you all enjoyed reading it! If you would like to support my work, make sure to share it out, and if you want to become a Patreon supporter, then you can go to patreon.com/camseyeview. I will see you all next time!

Quickie Review 2: Joker Review

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(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com/camseyeview. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this review!)

Before we do anything, let's get this out of the way. This review will not be based on the controversy pre-release, or Todd Phillips making himself look like a complete idiot during the press tour when he should have let the movie speak for itself, even if he does deserve all the flack he's getting for the comments made. Also, do not take your kids to see this film. I don’t know why parents are taking their kids to an obviously R-rated comic book flick about a killer clown. Educate yourself before you see this film. Now then, let's talk about one of the most controversial films of the year, Todd Phillips' Joker

 For the beginning of DC's new line of one-off/experimental stories, Joker had a lot to ride on, because, as I said previously if superhero movies want to stay relevant, they need to evolve beyond being simple superhero films. Unfortunately, while I am glad it's a financial success, I wish the film was a better experience. 

 Not to say there aren't good elements, because there is plenty to like or admire about Joker. As usual, when you have Joaquin Phoenix in your film, you should always expect a great performance, and that's no different here. Phoenix brings a very unhinged performance as Arthur aka the Joker. His performance is the best part of the movie. The film is full of incredibly unnerving scenes, from the moment he meets young Bruce Wayne, to his first comedy set, to the subway ride home. You will feel uncomfortable as you watch his demented rise into becoming the iconic character. Also, as many may misunderstand, you are, without a doubt, not meant to idolize this character. Sure, you feel bad for his situation and life, but the emotional investment is kept at an arm's length because even Todd Phillips knows you aren't meant to see this character as a proper state of being a positive role model. The rest of the cast is also quite stellar with Robert DeNiro, Zazie Beetz, and others. While this may be a comic book movie, and yes, it is a comic book movie, I do respect that it wanted to tackle themes about mental health, how our society is failing to help people with mental problems in need, and class disputes. It's always nice to see a film try to go the extra mile in wanting to be taken seriously and talk about uncomfortable subjects. 

 Like I said above though, it wants to tackle these topics, but I don't think the film knows how to. It has plenty of memorable scenes and that one Oscar-bait monologue scene with Phoenix talking to Robert DeNiro's character about how society and the rich have failed us, but it doesn't want to take that next step. It reminds me of last year's Vice, where Joker has a lot to say, but doesn't know how to properly continue the conversation, or even want to continue the conversation. It's like the writer and director got excited about it, but then realized they were way out of their zone and backed out with no real evolution of the conversation. It also doesn't help that it has plenty of plot elements and characters that could have been cut, or expanded upon. I don't know if Zazie Beetz was supposed to have more to do, but after a twist that happens with her, she is never seen or mentioned again. I think a better director like Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu would have done a better job with these themes.

 Even if the film knows that we aren't supposed to like him, Joker still tries a little to make us root for him, when you absolutely should not. As I said, everything feels a bit undercooked, and maybe a second viewing would help things out, but if I'm already picking up that the film doesn't really juggle its themes properly, then why should I invest more time into a film that already drags itself through its two-hour runtime? If you want to see Phoenix be the literal Joker, it's pretty much in the last 20 minutes of the film. I wouldn't mind this, and while it has its moments of being compelling, the fact it takes that long, and we don't see him as the infamous clown, is disappointing. 

 I was hoping we could move into the award-season batch of films without much conflict. I'm so tired of watching prestige films or films that won big at old and out-of-date film festivals that pick these films. I don't care much for them, because once we get our hands on them, we tend not to be on the same wavelength. It's an okay movie with one really strong award-hopeful performance and some nicely shot scenes. If you want a film that tackles this kind of story better, well, you will find those. I don't think a lot of the controversy was worth it, but I do respect the people that were concerned over the film's release, and if I see anyone that I know mock or harass anyone over the concerns/controversy or that they didn't like the film, you are a punk. Don't be a punk. I could recommend seeing Joker, and my mixed review isn't hurting its box office chances, but I could recommend way more movies, and especially Martin Scorcese films over Joker. Phillips obviously wanted this to be like one of Martin's films but didn't realize that directors like Tarantino and Scorcese make their film-making projects look easy. I'm more caught in the middle with how I rate this film, and I don't plan on changing my mind about it either. Please respect my wishes that I am indifferent to the film, and others are not going to like the movie either. I would recommend people watch Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, Taxi Driver, Her, and You Were Never Really Here over Joker. Joker is a film I would play once, and then never again. 

 Thanks for reading the review! I hope you all enjoyed reading it! If you would like to support my work, make sure to share it out, and if you want to become a Patreon supporter, then you can go to patreon.com/camseyeview. I will see you all next time!

 

Quickie Review 1: Rambo: Last Blood

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(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com/camseyeview. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this review!)

Parental Warning: If it wasn’t obvious, Rambo: Last Blood is Rated R for violence, drugs, and sexual situations. A lot of the hyper-violence you see in the marketing is in the last 20 minutes, but that’s beside the point. Viewer’s Discretion is Advised. I hope you all like the review!

I decided to change things up a bit, and do quick little reviews in-between the films that I consider to be highly rewatchable. Maybe I'll come back to these films and do full-fledged reviews, but I wanted to do something to liven things up a bit.

The Rambo franchise probably has one of the more confusing lineages of films. The first film wasn't really meant to be the beginning of this huge action franchise, but it happened, and now we have the supposed final film in the franchise with Rambo: Last Blood by director Adrian Grunberg.

 The premise of the film isn’t terrible, albeit unoriginal. The plot has Rambo now living in Arizona as a rancher taking care of an adopted Hispanic teenager, who goes to Mexico to find her real father. She ends up getting kidnapped by a Mexican cartel, and he has to go save her. Too bad the entire first 70 minutes of the film are filled with fairly generic plot points with characters introduced that you will never see again by the end of the film, and is pretty much like Stallone's version of Taken, but with Rambo. That should be cool, but the writing drags the experience down, along with the boring villains. If this is supposed to be Rambo's last hurrah, why not have it personally connect to his character? It's just another boilerplate cartel gang. It’s not even as pandering as last year’s Death Wish or Sicario: Day of the Soldado, they are more like a cartel you see in CSI or NCIS. I was sitting there waiting for something to be interesting, and you get a tiny bit of action when Stallone finds the girl, but it almost doesn't matter, due to how dull everything up to that point is.

 

It's not boring like Red Sparrow, but more in the vein of 2018's Proud Mary, where you get a taste of what makes the franchise great, but not much else until you hit the last 20 minutes. Even after the entertaining action sequence of Rambo fighting off the cartel, the film tries to end on a deep note for the franchise. I think I would have personally been mad if the final film in my franchise was this slap-dash dullfest. Like, at least the Taken films stayed cohesive and connected. Last Blood even tries to end on a montage of the franchise as this consistent poetic beauty of cinema, and that's not even the case.

 

Still, Stallone himself has the acting chops to pull you through the grimy streets of Mexico and back to the dry Arizona desert, but you can tell how little he is invested in this film compared to Creed II. The only reason to go see this film is for the last 20 or so minutes of action. It's truly a fun romp as the violence and gore are so over-the-top that it almost feels like it should belong in the John Wick films. It's the best part of the film by miles. If you want some intense action and gore, you will find it in this film.

 

I want to be angrier about this not being a great film, but I honestly can't. Don't get me wrong, I did not like this, but it's so boring, and there are other action films from 2019 that are way more obnoxious than Rambo: Last Blood. I don't think it's the worst film of 2019, nor do I think it's as bad as a lot of people are making it out to be, but there are so many other action movies to watch that are captain obvious levels of better. You could easily watch the John Wick series, The Equalizer films, Upgrade, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the previous films in the Rambo franchise and even the parody film Hot Shots Part Deux, and get a more consistent experience than this film. If you couldn't tell by my review or the fact that no one is talking about this film, that this is a film I will not be playing again.