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The Shining (1980)
Jack has taken the job and now he is the caretaker of The Overlook Hotel. His wife and their little son are going to be here with him. The location itself is beautiful but remote and isolated.
What exacrly is his job? What duties does he have here? What if he fails to do his job properly? Is there any danger in that? Pay no attention to that.
What's wrong with his wife? Why does she treat him as a child that needs to have its meals brought to it at an exact time? Alright, alright, calm down. She may have reasons to behave like that. After all, this is a married couple. Who knows what they've been through?
What's wrong with their son? Alright, the movie sort of explains it. Speaking of the boy. Go watch Looper and you will probably understand why I think this boy might have inspired Rian Johnson. Just saying.
Why does Jack go insane? Because he hates his wife and cannot get any inspiration for his writing? He's a writer, by the way. Sure, things happen in this hotel but seriously, is what we see in the movie enough to drive a man insane? Do not think about it.
Also, the one and only Kubrick directed it, so you either like it or you're too dumb to understand the greatness of art! Sure. Seems like whoever was in charge of production had plenty of ideas and got lost in thier own maze. Hints, things, whatever.
Jack's wife is a miscast, say what you will. She's annoying for the wrong reason. The story is raw, it is not well paced. It is a mess. The music is misplaced and does not stop. Annoying.
The movie looks good, that is for sure. Most of the time, anyway. Jack Nickolson is great. That little boy's acting was impressive. That old woman in the room where nobody should go, well, that was disgusting. Being repulsive edges on being scary in that scene. There is blood, a lot of it. Looks impressive. That's about it.
Also, go read the book. Way better! No wander King did not like this mess that keeps fooling people into thinking it is a great horror movie.
The Midnight Man (2016)
Fear and tears
A mansion in darkness and a few people trapped in there by a sinister force that won't give up until they are dead. Obviously, it is familiar. But it's not what you meet on the surface, it's what the movie does with it underneath.
Lesson one. If you have nothing to do you should not go looking for trouble. Lesson two. Just because it seems exciting does not make it a good idea. Lesson three. Don't assume the world is an honest place. Because it can prove you deadly wrong. Lesson four. Just because you want to help somebody does not mean you are able to. Does not mean you should.
There are few characters in the movie. But you can't remove any of them because they are all there for a reason. The movie does not paint its protagonists in pure white. Some of them are not what they seem to be. Things like that create drama and it works.
The visuals matter as well. The lights, the colours, the shadows, the camerawork in general. The movie takes place in one building, And only the last seconds of it are daytime. You'd think "The Midnight Man" should be one and a half hour of things that are hard to see in the dark. But the movie handles it well and benefits from it to a great extent. This is art.
Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)
Too bad a sixth one is unlikely to be made.
"Blood Wars" does not rely on fighting and shooting a lot. Instead, it focuses on the characters and what happens to them. Even though it ignores certains new and impressive ideas from the previous one, the fifth "Underworld" has its own charms.
It is honestly easy to talk about the weak spots of it. Like some visual effects that leave much to be desired here and there. This werewolf looks great, that one does not. To avoid excessive detail, let's just say the action scenes vary in their quality. Also, the movie does not start well and suffers in certain parts of the third act. Mostly, because of technical problems.
But the cinematography and the story do their job well. Not many movies are so beautiful in spite of happening entirely in darkness. Relaxing, mesmerizing and surprisingly emotional. It's like they hired someone to make an action movie but ended up with a director who cared more about art.
That is not to say that you don't get awesome fighting and shooting. You do. The new villain is calm, prepared and strong. Dealing with him is far from easy. I would also like to praise the humor. Where it is, it works. Can't be easy to have funny moments in perilous situations. But that's exactly what we got here.
Even though it is only one and a half hour long, it has powerful substance and feels rich in important events. With however many CGI problems to damage your experience, it still feels real. It feels true. Quite a few characters with understandable motivation, life and death decisions, inevitable threats and impressive discoveries.