The Exterminating Angel Review

When you see a title like “The Exterminating Angel” you know that things are about to get pretty intense. Well, that’s exactly what happened here. The movie can be pretty odd at times. The plot is certainly unique and I would say that the movie is good. It’s one of those films that knows when to end as I feel like if it had stayed going on for a bit longer it may have ultimately backfired pretty hard. There’s always a time to continue a plot and a time to end it. The film stayed within those parameters pretty well and stayed afloat right in the middle. I wouldn’t say that is any real replay value to be found here but it will definitely keep your interest on the initial watch.

The movie starts out with a bunch of friends getting together for a nice dinner. Unfortunately all of the hired help have decided to head out early for various reasons. The host is not happy about this but can’t exactly force them to stay. Unfortunately even after the dinner everyone is sticking around for some reason. As the next day rolls around people realize that something definitely isn’t right. For some reason they are unable to leave the main room. Keep in mind they can enter the kitchen and such but can’t leave the place. The rules of the boundaries seem to vary a bit but mainly you can’t leave the house and nobody can enter it either. That means the main characters are going to have to think of a plan quickly or it’s going to be game over for all of them.

In a way it’s a bit like the Children of the doomed film but instead of falling asleep the characters are just boxed in. It’s not like there’s a physical barrier blocking them or anything like that though. It’s just an invisible urge telling them not to go and none of the characters are brave enough to leave either. I personally take this to be a being blocking them. Perhaps some kind of demonic spirit masquerading itself as an Angel which would fit the title. The conditions for being stuck in the house seem to be rather specific with the time loop getting involved. I’m assuming this is a punishment of sorts to make the characters rethink their decisions. Through the dialogue we see that just about every character has done something rather suspect or is keeping a dark secret. Characters are cheating on each other, stealing, etc. Most of the people here don’t seem to be good people.

Some stay strong while others crack almost instantly. It really shows how the extended stay brings out each character’s true form. Some just aren’t up to handling this kind of pressure or they’re okay with hanging out with people for a bit but not for very long. I should say the film has a pretty fun ending as well. It definitely sets things up for possibly being an even more intense scenario. In this case the people inside are going to be crammed in even more than in the main scenario so I don’t see things ending particularly well for them. It’ll be a repeat of the original scenario except they won’t stay strong for nearly as long.

One of the main themes here is really about how anyone will crack so you just have to see how much you buy into it. There were quite a few big fights going on in the main place by the end. For my money it’s why I would be hesitant to go on any of those month vigils where you go with a group of people to the mountains or a resort and hang out for that period of time. Seems like it would be hard to just be stuck like that for so long. It’s not a good idea for sure.

I should mention that the film is in Spanish with subtitles throughout the film. I haven’t seen quite too many films in this language so it was pretty interesting. Mix that in with the fact that the dialogue can be rather strange intentionally and you’ve got some interesting writing here. I enjoyed it, the writing is part of what makes the film so interesting here. It can be tough to differentiate some of the characters though. Mainly the hosts stand out as well as the guy who was always acting out and his sister who would always defend him. The brother character cracked immediately and was easily the worst character in the film. All of his scenes were pretty painful and you would hope that the other characters would just tie him up or something. Breaking the comb was really unnecessary and all he would do was put the characters in a worse position. His sister was just as guilty for accepting all of this.

The best character would have to be the main host. He tried to keep up a certain aura of politeness throughout the whole movie even as everything went sideways. I don’t see how you can possibly blame him for any of this and yet one guest does. As if this guy could actually have known that this invisible force would block everyone in. The guy who died early on definitely had the easiest time in the film since he got to avoid this. He has a line about how he’s glad he will miss the Extermination so maybe since he was near to death he could actually see exactly what was blocking everyone. It definitely adds a little more credibility to this actually being a supernatural being blocking everyone in as opposed to just their psyches. I like the idea of the disembodied hand actually being the spirit wandering around looking for who to take down next.

Overall, The Exterminating Angel is a pretty interesting film. It’s all about seeing who will crack first and why you don’t want to be stuck in a room with everyone for very long. By the end the characters have all really started to turn on each other. I’d say that the best part of the film is certainly the first half as they slowly start to figure out what’s going on as well as the ending because the twist was a lot of fun. The second half isn’t quite as fun with all of the characters going crazy. It doesn’t go full on Lord of the Flies fortunately but with the characters being nice and awful at the end it isn’t quite as fun as it could have been. I would recommend checking this out at least once so you can see what an interesting plot this is. It’s certainly a very original story but you probably won’t be coming back for more.

Overall 5/10

Cats Review

I remember this film getting a ton of buzz when it first came out but all in a negative way. The cat costume CGI looked really bad and the trailer did not look promising. The film does not disappoint in that it is pretty terrible. This movie just didn’t really have much of a chance from the beginning and it’s really not surprising. The whole concept of the film is about cats that look like people singing a lot of songs. It’s just not a very enticing storyline and the film doesn’t focus on story much at all anyway.

The movie starts off with someone throwing away their cat. Her name is Victoria and she doesn’t seem to know about much in life in general. She’s very confused and the neighborhood cats don’t seem to appreciate newcomers much. They start singing a lot of nonsense at her but eventually she’s able to glean a few things from their ramblings. Cats are supposed to all have 3 names yet all of these guys have only 1 name so Victoria safely disregards this useless information. Next up there is a competition where the Cats perform in the hopes of getting out of this place. The only way out is to be chosen as the winner so everyone does what they can to win. Victoria has been here 5 minutes and she’s ready to leave so she gets ready to enter. The only tricky part is that the rules are never really explained and there isn’t much of a bracket system either. Just run on stage and do what you can. It’s the only way to possibly win here.

Fortunately we do have a villain to give us some reasonable moments. His name is Macavity and he has the ability to turn people to dust and then transport them places. The teleportation seems to knock you out temporarily which is convenient for him. One by one he begins kidnapping all of the cats so it’ll be easier for him to win the tournament. He doesn’t have much of a point to his plan after this though. He was really hoping that they would suddenly make him the champion for doing this but unsurprisingly the cats aren’t sold. I would still have to put this guy as the best character though. He sings less than the others and makes the rest of the cats look like suckers a lot of the time which is always nice. They fall for every trap and the worst part is that Macavity can clearly just teleport you at any time. Yet he likes to troll the characters by pretending he needs an autograph and things like that.

The best part was when he is talking to Victoria and naturally she doesn’t know who he is. He drops some hints like talking about how scary he looks but she has that same puzzled expression on her face that is present for 85% of the movie. He has to literally point at the wall of wanted posters with his face on it. Keep in mind that this was present for the entirety of the scene. The gears finally click into motion for Victoria and she runs away while Macavity laughs. At least that part was funny although I’m not even sure how intentional that scene was.

When you boil it down to what’s wrong with the film, a lot of it comes back to the cat costumes. If you’re going to do a film about cats then use CGI ones or something but not people acting like cats. The whole thing is disturbing from the start and never gets any better. You’ll be wanting to roll your eyes throughout. There just doesn’t seem to be a point to most of the scenes beyond just being surreal. The designs are all rather unpleasant to look at and the backgrounds during the songs aren’t great either. So you’ve got some of the worst character designs I’ve ever seen and even the songs are weak? That’s a recipe for disaster.

The film goes for some crude scenes with the cats eating roaches and such during the early songs. Did the film really need to go there? All the scenes of them eating stuff can be pretty grotesque. For the songs the most tragic part of the whole thing may be that at times the background music isn’t all that bad. Sometimes the tunes can actually be fast and catchy. Usually it’s the lyrics that just don’t work. This musical is just a flop even as a musical because the songs won’t keep your interest. It’s all like a super long music video that isn’t interesting and the “story” of the music video doesn’t do it any favors either. That’s a really bad combination.

Cats is also just a very boring movie. With no characters to actually get invested in that already puts the movie at a huge disadvantage. Macavity doesn’t appear a whole lot compared to most so he can’t hold things up. Veronica has no real character to speak of and all the other cats seem rather shallow and mean spirited the whole time. They basically forced one cat to stay outside the whole time until Veronica saved her and helped her have a happy end to that subplot. The cats would probably be a lot happier in this place if they actually did something to improve the conditions. Instead they seem happy to mess everything up and there’s even a song about how they sabotage one family’s dinner every night. How heroic of them….

Overall, Cats is a terrible film. There’s really no question about that. The music is no good and the story is basically nonexistent. It’s a pretty basic plot. You have to win the competition and there’s a villain who wants to cheat his way to the top. There’s not much to it but the songs are the only thing keeping this from being a 20 minute film. It’s just hard to believe that this is actually a real movie, it’s no wonder that the movie lost so much money. I guess it just be like that sometimes. I would recommend watching just about any other musical over this one. Check out High School Musical instead and you’ll have a much better time.

Overall 1/10

Bringing Up Baby Review

It’s time to look at another crazy comedy with Grant at the helm. It’s a bit weaker than his other ones mainly due to how slow on the uptake the main character is and the heroine not being very likable but it does still have that crazy charm which keeps it in the green. If you’re up for a lot of madness and watching a guy wreck his life throughout all of this, you’ll need to check this one out.

The movie starts with David working on a giant dinosaur. His life has been going pretty well lately. He is slated to finally marry his fiancé tomorrow and the final bone for the skeleton arrived after 4 years of excavating. Now the only thing left to do is to convince the rich millionaire’s lawyer to donate another 1 million dollars to the museum and everything will be peachy. There is just one obstacle in his path, a lady named Susan.

Susan shows up while David is golfing with Mr. Peabody (the Lawyer) and steals his ball. David chases her down but then she steals his car as well. She keeps on messing with him to great effect and it’s looking more and more like the guy doesn’t have any real chance left for the grant. Can David make a comeback or should he escape now while he still can? The longer he hangs out with this girl the more likely he is to keep on ruining his life.

I should also mention that we have a tiger running around and a dog who loves to bark at everything. David was already not very good at trying to finish a conversation and now he really has no shot. While he can be a fun lead, it’s hard to sympathize with him all that
Much because he makes a mistake on just about everything he does. A whole lot of his problems would have been solved if he had explained things better or taken charge. Instead he often finds himself wrapped in the craziness and unable to get back out. He should have went back to resume the golf game once he got his ball back and sued for damages on the car afterwards. Even right through the film’s ending you can’t help but feel like things did not go very well for him. The ending also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense with him hiding even though right after he acts like he’s happy that this is happening. Maybe he did go crazy by the end. I don’t really think he knows what he is getting into here.

As for Susan, I didn’t care for her either. Here’s the deal, you can be a bit of an oblivious character who gets in people’s way and stay likable. There are a lot of solid characters like that. The issue is that she is a little too over the top with how she misinterprets things. In the second half of the film she is intentionally sabotaging David so that she can pair up with him but in the first half there is no indication of this. She really thinks she is in the right car and that the golf ball is hers. It can be tough to take these scenes at face value because it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Either way her doubling down on all of this doesn’t help matters either. She wouldn’t even let David try to explain what was really going on. Of course this is for humor but it doesn’t land as well as it could have. Had she been an antagonistic character messing with him from the start I dare say it would have worked a little better.

It’s fun to see the little dog and leopard running around. I’m not actually a big fan of having real animals in film since you hear all the stories of them not being treated very well back in the day. The scene with the two of them fighting definitely didn’t seem very pleasant. Since I’ll never know one way or the other I’ll at least try to assume that it was okay on the back-end though. Gotta focus on the on-screen action. For the story plot, it was nice to have the dog troll the main characters in the backyard for a while. Digging’s a pretty fun sport even if my Sonic never does a whole lot of this.

We’ve also got some supporting characters thrown in near the end once David is taken to Susan’s aunt’s place for dinner. We meet a big game hunter who tries his best to make friends with the others. He was a pretty reasonable character. His animal calls were on point even if he ended up getting trolled a lot. The drunk guy was definitely out of his league here though. Having all of these characters around did help for the prison scene later on which is probably the highlight of the film. The cops show up to start dishing out arrests and manage to nab almost the whole main cast. You also can’t blame them here because the heroes were acting awfully suspicious. It gives us some back and forth and these were humor scenes that really landed. All of the scenes during the prison subplot were excellent and I wouldn’t have minded spending more time there to be honest. It was a nice change of scenery and really made the main characters focus.

As for the main plot about getting the funding, if I were the aunt I certainly wouldn’t give David the money after all that. Are you kidding me? He wouldn’t get a dime! While the circumstances did attribute to how crazy David got near the end, you can’t get past the first impression. It’s not one she would be likely to forget and then you have the rock getting thrown at Mr. Peabody and actually landing. David doesn’t even refute the charge since at this point he’s long since given up. Since nobody actually clears up the misunderstanding, most of the characters here must not have a particularly high opinion of David here.

Overall, Bringing Up Baby is a fun film that maybe overstays its welcome a bit. It probably could have been a been shorter and they would have kept the film more focused with solid jokes layered into it. The main two characters aren’t nearly as solid as some other other duos in films like this. Still, there are enough fun scenes here to keep your attention and throwing in the dinosaur bone was a good plot device. It’s the kind of film that has some solid replay value built into it with how quickly things happen. You more or less know how things are going to go down so it’s about the experience along the way. Although, I was expecting a twist where Susan was the lady giving the money away so the film threw me a curveball there. I’d recommend checking it out if this sounds like it’s up your alley.

Overall 6/10