Every week on Movie Monday, the BirdsEye team will drop a movie review. No matter how good or how bad the movie is, we would like to share our opinion, and hopefully even educate you a little!

Birdseye Films Rates

The King of Staten Island

This 2020 comedic drama directed by ‘Judd Apatow’ starring ‘Pete Davison, Bill Burr and Marisa Tomei’ is a flick I just throwed on one day without really knowing anything about it. I like Pete and Bill as comedians but I thought it was just a fun comedy I would forget about a day later. Well I can say that I was pleasantly surprised…

Pete’s character (Scott) is a young adult who hangs out with his ‘friends’, smokes weed all day and absolutely does not know what to day with his life, juxtaposed to how his younger sister is succesfully leaving to go to college. Scott is very depressed, even a bit suicidal and also admits that there’s something wrong with him mentally. He had lost his dad while being a fire fighter when he was a young kid so he bottles up all this pain and covers it up with dark humor, dumb friends and drugs.

Scott’s mom doesn’t know how to deal with this either and they just kinda make the best of it, because they obviously love each other. When Bill Burr’s character gets introduced it ends up becoming a story about self discovery and learning respect.

I did not expect this movie to make me feel as much as it did. In some ways it was even relatable, I think a lot of people could relate to Scott in at least one way. The film is definitely character driven and Pete does a fantastic job in it. Every scene feels grounded and realistic, also the dark sense of comedy really did hit for me. It’s a fun time, it’s full of heart and for sure worth the watch. The film did feel a bit longer than it needed to be though, but nothing too major.

It wasn’t until after I watched this that I learned about Pete Davidson’s real past, and how this film is basically a fictionalized version of his own life as his dad died as a fire fighter on 9/11 in real life while also coping with his depression through being a comedian. This makes it extra sad and I really do respect the film and Pete’s performance even more for it.

If you ever need a movie suggestion, definitely check this one out.

Article by: Roald Rooijens

Birdseye Films Rates

Manchester by the Sea

A 2016 drama directed by Kenneth Lonergan, starring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams. It’s a heartfelt film with great character arcs. A depressed and lonely uncle named “Lee” (Casey Affleck) is forced to take care of their nephew “Patrick” (Lucas Hedges) after his father “Joe” dies (Kyle Chandler).


Struggling with his own demons from his traumatic past, Lee gets informed he must take care of his nephew. He gets overwhelmed and doesn’t know what to do. He chooses to take him in and make the best out of the situation. During the movie you get to see a bond starting to form between Lee and Patrick. They start to warm up to each other and have more fun while finding out what to do along the way. Casey might have delivered his best performance yet. He embodied the depressed, lonely character of Lee in such a way it still makes me think about it roughly 1,5 years after watching the film. That doesn’t happen too often these days. Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges also performed beautifully. This film depends and trusts solely on its strong original scenario, writing, acting, and most importantly it’s characters. It never loses that focus, which isn’t always the case anymore when comparing it to the more commercially influenced films in its genre.


Originally, Matt Damon was set do direct and star in the film but due to other obligations, that didn’t follow through. Personally, I’m happy Casey got the role instead of Matt. I like Matt Damon as an actor, and I know he is capable of carrying such roles, but in the end, Casey gave it a twist only he could have done. The cinematography was also very nice. It felt like a grounded film, and I think that’s fitting for a story like this. If you’re ever looking for a great drama to watch on a Sunday afternoon while it’s raining outside, this is what you’re looking for.

Article by: Robin Lemckert

Birdseye Films Rates

Spider-Man: No Way Home

EXCLUSIVE NON-SPOILER REVIEW

Where to begin? Not so sure…

I guess the best way to start this review off would be by telling you that normally one of us would be writing this. But not this time… Usually we would split these reviews up between the three of us, one at a time. But because all of us are SUCH huge Spider-Man fans… We came to the decision that this just wasn’t the way to go.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is a film that respects Peter Parker’s character at its core.

It truly is a character driven story about compassion, responsibility, pain, loss and learning how to love and hope despite of those things. And it absolutely succeeds at telling that.

It’s the biggest, most grand Spidey flick we’ve had and at the same time one of the most personal and sad ones… Right of the bat the movie lets you know that it means business. It takes off right after the shocking reveal at the end of ‘Far From Home’. The pacing is fast, adds a great ‘One-shot sequence’ that puts you in the middle of the situation, comedy is nice, the stakes feel high but it is when the halfway-point of the film hits that the tables start to turn and you really start to crawl to the edge of your seat.

The main villain serves a scary tone to the story. The dynamic between him and ‘Tom Holland’s’ Peter which he let come to fruition adds a combination of darkness and emotion right when the film needs it.

Although there were some really cool VFX sequences, a lot of it didn’t feel real or tangible. You can see and feel that most of the set pieces are done in post. Which is a personal problem we have with this Spider-Man trilogy and some of the MCU movies in general. We understand that time and budget have a lot to do with this. But visually it still feels like a downgrade compared to Marc Webb’s Spider-Man films, and also compared to the practical effects and set pieces in Raimi’s trilogy. Not only VFX wise, but also in the way those movies were framed, lit and shot.

In the end it was a theater experience that had us all laugh, cry, cheer out of joy and is one we will not forget…

Article by: Roald Rooijens, Toon Bunel and Robin Lemckert

Birdseye Films Rates

Joker

Joker, directed by Todd Phillips starring Joaquin Phoenix. set in the early 80’s in a crumbling Gotham City. It’s a stand-alone psychological portrait of mental breakdown.

We see a clown that is made fun of, attacked and beaten. You have sympathy for the character, and that could actually be dangerous. You don’t want to feel sorry constantly. But Joaquin balanced it well, you do feel sorry for him. Seeing Arthur in the stand-up comedy show, laughing at the wrong moments and struggling on stage. The relationship between him and his neighbour, and his mother. But you also see this brewing anger in him which frightenes you. The train sequence where he killed those ”innocent” people. The murdering of his colleague/friend. The talk show. This all for me, is the portrayal a Joker has to have and it’s perfectly done. This big challenge, carrying a character who is turning evil while also be the protagonist through the whole movie without there being someone that keeps him on the ”right” track, it’s so well done. As a viewer you’re asking yourself all these questions, and that’s not bad.

Even after thinking there can’t be any other Joker laugh, Phoenix surprises you. The pain you can hear in it. It is, and will always be unique. You can’t compare this to Ledger. Because he is iconic, and that performance could never be outdone. But Phoenix is unique, he showed us something only he could do.

The cinematography is incredible. The colour is perfect. The score is perfect. I just cannot think of something bad. Even many days after watching it in the theatre I asked myself what was wrong or just something that had a slight issue, but I just couldn’t find it. Therefore the reason for this almost flawless rating.

I think this is the best version of a Joker origin story we could have gotten is a film. It doesn’t follow everything from the comics, but that difference makes it perfect and unique. Will we see a Joker 2? Do I even want it? Yes because this movie set a perfect origin, And no because this standalone movie is better to be left alone.

I can proudly say, that this is my highest rated film i have ever watched.

Article by: Toon Bunel

Birdseye Films Rates

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

“Let there be Carnage” is the second installment to Sony/ Marvel’s Venom franchise, directed by Andy Serkis.

The film throws you right into the relationship between Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and the alien “Symbiote”, Venom and plays it off like and old married couple who are stuck with eachother 24/7. Which I actually like and I think is a fun take on the character. This film also introduces us to another one of Venom (and Spider-Man’s) classic villains; Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) AKA Carnage.

I still think it’s a huge mistake doing Eddie/Venom’s story without involving Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man. I guess that’s more of a personal problem I have with this franchise, but I just Think the story works a lot better with him involved. Cletus is introduced as a phychotic goofball who’s backstory was for the most part quickly shown in little animations. I didn’t feel for the character, I didn’t feel like I knew him, even when his love interest was introduced. Which wouldn’t be that big of a problem for me if his name wasn’t literally in the title. His character was also so goofy to the point where it completely took away from Carnage being menacing. Which is a bummer because from my experience he was always one of the scariest villains in the Marvel Universe.

I don’t like bashing on these kind of films, I really don’t. Serkis, Hardy and Harrelson are obviously super talented and a lot of people worked hard on this project, but it just didn’t work for me. The film is super fast paced, it never had a moment to breathe, neither did the characters and it all just didn’t feel real to me. I felt no stakes, I didn’t feel like it all mattered. But maybe that’s the point…

Maybe Serkis and company’s intentions were never to make the kind of film I was hoping for. Maybe the film knew exactly what it wanted to be… A goofy, fun, popcorn flick with some actually great visual effects and comic book characters at the forefront…

And if that’s the case… Then they did a good job.

Article by: Roald Rooijens

Birdseye Films Rates

The Eternals

Eternals, a new Marvel installment directed by Chloe Zhao, best known for her 2020 movie ‘Nomadland’.


The film was beautifully shot, which was to be expected after watching Nomadland. The action scenes were exciting, being shot at a nice wide angle through which we can actually see the fight happening. Though I never felt the stakes needed to be involved with the fight. I found the CGI very well done most of the time, the deviants and celestials for example looked convincing enough. The actors performed well, I never really had an actual connection with any of the characters but that doesn’t take away from their performance. The film tried to tell a story about love, loyalty and friendship but the characters just lacked the emotions needed to connect with them. The fact that they were introduced as Eternals who already know what they’re capable of gives us nothing exciting to watch such as them discovering their powers or their bond as a team. That in and of itself isn’t such a bad thing, but then you have to give the viewer something else to get excited about.


Overall, I’m still happy that this movie was created, the celestials changed the scope of the MCU and I’m curious to see what that will bring us.




Article by: Robin Lemckert

Birdseye Films Rates

No Time To Die

No Time To Die, the longest James Bond movie ever, is finally here after being delayed three times and man… it was a top tier cinema experience. As being a fan of Daniel Craig’s James Bond, the run of my personal favourite Bond coming to an end was affecting. I think it’s safe to say, I wasn’t the only one at the theatre with a small tear. We have seen several Bonds and finales, but none of them have ever needed to say goodbye. I remember watching Casino Royale at young age, realising that movie came out in 2006 still blows my mind. And yet here we are, with his last one.

Starting with a visually beautiful flashback being mentioned in Spectre, followed by Billie Eilish’s opening song with the intro sequence gave me goosebumps. Maybe because of the fact that I was finally watching a James Bond in the theatre after all this time. And oh, have I mentioned the incredible score by Hans Zimmer? Having the soundtracks blasting through the IMAX theatre, was phenomenal. Perhaps the best Craig’s James Bond score in my opinion.

The action sequences are directed extremely well. The opening chase sequence (which I feel like I had seen already because of all the trailers) starts the movie off great. The one-taker in the stairwell where Bond had to fight his way up to the base was stunning. And the foggy forest shootout scene with all this carnage, which was gorgeous by the way, had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Craig has thrown himself into those action scenes very well, even after him saying he’s maintained a lot of injuries making these movies.

Rami Malek as the villain was alright, but I would not place him as high as Le Chiffre or Silva. Lashana Lynch played a great character. The writers did a great job by building respect and understanding for the character Nomi, despite her briefly taking the 007 mantle. It never felt like ‘’I’m better than you because I’m 007’’ as people were saying in articles a long time ago. Let’s not forget the appearance of Ana de Armas, which was exceedingly exciting. I would love to see more of this semi-drunk agent if they decide to do more.

Overall, I’m still happy that this movie was created, the celestials changed the scope of the MCU and I’m curious to see what that will bring us.




Article by: Robin Lemckert

Birdseye Films Rates

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

#TheSnyderCut… Calling this version of the ‘Justice League’ film a “directors cut” would be a vast understatement.

I won’t talk about the tragedy that this film has suffered from and I won’t talk about the frankenstein’s monster of a cut that the studio released in 2017. What I am going to talk about is this piece of visual beauty, crafted by a man who clearly had a unique vision for these DC characters.

The film does a great job at expanding the world that was first introduced in ‘Man Of Steel (2013)’ without ever making it feel too crowded. We follow Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince while they desperately try to bring together a team of super powered individuals after the death of earth’s strongest protector, Superman. It lets it’s shots, scenes and important moments breathe and it really takes the time to show us the very different worlds that these characters come from. Although I can see some ways in which the runtime could’ve been a bit shorter, you won’t hear me complaining at all. I was fully entertained and invested the entire 4 hours through.

As someone who grew up with the Justice League characters except for Cyborg, I am surprised to say that he was the absolute best character and the heart of the film. The visualisation of his abilities were done beautifully and like the rest of the cast, Ray Fisher did a fantastic job. Every character had some moments to shine and you can feel that they all had a reason to be there. The villain was also very menacing and you can see why he does what he does, which is always great.

At the end when the team is finally united it feels very earned and you feel the respect for these characters.

For me, the best part of the film were the visuals and the cinematography. Every single shot looks like it belongs on a comic book page, and there’s nothing quite like it…

Article by: Roald Rooijens

Birdseye Films Rates

Dune


2021’s Dune, Denis Villeneuve’s reiteration of Frank Herbert’s graphic novel. This is a project that has been in Denis’ interests for a very long time, and it shows. I must say that I am a little biased because Denis is one of my all-time favorite directors, but I will try to keep my review as neutral as possible.


The way he translated the old novel to modern day cinema is something I can only look up to. The film’s visuals were amazing, Denis has his ways with that, take movies like; Blade runner 2049 (2017) or Arrival (2016) for example. They are all very pleasing to look at. You can clearly see this is just the tip of the iceberg as Dune has an open ending which will lead to a series of films. The film was perfectly cast, and I didn’t have a single thought of bad acting throughout the movie. Denis’ visuals + storytelling in combination with Hans Zimmer’s beautiful music is just something else, it just set the tone perfectly. I personally can’t wait for the upcoming sequels and am very curious as to what Denis has in store for us.


Overall, I had a very positive experience while watching the movie and I look back at it with a smile. If you’re looking for a well-made sci-fi flick, this is definitely something for you.




Article by: Robin Lemckert

Birdseye Films Rates

The Revenant

The Revenant, put forth by the brilliant minds that brought us Birdman: Director Alejandro Iñárritu and DOP Emmanuel Lubezki’.

The first few minutes itself are one of the most cinematic and technically well made opening sequences I’ve ever seen. It immediately let’s you dive into the environment and stunning, action-heavy set pieces which sets the film’s tone perfectly. The brutal feeling of survival and veangance are felt heavily. I sat in utter amazement by the camerawork specifically. The multiple extreme close ups and intense scenes made you believe that you were a part of Hugh Glass’ big journey. DiCaprio’s performance playing Glass was as outstanding as Tom Hardy’s brutal and dark antagonist, Fitzgerald.

There were moments where it looked like Glass was practically immortal, and made me think that he should’ve been dead many times. It kind of pulled me out of the realism of the film. And although at some points it was dragging on and moving a bit too slow, it was the lack of quick-cutting and the incredibly complex shots in one-take sequences that made up for it and really let the film breathe. Which totally made me respect and understand those decisions for me. It actually completed The Revenant.

Overall I’d say the movie deserved it’s Golden Globe and Oscar wins 5 years ago. I truly recommend this movie.




Article by: Toon Bunel

Birdseye Films Rates

Shang-Chi and the Legend
of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi is the next chapter and character introduction in the ever expanding ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’. The film follows Simu Liu’s ‘Shaun’ as he learns what it means to be the product of his two very different parents after running away from his past for years.

What this movie does really well is bringing something fresh to the ‘comic book’ movie genre by diving into Asian culture and martial arts while it still feels like it’s using a lot of the formula that we’re used to getting from Disney and Marvel for the longest time. Whether that is a positive or a negative thing is up to you. The fight scenes and stunt performances are definitely one of the highlights of the film. No quick cuts, no shaky camera movements but just long, clear shots with fantastic, creative choreography performed by the amazing stunt team and actors themselves with one scene in particular reminding me a lot of some of Jackie Chan’s fight scenes I used to watch as a kid. Director ‘Daniel Cretton’ made it clear that one of the main goals when making this movie was to make sure that kids and fans of Asian descent around the world could see themselves in a superhero on the big screen, which is great.

The things that bothered me were the over usage of comedic one-liners to break tense or serious moments, this is a problem I usually tend to have with these Disney/ Marvel movies. Also the 2nd act felt a little too slow compared to the rest.

Overall Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was an action-packed, great time in the theaters with a compelling villain and cool visuals. If you’re into martial arts films or action films in general, then you will probably have a good time.


Article by: Roald Rooijens

Birdseye Films Rates

Malcolm & Marie


Malcolm and Marie is a film fully focused on psychological warfare. You can even go as far as to say that Malcolm represents movies in general and Marie the general audience. When Marie questions Malcolm’s intentions, she questions the film’s intentions, why he didn’t mention her in his speech, why he didn’t use her for the role he based on her life even though she is an actress, etc. The dialogue isn’t always as realistic due to the fact both characters are projecting full on psychological analyses onto each other, given the fact neither of them are psychologists, this doesn’t feel completely real. Overall, I liked the film’s vibe, the black and white adds to the experience and not a lot of movies are still being made the way this movie was. Sometimes, there were even some theatrical hints that came through via character blocking and camera movements. The acting was on point, John David Washington never ceases to deliver great acting and Zendaya has proven herself once again to be capable of carrying an adult role. I would definitely recommend watching this film, but it’s not a casual watch. To feel committed to the film you gotta pay attention and listen to every word that’s being said, because they all matter.







Article by: Robin Lemckert