Spoiler Warning Jesus, if this wasn't the most Oscar-bait-y movie I've ever seen. Sure, I do think that Brendan Fraser did deserve his Oscar for his performance, but The Whale is quite melodramatic at points. It is quite pretentious and full of itself, too, with the 4:3 aspect ratio and the forced conflict of Charlie leaving his wife for a man. And that ending, it's really trying to be thought-provoking. In reality, it just feels like a flat finish. I was gonna write a joke for this review, but I really wanted to talk about this film. It just rubbed me the wrong way.
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Hard Boiled is a technical masterpiece. The practical effects alone are a good enough reason to watch. The effects hooked me, and I stayed for the great acting, the impressive cinematography and the cheesy detective story tropes that tickle my brain in the right ways. I really want to watch some of John Woo's other works, (because apparently, he went on to make Face/Off??) I like his style. Oh, and the score is fantastic too. TL;DR - Basically, this movie knows what it is, and does a great job at it.