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Author: Subject: 2017 Movie Roundup
Flash
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posted on 2-16-2017 at 10:41 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
2017 Movie Roundup

Figured I'd throw a thread up there for all the movies that aren't on a Marvel, DC, or Star Wars scale and get their own threads, as there's been a few good ones thus far, and a couple of others that I'm looking forward to. Please feel free to chime in with your own movie experiences (even non-theatre Netflix or other entries are on the table) or list of must-see 2017 movies.

*John Wick Chapter 2:
I'm not sure if this is better than the first one or not as they are very much in the same vein... There was a simplicity and eloquence to the first one that is still somewhat there in this one, although the plot goes a bit further then they killed his dog and stole his car, it still keeps it simple. It definitely exceeds the first film in some pretty cool set pieces, and body count, while keeping the style of the first... The whole secret, near mythic world that the first hints at (the Continental, the gold coins) is expanded on a bit more, but still very much in the category of show, don't tell which is much cooler. It's well paced, but the run time comes close to dragging... it doesn't quite drag, but there are only so many times you can see guys get arms broken and shot in the head. Definitely worth seeing, and if you dug the first I think you would dig the second just as much... bonus if it does well the parts are there for a third film without it feeling forced.

*Split
I think news that this has some loose ties, or at least takes place in the same universe as Unbreakable is already out there that it's not a spoiler- and as a throw away mid-credit scene it is very cool... and made an already very good movie that much more interesting. In saying that it stands completely on it's own, and is very well done with both the creep factor, and a well paced story that goes beyond 3 ladies locked in a basement with a crazy dude. James MacAvoy does an incredible job of developing little quirks, looks, cadences, and any other personality trait you want to throw out there for each of his characters personalities... If the movie last in nominators minds long enough I'd say he should be up there in the 2018 awards talk. This is not a happy movie, but the very broken people which inhabit it all come together well.

I'm thinking of catching Fist Fight in the next week or two; love Charlie Day, and Ice Cube can be pretty entertaining as well.

My list:
*Dark Tower- Well, cause' duh...
*The new Planet of the Apes- The reboot series has been awesome
*Dunkirk- I'm a sucker for war pic's.... curious how they put a happy spin on this one.
*Blade Runner- Ryan Gosling and Denis Villienueve inspire a lot of confidence.
*Couple of movies featuring the Rock; Baywatch and Jumanjii 2 look like they could be a lot of fun.
*King Arthur looks like it's trying to reproduce the fun and energy of Sherlock Holmes; here's hoping it's good.
*Curious to see what they do with Power Rangers- I'm a bit too old for it to feel like anything more than Voltron redux to me, but my brother is a lot younger than me so I've seen enough of it that it could be fun.
*The Mummy... The trailer hasn't excited me, but Cruise has a nice streak of good movies going for him, and Universal really wants a franchise universe like Disney has... Dracula Untold was supposed to kick that off and failed badly, so I can see them pulling out all the stops (hence some big name actors in what looks like smaller roles)... plus I'm a sucker for the old Universal Monster movies.

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posted on 2-20-2017 at 06:47 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Caught Fist Fight tonight and it was fairly entertaining... kind of a rough around the edges adult comedy in the vein of horrible bosses or wedding crashers. It's probably not the kind of movie that you would remember in 10 years, or survive multiple viewings, but it hit the spot for a Sunday night out with more than a few laughs.

Probably something you can find on Netflix in a few months in lieu of seeing in the theatre.

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posted on 2-25-2017 at 06:36 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I caught the Great Wall the other night and I thought it was a lot more fun than what the current round of reviews seem to be painting it as... more I'd say just to really appreciate the set pieces and size of the armies it is worth seeing on the big screen.

The Great Wall seems to be getting more attention for the accusations of white washing and white saviour trope... people should actually take the time to watch something before they level accusations as neither are applicable in this case. The plot is a bit hinged on Damon being an outsider to this situation, and while he has a role to play the real star of the movie is an Asian female lead.

It's not a "great" movie- and some of the movie is borrowed from stuff we've seen before, but the whole Great Wall aspect and foreign setting (well at least for us watching it from North America) makes for some interesting stuff, and the director has some cool stylistic moments and gives us a plot that can support itself for the 2 hours or so the movie runs.

I'd give it a solid B over all.

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posted on 3-5-2017 at 02:00 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Not sure how wide release this wound up being as it was a Canadian created animated movie that was first released in France, but I took my niece to see Ballerina (it also goes by Leap in some countries) but I really enjoyed this. For something coming out of a smaller animation studio and released without the fanfare of a Disney spectacle I think it could definitely compete in the quality department.

I think, be it having been conditioned by Disney films over the years, or that I do think it might have added to the experience, but it would have been nice to see the characters launch into musical numbers... although thinking about it now, maybe that was a deliberate decision as Ballets don't feature a lot of singing and instead focus on the physical and the dance... which this movie does exceptionally well.

In a nutshell it's a follow your dreams type movie, but there's enough spectacle, laughs, and engaging dance numbers done to music that it's a great picture for kids and adults (not something I would go see with the guys, but having young nieces/nephew kind of let's me get away with indulging my inner child and not look like the creepy dude by himself in a kids picture... and I worked at a movie theatre for close to decade; those guys are out there....). The Paris setting... sometime in the 1870's or 80's (going by the construction of the Eiffel Tower and other little markers for history buffs)... is picture perfect, and a beautiful set piece... Having walked many of the spots where the movie takes place they really captured the city; and the Paris Opera House (Palace Garnier) is almost as stunning as it is in real life... although I only saw it from the outside as the performances there are crazy expensive (still pretty pricey, but if ever you get the chance to check out a show at the Moulin Rough it is well worth the admission.... plus, boobies... although as spectacular as boobies are after about 5-10 minutes into the show you just get so caught up in how magnificent the show is, and how much talent is up there you get more into the artistry than any exhibitionism that might exist).

Anyway.... Ballerina/Leap is worth checking out if you've got young ones.

I also saw Get Out last week.... honestly just a brilliant thriller that keeps the uncomfortable vibe going the whole way through... but also in a funny way that almost lampoons race relations and how stunted some of our conversations might be when you don't have regular encounters with the black folk (the main girls fathers constantly awkwardly talking about voting for Obama being a fun example), but he's also not afraid to take some good natured pokes at some black stereotypes either.

I don't think there is anything overly shocking in the movie; think Stepford Wives to an extent, but there's some other stuff going on, and it's a movie that is not afraid to take it's time either.... the writer/director is Jordan Peele of Key and Peele fame, and I read an interview with him where he said something to the effect of comedy being good training for a scary movies as both rely heavily on a sense of timing... I think he knocked it out of the park on this one, and would definitely be interested in seeing what else he could do as he knows how to combine humour, build tension, and develop genuine characters.

Definitely worth checking out if you are a horror fan.

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posted on 3-9-2017 at 08:46 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Went a bit artsier last night and caught Lion with a buddy... this is one that I do believe was up for best picture, and deservedly so.

A very quiet movie that gets by more on the story and level of performance from all of the actors- Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman... throw in the kid who played the younger version of Patel's character too... all shined. In a nutshell it is the true story of a child in India who was separated from his family, enduring a great deal of misery and hardship on the streets of Calcutta as an orphaned 5 year old for some time before he is adopted by an Australian couple. Fast forward a few decades and thanks to what was brand new at the time Google Earth, he's offered a sliver of a hope at reunification with his lost family.

I know the thought of a forlorn Indian man sitting in Australia scrolling through Google maps in hopes of recognizing something doesn't sound like a an engaging movie, but like I said the performances and story make it more than the sum of its visual parts (there is very little guy looking at a computer screen in the movie... and not one Google logo that I can recall either, so the movie isn't one giant ad for Google).

I think you could get away with seeing it on Netflix, but it is worth watching... stick around for some post-script as well, it really puts the whole movie into context and sheds some light on some tragic stuff that still is happening.

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posted on 3-17-2017 at 05:45 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Caught Kong: Skull Island and what an excellent movie... I dug Godzilla but that Kickass actor who was the lead in it looked like he was napping the whole time, and the movie had some pacing issues... Kong does not suffer from that. Nice to see Hiddleston play the more manly role in lieu of the scheming guy (although check out the miniseries The Night Manager for some good stuff featuring him and Hugh Laurie)... Brie Larsson is as pretty as a picture, and Sam Jackson is perfect in an Ahab-esque role. John C. Reilly might steal the pic though with the comic relief while giving the story a bit of an entry point to those new to the island. Great action scenes, and just an all around cool monster movie (there are plenty of monsters... plus stick around for a post-credit scene that is sure to please).

I'm looking forward to the next planet of the Apes film, and loved the shit out of Logan which might be a better "film" or story, but I think Kong has been my favourite movie of the year thus far... just a big dangerous barely of fun and nice reboot of a franchise that took me back to watching classics with my grandpa, or revisiting the classic monsters movies late night as a teenager when TV stations would fill those 3am slots with old filler movies.

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posted on 3-27-2017 at 06:23 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
So I saw Power Rangers last night with my brother... I was too old for the Power Rangers craze, but it was a trip down memory lane for my brother who's a decade younger than I am.

I'd lump it in with other nostalgia acts like Transforms, GI Joe, and TMNT... which is to say a good amount of fun, far too much let's make this the next franchise cash cow, and product placements (seriously, how much did Krispy Kreme pay?)... and a kinda meh plot, pacing, and directing issues.

I liked how they generally tried to build genuine characters... I don't think the Ranger armor makes an appearance until an hour plus into the bloated 2 hour plus run time... they make it work. I picked out a handful of cameos and throw away lines from the original series that is sure to make fans happy... and like I say beyond being in the same room with my kid bro when he was a child I didn't have a lot of exposure to the show, so I'm sure bigger fans and kids who grew up on it probably caught a bunch more.

The casting is about as PC friendly and diverse as you can get; gay female Asian, black autistic guy, jockish Asian guy, and your typical white male and female lead... although they do try and mix up the suits from the original so that it's not just hey black guy, you're the black ranger... and to their credit they turn the whole diversity thing into a couple of decent one liners along the way. There's a healthy dose of camp and gee-whiz-ness about it, but they seem to know it and play it up when and where needed... and while the plot is simplified, they actually do a decent job of some universe building... some changes is that Zordon and Rita are both former power rangers; so that the post-credit scene seems to make some more sense (sure to make fans really happy), and it gives some of the story beats a bit more poignancy.

Where the movie just completely fails is in the editing... like I said it has a 2 hour and change run time, but clearly they shot a LOT more as they will jump from cozy camp fire bonding scenes, to the rangers suddenly being elsewhere like back in their homes attacked by the villain... a few of the emotional scenes play flat or are non-sense... like they never quite come to terms with why the red Ranger would sacrifice his football career, or why the Pink Ranger is the hero in a situation of cyber bullying and her victims are the ones that need the comeuppance.

I dug the third Transformers movie but thought the rest were near offensive to my childhood... GI Joe was played too much for parody, but I thought the TMNT movies while never going to reach the awesome heights of the old serious Mirage comics that birthed TMNT, at least captured the vibe of the first animate series... albeit through a Michael Bay filter. I'd rank Power Rangers in the middle of the pack... fun, another assault on childhood memories, some cool stuff here or there, and somewhere in between forgettable and I'd probably watch a sequel if they more than likely make one.

So what's next... Voltron? Silver Hawks? M.A.S.K.? InHuminoids? Braveheart? Captain Planet? COPS? Snorks?

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posted on 3-27-2017 at 06:33 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Flash

So what's next... Voltron? Silver Hawks? M.A.S.K.? InHuminoids? Braveheart? Captain Planet? COPS? Snorks?


If you haven't checked it out yet, the new Voltron cartoon series on Netflix is a blast.

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posted on 3-29-2017 at 04:44 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Looks like there might be something to a M.A.S.K. movie according to the wiki page of M.A.S.K.

quote:
The character of Matt Trakker was rumored to make an appearance in the third G. I. Joe film.[9] On December 15, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter has reported that both Hasbro and Paramount are creating a movie universe combining M.A.S.K. with G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, and Rom.[10] On April 21, 2016.

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posted on 3-29-2017 at 08:26 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I've got Voltron saved on my Netflix watchlist, glad to hear it's pretty good... I'll have to make watching it a priority. As for MASK... wow, they really are turning everything into a movie these days, and what with Marvel, DC, Godzilla/Kong, and the new Mummy kicking off a Universal Monsters shared universe it seems like everyone is getting in on the action... kinda surprised with all the military stuff in the Transformers movies they didn't throw a few Joe related teaser into there considering Hasbro owns both... sounds like they have other plans from the looks of it.

*I saw LIFE tonight and it was really good... think the original Alien movie, but maybe with an eye towards keeping it grounded a bit more in reality. The movie stalls a bit in the last quarter, and the characters with the exception of maybe Ryan Reynolds character are a little too flat and underdeveloped, but the unique and realistic setting, and story click along at a decent enough pace for the most part that it doesn't leave you too much time to pick it apart, and once you get past the third act of the movie it wraps up in a nice Twilight Zone-esque ending for a satisfying conclusion.

In a nutshell the movie takes place in the present (ish) aboard the International Space Station, and features a bit of a global cast given the international credentials of the station; 2-3 Americans, a Russian, a Japanese, and two Brits round things out... they are up there to receive a returning Mars probe containing the first soil samples to come back this way- amongst the solid they find the first evidence of life out there other than Earth in the form of a dormant single cell microscopic organism. A space station full of scientists monkey with it, and re-awaken the organism which grows at a rapid rate and quickly demonstrates it's intelligence and survival skills. LIFE wouldn't be much of a horror/sci-fi thriller unless something goes wrong, and we wind up with an alien on the loose in very cramped quarters in the unforgiving vastness of space... which comes into play several times throughout the movie.

There's an intelligence to the movie... people occasionally do stuff that isn't science based as you need someone to make a mistake, or break the quarantine door for a monster movie to happen, but they do their best to keep things (no pun intended) grounded in science... even the creature is given a lot of thought and exposition to detail it's possible origins. The final designs for the creature (it evolves) are pretty cool... something celluar, squid like that looks like a bat... think of the grace and quickness of the face hugger aliens, but give it a short of steroids... quite literally maybe as while there is the hint of some teeth, the alien (which is given the name Calvin before it goes all murderous and havoc wreaking) tends to favour crushing coiling and climbing inside bodies more than dripping acidic blood or bursting out of chests (although they do their own take on a chest bursting which is very uncomfortable looking).

There is some missteps in the movie, so I don't think it will hold up as a legacy type film like Alien, and it's not as smart as say Arrival was, but they are definitely paying a bit of homage to Alien (or if not simply by playing in the same sandbox invite comparisons) and trying to put together a more cerebral space monster film... I'd call it a solid B overall... the big space sets were cool on the big screen, but if you hold off for Netflix I don't think you're missing a whole lot by waiting... still, worth checking out if you are a fan of Alien, or decent Sci-Fi.

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posted on 4-21-2017 at 09:27 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Caught FATE OF THE FURIOUS the other day...

You know, the F&F; movies are what they are (loud, shit blows up, fast cars, bad dialogue... ect), but I have to say the last 3 or so of them have been pretty good... well, about as good as a movie like this could be... like they are being the best "they" that "they" can be if that makes sense... kinda like how Freddy versus Jason was a bad movie, but pretty good for what it was because you knew what you were looking for from it going in and it checked all the right boxes.

This time out evil cyber-terrorist Cypher (played by Charlize Theron) blackmails Vin Diesel into turning against his pals, which sets up a chance for the rest of his team from across the various F&F; movies to try and take him down... Yeah the whole keeping his motivations secret from his team thing could have been resolved with a whispered word in someone's ear that he's hasn't really gone rogue, but hey... the drama has to come from somewhere.

Highlights are Jason Statham and The Rock's verbal sparring... although I think they kind of gloss over the fact that Statham's character did kill some of their team last time out, and oh yeah... tried to blow up Paul Walker's character and his children... but maybe they'll fix that come the next movie... which this one kind of leaves open ended enough to guarantee provided it comes close to the billion dollar mark like the last few. Gotta say as well; for a franchise that's 8 movies deep and it's main hall mark is cars racing around, they do a great job of finding both new locales to keep it fresh, and keep finding ways to make the action sequences bigger and bigger... and think the last movie featured cars versus a tank, and helicopter, and the one before that had them tacking a jumbo jet and ploughing through Dubai skyscrapers... this one also features some novel set and action sequences, with plenty of stuff going boom.

I liked it well enough that like some of the others it will probably fall into my rotation of stuff that's good for me to throw on when I want to sleep... I'm one of those people who likes to have the TV on as a fall asleep... a good enough distraction that it keeps intrusive over thinking thoughts away when trying to sleep, but not so engaging (or maybe cerebral talky talky) to be an outright distraction... or something to binge on during a rainy day once a year (like the Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and LOTR series).

Anyway, worth seeing... Netflix would probably suffice. While throwing oodles of money at everyone fixes stuff, kinda curious to see what comes of this feud that has developed between Vin and the Rock... the Rock threw up some not so cryptic tweets about how one of his male co-stars treats those below the line, and a general lack of professionalism... apparently other words have been exchanged...

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posted on 4-21-2017 at 05:18 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
The F&F; series are a guilty pleasure of mine - but I didn't start enjoying them until the 5th one. It's odd - I actually grew to enjoy the earlier ones (which I didn't like) more after having watched 5, 6, and 7. And Tokyo Drift is underrated (as far as F&F; movies go). 5 is the one that decided it'd be more over-the-top action movie rather than semi-serious racing movie, and the series become so much more fun because of it. I haven't seen 8 yet, but I'm looking forward to the ridiculousness.

I just watched a fantastic little movie on Netflix - I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore. It's a quirky little movie starring Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood, and is written and directed by Macon Blair who wrote Blue Ruin and Green Room (both excellent genre films). I don't really know how to describe it - it's a comedy/thriller about two awkward people who try to solve a crime and bad shit happens that's just a little bit over their heads. It's a Netflix original, won some Sundance awards and all that. I highly recommend it.

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posted on 4-23-2017 at 08:12 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I think it was probably around F&F; 5 (was that the Brazil one?) that I kinda started looking at them as actual entertaining movies instead of a kind of paint by numbers cars, girls, stunts formula movie that the first few were... I mean they still are that, but they seemed to ratchet up the action and plots just a bit more and became a lot more fun... I then kinda gave the older ones another look and they aren't that bad either.

I think they technically came out in late 2016... although Blood Father might still be still waiting to find a possible theatrical home as I do recall seeing a trailer for it a few months ago, but I watched a couple of movies the other day... BLOOD FATHER obviously being one of them, and Spectral (on Netflix) being the other.

Starting with Blood Father this was surprisingly well done, and for the few people on earth who can get past Mel Gibson many inflammatory comments over the years it was nice to see him back in front of the camera again. Gibson plays a recovering alcoholic ex-con trying to straighten out his life while searching for his missing daughter. It's his daughter that finds him though as she's on the run from a very bad situation involving the Mexican cartels and her own personal demons. The two hit the road on the run as father tries to protect daughter, and are chased by the bad guys. The body count is low enough to keep things fairly serious, but it becomes somewhat apparent that Gibson's character, a former biker, is no stranger to violence from his pre-prison days. Well acted, and entertaining father daughter personal growth bonding movie with plenty of action... worth watching.

SPECTRAL is kind of a who's who of I know that guy from something else, but maybe not the star, so it kind of works in making everyone expendable and free from any kind of pre-conceived notions going in. Plot wise imagine a war torn Baltic country and then Ghostbusters with Delta force... there's more going on than that, and the body count gets quite high throughout the movie... which might rob the odd death of some emotional resonance, but all in all I found it kinda fun... It was slated to be a theatrical release, but Universal backed out at the last minute and sold it to Netflix instead... which probably saved it... the story could easily have been relegated to some Sci-Fi channel production but the studio cash gave it higher production values so it looks pretty slick... Good time waster, and I like James Badge Dale since Rubicon and The Pacific (or was he in Band of Brothers?) so it was nice to see him get the starring role.... okay movie, call it a C+ as I appreciate that they tried to be a bit more scientific and the story is interesting, but the deaths just got a bit weak after a bit and they seemed to abandon some of the more cerebral aspirations they had at the start of the movie for just shooting and blowing stuff up by the end.

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posted on 4-23-2017 at 05:08 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
As far as the F&F; franchise goes, I'm kinda similar to many here. I saw the first one, thought it was passable garbage, and moved on to other movies franchises for awhile. I actually liked "Gone in 60 Seconds" (which was out around the same time as the first F&F; I wanna way) more, just for entertainment value. I'm not really into cars, so a lot of the glam of the first couple F&F; movies wasn't really tailored to me.

At some point around part five, I randomly got into it again, likely do to a roommate, and I enjoyed them as being excellent garbage...Which in my classification system is decent enough. I've seen a few of the earlier ones in the past couple of years, and eh. they aren't as bad as Transformers? I dunno, they still aren't as enjoyable to me, but kind of become must watches anyhow if you want to try to understand the continuity at all.

The car stunts and jumping between buildings parts aren't what pulls me in. Although sometimes I think they are quite spectacular. It's more the over the top (almost cartoonish) character interplay and copious amounts of female asses in short jean shorts and neon raver mini-skirts that are my biggest enjoyments. If that makes me a bad person, then so be it.

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posted on 4-25-2017 at 08:46 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
^Similar to me. Watched the first one (or two) with my buddies when we all used to sneak booze into the theatre but half of us moved and I stopped watching some of the stuff that I enjoyed with the boys. I decided last summer to watch them all and got into it a bit (although I'm not a "car guy"). Dumb but fun.


But yeah, didn't Statham kill some of that crew? Including the Asian guy?
And I still giggle over the length of that damn runway.

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posted on 4-28-2017 at 06:11 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Caught THE CIRCLE last night; a technology speculative drama staring Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Patton Oswalt, Johnny Boyega, and Karen Gillan and while interesting in its thinly veiled parallels to Google and our rapidly diminishing sense of privacy as we march forward, its message kind of falls somewhere between dropping an anvil on your head to make sure you get it's message, and something that kind of leaves you in the theatre enjoying it a bit by the closing credits but not really holding up as you turn it over in your mind on the drive home.

Emma Watson is a very capable lead, and like all Brits seems to be able to seamlessly nail a shall we call it a general North American accent. I haven't seen many of the Harry Potter films or really anything else she has done, so outside of This is the End this was my first glimpse of her and she's definitely got that it factor which will make her a (well she already is) big star. While the role was filmed before her own personal videos were outted it is kind of an unfortunately timed message given her own personal privacy violation so freshly having happened. I love Tom Hanks, but he was wasted in this in role as I doubt his screen time amounts to anything more than about 20 minutes... I mean that's fine the odd supporting role is good as well, but you kind of feel like you want more Hanks as he's an interesting character and better actor, and a lesser named actor might have left you not counting the minutes until Hanks next appears. Johnny Boyega is probably quickly on his way to becoming a big star thanks to Star Wars and his upcoming role in Pacific Rim 2 is kind of left with nothing to do other than to serve as that occasional voice of common sense that maybe privacy should be preserved, but the problem is that what he says is treated less like common sense, and more like the ramblings of a conspiracy theorist uttered literally from the bushes or an underground bunker. I love Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy), so it was nice to see her in a semi-starring role... another lady who's probably going to climb up the A-list charts with a few more high profile roles like this that show she's capable of doing more than running from Daleks. A quick shout out to fans of the late Bill Paxton as he plays Watson's MS suffering father and just absolutely nails it.

I don't know what to say about THE CIRCLE... commentary on Google culture being a bit cult like, some dancing around the issue of online social interaction and technology being a positive thing but also some heavy handed anvils saying it can be a bad thing with a dash of greedy corporate culture thrown in... it's a good talking point movie that's maybe not well done... like a warm up act to a better movie, but still with the same capable actors. I think it wanted at times to be a bit of a technological conspiracy theory film, but kind of abandons this at various points where the villains of the movie are really just businessmen trying to expand their global empire as opposed to a near-Bond villain which might be responsible for murder a try to take over the world mentality...

I don't regret watching the movie; it was interesting enough, but probably not something you'd watch ever again... I'd Netflix this one, or be really bad and stick it to big business and illegally download the film in the spirit of the movie.

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posted on 5-13-2017 at 07:23 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I saw KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD on Thursday night and despite going in with a mix of really wanting to see (love sword and sorcery epics, Arthurian stuff) and some apprehension... not because it got fairly poor reviews from the nose in the air critic crowd, but because this movie has been in the can for the better part of a year.... usually a pretty bad sign, especially for a movie where they already kind of announced wanting to turn this into a big six picture franchise...

I really liked it.... I mean it veers pretty far off from the legends of King Arthur beyond a smattering of names and a sword called Excalibur, but it's a lot of fun in a mindless kind of way that's not going to strain the brain... I think you can see that stuff like the LOTR movies and GOT probably got filtered through the screenwriters minds as they wrote this, but then it all kind of gets speed up into a 90 mile per hour script that's all adrenaline. So not a great movie, but definitely one I'd love to watch again... and once available at home the kind of things you can just throw on in the background or something like that.. fun, but not so much that it would be likely to become a cult classic or something.

Two things kind of jump out at me... or have stayed with me and that's the directing/editing of the movie... think all the stuff Guy Ritchie did in the Sherlock Holmes movies, but taken quite a bit further... lots of cuts, flash forwards and backwards, people telling people a story about people telling a story a we kind of flash all around... lots of close ups and some decent 3D... it really gave the movie a lot of style that if you saw became a trend in Hollywood(think the overuse of bullet time for a while there) would just become irritating, but here it's original and works.

The other thing that really stands out was the sound track... it really works with the weird kinetic energy that visually play out on screen, and is wholly original... think again Sherlock Holmes and the fresh sound it had... same here.

Worth seeing... I enjoyed it on the big screen; and while there are probably only a handful of must see on a big screen movies out there each year I do think this one was maybe not necessary, but better for it as there are some nice big sweeping shots.

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posted on 5-14-2017 at 10:55 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Not a theatrical release, but watched Netflix's MINDHORN this weekend and enjoyed the crap out of it. In a nutshell it's a story of a washed up actor from a 90's (although the character and the fake TV show are probably more at home in the 70's or 80's) cop show who burned a lot of bridges on his way to what he figured would be a sure fire Hollywood movie career.... now stuck doing what amounts to male Spanx commercials he gets called back home to the Isle of Man (where the show was filmed) because a crazed local serial killer has mistaken his eye patch wearing cop role (the eye patch eye can instantly discern the truth about anything, thanks to a soviet experiment back when he wasn't just a cop, but also a secret agent!) for that of a legitimate detective.... calamity and hilarity ensues.

It's by one of the guys who did the Mighty Bouche and they pretty much nail both the era's every TV detective must have a gimmick vibe, as well as making Mindhorn suffer through just about every indignity imaginable.

Anyway, lots of fun, worth checking out.

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posted on 5-24-2017 at 06:25 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I took my mom out tonight to see SNATCHED and it wasn't half bad.. I think it probably had a hard time deciding on whether or not it was going to be a slap stick, witty, or gross out comedy at times, but for a Tuesday night (the cheap night 'round these parts) it was entertaining enough.

If you've seen the trailer, you've seen pretty much the whole movie as there aren't many surprises... Basically Amy Schumer and the botched plastic surgery that has become Goldie Hawn are mother and daughter who are at odds... Schumer the perpetual drunken party girl stuck in her childish ways, and Haw the agoraphobic over protective mom wind up via lack of options vacationing together in Ecuador; soon they are kidnapped but quickly manage to find a way to escape. Lost in the Amazon, kidnappers close behind them, and danger all around this would by all reckoning be the best time to butt heads over longstanding mother-daughter problems... maybe not hilarity ensues, but enough chuckles to keep the movie moving.

I think this one is probably more of a lady comedy, and even at that probably one that's something you'll find in the bargain bins at WalMart by next year and even then you'd pause before buying it... fun enough to watch once with the wife, or mom, but probably not something that'd hold up to repeat viewings.

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posted on 5-28-2017 at 08:04 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Caught BAYWATCH tonight and.... well, it's no where near as bad as the critics are savaging it, but whatever perfect recipe the 21 Jump Street movies managed to concoct to be both a comedy, and satire of itself this just misses out on that... but definitely tries for it. It's probably about exactly what you'd think it is; a 2 hour distraction that's a fun ride while you're in the theatre (I genuinely laughed out loud a few times), but there's probably a bit too many jokes repeated (for example everyone keeps needing to tell the Rock that he's not a cop, which does little to stop the crime fighting lifeguard).

The Rock is as per the usual entertaining, and Zack Efron seemed to be game for most anything (there is a pretty out there scene in the movie involving a man's junk), and the ladies are certainly hot as hell... I think if they played this a bit more over the top or satirical it might work better. I also don't think the director is all that comfortable with big action scenes as he kept reusing the same shots over and over, and just how some stuff was shot was kind of messy.

It passes the test for me in saying that it entertained and got me out of the house... and judging by most of the chatter as everyone poured out of the theatre the reviews are positive... I'd probably Netflix this one were I to do it again.

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posted on 6-5-2017 at 09:47 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I'm too lazy to look and see if WONDER WOMAN has it's own thread or not, as it's likely long buried at this point but OMG what an awesome movie.

Just kind of that perfect summer blockbuster that genuinely has something to say, while still delivering all the big moments you'd expect. Gal Gadot just nails it as Diana; brave, capable, but also a bit more na�ve and less jaded than the woman we meet in BvS.

Here's the thing I liked the most; I'd actually be happy to take my nieces to see it; Gadot is absolutely beautiful, but they never once exploit that with any gratuitous bending over butt shots, or cleavage shots; even her WW outfit is a knee length level of modest. I'm not a prude by most measures, but having nieces (and now nephews) you kind of notice that even when they are selling stuff to kids they still overly sexualize women, or marginalize them. Diana is front and centre the hero of this piece; even when Chris Pine's Steve Trevor Character gets his moments to shine. Yeah characters make some references to her beauty and gender, but they are very quickly put in their place by both her ability to kick ass, and just as much the measure of her words and heart.

Maybe my one complaint, and it's more a DC universe thing; is that there was no post-credit scene.... I get that they maybe wouldn't want to do the same thing as Marvel, but I also think that your superhero movie going crowds are almost conditioned to that at this point, that by NOT doing it, you are going to have a bit of disappointment in your audience... also NO Lynda Carter cameo

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posted on 6-9-2017 at 06:04 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Pulled a double feature tonight as I haven't left my house for the better part of a week and was getting pretty stir crazy; I used to work at a movie theatre as a kid and had a lot more patience (well, it could also be that it was free too) back then for pulling a double... be the movies good, or bad... and tonight's offerings kinda fell square in the meh to bad-ish range.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5.... while I wouldn't call the first Pirates movie from way back in 2003 a great movie; there was something fun and fresh about it... I mean the only other high seas adventure I can remember from around that time was Master and Commander (which I really liked, but sadly did not do well enough to warrant making any of the other books into movies); plus pirates were cool. Since the first one outside of maybe the cosmetics of the main villain I've found it harder and harder to tell the movies apart as they pretty much skimp on plot and go full out on the big adventure... which admittedly can be engrossing at times.

Not a whole lot that's new in this one; some ghostly evil seafarer from Jack's past that he did wrong is out for revenge and Jack partners up with some young, na�ve, but noble do-gooder as they seek some artifact or another, all while being chased by just about everyone. Nothing overly noteworthy from this one- a few good fight/chase sequences, a couple snappy one liners that might have been funnier if they hadn't already all made the rounds in various trailers (and you could tell Disney was worried about this one, as at least around here it seems like every movie for the past 4 months has had some Pirates promo spot, extended trailer, or other tie in ad like don't be a pirate; turn your cell phones off). A couple of nice cameos in this one; Paul McCartney turns up as a pirate in a fun little spot, and as has already been all over the place original Pirates stars Bloom and Knightley make cameos which offer a nice swan song to the franchise, but also seeing how much they've each aged also a reminder of how tired this franchise is... a post-credit scenes suggests that we haven't seen the last of everyone, but that will more than likely depend on the box office for this one.

Verdict: Netflix this one... the 3D is shitty, not really offering anything more than gouging you an extra $3-4 a ticket, and at almost two and half hours of Rep rehashing his usual song and dance, and a bunch of flat characters I'd save the money.

THE MUMMY; another one that the critics have already sunk their teeth into... I don't know that it's THAT BAD, but the original Brendan Fraser one was much better at both capturing a sense of fun, and occasionally menace as it tried to be a throw back to the golden era of Universal Monsters... except with occasionally crappy CGI... The Cruise version beats the 90's one handily in the CGI department but little else... Cruise is a soldier of some sort who also loots ancient relics in lieu of tracking down the enemy in Iraq; in doing so he unearths an ancient burial site and promptly gets cursed... through the course of his adventure he comes into contact with a secret monster hunting squad lead by Dr. Jekyll, who's played by Russell Crowe... There's some fun action sequences in this one but honestly Alex Kurtzman famous for co-authoring any number of shitty summer movies for the past ten years is not a very good director... a lot of action gets lost, and making the movie into 3D in post-production does little for it as 90% of the movie takes place at night, in sewers, or underground with little light... as the 3D process often darkens the picture more it makes everything hard to follow. He also doesn't know how to do any wide shots, as everything is a close up, or scares happen out of focus... not that there are really any scares.

This was Universal's second attempt at launching what has now been branded the Dark Universe; basically a shared universe of all their classic monsters... Dracula Untold from 2014 was their first attempt, and has since been dumped from their attempts at universe building... The Mummy was not a good do over as an entry point to the expanded universe as there was little to tease of something cooler going on outside of a small walk and talk through the monster hunters lair where you could spot a few cool looking relics, skulls, and other assorted hints at something bigger. The movie suffers a bit from hey we've got this cooler thing we're going to do later... in the mean time watch Cruise meander his way through a flat character, as we shove too much into this movie while simultaneously not doing enough with the core story.

Verdict: Netflix it.

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posted on 6-9-2017 at 07:42 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I'm kinda bummed that The Mummy is getting negative reviews because, as a horror fan, I like the idea of a "Universal monsters" shared universe. But I feel like the execution is all wrong here; they should have done something more in the vein of a Tim Burton movie (and more specifically, Tim Burton's "Ed Wood") and set things pre-1950's like the original Universal monster movies. But I get that that wouldn't really sell to a mainstream audience today, especially as a summer blockbuster, so instead we get a horror/action movie set in modern day featuring Tom Cruise.

With all that said, I'm assuming The Mummy does pretty well at the box office this weekend despite the bad reviews, as Universal has done a nice job promoting it.

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posted on 6-9-2017 at 01:57 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Yeah; I'm a bit disappointed by the two false starts that the Dark Universe has had... don't get me wrong, but Mummy and Dracula Untold were passable movies in a forgettable way; they just don't seem to have a coherent idea of where things are going, and sacrifice generic action movie plot for what were once the great horror films.

I'm actually kind of curious to see why you would have the various monsters teaming up, or coming together... if it's as villains unified against the monster hunters (they have a fancier name than that in the movie) then it's a lot of over kill as the mummy kind of handily beats them leaving Cruise to save day. If it's to team up... well, then I think you have the problem of what they did in the Mummy (and maybe one developing in the Marvel-verse as well as we've seen super-baddies Ego, Dormammu, and likely Hela all defeated in single movies long before we get to Thanks) where the stakes were crazy high in this movie, so what can be that much worse to warrant the combined efforts of various monsters unified together.

Honestly I think the Monster Squad is probably where the idea of all the Universal monsters in one film worked best... yeah it was a quasi-horror/comedy, but they did a great job with all of the monsters. Not as great, but still a neat homage to the monsters of old was Van Helsing.... maybe a bit too busy, and with weak CGI, they did a good job of working all the monsters into there with a purpose (for the most part), in a story with some stakes and adventure.

I'm not sure how the Mummy will do... yeah Universal has been promoting the crap out of it, but the last few critic savaged summer movies like Pirates and Baywatch have suffered at the box office... I guess it might depend on how Wonder Woman continues to perform as any sell outs there might see people opting for the Mummy instead of turning around and going home, or people might just be steering clear of theatres altogether until Spider-man.

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posted on 6-14-2017 at 08:48 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
So I went and saw IT COMES AT NIGHT and I liked it, but I think it's probably more of a Netflix type movie than one to see in a movie theatre, if only because I think that being in your own home, alone with the lights out would heighten the atmosphere of the movie- which very much deals with solitude and isolationism than it does something jumping out at you from the shadows type scares.

This seems to be a movie that the critics are raving about, but audiences just aren't digging; and having seen it for myself I think a lot of that has to do with how they marketed the movie.... which kinda spoilers; does not feature a single monster, and the much featured red door that appears in the trailers doesn't exactly hold back some evil menace.... The movie is more of a "human horror" story; in that it deals with how strangers treat and react to one another in the face of dwindling resources, and imminent death from a deadly virus that sets the stories background. The danger comes less from virus ravaged zombies (there aren't really any) and more from isolationism and paranoia; where another person's story inconsistencies, and slow to answer questions sews doubt... it's the ultimate stranger danger story; but a slow moving one where answers aren't given freely, and the director gives you time to turn over the details and various hints in your own head without saying here's what happened, or here's what I want you walk away thinking.

Truth be told I was really on the fence about seeing this one; I had bought my ticket but still had about a half hour to kill and took to reading the reviews about it... I'm a big Joel Edgerton fan (the Gift was great) so while still leaning towards seeing it I had doubts... I wasn't sure what I wanted as it was the late show... maybe looking for more of a popcorn flick than something cerebral... I'm glad I watched it though; I think the director did some great character stuff in here, and all the actors did a great job... worth watching, but maybe more so with the lights down low at home, and maybe better still if you are alone.

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