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Rogue One (2016)
The Final Act is incredible
The way this movie sets up where the original Star Wars starts off is incredible.
It would be nice if they had the time to establish the secondary characters a bit more, but i was actually impressed with how much they were able to establish for everyone given that this is a 1 and done story.
There is not a wasted moment on the screen. Everything has a purpose of propelling the characters forward.
There are some very surprisingly well-executed cameos, and a final scene that is everything us boys of the 70's and 80's have wanted in Star Wars since we first saw the thing.
Really solid entry overall in the Star Wars saga. I have renewed faith in these suggested 'Side-story' films, now...
Suicide Squad (2016)
It was okay, but could have been more
...i was 1 of the few who enjoyed "Batman Vs. Superman" (was not such a huge fan of "Man of Steel"), so I was interested in seeing the next step in this new DC theatrical universe..
For the most part it was okay. Decently entertaining. Margot Robbie predictably steals the movie, but Viola Davis is quite good playing a very cool and efficient Amanda Waller. Will Smith is serviceable as Deadshot. The eye-opener for me was Cara Delevingne. Her Enchantress character, in the early going, was very intriguing.
I think the most disappointing performance in the movie was Jared Leto's Joker. Maybe it is because he didn't really have much to work with, but he was really kind of a non-entity for me. I didn't find him interesting in the slightest, which is about the worst thing i think you could say about a character like The Joker.
The movie itself is stronger in its first half then it is in its second. I preferred the DIRTY DOZEN-esque recruitment scenes, when you didn't really know who you could trust, or when Amanda would kill someone.
The second half of the film becomes a paint by numbers "Everyone comes together to save the day" super hero flick. That was disappointing.
Still, most of the characters were colourful and interesting, and it leaves off at a point where i am interested in seeing what comes next for the DCU.
I'm still in for the long haul.
I am a 38 year old male who grew up on the first 2 Ghostbusters, and the original REAL GHOSTBUSTERS animated series. Always loved the first movie and the cartoon, merely found the 2nd movie to be "okay", though as an adult i find it is better then i thought it was as a kid.
I took my 7 year old daughter to see the new Ghostbusters. Seeing normal women doing cool things is just what the doctor ordered for someone trying to raise a confident, self-assured girl in the current day. My daughter thought the movie was fantastic. First thing she said as it ended was "when can we buy it on Blu-Ray?"
I thought the 4 leads had a decent chemistry. Kate Mckinnon is the standout, stealing most scenes that she is in with her mugging-style that she has perfected on SNL.
I also felt like this was one of the better examples of 3D visual effects that I have seen. There are multiple scenes where the ghosts seem to come right out at you which are very effective.
Finally: Who knew that Chris Hemsworth could be so funny? His jock- ish, jerkish nimrod of a secretary is actually quite endearing.
Is it a great movie in-line with the original? No. This is not a classic by any means. I think the original relied so much on the comedic timing and brilliance of Bill Murray, and no one in this cast can match that.
However, i don't think it is an awful film. It serves as a decent origin story and a solid girl-power effort that is not as disparaging to the male species as some people claim.
I would go see a sequel.
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
If you liked the first, you probably won't mind this...
...i always enjoyed the original Independence Day. It had about everything a full-blooded teenage boy could want..Jets shooting spaceships, explosions and more explosions....
Throw in a star making performance for Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum doing his Jurassic Park thing and Bill Pullman as about the coolest President ever and you had a great popcorn flick that pretty much revived the disaster movie.
ID: Resurgence is not quite as good the original... To be honest, it is quite quickly paced, which isn't a bad thing, but stuff happens very quickly.. You don't have the build-up and sense of wonder/dread that the first film delivered. In this one, stuff blows up early and often.
The technology in the movie IS pretty neat. I liked seeing what the makers of the film were able to dream up as far as how we would assimilate the alien tech with our own. There is a lot of cool eye candy here. The old guard turn in decent performances, and to be honest the new blood isn't entirely annoying. I do feel like they kinda shoe-horned Brent Spiner in, but Dr. Okun is a fun character, so okay.
There is a lot of cheese and a lot of "oh, come on!" moments, but if you just go with it the movie is popcorn fun. And it does end in a nice place that leaves you wanting to see what happens next.
This isn't an Oscar winner, but it is good fun.
Flawed, but finishes strong
So I played Warcraft II and III as a kid. I put 6+ Years into the World of Warcraft. I am a fan.
That being said, I found this movie to be bit of a mixed bag. It is rather bloated. I can't tell if it was overlong, or if there was just too much story to tell in the time allotted. At times it felt rushed, and other times it seemed a bit slow.
They do do a good job of developing the characters. By the final quarter of the film you are invested and care about these people. And boy that final quarter REALLY is strong. The movie ends very well, with a lot of action and denouement, and then a LOT of setups for sequels.
And I left the theatre WANTING to see those sequels.
There is a lot of fan service here, and most of it is very smartly done.
Overall, as a fan of the franchise, i was pleased with the film. It wasn't spectacular, but it is a good start for what are hopefully going to be more movies.
Better than the first
...i have to say i went into Alice Through the Looking Glass only because my 7 year old daughter asked to see it. I found the original Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland to be a bit of a mediocre yawner, and really don't feel like a sequel was necessary.
Surprised to say coming out of the movie that i actually feel like it was better then the original. Much more interesting story, with a much more engaging Alice.
And holy cow did this movie have great 3D effects. A lot of times i feel like the 3D is a cash-grab, but this movie is very well made technically with some great FX.
Definitely worth seeing in the theatre.
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Another solid X-Men movie
...For a long time i felt like X2: X-Men United was the best comicbook movie i had ever seen, but both Marvel and Matthew Vaughn have raised the bar significantly, so now I feel like Bryan Singer tends to 'play it safe'. And that's what he does here with X-Men: Apocalypse.
It is a good film. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender continue to be a tremendous Xavier-Magneto tandem, and Oscar Isaac is a solid villain. Evan Peters' Quicksilver steals the show (again), but Sophie Turner's Jean Grey is a surprisingly intriguing character. They handle Jean well.
It is also nice to finally get Scott Summers on the team, as he is the quintessential X-Man.
That being said, Olivia Munn is underwhelming as Psylocke, and they really waste Archangel.
Jennifer Lawrence really mails this one in, but I feel like there just isn't much left for them to do with Mystique, outside of killing her (which they SHOULD do.)
Overall a solid film, and worth watching if you are an X-Fan.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Winter Soldier was the best Marvel movie....until now
This is how you do a comicbook fight movie. Every character's motivations is well-defined and completely believable.
Why are Cap and Tony on different sides? Why is Cap so protective of the Winter Soldier? Why is Black Panther after the Winter Soldier? Why is Tony?
All of this stuff is explained well, and some of the explanations will surprise you.
Friends side against friends. People that don't particularly like each other join forces, and it is all so well done.
The intro of Spider-man is exciting, and Ant-man has about the most incredible moment in the movie (and that is saying something.)
The Marvel Franchise still has A LOT of juice left in it.
Honestly surprised how much i liked it.
....i should start off with admitting i was not a fan of "MAN OF STEEL". Henry Cavill has the chiseled look of SUPERMAN, but had about as much charisma as a plank of wood. I felt like he and Amy Adams had zero chemistry, and that really let that film down. I also felt like we would never see anyone that could top Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne.
Going into Batman vs. Superman i wasn't expecting much. The first thing they did right: Make this more a Batman movie then a Superman movie. Shifting the focus to Ben Affleck was the right move for a film of this magnitude. He actually has the ability to carry this material.
I also like the approach they took with Batman. His humanity really gives this movie heart. You understand and empathize with his motivations. He makes no apologies for who and what he is, and i think that really is a fresh take for the character.
Basically: Affleck's Batman is a huge win here. I think they've planted some very intriguing seeds for other films, moving forward. Yes there was a lot to cram into this movie, but i actually feel like they did about as good a job as you could hope for.
Actually a decent film to build on for future installments.
I must confess i went into Deadpool with low expectations. I like the character, and felt like Ryan Reynolds was good casting, but the February release date had me a bit nervous..... tack on the lackluster commercial campaign with what seemed like forced-laughs and i have to admit i was a bit nervous...
After seeing the movie you totally get WHY the commercials were so iffy:
All of the best stuff was completely inappropriate for a commercial.
This one goes all out, full throttle for that R-rating, and thank goodness it did! What a tremendously fun film with a surprising amount of heart.. The love story is quite touching.
Also, i think this may be Stan Lee's best cameo yet.
Very good movie. Look forward to the sequel!!