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Note: The lists below are not a ranked top 5 list. Users chose different ways to assemble their personal list.
Vote on the picks of past years: 2016, 2017
Discuss and Feel Free to Share Your Favorites From 2018 Here
Which do you think falls victim to this phenomenon and is not actually that great?
Captain Marvel (2019)
Expected Laughs, Ended Up Caught in the Feels
It seems as the Marvel Universe widens, audiences are either given a more grounded story focused narrative (Winter Soldier, Black Panther) or a goofy comedy (Ragnarok, Ant-Man). Is one style better than the other in this series, no. Will people bring down one side only because they prefer the other, of course. Captain Marvel happens to fall on the comedy side of the spectrum as we ready for the anticipated sequel in April. It is by no means a perfect movie but I left surprised by the events and was happy that I decided to watch it in the theaters.
The overall story arc saved this movie as the decision to make Captain Marvel a comedy didn't work as well as I hoped. Larson plays the character with a certain toughness that when she had to deliver comedic lines they don't hit and feel bland. Being teamed up with Fury didn't help much either. The two stars did the best they could and they did have a good buddy cop feel but they certainly were not funny...or was the funny part how unfunny they were, I don't know. I do expect Captain Marvel to be better received in the Avengers movie as that tone should fit the character more.
I also enjoyed what Marvel did with Carol's arc as a whole. Most importantly with the fact there is no love interest in this movie. I will say Wonder Woman is a better film but they focused too much on her relationship. I preferred this movie in terms of developing the main character. They did a great job at humanizing the character giving her flaws and helping her overcome and lead.
The stand outs would have to be Talos and Monica Rambeau. Talos added much needed depth to the film while Rambeau is a great character and I expect to see her in future movies.
Overall this is another solid addition to the lineup; it sends a positive message and at times is very sweet.
Good Movie... no Catchy Tune Required
The sequel is just as thought provoking if not more than the first film. They just get there in different ways. The first Lego movie was full of action memorable tunes and cameos all leading to Emmet's realization. Part two however feels far more grounded which is weird to say for a movie created with Legos, but it is true.
The character performances were just as fun as ever, even if the jokes kind of dropped off in quality. The new additions fit in seamlessly. Even Pratt pulling double duty doing so kind of John Wayne-esque voice. The best had to be Beatriz as General Mayhem. I have to imagine audience would think two people voiced that character but no she just has that much range which surprises me at least to no end.
Back to what I said about this movie being grounded; I almost feel younger audiences will not enjoy this movie. Of course every kid is different but I have to think the majority will be turned off by the lack of thrill. Instead this film does a wonderful job at building Emmet's and Lucy's character growth through out the movie while also conveying social issues in a manner that does not feel preachy but inspiring and heartfelt with a little bit of humor.
I believe this movie will grow in appreciation with age even if current critics do not find it as enjoyable as the first. This movie should most definitely be seen in the theater, but your expectations for a action/comedy should be taken down a bit.
Doragon bôru chô: Burorî (2018)
Supersedes the 1993 Original
Having watched the two back to back; I can safety say this one is better. The problem I had with the original is that they tried to incorporate too many characters into the battles. 1993 had 8 while the new version just had the main two on the battlefield. That leaves plenty of time to actually tell Broly's story in a meaningful way. Which is done fantastically I might add as the flashbacks even help new viewers understand the lore.
The fight scenes are very long but the visuals are so amazing that I certainly lost track of time as I was marveling at the beauty. I also was happy with Broly's power growth throughout the film as it felt more realistic than the original movie.
What I didn't like about it was a lot of the jokes. I know Goku is the comic relief of the series but I do not enjoy when other characters like Frieza act goofier than him.
This movie revitalized my love for the series (It died off after watching GT) and I am excited to see the other movies connected to the Super series.
Yoga Hosers (2016)
Should Have Been Straight to Home Video
I really expected more from this movie. Having known going in that Smith would be directing his own daughter and her friend; I thought more care would have gone into the script. I was sadly proven wrong.
The jokes fall flat with the repeated jabs at the Canadian accent and Canada in general. The premise is pretty dull which I can sit through if the impending payoff at the climax is worth the wait, but it wasn't. It almost seems as the though the villain was an after thought with the main goal being to showcase the two leads. Now this script is bad and I don't even mean so bad it is funny. No this is bad like I honestly feel for the cast, bad. There was only one scene in the whole movie that I can say I didn't cringe and that was when the girls spoke with their principal. Sasheer Zamata was probably the best out of everyone in the movie.
This movie gives the feeling that audiences were not supposed to see it. That this was just a fun home movie for the Smith's and Depp's. As I can see that they had a good time making it after watching the director's commentary.
I can easily advise people to skip this one as their are zero redeeming qualities... well unless you like seeing an A-list (Depp) celebrity give one of his worst performances.
A Very Captivating Thriller
A24 has one of the better track records in the business and Hereditary doesn't disappoint. From the trailers, I gathered that this would be an okay horror movie with annoying jump scares. After seeing the initial reviews I had to give this a try on opening weekend. I am happy that I did.
Hereditary is more of a slow-burning thriller with an interesting story and a stellar cast. Toni Collette is the stand out and she really carries this film through its weaker spots to hold the viewer's attention. She plays a mother who has been through tragedy her whole life and will have to deal with more after her mother's passing. The events that follow will test the whole family's strength. Many of the scenes are dark much darker than I ever expected and they are even more impactful given how grounded this film is. This was simply exciting to watch; I was engrossed from beginning to end.
I have heard others say that this is too long given how long the movie takes to pick up. I disagree as the exposition really helps set up the tone of the family's relationship which is critical to understand in a film like this.
If you love thrillers like Get Out or lite horrors such as A24's The Witch than give this one a go.
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018)
Much Darker And Grittier Than The Previous Animated Movie
In 2014 we were given a PG-13 animated movie called Assault on Arkham. It was a fun movie with twists and plenty of comedic moments and of course the Harley and Deadshot relationship. Spin forward straight past 2016 to 2018 and we are given another excellent yet different Suicide Squad movie.
This time around we are given an R rated version of the squad that has an all around darker tone. Gone are the cute quips, except for Harley who surprisingly is really only a background comic relief character. This group is mainly headlined by Deadshot, the crook with a heart, and Bronze Tiger, the good man turned vigilante. These two were enjoyable to watch butting heads especially with Boomerang constantly making things worse. The whole group dynamic was great seeing that more than four characters had a good amount of screen time.
Hell to Pay was darker than I was expecting it to be. I know it was rated R but so was Justice League Dark and there wasn't too much there to warrant that rating. This however does as some of the scenes where just brutal for animated standards. Not only the action but Deadshot's character arc is dark.
A Suicide Squad movie tends to be interesting when the team's members start flipping their alliances and are put in tight situations where the bad guys have to check their moral compasses. This movie definitely delivers in those departments. That is another benefit to these animated movies, they are not really marketed in no shape or form like the live action. As in viewers will actually be surprised at the twists when they unfold. This movie actually has twists and character inclusions that I wasn't expecting and was overjoyed to see. Hell to Pay is a great addition to the DC lineup and should be seen by DC fans or people who enjoy a good heist movie.
A Quiet Place (2018)
An Engrossing Horror Tale, That Can Be Enjoyed If The Situation Is Right
First off, it is probably safe to say this movie isn't for everyone. Namely due to the lack of dialogue and the use of subtitles. Now I am not saying there is a lot of subtitles but they are there and that does turn some people off. For those of you who are not against this form of storytelling. It is certainly a great watch.
There was just a constant state of panic throughout the movie, at no point were any of the family members truly safe. The movie gets right to the point and never drags a bit. We jump right into the action straight away no annoying intro of how the world changed in a 10 min montage which I fully appreciate. We instead focus on a family and how they survive. You will care about this family too and all of the characters baggage as the days continue. No scene is wasted everything had merit and intensity which is amazing to see from a first time horror director. Also the lighting was great, thought I would just add that as it really set the right mood for the story.
The only thing that really bothered me was the pregnancy. He was careful about everything through out the movie but he couldn't consider the immense consequences of having a screaming newborn with these monsters around. That is one of the few faults I have with this.
Now this the main reason why I wrote this review, how should you view this. This should be rewarded for its great storytelling with good box office numbers but I just don't think the theater is the best place for someone to watch this. The intensity occurs because of the silence; you feel a sense of fear from the pin drops and the creaking of floor boards. It is hard to gets this if someone is talking or if you can hear the movie in the next room playing. If you can avoid these then defintely check this out in the theater. If not then this is a perfect movie to rent when it comes out for purchase.
One more thing for the people who love the Last Of Us, watch it. It is the closest thing to a Last Of Us movie until the real thing comes out...eventually, or at least Part 2.
Justice League (2017)
Hoping There is a Director's Cut Because This is Pretty Uneventful
Justice League consists of getting the six heroes together to fight Steppenwolf. We see how they interact with one another with comedic jabs and how each is destined to save the world. That is the core of this film as we are shown. It has been said WB chopped the film up as they don't want a long run time, so they can show more screenings of it. This is the third out of four films that have gotten this treatment and it is getting ridiculous. Snyder has a good vision for this universe and he obviously enjoys making it as a fan. All WB wants to do is market and merchandise the product; they could care less about quality.
This pieced together attempt is not good. Parts of the film had my attention but as a whole it fell flat with a poor CGI villain and an under-explained McGuffin that was the three mother boxes. The cuts were obvious as we were jumped around far too often which gave the scenes less significance. Some of the acting was pretty bad as well, mainly from Affleck and Gadot. The dialogue didn't help them either when they tried to joke about serious situations. DC can't just copy the Marvel model, they need to embrace their darker universe and give fans what they want.
The highlight was the performances by the other actors. I was surprised how much I like Cyborg and the suit looked better also. Flash was a good comic relief even though they made him a little dumb in some parts. Aquaman was as expected pretty awesome but he didn't get a lot of screen time. Most of his scenes we already seen in the trailers. Superman was better in this movie as he wasn't doom and gloom the entire time. I had no problem with his character in BvS but he had to lighten up a bit or the team thing wouldn't work.
I really wish some other company could take WB's place as they are ruining what could be a cool universe. I am sure casual movie goers would sit through a three hour DC movie if the quality was good as advertised. Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be 2 and a half hours and I am sure Disney will not lose money on that investment. I just don't know how many more screw ups WB wants to go through just for the sake of a larger profit.
After watching this I might be done siting through these. If the directors have less freedom than Marvel directors I am not sure what to say about the future of this franchise. There is zero creativity and it might get worse from here.
Another good episode this week that primarily deals with the city council campaign and alliances. There is some wavering in the cult and viewers are left wondering will they or won't they throughout this episode. For me it was well done and the overall intentions seemed fitting, but maybe a little over the top.
The brightest spot of the episode is seeing the return of Mare Winningham to the series. Last time she was Ms. Evers in Hotel. To no surprise she brings another good character to the show.
This episode did seem to have a plot hole in the story... well maybe two. I was taken out of the moment thinking if this was an editing error or what at the end.
American Horror Story: Holes (2017)
Ummm... for those of you that were turned away from this season because of the politics. Come Back! The season has turned a corner and is now as strong as ever (You can skip episode 2 though). 11/9 was great but Holes takes another step forward. We get more needed backstory and everything is starting to piece itself together.
To be honest this season is actually shaping up to be one of the better ones. We are given a good villain that we have a little sympathy towards, and his cult members have their own person goals and are not just a bunch of goons that can't think for themselves. Are only main problem now is the protagonist is a little too helpless. Hopefully there are more people in the town willing to fight the clowns, because Ally and crew may not be enough.
8.7/10 seems about right.
American Horror Story: 11/9 (2017)
I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. This is the kind of good story telling and pacing that makes AHS such a popular show. Previously in the season we were treated to jump scares. Now we are given backstory as to why all these acts of violence are taking place. There are still questions left to be answered, mainly how Twisty fits in to all of this, but time will tell.
The show stepped away from the Mayfair-Richards family and focused more on Kai. We see what he has been up to over the course of the lead up to the election and where he has been the past two episodes. Evan Peters is killing it as the cult leader. He just has that presence every scene and as he gives his speeches; I can't help but get hooked. I can understand why his followers are doing what they are doing.
I hope we see a lot more of this side of the story than the family side. Ally and Ivy are just a little boring to watch. I pretty much have to hope Ally has a psychotic break just to enjoy their interactions together.
Very Good episode 8.5/10
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
I don't know what to really say about this episode because when the credits rolled, I was left saying "is that it". The plot never seemed to progress but instead we were given new characters and the same screams and scares. Everyone outside of the Mayfair-Richards is at least interesting or has the potential to be interesting. Ally continues to scream and heavy pant while her wife just puts up with it.
This episode did a poor job at balancing screen time. A small amount of Ally is fine but having her continually being in fear the entire time just becomes boring. I don't think I can put up with that the whole season. Would it be so bad to add some personality to Ivy? She just seems to be filler so far.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is just a filler episode, lets hope the third episode adds more to hold my interest.
Episode 2: 6/10
Election Night starts with the immediate reaction to the 2016 presidential election from this episode's main two characters (Ally and Kai). Each one seems to be an over exaggeration of the stereotypes used to describe a member of each party. Glad to see this was evened out because by the look of the trailers it seemed to favor one side over the other.
I found myself enjoying the episode even if it did seem over the top at times. While I did watch Roanoke from beginning to end, in the back of my mind I kept telling myself it will get better, it well get better... and ultimately was disappointed. Cult on the other hand feels more interesting and has a good creeping factor going that has been missing since Freak Show. I say this mainly because clowns do scare the hell out of me. If you aren't then this season might turn into a laugher (and enjoyable one).Speaking of Freak Show, I enjoy AHS a whole lot more when characters return or references are made about past seasons. The tease the pilot gives alone will have me watching to see what happens.
Also we are treated to Evan Peters playing what looks to be the Joker this season as Kai and the Joker have similar philosophies. As they both believe through chaos can true order...or something like that. Peters will most likely be the highlight of this season as he seems to bring the best characters to the show. I hope I am wrong and some or the others have good character arcs this season but time will tell.
I am hopeful for this season as the pilot captured my intrigue. It is also good that Murphy is down one project as I attribute part of the blame of Roanoke to the fact that Murphy was writing for three Fox shows. That seems crazy to me. With Scream Queens cancelled maybe he can focus more on AHS.
Ultimately would rate the pilot a 7.5 as it was a fun watch.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
An Okay Attempt at RE-Rebooting the Franchise
Spider-man Homecoming changes up the formula compared to the previous two Spider-man attempts. This time around Peter isn't just getting his powers; he has had some actual experience with them. There is no longer an Uncle Ben moment as Tony Stark takes over that role. There seemed to be a lot more humor in this movie than the other ones which I can accept given this is a teenage Spider-man who is pretty naive to the magnitude of the situation most of the time.
What this movie lacked at least a good 3/4 of the time was a real story. Spider-man kind of just bounced around giving jokes here and there. We had I think four noteworthy villains but really one was given any significant dialogue. Vulture was a good villain and I liked the whole concept of the character's purpose but I can't say he ever had me worrying for Peter. Besides Tony just seems to be able to swoop in whenever to help out when things get tough which further lessens the stakes throughout the movie.
The one thing this movie has going for it is the fact that they chose Tom Holland for Spider-man. This guy is charming as hell and can really deliver serious and comedic lines with the best of them. He basically had to carry this movie as the direction of this movie was really not one of Marvel's best. The supporting high school cast did well for the time they were given. I find it funny how they were advertising this as a John Hughes type movie, but I have not heard that mentioned once since the release. This movie doesn't focus on the school side any more than the Amazing Spider-Man movies did and neither were really that impactful to their respected stories.
Now how does this movie rank with the others? I think the Amazing SM movie were okay but they had a lot of cringe moments. The best thing had going for them was Peter and Gwen but that is about it those movies along with Spider-man 3 rank below this movie. I did find myself enjoying Homecoming but I can't say I would watch it again anytime soon. Spider-man 2 seems to still be the gold standard.
If you want to see an entertaining summer movie that visually looks great and will have you laughing from beginning to end then check this out. I would still however recommend Baby Driver over this movie though.
Baby Driver (2017)
A Movie Actually Deserving of the Title "Perfect Summer Movie"
I think mostly everyone can find something in this movie that they would enjoy. The chase scenes feel realistic and intense unlike many of the current car focused movies like the Fast and Furious franchise (apparently many of those scenes where shot with a stunt driver and very little CGI if any at all was actually used, which always is nice to see). The music in this movie blends well and never felt out of place. Is it Guardians of the Galaxy level amazing... debatable but Baby Driver will definitely have one of the better soundtracks this year.
The comedy throughout was well timed and most of the characters showed off their own sense of humor. There was really no comic relief character although many of the movies funnier scenes would be attributed to Jamie Foxx. The high level of comedy in this movie should be no surprise as director Edgar Wright known for the Cornetto Trilogy always knows how to insert the right joke.
All of the characters were great for the screen time they were given. My personal favorite was Buddy. When it comes to playing an intimidating character Hamm can do no wrong. He had the right level of charm with don't mess with me that made Baby feel safe and uneasy at the same time. Speaking of Baby, I wasn't too fond of the character right away. He seemed kind of dorky and trying to be cute with the street walking scene. Eventually though he became a rather interesting character, especially when he meets up with the waitress. You start feeling for him and you want those two to make it. James and Elgort had good chemistry and they will probably stand out as one of the better movie couples in 2017.
Everything in this movie was just so well done. The only real hit this movie takes that I can think of after just watching it was that the story kind of dips in the interesting department in the middle. It starts strong and ends with an even bigger bang. I believe the climax and ending are worth the price of the theater ticket alone. This is a can't miss movie. I find myself debating if this is a movie that I have to see in the theaters twice which I rarely even consider. There however is no doubt in my mind that this will be a store purchase as I can see myself watching this movie over and over again.
Wonder Woman (2017)
I Came Away Satisfied With the Movie, but Wasn't Impressed
Let it be known that I am a sucker for these superhero movies. If there is one that is going to come out soon; you better believe I already know about it. I usually walk away enjoying them very much (giving the scores 7, 8 or 9 on a regular basis). Now I am not saying it is a bad movie as you can tell by the 7 stars listed above. It is just getting more praise than it really deserves.
When I first heard about the plan for the movie; I thought well it is going to take place in World War I, Steve Trevor is going to be involved, and Wonder Woman will have to stop the Germans. This sounds familiar but as I watched, the films felt relatively more and more similar. The other movie I am talking about is Captain America the First Avenger. Now this is a non spoiler review so I can't give details in why I think these two are so similar but a lot of big plot points remind me of the Cap movie. Currently WW is sitting at an 8.4 and with this many votes I can't see it going below a 7.4, and with Cap at a surprising 6.9 it leaves me scratching my head as both were good.
Now with that point out of the way, I will say this movie did something very well. Presenting a very nice relationship between Steve and Diana. Steve and Peggy were my top duo but I think how there characters in Wonder Woman were written Steve and Diana take first in the chemistry department. Pine's great comedic one liners along with the compassion and kindness he showed Diana really made him a likable character (and to top it off he is Chris Pine). The other thing that made the movie was the villain reveal. It was a refreshing way to thrown the character out there and it was really awesome.
The bad besides the for-mentioned similar-esque story. The Dr. Poison character really was wasted. She was given just terrible lines of dialogue. That was the cringe in the movie, just cliché villain talk. A problem that probably just bugs me but the needless comedy in the movie. MCU does this on a regular basis and it is beginning to annoy me now and I don't want DC to use it. I enjoy the gloom and DC should stick with it, there doesn't need to be scenes just for the laugh as there are some here.
Wonder Woman is a good movie but it is not some sub-genre defining movie. If you are someone who does not go out of there way to watch superhero movies; I think it is okay to wait for this to be released on Blu-ray or whatever your preference.
I will say 7.2/10
Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Felt More Like a Toho Movie Which is a Good Thing!
Kong Skull Island primarily takes place in the 1970's or more specific right after the US leaves Vietnam. A crew is sent on an expedition to survey the area for resources, but the real reason is to find proof of King Kong.
Typically with the US movies we see a love story ensue with the blond and the beast as well as some money making side show. That is for the most part disregarded and instead we get a good monster fighting movie. The action was great and well shot especially during the last 20 minutes or so. That period of time really sold the movie for me. Prior to that point I was on the fence if I was really liking what I was seeing.
Kong was once again the sympathetic beast audiences can root for and will continue to root for if this whole planned monster Universe goes as planned (fingers crossed). The other characters are not fully fleshed out but that is excusable since the great monster movies do not need character development. The character that was talked about the most was the comic relief and he had a great story and well timed jokes. There was certainly never a dull moment watching this as monsters just kept coming and the crew just had to survive. Speaking of the characters, Hiddleston and Larson had their moments as well. There wasn't much but there was enough to get attached to them. They had kind of a... well I don't what you call it but they reminded me a lot of Nathan Drake and Elena from Uncharted. If you don't play video games then look them up as that relationship is the best example I could give.
The big thing that annoyed me was the overly clichéd character of Samuel L Jackson I am not going to say anything about the direction his character takes but it was dumb and has been done better.
Some of the action...no wait just the scene when they arrived on the helicopters yes that one. That went on too long to remain enjoyable if they cut that sequence by half I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more.
This was a very good monster movie.I am semi excited what the next one will be given the movies success. I would recommend this if you liked the Toho movies as I believe they helped a little in making this movie. If you just like giant monsters fighting then you can't go wrong with this movie.
Search Party (2014)
A Lower Grade Hangover Movie That Still Delivers Plenty of Laughs
Search Party is about two friends that have to try and rescue Nardo as well as Nardo's relationship with Tracy. This movie does have a similar feeling to the Hangover movies but Search Party lacks the writing and overall direction of the trilogy. What I found this movie to have that the Hangover doesn't is great comedic actors. This might just be personal preference but I find Pally, Miller, and Middleditch to be a lot funnier with their timing and physical comedy. The overall cast is about the only reason I gave this movie a try. I even got a Garfunkel and Oates song in there so that was another plus.
The bad would be the writing as some of the lines were cringing, especially with Middleditch. The movie didn't seem to flow as nicely as the Hangover or for that matter look as sharp. As I said earlier that the three headlines are really funny but their characters were not the best. Pally is supposed to be a semi successful business dude but it never comes off that way. The whole angle of Pally being the put together one of the group didn't vibe with me and it felt out of place. T.J Miller is the typical T.J Miller character so no real complaint there. Middleditch is a combination of Doug and Alan from the Hangover which is fine but they made him overly stupid. So much so that it seemed to downgrade the movie altogether. The supporting cast had some time to shine and I appreciated all of their scenes overall.
I would give this movie a pass unless you are a fan of these actors like I am. Even then I would proceed with caution and low expectations.
A B Movie That Takes Way Too Long To Be Interesting
Enthiran is about a scientist who constructs a robot for military purposes but then complications get in the way. Clocking in about three hours you expect more of a deeper story but no this movie just contains a lot of filler. Namely the unnecessary singing. There had to of been 6-7 songs which is about 30 minutes of the movie. That is just ridiculous and some didn't even match the story. If this film was less than two hours I might have enjoyed it more, as the overall experience wasn't worth the time commitment.
Other negatives I came across was definitely the acting quality for starters. It felt over the top or soap opera quality which is really annoying to hear. The CGI was laughable at times. The acting and CGI reminded me of the 1999 film Inspector Gadget. Except this movie appeared to be a serious film while Inspector Gadget was a cheesy kids movie but the similarities are too glaring to ignore.
The only real positive I found was some of the action sequences and the overall creativeness of those scenes. They were fast paced and at times strange. Strange being like Jim Carrey's The Mask strange. These are the kinds of things I love to see in B action movie scenes the randomness as at least I can get a laugh out of the movie.
Currently this film sits at a 7.1 and is rated in the top 250 for Indian movies. I don't know if I am just missing something or what but this movie just really failed to deliver in my eyes.
No Question, I Had Difficulties Watching This Movie But It Is Not That Bad
After watching this I came away with two major gripes that put this movie below the original 80's version. Let it be clear that I am also not a fan of the original by any means as I rated the first a 6/10 and never had the interest to even try the sequel. So the first big problem was all of the forced one liners throughout. There was simply too many and barely any of them fit the flow of the story. That is probably why the original was so well liked because they were able to blend comedy into a lite supernatural drama. I'm fine with the movie being a clear comedy as at times I did find myself laughing at some of the lines.
The other gripe I had was the weak clichéd villain. You would think that a big brand movie like Ghostbusters would cast someone a little more well known in the role than a former SNL writer. His performance just felt lackluster and I doubt audiences really saw him as a real threat at any point during the movie. Besides him, Bill Murray, and Leslie Jones also seemed to bring pretty weak characters to the screen. I have no idea if Bill Murray was forced to be there but it sure looked like it. Jones just appears to be a one trick pony when it comes to her characters but that hasn't stopped Kevin James (yep, random shot taken), so I'm sure we will continue to see her for some reason. The other three leads also had cringy moments but also some funny scenes that I guessed balanced their scales. Oh and then there was Hemsworth who I thought I would despise given the trailers but turned out to bring the comic relief in an otherwise cringe comedy.
So, just to sum up my overall thought this movie brings a lot of cringe but I can't honestly say that it is a whole lot worse than the original. They are a lot different in tone though. If you want a supernatural drama with sprinkles of comedy then avoid this. If you want a full-on comedy which could be compared to the New Vacation movie or Will Ferrell's recent movies then this could be for you.
Not the Most Enjoyable Movie, but Shows Hints of Excellence
When I heard this spin-off was actually happening; I was at first surprised while also really excited at the possibilities for the story. I am a big fan of the V/H/S movie and Lily's segment was by far my favorite part. It had the right amount of mystery/suspense/gore to leave me infatuated and wanting more.
Fast-forward to the Siren movie and we are given a prequel story to Lily. Much like the segment, a few guys go out looking for a good time but eventually find themselves in a very dangerous situation.
This movie is for a very select demographic, that I just happened to belong.That demographic is the pro Lily demographic where when Lily appears in a movie I'm going to find something to like about it.The acting in this is mainly a miss with a couple of exceptions and the story does have its clichés. There were some other interesting concepts (mainly one) presented but were not fleshed out enough, sad to say. The main and only reason someone should watch this is for Lily. The story really drags without out her as the guys were not interesting in the least.The hints of excellence comes from the inclusion of a new creature that helps carry the story along. Lily's action scenes were also a plus and her characters overall direction throughout the movie. After a good chunk of time the story picks up and for the most part I can safely say I enjoyed what I saw.
I guess as a warning if you are considering giving this movie a try. If you are not a fan of sex and violence in your movies this is something you should stay far away from as that is 85% if not more of this movie. In the stories weak spots they seemed to crank up the those scenes to 11.
A Cure for Wellness (2016)
A Mystery That Will Leave You Uncertain of What is Really Going on Until the Very End
A Cure for Wellness is about an employee who is sent to a wellness center to bring back the company's CEO. Lockhart is very quickly skeptical of the center and tries to unravel the mystery.
This film is simply captivating. The pacing is phenomenal; I had no idea the movie was two and a half hours as it didn't seem that way in the slightest. The movie continually kept my attention with the multitude of twists and turns. The writers did a good job at not being too obvious on the intended direction. While I was viewing I was able to piece together the truth about half way in but in no way was I 100% certain until the end.
The sets, acting and overall mood of this film remind me of Shutter Island. It is dark and depressing for most of it lead by Dane DeHaan of Chronicle/ Amazing Spiderman fame. He was great as the lead character and proved that he could carry a film all by himself. Jason Isaacs was also wonderful as the doctor but he is normally great in everything.
This film is not for the squeamish however as some of the scenes would make you think this is a horror movie not a great mystery movie. Not that I'm against gore as it was very impactful for the story.
The reason I gave this a seven and not higher is the climax for the most part. The movie also had me saying why more than I wanted as some of the scenes were head scratchers. I will leave it at that because anymore might accidentally give something away.
For the most part I enjoyed the experience for what it was and would recommend giving it a try at some point. Especially for fans of Shutter Island.
The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
A Great Movie for Everyone, Especially Fans of All Things Batman
Lego Batman primarily is about Bruce saving Gotham City from evil doers as well as battling his greatest fear. This is a smartly written comedy that will leave younger audiences laughing at the more physical comedic gags. Everyone else will appreciate the fourth wall breaks and obvious nods to earlier DC films and characters.
Since this is a faster pace movie all of Batman's rogues gallery is included. They definitely go deep; I personally wasn't expecting Polka Dot Man or Egghead getting a significant amount of screen time. If you have played the Lego Batman 3 video game expect that kind of lineup in the movie. With this full slate of characters you would expect the story to be lacking but it was not. The main villains got their moment and it was enough to keep the flow moving perfectly.
The only real thing that was well I guess the word to pick is "weird" as some of the voices just felt odd to me. I get the decision as this is a kids movie so the Joker shouldn't come off as scary but that is something I identify with the character. Some of the other voices come off as odd but that is just my personal preference.
Jokes aside, this movie has a great message which is good to see in a movie that will be influential to kids you know since it is Batman after all.
I would recommend this movie to all DC fans even if you don't like kiddy movies. This movie is jam packed with references and the movie almost comes off as a homage to Batman at times. If you are not a big fan of DC then you should still give this a try as the jokes alone are worth the price...well unless you couldn't appreciate the humor in the Lego Movie then this movie is probably not for you.
The Magnificent Seven (2016)
Doesn't Seem to Deviate too Far from the Original Magnificent 7
I don't have a problem with studios remaking classic movies as long as they can put a cool new spin on them. What this film tried to do didn't leave me on the edge of my seat as the differences primarily dealt with the characters rather than the story. It was nice to see more of the seven getting more screen time. The 60's version had about three of the seven receiving significant roles while this film did a decent job of adding depth to the cast. I would say five of the seven had a decent amount of lines.
One of the major hits this movie takes before releasing to theaters is having Denzel replace Yul Brynner. I am not saying Denzel is a bad actor by any means; he was just given the impossible task of matching Yul's presence. While I watched the 60's version there was just that constant intensity. I just get that feeling in the remake, well a little from Vincent's character but that was about it. (Vincent played an awesome character and turned out to be the highlight of the movie).
The pacing of the movie was good, nothing seemed rushed in the slightest. The dialogue was okay, nothing was all that quotable. As far as action scenes go it was rather middle of the road, nothing blew my mind, but I also was not left scratching my head saying really (okay maybe once but that is a spoiler).
This was not a bad film and the current rating of a 7.0 is spot on the mark. The movie is a decent remake with many familiar scenes to the original. Whether you liked it or hated it you should still give the 60's version a try.
Riveting Adaption from the Award Winning Novel
The film primarily takes place in 17th century Japan. During that time the country tried to block all foreign cultures/religions as leaders believed their people were being heavily influenced by foreigners. Silence is about two Jesuit priests who decide to go to Japan to rescue their mentor, who was captured and tortured for practicing Christianity.
Having read the novel, I thought this was a well done adaption that captured most of the themes the book was trying to tell. Scorsese was able to show us the brutality people went though for believing in something other than what the state wanted as well as the courage and strength of the citizens and priests. The only real thing that I thought should have been included in this almost three hour movie was some scenes of Japan's religion/culture. The movie focused a little heavy on the Christian side and how it was not welcome. I would have appreciated seeing a couple of scenes featuring Buddhist or Shinto beliefs, so the audience could see the differences and similarities between the two.
The costumes and scenes are just visually beautiful. At least this part was recognized by the academy as it is well deserved. Garfield was tremendous as Rodrigues. He was able to convey the emotions necessary to enhance their impact. Driver's scenes were a little hit or miss as some of his lines would take me out of the moment. Neeson always seems to give a solid performance and this one was no different. Other notable performances that left a lasting impression had to be Issei Ogata as Inoue. As I watched his character reminded me of Col. Hans Landa from Inglorious Bastards as he was in full control of every scene he had a part. He just had that way about him that draws you.
Well if you couldn't have guessed from my previous statements this movie's story is heavily focused on religion so if those type of movies make you uncomfortable then this is probably not the movie for you. If not then this is a wonderful story that shouldn't be missed.