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Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)
A thriller with a sense of style is fun but with a little slow burn.
Bad Times at the El Royale (3.5 out of 5 stars).
Bad Times at the El Royale is a slick neo-noir thriller that has a sense of style which has a variety cast ensemble, a mystery plot, and a sharp direction. Director Drew Goddard second film after the fun horror film The Cabin in the Woods which is one of the better movies were the plot changes and has plenty of twists. Now, I was hoping Bad Times at the El Royale was going to be something similar to his previous film with plenty of twist and turns and a plot that comes together in the end. However, the plot in this film does not have any big twist reveals like how the film was setting it up for it. It was a straightforward plot of several strangers all coming to the motel El Royale which is divided on the border of California/Nevada. The only thing is these several strangers all have a deep secret of their own which can cause a problem to each other.
The plot is one of those things were it is best and fun to see it than read about it or watch any trailers. Basically, several strangers stay a night at the El Royale. Father Flynn (Jeff Bridges) who shows up seeking for a specific room after his contact has informed him about it ten years earlier. Darlene (Cynthia Erivo) a struggling singer, who rehearses in the room and hoping she can make it big in Reno. Emily (Dakota Johnson) a hippie style girl who is escaping from someone and has a kidnapped young girl Rose (Cailee Spaeny). Dwight (Jon Hamm) a vacuum salesman, who has a hidden agenda on why he is there and who is he seeking? And than there is a motel concierge Miles (Lewis Pullman) who has hidden corridors in the motel and knows a bit of secrets behind the motels history. Last, there is Billy Lee (Chris Hemsworth) who is a cult leader.
The first hour or so of the movie is a slow build up. Learn about every character and their backstory. Especially, the hidden corridors in the motel were every room has a secret window. I was hoping for a big twist in the end or for a bigger ending. But sadly, the film was quiet and smaller with the climax.
The cast was great. Jon Hamm's character though was a little underused. And left some questions about his backstory. Compared to everyone else that gets a little story and why they are there. Chris Hemsworth's performance was amazing as a cult leader.
The direction, cinematography work was sharp. And the music score that brings in some soundtrack from the 1960s was fun. It does feel like Drew Goddard's script tries to be like Quentin Tarantino's films with its over drawn dialogue in every scene and its slow build up. Which was also the problem with the movie is it does get slow with the pace before any thing happens.
Overall, Bad Times at the El Royale is a pretty fair film. Great cast. Great mystery of a plot. Which should have been a little more and fun. Sharp direction and concept. It does get slow with its prolonged dialogue. For a 2 and a half hour movie, you can definitely feel the slow moving pace.
Cheesy fun, just like watching an episode of Goosebumps but it is forgettable.
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (3 out of 5 stars).
Goosebumps 2 is trying to be just as fun as the original movie which it does have some entertaining creativity with the fun monsters. But it does not live up to the first movie. The film does feel like watching a Saturday morning episode of a goosebumps episode that is an hour and a half. There is a simple story, mediocre acting, and cheesy visual effects of the monsters. But it is fun and entertaining. Kids and some fans would enjoy. Sadly, the film does lack the theme song yet again.
The plot follows a teenage boy Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Sam (Caleel Harris) who scavenge broken down houses for scraps. They find a manuscript to a goosebumps story called Haunted Halloween by R.L. Stine (Jack Black). They open the book and release slappy the dummy. Which slappy is trying to take over the town by releasing more monsters that turns every costume and Halloween decorations to life. Sonny and his older sister Sarah (Madison Iseman) are trying to save their hometown from this madness.
There tries to be a little story especially with Sarah. The film begins with her having a writer's block. And her trying to get into a university. While her boyfriend is holding her back from achieving her dreams. While Sonny and Sam are geeky kids trying to start their junk yard business by collecting junk. It is a story about kids trying to achieve their goals while their mother is busy working overtime. When Slappy is released, turning the Halloween decorations to life. It can be very creative and fun. Seeing a giant spider made of balloons, hovering over houses. And pumpkin heads and witches terrorizing the neighborhood. It is a lot of fun. Even gummy bears coming to life and having an evil smile.
Sarah (Madison Iseman) does give a better performance. A teen girl that is trying to prepare herself for adult life. Getting hurt and held back cause of her boyfriend. While the rest of the cast is quite dull with their performances. Jeremy Ray Taylor and Caleel Harris are forgettable. There characters do not stick out like Sarah but just regular ordinary geeky kids. Even, their mother Kathy played by Wendi McLendon-Covey was dull. Ken Jeong does try to have fun playing their neighbor who is obsessed with Halloween and his decorations.
The visual effects are decent. Almost looks like a tv budget cgi with the monsters. This film would definitely fit in with the straight to tv movie quality.
Overall, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is a fair film. Seeing Halloween decorations come to life is a lot of fun. The story is decent and forgettable. The characters are not as noticeable like the last movie. The acting performances are tedious.
Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy (2018)
So bad that it does not fit in the so bad its entertaining category.
Death Race Beyond Anarchy (1 out of 5 stars).
Death Race: Beyond Anarchy is beyond horrible and is the typical straight to dvd quality film. So far, none of the sequels/prequels could not live up to the entertaining action packed Jason Statham Death Race. The plot was tedious. It barely made much sense when there are too many holes in the story. Besides Connor (Zach McGowan) enters the maximum-security prison which looks like it is a quarantined city now. Were convicts can party, drink, have sex, and endless amounts of bloodshed violence. Connor is supposed to take down Frankenstein who is the death race champion. That sums up it about the plot.
The direction is horrible. The acting is stale. The writing is stupid and bad. The action is tedious. Were nothing new is shown. Connor goes into a fighting pit and fights to the death. And an overly long climatic race which is just repetitive and boring.
Overall, Death Race Beyond Anarchy is terrible. There is nothing good to say about it. It is what it is for a straight to dvd movie. Sure, someday there will be a sequel that will be just as bad. But for now, the Death Race movies has yet to improve since the 2008 film.
Absolutely fun and exciting and Tom Hardy is awesome as the antihero Venom.
Venom (4 out of 5 stars).
Venom is an awesome antihero character that got his own movie after having a cheesy appearance in Spider-man 3. Venom does make up for it. Sony trying to create their own universe with their own superhero films. The movie is awesome with Tom Hardy taking the role and the action sequences are top notch exciting. It does suffer from a boring villain and a thin plot but it could have been a whole lot worse.
The plot follows a space probe crashing down on earth with a corporation Life foundations trying to reclaim four symbiotic lifeforms. Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) is leading Life foundations and only discovered three symbiotic contained while one is missing. Meanwhile, Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a journalist reporter talking about current issues about our todays problems. His fiancée Anne (Michelle Williams) is an employee of Life foundations and he decides to use her intel to interview Drake about people being test subjects for his experiments. When the interview goes bad with Brock losing his job, relationship, and his life's work. An insider decides to help Brock get inside Life foundation to gather evidence of Drake's evil experiments with people. Brock gets infected from a symbiotic known as Venom. With Drake and his paramilitary after Brock. Brock soon learns to cooperate with his alter ego of Venom to fight the bad guys.
The film's plot was pretty thin. The first act is a bit slow with Brock living poorly after he lost everything. And Drake becoming a mad scientist with experimenting using symbiotes on people. Trying to find a perfect host for the symbiotes. Until, Brock becomes Venom than the rest of the movie is Drake having his men chase him down. And the villain's plan on sending another space probe into space.
Riz Ahmed was not as intriguing as the villain Carlton Drake. He plays like a mad scientist that is obsessed with trying to find the perfect human being that can host a symbiote. Venom does face off against another symbiote known as Riot which was cool. Especially, during the chaotic fight in the climax.
Tom Hardy is great as Eddie Brock/Venom and he also voices Venom. It is pretty cool to see Eddie battling with himself as Venom's voice bickers at him. That is were the fun begins in the movie. When Eddie notices his appetite has increased. And he thinks he is going insane with the voice in his head. He is running around the street and restaurant with his maniac behavior. When the bad guys show up and Venom takes over to fight them off. It is pretty cool. There is also thrilling motorcycle chase. And Venom battling through a SWAT team. And the climax battle with Riot.
Michelle Williams was good as Anne, Brock's ex's love interest. The visual effects were great with Venom. The motorcycle chase scene may have some cheesy effects but it's almost unnoticeable.
Overall, Venom is a good superhero film. The action sequences are awesome. It is nice to see Venom fighting bad guys/ even some gritty scene were he bites their heads off. Seeing Eddie and Venom talk their differences is fun. Tom Hardy is great as the character. The plot may be thin and have a boring villain like Carlton Drake. Still makes an entertaining superhero movie.
There is also a mid credit scene that foreshadows for a sequel villain. And a post credit scene which sony is marketing their other animated superhero film which I do not think it is important to the Venom universe.
Hell Fest (2018)
Entertaining and a fun slasher movie added to the genre but do not expect any surprises with story or cliches.
Hell Fest (3 out of 5 stars).
Hell Fest tries to be a fun slasher horror movie which feels like it would have worked if it was released in the 80s. The era were Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm St. or Halloween movies were released. The movie was somewhat entertaining. It may have some quick brief jump scares, characters being picked off by a killer. Do not expect to see a movie were it has a story, character development, or some powerful written script. It is what it is which is a fun slasher film.
The plot follows Natalie (Amy Forsyth) who is visiting her friend Brooke (Reign Edwards) and her roommate Taylor (Bex Taylor-Klaus). They decide to go to a carnival theme park called Hell Fest. (almost similar to those Halloween haunted house parks). They meet up with a group of guys and go together. Walking through mazes of haunted houses. Getting surprise jump scares. Until, there is a killer that is walking amongst them at the park and is killing anyone he sees. He is stalking Natalie and her group of friends, which they are not sure if it is an actor that is part of the park or a creepy maniac that is really after them.
Hell Fest does lack in a story which is that type of film you go for the thrills and seeing how these group of friends will overcome this killer. Also, one of those movies were you hope a certain character does not get picked off by the killer. Do expect some gory violence. It is not over the top bloody or anything. Just cringing at moments was syringes get stabbed into someone's eye. Or head bashed in with a giant hammer.
The film does have some fun moments. With the set design of this haunted park which is pretty neat and cool. Yes, these characters are having more fun than it is being seen on screen. A suspense building music score that plays when the killer is walking on screen or bumping through strangers at the park trying to find his next victims. And the film does lie away from revealing too much about the killer which keeps it more of a mystery on who this person is. And gives you very tiny details in the final second of the movie.
Amy Forsyth was okay playing Natalie. She is a sweet teen who is busy with life and is trying to start a relationship with one of the guys that joins them. Reign Edwards was decent playing her supportive friend. Bex Taylor-Klaus plays the obnoxious friend. And Tony Todd playing the host of the park.
The film may not be as scary unlike all the jump scares these characters go through at the park and being chased by this killer. It is filled with lots of clichés such as making stupid decisions. Like characters trying to find an exit out of the park and thinks going inside one of the haunted houses is an exit. (Looks like a terrible choice that is seen in Halloween theme commercials with teens making stupid decisions).
Overall, Hell Fest is a fair slasher film. Pretty cool concept of a killer at large at a Halloween haunted park and characters being picked off. But the film lacks story and filled with a lot of clichés of characters making the obvious stupid choices.
A fun fantasy with a growing up story about a boy and learning magic but a shallow story.
The House with a Clock in its Walls (3 out of 5 stars).
The House with a Clock in its Walls is a fantasy family film that brings a story about warlocks and magic and a house filled with lively things such as a moving couch, ever changing glass work, or even a pet plant lion. It is surprising that director Eli Roth, the guy that does mainly gory horror films is taking on a family oriented film. Do not worry, he tries for the cheap jump scare tricks and some creepy setting. It would seem like a Tim Burton type of film. Yet again, the movie does seem similar to Miss Peregrine with people and gifted abilities and a plot that is dark.
Well the plot was decent and yet forgettable. It takes place in 1955, Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) parents passed away. And he is sent away to live with his estranged uncle Jonathan (Jack Black). Lewis meets Jonathan's neighbor Florence (Cate Blanchett) that spends most of the time with him. Lewis enters his uncle's big house with many antiques, clocks, and mannequins. When Jonathan informs Lewis that he is a warlock. And can teach him spells. Lewis has trouble making friends in school. He tries to impress a kid by showing him some magic which leads to something more. While, Jonathan has been on a search for a clock hidden in the walls in the house that is counting down to something more dark.
The plot had a nice concept of warlocks, magic, and even a dark third act. But the film spends most of the time with Lewis learning about his uncle and his warlock lifestyle. Seeing that the furniture being lively. And struggling to keep a friend in school. While he makes the stupid decision to impress a kid with a dark magic. And the movie spending most of the time with Jonathan trying to figure out where the clock is hidden. Until, the final act, they conveniently connected the dots of its whereabouts. Sure, the final act picks up the pace of the movie. And can get a little creepy when armored knights walk around the house, books fly around chaotically, and the villains motive with the hidden clock is dark. Do not worry, the film lights up the tone with cheesy, tacky humor, and even a disturbing grown up person's head on a baby body.
Jack Black was decent as Jonathan playing a cool uncle that tries too be relatable. Cate Blanchett playing Florence was good. Owen Vaccaro could have given a little bit of a better performance. Felt like he was reading straight from the script with cliff notes on the characters emotions.
The visual effects were okay. But it does have a creepy setting and direction. Jack O lanterns coming alive. Dolls moving around, paintings changing, and a couch that acts more like a puppy. While, the script does set up a slow story that does not progress until the final act.
Overall, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a fair fantasy film. Interesting dark concept with a creepy house setting that has a mixture of Adam's family, or Miss Peregrines. The acting was decent. The visuals and direction was good on being creepy fun. The plot focused too much on characters searching for a clock and not much of a story until its dark finale.
The Nun (2018)
Better than expected with its jolts of jumps and scares but lacking in story.
The Nun (3.5 out of 5 stars).
The Nun is a pretty decent supernatural horror film that is a spin off from The Conjuring 2 with the creepy demonic nun. Lets face it, the brief moment the nun was in The Conjuring 2 was creepy and gave you the chills. Now for a full prequel movie about how the nun came to be. And a backstory to a specific character that explored when her and a priest went investigating to Romania after two catholic nuns were attacked. It seems like an interesting spin off that deserved its own movie. It was better than the other spin off like the Annabelle movies. Still below the two Conjuring movies.
The plot follows two nuns getting attacked by a mysterious nun in 1952. Father Burke (Demian Birchir) and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) both travel to Romania to investigate these nuns death. They meet Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) who guides them to the monastery. Were they encountering the creepy nun that stalks the corridors and anyone that is there.
I felt like the plot was predictable and is something you can see coming. A nun is attacked by some creepy nun which is trying to find a host of a new body. A father and a sister head out to the castle to investigate the strange occurrences. Not too long, until they begin seeing this demonic nun that is trapping them in coffins, bringing back tragic visions, and stalking them in a dark eerie castle.
The film does have a fair share of scares and jumping at the screen moments. When you least expect it, something comes at you. Plus the set design of the castle and direction of the movie does make you feel unease. With a tone that is dark and dimmed lighting. Characters walking in dark corridors and a shadow of a nun walking slowly. Making it difficult to tell if it is an innocent person or some creepy entity.
Demian Bichir was decent playing father Burke who has a tragic past with exorcisms. Taissa Farmiga is the perfect choice playing sister Irene. Cannot see anyone else portraying the character. Which her real life sister Vera Farmiga is in The Conjuring. Seeing the resemblance of these two actresses are very alike. Jonas Bloquet plays Frenchie, a guy that guides them but is attracted to Irene when he first sees her. Sure, if you pay close attention to the Conjuring movies, you may notice an easter egg or connection on certain characters.
Overall, The Nun is a pretty fair horror film. It delivers on the scares and jumps. The direction is dark and eerie and helped build the creepy tone. The cast is good and Taissa Farmiga was perfect. The film does struggle with a weak story and backstory to the origins of the Nun which was briefly shown.
The Predator (2018)
Bloody and action packed that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The Predator (5 out of 5 stars).
The Predator is awesome and a better sequel that's filled with lots of action and humor. The original Predator movie was good, the second movie was bad and a joke. While the AvP movies with the first movie being fun and entertaining while the sequel sucked. And 2010 Predators being an entertaining sequel. Director Shane Black co-writing this sequel does pack a punch with this one. Having a group of misfit vets battling a predator.
The plot follows Quinn (Boyd Holbrook) who is on a mission in Mexico, trying to save hostages from a cartel in the middle of the jungle. Until, he comes across a crashed ship with a predator on the loose. Quinn recovers some alien gear and sends it away for evidence. The government questions him, hoping he can keep his mouth shut about what he saw. They send him away with a group of vets like Nebraska (Trevante Rhodes), Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key), Baxley (Thomas Jane), Nettles (Augusto Aguilera), and Lynch (Alfie Allen). Meanwhile, Casey (Olivia Munn) is brought to a secret government organization led by Will (Sterling K. Brown). Who is hoping they can figure out what the predator is after.
There is more to the plot. The film begins with a predator in a ship being chased by another. And the predator is after the missing gear which is a link to something more with their secret agenda. It is a pretty straightforward plot. Sure, the ending does set up for another sequel and would be interesting to see were the story goes from there. This movie does follow Quinn trying to find his gifted son Rory (Jacob Tremblay) which the predator may be after.
The film moves at a fast brisk pace. It does not hold back on the action. There are plenty of bloody action sequences. And a bloodbath of a predator making his way through soldiers. And using all his high tech weaponized gear. And than there is a giant predator that shows up with another agenda on searching for something. Which leads Quinn and his misfit team trying to protect Rory and hunt the predator down. For all the action enthusiast, you will enjoy this film.
There is also a lot of humor. Especially from Keegan-Michael Key's character with jokes in almost every scene. The humor made the movie fun. Boyd Holbrook was great playing Quinn, a soldier who wants to hunt the predator that killed his men. Trevante Rhodes plays a vet who struggled with emotions. Jacob Tremblay plays an autistic kid which the predator may be after. Olivia Munn playing a biologist who sticks out in this group of misfits. Keegan-Michael Key plays the loud mouth jokester And Thomas Jane playing a vet with a disorder. Alfie Allen and Augusto Aguilera were good too. All these characters stick out in a characterized way.
Overall, The Predator is an awesome film. I enjoyed it more than the previous films. It lives up to the original movie. The characters stick out. The movie moves at a brisk action packed pace and it never slows down. Expect a lot of bloody gore violence. A plot that leaves it open for another movie. And it has a lot of comical humor. See it on the big screen for its loud action packed ride.
Jennifer Garner brings her A game in an action role in a revenge movie that is lacking story and development.
Peppermint (3 out of 5 stars).
Peppermint is an okay vigilante film. Which is everything you can expect for a revenge story type of movie. Some decent action sequences, Jennifer Garner being a bada** and taking on an action role, and a straightforward revenge plot involving a cartel, corrupt police, and judges. Definitely, one of those flicks were you just go to the theatre to escape and watch Jennifer Garner beat down the bad guys.
The plot follows Riley (Jennifer Garner) who survives a drive by shooting which her husband and daughter were not so lucky. After finding out from detective Carmichael (John Gallagher Jr.) that the suspects are members of a cartel. And after the judges let the bad guys go. Riley takes justice to her own hands. She comes back, tracking down, and hunting every bad guy, corrupt police, and judges that are linked to the cartel.
Director Pierre Morel (who also did the first Taken movie) did deliver a simple basic revenge plot. Sure, it may not be anything new that we have seen differently with revenge movies. A woman loses her family. And she just goes after every bad guy there is. Not really much you can say about the plot. Morel did deliver some entertaining action. Garner taking up arms and shooting up bad guys was entertaining. She takes a beating, gets injured, and gets back up to fight again. Jennifer Garner was great in delivering an action role. It is nice to see her back in the action genre ever since Daredevil. John Ortiz was okay playing a detective that is hot on Riley's trail. John Gallagher Jr. was decent playing the detective as well. Juan Pablo Raba playing the villain was good. But these actors do not really have much to work with.
Peppermint may not be a great worth talking about action film. It is better than Bruce Willis Death Wish film. There are better revenge type movies like 2004 Man on Fire, The Punisher, or even Death Sentence. This film barely had much of a story, just setting up Jennifer Garner going to one bad guys safe house to another. With a set piece of shoot outs and her escaping to another. Plus the action does get a little repetitive and not worth talking about. Especially, when the director uses some close up camera shots were you do not care much about what is going on.
Overall, Peppermint is a fair vigilante film. It could be worse. The action shoot up sequences are decent. Jennifer Garner is at her finest with the role while the rest of the cast are playing undeveloped characters. And a thin story which makes this film forgettable.
Slow moving but leaves you with a creepy payoff direction.
Hereditary (4 out of 5 stars).
Hereditary is going to be that type of horror movie were it will divide the audiences on either you like it or hate it. It is a bit artsy, creepy, and disturbing. The cast delivers a great performance, the plot can be slow moving. It does have that slow set up. More similar to the horror movie set up like Rosemary's Baby. Sure, that is were the filmmakers are trying to aim for. I did not find the movie to be scary at all. But very creepy and disturbing feel.
The less you know about the plot the better the reveal is. The plot follows Annie (Toni Collette). She is an artist to miniature models. Also, has a miniature models of a life story of her family and the situation with her sick mother. After her mother passes away. She barely knew much about her mother. Besides she has many friends and kept a very secretive life. After her passing, Annie, and her husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), her son Peter (Alex Wolff), and Charlie (Milly Shapiro) start experiencing some unknown things. That begins happening around them.
The plot is slow moving. So do expect a slow set up with the characters. Annie barely knew her mother. Her husband is a passive guy but tries to do what is best for their children. Peter feels like a black sheep with the family. And Charlie who is distant with the family, making tiny models, and is more of a loner type of child.
The direction by Ari Aster delivers a sharp tone. The story is a slow set up. But slowly things do become a little weird. When they start seeing Annie's mother. People in that town act differently or weird. And there are strange symbols on light poles or on walls. Annie begins to feel like she is losing her mind. The set design is mainly consist of them being in Annie's house. When a creepy situation like someone hanging in a corner of a dark room is slowly lurking. It gets very uncomfortable. And there is plenty of more of those horror techniques when the film gets closer to the climax.
Toni Collette is great as Annie. Her performance is through the roof amazing. Alex Wolff was also good too. Milly Shapiro playing a silent girl type is great. The cinematography was great in capturing this uncomfortable feeling. The film does get very disturbing when it reaches the climax. And the film does its job as a horror movie making you feel disturbed even after the movie. Without giving away any spoilers.
Overall, Hereditary is a good horror film. It does not have much scares. It does have a creepy and disturbing direction. The acting is great. The direction and script delivers an uncomfortable setting. The plot is very slow moving with its pace. Which is were it may lose the audience. But the payoff was definitely worth it.
Boring, uninspired, and a waste of a sci-fi concept.
Kin (2 out of 5 stars).
Kin is a science fiction action film that tries to be a buddy road trip movie as two brothers build their relationship while a group of thugs and some unknown beings from a different world are after them. The film fails to be an exciting science fiction film. The plot is boring. The concept could have been better if there were more details on the unknown beings. The characters are tedious and the script gave flat characters. The action is nothing new worth watching.
The plot follows Elijah (Myles Truitt) who got into trouble at school. His father Hal (Dennis Quaid) decides to put him to work with him. Elijah scavenging for parts to sell at warehouses. Came across an alien type of weapon. He takes it with him. His brother Jimmy (Jack Reynor) just got out of the prison and steers an argument with the father cause he is asking for money to pay off a group of thugs led by Taylor (James Franco). Taylor had his men protect Jimmy in prison. While Jimmy found an escape and brought Elijah along with him to avoid the thugs from getting him. Jimmy lied to Elijah that their father would want them to go on a road trip. As they bail out of town with Taylor's thugs after them. And two unknown beings that came from a different world arrive. Wanting to get their weapon back.
The plot was boring. It tries to build the brother relationship with Jimmy and Elijah. As they settle their differences, Jimmy teaches Elijah how to drive. And talk about their mom. While Jimmy is sneaking Elijah into strip clubs, were they meet Milly (Zoe Kravitz). Who tags along with them cause she is wanting something better in life.
The concept is not as exciting seen on screen. Two brothers trying to escape from a group of thugs and some unknown beings. It feels like a first episode to a young adult sci-fi tv series. Were the unknown beings does not have much of a backstory or explanation. Besides, they get into battle with other unknown beings and being involved in a shoot out in a warehouse. And some little twist in the end that is added in there that is supposedly trying to make the movie story feel like there will be more to this film. Sadly, the twist is forgettable. And the exciting factor for the action is also not there. The climax was dull. The characters are tedious. You do not really care much for Elijah, Jimmy, or even Milly. The script fails to develop any characters.
Myles Truitt gave a flat performance. Jack Reynor was dull with his role. Zoe Kravitz is the only decent thing about the movie. Were she tried to deliver a role about wanting a better life but she is forced working in the club. James Franco playing a thug was terrible. Sure, he must have had fun playing a crazy villain but his performance is forgettable.
Overall, Kin is a bad film. The acting is terrible. There is barely any action in the film. And when there is in the climax it is forgettable. The plot and concept felt uninspired to science fiction genre.
Surprisingly a great science fiction film that was very misleading from the look of the movie trailer.
Upgrade (5 out of 5 stars).
Upgrade is surprisingly a great science fiction horror film. More sci-fi than horror really. I feel like it does have that Blade Runner, or Dredd movie tone. It does have a great amount of action sequences, car chase, and a plot that is engaging. Involving the future setting were technology has advanced too self driving cars, body parts implants of A.I., a gun installed inside a person's arm, or weapons installed into people.
The plot was awesome. It follows Grey (Logan Marshall-Green). A mechanic who still prefers things the old fashion way. Such as cars without computers. Doing things yourself without A.I. doing everything for you such as making meals, greeting you at home, reading your mind to take you to a place. Grey and his wife Asha (Melanie Vallejo) both take a built muscle car to Dr. Eron (Harrison Gilbertson) who has a built A.I. that nobody knows about. As Grey and Asha are heading home they get caught in an accident. Were a group of guys attack them. Leaving Grey paralyzed. His friend Dr. Eron decides to help him and installing the A.I. called stem into his back to help him move. Grey than takes justice matters into his own hands with the help of stem.
The film is fast paced. Next thing you know Grey is going after each one of the bad guys. Letting Stem take control of his body to fight back. Even the bad guys have upgrades such as guns inside their arms. There is a lot of shoot them up action sequences. It does get a little gory on the fight scenes.
Logan Marshall-Green was great. Playing the lead that prefers to live a life without the use of technology but is stuck when he has no choice but to use Stem. Betty Gabriel plays a detective that is following the traces of bodies of criminals that is leading back into Grey's case. She was also good too. Harrison Gilbertson was good playing an awkward researcher who designed Stem.
The music score was great. It was done by Jed Palmer. May not be as great like Blade Runner's score. But it lives up there. The cinematography by Stefan Duscio was good too. Capturing some great action sequences. Sometimes having the camera rotate around to create a little chaos but it was not confusing nor nauseating like the camera shaking technique. Writer/director Leigh Whannel did a fantastic job making this film. He wrote movies like Saw series and Insidious movies. His take on a science fiction project was great. He kept the plot interesting, plenty of action, and a script that leads to a big twist ending. The twist was surprising and ended the film in a great high note.
Overall, Upgrade is a great science fiction film. The plot kept you invested as a revenge thriller setting with future gadgets. The action sequences were great. The music, cinematography was good. And the direction and script kept the movie running at a great pace and a twist that leaves you talking after.
Hilarious and fun.
Tag (4 out of 5 stars).
Tag is a comedy film filled with stupid humor, a great cast, and a plot that is ridiculous (but it is a true story). Yes, a plot that involves grown man playing a game of tag and taking it very seriously. Literally. But it is a story of friendship and the game of tag is the only thing that keeps them connected as they grow older and live their separate lives.
The plot follows Hoagie (Ed Helms), Bob (Jon Hamm), Chilli (Jake Johnson), and Kevin (Hannibal Buress) who are traveling to Washington cause their friend Jerry (Jeremy Renner) is about to get married. And during the month of May, they all play a game of tag and the one person that has not been tagged yet is Jerry. Only thing is Jerry is well prepared and has everything planned out for escape routes and tricks up his sleeve to preventing his friends from getting close.
It is a ridiculous plot. Such as Hoagie has a degree and is willing to go through a job interview process for a big company to land a job as a janitor. In order to get close to Bob. Or Hoagie using his maniac wife Anna (Isla Fisher) to try to trap the guys in a corner. It is a fun plot. It does have a story of friendship and how close and distant they got from each other. Even with a sub plot when Cheryl (Rashida Jones) shows up to Jerry wedding rehearsal which Bob and Chilli both have a crush on since elementary school. Jerry is the mastermind. He is hidden in his basement leaving trails for his friends to fall into a trap. Such as playing cat and mouse in the forest with several people running around dressed like him. And log traps and net traps set up for his friends. Sure, things may be out of hand with the game. But the movie is entertainment.
It is funny throughout. It has a lot of stupid humor. But it works. When Bob is threatening the gym receptionist after bribing him did not work to reveal Jerry's location. Even the thought of water boarding him was coming into play.
The cast was great. Ed Helms was great. Almost feels like the same character he was playing in The Hangover movie. Jeremy Renner was good as a professional player. A little too skilled. Almost every escape route he takes leaves him breaking out of a window. Jon Hamm was good. Jake Johnson playing a stoner who is always high and smoking weed throughout. Hannibal Buress plays a character that does not make sense but has too many problems mentally. Isla Fisher was great playing Hoagie's wife. A lady who has mood swings from being sweet and nice to a complete out of control anger issues. Annabelle Wallis was good but her character did not have much to do with the movie. Besides the group of guys explaining to her how their version of the game works so she can write about it.
The film does take for a serious turn in the climax. Sometimes a little too serious when jokes are taken so far. If some would find it funny or sensitive on the jokes that is portrayed.
Overall, Tag is a good comedy film. The humor is stupid and hilarious throughout. The plot is ridiculous but fun. And the cast was great.
Iron Man (2008)
Iron Man is pure entertainment, energetic, and pumped up action.
Iron Man (4 out of 5 stars).
Iron Man is an energetic, super fun, and a smart superhero film that plays it safe. Robert Downey, Jr. is great playing the heroic character. It is difficult to see anyone else taking on the role. He delivers with an arrogant, cocky, and a charm that begins with you hating his character to loving it. The script worked great on the character development as he changes his views through the movie. The plot was good it could have been better. But it works. Tony Stark is an arms dealer, selling to the military. Only to discover his weapons are going in the wrong hands. The first act of the movie is Tony being stuck in a cave, trying to build an armored suit for his escape. The second act is consist of Tony making improvements on his iron suit and realizing his company's weapons are being used by the enemy. Jeff Bridges was good too, playing the villain. The film is a lot of fun. It has high energy and fast paced. It just does not slow down. Plus the direction of the film plays like a rock star with this kind of super hero. With a rock music score by Ramin Djawadi that gets you pumped up. Or the opening sequence with AC/DC playing. The film does have a lot of fun moments that makes you love Tony Stark and his charm as the character. The action sequences are also good. The visual effects are great. The climatic battle with Iron Man and the villain was good but does feel a little short for the climax.
Overall, Iron Man is a good superhero film that is worth checking out. May not be a masterpiece like The Dark Knight. But it is a great start and a lot of fun.
Beautiful film with a great backdrop setting and an adventure but lacks conflict.
Alpha (3.5 out of 5 stars).
Alpha is a visually stunning historical adventure film that is about courage and survival. This film has some great cinematography camera shots of the setting and showing a young boy's journey over this Paleolithic Europe landscape. And the visual effects are amazing; it sure does capture a lot of sunset in the background for a scene.
The plot follows Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who joins his father Tau (Johannes Kaukur Johannesson) and a group of hunters to go out on an expedition to hunt for bison before the winter comes. Keda always feeling like a disappointment to his father's eyes cause he could not finish killing an animal or he could not start a fire. His survival skills were still not ready to be alone. When they come across a herd of bison and Keda is separated by his father and his tribe. An injured Keda is going to have to self recover, learn how to start a fire, and figure out how to defend himself from the wild. Keda comes across a pack of wolves which he chases away. But helps the alpha wolf recover. He trained the wolf to listen on command. And he continues to go on a hundred or so mile journey to get back home.
Alpha is a beautiful shot film. And it may not be for everyone while some may find it boring. It has a survival adventure plot of a young boy learning to redeem himself as others have looked down at him. He restraint his broken ankle, he learns to start a fire, he eats what he can find such as worms, maggots, and he trained a wolf which accompanies him during this journey.
The camera work in the film is incredible. The landscapes are beautiful. The shots with the sun in the background is like looking at a screensaver with a story. The visual effects are also good too. Sure, there are some questionable cgi with some animals not looking believable.
Kodi Smit-McPhee was incredible. It was a subtitle film trying to be a little close to having characters speak a prehistoric language. But it is not distracting or a frustrating film to follow. There is less dialogue in the movie but more body language with characters actions.
The film starts out great as Keda is going on an expedition with his father and the tribe. And coming across another tribe to prepare for the hunt. The film does slow the pace down in the second act when Keda comes across the wolf and they spend some time in the cave. Trying to recover from his leg and the dog is trying to recover from a stab wound. Keda is trying to teach the wolf to have patience when it comes to food. It does slow down a little bit. Before it picks up the pace when Keda is trying to get home before the snow arrives. And another dislike I have with the movie is the sense of conflict. There is not much of a conflict Keda comes across during this journey. Everything was easily resolved. He comes across trying to stay warm during a snow storm, comes across hyena's and a tiger of some kind. The climax of the movie is Keda trying to survive to get to his tribe. You are left wondering if that was it. And apparently it is.
Overall, Alpha is a pretty fair film. The visual effects and direction is beautifully done. It does give you a sense of an adventure. The acting was good. The music score by Joseph S. DeBeasi was also beautiful. The cinematography was great. The film just suffers from a second act slow pace and less conflict with the plot.
Action Point (2018)
The humor is trash, the stunts are just repetitive and boring while Knoxville gets a kick out of doing his stunts.
Action Point (1 out of 5 stars).
If you are into the Jackass films or Bad Grandpa or enjoy any stupid comedy films from Johnny Knoxille than this may be the film for you. Action Point is nothing but stupid humor of watching people get hurt by doing dumb things. Just put the concept setting on a broken down amusement park. Were they can make rides go fast without proper restraints, lots of alcohol, slides that are breaking, and tank rides that shoot bean bags or water pressure at random people. It is like watching youtube videos of people doing dumb stunts.
There is not much of a plot. Besides DC (Johnny Knoxville) owner of action point. An out of control theme park for teenagers and young adults. Were people do not have to worry about lawsuits for injuries, you just get up and walk it off. His daughter Boogie (Eleanor Worthington Cox) is visiting him. And they try to save the park from their competitors that wants to shut their park down.
The plot just sets up an excuse for Johnny Knoxville to create dangerous rides and stunts. How many times do we have to see Knoxville get hit in the crotch or knocked over to find out its more annoying than funny. Or see Knoxville fall from a slide or launched towards a barn. Yes, it loses its moments of stupid humor. Then, the plot flashes forward to an elder DC, as he tells the story to his granddaughter and he gets knocked over by a pool table ball or falls off from doing pull ups. The humor falls flat quick and is just annoying than entertaining.
Johnny Knoxville is getting a little too old for doing his Jackass style stunts in these movies. But I take that he enjoys doing it. The performance is terrible, you can not expect anything else from Knoxville.
Overall, Action Point is terrible. The story is boring. The concept of a theme park is just an excuse for Knoxville to come up with the stupidest stunts ever with rides, petting zoo's involving messing with crocodiles, and lots of drinking. The humor is just plain stupid and not funny. You cannot expect anything else besides a waste of time.
The Dark Knight (2008)
An epic masterpiece of a superhero film which makes this one of the best.
The Dark Knight (5 out of 5 stars).
The Dark Knight is a great sequel to the follow up reboot of Batman. A lot happens in the film and making this one complex superhero film. Think of this film like a moving chess piece with the characters like Batman (Christian Bale), Gordon (Gary Oldman), and Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) as they are all being affected by the Joker (Heath Ledger). Without giving much details and spoiler free. This is one spectacular superhero movie with a smart clever plot. Exciting action sequences, powerful acting, and an organized driven script that makes every scene in the movie important.
The opening sequence of a robbery led by Joker was fantastic. Heath Ledger's performance is intimidating and scary. He is the character that has no remorse or empathy. And will kill anything in his path without blinking an eye. But his mastermind plan on taking Gotham is insane. Enough said about the plot. Which is best to find out for yourself when you see it.
The action sequences are also great. The car chase with the tumbler is great. The film does get very dark fast when characters are horribly scarred or when characters die. There are sub plots that works great and are integrated with the main story later on. Harvey is trying to fight the corruption in Gotham. And putting away a lot of mobsters. Gordon is stuck in a conflict when he realizes there is more corruption in the city. Bruce is struggling with the concept that he can't be a hero forever and wants to settle with his love interest Rachel (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Now, knowing Harvey Dent is the white knight of Gotham. When the Joker is causing chaos in the city. Giving demands, orchestrating a bigger plot that will test everyone.
The music score was great. Hans Zimmer music was fantastic. The script was great. Felt like a crime thriller concept mixed with a superhero movie. The direction was sharp and complex. With a lot of moving characters and story. The acting was great. Especially, Heath Ledger giving a great performance. The action is exciting and big.
Overall, The Dark Knight is a great film. One of the best superhero movies yet. It can be dark. The Joker's threats and performance is intimidating. The acting was great. Christopher Nolan did great with his second Batman film.
Batman Begins (2005)
A nice complex masterpiece of a comic book film.
Batman Begins (5 out of 5).
Batman Begins is an awesome masterpiece of a reboot to the superhero franchise. Director/Screenwriter Christopher Nolan did a fantastic job-recreating Batman. Not by telling the same story like the previous Batman movies were we see the caped crusader facing against a new villain. Nolan takes us to were it all began. It is an origin story. We see Bruce Wayne doing everything for the first time. From jumping on rooftops without his wings or grappling hook.
The plot does not follow in a chronological order within the first hour of the movie. But it works great with Nolan's direction set up. It begins with a kid Bruce Wayne falling in an old water well and facing against Bats. Than it cuts to an older Bruce Wayne, imprisoned in a different country and comes across Henri (Liam Neeson) who is giving him a second chance at redemption. Bruce is left traveling through and coming across ninjas that are being trained for the league of Shadows. Then, it flashes towards a young adult Bruce who is visiting the trial for his parents murderer. And only to see Gotham city being corrupted. After Bruce training, he comes back to Gotham to be the caped crusader and to stop a bigger threat from the mob. And Dr. Jonathan Crane (Cillian Murphy) who is corrupted and plotting a threat to Gotham.
The plot was well organized. The script was fantastic. The action sequences are awesome. You have an exciting Batmobile known as the tumbler being chased by the police. Batman facing against criminals. And a villain scarecrow, which uses a toxic gas to make people see their own fears. The concept and setting is dark for a superhero film. But Batman is supposed to be in that direction.
Christian Bale was fantastic. Michael Caine, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, and Liam Neeson were all great. Sure, there are some twists and surprises with the villains. And an exciting climatic battle with Batman fighting in a moving train.
Overall, Batman Begins is an awesome film. Nolan did the character justice. The script gave the proper treatment to the development and plot. The direction was sharp, clever, and exciting for an origin story. Plus the cliffhanger ending that opens for a sequel and the direction on the villain is great.
Mile 22 (2018)
Mindless action which is good and bad cause it is a bit chaotic, exhausting, and forgettable.
Mile 22 (2.5 out of 5 stars).
Mile 22 is an adrenaline rush action thriller that leaves you feeling a little exhausted from its shaky cam, rushed plot, and poor dialogue. Peter Berg direction is on steroids with his quick fast editing cuts in every action scene that makes Jason Bourne movies or Michael Bay's action seem more still. Which is not a good thing for Mile 22. Peter Berg does build some intensity that keeps your heart pumping in such a short run time with the film. He did great in Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, and Patriots Day. Mile 22 fails to be an exciting great movie.
The plot was convoluted. It follows James Silva (Mark Wahlberg) who is a paramilitary operative in an organization called Overwatch. When his team invades what they think is a Russian KGB hideout house and the mission goes sideways. A year or so later, James and his team are assigned to escort Li Noor (Iko Uwais) 22 miles to the airport for extraction. Cause Li Noor has valuable intel that can be life threatening to the nation. While on their transport they get invaded by assassins, and another paramilitary group that will stop at nothing to kill Li Noor.
I thought the plot and direction of the movie was a little lost on what it was trying to be. Story wise it kind of sucked when there was barely much of a story. You have a fast talking James Silva, who can explode with his mania personality at any given moment. He is hard with his team which they can barely keep up. Especially, Alice (Lauren Cohan) who is struggling with a divorce and custody battle. But James informs her that she is distracted and will lose sight of their job. Then, there is a sub plot of a Russian terrorist that are on a plane with an agenda as they watch surveillance of this escort on Li Noor. And than Li Noor, who has info of the terrorist having a biohazard material that is an attack waiting to happen. The film has a twist that gives you the chills and a cliffhanger ending that leaves for a sequel.
The direction sucked with this movie. The cinematography work was consist of shaky camera movement and fast editing. The fight scene with Iko Uwais attacking others was confusing. The shootouts were loud, and a bang but it gets very repetitive throughout. James and his team are on a long 22 mile journey that is consist of cars blowing up, shoot outs, running into a building with more shoot outs and close combat fighting. And repeat. I like most Peter Berg films. Yes, he does well building up the intensity with the movie. But this one does get a little boring with its narration when it cuts between action scenes to James Silva being interviewed on what went wrong with their mission. Or when it cuts to surveillance videos of the action from the drone or street cameras. It can be annoying.
Mark Wahlberg was great though as the fast talking and maniac character. John Malkovich was okay too with sitting behind the monitors watching the action unfold. Lauren Cohan was okay as well with hands on action. Iko Uwais is like the next Jet Li or Jackie Chan when it comes to fighting. And Ronda Rousey barely had much to do with some brief action scenes.
Overall, Mile 22 is a bad film. Mark Wahlberg was good and yes the film could be a start of a franchise. Peter Berg's fast editing direction that gets lost with its action scenes between quick camera movements to surveillance cameras can be tedious after awhile. The poor plotting that needs to have a twist to make it better just feels like the film did not have a story at all. I was a little left disappointed and the film is forgettable.
The Miracle Season (2018)
Inspirational true story but the movie failed to capture that miracle inspiration.
The Miracle Season (2 out of 5 stars).
The Miracle Season is a drama based on a real story of a high school student who was the captain of her volleyball team and the heart that drives every one to be the best. Until, she was killed in a moped accident. Yes, the real story is sad. Caroline Found was an every day down to earth kind of girl. Were every one liked her in school. She was always energetic, happy, and always motivating others to be the best. There was barely anything to not like about her. The film lacked in delivering a character depth with her and the rest of the cast. The story of the real event was incredible. But the film lacked in the inspirational theme.
The plot follows Caroline (Danika Yarosh) the volleyball captain of her high school team. She is well loved, caring, and inspirational to others. They have been undefeated. She has a best friend Kelley (Erin Moriarty) since childhood. She has a loving father Dr. Ernie (William Hurt). And her mother who was diagnosed with cancer. Caroline inspires her to get better and that she will be there to watch her graduate high school and see her get married. When Caroline takes off in a moped. She was killed in an accident. Which caused everyone to grief including her team and friends. And the team struggles and loses several games. Coach Kathy (Helen Hunt) has trouble trying to inspire the team. She ask Caroline's best friend Kelley to help motivate the team to do what Caroline would want them to do. After a few tough practices that causes the team to run plenty of laps. They find their winning streak again.
The real true story was probably more inspirational and sad than the film tries to be. The film lacks in a better script. The characters are flat and one dimensional which makes it hard to believe that they were inspired. Caroline played by Danika Yarosh was more obnoxious with her loud, annoying, and attention seeking behavior. Sure, the direction could have tried to rearrange the performance. Danika Yarosh was decent in Jack Reacher movie but in this movie she was energetic and a bit irritating. Erin Moriarty was also okay but the script did not give much detail for her to work with. Helen Hunt's character was underdeveloped as well. As we know she was struggling going through a divorce and trying to get her team back on their feet. William Hurt is a talented actor but the character was very flat.
For an inspirational movie, this one was a little disappointing. The team was going through grief. They were unmotivated in practice. But the film flies by so quick with Kathy putting them through some tough training drills and they are all back on their feet instantly, and ready to play. It just was not believable and cliché.
Overall, The Miracle Season is a bad film. The real story was sad and inspirational. Sadly, the film lacked in delivering that story with the script, flat characters, tedious acting, and a cliché direction.
The Meg (2018)
Jason Statham battling against Megalodon is entertaining and fun.
The Meg (4 out of 5 stars).
If you are a Jason Statham fan or enjoy science fiction action movies than The Meg is for you. Ridiculous how it sounds about this movie. The Meg is a lot of fun; it does take itself too seriously, and has some intense action sequences. Seeing Jason Statham battle against a megalodon shark is pure entertainment. This film could have been a whole lot worse with cheesy dialogue, bad acting, and terrible action/visual effects. Which this big budget film must have spent a lot on the visual effects and the suspenseful action.
The plot follows Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) a rescue diver, when his attempt to save survivors on a failing submarine goes awry when something else attacks the sub. Years later, no one believes Jonas on what went on down there. Dr. Minway (Winston Chao) leads a research facility were they sent a small sub to go beneath the oceans cloud surface were an unknown ecosystem inhabits. And they come across a bigger threat that stops them. They will need the help from Jonas until they discover Megalodon. Which it comes to the surface.
Cheesy as the plot sounds. When a group of researchers discover a new level beneath the oceans surface that is so deep. That undiscovered species inhabit. The film does build a little suspense when a group of researchers in a sub get stuck down below. Facing against a giant octopus and a big shark that can eat ships.
The film does deliver on the action sequences. You can expect to see Jason Statham doing a lot of heroic diving into the ocean to save another from a giant shark. And seconds away from death when they are being grappled in with a shark inches away from them. Or a climatic battle with Statham and Li Bingbing driving those underwater subs trying to kill the shark in a cat and mouse battle.
The film can be a little suspenseful. Especially, when you do not expect anything to jump out of the water at you. You can have the camera zooming in a character in the water. Or a character sticking their head in a dead shark's mouth and something happening that puts you on the edge of your seat. Also, there is a twist that is surprising and predictable but still builds the suspenseful moment.
Jason Statham is an awesome actor. And an action star that always saves the day. Yes, he does so with this movie. A lot of him getting in his swimsuit and diving into the ocean to save someone. Li Bingbing was good too playing Dr. Minway's daughter. Were she is trying to stop the shark as well. Rainn Wilson was fun too playing the billionaire that funded the research facility. He delivers some fun lines. Ruby Rose was great playing an engineer expert. But she barely had anything to do when they were trying to stop the shark. Besides some close life and death situations.
Overall, The Meg is a good science fiction horror film. The visual effects are good. There is a lot of action with Statham and his team trying to stop Meg. There are some suspenseful moments that makes you feel like something is about to happen. The film is better than I have expected. It is like Jaws on steroids serious than being like the stupid cheesy Sharknado movies.
A B movie with a title that says it all with what you can expect.
Revenge (4 out of 5 stars).
Revenge says it all with the plot. It is a French movie with most subtitles and some in English. It is that rape and revenge action film. It is bloody, gritty, and can be disturbing. But seeing Matilda Lutz being a flirty, wanting to be a star personality to being a gun toting bada** female is awesome. Revenge feels like an experimental type of film. It has its style with low dialogue script, cinematography work that tries to capture a perfect lighting/shadow setting, and an electronic music score by Rob.
The plot begins with Jen (Matilda Lutz) flying with a French millionaire Richard (Kevin Janssens) to a distant and isolated home in the middle of the desert. They begin their affair when Richard told his wife and kids he is out on a hunting trip with his friends. When his friends Stan and Dimitri show up. They have a wild night party. When Richard is out away. Stan rapes Jen. When Richard finds out, he does not care. He tries to bribe Jen from keeping it to herself. She escapes and is pushed off the cliff and falling to her death when she gets impaled by a dead tree. She survives the fall and severely wounded. And the three man find out she is out there in the desert alive. They go hunting for her while she prepares to go on revenge on all three men.
The film is very fast moving. The opening scene with the reflection on Richard's sunglasses on a helicopter and Jen's queen B attitude. The film focuses on Jen's development and how she is affected from the assault. She suffers through a lot but gets back up to stop those men from getting away with what they have done. Next thing you know she is picking one guy off at a time as they are out in the desert with their off road bikes and jeep looking for her.
Be aware, the movie is bloody and graphic. Especially, the self-patching the wounds. And the bloody climax of the movie were Jen and Richard are shooting at each other in a house with shot guns. And a dizzying chase in the house with the hallways getting more bloody as they encounter each other. And also the nudity feels more gratuitous with a nude guy fighting Jen.
The movie does have its style with its electronic music. With plenty of camera angle butt shots when Jen is wearing skimpy outfits or her bloody warrior look in the final half hour of the movie.
Matilda Lutz is a beautiful actress. Seeing her become a bloody fierce warrior is amazing. Her performance is outstanding. I would like to see her do more films.
Overall, Revenge is a good action thriller. The direction has a sense of feminine power and a stylish outlook with music, camera angles, and lighting. The plot is a simple revenge story. It is a gritty and bloody movie. It can be intense in some scenes.
Life of the Party (2018)
Same humor from Melissa McCarthy and her previous films which makes this movie feeling unneeded.
Life of the Party (2.5 out of 5 stars).
Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone tackle on another comedy film after their last two lacklusters of Tammy and The Boss film. Life of the Party is no different than McCarthy's previous comedy films. Yes, she is a likable actress. But her humor gets old very fast when it is nothing but insults towards others. And the movie itself has nothing else to show for it.
The plot follows Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) and her husband Dan (Matt Walsh) dropping their daughter Maddie (Molly Gordon) off at a university. Deanna upset and sad her baby girl is all grown up. But also gets the unexpected news that her husband wants a divorce. Once home, Deanna tries to move on by burning all his stuff and realizes that she dropped out of college just cause her husband told her too. She decides to enroll back to the university that her daughter is going too. So she can finally finish school.
The plot is predictable. From the opening scene with her distant husband that has a look that he is bored with their marriage. And Deanna visiting her daughter in college which her daughter friends are more excited to have her mother there. With Deanna visiting Maddy and her friends at their frat house. With her friends all having personal issues of their own which Deanna tries to fix. And Deanna and a frat boy getting frisky every time they see each other after their one night stand at a party. Deanna is living the party life that she once missed out when she was young.
The film does get boring when all the jokes are running dry. Melissa McCarthy can go so far with the humor before her jokes are all the same. It gets dull and tedious. If you seen Tammy or The Boss, this movie is basically the same with the comedic level. Were McCarthy pokes jokes at herself and others. Always being a loud mouth in public. But when she is in front of the classroom, she gets stage fright and has an anxiety? But she is okay with being on stage at a frat party. The humor can be overdone and laughs get very few in between. Sure, Maddy's friends seem to be weird and awkward and can bring in a few laughs. Or an awkward dinner at a restaurant when Deanna runs into her boy toy as he is the waiter. And her ex husband and his new girlfriend conveniently being there.
Overall, Life of the Party is a bad film. Melissa McCarthy is a sweet comedic actress. But her latest work is becoming repetitive with her humor. And this film is definitely a miss when it is becoming tedious.
The Darkest Minds (2018)
A YA adaptation that just repeat itself from other dystopian movies and just flat out terrible.
The Darkest Minds (2.5 out of 5 stars).
The Darkest Minds is a science fiction thriller based on another young adult novels. Were the story is similar to most YA adaptations were it is a dystopian future involving teens and kids. And the conflict with the kids fighting for what is right. That basically sums up the story. Which we have seen before. There are better YA movies like The Hunger Game series or The Maze Runner movies. Others that failed like Divergent or The 5th Wave.
The plot is a bit boring. And cliché. 98 percent of the children are killed by some unknown virus called IAAN. The remaining percent of children developed powers. Which the government finds as a threat. They start categorizing children in camps and there threat level with their powers. Ruby (Amandla Stenberg) was captured when she was a child. When she first had a breakthrough with her gifts such as manipulating minds. Years later, the government discover she is a threat and plans on exterminating her. Dr. Cate (Mandy Moore) helps her escape and hopes she is willing to come with her to a new organization called "the children's league." (Sounds like a kid's version of the DC superhero movies or young X-Men.) When Ruby comes across Liam (Harris Dickinson), Chubs (Skylan Brooks), and Zu (Miya Cech). They do not trust the adults and their organization on fighting back against the government.
I feel like the YA adaptations are starting to wear thin with having better story substance. Since the concepts and plot are becoming similar just replace the conflict with either aliens, viruses, powers, ect. Ruby escapes the camp compound were the kids are being tested and experimented on. She is on the run with Liam and a couple of others. Trying to outrun bounty hunters like Lady Jane (Gwendoline Christie). Then, holding up in a hotel room (how did they get past checking in for a room since every adult is reporting when kids are on sight.). Then, they visit a beat down mall were they see other teens who are telekinetic. And they tell them there is a "safe haven" out there for all kids. Which they built up their own community. Yes, this YA adaptation does set itself up for sequels which we may not get if this does not do well.
The script is flat with the characters. We learn Ruby struggle with the incident when she discovered her powers. But the rest of the cast like Liam, Chubs, and Zu are one dimensional. Yes, there is some young love when Ruby and Liam first glance at each other. And plenty of more glances they fall for each other easily. The ending exposition felt a little dragged out with Liam and Ruby.
The action sequences are okay but does not add anything new. A small car chase with Liam using his telekinesis power to block the bounty hunter with a tree. And a climax involving the government showing up at the camp. And Ruby and the bad guy both using their powers to manipulate the bad soldiers to shoot at each other. The concept is ridiculous and terrible.
Amandla Stenberg delivered a flat character. It is not her fault, it has to do with the script cause it did not do anything to build her character further.
Overall, The Darkest Minds is a bad film. The plot is boring. The concept has been done too many times with other YA adaptations. You can expect the predictable love story and the good guy becoming bad as it sets itself for another movie. The action is okay but the visual effects needed work. The explosions looked terrible. The acting was stale. This film is definitely forgettable that does not leave a lasting impression.
Great performances and a theme about family life.
Tully (4 out of 5 stars).
Tully is a comedy drama film that shows the raw concept of a relationship between a mother and their children. Tully is good. Charlize Theron gives one of the best performances. Of course, she gained weight for the role. Seeing her closing her eyes in a car while her child is screaming and kicking her seat. Like she is about to snap was incredible. The film is like a modern day Mary Poppins, were a night nanny comes and makes everything all better.
The plot was good. Marlo (Charlize Theron) is a mother of two and pregnant with the third. Her son struggles with a development disorder were he has a mental breakdown when things do not go his way. Or is afraid to flush the public toilet cause it would make a loud noise. The school he goes too. The principle is trying to inform Marlo that they need to hire him an aid. Since the teacher cannot focus on just him when they have other kids to teach. And their daughter is a reasonable child that tries to help her mother. When Marlo has her baby. She barely has time for herself. She barely gets any sleep, tries to get chores, and take the kids to school and face against a meeting with the principle everytime. Her husband Drew (Ron Livingston) is busy with work and only shows up in the evening and than is busy playing video games. While her brother Craig (Mark Duplass) suggest they hire a night nanny. They hire Tully (Mackenzie Davis). A night nanny that does all the babysitting at night, she does the cleaning, and bakes desserts for the morning.
Tully's plot is like one of those life lesson themes. Were Tully suggest that Marlo has it easy. She has the sameness which she takes for granted. While Marlo is missing her earlier years, were her body physique was thin, and she had plenty of energy. Seeing Tully and Marlo sharing their experiences and how one has it better was great. Tully is an interesting character. She has plenty of energy, open spirit perspective on life. Having newborns can be stressful on the parents. It is the most beautiful things in life with the babies growing every day and keeping you up all night.
Charlize Theron was fantastic. Seeing her character being exhausted, trying to take care of her kids, and when she sits down at the dinner table. You can see that she is exhausted mentally and physically. Mackenzie Davis was great as Tully. She is like the modern day Mary Poppins. She is always cheery and energetic on life. She is the night nanny that every mother needs.
Overall, Tully is a good comedy drama film. Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis are great. The plot and concept of the beauty aspect of mothers dealing with newborns and their kids can be raw. But its those small moments that every mother can cherish with the bond and their babies.