Monday, April 18, 2016

Batman vs. Superman and The Jungle Book

Batman vs. Superman: The Dawn of Justice


I've had mixed feelings about this movie while I have anticipated it's release over the last year. I'm not a comic book geek so the concept of two good superheroes fighting each other was a little foreign to me and I felt like a parent watching two of my kids fight. The critics blasted this movie and I was shocked to see it only got 28% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes but those who understand the comic book history and details really liked it. I especially liked the first half of the movie and felt Ben Affleck was much better than I thought he would be as Batman. The movie got a little out of control at the end but it was still good and fun to get some Wonder Woman, Aqua Man, Flash teasers in the film. If you like action and comic books you will like the movie, If not you may be confused and overwhelmed.

I give it 7.4 stars.


The Jungle Book


I was very pleasantly surprised at how well done The Jungle Book was. It paid homage to the original Disney animated version quite well while still maintaining a realistic gritty feel. There were only two occasions where the characters broke into song but it was definitely not a musical. I didn't feel like I was watching a movie for kids and the lead kid who plays Mowgli did a good job and was not too cute.  The special effects were amazing and all I can say is that CG has come a long way since Jumanji. The voice talents of the cast were well done and I am impressed with John Favreau as a director. I haven't seen a film that entertaining that the whole family could enjoy for a very long time. It's worth the visual effects alone.

I give The Jungle Book a solid 8.0 stars.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ghostbusters Remake

Earlier this year I heard that there was going to be a Ghost Busters remake, reboot, or sequel or whatever with a female cast. I think it is hard to compete against Bill Murray and the original gang but I was open minded and was looking forward to the idea until I saw the trailer this week.


I hate to judge a book by it's cover, but that movie looks horrible and not very funny, which is a shame since there are some funny women in the cast. I hope it doesn't suck as bad as it looks like it will.

Monday, February 29, 2016

More VidAngel movie reviews

Over the last month I have continued watching movies on VidAngel and I love their service. They have a better selection than Netflix and it costs less than Redbox and you can edit your movies. Here is my my brief summaries on the most recent movies I've finally gotten around to watching.

Ant-man- I really didn't want to see this and thought the preview looked lame. It is not one of the stronger Marvel movies but I liked it more than anticipated thanks to Paul Rudd and the comedic element. I give it 7.1 stars.

Zombieland- As the title suggests, it's a Zombie Horror movie with a comedic twist. It reminded me of a mix between The Walking Dead and Scot Pilgrim vs. the World. I enjoyed it. 7.3 brains.

The Gift- This was a great suspense thriller about a creepy stalker, It was a little odd to see Jason Bateman in a role that had no comedy. There were several twists throughout the movie. It was also directed by Joel Edgerton who stars as Gordo the antagonist.. I give it 7.5 stalkers

Drive- A slow but gritty story of a stunt driver who gets tangled up driving for the mob.His life gets further complicated when he gets involved with the wife on an ex con who he tries to help. It is a drama/action movie in slow motion. I give it 7.5 tire squeals.

Horrible Bosses- This was extremely dirty and crude (and I was watching the PG-13 version) but it is also incredibly funny. I'm not sure how much credit to give the writers and how much to give the hilarious cast, but I laughed a lot. I give it 6.9 harassment filings.

No Country For Old Men- Not a pick me up Cohen Brothers movie. It has minimal quirkiness you might expect from them and was surprisingly violent and suspenseful. Well done and very intense. I give it 7.9 briefcases of cash.

Olympus Has Fallen- Better than I expected for a totally fake action movie but it was still entertaining You might like this if you enjoyed watching Furious 7 or Michael Bay movies. If you suspend your sense of reality it is alright. I give it  6.7 secret service agents.

Sicario- Very intense, realistic portrayal of the fight against drug lords. Emily Blunt plays an FBI agent who is thrust into a mysterious government military mission where she is kept in the dark for most of it. Great performances by the entire cast and very well done. I give it 8.0 severed heads.

Lucy- Had some great potential. The concept reminded me of Limitless which I really liked. I knew it got bad reviews but still kind of enjoyed it.seeing Scarlet Johansson beat up on bad guys and become more powerful as she was able to utilize all of her brain's capacity.. I give it 6.6 Morgan Freeman narratives.

Focus- A movie about con artists which glamorizes the life of crime as long as you are stealing from mean people. It reminded me of a modern day version of The Sting and was pretty good but Margot Robie is prettier than Paul Newman.. It had some nice twists in it and I give it 7.0 pickpockets.

Snowpiercer- A post Apocalyptic Sci Fi movie staring Chris Evans about a train that travels in a continual loop around the world. The passengers at the back of the train are slaves and those at the front lead a life of luxury. The slaves try to  revolt and take over the train. It's kind of like the class warfare on an airplane between coach and first class but on steroids. There are many twists and surprises throughout the movie. I thought it was an original movie. I give it 7.4 protein blocks.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Hail Cesar

I recently saw Hail Cesar and am still trying to decide if I liked it or not. The movie takes place in the early 50's on the set of a big Hollywood movie studio. The film pays homage to Westerns, musicals, and epic dramas like Ben Hur. As I watched many of the scenes I couldn't help but think how my parents and older audiences would enjoy the tribute to the golden age of Hollywood.

I didn't know much about this movie before seeing it. The trailer briefly shows a movie star being kidnapped and held for ransom and it looked kind of funny.When I saw that it was a Cohen movie I was thinking along the lines of Oh Brother Where Art Thou, Raising Arizona, True Grit, Fargo, The Hudsucker Proxy, etc., but this movie seemed to lack some of the usual quirkiness and humor we've seen in other Cohen movies.


The entire cast was talented but I really liked Josh Brolin's performance as Mannix, the busy Hollywood executive who is swamped the entire movie trying to clean up messes and juggle responsibilities. I'm not sure why Jonah Hill got top billing on the poster with the others since his scene was more of a cameo. It kind of reminded me of how much screen time Mark Hammil got in the recent Star Wars film.

Hail Cesar had some entertaining parts, good performances, and nice tributes, but it just didn't seem to go anywhere or wrap things up at the end. This movie addressed such topics as capitalism, communism, Christianity, Hollywood, tabloids, etc. but I was never sure what was satire and what was not. I'm not sure what the movie's message was supposed to be so it kept me wondering about it long after the movie was over but not in a good way like you do with Inception or Intersteller.

For confusing me more than entertaining me I only give it 6.5 stars....I think?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars came out nearly two months ago and I still have not written my review. I previously wrote a generic prank review back in November based on the movie trailers but failed to publish it so it is not relevant anymore and the joke is on me. The truth of the matter is you don't need my opinion for the most anticipated movie of all time. As of today it has made over 900 million dollars in the US and dethroned Avatar as the top domestic money making movie.

Star Wars was really good. Some people criticized the fact it re-hashed similar themes and concepts from the original movie like family drama, a droid keeping secret plans, a young character learning to use the force, a star killer that destroys other planets, a masked villain, etc. but I didn't mind those similarities.


I view this movie as a reboot for the younger generation and making things right with the fans after the last 3 prequel movies. It was fun to see the veterans from the first movies on screen with a new generation of characters. J.J. Abrams did a great job. I enjoyed all the performances and was entertained both times I saw it. I'm looking forward to seeing the future movies and am glad the series has been revived.. I give The Force Awakens 8.2 stars.
 
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