Sunday, June 30, 2019

Another Month of Movie Reviews

Since I've been back to the states I've seen several movies on planes and then a few since I've been home. I've ranked them worst to best. Here is a brief summary of each:

MIB: International- I thought this movie would be unremarkable and the reviews I saw were brutal so I was not expecting much at all, especially with an all new cast with this sequel. I have to admit I was surprised that it was not nearly as bad as so many said. It was still fun and entertaining although not as good as the prior movies. I give it 6.6 stars. 

Old Man and The Gun- This movie stars Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, and Casey Affleck. It is the true story of a prolific elderly bank robber who had a reputation for being polite and keeping a low profile. The movie was entertaining and although it was made recently, it has an old 70's feel to it. The acting is good but it was a little slow. I give it 6.8 stars.

Fighting With My Family- This is a based on a true story of a brother and sister from England who have the dream of being professional wrestlers. When they get the chance of a lifetime of trying out for the WWE, surprisingly, only the sister ends up making the cut. It features the family challenges they go through as a result as well as her struggles to make the cut to become a headline wrestler. It has some nice moments and some scenes with The Rock. I give it 7.0 stars.

Murder Mystery- Is a movie that was released directly to Netflix. It stars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston as an American couple who go on a trip to Europe and are invited on the yacht of an ultra- rich family. Multiple murders take place and they end up trying to solve the case while proving their innocence. I enjoyed this comedy because it had many funny scenes which made me laugh and was much better than most of the recent Sandler movies. I give it 7.1 stars.

Lincoln- This has been out for years but I finally got around to watching it on Netflix. Daniel Day Lewis does a great portrayal of Lincoln. There is less emphasis on the actual war but rather an emphasis on all the behind the scenes politics and work that was done in order to end the war and free the slaves. It was nice to see that messy politics, scheming, and negotiating have been around for a long time. I give it 7.2 stars. It is by far the best movie on this list, but I can't say I enjoyed it the most.

Arctic- This is pretty much a one man movie starring Mads Mikkelsen. He is a plane crash survivor somewhere in the arctic and this film features his struggles as he tries to survive in a freezing environment while his scarce resources are running out. A rescue helicopter goes down while looking for him and he ends up caring for a badly injured search and rescue survivor as well as himself as he leaves his camp and travels into the unknown looking for help. I was hungry, cold, and exhausted after watching this. It is a tough and gritty survival film.  I give it 7.3 stars. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Avengers: Endgame and my ranking of the MCU movies

Endgame has only been in theaters for less than two weeks but at the time I am writing this, it is the #8 top money maker in the US and will surely be the biggest money making movie of all time in a very short time. I know there was a ton of hype and anticipation for this movie and that is the perfect storm for being let down, but I felt they delivered and it was well done.

I appreciate how Endgame brought closure to the series of movies yet allows many of the remaining characters to continue with their own sequels in the future. I feel Marvel has done a great job of bringing so many superheroes to the big screen over the last 11 years and making many of the characters household names whereas only comic book nerds might know who some of the lesser known characters were in the past.

I'm sure Endgame is still receiving over-excited positive reviews so I expect it's rating to slowly go down in the future on IMDB but I really liked it. I still can't decide if I liked it more than Infinity War but they are pretty much neck in neck. I give End Game 8.5 stars for wrapping things up so nicely and coming full circle while still remaining open ended for many of the characters.

As part of my service to humanity, I have decided to rank all 22 of the Marvel cinematic universe movies in order of how much I liked them. I'm sure some people may disagree with me but that is perfectly fine since everyone has the right to make mistakes (meaning those who don't agree with me.) Over the last decade some of the reviews I did on these movies may contradict the ranking I am giving them now, but after seeing all 22 movies, I'm going with my gut and ranking them from best to worst, or at least by how much I was entertained by them.

1. Avengers: Endgame
2. Avengers: Infinity War
3. Captain America: Winter Soldier
4. Iron Man
5. Guardians of the Galaxy
6. Thor Ragnarok
7. Captain America: Civil War
8. Black Panther
9. The Avengers
10. Doctor Strange
11. Ant Man
12. Spider Man: Homecoming
13. Iron Man 3
14. Avengers: Age of Ultron
15. Captain America: First Avenger
16. Ant Man and the Wasp
17. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
18. Iron Man 2
19. Thor
20. Captain Marvel
21. The Incredible Hulk
22. Thor: The Dark World

Friday, April 26, 2019

Shazam! (A super short review)

I recently saw Shazam and it seems that the movies featuring DC characters are gradually getting better. I  thought Zachary Levi did a good job of portraying a young teenager in a newfound man's body with super powers. It reminded me a little of the dynamic with the recent Spider Man movies with Tom Holland or of Tom Hanks in Big.

I really liked the first half of this movie but my enthusiasm slowly tapered towards the end as it kept going. My only other real concern was how freaking big and stupid his cape collar was. It was giant and padded and made it look weird for him to move. If I am ever a superhero I will have a little more streamline costume and I'll ditch the cape. Aside from that I think most people will enjoy this movie, especially if they are a comic book fan. There you have it 7.2 stars.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Captain Marvel

I've been looking forward to seeing Avengers: End Game since Thanos snapped his fingers and created so much havoc for comic book movie fans. As part of my preparation for the next installment, I felt it would be a good idea to get up to speed by watching Captain Marvel. As a kid I always thought Billy Batson or Shazam was Captain Marvel so I was a little confused when I found out there was a woman super hero named Captain Marvel but I still went into this movie open minded and interested to see how she relates to the rest of the Marvel Universe.

Let me get straight to my takeaway.  I rank Captain Marvel down there with Thor: The Dark World around the bottom 5 or 6 of the 21 Marvel movies that have been made. I was shocked to learn that Brie Larson previously won an academy award because she seemed very dull and emotionless. It may not have been her fault as an actor if she was directed to portray herself that way but I felt even Kristen Stewart could have brought more emotion and range to the role. I just never connected to the character because she seemed so distant and un-fun to watch.

Some of the special effects like the de-aging of Nick Fury and Agent Colson was pretty impressive but some of the other special effects were just mediocre. None of the action scenes took my breath away. Maybe Infinity War set the bar too high and I'm expecting too much now but I just wasn't impressed. I also did not care for any of the scenes with the cat, especially the final reveal as it relates to Nick Fury.

Some people have criticized this movie claiming it promotes a feminist agenda.That is not why I didn't care for Captain Marvel. I did notice several scenes and dialogue that some might take offense with. There were also some subtle SJW messages that jumped out at me but that was not the reason I disliked this movie. It just was not that good. I heard some criticize Mad Max Fury Road for having too many females characters but I loved that movie because it was so entertaining and captivating unlike this film. 

I left the theater feeling let down and now I'm even a little concerned about how Infinity War is going to be. I have no problem with a strong female lead in a super hero movie but this is one instance where Wonder Woman and DC did a better job than Marvel did with this movie. Most people will probably like this movie more than I did but I can only give it a generous 6.1 star rating and part of that is for the nice Stan Lee nod in the opening credits.

Sunday, February 24, 2019


I'm a little sheepish to be admit this but last year I saw a movie that I really liked and forgot to post about it in my comprehensive and super professional movie review blog until now. Searching is a movie about a young girl who suddenly goes missing and her father's frantic efforts to find her using her social media and contacts on her laptop. I liked this movie for the following reasons:

1) It was very suspenseful and felt like a modern day Hitchcock (but drowned in social media.) I was captivated and entertained the entire movie.

2) There are not a ton of characters but the performances were good. There were even several touching and emotional scenes. The introductory videos that told the story of the family reminded me of the beginning of Up.

3) Any millennial should be able to relate to this movie since it is about a young person and the whole story and every camera angle is shown through the filter of social media websites, laptop, security cameras, texts, etc. The movie stays true to this format to the end and that added a sense of realism to the film.

4) The format for this movie was unique and original. It could have backfired or gotten old, but it worked on me and even threw in some interesting social commentary at the same time.

I really liked Searching and would suggest it to anyone who enjoys the mystery/suspense genre. I give it 7.8 stars.
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