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Archive for the 'Movie Reviews' Category

Underwater, No One Can Hear You Scream (Movie Review)

In Underwater, Kristen Stewart sinks deep into an abyss, discovering something alien in the process, as in Alien circa 1979. For 93 minutes, this genre pic is precisely the kind of movie that opens at the beginning of the year, for better or worse. Still, I’m a fan of the “small group of scientists who bite off more than they can chew and find themselves isolated” trope, so I didn’t mind.

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Little Women Make A Big Impact (Movie Review)

The best film of the holiday season has arrived. Writer/Director Greta Gerwig follows up her acclaimed debut, Ladybird, with nary a sophomore slump. Time will tell, but Little Women may be better than her 2017 Best Picture nominee. Ladybird made Gerwig the fifth woman ever to receive a Best Director nom by The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Could Little Women lead to winning Oscar gold? Whatever happens, the film closes out the decade with class, wit, and a few tears.  Continue reading ‘Little Women Make A Big Impact (Movie Review)’

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker… One Last Journey to a Galaxy Far Far Away (Movie Review)

Star Wars Rise of The Skywalker Movie ReviewGuys… this is it! The last stop! The final installment! The ending to one of the most, if not the most, prolific franchises on this earth! I know I’m being a bit dramatic, but like I said guys… this is it! Since the debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) many had speculated where the new sequel trilogy would go? Although upon viewing Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) many figured that the new trilogy would follow suit of  the first trilogy, given that the film had “A New Hope” vibes going for it. Many believed that the second installment in the trilogy would be reminiscent of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), which it was, but not in the way everyone expected. Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) was subversive and polarizing which put the new trilogy in an odd position. Despite this conundrum everyone wanted to know what was going to happen knowing that JJ Abrams was going to take back the helm. Well now that we have the scrolling text out of the way let’s take off! Continue reading ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker… One Last Journey to a Galaxy Far Far Away (Movie Review)’

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Cats Is Far From Puuurfect (Movie Review)

Tom Hooper’s loud, bombastic adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running loud bombastic 80s  musical should have been much weirder and wilder. The internet had plenty of jeers and OMGs when the trailer dropped in July. Being skeptical and as curious as a well, you know, I assumed Cats would either be a triumph or a so-bad-it’s-good-to-watch trainwreck. Sadly, the movie despite a more than game cast slinks about on a soundstage rendered with a too fuzzy feline CGI filter. Boring is not a word I thought I would use but here we are.  

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The Rise of Skywalker Ends Star Wars On High and Low Notes (Movie Review)

The final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and (supposedly) the Skywalker Saga comes to an end with fun surprises, spectacular emotional payoffs, and quite a bit of silly retconning in The Rise of Skywalker. Is the latest trip to a galaxy far, far away compromised because of backlash by a small but vocal minority who despised The Last Jedi? Was the full vision of Episode IX cut short the moment Carrie Fisher sadly passed away? Did Disney ever really have a plan? Or maybe it was, as Han says in The Force Awakens, “all of it.” [Note: This review is based on my first viewing. Anyone who knows what a big Star Wars fan I am knows more trips to the theater will inevitably happen. So, as a kind of disclaimer, there was a lot to consider here. Now, let The Rise of Skywalker commence!]

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‘Bombshell’ Has Plenty To Offer Under The Surface (Movie Review)

Bombshell Movie ReviewBombshell is a film I’m only here for because of the 3 leading women, most notably Harley Quinn…err I mean Margot Robbie.  I pretty much will see anything with her nowadays, but I digress.  Other than that I had originally thought there was really no reason for me to be here.  While I am totally for the women exposing the audacious acts against them here there were a few moments in the trailer I didn’t particularly care for.  On the surface I thought it was going to be a lot of political propaganda.  I‘ll usually leave it at that because politics is something I never talk about or at least I do my best to try not to, but I do need to still address it here.  Truth be told though there was also something very trippy and mesmerizing in that first Bombshell trailer that hook, line and sinker caught ahold of me and never let me go (that song and the leading ladies in the elevator).  So that’s why I’m here! Continue reading ‘‘Bombshell’ Has Plenty To Offer Under The Surface (Movie Review)’

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‘Richard Jewell’ The Nation Finds You… (Movie Review)

Richard Jewell Movie ReviewSo I went to see Richard Jewell (2019) earlier this week. I remember seeing the trailer a month ago or so and being pretty intrigued by the premise of the film. What attracted me the most was the fact that the film was based on a true story… A true story I was unaware of, given that I was about 6 years old at the time that it came about. That aside I was along for the ride and eager to see how the whole thing would turn out. So without further ado lets get into it! Continue reading ‘‘Richard Jewell’ The Nation Finds You… (Movie Review)’

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Black Christmas is DOA (Movie Review)

Those looking for wit, thrilling kills, and bite will be let down by Black Christmas. Pitched as a #MeToo-era slasher flick under the Blumhouse brand, the reality is a movie merely paying lip service to a worthy cause. Imogen Poots (Green Room) manages to come out of this unscathed, but the rest of the cast can’t escape too many flat line readings. Also, the dreaded PG-13 vibe is rampant, as this film was clearly aiming for an R rating before it was gutted. Still, I’m not sure a director’s cut can save an undeveloped premise featuring sorority sisters being terrorized by brain-washed, white frat bros. The first lump of coal of the holidays, Black Christmas isn’t naughty or nice… just bland.

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Richard Jewell Is Bare Bones Reporting (Movie Review)

Clint Eastwood’s latest film to tackle a hero who was unfairly scrutinized in the public eye is, for better or worse, exactly what you think it is. The story of a would-be lawman whose instincts to be overly cautious led to the discovery of a bomb that could have killed hundreds at a music fest during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta is told plainly, almost to a fault. There are many sides to this story, but Eastwood only lets his audience sympathize with one of them. If we lived in a vacuum, this would be fine, but in 2019 we most certainly do not. Strong performances and a steady hand by the 89-year-old filmmaker ensures this flick will be enjoyable to many over the holiday break. Still, a bolder film would have at least attempted to illuminate different POVs. As a result, Richard Jewell is more Sully than Million Dollar Baby.

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Jumanji: The Next Level Means Game Over For The Princess Bride (Movie Review)

The follow-up to Sony’s 2017 surprise smash hit, Jumanji: The Next Level is a clever expansion pack for the Jumanji universe. The formula still works, but it’s the chemistry of the cast and fantastic pacing that makes this series a new holiday favorite. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillian, and Jack Black are all game to hit start along with new addition Awkwafina. Should audiences do the same over the holiday break? Heck yes! Jumanji: The Next Level is big, bombastic, and, when it needs to be, kinda sweet.

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Frozen 2 Is A Cooler, Darker, Different Kind of Sequel (Movie Review)

Elsa and the gang are back as, apparently, no one could just let it go. Six years after what is arguably the biggest animated zeitgeist flick of the decade, the gal with ice powers, her sister Anna, and snow buddy Olaf are ready for a brand-new adventure – this time in a forest! The mood is “kid dark,” which might be a bit much for toddlers. Others, who have long since worn out their Elsa dresses, now closer to the ripe old age of ten, should be fine. Visually a stunner with decent-ish songs, Frozen 2 is very much a Disney sequel, not a Pixar one.

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Charlie’s Angels Soars Over Previous Films (Movie Review)

Kristen Stewart goes big in writer/director Elizabeth Banks’ Charlie’s Angels, another reboot/sequel/legacy flick. A solid cast, smart action, and funny jokes keep this by-the-numbers tale on the right track. Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie may have nothing to worry about, but these Angels’ own impossible missions are way more engaging than the generic trailers suggested. Although why the soundtrack doesn’t include a banger by the suitably named Charlie XCX, we’ll never know.

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Hello Doctor Sleep… (Movie Review)

Doctor Sleep Movie ReviewHey there folks! So I went to see Doctor Sleep (2019) earlier last week. I have been passively following this film since it had been green lit and to be honest I thought they were making a TV series out King’s book, at first. It was not until I recently caught a trailer for Doctor Sleep (2019) that I realized it was opening in theaters. Upon watching the trailer, my interest was piqued, but I knew that many Stephen King books-turned-movies are either hit or, definitely, miss. Despite how polarizing Stephen King story adaptations can be, I am one who can enjoy them regardless! Even Sleepwalkers (1992) and Thinner (1996) are entertaining to me! I just love the King! That being said which category does Doctor Sleep (2019) fall under? Come play with us and find out!

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Take The Test Drive w/ Ford v Ferrari (Movie Review)

Ford v Ferrari Movie ReviewThere was a time when the old Brian would have found such a movie like Ford v Ferrari to be a wet dream.  Up until about two years ago my world literally revolved around my 2006 Mustang GT.  She, affectionately named Dark Angel after Jessica Alba’s failed TV show back in the day, was everything to me.  She was the only physical connection left to my old life in Cleveland, OH and my bridge to the proverbial road ahead.  I never imagined a day without her.  Then some “great” guy in Austin, TX, whose hair just happen to get in his eyes while driving (no kidding), took my world away from me.  My life has never been the same.  I absolutely hate driving nowadays and pretty much want nothing at all to do with cars anymore to the point where I sadly drive a Honda Civic I named Vegas.  However, I digress because secretly my motor had been revving with anticipation for Ford v Ferrari.  So fill up your racing tanks and speed on down below with me as I test drive Ford v Ferrari. Continue reading ‘Take The Test Drive w/ Ford v Ferrari (Movie Review)’

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Doctor Sleep Is Intriguing, Horrific and Kinda Disappointing (Movie Review)

The great Stephen King revival continues with a follow-up to one of his most acclaimed works, The Shining. While Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic adaptation is famously hated by King, nearly forty years later, Doctor Sleep arrives based on King’s sequel book of the same name, with influence from Kubrick’s film as well. This time, the director behind the nightmares is horror filmmaker Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House) who’s already made a strong King feature, Gerald’s Game. Can this vehicle for Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson leave a mark where Danny’s big wheel had once trodden before?

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Last Christmas is Charming, Sing Songy, and Pretty Dumb (Movie Review)

Schmaltzy Christmas flicks are typically the sole property of the Hallmark channel. Still, Universal made a list, checked it twice, and included charming leads Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, the music of George Michael/Wham!, and a Love, Actually London setting for Last Christmas. Still, perhaps the script could have been checked a few more times? The cast has spirit, but is that enough to bring forth holiday cheer?

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“Black and Blue and Eh All Over.” (Movie Review)

Black and BlueSo recently I went to go see Black and Blue (2019). I was not too familiar with this film in particular… I know , I know I say that a lot, but its just true guys. I was so unaware of this film I confused it for at least two other films that are coming out this year with similar elements to them. Once again I’m not trying to sound like a broken record or beat a dead horse, but this film flew well under the radar for me. Once I accepted that this film existed and was coming out in theaters in a few days I decided to watch a trailer. After watching a few seconds of the trailer I was surprisingly… on board. When I got into the theater and watched the film though… well… it was eh. How about you guys hop in the passenger seat and let’s hit it.

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Terminator: Dark Fate Has Better Humor Than Action (Movie Review)

She’s back. After nearly three decades Linda Hamilton, the original Sarah Connor, has reteamed with James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger for Terminator: Dark Fate, a direct follow-up to the iconic 1991 game-changing blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The film that flipped the script, setting a high bar for sequels. Is the Cyberdyne Systems 2019 model on par with the first two?

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