In Theaters: Incredibles 2, Tag, Superfly, Hotel Artemis, Hereditary, Ocean's 8, Adrift, Action Point, Upgrade, First Reformed, Solo, Show Dogs, Deadpool 2, Book Club, Breaking In, Life of the Party, Tully, Overboard, Avengers: Infinity War
Coming Soon: Jurassic World 2, Sicario 2, Uncle Drew, The First Purge, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hotel Transylvania 3, Skyscraper, The Equalizer 2, Mama Mia 2, Unfriended 2, Mission Impossible 6, Teen Titans Go!, The Darkest Minds, Christopher Robin, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Searching
★★★½: Very Good
★★½ : Eh
★★: Could've Been Worse, Could've Been Better
★½: Is It Too Late To Get A Refund?
★: Hope You Have A Good Date
½: Little To No Redeeming Value
No Stars: Rethink Your Life Choices
Image: We all know who wears the latex in this family.
14 years.....14 years!!!!......14 YEARS! We were babies...er, we were little! We were so full of wonder and innocence back then. Now we're cynical, old-ish, we all realized Elastigirl is pretty hot, etc. Bottom line, we changed. Thankfully, Disney, Pixar, and returning Director Brad Bird (Who also gave us "Ratatouille", "The Iron Giant", "Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol") heard our cries, pleas, and knowing the internet, rants, and gave us what we wanted.
"Incredibles 2" picks up literally seconds after the first one, with the beloved super powered Parr family, taking on the over the top supervillain, "The Underminer" (John "Pixar's Good Luck Charm" Ratzenberger). The family, consisting of the super strong father, "Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible" (Craig T. Nelson), the super stretchy, "Helen Parr/Elastigirl" (Holly Hunter), along with their kids, the speedy "Dash" (Huck Milner), the daughter, "Violet" (Sarah Vowell), who has the power of invisibility, and their baby "Jack Jack" (Who nobody realizes has powers), still having to deal with the fact that superheroes (Or "Supers", as they're referred to) are still outlawed. The damage caused by the battle with the Underminer, results in the family being forced to relocate to a hotel, with their government agent ally, "Rick Dicker" (Jonathan Banks) no longer being able to provide for them.
Their luck changes when Bob's ice powered best buddy, "Lucius Best/Frozone" (Samuel L. Jackson) introduces him and Helen to rich superhero fanboy, "Wiston Deaver" (Bob Odenkirk) and his tech savvy sister, "Evelyn" (Catherine Keener), who wish to make Supers legal again, with Elastigirl being seen as the best one suited to convincing the masses due to how less destructive she is than the others. So with the mother gone, Bob is forced to become a stay at home dad, having to deal with Dash's confusing schoolwork, Violet's boyfriend issues, and the fact that Jack Jack not only has powers, but he has a dangerous amount of them. Meanwhile, Elastigirl sets out to save civilians and prove to the world that they need Supers back, all while coming across a new, mind controlling villain known as "The Screenslaver" (Bill Wise).
Lets refrain from using the word "Incredible" at all when talking about this movie. "Incredibles 2" doesn't set out to repeat, but instead continue what was shown previously and expand. It's pretty brilliant how the film flows from the last one, not just in terms of story and character, but also in how stunning the animation has gotten, despite the original being a Pixar best at the time in terms of that. The animated on the characters is lively, mixing well with the incre...awesome action sequences, that are on the same standard with most live-action superhero movies. Not to mention the great score by Michael Giacchino ("Star Trek", "Up", "War for the Planet of the Apes", the first "The Incredibles", and many more), which fits with the old fashioned 60s era setting (That does still somehow have futuristic technology), adding to the epic scope of it all.
Holly Hunter, who is more in the forefront this time around, is perfectly cast, with an instantly lovable voice, working well as the technical main character. However, none of the family gets less time than any of the others, with the film keeping the family dynamic (Which is one of the best parts of the last movie) perfectly intact, with the characters developing further. Craig T. Nelson's voice is just instantly funny, with his storyline adding in plenty of laughs and heart. Sarah Vowell and Huck Milner (Replacing the actor from the last movie, due to kids aging over 14 years.) both have their roles, with Jack Jack stealing the show as the most adorably, chaotic baby you'll ever see (Well, next to my little sister). Samuel L. Jackson is great as usual, Bob Odenkirk sounds like he's having the time of his life, Sophia Bush (as "Voyd", a young super/fangirl of Elastigirl) pops up to sound cute, but ends up having a bit more to do later, and of course, the entire audience applauded at the appearance of eccentric, tiny fashion designer, "Edna Mode" (Once again voiced by Brad Bird), getting one of the funniest sequences in the movie. The only real downside is that the villain this time feels a bit weak (Mostly if you compare her to Jason Lee's hilarious/menacing "Syndrome" from the last movie), with the plotline being fairly easy to predict. Still, the character is certainly a threat, and overall has a reason behind the villainy.
Where the film shines most is just how funny it is, making "Incredibles 2" just as good as the first one. (Actually this movie might even be a little funnier than the original.) The script and dialogue is laugh out loud, also having been written by Brad Bird (Which will get kids, adults, and the many man babies going to see this to burst out with laughter). There is still a heartwarming, and slightly mature factor that makes this another Pixar movie for everyone. You get your comedy, your superhero action, some family drama, all put together in beautiful animation. Perfect for the whole family, and an incredible good time....Darn it. Couldn't make it through the whole....incredible review. 3 1/2 stars. Rated PG For Violence, Some Adult Content, A Little Language, And Baby On Raccoon Violence.
Image: I'll tag Isla Fisher.
Well, I've heard stranger things before. To be honest, Tag is one of those games that really is pretty timeless. Anyone can play, at any point, you get some much needed exercise while doing it, and it usually results in someone getting hurt in hilarious fashion. Classic!
Based-ish on a true-ish story, "Tag" follows a group of friends, "Hoagie" (Ed Helms), "Jerry" (Jeremy Renner), "Bob" (John Hamm), "Chilli" (Jake Johnson), and "Kevin" (Hannibal Buress), who since they were nine, having been playing the same game of "Tag", throughout the month of May ever since. Hoagie gets word that Jerry is getting married to "Susan" (Leslie Bibb), and will be retiring from the game, since ever since they began playing, Jerry has never actually been tagged. Hoagie, along with his over competitive wife, "Anna" (Isla Fisher) gather the group together, along with a journalist, "Rebecca" (Annabelle Wallis), who takes a weird interest in the game (Mostly because of how freakin stupid it all is), and decides to write a story on it. The old gang gathers at Jerry's wedding, hoping to finally tag him, coming up with all kinds of crazy schemes, while getting caught up in Jerry's somewhat twisted attempts to avoid getting tagged.
"Tag" is silly and plays out like a cartoon, with outrageous sequences of slapstick and pure ridiculousness. (A scene in particular in the woods, involving an onslaught of traps makes for one of the memorable scenes.) It's so stupid, but the film knows it's stupid, and it's hard not to get more than a few chuckles, or even some genuine laugh out loud moments, out of it all. Competently and simply directed by Jeff Tomsic (In his directorial debut), with a script that doesn't rely too heavily on the actors to ad lib. Tomsic just lets them play their parts and be funny naturally, instead of trying to force it.
The solid cast gives at least our main stars enough screentime so that none of them feel shortchanged, consisting of Ed Helms, John Hamm (Who actually gets something to do and looks like he's having fun doing it), Jake Johnson, the hilariously deadpan Hannibal Buress, with Jeremy Renner, along with his CGI arms (Long story short. He got injured, so they did that.), just going full blown nuts, showing once again what an underappreciated actor he is. The adorable Isla Fisher actually gets to get just as crazy as the guys, if not maybe a little crazier and Annabelle Wallis does show some actual personality compared to the other movies she's been in. Sadly, Leslie Bibb and Rashida Jones (as "Cherl", a girl who both Chilli and Bob used to fight over) mostly just get to look pretty, but not much else.
Not sure it all happened like portrayed here (Although, there is real footage of the actual friends doing all kinds of goofy crap. So maybe it did.), "Tag" isn't without cheap laughs. But even so, they're still laughs, and there are plenty of them. Then the film, lets just say, takes a pretty dark turn. It ends on a surprisingly bittersweet note that, while heartfelt, is kind of unexpected and leaves a couple questions that need answering. Still, we need more good natured comedies that set out just to make you laugh, and though it's not as good as some of the others we've had this year (Like "Game Night" or "Blockers"), is a fun time for those not wanting to get quite as exhausted as playing an actual game of Tag.....Although, come to think of it. I kind of want to play now. Need to find some willing participants first. You're it. 3 stars. Rated R For Language And Childish Behavior.
Image: Cool as the other side of the pillow.
This movie here is an interesting idea to say the least. Making a gritty, crime thriller out of a rather silly, old (Somewhat classic?) Blaxploitation with allegories to current, important issues facing those in the African American community is....Well.....It's an idea I never would of thought of. Not to mention, there's less funky music this time.
"Superfly" follows a young, Atlanta drug dealer, "Priest" (Tervor Jackson), who has become a bit of a legend in the city.. He's rich, honorable (Other than the drug dealer part), has two girlfriends (We're rethinking the honorable part), "Georgia" (Lex Scott Davis) and "Cyntia" (Andrea Londo), and is respected by pretty much everyone. The only exception being "Juju" (Kaalan Walker), the always angry member of a gang called "Snow Patrol", run by human snowball, "Q" (Big Bank Black). After almost getting shot by Juju, who just doesn't like him, Priest decides he wants out of the game and works out to plan one final score with his gambling brother, "Eddie" (Jason Mitchell), who also sends out the appropriately named "Fat Freddy" (Jacob Ming-Trent) to gun down some of Juj's guys because he's an idiot.
First, Priest tries to get some help from his old mentor, "Scatter" (Michael K. Williams), who declines to give Priest a bigger cut of the offerings. Deciding to work around Scatter, arranging for a deal with the ambitious cartel boss, "Adalberto Gonzalez" (Esai Morales), Priest has a plan to smuggle lots of those drugs like the lovable, good natured hero he is, while trying to avoid people finding out he is trying to get out of the business. Too bad he has to deal with Juju and Q coming back for revenge, and some corrupt cops "Mason" (Jennifer Morrison) and "Turk" (Brian F. Durkin) trying to get in on it all.
Directed by.....uh, Director X (Gonna go out on a limb and assume that isn't his real name), "Superfly" is an awkward little movie, that feels more experimental than cohesively structured together. It's stylish, shot like a music video, with flashy images and some well choreographed fights. The film is also kind of cheap looking, with a few weird, out of place shots, and an over the top script to go with it's over the top story, complete with well, over the top characters. It's all goofy, and feels disjointed when the film tries to be culturally important. When the movie incorporates topics such as police brutality, corruption, and how people of color are treated and represented, it's so cartoonish that it doesn't resonate.
Trevor Jackson (And his amazing hair) is actually very charismatic, and does make some of the silly dialogue somewhat cool. The film establishes early on how capable he is with his words, which gives a reason why his character is respected, even by some of the villains. Jason Mitchell also shows a ton of personality with his morally questionable character. Michael K. Williams is underused, but dominates what few scenes he's in. Kaalan Walker and Big Bank Black are meh villains, whose motivations come across as silly. (Really, there wasn't much reason for this conflict to even be in the movie.) There are few too many characters, without many identifiable traits, with subplots introduced late and most of which don't amount to much. Lets also not get into the female characters because they're not important to the film makers. They're just.....there.
"Superfly" is a little all over the place, with a few memorable moments (Both good and bad), and it isn't without a few capable actors. However, the film is excessively excessive, with a preposterous, cheesy script and on occasion, a bit of a straight to DVD feel. With a nearly two hour runtime, that feels longer, even when the film once in a while finds it's footing and shows that the people behind it are in fact fairly talented, you're left thinking your time could be better spent elsewhere. Like with actual exploitation films. Apparently they're not that hard to find. 2 stars. Rated R For Drugs, Language, Violence, Sex, More Drugs, More Language, More Violence, More Sex. All That.
Image: "Uh...Uh...Hello. This...Uh...Is ...Uh...Jeff Goldblum."
Not sure if this was meant to be a throwback to those exciting, sometimes gleefully violent, more character driven movies from the 90s (Some of which I grew up with), or it just feels like one. Taking an idea that we've only glanced at and turning it into it's own original sounding premise is, well, an interesting premise., And even though it's mostly seen as middle of the road for most critics, I see it gaining a quick cult following. That means it won't make any profit until, say, 2027.
"Hotel Artemis" takes place at some point in the slight future (Like "Upgrade", its the same. But with more dirty future stuff.), where there is a hotel in Las Angelas, known as the "Hotel Artemis", run by a mysterious woman known to everyone simply as "The Nurse" (Jodie Foster).The Nurse keeps the hotel together with a long list of rules. On a night of a chaotic riot, where two bank robber brothers, "Walkiki" (Sterling K. Brown) and "Honolulu" (Brian Tyree Henry), who has been seriously wounded, arrive to escape the police. They are forced to stay in the hotel along with beautiful, dangerous assassin, "Nice" (Sofia Boutella) and weaselly arms dealer, "Acapulco" (Charlie Day), while the Nurse's assistant/security, "Everest" (Dave Bautista) keeps them in line.
The night gets more complicated when The Nurse gets a call from "Crosby" (Zachary Quinto), the whiny son of the man who runs everything and everyone, "The Wolf King" (Jeff Goldblum), demanding that the Nurse drop everything to provide his father needed medical attention. Things get even worse, with Walkiki realizing that Honolulu accidentally stole something from the Wolf King that he shouldn't of, Nice revealing to have ulterior motives of her own, Acapulco being an obnoxious jackass to everyone, and to top it all of, a cop named "Morgan" (Jenny Slate), who the Nurse has a connection with, arriving in need of medical attention too. It all ends up becoming one insane, Hell of a night.
"Hotel Artemis" is a first time directorial debut from Drew Pearce (Known for his work in terms of writing and story for "Iron Man 3" and "Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation"), and while the film isn't one for story (At all really), it's directed with a lot of flair and charm to liven up the film. Pearce also serves as the film's writer, where he shows the most promise, filling the film with interesting and morally complicated characters, whose backstories are mostly alluded to, and plenty of dark humor to go with the gritty violence. The film sets up an interesting world that is set in the future, but isn't too far removed from the reality, with only hints at the larger, more expansive outside world, leaving things to your own interpretation.
The cast of characters all their roles in the film, carrying the movie's plot along that is a bit sloppy, but fits for the kind of movie it is. Jodie Foster is awesome in this, as a complex character who is likable and can be seen as one of the more honorable ones in a film filled with questionable morality. Sterling K. Brown is also great, along with Sofia Boutella, showing just how badass she can actually be. Jeff Goldblum makes the most of his somewhat brief, but memorable appearance, with Charlie Day having a lot of fun as the kind of guy who just won't keep his mouth shut and Dave Bautista, proving once again to have some real acting chops on him, aside from being a hulking amount of muscle. (It really looks like it hurts to get punched by him.) Jenny Slate has a small, but fairly important role and Zachary Quinto is at least supposed to be annoying, with that said, his plotline really doesn't amount to much.
There is this certain level of coolness to "Hotel Artemis", which doesn't rely heavily on action (Though there is an excellent hallway fight scene towards the end) and relies more on it's characters and the world they live in. From a storytelling point of view, it's not much and will probably leave some audiences wanting a bit more than they actually get. However, it's smart, unique, and a ton of fun, that I do think could (And really should) gather a rather sizable fanbase. Still better than a Motel 6. 3 1/2 stars. Rated R For Violence, Language, And Lousy Role Models.
Image: Something bad is going to happen. Or, maybe everything will be fine.
Horror is a genre that has continued to grow over the years, moving past the days of lazy jump scares and pointless gore in favor of old fashioned scary stories that make frightening things you either maybe never actually thought you would be scared of. Sometimes thinking can be the scariest thing to some people, and this movie right here made for quite possibly the most unsettling, horrifying experience I've ever had at the movies, leaving my mind filled with nightmarish images that I doubt I will ever be able to forget. I may have even peed myself just writing about it. Sounds like a good time for the family right?
Lets keep this as vague as possible to avoid spoilers and to give time for the movie to properly shock you. "Hereditary" opens with "Annie" (Toni Collette) and "Steve" (Gabriel Byrne), attending the funeral of Annie's estranged mother, "Ellen", along with their teenage son, "Peter" (Alex Wolff) and their strange daughter, "Charlie" (Milly Shapiro). Annie is having difficulty finding a way to feel about her mother's death, considering the bizarre relationship they had, which consisted of death, weird rituals, and mental disorders. There is unease within the family, which further escalates in a horrifying tragedy. Grief strikes every member of the family in different ways, resulting in Annie taking an interest in the supernatural. Things get more eerie, unsettling, and eventually horrifying as whatever has been haunting not just the family, but seemingly was passed down from Annie's mother, reveals it's true purpose, with nightmarish consequences.
From "A24" (Known for more artistic films, including their almost as freaky horror flick, "The Witch"), and first time Director Ari Aster, "Hereditary" embraces the dread and terror that can come from unexpected places and is shot like a demented dollhouse. The film is overall about family, grief, and guilt, which all culminate in the kind of story you tell to your friends to terrify the crap out of them. It's just as unsettling to listen to as it is to witness with your own eyes. The script (Also by Ari Aster) is calm and collected at first, further escalating into madness, much like what happens with it's characters. Backstories are established through dialogue or simply implied, but the implications of what were hear is thoroughly upsetting in a way that puts you on edge to where you don't really want to think about it too much. However you can't help it, and when you see what it all means by the end, it makes the whole experience just so wrong to the point you question if you should be allowed to be watching a movie like this in a theater filled with people.
Toni Collette gives a mesmerizing performance, that's emotionally powerful, complicated, and completely frightening. You empathize with her, even when you start to see more of her personal issues (Which are mostly left implied, but that somehow makes it even more unnerving). I think it's an Oscar worthy performance,(That will likely get ignored further showing why the Academy is full of stupid people.) While she dominates the film, the others have their moments, with Alex Wolff coming across as a little whiny at first, but it comes into play later and makes sense why he is acting like this, along with Gabriel Byrne being the one attempting to find logic in the situation (As someone would do realistically), and Milly Shapiro having an interesting presence that sticks with you. Not to forget Ann Dowd (as "Joan", a woman who befriends Annie a little too quickly), showing up to inject a different kind of creep factor. (There are some people who are just almost uncomfortably and suspiciously nice.)
"Hereditary" is being considered by most to be one of the scariest movies they've ever seen, and that has of course sparked people setting out to disprove that. (It did get a "D+" on Cinemascore, which is a place known for quality....Like giving "Boo 2! A Madea Halloween" an "A-".) I just want to prepare for people that it's a different kind of horror. You're not going to be scared in the traditionally sense, but more in the idea of feeling unclean after you watch it. It can be seen as a tense family drama, with imagery and dialogue that will make you sick to your stomach. The film is not exploitave or excessive. It's more in the sense that you choose not to think about these things. You think you're safe with family, even with the possible issues that people will generally keep to themselves. This movie uses that brilliantly, forcing you to feel on edge throughout until the almost outrageous ending that will leave you with our jaw completely dropped. You may not appear to quite get it at first, though you will have those images in your head, unable to forget what you saw and heard, and just plain freaking you the Hell out. (Some viewers may be driven to insanity.) I have no intention of seeing "Hereditary"ever again and I felt wrong watching it in the first place. With that said, I think it's the best horror film I've seen in theaters. It's okay, I don't need to sleep again. That's overrated. 4 stars. Rated R For......Ughhhhh......You Don't Want To Know.
Image: "Wow, James said we were all terrific. We should thank him in person."
Guys, you better get used to it now. "Ghostbusters" may not of turned out so well in terms of financial success. (It was perfectly alright if you ask me. But that's just me.), but more and more all female led films (Or possible reboots) are coming. This new "Ocean's" movie is just fine and there's nothing you can possibly do about it aside from complain and bully. So sit back, relax, and appreciate we live in a society that celebrates diversity and chances given to people are only now getting what we guys tend to always get. If not that, just....just look at the pretty and talented actresses. Seriously, it's a win win guys. I see no bad side here.
"Ocean's 8" opens with the prison release of "Debbie Ocean" (Sandra Bullock), the sister of the recently deceased "Danny Ocean" (Formerly played by George Clooney.) Much like her estranged brother, Debbie is a con artist, who really just can't seem to help herself. First thing Debbie does is organize a scheme to pull off the ultimate heist at the upcoming New York Meta Gala, where she can arrange for shallow celebrity, "Daphne Kluger" (Anne Hathaway) to wear a priceless diamond necklace to steal.
A crew is gathered, consisting of "Lou" (Cate Blanchett), Debbie's best friend, "Amita" (Mindy Kaling), a jewelry maker living with her mother, "Tammy" (Sarah Paulson), a mom who also happens to profiteer, "Constance" (Awkwafina), a remarkably skilled thief, "Nine Ball" (Rihanna), a hacker, and "Rose Weil" (Helena Bonham Carter), a struggling fashion designer. This odd crew has to plan out for every possible mistake to get away with millions, without getting caught or hitting any possible bumps, such as the coincidental appearances of Debbie's art dealer ex, "Claude" (Richard Armitage), who is the one responsible for Debbie's imprisonment and "John Frazier" (James Corden), an insurance investigator who knows the Ocean family too well.
"Ocean's 8" pretty much plays out like any other film in the series. However, despite the only major change being that the main stars are women this time, the film mostly distinguishes itself by being a well made, funny, and thoroughly exciting heist movie that doesn't so much change the game, but more or less simply doesn't a great job at playing it. Directed by Gary Ross ("Seabiscuit" and the first "The Hunger Games" movie), there is a sense of professionalism to help carry the film through it's fairly predictable beats and obligatory tropes. The film is also helped along with a slick enough script with likable characters (Even if they are crooks), who are fantastically portrayed by the cast.
Our characters aren't exactly deep, but they have plenty of personality to spare and each have their role in the film (Much like they have their role in the heist itself). Sandra Bullock is excellent here bringing everyone together, with Cate Blanchett getting plenty of scenery to chew. (They are both pretty hot too. I could watch them steal a cookie from a jar and it would still be sexy. But that's besides the point.) Some of the best laughs come from Helena Bonham Carter (Having an absolute ball), Mindy Kaling, and Awkwafina, while Sarah Paulson and surprisingly Rihanna (Showing that she is much more capable here than in something like "Battleship") get some of the most memorable moments in the film. The real scene stealer is Anne Hathaway (Also very lovely. Simple man here.), who gets the most hilarious moments, playing against type and eventually having a bigger role than at first expected. (Well, for some maybe. I see a lot of movies. Takes a lot to surprise me.) Some aspects don't quite work, with the whole plotline with Richard Armitage not quite feeling particularly real and James Corden, who is hilarious when he finally arrives into the plot, doesn't actually come in till the last act.
"Ocean's 8" doesn't stand out in the long list of heist comedies, with a few (But expected) twists and turns that are at least cleverly worked in, even when you can figure them out quickly. You get to see some good actresses have some fun, while doing their jobs as skillfully as possible, with some humor, and just enough flair and intrigue to elevate the film up. It all makes for a damn good time for the guys, just as much as the ladies. 3 stars, Rated PG-13 For Adult Content and Questionable Morality.
Image: In the movies, always take the train.
Hard to talk about and recommend (Or not recommend) a movie that just lands right in the middle. Not so much a typical it's not bad or good type of thing, but instead more of it's a movie that doesn't give someone like me much to talk about. Did you already see it this weekend? Then it's for you. If not? You're not gonna see it.
Based on true events, "Adrift" follows the first meeting and romance between "Tami Oldham" (Shailene Woodley) and sailor, "Richard Sharp" (Sam Claflin). Their relationship grows, becoming more serious, especially when Richard is offered a chance to sail across the ocean, convincing Tami to go with him, where Richard just so happens to propose to her. Unfortunately for the couple, they just so happen to be sailing directly into a extremely powerful, category 4 hurricane, which results in Tami being stranded alone at sea. While she eventually finds Richard, he's too injured to do anything, forcing Tami to take control of the situation and find a way to survive such a bleak, almost hopeless situation.
Directed by Baltasar Kormákur ("2 Guns" and "Everest"), "Adrift" is visually stunning to look at with some absolutely beautiful cinematography, during any sequence on the ocean, which are grand and take up the entire screen. It's too bad the film's narrative is unnecessarily told out of order, getting in the way of an actually compelling story and romance. Granted, I can see why the filmmakers went this route, considering most of the last half of the film would of been just two people stranded at sea, but I've seen films that still find ways to make scenes like those captivating.
Shailene Woodley,(Having escaped the "Divergent" series for good), reminds us that she is a terrific actress and can carry a movie on her own, which she has to here during a large portion of it. She does have good chemistry with Sam Claflin, who just tends to be really likable, despite the fact the way the narrative is presented constantly gets in the way. There is also a big twist, which is only apparent to those not knowing how this story actually went, that seems at first to be unneeded and might even be seen as offensive to some. I think it makes more sense in context and actually makes for an emotional scene that further elevates the overall message of our main character's survival and will to do so.
"Adrift" doesn't have much impact and just feels like another movie I had to review to get through the weekend. Probably won't remember and aside from a choppy story that didn't have to be so, the film isn't without emotion and heart, with Shailene Woodley giving it her all, and an interesting enough true story that likely brought a few people to tears this last weekend. It did it's job, and I did mine. 2 1/2 stars. Rated PG-13 For Adult Content And Frightening Watery Imagery.
Image: "It's for you, Fozzie...Waka Waka Waka!
Is it weird to be disappointed by a movie brought to us by the guys behind "Jackass" and "Bad Grandpa"? I would say it really isn't. Usually well liked critically and commercially, they were generally seen as dumb, stupid, but good natured humor that just sets out to make you laugh, which is what's most important, even if we're laughing at their pain. This movie doesn't seem to have many laughs in it because, and this is the shocking part, there's.....too much plot. And not enough hits to the crotch.
"Action Point" starts with old man, "D.C." (Johnny Knoxville), recounting a story to his granddaughter about when he owned the most out of control, poorly constructed amusement park known as "Action Point", which doesn't care about little things such as safety. Around when his estranged teenage daughter, "Boogie" (Eleanor Worthington Cox), comes to visit, the snobby corporate villain, "Knoblach" (Dan Bakkedahl), arrives to buy the land in favor of a more successful, mainstream park (That come to think of it, we never actually see.) D.C. has no intention of losing his park, along with his strained relationship with his daughter, so he gathers all his wacky buddies to go all out in making the park even more outrageous and less safe (Which is horrible, in an totally awesome kind of way), in hopes of saving the park.......Yeah, that's really all you need to know.
Loosely based on an actual place called "Action Park" (Which was known for it's unsafe reputation), you'll notice that "Action Point" weirdly doesn't actually have much to it in terms of it's plot when you describe it. However, the film spends more time on it than anything else. The basic setup is solid, and one paper could make for some good laughs. The film doesn't seem to have much of any though, mostly because of it's generic and predictable story that takes up most of the short runtime. There are long sequences without laughs or even chuckles, with the jokes either falling flat or seemingly just missing altogether. While you do get an occasional funny stunt, they're mostly just the ones you saw in the trailer.
The needlessly large cast of goofy, one note supporting characters don't resonate in the slightest, with most of them just fading into the background. The best part is easily Johnny Knoxville himself, who gets some of the only funny lines and performs the more amusing stunts. He also does show that he is actually pretty solid actor, carrying what little there is to offer, even in an out of place serious moment that he does sell rather professionally. Eleanor Worthington Cox is trying, but gets a bland character without much to her, along with Dan Bakkedahl playing a typical dick-ish villain. I do give credit to the make up department for the scenes where Knoxville is an old man. (It honestly looks too good for a movie like this.)
Despite the raunchiness and senseless debauchery, "Action Point" feels uncharacteristically (And a little ironically) safe and just leaves you bored. I get where the filmmakers were going, and understand that they were trying to inject an actually well meaning story behind the silliness. Sadly, if your comedy doesn't have many actual jokes and lacks any real fun, it just makes the whole ride kind of pointless. It's harmless, but instantly forgettable. And in times when people need some cheap laughs, it makes it kind of depressing when you can't even seem to provide that. 1 1/2 stars. Rated R For Language, An Alcoholic Bear, Adult Content, And Of Course, A Total Disregard For Safety.
Image: Upgrades, now on Amazon, for only $29.99 with yearly membership.
An apparent SXSW (South by Southwest) favorite that opened to solid critical buzz and some high praise to the audiences lucky enough to see it early (Because guys like me can try their absolute damnedest, only to fail miserably), we got ourselves a new, original, and thoroughly impressive small budget little surprise that you can just see becoming an instant hipster favorite. It's also jam packed with a good amount of crazy to separate it from any other movie you'll likely come across this year.
"Upgrade" opens in a futuristic world, though with the changes mostly being minor (Such as self driving cars, surveillance drones, and other gadgets.), with stay at home mechanic, "Grey" (Logan Marshall-Green) living a nice, normal life with his wife, "Asha" (Melanie Vallejo), who works for a powerful tech company. Grey fixes a car for an eccentric, tech weirdo, "Eron Keen" (Harrison Gibertson), who Grey introduces Asha to. Eron also reveals his special little project, called "STEM", which is meant to connect to anything to make better in any way. On their way home, Grey and Asha get into an accident, only to be attacked by some ruthless hunter, with their leader, "Fisk" (Benedict Hardie) killing Asha and leaving Grey paralyzed due to an injury in his spinal column. Despite "Detective Cortez" (Betty Gabriel) assuring Grey that she will find the men responsible, nothing seems to get done, with Grey contemplating suicide.
Some time later, Grey is met by Eron, who offers him a way to walk again, which means using him the first test subject for STEM. STEM is attached to Grey, after signing a non-disclosure agreement (Because this is obviously illegal), gaining the ability to walk once more. Almost immediately, Grey notices something strange, especially when STEM (Now voiced by Simon Maiden) starts talking to him. STEM is able to deduce who the killers were (And that they've been cybernetically enhanced with shotguns in their arms) and where one of them lives. Grey goes to confront the killers, when he also learns what else STEM is capable of, such as taking control of Grey's body and turning him into an unstoppable killing machine.
"Upgrade" at first seemingly appears to be taking a predictable route, with a fairly basic premise you've seen many times before, but takes some surprising turns that you wouldn't quite expect to be done so intelligently. Distributed by Blumhouse Pictures (Mostly known for horror films) and directed/written by Leigh Whannell (Who was one of the creators of the "Saw" franchise.), the movie utilizes it's small by comparison budget to embrace it's dark, dirty atmosphere, packed with visually impressive, constantly moving, and amazingly choreographed action that will make you not want to blink out of fear that you might miss something. It's dark and brutal, with an insane amount of gore that doesn't feel excessive (Though the faint of heart probably should pass on this one or just close their eyes the entire time), and does serve some purpose when the film drives home our main character's realistic reactions to his newfound capabilities. (It's a sort of mix of horror, shock, and a little jokey) The film's script provides a very dark, pitch black sense of humor to go with the bleak story, which provides a shocking amount of laugh out loud moments and even when the film gets serious, it takes a deep turn you would never expect, giving you a little more extra to think about once you leave the movie.
Logan Marshall-Green (Known as either "The Other Tom Hardy" or "The Shocker #1") shows that he can really carry a film, mostly on his own. He's likable and grounded, doing an excellent job in the action portions of the film, along with some solid timing when it comes to more humorous scenes. He also sells the more dramatic ones, feeling like a real person, which is important for a film that ends up diving a little into the idea of "Upgrading" humanity. Harrison Gilbertson is enjoyably awkward, while Betty Gabriel ends up having more of a purpose than what you at first expect. Benedict Hardie is one of the stranger movie villains you'll come across, which weirdly fits well into the story, and Simon Maiden's voice work has a lot of personality despite being nothing more than a computer, whose true motivations keep you guessing till the end.
"Upgrade" is another film that shows how to do proper world building, without seemingly having the intent of making an actual franchise out of itself. It's a small, quick sit, that provides some clever storytelling and a little extra depth to go with it's insane amount of action and violence, along with some great character to further integrate the viewer into the experience. Even for those of us who are perfectly great the way we are and DON'T need an upgrade. 3 1/2 stars. Rated R For Gorey Violence, Both Jaw Dropping, And Jaw-Breaking. (You'll See What I Mean.)
Image: Ethan Hawke dejectedly realizes he was scammed on his discounted cruise ship ticket.
I see a lot of movies and I write full reviews for most of them. It's more often than not that I do. However, a guy can only type so much in a certain amount of time, or will see things so long after their release that it wouldn't really matter. Much of these smaller films, despite many ranging from good to excellent (Though there are the occasionally stinkers, just like the mainstream ones), I usually neglect to write a full review for. This one is an exception, not simply because it's a film that I do in fact highly recommend, but I really, really just want to talk about how absolutely crazy it is.
"First Reformed" follows "Reverend Toller" (Ethan Hawke), a former military chaplin, who is racked with guilt over encouraging his son to join the armed forces, which eventually led to his death. He meets "Mary" (Amanda Seyfried), who is an avid churchgoer, who wants Toller to speak to her depressed, radical environmentalist husband, "Michael" (Phillip Ettinger). Mary is pregnant and Michael is filled with fear over bringing a baby into what he considers to be a doomed planet that humanity appears to have given up on. Toller's talk with Michael forces him to question ideals of his own, wondering if humanity can be saved and should be forgiven for what they have done to God's creation. Toller's newfound beliefs put him at odds with his superior at the mega-church, "Jeffers" (Cedric Kyles, aka Cedric the Entertainer) and the industrialist elitists who seem to have say in pretty much everything. Then.....Things get.....Weird. Lets just say, if I were to tell you how this movie ends, you would never believe it's the same movie we previously began.
Directed by Paul Schrader, known mostly for writing a few of Martin Scorsese's movies (Such as "Taxi Driver" and "The Last Temptation of Christ") aside from a decent sized filmography of ones he's directed (Like "American Gigolo" and "Hardcore"), "First Reformed" mixes some elements and subject matter that you would not at first consider all too similar. Its funny because after seeing the film, I can't necessarily imagine how I never noticed it before. Combining some religious morality with the need to save the planet and it's ecosystem should in fact coincide with one another. There are also topics of grief, anxiety, the fear of what's coming or what's out of your control, and the hypocrisy of some people claiming to truly follow the word of God though seemingly ignoring what they preach. Schrader's direction is rather cold, slow, and filled with imagery that ranges from beautiful to thoroughly disturbing. And the film's use of box-like aspect ratio actually adds to the film's suspenseful sense of dread and gloom, were the sun only shines every once in a while. (That's not a metaphor. The sun rarely shines in this movie!)
Ethan Hawke gives a probable early Oscar worthy performance (With all the praise he's already been getting, I would actually be shocked if he didn't.), who brings humanity to a character going through many mixed emotions that further escalate into something more as the film progresses. You see where this character starts and understand just how far he goes, with his questions about how humanity treats the environment and how it really does apply to a biblical belief of how God wants us to treat it. (Shouldn't all people of God technically be environmentalists? I mean, we are meant to be protecting his creation right?) Amanda Seyfried is perfectly cast as the (Literally) wide eyed voice of reason, who has some excellent chemistry with Ethan Hawke. Cedric the Entertain....er, I mean, Cedric Kyles shows off more acting range than what I'm used to seeing from him, coming across as realistically hypocritical, with a few funny moments. The movie shockingly has some humor here and there, sprinkled throughout, which helps convey the satire that the film is presenting.
"First Reformed" appears to be jumping the shark by the end, but the more you think about it, the more you realize how everything was escalating so much by this point. It's darkly beautiful, awkwardly humorous, and calmly insane, done skillfully in a slow, atmospheric manner. It's a film that won't sit right with everyone and might just leave some completely confused. But man will it certainly make for a good conversation. 3 1/2 stars. Rated R For Language, Horrifying Imagery, And That Ethan Hawke/Amanda Seyfried Flying Bit. (It Makes Sense In Context. I Think.)
Image: "You said it, Chewie".
People are still currently in recovery from the last "Star Wars" film, "The Last Jedi". I'm rarely right in predicting how people would react to a film, but while I expected the film's unexpected and unconventional twists, turns, and reveals would piss some fans off, I didn't predict that bloodthirsty of a reaction. Personally, I thought it was awesome and unlike anything we'd previously seen, and everyone should just get over it. (Hey, I'm sorry your favorite fan theory didn't come true.) Either way, it is pretty fitting that "Lucasfilm" decided to play it safe this time around with "Solo", for the most part. One could argue it might be too safe, but I'm pretty sure a bunch of nerds, with slightly sexist tendencies in a comments section will appreciate the effort......Well I appreciate it anyway.
"Solo: A Star Wars Story" opens long before he shot first (Because he did. You're not fooling anyone George), with the younger "Han" (Alden Ehrenreich) and his childhood friend/girlfriend, "Qi'ra" (Emilia Clarke), on the run from criminals, planning to get a ship and run away together. Things take a turn, resulting Qi'ra getting left behind and Han joining the Imperial Navy in hopes of becoming a pilot and returning for her. Years later, Han (Having acquired the last name "Solo" from a silly Easter egg), is nowhere close to accomplishing his goal, but finds a friend in a certain lovable furball wookie, "Chewbacca" (Joonas Suotamo), and comes across a famous criminal, "Tobias Beckett" (Woody Harrelson). Han convinces Beckett to let Chewie join his crew, consisting of "Val" (Thandie Newton) and multiple armed alien, "Rio Durant" (Voiced by Jon Favreau) on a mission to obtain a very rare, very powerful source of fuel for a powerful crime organization known as "Crimson Dawn".
After a run in with the mysterious, masked, "Enfys Nest", the crew is forced to report back with nothing to their scarred employer, "Dryden Vos" (Paul Bettany), who Qi'ra now just so happens to be working for. After some smooth talking, Vos is convinced that Beckett's team can bring him the fuel source he wants, which requires them to steal it from the mines of "Kessel" (Sound Familair?). The team finds themselves a ship called "The Millennium Falcon", belonging to the charismatic and shady smuggler, "Lando Calrissian" (Donald Glover) and his activist droid, "L3-37" (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), and they are set on their way to pull off the heist, while Han gets closer to his own destiny.
"Solo: A Star Wars Story", much like the previous entry into his new Anthology series, 2016's "Rogue One", suffered from some production problems, with the previous directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller ("The Lego Movie", "21 Jump Street") let go due to too much improvisation, in favor of the more acclaimed, Ron Howard. The lingering effects are somewhat noticeable, with some minor messy moments in the plot. However, once the film gets going, it delivers on exactly what's promised, while taking a less predictable route for a story that could be considered completely unnecessary. Ron Howard is a pro and handles the film nicely, giving it a dirty look to match the criminal aspect of the film. The script by Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan offers some great new additions to the "Star Wars" mythology, with some beautiful special effects work (Which is to be expected) and a few pretty badass action scenes, showing much more time and effort was putting into the film, which was at first mostly just seen as a cash grab.
The biggest distraction for most people would be Aldren Ehrenreich and while it's understandable to a certain point, but really doesn't have much to do with the film as a whole.( Look, he's not Harrison Ford. But neither am I, and neither are you.) There's only one Harrison Ford, and thankfully Ehrenreich doesn't try to pull off an imitation in favor of making it his own. He's still excellent in the film, injecting the character with plenty of charm, some snappy dialogue, and plenty of human moments that remind us of the beloved hero he will eventually become. Woody Harrelson is basically just playing, uh, Woody Harrelson, which is something he's fantastic at, and the film does provide a nice twist on the typical mentor character. Emilia Clarke, while at first appearing to be playing the basic love interest role, ends up getting a bit more depth than expected. (She' also really, really, really cute.)
Donald Glover, gets to play a character that never nearly got enough attention in the previous films, and steals whatever scene he's in, along with Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who gets a few memorable sequences. (Personally, already love these two together in the expanded material released before the film. You guys know I'm a total geek!). Paul Bettany, while not getting enough screentime, looks like he's having a great time as a complete slimeball. Chewbacca himself, brought to life by Joonas Suotamo (Filling in for Peter Mayhew), remains the heart of the film, and his relationship with Han is undeniably sweet and will certainly fill any "Star Wars" fan with the feels.
Not much of a game changer, and it does feel like a bit of a step backwards from "The Last Jedi", which appeared as set up for a future away from the original saga, "Solo: A Star Wars Story" makes up for it's somewhat disjointed shortcomings with a solid cast of characters, plenty of humor, and some surprises that could set up for more future installments. (One moment in particular might be a bit divisive. This is why you watch the expanded material like a true fan!) The film is quick, fun, and while the question of how important it truly is in the long run is going to be up in the air for a while, the film finds it's own identity and embraces it. It's just a likable adventure, and if this is the worst that these new "Star Wars" films have to offer, it still shows that we're in capable hands. 3 stars. Rated PG-13 For Sci-Fi Violence, Droid SJWs, And For Scruffy-Looking, Nerf-Herders.
Image: "You know what your breath smells like, right?"
Ever seen a movie that just won't shut the Hell up? Like, it just keeps making noise and noise, with characters spouting out words. Not dialogue, just words. Screaming and yelling, with the score constantly and obnoxiously blasting just in case the three little kids who were likely only brought here because the parents either couldn't find a babysitter to see "Deadpool 2", or just didn't respect their kids enough to take them to see "Isle of Dogs", "Sgt. Stubby", or even "Avengers: Infinity War". Maybe they just wanted to scare them straight.
"Show Dogs" takes place in the uh, real-ish world, with temperamental Rottweiler police dog, "Max" (Voiced by Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) failing to rescue a stolen CGI baby panda, ruining the rescue attempt by FBI agent, "Frank" (Will Arnett). Because of this, Max is partnered up with Frank and head over to Vegas infiltrate a dog show, which may be a front for an animal smuggling plot. Of course, Max and Frank don't get along, with Frank being stupid and Max being a dick for no reason. Max enlists the help of a former dog show winner, "Philippe" (Voiced by Stanley Tucci), while Frank tries to charm the nice pretty girl, "Mattie" (Natasha Lyonne), while eventually learning to work together to find out who is smuggling the rare animals. While I'm just confused as to why I still do what I do despite not gaining much in the process. In fact I'm losing time watching this film. The universe's most precious resource. Ugh...
Directed by Raja "How do I keep getting work?" Gosnell (Both "The Smurfs" movies and both "Scooby-Doo" movies), "Show Dogs" has no business being in a movie theater, obviously. It's just nothing, piled upon laziness and a script that mostly consists of catchphrases and puns, without any laughs to make up for the most predictable of plots. Not to mention the horrifyingly dated, poorly rendered effects work that will more likely terrify children, rather than delight them. To say the movie is "At least okay for kids" should be more of an insult to the kids, who really deserve so much better, and so do the poor, innocent film critics who undeservedly were forced to sit through this.
To look for actual positives in something with so little given to it and so little time that was obviously put into making the film. Gotta' give credit to a few actors, who come in to do their jobs to their best ability regardless of the material, with Will Arnett, Ludacris, and Stanley Tucci at least trying to make something out of nothing. Natasha Lyone is plenty adorable, but is just there to be the love interest. (Which doesn't even need to be here.) The rest of the voice cast, which includes Jordan Sparks (as "Daisy", Max's love interest), Gabriel Inglesias (as "Sprinkles", a pug obsessed with Max), Shaquille O'Neal (as "Karma", a Komodor with words of wisdom), and others, just appear sporadically, with them mostly either raising their voices, exaggerating them, or just doing accents for the sake of doing accents. The dogs themselves are cute, except for when their CGI mouths are moving around like the stuff of nightmares.
"Show Dogs" is what happens when nobody sits anyone with money and connections in Hollywood down and tells them "No!". It's honestly a bit hard to fully talk about, but mostly because there just isn't much in this movie. It's paced quickly to the point you aren't given enough time to process anything, not even how truly horrible the punny jokes are. Everything feels cobbled together simply to stretch out it's already short runtime and go through the checklist of family movie plot points. The movie is just.....Nothing. It's just there to take up time, without providing anything of value for you or your kids. It's a very, very bad boy. 1/2 star. Rated PG For Fart Jokes, Obnoxious Yelling, And Ball Fondling.
Image: "I love you guys!"
Still hard to believe that a film based this slightly bloodthirsty, yet insanely lovable comic book character, "Deadpool", was still considered unthinkable less than four years ago. An R rated, meta comedy, filled with violence, offensive humor, and piles upon piles of shock value, with Ryan Reynolds, despite the fact he already played a twisted, unrecognizable version of the character in the worst X-Men movie ("X-Men: Origins: Wolverine". It sucks for many reasons) This idea was seemingly unbankable as the titular kind of, sort of hero. But the 2014 first film was a massive hit, with Reynolds getting to finally let loose and do whatever the Hell he wanted (Almost always dressed as Deadpool). And lets be honest, the world is just a better place now with Deadpool in it. Look at that face. How can you not love the guy?
"Deadpool 2" follows the fast talking, completely insane, fourth wall breaking mercenary, "Wade Wilson/Deadpool" (Ryan Reynolds) planning to start a family with his longtime girlfriend, "Vanessa" (Morena Baccarin), only for it to end horribly and in tragedy. Now depressed, Deadpool makes an attempt at suicide, though his mutant abilities keep him from dying no matter how much he blows himself up. He's picked up by honorable X-Men, "Colossus" (Voiced by Stefan Kapičić), who is determined to turn Deadpool into a proper hero and eventually make him one of the X-Men. Now a trainee, he's partnered up with Colossus and "Negasonic Teenage Warheard" (Brianna Hildebrand) on his first mission to contain a young mutant with fire abilities and a bad temper, "Russell Collins/Firefist" (Julian Dennison), who is currently going on a rampage at an orphanage.
Learning that Russell is being tortured by the bigoted and sadistic headmaster (Eddie Marsan), Deadpool decides to join Firefist on his rampage, only to be taken out quickly and sent to a prison for mutants. While in prison with Russell, a mysterious, very serious cyborg from the future, "Cable" (Josh Brolin) arrived, with the intention to kill Russell due to what he will do in the future once he gets his revenge in the headmaster. Seeking to redeem himself (And maybe get the chance at actual death), and while Russell is hellbent on revenge, Deadpool dedicates himself to protecting him from Cable, working with his best friend, "Weasel" (T.J. Miller) to create a franchise worthy mutant super team, "X-Force", which includes the luck powered "Domino" (Zazie Beetz).
The first film is considered an instant classic in the eyes of the many comic book savy fans, and just like the first film, "Deadpool 2" goes all out with the absurd, the somewhat twisted, and the borderline ruthless nature in how the film mocks it's own genre, yet embraces it at the same time. Directed this time by David Leitch (Who previously directed "John Wick" and "Atomic Blonde"), the action is explosive, hilariously gory, and constantly in motion, which goes well with the film's unhinged sense of humor that will have you rolling on the floor with laughter more than you were already previously expecting it to. The film's nonstop laughs, filled with references (Comic based or otherwise), vulgarity, and even some things you would rather your mother not know about, helps makes up for the film's pretty basic sequel-esque plotline that we have seen before. (Luckily the movie pokes fun at it mostly.)
Ryan Reynolds continues to show that he was pretty much born for this role. His character could turn annoying so easily, but instead you can't help but find yourself charmed by him. He goes balls to the wall with the insanity and embraces the character's many, many quirks. His relationship with Julian Dennison, (Who proves to have some excellent comedic timing), is actually kind of cute in it's own "Deadpooly" way. We get a fun collection of supporting characters, with the scene stealing Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miler, Stefan Kapičić, Leslie Uggams (as "Blind Al", Deadpool's blind roommate) and Karan Soni (as "Dopinder", Deadpool's taxi buddy, who may or may not be a bit of an offensive stereotype).
There's not much in terms of an actual main villain, with Eddie Marsan showing up to be creepy and a surprise appearance from a big CGI villain (credited as being played by "Himself"), our biggest antagonist is Josh Brolin, who has become the Summer Movie Season MVP. He is once again terrific, portraying a memorable.character, who could of walked out of a dark, gritty, serious superhero movie, which makes him the perfect straight man to Deadpoo'l's nonsense. As for the X-Force (Which consists of Terry Crews' "Bedlam" and Rob Delaney's pathetic, non powered "Peter"), it all leads to one of the funniest, unexpected, and freakin brilliant moments in any superhero film.
"Deadpool 2" is so much fun and smart enough to inject humor in the right places to overcome it's admittedly generic plot, while also having some actually heartwarming moments (Not joking. There are moments that straight up give you the feels), and a crazy amount of well made action, making for an excellent blockbuster that's even a little better than the first. It's a superhero parody that might even work better than some actual superhero movies. Deadpool is the smartass spirit animal that rests in all of us. 3 1/2 stars. Rated R For Bloody Violence, Sexual, Raunchy Content, Baby Legs, And A Whole Lot Of Super-Heroic Ass. Loads Of It.
Image: I'd have Thanksgiving dinner with them.
Now for the movie you guys have really been looking forward to. The biggest event since "Avengers: Infinity War". The real future box office champ. Yeah, forget "Deadpool 2", you want "Book Club". Best get your tickets in advance here. Gonna be sold out showings all weekend.......Ok, in all honesty, this is getting a little mean. But you get my point. Who here actually clicked on my site to see this review over "Deadpool 2"? Please tell me if you did. I'm curious.
"Book Club" follows an um, uh, book club of longtime friends, including "Diane" (Diane Keaton), "Vivian" (Jane Fonda), "Sharon" (Candice Bergen), and "Sharon" (Mary Steenburgen). After reading "Fifty Shades of Grey" (And not vomiting profusely from how terrible it is), the women decide that they need to spice up their mostly "Meh" lives. Diane meets a suave pilot, "Mitchell" (Andy Garcia) and has to avoid her overly concerned daughters (Alicia Silverstone and Katie Aselton) to hang out with him. Sharon, who is still stuck on her ex husband, "Tom" (Ed Begley Jr.), is trying to get back out there, mostly through dating websites and finds out she likes meeting other people. Vivian, who has always feared commitment, meets up with an old flame, "Arthur" (Don Johnson), who may be the one she finally wants to settle down with. And Sharon desperately tries to get her husband, "Bruce" (Craig T. Nelson), to you know, take her like Christian Grey does. (You don't want that. You really don't want that.) The characters all learn something new about themselves and also learn that there is a difference between being an older person and actually being old.
"Book Club" is in a way, pretty much what you would expect from a film, based around one simple idea, with a script that mostly just relies on the charm of it's actors to hopefully carry the predictable plot. However, the film is at least trying to do more, trying to say a bit more, with a bit of an edge to give credit to the older crowd who will likely see it. And the cast is so undeniably charming that it somewhat works. For what it is at least. We're not getting anything groundbreaking or even that memorable here. Just four terrific actresses who are still at the top of their game.
Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda, and Mary Steenburgen are all pros at what they do and could carry this movie without even trying, but luckily they inject either some laughs, a little emotion, and give way more effort than was maybe even asked of them. It's nice to see a more charming Andy Garcia remind everyone that he can be charming, even with the ridiculous scenarios this movie goes through, Don Johnson is likable and has good chemistry with Jane Fonda, and Craig T. Nelson gets some funny reactions. I also give praise to the fact that the film doesn't treat it's older cast like they're incompetent old people, but instead portrays them as active, with the times, and lively. (They're not even that old. Movies need to stop doing that.) The movie does avoid caricatures.....except for Alicia Silverstone and Katie Aselton, who are just plain cartoonish in this.
"Book Club" is simple, sweet, occasionally funny, and heartfelt, even if it is corny, silly, and full of clichés. Although the praise the movie for some reason gives the "Fifty Shades" series is odd (And the fact that they refer to it as a good romance series is worth deducting half a star.) It's what your mama (Or grandmama) pays to see and does it's job much better and with more respect than it usually does. You're in and out, but you still just wanna "Deadpool 2" instead. I think these ladies would like it way more than that "50 Shades" crap. 2 1/2 stars. Rated PG-13 For Sexual Content Involving Some Spry Older Women.
Image: Breaking in bad.
Alright everyone. Lets get this one over with quickly, much like the film's incredibly fast ninety minute runtime. There's always a handful of movies that aspire to be little, accomplish little, make their tiny budget back, and leave you questioning yourself when you try to remember if you actually even saw that in theaters. Then you start thinking about you're going to do later, or if you should of gotten that one girl's number, or just think of things to pad out a review because you don't have much to say about something so meaningless. Subtle, isn't it?
"Breaking In" opens with loving mother, "Shaun" (Gabrielle Union) taking a trip to her recently deceased father's mansion for the night to sell the place, with her son, "Glover" (Seth Carr) and her daughter, "Jasmine" (Ajiona Alexus). The family takes notice the heavy amount of security systems, cameras, heavily fortified walls and alarms, and all that suspicious stuff that makes one realize that Shaun's dead dad was likely involved in some possibly not so legal activities. Not too long into the night, the house is terrorized by a group of criminals, including the leader, "Eddie" (Billy Burke), the loco guy, "Duncan" (Richard Cabral), the whiney one, "Sam" (Levi Meaden), and other guy (Mark Furze). Soon, Shaun finds herself locked out with her kids at the mercy of the crooks, who have the intention of robbing a safe, filled with millions of dollars. Shaun's motherly instincts kicks in as she takes matters into her own hands, setting out to save her children and completely annihilate the rather inept intruders in the process.
"Breaking In" is something that definitely didn't need to be seen in theaters. It's a very toned down, simply plotted, predictable, dull thriller that doesn't have enough character or identity of it's own. The movie jumps from every major point you would see in your average PG-13 home invasion film, without anything new or inspired added. The only real highlight would be Gabrielle Union (Who also serves as a Producer.). She does seem to be trying to give the film a bit more than actually required of her, and her relationship with the kids does at least feel genuine. I also give credit to the filmmakers for making her a competent character, who can handle herself in this situation (Granted, mostly because our villains are hilariously stupid, with their incompetence showing frequently.)
Billy Burke just looks a little bored, though he too seems to be trying a bit more than probably even necessary. Levi Meaden gets the typical role of the panicky one, who may or may not be able to go through with the job (That plotline doesn't go anywhere. At all.) and Richard Cabral is horrifically horrible, playing a character so cartoonishly sadistic, who constantly makes things worse for no reason other than he wants to kill people, that you wonder why the others put up with him in the first place.
I get when a movie just simply wants to be what it is, and "Breaking In" is just that. With that said, that doesn't make it anything I could recommend for anyone to see in theaters, or even at all really, considering there are likely much better versions of this movie you could find.It's just another one of those movies I saw on a late Saturday night and will probably forget about as soon as I finish typing this sentence. They don't care if critics care. And I don't care that they don't care. 1 1/2 stars. Rated PG-13 For Violence, Child Endangerment, And Bad Spiky Hair.
Image: That 80's movie.
I think I laughed once. I regretted it immediately afterwards. It wasn't even that funny, but I can only assume it was just a pity laugh, brought on out of desperation of not laughing for about an hour. Or because it was Melissa McCarthy, and I thought i was supposed to. Come to think of it, maybe by the end, I technically laughed one and a half times.....Maybe one and three quarters.....Bottom line, it was a fairly quiet theater, playing a movie that had more jokes falling flat, than Melissa McCarthy herself usually does.
"Life of the Party" starts with "Deanna Miles" (Melissa McCarthy) and her husband, "Dan" (Matt Walsh) dropping off their daughter, "Maddie" (Molly Gordon) at college. Just as they leave, Dan reveals to Deanna that he intends to divorce her in favor of real estate agent, "Marcie" (Julie Bowen). Deanna doesn't take this well in the slightest, realizing that because of Dan she never completed college, and so she decides to go back. Deanna enrolls at her daughter's school, befriends Maddie's other sorority sisters, including the cutesy weird one, "Helen" (Gillian Jacobs). Deanna proceeds to do....college stuff, complete with all those college movie stereotypes, including mean girl, "Jennifer" (Debby Ryan), along with Deanna hooking up with a stalker younger guy, "Jack" (Luke Benward), along with attempts at typical fake comedy movie conflict to ruthlessly pad out the hour and forty minute runtime.
More of a clichéd premise than an actual plot, "Life of the Party" takes the same tired story and just leaves it at that, without adding any real charm, character, or much of a conflict due to the film's lack of an actual narrative. Granted,poor plotting in a comedy would be forgiven if it were actually funny. But the laughs are few (Very few), with the film annoying it's audience with it's overlong presence than actually getting them to laugh. Director/Writer Ben Falcone ("The Boss", "Tammy", and the husband of Melissa McCarthy) has the tendency to structure everything in a way that feels cobbled together, seeming more interested in getting through a checklist of basic plot points that you're used to seeing in movies such as this. Daughter and mother bonding, getting high accidentally, there's an 80's party, some mean girls, some embarrassing moment during class, the goth girl who is goth, last minute party to make some money, they're all here. The film thinks just letting Melissa McCarthy ad-lib through it all will actually make it funny, rather than relying on silly, unimportant things, like a script.
Melissa McCarthy is someone I generally like, who I know can not only be funny, but can also be an excellent actress. Also serving as a Co-Writer with her husband, she either goes for the easy joke (Such as falling down or punching/getting punched) or just trying to riff on everything. Maya Rudolph (as "Christine", Deanna's best friend) doesn't have a role, but does seem to be trying to throw in some more laughs where there isn't any, while Stephen Root and Jacki Weaver (as Deanna's parents) literally have nothing to do. Molly Gordon's character is inconsistent (She's fine going to school with her mother, till the plot says otherwise, then reverts back again on a dime), but she's likable and adorable, as is Gillian Jacobs, who gets to make cute, weird faces for most of her scenes. Debby Ryan just plays the standard hot bad girl in a subplot that goes nowhere, all while Julie Bowen is only there to just react to absurdity. On the bright side, that last sentence reminded me that there were a decent amount of attractive actresses in this movie, which is always welcome. (Look, I'm a guy. I'm desperately looking for positives here.)
Some jokes go on for too long and plotlines are either resolved quickly or just plain dropped, "Life of the Party" does that annoying running gag of the older generation not getting the younger generation and their references, but in other scenes end up making those references themselves. (How can you know who Voldemort is, but have no idea what someone is saying when they make a "Harry Potter" reference?) It's just lazy writing, with a pace that takes forever to get going. So the longer it goes, the more you just feel agitated at what you're watching (You've got other things to do, other movies to see, other promises to keep, and you're over here wasting time with the laziest of the lazy when it comes to lowbrow comedy?)
"Life of the Party" is a party you want to leave as quickly as possible, but the host appears to be blocking the door, preventing your escape. It may not be the absolute worst comedy you'll ever see, though it is one of those films that just doesn't want to go away when you quickly become tired of it. You're not supposed to leave a party pissed, are you? 1 star. Rated PG-13 For Super Sweating, Pot Hallucinations, And Falling With Loud Thuds.
Image: This is what being a Mom looks like?! There's someone I need to call.
To those expecting to take their mothers to see this movie for "Mother's Day" simply because it has to deal with motherhood.....Don't. Don't you dare do it. It's a comedy/drama, with some harsh realism and a little last minute weirdness, that overall is treated respectfully, but probably as honestly it possibly can. Just take her to see "Avengers: Infinity War".....Actually don't do that either. That'll depress her too.......Just buy her flowers. A card will be nice. Clean up your room.
"Tully" follows depressed, worn out mother, "Marlo" (Charlize Theron), who is busy raising her children, "Jonah" (Asher Miles Fallica), "Sarah" (Lia Frankland) and newborn baby, "Mia", while her well meaning, but clueless husband, "Drew" (Ron Livingston) is either working or playing video games. Marlo's rich brother, "Craig" (Mark Duplass) suggests a night nanny to help out and despite her attempts to power through, Marlo eventually gives in and calls for one. The nanny, "Tully" (Mackenzie Davis) arrives and despite looking all cutesy and young, is clearly a pro at what she does, offering to help take care of Mia, so Marlo can get some sleep for once. Marlo starts to bond with Tully while slowly starting to improve her own life in the process.
From Director Jason Reitman and Writer Diablo Cody, "Tully" is an effective dramedy that displays the most uncomfortable look at motherhood you'll likely ever see in film. It's somewhat cynical, but a very sincere and thoughtful story that doesn't pull punches and at least mixes in some much needed humor and likable characters to balance it all out. In terms of writing, the film gives it's characters smart dialogue to flesh them out as people, with obvious, but human flaws, along with the occasional funny line. Jokes aside, I do see the film resonating with many mothers, especially with how the film understands it's subject, even when the film veers into uncomfortable, but necessary territory.
Charlize Theron (Who to a certain degree is almost unrecognizable) is terrific here, showing us once again how good of an actress she is and reminding us that we really don't give her enough credit. (How did she not get an Oscar nomination for "Mad Max: Fury Road"? It's not logical.) The excellent Mackenzie Davis is an insanely adorable, instantly lovable ball of sunshine that you fall in love with as quickly as our main character does. Mark Duplass has a few funny moments in his small role and Ron Livingston (Who is another actor who has a tendency to be in a lot, is generally well liked, yet nobody seems to know who he is) is also great, playing a character that you like, despite the fact it's clear that he's not doing enough to help out. The filmmakers make the characters too complex to have an antagonist, or even outright mean characters, when it would of been so easy to do so.
It isn't until the last act, when a surprise twist of sorts is revealed, that "Tully" might turn some people off. (There have been a few talks about this film's portrayal of mental health problems.) It's something that I actually did see coming and could argue does make some sense to what the film is trying to say and the point it's trying to make. But I can agree that it can appear as something that just comes out of nowhere or feels out of place. Despite some possible divisiveness of the ending and the fact that the overall moral is essentially "Deal with it" (I know it's more complicated and meaningful than that, but I'm just putting it simply), the movie has plenty of well timed laughs, accessible characters, and a thoughtful nature that I see emotionally moving an audience in a positive way. And you sure as Hell won't look at your Mom the same way again. 3 1/2 stars. Rated R For Language, Adult Content, And Graphic Breast Pumping.
Image: He's always the bad guy!
This is one of those movies that I went into completely and utterly untouched by any knowledge about this movie, aside from the only trailer which I saw once. Completely blank on this one. After "Infinity War", which was so huge and epic, I just didn't know what to expect from something so small by comparison. Although because of that, I can be pleasantly surprised. And disturbed....Disturbingly surprised?
"Bad Samaritan" follows "Sean Falco" (Robert Sheehan), who works as a valet, but along with his buddy, "Derek" (Carlito Olivero), casually breaks into house and steal things to make a little extra money on the side. Sean wants a more simple life, which is to provide for his family and girlfriend, "Riley" (Jacqueline Byers). Sean sees a chance for one last score, which comes in the form of a rich jerk, "Cale Erendreich" (David Tennant). Taking Erendreich's car, Sean breaks into his house, only to discover a woman, "Katie" (Kerry Condon), brutally chained up and gagged in a sealed off room.
Sean panics and flees, alerting the police, but tries to pretend that nothing has happened. He eventually can't take the guilt of possibly leaving a woman to die and tries to do everything in his power to make sure the psycho is put away. However, it turns out Erendreich is much more of a mastermind that anticipated. Knowing that Sean has discovered his secret, Frenderich proceeds to psychologically torture Sean, with the intent of destroying his life by going after his family, friends, and loved ones, in a horrifying game that could only lead to more death and disturbing revelations.
From Director Dean Devlin, who previously gave us last year's disastrous disaster, "Geostorm", "Bad Samaritan" feels much more subdued and actually fairly original. It's a dark, suspenseful, and occasionally really weird, small scale thriller that's briskly paced and ends before it outstays it's welcome. Not saying that the film isn't plenty silly, with some of the villain's overthought plans and some of the actions he takes to torture our main character border on the ridiculous. (How the Hell is he even capable of all this? I get he's rich and ingenious, but the way all this goes makes little sense.) There's also the stupidity and unreliability of the police force involved, who for some reason have such a hard time believing Sean's story. (I get that it's a little far-fetched, but at some point you have to realize that's something is clearly wrong here.)
The film is also elevated by some better than necessary performances, with David Tennant stealing the film as a perfectly unhinged, bug eyed, almost charmingly creepy villain with absurd, but very unique motivations that make for many unsettling sequences. Robert Sheehan has to carry most of the film, with a few compelling moments to show that his character is a decent person at heart and is trying to do the right thing. Kerry Condon gets some great moments towards the end of the film, with a bit more of a role other than as a hostage. Not much else in terms of the other characters, who mostly just serve as either casualties or spectators on the sidelines.
"Bad Samaritan" offers a clever premise and enough cheesy thrills that make for a disturbing, but immensely entertaining quick sit. You can' help but get into the bizarre twists and turns that are at least accompanied by some solid direction and a good sense of dread and terror. Plus with a memorably batsh*t insane David Tennant and a strange thing about horses, you gotta give some credit to the film for not being like anything else. Sure it's disturbing as Hell, but a surprising amount of fun too. Disturbing fun. 3 stars. Rated R For Disturbing Images, A Pile Of Corpses, And Horse Obsession.
Image: "Hold still so Mommy can get that booger."
Ok, Is this legal? Is this legal at all? This is essentially kidnapping and the movie actually calls it so, but just brushes it over. I'm not a lawyer here, but I'm just curious what would realistically happen in this situation. Just need to know for.....um.......research purposes....
"Overboard" opens with single, working mother, "Kate" (Anna Faris), who is struggling with a couple jobs, one of which leads her to clean the yacht of a spoiled rich dick, "Leonardo" (Eugenio Derbez). Leonardo, who comes from a wealthy Mexican family, has never had to work once in his life and treats most people around him like crap, including Kate, who he fires for no reason and kicks her off his boat. However, later that night, Leonardo ends up slipping off his yacht and falls into the ocean, washing up on the beach and waking up with amnesia. With some convincing from her friend, "Theresa" (Eva Longoria) and because nobody apparently knows who Leonardo is anyways, Kate goes to the hospital, falsely claiming that Leonardo is her husband and takes him home to subject him to many chores and silly situations all while Leonardo's evil sister, "Magda" (Cecilia Suárez), who knows about Leonardo's condition, tries to take over the family company. On the bright side, Kate and Leonardo fall in love....somehow.
"Overboard" is a remake of an 1987 Kurt Russel/Goldie Hawn movie with probably even more questionable character decisions, and seemingly tries to play up the cutesy and heartfelt factor, only for it to fall flat on it's face with a splat. The film isn't particularly likable, mixed in with a lack of real laughs and a poor pace to go with the film's uneeded hour and 52 minute runtime. (Ok, Why is everything getting so unnecessarily long these days?) An occasional chuckle every once in a while isn't really enough to justify such an overlong experience that leaves you more bored than charmed.
Eugenio Derbez's character is not meant to be too likable, but is change doesn't feel all that real. He does make for a few of the film's occasional chuckles, mostly due to a large amount of comic energy and commitment to the absurd. The insanely cute Anna Faris is at least given more to do than just be cute, with a few funny lines here and there. Both Derbez (Who also serves as a Producer) and Faris are easily the best part of the film, though their characters and how they're written constantly drag them down. Their romance on the other hand is something you don't buy for a second, and just feels cheap and lazy. Eva Longoria doesn't do much aside from be the rom-com best friend, John Hannah (as "Colin", one of Leonardo's servants) mostly just stands around and is criminally underused, and the whole subplot with Leonardo's family could of easily of been cut out, if anything simply to make the film less of a drag.
Becoming more of a parody of all those over the top telenovelas, "Overboard" actually isn't anywhere near as funny as most of those end up being. I give credit to the film trying to reach a more diverse audience, with it's inclusion of some Mexican culture. But the film is toned down and overly fluffy, which doesn't go well with a premise that's thoroughly misguided and confused. "Overboard" feels like being stuck on a boat in the middle of the ocean, wasting the talents of everyone involved. Though if I were stuck in the middle of the ocean, I want it to be with Anna Faris. 1 1/2 stars. Rated PG-13 For Adult Humor, Kidnapping, And Other Possibly Illegal Acts.
Image: He'd like to negotiate, with no preconditions.
So it's finally here. 10 years and 19 films (All of which both critical and box office successes for the most part), what began in 2008 with the spectacular "Iron Man", which eventually led to the first, epic crossover event, 2012's "The Avengers", which we all thought was the most unbelievable thing at the time. Yet, we never thought we would witness this. The epic finale to everything we've come to get to know and love, and it's more than you could possibly imagine. (#YourFanTheoryMeansNothing).
"Avengers: Infinity War" opens with the mother of all baddies, the mad titan, "Thanos" (Josh Brolin), on a search for the mystical and powerful six "Infinity Stones" (Which are those little MacGuffins that have appeared throughout the franchise.), with the help from his sinister "Children", which includes "Ebony Maw" (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor), "Cull Obsidian" (Terry Notary), "Corvus Glaive" (Michael Shaw), and "Proxima Midnight" (Carrie Coon). They are seeking to use the stones to "Balance" the universe by wiping out half the universe, Thanos has already acquired two of them, one of which after defeating the God of Thunder, "Thor" (Chris Hemsworth) and wiping out most of his people. Thanos' schemes have gotten him plenty of enemies, most of which are in the form of our heroes, "The Avengers".
A series of events lead to various team ups between an assortment of our main characters. Billionaire playboy, "Tony Stark/Iron Man" (Robert Downey Jr.) finds himself out to save the Sorcerer Supreme, "Doctor Stephen Strange" (Benedict Cumberbatch), who has one of the six stones, with the help from the young, "Peter Parker/Spider-Man" (Tom Holland), leading them into space. Back on Earth, the now rogue, "Steve Rogers/Captain America" (Chris Evans, rocking a new beard), highly trained spy, "Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow" (Scarlett Johansson), and the flying, "Sam Wilson/Falcon" (Anthony Mackie) are out to protect star crossed lovers, the gifted, mystical being, "Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch" (Elizabeth Olsen) and the humanoid android, "Vision" (Paul Bettany), who has one of the stones in his head, keeping him alive. The group allies with Stark's buddy, "James Rhodes/War Machine" (Don Cheadle) and the recently returned "Bruce Banner" (Mark Ruffalo), who is having a little trouble transforming into the big green "Hulk" at the moment, along with the king of Wakanda (And the current king of the box office), "T'Challa/Black Panther" (Chadwick Boseman) and Cap's formerly brainwashed friend, "Bucky Barnes" (Sebastian Stan).
Meanwhile, Thor finds himself meeting "The Guardians of the Galaxy", which includes the cocky, "Peter Quill/Star-Lord" (Chris Pratt), the adopted daughter of Thanos, "Gamora" (Zoe Saldana), the simple minded, "Drax the Destroyer" (Dave Bautista), the cute telepathic, "Mantis" (Pom Klementieff), talking raccoon, "Rocket" (Voiced by Bradley Cooper), and teenage tree person, "Groot" (Voiced by Vin Diesel). Everyone has it out for Thanos and everyone has a stake in what's going to happen, leading to the ultimate battle between good and evil, with the fate of the entire universe (Or in this case, half of it) hanging in the balance.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Who previously gave us "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and the sequel, "Civil War"), "Avengers: Infinity War" is the ultimate superhero extravaganza, giving that same feeling you get when you read one of those massive comic crossover events, except this time it's not just restricted to the pages in your hand. The film looks incredible on the big screen, with Marvel Studios having perfected their talent for flawless looking special effects, (Which blend in seamlessly), along with some typically spectacular action. However as usual, we still get some excellent character work. With a script by Chrisopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Who have written a few films in the franchise), balances out many, many characters and of course, a good sense of humor, which is more necessary here than any of the other films due to the immensely high stakes this time around.
To talk about the cast, which has got to be one of the largest ensembles in cinematic history, you first need to address the standouts in the entire film, where no single character (With maybe the exception of the real star, who we will get to shortly) is given more to do than anyone else. Some might be reduced to supporting roles, but all have a reason to be here and everyone is as committed as ever. Robert Downey Jr., the original, first Avenger we were introduced to, remains as likably sarcastic as ever, having great back and forth with an equally endearingly snarky Benedict Cumberbatch. Chris Hemsworth gets to show more of both his comedic and dramatic chops, Zoe Saldana giving an emotionally layerd performance, Tom Holland showing once again why he's the best (And most lovable) Spider-Man, some great laughs from Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, and Mark Ruffalo, an enjoyably slimy Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, and a heartwarming subplot with Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany.
We still have awesome moments from our main cast, which includes Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira (as "Okoye", T'Challa's loyal guard), Tom Hiddleston (as "Loki", Thor's mischievous brother), Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan (as "Nebula", Gamora's reformed step-sister), and the hilariously altered voice of Vin Diesel. We also getting memorable brief appearances from Benedict Wong (as "Wong", Strange's partner in the mystic arts), Gwyneth Paltrow (as "Pepper Potts", Tony's longtime love interest, turned fiancée), Idris Elba (as "Heimdall", Thor's most loyal friend), Peter Dinklage (as "Eitri", a giant dwarf who looks like Peter Dinklage), Benicio del Toro (as "Taneleer Tivan/The Collector", who gets to be weird again), Letitia Wright (as "Shuri", T'Challa's little sister/new fan favorite), Winston Duke (as "M'Baku", one of T'Challa's newest allies), and a special appearance from a character we thought died over a dozen films ago. (The whole auditorium let out gaps and "What the f*cks?" all at once.)
The real star of "Avengers: Infinity War" is the big bad himself, Thanos, with Josh Brolin giving a brilliant, menacing, compelling performance. Serving as almost a villain protagonist of sorts, Brolin is in the movie more than any character, showing the audience why he is such a big deal and why he is such an unstoppable threat. The effects work on him is perfect, and the character is given his own, thought provoking, somewhat sad story arc, which dominates most of the film. Brolin gives it his all, giving an understanding as to who this character is, what his goal is, and what it means to the character. All these dimensions make the villain all the more scary, giving you something to think about once you leave the theater. (And this is a freakin superhero movie. Not even some art house films are able to accomplish that.)
The only complaint you can bring up about "Avengers: Infinity War" is that it's all almost too much. There are so many characters, so many storylines coming to a possible close, such a large amount of mythology that you'll be lost if you miss something important. Yet, I can't really justify that as an actual flaw. This is essentially the end of an era, and it would of been a cop out not to include everything you possibly could. And the fact that the Russo Brothers were able to keep everything grounded, well paced (At almost three hours, you can barely feel it.), and both funny and emotional is pretty astonishing. It all culminates on one of the most jaw dropping moments you will see in not just a film like this, but really any film. (Okay, I'll admit it. I cried. One moment at the end got me. Even Superheroes cry.)
"Avengers: Infinity War" is one of the darkest, most bleak films you'll probably see this year (And you are seeing it. The entire country is seeing it.), but still packed full of some humor, heart, unforgettable characters, and a reminder why we idolize these fictional heroes in the first place. The sight of many of our favorite characters charging into battle against a terrifying force, despite the odds that they will likely lose badly, is one of the absolute coolest big screen moments ever. It's a lot to take in, but you wont stop thinking about it once it all ends. Damn, Marvel really had the stones to pull this whole thing off. 4 stars. Rated PG-13 For Violence, Mayhem, And.....Lots Of Heartbreak.