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Movie Reviews: Trolls (2016), Enemy (2013), Moana (2016)

June 29, 2017

80108182Trolls showed up on Netflix recently so I decided to get stoned and check out the rainbow drenched celebrity karaoke session. Snarky descriptions aside though it was actually a pretty decent kids film. Sure it’s super predictable, but I liked the messages and it didn’t overuse it’s annoying character like other animated films like to do. The visuals are also amazing, I love the fuzzy texture that everything seems to have, very unique look. Overall I say it’s a must see for kids and adults who own bongs. 8/10

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enemy_posterEnemy is a film that I kept hearing about in reference to how amazing Jake Gyllenhaal is, but I had no idea that it was going to be a total mind fuck on top of a showcase performance. Denis Villeneuve is directing here and is so damn good that I feel great shame in not being able to pronounce his name out loud.

I don’t wanna give too much of the story away, but it’s a very dark if not original spin on that classic “The Prince and the Pauper” story. That’s all I’ll say since I think a clean slate would really help you going into this. Overall if you want a mindbender that you’ll be thinking about for days afterward then check out Enemy, 9/10. Available on several streaming services and maybe Redbox?

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moana_ver5_xlgMoana is yet another 2016 animation that Netflix obtained recently, the latest in a seemingly never ending chain of Disney princesses. I gotta say overall I was pretty underwhelmed after all the hype I heard about this last year. I know it’s a musical but there were way too many songs, the story had no time to breath as new songs kept starting. I swear there was like five songs in the first act and if I remember correctly only one gave me any insight into the characters, the others were just exposition dumps, only really one of which was needed for the story to progress. Once act two starts the movie gets much better, but also very familiar if you seen any number of the Disney Princess films before. Overall if you’re about twenty years younger than me then you’ll probably love it and not notice the things I complained about. 7/10

Movie Reviews: Aftermath

June 13, 2017

aftermath_film_posterAs a long time fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger I felt I had to check out his latest attempt at serious acting. Much like Maggie his range here is just as limited but sadly the script here isn’t even half as good as the meh Maggie script, which is really saying something. The story is based on the tragic real life Überlingen mid-air collision, with the setting changed to America for the film. For the most part I was able to ignore the small flaws during the first two acts, but then the final scene comes in and shits all over the rest of the film. As far as I can tell this final scene never happened in real life and really didn’t sit well with me at all. Overall this is an ugly and depressing story that falls short of doing it’s real life counterpart justice, 5.75/10. It’s available on RedBox if you insist on seeing it yourself.

Movie Review: Wonder Woman

June 2, 2017

wonder-woman-tank-poster-hdSo the Thursday night premiere of Wonder Woman just happen to be the same day as my 29th so I decided to check it out. First big female superhero in her first ever big budget live action movie, and possibly the first good DC movie. This film had a lot riding on it’s shoulders for a lot of different people but personally my concerns were mostly nerdy in nature, ie will they take design cues from the comics, will it have awesome action and most importantly with they stay true to the essence of the character? Answer, fuck yeah they will and did.

Themyscira and the Amazons looked amazing, I was getting instant Greek fantasy vibes and half expected a Harryhausen monster to lumber into view. They twisted the lore of the Amazons a bit from versions I remember, but it worked for me here. Costume might lead to a few plot hole once she goes to man’s world, but design wise I love it.

Action was awesome and nicely spread throughout, making good use of her strength and lasso and establishing the fact that her presence in a war is a complete game changer. The action in the climax however is a tad more predictable and just a tad too reminiscent of Dawn of Justice.

As for the character I think they did her a great service, Gal Gadot really cemented herself in the role. Her arc was refreshing at least among superhero films where instead of having to be talked into being a hero a doing the right thing Diana spends her whole life with her mother trying to talk her out of it, she heads into man’s world gung ho and naive yet extremely optimistic.

Anyway I’m not sure I could praise it further without getting into spoilers or bashing other DC films in comparisons. 8/10, it’s official Wonder Woman has beaten out Supes and Bats as my favorite of the trinity in this DCEU thing they’re doing.

P.S. There’s nothing after the credits, you can leave once the film is over.

Movie Reviews: Beyond the Gates (2016), The Discovery (2017)

May 31, 2017

tumblr_ojomfqywsh1ta2fv3o1_1280Beyond The Gates is a low budget indie horror that isn’t the best but it’s pretty fun. The premise is kinda Jumanji meets the Ring but without really capitalizing on the full extent of that premise. Couple of cool death scenes but the attempted character stuff is a little boring and not set up very well. Acting is decent and the music is dope. Overall it’s not a bad night on Netflix, but that’s about it. 6.5/10

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mv5bmtuznje5odywn15bml5banbnxkftztgwmty4mjq1mti-_v1_uy1200_cr9006301200_al_The Discovery is an interesting indie Sci-Fi film that explores themes of the afterlife and regret. The acting is great with Robert Redford, Jason Segel, and Rooney Mara carrying the meh script to completion. Not the the script was completely bad, it just didn’t really pay off in the way I was hoping by the end and the dialogue was rough. The pacing was also really slow as the reveal took forever to reveal itself. It didn’t help that it turned out to be far too similar to The O.A. that I saw recently. Overall I think most scf-fi fans will enjoy this on some level but religious folks should probably avoid. 7/10

Movie Review: Split

May 27, 2017

split_282017_film29I finally got around to seeing this via Redbox and I must say the hype was real. Not that Split is an amazing film, but it is a good one on several levels which is beyond surprising given the last decade or so of M. Night Shyamalan films.

Acting is amazing, James Mcavoy steals every single scene he’s in. Anya Taylor-Joy is also great, really selling this introverted heroine.

Story here was what kinda turned me off at first, using a heavily fictionalized version of a real disease as fodder for a horror movie maybe wasn’t in the best taste, but there is a revel at the end that kinda makes it all okay for me in the end.

Overall I think this is an effective horror film, though I can imagine female viewers being supremely unnerved by this film, so be warned. 8/10.

Movie Review: Alien Covenant

May 19, 2017

ho00004358So this is the sixth film in the Alien series and I thought it was pretty good. Doesn’t really touch the first two films, but I liked it far better then three and four. Not sure how I feel about it in comparison to Prometheus, it was free from all the tiny little plot holes that plagued Prometheus but it was also far less ambitious in it’s goals, becoming just your standard Alien plot but with a few of those Prometheus ideas still hanging around.

Acting here is pretty great, Fassbender killing it as usual. Directing is great, everything is beautifully shot and the pacing is nice and steady. Special effects were amazing, this film makes a solid argument for cgi xenomorphs.

Overall I’d say that if you’re a fan of the Alien series then you’ll enjoy this entry, but if you’re specifically a fan of Prometheus then this film might let you down a little. 7.75/10

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

May 5, 2017

phak9s4jdp80cf_1_lThree years after the first Guardians of the Galaxy and I’m still hooked on this feeling. Acting is great, everyone really feeling at home playing these pop art space aliens now and Kurt Russell is easily one of the more memorable Marvel villains. James Gunn is directing again and he does an awesome job filling the film with awesome moments while keeping it going at a steady pace. Story is just as insane and goofy as the first one while attempting a smaller scale story with fatherhood, sisterhood and family themes taking center stage, even got me a little teary at points. Score is still some great classic rock, but not quite as classic as the the first film’s score. Overall I highly recommend, 8.5/10.