I Feel Pretty: Great Message but Uses The Same Jokes Over and Over Again (Review)

I Feel Pretty: Great Message but Uses The Same Jokes Over and Over Again (Review)

This week I went and saw I Feel Pretty, with Amy Schumer.  I wanted to like this movie so much, I really did. I like Amy Schumer, I think she’s funny.  And I Feel Pretty had a fairly universal story question. Who hasn’t felt insecure about the way they look?  What would we do if we could see ourselves as beautiful? How would our lives change? It’s a good premise and I was curious to see how that would play out.  This was another movie where the trailer pretty much captures the whole of the plot of the movie. And I was definitely up for a ‘beauty comes from within’ message. Read more

Rampage is Highly Entertaining & Deceptively Well Made (Review)

Rampage is Highly Entertaining & Deceptively Well Made (Review)

I don’t really want to admit it, but I wanted to see Rampage since the moment I first heard about it.  Younger Mark LOVED the old Rampage video game and apparently I still harbor some fondness for the franchise because I was excited to see the film.   Weird that it’s another Kaiju movie – is this just a new trend or am I suffering from the Baader-Meinhof effect because I saw Pacific Rim 2?  This one didn’t have giant robots though, so humanity was at a distinct disadvantage. I guess if Charlie Hunnam had been there, maybe it would have been a much shorter movie.  Read more

A Quiet Place is Intense from Minute One & Brutally Unsentimental (Review)

A Quiet Place is Intense from Minute One & Brutally Unsentimental (Review)

I love a premise so simple and robust that you can capture it in a trailer and the movie can be Exactly As Advertised.  A Quiet Place is that movie. If you’ve seen the trailer then you know what the entire movie is about. It’s not a question of what happens, really, it’s a question of how it happens.  Though to be honest, I still had some problems with the premise. If even the slightest sound can bring these beasties to you, then how do protect yourself when you sleep? People fart in their sleep, it’s fact.  So… special underwear? Oh, and people can snore. Not sure why I went to butt stuff first, but you get my point. You can’t be guarded all the time. Turns out with A Quiet Place this idea is not a bug, it’s a feature.   Read more

Ready Player One is Brilliant; An odd Combo of Nostalgia, Excitement & Curiosity (Review)

Ready Player One is Brilliant; An odd Combo of Nostalgia, Excitement & Curiosity (Review)

Before Ready Player One began, we got a clip of director Steven Spielberg where he sincerely thanked us for watching his film.  Oh wait – I’m thinking of something else, that didn’t happen. Apparently he was confident enough in his movie that he didn’t need to preface it with anything.  And he’d be absolutely right – Ready Player one is fantastic. I loved the hell out of it. It’s one of the very few movies that lives up to its hype. Also it’s not a Sequel, a Prequel or a Reboot; it’s an adaptation on a book, which makes it practically original.   Watching this film was a treat, from beginning to end, though I’m pretty sure I’m the exact target audience for me, so you might have to excuse me while I gush. Read more

Pacific Rim: Uprising is Fun & Plays With Scale Just as Well as Kong Skull Island (Review)

Pacific Rim: Uprising is Fun & Plays With Scale Just as Well as Kong Skull Island (Review)

This week it was Pacific Rim: Uprising.  Somehow I missed the Giant Robot versus Kaiju craze.  I’ve never seen any of the anime, never read the manga, never really was that interested in it.  And I wasn’t that keen on seeing Pacific Rim: Uprising – I hadn’t seen the first one because I thought it would break my brain (physics doesn’t work like that).  So it came as a surprise to me when I absolutely loved it. I just loved seeing Giant Robots fighting. I liked seeing these huge machines dominating the battlefield until whaaaa – an EVEN BIGGER robot comes out dwarfs absolutely everything.  I get the appeal now; it’s very fun. Read more

Tomb Raider Missed Out on The Things That Made Lara Croft Great (Review)

Tomb Raider Missed Out on The Things That Made Lara Croft Great (Review)

It might not be fair, but I’m going to be comparing this Tomb Raider to the Laura Croft Tomb Raider in 2001 for the whole review.  Because if you’re going to reboot something, you really should make it better. And I’ll spoil the surprise right here: this Tomb Raider wasn’t better at all.  You may well be sitting there thinking ‘duh- I saw the trailer’, and you’d be right. But I was rooting for it, I went in wanting to see a good film. Then Alicia Vikander came on and thanked us for watching her movie and my brain automatically tacked on the words “… even though it sucks”.  Like I’ve said before, the thanks you get for watching a movie should be a great movie. You shouldn’t need to be grateful for people filling your seats, you should be confident. Star Wars is. Read more

A Wrinkle in Time is a Gorgeous but Nonsensical Film With a Solid Emotional Core (Review)

A Wrinkle in Time is a Gorgeous but Nonsensical Film With a Solid Emotional Core (Review)

It’s always a bit weird when the director comes on at the beginning of the film and thanks you for coming to see their movie.  Why do that? The movie speaks for itself (or should) and if you want to thank me for coming to see it, do it by making the movie awesome. The hidden message tacked on to ‘thanks for coming to see this’ is always:  ‘…even though it probably sucks’. I don’t want to say A Wrinkle In Time sucked because it didn’t. I have a special place in my heart for A Wrinkle in Time – I LOVED the book when I was very young.  I actually reread it recently to prepare for this movie and was shocked by how different it was (and I was) than what I remembered.  And also because A Wrinkle in Time looked like a lot of fun to make. Read more

Game Night is Fresh & Original – You’ll be Reminded of People You Know (Review)

Game Night is Fresh & Original – You’ll be Reminded of People You Know (Review)

Finally a movie that isn’t a sequel, prequel, reboot or based on a comic book series.  It’s original, it’s fresh.  Thank god.  You know, there haven’t been many straight-up comedies lately, which is a shame.   It’s always been other types of movies that have funny in them – horror movies with funny moments or kids movies that were also funny or Marvel movies.   And Game Night is very very  funny, I even started laughing in the trailer.  So I was a little worried that they just used all the best jokes in the trailer but that’s not the case.  It’s funny throughout. Read more

Black Panther: Finally a Superhero Film That Shows Us How it’s Done (Review)

Black Panther: Finally a Superhero Film That Shows Us How it’s Done (Review)

I have a confession – didn’t want to see Black Panther.  I’m sick to the bone of superhero movies, even Marvel.  It’s not that they’re bad, it’s just that the genre is overplayed.  I’m tired of seeing movies about characters I’ve already seen.  I long for original films and, in a word: novelty.  Well I was in luck.  Even though this was another Marvel Superhero movie, Black Panther was refreshing.   I wasn’t bored.  I loved the heck out of this film.  I liked it almost as much as Dr. Strange, and that is saying something. Read more

Winchester is a Well Made Film That Wanted to be Scary But Just Wasn’t (Review)

Winchester is a Well Made Film That Wanted to be Scary But Just Wasn’t (Review)

Winchester is the second Horror movie of 2018, which makes me happy.  We need more good horror and I had such high hopes for it.   But the fact that it did not provide advanced screenings did not bode well. What did you have to hide, Winchester?  Given that and the abominably low ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB, I ended up really just wanting to know why this movie was so bad.   Why all the hate?  Is it just that critics get pissy because they don’t get to see advanced screenings?  Were the special effects bad?  I mean, how could you mess up a movie based on a such a good real-life ghost story?  The only movie I’ve seen botch a premise that perfect was A Dog’s Purpose.  What are the odds it would happen twice in a decade? Read more

Maze Runner The Death Cure: I Kept Wondering When Katniss was Going to Show Up & Declare Them All Divergents (Review)

Maze Runner The Death Cure: I  Kept Wondering When Katniss was Going to Show Up & Declare Them All Divergents (Review)

They say that facts don’t change people’s minds, feelings do.  You can make an air-tight logical argument and back it with facts but it will never sway people as much as a meme on Twitter.  Maze Runner: The Death Cure understands this and rather than spend time and energy on plot logistics, simply goes for the emotional core and drives from there.  As nonsensical as the plot is, as contrived the situations, Maze Runner: The Death Cure is exciting.  Sure I had to work to suspend my disbelief, rolled my eyes so often I was worried my face would stick that way, but still it was a good time. Read more

12 Strong Clears Up My Misconceptions about The War in Afghanistan (Review)

12 Strong Clears Up My Misconceptions about The War in Afghanistan (Review)

Man, am I ever the wrong person to review 12 Strong.  I can see that it’s well made but I just don’t get War Movies.  I know nothing about guns or missiles or tactics, so it’s like Sci-Fi to me – very badly explained Sci-Fi (with terrible special effects) that everyone else seems to understand easily but I don’t.  I had only the vaguest idea what was going on in Afghanistan after 9/11 and I definitely had some misconceptions.  At the very least I had assumed America was at a supreme advantage – I mean how hard is it to call in an airstrike?  Pretty hard, as it turns out.  It’s not easy to get right and if you don’t, you just end up bombing the wrong thing (usually empty desert).  12 Strong was, at the very least, educational to me. Read more

Paddington 2: Rotten Tomatoes is Right, it Really is That Good (Review)

Paddington 2: Rotten Tomatoes is Right, it Really is That Good (Review)

I never really got Paddington. When I was young, I read the books and tried marmalade, hated it, gave the books up because they were misleading.  I was that kind of child.  So Paddington 2 wasn’t my first choice but I was dying to see how it could  get 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and kept it for more than a day.  Could this sequel of a movie I had no interest in seeing really be that good?  Actually yes.  But I don’t actually want to get too much into why because I wouldn’t want to spoil a thing for this movie. Read more

Insidious: The last Key is Ambitious & Character Driven but They Put The Scariest Stuff Too Early (Review)

Insidious: The last Key is Ambitious & Character Driven but They Put The Scariest Stuff Too Early (Review)

It’s January again, that time of year when everyone’s exhausted and broke from the holidays and nobody feels like going to see anything.    What brave movie maker wants to release something then?  Stuff that would go straight to DVD otherwise, that’s what.  This week it was Insidious: The Last Key and while it may not be a gem, it’s certainly not the usual January-level bad, regardless of what Rotten Tomatoes might tell you. Maybe I’m using a different rating scale for January than I would for any other time of year, but  I liked this movie.  It wasn’t terrible. Read more