Hotel Transylvania 3 Proves This Franchise isn’t Out of Steam Yet (Review)

Hotel Transylvania 3 Proves This Franchise isn’t Out of Steam Yet (Review)

This week I saw Hotel Transylvania 3.  Not just a sequel but the third in a series, so there was every chance this film would suck. Still, the Hotel Transylvania franchise isn’t out of steam yet – it gets me right where I live with its bright colors and visually memorable characters, I was going to like it regardless of how good or bad it was.  A lot of people felt the same way, I think; the theater was packed with moms and kids. Read more

Ant-Man and The Wasp is Hilarious & Charming (Review)

Ant-Man and The Wasp is Hilarious & Charming (Review)

Another superhero movie – good heavens Marvel is pumping them out this year.  Ant-Man and the Wasp is the third one, from Marvel at least. Between those, Deadpool, the Incredibles and the upcoming Venom movie, it looks like the superhero genre is still going strong.  No matter how sick I am of Superhero movies, I’d still rather see that than The First Purge, so here we all are. But good news – it turns out the genre still holds. If you can avoid having 20 superheros in the same movie, you can make a pretty entertaining piece of film.  Ant-Man and the Wasp was so charming and funny and friendly, I couldn’t resist it. Read more

Sicario: Day of the Soldado Felt like a Bad Heist Movie Where Nobody Was Allowed to Crack a Smile (Review)

Sicario: Day of the Soldado Felt like a Bad Heist Movie Where Nobody Was Allowed to Crack a Smile (Review)

This week I saw Sicario: Day of the Soldado.  Boy, am I ever the wrong person to review this.  I just don’t get it at all. I don’t even know how to talk about it.  I got the feeling that this film was really good but I just couldn’t see how.  Whatever the message was, whatever the appeal, it passed me by. This has happened to me before and I’ve come back to a film in 20 years and seen its genius.  Maybe that will be what I do with Sicario: Day of the Soldado. Or it could be a swing and a miss, I couldn’t tell you. If you were a fan of the first movie, maybe skip this review, I’m not going to have much add. Read more

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is Ambitious but Takes a Long Time to Get Going (Review)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is Ambitious but Takes a Long Time to Get Going (Review)

This week I watched Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.  I certainly liked the first one. Dinosaurs are awesome and Chris Pratt is handsome, it’s a winning combination.  Obviously I’m not the only who thinks so, the theater was packed. There must be quite the market for Dinosaurs and/or sexy, adorable men and so I had high hopes.  Could they make a sequel to Jurassic World that was as good as the first? Read more

Incredibles 2: I Wish Marvel Could Make Superhero Movies Like This (Review)

Incredibles 2: I Wish Marvel Could Make Superhero Movies Like This (Review)

Strange, at the beginning of the movie, the voice actors thanked us for watching.  Well technically they thanked us for waiting, but it’s the same thing. Usually that’s the kiss of death for a film but here it didn’t make a difference.   Even with this bad omen, it would have been hard for Pixar to ruin Incredibles 2. I love me some Brad Bird – he was ‘Miscellaneous Crew’ of my favorite Pixar movies, including Monsters University and Inside Out.  The man knows his stuff. Of course Incredibles 2 is fantastic. Read more

Hereditary is Brilliant & Deliberate With its Slow Crushing Suspense (Review)

Hereditary is Brilliant & Deliberate With its Slow Crushing Suspense (Review)

This week I saw Hereditary, a new horror film that I’d heard very good things about.  It had been compared to The Witch (one of my very favorite horror films) and was supposed to be this decade’s The Exorcist.  The trailer didn’t make Hereditary look like much but with endorsements like these, how could I resist? Read more

Action Point Looks Like it Was More Fun to Make Than it Was to Watch (Review)

Action Point Looks Like it Was More Fun to Make Than it Was to Watch (Review)

I wasn’t paying attention when I saw the trailers for Action Point.  If I had, I would have seen that it was made by Johnny Knoxville, co-creator and star of Jackass and that might have helped me make a more informed decision.  But I missed that and really didn’t want to see Adrift (it looked both boring and stressful) so I thought maybe Action Point might be a little like Dazed and Confused or Little Miss Sunshine or something.  I don’t know. If it strikes you as odd that I’m justifying my movie choice in the opening paragraph of my review (like maybe that’s a really bad sign) you are correct. I didn’t like it. Read more

Solo: A Star Wars Story is One of The Strongest in a Franchise That Keeps Getting Better (Review)

Solo: A Star Wars Story is One of The Strongest in a Franchise That Keeps Getting Better (Review)

2018 keeps delivering.  This week it was Solo: A Star Wars Story.  I had my doubts about whether Disney could deliver its promised one Star Wars movie per year.  I thought maybe the quality might start to slip or something but it feels like the opposite is true.  The Star Wars movies keep getting better; the actions scenes keep getting more dramatic, the cantinas keep getting more alien-y and the droids keep getting sassier.   It amazes me how well they can establish the mythology of the franchise while still making it a fresh new story. Needless to say, I loved Solo: ASWS. Read more

Deadpool 2 is Refreshingly Funny But I worry it Won’t Age Well (Review)

Deadpool 2 is Refreshingly Funny But I worry it Won’t Age Well (Review)

I know I said no more superhero movies for a while, but this week it was either Deadpool 2 or Show Dogs.  I stand by my choice. Based on the trailer I saw for Show Dogs, I wouldn’t wish the film on anyone. But Deadpool 2 was a treat.   It has all the things I like best in superhero films, too – one main character, for instance. That’s nice. And also it’s under 2 hours, which is REALLY nice.  And they’re not saving the world, or the universe, or Reality Itself – we’re not subject to the same tiresome level of Spectacle Creep that has been plaguing Marvel for a while now.   If you had to watch a superhero movie to help get rid of fatigue from watching superhero movies, Deadpool 2 would be the one to watch. Read more

Bad Samaritan: David Tennant is Masterful But The Film Was Forgettable (Review)

Bad Samaritan: David Tennant is Masterful But The Film Was Forgettable (Review)

I have to give Bad Samaritan credit for being truly an original work, at least in the sense that sense that it’s not based on anything else.  It’s not based on something in a different medium; it’s not a prequel, sequel or reboot to anything else. That’s got to count for something, right?  I wish it did. Bad Samaritan has forced me to realize that the best movies of this year were based on something else. Annihilation and Ready Player One?  Based on books. Black Panther? Comic Books. I might have to come around on my views on the recycling of ideas. At least if you base a movie on a book, you know that that book was vetted and edited before it was published.  Bad Samaritan could have done with some vetting and editing.

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Avengers: Infinity War is Apocalyptic & Satisfying Even Though I’m Sick to Death of Superhero Movies (Review)

Avengers: Infinity War is Apocalyptic & Satisfying Even Though I’m Sick to Death of Superhero Movies (Review)

I don’t know why, but I’ve been looking forward to this Avengers: Infinity War.   From the trailers and all the stuff in the after-credits scenes, it felt like all Marvel movies were leading up to this.  Now, having seen the film, I can say this is absolutely true. The Infinity War really is the climax of all of them, where everything is brought together for a truly impressive showdown.  It’s even more apocalyptic (and longer) than Captain America: Civil War, and that is saying something. Fair warning, though, I am sick unto death with Superhero movies but I will try to make this review better than some of my previous ones of movies in this genre. Read more

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