Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Thoughts on T2:Trainspotting

Sequels made decades after the fact are usually not very good. T2: Trainspotting is actually pretty good. The tone follows the original and actually feels like a good follow up for the characters. It felt like actual progression. If you liked the first one then I recommend this movie as a follow up. It at least doesn't feel like a forced cash grab like so many others in the same field.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Thoughts on Little Evil

Little Evil is a pretty cute dark comedy. It has a lot of charming performances and really is playful with the demonic child genre. For the most part it plays it pretty safe but it is at the very least entertaining. If you are looking for something a little unique from Netflix than this little movie will certainly do the trick.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Thoughts on Wind River

Wind River is a damn good movie. Well acted, chilling story, and visualsvthat are haunting. There are a few holes in the plot but the film doesn't suffer because of them. The pacing is slow and the characters take time to develop with the story without the aid of awkward exposition. It is a thrilling crime drama that will leave  you talking about it after the film ends. Check it out if tou can.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Thoughts on The Choice

The Choice is the latest Nicholas Sparks book movie adaptation. Where most of his books are rife with tragic twists thisnone takes thentwist and actually has a happy ending. It is sort of refreshing for that reason alone. It is pretty and entertaining though the story geels like it glosses over a lot in favor of brevity. That is sort of a mixed blessing. It sacrifices character development for a tight story. There is also not much in the way of conflict. Still, it works enough for a rental.

Thoughts on Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures is good. It tells a story worth telling and is well acted. If there is anflaw it is that it is a touch heavy handed with the white guilt and SJW messages. These are pretty few and far between though so the movie is still worth a rental if you are curious.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Thoughts on Resident Evil: the Final Chapter

Resident Evil: the Final Chapter is basically watching a dead horse being beaten on screen. The editing is awful. You can't talk tell what the hell is happening most of the time. The story is nothing special and it brings nothing new to the table.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Thoughts of War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes was disappointing. The plot is dismal, the villains are two dimensional, and the story is ludicrous. As a whole it is the worst of the new ape movies. I wouldn't recommend it unless you are really curious.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Thoughts on Captain Fantastic

Captain Fantastic is a damn good movie. Exceptional cast, great acting, compelling story. It makes you believe that drama and good movies can still exist in Hollywood today. See it if you can. It might make you laugh, cry, and think on your own family dynamic.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Thoughts on Girls Night

This movie wasn't terrible by aby means but it also wasn't to my tastes. I am sure for some people it would be great. Just not me. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Thoughts on Jackie

Jackie has talent behind it but the performances don't make the subject compelling. Considering it is about Jackie you'd think they could make a movie about more than just the death of JFK and his funeral. It is alright if you are interested but it seems to gloss over a lot. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Thoughts on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is pretty mediocre. It should have been called JK Rowling and the Quest for More Money. The story is poorly developed and villians doubly so. Sadly the CG effects look ridiculous. Plus, they waste decent actors like Colin Farrell and Ezra Miller.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Thoughts on Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge is okay at best. Some of the effects are good and the casting is okay for the most part. The lame aspects are that then training parts border on cliche and a lot of the soldier dialogue seems like it had been taken from other WWII movies. Plus, casting Vince Vaughn as drill Sergeant is such a bizarre choice that it baffles me. It is fine if you are curious but it is a long sit and it really isn't  as compelling as it could have been. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Thoughts on The Founder

The Founder is a damn good movie. The acting is great. The story is compelling plus the protagonist has a complete arch. In going from loser to success he becomes a real wolf. It is a fascinating watch an Michael Keaton pulls it off. Check it out.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thoughts on Hell or High Water

Hell or High Water is a well acted, well made movie that should be seen. It displays a lot of talent and has a lot of thematic elements that make it a cerebral film. It is also very visually appealing as the cinematography is great. Check it out.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is exactly how you are supposed to make a sequel. The threat is much bigger so the steaks are higher and the game changes. It builds on elements of the first film and everyone has characters that develop in their own arch.  There is actual care and effort put into making these characters likable and fun to watch. The villains are multifaceted and the heroes are flawed. It is arguably better than the first in my opinion and totally worth watching.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Thoughts on A Cure for Wellness

A Cure for Wellness is a visually awesome movie. It often comes off like a beautiful nightmare. The problem is that the story is sort of a slow meandering burn. The payoff is not all that fulfilling for the long buildup that is fairly unbelievable and silly. It is a shame that they couldn't have predicted that this script has all the charm of the remake of The Wicker Man. It is by no means an awful movie. At times it certainly lives up to a psychological horror but it is a long sit that could have used a better conclusion.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Thoughts on Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is a fun and smart super hero. The actors are charming and the story takes risks which make it a welcome addition to the DC cinematic universe. Totally worth watching for any superhero fan.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Thoughts on Sully

Sully is a good movie. Nothing fantastic but good and worth a rental at the very least. The acting is good and the story is interesting but it will likely not stand for multiple viewings.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Top Ten Brutal Beat Downs

Movie fights can create a gamut of emotional responses from audiences. From inspiration to disgust, a well-choreographed fight can be both memorable and sometimes shocking. It gets the adrenaline pumping or can often make you wince in empathetic pain. These are the best brawls that involve fisticuffs and/or melee weapons in some manner and often end in bloody and brutal finales and coup de graces.
 
10. Terminator 2: Judgment Day – The T-800 vs. The T-1000
Two terminators are sent back in time. Through the plot of the film the T-1000 hunts John and his protector to a steel mill. The T-800 gets his arm stuck in some machinery requiring him to tear his own arm off to free himself. The T-1000 then proceeds to beat him in the face with an I-beam tearing most of the skin off his cybernetic skeleton. The T-1000 finally stabs the T-800 through the torso with a metal pole seemingly causing him to no longer function. It is a nasty fight that shows how uneven the combatants are and just what the heroes need to overcome to survive.
 
9. Gladiator – Maximus vs. Tigris
Gladiator tells the story of a Roman general named Maximus who is betrayed by a new Emperor and is made into a Gladiator. In one of his many battles he faces a champion Gladiator named Tigris.  As soon as the match begins, men rush on to the arena and pull at chains to release tigers into the arena. The tigers snarl and attack at Maximus and are pulled away when Tigris is close. The battle is hard fought but in the end Maximus defeats Tigris but spares his life defying the wishes of the tyrannical Emperor.
 
8. Rocky Balboa – Rocky Balboa vs. Mason “The Line” Dixon
In Rocky Balboa, the sixth installment of the Rocky franchise, Rocky goes up against Mason “the Line” Dixon. Rocky has an uphill climb as he is much older than his opponent. The fight that takes place is possibly the best filmed in the Rocky series. It is filmed to look as real as a legitimate boxing match. The punches look real which means that the characters start to look like they are taking a beating. The endurance match that Rocky puts up with is a worthy way to end his story. 
 
7. Enter the Dragon – Lee vs. Oharra
Lee enters a fighting tournament with the motive of vengeance on the man that he blames for his sister’s death. Oharra tried to rape Lee’s sister and, rather than be a victim, she killed herself. Lee faces Oharra first in the competition. He then proceeds to beat Oharra in a way that only Bruce Lee can. Oharra is clearly outmatched. Even when he loses he tries to play dirty by breaking a bottle and attempting to cut at Lee. Lee coolly dispatches Oharra and then stomps him to death.
 
6. Road House Dalton vs. Jimmy
Road House is absolute 80s schlock at its finest. Dalton, played by Patrick Swayze, is a bouncer at a bar with a PhD and a zen outlook on life. What we know is that Dalton is supposedly the best bouncer ever and that he killed a guy once by tearing his throat out. This creates a setup that pays off at the end when Dalton faces off against Jimmy, one of the thugs of the villain, Brad Wesley. They get into a brawl that ends when Dalton strikes Jimmy with the same killing move that made him an urban legend. 

5.  They Live – Nada vs. Frank
In They Live the character of Nada, played by wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, finds a pair of sunglasses that allow him to see the reality of the world. The world has been taken over by aliens that hypnotize the world with propaganda. When Nada attempts to explain what he has seen to his friend, Frank, he sounds like a crazy person. Frank wants nothing to do with Nada. What ensues is an insane and oddly realistic street brawl that goes on for much longer than you’d expect. The combatants go for broke, pummeling one another in submission using any method at their disposal. 
 
4. Kingsman: The Secret Service – Harry Hart vs. The Kentucky Hate Group
British secret service agent Harry Hart, played by Colin Firth, tracks a target to the church of a Kentucky hate group. Once there, the SIM cards in the phones cause a tone that make everyone to go into a murderous rage. What ensues is a fantastically shot battle that is punctuated by “Freebird” on the soundtrack. Harry uses the butt of his gun, sharpened wood, knives, and all of his spy gadgets at his disposal to kill everybody in the church. It is hard not to be impressed at how the fight was edited so well that the pace feels like a roller coaster of action that barely has a moment for a breath. 
 
3. Kill Bill Volume 1 – The Bride vs. The Crazy 88
The Bride is on her way to kill O-ren Ishii, a Yakuza boss. She controls a gang called the Crazy 88 which is a bunch of people in domino masks and black suits wielding swords. The Bride wields a Hattori Hanzo sword which is vastly superior to all the others.  She cuts through the Crazy 88 and when she is done with the gang it looks as if a blender has been run through the room. There are body parts all over the place and puddles of bloody gore everywhere.

2. Old Boy – Dae-su Oh vs. Thugs in a hallway
Dae-su Oh is a man who is looking for answers regarding his imprisonment. He has trained his body to be tough so he can handle pain and take a lot of damage. Armed with a hammer, he comes face to face to a hallway filled with thugs. He charges them, taking a lot of hits and stabs, but he remains determined and strong. He gets beaten down but keeps hammering them until they are all laying on the ground clutching themselves in pain. The scene was shot to appear as one long shot and it is an amazing action scene that is thrilling to behold.

1. Eastern Promises – Nikolai vs. Hitmen.
When Nikolai, played by Viggo Mortensen, is in a bath house he is approached by two hitmen. They pull out curved knives and are about to cut him but he fights back. Nikolai gets stabbed and slashed multiple times. Nikolai manages to get the upper hand and stabs one of the thugs. He then forces one of the knives into the back of the skulls of the other hitmen. Then the fight seems over and the hitman he stabbed earlier starts to choke Nikolai. He fights a knife away from him and jams it in his assailant’s eye, killing him. It is a brutal fight that is choreographed, filmed, and acted beautifully.

Whether the movie depicts an epic beat down or kung fu match, you have to appreciate the work that goes into making these scenes thrilling. We should all appreciate the effort that goes into piquing our emotions and keeping us on the edge of our seats. These beatdowns have become the things that glue our eyes to the screen and should be seen by any fan of action movies.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Thoughts on Dr. Strange

Dr. Strange is another comic movie by the folks at Marvel. The effects are pretty awesome and visually it's awesome. It is worth a rental for that alone but it is nothing epic. It's a fun addition to their universe at least.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Thoughts on Logan

Logan is a great way to wrap up the Wolverine movies. The acting is good, the subject matter is dark, and the action is solid and violent. It works really well and should be seen by any fan of the series.

Thoughts on Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

This movie is what Harry Potter would be if it was directed by Tim Burton. Most if his tropes are present in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. There are some dark elements to make it fun but it still just feels like a Tim Burton X-Men movie. It's okay if you have nothing else to watch and want something a bit weird.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Thoughts on Edge of Seventeen

Edge of Seventeen  is pretty fun movie. There is a lot of angst and elements that make it pretty relatable. There are elements ot other teen movies but that might just be a part of the genre. It's definitely got a solid story with good performances by great actors that make it work. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thoughts on Beyond the Gates

Beyond the Gates is a pretty fun little horror movie. It had a touch of Jumanji with an 80s horror movie vibe. The cast is good and the themes are dark with well developed characters. If you have ever played a vhs board game, then this movie will have a certain charm for you. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Thoughts on The Void

The Void is okay for what the most part. It is a decent enough horror concept with some conventional effects. The problem is the script isn't great and much of the movie is filmed in the dark. So you can't see a lot of things. If it had a big budget and focused more on the Lovecraft aspects it might have been better. Still, it is not a bad movie and worth checking out.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Thoughts on The Autopsy of Jane Doe

The Autopsy of Jane Doe is good for the most part. The acting is good and the concept is okay then the movie sort of paints itself into a corner that it all becomes a big confusing mess. It isn't awful but man it goes off the rail by the third act.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Thoughts on Keeping Up With the Joneses

Keeping Up With the Joneses is a mediocre comedy that goes through all the motions. It is the sort of movie that is  so forgettable that you'll wonder how it even got greenlit. It is predictable and a waste of some talented folks. If you are curious it might be worth a rental but if not you won't be missing much.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thoughts on the Secret Lives of Pets

The Secret Lives of Pets is okay. The plot of all over the place. It comes off a bit muddled and all the elements make it like jangling keys in front of a kid. It is still entertaining despite certain elements only added to give some comedians a paycheck.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thoughts on 31

Rob Zombie's movie 31 is visually compelling and the soundtrack is good bit the characters are not well-developed or interesting. It is exploitative and depraved at times and missing his signature fun dialogue. The film is a pretty weak entry for a Rob Zombie movie. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Thoughts on Moana

Moana is a really beautiful movie. It tells a great story with interesting characters that go through great growth and tells a powerful tale of redemption. The animation is fantastic and will make anyone desire a trip to Hawaii soon. It is totally worth checking out.

Thoughts on Brother Nature

Brother Nature is an okay comedy that mixes Black Sheep and The Great Outdoors. There is nothing really awful about it but also nothing very memorable. It is a fine example of comedic mediocrity. It has a few fun moments, but not enough to differentiate it from the countless others like it.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thoughts on Zardoz

This movie is weird. That is putting it lightly. Zardoz is bizarre and I am sure is appreciated for that in many circles but it just left me confused as to the point of it all and why it took so long to get to what it was trying to say. It is worth seeing if you love cult movies or just want something that challenges you.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Thoughts on the BFG

As a fan of the book I looked forward to the film adaptation of the BFG. It is sort of a mixed bag. It's a pretty movie and it's well acted but it is a bit tone deaf. One scene will be a dark scene about giants eating children the next will be the Queen of England farting. It is worth a rental if curious but otherwise it is pretty forgettable. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Thoughts on Kubo and the Two Strings.

Kubo and the Two Strings is a beautiful movie with an epic story of loss and adventure and overvoming extreme obstacle. The characters are fantastic, the art is dreamy, and the story is wonderful. It is a lovely movie that should be seen.

Thoughts on While We're Young

While We're Young is a disappointing waste of a talented cast. The story is a pointless cliche and the cast seems to know it since they phone it in as beat they can given the material. Really, it is a shame and not worth seeing

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Thoughts on Trolls

Trolls is a cute movie featuring fun, colorful animation that looks like the PlayStation game Little Big Planet. The music is peppy and the message will please any kid. Totally worth showing to your child.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thoughts on Train to Busan

The South Korean zombie movie Train to Busan is a breath of fresh air to the tired genre. The characters are well developed and the plot interesting with scenes that are creepy utilizing effects that are certainly worth seeing.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Thoughts on Pete's Dragon (2016)

Pete's Dragon (2016) is a decent remake. It is different enough to be enjoyable and considered it's own movie. It at times feels like an alternate universe version of Mama. Still, it has heart and is an entertaining movie.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Thoughts on Storks

The Storks preview felt like it would have been an animated style that really wasn't my taste. However, the characters and movement really felt like a throwback to Looney Tunes animation. It was a smart movie with heart and humor. I love being wrong about movies sometimes.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Thoughts on Life

Life is like if you mixed Alien, the Thing, and Gravity in blender. It is okay at best and forgettable at worst. 

Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast

Why call this live action when so much of it is CGI? Still, I would gladly watch a Gaston and La Fou movie. They steal the show.

Thoughts in Kong Skull Island.

Kong: Skull Island raised the bar from Godzilla. It added much needed appropriate humor to lighten the dour mood.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

New Book Available

If you are movie fan or you liked my first book give my second book a shot...

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1530005698/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488127400&sr=8-1&keywords=cinematic+coup+de+grace

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Operation Avalanche - review

Operation Avalanche is a clever movie that takes the moon landing conspiracy theory and weaves an entertaining story out of the concept. The story is fascinating, the characters show depth, and the film style is surprisingly authentic looking. The soundtrack is also very fun and captures the time period well. 

Operation Avalanche is a found footage mockumentary about two CIA agents that are working to find a KGB mole working in NASA during the space race to the moon. During their investigation they discover that NASA will never be able to successfully achieve the lunar mission. Using special effects methods learned from Stanley Kubrick, the agents then attempt to go about faking a moon landing to fool the public that NASA has done the impossible.

The footage of Operation Avalanche has a very authentic look. The film has an old quality with minor scratches and imperfections that film stock regularly had. The costumes, sets, and even a car chase all have a sense of authenticity to them. This realism adds to the tension of the thrills, which ensue in the conspiracy plot in the film. Their skills of the writing and acting was very noteworthy and the script was very taut, witty, and smart.

If you are interested in a film that does something completely different, give Operation Avalanche a try. The mixture of genres and smart ideas come together to remind audiences what movies can do as an art form. They should occasionally challenge our perceptions and our ideas and still entertain. Operation Avalanche remarkably manages to achieve this lofty goal.

Split - review

Split is a thriller from director M. Night Shyamalan. While many of his films have been, arguably, hit or miss, Split is a very good and tense movie. The film builds tension in amazing scenes and the acting is incredibly entertaining. It focuses on a simple idea and makes a strong story based around that concept without relying on plot twists in a vain attempt to shock audiences.

Split tells the story about three girls who were kidnapped from a birthday party by a man with 23 different personalities. The man has them trapped in a small room and interacts with them in his various personas. The girls try to find a way to escape and at the same time deal with the insane person and the coming of a new personality that promises to murder them all in horrible ways.

James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy do an amazing job. McAvoy shows audiences an amazing display of his skills as he becomes various characters at the drop of a hat. Anya Taylor-Joy embodies the theme of a broken person. Both characters are fascinating and have a depth to their tragic nature and the fact that they are made exceptional through their suffering.

If there are any complaints there are some small nitpicking issues that fairly minor. The movie is very good but if it were up to me I would have cut the very final scene before the credits. It adds a silly connection to the Unbreakable universe that is unnecessary and really adds nothing to the movie except for a strange change in tone that is unwarranted.

Split is a creepy and fun return to form for Shyamalan. The acting is solid and the story is remarkably subtle in its buildup to terror. The movie does its job well and with the exception of the final few minutes it will keep you entertained and at the edge of your seat. If you were a fan of any of this director’s past films, or enjoy a good thriller, Split is certainly worth checking out.