The Films of 2019


Well this year has been some bullshit, hasn’t it?  As I post this review, it seems the whole world is shut down because of the Coronavirus.  But let’s turn this negative into a positive!  If it weren’t for the fact that I was locked down at home, I would probably have lots of excuses to never finish this review!  …hooraaaaaaay…?  Also, I should probably work out a better plan for how to do these reviews in the future.  I usually watch as many movies as I can during my holiday vacation and then start writing a review, but now I just keep pushing back the review because I haven’t seen this movie yet, and now this movie is coming to Redbox so I have to wait for that.  I finally had to put my foot down and say, “77 is enough damned movies!  WRITE THE REVIEW!!”  Well I did, so now Me can stop yelling at me.  Here are my reviews for:

THE FILMS OF 2019

JANUARY

ESCAPE ROOM

 

Escape rooms are popular, so it made sense that they might eventually turn into a horror movie. I turned my nose up at it for a while because it seemed to be just trying to take advantage of a new trend for a quick buck.  …Well, it probably is, but it was a solid enough horror movie.  Sure, the movie never really lives up to the cleverness of its concept, but it entertains.  It is disappointing that the two least likeable people to me are the ones that survive in the room the longest making it so I have to spend longer with the stoner and the stock broker jerk that is somehow super successful and yet still inspired to do this escape room by only $10,000.  It’s also a little silly that they decide they’re going to take the fight to the giant, shadowy murder corporation as if two people are going to be able to pull that off, but so many horror movies can be silly when you analyze them too much.  I say Escape Room is decent enough for a watch.

 

REPLICAS

When a trailer for John Wick 3 played before I started watching Replicas, I assumed it was essentially the studio saying, “Hey, Keanu Reeves does GOOD movies too! …Now here’s Replicas.”  And that was pretty much accurate.  I didn’t hate the movie, but I probably liked it better the first time I saw most things from this movie in so many other movies.  The guy that’s trying to play God and perfect a way to transfer human consciousness is driving with his family in the rain Doctor Strange style.  Yeah, they all die and he transfers their consciousness.  Sorry for the spoiler.  They do swerve a little because I’m sure everyone was assuming that the clones would be evil without the soul that Keanu doesn’t believe in, but instead the clones are just a little bit off but otherwise fine and the conflict comes from the government.  And so the moral of the story is the soul is not real and pretty much there must be no God either because Keanu plays God and pretty much lives happily ever after for the things he did.  You can skip this movie.

 

GLASS

I was never a big fan of Unbreakable as it seemed others were.  I did enjoy Split, but had no real feelings when it turned out that Split was happening in the Unbreakaverse that Shamylan was creating.  And then Glass came out.  And it was fine.  At least for most of the movie.  The ending was a weird decision.  But the rest of the movie was interesting and enjoyable enough.  I particularly liked the use of color for the 3 characters and their families (green for Willis, purple for Jackson, and yellow for McAvoy), but an interesting use of color doesn’t really fix a movie.  I would say if you saw and enjoyed Unbreakable and Split, you might as well just finish it up.  If not, you’re not gonna miss much.

 

FEBRUARY

THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART

It’s still just downright silly that these movies are as good as they are.  They made a movie about LEGO!  This should be the same quality as…well, as the LEGO Ninjago movie!  But it’s not.  Instead, it’s legit funny and probably every bit as enjoyable to adults as it is to children.  It’s breaks genre as much as it breaks the fourth wall and makes meta jokes, like the song between the Queen and Batman, and the entire Rex Dangervest character.  The story also has some surprises I didn’t see coming, and the biggest twist I didn’t see coming was that it would actually be pretty touching, especially to someone like myself who did have an older sibling.  But I never played with her because she was lame and didn’t like cool things like LEGO.  I wasn’t trying to play with her Ace of Base album.  The cast remains great, probably mostly on Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks, but there really wasn’t a weak link there.  And visually it’s as beautiful as you could possibly make a movie out of LEGO.  It seems like it would be a limitation, but it winds up being more visually appealing than the greater majority of animated movies.  Guess I have to make the joke: Everything is still awesome.  That’s probably in most of the reviews for this movie, isn’t it…?

 

THE PRODIGY

The Prodigy is essentially Child’s Play but the kid is alive.  Serial killer gunned down by cops jumps his soul into a kid because that is a slightly better option than a doll.  This is apparently something ghosts can do and they’ll stay there unless their unfinished business in life is concluded in time.  And so this movie becomes the story about how a mother’s love will make her stupid.  She loves the kid so much and tells him she would love him no matter what, which I understand is the kind of thing moms are supposed to say, but really there should be a few things they can do to make you stop loving them.  I stopped liking this kid when he killed a dog.  But this mom finds out that the ghost will probably be appeased by killing his last victim that got away, so she decides she should help him finish that.  But will it really appease him though?  Is a serial killer’s work ever really finished?  If this one was killed, he would probably just want another.  I feel no remorse for this family after this, so the stakes were fairly low for me.  It’s not a terrible movie, but it’s real samesy and doesn’t really bring anything new to the table.  It’s skippable, but it’s fine.

 

HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U

Both of the Happy Death Day movies are far more enjoyable than was necessary.  The first movie was horror Groundhogs Day, and 2U adds in some Back to the Future into the mix, making it a little less horror and a little more science-fiction and comedy.  The first movie also got a lot of extra credit for how bad I expected it to be and blowing those expectations out of the water.  2U doesn’t have that surprise factor going for it, but it’s still a solidly enjoyable watch.

 

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL

I had never seen the anime that this movie was based on so I didn’t really know what to expect, but it turned out pretty solid.  There wasn’t much going on in the story for me, but the visuals were all really cool, the fights were very entertaining, and the acting was pretty great.  I have no idea how it compares to the anime, but the people seem to have reviewed it pretty high so I assume it went better than Ghost in the Shell did.  It’s worth a watch.

 

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD

About as solid an animated movie as a non-Disney or Pixar studio can produce.  I don’t recall feeling strongly one way or the other about the first How to Train Your Dragon movie, and I don’t even think I saw the second one, but I assume the third was a really good conclusion to the series.  It’s an enjoyable movie with a very sweet ending and Toothless is very cute.  What more do you need?

 

FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY

I was very surprised to see a movie backed by the WWE was as enjoyable at this one was.  Not simply because it’s associated with the WWE was I surprised because I actually do enjoy the WWE, but they don’t have a good track record in making movies from what I’ve seen.  I’m also not a particularly big fan of Paige (the wrestler that this movie is based on) but they made it work with a funny script and a great cast with people like Lena Headey, Nick Frost, Vince Vaughn, Stephen Merchant, and Dwayne Johnson.  Definitely worth checking out if you’re a wrestling fan, and probably enjoyable even if you’re not.

 

MARCH

CAPTAIN MARVEL

It seems the audience was really torn on Captain Marvel, but I don’t really know why.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself with the movie.  Sure, it wasn’t the greatest of Marvel movies, but most of the character origin movies are middle of the road with them.  But the movie is fun, has some good action and funny moments we expect from Marvel movies, and the cast is great.  I just like a bad-ass lady character.  Also there’s a cat, and that’s a plus.  Even though the “Just a Girl” scene is a little silly when analyzed afterwards, I still recommend the movie.

 

WONDER PARK

I expected to be underwhelmed by Wonder Park, but instead I was just whelmed.  It really doesn’t have much to offer adults being forced to watch it with their kids, but kids are typically satisfied that there are colorful and cute things and occasionally some of them get bonked on the head, so I’m sure they’ll be happy with the movie.  A Pixar movie would be compelling to both, but this isn’t Pixar.  It also doesn’t really stand up to analysis because the whole movie is driven by the fact that the main character loses her imagination because her mom gets sick, not because she died.  It would be predictable, but you need to kill that mom to really put the girl down in the dumps, but this movie didn’t have the balls to do that.  Pixar would’ve killed that mom.

 

US

I constantly feel left out while watching Jordan Peele movies.  I feel like I’m missing something.  Everyone tells me how great these movies are.  Then I watch them and I think they’re just fine.  I get that they’re horror movies with a message and that’s great, but that just means that the story is a little bit elevated from typical horror movie fare but the rest of the movie is just pretty standard.  I would give credit to the cast though.  Pretty much everybody had to play two roles that were very distinct from one another.  I also appreciate that two of the 4 main characters were from Black Panther.  But while I appreciated Winston Duke as the lame dad, Lupita’s evil voice was really tedious.  And she had to talk A LOT in that voice.  I also appreciate that huge ass Mbaku was mostly ineffective in dangerous situations, but tiny Lupita was the powerhouse.  It was a nice swerve.  Otherwise, you could do much worse than Us for a horror outing, but I need people to stop talking about these movies as if they completely changed cinema.

 

DUMBO

I guess we might as well just get used to the fact that every animated movie is going to get a live-action remake soon enough.  It kind of takes most of the magic out of the experience, but I guess I’m not terribly offended by it.  If Dumbo live-action is garbage, Dumbo cartoon still exists.  Live-action wasn’t garbage, but I still don’t know that it needed to exist.  It has a little bit of Tim Burton’s visual flair to it, but it was a lot more toned down than usual.  The cast was pretty good, but I did find Michael Keaton’s character a little trying on my nerves.  Dumbo was ridiculously cute though, and that’s probably where you should spend most of your focus in a movie named Dumbo.  Then just throw some Eva Green in there and tell her to be hot as if she has much choice in the matter and your movie will be thoroughly fine.  You can skip it, but it won’t hurt to watch either.

 

APRIL

SHAZAM!

As a life-long Marvel>DC guy, I find that I don’t mind that DC is finally starting to make enjoyable movies.  Wonder Woman was 2/3 great, Aquaman was solid, and now Shazam is a thoroughly enjoyable time.  Yes, Marvel still thoroughly trounces them in quality, but it’s a good sign that they’re beginning to hone in on a working formula.  And that usually means that their movies tend to be better as they get further away from dark and sad.  Shazam is about as far as you can get from dark and sad, even for a movie about orphans.  It’s funny and well-acted and isn’t afraid to break the fourth wall with a “Zaptain America” joke.  And it introduces the cinematic universe to a big DC character that I hope we get more of in the future.  The biggest flaw in this movie is the character saying that Shazam has “bullet immunity.”  That annoys me so much!  What’s wrong with bulletproof?

 

PET SEMATARY

First of all, I’m dropping my opinion of this movie 20 points for the spelling. Even though I know it’s spelled wrong, I never remember which parts are wrong and I had a terrible time looking up this movie just now.  Also, it’s not very good.  It’s not bad, but the original movie was better, and if you’re going to remake a movie the onus is on you to improve on it or it makes you pointless.  I did appreciate that they made some changes in how things happened.  I didn’t prefer the changes, but without them I would’ve been bored AND know everything that was going to happen.  Visually it was fine and there was one particularly brutal foot stabbing scene that was well done and hard to watch, but ultimately the movie is acceptable, but more skippable than anything.

 

HELLBOY

I’ve never been a particularly big fan of the Hellboy comics or the previous Hellboy movies, yet I keep watching them for some reason.  At least the first two movies had the weirdness of Guillermo Del Toro in their designs.  I guess this one’s biggest selling point is Milla Jovovich…at least when she stops looking like a corpse midway through.  Most of the movie is carried by David Harbour, who I love as Hopper but in this he’s…acceptable…maybe…?  It’s not that he does a bad job, but most of the lines he delivers fall flat (probably the writer’s fault more than his) and he never really looks right in the makeup.  He just looks kind of dumb and confused most of the time, or maybe like his nose is clogged.  Kudos to him for the shape he got into though, but I’m not enjoying the movie more because he got a personal trainer for it.  And speaking of looking bad, how about that Kitty Man?  I assume that was supposed to look badass or something, but it fell pretty short.  I don’t think there’s really much reason to watch this movie.  Watch Stranger Things instead.

 

THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA

I did a video review of this movie that you can watch if you want more details, but suffice to say my biggest takeaway was that Llorona sounds like a female doctor that studies Urine.  It felt shoe-horned into the Conjuring universe, it was mostly just jump scares, and the ghost lady was shown for too long and too often to keep her mysterious and spooky.  She wasn’t even altogether ooky.  …Oh wait…  My review for Addam’s Family comes later on.  Anyway, the Curse of La Llorona is fine, but skippable.  Instead of watching this movie, just watch my video review instead.  12 times if you’re trying to kill the same amount of time.

 

AVENGERS: ENDGAME

I know I make this joke a lot when it comes to Marvel movies, but do I really even need to write a review for this?  Alright, fine!  Let’s continue to act like this is a real job and that I have any obligation to do it correctly!  This was the most brilliant, fan-servicey movie that ever serviced fans.  And guess what?  I’m a fan!  And I was serviced by this movie.  Many times over.  And many more times still to come.  I’m in a dedicated relationship with this movie and we have to keep the love alive by having regular date nights together.  The time-travel in the movie lets them wrap up this saga of the MCU by traipsing through the MCU itself, reminding us of the things we loved like a montage with purpose.  It was beautiful.  I only had one or two gripes about the entire movie.  Some people got really hung up on the lady Avengers Assemble moment.  Reading that afterwards, I kinda get it.  It doesn’t make sense that all the ladies were just in the same place for no reason and if any boys were going to help on their push they weren’t allowed.  But that was afterwards.  During the watching of that scene, I thought it was badass because I wasn’t analyzing it.  My first problem was when Wong says, “You wanted more?” because yes, I did!  You had ALMOST everyone that was important to the MCU in this, but couldn’t we have done better than almost?  Get Coulson in a flashback, throw in some Lady Sif, the cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Defenders and the Punisher from Netflix!  Just throw them in front of a green screen, have them walk through the portal and then you can lose them in the crowd.  The only other complaint was that the movie gave us blue balls (or green balls) building up the Hulk with his inability to transform in Infinity War and we never got a payoff.  He was just already Hulk and never even really had a badass smash moment.  But those are two minor gripes about an otherwise perfect movie.  Maybe not the perfect movie for everyone, but certainly for me.

 

MAY

THE INTRUDER

I would say I didn’t hate The Intruder too much, but I liked it a lot more in the 40 other times I saw movies like it.  Home invasion, family fights to survive.  They even have the classic “it’s an old house” response to hearing creaking because no one in a horror movie has ever seen a horror movie before.  The movie also feels very NRA-ey.  The main character hates guns because his brother was killed by one or something, but the movie also feels like it’s trying to make a point about how much easier this whole thing would’ve been if he had a gun to protect himself instead.  And of course he must overcome his fear of guns to triumph…and then he shoots an injured, unarmed man lying on the floor even though he didn’t really have to.  Sure, the dude was insane and murderey and rapey, but he was subdued.  Didn’t make the main character feel super heroic.  One redeeming quality of the movie was Dennis Quaid.  He did a very good job jumping between kindly but weird old man and evil.  Got ripped for the role too.  But really, there’s not too much substance or thrills to be had here.

 

EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE

I enjoyed this movie, but not enough to type the name of it more than I have to.  TLDR on that thing!  But I did think it was a pretty interesting movie.  I’ve never been terribly into true crime beyond listening to the My Favorite Murder podcast, but the Ted Bundy story is pretty interesting anyway, and the movie told it well.  I especially liked that through most of the movie, I couldn’t tell whose side it was on.  It didn’t really show Ted doing anything so I was beginning to wonder if they were trying to remain impartial or maybe even suggesting that he was innocent, but it was just saving that for the end.  I thought the entire cast was fantastic, most specifically Zac Effron in his portrayal of Bundy.  I mean, this is the pretty boy from High School Musical, right?  And now he’s playing one of the biggest serial killers ever and doing a bang up job of it.  And even more importantly than him, James Hetfield of Metallica was in this movie!  And they had a Metallica song or two in there!  It was impossible for me not to enjoy.

 

POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU

I think Pokémon Detective Pikachu (or Dick Pik, as I called it) is one of the better video game movies to date.  Granted, that’s not really saying much, but it was a very enjoyable watch, especially to a life-long Pokémon fan like myself.  Even in the basic watching of the movie, I felt like I had to pay so much more attention to everything in the frame because each scene is littered with so many Pokémon references.  Normally, I wouldn’t pay much attention to the random birds hanging out in the background, but this time they weren’t just pigeons, they were Pidgeys.  It made me wonder (though certainly not enough to do the research myself) how many Pokémon made it into the film in one way or another.  And the greater majority of the Pokémon looked great in their somewhat realistic rendering, particularly Psyduck and Pikachu, who were ridiculously cute.  And my favorite Pokémon (Charizard) had a nice, badass moment in there too.  I haven’t really mentioned the story because that part is just pretty good and not spectacular, but for a Pokémon fan like me, this is a must see.  Everyone else will probably have a good time as well.

 

THE HUSTLE

Far from a new concept of a movie, The Hustle is about two lady conmen who start to compete with each other.  So it’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with vaginas.  But not dirty rotten vaginas; both the stars seem lovely.  And they work well together.  I would like seeing them in something else together.  Not knowing this was a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels because they changed the title, I was mostly put off by the fact that it was almost exactly the same movie.  That would be better if I was expecting it.  It would also be better if the movie were better.  I didn’t hate it, but it never got much more than mildly amusing.

 

TOLKIEN

I enjoyed Tolkien, but got the feeling like I may have enjoyed it more if I were a bigger fan of Tolkien or the Silmarillion than I am.  From what I was able to pick out, I really enjoyed how they slipped in Lord of the Rings imagery into stuff, particularly in the war scenes with things that looked like Ring Wraiths or the Balrog.  I did get the joke about how “it shouldn’t take 6 hours to tell a story about a magic ring.”  That was obvious enough for me.  But I thought the performances were really solid, it was an interesting telling of Tolkien’s story, and it was artfully delivered.  A solid movie, particularly for Tolkien fans.

 

POMS

No, I don’t know why I watched this either.  Ever wanted to watch Bring It On but instead of young, fit women it’s grandparents?  …No, neither did I.  But I watched Poms anyway.  But it was…fine, I guess.  It wasn’t funny at any point that I recall, but I’m pretty sure they were going for that, so I guess that qualifies as a failing.  Old people cheerleading probably would go viral, but probably more in a Tosh.O mocking way and not for their skill and bravery.  I mean, they weren’t even good.  Their big move was just lifting her hands rapidly, because anything more exciting would’ve taken a hip out.  I guess the biggest thing this movie had going for it with me was that Diane Keaton reminded me of my mom.  Kind of looked like her, and all of this stuff is exactly what I would expect my mom to do.  And I know I took points away from Wonder Park for not having the balls to go with the sad ending, but I kind of resented it here.  There’s not much reason to watch this movie.

 

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM

John Wick 3 still doesn’t benefit from the surprise of the first movie, but it makes up with it with some over the top and brutal action set pieces.  They essentially just sat down in a writer’s room and said, “What’s the most ridiculous way John Wick can kill someone?  Let’s do that!”  He makes a horse kick someone to death, for crying out loud!  But that’s the kind of thing I came to see!  If I wanted realism, I wouldn’t go see a movie based on the premise that apparently 90% of people in New York City are professional hitmen.  When John Wick gets a price on his head, damn near everyone in town is on it.  And New York’s traffic problems are gonna get a lot better now that Wick has killed pretty much all of them.  I think it was basically just him and Tina Fey living in New York after this movie finished.  And after the death of the dog that set the first movie into motion, it was nice to see that this movie allows the dogs to get their revenge.  Overall, this movie is a little ridiculous and a little light on story, but if you were expecting anything else you need to ask who was really being ridiculous there.

 

ALADDIN

I’m not terribly interested in the Disney live-action remakes.  I saw Beauty and the Beast mostly because of Emma Watson.  I guess I watched Aladdin because the Pink Ranger was playing Jasmine?  Nah, it was probably because it was free to watch on a plane and the exact run time of my flight.  And it was everything I hoped it would be: exactly long enough to get me from Vegas to Seattle.  Beyond that, it was fine as most of the remakes are.  They’re cool, but really pale in comparison to the cartoon version.  I don’t know how impressive your CG animation or acting needs to be to surpass how impressive it is to make a movie of the quality of the hand-drawn movies, but these remakes haven’t found it yet.  But they get to probably make a bunch of cash without really writing a new story, so they’re going to keep happening.  The big thing anyone was really talking about was how Will Smith would compare to Robin Williams.  Smith did fine as Genie, but I’m sure he (and everyone else) knew better than to ever think you could surpass or even match Williams.  Smith is about as good as you’re going to do.  So live-action Aladdin is fine, but cartoon Aladdin is better.  No surprise here.

 

BRIGHTBURN

I watched Brightburn as a potential review for my October Horrorthon this year, but it didn’t make the cut because it was neither good nor bad enough to warrant a full review.  I did enjoy the movie, I just didn’t have that much to say.  It’s essentially a movie asking what would happen if Superman happened to be an actual shitty little kid.  He’d probably go power mad and start brutally murdering anyone he was mildly peeved with because who could stop him?  They even have a nice gag at the end implying that other superheroes have villainous counterparts around the world, which was a nice touch.  But the movie is a cool premise with some very well done gore and it’s pretty fun to watch.  I recommend it.

 

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS

The only rule I had when thinking of a review of Godzilla: King of Monsters is that if I wanted to make any Stranger Things references, I would limit them to eleven.  …That was actually the only one I had.  There’s not a terribly great story to this movie, but why would you even expect that?  Have Godzilla movies ever historically had a great story?  Giant monsters destroy stuff.  Sometimes other giant monsters stop them.  They’ve started adding a little story to these movies, but I don’t really require that.  I would say the biggest disappointment for me was that they decided to hold off on bringing Kong into the fold.  I was really hoping for the big Avengers-style showdown with Godzilla, Kong, and Mothra against Ghidorah, Rodan, and whatever other kaiju.  Maybe that mammoth thing they showed.  The death blow on Ghidorah wasn’t nearly as satisfying as when Godzilla killed the Muto in the previous movie, but it was a fun enough experience.  And the cover of “Godzilla” by the Blue Oyster Cult at the end was pretty rad.  I recommend this movie.

 

ROCKETMAN

I never really felt like the Harland Williams comedy from 1997 really needed a sequel, but they took this one off in such a different direction I daresay they improved on the original.  And they made it seem like it was a completely unrelated movie and about Elton John.  And I also daresay that I enjoyed this more than I did Bohemian Rhapsody.  I like Queen’s music more than Elton John’s, but not drastically more that it would make the difference, and Rocketman had a much more imaginative and interesting way to portray the story it was telling.  I have no real idea (or interest for that matter) in how well it accurately portrayed the artist’s life, but I can at least say it pulled no punches and didn’t always make Elton look like he was the best guy.  But it was an entertaining watch with great music.  I highly recommend it.

 

MA

I think I watched Ma around my October Horrorthon, but it didn’t make the cut because it was just meh.  I couldn’t think of anything much good or bad to say about it.  I suppose it’s fine, but it’s not particularly scary, which should probably be considered a hindrance when it comes to a horror movie.  That’s like your one big thing!  But Octavia Spencer did a pretty solid job in the movie, so it has that going for it.  Not really enough for me to give it a recommendation though.

 

JUNE

DARK PHOENIX

This is not what I was hoping for when I went to see an X-Men DP movie.  Those initials mean something else too…  I was really hoping Dark Phoenix could nail this one.  Obviously the X-Men movies have been on the decline recently, and since the MCU movies have come around they’ve really raised the bar for other comic book movies.  But Dark Phoenix is one of the most memorable arcs in comic books, and this is going to be the last X-Men movie before they are folded into the MCU eventually, so certainly they want to knock this one out of the park, right?  Well I’m sure they wanted that, but they didn’t do that.  It was just a series of strange choices resulting in a deflating end of a generation.  Like why kill Mystique?  Why rename the school after Jean?  Are they the Grey-Men now?  Why can Storm control space weather?  But X-Men are where they belong in the hands of the MCU now, so we can assume they have a bright future.  It’s just disappointing that a generally solid X-Men franchise had to go out like this.

 

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2

I was probably only willing to give these Secret Life of Pets movies a chanced based on Patton Oswalt and Jenny Slate.  They’re still the best thing about these movies, but the movies are also charming and pleasant enough kid movies that I can’t really hate on them.  Perfectly acceptable for adults, and kids are dumb so they’ll like anything.  And that giant tiger Hu is really cute.  It’s worth watching if you have kids.

 

MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL

Men in Black: International is certainly the worst of the Men in Black movies as far as I remember them, but that’s not to say it’s a terrible movie.  It’s fine, but I think people were relatively comfortable with how the Men in Black series ended, so if you’re going to add to it, you should do your best to make it worthwhile.  And maybe they did do their best, but it still didn’t work out enough to be worth it.  They got a solid cast, and Hemsworth and Thompson are great together, but if that’s what’s driving you, you should just watch Thor: Ragnarok instead.  They’re together and they’re great and also the rest of the movie is great.  In Men in Black, they do their best, but the movie doesn’t give them too much to work with.  You can skip it, but if you want to complete the series, it isn’t the worst thing you could watch.

 

SHAFT

It’s entirely possible that this is the first Shaft movie I’ve ever seen.  And also entirely possible it will be the last.  It wasn’t terrible, but I certainly didn’t see anything here that made me feel like I gotta get me more of that.  It’s just a fish out of water with new Shaft being a nerdy tech guy that needs to discover his inner Shaft-ness by teaming up with his dad, who is old school Shaft-ness and probably more than a little outdated.  I would say that what really makes this movie watchable is Samuel L. Jackson.  I feel like he’s similar to the Rock in that no matter what quality of movie he’s in, he is entirely enjoyable and elevates the movie around him.  They can still show up in bad movies, but they’re better off because of their presence in them.  But there are better ways to see Sam Jackson, so I’d say you’re fine without this movie.

 

THE DEAD DON’T DIE

I was so excited to see the Dead Don’t Die when I first heard about it.  My excitement was based mostly on Bill Murray, but the rest of the cast and the movie itself looked like it could be really good and hilarious too.  Boy was I ever let down.  I just don’t know what to make of this movie.  How do you get Bill Murray in a movie and wind up with something so dry and devoid of laughter?  It’s very oddly presented.  It’s very slow, most of the characters are really weird and/or pointless to the movie in general, and they completely neglect to pay off things that they waste so much time with.  Selena Gomez shows up with two other characters and they just die off camera and have no effect on the movie.  They also have 3 kids in a mental asylum that we spend a lot of time with and we never see what becomes of them.  They also keep breaking the fourth wall and talking about the theme song and the director, but never say anything funny about them.  And then there are just aliens for no reason.  The movie has a point and a comment to make on consumerism, but instead of folding it into the movie subtly they just have Tom Waits say it in a monologue.  They got a ridiculous cast for this movie, but if you can’t give them anything to work with, what’s the point?  This movie was a huge let down for me.

 

MURDER MYSTERY

It’s no secret that Adam Sandler movies have dropped in quality over the years.  Either that or I just really enjoyed them when I was much younger and dumber and they’ve maintained the same level while I’ve outgrown them.  Whatever the truth of that matter is, it’s resulted in me mostly not paying his movies much mind recently.  Well Murder Mystery was on Netflix and I’m already paying for that, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to watch it.  And it didn’t.  That’s certainly not saying the movie is great, but it was fine.  It wasn’t hilarious, but it had a few moments that were funny enough.  And Sandler and Aniston are good together, so that helps.  You can certainly find better written mystery movies than this one, but it’s plot was twisty enough for what it was trying for.  You could do much worse.

 

TOY STORY 4

It often surprises people when I say I don’t really love the Toy Story movies.  Most everyone else does, but for whatever reason they don’t connect with me on the same level.  Which is not to say I hate them; I just don’t love them as much as the rest of the world.  It’s roughly the same situation here.  I felt like Toy Story 3 was a solid way for the franchise to end, so I was skeptical when they made another, but it wound up being also a solid way to end the franchise.  They had some funny running gags like Buzz’s inner voice thing, I found Forky really annoying for a while but warmed up to him, and they had some real feels in the movie too, like Gabby Gabby and the little girl that wasn’t interested in her, but that worked out very nicely later on.  I was also very shocked that they decided to break up the gang, but it seemed to work out well for everyone.  I think Toy Story 4 was a good movie, but now that they’ve accomplished 2 solid ways to end the series back to back, I hope they quit while they’re ahead.  Any more and it’s going to start diluting things.

 

CHILD’S PLAY

I’ve already done a video review for this movie if you want all my thoughts on it, but suffice to say I thought was fine.  I even said I preferred it to the original Child’s Play based mostly on the fact that it was visually improved and they had more creative murders, and the fact that I didn’t see the original until right after I watched this one so I had no nostalgia to boost it up.  The one big failure of this movie was that Chucky himself looks much worse than the original, but otherwise this was a perfectly fine horror movie.

 

ANNABELLE COMES HOME

I remember seeing Annabelle Comes Home, but I’m struggling to remember much more than that.  I remember liking it just fine, but not being overly impressed by it.  As far as Conjuring movies go, it’s better that La Llorona and benefits from the fact that it actually felt like it fit into the Conjuring universe with more than a character briefly mentioning something from the universe.  As far as a solid but obviously forgettable horror movie goes, this one’s pretty okay.  …I think…

 

YESTERDAY

I liked the idea of Yesterday much more than I liked the movie, though I did enjoy the movie well enough.  It’s just that all it’s troubles didn’t seem so far away.  I’ve had thoughts that could lead to this movie in the past.  I sometimes would wonder what I would do if I went back in time but remembered everything and thought that I could potentially write every popular song or movie that hadn’t come out yet and go down as one of the greatest creators of the time.  This is essentially that but the guy gets hit by a car and wakes up to a world where no one had ever heard of the Beatles.  It’s a cool premise, but they could’ve gone a bit further with the whole thing, maybe having Paul and Ringo show up, but maybe they wouldn’t do the movie.  I also wish they had explained what connection there was to all the other things that went missing when he woke up (Coca Cola, cigarettes, Harry Potter, the band Oasis).  They were gone too, but I was lost.  Did those things have anything to do with the Beatles?  I’m pretty sure at least cigarettes existed before the Beatles, and if not, I doubt they were inspired by the Beatles.  I also kept finding myself annoyed at the main character because he has this super cute manager lady who could not have been more obvious about wanting him, but he just friend zones her?  She’s super cute and loves him and believes in his music from the start, and it’s not like he’s batting off tail left and right, so what’s the deal, man?  But really Yesterday is a perfectly good movie with a strong premise, but isn’t substantial enough to survive without the Beatles songs keeping you interested.

 

JULY

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

Now, this was a Marvel movie so it’s pretty obvious that I liked it, but I would say that I was a little disappointed with Spider-Man: Far From Home.  There really wasn’t anything particularly wrong with the movie, but I couldn’t figure out why I was underwhelmed for a while afterwards.  But then it kind of struck me: this movie was following up Avengers Endgame.  How do you even do that?  Best you can do is push that out of your mind and just make the movie you want to make.  With some separation, this was a great Spider-Man movie.  Still one of the better ones, still better than both Garfield ones and at least one McGuire one, but probably not as good as the first Holland one.  Maybe one of the things that made it a little less surprising to me was that I found that some people were surprised to see Gyllenhaal go bad guy, but I was well aware of what Mysterio was.  Neither of his big reveals were that much of a shock to me, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well his abilities worked within the MCU without seeming silly.

 

MIDSOMMAR

I don’t know what to say about this Ari Aster’s movies.  I just don’t like them.  They’re too weird and not scary enough for my taste.  Unsettling has always been the word I used to describe Hereditary, and it fits with Midsommar as well.  It’s weird and unsettling and entirely watchable, but not really my cup of tea.  There was some pretty well-done gore in it, but not very much.  It was more about the atmosphere it was creating.  If Hereditary was your jam, then Midsommar will work for you as well.  Everyone else can probably skip.

 

STUBER

They definitely thought of the name for the movie Stuber and then wrote a movie to fit it, didn’t they?  Maybe someone stuttered when saying Uber and then there was a movie.  It’s not as bad as that makes it seem, but the movie mostly survives on the chemistry between Bautista and Nanjiani, and even still never really surpasses mildly amusing.  I don’t recall being bored watching it, but I also don’t recall actually laughing.  And I guess for a comedy, that’s not really a win.  You can skip it.

 

CRAWL

I feel like I kept not paying attention to this movie because of the title.  Like I kept thinking, “I have no interest in seeing that movie about earthworms, but I kinda wanna see that alligator movie Sam Raimi produced.”  I don’t know if Crawl means something when relating to alligators, but it doesn’t to me.  I think it was just because they were stuck in a crawlspace, but it’s not like claustrophobia was their biggest concern.  Anyway, that’s my review of their title.  4/10.  Do not recommend.  The movie itself was pretty enjoyable though, so at least they have that going for them.  And in some ways, that’s even more important.  I feel like the stakes of the movie were a little low for me because I didn’t really care about the main character or her dad.  I mean, if you drive into the middle of a hurricane, I’m not gonna lose any sleep over your deaths.  However, if you kill that dog, we gonna scrap, movie.  But the movie and I did not scrap.  Instead, it was a pretty tense and enjoyable thriller throughout.  Maybe it ended a little abruptly for me, but if you’re a thriller and you ran out of thrills and couldn’t think of a good way to wrap it up, just let it be over and move on.  I’ll recommend this movie.

 

THE FAREWELL

The Farewell isn’t generally the type of movie I go for.  Unless that farewell is something you say to a villain before you blow him up with C4.  Or unless those Asian people are going to be fighting each other with kung fu.  But I watched it anyway, and actually enjoyed it a lot.  It had a lot of charming moments and some sad moments and was also pretty interesting to find out about this formerly unknown to me aspect of their culture.  A lot of the performances were really great as well.  I didn’t expect Awkwafina to be able to act as well as she did, especially since she insists on going by “Awkwafina.”  Also, the lady that played the grandmother was great.  I was also pleasantly surprised by the ending and how it didn’t go the way I expected it to.  Very good movie.

 

THE LION KING

Okay Disney, now you’ve gone too far.  You’re doing live-action remakes where probably next to nothing in the movie but the backgrounds are live-action?  What is the point?  Are you doing Cars live-action next?  It’s certainly not a terrible movie and it’s visually pretty great, but the only reason this movie could qualify as good is that it reminds me of the original Lion King, and that movie still exists last I checked so I could just watch my DVD of that.  It feels pretty much exactly the same anyway. Any lines they may have changed they probably changed for the worse.  Maybe the exception being the lines probably improvised by John Oliver, Seth Rogen, and Billy Eichner.  The rest of the cast did fine, I suppose.  I like Donald Glover, but if I were him, I wouldn’t have taken the role of Simba.  He’s a decent enough singer in his solo song, but his weaknesses as a singer are on display when doing a duet with Beyoncé.  Overall, I recommend this movie.  But I recommend the original, cartoon one.  And I think this one was pretty pointless, unless you can’t find the other one somehow.

 

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

In the early part of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, I found myself getting angry.  Not at the movie, but just at the fact that Margot Robbie has no right to be that gorgeous.  The movie was fantastic.  I can’t really bring myself to say this is Tarantino’s best movie, but I would have to spend a lot more time than I’m willing trying to figure out which of his movies is my favorite.  I’d probably wind up at the first Kill Bill or Pulp Fiction…but then there’s Django too…NO!  I’m not doing it!  Obviously Tarantino has a knack for making an interesting movie.  I was surprised at how little violence there was in this one given his track record, but the violence that did happen was very satisfying.  It’s really just a love letter to Hollywood.  And of course, as it’s a love letter, you would probably not include anything horrible in the history of it, which is why the twist at the end makes it so much better.  I spent the whole movie enjoying looking at Margot Robbie, but feeling very tense knowing how her story was meant to end up.  Especially since we start seeing the Manson Family and visiting Spahn Ranch.  It’s a Tarantino movie, so you can expect the cast to be excellent as well, and I loved picking out the more surprising appearances, like all the daughters he cast (Uma Thurman’s daughter, Bruce Willis’ daughter, Kevin Smith’s daughter).  If there was one thing I felt like I left wanting out of this movie, it was more information about Brad Pitt’s wife.  People mention that he killed his wife, but it doesn’t really seem like something his character would’ve done.  I wish we got more information about what really happened there.  But that’s a minor issue for an awesome movie.  Check it out.

 

AUGUST

FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW

Yup.  They’re still making these movies.  I’m not entirely surprised as I’m sure they just print money, but they never seem to get any better.  They’re just ridiculous action followed by the same, with the flimsiest of story to tie them together.  That is usually my type of movie, but I’m not that into cars so the Fast and Furious movies don’t impress me too much.  But I thought that Hobbs & Shaw might be more my cup of tea because the Rock and Statham do some great fight scenes, and have even done them in previous Fast and Furious movies.  But for a movie whose draw is probably exclusively fight scenes, the ones in this movie just weren’t that impressive.  It’s certainly over the top though.  I mean, their enemy is a robot essentially.  A very confused robot that calls himself Black Superman.  Superman is an alien, not a robot.  You’re Black Cyborg…which is just Cyborg.  The cast is fun though, and they have some nice surprising cameos like Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Hart, and Roman Reigns, who got to do both of the wrestling moves he has in this movie.  Hobbs & Shaw is fine and will probably please fans of the series, but the fights weren’t nearly enough for me.

 

DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD

I don’t really know why I watched this either.  I guess it’s the same reason some people climb Mount Everest: because it’s there.  And watching Dora is almost as daunting.  Or at least that’s what I expected going in.  It really wasn’t that bad, but it certainly wasn’t meant for a thirty-something guy who did not grow up with Dora the Explorer.  Especially one who generally dislikes people that are too cheerful, like Dora is to a sickening degree.  They had a couple good jokes, like people reacting to her looking into the camera and asking the audience a question, but they went back to that joke like 3 times in 10 minutes and beat it into the ground.  I also really like Michael Pena, but he wasn’t around enough to make me enjoy the movie.  The people that might have interest in this type of movie know who they are and everyone else can skip it.

 

THE KITCHEN

It’s like a mob movie, but they’re ladies instead!  There’s the pitch for the movie.  The story is pretty standard for what that pitch would indicate too.  Just mob stuff, but they’re ladies so some mob people don’t like it, but they overcome ‘cause they strong ladies.  The best I could say about this is that the 3 leads do a pretty good job, and that’s especially impressive from McCarthy and Haddish because I don’t really know them for dramatic acting, but I’m sure they could find a more interesting script to bring that to someday.  Not a bad movie, but not really worth hunting down either.

 

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK

I don’t recall having any connection to these books growing up.  I never really enjoyed reading, but this movie tells me that you don’t read these books, but they read you.  I feel like that sentence feels like it makes sense until you scrutinize it more.  I’m not really sure who the audience is for this movie though.  It’s maybe too scary for kids, but certainly not scary enough for adults.  The creature designs are pretty creepy and well done as you would expect in a movie that involves Guillermo del Toro, but they’re a somewhat watered down awful from his other creatures.  I also felt that the ending was a little weak and unsatisfying.  If you’re making a movie like this, either kill everyone or bring the friends back at the end.  I guess the movie is good enough for a watch just out of curiosity, but certainly not a must see.

 

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON

Generally speaking, I find Shia LaBeouf exhausting.  Most of his antics later in life make me think he’s got his head so far up his ass because he’s such an artist that I just can’t bother with him.  So when I heard about Peanut Butter Falcon, I saw this artsy artist in an arthouse indie movie and said no thank you.  But my friend Jordan raved about it so, though I am not prone to taking his recommendations because I don’t respect his opinions, I decided to give it a shot.  It actually worked out fairly well for me this time.  It’s a pleasant story and well-executed.  I wasn’t in love with the movie the way Jordan seemed to be, but there was nothing not to like about the movie.  The cast was great even though I don’t really like Shia and Dakota Johnson reminds me of those other movies that I sat through.  But on the other hand, Jake Roberts and Mick Foley were in it.  So I guess I’ll say that I totally recommend this movie.

 

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2

I was concerned going into the Angry Birds sequel that I would be confused because I didn’t see the first one.  That was going to be a joke at first, but it turns out it actually did reference the events of the first movie a pretty good amount and I didn’t know what it was talking about.  Who knew that the Angry Birds Movie was going to have something the games they’re based on never really did: story?  Not that it was a great story, but it had one.  Most of the comedy in this movie was basically slapstick humor, and a lot of the jokes fell flat to me.  I guess it takes that stuff from the games as well.  But that stuff is all probably good enough for children, and I can’t imagine they intended this movie to be for anyone else.  So this movie isn’t so bad if your kids want to watch it, but hopefully they won’t make you watch it with them.

 

GOOD BOYS

I find myself getting really suspicious when I hear too much about a new comedy.  Any movie in general, really.  Too much build leads to too much let down, I find.  But it will at least make me give the movie a chance to disappoint me, and I guess Good Boys didn’t really disappoint.  It didn’t really impress either, but it was a solid coming of age comedy with some funny stuff and a good couple of solid laugh moments.  I particularly enjoyed how thwarted the kids were by child-proof medicine caps.  The cast was also pretty good.  I’d say I recommend this movie, just not as extremely as it seemed to be recommended to me.

 

47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED

I’ve already forgotten most everything about 47 Meters Down, but I recall it being fairly interesting and pretty tense.  Then they went and made a sequel for some reason that doesn’t really have anything to do with the first movie besides sharks.  I don’t even think they spent very much time 47 meters under the surface.  But this time they don’t have a cage and they’re in some old underwater ruins with sharks, so you’d think it’d be more tense, right?  …Nah.  It was pretty boring for a “thriller” with sharks.  And I don’t know what they were really going for with the girl with the white bikini (none of the characters were important enough for me to remember their names).  She’s the cause of all their troubles.  It was her idea to go in the first place, she wouldn’t leave the fish alone that scared her and caused her to knock over a pillar, and she ruins their best chance to get out by stepping on her friends face to get to use the ascender first.  She’s their friend and wasn’t necessarily a bad person, but I wasn’t sad to see her get killed finally.  Either way, it’s a boring thriller, so that means it has nothing enough going for it that I think you should watch it.

 

READY OR NOT

I feel like Samara Weaving wants nothing more out of life than to be covered in fake blood.  Like some kind of corn syrup fetish.  She’s a pretty girl and a good actress with a famous father so I’m sure she can do whatever she wants, but I almost exclusively encounter her covered in blood.  In this movie, she plays a lady trying to marry a guy with a weird family that made a pact with a demon to obey a box, and when it tells them to play hide and seek, it’s a deadly version.  I don’t much appreciate the premises like this of just taking a wholesome kid game and making it deadly, but this movie seems to know what it is and leans into it to make it work.  It’s a fun movie with good gore, so what more can you really ask for out of a horror movie?  I recommend it.

 

ANGEL HAS FALLEN

As weird as I find it that they’re still making Fast and Furious movies, I’m even more shocked that they’re still making these movies.  This is the third Fallen movie!  And I don’t think any of them have been particularly good.  This one is the same, but now the President has fallen, and since the President is Morgan Freeman and not our real President, that’s a bummer.  But Mission Impossible-style, they decide it was probably the super loyal best friend of the President Gerard Butler on very flimsy speculation until the President wakes up and says, “Him?  I’d suspect my wife of trying to kill me before that guy!”  And then it’s a pretty standard and not spectacular action movie, but you probably want a little more spectacular in your action movie when your writing is so weak.  Not a bad way to spend 2 hours, but there are better ways too.

 

SEPTEMBER

IT CHAPTER TWO

I wrote a full review for this movie if you want the whole thing, but suffice to say I enjoyed it, but less so than the first chapter.  The story was It, the visuals were as terrible as they were trying to be, both the old and new cast were great.  …That’s it.  I mean It.  You should watch it.  And now that this movie is done, I won’t have to use that It joke anymore.

 

HUSTLERS

I’m not entirely sure how this movie got as many accolades as it did.  It’s okay, but it’s just a movie about a bunch of strippers that start conning people.  I think it was even based on true events, so how much love can the writers truly get?  And J’Lo got a lot of love too, but her performance was just good to me.  Her stripping maybe deserves an award, but I don’t think they typically give out awards for hottest striptease.  At least not Golden Globes, though she really does have a golden set of globes.  Because let me tell you, if you aren’t into J’Lo in this movie, you must be Gay’Lo.  But beyond that, I say this movie was fine.  Story was fine, performances were fine, J’Lo was fine.  But that’s it.

 

AD ASTRA

I tend to like a good space movie.  Ad Astra reminded me in some ways of 2001: A Space Odyssey, though it probably wasn’t nearly as good as that.  Made a lot more sense, though.  But this was a very interesting movie and fun to watch.  The space setting gives you a nice wide range of super soothing calm while in space and then tense excitement when stuff starts going bad, and this movie delivers that stuff very well.  I really like what Brad Pitt did with his performance too.  It was meant to be super low key because his character barely had a pulse and that level of calm made him such a good astronaut, but I imagine the minimalism of the performance won’t get it many accolades.  I really enjoyed the movie though.  Give it a watch.

 

RAMBO: LAST BLOOD

Going into this movie, my mom had told me that she had heard that the newest Rambo movie was “problematically Trump-y” and felt really racist.  I don’t know that I got that from the movie.  I mean, Mexican people were the bad guys in this movie, but it wasn’t ALL Mexican people being bad.  And the Rambo movies have hit a lot of races up for the bad guys.  They’ve done Asian, Middle Eastern, but they also started with white dudes as the bad guys.  Unfortunately, the one with the white dude was the best one and they’ve gone downhill in quality pretty much ever since.  The only thing that really improves is their gore, which is pretty top notch, even if it does damage the character a little.  I mean, pinning a bad guy to a wall with arrows is one thing, but carving his chest and ripping out his heart with your bare hands?  That’s a bit overkill.  Like revenge stopped a little bit before that.  But Last Blood is a decent enough action movie.  Just don’t go in expecting to be too impressed.

 

ABOMINABLE

Abominable was not exactly what I’d consider a new story.  Someone finds something that the government is searching for but it’s cute so they try to get it home.  It’s like E.T. or Monster Trucks; the two most popular and classic examples of the format.  So innovation isn’t Abominable’s strong point, but everything else in the movie is so well done that it overcomes.  It’s charming and at times even pretty funny, particularly the Wooping Snakes, which may have been my favorite thing in the movie.  They became a running gag through the movie but timed them out so well that you kind of forget about them and then it happens again and feels brand new.  Also, Everest the yeti is so adorable.  He’s best giant puppers.  The Asian violin music that’s a big part of the story is also excellent.  I recommend this movie, especially if you have kids to entertain.

 

JUDY

I’m not really sure why I decided to watch Judy.  I was only tangentially ever informed about Judy Garland because my mom was obsessed with the Wizard of Oz.  But I felt that the movie was a nice story and, more importantly, a very human look at someone that was always just such an icon to me viewed through the prism of my mom.  I only knew her as Dorothy and Liza Minelli’s mom, but this movie takes you into her later life dealing with drug and money problems and intercutting it with memories of her difficult life in the early years that made her the way she was.  But even more notable than the story of the movie is Renee Zellweger, who is scarcely recognizable as herself anymore in the role.  Definitely a story and a performance worth watching, especially for fans of Garland.

 

OCTOBER

JOKER

I had heard that Joker was a fairly polarizing movie, but the response generally leaned towards positive.  Happily, I found myself amongst the happier number.  I loved this movie!  I was concerned going into this movie about trying to add an origin story to Joker.  The character has existed for 80 years and famously has not been given a definitive origin because who can get a straight answer from the Joker?  Not even the Joker himself.  And as I was watching the movie, I was beginning to get used to the fact that this story is the most common origin that we’ve seen shades of and I guess the mystery is just going to be gone and this will be it.  And then they start adding things-like his relation to the Wayne family-that I was not a fan of.  But it handles it so well for the same reason that Joker’s origin has always been in question: he’s an unreliable narrator.  The movie is set up as if Arthur is telling this story to a psychiatrist and there’s no telling what (if anything) that we just watched was real.  Also notable was the performances, most specifically Joaquin Phoenix who is amazing in the role.  Best Joker ever?  …I don’t know.  That’s a tough one.  Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger are so good.  I’m just gonna call it a tie until someone puts a gun to my head.  Robert De Niro was great casting as well, I assume in some reference to his role in King of Comedy, but I’ve never seen that so I can’t compare.  I would say if I were to have criticism for the movie, it’s of the pacing.  I felt myself getting bored in the early part of the movie and just hoping that they would get to the Jokerin’ already.  It works out eventually as you need this slow build to the crescendo at the end, but I could also see people checking out if they weren’t invested enough.  But I was, and I made it to the end and I loved it.  I recommend this movie.

 

GEMINI MAN

Modern day Will Smith takes on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  That’s basically what this movie is.  Except they’re both super soldiers, I guess.  The Fresh Prince had that, but modern day Will doesn’t.  And I guess they’re only the best super soldiers around when it comes to fighting themselves, because somehow Clive Owen’s character who is not a super soldier was able to go toe to toe with them.  The story isn’t anything special, but I guess the action was pretty solid most of the time to keep the movie fun, and the effect of young Will Smith worked pretty well.  The performances are pretty good, but Will Smith is usually enjoyable and now there are at least two of him.  It’s a solid enough action movie for me to recommend for some dumb fun.

 

THE ADDAMS FAMILY

I don’t really know why we’re still making Addams Family movies.  They’re fine and they’re not hurting anybody, but I wonder if they’re still a draw like they may have once been.  The original comic strips were probably big for a generation of people.  For me, it was the Raul Julia movies.  I enjoyed them, and they probably started my life-long crush on Christina Ricci that still remains to this day, but when this movie came out my old love for those movies didn’t drive me to make a trip to the theaters.  I watched this on RedBox and thought it was fine, but definitely didn’t feel like I lost anything by not going to the theaters.  It’s quirky and it’s well-animated, but it’s mostly just what you’d expect from an Addams Family movie.  The cast is impressive, but I often wonder why we bother getting big name people to do voices in movies when we know them from their faces in movies and not from their voices.  I guess I’d say this movie is fine to watch, but not really significant enough to need to watch.

 

JAY AND SILENT BOB REBOOT

I don’t really know how much weight you can put behind my opinion of a Kevin Smith movie because I tend to lean towards loving his movies.  I even liked that walrus movie.  In my defense, I wasn’t a big fan of Yoga Hosers, so I don’t automatically like everything he does.  You can take all that into consideration when I say that I legitimately loved Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.  I would say it’s hands down one of Smith’s best movies.  I still give the lead to Dogma, but this one is up there.  This isn’t his funniest movie, per se, but I feel like it might be the one with the most heart.  And that’s not to say that there aren’t some great jokes in here, like the “Hall of Justice” joke and the Affleck “Martha” joke and the Jason Lee “Squeakuel” joke.  All were laugh out loud moments for me.  And they got a fantastic cast in this movie too, which Smith attributed to the fact that he almost died.  I feel like Reboot would be a fantastic way to tie up the Askewniverse, though I do hope he’s not done with them quite yet.

 

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL

Maleficent is probably my favorite Disney character (straight Disney, not including Star Wars and Marvel).  I loved her in her original appearance in Sleeping Beauty, and I even very much enjoyed the first Maleficent movie that gave the character a little more depth than the “evil just because” character she had been.  Mistress of Evil doesn’t really add much to the character, but it doesn’t take away from it either, and I had fun watching it.  We perhaps spent a little bit too much time with Aurora (who I am not terribly interested in) and not enough time with Maleficent, but Jolie tended to make her moments count.  And the addition of Michelle Pfeiffer was a great one.  Jolie and Pfeiffer make great adversaries, and Pfeiffer makes a regular human character hold her own again the powerful Fey.  I am certainly biased towards enjoying a movie about my favorite Disney character, but I wouldn’t think anyone else could find the movie terrible to watch.  It’s not the greatest movie, but it’s fun enough and visually pretty great.

 

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

I really enjoyed the first Zombieland movie for a fresh new feel they brought to the zombie genre.  Double Tap certainly wasn’t fresh and new because it was a lot of the same from the first movie, but it was still pretty enjoyable.  As far as zombie movies with Bill Murray go this year, this is the best one by far.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was great or even better than the original, but it’s a fun time.  I enjoy the cast too, but I did resent Emma Stone in parts for getting upset with Eisenberg for finding a new lady.  You ditched out on him for a month!  You can be surprised that he found a new girl in the zombie apocalypse so fast, but not mad!  This is on you!

 

JOJO RABBIT

Jojo Rabbit probably wouldn’t be the type of movie I would generally be interested in watching were it not for Taika Waititi’s involvement.  He can generally be counted on to make things that are hilarious and interesting.  Jojo Rabbit was a very good movie.  It wasn’t as funny as I was hoping for it to be, but I guess the setting of Nazi Germany was always going to have some sad moments in it.  And boy, were there some sad moments.  It starts very upbeat and cheerful even as we follow a little boy who’s in love with Hitler, but then we watch him start doubting this decision as he comes to meet a Jew.  And we get to watch his wonderful relationship with his mom, which makes later events so much more heartbreaking.  I wish Jojo was happier and funnier than it was, but it was great either way.

 

THE LIGHTHOUSE

With movies like the Lighthouse, I sometimes wonder if I just don’t get it because they intentionally made it confusing because “art” or if I just don’t get it because I’m not deep enough to get it, maaaaan!  But even though I didn’t entirely understand this movie or what I was meant to take away from it, I wouldn’t say it was bad by any stretch.  It was definitely watchable and creepy, but I feel like most of the compelling nature of the movie comes from how it was shot and the fantastic performances from both Pattinson and Dafoe.  Watching them both slowly come unhinged was outstanding.  I definitely don’t feel like this is a movie for everybody.  Hell, I don’t even think it’s a movie for me, but I recognize it as a very well-made movie nonetheless.

 

NOVEMBER

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE

The Terminator series has hit the highest of highs and the lowest of lows over the years, but happily and against all odds Dark Fate has come out smelling like roses.  It sits solidly in the middle of the pack as far as Terminator movies go.  1 and 2 are still better, but this one is probably better than all the other ones.  It’s hard to say as I don’t really remember much about those ones, but that’s probably not a good sign for them.  I don’t even know if those movies are considered canon anymore because I thought one of them ended with John Connor locked in a bunker as Skynet took over, but since he was killed in the beginning of this movie, I guess the one where Christian Bale plays him also doesn’t matter anymore.  With all the time-travel, who knows what’s canon in these movies anymore?  But if you ignore the convoluted time-travel stuff (as you really need to in any time-travel movie) the story works.  Plus we got Linda Hamilton and Arnold back to kick some ass, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Definitely worth a watch.

 

CHARLIE’S ANGELS

I felt obligated to watch the new Charlie’s Angels movie before finishing this review because I had heard so much about how bad it was.  After watching it, I’m not really sure what they were on about.  It wasn’t a great movie, but it wasn’t bad either.  I would actually go so far as to say I enjoyed it, even with my personal bias against Kristen Stewart.  It’s much like I would expect a Charlie’s Angels movie to be from watching the previous two.  It opens with a credit sequence like a tampon commercial of a bunch of random ladies doing all the things their new tampon lets them do, shows a bunch of pictures of previous Angels for a little pop, and then it just goes into somewhat back-to-back action set pieces, tied together by montages of getting prepared for action set pieces.  I guess as a guy I could be bothered that almost every man in the movie is either evil or stupid or both except for the lab tech guy who was barely featured, but we fellas probably have that coming.  My biggest bother of this movie was all times the hero Angels seemed so cavalier about killing civilians.  One Angel puts a random civilian guy to sleep to steal his ID badge and laughingly says that he may not wake up.  And the security guard guy that was just doing his job gets either killed or severely brain damaged and everyone just says not to worry about it.  These are supposed to be our heroes so I’d like them to feel at least a little remorse about that.  But the cast was all pretty good, and Kristen Stewart was very hot and did not bother me for a change.  I also really liked all the Angel training cameos in the credits at the end.  Overall this movie was fine.  I’d even recommend it.

 

FROZEN II

Frozen may have defrosted a little since the first movie (get it?!  See what I did there?!?!) but I still enjoyed Frozen 2.  Elsa gets a sign that she needs to summon Captain Planet by finding the 4 elements (one of which is a ridiculously cute fire lizard and another is a rad water horse) and then realizing that she is Heart.  Go Planet!  It’s a decent enough story and beautifully animated and has a couple decent songs as well.  Though it was overplayed, Let it Go is the jams.  This movie made some new songs and the Let it Go equivalent was Into the Unknown.  Let  it Go is a much better song, but Into the Unknown is solid, and Adele Tazlim still knocks it out of the park.  And her version is much better than the Panic! At the Disco version.  Olaf is still pretty cute and somewhat funny.  Most of the humor would probably only get laughs out of children, but it got some smirks out of me.  One interesting surprise is there was actually some decent action in this movie with Elsa acting like Lady Iceman from the X-Men.

 

DECEMBER

JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL

When Welcome to the Jungle came out, there was no way it could work, but it still did.  When The Next Level came out, there was no way it could work again, but it did.  The story is pretty much the same by design.  People get sucked into a game and have to do something to get out.  Along the way, they probably learn a little something about themselves and become new friends.  They just changed the setting this similar story was in.  What changes this movie up from the previous one is that most of the kids playing the game were sucked into different characters, meaning Kevin Hart would spend most of the movie doing a very funny impression of Danny Glover and the Rock would be doing Danny DeVito, though sometimes he seemed to be doing Joe Pesci.  Jack Black, however, was now Fridge (the black dude) which meant that Jack had to walk a very fine line in his impersonation this time around.  I don’t feel like I heard too many people acting offended by it, so he must’ve been okay.  Karen Gillan got to remain the same, but she did get to switch it up and be Fridge herself for a bit, and that was very funny. The cast really carries both of these movies, but they carry them well.

 

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

I was fairly disappointed by The Last Jedi, but I had high hopes when going into The Rise of Skywalker.  Middle movies in a trilogy have a tough time.  The first one was so strong, but whatever they do in the second one you know they have to leave the finale for the third, so you’re stuck in a middle ground where you can’t do too much.  Thankfully, I felt like The Rise of Skywalker was for the most part exactly what I wanted it to be.  They made a few odd decisions.  I was confused that they set up so many things and just left them unsolved, especially when it comes to relationships between the characters.  There was so much shipping going into this movie and no real conclusion.  Rey was commonly shipped with Kylo and Finn, Finn was shipped with Rose and Poe and even the new character in this movie that is just female Finn, Poe was shipped with Rey and Finn and BB-8.  But besides a fairly confusing kiss with Kylo that doesn’t and willn’t go anywhere, they kind of just backed away from it and left it open.  But really, I wasn’t one of the people going into this movie with any hopes of love stories.  It gave me all the fan service I was looking for, most notably the “I know” moment between Kylo and Han.  And I loved the finale.  I 100% absolutely knew that other ships were going to arrive to help the Resistance, but somehow it still brought tears to my eyes when it happened.  So Rise of Skywalker isn’t the greatest Star Wars movie, but it’s up there.  Chewy finally got his medal after all these years, so that alone makes this movie great to me.

 

CATS

Well no surprises here, but this movie was trash.  I saw the play a very long time ago and remember enjoying it, but not really understanding it.  I’m not really sure it’s meant to be understood though.  It’s a play from a collection of poems that is now turned into a movie.  It’s essentially just a cat shows up and another cat tells her that someone’s going to get chosen to get a new life, the cat that gets to choose gets kidnapped and then almost immediately brought back, and then a decision is made.  The movie could be done in 10 minutes but every new cat needs a song to be sung about them.  I was also under the assumption that they spent a lot of money on this movie and yet it looked like garbage.  I know technology is advanced enough to pull off what they were going for, but it failed here.  Faces felt like they were pasted on to CG bodies in times, worst of all during the cockroach part.  The cast was great, but did awful things.  James Corden and Rebel Wilson did their best to make funny moments happen, but with slapstick comedy that made me think they really believed children would be watching this movie because no one else would think it funny.  They made Sir Ian McKellen “meow” for crying out loud…  That’s Magneto!  Francesca Hayward also walked around the movie with a look that made it seem like she was fascinated and aroused by every other character in the movie, and she stuck with that one expression for the rest of the movie.  I almost fell asleep in this movie because I was so bored and confused the entire time.  If there is a positive thing to say about this movie, it’s that the songs are mostly good.  Of course, that’s a positive thing you would be saying about the play.  I guess the positive thing I could say about this movie then is that they didn’t mess up the songs from the play…except Rum Tum Tugger.  Derulo’s version was not good.  But Memories was fantastic and Jennifer Hudson belted the shit out of that song.  If you can ignore the tear she constantly has running down her face that looks like a line of snot, you can enjoy that song.  But not much else.

 

…Did someone actually make it here?!  I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!  You must be in lockdown too!  Now go do something productive, like watching all my videos on YouTube and waiting for me to make my selections of the Best and Worst Films from this list!

 

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0047 – Films of 2014


0047 - Films of 2014CLICK ON MY FACE TO LINK TO THE VIDEO!

 

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

The Films of 2014


As I was writing these mini-reviews for the 44 movies of 2014 that I saw, something became extremely evident to me: I have been neglecting my written reviews this year. There were so many movies that I watched this year that I didn’t review at all. Robert has not been reviewing stuff up to his potential. I’m hoping to change that in 2015. I will try to write something about everything I see this year, even if it’s a shorter review because I didn’t have much to say. But we can worry about that later. For now, check out my mini-reviews for all the movies I saw in 2014.

 

JANUARY

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES

There’s scarcely anything special one way or the other about the Paranormal Activity movies. They just kind of are. This one also are, but it at least has the decency to end in a pretty cool way that ties it back together with the first movie. It still takes a little while to get to the good stuff, but it does fairly well once it arrives there.

 

THE LEGEND OF HERCULES

For reasons that are probably fairly obvious, I chose not to see this movie in the theaters. I says to myself, “If I’m only going to see one Hercules movie this year, I’ll go with the one that has the Rock in it instead of the one that has one of the lesser Cullens from the Twilight movies in it.” I apparently chose wrong. That is not to say that this was a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it was better than the other Hercules movie. It actually had some cool action in it that may have been mostly borrowed from 300, but it’s a solid place to borrow from. Don’t expect the story or the actors to impress you at all, but there are at least a few fight scenes in the movie that make it worth renting.

 

DEVIL’S DUE

This movie was Rosemary’s Baby a couple decades and levels of quality removed. It wasn’t bad and it wasn’t ever really boring, but it also never came close to being scary and was entirely predictable. When it comes right down to it, the only reason to watch this movie is because you somehow can’t find a copy of Rosemary’s Baby, but I’m sure that’s got to be streaming on something by now, or at least $5 on DVD.

 

THE RAID 2

I found The Raid 2 to be extremely disappointing. The first movie was some of the best action I had seen in a movie, and it also had the benefit of being a complete surprise to me. I had no expectations for The Raid: Redemption when I went in, allowing its fantastic action scenes an easier time to blow me away. The Raid 2 did not benefit from such surprise, so there’s a chance that is the reason I didn’t wind up caring for it. It might also be the fact that this was a sequel to a non-stop, over the top action movie that had its share of great action scenes, but it had ones that were separated by hours of boring, slow, story scenes. Should I be checking my watch and nodding off during a sequel to The Raid: Redemption? No! I shouldn’t be able to since my hands should be too busy touching myself! But that’s not what happened…

 

I, FRANKENSTEIN

I’m not really sure what to say about this movie. It was definitely bombed by the greater majority of critics, but I don’t remember hating it. I also don’t remember liking it. That’s because I don’t remember any of it. I watched the movie, and I’m pretty sure I stayed in the room and watched the entire thing, but I remember practically nothing. Aaron Eckhart was Frankenstein and he fought some … somethings by using … something. I really can’t remember any of it. I also didn’t write a review for it, which leads me to believe there was nothing to say about this movie one way or another. So if you have 2 hours that you’d like to disappear completely from your timeline like a controlled, short, alcohol bender without a hangover the next day, here’s your movie. You can spend the next couple of months trying to figure out what you did in those two hours you can’t remember as if you were a UFO abductee. You can make a game out of it!

 

NON-STOP

This movie was far better than I expected when I rented it. I knew nothing about it when I first saw it in a RedBox, leading me to believe it would have a little too much in common with one of the many Nicholas Cage movies that release under my radar. Instead, this is a Liam Neeson movie, and it has Julianne Moore in it. Does that make it good? No. But it certainly bumps it up a few notches. Its story was fairly standard and unsurprising, but Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore elevate it to the lofty status of “Okay” from the “Meh” it would be at otherwise.

 

ROBOCOP

The modern era’s penchant for remaking popular old movies has been beaten up pretty thoroughly, but I’ve mostly been on the opposing side to this hatred. For instance, I really liked the new Dredd movie and, though I didn’t think the remake was a great movie, I did like the remake of Total Recall and didn’t hold too much appreciation for the camp appeal of the original. That being said, there was really no reason to remake Robocop. The original Robocop still holds up pretty well, and all the remake has going for it is slightly improved visuals. The remake wasn’t the worst thing ever, but it added nothing. Just watch the original.

 

FEBRUARY

THE LEGO MOVIE

This movie caught me by surprise. When I saw that they were making a movie out of Legos, I probably scoffed, made a jacking off motion with my hands, and walked away. I liked the Lego games, but certainly they couldn’t support an entire movie, could they? Turns out, yes they can. This movie was a great kid’s movie but even people that the law insists should be charged as adults can enjoy it. A movie with a solid message and some pretty good laughs spread throughout, and an excellent cast of voice actors made me realize how you can’t judge a movie by its poster any more than you can judge a book by its cover. …Or so I’ve been told. I’ll still judge books by their covers because I can look at them and see they are books and go, “EW!” and go play a video game.

 

POMPEII

I’ve always had an affection for Greek/Roman mythology, and in my interest in that came some interest in real life events that inspired some mythology, such as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the ensuing destruction of the town of Pompeii. Add that interest to the cute chick from Sucker Punch and gundamned Jon Snow and how could I not watch this movie? Well I could have known better than to expect anything, because it certainly couldn’t live up to it. It wanted to be Gladiator, but fell short. Then it wanted to be a love story, forgetting of course that I came into this movie looking to see a volcano erupt. Any interaction with people would therefore be a waste of my time. It looked pretty, but it got caught up with other failed attempts at story nonsense that set its own sights on something that would wind up being well out of its reach.

 

MARCH

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE

The best part about this movie was the boobs of Eva Green, and this will not be the only point in this review where I make that claim. Calling this movie 300 seemed like a copout since this movie really didn’t have much to do with the original movie … and this movie didn’t particularly focus on 300 of anything. But, at least from what I know, Greek Warriors < Spartan Warriors, thus 300 Part 2 < 300 Part 1. The action was inferior and the story was inferior and the abs were inferior. But Eva Green’s boobs are better than Lena Headey’s boobs, so it’s got that goin’ for it.

 

NOAH

I don’t remember thinking much about this movie one way or another. The performances were pretty good, particularly from Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connolly, and Emma Watson, but that’s probably all I can really say about this one. It was kind of like the Bible story come to life, but then there were rock monsters and such that I kind of remember from the Bible. Or was that the Neverending Story? Which one was Atreyu in? Well this movie was pretty, well-acted, and pretty well-directed, but I didn’t care much about what was going on at any given time.

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

I probably don’t really need to write much of a review for this movie for my followers to know how I felt about it. I could just say, “Marvel movie,” and give away the fact that I enjoyed it. But that’s not ALWAYS true. I mean, there were two Ghost Rider movies. But it is definitely the case here, although I would still believe that it’s also a good movie. Of course there was great action, but I also think the story worked very well (as it has in so many Marvel movies recently). The repercussions of what go down in this movie ripple through some of the other Marvel movies and even into a Marvel TV show.

 

DIVERGENT

I had a good idea what to expect when I rented this movie. It looked like one of the hundreds of movies that have come out recently that are optioned from subpar books into subpar movies that inexplicably do well even though they’re not particularly good. (Disclaimer: I’m just guessing. I’ve never read this or any other book.) It’s like Twilight and Logan’s Run had a baby, but then they realized that they were related and so the baby came out retarded. It’s about a girl that’s special because the sorting hat machine can’t figure out if she’s Gryffindor or Hufflepuff and so the chick from Titanic will kill her unless La Femme Nikita is there. So she joins the Bad Ass group and tries to be a Bad Ass, but she can’t pull it off even though the movie wants us to think she can. And then the movie only kind of ends because they know already that the people of the world are dumb enough to see this enough times to justify a sequel, even before they’ve released the movie.

 

APRIL

TRANSCENDENCE

This movie sure did try … something. It had some really big ideas but when they came together, they just weren’t that interesting. Johnny Depp’s character gets killed by some technology-hating terrorists but then his wife tries to keep him alive by keeping him alive as artificial intelligence, but without its humanity it goes all SkyNet and tries to fix the problem that is humanity. It was a somewhat pretty movie to see, but beyond that it was a movie that didn’t connect with me. Perhaps I need to upgrade to USB 3.0 for full connectivity.

 

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

This is another movie that probably benefits greatly from being able to attach a Marvel logo to their movie. I had mostly the same problems as I had with the original: the dialogue is pretty terrible. Conversations are stuttering and awkward and Spider-Man can’t pull off a funny quip to save his life, but the story pulls itself together with the resolution of the Gwen Stacy storyline. The villains were pretty good, but only at certain points in the movie. Jamie Foxx was a little over the top as Max Dillon, but was pretty good as Electro. And Dane DeHaan was pretty good as Harry Osborn, but looked goofy as hell when he became the Green Goblin. Still, I really liked the ending, and the rest of the movie was fun and enjoyable enough to make it there with little complication.

 

MAY

GODZILLA

If it is your decision that you need to see Godzilla rebooted again, my recommendation is to rent this movie and skip to around the last half hour. That’s when the movie finally decides that it’s time to show their titular character and have him drop an ass-whoopin’ on two radioactive bat creatures. Also, if you’re going in expecting to see a giant, asexual iguana and Matthew Broderick, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that it’s actually Godzilla. The problem then becomes that I’m reviewing the entire movie, and if you watch the whole thing you must first sit through an hour and a half of boring set up and family problems involving Walter White and the brother and sister from the next Avengers movie that are married with a kid in this one. So not only does this movie tease the audience way too hard with the reveal of their main character, but this movie is pro-incest.

 

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

If you were the type to feel like you need to fully understand a movie to enjoy it, you may have trouble with Days of Future Past. The time travel stuff makes for a complicated story that may not stand up to prolonged scrutiny. Of course, if you were that type to demand that their time travel storyline make sense, you probably shouldn’t be seeing a movie about mutants with superpowers. I had a couple minor gripes with the continuity, such as how Wolverine would eventually end up in the Weapon X program after we find out that William Stryker was Mystique, but I don’t let such things ruin my appreciation for the movie unless they’re overwhelming. But it was a joy to see the two different casts of the X-Men movies come together with a pretty solid story, cool action, and of course, the Quicksilver scene. Really fun movie and the scene at the end only whets my appetite for the next one.

 

EDGE OF TOMORROW

This movie turned out better than I expected. It seemed like a pretty standard action movie, and it was, but it was also slightly more interesting. It was Groundhog Day if it were an action movie. I assumed that would make the movie boring and repetitive, but they pulled it off. Obviously it was repetitive, but that’s what they were going for. And the minor changes kept it interesting. That and the hotness of Emily Blunt. Definitely worth a watch.

 

MALEFICENT

I was surprised with how much I enjoyed this movie. I was more than a little worried it would pull a Snow White and the Huntsman, but this movie rested on the shoulders of Angelina Jolie, not Kristen Stewart. I thought Angelina was great in this movie. She really felt like Maleficent but reined it in from going too far with it. And though I loved Maleficent as an evil character, the way they made her sympathetic in this movie really worked for me. I liked the performances, the story, the look. I really enjoyed this movie.

 

A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST

I really don’t know why this movie was beaten up as much as it was. I thought it had plenty enough laughs to justify its existence to me. I guess you could argue that the movie was scattershot, but if you went to see this movie and you like Family Guy, you should be somewhat okay with that. And if you don’t like Family Guy, then why did you see this anyway? You know that’s the same guy, right? As a straightforward comedy, all I required from it is some laughs. And it was only aided by having a great cast to deliver those laughs.

 

JUNE

EARTH TO ECHO

I guess the best I could say about this movie is that I had no complaints about it. It did nothing wrong while simultaneously meaning very little to me. It’s found footage ET with like 4 times the kids helping the alien phone home. But also not nearly as good as ET. The kids were a little annoying, but all kids are to me so I can’t really hold that against the movie. But the movie was pretty, and Echo was pretty adorable. So … I dunno … see it, I guess … or not.

 

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

They sure are still making these, aren’t they? Well, I’m as much to blame as is the studio system’s lack of imagination because I still see them. It made about as much sense as a movie about robot car creatures that Mark Wahlberg will fight with a sword gun could. Except for the part where the Japanese Samurai stereotype robot turned into an Italian as fuck Bugatti Veyron car. But you didn’t expect this shit to make sense, did you? Things blew up. That’s all you need to know, and that’s all there is anyway. Oh yeah, and a hot, blond, possibly jailbait daughter.

 

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

These monkeytown movies really are turning out much better than they probably need to be. They could just be not much more than a simple monkey vs. human storyline, but they actually infuse some pathos into these movies. The quality of their performers gets the audience attached to the humans and the apes at the same time (except, of course, for Carver and Koba, who are the two epic douchebags in their respective communities), which makes it somewhat hard to decide what side to root for (I went with the monkeys), but the movie gets me interested enough to root in the first place, so you can put that in the win category.

 

JULY

DELIVER US FROM EVIL

I don’t remember much about his movie because I lost interest in what I was watching pretty early into the movie. It was vaguely spooky in its atmosphere, but lacked imagination or any scares. I suppose their excuse for any plot problems could be their claim that it was based on true events, but that should make the movie much scarier. Perhaps it’s my hesitation to believe in the events, or perhaps it just wasn’t captured well. Either way, it was more boring than scary, so I won’t be recommending it.

 

SEX TAPE

There’s not much to say about this movie. It just was. They story of this movie seemed fairly lazy. They accidently uploaded their sex tape to the cloud, which then got sent to all the iPads that they just gave away to random people (Y’know, as people do) and then they deal with one or two of these iPads before realizing they can remote delete them. The story does have a somewhat sweet message about keeping the fire burning for each other after many years and parenthood, but it’s not really supported by enough laughs to inspire anyone to see it. Of course, Cameron Diaz is pretty sexy in some parts of the movie, so maybe that will tip the scale in favor of a rental.

 

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

The joy of this movie comes from the fairly unknown property on which it’s based. Marvel might never have let a director like James Gunn have the freedom to play with this movie the way he did if it were one of their more known properties such as X-Men or Avengers. But thank God they let him do his thing. The movie was equal parts funny, exciting, and heartfelt, not to mention entirely entertaining throughout. The cast was also incredible. Lee Pace was intimidating as Ronan the Accuser, Chris Pratt was charming as Starlord, Bradley Cooper was hilarious as Rocket, Zoe Saldana was hot as Gamora, Vin Diesel was adorable as Groot, Karen Gillan disappeared into Nebula, but I think the most surprising was Dave Bautista as Drax. Obviously, he would be able to do the action well, but he lands the comedy parts of his performance better than I would’ve expected as well. This movie was a fantastic offering and I can’t wait for the next one.

 

HERCULES

I like the Rock. And I like Hercules stuff. But what I don’t like is coming into a movie about the demigod son of Zeus … turning out to be a fake. The movie is all about a really buff guy that isn’t particularly special, but has a great hype man. Then at the end, someone tells him to believe in himself and he’s a demigod again. I don’t know how it works, and I don’t care. The movie just wasn’t very good. Not even the Rock could salvage it for me. You know a movie’s bad when I think the Kellan Lutz version of a Hercules movie is better.

 

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

There’s not a whole lot that this movie can offer to any type of person. If you’re a fan of the turtles (as I am), you’ll probably find yourself disappointed in their stupid story and with how weird they decided to make the turtles look. And Splinter just looked gross. If you’re a fan of Megan Fox for her hotness, you’ll find yourself disappointed that it’s not really utilized in the movie. And if you’re a fan of Megan Fox for something else, you’re weird and I don’t get you. The movie isn’t the worst thing ever, and probably isn’t even the worst Ninja Turtles movie, but it’s not really worth seeing. At least it had the decency to not be so bad that it ruined my image of the franchise as a whole.

 

AUGUST

THE EXPENDABLES 3

I don’t know what to say here. It’s Expendables … again. It’s stupid and poorly acted, but things explode and old dudes bro out a lot. What more can one say? Watch it or not. You know what it is.

 

THE GIVER

This movie only impressed me because of how terrible it wasn’t. That’s not to say that it was particularly good, but I expected less from this movie. As it was, it was just fairly standard. It was another in what seems to be a trend of movies about the one special kid that is slightly better than the rest of us that needs to save us from something. It’s Divergent or Aeon Flux or Equilibrium or Parts: The Clonus Horror or any number of other movies that are basically the same movie. The story didn’t surprise or impress, but they at least had Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep to give some great performances. And a little Taylor Swift for the kids. But there’s really nothing particular in this movie that says anyone should see it.

 

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR

The best part about this movie was the boobs of Eva Green. …Why does that sound so familiar…? I know the first one was really popular, but I never really knew why. The look was amazing and the story was decent, but I just didn’t see anything that special about it. Well I was in the minority on that one. What many people seem to agree on is that this movie is much worse than the original. It’s a lot of the same stuff with the same fantastic style, but much less going for it in the story department. It’s probably worth seeing just for the style and the fact that Eva Green’s boobs get taken out in the movie every 5 minutes just to make sure you’re paying attention, but that’s all I really got out of this movie.

 

AS ABOVE SO BELOW

I can’t say I expected much out of this movie. It seemed like The Descent, but in the Catacombs in France. And sure, that’s exactly what it was, but it was still pretty solid as a horror movie offering. It still suffers from the fact that it’s probably one of 8 movies on this list in the found footage genre, but I still find that genre can work. The movie has a promising setup that it doesn’t entirely deliver on, but I don’t expect too much out of horror movies. It created a creepy atmosphere well and relied on some fairly successful jump scares, but I ended up feeling more satisfied by the experience than anything else. It’s worth a rental.

 

SEPTEMBER

TUSK

Oh wow this movie was fucked up, but in a very pleasant way. Well, it wasn’t exactly pleasant, but it sure was interesting. It’s a movie spawned from a podcast where two guys joked about a guy turning another guy into a walrus. In this movie, he does that shit! The movie is equal parts amusing, horrifying, and confusing. The movie defies explanation and, in my opinion, needs to be seen. I can’t promise you’ll like it as I did, but I can promise you that you’ve never seen anything like it. What more is there to say? WalrusYes.

 

OCTOBER

ANNABELLE

I only went to see this movie because many people I know were talking about it. After I left, I had no idea why they had been. It’s not bad, it’s just nothing special. It was a sequel to a movie that I thought was fine, and it was fine itself. It’s a movie about a haunted doll. You can probably fill in the rest of the plot from there and not be far off. I would say that some of the jump scares were clever and well executed, so I would probably recommend this movie for at least a rental.

 

DRACULA UNTOLD

This movie pleasantly surprised me. I expected it to be garbage and to be an easy candidate for one of the worst films of the year, but it wasn’t bad. It’s not particularly good, but it’s enjoyable enough. It’s like a Maleficent-esque retelling of the bad guy story to make them come off as sympathetic, and it’s fairly effective. It also has some pretty good action scenes once Vlad gets the bloodlust. Also, the cast was pretty excellent. I would say that the climactic final fight left something to be desired, such as Vlad not being severely diminished by a bunch of bling before the fight began, but overall the movie wasn’t bad. It’s a solid rental, though also something you can easily live without.

 

BIG HERO 6

I expected that I would like this movie when I went into it, but I did not foresee how much. Anyone that knows me will tell you that I am the manliest man that ever manned. I watch all the sports and when I play them, I get all the sporting points. I fix cars with tools and make the car work good. I scratch myself in public and demean women with words. With all that on the table, you know a movie is effective when someone as ultimately manly as I cried not once but twice during this movie. Well, technically one was in the short film that preceded the movie, and the second time was in the movie proper, but I think it fair to lump them together for this review. This movie contains genuine laughs, some great action, and a few heartfelt moments and a great message to wrap it all up. Disney killed it with this movie. I would put it up against any Pixar movie any day.

 

JOHN WICK

This movie caught me off guard. Let’s face facts: Keanu Reeves can be hit and miss. You could be walking into a Matrix, or you could be walking into a Matrix Revolutions. And when you put him in a movie with a boring name like John Wick, you start to lose my attention. That title is just some dude’s name. Some dude I don’t know or care about. But I went to the theaters to see it because I had nothing better to do, and I could not have been happier that I have no social life. My lack of things to do or people that like me got me to see one stylish, badass movie. It starts in a really heart wrenching way that will affect both the people that care about humans and the people that care about animals more than they care about people (like me). And this opening makes you not only okay with the ass whooping that Keanu is about to unleash, but pray for it. At least it did for me. Add all that with some great style and some sweet action and you’ll find that Keanu still gots it.

 

OUIJA

A friend of mine requested that I review this one while it was still in theaters and I was so grateful because I had not been getting enough sleep at that time and needed a good nap. It was SO boring and exactly zero percent scary. And this movie had a leg up on scaring me because it seems like I’d be so much easier to scare when I was nodding off to Sleepytime Land, but it still couldn’t pull it off. The only thing the movie had going for it was that its cast did a fairly decent job at portraying characters that weren’t well-written, but that doesn’t make for a good horror movie. If someone asks if you want to rent this movie, move the planchette over to “No,” and then over to “Goodbye.” That person is not a real friend.

 

NOVEMBER

INTERSTELLAR

This movie definitely got talked up to a degree it couldn’t live up to, but it came pretty close. The story was a little hard to follow in parts since it’s been a while since I last attended a Quantum Physics class, but I think I got the gist of it. The cast also knocks it out of the park, but the greatest thing this movie has going for it is the fact that it’s visually epic. Of course, the biggest knock against this movie is the fact that it’s 72 hours long. Or something like that anyway. Still, whatever its ridiculous length, it may have had only a few sparse boring moments where the amount of your life you had dedicated to the movie occurred to you. This movie is worth getting you a few steps closer to the grave for.

 

DUMB AND DUMBER TO

I have been a massive fan of Jim Carrey since he first spoke from his butt, and his subsequent film career has always done more to cement my appreciation of him than to diminish it. Dumb and Dumber was appropriately stupid and outrageously funny. Even with that pedigree, I don’t think I would ever consider myself amongst the chorus that was calling for a sequel 20 years later. The chances were way higher that they would do more harm than good. And that’s what they did with Dumb and Dumber To. There were a few laughs to be found in this movie, but more of their attempts were trying to rehash jokes from the first movie for fan service. But this fan did not feel serviced. He felt more like he had seen those jokes before and could see the rest of them coming from miles away. Standing on its own, this movie may have done fine by me, but it was not standing on its own. It was following one of my favorite comedies of all time with mediocrity, and it was hurting my feelings. I’m sorry, Dumb and Dumber To, but you were a little too dumb for your own good.

 

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1

This movie has three things working against it for me. First is that I grow weary of movies made from books I’m not interested in. Second is that I don’t like how often they split what could probably be one movie into two in order to make more money off of the audience. The third is that I’ve never been too fond of the Hunger Games movies. But this one wasn’t bad. I found it a little hard to follow for a while because they kept referencing prior movies that I was not interested enough in to file away in my memory, but ultimately the story was fine. There’s not too much action, but it’s mostly good. And the performances were great because they had fantastic actors in the movie. So I was good with this movie. I’ll probably see the next one even though I may not remember this one well enough to understand it.

 

DECEMBER

INTO THE WOODS

I really wish I had kinder words for this movie. I like the people in it so much that I was surprised at how much I disliked it, but that is not me saying that it is a bad movie. I liked the story for how it mashed up some popular storybook tales but infused them with meaning about dealing with some real world problems. I didn’t see it at first, but it really brings it together in the ending. The cast was also fantastic, but look at the people they got, far too numerous to list here. My problem with the movie (and I realize this is a problem of my own ignorance and bias) is that it was a musical. I probably should’ve known it was a musical so that I could’ve better prepared myself. It would also have worked in the movie’s favor if I wasn’t predisposed to dislike musicals. But it is not as if I hate them all, and some musicals can overcome my dislike, but I didn’t care for any of the songs in this movie even though they were performed well, and there was far too much of the singing of songs I didn’t like. I wanted this movie to end about an hour earlier than it did. Granted, I would’ve missed the ending that I enjoyed, but I would’ve been able to skip much of the stuff I didn’t.

 

EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS

After having seen Noah, I felt justified in my trepidation about seeing this movie. Would it be another loose interpretation of the Bible with crazy rock monster angel things or would it be something more? Well, I wouldn’t say that it was “something more.” That makes it sound life changing or something, but it was pretty good. It sticks fairly close to my vague memory of the biblical story, and thankfully doesn’t cheat the audience out of the God stuff. Whatever your religious beliefs, the only reason this story is worth telling is if God lays some plagues down on Egypt’s candy asses. I also enjoyed the epic scale found in the look of the movie and in the huge battles. I enjoyed this movie, and I think most people should. Even an atheist can enjoy this movie. Just watch it as mythology. Clash of the Titans was pretty cool, right?

 

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

I was very happy after leaving this movie. It’s hard to determine if it was the quality of the movie or just the fact that I could finally mark myself as finished with the 6 movie epic. This was the best of the Hobbit movies. The first was too much walking. The second was not enough Smaug or desolation. This movie was far more desolation of Smaug, and definitely plenty of army battling. The story is as solid as any of the Middle-Earth movies, and it also has the same epic scale, beauty, and spectacle. Though I could see some saying that the action goes on too long once the big fight starts, I was down the whole time. Definitely a great way to tie up the series.

 

Did you notice something missing? Something occurred to me while writing this review and recording the video version of it: this review is a total spoiler for my video review! What reason is there to watch the video if you could just read it here first? Besides the usual need to see my pretty face, that is. So I decided that next year I should drop the video first, but this year I would not be able to finish the video in time. So instead of depriving my lovely readers of anything, I decided that I just wouldn’t do the top and bottom 5 here while still leaving the reviews for the movies I chose in. Tune in next week to see which I thought were the best and the worst. And in the meantime, why not tell me what your best and worst were? Or take a guess as to what you think mine will be. COMMENT BELOW!!

 

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Godzilla (2014)


You Have No Idea What’s Coming.

Godzilla (2014)Though I have never been a fan of the character today’s movie is based on, I found myself getting very excited to see today’s movie.  The only real interaction I had ever had with the character was watching movies that Mystery Science Theater 3000 made fun of, and of course who could forget the Matthew Broderick classic version of the movie that I previously reviewed.  So I really had no reason to be excited to see this movie, but I fear the trailers had the desired effect on me.  And so I finally got in to see Godzilla, written by Max Borenstein, directed by Gareth Edwards, and starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Richard T. Jones, and Juliette Binoche.

Project Monarch scientists Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) find a big ass skeleton in a collapsed mine.  Inside they find two eggs, and one has opened.  In Japan, Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) are working at a nuclear power plant when strange seismic activity creates some problems in the plant.  Sandra goes to investigate it when an explosion threatens to release radiation, so Joe is forced to seal her in.  This leads to a 15 year investigation into the cause by Joe, and the 15 year alienation of his son, Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).  But Joe’s investigation eventually brings them together to go back and investigate the exclusion zone around the nuclear power plant, only to find that the government is using it to cover up a giant chrysalis that erupts into a massive winged creature that starts rampaging around the world, feeding off radiation.

You may wonder to yourself how I managed to write a synopsis of a Godzilla movie without mentioning Godzilla himself.  That’s similar to my feelings about how they could make a Godzilla movie with so little Godzilla.  Look, movie!  …Can I call you movie?  Anyway, I did not come to see you so I could watch Bryan Cranston’s family troubles.  I came to see a big ass reptile fuck shit up.  It took an hour for this movie to show us a giant monster and an hour and a half to see Godzilla.  And that wasn’t the only thing in the movie that didn’t make any sense.  For instance, if you catch people trespassing in your exclusion zone, why is your response to bring them further into the center of the exclusion zone?  That’s like catching someone stalking Natalie Portman and punishing them by forcing them to have sex with her!  And yes, I mean it’s EXACTLY the same!  Also, if you know those MUTO Mothra things have EMP attacks, why are you sending in jets … that run on electricity?  Why not send in some of those steam powered jets they’re working on in Area 51?  The truth is out there.  Speaking of which, I don’t remember Mulder and Scully ever having it so easy that they could just walk up to a military person and say, “I’m in the military!” and having them just tell all of their plans to people.  And speaking of dumb military decisions, once you’ve realized that the MUTO feed on radiation, how do you reach the conclusion that you would like to fight them with a nuclear bomb?  I can only assume they seemed so short staffed on Hawaii because half of their troops were off fighting a volcano with flamethrowers.

I would have to say that all the characters in the movie did a pretty solid job.  Chief among them being Godzilla.  Once they actually let him be in his own movie, he was pretty awesome.  I felt like the role could’ve used a little bit more emotional gravitas, like having him show that he’s wondering why the humans keep feeding the MUTO’s with more nukes, or at some point having a moral dilemma over whether or not he should just tell the humans that keep shooting him while he’s trying to save them to fuck off.  Though it took them a while to build up to it (almost as if Godzilla forgot he could do it), it was pretty awesome when Godzilla first blasted the fire breath … and even better the second time.  The worst performance in the movie by far was the lady MUTO.  Is she really gonna sit there pooping out eggs while the dude MUTO gets stomped by Godzilla?  Typical…  The humans all did good jobs in the movie, but none were super notable or exceptional.

I wanted this movie to be spectacular, but I found that good special effects, a pretty strong final battle, and some good performances could not make up for the fact that they seemed to forget they were making a Godzilla movie.  I didn’t buy my ticket to see the family troubles of the Brody family, or a MUTO Rom Com.  I wanted to see a giant lizard do work!  And I cannot in good faith recommend buying a ticket when the only part I really found satisfying was in the last half hour.  Wait to get it on RedBox.  Godzilla gets “You’re not fooling anybody when you say that what happened was a ‘natural disaster’” out of “The arrogance of men is thinking nature is in their control and not the other way around.”

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Godzilla (1998)


I’m Gonna Be in Godzilla One Day!!

Finally got a fresh crop of review requests, and getting started with one that should be pretty easy to make fun of.  A former supervisor of mine named Shawn threw his vote into the hat on Facebook to recommend today’s movie, and it was right about time I mocked this movie relentlessly.  It’s a movie that you might call a “re-imagining”, but only if you weren’t too busy calling it a piece of shit.  And most people are.  I remember seeing this movie, but I don’t really remember much about it beyond that.  I apparently liked it (or liked making fun of it) well enough to purchase it on DVD, so there’s that.  But now I have watched it again, so let’s find out what I really think of the 1998 crapssic Godzilla, written by Dean Devlin, directed by Roland Emmerich, and starring Matthew Broderick, Maria Pitillo, Jean Reno, Kevin Dunn, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Michael Lerner, Lorry Goldman, Arabella Field, William O’Leary, and Vicki Lewis.

A Japanese fishing vessel goes down under mysterious circumstances, causing the US government to tap Dr. Niko Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick) to come in to research it, and causing the French government to hold a lighter in front of a Japanese survivor’s face until he says, “Gojilla.”  Nick is able to find a skin sample on the downed ship and determines it belongs to an unknown species, created by nuclear testing.  The giant creature (that the news has labelled Godzilla, but I prefer to keep calling Gojilla) travels to New York City, creates some havoc and destruction, and then disappears.  The military evacuates the city to make some room so they can further ruin the city by trying to kill Gojilla.  Nick discovers a blood sample and uses it to determine that the male creature reproduces asexually and is pregnant, coming to NYC to collect food and lay it’s eggs.  Nick’s ex-girlfriend, aspiring journalist Audrey Timmonds (Maria Pitillo) sees him on TV and decides that she can use him to get the inside scoop on the story, stealing a classified video tape from Nick that is later stolen by her boss Charles Caiman (Harry Shearer).  This causes Nick to be let go from the US military, only to be picked up by Philippe Roache (Jean Reno) of the French secret service.  The US ignores Nick’s idea that Gojilla has laid eggs, but the French help him find them.  Audrey goes along with her cameraman, Victor Palotti (Hank Azaria) to follow Nick and the French as they try to save New York.

Roland Emmerich has done nothing if not proved himself the king of dumb action movies.  Stargate, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012 just to name a few.  I would certainly call this movie dumb, but it’s a fun watch in it’s dumbness.  The story is … around.  It’s there somewhere, but it’s pretty stupid.  Needless to say I came up with a pretty sizable list of the stupid things that occurred to me in the movie, but I won’t bore you with them … I will REGALE you with them.  First, for Nick to say that New York was a great decision for a place for Gojilla to hide was just retarded for me.  He’s a 300-foot lizard in one of the busiest cities in the United States.  But it worked, so I guess I’m the idiot.  Of course, it worked by having the 300-foot monster find a way to get around in the subway.  …Alright, we’ll go with that…  I’d say the biggest problem I had with the movie was how stupid the US military was made out to be.  You can use Scotch tape to stick a picture to a press pass and get in, you can affect the worst American accent in history to get by them, they instantly want to kill the thing they’ve never seen before that has not intentionally damaged anything but their only idea is to keep firing things that have previously proved ineffectual.  They also take the whole “Not going to listen to the expert we brought in” thing to new heights by kicking him out and going exactly opposite to everything he said, even though he was the only person to ever say anything remotely correct up to that point.  And all because someone who the military shouldn’t have allowed onto their area in the first place stole something from his tent while he wasn’t around.  Take, for instance, when the military guy wants to cement up all of the subway tunnels in New York to trap it in the city until Broderick distracts him with something.  How do you think that’s going to work?  You realize that it swam here, right?  And if the military isn’t inept in this movie, they’re assholes, but it requires some ::SPOILER ALERTS::  They finally kill Gojilla at the end of the movie.  They mainly do this because, for the first time in the movie, Gojilla is actually being aggressive towards something that is not openly attacking it by chasing down a cab containing Nick, Philippe, Audrey, and Victor.  One could excuse Gojilla’s rash behavior because the four of them had just taken part in the destruction of Gojilla’s 200 baby Godzooky’s.  The brave military comes to the rescue (after Nick figures out how to do it for them) after Nick gets Gojilla trapped in a suspension bridge’s wires.  You can practically hear “Eye of the Tiger” or “Hero” by Nickelback playing as the US military bombards the helpless (and justified) creature as it lies trapped and helpless, like a puppy in a safe that they just kicked into the ocean.  ::END SPOILERS::  So badly are the US portrayed in this movie that the French are the smart ones that save the day as the American’s sit around with their thumbs up their asses.  Nothing against the French, I’m actually a fan of theirs.  But if I know my friend Phil, that was the part that made him hate this movie

I’m a little torn when it comes to the look of this movie.  I actually kind of liked the new look of Gojilla … sometimes.  I understand their decision to make him look that way because it was more reminiscent of a komodo dragon.  It was kind of cool looking, but also seemed like they probably just saw Jurassic Park and said, “Do that, but make his arms longer.  And give him more scary, spikey things on his back.”  When we catch a look at the Godzooky’s later on, you get that idea cemented a little bit, but this time with the Tyrannosaurus switched with the Velociraptors.  When Gojilla is running around by himself, the look of him is alright, or at least it hides it’s imperfections behind constant rain and often darkness.  Except maybe when it starts randomly hugging a building and screeching to the heavens for no reason.  That seemed out of place.  By the time we see the Godzooky’s, the imperfections become more noticeable.  They were as goofy looking as they were a bad idea.  And that is only a slightly better idea than having those same Godzooky’s slip on gumballs and basketballs without using Yakety Sax as the music.

Since none of the performances were worth mentioning, I’ll just use this paragraph to use my character specific mockings.  Matthew Broderick was inexplicably a super genius.  I will get behind him being a radiation expert because that’s how he’s introduced.  I’ll even allow him to be an expert in reptiles because he studied … worms …  I’m being forgiving!  But what does not seem to fit in with his specialization is his knowledge of taxis (knowing the military could find his radio channel from the sign he threw from the taxi), suspension bridges (knowing that would hold Gojilla), dentistry (knowing that sticking an electrical cable into it’s gums would cause Gojilla to release the car they were in), gynecology (knowing what to look for to find out Gojilla was both male and pregnant), and musical theater (he’s gay).  What I noticed he doesn’t specialize in is blinking with one eyes, or delivering clever dialogue.  Broderick seems to always be around to deliver some clever witticisms, like when they stacked up a huge pile of fish in the middle of a street to draw Gojilla in and he said, “That’s a lot of fish.”  Y’know what, Matt, I never looked at it like that before.  You’ve given me a lot to think about.  His character motivation was also completely confused.  When they are trying to get the Godzooky’s blown up, he delivers a speech about these “amazing reptiles”, which is followed shortly by something along the lines of, “Blow the crikey fuck out of them!”  Jean Reno was probably the next biggest character (that I have a joke about), and he also had about one personality trait, and that was an obsession with coffee.  He was also a master of hotwiring cars, knowing what we all hope no car thieves ever figure out: a car can be hotwired by pulling out the ignition slot, jamming a knife in there, and twisting it.  I wasn’t a fan of Hank Azaria or his movie wife Arabella Field, but mainly because their attitudes and accents made them seem like they were fresh out of the Jersey Shore.  Also, Arabella Field’s character mistook the coming of Gojilla as a parade, which I resent because my mother never took me to one of those awesome parades composed of a giant piston firing into the ground, shaking the surroundings and making a loud thumping noise.  Can’t say I really understood the decision to make the mayor of the city Roger Ebert, and his assistant Gene Siskel.  If Emmerich was doing it as punishment for a history of bad reviews for his movie, you’d think he’d kill them off in the movie … or start making better movies.

So, no one’s surprised to hear that this movie is not a great movie, but hopefully we had fun finding out.  It’s stupid, the characters are pretty one-dimensional, the look is hit and miss, and it’s stupid, but it can be a fun watch, or at least a movie that’s fun to make fun of.  I still wouldn’t really recommend it as a watch to anyone, mainly because I won’t be blamed for wasting a few hours of your life.  But if you need something to make fun of, this movie is the kind you’re looking for.  MST3k got a lot of material from the original Godzilla movies, so why shouldn’t you get the same from the remake of Gojilla.  And so Godzilla gets “That’s a negative impact, sir!” out of “You’ve caused more damage than that goddamn thing did!”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.