Movies in Review: “The Fate of the Furious”

Fate_of_The_Furious_Theatrical_PosterI seriously love anything Fast and Furious. It is definitely one of my favorite movie franchises to date. Out of 7 films, there was only 1 that I didn’t too much care for…not a bad film track record. However, after the death of Paul Walker, I seriously thought the franchise would end, and I was ok with that. Although after watching the Fast and Furious 7, it was clear the franchise would continue ~shrugs. I think I had mixed emotions about the film continuing without Walker, but my first glance at the trailer for this 8th installment shelved any doubts or mixed emotions. It is hard to think that the stunts could be outdone from film to film, but the trailer for The Fate of the Furious had my jaws dropped. Chills ran through my blood and I knew I had to see it. My expectations were high, and I was expecting greatness, or at least as much as I received from previous films…and I did…for the most part ~shrugs.

 

The trailer took me for a loop that I had to know what the plot of Toretto going rogue was about. I did enjoy the storyline of this film, although it could have been a little tighter. It felt like they tried to give screen time to every character that ever played in a Fast and Furious film, but that still didn’t fill the void of Paul Walker being gone. However I did enjoy the performance of Charlize Theron, I thought she made for an excellent villain. Jason Statham was great, and I enjoyed the back and forth with Dwayne Johnson’s character. All the other F8 characters, besides Toretto kind of got lost in the sauce, when their presence was felt more in previous films. I think they gave Tyrese Gibson way too many speaking lines, and his jokes often fell flat. He was funnier in previous installments, but was a little annoying in this one. I enjoyed the actions scenes, with the jail scene being my favorite, but none of the over-the-top sequences beat any of the ones we have seen in earlier films. Most of the car scenes were child’s play compared to those of earlier films ~shrugs. As good as the story was, with an added stellar cast, none of it filled the void of Paul Walker being gone. I was entertained, but there was still an overwhelming emptiness that wasn’t fulfilled.

 

I think this franchise has gone as far as it can go. I think we would all be ok if this is the last hoorah. The franchise is still ending on a good note, because the movie is still good, a little long, but good. I am satisfied with my heart pounding adventures from this cast. It was a good run, and this was another decent film…B+

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Movies in Review: “Colossal”

Colossal_(film)Anyone who reads my reviews knows that I am not the biggest fan of Anne Hathaway. I can’t really pinpoint where my dislike for her comes from, but I often find myself irked by some of her screen performances, although sometimes she can pull out a performance that I love, but most of the time I find myself irked. So I was surprised at how interested I was to see this film when I watched the trailer. There was something so strange and interesting about it that just appealed to my senses, I guess. It also had Jason Sudeikis in it, who I love. I felt if Hathaway annoyed me, he could possibly offset that…lol. My expectations were middle of the grid ~shrugs.

Well surprise, surprise…I like it, and far more than I expected. Hathaway did irk my nerves a little, but only at the beginning. The movie started out very strange, but had a nice story line, great pace, and moved along nicely. I loved the film’s strangeness that made for a more interesting film. As the movie moved along, I started to enjoy Hathaway, especially her chemistry with Sudeikis. Sudeikis put on an excellent performance of his own, with great humor and emotion.

I have an off kilter personality, so I’m not surprised this movie appealed to me. This film will seem strange to most, but I advise you stick it out until the end, you will be very surprised at how much you enjoy it…B+

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Movies in Review: “Smurfs: The Lost Village”

Smurfs_The_Lost_Village_posterI am so surprised that Smurf movies keep getting made, especially since none of the two previous films were all that great. I might have passed on this 3rd installment, but I was happy to see that the film was all animation this go round, changing my mind about seeing it. Not to mention, the Smurfs happened to be one of my favorite cartoons growing up, so seeing them, I think will always put a smile on my face. Of course you know I had to make it and date out with my little one, who was more than excited to see it. I had very low expectations going in, I was just hoping my son would like it.

 

Ok, so this movie is far better than the first two, but that still isn’t saying much. I enjoyed that it was animated, although I’ve seen better animation in other movies ~shrugs. The characters were good, but I definitely wanted more from them. Getting a taste of each Smurf’s personality is the best part about these characters, but it seemed limited and constrained in this film. This movie is centered on Smurfette, but the film took a little too long to get going and get to the lost village where a number of other new characters were introduced for a short period (too short for my taste). This movie needed more movement, and adventure in my opinion. Although I think it would appeal more to younger audiences, my son was scared, bored, and ready to go close to the end ~shrugs.

 

I didn’t hate this movie, and I definitely liked it more than the first 2 films, but it felt more like a made for TV Smurf special, than a wide release film. It wasn’t horrible, but there are improvements that could have been made. If there was nothing else in the theater, I would still take my kid to see this, it’s not that bad, and who doesn’t love the smurfs…B-

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Movies in Review: “Ghost in the Shell”

Ghost_in_the_Shell_(2017_film)Many of my friends have been looking forward to this film with excitement, and you think I was too. However the trailer for this film really didn’t do much for me. So much so that I was considering taking a pass on this one. This is strange for me because I love Johansson in action films, but to me she looked strange in this role from what I watched in the trailer. She didn’t really look like the right cast…in my opinion. To my surprise, I’m not the only one who felt this way, and after watching the film it made sense why I had this feeling.

From the start the movie just felt odd, or at least Johansson felt odd in it. The story was set in Japan, and I guess this was the reason for the weird haircut on Johansson’s character Major. I get that Major is a machine with a human brain, but she was still too stiff and empty for me to care about her. The action scenes were great and this film is a visual enterprise, but the Japanese setting and Johansson as the main character will have you a little uneasy, like something doesn’t fit. The story was just ok, but besides her action scenes, Johansson failed to give me what I wanted from this character. By the time the film is ending I see why Johansson in this role didn’t fit for me.

I didn’t really think this film looked good from the trailer, and my discomfort with Johnasson in this role was validated. This film is being marketed as a major blockbuster film, but it was just ok at best. I would save my money for a blockbuster that’s more worth your coins…C-

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Movies in Review: “The Boss Baby”

Boss_Baby_posterCan I tell you how much I was looking forward to seeing this movie? The trailer had me at the word “baby”…Lol. I have a thing for animated films about babies and pets. They account for some of the cutest films for me, putting Boss Baby on my must see list. I thought the trailer was so cute, fun and entertaining. Not to mention Alec Baldwin’s voice cast as the Boss Baby. It took a little convincing to get my little man on board to see this one. He wasn’t too keen on the baby sounding like a grown man thing. He thought it was a little weird. However after watching the trailer a few more times, he was just as stoked about seeing it as I was.

 

The feeling I had about this movie after it ended was so unexpected. This film is nowhere near as cute and entertaining as the trailer made it appear. The animation was good, but the humor was ho-hum at best. Not to mention the story was all over the place and it lacked a good moral/lesson that I’m used to getting by the end of these films. Halfway through, even my kid asked if we could leave, he was not feeling it. I could tell he was having a hard time with that baby sounding like a grown man…lol…and the story wasn’t the easiest for him to follow especially when the character Tim’s imagination scenes were injected at weird times ~shrugs.

 

I was seriously hoping this movie would be better, but I found myself annoyed that I got up so early to see this movie (because all the evening shows were sold out) and could have been sleep. I’ve heard friends say their kids walked out of the theater loving it, but that wasn’t the case for me and mine. I wish I could get my $16 and 2hrs back and spend them elsewhere…Ugh!…D

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Movies in Review: “The Zookeeper’s Wife”

Zookeepers_WifeNot too much talk has been buzzing about this film. However I remember seeing the trailer once and wanting to see it once it was released. I have a thing for war dramas, and it’s even better if they are based on true stories. I guess I could read up on history, but a cinematic story of it is always more fun for me, and has a better chance of keeping and holding my attention…#Truth #DontJudge.

 

This film tells the story of Zoo Keepers in the 1940’s who rescued Jews in Warsaw, Poland that were being taken from their homes and imprisoned by the German Army. For a film taking place at this time it had sort of a more calming feeling that other films centered on the imprisonment of the Jewish people at this time. I think the focus was more on the couple that ran the Zoo than the unthinkable acts that were happening to the Jews. I didn’t mind this. There were glimpse of the treatment the Jewish people had to endure but was toned way down. I get where critics are coming from when some say you feel more for the animals than the people in this film, and they are right. The animals in the zoo get a great deal of screen time and I did feel more pain for their suffering than the people the zookeepers were helping. The movie could have used a boost of something that made the people’s suffering matter more. I did love Chastain’s performance, but also felt the story was a little too focused on her as well. 

 

I enjoyed the film, but it felt too sweet and pretty for a film of this time. There were jolts scary moments, but too far and few for stories like this. I would recommend seeing this film, because it is a decent story. I don’t think you need to catch this in the theaters though. Watching on an evening, or leisurely commute will suit you just as well…B-

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Movies in Review: “Life”

Life_(2017_film)There has been quite the buzz around this film. Notably so I guess, the cast has some heavy hitters in Gyllenhaal and Reynolds, but still for some reason, I was still considering taking a pass on this film. I don’t know what it was about it that just didn’t capture me. Maybe it’s because the trailer looked like all the other “alien” type space films. Where the plot always seems to play out in similar ways. Please let me mention that I’m not the biggest fan of these type of films, mostly because they have a tendency to grossly freak me out…lol. Although I didn’t want to see this film, it was Gyllenhaal and Reynolds, as well as the positive buzz that got me into the theater…and I’m happy I went.

Yes the move rolls along like many of the others in this genre, except better. The performances were a lot better and made it more than other films like it. Also, they gave the Alien a name, which you will remember throughout the film because “Calvin” is something that you will want to shake, but can’t, even after the credits roll. Calvin has to be one of the craziest aliens I’ve ever seen in a film, and I hate him…lol. You will get all of your monies worth on this one up until the very end. This creature will have your heart jumping, hands gripping your chair, and have you at the edge of your seat. I seriously was talking about Calvin for an hour after I left the theater…yeah…he was that crazy…smh.

I would never want to see this movie again, but I’m happy I did go see it. Please don’t watch this one bootleg because you need to be able to see everything this alien is doing. That’s where the horror lies. I love a film that can get me going, and this is one of those movies. It had a twist that I felt was a little predictable but still messed me up in the head…lol…so that’s still a win…A-

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