Movies in Review: “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation”

Hotel_Transylvania_3_(2018)_PosterI’m not the biggest fan of this Hotel Transylvania franchise. I honestly get surprised every time another sequel is released. I mean seriously. It took 14yrs just to get a sequel for The Incredibles, a film that was nothing short of AMAZING! However, in 6 years we are now on our 3rd Hotel Transylvania movie…Huh? But anyway…moving on. This franchise seriously makes me cringe at times, as the trailer did for this 3rd installment. I honestly don’t hate the films, but I don’t love them enough to feel additional movies are needed…ijs. The only reason I went to see this movie is because I have an obligation to my kid, and he was excited about this movie. I even offered the beach or movie for entertainment this weekend, and this dude chose the movie…smh. I wasn’t expecting to write a review, as I had all intentions of being asleep, but to my surprise, I’m sitting here writing this review…lol.

I don’t know what it was about this movie, but it felt better than the first 2 films. To me, it was better than the first 2. The first movie was ok, but I wasn’t a fan of the sequel, however this third installment was a total rebound. The energy in the theater was even different. The kids and adults were all entertained as I sat with my kid in a sold-out theater. All the characters from the previous films reprised their roles, however it was the additional characters like Kathryn Hahn as Erika Van Helsing, that really put this movie over the top. Blobby was another fave of mine…”Hi Bob!”…lol. The animation was on point, and I loved that they incorporated more music in this film. That really got the kids involved. The story for this film felt like it had more depth and wasn’t only focused on Dracula. Sandler seemed to have far less scenes, or more shared ones than he did in the first 2 films, and this was a positive in my opinion.

Needless to say, I didn’t fall asleep, I was too busy dancing, singing, and being entertained. I loved the message this film presented, this was the best part. You know the movie is a winner when you walk out the theater and your kid turns to you and says “That was a good movie. Right Mommy?”. Yes, it was…B+

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Movies in Review: “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot”

DontWorryOfficialPosterBecause I scrapped Skyscraper from my plate months ago, I took the opportunity to see some independent, limited released films and came across the trailer for this movie. I thought the title of the film was crazy long, but it’s based off a memoir of the same name. First glance at the trailer I was immediately intrigued by the cast. I have a secret obsession with Joaquin Phoenix. I love his acting abilities and the types of roles he takes on. Jonah Hill also co-stars. Can you say anything bad about Jonah Hill in a movie? I think not. Jack Black is also in it. I’m not the biggest fan of Black, I could take him or leave him, but his performance in Jumanji has me seeing him in a whole new light…lol. With a cast like this, there was no way I felt I would leave the theater disappointed.

There was so much I enjoyed about this movie, and the performances and story were the best part for me. Story is based on a small part of cartoonist Jon Callaghan’s life soon after he became a paraplegic in a car accident. Phoenix played this role with such depth, and you felt compassion for him, but not at all sorry for him. He was phenomenal. I would honestly like to praise the entire cast, who brought pure talent to this story. I loved how there was no room for us to feel sorry for anyone’s circumstances. My favorite scene was Callahan’s first group session at Donnie’s house and the exchange Callahan had with Reba (played by Beth Ditto). Reba’s role was small, but she was probably my favorite, her spirit was amazing.

You will laugh, smile, and may find yourself on the verge of shedding a tear…maybe. This film has pain in it but delivers it in a way that is easy to handle. I was able to smile in spite of. This is a really good movie, and it’s not very often you catch me saying that…A

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Movies in Review: “Eighth Grade”

Eighth_GradeThis movie was only released in 4 theaters this weekend, so I won’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of it. I’m a fan of coming of age adolescent movies because it always reminds me of the awkwardness I experienced as a teen. Although I’m not sure why I would want to be reminded of that time in my life, but let’s just leave it at nostalgic reasons…I guess. The biggest movie released this weekend was Skyscraper starring The Rock (after Rampage I had no interest in seeing), but I took my chances with the independent films like Eighth Grade. I knew what I was going to get from Skyscraper, and I wanted a different movie to experience this weekend. Eighth Grade looked like a great story with enjoyable moments. I took that over ridiculous action sequences and a predictable plot ~shrug.

Not to say that I wished I would have chosen Skyscraper instead of this movie, but I do feel a little duped. I don’t read reviews before checking out any flick, but the Rotten Tomatoes rating is always listed Fandango, and this movie had a 99% fresh. I admit this peaked my interest to see this movie only to leave the theater wondering how in the hell did it receive such a high rating. Why? Because the young actress kept it real with her pimply face and teen body she’s still growing into? All I know is I was expecting a lot more and unfortunately felt like I received way less. The movie was only 90min longer and I was almost in pain waiting for it to end. It was boring as hell. I did not fall in love with the main character. She was cool, but sometimes I felt like I wanted to punch her in the face, and scenes were sometimes so awkward, I wanted to crawl under a table. The writing was a little dry to me. Don’t hate me, but critics are raving about the young actress Elsie Fisher, and I thought she was soooooooooo boring…smh. The only scenes I liked were the ones with her father, and this was because I thought he was really entertaining ~shrugs.

Movies like this are the reason why I hate critics. You give a film rave reviews, but a majority of movie-goers leave the theater just feeling ho-hum about the film. When a film has rave reviews, I expect to take a piece of that movie with me when I leave the theater. I don’t want to be kicking myself for wasting my time. I was seriously bored to death with this movie and spent 90min trying not to fall asleep…ijs…C+

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Movies in Review: “Antman and the Wasp”

Ant-Man_and_the_Wasp_posterAnother MCU film, especially after what Avengers Infinity War did to me, yes, I’m here for this. I’m still wrecked over Infinity War, but let’s just keep the party going…right!? Besides I more than loved Paul Rudd and the first Antman film, now we’ve upped the game and added The Wasp??? Yes, to all of this. I think Rudd did a great job holding down the first film, giving him a partner should be more fun right? My expectations were high to about average. You kind of have to give a little room for lower expectations when it comes to sequels. At least I think so ~shrugs. Given the events that transpired in Infinity War, I was also interested to see if it also had any play in this Antman story.

Let me first start off by saying I don’t think they could have picked a better actor to play Antman than Paul Rudd. As serious as the last couple of MCU films have been Paul Rudd shows up and brings humor back to the game. Antman was definitely less serious and had more humor. I don’t think it was better than the first film, but it had some great attributes and came at the right time. I was smiling throughout most of the film. I loved the addition of Michelle Pfeiffer’s storyline. I didn’t care too much for the villain in the film, Ghost. She was cool, but I was also like where did she come from ~shrugs. I loved Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp, and I thought she and Rudd made for a great pair. Michael Pena wasn’t as funny for me in this film. His character was a little too extra for me in this film. I enjoyed the overall film for the most part. Issues with the Antman’s suit made for some of the most entertaining moments…lol. The movie was decent all the way through, then it got to the scene after the credits and that’s when ish gets real ~jaw drop….

If you are following along with the MCU films, this movie definitely needs to be on your list to see. It is family fun entertainment. I could say more, but this movie matters for the next Avengers film coming out next year, so I suggest you see it…B+

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Movies in Review: “Sorry to Bother You”

Sorry_to_Bother_YouI can say I was definitely intrigued with this film at first glance of the trailer. I found it’s originality to be the most appealing part. It was a film I can’t say I’ve ever seen before, but knew I had to see it. Not to mention I love me some Lakeith Stanfield, and the work he’s put out as an actor. I think he is a rising star that deserves more lead roles. My expectations I think we’re at a minimal. I knew I would get originality and I expected to laugh and be entertained. That’s not too much to ask right?

Well…I was entertained…sort of…lol. Sorry to Bother You is definitely one of those movies that could have used the help of an edible in order for me to get its full value. Sitting in the theater sober didn’t really have the same effect ~shrugs. I’m not saying I didn’t like the film, but I can say it’s humor was a little lighter than I expected, but it was heavy with relevant satire on life as a person of color in America. For me the humor was a little empty and I think I was missing a number of punchlines (this is where the weed would have helped). There were some decent performances, especially from Stanfield and Tessa Thompson, whose earring game was giving me life. Her whole character was a ball of amusement. This film asks great questions, ahhaaaaa moments, then gets completely ridiculous by the end…lol.

I didn’t dislike this movie, but I think I was expecting to enjoy it more??? I found enjoyment in it, but there were also some topics that were completely over my head, or there were just slow moments in a film that shouldn’t have had any. I think I needed a “Sorry to Bother You” book for dummies ~shrugs. I might recommend seeing this movie high, if that’s your thing, and tell me if your experience was a little different. I do give this movie props for its creative mark and originality though…B

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Movies in Review: “Sicario: Day of the Soldado”

Sicario_-_Day_of_the_Soldado.pngThe original Sicario was a crime thriller that came out of nowhere for me and was one of my favorite films for 2015. When the trailer for the sequel was released I was more than hype, although a little disappointed that I didn’t see Emily Blunt return. She was that fire in the first film and I tried not to let not seeing her in this film lower my expectations. The trailer had enough in it to keep me on board. With the music, and introduction to what seemed like an intriguing plot, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, I felt the film still had more than enough to be a winner.

Ummmmmmm….Hmmmmmmmm….Ok, so I loved the first one. Everything about the first film made sense, however this “sequel” didn’t…yikes. Benicio Del Toro did his thing. He had a more prominent role in this film than the first. There were also other great performances, which I had no issue with. However, I did have an issue with this story. What the hell was going on? None of it made enough sense to seem cohesive. There events thrown into the story that made very little sense, especially by the time the story got to the end. What was the reason for anything that was happening. I’m having a hard time writing this review because I never want to give spoilers into a film but there were pieces of the story that were wasteful and made the movie longer than it needed to be. Like was there really a purpose for that interrogation scene Brolin had at the beginning of the film, which lead to nothing. What were the bombers for, which would the change the plot of the film, only to end without a clear conclusion, just an intro for the next film ~shrug.

The first movie was great, this one, not so much. The only way this film would make any type of sense is if they cleared it up in the next film, which I’m holding out for. You won’t find yourself as intrigued as the first film, making this movie feel very long. However, there are still some thrilling moments to be had, and unfortunately a number of confusing ones too…eh. I didn’t hate this movie, but I definitely didn’t like it either. It was kind of a mess, but I still recommend seeing it just in case there is something needed in order to watch the 3rd film…C+



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Movies in Review: “Uncle Drew”

Uncle_Drew_posterUncle Drewwwwwww!!!! So quite honestly when I saw the theatrical poster for this film I knew I had no intentions of seeing it. The poster had a bunch of mostly ex-NBA players in latex faces. All of it looked corny to me. However, when I watched the trailer my mind changed a bit. First off, the film starred Lil Rey Howery (the TSA guy from Get out) who I love. When watching the trailer, I was surprised that I found it entertaining, even if just a little bit. I’m also a basketball fan and the film did star a few ex-players I did enjoy. By the time the trailer ended it had already changed my decision to see it. My expectations were low, but I at least expected to be as entertained as the trailer.

I don’t think this movie was great by any means, and I think my opinion of it might have been amped by the young audience members I watched it with, but the movie was far more entertaining than I had expected. I wasn’t a huge fan of the make-up, but the characters were great, and there was some fun basketball to watch. Most of the audience I watched it with were in their teens and were full of energy. It felt like watching an actual game at The Rucker, alive and full of energy. Every basketball scene was filled with oohs and ahhhhs, applause and laughter. There is nothing like a movie that gets its audience engaged, and this was that type of film. The story is predictable, but that doesn’t take away from the fun.

Again, not a great film, but nothing can have me say that it wasn’t all the way entertaining. A great movie to see with the family, especially if they are basketball fans. I walked into this film with low expectations but walked out with a smile on my face. I haven’t seen an audience get active in a film since Magic Mike XXL, and that is a beautiful thing to see. This is what we pay for, we want to be engaged. Although my score is “low”, please don’t let it take away from the fact that this movie is still fun and probably something you wouldn’t mind seeing…C+

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