Film Reviews - what have you seen lately, what did you think?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by TLB, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Captain Sasquatch

    Captain Sasquatch Mr. SQ, the Sashole
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    I guess I’ll call you Great King Rat then.
     
    • gingerlover

      gingerlover Junior Member
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      The Commuter - Liam neeson on a train. He’s an ex cop business man that takes the same train every day. He’s one day becomes involved in a conspiracy that he has to figure out before time runs out.

      Not his best and is a little slow getting started. The back half is a little better, but ultimately has an all to predictable ending. He’s found his nitch with this type of character. 6/10
       
      • Theologator

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        Daredevil Season 3 (Netflix)- Wow. Excellent development of the key characters including the emergence of his next nemesis. Way better than season 2 and maybe better than season 1.

        Bodyguard (Netflix) - Stars the guy who played Robb Stark in GoT. Some cliche elements of a ptsd Vet, falls into an affair with the woman he’s protecting, etc. But there are some interesting elements in the political intrigue and surprising twists at the end. Also pokes around the security vs. freedom balance.
         
      • TLB

        TLB Just chillin'
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        They lost me early in S2. I found S1 kinda meh. I'll see about giving S3 a shot - do I have to catch up on S2 to know what's going on?
         
      • Theologator

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        S3 is all Kingpin, prequel is really S1. It also picks up after the end of the Defenders S1, where DD was buried under a collapsed building and presumed dead. But that’s the only connection. No “Hand” or Elektra involvement at all.
         
        • gingerlover

          gingerlover Junior Member
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          Summer of '84 - What a little gem this was. I have followed this based on some good reviews it's been getting and I wasn't disappointing. Basically it's the summer of 84 and most the kids are bored. However there is a serial killer on the lose and 4 kids become to suspect on of their neighbors is the killer. They then try to go all detective to solve the mystery, but quickly get grounded. The real question becomes were they right or wrong and are they now in danger. Just when you think this movie is going to wrap up with a nice little bow on it they leave it open for more or nothing if they choose. Either way the ending works.

          The teens they have in this role do a really good job with each of their characters. The score for this film was great and had a Stranger Things vibe to to it. It played perfect in the moments of suspense. At the end of the day this film was really good and if you have the time and you like these types of things check it out. 8/10
           
          • TLB

            TLB Just chillin'
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            We'll call this the "Cheap Theater Weekend" as that's where I spent most my time. My son (9) and I wanted to see the Meg at 6:20, and my daughter (12) wanted to see Goosebumps 2 at 4:20. While my son runs off with the wife for an obligation, I figure to knock out the movie with the daughter by going for the 6:20 showing. If you're paying attention, you'll see how awesome Dad is at planning things and looking for tickets for a 6:20 showing of Goosebumps :loser: . So first we watch...


            The House with the Clock in the Wall

            I kinda wanted to see this, but had no idea of if it was for kids, adults, pretzel sticks or what. Daughter said it's kids and she'll watch with me. Premise is 1955 setting, young boy age 9 is orphaned and sent to his Uncle (Jack Black). Turns out Jack is a warlock, albeit not a great one. His companion (lives next door) is a witch (Kate Blanchett, not looking too bad here) who is pretty damned powerful but had a heartbreak that fractured her magic ability*. One story line is how Jack is a warlock and our hero wishes to learn magic from him. There's only one rule, never open a locked cabinet. The bigger part of this is that the house was once owned by a great magician and there is a secret ticking in the house that Jack and Kate are trying to unlock...and the clock is ticking down on them. The other story line is the kid trying halfheartedly to fit in at school and gets befriended by a greaser kid. Later, greaser kid has won student president (again) and drops all friendly notions. In an effort to win back the greaser, our hero says he'll raise the dead (secretly hoping, if it works, he can raise his parents). Lo and behold, he raises the dead owner of the house. The back of the movie was the race between the old owner and hero/Jack/Kate to control the key and stop the clock...or for the old owner, to have the clock rundown and perform a diabolical plot of destruction.

            Special Effects I'd give about a 6/10, not bad but not stellar. Story was ok, but definitely aimed at tweens. No boobs unless you count Blanchett in long sleeve purple outfits. Meh. Decent enough suspense at the end for a kids movie, nothing too scary. Overall 6/10. Wouldn't watch again, but can recommend for tweens.


            *One aspect not played up much was post WW2 theme. Up front it said 1955, and while Blanchett refers to the loss of her husband and daughter, it's never expressed why or how they were lost. Part way through the movie, as she places a plate of cookies in front of the hero, her arm extends out of the sleeve and you get a quick glimpse of the numbers on her arm - concentration camp. Additionally, there is the old magician back from the dead. They spend a little time on giving his background, but it boils down to a world renowned magician who joins the war, all in his troop are lost, he uses all the magic he can muster to stay alive and comes across an ancient warlock in the Black Forest (ohhhh, bad magic there!). Turns out the Black Forest warlock was a demon, who taught great things to the magician, and it turns out was actually Beezelbub using the magician to build a device to destroy all of humanity. Most of this is quick and in passing, never overt to the young audience, but older viewers can pick up the hints and put it together.
             
          • TLB

            TLB Just chillin'
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            Not satisfied with that, we returned home, and I watched the following on my own:

            Ghost in the Shell

            I'll admit up front I never saw the old anime, didn't know much about the story or characters, I just needed a good action flick. And Scarlett is nice eye candy. It feels like Scarlett Johanssen has this kick ass chick role down pretty pat. So here, the film starts off with a brain being inserted into an artificial body and coming to life. She's called "Major" and works with a team for the gov't as an experimental weapon/soldier. The plot has a little more depth than traditional action films, in that there exists another ghost in a shell, apparently from an earlier experiment that was aborted...but he didn't die. He discovers her existence and tries to connect, she tries to come to terms with these 'glitches' she is getting and what he shares with her. Over time, her team gets flipped by the military group that developed her (and the original ghost) so we have a main plot of her team trying to stay alive and get revenge on the military leader; and a sub-plot of her and this other ghost trying to discover who they really were before they were modified into soldiers. There's some human aspects as she and the other ghost figure out their true identities, and as she goes back to revisit her pre-ghost life, but it felt a bit like Scarlett's acting skills fell short here. So, she got back to action, which was pretty good.

            No boobs, though Scarlett wears a skin looking suit nearly all the time. Action was pretty good, though even in the special effects of today you can tell they tried to retain some homage aspects of the original film as they didn't take these scenes to the nth degree in this film. Point being, they could have done better, but I'll cut slack and assume it was to stay true to the original (what do I know). Story was interesting, and I can really appreciate the what-if futuristic scenario portrayed, especially if I consider it was originally brought up in what, 1995? overall there are better action films, and there are better story films, but this one does pretty good. 7/10.
             
            #1328 TLB, Nov 20, 2018
            Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
          • TLB

            TLB Just chillin'
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            That was Saturday. Sunday, awesome Dad tries again with the kid's double feature. First up with the son AT 4:20


            The Meg

            Jason Statham stars as a rescue diver. Opening scenes his crew is connected to a nuclear sub at the ocean floor, nobody survives that deep. He gets the crew out of the sub when something outside bumps the crap out of his rescue sub. His team is trying to get back with him, but they keep getting battered to the point where the next hit will kill everyone. He makes the decision, seals his team in the abandoned sub to die, disconnects and saves those he can. Fast forward a few years, he's a drunk in Thailand and refuses to dive anymore...but...

            We have a research station built into an offshore rig that sends an exploratory sub to what is believed to be the bottom of the ocean, but is determined to be a thermal layer with undiscovered species below. Explorer sub goes down and gets bumped (deva vu) and can't get back up. So, they send for Jason. On the rig we have Jason's good friend as operations leader, a wise old Japanese research leader, a semi-hot tattooed technology chick, a whinging black guy who drives the remote drones, and of course your billionaire ******* funding the whole thing and being self-centered. Oh, and the old Jap researcher has a daughter on board who is an underwater biology expert, and her daughter, an 8y old that people ignore but who befriends Jason to protect her mom.

            Premise, okay. Characters, pretty well done. Boobs, none. Action and suspense, actually a LOT better than expected, with plenty of little humor shots thrown in for good measure. I won't spoil the main twist, but it's one you can suspect but aren't sure of - and it's played off VERY well...for a shark film. I expected a stupid shark film,but between the effects, suspense and action/suspense/comedy, I do have to recommend it as better than expected. 7.5/10

            Oh, 9y old has a little trouble following early on, but that's more his attention span problem rather than the film. He wasn't too scared, but was sufficiently 'thrilled' with the action scenes and scares. Film is ok for kids, but don't go near bedtime or while visiting the beach.
             
            • TLB

              TLB Just chillin'
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              Now, to round out the weekend with the daughter AT 6:20

              Goosbumps 2 (Haunted Halloween)

              Again we have Jack Black, though he's only really in the last 20 min of the film in a minor, supporting role as R.L.Stine (the author of the series - I believe his role was more pivotal in the original film). Most of the film focuses on a young teen boy, his best friend, and his slightly older (still HS age as well, and kinda hot for the age) sister. They discover an old book that turns out to be an unfinished novel by Stine. Opening it releases the story, and an evil magic ventriloquist dummy comes to life to start turning their town upside down. This has all the quality of a sci-fi or hallmark channel film but I have got to say the creativity and special effects were aces throughout. All kinds of mayhem occurs as the kids try to right the wrong - falling in a healthy balance of tweener aged 'cool that's so gross' and 'man, how'd they think of that and pull it off' type situations and effects.

              The story doesn't go deep, it is a tweener fun ride but adults can appreciate it (as long as you have a kid with you). No boobs, but a better than expected spend of 90min. 7.5/10
               
            • gingerlover

              gingerlover Junior Member
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              I was actually watching this when this review popped up. I agree its the perfect summer movie. Don't think to much and just enjoy some cool stuff. It's clearly another movie made for the Chinese audience as well similar to Skyscraper. The effects are some of the better ones I have scene in a shark film and I have watched so many due to my love for Jaws. That being said if you are hoping for something as good as Jaws substance wise then you will still be waiting. It's been 43 years and not another shark movie has come close. For the thinking man this isn't for you, but if you want to suspend reality a little give it a look. 6/10
               
            • gingerlover

              gingerlover Junior Member
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              The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Netflix) - I know there are going to be some that disagree with me on this, but I thought this was absolutely terrible. The trailer made it look good, but those were the only good parts. Divided into 6 stories that come together toward the end. The problem I had is the stories that I liked ended extremely quickly while the stories I did not like took to long. For instance the one with James Franco is far to short. My other problem is that the Buster Scruggs story line was by the far the best and should have just been the whole movie. I could have watched that one for two hours without a complaint. The story with Buster 8/10 although it was far to short. The story with James Franco 7/10 and also to short. The rest of the 4 stories 3/10.

              Wonder - This is the one with Julia Roberts about the kid with the facial deformity. It starts around the time he is getting ready for 5th grade and is going to school for the first time. The rest of the family (dad, mom, sister) seemed to get swept up constantly by all that is going on around him and it shows how exhausting it is for them. As you guess kids are cruel and school starts out tough for him. Eventually one by one he starts making friends and starts to get accepted. The side stories revolve around his sister, who loves her brother dearly, but is not shown enough attention due to his always hogging the spotlight, but how she learns to deal with it. You have a few others about minor characters as well that kind of round some things out. This is a great family movie. Not the greatest movie ever and has the all to predictable fluffy ending, but the lessons to be taught to your children are there in this movie about accepting others that have these conditions. 7/10
               
            • gingerlover

              gingerlover Junior Member
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              Mile 22 - Marky Mark and another film with director Peter Berg. I have really liked a lot of their past work together like Patriots day and lone survivor, but this one falls a little flat. From what I understand this is supposed to launch a whole thing, but not sure if it would be sequels or a tv show similar to how he did Friday Night Lights. once again you can tell this movie was made to appease the foreign box office and when it does that they usually suffer on the quality side of the script.

              So to the plot. Marky Mark is a genius that was pegged at a young age to be in the military. Probably falls somewhere on the spectrum, but never mentioned in that way. he leads a black opps team on certain missions. The movie starts with them breaking up a Russian safe house and they kill someone important. Fast forward a few months and they are in Indonesia trying to find the last of the stuff connected to the Russians. A Indonesian police officer comes in and has the information they need, but wants a trip to the US for safety and the Indonesian special forces want him back. From there it is a race to get him to the plane. The ending has a few twists and turns that setup a sequel.

              The cast is what it is. Mark Wahlberg has perfected this type of role and John Malkovich is always great. After that you have some lady from the walking dead, a couple no names, and Rhonda Rousey. Rousey is a horrible actress so that might tell you how great some of this is. The guy from Indonesia is supposedly a rising star there and does well in his role. The plot is simple, but it lacks in the script. You absolutely care 0 about any of these people other than kind of feeling sorry for one with a daughter back home. With these movies made for a good return in Asia they lack in script, but have lots of kung fu and explosions.

              Was actually dissapointed in this movie. I usually like Wahlbergs stuff, but this one is not one of his best, but the trailer made it look much better. 5/10.
               
            • gingerlover

              gingerlover Junior Member
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              Ralph Breaks the Internet- me and my six year old son caught this last night. It’s good but not as good as the first.

              Essentially the racing game breaks and Ralph and Vanellope travel to WIFI to find the part needed at eBay before the game is scrapped. They meet lots of new people, due things to earn money and of course Ralph does something dumb that makes him need to fix everything.

              Most the characters from the first are back but only in minor roles. One has an amusing side story that is t explored enough. From the gaming side Sonic gets the most time and much to my sons dismay Mario did not show up (he’s hardcore into the DS and NES Mario games right now).

              The most fun is when they get to the Disney area and it’s cameos galore with all the different things they now own. From there you can try and guess who shows up with Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel being possible. The princesses get the most time but is actually pretty funny sequence.

              The voice cast is really good with Bill Haders character being one of the better additions. Humor is there and they slip in a few moments for adults to chuckle at that go over the kids head. My only complaint is the lack of time the older characters got in this one.

              It’s a good movie and the kids will like it. Solid but not great for the adults. 6/10. Would be higher if it hadn’t fallen short of the original.

              On a side note you’ve probably scene most of the trailers. That being said I know nothing about Pokemon but the detective Pikachu movie actually looks entertaining.
               
            • TLB

              TLB Just chillin'
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              The Grinch (2018)

              Went with Grandma, Brother-in-law, wife, our daughter (12) and son (9). Fancy NJ threater where they ripped out every other seat so every seat is a recliner. But, being NJ, it was sold out and the wife and I had to sit alone elsewhere in the theater. Enough about me*, on to the film.

              Let's get this done up front - no boobs. Deal with it. This is very much a remake of the original we've all seen on TV from the 70's. There's a bit of freshening up done with characters, scenes, and story, but mostly stay's true to the original. Cindy Lou gets a bigger role, and it helps this retelling quite a bit. Grinch still lives up on the mountain with Max, but this time we get a bit more of the dog's insights and perspective (not enough to be a major character but stronger support), and we get some of 'why is Grinch this way' and he actually interacts with the current Whoville despite his hate of Christmas. Two significant additions as supporting characters are Bricklebaum (Whoville resident who thinks Grinch is his best friend) and Fred, the lone reindeer enlisted to help the night of theft. The build up is good, draws you in more than the original and is modernized a bit with Cindy Lou having twin baby brothers and a single mom. The ending is solid, doesn't come across over the top nor does it leave you wondering about things. It provides good closure (no hint at sequels) and leaves you satisfied. Would definitely recommend for the family as 8/10.

              *Wife cried, kids loved it. I fell asleep in a full reclined position shortly after Cindy Lou and friends plot to capture Santa, and I awoke as Grinch and Max were nearing the top of Mount Crumpet with the sleigh full'o'goods. The nap was delightful, and nobody said I snored.
               
              #1335 TLB, Nov 25, 2018
              Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
              • gingerlover

                gingerlover Junior Member
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                Arizona - Starring some lady I have no clue who she is and Danny McBride. She is a realtor during the housing crashjthat spent years telling people lies to get them to buy houses with her ahole partner (Seth Rogan). One day one of the home owners comes in (McBride) and he looses his cool about the lies. An accident happens and it turns into a whole string of things.

                This is a dark comedy so you know there is some depth and it is actually amusing to watch McBride play this role. What starts as a small mistake spirals out of control and turns into another until he fully snaps and starts doing things on purpose, but with the most idiotic end game you can imagine. The lady then has to find a way to escape from him.

                The beginning drags a little, but gets better the more McBride goes off the rails. It's a solid movie to watch at home, but not sure how many wives are into this type of movie. I know mine isn't. Its what I guess you could consider a comedy thriller. 6/10. Might watch again if on tv, but not searching it out.
                 
              • TheDouglas78

                TheDouglas78 Well-Known Member

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                Saw this with the wife and daughter... you summed it up well. Fun movie, especially if you love the Grinch (wife's favorite Christmas Character).
                 
              • gingerlover

                gingerlover Junior Member
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                American Assassin - A guy is on a trip with his fiance when terrorist attack and start killing everyone. He survives and trains to try and catch them. Long story short he is saved and recruited by the CIA. From there this movie sucks. The only redeeming part is Michael Keaton who couldn't save it by himself. 3/10

                Downsizing - Matt Damon does the whole getting small thing expecting amazing things. He however ends up alone at first and has to rediscover things. He starts making friends and finds it is not the paradise he thought it would be and has the same social classes as before. Had a few funny moments, but more just meh. 5/10

                Black Klansman - This one is actually pretty good watching them infiltrate the KKK. Takes place during the black power movement and does highlight a few of their faults as well. The ending is great before getting political with its last couple of minutes with real footage from current events. 7/10
                 

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