‘Life’ Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

If you heard me say to you, “Hey, let’s go see this claustrophobic horror/thriller in space,” you wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that I was referring to Ridley Scott’s Alien or at least a sequel.  However, in this case, I would be talking about the newly released Life staring Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hiroyuki Sanada, Olga Dihovichnaya, and Arlyon Bakare.  Life does use similar plot points to Alien, being that it takes place in a claustrophobic area as a team of astronauts and scientists try to survive as an evolving alien lifeform hunts and kills them off one by one, however it still manages to feel fresh and entertaining despite its similarities to the 1979 classic.

One of the biggest differences from Alien is that Life does not have one protagonist, rather it follows all the astronauts equally without any defining lead.  This allows you to be able to attach to the characters a bit more, as well as add an extra level of unpredictability.  If they had one defining protagonist (like Ripley) then it is a safe bet that that character would be safe, or at least not be the first to bite it.  Throughout the film, I was unable to pinpoint who would be the lifeform’s next victim.  And that really adds to the atmosphere and terror. Continue reading “‘Life’ Movie Review (Spoiler Free)”

‘Power Rangers’ Review (Spoiler Free)

When I first heard the prospect of making a Power Rangers movie based on the early 90’s TV show I was less than thrilled.  The show is one of the cheesiest things I had ever seen as a kid.  And a movie had already been made back when the show was at the peak of its popularity with 2005’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.  The movie was panned by critics, and barely made enough at the box office to earn a profit.  Yes, when I was six the TV show and the movie were entertaining, but watching them now I have to say they are really bad.

However, the first trailers came out for Power Rangers and I have to admit I was intrigued.  And as the movie release date got closer I found myself looking forward to the new Power Rangers movie, however, I was still not expecting much.  After finally seeing the film, I can honestly say I had a lot of fun with the movie.  It surpassed my expectations!  It is nowhere near a perfect film, it absolutely has flaws, however despite those flaws I was very entertained.

The first thing someone should know before going to see Power Rangers is that it is more of a character film, and less of an action movie.  There are absolutely some action scenes in it, but they were just okay.  What really drove the film was watching these five teenagers with different pasts come together and learn to trust each other and work as a team.  Their on-screen chemistry is outstanding! And the acting is really good! I never thought I’d admit that there was good acting in a Power Rangers movie.  The standouts are Dacre Montgomery (plays Jason – Red Ranger), Naomi Scott (plays Kimberly – Pink Ranger), and RJ Cyler (plays Billy (Blue Ranger).  They were able to bring a level of emotion I did not think possible in a Power Rangers movie.  I really cared about their characters, and their team because of their performances.

Power Rangers is surprisingly funny too.  I laughed a lot throughout the movie watching these weird and awkward teenagers figuring out what it means to be a Power Ranger and the shenanigans that can go with giving that kind of power to high school students.  Also, there are some scenes of product placement that I thought pretty funny as well.  Normally in-your-face product placement gets on my nerves (looking at you Transformers: Age of Extinction).  I hate it.  However, for some reason I was not bothered by it in this movie.  I won’t say what it is – you’ll know it when you see it.  Just know it works in the context of the film.

Now, remember when I said there was some great acting in Power Rangers?  While that is true and I stand by that, there is some terrible acting in it as well.  Unfortunately given by Elizabeth Banks, who played the villain Rita Repulsa.  It was like she was in a completely different movie.  While I’m getting drama, and real life situations from these teenagers the movie switches to the villain and I’m reminded that I am watching a movie based off one of the cheesiest TV shows of all time.  Her acting would have fit perfectly in an episode of Power Rangers from the 90’s.  And that is not a good thing.  When we finally get to the showdown between her and the rangers I feel like I’m watching a completely different movie.  An hour and a half of great teenage drama/comedy/sort of action, followed by cheesy action movie with a side of extra cheese due to her performance.

And the action was just okay.  There was not a whole lot of rangers using martial arts, and when it was shown it didn’t blow me away.  When the Rangers used their Zords (giant robots) to fight it was, once again, just okay.  The CGI during these actions scenes was part of the problem.  The visuals would switch back and forth between impressively good to video-gamey bad.  I realize that this being the first movie in a what is sure to be a franchise there was a very limited budget to work with.  But I’ve seen smaller scale movies show better action scenes.  Maybe next time don’t hire a big-time actor like Elizabeth Banks so you can afford good looking action set pieces and CGI.  It’s not like her being in the movie payed off anyway.

Overall there was a lot of good to be had in Power Rangers, but some glaring negatives that need to be fixed if the franchise is to continue and be successful.  Despite by negatives stated already, I did generally like the movie.  It was entertaining and fun – something that a Power Rangers movie should be.   There are going to be some people who hate this movie, and that’s fine.  I have to admit that the movie is not for everyone.  However, if you were or still are a fan of the Power Rangers then I recommend you go see the movie. You will like it.  If you were never a fan then you might like.  I think it is still probably still worth checking out if you are in the mood for some dumb fun at the theater while chowing down on a big tub of buttery popcorn.  Or, if you have a theater that offers it, get some doughnuts – you’ll thank me latter.

I’m giving Power Rangers a score of 3/5.  It’s entertaining, so go see it.

Have you seen Power Rangers yet and what did you think?  Are you going to see Power Rangers?  Leave a comment below, and we can make a discussion out of it!

Finally, Some Casting News For ‘Deadpool 2’!

Something that has been driving people on the internet crazy for nearly a year now is not knowing when the release date is for Deadpool 2.  We don’t even have a confirmed filming start date for the project, but that hasn’t stopped news and rumors from trickling in; quenching the thirst of anxious Deadpool fans awaiting any kind of update on the project.

Well now we have something! Zazie Beetz, known for her performance in the hit 2016 show Atlanta, has been announced to be playing Domino, a Mutant with the curious ability to manipulate her luck in any situation so that it works out in her favor.  Her abilities paired with Ryan Rynolds’ Deadpool is sure to make for some great laughs.

This announcement was not given in the usual press conference or interview that most casting news seems to come from – but is it really a shock that a Deadpool project would be handled unconventionally? Continue reading “Finally, Some Casting News For ‘Deadpool 2’!”

My Review of ‘Logan’

Over the past 17 years the comic book genre has taken the world by storm.  With each year yielding more and more comic book based movies, and with these movies more and more comic book icons.  While some people in the world have started throwing around the phrase “comic-book fatigue” one comic book movie icon that has stood the test of time since the year 2000 is Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.   And Logan is reportedly the last film that we will be seeing Jackman’s character, and it very much plays on that fact.

Now don’t begin to think that this film is just meant to make you tear up at the thought of no more Wolverine – it is a deliciously violent movie, filled with stabbings, loss of limbs, profanity, and tackles very adult themes like depression, and the act of growing old. It’s also extremely entertaining – reminding me of Western films about an old gunslinger (in this case Wolverine) riding out on one more doomed quest for glory. This is very different from any other comic book movie that I’ve seen in the past 17 years.  It would have been very easy for James Mangold (the director) to make Logan a movie that just recycles the character’s greatest moments leading up to a great superhero battle, or just add loads meaningless gore just to get that R rating because that strategy worked well for Deadpool.  He goes for something very different, and it pays off not only as an entertaining comic book/western, but also as a proper send off for Jachman’s Wolverine. Continue reading “My Review of ‘Logan’”

‘The Great Wall’ Review

The Great Wall, currently, is the most expensive film ever shot completely in china – with a whopping reported budget of $150 Million.  It tells the story of a western mercenary, played by Matt Damon, who is imprisoned at the Great Wall, and while there discovers the reason behind its construction is to repel wave after wave of marauding beasts.  While imprisoned at the wall he is forced to fight alongside an army of elite warriors to confront the unimaginable and seemingly unstoppable force of lizard monsters.

While the film is directed by Yimou Zhang, the Chinese director who is best known for great films like House of Flying Daggers and Hero, this is not his finest film.  The Great Wall does have trademarks of Zhang, such as beautiful colors, and great action set pieces, but it has glaring flaws that really bring the film down. Continue reading “‘The Great Wall’ Review”

My Review of ‘A Cure for Wellness’

I must start off this review by saying this is one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen.  The synopsis put out by the studio does not do the film justice; which reads: “An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious ‘wellness center’ at a remote location in the Swiss Alps.  He soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem.  When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests here longing for the cure.” Please note that the synopsis put out by the studio says nothing about audience members questioning their own sanity during the viewing of this movie.

Imagine for a moment a room full of executives over at 20th Century Fox.  In front of every one of these men and women are piles of scraps of paper with scribbled notes of things a general movie going audience would find creepy and unsettling.  One note says “creepy anorexic looking people,” one says “mind control,” another says “iron lungs” one says “old hospital with steam rooms” one says “body decay” and another scrap of paper says “lots of eels.”   These highly-paid men and women then put these ideas in a hat and take turns pulling these random concepts out of a hat and laying them out on the table in the same order in which they were drawn.  Lastly, they take a picture of this “timeline of creepiness,” add a footnote to the picture that says “make the film look really good, very unsettling, and add a few of your good ideas” then email said photo to screenwriter Justin Haythe, director Gore Verbinski, and lead actor Dane DeHaan – BOOM! You have the makings of A Cure for Wellness. Continue reading “My Review of ‘A Cure for Wellness’”

‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Review

Fifty Shades Darker is a sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, based on the novel of the same name, written by E. L. James.  Since the events of Fifty Shades of Grey, Anastasia Steele she has tried to move on and forget her sexual escapades with Christian Grey.  She has a new job, a new life, and is ready to be her own woman again.  However, desire for Christian still lingers, and when he comes back into her life proposing a new sexual arrangement she cannot say no. Rekindling their sexual affair, Anastasia learns more about Christian and his dark past.

Does the synopsis above seem remotely interesting? I hope so – because I just spent an hour trying to figure out exactly how to write an interesting synopsis to one of the most boring and uninteresting films of all time.  Four sentences explaining the plot of a film should not take an hour to conjure up.  However, when the film has no plot, that makes it difficult. Continue reading “‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Review”

‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ Review.

The LEGO Batman Movie is a spinoff story based off the Batman character last seen in the hit 2014 film, The LEGO Movie.  Without spoiling anything; it’s about the world’s favorite dark knight fighting to saving Gotham from his greatest enemy, the Joker.  The LEGO Batman Movie is directed by first-time feature film director, Chris McKay, and stars the voice talents of Will Arnett as Batman, Michael Cera as Robin, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl, and Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth.

Is this movie one of the best DC movies released since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight in 2008 as some outlets are saying? I’m going to have to say no.  Does it feature one of the best Jokers that we have seen put on the screen? To that, I will say yes.  In no particular order, I would say this Joker, voiced by Zach Galifianakis, falls in the top 3 Joker spots next to Heath Ledger’s Joker as well as Mark Hamill’s Joker from the Batman Animated Series. Continue reading “‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ Review.”

‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ Review

John Wick, The Boogeyman, The Devil, returns for a second chapter in this revenge, gun fu, thriller, and if you think he’s lost any of his edge from 2014 you are dead wrong.  Keanu Reeves reprises his role as the tenacious Mr. Wick, and he is leaving behind him a trail of bodies that have suffered from a dying case of bullets to the head.

If you are a fan of the first John Wick, then you are defiantly going to enjoy this movie. Chad Stahelski, who directed the first movie, reprises his directorial role and brings back just as much grit and violence that made the first film so enjoyable.  The film is not without a few issues, but overall it is a very fun time at the movie theaters, and I completely feel should be seen in a movie theater with great picture and the best sound possible.  You will not be disappointed. Continue reading “‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ Review”

‘The Accountant’ Review!

This is how my review system works. I’ve broken down my review into 4 different categories (Directing, Acting, Story, Entertainment Value).  I’ll give a score out of 5 for each category.  At the end I’ll average the scores to come up with an overall score for the film.

Lets get to it!

The Accountant is a Warner Bros. action/crime drama directed by Gavin O’Connor and stars the many talents of Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, and John Lithgow.  The story revolves around Affleck’s character who works as a CPA accountant as a front to cover his activities as an accountant for some of the most dangerous criminals in the world. When he takes on a legitimate client, and begins uncooks the books, the body count rises as he gets closer to the truth.

Continue reading “‘The Accountant’ Review!”