Archive for June, 2016

Trailer Thursday 6/30

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on June 30, 2016 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Looking over all the posts I’ve made, it surprises me that a lesser known film has the most views. Some of you may not have heard of Jason’s Lyric, so here’s your chance to see what it’s about, then maybe you’ll be interested…or not.

Check it out!

Along Came Polly

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , on June 28, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Risk-averse Reuben Feffer, whose best-laid plans for life and love careen wildly off-track when his bride dumps him on their honeymoon for a muscle-bound scuba instructor. Stunned, humiliated and in the grip of acute indigestion, Reuben plans to play it safer than ever. But a chance adventure with an adventure-craving childhood friend named Polly, shoots him into a whirlwind of extreme sports, spicy foods, ferrets, salsa dancing and living in the moment.

What people are saying:

“One of Stiller’s weakest efforts. Not really any believable chemistry between these two though of course Jen looked good. And PSH is always solid.” 2 stars

“Along Came Polly is not a comedy that shoots for the stars and is perfectly happy living on the lower rungs of the ladder; but it is an enjoyably, stupid comedy. The story is incredibly played-out and the neurotic character Stiller always plays is growing increasingly more annoying and you know exactly how his character is going to make a fool of himself throughout. Aniston gets a change of pace from her bombshell persona and plays a ditzy, flake who never thinks too hard about the next step; which was refreshing. Hands down the best character is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s, Sandy Lyle who’s a washed-up, former actor still thinking he’s a big deal because he was in one hit movie! Seriously, his scenes are absolute gold and his physical performance is commendable as well. It’s at best a rental and you watch it at home with your family/loved one and you laugh, and then forget all about it; but it is a competent film.” 3 stars

“The plot is weak, even for a rom-com, the characters are as well fleshed out as a 3 panel comic strip and most of the comedy is centred around toilets and perspiration. There is some entertainment to be had in there, and the pacing is pretty swift, but I very much doubt anyone will want to watch this more than once.” 1 1/2 stars

“Honestly, not too bad of a movie. One of the few romantic comedies I enjoyed, and any guy will enjoy. Pretty funny. Ben Stiller slowly becomes a dead weight on the movie and by films end, your glad it’s over. Aniston and Stiller don’t really make a believable couple on screen. But all in all it’s a not too bad of a movie, ” 3 out of 5 stars

“Err…it was tolerable. I dunno, I don’t really care for these generic rom coms. The best parts were Philip Seymour Hoffman and the blind ferret. But movies like these don’t deserve alot of acknowledgement or in-depth reviews…at least not from me. It was a good effort, that failed in terms of originality. No thanks.” 2 stars

Hotel Transylvania 2

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Some time after the first film, Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her new fiancé Johnny (Andy Samberg) are finally married, with the approval of her father Dracula (Adam Sandler), and the world becomes aware of (and unfazed by) the existence of monsters. Mavis later reveals to Drac that she is pregnant and a year later, she gives birth to a baby boy named Dennis (Asher Blinkoff), who later befriends Wayne’s daughter Winnie (Sadie Sandler). Nearing his fifth birthday, Dennis has yet to grow his fangs and Drac worries that his grandson might not gain vampire powers. Noticing the dangers of Transylvania, Mavis starts to consider raising Dennis where Johnny grew up, much to Drac’s disapproval.

Drac tells Johnny (who doesn’t want to leave the hotel either) to bring Mavis to California to visit the in-laws, Mike (Nick Offerman) and Linda (Megan Mullally), but to make sure to keep her distracted so that she will not move, leaving Drac to “babysit” Dennis. Drac enlists his friends, Frank (Kevin James), Wayne the Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade), Murray the Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key) and Blobby the Blob (Jonny Solomon) to help train Dennis to become a monster, to no avail. Drac takes Dennis to his childhood summer camp, Camp Winnepacaca, where he learned to hone his vampire abilities, and discovers that the camp is safer than it was when he went there. Drac stubbornly believes Dennis is a “late fanger”, so he hurls Dennis from a tall, unstable tower to pressure the boy’s transformation into a bat. Dennis does not transform, and Drac has to fly and rescue him at the last second. The stunt is filmed by the campers and uploaded to the internet, which eventually reaches Mavis and Johnny. Mavis angrily transforms into a bat to fly her and Johnny back to Transylvania. Drac and his friends reach the hotel a couple of seconds after Mavis. She confronts her father for putting Dennis in grave danger and his inability to accept that he is human. She states she will move out of the hotel after Dennis’ fifth birthday the following Wednesday. Drac hangs his head with deep guilt.

Mavis invites Vlad (Mel Brooks), her grandfather and Drac’s father, to Dennis’ birthday party. As Vlad is much worse than he was when it comes to humans, Drac tells Johnny to have the human party-goers disguise themselves as monsters. Vlad receives the invitation and arrives with his monstrous bat-like servant Bela (Rob Riggle) to meet his great-grandson for the first time. Meeting him, he believes that fear will cause Dennis’ fangs to sprout and possesses a stage performer dressed as Dennis’s favorite television monster, “Kakie the Cake Monster,” to scare Dennis, but Drac shields his grandson at the last moment and exposes the deception to Vlad, who is outraged that Drac has accepted humans as guests in his hotel. Drac confronts his father about how humans are different now.

Mavis becomes upset with her grandfather’s behavior (regretting inviting him to Dennis’s birthday party) and while the family argues, Dennis sadly flees the hotel (followed by Bela) and enters the forest with Winnie in tow, hiding in her treehouse, but they are attacked by Bela, who mistakes Dennis for a human. When Bela injures Winnie and threatens to destroy the hotel, Dennis’ anger causes him to instantly grow his fangs and his vampire abilities manifest. He begins to fight Bela, who calls his giant-bat minions. Drac, Mavis, Dennis, Johnny, the rest of the monsters and (some of) Johnny’s family team up to defeat his minions as Vlad watches. A livid Bela then attempts to kill Johnny himself with a stake, but Vlad appears and shrinks him to a harmless size telling him never to come near him and his family again. This allows the Werewolf Kids to lick him nonstop.

With Dennis having vampire abilities, Mavis and Johnny continue to raise him in Transylvania, and they resume the party with his friends

REVIEW:

Adam Sandler’s movies haven’t been doing very well lately, with the exception of Hotel Transylvania (which he only has a voice acting part in). The first film was somewhat of a surprise hit which, of course, means there has to be Hotel Transylvania 2, right? I’m so sick of sequels, prequels, threequels, etc., but I digress. I’m sure this will be worth my time, right?

What is this about?

In this batty animated sequel, high jinks and hilarity ensue when Vlad, Dracula’s cranky estranged dad, arrives at Hotel Transylvania for an unexpected visit — and promptly creates an uproar.

What did I like?

Hanging with the guys. As with almost all of Adam Sandler’s movies, he makes sure to cast his buddies. This is no exception, but the difference is we get to see them actually act as if they are lifelong friends. The last time we saw that from Sandler and co. may have been Grown Ups.

Vlad. Let’s see, Dracula is Jewish comedic legend (whether we want to admit it or not), so his father would have to be an even bigger Jewish comedic legend. How about Mel Brooks? Yes, they cast Brooks as Vlad and he does not disappoint. First, he shows why he has been in the funny business all these years by having a comedic standoff with Sandler and then, we see the grumpy, human hating, all powerful father of vampires. In the short time he is on screen, we get a nice layering of the character that really pays off the build up they gave him early on in the film.

Parks and Rec. The human parents are total opposite of Dracula. Serious and non-flinching, they make you wonder how they even had their son, who doesn’t seem to fit in with them, either. Nick Offerman and Megan Mullaly reunite (after many episodes avoiding each other on Parks and Recreation) and give us the tranquil ripples in this maelstrom of madness.

What didn’t I like?

Like father, like son. In the first film, I was not a fan of Andy Samberg’s character. This annoying human who somehow stumbled into a monster hotel nearly ruined the entire film for me. His son, while not as annoying, seems to have the same effect in the sequel. This kid is nothing more than a mop of bright orange hair that always needs saving and talk in such a way that we’re supposed to think him cute. I didn’t.

Tentacle monster. With all the monsters at the hotel, you would think we wouldn’t hear/see about any others, right? Well, lo and behold, out of nowhere (and in a normal, human neighborhood, mind you) we come across a tentacle monster that is married to a human woman, but everyone goes about their business as if nothing happened. How is this thing just up and running around town? I just don’t get it!

Worry too much. Mavis is a great character…at least she was in the first film. There was development, depth, and a touch of human to her that we all could relate to. This go around, she has been reduced to having nothing else to do but worry about her kid. I understand that is what mother’s do, but seriously, they could have given her something…anything else besides spending all her undead life doing things for her annoying kid…and don’t get me started on that little freak out over the camp video!

Final verdict on Hotel Transylvania 2? This is a valiant attempt to recreate the magic of the first film. IT actually comes quite close, but the failure here comes when the writers decided to use more kid humor or more adult humor, rather than finding a happy medium that all could enjoy. That being said, this is still a highly enjoyable film and better than most pictures out there. Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.

4 out of 5 stars

Trailer Thursday 6/23

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on June 23, 2016 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Let’s go back to 1994 for this week’s trailer. A little film took us all by storm with the simple premise of a bomb on a bus that can’t slow down or else it will blow up. Check out the trailer for Speed

Do Not Disturb

Posted in Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , on June 21, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Doris Day stars as a wife jealous because her businessman husband spends more time with his attractive secretary than with her. Deciding to turn the tables, she invents a secret admirer. But the joke’s on her when her fantasy man comes to life.

What people are saying:

“This is a Doris Day screwball comedy that was a lot of fun to watch. Done a bit later in her career and she still has that winning small and no fail attitude. And you also get to see her love of animals in this film as she adopts all sorts…. There is no singing/dancing, but you do get to see Doris drunk and doing a little bit of the shimmy – good clean fun to watch” 3 stars

“I aDORe Day movies but this one is deservedly obscure. It is flat, airless, strained, and neither romantic nor comic. She and Rod are much more fun in GLASS BOTTOM BOAT” 2 stars

“Everyone likes Doris Day….but not in this clunker of a movie. The acting is strained, the comedy set-ups simply DON’T WORK, and the plot is a hodge podge of really poor ideas. Spare yourself some real pain, and avoid this bomb at all costs.” 1 star

“Talk about “The Secret” coming to like – this film a great, very cute, example of the Law of Attraction at work! Doris doesn;t know what she is in for when she conjures up an illicit lover.” 5 stars

“So glad I ignored the other reviews: a wealthy American couple moves to England and has to settle in and better tune their marriage, as well as well navigate the “looser” European standards for business success. Doris Day is delightful with her physical comedy and beautiful to boot. Rod Taylor plays the successful, handsome husband well. The horny decorator is a great addition; as is the assuming and disapproving real estate lady. Madcap comedy perfect for a light romp, nothing heavy to weigh you down if you want something light, madcap & fluffy. Wardrobe is awesome; Sets and setting divine. This is an adorable movie, like her others.” 4 stars

The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Young bachelors and best friends Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble have recently qualified as crane operators at Slate & Company. Soon to be employed, now they want dates, and little green alien The Great Gazoo, exiled to Earth by his species, offers to help, although only they can see him. Meanwhile, Wilma Slaghoople wants a normal life and activities, like bowling, despite her controlling mother Pearl, who wants her to marry smooth casino-owner Chip Rockefeller. Wilma angrily runs away to Bronto King in Bedrock. Waitress Betty O’Shale mistakes her as “caveless”, and offers to share her apartment, and gets her a job.

Fred and Barney are smitten with the waitresses and invite them to a carnival, with Fred dating Betty and Barney taking Wilma. Fred wins a carnival game and gets a prize of an egg which hatches into a baby dinosaur, whom he names “Dino”. However, he does not really feel a connection with Betty, nor does Barney with Wilma, until both men switch dates. Wilma invites her new friends home to a birthday party for her father, Colonel Slaghoople, where all are shocked by her wealth. Fred intends to propose, but changes his mind after meeting Chip, who berates him for his low-level job at Slate & Company. Pearl dislikes the three new friends, but the Colonel accepts them, glad Wilma is happy, and privately gives her a valuable pearl necklace that once belonged to his great-grandmother. After the boys disgrace themselves at dinner, Wilma nevertheless proclaims her pride and follows them out.

Chip congratulates Fred on attracting Wilma and apologizes for his humiliation of Fred’s job. He invites the four to his Rock Vegas resort as a peace offering. However, this is a plot by Chip to hope Fred gambles so Wilma dumps him, whereas Fred sees it as a chance to win big so he can impress Wilma with money like Chip’s. Chip and his girlfriend Roxie are visited by two gangsters named Big Rocko and Little Rocko to collect a lot of money owed by Chip, who claims his upcoming marriage to Wilma will get him access to the Slaghoople fortune, and the gangsters consider that plan creditable, so they agree to suspend collections until after the wedding. Gazoo witnesses the entire conversation. When Barney tries to keep Fred from high-stakes poker, Chip sends Roxie to seduce Barney for an escort to an All-You-Can Eat buffet.

Chip keeps Fred gambling to miss his dinner date with the others. Betty sees Barney wipe cream from Roxie’s chest and misinterprets the move as a pass. Mick Jagged comforts the weeping girl, and they go on a date. Wilma breaks up with Fred over not spending any time with her. Chip warns her of burglaries and arranges that Fred loses everything before slipping Wilma’s pearls in Fred’s pocket and asking him to empty them. Hotel security arrests Fred for robbery. When Barney protests that Fred would do no such thing, and that Fred wouldn’t even be able to crack his own knuckles without help, Chip accuses Barney of being Fred’s accomplice and has him arrested as well. Angered that the two of them stole from her, Wilma goes back to Chip.

In prison, the men are visited by Gazoo, who earlier spied on Chip. Gazoo reveals that Chip is in severe debt to the mob, and hoped to solve both his problems by framing Fred for the robbery and plans to marry Wilma in order to get the Slaghooples’ money. Barney slips through the bars, steals the keys, and unlocks the cell. Disguised as dancers, they accidentally run into Jagged’s dressing room. Barney tells Betty he loves her, and they get back together.

Fred plans to disguise himself as Jagged in attempt to reconcile with Wilma. Meanwhile, in the audience, Chip proposes to Wilma, but she is unresponsive. Fred then comes on stage disguised as Jagged and briefly sings to Wilma. He apologizes for his behavior earlier before proposing to her. Wilma happily accepts, rejecting Chip, and they marry in the Rock Vegas Chapel of Love, while the gangsters prepare to make Chip pay in their own manner. After the Pastor proclaims them husband and wife, everyone sings “Meet the Flintstones”. When Jagged sings “Viva Rock Vegas” at a party, Betty catches Wilma’s tossed bouquet and kisses Barney. The newlyweds drive away with Dino and Gazoo to goodbye waves from their friends, family, and even Chip and Roxie.

REVIEW:

I think it is safe to say that many of us grew up watching The Flintstones. For those around my age and younger, it was through reruns, but I am sure there are those that were around for the original run. This is the second time they have been brought to the big screen in live action. Considering the cold reception the previous film received, hopefully this will be better.

What is this about?

Yabba-dabba-doo! Digital dinosaurs rule the day when Fred (Mark Addy), Barney (Stephen Baldwin), Betty (Jane Krakowski) and Wilma (Kristen Johnston) take Vegas by storm in this prequel that posits their lives before marriage. A staple of the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon series — The Great Gazoo (Alan Cumming) — also makes an appearance.

What did I like?

Cartoon loyalty. It has been awhile since I last saw The Flintstones, but I seem to recall they put a few gags from the cartoon in there, just enough to keep audiences aware that it was a live action version of the popular cartoon. With this prequel, the filmmakers decided to go all the way with it. Everything from the appliances breaking the fourth wall to the sound effects of Fred tiptoeing as he bowls was there and, in this concept, it really works!

First time for everything. The Great Gazoo is far from the best character Hanna-Barbera created. As a matter of fact, I never really bought into what he was there for, other than he had magic powers of some sort. My guess is he was brought in for ratings, much like the young, cute kid on sitcoms that are getting long in the tooth. Gazoo’s appearance in this film has the same effect it did in the cartoon, leaving the audience perplexed, but at least they tried, right?

Meeting. Fred, Barney, Betty, and Wilma seem to have been together forever. There was even that Saturday morning cartoon, The Flintstone Kids that had them as friends as far back as elementary school (apparently Dino was Fred’s pet even back then). I’m not sure that was canon history, though. Admit it, you’re just as curious as I am as to how they all met, right? A random meeting at a fast food restaurant seems to be good enough because the rest, as they say, is history.

What didn’t I like?

Casting. People complained when Rosie O’Donnell was cast as Betty. I thought she did a pretty good job, honestly. Jane Krakowski brought a different tone to the character than I’m not sure I was a fan of, but that’s personal preference. John Goodman was perfect as Fred. Mark Addy…well, this was 2000…give him about 10 yrs to put on some lbs and become Robert Baratheon, then he could be perfect as Fred. Still, he wasn’t bad. Kristen Johnson as Wilma was passable. Joan Collins seemed like she was trying to imitate Elizabeth Taylor, rather than make her own take on Mrs. Slaghopple. That brings us to lovable Barney. First off, Rick Moranis was a solid Barney and fit what we expect him to look like, mostly. Stephen Baldwin is too tall, looks like a stoner, and just doesn’t feel like Barney. What idiot cast him in this role?!?

TV effects. I was about to go on an epic rant about the special effects, but then I remembered that this was made in 2000, and the technology wasn’t there, yet. That said, I still was not impressed with the CG on Dino, Gazoo, and the other creatures. Some look better than others, I will say that. The dinosaurs look as if they were made for an amusement part ride, yet creatures such as the bird in the remote control look like bad puppets. Gazoo is the worst offender of them all, as he is nothing more than Alan Cumming’s head in green pain on a pear shaped CG body that was lazily rendered.

All comes down to money. Money, money, money…it seems that is all people care about these days. Take a look at our current presidential candidates. Most of us are going to vote for the lesser of two evils, whichever that may be, but that won’t matter because the one that has the most money backing them is going to win. In this film, we learn that Wilma, who comes from money, doesn’t care about it, yet her ex-boyfriend, who reminds me a lot of the villain from the last film, is all about money, especially since he owes a debt to the mob. He does any and everything to get Fred out of the picture so he can marry Wilma and not be “sleeping with the fishes”. Yeah, you can guess how that turns out, right? We’ve seen this plot a billion times and it never ends well for the bad guy.

Final verdict on The Flintsones in Viva Rock Vegas? This makes a valiant attempt at correcting the things that were heavily criticized in the previous film, as well as giving us a reason to care that this is another live action Flintstones film. However, some predictable plotlines, horrid casting, and bad timing hurt this film more than anything else. I found it mildly entertaining, at best. Do I recommend it? No, not really. There are better things you can waste 90 minutes on.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

Honeymoon

Posted in Horror, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , on June 19, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Young newlyweds Paul (Harry Treadaway) and Bea (Rose Leslie) travel to a remote lake cottage for their honeymoon, where the promise of private romance awaits them. Shortly after arriving, Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night. As she becomes more distant and her behavior increasingly peculiar, Paul begins to suspect something more sinister than sleepwalking took place in the woods.

What people are saying:

“It will leave you confused for large periods of time and the outside parts of the film have no real relevance but when Leslie and Treadway are on the screen it makes for a very effective slow building horror that you never really get to figure out. A smart horror film that depends on its cast, surroundings and cinematography more than big budget CHI or spats of excessive gore.” 3 stars

“Easily one of, if not the, worst movies of 2015. It’s acted as best as possible by Treadaway and Leslie but Leigh Janiak’s pacing is all over the place, and the script attempts to be metaphorical and human, but its ridiculousness reeks.

In layman’s terms, it’s just ass.” 1/2 star

“Loved it. I did enjoy that not EVERY SINGLE little question was answered- leaves you wondering. Dark imagery was intriguing. Only four characters also very neat angle.” 4 1/2

“Honeymoon is essentially Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, with a cast of two, set largely in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. As a low-budget film, this gets a polite round of applause for competence and for generating some decent atmosphere. As a horror film, it’s underwhelming.” 2 1/2 stars

“I was waiting…. and waiting… and waiting for something to keep my interest. I finally got a little taste of interest then the movie ended… Horribly at that. Sorry but this just didn’t do it for me.” 2 stars

Harry and the Hendersons

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

George Henderson (John Lithgow) is returning home with his family from a camping trip when they hit something with the family station wagon. George investigates, and discovers to his horror and awe, that they had hit a Sasquatch. Deciding to take the creature home, George does so, strapping it to the roof of the car. Meanwhile, a mysterious hunter has been tracking the creature and discovers the Hendersons’ license plate, which fell off when they hit the creature. At home, curiosity gets the best of George, and he goes out to the garage to examine the creature. Much to his shock, the creature was not dead and has since disappeared. He hears noises from his kitchen and sees the creature, it has knocked over the fridge in its attempt to find food. After waking the whole house, the family realizes that the creature is friendly and kind. George has a change of heart, at first he wished to make money from the creature, but now decides to take him back to the wild. Naming the creature “Harry”, George tries to lure him into the station wagon, but Harry believes that the Hendersons mean him harm and instead he disappears.

Saddened, the family resume their normal lives, but as the sightings of Harry become more frequent and the media fervor heightens, George decides he needs to find Harry in order to keep him safe. George visits the “North American Museum of Anthropology” to speak with Dr. Wallace Wrightwood, an expert on Bigfoot, but is disheartened when he realizes its ramshackle state. Giving his number to the clerk (Don Ameche) inside the Museum, George resumes his search of Harry. The hunter from the woods is revealed to be Jacques LaFleur (David Suchet). Once a legendary hunter, he became obsessed with Bigfoot and has hunted for one ever since becoming a laughing stock. LaFleur tracks down the Hendersons, and begins to get closer to finding Harry. After a Harry sighting, George goes into the city to search for him. Meanwhile, the police are dealing with the sudden “Bigfoot Mania” by apprehending several local Bigfoot enthusiasts that are hunting Bigfoot in case the Bigfoot in question is someone dressed as Bigfoot. Following a car chase, George is able to save Harry from LaFleur, and LaFleur is subsequently arrested by the arriving police officers. When George brings Harry home, he and the Hendersons bury the hunting trophies and pay their respects to the dead animals that were converted into hunting trophies.

The next morning, the neighbors of the Hendersons notice hair in their pool as Harry is seen being dried off while watching The Addams Family. At the police station, LaFleur calls up someone stating that he has a lead on Bigfoot and tells him to secure his release by this day. George calls Dr. Wallace Wrightwood from the museum and asks to have dinner to speak about Bigfoot. At the Henderson house, George is met by the same museum clerk who is revealed to be Dr. Wrightwood himself, having also become a laughing stock. Dr. Wrightwood tries to tell George and the rest of the family to give up on Bigfoot as it has destroyed his life and will do so to theirs. His faith is rejuvenated when he meets Harry, and instantly he agrees to take him to safety, away from the city. By this time, LaFleur has been bailed of jail and heads to the Henderson house. George and Harry escape the house with Dr. Wrightwood and his old truck. LaFleur gives chase and eventually catches up with the Henderson family.

Fleeing to the mountains of Washington state, George tries to make Harry leave, going so far as to hit Harry. Confused and upset, Harry does not leave, allowing LaFleur to catch up to them. When LaFleur attacks the Henderson’s dog, Harry attacks LaFleur until George intervenes. Through George’s faith and Harry’s kindness, LaFleur changes his mind and decides that Harry deserves to live peacefully. As the family says goodbye, George thanks Harry for all he has done for the family and tells him to take care of himself, to which Harry replies “OK” (his first spoken words). As Harry leaves, several other Sasquatches appear from their hiding places and also disappear in the wilderness with him much to the amazement of the Hendersons. When Dr. Wrightwood asks LaFleur what he’s going to do next, LaFleur quotes “I don’t know. There’s always Loch Ness.” As the two of them laugh at that comment, the Hendersons keep waving goodbye to Harry.

REVIEW:

Going back to my elementary school days, one of the films that I seem to have a fondness for is Harry and the Hendersons, and since I’ve recently started watching 3rd Rock from the Sun again, this might be a good time to go back to this classic comedy. Will it still hold fond memories after I watch it again? Who knows?

What is this about?

Returning home from vacation, the Hendersons accidentally run over a strange Bigfoot-type animal. They decide to take the friendly “Harry” home, but soon they’re scrambling to hide their new friend from authorities and Bigfoot hunters.

What did I like?

Bigfoot. This is a different take on Bigfoot. Instead of the big, scary monster that will devour you whole, we get a big, scary, monster that cares for others. Also, I must mention the design of the character and how he was portrayed on screen. I believe this came out around the same time as Beauty & the Beast, and Harry’s look somewhat reflects that (as does the movie poster). As far as his portrayal, the actor inside the suit was able to show us more feeling through a few grunts and eye movements than I’ve seen from almost all of Hollywood in the last 5-10 yrs…at least.

Family. I’ve noticed that when a family is on-screen, they don’t often feel like one. When my family would take road trips, I would be doing two things…annoying my sister or sleeping. That feeling is what I got from watching this group. Typical mom and dad love each other and brother and sister are at each other’s throats. Ah….memories!

All the right pieces. Screen legend Don Ameche plays a scientist who had been studying/searching for Bigfoot for most of his life. The way we are introduced to him, one would almost think he’s hunting for Harry, too, but as it turns out he is one of the good guys. Chalk that up to Ameche’s ability to bring the audience in and manipulate us one way or the other. Now, couple him in a cast that also has John Lithgow, Lanie Kazan, and a couple of short scenes with character actor M. Emmet Walsh, plus the rest of the cast. Those aren’t bad pieces for a small family comedy, huh?

What didn’t I like?

Papa, can you hear me? I don’t really understand the reasoning for having Lithgow work for his father M. Emmet Walsh at their outdoor store. Anyone could have been the manager there and the father could have been used or brought in elsewhere. It just seemed an odd, not necessarily bad, choice. I would like to know the reasoning, but that’ll probably never happen.

Hunter for hire. Our antagonist is a French (maybe Canadian?) hunter with all sort of tracking, hunting, and military skills. What’s the problem with this guy? As a comedic villain, he was a bit too cartoony for my taste. They should have made this guy hardcore and serious about his craft, rather than the moustache twirling version we got on screen. I wonder how much different that prison scene would have been. Instead of the other prisoners avoiding him because of the stench, they’d probably be avoiding him out of fear!

Recovery. Here is something I have a problem with. The Hendersons bring home Harry, a 7 ft tall creature who proceeds to destroy their house and subsequently, the neighbor’s garden. This can perhaps be attributed to why no one has been able to actually see Bigfoot, but does no one else in this neighborhood hear all the noise going on at the house that hasn’t been there before? This was during the time when neighborhood watch was big and the slightest peep that wasn’t normal would send everyone to their phones calling the police. I don’t know, maybe I’m being a bit nitpicky about that, though.

Final verdict on Harry and the Hendersons? There was a time in the mid 80s where everyone was trying to rip off E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial. In some ways, this could be considered another of those, storywise…also probably the better ones. This lovable Sasquatch is definitely an underrated gem in family film. If I’m not mistaken, there was a spinoff TV show that lasted a few seasons, as well! Do I recommend this picture? Yes…yes I do.

4 out of 5 stars

Trailer Thursday 6/16

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on June 16, 2016 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

I want you take a look at this trailer for Thousands Cheer. Anybody that was anybody in the 50s is in this film, short of the western guys. I wonder what the film is actually about!

Vampire Academy

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

At St. Vladimir’s Academy, Rose Hathaway learns to navigate life as a dhampir, a half-human vampire, and prepares to become a leader of the Moroi. But outside the walls of St. Vlad’s lurk the Strigoi, the Moroi’s vicious immortal enemies.

What people are saying:

“I figure this movie was made for 16 year olds, but it was also apparently written by one. Horrible writing, overly dramatic acting. Nothing new or unique about this movie, yet it managed to be confusing. If you’ve reached puberty there’s nothing to see here. ” 1 star

“A really good movie in my opinion. Definitely a must see if you are into sci-fi ish movies with vampires. It was actually the best movie i have seen in like 2 years it was really interesting and i never wanted to pause the movie. It has a wide range of genres like romantic in some parts, mysterious and funny. Absolutely love it!!!!!!!!! Have to watch it!!!!” 5 stars

“I enjoy a good YA novel and am not turned away by the genera or movies based on those books. But this movie was only OK. It suffers from an extremely rushed plot, lack of character development, and some questionable scenes by secondary actors. I’ve not read it, but it seems clear that they’re attempting to get everything from the novel into the movie, and I applaud the attempt. The Divergent movie does this as well and successfully. Reluctantly though, In this case perhaps some cutting is in order for the sake of the movie format.” 3 stars

“If you want a good example of a modern vampire flik, this isn’t it. It’s a movie for teenagers about teenagers with supernatural abilities. The characters talk with modern slang with typical teen-tv wit. It’s not a particularly original plot, but it’s a formula designed for it’s audience. I’m not ripping on it. These movies are fun when you’re at the right age. Just make sure you’re the right audience for it.” 2 stars

“This is a horrible rendition of a wonderful series of books. I can’t believe how much it was butchered. The casting was just awful. I found myself just wanting to slap Lissa and Rose through out the whole thing. Tons of stuff was left out. I know they can’t make a movie with everything in it that’s in the book, but they left out some important things, and then just changed things that wouldn’t have ever happened in the books. Kirova would have never tried to sedate Rose in her office or anywhere for that matter. She also wouldn’t have given permission for Rose to watch classified stuff. Things they found out about in the book came from Christian and sleuthing, where in the movie they decided to just turn all that good work into just “Oh, I found stuff on Mia’s computer!” or “Here’s a dvd, go watch it!” BS. The books are an extremely good read. If I had watched the movie first, I would have never picked up the book at all. And Dimitri is supposed to be a hot god-like guardian who is 6’7″. They made him look average at best, and the story line should have shown more of the Rose/Dimitri relationship starting since that’s a huge part of the story and actually is important for the rest of the series if they can even get financing for another terrible movie. ” 1 star

Bad Ass

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on June 13, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Decorated Vietnam hero Frank Vega returns home only to get shunned by society leaving him without a job or his high school sweetheart. It’s not until forty years later when an incident on a commuter bus (where he protects an elderly black man from a pair of skin heads) makes him a local hero where he’s suddenly turns for the worse when his best friend Klondike is murdered and the police aren’t doing anything about it.

What people are saying:

“I had no idea this movie was based on the Epic Beard Man video, but it is, from the “I am a motherfucker” shirt, to the fanny pack. There is even gratuitous use of the term “leakin'” to refer to bleeding and a call for someone to “bring a amberlamps.” This movie is filled with horrible acting and abhorrent one-liners. The plot is 84 minutes of nonsense poorly twisted and woven throughout a 6 minute Youtube video. I wish I had just watched the original video, which I’ve already seen countless times, nonstop consecutively for 90 minutes instead of watching this. I’m honestly surprised I watched the entire thing.” 1/2 star

“Let’s include everything from a youtube video and use it as a theme for a film…

Wait… it has to have terrible dialogue and a battle with buses.

Of course… sounds like a brilliant idea.” 1 star

“Love the spaghetti gangster stuff, Danny is a 71 year old Jason Statham. Imagine 25 years later … when you are on social security and bored and a Nam vet … why not. Every bit as good as a senior citizen James Bond.” 4 1/2 stars

“Good film..really enjoyed it…tonight I watched 3 top Hollywood blockbusters battleship,the dictator and the raven and this one low budget unheard of film called bad ass was by far the best one….it’s nothing spectacular but it’s entertaining good story and best of all the good film” 3 stars

“You think your a bad ass, I think not. You are know BADASS. Not as bad ass as this film. This movie is so frigging awesome. Its like they took and old Charles Bronson film and smacked it with transporter, and sprinkled it was the best way to actually be one of those b movies that just kicks your ass. Its nice to see a cool small flick like this that just is what it is. Finally a movie that doesn’t need a car to be cool, just a transit pass on the bus to kick your ass. Machete, HellBoy, Fortune, I know who they really are, and a lot of other talent in this film makes it a lot of fun too watch.” 5 stars

Jimi: All is by My Side

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

André Benjamin stars as Jimi Hendrix in this biopic that chronicles his rise to fame and the personal demons he battled along the way. Clips of the actual Hendrix punctuate the film as it explores little-known aspects of the troubled star’s life.

What people are saying:

“Andre Benjamin was the highlight of this biopic. His portrayal of Jimi Hendrix is great and I gotta say… I was suprised. Although after some research I would like to note that his domestic violence was supposedly fiction. I felt it was out of character but at the time I believed it. Haley Atwell and Imogen Poots were very good in their supporting role. The one major thing that was missing from this film wast his music. Really disappointed not to hear any of his popular music. *aside* from Wild thing. The editing also was quite confusing at times that either had me hoping for better. There was one time it felt like the cameraman was not on a tripod and was handheld. They went with a 70’s film type vibe which wasn’t bad. The entire movie though didn’t have much of a point. Unless they were trying to get the point across that Jimi just followed people that told him what to do all the time. Pass.” 2 stars

“Shame on Mr. Ridley for providing an inaccurate portrayal of one of the most iconic music stars. He made Jimi out to be a women abuser and often mean person. Supposedly this was added for “dramatic” purposes. This goes against biographies and hundreds of interviews of many people including his girlfriend! Mr. Ridley also unfortunately is adding to the racist myth that blacks are savage violent people. Jimi was by all accounts a genius driven, peaceful, shy, and way ahead of his time individual. The only reason for a half star is the acting was good, but could have been better with a true portrayal of a musical genius.” 1/2 star

“The positives: Andre Benjamin has Hendrix’s mannerisms down to a science. The supporting cast is very solid. The locations feel real.

The Negatives: Not a lot of focus on the actual music, too much focus on the relationships. It could’ve easily been an hour longer and covered more.

A pretty good attempt but somewhat underwhelming.” 3 stars

“A very well done biographical depiction of the beginnings of the legend that is Jimi Hendrix. Andre Benjamin does a stellar job portraying Hendrix to the point where you forget you are watching a film and almost video footage of him. It’s truly uncanny. Hayley Atwell, Imogen Poots and Andrew Buckley bring John Ridley’s screenplay to life brilliantly. The setting and props were amazing and really did feel like a genuine look into life in the 1960’s. Also it’s very interesting how legendary rock and rollers were tied into Jimi’s path to greatness. The only downside is that there are no original Hendrix tunes (although the music did capture the spirit and style that is Jimi) used in the film. I would really like to see a sequel that follows Jimi from Woodstock until the end of his life.” 4 1/2 stars

“I thought it was well done overall. However, throughout most (almost all) it felt like the film was wandering aimlessly. Usually a movie will take you on a ride or a journey, this one was a stroll around a block in London basically. There was also a lot of dialog without a lot to say, and there was not quite enough of Jimi’s iconic music. André Benjamin was fantastic and completely inhabited the role as well.” 3 stars

The Ridiculous 6

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In the Old West era, a calm man named Tommy Stockburn (Sandler) is raised by Native Americans, where he is named “White Knife”, due to his tendency to use knives. He is due to marry a Native girl named Smoking Fox (Jones). He has a run-in with a gang of bandits with eye patches on their right eyes, led by Will Patch (Forte), and manages to outsmart them and a deranged, Native American-racist food proprietor named Clem (Zahn), whose left eye is badly dysfunctional. At his Native village a bank robber named Frank Stockburn (Nolte) comes by, claiming to be Tommy’s biological father. Tommy explains to Frank that his mother was shot by a silhouetted man with tattoos on his hand when she was escorting him to school during his childhood, something that has haunted his dreams since. Frank also tells Tommy that he is dying of consumption, but that he has amassed $50,000 and buried it in a meadow next to a pine tree, which he offers to Tommy and the Natives. The next day, a group of bandits with connections to Frank come to the village, led by the ruthless Cicero (Trejo) who want Frank to give them his “big score” he gained a while back. Frank has the bandits kidnap him so he can lead them to the $50,000 at the so called “Singing Windmill” at Jawbone Fall, in return for the bandits not attacking Tommy or the Indians. With no time to search the meadow and find the money, Tommy decides he must find another way to obtain it and save his father.

Tommy sets out on his quest to regain his father and decides that the best way to gain enough money is by stealing it. However, because his tribe does not condone theft and claims it is dishonorable, Tommy instead opts to steal from those who have no honor, leading him to target corrupt politicians, racist bankers, and thugs alike. During his quest, Tommy discovers that he has 5 half-brothers; Mexican burro rider Ramon (Schneider), whose innkeeper mother Frank had a fling with; mentally challenged yet happy-go-lucky Lil’ Pete (Lautner), who has a strong neck that makes him immune to hanging; feral mountain-man Herm (Garcia), who speaks incomprehensibly; guilt-ridden drunkard Danny (Wilson), who served as a bodyguard for Abraham Lincoln until accidentally leading John Wilkes Booth to murder him; and African-American saloon pianist Chico (Crews), who confesses to be only 50 percent white; all of which join Tommy. Meanwhile, Clem joins the eye patch gang in hopes of finding Tommy to take revenge on him after Clem removes his only functional eye (since the other eye patch wearers claim that removing the right eye is part of the gang’s way) before they kidnap Tommy’s fiancee, though she manages to escape them due to Clem’s poor eyesight and heads out to find Frank. When meeting Chico and Danny, they run with Chico’s boss: the aggressive, always smiling saloon owner Smiley Harris (Keitel), who was part of Frank’s gang until Frank stole his cut of their biggest score and left him to die at the windmill. He owns a large golden nugget the brothers steal after Ramon, while riding his burro, accidentally decapitates Smiley with a shovel from behind just as he is about to shoot the brothers as revenge against Frank for his betrayal, though Ramon was only trying to knock him out.

While relaxing in a pond, Clem and the eye patch gang show up and while the brothers manage to overpower them, the gang manage to steal the money the brothers stole. Hope isn’t lost for the brothers, as Herm (through Tommy’s translation) tells them that a gambler named Ezekiel Grant (Lovitz) is hosting a gambling game with Mark Twain (Ice) and General George Armstrong Custer (Spade) in Yuma. After successfully robbing the poker game, they head out to ransom their father. As dusk falls, Tommy realizes (through a photograph carried by Danny) that it was Cicero who murdered his mother. Not wanting to put his brothers in harm’s way, Tommy sets out alone in the cover of night to rescue his father and confront his mother’s killer. After paying the ransom, Cicero decides to part ways but Tommy insists on getting his revenge. Having successfully killed Cicero, the half-brothers (who followed Tommy) have a reunion with their long lost father. Realizing that Tommy’s group now have $100,000 after rescuing the Left-Eye Gang and getting their original $50,000, Frank double crosses them, revealing that he was in cahoots with Cicero for an easy $50,000. Tommy then reveals that their group also has a Plan B: a hidden bomb inside the bag containing the ransom money. When the bomb explodes and commotion ensues, Frank runs off with Smoking Fox (whom his group has been holding hostage) inside a mine. Tommy runs after them and successfully rescues his bride-to-be and captures his father. Also, in the process of the fighting, the Left-Eye Gang accidentally reveal that they lied about removing their right eyes, much to Clem’s outrage.

Back in the Native Village, Tommy weds Smoking Fox with his brothers in attendance. Since the revelation that their biological father Frank Stockburn was no more than a two-bit crook, the Native chief decides to adopt the half-brothers as he did with Tommy

REVIEW:

With the apparent flop of Pixels, it is safe to say that Adam Sandler is not the box office draw he once was. Sure, he still brings a certain crowd to the movies, but that number is dwindling with each carbon copy film. Enter Netflix! Now those that want to see Sandler movies, but not pay outrageous prices for utter crap can watch at the push of a button. The first film in Sandler’s deal with Netflix is The Ridiculous 6. Now, will this new deal reinvigorate Sandler or are we destined for more of the same?

What is this about?

A white man, Tommy, raised by Indians is approached by his long lost father who tells him he needs $50,000 or he’ll die at the hands of his former gang. Tommy goes on an incredible and ridiculous journey picking up his other 5 new brothers on the way in a race to save their dad.

What did I like?

Brother from another mother. 6 guys all without a father. What ties them together? Well, it turns out that the same guy was with all of their mothers. In a drama, this would make for some interesting deep character study, but for a comedy, an Adam Sandler one, at that, it just makes for some interesting casting choices. What was intriguing about all of the brothers is how each has their own specific characteristic and they aren’t just clones of each other or their father.

A little history. Believe it or not, there is some history in this film. We get a short telling of the murder of Abraham Lincoln and then meet General Custer, Mark Twain (Vanilla Ice, really?!?), Wyatt Earp, etc. I sincerely doubt that these men were ever in the same room together, but it is always nice getting that “what if” moment. If you’re one of those people citing historical inaccuracies, I have to question if you even know what kind of movie this is!

Made for the west. Recent westerns have shown us a more rugged, realistic look to people, as opposed to the flawless hygiene that we have become accustomed to with the shows and movies of the late 50s and 60s. This brings me to Nick Nolte. At one point in time, he was a heartthrob, a leading man, if you will. These days, he’s just a grumpy old codger. The kid of guy that fits perfectly in the old west. Someone needs to snatch him up and cast him in the next western in production, because he looks the part, already!

What didn’t I like?

Sandler humor. I’m not some guy that insists on highbrow, cerebral humor. I’ll laugh at fart jokes ’till the cows come home. That being said, when said jokes are done in every…single…film…one gets tired of them. For me, as a Sandler fan, it is getting harder and harder to laugh at his films. He uses the same juvenile humor in everything he’s in. There have been two or three times he hasn’t. Hotel Transylvania (which technically isn’t his film), Spanglish, and there was a drama with Don Cheadle about the World Trade Center bombing that he was in, but the title escapes me at the moment. The guy can do something different, he just doesn’t seem to want to.

Cry wolf. No one else in Hollywood will cast Taylor Lautner, except Adam Sandler. I have nothing against the guy, other than he was in that franchise that shall not be named (side note…the actress playing Smoking Fox also was in those horrid films). My problem is that this is a stupid character. Think Gomer Pyle and take away about 100 IQ points. If there needed to be a dim one, that’s fine, but this was just a bit too much. I was questioning whether he had been hit in the head a few times or kicked by some horses more than we are privy to know.

Hero for hire. Ever notice that in all of Sandler’s movies he is the hero? He typically has the best life, or will have by the end of the film, the hottest wife, etc. Talk about an ego! Admittedly, if I were writing a film for myself, there would be at least one time that I would save everything for myself, but not everytime. What makes it so bad here is that I cannot believe Sandler as an old hand of the west. Luke Wilson and he should have traded roles.

Final verdict on The Ridiculous 6? Well, The Magnificent 7 it ain’t, that’s for sure. It was nice to see Sandler and Rob Schneider working together again (apparently, they had a falling out at some point). As you can guess, Sandler has all his buddies in here at some point, including his wife and one his sons! Eh…at this point, it is what it is. I don’t have much to say about this flick, other than it kills a couple of hours and isn’t boring. Do I recommend it? No, if you’re in the mood for a comedy western, go watch A Million Ways to Die in the West. It isn’t that much better than this, but at least it doesn’t feel lazily slapped together by someone who got drunk one night.

2 out of 5 stars