Archive for December, 2017

Sausage Party

Posted in Animation, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

A misplaced sausage and his savory friends embark on an existential adventure through the aisles of a massive supermarket in this raunchy animated comedy from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. As the store’s annual 4th of July sale draws near, the perishable pals must return to their rightful places on the shelves before the customers come flooding in to fill their carts.

What people are saying:

“Despite all the cursing and envelope-pushing and bat-bleep crazy sexual stuff, Sausage Party isn’t mean-spirited. It’s just … stupid. But also pretty smart. And funny as hell” 4 stars

“If it takes a film about an animated sausage and a bun, laced with toilet humor and extreme sexual puns, to provide a modern-day existential critique of the lunacy of human nature and modern racial and religious discourse, then I’m all for it.” 4 stars

“I’m sure the average undereducated giggling pimply faced pubescent teenage boy will find this movie titillating, but really, anyone trying to defend its puerile banality just sounds as unconvincing as someone who claims they only buy “Playboy” for the articles. There really isn’t anything new or insightful in this movie and the only boundaries it pushes is it bearing a MA15+ classification and putting a price sticker on the DVD.” 1/2 star

“Moral outrage at comedy is the conservative answer to the “Constitutional Crisis”, which, I do believe is real, but seriously, this film is brilliant and it doesn’t matter how heavy the material is, the story is full of characters that matter in their community which is trying to save itself. A lesson some folks might heed is in that orgy… for the community. ” 5 stars

“If you don’t like Seth Rogen, this movie isn’t for you. If you aren’t into thinking outside of the box when it comes to animation, this movie isn’t for you. If you like your animated characters all cute and nice with a good moral story…..this movie is not for you. If you have kids….this movie is DEFINITELY NOT for you! Having said all of that, I can take or leave Seth. I’ve seen some movies I’ve liked of his and some I didn’t like. I remember seeing previews or some kind of review for this and thought Sausage Party would be stupid then decided to give it a try. This is probably my most favorite Seth Rogen movie to date. It’s obvious he was on drugs when he came up with the idea for this movie. Thank goodness he was! It’s funny and definitely outside of the box. The idea of the perspective of food in a grocery store is brilliant. I laughed through the whole thing. Was caught off guard by a couple of things. There is one scene towards the end……you’ll know it when you see it. Again, it’s not for or meant for everyone. This is your warning.” 5 stars

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Trailer Thursday 12/28

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on December 28, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

As I sit here getting ready to begin watching Marvel’s The Punisher on Netflix, I suddenly have an idea for the final trailer for the year Punisher: War Zone.

This may not be the best iteration of the Punisher, but it sure is the most over the top and entertaining. Have a look!

Get Out

Posted in Horror, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.

What people are saying:

“Funny, scary, and thought-provoking, Get Out seamlessly weaves its trenchant social critiques into a brilliantly effective and entertaining horror/comedy thrill ride.” 4 stars

“What makes Get Out more than just a slam-bang scarefest is that, in its own darkly satiric way, it is also a movie about racial paranoia that captures the zeitgeist in ways that many more “prestigious” movies don’t.” 5 stars

“I had high hopes and high expectations for this film, knowing little about it prior to watching. Quick review: Overhyped Not a horror, lacks tension building and atmosphere and falls flat Not a thriller, just weird. Not a comedy, one dude playing a stereotype with 7 minutes of screen time does not make this a comedy. Acting is decent Early attempts at effecting the audience with the score showed promise but failed to deliver. Story failed to shock/suprise. (People should have been able to see the story coming) Too heavy handed, felt like one of those films in Jr High that tried to be extra cool while telling you that underaged drinking is back mmmmkaay. Summary: It’s a pretentious and condescending movie that failed more often than it succeeded and the fact that people were blind to it because of its social cause is disheartening. If people (over)like it and give it extra stars because of who made it and his world view, they are doing a disservice to the film community, the audience, the actors and producers. Encourage films to be great on their own and take the “everyone gets a trophy for trying” gloves off.” 1 star

“This was a superbly executed horror film. The chilling moments were chilling. The laughable moments were intentional, because typically when you’re laughing during a horror film, we all know you are not laughing with, but at the film. The acting was flawless: from Daniel Kaluuya to Catherine Keener, the actors brought so many levels to their performances. I was especially impressed with Keener and Bradley Whitford’s ability to go from warm, parental figures to subtly menacing to their ultimate terrifying performance.  The fact that they were able to include the old hypnosis trope, and make it fresh and horrifying in 2017, was worthy of applause in and of itself. I am so impressed with Jordan Peele and his first foray into horror. He managed to make a suspenseful horror film that also made you think. I applaud Mr. Peele, the cast, and crew. Best film I’ve seen in quite some time!” 5 stars

Get Out is surprisingly eloquent when it comes to criticizing the topic of modern racial tension, but made it a bit funny, too. Jordan Peele is able to balance the horror elements and his usual comedic tone quite well. As it progresses, the premise seems more ridiculousness, but the reality of the situation is grounded and effective. And much like the main character, you find the rest of the cast predictably sketchy, but you believe the slight of terror they give off. It’s pretty entertaining and while we may never experience this, there’s probably something in the film that makes us think about the things we deal with surrounding us.” 5 stars

Bad Santa 2

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Boozy scoundrel Willie Soke returns for another holiday season as a department store Santa, assisted by his elfin crony, Marcus. This time, Willie and his potty-mouthed mom conspire to defraud a charity.

What people are saying:

“This film is far from perfect, but it made me and some other terribly frightened folks laugh for a while in the dark.” 4 stars

“…vulgar, nasty and offensive, but it has flawed aspects also so raunchy, you may feel the urge to wash your ears out with soap, not that the language is the only dirty thing about it…” 2 1/2 stars

“Equally as its predecessor Bad Santa is hilariously side splitting and an emotional roller coaster nail biting exciting and funny movie. Tony Cox is a hoot along with Kathy Bates and of course, Billy Bob Thornton and his adopted son screwball partner.

“The original Bad Santa is a comedy classic the sequel unfortunately doesn’t live up to the reputation of the first film. And a lot of it has to do with the weak writing and weak plot. Billy Bob Thornton is still fun to watch and still gives off Great performance. All of the cast does a decent job. Some of the jokes work and a lot of unfortunately don’t. It’s not the worst sequel out there but it’s probably not something you’re going to want to watch again like the first bad Santa.” 2 1/2 stars

“This really is not a bad movie. It came out probably 10 years too late (the original classic was in 2003) and Lauren Graham wasn’t in it due to the filming of “Gilmore Girls,” but the movie had a lot of laughs. It was good to see Willie back and still doing terribly, and Thurman Merman is almost as good as he was in the original. Christina Hendricks also was a good addition to the cast in lieu of Lauren Graham. This movie isn’t going to be on any Top 10 Best Christmas Movies of All-Time list, but it was good for 90 minutes of laughs if you aren’t expecting much.” 3 stars

Codename: The Cleaner

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

A janitor, Jake Rogers (Cedric the Entertainer), wakes up next to a dead body with no memory of who he is and how he got there, but gradually comes to believe he is a secret undercover agent, and after fleeing the hotel and meeting his wife Diane (Nicollette Sheridan) and girlfriend (Lucy Liu) Jake goes on one crazy adventure to find out who he is.

What people are saying:

Code Name: The Cleaner is a limp action/comedy flick that alternates between lame, worn-out jokes and cheesy martial arts.” 2 stars

“Although comprised of lowest-common denominator gags, it’s an oddly hard-to-follow affair, with good and bad FBI agents popping up everywhere and the plot only revealing itself in fits and starts.” 1 star

“Cedric is usually funny, but not here. Lucy Liu is a fantastic performer and can kick out the action, but her talents are wasted in this movie. Surprisingly unfunny and uninteresting, the idea was promising, and the execution was bad. I would recommend giving it a pass unless for some reason you can’t get buy without seeing Cedric on the big screen. ” 2 stars

“I managed to catch this film on cable years after it’s theater release. It was very much in the vein of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.Cedric plays a ne’er do well janitor at a video game and electronics company who learns of a plot to turn computer game chips into weapons smuggling and information smuggling defices. the problem is that he then get’s amnesia and begins to think he really might be a superspy. It was goofy and campy but had a kind of low rent charm all it’s own. Cedric the entertainer was good enough to get me through each scene and Lucy Liu was a nice treat to break up the epic stupidity of the premise. Once again, it was one of those films that was worth what I paid for it.” 3 stars

“The group I watched this with laughed and laughed, and what can I say? Laughter is infectious. There are good jokes in this movie, as well as very poor ones (see the joke about shooting a janitor in the posterior), but the overall feeling I get is “meh.” Cedric is at his silly best in this one, but fails to wow anyone. If you’ve seen one generic comedy starring a former big actor, you’ve seen them all.” 1 1/2 stars

Logan

Posted in Action/Adventure, Drama, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 2029, no mutants have been born in 25 years. Logan’s healing ability has weakened and he has aged; he spends his days drinking and working as a limo driver in El Paso, Texas. In an abandoned smelting plant in northern Mexico, he and mutant tracker Caliban care for nonagenarian Charles Xavier, Logan’s mentor and founder of the X-Men. Charles, a psychic, suffers from a brain disease that causes him to have destructive seizures unless controlled with medication; a seizure a year earlier killed seven mutants, leaving Logan, Caliban and Xavier as the last of the X-Men.

Gabriela Lopez, a former nurse for biotechnology corporation Alkali-Transigen, tries to hire Logan to escort her and an 11-year-old girl, Laura, to Eden, a refuge in North Dakota. Logan reluctantly accepts, but finds Gabriela killed. He is confronted at his hideout by Gabriela’s killer, Donald Pierce, Transigen’s cyborg chief of security, who is looking for Laura. Laura has stowed away in Logan’s limo, and has powers like Logan’s. She, Logan and Charles escape Pierce and his Reavers, but Caliban is captured and tortured by Pierce into tracking Laura.

A video on Gabriela’s cellphone shows that Transigen created Laura and other children from mutant DNA samples to turn into weapons; Laura was created from Logan’s DNA. As they proved difficult to control and Transigen had found an alternative, the children were to be killed, but Gabriela and other nurses helped some of them escape.

In Oklahoma City, Logan discovers that Eden appears in an X-Men comic in Laura’s possession, and assumes it is fictional. The Reavers arrive, but Charles has a seizure and incapacitates everyone in the vicinity, except for Logan and Laura, who kill the attackers and inject Charles with medication, and they flee. Dr. Zander Rice, head of Transigen, arrives to help Pierce.

Logan, Laura, and Charles help farmer Will Munson and his family after a traffic incident and accept an offer of dinner at their home. Logan drives off enforcers from a corporate farm harassing Will. Rice unleashes X-24, a Transigen clone of Logan, who murders Charles and Will’s family, stabs Will, and captures Laura. Caliban sets off grenades, killing himself and several Reavers while injuring Pierce. Logan fights X-24, but is outmatched. Will pins X-24 with his truck, but dies from his injuries. Logan and Laura escape with Charles’ body.

After burying Charles, Logan passes out. Laura takes him to a doctor and persuades him to take her to Eden, where they find Rictor and other Transigen children preparing to cross to Canada. Laura finds an adamantium bullet Logan has kept since his escape from Weapon X, which he once considered using to commit suicide. Logan decides his job is done and chooses not to accompany them, much to Laura’s dismay.

The children are captured by the Reavers. Logan takes an overdose of a serum given to him by Rictor that temporarily strengthens his physical and healing abilities. With Laura’s help, he slaughters most of the Reavers, but the serum wears off. As Pierce holds Rictor at gunpoint, Rice tells Logan, who killed Rice’s father years ago while escaping from Weapon X, that no new mutants were born due to a Transigen virus that Rice created. Logan shoots Rice dead and attacks Pierce. X-24, enraged by Rice’s death, fights Logan. With their guards distracted, the children kill Pierce and the remaining Reavers. Rictor uses his seismic powers to flip a truck onto X-24. X-24 frees himself and impales Logan on a tree branch, but Laura shoots X-24 dead with the adamantium bullet. Before he dies, Logan tells Laura not to become the weapon she was made to be, and Laura finally tearfully acknowledges him as her father. After his burial, Laura turns the cross on his grave on its side to create an X, to honor him as the last X-Man and then departs with the other children.

REVIEW:

Ever since he first appeared on the big screen, way back in X-Men, fans worldwide have longed to get that raw, uncut Wolverine that is more akin to what we see in the comics, rather than what we’ve seen in shows like X-Men: The Animated Series. Logan looks to be the film to finally accomplish this. Let us find out if the goal was achieved.

What is this about?

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X, somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world, and his legacy, are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.

What did I like?

What’s old is new again. Many years ago, Charles Xavier and Logan first met. While their relationship hasn’t always been the best, you can tell from the beginning that there was a mutual respect between them. That respect is perhaps why we find Logan as a sort of caregiver for Xavier. Sure, some may say this is done just to give Stewart one last shot at being the professor, which may have been rue before Disney bought the rights last week, but that’s a whole different post altogether. As we watch these two in their old age, severely slowed down due to the passage of time, wear and tear on their bodies, and various ailments, it is good to see their friendship last all these years, even when one has to change the other’s adult diaper!

Bloodsport. Go read a Wolverine comic, especially one released in this day and age. Logan does not hold back with the spillage of blood. As a matter of fact, I remember when I was growing up, I had to hide my Wolverine comics because my parents thought they were too violent and that I would turn into some mass murderer or something. Unless you count the endless lives I’ve ended in video games, I haven’t hurt a fly! Back on topic, though, we finally get to see Wolverine kill people with blood squirting out. This seems like a small thing to non-comic fans, but if you know truly know the character, its a huge thing, tbh. Also, we are privy to a bit more of the berserker rage that made Wolverine such an unstoppable force. Such a shame we had to wait for the last film to get all this.

Comic relief. This is a dark and serious film. As such, it was nice to get a few moments of levity to lighten the mood. Most of these came from Caliban, played by comedian Stephen Merchant. When I saw this casting,  I questioned it, but it makes sense now. Not only does the guy fit the character’s description, but he also provides a few much needed jokes in dire situations.

What didn’t I like?

Sabretooth? One of the antagonists is a clone of Logan, a younger, more powerful version of Logan, with a healing factor that hasn’t been slowed down. He actually makes for an interesting enemy. What I wonder is if he was originally supposed to have been Sabretooth. Wearing all black and with his hair cut the way it is, I was reminded of Liev Shrieber’s Sabretooth from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, you know that movie that everyone seems to hate for whatever reason.

Another family. At a point in the film, Logan says something along the lines of “bad things happen to good people who get attached to me.” A few scenes later, a family that has taken him, X-23, and Professor X in for the night is under attack. What is my problem with this? I guess it just feels a bit like the old couple in the first Wolverine film. They were just doing what was right, being good human beings, and found themselves 6 ft under. I guess the writers just wanted to take the bloodlust R-rating as far as they could and kill everyone just because they could.

Like father, like daughter. Ever daughter has certain mannerisms that they take from their parents, that’s just nature. X-23 is a clone of Logan, though, so she really takes after him. I don’t know much about her in the comics, but I do know she has a violent temper and is a bit of a loner, just like her “father”. What’s wrong with this? I guess I just expected something more from the film version. Not necessarily a sassy teen with attitude, we got that in X-Men: Evolution, just something other than a silent assassin type that speaks very little, broken English.

Final verdict on Logan. People have been praising this film as the best superhero film since The Dark Knight and that it is sure to be a game changer for the genre. I can see why people would think this, but for me, this was just a very well made conclusion to Wolverine’s story and, with the Disney acquisition of the X-Men rights, sets up perfectly for a reboot of the character, whether through X-23 or bringing someone else in as Logan. That said, this is a beautiful, powerful film that will tug on your heartstrings in a couple of places. You feel the consequences in this picture more than any of its predecessors, perhaps because we’ve known these characters for so long. Do I recommend it? Yes, very much so! If for no other reason than to see Stewart and Jackman play these characters for what they have said is the final time.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Trailer Thursday 12/21

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on December 21, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

There are ennumerous Christmas films out there, but one that is severely underrated (or confused for its horror counterpart) is Jack Frost.

Check it out