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

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

Innerspace

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , on December 20, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

A hell-raising Navy test pilot (Dennis Quaid) is miniaturized for a top-secret exploratory journey inside a laboratory rabbit — but is instead injected into the body of a high-strung nebbish (Martin Short) who works as a supermarket clerk. Co-starring Meg Ryan, Innerspace is like The Fantastic Voyage with a laugh track. Short’s twitchy physical comedy is a marvel to behold.

What people are saying:

“A manic, overstuffed blend of sci-fi, comedy and romance, Innerspace nonetheless charms, thanks to Martin Short’s fine performance and the insistent zaniness of the plot” 3 1/2 stars

“Though the film plays like a mix of exhilarating adventure and smart comedy, it’s deepened by the notion that little Quaid is floating around inside Short’s body sinking hooks into things, ripping open veins, triggering stomach acid, and the like.” 4 1/2 stars

“Have I seen better movies…yes but not by much. For what was available at the time the visual effects are amazing (CGI wasn’t a big thing when this was made). And it has enough comedy to keep everyone interested. Basically Short and Ryan steal the show was they try to get a chip back that Quaid needs to reenlarge before his air supply run out. Just rent this and thank me later. ” 4 stars

“A fast-paced pastiche of ‘shrinking’ in scifi, an alcoholic Navy pilot gets trapped in the body of a loser Safeway clerk. More of an action-adventure comedy than anything else, it’s entertaining without being much more.” 3 1/2 stars

“I was sort of hoping to give this five stars, since it was one of my favorite movies as a kid. Looking at it as an adult, I think the first act is very strong, it has a lot of good jokes and action scenes (and really fantastic special effects), and Martin Short actually does quite well at both being funny and playing an actual character instead of a walking gag (sorry, Martin Short, but you tend to do the latter). The movie gets kind of directionless in the second act, though. Tuck and Jack are in the middle of a crisis, so they escape back to Tuck’s apartment and…get drunk and dance around. What? Also, Tuck’s pod seems to teleport to whatever part of Jack’s body would be most useful to the story and/or a gag; the story’s climax for him happens in Jack’s stomach, but then he’s somehow in Jack’s lungs a minute later. That sort of thing happens over and over; there’s very little concern in the script for the amount of time it would take him to get from one place to another. After meandering a good bit, the movie picks back up as the final act comes around. It’s still all very silly, of course, but it’s hard not to root for the heroes. It’s not a favorite of mine anymore, but it’s still a fun way to pass two hours.” 4 stars

Dressed to Kill

Posted in Classics, Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on December 20, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this entry in the Michael Shayne detective series, the smart-alec sleuth is at the altar with his bride when shots ring out from a nearby theater. He immediately runs to investigate. He soon finds a series of murders with one thing in common. They are all related to a single stage production. Each victim is discovered wearing a costume from the drama. Shayne soon discovers that the killer is a jilted porter whose actress-lover dumped him. Unfortunately for the enthusiastic gumshoe, his fiancee, disgusted by his love of solving mysteries, dumps him.

What people are saying:

“At just 74 minutes Dressed to Kill is innocuous fun, though like most of Fox’s mysteries from the period it leans heavily on the charm of its actors rather than the ingenuity of its writing” 3 stars

“…benefits from a powerhouse supporting cast and the effectively moody cinematography of Glenn MacWilliams” 3 1/2 stars

“Alright, this wasn’t fantastic or gripping as a mystery, but it did make me laugh more than most comedies, so I did end up liking it. The abundant smugness was fun to watch by itself, and there were so many witty quips…and it was full of clothes-porn; I probably would have liked just watching it without the dialogue, or the dialogue without the movie. Basically, I liked pretty much everything about this. And the stork line, I copied that down.” 4 stars

“Ohh it was not good. Poor acting, uninteresting characters, and of course I don’t love the hysterical woman/suuuper-awk racial stereotyping…yikes.” 1 1/2 stars

Dressed to Kill is one of the most enjoyable ‘B’ movies I’ve ever seen. Lloyd Nolan is terrific as Michael Shayne, detective, and his supporting cast is superb to say the least. William Demarest is the best hapless police inspector this side of James Gleason, a youthful Henry Daniell plays a stuck up prig to perfection, Milton Parsons is a bad baddie, and we even get small turns from Mantan Moreland and Billy Benedict. The story is reasonably well written, fast paced, and a lot of fun.” 3 stars

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabuolous

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Because of the notoriety she gained from the Miss United States pageant, Gracie Hart’s life as an undercover FBI agent is over. In addition, Agent Eric Matthews broke off their relationship which she did not take well. Begrudgingly on the advice her boss Director Harry McDonald, Gracie decides to become the FBI’s media relations officer. Ten months later with the assistance of style coach Joel Meyers and a best selling book behind her about her experience, Gracie becomes a designer-clad media darling and the made-up face of the FBI. The new Gracie is the exact opposite of Agent Sam Fuller, a woman who, like Gracie before her pageant experience, has deep seated anger issues. The two do not get along, but that doesn’t stop McDonald from assigning Sam to be Gracie’s bodyguard. The two are sent to Las Vegas when Gracie’s friend, reigning Miss United States Cheryl Frasier, and the long time Miss United States pageant host Stan Fields are kidnapped there. At the FBI’s Las Vegas field office, Assistant Director Walter Collins wants Gracie solely to be the media spokesperson on the case, but Gracie wants to be back in the field, especially when she uncovers some leads Collins dismisses. Despite their antagonistic relationship, Gracie and Sam have to work together to follow these leads. Along with them are Joel and insecure FBI Agent Jeff Foreman, the foursome who in addition to finding Cheryl and Stan, have to elude Collins’ other agents, Collins who wants Gracie and Sam back on a plane to New York and who wants the glory of solving the case for himself.

What people are saying:

“The things we loved most about #1 were downplayed in favor of the things that weren’t all that funny; and a betrayal of the main character through most of it.” 2 stars

“I liked Miss Congeniality, but was anyone asking for this? And if this was going to be forced upon the world, did it have to be this bad? I would hope not, but it seems that we have no choice.” 1/2 star

“Absolute dribble, inspiring only to preteen girls and Sandra Bullock. Bullock’s talent and good looks are the only reasons this movie is watchable. The flick is armed and dangerous alright – to anyone involved in the production of the film besides Sandra.” 1 1/2 stars

“Worth seeing just for the Dolly Parton Cameo and the Proud Mary performance. Again Sandra Bullock does what few others can, and thats bounce off a co-star as if they have worked together years, Regina King is an excellent addition.” 3 1/2 stars

“Sandra Bullock returns as FBI agent Gracie Hart in the second Miss Congeniality movie. Gracie has become well-known by the public after saving Cheryl Frasier (Heather Burns) at the Miss United States Pageant, where she was working undercover. Gracie is asked to become the face to the FBI, and give a positive face of the FBI by promoting her book on TV. Gracie has become a celebrity and is no longer a real FBI agent. Her friends from the pageant, Cheryl and Stan Fields (William Shatner) are kidnapped in Las Vegas, and Gracie wants to find them. Gracie is ordered by her boss to continue being the face of the FBI, while they find her friends. Gracie can’t do that, so she starts her own investigation. Her bodyguard, FBI agent Sam Fuller (Regina King), and Gracie go undercover to find her friends, and the fireworks begin. If you liked the first movie, you will love this one. I think it is even better than the first, and Regina King steals the show with her part. There is much more action and funny scenes. I actually laugh through the entire movie. This is one cute chick flick where you can just sit back and enjoy.” 4 stars

License to Drive

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Les (Corey Haim) is embarrassed when he fails his driving test in this routine teen comedy. His buddies are depending on him to provide the wheels for the weekend, but Les is more interested in his Saturday date with Mercedes (Heather Graham). Les secretly steals his grandfather’s immaculate 1972 Cadillac for the adventure. The dream date soon turns into a nightmare when Dean (Corey Feldman) bothers Les with camera flashes and cigar smoke, and his sloppy-drunk date dances on the hood of the car with high heels. The car is towed when he parks illegally, and later the teens are chased by revved-up motorheads who challenge him to a race. Carol Kane and Richard Masur play Les’ parents.

What people are saying:

“…more-than-passable summer entertainment, especially when it identifies with the yearnings of its young heroes to get behind the wheel.” 3 1/2 stars

“Anyone old enough to have a license is probably much too old to be amused by License to Drive.” 2 stars

“How can you go wrong with this movie? It’s 80’s and it’s the Two Coreys, enough said. It’s not amazing, especially when compared to some of the beloved teen films of the decade, but License to Drive is good fun. I’ve always been a fan of the Feldman/Haim duo, and although this doesn’t match up with The Lost Boys, it’s another great collaboration. Throw in a young Heather Graham as the love interest and you’re all set. Yeah, this movie is definitely cheesy at times and not some ground-breaking comedy, but I’ve always got a kick out of it. It’s a fun premise with some classic moments that I always love revisiting. An entertaining 80’s flick!” 3 1/2 stars

“Another classic Coreys movie, License To Drive starts out dealing with a young man waiting to get his drivers license and the freedom that comes with it. Then all sorts of hilarity and craziness ensues. This movie moves along well with the characters getting involved in some pretty strange things, like when the old man takes their car. The acting here if ok with Haim and Feldman turning in their typical performances. A gorgeous young Heather Graham was the classic hot girl that dates the “loser” guy when she’s mad at her boyfriend and then ends up liking him. Lastly, the movie ends with a great closing line, “I’ve already got a Mercedes”, and the fantastic Billy Ocean song “Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Car”.” 3 1/2 stars

“Classic 80’s teenage drama. The cheese factor is dialled up too high for my tastes. The DMV scene looked as if it was out of the dystopian 1984 world and was hilarious. The juxtaposition of Corey Haim’s driving test versus his sisters was great. The ridiculous diner scene that led into a military protest and then almost arrested and then car stolen by a drunk was the worst.” 2 1/2 stars

Miss Congeniality

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Unpolished and disheveled, FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) needs a serious makeover before going undercover as a Miss United States beauty pageant contestant to catch a psychopathic terrorist who’s threatened to blow up the proceedings. A beauty consultant (Michael Caine) is hired to transform Hart from “Dirty Harriet” into a beauty queen — with hilarious and surprisingly effective results, much to her partner’s (Benjamin Bratt) shock.

What people are saying:

“…a standard-issue fish-out-of-water comedy which seems happily, deliberately second-rate, as if its ideal audience consisted of weary airline passengers” 3 stars

“Sandra Bullock (who also produces) takes a lame idea of a script, splashes her considerable allure all over it, and comes away with an amiable, light-hearted holiday charmer.” 4 stars

“Sandra Bullock does a super job as Gracie, the clumsy, uncouth FBI agent who must stop a sinister plot at the USA beauty pagent. Candice Bergen and William Shatner are really good in their roles as the hosts of the pagent. Michael Caine gives a wonderful performance as the guy who has to remake Gracie into a graceful contestant. Funny and entertaining!” 5 stars

“Miss Congeniality is a passable and enjoyable film that isn’t too clever but isn’t too stupid either. I hated the first part of the film when Bullock is a tom-boy purely because of the way they portray it. The opening scene with her as a child was unnecessary and ridiculous. The fact that the director tries to shove the message down our throats that she’s a tom-boy drives me insane. It’s so lazy, from listening to rap music while boxing to eating ice cream like a pig, there’s just no need for it. We get it, alright? The film picks up when Michael Caine is introduced and it becomes much more enjoyable, particularly with the banter and subtle war of dominance between the two. I also thought the lighting was very clever, dark when Bullock is ugly but much lighter and happier after her makeover. The competition itself was ok and the way it ended was, of course corny, and a bit contradicting to the central believes of the character but this film is ok and that’s it.” 2 1/2 stars

“This is a family favourite, we’ve seen it so many times and it never gets old, absolutely hilarious, Sandra Bullock is awesome. Her snorting laugh, the way she’s always falling over and the sarcastic one liners are all what makes this a great comedy. Michael Caine, William Shatner and Heather Burns deliver some laugh out loud moments too. The highlight of this film is probably when Bullock goes from total rundown FBI officer to a superhot model undercover, funniest transition I’ve seen in a film, this is a must watch, it’s comedy gold.” 4 1/2 stars

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Resistance fighters led by General Leia Organa evacuate their main base when a First Order fleet reaches the planet. After the fight, the Resistance vessels jump into hyperspace to escape. Leia reprimands Poe Dameron for a successful but costly counter-strike, while Supreme Leader Snoke reprimands General Hux for his failure to block the evacuation. Hux, however, is tracking the Resistance and a long pursuit begins, with the Resistance relying on their spaceships’ mobility and shields to survive while their fuel supplies dwindle. During one battle, Kylo Ren hesitates to attack the lead Resistance ship after sensing the presence of his mother Leia on board. TIE fighters destroy the bridge of the ship, killing many Resistance members. Leia is incapacitated, leaving Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo in command. Disapproving of their leaders’ passive strategy, Poe, Finn, BB-8, and mechanic Rose Tico embark on a secret plan to disable the First Order fleet’s tracking device.

Having arrived on Ahch-To with Chewbacca and R2-D2 aboard the Millennium Falcon, Rey meets Luke Skywalker. Luke refuses to teach her in the ways of the Force because of his past failure when teaching Kylo, even after learning of Han Solo’s death. Unbeknownst to Luke, Rey and Kylo begin communicating with each other through visions. Prodded by R2, Luke eventually agrees to initiate Rey in the ways of the Force, but also reveals his failures as a Jedi Master. Luke and Kylo give Rey differing accounts of the incident that swayed Kylo toward the dark side of the Force, and Luke to his hermit life. Unable to convince Luke to join the Resistance, Rey leaves Ahch-To without him to confront Kylo. Luke sees the ghost of Yoda, who destroys the Ahch-To Jedi temple for him and tells him that failure is the greatest teacher.

Holdo reveals her plan to discreetly evacuate the remaining Resistance members using small transports. Believing her actions to be cowardly and risky, Poe instigates a mutiny. Finn, Rose, and BB-8 recruit the computer pirate DJ at a casino on Canto Bight, believing that he will be able to help them disable the tracking device. They infiltrate the lead First Order ship, but are captured by Captain Phasma, but BB-8 manages to escape. Meanwhile, Rey lands on the same ship, and is seized by Kylo Ren, who takes her to Snoke. During a losing confrontation with Snoke, Rey tries to turn Kylo to the side of the Resistance. Snoke reveals that he controlled the mental connection between her and Kylo as part of a plan to destroy Luke. Ordered to kill Rey, Kylo instead kills Snoke. Rey and Kylo work together to kill Snoke’s guards. Kylo asks Rey to rule the galaxy with him, but Rey refuses, and asks him to join the Resistance. Using only the Force they struggle until Rey is able to escape. Kylo declares himself as the new Supreme Leader.

Having recovered, Leia neutralizes Poe and allows the evacuation to begin. Holdo remains on the main ship to provide cover, as the others escape to an old Rebel Alliance base on planet Crait. However, DJ reveals the Resistance’s plan to the First Order, and the evacuation transports are targeted with heavy losses but Holdo rams the command ship and its fleet at light-speed to stop the barrage. BB-8 frees Rose and Finn, who escape after defeating Captain Phasma, and join the survivors of the evacuation. When the First Order arrives, Poe, Finn, and Rose lead a charge with old speeders, but take heavy fire. The Falcon arrives and draws the TIE fighters away, while Rose saves Finn from a suicide mission to destroy the main enemy cannon, which then blasts a hole in the Resistance fortress.

Luke appears and confronts Kylo alone, giving the surviving Resistance fighters time to escape. Kylo strikes Luke with his lightsaber, but learns that he has been fighting a projection, and Luke is still on Ahch-To. Luke defiantly tells Kylo that he will not be the last Jedi, as Rey clears a blocked tunnel behind the base so the remaining Resistance fighters can escape.

On Ahch-To, Luke’s body vanishes as he dies. The remaining Resistance fighters escape aboard the Falcon. Leia reassures everyone that the rebellion has all that is needed to rise again. On Canto Bight, one of the children that helped Finn and Rose escape wields a broom like a lightsaber and a Resistance ring is shown on his finger.

REVIEW:

The day has finally arrived! All of us Star Wars fans have been patiently awaiting the sequel to Star Wars: The Force Awakens since its release a couple of years ago and now, with the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it is finally here. Theories have been rampant regarding what will actually happen to certain characters; who will live and who will die, that sort of thing. As the next chapter in the epic saga, let’s see if it lives to the legendary status of the “holy trilogy”

What is this about?

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.

What did I like?

Carrie-ing on. About this time last year, we lost Carrie Fisher. Speculation abounded following her passing how her death would be handled in the film. Would she be killed off? Perhaps digitally altered scenes? A memorium at the end of the film in her memory. Not to spoil anything, but her character is handled with respect and reverence befitting the princess. On a personal note, when she first appeared on the screen, it was emotional, but only because of the fact she is no longer with us, not because of anything that happens to her.

Snoke bomb. In The Force Awakens, Supreme Leader Snoke was built up to be a figure similar to Emperor Palpatine in the original saga. I, and I am sure many others, was looking forward to getting more from him, both in terms of character development, backstory, and seeing why he is the so-called Supreme Leader. Some questions still remain, but two things are for certain after watching this afternoon. First, he is no Palpatine and second, we still don’t know who he is! That aside, at least we saw more than a hologram of him and were witness to his mastery of the Force.

New direction. One of the biggest complaints about the Force Awakens was that it felt like a remake of Star Wars and, because of this, many feared this film would be a reboot of Empire Strikes Back. Admittedly, there is a similar feel to Empire, but this one stands on its own and sets the franchise on a course for a new direction. Some of us die-hard fans from the original days aren’t happy with it, but it is what it is.

What didn’t I like?

Joke’s on Luke. For years now, Mark Hamill has been a very popular voice actor, with a resume too long to list in the small space. Needless to say, his biggest role, short of being Luke Skywalker, would have to be the voice of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series (and many of the properties that followed). When Luke spoke, I could help but hear the Joker, rather than Luke Skywalker. I am not sure if this is how Hamill’s speaking voice sounds now, or if this could just be my personal affinity for the character. It would have been nice to hear him sound closer to what he did in the holy trilogy, though i know time and all those voices he has done have ravaged his vocal chords, so that’s a pipe dream.

Amor. Once Finn is re-established as a character and it appears he is running off to save/warn Rey about something, we are introduced to Rose. Now, Rose is a very sweet girl who lost her sister at the beginning of the film. As time goes on, we learn more and more about her until she sacrifices herself to save Finn. As she lay there near death, she professes her love for Finn and kisses him. W…T…F?!? First, there was absolutely no chemistry between these characters until then. Second, it seemed like we were going to get a Finn/Rey romance. Third, this whole subplot could have been cut and no one would know the difference. Why was this love story forced upon us?!?

More Death Star. A common complaint about the entire Star Wars saga is how in every film we get the Death Star. Well, no Death Star this time…sort of. While there isn’t a full-fledged battle station, there is a battering cannon based on technology from the Death Star. Can we not get away from that thing? Yes, it was awesome at first, but not it is just becoming a nuisance!

Final verdict on Star Wars: The Last Jedi? This one feels like they managed to get the balance of new and old, managing to make the film feel like a true entry into the Star Wars universe and also show casualties and consequences. Old friends come and go, new friends are made, and we are even introduced to some new creatures and younglings along the way that may be the future of this franchise years down the road. While I liked the film, I don’t love it. Something just didn’t make me jump up in my seat for this. Perhaps in another viewing, I will have a different opinion. That said, i do highly recommend this to any and all. Action, adventure, comedy, deceit…what else could you really want in a film? Check it out!

4 out of 5 stars