Archive for January 2, 2018

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2018 by Mystery Man


Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill fortune blowing even more strongly when a crew of deadly ghost pirates led by an old rival, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him. His only hope of survival lies in finding the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that gives its possessor total control of the seas.

What people are saying:

“Dead Men Tell No Tales isn’t as good as the first three films, but it’s better than the fourth film…it has mostly good performances, and a couple of great ones. It has fantastic visual effects, lots of humor that works, a lighthearted feel and sense of fun, and many terrific action set pieces to make your eyeballs pop out.” 4 stars

“Is this really only the fifth entry in the Pirates film franchise? It feels like the 50th. Except for Javier Bardem, who brings a dollop of fresh mischief to this paycheck party, Dead Men has all the flavor of rotting leftovers.” 1 star

“Dead Men Tell No Tales found its way back to the original Pirates movie, but lacked anything fresh. Jack was back (mostly), but the movie’s two new protagonists (Carina and Henry) feel like the B-team compared to Will and Elizabeth. The plot and finale also struggled to live up to the quality of the original’s. A fun movie that is better than Pirates 3 and 4 for sure.” 4 stars

“I’m a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. But even with that bias, I have to admit this is a pretty mediocre movie. There’s no plot, really: the whole movie is basically a couple of groups of people chasing each other to get to the Trident of Poseidon first, which will allow its possessor to rule the seas. Since a slow chase on the oceans is not enough to fill 2+ hours, we get a bunch of throwaway exposition on irrelevant backstory stuff related to bad blood between Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and Jack Sparrow. There’s not much humor, no real plot twists or surprises, and certainly no creativity or depth to the dialogue. There are some large-scale fights/battles, but since it’s CGI, it’s all rather sterile and uninvolving. Bardem and Depp do make the most of their scenes, but that’s about it. Let’s hope the next installment brings more of the fun and inventive storytelling that made earlier POTC films so much fun.” 3 stars

“What else can be said about the latest movie in the long in the tooth Pirates of the Caribbean movie series. In this installment: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Feminist Diaries, a never before mentioned undead pirate is trying to kill Johnny Depp (in his return to Captain Jack to pay his alimony) . Jack needs to find a never before mentioned artifact to save himself. Luckily he encounters a belligerent sharped tongue shrew of a woman, who woman-splains for two hours. Along the way we meet yet another of Jack’s relatives , and get cameos and supporting roles from various cast members. Jack Bardem as Jack new nemesis was quite good. The new couple was trash. The effects, as always were spectacular. The undead shark scene was something the Sci-Fi channel wishes it could do during shark week. Unfortunately the movie is weighed down by more ‘disney diversity’. As usual all the men are dumb, and the women are smart. All the men (almost) are bad, the women are good. The men are weak, the women strong. Men are coward, women brave. Plus the movie is far two violent for younger kids. Summer trash.” 2 stars


La La Land

Posted in Movie Reviews, Musicals with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2018 by Mystery Man


Written and directed by Academy Award nominee Damien Chazelle, LA LA LAND tells the story of Mia [Emma Stone], an aspiring actress, and Sebastian [Ryan Gosling], a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

What people are saying:

“La La Land breathes new life into a bygone genre with thrillingly assured direction, powerful performances, and an irresistible excess of heart” 5 stars

“If Gene Kelly, Woody Allen and Steve Martin had a chance to collaborate, the result might be La La Land, the remarkable new movie by precocious young writer/director Damien Chazelle.” 4 stars

“I loved, loved, loved this movie! At first I wasn’t sure but it definitely had me hooked by the end. Ryan and Emma are so good together and I had goose bumps and tears by the end. I don’t love musicals with never ending song and dance numbers but this wasn’t that way at all. It was magical, fun, endearing, sad, happy, true to life and fantastical, and yes, it does provide those fluttery, over-whelming feelings of new love.” 5 stars

“I cannot understand the widespread appeal of this film. Neither protagonist makes the subtle nuanced decisions of adult life; the mid-way compromises of relationship-making. The choreography is nothing on the scale of the musicals of old. These are two great actors undercut by an underdeveloped script and serving the poorly executed concept of reviving the musical genre.” 2 stars

“Most of my reviews bring up something about clichés, as Hollywood seems to be badly plagued by them. The clichés in this film are different, however. They are more of nostalgic clichés, the ones that give you that fluttery feeling in your stomach, help you escape, and help you feel. And, oh my, do they make this movie beautiful! The best way to describe “La La Land” is that it is a love song. It is a love song to the ‘dying’ art of classical jazz music. It is a love song to the touching and heartfelt boy-meets-girl romance stories. It is a love song to the revolutionary spectacles of musical films that brought in the new age of cinema. It is a love song to the struggling artists that are stuck between dreams and reality. “La La Land” is gorgeous, fun, romantic, tragic, and sweet, all in one. Bravo!” 5 stars